Real estate agent's music dream comes true
IT'S EVERY paper-pusher's dream.
Chuck in your day job and become a rock star, a movie star, or just a loafer-around.
For Mullumbimby's Fiona Dell, the fantasy has just come true - she's gone from full-time real estate agent to full-time musician.
"I'm a bit nervous," she said. "But being a musician is so much easier than being a real estate agent.
"You can be the worst musician in the world and people will say good on you, well done.
"But you can be the best agent in the world and people will still hate you!
"It teaches you a lot about resilience and accepting rejection."
Dell, who has just released her album, Coming Home, said her decision had been 24 years in the making.
She first hit the musical stage at Mullumbimby High School, where she majoredin musical composition and performance, playing rhythm guitar and singing in the class rock band.
In the 1990s, she fronted Perth hard rock cover band After Hours and a stylish band called Smooch.
Then, in 2000, she became a full member of the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) and was invited to perform at The Young Australian of the Year Awards at Challenge Stadium in Perth.
But, during all this time, she supported herself with other work, she said.
"Like a lot of musicians, I needed to have another job," she said.
"It's a constant battle between trying to keep a roof over your head and doing what you want to do."
For the past three years, Ms Dell has sold real estate, working for LJ Hooker in Brunswick Heads - even closing the deal on a $1.85 million property.
Recently, she got her full licence, and became a licensed auctioneer.
But, after receiving plenty of positive feedback from the album that features friend Sharny Russell - a pianist, vocalist, educator, producer, and composer - and other first-class musicians, Ms Dell decided the time was now.
Since returning to her home in Northern New South Wales, she has not only performed at various pubs and clubs as a singer but completed Mandy Nolan's stand-up comedy course and appeared on amateur comedy stages.
She says she'll keep doing the stand-up as well as the music.
Ms Dell said she funded her own album, thanks to her real estate career, and was now about to hit the marketing trail.
On February 14, she will sing at Mullumbimby Civic Hall. Coming Home has been announced as "a blend of sophisticated pop and new romantic rhythms infused with jazz flavours".