A song of thanks to my teachers:
Thank you to Rhoda for introducing me to musical theater in the most wonderful way possible: instruction with love, respect and patience, professionalism with friendship and kindness, perfectionism with humor and understanding. For showing me what a director can do for you and how joyous being on stage can be.
Thank you to Isabelle for introducing me to classical singing in a loving, unpretentious way.
Thank you to Elizabeth for teaching me professionalism and musicianship, the hard way. For showing me that good ideas can be taken to very negative extremes. For showing me what being “mean” REALLY is.
Thank you to Rosemary and Phil who taught me the power of stillness and specificity in emotion and movement. For how to sing and act at the same time without sacrificing vocal quality. For how to program a recital.
Thank you to Julian for believing in me when no one else did. For encouraging me. For teaching me a radically new way to sing that literally and figuratively changed my life. For loving musical theatre as much as opera. For introducing me to Cornelius. For passion. For friendship. For showing me how to be a teacher, mentor and colleague all at the same time. For generosity.
Thank you to Theo for teaching me the joys of the intellectual side of music and theatre. For making me a scholar. For believing in me. For showing me that flaws show our humanity and are just as interesting (if not more so) as perfection. For friendship.
Thank you to Cornelius for revealing MY uniquely beautiful voice. For teaching me how the voice works. For awakening and challenging the lazy part of my brain. For finally explaining what TECHNIQUE really is. For giving me a profession that is challenging and rewarding and humbling and invigorating.
Thank you to Gary for teaching me to love German diction. For teaching me how to get inside of a song with your ear, mind and heart. To dissect music in order to make it whole.
Thank you to Anne for being patient with a new teacher and showing me how to be successful with young, beginning students. For showing me that simplicity can be a virtue and a saving grace.
And finally, and really, she should go first, thank you to my mother, Joan. Thank you for always believing in me. For introducing me to Musical Theatre in the first place. For letting me listen to all your original cast recordings. For singing along. For always supporting me. For schlepping me to lessons and rehearsals and performances. For collecting inspirational stories that still stay with me no matter how I wanted to dismiss them at the time. For counseling me through the toughest times. For your enduring wisdom. For helping me to keep going no matter the obstacles. For drying my tears and strengthening my resolve. For always understanding. For being my biggest fan. For smiling the biggest, most ridiculously wonderful smile during every performance. For unconditional love.
I am a product and an amalgam of all of these people and their teachings. They are with me all the time, whispering in my ear, guiding me, reminding me, warning me… how to be and how not to be as a teacher to myself and others.
Thank you with all my heart.