5 Questions with Sarah Dooley



On March 12, Sarah Dooley will perform as part of The Songwriter’s Orchestra, a new ensemble that pairs up-and-coming singer/songwriters with an 11-piece chamber orchestra consisting of strings, winds, brass and percussion. Sarah hails from Indiana but currently resides in Brooklyn. We asked her a few questions about her performance preferences, pre-show rituals, and more.
1. Tell our readers about yourself and how you first started making music. 
I’m from a small town in Indiana and have been living in New York for the last 8 years. This means that I’m a very polite Midwestern girl at heart but I won’t hesitate to body check you if you’re standing in front of the subway doors when I’m trying to get out. I first started making music in high school when I had just way too many emotions and my livejournal wasn’t cutting it after a certain point. I’d also heard Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine for the first time and it changed everything. 
2. Songwriter’s Orchestra brings musicians from countless genres together. The ensemble features vocalists from Broadway, up and coming rock guitarists, and more. What’s your musical background? What do you bring to the ensemble? 
I grew up idolizing singer-songwriters like Carole King and later Regina Spektor, but I also did a lot of musical theater, so my stuff is a weird lovechild of those genres. 

3. What does it mean to be a part of the Songwriter’s Orchestra? Are you traditionally a solo performer or do you play music with a band? What sort of experience can our readers expect on March 12?
Being a part of the Songwriter’s Orchestra is like watching your songs get all dressed up for the ball. I’ve recently started playing with a band but before that my shows were pretty bare bones–just me and a piano. Then Solomon comes along and after a quick make-over montage, my little songs are suddenly part of a lush soundscape of strings and horns and it’s beautiful and The Songwriter’s Orchestra is just the best and I love them.
4. Can you tell us a bit about a concert you truly enjoyed being part of? Who was on the bill? What was the venue?
I once performed at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival at the Bell House in Gowanus, which was insane because people like Fred Armisen and Mike Birbiglia were also on the bill. It’s terrifying to be a musician on a bill of mostly comedians because my songs are funny, but they’re not, like, Weird Al parodies. Still, I played an original and a cover of “Paper Planes” and got some laughs and it was pretty exciting. Especially because I was a sophomore in college at the time and thought Gowanus was a Tolkien character.
5. Do you have any pre-show rituals (or even, superstitions) that you have to do before taking the stage?
My main pre-show ritual is a full-day sulk. I get really nervous before shows, so I just kind of mope about my apartment in a cold sweat, eating dry cereal. I was born to perform! 
Catch Sarah #LiveatLPR with Kate Davis, Eisa Davis, and more next Saturday, March 12th. Tickets are on sale at LPR.com now.