Sara Bareilles Embraces the ‘Chaos’ and Finds Her Political Voice: ‘Truthfully, I Took Things for Granted’

Sara Bareilles has lived the life one of her favorite TV characters, Felicity Porter, might’ve if she had stayed in California. Both the Grammy-nominated singer and the Felicity TV character grew up in comfortable Northern California households. Felicity, set up on a pre-med Stanford path, fled to New York City to pursue art, only to quickly go back to her medical studies. Bareilles, on the other hand, grew up a community theater performer but stayed on the West Coast to study communications at UCLA. There, she immediately hopped right back into the theatrical saddle and has been riding the musical track with great success ever since.

Then, suddenly, six years ago Bareilles had a “mini-meltdown,” shoved her entire Los Angeles life into a storage unit and fled on a month-long “little rumspringa” to New York. In 2013 and at 33 years old, Bareilles finally lived her Felicity Porter fantasies, staying out late with friends, frequenting Broadway and even taking a few business meetings—including one that brought her face-to-face with the creator of her beloved show.

“I met J.J. Abrams a few years ago. He asked, ‘Have you ever considered doing something for television?’ I really hadn’t even considered it, but I’m sitting across the table from J.J. Abrams,” Bareilles, 39, told The Daily Beast over the phone last month. Felicity was “deeply important” to her in college, so she only had one answer for the show’s famed creator: “Sure, what do you have in mind?”

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