Headliner Dana Fuchs is looking forward to July when she will "connect to her audience" at the Blues from the Top Music Festival in Winter Park.
"As exhausting as it is" Fuchs said, she is living her dream touring the world.
At the age of 4 Fuchs was busy writing her own plays to rock music and singing commercials to anyone who would listen. Brought up in a musical family, Fuchs' brother and sister were the first to have a band and allowed her to step on stage. When the crowd roared that night, she was hooked.
Along the path of success and fame there have been many lessons to be learned.
"When I was a teenager I thought it was all about fame and fortune," Fuchs said. "Then reality set in and I realized it was hard work, luck, many disappointments with things not panning out the way you thought."
Fuchs grew up poor with six siblings in Wildwood, Fla. She joined The First Baptist Gospel Choir and it was a "life-changing experience."
Fuchs described the gospel singing she heard as a "celebration, liberation, vocal wailing, mournful songs that were amazing." The experience left her with a lasting impression of - "this is where it is at."
"Gospel started as slave songs. The blues is based on gospel. I play what I call soulful rock and roll," she said.
Her singing took her down unexpected roads and earned her the title of actress.
The producers of the off-Broadway hit "Love, Janis," heard about Fuchs from other cast members. She sang a few bars of "Piece of My Heart" at an audition and she was "offered the role of Janis Joplin on the spot."
In 2007 she portrayed the part of "Sadie" in Sony Pictures' film "Across the Universe." The plot is centered on songs from The Beatles. The film starred Evan Rachel Wood and was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
Fuchs would "absolutely" act again, but after both of these opportunities she was always "ready to hit the road and do music."
Fuchs has learned that it is not about performing for the audience, but making a connection with the people.
"Wow, it has exceeded my expectations to meet so many people. Payoff is way different than I imagined ... deeper and better."
"When you see the faces it is all worth it," she said. "We are all in this together."
Her message is simple - "just be nice to each other. ... nothing makes more sense than compassion. Be kind to everyone you meet, we are all fighting the same hard battle."
The only time she has performed in Colorado was in Telluride and she said it was an incredible experience. She is looking forward to playing in Winter Park.
"I'm excited to reach another part of Colorado. It has such a great reputation," she said.
"I hope people will come out to see someone they are not that familiar with. I hope we can connect. There will be lots of stomping and sweating. Thank you to all of the people who will come to the Festival," Fuchs said.