Strength, Softness, and Wildness – Becoming a Curiously Strong Performer

I was going through some emails in the Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method forum today and someone made a reference to a Brené Brown quote:

“Strong Backs, Soft Fronts, and Wild Hearts.”

That intrigued me, because I’ve always been a fan of Brené Brown, and I find her choice of pithy phrases to be inspirational. (My own “Bragging Boldly” pretty much comes from the idea of “Daring Greatly,” her book which drawns in turn upon the famous quote of Teddy Roosevelt, at least in terms of prosody.)

She used this term in a podcast last November (election day), the transcript of which you can read here.

When she speaks of a strong back, she is talking of a sense of confidence, of a steely spine, of a strong foundation (but one that is flexible).

A soft front is the vulnerability and the comfort that we offer people.

These are both terms which she got from a Buddhist teacher and activist, Joan Halifax. Brown’s addition was the “wild heart,” which I am interpreting as that part which encompasses the strength and the vulnerability, that sets you apart from everyone else and makes you special. It is vulnerability, but vulnerability based on experience and knowledge.

How does this apply to becoming a Curiously Strong Singer/Performer?

    • Our strong back is our technique and the notes/text on the page

    • Our soft front is our performance – our face, our voice, that vulnerable part we’re showing the world

    • Our wild heart is our expressivity – how we use our strength and softness together to tell a story/our truth/a message

Three components of Performance: Strong Back, Soft Front & Wild Heart
Stretching greatly? 😉

This is my interpretation of this phrase. What do you think it means? Let me know in the comments if you have a different interpretation.

If you’re ready to find your strength, your softness, and your wild heart as a performer, find out how MVS can help you on that journey.

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.

What do you think?

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