Patrick Clinage is our fifth MSO Mash-up singing competition finalist. The following is in a Q & A format.
Hello, my name is Patrick Clinage. I am originally from Strongsville, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland and my family is originally from the Mansfield/Ashland Area. I moved to Mansfield over 6 years ago when I began working for the Renaissance Theatre, My first experience with Theatre was during their Summer Musical "Les Miserable". I currently work at the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development as their Executive Assistant. Before I moved to Mansfield, I was performing overseas in Italy while studying my Doctorate in Vocal Pedagogy. During that time, I was under the Direction of the late Claudia Pinza, daughter of the Late Ezio Pinza (most well known for his star role as Emile De becque in the movie South Pacific). I hold a Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance from Heidelberg College in Tiffin Ohio, as well as a Master of Music, Vocal Performance (Opera Emphasis) from Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit in Pittsburgh, PA. Over the many years, I have had the opportunity to work with beautiful artists and directors, as well as conductors from all walks of life. I have been honored to be able to perform with them.
Q: What are your inspirations for music?
A: There was never a moment when I realized that I loved to sing and had a talent for it. My mother will tell you that as a child I had already pieced my entire life together as to what I was going to school for and so on. Music has been such a primary part to the very core of my being that it basically began the day I was born. I will say that though, I do have inspiration in my life and that stems from my mother and my father. They are my biggest supporters and advocates.
Q: What music do you listen to for enjoyment?
A: This is a loaded question, I listen to all types of music. However, if I am performing Opera, I typically will listen to Dance/Techno music. I never listen to the same music I am performing, that way it can act as a meditation. Currently, though, I have been listening to Paloma Faith's "Do you want the truth or something beautiful" album on repeat, she has definitely been an inspiration in my composition.
Q: What made you enter the competition?
A: I enjoy the opportunity when I can perform with a symphony. The Mansfield Symphony has been one of the finest I have had the pleasure of being able to work with. I truly appreciate their artistry and the quality they provide to the audience.
Q: How do you get into your performer's headspace?
A: As any performer will tell you, a stage is a scary place. Even as a veteran performer, I still get nervous on stage. That is the joy of it for me at least, it proves it is real, it's beautiful, it's raw and emotional. As I have studied all over the world I still love the feeling of nerves, because if we truly think about nerves physiologically speaking, nervous is the same emotion as excitement. The second you can tell yourself that, you then have already won half the battle. Not only do I psych myself up, but I also run through these random musical phrases that get my brain to stop thinking about the stage and just focus on the here and now.
Q: Do you have a go-to feel good song?
A: There is one song in the entire world that I go to, it is like my Anthem. It is a song from the musical "Hello Dolly" titled "Before the Parade Passes By" and it's a song that is explaining that you need to push on and find new endeavors. To reach the heavens and keep trying, to pursue your dream and never give up... Before the Parade Passes by.
Q: What was the last song that made you cry?
A: I would have to say that would be "You Say" by Lauren Daigle. It is a stunning piece that shows the beauty through the brokenness.
Q: What was your best/worst moment on stage?
A: I have two that I truly enjoy. One was when I was performing in Carnegie Hall in New York with John Rutter and his American Chorus singing Magnificat in front of a sold-out audience. It was spectacular and such an eye-opening experience. My second was when I sang Karl Orf's Carmina Burana with the Mansfield Symphony as their Bass Soloist. That experience was magical since it showcased all that a Bass-Baritone could potentially do with their voice, as well as the sound that resonated behind me during the performance, was transcending.
I've never truly had a horrible moment on stage because that is one reason why I enjoy live theatre. It is raw and sometimes you have to go improvise mid-way through a show. But I would say the most intense moment I have ever had on stage was when I played the Chef and Jetsam in Disney's The Little Mermaid and having roughly 35 seconds to do a complete make-up and costume change for the next scene. Let's just say, I made it to the curtain just in time!
Q: What lessons have you learned in performing arts that you would like to go back and tell your 9-year-old self?
A: I feel like my 9-year-old self could've taught me so much now, I feel when I was growing up I always had to act older and be more mature for my age. And "myself" now has more of a carefree childlike quality to him, and I think it stems from the need to keep holding onto that sense of goofy-ness and our "fun" demeanor, because if you can't enjoy what you are doing both in performing and in general, then you've already lost.
Q: What are your goals for music in the future?
A: I am a composer, and my original reason for going to college was my dream of becoming the next Pat Bentar or Meatloaf (Hey, we all have high expectations, lol.) But, they were classically trained in Opera and I wanted that in my life. I learned so much more and fell in love with Opera, but I still write my own "popular" music which verges on Alternative. It is my hope to get my music out there one day, someday soon.
Q: What song are you singing and how does it describe you?
A: I will be singing "My Way" by Frank Sinatra, and I feel the words have always spoken to me, it's a tragic song. However, the words can be as simple as don't let others tell you what to do, because at the end of the road, you want to have done it your way. No matter how you do something, make it your own, and be true to it!
To hear and vote for Patrick Clinage, come to the MSO Mash-up concert on October 17.