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Steve A
Lives in Norwich, CT
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Steve A

commented on a video on YouTube.
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I was a professional musician and a Broadway actor/singer. As for Autotune, my feelings are pretty simple. If a person is WAY off a note (sharp or flat) there isn't a thing in the world Autotune can do for them...a.k.a., please just continue to sing in the shower and in the car.

If someone just occasionally goes off a little, that's called real life. You said we wouldn't have any music if we got rid of everything recorded prior to 2000. I agree and disagree. I agree because Autotune became big in the industry about that time so you are right there. How about music before 2000? Well, it still had the quality of anything that has been run through Autotune the difference is that then it cost 10 times more to make because to get those "right notes all the time" never happened any more than it does now. The difference is that without Autotune you would have to re-record something over and over and over...and over.  I recorded 2 Broadway cast albums (CDs); 1 without Autotune and 1 with. They both sounded great in the end. The big difference is that the one recorded using Autotune cost the producers 1/3 the cost to make. Studio recording time is VERY expensive. With Autotune you will probably get the take (good recording sound) in one or two takes. Without Autotune you may lose count as to the number of takes it gets for someone to hit every notr perfectly in one recording. The difference to the audience is non-existent. The difference to the producers is thousands of dollars of studio time.

Again, if  a person can't come close to a note Autotune WILL NOT correct that. It makes minor corrections. It can do special effects to a voice but guess what, if the voice is still too far off than all Autotune will do is apply a special effect to something that STILL sounds out of tune.

The biggest problem with Autotune and the public is that the public seems to think it is magic. The simple fact is; if a person can't sing Autotune won't help. On Broadway we do/did 8 shows a week (6 nights and 2 matinees). You go into a studio after using your voice that much and try to sing something perfectly the first time...ain't gonna happen.  Not to burst any bubbles but you'd be surprised the Broadway shows you might have seen that are using Autotune LIVE.  Yes, it can correct a minor flaw in pitch in "real time" (as it is sung) and I'll bet you never even knew it.  So as far as Autotune goes, it's just another tool of the industry.  Have you ever seen that big board with all the dials and knobs in the movies or TV of a recording studio? It's called a mixing board. Know what it does?  Every instrument must hit their notes perfectly but what if the flutes aren't loud enough. You don't re-record the flute players (floutists) and tell them to blow harder into the flute to make it sound louder. You go to the mixing board and through the miracle of modern science you push a level (called creatively enough...volume) and you MAKE the flutes louder. It didn't sound like that when it was recorded but no one since these boards were introduced in the 30s has ever written an article about how bad the flute player was because the flute wasn't played loud enough. It's always just been accepted as part of the production process, you tweak one instrument here, another there.  Autotune does nothing more than the same tweaking for the human voice. In the end, it's the same thing. Enjoy your music...
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Steve A

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While there's no denying that Sam and anyone he sings with are amazing I don't think Kurt gets nearly the recognition and credit he should. Watching his videos since the start he is an amazing musician, arranger, producer and a vocal talent himself.  And I have to say that this video actually gave me goosebumps especially during some of the vocal harmonies.  These are the times I wish YouTube still had the old rating system of stars because it would be interesting to see if anyone else could get even close Kurt and Sam. Talented on their own but explosive when you put them together!!
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Steve A

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I'm sorry you have joined the "club". Your symptoms at the time of this video put you in the intermediate stage. I've been in the final/advanced stage for 17 years.  You mentioned that you are feeling confused. That's because at least half of the information you seem to have been given is at least 30 years out of date. Meclizine for example was proven to be ineffective OVER 30 years ago. To put ANYTHING vibrating anywhere near your ear is possibly one of the worst things you can do. Crystals form in the fluid of the labyrinth canals (which is one of the things that sends those mixed signals that make you feel like you or the room is moving. One cause of dizziness is that when those crystalline structures (that shouldn't be in the fluid at all) brush again the villi in the canals, they cause the condition to get worse and can make an attack last much longer. Vibrating those crystals is the worst possible thing you can do to them. The faster those crystals vibrate the more times they will come in contact with the villi in the labyrinth canals that should give you your sense of balance but don't with Meniere's disease so you are making the condition much worse than it has to be.

You need to be seen by a board certified Meniere's specialist and not an ENT for this condition.  The fact that you were prescribed Meclizine (a.k.a., Antivert) says that even if the person who did the diagnosis is board certified their knowledge is WAY out of date and you need another doctor.

As for naturalistic/holistic treatments like pressure points; that a dangerous thing to talk about with people only because just saying the "point is somewhere around here" can be giving someone completely incorrect information.  A pressure point is around the area you pointed to however if you are 1/4 inch off it can make the condition worse and there is another pressure point close to it so a person may press the wrong one.

You need better information.  You may not feel it but from the symptoms you are only at the end of the first of 3 stages of this illness. With most Meniere's patients by the time you are even just half way through the intermediate stage the warning that an attack is coming happens WHILE you are heading face first toward the floor. The medical term for a Meniere's attack is a "drop attack" (named because when you get them that is exactly what happens...you have no warning and you drop (whichever way your weight is leaning that is the direction you will go down).

From everything you described you are feeling the EARLY symptoms of Meniere's. You might be around the middle of the early stages but you wouldn't be able to make a video if you were even in the intermediate stages.  I'm not sayingthat to scare you in any way, only to point out that again much of the info you were given is literally 30 years out of date.  The protocol (method) for handling a Meniere's attack along with the medication regime are about 50% different than what you are describing.  If you go to the American Medical Association (or for anyone in another country, its equivalent, and search for Meniere's specialists you can  find a listing of board certified specialists).  Here in the US there are only approximately 130 fully certified specialists.  A true case of Meniere's is a rare.  It is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses of the ear. A family doctor and even an ear, nose and throat doctor have neither the training nor the equipment to do a proper diagnosis and you CANNOT tell by looking at someone, listing symptoms or prescribing an antibiotic.

I suffer an average of 3 to 4 full drop attacks. During an full on drop attack, after you literally drop, with the exception of the ability to blink and see (though slightly blurred) you are fully conscious. After 17 years (and I had the 5 surgeries that can be performed for this illness - all ineffective) my attacks last anywhre from a few minutes (again, unable to move, speak - not even a grunt or groan though you can still feel everything including the pain of the fall/drop) to the longest attack I had which lasted 7 days.)  It's not just like, it is being paralyzed until the attack subsides.  There's even more to the attack than that but I outlined those things to let you know what is ahead. There is no medicinal cure for Meniere's. In the later stages there are possible surgical ones though they carry no guarantee either.

But there are things you can still do in both the beginning and intermediate stages that will  hold off the advanced stage for years and your doctor should have gone over these with you.  Again, from the 30 year old treatment you described whoever diagnosed you and gave you that routine needs to get their knowledge up to date.

I used to have a web site with current info, treatments, etc. but had to take it down because of the amount of email it generated and looking at a computer screen for more than a half hour is one of the many things that can trigger an attack in the advanced stages.  The information on it was designed to point people in the right direction. I had to take it down due to the amount of email I received (abut 20 a day, 7 days a week and it got to be too much.  But I see more and more of these YouTube videos of people who are not only suffering because they were given wrong or outdated info but are passing it on which can then cause others to progress faster. Probably time to put the web site back up so people have the current and most recent courses of treatment.
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Steve A

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I can't imagine the amount of work that went into this but PLEASE keep this series going; it's now in my top 3 favorites on YouTube. Like most people in my demographic, I have a tendency to get what I feel is the most accurate news from sources like Bill Maher and The Daily Show. Amazing how much material the government provides that doesn't even have to be edited to be funny.

I have to say that your show was right at the level of any of these shows. Interesting and relevant stories, the right amount of humor, good pacing, good simple set design. I tend to like all the things on your channel but this is by far my favorite; and as I wrote before, one of my top 3 favorites though I want to amend that...not just on YouTube, but anywhere.  Also, you have a great presentation style. Moves along but not so fast that I don't remember what you just said. Fantastically well done. 
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Steve A

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Hey Suphealthy, something to remember is that while everyone wants to lose 10 pounds a week, that shouldn't be the goal.  We all lose weight at different rates depending on diet, exercise and that horrible thing called genetics.

According to the World Health Organization, the average amount of weight  loss per week should actually only average 2 lbs.  Yes, only 2 lbs.  While it will take you longer to get to your goal weight that is a realistic average.  Some people are fooled when they lose that 10 lbs. the first and maybe even the second week but what they don't realize is that it is usually mostly water weight (you'd be amazed how much fluid your body can hold onto that it doesn't need). By all means DON'T stop drinking enough fluid. How much should you have? That all depends on age, gender, current weight, amount of exercise you do and MANY other factors. While everyone seems not to want to hear it, you should see your doctor before starting and exercise program or making any major change to your diet. Thinking that eating better is the cure-all is also misunderstood.

What is healthy for someone may not be for another. Person A might need more vitamin D than person B. Your doctor can do simple blood work to determine all these things. No probing, promise.  Also, that quick blood work and check up before changing your life style makes sure you aren't actually harming yourself...yes, you can do more than get shin-splints.  It doesn't matter how healthy you feel otherwise; that's a game everyone plays with themselves (Oh no, I'm fine.)  The time you should have had that checkup with your doctor is now when you are brought into the emergency room.  Is that statement to scare you...yes and no. You should panic but you should be safe.

While this isn't the end-all question, ask yourself what your vitamin D3 level is. NOT do you take a vitamin D supplement, many people do.  Do you take enough, too much or do you need it at all?  Most  (US) insurance companies pay for part or all blood work ordered by a doctor to check vitamin levels and whatever else is needed to get you on a "good" path.

The #suphealthy  movement is a fantastic idea. Statistically speaking, the most successful exercise/diet programs are the ones where you can have a support group and this is about the most supportive group there is.
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Steve A

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There is no question that studying the importance of ancient works is as important as modern classical works,  Of course, as modern actors, due to our own "real life" frames of reference it will be such fun when you are studying current playwrights.
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Whether your studying the Greek playwright Achaeus of Eretria or the modern John Patrick Shanley (one of my personal favorites), it's interesting to see - as an actor - that the actual technique for building a character from the ground up is really the same.

Of course the fun is that we have a more familiar frame of reference when we perform a Shanley play. It's also interesting though to see, in looking at a play from the playwright's view, that their technique and reasons for writing are really the same...even if they were written 2,000 years apart. The playwright is still influenced to some degree by what is going on in the world when they right their work. It still shows how the playwright's own personal experiences and even something like how well traveled they are effects their work as the more traveled they are the more experiences they will have had with different cultures to draw from. And then that broadened life experience will eventually work its way (consciously or subconsciously) into some future work of the playwright.

No matter how much work you are putting in, remember that it will all be usable (sometimes in ways you would never expect) when you are in the acting world - post college. You are in a miraculous time, I hope you are enjoying it  as much as we enjoy watching you go through it.
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Steve A

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Hi Billy, I saw your warning at the beginning of the video about Gimpshop. If they are using your video without your permission you have very LEGAL right to tell them to either pull it off or pay you a million dollars (and that's not a joke);

While both GIMP and GIMPShop fall under the GNU licensing laws which allows them to use the program freely the law is actually on YOUR side.  The GNU license only allows for redistributing the GIMP program or any program that has made changes to it like GIMPShop. They have every right to redistribute GIMPShop BUT they do not have ANY rights to use someone else's art created with the program. The art created with it belongs to the artist. As long as you can show that you are the creator of the video YOU hold what is called the "intellectual property rights" or just the "property rights" to anything you created with the program.  Write to the and tell them to either take it down or pay you for its use; that IS your right. If the refuse and try to tell you that they are covered by GNU just show them this post. Also tell them that if they don't comply immediately (and give them a specific date; say 1 day since that's all it takes to pull your work off their site) you'll slap them with a real law suit.  It will also give them time to actually READ the GNU license (which the obviously haven't). If they whine that it will create problems with their site because the material is gone just tell them "tough, don't steal other people's work!"  It really is their problem, not yours. And don't be nice and tell them you'll give them more time so they can fix their site or they'll just keep stringing you along so they don't have to do it.  If they are going to steal your work, they have no ethics and by using your work have already proven that they can't be trusted.  If they try to tell you that they can post it just because it's on YouTube then report them to YouTube. I'll bet they have at least a video or two of their own and YouTube considers this piracy without you, the creator's, permission. You can not only get your video taken off their site but YouTube/Google will close THEIR account.

I used to have a channel and someone did exactly the same thing to me. A friend of mine was doing a search for something and just happened to click on a link to a site and saw one of my videos on a site.  It is one thing to put a video on a site to promote the video; it's another to put it on the site not to promote the video creator but to promote their own product.  I went through the steps I mentioned above and the site creator resisted for about 5 minutes then pulled my video down. Guess what they did next...they went on YouTube and found a similar video to mine and stole it. But at least mine wasn't associated with their site which was my goal.  

Good luck and thanks for making a very good video.
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Steve A

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What I liked about the London trip in particular was the meet up. Seemed like a fun group of people (and some a little awestruck at meeting you then seeing it come through the "proper" English ways...funny and sweet).

For personal reasons, my favorite part of the journey so far was when you sang a couple bars of "Rainbow Connection".  ;-) 
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Steve A

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Hi David, Thought the riffing video was fun  I have to say that it made me long for  you to do another cover. And if you want to do something crazy, make the first cover you get back into a BIG, Broadway number from a big show like LesMis or Miss Saigon. How about something like "Empty Chairs..." from LesMis; big and shows off your acting chops (which we never really get to see) as well as that great voice?  I played Marius 3 times on Broadway and twice in London  before becoming disabled and forced to "retire" way too early.  I love your covers but considering your chosen profession...well...go for it.
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Steve A

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David, Don't apologize if you ramble. Some of your greatest life's decisions will come out of just that. Your mind will sometimes just go where it needs to go and point you in the right direction. Just let it flow. :)
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Steve A

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I think your intelligent and sweet and it's reflected in your voice. There was nothing awkward about hearing you sing. As much as I enjoy your videos, this was a piece you've added that's my favorite. I would love to hear you mix a little Broadway in there as well,

If you are taking requests, how about 'SMILE" by Nat King Cole?  Also seems like it would fit your voice.
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Steve A

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As a former Broadway/West End actor, if you can't find your own contribution to a role you'll last about 5 minutes in the industry. But what might seem like the smallest contribution of yourself in the part will keep it fresh for the audience, 8 performances a week, for a very long time. The part of you that is in the role, no matter how small personalizes the role for you and in a way, invests you in it.
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In his circles
17 people
Have him in circles
1 person
Dennis Zager's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Acting coach
Skills
Worked and trained on Broadway
Employment
  • Acting Coach, present
    Teach both new and seasoned actors ways to refine their craft. Have worked with actors who are starting out and actors who have actually been in the business longer than I've been alive (that's always a blast). Work with both actors who are in both straight plays and musicals (it's become necessary to define what a "straight play" is these days. On stage, a "straight" play has NOTHING to do with gender identity, a "straight" play is simply a non-musical play. I still can't figure out, in a tiny corner of my mind, why I have to explain that the word straight is not just the opposite of gay. Who knows why people think the way they do...not me???? I also don't discuss age (which makes some people think I'm really young and some that I'm very old). A.) I think people should be judged on their ability and B.) It's fun because it seems to either confuse or piss people off for some reason.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
June 23
Relationship
Single
Other names
During various careers I used another name but I don't disclose that now.
Story
Tagline
Acting coach, blogger, musician, photographer
Introduction
Born in Connecticut, USA. First professional career was as a "gallery displaying photographer" from there life took a turn and for a few years I was a concert level classical guitarist (too long a story for here as to how one career lead to the next), and finally a Broadway actor (on Broadway, off Broadway, in London's West End-the English version of Broadway). And again, how the 2nd job lead to the 3rd is a long story in itself.

I became permanently disabled a few years ago, have been told 3 times I had 6 months to live but somehow survived every time. While I am mostly homebound, my acting career had built up some momentum so now I tutor/teach/coach actors for enjoyment.
Bragging rights
Survived death 3 times, worked as a Broadway actor for several years and the only time I was unemployed was when I wanted to be (generally unheard of in the acting community), concert level classical guitarist and toured over 30 countries 3 times over 2 1/2 years, youngest gallery photographer (14 years old) to display at the Wadsworth Atheneum (2nd oldest continuously running gallery in the US)
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Norwich, CT
Previously
New York, NY
Links
YouTube
Steve A's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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