Quarantines, Social Distancing, Public Performances Cancelled, Shows Postponed, Theatres and Museums Closed. Who would have thought it possible only a week ago?
As artists, our livelihood and opportunity to share our craft has come to a screeching halt in many cases. This is when we need our art the most. Out of these dark times, comes the opportunity to add new rep, nail that one technical thing holding you back, and merely singing for distraction and coping is helpful.
The Fine Arts Building is undergoing a non-toxic deep cleaning closure Monday night, March 16 and will re-open on Tuesday morning. I will be in Studio for private students and clients Wednesday and Thursday 3/18-19 while following disinfecting protocol mentioned in my previous email.
*During this uncertain time and always, in order for you to continue to hone your craft while we are all waiting out the pandemic, I will also make these services available to you outside of one on one lesson time:
-Skype, FaceTime or Zoom lessons from the comfort of your home.
-Accompaniment and pitch learning files of your new pieces for your private rehearsal.
-Customized warmup tracks which are catered specifically to your range and technical growth.*
Please let me know if you have any questions and how I can help. Know I am here and we will get through this challenging time together. We will have a lot to sing about!
Rebekah came to me a few months ago with the voice of a goddess, ready to reclaim it while working as a doula and a busy mother of two little ones. Her marriage to her husband is inspiring. She has a partner who understands that her artistry is a part of her identity and she has a gift to share with the world. It isn't just a "hobby", it is an important piece of who she is. She has enjoyed performing with wonderful companies in the Chicago area and is eager to continue to do so across the county. In a few short weeks, they will depart Chicago, head out with their kids to explore the country, audition for some local companies do some performing, dad will continue to thrive in his start up career, all while home schooling the kids, leaving many material possessions behind. How awesome is that? What a leap. Read more about her story here.
Deep thoughts: Life is all about transition. If you get pretty good at handling and adapting to transitions, you're going to make it alright. Some transitions are easier than others or they can catch us by surprise. Some can wake us up a little and others completely floor us. But life is riding the wave. Attempting to move in the current and let go, not flailing and resisting. I think faith and remembering who you are is the foundation we all need. Build those things and they will be your anchor in the storm and when youre smooth sailing.
The voice that speaks to you, the nagging feeling that you need to be doing a certain something, or the constant pull or desire to accomplish a certain goal or task; those feelings are all messages from your inner being to get up and DO IT! The "it" can be frightening as hell. It can seem like an insurmountable goal. We say "It would cost too much money" or "I wouldn't succeed," or we just make excuse after excuse as to why we haven't begun the process. I do it. Daily. Beginning the process can mean many things. It can mean ending a negative work relationship, a toxic personal relationship, stepping down from a time consuming commitment which no longer gives us life, or simply sitting down and writing out a step by step plan in order to achieve what our heart is telling us we need to do. This week, I have been fortunate to be on the observing end of people listening to what they are being called to do. Some are being asked to return to cultivating their gift of music. Some are being asked to let go of others' negative input about their gift. Some are letting go of the results of poor and unhealthy vocal instruction. They have been brave enough to let go of the junk, open themselves up to new input, and come back to the world of creating music with a wide-eyed and positive outlook for the future. How incredibly lucky I am to be part of that.
Let go. Do it. Be brave.
If we are lucky enough in our careers (and it shouldn’t really be luck if we have done it right) we earn the choice to be able to pick and choose the work we do, the companies we audition for, or better yet, the directors and music directors we work with. Meaning, we can decide to attend this or that audition, or work for/with this or that company or director, etc. But with our integrity in check and a respect for our own values, why does one feel the pressure to say ‘’yes” and work with an undermining director, or a music director who puts our most precious instrument and vehicle with which we want to have a long career in jeopardy? Why do we attend the audition for the director who verbally abuses actors and feels he has the right to criticize their weight or body type, their previous experience, or the fact that they are young and “green” when these are exactly the actors who are going to be willing to give 100% of their heart and soul for the very little pay they offer? Is it because we want it that bad? Or is it because we have been so used to picking ourselves apart, “perfecting” every single note, nuance, expression, nook and cranny in our craft? Is it a little of both? As the teacher, the voice coach, the music director, and “momma bear”, I say no more. The company whose director criticizes and offers detrimental vocal health advice, the company who humiliates a just-out-of-college aspiring actor will lose my endorsement in audition season, regardless of how many Jeff Noms and Awards or great reviews. The budding little company with kinks to work out will win in my book over you, mister. Here is a call to all coaches, teachers, agents out there. Let’s send our lovely and most precious future of Chicago Theater to those who demonstrate a RESPECT for the people who create on their stages, for those who tell the stories, and for those who sacrifice much in exchange for little. That is just, that is right, and it is crucial.