Solemn Joy and Sudden Spark

Energy.

It’s really all about energy. That solemn joy and that sudden spark (from the song “Our children” from Ragtime).

Your energy on stage, whether you’re acting, singing, dancing, conducting or playing an instrument, has to be palpable. It has to draw in not only the audience but your fellow actors. There needs to be a spark that engages us and makes us want to know what you’re going to do next and how we’re going to respond to that. Even if we know what happens next in the play, what your next line will be, and what the ending will be. Your energy needs to signal that something is going to happen and it’s going to be epic.

If you have the energy, it doesn’t matter if you’re 5’2″ or 5’10”, if you’re 110 pounds soaking wet or twice that. It doesn’t matter if you have a full head of hair or are as bald as an egg (which, for some reason, I called “spoon-headed” when I was little – I guess because shiny?). It doesn’t matter if you’re as graceful as a gazelle or as awkward as a new puppy. You can be the world’s greatest singer or just – eh. It doesn’t matter.

This is what I am looking for as an actor, as an audience member, and as a director. Yes, a director hopefully will bring out the best in each of her actors, but there are certain roles that require more to be there in the first place. If you weren’t cast in the role, it’s because you didn’t fit it in some way. If I’m not cast in a role, it’s because I didn’t fit it in some way. There’s another role I will fit. There’s another role you will fit. Sometimes they aren’t the roles we want.

We have to move on

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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