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February 11, 2010 — Let it Snow, but Let us Show
Since the snow is piling up on my fire escape, I haven’t a single urge to step outside today. And since the next thing on my to do list is to send a ledger, that is what I’m going to do on this flurry-ful day.
First off, a welcome to the dozen or so new members to the ledger list — when you are done reading this, you will know everything I am up to in all aspects for the new year. Ah, to be reading a ledger for the first time… the anticipation… the thrill… the eye strain…
I’m going to stick all the dates up front here for those of you disinclined to scroll down – I know scrolling is a pain on a phone, which is how a lot of people engulf their email now…
SETH’S 100TH SHOWCASE CELEBRATION — TUES, WED, FRI — MARCH 2ND, 3RD, 5TH AT 7PM, DON’T TELL MAMA.
STANLEY’S PARTY — SAT/ SUN 12 & 2, APRIL 24TH – MAY 30TH AT MANHATTAN CHILDREN’S THEATRE.
I’LL RELAX WHEN I’M DEAD – SAT, SUN, MON — MAY 1ST @ 6PM, 2ND @8PM, 3RD @ 9:30PM.
Yes, you read that right – the Showcases are hitting 100 — I had the 95th one last night, and next week is 96 and 97 — then the first week of March – 98, 99 and 100 — 3 nights of the best of the last 2 years doing my own songs!!! That’s a THREE night concert of my work!! I am very, very, very excited for it.
Yes, you also read THAT right – Stanley’s Party – my postponed children’s musical is officially happening!! So those of you with kids or who babysit kids – or who like kid shows — plan to come for that!
And yes, you also read THAT THAT right – my 7th cabaret is near! I took a break from writing a cabaret in 2009 to do the Broadway concerts, now that we’ve gotten those under control, I am proud to say, I wrote enough for “I’ll Relax When I’m Dead” — 9 new songs plus the 2 mini-musicals I co-wrote in the Small Ponds Entertainment Musical Theater Writer’s Lab – “My New Computer” and “What If?”
That is mostly recapping from last time, but I put the dates up there in bold, so that you can put them in your calendar — I conveniently scheduled Relax on a weekend with Stanley, so out of towners can come in Saturday, 5/1 — see the kid musical at 2PM, have linner or lupper, then come to Relax at 6PM! (Or see Stanley at noon, see a Broadway matinee at 2pm, grab a quick bite, see Relax at 6pm, then see a Broadway show at 8pm for the ambitious!)
OTHER THAN THAT
2010 has been kind of dull. I have some audition days lined up in March, but it’s been pretty light. The showcase audiences have remained decent, but not exemplary. Both of these items can be traced back to the economy not being so great. I assume you have heard about the economy’s woes, and won’t bore you with them here. I have chosen to focus 2010 on writing, as that is the most important goal in my life.
I recently got an intern! The best thing I have EVER done in my life. She is wonderful – and competent. She designed my facebook fanpage — which you should forward to every single person you know who would enjoy my work — http://www.facebook.com/pages/Seth-Bisen-Hersh/276938191663 — we’ve gotten over 300 fans in 48 hours — which I think is quite, quite remarkable.
I never sent out the Broadway Can! youtube clips to the ledger list. They’re the first 2 videos up at http://www.youtube.com/sethbh42 . We had a great, great show – though December proved to be a hard month, so I think we’re going to do the benefit in November next year and make it more Thanksgiving themed. And, of course, Broadway Meows will be back mid-July!
Other than that, I took the last week of 2009 to completely update sethbh.com – so every single page has been updated – including the photo pages for those of you not on facebook who want to view photos. That was a very long week, but it’s good to keep yourself occupied perpetually.
I am so ahead of the game, that I have already filed my taxes, which I compiled by hand, I am proud to say.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!
Well, obviously I also had to send out a February ledger to remind you that at the end of the month is my birthday!!!! I’m going lower key this year – no huge party – but I purposely put the 100th Showcase Celebration right afterwards — so there will a WEEK long celebration regardless!!!!
I cannot believe that means it’s been almost a full year since I got my precious Mac Mini… Life before having a Mac seems so distant, somehow… Anyway, I’m not doing a huge gift this year, so don’t feel any obligation – but as always I enjoy chocolate, puzzles, Muppets and, of course, getting taken to Broadway shows.
CURIOSITY ALMOST KILLED THE CAT
So the other day, Smee somehow, while getting up on my stove to lick the drippings of his cat food (I put the bowl on the stove when I fill his bowl due to lack of any counter space), managed to turn on the stove — full force… while I was in the shower. I started smelling burning, but I thought it was just b/c I take hot, sauna-like, hour-long showers… But nope. I got out, and there was a flame on the stove where the plastic one of of my spatulas was on FIIIIIIIIIIREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
Fortunately, I am good in a crisis, and I had been soaking my mug after hot chocolate use, so I ran and got it from the sink and dowsed the flame with chocolately water. And there was only damage done to the one spatula, which has had its handle melted… Fortunately, my mother gave me 2, and the other one was inside my pot, and remains intact…
I have since removed the knobs from the stove, so that there’s no way to turn it on without replacing them, and have also cleared off the top of the stove – fortunately, the flame failed to ignite anything above stove level — and the fire was very contained and never spread past its little sphere in the kitchen.
That said, it was still a pretty scary experience.
In any case, there are some new pics of Smee on his webpage, www.sethbh.com/smee — with his commercial if you haven’t viewed it yet…
MUSIC IS THE FOOD OF LOVE
One of my other projects in 2010 is to listen to my entire iTunes music library. I have 28, 619 mp3s on 1, 711 albums – if I listened nonstop it would take me 65 days, 8 hours, 34 minutes and 35 seconds to get through. So this project will probably take me 2 years. At the moment, after 6 weeks, I have finally completed the A albums… I almost was going to do a Julia & Julie type blog about my experience reviewing all my cast recordings, but I’m not THAT bored… Also, although I’m sure I know a few people who would read it, the bolded word also provides another reason I decided against it.
The positive is that with fewer movies to DVR since I canned half of my premiums, and I’ve seen every Woody Allen, most Alfred Hitchcock, and practically all of the movie musicals they ever air on tv, I have more time for listening… and so I don’t have to waste time thinking about what I FEEL like listening to, which can sometimes take hours itself!! Now I know – just pick up where I left off!!
THE BOOB TUBE
The saddest TV news in the last month was Conan being fired. While having an extra 5 hours a week is good for my iTunes project, his presence is sorely missed — those few months he was off between Late Night and the Tonight Show were an ETERNITY for me. So, I’m just hoping in September he finds a new home on FOX, and resumes making me laugh.
Other than that, my new favorite show is CHUCK. CHUCK is THE best SHOW on TV now. HANDS DOWN. IF YOU ARE NOT WATCHING CHUCK, YOU SHOULD BE. Period. I had a few people, including my father recommend the show, and I resisted at first, but this winter I caught up on seasons 1 and 2, and was HOOKED by the middle of season 1 — season 3 so far has been INCREDIBLE — the writing is TOP NOTCH — the show is just… INCREDIBLE.
The show that has gotten the most hype that I watch is LOST — I am intrigued by the final season so far… not yet sold, but they tend to start slow and then go out w/ a bang… I do enjoy reading LOST analysis b/c they put in lots and lots of references that I miss otherwise… and 24 has been pretty good this season – they’re really raising the stakes!
DVD wise, I just finished the entire series of Roswell, which I borrowed from a friend — I enjoyed a lot of the show — it was developed by the same writer as Friday Night Lights, the best DRAMA on TV, hands down. He also has a new show Parenthood coming out, and I was planning on watching it, but its timeslot is already full on my DVR, so we’ll see. I believe there are a few weeks I can try it, so we’ll see if it’s worth it…
My other new, new favorite show is CAPRICA the pre-quel to Battlestar Galactica — I’d go so far as to call it the BEST SCI FI show on TV right now.
The best sitcom on tv would be MODERN FAMILY – but a close 2nd is The Sarah Silverman Program which just returned. Oh, oh, oh and my new British show is The Inbetweeners — best British show ever!! (I’m awfully superlative tonight…)
I’m also looking forward to the return of The United States of Tara and Nurse Jackie in a few weeks…
And other than that (a phrase I seem to use a lot), my shows are pretty much consistent with what I listed in the last ledger, which is archived on my webpage and in my blog if you’ve forgotten and want to re-acquaint yourself.
BOOK ‘EM, DANNO
Alright, so I finished The Fountainhead and The Audacity of Hope eventually, which is what I mentioned last time… and then I started The Witches of Eastwick b/c I loved the canceled tv show… and I’m almost done with it… then I’m going to read The Widows of Eastwick, its sequel… I admit that I have been watching TV and listening to music more than reading, and I do think that it would be a good idea to read more. So starting tonight – that is my plan!
MOVIES WERE MOVIES WERE MOVIES…
I saw a slew of movies, as usual, around Xmas, and they were:
Nine – I enjoyed this movie, though it had its faults… the musical itself is far stronger.
Sherlock Holmes – I much prefer the old version with mysteries that were actually solveable.
Avatar – A really great spectacle, for sure…
It’s Complicated – Meryl Streep stoned makes this movie worth it.
The Princess and the Frog – loved the Broadway veteran cast!
WHEN I RAN THE SHOW (BIZ)
The Gayest Xmas Pageant Ever – the title says it all.
This – pretty decent play w/ an ungoogleable title.
Danny and Sylvia – loved this show about Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine starring 2 of my concert regulars!!!
Present Laughter – Noel Coward and Victor Garber – how can you not love it?
Memphis – Wonderful cast.
Rock of Ages – Wonderful and funny cast.
2009 Nightlife Awards – the only award show where the winners perform rather than give speeches!
Mr. and Mrs. Fitch – John Lithgow from the front row.
Happy Now? – British import – another play about how horrible married life is – if it’s so horrible, why do I have yet another friend engaged? (I mean… congrats, Monica!)
South Pacific – Impeccable production – impeccable direction and design. Fantastic cast. Much better than the production I did in Community Theatre in 1999. Much, much, much better.
AND SO WE’VE COME TO THE END OF ANOTHER LEDGER
I hope you all enjoyed your snow day! I apologize b/c I had every intention of sending this earlier in the day for those of you filled with ennui on your days off, but I got offered a ticket to South Pacific, and I was not going to miss it. However, it looks pretty nasty out still, so maybe you’ll have a snow day tomorrow, and this ledger will keep you warm?
April 17, 2010 — Springing into the Spring…
As busier than a bee as I was, a day off has finally arrived. And rather than take a day off, I thought – it has been over 2 months since my last update. So, here I am with what I think is going to be a short ledger… Key word in that sentence is “think.” Regardless, without ado that is further…
COME SEE MY SHOWS (please?)
STANLEY’S PARTY — SAT/ SUN 12 & 2, APRIL 24TH – MAY 30TH and Mon, MAY 31st 12 & 2 AT MANHATTAN CHILDREN’S THEATRE.
I’LL RELAX WHEN I’M DEAD – SAT, SUN, MON — MAY 15th @ 5:30PM, 16th @ 7:15PM, 17th @ 9:15PM.
Please, please, please come see my shows! Please! Especially I’ll Relax When I’m Dead… but you can see both on the 15th or 16th of May!!
IT’S A DOG’S DAY
I cannot WAIT for Stanley’s Party!! CANNOT!!! The show is technically for kids 3-9, but I think it’s appropriate for kids 3-99. There are 26 regular performances plus another 10 or so school performances, so that’s almost 40 performances! (Rounded up a bit…) That’s AMAZING! It’s the first time I am NOT co-producing my own show, and the first time I’ve had ANYthing run for 6 weeks! 6 weeks! To quote Joe Biden: “This is a big fucking deal!”
The show is FANTASTIC. The cast is FANTASTIC. I cannot superlatate (made up word) enough!
The cast recording is almost ready, and it is also FANTASTIC. I’m going to have it selling on iTunes or at the Seth Store… or both… as well as in the lobby after the show. If you want a copy, let me know.
I cannot say enough great things about this experience – I love being just the writer – it is what I want to do – WRITE! Alright? Write! Right!
I don’t want to be too repetitively redundant, so I will move on – suffice it to say, this has been an incredible experience, and I am very much looking forward to the 6 week run, and very hopeful the show will be opening major doors!
WHO NEEDS MY BED? I’LL RELAX WHEN I’M DEAD!
I also highly recommend my 7th cabaret act. Basically, after Writer’s Block, I was reluctant to continue writing cabarets, as they are expensive and a lot of work to produce. I was frustrated that so few people came to Writer’s Block, which has such a strong score. So, I took 2009 to develop Broadway Meows and Broadway Can! instead — getting my work out there sung by Broadway stars while raising $$ for charity! And I had a great time.
However, being a writer, I found it impossible to not write. The best thing that happened was participating in the Small Ponds Entertainment Musical Theatre Workshop – once I created 2 wonderful mini-musicals (“My New Computer” and “What If…?”, it gave me added material to make “I’ll Relax When I’m Dead” a reality.
Every song in the show was written for at least 1 of 3 reasons: 1. To fill a repertoire gap, 2. A song for a friend, 3. A song I needed to write emotionally.
Thus, the 10 new songs are very personal, and I would personally love to see you at the show.
By the end of the weekend, I will have the postcard and the 3 missing bios up at sethbh.com/relax.
MAKING $$$ IS EXHAUSTING
Audition season is nigh — it has kept me up early and playing piano endlessly. Which is great for the piggy bank, but exhausting for the rest of me. But it is definitely a relief to be out there meeting new actors and exercising my fingers!! I was pretty much working 7 days/ week from mid-February (just after the last ledger went out) till last weekend when I finally had a day off! There was one week I even had to turn down clients b/c I didn’t have a free hour…
Other than auditions and coachings, this week’s showcase is number 107! I have them lined up all summer, and I’m completely filled through May… I wish I could relax, but, of course, I’m not dead yet, and it is time to start hustling to fill the June slots! The showcases are what I call perpetual stress, but I do enjoy them immensely – once I get through all the organizational stuff, etc…
SMEE HAS RELATIVE PITCH
No cat induced fires recently — but while listening non-stop to the Stanley’s Party cast recording to give the mixer notes, I noticed that when Smee whines, he always does so in the right key! I tested this out with a few tracks — and I tried meowing pitches back to him, and he seems to have a really good ear!
If I end up being bored at some point (doubtful), I might try to do a video of it — but I think he gets a little camera shy, so it might be really hard to recreate the experiment while videoing…
But I think it’s great that my cat has relative pitch!
A READING RAINBOW
I finished the Widows of Eastwick, which I enjoyed more than the Witches of Eastwick – probably b/c I had lowered expectations than from when I read then first book — and also b/c I really knew the characters, etc… Anyway, I feel like I finally have closure now for the cancellation of the tv show.
I am now about 100 pages into A Tale of Two Cities — you could read a book a day, and never be done with the classics out there it seems! Maybe a book a week… Anyway, I read so much Dickens back in the day (Oliver, Drood, Great Expectations, Xmas Carol…) but never 2 Cities – so it is time to rectify that situation!
The only movie I saw in the last 2 months was the 3D Alice in Wonderland — which should’ve been called Return to Wonderland… While visual interesting, I am very glad that I had a gift certificate and didn’t pay… I don’t really have any plans to see any movies till Sex and the City 2 opens Memorial Day…
TELEVISION IS GRAND
I still stand by CHUCK and CAPRICA as the best shows this spring! WATCH THEM TODAY!!!
In other tv news, I’m very excited Conan will be on TBS starting this November…
I’m currently watching The Wire, which is a very, very intense show. I also have Treme saved on my DVR, but haven’t started it yet…
Another great drama that has returned since the last ledger is Breaking Bad… also very intense.
And random stream-of-consciousness reviews: Merlin season 2 is back on ScyFy — it’s better than season 1… V is back, and getting good – Flashforward is back, and getting bad… LOST is almost over and has been great… 24 is almost over and has been horrid… South Park has been as funny as ever!!
A Little Night Music – the Broadway revival is IMPECCABLE — go see it!!
Cradle Will Rock – Theater 1010 did a great production of this classic!
Good Ol’ Girls – cute off-Bway show starring my buddy, Lauren Kennedy…
God of Carnage – finally saw the Tony Award winning play…
All About Me – Dame Edna is hilarious!
Scottsboro Boys – THE BEST MUSICAL OF THE SEASON – Kander & Ebb’s final musical = A+++
Looped – Valerie Harper is incredible!
Broadway by the Year: 1948 – Always fun evening at Town Hall…
Stuffed and Unstrung – MUPPETS doing raunchy Improv – what’s not to love? Brian Henson was 5 feet away! Highly recommended for all MUPPET FANS!
Uncle Vanya (BAM) – 3 hours of Chekov in Russian with subtitles – riveting, but seriously, could they cut out the pregnant pauses and maybe get the running time down to 2 hours and 45 minutes?
Inner Voices: Solo Musicals – 2 new one woman musicals at Primary Stages…
Anyone Can Whistle (Encores) – WHAT A NIGHT – Donna Murphy had me in the palms of her hands! Seriously, this was just such a refreshing evening that both my friend and I ended up writing vigorously after it… Sondheim is by far the Shakespeare of our time.
ET C’EST TOUT!
Well, that felt short – I don’t know if it looks short – but it felt short to me in the grand scheme of my update oeuvre. I hope you all are having wonderful springs – enjoying the weather without having serious allergic reactions comme moi!
June 12, 2010 — Summertime and the Living’s NOT Easy…
In summary: Please watch my new videos (youtube.com/sethbh42) and donate a few dollars to Broadway Meows (sethbh.com/broadwaymeows).
Yes, that’s right – I put the summary up front now b/c I know a lot of you are reading these via smart phones now! So just in case you only read the tippy top – voila – those are the most important things to take away from this ledger!
And now the usual beginning: Ah, the dog days of summer… alas, I miss those dog days of spring, in particular the days spent w/ the dogs going to Stanley’s Party. More on that in a bit… It was the best of times, it was the rest of times… It was a very busy spring, and things are finally starting to become manageable. I took out the garbage finally… I vacuumed the carpet… though, there is already cat hair on it again… In any case, I am finally free enough to compose a ledger, so here goes:
WATCH MY VIDEOS PLEASE
First off, there are SIX new videos on my youtube page. Please watch them all if you missed Stanley’s Party and/ or I’ll Relax When I’m Dead. Btw, speaking of Stanley’s Party — THE WORLD PREMIERE “STANLEY’S PARTY” CAST RECORDING IS AVAILABLE FOR SALE ON SETHBH.COM !!!!!
A quick run down of the new videos:
1. The best of Stanley’s Party – see highlights from the show in 7 minutes!
2. MY NEW COMPUTER – a delightful 10 minute musical about switching to Mac – a must see for ALL APPLE users – I’ve been trying to get the video to go viral, with limited success so far – so please forward to all the APPLE ADDICTS you know!!!
3. “Waiting for the 1” — a glimpse of my new musical “What If…?”
4. “Can You Believe?” — hilarious new cabaret comedy song, which is already proving to be popular…
5. “Um, Yeah…” — another hilarious new cabaret comedy song about okcupid dating…
6. “To My Grandparents” — touching tearjerker dedicated to my 4 still living grandparents.
Also, speaking of vidoes, check out my interview for the Glamorous Life at:
I was interviewed about the showcases mostly, but then about my own work, the benefit concerts, playing auditions, etc, etc – it is a must see interview – therefore you MUST SEE it!!!
JINGLE ALL THE WAY
And the final video to check out is only 30 seconds:
Yes, you read the heading right – I sold my FIRST JINGLE!! One of my friends entered Moe’s Southwest Grill’s “I Love Queso” contest, and hired me to create a catchy jingle. It was a fantastic experience, and I’m hoping it opens up more opportunities in the jingle writing world for me.
RAVES, NOTHING BUT RAVES
And while we’re having links – here are some rave reviews from Stanley’s Party and I’ll Relax When I’m Dead with some highlights:
“It’s a lovable, quick-moving romp that kept the very small kids in the theatre attentive and involved throughout, yet offers enough sophistication and variety to keep their accompanying grown-ups diverted as well.”
“The story unfolds speedily and mostly to the bright and chipper music of Bisen-Hersh…Among the highlights: the show-stopping title tune, which features more complex harmonies than you’d expect to find in a kids’ musical, and “Do the Doggy Dance,” a high-energy number that the littlest members of the audience seemed to get a big kick out of.”
— Martin Denton, Editor/ Producer, nytheatre.com, http://www.nytheatre.com/nytheatre/showpage.php?t=stan10037
“Run on two feet or all fours down to Manhattan Childrens Theater. Stanleys Party…is a rollicking, high-spirited adventure that doesnt let up.”
“What is most impressive is the catchy, clever score by Seth Bisen-Hersh. The music and lyrics are reminiscent of the Disney cartoons of the 1990s; that is to say, sophisticated while still audience-appropriate. Bisen-Hersh could be the rightful heir to the Disney throne, this generations Alan Menken, if he wanted to be. Every tune is hummable, enjoyable, and leaves plenty of Easter eggs for the careful listener. It takes a considerable amount of energy not to sing along, or jump on stage and join the show.”
“With this effort, the creative team has built itself a timeless work. It succeeds on a whole in entertaining all ages, and will surely have a long life, not just in dog years, after its run at MCT.”
— Lori Chandler, TheaterOnline.com, http://www.theateronline.com/reviewShow.xzc?PK=24285&Action=Review
“This was truly a delight for the whole family!”
— Eva Heinemann, HI! DRAMA
FOR I’LL RELAX WHEN I’M DEAD:
“Rising star Seth Bisen-Hersh shows off his ability to convey a myriad of emotions…the multi-talented cast breezes through each with refreshing ingenuity…While some may lament the state of cabaret, with Bisen-Hersh on the scene no one needs to worry.”
— Lori Chandler, TheaterOnline.com, http://www.theateronline.com/reviewShow.xzc?PK=24360&Action=Review
BROADWAY MEOWS LOUDER
But enough about the past – let’s talk about the FUTURE. The 2nd Annual Broadway Meows concert, raising money for the Humane Society with my songs, will take place on MONDAY, JULY 19th at 7PM at Don’t Tell Mama, with a $20 cover + 2 drink min.
We already have a dozen stars lined up with more to come (check out sethbh.com/broadwaymeows), and we really want to do a grand job with publicity and marketing this time to sell out, so we are endeavoring to raise $100 — there are 600 of you on this list — not that I think you all read everything, and I’m sure at least 50 of the email addresses are dead — but if 500 of you gave 20 cents, we would have our $100. While that is probably unlikely, if 5 of you give $20, we would have our $100, if 100 of you gave $1 or if 10 of you gave $10, etc.
The point is, PLEASE visit sethbh.com/broadwaymeows and donate as much or as little $$ as you can so that all of the proceeds from the evening can go straight to the kitties!! They will all be immensely appreciative!!!
LOVE QUIRKS: a song cycle of unconventional devotion
“What’s next,” you ask? (Yes, I have time traveling psychic powers and can read your mind as you’re reading this in the future… mwhahahaha!)
Well, I have been trying for a few years to figure out the best way to package my cabaret songs – I mean I have 120 at this point, but as they are, all 7 of my acts center around myself – which is fine for cabaret b/c that is what it’s supposed to be, but not fine if I want other people to be able to do my songs. I tried to put a revue together a few years ago, and it didn’t fly – it was too long, and didn’t really have a plot. I was hoping eventually someone might do an Off-Broadway show with skits and use my songs in it, as well, but relying on other people is never a good idea…
Therefore, since nowadays SONG CYCLES are all the rage – that is what I have decided to do. I came up with the title LOVE QUIRKS: a song cycle of unconventional devotion and will be putting 20 of my quirky love songs in a little over an hour long evening without talking – a cycle of songs, as it were. I will then license the show for colleges and black box theaters, and hope that people will jump at the opportunity to put a show with minimal set, etc. And that’s funny! Almost 3/4 of the songs are going to be my comedy songs. I have to write a new catchy opening number, that will reprise through the evening, and I have one new duet I’m planning, but the 18 other songs are all in my cabarets, and only a few need a little lyric fine-tuning.
The show is a 4 person cast, but they all sing 5 songs, so you can quintuple cast for a 20 person cast — or any number in between. All 4 characters have a journey through the show, which I think is very important for any good theater to have. Through their 5 songs, they rant and rave, but eventually evolve to accept their love quirks.
And now you’re saying: “that sounds great, when can I see it?” One night only — Friday, September 24th at 9-something (TBD!). I will have a cast of 20 launch the show before I have it emailed all over the country hoping people will start to perform it!
Other than that, this summer, we will continue adapting What If…? into a full length musical, and I am currently pondering ideas for other projects, which I do not want to divulge to the world at this point…
Other than selling a jingle, it’s been the usual – auditions, coachings and showcases. This Tuesday is Showcase #114, and I have them almost fully booked through the first week of August at this point – which will be Showcase #120. That’s another 30 to go until the big 150th Showcase Celebration – which will most likely be another 3 night concert of my work with showcase regulars in the spring!
Not that I really want to plan the spring of 2011 yet, so I will refrain from pontificating so far in advance…
VACATING THE CITY
I left the city for a weekend. I did what? I left for a weekend to go to my first cousin’s son’s bar mitzvah – he’s technically my first cousin once removed, but b/c of the wacky way cousins are derived, that could also mean it was one of my parents’ first cousins. Though, as you may guess, my parents’ first cousins are older than 13. So perhaps, just saying my first cousin once removed’s bar mitzvah would’ve sufficed b/c of the context?
Anyway, I went down to DC first to see a college friend, and we had a lovely evening playing Scrabble and going to a Lebanese restaurant. Note: if you ever go to DC, you have to KEEP YOUR SUBWAY CARD b/c you need it to get out!! Good thing I don’t throw anything away ever…
The next morning, he drove me 35 minutes to Rockville, MD — I wasn’t singing “get me to the temple on time” but I could’ve been since we got there a little late. But it’s fine – I missed a few minutes of a 2 hour ceremony – I am not mourning those minutes. Then, it was a delicious brunch with bagels and egg salad and rugula and fruit. And since my first cousin once removed didn’t want to have a dance party, instead, at night, it was an Olympic event with many games – like potato sack jumping and balloon tossing and the tug of war.
The tug of war is the reason my team placed 3rd and not 2nd. One team was all the 13 year old’s fathers, and let’s just say a lot of them were very strong. We got dragged across the grass very quickly. We also might’ve placed 2nd if we had been a little stricter in not allowing the littler kids on our team to participate in certain events — however, we realized that we should probably let them enjoy themselves. Therefore, if you graphed it, you would see our chance of winning would go up as our meanness towards allowing the kids to have fun went up. Very correlated. Thus, we opted for some balance, and came in 3rd instead of 2nd. Furthermore, we would’ve tied if one of my first cousin’s once removed (the bar mitzvah boy’s younger brother) hadn’t disappeared after completing one of the events b/c we accidentally sent an eleventh person (we needed only 10, but when counting who went, he had disappeared, and no one recalled he had done it) … thus, we came in 5th instead of 3rd, which would’ve made up the 20 points we needed to tie in 2nd. (Though, I don’t known where their team had placed, we might’ve bumped 10 points off of them, as well, and then been in 2nd by 10 points?)
But in the end, it was a good time had by all – and really does it matter in the long run if we came in 3rd instead of 2nd at my first cousin once removed’s bar mitzvah party when all we got were really cheap medals, mine of which is now in Smee’s toy pile?
Speaking of… Smee survived my weekend away, although he was none too happy about it. It took me 4 cat sitters, and while it wasn’t the ideal situation, I thank them all profusely, and am happy to report Smee is still alive.
Which is more than I can say for one of my VCRs… yes, I have 2 vcrs – how else do you copy vhs tapes? However, one is dead; and the last time I copied a VHS tape was probably 5 years ago, so I’m not mourning it too much. What happened, you asked? A blackout! There was a fire on 43rd St, and the power in half of my apartment went POOF 10 minutes before I was leaving for DC. I started freaking out, but I had to leave… Then I thought on my way there that I could’ve jury rigged 2 extension cords from the kitchen which still had power to the cable box so it would DVR my Friday night ScyFy shows… but it was too late.
So I left my first cat sitter a really long message on how to do that, but he called me when I was in the Metro in DC, and by the time I got out, he was gone, and didn’t set up the extension cords — so I emailed the cat sitter for Saturday AM, and she assured me she would set it all up – but then texted me the next day she forgot! But then the 3rd cat sitter for Sat PM texted me the power was back on… However, it turns out the power was on the entire time or at least came on before 9pm b/c Stargate Universe did tape!!!! The first 2 had thought the power was still off b/c the lights in the hallway were flickering b/c they are fluorescent lights — they just needed adjusting – when I got back, I was able to get them all working regularly in 2 minutes… however, if either had checked the cable box, they would’ve seen there was power, and I would’ve freaked out a lot less while trying to relax on vacation…
But anyway, I was saved the trouble of figuring out what I needed to find online or when things were re-airing, etc, but my VCR is dead (poor VCR is dead, poor old VCR is dead…) — and the printer was giving me a weird error message, which I didn’t realize till 20 minutes before I had to leave for showcase #113 Tuesday night… and that took me 20 minutes of googling, but I finally figured out that it was b/c of the power surge, and was able to reset the fusion temperature after following 20 intense steps…
But anyway, Smee is fine.
SUMMER TV STINKS
Gosh, there is so little to watch — however, after having a DVR so full it didn’t have room for the 24 series finale (don’t worry, I watched it online – and I was more satisfied w/ the last 5 minutes of 24 than of LOST = discuss), it is nice to be back down to 78%. And as the weeks go by, I am lowering that slowly but surely.
The show this summer I am truly looking forward to is TRUE BLOOD. I am VERY excited that it is back!
Other than that, I am watching The Good Guys, which is cute, Neighbors from Hell which is okay… Persons Unknown, which has serious potential and Late Night Liars – a new GAME SHOW starring MUPPETS!
Upcoming new shows that I will be trying – Hot in Cleveland starring BETTY WHITE, Scoundrels, Haven, Rubicon and the Big C.
And old shows returning for new seasons: Futurama (which is back from cancellation!), Hung, Warehouse 13, Eureka, Psych, Mad Men, and Weeds…
In terms of catching up on series, by the end of this summer, I intend to watch CASTLE and PARENTHOOD in time to add them to my fall schedule. Other possibilities (besides reading novels, which is my priority) include Doctor Who/ Torchwood, Babylon 5, Stargate/ Stargate: Atlantis. Oh, and I’m still watching THE WIRE on HBO on demand – halfway through season 3 – I get half a season every 4 weeks, which is about as much wire as I could take anyway… that show is intense!!
SUMMER MOVIES ALSO STINK
The reviews of Sex and the City 2 were so bad, that I have decided to wait till it’s on HBO. I have not seen a single new movie in the theatre since Alice in Wonderland and don’t have any immediate plans to see a thing till Harry Potter 7 comes out in November…
BOOKING A NOVEL OR NOVELING A BOOK
Well, I haven’t really been reading either – I have been so busy with my 2 shows, and then I was out of town, and then I’ve had a lot of early mornings… so that’s my excuse. I paused reading A Tale of 2 Cities, b/c I found this book at the Strand I thought might make a good musical, but there hasn’t been much plot so far, so I don’t know… but I am still keeping it under wraps in case there is more plot in the 2nd half, and I decide it will be my new project…
Sondheim on Sondheim – went opening night to this incredible show about Sondheim’s work with many interviews by him…
Let My People Come – saw a revival of this classic 70s off-broadway musical…
Sondheim Birthday Concert at City Center – many stars singing Sondheim songs…
Fragments – Rori Nogee’s wonderful cabaret about unrequited love…
Stanley’s Party – Yes, I saw my own show 15 times, so I feel like it deserves a spot on this list…
Broadway by the Year: 1966 – concert at town hall with songs from 1966…
Burnt Part Boys – new musical at Playwrights Horizons…
The Story Collider – Dorky science story telling evening created by Ben Lillie…
Barrier Island – saw one my 15 year old clients off-off-Bway b/c when someone who looks up to me asks ME to see a show, I actually go…
Lend Me a Tenor – Broadway farce starring Monk, which I’ve never watched…
12th Night (Theater1010) – new adaptation of the Shakespeare classic…
White’s Lies – funny comedy off-Bway starring Betty Buckley, which is sadly closing tomorrow, so this plug won’t help much…
Other than that, it’s the Broadway by the Year 10th Anniversary Concert Monday… and I’m going to try to see both The Winter’s Tale and the Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare in the Park… and I will definitely be seeing A Little Night Music on Broadway again b/c Bernadette is going into it…
Well, that was a long one – but the last few have been short, so I feel good to finally be in an elaborative mood on a day when I have nothing to do till sundown when my fangs come out…
I hope you are all having adventurous summers. Please send me a note to let me know what you have been up to!
And PLEASE watch my VIDEOS and if you can find it in the kindness of your heart to support the pets – please donate some $$ to Broadway Meows!!!!!! (Paypal $$ to email@example.com)
August 18, 2010 — those catty cat days of summer…
Summary for phone readage: Watch Broadway Meows Videos at youtube.com/sethbh42… Come see: Love Quirks, 9/24 at 9:15; Scene It Competition featuring More to Love & What If…?, 9/23 at 7:30. License my shows at: sethbh.com/shows3.html!
Greetings one and all! We have reached those sweaty, steamy dog days of summer, but since I am not a dog person, I shall refer to them as cat days… As I head into the fall, I am clearing the final things on my summer to do list – among them is send an update. So here we go…
Forgive me for my lack of creativity in subject headers today, but at least there won’t be any confusion to what they’re referring to!
I am premiering Love Quirks: a song cycle of unconventional devotion on Friday, September 24th at 9:15.
The show is a sung-through compilation of 20 of my quirky, neurotic and poignant love songs. It is designed specifically to be done in productions all over the world without me. It is a 4 character piece; however, is expandable to 20 performers – I will be doing a concert with 20 performers who mostly know the songs already to cut down on rehearsal needs, and also with a cast of 20 it will be easier to sell out! sethbh.com/lovequirks lists all the songs – I have written 2 new songs for the show, and have created two medleys – one of 2 love songs, one of 2 break up songs. I think this is the culmination of my 7 cabaret acts, and will mark the beginning of the next phase of my career – to focus on writing Broadway and off-Broadway musicals!
The premiere concert will feature a handful of Broadway performers, as well as some of the cast from Stanley’s Party, my cabaret regulars and some of the showcase performers from the 100th Showcase Celebration. All top notch performers, which will make for an amazing evening! I am hopeful to get the show done all over the world, and I am also looking to do an extended run in NYC at some point.
On Thursday, September 23rd at 7:30, we will be presenting 10 minutes from More to Love and What If…? in the first annual Scene It! competition — http://www.sceneit2010.com — the winner gets $500 for the development of their show! There will be industry judges, etc, and I will be inviting many industry myself.
For those advanced planners, the 2nd Annual Broadway Can! benefit concert/ can drive will be Sunday, November 14th at 8PM. We moved the concert to a Sunday night to not have to compete with all those Monday night concerts, and this year we moved it back to November b/c Thanksgiving seems to be the can raising holiday. The 2nd Annual Broadway Meows this July SOLD OUT, btw, and you can view videos of the Broadway stars singing my songs here: youtube.com/sethbh42 !
So, now that I have 3 shovel-ready projects, rather than wait for a producer to swoop in, I have decided to instead become a licenser. What this means is that I will package the shows and have contracts ready to go, such that theatre companies all over the world can produce my shows, just like they were doing a standard, established show.
If you know anyone with a theatre (professional or amateur) who might be interested in producing new shows, please send them to: sethbh.com/shows3.html . I will be licensing Love Quirks, Stanley’s Party and More to Love starting in October. (Tentatively for Stanley’s Party – depending on when the contract with the publishers is signed, but I am hoping to have it signed and sealed by October!)
My lovely intern has agreed to send these shows to hundreds of colleges, children’s theatres and small professional theatres respectively in the hopes that once a few productions are mounted, the word of mouth will spread, and then the shows will be done consistently for years and years and years!
Thus, I am slowly building the foundation for a lifetime career, and spreading my eggs to as many baskets as I can hold at once.
The last few days have been rife with networking opportunities! I went to 2 events where I personally connected to a few dozen producers and other industry folks. I am also planning on going to a networking event next week for creative types. In this business, the personal connection is the most important aspect. I also learned a lot about what it takes to get something produced off-Broadway, and then on-Broadway, and I am confident that I will get to both of these destinations in due time. Hopefully, sooner rather than later…
I find networking exhilarating, as most of you know, and I have given out thousands and thousands of business cards in the last decade. I am going to personally invite everyone I’ve met in the last week to all of my fall shows, and more and more industry people will be aware of my work by the end of the year.
I mean business in this business!
Smee is doing well. He is lounging on my desk in the sunspot – I, personally, am not a sun fan, but I leave the shades open enough so that there’s a splotch of it for Smee to lay in. Smee likes to sleep on my feet every night, and sometimes whenever I get up to pee, I come back and end up having dreams of Smee — we go on adventures together — usually adventures inspired by whatever I was watching or reading before bed.
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this in a ledger, but Smee has wonderful pitch — whenever I have music on, he always meows in the right key – or matches the notes of the singer — it’s uncanny! Maybe one day I’ll be able to catch it and do a viral youtube video or something…
Okay, so the only movies I’ve seen in this summer, besides classics at Bryant Park, were Toy Story 3… and Sex and the City 2 (which I didn’t pay for – don’t worry – actually I had a gift certif for Toy Story 3, so I only paid $4 for that b/c it was in 3D)… oh, and I saw a free preview of Despicable Me.
Of the three, Toy Story 3 was the best – though, it wasn’t as amazing as Up and Wall-E. Sex and the City 2 was a lot of fun – parts of it were RIDICULOUS, but it was still enjoyable. Despicable Me was cute – nothing new there, but it has a great cast, and I didn’t have to pay for it…
I read 2 Henry James’ novels – What Maisie Knew and then the novelette the Turn of the Screw — I was trying to see if any of his material would work as a musical, but Turn of the Screw is already an opera, and after doing some research just about everything he’s written has been adapted in some way, and I have no interest in writing things that have already been done, so I’m moving on.
Right now I’m reading Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence, and I have a pile of classics that I’ve borrowed from a handful of friends, and if I had more of an attention span, or the ability to relax longer, I might be getting through it faster.
Oh, I also reread Harry Potter 7 this summer in anticipation of the last movies this fall and next spring! Very excited for those!!
Summer TV actually kept me pretty occupied this year – there was just enough of it. Highlights — I caught up on CASTLE, which is an adorable series (though no Chuck). I am almost done with season 4 of The Wire (I get half a season/ month on HBO on Demand). Favorite summer shows: Persons Unknown!!! (which it looks like I’ll have to watch the last 4 eps online – but the show is SO GOOD so it’s sad no one watched it), True Blood, Hot in Cleveland, Mad Men, Psych, Eureka… I really enjoy the new comedy, LOUIE – it makes me chuckle sometimes. I hear the Big C is great – that’s on my DVR – as are 4 episodes of Rubicon, which got great reviews, as well. And, also, I really want to catch up on Parenthood, so I am going to try to watch all of those shows before September.
In terms of fall TV, my line up, including new shows (marked with a ? b/c who knows if I will stick with them) will be this:
Sunday: The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, HBO/ Showtime/ AMC shows
Monday: How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, Gossip Girl, Castle, The Event?
Tuesday: No Ordinary Family?, Life Unexpected, Parenthood, maybe Raising Hope?/ Running Wilde?
Wednesday: The Middle, Better With You?, Modern Family, Undercovers?
Thursday: The Big Bang Theory, Community, Parks & Recreations, The Office, 30 Rock, Nikita?
Friday: Smallville, Supernatural, ScyFy shows
Oh, and Conan’s back on TBS in November, and I can’t wait!
It’s been a slow summer for theatre, as well, but here’s what I’ve seen since the last ledger:
Town Hall Summer Festival – the Award Winning Songs and then All Singing and Dancing – always highlights!
The Story Collider – my friend, Ben’s new science story telling group
Trust – new off-Bway play with Zach Braff and Sutton Foster – pretty funny…
A Little Night Music – I saw this on Bway again for Bernadette Peters, and she was worth the return trip – she is just unreal – she is the best, and I just adore her, etc, etc. If you have not seen this production, I HIGHLY recommend you go before it closes!!!
Ravel – my friend, Alex, directed this world premiere play featuring some Greek mythology (it was all Greek to me?)
Well, that seems to be it, but here are a few other things that don’t warrant their own section:
I did completely revamp sethbh.com for those of you who are astute – it took me 6 hours to redo the mainpage graphic, and then make it so the links lined up to the correct spots, etc – but it’s nice to know I occasionally use that degree in Computer Science!
I am going to 2 weddings in the next few weeks… time to do the Hora!
I will be co-teaching my Audition Workshop with Daryl Eisenberg 4 Mondays this fall, and will have auditions for the fall showcases mid-September, and hopefully book those weekly through the rest of the year. I anticipate doing another 3 night concert of my work for the 150th Showcase sometime spring 2011!
The maintenance guy is back to re-fix my shower. It has been leaking to the apartment below for the last 4 years, and they keep trying to fix it – but this time they sent over a different guy and not the regular guy, so I’m hoping that he can actually figure out the problem – the good news is that the people over at my landlord’s offices really like me, and understand that I am not awake before noon – so they no longer send people over here till after lunch! Speaking of, I should probably eat some breakfast… I have a bad habit of not eating anything till I’ve gotten something done on my to do list… and this ledger is almost done!
The final news is that I’m participating in the 2010 US Puzzle Championship for my 2nd year on Saturday afternoon! Last year I came in 159th out of 351. This year I know more what to expect, and I am hoping to get into the top 150!
I am cautiously optimistic about life. We’ll see how long that lasts!
October 15, 2010 — the strides at the ides of October…
SUMMARY: 2nd Annual BROADWAY CAN! Sun, 11/14 at 8pm, VOTE 11/2, Watch new videos: youtube.com/sethbh42, License my shows: sethbh.com/shows3
The leaves from the tree outside my window are abandoning it, my electric bill has ebbed due to lack of A/C and I had to get my jacket out of the closet. QED: it’s definitely fall! It was an exhausting September, and things will be pretty busy through mid-November, but I felt there were a few important issues to address and with a few hours before my first client, I thought it would be procrastinatory to not craft a ledger. So here goes…
The 2nd Annual BROADWAY CAN! will take place on Sunday, November 14th at 8PM — at the moment I have 14 performers, 10 with Broadway credits with another 2 probably going to join. I think it’s going to be the best concert we’ve ever done — I’m bringing back a song from The Spickner Spin that hasn’t been performed since 2004. We’re also premiering a new song from What If…? Not to mention at least 6 Broadway performers singing my songs for the first time! Details are up at sethbh.com/broadwaycan — I’ll be updating it with new cast members as they confirm.
Furthermore, we have 2 charities we are helping this year: Citymeals-on-Wheels, which brings meals to the elderly – we are donating all the proceeds to their Thanksgiving fund. Can-wise, we are donating the canned goods to City Harvest, also in time for Thanksgiving.
This will be the last concert of my work that I will personally produce until the 150th Showcase Celebration in late spring, so if you have yet to see anything of mine in 2010, you should put the date in your calendar in pen!
All 3 shows in September were a success! An exhausting, stressful success, but a success, nonetheless. Everyone who saw Love Quirks really enjoyed it, and there are dozens of people working on getting productions of it done at various black box and college theatres around the country. My goal for 2011 is to have a production of one of my licensable shows in each of the 50 states – however, I am really worn out from 2010, and have decided to push back marketing until 2011 actually is here, but please do not let that stop YOU from finding theatres to do my shows!
What If…? came in SECOND place in the Scene It! Competition – we basically lost b/c one of the 7 judges hated the concept – what are you going to do? The other 6 loved it! Anyway, since then we have begun writing the show full force, and now have 6/16 songs completed — only 10 to go! We hope to do a reading of the show early 2011.
More to Love was also a big (pun intended) hit in the competition – and a video of the 10 minute preview is up on my youtube page! The emcee for the evening commented on stage after we performed that rhyming “cushy” and “tushy” was “pure genius” — I, of course, said “thank you” but was backstage, so I no one heard me in a rare moment of politeness.
WATCH MY VIDEOS
Please watch some videos! New additions to youtube.com/sethbh42 include:
10 Minute Preview of More to Love
6 Songs from Love Quirks – 2 brand new – 2 re-envisioned – 2 oldies but goodies!
And if you haven’t seen the clips from the 2nd Annual Sold Out Broadway Meows, you’re really missing out!
So this weekend, take an hour or 2 out to relax and watch some! You deserve it. 🙂
In terms of actually earning an income, I am booked through Showcase #131 right now, which is November 17th. I think Thanksgiving week is a wash, but I hope to get enough performers to do 3 more in December, bringing me to #134 at the end of 2010 — bringing my total to 43 this year. Not too shabby and pretty much on par with 2009. As I mentioned, I intend to do another 3 night concert of my work when I hit 150. Which will probably be around late April/ early May depending on demand.
Other than that, it’s been pretty slow audition wise, but I do have 3 days lined up for the week before Broadway Can! So my November will stay pretty busy, for sure. And I got asked to do a cruise a few weekends ago – it was SO much fun! I was a little trepidacious at first, but it was quite relaxing – just playing piano while the boat sailed around the island… I got a 15 minute break to engulf the delicious brunch buffet, and I think I got closer to the Statue of Liberty than I’ve ever been. (Which might be a little sad since I’ve lived in the city 9 years now…)
VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE
I am not one for using the ledger list for political propaganda, but I am making an exception this once. I wrote a longer essay on this on my facebook, which I am happy to forward to any of you who aren’t on it, but the crux was this:
It is imperative to vote Democratic this year on November 2nd. According to the NY Times today, the Tea Party has a significant chance of winning enough seats to actually influence the Republican Party and manipulate the government. This is a party that has no policies. They stand for nothing but anger – they have no real solutions just bumper stickers and everything in their “platform” is irresponsible, immature and unreasonable.
So if you are ambivalent, apathetic or just plain moderate, it is exceedingly important that you (hold your nose if you have to) vote Democratic.
A vote for ANY Republican empowers Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. It is NOT safe to vote Republican this year – in a few years when Palin is passe, and the tea party is nothing more than stale tea leaves, then fine – do what you will, but this year it is imperative that you vote Democratic.
The essay I wrote goes on to tote Obama’s myriad of incredible accomplishments even if they do not go as far as they should. However, I think the major concern is that losing the House or Governorships when it’s the year districts are redrawn will be detrimental to the economy, the country and the world. We must continue to move forward, not backwards.
So I implore you – PLEASE VOTE and please vote DEMOCRATIC this year on November 2nd. And please remind all your friends to vote, as well!!!
Back to a lighter note, Smee is very excited for the cooler weather because it means when it gets hot and stuffy in here, I open the window and free him to go out onto the fire escape to chase birds and trees in the breeze. The only problem is that he thinks that the leaves are edible – so he’ll eat a lot of them and then vomit them all over the carpet… Okay, maybe that wasn’t a lighter note, after all.
In any case, he is turning 4 in December, and is very healthy.
I have heard from friends of mine who have babies that they no longer give their cats/ dogs as much attention, and I think this is a great shame. Cats are people, too! Okay, they’re not people. But they’re still family and need love!
The truth is that with the TV season back in full swing, I haven’t been reading much. Which is not good. But I did read The Lord of the Flies, which most people read in high school, but I never did b/c I was in the AP class. And it made me see Lost in a different light. (In an oh, they completely ripped off this novel light.) And I’m almost done reading On the Road. After that, I have quite a few borrowed books and a stack of classics I got in the 50 cent bin in the Strand… one of these days I will get through them.
I’ve seen 3 movies so far this fall, and enjoyed them ALL — The Social Network, Easy A and You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger. Oh and I saw a 4th that wasn’t very good – Going the Distance – I didn’t pay for that, though – my friend in a long distance relationship implored me to go and covered the cost. It was actually better than I expected, but pales in comparison to the other 3 movies.
In particular, The Social Network was wonderfully written, and I would love to write a musical with Aaron Sorkin one day. (Just putting that out there!) Maybe next time I run into Jesse Eisenberg, I’ll see if he can hook me up. (For those of you who don’t know, Jesse is from my hometown, and I run into him quite often in the city, though since he’s ironically not on facebook I don’t have any way of getting in touch with him. Actually, I probably could if I really needed to, but I don’t.)
I absolutely adored You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger – it was typical Woody Allen, and that’s exactly how I like my movies. I highly recommend it. It put me in a whimsical mood for at least 24 hours, which is a long time for whimsicality.
Yes, television is back! And I finally got my DVR down to 75% — it was hovering in the 90’s for awhile there. As I have already given you my fall schedule in the last ledger, I will just briefly go over which shows I have kept and which were not worth the DVR space. Along with plugging my favorites… (All my lists are by when they air days of week Sunday-Friday, 8-10.)
NEW shows I am watching: Boardwalk Empire, The Event, No Ordinary Family, Raising Hope, Running Wilde and Nikita.
The truth is I’m not madly in love with any of them, but I am enjoying those 6, even if Running Wilde looks like it will be canceled soon.
Shows NOT worth anyone’s time: Undercovers, Better with You, Shit My Father Says, Outsourced and The Good Guys.
My favorite returning shows: Dexter, Bored to Death, Chuck, Castle, Parenthood, Caprica, and of course, the funniest show on TV: Modern Family!
Other than that, I am in season 4 of rewatching Buffy which has been airing on the LOGO channel, and I just started Fraggle Rock from the start this week on the new HUB channel, which also has The Wonder Years and Doogie Howser, M.D. which I intend to rewatch when I’m done w/ Buffy.
I was quite busy with my own shows in September, but as things started to free up, I have seen a few of the new season’s offerings:
Brief Encounter – Innovative stage adaptation of a movie by Noel Coward.
Mrs. Warren’s Profession – Cherry Jones is incredible, but the play is dated.
Tigers Be Still – I think this is the play I enjoyed the most of the 6 – it was the most relevant to today.
La Bete – Wonderful performances but tedious material.
me, myself, and I – Edward Albee’s newest play – definitely had good moments.
Wings – Jan Maxwell is wonderful, but no comment on anything else.
And this weekend, I’m going to Town Hall for the Broadway Cabaret Festival, and I am very much looking forward to it.
Please come to Broadway Can!, watch my new videos, and VOTE!
Speaking of the election, I am heading down to DC on 10/30 for Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity – Arianna Huffington is providing free buses – and I was almost not going to go b/c they’re leaving around when I usually go to bed, but I feel strongly enough in the cause that I am going to either day shift for a few days or pull an all-nighter (my first since the Mystery Hunt in 1999) — okay, it’s more likely I will drug myself at 10pm, and then sleep on the bus both ways than I will pull an all-nighter… But it should be a really amazing day, and it is time to take the country back from the lunatics!
Finally, I do want to take a moment to publicly thank my great-uncle Larry Field, who died Saturday at 96, for loaning my parents $$ to send me to MIT. Even though I don’t use my computer science degree that frequently, I do believe going to such a top tier school enriched my life in ineffable ways, and I would not have been able to without the generosity of Larry.
December 21, 2010 — another year, another destiny
And here we are at the last ledger of 2010. I cannot even fathom where this year has gotten itself to, but at the very least it has been an extraordinarily busy and productive year. Writing a ledger is the last thing on my 2010 to do list, and it seems that with a few hours to kill before a few parties tonight, I should check it off.
So without further ado… here’s the final update of the year!
EVERY DAY A LITTLE SETH
As most of you know by now, I am taking a hiatus from producing my own shows to focus on my new web series, Every Day a Little Seth. I have gotten 3 incredibly hilarious episodes up there already – the 3rd episode has 200 hits already, and has only been up for a day! I have the first season of 6 planned – so 3 to go, though I get busier in a few weeks, so it might take longer than 2 weeks/ episode in the future…
In any case, Every Day a Little Seth is basically a shameless attempt to get myself an HBO sitcom (a combination of Larry David and the Flight of the Conchords, with some Sex and the City/ Entourage thrown in) – that said, the show has an HBO sensibility, ie it is not for those of you who do not like hearing personal, risque stories about my life. Nor those who don’t like dirty language and innuendo. For the rest of you, please watch and forward to everyone you know!!
Please, please, please post to your facebook walls, on your twitters, and in your blogs – I can only achieve my goal if we get the viewage up to at least a few hundred thousand an episode. So if you do nothing else for me this year, please watch and forward my web series!!!! (Both free things to do.)
BROADWAY CAN! ACTUALLY DID
Broadway Can! raised $450 for Citymeals-on-Wheels, and we collected 70 pounds of cans for City Harvest, which makes it a quite a success! Besides that, it was creatively the best concert that has ever been done of my songs, with the remarkable performers’ Broadway credits totaling 20! Just an overall enjoyable, enriching, enchanting evening!
Videos from the concert are up at my other youtube page:
I highly recommend them, as well as the other 70 videos, obviously… How many of you can say you’ve seen them all? Very few, I imagine.
Once 2011 hits, I will begin on my new project to get a production of one of my 3 licensable shows: Love Quirks, Stanley’s Party and More to Love in every state! Since most people are pretty busy in December, I decided to postpone this task till the new year, so I have reluctantly placed it on my 2011 list instead of 2010. But I am very committed to getting my shows out there, in the hopes that eventually that will bring them back here off-Broadway. I would very much like to see productions of all 3 of the shows off-Broadway, mayhaps the same theatre sometime in 2012, but until that happens, I would love to see productions all over the country!
If you know of a theatre company, or college student group that would be interested in mounting a production, please send them to:
MY 4 YEAR OLD KITTY
Smee celebrated his 4th birthday this past weekend! I’m not sure he knew that everyone who came to his party was there for him, but he did seem to appreciate the gifts! (Okay, gift – thanks, Nicole!) There are new Smee pics available on his webpage, and actually, I put up 100 new pictures on my website (not new for those who’ve seen them on the facebook).
Smee also has a recurring role (he’s the recurring guest cat, after all) on Every Day a Little Seth – and he indeed steals the scene from me quite frequently. Life in the limelight has been kind to him. He takes it in stride, and still enjoys napping most of the day away. Case in point, he is dreaming on the bed right now!
VACATIONING FAR AWAY
I am GOING to China! I am going TO China! I am going to CHINA!!!! Has the world ended? Almost, but not quite! Having a best friend living in China for a few years, it seemed absolutely foolish to not visit, even if the price tag is a lot more than I would like… So, yes, I will be spending almost 3 weeks (and 30 hours on planes) in the Far East around Chinese New Year! It should be an exciting adventure, and although most people seem more excited about the trip than I am, I promise once I’m there I will enjoy myself… though I’ve already been pre-warned we might be having Chinese food fairly often (which is not my favorite cuisine – I prefer Italian)… but perhaps I will at least lose weight eating nothing but rice for almost a month!
Besides that, I am going to Boston for my 14th MIT Mystery Hunt in January, as well. We are pretty determined to win this year, and though I say that every year and we usually come in 2nd or 3rd, this year might very well be the year we win! In any case, a weekend of just puzzling sounds absolutely divine, and I am very much looking forward to it.
YEAR IN REVIEW
This is a section that I used to blog about, though I have pretty much stopped blogging given that no one goes to the myspace anymore, and I have yet had the energy to move the entire blog somewhere else. In fact, I am strongly considering losing a lot of those blog entries since most of them are antiquated. In any case, this is what I have accomplished this year, lest I forget and start to get antsy that there isn’t anything to do for the final 2 weeks:
1. I made 100% of my income either from writing or playing piano for the 2nd year in a row!
2. I co-produced 2 charity concerts of my work featuring dozens of Broadway performers singing my songs, while getting great video footage and raising $$ for the Humane Society (with a sold out Broadway Meows!) and Citymeals-on-Wheels/ City Harvest!
3. I had a critically and audience acclaimed children’s musical presented off-off-Broadway for 6 weeks, and received my first ever royalty check! In addition, I produced an incredible cast recording of the score, and have a DVD and best of compilation on the youtube!
4. I premiered a song cycle of my cabaret songs, finally, after 7 years figuring out a marketable way to utilize them, in a show that will most certainly be done all over in black box and college theaters, and hopefully will find its way to an off-Broadway run!
5. I had 10 minutes of 2 of my musicals featured in an off-Broadway competition, where both got audience raves, and one came in 2nd place for the entire evening, losing by a mere 6 points!
6. I sold my first advertising jingle!
7. I produced, emceed and accompanied 43 talent showcases, featuring over 200 performers, including an unprecedented 3 night concert of my work with the best of performers!
8. I created a new web series that is poised to go viral, and in essence, have finally figured out a marketable way to showcase all my talents at once!
9. I made a load of new connections, friends and even a few new close friends!
10. I learned the secret family recipe for making latkas! (I’m now a latka master!)
RESOLUTIVE GOALS FOR 2011
1. Production of my shows in every state.
2. Finish writing What If…? and start on my 3 Broadway aimed projects.
3. Get my sitcom on HBO.
4. Read more.
Oh gosh… I know I read something… Well, first off, I read FINISHING THE HAT – Sondheim’s new compilation of lyrics with stories and comments and lessons on how to write lyrics, and it was just the most amazing book I have ever read in my life, and I’m waiting with perpetual anticipation for volume 2 next year!
I feel like before I read that, I read something else, but I cannot put my fingers on it… I need to keep better tabs. There is definitely a pun in here somewhere, but I shall leave it alone… I just started Brick Lane, which is good so far. I literally have 6 books still from Kevin/ Cyrus, and I am trying to finish those so I can take out more from their library. And I have a dozen books I got from the Strand for 50 cents that I want to get through before I allow myself to buy more…
The moral is I need to stop chatting on the computer and watching tv all the time, and actually read more books! It’s hard when I can’t go outside and read b/c of the weather – I get very distracted in my apartment… but I am just making excuses! In fact, I’m going to go up and add that to my goals for next year. There. It’s official!
I saw Harry Potter 7 twice so far – I might have to go a third time – it was exquisite! I cannot WAIT for part 2. The first time was opening night at 12:01 at the imax — seeing all the crazy people in costumes made me feel relatively normal! (Though we did get there 4 hours early… but we had amazing seats!)
The other movies I’ve seen since the last ledger were Tangled and For Colored Girls… Tangled was entertaining, if formulaic… For Colored Girls was a little problematic – the monologues from the play didn’t mesh at all with the movie, itself – but the performances were dynamic.
We are starting Movie Day (Saturday the 25th) with Black Swan, and then I’ll probably go Love and Other Drugs, perhaps Narnia… perhaps Harry Potter again… perhaps the Focker movie just b/c Barbra’s in it… maybe Tron just for the hell of it…
I don’t think there’s much new tv news. I will be trying The Cape in January – that might be the only new show I attempt – I am very over-extended. I have been watching Friday Night Lights season 5 illegally online, and it’s been wonderful – only 6 episodes left till that show is done forever! So sad! After that, I am going to watch Doctor Who/ Torchwood until there is new TV again.
In sad news, my favorite Sci Fy show, Caprica, got canceled, and that broke my heart – no one watches smart science fiction anymore apparently. I just started the Walking Dead, which is gory, but good so far. I am actually told it gets even more gory, but I am willing to stick it out.
I feel no need to reiterate which shows I adore – they have not changed – please feel free to go back a ledger to check those out if you’ve forgotten… Oh, I will also, as usual, be trying all the new HBO and Showtime shows – when you pay as much as I do for the channels, it is best to get one’s money worth, after all!
Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage – fun off-Bway show starring the Brady Bunch’s Eve Plumb.
39 Steps – re-viewed this show off-Bway – still quite charming.
I Love My Wife – MUFTI production of this seldom revived Cy Coleman musical about wife swapping.
Brian Charles Rooney at Joe’s Pub – Saw my friend BCR sing up a STORM!
Broadway Unplugged 6 – 6th year of this great Town Hall concert sans microphones.
Blind Date – fun off-off-Bway improv-ed show where some poor guy from the audience ends up in the show all night!
Scottsboro Boys – THE BEST NEW MUSICAL OF THE YEAR – so sad it closed so soon, but they might bring it back!
Wildcat Benefit – saw another obscure Cy Coleman musical – it’s been a wry, sly, Cy few months…
The Break of Noon – I’m seeing David Duchovny in this off-Bway play at the Break of 2PM tomorrow, though I do have to wake up by 12:30, so that’s almost the break of noon…
2010 was an amazing year, overall, but I have even bigger plans for 2011!
I hope you all make it through the rest of the year in one piece, and, as always, wish you the best for the next one.
Don’t forgot to watch and forward all my videos!!!!!! The key to my success lies in YOUR fingers!!!!!
And respond to say hi if it’s been awhile!