As 2016 draws to a close and I make my way to the studio for the final stint of the year, I thought I’d write a cheesy blog post about the last 12 months. An interesting year to say the least! But the start of an amazing journey and one I’m really excited about.
Starting off as a dancer in the musical theatre industry, it never occurred to me that I would end the career in the job that I did. I just knew that I wanted to keep on going and do my best to climb the ladder. After a few years, I knew for a while that I was ready to stop performing and it was actually Wicked and the demands of the role, that came along and showed me where my career would head next.
Meeting Chris (the other half) has obviously had a huge impact on my life, he’s been a huge inspiration and encouragement throughout the process of me becoming a singing teacher. I wouldn’t have landed the Standby Elphaba role without him and it was his coaching throughout the Wicked job that made me realise I had taken my voice for granted my entire career and got by on the shoddy technique that I had. Looking back, I most certainly would've valued my voice so much more. I would say it took a good 8 months for my voice to work out what was required for 8 Elphaba shows a week and even then, my technique wasn’t strong enough. If only I knew in those early days what I know now! Maybe the dancer in me never presumed I would have the chance to play roles like Sherrie and Elphaba. Perhaps I would’ve actually started having technique lessons 10 years ago instead of just relying on the odd lesson to sort out an audition. Madness.
As I worked on my own voice and realised just how much strength, stamina and flexibility was required ….. a passion developed for the voice, the science behind it and how to make it work for you! Fortunately, the Standby nature of the job gave me the time and opportunity to retrain as a vocal coach and I began teaching with the little knowledge I had. I found a studio space on a Friday afternoon and was paying for a full day of hire even if I only had 1 client that day.
Basically, it’s been a brilliant first year of teaching and I’m not looking back. From my first client that is still with me today, thank you for being my guinea pig! I’m now in the studio in West Hampstead 4 days a week and couldn’t be happier. When a client gets into college, lands a new agent or gets a job, it’s literally the best feeling in the world. Your happiness makes me realise I’ve done the right thing and I’m so chuffed that I get to share it with you!
Granted I’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunities to play the parts that I have and perhaps without them, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet so many aspiring performers that are going through their training or have just graduated, embarking on such an incredible but demanding career. Regardless, as time goes on I’m realising that the coaching in vocal technique is just one aspect of the job and mentoring performers through the process of auditioning amongst the highs and lows of a MT career is something I want to help with in any way I can.
Next year, I’m looking to step up the training and qualifications which is an incredibly exciting prospect and the process is already underway. Knowledge is power and I fully intend on bringing more to the table when it comes to clients walking through the door. Who knows what the future will bring in terms of heading back to the stage. But right now, I’m extremely happy sitting at the piano helping others achieve their goals.
Thank you clients, old and new. Such a lovely bunch and you make my working day a wonderful thing. Whether you're a beginner or professional, singing blues or classical, I hope you get as much enjoyment out of your lessons as I do. Looking forward to hearing more from you throughout the year.
Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2017.