Sunday, August 30, 2015

I wanna be on Broadway! I wanna sing at the Met!

Sunday musings...

When asking singers new to me what their goals are,  inevitably I get one of these two answers from time to time:

I wanna be on Broadway.

I wanna sing at the Met.

As we enter another audition season,  another performance season,  another academic year,  we shall hear these two lines, and many others similar,  in many places:  the voice studio,  the audition hallway, the student lounge...

And as a music theatre veteran gypsy said to me last week while rolling her eyes: "So do a lot of people honey,  get in line!"

I shall go one further.

What does that MEAN to you?  Being on Broadway?  Singing at the Met?

Since you haven't done it,  you don't know what the reality of that is.

So what does it represent to you?

Often when inexperienced, or naive,  or something else that is vague,  we come up with pat answers like this.  It reveals MUCH as to where you are in the bigger picture of the journey.  Don't worry, we've all been there.

I just want to challenge your language in order to help you find out what you REALLY want.

If you don't know you can't figure out how to do it, or how to get there.

What is it about "Broadway" that appeals?  Why?  Is it the actual location?  Is it the prestige it evokes? What do you need to do to "be there?"   Do you even know?

What about The Met?  What does that represent?  What makes you qualified?  Why?  What would it give you?  What can you give it?  What do you need to achieve and develop to allow you an opportunity to be there?  And if that opportunity comes,  what does it mean?

The more "pat" your answers are,  the more questions I will have!

What do you KNOW about the location you want so badly?

Is it the place or what it represents?  What does it represent to you?  Why is that the goal?

How do you do that?

How do you develop knowledge,  craft & tenacity to achieve it?

Is wanting it enough?  What do you actually have to DO????

Start with your answer,  or your supposed answer.  Allow yourself permission to change it,  once you have started to structure what is needed to get there.

If destination is important, then how you get there has to be precise.  Do you know what it takes to find that precision?  Are you prepared?

Do you even know the questions to ask?

Or,  are you beginning to wonder if that "pat answer" has more flexibility?  Maybe the journey,  maybe the discovery,  maybe the work and the self-awareness will actually reveal less rigidness and more fluidity to take paths of possibilities you won't see right away.

The more we learn,  the more questions we have,  and the more we seek,  and the more we learn, and the more we discover,   the deeper we become and the clearer we become and the more questions we ask and....

If your goal is a destination only,  perhaps it's time to start asking questions.

What's the first question?


Always,  why.

Why am I doing this?

Why am I here?

Why is that my answer?


Happy questions!   There should always be more of those than answers anyway!  Otherwise,  why bother seeking the answer if the question isn't asked?


They will lead you to more questions,  to possibilities, and answers that morph and flex with the growth of YOU!


Sunday, August 16, 2015


happy Sunday evening all!

I want to recommend to you a new vlog series called "Notes from the Bench"  produced by Mikhail Hallak & Studio 113 Productions in New York City.

Here is the first episode in case you haven't seen it - it's going to be a great series!

ENJOY and keep watching for more content!


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dear Singer...What is it about the Business?

Dear Singer,

First,  you have to identify the difference between making music and being an artist AND making a living making music.   You have to know how to separate those two.  They are not,  nor have they ever been the same.

There are rules that apply to each of those facts,  and you have to find them and acknowledge them and follow them.  You haven't done that yet or you wouldn't be feeling they way you are feeling.  Acknowledgement of rules,  prevents you from taking it personally.

Even if you were Equity,  the stats are 95%  unemployed at any given time.  This is BUSINESS of show.

You have chosen a profession that has a ridiculous unemployment rate.  You have to want it badly enough to stick to it.

Knowing how your voice works, or  how to be an actress and all the craft associated,  is NOT how the business works.  The two are not the same, nor do they necessarily go hand in hand.

You have to learn how the business works and the time it takes to figure out the game and how to play it.   You have to be prepared to be in this game long enough (sorry sweetie - 2 years is no time - or 6 months or even 5 years...)  to find out whether it's what you want to be bothered with long term,  or simply walk away and find another way to keep making music for your well being.

Just wanting something doesn't make it so.

We work not because we are good enough,  but because somebody thinks we are,  and sees us playing the game to their reasoning.

The game is often bullshit and it has NOTHING to do with craft or artistic integrity - but it is what has to happen in order to work.

So - prepare to learn the game.  That takes time. A lifetime really.  There are no assurances in this business.  None.

There are no answers but the ones you discover for yourself,  about yourself and about how you function or not, in the business.

The level of the business doesn't matter:  same game, just another day and another process.   Community theatre, regional professional theatre, Broadway - ARE ALL THE SAME.  The players and venue change.  The stakes may change.  Learning to play the game in the venue you are in is what the business is about.  Discover your game.  Play it.  Get good at it,  or walk away.

I am just trying to be honest with you.  The work you do on your artistic self will always be there;  don't misunderstand that.  Artistic self has NOTHING at all to do with BUSINESS self.

Learning the business,  learning the game,  and how you navigate those land mines - is up to you, and takes more time than you realize.  If our artistic selves continue to evolve and develop over a lifetime, then so,  do does knowledge of the business and the business self within the business of show.

Chin up!!! Your path is your path.

Accept it,  experience it,  walk it - or choose to walk elsewhere.  Wherever you,  BE THERE.  Fully, honestly, and completely.

Sending you good wishes,

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I am thrilled to announce that I have accepted a position at Moravian College in Bethelehem, PA!

I will be teaching voice,  and will develop a course called "Song & Stagecraft" as well as direct Opera Workshop.

This will allow us,  as a faculty and college, to build a vibrant and innovative theatre program that will include both Opera AND Music Theatre.

I am very excited to be part of this college's growth,  and bring my skills to help create something uniquely special in the music department.

And of course, I cannot thank Sean O'Boyle and Suzanne Kompass enough for believing in me, and feeling I could be a good fit!  I cannot wait to work side by side with Suzanne in the voice faculty as she brings passion and humor, commitment and great knowledge and ethic to her work!!!!

I shall be continuing to work with my amazing singers in NYC of course - and travel to offer master classes and workshops - and get my feet on the boards once again this fall and start performing again!

And,  of course,  keep this blog full of musings that I hope are relevant and effective for YOU!

Happy August!