Thursday, November 29, 2012

True grit....and beautiful to boot!

"All I ever intended was to make a living at what I do. 
Everything I've achieved since then has been above and beyond." -Shania Twain

Earlier this year I read her very honest and poignant memoir, "From This Moment On", (2011). Like many, until reading this book I thought Shania was just a pretty performer whose management team had publicized her past childhood struggles to help promote her as a country singer/songwriter. I was wrong. I think her book is a must read for anyone pursuing or wanting to pursue a career as a performer or songwriter.  First, because she shows you by example that anyone can rise far above their past and troubled childhoods. Second, because she gives you an inside look into the life of an international touring's a lot of work, exciting, but a huge undertaking. In her case it burned her and her voice out for years afterwards. There is good news though.....
She is back!....Shania Twain starts her two year musical residency here in Las Vegas this Saturday, 12-01-12, at Caesars Palace. Can't wait to see her show! I actually owe her a thank you...

It is inadvertently due to Shania Twain that I had one of my first memorable moments working in entertainment. It was on stage at the MGM Grand Arena, for "Vh1 Divas", about ten years ago. For the final dress rehearsal, just before the show, all the "Divas" were gathered for a medley of Stevie Wonder hits with the man himself.  Everyone was there, Queen Latifah, Ashanti, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Jewel....and me. "Me" was supposed to be Shania Twain but her helicopter  landing was delayed. So, I sang her part in the medley which was a shortened version of "Superstition" sung as a duo with Stevie Wonder.  This was the first time I was asked to sing as a stand in. I remember coming out on stage just after Queen Latifah did her bit and my heart was pounding in my ears! I waited....sang the first few words with Stevie, and heard nothing. I looked to my right for some sign from him but of course didn't get anything as he was playing keyboard and doing his thing. Then my voice came back to me, amplified over a sound system beyond anything I'd ever heard I just kept singing and tried not to let it throw me off. Now I am used to that sound delay but I wasn't then. In any case, Shania arrived in time for the show and I did then as I have many times since, I handed her the microphone.

So, thanks Shania, for giving this Hollywood Underdog my first chance to perform with a legend, and for having the courage to share your very personal and private life story in your book. Welcome back to the stage....we missed you!

Shania Twain, "Still The One", Starts 12-01-12
The Coliseum, Ceasars Palace 

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