Lucas Meachem has been busy in Dallas—at rehearsals for Madame Butterfly in the role of Sharpless, singing for the Women’s Board Founder’s Award Luncheon, and exploring all the Metroplex has to offer. We spoke with Lucas about life after a Grammy, social media for working artists, and the best eats around the city:
Congratulations on your Grammy! Has your life and approach to your art changed since your recent win?
As an artist, I don’t feel any different now than before my Grammy win. However, the experience of winning the award was surreal, as I got to give the acceptance speech at the Premiere Ceremony in Los Angeles. But I don’t feel like my artistry, my singing, or my career is in any way altered. It is an achievement that exceeds any dream of mine. And it brings me some serious props when non-opera people hear I won a Grammy.
Any tips for other artists hoping to take your same path?
In terms of getting to where I am in my career, I would say two things:
Put yourself out there for every opportunity, even if you feel like you aren’t the best candidate for the job. So much of this job is being at the right place and time, and much of it isn’t up to you. By pursuing many opportunities at the early stages of your career, you maximize your chances of being heard by the people who will one day hire you.
Second, don’t sacrifice who you are. This comes to sticking to your gut when deciding on a job but also when you are on stage. We are always creating characters that differ from ourselves but every role you do has to have a little bit of you in it. This means take a personal experience that relates to the general feeling of the character, and channel that for your scene. Whether it’s loss, happiness, misery, etc., we’ve all experienced on some level those feelings. It makes you bring a real person into play.
You’re a consistent presence on social media (@lucasmeachem on Twitter and Instagram), posting photos, blogs and vlogs, and status updates. Do you consider a strong online following to be important to your career as an opera singer?
Nowadays, it is imperative. Social media allows opera singers to bring the audience into their daily life—what goes on behind the curtain. It’s an exciting life and sometimes I take it for granted, so there is a challenge to decide what in my daily life is appealing to an outsider. All in all, I just like to have fun!
I am thankful for the outpouring of respect, support, and kindness from my fans. They are the fans I’ve garnered through such a large social media presence and I don’t want to sound cheesy, but I do it all for you!
If I’m being honest, my wife is my social media guru. She comes up with amazing ideas, executes them and provides an outside perspective. She speaks to me about her concept of content versus presentation. I supply the content and she creates the presentation.
Your wife (Irina Meachem) is in your same field and accompanied your recent performance at our Founder’s Award Luncheon. How does the dynamic between the two of you play into your performances, and has it changed at all?
As well as being a social media guru, my wife is a pianist. Every time I perform with her, I get butterflies in my stomach. Not from any performing nerves, just the excitement of her. That being said, we do have to balance our professionalism with our personal feelings. I get caught up in either my music-making or my love for her, and at times it’s hard to blend them both.
Most of all, unlike any colleague I’ve ever worked with, performing with my wife has made both of us grow as better people. I am a spontaneous performer and she is very straight-laced. She has taught me to plan my performances better and I bring her out of the shell with all of my crazy in-the-moment ideas. We constantly inspire each other and bring out the best.
You’ve been out and about in Dallas during your time here. Any favorite local restaurants or spots that you’ve stumbled across during your stay?
Farmer’s Market. Mudhen. V-Eats. Spiral Diner. HG Sply Co. That one restaurant. Arboretum.
Dallas is awesome! I love venturing out into new cities. Some of my favorite things are Spiral Diner’s buffalo chicken nachos, V-Eats vegan brisket and Mutts veggie burger. Can you tell I like my vegetables? The Farmer’s Market is beautiful, the Arboretum is stunning and LOOK cinema is pretty dope. Next up is Fort Worth’s museums, Medieval Times, and finally Six Flags!
Madame Butterfly opens this Friday, March 10th and runs through the 26th. Click here for tickets and information, and be sure to follow Lucas and The Dallas Opera on social media for more updates and behind the scenes photos!