DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 15

October 22, 2014

Hello! I can’t wait for you to get to know Lauren in that she represents a cool segment of people we work with who were gifted voice lessons and then managed to like it so much, they hung around for more! In addition, she’s got a super great voice and a wonderful attitude about exploration and the process of singing. Read on and get to know her better.

Davin: Hi Lauren! Can you tell us about yourself? You know, the where are you from, what do you do kinda stuff?

Lauren: I grew up in suburb called Northbrook in the North Shore area of Chicago, but I’ve lived in the city since graduating college. (In other words, a long time!) Although since then I’ve also spent time living in Boston and abroad. As a kid, I loved three things: ice-skating, acting, and animals. When I reached high school auditioned for the drama club and was thrilled to see my name had made it on the list. However, I noticed the letters “o.c.” written next to it. Turns out, I made the “original comedy” division and somehow found myself doing competitive stand up against other high school kids. Yes, I was terrified at first, but it ended up being a great experience. After high school I went on to Purdue University where I studied theater and liberal arts. I’ve always found the creative process of discovery and expression to be be extraordinarily cathartic and energizing. Yet, as it often happens, life threw me a bit of a curve ball, and after college and I ended up living in Italy for two years. It was a wonderful, life changing experience and once I was back home I began to develop a career with a new focus in publishing and graphic design. Fast-forward to today and I now have my own design firm called Pathway Creative. I also train dogs on the weekends at a local kennel. I call it my dog therapy.

Davin: From ice-scating… to dogs… to singing. What about voice lessons? Didn’t your husband buy you a gift certificate? Tell us about that and how you ended up hanging around.

Lauren: Well, yes, as a matter of fact he did. Peter bought me a gift certificate for a voice lesson as a Christmas present last year. My husband would watch me geek out watching the Voice on TV and singing around the house. He also plays the guitar and we often hang out at home singing and playing music together. He knew that I’d never taken a voice lesson of any kind and I was fascinated when they’d talk about techniques and pitch, etc. on the show. I wished I knew and could hear what he was hearing. Plus, although I love to sing, the mere thought of singing in public terrifies me. Acting, no problem. Singing? For me, it would be like one of those dreams where you’re naked in public, but you’re really awake. To be honest, I was somewhat nervous when I showed up for my first lesson because of that fear. I didn’t know what to expect, or what would be expected of me. Would I need to know a song? Would I be laughed at if I made a mistake? The good news is none of that happened. You completely put me at ease and I felt safe and comfortable in allowing the process to unfold. In fact, I had so much fun I now take lessons on a routine basis because of the personal growth and satisfaction I get from it.

Davin: I’m so fascinated by the fear so many of us attach to singing. Good for your for jumping over that hurdle! Tell us a bit about the process of better learning your voice? Have you been surprised by anything you’ve discovered along the way?

Lauren: The process has been really interesting. What I was surprised to learn was how our physical habits in terms of vocalization can set a fixed pattern and we need to re-learn or re-teach ourselves how to approach making a sound. Not the mention the power of breath and the psychological processes of allowing without judging, and being patient with yourself as your voice grows stronger. I’ve definitely grown as a singer. Peter also tells me I’m always on pitch now!

Davin: Ahh! In tune singing is a vital step.  So, where do you see singing fit in your life for the future? Do you have any goals for yourself?

Lauren: For me, singing is a personal joy, pure and simple. It lifts me up when I’m happy and it heals me when I’m down. I am awe struck whenever I hear a voice that just sounds otherworldly and magical. It’s such a gift. My own goals for singing are trying to discover and push the limits of what I am capable of vocally. A real hurdle to overcome would be to confront my fear of public singing, but one step at a time…

Davin: We’re waiting for you to join us for open mic at Davenport’s! As someone who is working through this fear, what would you say to someone like you who wasn’t sure about jumping into lessons?

Lauren: Seriously, I’d say go for it and have fun! There’s so much to gain in trying new things. Only by challenging ourselves do we discover who we are. Don’t judge it, allow it!

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DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 15