Okay, so first of all, the Superhuman love I have gotten from y’all on Facebook has totally blown me away. This is better than all my birthdays combined.  I wanted to share a short backstory to my experience on Superhuman, because it's pretty much the first public appearance I've made for music in quite a while.

Paul Shaffer, Katelyn Benton, Kal Penn on FOX SUPERHUMAN

Paul Shaffer, Katelyn Benton, Kal Penn on FOX SUPERHUMAN

 

Even though I haven’t run an ultra 6 years, my go-to metaphors are all running related, so I’m going to stick with what I know. This time a year ago was kind of like being at mile 48 of a 100 mile race that wasn’t going very well.  It was similar to running up a steep, rocky,single track, in shoes that are too small, with poisonous cactus scrapping at your body the entire way. At the time, I was beginning to question whether or not I wanted to continue to pursue music professionally. I'd been in LA 5 years, and hadn't found my place in music here yet - most likely because I was just beginning to understand that I had been struggling with depression. I also made a lot of life-changing decisions on behalf of my newly prioritized emotional well-being. Unfortunately there was a lot of negative fall out from this. The culmination of all of this created a resistance to music that broke my heart. I'd always been able to find myself through music, but I no longer felt joy when I sat at the piano. I doubted my abilities were enough to make a name for myself in Los Angeles, but I was committed to feeling better, whether or not music would continue to be a part of my journey.

 I had no clarity on what my real goals were, and so I felt that I was drifting with the winds at a time in my life when I wanted to be building security for myself. After a few half-hearted shows in LA and on the road, I decided that I needed to take time off completely from music. I I looked into other careers I might enjoy, and even took up a few new hobbies like sewing, cooking, and crafting. practiced being at peace with the idea that I could pursue something outside of the music profession. This was when the casting director for Superhuman called me. 

 

She found me through my videos online and contacted me through Facebook. When she described the show, I was turned off at the mention of a $100,000 prize. First of all, I have already been on a game show (Wipe Out Season 2) and I don't want to be "that girl who's always on game shows." Secondly, though I was beginning to feel a little better I feeling particularly eager to be featured on national television. However, she was looking for someone with a very unique ability that I was pretty sure I had, which was a very strong musical ear.

 

Though I've always felt it was an asset, my ear was never really appreciated by my classical teachers. Sometimes they were unsure if I had come to the lesson having practiced by sitting with the music, or if I had just listened to the recording. The casting agent came up with hypothetical situations in which I would have to use my talent, and I felt strongly that I could do what she was asking.

 

The months leading up to the SuperHuman filming I dusted myself off and spent hours each day at the piano. I played more songs than I can remember. For weeks I was learning 15-20 songs every day by ear, and then training my eyes by filming myself and watching without sound. This training quickly improved my piano chops and my agility after so much time off. I started to think, "hey, if I'm going to be on t.v. for this, I should be able to get some work playing piano," and so I started looking for work.

Shooting day itself was intimidating. I hadn’t told anyone in my life about the show except for my boyfriend, and a last minute schedule change made it impossible for him to come watch. The white noise they were blasting into my ears made it difficult to hear the music in my head, which is why I also put in ear plugs. Also, Paul Shaffer was a total surprise to me. But seeing that clip with me and my Grandmother at the top of my segment really touched me. I heard she just about fell off her chair when she saw it.

Even though I didn’t win $100,000, I feel like this whole thing was kind of the pick-me-up I needed. It motivated me to get back out there as a professional musician, and eventually as an artist. I’m making my living 100% from art now, which is something I almost gave up a few years ago when the sads were at their worst. The love I got via text, phone call, FB, Twitter, etc. has really brightened my day .

 

At least I’m Mike Tyson’s favorite and Paul Shaffer technically owes me dinner.

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