I hope you don't think I have forgotten you. You have been on
my mind all the time and I finally got myself to write these
- Let me tell you something- I am not saying that what I have
written has not been told to you by Mom, Dad, your teachers,
etc. You probably have heard all this before but I thought that
if you hear it from a fellow thespian who has lived a long life
on the stage it might be fun to hear it. My life has been full.
The time I have spent on the stage has been a blessing
and a great gift from God and I wouldnt change a minute
- If you ever want to talk about a play or need some suggestions,
maybe you, your Dad and myself could meet for coffee at the diner
and talk about it. Remember I am your friend and I would consider
it an honor to give you any help you need.
- Never think of youre the greatest. There is always
someone who is greater or better than you or someone who
is worse than you. The most important thing to remember
is that God made you and threw away the mold. He said that I'll
make only one Kelly and make sure you are unique. Then
He gave you certain gifts and you have to make sure that you
try to develop these gifts- no matter what they are. I'll
tell you one of my favorite stories. This applies to all of us...
" A man owned a house. There was a terrible storm and the
river next to him overflowed. The waters came into his living
room, up to the ceiling. He went up to his bedroom, but still
the waters continued to rise. So, he went up to the roof but
now the waters were up to his neck. He then said "Lord,
help me- I'm drowning." The next thing he sees is a man
in a rowboat. The man asked him to get into the
- boat and he'll take him to dry land. The man said "No,
thank you. The Lord will save me!" Then a helicopter came
along, and a rope was sent down for him to grab, but the man
said to the pilot "It's okay, the Lord will save me!"
So the helicopter went away. Naturally, the man drowned and went
to heaven. As soon as he sees God, he said: "Lord, I asked
for help. How come you didn't help me?" The Lord said: "My
son, I sent you a boat and a helicopter. Why didnt you
take them?" In our life, we are sent many rowboats and helicopters,
and if they look good and safe to us, we might take them and
try to utilize them.
- When I was seventeen, I had wanted to be a doctor. I happen
to love people and I figured that was one way I could help them.
But my father died at age 48 leaving me in charge of my mother
and 6 other brothers and sisters all younger than me. I had to
go to work and give up the doctor idea. I was disappointed to
say the least but God takes care of His own. He sent me a boat
- 2 uncles who were in the USA called me to try my luck in this
beautiful country of ours. I came here and met my wife, Lucina,
have 3 beautiful children- Deborah, Roger and Lance and have
the 3 most beautiful grandchildren from my princess, Deborah
(Monica-18, Kelly-16, and Blake-15). So, I said this is what
God wanted and I accepted it- I will not change anything
that happened for a million dollars.
- Now let's get back to the subject of the stage- something
that we both love so much.
- (1.) Let me tell you that when I was your age, I was the
most bashful person around. All you had to do was to ask me to
stand up and recite a lesson or anything that was a solo. I would
turn red, like a tomato, and wish that the earth would swallow
me up. Until one day my teacher asked me to audition for a play.
ME?! Audition for a play? Are you kidding?, I said. He
said "No, try it and if you don't like it you can drop out."
So I tried it, and you know what? I loved it. During rehearsals,
my fellow actors were laughing at my lines (I must admit it was
a funny play.) Then when opening night came, I had 500 people
laughing at my performance. Do you know what it did to me? It
made me come out of my shell and I suddenly realized that I had
something on the ball and people liked what I was doing.
From that time on I was a new man and I have never looked back
at what I thought I was (I forgot to tell you that I thought
I was ugly compared to some of my friends. I don't know why I
thought I was ugly). If God made us in His own image, how can
He create something ugly?
- I am enclosing my "Bio"- not to show off (even
though I am rather proud of it) but to point out to you that
if you want to do something in this world, nothing will stop
you. You just make sure that what you do is good and will
not hurt anybody. I was sort of lucky that I had an accent which
instead of keeping me from getting good roles, opened up other
roles which needed an accent- DeBeque, Fagin, Scrooge, Vandergelder
and a few others. So, you see, God is a good planner and we have
to trust in him.
- (2.) 1 heard your voice on tape, and I liked what I heard.
You are still young and your voice is still a young voice- it
will develop as you grow older. The most important thing is that
it is there. You have a good pitch (which as you know,
is a must), you have a love for the theater (which is
a requisite ) and you are in a country where everything
(3.) Voice. The voice is a beautiful instrument and we
must cherish it and take good care of it. We must make sure that
if we trust anybody with it (teachers, director, etc.) we got
to make sure that they are good and capable. Before
you accept a voice teacher (and you will meet quite a few of
them in your life) make sure that you'll give them an
audition. How do you do that? Recommendation from your
friends; hearing about them from other teachers; but eventually
you will have to be the judge on whether they are good for you
or not. The fact that the teacher is or was a good singer, does
not necessarily mean they are good teachers. I consider
myself a pretty good singer, or so they say, but I will not
and I'll repeat "not" dare to give singing lessons.
I was not educated for that. I was taught how to
sing only and not to teach. Oh, of course I could
tell you how to stand, open your mouth correctly and certain
little tricks to make you look good, but thats all. A bad
teacher could ruin you or even ruin your voice forever. A good
teacher is Domenic Guastaferro. Take my word for it.
- Director. A good director can bring out the very best
in you. Do not think that just because a director yells at his
actors all the time that he is good. As a matter of fact he is
the least capable in my estimation. A good director is the one
who understands his actors' feelings, praises and corrects when
necessary and who realizes that actors and actresses are also
human. (As you must have noticed I still use the word "Actress"
even though most women would rather be called
"Actor" ) try to pay close attention to your director.
Believe me, a good one spends a lot of hours reviewing scripts
and finding ways and means of making you look good on that stage.
- Discipline yourself on the stage. Do what the director tells
you. You might not agree with it at the time, but never start
arguing with the director at rehearsal time. Wait till there
is a break, then you go to her or him, tell him what you think
and you might surprise yourself- they might even agree with you.
I have done that many times and not only made actors and actresses
happy, but surprise, surprise- I found out that I even learned
something from it.
- (4.) Fellow Thespians. There is nothing more horrible
than jealousy or bad feelings on the stage. Some people just
relish being "different" or "hard to get along
with". They think it's rather expected of them. They must
have been watching some old movies or seen an opera where the
prima donna acted like a spoiled kid. What is better than being
friendly to your friends- going to them and asking them if you
could read their lines with them: "I'm having trouble with
this note/phrase. Could you help me?" How can they hate
you when you are actually asking them for their help because
you value their talent and advise. Believe me, they'll jump over
a bridge for you!
- (5.) Nerves / Preparedness. Being nervous on the stage
could come from many things.
- A.) Some people are nervous no matter what- they will never
get over it (fortunately, thank God, there are not too many of
- B.) Those who think that nervous is the way to be.
It seems to work for them.
- C.) Those who make sure that they try to make their work
as easy as possible. One example: I am a tenor and unfortunately
I have not been able to master my "B flat". I can only
reach a high "A" comfortably without cracking. So what
do I do? I never sing anything with a "B flat." Why
make myself worry whether I can reach the specific high note
if I'm not sure of it? Some tenors in the Met do not have a B
flat, believe it or not! So when I sing Im not nervous.
That's half the battle. Do only what you're able to, but if you
do it, you must give it your best shot. That precious audience
- (6.) Audience. Did you ever think what the word audience
means? It comes from the word "audio" which means "listening".
Why do they want to listen to someone like you or me? Because
we are speaking or singing about something they like. Imagine
that. They are honoring us with their presence. What a great
gift God gave us. We can make people happy and forget their troubles
even for a couple of minutes because we are giving them something
- Look the audience in the eye and show them that you are proud
to give them pleasure. The rest is easy. Audiences are not stupid.
Have you ever been in an audience and seen an actor on the stage
who is so full of himself that you wish that you could go to
him and ask him to leave the stage? I have and the audience can
see this. Also remember that you are human. Your voice can crack
(it has happened to many people-amateurs and professionals alike).
Most of your audience will feel for you and root for you. Believe
me - it has happened to me. You forget your lines, the audience
will hold their breath and when you regain your composure, they
will breathe a sigh of relief.
- Kelly - remember Ill always be there to help you. Please
dont forget - call me anytime.
- Love Edgar