An interview with Catie Curtis


AE: Kind of speaking of irony I guess,
tell me about being ordained as a minister to officiate weddings after
all of this. I mean, where did that idea come from and how has all of
that influenced this album?

CC: The idea of
becoming ordained came after having so many people say that they’ve
used a song of mine at their wedding. So I thought it would be fun or
special to do this for people who have fallen in love while listening
to my music or who passed mix tapes back and forth with some of my
songs or who went to one of my concerts during the early stages of
their relationship, it might be cool for them if I was the one who
marries them. And I do believe in the importance of some kind of
ceremony to make an intentional commitment. I mean I definitely think
if you’re thinking about having kids it’s a good idea to try and kind
of put that into a ritual or ceremony to understand how important it is
to you and to each other.

And so I just really liked the idea of
ceremonies and I thought it would feel really cool to marry people.
It’s pretty cool, I’ve done it a few times now, not a ton, but in
states like D.C. where it’s legal you actually get to say, “Now by the
power vested in me, I can now declare you married,” and it’s really
great! And then in Maine where it’s not legal, I feel like it’s not as
significant as what’s happening personally at a wedding. The legal
status is a whole other thing but a ceremony is a ceremony.

AE: I absolutely agree and I actually,
have already been through my own failed one, with another woman. And,
honestly, part of me is really happy that it wasn’t legal at the time.

CC: I know! I know right? I’ve
been there. [Laughs] I know.

AE: I think part of it though now that
it’s in the spotlight and we’re fighting so hard for these rights, and
I’m not saying it’s all couples, but I feel like some couples feel like
in order for them to feel like they’re fighting and making a
difference, they feel like they have to get married and sometimes way
too soon. It’s just a shame.

CC: Yeah, it’s a bit of a
problem, especially when some of the states where it’s legal you
actually have to live in that state for a year, technically. Or in
order to actually get legally divorced they have to technically be
living there for a certain amount of time.

AE: Oh yeah, that actually happened
and caused a bit of drama in my condo building recently with two guys.
Another story for another time. But now at least though, I’m armed with
the knowledge that it’s not going to happen again for a very long time
and when it does happen, it will be very small. I told my girlfriend we
can have a 10-year party and we’ll call it good. But at the same time,
we’re thinking about having kids — and you have two daughters — and I
do feel like it’s important that if you’re going to take that step, to
make some things as official as possible. Not that a piece of paper
will be able to tell me who I’m in love with but when kids are
involved, I think it’s important.

CC: Yeah and it’s important to
the kids too. Now that my kids are in elementary school, they really
want the security of knowing that we’re married to each other. They
like it and they want to know that we are a family and it’s funny, I
never thought about it from their perspective — I just thought about
the legal aspect. But they need to feel secure in their family. And I
think for them, even using the word “family” and “married,” it matters
in their mind.

AE: Wow, yeah I really never thought
about it from the kids’ perspective. You talked about Washington and
doing some officiating there. I know you played at the White House a
couple of years ago and I see from your schedule that you’re going back
there in a couple of weeks — what was that like and how did you get
asked to play there?

CC: Yeah, I actually played
there last year around this time and we’re excited to go back! For me,
the Director of the Office of Visitors happens to be a fan of my music
so early on she reached out to me and we connected. I went on a tour of
the White House and then I got an email about playing there — so that
happened. So it’s really  from her and I guess there’s a couple of
fans that work at the White House so I visit with them and it’s really

AE: You can tell us the truth, it was
Hillary Clinton that actually asked you, right?

CC: [jokingly] Oh yeah, it was
totally Hillary. I played for just her in a private showing. [Laughs]
It’s been a thrill to play there really. I didn’t grow up in any sort
of political family so I had no real exposure to that world so it was a
lot of fun to sort of get close to it.

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