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!

Overdue Update: PULLING STRINGS, Teaching, and more

Holy overdue update, Batman!  So much to recap.

A scene from MB ADAPTOR’S newest production, PULLING STRINGS (photo by Jim Moore)

PULLING STRINGS
Two years of hard work is finally culminating as we polish the imaginative powerhouse of a production we call PULLING STRINGS.  As a creative endeavor, it has been incredibly artistically fulfilling.  I have been challenged and inspired in all of the ways I could hope for as a working artist.  Every moment of this show is packed with imagery, metaphor, emotion, and subtext.  We perform final work-in-progress showing as part of NACL’s Deep Space series in September, and then make our debut in Middletown, New York in October (more details to follow).  If you are in the area, come and experience the wonder of a show like nothing you have ever seen before.  I feel so lucky to be part of such a spectacular ensemble of artists (Jalyn Knobloch, Gregory G. Schott, Tania Liberata, Jonathan Beller, and Helen Buron.)  Of course I owe so much to my director and mentor, Kari Margolis and her brilliant partner, Tony Brown.

Workshops
I have had the great pleasure to assist Master Teacher Kari Margolis at a number of high profile Master Classes.  As I mentioned in my last post, in April, I was there to assist at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, DC, where we worked with a group of finalists from across the country.  This was my second year bringing the Margolis Method to the artists at the KCACTF.  I also sat in on a panel to discuss devised work as the Festival continues to develop an arena for this type of work at the regional festivals.  Very enlightening and very inspiring.

In June, I accompanied Kari to NYC, where we taught at the Actor’s Movement Studio’s 2012 Summer Intensive.  Janice Orlandi, who runs the studio, is such an exuberant, supportive force.  It was a great weekend for me as a teacher, given the reins to lead the group at times throughout the workshop.

Margolis Method 2012 Professor Certification
We had our second annual Professor Certification course at the beginning of the summer, and boy was it an inspiration.  Professors from colleges and universities across the country–and two from Canada–assembled to learn exercises, concepts, and creative structures to incorporate into their classes.  There is nothing like being in the presence of professional theater educators discussing craft.  I sense the flow of theater shifting, and I truly believe it is the coming age of actor-centered theatre.  It all starts with the educators.  If we spread the word and help to create empowered artists, the whole paradigm of theatre will and must change.

Music
Been picking up my guitar lately.  Here’s a snippet of a song I was working on (which is now finished).  I’ll record the full song soon and post it.  Enjoy!