Encore: Paying RENT!
My name is Jan, known as Voxfugit on LINE and Smule Sing!
As Vocal Edge's Official Blogger, I will be using Encore to keep you apprised of all things Vocal Edge; From contest commentary and results, to a vocal teaching panel drawn from some of the best on Smule and news about specific VE projects or auditions. I urge you to subscribe to the blog to ensure you never miss a single one.
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Vocal Edge Moves Into Full Community Theatre Productions!
This weeks 'Encore' introduces you to Dottie. One of the major VE figures responsible for Vocal Edge's entry into the realm of Smule Sing! community theatre. Dottie acts as a senior judge and member of management for Vocal Edge and all of it's undertakings.
Dottie told me that she has always been musically inclined since a small child. Her parents have even told her stories of how she used to sing herself to sleep as a small baby even before she could speak words.
From the first moment she can remember, Dottie has loved performing and singing on stage at church, school and outdoor town events. She won several ribbons and trophies for vocal performances throughout her childhood and youth. She went to school originally as a music performance major (general). But quickly changed when her grandfather offered to pay for her education if she did something more "practical" at which point she changed to business management to help him in his business.
She soon realized that music would always be her passion. So she quit school and auditioned for a group called Celebrant Singers. They are a professional singing group based out of Visalia, CA. The group performs all over the US mostly in Catholic settings and around the world. Dottie spent two years touring with them and was able to travel all over the continental US as well as visit some of these beautiful places: Ontario, Canada; Colombia, South America; Madrid, Spain and Port Au Prince, Haiti. After her two years of touring with them, she took a break from singing to help with family.
That is when she started to dabble in musical theater. She had missed the stage and found that community theatre also gave her a much needed break from everyday life. She worked with several theater companies in the area near her home. She has been able to perform in shows like Cats, Hello Dolly, Cinderella, Rent and many more. In addition, she has been a costume designer for shows like Annie Warbucks and RENT and also worked as a stage manager for Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat and Bye Bye Birdie. Those are just a few of the many productions she has been involved with throughout her time in community theatre. This background made her a natural for Brett to approach about helping him with doing a production of RENT.
Just a couple of weeks ago they finished the casting of RENT which included auditions from over 40 interested persons and are now fully into preparing the production.
Encore: What is your formal role in the VE production of Rent?
Dottie: I am very excited to be co-directing with Brett on this project.
Encore: Others have done musicals through Sing!, what is different about what you are doing?
Dottie: The hope is to create an experience that no one else has brought to the Sing! App. In it’s birthing process, Brett approached me about doing a full production of Rent! and other musical theatre shows by using the Sing! to record both the music and scripted parts of the show, then splicing them together to create a full version of a production for people to download from our VE Website. This is not something that I’ve seen done through Sing!. And something I am very excited about seeing come to fruition.
Encore: When can we expect to see the first parts of the show available for listening?
Dottie: We are actually exclusively releasing a teaser with this entry of the blog, details in a bit!
Encore: When do you expect the full show to be completed and ready for down load?
Dottie: The plan is to have the show recorded and the splicing process started in 6-8 weeks. We hope to stay on track with this so that we can have it available for download by Christmas.
Encore: How will the full production be made?
Dottie: I’ve already spoken a “little” bit about this earlier in the interview. This is something that is more Brett's expertise, although I hope he shows me how to do it for future musicals. The idea is to record everything on Smule. Brett will then pull down the tracks to his computer and then start editing the tracks and splicing the bits and pieces where they are supposed to go.
Encore: Will all of us be able to hear a full copy of the production when completed?
Dottie: Yes! The final creation, [will be] a fully downloadable audiobook from the Vocal Edge website.
Encore: Hamilton has already been announced as the next production, what other shows would you like to see the VE Community Theatre tackle?
Dottie: I am really looking forward to working with Christina [another VE Staff member] on Hamilton. She was the only choice we could see to co-direct this production. Her passion for the musical as well as her knowledge will make the next production something very real and exciting. Going beyond Hamilton [it has not been decided] what we would like to do beyond that. Shows that I have been dying to do as a performer are: In the Heights, Matilda, Once, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Oh my goodness the list goes on and on. Now, whether these productions would be good for audiobooks, I’m not sure, but it sure would be fun to try!
VoxFugit Comments: The concept of doing full productions of musicals through the Smule community with a way for the entire Smule community and beyond to then "attend" the performance is unique at this time. However, taking great musicals and moving them off the stage into a Smule environment seems to me reminiscent of great old time radio dramas. Or, a better comparison might be the Saturday afternoon New York Metropolitan Opera broadcasts that date back to 1931 and which today are available via audio streaming in addition to being on broadcast radio stations. To my mind, these VE Productions embody the best elements of community theatre. That is, it takes members of a community, and with little or no outside help makes a production that adds to the skills of the community, creates greater community spirit and helps audiences broaden their artistic sensibilities. If others, skilled in theater production, choose to emulate this activity, it will only be a positive for the entire Smule Community. Just for you, I snuck into Brett's office and managed to steal a teaser of the RENT production in progress.
Check it out at:
During October, Vocal Edge will have an unprecedented three spinoff competitions, all running concurrently.
This week, we wanted to highlight the first of these coming in October, VE: Battle Royale, the upcoming competition for teams or Smule groups.
In teams of EIGHT people, you will be tested with a range of challenges, both as a full team, and also as sub-groups, contributing to a single score on behalf of your team. As is traditional with Vocal Edge, you can expect every round to bring a new challenge, and constructive critiques to assist you and your teammates in improving as you work together and support one another in achieving the goal of becoming the ultimate VE Battle Royale champions.
VE: Battle Royale registration will be open from October the 5th-12th, so start talking, get those teams formed, and we look forward to seeing you bring it, and prove yourself as the ultimate team!!
Latest from the All Stars Competition
This week's theme, revisiting Eurovision Song Contest songs, proved to be a major challenge for previous leaders in the competition and the All Star crew. Round three saw three contestants finishing with perfect scores -- only one of them an All Star, Christina a/k/a quaintlullabies.
Our challenger contestants who announced this week their intent to make a run on the title are _Kymber_ and dym75. Another non-All Star close on their heels is Alice4God.
Round three saw three more All Stars eliminated: VE_Indi, janessa_ORSA and _42MissmAsh_.
Full results are available here:
So, as we move into Round 4 of the competition, there are 13 non-All Star challengers left fighting it out with 17 All Star contestants.
It is sure to be interesting this round as each contestant picks a Bond movie theme song and is placed in direct comparison to others selecting the same song.
Who will be eliminated next Monday?
Can a new challenger emerge from those left?
We will, of course, have full results available in next Tuesday's edition.
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