Monday, June 29, 2015

Only in New York (plus a little Chicago)

"Step right up to Treasure Isle, every inch of it a sky-high mile. Fairytale land - only in New York."

If you all didn't know, I love New York. I went last January and was up in the clouds for several weeks (months?) afterwards, and so when I had an opportunity to go again, I jumped on it! :)

But this trip wasn't solely to see the city. The main purpose of this trip was to attend a voice class with Sierra Boggess and a voice lesson with Laura Osnes.


you read that right.

I'm still in awe that it actually happened.

Anyway, mom and I flew out on Monday morning and got there in time for a late lunch (we were starving! Hadn't eaten all day!), so we tried a mediterranean place called Ilili which was amazing!! Lamb sandwiches, brussel sprouts with grapes and walnuts drizzled with mint yogurt and maple syrup dressing, pita breads that looked like pillows, hummus, and feta cheese spread. YUM!
(apologies for the phone photos - I didn't have my sister with me, so this is all you get!)
yes, I took a photo of the bathroom. They were cool.
But kind of felt like you were in solitary confinement. (inside joke...)

After that we walked down to SoHo, and passed the Washington Memorial Park.

And then, it was time for Sierra's master class. Um. Amazing. There were 20 singers, and several more observers for the class. We each sang part of a music theater piece for her and she then gave us a new thing to bring out in the song, and we sang it again. Amazing how her talking to you for a few minutes can bring such a change in your performance! And can we just take a moment and freak out over the fact that I got to sing for Sierra Boggess?! Wwwwwwhhhhaaaat?! :)

Here's a short clip of me singing for the class:

After the class, Mom and I went for coffee up at The View on top of the Marriott. It's a restaurant that turns in a circle so you get the entire view of the city! So neat!
Next day was the only full day we had in the city, so Mom and I hit a bunch of sights!
Oooh, look! It's a beautiful library!
Grand Central Station. It's gorgeous.
And they have the old ticket booths!! EEEP!

We walked the highline, which was neat, but nothing impressive enough to photograph, and that got us close to the water taxi stop, where we could hop on and go visit Brooklyn! We stopped for lunch in Brooklyn at a crepe shop, and then walked up to the bridge. I was singing Newsies in my head the whole way!

"We're from Brooklyn, we are Newsies, we are Brooklyn Newsies!"
While up there, I got a text from Tyce Green asking if we could move my voice lesson with Laura Osnes up a bit, because it was supposed to start at 7pm, but Laura had been invited to a show that evening, which started at 7pm. So we rushed back to catch the water taxi back to Manhattan so we could again clean up at the hotel and since now we had the evening free, we could try to get last minute tickets to a Broadway show. We managed to nab the last two seats at Aladdin! *squeeeeee* On the way back, we passed the Statue of Liberty!
The lesson with Laura was soooo great! She is probably my top favorite Broadway star, and it was awesome to get to meet her after catching one of her last performances in Cinderella last time! :) She and Tyce tag teamed to help me get both acting and vocal help, plus Tyce was also my accompanist. I got to sing two pieces for them - Home from Beauty and the Beast and I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady.

Once we finished there, we ran through the rain to get in for Aladdin. And wowowowowoww!!!! I am SO glad we got to see that! It was spectacular! Constant energy, dancing, wit, beauty! The magic carpet literally flew around the stage, the Genie (oh. my. yes.) was drop dead hilarious. And we got to see the understudy nail it for the first time as Aladdin! Afterwards as we stood outside to get pictures and autographs we could hear his whole family talking about how nervous he was to go on, and everything. It was pretty fun to witness such a great start to a new Broadway star! :)

Rodney Ingram! You were fabulous as Aladdin! :)
James Monroe Iglehart. You blew me away.

"I studied all the pictures and magazines and books, I memorized the subway map too. It's one block north to Macy's and two to Brothers Brooks. Manhattan, I prepared for you!"

Our last day we walked through Central Park, and shopped along 5th avenue, and saw Times Square again. I could get used to this kind of life.

Back at home after that dream-come-true vacation, we repacked our bags, turned around, and hit another city - Chicago. My grandpa knows someone with an apartment up at the Trump Tower, and he graciously decided to let our family spend a couple days there. The view was breathtaking!
When the clouds roll in, you can't see anything at all - this was right after it began to clear.
To say that I am over stimulated and on amazingness overload is an understatement. When Laura and Tyce walked me through I Could Have Danced All Night, they told me to think of an event or time that just felt like the best night of your life, and imagine telling it all to your best friend, and that's what you bring out in the song. Well, I think I know what thing will be on my mind when I sing that song from now on - this week! :)

2 big cities, 6 famous people, 1 Broadway show, several iconic sights. Yep, I don't know how I'll ever return to common life.


  1. This sounded like a fabulous trip!!! Your voice is INCREDIBLE!!! So amazing that you got to work with such fabulous singers and Broadway stars:)

  2. Dang girl!!! You sing amazingly!!! What an incredible opportunity!

  3. Wow! Broadway stars! Niiiiiice!

  4. Whatawhatawhatawhatawhat
    Those are my two favorite singers IN THE WORLD

    Nope, nope, not jealous at all...

  5. Oh my word!!!! I am soooo jealuos that you got to meet Sierra Boggess!! It seems like she really enjoyed your performance! ;) I did too!!! :D

  6. Wow!! Congratulations, Tara!! You have an absolutely beautiful voice!
    Have you ever heard of the Masterworks Festival? It's a 4-week intensive study program over the summer for voice and opera, piano, acting, choral, and of course all musical instruments. I don't know if you would be interested in participating in it or not, but I thought I'd let you know about it just in case. With your voice (and piano skills) I have no doubt you'd be accepted! The program for this summer is going on right now with free orchestra concerts, masterclasses and recitals.
    They've had famous artists there already this summer, including violinist Rachel Barton Pine and pianist Ann Schein.
    Here's the link for more info!! You would love it (just to observe or participate!)!
    Congratulations on your amazing trip! :)

  7. OH MY STARS. I was glued to the screen the entire time I read this! You are so lucky! If I may ask, how did you hear about the master class with Sierra Boggess? And how on earth did you get a voice lesson with Laura Osnes?!? I'm trying so hard not to turn green over here. :) You have such a beautiful voice, and I'm so glad you got to do this. Also, did they have any advice you'd be willing to share with musical theater hopefuls? Also, I'm in my very first musical at my community theater (Into the Woods), and I'll take any performance advice as well! Thanks and congratulations! What a awesome experience!


    P.S. My hats arrived fine and they are sooooooo perfect and awesome!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I heard about the master class online - I was researching voice camps and such trying to decide how to use my summer and came across a company called "Straight From New York" that offers lessons and masterclasses with numerous Broadway stars. It ended up working perfectly to set up the master class and the voice lesson back to back.

      Any advice to share... I hardly feel qualified, as I am really new to theater myself, only being in my first musical back in February (Fiddler on the Roof). So I would just say put work into it - practice tons, sing for people often, get real feedback from people you trust to give you an honest opinion. And don't hold back - when you perform, be totally there.

      Hope that helps! Thanks for the comment!

  8. Wow! Sierra Boggess? Really????
    You are sooooo blessed and you have an AWESOME voice!!!

  9. Your voice is so beautiful Tara!



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