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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Exclusive Q&A with Donna Hayes

Donna Hayes is a veteran of the NYC cabaret circuit, having played some of its best rooms. Tomorrow night, she will be appearing at the Metropolitan Room. You can reserve seats by calling 212-206 0440. Thanks to the show's promoter, my friend Richard Skipper, for inviting me to tomorrow's event. Links to Donna's and Richard's website follow the interview, at bottom.

Buddy Beaverhausen:  Hello, Donna! Look forward to seeing you Friday night at the Metropolitan Room, your return engagement there. When was your previous appearance at the club? 
Donna Hayes: My current show, "Ordinary Miracles" which is my fifth solo cabaret show, debuted at the Metropolitan Room in November of 2014. My most recent performance there was in March.

BB: You've played some of the best cabaret rooms in NYC. Laurie Beechman, Don't Tell Mama. What's special to you about the Metropolitan Room in particular? 
DH: I thoroughly enjoyed performing at the Laurie Beechman Theatre and Don't Tell Mama and I am having a great time at the Metropolitan Room. I am grateful for the opportunity to play different rooms and experience the uniqueness of each one.

BB: You grew up in Jamaica (West Indies, not Queens). What music influenced you most at that time?
DH: Gospel and Reggae

BB: You moved to Manhattan as a young teenager. What was that experience like?
DH: I moved to Brooklyn, (not Manhattan) as a teenager. I recall missing the rich and vibrant culture of Jamaica. Not to mention the amazing Jamaican food! Nevertheless, the hustle and bustle and intense energy of New York City was also very exciting.

BB: I see you've been on the cult cable hit, Orange Is the New Black. What was working on that set like?
DH: It was tremendous fun and an amazing opportunity.

BB:Actress, model, singer: You're a triple threat. Which aspect of your career is your favorite?
DH: It's a tie between acting and singing!

BB: Can you tell us anything about what your Friday night show will include?
DH: I will share some personal stories about my life, and believe me, I have had quite an interesting one! I want these personal accounts to inspire and act as a reminder that we are all beautiful and special -- and the world around us is far from ordinary! I will perform songs ranging from brand new R&B, classic rock, show tunes, oldies and of course, reggae.

BB:You're a managing director at an investment bank by day. How do you manage your double life?
DH: I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams to have the opportunity to live two very distinct and wonderful lives! I manage them with fierce discipline, faith and loads of fun!

BB: How do you keep your voice in tip-top condition for your performances?
DH: My wonderful musical director is also my vocal coach.

BB: As a long time resident of the island of Manhattan, what's the best thing about being a New Yorker. And, possibly, the worst?
DH: I have lived in Manhattan for almost 8 years and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. The best? The beautiful people, the energy, endless entertainment, walking to work, the iconic skyline, Central Park in the fall, Broadway shows...the list goes on. Worst? Hmmm. I'd have to say, rodent sightings!

BB: Look forward to seeing you 7 pm on Friday! Thank you for your time. Any last shout-outs to fans?
DH: I am incredibly grateful for all your amazing support. I hope to see you on Friday! Wishing you health, love and light!

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