There is no “prize” out there

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 »

Alumni Adventures: Daevyd Pepper, Tenor

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.


  1. 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 >:).

  1. 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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