We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Taulbee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I like to think of risk as an opportunity to step into a part of myself that I have yet to discover. My first big career risk was to leave my amazing job as an elementary music teacher in my hometown and become a Top 40 singer on a cruise ship. It was terrifying and exhilarating and I learned so much about myself and what I’m truly capable of. I spent the next four years traveling around the world using my voice as my ticket, meeting incredible people along the way. I’ve continued to take big risks, leaving the the cruise ship to become a holistic life coach, then a professional princess, and now a corporate event emcee, a singing telegram deliverer, a songwriter, a visual artist, and a creator of original characters. I have created a life that I never could have imagined when I was an elementary music teacher. Even when my life is challenging, I am so grateful I have followed my heart, and I know if I continue to listen to it, it will keep taking me on a ride that will blow my mind.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I call myself a creative chameleon because there are so many mediums through which I express my artistry. The things I love the most are singing and playing the ukulele and the guitar, writing great songs, embodying popular characters and creating my own, curating amazing outfits and costumes, and painting with watercolors and acrylics. For years I’ve struggled with the pressure to pick one form of creativity to focus on, but I’ve decided, for better or worse, I’m not going to do that. I choose to play with all the parts of me and listen to what they have to say and how they want to come through. This looks like painting a watercolor of someone’s beloved pet, delivering a zany singing telegram that makes someone feel special on their birthday, writing a song about a couple’s love for their wedding, dressing up as a dinosaur fairy and dancing with kids at a festival, singing sultry original songs in a burlesque show, even just wearing something fabulous that starts a conversation with a stranger. My artistry is all about inviting myself and others to play and explore, to take a deeper look at ourselves by honoring our emotions and experiences, to engage with what inspires us so we can heal ourselves, connect with one another, and live a beautiful life. The part of my artistry I am the most excited about right now is that after many years of honing my songwriting craft, I finally have a set of songs that really matches me and the message I want to share with the world. I am currently building a crowdfunding campaign so I can put out my first album. Until then, you can find my music at racheltaulbee.com.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, we would have to start with brunch! I would take them to Syrup, Four Friends Kitchen, or if we wanted a little entertainment, we’d head to the Goods where my dear friend Chocolatina Q Dessert would serenade us with song over our mimosas. Next we’d have a stroll and a little shopping, maybe pick up a good book at the Tattered Cover, or a beautiful heart rock at Herbs and Arts. Or we could stroll indoors at the Denver Art Museum for some inspiration! We’d have to head out to the mountains for a hike to take in the beautiful outdoors, maybe up to Nederland, I love that drive. If we wanted to just relax, we’d book a steam, soak, and some massages at Lake Steam Bath. Now, I love me some happy hour, so I’d want to take them to either Machete for happy hour tacos and Kona margaritas, or Max Gill and Grill for wine and oysters, followed by a stroll in either City Park or Wash Park. We’d have to go out see some live music, hopefully by one of my talented friends! For a guaranteed good time we could go see Kaitlyn Williams, Megan Burtt, Kayla Marque, Gracie Bassie, Shanna in a Dress, or anyone Nate Marsh, Aubrie Hamrick, Olivia James, Solomon Chapman, or Sarah Mount happens to be playing with that evening. Or we could simply head to somewhere tried and true like Nocturne, Ophelia’s, The Roxy, Cervantes, the Bluebird, the Mission Ballroom, or if we are going big, to Red Rocks of course! Late night we would have to hit up the Clocktower Cabaret for a burlesque show so we can see Staza Stone, Bettie Belladonna, Parker Go Peep, Marguerite Endsley, and Ayla Thayer slay the stage, or head to Gladys for some amazing queer witchy drag by Novelí, Lisa Frank SïxSïxSïx, and Pax Transwitch. I can’t wait until we get through this pandemic so I can have a weekend like this again!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
So much love to give! First and foremost, my incredible parents, Cecilia and Monica. Not only have you inspired greatly with your individual and combined musicianship, but also in you steadfast love for one another in a time when the validity of their love faces constant scrutiny. You have taught me how to follow my heart, use my gifts, and trust myself and my inner knowing even if the world around me doesn’t value it or understand it. To my dear friends and roommates Sonya Clark and Katrina Hedrick, for creating a home that is a true sanctuary with me and for all the ways you support and inspire me. For the rest of this, I’ll focus on the giving love to the Denver community. To the Durango Songwriters Expo and Planet Bluegrass’s Rocky Mountain Song School, for connecting me to so many talented songwriters and musical mentors, and for teaching me how to craft great songs that reflect the truth that lives in me. To Caroline Kauffman of Wands and Wishes Occasions, for giving me my first opportunity as a character actress and for five incredible years of bringing joy to kids on their birthdays all over the Denver area. To the incredible team over Imprint Group, especially Joe Reynolds and Joseph Bearss, for believing in my talent and finding seemingly endless ways to employ my creativity. To George Peele of Custom Singing Telegrams, for showing me the power of the singing telegram and providing me with many opportunities to use them to make people feel special. To Paul Borrillo of Borrillo Entertainment, for making sure I know that I have a gift as a character actress and hiring me to putting that gift to good use. To Staza Stone, Katie Mesmerie, Bettie Belladonna, and Fannie Spankings, for welcoming me into the Denver burlesque community and supporting me in sharing my sultry side on stage. To Katy Dickson and Sarah Mount, for all the love, support, and inspiration you have given me in pursuing my visual artistry professionally. To Mat Irving, Adriane and Marco Robinson, Nick Velharticky, Caitlin Porter, Anthony Musmanno, Sean Sidelko, Josh Elioseff, Scott Nelson, Nick Sparks, and Michael Reilly, for capturing such beautiful images of me with your incredible photography gifts. Finally, to all of the incredibly talented creatives that I have had the pleasure to work with since moving to Denver, there are simply too many of you to name: who you are and what you have to give makes this crazy world not only more bearable, but truly beautiful.
Instagram: @racheltaulbee, @racheltaulbeemusic, @misstaulbee, @therachartistry, @letmerollyourlemon
Other: Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/rachel-taulbee
Anthony Musmanno Photography, Nick Velharticky, Scott Nelson Photography, Josh Elioseff of Dancer Productions Photography, Mic Clik Photography, Adriane Robinson of Marco Robinson Photography, Sean Sidelko