Voices carry Cyn Cyr to long list of vocal-based careers
When asked what brought her to Glenwood Springs, Cynthia Cyr, a.k.a. Cyn Cyr, quips, “A Buick, a U-Haul …”
Seriously, although rarely a moment passes when she is serious, Cyr described her long path to the valley, via Hollywood, Calif., and Clifton, Colo.
What made her story such an entertaining listen is the many characters who tell it. It’s like being in a roomful of people: a shy child, a polite Yiddish mother, Joan Rivers, Lily Tomlin, Bullwinkle, and a host of other characters.
“I have the ability to do 100 voices,” she says, in the voice of an elderly woman. She can also re-create foreign accents and dialects, novelty voices, puppies and kittens, which puts her voice-iferous repertoire at well above 100 characters.
“I have all these crazy voices inside of me, and yet I’m not schizophrenic,” she assured in another voice.
Her voice is heard on radio commercials all over the Western Slope, and on a few local “on hold” phone productions.
Cyr’s art is known as “voice-over.”
She began discovering the voices inside her in 1953, when she was 7 and growing up in Springfield, Mass. Handed the large responsibility of entertaining her younger twin brothers, she adopted some of the popular cartoon voices of the period, like Disney character Donald Duck, Rocky and Bullwinkle and their nemeses, Natasha and (“Got to get moose and squirrel”) Boris.
She picked up on Howdy Doody, Buffalo Bob and – dig deep into your memory for this one – Princess Summerfall Winterspring.
In the late 1970s she found advertising work in Colorado on Boulder radio station KBCO. Her most memorable commercial was for a Taj Mahal performance. She later worked as a DJ at KLGT, (“The Light of the Summit,” came a sultry voice) in Breckenridge.
At the urging of a friend, she moved to Los Angeles to study voice-over. While in school she supported herself with a few “real jobs.” She worked in a fabric store, was a restaurant server, and drove a “super shuttle” through the streets of Los Angeles.
“I drove 380,000 miles in three years in L.A., and those are slow miles, let me tell you,” she said in slow-motion.
Cyr eventually picked up voice-over work in the cartoon industry, and got some on-camera work as well. She also learned the various styles of commercial copy.
She also performed stand-up comedy in L.A.
“Stand-up is very hard,” she said, in what may have been her own voice. She described her act as “a rolling little shtick” of voices and characters. Her best gig was when she opened for George Wallace (the comedian, not the politician).
A serious on-the-job car accident jolted her off her track and caused her to re-evaluate her path. She shifted to the food and beverage industry, attending the American College of Hotel and Restaurant Management in North Hollywood.
That training led her to Grand Junction in 1993, where hotel and restaurant opportunities were plentiful. She made her home in Clifton.
In 1996, she was evicted from her rental unit. Even though she knew she couldn’t afford the cost of living, she hooked that U-Haul up to her Buick and moved to Glenwood Springs.
This is her calling, she said. She loves the town, its history and its rich flavor. She lived downtown for a while, and now lives with her cat in a small and eclectically decorated log cabin in the hills.
She has worked at Bagel Bites, True Value, Aspen Luggage in Aspen, and as a car salesperson at Glenwood Springs Ford. But her voices keep calling her back to the entertainment business.
Cyr, who studied Shakespeare in her younger years, dabbled in theatre and took the part of the Jewish Fairy Godmother in last fall’s Defiance Community Players’ production of “Cinderella.”
In the voice of Yenta the Matchmaker and with a flick of her wrist, she added, “I had so much fun in that play.”
A few years back she was also co-director and vocal coach for a murder mystery performed by Rifle High School drama students. “I taught them how to cry,” she said. The show was a great success.
This spring, she volunteered her vocal talents for the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association’s annual ball. Hers is the friendly voice callers from across the country hear when they are put on hold at the chamber, or when they call Aspen Valley and Grand Junction Harley Davidson.
Now she’s concentrating on rolling her voices into a commercial production business called “The Voice of Your Choice.” What she has to offer her clients, she said, “is unique, with a little bit of spice.”
In a demo CD, her many voices – the snorting Miss Tomlin from the phone company, the warbled Kathryn Hepburn, and OH! OH! Joan Rivers – she promises potential customers that “All of us can voice for you.”
Cyr produces fresh and lively radio and television commercials from her home studio, or her clients can record at the station of their choice. She will write the script, or they can. She’s in the process of creating a website that will help advertisers, or anyone who needs to produce a commercial spot, understand her services.
She offers free samples. Simply call her business at 928-0991 and she and her many alter egos will perform.
“I just want to get the voices out there and make people laugh and make them feel something,” she said, Cyn-Cyr-ly, “the way a true thespian would.”
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