Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Uniquely You

...As Mr. Rogers used to say. This short snapshot comes out of our Executive Committee meeting last night. As we continue to have discussions about how our organization has grown and what it means to each of our members, this tenet rang very true to all of us around the table.

For all of us cabaret singers that are "defecting" from other genres - like musical theater or the jazz world, I think it is a great reminder of why we are choosing to take on this new direction. In theater, our job is almost always to take on someone else's creation. We inhabit the role, explore the hidden innuendos and bring some truth to the text on the pages. More often than not, we are stepping into the shoes of someone else or recreating an icon that has left a lasting impression. I know this especially to be true, being the "understudy King of the Twin Cities" for a long stretch. In the world of Jazz, it can be about finding your niche within the genre. How do you define yourself and what challenges do you want the music to bring out in you? There is definitely room to venture, but it still does not guarantee it becoming a personal expression other than the music and lyrics of the song.
But - the defining aspect of Cabaret is about putting yourself on the line and revealing your unique and true personality as you make your connection with the pianist & audience. We may all have differing visions of what our personal storytelling is - but we have succeeded if it is authentically our own. It does not have to be baring your soul, but it does require that we reveal our individual personality and character. We are never competing with each other for a gig, to put our stamp on a song, or to live up to someone else's legacy. The art form demands that we be unique and vibrant as we make that special connection with our audiences. Remember that and it can be empowering to you! Like a snowflake in the air or a flower in a field - no two are exactly alike.

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