Laura Darrell started singing professionally when she was 9.
By the time she was 14, the Yarmouth native had appeared on a TV Christmas special on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, headlined the Portland Symphony Orchestra’s “Magic of Christmas” concert and performed at Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick.
Now, at 24, she’s a working singer and actress, dividing her time between New York and Los Angeles.
On Sunday, she’ll be back in Maine, where her love of performing first took root, to perform a CD-release show at One Longfellow Square in Portland.
The CD, “Mad Mad Me,” is Darrell’s first since graduating from college with a degree in drama. She said making the album has helped her identify her strengths as she works to establish a career in entertainment.
“Making this CD was kind of a musical self-discovery for me, trying to figure out where my voice lies within popular music, because I had done a lot of musical theater and classical,” said Darrell. “We found that it was in the pop/folk singer-songwriter genre. Doing this CD has inspired me to start writing.”
Darrell co-wrote one of the songs on the CD, and she has written several songs since recording it. She’ll perform some of the new material as well as album cuts at One Longfellow, where she’ll play guitar as part of a trio. When in New York, Darrell has a regular backing band that plays with her at gigs around the city.
Since getting her degree — after attending both New York University and the University of Southern California — Darrell has worked steadily on a variety of acting and musical projects.
She’s been in some industry-only productions — plays that are put on to attract backers and aren’t open to the public. One of these was the play “21” based on the life of baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates, in which she played Clemente’s sister.
From another industry showcase production in New York, “Rocket Boys,” she landed work as a studio singer working on demos and other recordings. She sang on a re-recording of songs for the sci-fi musical “Starmites” that will be sent to groups wanting to put on the show.
“I’ve been fortunate this last year to be able to make money and keep doing what I love,” said Darrell. “I love singing, being on stage, so I know whatever I do for a career has to be involved with music. At this point, I’ll keep exploring.”
Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at: