It’s hard to believe we’ve been caroling since 1997! Time flies when you’re having fun! When people ask me what the key to our success is, I always tell them: It’s all about the caliber of talent we work with. We have a pool of exciting performers from the Broadway community who are excellent vocal musicians
Add to these two unbeatable strengths exquisite costumes, a variety of caroling styles, an extensive repertoire and the ability to send several quartets out at one time, and you may wonder how we can afford all this and remain competitive. How do we attract and keep such talent? I maintain low overhead costs and pay the carolers more so they keep coming back whenever they’re not doing a Broadway show or another professional theater production! For a glimpse of how special our performers are, check out Roo, our featured caroler, on the “Broadway Credentials” page.
I started I SMILE in New York Productions ~ “SMILE” stands for Shine My Inner Light Everywhere ~ after subbing in other caroling groups, which left me disappointed. I thought, “Surely, we can do better than this!” And we have. Hearing carolers can have such a resonating effect on people! For many, the spirit of the season doesn’t take hold until they’ve heard carolers singing those old cherished songs. Sometimes, we’re surprised by how it soothes people:
One year, while we were singing by the makeup counters in a department store, the store manager pointed out an elderly lady who frequently came to sit and just be near these cosmetologists. She was very rich, one of their best clients. She was also very sad. We planted ourselves near her and asked her what she wanted to hear. “Something cheerful?” we wondered. Nope. Not “Frosty the Snowman,” not “Joy to the World.” She wanted something soulful. Something to which it would be alright to cry. I suggested my favorite, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” That was the one! We sang. She cried. She said it was the perfect gift, just what she’d needed.
At I SMILE in NY, success is often measured in those connections we make with the people for whom we’re singing. You’ll find more examples of these special moments throughout the site. It’s these meaningful moments that keep us in the holiday spirit!