‘Tis the Season to be Overwhelmed

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time for us to start our holiday planning in earnest. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Festivus, or a little bit of everything,, it is the busiest time of year for most of us. This year, we don’t have the added scheduling of holiday concerts and the rehearsalsContinue reading “‘Tis the Season to be Overwhelmed”

Breaking Down the “I Am” Song

A few weeks ago, I talked about the role of the “I Want” song in a musical. From that blogpost, I created a series of questions that the actor needs to ask themselves when preparing that song and gave it to my students for our studio class on the topic. Tonight, we will be exploringContinue reading “Breaking Down the “I Am” Song”

Practicing for Progress – Your Own Way

Today I wrote to a potential student’s mom about what to expect from voice lessons. And when I wrote about what I expect from my students, I wrote: Students are expected to practice at home to the extent they need to make progress. I don’t require proof of practice in writing or any journal –Continue reading “Practicing for Progress – Your Own Way”

Make a Fool of Yourself!

Today I attended a masterclass hosted by Susan Hanlon, a voice teacher in Dallas, and Izzie Baumann, a voice teacher and performance coach in Mainz, Germany. The clinician was Christian Borle, Broadway star and Tony award winner (Peter and the Starcatcher, Something Rotten). He worked with six singers from the US to Germany. He wasContinue reading “Make a Fool of Yourself!”

When you hear no…

The great Kelli O’Hara went to the same school as Kristin Chenoweth, and studied with same voice teacher, force of nature Florence Birdwell. Obviously, Ms. Birdwell knew her stuff (she was still alive last I heard, so I should say, “knows” her stuff), since both of them are Tony-award winning artists. Kristin Chenoweth is knownContinue reading “When you hear no…”

Breaking Down The I Want Song

The late Bob Fosse said that there were three kinds of songs that mattered to the director of a musical: The “I am” song – defining who the singer is The “I want” song – defining what the singer wants The “New” song – doesn’t fit the other two categories; could take things into aContinue reading “Breaking Down The I Want Song”

The Performer’s Identity

For those of us who have identified as performers for most of our lives, 2020 has made us question our very identities. For those of us who have dreamt of a life on the stage and have done everything in service of that goal, 2020 has made us question our goals. For those of usContinue reading “The Performer’s Identity”

Creativity + Intelligence

I like creative people. I like smart people. So I like creative, smart people. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many in my life, both as a performer and as a teacher, and to be friends with quite a few as well. I saw this quote by Albert Einstein, and I couldn’t agree more:Continue reading “Creativity + Intelligence”

Your voice is a [fill in the blank]

I like analogies. I don’t teach solely by analogy, though, because they’re so personal and sometimes they don’t mean anything to people. I use them to illustrate concepts that I’ve explained technically. And I use them judiciously. For example, when we sing, we are singing on the exhalation. It’s important for that exhalation to beContinue reading “Your voice is a [fill in the blank]”

Expectations

I read a lot of political books. If you know me, you know which way I tend to swing, politically. I generally don’t talk about them in my business, because not everyone agrees on the subject, especially in this very divided condition we’re in right now. One of the books I read recently was JamesContinue reading “Expectations”