Sitting Down with Tara (SHEawase)

Tara Muchmore
タラ・ムチュモレ
Sub-leader
SHEawase (SHEあわせ ) seems to be keeping itself busy this year. Working on their album, announcing a graduating member, holding an audition and finally --- presenting their newest member, Maxine Ortner. The group also recently reached a milestone of having more than 3000 likes in Facebook. If that wasn't enough, they are participating in the US Tour of NekoNeko Maid and Host Club!

For those who are new to the net idol fandom, SHEawase is an indie idol group composed of Melissa Shows, Tara Muchmore, Morgan Davis and Maxine Ortner.

If you don't know these girls, you should because these girls have set the bar high for indie idol groups everywhere.

While all the girls have a charm of their own, only Tara holds the title of the group's lovable redhead.

On stage, she is a dynamic dancer and a quirky performer. Off stage, she is the group's sub-leader who helps in any way she can. She take care of their website, organize all of the equipment and merchandise, run their booth, help with the scheduling of rehearsals. There is more to being in SHEawase than just cute costumes and rehearsals are not to be taken lightly in SHEawase.

Performing at the NekoNeko Music Festival
at Akon 2013 with SHEあわせ
(Photo by Neil Dronet)
Though Morgan and Maxine are known to goof around once in a while, there is no denying from their performances that they are a hardworking and determined group. They have everything I looks for in my idol checklist.

  • Colorful Costumes ✓
  • Cute Songs ✓
  • Quirky and Likable Personalities ✓
  • High-Level Performance  ✓
Previously, we got to know the group's Empress and Leader, Melissa. Now its time to do the same with their quirky little princess, Tara. 

 So, get to know SHEawase’s Tara Muchmore:

Aidolizings: Did you start performing before SHEawase?
Tara: Yes, I’ve been performing for most of my life.  I started performing first when I was very little, 5 years old I think?  I did ballet and tap, later on adding jazz to that, and taking a hip hop and swing dancing classes later on.  I also took piano and voice lessons, performing recitals with others students.  I played percussion as well, performing solos, ensembles, concerts and in marching band.  I did sword fighting, performing in shows at local renaissance and medieval fairs.
Happy!Project Collage (2010)
Members:
Melissa, Tara, Morgan and Kristy 

A: When did you start performing with SHEawase?
T:  I joined SHEawase when it was still Happy! Project a year after it started so December 2007, I think!

A: Rate yourself performance-wise from 1-10.
T:  I think I’m probably at a 5 maybe?  I need to improve a lot to be a better performer.

A: What are your strengths and weaknesses as a performer?
T:  My biggest weakness is definitely memorizing lyrics.  It takes me a lot longer than it takes the other girls.  I don’t really think I have much of a strength in performing, though others think it’s my dancing.  I see that I still have a lot to work on with dancing.

A: What is the one thing you want to improve on the most?
T:  Picking just one thing is really hard!  Though I think I would have to say learning the lyrics.  If I could do that faster, I would be able to pick up a lot more songs.

(L to R) Haruna Iikubo, Sayumi Michishige, Mizuki Fukumura
and Riho Sayashi from Morning Musume'14
(Photo from Nihonggo.com)
A: Who do you look up to most as a performer?
T: I look up to quite a few Japanese groups that do things like this.  Singing and dancing at the same time is extremely difficult, so any group that is able to do that really impresses me.  I think two of the biggest would probably be Morning Musume and AAA.  Their concerts are incredible and they put so much into each one.  I want to be a performer like they are!  

A: Why did you decide to join SHEawase?
T:    I really love performing.  So I think I would be performing in SOME way even if I wasn’t in SHEawase. A friend of mine had introduced me to Japanese music, and I loved it.  There was just something about it that really struck me.  Whether pop or rock, it really didn’t matter.  I started off in the online cover groups when that same friend, who I had later performed a dance cover with, told me about the group.  I was amazed that there were people that got together and did these dance/singing covers all the time, and really just wanted to be a part of it.  
(L to R) Tara, Morgan, Melissa and Maxine

A: Do you have a hard time singing in Japanese?
T: Not really.  I think the only issue I have with it is memorizing at first.  But once I get the song learned, it really is fun.  The language isn’t really an issue.

A: You could have chosen to be an English performer, why choose to be a Japanese performer?
T: I just love the music.  It doesn’t matter if it’s pop or rock, Japanese music just has something to it.  It’s a lot more fun to sing than I think a lot of English songs are for some reason.  I don’t think I would have been able to do anything like what I’ve done in SHEawase as an English performer.

A: What makes you different from the other girls in the group?
T: I think that I pick up the songs details quite a bit quicker, and I am able to teach it to them.  I also think that I stand out a bit with my red hair.

A: If you could be anyone else in SHEawase or the Happy!Project, who would you be and why?
(L to R) Melissa, Tara, Maxine and Morgan.
T: I think there is something that I would like to take from each of them.  However, if I could only pick one, I would probably pick Melissa.  She’s very charismatic in everything.  She's got this personality that others are drawn to, and is this amazing performer on stage.  I think she’s an incredible dancer, and I tell her all the time that I wish I had her voice.

A: What is your song to perform with SHEawase?
T:  There are so many!  I really enjoy performing our own songs, because they are OURS, and we can say that this is a song that WE sing, and not just a cover.  3, 2, 1 Breakin’ Out is always fun.  It’s very high energy and we’ve performed it so much, we can just have fun with it without worrying about choreography and lyrics. Melissa and I have also been performing Itoshisa no Accel, which I enjoy performing.  It’s really a great sound, and I love to sing it.

A: What is the hardest part being in SHEawase?
(L to R) Tara, Morgan and Melissa
at the SHEawase booth 
T: It’s very time and money consuming.  We spend an insane amount of both to be able to do what we do.  All the equipment, merchandise, costumes, website, everything is purchased and created by us, the only exception being the music as we work with our label on that.   We spend long hours preparing before every event from learning the music, choreography to all the rehearsals that it takes to get it right.  But we think it’s very worth it!

A: What is your favorite part about it?
T: Performing!  I love performing.  It’s so strange to say that, as I was so shy on stage as a child.  Everything that goes into performing at an event from meeting all these amazing people at the concert or booth, to just being on stage dancing and singing with these 3 amazing girls.  It’s just wonderful.

Performing at the NekoNeko Music Festival
at Akon 2013 with SHEあわせ
(Photo by Neil Dronet)
A: Have you ever received criticisms from people who think what you do with SHEawase is strange?
T: Yes, I’ve had to deal with a lot of people who were very negative about it.  Some were family members and some were people that I worked with.  I once got told that I would “grow out of it” in a very condescending voice.  It really hurt.

A: How do you deal with it?
T: I have to look at it from my perspective.  If I wasn't doing this, what would I be doing?  Would I be having this much fun doing something that I absolutely love?  I really don’t think so.  Not only that, but I’ve met my best friends and sisters from doing this.  I wouldn’t have released two cds, which were on itunes, spotify and other places.  I wouldn’t have been able to travel to all these amazing events.  I would probably be really bored, and really unhappy with my life.  By stepping back and thinking about that, I can look at how much it means to me, and the words other people say really don't affect me at all.  Not only that, but there are 3 other people that are also dealing with the same thing.  We lean on each other for support when we need it, like in that kind of a situation.
SHEあわせ with the Neko Neko Maid and Host Club

A: What do you want to accomplish this 2015 with SHEawase?
T: There are SO many things that were amazing that happened in 2014.  We reached a lot of milestones in the group.  I think 2015 will be even better.  We are participating in the Neko Neko 20IchiGO Tour featuring SHEawase that will be visiting 3 states!

We have a new CD that should be coming out soon, and are hoping to be in the recording studio again soon to continue working on our EP and start our next single!  There are a couple of other things that are extremely exciting that are being discussed right now that I can’t share about yet.  But we’ll let you know as soon as we can!
(L to R) Maxine, Morgan, Melissa and Tara

A: What is the first thing that pops to you mind when I say “NAME OF GROUP MEMBER”?  First up, Melissa!
T:  Pink Empress.  Haha… Don’t tell her I said that though, okay?

A: Morgan?
T: Sweet and snarky… somehow at the same time.  Not sure how that works.

A: Maxine!
T: Fudanjuku, Kudo (Haruka), and Strawberries.

A: Do you have any last messages to your fans?
T: Thank you SO much for supporting us!  We enjoy getting meet you all and will continue to work hard for you!

Encore

Before we ended, I had one last question. I believed it was an important one too. There are groups like SHEawase popping up every year. SHEawase had the advantage of years of experience under their belt, so I asked, "What is the most important when starting a group? Where do they start? The costumes, the dances --- maybe technique?"

Tara took her time before answering. This was not a question that should be answered carelessly. While she agrees that  practicing, costuming, and such are important, there are other things that a group needs that are very often overlooked.

T: There are several things that I recommend doing if you want to start your own group.

  • Have a Partner.
    Tara (Sub-Leader) and Melissa (Leader)
T: It's important to have someone in a co-leader or sub leader position. You want this person to be someone you get along with very well and who has the same goals and vision for the group as you do. Having someone to help you make decisions, split the workload, and be a sounding board is so very important.

  • Set Goals
T: Before you do anything, think about what you want the group to be. Have a vision and goal for the group. This can change over time as you hit each goal. 
  • Hold Auditions, but Set a Standard.

SHEawase with Beckii Cruel, RYUTist, Ally and Sally
at the Idol Matsuri 2014
T: Auditions are really important. We learned this from our group.

At the beginning, anyone who wanted was let into the group. They didn't have the same goals or vision for the group and didn't want to put in the work.

Now, we do a 2-step audition process which involves an application then an in person audition. Be very specific about what to expect, what you have planned, and where you want to go.
  • Ask Questions
T: Don't be afraid to ask leaders of other groups for help. They've been through this and have tips and tricks that could help you. 

Links:


SHEあわせ Website: http://sheawase.com/
SHEあわせ Facebook Account: https://www.facebook.com/SHEawase
SHEあわせ Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/SHEawaseOfficial
SHEあわせ Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/SheAwase

(Or) Address:

SHEawase
PO Box 950452
Oklahoma City, OK
73195



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