I recently had breakfast with a dear friend. Someone I’ve know for many years. He’s made an incredible career for himself, particularly as a playwright and an actor, with a gorgeous singing voice to boot. At breakfast, I told him how through college, I envied him his talent–he seemed to get involved in so many things. A whole bunch of opportunities seemed to fall in his lap. But as I watched him develop as an artist, I quickly realized that while, yes, he is a gifted performer, he works his ass off. He seeks opportunity. He creates opportunities for himself.… Read More »deanna’s got talent. or not.
Strike! Strike! Strike! Strike! I am (finally, really, truly) close to finishing my ph.d. at the University of Toronto, but as a Teaching Assistant, that means I’ve been a part of the highly publicized CUPE 3902 Unit 1 strike. I have lots of political opinions but perhaps will share those in another post. What I will say here is that I’m pretty sure being on the picket line is the opposite of writing a dissertation in every satisfying way–lots of people, lots of walking (albeit in circles), being blunt clear about the message. Perhaps what I’ve most loved about being… Read More »the politics of music, the music of politics; aka I’m on strike
The vocal pedagogy that I practice and teach mostly draws from the work of Fides Krucker. I just got back from a lesson with Fides, and through my vocal and pedagogical training with her, I’ve come to understand singing as an integration of contradictions that demands the quiet but complete bravery of leaping off a cliff. In one of my first singing lessons with Fides, back in 2003, she was coaching me through a vocal slide, trying to get me to find air flow without pushing or straining the muscles around the vocal folds. She told me “it’s like you’re… Read More »it’s like falling off a cliff, over and over
We just finished our two-night run of the east-end edition of the Undone Cabaret. It was, literally, a full house both nights. Without suggesting that our performance was awesome, I would like to state that, in general, house concerts are a wonderful thing. The set-up is cozy, personal, and full of sparkle. It makes everyday living extraordinary, turning intimate personal space into a public performance space. And houses are weird performance spaces. When Jen and I first performed the cabaret at a house concert in the West End, we were confronted with a space that simply couldn’t be set up… Read More »the joy and agony of performance
Last Saturday morning at breakfast, my 5-year-old was asking why my partner had to leave for the day. “I’m going to campaign school,” my partner said (it’s election time soon in these parts). My son thought about this. “Well,” he said, “if you’re going to school, there’s one thing you should learn first.” “What’s that?” “First, you should learn how to sing. Singing makes everything easier.” Singing makes everything easier! After I stopped laughing, I started to consider the implications of this. Do I agree? I’ve wrestled my fair share of singing demons. I’ve gone through long periods where singing… Read More »making everything easier