In improvisational comedy, actors are trained to use the prompt “yes, and” in order to accept what their scene partner has given them and expand upon it to take it further. It doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with your scene partner, it just means that you heard what they said. I think it’s somewhat related to the idea of “finding your why,” in a sense. You say, “yes, and” to take things in a new direction. You “find your why” in order to figure out that direction.
I don’t remember where I got this but I had written down a few notes about goal setting that involved the idea of “I do this so thatI can do that.”
(If you’re the person from whom I got it, please let me know and I’ll credit you.)
With the new year fast approaching and resolutions/goal setting coming up, I thought this might be an interesting way to look at the steps involved in achieving your goals.
For example, as it relates to continuing education:
I register for pedagogy courses so thatI can explore new ways of teaching voice
I explore new ways of teaching voice so thatI can serve my students/clients better
I serve my clients better so that they can feel more confident about their singing and performing in the community and so that I get additional clients who want to be just like them
I teach additional clients so thatI can make more money
I make more money so that I can take more pedagogy courses
Or as a performer:
I take voice lessons so thatI can audition for the opera
I audition for the opera so that I can perform on stage
I perform on stage so thatI can make more money
I make more money so that I can take voice lessons (and take more pedagogy courses)
What is my WHY? For that, we probably need to go back to my earliest blogposts and the (current) title of this blog.
I’m thinking of switching up the name of this blog to something that fits me a bit more now than when I first started this back in 2009. Also, if you’re interested in lessons in the new year, find out how to work with me and we’ll see what we can do together!
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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