Coming Out of the Musical Theater Closet
Like many artists and performers, I have lived part of my life in secret. For the past 12 years, I have been a professional modern/contemporary dancer, choreographer and teacher. It is with nervous excitement and extreme pride that I announce...I'm also a singer and I LOVE Musical Theater.
When you are a concert performance artist in a discipline that takes itself as seriously as modern dance, it can be hard to admit that in the bottom of your heart lies a deep desire to strap on a pair of character shoes and belt out Cabaret. You see, some dancers and actors look down upon Musical Theater because it is "entertainment". Well I say PPPPSHHHH!! It is an honor to entertain and a privilege to bring joy to an audience. Besides! Amerian Musical Theater Repertoire has traditionally told very difficult stories. Take Grease, for example. It chronicles the loss of innocence, deals with identity and social values. Or West Side Story, which deals with racism, gang violence and forbidden love.
Before I was a modern/contemporary dancer, I was an aspiring musical theater performer. I made the mistake of believing someone when they told me I was not good enough. It silenced me, and made me afraid of my voice. Three years ago, I was offered the opportunity to reclaim my voice and I took it. It was scary, learning to sing again and having faith in my voice, but I did it...and damn it...I did it well.
My most recent role, was in the TDPS production of Spring Awakening. I sang the role of Wendla, which is the part of a lifetime. She is quite literally, a dream role for me. I threw myself into her completely, putting almost everything else in my life on hold. I learned her vulnerabilities, her naivite, and I completely embodied her for the weeks I was privileged to perform her. I couldn't be more thankful. This role stretched me in ways I could never have imagined. I did it...and damn it...I did it well.
So here it is: I am out and proud! Yes, I'm a modern dancer, but I am also a MUSICAL THEATER ARTIST!!! And I cannot WAIT to see what the future has to bring :).