INSULA, Music

“Alone” Scene from INSULA
photo: Mike Peters

INSULA – Kennedy Center Region II American College Theatre Festival
As I mentioned in a previous post, I got my feet wet in the realm of directing as assistant director to Kari Margolis as we took on creating an original devised piece with BFA Acting students at Montclair State University.  Inspired by the physical theatre space given to us at Montclair, INSULA developed organically into an awe-inspiring work of physical poetry as we explored the concept of islands, both metaphorical and literal.  We pulled from personal feelings of isolation, literary islands such as Avalon, Never Never Land, and sites from The Odyssey to create a living, breathing dreamscape of morphing stories and images.

Well, it is with great pride that I can announce that the show has been selected to perform at the Kennedy Center Region II American College Theatre Festival, held this year at Towson University.

Of course, I started this draft weeks ago and now that I am getting back to it, we leave for Towson TODAY!  From what I understand, we open the festival tomorrow morning with a performance at 9am and perform again later at 3pm.  We hope to seriously blow the minds of our audiences!

Music
I had a busy December with more gigs at Bakers Taproom II.  I cannot say enough great things about the place.  The food is spectacular, the clientele is friendly, and they have a seasonal rotation of great beer on tap.  They were decked out for the holiday season, and I had a great time honing my chops with sets of originals, cover, and I sprinkled in some holiday tunes to celebrate the festivities.  I snapped some video of a gig, but there is so much crowd audio with spiky levels I’m not sure how much of it is usable.  Still, if I can clean something up, I’ll post it.

I have a lot of projects on the table for 2013, and am so excited!  Working on a lot of new music and I’ll be posting clips of songs in progress as they get ironed out.

Music, Pulling Strings, Insula

MUSIC
I was psyched to finally arrange a date to play an acoustic set at Baker’s Taproom II in Barryville, NY.  It’s a place near and dear to my heart, and they have the best pizza I’ve had anywhere (Chicago & NYC have nothin’ on this place!).

I played two 40-minute sets, with an even mix of original songs and relatively obscure covers.  It was so great to get my feet wet playing music live again.  I”ve been playing and writing, but much of my focus lately has been on theatre, so it’s great to break in those calluses again and rebuild hand and finger strength!  I’m looking forward to lining up more winter dates and really getting back into the groove.  Cannot wait to do some more writing!

PULLING STRINGS – Middletown, NY Oct 20
Here comes the world premiere of our new production, PULLING STRINGS!  We’ll be performing one night only at Orange Hall in Middletown, NY.  We had a phenomenal preview work-in-progressing showing a few weeks back, and we’ve had time to tweak, edit, and polish to create an even stronger show.

More dates are in the works to tour this sizzling gem of a production, and I have no doubt whatsoever that we will knock the socks off of every audience we perform for–it’s a show like none other!  More details to come as developments continue.

INSULA – Montclair State University
It is with great pride that I am assisting Kari Margolis with a brand spanking new piece of devised work with BFA students at Montclair State University to be performed at the L. Howard Fox Theatre.  The new piece, titled INSULA, will delve into the various metaphorical and literal islands we as humanity create and have created for ourselves and for others throughout the ages.  Islands of myth and legend clash with those of modern technological isolation to create a rich human collage of emotion, history, dilemma, and discovery.

The work is being built from the ground up, with the BFA students offering a strong artistic voice to unearth imagery and story under the ever brilliant guidance of Kari Margolis and myself.  Other members of the MB ADAPTORS Company are popping in to assist and inspire, and not only are we creating some phenomenal work, but the experience itself is so empowering and enriching for the students.  I really think projects like this are invaluable for young artists in their formative training.  Where else does one get to don the hats of actor, playwright, and collaborator with a world class theatre company in such a supportive, nurturing, and educational environment?

Kudos and thanks to Montclair for supporting this amazing endeavor!

The show itself will open Thursday, November 29th and continue through Saturday night with another run the following Thurs-Sat.  You can purchase tickets HERE!

Original Song: Lullaby

I recorded a video performing the finished version of my new song “Lullaby.”  I’m learning more and more about youtube itself and what goes into making a good video, though ultimately I am most concerned with giving a rich, soulful performance.  Subscribe to my youtube channel for updates as they happen!

Enjoy!

DigitFest 2009 “meats” Digit Feast 2009.

This past weekend was DigitFest 2009 in Narrowsburg, NY, a celebration of Digital Art.  The students and company members of the Margolis Method Center submitted a film for the “Quick and Gritty Video Slam,” which is basically a 48 hour film competition.  The film had to be shot in Narrowsburg over the weekend, and had to be less than 3 minutes in length.  We put our devious heads together and came up with Digit Feast 2009.  What happens when the mindlessness of everyday life gets to us?  At what point do we stop living, appreciating every moment, and become zombies?  With Narrowsburg as our Everytown, USA, we came up with an entertaining, creepy, and beautiful exploration of this idea.  And we had a LOT of fun doing it.  Much to our delight, we won the GRAND PRIZE at the competition!  The original song “Zombies in Narrowsburg” was put together by myself and the very talented Kalen Keir.  Check it out:

In Narrowsburg Shadows – continued

Here it is! The film I helped produce and conceptualize for the DigitFest 2008 Quick and Gritty Film Festival. The song was written for the piece by me, and the other artists involved are colleagues from the Margolis Method Center in Barryville, NY. They include: Ian Bivins, Briar Dehaven, Jalyn Knobloch, Tania Liberata, Erin Neufer, and Maggie Danger.  The film festival had a few rules; it had to be shot within June 13-15, had to be under 3 minutes, and all footage had to be taken in Narrowsburg, NY.  It was a great experience and I’m so pleased with the outcome. Enjoy!

DigitFest 2008

In Narrowsburg Shadows This past weekend was DigitFest 2008, a celebration of digital media and art held in Narrowsburg, NY. A bunch of fellow colleagues and I from the Margolis Method Center put together a couple of films for the “Quick and Gritty” film fest. The rules were relatively simple: the piece must be under 3 minutes, and all footage must be shot in Narrowsburg from the 13-15th of June.
I’m thrilled to say that I ended up writing a song specifically for our piece, and I’m really pleased with the outcome. Here I’ve posted a still from the finished product. I’ll be posting youtube links once it gets officially uploaded.
It was really a fantastic experience, and I’m truly grateful to all the artists who made it possible.