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Donna Hayes
Orange is the New Black; Off-Broadway's Human Resources

"The level of patience and the amount of love and support which the instructors, namely Patrick, gave to me was profoundly motivating. More often than not, he went above and beyond the “call of duty” to include and support me and he was relentless in his efforts to teach me proper vocal and performance techniques. My coaching was customized to suit MY peculiarities, MY skill level, MY history and all the nuances that made me, ME.  So I stayed for SIX years and benefited immensely from training and experiences which steered me along an amazing path of artistic discovery and self-acceptance.

Six or seven years ago, I did not aspire to have a career (or even a lucrative hobby) in performing arts because I was under the impression that aged novices could not compete with the vibrancy or the stamina of the younger performers. However, I distinctly recall a conversation with Patrick during one of my private lessons, when in an effort to convince me otherwise, he described in great detail how the careers of numerous singers/actors took flight much, much later in life. Epiphany!

During my time at WVS, I was taught amazing singing/acting performance techniques which not only boosted my confidence in my abilities, but invoked an intense desire to be authentic.  In the past two years, I have performed in almost two 2 dozen performances/shows (cabaret, Off-Broadway, stage-readings, open-mics and two one-woman shows, “Torched” and "Human Resources.").

"So now I audition and perform on a pretty regular basis and the fear is overshadowed by my desire to be “truthful” and to be “in the moment”.  Recently, after a performance, someone from the audience approached me and with tears in his eyes, he conveyed how my performance inspired and encouraged him. Priceless!

Although I have vastly improved from 12 years ago, I continue to learn and build on the amazing training that I received at WVS. As a result, I have and continue to audition for numerous projects (stage, film, etc).  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of amazing projects such as “Bellevue Sketches” and “Rivers Current”.  I am also very active on the cabaret scene and more often than not, I am selected to “close” the shows.  Who knew?"

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