Visualizing Their Way to Success: The Beu Sisters
by Carole J. Brandi

"Our parents always told us anything is possible. Whatever you want to do, you've got to love it so much it hurts. Give 110 percent. It takes hard work, dedication, and preparation. You can't expect things to happen without putting the work in."

Singing for extra tip money doesn't mean you'll become a star. But CANDICE BEU of THE BEU SISTERS took a job during college and did just that.

Hard work and faith landed Candice and her three sisters the opening song for the film How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and "You Make Me Feel Like a Star" on The Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack. And then there was the whirlwind of success -- they were on the red-carpet for the movie premiere, are now a hot Disney commodity, and just modeled for Coca Cola & Pacific Sunwear, seen in stores nationwide.

So where does this family of hip chicks get it from? Young, smart, and independent, they've been singing since grade school, when their mom, a Broadway show veteran, exposed them to a variety of music. "We'd have all these different nights where she'd take out her records and we'd harmonize," Candice says.. "It was big band one night, Broadway show tunes another night."

The Going Gets Tough
Candice, Jilaine, and Danielle spent lots of their teen times going on auditions and focusing their careers in New York, until one day their parents split up. Then it was time to cut the tunes for a bit and help their mom out. "My very first job was in a fish market," Candice shares. "I waitressed and fileted fish. It was a really smelly but good job. The best part about it was my employer sent fish home with me for dinner and I got discounted seafood, which really helped the family during that rough period."

Soon after, they moved to New Smyrna Beach, FL, where making ends meet got tougher. Candice took a summer job as a bus girl and waitress at the Indian River Lodge. She received a $1,000 scholarship from a little theater in town, so when the summer was over, she attended a community college for two years.

In order to help cover the rest of her college costs, Candice worked at Riverview Charlie's, a local restaurant, busing tables with her sister Christie. The on-deck entertainment a couple of nights a week made it worth their while. "Christie and I would bus tables, and for extra tip money, we'd ask customers if they wanted us to sing for them. When we worked as a team, we'd clean up!"

When funds ran dry again, Candice had to put her degree on hold, but she plans to return soon to study art. "I would like to take some writing classes and drawing classes," she says. "I've always wanted to make student films using all those things."

In the meantime, she decided to pursue another dream -- backpacking through Europe. "I was trying to find my independence," she says. "I never got to move away and go to college and live the dorm life, but this was like college in itself. I left for a month and a half because I wanted to see all the things I had read about in high school."

The Auspicious Audition
With strong buzz about them from How to Lose..., calling themselves Little Women, and singing with their mom, the next step was putting together a videotape to help get them a record deal. "We had an offer a few years ago and the head of the record company wanted to dump my mom and youngest sister and make the three of us the country spice girls."

They wouldn't compromise on their style, and turned the offer down. Their mom decided to let them go after their dreams without her. After months of mailings, they received an invitation from songwriter Desmond Child to audition at his home in Miami.

They performed their best material and landed a second audition with Steve Greenberg, president of S-Curve Records, who got them the gold. "You must put your trust and faith in people, and that's a hard thing to do," shares Candice. "I thank God we hooked up with people who have the same mind and vision that we do." The label took their country harmony sound and put it to pop tracks. And were they on target!

Candice and Christie say their parents divorce' influenced their music. They wrote nine of the 13 tracks on their debut CD, Decisions, hoping to heal family wounds. "It gave all of us a goal to focus on and get wrapped up in," Candice shares. "We could have gone down some bad roads instead of getting involved in music." Jilaine aspires to go to college. "I'm hoping for the means through this very personal record to be able to afford to go [back to school]."

See who won The Lizzie McGuire Movie CD!

Picture Yourself Doing It
Candice advises others to picture themselves in their dreams. "Ever since I was little I visualized myself doing the things that I wanted to do," she explains. "My mom used to have us lay on the floor and she'd say, 'If you want to be a singer, picture yourself onstage. See the light shining on you. Feel the heat of the light, see the audience, hear the crowd.' As I got older, I would do these visualization techniques on my own and write myself little affirmations to keep my confidence up."

Fan messages always perk up her spirits, too. "My sisters and I cry and have tough days. A record deal doesn't shield you from that."

Yet, an important foundation from her parents has made Candice understand how to avoid a circle of negativity while waiting for stardom. "I'm not going to lie to you -- it has been really, really hard!" she confides. "Every time we think something's about to take off, it's another long period of waiting. But we've discovered in hindsight that all of those waiting periods were for a reason." Either we had to grow up in some way or perfect our craft. Even though it's frustrating when you're going through it and you want to quit, you can't afford to quit. You have to make the decision that this is what you want to do."

Catch The Beu Sisters opening for O-TOWN this month, and look for a new compilation CD from Disney that will feature their rendition of "Lady and the Tramp." Surf



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