Brick Walls

Sorry for the long absence - life got crazy :) But I'm ba-ack!

Today I had the most incredible coaching session with Tregony Shepherd this afternoon. Like, wow. She toured with Les Mis and Phantom, and did Les Mis on Broadway too. Her whole body radiates theater - she moves, speaks, and communicates like a real actress. Which she is, so go figure. I felt her pixie dust flying around the room as she worked.

I was in tears a couple times this afternoon as she transformed the other singers' pieces. We have some great voices at cc#1, but she took a pretty voice and a nice song into either a heart-wrenching drama or a cute, hilarious comedy, depending on the situation.

Honestly, I was so disappointed in how I sang. I feel like my technical abilities/dramatic skills are so much greater when I'm not performing or nervous. Go figure, right? But my future career is supposed to be performing, so it's so frustrating when performing is difficult and not satisfying.

I feel like I have all these emotions and motivations and ideas bouncing in my head that I want to communicate, but there's this brick wall between me and my audience. I can feel the moment in the song when I hit the wall and I just bang against it for the rest of the piece - it's a terrible feeling.

Tregony did help me communicate better, but I still feel frustrated. I don't know what to do except keep practicing, but I'm looking forward to when I'll be able to sing and touch my audience and bring them to tears. Soon, I hope.


  1. well, you brought me to tears pretty recently. Just sayin' ;)

    and I KNOW you can take down that wall one brick at a time. because you have grace in your fingers and a message in your song.

  2. You brought me to tears recently, too.

    And now I'm going to say something that I hope won't hurt your feelings.

    I think it will come with age. As lovely and mature as you are, you are young and innocent and naive (all meant in complimentary ways).

    I think some of that depth of emotion will come with depth of life experience. I always think it's funny when teenaged starlets start their recording careers with songs about heartbreak, when the reality of it is, they've probably never actually experienced really deep romantic heartbreak. The songs can be musically pretty, but emotionally lacking.

    I noticed it a little bit when you sang the love song in Scrooge. You're in your element when you sing about some things, but in that song, I noticed the distance and hesitation on your part. But, correct me if I'm wrong, but you've not yet had a serious romantic relationship, right? I just wonder if you didn't really connect to that song because you don't have the experience to draw from.

    That's not to say all experiences are worth having just so that you can become artistically better. I hope you never have your heart broken, and of course, you wouldn't want to "learn" vices just so you can sing convincingly about them. But so much of music and theater is about love and life and loss, and your bank of those things is just small yet. And that's ok. Cherish that. Protect that because once it's gone, it never returns.

    And also realize the other side of the coin. While you may not sing a love song quite so convincingly as someone 5 or 10 years your elder, you have a youth and purity of heart that someone further down the road from you can't quite come back to again.

    When you sing to the Lord, and about your faith, and about beauty and adoration and trust and growing, you bring people to tears and to the Lord. And that's an irreplaceable gift.

    Be gentle and patient and realistic and generous with yourself, dear one.

    Love you! You're beautiful and exceptionally gifted.