Monthly Archives: February 2023

Francesca Amari Part 1: Cabaret Singer, -226

I am an honest singer. I screw up on stage, I own it.  I laugh at myself. I look at people when I sing, I don’t sing over them.  I’m just really human.   -Francesca Amari
Our west coast swing continues with an interview that ended up taking place IN MY RENTAL CAR!  Francesca Amari is a fabulously talented cabaret singer, so when she agreed to be on the show, we made a plan to do the interview at a television station in Thousand Palms, California where she just happened to be filming that day. At the last minute, the studio we were supposed to record in became unavailable, so we punted and ended up driving to a hotel parking lot, right beside “the 10” which is California’s mega highway.    As I set up my microphones and recording equipment, Francesca and I bonded over our love for 12-time Grammy winner Linda Ronstadt.   Bonus:  you’ll hear us sing one of Linda’s signature songs, LIVE from the front seat.  This interview is a deep dive into the heart and mind of someone who has been singing since she was about 2 years old, first with her siblings as The Amari Sisters and later on iconic stages and legendary venues from New York City to Hollywood, California.   Francesca is a master at the craft of cabaret singing and is willing to tackle just about every kind of vocal from pop tunes to Broadway, to Jazz to Big Band.  Her tributes to Linda Ronstadt and Gilda Radner are instant sellouts and her fans follow her wherever she goes. During the pandemic, she missed performing so much, she created a weekly live-stream event called Cocktails & Cabaret which earned her the 2021 BroadwayWorld Palm Springs Award for “Best Streaming Concert/Cabaret.  Part One of our time together includes Francesca’s firm belief that she doesn’t pick the songs she sings, they pick her. She also offers plenty of wisdom about harmonizing and sharing the stage with others.  Says Francesca:  “Your talent shines more when you are with other people who are also talented. “ No matter what you do for a living, Francesca’s interview is full of the kind of wisdom you need to put your goals and dreams in motion.  #cabaretsinger #lindaronstadt #gildaradner#palmsprings #carkaroke 

Rosa Hu: Creator & Designer, House of Who -225

Style is your aura. It’s your energy. -Rosa Hu

In the spotlight, creator & designer Rosa Hu.  Born in New York City and raised in Southern California, Rosa’s parents escaped communist China and settled in Taiwan.  When it was time to go to college, the two came to the United States and never left.  As a child, Rosa was obsessed with style and never wanted to do anything but fashion.  Armed with a degree from the Fashion Institute of Design & Marketing, she started a career at 19, working her way up the ladder as an assistant to designers at big clothing manufacturers. By the time she was in her mid-twenties, Rosa was burned out and her dream of being in fashion was fading fast.  Enter the legendary Trina Turk who mentored Rosa and suggested she work for her evolving brand on a freelance basis. Says Rosa:  “I learned early in my career that it is not how much money you have in the bank, it is how happy you are, doing what you love.” Now the designer of her own line called House of Who, (follow her on IG @House_of_Who) Rosa creates mystical adornments for the body, soul, and space.  Her success story includes the lessons she has learned as a Chinese-American woman who was determined to forge her own path in a culture that is often driven to the point of exhaustion. The owner of two mid-century modern units at the legendary Ocotillo Lodge in Palm Springs, Rosa is proud to open the doors of her brilliantly bohemian bungalows during Mid-Century Modern Week.  In this interview, she passes on lots of wisdom including:  “Don’t ever think you can’t do anything for any reason. Not for being a minority. Not for being a woman.  Never let anything stop you.  Ever. “ #fashion #trinaturk #palmsprings #midcenturymodernweek #ocotillolodge

Part 2: Dawn Kohler, author of The Messages -224

I knew in the depths of my soul that all of this had a reason. I knew I was going to get to the other side. -Dawn Kohler

Last week’s episode was incredibly powerful and so is part 2 of the story of Dawn Kohler, author of the memoir The Messages. Now an in-demand executive coach who helps her clients re-awaken their purpose and their passion, Dawn is an incest survivor who has spent decades working through her deep sense of loss and shame. Her testimony in this interview is not graphic, but it is brutally honest, so if you have children nearby who might hear this interview, I suggest that you wait for a time when you are alone or with other adults. In this interview, Dawn explains that the inaudible messages she was receiving right around her own daughter’s 5th birthday were triggered by the fact that her father raped her at that very same age. She also discovers that he shared her with other men who were part of a molestation group. Throughout her deep depression and psychotherapy, Dawn’s first husband supported her and somehow, she was able to care for her three children. Says Dawn: “The kids kept me alive. There is no doubt about it. I’m sure I dropped the ball on several occasions, but I wanted to be there for them, no matter what.” Enrolled in the same Tai Chi class as the mother and sister of murder victim Nicole Brown Simpson, Dawn explains how Tai Chi relieves muscle tension and releases feelings of loss and grief. Her experience over a 3 day period when the messages culminated in a profound, divine encounter will remind you of our universal responsibility to love one another or perish. For a life-changing story that simply must be heard, hit that download button. If you or someone you love is experiencing sexual abuse, text HOME to 741741 or go to: to speak immediately to a volunteer crisis counselor.

Dawn Kohler, Part 1, author of The Messages -223

I raised myself. From a very early age, I knew in my heart I was on my own. Nobody was helping me. -Dawn Kohler

What you are about to hear is Part 1 in a series about Dawn Kohler, author of the memoir The Messages. This story needs to be told, but it is also very difficult to hear. If you have children nearby, my strong suggestion is that this episode is not for their ears. Born and raised in San Diego, California, Dawn was the oldest of three children. Her mother was a coal miner’s daughter, originally from West Virginia and her father was from a strict German Catholic family in Ohio. In part 1 of this interview, we learn what life was like in Dawn’s house. She was very independent, didn’t like to be touched, and started working at only 14. Dawn married her high school sweetheart and together they had 3 beautiful children. During the personal computer boom in the 1980s, she and Jeff discovered their niche and founded a computer service company before their 30th birthdays, employing over 50 people. Dawn was the CEO of the business, with plaques on the wall naming her Entrepreneur of the Year when suddenly, she started receiving what she calls internal, inaudible “messages” that told her “this is no longer your way.” She tried to block out these messages by running and swimming, but they just got more intense. One day, she literally could not get out of her car and walk into her office. What happens next will break your heart and then it will lift you up, reminding you of the power of the human spirit. #sexualabuse #incest