Today we’d like to introduce you to Celeste Barbier.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have been singing for my entire life. I started in church as a little girl and was quickly the church soloist. We relocated quite a few times before I turned 18 though so I never really became established in the small towns I grew up in. Although I was born in Laguna Beach, I lived in CO, FL, HI, WA, Australia, TX, VA and made it back to CA when I received a full academic and talent scholarship to attend Chapman University in Orange County where I studied vocal performance under the instruction of Dr. Margaret Dehning & Dr. William Hall.
After college, I ended up taking on a series of unrelated positions and even was even the founder and CEO of a corporation related to the REO industry. No matter what jobs I took or how much money I made or didn’t make, my heart and soul always pulled me back towards music. I had certain insecurities that kept me from pursuing my ambitions and talents in music until I turned 30. It was time to do what I loved the most and I received an overwhelming amount of support from friends, community and new fans. I started performing in a few bands and also “street performing” at various farmer’s markets, antique markets and fundraisers.
In 2012, my spouse and I closed our corporation due to a lack of business and I took a job as a manager of small unique Oddities & Steampunk boutique in Oceanside. During this time, I continued to perform and take on more gigs during the weekends and evenings. I started having people contact me to perform for their weddings, anniversaries, backyard parties, senior community events. I continued to perform on the side as a 2nd job from 2012 until the boutique closed in 2014 at which time I decided to pursue my passion of performing full time.
At first, I wasn’t certain how well I’d be received if I just performed as a solo vocalist with tracks, but the response has been tremendous and I’ve been afforded the opportunity sing solo full time, having anywhere from 20-30 gigs in any given month. My main focus has been performing American Songbook standards from the 1920’s-1970’s, however I have also branched out into other genres at the request of clients and fans performing showtunes, 50’s & 60’s rock, folk, spirituals and more. These styles have proven extremely popular for just about any event or venue, however one of my favorite side jobs is performing this amazing music to the generations that heard it first. I perform for over 20 different independent, assisted living, and memory care senior communities throughout north county. Due to popular demand, II’ve also been revisiting classical genres and started a viral trend called #garageopera that became quite popular on the internet and among fans.
2017 has been an incredible year as my career has taken me not only out of state to Arizona, but also out of the country for my first destination wedding to Cabo San Lucas. Also, this year I added a new service for my wedding couples as an ordained “Singing Minister.” I am officiating my first two weddings in October & November. Also, I took a professional voice over class and am looking to book some voice acting gigs for commercial and narrative work so my career is ever expanding.
When people ask me what I plan to do next, I tell them I am open to whatever opportunities come my way as long as I am able to share my gift and joy of singing with the world. I do want to continue to perform for and officiate more weddings as I’m a hopeless romantic. This career path has been so exciting I never know who will book me next and what doors that gig will open for me next, but I’m ready for anything.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t know if there is such thing as a smooth road for anyone that is embarking on an independent career, however I could say this is the smoothest road I’ve ever been on thus far. The struggles have been the typical worries of where the next gig is going to come from and coming up short for bills. In 2015 someone broke into my vehicle and stole all my equipment, but thanks to the incredible support of community, friends and fans, a GoFundMe was created and the replacement goal was reached within 48 hours so that I could replace everything right away. All my clients have been extremely pleased after booking me, my reviews have been wonderful, but it is always a steady struggle of building a reputation, finding venues willing to pay reasonably and clients to book private or corporate events. One of the more interesting things about my career has been that nearly every single show booked to date came from a referral where someone heard me perform elsewhere. I’ve had absolutely no success whatsoever in soliciting for shows by calling up venues who are unfamiliar with me. In that way I feel my career has been completely organic, but I can’t seem to build it faster than it wants to evolve naturally.
Please tell us about Celeste Barbier Events.
I’m known as a Vintage Vocalist. My style of dress, my microphone, my song choices all spring from the Golden Era of music from the 1920’s-1970’s. I also throw in the occasional contemporary ballad or jazz tune. I sing for weddings, corporate events, festivals, special city events, fundraisers & galas, senior citizens, private backyard parties and so much more. I’m proud that as a soloist I can offer an extremely competitive rate for events yet still provide an incredible customizable ambiance for my listeners and clients. I am very proud that my career has evolved organically and that all my gigs have been booked because someone saw me perform elsewhere. I feel this is an unusual aspect of my career. Solicitation of my services has rarely ever resulted in bookings. I try to offer a sense of healing and unconditional love to my listeners and from the feedback I receive I know that they are picking up on this. A lot of my fans tell me they come to my shows for healing. My hope is to infuse a little love back into the world as well as a sense of sweet nostalgia that comes from the songs that created the soundtrack for past generations. I also always make sure to dress the part so that the visual of who I am fits in context with the music I sing. I love a good Gatsby, Old Hollywood, Rockabilly or USO theme too where I get the opportunity to dress from specific eras. I’m also very popular to book for Halloween & Winter Holiday Parties as I love to sing seasonal music from the 20th century! It’s all so much fun!
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have started much younger, in fact even before college. I found too many excuses that stood in my way of performing during those years. I did so many jobs that really stifled my development as not only an artist, but just as a person, doing what I was “supposed” to do instead of following my calling. I don’t dwell on regrets though, I believe everything happens and unfolds exactly as it should so I’m just grateful to be where I am now and that I can do what I love every day.
- $200 per set of music with a 2 hr minimum
- $200 wedding officiant fee in addition to the 2 hr minimum of music
- Website: www.celestebarbier.com
- Phone: (619)846-0193
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: celestebarbierevents
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/celestebarbierevents
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/celeste-barbier-events-vintage-vocalist-oceanside
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