Musician/actor/music teacher – all around talented fellow Curtis Labelle is back in town in a big way.
Labelle, who moved away from Red Deer several years ago, relocating to Edmonton, Toronto and New York City for various stints – is happy to back in the City and already has lots of exciting plans unfolding.
“It’s nice to be back in Alberta,” he explained during a recent chat. “As artists, we wake up with a different dream everyday,” he added with a laugh. “I wanted to take ownerships of my life, and I’ve been going through personal development courses over the last few years and changing things. So now I’ve decided that I need to focus on me, what I can do and what I can offer.”
First up, Labelle has worked with a team to develop a new company called Elevated Success Canada Transformation through the Performing Arts. “I’m also working on a new book that will be coming out in a few months called Alchemusic. Basically the premise is how music is related to the chakras – and at the same time can transform your life to be a better person.
“It also teaches and coaches about proper voice technique, how to train the trainer.” Labelle also has loads of special concerts and dates coming up in Edmonton, including the world premiere of the Kings of Vegas, which features Elvis and Liberace. “I’m working with Robin Kelly – the 2012 world champion Elvis impersonator so we are doing a huge show there.”
In the meantime, Labelle is also gearing up for an exciting event on the local front that will be open to local aspiring singers. “A lot of people ask, ‘Why have another global competition? here’s the thing. As a music coach, trainer and educator, I have always seen people of all ages given false hope,” he explained of Labelle Stage Productions Vocal Competition, which is right around the corner with auditions in Red Deer on Feb. 18th.
“I don’t believe that,” he said, adding that the entertainment/music biz is incredibly competitive in the real world.
Of course, he noted that positive reinforcement is key. “I wanted to open up a vocal competition that is similar to Idol or anything of the sort,” he said, adding that his competition will include cash prizes to those who place first, second and third.
“I want to be entertained first and foremost,” he said, referring to the high standards of what judges will be expecting at the event. “Yes, it’s a vocal competition and you will be coached along the way because it runs for four months.”
As mentioned, auditions will be held in Red Deer on Feb. 18th in the Snell Auditorium (located in the downtown branch of the Red Deer Public Library). They run between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be free for the auditions, and it’s open to all ages. All categories – all styles. I don’t care if you are 80 and you can sing and want to get out there and do it. Just be forewarned that it’s not an adjudication, it’s not a festival.
“It’s a vocal competition and the best will get it – it’s that simple. I hope to bring out all of the talent that is hiding. All those dads who are working on their cars, the moms that sing in the shower, and the people that know they have good voices but are too scared to get out there and do it. We want to help them transform their lives by giving them this opportunity to have that,” said Labelle.
The preliminaries, the semi-finals and the finals will all be streamed live on Youtube.
“The finalists and the semi-finalists – the last two rounds in April and May – they will be performing with a live band onstage at the Conference Centre in Edmonton,” he said. “I want to find that ‘Susan Boyle’,” he said, referring to the dowdy contestant on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2009 who went onto glamourous international stardom.
“I want to fill it – I just want to get the voices out there.”
For more, and to find out more about the Labelle Stage Productions Vocal find ‘Labelle Stage Productions’ on facebook.