Norton Seal Sarah Suardi

Employee & Agent Stories

Sarah Suardi Pursues Her Dream of Performance

Music has always been a big part of Sarah Suardi’s life. When she thinks back on her childhood, Sarah sees her grandmother sitting with her at an old piano, teaching her how to play the keys. “When I was little and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say a singer,” Sarah says.

After years of trying to be a composer for video game soundtracks without any luck, she found herself at a crossroads. That’s when the phone rang. It was a former classmate, asking if she’d like to join his band.

“It was like that saying, ‘When one door closes another opens,’” says Sarah.

Sarah became the lead singer of AfterTime, a cinematic metal band based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their music combines the heavy drums and guitars of metal with elements of symphonic orchestral sounds — a subgenre of heavy metal music that is most popular in Europe. AfterTime’s operatic albums tell stories of voyage, love and loss through their cinematic songs, and features Sarah as lead vocalist.

And soon after moving to Minneapolis, Sarah interviewed for a position as an agent assistant with Leona Simonett’s American Family Insurance agency. “I knew from Sarah’s initial interview she was pursuing a music career and her dream was for that to be her sole income one day,” says Leona.

Agency owner Leona saw Sarah’s passion for music and is proud to support her dream with flexible scheduling. They work together to create a schedule that allows time for her dream, with AfterTime meeting on weekends to perform and rehearse.

“It’s exciting to see opportunities that help her move forward with her passion in music and hopefully on the road to fulfilling her dream. Until then, she’s been a great team member,” says Leona, “Sarah exercises care and compassion when working with clients. She is my go-to person for any new training or marketing projects.”

As for Sarah, she is hoping that someday AfterTime will be enough to support a full-time career. But for now, she’s happy that her job with American Family allows her to keep on dreaming. “American Family supports my passions,” says Sarah. “I’m especially grateful to Leona, for understanding how much the band means to me.”

She encourages everyone to go for their dreams, no matter what others say. “Never let the outside world dictate what dreams are and aren’t worthy of pursuing,” she says. “Our world is full of people who cast aside their dreams in the name of practicality. If you don’t make a concerted effort to make your dreams a reality, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.”

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