Tina Walsh: The Secret to Success
Tina has truly dedicated her life to the stage, working with some of the most celebrated Broadway directors & choreographers: Hal Prince, Tommy Tune, Jerry Mitchell, Gillian Lynne, Phyllida Lloyd, George Wolfe, Anthony Van Loss, to name a few. Tina originated the role, Donna Sheridan, in Mamma Mia! Las Vegas cast. She created two roles, Morgana/Bess Houdini, in three different spectacular productions of EFX! and EFX ALIVE! costarring opposite Michael Crawford (original cast), then Tommy Tune and followed by 80’s heartthrob Rick Springfield at the MGM Grand. Tina played the role of Madame Giry, traveling to 8 countries and 11 cities with the 25th Anniversary World Tour Phantom of the Opera and Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Tina directed Closer Than Ever and Songs for A New World in Las Vegas. She is the inaugural recipient of the Leah & Jerome M. Fullenwider Award for the Dallas Summer Musicals High School Musical Theatre Awards as a Dallas native who has excelled in the entertainment world. For four years she has prepared the DSM Awards Best Actor & Actress winners to compete at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. She is a musical theatre and acting instructor, and a private vocal coach specializing in college prep auditions and prescreens. She is a national judge for the Showstoppers Dance Competition and a special guest director and musical director on several productions at Shine Performing Arts Studio in Plano.
Since returning to Dallas, she has been sharing her experience and hard won expertise with young performers. We asked her to share her insights with aspiring performers:
"What if I told you that you have the power within you to succeed in whatever you set your mind to doing. That you are unique, authentic and one of a kind and that there has never been nor will there ever be another you. Would that make a difference in how you see yourself? How you see your future? As a young aspiring actress/singer I so wanted to please everyone, always second guessing what they, the directors, were looking for in a particular role. Sometimes, I would try so hard to please that I became transparent, obvious, and uncomfortable which made me fall short of my goal. I would lose my myself in the process and start listening to the naysayers instead of really listening to my inner voice, my intuition. Why did I give my power away, believing that I was no big deal, that I was just like everybody else? Well, one day, I decided to change my thought pattern and became more of a strategist. I started trusting my intuition, becoming my best worst critic, and I made a plan, a smart plan. You’ve heard the saying, knowledge is power, well there’s a lot of truth in that. I began to methodically prepare for my auditions, my callbacks, honing in on my technical and artistic skills and then applying them with confidence and believability. What magically happened was I became more relaxed, more confident, and absolutely more present in the moment. Those triumphant moments became a reality and I saw more and more opportunities come my way. And that is what I wish for you.
Has anyone told you that singing is a mental thing? It’s true. You can either psych yourself into singing it well or you can psych yourself out of it which causes a lot of heartache and disappointment. Preparing for college auditions or any audition for that matter, can be arduous but not if you have a plan, a well executed strategy. Being your worst critic is a plus too. Question yourself. What are your strengths? What are weaknesses? Strengthening your weaknesses and lead with your strengths is always a good decision.
Only concern yourself with what you can control. Did you know that being nervous and excited have the same physical attributes? When you say your nervous, it gives off a negative insecure vibe, whereas, if you say you are excited it gives off a positive and confident vibe. Every time you audition imagine that you are putting on your very own mini show. Seriously, think about it. I remember very clearly a producer saying out loud, “Entertain me! I want to be entertained!” So why not show them the best of what you have to offer. Show them your authentic self. Remember, this is a contract between you and them, it’s a two-way street. Invest in your future. Be fearless. Do your homework, find out everything you can about the college/s you are interested in. There are ways you can make yourself stand out. Make smart choices when choosing your material. And be prepared for the unexpected. Remember: Passion + Preparation + Persistence = Success!
Frank Langella, four-time Tony award winner, and one of my favorite actors in the world, has always inspired me throughout my career with one of his many profound and thought-provoking quotes. '
And the test for any actor is whether you stay at the table or go away.' '.. you must stay at the table, pick up the cards you’re dealt
and play them.' The odds are, that if you stay at that table long enough the house will eventually deal you a great hand! His words continue to inspire me to this very day. So…Never give up. Never give in. "