At any given moment, we may write what we think and feel. We put it down, we proclaim, we spit it out, we share with whatever our intentions were/are at the time we write. Saying something is one thing, however writing it down is another. Perhaps we write things down in order to not forget, or in order to remember. Words.
As a musical performer I’ve been told I often use sweeping and dramatic gestures and move about a lot on stage. What I’m learning now is that being a singer with a band is a lot different than doing a one-woman show. As I rehearse my show THE PASS it’s been brought to my attention by my director, Gretchen Cryer, that I need to stand still–at least once in a while! During my rehearsal yesterday I was pacing around the stage, thinking and moving spontaneously as I would in life. But this can be distracting for an audience, even off-putting. I’ve been advised to block out all my moves so that when I speak and sing I will be standing in pre-arranged places–no more wandering around! I’m a free spirit who enjoys making each performance different; I even sing my songs with slight variations every time, to keep them fresh. It’s just the way I roll.
However, for THE PASS, the first run-through, which is September 28th, is an invitation-only performance and will be trying out a new style: one of stillness. I will perform my anecdotes and sing my songs according to a pattern that I’ll have pre-determined, as much as it is within my power to do so. Varying my act a bit, by tweaking the way I usually perform, will be a big challenge. But it will also keep me aware of both myself and the audience in a fresh and exciting new way.
I am thrilled (and nervous) to be preparing for my first showing of THE PASS and will be sure to let you know how it goes.
There is so much entertainment on offer everywhere these days; it is a pleasure to go to real theater. Nothing beats its authenticity. Last week I saw “Sweeney Todd” at the Barrow Theater. I did find the violence of the story a tad bit unsettling, as it was more in your face with this intimate production. It was still–pure entertainment. Not only were the voices and the performances powerful and intense, particularly that of Norm Lewis who has just taken over the lead role, but the pies were tasty! Obama himself said it will be “the best pie you have ever eaten.” Having enjoyed the vegetable pie immensely, I concur.
On a more serious note, I also saw Eugene O’Neil’s “The Hairy Ape.”
This play was also intense; with a human – animal comparison throughout the piece. I admired it, as “enjoyment” is not the right word to apply. Set in 1922, pre-Depression era New York, the main character Yank finds himself “at sea” in a life dominated by wealth and greed. He longs to be valued as an honest hard worker, skilled in the ways of sailing and coal slinging, yet his values are not prized in the world that employs him. When he sets his eyes on the President of the company’s daughter, his life is altered forever. I left the theater feeling a little bewildered, curious yet inspired. I can’t imagine anyone else other than Bobby Cannavale playing the lead role. The venue and the production were incredible; I thought holding it at the Park Avenue Armory really fit the material.
One of the sweet things to come out of my theater-going experience was meeting Elaina, (Sweeney) who runs Big Smile Entertainment out of Boston. Looks to me like she runs an outstanding organization!
Very odd I had posted a blog post a few days ago about my thinking about changing the name of my one woman show and it seems to have disappeared.
So the gist of the post, what do you think of the title ROOM FOR ME vs THE PASS? What do either titles conjure up?
Why you may ask am I considering a title change? Especially when I have been calling the show as it develops THE PASS and even have artwork for it? Good question and happy to share why.
I had 2 friends over at my apartment in West Hollywood the night before I flew out to Florida and we had an impromptu workshop aka read-thru. They gave me some great feedback, suggestions. One friend I met in London and the other I know from NYC; around the same time. We have been friends for many years however we have all 3 rarely hung out together. Both are in the arts and I respect their opinion’s. Somehow a song from my Camden Town days came into the head of my friend (the one from the UK) -she is an actress and voice over artist) and now lives in California, in fact she is my neighbor with a home up the block. My other friend from NYC was in town working on past production for a new film, LET IT FALL. We had a great time hanging out. It was a great trip as a while and I plan to go back more often now. They both discussed the idea of a new title and called me separately. I am now considering their thoughts. I am also going to hold a handful of workshops before I film the show. Much work ahead!
In Florida to celebrate my dad’s 90th birthday. Pretty damn cool. Lot’s of celebrating.
For whatever reason I’ve had this stigma about raising money online for my projects–like I’ve had some success: publishing deals, hit records. It makes me feel like I’m starting from scratch. Then I look and see all the amazing artists who are doing crowdfunding and I realize I have been limiting myself by judging myself.
So I’m shedding my old self and my colleague Maryanne and I are working on my first crowdfunding campaign. We’re researching, creating content and preparing to raise funds for my one-woman show THE PASS. We applied for a grant from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and we’re waiting to hear, should know sometime in February. In conjunction with the grant, we are starting the crowdfunding part we spoke about in the application.
I am trying to come up with a fun concept for the video. There are many aspects to being creative–certainly it has its pain and challenges. However, I’m now looking at things from a different angle; my new mantra is “focus on the fun.” After all, creating is my chosen path. No one is forcing me to write a new song or write a show; it’s coming from me naturally. For me to do anything else would be unnatural.
Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day; I hope we all reflected on his profound ability to make a difference in the world. My goal for the show is to entertain people and to bring them enjoyment. With my work in PR and with my mentoring I have made a difference in a handful of lives. Now I’m focusing on the fun.
My one-woman show The Pass will debut this winter. It is a journey of self-discovery with original music and lyrics. Now that I am getting ready to advertise The Pass to audiences, I realize how hard it can be to find one image that depicts what the show represents. I knew I wanted my logo to feature the actual pass I obtained from NYU, an official sign that I was entitled to use their rehearsal room. But, just as a recipe cannot contain just one ingredient, I had to blend this image with others to create something that would be both eye-catching and showcase my identity. I vetted some ideas with my go-to company Frank Parker / A Creative Experience (LA) who came up with a silhouette of a woman wearing a red scarf. After emailing the work in progress to friends and associates, I solicited feedback; it was overwhelmingly positive re: the scarf, which added vibrant notes of movement and joy. Some people gave input to the text as well; there were 2 choices and the winning choice remains. I also altered a few other things because of comments that came in.
So, here is my logo for The Pass in its final form:
Please let me know your thoughts and if it inspires you to want to attend my show. My intentions are always to inspire. The songs featured in the show span my songwriting from the 80’s to now. The songs contain many real-life anecdotes, and the vignettes support those experiences. Perhaps they can help you and those seeking out their own path in life to overcome obstacles and come out singing.