They can’t talk yet, but they just won’t leave that baby kitchenette alone. 17 years later, they’re in culinary school. Others, like Jocelyn Faro ’16, take a little bit longer. But when the passion hits, it sticks.
During her sophomore year at Broadneck High School in Annapolis, Faro and one of her friends signed up for a talent show a few months down the road. Neither of them knew how to play the guitar, and they’d never really sung. But they didn’t see that as an obstacle.
“My parents told us, ‘There’s no way you guys are going to learn how to play the guitar in four months,’” Faro says. “So then we thought, ‘We’re going to do it, just to prove them wrong.’”
And prove them wrong they did. Playing a song that Faro had written, she and her friend were a hit. When they signed up for the next year’s talent show, the organizers wanted to give them more time and multiple slots.
From there, Faro just kept performing. Originally, she was more interested in the guitar and considered her singing abilities a lucky break; now, she has trouble separating them.
“When I go on stage and I don’t have my guitar, I freak out a little bit. I don’t know what to do,” says Faro. “But when I try and play the guitar and not sing, I can’t do that either.”
Faro’s first attempt at singing without her guitar was a big one. Last summer, she traveled with her mother to the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., climbed the stairs up to the private box seating and waited with ten other people to audition for NBC’s “The Voice.”
“I sang a Paulo Nutini song called ‘Last Request,’” Faro says. “That was the first time I had ever just sung without the guitar, and they called my name. I just thought ‘Oh my god, did that just happen?’”
A week after being selected, Faro made her way to New York for the next round of auditions. There, she sang in front of a six-person panel, into a camera. Her mother sat and watched since she was under 18. No pressure, right?
“It was really scary. At that point, I wasn’t playing any open mics; I hadn’t really performed anywhere outside of school,” Faro reflects. “Plus, I’d never stood and played the guitar. I’d only sat and played.”
In the end, the panel told her that they really liked her voice, but that she needed to work on her stage presence. Faro holds them no ill will (she says they’re the classiest people she’s ever met), and is considering taking another shot at “The Voice” this summer.
In the meantime, she’s taken their advice and played nearly non-stop. On top of performing at open mic nights and smaller venues around town, she’s managed to record a CD (due out in May), have a successful start as a defenseman on the varsity field hockey team, won WAC Idol, declared her biology major and psychology minor, opened for hellogoodbye and entered into the nursing program.
“With regards to music and nursing, it’s sort of just wherever one takes me. I like both of them so much,” Faro says. “If something really big happened with my music, I would never turn it down. But right now, it’s just fun to be in front of people.”
And we’re happy to listen.
Recorded at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre by Steve Payne