I filmed a Supporting Lead role in a feature film called DRIVEWAYS and we’ve been accepted into the Berlin International Film Festival!
Just the other day (well, obviously it wasn't JUST the other day, because this site has been up for a while) someone asked me what was the first profession that I wanted to do when I was a little girl. It reminded me of the times in college before a performance when the cast would "circle up" and our professor would have us take a moment to close our eyes and go back to the moment when we knew that THIS was what we wanted to do. That would always annoy me, because "I don't have a memory of a specific moment of WHEN I wanted to do this. I just always loved singing. And can we just get on with it?!"
As I studied Opera at Indiana University's prestigious School of Music, my love for performing began to shift. I was the only Freshmen in the Opera Chorus, and my Sophomore year I was one of very few undergraduates given roles in the Main stage operas. However, as much as I loved the upgrade in costumes and wigs that these roles provided, I felt that something was missing. I decided that it might be good for me to learn to act and dance a bit. I began to dabble in the Department of Theatre and Drama and in my Junior and Senior years was the lead in Anything Goes and Cabaret, respectively.
There is something that I can't quite describe about how it feels to have a powerful affect on audiences. The role that seemed to affect people the most deeply was when I played Kala in Disney's Tarzan. I was nominated for an IRNE award for Best Supporting Actress in a musical for playing Tarzan's adopted ape mother. But what I find amazing is how many people come up to tell me what singing "You'll Be In My Heart," did for them. Some people told me that it made them think of their mother who had just passed. Others said that it reminded them of the way they felt when they first held their adopted their children. A woman even threw a bouquet of flowers to me onstage during the curtain call. (That is not something that I would have EVER imagined would happen to me, in real life.)
“Robyn Payne is superb, teasing every emotion turn of a complicated character and captivating the audience with her sultry vocals.”
— Joseph Verlezza, Theatre Reviews Limited
After performing on Broadway and in regional theatres, as well as on numerous Television Shows, I still felt an itch for something more. I produced a concert by raising over $5000 on IndieGoGo.com, in 2013. I envisioned having a band of 7 (including trumpet and violin) and 3 back-up singers. I was able to accomplish this with the help of many of you. Thank you! It was so interesting and fulfilling to be on the other side of the business. This time the Creator AND the Facilitator. This was a passion project for me, but even so, I found out what it feels like to be so busy that you TRULY have to pick your battles. (I even had to fire someone.)
We performers have so little control over what and when and how we get to work. Yet, I know that I am extremely blessed when I am given any opportunity to sing (because I love it) and act (because it allows me to share an experience with others), and produce (because for a short time I get to feel like I'm in control.) And I am most grateful that other folks seem to enjoy it, too.
I would like to invite you to take this journey with me. Please sign up for my newsletter and blog.
And please feel free to look around.