Born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on March 5, Lisa Schouw and family moved to Auckland, New Zealand when she was three. As a student of classical ballet, she reached intermediate level of the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. Piano, horse riding, athletics and playing basketball were all part of her teen years.
After leaving high school she spent two years training at the New Zealand Dance Centre and performed in a number of ballets including "The Nutcracker Suite" and "La Boutique Fantastique". The school's principal was Russell Kerr and fellow company members included Jon Trimmer who was also a principal dancer with the Nederland's Ballet Company.
During a dress rehearsal for a season of "The Tales of Beatrix Potter", Lisa fell and injured her ankle. Unable to dance anymore she spent a brief couple of months at university, then worked as a lab assistant, hotel receptionist, clerical worker and completed a journalism course at Auckland Technical Institute.
Lisa began her singing career by doing gigs with a cabaret band and tackling the local talent quest circuit. Her desire to reach a broader audience led to a move to Australia in 1983.
"I guess I was searching for something to fill the gap inside me caused by not being able to dance anymore. I had always loved singing but had thought my voice was no good. It was only when I moved to Australia that I really started to pursue a career in music seriously."
Lisa lived in King's Cross, Sydney while she absorbed the local music scene. A move south to Melbourne led to an audition as a vocalist for local band "Pointz". It was in this band that she met Robin Gist for the first time. Over a period of two years, the band changed its name to "Short Story", played around Melbourne, almost secured a publishing and recording deal with Wheatley Records and then finally self-destructed. Lisa went back to New Zealand for about six months, but decided to return to Australia to meet up with Robin to begin writing songs for a new project.
After auditioning various players they settled on Brett McNaughton and together the three formed Separate Tables in 1987. The band released an
After a year of writing and gigging the band secured a recording deal with RCA/BMG, the support for John Farnham's "Jack's Back" Tour and spent months on the road playing Entertainment Centres and concert halls around Australia promoting the single "When The Word Came Down". John Favaro joined the band on bass guitar and recording began on their debut album "Paint a Picture" with producer Ross Fraser. The band changed it's name to Girl Overboard and put out the single - "I Can't Believe". The album was released in 1989, went gold and received two ARIA nominations; Best Debut Single - "I Can't Believe" and Best Australian Video - "Permanent Friend". Lisa co-wrote many of the bands hits including "The Love We Make".
In 1991 the band released their second album "GO" produced by Australian producer Charles Fisher (1927, Air Supply, Hoodoo Gurus & Savage Garden) to critical acclaim. The haunting ballad "Jackie" and the catchy "Chain of Fools" were both played constantly on Australian radio.
After the break-up of the band in 1993, Lisa began working with her acoustic trio. She has appeared at venues such as The Harbourside
Over the years Lisa has been involved in a number of different projects. She appeared in the 1989 Australian Feature film "Hungry Heart" with actor Norman Kaye as well as writing music for the soundtrack. In 1993 Lisa was invited to sing the title track on the award winning New Zealand film "Bread and Roses". In 1994 she collaborated and danced in a commissioned work for "The Independent Dance Collection" at Sydney's Performance Space. Later that year she appeared in another contemporary dance piece co-created with Dean Walsh.
Lisa was invited to sing at the "Blue Moon" Gala Benefit at the Sydney Town Hall with other performers including Max Cullen and Georgie Parker. Lisa has worked as a researcher and producer's assistant on various projects for television including; "Missing Pieces", "Andrew Denton Meets Kevin Costner", and for The Sydney Olympics "The Journey Begins - Towards 2000".
For the last five years she has taught acting, singing and voice at The Actors Centre Australia, the Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney and NIDA.