Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Waiting... 3.0

A year ago I knew Waiting... needed updated and revised and re-thought out.  Little did I know the incredible growth this show would take on its journey to be birthed one more time.

Funny how inspiration hits you, and when it hits me, it hits me hard - to the core. 

This past spring I rewrote the script (version 2.0) using the structure of the 2012 Workshop Production - sprucing up dialogue and thinking of new places for new songs and replacing songs that didn't work.  In April, at the wonderful table read we had an incredible array of professional Denver actors.  We heard the 2.0 show we had been rewriting for over 2 months.  

Afterwards, even though the entire evening went well, I knew deep down in my gut that this show and these characters AND the actors who played these characters deserved better.

But I didn't know what to do.  So I sat in a creative funk for three weeks  - how could I spring new life into this show so full of possibility but seriously limited by an old paradigm that was a great beginning but very limiting?

Then one morning I was on the interweb looking at photos of beautiful graffiti.  Pictures that could be in a NYC art gallery but that were instead on the side of a freeway underpass wall.  And then I stumbled on an article about LA graffiti artists who were being charged with vandalism (I've always loved LA since I lived there for a bit in 2001). 


Something clicked and in a split second I knew what I had to do:  change the locale of the show from a small college town to the metropolis of LA.  In that split second, a flood of possibilities came pouring in and expanded this show.

But the avalanche of ideas kept coming.  I started taking notes as fast as I could so I could get everything down.  

Other major changes have transpired:  the show's main character, GG, became Latino.  His new back story:  Having been adopted by white parents (Prof and Grace) as a child, he is now in the middle of a serious personal and cultural identity crisis because of the lack of connection to his heritage, even though he is surrounded by it in LA.  His best friend, the character of Izzy, is now always a reminder to this disconnection because she has also now become Latina in the show.  

And his art (graffiti) has taken on a more important role in the show.  It's the tool, or escape, he uses to find himself in the midst of all this confusion (like most artists).

Another change:  the character of Josie is now the character of Marcus, a love interest for GG and a thorn in Izzy's side.  A quasi-love triangle?

All these changes were the tip of the iceberg - or should I say - tip of the treasure chest sticking out of the ground.  Not only have aspects of the script and story majorly changed, but this chain reaction has affected the lyrics and music, too.  While the previous music was bland at best (my opinion - I always knew I could do better), the new musical vibe of the show begain to rise to the top:  A melting pot and cross pollination of West Coast Latin/Jazz/Pop - just like the amazing culture and ethnicities of the new city the show is now set in - LA, The City of Angels.

Speaking of angels, might there be an angel on my shoulder watching over me and this show?  I do believe so.  It's almost magical.  And very exciting to re-write because I believe in these characters and their stories even more.  

They are now driving the bus.  The bus?  Another new part of Waiting...

Stay tuned.  The evolution of 3.0 continues.....

CASTING FOR Waiting...

Casting is currently underway for Waiting... A NEW MUSICAL - An Official Entry in The 2013 Boulder International Fringe Festival this September.

Auditioning for the following roles:

*PROF* GG's father and Grace's ex-husband. 36-45. He was a brilliant university chemistry professor. Grace's affair (they had been having problems right after they adopted GG) sent him over the edge. He couldn't deal with it. So he "medicated" himself with meth and pot. He is now homeless. Smart, witty, but under a drug induced fog. GG feels responsible for him but doesn't know how to help him. Prof feels guilty and can be passive-aggressive. GG calls him on his shit without going overboard. It's his way of showing his father that he loves him. BARITONE

*MARCUS* A masculine, confident, gay black guy, 25-35. He is putting himself through grad school to be a social worker by bartending at a local gay bar. He does it because he is attractive AND smart - he's using what he's got to make what he needs to survive. He's also taking care of his elderly grandmother who takes a lot of his time (and patience). So time is money in Marcus' world. He is attracted to GG because of his art and who he is. Marcus also supports himself by selling pot on the side. He gets GG involved because GG asks him to let him make some money to support his graffiti (paints/transportation). Plus he's entranced that someone so confident and attractive is giving him attention. BARITONE


Waiting... is the story of GG, a young Hispanic graffiti artist in the environs of the City of Angels, Los Angeles. Prof, Grace, Izzy, and Marcus are all "along for the ride" in this story about a week in the life of these Angelenos. A mix of latin/jazz/pop/rap music. It's about ALL the characters and their stories and the meshing of cultures we all experience in people, art, and music. Additionally, it's about the disconnection we feel as a society, even with people we know best, occupying space right along side us.

Waiting... is timely one-act musical with a cross-pollination of Latin | Jazz | Pop | Rock | Hip hop serving as a musical palette and canvas for its storytelling. With the city of Los Angeles mixed into the stew pot (almost like a sixth character), Waiting... is on its way. Rated R.

**Paid. Rehearsals begin at the end of August. Email resumes and headshots to michael (at) blankcanvasmusic (dot) com