Monday, October 22, 2012


It has been approximately 19 months since I posted on this blog.

That is all.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

127 Adjusted Rabbits in 3D

A couple weeks ago I saw "The Importance of Being Earnest" at the American Airlines Theater. I knew nothing of the show before going into the theater. All I knew was that it was a period piece, written by Oscar Wilde, and that Roundabout Theatre Company had extended their production of the play three times.  The people who are responsible behind "Live from the Met!" were taping that particular performance to be screened in movie theaters across the country. Finally, I was in the very last row of the balcony with a very drunk couple from New Jersey sitting right in front of me (They literally took small tequila bottles out of their pockets during each intermission, downing them as if they were water).

But enough about the experience of seeing "Earnest," onto the actual show. While I was a little unclear as to what was going on in the first ten or fifteen minutes, the show was absolutely hilarious. It was one of the silliest comedies I had seen in a while, and I laughed constantly (especially in Act Three). But because it was a "period piece" a.k.a. it doesn't take place within the past 20 years, I felt like there had to be some significant meaning behind what was going on. I kept on trying to decipher some greater purpose to what Oscar Wilde had written. Was Lady Bracknell a symbol for the socially backwards monarchy? Were Algernon and Worthing representing two opposing ideologies about the actualization of marriage? Or was there no meaning behind it at all? And by the end, I concluded the latter. Who cares if A represented B? I had such a hilariously good time that three hours of Oscar Wilde felt like a whimsically enjoyable 20 minute roller coaster.

The plays/musicals that are designed to be void of heavy meaning maintain a vital position in art and theatre. People like to call "musical comedies" theatrical fluff, and the word carries a negative connotation. But there are two points I'd like to make about "Fluff". First of all, not all musical comedies are fluff (look at shows such as "The Drowsy Chaperone" and "The Full Monty"). Secondly, fluff does not inherently mean bad or insignificant. The art of musical theatre took an unsurprising turn immediately following the 9/11 attacks: a tidal wave of musical comedies opened throughout New York, mostly adapted from movies. This resurrected the idea that musical theatre overall is a go-to form of escapism, and whether you approve of it or not, escapism hardly feels insignificant, especially in a time of crisis.

While I salute those who want to make people laugh for the sake of laughing, or forget for the sake of forgetting, I can honestly say that I'm interested in something rather different. I do want to make or be involved in theatre that carries a sense of weight and leaves the audience altered in a more dramatic way. And this entirely comes from my own personal experience when it comes to seeing plays or films that move me or inspire me. Even though I'm currently working on a rather farcical and absurd operetta (being funny is not one of my strong suits... hopefully it won't explode in my face), the past stuff that I've written has had the goal of being jarring or scarring or, dare I say it, inspiring. The goal to be inspirational has got to be one of the most masturbatory and ego-driven desires one can strive for. Not to mention it also makes you look like a tool. Maybe I can thank Alan Ball and his incredible masterpiece, "Six Feet Under" for making me want to talk about rather vast topics (like death). But if Alan Ball is a tool, then I am too.

In the past few months, I've come across some movies that have inspired me or left me incredibly affected or moved. This blog post is simply just me recommending a few movies that changed me in some way, even if it was the smallest change possible. If you've seen these movies, or if you disagree, that's perfectly okay. All I know is that Danny Boyle, John Cameron Mitchell, Toni Myers, and George Nolfi have all recently made movies that carry MUCH weight to them, and hit me hard across the face. More often than not, when people tell us that something inspired them, we are then motivated to not find it inspiring. Being inspired by something is such a personal experience, that sharing it in a communal environment (whether it's a dark movie theater or... a blog) often feels unattractive. But multiple people can be inspired by a common source if people make the choice to make that possible. So allow me to mention four movies that moved me in vastly significant ways.

1. Danny Boyle's "127 Hours"
I'm a crier when it comes to movies. I tend to avoid crying in public, around friends, or even by myself. But the security blanket of a dark movie theater becomes a code for being "safe place to cry." I think it's easy to make something devastating or heartbreaking on film and cause one to cry. However, I find it to be inexplicably more challenging to move someone to tears from a catharsis of joy and euphoria. And by the end of "127 Hours", I was uplifted to tears. A movie about a man trapped between a rock and a hard place, literally, doesn't seem that thrilling. But it was an adrenaline booster that forced our protagonist Aron Ralston, as well as the audience, to ask the question, "How much is your life really worth?" and to what end do we lose sight of things that actually have value. James Franco's extraordinary performance as Aron is basically a solo tour-de-force of having to ride a roller coaster while standing in one spot for more than 60% of the movie. Danny Boyle is one smart manipulative man who uses natural sensory to heighten not only the emotion of what Aron is feeling in his time of crisis, but even in his time of jubilation.

2. John Cameron Mitchell's "Rabbit Hole"

I've never seen David Lindsay-Abaire's play performed. I read it about five years ago and remember it being an incredibly sad play. And Mitchell's film adaptation relatively sticks to the same guidelines. By the way, if I'm a crier at the movies and shed a tear or two at the end of "127 Hours", that pales in comparison to the amount of times I cried during "Rabbit Hole" (three separate times in total). Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart (both giving sheer perfect and ballsy performances) play a married couple who recently lost their son. Rather than emphasizing the joy life has to bring, it dives very deeply into what it actually means to experience loss. "Rabbit Hole" is rather relentless in showing Kidman and Eckhart run around in circles of depression and being stuck. But through all the trauma and heartache, a glimmer of hope still shines through in the most unusual of ways. For "Rabbit Hole", hope does not lie in the light at the end of the tunnel. Instead, hope lives in each and every individual step in what it means to recover or to heal. Even when the next step is unclear and frustrating, there is still hope just by knowing one can create another step to take.

3. Toni Myers' "IMAX: Hubble 3D"

It's amazing how much your perspective of the universe can change in a short time of 45 minutes. But the documentary regarding the Hubble telescope and the people responsible for its inception and duration is nothing short of miraculous and astonishing. Throughout the film you see the scientists and astronauts as they not only build and describe the telescope, but you also follow them on a dire mission to save its existence. But the people in the are not nearly as mesmerizing as the main character itself, the Hubble. The breathtaking images that the telescope has captured, wondrously guided and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, are enough to reevaluate our own existence on the microscope Earth. Some of these images capture galaxies and solar systems lightyears away, and here's another interesting fact: the telescope has yet to see another planet or environment that is a suitable place for human beings. "IMAX: Hubble 3D" introduces you to a universe that feels too impossible and splendorous to be true and (in the most beautiful of ways) made me wonder about my own existence in our own tiny speck of a galaxy.

4. George Nolfi's "The Adjustment Bureau"

Let me begin with a brief disclaimer. I found something in this film that most people didn't seem to see. But I found something nonetheless. George Nofli's adaptation of "Adjustment Team" tells the story of politician David Norris and his fight for the girl of his dreams, a contemporary dancer/choreographer named Elise. What stands between them? A secret organization designed to keep their pre-destined futures intact, by any means necessary. This "organization" (the source of the film's title) is not necessarily composed of bad men, or evil men. They simply have to do their jobs by sticking to the plan designed to keep the world afloat and on track. "But what about free will?" David asks. And thus we are on a spiraling philosophical roller coaster on what it means to be in control of our own lives. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt as the troubled lovers are not only an incredibly sexy couple (their first scene together is one of the greatest boy-meets-girl scenes I've witnessed in quite some time) but also act as a couple I rooted for throughout the movie. We all want to control our own destinies, right? In result the couple was shockingly identifiable and hit me across the face with one obvious but profound credo: Free will is NOT a gift, but a responsibility. While "The Adjustment Bureau" is clearly science-fiction, it does  create the scenario of free will being taken away from us (almost like one of those "you-don't-appreciate-it-until-it's-gone" situations). But we DO have free will, at least I believe we do. And if we do have free will and treat it more like a responsibility and less like a privilege, then I had to ask myself a big question: Am I truly living the life I want to live? I have the free will to live my life in a full, healthy, and generous fashion. So why not take advantage of this? It's not something that I could do for myself, but it is something I should do for myself. Hence the dichotomy between privilege and responsibility. I am responsible for my life. Everyone is responsible for their own lives. David Norris taught me this (more like Nolfi and Damon). Are YOU truly living the life you want to live? If the answer is no, then why aren't you doing anything about it? I mean, Matt Damon did. And so should I.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Chronicles of Spider-Man and the Great White Way

Everybody has an opinion about it. I am no exception. It's expanded into the media countlessly and relentlessly over the past couple years and it seems to get more impactful and more repetitive as time goes on. Yes, I am talking about the biggest sensation to land in New York City since god knows what; "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark"

[WARNING: This blog post might spoil some things about the show, but it's primarily plot points that you have likely seen in the film.]

I had made an oath to myself that I wouldn't see the show until after it officially opened. But on February 26th, I caved in and got myself a ticket that put me right in the middle of the orchestra section. On my left was a wonderful old lady who also came to the show by herself. On my right was the most annoying family I've ever had the displeasure of spending a time with in the theatre (forgive my poor grammar). And in front of me was the one of the biggest prosceniums I've ever seen in my life.

It is nearly impossible to argue the nature that the show has taken in regards to unending public attention, regardless of it being intentional or unintentional. As a matter of fact, people are unable to comment on the show and only the show itself. There are two performances of "Spider-Man" happening simultaneously every day. The first is the show that Bono, The Edge, Julie Taymor, George Tsypin, and Glen Berger have concocted that takes place in the Foxwoods Theatre eight times a week. The second is the show that the New York Times,, ABC News, Nightline, etc... have created. And everyone has an opinion on both.

So let me digress into the latter. Before the show even dared to start performances, there was the nature of the budget. The number "65 million" is typically attached to the title as if they are joined at the hip. When the number was disclosed, people began to criticize the nature of spending so much money on a show. Thus the new production of "Spidermusical" is opening with the goal of spending $0. I personally have no problem with a show willing to spend 65 million dollars on its budget. The extraordinarily respected director Robert LaPage spent over $220 million on his production of "Ka" with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. And that is one fuck of a show. If you have the option to have (on what seems like) unlimited funds, why not take a stab at it? Every director I know would love to have the option of not worrying about a budget (I guess if the subject of the show was directly related to the topic of "budget" a director would not want to spend much money, but that's again taking the performance outside of the performance).
Secondly, the announcement of the intial casting and creative team also created quite a surprise. Bono writing a musical? Julie Taymor tackling a comic-book hero? Evan Rachel Wood and Jim Sturgess reuniting for a Broadway show? The response from many was either "That makes perfect sense" or "That's totally retarded". I honestly didn't know what to make of it. It sounded intriguing enough. And when they announced the new casting (sans Alan Cummings), I came to the conclusion that this was meant to be a rock show with flying. Reeve Carney was discovered playing with his band for some gig Julie Taymor happened to attend. Between him and U2 creating the show with a woman who was famous for not knowing how to deal with words but was born to handle the visual, it was becoming clearer what kind of "musical" this was going to be.

And then the show started previews. And then the technical problems erupted. And the opening was continuously getting delayed. And then the actors were getting injured (which lead to a million "And then"s from Actors Equity releasing statements of outcry to financial fees to government-funded organizations calling for regulations to public humiliation to...) And then there was the biggest turn for the worst; word spreading that the show was, in fact, pretty god awful.

I must admit that as this "bad press" was growing, I started having a biased affection towards the production. I personally saw something extraordinary in all that was happening with this media phenomenon. First of all, when has a Broadway musical EVER gotten so much attention since The Ed Sullivan Show stopped airing? That alone was rather fascinating. And then there's one of my credos in relation to musical theatre. Ask anyone who knows me. I loudly and proudly uphold the belief that any subject can be the makings of a good musical. And I believe that it's true for any form of art. Many people were saying that the idea of "Spider-Man" should never be turned into a musical. But people also said that about shows like "Avenue Q", "Cats", "Company", and "The Lion King". And whether you liked those shows or not, it's hard to say that they did not find some form of success (from either critics or the general public). And if "Spider-man" found some sort of affection, that obnoxious belief I carry would be encouraged yet again. Also, I do not see the production of "Spider-Man" as an evil capitalist attempt to make money by some scary evil corporation. Broadway is known as one of the most financially risky art endeavors in the world. This is not a personal exaggeration, it's a known fact. God forbid the show doesn't produce at least $1 million per week, the show would be forced to close (and that 65 number would be lost by all that invested). It's not like a movie such as Sex and the City 2 that no matter how bad it was it would still make over $200 million (again, forgive the poor grammar). Or Transformers, where no matter how poorly it's ripped apart by critics, it'll still produce an unbelievable profit. So to call the producers behind "Spider-Man" evil corporate monsters just feels kind of silly. The absurdity in thinking that "Julie Taymor is killing her actors to make money," just sounds like a stupid observation. Didn't one of the producers have an actual heart attack while walking to the meeting in which they would sign the financial contracts? True story (according to Bono anyway).

In shorter words, I was rooting for it in a way. Not in the sense that I was making t-shirts saying "Support Spidey!" But I was rooting for it with the idea that I genuinely wanted the show to not only be successful, but also be good. And thus I'm lead to the reactions I was getting from many friends who were seeing the show. Many close friends of mine, whose opinions I value very much, saw the show and said relatively different things about it. But one thing was unanimous between them: the show was not good. Some liked the visuals, some liked the music, some liked the actors, but no one liked the script. And I became a little disenchanted by it. When being told some of the things that happened during the show, I endlessly scratched my head wondering, "What were they thinking?" And as the show kept delaying it's opening night, the production was gaining more and more notorious publicity. But this actually made me rather hopeful. They weren't opening the show because they felt it just wasn't ready. At first it was because they were still getting used to the space. But then it became about adjusting the story and score. They announced they were making changes.

And now I'm lead to my experience while seeing this show. Again, they announced they were rehearsing every day before performances with changes and adjustments made to the script/score. My only experience in working in a big-budget musical had a similar experience. Even after opening night, myself and the rest of the cast was given a new script LITERALLY at every performance. So I think it's safe to make this claim: Nobody has seen the same version of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" unless they were at the same performance. Whether it was cutting one sentence or rewriting the entire plot, I'm sure that every performance has seen a change in one way or another (or at least 98% of them). So the following are my thoughts on the version of "Spider-Man" that I saw.
The Foxwoods Theater is epic enough in itself to make you feel as if you are going to be a part of something big. And the enormous and overbearing proscenium also added to this feeling of grandiosity. But when the show started, things were not necessarily looking up. An opening scene that was demanding the audience   to accept heightened melodrama with little to no preparation for it followed by a not-as-funny-as-they-set-out-to-be scene involving the "Geek Chorus" was steadily setting up the idea that the show was going to be rather difficult to get interested in. But the following scene involving the creation of Arachne was breath taking for the eye and the ear. Thus a puzzling paradox erupted about what this show is versus what it could be. At this moment I realized I was judging the show 10 minutes into it. And this is no way to approach a performance. Then again, they made it rather hard to get into.

What followed after Arachne's origin story is almost impossible to describe. While I did my best to avoid judgement, the opening 30 or 35 minutes was so horrendous that I was actually making an effort to hide behind the seat in front of me. The song involving Osborn's lab made absolutely no sense. The scene with the bullies felt like a candy-colored "What not to do at school" video made for the Bear in the Big Blue House. And then there was the absolutely retarded split scene between Peter Parker getting in trouble with his Aunt and Uncle in relation to Mary Jane getting in trouble with her father (Are they actually suggesting that Peter getting kindly scolded for coming home late is equivocated to Mary Jane getting senselessly beaten by her drunken father?)

Once Peter Parker started discovering his power, a tiny glimmer of hope started to shed on this piece of garbage happening before me. "Bouncing Off the Walls" was a song that might not have had the most incredible moment of spectacle in the show, but it was like drinking a five hour energy shot that served as a reminder that things will be happening soon. Actual things. And once again we returned to stupidity with the highly confusing wrestling match and the "once-again-not-ready-for-the-absurd-melodrama" moment of Uncle Ben's death. When he whispered his dying words "Rise above" to Peter, I genuinely laughed.
But if you asked me, Uncle Ben's death served as a metaphor. Apparently Uncle Ben stood for all the complete lunacy that was happening on the Foxwoods stage because after Uncle Ben died, the show started to kick into gear (mostly). After the absolutely gorgeous song sung by Arachne to Peter (humorously enough it's called "Rise Above"), we actually got a chance to see Spider-Man and to put it simply, it was fucking amazing. Sitting in the orchestra section, my heart started pumping vigorously and jaw dropped when Spider-Man first seemlessly flew over the audience. But the flying isn't what got my blood pumping. It was the movement of the show in general and how the story was starting to unfold. The sequence in which Spider-Man started fighting the criminals and saving the civilians was some of the most awe-inspiring theatre I have ever seen. The continuous pulse of the music, the constant swelling and changing in perspective, the movement of our hero both through the audience and into the wings, the clever puppets and maskwork, and the general tempo of the scene all added up to 10 minutes that deserved a standing ovation in itself.

And the show from then on seemed to be on track. The transformation of the Green Goblin and the development of Mary Jane as an actual human being all erupted beautifully, albeit with a brief iffy moment here and there. But my point is that it was a show that eventually had me on the edge of my seat and invested in everything that was going on. And this was the general idea for the rest of the show. I don't want to give too much away, but the story (as bizarre as it turned out to be) was highly intriguing in a positive light. The Sinister Six terrorizing the world proved to be wonderfully affective through highly choreographed media and (again) pulsating music, and this sequence was only complimented by the scenes between Mary Jane and Peter when the power was still out. It was not only watchable, but also... enjoyable? Don't get me wrong, it still had its scant unfortunate reminders of the first half hour. But with the exception of a downright idiotic song in act two sung by Arachne and an ending resolution that we've seen in a million other films/plays, the rest of the show was a relentlessly captivating experience.

The show is nearly three house in length, and it personally felt like only an hour had gone by. If Julie Taymor deserves praise for anything (besides her ability to fuck with perspective and relation to space, whether big or small), it's her ability to keep the show moving. Even with the "iffy moments" that I referenced in the previous paragraphs, the moment had passed all too quickly before I had time to sink my teeth in it. I reiterate, Arachne's bizarre song in Act Two will never make sense to me, and I do not want to try to comprehend why it was there. But the creators of the show made the show so whimsical that there was something new to catch your eye at all times.
It's very clear that there was a specific design aesthetic in relation to "the style of comic books" and that it was reminding us of a story within a story. While it was confusing when the comic book rules didn't apply (why yes for the Daily Bugle staff but no for Peter's Aunt and Uncle?), it still added a sense of whimsy to the general scope of the show. Even the costumes literally showed movement on some of the dresses and jackets.

And then there's the score. As I said in the beginning of this incredibly long blog post, blasting Bono's name all over the show hints at the fact that you are going to get a rock show. And that's exactly what it is. In a stadium rock setting, you hardly ever hear the words. You can still make them out, but that's hardly the goal. The biggest results of a stadium rock show include the pounding music, heavy bass and beastly drum kit, countless electric guitar solos, and more reverb on the actors than our "Blood Brothers" friends across the pond. And 80% of rock songs do not have actual strict rhymes. They never scan. And "Spider-Man" pretty much followed the same rules. However, unlike most rock songs, the tunes aren't that hummable. But this is largely because the general size of the show is the tune you're humming, and that's fine by me.
Arachne - Spiderman Turn Off The Dark    
I should start to wrap this up. All in all, I had one helluva good time at "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark". It's by far the biggest show I've ever seen in my lifetime ("Ka" comes pretty close) and it's one fuck of an absorbing experience. I compare it to "Wicked". "Wicked" has several moments of making absolutely zero sense (The fucking clock for those who never read the book? Fiyero transforming from academic bad boy/asshole to respectable captain of the guards?) HOWEVER the climbing of the escalators to the seats, the enormous map of Oz in the lobby, the Clock-of-the-Time-Dragon extending up into the balcony, and the POUNDING music of Stephen Schwartz' fantastical pop music makes for one awesome experience. The script isn't perfect, but the experience is thrilling enough. "Spider-Man" feels rather similar. The script has moments of pure idiocy, but the show itself has moments of pure exuberance. During the curtain call when Spider-Man landed on the balcony, the crowd surrounding him was cheering for him at the top of their lungs, just as if you were actually in Times Square meeting the real Spider-Man. How cool is that!? Clearly Spider-Man was designed for its experience, not for its mental stimulation. Just the physical. Too bad its experience is also including years of miserable press.

If I was forced to put a stamp on it, or a letter grade of some sort, it would probably be a C+ or B- or something along those lines. Again, I must reinforce that I saw a performance that nobody else saw. With changes that existed only for that one show, or that one week. Even scenes that were kept the same might have been explored in different contexts (When friends described the fashion show, it sounded rather stupid. But the few lines of text that set it up might have added to something that made me... get into it?) If you ask me, the show does need much work. But not as much as I thought it would prior to seeing it. One thing is clear, Julie Taymor is a master of telling a story when words are not involved. It actually makes me wonder what it would be like if there was no singing/speaking at all. Now they just need to figure out how to deal with some of that terrible expositioning (and possibly a more original ending). I hope they keep postponing the "opening" date, or whenever they decide to freeze the show. I would much rather they did the show well instead of quickly. Some performers/directors spend years and years and years cultivating a play. And when you think about how "Spider-Man" couldn't afford (ha!) an out-of-town-tryout (understandable), it's not completely strange to spend so much time rehearsing in a full performance setting. Now's not the time to give up on this show. Even with so much "terrible" in the performance I attended, I saw so much of something extraordinary that I had never seen before. And I'm thrilled that another director is teaming up with Taymor. Philip William McKinley should hopefully add something great (even if "The Boy From Oz" felt pretty bland albeit Hugh Jackman). And now it's been confirmed that Taymor IS in fact staying on the creative team, which is reassuring (especially after yesterday's rumors that she was "fired").
I can't wait to see it again after it has officially opened. I hope they fix the garbage and keep the extraordinary. Long story short, even after seeing the show, I still believe in Spider-Man. Who knows? Maybe Uncle Ben (the metaphor) may never live to see the light of day again after it's opening. And that would be something to marvel about (pun intended).

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I haven't written a blog post in almost two months. Expect a few very shortly.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Four Weeks in a List

Leaving Florida this time around feels a little different. It feels as welcoming as it does uninviting (at least by the end of this vacation). I flew into Florida on December 21st and I head back to New York tomorrow on January 22nd. That's four friggin' weeks! I spent more time in Florida during this break than I did last summer (due to summer session in New York and Musical Directing in Ohio and Sweden). I really love how the catholic school boy in me still considers this break to be "Christmas Vacation" and then I end up seeing Valentines decorations all over Florida before I leave. All in all, it was a very busy vacation with many wonderful experiences. And even though I won't be able to call Florida my home in a few months, I learned that there are parts of Florida that will always be with me (how many coming-of-age movies say that line?) And it's heartwarming to know that. In elementary school, we were often asked to write about what we did during the summer or winter vacations. And this senior year in college is no exception. Here's just the bullet points of how the past four weeks went down:

1. I spent a lot of time with some friends whom I never get to see, and that all happened primarily because of the Lovewell Songbook concert.

2. The Lovewell Songbook Concert! It was a maddening three days of rehearsals and jamming out with almost 80 Lovewell students, staff, alumni, parents, and friends. I got the chance to propose to Tyler onstage, wail out a blues song written in Ohio, and act like a zombie with Tobi, Jamie, and Carrie (just to name a few). These are people I care about immensely and because I work in Ohio over the summer, I never get to see the Fort Lauderdale crew. They're endlessly inspiring people.

3. Rocking out to the rough draft of the "Reporting Live" original cast recording! I ended up getting sick of my own music. But I did a lot of driving over the course of the past four weeks, which led to many listening sessions.

4. I drove about 2000 miles. This is not a joke.

5. Over a dozen movies in theaters. These films include, but are not limited to: The Chronicles of Narnia,  The Fighter, Black Swan, True Grit, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Kings Speech, How Do You Know, Hubble 3D, Burlesque, Season of the Witch, Tron, and Blue Valentine. Some of these movies were horrendous (yet hilarious to watch regardless). And many of these were just awesome. The King's Speech, Blue Valentine, and Hubble 3D were all amazing movie going experiences.

6. Pegasus! I played the hell out of my baby grand piano. Thank god he is not staying in Florida.

7. New television shows. I started watching Dexter and flew through the first couple seasons (season 3 is still downloading...). I did a lot of catching up on Modern Family (a show that makes me laugh out loud, constantly). And then yesterday I finished watching the entire first season of Skins from BBC. It only took me two days.

8. Tela conditioning. I hope she's proud of me when we start up class again. I really tried...

9. Christmas. This included my family watching the Sondheim concert on DVD, eating way too much food, playing a racist edition of Scategories (in which I beat my dad for the first time in my life... by three points), and of course gifts that included some awesome new sheet music and biographies.

10. I saw Rock of Ages. It was okay.

11. Partying it up in South Beach! I had one hell of a night in Miami with Henry Mackalacka.

12. I made a Twitter account?

13. Pixar Documentary. It might have been the best night I had during this break. On a night that wasn't going especially well, I came home at around 1 a.m. to turn on the t.v. to see that a documentary about the creation of Pixar was starting. I watched it from start to finish, and it's an incredible story. Watching footage of Tim Allen and Tom Hanks recording dialogue for the first Toy Story was amazing. And to know how long it took those guys to get to where they are today, it created a nice ray of hope for someone who's graduating in May with little to no plans. And it's wonderful to see genuinely nice people work hard and think big in order to meet their goals. Why doesn't the rest of the world work like Pixar?

14. More bonding time with my dog!

15. Bombed at bowling.

16. Droid.

17. I got a brand new pair of glasses for the first time in god knows how long. It's been so long that I actually get dizzy when I wear them. But hopefully in time I'll adjust. And I really like the way they look.

18. This one might be overly sentimental, but it's important nonetheless. While I was in Florida I spent a lot of time reconnecting with people whom I had lost touch with over the course of the past couple years (and even the past couple months). As lovely as that is, I also learned something else that proved to be just as valuable. It made me appreciate the friends that I've made in New York. I called people in New York constantly and missed them quite a bit. It's just a nice reminder.

Last semester of college... and... GO!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reporting Live (Original Cast Recording) - Rough Draft Samples

I wrote a musical. It's called Reporting Live (not Recording Live, despite recent confusion). Here are some samples of about 9 songs from the recording. The recording is still being edited and will be completed by the end of January. The samples include "The Last Woman on Earth", "As Long As It Makes Her Happy", "Grab 'Em By the Balls", "Fly Away", "The March of the Vultures", "Swim Forever", "I Can't Stay Here", "An Element of Magic", and "Hold Me Closer". To listen to the music, just click on the title of this blog post. I'm kinda proud of this.