· Describe your current job.
I am a professional singer/entertainer, and have been fortunate to sing throughout the United States and around the world in various arenas, theaters, clubs, and venues.
· Is there a typical day? If so, what does it entail?
My day in some way, shape, or form always revolves around taking care of my voice and my body. For example, I wake up every morning and warm-up in the shower for 15-20 minutes. When I go to the gym, I make sure that my breathing is in check. When I eat something, I have to make sure (whether its dairy or acidic) that what I am putting into my system is not going to affect my voice. At the end of the day, like a carpenter has their tool belt of tools or a musician has their instruments, as a singer, my tools are my voice, my breathing, and my body. I have to make sure everything is “well-oiled” and being taken care of.
· What types of work activities take up most of your time?
Going to the gym at least 5 times a week, eating a good, healthy balanced diet, drinking lots of fluids, rehearsal, and getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night take up most of my time. And of course spending times with friends & family.
· Is there anything you do that you would have never assumed would be part of your job?
Enjoying planes. I used to be absolutely terrified of flying. Terrified. Then one day a few years ago, I was on a small plane heading to Cleveland with my brother to sing with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and I just decided to flip a switch in my head. Since then, I love to not only fly, but I love everything about the “flying” experience– buying trashy magazines at the little stores in the airport, going on the internet while 20,000 feet in the air, take-off, landing, and meeting the most interesting people possible sitting next to me on the flight and just striking up conversation with them.
· What made you decide upon your current career? What has your career trajectory been since graduating?
It kind of just “happened.” When I graduated Boston College, I took an internship at a Broadway producer’s office for six months to learn the “business” side of the industry. I learned what a contract was, how negotiations occur, money that is at stake, etc. It was after working here that my brother and I started to really look at what we do as a “business,” and with no booking agent at the time, began to create our performance reel and biographies, and sent them to venues around the country who would be interested in hiring us. Our first “yes” came from the wonderful Carl Topilow, Conductor of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. From there, we performed with the Colorado Pops Orchestra under his conduction. One thing led to another, and I’ve since been fortunate to perform in some beautiful states and countries.
· Is there any sort of career preparation (graduate degree; internships, etc.) that is vital to your field?
What I love most about my preparation from Boston College is that, although I got great training as a Theatre Major, I always tell people I feel like I majored in “life” at BC. I know it sounds hokey, but it’s true. I learned great people skills, great comprehension skills, and great life skills. The support and love and education I received at Boston College prepared me for not only life experiences post-graduation, but also experiences within a business where often times you hear a “no” rather than a “yes.” Also, the whole “men and women for others” mantra that BC promotes is something that I am happy to say I have implemented in my career. My brother Anthony & I are beginning to go into elementary, middle, and high schools in the city we are performing in to promote the importance of arts education. To be able to talk one-on-one with school administrators, parents, teachers, and students has been most gratifying, and a great way for me to “give back” to the greater community.
· Did you have a career ‘aha’ moment? If so, what triggered it?
Sophomore year (Fall of 2003) was my “aha” moment. My brother & I were asked by University Chorale Director (and now dear friend) John Finney to sing as soloists with the Boston Pops Orchestra at Pops on the Heights for the song “Our Time” from Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Merrily We Roll Along.” It was the combination of many factors that made it a “aha” moment: singing with my brother; singing with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops; the night we sang it was the exact 3 year anniversary of the death of our Gramma; and the song we were singing was so profound and spoke true to the moment (for example, some of the lyrics are “it’s our heads on the block, give us room and start the clock, our dreams coming true, me and you pal, me and you.”) After that performance, with the amazing University Chorale behind us, we walked off stage and simultaneously told each other “Wow, this would be cool to do for a living one day.”
· What sorts of jobs/internship/campus activities do you recommend to an undergraduate to take part in if they are interested in your field?
Any and all classes in the theatre department are fantastic. Learn every part of the business, not just one. Acting, directing, costume design, management, set design, history of theater, voice. I love that Boston College isn’t a “conservatory” because it gives you a “liberal arts” approach to learning disciplines. With this approach, the faculty in the Theater Department always taught with the intensity of a “conservatory,” but there was always an application to everyday life that was learned. The Theater Department was my “home away from home” while at BC, and I will always be so grateful to every professor in that department. Also, take classes in the Business School or in the Communications and English Department to help gain skills in those areas. The University Chorale & acapella groups are also a great way to be singing on a consistent basis. At the end of the day, I looked at BC as a buffet table (I know, another hokey analogy). There’s the lettuce, the meats, the fish, the fruit, the vegetables, all up for grabs. I was able to walk away with a “full plate” of education, life experiences, and friends in both peers and professors that have helped and continue to help me on my journey post- Boston College.
For more information on where Will will be performing next, visit www.WillandAnthony.com