March 17, 2006

Weird Parental Moments

The Vampire was the highest soprano in the large Minnesota Boychoir during his two-and-a-half-year stint there, so it was a huge shock to his system when he quite suddenly became a low baritone on his 11th birthday (more or less). He still hasn't entirely recovered his full octave spread, struggling with what is largely a psychological block regarding his upper range... still, his voice is quite pleasant and a bit unusual, and has a lovely timbre in the lower baritone/bass notes. At nearly sixteen, he's had five years to come to terms with the new voice, even though he says he hears something more like a highish tenor in his head.

We had the first read-through/sing-through for "Little Shop of Horrors" this past week, and to my surprise nearly the entire roomful of jaws dropped when the Vampire sang "Audrey vs. Audrey". A lot of the parents/staff turned wide eyes to me and mouthed "Oh. My. Gawd..." And afterwards several nice middle aged ladies slipped up to me and said, "We'd never thought of him as *sexy* before..."

Okay, there's a Weird Parental Moment!


Evidently people look at the Vampire, they hear what he *says*... and never notice The Voice.

Well, I suppose people get distracted by the kid himself - he's one of your geeky, sweet, theatrically silly, easy-going sorts of teens (probably not all that common, actually), rather than one of your smoldering, athletic, moody, James Dean types. You know; the kind of Nice Boy that parents like a lot more than the girls usually do. Like Earth, the Vampire can be easily labeled "Mostly Harmless".

But now at this rehearsal they were listening instead of watching, because they knew that in the play he is going to be backstage, singing into a microphone. As he stepped up to the piano they were imagining the Plant instead of the Vampire.

What they heard was a combination of Luther Vandross, Barry White, and... I don't know, something angry, Morrison, perhaps. Smooth, coaxing, seductive, then forceful, then murderous... ending with the kid's favorite, his Specialty: the gloating, threatening, insane laughter.

It's the Vampire's dream to play Sweeney Todd, or Jekyll & Hyde.

Of course, to me it's still My Boy. He sounds like he always sounds when he's singing in his room. Of course he sounds good, he always sounds good. I'm simultaneously proud, surprised, and a bit taken aback by the reaction of the rest of the cast and crew, the parents. I am, perhaps, indulging in my own type of blindness - as a mother it's easy to think of my child as talented, and clever (and lazy, and disorganized...). It's no great stretch to notice that he has a great voice.

But sexy?

Maybe I'd better plug my ears when he starts actually performing behind the curtain.

La la la la la...


Blogger mrspao said...

You'd better invest in some smelling salts :)

7:49 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm quite fond of "La la la la la la, I can't hear you" as a coping strategy myself. :)

9:19 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

I think you should load a recording of him so we can decide if you should be worried or not. ;)

10:59 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

Yes, I'm with Tink -- I'd like a sampling, please. :)

11:31 AM  
Blogger mE said...

I don't have a clue how to load a recording (or how to get a reasonably good recording, for that matter). Does anyone have an idea that doesn't involve buying a bunch of otherwise useless stuff?

Not that I necessarily could get him to record in any case. The kid's so weird - he'll sing in front of a huge audience, no problem, but won't sing for his grandmother! :D

12:19 PM  
Blogger mE said...

...and I couldn't record him singing from LSoH, unfortunately, since it is copyrighted and we could get into BIG TROUBLE if we recorded it and 'published' without permission, even if we didn't make any money from it. We could even get his theater group in trouble.

HOWEVER, certain people (Chris) could come to the play, and report back. If the certain person was to say that she'd like to come on a particular day, I might even arrange to have a ticket or two saved at the 'box office' for her. Since it's practically in her neighborhood.

I'm just sayin'...

12:24 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Gosh, that was pretty subtle... Uh, I could probably do this. My friend Wendy and I do like to catch the occasional show.

3:27 PM  
Blogger mE said...

Do it! Do it!!

(Really, the show should be fun...)

8:46 AM  

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