OK . . . maybe Jackie Evancho (the phenomenal little classical singer on "America's Got Talent") is coached to the "n'th degree." Maybe her every cute remark is just as rehearsed as her every passionate gesture and every rounded vowel and every breath in her magnificent, if somewhat eerie singing ("How is a ten year old making sounds like that?"). But every time she sings I get a thrill and sometimes when she speaks I know that unvarnished truth is coming out of this kid's mouth because she is speaking the feelings I had as a 10 year old and still feel today when I am singing from my heart and soul.
At last night's Finale, Jackie spoke of loving singing so much that when she sings sometimes she smiles so much lips wanted to twitch. That joy, that rapture just from the act of singing was clear from watching her performance, which was (and here I disagree with the "distinguished judges") far,far, far from perfect. Thank God! She's a little girl. She's just at the beginning of her journey and she's human. But please, if you didn't get to see and hear this performance, swallow some of your snobbery and pride and go on the "AGT" website. This is what I mean when I talk about singing for the pure joy of it.
By the way, there was some other pretty fabulous joyful performing at Broadway on Broadway as well, which I caught on the BroadwayWorld website. Loved Mandy Gonzales perfectly imperfect Elphaba and those proud Cagelles who must have been freezing their pride off.
But all of this is about LOVE and JOY. Loving singing. Loving acting. Loving what you do. I've recently returned to auditions myself and I'm having a ball. I look at each EPA as a chance to do what I love. Feel the power of the music flowing through me, sharing the moment with the accompanist and the auditors and then leaving it in the room. With love. Look, I know times are tough for all of us who do this thing for a living; old timers, new comers, aspiring students alike. But let's take a second to remind ourselves why we started to sing in the first place. I hope for a lot of you it was because it made you smile so much your lips twitched.
P.S. Day after the final votes have been tallied and the winner announced. Jackie did NOT WIN! and I am so happy. This little girl needs to be nurtured slowly; not have a Las Vegas act. She will have a long and fulfilling and (I hope I hope I hope) happy career.
This is a new addition to my blog. I'd like to be able to keep up with the activities of my students on my blog, so that it can be edited more quickly and efficiently than on my website. So . . . please let me know what you are up to and I promise it will get published here!