An introduction to student projects on Associated Studios Musical Theatre courses by Principal Leontine Hass.

 The projects the Musical Theatre students are working on this term have been carefully devised by me and Vocal Coach Scott Harrison. I am sharing some of these with you as they are as relevant to every performing artist.

 Although our objective at Associated Studios is to develop you in your skill sets (Acting, Dance, Singing) to the best of your ability, succeeding in the Performing Arts is also about your personal journey. These projects aim to enhance your awareness of your own journey and the mental skill set you need to acquire and develop in order to survive a tough industry and enjoy the ride. Positive life skills are as important as an alive and hungry creativity, a keen investigative mind-set regarding material, repertoire, music and creative projects, and a disciplined commitment to your own development which includes your own practice, research, mental and physical health and engagement in self-entrepreneurship. The Projects throughout the term aim to support you in this.

One of the books Scott Harrison recommended as a ‘core’ text, is The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I wanted to write to you in advance to introduce you to this wonderful book. The first 30 pages are not an easy read. Do persevere! A side note is that I spoke to one of our Acting Coaches Robert Fried about this book. Robert mentioned that a book called ‘The Golden Bough’ pre-dated this book and is a seminal work on comparative mythology and religion written by Sir James George Frazer around 1890. If you are excited by The Hero with a Thousand Faces, you could explore further.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces was written by Joseph Campbell, first published in 1949. It discusses the journey of the ‘archetypal’ hero or ‘the hero’s journey’ as found in many of the world’s myths (extend this to the stories in shows, operas and songs). Campbell’s premise is that ‘stories’ often share a fundamental structure which he refers to as the ‘monomyth’. The book has inspired countless artists including song writers, authors and film makers. As performers, we are in the business of being story tellers. How these stories all link us to the fundamental nature of what it is to be human, and the personal journeys we all share, no matter what religion, race or background, is what is so interesting about Campbell’s premise.  The book speaks to art, creativity and culture. It also speaks to what unites us, in that we all embark on a road full of trials and are tested along the way. As artists we tell stories of ‘the hero’s journey. As human beings we live it ourselves. We are not separate from the characters we play. They are us. We go through struggles, adventures and inner conflicts and eventually we become adults who stop asking for approval. We develop from students into artists. A great show/opera/story inspires us to believe that we can use our inner resources to improve and overcome challenges, go beyond the limits of our possibilities. Theatre is a metaphor for life. Songs are metaphors for a transformation process. Courage is not lack of fear, it is facing it. As performers in training, when you stand up to sing and are in fear of being judged, remember this.

I think it would be very helpful for you all to watch a few You Tube episodes related this book either before or during reading it. It will put everything in context for you.

Here are my suggestions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1Zxt28ff-E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjPzt9tQ2HY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RchePX5gElc

 I hope this has been a helpful if brief introduction.

 Leontine Hass

 

Leontine Hass – CEO

Founding Principal | Vocal Coach
Leontine Hass is an internationally renowned Vocal Coach and Principal of the Associated Studios London Performing Arts Academy.

Leontine Hass is currently vocal coach for Motown at The Shaftesbury Theatre London. She has served as vocal coach to Matt Henry (Lola in Kinky Boots West End), Alice Stokoe (Sophie in Mamma Mia, West End), Gloria Onitiri (Lead in The Bodyguard & Hair, West End), Claire Sweeney (Tell Me on a Sunday) and many other leads and swings in the West End, national and international tours of productions such as Thriller-Live, Oliver!, Carousel, Parade, Tell Me on a Sunday, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, Witches of Eastwick, Nine, The Wizard of Oz, Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, Cats, Sister Act, We Will Rock You, Footloose, Wicked, The Sound of Music, Ghost, Hairspray, Porgy and Bess, The Bodyguard, Jesus Christ Superstar, Jersey Boys, Barnum, Miss Saigon, Book of Mormon, Mamma Mia, In the Heights, The Color Purple, Memphis, Spamalot, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Aladdin, Chicago, The Pyjama Game, Kinky Boots and the upcoming production of Dreamgirls.

Leontine coaches members of The Swingle Singers, Collabro, The Magnets, The Sons of Pitches and classical singers with ENO, Welsh National Opera and ROH, as well as Pop/Rock/Jazz singers. Leontine was the Vocal Coach for shows including the London premiere of Bernarda Alba the Musical, and currently the a cappella hit, ‘Gobsmacked’.

Leontine teaches workshops and lectures internationally on singing, voice and performance. She rehabilitates voices after surgery, or as surgery prevention. She has taught at leading Music & Drama Schools including GSA Conservatoire, the Oxford School of Drama, Mountview, LSMT, YMT, The Brit School, La Salle (Singapore), the Queensland Conservatorium, Centre Stage and The VCA (Melbourne).

Leontine has acted as vocal consultant to various music management/production companies, including ITV and the BBC. Leontine is vocal coach for ‘The Voice’ for BBC TV. She was featured as a mentor/vocal coach on the Gareth Malone show, ‘The Naked Choir’, for BBC2 and will also be involved with Series 2. She is a regular columnist at voicecouncil.com and for The Stage newspaper. She is a contributor to ‘The Singer’s Complete Guide to Vocal Health’ (Oxford Uni. Press), and advisor/contributor to ‘The Ultimate Guide to Singing’ published by TC Helicon in 2014.

Having originally trained as a classical singer (BA, Melb. Uni, BMus. Kings College London, Dip. RAM), Leontine has performed as a singer and actress in concert, theatre and TV.

Leontine is the CEO/Founding Principal of the Associated Studios Performing Arts Academy London, which she founded in 2007, then based at The Royal Academy of Music. Associated Studios provides full-time and part-time training and professional development in Musical Theatre and Opera (www.associatedstudios.co.uk). The Board of Directors includes Rory Bremner (Chair), Patrick Lawrence QC and Dr Christopher Stewardson. Patrons include Sir Tim Rice, Jeremy Irons, Jeremy Herrin, Timothy West and Scott Alan.

Leontine is represented by Lesley Duff at Diamond Management.