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Student Spotlight: Tiffanie B.

I’d like to start by saying that Tiffanie sells herself very short in this interview. While she makes it sound like she’s done nothing but psych herself out of auditions for the past few years, that isn’t a complete picture of Tiffanie. 1) First off, she’s one of the fastest improving students I’ve seen in years. She learns about how her voice works with an enthusiasm and thoughtfulness that’s extremely rare at any age. 2) She recently got finished both completing an acting intensive at South Coast Repertory and performing in Into the Woods. 3) I was so impressed with her as a student that we hired her to run our after-school singing classes, and since then she’s been one of the most beloved, popular teachers we’ve ever had running the program. 4) Her versatility is truly astounding. Not only does she do all of the above, but she’s also a freelance graphic designer. The only thing that gets in Tiffanie’s way sometimes is that she doesn’t know how well she’s doing.

MM: How did you get started with music?

TB: I didn’t dive in until later as an adult, really. I did piano as a child, and even violin for a *very* short time, but I was *very* over it quickly. My mom was glad we didn’t buy one! I was more involved in the acting side of it all as a child, like I was in Bye Bye Birdie. Acting was this strange, happy world. I suppose it’s sad looking back on it. That was my life until the end of Jr. High, when I felt like I had to choose between sports or arts. And lacrosse had all my friends. It’s not a big looming regret, but just something you wonder about.

In college I took my first singing class, ever. I loved it, but I was still focusing on my main coursework, what I felt like I should be doing. After college I was getting a high-powered job, also what I thought I should do. I moved to LA and worked at a movie studio 15 hours a day, sitting all day. I was very unhappy. And going to these premieres, I felt like I wanted to be on the other side of the red carpet. I joined the Hollywood Academy of Music group to sing pop/Disney songs, it was just a great way to blow off steam. But it made me curious too, so I started researching the technicalities of singing and taking online classes.

I started thinking I wanted to go back to school, but it was too expensive, so instead I began studying privately with Molly. And I had this sense that I was coming to everything with a late start, so I really had to focus on understanding everything, and stopping myself with every little issue to fix it. Learning to keep going through mistakes was big, even my brother was telling me to stop stopping. Molly encouraged me to do the NATS test, which was a lot of work.

MM: How do you share/perform? What are some of your goals?

TB: Right now I don’t really, I need to do better. Everything I do is just for me right now. But I want to audition or record, I’m just not good at it. My mom couldn’t figure out why, but it’s just that I psych myself out. Auditions leave you really vulnerable. This is your art and your passion, and it’s being judged. But teaching the after-school programs with you has been interesting for that, I see how even at that age we are our worst critics. And I’m telling them it’s not about if you mess up but that you recover so others don’t notice, and I tell them how phenomenal they’re doing and I guess I should be taking some of my own advice.

I’d like to record my voice and my ukulele and share it. I’ve never done an open mic so I’d like to get myself out there that way.

What are your favorite songs/books/hobbies?

TB: I’m reading a book about evolutionary science and psychology. I’m a chronic overthinker so I really enjoy getting into why we are the way we are. I’m also reading 100 Essays That’ll Change the Way you Think. But I love mysteries, too. There’s a series about the Collector that’s good.

As for hobbies, I’m big into sewing. I do graphic design, too, and I guess I’m a bit of a DIY crafter, too.
I listen to a lot of alternative music, like Halsey. She’s the girl in “Closer” from the Chainsmokers. But when I’m stressed I’ll also just listen to a lot of yoga melodies in my car. And of course, a ton of musical theater! Hamilton’s “I’m Just a Fool” is a great song.
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