My day job is owner of Shelton Private Voice Studio and I’m also a professional lyric tenor, an opera singer. I’ve loved to sing since I was a kid and I’ve explored a variety of musical genres over the years. I originally intended to work in sign language and education for the deaf, but my high school voice teacher showed me there were opportunities to pursue music in college and I opted for that path instead. Over the years music has taken me around the world and given me the chance to explore theater, entertainment, language and education. No two days are the same and I love the variety.
My most memorable caffeine would be hard to pick. I like coffee and I would definitely say I’m caffeine dependent! As a kid in the South—I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee—I grew up on Coke. My dad would have a black coffee and my mom, siblings and I would have a Coke. As an adult I spent some time as a shift leader at Starbucks, which taught me a lot about coffee. One of the most important lessons I learned there: No cup of coffee is so important that you should let it ruin your day. Some of our customers would have benefited from learning that lesson!
My current caffeine of choice depends on where I am, since different places make coffee beverages in such a variety of ways. If I’m at a Starbucks I’ll have a macchiato because I really like how they make it. In general, I enjoy a cappuccino.
My favorite place for caffeine is the Café Maya on Whitney Way. They have great service and make a mean cappuccino. Plus it’s close to my studio and I like to support local businesses.
The person I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with is my Mamaw, my mother’s mom. I spent a lot of time with her as a kid. Every year we’d go to the beach as a family and Mamaw would get me up while everyone was still sleeping and we’d go take a walk on the beach and end up at the local donut shop. My Mamaw would have a cup of coffee and I’d have a donut, which was something my parents didn’t necessarily approve of! She died of Lou Gehrig’s disease and I still miss her. I’d love to sit down with her as an adult and have a cup of coffee and a donut.
World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: What couldn’t we solve if we just sat down, talked and treated each other as fellow humans? We have gotten so bad about listening to each other and the news media is certainly not helping. So many things could end differently if we just sat down and listened.