5 winning tips from a champion singer

Posted on 01 Jun 2006 at 9:22pm
By Daniel A. Kusner

2005 Voice of Pride winner Lori McCracken offers advice for newbie contestants



SING OUT STRONG: Lori McCraken says give it all you got, be nice to the other contestants and pick a short song.

Dallas’ gay version of “American Idol” starts up on Sunday. That’s when the prelims for the 2006 Voice of Pride kick off. With a $3,000 prize for the winner, Voice of Pride is a hot contest in Big D regardless of one’s sexual identity. (The winner of the first contest, 2004 champ Laura Kerr, was straight.)

Last year, however, lesbian torch-singer Lori McCracken won over the crowd with her twangy, soulful versions of “Leavin’ on Your Mind” by Patsy Cline and “Me and Bobby McGee” (which was originally written about a woman). Earlier this week, McCracken sent Dallas Voice some helpful hints for contestants who hope to seize her title.

1. My biggest piece of advice is to make friends. I’ve made some of the best friends through the Voice of Pride contest friends that I will have for the rest of my life. It’s so important to put on a smile and wish everyone the best in the contest.

2. Have plenty of time. The competition is demanding and requires a lot of commitment that is, if you get through to the semi-finals and finals. And rehearse your songs as much as possible.

3. Choose the right songs. Select music that fits your style and voice. That doesn’t necessarily mean picking songs that are the most popular right now. I chose two songs that were written in the ’60s but they’re still crowd favorites.

4. Brevity is so important. Don’t pick longwinded songs. The crowd and judges aren’t going to love any performance that clocks in at the 10-minute mark.

5. Play to the crowd. If you put your all into your songs, the audience will eat it up. Sport a winning attitude, and you just might win.

VOICE OF PRIDE SCHEDULE

Preliminaries
June 4, 10 p.m. at Dallas Eagle, 2515 Inwood, Suite 107.
June 5, 10 p.m. at Sue Ellen’s, 3903 Cedar Springs Road.
June 7, 10 p.m. at Kaliente, 4350 Maple Ave.
June 8, 10 p.m. at Illusions, 4100 Maple Ave.
June 9, 10 p.m. at Buddies II, 4025 Maple Ave.
June 11, 10 p.m. at Dallas Woody’s, 4011 Cedar Springs Road.
June 13, 10 p.m. at JR.’s, 3923 Cedar Springs Road.
June 14, 10 p.m. at Joe’s, 4117 Maple Ave.
June 14, 10 p.m. at The Tin Room, 2514 Hudnall St.
June 18, 10 p.m. at Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road.
June 20, 10 p.m. at Havana Lounge, 4006 Cedar Springs Road.
June 21, 10 p.m. at The Round-Up Saloon, 3912 Cedar Springs Road.
June 22, 10 p.m. at Barbara’s Pavillion 325 Centre St.
June 28, 10 p.m. at Throckmorton Mining Com-pany, 3014 Throckmorton St.
June 29, 10 p.m. at Mickey’s, 3851 Cedar Springs Road.
Semi-Finals
July 9, 7:30 p.m. at The Round-Up Saloon.
Finals
Aug. 6, 8 p.m. at The Rose Room, 3911 Cedar Springs Road.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 26, 2006.

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