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Hi Friends,

 

I find that I am so inspired by the artists right in my backyard that I wanted to create a space to interview them, and soak in their insurmountable wisdom. So, once a month, I will be interviewing artists that I find to be truly inspiring; artists that you probably don't know about. 

Love,

FP

 

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Meet Diane Meck.

 

Dancer, actor, singer, and choreographer.

 

Diane and I went to The University of the Arts and graduated together in 2013. Right after college, Diane married her childhood sweetheart and lived for a couple of years in Virginia while her newlywed husband served in the Navy.

 

In June 2016, Diane and her family (Cody and pup Hazel) moved to New York and Diane has been working ever since! She dove in head-first to auditioning, working, and living as a performing artist in NYC. She goes to auditions weekly, has had several big callbacks, and has even performed with some local companies. 

 

 

 

Diane has been a HUGE inspiration to me to out myself out there! She is incredibly talented, and interviewing her was truly a pleasure. Her insight on the NYC grind is extremely valuable.

 

We talked via Skype. After catching up on life, I got right down to business.

 

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Do you feel prepared by the training you have had as an undergrad?

 

I feel like I was prepared by my training at the University of the Arts (Philadelphia PA), but as an MT minor, I just wish I had even more experience singing and acting. When I was looking at colleges and when I arrived at UArts, I was afraid of saying that I wanted to do musical theater and felt like I wasn’t good enough. I spent a lot of time thinking, "that’s out of my reach."

 

What have your successes been thus far in pursuit of performing for a living?

I’ve shown up to auditions. I have met a lot of people. I definitely feel like I am connected - to some degree - to the community here. I was in a show in November with ALMA NYC, a huge collaborative jazz show between musicians and dancers that used a lot of performers. That experience helped me connect with a lot of artists right before audition season; so I ended up knowing a lot of people at auditions. I think I was also successful at just building confidence throughout the audition season. Not that I wasn’t confident before, I just wasn’t as sure when I first got here how to present myself or find my place, in terms of how I would fit in or be cast. For better or worse, I have a better sense of that now. 

 

What about your process are you working on bettering?
I’m trying to put myself in a better financial situation to take more classes. Besides the fact that dancers need to take dance to stay in shape, there's the artistic fulfillment I get working in the classroom, and networking with people in class:  teachers, choreographers, or other dancers. It’s been frustrating to not be as in shape as I’d like to be or be able to network as much as I want to, but really the hardest part is just the frustration of wanting to just move my body and have that artistic release. I’ve also been trying to work on voice. I have recently met with great teachers who I am excited to continue to working with. I’m also hoping to get more comfortable with other dance techniques such as tap. I am continually interested in bettering myself, hoping to make myself more rounded.

 

 Why NYC?

I really love Philly, but I don’t think there’s a great emphasis on musical theater dance. I would consider myself strongest as a dancer. I just know that marketing myself has been best when I have said, ‘I am a dancer who sings.’  That took Philly out of the picture. And I do like Philly but it just didn’t have the right sort of opportunities. I have considered Chicago, but I still think I’m in the right place because all auditions come through NYC. I wanted to be in the place that has it all and I have wanted to be here since high school.

 

 

What are some misconceptions you may have had about where you are now, career-wise?

In terms of being an artist, I didn’t really realize how much work it takes. I’ve seen many young people going through artistic programs, or coming to the city to visit, who are made to believe that the road to Broadway is easy. Being successful is a long-haul. Like it’s not just one and done. The successful people I have encountered have to prove themselves over and over again. I have been to so many auditions where I'm auditioning alongside actors from the show I went to see yesterday, and today we’re sitting in the holding room together. Unless you are Audra McDonald, most people are still auditioning even if they have been on Broadway. It’s been very humbling just being around and seeing older actors and dancers who are still doing it. I have only done this for a year and it’s exhausting! Laughs. You still have to go through that process, not all the time, but usually.

 

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Learn more about Diane by visiting her website, www.dianemeck.com, where you can view her professional work, and upcoming projects!

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