Saturday, December 27, 2014

How are you preparing for 2015?

Here it is, that week between Christmas & the New Year...again.

The year flew by!

So often the chaos and busy-ness of the holiday season leaves us exhausted and needing another holiday that we can do nothing in to recover from  this one!

The voice studio AND the blog have many exciting things coming in 2015.  I am going to be doing more video interviewing for the blog as well.  Tony Howell,  CEO/Founder of CREATIVE SOCIAL MEDIA  will be my first guest with a series of interviews coming early in 2015.

Creative Social Media is offering a FREE WEBINAR on NEW YEARS DAY and you should really check it out.

Called "15 in 2015" - it will jump start YOU.  I am registered - why not join me?

Go to Creative Social Media's site here  and register!

Let's begin to make 2015 the best yet.  Get ready to prepare,  craft, mold and hone YOU and your skills and talents and the craft that will allow you to walk into the room without hesitation,  with a professional attitude and demeanor,  with a technique and preparation that you can rely on - and start being noticed and recognized! 


Tony Howell and me during our shoot!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Mentality of Professional vs Amateur

The title needs work.

Professional is not versus Amateur.  It is simply opposite.

There are lots of ways to define both words.  I tend to let those words evolve through behavior, and how you view your work,  how you hear what is being said to you and what you do with that information.

There was a time in my life where I would have spent TONS of time to try to "get through" to a singer/actor only to be completely ignored, or hear from them something that was absolutely not said nor implied.

The longer I work with singers, and am in the business, the more I realize how this truly divides the professional mentality from the amateur one.

I see more and more that what you take from a conversation really determines where you are in the process of becoming or maintaining your professionalism or leaving you simply in amateur-land.

Some people are hard-wired professional.  They simply have the ability to see a larger arc,  and know what they need and who they need to ask to get the information in order to develop a career, and a more importantly,  a way of preparing to create a career.  They grow,  they are willing to be accessible,  they listen and hear the full extent of a conversation and then are able to hone in how that affects them specifically and what they must do to grow and develop.

The amateur is probably hard-wired too.  The amateur isn't just about not knowing.  Their hearing is suspect;  their ability to translate is limited;  they find ways to hide, to make excuses and to fixate on one or two things to create a narrative that keeps them safe.

Again, there are many ways to define professionalism and amateurism.  I am speaking about mindset and what could be hard-wired,  versus what could be potential untapped but has the ability to grow and become.

If potential isn't realized,  it's amateur.  It's okay to be amateur as one is developing potential.  It's okay to be amateur even if you don't develop potential.  It is finding one's level that is crucial in all of this.   Amateurs can think they are ready for the deep water,  but the only ones they are kidding are themselves.  Professionals can be in an amateur environment and still find success with others who are like minded and grow.

I see the amateur mindset so often in the development of the vocal instrument.  That instrument is ALWAYS growing and changing.  It needs constant and CONSISTENT attention.  Hard-wired amateurs don't see that need or dismiss it,  and actually say it's good enough.  Professional mind-sets always find a way to keep studying and keep growing.

Professional mindsets ask questions.  They keep the options open and never tie it up with a bow.  They know there is more and they are constantly striving for more craft, more knowledge, more understanding.

Amateur mindsets set up small pockets of fixation.  They only hear what they are able to.  There is not an initiative to truly find more of what is needed, but rather, excuses of what they think is enough.

Professional mindsets often have more questions than answers.

Amateur mindsets find quick answers so they don't need to ask more questions.

Professional mindsets don't make excuses, or hide behind tired humor or excuses or look for sympathy.

Amateur mindsets find the excuses to keep them exactly where they are.  They can be told EXACTLY what is needed, and simply do not hear it,  or choose not to hear it. 

Professional mindsets require challenge and want to know what they need to do.

Amateur mindsets want no conflict and want to be told they are wonderful.

And guess what?  It's okay to be an amateur.  Just don't pretend it's okay to bring the amateur mindset into the professional arena and wonder why nobody is giving you the time of day.

Every singer that walks through my door will be made to feel safe.  They will also be challenged to find their best self.  They will be encouraged, and applauded when they leave better than their previous self.  The professional mindset will realize leaving better than their previous self means there is still work to do.  The amateur mindset will think they are "ready". 

The professional mindset will listen and HEAR.  The amateur mindset will only hear and translate what they are able to, and may even misunderstand.

These are the hard-wired mindsets.

If you really really want to move from amateur to professional in your mind-set you really really REALLY have to work to hear what you need,  by the people who know - and not interrupt.  There are no "yeah, but..."  in a professional mindset.  None.

Learn to ask the right questions, and if you don't know the questions to ask,  ask THAT question.  If you take the time ask,  expect an answer,  and then it is up to YOU,  to discover what the answer reveals for you.  Often, it's not comfortable.  There is nothing comfortable with self-examination.  We learn how to accept the reality and work with it,  or dodge it and remain in that amateur mindset.

Better is simply,  better.

Progress is simply,  progress.

Potential is simply,  potential.

Realizing,  developing and claiming gives us the opportunity to find the changes, makes the changes and live the changes.

Your mindset is up to you.  Claim it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Video Chat with Creative Social Media!

I am working on a new aspect of the blog:


The first will be with Founder and CEO of Creative Social Media,  Tony Howell.

As artists we often have a love/hate relationship with social media and our online presence, but it is NECESSARY to keep our work out there in a very clear and current way!

Tony will demystify this for us as only he can and give you great ideas and tools and specifics to keep creating while using social media and the internet!

I want YOUR questions - so add them in the comments section below, or email me - so I can ask Tony on your behalf.

Watch for our chat SOON!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Finding Your Niche

Sunday the end of November...

Are you finding your niche?  Where you can inhabit?

There are so many factors in our lives as artists.

Some are artists.

Some have artistic temperaments.

Some are performers.

Some are artists who perform.

Some are craftspeople.

Some are process people.

Some are a quick bolt of lightening.

Some are a slow burn.

Finding out WHAT you are,  and then WHERE you are reveals even more,  and can be thoroughly exhausting and confusing.

We fight the constant "in the box" mentality to allow our artistic individuality to be allowed to breathe.  We need to do that if we want to find authenticity as an artist.

However, then there's the business of show.  If we want to work,  make a living or some semblance,  are we ready to go where our talent takes us?  And how do we know not just how we WISH to be seen, but how we ARE being seen?

I see the frustration.  I've experienced it.

As I get older,  I have decided not to succumb to the box,  but rather, enjoy the process of creating MY OWN.

And I don't want a box,  I want a niche.  It allows for my uniqueness to be displayed as opposed to being put away. 

As a performer,  you want your uniqueness remembered.  You want to be in the minds of someone who is casting who sees you clearly.

Here's the catch:  the only way they see you clearly is if YOU see you clearly.

If something doesn't add up,  it's too much time and effort to riddle it out,  and your head shot and resume are placed unceremoniously in THAT OTHER PILE.

You, the artist, You, the performer,  must discover what makes you unique, where your niche will be, and occupy that space!

Get creative with it.  Come on!  You say you are an artist,  so BE one!  Create!  Create yourself!

Don't get caught in the regular,  boring, non-descriptive adjectives.

Carve out a place for yourself!

How aware of yourself are you?

Time to ask the hard questions of yourself, and people you trust that can keep it real.  This doesn't need to hurt, but rather invigorate you to discover what space you can truly call yours!!

There are so many people trying to work in this business,  Music Theatre, Theatre, Film, TV, Opera - all of which have their own specificities and quirks.

There is always going to be someone better than you,  hungrier than you,  more determined than you.

So what makes YOU the best YOU, the most unique YOU,  the most qualified YOU?

The pieces of the puzzle don't have to fit in a "traditional" way - sometimes the "quirks" we find that don't seem to fit can end up becoming the recognized niche we need.

Are you ready for that?

So much of the time we are constantly trying to CHANGE something.  If only I had...If only I could do...If day...

What about saying the square peg does belong in the round hole and this is how it works?

And claim it.  And demonstrate it.  Show us.  Create the niche.

What are your personality quirks? What makes you YOU?  Ask the people that love being around what they love about you.  Also ask them what drives them NUTS.

What are your physical attributes?  Don't value judge!  They are all real.  If you think perfect physical specimens are the only ones working,  (whatever THAT means) you are mistaken!!!  You are a perfect physical specimen for a role if you embody the niche you say you do and it works!

What can you emphasize about your energy?  Do you know what your energy reveals?  Are there differences in that energy when you are with your friends?  Your family?  Business people?  In an audition room?  In a class?   What happens?  What changes?  What can you use????

Does your voice match your body?  Do you have options?  What are they?

What can do you to still be true to your physical self and your vocal self at the same time?

You are only stuck if you decide to be.

If you feel stuck,  guess what?  That's what "they" get in the room:  This person doesn't know what they want us to see;  they don't know who they are;  next!

So often, we think we must de-emphasize something.  What if we were to really emphasize that quirk, so-called oddity,  interesting quality,  fascinating tic?   What niche could you occupy and thereby, inhabit, within the business?

Okay, I hear the question now:  but if I try to get too specific, doesn't that limit my ability to get hired?

And I answer:  Generic is generic.  There is tons of generic out there.  How does one differentiate? If you find your specificity,  then you focus on working in THAT niche.  The work could be constant frankly,  because you would be filling a niche that is uniquely you.

Type, Fach, Hit - whatever you use to "define" is there as a guideline.  The basic description is generic.  YOU define your niche by what you bring and how you hone and how you reveal.

Get creative with it! 

As an example:
We are all a little quirky.  What are your specific quirks?  Quirky how?  Describe your descriptives!!!

Find the roles that would fit YOU as you occupy and inhabit your niche.

Decide where in the business that takes might be surprised as to how much possible work there is,  if you decide to focus in instead of get frustrated with a generality.

Happy discovery!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Looking for a Summer Music Theatre Experience?

I am thrilled to be a part of Music Theatre on the Thames this summer 2015!

Are you looking for a unique music theatre experience in a great locale?  Check it out!

I will be there as a specialist,  offering my Authentic Voice workshops and a public Master Class.

Check out the Co-Artistic Directors in candid chat on youtube here.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in America!

Happy Thursday to everybody regardless of where you are!

This week begins the holiday season.  It is always one of my favorite times of year - even with all the bustle and busy-ness,  I find it a great time to be still and re-evaluate and re-tool what I want to accomplish.

I was asked recently why I starting writing this blog - and even though it has gained a wonderful readership over the years - YOU - I started it because I just needed to write things down.  I wanted to collect my thoughts as I observed the business, the theatre, the studio, the craft, the spirit of the artist.  I figured writing a blog was less stressful and less expensive than seeing a shrink!

In writing this,  I have discovered more of what I want to accomplish.   I have been able to find more clarity and specificity in my artistic life and how I challenge others to do the same.

Trust me,  every issue I write about,  I have learned about!  I did not come out of the womb knowing how to do things in this business or on my own artistic journey!  If anybody made mistakes or took missteps along the way - it was this girl!  I know because I lived it,  and figured out how to fix it and make it work.

I keep learning.  I keep discovering.  I keep evolving. 

Do I get frustrated?  Do I procrastinate?  Do I get scared?  Of course I do. 

Do I question and wonder if it's worth it?  Yes.

Do I get angry with myself or disappointed with myself when I don't follow through the way I wanted?  Yes.

But every day is a new one.  I have the grand capacity to make things much more complicated than they need to be;  I am learning to release that and truly live in the present and in the moment and breathe through my initial reaction to create more complication.  Some days I succeed.  Some days I need to keep learning!

So today,  as I sit at my computer screen before the day's festivities begin,  I sip my coffee and look out the window at the winter wonderland that has landed gracefully around me and say:


Thank you for possibility.

Thank you for hope.

Thank you for not just accepting, but questioning to find the right answers - the right answers for YOU.

Thank you for discovery.

Thank you for strange and unique and odd directions of the path.

Thank you for artistic inquisitiveness.

And Thank YOU - for reading, for emailing me or messaging me or posting.  Thank YOU for inspiring me to write and to question for you, for me, and for all of us as we meander this crazy life of artist and of business of show.

As we all muddle through together,  there is suddenly an "A-HA!" moment - and I live for those! 

Keep living for your "A-HA!" - and when you find it,  savor it.  It belongs to you.  THEN you can give more fully to those who ask of you.

Be wherever you are.  And wherever you are, be there.

Happy Thanks.

Happy Giving.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why Do You Sing?

Musings this Sunday morning...

It's a simple, yet highly personal and highly complex question.

Why do you sing?

Don't try to answer too quickly.  We are always looking for "sound bites" and pat answers.  This is not that type of question.  At least, not to me.

Why do you sing?


Not, why do you THINK you sing.

Not, why did you START singing.

Not, who do you sing for?


Often these are the questions, or this is the question we forget to remind ourselves of as we journey through the development of the craft of voice,  of being a performer, of developing our artistry, of juggling and struggling to make ends meet as we pursue the business of show, or not.

We can feel so discouraged, or angry, or grouchy, or disillusioned, or bitchy because of the business, the struggle, the rejection,  the tiny morsels when you are really starving - that we forget the answer to this question;  if we ever truly claimed the answer in the first place.

How would you feel if you didn't sing?

What would you do if you decided NOT to sing?

Perhaps those questions can help to create an angle to allow you full access into why you DO sing?

The clearer you are about why,  the more focused your day becomes.  The more focused your day becomes, the more open the journey becomes.  The burden becomes lighter.  It is a burden CHOSEN by you,  not placed on you.

We all have a choice.  If you are trying to pursue a career,  you can often feel as if all the choices are not yours.  In fact,  the choices of why and how and when in many cases are still very much in your control and in your power and decision to DO something about them.

 So, why do you sing?  I mean, really?  Not the answer that your teacher wants to here;  not the answer you give your parents;  not the answer you think everybody wants to hear after this length of time trying to be a singer;  not even the answer YOU think you should give to make yourself feel better,  feel important,  feel crucial.

The answer is often in the shadows when the lights are off;  in whispers;  not because you are ashamed of the answer,  but the answer becomes too personal to reveal to anybody else BUT YOU.

Nobody needs to know why you sing.  People will speculate.  People will tell you THEIR answer. 

Your answer is really all that matters if you choose to answer it honestly,  and claim it fully.

There is not a right or wrong answer.

There is only YOUR answer.

Your answer then reveals TO you about you;  and where you are supposed to be next;  and what the next question is;  and who you ask that question of.

The question AND the answer will keep you grounded as so much around us is trying to give us artistic amnesia.  

Keep asking the questions.  The REAL ones.  And keep clearing space to find the REAL answers.  Nobody has to approve,  disapprove, like or dislike.  The question is real,  and it deserves a real answer, that only YOU can provide.

Ask it,  discover the answer.  YOURS.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

We all have a story

Sunday musings...

We all have a story.

But here's the thing:  what's it doing for you?

The singers that get stuck, stay stuck,  clearly are stuck,  are the ones who tend to stay so wedded to their story that it doesn't allow them to move forward.

Your story is your narrative,  but if it doesn't move your forward,  why are you hanging onto it?

Look at lyrics to a song that you are considering for audition material:  does it create a beginning middle and a end?  Does it just sit there?  Is it a woe-is-me song?  Does it DO anything?

Our own stories can facilitate the same reaction.

Your story should evolve.  If it isn't, you aren't.

Your story should have momentum.  If you are saying "I know" a lot, but not doing anything to change it,  then it doesn't.

Your story should have possibilities.  If it doesn't,  then you don't.

Your story doesn't need a full narrative.  If it does,  and it's repeated again and again, then it's about the narrative and not about the possibility.

Narrative can become a loop in the case of someone who has clung to the delusion.  They repeat the same phrase/phrases again and again.  They have written the story to justify where they are.

To be honest,  the only justification they are trying to find, is their own.

We all have a story.

We all have a back story.

Is it serving you?  Or is it simply making you spin your wheels?

Are you ready to write a new chapter,  or possibly, allow that chapter to write you?

Taking that step away from the wall can be frightening,  but don't you owe it to yourself to find out what happens?  How bad could it be?

If you are about to answer via narrative,  you are writing the script before it happens! See?

Stop telling the story before it happens...

Stop telling the story that has happened...

Find your moment.  BE in that moment.  Trust you can find what you need AS YOU NEED IT.  Be aware.  Be present.  Find yourself as you are,  not as you were, not as you wish you were.

The authenticity of you is in the discovery of your NOW.   Claim it!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


If you read the blog,  and live in the NYC area or are going to be in NYC during November...

The studio is offering a CONSULTATION SPECIAL.

This is an hour work session that will evaluate where you are vocally,  what you need next and how to go about it;  we will evaluate what is in that audition book - what is serving you well,  what needs tweaking,  and what you might want to re-think.  I will also offer some repertoire suggestions!


This CONSULTATION SPECIAL is $30 OFF my regular hourly fee.

This is for singers who have NEVER been into the studio to consult or work with me.

Is this you?

Are you interested?

Email me  HERE,  and attach your head shot and resume  and I will send you more information and how to book a session!

Join the Discussion on FACEBOOK

Please join the STUDIO PAGE on FACEBOOK!

There are daily updates, information, interesting reads and more!

A reminder to readers that SKYPE IS WORKING!  If you live anywhere else other than the NYC area and would like a consultation,  a work session,  an opportunity to discuss your development,  get personal feedback FACE TO FACE - I have availability!

By going to the schedule link:  and choosing "Skype session" and finding availability,  you can book online!

Then simply email me your materials and what you would like to address in that session. 

I look forward to SEEING you!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Something's coming...something good!

happy Thanksgiving to Canada and all the many Canadians that find themselves thrown to the wind around the world! 

So, let's add that the lyric that I have titled the post:

Something's coming,
something good!


Ah the waiting.

Waiting to be ready.

Waiting to audition.

Waiting for the audition.

Waiting for a callback.

Waiting for an offer.

Waiting.  If.  Waiting... if...

We do a lot of waiting, don't we?

Hurry up and wait.

Wait and see.

Can you just wait?

Why are you waiting?

What are you waiting for?


Waiting can be exhausting if we lose focus.

Waiting can be a crutch if we don't claim it.

Claim your wait.  What do you DO while you wait?

It all depends on what you are waiting FOR.

Work your way backward from the "something" you have yet to claim. 

When you audition,  all you can do is enhance or diminish your reputation in the room.  Were you as prepared as you could be in that moment?  Then you release the wait.  The rest is simply out of your hands.  If you wait around for a decision,  a call, an email,  you will drive yourself mad,  and perhaps lose a great opportunity to discover MORE by over-focusing on that particular audition and that particular project.

Is it annoying?  Is it a pain?  Of course it is,  but we learn HOW to wait and in the waiting, how to see and find and discover more.

Same goes for vocal development, artistic potential,  and the "hurry up and wait".  Waiting for your time.  Waiting for the gestation to be over.  Wait, wait, wait.

Why not do, do do?

Waiting doesn't need to be inactive.  It doesn't need to be antsy.  It doesn't need to be frustrating.  We create those things.  We give the wait time an excuse, a deflection, an obstacle more often than we take it as an opportunity.

A wait time is an opportunity.  It is a chance.  It is a pocket of time/space/energy that only YOU can fill.

The "hurry up and wait" can be a glorious thing!  Why?  Because it allows your time and space to actually DO something! To get ready,  to get more than ready! To use your imagination,  to discover, to facilitate learning,  to build more craft,  to hone more skill, to DO!

What happens when the wait is over?  Don't you want to be READY to simply walk through the door and claim what's on the other side?   Or are you going to be the one who still waits because your excuses clouded the time you had,  which is now gone?

So I change the lyrics...

Something's coming
Something good...
If I am READY!

Make your wait time count.  Then it's not waiting at all!

Saturday, October 11, 2014


It's taken me awhile but I think I have it!

I am now offering Skype sessions:  voice sessions,  consultation sessions,  career consultation sessions,  as well as critique sessions - with out of NYC singers worldwide!

Email me today if you are interested in booking something.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What are You Wearing in the Room? A Fall 2014 Update!

I wrote several years ago about what to wear for auditions.

These posts still get read regularly,  so I thought I would do an update for 2014!

What's changed?

Not much actually!

Audition attire should be rather timeless,  over all.

Even though Opera auditions are different than Music Theatre auditions,  it's still a job interview.  You are competing for a job,  not against someone.

So if you are walking in competing for your a job,  before you even open your mouth,  we see you.  How are presenting yourself?

Though Opera auditions tend to be more formal than MT ones,  that doesn't mean formal dress.  Even in the evening.  Leave the ball gowns, the taffeta and the tux in the closet.  If the clothing makes more noise than you do as you move,  leave it in the closet where it can hang quietly!

That goes for jewelry too.  I LOVE earrings and noisy ones - during the day.  I would never wear jewelry that makes noise every time I shift my head slightly, or release my jaw, or lift my hand while singing!  Again, a time and place for it,  and it isn't in the audition!


It's distracting.  And it screams "amateur".  Present yourself as professionally as possible and those at the table will be more open to say "lovely, I wonder what he/she sounds like?"  and be open to hearing you when you actually start singing.

Make sure your clothes fit you.

If you are traveling for auditions,  your audition clothes should be fabrics that don't crease or wrinkle ridiculously.

Find colors that enhance you,  not make you look ill or washed out.  If you don't know what they are, get help.  Don't ask someone who is trying to sell you something,  ask someone who is going to give you an honest answer and has nothing at stake in doing so.

Wear shoes you can walk into the room in,  and audition, and walk back out.  I am SERIOUS!

Make sure your shoes are clean and polished.  Guys,  hear me on this.

Ladies - you know how I feel about heels.  Find your comfort zone in heel height and wear them, and practice in them.

In Music Theatre, often the audition is more informal and thus the clothing can be depending on the call.  Know what you are going in for,  know what you are choosing to reveal about yourself in your outfit,  and know what looks good on you in order to do so!

Do NOT costume.  EVER.  That comes later.  When you've booked the job and are with the costume mistress.  Period.

Get your hair out of your face.

 Get your hair out of your face.

Get your hair out of your face.

Moisturize!  Lips, hands, exposed skin.  Guys this is important for you too!

Makeup? Yes please.  Not Rocky Horror Picture Show - although MAC has released a line this fall with some fabulous colors - but again, get a tutorial from someone who can show you how to apply, what to apply and when.  Find ways to pop your eyes and lips.

Get your hair out of your face.

In general,  think business casual to business dress.  In MT you can do more casual sometimes, depending on the call.   If you are going in for a Sondheim show,  or something more traditional,  you can dress more "business dress"  than you would if you were going in for Rock of Ages.

However, the audition is still about YOU not about the show or the character.  We want to see YOU.  How do you present yourself in a business situation as you compete for a job?  How important is it to you to be there?  Just pull yourself together!

Create a look that reveals who you are are!

In Opera, business dress is more appropriate given the genre.  Same ideas apply here.  We want to see you.  We do not want a character.  We want to see a singer who is pulled together,  knows how to walk into the room and deliver!

Oh, and get your hair out of your face.

Pull yourself together,  discover what enhances you,  what makes you feel good,  what makes you look polished,  and do that.

Sunday, September 7, 2014



Here's the info!

I am thrilled to announce that I am developing a voice workshop/master class called "AUTHENTIC VOICE: MUSIC THEATRE EDITION"

This master class will work with singers who are wanting more AUTHENTICITY in the audition room!

I draw on my unique background of theatre and voice to develop an opportunity to really work with the singer's unique gifts and how to access them easily.

What we DO:

Discover what makes the singer UNIQUE and why
Discover what the singer brings into the room - consciously and unconsciously
Discover what the singer can choose to reveal and how
Discover how the singer can authentically create an audition that makes "them" pay attention and want more!
Discover the difference between what you have to reveal and what you think they want to see!
Discover the physical behavior of the actor in the singing voice and the singing psyche!

Interested?  Know someone who might be?

Please send along the information.

The class will remain small to ensure participation and time with everyone!


TIME: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
               300 W 43rd St #608-2  (43rd & 8th - Times Square Arts Center)
                New York New York

ONE TIME FEE:  $75.00 

Pianist will be provided.  Each singer will prepare 2 16/32 bar cuts they currently are using, or going to be using in auditions.

To register: email me at
Subject Line:  Authentic Voice Music Theatre Edition - REGISTER
please attach your resume and head shot with your registration email.

If you would like further information,  do not hesitate to email me!

Happy Fall Season!

Friday, September 5, 2014


I am thrilled to announce that I am developing a voice workshop/master class called

This master class will work with singers who are wanting more freedom to explore DRAMATIC EMBODIMENT AND INTENTION in the audition room.

I draw on my unique background of theatre to develop an opportunity to really work with the singer's unique gifts and how to access them easily.

What we do NOT do:

We do NOT discuss technique
We do NOT discuss fach
we do NOT discuss language or musicality or composer's musical style

What we DO do:

Discover what makes the singer UNIQUE, both dramatically and physically
Discover what the singer brings into the room
Discover what the singer can choose to reveal
Discover how the singer can authentically create a dramatic intention that reads in the room and from the stage
Discover the difference between pretend, affectation, and real acting for the singing actor!
Discover the physical behavior of the actor in the singing voice and the singing psyche!

Interested?  Know someone who might be?

Please send along the information.

The class will remain small to ensure participation and time with everyone!


TIME: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
               300 W 43rd St #608-2  (43rd & 8th - Times Square Arts Center)
                New York New York

ONE TIME FEE:  $75.00 

Pianist will be provided.  Each singer will prepare one aria they currently are using, or going to be using in auditions.

To register: email me at
Subject Line:  Authentic Voice Opera Edition - REGISTER
please attach your resume and head shot with your registration email.

If you would like further information,  do not hesitate to email me!

Happy Fall Season!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Are you READY?


To me,  September is more the "new year" than January. 

This is the beginning of the season.   This is the start of the "new".

So today, Labor/Labour Day - we claim one last day of "summer"  (although I am claiming warm days/cool evenings through the end of October, thank you so much Mother Nature for listening!),  and then ONTO THE NEXT!

Are you ready?

What is the next?

The levels we must function at are many,  and thus, it can get confusing.

Craft and its many levels and functions is an ongoing journey.  Honing, discovering, disciplining, nurturing, shaping - this is what we do day to day.  Are we ready to take that to the next level, on all levels? 

What needs focus right now? For YOU?

How is your mindset in general?   Are you dreading things?  Why?  Are you excited?  Are you prepared?  What are your goals?  Do you have the overview?  Are the specifics poised to fill in?

I read somewhere over the summer someone used the term "healthy denial".  I spit coffee on my computer screen.  Nope.  There is nothing healthy about denial.  All it leads to is delusion and working very hard to evade the reality that will catch up eventually, and ultimately take you away from any authenticity that might be there to pursue.

Denial puts the onus on something outside ourselves.  It gives us an "out" by never taking responsibility, or being ready for our lives. STOP THAT.

Are you ready to take that on that responsibility,  take charge of what you need and go get what you say you want?

It's a new year everybody! 

It's your craft, should you choose to go get it.

It's your career,  should you choose to explore it and develop it.

It's your job,  should you go out to compete for it.

It's your potential,  should you choose to realize it.

Are you ready to be realized and not denied?

There's a new mantra I am claiming today.  If it works for you,  use it with my blessings!


Are you ready for that?  Be READY for what you wish for!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How do you define SUCCESS?

The end of summer is at hand...

Next week we begin a new season.  It always feels like the "new year" to me when the fall season begins.  Many of you are ramping up,  back at school,  checking upcoming auditions,  preparing to travel to your gigs,  taking on new roles and new projects.

So how do YOU define success for yourself as you enter this new year as an artist, or as one who embodies artistic temperament?

I ask this, because each of us comes to our own definition.  That definition can have many different possibilities for any one of us,  depending on where we are, what we are working toward,  what our goals are.

The dictionary defines it as "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose".

Given that as a template,  do we give ourselves permission to succeed only in the larger goal, or do we recognize the smaller accomplishments, the smaller successes on a day to day basis that help create the path to a larger goal?

I believe that as an artist we have to be "big picture" people,  as well as "detail" people.   We cannot afford to get lost in either scenario,  so setting that large picture can often come first, in order to discover how to get there. 

Success is discovered in the planning, and then in the EXECUTION and frankly,  the fine-tuning and re-organizing of that plan.

If your big picture "success" is to perform at a well known opera house, or on Broadway,  but you never practice, or seldom get your bum out of bed to get to an audition,  or get your applications in on time,  then you are creating self-sabotage,  and the big picture success won't happen, nor will you ever locate the detailed successes along the way.

True success is found in the day to day discovery of self.  At least that is what I am finding more and more.

We are hard on ourselves.   We stress.  We fret.  We don't think we're good enough.  We get scared.  Trust me,  I get that.  I am harder on me than anybody else could possibly be!  When I don't accomplish what I set out to in a day,  I can beat on myself royally.

What does that accomplish? 

What were my goals?  Why?  Did I reach or exceed them?  Why or why not?

What DID I achieve today?

Did I bring 100% of whatever I had to bring to whatever I did?  If all I have is 30% but I bring all 30,  then I have succeeded!

And if I didn't?  Well,  if I can recognize it,  acknowledge it,  OWN it,  not make excuses for it, nor beat myself up about it,  look into the mirror and say "tomorrow is a new day and this is goal"  then I still succeed on pursuing the path.

Success triumphs in tangible ways and in intangible ways.  It is not all or nothing. 

Failure is not an option.  Living is needed, necessary and required.

Success is measured in what you have to contribute and how you use that contribution to make this place a little better than you found it.

The intangibles can suddenly find a tangibility that is uniquely yours,  should you give yourself permission to be where you are,  and discover the possibilities that exist there.

Achievement of an action

Realization of a goal

A triumph over a struggle

Being ready to take on that new task

Living without hesitation


Giving of spirit

Being open to the possibility


Finding your power within the spirit of you and claiming it

All these are possible definitions.  Create your own.

The beauty of success is that no one defines it for you, but you.

So what are you waiting for?  Start this season off with DAILY successes that you can acknowledge and claim.

If you feel overwhelmed, start one step at a time.  Start small.  Each step is a success!

Reach and claim that unreachable star each and every day by WHO you are,  and what you claim in your artistic life,  your personal life,  your tangible life.

Success is as much a journey as anything.  We can create a large open ended picture and let it change from day to do by what we do with each day.

The day may bring you many things, but it is up to you what you do with it,  how you greet it,  how you take it on.

Whatever you have,  bring THAT into your day;  into your studies;  into your work;  into your pursuits;  into your dreams.  Let it lead how you are perceived and want to be perceived. 

Define your success by choosing to create it and  live it,  not by wishing for  it or yearning for it.

And I leave you with the eloquence of Sondheim's brilliance - make your OWN hat.

There's a part of you always standing by
Mapping out the sky
Finishing a hat, starting on a hat
Finishing a hat, look I made a hat
Where there never was a hat

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Gearing Up for a NEW SEASON!

I can't believe it's August.  Where is the summer going?

Things are slowing down a bit,  as they always do, in order to gear back up again in a couple of weeks, as far the audition season goes in NYC.

Many of you are heading to school or back to school.  Some of you are getting ready to take on new projects, new shows, go out on tour...

How are you gearing up?

Full steam ahead is great, if you have done the work to prepare for that.

The gear up can only be successful if you are having the right conversation with yourself. 

I was touched by this quote today:

“Life is not complex.  We are complex.  Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.”
―Oscar Wilde

This is such an important distinction that I think we often confuse for ourselves. 

Gearing up,  often means, simplifying.  Simplifying is scary.  It means we have to come to terms with what we don't need:  stuff, excuses, what ifs, buts, yeah know what I am talking about. At least I hope you do.

We all do it: complicate things.  I hear it from others and I do it myself.  The excuses to keep the narrative alive in the show that stars us. 

Sadly those excuses keep the narrative alive, but don't allow us to fully gear up to DO anything that moves as forward and into a life that has meaning.

Whether you are auditioning, or going back to school, or trying to figure out what you are doing with your talent,  ask yourself what kind of narrative you are really having with yourself:  Is it NOW? Or are the excuses in the way so you don't have to think about it til later?

Is it about you are or are not doing?  Or is it about other people who don't support you enough?

Is it about what you are really capable of? Or is it about the people you think are more talented, getting the work,  booking the jobs?

Is it about your weight?  Or the fact that you haven't done anything about that?

Is it about not having new head shots? Or the fact that you haven't saved a few dollars a week to actually new ones taken?

Is it about how expensive taking a voice lesson or an acting class is?  Or the fact that you are scared to see what you actually have in front of a professional who can clearly assess your ability?

Gearing up means taking a hold of yourself and being real.

Where are you?

No excuses.

Figure out where you are,  why you are,  and then figure out where you want to be.  When you figure out where you THINK you want to be,  then ask why?  What does that represent to you?  Is it responsible?  Is it honest?  Is it attainable?  Says who?  Says what?

Gearing up, means pairing down.  Clearing the path.  Clearing the clutter.  Honing in on what is absolutely necessary and doing it.  Honing in on what is absolutely in the way,  and releasing it.

Big choices,  big changes.  Nobody said it was easy.

Finding your strengths,  your resilience,  your truths,  allows you to clear out, and gear up and actually  DO IT this season.

Are you ready?

Take a big breath, and ask yourself.  Get ready for the REAL ANSWERS.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Muses and Atmosphere

As I work on the book this morning,  I thought I would snap a photo of what is around me.

The "sunroom" as I call it,  is surrounded by trees - makes me feel like I am in a treehouse.  My kitten, Tessa, who I adopted from an amazing Animal Rescue in the City called "Animals Can't Talk, Inc

 LOVES the windows and the sun and plays while I type.

How are you preparing for your day?  How are you staying "present" in your process and in your preparation?

More to come...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

More Voice in Different Genres!

shameless self promotion - well it IS my blog...

First, I am actually REALLY writing my book.  Whew. About time huh?

So that's why I am not making as many entries here.

Second,  one of the many ways I use my voice is for narrating audiobooks.  I am passionate about - it allows me to draw on my dramatic and acting training even further and create a narrative that I hope keeps the listener engaged and entertained!

I have a number of books via

My narration "page" is located HERE.

My newest release is Lorraine Kennedy's MOON DANCE: WOLVES OF OUTERLANDS Volumes 1 - 4

I am given several codes that will access the book for free and I would love to offer these codes to you my readers.

All I ask in return is that you review the book on audible for me!

Leave me a comment below about why you love audiobooks or the IDEA of audiobooks and I will send you a code to listen to my newest narration!

Or if you would rather, message me via email at with "AUDIOBOOK" in the subject line.

Codes are limited so let me know!

Friday, July 18, 2014

What do I do about that GAP in my resume?

I have been somewhat MIA - but busy!  I am not neglecting my blog my sweet snowflakes, I promise!

This comment - the gap in the resume - came up several times this week.  Whenever something seems to become a theme or sub-theme I always believe the Universe is asking me to pay attention and perhaps address it.

What do I do about this gap in my resume?

I can't be auditioning with this gap in my resume.

Others don't have a gap in their resume, and "they" will know I haven't been doing anything.

These are some of the things I have heard recently.

You know me well enough to know that I usually answer with a question (I am becoming my Dad).

So my question is:  what gap??? you weren't living during this time????

You have DATES ON YOUR RESUME?!?!?!? WHY!?!?!?!?

First - take off the dates.  Who cares when?  Did you do it, or didn't you?

Second and more importantly:  what is a "gap"?

I would respectfully suggest to you that you simply replace the word "gap" with the word "life" or "experience" or "exploration" or SOMETHING!!!

What is this "gap"???

If you are asking these questions,  I gently suggest to you that perhaps you are trying to create the excuses of why no one wants to hear you.

Why are you feeling that way?

There is no such thing as a "gap".

Life happens.  That isn't a gap - that is actually a FILL.

Life fills and fulfills.  Life changes you.  Experience makes a difference. 

Becoming an artist demands some life.  You BETTER take a gap!

If you are letting these "gaps" in your resume stop you,  you are making excuses.  If you say you wanna sing,  then sing!  Let "life" inform that singing and that artistry!

A resume isn't about the gaps.  A resume is a paper that informs those sitting at the table what you have done,  ( not WHEN),  where you've been,  where you're headed, how you've prepared and WHY YOU ARE THERE NOW.

Why you are here NOW is the most important revelation.

If you cannot deliver that WHY NOW then nothing on that paper matters.  What you have done shapes you.  Not just on that paper,  but what is NOT on that paper.  Some of you would call it a "gap".  I would call it life.

Life shapes you.  Life challenges you.  Life changes you.

And THAT is what you bring with you in that moment of audition.

If all you do is work work work,  are you living?  Sometimes.  Sometimes not.  Are you learning anything or wasting your time?  Are you working or just taking a paycheck/pay cheque?

Gaps mean life.

Gaps mean study.

Gaps mean tragedy.

Gaps mean change.

Gaps mean breathing room.

Gaps mean laughter.

Gaps mean decision.

Gaps mean choice.

Gaps mean life.

Yes I book-ended that on purpose.

If you have taken a time to LIVE,  and that is vivid and real, then it should reveal itself in your artistry.  If it is vital and alive in your artistry, then it will be present in how you audition, and what you can bring to a role and a production.

So, what do you do?

You audition.  You show them what you choose to reveal about YOU.  Which, after a "gap" should be even more than there was before it!

 Using a "gap" as an excuse, is saying your life experience - good, bad & indifferent - is insignificant.  Really? REALLY???  Get rid of your "gap" and FILL IT IN!

Saturday, June 28, 2014



I will be back in Toronto to teach one-on-one intensives August 15/16/17, 2014.

If you are interested in more info or to book a session, please email me directly with your resume/head shot and enquiry:

I plan to be in Toronto again for workshops ONLY early in the fall.  Watch for that info!

ETA:  sessions are wait-list ONLY.  If you still want time, email me and let me know and I will keep you on the cancellation list.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

That audition room - the beginning of the reveal!

happy SUMMER!

Summer Solstice always gives me feelings of magic and of possibility...

So how about we CLAIM that magic and possibility???

Let's talk,  the dreaded audition room.

(Trust me,  I am groaning with you!)

How I wish I could get each of you in the room with me,  get my hands on you and watch you claim your magic and your space...but alas,  the blog will have to try to provide some insight...

The audition room isn't inviting.

The audition room is surreal.

I have no idea what just happened in the audition room.

Why can I do it just fine in the studio and then I blow it in the audition room????

Sound familiar?

Okay my beautiful, unique and precious goes.

The audition room is magic ONLY when you are present there.

Take a second....let that one absorb a little....

The audition room IS inviting when you are present there.

The audition room is REAL when you are present there.

You will know EXACTLY what happens in the audition room when you are PRESENT.

Are you truly present in the studio?  Or pretending?  If you are present, then you have the power to be present in the audition room!

I have started offering audition master classes through the summer.  It is always a great way for me to see/watch/learn from my singers in this environment.  In the studio,  they know they are safe - it's a nest of sorts - one I work hard to create to explore in (and then push you out of - fly, be free!!)


I don't get the privilege of watching you in the audition room.  Suddenly in that environment things change don't they?

There's a whole lot of "too" that happens...

TOO perky.
TOO tense.
TOO fast.
TOO scared.
TOO held.
TOO annoying.

Did I say TOO perky?  yeah, that one needs to be said twice.

Here's a little secret:  The audition?  It is YOURS.  It doesn't belong to anybody else.  You aren't invading some one's space.  You don't need to permission to be there.  Those people sitting at the table and the guy/gal at the piano?  They have a job only because YOU are there to audition.  Seriously!  Nobody auditions,  no point in sitting there right?

So, if it is YOURS,  why are you rushing?  why are you not present?  why are you freaking yourself out?

First thing:  what are you CHOOSING to reveal in the room?  And it is a choice.  If you do not make a conscious decision of what you want to reveal and focus on that,  what is often revealed is literally what you don't want them to see (nerves, perkiness, annoying behavior,  amateur-esque-ness).

So,  if it is to your choosing - what do you want to reveal?
Remember it is an audition.  This isn't the time to get deep and artistic (hard for us who are deep and artistic!)  I love my casting friends,  but let's get real:  during an audition day their attention is...squirrel! If you have nothing real to say.

You know what I'm saying here...

So if you make it complex,  they are just gonna notice that dust bunny under the piano....or that broken nail...or message me on facebook!

it is YOUR audition.

They will pay attention to you ONLY when you claim it.  If you have something to say,  and something to reveal,  then and only then will it have a chance of being heard.

Choose and claim your REVEAL.  Choose ONE THING.  Complicated doesn't work in the audition room.  For ANYBODY.

Then something as simple as being present comes into focus.  Are you really present?

I beg to differ.  This is something we ALL need to be aware of.  Often we are already out of the room before we even enter the room.

We just want to be done!

Once you learn to claim and be present,  you will enjoy the magic you can create literally every step you take.

How many of you actually know which foot you stepped into the room with?  Yeah, THAT present.

Did you smile?  With your teeth or without?

Did you speak?  (In the words of the character of Helen Sinclair in "Bullets Over Broadway":  Don't Speak!")

Seriously.  You aren't there to visit,  to be buddy buddy,  to "hi guys" people at the casting table.   You are there to reveal to be considered for a job.  Period.

How many steps did it take to get to the piano?  Try counting.  That is really staying present.

Did you breathe with each step?  Are you holding your breath while you walk? 
Where is your energy in your body as you walk?

Did you make eye contact with the pianist?  Did you notice what color their shoes were?

How many seconds did you take to ground yourself before your intro/bell tone?

Did you remind yourself about your focus of reveal before you took your first singing breath?

How many people are in the room?

How many seconds did it take before they looked up when you started singing?

Most of you (and trust me, neither was I many moons ago!) are not that present. 

I challenge you to BE that present.

Don't try to do ALL of it in the first audition of being aware.  Start out simply with 1.  what foot did I enter the room with?  2.  how many steps did I take to get to the piano?  3.  How many seconds did I take before I started to sing in order to actually BREATHE?!  4.  How many steps did it take to LEAVE the room?  (your audition is still happening - even back in the dreaded jazz hands hallway!)

Start exploring your REVEAL.  What about YOU are you CHOOSING to reveal in the room? 

It is a choice.

And then get and STAY present.  Literally one step at a time.

Happy summer auditioning! 


I am thrilled to reveal my NEW WEBSITE!

Has been re-designed, re-booted,  and re-claimed!!!

Thanks to Amanda de Souza Design for the amazing work - and bringing me into the 21st century!

Everything is there - and more will be added as we at Susan Eichhorn Studio, continue to plot and scheme and create more magic for YOU to claim yours!

Leave me a message (there is actually a place to do that!)
Follow me on twitter,  join my facebook page,   book sessions directly from the site and click on the blog from there!

AND it looks great on your phone!!!

And watch for new additions....

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Social Media plugs

I am now on SoundCloud - some of the tracks from my album "Taking My Turn" are available there to listen to!

You can download the complete album via iTunes or CDBaby

If you want a physical CD - email me!

More blog posts coming soon!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sing with your WHOLE voice...

happy Memorial Day in the USA (and a regular Monday for the rest of you!)

What is the second half of that sentence?

Sing with your WHOLE voice, with your WHOLE body.

Voice is not just motor/resonance  - but it is the strength, pliability,  elasticity and ATHLETICISM of the body to support it.

If your body is not strong,  you simply cannot support and carry that instrument.  CAN NOT.

Each body - no matter the size,  can be strong.  Your voice resides there - you gotta look after it.  Do not let someone else tell you that you need to "lose weight",  "change your body" - for the sake of the business.  You need to be strong, first and foremost.  You need to be powerful physically in order for your voice to respond to you.

I often tell my singers that the voice itself is always fine.  Where she/he wants to RESIDE is not always ideal.  You know how you feel after a really busy week or 2 and you finally have a day off but your apartment looks like the Good Will has blown up in it,  and the LAST place you want to be is in it, so you leave?  That's sometimes how your voice feels.  It really really REALLY wants to be there,  but dammit if it's not aligned and strong enough,  she/he just refuses to move in.

You can work all you want on "vocal technique" but if your body isn't strong,  and integrated with your breath and your support,  then all the exercises in the world will not save you. 

Your body will save you.

The WHOLE voice, YOUR voice, wants YOUR body. All of it.  Not just a portion.  ALL.

Are you willing to get strong in order to do what you say you want to do?

Strength and integration are what singing are about on a physical level.  We are asking something rather inhuman of ourselves.  We have to train the body with the same focus as those who are the top athletes in their fields.

Forget fat,  forget critics,  focus on YOU.  If you sing,  you must be strong.  If you are not,  you will notice that when you are nervous your "technique" disappears;  your "breath" disappears.

Until you can summon your technique,  your strength,  at will,  you are hoping, wishing & praying.

When your body is strong,  you have a place to reside.  Your voice has a place to reside, to trust and to THRIVE and shape itself in the uniqueness that is YOU.

Sing EVERYTHING with your wholeness - voice, spirit AND BODY!

Your authenticity DEMANDS it.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

What is a REAL voice?

Sunday musings...

Spent the morning listening to the soundtrack of Jason Robert Brown's "Bridges of Madison County" and continue to remain inspired.

Bridges closes on Broadway today.  Ridiculous.  One of the finest shows in live theatre, and some of the FINEST singing I have heard across the boards in a long time.

If you haven't listened, then you need to.  The greatness that is Kelli O'Hara and the riveting Steven Pasquale will reveal to you what REAL voice is.

Singers in theatre,  you really need to release "where to put the sound",  "do I sing it in a mix/belt-mix/chest mix?"  which I shall say it now - is BULL SHIT - and just SING. 

It takes a long time to discover who you are as a singer.  It not only takes time,  exploration,  honesty and work to discover what your voice IS,  but it also takes times to discover the conversation you are having with yourself,  and the questions you need to ask to find the RIGHT conversation to have.

You will only sound like...YOU.  Trying to "type" yourself is always comparing to others.  Recognizing who you ARE if the first step of discovery.  Challenging yourself to become better than your PREVIOUS self is the work.

If you hear "you NEED to sound like so-and-so"  or "you will only get hired if you sing it this way" - RUN! RUN FAR AND FAST!

You need to learn how to sound like YOU.  Then and only then will you be able to dress that sound in the fabric of the style and genre you want/can/will sing.  YOUR voice informs how that is worn.  The style informs YOU.  If you don't know who you are as a singer,  how can you possibly be authentic?

If you aren't being noticed,  called-back, booking,  there are many things out of your control.  HOWEVER,  what is in your control is defining the authenticity of YOU.  What is YOUR real voice.
Get to know it,  find its idiosycrasies, its deliciousness, its annoyances,  its quirks.  Discover and embrace its imperfections,  its complexities,  its nuances and uniqueness.

Kelli O'Hara isn't a type.  She IS Kelli O'Hara.

Steven Pasquale isn't a type.  Steven IS Steven.

Let them inspire you - not to become LIKE them,  but to become YOU.

The authenticity of YOU is discovered in your work, your journey, your conversation.  Do not deflect or hide beneath a type.  Create YOU,  reveal YOU,  and walk in that room with all the foibles and fabulousness that IS you.

You will only create authenticity when you truly claim it as your own.

So what is REAL voice?   Revealing the truth.  Daunting perhaps.  Liberating and real?  you bet it is!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Every Day Opera

Did you know about this fabulous site?

The marvelous Lori Lewis is the behind this great site,  and invited me to guest blog!

Here it is!

Enjoy - and explore the site- some wonderful things there!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Burning Bridges & CHOICE

Sunday musings...

What is burning a bridge really???

I hear that a great deal  "well I have to say yes,  because if I don't,  I might burn that bridge."

That bridge to where???

Are you even planning on taking that bridge anywhere?  Does it lead to anything stronger, more helpful,  more positive than the side you are on right now?

You have the right to say "no" to a project, for the right reasons.

Simplify WHY you say YES to  a project:  1.  The role/show is something you truly want to do  2.  The company/director/tour is something you really want to work with  3.  The money is just too good to say "NO" to   4.  The project intrigues you and you simply have to be involved

The "YES" can be any of the above, or combination of the above.

But when do you say "no"?

You don't have to say "yes" to everything that comes down the road!!  You don't want to become known as the entitled brat who turns everything down because she/he is waiting on that Broadway contract, or that chance to sing at the Met.  Guess what?  You gotta build that resume FIRST,  AND your reputation.

Saying "no" doesn't, in itself,  give you a bad reputation.  Your attitude, your work ethic, your preparedness, your interaction with others - these things count.

Sometimes,  knowing a situation is simply not a healthy one is a reason for "no".  Sometimes,  you have worked with/done that,  and really need to move on.  You don't need to give a REASON to say no,  but you can simply be cordial,  thankful for the opportunity,  but due to other commitments, you are unavailable.

Trust your gut.  If it doesn't feel right,  chances are something isn't right.  Now, granted,  it takes time to truly develop the finesse of the gut in the business of show - but even as a young performer,  you can trust your instincts.

Know your worth.  Even if a project isn't paying, or isn't paying much,  if a company still treats you with respect,  and recognizes the contribution you are making,  doesn't mean you have to say "no".

You, and only you,  can decide how to establish your business ethic,  and your boundaries.

If you are concerned about burning a bridge,  start by defining that bridge.  Does it lead anywhere other than what you may turn down?  If so,  what?  If so, where?   What is your reason for turning down the gig?

Saying "no" doesn't have to be a public performance.  In fact,  it shouldn't be.  It should be discreet, filled with discernment and measure,  with respect to all parties involved.

From a personal perspective,  "no" can be because of health,  energy,  conflicts,  life...Sometimes things are just too difficult to manage.  If your gut hesitates,  figure out why and then make a decision.  The choice is ALWAYS yours.  How you act on the choice is what has consequences - good or bad.

Ultimately,  the "burning of a bridge"  isn't about saying "no".  It is about HOW you say "no".

Graciousness and diplomacy in your business is so very important.  If you treat others with the respect you would want to be treated with,  you simply cannot burn a bridge.

If your attitude is entitled,  then you are not thinking of anything else but you,  and not in a positive light!

Make your decisions based on YOUR career.  YOUR direction.  Make your choices based on the bridges you want to take, and cross,  not on the possibility of burning one.  That will always make you look over your shoulder.  You aren't going there.

Move forward.  Be true to your commitments.  Say "no" when it is necessary.  Say "yes" when it makes sense.

Make the decision,  and begin the next step.  Rehashing choices makes us chase our tails,  and our path gets tied up,  and we may miss the next bridge.

Claim your possibility.  Claim your reason.  Claim your choice.

Leave those bridges alone,  until they are directly in front of you - and again,  CHOOSE to cross, or not.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

More on Authenticity

Sunday musings...

What is this thing called authenticity?

Why is it so elusive?

How do we get so confused?

You cannot claim what you do not yet own.  Being authentic, means getting real.  It means choices,  it means decisions,  and it means clarity.

You cannot be authentic in your audition if you don't know what that means to YOU.

Yes, to YOU.

You don't know what anybody else knows.  You only have to the opportunity to get to know YOU.

Authenticity it about choices.  It is about how you reveal what you reveal.  It is not becoming a type,  or a fach,  or a micro-fach.  

It is not about you "fitting" into anything.  It is about revealing what makes you unique.  You choose how to reveal,  what you reveal.

I defy the notion of "if you are going to work in this business,  you must make yourself into xyz."

Is that authentic?  Is that real?  Or is that just desperation?

Where has "trying to fit in"  helped anybody,  in any field?

Authenticity isn't just "I am what I am."  (Unless you claim that song!)

Authenticity is about finding what you are,  who you are,  why you are,  and how to evolve within that.   How to make it real,  inside and out.  How to live and breath it in process,  in audition,  in life.  It is an ongoing reveal.

How you choose to reveal it,  how much of it,  what specifically you allow others to see - is up to you.  These are the choices we make every day,  but certainly in the audition room.  If you are wondering what "they" think,  what "they" want,  what "they" are looking for: let it be the truth of YOU.  Just thinking those thoughts take you out of YOU.   It reveals nothing about YOU.  You are no longer in the equation,  but your desperation reads loud and clear.

Your process of discovery and development and realization has to happen from the inside out.  This in itself has more authenticity just because of how you approach it.

It allows you to stay grounded and rooted to the truth,  the possibility and the potential of  a situation.

You are not a puppy wagging your tail hoping for a treat and doing whatever you think they want so you can get it.  At least I hope not.

You are a developing/emerging/polished artist who has something to SAY.  So, say it.  With conviction.  With honesty.  With your authenticity.

Here is your question for the week "What do I want to reveal about ME in that room today?"

That, my dearest snowflakes,  is truly in your hands.  Trust it,  nurture it,  and don't make excuses for it.  Make it count!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What NOT to do

Sunday musings...

So often we are caught up in what we have to DO to progress, to develop,  to build the career,  to grow in our craft.  If you are like me,  you even run lists in your head while trying to fall asleep!

There are lists on stickie notes,  on your smartphone;  lots of ways of keeping track what needs done:  activities, deadlines,  appointments,  auditions,  classes and on and on.  

If you are like me,  I am AMAZINGLY GREAT at making lists.  I am also great about adding to those lists;  making more lists; 

I am not always good about changing those lists - and often I find them later - half done,  sorta done,  not done.

I get down on myself for not always following through with what I feel is necessary to get done. 

I've wondered if perhaps we sometimes should go at things from a different angle.

There are no tricks in developing craft.  Wanting to be able to "do" something isn't going to happen instantly.  However,  recognizing not just what you must do is only half of it;  recognizing what you do NOT need to do is also CRUCIAL.

So,  if you are a list person,  try creating a "I WILL NOT..." list.

What is getting in your way?   Keep it simple,  keep it clear.  Don't try to cross everything off the list immediately.  Maybe begin with several things,  and work for changing ONE THING A WEEK.

Sometimes WANTING something just isn't enough.  Sometimes DOING is confusing.  Sometimes,  recognizing what NOT TO DO/NOT TO WANT allows for more clarity.

Work it backwards.  Here is an example:

I want a job -  I need to audition.  Are you auditioning?

I know it's a schlep,  and it means often an early morning.  So,  don't decide to get up at 5 a.m. every day next week!  Make a decision to NOT hit your snooze for ONE morning next week and get your butt down to that audition.  ONE morning.

See where I am going?

Again, the "don't"s  can be as daunting as the "do"s.  So,  take it easy on yourself.

Instead of saying "Don't be so hard on myself",  specify it one step at a time:  "Don't let a negative thought enter my mind while I practice today".

I have also found - and continue to find - that a balance of "do/don't"  is crucial.

DO something for your business every day.
DO NOT ignore your gut about a possible submission.

DO practice today.
DO NOT practice longer than X number of minutes.

DO get out and work on your physical strength.
DO NOT stay up too late so you are not fatigued.

DO practice today.
DO NOT multi-task while trying to practice today.

One thing at a time.  One day at a time.  One decision at a time.

For everything you DO,  give yourself a DO NOT. 

This will allow you to focus and give yourself permission on more specificity  in your world.

Nothing worth having happens immediately.  Wanting it isn't enough.  Doing isn't enough.  Not doing isn't enough. 

Clarity of focus,  focus of action,  action without self-sabotage.

One thing at a time.  One day at a time. 

DO NOT overwhelm yourself.
DO keep breathing.

Remember what Miles Davis said  "I always listen to what I can leave out.”

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Google is your Friend...

Sunday musings...

Perhaps it is being of a pre-computer generation,  where "pounding the pavement" literally meant getting up,  and taking materials into casting offices;  where searching meant going to the library,  knowing the Dewy Decimal System and finding books with information;  when you sent inquiries via hand written letter with a stamp on it and waited for the response;

What I am finding lately,  is that the computer generation - information literally at your fingertips - is separated not by your talent per se,  but by your ability to type in your question to a search engine or not.

What has not changed,  and will not change,  is the human aspect of this:  curiosity,  and the willingness to do the work to find the answers.

Whether it is literally pounding the pavement,  or whether it is discovering the right questions to ask and where,  THIS is what often separates the wheat from the chaff.

Nobody can hand you a career.

Nobody has all the answers.

Nobody can do your work for you.

YOU have to do it.

So how do you start?

Sit on your bum,  in your pjs with your coffee beside you and begin a list of questions of things you want to know.  Let that list develop as things occur to you.

So often,  I see this "list" posted on facebook pages,  or forum message boards.  This my gentle snowflakes,  is your INSIDE list.  Nobody sees it but you.  Don't share your inside list.  You need to absorb that list and let it gestate internally with a pen and paper or on your hard drive.

As the list develops,  then start asking the questions by typing them into that search engine called Google.  Yes,  Google is your friend.  Google isn't going to say "that was a really stupid question";  Google isn't going to laugh at you;  make fun of you;  chastise you;  Google is simply going to provide you with some valuable sites it feels may answer those questions.

Then,  YOU pour over the "answers" and see if what you are reading helps your query.  Maybe it leads you to another question.  Maybe it fulfills the question.  Maybe you gain information that can allow you ask an even more specific question.

The questions you pose via anonymous forums or message boards reveal much about you.  First,  nothing is that anonymous.  Second,  the world is small.  Six degrees of Kevin Bacon remember?

How do you want to be seen?  Does your question reveal that or does it reveal something else?

If a question you ask of someone or a place is something that the more knowledgeable see as an easy "Google" question,  you are marked as lazy,  clueless,  and a whole bunch of not particularly nice words. 

People in our business are more than happy to help each other,  if they see the person asking is doing their work and finding their answers!  We are the first to smack you upside the head if we see you asking questions that are easy to Google and show your unwillingness, inability, or pure laziness, to simply type and hit send.

No question is stupid when it comes from common sense,  your ability to reach out and find answers, and truly want to know. 

Even though things have changed in how quickly we can access information,  some things have not.  It still comes down to your ability to research,  to discover,  to know how to ask the right questions,  to recognize and follow the breadcrumbs.

Don't give up.  Keep asking the questions.  Ask those questions in the right places, and absorb the answers.  Don't make excuses for the answers if you asked the question.

So pour another cup of coffee,  take a big breath,  and begin the "inside" list.  Then open that browser,  and type in that question and hit send.  You will be amazed at what you find!

Ever try to exhaust Google?  I dare you!  It will then lead you to the human beings that can specifically answer your SPECIFIC questions based not on your lack of knowledge, naivete, or laziness,  but rather, based on your research and your discoveries.

THAT is what we want to see.  Performers and artists that are willing to DISCOVER for THEMSELVES.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pregnancy, Performance & Career

Can I still have a career and have a family?

This question comes up regularly.

The answer is:  whatever you choose to make work,  you can do.

Is it easy?
Will everybody "approve"?
Will you have to make some hard decisions?

No, no, and yes.

Anybody who says you cannot have a career and a family hasn't done it.  Consider the source.

Developing a career in the business of show is difficult at best.  If you are pursuing that career, you know this. 

Why have a child?

If you want a family,  that is NO ONE'S BUSINESS BUT YOURS!!!

If you don't want a family,  or choose to not have one,  that is NO ONE'S BUSINESS BUT YOURS!!!

You make a decision based on your life and your choices.   Nobody outside of your partner and family and you has a say in that. 

So,  should you decide to have a baby,  remember that the business doesn't need to be aware of it. 

When you find out you are pregnant,  you are excited.  You will want to share.  You do.  Don't be surprised if you don't get the same excitement from people in the business that you are either working with or for, or auditioning for.  They are looking at you for a job,  not as a mother. 

So,  it's not a lie to keep the truth to yourself.

Being a mother does not have to be an issue to you auditioning or performing - as in DOING YOUR JOB.

Can you audition while you are pregnant?  Can you perform while you are pregnant?

All these questions have to be answered individually. 

Some of us are healthy and well enough to do that.  Some of us are not.  Your health and your baby's health is most important,  so health comes first.

Many of us have performed, auditioned,  been in shows, throughout our pregnancy.  It all depends on the individual.  How are you feeling?  How are you singing?  How are you showing?

Will your career be "the same" after you have the baby?

Again, that depends on what you are pursuing or what you have already established. 

Each career is unique,  and how you develop it is unique, with or without a family.

Obviously, having a child brings another dimension into your life in a very big way - and that will be something you have a full time responsibility for.  This will add another major consideration into your decision-making about what you choose to do in your career.

Yes,  you have to make some tough decisions sometimes.
Yes, you may have to stream line what you pursue, or how you pursue it.

You will not have the same "freedom"  with a family.   You will need to consider more options.  

That doesn't mean baby out with the bathwater!!!!!!

Decide what is important to you.  See where compromises are.   Decide what you want for your life.

It is your life.

It is your career.

Follow your choices,  commitment to them.   Pursuit of a career,  and a choice of having a family will only ENHANCE each not deter from either.

If you are pregnant and feeling good,  audition as you would,  but recognize time lines.  Don't put yourself or a company in compromise by auditioning for something that would open close to your due date!  That's just not smart.

Don't lead with your pregnancy in the audition room.  That's not why you are there.  Keep the boundaries clear.

Don't lead with your parenthood in rehearsal.  You are there to do a job,  and that isn't being momma in that space.

When you are mapping out your career world,  you simply have to insert the ongoing priority of family and how the two will affect each other.  Yes, you will have to make clearer choices. Yes, you will not have the freedom to choose anything that comes your way.  Yes, you will sometimes have to turn down possibilities because you are a responsible for another life.

This does not mean you cannot have a career,  and cannot perform and cannot pursue your life path.

Embrace all aspects of your life.

Remember not everybody is going to agree.

It doesn't matter.  It is your life.  YOU make it work.

People in the business may not "like" you are having a baby.

People in your personal world may not "like" you still want to pursue a career.

Last time I checked,  they aren't you.

So,  make up your mind,  wear the hats,  and remember which one you are wearing,  and when.  Don't confuse it for yourself.  Be clear about your priorities.  Focus and commit!

Is it easy?  No.  When is it easy?  Having a career isn't easy,  without a child or with a child.  Being a parent isn't easy either.

So,  when does a little work  scare you?

Make decisions for YOU and your life.   The path you create has never been walked,  so pioneer forward and live your life as you choose. 

If you want it,  you can develop the courage to make it work for you in whatever way makes sense for you and your family.

Whatever you decide to pursue,  be it career only, or family only,  or a career with a family,  simply commit to it,  don't make excuses for it,  and live your life! YOUR life.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Frustration, Rejection, Re-direction

Sunday musings...

Look at this:

Yes that's a rejection letter.  Yes, it's Bono.

Yes it's audition season.
Yes there are more people auditioning than there are roles.
Yes, you are going to get frustrated.
Yes, you will be "rejected".

What do you do with that?  Is it really rejection?

I prefer to consider it another way.  It's not that you aren't good enough,  it's that you are needing to re-direct and find out where you will be seen.

"I must be doing something wrong."

I hear that a lot.  A LOT.   Perhaps you are not.  Perhaps you are just not in the right place.  Or not revealing what IS right about you.  Perhaps your desperation is showing,  and not your openness and freedom to take on the job you want.

Or, perhaps the person behind the table can't hear/see/respond.

Or, perhaps there are just so many to choose from and you just were not chosen.

Does it suck? Sure.  But YOU chose to be there.  No one is holding a gun to your head.

So if this is YOUR choice,  then  you must claim it fully:  the good, the bad AND the ugly.

You have chosen a profession where only 5% of us are working regularly at any given time.  It has the highest unemployment rate of any profession.

It is subjective.

So,  when you aren't getting work,  or feeling frustrated, or any of the other negatives,  what do you DO?

Sit down.  Take a breath.  Be still.  Have a good cry.

And RE-DIRECT yourself.

What do you want?


What are you doing regularly to achieve it?

What are you ignoring?

Perhaps,  that which you are seeing in your peripheral vision and ignoring is really what you need to consider,  and face it, head on.

Is something nagging you?

Is something re-appearing in theme or in conversation?

Perhaps,  that is what you need to face head on,  instead of feeling the glass is half empty.

Just because one person, or one season says "no",  doesn't mean you stop trying.  It might mean you are trying in ways you need to re-evaluate.

Frustration & rejection does not have to equal failure.

That is a choice.

Frustration & rejection should lead to focus and re-direction to discover your truth and where you SHOULD be,  not where you think you want to be.  It does not mean giving up.  It does mean walking away.  It means another possibility,  a different perspective,  a walking toward something.

Yes, there are too many people auditioning.
Yes,  you will submit for many projects and never get an audition.
Yes, you will get typed out.

Yes, you will get frustrated.

Yes, your responsibility is to find out the direction you need to face,  and start walking,  and gathering momentum,  and discovering what you need to DO in order to be where you will BE.

Saying you know and DOING what you know are not the same.


And an ongoing re-direction until you figure out where you are.

Rejection does not define you,  unless you allow it to.

Re-direction allows you to re-define yourself.

Choose well.