We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Cesario and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tara, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
It’s difficult to be taken seriously in the performance industry as the only female musician in a band of men. I’ve been mistaken as a groupie or male band members’ girlfriend on numerous occasions. In one case in a room full of male musicians, no one bothered to ask what instrument I played in the band and assumed I was just there to “hang out” in the greenroom. There are times when I have felt that I wasn’t taken as seriously or I was presumed to know less than my male counterparts and instead of using my name, men will refer to me as “darlin”, “sweetie”, or “honey”, which is totally uncalled for. This leads to feelings that I need to prove myself on stage, which only puts added pressure on me during the performance.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I play fiddle and sing in a 90’s country tribute band called Straight Tequila Night based in Dallas, TX. I joined this group in 2014 and we perform at public and private events all over Texas. We have since expanded our performances to Oklahoma, New Mexico, Tennessee and Florida. Since I am classically trained with a degree in music from TCU, I had only performed in orchestral settings up until that point so playing in a party band was new to me. I had to purchase a bunch of new audio equipment I had never used and learn all about how it worked and how to set it up. I also have taken fiddle and vocal lessons over the years to hone my skills for this particular group. As a whole, our group has had minimal disagreements and we’ve ultimately learned to work together to perfect our craft and use each other’s strengths to our advantage. We’ve primarily kept the same band personnel since the beginning, which is almost unheard of after this many years! I can honestly say that we all truly enjoy each other’s talents and company and we work together quite well. Something I have learned along the way is that there is always something new I can learn or a part that I can play or sing better, which is the main reason I found a fiddle and vocal coach to help me continue to improve. I’m never done learning! Another thing I’ve learned is to say “YES” to performance opportunities when they arise because they might never come around again. I try not to be afraid to try new things, play with new people, or sign on to something I’ve never done before because I’ll always figure it out!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My husband and I are big foodies and we love trying to new restaurants in and around Dallas. If my friend was visiting for the week, we would probably check out some restaurants on Greenville Ave (like Quarter Acre, Sister, Rye, and Meridian), Knox/Henderson (like Smithy, Gemma, and Taverna), or downtown (like Brass Ram, Crown Block at Reunion Tower, and CBD Provisions). We might explore the Stockyards in Fort Worth and catch a show at Billy Bob’s, stroll through Klyde Warren Park or the Dallas Arboretum, visit the Perot Museum or Dallas Museum of Art, shop in the Bishop Arts District, or attend a Stars Hockey or Rangers Baseball game. There’s literally something for everyone in DFW.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, Victor, has been incredibly supportive of my performance career. There are many times I am gone performing on evenings and weekends (both locally and out of town) and he understands that’s part of the job. Our personal calendar is heavily dictated by my performance schedule and we have learned to work with it instead of against it in order for me to be at as many gigs as possible while also being able to enjoy personal travel time together. I am grateful for his understanding and willingness to work around my gigs so I can continue to work at my dream job!!

Website: https://straighttequilanight.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/straight_tequila_night/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StraightTequilaNight

Other: https://www.instagram.com/scarlett.otara/

Image Credits
George Pecoraro Amy Staples Hague Thomas E. Moore Jordan Buford

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