Interview with Sujana Chand – Professional Actress and Singer

Sujana

Guest background

I am a professional actress and singer with a bachelor’s degree from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the world singing with shows such as Cirque’s “Saltimbanco” and the Broadway National tour of “Bombay Dreams”. A few of my favorite roles include The Witch in “Into the Woods”, Crystal (one of the Ronnettes) in “Little Shop of Horrors” and Hodel in “Fiddler on the Roof”. I am also a certified English teacher and when I am not performing for a living, I thoroughly enjoy helping foreign adults accomplish their language goals and follow their dreams.  www.sujanamusic.com

Interview

1. What project are you involved with now?

I am the lead singer for Cirque du Soleil’s “O” at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

2. What are three things most people don’t know about you?

-I was born in Edison, NJ. Yes, New Jersey. Don’t judge.

-I’ve lived in roughly 25-30 different homes and apartments in my adult life.

-I love stamps. I recently started collecting them.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

A typical day for me is pretty quiet and this is a necessity based on the demands of my job. “O” is one of the few Cirque shows with only one lead singer so the pressure to stay healthy is heavy and sometimes, no matter how carefully I take care of myself, my body has a different plan! Typically, I’ll wake up, do a short workout video followed by some yoga stretches, have my strong cup of coffee and breakfast, run errands if needed, clean a little, do some writing, warm up my voice and take a short rest with a late lunch before heading off to work around 5pm. It’s important for me to strike the right balance between productivity and rest because I need to be at my optimum energy level at 7:30 and 10pm. This is challenging because I am a morning person by nature.

4. What are your thoughts about untrained singers becoming famous from YouTube videos?

The world we live in today allows for instant exposure and people to really put themselves out there based purely on desire and drive and I commend them for it! Journey found their replacement lead singer (Arnel Pineda) on YouTube and he is just phenomenal. However, if they do in fact become famous, it won’t take long before they realize that training is essential to the longevity and maintenance of the voice. The vocal chords are fragile and can only handle so much–understanding breathe control and technique and knowing your limits are all crucial to success.

5. What are some things you do to stay emotionally and physically grounded?

Oh, boy. I’m only human and I’m not going to lie- I struggle with this one! Having said that, I am very aware of my weaknesses and I try many things to stay grounded. I love Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings and there are a few simple meditations that I often use to calm me. I also love to write and keep journals regularly. Writing helps me get out of my head and gain perspective on situations. And of course, my friends. The amount of time I spend alone to maintain my voice can be isolating, so I really look forward to my Mondays which I generally dedicate to surrounding myself with love, friends, conversation and laughter. This is a healing time for me. I am also a spiritual person. I pray every night and I call upon my angels for guidance in times of need. Lastly, eating well and a basic amount of exercise will make anyone feel better on a regular basis. I try to keep these as constants in my life. But don’t get me wrong “eating well” also means splurging at my favorite Italian or Mexican restaurant…a great meal is good for the soul.

6. What are the most used appliances in your home?

At the moment, the air conditioner (it’s summer in Las Vegas- need I say more?), the humidifier (I’m a singer in the desert- need I say more?) and the coffee maker (that one cup in the morning is essential). Of course, the fridge is always stocked as well- I’m a huge fan of Trader Joes and couldn’t live without their pre-cut, pre-washed bags of kale, spinach and power greens!!

7.  If you could sing a duet on the GMA Show, with whom would it be and what would you sing?

I would sing “Endless Love” with the late, great Luther Vandross. I love Lionel Ritchie himself (this was one of the only cassette tapes that lived in my dad’s car growing up) but Luther’s voice was like butter. His music was and continues to be so completely transporting. I can just get lost in it. I am a fan of simple melodies and touching lyrics. I don’t believe that there have to be frills and trills and money notes for a song to be timeless and beautiful.

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