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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Sunday
Nov222009

Drew Brody

Drew Brody is an independent NYC singer/songwriter. In 2006 & 2007, Drew hosted and curated the Baskethouse Accoustic Folk Series, a free weekly summer music festival at the Bitter End in NYC's Greenwhich Village. He also created the Baskethouse Song-A-Week-Challenge podcast, which challenged 12 independent singer/songwriters to record a new song every week. By the end of the podcast run, 185 songs were recorded. In 2007, Drew founded Baskethouse Records and released his acoustic solo album, "Drew Brody." The album is a mix of original folk songs along with two of his favorite covers, John Prince's "Angel from Montgomery" & Michael P. Smith's "The Dutchman." On the theatrical front, Drew composed the music for five BannerNY Productions, including "Lightning Field," the 2005 Fringe Festival Winner for "Outstanding Play" as well as "Cutman" from the 2007 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). Drew also co-produced, recorded, and mixed fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest participant Jay Brannan's "In Living Cover." Drew's rock band M-LAB just released their CD "From Baser Elements" and Drew is currently working on his second solo album. For more on Drew Brody & M-LAB visit: http://www.drewbrody.com & http://www.m-labmusic.com.

1. Who inspired you to become a musician? I don't think this is a "who" so much as a "what." I've felt connected to music for as long as I can remember. I loved to sing and dance as a child, though I couldn't sing well until my voice changed. The earliest influences I can think of were musicians that my parents always played around the house--Billy Joel, Elton John, those classic artists. But I'd say every musician I've ever come across has inspired me, successful and unsuccessful alike.

2. What has been your most embarrassing on-stage moment? This one's pretty embarrassing: One time I was doing a show and it was really hot in the venue. I didn't want to sweat through my shirt before I got on stage so I put tissue under my arms. But I forgot to remove it before I got on stage, so of course when I started moving it fell out from my shirt. It was pretty confusing for everyone; people were wondering what I was stuffing up there.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I make sure everyone knows about my strange and unusual talents.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Theoretically, I can dream about anyone while I sleep, can't I? I like it when my dreams mimic reality, when I have really banal conversations so I'm confused when I wake up whether it happened or not. That doesn't really answer the question, but it's on the same theme.

5. Who do you consider to be your hero? I think I have a lot of heroes, but I especially admire people who are able to combine doing what they love in life with making some sort of positive difference in the world. Ani Difranco is a good example: self-made, hard-working, successful, but gives back to her community and society in enormous ways.

6. What was your first face to face fan encounter like? I don't think I remember when the first was, but I'm always surprised when people want me to take a picture with them or sign a CD. The first time I opened for Jay, I remember someone coming up after the show and asking for a picture--I thought they wanted me to take their picture with Jay. In any case, I'm always grateful to anyone who listens and enjoys the music.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I'm a fastidiously healthy eater and I'm also big on exercise; I find it helps me focus and works out a lot of anxiety.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

9. Favorite website? Failblog.org. I'm a current events junkie so I also track a lot of political feeds on my Bloglines pages; I like to sample from all sides of the political spectrum.

10. Books or magazines? Both. But no newspapers.

Wednesday
Nov182009

Andrew Kober

Prior to making his Broadway debut in the Tony Award Winning Broadway Revival of "Hair," Andrew Kober was touring the country in "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Now he gets to let more than his "Hair" hang out eight times a week. One of the many highlights of "Hair" is watching Andrew's gift of comedic timing and hearing his rich voice night after night. In addition to "Hair," Andrew lent his talented vocals this past summer to fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant Bobby Cronin's "Reach The Sky" concert on the song "Just Choose Right!" If you haven't seen Andrew in "Hair" yet (along with fellow "Adaumbelle's Quest" participant Gavin Creel), come down to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in NYC on 45th Street (between 8th & 9th Ave) and enjoy an evening of fun. For more on Andrew visit: http://www.andrewkober.com/home.html.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I knew I wanted to do this for a living when I saw the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on my 6th Grade Class Trip to Toronto. The actor that played the Phantom was name Ciaran Sheenan, and I remember being just so taken with his performance. The idea that this is what his job was, and they actually paid him for doing this, was so shocking and exciting to me, I knew I had to be a part of this business.

2. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I know a lot (I mean a lot) about the New York City Subway System. I'm kind of a dork about that...I can also push my fingers pretty far into my eye sockets and I'm very good with electronics.

3. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Hmmm. On a good day I have a low G. The high note I sing in "My Conviction" is an A, I sing a couple of B's in Aquarius, and I sometimes sing higher in the show...I'm gonna guess I can comfortably sing a high D if warmed up.

4. If you couldn't be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? I'd probably teach. I taught acting at a theater camp in Cleveland a lot of my summers growing up, and that's something that makes me incredibly happy. To work with children and art in some capacity. I'd also like to be the guy that designs highway exits and overpasses. Nothing is quite as beautiful as a well-designed highway exit ramp.

5. What was your first fan encounter like? Bizarre...I was actually with my mom. She was visiting me here in New York and it was just after Hair had begun previews. We were walking down the street and someone passing by said "I think you're wonderful!" My mom asked who they thought I was, and I realized, I think they know it's me! It's just so strange and exciting because I was such a fan of Broadway growing up, and now being here...It's totally a corny dream come true.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs. (Did I just rock your world?)



7. Favorite comedian? Georgo Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman, Michael Ian Black.

8. Favorite website? I check a few every day. Playbill, HuffingtonPost, NYTimes, Facebook, Twitter, and a couple of iPhone and Mac blogs.

9. Favorite ride at an amusement park? I just rode my first roller coaster a year or so ago (I used to be too overweight to fit...). Now I love them! I've only had the chance to ride them at one park (Six Flags, Tampa), but I'm looking forward to more chances.

10. "Family Ties" or "Growing Pains"? Both before my time...Step by Step? Family Matters? Saved By The Bell?

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Favorite drink?


Non-Alcoholic - Tropicana Some Pulp Orange Juice

Alcoholic - Gin and Tonic or Scotch on the rocks




12. Summer Resort or Winter Retreat? Winter! I'm not a fan of the heat. I think I'd love an Alaskan Cruise...Do you know Rosie? Maybe she can hook me up!

Monday
Nov162009

Call Answered: Interview with Tony Award Winner Marian Seldes

Marian SeldesI had the distinct honor and pleasure of sitting down with the one and only Marian Seldes after seeing her in "Persistence of Memory" this past Sunday. Miss Seldes has been delighting audiences for more than six decades from theatre to film to radio and television. She made her Broadway debut in 1947 alongside Judith Anderson in "Medea." Miss Seldes has been nominated for four Tony Awards and won in 1967 for her role in Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance." She also starred with Angela Lansbury in Terrance McNally's "Deuce" in 2007.  In 1996, Miss Seldes was elected into the Theater Hall of Fame. Her film credits include "Leatherheads," "August Rush," and "The Visitor." She is also the author of two books: a novel, "Time Together" and her memoir, "The Bright Lights." Being a performer is a true labor of love for Miss Seldes and is evident in the way her face lights up when talking about her life in front of an audience.  That love and enthusiasm was demonstrated time and time again while interviewing her. Below is my unique and privileged experience:

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Seeing theatre and watching other actors on stage.

2. What has been your best and worst experience in a show? I have had no worst experience. The best experience is when the play goes beautifully and the audience loves it.

3. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? I feel so lucky to have worked with so many great people already.

4. Out of all the people you've worked with, who did you learn the most from? I learned the most from when I was young, but if I had to chose, I would say Katherine Cornell and Judith Anderson.

5. What is the best advice you've given someone, but not taken for yourself? I don't advise people. I don't believe that just because you are a teacher, you are given the right to counsel others.

6. Is there ever a time you thought about quitting? Never! Why would I quit?

7. Favorite pastime? I like to read, but I don't consider that a pastime because a pastime is something that passes time and I don't feel that one should read just to pass time.

8. Best holiday gift ever? Hugs from my grandchildren.

9. Superman or Wonder Woman? I don't know because I don't think there are men and women really like that in the world.

10. Favorite Play/Musical? They are all my favorite.

11. What is it about the color purple that makes it your favorite color? I just like the look and fit of it and I feel comfortable in it.

Sunday
Nov152009

Eric Michael Krop

Eric is a Bay Area, CA native who started singing when he realized sound came out of his mouth. Nothing makes him happier than getting to perform for people. He moved to NYC permanently in 2005 and has enjoyed every moment. Past NYC credits include Rated: RSO at ATA, Reach the Sky: A Live Recording Concert, Brunch, The Musical (reading), Scott Alan's "Monday Nights New Voices", Kate Pazakis: UNZIPPED (available on PS Classics), and various other concerts and benefits in the city. Check out his original pop tunes at http://www.myspace.com/ericmichaelkrop and on iTunes.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My grandma. She put put me in front of a microphone and recorded me singing at four years old.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Highest note?? I can get out a D6 (soprano high D) and my lowest would be an F2. Of course, this is on a good day.

3. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that no one knows about? I can wiggle my ears...

4. What is the best advice a teacher ever gave you? "The key to being a successful performer is to SHOW UP and BE BRILLIANT" -Jeffrey Dunn

5. Favorite way to stay in shape? I'm sick, I know, but i LOVE the stair master. Also jogging and lifting weights.

6. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs all the way. I have a big butt that needs to be contained.

7. Favorite kind of shoes? Anything from running shoes to my favorite old pair of Ben Sherman sliders.

8. Favorite Musical/play? The Who's Tommy, ALL THE WAY. Its a kick ass musical with kick ass music.

9. Favorite website? I really enjoy netflix.com. It saves me a lot of money on going out because I can just watch movies on my computer :-)

10. "He-Man" or "She-Ra"? Ummm, X-Men.

Monday
Nov092009

Tituss Burgess

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Tituss Burgess tonight at the "Cutting-Edge Composers II" concert to interview him for "Adaumbelle's Quest." Tituss has been singing since childhood. From church to hometown establishments to the Broadway stage. Tituss' vocals has been entertaining & wowing audiences in such shows as "The Little Mermaid," "Jersey Boys," "Guys & Dolls," and "Good Vibrations." Regionally he has been seen in "The Wiz" as the "Cowardly Lion" and "Songs For A New World" with Jason Robert Brown, Brian D'arcy James, and Alice Ripley. Tituss just released his debut solo CD entitled "Here's To You." To find out more on this powerhouse performer, be sure to visit: http://www.titussburgess.com/

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I've had many influences, but from really from the moment I was born, I had things I wanted to say and a feeling that people should listen.

2. Who is the one  person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Meryl Streep & Renee Flemming (who I will be getting to perform with on November 21 as part of "Sing For Hope Gala: Songs for Our Future).

3. Is there ever time you thought about quitting? If so, what did you consider doing? Yes there was a time and I thought I'd be a therapist--psychologist because I give great advice and have a great ears.

4. Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? What do you order? Dunkin' Donuts regular coffee.

5. Favorite kind of sundae (ice cream flavor and toppings)? Brownie sundae with chocolate chip cookie dough. I know that's ghetto, but it's good.

6. Favorite way to stay in shape? The treadmill.

7. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs. I like everything to be held in place.

8. Favorite website? The Randy Rainbow Bloggity BLAHg-BLAHg & of course "Adaumbelle's Quest."

9. Favorite musician/singer? Singers: Renee Flemming, India Arie, Adele. Musicians: Jamie Cullum & John Mayer.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman and would they make a live-action film version already!