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Now for the second question.

What has he accomplished? I attended the University of Texas as a music education major, with a minor in theatre. In 1989 I moved to Florida to work forthe Walt Disney World Co. as an entertainer. I performed on every stage at the Disney/MGM Studios and recorded countless voiceover tracks for the parks. I entered the "professional a cappella singer" world when I began performing with the Hollywood Hi-Tones doo-wop group at Universal Studios Orlando. I also sang with the Voices of Liberty at EPCOT and Four For A Dollar at Disney/MGM. 

While in Florida, I began a career outside the theme parks as a theatre director, directing musicals and revues and receiving many kudos, huzzahs and plaudits. In 1998 I decided to merge my theatrical and musical backgrounds by creating "Toxic Audio," a concept performance group "exploring the boundaries of the human voice." We premiered at the Orlando Fringe Festival and quickly caught the attention of the Disney folks, who put us under contract for the parks and convention entertainment divisions.

After a year with Disney, we broke away to continue our goal of taking the show to New York and following the successful business model of such Off-Broadway concept shows as Stomp and Blue Man Group. In the six-year existence of the group, we've won awards as a recording group, a concert group and a theatrical show. In January 2004, we showcased our theatre show at the American Theatre of Actors. We got an invitation to present our show Off-Broadway at the John Houseman Theatre and opened there in April 2004. The following month, we received the Drama Desk Award for Best Unique Theatrical Experience. The year 2005 will find us preparing the show for audiences in Europe and Japan, as well as touring throughout the U.S. 

As a writer, I succeeded in reading back to myself all of the above resume hyperbole and achieving an enormous state of nausea. I now hope to succeed in never having to list my"credentials" in this forum again, as it has very little bearing on my "opinions" anyway and could appear quite self-serving.

As far as what I hope to accomplish with this series of articles, I leave  that up to you ... the visitors to this site. I invite you to send your questions and topic ideas to me at toxicrene@aol.com. Some of the possible   topics include performance focus, set lists, choreography and how to deal with gorgeous fans approaching you after a show. I will not pretend to be a maste know-it-all on any of these topics. I am simply a working musician/performer/director. I promise only one thing. I promise to give you something that I feel is missing from the discussion boards, newsgroups and even the performances of many groups I have come across in my travels. A point of view. 

Finally, the last question.

Why should I care what he thinks? The truth is ... you shouldn't. You should only care about what you think about what I think. If I write something that strikes a chord, then you can take that idea and apply it to your own or your band's own "point of view." If you disagree, then you're still on your way to discovering your "point of view" and it will be completely different than mine. That's ok. The two can co-exist. That makes   for variety and diversity. The important thing is to have a point of view as an artist or creator. Come from somewhere. Be able to discuss and define it in your own words. I'll be very up front with you about mine if you ask. 

Introduction articles are painstaking to write. It's a lot of exposition and not very entertaining. Blah Blah Point Of View Blah. This one has been especially difficult, as I have been forced to compose it on a tiny Dell Axim PDA. I'm traveling in Florida and my brand new Dell laptop has been delivered to my apartment up in New York. This means that every article I write from here on out will be crafted with love, emotion and less joint ache. I hope you guys will join me on the ride. This is gonna be fun!

Rene Ruiz is one of the founding members of Toxic Audio