Where My Art Has Taken Me
This week, the admissions bloggers were asked to answer the question, “Where is the most interesting place your art has taken you so far?” At first, I didn’t really know how to answer, because I wouldn’t say I’ve been to too many exciting places yet. I considered writing about the time I was a Peanuts character at a MetLife opening and had a panic attack because putting on the giant head made me terribly claustrophobic, but I thought I’d save that for another time. I’ve performed at several different places, but I’ve found that the most interesting place that my art has taken me is into the lives of other people.
My favorite part of a performance is talking to audience members afterwards. I enjoy the “your singing was beautiful!” comments and I always appreciate them, but what I love the most is when people tell me the effect my performance had on them. I love when I sing “Danny Boy” at a retirement home and a man tells me that he is from Ireland and that I reminded him of home. I love being able to bring joy to people who may be going through difficult or painful times. I would have to say it’s the most rewarding part of being a performer.
In another sense, I get to experience other peoples’ lives by becoming a character. A lot of people say they love Halloween because they get to dress up and be someone else for a day; I love that I get to do that every day. In very few professions do you actually get to play pretend. That said, I have to convincingly play pretend :-) Being a performer allows me to discover so much information about other cultures and time periods that I would never have thought to look into otherwise. For many roles, I even have to think like a boy. When preparing to perform as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, I spend some time observing young boys’ mannerisms and how they walk, which I then practice in the mirror. This kind of preparation lets me really become the character I’m portraying, and I can let the character manifest herself (or himself) into my appearance and movements. I love that I’m able to see the world through the eyes of so many different people. I am able to know what they know, see what they see, and feel what they feel.
Isn’t that crazy?!