Meet Eric Vetro, the Vocal Coach Who’s Helping Timothée Chalamet Sound Like Bob Dylan


One of his multiple pianos is covered with signatures from all his students. Back when Vetro was growing up, in a “not very glamorous” factory town in way upstate New York, he remembers Liberace touring the country with a glass-topped Baldwin, which the pianist had signed himself. “That’s why having everybody sign my piano was so exciting,” Vetro explains. “That piano had one signature—mine has over a hundred.”

The glitz of showbiz was always beckoning. His father, a lawyer, didn’t exactly understand it. “When I would watch movie musicals or The Ed Sullivan Show, I’d say, ‘Oh, I want to work with those people.’ I never really wanted to be them. I just wanted to work with them somehow. And my father would say, ‘What makes you think that anybody’s ever going to want to work with you on anything?’” Vetro remembers. “I played the piano and would say, ‘Someday I’m going to play the piano for these people.’ He’d say, ‘You’re out of your mind.’”

But Vetro distinguished himself early on as a talented piano player and singer and went on to study in New York City. One thing led to another: a musician he was touring with asked him to accompany her to Los Angeles. Bette Midler eventually asked him to work with her on her Vegas residency. “The first year I flew there something like 95 times up and back, up and back, up and back up. So the second year I said to her, ‘What if we tried this thing called Skype?’ She was like, ‘that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of. But then as soon as we tried it a couple times, she actually liked it.”

Now his clients come either via word of mouth or directly from producers for classes that start at $400 an hour. Vetro is indefatigable, usually holding eight sessions every day of the week. Except for Sundays, of course.

“On Sundays,” he says, “I usually only see four people.”

Taylor Zakhar Perez, star of the upcoming movie Red, White & Royal Blue, is waving his head around and enunciating HeeeEEEeeeEEE as Vetro bangs away accompanying notes on the piano. I’m observing one of Zakhar Perez’s weekly lessons with Vetro, meant to get his voice in shape so that he’s prepared for whenever a prized musical role does come along.

“He’s like a fairy godfather,” Zakhar Perez says of Vetro. “He’s kind of like a warm hug every time you’re here and doesn’t make you feel stressed out.”

Zakhar Perez first got connected with Vetro through his friend, the singer Sabrina Carpenter. “I had to chase him down,” Zakhar Perez says. “Eric’s busy back to back, all day every day. Just trying to get into his schedule was tough.”

For many of the high-profile roles he’s currently working on, there’s also a dialect coach in the mix. “A lot of times what I’ll suggest to the actor is go just speak through the lines of the song as if it’s a monologue. Go through it and have the dialect coach work with you on what it would sound like if he was just speaking these lines,” Vetro explains. “Then you and I will start singing through them using what the dialogue coach has taught you, and then I will try to figure out with you, how can we make this work singing.”

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Meet Eric Vetro, the Vocal Coach Who’s Helping Timothée Chalamet Sound Like Bob Dylan

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