Baby Irene’s foundation in show business began at a tap dancing school in the Bronx, at the tender age of three. Black patent leather shoes with black satin bows were my idea ofheaven! Move over Shirley Temple, my inner Baby Drag Queen had been born!
But my Finnish immigrant parents had other ideas, whisking me off to Brush Prairie, Washington, a budding megalopolis of 110. Nowhere to tap but cow pies, I was plucked and stuck.
Adulthood couldn’t come too quickly, I was going to be a star! And then I discovered men.
Yes folks, entertaining was superseded by being entertained by the indefinable, ever present male of the species. I was hooked, and that’s why it took me so long to get back to my first love, show business.
Oh, I flirted with it, toyed with it, dreamed of it, everything but did it! Who had time?
I was a bartender at Hamburger Mary’s in Waikiki, when I was offered an Equity contract to do Godspell, playing the part of the tramp.
It was a stretch, but I managed. I was a hit! This was the impetus to propel me headlong into my dreams of torch singer, comedienne, actress, and drag queen! Yes, my inner Drag Queen was screeching to get in on the act, how could I say no?
I moved to San Francisco and began. My very first success was winning a Mae West look-a-like contest, much to the chagrin of thirteen Drag Queens.
And then I flew in forty feet above the stage as a fairy godmother, another role I’d been rehearsing for my entire life.
And that, my dears, is how all this joy began.
Oh honey, I’ve worked my ass off, discovering songs, memorizing, learning to really sing and entertain. I started singing for hundreds of AIDS fundraiser's, which continues to be my most important work today.
I’ve been so blessed to know so many amazing people... and I’ve lost many of them; but they’re in my heart forever.
I will always do what I can to help.
I adore entertaining, show business is my life! I’ve been so lucky to live and sing in fabulous places across the country, New York to Palm Springs, San Francisco to Chicago, Key West to Portland, LA to Provincetown, San Diego to Palm Springs... each a new home, ever expanding to new horizons!
This journey continues to be a blessed one. I am in love with life: it is richer every day.
I continue to live my dream, making my living with my music.
Album One: “Goodnight Irene” was the hardest thing I had ever done.
Album Two: “I’m gonna live, Live, LIVE!” materialized from one of my favorite sayings “Rest when you’re dead; then you’ll have plenty of time. Until then, live, live, LIVE!
Album Three: “A Song in my Heart” is all love songs. I hadn’t dared to sing only love songs till I found true love.
Album Four: “This is my Life” came out in 2006, and it’s a revelation. It's the gamut of my life, from "Good to Mama" to "Over the Rainbow."
Album Five: "Irene Soderberg" has come out this year!. It's affirmation of the joyous journey my life has been thus far. Oh, there have been challenges, but that's part of life. I'm so excited it has my first original song on it! "Cindy's Song" came out of finding unconditional love.
What's next? Music videos, TV, movies, the sky's the limit!
I am so blessed with so many lifelong friendships, and new ones appear all the time! In that respect, I’m one of the richest people I know.
If I haven’t said it recently, thank you, I love you. I guess this is the bottom line – the reason I’m here.
Whether I’m silly or serious, funny or whimsical, it’s all a part of my heart. I envision that spreading my joy will elevate someone else, in spirit or inspiration.
This is my heart I share with you.
So, Darlings, enjoy your life; live it to the fullest! Share you dreams, your love, your joy.
In Love, light, and Music,