It has been a while since I wrote thoroughly and thought it was time!!!
It has been an amazing and eventful year thus far. How ’bout for all of you?!?
I just finished an intense (in show biz terms that is!) summer with the unexpected “gift” of “Sing Your Face Off” (SYFO). It’s a new ABC/Endemol show that will most likely air in the fall. When I was approached with this concept, and later invited to be a judge/”expert” alongside Darrell Hammond, (My new BFF!!! A true sweetheart!), I looooved the idea. I feel like we are suddenly bombarded with talent shows and, though I am a fan, it can be stressful watching and crossing fingers for these young upcoming talents on the verge of, or ready to give up on, stardom. THIS show is the opposite. Everyone on it is already accomplished and there is nothing to lose here. This is ALL about having FUN, FUN, FUN!
John Barrowman, who I know from my West End stint in “Grease” (He was down the street starring in “Sunset Boulevard”!), is THE most brilliant and “available”/in the moment host I have EVER witnessed in action. And witnessing Darrell in action in rehearsals busting out into his many voices just for fun was a thrill! Though the even bigger delight for me was to see how genuine and supportive he is of all the talent on the show. Always nice to enjoy the company of the folks you are working with.
This show is so ALIVE and is a throw back to the old school variety shows we all grew up on!!! It is classy and vibrant with A-List musicians and production values… I cannot wait for you all to see it! What I felt my role was, and what I bring to the table, is not only positive feedback (what these celebs are doing is incredibly challenging!) but constructive notes as well. I feel like they are pros, and my peers, and deserve to also hear things that will up their game for the following week. I hone in on vocal technique, but also the fine nuances that make certain icons what they are because the icons being imitated by the celebrity contestants are embedded in our minds from years of watching and hearing them perform.
WHEW! Can you tell I am excited?!?
I also just finished a round of shows that began in February with 80’s Fest in Boca Raton, as well as some symphony dates with Sam Harris and several Pride celebrations. I was in Cincinnati just under 2 weeks ago! It was so cool also to return to my hometown of Long Island, as well as my home state of New York for Huntington’s and Albany’s Pride celebrations and the welcome was sooo warm I am still cooling off!!!!
I got super excited this past month because my voice, which was going through some major transitions this past year, turned a corner! Singing became more effortless and I was freer than I had been in ages. Thrilling and a message to everyone that sometimes we all must endure painful and uncomfortable times, but if we keep on keepin’ on the light will be visible. Not to say I may not have a difficult day here or there but I felt a distinct turning point. Roger Love who is a FAB vocal coach worked with me during my time at SYFO and was a great help as well.
The audiences at the shows recently have been SO incredible! I LOVE where we ALL are in our lives these days. Is it just me or does it all seem to get better and better?!? I feel more present in my own life and more connected to all of you than ever!
I recently debuted a new version of the now 25 year old “Foolish Beat” live.
And I will soon be cutting a vocal and releasing it alongside a new version of “Rise” and a couple of new songs by this fall/early winter. I know I know I know… sooooo long overdue!
Another thrilling project to come my way this year was my composing for the Cirque Musica Arena Show! I have always been a fan of artistic and athletic visuals and wanted to add my touch to this already spectacular show through music. I grew up surrounded by orchestras at the Metropolitan Opera as well as in theater and have ventured into scoring “3 Billion and Counting” / “Rise” (available on iTunes).
I loved coming up with two new pieces “Birdsong” and “Be the Music,” both available on CD at the Cirque Musica shows and soon to be available on iTunes. I got to collaborate with David Andrews-Rogers whom I met doing “Chicago” in Oklahoma City and who later became my MD (musical director) at Harrah’s in Atlantic City for my “Pop Goes Broadway” show. He did the most incredible job channeling my vision for a 60-piece orchestra! Chris Walls conducts live and Alli Isabella debuted the music during the opening week of the tour.
Many of you may remember Alli duetting with me on “Lost in Your Eyes” at my Gibson Girl Foundation Gala! I thought it would be neat to pass the torch to a young artist on this project. I was so moved to see the interaction between Alli and the aerial artist in Cirque Musica. The story being told is one many can relate to… finding your authentic voice and not being one to follow the flock. “Be the Music” really encapsulates the whole Cirque Musica experience, as it is one for ALL the senses!
Steve Cook produced the show as well as the “Rewind” tour I am a part of with the incomparable Sam Harris. (Dates in San Diego this August. Cannot wait!) I am THRILLED to be sharing the stage with my friend the magnificent Sam Harris and the “Rewind” band! I was a Sam fan back in the “Star Search” days and lemme tell ya… if you thought he was great then, you should only come and hear for yourself that the great can become even greater! I have the honor of duetting with Sam on “Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong” and it is a THRILL. SO fun!!!
I also have been a part of my first ever-autograph signing shows, which I ADORE! What a way to spend one on one time with fans. It is SO fun! I am looking into doing more of these as well as live shows around the world over the next year.
One of my songs “Angel” has found its way to Broadway Star Isabela Moner. Her debut album is coming this summer and I am here to tell ya this little gal has a BIG voice!!! STUNNING! You can also currently catch her playing Wendy in the musical “Fly.” The song I wrote with Leilah Ali, “Choices,” was also released.
Svedka invited me to be a part of their Pre-Valentine’s Day Throwback event, which was an absolute blast! I also loved being a part of iiJin “The Love Revolution” Fashion show. Their styles are so chic and fun!
I also was a part of Culture Club’s Totally Tubular Time Machine this past spring and got to perform alongside a mini me, which was a TRIP! SUCH a talented cast in this awesome and interactive musical experience.
Thanks to the Detroit Pistons for having me do their halftime show! And I always love supporting REAF and how cool to get to do that with my fave show “Jersey Boys.” Oh Whatta Night!
HOW can I forget WXLO’s Awesome 80s Prom, which brought back sooo many awesome nostalgic memories. Amazing to be with my boys Buddy and Eddie and to see so many of you in full nostalgia mode!
WHEW! I am most likely forgetting something. Oh yea! I recently teamed up with Antonio Sabato Jr’s Acting Academy in LA to teach a master pop performance class and had a BALL. I would LOVE to do more programs like this in the near future so stay tuned.
Also stay tuned for a fun announcement about a collaboration with a product I loved and endorsed many years ago.
And continue to support Children International everyone. More info here: https://www.children.org/.
Most importantly, thank you ALL for your ongoing support and love and great energy over the years. The loyalty always astounds me and lifts me.