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Barber finds singing for others suits his style

(ran PT edition)

At 60, a whole new life has opened for Tim McGuigan and he's having the time of his life.

McGuigan is performing as a professional singer.

As a hairstylist and barber in Baltimore, he would sing for his customers, but he had never sung before a large group.

It was two years ago that McGuigan was asked to sing at Windsor Woods Retirement Center in Hudson.

"At first I said, "no' because I had never sung professionally," he recalled. "But then I said I would do it. I had a giant case of stage fright, my legs were shaking, but as soon as I began singing I began to relax and about half way through the program I got with it and I haven't had stage fright since."

He acknowledges that his new career started slowly, but this past year, it has taken off.

He is singing at country clubs, civic centers, nursing and retirement homes, assisted care living facilities and "just about anyplace that wants me," he said. He has named his act "Tim's Showtime," and it features songs from the 1920s to the 1990s sung to taped background music.

McGuigan said he sings at many nursing homes. "I enjoy bringing music to the residents," he said. "Even the Alzheimer's patients can be reached with music. It is wonderful to see the recognition in their eyes. It is so rewarding. Sometimes a patient confuses me with a son, father or husband and they seem glad that I came to visit."

McGuigan said many performers don't like to perform for Alzheimer's patients because "they will move around and you don't get applause, but I go for other reasons," he said.

He said he has started taking tap dancing lessons to incorporate dancing into his act and he is practicing a lot. "I love Irving Berlin and am learning a routine to Stepping Out With My Baby and Top Hat.

When he isn't performing, he is employed part-time as a hairstylist at Beacon Woods Hair Salon and Bear Creek Nursing Center. On Fridays he visits Helen Ellis Memorial Hospital Rehab and sings from noon to 12:30 p.m. to boost morale for those in rehabilitation.

McGuigan concluded, "I'm having a wonderful time performing. I always feel like if I am having fun then my audience is having fun."

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