Toy grew up dreaming of being a ballerina, with a love for the expression of emotion to music (at age 14, she was on scholarship at Joffrey Ballet in New York City). A move to Chicago and a promising acting career resulted in winning a Chicago Joseph Jefferson award for her acting work.
But Toy soon realized that she missed having an outlet for her musical expression and began writing her own songs. Her style of story-telling and weaving emotional melody lines, backed by her strong guitar playing, soon captured audiences in Chicago as she shared the stage with such notable artists as Sarah Hickman and Carrie Newcomer.
Currently working as a Sound Designer for theatre, she was nominated for 3 Joseph Jefferson Citations, winning last year for Around the World in 80 Days and winning this year for The Shadow.
Over the years, Toy has lent her talents for such causes as The Ranch Community Services, ProsArts Studio, the Kosovo Relief Concert, the William Guy Forbeck Cancer Research Foundation, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and the first Chicago visit of the Chalk Festival. Toy has also supported the International Crane Foundation, in Baraboo, Wisc., by giving them a percentage of the proceeds from "Ever Endeavor." "Giving back to the community is what artistic expression is all about. I love offering my art to help someone else," she remarks.
"Its catchy tunes and diversity of music, going from
pop to folk to jazz, are all accentuated by Toy's enticing vocals, which weave
through jazzy phrases or stay on a sweet melodious path, dramatically putting
across intriguing, rambling lyrics."
- Jonas Kover, Observer Dispatch, Utica, NY
"Led by clear, strong Mary Chapin Carpenter-esque vocals...the
musicians skirt the genres of straight-ahead, percussion-driven rock, blues,
flamenco, and sparsely arranged, delicate folk with impressive virtuosity
- Don Hammontree, Press Publications, Elmhurst, IL
"Gentlemen, prepare to fall head over heels..."
Ever Endeavor is "spiked with exotic percussion and near
- New City, Chicago, IL
"Toy's voice is both clear and plaintive, soulful and
strong... If the chrysalis looks this good, imagine what the butterfly will
be like a few years from now."
- Whitney Spurgeon III, On-Line Music
"Toy clearly understands how to write lyrics and melodies
that are not only thoughtful and musically mature, but also terrifically catchy
- Logan Davis, Renegade News Service, Munster, In