Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Illusion Ends"

Wow, what a night!

Just got back from the MBar in Hollywood where the Academy of New Musical Theatre had the final class of the Performer's Workshop. These performers were also introduced to some of the pieces written for by the Specialty Music Workshop folks that I "accidentally" (?) got into -- I thought it was just another free class, when at the end of the first Saturday, they said "Composers, please stand." So I did. Then: "Lyricists, go get yourself a composer and start writing!"

When they asked for music, I wanted to turn in the song I'd already written wrote for my writing class, "Elephant Man" exercise. The lyricist, Patricia Zehentmayr, agreed, and off it went through the selection process... and three people liked it and considered it for their set! Three months later I find out... yay! It's still in the program!

Sylvin JansonAnd boy did we luck out -- Sylvin Janson was terrific! Truly, one of the strongest performers there, and for my money (she said modestly), he had the best set of all. He walked on there with the confidence that many of the "newer" performers lacked, so immediately, the audience (and my guests and me!) relaxed.

My concern about the song was that it wouldn't work outside the context of "Elephant Man" -- that was what the majority of the notes we were given brought up. "It's haunting, but what does it mean?" Short of completely rewriting it -- well, we did nothing. I crossed my fingers very tightly walking into the venue tonight.

But one of the first people I see is Sylvin. He comes up with a huge hug and I tell him I'm so happy he's doing it. He says he loves it, and based his whole set on it! I gulp. I have no idea what to expect -- except that I know it will be sung well.

Well who knew the guy was a writer too? The "patter" between his songs and their set-ups were handled by an absolute pro... talking about dreaming, illusions, dog walking, paint ("The FUMES!" :)... and to finally end on "Illusion Ends" -- he did more with it than I could ever have imagined. His whole lead-in to the song was beautiful and profound, and absolutely smooth from what came before.

I was so proud -- of me, of Patricia, of the Academy, of Sylvin... my "baptism by fire" could not have ended better. I told him after the show he did wonders, I was so happy, and heck yeah, I want to work with him again! He said over and over that he loves it... what a great feeling that it is for me! I'm finding out that's how these colloborations work... this was a great one.

Now I'm going to write him a thank you note -- and tell GO FORTH and make us lots of money! LOL

Thanks again, Sylvin... you made me forget that I thought I was a crappy composer. Not one muscle or blood cell in me believes that anymore.


EDITED 2/22: A note from Elise, the Associate Artistic Director, to the writers included this:

Sly also did a really lovely job on "The Illusion Ends". I’m so glad you (Patricia) made it just in time to hear Sly’s haunting delivery – and congrats also to Madley. What a gorgeous song. And Sly’s set-up made it all make so much sense in context. I heard several people around me saying "What a beautiful song!"

Beautiful?! Wow, BEAUTIFUL!!! A word I've ached to hear regarding... anything.

Feeling so grateful right now...


EDITED 2/23: A note from Patricia, our lyricist; EDITED 3/18 to remove names:

I got feedback from [SNIP] who all said ours was the best song in the show! [SNIP] They said Sylvin was the best performer.

OMG, this is real! There were mighty big folk at this show.... gulp, gulp... :)


EDITED: 3/16 because you've been asking:

Illusion Ends

Thursday, February 15, 2007

One Pancake, Two Eggs and one Fried Madley

I'm so used to getting my energy up at 9:00 pm and going to bed around 6:00 or 7:00 am -- I sit at my computer and actually do creative work (music, web stuff, etc.). But today I got up early because I had a checklist of things to work on... and now at 3:35 am THIS GIRL IS FRIED.

Of course I had to get something to eat, but because I'm feeling lousy and alone and not immersed in work, it was all comfort food at the coffee shop -- did I mention the chocolate milk, the ice water for chewing and the mint I'm sucking on now? The thought of all that grosses me out and I'm hardly comforted.

Maybe I had to get over Valentine's Day... ah, The Great Debate. "My choices have been fine in life," "If I was meant to have kids, I'd already had them," "You're an artist and healer, love must mean something else to you."


I feel like hell, I'm wired beyond belief with the amount of work I've been doing (good work, not schlocky shit!) and I'm just plain lonely.


Saturday, February 10, 2007


Have been waiting all day to hear the news about my Uncle Tim Medina -- Mom and Dad went with his wife to the hospital at 1:00 am this morning because he was unresponsive to her touch... They called me at 8:50 and 9:00 am this morning and EVERYONE who knows me knows I am VERY ASLEEP at that time of the morning so when I heard the phone ring, I assume it's not good news. But I couldn't reach them.

A Medina MessageUncle Tim and Auntie Li are my parents closest friends nowadays. They live about 1/4 mile from each other and have been having fun during their retirement years, gambling, travelling, playing poker. They both even played along with me to make a mini-video for my parents 45th anniversary. (Click on the photo and take a gander, they're so sweet!)

After getting a zillion busy signals, I finally reach my mom.

"It's been busy for a half an hour, Mom."

"Oh, everyone's calling because of Tim."

"So... how is he?"

"He's okay, honey. Just a mild stroke. He knows your Auntie Li's name and his sister's name, but he didn't know ours. But that's okay. He's able to get up, he's just a little confused right now. The doctor asked him how tall he was and he said 7'6" -- and of course, Auntie Li jumped in and said, "Honey, you're not a basketball player!"

Mom said they stayed with them from 1:00 to 9:00 am until some of their family could come, and when they went back to the hospital in the evening, the place was packed. Uncle Tim will be celebrating his 80th birthday this year, a few months after Mom does... lots of people are there to wish him and apparently he's going to be okay for awhile.

That's good, good news. I just didn't want to hear that another uncle had gone.

And I'm right in the middle of planning a big birthday bash for Mom's 80th on March 24... everything is just getting so "mortal" right now...

I'll write again about me and my "musical" music sometime... just feeling blue and under the weather. I've been so stressed at the amount of web work I have to do, plus music to write my head is spinning. I've got to learn how to shut it all off without eating like a horse or drinking like fish or my body is going to scream.