Passenger Profile: Amanda Wood

By Kenny Kerner
Taxi Member Success Wood
Every so often I come across a TAXI member who is so well versed that having me write the Passenger Profile story is quite useless. Amanda Wood knows how to tell a story and how to put that story into words.

Though I thought long and hard about sending her the appropriate questions, Amanda was brutally honest with answering all of them. She personifies the spirit of the TAXI member. I'm sure you will derive as much pleasure from reading her story as I did. Let's take a look, shall we?

When did you start getting into music? Did you play as a child? What instrument?

AW: Some of my first memories of being on stage come from a musical source. Whether it was for choir, the church play, musical theatre, the school band, or piano recitals, I loved being a part of it all.

I first started off with piano lessons and I have a very clear memory of making a mistake in one of my first recitals and fleeing the stage in a flash of tears and horror. But my mother loved to hear me practicing and I had a natural ear for it so I got away without too much need for hours of scales. I still sit down and play for her when I'm home from time to time.

I played the piano for years and then through my school we learned the ukulele at a young age, which helped us to learn how to read music. Then I moved on to the flute. I just loved playing the flute as fast as I could and again, my mother loved hearing me practice at home.

Then at age 15 I switched schools and decided to switch instruments. So I started to play the trumpet, because I wanted to play something LOUD! Needless to say my mother didn't enjoy the practice with this instrument quite as much and it only lasted for a year.

Did you study music formally or are you self-taught?

AW: Most of my musical training came from my childhood and for that I'm very grateful to my parents for valuing music enough to scrape together money to send me to private lessons. I like to drop in for a few piano and guitar lessons from time to time now in Vancouver to keep sharp, but I consider my voice my main instrument. I feel very blessed to be playing with such a high caliber of musicians, so I leave the fancy stuff to them.

At what point did you think of music as a real career and what did you do to pursue that career?

AW: After being asked to sing in last year's Vancouver International Jazz Festival, I really started to take myself more seriously. Before then I had been pursuing acting as my main career and kept my singing more for the shower. It was after being asked, "What makes you most happy?" That led to my answer... Singing is the most joyful thing I know how to do. It is an expression of my inner most thoughts and passions. I love being able to share that broad palate of emotions with others.

After that I started to really search out ways to learn more. I started to go out and listen to great performers. I started doing a lot of Internet research and I also just sat down and sang for hours every day. I put together photos, a Web site, press kits, business cards, demo CDs, etc. All the tools of the trade.

What was it that made you decide to become a TAXI member?

AW: Michael Laskow's opening letters always did a great job of catching my attention. I sensed in him a caring and compassionate spirit that is not often present in the business world. He seemed to be a person who really did start this company because he wanted to help. I immediately felt that I was one of those people that he was trying to reach out to. It took a few months for me to decide, but the free Road Rally tickets were just the push I needed to make a winning decision. And within a few weeks I was on a three-hour plane ride to L.A., ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

How has TAXI helped you the most?

AW: The Road Rally has been the best experience so far. It was wonderful to meet the staff behind TAXI and of course to meet all of the TAXI members. What an incredible group of people. I had the honor of meeting Alan Reid who has had a lot of attention through TAXI. He is a great success story and we created a song together, all the way from Scotland to Vancouver. That would have never been possible without TAXI bringing us together.

I also had the opportunity to meet Bud Harner VP of Verve and to send him my press/demo kit through TAXI's help and he was very encouraging. I was also able to meet Ralph Murphy in L.A. and then again in Vancouver and we have been in contact about getting together in Nashville to work together. He is a very kind and wise man and he also happens to be Canadian! Yah!

Are you satisfied with TAXI?

AW: Extremely. I have been very busy and have not been able to use the process to my full advantage. (I know that Michael is shaking his finger at me right now. :) ) But I will definitely be there in November (at the Road Rally) to be re-inspired to continue on this creative path.

Have you learned anything from being a member?

AW: I have learned that I am not alone. The beautiful thing about music is that there is room for everyone. I am constantly impressed with the courage and passion of my friends who are musicians and artists. It is hard to take the path less traveled but the rewards are well worth the journey. I feel that I am just at the edge of the path looking out and I am lucky to have a friend in TAXI. Someone who is there to help lead me through the tough spots with well-earned wisdom. I look forward to the next adventure along the way.

Well there you have it. Inspired by the passion and the knowledge that she is not alone. Amanda understands TAXI. She also is getting ready to attend the next Road Rally, which is right around the corner. She can't wait to be there. I can't wait to be there. Hope to see YOU there also!

See How TAXI Works

"I just want a shot, and I feel that TAXI has given that to me."
— Roger Yeardley,
TAXI Member

"Getting all these critques in the mail is encouraging and instructive as well. Thanks for your help!"
— Lisa Knouse,
TAXI Member

"Thanks for creating and maintaining this great organization!"
— Angie Peckham,
TAXI Member

"We appreciate all that you do and try to do to help us struggling songwriters!"
— Pat Harris,
TAXI Member

"Taxi costs a fraction of a songplugging company."
— Jimmy Clark,
TAXI Member

"I must recommend it to anyone I think is serious about songwriting."
— Dwight Nichols,
TAXI Member