"From the beginning it was obvious Grace posessed extraordinary vocal talent. When she participated in our McCoy Rigby Arts youth productions, (Oliver and Matilda to name a few) I thought; "what an amazing vocal quality coming from this young girl!"
Through the years her persistence and dedication developing her acting and vocal abilities have put her in that category of performers audiences will flock to see...Directors and producers will want to hire her, and fellow actors will adore working along side her.
Grace is kind, humble, considerate, smart and dedicated. I feel priveledged that this young girl came into my world. I'm not sure her name influenced her talents and character in life but I can say Grace is just that...Poetry in Motion. --XO Miss Cathy"
I would like to say a few words about last night's recital. When Grace sings, she sings everything beautifully - text, dynamics, vocal technique, etc... But there is something she seems to do naturally that not a lot of singers do, which is draw in the audience. Even more than that though, she really has a way of reaching her audience, moving the very souls of the audience.
So many singers sing beautifully, but as far as I'm concerned, beautiful singing doesn't really mean much if it doesn't move the human soul. Grace moved me to tears with both songs she sang at the recital.I said all this to her at the recital, and I'm not sure she understood how sincere I was. This may be due to modesty, or an element of selflessness - which I believe are the roots to a great musician - which is great!
But I suppose I'm writing to you now for three reasons: to tell you these words myself, to emphasize what an impression she left on the audience, including Dr. Lazarova, and to express that I really meant what I said.This is not to say "I hope she knows how great she is, and what an impression she left on us."
I would just like to extend my most heartfelt congratulations, but mostly I would like to say thank you. Only a person who works as hard as Grace does, and is as passionate about music as Grace is would be able to bring so much joy to so many people's lives. I am truly thankful for the joy that Grace brings to us through her singing, and as an all around awesome human being. Sincerely, Mr. Lawson
"I have so much to say. I am going to try to keep this not too long. When we started working this show (Sweeney Todd), I know you were busy with other projects, and I started getting to know you during rehersals. The person that I see on stage and the person I see in rehersals are different--but not in a bad way. It's just that you are so careful to want to be correct and to want to do things the right way, to be able to build in your layers, and to build in your character. Sometimes it haults you a little bit from just leaping, but babe when you leap, it is a sight to behold! Your voice, when you just let go, your voice sounds so healthy and so beautiful. I just feel that you have something in you that most people don't have--It's the ability to SEE the music. To be able to pull off a performance like that (Mrs. Lovett), to sing that way, to commit to the character that way with all of the obstacles to overcome, you should be just incredibly proud of yourself.
There was this moment that happened in last night's show where a pitcher of beer knocked off the desk and fell onto the floor (oops), and instead of just pretending it wasn't there, she went over and picked it up and then she took the rag that she was using as a prop, dropped it on the floor, in the middle of her song and started scrobbing it with her foot, and that was when I was like, "Ah! She's having a moment, she's free! She's like "I spilled the beer and I need to clean it up." and she's singing this really hard song and cleaning up beer at the same time.
It has been a joy to work with you, especially in the last couple of weeks, to watch you take that intellectual process, and just kind of let go--whatever happens--it is a beautiful process to watch. "
(Referring to above beer drop, clean up story)
"It was one of the most incredible moments in a youth production that I have ever seen! She picked it up and set it back on the desk...problem was solved right? Most of the youth actors are good enough that they'll solve the problem...something drops, you pick it up...but Grace, she puts the pitcher back and THEN she picks up the rag and she's like (motions throwing it down) BOOM (motions foot on rag and cleaning) and we are here, and we are IN this moment.
Grace, we've talked about this before, but this show, it so relies on Lovett. Yes, it's sort of Sweeney Todd's story, but Lovett, I really think is the villain of the piece, and I think Sondheim agrees with me, (because I read that. LOL)
What we needed was a Lovett who could come in and understand: First, on what does that mean to be the villain, because it's not just "muahahaha," right? There is a very real point, and you have to find the reality of Lovett, you have to honestly be in love with this man from your past from 20 years ago. AND you have to be funny, and you have to make death funny, and everything that's combined in that. And you have five songs that you need to like wail your face off.
You have an amazing talent of being able to be a soprano but also having some brassy awesome alto notes at the same time. When I listen to you sing two different songs, I would not know where to place you, because you are so perfect at doing both with full notes. Even in mid song, she'll be singing these amazing soprano notes, and then she'll flip it and just like gut punch you there. That is such an amazing thing to hear on stage.
What comes with that perfection is when you let go, and you soar, and you don't look where you're going...magic happens. Because you have the perfectionist in you, you will naturally do what needs to be done. And that's the amazing thing that I saw. I know you were a little nervous about all the little details in all those numbers that Lovett has to be you know, killing a cockroach and feeding a pie to... you know? all those little things, and it has to happen on a...(beat) da da dut...da du dat....da du dut...but when you let your body just do it on it's own, and when you became Lovett, everything still happened. That's YOU, I'm proud of you."
"You have to be so very proud of Grace. She is so beautiful, lovely, talented, sweet and kind. Oh my, she is marvelous! Thank her again for me...please. Everyone was astounded at her beautiful voice. She was wonderful....Please tell her how much everyone enjoyed her voice and singing of our national anthem. Perfect! Have a Great Day! --Phyllis"