Showing posts from March, 2013

Easter Thoughts

The Easter Story is one of rebirth. It reflects the fact that life, itself, is a series of rebirths.
We learned, while traveling through Egypt, that each night, for the ancient ones, it was like the death of the sun. No promise that it would come back the next day, because it was killed. Like maybe how a pet feels when its human walks out of the house and closes the door.
A Methodist minister friend of mine is writing a different “This is a new day” greeting every morning for a year.
It’s also an element of everything that I write. It's what New World Waking is all about.
I told the very legendarily depressive (and much beloved) L.A. songwriter, D. Whitney Quinn, about my habit of looking for the silver lining in the cloud. He quipped back, “I find the cloud in every silver lining.”
Even this moment, as I prepare to go to Portland, as I face this 60th year on earth, I find myself changing and morphing, and growing and learning, and asking myself what’s next?. It’s medicine I prescri…

What Would Be Your Super Power?

I love this from Chris Gillebeau, writing about creative artists (but, really, about us all)
Long ago I wrote about my ideal superpower. It’s not the ability to fly or the power of invisibility—as awesome as those would be.  My ideal superpower, if I could have anything, would be the ability to always know the right answer to what’s next. Then he continues with a great list of how to make that happen, beginning with making lists.

My ideal superpower would be the power to make lists.

Healing Power of Harmony and Vibrations While Singing.

I love singing in a choir. We were rehearsing for Easter morning service. We are a small band of mighty warriors, our little choir. And Mark Janas, our conductor has us doing the Randall Thompson "Alleluia." Which is pretty much THE "Alleluia."

There's really nothing like filling your lungs and exhaling great choral music. It just sits there in your chest and vibrates.

And there are more than a few people in this choir whose voices blend with mine so exquisitely, we become a single voice and it actually resonates, physically, in our bodies, and the other singers can feel it and hook in -- or maybe we were hooking into what they had already found.  It's as if you're inhabiting some parallel dimension of sound.

The audience will feel it and hear it, too, by the way, especially when they get caught up in the gorgeous stone arches of Christ Church Bay Ridge sanctuary. It starts sounding like bells. It's magic. It's transcendence.

And why not? Why w…

How Not To Recruit A Blogger.

I was on a conference call. Very corporate. People logging in. Beep. “Hello, I’m …” Beep. “Hello, I’m...”

I had been contacted by a person I’ll refer to as Email Girl who welcomed me after I beeped in and said the others would be joining us soon. In her initial email, she had said she was from a “health advocacy” website and were looking for AIDS blog content. She had said there would be no money in it, but if money was made, by any chance, it would donated to the charity of my choice.

I had said yes because I always say yes to things. (I now call it the Marvin Hamlisch Rule. At the remarkable memorial service for him, which we kinda, but not really, sneaked into, it was the one thing everyone said about him that stood out to me. He never said No to a fundraiser or to meet with young talent.)

This call was to gather all the potential bloggers together for more information and instructions.
Beep. “Hello? I’m...” All of these voices were alien to me.
The sound wasn’t great, so I didn’t qui…

Jimmy the Juiceboy Plays the Palace.

Last Tuesday, I cried on the bus all the way to the foot doctor. Luckily, it was cold and rainy, so I didn’t stand out, not that I would have cared.

I wasn’t sad. I was reliving a work of art, a ballet for two men that I had seen the night before at Broadway Backwards, a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS at the historic Palace Theater. Called “Vespers,” it was danced to the music of the Tom Waits’ song, “Tom Traubert’s Blues,” which is one of my most favorite songs/recordings of all time.

On the bus, I kept hearing the song in my head, getting the verses all tangled up, living inside the song, Picasso style, and all the while remembering the dance, and crying at the dance. It was a man trying to bring his dead lover back to life. But the dead lover is like a puppet with no strings, so his agony increases.

And all the while, Tom Waits is singing in this mournful voice, a string orchestra behind him.

“Wasted and wounded It ain’t what the moon did I got what I paid for now”

Manhattan Video Diary March 2013 Pt. 1

So much going on, I had to divide it into two parts. A birthday party for a friend and Jim directs a 30s cabaret. And much, much more.

Robert James' Stunning Version of "Going It Alone"

When Robert James wrote me through Facebook, I didn't know him. He was an enthusiastic fan in England who had seen the recent extraordinary production and wanted something, anything to help extend the experience. So, I sent him a souvenir.

He followed up by saying he wanted to record "Going It Alone." So, I sent him the music and a back-up track. Little did I know that he would follow through with a gorgeous, deeply emotional version which he immediately uploaded to SoundCloud for all to hear.

So, I'm sharing with you. Thank you, Robert, for your persistence and for your love for The Last Session.

A Dream Come True.

Tonight, Jim Brochu will play the Palace.

This year's line-up of celebrity performers has been collectively nominated for 34 Tony Awards, 25 Emmy Awards and two Oscars.

The line-up includes Academy Award winner and four-time Tony Award nominee Estelle Parsons, five-time Tony Award nominee Jan Maxwell, four-time Tony nominee and five-time Emmy nominee Victor Garber, five-time Emmy winner Doris Roberts, two-time Tony winner Judy Kaye, Tony winners Len Cariou, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Karen Ziemba, two-time Emmy-winning comedian Bruce Vilanch, Tony nominees Daniel Breaker, Malcolm Gets, Anita Gillette, Tony Sheldon and Josh Young, and Ward Billeisen, Stephanie J. Block, John Bolton, Jake Boyd, Jim Brochu, Ashley Brown, Tituss Burgess, Robert Creighton, Jose Llana, Kyle Dean Massey, Stacey Oristano, Eve Plumb and Howie Michael Smith.

The evening also will include a performance by teenage spoken word sensation Noah St. John. Noah, a high school junior , recently gained national fam…

Is The Way We Think About Charity Dead Wrong?

Do Something Free For Someone.

Chris Gillebeau has proposed a social experiment. The idea is that you offer something for free. Something you do really well that someone else might need. From his blog:

So here's how it works. Figure out something you'd like to give away for free. Do you have a skill you'd like to offer -- something you can help someone with?

Is there something of value that you no longer want, but someone else could put it to good use?

Is there something you sell that you can give away to a few people, or to everyone on a certain day?

If you sometimes charge money for this free thing, that's OK -- nothing wrong with making money! Many people in our community are self-employed. I'm gearing up for my own overdue product launch in a couple of weeks.

But this is all about helping someone for free. So for this experiment, make sure you really offer it with no strings attached. So, I offer songwriting. If someone would like for me to help them write a song, totally for free, tha…

Do Something You Believe In?

Every time I get one of the daily emails from Seth Godin's blog that vibes with me, it's amazing how deeply resonant it can be. The Moment of Highest Leverage reminded me of when I began writing the TLS songs. Seth says:
You’ve already won (or you’ve already lost). Right now, you can choose to do what’s in your heart, you can bring your real work to the world, instead of a lesser version, a version you think the market wants. After all, what do you have to lose? At the time, I thought, "Well, screw it. I'm gonna die soon anyway. Might as well just put it all out there and who cares if it's a song Clive Davis would give to Whitney Houston?" (Which, at the time, was what every songwriter in L.A. was trying to do, which is why so many bad songs showed up in our workshops and seminars.)

Just tell the truth. And, most of all, write something YOU believe in. Not what you think everyone else may want. What have you got to lose?

Want to see the movie I'm in?

LIMITED TIME ONLY. Check out all the movie shorts made for LoveFest 2013. Ours is called "Perfect Timing."

Test Result: Benign.

Just a quick note. Got the results from my biopsy. The wart on my foot is benign. (whew)

Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age.

Our friend, Rick McKay's follow-up to his sensational documentary "Broadway: The Golden Age" is soon to be upon us. Can't wait.

February 2013 Video Diary

This month's diary features Jim running off to Florida, Steve at home writing music, two doctor visits, a film festival and cleaning out a box with all the original documents -- drawings and lyric sheets -- from The Last Session. And, yes, most of it two seconds at a time.