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Folk singer brings loads of character to Holmes Friday

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Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Q: What does knitting, folk music and baton twirling all have in common? A: Christine Lavin.

Someone who can only be described as a well-rounded entertainer, Lavin is coming to the Historic Holmes Theatre Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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Lavin started out performing as a folk singer full time 22 years ago, although she's been playing and writing music since she was 13.

As if releasing multiple albums and winning several awards wasn't enough entertainment for Lavin, she added baton twirling to the show as well.

"I started out as a folk singer, but my work has gone way beyond that," she said.

She was baton twirler in high school, but hadn't twirled for 18 years when she was in Canada at a festival and opportunity came knocking again. She watched as performers twirled every three hours. One twirler in particular caught her eye because of her unhappiness.

She took the girl aside and asked to show her a few moves she remembered from high school. Instead of just showing her a few moves, Lavin join the team of twirlers instead.

From there she took lessons and added the flare to the end of her shows.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Lavin took up knitting a couple years ago.

"It calms me down," she said. "I put a note on the Internet, and people come knit backstage before the show."

It's an invitation Lavin extends to anyone in Detroit Lakes area as well.

Lavin said she enjoys performing because she is as curious about the audience as they are about her. She enjoys getting people involved in her performances -- pulling some on stage to help with songs -- and making sure each show is different.

No one can tell her how a show should be structured, she said.

"You have to let yourself fail," she said of not being afraid to try anything on stage. "You try to stretch and move your boundaries."

Although there may be highs and lows along the way, Lavin said her favorite thing about being an entertainer is the performing.

"Being on stage feels so good, I feel at home," she said.

If she can bring someone on stage and they get the biggest laugh of the night, she said she has done her job.

The down side of performing, she said, is certainly the traveling. She recently woke up wondering where she was, until she realized she was at home in New York.

When she travels, she brings along earplugs, eye shades and puts pillows over her head to block out traffic noise. Staying up to the wee hours of the morning, Lavin said she will go to the extent of putting couch cushions on the hotel floor next to the bed, sleep on them until rush hour is finished, and then crawl into the bed.

Before becoming a full-time performer, Lavin worked as a temp in New York, doing all types of jobs, and as a secretary at a hospital.

But leaving those jobs behind, Lavin has gone on to release such songs as "I'm a Card Carrying Bleeding Heart," "Stop Your Sobbing, He's an Idiot" and "Tom Cruise Scares Me."

Fans can check out more on Lavin and her music, and other knitting and twirling talents, online at www.christinelavin.com.

As for her live performance, tickets are on sale for "Ladies Night Out with Christine Lavin" at 844-SHOW or www.dlccc.org. Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $6.25 for students.

"Come prepared to have fun," she said.

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