This morning, my Yogi Tea Bag told me “If you want to learn something, read. If you want to understand something, write. If you want to master something, teach.” I love this quote and its complete rebuttal of the oft-told maxim: those who can’t do, teach. Some of the best teachers I know are also master performers in their own right.
At this moment, I’m sitting in the green room floor waiting to go onstage at the ArtsObispo Honors event (San Luis Obispo, CA’s version of the Kennedy Honors) to dedicate the fiendishly difficult aria “Come Scoglio” to my one-time teacher Jacalyn Kreitzer. Though I only studied with her for 2 years, Jackie brought me through some of the most trying times in my vocal career. I was fresh out of grad school, having no success in auditions and no fun singing. I was floundering and struggling and about to give up altogether. Jackie pulled my voice out of the ashes and began to rekindle the fire of love for the art form. With her unconventional teaching style and silly nonsense sounds, She helped me to stop taking opera so seriously. She reminded me to have fun. She encouraged me to obtain my yoga certification and pursue teaching as a side-career, (both of which have helped me begin to master my voice) and most of all, she brought my voice back to life. When it was time for me to move on vocally, she did not hesitate to send me to another teacher for guidance. Even when it was in her best interest to keep me in the studio, she considered what would be best for my vocal career and introduced me to Juliana Gondek, my current teacher. Her kindness and generosity has never diminished in these 3 years since I last studied with her. She is always checking in, offering support, and answering my questions. Jackie is such a strong influence in my life and I am sure in the lives of all who have studied with her. A master in her own right, her concerts to this day make me weep for the beauty of her tone and expression. Jackie, you are a dear and I hope to one day follow in your footsteps and continue your legacy for masterful performances and life-changing teaching. Thank you for all the gifts you have given me. Grazie!
#letsgetflexyin2015 challenge day 1: extended side-angel pose.
A little green room yoga in an evening gown never hurt anyone. Sometimes it helps when the pressure is on to remember that under the dress I’m still the calm, collected yogi, not the high-strung opera singer. It’s just about show time. I’m ready to show Come Scoglio no mercy! (But hopefully it will show me some.)