“Places In Between” Concert – March 19th, The Duplex

Jonathan Larson Award-winners Jeff Thomson and Jason Mann present “Places In Between,” which will feature a variety of brand new material as well as some revised versions of old Favorites. March 19th at 7pm, at The Duplex (61 Christopher St, New York). Reservations Online Through THEDUPLEX.COM!

BONUS: All audience members will receive FREE sheet music to their favorite song of the evening!

Cover: $10, with 2 Drink Minimum. More about this at the Facebook event. Plus, for more information on Jeff and Jason, visit www.thomsonandmann.com!

Cheers,
Sierra Rein
“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

Jay ThePal and Kay ThePal Predict! The Oscars…Sort Of…

Cheers,
Sierra Rein
“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

Puppetry Tips for MSM Students!

I was asked by Mark Janas to teach a few students at the Manhattan School of Music some puppetry skills tomorrow. They are going to be doing some puppetry in a performance in a few weeks, but I have only a little bit of time to get them into the basics.  I’ll be bringing in my puppet Kay M. “ThePal” Pringle as a teaching tool.  This blog entry contains some supplemental material – links to video, links to professional blogs, and whatnot. Enjoy, students!

  1. Avenue Q behind the scenes: Anika Larsen and Jonathan Root explain some basic stage considerations of how they give life to their puppets in the musical – Watch: YouTube.com clip 1 and YouTube.com clip 2.
  2. Puppatoons.com – Liz is a great puppet maker and puppeteer, and she was able to blog about her workshop with Steve Whitmere (Henson Company’s “Rizzo the Rat,” among others) These notes are kind of heady and very advanced, but this is good food for thought on how the body of the puppet is connected to the arm structure, plus how the psyche of the puppeteer is basically “one with” the puppet’s, in a very “one with the Force” kind of way.
  3. Wikipedia has a basic article on hand and rod puppets – read it here.
  4. PuppetryLab.com has some cool articles about movements and poses and mouth movements.
  5. Go on YouTube.com and search for “The Muppet Show” – here I did it for you – and just absorb these clips.  You can’t see the puppeteers, and they’re not performing for the stage, but just concentrate on how these muppets breathe and live…mahhhhvelous!

Cheers,
Sierra Rein
“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

Video: “Webber Love Trio” at The Salon Feb 13, 2011

Singing “An Unexpected Song” in the “Webber Love Trio” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Don Black. At The Salon – with Anthony Imgrund and Erin Cronican, Mark Janas on Piano. Recorded on an iPhone 🙂

Cheers,

Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

Help Marquee Five Record our Debut CD!!!

The time is nigh!!!! Marquee Five, the MAC-Award winning vocal group I’m a member of, is going to record a CD! We’ve started a Kickstarter.com campaign especially for this project, and we need collaborative donations to help us achieve this wonderful goal. Watch this video and check out our Kickstarter.com campaign page to read more about our goals, plans, and the cool tiered thank you gifts we’d love to give. Even $10 helps (and the minimum is $1!). But we don’t get any of the money until ALL of it is pledged by March 31st, 2011. Thanks in advance for your pledges!

Cheers,

Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James

Sustained Effort: Wise words from Richard Lawson…

I recently received the latest newsletter of my former acting teacher in Los Angeles, Richard Lawson. In it, he writes the following (and also offers a few free open classes in March, so check them out in the link above!). I just thought the sentiment and consistent forward momentum in his words inspirational. It reminds me that we all do need to feed (ie. give sustenance) each other’s energies, to keep each other’s dreams in focus, no matter the obstacles…I need to remember to make sure my friends and loved ones are engaged and enthused with their passions, even as I strive to keep my own alive and, as Richard says, sustained in effort…

Sustained Effort

As I look back over the 40 years or so that I’ve been in show business, and I see the number of people who started out with me and are still in the business, which is shockingly very few by the way, there is one thing that I know for sure: They are still here because they sustained their efforts. They had follow-through; they didn’t quit because the going got rough or they got tired. Yes, they had disappointments. Yes, they had failures. Yes, they lost their way from time to time. And yes, they felt like giving up at times. But, they didn’t. They kept getting back up, dusting themselves off, and getting back into the game. They relied on their support systems, which they were smart enough to set up somewhere along the way, to help them get back on track. In the beginning, some mentor or teacher somewhere helped them understand that the journey was a rollercoaster and they had to ride the highs and lows with equal dexterity. That mentor or training taught them to keep their eyes on the prize and never lose sight of the bigger picture. The bigger picture was clear because they had written it down. It was a plan with their goals and purposes set in place. They understood that this plan helped them to stay on track when things were good, and to get back on track when things were not so good. Thus, no matter what, they were able to sustain their effort.

Cheers,

Sierra Rein

“I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing” – William James