Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Step one: New Voice Teacher

In the world of musical theatre, it's imperative to keep ones voice in shape, which I have not. I haven't sung out loud in front of people in over three years. And it definitely shows. So I called up a local vocal coach who was recommended by a friend who works in the industry, and had my first lesson about an hour ago. It went all right... not the best lesson I've had... but that's understandable with the shape that my voice is in.

I basically need to go to a vocal boot camp between now and June 8th (the date of my audition) if I think that I'm going to be in any shape to do this right and get cast. We picked out possibly two songs, not the two songs I originally planned on singing. But Not For Me by George Gershwin from various shows he's done, and from The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, Nothing Can Stop Me Now! The Gershwin song I'm very familiar with, I've worked on it before, so it's comfortable. The other song I've never heard before in my LIFE but it is a great song.

The strangest thing about this lesson? I heard the six words that I dread hearing: I really think you're a soprano. I've categorized myself as a BELTER forever. My first two voice teachers were convinced that I was a soprano... and I fought it with everything I have. The teacher that I had the longest agreed with me that I was an alto, a belter, possibly a mezzo. Even the musical director from college (weasel that he was) was convinced that I was a soprano. He even told my best friend, who is a coloratura soprano (so ridiculously high it could break glass) that SHE is an alto and I am a soprano. We laughed at him for years over that comment.

But now I'm questioning. What if I am really a soprano, and I've been fighting it for so long, and now I've screwed my voice? I think that if I work hard over the next two weeks (and see if I can find instrumentals of these songs somewhere) I can improve my voice enough so that it's back in good shape again. But we'll see. I'm still terrified of this audition. Why do I do these things to myself?


Ali said...

Nothing Can Stop Me Now is a great song! I like the other one too though. I too have been a belter my whole life, only to be classified as a soprano by a few professional people who I wish didn't know what they were talking about. You'll figure it out in your own time, but either way...ROCK that audition!

Joanie M said...

Ah, the Recovering Actor having another relapse! I LOVE IT!!! I'm glad you're taking lessons again.

Tova Darling said...

Good luck!

I'm always classified as a soprano, too, but I swear I sound better when I sing lower.

Karen Wicklund, DM, MHS CCC- said...

I teach many music theater singers. My best women belters are sopranos who learn to belt. This is because there are more similarities than differences between legit soprano range and belting range technique- these styles each require a huge velocity of respiration at the top of each of the ranges, and also a large supraglottic space while negotiating each as well. You can still be a belter who can sing soprano legit as well! Just as in sports, there are many advantages to vocal cross-training!