Tracy Marie: Performer, vocalist, and songwriter - Dysplasia and Osteoarthritis  - Genre: Blues, Rock, & Country

Tracy Marie: Finding your Inner Musician
by Derek Mortland (by permission)

Performer, vocalist, and songwriter Tracy Marie infuses her music with energy, enthusiasm, and eclecticism. She has been performing live on the Cleveland, Ohio, music scene for over a decade, including organizing the Breast Fest at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a benefit concert of female performers to help raise funds for breast cancer prevention.

In listening to her first two CD offerings, Sheik European Assassin Woman ©2000, and The One in the Sun ©2003, I found Tracy singing everything from hard-driving rock and roll to country, and even heartfelt ballads. She is in the process of working on her third release, tentatively titled True Blue. Tracy stretches her wings and infuses her new music with the soul of Chicago Style Blues, an ironic new love.

Tracy has had both hips replaced and credits the surgeries with improving her mobility and limp. On a normal day, though, she has problems standing for more than 5-10 minutes before pain sets in because of the dysplasia and osteoarthritis. In spite of that, she prefers to perform standing, commenting that something about performing allows her to remain on her feet for an hour without feeling pain.

To accommodate her disability, she usually has an assistant or two help her with equipment and set-up for performances. She would rather pay for someone to assist her than let her disability determine what she can do. She does not want to compromise her music or creativity in this way. “I have more knowledge and understanding of life than what I would have without my disability. Friends of mine seem to grow sad as they get older and get arthritis or other ailments. For me, this is all I’ve ever known, and I’m still happy.”

Tracy states that she has seen both sides of the fence. Although there may be certain prejudices that exist against people with disabilities, especially as performers, she says there are prejudices against people because they look good too. Her disability is not always visible or apparent to people; she says that people have also doubted her abilities because of her perceived beauty.

“It’s all about your view and how you look at things. You can always think of reasons why you didn’t get a gig or a performance, but you may not know the real reasons. Don’t give up, and don’t let one opinion ruin you. Reject the rejections, and move on to the next person.”