Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk wrote a beautiful musical called The Mad Ones, about a teenage girl dealing with the grief of the loss of her best friend. After seeing a heap of fan art over the work, and dealing with a pandemic where live theatre is not possible, Kerrigan and Lowdermilk decided to explore how far we can take virtual theatre and created The Mad Ones Lab. Chosen participants from all over the world (seriously, one of my castmates is Brazilian and living in Ireland), were given the opportunity to take sections of the show (for free!) and create something beautiful with it. I was chosen to play Beverly, Sam's mother, in two of these projects and am sharing the link to one of them. Director Randi Hickey (Philadelphia) and her team created a poignant yet humorous piece using water color animation. Take a look and listen to it HERE. AND you can check out this clip with commentary from Jenni Barber, who was the show's original Sam. The Mad Ones lab was a truly special experience and I am thrilled I got to play even a small part.
Here's to more of it!
n than to be Ina at the dinah in the mooooooornin'.
It was grey, cold, the roof was leaking in holding, but oh man, it was nice to be on set Monday and Tuesday for LiveSource Films's short "What Do I Owe You?". SAG/AFTRA Covid-19 protocols in place, excellent cast and crew, and we got to work in the same diner as was used in Goodfellas, You Don't Know Jack, and The Irishman, among others. Thank you to director Tyler Mercer, actors Qurrat Kadwani, Phoebe Dunn, Mahmoud Mahmoud, Fred Rice, and Steven Etienne, and the fab crew: Ari, Jeff, Mike, Chris, Katya (producer/co-dir), Caroline (camera), Caroline's asst (so sorry I forgot your name!) Angela (wardrobe), Elon (props), Jorge (sound) and special shoutout to makeup and hair artist Katie Lamark who took the time make sure that the actors of color had a perfect palette.
I will be sure to post some stills and clips once the finished product is out!
Next week, I hope to post some footage from the really wonderful The Mad Ones Lab. Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk created a beautiful musical - The Mad Ones - about a teenager dealing with the loss of her best friend. It's story moved many to create fan art, and thus, in the time of Covid, it inspired Kerrigan and Lowdermilk to create a space to promote the exploration of digital theatre. People could learn about everything from character development and choreography adjustment, to how to better light film and various other digital design. I got to be part of two of the projects as lead character Sam's mom, Beverly. One piece is using watercolor animation, while the other involves green screen animation. I can't wait to see the finished products and share them with you!
In the meantime, there's new material on my satire series "Reince Priebus Tried...And Other Tales From The White House" , I just booked a role with On Brand Productions in their new musical "Juvanescent", and I got to submit a self tape last night that involves drumming. It was great to be behind the kit, but also sad as I miss The Summer Replacements SO MUCH. We will play together again, gosh darnit...in 2021.
And now, it is time to help my son create arms for his Iron Spider costume, put something together for myself, cheer on my friends who are VOTING EARLY, make my plan for voting on Election Day, and, maybe eat something. Happy Halloween All! and VOTE!
Hey there, all! A week and a half ago, I was on set for short film "Geminus" as a psychologist helping a young man remember a traumatic moment. At the end of October, I'll be on (safe) set yet again for Live Source's "What Do I Owe You?" playing someone..not helping. Woo hoo!
I also will be returning as a soloist for the North Palm Beach Church of Christ Scientist next Wednesday. Honored to be asked back!
But don't you worry, I am still very happily with MABC and, after taking the month of August off, our regular virtual services have returned! Heck I have to record my solo for this coming Sunday, like, after I finish typing here!
Yesterday, I had a fab coaching with James Beaman and closed out the day with The Playground Experiment's Volume 125 as part of the cast of Maura Kelly's short play, The Census, about her experiences as a Census taker. It was thoughtful and hilarious, and, as usual, it was fantastic night of new and emerging work.
This morning, as it was for many NYC parents, was all about making sure my son could log on for virtual school orientation. He'll be going full remote for the time being, but I'll tell you, I gotta give props to his school for doing EVERYTHING they can to make it safe for the teachers and kids. This is a crazy time for school, so please, give your parent, teacher and school admin/staff friends some extra love, as well as all the kids. (Though my boy loved introducing his class to his "little kitten brothers" over Zoom. Something he would not have been able to do in real life :p)
All right, back to submissions, recording, and maybe even some more BOOKING!
If you would like to retain the services of this Mixed Mezzo, just slide on over to the contact page.
Have a pumpkin spiced day, all!
Amidst the chaos of the world right now, art is still happening.
While my church gig took a break for the month of August. a college friend asked if I could be part of her service, and I was much obliged. Last Sunday was I happy to sing for the Church of Christ Scientist, North Palm Beach. This week, MABC is back up for their regular, and still virtual services, so you can check me out singing a duet with my fab friend and collaborator, Richard Binder. You can check out the service at www.mabcnyc.org.
Last Monday, it was all about the PGE. The Playground Experiment is such a wonderful group offering a safe place for playwrights and screenwriters to test out new material. I have very happily been part of the last three Volumes and one "FUNraiser" called Drop and Give Me Ten. The talent on both the writing and acting sides is extraordinary and worth catching. I highly recommend checking out their website and checking out their events.
When not going through school reopening hoo ha and my son working on pandemihours (oh yeah, he's not sleeping either!), I managed to get in some self tapes and finally record some new material.
This is 100th Anniversary of (White) women getting the right to vote and earlier this year, in the "before times", I auditioned for what was to be a new Shaina Taub musical about The Suffragists at The Public (Thank you Evelyn at The Talent Express). For said audition, I had to learn a song sung by Carrie Chapman Catt about her then feelings about Alice Paul. This show sadly did not get to open-#thanksCovid-but I certainly hope it has a life in the future, as, working from just the clips I had to learn for the audition, it's got some excellent music and I'd love to see THE REST OF IT. (Yeah, and be in it. Can't deny that.)
But check out "This Girl" right HERE.
And from Suffragists to Psychologists, I am pleased to announce that I will be on a Covid-conscious set for the first time in FOREVER. Long story short, I've been more focused on live theatre and music of late, but thanks to the coronavid, I started checking out submissions for film and TV and got myself booked for a short film. It is called "Geminus" and is a thriller where I play psychologist Dr. Chester, helping a young man discover the truth behind his best friend's disappearance. We film this coming weekend and I hopefully will have some footage for you soon!
Lastly, I talk about three th-, okay, I talk about A LOT of things on social media, and I do not shy away from politics (blame my news junkie parents). SO, after a couple of out-of-state friends asked me if I was "okay" here in NYC because the far right would have their people believe that cities are on fire day in and day out, I wrote this post on the Book of Face. #NewYorkIsNotOnFire.
It's time to come together, dispute the lies, and create some art. Oh and VOTE.
In the meantime, here are some adolescent kittens.
Yes, this stunner came up when checking up on a self-tape I had just uploaded and, now I need to write a whole show just about who this woman is.
This character was pretty interesting to read for (fingers crossed!), and here's to more such roles. The submissions and callbacks are happening so here's to posting about a booking soon!
In the meantime, I have been lucky enough to continue work with The Playground Experiment. This fab group allows emerging and established playwrights and screenwriters to test out new material, and allows actors to keep their chops up and work with these playwrights and screenwriters in a fun and welcoming environment. I have done two evenings with them thus far, and have two more coming up. Check out Virtual Volume 123 pn their YouTube Channel 7pm, this Monday 8/10. Come on over!
I'm also continuing work on an original piece with stupidly talented alums of The Actors' Studio. These ladies are so smart and hilarious. And the stuff we are discovering going through and creating family trees - Shonda Rhimes would have enough material for four new shows, and we have just barely begun.
The church gig is taking a break for August, but I at least got to go out singing "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." (Of course, this was posted a few days after Jenifer Holiday sang it at John Lewis's funeral, so, of course, I wanted to apologize for not being her or Mahalia Jackson, but, so far, folks have dug it :p)
Madison Avenue Baptist Church has been having hard conversations for many many years, and, like many organizations looking to either continue or finally have these conversations, they started a "Roundtable On Race". They have invited folks of color from the church to share their stories and then there is further discussion. After telling a bit of my story to the pastor, she was all over my sharing, so, here's my video from the Roundtable On Race with Madison Avenue Baptist Church.
As for other work, feel free to check out the latest bits on my Facebook satire series Reince Priebus Tried...And other tales from the White House. It is hard to keep up with ALL the headlines, (My God, how do the journalists and editors do it?) but when I can, I write about it. Check it out!
And with that, I believe I am finally caught up.
ONE LAST THING!
I have taken to calling our adolescent kitten Flerken, "DJ Cool Flerk", and my son drew a portrait. Enjoy!
Live theatre will happen again, but until then, I love how more and more groups and companies are adapting. The Playground Experiment, which gives playwrights, screenwriters and actors the chance to test out new material in a safe place, continues it's "Volumes" over Zoom for the time being. I was thrilled to be part of Volume 121 this past Monday, reading the work of playwright and screenwriter Kendra Augustin. (Her piece about the business of show, got ALL the actors thinking #truth)
Tuesday, was also about new work, but about creating. A fellow Emerson alum, invited me to join her fellow Actors' Studio alums on a new piece about our DNA. Seeing as I have been talking about the whole "What are you?" culture in this country and been working to discover and share lost family history on my own for years, it is fantastic to start work on a new piece, collaborating on what will be 4 distinct stories about how race, genealogy and family are so embedded in the culture of our nation.
Today, I started the day with a fab coaching with James Beaman. As it more important than ever to get material up on line, I'm working on new material and trying to breathe some new life into older material, as well. He is fantastic for musical theatre, plays, and classical work, and I ended our Zoom catching inspired
Here's to the "new normal" til we cab get back to the old fashioned live way.
Peace everybody! ✌️
I might not post specifically about an audition clip, but, as Mercury Retrograde surely had something to do with how it long it took for me to finally get this one done, I feel like I need to share it. Sound issues, cords breaking, iMovie not letting me edit...Some of these videos actors need to make, now that our business is changing for a while longer, are just going to take longer than others, but I had some fun making it and hope you enjoy it. At some point, I'll record the whole song...and hopefully, it won't take quite as long...
As I have mentioned previously, I have a wonderful church gig. Due to Covid-19, said gig has been virtual. Now, there is a favorite hymn we do, that, while movies tend to have villains and sociopaths hum it, we just feel it needs puppets. So, of course, I had to make a puppet take for this past week. You can check it out here.
Hope you get a giggle out of it, during the time of corona. Wear your mask(s) and stay safe, folks.
Hey there, all! Above are our growing, and presently sleeping, kittens, Sonic and Flerken. I was rehearsing a new song (for me) tonight and they have proven to be a tough crowd.
Yesterday, though, I got the opportunity to record a story for the Queens Theatre storytelling series, curated by fab teller, David Lawson. The videos will be posted late summer/early fall and should be quite amazing. (Seriously, I am in ridiculously talented company.) One day, we'll be able to see all these wonderful stories told live again, but until then, keep an eye for the Queens Theater storyteller
series online. #keepingtheatrealiveifnotlive
I tend to lose track of a year by the end of March, and normally, I don't even need a pandemic to do that, but this year...raise your hand if you've also lost track of time and space...
In the meantime, when not being driven to distraction by the news, I have been doing Zoom readings of plays, including an adapted version of writer Rebecca Salomonsson's "Outrageous Fortune". Imagine Shakespeare's most famous tragic characters meet for group therapy, with Prospero as their moderator. Now imagine them doing it over Zoom. It was hilarious and fun and I was honored to play Prospero. I'm listening...
Speaking of reading, I FINALLY have VO clips available on line! HERE, you can listen to a little corporate razzle dazzle, while HERE is a, sadly timely, clip from a poignant radio play called Sidewalk Prayer. I played Mama, the grandmother of a teenage boy brought down by gun violence outside his own home.
ON THAT NOTE, let's close this entry by raising a glass to Richard and Mildred Loving. June 12th, 1967, the Supreme Court heard the case of Loving v. Virginia. And they ruled unanimously in their favor. As a daughter of mixed parentage, this story is close to my heart. The Supreme Court voted for love that day. They voted against hate, and bigotry. In this time of tumult, let's remember this happened. Let's raise up this story, to remind us justice was once done. And while the present administration would rather promote division and cruelty, if you've seen the top books being sold, how many people are looking up the massacre of Black Wall Street, and how many companies are deciding to mark Juneteeth as an official office holiday, I'd say we have signs of hope for the rest of the country. #blacklivesmatter #Lovematters
When not pandemibaking...
I have finally started a website! I just got these beautiful new headshots done by L Morgan Lee of BLUEphotography, and at last have a place to display them.
I've also been getting this self-tape thing DOWN. Madison Avenue Baptist Church, with whom I've been the alto for going on twelve years, like most churches, has gone virtual, so we are making videos of solos and hymns for the time being. (Someday, I'll release an outtake reel.)
There've been other opportunities, as well, for practicing this process: virtual choir and concert videos.
I've been lucky enough to work with Prospect Theatre Company and, thus, was asked to be part of their lovely video featuring Peter Mills' tune "Two Buoys". (I come in with the alto part and drums>)
Next, a dear friend - a jazz musician and choir director, presently living in Italy - started up Singers Without Borders and asked me to be part of this uplifting number: How Can I Keep From Singing?
Lastly, The Rigano Songbook asked 42(!) of their closest friends to help out with this wonderful song about an all too relevant and growing segment of our lives as we try to communicate with proper social distancing: Screen To Screen
The Rigano has a concert planned for 3/13...and then the world shut down. But far be it for them to not have a show. Yes, the Ides of March Extravaganza is now the Ides of APRIL and will be in virtual form. When those videos go up, I'll be sure to share here.
In the meantime, contact me here if you would like me to be part of YOUR virtual - and/or, eventually, LIVE - project.
Alexandra de Suze is a singer, actor, drummer who also writes a bit and occasionally makes silly videos