It's My Life PBS Kids Go!
Meet tween musical theatre star Josie Carr-Harris

By It's My Life on April 29, 2011 3:44 PM | No TrackBacks

Thumbnail image for Изображение 991.jpgImagine having a successful professional career singing, acting, and dancing on stages from the U.S. all the way to Russia...when you are just 11 years old! That's what it's like to be Josie Carr-Harris, who is half-Russian and half-Canadian, and all the way talented. A couple of her YouTube singing videos caught the attention of an American TV producer, and Josie recently appeared on Lifetime's "Seriously Talented Kids" with Heidi Klum, so Josie seems like someone to watch.

We thought it was cool to chat with a tween who's not only gifted with an astonishing singing voice, but also has such an interesting range of experiences under her belt. 

IML: Tell us a little about how you got started performing. How old were you? When did you know it was something you wanted to pursue seriously?

Josie: In my first performance, I had a very small part in a ballet, Sleeping Beauty, staged by my ballet school in Toronto. I was 4, I guess. The next year I had a bigger part, and a few years later, I received my first award at a Film and Arts Festival in Sochi, Russia.  But it was probably at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Los Angeles two years ago when I met so many talented kids from around the world that I really decided that performing (singing and acting) was something that I was going to start working at really seriously.

IML: What do you like about performing opera?

Josie: Singing in a classical style takes much more work and training than pop music and I enjoy working at my singing. It is also really great to be able to act through singing, like in musicals, and maybe musicals are more fun, but opera is so much, more classy for me.

IML: Most pre-teens don't know much about opera, or just think it's boring stuff for old people. What would you like other kids to know about this art form?

Josie: In Russia they have really great cartoons based on operas, and I know them better than real operas. My dad showed me some amazing parts of operas from American cartoons too. Yes, really, "Tom and Jerry" and Woody the Woodpecker singing real opera! (that you can find on YouTube) and they are really fun.  Kids would not think of them as boring.

IML: Do you have a favorite role that you've played?

Josie: I played a spoiled and fussy blonde girl in the movie "Rorrim Bo and the Magic Goblet", a Russian feature to be released later this year. It is so much fun playing a character that says and does everything that you can't get away with in real life. At least not with my parents!

IML: What was the most challenging role you've had?

Josie: My most challenging role is "Young Luiza" in the musical "Zorro". First of all it is a huge production and we have sold-out audiences eight times a week in a 2000 person theater. The rehearsals were in August and September, and I had to learn flamenco dancing, and the flamenco style of singing "cante jondo."  Then for the rehearsals, (and for the previews and then the premiere), I was there every day and played every performance. After the premiere, three other girls started to share this role with me, but with eight performances a week and extra matinees over holidays, even four of us is not enough.  

IML: You perform a lot in Russia -- do you live there? Or just spend a lot of time there because of your family?

Josie: Right now I am living in Moscow and go to the Moscow Musical Theater School for Young Actors, as well as regular Russian school. Moscow is a great place to study singing and theater. But I have had to go to the US twice in the last two months, and Moscow is a little far away for that!

IML: What have you noticed about different cultures and audiences from spending time in different countries?

Josie: I have been on stage or on TV shows in Russia and Central Europe, Paris, New York and Los Angeles. People and audiences are a little different everywhere you go, but I think it's possible to "connect" with any audience. When I sing opera it is usually in a language that the audience doesn't understand, but when you connect with the audience it's really a great feeling.

IML: Thanks, Josie, and good luck with everything!


Take a look at this video of Josie performing in an opera production. Okay, so you have no idea what she's saying...but it's fun to figure it out based on the beautiful singing and her body language.

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