This week’s TDQ Q&A is with voice coach Gary Catona. Gary spoke to us about his eclectic list of clients, how he became a voice coach and how you can build your ultimate voice. Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with voice coach Gary Catona:
The Daily Quarterly: Who was your favorite singer growing up and why?
Gary Catona: My favorite singer and inspiration was Mario Lanza – the Andrea Bocelli of his day. From my own city Philadelphia, Lanza captivated me with the beauty, energy, and emotion of his voice – still, in my view, the greatest voice America has ever produced and in the top 5 of all time.
TDQ: How did you start your career as a voice coach?
GC: I became frustrated with the traditional voice teaching approaches and ended up formulating my own system of voice building and realized the revolutionary nature of my system and decided to teach it to the world.
TDQ: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
GC: Be honest with your self.
TDQ: What is the worst advice you have ever gotten?
GC: Go for the money.
TDQ: Who are your influences?
GC: Enrico Caruso, Friedrich Nietzsche, Muhammad Ali, Shirley MacLaine, Leonardo Da Vinci and many other mentors along the way.
TDQ: Besides singers like Whitney Houston and Steven Tyler, you’ve also worked with boxer Muhammad Ali. What were the different challenges working with someone like that who isn’t a singer? What did you teach him?
GC: Ali had a good musical ear so he was able to follow my instruction well. I built back a large percentage of his speaking voice, which was becoming very weak. We worked and traveled together – a monumental episode of my life. There are no real challenges with working with non singers – even pitch issues are not a big deal.
TDQ: Besides talking too much or singing too loudly, what are common everyday things most people do that they wouldn’t think could damage their voice?
GC: Talking too much on cell phones while driving or in a loud environment. This causes the person to “compete” – mostly unconsciously – with ambient noise, which could, over time, be harmful.
TDQ: Have you ever encountered a client whose voice is just too far gone, or can anybody’s voice be saved or repaired with the proper therapy and work?
GC: I have had some voice cases which were too neurologically damaged to help.
TDQ: Tell us about the Ultimate Voice Builder DVD and why people should grab a copy?
GC: Getting the UVB DVD is like having a great cookbook from a famous chef – follow the directions and the results will be excellent. This product is for anyone who would like a much stronger, more attractive singing or speaking voice with increased richness and range. Who doesn’t want that?!