Making Sport of Shakespeare

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Carrie Isaacman is one of us!!!

A strong woman of the arts – taking control and telling stories!

Carrie is the organizer of Shakespeare Sports. Her inspiration for Shakespeare Sports is from her studies of Shakespeare’s First Folio and liked the idea of
using the question around of “scrolls” as a rehearsal tool or if they are intended for a group of actors who have little time to rehearse early in their rehearsal process, as the Elizabethans had very little time to rehearse, or are scrolls part of the show? Carrie chose ‘As You Like It’ because it looks at a group of teens who are put
in a position where they can – using only their wits – change the world – even while homeless. 

No scrolls here … she just kinda spoke! 

Tell us about yourself as an artist.

I am an actor and have been directing as of late.  I am the director of ‘As You Like It’.  I started organizing ‘unrehearsed Shakespeare’ readings and it occurred to me that with the requirements of ‘unrehearsed Shakespeare’, of working on Shakespeare’s stage directions first, including music, movement and anything technical, even with the scroll in hand for all actors by the time the cast has worked on all aspects like music and movement a cast might as well plan a full run of a show and I am now glad to be doing just that.

Phoebe (1).jpgTell us about your role in AS YOU LIKE IT. 

I got the idea for setting ‘As You Like It’ in 1968 as a response to the very vocal protesting around all of the elections over the last few years and the advocacy that goes along with the interests of those who are running for office.  

Shakespeare’s show ‘As You Like It’ should show the difference between court and country life and that includes dialects of speech dress and behaviors.  

The characters going away from their way of living that they are used to is political and it means that they will need to find away to survive with people who they may normally not interact with.  Through all of the circumstances the characters, Rosalind with Celia and Orlando with Adam, entertain one another as they are solving the problems that they are faced with and that is what makes the play a comedy.

Share with us your thoughts on independent theater. What is its significance to the skyline of entertainment in NYC? AND how has indie theatre helped Shakespeare and visa versa?

As a creator of Shakespeare’s theater in independent theater I look to see how larger theaters do community building and how they produce thier traveling shows especially because Shakespeare Sports works on a small budget.  I also look to see what larger theaters choose for their season.  And if I would want to share the work or Shakespeare Sports with a larger theater I would want to have an organized portfolio and mission for what and why produces Shakespeare.  This is also important is Shakespeare Sports is planning a season and planning ahead.

 

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Lindsy … leave off the A for actress!

Jail time never was this much fun! Based a true stories, Jeffrey Milstein, a prolific author both in NYC and regionally, “lampooning to the tooning of Brooks, Reiner, and Simon” in telling the story of a low-level prison in the famed military installation … and then sets the whole things to music!

We spoke with several of the actors from the production and discovered that many are making a debut of sorts.

We received this letter from Lindsy Thomas from the company. Welcome to New York Lindsy! You’ll be great … You already have a stage name!

 

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My name’s Lindsy. This is the first production I’ve been cast in in the city.

In this production of Fort Dicks, I play a few different characters that help make up the ensemble. A little bit about myself; I grew up as a competitive dancer training in pretty much all  basic styles of dance. After graduating high school I moved to New York to go to the conservatory at AMDA for their integrated program.

I play Judge Flashner, Nurse Ratshit, Medic #2, The Harpo Marx Mirror counter part, Swat CO, and various ensemble musical accompanists. The ensemble plays the part of creating the many different characters and personalities of the prison staff and the other inmates. We build the world of what Jefferey experienced and to tell that kind of a story with comedy has been really fun to get to play with.

Independent theater, speaking from the point of view of a young actor, allows you to be able to experiment and build a show from the ground up. You get to be a apart of the process from beginning to end and you have more freedom for suggestion. In this cast at least I feel we’ve had a lot of ability to make creative choices that have shaped our scenes. With that though also comes with learning how to work with people who have different experiences levels and training which you do experience in school but it’s different being all in the same training program as opposed to a more professional setting. It’s been an exciting

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Dana Cavagnaro is happy to be here!

Jail time never was this much fun! Based a true stories, Jeffrey Milstein, a prolific author both in NYC and regionally, “lampooning to the tooning of Brooks, Reiner, and Simon” in telling the story of a low-level prison in the famed military installation … and then sets the whole things to music!

We spoke with several of the actors from the production and there is an undeniable sense of joy coming from them all. How UNUSUAL for an indie play. What’s Milstein doing RIGHT??

Bright and fresh-faced, Dana Cavagnaro was simply gushing during the interview.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist.
I’ve always been in love with musical theatre. Growing up, my family introduced me to all kinds of music and theatre so it’s always been a huge part of my life and my biggest passion. I try to perform as much as possible because I am at my happiest and most content while working on and performing in a show. The creative process is the most exhilarating thing, especially in a hilarious musical comedy like Fort Dicks! This whole experience has been a dream come true for me.
Tell us about your role in FORT DICKS
I play a few characters in Fort Dicks including Bailiff, Linda, BOP Operator, and Inmate Weiner. Linda, Inmate Tony’s girlfriend, is my favorite character to play because of her fierce attitude and the amount of physical comedy I get to do while playing her! I also love performing Inmate Wiener, who broke his leg and can’t seem to get the doctor to take is injury seriously!
 
Share with us your thoughts on independent theater. What is its significance to the skyline of entertainment in NYC?
Independent theatre is so important because it gives talented writers, performers, and musicians a chance to showcase their new works that they may not have the opportunity to showcase anywhere else. It’s so important to the landscape of professional theatre that independent theatre is being created because it opens the doors for more interesting and diverse stories to be told.
Rock on, Dana, Rock On!
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Large Talent for such a “Small Craft”

Small Craft Warnings by Tennessee Williams

Regeneration Theatre, whose missions is to bring the rarely seen back into the spotlight took one of Tennessee Williams’ lesser plays and breathed new life into it. Lesser ONLY in the sense of visibility. This incredible gem is currently running at 13th Street Playhouse featuring Robert Maisonett,  George A Morafetis, Jenne Vath, Jed Peterson, Nicole Greevy, Jon Spano, Jason Pintar, and Christian Musto and is directed by Barnaby Edwards and Marcus Gualberto; with lighting & sound by Allison Hohman.

We spoke with several of the actors in the production. Here we have our conversation with theater veteran, Nicole Greevy. 
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Tell us about yourself as an artist.
I’m Nicole Greevy, I am an actor and a writer.  I am a regular contributor to the award-winning podcast Uncanny County, which is a world away from Tennessee Williams! 

Tell us about your role in Williams’ Small Craft Warnings (actors, please discuss your part and its relation to the lot; creatives, tell us your function to the project/company)
I play Leona, an aging beautician who lives in a trailer, or, as she euphemistically calls it, a “home on wheels.”  She is, I think, the best role I have ever done, and it blows my mind that, in 1973, Tennessee Williams created a middle-aged woman so in touch with her anger.  In the past couple of years there’s been more and more conversation about how women are not allowed to be angry in our society and getting to play her now feels so timely.

Share with us your thoughts on independent theater. What is its significance to the skyline of entertainment in NYC?
Without independent theater, I think there will be no risk-taking in NYC theater.  The costs of commercial theater are so great now that I think producers feel they have to play it safe- if they don’t believe the show will sell enough tickets, there’s no point.  This play is not one of Tennessee Williams’ big ones, although I have come to love it every bit as much as I do The Glass Menagerie or A Streetcar Named Desire or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or Summer and Smoke. But the beauty and pathos of Small Craft Warnings doesn’t come across on page the way it does on stage- I think the audiences who come to see it will have a very different experience than those who just read it.  And that’s the genius of Williams- his words, beautiful and carefully chosen as they are, are best heard, not read.  And heard with an audience.  I didn’t realize until opening night, with a full house, how very, very funny Small Craft Warnings is.  That’s a discovery I couldn’t make without an audience.  And it was really exciting.

And without independent theater, neither I nor the audience would have had that experience.  Whether it’s new material, like the Fringe Festival does, or offering up forgotten gems like Regeneration Theatre does, independent theater offers experiences that commercial theater just can’t afford to. 

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Laura Young plays the FORT!

Five Star Arts brings you a series of brief discussions with members of the independent theatre community prior to the openings of their works this fall. Here is

Laura Young appearing in FORT DICKS the MUSICAL.

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Tell us about yourself as an artist.

I’ve been studying music, vocal music, and theater since I was a teenager. I fell in love with the stage at 15 and have never looked back. I have a degree in vocal music from the University of Rhode Island.

I love getting to sing a variety of styles of music and bringing completely new characters to life.

My passion is live theater and I love the entire process – from rehearsals all the way through to bringing the show to life for an audience.

Bringing joy to an audience with theater, especially a comedy, is one of my greatest joys. Words cannot begin to describe how thrilled I am to be performing in Fort Dicks, The Musical for my Off-Broadway debut! 

Tell us about your role in FORT DICKS

I’m thrilled to be playing the part of Judy (David’s girlfriend). She is David’s support and encourager through the show and never leaves his side. I’m also excited to be playing the education CO, a line server, and the mail room CO. 

I love the story and the characters in the show. There are so many interesting and colorful characters and it’s been fun to see them come to life. Knowing that this is based on a true story really made the show more touching made me love it more. It’s incredible doing an original work and being the first to create the character of Judy. 

Share with us your thoughts on independent theater. What is its significance to the skyline of entertainment in NYC?

I think that independent theater is so very important as it gives many writers and performers and musicians the chance to learn, grow, and perform when they might not otherwise have a space to do so. I think that it’s important to continually bring in new talent and ideas to NYC as there is so much out there that is yet to be discovered. I think independent theater encourages artists to continue to create, and share that creation with the world. Music, art, theater, and dance bring people together and this world desperately needs more of this.

 

Meredith is having a BAN-er year!

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Award-winning actress Meredith Rust is scoring kudos in Laurie Rae Waugh’s production of Irving Greenfield’s BANNED IN BISBEE – an adventure piece about literary characters of an author (um-Irving) coming to life. This play -m as per many reviews – is on to see.

We thought we’d take a page or two of comments from Meredith Rust, winner of the prestigious Jean Dalrymple Award, and bring them to life.

Thank for joining us, let’s star with you sharing some thoughts on you as an artists.
To me, life is art, and everyday is a chance to reflect your soul. It’s beauty and it’s ugliness. Every aspect of our lives has a chance to be artful. Awareness and careful thought create worlds we can inhabit and tend to. But It takes a certain amount of rigor and discipline to craft a world you can call your own. 
Tell us a little about your role in the play and how it effects the overall plot.
In Banned in Bisbee, I play June Furst, the town librarian. She is unafraid of the truth and tells it like it is. She doesn’t believe in banning books and keeps to her own compass of what she believes is right. She’ll blurt out anything. She’s a sharp woman unafraid of the men in town who try to keep a tight lid on things. She aids in the trial conducted by captain Boxer- by telling the truth. 
ManageImageEventGeneralInfoHandlerDo you feel the play resonates with audiences today?
Banned in Bisbee is especially relevant in today’s climate of a polarized America. In some areas, where the Bible has replaced the science books, and people believe what they are told, banning books is a reality. We don’t know what we don’t know. That’s true for everyone. As my character states “[our kids] critical skills are well below the national norm”
An actor in NYC? Are you a native New Yorker? If so, how has NY theater changed in your time in it. If you’re from elsewhere – so how’s NY working’ out for you? 
I’ve been in New York theater for seven years, coming from a non-theater world. I think it’s alive and vibrant and so varied and voracious. There is room for everyone and every idea. Broadway shows are brilliantly spectacular, and Off-Broadway shows are top-notch, as well as affordable. The well of talent here is like no other. It’s thrilling to be a part of it. 
To you, what makes up a real actor (I say real as good can be interpreted so many ways) 
Acting is about honesty. Being unafraid to go to those weird places in all of us. It is truly playing.  Like children. Envisioning a world, a person, in your head and sharing it with others. As an actor, I find that every role comes to you for a reason, at just the right time. And I might add-doing the work-it’s not always about fame or acclaim-but exploration and dedication. 
What’s your next endeavor? 
Next on my schedule, I will be appearing in a new play by Dorian Palumbo in the fall entitled “Divination”, also at ATA, where I play a Scottish clairvoyant living in New Jersey. I lead a group of women who all share certain “gifts”. It is an all women cast, and it’s going to be great fun!

Visit americantheatreofactors.com for tickets and showtimes.

Dorian Palumbo reviews “Banned in Bisbee”

41181764_2059659317398931_5131458180290707456_n.jpg“For a prolific writer like Irving Greenfield, the idea that his work might not be everyone’s cup of drama is probably not terribly troubling.  However, the idea that his work might be censored has Mr. Greenfield as incensed as any writer would be.  So incensed, in fact, that he might create a whole ‘nother work to illustrate just how incensed he is.  A work like “Banned in Bisbee”, a play Greenfield wrote in response to his “Depth Force” novels being removed from library bookmobiles in Bisbee, Arizona following the accidental exposure of a nine year old patron to the adult language and situations therein.

With our country only weeks away from the federal government creating a “Department of Conscience and Religious Freedom” it’s easy to see why Director Laurie Rae Waugh and Jim Jennings’ American Theatre of Actors decided to revive Greenfield’s play.  Book banning is the thin end of a very dangerous wedge.  “Religious Freedom” is a dog-whistle to Christian Evangelicals.  Both of those things are going on in the here and now, and this play, which was written some years back, is timely in a way that it wouldn’t have been during the Obama administration.

The play begins when Captain Jack Boxer (Ken Coughlin), the lead character in Greefield’s racy novels, and his first officer Master Chief Paul Gomez (Manny Rey), miraculously appear in the dreamscape of Mayor and Book-banner William Wholemouth (Nick Pascarella) and his wife Mary Lou Beth (Gina Zenyuch).  There are a lot of rules that seem to apply to situations like this – one of them being that Boxer and Gomez can appear in the dreams of both William and Mary Lou Beth at the same time.  Whatever the rules, Captain Jack, played with a steady-as-she-goes conviction and much leadership drive by Mr. Couglin, is on a mission to convince these rubes that what they’ve done in banning the Depth Force series is not only bigoted but completely hypocritical.

Boxer and Gomez next appear in the down-at-the-heels bar run by Hank, (Tony Scheer) who’s mouthing of god-fearing platitudes foreshadows the inevitable moment when he, like everyone else in Bisbee, is revealed to have feet of clay.  The interlopers are soon backed into a corner by Sherriff Freddie (Robert Uller), who alerts the FBI (Joshua Patriarco in a wild turn as “Agent Zachs”) that a couple of Naval Officers seem to have appeared in landlocked, desert Arizona for no discernible reason.  Uller gets laughs playing Freddie as a kind of Barnie Fife on steroids, and Patriarco tears the stage up, first as Zachs, with a dash of Bluto Blutarski, and then in a dual role as Fong Shun Un, a pirate character from Greenfield’s books who materializes out of sheet spite in order to mess with Boxer.

Manny Rey is delightful as Boxer’s second in command, and Tony Scheer as Hank brings the pure professionalism and balance that a play this over-the-top very much needs.  Amid the naughty-word alarms and a lot of innuendo, we find blunt-talking librarian June Furst (played by the funny and very charming Meredith Rust).  Furst, as a librarian, is naturally on the side of truth and freedom of speech, and in the course of speaking freely about her own personal life outs Hank as having been her lover for years on the not-very-down-low.

The Wholemouth family themselves are characterized as you might expect, but Nick Pascarella plays the mayor with such such sweet hangdog resignation that you feel sorry for him rather than angry at him.  Gina Zenyuch also brings a lively softness to the role of Mary Lou Beth in a role that easily could have been one-note and unsatisfying in the wrong hands, and Aaron Vargas as “little” Billy Wholemouth relishes his great reveal (that he knew damned, excuse me, darned well when he brought the book home that it was a Greenfield potboiler and not a Garfield-the-cat) without turning the character into a cartoon.

Direction by Laurie Rae Waugh moves along at an appropriately brisk pace, keeping the action moving while still making sure the jokes land.  And Ken Coughlin, doing quadruple duty as leading man, set designer, lighting and sound, makes sure that Waughs vision is breezy, fun and tightly-wound.

Taking quite a few shots at the holier-than-though attitude rife in our current political system, the play gets its point across while still being entertaining and enjoyable.  Like any good satire, the points being made in this Greenfield play will linger after the laughter is over, making the audience think it through after the curtain has gone down.

You can see “Banned in Bisbee” at the American Theatre of Actors, 314 West 54th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, 4th Floor, at 8 PM on:

Wednesday, September 12th,
Thursday, September 13th,
Friday, September 14th and
Saturday, September 15th.

There will also be a matinee on Sunday, September 16th, which will be the last performance.  $20 Tickets are available for reservation by calling the theatre at 212.581.3044, or via Smartix.com at the following URL

https://www.smarttix.com/Modules/Sales/SalesMainTabsPage.aspx?SalesEventId=8173

Cooking up a lovely musical

Art Work for Jilted to Perfection (2).jpgAcclaimed opera singer Debra Cook’s musical love letter to her departed husband is a featured event of the NYNW Theatre Festival.

JILTED TO PERFECTION: A MORMOM’S LOVE
A SHORT MUSICAL ROMANCE WRITTEN BY AND FEATURING DEBRA COOK

The New York New Works Theatre Festival
The Acorn Theatre on Theatre Row
410 West 42nd Street
Friday, September 7 @ 7 p.m. and Saturday, September 15 @ 2 p.m.

20120730_134828 (1).jpgMs. Cook is a celebrated opera singer and musical educator in Utah. She is a founding Board Member of Opera West and winner of the American Opera Auditions, U.S.A. World Showcase, and a regional finalist for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, Cook has done opera and concert work throughout the United States, including solo performances with the National Choral Society at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, Utah Symphony, and several seasons in repertory with Utah Opera Company. She performed off-Broadway and was featured as Roxanne in Stuart Crane’s cast recording of Cyrano.

Her original musical serves as a joyous melodious one-act and a catharsis.

Debra, a shamed and divorced Mormon mother, recounts the first sight of a strange and older man, Fred, who seems to know her already. Both working as extras in an opera, Fred claims that Debra is his “true wife,” and pursues her despite her fears, her missed dates, and her protestations. He steals a kiss that is like no other, and Debra’s passion fights with practicality.

Her 30-minute musical packs a lot in it time on stage so we wanted to hear from the author/composer herself.

Tell Us About Yourself as an Artist.

I love the term, “Artist, and it used to feel so sacred to me, only reserved to those of great prominence. Yet, I believe we are all artists, creators, at the very core. As creators, we shape art and lives by categorizing and then specifying what we will do, then refining by repeating that process over and over. Although we are taught to be original thinkers, our society often expects us to “tow the line.” Thus, claiming Artist status for the people in the middle is often a pejorative term, mostly because of the difficultly of monetizing Art. We confuse the viability of being an Artist is our society with its monetary value. Yet, the Artist is of prime value, the underpinning of what makes us a civilization, and it is of great value to our spirit and quality of life.

With that said, I am about promoting the value of art through education and performance, not only through the cliche’s of discipline and self-confidence, but through the critical place we have as Artists in our world. The Artist can be a child, like my 6 year old granddaughter, McKinslee, who sings at the end of this show. Her simple singing performances have brought stories of happiness and kindness to those I never knew before.

I am the executive Director of a performing arts school, Utah Conservatory. With over 400 students a week making music, we see our efforts build a supportive culture, provide precious family memories, and encounter a microcosm of our Park City community, a laboratory, you might say, of sharing ideas and challenges, and having a safe environment to make mistakes and weigh a variety of choices, and to build artists, one performer at a time.

In terms of my past experiences, I started as an opera singer, often encouraged to cross-over to musical theatre, and even taught musical theatre as faculty for an Actor Training Program at the University of Utah. Fred, the subject of “Jilted to Perfection: A MorMom’s Love,” was my greatest mentor as as Artist. I feel his understanding of performing, as well as his seminal work as an educator and teacher, shaped the artist I am today. In creating and performing “Jilted to Perfection: A MorMom’s Love,” my goal is to honor Fred and his exemplary lifetime of taking risks through embarking on new creative adventures. His is an authentic example of an Artist.

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This play is autobiographical in many ways? How does it feel to “relive” your life … with music.

It feels great! How? Music adds what I sense is an added dimension to communication. Expressing a viewpoint through music can be an effective conduit to high and delightful levels of awareness, recognitions that one might not experience otherwise. Through music, I find we can express the “essence of our experiences” without having to write a “novel” of words to find the same recognitions. Thus, music is more efficient and helpful, at least for me, to find a common thread of experience that the listener can share or understand on a level that is not solely intellectual. The “re-liveing” of this autobiographical piece is a joy, because music is effective in leading us to moments of significance in the human experience….moments of significance that most of us share in one way or another. And, if my story can help the “judicious one” (as Shakespeare put it) to find some joy in the ironies of life, to see the adventure in our challenges, to break down stereotypes towards our common humanity, or to find a little more joy, or to experience a catharsis through laughter and/or pain…..well, that helps me feel purpose about sharing through with very vulnerable activity.

Difficult topic … adding in humor and music. What was your thought process?

This was a fun process for me. You get so many recognitions about life through humor. which is reality on steroids. The humor works with irony, and life is, indeed, full of it. What might be irritating or tragic, can be assuaged through finding the irony. Think about your last accident and the smile you have in the retelling of it. What was once so painful is an adventure to retell, a victory to survive, and often funny in the retelling of the craziness of what you went through. If we can find humor, we can survive.

Is this your first festival? How has it been?  

I was in the festival last year after 4 years working on the creative team of  Sleepy Hollow: The Musical, and asked to help out as Music Director and lending a hand with related production aspects. I loved being part of the festival last year, especially because I learned so much about the process. First of all, producer, Gene Fisch, who started this festival as a “give-back” project for our theatre community, is a dream for all of we creatives.  He has provided us with “the real deal” in terms of the festival opportunities to develop and present new works.  He has lowered the cost and upped the quality and exposure for Festivals through his sponsorship.  A rare gift and a privilege.  

What made you want to write a play and what have you learned from the experience?

After last year’s festival, there was a challenge that I might have something of value in this story, and, certainly, we all have to start somewhere, right? And actually, I almost fainted when getting the call that the work had made it into the festival. Not only because it was the first musical where I wrote the music and lyrics, but because it is such an honor to play in this sandbox with other artists, many of high reputation. From the experience thus far, I’ve learned that you need a team. Thus, the concept was hammered out by two friends who might be able to tell their own stories is a more expanded version of the piece. Team members include a director, Kathy Morath, music advisors and coaches, a music copyist, a producing organization of Professional Artists Group to manage all the business of creating, JMAE for promotional assistance, and the list goes on. I learned that writing your own piece is extremely vulnerable, even stressful. That’s humbling, This new stress can tempt me into grumpiness, and if I get surly with people, it belies the very reason to enhance our lives through the play. We’ll see if it works, but my goal in this whole process will be to prove that “people are more important than the process” and, hopefully, I’ll be treated the same way. If not, I’m a big girl and can still have a great time working through it.

What’s next?

What’s next is, hopefully, moving this “Jilted to Perfection” A MorMom’s Love,” forward. It is a show that really only needs a piano, and can be performed in a intimate room or a big stage, so it’s pretty easy to repeat and refine. After the two showings through NYNW Theatre festival of “Jilted to Perfection: A MorMom’s Love,” at the Acorn Theatre at 7 PM on Friday, September 7, and 2 PM on Saturday, September 15, we just booked the show at the Triad Theatre on 72nd Street for 3 PM, Sunday, November 18, where I’ll present this mini-musical version of the show, sharing the afternoon with cabaret singer/songwriter Teresa Eggersten-Cooke’s smokey standards and original work. In December, it’s back to concert work, singing Messiah solos with American West Symphony, along with lots of music-making at Utah Conservatory, everything from rocks bands to preparing students for college auditions and community musicals.

“Mothers” in Spirit

In this world, so many women who go through pain but societal norms force them to bury their emotions. A step further than it not being easy to be a woman is it is not easy to be a mother. Life’s inequality can force your dreams to fall into a thousand pieces. Three plays about three “mothers.” 

Reviews by Mehrunnesa Akter

The-Hunting-Season-poster-SQUARE-300x300.jpgThe Hunting Season by Magaly Coliman
Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
@ Theater the at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street

“The Hunting Season” is a powerful tale or racism and oppression wrapped in clairvoyance and mysticism. A Haitian mother’s second sight prompts her to protect her family against dire premonitions of their death. Like many tales of faith vs fate, the latter comes out victorious. In Magaly Coliman’s well-acted, well-written work, the mother turned the spiritual page too fast and acted too soon. While the surface is an exploration of spirituality and its boundaries – on this plane and others – the deeper meaning shows us how oppression permeates even our prayers. Coliman’s work is a powerful and well-thought.

ruby-sq-300x300.jpgRuby by Susan Gross
Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
@ Theater the at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street

We are taught to soldier passed tragedy and to live on. Yes, that is the prevailing message in Ruby. But what about what goes on inside? Susan Gross gives a tour-de-force giving us the battle of ionner emotional pain after a miscarriage – all brought on bya  baby crying! While not a mother (yet), Gross’ tale is one that every woman should see. A journey such as this creates community. I loved every part of this show and learned from its message.

 

PregnantPause-1-300x300.jpgPregnant Pause by Kathleen Jones
Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
@ Theater the at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street

Pregnant Pause concerns a woman, her personal success, and her marital bliss.  As the fates (maybe the same ones in Hunting Season) have determined that her first Broadway show opening is the same day as her baby-due date.

Planet Connections should be lauded for all these really powerful and compelling stories about women’s struggles – especially motherhood. Kathleen Jones prose were really well-thought, flowed beautifully and seemed made for actress Amie Cazel. her honest, powerful portrayal was simply brilliant to watch and packed a  learning-lesson about life today … and possibly tomorrow.

I simply wanted more.

 

Veronica Moya: “facilitate a safe space for self contemplation and the rest will follow.”

Veronica-Moya-TV-Set.JPGArt Imitates Life and Life Should Be Savored.

Five Star Arts Journals and Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment will spotlight a series of artists who have devoted themselves to helping people celebrate their lives.

Veronica Moya, an international performer with stage, film, and TV credits heard the call. She tapped into her innate spirituality and combined it with her endless energy and ambition to help those who are lost. Focusing on your people, she is somewhat like a spiritual life coach – helping people tap into their own inner stregeth to move forward. 

Veronica, it’s a pleasure to speak with you. Tell us about yourself as an artist? 

Veronica-Moya-in-Telemundo.JPGMy acting career started when I was 4 years old, back home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was a featured singer in a children’s TV show called “Cantaniños” which aired once a week. I was admitted to the National Academy of Dance (comparable to Juilliard school) when I was 10.

At age 16, I founded a “Children Entertainment Co.” with a couple of classmates. We became very successful and coveted with our upbeat performance. We used to sing and dance for the kids and as soon as parents saw us, they would hire us for their own children’s birthday party. 

I was part of several Theater productions & TV shows back home. including a featured role in “El Verso” starting Luis Brandoni.

But my heart was always on Musical Theater. I came to New York sponsored by a modeling agency, and I started my studies in Musical Theater. I had the good fortune to work with George Morrison, Paul Sills, T. Schreiber &  Liz Caplan as my vocal coach. Among my favorite credits are “Logic of the Birds” performed at Lincoln Center. Carnival (Lili), Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel), The Wizard of Oz (Glinda) with a bilingual touring Co.  I was part of the Spanish Festival “Candilejas” where I performed comedies such as “Mi novia tiene 3 novios” where I played the female lead, opposite to Spanish mega star Manuel de Sabattini.  

I was also a member of the Enchanted Players, where I was taken under the wing of its founders Regan & Mary Ryzuk incredible writer & composer team who were amazing teachers to me. 

The theater has always been my passion, I was in films as well (El Verso, American Gangster, Sex & the City), but it was never as rewarding as being present with the audience. The communion between the actor and the audience is a feeling impossible to match. When you are on that stage, you truly feel like you are GIVING something, you are being of service. For a couple of hours your audience can be transported somewhere else and forget about their lives for just a little while. You feel like at least for a little bit, you made a difference. 

Impressive! Tell us about yourself as a healer/counselor?

Tarot-reading-at-Namaste.jpgI started my path in the Self-help world almost by accident. I am laughing because as we all know, there are no accidents. I suppose it was always meant to be. As I was waiting for an audition I found a Wisdom Magazine right there on the table in front of me, the first thing I saw was an ad for a “Psychic development Class” at the Edgar Cayce Center. Needless to say, I had no idea who he was or what that center was, but i was pulled to it so I went. The class was taught by Coni Buro, the center was a non-for profit, very warm and friendly organization which was run mostly by volunteers. Before I knew it I became a big part of the Center. I was invited to be a member of the program committee, this group would meet once a week to discuss prospect new classes and guests speaker for the center. I started scouting new talent and people who I thought would be good fit for our audience. 

Before I knew it I was teaching classes myself, offering Tarot Readings and Reiki sessions. I quit my full time job and I started doing readings and healings for a living, a perfect match for my eclectic schedule. I was still acting at the time, and I would get up at 5:00AM to go ice skating and to sign up for auditions at 6:00AM. Yes, that early. The auditions would start at 9:00AM but people were lining up at 6:00AM.

The way everything happened was pretty seamlessly. Just like a domino effect, one thing would always lead to another. I was soon known for my Energy and enthusiasm and my no non-sense style of delivery. 

Other centers took noticed started calling me to teach. I was invited to Holistic centers in Long Island, New Jersey and even to the prestigious Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. I was teaching how to read the Tarot cards, and How to develop your intuition. Every class would start with a meditation and I’d always emphasize the importance of clarity of mind and purity of heartwhen embarking in this sort of work.

I would teach them to always make a heart connection with their client, and have ONLY the intention to “be of service”. Your Ego must to be out of the way! You must know and trust that whatever comes to you is information that will be helpful to the inquirer. 
I guess here is how all my theater training ties together with this work. Any Good actor must Become the character they are playing. They can not Act as if, they must become the character, and leave all self analysis aside. Well, doing readings for other people is quite the same, you must detach from your own story (your thoughts, your opinions, your intellect) and become a blank canvas, able to bring forth whatever is presented for them. 

I was doing this work for about 5 or 6 years when I was called by a morning show in Telemundo to give weekly advice to their audience. The show was aired live and it started at 6:00AM so I had to get up super early to be there good & ready to go at 6:00AM. It was a lot of fun! 

After this show I was also interviewed by E entertainment and asked to do an on camera reading for Candice Kumai. I was part of the documentary The Many sad Faits of Mr. Toledano created by Joshua Seftel and presented by the New York Times. I’ve done readings for explorer Fabien Cousteau, Joan Dangerfield, and some football players as well as business people here in New York City.

What do you look for in people to know if they need your help? 

Excellent question! I am NOT a fortune teller. And I simply can not work with people who are accustom to consulting readers in a regular basis. 

My intention is always to Be of Service and to ultimately inspire and encourage people to lead a happier life.

So the most important thing I do look for in a client is their ability to take responsibility for the unfolding of their life. I am happy to give advice, encouragement, and guidance. Sometime we all need a push, but  I can not work with victims. I am here to empower the brave, not to coddle the weak. Jason Marshall wrote an article about this very subject about 10 years ago, I had my ex husband’s last name at the time: http://wisdom-magazine.com/Article.aspx/1562/

Was there one incident or something in your life that you feel put you on this path? 

Yes, I never talk about this because it sounds strange. I was born “remembering” where I came from. Yes, and I don’t mean remembering a past life. I mean being completely aware of my truth & my essence as a Spirit. 

Landed on this earth with a clear understanding of the downgrade I had just undertaken. Life on Earth is not great, but that’s mostly because people don’t know who they truly are. If they did, I am sure they would have a much more positive outlook and therefore a better outcome in their experience.

But here I was, an old, old Spirit in a world of contrast and challenges. I found that I was able to clearly see things that others didn’t. This can be quite frustrating, and lonely. Many facts of life were SO Obvious to me that I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that other seemingly intelligent, and much more mature people, didn’t see. Why can’t they see that? Don’t they know it’s going to go down this way? Or That way? Or whatever way..? 

I realized that I was able to read patterns (that’s what I call it). No, I don’t hear voices, and I don’t see any images, or Spirits or anything like that. I simply KNOW. I can look at a situation or a person and describe in great detail what they are about (how they feel, what they think, their highs, their lows) and what is most likely to happen. 

I’ll be honest, I was a cranky little girl growing up. Very impatient and frustrated with everybody. Also bossy and of course assertive. But, wouldn’t you be?

This is why I LOVE to work with children today! If they are silently going through what I went through, then of course I understand their Frustration. 

Of course they will have tantrums, of course they will be impatient. It’s not because they are being spoiled now. It’s because they WERE spoiled before they came here.

See? We all experience wholeness and bliss before we are called to become humans again. A child will naturally have a hard time adapting to this life; specially when connecting with all the anxiety, worry and fear from their parents. It’s a hard transition and really difficult to understand. 

Who is your main clientele – who do you help the most? 

Meditation-Class-with-Veronica-Moya.JPGToday my main clientele is young people. I specialize in Children and teens. It is imperative that they learn the power of their minds and the reach of their thoughts. 

When they figure out how much power they have over their lives, they gain a new perspective. They become more optimistic and purposeful. 

I love spending time with young children because they Get It! I don’t have to convince them of their power or how special they are. They already know. So my job is to make sure they never forget. 

And with that end, I developed “Self-Aware Child” which is a meditation practice designed specially for children. It allows them to experience wholeness and bliss just by closing their eyes and using their imagination.  We have different meditations for different situations. So they can have a nice toolbox of good and healthy resources for when they are feeling anxious, sad, worried or simply feeling awkward in front of their peers. 

I also do one-on-one consultations which are SO, so, SOOOO rewarding and fun to do!! I found that I am very effective at guiding teens, and young adults, on choosing a career that will be gratifying both financially & emotionally at a personal level. 

Tell us about the world and how you feel we can survive it. 

I personally don’t have any big problems with  the World. The only thing that I find harmful is our thoughts. The collective consciousness needs to change and the focus of our existence should certainly shift from this FEAR Based reality to a trusting and allowing mentality. After all, we are indeed responsible for everything so, if we don’t like something, we should simply disengage. Don’t participate. As they say, it takes 2 to Tango. So don’t. Thing that we don’t give our attention to ceases to exist.   

Art-proyect-Veronica-Moya.JPGPeople use the expression “A perfect world” … to a spiritual person like you, what is a perfect world? 

A perfect world is one where every person is satisfy with themselves. Everybody is self confident, self loving, and proud to be who they are. Because they’d experience true contentment and peace, there would be no anger, conflict, or hostility towards others. 

I find that most of our problems are originated in the need to fill a void that’s inside; and everyone tries to fill it while focusing on events happening outside of themselves. It’s a never anding story. It can’t be done. The only way to find true happiness is by Loving the perfect expression of yourself.  Too tall, too short, too fat, too..? Who cares? Whatever you are, however you are, you came from perfection and you are perfect. 

Self acceptance is the key! 

Where do you see yourself in a year … 10 years … beyond

In a few years I see myself in a big house by the beach in San Diego. I don’t know why (I’ve never been to san Diego and I don’t even know I would like it) but I have had that recurrent image for years now. LOL

I am presently working on my fist book for children, which could easily become a series of books. So in a few years I hope to have inspired and encourage a larger number of young minds to be fearless and enjoy this life to the fullest. I would also like to be founder of a learning center dedicated to the True Development of the human mind, highlight on the Intuitive. 

Final thoughts?

Final thoughts are Thank you for taking the time to learn about me and my work. My last words would be to most parents, who worry so much about their children, I want them to remember that their kids are not as helpless and defenseless as they might think. They are powerful souls that came through to have a human experience, and if given the chance they can truly soar as human beings. 

Don’t teach them too much about Spirituality, they already know. Simply facilitate a safe space for self contemplation and the rest will follow. 

Learn More about Veronica Moya