Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Maybe a Psych Degree is Good for Something After All

My Mom finally put her psychology degree to good use: she helped me with my opera homework.

I'm studying a scene from Werther and I couldn't figure out Charlotte's super-objective. She's a very complicated character and I really needed someone to talk with about it. It took about an hour of conversation, but it was worth it! I went in to Isabel with my idea and she was totally satisfied. I told my Mom and she's like, "I wasn't a psych major for nothing!" hahah

I don't have anything against psych majors; I'm just being silly. My Mom actually did a lot with her psych degree. She went into advertising and eventually got a high-level job with A. C. Nielsen (the people responsible for TV ratings). She's very good at figuring people out and she has given me valuable insight on more than one occasion. It's like having my own personal shrink. ;)

I was reading an interview with Vesselina Kasarova (an EXCEPTIONAL opera singer) and she said something very interesting about acting. She almost alludes to the fact that you can mess up your mind and your emotional state if you take on the wrong characters at the wrong time. She says it this way,

"Beside the vocal range, it’s also very important to know the character of the role. For example, there are roles I could sing now because all the notes are there, but the problem is to bring in the character, and that I couldn’t do right now. Maybe later, with more experience, then it would all come together. With the dramatic repertoire, the point is that you are singing with so much emotion that these emotions really can damage your voice. It's not the notes which are written, but there is so much happening in your mind.. For example, if young singers try certain roles too early, it can be a problem, because on stage these emotions, these feelings, don't fit your personal state of being. Maybe a boy who's thirteen years old isn't ready to do certain things. It's the same for the singer. You will have difficulties to control the balance of all these big emotions. So it's better to be a bit older."

(You can find the entire interview here.)

Interesting, no? I've always wondered about this and I find it very interesting to actually see that someone else has an opinion on it.

This is a whole other discussion in itself (so I'll leave it for the moment), but what I'm trying to say is that this character of Charlotte is definitely stretching my limits. She's my age but she's been through much more than I have and so, in one sense, she's older than I am. It's going to be very interesting learning how to balance the emotions and the music in this scene. This is a very dark, charged scene and I'm going to have to figure out how to let the dark elements of the scene leak in without letting too much in (because that would destroy everything). I have my goals laid out for me.

Oh, and keeping my sanity is always a good thing. ;)

1 comment:

Smorg said...

You are a wise young lass, Kim. I don't sing so I don't know how emotion affects the cords... but it sure is sensible to be cautious with something that fragile and that vital to a career indeed. :o)

And that Mr. Duffie sure did a good interview, didn't he? I still haven't checked out all the ones he's posted yet. Will have to save that for desert tonight. :o)

G'luck with Charlotte!