Blog: My 2016 Career Highlights and Journey

January 19
#BodyMindSoul23

Celebrated the album release of “Body, Mind, Soul”

January 24
#ElectricYouth27

Celebrated the album release of “Electric Youth”

February 10
Live on WCBS FM with Scott Shannon

Access Hollywood Live

Had a blast promoting the Go Red Fashion Show in my hometown of NYC! Loved seeing Scott, Patty, Billy, Kit, and so many longtime friends on this press tour!

February 11
New York Fashion Week – Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection

Walking in this show was a long time dream of mine. It would be my last time seeing the late great Florence Henderson, who shined as brightly as ever!

February 13
iHeart the 80’s Concert at The Block at Harrah’s Philadelphia

Oh whatta night! Some crazy sound challenges as well as some pain issues (dancing on a bum ankle!) but, we got thru it and the audience was rockin’!

February 26
Reunion Concert at Mizner Park Amphitheater

This show was an absolute BLAST! The acts were all amazing and my family got to attend which made it extra special. The audience was off the hook!

March 6
#MYOB15

Celebrated the album release of “MYOB”

March 17

March 30
Long Island Head Injury Event

I always love seeing the joyful faces of these amazing people who have endured so much yet never complain. Singing, “Let it Be,” with the choir was so moving.

April 7
Taped two episodes of “Celebrity Name Game”

OMG! When do I get to go back?!? I love Craig Ferguson and so loved partnering up with Marg Helgenberger to win some serious money for folks and have an amazing time in the process. But, brrrrrr, it is FREEZING in that studio!

April 23 and April 24
Freestyle Festival in Long Beach CA on The Queen Mary

Ohhhhhh, the incomparable Lisa Lisa, Salt-n-Pepa, Stevie B., and so many incredible and authentic acts made these two nights to remember as we entertained over 30,000 die-hard fans!

May 5
Ali Dee/Sir Ivan Recording and Video

As many of you may recall, I offered myself up to a man in a cape on the first episode of “The Celebrity Apprentice” agreeing to do a guest vocal on one of his records. This was the year that finally saw that recording session coming to fruition! Recording “I Am Paceman” with producer Ali Dee and engineer/studio owner John Van Nest was so much fun… topped off by the video with renowned director Eric White! Stay tuned for the final product.

May 6
In Studio Recording Music for “Summer of Dreams” 

I went into Resonate Studios in Burbank to meet with the creative heads of Hallmark and play them the progress of Wonderland, set tempos, etc. While going to record the guide track for the kids to sing “Only In My Dreams,” I was pleasantly surprised by how at home I felt singing in my lower register and in a lower key. So much so that I decided to spend the day fleshing out the arrangement and it ended up in the movie!

May 7
Interview for OWN “Where are they now” at RuPaul’s DragCon

This was such a crazy and chaotic day and hot on the heels of Prince’s passing and my own ongoing health challenges. I did enjoy doing the interview though I do wish I were in a slightly different energetic state that day.

RuPaul’s DragCon at Los Angeles Convention Center

My energy was perfectly suited for DragCon, however! The lights, camera action, sequins, wigs, fans (who I so loved meeting), Wil Wheaton and the divine RuPaul himself! He was not dressed in drag that day but was presiding over the phenomenon he created. I felt honored to be invited to partake in this event, as I always am down for celebrating individuality and the LGBTQ community. You better WORK!

May 23
#Deborah19

Celebrated the album release of “Deborah”

May 24
In Vegas Recording Music for “Summer of Dreams”

I had a blast working with producer Joey Finger in Las Vegas on “Wonderland” as well as different versions of “Only In My Dreams” and basically anything musical heard in the movie! So much fun when I can connect the pieces of my career – writing, singing, acting etc. SO fulfilling!

May 28
Magic Senior Prom at Puerto Rico Convention Center

What in incredible event this was… I waited backstage warmed up and ready to go as delay after delay in the start time kept happening. But, apparently the people of Puerto Rico like it LATE and HOT! My voice felt particularly good and flowy this night, and I belted out the acapella intro to “Dreams” for the first time in a long time in an inspired moment. I loved unwinding on the beach days before the show and getting to commune with these beautiful people.

June 3
MetroBall/GDMAF fundraiser in Dallas, TX

A funny thing happened before Metro Ball… I wasn’t feelin’ so hot. I could not put my finger on exactly why, but, nonetheless, I got my butt on that plane and onto that stage. The show went off without a hitch; the audience was on FIRE, after Ms. Tiffany gave a stellar performance. I met so many amazing fans after the show and went to sleep.

The next day I was in the airport not feeling so hot and the medics insisted that I not get on the plane and go to the ER. The ER insisted on keeping me overnight. “Exhaustion and Dehydration,” which we hear about so often with performers, was the diagnosis. I did not know how I was going to get home, unpack, repack, go to Vancouver for two days or hair and makeup tests, then to Des Moines, Iowa for Pride, and back to Vancouver all in under a week. But, I did it.

June 6, 7, 8
Hair / Makeup / Wardrobe Test in Vancouver, Canada

Hair and make-up tests for “Summer of Dreams” while trying to pretend I was feeling up to shooting a movie… I still did not quite know how I was going to do this feeling like I was feeling, but kept putting one foot in front of the other and taking frequent “dance breaks” to distract myself.

Wardrobe was particularly fun as we narrowed down “Debbie Taylor’s” wardrobe to a series of dresses and cardigans! I instantly fell in love with the sparkly bomber jacket by Top Shop seen in the opening performance sequence. I announced that if it was not used in the movie, I wanted to purchase it and wear it for my weekend Pride concert!

June 11
Capital City Pride in Des Moines, Iowa

Arrived and needed some chiropractic work and health care, as I was still not feeling great. And, in addition, my hair was not in proper shape for the film and we sought out the fabulous Lance Diehl from a local salon to come to my room and color my hair. His energy was so perfect as I needed to meditate and conserve energy for the show the following night and he did a stellar job with the color!

There was a meet and greet before the pride show. I always LOVE meeting and taking pics with fans. Makes me so happy. The show itself was outdoors, incredibly hot, amazingly festive, and the funniest thing was that it was a hop skip and a jump away from train tracks. I loved when the train went past right in the middle of my song! I did an acoustic stripped down version of “Lost in Your Eyes” and it was so great to see die-hard #DebHeads like Tammy Kline in the front row!

June 12
Travel to Vancouver

Ahhhhh, international travel! Try getting anywhere from Des Moines… long day but was excited to be starting the movie. Ended up sitting next to Lou Ferrigno on one of the legs and meeting Glen Campbell’s daughter Debbie who is not only a flight attendant, but also a singer! We talked about me bringing her to life in the movie version of her book “Life With My Father” to the screen. She is a cool lady who I would be honored to portray.

I was greeted in Vancouver by my fabulous chiropractic kinesiologist Dr. Sahara who helped get me camera ready for the shoot bright and early the next morning. Apparently it takes a village! LOL

June 13 – June 30
Filmed Hallmark Movie “Summer of Dreams”

The shoot was incredible, and therapeutic. I started feeling more and more like myself as the days went on. Nothing like great art and the energy of the arts community!

Robert, Pascale, Ken, the whole crew, the kids, everyone was a joy to work with… I was so thrilled to be a member of the Hallmark family!

I always sing live even with full playback for shooting to give it a true performance energy! This is what I did over and over all day to get that opening sequence. One of my fave days on set!

June 25

July 4
#ThinkWithYourHeart21

Celebrated the album release of “Think With Your Heart”

July 9
Performance at Mystique Casino in Dubuque, Iowa

A few days down time and off I went to Dubuque… I loved bookending the film with two Iowa shows. How random is that?!? But, when Kool and the Gang ask you to show up, you show up! So many #DebHeads in attendance at this show! Ricky, Tammy, Melissa and too many to name here (you know who you are and thank you!) came out in full force! I heard about mosquitos swarming the stage when Kool and the Gang were on… Glad I performed in daylight! Whew!

July 27
Exclusive with People Magazine

Crown Media Family Networks TCA Event

My first TCA’s! Saw Michelle Vicary, Bill Abbott, Bart Fisher, Randy Pope as well as Danica McKellar – who reminisced about starring in the “No More Rhyme” video – Pascale Hutton, and all the darlings of Hallmark! So proud to be in this elite group of strong women!

July 30
Music on the Green in New Haven, CT

I LOVED doing this outdoor free concert for over 5,000 people who turned up in the rain! I performed “Home Free,” which was particularly exciting and then did a meet and greet for hundreds of fellow east coasters. It was a magical eve!

August 18
#OutofTheBlue29

Celebrated the album release of “Out of the Blue”

August 19
LA promo day for “Summer of Dreams”

The LA press trip was super fun and an all day affair starting with old friends on KTLA! I got to surprise my friend Ross Matthews on Hollywood Today Live, which was so cool, as well as visit the set of the fun Hallmark show Home and Family and sit down with Debbie for The Insider before heading to NYC for part two!

KTLA

Hollywood Today Live with Ross Matthews

Home and Family

The Insider

Yahoo! Celebrity

August 24
NY promo day for “Summer of Dreams”

WHEW! It was an old school press day…18 interviews in all, but SO fun. I was determined to make this movie the biggest thing ever! I know that it takes awareness, so I at least wanted to let the people know where and when to find it!

Live in studio with Scott Shannon WCBSFM 101.1

Satellite radio tour with 13 stations

Interview with Elle.com

Interview with Jenny Hutt at Sirius XM

Interview with Larry Flick at Sirius XM

Live interview with Maria Menounous on Sirius XM

Interview with Access Hollywood

August 26
Fox & Friends All-American Concert Series

The night before Fox I took a medication for my voice that backfired and kept me up all night. I was freaking out because this was the first live television appearance I had done in a long time. Sometimes life does not work out as planned, but I showed up and did my best on no sleep and with a very dry and sore throat. I felt great about the piano and performance aspects. Vocally, it wasn’t my best ever, but it was surely my best for that day! I have learned so much about letting that be enough. And, I hope all of you reading this also go easy on yourselves. We are human. Not machines. So, if you are beating yourself up over a bad day you had as a mother or accountant or anything at all… know this… If you live long enough, bad days are going to happen. As Scott Hamilton says of ice-skating, you are going to fall so, best develop a technique for how to get up and keep going!

Fox News Edge Interview

Live with Jenny McCarthy on Sirius XM

Billboard Podcast & Office Visit

August 27
“Summer of Dreams” Movie Premiere on Hallmark Channel

WOO HOO! It was a duel sister birthday celebration with Karen and myself, and a movie premiere party with my NY family in attendance in Karen and Jeff’s living room. I was SO thrilled with how it turned out as well as the reaction from the viewers as I was live tweeting. I am often the underdog and it has been some time since I was a part of a mainstream hit project. I ain’t gonna lie – it felt GREAT! Thank you all for watching and making it the number one viewed show on ALL of television that night beating out the major networks too. So shocked and thrilled!

September 12

Criss Angel Charity Event

Criss is an old pal of mine so when he called upon me to present at this oh-so-personal fundraiser I was there. And, proceeds of “Only in My Dreams Acoustic” from “Summer of Dreams” continue to go to the Johnny Christopher Children’s Charitable Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.

October 1 and October 2
Perform at Butlins in Bognor and Skegness in UK

SO – as many of you heard on the Bookend Baldies Podcast, my back went out the day I was to get on the 10-hour flight to London. I mean, OUT! With the help of long time healer Lisa Giannini and a lot of meditation (not medication!) I was able to put one foot in front of the other. I was petrified of how I was going to deliver the performances, but didn’t want to alarm the fans that had waited so long for me to return to the UK. So, I “acted as if” I felt fine… Lord knows I am the queen of venting and complaining when need be, BUT, I think when you call others to focus on you NOT feeling well it can impede healing. So, I always encourage you all to picture me whole and well and so I rise to that occasion.

Being back in the UK was AMAZING. It was like I never left! I even stayed in Kensington for rehearsals, which was where I lived in my Grease days. Drew who played Roger came to rehearsals, Buddy and Eddie and Joey (MD/Drummer) and Rob (Sound) were all brought in from the states as well as my manager Heather, and the rest of the band was local. I couldn’t believe how they rocked it in the very first run through! The shows themselves went FAB. I had to change up my choreography to accommodate the pain but I am beginning to believe we all have a little “Apocolypto” in us – meaning, we can get through anything! My fave thing, however, was meeting the fans that I have come to know via social media. Many I had met years ago and many were meeting me, and I them, for the first time. It was so special and made me want to immediately start potting my return!

October 5
Loose Women TV appearance

This was my exclusive return to British media and what a fun one! Loved seeing Colleen (who I knew from Grease days) and the other FAB gals who made me feel SO welcome. Also loved running into Phillip Schofield who I had not seen in over 20 years! The banter on the show was fast paced and witty and I loved re-connecting with the TV audience who grew up with my music. The outpouring of love was amazing!

I also had several meetings that week in London setting the stage to return and spend some quality time!

October 29
“Oprah Where Are They Now” Interview on OWN

As you all know, that OWN piece was somewhat of a traumatic experience for me… 99% of the piece was amazing… Obviously, the topic of prescription meds in entertainment parlayed into something a bit out of control. I have said enough on this topic so I will only say this at this time… it truly made me stronger and opened my eyes to how so many people read headlines and don’t dig into what you truly mean. Media is tricky, and your true friends are your true friends. I appreciated those who opened their mind and took a few minutes to watch my thorough explanation of the whole scenario. I think a lot of people experienced a lot of growth from this situation. A trusted therapist of mine always says, “Leave the experience… Keep the lesson.” Words to live by!

November 7
“The Voice”

I SO loved dropping by the first live performance of the season on “The Voice” – my fave talent show!  The level of talent is astounding. The contestants and mentors were all super kind and magnetic. I’ve since had some dialogue with a few of the contestants about potentially collaborating, as I love lending my energy to new artists’ careers!

November 10
Recording

Got together with writer/producer Femi Ojetunde and Writer/Producer Neal Pogue and Songwriter Sylvia MacCalla for some creative fun!

November 20
#AIP26

Celebrated the album release of “Anything Is Possible”

December 3
Foxwoods Ice Skating Rink opening / Christmas tree lighting

This last minute request came in and I jumped at the chance to return to the East Coast to kick off the holiday season! SO fun!

December 16
#OnlyInMyDreams30

Celebrated the release of my debut single “Only In My Dreams”

We will miss so many legendary performers, including George Michael, who passed in 2016 but will continue to celebrate and honor their lives and art!

I am so looking forward to The 80’s Cruise and all the exciting things #TeamDeb has cooking in the New Year. Stay tuned!

X DEB