Sunday, 19 February 2012

Home to mum and dad

I am currently on a National Express bus up to Retford which is/was a small mining town just North of Nottingham. I have decided to go and stay with mum and dad for the two weeks before my audition for Jesus Christ Superstar.
I plan to work on my voice and work out twice a day to try and shed a few pounds before the frightful day.
I got the official audition date through and I have to be in London at 9.30am that means I shall have to be up at 6 am and warming up.

I saw lord webber on Scottish TV via the wonderful invention that is the Internet. What he said was a two edged sword, he kept referring to the person who lands the role of Jesus as 'this kid' does that mean he really believes there is an 18 yr old out there that can crank out Gethsemanie and Get out for 28 shows without rupturing his testicles or keeling over on day five?
Mind you if Axel Rose was to have just one more facelift and his genitals didn't end up on his chin and his sporran was kept topped up with Bolivian marching powder he might just pass for 25. Though Judas might be kept waiting for 20 minutes for a cue whilst he disappears backstage and fires somebody for not taking all of the green MMs out of his dressing room.

The one thing that did restore my faith was his aside 'that he would be helping develop anybody with talent.'

I know I have talent and I know my voice will be better and better. I really want this show. If I don't get the gig what better platform can there be to be seen by every casting director at once?

So providing mum doesn't try to fatten me up any more and dad can be persuaded to play some scales for me. There is no reason why I cannot be totally prepared for this audition.

Lord Webber be ready to see a middle aged young man from the stage school of some of the worst, dirtiest, scummy rock venues in the world take music theatre somewhere else. It's time that leading actors stopped looking and sounding exactly like the last leading actor that played the part.

The more I uncover in the world of music theatre, the more I respect people like Bill Kenwright who take risks on people with passion for the business.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Wobbly bits

I have had the best day ever of vocal exercises today. I spent most of the afternoon in the company of Mr Brett Manning.

Last week I got through his final set of technique exercises and was really starting to doubt myself as they were becoming harder and harder to master.
I was starting to really need the company of one of those over priced London vocal coaches. Brett seemed to be totally ignoring my lack of understanding if I were doing the right thing or not.

I woke up this morning with a fresh set of ears and decide to plough on. The next disc in the course was an introduction to styles and after a huge warm up we went off into basic note bends. 45 minutes later I was attacking trills, drop offs and run ups/downs and enjoying every second of it. I was so buzzed up that I made lunch, cleaned up the kitchen and decided to begin Brett's most recent addition to his course. Mastering Vibrato. To say that Brett's teaching style has changed since the first course (singing success) would be an understatement. The first cd went into the physics of vibrato as well as the uses and when and when nots and demos of over use and false vibrato etc etc. Brett has cut out all the American Dale Carnegie sales bollocks of the first two CDs of the singing success program and instead gets stuck straight into the meat. After all if you are buying this course you are probably a fan of the system and the teacher already.

Just as I was drifting off into self doubt and asking myself if I had finished enough of singing success yet, Brett pulled me back Into the course with 'you'll remember from the foundation course, note bends. Note bends are the building blocks of good vibrato'
Yes! Here we go. I'm qualified to go into vibrato..... And so it was... And it continued. Brett has really matured and even his jokes are drier and less eager to please or make you buy into his stuff. Now, I want to meet this guy!

Disc two: We start for real and Brett tells us once we master this cd we won't need it any more. 45 minutes later I was in possession of a new gift from an American with a dodgy rock mullet and a beautiful range. More importantly: another 45 minutes later I was beginning to control it. Just as my larynx was about to run away and join a different lazier rock band the lesson finished, I was positively glowing and brimming with confidence and trying to imagine my voice after another two weeks of disc three, then Brett walked to the back of his studio (on the disc) and joined in my rejoicing by celebrating his finishing the course.

Brett you may just have change my life son! Really! Now it's down to me.

I'm not receiving a penny or a discount or a referral or anything for this blog.
(update 22nd Feb 2012- Now I have joined the Brett Manning affiliate program and am actually getting paid for any sales referred by myself and have gone back over my previous blogs and added links to the program. I have not however, changed my comments on the course and I will continue to be as honest as I can about both the merits and the pitfalls of the course)

If you want to try it, go for it. I see from his website and free video lessons that he has cut his hair and now looks like the guy who wrote a genius master class on vibrato rather than a frustrated rock singer who turned teacher. I think this will go miles toward selling the course in Europe. They now offer a money back guarantee for the course.

A singer is never going to trust that another singer is going to give him All the secrets. Brett stakes his livelihood on it and believe me. You will see the fruits of it in me. My voice has ne'er been anything special and now it's heading up special street.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Hard Times

This week I worked on my voice every day. Maybe its just me but I seemed to get stronger and stronger and then on the 4th lesson I just fell apart and couldn't even finish the exercises (trills on a double octave) and I gave up. This is where the merits of a live vocal coach come into their own.

Friday I did the full set of exercises in the lesson but had started to doubt myself. Who the hell do I think I am? What makes me think I am good enough to go into this competition? Why don't I act my age and go back to my day job?

Two days later, it's Sunday and there is 4 foot of snow outside. I decided to record a tune which has been one of my faves for years. I decided to have a go at singing a real character voice and so went for Mark from Rent. he normally has a very nasally NY tone which i thought I should try. So here it is. Its not perfect but it cheered me up and I got a little tingle when I did the harmony parts of Roger ( a cleaner rock tone).

So I enjoyed myself immensely and am ready to hit the lessons again tomorrow and start developing my high head mix. Another week of lessons coming up with Brett Manning and Jesse Nemitz. Today I emailed Jesse and asked for his help. Watch this space (or not).