You are currently in The 5thAvenue Theatre’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This production has been very acclaimed and received lots of international attention, what can you tell us about the process? Can you shed light on the importance of diversity in the current musical theatre landscape?
This Show has been a truly amazing experience. ASL (American Sign Language) is an integral part of the show and it brings the story telling to new heights.
Our Quasimodo is a brilliant actor and hearing impaired. Where others might limit him, he exceeds beyond to new levels of communication. I feel truly blessed to be a part of this process not only for the storytelling but for the opportunity to learn more about ASL and the deaf community. This kind of inclusive incorporation of diversity in musical theatre is absolutely what we need to tell stories of all kinds to all people.
You are a Broadway veteran, you continue to perform regularly, and you teach at the Cornish College of the Arts (and privately); you walk the walk as a world-class vocalist and a teacher. Can you talk about the importance of voice teachers continuing to perform? And how does your constant immersion in the profession inform your teaching?
As I continue to perform and teach I cannot begin to express how important I feel it is to pursue both endeavors. I like to think of it as continuing to walk the walk. Relating experiences of current failure and success to my students is essential for trust and growth. I believe in being part of the fabric of art beyond the bubble I create.
I want to encourage my students to take risks but also have the compassion that comes from living through those same risks. Auditioning is the great equalizer. As an educator, I should be willing to take the same risks as my students.
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