Ask A Cabaret Question Wednesday At McElrath Cabaret–Who Or What Inspired You To Become A Cabaret Entertainer?Join the Conversation!

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Here is India Adams, with the song “A Man In My Pocket” from her 1959 album entitled Comfort Me With Apples.    James Gavin, in Intimate Nights, relates that she performed at the Blue Angel and was the soundtrack voice for Joan Crawford in the 1953 film Torch Song, as well as the film voice for Cyd Charisse in The Band Wagon (361).  You can learn more about India Adams at her website, and she will be appearing at the Catalina Bar and Grill of the Catalina Jazz Club, July 13-14, 2012, in Hollywood, California.  Enjoy!


Wednesday is the day of the week when we at McElrath Cabaret will post a cabaret question for the consideration of our readers.


The questions will have something to do with cabaret, in all its many aspects. The question may take the form of a poll, to which we encourage you to respond, or it may be a question posed to the cabaret community, to which you can leave your response in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


We encourage you to send us any cabaret question that you have that you would like us to pose to the group! You can leave a question in the comments section below, or you can email it to us at kjandathenacabaret [at] Just fill in the [at] with the @ symbol—we need to foil the spam bots, don’cha know.


Today’s question is this: What or who inspired you to become a cabaret entertainer?


I had a conversation online with one of our blog readers, and she was my inspiration for this post, so thank you, Karen!  I didn’t get introduced to cabaret until I was in my 20s, when I met my future husband.  He played jazz standards and show tunes on piano, and I became enamored of them (and of him!).


He had a double album that one of the other performers had given to him when he was working on a cruise ship in the show band, and it was a recording of Bobby Short.  I loved every song on it.  I loved the way Bobby Short played with the lyrics through his acting choices.  I loved the way his voice sounded.  I loved the fun and elegance that he combined in each of his renditions.  I was told that this is cabaret, and from that moment on I was hooked.


It took me several years and mentors to really understand what goes into becoming a cabaret entertainer and how to craft a show, because you need to remember that I was way out in Washington State, on a farm–there were no cabaret rooms anywhere near where I lived.  There were no books on what cabaret was, or how to perform in a cabaret show, so I had to piece it together by talking to others who knew more, by reading whatever snippets I could find, and by listening to Bobby Short and others entertainers that I began to learn about.


My learning curve took a dramatic upward rise when I made the acquaintance several years ago of 2 transplanted New Yorkers who were around during the heyday of New York City cabaret, and they told us all about it and what the shows were like.  They gave us ideas and helped us with putting together our first shows.


I finally found that cabaret book that I had long searched for, and it’s Bob Harrington’s The Cabaret Artist’s Handbook, edited by Sherry Eaker.


All of this, plus I would have to say Judy Garland, although not exclusively a nightclub entertainer, is still the world’s best entertainer, and she was very inspirational to me, as well as Julie Wilson.


So who or what inspired you to become a cabaret entertainer?  Let us know down in the comments section!  


I truly look forward to your joining the conversation with your comments! We value each of our readers very much, and hope to entertain you and give you a place to come and learn more about cabaret.


Till next time, 

ps–The Cabaret Soiree Link Party is still going strong–you can visit anytime to click on the links and see what others have posted, or you can share your own recent cabaret blog or cabaret website link from now through Thursday.  Link is below.

Weekly Post Lineup At McElrath Cabaret:

Mondays:  Cabaret Soiree Cabaret Blog Link Party

Tuesdays:  Cabaret Tip Tuesday

Wednesdays:  Ask A Cabaret Question

Thursdays:  Featured Cabaret Blog, Website, Performer

Fridays:  Cabaret Through Time

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About Athena at McElrath Cabaret

Athena McElrath is an entertainer with a love for theatre and singing. She enjoys delving in the area of historical cabaret, researching the singers and clubs that were in business from before 1920 to the present, in New York and beyond.
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2 Responses to Ask A Cabaret Question Wednesday At McElrath Cabaret–Who Or What Inspired You To Become A Cabaret Entertainer?Join the Conversation!

  1. Well, Athena! Thanks for the awesome mention! Of course, as you know, Nancy LaMott is one of the main reasons I love cabaret so much! Also, a contemporary person of note and a stunning singer and also one of my teachers from a workshop that we had here in Vegas, is Lina Koutrakos! She is an amazing woman, teacher and singer! Have a most wonderful Thursday! ;-)

    • So nice to hear from you, Karen–thank you for stopping by the blog and leaving a nice comment! I have only heard a very little bit of Ms. Koutrakos, so now I will need to look her up and learn more.