๐ŸŽผNow I Hear The Music, Close My Eyes, I Am Rhythm๐ŸŽถ…

Hello Kind Reader!

I hope this finds you all well and thriving. (Didn’t that just sound like a Kaiser Permanente commercial?)

Many, MANY years ago, I had told a good friend that I wanted to do a cabaret act or possibly a one person show. I have ideas for both, but was always too afraid to write anything down. Now, I don’t view myself as a singer, so that presented itself as a self sabotaging obstacle. I am glad that I can recognize those when they come up. Do I do anything about it? Ummm, not so much, but I am trying to get better. I consider myself an actor that can move and carry a tune. Sure, I need a bucket to hold all the notes, but that is beside the point. Most casting people see me as the funny sidekick or the goofball in a show. These last few years, I have been trying really hard to stay away from the comedic roles because I want to be seen as more than just the funny fat guy.

After years of playing that part, I started being hyper critical of others that were stuck in that same part and seeing if they were trying to differentiate the parts in some way or just relying on the same old tricks. That is what started my kick to not be the comic relief if I could help it. There were times when the part was just too good to pass up, but I have also been lucky enough to have found the right people that see that I can do more.

So when the chance came to actually do a cabaret show with some friends, I leapt at the chance! And I had a blast!

But that isn’t why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to share with you, my Dear Reader, some of the ideas that I had for that long time dreamed about cabaret show.

I had wanted to open up with the song “What A Party” from one of my favorite shows, Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party to introduce people in the “cast” after a small calm ballad verse and chorus, like “Flashdance (What A Feeling)” or a comedic verse and chorus of “Total Eclipse of the Heart

Then we would all sing a group song or two then they would sprinkle in solos throughout the show. I have always wanted the ending of the first act to be “Saved” from Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

Then to open Act 2, I wanted to have this sort of corset and tux tails combo costume. Think of it as a tuxedo vest that has a corset body rather than the traditional body of a vest and instead of ending like a regular vest or waistcoat would, the back would have tuxedo tails. The neck would be like a sort of medieval pirate shirt ruffle with the sleeves. Ok, do you got that image in your head? If I could draw a straight line, I would totally make a sketch for you. This sounds like a unique piece right?

OK! SO! I would saunter in singing “Paris Original.” This song is about having an original, one of a kind, Parisian dress and looking good for someone. Then another cast mate would come in with the same costume in the middle of a phrase and just take over the song. Then a third would come from back of the audience and take over the song in the same outfit and play with the audience to up the stakes. Next a fourth. And from there the song just becomes about one upping one another, which if done right, could be hilarious! What I really love about this idea is that unlike the production it is from, this will have all genders. I don’t want to say what I actually see happening in the ending just in case I actually get to do this. LOL!

Then I would love to have some short anecdotes from the cast a la A Chorus Line which would then plunge us back into the singing. Then I would love to end the show with a big tap number of some sort because I have yet to see a cabaret with tap dancing in it. Most likely something from 42nd Street because that show is so iconic.

I was also toying with the idea of having a moment of the improve game “scenes from a hat” from the show Whose Line Is It Anyway? Yet another way to get the audience involved.

Well, I said wanted to tell you a few of my ideas, NOT all of them, because one day, I still hope to pull this off. I just don’t know when. But rest assured, I will let you know. The more I think about it, I really like the “Total Eclipse of the Heart” possibilities.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with any of the songs that I have listed, I made sure to make links so you can hear them. I really need to find someone to sketch out that corset tails thing. LOL!

I was supposed to be a part of an upcoming cabaret, but because of my covid recovery, that put me on the sidelines. Pretty bummed about it, but who doesn’t want to be at 100% when performing, right? I love the fact that the opportunity was there and that should another happen, I will be in that line up. Just have to wait a little longer. ๐Ÿ‘ The take away is that I am excited to do something that I was afraid of. I can’t wait to support the upcoming event. You can too! It will be on WVLO Musical Theater’s Facebook Live. The event happens February 26 at 7pm Pacific and 4pm Eastern. It is called “From Our Hearts to Your Homes.”

My Darling Reader let me know what you think of those ideas in the comments below. Or if you are handy with a sketch pad and pencil, show me what did my description make you think of for that costume in “Paris Original.” As always stay safe and aware!

Until next time!

๐ŸŽผ Won’t Let A Stranger Give Me A Social Disease ๐ŸŽถ…

Hello Dear Reader!

Forgive my absence for the last few weeks. I ended up contracting coronavirus at the end of January. It was so hard! I have never been so sick that I couldn’t do anything. I wanted nothing more than just to be sleeping. I didn’t want to eat or look at any sort of social media. I didn’t want to read. It just felt best when I was lying down and alone. At one point, during the first week, I had terrible back pain. It was so bad that I couldn’t get comfortable and get any rest. As long as I was lying down, I was ok, but as soon as I needed to talk or move, I had a hard time catching my breath. It felt like it took forever just to get the simplest sentence out. Finally, I called the advice nurse and she urged me to go to the ER because my breathing was more labored than it should be. So it was off to the emergency room where I spent a good seven or eight hours.

It was a little scary because they took me outside to this tent structure that was used for covid patients. The doctors there were very kind and really upbeat. There weren’t many other people when I arrived but after they got what seemed like 20 vials of blood from me, four other patients came in. The doctor gave me two bags of fluids to curb my dehydration and injected me with something that was to help with the back pain. After about 15 minutes, the pain subsided and I was finally able to lay comfortably so I tried to get some sleep, but with all that was going on, I couldn’t. They wheeled me to another part of the tent and did a chest X-ray. The doctor came back after a couple of hours and said that it looks like I had pneumonia. His final assessment was that I had Covid induced pneumonia.

Even when I had regular pneumonia, I still was able to go to rehearsals and get through the three or four hour block of time. This was something way more painful than the regular illness. It made me question everything. I wondered what I was doing with my life. I couldn’t find anything enjoyable to focus on except for a sweet little note from my friends, Nancy and Riley. I put it next to my bed so I could see it all the time. About four days after the ER visit, I began to feel like a fog was clearing. At one point, I felt like I was time traveling and was in random places that didn’t feel like dreams. I know what dreams are like, I remember them pretty well. These felt like different times and foreign lands. Usually when I dream, when the “scene changed” it would just morph and suddenly the setting would be different. In this “dream time” I was literally whisked away through a kind of portal to the new setting. It was the most fascinating and unnerving thing I have ever experienced.

I know, I know, Gentle Reader. It sounds so bizarre.

In the last week, as I got better, I began to want to sing. I know I couldn’t yet because I didn’t have any diaphramatical support since the coughing made breathing difficult. I started by just trying to hum along with the songs from Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Breathing and humming along in the same phrases that the singer would use. I gradually had made it to actually singing. I still have some coughing fits and my range isn’t what it was, but I can feel the strength coming back. I continue to use musicals to help with my breathing and I wonder if anyone else has used singing to try and “get back to normal.”

So, Kind Reader, have you found ever used any of the Arts to help heal you? I feel like having that little hand written note helped me to begin to heal. I traced the letters and hearts. Then, with all that love I felt in that note, I turned to things that I loved to help me continue to heal. Call me crazy, but I honestly think without that small note of love and kindness, I would have taken a lot longer to heal. I even completed a 45 minute online workout and only had to stop once.

I don’t know where I am going with this, but I needed to get this out. I thank you once again, Dear Reader for letting me bend your ear. Until next time, stay safe and aware. Let me know if you have ever used something you love to get better from an illness in the comments.