Singer-songwriter Mandy Dickson began her music career at age 2, making her stage debut by stealing the microphone from her sister and grandmother at a church event.
Ever since, performing has become second nature, and she has sung in church choirs, at sporting events and even with an international Disney concert tour.
Dickson grew up in Dublin and graduated from Dublin Scioto High School in 2004. She began her career with Disney after majoring in musical theater at the Boston Conservatory. She performed as Ariel, who happens to be her favorite princess, in "The Little Mermaid" stage show.
"Ariel has a very special place in my heart because she was my childhood hero," Dickson said. "She inspired me to be passionate and go after what I want and be curious about the world."LISTEN IN
Dickson then sang in a Disney concert tour in Japan, traveling for three months and playing 56 shows; she often was backed by an orchestra featuring anywhere from 55 to 95 musicians. She returned a few years later to tour Asia once again -- this time in Japan, Singapore and Taiwan -- with a spring concert series.
Between Disney tours, she worked as a lead singer and vocal captain on Royal Caribbean International cruise ships, where she met her husband, Tim.
On one such cruise, the duo created "An Evening With Mandy And Tim." It was an eclectic show comprising all of the music they love, from Dolly Parton to Michael Buble, with comedy segments thrown in.
Although she often has performed in front of audiences of 2,000 or more, Dickson said she never has suffered from stage fright. Instead, the stage "just feels like home."
Dickson now lives in Los Angeles and has taken a break from performing Disney tracks, opting to work on her original pop music. She released a Christmas album in 2017, available on all streaming platforms, and is writing new music.
Dickson said she draws inspiration from artists like Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, who articulate deeply personal feelings. As a lyricist, Dickson aims to do the same, drawing from personal experience to write her music.
And her tendency for narrative-driven songwriting -- stemming from her musical-theater background and an intense love of movies -- makes her music theatrical.
Although she does not yet have concrete plans to release music, Dickson will continue to update her online presence as decisions are made, so it is best to stay up to date through her social-media accounts.
Abby Jeffers is a senior at Columbus Academy and a feature writer for In The Record Store. Each week, ThisWeek is featuring a local music feature from the organization, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.