As a seasoned performer, having worked professionally in Musical Theatre in New York City, on national tours, internationally, etc., what do you think the important keys to success emerging artists must consider before embarking on a career?
(Photographed Below: Michelle Rosen in The Phantom of the Opera)
If you listen to musical theatre singers of the past, they had very unique and recognizable voices. They may not have had technically perfect instruments or in some cases any vocal training, but they could inhabit a song, some quite beautifully. I worry about the graduates of all the hundreds of musical theatre programs across the country now. They may sing well, but in this highly competitive market, what is individual and special about them that will make them stand out? They are all beginning to sound the same – are we training the individuality right out of them?
The other thing MT performers need to know is: acting first. Unless you are an astonishing dancer or a good dancer who’s content to stay in the ensemble, what performers on Broadway have always been and continue to be are actors first and foremost. If you’re being sent in for an agent submission or going to an Equity call, they just ASSUME you can sing (and you’d better be able to!), but they are looking beyond that for strong acting and personalization of the work you bring in.
You have been a faculty member of Somatic Voicework™ for a long time, what keeps bringing you back to the work?
(Photographed Below: Michelle Rosen, Jeff Costello, and Betsy Fiedler at The LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework™)
What brings me back again and again is the tremendous well-spring of sound principles – both pedagogical and philosophical. It is the opposite of a rigid system, but constantly allows for new input and output. Every time I am exposed to Jeanie whether through a voice lesson, teacher support groups or at the Institute, I come away with a deeper and deeper understanding. It’s endless – like Poland Spring!
The future of Somatic Voicework™ seems very exciting right now, especially with younger people coming on board who are so tech savvy. We hope to reach a wider and wider audience, while not allowing the work to become diluted, which is a tough balance.
What are you looking forward to at this summer’s
LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework™?
I look forward to it all year! (And we are working towards it all year as well.) Getting to see colleagues from around the world is such a treat. Plus meeting new ones. We get PhDs, SLPs college professors, successful jazz artists and classical divas plus some curious singers who are not yet teaching. Most people who are attracted to Jeanie’s work have a certain world-view in common, even though we may disagree on any given specific. And that world-view, if I may say, is one of healing and service through music.