Don’t Feed the Trolls

Dr. MC's Self-Care Cabaret
Dr. MC's Self-Care Cabaret
Don't Feed the Trolls

Today’s episode is a conversation with Sheree Dunwell. She is an award-winning vocalist originally from Lynn, MA. After earning a BFA in opera performance from Carnegie Mellon University, she returned to New England where she has been performing as a professional vocalist ever since.

The second installment in our series with “The Investments” girl squad. She and Dr. MC discuss being overachievers while still needing genuine authentic self-care. Finding time for rest, taking breaks, and trying not to do it all. And most importantly, Sheree dishes out some great advice on dealing with toxic people and to NOT feed the trolls. We also hear about her time onset with Patti Lupone and even self-care when wedding planning!


As always we love to hear from our listeners! Reach out to with any questions or topics you’d like to hear about on future episodes.


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Speaker 0 00:00:27 Welcome to another episode of Dr. MCs self care cabaret podcast. I’m Theresa Melito-Conners a PhD level self care expert in the greater Boston area with a passion for helping others recognize the importance of caring for themselves. Today’s episode is a conversation with my friend, Sherry Dunwell Sheree is an award-winning vocalist originally from Lynn Massachusetts, after earning a BFA in opera performance from Carnegie Mellon university, she returned to new England where she has been performing as a professional vocalist ever since. In 2015, she was named grand champion of WC VBS community auditions hosted by Billy Costa. In 2016, she played a featured singing role in the film, the comedian starring Robert DeNiro, Danny DeVito, and Patti LuPone. I first met Sheree many years ago as we would frequent the same fitness classes. And if you happen to listen to the episode where I interviewed my friend Carina bell tree, and we chatted about our friend group, the Carina dubbed the investments.
Speaker 0 00:01:35 Well, Sherry is a part of that group as well. She is smart, friendly, and talented. I remember seeing a lot of myself and Sherry when we first met. And although we have had different lived experiences, there’s a lot of common ground in our lives and shared interests. Later, we started taking ballroom dancing lessons at a local studio and ended up performing together. And it was a blast. Sherry is one of those friends that no matter how much time has passed, we jumped right back into our friendship seamlessly. I am delighted to have her here with us today and talk about self care.
Speaker 0 00:02:19 So thanks so much for joining us Sheree today here on the Dr. MC self care cabaret podcast.
Speaker 2 00:02:26 I’m so excited. Thanks so
Speaker 3 00:02:28 Much for having me. I’m really excited to be here.
Speaker 0 00:02:31 Yeah. I’m excited to ask you these questions. We’ve got a handful of questions I came up with. We’re going to cover a variety of topics, but first and foremost, as a performer vocalist dancer, and more, how do you like to practice self-care?
Speaker 3 00:02:47 So, you know, I think my answer to that has evolved over time. I have to admit that a decade ago when I was kind of first starting my as a performer, as a singer, I was sort of just always go, go, go, go, go, go, go saying yes to everything feeling like I had to do that in order to kind of stay relevant and stay kind of with it and, you know, constantly be improving. And over time I’ve realized that I was actually probably doing more harm than good in that way. And I think now, you know, I’ve really finally come to see that the best way to practice self care as a performer is to really be selective, to really pick and choose what shows I’m doing, what gigs I’m doing. You know, it’s really been very eye opening to kind of take a step back and do less. So I think that’s kind of like my overall strategy as far as self-care is concerned is actually doing less. If that makes sense that,
Speaker 0 00:03:57 And maybe even saying no, occasionally <inaudible>
Speaker 3 00:04:00 Admittedly and I’m sure people listening to this will probably agree. Sometimes it’s really hard to say no, you know, especially if, you know, for example, I, if I have requests to do gigs, that all seem really great to me, but you know, two are happening in the same day, 10 years ago, I probably would have said, well, that one ends at one. The other one starts at four, so I could probably fit both in, but what I was really doing, even though they were both enjoyable fulfilling gigs for me, I was actually doing myself a disservice because I was exhausted. You know, I was absolutely exhausted and burning myself out. And so it’s become much more of a model of, you know, what I got to say no to this thing. And I’ll say yes to this thing. And if it works out in the future that the universe delivers me another opportunity like that in the future then great. But if not, it’s not meant to me.
Speaker 0 00:04:59 Wow. No, I really liked that. And that’s definitely something I’ve struggled with too in the past with saying yes to everything and not saying no when I should, because, you know, especially, I feel like in the performing arts and as you know, when my listeners know, I do have a strong performing arts background and whatnot, and you know, definitely that hustle of like gig to gig and auditions and whatnot or choreography opportunities was like, yes, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme when, like really that was like the expense of my wellbeing and sanity because you really can’t do all like everything you have to say. No, absolutely. So I think that’s important. And I think it’s really the opposite of what someone might think that a performing artist has to do also. They’re like, well, you have to say, yes, how many gigs do you have that you can say no to some, but really
Speaker 2 00:05:47 You have to, right.
Speaker 3 00:05:49 Yeah. It’s so true. And I think a lot of it has kind of gone hand in hand with me, like kind of figuring out who I am as an artist as well, because I think, you know, if you’d asked me 10 years ago who I was, I don’t think I really knew. And so that was another reason why I was saying yes to so many things, because it was sort of like, well, yeah, I’ll do this RNB gig. And then of course I’ll do this musical theater show. And then yes, I will absolutely do this wedding and oh, absolutely jazz hour shore. And I think it was just like, yes, give me all of the gigs because I can do it all and I want to do it all. And now I’m realizing that even though it’s good to feel like you can do it all, it’s not necessarily good to do it all. Very good, very correct.
Speaker 0 00:06:43 That maybe the episode title not good to do it
Speaker 2 00:06:46 All.
Speaker 0 00:06:49 We’ll see. Maybe we’ll come up with a better one as we work our way through the interview. But that, I liked that with all of that being said in balancing, you know, the performing career and also working full time and balancing relationship and just life in general. Is there anything you have to do to kind of balance everything or is really you’re saying no, kind of how you think?
Speaker 3 00:07:07 Yeah, so honestly my way of balancing has been to really focus on the quiet moments that I do have and actually really, you know, meditation is a huge one and I, I didn’t really always understand what meditation was. And then I want to say maybe five or six years ago, I kind of got into the habit of using meditation as sort of a relaxation technique, uh, because I wouldn’t call myself high-strung, but I would definitely say that I, I get anxiety, right. I, I have a lot of anxiety. Um, I’m in therapy. Therapy is also really good self self-care
Speaker 0 00:07:55 A hundred percent. I feel like we’re promoting therapy in like every episode, because I see I work with a therapist and many of my guests have also I’ve disclosed that information. Yes. A hundred percent. And it has
Speaker 3 00:08:06 Been so helpful, but yes, meditation, but also moving. And also that I think I’ve come to learn as I’ve gotten older and wiser is that you don’t have to burn your body out to, to get a meaningful workout, to get a meaningful session where you’re burning calories. I, to kind of, I’ll dig a little into this a tiny bit, but to, to kind of reveal a little bit about me, I was recently sort of diagnosed as hypothyroid. So I have hypothyroidism, um, technically I’m sort of, kind of in the subclinical stage, but one of the things that I researched and realized was that all of this go, go, go, go go was actually really bad for me as somebody with hypothyroidism. So I had to really learn how to not go all the time. And that included, that includes working out. It includes not always having to go like full force into your workout, sprinting and lifting as heavy as you can lift. And those are all wonderful things, right. But I think I’ve realized now that the yoga is really beneficial. The Pilates is really beneficial, nice. Even keeled walks are beneficial, even a five minute dance parties beneficial.
Speaker 2 00:09:33 It doesn’t have to be these epic things. Oh
Speaker 3 00:09:36 It doesn’t. And it’s so funny because, and I hope more people who hear this can relate, but I’m an overachiever. Right. And I think there are, I’m sure there are a lot more people out there who would agree that they are also overachievers and overachievers have this tendency to feel like they’ve got to be perfect at everything, but also go one step further with everything that they do. And they never kind of do something because they just want to try it. It’s like I took one dance lesson and now I want to take all of the dance lessons and do a competition. And now I’m going to do another competition and I don’t just go lift weights. I want to do a strong man competition. You know? So it’s sort of like why he never
Speaker 0 00:10:26 Just dabble. It has to be like epic
Speaker 3 00:10:30 Thing. And I think my, my ultimately my act of self care over the years has become juggling the things that are important. Right. I need the day job. I want to be able to do my gigs. I want to be a performer and a singer and an artist and a friend and a family member and all of these things, but really understanding that when it comes to your self care, you don’t always have to be going full force into everything in your life. You can take a breather and taking that breather has been so beneficial to me, particularly of late. I love that.
Speaker 0 00:11:10 And you know, it’s okay to try something and not like it and
Speaker 2 00:11:14 Stop like that’s okay.
Speaker 0 00:11:20 But we don’t tend to do that though, because like you said, like we get stuck and we’re like, oh, we got to go like crazy now and do everything,
Speaker 3 00:11:27 Everything we, and, and I, I’m not trying to single out women, but I know women in particular, I feel like they just always want to be such rock stars and prove themselves because this is just sort of how it is, you know, especially in the workplace. You know, I know that like, as, as a female in corporate America, you, you kind of have to feel like you have to do a little bit extra to of prove yourself. And so I think it’s kind of like ingrained in, in women in particular to always be the best at everything that they’re doing. And I think that it ends up doing more damage than good sometimes, you know, if we don’t allow ourselves to just pause and focus on ourselves for a minute, you know? Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:12:16 You mentioned, um, meditation, and that is one of my favorite self-care practices. And folks are really hesitant to start that. I don’t think they really understand it. There’s a lot of myths around meditation. You got to sit there, you know, in the pose and 45 minutes, think of nothing. It’s like, well, no, that’s actually not what meditation is, but so a little bit maybe about how you got started, do you do short meditations guided meditations? Like what do you like?
Speaker 3 00:12:40 Yeah. So I actually do short meditation. Sometimes I find little guided meditations on YouTube.
Speaker 2 00:12:46 It’s awesome.
Speaker 3 00:12:49 Um, so for me, it really kind of stemmed from a period of time, about five or six years ago, where I was really struggling mentally, I was going through a really difficult situation and I w I didn’t really know how to cope with it. And I was in therapy, but it just wasn’t enough. Right. It wasn’t enough at the time. And so I started to do a little research on meditation. It seemed overwhelming, but I read something that really clicked with me. And it was even if it’s 15 seconds to start, it’s something absolutely good. So I started by doing, just like trying to do like 60 seconds, you know, in the morning when I wake up, like before I even get out of bed, just kind of like 60 seconds where I don’t have to rush and get ready and get in the car and get in traffic and go to work and do this and that, and this and that. I just wanted 60 seconds where my eyes were open and I just laid there and did nothing and just breathe for 60 seconds. And I found that it was starting my days off so much better, and so much more grounded doing that. And can you imagine what, just one minute we’ll do, right.
Speaker 2 00:14:11 No, I love this. So,
Speaker 3 00:14:14 I mean, now it’s kind of evolved and now it just depends on the day. Sometimes I’m like, you know what? I just want to pause for 60 seconds. Sometimes I will actually do something even more deliberate where I sit down on my yoga mat and I will go for like 15 to 20 minutes, frankly. I’m not one of those people that can sit on a mat for 30 minutes and meditate. I can’t do that.
Speaker 0 00:14:40 And you don’t have to, to feel the benefits. So, yeah. Oh exactly.
Speaker 3 00:14:44 It’s like one minute truly is, is enough for me on most days, but it really does just help you kind of like clear the mind and just get grounded before everything else in life just starts coming at you, you know?
Speaker 0 00:14:58 And that’s important. And I’m always saying to my sessions, like, listen, like two, three minutes, if that’s all you have, I’m going to change it though. Cause Sherry, you know, it’d be like, listen, one minute I have a friend who does one minute and that’s how she got started and feels benefits. So that’s even better. But I love it because we get like, it’s like, oh, well, if I don’t have, you know, two hours to do this thing and why even bother, but can’t go crazy, whatever it’s like, no, no, a five minute dance party, one minute meditation, a quick walk, like something like, just get, take that pause and let yourself kind of come back down to the ground. Be grafted. Yeah. Very powerful. Really helpful. That’s awesome. So I want to talk about something a little. Um, I think this is fun. So my listeners may or may not know this, but back in like 2007 ish, I was working regularly on various films in Boston music, videos and commercials. I mean, as an extra, um, I did get, you know, some SIG points, some screen actors, Guild points, and definitely got some, um, some screen time. But my friend Sherry here was actually in a movie back a couple of years ago and in a pretty exciting part. So I’d like to hear more about that and with two of my favorite actors of all time, so share
Speaker 2 00:16:15 More about that. Oh yeah.
Speaker 3 00:16:18 It was wild and bizarre and amazing and wonderful whirlwind of an experience. And I still can’t even believe that it happened, honestly, it’s just sort of weird how it all kind of came together. But, um, basically for all of you listeners out there, I was in a film called the comedian with, um, Robert <inaudible> and Danny DeVito. We filmed it in early 2016 and it was released in, I think, March or April of 2017. Um, and basically, I dunno, should I get into the story of kind of like how it happened and
Speaker 0 00:16:58 Yeah, it wasn’t is Patti LuPone in it also. Yes. I love her.
Speaker 3 00:17:06 Oh, so, okay. So I’ll first tell the story about like how this ended up happening. And then I’ll tell you a little bit about like my experience like onset. So we I’m in a band we’re called the free downloads. We do mostly private functions and weddings and all kinds of fun stuff around the new England region. And one day there was a casting notice that was sent to our band leader of film that was looking for a live band to play in the movie during a scene. Um, we thought it was just like local Boston, you know, like I thought it might’ve come from Boston casting, but it, um, so we thought it was maybe going to be like a student film, something like that. Or it was, you know, we were like, debating, do we do this? Do we not? And we kind of just said, you know what?
Speaker 3 00:18:02 We’ve got nothing else to do. Why not? Let’s just go for it. So we responded to the casting notice and we get an email back from the director’s assistant and she says, the director really likes your band. And I think we’d like to hire you guys we’re filming in New York. And I was like, okay, we’re filming in New York. What, and the director Taylor Hackford, um, would love for you guys to come out and film with us. Um, basically in a week I did a little Google poo of Taylor and start to see like, you know, um, re with Jamie Fox, he directed and I’m like looking at his film filmography and I’m like, okay, this guy’s like the real deal. So then I Google Taylor Hackford, next movie. And there, it says the comedian with Robert DeNiro and I, so I called my band leader, George, my buddy, he’s my friend George.
Speaker 3 00:19:12 And I said, George, I think this is a Robert DeNiro movie. And he’s like, no way, that’s not going to happen. This is like probably a student film. I, it’s not a Robert DeNiro movie. Sure enough, the next day we get all the information we show. We drive to set a couple of days later in New York. We’re in like Brooklyn, I believe. And we walk on set and who’s there, but Robert DeNiro, Danny DeVito, Patti LuPone. And I was like, we, so we literally had no idea what we were even filming. We just knew we had to learn two or three songs we showed up and we just had no idea until we actually got there, what was going on. And so basically we filmed for about 36 hours, straight 48 hours ish. And we performed the same two songs each about like a hundred times, but it was such a great experience. And I have to say, Danny DeVito is the best. He’s wonderful. So friendly. He came up on the band stand and was like chatting with us and being really wonderfully nice and Patti LuPone. So the moment of my life moment of my life was when Patty LuPone came up to me and said, you have an incredible voice.
Speaker 0 00:20:38 I would have been like, can I have that in writing? I like almost those, I don’t even know if there’s a, like a better compliment truthfully. Like that’s amazing.
Speaker 3 00:20:50 I was like, my life could end right now and I’d be,
Speaker 0 00:20:55 Oh, seriously, that’s, that’s so much fun. Oh yeah.
Speaker 3 00:20:59 So fast forward a year later, we got to go to the sort of like, um, crew premiere in New York with all the cast and the director and everybody, it was a lot of fun and the movie came out and, you know, it’s been kind of fun to just have that as a wonderful memory, have it on my resume and to be able to say that Robert DeNiro and Danny DeVito and Patty LuPone heard me sing. So it was pretty cool.
Speaker 0 00:21:28 That is very, very cool. And, um, it’s, it’s kind of wild working on a movie set. Like I didn’t, I, Patti LuPone never told me I had a good voice, but I definitely had some fun on the movie sense. And, um, it is kind of a wild world like that, that pace of those looks like epic shoots. And I mean, you’ve got, you have timelines and it’s really, you kind of have to see it to believe how, what all goes into it, but, um, it’s a lot of fun. So that’s, that
Speaker 2 00:21:55 Is so cool. So along
Speaker 0 00:21:59 A completely different vein. And I feel like, um, you know, self care for brides could be a whole section of the self care cabaret, but I’m wondering you have a wedding coming up recently engaged, which is very exciting. So I’m wondering if you started wedding planning yet and what that process has looked like and how are you taking care of yourself through that process?
Speaker 3 00:22:22 Yes. So it’s interesting that you asked this question because I have been wedding planning. This is true. We have set a date. It’s going to be early next year, April of next year, we’ve got the location, we’ve got the caterer now at this point. And I think one of the biggest things, and one of the things that I talked to Matt, my fiance about was I really don’t want us to be stressed. I really don’t want us to stress out about budget, about logistics, about details. I just want this to be kind of fun and relaxed. And I just want it to be a time where family can get together after a really challenging time and just have some fun. And so one of the ways that I’ve been kind of making sure of that is I’m not tied to the wedding apps. I’m not tied to like constantly doing things for the wedding. I sort of like pretty much in, and I don’t know, maybe some folks might call me a bad bride, but I’ve just been kind of
Speaker 0 00:23:31 Better than a bride Zilla though. I think,
Speaker 3 00:23:34 You know what, I guess I’m like, that is my goal. I want to be like the <inaudible> cause I just like, it doesn’t, it matters. Right. But it doesn’t matter that much. And so, you know, I’ve really been just trying to focus on things like once a month. And so I pretty much like set aside like one Sunday, every month to just check in to make sure, okay, do I need to be making progress on something at this point? And if not, then let’s not worry about it. So it’s been kind of like interesting because especially as a wedding singer and someone who’s been, I think I’ve performed over 200 weddings at this point. So you’ve
Speaker 2 00:24:14 Seen a lot, that’s a lot,
Speaker 3 00:24:17 Which I have to admit is also helpful, right. Because it’s like, oh, I remember when this bride did, you know, instead of a cake cutting ceremony, they had a pinata shaped like a take, you remember cue details like that. And it’s, it’s, it makes it a lot easier. But for me, I just didn’t want to, I didn’t want to be consumed by this. Right. Like I just, I think it’s so important to not be consumed by things in your life. Cause I used to have a habit of doing that. Um, I used to have a habit of just like, like I said, you know, going from taking a dance lesson to standing up for a competition, you know, and like, how do I stop doing that in my life? And with the wedding, I really wanted to make sure that I was not kind of putting too much stress on myself. And so, so far it’s been working out, I’ve got like a few details, locked down and you know, the months are going to tick by and who knows what will happen six months from now. But for now that’s been, my philosophy is just only focused on what I have to for now and then kind of go from there.
Speaker 0 00:25:28 I think that’s awesome. And I think it’s important to remember, like keep it all into perspective. Like what are the, what’s the important thing about that day that you have fun and that you and Matt are there together and take the step to live the rest of your life happily ever after. I mean, that’s really the outcome, the main, the main point of the event and people get so wrapped up in, you know, spending tens of thousands of dollars, even more, you know what, the average wedding, I know, six years ago when I got married was like 50,000. It was like, that’s not real.
Speaker 3 00:26:03 And it’s like, I think that you can make the day memorable and full of love and not put yourself out financially. And Hey, you know, if you have that kind of money to spend all the power to you. Oh absolutely. I know. I don’t
Speaker 2 00:26:20 Either for sure prioritize
Speaker 0 00:26:23 What was important. And there were certain aspects that like, okay, we were willing to splurge here, but cut back here. So we, you know, we had that negotiation and what was like going to be the important pieces of it. But at the end of the day, what was important was that we had a lot of fun and then we got married and we achieved both of those things and so much more, but we did not, um, necessarily because we did a lot of DIY, um, we didn’t necessarily, you know, rack up that ridiculous, um, bill that people tend to tend to do. Yeah,
Speaker 3 00:26:56 I know. So, I mean, I’ve seen pictures of your wedding and it was, I could just tell you guys had an absolute blast at every turn. And I think I even recently saw a video of the music and it was just like such a lively, wonderful personal event. Like I could tell that it was just really personal to you guys. And
Speaker 0 00:27:21 I was like, when it’s personal to you. Yeah. Well for our listeners that don’t know, and I can share the recent blog posts, um, TDF in New York actually recently wrote a story about it, um, on their blog. And it was, uh, because what my husband and I did with our PR both of us having a performing arts background, him being a musician, um, we actually wrote a wedding ceremony and it was like a little musical theater performance. So we got married in, uh, on a stage in a theater. And, um, actually the first theater I ever performed in, which was very, very special venue. And like, yes, every moment, every word was crafted with love and lots of intent. And my bridal party had to perform and some of them are performers. Some of them were not performers. And, um, my cousin still mentions the fact that I made her play a Viber slap, or Jeff actually made her play a Viber slap during the ceremony, but you know what, everybody stepped up to the plate.
Speaker 0 00:28:17 They still talk to me afterwards. So that’s good because it wasn’t, um, I was not a bride Zilla, but we definitely had some, um, you know, we had a rehearse. We had, uh, we were not like a, a band at all by any stretch. Although we did get offered a Saturday night gig at a dive bar in Lynn, um, after we were doing some open mics, but we didn’t take them up on that, but we did. Um, it was a lot of fun, but it was, we, we heard us, we performed together. It was, it was actually, it was very cool. But, um, so that’s exciting. I look forward to seeing the details and what you come up with and I’m sure it will be lovely and very special. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:28:54 That’s, that’s the goal. I just like, if I can have a, a day that is, is as personal and special as the day you guys had, I feel like that would be an absolute win. So,
Speaker 0 00:29:07 Well, thank you. I, and I’m sure you will have that. And I also think what you said about, you know, staying off of those bride blogs and social media pages. Oh gosh. They’re constantly just pushing, pushing, spend, spend diet, do this, do that, like destination this and rules for that. And, oh my God, it’s horrendous. So like that’s a lot of noise. So like even beyond just, you know, for brides, maybe planning, but just in general, if your social media messaging is not making you feel good, delete unfollow, unsubscribe, give you a big amen to that.
Speaker 3 00:29:46 I mean, over, I think over the years I have slowed down my like consumption of social media for specifically that reason. And it’s funny because I found myself in a, like in a moment actually yesterday where I saw this really wonderful, um, sort of viral series of means going around where it was sort of like talking about women and successful women and how a woman who on her wedding day is just as successful as a woman. Who’s eating pizza, drinking a glass of wine alone at home, and a woman who becomes a doctor is just as successful and wonderful as a woman who’s at home with her child. Oh, I think
Speaker 0 00:30:34 I’ve seen this collection of images that you’re referring to. Yes.
Speaker 3 00:30:38 And there’s one particular little selection that compares a woman who’s twig, then athletic build and somebody who’s who you would consider a plus size and saying, all women are healthy. And I don’t know why I did this to myself, but I decided to go into the comments to kind of dig and see what people were saying. No was just that raw. See, this is why everyone at home don’t do it to yourself. Don’t read the comments because I started reading the comments and, and it was people saying, I don’t understand why we’re continuing to think that being obese is okay. And being overweight is okay. And for, for everyone, who’s sitting at home who doesn’t know me, I am a thick girl. I’ve been a plus size girl, my entire life. So I was reading these comments and thinking to myself, what the heck do these people know? You know? And I started like typing up this like terrain of, uh, like you guys don’t even know, I I’m, I’m overweight and I I’ve run eight marathons and I can bench, press and squat, and I can probably outrun you. So what, what do you think is the definition of healthy? Right? And then I just realized that by engaging, I was just going to hurt or harm myself really at the end, don’t feed the trolls, don’t feed the trolls, you know, the don’t feed the plant.
Speaker 3 00:32:20 I’m going to have to do like a little spoof of that and do don’t feed the trolls.
Speaker 0 00:32:27 Excellent. Oh, it’s awful though. No, definitely. Don’t read the comments and, and that’s too bad too, because the, the idea behind those images is like really important and like makes you want to stand up and salute, and then you got like
Speaker 2 00:32:41 People that are just nonsense. Yeah. So
Speaker 0 00:32:44 That’s too bad. I’m sorry. You got sucked into that.
Speaker 3 00:32:48 Well, moral of the story is that, you know, just do yourself a favor and just don’t engage. It’s it’s not worth it because at the end of the day, what you choose to engage in is only going to affect your wellbeing, your heart rate, your cortisol levels, really. And do you want to be taking in that poison, right?
Speaker 0 00:33:15 Right. No. It’s like the quote, um, holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
Speaker 3 00:33:24 Exactly. Yes. That was the exact quote I was thinking of like really? And you can’t do that. You just can’t, it’s not healthy for you. Yeah, no,
Speaker 0 00:33:33 Also I’ve just decided since, um, we did come up with don’t feed the trolls and now there’s going to be a theme song to go with it. We’re changing. The episode title is now going to be don’t feed the troll.
Speaker 2 00:33:44 Awesome. Oh my goodness. It
Speaker 0 00:33:47 Was good advice. We were giving really good advice here today. Um, so my last question for you, and I know I may not be Patti LuPone. However, I do also believe and stand by her comment that you are hands down. One of the most talented vocalists I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I have seen Sheree out after a night of performing dancing, we were dancing in a show together. We went out to a local watering hole and we’re dancing, continuing to dance and be goofy at the, at the place. And I don’t even know what happened. Next thing I know she just had the microphone and she’s up on the stage, belting out, respect by Aretha Franklin. I was just like, oh my God. And that wasn’t even the first time. I think that was the first time I heard you live.
Speaker 0 00:34:36 Cause I did see some of your performances when you were on, um, community auditions. Is that the name of the show when you won, excuse me, when you won community auditions and um, even recently you had a video posted, um, it was alive, you were performing somewhere and someone asked you to do an Italian aria that you hadn’t sung in like a long time. And listen to, as she pulled this, like right out of her tail and killed it, I actually saved the video. Like sent it to my mom. I was like, this is my friend Sherry. Like you have to hear her sing. Cause it’s, it’s unreal. So anyway, so with that, so again, I know I’m not Patti LuPone, but I got to lay the stage. So, you know, I would say humble beginnings in the Lynn public schools, right. Then you actually went off to Carnegie Mellon, which is a very prestigious college, of course. And so what would you give to advice? What would like be one piece of advice maybe to someone looking to embark on a career in the arts and someone else that wanted to do what you do?
Speaker 3 00:35:36 Okay. So I have two pieces of advice and they’re very important. There are pieces of advice that I wish I had known when I was younger. The first is don’t put yourself in a box. You’re kidding, absolutely. Be passionate about one style of art and that’s okay. And if that’s what you want to do, then go for it. But if you’re like me and you find yourself studying classical singing, for example, what really want to do other things, but feel like maybe you won’t be good enough. Don’t let that mindset set in and just go for it. Because I think one of the biggest, biggest things that young performing artists are not taught today is how to adapt and how to be hireable. And when, when you’re a performer, you’re, you’re, you’re relying on people to hire you to perform. Right. You know, for the most part, I mean, we’re, we’re in an age now where people are really creating wonderful digital social platforms for themselves, right?
Speaker 3 00:36:50 So there’s that. But ultimately if you want to be a live performer, you have to rely on people to hire you. And you, you want, if you want a career, there’s nothing wrong with kind of going outside of what, maybe the path that you originally thought you were going to be doing. I thought I was going to be an opera singer. And then I realized that I wasn’t quite cutting it there and had to kind of figure out, well now what do I do? And I wasn’t sure. And by chance someone hired me in an emergency and I know I wasn’t any good, but they hired me anyway. And I did this wedding and I sang Alicia keys and it surprised me truly that I could do it. And so it kind of forced me into this other direction that ultimately has helped me to realize how much I love just performing in general. And so my biggest piece of advice is do not stick yourself in a box if you don’t want to be in that box, if you want to be in that box, that’s a whole other story. But if you don’t want to be in a box and you want to have a diverse varied career, it’s okay to step outside of that box and do other styles. My other piece of advice is, do not ever listen to anyone who tells you that you cannot.
Speaker 0 00:38:22 I think both of these pieces of advice are transferable to other careers and paths in life in general. So tell me more about that one.
Speaker 3 00:38:30 So, you know, I went to Carnegie Mellon and it was a wonderful, and I, I really, and truly feel very grateful and privileged that I have the opportunity to go there. Um, you know, I looking back on it, I really I’m surprised I got in, frankly, don’t tell anyone. I said that, just kidding. We’re on a podcast. I’m surprised I got in. Um, but I did. Okay. And I wasn’t the best in my class. And I think I always knew that, but I had some teachers who told me that, who told me that I would never be a performer. They told me too, that I should maybe leave the, the, the voice program and just study musicology, become a librarian or a musicologist, or, you know, they, he told me I would never be a performer. And I know that I believe them. Okay. I believe them.
Speaker 3 00:39:34 And it certainly took a toll on my confidence as a performer, which is evidenced by the fact that inevitably I went on to graduate and I applied for grad school and I got callbacks based on my, uh, pre-screening CDs. I got callbacks at all of these wonderful schools, like Juilliard and more Western and B U. But when I got to these auditions in person, I was a ball of nerves. And I kept hearing this voice in my head that said, you’re not good enough. You’re not good enough. You’re not good enough. Huh? Bombed all of my auditions. And I didn’t get into grad school now looking back, you know, 15 years later, I CA I think at this, yeah. Oh my God. More. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:40:25 I think back now and watching videos and listening to CDs of young Sheree, I’ve written, it wasn’t that bad. Like I listen now with a compassionate ear and I realized that it really wasn’t that bad. And I wished that I hadn’t listened to those teachers. I wish I hadn’t listened to them because I, you know, I think we all end up where we’re supposed to be. And I do believe that I’m where I’m supposed to be right now. But I do think that, you know, how would I maybe turn my ears off to the naysayers a little bit more. I might have grown into my confidence a lot sooner. So my second piece of advice therefore, is really do your best. Not to let people convince you that you’re not good enough because you are. And even if you aren’t right now, you will be with work, you know, absolutely bottom line.
Speaker 0 00:41:32 I think that goes back a little bit to don’t feed the trolls, like those, those negative voices. And we have, I mean, I have negative voices in my head too. I mean, I think everybody does. I mean, I’ve met anybody yet who tells me they don’t have any negative voices ever. I think they’d be lying, but you know, it’s do you feed it? Do you feed that? Like, what is it that you give your energy to? And that’s really too bad. I actually didn’t, I didn’t know that, um, I’m sorry that you experienced that, um, they should have talked to Patty LuPone. We should have got Patty earlier
Speaker 2 00:42:05 On the bandwagon. We should’ve got her on the bandwagon much sooner,
Speaker 3 00:42:10 Actually. You know, what would be good to mention, um, is one of the biggest acts of self care that I, I think I’ve come into most recently is realizing when a job is not a right fit big one, because I, I was working in, um, an advertising agency for a few years and it it’s very high pressure, um, you know, always kind of going and it just wasn’t, it wasn’t feeling right to me. And over the course of three years, I had gained 60 pounds. I was developing some really bad health issues, including the hypothyroidism that I was talking about. Um, and so it just was becoming clearer to me that I was really just kind of slowly killing myself. Um, honestly, so I, I went to my employer and basically asked, you know, for a bit of a break for my health and they, they agreed to it.
Speaker 3 00:43:16 And during that break, I finally had the Headspace and the time to realize like what I had been putting my body through and that I started feeling a lot healthier. My, I did a follow-up with my doctor and things were improving. I was working out again and eating better and focusing on, you know, really healing. And I realized that I just, if I went back that I would be doing myself a disservice. So ultimately I decided to just take the plunge and not return and kind of drive the music thing full-time to see how that goes. But ultimately what I realized is that there’s no amount of stress at a job that I think, you know, a salary can compensate for oh, a hundred percent. And no, even though I think, you know, I was financially more comfortable than I might be moving forward for now. I do think that sometimes your health is just not worth it. Right. You really can’t put a price tag on wellbeing. Your health is not a currency. So
Speaker 0 00:44:30 Another good, another good saying here it’s full of them. Your health is not a currency. My goodness. That’s awesome. Oh, and it’s true though. We do, we get stuck in this, and of course we’re motivated by financial reasons, of course. And we’ll always stay in positions sometimes that are just really toxic and just not good for our health. And then, you know, we end up and he had those tragic stories where people, you know, work their whole lives to retire and work multiple jobs. And then they, you know, after retirement, they, something terrible happens. They end up not getting to enjoy it at all, either with the health diagnosis or even, you know, death, whatever, like not, um, getting to really reap the rewards of working so hard for all those years. So that’s, that’s a powerful, a powerful lesson. Yeah.
Speaker 3 00:45:18 And it’s a risk it’s right. Like there’s nothing guaranteed. And sometimes I wake up and I’m like, I don’t know what I’m going to do. But one thing I do know is I’ve never felt better. And that to me is just the, the biggest indicator that I’m, I’m on the right track. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:45:37 Because you can’t put a price tag on that. Well, thank you for sharing that. I do appreciate that. So I’m wondering though, where can we find you? I want my listeners to hear you and follow you. You’ve been doing so many awesome things and performing virtual concerts. And so what, what do we got going on and where can we find you?
Speaker 3 00:45:55 Well, I got lots going on and currently I’m doing a run out in P-town, I’m doing a Whitney tribute show. That’s underway P town. So
Speaker 0 00:46:04 You get a double bonus, you get Sheree and the fun of P town. Very cool.
Speaker 3 00:46:08 Yeah. And you can’t lose
Speaker 0 00:46:10 Sharia in case we have anybody listening. Who’s not from the Massachusetts area. Will you tell us what P town is?
Speaker 3 00:46:16 Yeah. So P-town is short for province town, which is pretty much the Tivity Tivity Tivity tip of the tape. So if you’ve ever been to the Cape here in Massachusetts, Provincetown is pretty much as beautiful as it gets, um, out, out on the Cape. And it’s been a lot of fun to be able to perform there and, and have a residency there. So that’s
Speaker 0 00:46:39 Awesome. And are you still doing your virtual concerts at all or so
Speaker 3 00:46:44 It’s funny, you mentioned that because I was, I was basically doing a virtual performance residency through tin pan alley, which is in P-town. Um, and that stopped now that they’re doing the shows actually live and in person. But I do think that I am going to continue to do some virtual shows via my Facebook music page, which is Sheree, Marcel. Um, so I will still continue to do those when I can on Friday evening. So feel free to kind of give my page a, like, if you’re out there and feel like checking me out on Facebook, um, I will definitely post when I, when I next do a virtual show. So
Speaker 0 00:47:23 Great. And we’ll be sure to link to that too. So folks can find you easily and follow along. And, um, is that what that video is of you singing that Arias that level?
Speaker 3 00:47:34 Yes, I did. So you’ll be able to see it there. Perfect.
Speaker 0 00:47:37 Well, thank you so much for joining us here today. That was a wonderful to chat with you and even learn more about you and your background. And, um, thanks again. Thank
Speaker 3 00:47:47 You for having me. It’s such a delight.
Speaker 0 00:49:09 Wow. That was such a great convo. Sherry highlights an important aspect of how we tend to start taking care of ourselves. As we age, all of a sudden self care becomes a priority. This was also consistent with my dissertation study research findings as well. I find it fascinating. How do we shift and tell those younger than us to prioritize their health in their youth? It’s not something that you wait to do. It sounds like a great topic for a future podcast episode. Shari also reminds us that it’s okay to do less, to breathe and to say no. And if all you have is one minute to meditate, do it, take that brief pause. You will experience benefits, and it is so essential to protect your sensitivities and your energy. Don’t absorb all the toxicity around us on the news in the media, in the comments sections of things you read online, don’t feed the trolls.
Speaker 0 00:50:08 Lastly, Sherry’s advice is spot on. Don’t put yourself in a box and don’t listen to those who tell you, you can’t do something you want to do. Be sure to check out the episode notes for links to resources, including Sheree’s social media and website. So you can stay up to date for any upcoming shows she has. And thanks for listening to this episode. Remember to subscribe and rate this podcast on your preferred player. The ratings help us grow and share the message of self-care. If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, please reach out directly by emailing podcast at Dr. MC self that’s D R M C self and come join the cast party at Dr. MCs self care cabaret on Facebook and Instagram at D R M C self care, or my website, DRM Z self Be sure to like subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self care. See you next time. Stay well and do good.


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