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The Dish on Miss Trish

December 22, 2009 - Trisha Smith
Music and the arts have always been the main ingredients in my recipe for life.

For my blog this week, I thought I'd tell you about myself and where I come from by posting my arts writer bio, in case you care.

Maui and its wonderful people have embraced me, and I feel very blessed to call this beautiful island home at this time in my crazy journey through life.

I was raised in a home environment where psychedelic and classic rock radiated throughout the walls daily. I attended as many concerts, plays and art shows as I could growing up, even picking up a few instruments along the way, although nothing to boast about.

I thank my father, brothers and close friends for having such quality taste in music and bestowing it upon me. And, my deepest gratitude goes to my mother whose continual support of the arts and literature—and my time as a thespian—helped fuel the fire in me to pursue my dreams, and not pursue a career in law or medicine, as someone with my high grade point average “should.” I’m rich in soul and experiences, which is sufficient—right?

The wonderful individuals in my life have helped me remain positive, strong and taught me to "allow intuition to lead the way," although this has landed me into trouble a few times.

While attending The Ohio State University’s Journalism School, I spent two years as an arts and news reporter for school’s newspaper, The Lantern. During my stint in Columbus, I did music critiques for a local online music magazine, interned for “The Alternative Station” CD101 and attended countless music festivals, from raves to blues fests to regional/national rock shows. Many of my close friends were deejays or in bands, so I was fortunate to be exposed to music from all walks of life.

After graduating (with honors somehow, since that last year was a blur), I headed for the bigger city—Chicago. I had the wonderful opportunity there to spend time with the weekly, Newcity Magazine, writing over a hundred printed pieces involving music critiques, previews, literature, clubs and news. I also did comedic observational pieces called “Moxies.” So yeah, I’m smart and funny.

Chicago’s music scene is versatile and alluring, full of music deep rooted in the city’s multifaceted culture, which provides a creative playground that invigorates up-and-coming artists. On any given day or night, you have your choice of catching a live show within a plethora of venues spread across the Windy City that serve up anything from original house music and the breakbeats of drum‘n’bass to Chicago blues and jazz. Landmark venues like the Metro, the “Riv” and Aragon on the North Side remain “must-stops” for national rock acts and great outlets for solid city rockers to display their talents in their hometown. I had the good fortune of catching a few shows a week.

Coming from the Midwest to the middle of the Pacific, I knew I would be giving up the intoxicating music scene I had grown accustomed to, but I thought, “Hey, I like reggae music too.”

After moving to Maui a year and a half ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find an eclectic music scene beyond reggae and Hawaiian—although there’s plenty of music I listen to from both genres. I have run into multi-talented artists striving to thrive—several hungry souls looking to be heard and make an impact, maybe even a record. Although the plug was pulled on the alternative radio station, I still have been able to listen to and find some pretty stellar rock music and more across the isle.

Maui’s artistic community is alive and well, with an island environment that cultivates creativity and a host culture we can learn so much from. The scene is by no means cutthroat, as many musicians and artists have other interests going on, and play with a variety of bands on island. My favorite aspects of this community is its artists’ willingness to support good causes, “share the stage” and the camaraderie I’ve experienced within the industry.

Many national acts, and even a few from abroad, make a point to stop on Maui, which is great for local bands to build exposure as many serve as their opening acts. Hopefully, the Valley Isle will become an even more attractive location for musicians and a recurring destination for touring acts, as O‘ahu has become.

Over the last year as the staff writer at The Maui Weekly, I’ve been able to write an assortment of stories, including human interest features, local and community news, along with numerous food, arts, music and cultural pieces. I’m not on Facebook (don’t ask) and I have never “tweeted.” So, I suppose this my space on the worldwide web to let loose about what’s happening, whether it’s arts, music, dining or announce fundraisers for great causes.

I was also recently asked to become the Editorial Assistant as our lovely Sarah Ruppenthal—my partner-in-crime and soul sister—concentrates more on her teaching duties. So, you'll be hearing a lot more from me Maui. Lucky you. 

You can also hear me on the local airwaves, KAOI 1110 AM, on Friday mornings from 7 to 8 a.m. as one of the supporting cast of characters on Maui’s Breakfast Club, where I discuss the upcoming stories in the paper and relay what’s going on around town. We're on holiday hiatus right now, so tune in this January.

Also, don’t forget to check out the paper each week for a variety of community news and events on Maui. Take the time to care.

I’m far from an expert, but I’m extremely passionate and I think I know what I'm talking about, most of the time. I still have so much to learn—don’t we all?

And I like to joke around a lot, so if I offend anyone, I deeply apologize. Sarcastic humor is also a main ingredient in my life.

Feel free to contact me if you have story ideas, questions or comments, good and bad.

Happy Holidays!
Aloha and a hui hou!

*My blog "action" photo above was taken by the talented Miss Jessica Pearl. She rocks and I love her! Check out this amazing photographer at

**"Turtle Trish" was taken by my best bud Jake. Check out his skills at Tiki Lounge. Love you Bryll!


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