A Little Bit About Me (or, How I Slid Sideways Into My Life) . . .
I have always loved music. I started singing when I joined the 3rd grade chorus, began studying violin in the 4th grade, and took up the alto saxophone in the 5th grade. I went to NYSSMA and SCMEA and LISFA. By the time I was a freshman in high school, I was giving violin and alto saxophone lessons to the middle school kids who were just beginning. I was bit by the music bug.
Until my sophomore year, I had plans to pursue alto saxophone performance in college. I had been in a few school shows and taken some summer acting classes, but it was never my focus. That all changed when I got cast as a lead in the school musical my sophomore year. I decided I should begin taking voice lessons to help prepare for the role, and I met the teacher who would change the course of my life.
Ever since I had a small role in Johnny Appleseed in 3rd grade, I had loved musical theater. I wasn’t very familiar with opera apart from the school trips we would take. The woman I began to study with, however, had major opera connections and she saw potential. I sang for a few of her colleagues and all at once my future was decided. They determined where I would go to college and whom I would study with. While my passion was musical theater, my parents and I decided it would be foolish not to take advantage of the opportunity I was presented with.
I attended Boston University for vocal performance, but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted with my life. I was miserable, and I had lost my singing mojo. I transferred to NYU, where I studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and spent my last semester of college acting in Dublin. I graduated with a BFA in acting, and had to find a way to pay my bills.
I had been a toy demonstrator at FAO Schwarz throughout college, but it didn’t pay enough to cover my rent. I got a job as a receptionist for a music manager, but after a year without going on a single audition, I decided it was time for a change. I moved back to Long Island, started auditioning in NYC and performing in local theater, and looked for a way to support my acting.
In September of 2002, I came across an ad in Pennysaver for a music company looking for private teachers. Destiny? I think yes. I started out teaching saxophone and violin for the company, but became primarily a voice instructor after they lost a teacher. I stayed with the company until September 2003, when I left to do Annie Get Your Gun in Florida. When I got back to Long Island in January 2004, Music with Meg began.
In the 16 years that I’ve been teaching, I’ve taught over 100 students, driven over 300,000 miles, and worn-out two cars, but it’s been worth every mile. I’ve been able to make a career out of doing what I love. Being able to help my students develop their talent and find their own musical voice inspires me every day. A close friend once said that I slid sideways from opera into musical theater into teaching, and it’s been the most exciting ride of my life.