Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Ode to Chris Tilley

This donation from Chris came in an interesting form. I met Chris when I was performing in Spitfire Grill 3 in Roanoke, VA. Chris was our music director and he and I got along very well. I respected his abilities (and remember, I’ve done this show so many times, I’ve got opinions about how it should be done!) and I think he liked me, and so that’s always a good place to start to get me to like you! Be talented and like me. ☺

From time to time, I have needed transcriptions for auditions here in NYC. We musical theatre actors are constantly looking for audition songs, and sometimes we find something great, but it’s hard to get your hands on the music, or sheet music doesn’t exist, or what does exist is chicken scratches and illegible, or worse: it sounds awful on the piano.

Insert my first request: Madonna’s “Open Your Heart” in a piano version that didn’t sound tinny and empty. I asked Chris for his help, and he came back in less than 24 hours with not one, not two, but THREE versions of the song to be played on piano. I have a surplus of Madonna that I can sing at any audition, and can change the tone of the song as I need to: ballad, jazzy, rock. Amazing.

Then my second request: The Facebook Song by Kate Miller-Heideke, which The DBF actually discovered some way on YouTube. After one listen I KNEW I had to have it in my book for auditions. So I shot off an email to Chris, that there was no real hurry, just wanted to add it to my repertoire. And again, within what seemed like hours, the full song was back in my hands, beautiful transcribed.

So I owed Chris, big time. And he wanted to donate to the marathon. And in lieu of being paid, he asked if I would use the money to donate towards my fundraising goals. And I happily obliged!

Chris is a true gem of a guy. Interesting, talented, quirky and insightful. I think he has so much of life in front of him and I am always curious where he ends up and what he will be doing next. Hopefully we will work together in person very soon, not just via email and PDFs. ☺

So thank you Chris, not only for your generous donations, but for making me look so good in auditions!

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