The Wonderful Christopher Young’s Workshop at Sahuaro!

Aspen Lenox

On Monday, September 22, Sahuaro’s Drama and Choir departments were excited to attend a workshop with the very kind Christopher Young, a cast member of “Hamilton”. Christopher worked on voice techniques and exercises, talked about what is was like being on Broadway with the ups and downs of it all, and gave some wonderful advice to the students. He started the workshop by telling everyone who he was and the roles he plays.  He is an ensemble swing, meaning he needs to know multiple parts, he can do the redcoat gun solo, Charles Lee, and can understudy for Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. He went on to say in his introduction, “The only difference between us as an artist is I pay my bills with my art. Your art isn’t any less important.” He wanted to show his love for his profession and spoke about his career, giving the feel that he puts his all into it and wouldn’t trade it for anything; he truly adores it all!

Christopher went on to explain how he got into theater. After his biological father passed away, he stopped talking.  They had to move and his parents put him in theater at his new school to try and push him. He then found his love for theater singing and dancing, helping him find the voice that he lost. He was scared… he didn’t think he could make it as a profession, so he went to college for writing and communications, but after he put himself out there and got his first job, he had no doubts that he would follow his dreams, obtaining his general eduction as he was working on Broadway.

Christopher went on to introduce vocal exercises, making sure to highlight the importance of supporting the diaphragm.  In one part of the show, he has to hunch over and it is hard on his diaphragm,  so he stressed being nice to your vocal cords.  Christopher went on to sing a few lines with the students, explaining with enthusiasm, “I don’t expect you all to be amazing. If you don’t think you can sing that’s okay! All I ask for is your comment!” He helped some who didn’t know their vocal range find out what part they would sing, then students sang the lines, “And I am not thronging away my shot, I am not thronging away my shot! hey-yo I’m just like my country I’m young scrappy and hungry!” Everyone gave it their all and Christopher was very happy about that!

He also talked about more serious things like what is it really like working on a traveling show.  Yes it is hard and he gets homesick and it moves at a very fast pace.  If the cast packs up on Sunday then Monday they get to rest and they are right back to work Tuesday. When he got to Tucson to perform Hamilton that Monday he just laid in bed watching T.V. all day and he didn’t even text his family, husband, or friends because it was so late. He gave some advice to people who wanted to write their own musical. “Relate everything back to your main story, don’t miss the point, and go off track. As well keep at it! Didn’t let anyone tell you can’t! Write about what you know as well you’ll know it better than anyone else, and most of all stick to yourself.”

He ended the workshop by answering more questions and giving more advice to the students and at the end taking pictures with students who asked. It was an overall wonderful experience and inspired and moved a lot of students who attended the workshop!

If you would like to learn more about Christopher Young you can follow him on his social media @cyoungonstage