Member Spotlight: Hayley Jane

When did you start climbing and how did you find out about Petra? 

I had climbed a few times years ago when I was living in Boston, but I started getting serious a year and a half ago when I decided to make some big lifestyle changes. Petra just happened to be a 5 minute walk from my house at that time.

You’re a musician, can you tell us about that?

I started with musical theater in California (where I was born) and when I moved to Boston in 2005 I started singing with bands mostly as a back up singer. I got to back up sing for some pretty amazing people, my favorites being Alice Cooper and a Boston Ska Punk band called Big D and the kid’s Table. I started my band, Hayley Jane and the Primates, in 2007 and began touring full time in 2010. Touring the U.S. with The Primates was my greatest joy for 10 years. We decided to go on hiatus in 2019 so we could all focus on other things. I began a duo project with Ryan Montbleau back in 2017 called Yes Darling bringing theater back into my life. We created this comedy musical act and staged it for the first time in December of 2019 with plans to take it on the road. I also began work on making my first solo album. Then the world stopped. What seemed like what was going to be a mild inconvenience became a world-wide trauma. Everything was put on hold and I was off the road for the first time in a ten years. 

Have you done any live video performances since Covid started?

Oh ya! That’s how I kept my emotional and spiritual self healthy. It took some getting use to. My favorite part of live performance is the exchange of energy between performer and audience member. You lose a lot of that. Still, during each performance my sense of dread would melt away and when I was done my tank felt full again. I’m so grateful for the love and dedication from my supporters. I would also do Storytime and read a children’s book on FB live. Anything to feel connected. 

Do you have any (music) projects you’re working on? 

I’m currently working on my solo album. Trying to piece it together slowly and remotely. A bunch of new tunes and videos will be in the works when it is safe to move forward. 

Do you climb outside? Do you have any favorite routes?

 I have been climbing outside about 7 times now and I love it so much. I wish I could remember the name of the route I climbed at Smuggs, but besides getting stuck in a tree I liked it a lot. I have really been enjoying climbing at Bolton. I did “work shoes” mid day and that was a challenge. The sun was intense. 

What has it been like being a part of the Petra Community? 

I came up to VT to steady myself and change the way I was living. The music industry can be one big party and I was just tired. At Petra I found community and in climbing I found every metaphor for life you could ever need. Petra’s staff welcomed me in with patience and kindness. The encouragement I received kept me focused on my goals inside and outside of the gym. Climbing saved my life and I started climbing at Petra. So, you do the math. Haha

What's a fun fact that many other Petra Members might not know about you?

I was Snow White at Disneyland when I was 17. Weirdest job I ever had.

Make sure to checkout more of Hayley Jane here: