Cinderella had her shoe, and Snow White her prince, and both lived happily ever after. But if you look closer, their tales weren’t filled with puppy dogs, heart shaped chocolates and notebooks with “Mrs. Prince Charming” scrawled all over them. Even in fairy tales, we learn that the way to happiness is paved with hard work and trust; and that life will throw a wicked stepmother at you every so often. Following your heart from the start, oh it’s hard.
Stacy Clark’s life is something of a fairy tale. Today, she sits atop her throne in Orange County, in high demand as a singer/song-writer. Thanks to her songs played on MTV, ABC Family, CW and BRAVO networks, a pair of California music awards and a summer in which her voice was projected over the Silver Screen at Renoir Cinemas in Spain, Stacy is lading gigs from New York to California – and beyond. Yet, it wasn’t too long ago that the self-taught guitarist and pianist had to overcome a monster that would make many a princess crawl back into bed and forget about their dreams. Idiopathic thrombocytopenia, a rare – and sometimes deadly – blood platlet disorder struck Stacy while she was attending Grand Island High School in Western New York (otherwise known as the coldest place on earth).
“Being diagnosed with I.T.P. was both a relief and scary,” Clark says. “A relief to know I didn't have cancer; scary because there is no known cure for I.T.P.”
Stacy is the type of fearless person who uses a broken hand from soccer practice as an excuse to go snowboarding. Literally. So, to hear her say she was scared is noteworthy.
“It sometimes takes hard times to make you realize that it is the simple things in life we take for granted ... and how our time here is really limited,” she says. “When I was sick I all I could think about was getting back into the studio.”
Though the odds weren’t in her favor, Stacy pressed on. Instead of cowering, she fought bravely and overcame the disease. Realizing an inner courage, she became even more determined to make it as a musician – and as a role model.
Stacy and friend Russel Hornbeek formed Music Saves Lives, a nonprofit program run in conjunction with the American Red Cross. MSL promotes a positive, youth-oriented blood-giving experience. At select sites, donors receive a compilation CD with rare tracks from top indie-rock acts such as Panic! At the Disco, Jacks Mannequin, Plain White Tee’s, The All American Rejects and Yellowcard.
“It’s not painful,” Clark says of the donation process. “People think it’s painful, but it’s not.”
I need you to believe in me and these dreams … everything is going to change.
Over the years, Stacy has developed an almost magical ability wherein she can captivate anyone around her. With a free spirit and a knack for saying just the right thing at the right time, any amount of time spent with her is akin to being whisked away to a place where you’re the center of attention, and the reason the crowd has gathered.
Of course, the crowd has come to see Stacy perform. After a breakout 2006, a year in which the performer captured both the Inland Empire Music Award for Best Out of County Artist and the Southern California Music Award for Best Female Performer, music fans of all ages are discovering Stacy’s talents. In fact, they’re clamoring to hear the vast vocal range and indie rock stylings that were displayed on “Unusual,” Stacy’s four-song EP that has garnered radio airplay in multiple states.
“It feels like all the pieces are finally coming together ... all of the hard work, practice and patience is panning out,” Clark says. “It’s easy to feel like you’re at a standstill sometimes, but that is when you have to work harder. You have to believe in what you want."
“I am so thankful when people appreciate and enjoy my music. It’s the fans and those who appreciate my music that gives me purpose."
Say what you want to me – go ahead, I am not listening.
Like any fairy tale heroine, Stacy Clark doesn’t know how to take no for an answer. Explain to her that a low platelet count will slow her down and she’ll go five times faster. Tell her the odds of fame and fortune are slim, and she’ll find a way to get into every newspaper. Try to stop her from entering the VIP area at an awards show and she’ll red pen her way up the stairs.
Through adversity, cold winters spent honing her chops outside of Buffalo, and some poisoned apples along the way, Stacy is enjoying her happy beginning. Currently, Clark is signed to Shangri-La Music and has since released her full length "Apples & Oranges".
For more information about Stacy, visit www.StacyClark.net. To get involved, and help others fight cancer and other blood related illnesses please visit www.musicsaveslives.org