🎼 And I Believe I Got It Made…🎶

DW Washburn Sheet Music

Dear Gentle Reader,

Last night was the first night of #Smojos rehearsals that we worked on staging and I have to tell you, I was crazy nervous. My words were falling out of my head and leaving my mouth struggling to explain what I wanted. THEN, I would try and say a number and my hands show the wrong number.  For example, I was saying that I wanted 4 steps but was holding up 3 fingers. LOL.

I know I am putting way more pressure on myself than anything I have ever worked on before. I just want so badly for this production to read the way I see it in my head. I feel that if I can pull it off, people of all ages will connect with this amazing musical revue on an emotional level. The younger audience goers will find the messages in the music as relatable and the older audience members will revisit these songs and all the memories that come with it.

My Dear Reader, this hope I hold on to has been keeping me up at night but not in the way that makes me anxious.

😯Shocker, right?!

I am excited about the ideas and the transitions that are popping up in my dreams or as I begin to fall asleep. So much so that I make notes of them so that I can focus on sleeping, but the idea just continues to blossom and my excitement grows with it.

I mentioned it before, but I will say it again, I am very humbled to have this opportunity with this team with this cast. I may not be D.W. Washburn, but like him, “I believe I got it made.”

I don’t know how familiar you are with the song D.W. Washburn. The song is about a down on his luck man that a few well intentioned people try to help. He, however, doesn’t want any help because he finds comfort with alcohol and he is okay with that.

Here’s a fun fact, Kind Reader.

The first version of the song was actually released by The Monkees! The Monkees! The television comedy group released the song one month before it was released by The Coasters, who were regular singers of Leiber and Stoller songs.  The Coasters recorded the song nearly a year earlier but The Monkees put their version out first

Wanna hear?  The Monkees                 The Coasters

I do think that the best version is the one that is in the Smokey Joe’s Cafe show.  The orchestrations seem to be fuller and the addition of more voice ranges give it a richer sound, which makes it my favorite.

If you want to hear how good our version is, you’ll have to get tickets! 😜 Seriously, get those tickets!

 

 

 

 

Haven’t Done This In Five Years…

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Dear Gentle Reader,

I never thought I would want to have a seat in this position again. The amount of detailed organization that was needed for a large cast show was sheer madness. 😜 For me. I am a non linear thinker as I have mentioned a few times here. I bounce back and forth on things in my head, on paper, in projects, when I speak, pretty much in every way. It took a lot out of me.  I loved that show so much as it is one of my favorites of all times, which is why I wanted to try my hand at the director gig.

✂️Cut to today…

🎼We had orientation for Smokey Joe’s Cafe and we laughed a lot! Always a good sign. This is one of my top three favorite shows of all time. I had to do this.  HAD TO!

I am ecstatic with the cast that we have.  They are all such fun personalities and strong vocalists. My gut tells me there is something so special about this cast and I am sure that every director thinks that about their own cast. Having been in LOTS of casts and many of them were GREAT but, I have only ever felt something like this one other time. That show was Pippin from a couple of years ago.

So, after all the introductions and a rendition of Happy Birthday to one of our Music Directors, Sarah, we took a short break for costume measurements then the cast and our Vocal Director, Jonathan, began working on the opening number “Neighborhood.” 🎶

When the 4 guys in the quartet started singing the opening notes in harmony, I got chills. CHILLS, I tells ya!! As we move further into the song and the ladies come in and we get the group harmonies… I was getting teary eyed and almost cried. There is something magical in this group, and I am looking forward to the rest of the rehearsals!

Oh Dear Reader, I fail to have the words to explain how lucky I feel at this moment and the joy that I had on the drive home.

Have you ever had a moment where you just couldn’t fully explain your emotions? How did you “vent?” Celebratory dance party? Scream of triumph? Quietly sit and enjoy tears of joy? Let me know, so I have a way to get this joy out!

Until next time, Kind Reader. 🎶

 

Well That’s Not What I Wanted…

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Happy New Year, Gentle Reader!

Well, I had tried to upload a post about The Making of the Star Wars Holiday Special, but it didn’t work. I had been writing it for 3 days!

Wah, wah, waaaaahhh!

So, on that note, all I will say is that it was a crazy fun experience that was the first time that I had a chance to work on something that had such a heightened sense of absurdity. I LOVED it!!!

NOTE: When I say absurdity, I literally mean ridiculous, not the style of theatre as known by certain playwrights.

Of course, it helps that the other actors were incredibly talented. Our creative staff was clever and everyone had so many great ideas that took this cute and funny tribute to the holiday special into an experience to be had. There were so many references and inside jokes that I STILL laugh at when thinking about them.

One thing I will admit, I had never seen the special before and we watched it together as a cast before the first read through, Oh, Dear Reader!  What glorious madness it was. Not to be out done, though. Donnie and Marie Osmond did a Star Wars themed skit in first episode of season 3.  Mix up the two and pull out some of those cheesy gooey bits and you have most of the script.

You’ve never seen it, either? Well, it just so happened that someone was kind enough to share here it on Youtube. Just for fun, here is the Osmond skit too.

Sadly, this isn’t quite the post I wanted to make, but I wanted to get something written. Thank you, Kind Reader for your time. I hope that 2019 is full of wonderful and amazing things for you.

Until next time…