Comedienne and musical artist Kelli Sae knew from an early age that she had the ability to not only belt out a tune but make people laugh. Fortunately, the New Yorker has been able to combine her skills – you’ll have seen them in full display on such shows as “Dancing with the Stars” and via Sae’s numerous albums- to solidify a successful career for herself as a musician, comedienne and performer. She recently discussed her career and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): I’d like to congratulate you on all your success. When and how did this journey begin for you?
Kelli Sae (KS): Thank you Meagan. This journey of being an Artist started at about 5 years old. I loved entertaining and making people laugh. I started out doing sports, dancing and acting. I started singing to annoy my older sister who was a singer. She used to make it seem so difficult. I wanted to mess with her and the joke was on me. I fell in love with it and ended up not being too sucky at it.
MM: Did you have supportive parents?
KS: Yes, my parents were very supportive and encouraging. Unfortunately, they have both passed. I miss then dearly and wish I could celebrate all of my milestones.
MM: And was it always about being a musician for you?
KS: I have been a musician for most of my life. I felt passionate about it early on. Thereafter, it was just about how I was going to be able to make it a career.
MM: What musical styles and musicians are you influenced by?
KS: I love so many styles. I just like good music. I love, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Dance, Afro Cuban and Salsa. The classics influenced me. Prince, David Bowie, Earth Wind & Fire, Steely Dan.
MM: What was the first gig for you? The first professional gig?
KS: My first professional gig I was hired to do a studio session. I got lucky and that turned into my first record deal. I thought I was going to be a Pop Star immediately! Hahaha.
MM: When did you know it was working for you?
KS: I knew it was working when I started to get calls to be featured as a soloist on many records and backing vocals. Then I started touring the world with different big named artists.
MM: And how did the Dancing with the Stars and Singing Bee work come up?
KS: I auditioned for both of them. Singing Bee was fun because it was a game show. We’d sing the clues to the contestant and they’d have to guess the rest. Dancing with The Stars I also auditioned for. I loved the show and when I’d heard they were starting a new orchestra; I knew I had to give it a shot! I got it!
MM: In addition, you’re also a comedienne. When did you realize you had the gift of making people laugh?
KS: For as long as I can remember I’ve always been silly. I used to put on these comedy shows for my family and have them cracking up. I’d do characters and voices. I carried that humor into my stage performances as a singer. The audiences seemed to like when I was just being my comedic self in between songs.
MM: Tell us about your show – though funny, it sounds like it also encompasses important themes.
KS: This show is so exciting to me. It is funny yes, but it is also a message of hope for people who feel that they have to try to fit just to be liked. It also speaks about discovering sexuality and not be ashamed to be who you are. Though that may sound cliche, it’s a reality that still needs to be dealt with. I talk of my own experiences and sometimes it’s uncomfortable. I have found through creating the show, it’s been healing for me. I’m hoping by bringing it to the public, it can be healing and inspiring for others as well.
MM: Have you considered writing a movie based on your exciting life?
KS: Wow! You have just given me a new idea! I hadn’t thought of that till now. Thank you for the inspiration!
MM: What’s coming up for you?
KS: My next show will be on February 29th in New York!