I was 7 years old. We were practising for the holiday concert, Sister Josie said (yes, the jewish girl had a nun as a teacher): "Something doesn't sound right. Elissa, sing it alone. Uh huh...there's the problem. Elissa, you'd better just move your lips."
After 10 years of moving my lips, I ended up on Broadway. In the audience watching A Chorus Line. I fell in love.
I went home determined to become a triple threat.
But the only threat was to the other dance students I kept crashing into.
My singing teacher said : It’s too bad you didn’t grow up in a musical home. (actually, I did). Maybe then you’d be musical.
I watched the top acting students around me and wondered, what are they doing that I’m not learning in this class?
I asked the best dancers in my ballet class, how they do those amazing pirrouettes.
My dancing really clicked after I went backpacking through Europe.
Sigh. I hated travelling.
I asked my teacher. How do you connect those two moves?
Now you’re asking me for the secrets of dance.
Secrets of dance?!
Today, there are no more secrets. I see my art as a collection of building blocks. Everything can be broken down, practised and perfected. Yes, even things like musicality.
Art and science. Control and liberation.
And the potential for mastering the elements so you can soar on a wave of pure creativity.
Now, when my students come to me with their rough voices, their two left feet, their inability to say a believable line - and their stories of all the teachers, agents, friends and family who have told them they don't have 'IT', I can visualize the blueprint for their success.
And I tell them 4 words that just might change their lives.