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Something To Sing About: Local Musician/Actor Rebecca Potts

IN THE March 20 ISSUE

FROM THE 2021 Articles,
andArts & Entertainment,
andMusic,
andSarah Peterson-Camacho
SECTIONS

by Sarah A. Peterson-Camacho

For as long as she can remember, Fresno musician and actress Rebecca Potts has been creating and performing her own music. And from appearing on Netflix to performing the National Anthem for the NFL, she’s not about to let the pandemic bring her down. Kings River Life recently spoke with Potts about her time on TV, the release of her first single, “Like Home,” and how the challenges of living through the pandemic have spurred her creativity to new heights.

KRL: How long have you been creating and performing music?

Rebecca: I’ve been performing as long as I can remember, if you count car concerts at two years old with my mom! My first play was in middle school, and that’s when I really got to live out my love for the performing arts for the first time. I had always loved singing, and started writing lyrics in middle school as well; I shudder to think of those songs ever seeing the light of day. My “peak” was definitely in high school and early college, when I could write a full song in ten minutes and it was actually pretty good. Now, they don’t come as easily but I think my perfectionism also gets in the way of that.

KRL: What genre of music is your favorite to perform?

Rebecca: I perform all genres of music and I’m not entirely sure I have a favorite, but I really love ballads. Anything I can really put my heart into where I also get to emote is a big favorite of mine.

KRL: How long have you been acting, and what productions are your favorites?

Rebecca: I didn’t really see myself as an actor until the middle school play I mentioned before. The director, who was also a private acting coach, asked me to be in the play, and then afterwards proposed that I take acting lessons with him. Throughout high school, I traveled across the country performing in one-act plays for conferences. My favorite productions that I got to be in are Ragtime (which I was in twice!), Aida, and The Little Mermaid.

KRL: What recent creative projects are you most proud of—theatre, music, film?

Rebecca: My most recent projects all have to do with music. I made my NFL debut this year when I sang the National Anthem for their final game of the season, which has been a dream of mine (and my dad’s!) ever since I was a little girl.

In September, a karaoke competition show that I was in was released on Netflix. It’s called Sing On, and I was on episode three. To be on Netflix is incredible, but to have my voice up there is a dream. And I get serious nerves for stuff like that so I was really proud of myself for not even getting nauseous.

I also just released my first single, “Like Home”, which is available everywhere; it’s basically a love letter to my husband. He is the strongest, sweetest, and most empathetic man I know, and there is no one I’d rather be stuck in my house with during a pandemic. I wanted to write something that properly conveyed how much I loved and appreciated him and our story, and I’m really, really happy with how it came out. And releasing that song at the end of such a difficult year was a monumental accomplishment for me. I spent 2020 taking piano lessons so I could compose and play the track myself, and this was my first time being able to do that.

Rebecca’s husband when they were in London. He is her inspiration for “Like Home”

KRL: How do your music and your acting intersect?

Rebecca: I think they mostly intersect when I’m singing and performing a track. It’s hard for me to sing something well without really feeling it, and I’ve noticed that when I just sing something, I’m never happy with it. I really have to perform it, and that’s when it comes to life. It’s a huge emotional outlet for me, which has been important this year.

KRL: Where have you performed locally?

Rebecca: I’ve performed at Arthop in Fresno a few times, and also at certain events around town. I’m a mental health advocate and sometimes I get to combine the two. Nothing makes me happier, so there have been some mental health events that I’ve been able to speak and perform at around Fresno and those are always my favorites. I was a contestant a few years ago on a show called Celebration of Music that aired locally on PBS as well, which was like a practice run for Sing On.

KRL: How long have you been on YouTube? What has your experience been with having a YouTube channel?

Rebecca: I’ve been on YouTube since I was a kid, and most of my content from those days will die with my lyrics. I created a new YouTube channel in August where I post covers, and my original song is up there as well. My experience having a YouTube [channel] has been pretty fun since I made my new one, although I don’t really promote it too much; so I’m suspicious that most of my views are just my mom watching my videos over and over.

KRL: What was it like to be on Netflix’s Sing On?

Rebecca: It was really a dream. The show filmed at Pinewood Studios in London, so we were flown over there just before the pandemic to film it. My husband also got to join me, and it was amazing to have him in the audience and experiencing the whole thing with me. Filming was a whirlwind, and it was so exciting to film in the same place that Indiana Jones, Maleficent, Star Wars, and a bunch of other blockbuster films were made. As an actor, it was a very humbling experience to walk those halls. As a singer, to be able to belt out some chart-toppers on such a big, beautiful stage was everything my eight-year-old heart ever wanted.

SING ON!

KRL: How has the pandemic affected your creativity and creative output?

Rebecca: I feel a bit more creative than before the pandemic, and I think I owe that in part to learning the piano. The other piece of it has been going to therapy and confronting a lot of ugly things that a busy world makes it easy to ignore. My personal journey this year has involved digging up a lot of rot and giving myself space to grow again. Slowing down has given me a very important and meaningful chance to do that, and it’s helped me tap into some more creative parts of myself that have been quiet for the past few years. I’ve still got a long way to go, so I know that I haven’t quite landed on who I’m going to be as an artist yet, and that feels scary, but also exciting.

KRL: What’s next on the horizon for you; what new projects are you most excited about for 2021?

Rebecca: I’m excited to put out more music this year and hopefully get back into filming some projects I was working on before the pandemic hit—once it’s safe again. I’m hoping to release a song that I wrote about my sister, along with a pretty cute Christmas song that I wrote right after I swore off of men…and right before I met my husband. I’m also creating some new songs that I’m not sure will be this year’s project or next, but I’m letting myself ride the flow as much as I can and just enjoy it. So far, so good!

You can find Rebecca’s single here: distrokid.com/hyperfollow/rebeccapotts/like-home-2
And you can check out her YouTube Channel for more music.

Sarah A. Peterson-Camachois a library assistant with Fresno County Library, with a Bachelor’s in English and a Bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Fresno. In her free time, she makes soap and jewelry that she sells at Fresno-area craft fairs. She has written for The Clovis Roundup and the Central California Paranormal Investigators (CCPI) Newsletter.

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