Singer Jennifer Reed reveals the tips and secrets of performing with Jay Armstrong Johnson, ahead of the return of I Put A Spell On You: The Return of the Sanderson Sisters at (le) poisson rouge on Sunday, October 28.
Back up singing is quite a silly little gig, but in the most excellent way. Most of the time, I’m picking whatever harmony the other person isn’t singing. You can be flying blind for most of it, but it’s so much fun. The strangest thing to ever happen was when I needed to sing lead on a song that was totally the wrong key for me because my colleague lost their voice.
I met Jay Armstrong Johnson during an Actor Therapy Class. He was teaching my scene study class and I just lived for his directions and guidance. I had just recently moved from Australia and was jumping in the deep end of classes to meet and work with as many people as possible, so when I knew Jay would be one of my teachers, I signed up immediately. I have been bestowed the role of a dead skeleton. This dead skeleton just happens to know how to sing tight harmonies.
I’m so excited about the show and being in it, because Jay has created an event for the NY Musical Theatre calendar. It’s a legacy and such an honour to be involved. Everybody involved is disgustingly talented. Jay picks well.