Chris Smith: For this Sebastopol kid, singing is as natural as breathing.
Michela Comfort of Sebastopol just turned 13. Back when she was just a kid, she’d sing or hum songs her parents, Heather and David, didn’t recognize. For good reason.
Michela had composed them in her head.
“She’s just musical by nature,” David Comfort says.
In her first year as a teenager, Michela’s performing life is warming up.
An original Christmas song by the veteran of “Oliver” and “Annie” at Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse had some serious play time on KZST over the holidays.
The station’s Brent Farris declared “Christmas Gift” a potential hit and urged Michela to run with it. The Hillcrest Middle School seventh grader plots now an entire Christmas album.
Just a week ago, she was near Palm Springs for an “America’s Got Talent” audition.
And come May, she’ll share the lead role in a production of the Broadway hit, “Matilda the Musical” at the Spreckels Center in Rohnert Park.
“She’s very alive on stage. She’s focused,” said director Sheri Lee Miller.
“Michela has a tremendous joy about her that I really love.”
Miller said Michela will alternate as Matilda with an 11-year-old beam of light from Marin County, Lily Green. The musical inspired by the Roald Dahl children’s book will run from May 8 to 24.
Meanwhile, Michela waits to hear from “America’s Got Talent.”
AUSTRALIA is on the mind of 18-year-old Evie Camacho of Healdsburg, and not just because of the catastrophic fires.
“I’m very sad about what’s going on there,” said Evie, a senior at Healdsburg High.
At the same time, she’s about as excited as she’s ever been because she’s determined to travel to Australia this summer. She will see how the country is faring, and she’ll play softball.
A standout on the team at Healdsburg, Evie has a chance to play in the international Down Under Games in July.
Though she’s saving money she earns serving at a restaurant in Healdsburg, she knows she’ll need some help covering the cost of the trip to Sydney and Brisbane.
She and her mom have created a GoFundMe appeal.
Evie appreciates any help she gets for the overseas adventure that will fall between her graduation from Healdsburg High and her start at Holy Names University in Oakland.
She can imagine herself working as a pro sports agent, maybe a stats analyst. If it’s related to athletics, she’s game.
BACK IN 1952, when Hugh Codding was building Montgomery Village as his envisioned city next door to Santa Rosa, he co-founded a new Lions Club.
As the story goes, developer Codding, a self-described “benevolent dictator,” required that the owner of every business at his Montgomery Village Shopping Center join or have an employee join the new Montgomery Village Lions Club.
Pretty much overnight, it had more than 100 members and was the largest Lions Club in the world.
Today it’s far smaller, and has no members from the MV shopping center. But the club is alive and doing good, and it invites us to its 67th all-you-can-eat benefit charity breakfast on Sunday, Jan. 26, 8a.m.-noon at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building. Proceeds go to the club’s Santa Rosa Junior College Scholarship Fund and youth with impaired vision.
You can contact Chris Smith at 707-521-5211 and email@example.com.