Posts Tagged ‘Amy Charowsky’
Have you ever found inspiration in a Deadline? Magnet’s Chris Bell and Jessica Coyle have, by teaming up with BMI’s Dave Christensen to create Deadlines: a completely original musical show raising money for St. Jude’s Hospital by 6pm on Sunday, April 29th ! No need to for you to rush– we’ve got the details right here before you catch the show this weekend.
What’s a time when a deadline inspired you to make something amazing?
Jessica: When I was living in Korea, I was highly involved in the arts scene there. I acted, did stand up, and ran an improv troupe. While I was touring the fringe circuit doing short form improv in Canada, I became friends with Chase Padgett, an amazing performer whose one man show consistently sold out enormous performances. I had the crazy idea that I would fly him back to Korea, have him do a couple of shows, and book him to him teach musical improv workshops to the expat community. At the time, it didn’t occur to me how crazy it was to take on the upfront costs of figuring out housing, a transcontinental flight, and reserving a 200-seat theater for an international artist. I just decided to do it, and I did it. For some reason, maybe just because I gave myself the deadline and went ahead and did it, it went amazingly well. Failure wasn’t an option, so I didn’t fail. That’s the power of an arbitrary deadline.
Dave: When I was in college for Musical Theater performance, we had to pick a ‘concentration’ for our senior year; basically this meant choose one aspect of musical theater performance to focus on and take more classes in that field your final year. I had realized that performance wasn’t my passion, but I didn’t know what was, I just knew I like musical theater in general. I decided to try something different and make my own ‘concentration’ which would consist of me putting up a show of my own songs at the end of the year. I had a teacher work with me all year, and because the show was required as part of my grade, and had been advertised, I had to make it happen! I did, and found that what I really loved was writing, and to make sure I give myself deadlines ever since.
Chris: Deadlines have helped me produce shows! They help me get my art out there, to try to see if the ideas I have work, if they’re as fun as I think, and to get the work done.
Which Magnet performers are featured in this show?
It’s a huge cast list! Including us (Jessica and Chris,) we’ve got Lane Kwederis, Tori Smith, Maryann Menzies Alspaugh, Ali Reed, Beth Slack, Robin Rothman Taylor, Brian Rodriguez, and Amy Charowsky. We’ve also got Magneteers Michelle Foor, Robin Rothman Taylor, Frank Spitznagel, and Dan Reitz writing music for the show.
What was the process of developing the songs featured in Deadlines?
This was an opportunity to get Magnet performers involved with professional composers and lyricists from the BMI Writers Workshop, writers and composes who are professionally producing work for the stage. We wanted the two communities to connect, and we also wanted to give these writers an opportunity to experiment with work they wouldn’t normally put in a show. They wrote these songs and they want to see how they play before an audience.
The process was a three-month labor of love. First, we reached out to songwriters from the BMI Writers Workshop and within the Magnet community. We then gave those songwriters three deadlines: the first, to submit a basic description of their songs along with singer requirements, the second, to send a rough draft of lyrics, and the third to submit the annotated music for our pianist. After that, it was up to the singer and songwriter to figure out staging and rehearsals, building up to our final dress rehearsal on April 29th.
This show will raise money for St. Jude Hospital. What inspired you to get involved with this cause?
Dave: I have been teaching music and dance for 8 years this year, and over that time I have had multiple students diagnosed with cancer. Most of them were between 8 and 15. I saw the difference that St. Jude made in the lives of some of those families, especially in the children with more rare forms of blood cancer that are more difficult to treat. It’s an incredibly large amount of information for a family to intake, and having that expert team of doctors help to sort through it all and find the right treatment was essential for these families and their children. I’m happy to say I saw many full recoveries, which is why I choose support St. Jude and all the amazing work that they do.
Don’t miss Deadlines, Sunday April 29th at 6:00pm!
- Ali Reed
- Amy Charowsky
- Beth Slack
- BMI Musical Theater Workshop
- Brian Rodriguez
- chris bell
- Dan Reitz
- Dave Christensen
- Frank Spitznagel
- Jessica Coyle
- Lane Kwederis
- Maryann Menzies Alspaugh
- Michelle Foor
- musical comedy
- new york city
- nyc comedy
- Robin Rothman Taylor
- St. Judes
- Tori Smith
If you love a good musical number, you will be OVERWHELMED WITH JOY seeing The Magnet Musical Sketch Show on January 19th! For a behind the scenes look, we spoke with Lane Kwederis, a superstar performer for Public Pool and The Executives, and the director of this awesome new show.
What comes first, the sketches or the music?
Pretty much all of the sketches in this show are song parodies. That means that they all use music that already exists but with new lyrics. The music definitely came first (since it was written by another human ahead of time) but the writers came up with their ideas for the sketch and either selected a song that would be perfect for their idea or the song itself inspired them.
Are the sketches for this show written first, or devised through musical improv?
All of the sketches were written first by Liz Haag, Sara Kalkstein, Michael Delisle, Michael McLarnon, and Matt Alspaugh. Though we do have many amazing musical improvisers in the cast (Ali Reed, Amy Charowsky, Alexis Field, Gina Cucci, Brian Hansbury, Brian Rodriguez, Brendan Goggins, and Michael Delisle) there weren’t really any musical improv elements involved with the writing of the sketch. The cast’s skills came in especially handy though when putting the sketches on their feet. The great thing about musical improvisers is that they can create awesome harmonies, funny bits, and even killer choreography right there on the spot. It was really great getting to blend the sketch world with the musical improv world. They go together really really well.
What is your all time favorite musical sketch?
Oh man. There are so many good ones to choose from! I would say one of my favorites was one I got to perform with The Executives. It’s called “Dolores and the Secrettes” and it was written by Elena Skopetos. You can watch it here.
If you could cast any famous musician in this show, who would it be and what would you make them do?
I think it’s time for Beyoncé to get on the Magnet stage and use her glorious voice to sing about her farty butt.
How can fans get involved in musical sketch comedy?
Write more musical sketches! They’re so fun! Take a musical improv class! They’re also so fun! The Magnet Musical Sketch Show will actually be paired with another musical sketch show too! The Executives will be performing a musical that will take place entirely in a Panera Bread so it will be a two for one deal on musical sketch shows!
Raise your voice for the Magnet Musical Sketch Show this Friday, January 19th at Magnet!
- Alexis Field
- Ali Reed
- Amy Charowsky
- Brendan Goggins
- Brian Hansbury
- Brian Rodriguez
- Elena Skopetos
- Gina Cucci
- Lane Kwederis
- Liz Haag
- Magnet Musical Sketch Show
- Matt Alspaugh
- Michael Delisle
- Michael McLarnon
- musical comedy
- musical theater
- new york city
- nyc comedy
- Panera Bread
- Public Pool
- Sara Kalkstein
- sketch comedy
- The Executives
Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.
What’s your name?
Which team or show are you on?
Where are you from?
New Milford, NJ
How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?
I started a short-form group in college with my friend Noah, because short-form was all I was aware of at the time. And then when I moved to NY, I started in long-form classes, and then after years of that, I tried musical improv classes.
How long have you been performing/writing?
I started in dance classes when I was 2, which I eventually learned wasn’t my strong suit. I started acting and singing about 10 years after that.
Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?
I suppose because my natural tendency is to be a grounded straight man type, a more high energy partner would be the best fit. So… maybe like… Melissa McCarthy — if I could keep a straight face!
Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?
Oooh, I love acting but I don’t love doing impersonations. The only ones I’ve ever been even halfway decent at are of Karen from Will & Grace and Celine Dion, and you’d have to ask really nicely for them… and maybe give me a glass of wine.
What makes you laugh the hardest?
Either really spot-on observational comedy, or just pure silliness. It’s really situationally specific for me.
Describe the soundtrack to your life!
It’s a wide range! I keep a Spotify playlist of a random bunch of songs I like… it’s a mix of singer/songwriter stuff, folk rock, bluegrass rock, pop, and so on. There’s even a little bit of classical in there. But I also have a showtunes playlist I put on a lot too. Can’t help it.
What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?
What’s your name? LOGICAL QUESTION (also I’ve probably forgotten it so realistically I am asking this question twice)
Where can we find you on a Saturday night?
Probably working, because I don’t have a normal schedule and sadly “Saturday night” doesn’t usually mean anything social for me. That’s what other nights are for!
What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Generally, I love the nighttime, like 10-12. I tend to function better then, like my brain is sharper or something!