Tuptim was the first legit soprano role that I ever performed. Up until that time I thought I was just a “belter” (a singer who “belts” out pop songs in the middle of their range).
It was truly a surprise to me when I was cast as Tuptim by one of the directors who worked at the Music Center in Los Angeles.
I was also terrified.
I had two legit songs to sing: “My Lord and Master” and a duet, “We Kiss In The Shadows.”
When you’re rehearsing and performing a musical, the first thing to give out from exhaustion is your voice. Rehearsing for weeks and then performing all those high notes show-after-show, eight shows a week, can be particularly exhausting… especially if you are a tired “belter” who hops across a stage as big as a football field every night.
So I quickly went to work with Seth Riggs and his amazing wife Florence Riggs.
There I learned some very weird and wonderful vocal exercises that blended the middle of my voice and opened up the high notes.
Even though I was terrified and wondered what I was doing there before every performance, all went well. Everyone just took me to be a delicate Lyric Soprano when I knew in my heart I was born to belt out Annie Get Your Gun.
Ahhh… Life! We make plans and Life just plays jokes and spins us around.