Read newspaper article from 1994
reflecting Deborah's early career
capturing local audiences.
Sound of Music, Aroma of Pizza Crust
keeps her Day Job with City
By Ann Hennessey
Debe Abrams, a shy
public works secretary by day, trades her dress pumps for a pair of
flats and becomes a singer in a Temecula pizza parlor by night.
Abrams spends three
nights a week behind the microphone leading karaoke
enthusiasts at Round Table Pizza. But she hasn't given up her day
job in a Murrietta City Hall cubicle. " That's my bread & butter.
This is my dessert", she said.
Some at City Hall are
surprised that one of Murrieta's quietest employees takes to the
stage at night. Even Abrams recognizes the irony. " This is very
outgoing, but I'm kind of reserved and shy."
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 10pm.
She can't get enough of the sing
along and says she isn't alone. " You have a lot of obsessive
singers in Temecula-Murrieta.
As a UCLA theatre
major, Abrams rode the bus to Hollywood and Vine to take private
singing lessons. She dreamed of singing in a band someday. Yet, even
theatre training didn't help her to overcome her shyness. Then she
She tried it one
night - with knees knocking - when she was with friends at a Lake
Elsinore restaurant. A karaoke machine played the music while she
sang along. Abrams called the result a disaster, but it didn't stop
her from singing again. The second time she sang along with a
karaoke machine outside a mall, again in Lake Elsinore. She tried
again and again, visiting establishments in the area that had
Round Table owner
Jacque Lovell heard Abrams sing and offered her a job. Now customers
come back because of her, Lovell said.
At Round Table,
Abrams' heels and business suits are exchanged for a black crocheted
top and long, broomstick-pleated skirt. Abrams has sung karaoke in
drinking establishments with friends, but she prefers the family
Instead of alcohol,
she sips pink lemonade from a plastic glass as she loads laser disks
in the machine. Corny videos flicker on the big screen television
along with lyrics that turn green at precisely the moment they
should be vocalized.
nervous first timers and crooning children with friendly smiles, pep
talks and lots of applause. During lulls, when others are leafing
through the song book trying to choose a number, she launches into
her own renditions of whatever catches her fancy. She knows 150
songs and continues trying out new ones, laughing if her voice
cracks on faulty notes. " Sometimes I bomb really bad, but they
don't care," Abrams said. "It's a safe environment."
It's safe enough for
toddlers who don't necessarily know each other to join in a chorus
of ' Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'. Adults do the more serious
stuff. Abrams lets them sit at their tables, hiding behind the pizza
dishes, if they're too nervous to stand in front of a crowd.
Abrams sings a range
of songs, but prefers Motown. During one gutsy rendition of " Heard
it Through the Grapevine," Abrams had people dancing around their
pizza tables. One young boy, dressed in a western shirt and cowboy
boots and chewing baby blue bubble gum, clapped along.
" You have got to be
able to get up and make a fool out of yourself " Abrams said. " If
you're not, how are you ever going to find out what you can do well?
And, this is the truth."