2001 Bistro Award Winner for Outstanding Male Vocalist:Scott Coulter!
To achieve success in all areas, shift your consciousness to an appreciation for all you are and all that you're blessed to have.
What are you grateful for today, at this very moment?
What are you grateful for today, at this very moment?
Dr. Wayne Dyer
On March 4th, the 30th Anniversary celebration of The Bistro Awards will take place. Once again, Shellen Lubin will be directing and Sherry Eaker will be producing.
This years recipients will be announced this Friday. In anticipation of this year's awards, I thought it would be nice to look back at some past winners and once we find out who this year's honorees are, I will be doing blog features on them leading up to this year's awards.
Today, I celebrate a TWO TIME Bistro Award winner: Scott Coulter and his body of "worth"!
For his work in cabaret, Scott Coulter was awarded both the 2001 Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) Award, as well as the 2001 Bistro Award for Outstanding Male Vocalist. He received a 1997 Bistro Award for the revue Get Your Tickets Now! and his debut solo show won the 1998 MAC Award for Male Debut. Time Out New York picked Coulter’s Unexpected Songs as one of the ‘Best of 1999’.
Coulter’s self-titled debut CD won the 2003 MAC Award for Outstanding Recording and was chosen as the best recording of the year by Scott and Barbara Siegel of Theatre Mania and Jeff Rosen of Cabaret Scenes magazine. He won two 2007 Nightlife Awards including Outstanding Male Vocalist.
It is music that brought Scott into this profession and it is music that has compelled him to stay. As a kid, he sang and played the piano. He loves to tell stories through music and he loves to hear others tell stories through music. He loves the creativity surrounding that and he loves to be a part of that process.
He was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee and his mom and dad were incredibly loving supportive parents, but were not the least bit musical.
His path and journey began because his grandmother used to take him to movie musicals the Tivoli Theatre in downtown Chattanooga. He saw all the great classics like Song of the South, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, and Mary Poppins.These were classic films on the big screen. They also did live productions. He also saw classic films like All About Eve and Casablanca.
When he was thirteen, his family moved to Nashville, which is about two and a half hours from Chattanooga, where his family, beyond the immediate family, still lived. He wanted to go to school for music. He thought he wanted to be a music teacher. He always loved to sing and he always did very well, but nobody encouraged him to pursue this as a profession. He did not grow up with that support.
What was Scott's first PROFESSIONAL job? He was the youth choir director in his church all through high school.He was also paid to play the piano on Sunday mornings. His first profession THEATER gig was a production of Jesus Christ Superstar when he was in college, up in New Hampshire.
His first professional gig out of school was the world premier of Floyd Collins, by Adam Guettel (book by Tina Landau, and additional lyrics by Landau). It played The Plays and Players Theatre in Philadelphia.
Scott recently got married. However, his partner and him have been together many years.He mentioned that someone recently posted on their Facebook page, "Today, I was awakened by a fairy with wings!"
What does Scott want more than anything? Just to keep doing what he is doing! He considers himself to be incredibly fortunate and blessed. Most people in life have a "job". Very few of those people get to make a living doing what they love. The fact that he gets to do what he does and work with the people he does, he considers to be a major gift.
two songs that Scott likes to do most are the title song, The Sound of Music, which he admits, that most people may think they never want to hear, and For Good from Wicked. Those are two songs that you never think of a guy singing.
For the last eight years, Scott has had a concert booking company called Spot On Entertainment, booking acts around the country. He had two business partners, Lee Lessack and independent producer Rob O'Neil.Last summer, they decided they would better serve themselves, and the company, if they dissolved.Lee now has a concert presenting company called LML Music Presents.Spot On Entertainment is now Scott's solely. It is focused on creating shows and presenting shows. Some of the shows that were being presented by the partnership are still being promoted by Scott. He is also doing a lot of work with symphonies which is very exciting. He has also recently written the book for a new musical. That has been a terrifying, but thrilling experience for Scott. The current working title is Got To Be There. It is about the man who wrote the song Got To Be There for Michael Jackson, Elliot Willensky.
|Tony Orlando and Dawn: Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent-Wilson|
He was a nice white Jewish guy from New Jersey who wrote pop hits for some of the biggest African American artists of that generation.
Matt contacted several people asking them how they would turn it into a show. They were looking for a revue type show. When Scott met with him, he pitched a book musical with a story. They liked Scott's idea and hired him to write a treatment.
Scott is also terribly proud of PBS' Christmas Carol, which just aired. It was a symphonic concert which Scott was part of which was a thrill. He directed the original staging and program. It was filmed before a live audience using a full symphony orchestra, a choir made up of members of the Elmhurst College Choir and
As if all of this wasn't enough, he just got hired by 54 Below as one of their resident directors of programming. There are five now doing that. That is one press list I would like to be part of! Each are responsible for a program a month. Scott has already done a lot at the club in the last year through the graciousness of Phil Bond.
|Photo coutesy of Theatre Pizzazz|
When Scott and I sat down to talk last week, he had just come from meeting with a Tony winning friend of his (name withheld to avoid jinxing!). They are creating two programs for symphonies.
Scott is absolutely positively sure that he is doing EXACTLY what he should be doing at this point in his life.
Within the first couple of months after moving to New York years ago, his roommate, Jessica Hendy, who he had grown up with and went to school with and Scott rented a one bedroom apartment on 9th Avenue and 1st, went to a fortune teller downtown. The fortune teller looked at Scott's hand and said, "You are going to be very successful but it will take a very long time." Scott now feels that "very long time" is starting to take shape. He thinks back on the past years. He was a nanny for nine or ten of those years. He raised two boys down in Tribeca. He also had many other odd jobs along the way. He and Klea Blackhurst also hand out fliers at the TKTS booth.
|Tom Andersen, Scott Coulter & Tim DiPasqua Wrap SOUTHERN COMFORT at Metropolitan Courtesy: BroadwayWorld.com|
One other thing that he would like to change is the fact that he has always been dogged by the lack of a Broadway credit. He is thrilled by all that he has been able to do and accomplish without it. He has these great shows that he does all over the country getting great response and standing ovations. A Broadway credit would make things a whole lot easier. It won't make the show better, but it does in people's minds. The PBS Christmas Carol was nominated for an Emmy last year. One of the songs in the show is sung by Robert "Bob" Cratchit after Tiny Tim dies was nominated for an Emmy. That song was Scott's performance. He hopes that trumps and skips over the "Broadway thing".
Scott has also created an Elvis show for symphonies. It is four guys performing in a Jersey Boys type evening. The first act is the fifties and sixties which includes the four part harmony that Elvis did with the Jordanaires. The second act is the Las Vegas Elvis. Crowds go nuts over this show. They are screaming on their feet. That's a real thrill.
|Songwriters Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, BroadwayWorld.com|
Sometimes he will be doing the Stephen Schwartz concerts and singing Corner of the Sky from Pippin with Steven Schwartz at the piano.
He is performing this in front of audiences who have paid to be there and he will have this feeling of not believing this is happening washing over him, OR Debbie Gravitt singing Defying Gravity from Wicked (she was the first person who performed the song) OR Liz Callaway singing Meadowlark from The Baker's Wife, once again with Stephen playing at the piano and he is thinking to himself, "I would pay to be here!"
It is the same thing with Marcy and Zina. They share a lot of laughter and tears. To be able to be on this ride with them is something he wouldn't trade for anything.
I asked Scott how much he felt that he had manufactured himself in his career and how much was a product of circumstance. He loved the question because this is something he talks about in his classes in schools around the country. He said to me he knew EXACTLY why he was in the booth that we shared at The Westside Diner in NYC at the time of our interview. He can trace it back to everything that led to that moment. He moved to New York to be a musical theatre performer. He got into a national tour of Forever Plaid.
Patti LuPone was opening that night in her one woman show. They got tickets to celebrate. He knew he had it. THEN...he never heard from them! He wasn't asked to come back in...NOTHING! He doesn't know if John remembers this story, but when he left the theatre, John told him that when he came back to "lower your focus." Scott was filling the house with his voice. He told him to just "sharpen your focus." Again, he never heard from them AGAIN. It ended up becoming a turning point in Scott's life. He was now tired of waiting for someone else to give him a chance. He knew he had to be in charge of doing what he desired to do. He called a couple of friends that he had graduated with and asked if they would do a cabaret show with him. They remounted their senior showcase which was called Get Your Tickets Now.
Roy Sander came in to see the show and they ended up receiving a Bistro Award. At that year's Bistro Awards, Scott got to perform for the first time for many members of the cabaret community. Although Get Your Tickets Please was a four person cast, the two girls were out of town, so it ended up just being Scott and the musical director. As a result of that night, he was encouraged to do his own show. He also met Marcy and Zina at that Bistro Awards show. Marcy said to Scott that she was going to steal him away. They took him to the Berkshire Theatre Festival for a concert version of Dear Edwina.
|Johnny Rodgers, Scott Coulter, Lee Lessack, Brian Wilson|
The biggest change that Scott has seen since he first got into this business is easy accessibility. He can't begin to tell you how many emails he gets each day. He doesn't consider this a bad thing but he gets emails all the time saying, "Please consider me." In addition to his own shows that he books, Scott also does Scott Siegel's events at Town hall.
|Zina Goldrich, Scott Coulter and Marcy Heisler|
If Scott Coulter could change one thing about himself it is that he could get thinner effortlessly! We ALL want that! He used to think that he would have a full head of hair, but he has let go of that!
As Scott and I were laughing over his comments, lo and behold, Marcy Heisler stopped by our table!
I asked her what her thoughts are on Scott Coulter. She said, as a lyricist, there are not enough words in the American musical theatre cannon or dictionary to describe Scott Coulter and his amazing contributions to life as both a person and as a writer and a director and a visionary.
|Jill Abramovitz, Clinton Kelly, Scott Coulter and Marcy Heisler|
I asked her the same thing I asked Scott. If she could change ONE thing about Scott, what would it be? She would change the fact that he lives so far away from the Village so she could have him near her at all times. She would also have him have at least five more hours each day to work on her harmonies.
One other thing that Scott would work on is his short fuse. He admits that he is quick to anger. He is aware of that and is trying to work on that.
If Scott could change one thing about cabaret, he looks at both sides of the coin as far as the world of cabaret is concerned.
|Jim Caruso, Gianni Valenti, Margo Siebert, Karen Mason, Jill Abramovitz and Scott Coulter|
I believe if anyone has the tenacity and the fortitude to change things, it is Scott Coulter. I am anxious to see what 2015 brings!
I hope to see you on the Red Carpet at This Year's Bistro Awards!
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Thank to ALL mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
With grateful XOXOXs ,
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Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com
|Scott Siegel and Scott Coulter|