Pureum Jo, a soprano from South Korea, came to the United States while still in high school and all by herself. "I am quite independent and brave," she says. She was determined to be a global singer and to do so she believed she needed to speak English.
"English is like the international language. So I wanted to get it as soon as possible. I wanted to learn the American or Western culture when I was younger. I auditioned for Julliard pre college. I got in."
She was at Julliard for pre-college, undergrad and master's and is now in her first year as one of Houston Grand Opera's Studio Artists. "I heard about many young artists programs. I heard from friends. I realized HGO was the best thing. This was my dream," she says. .
What she does:
"I sing opera. I act. I love acting. Acting and singing are equally important and fun for me."
Why she likes it:
"There are so many elements I like. I just love opera. I started opera not for me but for my mother. She made me sing when I was in elementary school. She wanted to be an opera singer. I realized the more I learned, the more I liked it. It's very challenging and very sophisticated."
What inspires her:
"My mother," she says laughing. "Becoming a great opera singer was my goal since I was an elementary school girl. Every day I'm practicing and singing," She says she files away whatever experiences she has and calls upon them when she is acting or singing.
"So from people, so many different people I learn from. Especially about love. Because most operas are related to love."
If not this then what:
"Acting. Usually drama is easier for me because I'm more serious. It's easier to commit."
If not here, then where:
"When I auditioned for Houston I wanted to go to HGO or Europe. Europe next -- German, Italiam, French, there are so many operas. I have to learn their culture and language too."
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Joe is working on singing in Magic Flute for the studio performance, spending a lot of time learning notes and being coached. Rehearsals are constant and sometimes make for long days.
"In Korea opera is not as popular as here or Europe. One of my dreams, I want to be good enough so I can make the opera issue a sensation in Korea - like Kim Yuna [the 2010 Olympic gold medalist from South Korea] did after she became a star and ice skating became a big deal in Korea."
More Creatives for 2014 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).
Camilo Gonzalez, interdisciplinary artist and educator Kendall Kaminsky, playwright Christopher Turbessi, pianist Chuck Norfolk, filmmaker Reginald Smith, Jr., opera singer Luke Hamilton, dancer, choreographer and actor Jera Rose Petal Lodge, metalsmith and jewelrymaker Lauren Burke, dancer and choreographer Ben Fritzsching, comic book show promoter and character actor Will Ottinger, novelist Greg Starbird, theater lighting designer Dominique Royem, symphony orchestra conductor Marc Boone, Sneaker Gang founder and designer Andy McWilliams, sound designer and composer Maria-Elisa Heg, zine queen Allan Rodewald, artist Anne-Joelle Galley, artist Michelle Ellen Jones, ballroom dancer and actress Morris Malakoff, photographer and filmmaker Terrill Mitchell, dancer Deji Osinulu, photographer Mason Sweeney, artist K.J. Russell, sci-fi author and writing teacher Emily Robison, choreographer and filmmaker John Cramer, violinist and concertmaster Shipra Mehrotra, Odissi dancer and choreographer Winston Williams, comics artist Octavio Moreno, opera singer Dylan Godwin, actor, storyteller and teacher McKenna Jordan, independent bookstore owner Steven Trimble, mixed media artist Sandria Hu, visual artist and professor of art Robert Gouner AKA Goon73, photographer Shawna Forney and Erma Tijerina (aka SHER), culture gurus Mark Bradley, photographer James Ferry, comics artist Keith Parsons, author and philosophy professor Alonzo Williams Jr., photographer Rudy Zanzibar Campos, painter Paige Kiliany, director Betirri Bengtson, visual artist Melissa Maygrove, romance novelist Natalie Harris, bridal gown designer Larry McKee, cinematographer Tiffany Heath, filmmaker Jonathan Pidcock, Jewelry Maker Mallory Bechtel, actor, singer, dancer Janine Hughes, visual artist Nyssa Juneau, artist John Merritt, artist Leslie Scates, choreographer and dance educator Denise O'Neal, producer, director, playwright Jason Poland, cartoonist Courtney Sandifer, filmmaker, actor, writer Lloyd Gite, gallery owner Henry Yau, The Children's Museum of Houston's publicity and promotions guru Angeli Pidcock, fantasy writer and mentor Jennifer Mathieu, author Scott Chitwood, writer Anat Ronen, urban artist Amber Galloway Gallego, rockstar and sign language interpreter Michael Weems, playwright Lane Montoya, artist Jordan Simpson, SLAM poet Joey & Jaime, designers Suzi Taylor, photographer Ashton Miyako, dressmaker T. Smith, artistLindsay Finnen, photographer Kaitlyn Stanley, tattoo artist Eleazar Galindo Navarro, video game maker Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer Shawn Swanner, video game painter Andy Gonzales, painter Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher Theresa DiMenno, photographer Jessica E. Jones, opera singer Atseko Factor, actor John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist Rabēa Ballin, artist David Wald, actor Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist Heather Gordy, artist Mark Nasso, comic artist Shelbi-Nicole, artist Marian Szczepanski, novelist Jonathan Blake, fashion designer Doni Langlois, interior designer Kat Denson, dancer Blame the Comic, comedian Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer Rene Fernandez, painter Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer