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The Beginning of a Show – The End of an Era

Photo credit: Alan Dean Photography

Today is the day! After months of rehearsals, hell week is over with Opening Night of The Who's Tommy. Let me tell you, it has been a wild ride to get to this point, and for me personally, this has been over a year in the making. I briefly mentioned my meeting with Brian Boggs, Tommy's musical director, in my last post, but what many of you may not know is that this show is part of the reason why I'm still in Ottawa. See, I wasn't supposed to still be here. I fully intended on moving back to Edmonton as soon as I'd completed my Certificate in Eastern Christian Studies from The Sheptytsky Institute last April (which I actually didn't... a song about that is coming!). However, the idea of apprenticing as a musical director appealed to me – I figured any experience working with actors would help my voice coaching side – so I got in touch with Brian last March to learn more about the process and whether he'd be willing to take me on as an apprentice. Luckily for me, after listening to me try to sound as confident in my abilities while still remaining open to new learning experiences, Brian agreed, and a couple months later it became official with the board.

It also became my official decision to stay in Ottawa, and I'm so glad I did. If I'd left, I wouldn't have had any of the incredible experiences I've been fortunate enough to live through this year, whether in performance or teaching. Working on Tommy especially has been every inch the challenge and joy I thought it would be. To be given the chance to help actors develop their voices to serve the music and the story, especially with such important subject matter as Tommy's, is so gratifying for me. I truly hope the actors feel I have supported them in each of their journeys as much as they have supported me in mine.

So, to all the Tommy cast, if any of you are reading this, I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for trusting me with your voices through this rehearsal process, and for letting me grow and learn alongside you. This show is finally yours, one that is incredibly sung and acted, and every one of you is a joy to watch and listen to. Kick the shit out of it tonight! I'll be cheering you on from the pit!

Much love and God bless!

Joyanne :D

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