Jacqueline Attard. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Jacqueline Attard, Finalist in the 2018 Sydney Eisteddfod Junior Singer of the Year, talks about her preparation techniques prior to performing, but also what it is about singing that she loves most and sustains her as a singer, as someone with dreams of becoming a musical theatre performer.
Tell us why you love singing.
I love to sing because it takes me on a magical journey away from the real world. It allows me to be free and let all my emotions out. When I am on stage I feel at home. I can be free to be anyone I want to be.
Who inspired you to start singing?
I can't recall any one source of inspiration, but I remember becoming lost in the wonder and enchantment of animated children’s films and musicals, and the thrill of seeing Jemma Rix in The Musical Wicked.
Which other performers do you most like to listen to, and why?
I love and admire Beyonce and Adele. I love listening to them both live and recorded and of course I’m a huge fan of Jemma Rix on the stage in musical theatre.
Tell us about one of the songs that you chose to perform for the Final.
'Don’t rain in my parade' by Barbara Streisand in the musical 'Funny Girl.' Because I dream of becoming a musical theatre performer for me that song is very inspirational; it’s all about stepping up and giving it a go and enjoying every minute of being on the stage .
What do you do to prepare for your performance?
In preparation for any performance I always make sure I’ve been rehearsing and learn what it is about the lyrics that connects me to the song, so that in my performance the audience can feel what the lyrics mean to me and how they make me feel in the hope that the audience will feel it too. I spend a lot of time with my singing teacher/vocal coach perfecting how to sing the song, when to take breaths, when to add trills and vibrato throughout the song to make it my own. I always warm up on the way in the car and like to sing through the song at least once.
I draw from the excitement, nerves and energy from the other competitors. I encourage them and congratulate them on their performance and share the positive energy. This gets me in the mood to perform.
What is the best piece of performance advice you have ever heard?
To always have fun and sing from the heart. I recently dedicated a song to my sister, who has been dealing with some real life hardship. I allowed the emotion from the lyrics, my love for my family and the pain that my sister was feeling to come through into my performance. I will never forget that performance.
What have you learnt about yourself through performing in Sydney Eisteddfod?
I have learnt to be confident and to be proud of who I am. The Sydney Eisteddfod has taught me how to connect with an inner strength that I never thought I had. It has given me a belief that anything is possible.
What would you like to achieve next?
I dream of landing a lead role in a musical production. I have recently performed in an understudy role and loved the sense of community and stage family. I have never felt such a feeling of freedom and belonging.