Q & A with Savannah Frazier
BB: Where did you got to college for theatre and/learn the trade in order to move to NYC to pursue theatre as a career?
SF: I initially went to OU for voice performance, thinking opera was where my heart was. About 6 months into my first year, I found myself desiring more of a theatre focused curriculum. I ended up making a slightly spur of the moment decision to transfer to AMDA here in NYC, and am so grateful I did!
BB: As far as schooling/training what were some great attributes and/or negatives to studying there?
SF: AMDA has so much to offer to its students, but much like most if not all conservatory programs, you get what you give. If you put in the time and effort, you will see tenfold what that will bring. It demands a lot from its students; deep focus, high work ethic, multi-tasking to the max, ability to go from one study to the next after an already 6 hour day, and put forward your energy and abilities, no matter how exhausted you are. I developed a lot of inner strength and perseverance during that program. Negatives from it aren't really negatives, more just consequences. If you go in with a lax attitude, you'll be met with such. The teachers (amazing, working actors themselves) want to focus their energies in class on those students that work hard.
BB: What is one thing that you learned while actively pursuing a NY stage career that you wish you would have known/learned before moving to the city?
SF: Being stressed doesn't mean you're busy and important. Stress is a killer, both physically and emotionally. I tend to get flustered quicker than I'd like, but that's definitely lessened as I've worked and seen more in this business. Your health is most important. Do things things that aid in your peace to combat the very real triggers in this business. Yoga has become my go-to!
BB: How was the transition from going from college to pursuing a NY career?
SF: The lucky thing about studying at AMDA is that's right here in the heart if the city. In fact, our last semester of class, we switch to night classes, and are encouraged to audition in the mornings. They want you to begin that process of putting yourself out there, and coming back to class with those experiences to share. AMDA was so helpful, though I do wish we'd been given a class on just the business logistics of the theatre world. Hoping they'll incorporate that for future students one day!
As far as high-school, I had the good fortune of starting intense theatre work as a 9th grader. My teachers, Lisa Forbis and Daron Bruce, at Hume-Fogg Academic HS were not messing around. They dedicated themselves to creating professional, impressive works, and instilling a pride in the students for the work being created. I got over so much stage fright and self-doubt in that program. I'm so, so grateful to them both.
BB: What have you done to adjust/conquer NY?
SF: hmmmm. Do we ever adjust fully or conquer fully? I don't think so, and I think that's part of the appeal of this amazing city. It's always got something up it's sleeve. I will say that living in the moment has helped all around. I love city life, so adjusting per say was not difficult, but the notion of conquering I think comes in waves. There is so much in this city that's on your side, rooting for you. But there are also moments/experiences that come and go that can knock you down. It's all about maintaining a healthy perspective, and staying focused on why you're here. Also, it goes without saying, having a web of beautiful friend surrounding you that support you is vital. Relationships first.
BB: How/when did you get your first Broadway job?
SF: I made my debut in AMAZING GRACE last summer. That whole process was such a serendipitous experience for me, start to finish. The story is very long, but I will say that what's yours is yours, and no one can take it away from you. Trusting in that has changed the game.
I originally went in for the Goodspeed production for Mary in 2012, made it through the callback and got cut. They wanted people to play instruments as well, (and I must say) my violin work is nothing to behold. Next, I was called in for their Broadway out-of-town tryout in Chicago, had probably 4-5 callbacks, and booked it. That audition experience was one of the most enjoyable, stress-free, glorious experiences to date. I felt the support of the whole team, and the easiness of it all. It just felt good to be in the room every time. After a very successful, sold-out run there, we came back to the city and waited with bated breath for a theatre. Finally landed the Nederlander, and then each of the cast members had to wait for an official broadway offer. I'm not going to lie: it was beyond nerve-racking, and I stress-ate a LOT of tacos. But! Got the call. Thanked my lucky stars. Hugged all the necks. It was a dream.
BB: Can you offer a piece of audition advice?
SF: Trust that you are enough. You are unique and ENOUGH. Go in the room, do what you do, and celebrate the fact that you put yourself in such a vulnerable situation. That takes guts, mah friend!
8) What was/is your day job/other ventures in between gigs or do you do both simultaneously?
SF: I’ve been many things in between shows: a nanny, a personal assistant, a hostess, a female object aka a pretty thing that seats people in a fine dining Italian restaurant, a dog-walker, a personal shopper. I prefer to babysit when not acting, and when times were rough, I definitely did both at once. Right now, I'm living off some savings and focusing on taking class/auditioning, and traveling. It's good for the soul.
BB: Do you still train/work on your craft? How? Where?
SF: I take a lot of film/tv classes at One on One NYC, Actors Connection, and voice lessons with my amazing teacher, Mike Ruckles. I love being a student. It's so important to get checked up every once and a while. Your body is your instrument!
BB: Any words of inspiration or anything else you want to say/impart?
SF: Find things that you love in this life that have nothing to do with theatre. Those will be your life rafts when times get rough. Surround yourself with people that support you, and that you find it easy to be around. Take care of your body! Fill it with good things and good thoughts. Savor each moment, each step of your career. It's a marathon, not a sprint. You'll miss a lot of beautiful things along the way if you close your eyes and light-speed ahead. Your path is YOUR path. Comparison is the thief of joy. Be patient with yourself!
Savannah Frazier just recently made her debut in AMAZING GRACE on Broadway, playing Sophie and understudying the leading lady, for which she had the pleasure of going on for three times. Proud AMDA grad, and native Nashvillian. Favorite credits include: Laurey, OKLAHOMA!(Lyric Stage of Dallas), Alta, FROM THE FIRE( Liz Swados opera for The Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Helena, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Nashville Shakespeare Festival), and Marc Antony, JULIUS CAESAR (Theatre 54). She is currently attached to the reading of the new broadway-bound musical, FREEDOM SONG, and putting the finishing touches on her band's album to be released this July (check out The Shirtwaist Sisters on YouTube/soundcloud).