Artistic Collaboration

It has occurred to me numerous times over the past few weeks just how much artists rely on others opinions, techniques and input to shape them to be the best that they can be. I’m sure that could be said for many career fields but it has stuck out to me so much in my experiences this past month that I felt like writing about it tonight! For example, in my acting class a few weeks ago we had a ‘first look’ at our scene work where our coach and classmates offered insights into what they saw and offered suggestions on things we might want to improve on. I learned some interesting things that really helped me and my partner with our scene. Having so many perspectives is so incredibly important so you don’t get stuck in a rut doing the same thing, especially in theatre performance!

Looking back over my life as a performer, numerous people have had a huge influence on me artistically both from an inspirational and a technique/approach/learning point of view. I have found that observing how performers act both on and offstage in “the business” is incredibly insightful into what works, and what doesn’t. Some performers seem have that “it” factor on stage and can evoke emotion within me and get at my soul – I want to be able to do that!! šŸ™‚ This past year I have seen several productions and met a few amazing talents (ex: Diana Damrau and Sierra Boggess) who inspired me so much that I wanted to run home and practice for hours on end. What a rush!! Can you relate or have you experience this as well?

I am really thankful to have had some fantastic vocal coaches and artistic mentors over the past few years, beginning in small town New Brunswick, moving up to the ‘big city’ of Ottawa and finally, landing here in Annapolis. Each one of these wonderful people have taught me so much in their own unique ways and have shaped me into who I am today. Not only did they give me musical knowledge, they instilled in me how important it is to give back to the community with music. (Side note, don’t get me started on the importance of music programs in grade school….I’ll save that for another post). In my experience it takes a really special individual to be able to teach (in any field) and the coaches/mentors I have had are no exception. Not only are they wonderful artists, they are also incredible people whom I cherish. Longer term, I aspire to be like them and to give back by teaching. My Mom reminded me this weekend on the phone that teaching and mentoring is something that has cropped up in various forms throughout my life – tutoring, piano, gov’t courses and project management, to name a few. With music, I’ve been very fortunate to work with the Annapolis Youth Chorus over the past couple of years and every single week, I leave there feeling inspired. Aren’t kids wonderful??? šŸ™‚

Moving forward, one of my sabbatical goals is to learn from and collaborate with as many talented artists as I can. How am I going to do this? Great question! I’m figuring that out as I go. At this point, I am thinking of doing some jam sessions, performances in the form of recitals, shows, etc. and I am eager to pick people’s brains about their experiences because I feel like this can only enrich my own knowledge and understanding of my artistry. I have a LOT of work to do and am reminded daily that this profession is not for the faint of heart!! So with that, if you’re an artist of any sort (singer, actor, painter, instrumentalist, composer, conductor, etc.) and you are interested in collaborating with me, let’s get together and chat! šŸ™‚

About Melanie Anderson

Singer, basketball player, scotch enthusiast, Canadian.
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2 Responses to Artistic Collaboration

  1. Kerrie says:

    Hi Mel. As always, you are an inspiration! And how right you are: everything we do and everyone we’ve met, in all aspects of our lives, contributes to our understanding and love and expression of all things artistic – and vice-versa. How important it is to keep our minds and hearts open to new experiences. Without them, how could we continue to grow and evolve? And how could we share it with others, as you are doing with your teaching? Sounds like you’re on a wonderful journey of discovery. Please keep posting!.


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