Faye Chiao is a composer, singer, and actor based in NYC. As a child, the vision of creating her own original music was always clear – and after studying her craft thoroughly at Peabody Institute, she brought her work to life! Her recent work includes Fountain of You with Marin Mazzie, Baba Yaga and the Firebird, and Upstream, in addition to writing music for the short film Delusione, writing the family opera Katie: Strongest of the Strong,and To See the Stars, a multi-media chamber piece. When she’s not creating, she supports her community through music-oriented organizations such as Maestra, Musicians United for Social Equity, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, and the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists. Chiao advises young artists to “make sure [they] take the time to tune into [their heads and hearts].”Read on to learn more about Faye Chiao and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Name: Faye Chiao
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
Current City: NYC
Current project: Fountain of You
What are some of your favorite credits/projects: Whatever project I'm currently working on is my favorite!
Currently, my feminist revenge comedy, Fountain of You, written with Tasha Gordon-Solmon (in concert Monday May 23rd at Green Room 42!), and my two family audience pieces, Baba Yaga and the Firebird (with Anton Dudley) and Upstream (with Chesney Snow) (both coming to Little Island in July – stay tuned!).
Previous favorite projects include music for the short film Delusione (with Breton Tyner-Bryan), Katie: Strongest of the Strong (with Anton Dudley) is a family opera about real-life strongwoman turned suffragette, and To See the Stars, a multi-media chamber piece celebrating the history of astronomy - which we did in a planetarium at the National Air & Space museum.
Any advice for young people getting into the arts?
Make sure you take the time to tune into your head and heart.
How did you get your start?
As a kid, I heard original music very clearly in my head. After years of practice/study/training, I learned how to go about creating it in the world exactly as it sounded in my mind's ear. It still takes work, but when successful… it's everything.
Do you have any favorite moments in your career that you'd like to share?
Sharing the stage with Marin Mazzie at a gala concert, and a standing ovation during a workshop production of my musical, Fountain of You, with a dream cast led by powerhouses Kate Rockwell and Maya Days.
What have you found is the biggest challenge in your career?
A life in the arts is not easy. It's everything they say it is. Health insurance, for example...
Do you have any organizations or non profits you work with you’d like to highlight?
Who do you admire?
So many… including Lea Solonga, Audre McDonald, Ann Harada – they shaped my world.
Did you have any interesting “odd jobs” you worked at between gigs to pay the bills?
It's not original, but I waited tables. I was terrible.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Don't be afraid to ask. The worst they can say is no.
Where did you study at?
What are some goals you hope to achieve?
My lifelong dream – to be the singing voice of a Disney villain!
What do you love most about what you do?
The people. The musical theater community is truly special.
What helped you most to rebound from what you considered your biggest failure or mistake in your career?
Friends. I have amazing ones.
To find out more about Faye Chiao, please visit her at:
Instagram: @fayechiao, @fountainofyoumusical
Facebook: fayechiao, fountainofyoumusical
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