Always reaching for the stars
BY DANIELLE NEVELES Correspondent August 7, 2013 4:34PM
Phallon Boyd. | Supplied photo
Updated: September 9, 2013 6:04AM
At first, Homewood resident Robin Boyd had no idea how talented her daughter was.
Sure Phallon used to sing around the house, but to Boyd she sounded like any other child.
Phallon’s teachers didn’t think so. Her voice impressed them so much she was asked to sing a solo at her kindergarten graduation.
As soon as Boyd heard her daughter’s voice, her eyes watered and tears poured onto her cheeks. She knew the teachers were right and she thought, “maybe her daughter does have something.”
And something indeed she did.
In 2012, Phallon Boyd, 20, won the Homewood Idol contest with her tribute to an Aretha Franklin original.
Though she’d initially been nervous entering the stage, seeing the audience’s response to her voice eased her fears. She felt like they connected with her.
“I love that feeling of communicating through song,” she said. “All that is inside of me washes out of me to the audience when I sing.”
Because of her performance and winning the competition, she was asked to be the opening act for the group Spoken Four at a Homewood-Flossmoor Park District Starry Nights concert.
And with her mom’s help finding new opportunities, that won’t be her only performance.
She is at the Open Door Theatre in Oak Park, performing in “Clara,” a musical about the life of the ’50s gospel singer Clara Ward.
Phallon plays three characters: the conservative church girl Henrietta, the sassy Aunt Clara and the nightclub leading lady Queenie. With three very distinct characters, Phallon has to push herself to differentiate her characters based on the script, their actions and her interpretation of them.
Pushing herself in her performance isn’t unusual for her. As an acting major at the University of Illinois in Champaign, her instructors encourage her to go beyond her comfort zone.
“When you feel uncomfortable, that’s when you know you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing,” she said.
Preparing for her third year, Phallon challenges herself in her acting. She can be restricted, guarded even sometimes on stage.
“You want to be yourself on stage, but you’re portraying a character so you have to portray them,” she said. “I’m not articulate, but if my character is, I have to be.”
Phallon always asks herself if she is doing all she can do or if she can do more.
While at H-F High School, she thought about that a lot. She’d been auditioning since her first year but didn’t receive her first role until her junior year. Back then, she would question herself, wonder what she was doing wrong.
“It is really hard being a singer and an actor. You want to put your whole self into it and when you get rejected, it’s gut-wrenching like a heartbreak because you loved that show,” she said.
When she won that first role, she recalls feeling like she’d won a $1 million. It was only a chorus role but it meant so much.
“I think she is very brave. It takes a lot to give a monologue; it requires a different level of exposure,” her mother said.
Despite the challenges in high school, Phallon’s resolve was the same. She wanted to sing and perform. When she was a little girl, she saw Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” video and fell in love. Since then, she wanted to sing and perform.
She started writing poetry and music in high school and aspires to sing and write all her own music. She hopes to sing and act professionally in New York City one day.
“When people hear my music I want them to feel exactly how I felt,” Phallon said. “I want the impact of Beyonce but the style of Jill Scott.”