“Be who you are.” I used to think I had to cover up my flaws to be worthy and liked. I find that the more true to myself and open I am, the more I connect with others. I never used to tell anyone the story about my eyes but I realize now that people respect me more for what I have overcome. That the struggles we go through are the most human things that connect us and make us so much more interesting.
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing singer-songwriter Brooke Moriber. She has come a long way from her Broadway roots, an evolution that has led her from New York City to Nashville and well beyond. Brooke began her music career at the young age of 8, landing the role of Cosette in Les Misérables. That gig was a springboard to various acting roles on stage and screen, as well as the spark that lit the flame of her artistry.
Inspired by the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Billy Joel, Brooke has received critical acclaim for her “clarion voice” by the Associated Press and “music intended to stand and last” by Bandblurb. Her powerhouse vocal style has opened doors to support artists such as The Gin Blossoms, share the New York stage with Cindy Lauper, and sing the national anthem for her hometown Knicks.
Currently, Brooke is writing for her new album in Nashville with many of Music Row’s hitmakers and recently enjoyed interest in her songs by other major label signed artists. With multiple songs from her debut release “Cry Like a Girl” featured on Spotify’s popular “New Music Nashville” playlist, Brooke is poised and ready for the road ahead, humbly and ambitiously following a path of earnest self-expression.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thanks for having me!
I have been singing since before I can remember. I grew up in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich village surrounded by every aspect of the arts. My parents were always playing music in the house. From a very early age I found it fascinating how songs and voices were captured on recordings and I always wanted to be on one of them.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I booked my first professional gig when I was 8 years old. My parents had just seen “Les Miserables” on Broadway. They put the cast album on in the living room and when I heard the little girl singing “Castle On A Cloud” I immediately said, “I want to do that!” I sang over the phone for a manager and a few auditions later I was performing on Broadway as Young Cosette. I started writing songs as a teenager when I was diagnosed with a rare eye disease as a means to comfort myself through the loss of sight and debilitating treatments and side effects. I fell in love with songwriting then and it continues to be my go-to outlet during difficult times.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I never get star struck but I pretty much forgot how to formulate a sentence when I first met Cyndi Lauper. I had been singing along to her music since I was 4 years old and I was about to perform on stage with her 8 shows a week. One day, in between matinée and evening shows, Cyndi just sat down in the green room and gave us all an impromptu backstage concert. Watching her sing “Time After Time” and looking around at my fellow cast members and I with tears in our eyes made me realize how much I wanted to connect with people through my music in that same way. Working with Cyndi really solidified my decision to focus on my recording career.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’ve had so many funny mishaps I don’t even know which one to choose from! I think I was blessed with this on stage blooper superpower since my very first performance in Les Miz:
I was never taught the curtain call during my rehearsals so when it was time for me to take my bow, one of the cast members just gave me a gentle nudge on to the stage. I took my bow, then turned to exit, only to find a wall of about thirty giant adults stampeding towards the front of the stage (with gusto!) to take their final ensemble group bow. I froze like a deer in headlights, then, to avoid being trampled on, I ended up dodging them and ducking under arms trying to find my way back to the wings — you could hear the rip-roaring laughter from the crowd louder than the orchestra itself! — it was the first and only time an audience has ever left a performance of Les Miserables crying with laughter!
I’ve walked in to closets instead of doors after auditions, sung my heart out while unknowingly spurting blood all over my duet partner from a bloody nose, even had an extremely comical unsexy moment mid nude scene in a musical version of Caligula trying to gracefully undress on stage but instead getting twisted up between my flowing Grecian halter top and mic chord to the point where I just had to give up and continue singing with it all wrapped around my neck like a noose!
The lesson I’ve learned from all of this?: Commitment.
No matter what happens, keep going. What’s embarrassing now will be a great story later. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
After spending a lot of time in Nashville, I recently signed with Reviver Records. Their A&R team have really helped me to solidify who I am as an artist and I am so proud of the music I have been creating under their guidance. We are releasing my first three Reviver tracks in 2021 and I am beyond excited to share these new songs. In the interim, I independently released two remotely recorded pandemic inspired songs. “In It Together” (born in the first week of quarantine), and “Better Days” (which made its way in to regular rotation on SiriusXM’s Velvet station). Both can be heard on all digital platforms.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
1. Diversity IS our culture.
We send a mixed and incorrect message by ignoring this in the things our children grow up watching and listening to.
2. It is very easy to get used to only seeing people of your own skin color, faith, or sexual orientation and that breeds fear which then breeds discrimination and then ultimately hatred and violence.
3. We are undeniably hugely responsible in the entertainment industry for influencing this in a positive direction.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. “Be who you are.” I used to think I had to cover up my flaws to be worthy and liked. I find that the more true to myself and open I am, the more I connect with others. I never used to tell anyone the story about my eyes but I realize now that people respect me more for what I have overcome. That the struggles we go through are the most human things that connect us and make us so much more interesting.
2. “Don’t eat right before a performance.” The mic picks up everything…
3. “Learn to say no.” Spreading yourself too thin to please others never has a good outcome
4. “You CAN have it all.” It is difficult to find a healthy balance between work and real-life in this business but you don’t have to sacrifice everything else in your life to be successful. It took me a long time to realize this. The more you have in life outside of your career, the less pressure you put on that one thing and that’s when the good stuff happens.
5. “You are only in competition with yourself.” Our differences are what make us special. No ones talent can truly be compared to another’s -all you can do is what YOU do best.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
— Take time to take care of your mental and physical health. Your body is a machine and in this business we are often expected to be superhuman. That machine can break down without time to re-boot. Try to plan healthy meal substitutes when on the road, drink water, sleep, exercise, meditate. As fun as it is to go out and hang with the cool kids, you don’t have to go to every party.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
As cheesy and simplistic as it may sound, I would like to start a “Kindness” movement. I think our society gets more and more wrapped up in the artificial the longer we exist on this earth and the more our technology advances. It seems to make us physically and mentally more robotic.
We are so focused on Instagram filters these days and the latest surgical beauty trends posted by our favorite influencers that we forget to focus on the inner beauty. The idea of being a good person and being good to one another feels almost outdated. If this pandemic has shown us anything, we are only human and all we have is each other. I try to convey this message in some of my music.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom. She was a performer for a long time -she’s an amazing actress. She gave up her career before I was born because her time in LA and the people she was surrounded with was becoming an unhealthy environment. At first she didn’t want me getting involved in show business but when she saw how much I wanted it she became my biggest supporter and continues to give me advice and voice her opinion even when I don’t want it 😉
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“It’s not brain surgery. No ones life is at stake”. One of my favorite directors said this to me and my cast mates after a train wreck of a performance where we all forgot our lines during previews. I always try to remind myself of this whenever I start taking myself too seriously.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Linda Ronstadt. She is my vocal idol, my inspiration, the artist I strive to be.
How can our readers follow you online?
— All of my socials are under my full name @brookemoriber. My website as well: www.brookemoriber.com
Beware of some cute overload on my Instagram. Half of my feed is taken over by Sherlock, the love of my life and most adorable floppy-eared bunny you’ve ever seen.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!
Thank you for the wonderful questions!