Lin-Manuel Miranda has often spoken about origins: His own, his family’s, his musicals’, Alexander Hamilton’s, etc. He has written about them in lyrics, including the one above from “Alexander Hamilton” and his well-noted “we were that kid” rap in the 2013 Tony Awards opening number: “Bigger.” It’s a common theme of his interviews, whether he is the interviewee or the interviewer. Clearly Mr. Miranda seems to think our origins are important.
And I agree.
Particularly when it comes to the arts and educating young people. I firmly believe that our experiences and exposures as children have an incredible and lasting impact on how we interact with art for the remainder of our lives. And this includes formal and informal educations, extracurricular activities, time experiencing art with family and friends, exposure to all forms of entertainment, financial abilities, general access, community practices, and much much more. Every experience in life involves art in some way, and every exposure is another puzzle piece in a child’s education.
So how do we best serve young people? What kind of education do they need or should they have? What if some want to pursue the arts and others just want to enjoy them? What about those who have fewer resources available or greatly reduced ability to access art? Where does it all begin? Read more
(…and I’m not talking about our green friend over at the Gershwin!)
January 2 - March 10:
3 Days Off, working 7 Days/Week
2 Shows as Musical Director (Bring It On, Legally Blonde) and starting a Third (Rent)
5 Casts (Bring It On) over 2 weekends
70+ Cast Members (Legally Blonde)
33 Weekly Voice Lessons and 3 Classes (regular work schedule)
I Repeat - 3 Days Off
March 11 - April 14:
5 Days Off, working 6 Days/Week
1 Show as Musical Director (Rent)
2 Casts over 1 weekend
33 Weekly Voice Lessons and 3 Classes (still)
I Repeat - 5 Days Off
For those of you playing at home, that means in the first 101 days of 2019, I am scheduled to work for 93 of them with a total of 8 off days.
We need to discuss work and overwork in the artistic world. Read more
…it’s getting DRAFTY IN HERE!!
Yes, okay, I hate myself just a little bit for that one too. But I thought it was cute. Anywho…
Today I want to talk about the [grueling] process that is drafting. And I don’t mean in a graphic design sense (drawing is not a strength of mine). I mean it more in the sense of: sitting down to write a thing that you’ve been thinking about for a long time and have really wanted to write but haven’t had the time and/or motivation to do so but you’ve finally found the time or at least have now cleaned the entire apartment four times and done your taxes and solved world hunger so I guess now there’s nothing left to do but actually write the thing which you should want to write anyway since it’s your passion and you chose to do this with your life so why are you stalling oh wait Facebook is calling and oh look that rhymed and so I can get into a pointless argument with someone whose face I can’t see instead of forcing terrible first draft dialogue on unwitting characters oh wait they blocked me so I guess I really do have to write now. Darn.
You know. That kind of a sense. Read more
This may not be true for everyone, but for me the holiday season is the time of year when I go to the movies the most. Actually, it’s the only time of year I see movies consistently, which I’m beginning to believe is something I need to change.
As you might guess from the title of this post - and my picture from the Ithaca movie theater - I saw Mary Poppins Returns over the holidays. Personally, I thought it was absolutely marvelous and everything I wanted in a sequel to such a classic film filled with music, heart, and magic. I cried at least 3 times, which is generally a good indication that something went right. :-)
But there was more to my experience than just an excellent film. So much more. Read more
New Year. A time of celebration, reflection, planning, and new beginnings…right?
For some people, I do believe that is the case. But it’s not the case for everyone, myself included.
Personally, I’ve never really been a fan of New Year’s Eve and all of the traditions that go with it. It seems a bit much to party and eat and drink so close to the holiday break, and the idea of “resolutions” always gives me a feeling of dread like I’m just going to fail all my new endeavors. Perhaps not the best head space to enter into a new calendar year with.
So what to do? Read more
Busy-ness (not to be confused with the Business) is - if everyone is to be believed - the Number 1 Cause of Nothing-Ever-Happening. That’s right, simply being busy.
“But Michael, everyone I know is busy. I mean, I know I’m busy. All the time!”
I hear you and I understand what you’re saying, but I’m going to let in you on a secret that I was given which has truly changed the way I think about time and productivity. You ready? Read more
Alright, a touch dramatic, I agree. But it’s true, isn’t it? We really can’t pursue any kind of career or interest if we aren’t living. So perhaps the drama is warranted?
Okay, let’s see. What are we told as children are the basic needs for survival?
Food. Water. Shelter.
And in order to acquire these things in our modern society, we require money. Which means jobs.
***HOORAY!!! PEOPLE ARE GOING TO PAY US FOR THE ART WE LOVE TO CREATE AND THEN WE CAN JUST AFFORD TO LIVE AND CREATE ART AND BE HAPPY!!!!*** Wait, no? What do you mean, “no”? I have to get a what? Read more