Story & Photos by Andy Lyons, Editor-in-Chief
Chasing dreams is like a massive chess match, positioning pieces and taking advantage of opportunities until checkmate. It’s an ultimate battle of taking chances and waiting for the right time. For Green Ridge, Mo. singer-songwriter Marilyn Brie Herrick, it’s a matter of waiting for her time.
After a disappointing final round in the Fair Idol competition at the Missouri State Fair, Herrick didn’t let the upset drag her down. Through the first two rounds the judges gave her plenty of praise – from commenting on such a powerful voice for a small person (Herrick stands a whopping 4’11”) to saying her original music sounded like something that could be heard on the radio, the judges never gave her a bad report.
“I think, overall, I am very proud of myself for how far I’ve come,” she said. “I’m disappointed that I didn’t do as good as I think I should or could have on the final round. I think I nailed it on the first two auditions and I was proud of myself. I knew that I did it. I think this last round my nerves got to me a little bit. By the end of my last audition I said ‘I kind of blew it,’ I knew it.
“But you know what, there’s always next year and I’m not gonna give up. I’m going to keep trying and there’s always other opportunities too.”
She seemed comfortable during her performance and for good reason. She’s been performing all over Missouri – from Columbia, Mo. to Kansas City and all the small towns in between, she’s got the experience under her belt.
“I think over the years I’ve definitely built up a lot of confidence, but the competition part is a little nerve-wracking,” Herrick said. “I think I definitely have had a lot of practice beforehand but I think the competition just got to my head a little bit. I think I could have done better but you are your own worst critic.”
Herrick was one of the only artists who performed their own original music, with the majority performing popular songs with a music track – think karaoke without the lyrics on a screen.
“I wish more people did it, but I’m happy because that presents myself,” she said. “I’m happy with the way it happened, I performed all originals and everybody else kind of did karaoke songs. I wanted to (do the same) but I wanted to go with what my gut was saying and what I felt most comfortable with. When I got up there and I heard from the judges and I had really good critiques from them. They said ‘hey, I could hear this song on the radio,’ and that was one of the best feelings. It’s definitely a boost of confidence for sure. I don’t regret doing my originals up there.”
The singer-songwriter draws from her life experiences when creating her music. While a lot of it is inspired by relationships, Herrick said she enjoys writing about things people can relate to.
“Most definitely, every song I write, every song I perform that is an original, it’s from the heart, it’s pain that I’ve suffered through but I got through it” she said. “As a musician that’s like the best thing is writing a song and performing it on stage and showing people ‘you’re not alone.’ This is a feeling that a lot of people experience and I think that’s my biggest thing, I just want to show people that they’re (not alone)… I’ve struggled with quite a few things like relationships in the past. Most of the time if you listen to my originals they’re those are basically about relationships. But they’re also about the struggle as a musician. It’s about thinking that you’re at the bottom of the barrel, you think that you’re not making any progress.”
In the scope ahead, Herrick said she’s focusing on her career. She graduated from the University of Central Missouri in May and is looking for an internship as an audio engineer. Musically, she teased the potential for getting her music on Spotify or iTunes and potentially a short EP in CD form.