Emily Erkman: Vocalist, Songwriter, and Voice Teacher

OpenStage is always striving to get involved with other artists in our community! In the spirit of collaboration, our production of Cry It Out features original music from local vocalist, songwriter, and vocal teacher Emily Erkman. I had the opportunity to learn more about Emily, including her creative process, her previous involvement with OpenStage, and her upcoming projects.

How did you get involved with OpenStage?

In 2019, my friend told me that OpenStage was doing The Full Monty. I LOVE that show, and decided to audition. I played Georgie, and had such a wonderful time. Since then, I've learned a lot more about OpenStage and their contributions to the arts in our community. I really feel fortunate to be a part of it.

What made you decide to join Cry It Out? Was there anything about the show that inspired you to compose or perform music?

I heard that OpenStage was looking for local artists with original music for a show. When I talked to Sydney and Victoria about it more, I was excited to submit my music. I was even MORE excited to hear what the show is about. I'm a single mom, and I feel like I can't help but write from the perspective of a mom who's working too hard and is constantly tired.

Tell me about your creative process! When you sit down to write a song, what goes through your head?

It's hard for me to get out of my own way with writing, a lot of the time. I would like to think I'm constantly growing as a writer. Yet, somehow I still have to wrestle with myself a bit to start the process. Lately, I've been really enjoying writing chord progressions first and then coming up with melodies. Much of the time I have an idea in my head about what the song will be about, but sometimes, I start playing the piano, and the lyrics start writing themselves.

What is your favorite thing about performing?

I love the shared experience of performance. I love feeling the energy from an audience, feeling like we're in this together, making people happy, seeing their faces light up. Music is so important and powerful. It connects us.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?

Some of the things I love about performing are similar to what I love about teaching. Singing is a very powerful thing. It's so connected to who we are. Getting to help people unlock things about themselves and their voices is one of the main reasons I love teaching voice. Getting to see the look on someone's face when they do something they never thought they could do, is such a gift. I also love nerding out about how the voice works, and helping people find the quickest solution to a vocal "issue".

Do you have any upcoming projects or performances coming up?

Next month, I will be performing in Take To The Highway (a celebration of the music of James Taylor) at Boulder Dinner Theatre. You can find more information about my performances at: www.missemilysings.com

I teach in person and online lessons in Ft. Collins and Denver. My studio constantly has songwriting (online), theory (online)  and singing classes (when we're able to gather). You can find more info about singing lessons and the studios at: www.coloradovoicestudios.com

*Cry It Out is SOLD OUT for the remainder of the run.

Emily will be back with OpenStage as the Vocal Director for our upcoming production of Hedwig And The Angry Inch, playing March 26 - April 23, 2022!

Cry It Out

Directed by Bryn Frisina

September 3 - September 18, 2021

Dirty diapers, breast pumps and 2 a.m. feedings, are enough to give anyone sleepless nights ... Not to mention the need for a strong cup of coffee. Molly Smith Metzler (Shameless, Orange is the New Black) holds both a microscope and a megaphone to the joys and perils today’s mothers face. This comedy-with-dark-edges takes a sharp and honest look at the power of female friendship, the dilemma of going back to work after being home with a newborn and the effect that economic and social class has on parenthood in America.