Thursday, June 27, 2013

Words to Live By

For the next two weeks, Alexandra, one of our many talented Overtures students, is taking over our blog. Check back for daily updates and come to the Overtures showcase Saturday at 11 AM in Signature's MAX Theatre! 

Overtures student Ines listens to words of wisdom from Marcy and Zina.

Tuesday, June 25
We hear it every day - there are thousand of aspiring artists competing for many of the same roles. Just like us, many of them have trained to belt a high A, others have “the right look" and still others have more experience, more training and stronger credits on their resum├ęs. However, none of us entered into this business wanting to be just like all the others. Our little kid dreams were to be stars, each entirely unique and truly captivating.

Even if we learn nothing else this week, we'll have learned to be ourselves. Every session discussing the business of show business, each master class, every time we slip into old habits of performing songs the way we think our instructors want them performed, we are encouraged to revisit the work and make it our own.

This evening’s reminder came from contemporary lyricist, Marcy Heisler, and composer, Zina Goldrich. The duo, whose “Taylor the Latte Boy” and “Alto’s Lament” are just two of the incredibly witty compositions in their songbooks, offered us each personalized advice on our song choice and interpretation. It wasn’t long before we recognized a theme to their suggestions – be yourself. There may be 20 other girls singing the same song, “but no one in the room has heard you sing it before,” said Zina.

Candid casting critiques are invaluable at this early stage of our careers. So often we are corralled through 90 second monologues or 32 bars of music in an audition room and hurried along with a “thank you” or, even worse, the dreaded “that’s all we need today”. We long for feedback. After all, we are in the business of being judged! Without feedback it is all too easy to worry ourselves for hours about what we could have done better, what notes we might have missed, what acting points we forgot to hit.

Marcy and Zina offered us their honest opinions as well as suggestions on ways to further work on our performances. But they, along with all the Overtures instructors we have had the privilege of working with this past week and a half, also gave us an important mantra to live by: “Yay me! I make art!” We can spend every audition concerned about our look, being the wrong “type”, or singing a wrong note, or we can be our most confident, art-making, high A-belting selves. “Yay me! I make art!”

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