Monday, June 18, 2012


I had a pretty amazing voice lesson the other day.
I arrived in New York Broadway bound. Ironically, the influencing question was 'Go to New York for Broadway or go to New Orleans for Jazz?' My thoughts at the time were, I'm only young and active now, let me see how Broadway works.
Jazz found me in New York instead...
From being employed at a Jazz club and now working on standards and building my repertoire, its just funny how the universe puts you in your place.
So at the lesson, my coach asked me 'what kind of sound do you want?' It was interesting because I was just talking to my roommate regarding the music in my book and how a lot of the songs we've gone over I don't find inspiring or at least entertaining. I've always sung what he wants me to and I decided I need to tell him what I want. Then he challenged me and said 'do you even know?' The thing is, I have a different voice. I'm not a Billy or a Nina or an Aretha but I have some soul. I can sound pretty and have a longevity with my notes. I can also sound like a teenager (i.e., Bye bye Birdie) So with a question like that, you can't say, I want to sound like Amy Winehouse because, well,  every voice has its distinct quality. I know what I like to hear, but I'm not trying to copy anyone's specific sound.
Anyhow so he asked me what instruments I like the most and I said trumpet, piano and violins. (funny I've dated two of those)
So he said 'Pretend you're a trumpet and sing this song'. Now I obviously wasn't singing  'wah whahaha', I sang it how I would sing it as myself.
When we finished he said 'thats the best I've ever heard you sing'.
I said,' Because I was having fun and singing it myself'.
He says, ' I'm going to slap you in the face'.

LOL. He's a trip.

I explained to him that I sing how he wants me to sing. Sing soft, I sing soft. Sing uberloud, I sing uberloud. And finally he tells me to be myself and its the best. I really think we found the right place.
He drilled technique into my voice and as long as I can keep practicing and keep my sound consistent, I free to learn songs on my own, which essentially is what I need to do on my own anyhow.


On another positive note, I've been networking like a crazy! I have collected so many business cards from various fellow vocalists or writers. Its been pretty amazing. I feel so blessed to have had such opportunities that are allowing me to do this...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

OH Wow Anne

Only in NY

You know growing up as a kid, my parents were divorced, mom became a working mother and somehow managed to keep us kids occupied on very little child support. Dance classes, volleyball practice,etc.. Most of our non-divorced friends were leading lives of international vacations and karate classes. While we as kids, never wanted to miss out, I can tell it pained her just not having enough money to send all of us.
I always wanted to go to see the touring Broadway shows. Those were my happiest memories. Dad took me and my siblings to see 42nd street and I fell in love. I had playmates that would fly to NY and watch shows, and though I was so excited for them, deep down I wish I could do it too. Chicago on Broadway for a Dance convention. We were always taught never to ask for too much. But in retrospect, I have two memories of asking for something and getting it, one being the Fraggle Rock book collections was only two easy payments of $9.99 with a matching tote, the other, tickets to see 42nd street. Ask and you shall receive? Yes! and no, not in my family. To dream big  and push boundaries wasn't exactly something our family did. I don't know how many times I heard my mother say 'who do you think you are?' My response should have been 'still figuring that out mom'...  Anyway, thats another post...

Now I live in NY. Maybe that was the biggest draw, other than obvious career move. Its amazing to have the best theatre at your fingertips.
I had the privilege of watching 'Death of a Salesman' starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Andrew Garfield, Linda Emond.
I normally like going into a show not knowing the story and being completely floored by whats presented. This time I read the play first. I kind of wish I didn't. Funny thing is, I would read before bed and I think I was half asleep through some of them because I completely forgot a few scenes. Also, as an actor, you watch a show differently than the average person. Since I already knew the story, I got lost in the actors and choices each made rather than sit back and be entertained. Regardless, the performance took over and by the end I was crying, bawling, huffy and puffy hysterical. When that curtain goes down, I always get so overwhelmed with emotion.  That something can be so powerful and move audiences...
It reminds me of why I want to do this.
And why I want to be here.

I'm so grateful.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Ovation

When the crowd roars in approval, That's when I cry the hardest. Because of sheer happiness for the actors who have succeeded amongst every odd at living their dream. because I'm so very proud of them. Because, its not easy. And because I only wish to do the same.

Lack of life or lack of love at risk? Or both?

I was given an opportunity! But without noticing, the boundless opportunity was transformed into something constricting and dangerous. The opportunity had become risk...
All growth is precede by risk-taking. There is no innovation, no great work of art or love story that has not involved a number of risks. Why don't we throw ourselves into all risks with great joy? Is it the fear of hurting ourselves or the risk to our own or others lives? Yes, but the majority of the factors that hold us back are based on fear of quite harmless things. No one has ever died from saying 'I love you', even though it may feel like it at the moment.
-Tilde Bjorfors