Interviewed by Fatima Az-Zahraa Dadou
Fatima: Thank you Naomi for giving me the chance to interview you! To begin, what are some things you could tell us about yourself?
Naomi: I'm a seventeen year old singer/songwriter and began songwriting when I was about six. I play mostly modern country, although I also adore bands like Fall Out Boy, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Panic! At the Disco. To give you an idea of how varied my music taste is, Iron Maiden was the first band I fell in love with!. Thank you so much for giving me this awesome opportunity!
Fatima: Who or what inspired your love for music and at what age did you begin singing?
Naomi: My earliest musical inspirations are definitely my dad and sister. My dad is an amazing guitarist and taught me how to play guitar when I was around eight, and he taught my sister how to play as well. She encouraged me to join a choir when I was twelve and has always inspired me with her fantastic abilities with her voice and piano. I didn't have any kind of professional voice training until I joined the choir, and while I'm no longer a part of it, I'm thinking of beginning private voice lessons soon.
Fatima: How has using Calvert influenced you and your music? How do you balance your personal hobbies with your academic commitments?
Naomi: Calvert has given me a lot of really cool opportunities to experiment more with my music and be more open with it. I got to feature one of my songs, "Old Red Chevy," in the first episode of CHS Radio, and I've had such a blast meeting other musicians with whom to collaborate. It's definitely tricky balancing music and other hobbies with the workload, but so far, things are going pretty well! I set goals for my schoolwork every day and reward myself with playing guitar or reading at the end of the day, and on the weekends I usually have more time to do these things.
Fatima: What does a typical day look like for you?
Naomi: Lately, my typical day has been full of school! However, even with all the schoolwork to get through, I try to sneak in music whenever I can. Usually I study all day until sometime in the late afternoon. Around then, I will probably read or play guitar. I always do more schoolwork after dinner, but most nights I work on my music before bed. It's a fantastic way to end each day!
Fatima: How do you see yourself 10 years from now? What are some things you would like to do or accomplish?
Naomi: While music is definitely something I want to pursue in the future, I have other goals I'd like to achieve. I definitely would like to explore subjects like biology and theology in college, and I've even played with the idea of opening a little bookstore somewhere near Nashville. There are so many things I would like to do, although one thing is for sure--ten years from now, no matter where I am or what I'm doing, I will definitely have a dog, without a doubt.
Fatima: Is there anything else would you like to share with Calvert Voices readers?
Naomi: In addition to music and books, I absolutely adore animals. There is definitely a possibility I will be working with animals ten years from now! There's so much I'd love to do. The next ten years will be crazy for sure—and super fun. I'm looking forward to the future! Thank you again so much for the interview!
Interviewed by Fatima Az-Zahraa Dadou
Hope Lasater, a talented actress and excellent writer who has authored posts for BuzzFeed joins me today to share with CV readers more about herself and her outstanding work.
Thank you so much for contacting me Ms. Fatima! I am very excited to speak with you and so happy to do the interview!
Now, a little bit about me: I love acting more than anything. Acting has always been my biggest passion and favorite thing to do. I have no doubt that I am absolutely going to be an actress as an adult. I also love to sing and dance. I love all performing, really. Award Show season is my favorite time of the year and, since it began yesterday with the Golden Globe nominations, I have not been able to talk about anything but for the last 36 hours.
My mom is a novelist and she is the reason I love to write and have such a passion for stories. She taught me to say my voice and to listen to others. I have an older sister, Ellie, who is going to be a concept artist for Pixar. Ellie is currently studying both mathematics and visual art at Harvard.
This year, I am going to travel the country and spend some time in Europe studying acting. I am planning to attend Second City in Chicago, The Barrow Group in New York City, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and more. I am incredibly excited!
I spent two weeks this summer on a wilderness leadership expedition with the National Outdoor Leadership School; hiking and the outdoors are two other passions of mine. I have been to six National Parks and more state forests than I can count. Also, I have been lucky enough to travel to 34 states, including Alaska, and eight countries. I speak French and started Spanish this year, too. Travel is a huge part of my family's world.
I have attached three pictures of aspects of my life. One is a picture of me hiking this summer, one is a of my favorite place in the world, Portobello Road in London's Notting Hill neighborhood (I plan on living there someday), and the last is a picture of me and my cast mate on the set of a short film I worked on last summer in Disney Studios.
We also asked Hope to share how she manages to stay on schedule with her school while proceeding with her work and this is the advice she gave:
I plan my days not based on time, but based on what I will feel good about having accomplished. I say to myself when I start my day, "what do I want to have completed before I go to bed?" And then I make that my priority.
A special thanks to Hope Lasater for giving me the opportunity to interview her and taking time to share with us what she does. I would also like to thank Mr. Tom O'Bryan, founder of CV, for recommending Hope for the Student Spotlight of this January's issue!
Interviewed by Fatima Az-Zahraa Dadou
Hi Michelle! Thank you for giving me the chance to interview you today! To begin Michelle, please share with us some things about yourself and your love for music, arts and dancing.
I was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where I began my Armenian dance training at the age of two. My mother is a classical pianist, and my father is a classical violinist. I began my violin training at the age of four with my father, and piano training with my mom at the age of five. As I got older, I stopped Armenian dance, and went into classical Ballet training. My first ballet training was at a Russian pre- school that I attended. One of the teachers was a former member of the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, Russia. She taught me the basic Ballet technique as well as artistry. My family moved to Texas for a year in 2005 where I studied at the prime ballet school in Texas. Once we moved back to Boston I went back to studying privately with the teacher from Bolshoi. In 2007, my family moved to Maryland. We were relatively close to the city, so I attended the Baltimore Ballet School. I studied there for about two years until we moved again to a nicer area in Maryland. After that I studied for two years at a smaller studio. Finally, when I turned ten, I decided that I wanted a stronger, more professional training. That is when I started attending the Berrend Dance Center, owned by the prestigious Patricia Berrend. There I received quality training as well as several performance and master class opportunities. Now I am dancing classically with a focus on modern and contemporary, as well as Broadway. In late December I will be attending a Master Class in New York City on Broadway St, taught by Randy Skinner. Randy Skinner was the choreographer of 42nd Street the Musical on Broadway. Also, I will be playing one of the lead roles in The Addams Family the Musical this year.
How has being raised in a musical family affected your appreciation for music?
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