Hi, it’s Sam and I’m in another room. It’s actually Elady’s office. Ooh. And the sequined room where all the sequins and feathers are kept. Why do I show you that? Because I want to talk about what your secret sauce, your secret something. If you don’t know about me, I started singing professionally very young. I think I got my first paid gig when I was about seven and I used to get paid 50 cents to sing at funerals and a dollar to sing at weddings.

And I’m not quite sure why there was a difference between weddings and funerals, but anyway, that was at the Royal School of Church Music in Brisbane, where I got my first couple of badges. And then as I got older I joined the Australian Opera Children’s Chorus which has many, many great memories for me and I did lots of musical theater and I joined bands and then I kind of like to say I discovered sex, drugs and rock and roll and stopped singing classically. And then the Australia Opera at that stage if you … we were too young to be doing adult roles and our voices weren’t mature enough but we looked too old to be kids so we kind of went off into limbo land. So I toured with bands and did all that kind of stuff.

And then I found my feet in piano bars, which I absolutely loved. Me, a piano, 100 people, telling stories, singing songs, telling tales, just loved it, loved it, loved it. And lots of you will remember me from those days, I mean like it was so long ago. And then I wrote shows and did lots of stuff.

But anyway, mid 20s I kind of listened to the people that all said to me, “You’ve got to have something sensible to fall back on.” And I studied accounting after many years of doing sales as a kind of backup gig, all that kind of stuff. Because I never wanted to be a broke musician. And then when I had Elady at 31 I kind of let go of a lot of my music and when on the odd occasions someone had asked me to sing at a funeral or a wedding, kind of why those two things? Or a big party or something, a celebration, and I’d kind of do it if they were friends, but I never tried to anything with it as a career again.

And then when mum died I kind of got this itchy feet for singing again so I dipped my toes in a little bit. Again just a little bit. And then last year I got … was fortunate enough to be on that funny little Australian show called All Together Now and that’s put me back into this world and since then I’ve done a few gigs, but what … Long way of coming around to that is I’m a better person, I am a happier person, I am a more me person just because I’m sitting here at my keyboard tonight practicing music, you know? There’s so much more happiness and vibrancy and life in my life because I’m sitting here doing this and I’m belting out notes and I’m playing the piano really, really, really badly. So thankfully tomorrow I’ve got a rehearsal with the wonderful Andrew Warboys to help me with that.

But even just that little touch of what is my .. that thing that was always just part of me, the singing, doing that little bit again makes me a happier person. What I want to encourage you all to do is not do what I did for 10 years and ignore the thing that really, really lit your soul on fire. If you were a tap dancer when you were a teenager and you really, really miss it go back and take a tap class. Better still, if you would like dancing when you were younger and you haven’t really done it when you’re older, go start taking the burlesque classes. One of my very, very, very, very best friends in the world, Amanda Choi, started pole dancing, I think at 40. I think it was 40 she started pole dancing and she’s freaking amazing and it’s that little artistic creative thing that just brings out more of her into her.

I’ve got truckloads of stories about friends and clients that once we kind of … when you get encouraged to do something creative you’re happier. Whether it’s cooking or dancing or drawing or any of those things, you don’t ever have to try and make a dollar out of it, you don’t ever have to want to show anybody what you’re doing, but the mere act of doing it, as I said, me sitting here at the keyboard belting out my notes. Okay, I do have a show next week, but that’s beside the point. I still do this practice every so often and that creativity feeds my soul. So I just want to encourage you all to do that, if it’s 10 minutes a day, do something creative.

Grab a copy of The Artists Way, if you’re into writing, start doing that kind of stuff. Grab a cookbook if you’re into cooking. Just 10 minutes a day to do something creative and I promise you will start feeling better.

That’s it for me, because I have to go back to you don’t own me. Such a good song, I’m going to dedicate that song next week to The Real Housewives of East Linfield. Have a good night.