Jessica Marciel visits Joey Ciccone Show

Jessica Marciel and Joey Ciccone enjoyed a rockin’ hour on Friday, April 8th. From her inside-track to a recording deal at 12 years old.

And on through her singing and stage career, onto launching singing training business, LasVegasVocalTraining.

Friday, April 8th – Show Guest, Jessica Marciel – The Joey Ciccone Show

Beware The Understudy!

Sutton_FosterCarol Burnett was just the understudy for the Broadway show ‘Once Upon a Mattress’,  Bet you can’t even name who the star was, she stole the role from?  Carol Haney!! A wonderful actress,  however, Carol got the job and s lifetime career.
Barbra Streisand  was an understudy also in ‘Funny Girl’

All I am saying is, Go to your GIG!!!  When I was called to Sub for a singer, who  I didn’t know, at Bally’s Hotel, They fired her and hired me.  I had no idea, what or when they told her anything? I was glad to get a steady job  because I had a toddler at home.

Later in life, I was called to sub again.. by a pianist I had never heard of, at Cafe Michelle, a busy local café and piano bar.

Well, guess what!? The owners told the pianist, Ken, to hire me. I had NO idea that a young very good singer would lose her job.

It isn’t always  that you are better, or prettier. Frequently, it just comes down to , who they like for the room, your way with the crowd, and the amount of songs you bring to the table.

Don’t let the Understudy get your gig. Go To Work! You can sing through that cold, or worse.  Take it from me, The gig stealer. I felt awful and thank goodness; both singers are my friends!!!!

‘For you Baseball fans: Don’t get Wally Pipped!’


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Grammy Time 56th year!

Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars

Jay Z and Beyonce, minus her extensions, chair dancing . At first I thought it was a rerun of Flashdance. Drunken Love,  a duet with hubby Jay Z,

L L Cool J is someone I like, as an actor, so I was glad to see him as the emcee.   The best award was for best new artist.  The winner:  Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.  A lot of firsts tonight.   This was a band, without a record label.  So Bravo!  Record labels take note,, you are losing money.

The next award was song Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams  ‘Get Lucky’, winning over Blurred lines!!!!! REALLY???  Well, ok, next, Katy Perry performed. This was a big production! For her, it was dark, in color and mood. Like a black and white film with a splash of red.  This was really different from anything we have seen or heard from her.

Now I am excited… Chicago and Robin Thicke!  They started with a medley from Chicago, then went into Robins Blurred lines. Odd couple I might say. Robin just sings with too many riffs.  To sing Chicago, he needs to tone it down, Please.

Then his song worked because Chicago could do it well.

John Legend always makes me smile, and his performance was lovely. To me, this is music. I loved it to say the least.

The next award for best Rock song; Cut Me Some Slack,, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl.

  It also seems Taylor swift has been studying voice. She hit her mark and had control, glad to say. She tossed her hair as if it were salad dressing,, and I bet she has a neck brace on tomorrow.

Pink was up there on the wires, and I do believe she sings live while doing it,, I just think she would  fake it.  The dancing after she came down was amazing!   She was great!  song; Give me a Reason, love the song. She got the first Standing O.

Best pop solo performance:  Lorde???    well,   kind of funny, since she isnt a performer yet! She won Over Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Sara Barielles and Justin timberlake, ????????? Time for an aspirin.

Ringo then performed . The Beatles had received a Lifetime Achievement award the previous day. Olivia Harrison, Yoko Ono and Ringo attended, because Paul had to rehearse.  To accept this honor was… cough   Yoko Ono, with very long speech.

Now, she was with John right before the Beatles split up.  She was a John Lennon wife not a Beatles wife, so why they let her ramble, I do not know! It is said, Ringo, was on his cell phone when she spoke…..

The best thing about the Grammys is Music Cares,  This Grammy Org, changes peoples lives. If you make or made your living in Music, even in little towns,  you don’t have to be famous, you just have to need help.  They have helped 3 of my friends when they were ill, and one dying.   That is the best Grammy, The MusiCares org, and if you are in trouble, they can and will help you. If you give to PBS or other political orgs, spare a dollar or twenty for MusiCares, after all, one day, the one in trouble may be YOU.

Julia Roberts  told us about the 50 year anniversary tribute about the Beatles, 2-hour special, to be aired at the same time as the original Ed Sullivan show airing. This is February 9th.  Than Paul and Ringo played together.

Pop Vocal Album:  Bruno Mars  Unorthadox Jukebox      Yeah 

Stevie  Wonder and Daft Punk,,,WHY??  I am a little sad,,, now, This is painful.  I think I must sign off, and good Grammy watching for the rest of the ,,,,,,,,show..

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Grammys Double Up

lordeTonight’s Grammys, will be doing something they have been doing for 14 years,  They will continue  to pair artists up. Remember when Stevie Nicks was forced to sing with Taylor Swift!  Yhis evening there will be more duets that are very strange.  The very talented Sara Bareilles will team with Carole King!   

Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder,  Robin Thicke and Chicago. Madonna and Macklemore, ??????? When asked about her duet, Madonna was asked if she  liked the idea or would have liked to perform alone, the long pause  told me everything….

Ok,, I’m sure with the talented Pink, and Bruno Mars, and Lorde on the bill, I will enjoy most of the night. It just seems like cosmetic collaborations. I prefer they celebrate  the music today, and yesterday , and let them play alone. Even the Superbowl, halftime show , Bruno Mars has to share the stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers! Bruno is good enough and shouldn’t have to share the moment.

The best Super Bowl collaboration, for me, was Santana and Rob Thomas in Supernatural.  That started it all!!  It was great and won 9 Grammys, but I think enough is enough. That was 1999.

Since I am blogging during the Red Carpet, I will give you some Trivia about some Actors who were on Music video’s before they made it big.

Jeremy Renner:  arrested a singing Pink in her video ‘Trouble’  Adrian Grenier was in Britanny Spears ‘U Drive me Crazy’ J-lo was an extra in Janet Jacksons ‘Thats the way love is’  Hugh Laurie was in Annie Lennox, ‘Walkin on Broken Glass’  Wesley Snipes, Micheal Jackson ‘Bad’  Matt LeBlanc in Alannis Morissett’s ‘Walk Away’ 

Angelina Jolie was in a Stones Video, ‘Baby’   Mila Kunis  was in Aeorosmith’s, ‘Jaded’  Salma Hayek was in Z Z Top’s, ‘She Just Kills me”   and we all know Courtney Cox started in Springstings Video. Even Nicole Kidman was in a pop 80’s video in Australia before becoming a film Star in a scarey movie ‘Dead Calm’  with Sam Neill.

I think many songs and artists deserve to win, Katy Perrys ‘Roar’ and Lordes ‘Royals’ Sara Bareilles is just fantastic!  Pink shines everytime she performs.  Justin Timberlake, and Bruno Mars deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, they consistantly give us great music.

I suppose the music industry has changed so much, with Labels not singing people, and independant artists doing their own thing.  Those days of true Glory for me are gone.  It seems that winning a  Grammy just doesn’t have the power and honor it had before. It used to be such a huge deal,,, but when you are up against these young, just not deserving artists, it takes the lavish, glamour away for me.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Reality Competition Shows – Just say no!

the-voice-logo-200I no longer suggest to my students that they go to  auditions for singing or general-talent competition/reality shows. I have seen too many people, get through early and then, and not be seen on TV, as promised?

Some have been on, and knocked off. Others were given performance contracts to appear on TV, and never were contacted, again. Not even a courtesy phone call from the show producers. Just silence. Over time, I have developed a skeptical view on how truly real these shows are.

I was watching The Voice because I enjoy  the format.  The talent somewhat inconsistent. Some deserve to be heard, and others… well, not so  much.  I don’t understand how they got on. Oh, ok…  just like it often is, they knew someone.

Then, the audience takes over judging, and that is a huge mistake. It becomes a popularity contest, not a singing competition, judged by professionals.

Look who won last year…  exactly, you can’t remember, either, can you? Well, I do remember, and she was young and country and NOT ready for Prime Time.

Have we heard anything from winners of The VoiceAmerican Idol, has produced many recording stars. The Voice is highest rated and has produced no one.

I like the format of The Voice. Contestants can be voted off from their coach and another coach can steal them, putting the contestant back in the mix, for another chance. Love That idea!  Brilliant!

Many of this year’s crop of singers are just so-so, and I just don’t see the big deal. I see judges get overly excited and I wonder, do they really need the money from judging, that badly?

Do these singers sound better in person?

I can count on one hand, the singers, this year, that are good. Not great, but good.  So, as I said, “This was the last year, for me.” I was getting any excitement about the season.  One of my students asked me about the show and if they should audition. I was honest, and said, “I wouldn’t invest your time in it, if I were you.” I explain the previous experiences I’ve observed and I simply don’t advise taking that path… PERIOD.

American idolThe whole reality show thing has run its course for me. I never really liked it and it didn’t grow on me. When my student, Scarlet, was on American Idol, it was exciting, until she texted me. She was allowed only two hours sleep, and was made to do a dance and learn a song in an hour. This was pure sleep deprivation for ALL the contestants, bordering on torture.

By the end of that stretch, Scarlet just wanted to get out of there!.  Then I saw another contestant pass out and fall off the stage. I am certain it was all  staged; nothing was real.

If you have talent, define it; be the best you can. sing with a live band, get plenty of experience, work clubs and pay your dues.

There are rarely overnight success or lottery ticket winners. From reality competition shows, only a scant few of the winners establish sustained, successful careers.

“Earn it your success with hard work. You are far more likely to hit the jackpot.”

That’s my take…

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Michael Bublé with Ease!

Michael Bublé is consistent.  This man could sing while juggling and playing hop scotch. In this video of  him singing Home’, you can feel his ease and his natural ability to connect with his audience. He draws you in, with home-style comfort, as if in his living room.

His television specials are solid. He always has an interesting guest artist; someone interesting and different from himself.  He makes eye-contact with an audience member, smiles, yet never loses his way in the lyric or emotion of the song.

There are just a handful of singers as pure as this, when you are in their presence. It makes you feel a part of the show, and you can’t wait to see them again… like visiting a friend.

When I worked with Bobby Vinton he had loyal fans  who followed him everywhere!  I never knew how anyone could afford to do that!  They attended shows in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, New York, and had expensive front row seats, to boot!  I would bet anything that Bublé has these kind of loyal fans too.  Only a warm and sincere performer has that kind of attraction. People know when you are not comfortable up there, and it is contagious.

If you get a chance  to see him, get there! It’s a feel-good show, and he is never out of sorts. I have seen just a few of performers with this type of mindset, disposition, and entertainment value. Natalie Cole is one, Sammy Davis Jr. was another.

“Going out to hear live music has its health benefits. It keeps you happy, smiling and younger!”

Jessica Marciel

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

Cory Monteith: And then he was gone

cory-monteithGlee burst onto the TV scene in the fall of 2009 on FOX. It immediately had an impact, musically and thematically through its ensemble cast of varied and talented characters.

A sure measure of success was its destination-status for guest star appearances, from Idina Menzel, Neil Patrick Harris, and Kristin Chenoweth and beyond.

This week, fans of Glee were shocked with the sudden passing of Cory Monteith, one of its main characters. The youthful-looking Monteith, played the character of Finn Hudson, and was the real-life boyfriend of Lea Michele.

Recently, he had success battling the demons of his drug addiction. But as can often be the case, he relapsed, and this time, lost his life.

With the ubiquitous nature of media, we feel a strong connection to our favorite celebrities: Actors, actresses, singers, personalities, athletes, and other media stars. Enjoying the real-life love of Michelle and Monteith is a storybook kind of relationship.

And then, from one day to the next, his life is over at 31. No warning, no reason… not one that will do.

Monteith will leave his performances on 81 episodes of Glee and countless other TV and movie appearances. For Lea Michele, his castmates, friends, and family members, it will never be enough.

More than three years ago, I wrote a post about Glee, with great enthusiasm for its cast, guests, and exciting impact on musical theater in schools and on TV. The new fall season of Glee will be delayed, as adjustments are made for the loss of Monteith. It will continue, but it will also be changed, sadly.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

National Anthem trashed by Miami Heat’s 12-year old ‘good luck charm’

JD-singerJulia Dale, Julia Dale, JULIA DALE  just ruined the National Anthem!.   This 12-year old may be a good-luck charm for the Miami Heat,  but let’s not confuse this with talent.

This girl, took breaths between syllables, several times. I was sick to my stomach on behalf of great singers, everywhere. This amateur was invited to sing the National Anthem in front of an American audience and viewers around the world…. and invited back, no-less.

“I have heard great and I have heard bad, but never this bad.”

How is it she was ever invited to sing the Star Spangled Banner in the first place, to ultimately, become the Miami Heat good luck charm?  The public’s taste for mediocrity appalls me. I am tired of bad music on radio and equally bad singers auto-tuning their way to stardom.

It is time to get back to real singing. Just because a girl is pretty, or sexy, or a guitar player is sexy, I don’t understand why people buy their crappy songs and lousy singing.

Good thing for me, I had a singing career, and it was a good one. In those days, you had to sing. You couldn’t just ‘get by’ or  fake it.

I did get fired once for not ‘playing around’ with a food and beverage manager. The girl who replaced me, was named Brandy Alexander. Seriously  like the drink. But at least she wasnt terrible!. She was ok, but she had looser morals than me.

miami heat basketballSo, Julia, if you are going to do this again… extending your 15 minutes of fame. TAKE some friggin’ singing lessons! Oh, and do some cardio.

FYI: The Heat won Game 6 of the NBA finals in overtime, 103-100. Their record with Julia singing the Anthem is 19-2. Apparently sports superstition, not talent, rules the court.

Thursday night’s Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs will decide the NBA championship. It is being held at the American Airlines in Miami. Save as all from another reprise from Julia Dale.

I am officially a Spurs fan.

Jessica Marciel
Las Vegas Vocal Training

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