Part of a series in which we interview our teachers and staff to learn more about them and get their insights into the world of performance. This week’s interview is with Maja Buck, who is the Music Director for “The Little Mermaid Jr.”
MB: I have been working with PAA for 4 years
How many years have you been working in the performing arts?
MB: I have been working in the performing arts for 8 years
What is your performance background?
MB: I have been singing since age 2! I took ballet and tap as a kid, and performed in a folklore group featuring dances and songs from Eastern Europe. My first role was in 2nd grade as a munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. From there, I continued to sing in choirs, played flute and piano, and performed in several musicals throughout high school and college. I now “perform” as a music teacher and occasionally sing in church.
What is your favorite role or production you’ve been involved in?
MB: I LOVED being in the chorus for Pippin! The cast was small, so we bonded really well, and the chorus was literally a part of every moment in the show. It was amazing!
What is your top piece of advice for aspiring performers?
MB: Put in 110% effort every time you perform. There are so many highs and lows in the performing arts, but every moment you get to be on that stage is a gift. Be resilient and work through the disappointing moments because it will only make you a stronger, more confident performer.
What do you think makes PAA special or unique?
MB: I love how PAA provides both a classroom and performance experience. Kids are able to put their newly learned skills to the test in their shows. I also love how PAA is a transformative experience. While there can often be rejection in the performing arts, PAA embraces all the experiences and helps the students to overcome and grow from everything through the performing arts. It is an extremely accepting place to be for all kids!
What is your most embarrassing performing arts moment?
MB: Oh man! There are so many! When I was getting ready to audition for my undergrad music program, I played all of my piano pieces for my 60 person Wind Ensemble. I had horrible stage fright at the time, so when I was introducing my next piece I said, “the next place I’m going to pee for you is…” instead of “the next piece I’m going to play for you is…” One of the most embarrassing moments ever because everyone burst out laughing, including my boyfriend sitting in the front row!
What is your favorite quote?
MB: Sing! Music is an outburst of the soul!