MAGIC STOLE MY VOICE - thoughts from Bo / by Bo Gerard

Well, it wasn’t actually the art of Magic - but more the delivery of the art that did it.  Let me explain.

40 years ago, I was singing in progressive rock bands.  Then I was a singer/dancer, doing musical theater in New York City.  Once I transitioned into the world of magic, my first trick (Ladies and Gentlemen) was to make my voice go POOF!

In the early 80’s my magic career took off, and though I was gaining bookings and income, I was losing something dear to me - MY SINGING VOICE.  I didn’t lose all of it, but enough to cut my vocal range in half.  And it was a direct result of all the corporate strolling gigs I was doing, in ballrooms filled with the now ubiquitous deafeningly loud music.

The work was so steady (and lucrative) that I Iet my voice take the hit.  I would often come home from these gigs with almost no speaking voice.  Now, I have to admit that some of the damage was due to my relentless energy as a performer, both physical and vocal.  I simply don’t know how to give less than 100% when I am performing.  I would even damage my voice during stage shows, since I regularly performed without the aid of an onstage monitor.  I couldn’t hear how loud my own voice was in these large hotel ballrooms.

So, I had pretty much written off my singing voice by the end of the 90’s.  But, one day things started to change.  Gretchen and I have been writing and performing theatrical shows for school and family audiences since the day we met, but in the early 2000’s we wrote and performed a show that required me to sing a few lines.  Some mornings, after an evening strolling gig, my voice was so strained I could hardly sing the notes.

So, I vowed to make a change in the way I used my voice at gigs.  If the music was over a certain volume at the gig, I would simply revert back to the days where I performed magic as a mime, only no white face this time.  It worked great and my voice recovered enough so I could get through the years we performed that particular show.  I also added a monitor to my sound set up for stage shows.  More set up, but definitely worth it.

The payoff is that in my vocal range has been returning to its former glory.  Gretchen and I have put original songs into all of our shows since 2012.  It is so great to be singing again!!!  I will now regale you with my rendition of Devo's smash 80's hit, "Whip it"!