Many children conceive elaborate dreams only to outgrow them with age and time. Others, however, pursue that passion and nourish the skill to near perfection. Stacy Mayo knew from a very young age that she was meant for the spotlight, meant to follow her dreams. As a mother, she is now helping foster that same dedication and persistence in her children.
Mayo began singing at the age of 3, loving to dress up and perform for anyone who would pay her the attention. She began with songs by Joe Scruggs, who she watched perform at the local, historical Perot Theatre in downtown Texarkana. To this day, she can still remember those songs and sing along.
What entices Mayo the most is the passion performers exude on stage and now has a way to share that same passion with her family.
“I saw Les Miserables in Dallas, Texas,…and I’ll never forget the passion and emotion that it made me feel. I truly felt the music, the story, the acting, and just everything about it was real to me.”
The experience of the many emotions music conveys is what Mayo finds so comforting. She remembers her first performance in the 8th grade at Pine Street Middle School, helping choreograph musical numbers and sing old, classic songs.
“It was the drama and music students who came together to perform at school functions and we even traveled throughout the community to perform. I was given a small solo to Leaving on a Jet Plane and when I belted it out at rehearsal for the first time, I remember everyone was staring at me like, where did that come from? “
She later earned her first real solo, Love in Any Language, and has been performing ever since. Mayo describes her mother as her number one fan, always support her endeavors and dreams. Mayo deeply trusts her mother’s opinion and guidance. The two spent countless hours rehearsing musical numbers and lines together to ensure Mayo was prepared.
The maternal support carried over through Mayo with her own children, Alexis and David Mayo. She always hoped her children would share her passion for performing arts, and thankfully they have exceeded any preconceived ideas Mayo had.
Mayo’s son, David, 10, has a love of instruments and technicalities of music, even enjoying dance in his theatre performances. He can play the piano, ukulele, guitar, and drums, some of which he self-taught.
Unique for most 10-year-olds, David has a genuine interest in the history of music, delving into the works of Beethoven to the Beatles and Les Miz, learning to dissect and appreciate the composition and orchestration of musical works.
Mayo’s daughter, Alexis, 7, is much like her mother, a born performer, and singer, exuding a lot of soul and poise for such a young girl. She has performed in Silvermoon Children’s Theatre at the young age of 6, channeling her inner Woodstock.
Both children have an interest in theatre, David playing Mowgli in The Jungle Book at the age of 6, eventually going on to play the role of Linus in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, both featured at SCT.
“Both of my kids love to perform on stage and I think it’s wonderful. The theatre is a place of team building, communication and hard work that kids truly benefit from,” explained Mayo. It’s a rewarding experience where everyone works together, whether you are the lead role or in an ensemble, to make something great that receives audience applause. Getting an applause for something you have worked hard to do can be very satisfying.”
Mayo shares her passions and the stage with her children. In 2014, both David and Alexis sang on the Miss Texas stage and received a standing ovation. Mayo is former Miss Texas, earning the crown in 2001 and saying she left with so many friends, memories, and opportunities.
Mayo understands the hard work that must go into growing these talents. Alexis is enrolled in dance at All Stars Dance Company and takes voice lessons from May Ted Mayo, recently performing her first vocal recital to the track of Caste on a Cloud.
“Their level of commitment to these things is what impresses me most,” said Mayo proudly. “There are nerves, but they both push through and then feel so good when they have finished what they started!”
Her son, David, started playing the piano 2 years ago with Mary Ted Mayo. David has received several Superior Ratings in the National Federation Music Festival and playing a medley next week at his school talent show. He also plays the melodica, karimba, boomwhackers and nearly anything that can be transformed into an instrument.
“The medley consists of small segments of four Beatles songs and two Charlie Brown songs that he arranged himself.”
Sharing a passion of music allows for Mayo and her children to bond together emotionally. Recently, the three of them have been engaging in “jam sessions” where they select a song and generate chords to see what they can create.
“We love to arrange different medleys,” said Mayo. “Alexis loves Shake it Off by Taylor Swift, so David started playing the drum beat to it, I played the guitar, and Alexis sang it with some egg shakers keeping the rhythm.”
The Mayo’s are now producing their first collaborative CD. The children had the idea to record their own songs, then some together, and finally some with all three of them. David and Alexis really wanted to incorporate the use of their instruments, from ukulele, guitar, melodica, boomwhackers to egg shakers.
“We sat down on the living room floor one night with pen and paper in hand and wrote down eighteen songs and ideas!”
Coincidentally, Mayo realized Mother’s Day was quickly approaching and she knew this was the perfect project for her gift.
“I wanted to make a true album, complete with tracks, live music, editing, photo shoot, the whole 9 yards!”
She used Chip Bricker, who she has worked with since the age of fourteen at S.M.A.R.T. Studios. She and the kids put in a total of 7 hours straight to complete fourteen tracks on the album.
Mayo loves this concept so much because it’s required a lot of hard work, cooperation, and creativity to complete. This album is something that will carry on for several generations, providing comfort and joy to those who listen.
“As artists, I hope David and Alexis continue to grow creatively, passionately and possess the confidence that can help them in every aspect of their lives.”
Mayo and her children help inspire one another, constantly fostering their love for the arts and music through their bond. Regardless of what medium or venue, singing, playing an instrument, theatre, Mayo wants to be there to help experience those things together with her family.