Live from NYMF 2015 – Vol. 3

The 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) has come to a close. For the creative teams that produced the 30+ shows, readings and concerts it’s now time to sit back, relax, and reflect.

For this, our final blog post from NYMF this year, we asked our guest bloggers to share a bit of their process and what they and their shows got out of participating. For those of you thinking of submitting a show to the Festival in the future, they offer some good advice. We have also listed links to all our featured shows’ web pages so you can keep tabs on what they’re up to.

Until next year…

210 AMLENT AVENUE

210 Amlent Avenue logo

Becky Goldberg: Book Karl Hinze: Music & Lyrics

In what ways did the NYMF experience surpass your expectations?

(Becky Goldberg): I think what NYMF has done so successfully is created a supportive community for artists and practitioners. By establishing the platform of the festival, they’re fostering and facilitating collaboration and artistic growth on all fronts. Getting into our space and putting on this production reminded me of why I love theatre; when you put a group of smart, capable, and talented people in a room together, amazing things happen

If a writer friend told you they were going to do a NYMF show next year, what would you tell them they needed to know?

(Becky): Don’t be scared. And be scared. It’s an overwhelming process with an incredible payoff, and it will make you feel every emotion on the spectrum all at once. Embrace all of those feelings, because above all, NYMF is a once in a lifetime learning experience, and despite every little bump along the way, it will all be worth it.

Tell us about one stand-out moment in your show’s run.

(Becky): One? We got a standing ovation for one of our strongest performances. That was truly awesome. But there were many other great moments too. Every time someone told us they had our songs stuck in their heads, or couldn’t stop thinking about our characters… that’s the stuff that makes you feel proud to be a writer.

What are your next steps with the show?

(Becky): Karl and I are big proponents of letting things (the show and ourselves) breathe for a bit after a big event like this. As we catch up on sleep and our other projects, we’re also exploring other opportunities for this show that might exist outside of New York City, where we can continue developing the story/songs in front of an audience. We’ll see!

How can our readers keep tabs on you and your musical?

We are all over the social media! Check us out at any of the following places:

Our website is : www.210amlentavenue.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/210amlentavenue

@210musical on Twitter and Instagram

THE CALICO BUFFALO

Calico BuffaloEJ Stapleton: Book Peter Stopschinski & EJ Stapleton: Music and Lyrics

In what ways did the NYMF experience surpass your expectations?

(EJ Stapleton): This answer may seem a bit strange. NYMF is a tremendous platform. In my opinion, unequaled in the industry. I believe they provide an artist everything needed to take this huge step toward achieving their artistic vision. But, I was most impressed by how much I learned I was capable of accomplishing outside of my usual role as writer. I believe the majority of us spearheading a project at NYMF are forced to become producers. It’s a simple matter of circumstance and economics. The work must be done. Our budgets won’t allow hiring someone else to do it. So, in the middle of shaping, editing, fine-tuning your project, you are also forced to deal with acquiring insurance from the NY Workers Compensation Insurance Board, keeping theater owners and managers happy, generating ticket sales, marketing, PR and on and on. If I had truly understood what all of this entails before going in, it may have stopped me cold. Now, having come through the process successfully, because of all of the support NYMF has provided, I understand I am absolutely capable of handling all of this while still managing to fine-tune the project. For me, this is a tremendous lesson. Next time around, I will have no hesitation about jumping right in and taking it all on.

If a writer friend told you they were going to do a NYMF show next year, what would you tell them they needed to know?

(EJ): First thing, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. There will be a tremendous amount of information coming at you. You will be challenged from the left, right and center. Everyone you will need to accomplish each task is there to support you. Learn their names. Drop your defenses. You are in friendly territory. Listen.

Tell us about one stand-out moment in your show’s run.

(EJ): The stand-out moment for me came in one particular performance of the show. It was during this performance that I suddenly felt an enormous shift of energy. The Calico Buffalo, which since 1989 had belonged solely to me, was transformed. It was claimed by our cast and crew as something that also belonged to them. In the blink of an eye, I watched the Calico Buffalo fly. For me, it was the most magical moment of all. I found myself leaning in to see what happens next.

What are your next steps with the show?

(EJ): The feedback from the NYMF run has been fast and very positive. Interested parties, who would like to chat things up, have reached out to us. These conversations will be starting up over the next few weeks. I have also been unexpectedly invited out to Los Angeles for some “coffee”. I’ll be heading out mid-August to see what that’s all about. Hmmm. I wonder. In any case, stay tuned! Exciting things for the Calico Buffalo are in the wind. In the meantime, our creative team will be meeting to exchange notes and restart the process of fine tuning the show. It’s what we do!

How can our readers keep tabs on you and your musical?

For updates on the Calico Buffalo’s progress, please visit us at www.calicobuffalo.com . We’ll be there waiting for you!

HEADVOICE

Ethan Anderson: Book, Music & Lyrics In what ways did the NYMF experience surpass your expectations?

 (Ethan Andersen): NYMF has been wonderful, challenging, exciting, stressful, and always rewarding. I’ve been so amazed and grateful for the community and support of NYMF and for new musical works. It’s amazing to feel so believed in. Even in reviews, they come from a place of how can this show be better and improved. It’s a terrific environment to get feedback and know what your next steps need to be.

 If a writer friend told you they were going to do a NYMF show next year, what would you tell them they needed to know?

(Ethan): My biggest piece of advice is to stay flexible. Flexibility for everything. Of course we all have ideas of what the process and show will be, but of course things constantly change as we go through rehearsals. That’s what makes NYMF such a fun challenge. Staying open and eager for new ideas and excited by the challenges is crucial and a huge life lesson I’ve learned. Setting realistic and specific goals for what you want out of this experience is equally important.

Tell us about one stand-out moment in your show’s run.

(Ethan): Opening night was pretty wild and exciting. We had been teching the show all day and had already worked through it two and a half times, so by the time 8pm rolled around, it had been a mammoth day. But the energy within our small cast and team was electric, all of us excited and eager to share what we created. Such a special, nervous, exciting night! – Ethan Andersen

What are your next steps with the show?

(Ethan): I’ve learned so much about this show and myself as a writer from this production. I now know what areas and moments of this show need work and what areas are strong. Similarly, as a writer, I have a better grasp on what my strengths are and what I can keep focusing on improving. The next steps for HeadVoice are some edits based off some great feedback I’ve received. We’ll be recording a demo in the future as well, which is just as exciting. – Ethan Andersen

How can our readers keep tabs on you and your musical?

You can keep tabs on me and HeadVoice via my website: ethan-andersen.com I’ll be posting updates, new media, and information about my new projects there. You can also follow me on social media: @ethandersen805

SPOT ON THE WALL

Spot on the Wall logoKevin Jaeger: Book & Lyrics Alex Mitchell: Music In what ways did the NYMF experience surpass your expectations?

(Alex Mitchell): Having never had a full production of our work before, we were excited about the possibility of having a full cast, crew, and creative team working together to bring Spot on the Wall to life.

(Kevin Jaeger): Through the NYMF process, the show reached levels we never even imagined due to the work and passion of the amazing people who make up the Spot on the Wall family and the support of the whole NYMF team.  We are humbled by their talents and grateful for their involvement in the world premiere of our first musical.

If a writer friend told you they were going to do a NYMF show next year, what would you tell them they needed to know?

(Alex): I think there are three things we would say.  #1: Get an Excellent General Manager.  Jacob Harvey, Sammy Lopez, and the team at Your Theatrics International were literally our gurus and our guides into the unfamiliar realm of self-producing.  They were pivotal to the success of our production.

(Kevin): #2: Start Fundraising!  And be creative about your fundraising plans and options.

(Alex): And #3: Breathe.

(Kevin): Trust us, there will be a night that you’ll actually need that reminder.  But it’s only one night, and it’s going to work out–and the show will go on.

Tell us about one stand-out moment in your show’s run.

(Alex):  We’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support we’ve received from people who have seen Spot on the Wall.  The outpouring of emotion has been really inspiring.

(Kevin):  I think a stand out moment for us was the performance when our families were both in the audience to see our work for the very first time.  A few years ago we both looked at our parents and basically said “Hey folks, so–we’re gonna write musicals now.”  For them to see it and love it–that was a really powerful performance for us.

What are your next steps with the show?

(Kevin): We’ve decided to write two new songs and make a few tweaks to the book. We’re excited to speak with our amazing dramaturg Brandon Anderson once we’ve had a few days to gather our thoughts.  But after that, we’re hoping Spot on the Wall will have continued life in upcoming workshops and productions.

(Alex): We’re exploring a few options and excited to continue to develop the show in the very near future! Stay Tuned!

How can our readers keep tabs on you and your musical? (Kevin): Wow, Alex, what a good segue from the last question– (Alex): I didn’t even plan that– To keep up with all Spot on the Wall happenings, check out the website at www.spotonthewall.com Or follow us in the world of social media on Facebook at www.facebook.com/spotonthewallshow, Twitter @SOTWMusical, or Instagram @SPOTONTHEWALL (Kevin): And for news on Jaeger and Mitchell—including info on our upcoming song cycle—you can check out www.jaegermitchell.com

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