By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
She pauses for a beat, then laughs.
"Not that this is really the way that I would have planned it."
New Year's Eve 2002 found Audry perched high above a packed house at Kelly's Mission Rock, a popular late-night spot in San Francisco, in perfect command of two Technics 1200s and a mixer. She'd brought a crate of records so that, as one of 25 DJs appearing that night, she could spin the West Coast, vocal house style that fans in the Bay Area had come to expect from Miss Audry.
On the surface, the evening was not out of the ordinary. Parties, even twelve-hour parties like this one, are part of a working DJ's normal routine. Audry had seen hundreds of events like it before. Still, it felt like the most important night of her life.
"That was my first big gig after the accident, so it was really special to me for a lot of reasons," she says. "Not only was I able to DJ again, but a lot of my friends were there to kind of enjoy the whole experience with me. I felt a sense of triumph for sure, because I was able to overcome so many obstacles to get there."
According to a worst-case scenario presented to her friends and family in the hours following the accident, Audry might never have gone anywhere again. But now here she was, visiting the city she'd adopted and adored, putting her life back together like an extended dance remix.
On March 7, Audry turned 27. She entered her new year at full speed. She's seeing a vocal coach to help her reclaim her singing abilities, which disappeared when her throat was paralyzed. She's taking a Spanish class and writing lyrics and melodies for new songs, including a followup to "That Latin Track." She and her mom are planning a move from Westminster to Capitol Hill, so that Audry will be nearer to her friends and to her music. Friends say she's the same old Audry. But in some ways, she's a different person. Better.
"I don't feel like I've lost anything in any way," she says. "The type of brain injury I have, it just didn't affect me emotionally. But I feel like I probably am more positive now. I can really see the bright side; I feel really lucky that nothing is permanent with my injuries. Everything is a little harder now, but at least I can do it. That's what I have to remind myself: At least I can."