JCOM banquet singer finds inspiration
in 'dramatic' roommates and definition of beauty
By Megan Sonderegger
April 7, 2006 | Mikaylie Kartchner was told in her
younger years she "couldn't carry a tune in a bucket."
Now, after what she describes as a story of persistence,
this 21-year-old print journalism major has performed,
produced her own CD and plans to continue. Kartchner
will entertain at the journalism and communication department's
end-of-the-year banquet at 6 p.m. April 20 in the TSC
Despite her difficulty in reading music, due to blindness
in her left eye, Kartchner said she became determined
to play the guitar because both of her parents had done
so. She said she practiced singing by matching the pitch
of notes on a piano to her voice and began teaching
herself to play the guitar five years ago.
Kartchner said some of the inspiration behind her
songs has come from the people in her life, especially
her roommates and their experiences with boys. She said
one of her songs was written on behalf of a "rather
needy" roommate who walked into her room one day and
said, "Mikaylie I just want a boy that I can kiss whenever
"That basically started my song. I've had some incredibly
dramatic roommates," Kartchner said, chuckling.
Kartchner said her greatest source of inspiration
comes from things that bother her because she wonders
about them. She said what bothers her most is the number
of girls who are beautiful and do not think they are.
She said she came from an emotionally abusive home and
has at times struggled with her identity, but has come
to the realization that "all women no matter what they
look like are inherently beautiful."
She said this problem has been the focus of some of
her recent songs, and she hopes to inspire girls to
realize their beauty and help each other feel worthy.
"If you act like you're beautiful, you'll feel like
you're beautiful," Kartchner said.
Kartchner said she plans to graduate in the spring
and pursue writing. She said she would love to have
her own humor column and feels she would excel in it
because she has had a lot of life experiences that she
feels most people have not.
"My family's incredibly crazy, I'm the only girl of
five step-brothers and three brothers, I have two sets
of parents, I'm blind and I come from an abusive home,"
Kartchner said listing off a few such experiences.
Kartchner said she plans to continue writing and playing
after graduation and hopes to produce a new CD after
she improves on her former one.
Tickets for the JCOM banquet are $5 for students, $25
for non-students, and can be purchased beginning Tuesday,
April 11, in Room 310 Animal Science.