THE VANCOUVER COURIER WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2011
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Tony Award-winning musical at Chutzpah!
Falsettos director hits high notes He acts, he sings, he directs, he composes, he choreographs and he teaches. But until now, Peter Jorgensen has never answered the Courier’s 10 Questions. Currently directing the musical Falsettos, which runs Feb. 12 to 20 at Norman Rothstein Theatre as part of Chutzpah!, Jorgensen checked off one more box on his bucket list to discuss the secret to singing in a high voice, what stresses him out and the last time he was drunk.
1. In as brief and sexy a way possible, could you explain the premise of Falsettos?
Marvin with his lover, his ex-wife, his therapist and two lesbians from next door grasp at love and try to deﬁne their family while planning their son’s Bar Mitzvah.
Does directing a musical that has won two Tony Awards put added pressure on you not to screw it up? I’m a ﬁrm believer that content dictates form. So if the material is strong, it can sometimes direct itself. I don’t really think about the awards it’s received though.
3. When are you most happy?
Playing with my son. He’s expanded me in every way imaginable. And enjoying a peaceful moment with my wife. Life in the biz can easily become chaotic—it’s a scramble to make ends meet. I am most happy when chaos falls away... but I always look forward to returning to it again.
4. When are you most stressed?
When I’m running late! I’m sure my blood pressure goes through the roof. I hate being late for anything.
5. In what aspect of your life do you exhibit the most chutzpah?
As a producer with Patrick Street Productions. Looking back on the three shows we’ve produced and the scale at
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Multitasker Peter Jorgensen directs the Tony Award-winning musical Falsettos, which runs Feb. 12 to 20 as part of Chutzpah! photo Rebecca Blissett which we produced them I sometimes shake my head and wonder what we were thinking. But it has also been some of the most satisfying work of my career.
6. As someone who is a voice instructor,
what is the biggest obstacle for people to overcome in using their voice effectively? I LOVE teaching voice. I do it whenever I can. People develop all sorts of bad ideas of what singing is. Most of the time singing lessons involve stripping away those bad habits that usually result in unnecessary tension. Singing is a natural extension of speech... of course, people sometimes have tension in their speaking voices too... well, just come for a lesson.
7. What’s the secret to singing falsetto?
I once told a guy who couldn’t sing in falsetto to sing like a girl. That did it. I’ve also told people it feels like blowing air over a bottle to make a sound... except the bottle is in your throat. It’s about ﬁnding the language that makes sense for each student. Everyone connects differently with their voice. My
job is to articulate it in a way that makes sense to each student.
8. What do you do to relax?
I enjoy driving—it gives me a chance to listen to cast recordings. I enjoy reading but I’m usually reading material that is research for a show. It’s a blessing and a curse that my work is my play and vice versa.
9. When’s the last time you got drunk?
I’m pretty lame on that count. Last time I remember being seriously drunk would be during theatre school in New York. First semester. I was working in the tech department as well as taking classes. Put in a 50-hour workweek on top of 35 hours of classes. We cut loose when the week was done. Now I love a cold beer during the hockey game, and a good glass of wine, but I don’t like being drunk.
10. Who plays you in the movie of your life?
John Cusack (if he can sing). —Michael Kissinger
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FRESH SABLEFISH SIDEWALK SALE
February 10th - 11th
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cardiovascular health of the burly caveman amongst us. Which type of male is most at risk for various serious issues like stroke, coronary artery disease and more?
• Alive and Well:
We take a sneak peek at what’s new and exciting at this year’s Wellness Show and Fair. Plus: tasty snacks and giveways, revealed.
• Not in the ‘Script: Tips to keep in mind when using prescription medication for pain. How to decide if you or a family member is becoming dependent, and what to do about it.
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Vancouver Courier February 9 2011