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Interview with Maria Howell | A Christmas Love Story


Mercy: Can you share a little bit about about yourself?
Maria: I’m a little southern girl, with a great big heart for others. I sing, I act, I love cartoons and documentaries. 

Mercy: What started your interest in singing and acting?
Maria: My interest in acting was probably based on all the activity of six children vying for attention growing up, and wanting to entertain each other with laughter. LOL! My professional acting interests were a natural segue from singing. Being on stage a lot, and wanting to be excellent in my craft. 

Mercy: What is the most rewarding part of singing?
Maria: The most rewarding part is, seeing that the voice and gift God gave me, affects others in a loving and positive way. And as a result, I know I’m doing what I’m meant to do in this life…to spread joy and love. 

Mercy: Was A Christmas Love Story your first Hallmark film? What was the onset experience like? Maria: It’s my very first Hallmark Christmas movie. I did another Hallmark movie in 2012, called “Firelight”, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and DeWanda Wise. I played Wise’s mother. The experience on the set of “A Christmas Love Story” was just that…loving! Kristin Chenoweth, Scott Wolf, and Eric Close were amazing to work with. I’ve been on many sets, and the genuine kindness was almost overwhelming. 

Mercy: What is one thing most people don't know about you?
Maria: The one thing most people don’t know about me is, I do a lot of voiceover work, and that I absolutely LOVE cartoons! 

Mercy: If you got to choose, who would be your dream cast for a movie?
Maria: My dream cast for a movie would be, Blair Underwood, Whoopi Goldberg, Louis Gossett, Jr., Angela Bassett, Will Smith, and me! 

Mercy: Can you share a little bit about "Merry Christmas, My Dear”?
Maria: I’m thrilled to do so! “Merry Christmas, My Dear” has fast become one of my favorite Christmas/holiday recordings. I recorded it with my longtime friend, pianist/arranger/composer/vocalist, Noel Freidline and his quartet, NFQ. We’ve worked together for about 10 years, and we decided (since we both love holiday music), to record one together. We’ve taken some holiday faves and put our “Noel and Maria” spin on them. People are really enjoying it, even before Thanksgiving! LOL! We work wonderfully together on stage, and that spirit is captured on the recording, which we did in Charlotte, NC at GAT3 Studios. That studio has recorded Grammy Award Winning artists. 

Mercy:  What is your favorite Christmas song?
Maria: Wow! That’s a hard one to answer. I would have to say for this 2019 holiday season…”Merry Christmas, My Dear”! We were able to have strings, something I’ve dreamed of for a very long time. 

Mercy: Favorite Christmas movie?
Maria: Another hard one to answer! Wow…"The Polar Express", I would have to say. 

Mercy: Favorite Christmas tradition/memory?
Maria: My favorite tradition is my whole family cooking a particular dish, and we bring all together to make the whole meal. Our parents are no longer living, so it means even more to have Christmas together and exchange gifts that evening. We have a large family, so we draw names at Thanksgiving, so we know who to buy a gift for at Christmas. 

Mercy: White or green Christmas?
Maria: White Christmas! 

Mercy: Any other upcoming projects/things you can share about?
Maria: Noel and I will be having our very first Annual Christmas Concert on December 4th! We’re super excited about that!

Maria's Links-
Merry Christmas, My Dear


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