Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:51

Sky is the limit for talented southeast Albertan

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One would think someone who has seen as much success as 22-year-old country singer Mackenzie Porter has seen in her lifetime wouldn’t have a lot perspective on life.


After all, while she was raised on a cattle ranch near Medicine Hat, she has been close to the performing arts and the celebrity world much of her life.
She performed with her two cousins, sister and her 2004-Canadian Idol-winning brother Kalan in a band which toured, she has been trained in dance, was a solo violinist, and has been in numerous made-for-TV movies and big-screen movies working with the likes of Aidan Quinn, Patrick Swayze, Jason Priestly and Kim Delaney. To top it off, she has opened concerts for Kenny Chesney, the Canadian Tenors and Beverley Mahood while being in the same concert (and having met) Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. She has also sang for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and at a function was asked specifically by KISS megastar Gene Simmons to sing for him.
Very impressive indeed, yet after all of that, the upbeat, peppy singer is still looking forward to performing in Medicine Hat next week with Craig Morgan.
“I'm really excited to perform at the Exhibition,” explained Porter from Vancouver recently. “I grew up going to shows at the Exhibition.
Porter said she was also looking forward to performing a song about her best friend. She was tightlipped talking about the song specifically and saving the surprise for the concert.
“I’m really excited about performing it, but it doesn’t matter if it’s my best friend or whoever — my life is where I get my ideas for most of my songs. It’s kind of scary whether it’s about a guy knowing they could be in the audience, it’s exciting — I don’t know if that feeling ever goes away. People want to see what your ideas are.”
Porter is also non-chalant talking about all the stars she’s met. She admits it’s difficult not to be in awe of these big name performers, but she’s found out once you actually meet them, they’re not as intimidating as one would think.
“When I met Carrie (Underwood) and Miranda (Lambert) it was funny it was like ‘oh wow, you’re kinda of just regular people’ … I guess it’s because I have great friends and family (to keep me grounded). I really have an amazing community around me. My family is really supportive.”
Porter said she still writes songs with brother Kalan, but doesn’t feel like there is/was any sibling rivalry.
She said if anything they have been each other’s biggest fans. There’s no one-upmanship or jealousy, especially back in 2004.
“I've never felt like that,” said Mackenzie of any jealousy.
“I’ve never compared myself to him, never felt jealous. He’s super-supportive, no competition at all.”
Besides working with Kalan, she hasn’t forgotten about her home as she performed a benefit for the Lifeline Haiti project in Medicine Hat in 2011 and still gets back when she can. However, she’s been extremely busy shooting movies.
She has just shot a new film Killer Among Us with Tess Atkins for Lifetime network.
The film is based on a true story where a teenage girl teams with a homicide detective to find out who killed her mother.
She also shot a made-for-Hallmark TV romantic comedy called Tom, Dick and Harriet with Steven Weber, Michelle Harrison, and Andrew Francis. She said it wrapped up in mid-May and will be released Valentine’s Day 2013. She is proud and excited for this release.
It sounds like it would be difficult to focus on both her singing career, where she is working on a new solo CD and still has her Black Boots project alongside Andrew Jenkins. She said she’s used to it and just has to keep her life organized.
“I have a very busy schedule: I’m working on an album and I’m taking acting classes both in Nashville and Vancouver. While I’m on set, I’m still doing music and trying to keep balancing things,” she explained.
In total she has four film productions coming out in the next year, not to mention a new music video out at the end of August.
“I have a vision board over the next few years: I have yearly goals.”
Porter also credits her assistants. She saw a little bit how the whole behind-the-scene operations worked with brother Kalan during the Canadian Idol days and what followed. She has a team of six to seven agents and managers whom she trusts.
“I just have to step back and let them deal with it, but I always have the final say,” said Porter. “It’s nice to have this covered…I have to focus on my music and acting.”
It seems like the sky is the limit for Porter who has endless energy for both acting and country music. She says she has to be realistic but does the best she can.
“I mean, I’d love to tour the world with my music and win an Academy Award obviously for (the ultimate in both fields), but I’m just trying to focus on what I can and not do too much.”

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Ryan Dahlman

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