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Lisa McClowry Does Voice Work for MusicDish
By Ben Ohmart
(more articles from this author)
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She's beautiful, her work is appearing in major motion pictures, and she's just released her 2nd full length album, Spyglass Hill. Just what does it feel like to be - Lisa McClowry?

Spyglass Hill (MP3)

[Ben] Thanks for the e-talk here. You're certainly coming up in the world via movies and all.

[Lisa] Thanks for having me. Yes, 2000 was a very exciting year for me, co-writing and singing a song for the motion picture "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle," providing the voice for the Princess in the "Rugrats in Paris" movie, and the release of my first original album, "Spyglass Hill."

[Ben] What background allowed you to combine music and films into one career?

[Lisa] I think it has been the combination of having a dream, being focused on that dream and going after it at all costs, having confidence, being in the right place in the right time, having the drive to keep challenging myself, and the ability to take risks despite the fear. With out these key ingredients, it would have been a long shot getting my voice and music involved in the motion picture industry. Talent is only part of it.

[Ben] How difficult was it to break into that arena?

[Lisa] It was very difficult to break into the arena because I was an unknown. As many other performers/singers/songwriters experience, the trying part of this business is to keep pushing forward despite the rejection, and being overlooked. Your ego is constantly challenged, but after a while the rejection rolls off, you gain more character, and you are a step closer to being successful. Besides, I had no choice but to stay in the game. There was, and still is nothing else I rather do. Music is a big part of me.

[Ben] It must've been a thrill to voice a character in a major motion picture. Tell us a little about what's involved in doing that.

[Lisa] It really was a thrill. The way that I arrived at being the voice of the Princess for the "Rugrats in Paris," was as I mentioned earlier, being in the right place at the right time. I was at a recording studio in West Hollywood, CA working on my CD "Spyglass Hill." The auditions for the "Rugrats in Paris" were being held in the same building/studio. My writing partner Van Coppock suggested I audition, so I did. A few days later I went back home to Chicago. A week later, I get a call from the casting director and was quickly flown back to Hollywood CA, to record the voice of the Princess for the actual movie. It took two hours to record my part, and would take the animators (Klasky/Csupo)3 months to create the scene were the princess sings her big number. I recorded the role of the princess in August of 1999. The directors Paul Demeyer and Stig Berqvist were there, along with one of the movie's producers, Gabor Csupo. Barbara Wright, the woman who cast me ,was there along with Mark Mothesbaugh. Mark is the songwriter of the song I sing in the movie, "Reptar I Love You." These were only a few of the people there the day I recorded the role.

[Ben] Are you a Bullwinkle fan?

[Lisa] I was never a Rocky and Bullwinkle fan, but I enjoyed how well done the movie was. I got to know the director, Des McNuff, and was able to see first hand all the hard work and energy Des and the crew put into the movie.

[Ben] You were at the movie premiere. What was that like?

[Lisa] I didn't go to the "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" premiere, but I did go to the "Rugrats in Paris" premiere. The premiere was at the Manns Chinese Theater in Hollywood held on November 5, 2000. When my party (my Mom, niece and nephew) and I arrived at the theater, I was surprised to see the streets blocked off, with spectators standing behind barricades to catch a glimpse of who ever it was they were trying to see. "Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men was playing loudly out onto the streets, creating a lot of excitement and welcoming all the premiere invites. We walked down the infamous red carpet, lined by photographers, news stations and famous faces. Inside of the theater, there was a lot of energy and excitement stirring before the movie began. It was a thrill to experience this moment. The people in the theater were characters in the movie, directors, writers, producers or people who were involved directly with the movie somehow. We were all eager to see the movie!

The movie was fantastic, and my family and I were ready to hit the first premiere party which was an outdoor extravaganza held at "Reptarland" (the parking lot of Hollywood High School). There were carnival rides, loud music, food everywhere you looked, Rugrat characters in costume walking around, and games. A few teen groups, "No Authority" and new-comer Aaron Carter performed live. The party was made up of celebrities, cast, crew, and their children. Lots and Lots of kids! The second premiere party was later that day and held at the Paramount Pictures lot. This was a more laid back party, but equally nice.

[Ben] Turning to your new cd, is this your 2nd release?

[Lisa] Yes, this is my second release of "Spyglass Hill." "Spyglass Hill" is my first original full album. I put out an enhanced CD single called "Tell Me It's Right" last year before the release of "Spyglass Hill."

[Ben] How do you feel it differs from your preceding one?

[Lisa] The new (second release) of "Spyglass Hill" now includes the song "Through the Eyes of a Child" from the motion picture "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle." The song is written by Lavant Coppock, Mark Mothersbaugh, and me. The addition of this song is the only difference in the second release of "Spyglass Hill."

[Ben] Now we come to the boring questions you probably get asked all the time. Who are your influences, from an early age?

[Lisa] I think any artist or band that I was exposed to at an early age influenced me in some way. I was very impressionable and appreciated all kinds of musical styles. If I absolutely had to pick a few artists I liked to listen to regularly as a kid, it would be Olivia Newton John, Queen, Air Supply and yes, Rick Springfield. I heard my share of Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, and the Letterman, my Mom and Dad loved them.

[Ben] And who do you listen to today?

[Lisa] When I am driving to a gig, I will usually pop in a Fleetwood Mac or Enuff Znuff CD to get me going. I don't have a favorite singer, maybe Stevie Nicks, but I listen to all styles of music, and my CD collection is vast. Being an Independent artist myself, I have a huge collection of independent artist CDs. It interests me to see what music is NOT being heard by the mass media, but should. There is so much wonderful music out there that is not being heard.

[Ben] You've got a real sweet website. Is that of your own making?

[Lisa] I have some input, but the man behind the curtain is Daniel Morvec of Mental Media. I like his style and I think he is very talented.

[Ben] What do you feel - aside from talent - is your best promotional tool?

[Lisa] On a small scale, performing live and word of mouth are the best promotional tools. On a larger scale, a balance of touring, radio promotion, mass advertising and word of mouth help get the ball rolling, but has to be constant to be effective.

[Ben] Do you have a favorite song on your current CD?

[Lisa] I have several favorites, but I can say that "Through the Eyes of A Child" holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. The song has many important messages. It is a song about my life and how I try to see the world. My niece and nephew inspired the song. On a less sentimental note, the song has opened many doors for my career. It was included in a major motion picture where I not only co-wrote the song, but was able to sing the song in the movie as well.

[Ben] How about a fun or amusing backstage story, eh?

[Lisa] Oh boy, where do I start? I don't know how amusing this is, but it is current so I will tell this story. The day I recorded the voice of the Princess for the "Rugrats in Paris" movie, I had strep throat and a fever. Before going to the studio that day, I was in my hotel room with every cold remedy you could think of, and spent a lot of time hanging over a hot water filled sink with a towel over my head trying to steam away the congestion. All morning I was calling home to Chicago frantic looking for some kind of comfort any one could give me. I was freaking out like nothing you have seen before. You had to be there to get the comical effect. When I reached the recording studio, I didn't go in right away, I had to calm myself down because I was so hyper and nervous. I paced back and forth and was talking to myself. I am sure I looked a bit touched. When I finally made it to the studio, and met all of the people who would be directing me, I was like brand new. I didn't come across sick at all.

[Ben] What are your ultimate plans for a career in music? Or haven't you gotten that far yet in thought?

[Lisa] For starters, I would like to write and sing a song for a major motion picture that has a successful sound track, and then release my up and coming second CD the same time that movie comes out. This would help to put me on a path to the kind of promotion needed to sell a large number of records. A tour would come shortly after. I want to continue making a living at what I do best, creating and performing music!

[Ben] Your gigs are pretty well covered on your website, but care to pitch in right here and tell us when/where you'll be appearing soon?

[Lisa] I live in Chicago at the moment, but not for long. Most of my shows are posted on my website I will be appearing in California in the near future with my full band. We will perform only original material. I don't have exact dates as of yet.

[Ben] Any final thoughts, before this day is done?

[Lisa] There is a saying I live by daily. The saying is "Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway." With anything really worth accomplishing, the element of fear is usually hanging over your shoulder. So I say, move towards your fear, and walk right through it. You will be surprised what you find on the other side.

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» Lisa McClowry - Spyglass Hill - Lisant Music (2000-09-18)

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