Story & Photos by Lisa Anderson
Surgeon of Song
Her Voice Fills Ocala with Joy
Becky Sinn has been captivating Ocala with her voice since she was a teenager. She dazzles us with her smooth tones, powerful and playful lyrics, red gowns, opera gloves, and the carnival-style clothing she frequently wears. She regularly performs in town, as well as in Gainesville and The Villages. You may have seen her confidently perform as Dr. Sinn in Dr. Sinn’s Freak Island Musical Sideshow, as a solo artist, or as the lead singer in the band Swing Theory, but Becky hasn’t always had the confidence she does now.
“I had a really hard time after I graduated high school. I lost my dad, and there were a lot of tragic circumstances. I was just in a bad place. I didn’t have the level of self-esteem that I do now.”
Growing Up in an Artistic Environment
“There was always music going on in the house. I don’t know how I remember it, but I can remember when I was about two or three, I was lifted up to the piano seat and allowed to bang on the keys as much as I wanted.”
Becky’s parents encourage her and her brother to play music and make art. “I got my first electric guitar when I was about 14, but as soon as I was big enough to hold a guitar, my daddy put one in my hands.
“I was never afraid to touch an instrument to see what sound it made or if I could play it. My parents always fostered that and encouraged us to pick up instruments.” Her voice is filled with admiration for both her parents.
Her daddy played the banjo and her mama played the auto harp, the latter of which is now a part of Becky’s collection of instruments. They taught her everything they knew how to play. However, they played everything by ear, so Becky didn’t learn how to read music. She eventually taught herself how to read guitar tablature from the guitar and rock magazines she had as a young teenager.
Becky’s confidence took a big hit at seven-years-old, and it was a few years before she found the courage to sing for people, again.
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Published September 1, 2021
Story & Photo by Lisa Anderson
Living the Dream
The Conclusion of Becky's Story
The Surgeon of Song moved to Gainesville in 2013, where she met some pretty amazing people in the art circuit. This included Jenny Castle, a fire performer, who would later go on to tell Becky her dream. Jenny proclaimed she would one day own a beautiful bar, and Becky would sing with a big band there. “She literally said that and made it happen,” Becky’s voice bubbles with laughter and awe.
“The first rehearsal was in a church. Hearing that symphony all around me—I just couldn’t believe it.”
Another friend, Chad Young, had helped connect Becky with a Gainesville big band, and Jenny Castle provided the stage. Becky pushed through her nerves to perform three songs that would later be the inspiration to form Swing Theory. “I just channeled my inner Ella Fitzgerald and said, ‘Yes! You can do this!’” It was a dream come true for this Ocala-born star.
Three years in Gainesville produced some amazing things for Becky. Not only did she become the lead singer for Swing Theory, but she also fulfilled another dream with Jenny Castle: Becky, Jenny, and a few other fun and quirky players came together to create a sideshow.
Dr. Sinn’s Freak Island Medicine Sideshow offered sexy clowns, original music, naughty jokes, and a whole lot of amusing entertainment. They dazzled Gainesville for several years, but the shows slowed down when Becky moved back to Ocala in 2018. However, they are discussing a possible reunion in Ocala.
In 2020, Becky finally took the leap, and stepped away from her full-time job. She now exclusively sings for her supper. “I’m doing more gigs than I have ever done. I now get to do private events, weddings, grand openings, and christenings. People trust me to come in and be the soundtrack to their event or precious memory. It’s an honor for me. I’m so thankful I have this gift. I’m so thankful that I’ve never wasted it.”