A recent visit to a St. Lucie Mets game became a treasure trove of a find. The Mets stadium now known as Tradition Field seats well over 7000 people but I happened to sit close to Bob Davis, a gentleman who has had season tickets in the same spot since the stadium opened in March 1988. I started a conversation with Bob because he is on the board of the Humane Society of St. Lucie County and we have a mutual friend Sandee Allen , also a board member. I called Sandee the next day to tell her about running into Bob and that I saw him give a Mets employee a clipping out of a newspaper article that he said she had submitted. Sandee not only confirmed the submission but began to tell me that her daughter Stacey sang the national anthem at the NY Mets first opening game in 1988. Coincidentally, Stacey had just flown in from New York City to visit her mom, and I was able to personally speak with her a few days later.
I made an appointment to get an exclusive interview. Our meeting began with so much information that it kept getting more exciting by the minute. When Stacey was 8 years old she began singing at local talent shows, and by the time she was 11, the door to her fame flew wide open when singer Perry Como who was scheduled to sing the national anthem for the opening season of the newly built Mets stadium, suddenly cancelled. A friend of Sandee’s, who worked for the NY Mets, called and asked if Stacey could sing in Perry Como’s place. Sandee sent in a recording and it was decided that the young Stacey could do it.
She had 4 weeks to rehearse, but with 20 million TV viewers and 8,000 fans including members of the media and dignitaries, Stacey’s perfect pitch voice performance was a hit! Even TIME Magazine wrote, “So there is still charm in Florida. Like the little girl singing the national anthem at Port St. Lucie with a finger jammed in her ear.” Stacey told me, ” the 7 second delay was distracting, I had to focus on what was happening at that moment.” Hence, that was why she had her fingers in her ears. She was invited to sing again a year later and then on the 10 year anniversary.
Well, not long after that Stacey was in a string of plays and theatre musical productions. She was in a touring band called “The Fabulous Show Stoppers”, then another band called “Take Note”, where they traveled around the state performing. She also trained and performed with the Treasure Coast Opera Society during middle school and high school. She performed in numerous IRCC plays and Stacy elaborated saying, ” The IRCC plays were a fabulous experience and opportunity to perform.” By the time she was 20, her love for the theatre drew her to Florida State University to study. Stacey shyly told me, ” I got to FSU and met a boy, and he introduced me to a different side of acting and performing.” That boy, Kenneth Collins is her husband now and they live in New York City where She works in the Human Resource department for “Fifth and Pacific” a fashion holding company(parent company) for the prestigious Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, Lucky Brands.
Kenneth and Stacey started a non- profit 501.3c theatre company that has become an international sensation with performances including France, Austria and Canada. The experimental type theatre has brought rave reviews from The New York Times to TheatreForum. Kenneth produces, designs, and writes these unique shows in which Stacey has performed in some of them. I have a feeling the little girl who brought the “southern charm” to the NY Mets training stadium 25 years ago is not done yet with her 15 minutes of fame. Thank you Sandee Allen and Stacey Collins for granting me this fabulous story. For more information about the nonprofit organization go to www.temporarydistortion.com