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Volume 68, Issue 92, February 10, 2003

Arts & Entertainment

Mya's multi-faceted talent shines in musical Chicago

By Jamie Wells
The Daily Cougar

Chicago, starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, is a new interpretation of the award-winning Broadway show that takes the narrative into fresh and unmarked cinematic territory.

The movie shifts adroitly from the reality of intrigue, jealousy and infidelity to spectacular fantasies of music and dance, offering the viewers inside commentary on the reality of being a celebrity and the outrageous lengths to which people will go to attain it.

If thatis not enough to get your blood pumping, then come check out the not-so-new and upcoming talent of Mya.

She gets the opportunity to strut her funky stuff in a solo song-and-dance section during the "Cell Block Tang" sequence. Mya has it all ­ she can dance, sing, and be an inspiration to you girls everywhere.

This is not the first time Mya has graced the silver screen ­ in 1999, she had a small role in the film In Too Deep, which starred Omar Epps and LL Cool J.

In a recent interview, Mya said the rehearsals for Chicago were lengthy -- six or more hours -- and director Rob Marshall, along with three assistant choreographers, helped the dancers learn their steps.

Mya also had vocal training (like she needed any) with a voice and piano teacher. She rehearsed with Zeta-Jones and Gere (because they were in the scenes with her) for two months straight in Toronto where the weather was quite cold and unpleasant.

Mya noted that everyone from the movie was very down-to-earth and great to work with, and that they all ate lunch together every day.

Mya said she hasnit witnessed the Broadway musical yet, but plans on seeing it very soon. She wasnit given a script to read from or even a tape to listen to during the audition for the movie. She had to improvise from the idea that she was a murderess on death row and she was proud of it.

For her next role, Mya said she would love to do an action police movie. She is currently looking at a few scripts, one being static, but nothing is definite yet.

If Mya had the opportunity to do another musical, what would it be? Jellyis Last Jam, of course.

Myais main focus right now is her upcoming album, which is currently untitled and scheduled for release in early summer. Mya wants to establish herself as a musical artist first because it is what she is most passionate about.

It has been three years since Myais last album was released in 2000.

"I feel like Iive grown in these past years as an artist and as a person," Mya said. "Time tells everything."

On the upcoming album, she says she dappled and dipped into different styles of music like reggae and rock, but she wants to stay close to her roots in r&b.

There may be a tour in the works with Mariah Carey, but nothing is official yet. There is also a rumor of a Missy Elliot remix of one of the songs from the upcoming album.

Tap dancing was Myais first dance lesson, and it has helped her with the beats for her music because she is more familiar with the rhythms.

Mya is an inspiration to young girls everywhere. She was a leading speaker in a program called Secret to Self Esteem, which focused on educating girls ages 12 to 13 about self-esteem issues. For two years, she spoke to parents and their daughters about her music career and how it has impacted her life.

"I like using (my) career and success to inspire other girls to hold on. Things will get better in life," Mya said.

"Females make the world go round. Be an inspiration for the next generation ­ like my mother, who works hard and is very self-sufficient," Mya said. "Personal sanity and confidence make you a great leader and woman."

 Send comments to dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu

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