SILVIE Paladino is unusually nervous, but not for the reasons one might think.
The seasoned entertainer will perform at the Clocktower Centre in Moonee Ponds next month, gracing the stage in front of her home crowd.
"It's a bit scary because everyone wants to come," she says.
"I'm feeling a bit nervous about it, to be honest. I'm very hard on myself and with the ones that are close to me I want to get their approval ... to know that the little girl in me is doing OK."
Paladino grew up in East Keilor and started singing at nine as a hobby. At 12, she joined a local wedding band.
"My dad would come around with me every Saturday night," she recalls.
At 14, she won the Italian Song Festival competition and another competition within Young Talent Time.
A year later she had left school, which she remembers hating, to embark on forging a career in music.
"That [the competitions] sort of propelled me to this industry," she says. "It wasn't a planned thing. It wasn't like I spent my childhood wanting to be a singer. It never really dawned on me that I could do this as a job."
Paladino, 41 this year, is glad she took a punt. Her highlights include the roles of Eponine and Fantine in Les Miserables, an annual spot at Carols By Candlelight, and singing the national anthem at an AFL grand final. "I feel like the career has chosen me. I haven't chosen it," she muses. "It's certainly not easy. It has its ups and downs. I've been blessed to sustain a career over 25 years."
At the Clocktower, Paladino will belt out tunes that span her decorated career, as well as songs from her latest album On My Own.
She isn't sure what the future holds but can't imagine doing anything else.
"For me it's like breathing."
An evening with Silvie Paladino is at the Clocktower Centre in Moonee Ponds on Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, May 20. Bookings: 92439191.