Creating Cabaret Workshop
Cabaret is not about the vocal quality of the performer. It’s about experiencing how the performer connects to the songs and creates a story around them.
The challenge of Cabaret as a performer is to create a narrative and a spectacle that pulls the audience along. The thrill of Cabaret is that you are allowed to embody vibrant, exciting characters for every song. In this workshop we will learn how to find those characters and how to use the whole body as we sing.
I started out singing in punk rock bands. Then I switched to classical music, and opera. I graduated from McGill music with a degree in Opera, twice attended the Banff Centre for New Music, studied in New York and sang professionally in New York City. Then I decided to quit. I picked out a MA program in arts administration, but someone said 'why don’t you finally write that little one man cabaret you’ve been talking about for so long'.
This turned out to be a Cabaret about a man’s obsession with Kurt Weill, and that show turned into a hit which I toured across North America and Europe. It changed my life. Since then, for the last twenty years, I’ve been exploring stories in Cabaret. I’ve toured around the world, from Moscow to Paris to the Edinburgh Festival and across North America. I’ve created shows that made people cry, made people laugh and made people think differently about the world. One was such a success that I’ve been touring it around the world for 10 years.
Cabaret is a unique place where you can bring music and stories and ideas to life. You can cross over the boundary of the fourth wall and literally put yourself in someone’s lap. You can perform Cabaret in every kind of venue, no matter how large or small. Cabaret is a place that is open to all voices and genders, and a place where performers of all ages can find their voice.
In this Workshop, we'll work together to find how your story and your songs can combine on stage to create a powerful impact. We'll uncover the physicality of your natural movements and discover how they add to the impact of a song. We'll find the story that matters to you and how that can weave through a set of songs.
Why create a one-person show? Because it give you the chance to tell a story that thrills you and to go deep into that story. And because it gives you total control over your artistic choices and a chance to push your limits on stage, performing as yourself, or any number of characters.
Auditioning for someone else’s work is about fulfilling someone else expectations. Creating your own work allows you to push yourself in ways a casting agent or producer would never allow you to do. Because their priority is getting their show on stage, not your artistic potential.
I have developed a dozen solo shows, and performed these around the world to Five Star reviews. These shows have dealt with themes from personal loss, hope and desire, history, and my passion for a composer or songwriter.
This workshop helps you build compelling, authentic solo performances. You can come with a fully formed idea of what you’d like your show to be about, or you can come in with no idea whatsoever. We will figure out what your show’s about, which techniques to use, what structure to give it, and what your working process will be.
We'll explore in a mix of presentation, discussion, partnered and group exercises, and one-on-one coaching. All levels of experience are welcome. Creative work is one of the best ways to process what’s on your mind, in your heart, and moving through your body. What you’ll need to bring is curiosity, openness and a desire to communicate something important on stage.
In a spirit of play and exploration, we will develop the possibilities of your voice and find a natural sound for the songs you love to sing. Whether you want to become a professional opera singer, sing lead in a band, perform musical-theatre, audition for a choir, do sacred chanting, or sing in the shower, I will work with you to achieve your goals
I am a graduate of the voice program of McGill Music in Montreal, have twice attended the institute for 20th Century opera in Banff, Alberta and studied in New York City with the amazing Cornelius Reid. I have an active vocal studio in New Orleans and have performed in every kind of singing theatre, from touring Broadway musicals, to Jazz, Cabaret and Contemporary Music Theatre.
Too often performers are conditioned to think they have a "speaking voice" and a "singing voice” and struggle to shift easily between those two states. Yet, in fact, the voice we use to speak, laugh, cry, shout, scream and yawn is the same voice we use to sing. I have an approach that is physically energizing, vocally freeing and infinitely practical.