Photo by Steve Jennings
Part One of the Sara Hickman - Austin's Singing Angel interview was conducted on a Saturday morning on April 17,
1999. The interview was not completed at that time as Sara had to go to the recording studio and start working on a
new CD. She requested the balance of the interview questions be submitted in writing. Sara has been a very busy lady
this past year creating her new CDs, touring, and doing humanitarian work. Being a lady of her word, Sara returned the completed interview in her own hand writing on May 29, 2000. What follows is her answers to those questions.
1. After you write a new song, how do you present it to your band members for the first time?
Do you just sing the song to them and let them work out an arrangement?
Either sung it live with my guitar or give them a cassette of me & guitar. Sometimes I demo it for specific arrangements (harmonies, drum ideas,etc.).
2. For a song book that will be sold to the public, who writes down the words, music, and arrangements that will ultimately be published?
I hired Jon Mills to lay out the arrangements for the only song book available at the moment.
3. What is the best memory you have of a performance?
Best memory of a performance - Gosh, so many - probably #1 is singing a lullaby to my daughter at Kerrville for an encore & the entire audience staying still as she fell asleep (so as not to wake her up). Singing a duet with John Prine, just the two of us on stage...touring with Nanci Griffith & becoming great friends with Adrian Cunningham, world's best live sound engineer...singing on the same stage with Mel Torme...seeing people cry or fall in love at my shows.
4. What is the worst memory you have of a performance?
Worst memory of a show, having my period on stage & bleeding in front of you people.
5. Do you enjoy the traveling involved in your profession?
Yes & no.
6. Is it difficult to be in the eye of the public?
Yes & no.
7. As a young person you have mentioned that you felt different from other people. Was this
difficult for you? Will you give us a situation where you felt you were different from other
people? Do you view yourself "being different" as an asset?
I always felt like the outsider. It was very lonely. But I think it has given me great empathy & helped me as a songwriter.
8. What type of things or hobbies do you do outside of your profession for relaxation?
Gardening, bowling, going to church (Methodist). Love to read, hear live music...hang with friends!
9. In 1994 Nanci Griffith had her "Flyer" tour. You were her opening act for the tour. How did
it come about your getting the job of being the opening act for that tour? What was it like being
on that tour?
I don't know how I got on Nanci's tour - maybe my agent, Davis McLarty. I think - it was great.
10. You mentioned that Ms. Griffith was a very private person. Could you elaborate some more on this?
11. How, when, and where did you first meet Nanci Griffith?
In Dallas, 1994.
12. Recently at La Zona Rosa you introduced us to Mr. Lance Shiner (sp?), your fiancé. You did
a duet with him. Can you tell us a little about him? What is the like? How did you meet? What
attracted you to him ? Can you tell us if any marriage date has been set?
No, personal stuff.
13. Tell us a little about Kristin de Witt, your singing buddy. How long have you been working
together and how did you start singing together?
Four and one half years - through Colin Boyd & Marty Lester.
14. Tell us what your movie, "Joy," is about? How did you come about making it? Where was it filmed?
About a homeless woman who I befriended & then she later passed away on the street.
Did you finance the movie yourself? If so, why?
What award did the movie win?
USA Film Festival.
Do you have future plans to make other movies? If so, what types of movies would you like to make?
16. If correct, you view one of your roles in life to be a "storyteller." Please tell us how you came
to be a storyteller?
I enjoy telling stories..it just feels right. I think stories are important to pass on.
17. The world is full of troubled times. Do you have any thoughts on the Kosovo situation and
how these conflicts may be solved?
Leaders need to concentrate on the people & not on their own agendas (politically & financially).
18. Some of our young people, as in the recent Columbine High School situation in Littleton,
Colorado, murdered other students at school. What are your thoughts about this type of situation
and what are your ideas as to how something like this can be prevented or at least diminished
numerically in the future?
Parents need to spend time with their children. They are lonely & frustrated & turning to easy ways out, including drugs,sex & violence.
19. Earlier this year, you and other entertainers took a cruise with their fans. Will you tell us what it was like to be an entertainer and tourist at the same time?
It was bizarre, but mostly enjoyable.
1.Tell us a little about your mother. What was she like in raising you? What do you think some
of her main influences on you were?
Consistent. Art, design, love of knowledge, interests in others...saving for the future.
2. Tell us a little about your dad. What was he like in raising you? What do you think some of
his main influences on you were?
Art, color, space, relationships, love of reading, spending now & having fun.
3. How would you characterize your pre-teen years?
Shy & awkward.
4. How would you characterize you're her teen years?
5. Do you feel like you're childhood years were good ones?
Yes (before teen years).
6. Was your guitar your best friend as a child?
One of them.
7. Tell us how you became interested in music? How did you express your musical talents?
8. Do you play any other instruments besides guitar?
A little keys, light percussion.
9. Did you have many friends as a youngster and as a teenager?
10. Today, do you feel you have lots of friends or is the audience your main friend?
Lots of friends.
11. As a young person, what things make you: happy? sad? angry?
Love...people being cruel...people wasting time being cruel.
12. As an adult, what things make you: happy? sad? angry?
Same as above.
13. Tell us how you and your sister got along while growing up?
14. What is your relationship like today with your sister and parents?
Pretty damn great.
15. Do you have any brothers?
Yes, two wonderful step-bros.
16. After reading some of your stories you posted on the Internet, you seemed as a young person
to have an empathy for the homosexual person and their hardships. Where and how did you come
to have this understanding and tolerance?
I went to the High School for Performing & Visual Arts & homosexuality wasn't something people hid - it was just a part of our community.
17. Today, there is much discussion about whether a gay person or couple could adopt a child.
Do you have an opinion on this matter that you are willing to express?
18. Tell the poetically challenged what the last verse of your song, "Shortstop," means.
A friend of mine who was gay committed suicide. It is about him.
19. Is your heartache song,"Stumble and Fall," about the difficulties of your first marriage?
No, it is about a man called E.
20. Are you at a point where you are able to share some of your general thoughts and feelings
about your first marriage? If so, would you share some of them with us?
21. You have expressed the thought that while performing it felt good to know you make people
feel good during a two-hour performance. Now, you want people to know what is important to
you, that you are a good musician and singer and what you say is important. You want your
audience to know you feel and express a full range of the human emotions as well as joy. Do you
have any additional thoughts about this summary?
Nope, I said it all!
22. You have expressed the feelings of being an outsider and not being like other people. Your
conclusion was that you are spiritual and sensitive to beauty. Can you add anything to this?
The way this question is worded sounds as if I think I'm the only one who is spiritual & sensitive to beauty, which is DEFINITELY not true. I do think, however, I was fortunate to be raised with very artistic parents who pointed out a lot of life's beauty that others tend to take for granted, & that always made me feel like an outsider. I didn't understand why others couldn't see all the wonder, & it made me feel "different" and, at times, deeply depressed.
23. Explain more about being "spiritual?" Are you referring to the general concept of love,
humanitarianism, religion or something else?
Being in love with God. My relationship with God.
24. Can you give us a general summary of what your life has been like between graduation from college and the age of 30?
No - it would take reams of paper...
25. Can you give us a general summary of what your life has been like from age 30 to the
Difficult, fantastic, painful, joyful, lots of loss, lots of wonder, growth, love, money, no love, no money...mostly learning to shut-up & grow.
Photo by Chris Cuffaro
1. In the next 10 - 20 years, what do you envision your dreams, goals, and aspirations to be?
(Not necessarily in this order, mind you.)
Work more on the general awareness of human suffering & how we can all help to abolish it.
Create more children's music that helps generate creativity / learning / compassion / love.
Help my children continue to grow in love & understanding & know they are beautiful creatures capable of anything.
Build houses with Habitat for Humanity.
Maybe make one more adult CD.
Continue to study Spanish.
Become a vegan again.
Grow old gracefully & be more Christ-like.
2. As a Senior Citizen Sara, what would you like your life to be like?
I would like to have a flower shop & play chess & speak fluent Spanish.
3. Once you are toward the end of your life and look back, what are some of the things you hope you have achieved?
To have inspired others & to inspire others.
4. How would you like the world to remember you?
They won't and that's okay.
Todd V. Wolfson - 1998
Todd V. Wolfson - 1998
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