YeeHaw! Have you ever wanted to be a cowboy? At the Half Pint Hootenanny kids and adults can learn from Leapin’ Louie how to be the perfect cowgirl/cowboy. Along with learning how to be the perfect cowgirl/cowboy you can also play a wide variety of games and do lots of arts and crafts such as face painting, coloring a bandana and cowboy hat, and carving a bar of soap into a boat! Half Pint Hootenanny also featured some amazing artists such as Julia Rizik, Auburn Road, Quest from the Academy of Musical Performance, and many other performers.
One of the performers I had the pleasure of interviewing was the very talented Julia Rizik. While watching her perform I was stunned at the talent she had as she played her guitar and sang one of my all-time favorite country songs – Girl Crush by Little Big Town. As her performance came to an end, I was getting more and more excited about interviewing such a beautiful and talented singer. As I started interviewing her I noticed how nice and caring she was to everyone around her. While talking to her she told me she has been singing since she was about 11 years old and started guitar when she was about 13 along with piano and a few other instruments. One of her biggest musical influences is an artist named Sheryl Crow, her favorite song being “If it Makes You Happy”. She said that if Sheryl happened to be standing next to her she would “have to be airlifted to the hospital.” Along with being very funny, she was also very inspirational. When I asked what advice she would give to someone looking to start a music career, she said, “stay true to yourself and where you came from as well as be humble.” I just had to know how she keeps so calm on stage and looks very kept together performing in front of so many people, to which her reply was “I tend to hide my nervousness behind my excitement and just get so excited to the point I don’t even remember why I was nervous in the first place.”
Another artist similar in personality to Julia was my new favorite girl group, Auburn Road! I got the chance to interview these wonderful ladies right before they went out on the stage to perform an amazing set for an anxious crowd. Although they were in a rush to get the final touches for their performance ready they managed to squeeze in a couple minutes for me. While talking to Alicia, Paxton, and Kristen, they told me that they have been singing together ever since they met each other at a recording studio when they were little. Even though they’ve only been a band for about 5 years, these girls sound like they were made to sing together! They told me how their favorite song to perform is their song “Outlaw.” They love to perform this song because it feels like they can connect more with their audience. When they’re not singing, they love to play mini golf together and eat popcorn late at night. Before going out to sing the girls like to pray with everyone to calm their nerves. They also like to often remind themselves that it’s not just about singing but about the experience too.
Along with very talented singers, we also got to watch, interview, and even participate in the dancing that was performed for us. One of the most interesting performances was the Bon Family Cloggers. They have been dancing for about 17 years and dance with everyone from family to friends. They teach classes in Anaheim and love dancing because “it’s a great form of exercise and brings joy to everyone around them.”
During this amazing experience, I realized that if you really to be someone you have to follow your heart and try your hardest because anything is possible when you really put your mind to it. Thank you, everyone, that was there and saw these amazing artists. I had so much fun and can’t wait to take my family next year to experience the same kind people and love that comes when people who have a common interest come together.