Archive for March, 2013

March 23, 2013

SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTSSHOTSSHOTS!

OK. I got my headshots back from the fantastic Carrie Meyer! She was even able to get them to me in less than a week! Miraculous! I love them all so much that it was difficult to narrow it down. In the end I got these 4 fully edited images as well as a few others that are just “soft edits.” I’ll probably put those on my Facebook page. But for now, here are the 4 best shots.

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I plan to use this one as my primary promo shot. This will be on posters and included in my Electronic Press Kit.

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This one I just HAD to get to show off my tattoos. I love them. And just for the curiously minded, Zach Dole at Freedom Ink Tattoo Co in Peoria IL did my tattoo at the St. Louis Old School Tattoo Convention. And Lauren Busiere at Tower Classic Tattoos did my back piece, which is based on the Model 66 “Red Eye” Singer Sewing Machine.

 

 

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Everyone loved this one, which is not to imply that I didn’t love it. But I was only allowed to choose two, and everyone loved this one so much that I had to get it and pay additionally for it. It’s totally worth it. 🙂

 

 

 

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And then this is the first edit that Carrie did as the sneak peek. I think it’s a darling photo. Although one friend said it looked like I had no eyebrows. lol…

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March 19, 2013

Promo Kits

I’ve mentioned the book Beyond Talent before. It’s fantastic. Probably my favorite career guide ever. And right now I’m working on putting together my promo/press kit. The book is really helpful because it offers checklists of things that need to be done. “Letterhead design, bio, photo.” So that has been my focus the past few days.

Yesterday I had a photoshoot with the amazing Carrie Meyer of Insomniac Studios. Carrie is a great photographer, which is good, because I still don’t feel very comfortable in front of the camera! The purpose of the shoot was to get a few shots of me, my mic, and my tattoo. Headshots. I can’t wait to get the results and share them with everybody. The few she showed me on her display looked FANTASTIC!

I’m also working on setting up a new youtube channel so that I can send potential bookings a link to my work. It’s just a placeholder right now, but soon I will have all my videos transferred and ready to watch.

But the thing that seems most elusive is the letterhead design. I’ve been pouring through font page after font page, trying to find the right one to convey what I stand for. Something that is classy, yet casual. I tend to gravitate towards scripty handwritten fonts. But I’d love something with a retro feel. And of course, once I do pick a font I like, I’ve got to figure out if it’s public domain, or needs to be licensed.

I have seriously looked at my name written in so many different fonts that it doesn’t even look like my name anymore. But one thing I’ve realized is that it REALLY DOES matter what font you use. Each one sends a different message. I’ll show you a few.

Procrastinating-tiff

My favorite part about this one, called Procrastinating, is that it connotes irresponsibility. This is not someone you would trust to show up on time or do a good job.
ZnikomitNo24 Name-tiff
Called ZnikomitNo24, this font is adorable, but completely irrelevant. I love it, but it’s not for me.

Inkpen-tiff
Inkpen is getting closer to the right track. It actually came in a font package for the program Finale. It’s the font used for jazz sheet music. But it feels a little masculine for my taste.

Dream Orphans-tiff

This one, Dream Orphans definitely seems classy. It’s clear to read. But it still feels too formal, and it’s not nearly as feminine as my stage presence is.

Aspire-tiffDancing Script-tiff

These two, Aspire & Dancing Script are definite contenders. I love the casual script. But I still don’t LOVE them for my persona. They’re missing some sort of vintage/retro edge.

Engagement-tiff Honey Script-tiff
The last two are probably my favorites. They both have a retro feel, without being kitsch or cliche. They’re both script. I love the diamond dots on the i’s of the Engagement font. But I also love the fine structure of the Honey Script. It reminds me of a retro hotel, some place Frank Sinatra would sing.

I’m still not sure which one I’ll pick, or if I’ll end up picking something entirely different. But I just thought you might enjoy seeing what this whole process looks like.

Which one do you like?

March 6, 2013

That Old Black Magic – The Importance Of A Good Arrangement

It amazes me how very different a song can be depending on the singer and arrangement. Take these four versions of Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer’s That Old Black Magic for example:
Ella Fitzgerald:

Doris Day:
 
Sarah Vaughn:
 
Peggy Lee:
 
All four are phenomenal singers. But I think Ella does the best job in capturing the sentiment of the song. It reminds me of the excitement you feel when you’ve just fallen in love, that “burning desire.” 

Doris seems almost bored and disappointed that she’s being caught up in that old black magic. It drags on and by the time the refrain returns I am tempted to turn it off.

The horn arrangement in Sarah’s version are stellar. To have that in my arsenal would be a dream come true. But I’ve never been much of a fan of her timbre. To her credit she really seems to propel the libretto forward. I actually feel like she’s “lovin the spin she’s in.”

 
Peggy almost does it for me. A decent tempo. I love the Latin flare, but it doesn’t ever seem to take off. And ends up feel lackluster to me.

I think if I were going to record this song, I’d love to take it in the Ella direction, but nobody does it like Ella, so I’d probably end up doing something all my own. It would be up-tempo, perhaps with a touch of the Bossa Nova style, really emphasizing the syncopation. And I’d have to have those horns. One can dream right?