Classes

 

 

 

 

What is SONGBOOK?

SONGBOOK is a class with a focus on refreshing and focusing your current repertoire, and giving you new music to dig your teeth into. Everyone’s story is different, which to me, is precisely what one’s repertoire should reflect. Getting to hear and see the diversity of everyone’s work is also one of the blessings of a small class setting.

On a technical level, you’ll also get to work with fantastic accompanists, get 10 new songs to work on (I encourage class #3 to feature one of these), and we’ll talk about some of the practical aspects of auditioning with song. Please have a look at the testimonials I’ve posted on here to give you some idea of the class, and the diversity of backgrounds of the people who’ve attended.

Class size is limited to 7 students.

Please write me at tracymichailidis@hotmail.com to reserve a spot. To register, please email a picture, resume, and a short note about why you're interested in this class.

 


Sondheim in Spring Songbook in Toronto (2016)

LOCATION: Estonian House
PRICE: $80, 20% Equity Discount
ACCOMPANIST: TBA
REGISTRATION: Though Sondheim is known for being musically and lyrically complex, he is a perfect songwriter for actors to work on, as his dictums ‘Content dictates form’, and ‘Less is more’ (not to mention ‘Clarity above all’) ask that the song always starts from character first. Registration closes for this class on May 20th, at which point I’ll set up private appointments with all participants to choose the pieces we’ll be working on. Please write me at tracymichailidis@hotmail.com with a picture, resume, and brief note about why you're interested in taking the class. See below for testimonials!

 


Private Coaching

$70/hourly. Please contact me at tracymichailidis@hotmail.com.

 


Click on the links below to read students' testimonials, or to learn more about the fantastic accompanists who are part of the sessions.

Tracy Michailidis

Tracy made her professional debut in Canada's longest-running musical, playing Anne Shirley in the Charlottetown Festival's production Anne of Green Gables. Since then, she has played leading roles across the country, including two seasons at the Stratford Festival (Hodel in Susan H. Schulman's acclaimed production of Fiddler on the Roof with Brent Carver), a season at the Shaw Festival (Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood), four seasons at the Charlottetown Festival (including the title role in the world premiere of the Marek Norman/ Richard Ouzounian musical Emily), the Atlantic Theatre Festival (Natasha in Three Sisters, Cinderella in Into the Woods), Lost in Yonkers and Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad (Theatre Northwest), The Secret Garden (Globe Theatre), Mary's Wedding, Proof, and Collected Stories (Magnus Theatre), The Wizard of Oz (Grand Theatre), Queen Milli of Galt, (Theatre Aquarius), Anything That Moves (Belfry Theatre), The Marvelous Wonderettes and Suds! (Thousand Islands Playhouse) and Apple (Prairie Theatre Exchange).

Tracy's credits in Toronto include The Light in the Piazza (Acting Up Stage), Parade (Studio 180/Acting Up Stage), The Princess and the Handmaiden (LKTYP), Songs for a New World (Colour and Light Productions) and Unity (1918) (Theatre Passe Muraille).

She has also had the good fortune to be in both the U.S. National Tour and the Broadway productions of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, performing the role of Belle. She has performed in U.S. Regional Theatres such as the Weston Playhouse in Vermont in such shows as The Mikado (Yum-Yum), and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive) and in Musicals Tonight's recent production of a musical version of Bernard Slade's Same Time, Next Year at Theatre Row in New York City.

This past year, she had the good fortune to play Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls at the Segal Centre, and Harper Amaty Pitt in Angels in America: Millenium Approaches at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre.

She is the founder and producer of Musical Works in Concert, which is an initiative dedicated to the development and presentation of original Canadian works of music theatre. Musical Works in Concert will be going into its fourth series of presentations at SummerWorks this August. This is also the fourth year Tracy has been teaching.

Tara Litvack (Toronto)

Tara Litvack is a Toronto-based music director, accompanist, pianist, arranger, and vocal coach. She is also on faculty at Bravo Academy. Tara also has accompanied many cabarets around the city featuring such artists as Laura Caswell, Donna Garner, Ryan Kelly, and Ashley Gibson. She is an honours graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.
Selected credits: FalsettosOne Song Glory (Acting Up Stage Company), Set Those Sails (Self-Produced), Honest Aesop's Fables (Tarradiddle Productions), tick, tick...BOOM! (Half-Pint Theatre), Into the Woods, Make Me A Song, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Bravo Academy), Spring Awakening, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, RENT (Toronto Youth Theatre), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Robin Hood, High Fidelity (Hart House Theatre), Honey, I'm Home! (Pianist – Scotiabank Nuit Blanche), The Laramie Project (Composer - Theatre Aurora), There’s Something About Ashley Cabaret Series (Ashleyx2 Productions), Life Is Sweet (Ashleyx2 Productions) The Life is Sweet Project (Angelwalk Theatre).
For more information, her website is www.taralitvack.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @TaraLiane.


 

Nick Burgess (Montreal)

Nick is a graduate of McGill University and holds a postgraduate certificate from The Royal College of Music in England. Segal Centre credits include: Tales from Odessa, Guys and Dolls, (Musical Director), Lies My Father Told me (Associate Musical Director), In Transit (Wandering Stars), The Pirates of Penzance, The Wise men of Chelm (Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre). Nick has been musical director for Bialik High School Theatre for the past 9 years and at Akiva School for the past 3 years.


 

Ari Rossen (New York)

Ari Rossen is a triple-threat, comedic every-dude from Northern California, who landed in New York by way of Chicago. He graduated with a B.S. in Theater and Musical Theater from Northwestern University, and has been pounding the pavement, tickling ivories and creating content ever since. Audiences have enjoyed Ari perform as an actor and/or musician Off-Broadway, in national tours and in numerous commercials and television/new media projects. Ari strives to tell great stories and unite people through his shared passions of music, comedy and this Brave New Media World we're all discovering. A proud member of both AEA and SAG-AFTRA, Ari can be found, fanned and followed on the web: arirossen.com; Facebook: facebook.com/arrossen; and Twitter @AriRossen..

Testimonials

Tracy's class is a revelation. Working with her was a thrill and a challenge for me because I had never gotten so deep into my true self while singing a song. She has created her own method of constructive, hands on work for actors and singer's. Watching her work with the other perfomers was equally exciting because you saw someone transform over the course of 20 minutes. I highly recommend this class!
-Alex Samaras

Tracy helped me bridge the gap between classical singing and singing for musical theatre. Her warmth, sensitivity, and wide-spanning knowledge of the art form created a safe space and allowed for deep exploration of the material. She helped me choose repertoire that was appropriate for me, but more importantly, she reminded me why I loved singing in the first place. Tracy is an artist, who brings the artist out in other singers. I came away from her workshop with a renewed sense of excitement for the material, and a more holistic way of approaching it.
-Ada Balon

The unusual closeness and supportive environment that Tracy and the structure of her class provides is a truly unique and wonderful experience. I walked in each week knowing that it was okay to fail-- but mostly that I was going to learn something new and both grow as an artist. Tracy helped me gain the confidence I needed to be me-- an invaluable experience that every artist should have!
-Meghan Barron

I've seen people(myself included) move from selling a song to touching my heart and it was life-changing. I don't think I'll ever sing anything the same way after working with Tracy.
-Stew Granger

I came to Tracy's class as a non-musical theatre actor, and though I've always loved to sing, I didn't feel like I had permission to even attempt singing in musical theatre. After one class, Tracy and the other students completely turned that around for me—not only did they give me permission to sing, they made me feel like I had something to offer. It's a true testament to Tracy's work as a teacher that she can create such an open and non-judgmental space where everyone, no matter their background, can learn and be inspired by everyone else. Also, the level of care and attention to detail that Tracy invests in her work with each student goes above and beyond: The fact they she met with each one of us privately before hand to get to know us better and then picked out a whole repertoire of songs for each of us on her own time speaks to both her generosity and commitment. I feel incredibly lucky to have discovered Tracy's class. It's opened up new possibilities for me as a performer and made me very excited to continue learning and challenging myself as an actor who also sings!
-Rebecca Applebaum

From the first time I read the description of Tracy's Songbook workshop, I was intrigued and knew it was a class I truly wanted to take. Finally, my schedule coincided with a time that the class was being offered and I eagerly jumped at the opportunity. And I can genuinely say that I was not disappointed. Tracy has a gift for quickly deciphering the guidance each student needs, and with insight, eloquence and true generosity of spirit, leads each of us to a more deftly realized version of ourselves. I had become tired and unenthused about my audition repertoire, feeling as if I had been singing the same songs for 10 years. The songs that Tracy introduced me to and encouraged me to try not only reinvigorated my rep book, but have reinvigorated my passion for this career path that I have chosen. And the level of confidence that I now can take into auditions, is thanks to Tracy's belief in me and support for what each of us, as artists, can bring to the table. I wholeheartedly recommend this class to everyone, no matter your background, because the opportunity to work with Tracy is one that should not be missed!
-Dawn Bergstrom

Tracy is a wonderful director and coach. The way she invests in each of her students/actors (and their material) is truly inspiring. I have found new audition material because of her class and I look at my auditions in a very different light now. Her class caused a shift in my thinking and my performing. I encourage all actors, whether new to the business or a seasoned pro, to take Tracy's class. You'll be glad that you did.
-Stephanie Lawlor

Tracy is a very talented, patient and inspiring coach and performer. The songbook lab is an invaluable resource to actors and singing actors in Toronto. The tools that I now have at my disposal to work on a song/scene seem to be endless. Tracy's ability to create a safe and inspirational atmosphere in which you can play, experiment and grow as an artist is nothing short of essential. I would work again with her in a heartbeat, and I hope to have the chance again soon.
-James Levesque

Taking a part in Tracy's class was sincerely the best thing I have done for myself as a performer in a very long time. Her ability to approach the work with such honesty and heart is so refreshing and helpful. Being a huge fan of Tracy as a performer, I was really nervous to sing in front of her at first, but she is the most welcoming and accepting teacher and she makes the environment a safe one. I had my first audition the other day since taking her class and the difference I saw in myself, with only that one audition, was drastic, in the most amazing way possible. I feel, more than ever like an honest performer.
–Kelly Holiff

I began working with Tracy shortly after graduating from my undergraduate degree in classical voice performance. Although I had an extensive background in musical theatre prior to my studies, after focussing on music and technique for so long I had lost the connection to text that is so important when telling a story. In my time working with Tracy I feel like I have opened up again as a performer and rediscovered my absolute love for singing AND acting. The master class setting makes the class a great place to learn because you get to see how others accept and integrate Tracy's suggestions into their work.
-Amy Moodie

Tracy's generosity as a teacher creates a safe environment where students are inspired to take risks and push themselves in new directions. After reinvigorating my songbook with Tracy, I feel confident and passionate about the pieces I sing at auditions. I also feel empowered to work audition pieces on my own with the tools I've learned from working and watching others make discoveries in class. I would love to take this class again, but with Tracy's audition preparation help, I have booked a show! Thanks Tracy!!!!
-Emmanuelle Zeesman

Tracy creates an open and comfortable community for actors to fully exercise their musical theatre muscles. Her insights are fueled with passion, focus and sensitivity. She challenges her students to clear away extraneous details to reach deeper and deeper into the heart of the song. Above all, I now know how to approach a song honestly and truthfully. She is a truly inspirational and gifted teacher - don't miss out!"
Andrew Tribe, actor, director, producer.

Tracy creates a safe space that allows the actor to explore every instinct without fear of judgement. For me - this has resulted in growth as an actor, confidence as a singer, and a better knowledge of myself as a performer. But most of all after taking this class - I love my audition repertoire. I now go into every audition prepared to give my best performance and excited to sing.
-Alanna Stone

Tracy is a fantastic coach. Countless times when I have been struggling to make sense of a scene, she has quickly helped me find a way in. She has a keen director's eye, is exciting to work with, and her vast knowledge of music theatre repertoire is invaluable to both professional working actors and the students.
-Michael Therriault, Dora award-winner, Gemini-nominated

Some teachers push too hard, others don't push enough. I have found, after taking your class twice, that you push 'just right'! You helped me, as an actor and individual, fight through, with, and beyond any emotions that came up while singing to find the genuine need to tell the story. You have so much experience under your belt and yet you always made me feel that my own experiences were valid sources to draw from; you helped me feel that my journey was also worthwhile.

You are honest and won't give up - when we were both stuck on a certain song, you joined me in the fight and confusion. You wouldn't give up on it or me but instead kept offering new ways to get into it. You brought forward different exercises, approaches and tactics to help me somehow get in, both as an actor, and a singer. You insisted that I face the challenge. Thank you, Tracy, for being present and open with us every class. Your big, open heart and wealth of knowledge in the field helped to provide a fun environment that allowed everyone in the class to feel safe learning from one another. Thank you!
-Naomi Krajden

I grew up singing but trained formally as an actor, so though I'm very comfortable with musical theatre I'm not especially familiar with the canon. As such, it was amazing to have a list of repertoire handpicked for me. My list is specific and very personal, drawing from sources I would never have been aware of on my own. In selecting my songs, I felt like Tracy was able to acutely identify both the kind of artist that I am now and the artist that I could potentially grow into. While working these songs in class, I very quickly discovered new things about myself as a singer and an actor and left the session with a great deal of confidence and self-awareness. I would recommend the 'Songbook' workshop to anyone - but especially actors who want to audition more successfully for musical theatre.
-Anika Johnson

She is disciplined in her pursuit of excellence, and although a teacher, she continues her own studies and creative exploration on top of performing, producing and directing. As such, Tracy brings humility and insight to her classroom and one-on-one coaching. She's in touch with the demands placed on performers on stage, inside the rehearsal hall, and at the audition. I have been coached by her myself and found her to be articulate and warm yet rigorous and exacting.

Tracy has worked on large stages across North America. Currently, she shares her time between New York and Toronto, working with and watching artists in both cities. Inspired by all she sees, she considers each of her students with depth and care and passionately shares all that she can with professionalism and respect. I would happily endorse her work with both professionals and newer students alike and would hope that many have an opportunity to experience her talent first hand.
-Caroline Cave, Gemini and Dora-award winning actress