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February 8, 2007 — Winter’s on the wing…
Well, I’m in a garrulous, loquacious mood today, so I thought I should take advantage of my verbosity and write a little (or a long) ledger this afternoon. I hope everyone is having a very good 2007 so far. Unfortunately, I spent a good portion of January sick or recovering from being sick. And I so rarely get sick, so it’s been really weird experiencing sickness again. But the good news, is I feel perfectly fine again! A feeling I had forgotten, so now I will never, ever take it for granted again.
The most exciting news of the year so far is that my SISTER, Emily, has been ACCEPTED into her first PHD program!! There will soon be a doctor in my family! Well, soon as in 5 or 6 years. And she has more interviews coming up, so she might even get into a few and get to choose! Now, *I* thought she should be an actress/ dancer/ choreographer, but what can you do?
In other important news, I will be turning 28 at the end of the month! 28 on the 28th! So it’s very easy to remember. Last year nearly 80 people sent ecards/ texts/ facebook or myspace wall postings/ phone calls/ emails. This year the goal is 100! So mark it in your calendar NOW! 🙂
If any of you are going to be in city around my BIRTHDAY and haven’t gotten my birthday plan update email, please lemme know. I’m going to do at least 2 group celebrations — one the day of and one the weekend following. I feel good about 28. 27 is one of those in-between ages, I think. But at 28, I am officially late-20s. Without having to be 30 yet.
I think the final thing to discuss in the introduction section is GOOGLE TALK. It is awesome. I found 2 dozen peoplep on GOOGLE talk that are never on AIM anymore! If you are on GOOGLE TALK, add me (email@example.com). It’s really amazing b/c all these people are on from their “jobs.” So I have people to talk to till 5 or 6! But only Monday-Friday. Personally, I never know what day of the week it is, except by what TV is on…
This has nothing to do with amperes. (HAHAHA, dude, that’s such an MIT joke.)
I am still working veraciously on my new musical that I can’t reveal in a ledger b/c we don’t have the rights. We are sending a few songs to various producers I know hoping someone goes “Oh that’s a brilliant idea” and gets the rights for us. The songs so far are absolutely wonderful. Working with my new collaborator has been great. Collaboration really is very important (albeit hard) for writing a musical. The push and pull of wills, etc.
I called Don’t Tell Mama about doing Neurotic Tendencies again in April! It looks like the entire cast is tentatively on board, although no one will commit this far in advance. But I am hoping we will all reunite, for that act was very well received!
In other act news, Why Am I Not Famous Yet is actually about 2/3 done!! And it’s really good. (Obviously.) So I am going to definitely have it ready for a September premiere. I really like the weekend after Labor Day for premiering acts.
MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND
So I am doing my audition workshop again! And I have a full class this time – 8 people! I really enjoy the class, especially the people in it this time. It becomes a safe environment to help people perfect their audition techniques without the pressure of me being a big important casting director or agent.
Also, I’ve been asked by a few actors I know to do a workshop entitled “How to put on a cabaret.” So I might do that mid-March depending on interest. Oh, I am playing a few acts for people this spring, so that’s always awesome. Especially when I get them to do some of my songs. 🙂
The spring is almost here, and with the spring comes all the auditions for summer stock. I will be exceedingly and increasingly busy in the weeks to come, which is why I am taking advantage of a free afternoon to write this ledger. I really enjoy playing auditions, and I’ve perfected my skill at it. The last 3 times I played, I received raves! Woo! I do try to keep my ears open for any complaints for improvement, but I think I’ve worked through any major issues. The most important thing to remember is that I am there to accompany the singer and not show off. So I just show off when there’s a bar they’re not singing in. 😉
I am trying not to be all like I’m the best pianist in town. It’s very hard to describe your abilities without being arrogant. It’s a very hard line to walk. Confident but not arrogant. I try to be really cute if I end up crossing into arrogance so that people don’t get offended by it… Adorably, not obnoxiously ostentatious.
Anyway, I’ve been very in demand as a coach lately. A LOT of non-theater people have been asking me what exactly I coach. So I figure I should include a little synopsis in the ledger for those clueless folks out there so that I don’t have to answer queries one at a time.
Actors go on auditions. I play them a lot, so I know what gets people cast. So I impart this knowledge onto the actors when they come coach with me. I am up to 21, 614 mp3s. So I do a lot of repertoire days, where people bring their book over (a book is what a binder full of repertoire is called). And I take out all the songs that are way overdone (which is usually most of the book). And then we build it from scratch. So in an hour, I usually am able to find 20 songs, and then I burn a cd with the suggestions. I specialize in finding obscure material that really fits to a person, as well as finding practical songs that they can actually use for shows they would be right for.
Then, they come back with the songs I suggested, and we begin working on them. I can put the accompaniments and melodies on cd or on mp3 file for them to drill themselves at home. Also, we discuss the song, and how it works, and how to sell it best. And then we layer on subtleties and nuances and dynamics. And then we find good 16 and 32 bar cuts that work as an arc.
Other services I provide are transposition (putting the song in a better key), going over sides for callbacks (or recording them), writing special material, just playing through things for practicing, etc, etc…
I think my new favorite show is HEROES. It is the show that I look forward to the most and cannot go a day without watching when there’s a new episode. I am almost caught up with VERONICA MARS — I actually watched 8 episodes from this season (3) the day I had a stomach virus and a fever and couldn’t do anything but watch tv and nap. Sadly, Gilmore Girls hasn’t been very good this season without its creator. 🙁 But I still watch. 24 is back, and is as good as ever! The SCRUBS musical was awesome! And that show and the Office are at the top of their game…
Other than that, it’s mostly the same shows I always watch. I started watching a new sci-fi show, the Dresden Files. It’s been good. Battlestar Gallactica is the best new sci-fi show on tv, btw. (Thanks to Amanda for making me watch!) OH, and I love Sarah Silverman’s new show – the Sarah Silverman Program on Comedy Central!
Dude, I haven’t really seen movies this year. The only movie I’ve seen is Notes on a Scandal, which I LOVED. Loved. Highly recommended!
First off, I must say how EXCITED I am that HARRY POTTER 7 is going to be released in JULY!!!! Who knew?! I was expecting December! BUT with Harry Potter 5 the MOVIE coming out in July, as well… WHOA! JULY is going to be one HOT month!!!
In other book news, I read an entire novella on my way to Boston for the hunt (which was REALLY fun this year! I solved quite a few puzzles in the 40 hour puzzle marathon!) That novella was The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Tolstoy. I really have a thing for really depressing Russian novels, I admit it… I thought it’d make a really great musical, but no one seems to agree…
January is a pretty dead month for theater. I am actually seeing quite a few shows in the next few weeks (and hopefully people will take me to some for my BIRTHDAY!!), but, anyway, here’s what I’ve seen since the year began:
Purity — my friend Michelle Stage Managed this pushing the envelope show. I enjoyed it.
The Mikado — my favorite G&S show at City Opera for free! Woo!
Translations — MTC revival of a really boring play (there I said it.)
Jacques Brel — caught the revival finally — really well staged!
Nightlife Awards — great award show where all the winners perform instead of give speeches!
It’s About Time — showcase of a kid show — my friend played Time
In the Heights — off-bway musical — my friend, Robin, steals the show!
Dude, that’s the shortest list ever! I promise it’ll be a lot more once it’s not cold. I really do have 5 shows I’m seeing in the next 2 weeks!
I really feel like this ledger is short. But I scrolled up, and it is not. I’m trying to think if I missed anything, but I think that’s about it. I feel awfully boring b/c it’s been a very light month, but I can’t be exciting ALL the time, right? I’m meeting my favorite living playwright, Christopher Durang, at Chatterbox today! Woo!
Well, I think that’s it. Another (unsubtle) reminder — MY 28th BIRTHDAY is on the 28th!!
March 19, 2007 — Beware the “I’d” ‘s of March
I almost titled this ledger “beware the ides of March,” but then I checked my records and realized I had titled the March 2005 ledger that. But then I thought… maybe it should be I’d instead of ide. That’s clever. But now I have to sell you… So, um…
Spring finally hits, and you think I’d do this or that? Um… I’d rather take a nap? Let’s play I’d and seek? Damnit. Um… Never mind. It’s still a cute title.
IM CABARET, AU CABARET
Neurotic Tendencies is back! Come see it if you missed it last time; it is the best act I’ve done to date:
an abnormal act of original songs
By and starring Seth Bisen-Hersh
With: Julie Goldin, Rori Nogee, Kevin Reed & Jessica Scuteri
Mon, 4/9 @ 8:30PM; Fri, 4/13 @ 7PM; & Sun, 4/15 @ 8:30PM
$10 Cover/ 2 Drink Minimum
Don’t Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St.
Call for reservations after 4: 212-757-0788
Other than that, I’m a few songs away from finishing up Why Am I Not Famous Yet? an act of bitter frustration. It will premiere the weekend after LABOR DAY, so plan accordingly! That act is going to be really funny, too. But aren’t they always?
Then, to conclude 2007, I will be premiering an act at Theater1010 in my usual November slot… The Frog That Hopped Away and other hammy songs — starring none other than Ms. Piggy. Yes, Ms. Miss would be a copyright infringement. Besides, this way she’s much sassier — post divorce with a certain frog, who I can’t really name b/c of copyright, again… She will be premiering all sorts of songs (“My Froggy Valentine” “With One Snout”, etc). It is not to be missed.
BREAKING IN – A THEATRE SITCOM
I wrote the theme song to a new web-based sitcom!! And I even got to perform it for the pilot!! I am not sure when it’s premiering online, but there is a big screening and party, Sunday, 4/1 at 9pm. I am actually really excited, b/c if it gets picked up by a network, everyone will come see my cabarets!! Woo! It’s sort of like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”… sort of “the office” or “curb” — that sort of realistic style — and all about off-off Broadway theater. It’s quite funny, and I’m very pleased to be a part of it. Here’s the trailer:
If you’re interested in coming to the screening, do let me know. It’s free! And it’s going to be awesome.
Well, not much has changed in the ways of my musicals since the last ledger. My collaborator and I actually met with one of the producers of Hairspray about our movie musical adaptation. He at first said he only had like 20 minutes for us, but stayed over an hour… so we think that’s a good sign. Sadly, he is booked solid through 2009. BUT he did suggest that we hire a lawyer and purchase the rights to the movie ourselves. So NOW that is what we’re doing. If any of you lawyers out there have any advice or connections to a cheap entertainment specialist, please let me know. Once we HAVE the rights, we can actually do a demo, I can actually tell you all what the movie is, we can do a major reading and invite even more big time producers, etc.
There’s no new news with my other projects. My new collaborator is going to take a crack at revising the book to Meaningless Sex again, and then I’ll try to find an Off-Broadway producer or company to put that off-Broadway. And I’m still submitting the kid’s musical places.
My hope is once one of my shows hits, the rest will follow suit.
MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND
The last week of March, I am booked solid day AND night. This is why I’m taking advantage of the free time to send a ledger now. I’ve been playing a lot of auditions, as always. I just got on the list to play auditions for Jersey Boys, which won the Best Tony last year, so it won’t be closing any time soon… I have a few clients around the country who always use me when they’re in the city. And I appreciate it! This is the busiest time of year for auditions by FAR.
Coaching-wise, I’ve been getting clients from myspace, facebook, word of mouth… I had someone come today who got my card from someone who got my card from someone! My father called me to let me know that his friend from work’s daughter overheard people talking about my coaching at an open call… So that’s cool. Jen made me 850 pop mp3s for my birthday, so I’ve been buffing up on being able to give out pop for repertoire days, as well!
My audition workshop went really well, the second time! Full class. And it was very helpful, I think… I am doing a workshop on how to do a cabaret on April 11th, as well! I hope that a few people sign up for it. I think it’ll be very helpful. I’m actually doing it right in the middle of my OWN act, on purpose! And I’m doing the audition workshop again in June. So, it looks like it’ll be a thrice a year workshop. Feb, June, October…
Then, my NEW thing is SHOWCASES — I play for a lot of showcases around town. Usually the singer has to pay me, as well as bring 10-12 guests. Then the producer takes all the $$ for barely doing any work. So, I figured I’d cut out the middle man — producing myself means the singers do NOT have to pay me, AND they only have to bring 5 guests! So I’m unleashing showcases — I’m doing the first on April 25th and the second on May 7th — I booked the first very quickly, the second has a few slots left, but it’s still really early… And I’m going to do a song or 2 myself, as well as emcee the night! Fun times!!
(Speaking of showcases, I’m playing 2 for my cabaret soulmate, RORI NOGEE, this week – Saturday, 3/24, at 3:30 and next Thursday, 3/29, at 9:30, if you’re free and in town! And next Monday night, 3/ 26, I’m musically directing a Sondheim cabaret for Emerging Artists Theater…)
28 ON THE 28TH
Well, I am officially 28. It wasn’t as lucrative a birthday as last year, BUT it was a very nice birthday. And that’s all that really matters. I had a diner dinner and a board game party. Both went really well and were well attended. I have pictures up on myspace and facebook. I might switch to one of those picture sharing sites eventually if there’s interest…
I bought myself a DIGITAL CAMERA as a present, and have been using it NONstop. It’s a Sony. And it’s so cute!! And I also got myself a FLAT SCREEN MONITOR, which has revolutionized my desktop!! (Though, on a sad note, Snickers is really confused about not being able to sleep on it. Or jump on it. I can see his befuddlement, and I hope it’ll pass in a few days. Thankfully, cats have short memories.)
Speaking of, I have been taking zillions of new cat pics, as well! There are a few new ones on his webpage ( http://www.mssm.edu/students/kleine04/snickers/). There will be more when Eric transfers them over from my facebook album… but he is a very busy person, so have patience. (Eric is going to be movin’ to Brooklyn soon for his surgery rotation.)
Speaking of education, my sister hasn’t picked her school yet; she hasn’t heard back from them all either, so she pretty much got interviews everywhere she applied. Woo!
My friend, Tango, was in town for a WEEK!! She actually was in town for a few days, went to Puerto Rico for Nitza’s wedding, then came back for a week. She just left 3 hours ago. I must say it was absolutely incredible having one of my best friends around again. I truly miss those old days when you could make friendships that would last forever so easily. I think it’s much easier when you’re in school b/c you bond over living together, etc. You are supposed to spend all your time together — you all have similar schedules… homework… but lots of free time. And everyone’s always online, etc.
But then people grow up. And move away. And get busy. Etc. So to those of you still in school — cherish the thought of always having your friends by your side… CHERISH!
It IS nice to have my studio back to me and Snickers again though! No more getting waken up by someone who is on London time! The studio has been very nice… though there have been some ROACH problems. But I must say, I have gotten very good at killing them without freaking out or being disgusted.
I’ve been really bad about reading. I haven’t read a thing lately. I started rereading “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” for fun… Once June hits, I’m rereading all the Harry books before the 7th comes out… and movie-wise, I haven’t seen a thing since last year, EITHER… I might see Zodiac this weekend… we’ll see. My friend is seeing a guy who works at the movie theaters, so it’s unlimited tickets for her while that lasts… Woo! Oh, Tango and I watched “Happy Endings” on demand. Good movie.
Nothing new tv-wise either! Veronica Mars might be getting cancelled. That was upsetting. It’s not a done deal, though, so given the CW’s lack of shows in general, I think they’ll go with the revamping the show completely plan instead of cancelling it. But it’s so sad b/c the show is SSOOOOO good… My friend, Mel, received the first 2 seasons of Battlestar Galactica as a present, so she’s going to let me borrow them at some point, so WOO! I can catch up on that show…
Oh, I guess, I did watch a new show this month – Andy Barker, PI. It’s very cute. And The Sarah Silverman Program had its 6 episodes since the last ledger, I believe. Very enjoyable.
South Park is back, and as great as ever…
As always, here’s the list of the shows I’ve seen since the last ledger:
Follies – Encores revival of Sondheim classic – it was absolutely marvelous
Act Naturally – off-off bway play, last one I’ve revued for oobr.com in awhile b/c I got busy
Journey’s End – Broadway revival of a war play… very good production.
Dying City – new play off-bway by Christopher Shinn – well-written for the most part
Midsummer’s Night Dream – Theater1010’s ravishing revival of the Shakespeare classic
It’s Not What I Say – reading at the York of a show about Mae West that I played auditions for
Be – off-Broadway performance art group that my friend is comping for
Broadway by the Year 1928 – lovely concert, as always, at Town Hall
Howard Katz – off-bway play starring Alfred Molina – enough w/ mid-life crisis plays – if you do what you want to do at 28, you won’t have one!
Prelude to a Kiss – bway revival of this AWESOME play starring the old man from Frasier (John Mahoney)
Curtains – new Kander & Ebb bway musical – SO MUCH FUN! SO MUCH FUN. Murder mystery musical comedy! My favorite new musical this season so far! WOO! And with David Hyde Pierce!
365 Plays in 365 Days: Neo Futurists – saw a few of Suzi’s 365 plays by the performance art group Neo-Futurists – short but fun
Inherit the Wind – going tonight in 10 minutes to see the first preview of the limited run revival of this old play about the “Monkey Trial” with Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy…
I always feel like I barely wrote anything when I get to the end of a ledger. Scrolling up, I know that’s not true, but I do feel like not that much is happening. Even though I am exceedingly busy. And next week… whoa. Yeah, next week is going to be really exhausting. The other reason I wrote this ledger was to put off doing my taxes again. I’m going to do them really soon, really… I set up an IRA last week actually! Woo! Don’t be like my friend, Kevin, and wait till April 14th, people! My personal deadline is April 1st. And that means I HAVE to do them this week b/c next week I’m booked completely. Every day. Every night. Did I mention that? 😉
Speaking of nights — I HATE DAYLIGHTS SAVINGS TIME — can you BELIEVE they started it earlier? It’s so annoying. Really. I am not amused. I’m not one for the sun, as is. And now we have to endure 3 more weeks of the earlyness!? I have felt off ever since the change. Can we petition to get rid of DST completely?! Am I the only one who feels this way?
ANYWAY, I hope that everything is going fabulous by you! Please drop a little note to say hi if I haven’t heard from you in a few months (or years!). Happy spring! (Assuming the weather gets warm again and stays that way…)
May 1st, 2007 — I wish I May…
What? It’s May? The lusty month of May? (No comment.) I am so exhausted that it truly is a May day, here. Hahaha. Wow, I’ve gotten into a bad habit (like a nun who doesn’t do laundry) in starting off with monthly month puns… Anyway, it’s May. And I didn’t send a ledger in April, so I am taking advantage of a free hour to see if I can churn out a ledger… or at least the beginnings of ones, and then hopefully I can send it off later… Life has been crazy busy since those last few weeks of March, which is the last time I sent a major update. So, without any more ado, let the catching up begin:
SETH ON YOUTUBE
Okay, this is really google video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8529062794132410168
That’s been up for a month, and I haven’t sent it to the ledger list yet! Sorry! I’m in the first few minutes, playing myself, playing piano and playing a singer. Though, I guess I technically am a singer since I’m singing… This is the online sitcom I wrote the THEME song for. Enjoy!
I am trying to get the NYIT award opening number on youtube! I have harassed Nick from the IT awards in 3 emails now, and he promises soon… so when that’s up, you can all watch the 6 minute opening number I co-wrote. Sorry to tease you like this, but the section would be short and incomplete if I didn’t mention its eventual release…
SHOWCASES, WORKSHOPS, AUDITIONS, oh MY!
I have been playing auditions practically every week since mid-March. This week I played 3 days for Cohoes Music Hall (one to go), and I just got a call a few hours ago from the Papermill/ North Shore casting director to play for a day on Friday! I am very excited b/c getting on a NJ/ NY based casting director’s list means more steady work. (Shout out to my peeps at the Armory Dinner Theatre in WI! I just added them to the ledger list! They are my favorite company to play for b/c we just have a really fun time all day. And I think fun is contagious!)
My first talent showcase went extremely well. The agent friend I brought enjoyed it, and picked up a singer. The booking agent at Don’t Tell Mama came and raved about it the next 2 times I saw him. The actors had a great time, and no one owed me more than $40. The audience had a great time — in fact already 2 people from the audience are doing my 4th showcase.
Should you be in town and want to come to one, I am doing 3 more at the moment: Monday, May 7th at 9 (yup, next Monday), Monday, May 21st at 9, and for a change of pace — Wed, June 6th at 7. (What better way to spend D-Day?) (I still have 2 slots for the 6th for any actors out there. I’ll be sending email about that and my audition workshop to my actors list this weekend.)
Speaking of my workshops — I did a workshop on how to do a cabaret, and it was very, very well received. I talked for 3 hours, nonstop (shocking), and I finished with my notes exactly at 10:01. I will probably try to do this annually, as people got a lot out of it.
I’m going to be doing my third audition workshop Sundays in June. Here is an actual quote I got from a participant of the last one I’m using to advertise: “I think I learned more from the sessions in Seth’s workshops than I did from all my other classes combined!” — Christina Sullivan
I also have confirmed a photographer to do a stint on headshots (I finally found one for all those people asking me about them), an agent, a casting director, an acting coach, and a director/ choreographer. Well, by confirmed I mean, I sent emails to them, and am waiting for confirmation… but I think at least 3/4 will be able to come for at least an hour, hopefully for a session.
Thus, the third workshop will be even more helpful than the last 2 (and incidentally more expensive…)
Finally, as if those weren’t enough, I’ve been really booked with private sessions lately, as well. I tend to put them in every free hour I can find… Actually, it’s more likely that I will have clients on days I already have no time, and then I end up with days of nothing… so it’s like binging and purging, but with scheduling… really full day, really empty day… or really empty day that becomes full, like today, since rather than relaxing, I am intent on finishing a ledger for all of you wonderful people out there in the dark… I mean in cyberland… (who are forbidden to produce milk!)
Oh, speaking of gigs, I started playing for Camp Broadway workshops a bunch these last few weeks!! They’re awesome. I get to lead them with a Broadway performer, and I get paid $100/ hr! WOO! If only I could make that every hour…
This section is dull. Nothing new to report. We are still trying to get the rights to our 80s movie so that we can write it and get it on Broadway. And so that I can actually announce what it is, etc!
Why am I not Famous Yet is so close to being done lyrically. I have one song and one verse left, but they’re planned out! I just haven’t had time to write! I think I have 6-7 songs left to write musically. And then I have to put it all in the computer and finalize, etc, so I can begin rehearsals in August. Keep the weekend after Labor Day open for I’m looking at premiering it 9/6-10.
I am very, very excited about my act in November at Theater1010, and so is the producer there. It’s my evening as Ms. Piggy (not to be confused with Miss Piggy – she’s trademarked!) — The Frog that Hopped Away and other hammy songs… It’s going to be AWESOME. Ms. Piggy will be talking about many subjects including her recent divorce from Kermit D. Frog (not to be confused w/ Kermit THE Frog b/c he’s also trademarked!)
Yeah, so hopefully I’ll have time to focus on writing again this summer… more on the summer later…
BLOG BLOG BLOG
I wrote a very funny blog about the Anti-Secret. It’s my new theory on negativity and how it improves our lives to embrace it. Embrace the negativity! If you aren’t subscribed to my blog, what are you doing with your life? (Probably not sitting at a computer reading my blog…)
Warning: the blog is not for anyone without a twisted sense of humor and not for anyone who doesn’t want exceedingly personal details about Seth’s life. (Family should probably stay away!)
CONGRATS TO EMILY
Speaking of FAMILY — I have to shout out to my sister, Emily, who is graduating college on the 18th!!! She got into EVERY PHD program she applied to, and is going to go to her top choice — Temple — where she is getting a PHD in Brain, Behavior, & Cognition (Behavior Analysis Specialization). The short version is a PHD in some sort of Psychologically dealing with behavior… maybe she can figure out why I behave the way I do! (Why can’t I behave? Oh, why, can’t I behave?)
Also of note — she’s getting a FULL fellowship + $15,000/ year! Guess she can afford to see my acts without my parents paying now… 😉 (Maybe she can find the root for my bringing everything back to myself, as well!)
So I will be in NJ the night of the 17th into the 18th when I will have to get up earlier than I have since I had jury duty last July… I have to be back for more Armory auditions on the 19th and 20th, so I won’t be sleeping much that weekend… And as always before I return, I will make sure to stock up on groceries in the Jers, as always. (In the Jers? Where did I come up with that?)
SUMMERTIME and the living is EASY
As promised, a section on summer. I am really looking forward to the busy season ending. I know it’s horrible to look forward to working less, but it’ll just be temporarily! This summer I am going to completely revamp my webpage. I am going to move the pictures and ledgers into a “personal section” and expand the professional section to include information on all my workshops and showcases…
And I’m going to put up loverly pics from them, too! AND I’m going to put up more recent pictures, but I have to resize them first… And I’m going to update Snickers’ webpage as well now that it’s on my site and not Eric’s (sethbh.com/snickers). Speaking of Snickers — he is doing well. He’s going to start shedding soon, but for now it hasn’t been that bad. Eric is taking him off cat support when he graduates from med school and starts his residency in a few weeks, so the adoption is officially complete. Snickers is MINE! (I think Eric’s going to get a kitten and name him “beer” — he likes naming cats after things he likes… maybe… no, that’s not appropriate for a ledger…)
The thing I’m looking forward to most this summer is obviously JULY. Or as I call it HARRY POTTER MONTH! I cannot WAIT for the 5th movie. I cannot WAIT to see it at midnight at the Imax again! I cannot WAIT FOR THE SEVENTH BOOK!!!!!!! I cannot wait at all!!!
I am planning on rereading the entire series one last time before the 7th book comes out… which segues into…
Lemme start with books since I had such a good segue into it.
I am reading “Running with Scissors” at the moment. It’s okay. I’m going to read “Notes on a Scandal” whenever Rori remembers to lend it to me… I have been actively reading more often, but sadly it is the first thing to do when I have early audition days. Second is tv… and…
My friend, Mel, lent me her dvds of the first 2 seasons of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA!!!!!! I am VERY excited. They say that next season might be the last, but I hope that’s not true. It isn’t back till January 2008! BUT it’ll take awhile to watch the first 2 seasons b/c I watch w/ my friend, Aaron, and we’re both busy people… that actually could’ve been on the list of things I’m doing this summer!
I am looking forward to my favorite sci-fi show returning this summer — the 4400!!! That’s the best part of the summer. I actually am in complete denial and shock that summer is upon us already. Hopefully Dexter will be back soon. And WEEDS! How I love Weeds!!! And Curb Your Enthusiasm!
It is, of course, season finale time, and I am on edge b/c both Gilmore Girls AND Veronica Mars may get cancelled! GG hasn’t been that great this season, but VM is probably the best written show on TV right now, and I’ll be DEVASTATED if they cancel it!! Just devastated. So if anyone knows anyone at the CW, please tell them not to cancel VM!!!! If they lose both GG and VM, I’ll only be watching Smallville. Which has been REALLY GOOD this season, so thanks to my ex-roommate, Kobie for making me watch it eons ago. I wonder if he even reads these ledgers anymore… sadness.
Heroes was AMAZING last night, btw. Oh, my newest show is the Riches. It’s very interesting. 24 has been up and down, speaking of Mondays… and I hope they don’t cancel How I Met Your Mother on CBS, b/c it’s the best show ever, and the only show I watch on CBS.
The only network I really don’t watch or like is ABC. Which is probably the one most people do watch…
I haven’t seen a movie all 2007. Well, a new movie. I have tivoed many classics and watched those. I think I might try to see a movie this weekend. Is there anything worth my $11? (Yes, that’s how much movies are in the city now.) Lemme know! (Incidentally this week is also one of my best friend’s birthday — so shout out to Kevin! Happy birthday! I’m organizing his birthday dinner Saturday night, as if I don’t have enough emails to keep track of…)
I don’t have any movie plans until HARRY POTTER comes out, but hopefully I’ll see something sometime soon.
I’ve been really busy, but here’s what I’ve managed to see since the last ledger:
Inherit the Wind — brilliant bway revival of a really poignant play
The Freedom Toast — cute political revue my friend/ client was in
Hairspray — saw this again for the first time since previews 5 years ago — it held up fairly well
Face the Music — encores revival of an old Irving Berlin musical — REALLY enjoyed it
Losing Something — play a friend was SMing downtown that used lots of cool technology
Seth’s Broadway 101 — Seth Rudetsky did a huge show for the Actor’s Fund, and I videoed and took pics for him… I have great pics at the party up on myspace and facebook that I have to put on my actual webpage this summer. REALLY awesome night though – probably the best show he’s ever done, and I’ve never felt more in the biz having had a client in the dancing chorus, and a friend in the singing chorus, running into a former client who now is on Friday Night Lights on NBC, being able to talk to Norm Lewis for 20 minutes at a party… befriending the original Annie…
Coram Boy — this is the BEST PLAY on BROADWAY that I’ve seen in YEARS… go see CORAM BOY! There’s a 20 person choir that sings scene change music!!
The Green Room — really great reading of a play by Stephanie D’Abruzzio (from Ave Q)’s husband, both of whom I’ve known for a few years… really enjoyed it… and took home lots of yummy pastries from Magnolia after (Mmmm)…
Happy End — BRILLIANT revival of the Kurt Weill/ Brecthian play at Theater 1010 (where I do my November shows). It was SO GOOD. It was like Broadway quality! I wrote a rave for oobr.com, but it’s not up yet… but soon, soon…
Wow, that’s the shortest list ever! I apologize b/c I’ve been REALLY busy lately with my own show and showcases and workshops and clients… This week I will see: RADIO GOLF, August Wilson’s last play, and next week, I am going to OPENING NIGHT of 110 in the Shade w/ Audra McDonald!!!! And then to the OPENING NIGHT PARTY! Woo! Then Friday night, I’m seeing KRISTIN CHENOWETH and Ruthie Henshall at Encores in a Ziegfeld revue… The week after I see Donna Murphy in LoveMusik… it’s going to be a good month!
Well, I did it! I managed to finish before I have to leave! WOO! Tonight I’m playing for a cabaret a few friends are doing down in the village… then it’s back home for GG and VM, auditions tomorrow, coachings thurs, auditions Friday… and so it goes… (did I just quote Billy Joel? Perhaps, but it’s the version that Melissa Errico does!)
Anyway, I hope you all have great Mays… though I could say “may you all have great Mays,” but that’s too many puns, right?
September 5th, 2007 — A Long Overdue Update (That Is Indeed LONG!)
First, I must apologize for the lack of ledgers this summer. It was a summer of intense ups and downs, half of which I can’t even discuss in a public ledger! I shall try to put important items first before I do a major catch up…
I spent a dozen, intense hours completely redoing my webpage. There are 100s of new pictures. There are sections devoted to my workshops, showcases and coaching — I got a myriad of quotes from clients, etc. Check out the new dibs:
I haven’t sent out my youtube links to the ledger list yet. I am very sad to only have a few hundred hits. I was hoping to be up to a few million in a day like that South Carolina beauty idiot, but what can you do? But do send the links around the world:
NEW SHOWS THIS FALL
Why am I Not Famous Yet?
original songs of bitter frustration
By and Starring Seth Bisen-Hersh
“The Gayest Straight Man Alive”
With Cait Doyle, Julie Goldin, Rori Nogee & Reed Prescott
Thurs, Sept 27th at 8:30pm
Sat, Sept 29th at 3pm
Sun, Sept 30th at 8:30pm
$10 Cover/ 2 Drink Minimum (cash only)
Don’t Tell Mama, 343 W. 46th St.
Call for reservations after 4: 212-757-0788
Seth Bisen-Hersh, composer of the award-winning Fringe Festival musicals Meaningless Sex (Audience Favorite Award 2003) and The Spickner Spin (Audience Favorite Award 2004), premieres his fifth cabaret of original material, Why Am I Not Famous Yet? at Dont Tell Mama this September. Co-starring Cait Doyle, Julie Goldin, Rori Nogee, & Reed Prescott (Grease: Youre the One That I Want), Why Am I Not Famous Yet delves into all the frustrations show business and New York bring. With 18 new songs about career frustration (The 32 Bar Blues), apartment frustration (Sleep Deprivation) and relationship frustration (Im Not Interested in You), Why Am I Not Famous Yet? will bring companionship, solace, and laughter to anyone who sometimes gets frustrated by life.
The Frog that Hopped Away
and other hammy songs
By and starring Seth Bisen-Hersh as Ms. Piggy*
Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 7PM
Theater Ten Ten
1010 Park Ave (b/t E84th & E85th)
$10 suggested donation, cash only at the door
Reservations 212-288-3246 x3 (24-hour hotline)
Ms. Piggy*, recently divorced from her amphibian husband, pines and whines in the world premiere of her new solo act this November at Theater1010. Piggy explores her career – past and future, her love – past and future, and her diet attempts – past and never again.
*not to be confused with Miss Piggy, who is trademarked by Jim Henson Company
Speaking of my shows, I’ve been doing the press circuit… not Conan O’Brien yet… but I did have the great fortune to be a guest on the Joey Reynolds show on WOR — that’s AM talk radio for those of us too young to listen to the radio ever… He’s the highest rated late night talk show host… I went on a few weeks ago — Friday at 2am (actually technically Saturday), which is the perfect time for me to be garrulous and entertaining! It aired throughout the country, and they kindly gave me a copy.
I can’t actually post it on my webpage b/c it’s copyrighted… but I have edited it down to my segments. I’m uploading it temporarily for those of you who wish to listen, email me…
It’s 20 minutes — it was very talk show style — lots of people butting in, making jokes, etc, and I performed a song from Neurotic Tendencies…
Last night I appeared on the nytheatre.com podcast, also advertising the show. That’s a five minute slot, but it was just me for five minutes. I sang a song from the new show, which is the first time it’s ever been sung in public… The podcast is not available until Sunday, but will be up at:
It’s going to be episode #155 — you can either listen as an mp3, or you can download it into your iTunes and listen on the subway or walking or whatever…
Well, I better stay with the career theme. This is a section where I can’t say things. I’ve had some possible interest, but nothing is definite. I do believe that just being around and staying around is almost half the battle… as Woody Allen once quipped, “Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.” I read that he randomly said that, and didn’t mean for it to become so definitive, but I still agree. Even if 70% might be a little high…
I guess I can say that I recently had the idea to turn the best of my cabaret acts (this one is 5, and I already have 1/3 of the one for 2008 written (“At Least I’m not 30!”)) into an off-Broadway revue… I’d probably stick in some of the best songs from Meaningless Sex, as well… I do have a director friend who has become the revue queen, so when she’s not insanely busy (who knows when that’ll be, the poor thing is doing 4 shows right now!), we’re gonna take a stab at it. I have written over a hundred songs at this point, so finding 25 that work well together in a revue shouldn’t be so hard… if I can get it off-bway, then we can do a recording, etc… and then college kids all over the country can be singing my rhyming naughty words!
I am hesitant to talk about anything else. Paramount never returned our calls, but we may have found an in… That’s a pretty big “may” though. I’m sorry I’m so ambiguous!! It’s just that I actually post these ledgers online, and they get sent to 600 people now… so I don’t want to jinx things that are far from set in stone! Anyone really anxious for details can email me privately… incentive to respond! Woo!
I also just met someone at the podcast, whom I might be working with… guess you’ll have to listen to the podcast… then you’ll have a 1/5 chance of guessing right (or you can just respond and ask)… however, people are busy and flaky, so I’m not holding my breath on that account.
SO I think the major recap is I’m cautiously optimistic. I do believe that it is only a matter of time before I have a major break. I am hoping that this will happen sooner rather than later. I am 100% sure that it will happen. And you should be, too.
WORKSHOPS/ SHOWCASES/ COACHING/ MDing
Word of mouth has spread faster than herpes. I have almost 700 actors on my actor list at the moment… I get new clients weekly, and I have increased the amount of almost weekly clients, as well.
I’m doing the audition workshop for the 4th time this October.
I got asked by a few clients to do the cabaret workshop for the 2nd time this October, as well.
I did 9 showcases in a row May-August… they went exceedingly well — better than I could’ve really expected. Great actor response, great audience response, etc, etc. (Quotes on my webpage!)
I am MDing at least five cabaret shows this coming fall/ spring. I find that I prefer doing cabaret shows, in general. Less rehearsal time! A few of my clients have been doing the showcases weekly to prepare for their own shows. I really did count 5 that are almost definitely happening. Wow! So I’ll probably be really busy soon…
Yeah, so overall, the workshops, showcases, coaching and cabarets have been paying off very well.
And, of course, I still love to play auditions. I had a few days of audition playing this summer, but I expect that it’ll pick up, as well, now that it’s fall again…
THE SUMMER OF 2007
Enough talk of career! What else did I do this summer?
I actually had a decent social life for a few months… I saw a few free movies in Bryant Park… saw both Shakespeare in the park shows… Read Harry Potter 1-6 and then 7… Watched the Muppet Show, Season 2 on DVD! Played Trivial Pursuits for the first time in years…
Played Scrabble on Facebook! That’s my new obsession — it’s a brilliant idea — someone decided to add a Scrabble application to facebook… I play at least a dozen games at once. Sometimes people are on their computers all day (like I have been most of the summer), and the games are played quickly… sometimes, people get really busy and the games last weeks… but it’s awesome b/c I don’t have to wait on one person since I’m playing 12 at once!
I went to a lot of birthday parties this summer, I feel… at least a dozen… dinner parties, board game parties, loud noisy bar parties… I didn’t realize I had so many summer birthday friends, but I guess I just have a lot of friends, in general, so it makes sense at least 1/4 were born in the summer…
I’m trying not to talk about movies, tv, books or theatre up here b/c I have separate sections below…
Sleeping! I’ve been sleeping a lot. I had very few days start before 1 this summer, and that was very nice. I am expecting to have early audition days again in the near future, so I take advantage of the sleeping when I can…
Oh, I played piano for a fringe show. I linked a review that mentioned me to my webpage on the songs page at the bottom in the accompanist section… It was a one-woman show called Kelly Kinsella: Live Under Broadway. It was quite fun and completely off-color — my type of humor. There is talk of a possible transfer, so I’m knocking wood on that account… If that moves to an extended run somewhere, I certainly will have less free time…
NEW CAT ON THE BLOCK
Well, I guess the biggest and saddest thing that happened this summer is the last thing to discuss before the media and conclusion sections.
As some of you know, Snickers developed cancer last spring. It got worse and worse. Eric and I brought him in last week. I threw him a birthday party the first weekend in August for his 6th birthday. I have updated his webpage, as well, for all eternity: www.sethbh.com/snickers
The happier news is I have adopted a kitten from the Animal Care & Control center! His name is SMEE — I was playing piano for the Peter Pan national tour auditions, and I had the thought that Smee would be the perfect name for a cat.
He’s wonderful. He’s only about 2 pounds. He really is kind of a mini-Snickers… but I think it’s okay that I have a cat type that I prefer. He’s the sweetest cat in the world — he sleeps on my feet every night — he gets upset when I take my contacts out in the closet every night b/c he can’t see me — he likes to be in the room I’m in (which isn’t hard in a studio) and spends 15 minutes when I get home being so thrilled I’m back…
I miss Snickers, but I am very happy to have saved Smee from the shelter. And also it is really nice to have a lively, healthy cat again.
In random order, let’s start with TV… This summer I caught up on Battlestar Galactica, seasons 1 and 2… so now season 3 makes a lot more sense. I still say BSG is the best sci-fi show on tv right now. The 4400, which previously held the title has tapered off this season — it’s still good, but it’s not as amazing and innovative as it once was.
My other summer shows include Psych, Eureka and Mad Men — Mad Men is a new show on AMC about advertisers in the 50s by the Sopranos guy… it’s a good drama. I’m not addicted, but it’s solid.
Weeds is back and just as funny as ever ! My new favorite show is after Weeds — Californication ! It’s great!
I am still mourning the loss of Veronica Mars. I am refusing to watch new shows on the CW this season, as well as FOX (still upset about Arrested Development). (I have an anti-CW blog about my enmity for the network.)
However, I am very much looking forward to a show on ABC, as I’ve said, called Pushing Daisies. It will be the first show I have ever watched on ABC… and Time Magazine liked the new show about sex on HBO, so I will surely be watching that…
Most shows seem to not be returning until October, so September will probably be a very light tv month…
Any tv suggestions for the fall season would be greatly appreciated.
The last movie I saw was the Simpsons movie… speaking of tv. I really enjoyed it. I did mean to see Sicko, but still haven’t gotten around to it… and I heard good things about Knocked Up, but I guess I’ll be waiting for HBO to get it… we saw the Simpsons movie for free thanks to some car dealership — I ran to 11th Ave and 55th to get passes, and just had to show a license… that’s the closest I’ve come to buying a car in years!
The other movies I saw this summer were Harry Potter 5 (obviously) and Hairspray.
I really enjoyed HP5 — we went opening night at midnight at the IMax — and the end was in 3D!! It was awesome. I actually really liked movie 5 – the 5th book had the most superfluous things to streamline, I think…
We saw a free preview of Hairspray, which I thought was a pretty good adaptation of the musical. They gave out fans afterwards, so I got a Michele Pfeiffer fan… which I am one of, as well, actually! She was the best part of the movie for me, by far… she’s fierce. Gotta love Grease 2!
I spent July re-reading Harry Potters 1-6… and then I read book 7 in 2 days. And hit a post-Harry depression for a week afterwards! Even typing about it is making me tear. Book 7 was one of the best books I have ever read in my life. J.K. really managed to fill up any loose hole, and she also made references to things from the first 6 books very nicely. I loved it. The sadness I felt knowing I would never read a new Harry Potter book again was huge. But I am very grateful for the books — I actually wrote a blog about the experience of Book 7… I don’t believe in spoilers…
Other than that, pre-HP, I read Notes on a Scandal — which I really enjoyed. And Running with Scissors, which was alright. Post-HP, I read Prep, which was a very, very fun book. And a much needed “I need a good book to get over HP with” book. Right now I’m reading “Of Human Bondage” – an old classic.
Apparently I haven’t sent a ledger since May 1st… so it will look like I saw theater this summer, though it hasn’t been much recently. Since the last ledger, I’ve seen:
Radio Golf — August Wilson’s last broadway play. Solid.
110 in the Shade — opening night w/ Audra McDonald! Some pics are up on my webpage…
Stairway to Paradise — Kristin at Encores — she’s so sublime
Don’t Quit Your Night Job — short lived comedy show w/ broadway people rotating in and out…
Drama Desk Awards — volunteered at the Drama Desk awards again — they were long this year…
Grey Gardens — saw GG on bway — hadn’t seen it since it was off — it was much improved…
Sessions — off-bway musical about group therapy…
Frost/ Nixon — BRILLIANT bway play – the best play I saw this year…
eurydice — off-bway version of the Greek myth…
Tony Awards — I was mostly in the wings this year, sadly 🙁
Pirates! — Papermill’s modernization of Pirates of Penzance was a highlight of the season…
The Second Tosca — off-off-bway, well-written play
Broadway By the Year 1964 — last of the season of bway by the year
Love Musik — Kurt Weill musical — Donna Murphy is incredible.
Xanadu *2 — I got offered comps twice, and couldn’t say no! Xanadu is my new favorite musical on bway — so much FUN, fun, FUN!
Romeo & Juliet — Shakespeare in the park — I liked parts…
Spiegel Tent — erotic circus — need I say more?
A Night at the Operetta — Town Hall evening w/ songs from operettas – quite fun
Town Hall Song & Dance Celebration — the 3rd show in the summer season at Town Hall — an incredible night!
Midsummer Night’s Dream — 2nd Shakespeare in the park — good acting — I’ve seen this show far too often though, I fear…
Fringe07: Air Balloon to Antarctica, The Game, 200 Mystical Fictions, Show Choir the Musical, Kiss & Makeup, Heil Satan — an all time low! only 6 fringe shows, mostly ones I knew people in…
Hair — I saw the new off-off-bway production of Hair — it’s still such a resonant show decades later…
Well, that wasn’t SO long… (so long, Eulong, how long you gonna be gone? That was for Aviva and her new son, Lev, the black Jew.)
And the last thing on my summer to do list can now be crossed off. It’s time to start the fall to do list!
I hope that everyone had a spentafourous summer. Feel free to respond with what you’ve been up to! I always randomly run into people on the street or at auditions who mention they enjoy being on my email lists, so that’s always good to hear, since I rarely get many responses… but you’ll have to respond if you want less public details! Muhahaha!
Come to my new show if you’re local enough to! It’s going to be very funny, I promise. And check out my radio gigs and youtube clips!!!!
October 24, 2007 — Fall has Finally Fallen…
As the season finally changes, I am taking the time to send a ledger. I am quite relieved that the hot weather seems to have passed for now. My a/c is tired! (And I’m tired of paying high electric bills.)
The first thing to announce is there are SIXTEEN new songs up at www.sethbh.com — that’s right: SIXTEEN! So free up an hour, and have a listen. I have recorded 15/18 songs from the last show, Why Am I Not Famous Yet? for those who missed it… and those who loved it so much that they want the songs in their ipods! SO GO LISTEN!!! NOW!!!!
Other than that, as previously announced, I am doing an entire evening as Miss Piggy… or rather, Ms. Piggy, since Miss Piggy is trademarked. I have taken the necessary legal name change as a catalyst to make the show about Piggy’s recent divorce. I’m kind of scared about doing an entire show as Piggy, but I think it will be fun for all involved. The date & place is Sun, November 4th at 7pm, & 1010 Park Ave. More details on the webpage. I hope to see some of you there!
Piggy says: “Kissy, kissy, please come support MOI… or else… HIIII YAAAAAAA!!!”
AU CABARET, IM CABARET, ET AUDITIONS-AY
I’m having auditions for my talent showcases on Friday. I put an ad in Backstage and got 80 or so responses… of those a little over a quarter are able to come this Friday… I’ll probably have more auditions in January for the dozen or so who can’t make it. I’m very excited to expand the audience of my showcases! And expanding the client base is good for business in general, obviously. So, I will be doing at least 4, maybe even 5 more showcases before the year is out! (11/13, 11/27, 11/28, 12/11 so far…)
I’m almost done with my October Audition Workshop. I think I’m going to do the one night Cabaret workshop again before the year is out. Then, the audition one will be back Feb, June and Oct ’08.
I have 3 days of auditions in November, at least. It has been a light audition October, but I did have 6 days in September.
I’m MDing a few shows this fall. Two haven’t set times yet, but I’m opening one on 11/1 — Thank God the Egg Split ( www.willandanthony.com) — it’s about 2 twins’ journey to the big city. It’s very funny, and I’m having a great time working on it! So it’ll be exciting to do a cabaret where I don’t have to talk or worry about bringing an audience or anything…
I just realized that I can finally talk about what I’ve been doing at Playbill Online. I have been going in weekly this fall with all my downtime, as well as all that time I spent there since spring 2006… wow, that was a long time ago…
Anyway, I am working on Playbill Radio… which is finally not a secret — www.playbillradio.com — it’s a web-based Broadway radio station. I brought in hundreds of CDs last summer to rip them and scan the covers… and I took a lot of CDs that I didn’t have home to rip them here… so that’s part of the reason I am almost up to 25,000 mp3s.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of database work. A lot of it. Going through requests, making sure the right covers are attached, making sure names are spelled right, etc, etc.
So if you’re looking to listen to Broadway music, 24/7, go to playbillradio.com … some of you are thinking, “why would I EVER want to do that?” but at least a few of you are going “oooh, maybe I will…”
YOU’RE GONNA LOVE SMEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeee
Smee is good. There are many pictures on Facebook… I should probably take more… He is going to get neutered on Nov 3rd. I am hoping that will make him a little less frisky. He’s quite a playful kitten… he’s 10 months now (I got him at 8 months). It’s amazing how big they grow! So fast… sunrise, sunset… sunrise… sun… set…
Mostly sunset. He’s most active at night; just like me… so it’s good. Though, he still gets really crazy while I’m sleeping, and wakes me up at 7 or 8 almost every morning. I need a better way to train him… but I’m hoping that neutering will calm him down a bit. I have to bring him in at 8am, but I intend to go to a friend’s who lives on the UES by the shelter to go back to sleep until I have to pick him up at 5pm…
Right now Smee is chasing around the lid to a container I keep my rubber bands in that he knocked off my desk. He’s very sweet, always, though. And his skin is very soft. And he’s less needy if I make sure to play with him at night for at least a half hour…
Halloween is approaching. I will probably be a cow again (it was udderly diving and quite moooooving) b/c I paid $40 for that costume last year (and still haven’t milked all the bad puns enough!). However, to be creative, I might don the pig snout, as well, and be a POW or a CIG.
I’ll be in East Brunswick for Thanksgiving for a few days. Lynne and I are going to have an alternate reunion since we’re not paying $100 for a huge party with an open bar, since we’re not huge drinkers. So if any EBers are in town, and want to join us for dinner that night or whatever after the reunion is ebbing, let me know. I think it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving…
I haven’t seen a single new movie since I sent the last ledger (probably won’t until Xmas Movie Day – SWEENEY TODD here I COME!), and I’m still reading “Of Human Bondage” — it’s 620 pages, and I’ve been busy with tv… I actually have like 80 pages to go, so I’ll probably finish that soon… I will be able to do a TV and THEATRE section at least…
Alright, well I tried a LOT of new shows, and I really only like 2 of them a lot. And my new shows are…. PUSHING DAISIES, as predicted… and THE BIG BANG THEORY. Congratulations to these 2 shows. I also picked up 3 other new shows that aren’t must see, but I am still giving them a chance. For those of you interested, this is how my schedule looks now:
Sundays — Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dexter (this is probably the best non sci-fi drama drama on tv right now), (BSG is back in Nov!)
–> I tried Tell Me You Love Me, the new HBO show, and found it very boring, even though I appreciated all the graphic sex scenes. I tried Viva Laughlin, and it was the worst show I have ever seen.
Mondays — How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory (so dorky! I cannot believe this got picked up for a full season — it is SO DORKY!), Everybody Hates Chris, Aliens in America (This show is endearing and amusing. It’s one of the new shows I picked up), Heroes (this show rules), (24 back in Jan), Weeds, Californication (the last 2 are summer shows ending next week, so it’ll be a little more manageable — Showtime has really surpassed HBO in having the best shows, though.)
–> I tried Chuck and couldn’t get passed the first 20 minutes. I hear good things about Samantha Who?, however, I am too booked on Monday to try it.
Tuesdays — Bones, Beauty & The Geek
–> Tuesdays is the saddest night b/c I miss Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars, esp w/o anything like them to watch. I tried Reaper, and it was just horrible, and I’ve never enjoyed House… usually Tues I catch up on Sun/ Mon tv…
Wednesdays — Pushing Daisies (!!), Bionic Woman, Gossip Girl (these 2 shows I am giving a chance b/c BW has some BSG people, and let’s be honest: everyone needs a guilty pleasure high school drama to watch…), South Park, The Sarah Silverman Program (so off-color! I love it.)
Thursdays — Smallville, Supernatural, My Name is Earl (GREAT this season), 30 Rock, The Office (also great this season), Scrubs (back next week), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mad Men (just ended – that was another great addition this summer…)
Fridays — Degrassi: the Next Generation (talk about guilty pleasure), Friday Night Lights (I just fast forward the football game scenes)
Well, there you have it. I have been rewatching old GGs, Enterprises and Malcolms, as well. And I haven’t missed a Conan since 2004.
Here’s what I’ve seen since the last ledger. It is an all time low, I fear… there hasn’t been much opening this fall, and some of my comp sources have dried up… and I also haven’t felt like reviewing in awhile… though, maybe I should review again sometime this fall…
Kiss of the Spiderwoman — I wanted to see this on bway on 7/1/96, but Dan’s mother wouldn’t take us, so we saw Smokey Joe’s instead. It was good to see a production, though this one was completely re-visioned, and much darker than the original… but still moving.
Zorba — Mufti reading at the York, of the show Kander & Ebb wrote after Cabaret – very glad to have seen it.
Forbidden Broadway: Rude Awakening — I got to go to opening night and the party of the new version of FB. It was wonderful, and completely on the nose — sat behind Chita Rivera (who’s coming to Chatterbox this week!)
Speech & Debate — Roundabout Underground show that was very funny, but was too long, but I hear they trimmed it…
Mauritius — Bway play at MTC – very funny
The Ritz — went to opening and party of this broadway revival — very funny, very fun night.
The Overwhelming — Roundabout’s off-bway drama about Rwanda — good but depressing… and overwhelming (duh)
Town Hall Tribute to Stephen Schwartz — great evening saluting Schwartz with Liz Callaway and others
Betty Buckley at Town Hall — I wish Betty had done more showtunes, but it was still great to hear her belt.
Broadway Originals 3 — a wonderful concert with people recreating songs from decades ago…
I guess this didn’t end up as short as I had thought, but it certainly wins no award for longest ledger… As you can tell, it has been a relaxing fall. I anticipate being exceedingly busy when February rolls around again, but for now, I am keeping busy enough. I am still addicted to facebook Scrabble. Very addicted. That and Smee pass the time.
So, come see Piggy on the 4th, and definitely listen to the NEW TRACKS on www.sethbh.com !!! IF you do nothing else — GO LISTEN to my new songs!!! Laugh and cry and chuckle and guffaw!
December 29, 2007 — 2008 is gonna be great!!
Happy New Year!!! I’m sending out this ledger before the 1st b/c I’m too lazy to make a new page for 2008 ledgers… even though it’ll take 5 minutes. Besides, I have a lot of spam to send out once the year begins, so it’s nice to get a jump on it!
It seems I have not sent a ledger since the end of October, so lemme check to see if anything exciting happened in November or December before going into the future… Chronological order is our friend, after all. Oh, btw, I put up more pictures on my webpage, as part of my end of the year archiving… I’m going to back up my entire hard drives in a bit — this is a good time of year to BACK UP your FILES !!
DEEP IN DECEMBER, IT’S NICE TO REMEMBER
Well, after perusing the last ledger, it seems I covered November. So let’s focus on December. I unexpectedly ended up doing a show called The Deciders. It was a lot of fun and certainly got rid of any free time that I was expecting to have this month. It was a rock musical about W and Saddam and Iraq… It’s really cathartic to just rock out a score, and I made some new clients doing the show, as well. So it was definitely worth doing. It was a jam-packed 2 weeks, and then we had 2 performances last week…
Another highlight of December was playing for auditions for the reputable off-Broadway company, Irish Repertoire Theater’s production of Take Me Along, a musical that won the Tony in 1960 but is rarely produced… I was asked to play the entire week, after being hired for Monday. And the piano we used was Stephen Sondheim’s old piano that he donated to their theater… so whenever a Sondheim song came in, I played it on the piano that it was written on…
I, also, went into Playbill Radio (playbillradio.com) at least once a week this month. I try to aim for once a week, but it’s very hard sometimes. I marvel at how people go to office jobs daily for 8 hours. 4 hours a week is really hard and exhausting. I guess I’m just really used to waking up and being in my office!! And I’m also used to doing a myriad of tasks at once — case in point, at the moment, I have 4 other emails open right now, 3 scrabble games, organizational files for my next showcases, etc.
But anyway, if you listen to Playbill Radio any time this weekend until 12AM Thursday, you will be listening to songs that I approved. Well, not approved — more like proofread — I program so that the hours end closer to the hour — within 15 seconds — b/c the computer can only do within 2 minutes. I can manually break rules, etc… for instance, the computer isn’t supposed to have the same singer twice in an hour, but doesn’t realize that orchestra or company are different for different shows — ie Entire Company singing “Do You Hear the People Sing” is a different performer than Entire Company singing “Ballad of Sweeney Todd” … it’s actually very mathematical b/c I end up calculating exactly how much more time to add or subtract, and switching things, etc. I’m also in charge of the requests. Every other week, I go through the request list and compile a list of songs that aren’t in the system yet for the head of Playbill Radio to approve or deny.
Other than that, I have spent the week working on my new projects, which would be in the future section of this email, to be written in the very, very near future…
SO MANY POSSIBILITIES
I am SO happy to say I have some new projects for 2008!
First and foremost, I have been asked to write the score for a new musical called More to Love. I was chosen out of dozen (or hundreds?) of submissions, so I’m quite excited! I don’t want to say too much about the project, but it’s a full length musical about weight loss and learning to love and be loved for who you are, instead of what you wish you were. My new collaborator describes the show as funny and poignant, which quite coincidentally are two words I frequently refer to my work as. If that wasn’t enough to prove that I should be working on this project, on the cover page of the script, she includes a quote… from… Miss Piggy — “Never eat more than you can lift.”
There is a high probability we’ll be doing Why Am I Not Famous Yet? again in April, assuming I can get most the cast back… and this time I’m going to go crazy inviting industry and agents and such so I don’t feel like I have this amazing show that no one is coming to see… I still have a revue of my cabaret materials ready and on hold… waiting for an interested producer, etc…
In the mean time, I have about 50% of my newest and sixth annual cabaret done — it’s entitled — Writer’s Block: the cabaret that was hard to write — b/c I was having a quandary over what to do next… so it’ll be an existential cabaret, perhaps…
I had another idea for a musical, but am waiting for my potential collaborator to have some free time. So I hope to get to work on that in 2008, as well…
So, 2008 will be a year where I re-focus a lot of my energy on writing again!!!!!!
IT’S A BUSINESS
In addition to writing, next year I will be keeping up with the workshops and showcases. And, of course, playing for auditions, cabarets, and doing private coachings.
I did 14 showcases in 2006. This year I hope to top that! I already have 6 booked for Jan-Mar (1/15, 1/29, 2/13, 2/26, 3/11, 3/25), and I intend to do at least 2/ month for hopefully most of the year…
I’m doing my audition workshop again in February, June and October. In addition, I’m doing a new 4 week cabaret workshop in March. I had done a one-night seminar, but it seems like there is definite interest to do an extended workshop… where people can work on their own shows in a safe environment, etc. And we can fine-tune the order, as well as patter, etc. And then the last week will be a presentation for friends!
Eventually I hope to be doing one of my workshops every month, and showcases every week! But for now 1/3 of the months and 1/2 of the weeks is plenty!!
HIS NAME IS MISTER SMEE
So Smee has his own webpage now — www.sethbh.com/smee.html . He’s now ONE YEAR OLD! That feels like it should be one years old… but that would be incorrectly grammatically… Anyway, he’s sleeping now, but he’s the sweetest cat ever! And he’s very amiable, and is always excited when I have people over. He waits by my bed around noon for me to start stirring, then jumps up as soon as I show any sign of consciousness… I am quite happy with my pick of cat.
JUST GO TO THE MOVIES
I’ll start the media section with movies b/c it is that time of year! I ended up with a party to play Xmas afternoon, so I only saw 3 movies on Xmas, but I saw 4 the weekend before, as well…
Enchanted — caught this Disney musical Thanksgiving weekend, and absolutely loved it (and was honestly enchanted by it)!
Sweeney Todd — I was very pleased with Sweeney. Bringing Sondheim to the masses! Yes, it was truncated… yes, there were things I missed, esp singers, but it was overall wonderful, and I hear that Steve himself is very happy with it, so why should we complain?
Walk Hard — I saw the last 2/3 of this movie… it wasn’t really that good.
The Kite Runner — the book was definitely better, but the film was still very good.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets — I hadn’t seen the first one, but if you can get over the plotholes and completely incredubility of it all, it’s kind of a fun time.
Charlie Wilson’s War — this movie was REALLY GOOD. I feel like an Afghanistan expert between this, the kite runner and the book I’m reading now… (see below)
The Golden Compass — I enjoyed this movie so much that I got the books! So maybe it’ll be the new Harry Potter? Probably not. But hopefully I’ll enjoy the books as much as I enjoyed the movie.
I Am Legend — talk about PLOT HOLES. But still, it was fairly enjoyable. Just really full of plotholes.
A BOOK REPORT ON PETER RABBIT
With the tv strike happening, I’ve had more time to read lately. And I’ve also made it more of a priority to read and watch less tv…
The Time Traveller’s Wife — this book was so wonderful. Really wonderful.
Broadway Nights — Seth Rudetsky’s novel about Broadway is a hoot! Highly recommended for any Broadway fan or wanna-be…
A Thousand Splendid Suns — the new book by the author of the Kite Runner — my education of Afghanistan is complete at last! (As will be the novel in a few days… and then I will start the Golden Compass trilogy!)
ED SULLIVAN – WE’RE GONNA BE ON ED SULLIVAN
Well, there is a strike, so there will barely be any tv to watch in 2008 until the production companies stop being selfish **#$)s. But here’s some recent top picks:
Dexter — season 2 of Dexter just wrapped up a few weeks ago, and it remains one of the best dramas, if not THE best drama on tv. I did NOT see anything coming. That is how brilliant the show is. Man, what a great season!!
Extras — the special series finale of Extras was probably one of the best things I’ve seen this year. So true, so true.
Jeopardy — in other news, I was searching for things to watch daily since I’ve rewatched almost all of my favorite shows from the beginning, and now there won’t be new shows, and I came across an old favorite of mine! How could I not think to tivo Jeopardy? I guess I was too preoccupied with other shows, but now I’ve started watching Jeopardy daily again, and I just have to say I missed it! There was even a Broadway category the other day! But it’s great to buff up on trivia knowledge for the next time we play Trivial Pursuits…
Samantha Who? — I got recommended to watch this show by a few people, so I thought I’d try it — there is a marathon on tonight, and I will let you know if I agree with the raves next ledger!
THEY SAY THE NEON LIGHTS ARE BRIGHT
I actually haven’t seen that much in the last few months… there was a Broadway strike for 2 weeks of that, after all… but it’s been a GREAT season for plays on the Broadway!
Fuerzabruta — my friend works at this off-Broadway smash — it’s new physical theater event…
August: Osage County — this is the BEST play that has been on bway in YEARS — go SEE IT — it’s 3.5 hours, but its FLIES by — it’s spell binding…
The Glorious Ones — the newest Ahrens/ Flaherty musical at Lincoln Center — worth going just for Marc Kudisch’s performance of the last song “I Was Here”
How the Grinch Stole Xmas — the musical version of the Seuss book… frankly, I prefer the Grinch at the beginning…
Meet Me in St. Louis — Papermill’s revival of this classic musical — I played the auditions, so I went w/ my press friend to opening night…
Broadway Unplugged — 4th annual no mikes concert at town hall
Broadway’s Back! — Bernadette and Angela singing after the strike ended !!
Is He Dead? — funny farce by Mark Twain… a little dated…
Farnsworth Invention — I REALLY liked this play about the invention of tv…
Queens Boulevard: the Musical — really bizarre show that took quotes from all over, but I did enjoy it.
Kiki & Herb: the Second Coming at Carnegie Hall — it was awesome to not sit in the balcony for once.
Peter and Jerry — new Albee work — very, very good theatre.
IT’S NOT WHERE YOU START, IT’S WHERE YOU FINISH
I feel like this is a really long ledger b/c it took many hours to write, but in truth, it isn’t any longer than usual — it’s just that I keep pausing and coming back to it — I started the ledger around 4pm and have been writing sections piecemeal, off and on, all day… I’m just in an ADD mood, I guess!
Btw, I was sad that I was not named Time’s Person of the Year this year… like last year… but I guess you can only win every few years or so…
In conclusion, I want to wish you all the best in the new year. As I said in the subject, I really feel that 2008 is gonna be great… and I can’t wait!!! Keep in touch, and talk to you soon!