Monday, December 23, 2013

ASK- After School at the Klein

One of the hallmarks of NPT is the "partnering with other non profits" concept.  Certainly all of our custom-built shows for other nonprofits and their Galas and fundraising events are strong examples.

Another example that combines all three of our components (Broadway/Entertainment stars, Mentoring and Nonprofit partners) is After School at the Klein (ASK) .  We just finished ten weeks of teaching Monday-Wednesday classes after school with classes such as Film/TV (taught by 2 time Emmy nominee Scott Bryce, Commercial production (Mark Holleran-producer), Voice with me, Acting with Broadway veteran, Jerold Goldstein, Puppetry, Stage tech, 3D design, Hip Hop, Jazz, and much more.

OH and did I tell you that it's FREE for any 8th-12th grader in Bridgeport!  The Klein is committed to making a difference in their community and NPT is committed to helping them with our outstanding teachers and know-how when it comes to producing.

That was my job this past week. Producing the final event of this semester to showcase what they had learned thus far.  A "Sample platter" show if you will, for parents and family.

Up till now no one really knew all the components of the program. No one had seen the examples of performance and product from the classes.  Until our two hour performance that showcased each class's work.

The 30 second commercials that that class made were awesome.  The singers did a wonderful job. The dances were fun.  The 3D design stuff was totally cool.  The puppets made a grand entrance to the sound of the African drumming class.  

Organizing shows is something I love to do. Producing them.  Even though it can be a pain to get everyone on the same page, when I write the show and then host it I love seeing the whole thing come together.

What was really great was hearing and seeing the kids themselves catch fire about midway through. Cheering for each group or soloist. I don't think they even knew what they had to be proud until they saw it all laid out in front of them. As the MC,  I also really pushed the theme of "accountability " for next semester.  If you show up for all the classes you get to perform. If you don't, you are not a featured performer.  And let me tell you, ALL these kids want to get up on stage and perform. For some of them it's the only positive feedback they get.

Below are pictures from the event that some of the college interns took. By the way, one of my favorite parts of this program is working with my wonderful college interns who take the bull by the horns and make it happen.

This is one of the videos that the commercial class made.  

Destiny and her Spoken Word presentation (acting class)
She wrote it. 

Girls from the voice class singing Silent Night
            African Drumming starts it out right! 
 Shakespeare class presenting Sonnets 

Commercial class                                           Victoria singing

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


This is such a great post from Ken Davenport (NY producer of Kinky Boots, Godspell etc) that I had to post it here.  He is saying exactly what we are doing and also what one of our board members, Elaine, is very on top of!  Love this!

Site specific and environmental theater has always been a “thing.”  (I was one of the few that got to see Jonathan “Rent” Larson’s site specific JP Morgan Saves The Nationwhich was performed on the steps of a big bank downtown.)
But is it me, or do much higher profile productions seem to be finding their way into new and interesting spaces?  And do more productions in traditional spaces seem to be using the spaces non-traditionally?
Take the in-a-tent Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812.  Or what about the “360 degree scenic and video environment” seen in Here Lies Love?  Murder Ballad?  Sleep No More?  Then She Fell?  
And everyone’s talking about how Rocky (directed by Here Lies Love helmer, Alex Timbers) turns the theater into a boxing ring by physically moving the audience.
And away from The Great White Way, what about this recent productionof the Jeanine Tesori musical, Violet, which took place on a moving bus?  That’s right . . . I said on a bus!
So what do all these productions have in common?
You guessed it . . . the creators could all be on an “Under 40″ list.
Is it just because younger folks have to come up with cheaper performance spaces than traditional halls?  Are younger folks more likely to try something a little more out there?
Or, is it that the next generation of artists . . . and audiences . . . demand a different type of experience than the generations before it?  Is it that a revolution of how we consume theater may be coming, which doesn’t take place in old fashioned proscenium houses with only two bathrooms and uncomfortable seats?
If you’re 40 years old or younger, then you’ve grown up in the computer age.  And that means you experience the world in an entirely different way than the people who came before you.
And that means you’re going to create art in a totally different way as well.
And this generation is only just getting started.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 8th, 8pm is our next Sunday Spotlight, the "virtual master class" with three newly minted stars!

1. Christine Dwyer.- Broadway debut as"Elphaba" standby (and a former student of mine!)

2.Renee Lawless- Already a Broadway performer and now Tyler Perry TV show star in "The Have and the Have Nots".

3. Joe Abraham- Also a Broadway performer and now a Film pro as well in "Jersey Boys" the film! Joe and his wife, Christine are also new authors of the book "The Thriving Artists". 

Our panel will discuss their new ventures and how they made their "debuts" into Broadway, TV and Film, offering in depth tips and candid advice for your career. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rolling Rolling Rolling!

Wow things with our board are better than ever. I hear horror stories from some folks about their boards, but NPT has moved from a "formative" board to a mature one with amazing new members who are doing the work.  
We have committees now for Marketing, Finance, Programming and Real Estate.  Each committee has a mission statement and an action plan.  And truly the lady who has been behind us making our way is our new Chairperson or President of the Board, Penny Wickey.  She has so much experience with non profits and finance, plus she really gets the NPT mission. 
Today we met with Russell Williams, also on our board, for Grant Writing.  He's doing a wonderful job and has written grants before for a myriad of organizations.  I really see it taking shape!
I am on the board as is Andy and each of us sits on a couple committees. One of mine is the Marketing Committee of course.  Seth had some relevant things to say about what an organization needs to think about:
Before you spend a minute or a dollar on marketing, perhaps you could answer some questions:
  • Who, precisely, are you trying to reach?
  • What change are you trying to make?
  • How will you know if it's working?
  • How long before you will lose patience?
  • How long before someone on your team gets to change the mission?
  • How much time and money are you prepared to spend?
  • Who gets to approve this work?
  • Who are you trying to please or impress?
It's cheaper to answer these questions than it is to spend time and money on marketing, but, alas, it usually doesn't happen that way.
Below are some pix of the gig for AT HOME IN GREENWICH recently with Kelly Grant, Fred Rose, me and two of our college interns as well as our lovely Youth Board singing waiters. It was a fancy gig at the Hyatt. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Justin Long and Amanda Seyfriend in attendance!

Last night NPT did a show at St. Anthony's in Fairfield to benefit a girl's orphanage in Nicaragua.  I custom-built "Hooray Hollywood" with Broadway stars Kimilee Bryant, Matt Castle and Bret Shuford. So fun to sing with my friends on this show.

Since this is Justin's church this was his charity that he supports so his girlfriend Amanda came as well. They were great about taking pix with the youth board (our singing waiters) and our college interns. Just a shout out to Ilyada and Kate who are also our ASK interns. They kept everything hopping and together and having two amazing assistants like that is something I could get used to!

We love doing shows at this church (have done four I think) and when I asked who had seen our shows before to this sold out crown 80% of the folks raised their hands!  We even have a whole gaggle of nuns that follow us around to all our gigs.

See the pix below of all.  I will have more later I am sure because Kate brought her pro camera and was taking great ones.

This whole event was NPT firing on all pistons.  1. Partnering with another non profit to help others 2. Broadway AND TV/film stars, Youth mentoring (and boy were they thrilled to meet Amanda and Justin!) and a custom-built show.

Very proud of this group of folks.

Nun posse

college intern Jeremy was a "featured" performer

Monday, October 14, 2013

Channel 12 and ASK interns

Below are some of the photos from our Channel 12 visit.  The segment is taped and then airs on the weekend about six or seven times.  I took Kate, one of our stellar interns for ASK (After School at the Klein) with me and she did a great job.  Very well-spoken and intelligent. She also manages our Facebook page and some other social media.

This opportunity for Kate and about 9 other college interns is a chance to gain experience.  They get to assist the professional teachers from NPT as well as a Shakespearian teacher, Sketchup, Puppetry etc.  And they get to take the class for free.  Also they can put two resume credits on their materials.  One for interning with the Klein and one for interning with NPT.

They are an enthusiastic group who are making a huge difference for the kids in this program.  They are closer to their ages and are setting a great example.

Stamped all over this is NPT's mission statement.  1.  Partnering with another non profit (The Klein)  2. Mentoring young leaders  3. Working with Broadway/Film/TV/Commercial etc pros.

And most of all, making a difference in the community.

Photos of our visit:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

NY city opera and what it means for theatre

Here is a good repost from Ken Davenport on what the demise of NYC Opera means for theatre.
While our mission is not to exclusively develop new works, we need to remember to include it.  Developing new ARTISTS and leaders in our industry is part of our mentoring so that is a component already.  

Just good to keep in mind for any theatre...any place:

Broadway opera

About two and a half years ago, I blogged about New York City Opera’s shocking moveout of Lincoln Center to . . . nowhere.
It didn’t take a Harvard MBA to know what that meant . . . that fat lady was taking a big old breath and getting ready to sing one helluva note.
Two and a half years later, she let ‘er rip.
And that’s the end of my feeble attempts at humor, because this ain’t that funny.
New York City Opera filed for bankruptcy last week, ending an era of “affordable opera” for NYers, and leaving a ton of people without jobs, and an already beaten-up art form, up against the ropes again.
While articles like this one point to a whole bunch of missteps by the opera management over the years, there’s a bigger issue that those of us in the theater should pay attention to.
The opera audience just ain’t as big as it used to be.  And for the ones that are around, there’s not much for them to see anymore that they haven’t seen before.
How many Toscas can one see?  How many Bohemes?  Aidas?  Traviatas?
Sure, there are new productions and new stars, but they are the same ol’ operas done again and again and again.  New operas are still written, of course (NYCO’s last production of Anna Nicole was one of their most courageous works . . . ever), but they are not done nearly at the frequency of other artistic mediums (plays, musicals, novels, movies, etc.).  Partly because there isn’t the audience for them, and partly because it’s exceptionally difficult for authors to make money writing them!
So, opera companies put on the same ol’ productions or the same ol’ operas that they have been seeing for . . . centuries.  And well, that gets . . . old.  Literally.
The same could happen for the theater.  We’re a decade and a half away from the 100th anniversary of the modern theater (I peg its birth around the time of Show Boat) . . . and doesn’t it feel like we’re running out of revivals?  How many times can you see Oklahoma?  Or go back further . . . how many productions of The Seagull can we take before audience members stop going?
I’m convinced that this is one of the reasons why our attendance has been waning over the years.  Too many revivals, and not enough interest . . . unless, of course, they’ve got massive stars (but even those productions don’t run long enough to make a difference in attendance).
Takeaways from the New York City Opera story?
If you’re a theater company just focused on revivals, you’re in for a bumpy ride . . . unless you’ve got a ton of Hollywood stars on speed dial.
And while producing revivals is an important component to keeping the tradition of theater alive . . . it can’t be all that we do.  Our own fat lady will be belting out something as well . . . and it won’t be a show tune.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Channel 12 and Focus ON: Shay LaRusso!

Today's blog is a Two-fer.

At the bottom of the email you will see the info for our Channel 12 Interview that will run this weekend.   It was on our partnership with The Klein auditorium for the After School at the Klein (ASK) program that started this week.  FREE to Bridgeport students from 8th grade-12th grade.  Part of our "mentoring" component.

Classes in Commercial production, Film and TV, Voice, Acting, Puppetry, Shakespeare, Improv, Sketchup, Flashmob, Stage Tech and much more.  Taught by teachers from NPT and the area.  All Pros. College Interns assist and get to take the classes for free as well.  I took the amazing intern, Kate Billard, with me to the interview.  She has put together (with Tyler) our social media. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) 

Then the next part of this blog is a FOCUS ON: Shay LaRusso!  

Shay is a voice student of mine who is also on our Youth Board. She is at every meeting, every event and is often featured as a singing waiter and performer in our "youth" section of the shows for non profits.

She also recently won the role of Penny, in Hairspray!  A part she is perfect for and will perform in January at Yorktown Stage!  I would have been proud of her no matter what because she really went for the role. She dressed for it, prepared for it and was even a bit sick when she auditioned, but still lasted till the bitter end.

She will also be performing for the So Ya Wanna Be a Broadway Star event on Oct 19th, at the Watermark. The picture below shows she and her sister and her cousin singing for the seniors at this space and was one of the reasons we came up with having the event there.

CONGRATULATIONS SHAY for having the relentless spirit of a performer and for being a great student and youth board member!

Shay with cousin Shelby caroling at senior homes during the Holidays.

Info on the channel 12 airings:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

At Home in Greenwich the 2nd time around!

Quick Bullet point updates for you:

1. Sunday's AT HOME in Greenwich (Non profit- our 2nd event with them) went extremely well. At the Hyatt. Three Broadway performers (Fred Rose, Kelly Grant roommate from Company and currently IN Phantom of the Opera..., and me)  in an hour and a half customize- built show "Hooray for Hollywood".  

We also had 2 featured college interns in the show, Cori Stolburn and Jake Oswell (an example of our hands on mentoring as they got to be on stage with us the whole time)  and 6 Youth board members as singing waiters who also helped this non profit sell raffle tix.  Our three lovely cousins on the Youth Board, Shay, Skye and Shelby performed "Mama I'm a Big Girl Now" in the show too!

Over 200 gown and tux clad folks enjoyed this swanky night.  Board members Lynn Vetare and advisory board member Lisa LaRusso helped with the kids.

2. Today I am meeting with St. Anthony's (they have hired us for shows a few times to benefit other nonprofits)  and will be hiring us for yet another show on Oct 26th. 

Also have a meeting today with The Sterling House in Stratford.    They want a show in February and I will discuss contracts and customizing what they want as well. 

On Thursday I will meet with the BPT council of churches to discuss their fund raiser show in April/May.  

So three new gigs!  and a successful one this past week. A bit hard to squeeze in "life" this week, but next week is more relaxed.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Theatre degree/business degree

Great post by Brian on

This is the point that NPT hopes to make in it's mentoring programs.  We help create leaders, not just little thespians.

9 Ways a Theatre Degree Trumps a Business Degree

Some of you may know this about me, some may not. Despite having spent the last 15 years as a PR & communications professional, my college degree is in theatre. I have never in my life taken a marketing class, or a journalism class, or a business class. Yet, by most measures, I’m enjoying a successful career in business.  ”So what?” you ask… read on.
I was having a conversation with a friend this week. She’s an actress. Like most actresses, she also has a Day Job that she works to pay the bills between acting jobs. This is the reality for most working actors in LA, New York and the other major centers of the entertainment industry. She was pointing out to me that she viewed her theatre background as a weakness in her Day Job career field, and that it was holding her back. She asked for my advice.
My advice? There IS no weakness in having a theatre background. There is only strength. Here are just a few skills that a theatre degree gave me that have served me enormously well in business:
  1. You have advanced critical thinking and problem solving skills: taking a script and translating it into a finished production is a colossal exercise in critical thinking. You have to make tremendous inferences and intellectual leaps, and you have to have a keen eye for subtle clues. (believe it or not, this is a skill that very few people have as finely honed as the theatre people I know. That’s why I listed it #1).
  2. You’re calm in a crisis: You’ve been on stage when somebody dropped a line and you had to improvise to keep the show moving with a smile on your face, in front of everyone. Your mic died in the middle of a big solo musical number. You just sang louder and didn’t skip a beat.
  3. You understand deadlines and respect them: Opening Night is non-negotiable. Enough said.
  4. You have an eye on audience perception: You know what will sell tickets and what will not. This is a very transferrable skill, and lots of theatre people underestimate this, because they think of theatre as an ART, and not as a BUSINESS. I frequently say (even to MBA-types) that theatre was absolutely the best business education I could have gotten. While the business majors were buried in their books and discussing theory, we were actually SELLING a PRODUCT to the PUBLIC. Most business majors can get through undergrad (and some MBA programs, even) without ever selling anything. Theater departments are frequently the only academic departments on campus who actually sell anything to the public. Interesting, isn’t it?
  5. You’re courageous: If you can sing “Oklahoma!” in front of 1,200 people, you can do anything.
  6. You’re resourceful: You’ve probably produced “The Fantasticks” in a small town on a $900 budget. You know how to get a lot of value from minimal resources.
  7. You’re a team player: You know that there are truly no small roles, only small actors. The show would fail without everyone giving their best, and even a brilliant performance by a star can be undermined by a poor supporting cast. We work together in theatre and (mostly) leave our egos at the stage door. We truly collaborate.
  8. You’re versatile: You can probably sing, act, dance. But you can also run a sewing machine. And a table saw. And you’ve probably rewired a lighting fixture. You’ve done a sound check. You’re good with a paintbrush. You’re not afraid to get your hands dirty for the benefit of the show. In short, you know how to acquire new skills quickly.
  9. You’re flexible: you’ve worked with some directors who inspired you. Others left you flat, but you did the work anyway. Same goes with your fellow actors, designers and stagehands… some were amazing and supportive, others were horrible and demoralizing to work with (we won’t name names). You have worked with them all. And learned a little something from every one of them.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Making room for the best....

This was a great blog post from Seth Godin and hit me at the right time today.  Yesterday I got an email from one of our Board members. We had had a board meeting this week and were brainstorming new ideas as we continue to add to the board. There used to be another theatre in the Stamford area and there was a person on that board that two of our folks knew.  Thought it might be worthwhile to talk to them.  

I have specifically been avoiding the old guard partially because of the "Gloom and Doom" mentality that goes along with folks that don't shift with the market when it comes to the Arts.  This company, in my opinion, programmed themselves right out of the market by producing shows they thought the community needed (read: avant guard and not enough popular titles) as opposed to shows the community wanted.

It's easy to say that their group struggled because "corporations didn't want to be in the arts business anymore".   I say that if the arts don't adjust and view their "business" as a civic contribution instead of just an Arts contribution, they might be right.  

A diversified portfolio of offerings that benefits the community is the way an arts group stays relevant for it's community.  There is huge power in the Arts.  Marketing and community building.  But it has to be about more than just the funding needed for shows and administration.  If all we see of you in a community are posters for your shows, you have failed. 

This blog talks about making room for the best customers.  Apply it to the arts and our board, audiences and donors.  

Unreasonable clients- Seth Godin

Who gets your best work?

If you reserve your best effort for the irritable boss, the never-pleased client and the bully of a customer, then you've bought into a system that rewards the very people who are driving you nuts. It's no wonder you have clients like that--they get your best work.
On the other hand, when you make it clear (and then deliver) on the promise that your best work goes to those that are clear, respectful and patient, you become a specialist in having customers just like that.

One of the largest turning points of my career was firing the client who accounted for a third of my company's work. We were becoming really good at tolerating the stress that came from this engagement, and it became clear to me that we were about to sign up for a lifetime of clients like that. 

Set free to work for those that we believed deserved our best work, we replaced the lost business in less than six months.
Years ago, I heard the story of a large retail financial services company that did the math and discovered that fewer than 5% of their customers were accounting for more than 80% of their customer service calls--and less than 1% of their profit. They sent these customers a nice note, let them know that they wouldn't be able to service them properly going forward, and offered to help them transfer their accounts to a competitor. With the time freed up, they could then have their customer service people double down on the customers that actually mattered to them... grease, but without the squeaky wheel part.

No, you can't always fire those that are imperious or bullies. But yes, you can figure out how to dig even deeper for those that aren't. That means you won't take advantage of their good nature, or settle for giving them merely what they will accept. Instead, you treat the good guys with even more effort and care and grace than you ever would have exerted for the tyrants. 

The word will spread.

[The other alternative is a fine one, if you're up for it... specialize in the worst possible clients and bosses, the least gratifying assignments. You'll stand out in an uncrowded field! The mistake is thinking you're doing one and actually doing neither by doing both.]


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Updates for NPT

This week marked the beginning of a few things for NPT.

 First, I had my first class with ECA, a magnet school for arts high school students.  NPT created a partnership with them for their "guest artists" program and Jerold Goldstein and I are teaching a twice-a-week class on musical theatre in New Haven under the mentoring outreach arm of NPT.  Photo of the great high school kids we are working with below.

Next, we had our first board meeting with our new members this week. Penny, Andy and I planned the meeting down to the minute with a history through video (a recap of our great video work by Mark Holleran) and nominations to specific committees (finance, education, marketing, building, board development etc).  Also officer nominations as well as immediate and future goals.

All very exciting.  There were a couple folks who couldn't make it, as happens on boards with busy businessmen and women, and I will be going to Stamford on Thursday to meet with those folks in person and do an entire recap for them. I find that if you send board notes, sometimes we get to reading those and sometimes not.  And it's far more exciting and memorable to share the info in person.

It will be a very strategic year for NPT.   Upcoming events include the start of ASK (After School at the Klein) partnership in mentoring starting in two weeks in Bridgeport at the Klein Auditorium.

Watermark's "So ya wanna be a Broadway star" event..not competition, but quarterly open mic event.

Webshow for the Youth Board in partnership with, a Fairfield County webshow.

 The restart of Sunday Spotlight, again produced by the Youth Board.

Much to be excited about this year!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

FOCUS ON: Casey Dupler

Another FOCUS ON blog today about Casey Dupler.

This college junior has been a student of mine since she was a freshman at Hartt and I saw how dedicated she was from the very start.  Not only has she had leading roles at theatres in Long Island, she has also been featured in some of our NPT shows and is making a great name for herself at Hartt.

A loyal singing waiter and featured performer who actually came out with her side kick, Jeremy, during a blizzard all the way from Hartford for the United Way of Milford Gala last year to help me with that show.  That is dedication! She has also been an "intern" during our Bruce Museum gig and a competitor in our very first So Ya Wanna Be a Broadway star event.

One of her idols is Gwendolyn Jones who she has now met a few time (in person and on Sunday Spotlight) Her belt may rival Gwendolyn's some day as she works hard on her technique and her acting as well.

This summer I coached Casey through our company's TLS (transition's lifestyle) system that helped her lose 15 lbs in the most healthy way. All Low Glycemic!  And she is a convert for life when it comes to putting the right and most healthy things in her body. Since her body is her instrument for this business she is psyched to have a long career.

Hard working, very talented, dedicated and loyal, as well as healthy in mind and body. What a package!  Very proud of you Casey and happy to recommend you when the directors and casting agents call me. :)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Flashmobs and Miley Cyus

I  said this last week when it happened and wanted to repost Ken Davenport's blog on it.  Detour marketing. Interruption marketing.  Don't think that I am above that idea for theatres.  I mean...technically...isn't that what a "flashmob" is? A story sells. And that is why I like the final sentence. 

What Miley Cyrus can teach us about marketing.- ken davenport

In case you’ve been living under a rock, that’s under a rock, that’s under a mountain of rocks, you have probably heard that Miley Cyrus turned some heads on Sunday night with a bizarro, sexually-charged-and-teddy-bear-infused performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards.
It’s been the talk of just about every town since then.  Was it appropriate?  Was it inappropriate?
And was it any good?
Me?  Well, I just thought it was weird and awkward.  I didn’t think she sounded good.  I didn’t think she twerked good (that was grammatically incorrect on purpose, by the way – saying “I didn’t think she twerked well” just sounds ridiculous).
And as a straight (and recently engaged (!)) dude, I didn’t even find it all that sexy.
It was just . . . twerkin’ weird.
But that doesn’t seem to matter in the slightest to Miley’s career.
She did what so many others have done, and on the same television program, no less.  She hijacked the conversation.  The talk of the entertainment town world isn’t about the VMAs, it’s about Miley, and her debutante ball as an adult woman performer, albeit a weird one.
If her performance on the awards show was a commercial (and, by the way, it was one – in the same way that a Broadway show’s performance on the Tony Awards is a commercial), it would be a perfect example of “interruption marketing.”  It immediately slapped you in the face, woke you up from the drone-like slumber you were in from everything else you were looking at and . . . like a 5th grade joke . . . “made you look!”
I call this type of marketing “Detour Marketing” myself.   Imagine consumers traveling down their same ol’ roads, day in and day out . . . and then up comes a bright orange sign (or a half naked twenty year old and a giant effin’ Teddy Bear) . . . and you’re off in an entirely other direction.
And if that detour is a good one . . . you’ll think and talk about nothing else for awhile.
And was Miley’s detour a good one?  Well, it generated 300k tweets per minute.  To put that in contrast, last year’s Super Bowl blackout only brought in 230k.
Perhaps your show could benefit from a little detour?  Cuz, all press is good press, I guess, right?
No, not exactly.  I wouldn’t take Anthony Weiner’s press.  And I wouldn’t like to be the Syrian Government right about now either.
But controlled and smart detour marketing . . . in an environment that is known for those kind of detours (like the VMAs) . . . might be exactly what makes Miley a star long into her adult years.
Although I predict a Britney/Lindsay/Amanda type burnout along the way.
Which will get her even more press.  Right before her comeback.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Focus on: Shaina Arsenault


Back to school for everyone and this super busy young lady is a junior at Foran High school in Milford.  She's won award after award for public service and leadership, in fact I just nominated her for another one with the Association of Fund Raising professionals and am writing a recommendation for her for Honor Society.
Another day, another volunteer award 

She's on our NPT Youth Board and has made a huge contribution and commitment even though her ballet and school schedule is jam packed.  She dances principal roles with New England Ballet and is a beautiful person inside and out.
Shaina as Dew drop with New England Ballet

While she is artistically talented, this smart lady wants to major in Hospitality Management at Cornell so any of you with connections there please let me know.  She wants to own her own hotel and spa and I bet she will.

I couldn't be more proud to always recommend and write letters for this up and coming leader.  Examples of her dancing, her graphic design work for NPT and her singing lessons with me are in this blog.

voice lessons

not a template...she designed this

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Focus On: Kara Burgess


Getting back to teaching at the colleges this week and decided to start a new thing today.  Calling it Focus On: and I will feature a student that I think is really doing the work.  A student I would or have recommended for shows, parts and work.  

Certainly, we chose colleges often for the connections they can make for us and I am always happy to make those connections for my best students in or out of college.  After 20 some years in the business and now also on the other side of the desk you would be surprised how many contacts you assess.  I also get calls from folks who see my name on someone's resume and want to know how that person is to work with, just proving that it's not only talent that gets you hired, it's your attitude and your professionalism.

So my first FOCUS ON: is Kara Burgess.
 Kara just left for James Madison University as a freshman this year.  She was a voice and then later, voice and piano, student of mine since she was in sixth grade.  A beautiful young lady who has so much potential that I hope James Madison will see and tap into.

She was in a PBS series with me last year called "Young American Heroes" and did a wonderful job with her "film" acting style. So simple and honest. And she looked great on film.   Since she rides horses, she actually co-starred her horse Louis in this period piece.  I played her mom.  :)

From a supportive family, Kara is certain to be a success and I am proud to have been her teacher for so many years.