Welcome to the latest phase!

I've been blogging for several years at http://www.lauraainsworth.com/, and it's great to be entering a new realm. But you'll still find tons of archive posts on plastic surgery, Botox, diet books and other hilariously depressing topics at the original site under "Laura's Diary," along with pics, videos from my shows, sound clips and more. Go over there and poke around!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Botox Avoidance and Singing Advice for Susan Boyle

Yes, I know it's been months since I posted anything! I apologize for letting this drop, but I've been very busy with other things, including performing, recording, writing, moving, trying to sell a house in a terrible real estate market, recuperating from hand surgery and pneumonia, and starting a new "day job" with a new national show for ABC Radio Network, which is going very well. In addition, my computer conked out and had to be replaced, while my husband Pat, who is the webmaster and posts all this stuff, was too busy to help (he also was working on the ABC show, in addition to writing a third daily radio prep service for awhile for USA News Network). Something had to give, and blogging was what gave. But things are actually settling down a little, at least enough to sneak in the occasional post. I'll try to do more, when I have time.

Today, two things: Interesting quote about Botox and plastic surgery from Mary Louise Parker in the new More magazine:

"Somebody told me that they'd read that I had all this work done and showed me a picture, and it was totally airbrushed...It made me so mad. I don't like what that says to other women. I'm 44, and I look OK for 44. I'm not trying to look 34."

Of course, in Hollywood, looking 34 could be the kiss of death for an actress. Heck, looking 24 is the kiss of death for a model. But she makes a good point: don't believe any photos you see in fashion or celebrity magazines. These days, a good PhotoShop artist can not only make anyone look like a movie star, they can make it appear that you're sitting in Abe Lincoln's lap, and for good measure, erase Lincoln's unsightly mole.

And here's a little something I wrote for our radio service, the Comedy Wire. I really love Susan Boyle and her whole story, but it was annoying to me that these TV singing contests keep getting judges who seem to know nothing about singing (David Hasselhoff is going to judge someone's singing? Really?) and never say anything remotely useful. So after Susan made her second appearance on "Britain's Got Talent," singing "Memory" from "Cats," I decided that if nobody else was going to say anything constructive, I would. So here it is:

When a voice breaks the way Susan's did at the very beginning, it's often because the pitch is in the singer's passaggio, or transition area. (A passaggio is sort of like a car shifting gears.) Different singers have different passaggios; for instance, one of mine is around C#-D above concert A.

Singing through it requires breath and volume control. Susan's song was probably pitched so it would be in her "glory spot" for the end; unfortunately, that gave her a more difficult note to start on. My guess is that she had a little stage fright - how could she not? - which caused her first breath to be too shallow. It's challenging to control volume on a first note, too, because you haven't heard yourself yet. She probably tried to sing that note at a higher volume than her breath could support. Result:CRACK!

Susan seemed to sense the problem; did you notice that she touched her diaphragm? Very soon, everything evened out and she sounded wonderful.


Okay, that's it, and I promise it won't be so long before I post again.


Cid said...

Online social media simply loves Susan. Internet fans are growing.


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Sha | Breast Reduction in Costa Rica said...

Yes magazines today are obviously photoshopped. The skin colors and textures are obviously photoshopped. How can it be wrong to look like 44 years old when you're actually 44 years old? The society has dictated us all of these age issues and I admire Mary Louise Parker for not trying to look like 34. :)