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January 23, 2003 — Where Have All the Ledgers Gone?
It has occured to me that I haven’t sent a ledger in eons. I must apologize
for that, but I’ve been busy, and then it was winter break and ledger counts
as productivity so it didn’t happen, and now I’m back for my final term ever
as a student, and I figure I should send a ledger out before I get busy again…
So, um, let’s do PRESENT, FUTURE then I’ll recap the PAST. And I’ll try to
keep it fairly terse. I’ll try…
It’s my last term at NYU. All I’m really doing this term is CHOIR,
COMPOSITION LESSONS and my…. THESIS.
This has posed a financial problem. NYU now considers me a “part-time”
student, and I ended up with $10,000 less in loans. While this is great in
terms of paying them back, I now barely have enough $$ to make it through
May, let alone this summer.
I am currently trying to get a high paying part-time job for term so I can
work 15 or so hours, but still make at least a few hundred a week. And I
intend to keep the job for the summer, and that should be enough to get
through to the FRINGE festival, should I be lucky enough to have been
accepted. (More on FRINGE later…)
My thesis is going to be some computer music composition using this JAVA
synthesis program, which allows me to make my own instruments, algorithms,
etc. Basically I’m going to do a 4 or 5 part piece using some method that I
can write some pages on. I’m going to write pages on the program itself, on
synthesis itself, etc. It has to be 50 (!!!) pages BUT since I’m doing a
computer piece, I can print out the JAVA code, and that’ll take up at least
half of it (see how smart I am?). I have a few books to read, and then I
intend to write the research part of it asap, brainstorm for the
composition, compose it, then I can easily write the part describing it.
As for right now, NOW, I’m watching Bye, Bye Birdie on cable! Such memories…
For those of you who haven’t heard the most exciting news, I’ll tell you:
I’m playing PIANO for an actual PRODUCTION this term!!! This is the first
time I’ll be putting on an actual show NOT written by me, NOT a review and
NOT doing ALL the work for in YEARS, so I’m quite excited to have this
The show is PARADE, which is a wonderful show written by Jason Robert Brown.
The score is impossible to play, so I’m quite excited to be able to show off
my ability to play it.
And I’ll have rehearsals 3-4, then 5-6 times a week, and it’ll be so NICE
being so busy again!! And to PERFORM! Ah, the thrill…
Other than that, I’m doing a BENEFIT for The Children’s Cancer wing at
Sloan. It’s a great cause, and the young producer I worked w/ last October
in Rising Stars is doing it, and I get to PLAY piano for such stars as
ANTHONY RAPP (Rent) and JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL (Hedwig) and hopefully many,
And then in MAY, I’m going to do a RECITAL of a bunch of COMPUTER MUSIC
pieces, including my THESIS, and I’ll probably throw in some songs from MS,
as well as other random songs, etc.
On February 28th, I turn (AH) 24. I’m getting to a quarter of the century.
I feel quite, quite old. Consider this your reminder b/c I’ll probably be
too swamped in Parade rehearsals (and hopefully a part-time job and my
thesis) to send a ledger before then. For those of you in/ near town, keep
the date open b/c I’ll probably have a major soiree or get-together!!!
So we successfully finished our application for the FRINGE FESTIVAL… I’m
quite excited, yet very nervous. We have a 1/5 chance, but assuming 50% of
what gets sent in is crap, we really have more like a 1/3 chance at worst.
The show is shaping up REALLY well. I have 15 songs done for it, and there
probably won’t be so many more. The plan is to finish the show up in MAY
after my THESIS is done, do a workshop in June and HOPEFULLY be in the
Fringe in AUGUST. Otherwise, we’re going to have to explore other options
and production companies, but I assume since the show will be phenominal, we
will succeed in finding some venue to have my NYC debut as a composer!
So, it’s all a lot of waiting, really. Lots of major stuff to finish. I’m
hopeful I can find a part-time job for term, to continue through the summer.
I’m considering moving as soon as term ends to find a cheaper place,
although I’d like to stay here through 8/1 when the lease runs out if I can
afford it. I’m also starting to actively (AH) look for an actual full time
job in September, although if I can find a high enough paying part-time job,
and if my exposure in the benefit and this show can make it possible to
subsist as a composer/ pianist, then I will attempt to do that for a few
months to avoid having that 40 hour/ week commitment. I loathe the idea of
day-shifiting b/c all my productivity comes from midnight-4am (as in this
Just to catch you up on my relaxing, if somewhat mundane winter break briefly:
I spent the first weekend in Boston to see SAMIDH before he embarked for
India. It’s really hard being best-friend-less, as he hasn’t been able to
check e-mail in that backwards country, and isn’t coming back until June.
🙁 But I did get to see him for a few days, and that was nice.
I then spent some time in NJ seeing the remnants of high school friends I
have left. LYNNE and DAVE and DAN and JILL, and that was nice, but it’s
just so weird b/c we’re all so old now, and everyone’s settling into growing
up, except me who is resisting it as much as humanly possible!!!
I was in NYC for a few days. I got the CHICAGO movie which was PHENOMINAL!
It was sold out for days actually at the huge Ziegfeld cinema. What a GREAT
MOVIE!!! I highly recommend it. Highly.
I then went to go SKIING at ERIC’s. I was supposed to get a ride w/ some of
his friends, but they cancelled b/c of the SNOWSTORM and as I had already
trekked into EB, I ended up driving myself. And I ended up in a SNOW BANK.
It was the worst thing ever! I just couldn’t see the road at all, and all
of a sudden I was OFF of it. And I had to shovel myself out, and thankfully
this REALLY nice guy stopped and helped me, but wow, was that scary. So no
more driving in snow ever for me!!
Skiing was really nice though. The show was BEAUTIFUL, and it was just a
wonderfully relaxing day.
Oh and Eric said I could have SNICKERS (his cat) if he has to live in a
medical school dorm !!!!!! so that’s more incentive to find a bigger,
pet-friendly place at some point. (And cheaper, definitely cheaper…)
Then I was back in NYC for a bit. I went to visit AVIVA which was fabulous
as always. And AARON came to visit for half a week. We went to the DAILY
SHOW, which was ok; definitely not as good as Conan…
My final weekend was spent again in boston for the MYSTERY HUNT. It was the
longest hunt EVER this year, and went til Monday morning at 7am. But it was
really fun, and I solved a bunch of puzzles, and it was nice having my own
I ended up talking a bunch of smaller teams into merging with us so when
they gave out awards for each team, I received the “Borg Award” for
assimilating the most people onto my team.
Wow, I’m behind in reporting in, but I really haven’t seen so, so much since
the last ledger… (I had a lot of performances at the end of term, and
other stuff to do, and didn’t see much over break after all…) A bunch of
my CD REVIEWS are finally up on nytheatre.com btw, so go check those out!
I’m reviewing lots of shows this term, and that’s just ducky.
JUDY KUHN at Joe’s Pub: WOW, I’m so far behind. This was on 11/11. Well
she was great…
HAPPY HOUR — I reviewed this show for NYU. It was very funny, improv comedy.
BODY BLOWS — This was a cute one man show that NYU had free tix to.
ENCORES BASH — a BIG concert w/ a LOT of stars (Bebe, Kristin…) Met them
all of course… List on webpage!
BARBARA WALSH — oh this was EXCITING. I was Barbara (bway star in
Falsettos and BIG)’s personal escort and brought her backstage, and I opened
and closed the door for her whenever she entered/ exited too!
FLOWER DRUM SONG — finally got to review this. It was very moving at
points, but the clash between the traditional score and the new script was
CLASS MOTHERS 68 — Priscilla Lopez of the original Chorus Line was GREAT in
this one woman show where she played 6 different mothers.
GYPSY OF THE YEAR — I got comps for this from Equity b/c I know the head
from working at Seth’s (still doing that, btw, we’re getting WHOOPI GOLDBERG
and ROB MARSHALL soon!); it’s that contest they have where they tally who
raised the most $$, etc.
SHKBOOM HOLIDAY CONCERT — I decided to do 2 things that Monday, and went to
see a bunch of stars I like doing some holiday songs. (Norm Lewis gave me a
BOSTON MARRIAGE — David Mamet play which was enjoyable but not fabulous.
WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN — Christopher Shinn play starring MR BIG (I met him!!),
that was good, but not overall great as I had expected.
LES MISERABLES — My pal, LAUREN KENNEDY who’s starring in Les Mis right
now, got me 2 tix (NIKI was visiting for a few days!), and although the show
is long, she was FABULOUS and I’m her biggest fan!
TARTUFFE — Ushered for this play revival. It was actually really good.
PORTERPHILES — Reviewed this kinda dull revue of obscure Porter songs.
DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES — Got this show before it closed. It was actually
quite enjoyable and cooky, so I’m sad it’s closing b/c of bad reviews.
THE SANDMAN — reviewed this kinda befuddled modern opera.
LAUREN KENNEDY in concert — she was great! And I know her! She did all
great songs, and it was just FABU!
THE PLANK PROJECT — WONDERFULLY funny show parodying the Laramie Project,
that just happened to be free from NYU. GREAT show. Wow, really funny.
That was tonight….
And that’s really it. I’m going to revue 2 shows this weekend actually, and
then hopefully going to see La Boheme. I also am seeing the new show at the
MTC Sunday night, and hope to see Tuesdays w/ Morrie (just read the book!)
as well as Man of La Mancha at some point, as well as all these new bway
shows I haven’t gotten to yet…
I’m only paying for shows I really, really wanna see now, and I’m trying to
find as many comps as possible still. They’re hard to come by.
I’m really enjoying Bye, Bye Birdie! I haven’t seen this movie in a LONG
time, and it’s amazing how different it is from the show… yet how similar
in some ways, too.
I’m really looking forward to Parade and finishing Meaningless Sex, and
hopefully doing it in the Fringe. I’m not looking forward to my thesis or
finding a job though… Not at all. Or to having to find a new apt.
But I’ll deal w/ those things when I have to and enjoy my few weeks of
seeing shows relaxingly and stuff.
I hope you’re all doing swell!
March 18, 2004 — Marching Through March!
Greetings all from Ledger Land! I realize that it has been way, way, way
too long since I’ve sent a ledger, but I’ve been busy; you’ve been busy;
we’ve all been busy! But it’s SPRING BREAK, so intend of going to Cancun,
I’m catching up on things to do (and really going to get to my thesis,
really… more on that later).
I would first like to wish KRISTINE and KELSEY happy BIRTHDAYS! I just sent
them e-cards. Reminder, if I don’t know your bday, you can’t receive an
e-card, so make sure I know when it is! 🙂
I would also like to welcome all these new ledger people, most of which
haven’t even been warned about being added to the list. Unfortunately, the
only way off the list is to change your e-mail address w/o telling me. 😉
(Actually some people have asked off the list, and I cry every time b/c it’s
so upsetting!!!! J/k… or am I?)
Anyway, on to business.
Well the term is like halfway over, dudes. Halfway! And what have I done?
Um… not much really. Seen LOTS of shows (of COURSE I’ll talk ALL about
them all!), hung out w/ LOTS of friends (lots of NEW ones, too, we’ll call
them ledger virgins…), and watched lots of tv (HBO ON DEMAND is SOOOOO
cool! And SIX FEET UNDER may have stunk the first episode, but the last two
have been REALLY GOOD!)
As we all remember, I have no classes this term. Just choir which is fun
and continuing on at a normal choirly rate, and my composition lessons which
And of course my thesis.
Everyone seems interested in my thesis but me! “What are you doing your
thesis on?” asks a nightly, inquisitive IMer. Well let me just tell
everyone at once:
I’m doing a computer composition. Basically I wrote 5 pieces based on
intervals. The first one is a second, the second is the third, etc, such
that I try to explore textural and timbral things to do with each interval,
creating melodies based on them, as well. I also will be creating a few
algorithms to enhance the sections, as well.
In addition to this, I am designing all the instruments used with this Java
Synth software. It taps right into the Java Score software, all of which I
used in a class last year (Java Music Systems).
So I’m writing the piece, making the instruments, etc. AND then I have to
have a 50 page paper, so I’m doing research on synthesis, the beginning of
it, and the computer version, and creating instruments, tying that all into
the ones I will create, then talking all about the java programs,
interviewing the creator, etc and then also research on intervals tying that
into the piece I do, too.
So yeah. I’ve written about 20 pages, with title page and works consulted
and table of contents, that’s more like 25, so it’s halfway done! ANd I’ll
have lots of pictures, too. And I’ve written the pieces by hand, but have
to design the instruments and create the pieces with them and some
algorithms, etc, then talk all about how I did all of that.
By the 2nd week of May.
I am performing sporatically in April and May. The most definite thing is
my RECITAL, where I will present my thesis, as well as a bunch of other
computer music pieces I have done for other classes over the years, and
probably a few songs from MS, as well as my upcoming cabaret act.
My RECITAL is FRIDAY, MAY 9th at 8pm!!!! Mark your calendars!
Speaking of my cabaret act, it’s going to be sometime in May, and it’s
called “And then she dumped me…” and will be a retrospective of all my
relationships in which I was dumped (every single time, baby!), with love
songs and break up songs galore. Should be quite cathartic.
Other than that, I was SUPPOSED to be playing for Parade at NYU, but they
canned the orchestra, so the conductor decided he’d rather play piano than
just conduct me. Which makes sense, and although I was looking forward to
it, NOT doing it has opened up SO much time for SEEING shows!
My other big commitment is NOT YOUR GRANDMA’s FAIRY TALE, a new children’s
musical with a brand new children’s theater company. I am the musical
director/ pianist of the group. We’re putting on the show in NYC hospitals
and schools in April. Our BIG performance is MONDAY, MARCH 31st at 7PM at
the YORK THEATER, if you’re in town, you’ll be getting more info. It
basically tells the tale of all your favorite storybook characters after
they live happily ever after… (It’s very punny and also time consuming.
Those two adjectives aren’t correlated to each other at all though.)
I’m also musically directing/ playing for a cabaret on APRIL 12th at 2PM at
my favorite place, Don’t Tell Mama. We haven’t set any of that in stone,
but it’s going to be a duet (2 guys) and I’ll probably just be playing
piano, but having a great time and getting exposure, and $100.
Oh, speaking of things I’m doing for Ryan, we’re doing a BENEFIT on
THURSDAY, May 25th for Children’s Cancer, and it’s going to be HUGE, and
maybe I’ll FINALLY get to play piano for bway stars (I was supposed to for
Bway Equity on 3/3, but THAT fell through too! GRRRRRRR).
Um, OOH I’m ALSO going to have TWO PIECES in a showcase of NYU composers
again on APRIL 4th and 5th at 8pm!! It’s my 2 (only 2 in the whole show)
songs that can be sung in front of a family audience…
So, yeah I guess I AM doing an awful lot. No wonder I feel so tired…
No update on the fringe. We find out the last week of April. I think we
have a good chance of getting in, but it’s not a definite chance. But the
show is shaping up, and the score is PHENOMINAL thanks to my wonderful
professor. And I’ve rewritten almost every song like 5 times…
It’s exhausting being a composer. Really.
Yeah, well I have no idea what I’m doing after Fringe. My apt’s lease runs
out on 8/1, so I need to find someplace cheaper and bigger by then. And I
need to find some part time work to subsist off of while I wait for my
career to expand. Or a full time job temporarily or something. Yeah, I’ve
been meaning to think about those things, but then I say well I should
finish my thesis first, and then I get distracted by writing a ledger, or
updating my webpage (which I’m going to do as soon as I’m done typing this!
I already FINALLY took out the garbage — 10 bags. Yeah, I haven’t cleaned
since my bday party…).
Anyway, you get the point. Future is uncertain, but what’s wrong w/ that?
Speaking of my bday party, it was fabu! Almost 30 people dropped in for the
pre-party, dinner, party, and post-party. And then even more took me out the
week after b/c they couldn’t make the actual bday. So THANK you to all of
you who CAME and sent CARDS, etc, and the rest of you 😛 and see if YOU get
an ecard from me this year 😉
The other big party of the year so far was when Kristine (who’s bday it is
today!) came to VISIT and that was the BEST WEEKEND EVER!!!!
The best present was my DISCMAN!!!!!!! (from my parents!) I’m now a TRUE
New Yorker ALWAYS in my OWN zone, listening to my own music EVERYwhere and
belting EVERYwhere I go (and getting strange looks, but who cares?!?).
I’ve been reading lots actually. I read THe Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath,
Tuesdays at Morrie, and I’m going to read Pale Fire really soon. I already
pre-ordered HARRY 5, and intend to reread the first 4 as soon as my thesis
is done as sort of a reward for finishing up my Masters.
As I said, Six Feet Under is wonderful. And I don’t have to worry about
missing it b/c it comes on HBO ON DEMAND at midnight (I have HBO, Max and
Showtime on demand, so I get like 100 movies/ series’ episodes each month to
watch WHENever I want! It’s the most fun toy EVER!!!!).
I still keep up w/ Frasier (it’s been really funny this season), Just Shoot
Me (which is MIA this month!), Enterprise (woohoo! GREAT, great show, right
Steve?), Friends (eh, still kinda funny), Scrubs (OOOoh yeah!), Simpsons,
Malcolm (ALWAYS funny!), and oh that 70’s show when Andrew doesn’t mess up
Last section, as always. Of course I’ve seen oodles. If I put a * that
means the review is up on nytheatre.com somewhere, go find it if you dare!
(Oh that rhymes… 🙂 )
Cooking with the Coolery: Wow, I reviewed this eons ago for NYU’s paper.
It was a musical on Alberta Hunter’s life, and was really enjoyable.
Tess’s Last Night*: This show was eh. About a girl from Canada trying to
make it in show biz.
La Boheme: OOOOh, this was just a WONDERFUL production, which is still
playing on bway. Sat SECOND row, gotta love rush tix!
Kimberly Akimbo: A WONDERFUL play by David Lindsay-Abaire. Such a great
Rough Magic: A free reading of a play about the Tempest character’s coming
to real life. Really funny actually.
Tuesdays w/ Morrie: play of the book, really enjoyable.
A Pure Gospel Valentine*: I decided to review this one for a change of pace.
It actually was really fun, even though I’m not so into gospel music.
Shanghai Moon: Saw this for free since I volunteer for Drama Dept. Really
Little Fish: I REALLY liked this new musical (it’s still in the sig!), but
very few others did, and it closed sadly.
Nytheatre readings: I saw readings of the book that the website I review for
published. Really fun evening.
Comedians: Ushered for this blah show. With a title like comedians, it
should’ve been funny!
Dido (& Aeneas)*: Reviewed this updated version of the Purcell opera (which
we did in 21M.252!!!); it was ok. They added new songs which weren’t so great.
Jessie*: Reviewed this kinda ok show. Yeah, I got to pan a bunch in a row…
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: Saw WHOOPI in this kinda dull show about racism.
Barbra’s Wedding: I met IRA from MAD ABOUT YOU! He’s in this kinda funny
show about a couple who lived next door to Barbra and watch her wedding from
their living room.
Requiem for William: ushered for this wonderful evening of William Inge
Tapestry: Drama Dept benefit, where a bunch of stars sang through the Carole
King album. Afterwards, I got to go to the cast party, and I talked to
LAURA BENANTI for like 2 hours!! Woo! (she’s in Nine now, which I wanna
see this week)
Tea at 5: I met CAPTAIN JANEWAY! OH YEAH! Front row center for this show
about Kathryn Hepburn… She was fabu!
Fucking A: A great commentary on social life by Pulitzer Prize winning
Suzan-Lori Parks who I MET…
Heat Lightning*: Another blah show I reviewed. THe lead character was
named Seth, so I figured I had to go to this one.
Liz Callaway: I saw Liz do a free show at the world financial center. It
was an hour of pure heaven!
Showtune*: Reviewed a blasse revue of Jerry Herman songs.
Bootycandy: After unexpectedly having the night off, I went and saw this
kinda cute show of short scenes at 7:55.
Rhapsody in Seth: resaw Seth Rudetsky’s show since I still work for him
(NATHAN LANE THIS WEEK!)
Life w/ Albertine: Kevin took me out a week after my bday, to this new
musical. It was ok. BROOKE was in it though and I talked to her for like
TWENTY minutes afterwards!!
Elegies: *****This was the BEST show I saw these last few months. WILLIAM
FINN is amazing. Wow. Just a great, enjoyable evening. Met BETTY BUCKLEY
again… just a really fun night.
Radiant Baby: Got out of choir early. Got tickets at 7:59 to this musical
about Keith Haring and really, really enjoyed it, but it got bad reviews so
it closed early 🙁
Kaddish in East Jerusalem: My friend Andrew’s professional NYC directorial
debut!!! Basically Romeo and Juliet in Israel.
Fifth of July: ushered. Met PARKER POSEY and Robert Sean Leonard!
The Play What I Wrote: The new british comedy. QUITE punny. But very fun!
Honk: EBHS production. Went to see my lovely sister type cast as a bratty
Love Labour’s Lost*: Shakespeare’s comedy but with music. Very enjoyable;
review will be up mid-week.
Zanna Don’t*: REALLY fun musical; review will be up mid-week.
This week I’m seeing Urban Cowboy, A Little Night Music, and hopefully
Nine… still haven’t seen Man of LaMancha, that’s the one musical I’m
missing on bway… oh and Movin Out but I don’t really wanna see that.
Oh and don’t forget to read my CD REVIEWS at nytheatre.com!!!
So it seems we’ve come to the end of yet another Seth Ledger. This ledger
has been brought to you by the letters T, I, R, E………. and D! But of
course I’m as indefatiguable as always. And watching my nightly fix of the
Cosby Show, and then Perfect Strangers, every night at 3:30!!
I do hope everyone’s doing well. As I mentioned, I’m on spring break this
week, so I’ll have time to write back, hopefully, and I intend to work on my
thesis again soon. Really… really… really…
Talk to you all soon I hope!!!!! 🙂
May 2, 2003 — The Best Day of My LIFE!!!!!
t 1am tonight, I came home to find the ACCEPTANCE PACKET from the FRINGE
I have been jumping and screaming all night. All night. And I course have
to send a ledger. In fact, I sent emails to everyone I know, including
every broadway star I have a contact info for b/c I am just too, too excited.
http://www.fringenyc.org The BIGGEST theatre festival in the WORLD and my
show MEANINGLESS SEX is going to be THE show in it this
year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’re hoping to go the path of
Urinetown, or at least to go off-bway… we’re going to probably be reviewed
by the NYTIMES!!!!!! This is like BIG. This is like HUGE. This is like
the most amazing thing in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As most of you know, I haven’t been sleeping in about 2 weeks since I knew
we’d get a response soon, and it took awhile, but it was here tonight, and
we’re IN! We are IN!!!!!!! We are IN! And this is the START of my CAREER.
This IS the big break!!!!!!! THIS IS IT!!!!!!!!!!
And the score is fabulous and all BY ME! And my composition lessons really
paid off and the score is just the most amazing thing I’ve EVER
written!!!!!!!!!!! And I did the music AND the lyrics and it’s just going to
be SOOOOOOO amazing!!!!!!!!! And if it isn’t yet, then I will keep
rewriting until it’s just perfect!!!!!!!!
OH MY GOD WE GOT INTO THE FRINGE!!!!!!!!!!!!! 140 MUSICALS applied for 20
slots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are one of those
WE MADE IT! WE REALLY MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ALL HAVE TO COME SEE THE
SHOW IN AUGUST!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well in OTHER news, I have two MAJOR performances coming up in MAY as well,
so here’s the info on that before I write a novel about the fringe:
FRIDAY, MAY 9th, 8pm
Education Blg, 35 W4th St, Room 779
RECITAL (!!!!!!!!) I will be presenting my thesis (WHICH IS ALL
DONE!!!!) as well as a lot of pieces I did at my time at NYU including stuff
from Meaningless Sex, And Then She Dumped Me and actual computer music
And Then She Dumped Me
a revue of original break up songs
By and starring Seth Bisen-Hersh
Sunday, May 25th at 3pm
$6 cover charge/ 2 drink minimum (cash only).
All ages welcome!
DON’T TELL MAMA
343 W46th St
For reservations (STRONGLY suggested) call: 212-757-0788
In other news, as mentioned up there, my THESIS is DONE! I just finished it
LAST night. My advisor has approved it, and I’m GRADUATING! For those of
you interested, here is the paper and the 5 parts (it’s a 16 minute piece!
The longest I’ve ever written!!!):
So what else is up? I’ve decided to find a cheaper apartment for the
summer/ next year to save $$. I’m looking all over, but I hope to find a
reasonably priced studio in the village area. I read craigslist like every
day for jobs and apartments!!!
Jobs? I need some PARTTIME income this summer, most definitely, but I do
not have time for a full time job until September at least. I am hoping to
start playing auditions b/c I hear you make $1000/ day. If ANY of you
actor/ actress types are going on auditions, PLEASE let me know, b/c I want
to come and play for you so I can be heard by casting agents!!! ESPECIALLY
YOU EQUITY TYPES!!!
Um, what else?
I love Six Feet Under. Just adore the show. Sex and the City is back on
June 22nd!!!! WOOHOO!! I’m finishing the seasons of Scrubs, Friends, Just
Shoot Me, Frasier, That 70’s Show, ENTERPRISE (!!!!!), Simpsons and Malcolm
w/o missing an episode! How’s THAT for dedication? Yay my vcr!
And I LOVE HBO on demand! I’ve been watching movies so often, and will be
all summer! If you’re in town, come over and watch a movie! Every night
I’ll be watching… 🙂 Every night POST REHEARSAL FOR MEANINGLESS SEX!!!!!!!
But I do need a parttime job during the afternoon. Right. I really do.
In other great news, I’m going to USHER at the DRAMA DESK awards and am
SEATFILLING at the TONY’s again!!!!! So I’m at BOTH big award shows this
year and can tell ALL the broadway stars that I have a show in this year’s
I’M GOING TO INVITE SONDHEIM TO MY SHOW!!!!!!!!
Sorry random though. Speaking of the master, I’m going to go see his show
in Chicago and visit Kristine! (2 birds at once!) July 4th weekend!!!!
That’ll be nice to get out. I want to visit Elaine and Matt in DC and
Amrita and Rachel and everyone else in Boston at least once too. We’ll see
if I can manage to get out of town for a few days…
In OTHER professional news, I performed at the YORK Theater (off-bway
debut!) with that children’s show I did. That was cool. And I played for
rehearsals for an off-off-bway musical for a bit, and that went well. And I
got to play for a BCEFA (www.bcefa.org) rehearsal and that was amazing!!!
And I think I’ll get to probably play for a lot more in the near future…
OOOOH, and my MOVIE premiered, ANGER MANAGEMENT — you can see me TWICE —
it’s VERY fast and VERY VERY blurry, but both times in back of MARISA TOUMEI
in the Yankee scene. If you just keep watching the people behind her– look
for my goatee!!
What else is there to say? Really that’s about it. Except for the shows
I’ve seen since the last ledger. So lemme do that section, and then send
THEATER (*review available on nytheatre.com which is most!)
URBAN COWBOY — awful, awful bway musical; just so dull!
A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC — at the met! the acting was very good, but the
singing was eh… the bway stars were great though! saw Kristin in the
VINCENT IN BRIXTON — very touching bway play imported from england
SATURN’S WAKE* — very confusing experimental piece
PLAIN AND FANCY* — show from the 30’s revived for the weekend! really fun!
HAVANA UNDER THE SEA* — lots of spanish music, kinda fun though
NINE — revival w/ ANTONIO BANDERAS (very nice!) and CHITA RIVERA (even
nicer!!) and LAURA BENANTI (who kissed me on the cheek and hugged me!! yay
drama dept party!!) and JANE KRAWKOWSKI (who remembered me from Seth’s!)
GYPSY — BERNADETTE!!!!!!! How I love thee…
THE LOOK OF LOVE — eh, this was ok. I still love Liz Callaway though!
JOB THE HIP-HOP MUSICAL* — kinda cool hip-hop show based on the bible
CARMILLA* — multimedia opera based on a book about lesbian vampires
EASTER BONNET COMPETITION — ooooh! I got to sit 3rd row for FREE b/c I
PLAYED for a rehearsal, and it was just SO MUCH FUN!!
KAREN AKERS* — THIS was the BEST evening of THEATER I’ve had in a LONG
TIME. Wow. Karen was in the original casts of Grand Hotel and Nine– did
all of her show stopping numbers, as well as so much else, and it was just
JOLSON & CO* — eh. really dull show about Al Jolson.
DAPHNE — Daphne is sooo much fun, and she remembered us!!! And then we had
a muppet movie party!! WOOHOO!
MY FAVORITE YEAR* — OOoh, what a great show. Really enjoyed seeing this
revival. I love Lynn and Steve!!
THE ALCHEMISTS* — eh. new musical that I trashed…
MAN OF LAMANCHA — saw this tonight; the set was AMAZING; Stokes was good.
Met ERNIE SABELLA who was so amazingly nice!
AVENUE Q — I’m ushing for this hit off-off bway musical that’s GOING to
BROADWAY this Saturday! This gives me hope that POTTY MOUTH musicals CAN go
I’m really, really, really excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And you
better be too especially if you made it THIS FAR DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope
you’re all doing well!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In a few more years I’m going to be a
Write soon and lemme know how’re you doing!!!!!!!
August 29, 2003 — After the Fringe Is Over…
Greetings and salutations!!
The subject is a quote from Show Boat for those of you who don’t get that…
I am back to answering e-mails now that the fringe is done! And returning
phone calls… etc, etc.
I hope you all had wonderful Augusts!!! This is my first September without
having any classes, and that’s a little weird…
First off, I want to include the information for my cabaret act! If you
didn’t come to see my show, this is your CHANCE TO REDEEM YOURSELF!!!
(I only accept the following as excuses for missing Meaningless Sex:
1. Living over 2 hours from NYC
2. Having tried to come to the blackout show
3. Earth-shattering emergency)
And Then She Dumped Me
a revue of original break up songs
By and starring Seth Bisen-Hersh
Sunday, September 7th at 4:30pm
$6 cover charge/ 2 drink minimum (cash only).
All ages welcome!
DON’T TELL MAMA
343 W46th St
For reservations (STRONGLY suggested) call: 212-757-0788
MEANINGLESS SEX and the FRINGE EXPERIENCE
I don’t know where to begin. It was such an amazing month. Such an amazing
I will start by saying we WON THE AUDIENCE FAVORITE AWARD!!!!!! Which was
the only award given to just one show. I have a plaque over my fireplace,
and ever day I gaze at it and remember that I wrote an AWARD WINNING SHOW.
I now introduce myself as an AWARD WINNING COMPOSER!!!
SO we did it. We had pretty decent audiences (our opening night audience
shattered fringe records for selling out a house!), and they all seemed to
really enjoy the show.
The reviews were mixed, but that’s to be expected. I, personally, got
pretty good reviews.
First, if you haven’t read my interview, GO!
Second, here are the reviews I know of. Some are better than others.
Pretty much every single one is positive about my music. But I can’t say
that about the rest of the aspects of the show…:
http://www.broadwaystars.com/ellis (***THIS ONE JUST UP***)
We’re still expecting a few more — NYU comes out on Friday
(www.cultureshock.com), possibly Theatermania, and I think some British
theater site, and I have no idea how to find it… and Sirius radio, but I
don’t listen, so I’ll never know what it said!
Here are all our mentions in various papers/ sites, mostly just the title,
sometimes a little more:
The Post one you have to pay to get to the archives (!?!), Next doesn’t have
an archive, and ELLE magazine you have to buy (August edition, page 82!)
PHEW! That literally took 30 minutes.
So anyway, it was a really amazing experience, and we learned so much from it!
I managed to see 45 other shows. I don’t really feel like listing them (so
unlike me, I know!), so I’m just going to say that some were good, but very
few were, and none of the other musicals could hold a candle to my score and
my orchestrations for a 6 person orchestra!! 😉
So basically that was August — seeing 5 shows a day, promoting like CRAZY,
I actually got my hair buzzed off b/c one show asked for a volunteer, and I
of course volunteered. And then they asked if they could buzz my hair and I
said they could as long as I could talk about my show… so that entire
audience promised to come! (Whether or not they did, we don’t know…)
Anyway, I’m pretty FRINGE-FAMOUS — just about every person who saw a lot of
shows and at least one performer from every show knows me or at least has
hear of me. It’s like being at MIT again… 🙂 BUT BIGGER!
We had fairly good audiences considering our crappy times. We lost our
Thursday at 10PM to the blackout, and lost about $3000 and the New York
Times. So dem’s the sad breaks. 🙁
Other than that, winning the audience award really made my week!!! 🙂
We’re going to let the dust settle, and then discuss ideas for revisioning
and remounting the show.
VOTE FOR HOWARD DEAN
I now take a break from your locally scheduled ledger to tell you about the
most amazing Presidental candidate I’ve ever witnessed in action. Howard
Dean came out of nowhere, but is now the Democrat front runner. I went to a
RALLY for him Tuesday night, and I can be seen shaking his hand on CSPAN!!!
He really impressed me, which is hard to do. He spoke for 45 minutes — no
script (let’s see president idiot do that!) and he even adlibbed a bit, and
corrected his own grammar once!
I’m a very firm believer that our President should be able to speak, and
know proper grammar.
He also bashed Bush incessantly, and ridiculed all of his choices that have
made the country be in the worst economic shape in history. Since Hoover,
apparently. He also dispelled the bad connotations that come w/ the word
“quota” and the word “liberal”.
I am highly convinced that Dean can win this election, and support him 100%.
And you should too, otherwise I shall no longer speak to you.
If ANY of you are switching banks, let me know. I opened an account at
Commerce today — I got a FREE GIFT (I got a scale, so now I can keep track
of my copious weight loss…) and a LOLLIPOP and FREE CHECKING and FREE
SAVINGS and even FREE CHECKS! What bank gives you free checks?!?! The new
office is SO NICE, too! and the people are COMPETENT unlike certain other
banks (cough, citibank).
AND if you sign up and you tell them I referred you, I get $10.
To recap, you ALL need to switch to COMMERCE — at least 100 of you!!! Then
I’ll have enough $$ to pay my rent for one month!!!
IDEAS FOR GETTING $$$
So I’m currently trying to brainstorm ways to pay the rent and pay student
loans without having to sell my soul to a corporation for a real job.
Because getting a real job means giving up on my dreams, and I refuse to do
that after how far I’ve come in such a short time.
First, there are my finding little odds and ends jobs on Craigslist — I
went to do an MRI at Columbia, and it turned out I was going to be the
backup person – I waited for 3 hours, and didn’t have to go to do it, and
they paid me $60/ hour plus subway fare = $185 for doing nothing!!
Incidentally, I then spent the day w/ Kevin and ran into JODI AND my
freshman advisor/ favorite prof/ head of the music dept at MIT, PROFESSOR
HARRIS (who’s daughter goes to Columbia Law and just had a baby!) while I
was up there! Just goes to show you, I can’t go ANYwhere w/o running into
people I know!!
In fact, I wrote a song for my new musical! (NEXT year we’re doing a
POLITICAL SATIRE and it’s going to be HILARIOUS AND WONDERFUL!!!! Scribby’s
doing the book and half of the lyrics — combined Scribby and I write
perfect songs. Impeccable in every way!!)
Other than that, I’m going to put an ad in backstage shortly as well as
flier every campus, every studio and every equity office in town to get more
clients to play piano for… at $50/ hour, if I can just find 10 people to
come every week, or 20 to come for a half hour, then I can easily make
enough to live on.
I’m going to also (on Dave’s suggestion) look at the jobs Kramer took to
subsist, and see how many of them really exist (for example, I’ve asked my
med school friends to look into the hiring of actors to play diseased
I also am seeing about working for Kaplan (off CL of course!) to teach kids
math for the SATs… that seems like some fast, easy $$.
And piano bars! I keep wanting to play in those. One of these days…
I am also applying to grants — most importantly the JONATHAN LARSON grant,
which is actually geared to people just like me. So that’s due on the 15th,
so that’s my major project this week. Writing the perfect essay that makes
them want to pay for my rent for a year.
So yeah, that’s really the direction I’m going in. Subsisting while writing
my hit Broadway musical. 🙂
SEX AND THE CITY
I have caught up on my favorite show. Only 10 more episodes left, sadly.
So that means only 10 more Sex and the City parties. 🙁 But have no fear!
I will always have marathons of the show now that I’m accumulating them on
My new favorite show is DEAD LIKE ME — which is a Showtime series that I
started watching just for the hell of it, but now love. It’s about grim
reapers and it started off a little cheesy, but has gotten really, really good.
Kevin also got me addicted on PROJECT GREENLIGHT — which is just fun to
watch b/c it shows me that we had much less problems than they did when
producing our show… 😉
I love my cat. Just had to put that in. He’s so nocturnal; it’s great! We
play all night until the early morning, and he’s always there to offer me
unconditional attention and love. 🙂
What no theater section? I really am too tired to list the 45 shows I saw
and talk about them. I do apologize, but I promise the theater section will
return as I start seeing more shows again.
I hate to say it, but for now I’m completely showed out. Still. So we’ll
see how long this lasts, but until then, I’m going to just relax and focus
on finding some income.
I really, really want to see Camp and Thirteen – 2 independent movies, so
hopefully I’ll get around to doing that at some point soon.
I’m tired. I really am. The fringe was amazing but exhausting. But now at
least I feel like I’ve caught my loving public up. I do hope you appreciate
I’m helping Tango move tomorrow so I should get some rest. It’ll be my
workout for the year! And my last time EVER GOING TO HOBOKEN! YAY! 🙂
I hope you all had wonderful summers. If I haven’t talked to you in forever
or even if I have, do write back and let me know what you’re up to.
And if you came to my show, THANK YOU so much for your support — especially
those of you who came from Boston and from Mississippi!!! I REALLY
And those of you who didn’t, see you on the 7th or else!!!
October 15, 2003 — The Ideas of October
So I must apologize that I’m about 2 weeks late in catching everyone up on
my life. I’ve been trying so hard to find $$ while having an incredibly
active social life and reviewing oodles of shows, so I’ve been a little behind.
THE CABARET ACT
First order of business. I am doing my cabaret act ONE LAST TIME for all of
those of you who complained about the Sunday time and the 2 drink minimum.
I’m renting a small theater — so no more drink minimum! ALSO, if you’ve
SEEN the show before, I’ll let you come for 50% off (just $4!!) if you BRING
And Then She Dumped Me…
a revue of original break up songs
By and starring Seth Bisen-Hersh
Saturdays, November 8th & 15th at 10pm
$10 General Admission/ $8 Students & Seniors
Where Eages Dare Theater
347 W. 36th St.
For reservations call: 212-265-0932 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone who has seen it has REALLY enjoyed it. So you should definitely
come if you haven’t. This is your LAST chance for redemption if you’ve
missed the act the last 2 times. And especially if you also missed
Honestly, I need 100 people to come so I can pay my rent this month. SO COME!!!
I’ve added 2 new songs, and I’m going to have a choose your own encore, so
it’s not to miss even if you’ve come before!!!! (and if you have it’s only
As most of you know, I’ve been living w/ Dan (aka Austin to some) for the
last few months. He has been the perfect roommate – splitting every utility
– going away almost every weekend. Keeping normal hours (ie being up
chilling to 2 or 3).
Unfortunately, he’s moving to San Fran and becoming a lawyer.
So that means I need a new roommate.
If you know ANYone looking to move into a new apartment around DECEMBER 15TH
please let me know. It’s $950 + 1/2 util = approx $1058/ month.
I just cleaned today — I vacuumed and mopped! How domestic am I? And now
with my new pot (thanks mom!) I can cook PASTA and HOT DOGS!! And with my
new pan (thanks julia!) I can make scrambled eggs!!
Finally on the apartment front, Snickers is doing well. I don’t know how I
ever lived w/o a cat!! He keeps me company all night long, although right
now he’s nappin on his paper bag on the futon. He really likes paper bags.
I’ve been taking lots of cat pictures, so eventually I’ll put them online.
Which reminds me…
I completely REVAMPED my webpage, b/c SO many people were COMPLAINING about
the orange background. So there. It’s revamped.
JOBS AND INCOMES AND MONEY, OH MY!!
This section can be entitled Seth will do anything for money. And I will.
My preferred form of income is to accompany people for lessons or if they
have music they need to go over, or at auditions, or giving vocal coachings
or transposing music, etc. That’s all $25/ half hour. I’m lucky if I have
a few clients a week. If I could get up to 16/ week consistently, I
wouldn’t have to do ANYTHING else!
But unfortunately, that doesn’t happen.
I have started tutoring for the SAT II subject tests. I get approx $53 an
hour from this group, Ivy Bound (thanks to my aunt tina!). It’s really good
$$. I did two 2 hour sessions last week and even though I had to commute to
Chappaqua (I got that reimbursed) it was worth it for $212!! (And
ironically that’s also my area code!).
I get a raise at my 4th client — to $64/ hour! Now THAT’s good money. At
that payment, I just need 7 clients in the week to make ends meet.
Other than that, I have this new job with ZAGAT SURVEY! For $15/ hour, I go
to shows when they let out and survey the audiences. I usually work
Saturdays from 2-12, even though it’s really only a few hours of work, I put
down 10, and get $150. It’s the best! And I gave out free palm pilot
software for a week, too, and that was 15 hours — $225! Oh yeah!!
Other than that, I’m doing this study at Columbia for $300 — only 3 visits!
That’s totally worth it. I’ll be a guinea pig as long as there’s no
injections… I did a few MRI’s and those are really well paid, too!! And
they all LOVE me and want me to come back b/c I’m the friendliest subject
and they want me to write a musical about life as a guinea pig… and maybe
some day I will.
Finally, although it’s not paying yet, I’m on the TABOO STREET TEAM — Taboo
is the new musical by BOY GEORGE produced by ROSIE O’DONNELL (who I met the
other day! She’s really sweet. She promised to listen to my demo, so maybe
she’ll produce my next show!!). I have oodles of free Taboo, Boy George and
Rosie stuff to distribute (if you want any, just lemme know!!) and if I do
10 hours I get a ticket to the show.
I’m having a great time doing it, and I’m hoping to get some part time work
out of it. We’ll see if that works…
TELEVISION RULES MY WORLD
So as always I am keeping up w/ quite a few series. I saw the entire series
of DEAD LIKE ME, which I adore! I can’t wait for next season… And of
course I had my weekly parties for SEX AND THE CITY which is on hiatus. 🙁
But it’ll be back w/ the last 8 episodes in January — I’m taping the SECOND
season right NOW which has been available on demand!!
Other than that, I’ve been tuning in to GILMORE GIRLS, FRASIER (I’ve still
seen EVERY episode as we go into the 11th season!!), ENTERPRISE (which has
been REALLY good this year so far!!), FRIENDS, and SCRUBS.
Still waiting for the FOX shows to be new — THAT 70’s SHOW, SIMPSONS and
MALCOLM. And of course for SIX FEET UNDER to return b/c that’s the BEST
drama on television!!
I just have to say that I have a habit of running into people EVERYwhere and
at the MOST random time.
I was crossing 9th Ave from my street to the subway, and I hear from a car
stopped in traffic “LOOK IT’S SETH!” I saw the PALMER family from Summer
Theater — stuck in tunnel traffic at the EXACT point WHERE I was crossing
the street WHEN I was crossing the street!
How random is THAT?
And celebrities — besides Rosie, I ran into the Olson twins and Denzel
Washington filming (didn’t talk to them though) and I passed Jerry Stiller
and Mila Kunis (from that 70’s show!) and Lily Taylor during the blackout!!
So we (Scribby and I) started work on our political satire for the FRINGE
next year. Tentatively entitled the Spickner Spin (although we may try to
find a more political title…). It’s going to go straight to broadway this
Kevin and I are working slowly on our first film musical, An Ode to Love.
We wrote a dynamite song the other night!!
And before I forget, I applied for two major grants for composers. If I get
one of those, life will be just ducky.
I’ve been reviewing for 4 different sites, all linked to my website. One
actually pays me!! One lets me see whatever I want as long as I call and
upload it myself. And the other is just good to do b/c I don’t have to do
all the editing work and calling work. And the final one, I just do cds
for. So at least I’m still getting free cds and free theater!!
And now the section you’ve all been waiting for, when I review all the shows
I’ve seen since the last ledger. Oh yes, I didn’t do it last ledger… well
in an effort to save time and space, I’ll just start with post-Fringe shows.
(* means I reviewed it)
what’s wrong with this picture, i’m in it* — kinda dull show, but at least
I got paid (oobr.com)
HARLEQUIN STUDIES — BILL IRWIN is so amazing to watch on stage!
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST — Adam had free comps, so we went to see it. It was
so much worse than it used to be 🙁
THREE PENNY OPERA* — a pretty decent revival although I still don’t like Brecht
BIG RIVER — the sign language version was fabulous! yay Roundabout for
allowing ushers still!
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY* — concert version of a great musical. had free
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS — they should rename it BIG shop of horros. it had
its moments (esp the plant) but I did a production in 8th grade w/ Jason and
it wasn’t that much better.
BLUE SONGS, GRAY SONGS* — really dull show but again was paid!
CABARET (w/ SUSAN EGAN) — I LOVE SUSAN EGAN. She is the only Sally to make
CHESS — I got to go to the dress rehearsal of the big chess concert in
exchange for working at the bway fleamarket again…
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE — Again Adam w/ his comps. This show was better
the 2nd time b/c I wasn’t expecting much.
BOY FROM OZ — Hugh Jackman was good, but not astounding. The show
definitely needed work but I hear they’ve changed it a lot, so I couldn’t
say what the finished product is. It was enjoyable though.
NEW VOICES CONCERT* — This is where I met JOHN KANDER and that was just a
great night in general. He had a few songs performed with some younger
CHEKOV’S RIFLE* — This play was ok. Austin Pendleton from the Muppet Movie
was in it! He was fabulous.
CUPID AND PSYCHE* — I really enjoyed this musical although it was a little
too sappy and the music wasn’t very memorable. But it was definitely the
best thing I’ve reviewed in awhile.
A STOOP ON ORCHARD STREET* — Really crappy musical about immigrant Jews in
the early 1900s.
MELISSA ERRICO* — I ADORE Melissa! She gave me a copy of her cd to review,
and that’ll hopefully be up at nytheatre soon. She even wrote back to my
FRAPPUCINO* — Another dull play that I got paid for. I guess the ones I’m
paid for are for oobr which is off-off broadway reviews, so they’re off-off
brway so they’re usually subpar.
And this weekend I’m seeing FOR PETE’S SAKE, the CAT IN THE MOON, CHRISTINE
EBERSOLE in the american songbook series (!!), and a production of DROOD in
You know, if everyone on this list sent me just $2.50/ month, I could afford
my rent w/o working!!! 😉
Anyway, if I haven’t talked to you in over a month, you should respond and
tell me what’s up w/ your life. And I’ll write back a personal e-mail back,
as always, I promise.
COME TO MY CABARET and check out my revamped webpage!!!
Talk to you all soon!!!!!!!