She's always been "out there," and as a teenager growing up in Morgan Mill, Samantha Behymer, known to her family and friends as Sam, said she knew her place was somewhere else in this world. What she didn't know was that the pursuit of somewhere else would take her to national TV on NBC's The Voice.
"The stage was completely dark when I first walked out on it for the blind auditions. Even though I've been up on stage many, many times and never had stage fright, I did then," Behymer said with a laugh. "I was so nervous. I don't even remember singing so much as I remember hearing my own voice. Then when Adam's (Levine) chair turned around I just absolutely lost it. I knew right then, no matter what else happens from there, I'd won. To me, it was a sign. I wasn't just chasing my dream of making a living with my music, I was living it."
Behymer, 25, moved from Morgan Mill after finishing high school and got her undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She said that experience helped her transition from a small town girl to living in Los Angeles.
"Honestly, it's more of a culture shock when I go home now than it was moving here," Behymer said. "I feel like I've come into my own here. And now, being on the show, it's helping even more with me being comfortable in my music, which is more quirky than most, and being more relatable to audiences."
After finishing college, Behymer moved in with a friend in Los Angeles and began her pursuit of musical stardom. However, making a living in music is a hard gig, and Behymer said she worked as a nanny to pay the bills before auditioning for The Voice.
"I released three albums and went on a small, grassroots cross-country tour," she said. "But I had to finance it all myself and that has been rough. I was to the point where I was considering going back to grad school and becoming a librarian to pay the bills and my student loans."
But just when she felt like giving up, Behymer's friends encouraged her to try out for The Voice.
Now she has been given the chance to work with Levine, from the pop/rock band Maroon 5, and other exciting new artists like Aloe Blacc, who will be the mentor for Team Adam in the Battle Rounds of the show.
"It was really exciting because I've always been a fan of the show and know all the coaches' music," she said. "I just feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be up there, to have my music heard by so many people and to work with such talented artists."
Her parents, Roger and Loree Behymer, are coming from Morgan Mill to watch her perform in the Battle Rounds.
Her parents aren't the only people from Erath County supporting Behymer. She's received hundreds of messages of support, pride and well wishes from people back home.
"I think what I want people back home to know is that I really appreciate all the support and love I'm getting from them," Behymer said. "But they should also know it's okay to be weird, 'weird and wonderful' like Adam said. That it's okay to be you and embrace that. Every time I perform I think about my niece and nephew growing up and going to school in the same warm and loving little community my sister and I did. And I hope they know not to be afraid of who they are, even if it isn't like anyone else. I want to be an example of embracing that and inspiring others to do the same. Not only in my music, but in everything."
NBC's The Voice airs at 7 p.m. on Mondays and at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Behymer can't say when her next episode will air or who she will face from her team in the Battle Rounds.