Monthly Archives: December 2013

Photo 52

Well I recorded a vlog on Christmas Eve …

… and since there was no internet service in my area for basically the whole day, I didn’t post it.  Then when I went back and watched the video, it seemed so pointless that I deleted it.

I mean, why post an explanation of how no one on the resort had wi-fi and how sad I would’ve been to miss Skyping my family back home, when I know that hundreds of thousands of people back home didn’t even have power or heat for days … and some still don’t?

From my friend's Facebook page - everyone across the street from her has had no electricity for days now.

From my friend’s Facebook page – everyone across the street from her has had no electricity for days now.

Tree down in my cousins' backyard! Thankfully it didn't hit anyone or anything.

Tree down in my cousins’ backyard! Thankfully it didn’t hit anyone or anything.

Why go on about how social-network-dependent I’ve become and how I’d find it difficult to imagine even contemplating a move to a different continent without things like Skype and Facebook to keep me connected, when hundreds of thousands of people in the United Arab Emirates are far away from their families too (one salon worker I was chatting with gets to go home and see her son once a year.  He’s four years old) … and most are in far less luxurious circumstances than I am?

dubai population

Not sure how to enlarge this, but check out to read up on it …

And what’s the point in wishing you health, happiness, peace, prosperity, and abundance of family and friends and food for Christmas or Kwanzaa or New Year’s or belated Hanukkah or anything else on a specific day?  Frankly, I wish all of these things for every human on every day of every year, and when all is said and done, every day in the calendar should be just like every other day if you’ve got your priorities straight.  Besides, what would be the best time?  The stroke of midnight?  In which time zone?  Skyping my fam at Grandma’s house before their Christmas dinner (yes, we were able to connect – yay!) meant staying up until nearly 2am my time, and they were still starting the meal late and waiting for some people to arrive, lol.

So, while this may sound Grinchy to some, there will be no specific Happy Holidays post from me here.  I may do a year-end wrap-up, but it depends how busy I am putting in work and putting out energy for 2014. =)

Christmas Eve kisses before showtime!

Christmas Eve kisses before showtime!

Much love, always …  And from everywhere!!

My first week in Dubai

For those of you who missed my December email …


…I’d love to put you on the list.  Just let me know via, easy peasy. ;-)  I don’t like how many features get lost or altered in the transition from MailChimp to WordPress, so chances are good that I won’t continue to rehash my monthly newsletter here on my blog every month.  Forwarned is forearmed, lol …


Well, well, well.

Some of you may recall the time in 2010 when I made it through several rounds of auditions to play the role of Nala for The Lion King onstage in Singapore, and ended up not getting the part. You might remember me trying out for gigs on cruise ships (multiple times), and at Universal Studios Japan (multiple times), and sending my information out to booking agencies for gigs in places like Mexico.  Maybe you knew that I felt pretty good after an audition for a Calgary booking but never heard back about that role, or that I spent lots of time and energy (and money) with a 7-piece band in 2012 which was supposed to play a nightclub in the Middle East for a few months … except that only 3 out of the 7 of us were ultimately offered the job.  And uh, yeah, I was one of the “other 4,” lol!

Actually, most of you are probably learning all of that for the first time, because I’m not one to enjoy talking about “failed” auditions (this post on my blog covers some of the many reasons why).  And now that I’m settled into my own room in a resort on the Gulf of Arabia, with the first week of shows behind me and many more months ahead, rereading encouraging letters/cards/emails and sharing pics and video with as many people as I can … I feel like I can finally exhale.

A Facebook friend of mine posted this recently and I just had to borrow it:

“It’s hard to keep waiting for something you cannot guarantee will ever happen, but it’s even harder to give it all up know it’s everything you want.”

I could say “Amen” from now until New Year’s Eve and it still wouldn’t be enough to show how much I agree with that quote.

So I want to send a very special shoutout to every one of you who is pushing for something big that *might* not happen (at least not in the way you think it will), because the fact that you’re still going for it means you are guaranteed to receive some kind of reward.

Now for those of you who weren’t really looking for a pep talk (lol, sorry!), here’s what’s new in my world!

1. Dubai.
I’m here, loving it, and settling in nicely.

2. Blogging and vlogging.
I will keep everyone updated as best as I can through and and … of course these monthly newsletters are good too but there will be something new every few days, if not every day, on at least one of those sites.  Please stay connected =)  (I actually just posted a recap here on my blog, complete with a few pics, so check it out!)

3. Staying busy (without the mic).
Singing these six shows a week and doing rehearsals is, of course, my main focus, but thanks to the magical splendour of the internet I’m also still involved with SabreUp, L I Brown Productions, and of course my online business with Arbonne International.  So if you need to hire talent/servers/support staff for one of those holiday functions coming up … or get a Digital Dossier  to highlight your strengths and start the new year out right … or shop for amazing botanically-based products now to score yourself an additional discount for later … just let me know!

4.  Writing.
Stay tuned.


Love and Peace,



Dubai recap – Show Week One is done …

… and today is my day off, so my goal is to bang this out and get back outside =)  (Today I finally got to the beach.  Video footage here.)

So, Jo Maharaj and I have finished our first week of shows at the White Orchid Lounge (Palm Tree Court, Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Dubai).

White Orchid Lounge

White Orchid Lounge

With the creative band name of “Jo & Chattrisse” (yep, really), we have entertained several dozen guests for four sets a night since Monday night.

1st night onstage

1st night onstage

We have crooned, laughed and sometimes improvised through such varied songs as Sweet Love by Anita Baker, Beyonce’s version of Fever (we’ve done those two every single night so far), Rehab by Amy Winehouse, Just the Two of Us by Bill Withers, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, Let’s Stay Together by Al Green, No No No by Dawn Penn (click here to see a snippet of video footage), and Dance with My Father by Luther Vandross.  We’ve had regulars come back for 5 or 6 nights in a row, we’ve had people up and dancing, we’ve even had the power cut out on us more than once.  (That’s when your improv and/or a cappella skills come in REALLY handy!)

We’ve garnered fans, like 5-year-old Daisy who left us this note:

It says "I love your singing so much" =D

It says “I love your singing so much” =D

And taken song requests …

We get more requests for Bob Marley than for anyone else, and people from every background you can imagine are singing along, bopping their heads, or up and dancing.  #proudtobeJamaican

We get more requests for Bob Marley than for anyone else, and people from every background you can imagine are singing along, bopping their heads, or up and dancing. #proudtobeJamaican

And I am already so wholeheartedly grateful that I’ve been given this opportunity.

If you or someone you know is in the Dubai area and wants to check us out, come through!  No cover, if you’ve got questions you can leave a comment here or at

And with that – it’s lunchtime!  Feel free to stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and of course right here at  Thank you so much for your support and well wishes; bye for now!!!