Mary Beth grew up in Ottawa, Illinois (a place that if you know where it is, MB would likely say, "REALLY?"). She spent her youth playing the piano, reading Nancy Drew Books, playing tennis, and cruising around newly blacktopped roads on her bike (or about the first pair of rollerblades ever) out in the country where her family lived. She had lots of jobs from junior high on, from working in her Dad's office to being a lifeguard (once she was twirling her whistle and it flew out of her hand and hit a kid in the head! That was worth a few bucks at the refreshment stand for that kid) to selling fruit at the Trophy Produce Stand to playing piano at Starved Rock Lodge in Utica, IL. Her Catholic gradeschool and high school provided lots of opportunities for music, so she was usually in a musical or concert of some sort (her biggest roles being Grace Farrell in Annie and Guinevere in Camelot. The operative word there may be 'biggest' -- MB became a vegetarian in high school and forgot to eat vegetables, eschewing them for cheese and carbs instead...so she was a big more curvy back in the day...). She was frequently accompanied on her adventures by her best friend Molly -- they were goofy and always having a riot, doing everything from spending the evening buying and trying exotic fruits from Eagles Supermarket (coconuts are ridiculously hard to crack without the proper tools, as it turns out) to taking Molly's brother Tim's car for a ride and ending up wrecking that damn Pinto in a ditch in the first ten minutes. (For the record, MB was driving. And the next day was Mother's Day. And the girls were both fifteen. Bad
Mother's Day present.)
She's the eldest child of six in a boisterous, gifted, hilarious (and a little bit nuts) family. Her parents and brothers and sisters have always been supportive by helping organize early shows, spreading the word, and hawking MB's CDs. Her mother Mary Ellen may have already cornered you somewhere, maybe the dry cleaners or a TJMaxx Home, to tell you all about Mary Beth's singing and songwriting and perhaps you've heard of her music on Dawson's Creek
or Broken Hearts Club
or somewhere else, and if not you should go buy her CD! (Hope you don't mind -- 'cause it actually does help!) Mary Beth's Dad is an Optometrist and is likely to greet you with his tradmark phrases -- 'glad you made it'...or 'hey porky' are favorites to his buddies -- he loves working with the landscaping around the yard and frequently wonders why people can't ever seem to drive his car without leaving it a mess. In case you didn't get the Christmas letter, MB's sisters and brothers are always a fun part of the picture. Sister Dena is full of personality, sells designer sunglasses, loves her husband Brad and their two dogs, Luke and Lucy, and has very long, luxurious acrylic nails. Billy is 6'6" and always fun to be around; he's a rockin' salesperson for a medical company in Chicago. Laura is a tall, blonde, sassy professional organizer (here's her site in case you need HELP
) in Chicago. She speaks beautiful French and used to work at a winery, so she knows good things. Brother Christopher Gelbuda is a singer-songwriter too...he also has a Sublime tribute band that plays all over the place -- check them out at his myspace page
. Finally, youngest sister Susan is just starting off on her path...she's a great young chef (might do culinary school) and interested in working with kids (might become a teacher). She's the 'bookend' of the kids in the family, and MB's honey Mark likes to say.
MB has always been interested in travel and other cultures. As a sophomore in high school, she and her friend Kendall took a summer trip to Australia and New Zealand with a somewhat under-chaperoned outfit called EF Tours. It was a BLAST, and they met Bart and Rob, two hilarious brothers on the trip with their grandparents. Bart liked to freak out Rob by doing things like hiding the underseat life preserver from the plane in Rob's carry on. (It's a federal offense to remove these, btw.) He would then share the news with Rob right as Rob approached the Customs Search table. Good times. Mary Beth's junior year in h.s. she was chosen as a Japan-U.S. Senate Scholar -- an honor which allowed her to go to Washington DC for language school, then travel to Japan for a summer and live with a host family. She lived with the Choh Family, a wonderful family in Utsunomiya, Japan, in the Tochigi prefecture. MB still holds a dear place in her heart for Japanese people and culture, showing it by eating sushi at least once a week. Finally, Mary Beth spent her junior year of college at St. Edmund Hall College at Oxford Univerity in England. She'd been a member of the crew team at NU, so it was a pleasure to row at Oxford where the sport was perfected if not invented. She also loved playing in pubs and at college balls with dear friend Alison Cooley, whose voice was silky and light, the perfect companion to Mary Beth's emerging alto.
After college at Northwestern in Evanston, IL, MB decided to head out West for some adventure and a new environment. She'd loved (and still loves) the city vibe of Chicago, but it was time for a change and some new wide open space. She didn't know where to go, though. So she asked the cute manager at the Tommy Nevin's Pub, where she was a cocktail waitress. He suggested Park City. Crazily, it sounded good, so that's where she went. It was great. A beautiful sleepy mountain town in the summer, lively and rockin' all winter...perfect.
Mark and MB met there in Park City when Mark walked into the frame shop where Mary Beth found herself working as a side job between singing gigs. The job had issues -- MB was constantly inhaling in atmospheric wood particles (great for a singer) and using a frame saw as big as a car, frequently almost cutting off her fingers (great for a pianist). Mark was an emerging photographer and would come in for framing supplies for his prints. MB was delighted to help him. :-) It turned out that they had both had gone to Northwestern and had lots of other cool things in common. After the first date, an ArtsFest party at Dave Peters' house, it was clear (to MB, for sure -- she is quick with these things) that this was it. And it was. And now Daisy is part of the picture. She was born in April of 2007 and is a funny, sweet, incredibly cute, and (according to her parents) brilliant child. She does the sign for "more" with complete abandon.
Mary Beth has been lucky enough to see many of her friends find terrific success in their arts as she's carved her musical path. Friend Kimberly Williams (now Williams-Paisley) was cast in "Father of the Bride"
while still in college, making the idea of fame and fortune feel possible for the rest of their artsy crowd of actors, musicians, and writers. Friend Greg Berlanti was a busy working actor and writer during college, and went on to write and produce for a number of hit television shows, including Dawson's Creek, Jack and Bobby, Everwood,
and more recently, Brothers and Sisters
. Roommate Jason Moore went on to adapt and direct numerous plays, and to win a Tony for Best Musical for directing the inaugural production of Avenue Q
on Broadway. MB's other roommate Paul Fitzgerald has written and appeared in tons of tv shows, plays, and films; his first film, Forgiven
, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival a few years back. He wrote, starred in, and directed the full-length feature, and it was amazing and met wonderful response at the Festival. There are dozens more wonderful stories. It's a thrill to see each person find more and more success and fulfillment in their art.
There are probably lots more adventures to share, but hopefully this rambling sampler will serve as a good introduction to the journey leading to now. If you'd like to read even more right now, however, please feel free to visit the Press Bio
. Best wishes!