the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

About Stephanie Summerville

Stephanie Summerville


The Artist Speak

Friday, 19 October 2012, 3:32 p.m.: This was it: My entire life as an actor had culminated in this moment—A prestigious theatre arts education, subsequent conservatory training in New York, Shakespeare training in London, a six-figure tuition bill at the end of it all, plus thousands of temp work hours in the bowels of Wall Street, open calls, meet n’ greets, and callbacks for this—my final callback for a non-speaking, ensemble role on Broadway.

It was between me and three other women. For a part as a costumed stage crew member. Moving set pieces in between scene changes.

I did not get the part.

I spent the next 11 months in a film noir funk, moving through life in stark contrasts of light and shadow; a black-and-white Edward Hopper painting, complete with black holes for eyes.

“Would you like to be music director for the choir next season?” Chris asked. Pink summer blossoms on the trees canopied our stroll through Madison Square Park. “Sure,” I replied. I think I sounded enthusiastic enough. At least I hope I did.

Leadership roles make me very anxious. (Like “a death row inmate on execution day” anxious—I feel like I’m going to die but don’t know how to prepare for it, so I just kinda of stagger around in shock, trying to behave normally.) I’ve skillfully avoided such positions all of my adult life.

Sunday, 29 September 2013, 11:32 a.m.: I’ve just spent a total of four hours over the course of two days teaching a non-professional and untrained choir an improvised arrangement of Dreamweaver. The choir is comprised of about 20 fun, energetically bright and beautiful spirits.

It was like herding cats.

Mere minutes before the house was to open on our first performance of the season, we cobbled together a gospel-tized, Blues Brothers-style, tent revival meetin’ ending to Annie Lennox’s Sweet Dreams Are Made of This. It was quite impressive. Hilarity ensued.

This is it,” I thought to myself.

And with that, my life returned to Technicolor™.