I’ve been taking voice lessons from my dear friend, Carla, for quite some time now. During my time with her as a teacher, I’ve auditioned for Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan (and been cast as part of the chorus), I have auditioned for Dicken’s Carolers (and been cast as a soprano in one of their quartets) and I have sung multiple times within the Puget Sound Concert Opera with parts ranging from nice and low to squeaky high. It’s shocking for me to realize how much my performance resume has grown since the first time I had to create one back in 2009. In spite of all of these experience, I have a decided lack of knowledge when it comes to acting.
Carla is always asking for my goals. What is it I want out of my voice lessons? Do I want to become a more polished classical singer? Do I want to audition for some of the more challenging Seattle-based choirs? Do I want to enter competitions? What do I want? For the longest time, I have only been able to answer with a shrug. This past year, Carla threw me for a loop when she decided she was going to “force” her students to compete in an annual vocal competition. I can’t even remember the name of it right now. The main point being you sing within a genre and compete against similarly skilled singers. I’m not being measured against a professional, but rather an amateur although perhaps with more experience than a total beginner. We originally started by picking songs for the classical genre. Then we added musical theater (so I would be learning six songs for competition). Then, I realized I really would like to focus on musical theater.
And that’s when I realized what I want out of my lessons. I want to figure out how to get on stage. I don’t expect to ever be cast at 5th Avenue Theatre or anything, but I would love to do some community theater and see where it takes me. Once I declared my intentions, Carla stepped it up. It wasn’t good enough to learn a few songs and then run out and audition. First, I need some acting chops. I need a monologue, and I need to feel confident (somewhat) in my ability to say lines on stage. Second, I need a hook. Let’s be real, I’m not exactly a fresh face. I’m also not a kind old soul. That leaves me in an awkward place when it comes to finding roles. I’m somewhere in the middle. So I need something that makes people go, “Hey! We should grab her for our next show.” Apparently, my hook is going to be tap dancing. Nope, I don’t dance. I think I took a lesson when I was 4, but it’s been a while. So, I’m trying to find a tap dance instructor and I’m taking acting lessons.
We shall see how all of this turns out. I was going to tell you about my first night at acting class, but that will have to wait for another time. Right now, I have a VERY messy house to try to clean up.