Monday, January 30, 2012

Broadway star photos by Kersten

I promise to post a thorough update of the wildly successful "So ya wanna be a Broadway Star" when I have recovered sufficiently but here are some great photos by Kersten at:

You won't be able to see these on your mobiles so visit the blog on the web.

Judges first night headed up by Jamibeth Margolis Exec. Dir.
Scott Bryce, Richard Sabellico, Barry Moss, Maureen Hamill

Q and A with Judges the 2nd day.  William Wade, Jamibeth, Susan Campochiaro, Scott Bryce, Paul Bogaev, Maureen Hamill and Randye Kaye
Invaluable Intern Samantha Bock 
Bway Star Contestant (48!) 
Stage Manager Intern Andrew

Top 11 Finalists (there was a tie) 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

CBS with Scot Haney

Nick and I were on CBS today. The last of our press junket for this event. :)  Scot Haney is the host and he is a blast.  Loves Musicals and Broadway.  He had just seen Follies for the third time.  We air at 3pm today as this was a taped show and I am going to add a "press" tab to the website with all the clips, but we actually involved him in the song with us.  Below is the video clip from "behind the scenes".As with the other stations (ABC and FOX) they said to come back whenEVER we have anything!  Be sure to come out and see us at the event this weekend.  Jan 28/29th at the Stamford Hilton!

 If you can't see it on your phone, just come on back to the online blog.  It's fun.

                                                               Behind the scenes

The Actual Show!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Notes from the Universe

I get the Tuts notes from the universe every weekday in my inbox.  Short and fun and free.

Today's was:  

"The secret behind miracles is that the person performing them begins without any knowledge whatsoever of exactly how they will succeed...yet still they begin.

When you move, I move-

The Universe

Once again taking action saves the day.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Broadway Babes United Way

Whew!  The only day of the month that got a snowstorm?  The night of our Broadway Babes for the United Way event.  I am from the midwest where we don't freak out as much about some snow on the ground, but out here when you get a couple inches everyone usually decides to just stay home.

So my worry was not whether or not my Babes would show up (Gwendolyn Jones came in the night before and Kate Chapman and Eileen Tepper were going to use the train) but whether or not the audience who had confirmed that week, were going to show up for the United Way!  As I watched the snow continue to come down to about 7 inches or more, I had to work very hard to stay positive.

But we all got in and rehearsed with Melanie Guerin our terrific accompanist and made it over to the Laurelton Hall where more than 100 guests showed up!  My two terrific Hartt students, Jeremy Sickels and Casey Dupler actually drove down from Hartford to be singing waiters along with my minister's kids, Bethany and Gabriel Keyl and they were great.

Mark Holleran (holleran media productions and on our board) was there to get interviews from the Executive directors of the United Way and its other NPO's as well as from the performers and waiters and some guests.  Of course he also got performing footage because since the TV news and CT Post features, we now have four more Non profits wanting us to do shows for them.  This one was in Milford but the other ones are closer to our desired future location.

The idea is that Mark will now make a Non profit video that will showcase our work raising money for other NPO groups.  He also got some great "Mentoring" footage which, along with next weekend, will showcase our mentoring activities.  Both those pieces will be about 2-3 minutes long and will be the first thing you see on our "Mentoring" and "Non profit outreach' tabs on the website.  This is how we are building our "following".  At the end of every Broadway Babes we will be inviting them to be a part of the building of NPT.

The only hitch in yesterday's event, other than the snow, was that Gwendolyn and Andy somehow got her keys locked in her car with the engine running right when I was supposed to pick up Kate and Eileen from the train. They had my car blocked in the driveway. The Milford Fire Department saved the day and of course, I got footage on my phone....see below:   Gwendolyn wanted to know if any of these firemen were single.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

TV and press

                                         (Jocelyn at Channel 8 with Nick Mitchell and me.)

This week we hit two TV ( CBS and FOX ) stations and Jamibeth got us a posting on   Also I did an NPR interview and a few more newspapers had stories in them.  Nick Mitchell came with me to do both TV shows and we had a great time.  Below are the links to the shows.

I was talking about this with Jamibeth and Andy.  Now I see how all the things I have done in the last 20 years have led to this.  The Miss Ohio experience and all the PR and public appearance, especially on TV, led to my being hired at NBC as a reporter/broadcaster years ago.  I had no business being there as that was not my background education.  I learned how to "pitch" stories to my producer so that she would let me cover them.  Rapes, Fires and Murders were what they said the audience wanted back then.  I wanted to cover the Arts.   So I had to find creative ways to get my producers to let me pick up on the press releases that the arts groups were sending me. Between you and me the press releases were boring. So I would call the groups and ask for anything unusual, like a person in a wheelchair performing with the ballet, or a famous person making an appearance.   I am proud to say that I got quite a lot of the arts in the Columbus Ohio area on the news! I was also let go after two years because they didn't think a "Miss Ohio" was credible.  Now on TV things are different. :)

So that is how I approached the TV, radio and news stations here.  Press releases don't work anymore. So I think of mine as "informational sheets" and then I follow up and follow up and follow up with phone calls. If one producer doesn't respond, I try another. They sometimes don't even see each other on a daily basis.
Just like theatre, some say yes, some say no.   But we got quite a lot of interest because I pitched a couple ideas together.  Whatever they picked up on was fine with me and as I spoke with them I could tell what they were interested in and drilled down into that.

1. Non profits helping non profits in the CT area (they like community, they like this newer idea of non profits not competing, but working together)  So I used the United Way benefit "Broadway Babes" and combined it with our "So ya wanna be a Broadway Star".

2. I mentioned the Broadway names we have coming to CT in both shows.  I mentioned Nick Mitchell American Idol performer who ALSO happens to be from CT.  For the New Haven stations and papers I had to tie in that the United Way and I are both in Milford.  For the southern Ct places I tied in Stamford and Greenwich.  For the Hartford stations I tied in the University of Hartford teaching and students who have entered the competition.

Nick was great about letting me prep him for the interviews and you will hear us continue to tie all the answers to their questions back into the events, even though we know that they are interested in hearing about Broadway and American Idol.

The producers at both these TV stations were awesome and invited us back whenever we have anything.
While we were sitting in the FOX greenroom I booked us on the CBS station for next week.  I know a producer there (former voice student) and she put me in touch with another producer, who put me in touch with a booking person there and finally after 4 calls and some more emails, we are booked for Thursday.




                                                       (NPR with Bruce Barber at Cafe Romeo)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Marketing the competition

First full week of being open for applications and it's going well.  I will be honest with you, my blog friends, that secretly (well not sooo secretly...I told Jamibeth and Andy) I wanted to have 100 applications by this point.  In one week.  :)  Aim high.  I also wanted to be able to market this all with just social media to prove a point.   

BUT we are new and pretty much only you guys, and our quickly growing facebook page (which is also awesomely on our website home page...and it updates in real time! know about us.  So I had to do some traditional stuff. 

Nick Mitchell (our American Idol star cohost) and I will be on ABC tv next week as well as FOX tv.  I am being interviewed by the CT Post (Joe Meyers, love him!) tomorrow and on the Milford Radio show tomorrow night.  On Weds I am being interviewed by an NPR reporter.  The New Haven Register's editor called me and I sent a press release..more like a press him.  CBS is also trying to get us in there.
I tied in the Broadway Babes cabaret for the United Way that is Jan 21st as a bit of a two-fer as well.  I am having that show come under the auspices of The New Paradigm Theatre now too.  Shows our "helping other non profits raise money" portion of our mission statement too.

I contacted some other local newspapers as well as got us on
and have us on  Also contacted bizzbuzztv. 

I sent emails with an invite to 20 different high schools here in CT. Their vocal and theatre departments. Have already gotten some responses back that are good.  Offered to do a free master class for their students so that I can chat with them about a career in theatre and invite them to participate or be an audience member for the competition. We are also providing a "talk back" session with the judges before the show on Sunday, at 2pm.  All in the name of the educational portion of our mission statement.

I won't lie. This part takes work and I am happy that my colleges are not back in session yet. But I will not stop once we hit the audience and participants number we need. The trick is in the "marketing event to event". Market-forward...if you will. So soon I will start working on how to make this group into a "tribe" who will become our best advertising.

My checklist is long so I will call it a night.....   "Post on blog"...check.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


"So ya wanna be a Broadway Star" competition!

Please share this on your facebook pages, or in person with everyone you know.  I can't believe the quality of judges we have for this!   Check out the website for a list. And the prizes that have been donated!

Paul Bogaev (musical producer for Spiderman, Aida, and the movies Nine and Chicago) is a judge!  Also Richard Sabellico, Casting directors Barry Moss and Jamibeth Margolis!  

While the title of our competition/fund raiser seems splashy, it's only for marketing purposes and to take advantage of the popularity of those types of shows.  It's truly another chance for us to prove our mission statement, which is: to let the community contribute to the "making of" this theatre.  It's also to show some educational elements by letting the audience feel what a casting director feels like when they see 100 people a day (or more!) for roles.

The fact that contestants get to give their headshots and resumes to these well-connected judges who could get them roles (and will give feedback) is also a perk for them.  We plan on having a talk-back on Sunday with some of the judges as well.

So post away! We are also trying to prove that social media and a few big mouths can really promote a show better than paid advertising and mass mailings.   (just visit it to see how proud I am of myself that I figured out how to put the Facebook feed on the right side of the home page!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Website

I am pretty proud of myself I must say.   Just finished working on the new website. It has all the info for the upcoming "So ya wanna be a Broadway star?" competition.   The cool thing about this website is that it's so advanced you can do more with it than a usual site.  I can totally change that home page once the competition is over.  I can add videos and photos and there will soon be a Facebook feed from our site added to the side bar.  I will also be adding an "Education" tab and some other things.  But for now it's a good start I think!     Give me some feedback!

You can also view this flyer for the event.  One of my terrific students (high school!) made it.

OH and it's far from finished, but at least when we send folks to the site they will be able to enter the competition.