about my path
"Look Dad, I did it!"
My parents sure did peg me well when they finally chose a name for me (I'll save the full story for a blog post). I was born in Washington, DC on a Thursday evening, and until I was four raised by my single father, literally above and in a legendary DC jazz bar called One Step Down. I did not have a name until I was at least six weeks old. My first name means 'of art' in Latin. My given last name, Mooney, essentially means 'wealth' in Gaelic.
I have been into all of the arts for as long as I can remember. My father always supported my interests with enthusiasm, and even though we were scraping by, he would make it happen, if I wanted dance lessons, or piano, vocals, special art workshops, to join a play, etc. Much of who I am now has grown from that.
I was fortunate to grow up in Arlington County Schools in Northern Virginia (we moved there when I was 7), where the arts were highly valued, with comprehensive offerings. I ate it up, making art, singing, playing music, joining school plays, trying different instruments, and after school, going to a local dance studio 3 to 5 days a week.
So... we all have those moments we will remember forever, and that somehow shape who we are... In my senior year, I was talking with one of my favorite teachers, my Musical Director/vocal coach, Mr. G. He was helping me talk through a bit of an 'identity crisis' so to speak as everyone was going off to college, and I was trying to distill what I was going to focus on...
I was trying to find my path, and he said...
"You know, Artis... Jack of all trades, Master of none."
Protest came forth
in some silent & wordless rebuttal
from the depths of my soul,
and a seed was planted
in my heart & mind.
Something was stirred in me, and I knew that yes, I would indeed prove him wrong, and that I could do anything I put my mind to...
I loved all of the arts and knew I could not completely give any of them up, so I made it work for me! They have served me well and influenced one another as I've moved between them with an ebb & flow, successfully mastering & building a career around whichever one(s) was/were my focus at the time... and eventually incorporating the healing arts as well. This is what gave birth to the idea of 'Boundless' for me a long time ago - the idea that I can do anything I want to do.
And here I am....
So my "ta-da!" - my "Look Dad, I did it!" is a nod both to my sweet father, now 89 - who is and always has been one of my best friends and biggest supporters, and my Vocal Director and friend, Mr. Greennagle - who I adored for many reasons, in part for the ways like this in which he challenged me and my desire to 'do it all'. They both impacted my life immeasurably as I struggled to understand who I was & what I was here for.