Janaka at MYOpera has asked me to write on the topic of “traversing the freelance lifestyle”.
I had to ask myself, “How could I, as one artist just out of school, speak to the multitude of experiences out there?”
Suddenly I was reminded of a video that first came to my attention the week before I started my undergraduate. Let’s listen to the words of Frank Underwood himself, Kevin Spacey, during his episode of “Inside the Actors Studio”. During the Q & A a student asks how can we appreciate those first early years of an acting career before you hit it big and reach that “ultimate prize” Read more »
Daevyd Pepper’s Chautauqua Survival Guide
This summer I attended the Chautauqua Voice Program run by Marlena Malas. It’s a 7-week-long “summer camp” for singers, most of whom study with Marlena at Curtis, Juilliard or Manhanttan School of Music, but not exclusively. It’s a great program to make big changes and grow as an artist. If you are interested in attending, here are a few tips to help you prepare.
- DO NOT BE AFRAID, it is not a cult!
Though the community at first appears a little Stepford-esque, it is actually a thriving community of people just enjoying their time away from the daily grind. They are friendly people who are passionate about the arts and culture, so they will love talking to you about what you do. Be prepared to talk a lot about yourself; nothing really new for singers. Oh yeah and don’t let all the gates scare you either, they will let you out whenever, providing you have your gate-pass >:).
- Lanyards are life
To get in and out of Chautauqua, to go to all the free concerts (Leann Rimes people!) and to do almost anything, you need to pass through a gate, guarded by some of the most sombre souls. They will require you to present your gate pass to be scanned. Do not lose this as they are expensive to replace. They sell lanyards in the gift shop that have card sleeves right on them. They may seem dorky at first, but they grow on you, literally and figuratively: you sweat a lot, it’s hot and so so humid.
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Anna Theodosakis directed The Rape of Lucretia (2016) and shares her busy and rewarding summer experiences!
My motto this summer was “you’re only young once”. It’s every young artists dream to book back-to-back contracts and this summer I had the immense privilege to work on four productions in under three months in three different provinces. It was intense but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything, even a day off.
Banff, Alberta. Photo: Jasper Leever
The first stop was beautiful Banff, Alberta. Emphasis on the beautiful! I joined the Banff Centre’s Opera in the 20th Century five-week program, run by Joel Ivany and Topher Mokrzewski of Against the Grain Theatre, as the apprentice stage director. I had the opportunity to assistant direct Paul Curran’s Rape of Lucretia and work with some amazing emerging artists that are going far. Curran taught me so much in one day let alone the entire five weeks. His incredible Tosca is coming back to the COC this spring so get your tickets! Read more »