Sunday, December 18, 2011

Being a Musician Fawkin' Rawks!

I attended a Christmas party where we got into a pretty in-depth discussion regarding the pop culture relevance of popular artists such as Britney, Madonna and Lady Gaga.  I made the argument that Lady Gaga had "jumped the shark" with her outrageousness in wardrobe and overall circus-like spectacle public outings as those things overshadow her actual musicianship.  The girl can play an instrument or two and can actually write songs.

I can't wait until she stops trying to go bigger and better with the Cique du Gaga shtick and reconnect with the DIY, struggling artist within her.  Even if that girl is long gone, perhaps her aura remains and would influence the songwriting on future records.  I guarantee it''l be the best record yet from her.

With all of that said, I do respect Gaga and others like her in their abilities to perform, sing/lip sync, and entertain a lot of people.  I don't have that skillset in my bag of tricks and I do admire their prowess at it.  However, when people would rather see your songs versus listen to them, something's wrong.

I was so charged by the conversation tonight that I rawked out the whole way home.  It was just the conversation I needed to remind me of just how much I love music and performing it (I think that the 2 songs I did via Rockband helped as well).  Can't wait until tomorrow to work on music for 2012!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Will Yourself To Health!

While I recover from a hacking cough, I am reminded just how powerful the human mind is.

I had an audition today for the remount of "In Living Color".   I found out about it two weeks ago and was so excited about it. I spent everyday thinking about the audition, picturing what it would be like to have a great audition, getting a callback to meet Keenan Ivory Wayans, and ultimately flying out to LA to shoot the pilot episodes.  I'd been working out regularly & watching what I eat, and getting my grill worked on for what I felt was no reason at all. Little did I know it was just to prepare me for this.  Then I gave myself an additional challenge...

On Thursday last week I woke up with stiff voice.  It progressed to me losing my voice right before performing on an improv open mic.  It totally cramped my rehearsal schedule as my voice wasn't really back until yesterday.  I looked at this bout with my voice which ultimately culminated into a full blown cold as my mind organizing my health schedule to effectively pre-emptively strike calamity with a cold so that I could recover by the time the audition happened.  Yeah...that's it.... :-)

I never get sick when I put my mind to being healthy.  I guess I put my mind into position for greater things to come.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Welcome To Your First today of Improv

I went to an improv showcase in the city last night to get some reps in before a big audition next week.  I took a fellow Salsation member with me and tried to prepare ourselves for a night of getting up on stage.

We schmoozed a bit with the teams there and with the event coordinator just to get a feel for what potential there was for getting up on stage as well as in what format.  There were 5 teams for the evening each with roughly 15-20 minutes of time.  That's plenty of time to do a showcase for improv, and I felt we could get lucky enough to maybe get our own set at the end.

Once the show started, I was in for a lot of surprises.  I felt like I went back in time and was getting schooled all over again in the different ways of improvising and putting up mini long-form improv.  Most of the people at this jam were from the Improv Olympic (I.O.) school of improvisation.  I could totally tell just by the focus of what the material and style itself consisted of.   I was introduced to the JTS Brown form, which actually was a form pioneered by an I.O. team of the same name helmed by Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live), T.J. Jagodowski (T.J. & Dave), Peter Grosz (The Colbert Report), Ike Barinholtz (MADtv), Jack McBrayer (30 Rock), and John Lutz (television writer) (30 Rock).  I had to look it up during the show just to understand what they were trying to do and what the charms were supposed to be of this form.   I also saw a couple of two-man teams go up and do their thing which reminded me of just how hard it is to carry a show with a minimal amount of people and just how important it is to be on the same page both with skill and support.

As the night wore on, I notced that my already weakened voice was getting hoarser and softer.  Shite!  I was losing my voice!  And I needed to go on stage in a bit.  So, I laid off th evoice hoping that it would heal enough to get through our set.  We ended up joining a ton of people on stage for an improv mixer, and I was thrust into the world of I.O. improv.  With a jacked up voice and being a bit rusty, I went on to do the best I could for the night.  I had one scene that I felt had a lot of potential to be a really good scene had we both taken the time to listen and support each other a bit more.  Instead it fizzled out.

Overall, I am glad I got a chance to meet a ton of new people in the scene and will most likely return to play.