Dan Callaway

Dan Callaway

Dan is a voice teacher in Los Angeles who works mainly with professional and aspiring musical theatre performers. He is also a consistently working singer and actor performing in Los Angeles, New York, and across the country. Recent credits include Musical Theatre West's production of SPAMALOT, 1776 with Cabrillo Musical Theatre, I LEFT MY HEART: A SALUTE TO THE MUSIC OF TONY BENNETT at Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, and a run of WHERE'S CHARLEY? at New York City Center ENCORES! He was nominated for an LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for his performance in SWEENEY TODD at Musical Theatre West in Long Beach. Other credits include the Broadway National Tour of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, PIRATES OF PENZANCE at the Guthrie, PUTTING IT TOGETHER at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, as well as Stephen Schwartz's PIPPIN at the Mark Taper Forum with Deaf West Theatre, and JACQUES BREL at Riverside Theatre. He performed in Linda Eder's Broadway concert at the Gershwin Theatre, televised on the Bravo Network, and he appeared in Kurt Weill'sONE TOUCH OF VENUS at the Royal Opera House's Lindbury Studio in London. He also teaches an ongoing musical theatre workshop in North Hollywood focusing on acting, singing, dancing, and tools for success in the musical theatre industry and is part of the Lori Moran Music Studio. Graduate of Elon College's musical theatre program, member of Actors' Equity Association, and National Association of Teachers of Singing, and LA's Musical Theatre Guild.

TeacherQuote5GoEdOnlineSometimes a client will repeat something I said to them months ago. Or they will tell me that they were teaching a friend something I taught them about breathing.

It always surprises me. I forget that people are actually listening to me. More than that, they are relying on me to give them effective tools (for singing and life, I hope). It’s a constant reminder that what we say and don’t say is of such huge importance.

There are so many gifts that teaching gives, and as we all know, we the teachers are the ones who often learn the most.

I’m reminded of this when I go to my own singing lessons (or tennis lessons…it’s all related); inevitably, the things I focus on in my clients are the very things that need the most attention in me. It’s humbling as I return to my own teaching studio seeing how far I myself have to go as an artist.

And rather than hide my own frustrations and difficulties (I am the one who is supposed to know everything, right?), I find that when I share that part of the journey with my clients, they embrace their own frustration and overwhelm, and they break through. [···]

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Stick to your vision, but adapt your planA couple of weeks ago, I was teaching a client, and suddenly I thought to myself, “What are we doing here?”

The lesson was going well, and the client was focused and learning, but I still had this deep impulse that asked me: “What are we building here?”

I stopped the lesson, took out a notebook, and I asked him, “What do you want to do better as a singer? What part does singing play in your life?”

I proceeded to ask these questions to all my clients that week, and the answers I received took lessons on a new trajectory, and in just a few short weeks, my clients have been gaining new and surprising ground.

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When I toured with The Phantom of the Opera, the actress who played Madame Giry (Patti Davidson Gorbea) said something simple that really stuck with me.

She said, “There is no such thing as a perfect performance. You are always going to make mistakes.

The reason it stuck with me was because Patti always seemed to deliver a flawless performance. She was always centered, focused, and present. She gave the same excellent, consistent performance eight shows a week, and I think she only missed a performance when she was on vacation.

I have been telling my clients lately, “We are together for one hour today, so you are going to make at least sixty mistakes. At least.”

When we frame mistakes as an opportunities to grow, to break though barriers, and learn, then a really powerful kind of grace enters the teaching studio. [···]

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