The bubbly, auburn-haired chanteuse has always felt at home onstage. As a teen, she discovered blues jams with her parents, then joined in. Later, after dropping out of college, she hooked up with Cleveland's Something Dada, an improv comedy group that formed in 1994. "The improv was the best tool for life, in all facets, but especially for performing," she says. "There have been a lot of things that would have happened if I hadn't had those skills. It could have gotten really ugly."