I've been a performer since I was old enough to smile -- parents met onstage, I was onstage at 2, performing in community theatre regularly by 7, and later writing, directing and acting. Through it all, music has been an important piece of the picture: I started piano lessons as soon as my feet could reach the pedals, took formal voice lessons for a few years in high school and college, and have been singing onstage, with organizations like the NYC Gay Men's Chorus and around the piano at the Monster for 25 years.
Until September, I'd also been SMOKING for 25 years. And in 2003, had my tonsils out. Since then, my attempts to sing legitimately have been far and few between, and my voice has sunk into a lazy Brenda Vaccaro-style baritone. But I was always a tenor, and most of my material was starting to feel wrong for my voice.
So this week, at the recommendation of a friend, I started a conversation with teacher, coach and director Rob LaRocca (www.roblaroccamusic.com) to see what it would take to scour the rust off my brass pipes. Well, let's just say that within an hour of working with him, the top of my range was saying 'hello!' again, and after a second hour, i was hitting high B's. Wow! Let's see what it takes to develop my confidence and my consistency. I've remembered a lot of the technique and the theory, but it's about putting it back into practice, and then seeing what we do with it.
I know Witti will be singing a lot during the reign, but what after? Time to mount "Witti Repartee: Falling in Love...again." or time to reimagine what a one-woman show would look like for a man...possibilities abound.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for songs and routines and help to make the next year fun for all of you as well!