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Our very own “Jim Docter” featured in Your Voice newspaper!

“My joy is singing at Living Faith Church (in Tradition) every Sunday. I’m a soloist and part of the praise band. It’s such an honor. The musicians are incredible and gifted. Every week it’s new music. (Pastor) Maryanne Kehlenbach is so amazing. It’s a joy.

This is a quote from our very own Jim Docter who was was featured in a newspaper article published by Your Voice. What a blessing it is to have Jim as part of Living Faith’s praise band.

Here is the complete article:
Local actor and director returns to singing roots

By Shelley Koppel
Staff writer

PALM CITY – Jim Docter knew he wanted to be singer from an early age.
“I wanted to be a singer in high school,” he said. “I went to a teacher and she discouraged me. I convinced her to take me as a student.”
The St. Louis native attended college in his hometown and began as a business and psychology major. Two years in, he and three friends auditioned for Six Flags Mid-America. The teacher thought the friends had a good chance.
“I thought it would be a good experience for me,” Doctor said. “I’m the only one who got in. I was one of six guys out of 1200.”
In college, he had become involved in music and theater and was offered a voice scholarship. He added music to his major.
“I don’t know why I wanted to be a singer,” he said “I just wanted to sing. I’m the only singer in my family.”
During his senior year in college, Docter saw a flyer for auditions for dinner theater in Florida.
“I had done summer stock and I walked in the room and auditioned,” he said. “I got a letter and phone call with a contract to come to Florida.”
Docter came to Florida right after graduation. He worked in the company’s dinner theaters in Orlando, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach and Cocoa Beach for 2 ½ years.
“I decided I didn’t want to do it for a living,” he said. “As soon as you get a job, you worry about the next job.”
Docter started his own musical theater production company in the 1980s. The company was the first to use a musical track, rather than live music. His company worked in theater in the US and England and also provided entertainment for cruise lines.
When Docter sold the business to his partner, he started working at a psychiatric hospitals.
“I started off in marketing and ended up running the Challenge Course program. I took over the Ropes program and ran it for eight years.”
That program encourages participants in team-building and overcoming obstacles.
Docter came to Palm City 20 years ago and directed productions at the Barn and Lyric Theatres. Then he got a job offer to develop leadership training materials and employee development programs.
“I found my niche,” he said. “I love it. It requires business knowledge, psychology and working with people to keep them involved. It fits so many things I like to do, I’m kind of a research junkie.”
These days, Docter spends time directing.
“It’s my passion,” he said “I found I enjoyed being behind the stage more, and working with people to help them reach their potential.”
Docter directed musicals for the Vero Beach Theatre Guild and after several years, he wanted a change of pace.
“Musical revues are the best of both worlds,” he said. “You work with musicians and singers and help them develop creatively. I presented the concert idea to the Barn, where singers would pick their own music.”
Docter recently directed “The Divas of Song,” featuring Amaya Crichton, Mary Murphy and Sharon Owens. “I had met the three ladies a couple of years before,” he said. “We worked on a show you could use anywhere. I helped them do the patter, pick music and pout a show together. I helped them make decisions, but it was their music. I hope to get a groups together to do more of these concerts. There’s so much talent. I believe in getting people with talent who can’t give three months to a musical but can put together a concert for a weekend. It’s a couple of weeks versus a couple of months. The audience gets to hear really great talent. There are so many incredibly talented singers and it’s an opportunity to use them.”
Docter has not forgotten his youthful dream.
“My joy is singing at Living Faith Church (in Tradition) every Sunday. I’m a soloist and part of the praise band. It’s such an honor. The musicians are incredible and gifted. Every week it’s new music. (Pastor) Maryanne Kehlenbach is so amazing. It’s a joy.
“As a kid, I always sang to live music. Then I spent so many years with tracks, and it’s wonderful for audiences, but it’s not the same. People can make changes right then and there. Now, I’m back to a band, and it changes things around. It’s exciting for someone my age. The best part is that as a kid, I really wanted to sing. I’ll never know why it was a driving force. Pretty much everything that’s happened (in life) has been because of singing or directing. It’s opened so many doors. Now I’m singing again.”
Docter said that singing and being in the theater has been a wonderful preparation for life.
“You learn things as a singer and you don’t realize you’ll use them in life. You learn to adjust and judge and adapt quickly. Bad days aren’t acceptable in the theater. You suck it up and put on a show. That’s how I’ve approached life.”

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