faces in the crowd; Izzy Parker
Izzy, where are you from originally? I was born and raised here in Washington, Burien to be specific.
Zodiac Sign: I am a Pisces.
Marital status: I am married, we celebrated 19 years this past April and I am still trying to figure out where the time went?
What do you do for work? I am an Executive Assistant and I also head our Safety Committee and Emergency Response Team. I have been involved with the safety side of things for 10 years and love every minute of it! It has given me the opportunity to work with some great people both internally and with the City of Bellevue. A perk of this role is working with the Bellevue Fire Department, in my humble opinion the best group of firefighters on the planet!
Stage Name/Nickname: I have gone by Izzy for as long as I can remember. When I was called by my given name Isabel as a child it was usually because I was in trouble. To this day, if someone calls me Isabel I instantly think I am in trouble!
How long have you been singing karaoke? I think I have been singing karaoke since it first came out. I am a karaoke junkie and love to get out and sing any chance I get.
Have you ever hosted? I have never hosted before, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. I have some friends that host, and who knows, maybe one day I can join their team? (wink, wink) You know who you are.
What kind of music do you enjoy singing? My favorite type of music to sing would have to be the Blues. I really get into that type of vibe and I think it fits my voice the best. But honestly I will sing just about anything, I have a wide range of musical tastes. My favorite song to sing is Hurt So Bad by Susan Tedeschi. I would listen to this song over and over but I never thought I had the voice to sing it. One night at a competition I heard a gal do it as her warm up song and I thought to myself, I could do it. So I bought the karaoke CD and it ended up being my signature song.
Favorite singers/performers: A tough question, I have so many to choose from. I guess I would have to say my top picks would be Aretha Franklin, Annie Lennox, Susan Tedeschi, Luther Vandross, and Sting.
CD in your car deck right now? I have Kings of Leon, Adele, James Morrison, Bruno Mars, Pink, and some original gospel music I am learning. I have many other CDs strewn about my car just waiting to take their place in the rotation; I am all over the place in my musical tastes.
Do you play any instruments? No. I tried to play the violin when I was in 4th or 5th grade, but that was just torture on me and my family. It became crystal clear after my first recital that I was in no way shape or form a violinist. I clearly remember my father asking me how come my bow was going the opposite way of everybody else’s. Epic Fail!
Do you sing or have you ever sung in any groups/bands? I was in a band when I was 22 and it was a learning experience. Let’s just say I was between jobs and this opportunity came up to sing with a band my sister had sung with. My parents bought me a one-way ticket to Winnipeg, Manitoba to sing with people I had never met or even seen. I have some crazy stories from that experience, but bottom line is I survived, had fun, and when the time came to go home, I paid for that one-way ticket myself! I have done some studio work, background recordings for local artists but I have never been signed by anyone or had a deal. Still holding out hope that one day someone will take a chance on me.
What’s the largest crowd that you have sung in front of? The largest crowd I have ever performed in front of was 4,000 people. I have done this twice and they were both for a work event. Can I just say what a rush it is to be in front of that many people? Once was at the Seattle Convention Center and the other was at WAMU Center.
Ever entered any karaoke contests? I have entered a few, I love to sing, but contests make me so crazy nervous I actually feel sick. Once I am actually performing, I am good, but up until that point, I am a wreck. The first real competition I entered I literally got sick between my warm up song and my competition song.
How much have you won from a contest? The most money I have ever won from a competition was $500.00, but the first contest I ever won had a grand prize of a trip for two to Puerto Vallarta. It was timely because we ended up using it as our honeymoon.
If you could sing with anyone, ever, who would it be? This may sound a little strange but it would be Sting. I have always loved Sting because he surrounds himself with the best musicians and he experiments musically. I have seen him live several times and am always amazed by how talented he is and how he can connect with the audience. I would love to be part of something like that, sing with him and experience musical freedom.
Most famous person you’ve ever met? I met Joan Jet and sang with her band while in Canada. There’s an after hour’s club called the Blue Note in Winnipeg, all the local and big name bands coming through town would go there and jam after shows. One of the nights we went, Joan Jet happened to be there with her band. My friends dared me to go jam with them so I took some liquid courage and jumped on stage. At one point, her guitar player looked at me and told me to take the next verse. I told him I didn’t know the words and he said, “Well, what the hell are you doing up here?” I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “I’m gonna scat”! He just looked at me for a moment, and then handed me the mic. We jammed for the rest of the night, and I met Joan a little later in the evening. And that was how it all happened. Thanks to being in the right place at the right time and some liquid courage!
Do you have any musical fantasy(s)? Of course, the delusions of grandeur are there, name in lights people loving my music, blah, blah, blah. But honestly my fantasy would be to work on a Blues/Jazz album with fabulous musicians on original songs written just for me. Go into a studio and record it. It would be a labor of love, something I could share with the world. If I could figure out a way to sing for a living and be financially comfortable, I would do it in a heartbeat!
Any memorable karaoke stories that you would like to share? For the last three years, I have had a karaoke party for my birthday. I look forward to them every year. I have friends and family come out, we all drink and sing and have a great time. I have so many great memories around karaoke, but my birthday parties are the best. You just can’t beat music, family, friends and tequila!
What do you enjoy about karaoke? I enjoy the fact that anyone can get up and sing. You don’t have to be the greatest singer ever, as long as you have a good time. It is a very social atmosphere and with the right host, a normal night out at the bar can turn into a party!
Is there anything you dislike about karaoke? I think the host can make or break any karaoke outing. I am not a fan of hosts that love the sound of their own voice, or that put the same people in the rotation while making others wait forever to sing. I can deal with the occasional bad service at a bar, but bad karaoke? I will not be coming back!
Which is your favorite bar/club? I love going to Mick Kelly’s @ Riverbend Golf Course in Kent. Yes, it is close to home, and they have karaoke on Friday nights. Aside from that, they have the best karaoke selection in town! Josh, aka KJ Lymes, is my favorite host. I love to hang out with him and the rest of the usual karaoke suspects. He gets everyone in the rotation, and makes sure new singers don’t have to wait all night before getting the opportunity to sing. To top it all off, the staff is great! I always hate going somewhere where the host sings way too much, or they have the same people singing while you only get a couple songs in the mix.
What’s one thing (non-living) that you can’t live without? That would be my phone. I am addicted to it, and I use it for everything! It’s my camera, day planner, computer, radio, GPS, and did I mention you can send and receive calls too? Brilliant!
What’s your favorite Website? I have a guilty pleasure called Facebook. I can’t help but post pictures and update my status; I just feel the need to share sometimes. I blame my smartphone; it just makes it too easy to stay connected!
Any tattoo(s)? I don’t have any tattoos. I have nothing against them and love to see them on other people but I can’t think of anything I feel strongly enough about to have permanently on my body.
Beverage of choice? Alcoholic or non? When it comes to alcohol, I am a tequila girl, but when I am singing, I will generally be sipping some Grand Marnier. Non alcoholic, I love my Chai Tea!
What’s the nicest thing you’ve ever done for a stranger? I once had a stranger buy my coffee for me just because I opened the door for him at a Starbucks. It was nothing life changing, but it made my day, and every so often, I will reward a random act of kindness with a coffee, or a coffee card. Other than that, I am a huge believer that hugs can turn strangers into friends quickly, and I am a big hugger!
What would your tag line be? Wow, this is a tough one because after this is out there for people to read, I am branded and that is kind of daunting. I guess I would have to say, “The music does not define me, I define the music that I sing.”
Would you like to say anything special to our readers? Figures, my golden opportunity to speak to a captive audience and I have nothing! Well almost nothing, I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and family that have supported me, and my love of singing though the years. And if you ever feel like joining me for some karaoke, you know where I will be on a Friday night! Peace!