Musician, singer, visual artist, actress, dancer, promoter, innovator, beanie knitter, fashion icon, comic book super hero, magical kazoo virtuoso… The question isn’t so much what Michelle Beebs is, but what she isn’t.
“I’ve always been creative,” Michelle says, “and I always got reprimanded for not paying close enough attention, but I got good grades. I did a lot of theatre, dance, tap, jazz, ballet, and gymnastics growing up and was always on the lookout for the next thing to get into. I guess you could say I was a little hyperactive.”
And that’s putting it mildly.
Michelle has had a long string of jobs, among them: zookeeper, EMT, bartender, home health care aide, and convenience store clerk. She once even traveled the country as a leather vendor with some people she’d met only the day before she left. She most recently became a brand ambassador for IVI Vision, a sunglass company started by Rob Dyrdek, Jerome Mage, and Pete Fox. But it’s as a music promoter and the leader of Beebs & Her Moneymakers that she’s most well known.
“I’ve been into music and performance art ever since I can remember,” she tells me. “As the years went on, I got into working for bands as a promoter, booking agent, and talent buyer. New School Dropouts was one of the first bands I worked with. It opened me up to a whole new energy of life: positivity, good vibes, and nothing but uplifting spirits all around. I would get up and sing a song or two with them every now and then and that’s when I started to realize my current dream.”
The idea for her current band, the Moneymakers, had been “festering” in her head for some time until it came to fruition after meeting a fellow visionary named “Lovelady.” “I was so excited when a mutual friend linked us up to play music and I could hardly wait. The day before our first scheduled jam session, Lovelady caught on fire on the 4th of July. I was devastated and worried. Little did I know that Lovelady was a super hero who would heal in no time. After some Super-skin grafts and a little recovery time, the jam was on. We just started writing song after song after song together. It was then that formed the Moneymakers and started playing around town. We decided to move out to Orlando to find some more heroes.”
What do Beebs & Her Money Makers sound like? Even Michelle has difficulty answering that. “Its always a hard question to answer,” she says. “Our music is truly a collective of almost every genre. The entire show is more of an experience. If you come to our show or listen to our music with a preconceived notion of what we are, you’ll be in for a quite a surprise. It’s music for the soul with a positive message and crazy energy that will leave you stunned yet curious as to how you should compartmentalize our music and describe it to your friends. If I had to make up a genre I guess it would be called ‘SuperSoulFunkHopSkaRock.'”
As part of that sweeping vision, Michelle and her band recently hooked up with Orlando comic book artist Tony Baldini, which is where the super hero imagery comes into play. “Tony is an amazing artist who has done the artwork for both of our current albums. The idea of working with him had been thrown around for a while,” Michelle says.
A comic book based on the adventures of Beebs & Her Moneymakers is out now and the band and Baldini are currently collaborating on the second issue. Each story is based on the groups’s mythology and features a range of inspired characters that often figure into their live shows. “There are always new characters coming out, whether it be the Jambot, The Jamburglar, or the Hooplas,” Michelle explains. “It can be a lot to process. I wanted to have a way to tell the story of where all of these super forces came from and also get the fans more involved. Our first comic book also features the super hero that won our contest at our first album release, ‘Bubble Girl.'” Issue two is set to feature a character she calls “Skunk Man.”
“There is so much going on when we play live,” Michelle continues. She and her band have shared the stage with a host of big-name acts, but one the most memorable performances for her was when they played with the March Fourth Marching Band, a 23-piece marching band from Oregon. “They are a circus all on their own and it was super inspiring,” she says. “We’ve also played the festival out at the Suwannee River Music Park in north Florida. We’ve done several festivals there and the lineups are so ridiculous. Its a badass music overload…”
Apart from having a new album coming out by the Summer of 2013, Beebs & Her Moneymakers are touring with the Vans Warped Tour and will be releasing a 3-D music video produced by Sony within the year.
It’s all very interesting, but I’m still intrigued by Michelle’s trademark kazoo. I can’t help but ask. “Its a magical kazoo that I found on the beach,” she explains. “It used to belong to many sea princesses. Its kind of a long story, but the comic book depicts it best…”
As for now, Beebs & Her Moneymakers continue to spread music and positive vibes throughout the country and beyond. “It’s our mission to help everyone find the super hero within themselves,” Michelle beams. “Join us in the movement!”
Find out more about all things Beebs & Her Moneymakers at: www.BaHMM.com or look for them on Facebook.