I'm 52 years old now, but since I was a child, I always wanted to participate in musical theatre. I took voice lessons in college and thought I would do all right. Following college, after a summer of writing reviews for a professional theatre in Maine, I decided to audition. My audition was heard by the founder of the theatre company.
I chose a song I had worked on and prepared for my final exam in college, Dulcinea, from "Man of La Mancha." The company's founder, Victoria, accompanied me on the melodeon. I was nervous as I performed, but I thought I did all right. Her assessment, however, was less than favorable. She flat-out said that there was no way I would ever be able to participate in musical theatre, unless there was a "violent change."
"Why is singing so important to you?" she asked, as if trying to steer me away from musical theatre. "Do you sing only for your own enjoyment?"
So, I gave up on the dream and had done no serious singing since then, thirty years ago. But since musical theatre is very popular down here and I was trying to get involved in theatre productions in this area, I could take some lessons and perhaps I could be put into the chorus. Since male performers tend to be more scarce, they need all the men's voices they can get. So, if I worked hard, I could be in the chorus and not sound completely horrible.
I went to see a voice instructor in this area, and prepared her for the impending disaster by telling her my experience in Maine. After doing a few exercises with her, she came to the conclusion that the woman I had auditioned for 30 years ago was unduly harsh.
She thought she was going to spend the lesson teaching me to follow notes, but she discovered I can follow notes. After a few lessons with her, I finally decided that possibly my case isn't hopeless, that maybe I'm not some aberration that cannot be taught to sing, regardless of how much training I get and how many exercises I put myself through.
So, I checked out voice lessons on YouTube and found Ken Tamplin. And started to do some of the exercises. I think I'm finally able to lift the soft palate and direct the voice to the front of my face, in the area surrounding the eyes, so I can get some resonance going.
I'm working on the exercises to find my "mixed voice," and it's quite a challenge. I gliss up and down like Ken demonstrates in the video, but I find that the transition from head to chest voice has a huge, noticeable break. It's like there's not a single note I can hit with mixed voice, so I guess the best thing to do is hover near the area where the break occurs and hope perhaps the mixed voice will show itself.
Because, as the name implies, I'm a basso profundo. I can hit F# consistently and on a good day, I can hit G with my chest voice. But based on the music I'm seeing in musical theatre, I will have to do much better. Musical theatre is dominated by baritones and tenors. There is very little written for basses. So, I need to develop a mixed voice, so I can get beyond the F#/G.
Very nice to have met you all. And I hope I get some good and valuable tips during my stay here.