A lot of people spend their childhood fantasizing about becoming a star. We spend our youth mimicking artists and singing into a remote visualizing a crowd of thousands of people cheering for us as we hit the perfect note. We sat down with Neon Entertainment musician Mikki Hommel to talk to her about how she became a star. You can listen to our podcast interview in entirety on YouTube or Soundcloud! Here’s a little tease on some of the things we learned when talking to Mikki.
Where Did the Mikki Hommel Story Start?
Having grown up in West Palm Beach Florida, Mikki started singing as a kid. She just wanted to be like her older sister. They would have competitions at home to see who could sing louder, as her sister told her to sing like Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and Celine Dion.
She tried out for a musical theater production as a youngin, but it wasn’t necessarily a passion for music that gave her the gumption to audition. Like many of us, the thrill of a cute counterpart was the motivation for trying out for West Side Story. Unfortunately, her teacher “wasn’t impressed.”
She immediately told her mother she wanted to get voice lessons, and after some learning, performed in Pippin and Anything Goes. Wonder if that teacher is impressed now?
Improv During a Concert?
Mikki always has had a passion for film, which is what got her into theater, and more specifically musical theater. She credits the day she saw the Broadway performance of RENT as the moment she got hooked, realizing you can do pop and have riffs in a broadway show. She considers herself a major Jim Carrey fan, who got his start performing comedy and improv early on in his successful career.
One thing that makes Mikki’s live performance unique is her taste for improvising a song or two, live on stage, based on audience suggestions. When she was at AMDA Musical Theater Conservatory she found herself fiddling around during rehearsal, because “she was such a good student.” She started singing over some random chords and that’s when she realized how fun it could be.
“Oh my gosh, you don’t have to read music to write a song.”
Attend one of Mikki’s shows and you’ll see how she does this unique act. She told us about how she loves what it brings to her set for the audience and her. It helps her engage even more with the audience and she told us how they “super listen” to anything you play when you start singing off the cuff.
Take a listen to the full interview to hear about Mikki’s first full on international tour with Dweezil Zappa, son of famous rock star Frank Zappa. The story of how she came into that opportunity is truly incredible. She’d always dreamed of being a big star and being a musician on tour in a tour bus, and it was during this tour that she got to scratch the surface of achieving her lifetime goal.
You can also hear about her love for horses and horseback riding, some of the mashups she’s done, and what she does in her spare time in New York City, Oh yeah, sorry guys, she’s also engaged! Stay tuned to our blog for more Neon Spotlight podcast interviews with our musicians, comedians, hypnotists and more!