"I was very lucky because my parents were always great about sending me to different workshops across the country. My mom is a designer, so she would come to market in New York City and bring me along. I was very lucky to have the best of both worlds. I got to get out and be exposed to a lot of interesting things and have the benefits of growing up in a small town."
Having been blessed with the gift of a sweet, pure, expressive voice, she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in music. In 2000, she trained abroad at the Mountview Theater School in London. After graduation, she lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and became a member of the Actor's Equity Association. She was active in the local television and commercial industries. She self-produced a cabaret show "Defying Gravity-A Season of Change" and performed at various venues including Chanhassen Theatres where she was a company member for two years. "In regards to getting distracted on stage, I guess dinner theatre can be full of distractions. It can be interesting to try and stay in character in that context, but it can prepare you for anything."
During her time at Chanhassen, Annie met Billy Barber, a talented pianist and songwriter that she eventually teamed up with to record his original songs. While involved in this project, she worked with Grammy award-winning engineer Tom Tucker at Master Mix Studios and appeared at Dakota in Minneapolis with Billy Barber and the Kenni Holmen trio.
In February of 2005, Annie moved to New York City. "When I moved here, I tried to get involved in as many things as I could. I try to have the attitude that anything that happens too fast isn't going to last. I think I've been very fortunate so far. I started taking a songwriting class at the New School [in Greenwich Village] with a teacher by the name of Henry Gaffney. He helped me get to the next level as far as confidence goes. That class pushed me to not be afraid of myself as an artist or a songwriter and to try and continually push myself into making sure I'm saying what I really feel and getting the message across."
Henry Gaffney encouraged her to contact then projects director, Bob Leone, to become a member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and get involved with their many workshops, showcases and open mike nights. "I went ahead and did that and it was probably one of the best tips I could have gotten. It's a little bit like a support group. In joining, I was able to submit my songs and was chosen to be in a SHOF showcase [in March of 2006] and from that a lot of good things have happened. I've met some people that book venues in New York and have gotten some doors opened there. In June of 2007 I was chosen to be on the Best of New Songwriter's Hall of Fame compilation CD. My song, ‘Ain’t That a Shame,' which was co-written with my friend John Lynn was included on the CD. “I felt very fortunate to be among all those other up and coming artists and writers."
Annie also recorded and released a self-titled EP through AtomicK Records in May of 2006, in which she collaborated with engineer and co-producer Karl Demer and co-writer John Lynn. She has her music on several download sites such as iTunes. When she isn't singing, she loves to paint, travel and spend time with her family and friends. She also admits, "I'm a hockey fan! Big hockey fan, so I like to go watch some hockey games."
While she's enjoying life in New York City, she says, "I love Minnesota. My family is still there and I'm lucky enough to get back there quite a bit."
"I'm very, very close with my family and they definitely inspire me day to day." Her brother John is working on getting his masters at University of Minnesota. "We're really good friends. I'm really proud of him.”
Right now she's doing as much writing as she can in preparation of her upcoming full length album and enjoying life as a newlywed to husband, Ryan, whom she married this past March.
Annie draws inspiration from her keen sense of the world around her. "Definitely the little miracles in the day-to-day things inspire me. Human interaction, especially in this city, tends to be a little harder than others. You know, it is what it is, but I always really appreciate having those little moments with people where they kind of take the wall down and are kind to each other."
"I try to spend time going to different museums and taking in the culture here. You never know what’s going to give you an idea for a song, or something you want to convey to other people. I really just want to keep creating music and keep trying to communicate with people that way. I would love to be able to do that on a full time basis. Now you know, of course, you have to pay the bills, so I have a couple of other things that I do on the side that I enjoy as well. But, I'd really love at some point in time to be able to do it on a more regular basis, do some touring. Maybe some day, that will come. Until then, I'll just keep plugging away, taking it day by day."
As for her career, she says, "I try to not get too caught up in it. You can get sucked into the business of music. I'm lucky that I have a couple of people who remind me to make sure that's its always fun, because that's why I started doing it. I hope people like and enjoy my music. I hope that it makes them feel something.”