ceelove: (Default)
Hey, I should, like, tell people!

Leah and Catya have implemented a redesign of www.neveraftermusical.com. It better reflects where I'm trying to go with Never After and includes clips from the DVD. Hopefully it doesn't so much reflect that I know little about self-promotion or graphic design.

In other writing news, oh dear: the next musical is getting more impatient to be explored. In the last few days, two of the songs have presented themselves to me. One was an idea, while I was gardening-and-listening-to-musicals, that contained the ending of the play and told me who the main character is going to be. And one was a song snippet that appeared as I came out of savasana, that suggested the entire song in itself and themes that will permeate the script.

I am rueful that I can't turn my attention to it now, that there's still many months of writing to go on Trickster and Three Charismatics (or whatever it ends up being called). But still, it's thrilling to know that yes, I have another musical up my sleeve: that this appears to be something I do now. I know, every time I say, "Dystopian post-climate-change-apocalypse musical!", people go, ".......sounds fun." But really, I think it's going to be wonderful. And I was right about the lesbian fairytale musical thing, wasn't I? :P
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I've got a bag of Never AfterDVDs to sell for Theatre@First. They have a nicely professional "put-together" feel and include new director's notes (addressing the issue of racism in the staging) and complete lyrics. Want one? Fifteen bucks worth of you-saw-it-here-first!

If you are, for example, [livejournal.com profile] safetybitch and want me to mail you one, you could send me a check for Theatre@First for $17, which should cover shipping too.

The screening at Arisia went well. Having not seen it myself in a while, there were plenty of points that I was charmed at afresh, moments I was so glad, again, I'd gotten to share with others. Also plenty that seemed ragged and dissonant, because I've since rewritten them, and now I want everyone to see the new version!

Obviously, seeing the video isn't the same as seeing the live production, but the Arisia audience clearly enjoyed it; and I really liked that I sometimes couldn't tell whether the laughs were from the Somerville Theatre audience or from the people around me. Apparently Elizabeth and I were sufficiently intelligent and together at the Q&A to impress the Arisia people, which makes me wonder if there's a low bar...

While I'm doing a Never After roundup, I'd also say that I'm doing my grunt work on getting it out there. It's unglamorous and, presumably, will be discouraging at how much it takes to get a single query out there, and how little response will be quickly forthcoming. But yeah, I've rewritten the screenplay, and created a real stageplay version (instead of a hacked-up screenplay). I've made my decisions about submitting it to contests for the year, and completed four submissions. I've narrowed down the list of agencies to apply to (and will be talking with two producers, soon I hope, about whether they could provide me a referral), and the list of theatres to query. I've queried four theatres/repertory companies and one publishing company. I've been rewriting the copy for neveraftermusical.com.

It's not fun, but nobody else is going to do it for me. If I want a chance at a career in writing, I have to build it myself. With a little help from my friends, and a very healthy dash of serendipity...
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Haven't had enough of me blathering about Never After? Desperate want to hear my opinions on Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical? Just need to see me with your own eyes, to believe that I'm at the event that everyone else but me generally goes to?

Pop in to see me holding forth at the Genre Musicals panel, 8:00 on Saturday (why yes, that happens to be at the same time as the Masquerade); or come see the showing of the brand-spanking-new DVD (no spanking involved) of Never After and the Q&A with Elizabeth Hunter, 6:00 on Sunday.
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For the logline, I went with "Fairytale Musical, meet Lesbian Princess."

Here's what I used for the synopsis )
If those don't get much attention as-is, then in six weeks I'll change them.
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Many thanks to those of you who've been offering commentary thus far. I'm really enjoying this workshopping-and-editing process, and I'm quite sure that the end result will be far more compelling than the first attempts.

Which of these two loglines do you prefer?

1. A lesbian princess wreaks havoc on her musical fairytale world

2. Fairytale Musical, meet Lesbian Princess

Here is the latest attempt at the synopsis.

Whaddaya think? )
ceelove: (Default)
Totally different. Better? The right voice? If so, any tweaks to make?

Take two. )
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Okay, I got unlazy about writing loglines. Which, if any of these, do you think I should use? Other suggestions still welcome.

1. A lesbian princess turns the world of the fairytale musical on its ear

2. A fairytale musical with a contemporary twist: a lesbian princess

3. A very contemporary fairytale musical with a lesbian princess

4. A fairytale musical about (or with) a lesbian princess

5. A lesbian princess wreaks havoc on the world of fairytale musicals

6. Fairytale musical, lesbian princess
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So, among other things to get exposure for the Never After script, I'll be posting it at InkTip.com, where movie folks look for the kind of scripts they're interested in.

First, they look at the logline - a one-sentence, TV-Guide kind of encapsulation. If that piques interest, they look at the synopsis, a one-page description. That should reel them in to reading the script - MY script, above thousands of others.

InkTip suggests writing a dozen of each and asking my peers which is best. I'm too lazy or impatient or confident or somesuch, so I've just written one of each. They stress simplicity and readability, saying that it should flow naturally from one paragraph to the next.

Whether or not you saw the staged reading of Never After, I'm interested in knowing whether these make you want to see the movie. Suggestions welcome.

Logline: A lesbian princess turns a fairytale musical world on its ear.

Synopsis )

In other news, at the recommendation of someone who works in film, I watched Show Business: The Road to Broadway, which was, among other things, about Avenue Q and Wicked slugging it out for the 2004 Tony. Before seeing the film, I couldn't have told you what a Tony was. Now I want one. Two, actually: one for book and one for music & lyrics. You'd vote for me, right?

Next week, I'll start composing query letters to a whoooooole bunch of theatres, agents, and managers.
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Isn't that how you geeks would put it?

So, uh, apparently there was a lot that could be better on Never After. Damnit, I was just getting to work on Mindgames again! Have you people no sympathy? But really, I'm glad to have issues aired with it, and to glean ideas of how I can make it better. Thanks to all who have been participating in the process with me.

For those you who had some issues with Never After, or just interested in the minutiae of the writing process, here's a list of what I intend to tweak. )
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So I've been skimming the several threads that have come up because of the issue of Hexasper, the "evil fairy", being the only significant role that had a person of color playing it. Meanwhile, I've run across some oblique criticisms of the work - not, "It sucked!", but "This bothered me."

I'd like those issues to be addressed more specifically to me. If you or someone you know felt that something about the writing was off, this would be a good place to tell me so. Feel free to direct others here who don't read my LJ and mentioned concerns to you. Logging of IP addresses is off (not that it's ever been on, I think). I'm interested in dialogue, and while I will likely defend some choices, the script is not set in stone to me, so you may well talk me into a more enlightened viewpoint. :)

ETA: One criticism that was made of the movie script was that all the gay men in the story have "feminine" characteristics; there are no outright bears, for example. The T@F production had a range of body types for the VMM, so perhaps it's not as obvious that they are all playing off a specific stereotype. Still, I can ask:

Did it bother you to see the VMM all of a type? Is it offensive that the script includes no other kind of gay man?
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Two performances, 600 tickets sold plus a bunch of comps.
Uncountable laughs and smiles and hugs. Giddiness beyond measure.
An unprecedented feeling of being appreciated, affirmed, and believed-in.

Since the moment I conceived of Never After, it became a gift that just kept giving. I discovered myself as a composer, and got glimpses into so many other people's talents and worlds. I got to work through some of my own issues in writing, incorporate ideas from friends, feel kinship with my own musical idols, and ride on waves of inspiration like nothing I've ever experienced. And that, all before the performances.

Saturday's crowd was the most boisterous I've seen outside of, say, a Moxy Fruvous concert. Sunday was quieter, but the performance was significantly better, smoother, stronger-voiced, with added layers of cleverness and inahbiting the roles. It was awesome to see both.

This weekend was a lovefest unlike I've ever known. The sheer JOY that so many people shared with me! The theater was vibrating with excitement. It was like a gift - for, to, and by the community.

My work transfixed four-year-olds and delighted my 87-year-old grandfather. It got bellows of laughter and tears. The cast and crew loved doing it. I've been told many times over of how this should be on film, on Broadway, touring the country, a staple of college stages in years to come. T@F sold out of t-shirts!

For icing on the cake, T@F made enough money from it that I'll even get some, which I believe makes me a professional composer of musicals. And, cherry on the top, a Hollywood professional has already asked for the script. Everybody cross your fingers that she loves it as much as you do!
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It was wonderful.

The production and the experience of seeing what Theatre@First has done with my work and hearing so much laughter and so much applause and just OH MY GOD. I declined to go out with the cast tonight, because I've just been too excited for too long and I need some downtime so I can sleep before tomorrow's show.

People laughed enormously, and - they told me - cried. People who hate musicals loved it, which they also told me. My own cheeks are sore from smiling and laughing. It was everything I hoped it would be. The songs worked. The jokes worked. The story worked. The kiss worked. I am so proud to have created this, and unspeakably grateful that so many other people have worked so hard to bring it to fruition.

Fantastic. Amazing. Wonderful. Hilarious. Adorable. Brilliant. Thrilling. Awesome. All these things were said to me tonight. Along with so many hugs and thanks and congratulations from so many people - it felt like the social event of the season or something.

Less than eighteen months ago, I had this idea. I am stunned at how quickly and magically this has all come together, and what I've gotten to experience because of it - really, words do not express it. Now, if only it attracts Hollywood's attentions...
ceelove: (Default)
So pretty!! Zillions of kudos to [livejournal.com profile] catya for putting it together.
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Several people seem to have taken my recent post to mean that "Never After" is now selling standing room only tickets. Nope: the tickets are general admission, anyway. I'll say if we're close to selling out!

So here's either a reminder or the first time I'm communicating it clearly: tune in tomorrow at 1:00 to the radio program Standing Room Only, on 88.9 FM or wers.org, to hear some of the songs and some talk from me, director, and cast.
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This all but begs me to write a song around it. And perhaps a musical around that, just because listening to A New Brain is so inspiring. Easily Will Finn's best - and that's taking The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee into account.

(This is not to say that I need inspiring. I almost kind of wish I were writing another musical next, the post-global-warming-apocalyptic dystopian one for the stage. But no, I still want to rewrite Mindgames from the ground up...)

Never After takes the stage in sixteen days, and yes, I remain in a state of heady anticipation and excitement, immersed in my own little world of musicals. It's up on the marquee at the Somerville, and there's a big gorgeous poster. My inbox is a constant stream of emails about who has tickets and what songs we're doing on Standing Room Only and the many many decisions of creating the website. It's awe-inspiring, the amount of work it takes to make this thing happen, and how many people are throwing themselves into it. I feel massively believed-in.

And oh, the many little fantasies I permit myself, about how this might be received and where it might lead. My head is a charmingly silly place to be right now. I mean, really, how many people are all, "Oh, hey! maybe Mandy Patinkin will cover one of my songs someday!"
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Next Sunday, 9/13, there'll be a segment on WERS's program "Standing Room Only." There'll be some jaw-jaw from me, and better yet, some singing from three of the cast members.

Hie thee to 88.9 on the radio or wers.org for streaming audio. We'll be on at about 1:00. Perhaps they'll give me a tape of the segment, but I wouldn't mind if someone happened to record it.
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ETA: So, the bad news is, with all the fees, the ticket price jumps from $14 to $22. At least, that's true if you order online:


[livejournal.com profile] gravitrue reports $16 at the box office.

Oddly, tickets are general admission, so you needn't worry about rushing to get good ones; you'll simply have to queue up, a la The Phantom Menace, for days beforehand, to get good seats. :P

The good news, apart from the simple fact that tickets are now on sale, is that the show appears between Steeleye Span (classic folk rock) and Girlyman (contemporary genderqueer folk pop) in the listing. As if I needed more reminders that my work will be playing the same stage that many of my favorite bands have played. Including, yes, Moxy Fruvous.

I rather expect I'll be excited for the entire month.

(I interviewed with the Somerville Journal and have heard it's come out, but haven't seen it. In two weeks, I'll be on WERS's Standing Room Only with some of the cast! Me! On my favorite program!)
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You: web designer with time on your hands, a need for massage, and an interest in getting Never After made into a movie
Me: it's pretty obvious

Theatre@First has just secured neveraftermusical.com for promoting the screenplay. Currently it just points back at http://www.theatreatfirst.org/shows/never_after/never_after.shtml, so it needs to be fleshed out. Neither T@F nor I have lots of money, so I'm looking for someone who'd like to barter massage for web design.

If you or someone you know in the Boston area would be up for that barter, please to let me know ASAP.
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I got to sit in today for the first Never After rehearsal, which was approximately the best thing in the history of ever. It's kind of hard to wrap my head around how much better it'll yet be, with everyone knowing their parts and live music and actually performing at the Somerville Theatre.

Did I mention there'll be about fifty people on stage, between singer/actors and instrumentalists? Yeah. So, um, I especially hope that the theatre is full to match. Some weeks from now, I'll be telling everyone to tell all their friends and whatnot, but for now, you only have to put up with me being very very excited that it's in rehearsal. At last, all these other people are hearing it and getting it and bringing it to life.

I'm especially jazzed by how spot-on several of the big roles were from right off, including the lead, Les. There was a whole lot of laughter, and almost all of it was where I'd intended it to be. :P There were thirty people singing the finale. And there was a round of applause for me at the end, which was so clearly sincere, a bunch of us beaming at each other with the awesome of this coming together.

There's a woman doing a press release right now on Boston-area women composers with musical theatre pieces in production, which is still weird to think of myself (writer, yes; composer, what?). We talked a bit today, and she kept stressing how amazing this is, a production sixteen months from the start of writing, and I kept saying, no, really, I get it, it's amazing to me too. Hopefully someone will tell me if I go from "giddy" to "insufferable".

And then ten mintues after the rehearsal, I was folding sheets in preparation for massage, because alongside this I still live my normal life. As the proverb has it, first ecstacy, then laundry. (Well, okay. I was still a bit ecstatic during the laundry.) So, yes, kind of surreal, such a juxtaposition between the mundane and the wildly improbable.

Six weeks!
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There are people auditioning for Never After. Or rather, some did so tonight, and I got to sit in, and it was great. For the first time, I got to hear a chorus singing one of the choral songs, the one I'd most wanted to hear for myself for months, and even ad hoc, it was great. People! singing my music! in preparation for singing my music accompanied by instruments to a large crowd! and stuff!

(Okay, and from a musical-theater-geek perspective, I heard audition selections from the composers who most influenced my own work: Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), Howard Ashman & Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid), and Sondheim (including Into the Woods!). Plus a bit from Avenue Q, which charmed me - yay offbeat contemporary musicals! Of course, I also heard a lot of Lloyd Webber; what's up with that?)

Best of all, even from a single night (there's another tomorrow), I heard people whom I would be happy to be singing each of the big roles. This is really going to happen! This is really not going to suck! I'm finally, finally at the point where other people will become familiar with the music, that it won't all just be MIDI files passing between me and the arrangers.

Eight more weeks til the show. But - finally!


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September 2017



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