Today we’d like to introduce you to Ms. Maura.
Ms. Maura, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My parents had a theatre company in Chicago as I was growing up and I was basically raised to perform. Throughout elementary school I acted in professional theatre productions, occasionally sang with my dad’s rock band (who let the 5-year-old in the clubs?!), and hosted a public-access dance show for kids (Beat Box!). My mom and I made our home in LA when I fourteen and I graduated from LACHSA while acting with Serendipity Theatre Co. After that I attended UC Santa Cruz, co-founded a theatre company with some friends, and uncovered my love for choreography and movement.
When I moved back to LA after college (which I never thought I’d do!) I continued to act and choreograph a bit, but I just couldn’t muster the hustle to make a living from performing alone. Fortunately I also love all things administration and took a job as the Production Manager for East LA Classic Theatre (which lead to an HR/Office Manager position with Actors’ Equity Association, which lead to the HR/Admin consulting work I do now). I truly dig organizing chaos but my soul still needed to perform, even if just for fun, so I joined a couple bands and began the singing adventure I’m still enjoying today.
Over the past decade-plus, I’ve performed and recorded with a bunch of local bands and artists including Grayson Wray Project, La Muff, and Vaud and the Villains. I released my first solo EP as Ms. Maura about ten years ago (time is crazy!!), and today I regularly play around town with my original band, Ms. Maura & The Misters.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make music for grooving. Ms. Maura started as a moody electronic recording collaboration with my husband – I wanted to make music for choreographers to use in their art. Now I perform live with 8-person funky-vintage-indie-soul band Ms. Maura & The Misters. I’m still thinking about the music in terms of dance and getting folks moving, but now I wanna dance WITH the people and groove through our crap together. Folks can be hesitant to dance at smaller local shows, but it feels really good to let loose and be present and move without brain interference, so I’m just trying to hold that space. I hope that people dig our groove, tell their friends, and then come back to dance it out with us again.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I can only speak for myself, but one of my biggest challenges right now is being present and not getting distracted by the shoulda-coulda-wouldas. It can be overwhelming trying to balance creative pursuits with momhood, and friends and family, and work, and general life responsibilities. I start guilt-spinning about past choices, future choices, and everyone else’s perceptions of those choices. After a lifetime of performing, I still have to regularly remind myself that I do what I do because it makes me feel good, and that’s enough, and anything else my art may provide is just bonus magic.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Ms. Maura & The Misters plays around LA, usually once a month – you can check out our website and social media for upcoming gig info. And you can listen to our music, and all the other Ms. Maura projects, on Bandcamp and your favorite streaming services.
- Address: Avenue 65 Records, 90042
- Website: www.MsMaura.com
- Instagram: https://www.
- Facebook: https://www.
- Other: www.
MsMauraAndTheMisters.com, www. MauraMB.com
Melissa Stewart, Haven Hartman, Blake Gardner, Eva b Ross, Lynz Floren