In an advert. My voice is, anyway: one of many, fortunately, otherwise Toys R Us shoppers would stay away in droves.
You remember I joined a community choir this year, run by the wonderfully talented Ollie Mills, who composed The Tree of War? He was commissioned to do the arrangement for this year’s Toys R Us Christmas advert, and they needed a choir for the end. It just so happened that Ollie had a choir on speed dial…
We recorded our bit in St Nicholas’s Church, Burnage, where we practise (join us if you live/work in the area). We had a sound recordist, fluffy mics, screens and everything. It was great fun for ninety minutes but I wouldn’t want a career as a studio recording artist: the same lines repeated until Herr Diktator Mills was satisfied – he must have made us do each line at least three times. I don’t know how singers cope with the tedium.
Kidding! I had a blast; we all did; and Ollie is the most patient musical director I know (and I know at least three).
I’m now going to debunk a myth I have long believed: that the people who appear in adverts use their own voices (except for the obviously foreign adverts, overdubbed with British voices. Hello? Febreze? On a sunny day? I don’t think so…not in Britain, anyway; we don’t do sunshine). The choir doesn’t appear in the advert; in fact, all of the singers are actors dubbed by real singers and me. Go figure.
Talking of real singers…if you’re in the Sheffield area tonight, Alex is appearing in cabaret. Colla Voce Theatre Company (for whom he appeared as The Last Five Years’ Jamie Wallerstein) is staging a one-night-only
[E]xciting evening of contemporary musical theatre, hosted by our very own emcee, Karam Deo. Accompanied by a live band, hear audience favourites with songs from musicals such as Book of Mormon, Hamilton, and hilarious comedy writers such as Joe Iconis whose work is rarely seen in the UK. Catch some classic Jason Robert Brown, and experience the up and coming talents of Bobby Cronin. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to catch a “remarkable” theatre company performing inspiring work.
Do make it if you can; there are still a few – a very few – tickets left. Buy online here.
Oh no! I went to add the link and the show’s sold out. Hmm…maybe that should be, Oh yes!
Here’s some audio of Alex singing in concert with Matt Malone’s orchestra earlier this year. It’s a song from the original stage version of Paint Your Wagon, which didn’t appear in the movie. It’s a shame, because it’s a great tune with clever lyrics: