A New Start During Crisis
The novel coronavirus pandemic might have wreaked havoc on actor and singer Cory Shorter’s theatrical career this year, but with shows canceled left and right, the time off actually allowed the Royal Oak-based performer to work on music. He just released a single, “Before You Go,” independently and already has a video for it in the can.
“With the pandemic, I wasn’t able to work like I was supposed to,” Shorter said. “Theater is my full-time job and I had five shows lined up starting in March and going through September and they all were canceled. That gave me enough time to complete my album and work on my videos. I was also able to spend some much-needed time with my fiancé after being apart for so many months.”
To craft “Before You Go,” Shorter called on Swedish producer VinAce.
“I told him I wanted something new, an EDM/Dance type beat,” Shorter said. “He mainly does R&B and rap, but we worked closely together and it’s what I wanted it to sound like. And he delivered a beat that is now of my favorite songs I’ve recorded so far.”
As much production help as he got, Shorter developed the concept of the song and wrote the lyrics himself.
“You know, when you’re ending a bad relationship but before you break, you want one more kiss? That’s the inspiration behind ‘Before You Go.’ Being over all of the games and finding happiness in yourself,” Shorter said. “I write based off of personal experiences. As an actor as well, I find experiences from different characters I’ve played and their circumstances.”
Shorter’s anguish and disappointment can clearly be heard in the song, and its style is reminiscent of vintage ’90s house, CeCe Peniston or Crystal Waters. Altogether, the song could be described as a virtual three-minute mood swing that takes listeners from heartbreak to get the hell on.
Well-known in Metro Detroit, Shorter was a child actor. He continued to act as he grew up and earned a degree in theater from the University of Michigan. By night, and using the stage name Izaya Cole, Shorter became Michigan’s most-awarded showboy. He won 25 pageants and was the first showboy from the state to win a national title. Before he was done, he’d pick up three of them: Mr. Gay Unlimited, Mr. Black National and Mr. Sapphire.
Eventually, Shorter put being a showboy on the back burner and focused on his acting. On New Year’s Eve, Shorter will return to the stage in a production of “Happy Days – The Musical” at the Broadway Palm Theater in Fort Myers, Florida. The show plays there through Feb. 14 before traveling to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
“Prather Productions is the company putting the show on and they are taking COVID-19 very seriously,” he said. “They have added air purifiers to their theaters and installed machines that kill viruses in the air. Our patrons are required to wear masks. Even us, the actors, are wearing face shields on stage during the show. The theaters are operating at half capacity. So they have taken every precaution possible to ensure a great theater experience for patrons and actors.
“The only thing that is a little challenging is performing a full musical singing and dancing with a face shield on just because it’s something we are not used to,” Shorter continued. “But the show must go on.”
Shorter wants the music to go on as well and will focus on it in 2021 — as much as time allows.
“I would love to just keep making records and have people listen … to just keep growing a support base. And I definitely would love to tour with my music eventually when I’m able to and start planning that,” he said. “Plus, I still have the goal of being on Broadway one day. My goal is to just get better each year.”
“Before You Go” by Cory Shorter is available on all streaming platforms.