POSTED: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 5:22pm
UPDATED: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 5:58pm
MERCEDES - Glitz and glamour and everything in between. Amanda McBroom, homegrown in the Valley has seen it all, and today she's lighting up big screens and broadway stages everywhere.
As glamorous as this all sounds, it wasn't easy for her to get where she is today. It took years of devotion to develop her skills as a performing artist. Unlike other teenagers who sat around dreaming of fame and fortune, McBroom took a more active approach.
"I sang wherever anybody would listen to me i would haul out my guitar and sing. so that pretty much started my songwriting I think," said McBroom.
McBroom's broadway voice isn't the only thing that defines her, she's also an acoomplished song writer and cabaret performer.
"I would say it's one of the hardest jobs you'll ever do. If there's something else you can do, do it, but if you'll die if you don't, then you gotta follow your bliss."
It was at Mercedes High School where McBroom learned to follow that bliss at a very young age.
"My favorite drama teacher Ms. Carroll Cadden, Mercedes High School drama teacher who encouraged me more than I can tell you. In how to take chances, fall on my face, get up again and try harder."
Now even on the big stage McBroom hasn't forgotten her Valley roots.
"I have to say some of the dearest people I know and some of the most talented people I know come from the valley. It was culture shock, but you know I'm really glad that I got to spend the time in the Valley that i did. The Valley's a beautiful place."
She says the bright lights don't compare to some of her fondest memories of the Valley.
"Sunset and the palm trees. Driving through that flat, flat land of sunset and watching the silhouette of the palm trees and really good chalupas. We used to go across to Reynosa and get really great chalupas."
McBroom left the Valley in the late 60's to attend UT Austin and found fame shortly after. In the 70's and 80's McBroom experienced a slew of success acting in popular television sitcoms such as Starsky and Hutch, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Mash, Charlie's Angels and Gunsmoke… but she didn't stop there.
"I'm going to New York next week to do a series of concerts. Then I'm coming back and my writing partner who was my pianist tonight when I was doing my concert, we're working on a big broadway bound musical called dangerous beauty."
One of McBroom's biggest accomplishment was winning a Golden Globe award for her song The Rose, covered by Bette Midler. Besides Bette Midler, McBroom's songs have been sung by the likes of Bary Manilow, Leanne Rimes, Donny Osmond and Judy Collins.
Amanda recently began uses her unique expereinces to help inspire future performers.
"I teach, I teach! I'm now all of a sudden a teacher, go figure. I teach singing at Yale. I wanna come to the University of Texas and teach a master class. Actually, I want to come to the Valley and teach a master class, I'm real good at that I've discovered."
Mcbroom says she wants to give back to a place that has given her so much.
"I'm grateful that I got a chance to grow up, learn...I learned how to be a human being in Texas. When I was in Hollywood as a kid, it's hard to be a show biz baby 'cause you lose your sense of reality. When I went to the Valley I was gifted with a sense of what really life in all it's honesty and simplicity is all about. I'm very grateful to have been given that gift."