Meredith O’Connor, a will know teen pop singer from New York, is a multi-talented model, actress, song-writer, singer and an inspirational speaker. She has trained in classical, Broadway and pop vocals, as well as theater and dance. She has also performed at various venues in Nashville, including the famous Orchid Lounge, and in New York, including the prestigious Highline Ballroom. Recently, Meredith has done modeling work for companies including Lord & Taylor.
Interview by Stephen Thompson, Ph.D.
Welcome to OpenBeast. How did “Celebrity” happen?
Celebrity all happened with one of those farfetched ideas and fantasies of finding fame, etc. for the simple purpose of getting back at someone who broke your heart. It’s something I dreamt about then, and besides the pure love of performing and music that has always been with me, it (at the time) seemed farfetched (smiles), and silly- even then I knew but I wanted to see how it would go over because I knew that other girls could all relate to that feeling. The incredible response it received, radio shows, TV appearances and millions of views was almost accidental and unexpected. The people who liked it shared it a lot, as well as the local news helping me by letting our home town know about it. But of course there was some hate. Being that this was the first song I ever wrote/recorded with a label, the attention I received from it was very new to me, but I couldn’t be more fortunate for that start.
What is “Red Head Randy” all about?
Red Head Randy is a horror flick about a boy, Randy, who was picked on and harassed for his appearance. The premise of the film takes place years after he died a mysterious death and shows his ghosts haunting the schools new bullies. It is scary, entertaining and uplifting because we see certain people learn their lesson in very interesting ways. My role is the Queen Bee, ironically. My character Melissa and I have very little in common, as she mocks peoples race, weight, and just about anything else you can think of, however playing her wasn’t too much of a challenge because the height of the bullying happened just a few years ago in middle school, so it wasn’t too hard to access the mannerisms I was a victim of.
So why do you focus a lot on bullying awareness?
I feel that once someone takes on a platform or some kind of a following, the way I did with the song Celebrity, it automatically became my willing responsibility to help anyone who listed to my music by being the voice letting them know what I went through, in hopes that it might help someone who needed it. It at first was my manager Rick Galvin’s idea to wright a song about it, and being that I have never told my family, or anyone about it made it a scary decision to share the story to millions. However, I couldn’t feel happier about what it does for kids and some fans of mine. I want to be the role model I never had, so I will keep doing the best job I can at it.
What would you consider as your best gig thus far?
Hard to pick just one when I have seen some amazing crowds at concerts and meet and greets, however I can tell you one of my favorite things that I do is not just the concerts but the school presentations. One that will forever stand out to me was at a middle school presentation, one girl, in front of maybe five or six hundred kids, in the back raised her hand and asked what to do if you feel the entire school hates you. I have talked about how that really impacted my experience, and of course answered her question recalling it. After one of the staff members told me she has never spoken in front of people before unless it was one on one. Knowing she felt safe for that one moment really left an impact on me, because I know that now that she faced her fear she can achieve so much more.
Any upcoming projects or initiatives you would like to discuss?
Yes! Signing with Kenny Ortiz, my producer has been such an honor. I am of course excited to release this album which will feature a surprise celebrity, and before it’s released the dance single “Being Me” will be out on iTunes December 19th! I am also working with the creators of the movie “The Fat Boy Cronicles”. For anyone who is a fan of that novel/movie, I can happily tell you there will be a sequel that I am so excited to work on but right now that’s all I can tell you about it!
What are your leisure time activities?
Cooking, playing with animals, and attempting to surf.
To follow Meredith O’Connor, visit www.meredithoconnormusic.com, Instagram @meredithoconnor