Sunday, March 21, 2010

About "The 12"

"...about the 12 - and those rumors you might have heard? They're all true. ALL of them. We are about to break up. we're about to sign with a major label. We're a cult. we're a party. We're dangerous. We're absurd.We're the next big train-wreck-mega-superstar-has been-original retro- semi wonder-book of signs. Buckle up, Dorothy."
That's how the 12 begins, its my favorite moment in the piece, cause it has everyone wondering, what did I just buy a ticket to? What indeed. The 12 is one of the most interesting projects I've ever done. It's on it's way to becoming it's own unique rock/theatre experience.
In a nut-shell, The 12 is an underground band - it's like, if the 6 best band singers in the city met at a bar one night and said, "this is crazy, but what if we all were in the same Band? 6 killer singers, 6 killer musicians". So they do it, but it goes south - egos, everybody fights, no one can agree on a direction, they begin to hate each other and after a string of successful but combative gigs, they are ready to call it quits. So Pete (me) who brought them all together, comes up with an idea - Like THE WHO doing "Tommy" - to have everyone in the band play a character - and he writes a bunch of songs about the 12 disciples/apostles and what happened right after Christ dies - how did they find the courage to go forward? Peter convinces them all to rehearse it and perform it - at least once...
And that's what we do. The Show is a performance of this Band, The 12, doing this story, "THE 12".
We did the show first at The China Club in NYC on Jan 10, 2010 (immediately following the closing performance of RAGTIME). We used what we learned there, went back into rehearsals. This past weekend, we did 3 preview performances at "Riverspace" Nyack, NY. In 2 weeks it has it's official Premiere on April 1st at The Broward Center in Ft. Lauderdale FL. Beyond that? Who knows.
Like all new shows, a lot of work has been done, a lot of work still needs to be done. But this is my blog, so I get to frame the experience -- one of the best of my life. Why? Think Fantasy Rock Star camp. When in your life do you get to sing with a real killer Rock band (with 5 rock singers that you worship) singing all original kick-ass songs? When do you get to hang and jam with Real rockers? Our Lead Guitarist, Dan Spitz, is in Anthrax, for F's sake! I'm surrounded by singers who've worked with Mick Jagger, Joe Jackson, Meatloaf, Trans Siberian Orchestra. pretty thrilling for a guy from the Broadway musical world.
So tomorrow, I go back to being an actor looking for his next gig. But for a weekend (and again on April Fool's Day, how appropriate) I got to play Rock Star. Priceless.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hi - More coming, I promise. My brain is just exploding from learning new material for concerts, auditions, workshops, etc. Good problems to have. I miss this candid talk and I will be back soon...

Sunday, February 7, 2010


This is my brief, abbreviated history with Football.

As a kid, Sunoco (or was it Shell) gas stations gave you free NFL stamps with a fill-up. There was a book you could put them in and it was very big deal at my elementary school. I didn't know who any of the players were except for a handful of Cincinnati Bengals (including Mike Reid who wrote songs and recorded them at a studio up the street from our apartment - he still writes and won a Grammy for "I can't make you love me" for Bonnie Raitt) .My Dad was not a big football fan, we never went to a single game, plenty of Baseball and even hockey).
My Dad taught me Baseball.
My Brother taught me Football. I was shocked to discover that I could throw a pretty good spiral, even with small hands. Still have to say I preferred the Nurf football, who didn't, you could throw that sucker for a mile.
My brother is older and his friends were tough kids. We didn't go to the local Catholic school, but some of his friends did. They had a Football team, our school didn't. He went out for it. Probably would have been killer too, but my Dad got wind that the coach was using "foul language" with the kids (5th -6th graders) and pulled him out.
So we both played Basketball for the Cheviot Police assoc. Teams (Blue and white CPA uniforms). We had played Baseball for CFA (Fire assoc, red uniforms.), that was a big rivalry. Well, my brother Played, and, well. I wore the uniforms, went to the practices, got in the team photos, played a total of 7 minutes - that's 2 seasons on baseball and one of basketball combined. I'm cool with this, I sucked. Still and all, glad I did it.
So I did not dream of a pro sports career. I dreamed of what I do. And statistically, I guess the odds of playing pro sports are about the same as starring in 5 Broadway shows. I wouldn't mind getting their salaries. Who wouldn't, right?

Shortly after my Mom and Dad split in the 70's, I moved in with my Dad. I remember he took me to a super bowl party. it was a blast. Mainly because I'd never been to one. It had to be Steelers/Cowboys 1979 - I don't remember, I looked it up. It was all his friends, I was the youngest one there.
I think that's it. My entire history with football. Except, this year I'm gonna watch.

Not really sure why. Not really sure why I've seen so few, I really like Football. It's by far the best sport to televise, TV makes it a true coliseum event. And The Saints? Come on, talk about taking the long way, gotta see that. But mainly - this has felt like a long cold winter. I need to be part of the event, to help break it up. So Yeah, I'm excited. Go Saints.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

modern world

Monday - woke up in New Jersey. Went to bed in Arizona.
Tuesday - Woke up in Arizona. Went to bed in New Jersey.

This is certainly not the most travel I've done in less than 2 days before, but for some reason it really struck me this time about the miracle of the age we live in, that such things are possible. Something about travel always widens my belief in all the possibilities. More so than when I'm at home. Home feels to me to be about shrinking the world down, focusing on what's closest, family, health, finance, maintaining or improving the home to be more of a reflection of us. I even feel guilty relaxing at home, because it is so closely connected in my mind as an extension of the self.
This should make home the place where my mind is at peace. But it's quite the opposite.
Away, I see all I've achieved and all that is possible.
At home, I see all the work that needs to be done.

But when I look beyond home as the self, I see my wife, my kids. I see in them how much they've grown, changed, enriched their lives and mine. I see in them all that is possible.

my meditation for today is to merge these ideals. To know that, in my own home, all the same possibilities exist. That the world is just as large, just as connected, just as miraculous as seen from my living room as is seen from the desert. or from 35,000 feet

Saturday, January 30, 2010

jobs I don't have

Got an amusing call from my pal, Gary Lindemann, who covered me on "High School Musical", That he's auditioning for a temporary replacement role in Broadway's "A Little Night Music". He said, "...and I see on the web that you are in it! Congrats!"

I am not in "A Little Night Music"

He sent me the link

Sure enough, I'm listed in the cast. I have no explanation for this, other than I was offered the show originally, but I was never under contract to do it.

Same thing happened 2 weeks ago, Q Darrington (ragtime) called to congratulate me, He heard I was offered a Position at " Sondheim on Sondheim".

Again, never happened.

There's only one logical solution. I have an evil Twin. Or a Clone.

Clearly, he's more talented than me. Maybe better looking. Should be interesting when he starts rehearsals on both of these conflicting shows...or could it be? Identical triplets, separated at birth?

And just who is representing these name-stealing/job- stealing phantom offspring that my mother never bothered to mention? Are my agents in on it? Such a conspiracy. It's like the time my grandmother, months before her passing, decided to let slip that my Grandfather and my Great grandfather had done time for embezzlement. I learn this at 40 years old? That I'm descended from thieves and liars?

And now these singing and dancing doppelgangers appear. Mom would have been so proud - all three of us on Broadway in one season.

Monday, January 25, 2010

My wife, the writer

A brief word about Sandra. Yes, she is writing a book. Really, really, really writing it. This is a long, lonely process. Completely new territory for her. A monumental task.
The courage of this alone is staggering to me. But that's the amazing power of my wife. She has always been able to "Manifest" into her life that which she dreams of. These manifestations do not come without work. or patience. But they come. This one has required the most patience of all (sometimes from both of us). But one big phase of her work nears completion (this is not an announcement nor an estimate of a completion date, those thing are way out of our hands). As I read through her latest and perhaps final draft of her Proposal (a separate monumental document which requires an entirely other skill set to write), I am amazed and aglow with pride. I've been reading along for most of this process. I'm her toughest critic. I have a very short attention span, rarely making it through anything that isn't a comic book or written by Stephen King. So to see, to feel from the power of her words on paper, her journey - from someone with promise, to a voice - It's incredible. I'm completely full, with amazement, pride, awe. I have always loved her voice and the world has heard much of it in her early career. My Wife is still singing, soaring seemingly effortlessly to new heights, on an entirely new kind of music - The music of her own composition. The Music of her soul.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I had an archetypal super-hero dream the night before last. If you know me, you know I love and read a lot of comics. Surprisingly, though, they don't figure into my day to day psyche all that often.
Ever see the movie Unbreakable? Clearly, this dream was inspired by that premise. SPOILER ALERT ------ In the film, Samuel Jackson's Character, a Mr. Glass, approaches Bruce Willis' character and identifies Willis as an archetypal "hero", one chosen by the universe to be a "savior". This situation feeds the plot for most of the film, then the twist at the end -SPOILER ALERT- Jackson reveals that he knows Willis is the Hero, because he (Jackson) is his opposite, his negative doppelganger, his "villain". Hope I didn't ruin it for you, great film.

In my dream someone real from my life, someone I know personally though not well, came to me and identified himself as my "Villain", my opposite number. I will call him Edifice, though he did not identify himself to be named this. He identified me to be the hero, which I will call Samson. Thinking of it now, it is fascinating to me that my subconscious chose this person for this role - though I don't know him well and we are not competitive professionally or otherwise, we have had regular contact. The dream does shed light on a strange "adversarial" feeling emanating from him, just below the surface.

What stood out from this dream, was this exchange --

EDIFICE: ...and as your opposite, what do you suppose would be my greatest aspiration?

SAMSON: To see me destroyed.

EDIFICE: No. No. To see you suffer.

That woke me with a shudder.

What keeps going thru my head as I play this out and seek meaning for it in my own life is the idea that we are all our own worst enemy. That our opposite is still our self.
If this is so, is there some part of ourselves that wants to see us suffer, that creates thoughts or actions of failure - not because it wants to see us fail and have an end to it - but because it feeds on the constant stream of suffering that such thoughts create?