Jack of All Trades: An Interview with Singer/Songwriter, Actress, and Published Author, Kendra Muecke

Kendra Muecke is a singer/songwriter, writer, actress and published author, originally from Houston, Texas, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. She is very connected spiritually and uses her spirituality in her art. She also likes to open up channels for conversations on tough issues. She also helps other artists grow, aiding in advertising and marketing. 

How did you get into acting?

Kendra: When I was 4 or 5 years old, I saw a girl on the TV screen and she caught my eye. She had a twinkle in her eye and I asked my mom if that’s what being a movie star was and she said yes. Then I went down to start doing theater lessons that next week and I’ve been acting ever since, starting in the theater and musical theater. 

What do you love most about acting?

Kendra: I love just the feeling of being able to navigate emotions and surf that wave of feeling and be so attached to it and also be able to be unattached to it. It’s helped me learn in my day-to-day life that I can feel and enjoy an experience and go through an experience without having to take it on as baggage.

What has been the most exciting role you’ve played?

Kendra: I like a lot of different roles, roles that I like most often – while of course I like comedic roles – is the psychological, very philosophical, deep thinker. I played this one character in a play called ‘Night, Mother in college where she (trigger warning) ends up taking her own life  at the end of the play. I know that’s not super positive, but I was able to have those moments of tears welling up in my eyes. I’m pretty good at crying onstage and on camera so I like those moments when I’m able to show the vastness of being able to harness that sadness. I also deal with sadness as an artist through songwriting or whatever it is. It just feels like there’s so much going on in the world, so to be able to have a character who has those little moments of “I might cry, I might not cry” and it’s all showcased right behind the eyes.

When did your singer/songwriting career pick up?

Kendra: I have been singing forever. I started in musical theater singing and then in high school I discovered rock and roll, like Led Zeppelin, ACDC, and CCR. I started going to rock band camp too, kind of like School of Rock, where I would perform in front of 250-300 people and that’s when I realized I love to sing rock and roll. I love the music, being on stage and I loved to rock. I got to be up there, playing myself as a rock star. I then started playing the guitar and kept playing guitar throughout college. Post-college, I had that moment of, “What am I doing with my life? What’s the meaning of life? Who am I?,” but I kept having these signs from God or the Universe or whomever the signs were from – it is different for everyone  – the first one saying “Your poetry is really important, focus on this.”

Then the next sign would say “Your guitar, this is really important”, and then “Your voice is important.”  It was so weird because all these things were so obvious; poetry, guitar, singing. Put it all together, but for a year or six months I kept asking myself “what do I do with my life?” Then all of the sudden it just hit me, in almost a panic attack because I get very energized with something and it starts in my body and I’m like “what’s going on?” and sometimes when I don’t know how to handle it, it can move into that panic feeling. I had one of these while I was at work and I told my manager I needed to go home and when I got home I felt the need to play the guitar and then it all clicked. I officially launched in 2019, but I started the journey of preparing myself to put myself out there in 2016. I developed for about two years before I launched as Kendra and the Bunnies. 

Can you tell us about your poetry?

Kendra: My first book is The Politics of, that’s the title, but then I also have my name underneath so it’s The Politics of Kendra. This is over 300 pages, some of the poems have two lines, there are essays too and original photography. I published this in 2017 and it’s so close to my heart. There is about 10 years of poetry, one act plays, essays and photographs. I’m very psychic, so it becomes psychedelic in the way that I phrase some stuff and I make people think. I’ve gotten responses from this book where people say “I didn’t know anyone else thought like that”. My second book was released in September of 2019, it is a long form prose poem split into 13 parts. My favorite poet is Walt Whitman. So, this is my ode to self called Project Non Arch Operation Clown School. I said exactly what I meant to say, and they are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or directly from me. 

How did it feel to be published? 10 years of poetry, you’ve been writing for a long time, did you ever imagine you’d be a published poet?

Kendra: No I never imagined that, but also yes I imagined it. I wanted to write a book but I didn’t know what I wanted to write about, and I had all of my journals and I thought I could put that together in a book. As I was doing that, I realized the ease of it, and the dominoes perfectly lined up. I pictured it and yet I didn’t and once I realized it was so important to me I just continued walking on the path. After I published my first book, I realized I can publish a book whenever, I’m actually working on my third one right now. This one is a book of poetry, song lyrics, song meanings and some photography. One of the songs I wrote that was super popular in 2020, I had just gotten back from travelling to New York City, and I realized how much I loved it, walking tall to and from the subway station. When I got back to LA, the first license plate I saw said NYKO, and I thought, “New York Knock Out”. So I wrote the song centered around that idea because that is how I felt. So I include things like that in the book. And then the next book is a memoir. 

How have all of the things you’ve been involved in been impacted by the pandemic?

Kendra: The pandemic is of course a wild card that all of us are adjusting to. The good thing about the pandemic is that I’m really active on social media and I’m good at reaching out to people digitally so I just did what I was doing at home. I had a bunch of gigs scheduled in San Francisco and West Hollywood and LA, and instead of going to them in person I just did them online, and the next thing I knew, 3 months had passed. So I figured this was just how it was going to be now. The pandemic has been okay in a lot of ways, on the other hand, it’s like, what’s the next thing for the music industry? Because touring brings in a lot of revenue and the way musicians make income has changed a little bit. It’s a day-to-day thing and I have just become resourceful. 

What does spirituality mean for you and when did you become really grounded in it?

Kendra: When I first started to spiritually awaken, it was like my third eye opened and then I was like an ice cream cone and I just tipped over, so full of feeling and information. I grew up in a religious home, I went to schools in places that had faith, I sang worship songs, and I went to worship summer camps. It was always kind of a personal thing, we in our family knew that faith was important, but it was up to each individual on how much we implement that in our day-to-day lives. In college, I started to have some of my “spidey senses” flare up, a little bit of psychic abilities and knowing things before they happen first. I started doing open eye meditation so I was able to start seeing energies. I remember one time in my early 20s I was doing this and I was looking at myself in the mirror and my lights started flashing and there was a zap onto my candle, and everything was rainbow and I realized that this was real. Once I had that experience I started implementing it in my day-to-day life. So, the visual part happened and I worked through that and then it resided a little bit, then the emotional parts and psychic parts and just feeling stuff out. I knew if I kept working through it, things would make sense, and now that I’m on the other side of it, I’m realizing there are so many people who experienced these types of things. 

How has your spirituality impacted your work?

Kendra: It means that I’m being super conscious of what I am being a mouthpiece for. If something comes up I ask “does this feel okay?” or “does it feel positive?” I have to see if the song is going to be a character going through something negative, or are they going to work through it, and if they are just going through something negative, can I paint the picture that it’s a compartmentalized story? It plays a role in how I write because I am conscious of how the information is going to be taken in by the listener. 

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to go into any of your industries?

Kendra: My advice for people who are spiritually waking up and want to do energetic healing is to find groups on Facebook, and find communities in your area with people like you, also read books by people who’ve come before you, and just know you’ll get through it and talk to someone about it. For music and acting, it’s different for everyone, but believe in yourself. If you are being called in your heart and this is something you want to do, believe in yourself because you are your strongest foundation. All comments and all press are good, because we can control how we feel about it, but we can’t control that person’s perspective from when they wrote their comment. Also, cut out the drama if and when you can. For writing, just start writing and then you can edit after. 

What difficult topics do you like to talk about?

Kendra: Every topic is difficult this year, I feel like. I like to talk about social things, however sometimes I stay away from politics because it gets so intense really quickly, but if I’m talking to someone and they want to talk about politics I will totally talk about politics. I also like to talk about social change, religion, and rights. I will bring people onto my podcasts to talk about these types of things and I approach it like, they have a perspective and I have a perspective, how can we create a shared understanding between the two.

You can connect with Kendra through her Instagram here

Check out her upcoming show dates.

Written by Caroline Harting

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