Well, things are clicking along here on the Dora front. Just trying to get all of the lyrics for the song and the opening monologue in my head. I’m actually having a great time but holy shite, it’s a lot. Want to seem off the cuff and delightful but still be entertaining and kooky. I have a feeling its going to go well. Whenever something is going to work out, I get little signs from the universe. Little tests that aren’t hard but just have to be dealt with. This time . . . its air-conditioning induced laryngitis. I NEVER have vocal issues but I’ve used the air-conditioning in my apartment twice and both times I’ve lost a part of my voice for a few days. Hmmm. Awesome. It’s coming back but this last time, it happened while I was teaching a class here at the Shaw.
The class (Song Exploration through Text) was from 10 -12 in the morning on Sunday – last day of the week. Around 11, my throat was feeling a little dry; by 11:15, it was a bit crackly in the upper register; by 11:35 it was weedly; by noon, 3/4 of my upper range was gone. Oh, did I mention I had a Ragtime matinee??? I had 2 hours to find a voice. I spent about 20 minutes trying to warm it up and realized there was just very little there. I had to find Paul Sportelli, the musical director, which I did by 12:30 and we went through a couple of songs to see what was possible. There were pockets where there was better sound . . . well, sound and we realized if I could just sing legato and hang on to those pockets, it would be as close as I could come to having a voice. But it was bad enough that he said as long as it didn’t feel like I was hurting myself (which it didn’t), he would support any decision I needed to make. Well i wasn’t about to do that to Stewart McKinsey, my understudy, ie. leave him with an hour and 20 minutes to get ready to do Coalhouse.
Plus, my voice and how I think about it was “created” by Peggy Redmond. Ironically it was exactly the sort of thing I was teaching in my class. If you do the work on the text and emotional life of a character/song, and then you drive through that, the body will do amazing things. Singing technique aside (one should be training the voice, of course). The body will overcome a lot vocally if you commit to the emotional life of the story you’re telling. So I grabbed some lozenges, and the green room kitchen was kind enough to whip me up a cup of Peggy magic concoction of egg white, lemon and honey which I sipped through the show. And though you could sort of hear it when I was talking (because I couldn’t sustain the tone the way you do when you sing), there were people in the show that didn’t know anything was wrong.
At intermission, Paul came to the dressing room to see how I was. He said you couldn’t hear anything was wrong when I was singing except for a couple of small bits that translated as emotional. Even he seemed a bit amazed. Honestly, I went for story and the body followed through with the “need to communicate”. It was a great re-iteration for.
And now I’m just getting it better enough to be able to rehearse the song and monologue for the awards. We have clothes, we have script, we have back up dancers . . . .yes, that’s right, people, I said back up dancers. Whaaaaaaat??!!! If I screw this up . . . . well, I’ll just laugh and make another joke. It will be fine. I can’t die. If I have fun no matter what, so will the audience.
hmmm it’s odd, I feel like there is something on my mind today but even I don’t now what it is. I felt a little melancholy when I got up but for no particular reason. You know when you have a bunch of things going on, none of which is bad but none of which is settled either so you can’t just make plans??? I think that’s it. There are all these things in the air but none that I can talk about or settle on yet. I always have a moment of melancholy when I can’t plan my shit out properly. But it’s passing. I think it must speak of our own ambitions. I always want to feel like I’m moving forward. I’m not just doing the same things over and over again. Clearly that’s part of why I’m in the theatre/performing arts. It’s time for a cabaret. And there is some of that in the future, oh yes. Dates to be announced soon.
Okay, I’ve got to get to the gym and then go perform for the people of Canada . . . and environs.