Monday, August 16, 2010

I've Worked With Some Talented Kids (who are now adults)

Meet Danielle.

I first met her when she was 11.  Or 12.  Which was it, Danielle?  I remember you were auditioning for Grease and I was pregnant with Zane.  And huge.  Upon meeting you I was struck by how diligent you were at taking direction and running that dang song over and over an over.  You wanted that role.  You still work THAT hard.  I always knew you wouldn't lose that drive. What a pleasure it was to coach you.   

Anyway, Danielle is no longer 11. Or 12. She's now a sophomore in college with a budding singing career.

Perhaps it will sound like I'm patting myself on the back here, but before Beaver, I worked privately with a ton of talented kids in the Chicagoland area.  Actors, singers, dancers, you name it.  I would travel up and down the north shore prepping them for auditions - sometimes, against each other . . . wow, I saw a TON of Anne Franks during Steppenwolf's auditions for that show.

But, back to Danielle.  THIS photo reminds me of all my coaching sessions with her.  Always smiling.  Always friendly.  Always down to Earth. 

She recently made a leap in her career and I wanted to share it with you, just as I've written about the successes of some of my other students.  So, I asked Danielle to give us the down low in her own words.  Take it away, Danielle:

Hey Everyone! My name is Danielle Robay and I am an 19 year old singer, songwriter, hip-hop dancer, student at UW Madison, and not to mention, a HUGE Joline Atkins fan :). For the past 2 years I have been writing and recording a demo CD with the help of J.Roman, the lead singer of the new hit group Jump Smokers (and DJ for Chicago's #1 Hit Radio Station B96). After hearing me sing, J. Roman and I co-wrote “Real Girl,” my first professionally recorded song. It is all about being cool with who you are, I think the lyrics speak for themselves: “So many girls in this world changing their ways but, I like the skin I’m in and I’m proud of this face”.  Roman and I have been co-writing and recording ever since! In fact, Jump Smokers new album came out July 27th and I did an electro/pop song for the album called "Love of Electro" which is available on Itunes now!. After the first few days it actually hit #39 on the iTunes Dance charts which was pretty cool! I'd really appreciate if you would check it out on iTunes and if you like what you hear, check out for more music/info/pictures.

Way to go, Danielle. 

Let me add, that my relationship with Danielle and my other "kids", was so incredibly special.  Special enough for them to give me a thoughtful send off when we left Chicago.  A send off which included a party with students and parents, a song, written just for me and sung by those amazing talents in the room, and the expression of wonderful memories.

Danielle was there.

And look where she is now!

Way to go, honey.  You've found your "niche".  I am proud to share your recent accomplishment with my readers.

And I'll also have you know that "Love of Electro" has taken its place on my playlist as I run my 5, 10k's, half-marathons . . . and clean my house.

If I could, I'd list the accomplishments of all the "kids" (they are all grown up now) I've worked with over the years.  The ones who are now at NYU and Yale.  The one who sang with Disney, and with Patti LuPone.  The ones at the Lyric Opera in Chicago.  There have been so many reasons for me to applaud.

Only this time, the applause is for YOU, Danielle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i do want to add that your singing coaching was instrumental in Danielle's love for performing vocal even over dancing and acting. you taught her how to feel and think the song and not be afraid to reach those hard to get notes. i am remembering a particular high soprano audtition which at that time was a reach...not now....but you alwyags gave her the vocal coaching to achieve and the confidence. and, the kids always had a blast with you. your smile and contagious positive energy, no matter how pregnant you were, always came through the door and the kids couldnt wait to work with you. you are one in a million and very special. Danielle always said, when she goes on the road, you are coming with. We miss you!!!!