China Forbes
48 (for a few more days),  Portland, Oregon
What do you do for work?
I am a songwriter and the lead singer of Pink Martini.

What’s the story behind the name of the band?
Thomas Lauderdale, who started the band, was very influenced by Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Henry Mancini and the Pink Panther. When the band first started in 1994 there was a huge cocktail music revival and I think he was just really excited to put on a dress, drink a cosmopolitan and throw a lot of parties. That’s when he came up with the name.

Last Google search?
refrigerator colors and dimensions for a two-story addition I am designing for my house.  It’s a rec room for my son with an attached garage/painting studio. I am obsessed with designing and remodeling. And I dream of painting again one day when I have some spare time.

Greatest new discovery?
Game of Thrones
! I never watched it, wasn’t really into TV for a while and thought I wouldn’t like it, but my friends finally convinced me to try it and now I am obsessed. I wish I could catch up fast enough to watch the new season live. But I don’t think I will make it….

I’m oddly viceless, if a vice is something one needs daily and relies on.  I do love a chocolate chip cookie though. But I almost never have one.  It’s pretty boring to say “green tea,” but that comes closest.

Tell us something surprising about yourself. 
I played varsity field hockey and varsity lacrosse in high school.

Biggest parenting fail?
Getting my son to school late on a regular basis. I am not a morning person. School starts way too early and his teacher is quite formal. One minute before the bell is still late. Frankly it’s a miracle that I get him there by 7:59 AM at all.  I’m a musician!

Worst dating story?
I met someone on Bumble and agreed to a lunch date at a really cute Portland luncheonette that I love, which he suggested, which made me think he might be cool. But when I walked in, he was very different from what I expected and I nervously started asking him questions and ended up asking him everything about himself and he asked me nothing about myself, for an hour, and finally, I ran out of questions and we still had to get through the meal. That’s when I realized you can never meet a stranger for lunch. Coffee only.

Last song you sang out loud, just for you?
“Endless Love” in an echo chamber marble lobby in Kansas City. Of course, I sang both parts.

China Performing: 

Tags : WOW
The Woolfer Newsletter Team
Stephanie Staal and Nina Collins have worked together and adored each other since 1994 when they were both babies in the world of book publishing. Stephanie is a lawyer, journalist, & author of READING WOMEN, and Nina is the founder of "What Would Virginia Woolf Do?" Hillary Richard is also a lawyer and co-host of the Raging Gracefully podcast. Sidney Morss is a recent NYU grad and the youngest member of our team.


  1. LOVE Pink Martini. They played at my bon voyage party in 1998 in a tiny club in San Francisco and I still have the autographed CD. The next time I saw them was in a giant concert hall in Paris. In my (slightly delusional) mind I like to think we’re BFFs because we had a conversation once 21 years ago & because I’ve listening to China’s gorgeous voice regularly all this time. #superfan Thanks for this interview!

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