Happy New Year and welcome back to reality. Like many of you, I made a trip home to visit my family over the holidays. Jason and I packed up our son, and a whole mess of stuff, piled it into our Envoy and made the 17 hour drive back to Iowa. While Jason drove, I spent many hours reading the Julie Andrews memoir, "Home." What an amazing book. If you have not had the great fortune to read it, run out to your local book store or library and bring it home today.
I have spent a lifetime adoring Julie Andrews. I used to pray, "Dear God, if you could make me a little more like Julie Andrews today, I will never ask you for another thing." The woman is utterly amazing. Not only is she an incredibly talented singer and actress, but a fantastic writer. Reading the stories of her childhood not only brought me into her world but also allowed me to see Julie as a real woman, not just this goddess that I have made her out to be.
Without giving away the entire book, the memoir includes stories of her parents, recollections of performances, and intimacies regarding her experience working on My Fair Lady. Perhaps my favorite portions of the book were the stories of her voice lessons and appointments with her ENT. Yes, Julie Andrews had a voice teacher. And guess what? The lessons her teacher gave her were the same ones my teachers gave me and I give my students. We practically ARE Julie Andrews!
It is so rare to be able to humanize your idols. While I will probably never get the opportunity to meet Julie Andrews, or have a conversation, or hug her endlessly or tell her over and over what I huge impact she has had on my voice and career, she has given me the ability to see her as a woman. A plain ol' girl who used to take singing, dancing, and acting lessons (just like the hundreds of students I work with each week) who literally sang for her supper. Sure she had musicians as parents who were able to get her an agent and move her ahead a little faster than the rest of us normal folk, but she's just a woman.
I do hope you'll take the opportunity to read her book. It's fascinating, invigorating, and while it isn't focused on making you a better singer, it really makes me want to practice!!!