When she first appeared on Australian Story in 2014, singer-songwriter Megan Washington was on a high.
She had released a successful album and had given an astonishing TED talk about her ‘shameful’ secret stutter that resonated around the globe.
Six years later, Australian Story catches up with Megan and discovers that post-2014, her career took a serious stumble. Multiple attempts to record a new album had failed and – dissatisfied with each effort – she decided to step back.
“I was like, well, maybe I just shouldn’t make records anymore, so I stopped trying. Actually, I just quit,”
– she says.
Instead Megan channelled her energy into building a new career as a voiceover artist, including for the popular children’s show Bluey and the SBS series The Recording Studio – a move that she would have considered impossible in previous years because of her stutter.
“Getting into the booth was pretty intimidating at first,”
– she recalls.
“I had to do a lot of takes because they all had stutters in them. By the end of it, I was just reading the lines on the page and it was amazing.”
An unexpected request from director Warwick Thornton to score his documentary series The Beach brought her back to composing. She taught herself the latest music engineering software and learned how to record herself.
Alone with her family during COVID lockdown, Megan began to create again on her own terms, as she had when she first started making music. She found the courage to make and release a deeply personal album.
“I have this sort of life approach now,”
– says Megan.
“And it’s largely to do with that TED talk, actually, which is that if I’m not terrified, I’m probably not trying hard enough. If I keep doing stuff that I’m scared of, I stop being scared of it.”
Producers: Mayeta Clark and Ben Cheshire