Singer and Actress, Joyce Lyons (AEA., SAG) has performed all over the country (Aspen and Durango in Colorado, Santa Fe, NM, Lenox, MA and Washington, DC.) and of course in the Big Apple to name a few and to much acclaim. Once described as “What Cabaret is all About!” Her cabaret shows are legendary, but it was the honor of performing for Justice Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court that still leaves her speechless. Her recently released CD, “Sooner or Later” is receiving radio airplay throughout the country and features some of New York’s finest musicians, including the stellar Lee Musiker (Musical Director and Arranger), who’s “day job” is musical director for Tony Bennett. Sooner or Later is available on iTunes or CD Baby or her website…joycelyons.net.
I met Joyce when she taught a masterclass on “Expressive Text Portrayal” for Underworld Productions last fall. She coached our American opera and musical theater pieces, and she helped us make an honest connection to our audience. I have often thought of that class. It’s not just when working on my musical theater I want to infuse all of my vocal “conversations” with that same ease and honestly. If you have a chance to see her perform, don’t miss it.
Joyce, what was the first aria you learned?
First aria or classical piece would be Vivaldi’s Domine per Gina [Crusco, voice teacher] pushing me out of my “jazz box!”
Do you attend shows that you aren’t singing in? What makes a good performance?
I always like to get out and see other performers. I can always learn something new. To me, a good or great performance is one that makes me laugh, cry, reflect or sigh! Or better yet, causes me to lose all sense of time and space.
What was your first stage experience like?
My first stage experience was 4th grade, sang “Side by Side” with my older sister. It was great, though she was wearing fishnet stockings held up with rubber bands and one of them broke…I’ll never forget it.
…Yes, I sing in the shower, all the time!
What is a technical reminder you give yourself while warming up?
The technical reminder I give myself when I am warming up…to take my time and breathe…just breathe!
I practice exercises and then attempt to always learn a new song.
And you teach voice, too?
I teach performance/lyric interpretation and I love it when working with students and they make a connection to the material. Truly making the song their own and creating a performance that soars!