SWEET HOME - Alexis Ebert has learned a few lessons since her first Oregon Jamboree six years ago: How to keep smiling when the backup music skips, for instance, and how to sign autographs for nearly two hours in temperatures edging toward 90.
The 14-year-old Albany girl hopes it's all just part of the journey to critical and commercial success in the country music world.
Saturday marked the fourth Jamboree for Alexis, who uses just her first name for her professional work.
"I'm not nervous anymore," she said. "Now it's like, it's awesome!"
Alexis has little time to be nervous anyway. Doors keep opening for the young singer-songwriter. Last week she performed at CountryFest in St. Helens, a show that featured Keith Urban and LeAnn Rimes. Today she flies to Los Angeles to shoot a video of a song she wrote, "Tumbleweed."
She also has a Web site, www.alexismusic.net.
"Tumbleweed," along with nine other songs Alexis has written, is slated to appear on her debut album, in the works with Warner Bros. She'd like to call it "You Gotta Believe." It's a fitting statement, she said, to both share her Christian faith and encourage people to follow their dreams.
Her own dream is to see the album go platinum. "More than platinum, if I could!" she said.
She has other dreams, including doing a big show at Disneyland and a benefit concert for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
She has her eye on a huge stuffed Bugs Bunny, awarded at Warner Bros. to anyone with a No. 1 hit. And someday, she'd love to try her hand at producing.
But she's keenly aware that many dreams have already come true. Her song "The Real Me" was included in the Disney movie "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen," and she was able to attend the premiere in New York City. She has met country stars Collin Raye and Keith Urban and beams when she recalls Martina McBride complimenting her on her voice at a Country Music Awards party.
"I'm very blessed," she said.
For a few minutes following Saturday's show, Alexis was able to relax in anonymity, eating an ice cream cone with her mother, Cheryl, near the food booths in the midst of the Jamboree crowd.
Family support - which also comes from her father, Dave, and 11-year-old brother, Edd - is critical and helps her stay grounded, she said.
"I really like to be a role model," she said. "I think that's important. I always want to set a good example."