When you live with an open heart, expect joyful things to happen.
Life is full of surprises and everybody has a story. I have a knack for meeting some interesting and unusual people but the one common denominator is that they all have something to teach me.
Like the time I walked Jia Jia on his 13th birthday (February 14th, 2016) and literally from out of nowhere we met this fun girl Kellie with her two puppet friends and a photographer who was trying to capture shots for Kellie’s new album cover. They expressed interested in using Jia Jia for the cover (as of course, he’s model cover material) and the puppets started talking to him on their own. Kellie didn’t say a word. We were mesmerized! It definitely added some magic to the day and made it an extra special birthday for Jia Jia. And it reminded me of living at home when my brother and I played with a human-like ventriloquist puppet that we would talk to…but it never spoke back.
And it went to prove that my dolls really did speak to me when I was a child.
Ventriloquist Kellie Haines started talking to her stuffed animals at an early age and when she was 8 years old they started talking back! A multi-talented entertainer with a background in theatre, clowning, singing and dance, Kellie and her puppet pals have amazed and delighted audiences of all ages throughout North America.
The theme of my album is about turning challenges into successes. I wanted to get across the idea that it’s okay for children and youth to go through challenges. You can get through hard times but you must never give up, and I wanted to talk about this through music. The songs on this album also connect to when I was growing up on our farm. I had a lot of energy as a child and would often be found climbing up door frames, jumping from trees or daydreaming. If I was worried I would get outside into nature and just ‘be.’ My dad taught us to plant trees every year to give back to the farm. My mom and dad would walk with us three kids and talk to us about our feelings and how we were doing at school. The farm was a refuge for me and a place for me to develop my talents.