recently made her recording debut with her new solo album AM/FM. She is extremely excited to perform songs from AM/FM and a few surprise songs on Wednesday, August 29 at 8:30 p.m. at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
Rita initially wanted to be a musician but after being cast in a role on the show "The Brady Bunch" while in high school she pursued acting instead. Her role on "The Brady Bunch" granted her a screen actor's guild card which let her continue to auditions for other roles, which she kept landing. So in an odd way acting became her job by default and after she kept getting cast in roles she realized she could make a career out it. Even though growing up she thought a real job was something you went to college for and got a degree for like a doctor or accountant, she persued acting and feels blessed she was able to make career out of it.
In her mid 20's year, she spent a year at the London Academy of Musical Dramatic Art where she found her love of live performing. Before studying at LAMDA she had only acted in front of the camera. For Rita performing in a play, musical or with a band provides a unique experience which she loves. She stated, "When acting in a film, you are doing something you hope people will respond but you don't know until it comes out and sometime you still don't always know the reaction. With live performances you know right there and you can include the audience".
Rita decided that now is the right time for a solo album because for her coming out with an album is something that if she didn't do she would regret it. The opportunity arose while she was thinking about doing a musical based on music from the 60's and 70's. After meeting with her friend Jay Landers and discussing the play, he asked if she would do a record for Decca. She was nervous to do the record because there are so many different types of singers and she was nervous how people would react to the album. While deciding she remembered a class she took with musical theater teacher David Craig. He taught her you don't have to have a Broadway
soprano voice to perform well, it is more about how you present the song.
The songs she choose for the album were inspired by the AM/FM music she heard while growing up in LA. She remembers being a passenger in her parents car in the 60's, listening to music and creating scenarios and fantasies about who the people in the songs were. The songs of the 60's were more of a fantasy, romanticized version of love while the 70's songs were more about the reality of what happens when you have a relationship which doesn't work out. She got her drivers license in the 70's and remembers being behind the wheel and being in control of the songs she played on the radio songs.
She wanted each song of the album to tell a story and have the listener be able to connect. Rita started with the songs which she loved as the starting point. For every song she though about the stories of the artist and writer, why they made the choices in the song, and can she tell this story. Some of her favorite songs to perform include "You Are Always Own My Mind", "Personally", "How Do You Do It" and of course all the ballads which she calls sad songs.
She hopes people have a great time at the show and is really happy to be part of Girl Power Week at the WHBPAC
. She also hopes that it inspires people to do what they love. Rita said, "Everyone has something they loved to do and feel deeply connected to. Sometimes life gets in the way and takes you down a different path". Her generation grew up with parents who wanted follow a more traditional path, and if you loved something creative it wasn't considered real job. She wants to show that it is never to late to follow something you love to do and you should pursue what you love. It doesn't mean you have to go out and make an album like her but if you like to perform find an improve class or take a class at a local community college because you will get so much joy out of it.
In addition to her solo album, Rita just finished filming an episode for "The Good Wife
", is getting ready to film an episode of the HBO
show "Girls" has two movies coming out and more live shows in LA in October. As busy as Rita is she is really enjoying it a lot.
To purchase tickets to Rita's performance visit the WHBPAC's website www.whbpac.org
, call the box office: (631)288-1500 or visit 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, seven days a week, noon to 8 p.m. and later on show nights.
Nicole is the Deputy Editor of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com