The BEAT’S Entertainment Editor

The slums of Rio de Janeiro is where Portia spent her childhood. Being one of seven siblings meant that life was difficult at best. Portia’s only real escape came in the form of music, specifically, learning to play the guitar her grandfather had left her upon his death. There were times when the family wondered where their next meal may come from, but Portia’s father refused to sell or pawn the instrument.

When Portia was 22 years old, she left her home in South America and moved several thousand miles away to New York City. Besides hoping to make it as a professional musician, Portia had one other dream: Meeting shock jock Howard Stern. Eight months after landing at JFK International airport, her dream came true when Howard hosted a benefit at which Portia played. After introducing herself to the radio personality, Portia’s dream was set back some when he basically blew her off.

In June of 2011, Portia met country music producer Buck Taylor, who was busy recruiting people to relocate to Branson, MO in order to perform in some of the various entertainment venues there. Before long, Portia was performing regularly in three different Branson shows. Not only had her guitar skills flourished over the years, she also had a remarkable sing voice. While living in Branson, she also accomplished another goal; She earned her GED.

In 2013 Portia met Eric Marshall, a horse rancher from Joplin, MO. Before long, Portia and Eric were making wedding plans, and decided to hold the ceremony on Marshall’s 120 acre ranch south of Joplin. Portia also took a part-time job writing entertainment stories for a regional publication. On the couple’s six-month wedding anniversary, tragedy struck when Eric was killed in a single vehicle accident just three miles from their home.

Today, Portia still lives on the ranch and divides her time between serving as The BEAT’S Entertainment Editor and teaching guitar lessons. According to Portia, she has found a home in southwest Missouri and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.