The title of this entry is a lyric from Trouble In Tahiti by Leonard Bernstein.
(The show was written for TV in the 50s and is a contemporary opera depicting one day in the death of a marriage. It’s a favorite piece of mine and a monumental work of minuscule scale which I HIGHLY recommend to the uninitiated. If ya ain’t heard it get it NOW! I bought and downloaded it from Amazon.)
This song is stuck in my head today, which is no bad thing since it’s so beautiful. And, out of context, it draws my thoughts to images of a life in discord made neat again through focus and determination. It makes me think of my career. It makes me think of a half finished puzzle. Thank goodness I counted the pieces before I began…I know the rest are in the box. And I have secured my puzzle partner to help me assemble it.
It’s been a long journey from Indianapolis in 1990 to 2010 in NYC. I’m not going to recount every minute and mile right now. Suffice to say that I’m finally at a point with my self-worth again which enables me to believe in myself.
Here’s why I believe I have earned the right to blog about what I blog about in the way I will blog about it: I was in this business before I knew I was in this business!
Last night I was thinking way back to the first time I remember being on stage.
*insert 1960s era TV memory-cross-fade and harp music here*
It was Christmas 1969. I was in Kindergarten and my class was participating in a Christmas concert for the school district or something. (Some of this info is a bit unclear because all I wanted was to sing and get in my costume!)
In one number we were all dressed in our winter coats seated around the lip of the stage. I was SWEATING and so hot but I made myself pretend to be cold until it was over so I wouldn’t ruin the illusion for the audience. What 6-year-old does THAT?!
In another song I was wandering around the stage in a gift wrapped box with arm and head cut-outs and a big bow on the box! I loved that costume but my dad, ever the pragmatist, turned it into a garbage receptacle for Christmas wrapping after Christmas morning. Oddly it remained for some time in the garage stuffed with xmas leavings. But that’s a whole other story indeed.
My point is that even without parents in the business of show and even with a crazy mother and a drunkard father and absent brothers and bullies chasing me to school I knew I was supposed to be a performer from the time I knew what the glowing box in the front room did.
I may not have been born in a trunk but by God I came out looking for one!
I mention all this to dispel any negative feelings a reader of this blog may have when I talk about my past achievements or future goals and when I mention instances of douche-baggery on the part of others. (As I am certain many in show business have noticed, not everyone who is your friend is your friend.)
I have high hopes that it’s worked and all who venture here will give me the benefit of the doubt and not think, “This guy is SO egocentric! He LOVES himself SO much!”. But if it hasn’t then…frankly too friggin’ bad.
Ya gotta understand, we in show biz HAVE to love ourselves. If we don’t then…Michelle Rodriguez anyone? Brittany Murphy somebody?
So yes, I do. I have spent DECADES in the pursuit of my dreams. I know a bit about what I am talking about when I talk about what I know about.
Ourobouros, I think therefore I am fabulous.
So kiddies, let’s quickly on, shall we?
I have employed and been accepted as a voice student by Susan Eichhorn Young. This you may know.
Last night I asked that she be my vocal coach as well. Often times one employs different people for those jobs but she is SO AMAZING that I’d be a slobbering mouth-breather to NOT ask her to do both for me.
The differences in these jobs are:
A voice teacher is busy with sound production and all that entails from breathing to vibrating the chords and much more.
A vocal coach helps pick songs befitting ones voice and helps the singer nail the different styles needed to sing them perfectly and much more.
It is possible to have a coach who disagrees with one’s teacher. But not for ME!!!
To begin Susan E-Y suggests we start with Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Noel Coward(!), Stephen Sondheim, Jules Styne and Cy Coleman. QUITE a selection of brilliance.
To this I have my own stuff to add but there’s plenty of time. I pay her to help run my show and help make me awesome and I know we’re gonna make a great team!
Later I’d kinda like to learn the whole of Bernstein’s Trouble In Tahiti and do it in a cabaret/concert venue with a soprano and trio I choose. How ’bout Hoosier Hoagy Carmichael…. Stardust anyone? And my favorite pet songs from Mozart!, das musical, Tanz der Vampire and maybe Elisabeth, another German language musical I own on CD yet don’t know well…I oughta get ON that.
This is the beginning and the beginning is a very good place to start.
Check out these Susan Eichhorn Young things: