By the time I was five I was already studying ballet and piano, and had seen several children’s musicals, so it wasn’t that big of a leap that when I was five years old, and my sister Judy was three, my mother dressed us alike, and complete with white gloves, toted us off to see the National Company in Chicago of South Pacific. I remember that day as if it were yesterday, from where our seats were, to what the theater looked like…and of course, the piece! This was my first Broadway musical, and I was mesmerized, and I told my mother right then and there that when I grew up, I wanted to ‘do that’—whatever that meant. She assumed it meant that I wanted to be a performer, and for many years, that’s where I thought I was headed too, but I was always consumed with the creative process. How could anyone actually sit down and write South Pacific?? I have been very blessed in that I was able to more or less realize my dream. I was a Broadway performer for many, many years, and then made the segue to full time songwriter as I began a family. I am grateful that I could pursue my career with the help and encouragement of my family, and even as I became a wife and mother, was able to continue a life in the record business, jingle business, and then again the theater. I have been a member of Equity since 1963, and that is a long time. And even before I had my Equity card, I was performing in ballets in Chicago from the time I was about nine. Seeing the recent South Pacific brought back a flooding of those early childhood memories—and I am still asking myself, ‘how does anyone actually sit down and write South Pacific?
Sheilah Rae: Co-book/lyrics, ‘Funny, You Don’t Look Like A Grandmother’ pub. Sam French. Co-book/lyrics ‘I Married Wyatt Earp’, Off Broadway 2011. Heideman Award Finalist 2005; ‘Lovelines’, 2006; ‘What Goes Around’, 2010; ‘The Waiter’, 2011;‘ Single and Active’ with Michele Brourman. Past president of LPTW. President Board New York Theatre Barn. AEA, SAG, AFTRA, Local 802, The Dramatists Guild, Songwriters Guild. www.SheilahRae.com