Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Things I Do For Money

Now that I have posted 2 (TWO) blogs in the same week, regular readers of this space (all 3 of you) will be expecting a plague of frogs and locusts. If that occurs, remember that locusts are a good source of protein. Nom nom nom nom.

I am posting again to show what I did before my Christmas vacation: I got to be Einstein.

I had a music client 30 years ago who called me "Einstein" because He thought I was smart. (If you can fool the people......) Or maybe it was because he thought I made him sound like Lionel Ritchie.

Indeed, impersonating people, things, accents, lamps, etc has been a specialty of mine as long as I can remember. And I have often found myself in trouble because of this specialty. I recall a certain Phys-Ed teacher in high school (whom I dubbed "War Eagle" because of his macho posturing and his uncanny resemblance to a wrestler of the same name). He also had a very particular cadence to his speech pattern. Maybe we musicians are just naturally good at picking up on these things. It stands to reason.

So one day I happened to do my War Eagle impersonation in gym glass (I was about 15) while he was yammering on about something or other while holding a volleyball under his arm. As I turned to my fellow student and uttered (sotto voce, I may add) my witty impersonation, War Eagle launched said volley ball at my head. As my glasses smashed against my face and fell to the floor in pieces, I was reminded of something Steve Martin would say a few years later, "Comedy is not pretty."

Which brings me to last fall, when I was asked to do an Einstein impersonation for the Hebrew University. Naturally I agreed. My acting career has never quite panned out as I expected, so I am open to any job that doesn't involve nudity. And I think Robert DeNiro was busy that week.

Here is the English Version.

The accent was a bit of a challenge- I listened to recordings of man himself, who had a throaty voice and rather quaint lilt to his speech. One has to watch doing these kinds of accents, because a quaint Viennese lilt can turn into a spluttering, rabid Hitler very easily. At least for me. And then, to add to the fun (and this is Canada) I had to do a French version. For that, I became a method actor (not really...I just felt like saying that) and reached back into my 40 years as as Quebecker, used to hearing Europeans speaking French with their native accents. I am not sure I got it quite right, but it's not bad. If I do say so myself.

Here is the French Version.

So there you have it.  It must have been worth it because my wife saw part of it on TV last night. Maybe I should have bought a better mustache.

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