Hey, I Recorded my First Potential Top-40 Hit Tonight

When I was a kid, I was certain of three things: (1) I would have my own annual Christmas special, (2) I would win an Oscar for both my acting and screenwriting (and be nominated for producing and directing), and (3) I would record and release a top-40 hit.*

See how realistic I was being? I didn’t consider myself a real singer, so wasn’t insisting on a top-10 hit, only a top-40 one!

Anyway, even with these extremely reasonable goals, I may be a little behind schedule.

Fortunately, I spent this evening recording my first potential top-40 single, “This Time and Place.”


What’s the occasion? In my next book (The Road to Amazing, out March 15th), a character, Otto, writes a song. I decided to write a real-life version of the song (with a very talented friend, Danylo Oryshchyn), then record and sing it, and release it as a video at the same time as the book.

I am a terrible singer, and a mediocre songwriter (I know about three chords, like Ringo Starr). But a complete lack of talent has never stopped me from doing anything in the past!

Today, I recorded the song with another extremely talented musician friend, Jeremy Ward. Basically, this involved me singing the song over and over again, until Jeremy would say, “Wait! That five seconds was in tune and on beat! I think we can use it!” Then he’d move those five seconds into a master file.

Oh, and even with the good five-second segments, he also used a lot of Autotune.

By this process, the three and half minute song took about fourteen hours to record.

Suffice to say, I will not be doing many “live” performances.

In the end, I was happy enough with the song that I don’t think I’m going to completely embarrass myself when I release the video in three weeks.

Even better, I had a really, really fun time, both writing it and recording it. In fact, it was so much fun that won’t even care if it doesn’t hit the top-40.

Anyway, look for the video of my version of the song, “This Time and Place,” in March! Hey, I think I’ll put it on iTunes too. (Brett Every, you may need to help me with this.)

Now I really have to get to work organizing those Christmas specials, and winning those Oscars…

* People were shocked when I came out as gay. Seriously. (Okay, some people were. Bill Middlebrook, you shut up.)