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How to Succeed in Showbiz Without Really Trying – Part One » Apart From My Art
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How to Succeed in Showbiz Without Really Trying – Part One


I’m all dressed up for my first piano recital

It was never anything I sought. I just think my creative interests accidentally paved the way for me to be in commercials.

All through grammar school, my parents made me take piano lessons. I really didn’t want to, but  they insisted and I  eventually grew to love  classical music. To be honest, I didn’t know there was any other kind of music to study, because popular music seemed too silly to spend time learning.

I hated practicing. I’d play scales and exercises over and over just to bug my parents for making me practice, instead of playing the beautiful music I was learning. I studied Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Grieg, concertos, rhapsodies and sonatas. If I had to do it all over again, I’d be a much better player because I’d recognize the love I have for this music and I’d practice, not rebel.

My piano teacher had her students give recitals. One year, I sat down to play my selection and absolutely froze. I could not remember what I was supposed to play. I just sat there with my hands poised over the keyboard, not able to move. Fortunately, my teacher would not let me fail. She walked me down the street to a friend’s house where I  read and played the music I was supposed to perform. I immediately returned to her house and to the recital.  Although still in abject terror, I sat down, played perfectly and got the most applause of the day. But, boy, was I scared!

Piano recital

I think the most fun I had was playing piano with four other students (and eight hands). This was a ball. I had to work up to this level because  the music was much more complicated. I remember being so excited playing these large, magnificent concertos. I knew I was really good when I was invited to play with the group. It was complex but a lot of fun when we all played together. Every year it was the highlight that ended the recital. The audience and the players always looked forward to it.

Four people eight hands

My friend Marty is on the left and I’m second from the right, with braces

When I became a busy teenager, I stopped playing the piano. I was such a “good girl” that not playing the piano, something that I was very good at, was my feeble way of rebelling. Listen, I could have done worse…

But, I stayed involved with music by joining the a cappella choir in high school. I became president and performed in all the school musicals.

Performing with LA High School A capella choir

That’s me in the center

My friend, Andy and I performed and created all sorts of musical numbers together. We called each other “Yanyu Goodluck One” and “Yanyu Goodluck Two”. Who knows where that came from?

Andy and I

I was also elected Head Song Leader at my high school. So, performing, was a big part of my high school days.

Head song leader

Head song leader

“Ala beevo! Ala bivo! Ala beevo, bivo, bum!” And I still have the sweater!

At the same time, I joined the debate society. I specialized in dramatic interpretation, won top awards across the state and earned many huge trophies. My winning readings were “The Snow Goose” and “Lili” both written by Paul Gallico. Funny, I never connected my involvement in the debate society as a precursor to acting. But, I guess every little bit helped.

OK, but how did you get into commercials? How did you get into “show business?”

Tune in tomorrow and read “the rest of the story.”

Read Part Two of How to Succeed in Showbiz Without Really Trying Here.



All images appearing on How to Succeed in Showbiz Without Really Trying – Part One are the expressed property of Sandra Sallin. All rights reserved. In other words, don’t steal it!

Facebook Comments
  • Lori McNee (@lorimcneeartist) - Sandy! This story is so adorable…just like you. I love your spunk and look forward to ‘the rest of the story’….hugs. ~Lori 🙂ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Love being “spunky”. Thanks for reading Lori.ReplyCancel

  • Randy Hyde - That picture of you as a young girl is blowing my mind! It’s like a young Matthew in drag! Absolutely love it!ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Ha! That’s funny. Looking forward to your article in The Bold Italic tomorrow!ReplyCancel

  • wilma engel - so much about you that I did not know! love reading your blog…..ReplyCancel

    • sandra - My kids say the some thing. They’re enjoying learning about my youth.ReplyCancel

  • Shirley Friedman Abrams - You’ve hooked me. I look forward to the next episode.
    And to think, I wasn’t aware of all of this as you were growing up. Obviously too involved in my “own world” at the time.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - I’m glad that you’re interested. Don’t want to bore anyone.ReplyCancel

  • SilverFoxyBlog - Can’t wait for tomorrow’s installment……ReplyCancel

    • sandra - I’m not boring you with all this stuff about myself?ReplyCancel

  • Carla Fischer - i continue to be simply amazed with the multitude of your wonderful talents and courage to try and succeed at a high level of beauty…your posture with the choir is perfection! i had no idea until you enlightened us…thanks once again! who got you to pose like that?ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks for the compliments Carla. The pose? I was surprised when I saw the photo also. Must had been Mrs. Hutchison our choir director.Stand straight, lift your diaphragm and sing from between your forehead!ReplyCancel

  • kathy peck leeds - I love this post – and beyond jealous that you have a good singing voice.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - To be honest, the years have not been kind to my voice. It has gone from a beautiful soprano to a ????? Don’t know whether it’s lack of practice AGE or surgeries. Just not the same and it does pain me. I’m surprised you can’t hear me singing Handel’s Messiah all the way to your house. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Gail Corcoran - Sandy,

    So interesting to see the pictures of you in your youth and to read about all of your wonderful adventures. You were just as beautiful and interesting then as you are now.


    • sandra - Aw shucks, thank you. I’m glad you’re enjoying the read.ReplyCancel

  • shelconnors - Love it! I too took piano, and didn’t take it too seriously. Now, years later, I wish I would have. I would love to be able to sit down and pound out some beautiful music. I love the pictures to go with it 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my blog- I’m now a new follower of you as well 🙂ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks for following. There should be a musical group for all of us that regret not practicing.ReplyCancel

  • Tabitha - Oh I was just the opposite of you, some days I barely had the courage to walk into the crowded classroom, and I cringed inside whenever I was asked a question in class. Confidence is such a wonderful trait.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Hey, look at you now! All style, panache and confidence. I would have thought you were the skinniest, tallest and most beautiful in class.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Shecter - OMG.. Who knew all of this.. sooo interesting and so great for the grandkids to know all of this.. love it…ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Thanks Linda. Actually, my kids are finding these posts fascinating. So many stories I’ve never told. They keep on saying write more, more pictures. more. Funny that I had no idea that no one knew that much about me.ReplyCancel

  • Chloe Jeffreys - You have the most beautiful smile. Any agony you might have suffered in braces most definitely did not to go waste, my dear. I’m heading over now to see how it all turned out.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - Let me tell you, I truly had a very awkward 🙂 stage when I was around 13. I mean so awkward I will not let those photos see the light of day.ReplyCancel

  • imnotasupermom - You are adorable! My littlest looks like you. I hope she turns out as pretty. She has the best smile and freckles.ReplyCancel

    • sandra - That is so sweet. Let’s hear it for smiles and freckles!ReplyCancel

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