We had the good fortune of connecting with Tina Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tina, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
When circumstances in the world seem bleak and uncertain, my business developed a platform for artists of all ages and all experiences to take a chance on performing where everyone will get to learn from professionals when that wasn’t possible before. For some, financial complications blocked their dreams of training or even trying to start private lessons. Without that opportunity, they might not have attempted to audition or go after their goals. Since offering dance classes and singing lessons online, many people from all over the world have come out and shared their passion. By offering these services at an affordable rate, artists were able to take classes on a regular basis and see improvements on their performance. Then, we added performance opportunities, where you take what you learned and start auditioning for our live shows. In collaboration with Broadway’s J. Elaine Marcos, we created the feeling of auditioning again, rehearsing, and then performing in front of an audience with no pre-recording or filming beforehand. We wanted to remember the butterflies in our tummies when we get ready for a show. Everyone worked really hard on their performances when we do these shows and we can feel the excitement when we “open the doors” to let the audience in. They get to share this experience with family and friends from afar. It created a community, not just with artists but with everyone who love one another and want to support. Performance and Fun helped build confidence and reassurance in the community. People can fully live out their dream with no judgment if they work hard. As long as we keep creating these opportunities, we will continue to meet people who are like-minded and will be supportive no matter where you are on your journey.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me apart from others is that I take a lot of pride in what I do. Therefore, when I send out emails or post flyers promoting classes, I put a lot of work into it. I write down what services could I offer the people who are following my page. What could I do to inspire them, but understand their needs. Each class is planned out well in advance with the intention of teaching people something that they can take away to auditions and succeed. It’s not just a dance class. It is a class that will prepare you on how to perform the dance so that when you do go into a professional setting, you know that you will have to bring the combo to life and stand out with your personality. Same goes for the singing lessons. Each lesson is individualized, catered to the pace of the student. For the musical theatre singers, I see what they want to sing and what they can sing. I take my time looking for songs that will help bring out their vocal capabilities so that they can book the show they want. I make sure the students have their audition book updated, and if they are new to that I am happy to guide them through it. I care about the details. Not only do we work on technique, but we work on pitch, dynamics, levels, musicality, acting, and more. I am most excited when I see students realize their abilities. Just realizing that they can sing and dance is a heartfelt moment. Most of the time, people get told too much that they should not do what they love and I can see that sometimes when I teach others. Being able to witness the students come to that conclusion is exciting. There were definitely challenges in getting to where I am today professionally. First, it’s the financial situation. Everything I do has been out of my own pocket. There has been no profit. All the money went into advertisements on social media and at some point I even thought all of my paid ads are just being drowned out by other services so what am I to do? Eventually, I just let my business take its course on its own. If people like what they see, they will share it. I don’t need a huge surplus of people, maybe in the future that can happen, but for now we have a nice tight group of people who just love musical theatre and want to get better. I’ve learned that if you love something and work really hard, then it will be successful. When you put effort into your work, it will show. It might not have the fastest results, but I know I’m making someone happy. Even if it is just one person. The investment will be worth it, I just have to be patient and keep working. The world just needs to know that I care about people and their dreams. I never want their dreams to be shattered. When I offer these dance classes and singing lessons, I really put my whole heart into it and do whatever I can to provide you with materials that will help you. It is never too late for anyone to start a dream.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend was visiting the area I would find the most relaxing place to chat. We have already been through fun crazy times back in college, so now I’m pretty certain that we just want a place with a nice view to talk. We can talk about everything for hours. If it’s a week long trip, honestly, we would just be hanging out at my place and binge watch all the shows we used to see together during our college days and laugh a lot.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Success to my business could not have happened if it wasn’t for my mentor J. Elaine Marcos. I came to her, not knowing what to do. What initiated my struggle before creating my business, was that I was told I wasn’t Broadway material, so I am not capable to perform or teach others musical theatre. I allowed one person’s perception of what it means to be a teacher, and it made me step away from teaching because I was told I wasn’t good enough. Who gets to say who is good enough? There isn’t a measurement for that. As I went to J. Elaine for a coaching, she made me realize that I am successful as a performer already, I’ve been in plenty of professional productions to be teaching substantial material about musical theatre, and she opened up my eyes that when people project negative opinions about you, it means they are worried about how amazing you actually are. I never want another person to feel that way like I did. That is when I wanted to provide services to others who are starting out musical theatre, need a place that is encouraging and trustworthy, and not a place where they take your money and teach you nothing. From that experience, I wanted to create a space to help and educate. Especially if you want to learn how auditions work and what to prepare, we got you covered. I collaborate with J. Elaine’s own program called Out of the Box, which is a very wonderful thing to happen. Now people go from my classes to her classes, providing for our community, working as a team, and with the one goal of helping others reach their dream. So, thank you to J. Elaine Marcos for bringing me out of my funk and inspired me to bounce back with a successful business.
Other: My singing lesson website. https://www.tinaprivatecoaching.com/
The solo pictures- Photographer: Winnie Angel