Executive Speech Coach’s sister-in-law Toyah Willcox

Toyah Willcox & Robert FrippYou may have read about my brother Robert Fripp performing in Estonia for the celebration of their independence. I read this on his wife Toyah’s blog. Excuse me for being a proud sister-in-law, but is amazing, beautiful, and multifaceted in her talent. She can sing, act, write, be an amazing talk show guest or host. Her stage performances have been delighting audiences for thirty years. She started performing in her teens and has been in movies with Sir Laurence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn.


Hello my friends,

I’m just between flights from Estonia and Gran Canaria!

The last month has been extraordinary. The filming of THE POWER OF THREE went from strength to strength, I even started to get film offers from productions over Europe asking me to fly out and do a few days filming whilst still commited to PO3! The team where brilliant, Mikolaj Jaroszewicz the Director of Photography created wonders on a budget of pounds. The first AD Stephanie Zari kept us all to time and my fellow actors (including myself) GAVE BLOOD! Rumour has it the ‘rushes’ are splendid and the director Yvonne Deutschman is off to Cannes on the 15th May! I pray she kicks as much butt as she did on set and a little bit more.

The last week has been a pure joy. Bill Rieflin, Robert Fripp, Chris Wong and myself all met in Tartu, Estonia on the 26th April where we had a week’s rehearsal before performing THE HUMANS album, in it’s complete form for the President and the First Lady at Tartu University. Robert was with us to open the show with his ‘soundscapes’, but it became evident on the first days rehearsal he was intending to play the whole of THE HUMANS set too. This is partly down to the calming effect of BILL. Bill has the presence of a ‘kindly father’; when he is not being manically scary, he and Robert are like brothers. I don’t think I could have encouraged Robert to play the whole set unless I had a spare million to give away but Bill managed it without even being aware of it!

The sound was awesome. It added a whole new dimension. I created THE HUMANS because I wanted a project that Bill and I could work on but also, because I wanted tonal space so my voice would sit on it’s own without competing with guitars and keyboards. So THE HUMANS consist mainly of bass, vocal and sound effects. Robert added another tonal dimension that didn’t venture into my vocal range, he added a commentary to my vocal lines. Apart from rehearsing the set daily, (some days we ran the set four times) we ate a lot of cheesecake. Tartu is renowned for cheesecake. Bill, Robert, Wongy, ‘Trev the sound’ and myself can eat cake till the sun sets.

We always knew we where playing for the President but what we didn’t know was we where going to be in the same hotel and dining with him. On the Wednesday the secret service arrived at the hotel, checking it out and us too. We had probably been well ‘checked out’ before we left our countries of residence. I found these men on the roof and in the corridors very amusing, they all talked into their shirt pockets and wrist cuffs but never cracked a smile. Soon the bulletproof limo arrived and the hotel was buzzing with excitement. On Thursday evening, at the hotel, THE HUMANS had dinner with the President and the First Lady plus the Estonian Ambassidor for England, the Minister of Justice and Robert Fripp. The President is a huge Fripp fan which is partly why we were all there to perform.

I gave the President a HUMANS CD. He was very, very happy that is says ‘written and performed in Estonia’. This is an immensely proud country, which has fought for it’s independence from Russia and to have musicians visit and site it for the inspiration for a whole album really means something. I sat next to the President all evening and his last remark got a huge laugh (and I’m sure it was a joke) “Toyah I’d like you to know I will not being hosting a dinner for Madonna when she visits later in the year!”

The show the next day started at midnight on Friday evening, it was too late in the day to be nervous, I could only be extremely excited. Our audience where mainly musicians invited to say thank you for being in Tartu for the Tartu Music Days festival. The President introduced us, which caused a stir because no one in the audience knew he would be there, and when he stood up from the front row and walked to my microphone there was a gasp from the assembled people.

AND the show itself? It was magical. At one point I caught the eye of the secret service men either side of the President, one winked at me and the other put his thumb up and smiled! At 1.15 am we received a 10 minute standing ovation. Congregating in the backstage area after our one and only encore available to us because we only rehearsed the album material, I asked Bill what where we going to do? They where clapping for more. So we went out, bowed and told them to go to bed!

Estonia is an extraordinary place, it has a magical resonance. I strongly recommend you visit it, take a good book and soak up the atmosphere, because it is a place to think and grow.

I hope all of you who have your HUMANS album by now, enjoy it thoroughly!