The Beauty of Community Theatre

The Beauty of Community Theatre

Are you a theatre buff like me?

While I don’t often audition, and therefore am not often cast, the theatre…any theatre…is one of my favorite places to be.

I interviewed Ben Tissell for this blog post: http://laurahandke.com/simply-authentic-your-soul-voice-is-calling-pursue-what-you-love-and-love-what-you-pursue-an-interview-with-ben-tissell/ and wrote about my first staged reading experience here: http://laurahandke.com/simply-authentic-your-soul-voice-is-calling-theatre-feels-like-home/.

Patti Speight, Yelena King, Kelsey Ion (bottom) and Ryan Clifford, Grant Burton (top).Picture by Nicole Mae Photography

This time, I’m providing piano music for Mask & Mirror’s production of Rabbit Hole, directed by the wonderful Joe Silva, https://www.characterdrivenstories.com/Home.html.

I auditioned for the role of Nat and wasn’t cast. A few weeks into rehearsals, Joe contacted me after deciding he didn’t want a recorded soundtrack for the show, rather live piano music. I reflected on his request, and took my trusty pendulum to the test, before saying a whole-hearted YES! (Let me know on the blog if you’d like more information about how tools like pendulums can help you align your inner spirit with your outer voice before making important decisions like this.)

This volunteer gig has been an amazing process, full of learning, collaboration, and making beautiful music and theatre.

Joe, his partner, Valerie (an expert on physical movement on stage who is directing her own show at the Pentacle Theatre right now) and I threw several ideas out on the table (literally, my kitchen table) at our first meeting. Those few musical ideas led to others, and before long…we had a roster of songs that would work well to open the show, for scene transitions, and to close the show.

Then this voice and piano teacher had to order sheet music she didn’t have and start rehearsing.

I took piano lessons from Mrs. Hamre in Clark, South Dakota, for a decade, from second grade through my senior year in high school. I accompanied soloists back then. Tom Woods called me his “good luck charm,” as every time I accompanied him, he earned a Superior 1 rating at state vocal contest.

My Yamaha Arius electric piano is my trusted and cherished instrument now; I couldn’t give voice or piano lessons without it.

Yet I was out of practice.

I’m not a professional pianist. I don’t know how to transpose music into different keys; I’ve never even really tried. You can’t use a capo with a piano.

Anxiety set in before my first rehearsal with the cast and crew Friday the fifth of July. The cast had been together for weeks, working this show, and I was playing on an old piano I’d never seen before. I was there from 7 pm until 10:40 pm, getting over my nerves and becoming a part of the show, realizing how the music we’d chosen would – or wouldn’t – work during the scene transitions.

Would I rather be on stage acting? Maybe. Yet Patti plays Nat so well, I can’t begrudge her the role; she’s consistently knocking it out of the ball park.

After afternoon rehearsal the following day we’d worked out most of the kinks, and everything started coming together.

Most of the pieces Joe, Valerie, and I had decided on at the first meeting stayed. Thank God for Kids. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Que Sera, Sera. Tears in Heaven. So In Love. Try to Remember.

The show opened to a packed house and this glowing review: https://westsidetheatrereviews.blogspot.com/2019/07/down-rabbit-hole-with-mask-mirror.html?spref=fb&fbclid=IwAR3RUlpsu9kowuGwP-mE3TStcxITsYgPx7ezPZzPVqFRFfkaOaKI67gfZfI

If you’re in the Portland area, there’s still time to catch the show, July 19th – 21st! http://www.maskandmirror.com/?fbclid=IwAR2G65ZlZFxgG1sv7zYLN68M259dDVOCi7KZQ83n4SXJq3woTinpIdVaRkw

Come join us!

And consider volunteering your beautiful vocal and musicianship skills, even if you don’t feel you’re ready, to a local community theatre, where joy is created, found and shared.

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

I would recommend this class – and highly – to anyone finding or working with their voice. You are delightful and encouraging. -Emily H.

This workshop was such fun – if I have any feedback, I wish it was longer! Laura was warm and inviting and made us feel comfortable from the start. -Michelle L.

I feel much more knowledgeable about my own voice and have a few practical exercises to use and explore. -Jennifer F.

First time I have been comfortable with my voice. Especially want to say I feel safe in class with Laura. -Sara G.

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

Your Stage Presence Impacts Your Audience Before You Even Open Your Mouth: An Interview with Karen Aquinas

The impact we speakers, singers, performers have on our audiences starts before our speech or song does. Check out this seven-minute vlog to learn how to improve your stage presence.

 http://bit.ly/Interview_Handke_Aquinas 

Get Karen’s tips list here: https://www.karenaquinas.com/

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

I hired Laura to be my voice coach after hearing her speak at an NSA (National Speakers Association) event. Laura is AMAZING! In just a few coaching sessions with her, I learned so much about where my voice comes from, what my range is, and how to get the most out of it. I absolutely love working with Laura!  -Cathey A. Speaker/Trainer/TEDx Speaker Coach

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

Embrace Your Authentic Voice – In a Group!

Embrace Your Authentic Voice – In a Group!

When my voice teacher and mentor, Linda Brice, first started teaching group classes in addition to individual voice lessons, she was surprised to find people learn faster in a group setting.

I can’t explain the reason for this either, yet I’ve witnessed and experienced it myself. Something magical happens when people come together with a common intention and purpose.

My June 15th Embrace Your Authentic Voice workshop at Dance with Joy Studios in Sellwood, Oregon, was just such an experience.

A comment led to a question, then to an explanation, which raised more comments, and questions…and we were all learning and growing together in ways that went way outside the Four Critical Pillars of Healthy and Effective Vocal Technique. I don’t remember when I’ve had more fun! What an honor for this voice (and piano) teacher!

One thing, way outside the intended curriculum, truly amazed me. Each participant found her third register! (If you’d like to know about the third register, please ask on the blog, and I’ll answer.) 

This isn’t something that happens every day in any first group vocal class.

The energy of the group made the magic happen.

If you would like to be a part of, or host, a group Embrace Your Authentic Voice class, do let me know. Let’s spread the magic around.

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

I would recommend this class – and highly – to anyone finding or working with their voice. You are delightful and encouraging. -Emily H.

This workshop was such fun – if I have any feedback, I wish it was longer! Laura was warm and inviting and made us feel comfortable from the start. -Michelle L.

I feel much more knowledgeable about my own voice and have a few practical exercises to use and explore. -Jennifer F.

First time I have been comfortable with my voice. Especially want to say I feel safe in class with Laura. -Sara G.

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

Embrace Your Authentic Voice

Embrace Your Authentic Voice

The Lake Music recital was awesome! Three of my students were brave and got right out there. I’m so proud of Reagan, Paige and Karley. And, dare I say it? I’m proud of myself, as I performed, too. As a teacher, it’s important I know what my students are going through, and to perform as often as I can. My performance wasn’t perfect, yet I’ve started to get over my nerves of public solo singing performance. Here’s a little video of my Folsom Prison Blues performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow6fAsgYzeI

Easily Affordable Vocal Workshop in Sellwood!

Embrace Your Authentic Voice:

Four Critical Pillars for Effective and Healthy Vocal Technique

This interactive and dynamic class teaches you how to:

  • Harness the power of the Breath to create maximum vocal impact without weakening your voice or your throat getting hoarse.
  • Avoid harsh Onsets, which can cause damage to the vocal cords. (Internationally renowned pop singer, Adele, had to have vocal cord surgery due to this issue, not once, but twice.)
  • Create vocal Resonance, so your voice carries to the back of room without a microphone, and without pushing or straining your voice.
  • Speak in your natural, authentic Pitch to avert vocal fry.

Saturday, June 15, 2-4 PM

Dance with Joy Studios

8051 SE 16th Avenue

Portland, OR

$25 preregistered/$30 at the door

Register:

support@dancewithjoystudios.com

503-704-5617

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

I hired Laura to be my voice coach after hearing her speak at an NSA (National Speakers Association) event. Laura is AMAZING! In just a few coaching sessions with her, I learned so much about where my voice comes from, what my range is, and how to get the most out of it. I absolutely love working with Laura!  -Cathey Armillas, Speaker/Trainer/TEDx Speaker Coach

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Lake Music Recital Saturday

Lake Music Recital Saturday

Reagan in the Lake Music Lobby (Photo by Donnell Plumlee)

Lake Music Recital Saturday

I hope you’ve had as great a month as I have. May brought sunshine and warm temps to the Willamette Valley, and then rain just when it was needed. I planted a little patio garden with cilantro, basil, cherry tomato and jalapeno pepper plants. The roses in the front yard are starting to bud and blossom already.

Our voices can bloom just like the plants.  If you’re interested in an introductory group voice workshop, I have one coming up June 15th in Sellwood…details to come!

Today, I have a special announcement. Lake Music’s recital is this coming Saturday afternoon, 1:00, at Lakewood Theatre, 368 S. State Street, Lake Oswego, OR.

I’ve been teaching at Lake Music since last August and this is the first recital I’ve had the pleasure of participating in. We’re all really looking forward to it, and – if you’re local— you’re invited to attend! Here’s a photo of my 7-year-old piano student, Reagan, who will be playing in the recital. Approximately 30 students – from 5-year-old youngsters to beginning elders – will be performing, and the snack table will be nicely filled.

Guess what? The teacher will be singing, too! A Johnny Cash song I’ve always been fond of.

Come on down  if you can, and – if you can’t – think well wishes for all of the students! And for yourself, in your own vocal practice.

Remember, there is no such thing as failure. The only failure is not trying.

I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. -Michael Jordan

My video flubs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCr2wb7u6BA

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

I hired Laura to be my voice coach after hearing her speak at an NSA (National Speakers Association) event. Laura is AMAZING! In just a few coaching sessions with her, I learned so much about where my voice comes from, what my range is, and how to get the most out of it. I absolutely love working with Laura!  -Cathey A. Speaker/Trainer/TEDx Speaker Coach

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

How You Can Beat the Inner Critic

All the vocal training in the world can’t help with one not-so-small thing, and that’s the inner critic. I call my inner critic “Carla.”

Yes, after all my years of vocal training and teaching, that critic still kicks in from time to time, especially when I have a musical audition. Still, far less, these days.

The best way to combat the critic is to remember we’re just playing. Playing with your voice is fun – you don’t need to be perfect. Music is fun; music is healing and joyful!

Sing like your critic isn’t looking, and have fun! The critic will start to know it doesn’t have as much of a hold on you. Especially if you giggle. Please do giggle with great vocal technique.

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Laura has helped me find my true, authentic voice. She’s given me music I didn’t know I could sing to help me realize I’m truly a singer, not just a person who can sing. -Kenyon A.

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura