Florence Henderson epitomizes celebrity, charm and grace. Yes, Florence Henderson, Mrs. Brady of the 70′s TV Show The Brady Bunch. Some of you may not be familiar with her body of work. I certainly wasn’t aware of the breadth of her work before the National Association of Teachers of Singing Gala Conference.
Florence Henderson and Sally Morgan
Ms. Henderson spoke to a pretty tough crowd – professional voice teachers. We are knowledgeable and therefore demanding of any artist we consider to be ‘an artist.’ We insist that our celebrities have a very high level of ability. Florence Henderson charmed, wowed and won us over.
Not only is Ms. Henderson still gorgeous at the age of 78, her wit and honesty gave us access to some of the qualities that have sustained a long career. The program began with a video that was clips of her performances through out her career. Missing were recordings of the many Broadway shows that began her career and that she went back to when TV was done with her.
When I’m teaching voice lessons my students drive themselves to be ‘perfect’ – to not make any mistakes. I so wish they had been in the audience with me. Ms. Henderson was holding note cards of her speech. At one point she dropped a few, she looked down at them, waved the off and said, “I don’t care, doesn’t matter.” She already had the audience wrapped attention, but from that moment on we were all in love.
Performers, allow yourselves to be human, to make mistakes, to not the mistakes and move on. The audience will love you for it. And do yourself a favor and check out Ms. Henderson’s career – there’s plenty on YouTube – and her autobiography, Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to Lovely Lady and Beyond.
Ms. Henderson spoke with reverence of her voice teacher and with irreverence about many other facets of her career. When I’m teaching voice lessons from now on, I will bring the memory and life-lessons of this lovely lady with me.
In honor of Florence Henderson, please go to RockSolidSinging.com to get a gift from me.
Breathe – Keep Singing!
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