Mary Elizabeth Micari has her hand in EVERYTHING. She is a celebrated singer with a recently released album; she is an accomplished theatrical artist and artistic director of a prominent New York stage and film company; she is an independent producer; an artist-in-residence at the legendary 13th Street Theater; she’s a Reiki master; herbalist; aromatherapist; sound & music healer; teacher with her own school; and creator of the P.A.T/H. Method (Performing Arts Training – Holistically). Wait a minute let me catch my breath before mentioning more of what she does.
In one of her few breaks, she chatted with us about her latest endeavor, Granny’s BLUE-MERS, a musical act at the Duplex in NYC. She has researched and resurrected a gaggle of tunes with risque lyrics, showing her audience what a REAL double entendre looks like!
We hear a lot about inspiration – or Muse – that drives an artist. What inspires you?
Life. I think the uncertainty of it and the shortness of it and the impermanence of all things..even me. I feel like there is so much to sing, write and do that it will be impossible to do it all in one lifetime. So, I find what feels best and bite into it…hard. I studied Opera for many years because I just adored it and the feeling it gave me. Now, as I have transitioned more into Blues and Jazz I have that same feeling. It’s like attaching to a channel much bigger than I am. Tapping into something huge and old and very powerful. I think I’d also say that it is that…that big spiritual connection I use as my Muse, my inspiration. I believe that the creator of all we know is female and I revere the Goddess within me and all things. I sing and create for her on the material plane.
What is your vision for this Act?
This act is full of something called Hokum Blues or just plain dirty blues that were sung in speakeasy clubs and bars during prohibition and after. Some of these are songs going all the way to the 50’s and the Rock and Roll era. I want to educate and entertain. I would like to have the audience become more aware of this music and the people that did it way back then. Some of these songs are over 90 years old! I just want to have a great time! I love history very much and adore bathing in old music. I am working with a group of people who also feel the same way as I do. Liz, Courteney and Dan all love Blues and older music.
These are songs women sang…back in the day. They represent the strong desire women have sexually. This is still a taboo subject! Its women’s power….their sexuality and their desire that has been stinted and sublimated for eons.
I like showing people what that is. Even if its done in a “more polite” way than we’d do today.
I call it Burlesque for the Ears.
What do you want most in your chosen profession? It’s OK to say “fame” or “wealth.”
I want to work. I want to sing. I want to be happy doing it.
Sally Field and Paul Newman both said of their profession… “it’s all I can do.” Is this all you can do?
Nope. I can do a lot of different things.
I am a makeup and hair artist. I worked backstage on Broadway while running my own theater company and raising my son. I minored in Costume Design in College so I have put a lot of that to use as a day job for many years.
I teach voice and piano as well as musicianship. Being an Opera singer one is required to understand both the voice and music. I teach all genre of music though. Its all done the same…each is only a style.
I do Tarot and Astrology. I teach the sacred pagan arts and I am a Wiccan Priestess who teaches that path as well. I am a Reverend but not one of Christianity. I work as a Pagan minister and a Reiki Master. I am involved deeply in Reiki and Sound Healing. I have just begun to produce Sound Healing events. I am going on to do more that have the Goddess at their center.
I am an Herbalist with clients. I create things using aromatherapy as well.
I LOVE to cook.
I write music and poetry as well as lyrics. I also write a couple of blogs here and there.
I act…I direct. I am the Artistic Director of Genesis Repertory Ensemble.
I do handicrafts now and then and I am really thinking I need to paint and sew better.
Oh …I forgot….I worked in Veterinary medicine for a very long time when my son was young…about 10 years as a practice manager and caretaker. I have also done a bunch of cat sitting!!! I adore animals. I also do Reiki healing for animals.
When you are in the business of being a performer you need to have handy skills to make money. I have been lucky to find very interesting pathways to do that.
Along those lines, if you couldn’t so this, what would you do?
Any of the above and I do that all now too! I was faced with losing my voice when I became ill about 5 years ago. Most of the healing modalities I am engaged in came to the front because I dedicated myself to healing myself. That led to using many of these things (have been doing much spiritual work in art since college) in my own performance work, in my directing work and in my singing as well as in my teaching. So now, they all seem interchangeable which, was one of my aims. I know it sounds weird but I see everything I do as one thing.
How do you want [legit] history to remember you?
Long enough to remember to come to my next show! LOL…also as …I guess a Renaissance Woman! I like that phrase.
Is all about love and fun. I am here to bring whatever divinity I can to earth.