I had wanted to do a concert for a very long time, but I had been terrified at the prospect of singing without the veil of a character. Every now and then when I was very brave, or had been emotionally blackmailed, I would sing a song at a gala or an event as myself, and really was amazed by the connection I felt between me and the audience.
In 2009 I was asked to take part in the American Songbook Series at New York's Lincoln Center, and I bit the bullet and said yes. Three amazing things happened:
1. I felt the fear and did it anyway!
2. I really enjoyed the experience of playing myself.
3. A whole new career doing concerts around the world opened up to me.
A couple of weeks after the American Songbook premiere, I flew to Australia and performed I Bought A Blue Car Today as part of the Mardi Gras festival. That summer, I recorded an album of the same name, which was released in the fall. In September, I took the show to the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End and when I returned to the US, I played dates at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, at Dallas' 2X2 festival, the High Line Ballroom in New York City, as well as two week long runs at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
At the end of the year I returned to Australia to perform again at the Sydney Opera House and the Brisbane Powerhouse. In all these concerts I was joined by my musical director, Lance Horne.