A good singer with a lovely personality—this is how Jillian Michelson’s friends and family describe her, an Academy voice student who loves to bring happiness to other people’s lives.
“It was always joyful to have lessons with her,” said Ms. Seon Gyu Park, voice teaching artist at the Academy. “She has the ability to make people around her happy and bright. I believe this is a great strength as a singer.”
The Perfect Role
A singer who wishes to bring joy to her audiences, Michelson constantly searches for musical characters that make people laugh. A perfect opportunity appeared when a community theater production held an audition for its musical “Frozen, Jr.” Michelson jumped into action and earned a leading role, Olaf, a goofy and heartwarming character from this famous Disney story whose songs and jokes draw frequent laughs from the audience.
“I was excited because making people laugh and singing on stage is so fun!” said Michelson. “I feel like God’s blessed me with the perfect role to make people happy and one that suits my personality really well.”
Building the Foundation
Before the audition, Michelson was a private voice lesson student with Ms. Park, who is a full-lyric soprano with almost 20 years of singing and teaching experience. Ms. Park recalled that Michelson was weak on the low and middle vocal ranges when she first started voice lessons in 2016. To widen her vocal range, Michelson worked tirelessly to build up support muscles.
“She is enthusiastic about singing,” said Ms. Park. “Whenever I gave her songs, she learned it thoroughly and made the song her own. Her ability to express the characters is excellent. Hard work finally paid off so that now her voice is stronger on every vocal range.”
A Road to Success
A successful audition comes with endless hours of training and overcoming obstacles. After Michelson told her voice coach Ms. Park about the audition, Ms. Park believed that Michelson has the potential and work ethics to succeed, and determined to help Michelson to land on a role.
Michelson spent her lesson time analyzing the storyline, characters, and their expressions. She examined herself in the mirror for her posture, her facial expressions, and her body movements, repeating every second of her audition over and over to refine every detail.
“This role has challenged me and also brought me joy in unexpected ways,” said Michelson. “Because I’ve grown accustomed to bouncing, singing, and being happy both on and off stage!”
After endless hours of training, the production opened in early October. Michelson’s family and Ms. Park attended the opening show as Michelson’s enthusiastic fan club.
“As parents, we are so proud of Jillian’s accomplishments both on and off stage,” said her mother, Kira Michelson. “She is a smart, strong, funny, kind-hearted young woman who works hard, encourages others, and is a true joy to all around her.”
“She was shining on the stage,” said Ms. Park. “I feel thankful that she believes in me. I am a proud teacher.”
The musical is at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre, located on 125 S. Old Glebe Road in Arlington. The show dates are Thursday, October 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 19 at 3 p.m.; and Sunday, October 20 at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the box office and cost $15 for general admission and $12 for children, students, military members, and seniors. Come and support our Academy student!