NYC songwriter Tina Shafer offers tips for aspiring stars

Sandy Kenyon Image
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
NYC songwriter Tina Shafer offers tips for aspiring stars
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Sandy Kenyon reports on the singer/songwriter's role as a mentor.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A singer/songwriter in Manhattan has found her true calling as a motivator, as she's determined to make your child the best singer he or she can be.

Rock stars have been paying it forward for 25 years now, mentoring a younger generation at the "New York Songwriter's Circle" started by Tina Shafer.

"The purpose of it is to create a community in our business because it's such a lonely, lonely field," Shafer said.

She speaks from experience and a history that includes writing hits for the likes of Celine Dion - but Shafer is perhaps best known as a teacher.

"With Tina it's very serene and peaceful and accepting place, and I feel totally comfortable to do whatever -- to make any mistakes that I do make in her presence," said Jackie Marchal, one of her students.

"Not everybody has the talent to become a star," Shafer said. "It takes a million ducks to line up as you know, but what I tell them is, 'you can never go wrong in life by mastering something.'"

Marchal is trying her luck in Nashville after listening to Shafer's advice.

"You have to be your own little planet," Shafer said. "You have to learn how to produce, write. You've got to learn how to be your own social networker, and do everything. You've got to juggle every ball in the world."

For young kids, Shafer offers some practical tips.

"Do anything, everything you can that helps you get up on stage," Shafer said. "So, if you love Broadway, get into theater. If you love singing, get into chorus."

And if you worry about your lack of talent, remember:

"The people who really make it in this business are not always the best singers," she said.

But they all hit-makers share the same tenacity and drive.

"Those things will get you further than all your talent, all your intelligence and all your charisma," Shafer said.