Well, my encounters with the glitterati continued into today, when I had a long, meaningful 47-second conversation with Nick Cannon — radio and TV personality, actor, comedian, rapper, and husband of Mariah Carey.
Why have all these celebrities been throwing themselves in my path lately? Perhaps it has to do with my being seen recently around town with gorgeous supermodel Cathy Lane on my arm.
Even the biggest stars in the world will do whatever it takes to become a part of Cathy's select circle, of which I am — through coincidental good fortune alone — a part.
Anyway, until yesterday at a quarter after four, I had never even heard of Mr. Cannon, who is apparently pretty famous, especially after recently making public some nude photos of himself with his very pregnant stratospheric-singing wife. But at 4:15, I received a call from a representative of Mr. Cannon's popular radio show (Rollin' with Nick Cannon on FM 92.3 NOW in New York), asking if I would be willing to announce one of Thursday morning's Top 5 songs. Apparently, auditions for American Idol are in town, and, to feed off of the frenzy this show inspires, Nick Cannon was having an Idol-themed morning show.
Complete with song announcements by "The five top vocal coaches in the Tri-State area," of which they had apparently decided I am one, even though I'm not a vocal coach. (I think that my savviness in getting my website high up on Google searches has more to do with how they found me than my actual teaching skill. This is not to denigrate my teaching skill, which may very well be one of the best in at least 3 states, but to express my cynicism at being awarded an accolade from people who don't know me or my work.
My initial reaction was to decline this opportunity — did I really want to attract to my practice a demographic of American Idol hopefuls who listen to commercial morning radio shows? — but Peter helped me to realize that saying no to this opportunity would have been similar to staying on the couch in lieu of attending the opening-night party of Priscilla, which turned out to be a highlight of my year if not my life, so I decided to seize the day.
In the world of morning radio, this meant seizing a rather early part of the day; I had to wake up at 5:30 in order to be ready to telephonically record my spot with Nick at 6:30. (Yes, we're on a first-name basis now after our 47 seconds of relationship-building.) I improvised a morning radio preparation routine: did some stretches and breathing exercises, made some tea, looked over my marketing materials for pithy phrases I could sprinkle into our conversation, and cleaned up some dog poop out of the litter box. (Despite my emerging status as celebrity BFF, I am still attending personally to my dogs' excrement. So far, fame hasn't changed me.)
I got my call right at 6:30. Louie (or Luis or Louise, for all I know; I discovered today that modern radio folk do not have the diction skills of those scrupulously coached stars of the Golden Age of Radio) confirmed my information and explained that when he patched me through, Nick would greet me and give me a chance to plug my business before I would announce today's #5 Song, which he told me was Britney Spears's Till the mfggh wrmmmps. I had to ask him to repeat the song title twice more before I could figure out that he'd been saying "Till the World Ends." I'm sure he was wondering what kind of vocal coach would not be familiar with the latest hit from one of our most prominent ex-Mouseketeers, but at least I knew who Britney Spears was.
I was instructed that, when Nick asked me what today's #5 hit song was, I was to say "Britney Spears's Till the World Ends....Rollin'!" That "Rollin'!" being apparently the show's trademark catchphrase. And so far from my personal mode of expression as to be ridiculous coming out of my mouth. Like Queen Elizabeth saying, "This song has a sick beat. Gonna groove all night, yo."
|Diggin' the dancing queen|
You have to understand that, especially in my role as teacher, I strive to embody a mindful centeredness that is the polar opposite of the kind of frenzied bantering characteristic of radio morning shows. But in the spirit of seizing the day, I decided to go with the flow and say the "Rollin'!" with as much gusto as I could muster.
After Louie (?) was finished prepping me, I was put on hold and "treated" to what was presumably a currently popular song. (I stopped caring much about current popular music once Irving Berlin wasn't churning out the hits anymore.) Eventually, Nick came on, we bantered amiably for 2.7 seconds, and then he departed from the plan for which I'd been prepped by putting on his cohost and asking me to teach her something. I'd just claimed that I could help anybody with their "vocals" (cleverly mirroring Nick's pop-music jargon), but when I heard the cohost peeping "mi-mi-mi-mi-mi" in a squeaky little-girl kind of non-voice, I blurted out that perhaps this was the first person I'd encountered whom I could NOT help. This ill-thought-out response which I immediately regretted nevertheless inspired much morning-radio-show hilarity and whooping, so I guess it was appropriate in this context.
I even rocked my "Rollin'!" and announced Britney's song — with exquisite diction. (I've since listened to about 30 seconds of this song, and, believe me, it's no "There's No Business Like Show Business." But it does have a sick beat, yo.)
Having been coached by Peter on how to effectively market myself during this spot, I was scrupulous in dropping as many Art-and-Science-of-Singing's as I could into the conversation, and even managed to plug my website once in a not-too-obnoxious way. We'll see what kind of singers, if any, this little bit of craziness lures to my practice. Perhaps I'll soon be teaching the next American Idol. Or even Mariah Carey. I'll bet she'd give up an octave of her range to meet Cathy.
My big radio appearance by michaelhanko