Sarah Peavy Takes 5 With Fenuxe: Breaking champagne glasses and toes, one performance at a time

To say that Sarah Peavy is “busy” would be an understatement. She’s a college student who regularly performs in school productions, she’s employed, in a relationship, and she made it to the final six during season one of Sing for Your Life (SFYL)! Sarah took some time away from the chaos to discuss her experience at SFYL with FENUXE.

Sarah Peavy

FENUXE: Has participating in Sing For Your Life changed you in any way? Has it affected your plans for the future at all?

SP: I have most definitely grown as a performer through SFYL! I had never imagined myself to be a pop artist. I’d never thought I was any good at singing that style of music. SFYL has made me completely jump out of my comfort zone and explore other avenues of my craft. I am often uncomfortable singing outside of a musical setting with the entire show’s story to back up a song.  Through SFYL, I got 12 weeks to begin to get used to not relying on a character to sell a song. Though I still wish to pursue acting as a career, I now haven’t totally thrown out the idea of trying to be a recording artist as well!

FENUXE: What was it like to get immediate feedback from the judges at SFYL compared to other vocal performances you’ve done?

SP: Getting feedback every week from the judges was both extremely helpful and extremely nerve-wracking.  It is always beneficial to an artist to get constructive criticism, someone else pointing out your flaws so that they can be corrected. The judges were always very great about praising your strong points and pointing out what you could do to make the next week’s performance even better. As much as I was appreciative of the feedback, I was also simultaneously nervous about it. It can be tough hearing that something that you have worked on needs to be improved. However, in the long run, that criticism helps make us all better performers, so it is necessary.

FENUXE: Which was more nerve-wracking and why: Performing at the Cobb Energy Center or at SFYL?

SP: Performing at Sing For Your Life was much more nerve-wracking! The most stressful part of SFYL was being judged every week. When I was first voted off in week two (though placed back in because of an error in the online voting), I took it to be a knock on my talent. It was the first real public failure that I had had. With acting, you go into an audition and don’t get the part, the only people who know that you did poorly are the director and accompanist. With SFYL, everyone knew that I had “failed.” It seemed to me at first that getting voted off meant that people didn’t like what I had to offer as a vocalist, and I took it kind of hard. I know now that it isn’t so much that; I never had a very large fan base coming in every week as well as having a certain voice type (musical theater) that the average audience member isn’t used to hearing.

FENUXE: What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?

SP: Strangest thing that has ever happened on stage — well, not one particular event, but I am known by everyone to be quite the klutz, so it isn’t a show with Sarah Peavy in it unless it involves some kind of fall or crash at some point during the production process. I have walked off a stage in a dress rehearsal of “Little Shop of Horrors,” broken a toe by accidentally kicking a door frame as I was running off stage in “Dracula,” fallen down a flight of stairs during an actual performance of “Anything Goes” (luckily I managed to stay upright and just slide down the stairs and was caught by my onstage partner at the bottom; my family thought it was on purpose!), managed with the help of another girl to shatter an entire plate of champagne glasses during the final performance of “Annie,” and perhaps the funniest (for the audience): running offstage after a kiss from Frank Butler in “Annie Get Your Gun” and running straight into a curtain (still onstage). The audience fell to pieces as I knocked it away, looked back at Frank in a very flustered and infatuated way, and then stumbled back off the stage. I’m just glad the moment played off well. I can’t go a week in the theater department here without someone bringing up one of my many accidents (or for that matter, me actually falling or tripping). Thankfully, I have had no serious injuries yet, but I think my trips and falls provide a good bit of entertainment for my fellow cast members.

FENUXE: You must also be good at a balancing act since you perform and go to school (and perhaps have a social life). How to you keep it all in check?

SP: Social life? What’s that?? Just kidding, but in reality it can be quite difficult to manage everything. My life is always quite hectic. It helps that I’ve been juggling different shows, work, and school since my junior year of high school. So having to do it all in the adult world and while in college wasn’t too big of a switch. I never have a set schedule and am always moving. It helps that my jobs usually take place on the weekends or in the evenings. As my boyfriend can attest, my crazy life can be stressful for the both of us, but luckily he is extremely supportive of my performance endeavors and stands by me through my chaotic lifestyle.