JIMMYS BLOG: Michael Harp- Learning from the Coaches
This year, a record 86 high school students from across America will participate in The Jimmy Awards, competing for Best Performance by an Actor and Actress as well as other honors and scholarships at the eleventh annual awards ceremony on Monday, June 24.
Jimmy Awards nominees will prepare for their debut on a Broadway stage during a nine-day professional training intensive with NYU Tisch School of the Arts' New Studio on Broadway faculty members plus other theatre professionals. Winners will be selected by a panel of industry experts. Student performers qualify to compete in the national program by winning top honors at regional high school musical theatre awards competitions presented by Broadway League member performing arts centers. Over 1,700 high schools and 100,000 students participate in these annual events.
BroadwayWorld is bringing you the inside scoop on this year's Jimmy Awards with student blogger Michael Harp- a nominee from the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards. Earlier this year, he won the title of Best Leading Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of Billy Lawlor in Althoff Catholic High School's 42nd Street.
Our coaching groups were so much fun. They made the idea of working in a "safe space," a reality. By that, I mean that I felt comfortable being myself, and trying new things.
My coach was Eliseo Roman who has been apart of a couple Broadway shows: In the Heights, Leap of Faith, and most recently On Your Feet. Because all of our coaches had great credits, you knew you were in good hands. He taught me how to find the level changes in my song. He also emphasized how important it was to know the show that your song is from, why you're singing it, when in the show you sing it, and the meaning of it. He made every one of us in our group better and better.
The people in my group were also just as amazing. It's a nice lesson of respect to your peers for their talents as they master their song choices, too. You also get to grow with them and learn that being a friend who supports is way better than being someone who is all in it for the competition. This whole experience is not about who wins or who doesn't, it's clear we've all already won. These coaching sessions made the very clear to us by showing how talented everyone is, and can be with a little bit of tweeking from our coach. It's also hard to take in that you are in the presence of the next era of the best performers.