Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why not?

"Why not?"

That's what I've decided to ask myself whenever a decision is to be made. 

Yes, that's a lot of "Why nots?"...

But, why not? Might as well, right? 


Here's the second video for our cyber-release of Schuyler and The Flies' concert, "FRESH PRODUCE: What it means to be human.". Many thanks to the incredible Shaina Taub for writing this gem of a song, plus another one to come later on! 

Happy watching!

PS... Here's a photo of Shaina and I backstage for the production of "Cabaret" 
we did together at Ivoryton Playhouse, summer 2006. 

I was the tannest German ever...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grandfathers of the Year.

And so kicks off the cyber-release of Schuyler and The Flies' brand new concert, “FRESH PRODUCE: What it means to be human.” If you haven’t had a chance to watch the teaser for all the videos, be sure to check it out here:


This first revealing is a bit bitter-sweet. Mom’s dad, Grandpa, passed away last night. While it wasn’t too sudden, it was sudden enough to cause stir, as any moving on of a loved one should. 

Grandpa loves performing magic tricks for all his grandchildren; a favorite includes his handkerchief miraculously turning into a mouse before our eyes. He is an incredible water-colorist, constantly discovering brilliant ways to mingle his paints together to describe, with life, what he was seeing. Grandpa just has a knowledge of everything. He is Mister Fix It, whether a leaky gutter, a rocking chair that’s not supposed to rock, a jammed door knob, he used the same magic that that mouse and his paintings inhabited, bringing those broken pieces new sentience. Not to mention, he’s hilarious, playing such roles as Nathan Detroit opposite Nana as Adelaide when Mom was 4-years-old. Every card, Christmas card, stolen note, was in perfect rhyme, collecting the beaconed verbiage to bring utter joy for all those who fell within his collaborations. 

Above all, Grandpa is the ultimate family man. He provided everything he possibly could and more for his family. His persistence to make sure all the people around him were not only happy, but ecstatic with life, made him an epitome of the husband and father I wish to be someday. 

The best thing is that he will continue to live within me, never becoming passed, but simply continue on as present in new light. That’s something that I will be forever grateful for, knowing that there is nothing that can take away the qualities he expressed and the memories he pressed down within us all. 

Within three months, both of my grandfathers have passed away. I am the luckiest man alive to have had both of these incredible role models in my life for as long as I have. 

I wasn’t planning on having this be the first song to release for the concert, but with timing as it is, I feel like it’s perfect. I would like to dedicate this next song, “Lost in the Waves” by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond, to both of my grandfathers, Bob Beeman and Jack Pihl, for all that they have taught me and will continue to teach me. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Weekend "Off".

I'm just waiting for a D train after seeing "Sorry" at The Public Theater. I have to write; just life-altering...


I wanted to write more last night, but I was caught off guard and cut off by anger with the MTA. Sandy's aftermath has created complete havoc on much of the North-East, much right here in the city. 

Some many others have it so much worse than I, and I feel bad for being pissed at anything, especially when so lucky. But it's where I was. Where I'm not wanting to go back to; it was what it was. I was thrown off, off a road of bending crosses, changing views and jives of Soul's teachings. 

I had the greatest weekend. Four shows in two days. Four shows in only two days. Theater unloaded into me and I'm riding the high. It was a variety and couplings of Off-Broadway productions never to be recreated. I haven't had the time to sit back and analyze everything I saw, and I'm not going to rush it. Actually, better, I'm not even going to try. The answers for how I felt about the shows will come when they've set and festered within the - - whatever vessel of my body theatre rests in - on - around...

All I wish to recount is how I saw the shows. The W's: What, Where, When, Who, Why.

I experienced absurd, the truest naturalism I'll ever know, epic musicale, and teetering. 

I resided mainly at The Public Theater, finishing at Playwright Horizons. 

I didn't just see these shows yesterday and today, I saw these shows the first weekend after this catastrophic storm that hit our coast. 

I went with my roomie, his friend, my CLOC fiance, plus a surprising (and surprisingly great) date. 

I journeyed because I could, and because it was free. 

Yes. Every show I saw this weekend took no money from my pocket. Well, nothing's actually free, right? "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Looks like I actually got something out of my "Intro to Microeconomics" course at Midd (thanks Professor Horlacher...). 

I spent money on food. I spent money on subways. I spent money on Starbucks. I spent time getting places and waiting in line (and time is money). 

Whatever I spent I received back in everything I experienced - felt, stole, questioned, created, thought, jarred - in each of those (amazingly spacious with leg room) theaters. 

And I'm grateful. So grateful. 


Go see Off-Broadway theatre:

"Wild With Happy",com_shows/task,view/Itemid,141/id,1057



"The Whale"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Move back...

I’m moving back to my parents’ house on the 20th of this month.

The idea began to brew while at CLOC. My time at the fantastic Harlem apartment - the deal of a century - was to end, and the idea of searching for a new place with little funds gave me that sick-to-stomach pit. Not to mention, my life was changing, outlooks broader, and dreams shifting from performance to direction/choreography. Did I necessarily need to be in NYC now to “become” a director/choreographer?

Things started to happen when I moved here from the comforting confines of home in February of 2011. I auditioned more, I networked more, I created more for myself. How could I leave that, that connectedness, that odd "beating down to the ground" support only NYC can provide?

Pondering amongst summer-stock, beached sunsets, and over-priced pizza, the thought of leaving the greatest city on Earth equated failure: I didn’t/wasn’t able to “make it” well enough, thus had to flee back to Mommy and Daddy...

A very wise friend told me, cutting through (and finally off) the spouting fears of judgment, that moving back was not a failure if I made something of it.

It was then that I started to take this choice as an opportunity. This could be a time to re-evaluate and see the different avenues of this field. This could be the time to learn more about famous directors and choreographers, furthering my own creative aesthetic through those comforting walls of a cheaper living situation. This could be that time to reconnect with family, traveling to be with and learn from extended families’ differences and similarities. 

I came back to NYC with this pretty secure, yet open to change-and-stay attitude. But with each day counting down to my move-out date, I continued to feel drawn to the opportunities that Connecticut could provide. Connecticut has a fantastic theatre scene and can be a wonderful place to work and create. I look forward to hopefully returning to some of the connections I already have there while also meeting new people and creating with the many other talented companies there. 

But it's something else that has been the most intriguing aspect about leaving NYC that continually comes to mind: I don’t want to be creating theatre from the adventures of NYC anymore. It’s already been done and over-done. I want to explore specifics in my own life’s events and escapades outside of this city concerning my faith, family, and other interests in this life that I wish to explore/try out. There's too many to list here, but the ideas are endless. I personally find theatre about experiences that I never would have thought of, stories that are so opposite of the NYC way of life, to be the most fascinating because I am transported completely. That's the kind of stories I want to share through theatre.  

One example: People that know me know that I have a weird obsession and love of farming. My dream is to retire on a huge farm or ranch where I can live out my life tilling the ground, feeding the chickens, riding horses, and holding my husband’s hand on our porch (Well, only if Obama is President...). 

So, this upcoming January, I am heading down to Todd Langstaff’s Maryland farm to help out his Aunt Lee with lambing season. Yes people, I’ll be birthing lambs. It’s something I always have wanted to do, to learn, and be a part of. Thus, when the opportunity arose, and having no NYC ties, I took it because it’s important to me as not only an artist, but as an individual to be a part of an experience like this. Some may ask, “How does birthing lambs make you a better artist?” I have no freaking clue, but you never know...

I’m terrified about moving and hating that I'm leaving this city behind. I’ll miss it terribly, but I know NYC isn't going anywhere (Yeah Sandy, even you can't take us down.). And luckily, I’m close enough to come in every so often to get my city-life-fix every now and again. 

Here’s to the road of my art taking yet another turn...