We had the good fortune of connecting with Darci Monet and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darci, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I’m a big believer that the arts are an essential piece of a functional, civilized society. Singing is something nearly everyone loves to do, whether they have career aspirations with it or not, and I very much enjoy encouraging people to do it. I was the person at the karaoke bar asking strangers, “You gonna get up there? You gonna sing tonight? Come on, go for it!” Studies have shown that the act of singing releases endorphins that give you a feeling of happiness and we all know the world can use more of that right now! I also feel like artists have been “called to duty” during this pandemic, to keep people entertained, remaining somewhat sane, knowing they’re not alone. We may not run into burning buildings like firefighters or being dropped into combat like our brave soldiers, but I’ve heard hundreds of stories over my career of how an artist’s music gave someone hope, encouraged them to keep going or literally saved them from ending their own life. I am very proud to be a small cog in the wheel that continues to put art into the world. Music heals.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Part one…guess I’d say my “business” happened sort of by accident. I’ve always been an artist (singer/songwriter/actor) since I was a kid, but once I reached adulthood I always had day jobs, partially for practicality purposes, partially – if I’m being honest – because I just didn’t believe in myself enough. When the economy crashed in 2008, I lost my day job and had to figure something out because there simply weren’t other jobs to be had. So, I hung my shingle as a vocal coach. I had NO IDEA what I was doing! But over the years I’ve really honed my skill set and am able to really help singers and songwriters grow leaps and bounds in theirs. I really live for those breakthrough moments! Part two…more recently I’ve had this nagging voice in my head telling me, “You’re supposed to be counseling people.” Now, counseling is part of the voice coaching job. Artists are generally all in their feels, after all and I’ve had many a lesson where we don’t get any singing done but I morph into “Dr. Darci” as a student cries on my shoulder. But I struggled with my self-esteem and confidence my entire career as an artist and I allowed it to torpedo my dreams (in case you’re wondering, I was SUPPOSED to have been a national treasure by now). After A LOT of work on my spiritual/emotional/mental wellbeing, I now feel very called to help other artists avoid the pitfall of self-sabotaging their own careers. So, my voice coaching business is now expanding to include mindset coaching for artists of all types, not just singers. If I can help even one person overcome that “I’m not good enough” lie and reach their true potential as an artist, then that will be a legacy I’m proud to leave behind.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh…with quarantine enacted, I was starting to go a little stir crazy and decided that I NEEDED to get out of the house and just go somewhere pretty once a week….Nature Church. Best decision I ever made! I’ve discovered some beautiful places in southern California. My “happy place” has become the Point Vicente Lighthouse in Rancho Palos Verdes. It has the most breathtaking view of the ocean and if you go during the week it’s not very crowded. There are picnic tables so you can pack a lunch and just take a beautiful break in nature for a couple hours. In fact, I just did that very thing with my teenage nieces on Veterans Day. It was a great break for them from being cooped up on Zoom all day with school and COVID safe cuz we were outdoors. Nothing more healing for me than an ocean breeze and some sunshine! My other favorite must-see place (when the world is normal) is Olvera Street. I love to show people where El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula first began! And if you’re gonna take an out-of-towner for Mexican food, you absolutely cannot go wrong there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Well, of course, my family has always been very supportive. My parents made sure I got the music lessons I needed and gratefully, never forced me to choose “a more practical major” when I told them I wanted to study music in college. My siblings put up with years and years of my warbling, whether they wanted to or not! Outside of them, I’ve taken voice lessons with quite a few vocal coaches, all excellent, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the two who truly helped me discover my own voice. When I was 16, after MUCH begging, I began studying with Elizabeth Lawton LaBelle (then Bolibaugh) in my hometown in Upstate New York. I thought I was an alto, but nope! After about six months with her I was popping notes up in the stratosphere with ease, which I’d always dreamed of doing. When I moved on to college at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, I met the great Carolyn Binkley, who taught me how to tap into my chest voice, my natural soulfulness and ability to sing any style at whim. These women not only changed my voice, but changed my life with their support, belief in my talent and opportunities they passed along my way. I would never have become a great vocalist or anywhere near a good vocal coach myself without their influence and example.
Website: www.SingLikeYouMeanIt.com and www.DarciMonet.com
Facebook: facebook.com/darcimonet, facebook.com/darcimonetmusic and facebook.com/dmvss
Yelp: Darci Monet Vocal Style Studio
Other: You can catch my dramedy talk show webseries with my dear friend Kelly Goodman, “And ANOTHER Thing…with Darci and Kelly” on our Facebook page, facebook.com/anotherthingtv and our older episodes at anotherthingtv.com. You can also follow us on IG @anotherthingtv. We talk about current events, pop culture, things we love, things we don’t, all slathered in gobs of laughter and all the feels!
Sabrina Fair Portraits Ron Davis Stillpoint Photography by Angela Parris