Who is She?
Hi and welcome! I'm Jillian and am a Louisville, Kentucky native who got my start in opera when my second grade teacher knew both that the Kentucky Opera needed a kid for an upcoming production and that I was a ham who needed an outlet.
After receiving my bachelor’s degree in Classical Voice from Belmont University, I went to Oklahoma City University to study for my Masters in Musical Theatre. It was a perfect fit.
In grad school, I met my husband Michael Schafer - an operatic tenor and pure joy in human form. A year into our relationship, he found a sore on his tongue that was diagnosed as cancer. I suffered my greatest loss when he passed away 11 days after our wedding, only 8 months after his initial diagnosis.
Until then, I had thought I was an upbeat person with few dark feelings. In the deep grief of Michael’s death, I took my first Meisner class and it opened up my world. Meisner helped me break through the defenses of faux brightness and laughter and find acceptance for all facets of myself - light and dark.
I knew that singers needed this.
I created Meisner in Music and it has been life-changing for both me and my students. We are now now entering our sixth season of classes, having sold out our Fall 2019 section and looking forward to tripling our sections of class in the Spring. Meisner in Music has helped students feel safe, trust that they are enough, and fall in love with singing again, all while staying out of their heads.
I now live, sing, and coach out of New York and am still happily (most of the time) delving into the crazy art form of musical theatre.