music

Special Day

A short thing on why May 27th was a very special day for me

On May 27th an era kind of came to an end. I saved a 85 pages Word-Document as a PDF file, hit the copyshop and printed it out five times, had it bound and took it home. There I put three of the copies in an envelope, put the address of my university on there and got it ready to take to Leipzig the next day.

That, ladies and gentlemen, was my Master thesis.
It’s finished.
It’s dropped off at the Prüfungsbüro.

Now the era of not thinking about sex and musicals and feminism in musicals all day every day begins!

On Friday I took my mother to see my friend Eric Lee Johnson for his solo show debut at a small and very charming theatre in Berlin Schöneberg. I remember when we last got together for a coffee Eric told me he might sing a song by Marc Schubring that I translated for a student of his earlier this year (which marked the first time someone asked me to translate something). To be honest I was all ike: Yeah, let him talk – and let’s see if that REALLY happens. (sorry, Eric…)

Then last Friday I met a mutual friend of ours and she was like “You know, he’s gonna sing “Completely Different” – and Marc’s gonna be here!”. And then that’s what happened.

As I’m still in the very beginning of my translating it’s VERY exciting to hear my German words being sung by people who aren’t me torturing my neighbours with endless shouting and trying to be a soprano or a tenor… Only when someone that isn’t me sings those German words I can listen to it as a dramaturg and judge it the way I would do translations by others and that’s not only very productive, but also a rather healthy thing to do.

And last week’s Friday Eric sung those words and it was the first time ever someone sung a translation of mine without me being in the back producing it, organizing it, putting together musical rehearsals or trying to make everybody feel comfortable about the lack of said rehearsals…and it was A MA ZING!

Thank you, Eric!
And thank you, Marc, for the music that works so well (I think) with German!

That special Friday was more than a week ago today, but I’m still mesmerized and I’m sure I’m gonna treasure that day for a while longer. 😉 Even and especially after I’ve graduated from my current MA programme and I’ll be an unemployed dramaturg.

But before that will be the case my classmates are organizing a festival in Leipzig – and they need money, because – let’s be honest here – who doesn’t? We’ve 11 more days of startnext crowdfunding left, and honestly I think everyone should be wanting to be part of the funding crowd for a dramaturgy-festival. Who has ever seen such a thing?

Wanna help? Head over to: https://www.startnext.com/INTROLeipzig

 

 

Music Monday … with no music?

Late night #MusicMonday?

Yes, please!

After a weekend full of talking, meeting and sitting on trains travelling across the country (Berlin – Stuttgart – Hanau – Leipzig – Berlin in four days) I’m back home and thinking about music. (no, that’s wrong: I’m thinking about my MA thesis and about stuff.)

Anyways – I really don’t have to share a song with you today. I listened to Hamilton A LOT this past weekend plus whenever the wifi on trains was working I took advantage of my iTunes music subscription to listen to the Jasper in Deadland album that was just released last week.

 

So today I ask you: What are you listenting to these days? What’s your favourite musical theatre associated song theses days? What’s something you return to over and over and over again?

These are a few of my favourite things …. July 2015

People who have been around this blog for quite some time now might be familiar with a series of posts I was sticking to for quite a while. Weekly recaps noting my favourite things or just the things I did in general this particular week. When I changed schools last fall and transferred to my school in Leipzig while still living in Berlin this grew rather boring pretty soon. Because typing in “I was on the train for a HUGE amount of time” just wasn’t very…..interesting…..although the last one of these posts hasn’t been published all too long ago….(check it out here: My Week #50) So let me introduce you to a new series of favourite-posts – the monthly ones. (yay!) Because when all these beauty-fashion-lifestyle bloggers can do these favourite-things, then why can’t a theatre-girl, right?

Favourite Night out with the Shows

Actually this is quite hard….I had so many good and challenging and pleasurable nights out this month…Starting with not really July, but almost and nonetheless a special night, the opening night of our Freischütz from HMT Leipzig shown at Uni Jena where they host a Hofoper open air every year. It was cold and it started to rain rather heavily with about 7 more minutes to go and everyone had to be relocated into the university’s big auditorium, but still it was great to see all our singers weeks after our final performance in Leipzig. My classmate and I, we are definitely #overlyattacheddramaturgs! Other favourites of the month were seeing the graduation piece of my dear friend who is graduating from his MA dramaturgy program in Ludwigsburg this summer, having my mind shifted and queered while seeing Cabaret in Bad Hersfeld and – of course – the night I had with Lotte in Wetzlar.

Favourite Night in with the Show-tunes

Recently I returned to power-listening to Jesus Christ Superstar. I don’t know what this is saying about me….And I am OBSESSED with especially “Stronger” and the ensemble version of “Play” from Finding Neverland (found on spotify, until my copy of the CD arrives) – my love for “Believe” wore out a little after watching this video for about a hundred million times… What also kept me entertained was the Broadway Summer 2015 Playlist on Spotify promoted and hosted by Playbill.com. Good thing especially since I kind of suck with putting together playlists. Bad thing for a dramaturg, I know.

Favourite Read

Sadly I haven’t made much room for reading real books this month, but I love going trough all the answers young women in theatre gave to the question “What did it mean to you to see so many women win Tony Awards this year?” over on The-Interval.com – I am also featured with my personal answer. The Interval is a very favourite read of mine in general….let me especially recommend to you the interviews with Jeanine Tesori and Kelli O’Hara who both won Tonys this year with Jeanine Tesori making history in the #genderparity department.

Favourite Thing on Twitter

I can’t name one single favourite tweet of the month although @Actor_Friend’s tweet I’ve posted a picture of over on my facebook page is pretty damn hilarious. But my favourite hashtags however must be #drunkopera (where you put alcohol and opera titles together and have LOADS of fun!) and, of course, #YayHamlet because this is just so so so incredibly good marketing in the 21st century! (expect a post about that soon….) And on the same not, Lin-Manuel Miranda has been killing it on twitter lately, once again.

Favourite Youtube-Video

I’m not a big watcher of fun videos on there, but I watch ALL the show videos, usually. Lately I’ve returned to watching Emmy Raver-Lampman’s version of “All of Me” at 54below:

And Margo Seibert asking the single most important question of every single’s life:

And speaking of Youtube….if you want good music (sometimes new musical theatre songs from showcases) delivered by good performers in good quality from New York – go and subscribe to FamousInNY.

Favourite Netflix Watch

Mid-August my Mom and I go on a two week long road trip to South England (Berlin – Antwerp – Brighton – St. Ives – Bath – London – Bruges – Berlin) and I anticipation of this trip I’ve just binge watched the first season of Broadchurch on Netflix. Boy! Beautiful and so addictive!

Favourite Moment

It was a very dear friend of mine’s birthday (actually it was a number of my favourite people’s birthdays…) late this month and after he was giving me one of my most hysterical ugly cries in the last year with the small present he hid for me birthday back in February I wantd to give him something “special”, like a more ideally special thing. And I think, because seeing him open it and being excited about it, was very, very joyful! (and: has it brought you any bad luck because I gave it to you early?) Also seeing my amazing friend K. in Frankfurt mid-July when I was there for a dramaturgy students meet-up and meeting up with an aquaintance I’ve know for AGES (we’re talking me being 16 when we met!) what also very nice. In general July somehow was about meeting new people and I loved it. Plus: I got my own business cards. Only 50 of them for a start because I’m sure somethings will chance once I’ve graduated next summer, but….YAY! They are beautiful and I’m very proud.

Special-Favourite: The Ugly Cry of July 2015

This one is quite easy. People might know that – opposit to what I appear like – I can be quite a teary person. But I like to keep the tears either inside my room while listenting to something or inside a theatre. So when a friend of mine first shared “When your feet don’t touch the ground” from Finding Neverland with me on facebook there it was: my ugly cry of the month!

What were some of your favourites in July? I LOVE to get to know new things!

My Week #34, Apr 21st – 27th

what I saw

two (dance/movement) performances during the IN ZUCHT Festival by HZT Berlin. And tonight I’m gonna see a third one as well as Gob Squad’s Western Society at HAU 2.

what I read    

Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the first three interviews from Lyn Cramer’s book Creating Musical Theatre: Conversations with Broadway Directors and Choreographers.

what I listened to
The recording of The Bridges of Madison County – what else?

what I did

not too much exciting things. Met a couple of friends and spend the Monday after Easter Day on a bike ride with my Mom.

And I finally had another Krimidinner performance to manage yesterday. Yay!

What did you do?

Are you curious and can’t wait for my posts to see what I thoughts of the shows I saw? On the Theaterkind facebook page I posted pics of the ticket stubs with small thoughts for every show I saw – head over there and check it out!

Have a great new week starting tomorrow!

My Week #33, Apr 14th – 20th

what I saw

Common Ground by Yael Ronen and Company at Maxim Gorki. The 30th show/performance I’ve seen this year! Common Ground is – in my opinion – this strongest of the three company-productions I’ve seen under the ‘supervision’ of Yael Ronen.

Sarg Niemals Nie – a rather German performance of contemporary musical theatre. It is funny, a very German sense of humour and I had fun although I had some trouble with my ticket beforehand and I was hungry and had a headache (all these cliché girls stuff…)

what I read    
I actually read the novel The Bridges of Madison County and – oh boy! – weird. But a quick and easy read on a Sunday….

Heiner Müller’s Hamletmaschine which I’ll read again after I read the original Shakespeare Hamlet once again.

what I listened to
The recording of The Bridges of Madison County was released digitally last Tuesday and that was it. I’m literally glued to everything that actually plays music, it’s playing non stop. (exept for working and workign out in fitness classes and stuff) Just for a mere 20 minutes or so it was interrupted by the Beautiful recording.

what I did
I met a lovely friend whom I haven’t seen in a while and we had extravagant hot chocolate and a great talk about (musical) theatre and Germany.

Actually I had a pretty great time with other people in general – I tend to enjoy the company of others more in springtime.

 

What did you do?

Are you curious and can’t wait for my posts to see what I thoughts of the shows I saw? On the Theaterkind facebook page I posted pics of the ticket stubs with small thoughts for every show I saw – head over there and check it out!

Have a great new week starting tomorrow!

My Week #32, Apr 7th – 13th

what I saw
Martin Nachbar’s reconstruction-reenactment-lecture-performance-mash-up Urheben Aufheben at Sophiensaele – including a pre-show lecture held by the woman who graded my BA thesis last year…

the last performance of Xerxes at Komische Oper Berlin (at least for this and the next season) – although it was marked as sold out we scored great tickets at the box office rush.

She She Pop’s latest performance Frühlingsopfer in which they are performing with their mothers.

what I read    
not as much as I would have liked to be reading, but I bought books I need for my admission exam in May.

what I listened to
the concept recording of Frank Wildhorn’s Artus – Excalibur which I’m going to see in St. Gallen next month, the Beautiful OBCR (especially You’ve Got a Friend, I Feel the Earth Move and Beautiful) and when I found a website where you could get sneak peeks of the gorgeous recording of The Bridges of Madison County – and that was actually the end of a weekend not listening to music. 😉

what I did
I brought home not only the things I bought in NYC and a bunch of playbills, but also a cold – so once the cold got started I was mostly hanging around listening to music. I also took a placement exam for an English class at university and then applied to said class and got into “Advanced English for Academic Professionals 1a” – weird name, but it starts next week and I’m excited, because I kind of enjoy taking language classes with high levels (I really don’t seem to enjoy beginners’ classes – I remember failing miserably in learning Russian….). For the weekend my loveliest of all former co-workers (from university) came to Berlin for a visit. We had a ball seeing Xerxes together! Plus I spend the Saturday with two other very dear friends. (note: as soon as my cold wore off I had a rather good time.)

 

What did you do?

Are you curious and can’t wait for my posts to see what I thoughts of the shows I saw? On the Theaterkind facebook page I posted pics of the ticket stubs with small thoughts for every show I saw – head over there and check it out!

Have a great new week starting tomorrow!

Favourite Friday: Seeing the Joy

During Beautiful (both, the show AND the song!) I was lucky enough to be able to see both Jessie Mueller in her long blue dress at the grand piano AND the conductor Jason Howland. I could also see that the piano wasn’t so much of a piano, it was pretty much castrated (what would the Girl of Once say to that? 😉 ) – but I guess still mostly everyone agrees on Jessie Mueller doing an amazing job mimicking playing the piano.

Anyways, during this impressive piano-part towards the end of the song – I was able to see the joy of making music and the joy of acting as if one is creating music and, most of all, the love for music.

And this, my friends, is an important part of the theatre communities across the globe: We (mostly) love what we do and with some people you are lucky enough to see that!

You can get a sense of Ms. Mueller’s part of loving the music in this video!

What do you love?

Are you able to do what you love most?

Commenting … Piracy

I don’t really know how I ended up on this blogpost by Jason Robert Brown from 2010, but I did and I read it and then I clicked some links (like the one to Georgia Stitt’s blog and also this post over here. I also read some comments from people stating that illegally trading sheet music online is not so much of a crime, but basically everyone should be happy about this trading, because basically it is free promotion of work. An important point to these comments was also the assumption of the changings a society is going through because of the internet.

And yes, of course – the internet (and our non-stop of using it) pretty much gives us an impression of unlimited information being accessable ALL THE TIME and basically for free. I mean – who actually goes ahead donating something to Wikipedia like they suggest each time you read an article over there?

I am critical about just streaming stuff online (although, of course, I’ve done that – I’m a German girl with very limited access to British/American TV shows in their original form – but I remeber streaming being not as illegal as downloading, although it still is sharing of something you don’t own. Today I’m not comfortable with that anymore, especially since the iTunes store and things like Watchever (a kind of German Netflix) and other streaming concepts you pay for changed the situation so much) – right now I’m in the very blessed position to be able to pay for any kind of intellectual property (of others) I want to have a part of.

I adore most of the people making art, creating something and I don’t know why I shouldn’t pay them. I know, that one day when I might create something to my make living with day, I definetely will hope that people want to pay for what I created – because otherwise I just could go home and be sad and eat the books and CDs I own.

Coming from Europe copyright issues and intellectual property used to be a crucial thing to think about a few years back. When a somewhat new political party, the “Piraten” (pirates), suddenly appeared and made its way into four communal governments (Berlin, my city and my county, being one of them), everyone was buzzing about paying for stuff on the internet issue. What the Piraten wanted was basically: Everything on the internet (in terms of information, media, etc) should be free. Back then I identified much more with the idea of being a writer than I do today and I was shocked about how people could ever have ideas like that in the first place. There are artists who (partly) are making a living off their intellectual properties, the things I created – and most of them aren’t like “Let’s make ALL the money!”.

During my studies and writing essays and papers about performances I’ve asked a number of artists if they were able to give a video or a certain picture to me. They were all terribly helpful and they’d gladly send the things I requested to me. I actually once contacted a publishing house/agency/licensing company for theatre plays and musical theatre librettos, because I wanted to write a concept for an admission exam of one of the things they have the rights for. I explained myself and asked for the German piano score – and they actually send me the piano score and the libretto in both German and English and a CD (I had to give it back after I finished working with it). What I want to say by telling these stories: People are helpful. While so many pro-trading-people state “But that’s the only way we can get things we can’t buy!”, I have to say: We can ask. Most of the times. And if the creators don’t want us to have certain things, we should respect them – we want their stuff, because we like and respect* them as artists in the first place, right?

While I was reading through all these comments and articles about piracy and intellectual property (again, most of them from 2010 – which mostly is for me something like: not that long ago….when I started my undergrad studies….but then it’s like: dang! four years ago!) – Playbill.com shared a news on their twitter that the Dramatists Guild’s anti-piracy commitee will host a first anti-piracy awareness event. For me as not being a part of the cultural environment of US theatre/music artists that name might sound weird (like cancer awareness day….only that people can die of cancer, while online piracy is “just” a crime and totally rude), but I am glad that people and artists stand up for their rights against a front of economists and internet-ideologists and this “everything for free”-mentality.

 

* A little thing off topic regarding the mentioning of respect. On a German musical theatre message board I just had a fight about respect because I critized an (ex)record producer living in New York who writes about Broadway shows for a German musical magazine. Me and him are not on the same page regarding many – to me – crucial points like Gender, emanzipation and directing of theatrical performances (as far as I can tell from his writing in that magazine, which is the only way I can know and critize “him”). Anyway, the fact that I was criticizing him kind of created a (very small, but still) kind of shit-storm on me about how I (as the the prococious 23 year old I am) on earth could even think about critizing him who is not only is more than 50 years older (and therefore wiser) than I am, but also knows Broadway – basically I was lacking respect. This part of the discussion was the nicer one, this morning I woke up to a post about me being part of “Generation hubris” and thinking of me as THE musical theatre pro because I’ve been to NYC twice now in my life. And when I was like: Wait, you’re telling me I should pay respect to this critic (which I do for everything, but not for his journalism….I simply don’t agree with the kind of journalism he does – which should be no problem, right?), but what are you doing here? Do you even know me outside of the 88 comments I posted on this message board? I guess not. When I addressed these things, all I got was: Yes, and this hyper-sensitivity is also a big part of this generation!

And I’m like: Respect people! Aren’t we all one community? Aren’t we all theatre people?

I also wanted to state that (for me) respect is actually very different from criticizing. I can respect someone and still criticize him/her, because that’s how each and everyone of us can become a better person. No-one will ever respond to criticizm expressed in a disrespectful manner.

My Weeks #31, Mar 24th – April 6th

what I saw
are you ready for some craziness? As you know I went to New York and we were seeing a bunch of shows.
I saw Once for a second time. Then one of my dreams came true by seeing Bridges of Madison County, Idina Menzel, LaChanze and Anthony Rapp in If/Then, the latest revival of LesMiz, Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster’s show Jasper in Deadland Off-Broadway, Violet, Bullets over Broadway, Beautiful, Rocky, the concert Aaron Lazar had at 54below and once more The Bridges of Madison County. I’ll try and get thoughts on each and every show up as soon as possible.

what I read    
Jennifer Tepper’s book The Untold Stories of Broadway. Once more, I’ll think about getting thoughts on that up as soon as possible.

what I listened to
mostly Parade and JRB stuff and I kept listening to the four released songs from the Bridges cast recording on Soundcloud over and over again. (I’m obsessed with ‘It All Fades Away’), but I also needed to listen to In The Heights and Violet and the newly digitally released recording of Beautiful.

what I did
Well….with that trip to NYC guess what. 😉 I went to see the city and breathe in the city and had incredibly nice talks and experiences with other fellow theatre-goers and embraced one of the languages I’m so feeling at home in once again. I am so grateful for having this opportunity and having been able to see all these shows and experience all the stuff (thank the Lord, that one day I have to decided to get fluent in English!) – which makes my personal as well as professional live so much richer!
I promise I’ll write a little something about New York outside of theatres. When the time is right.
Plus: I came up with kind of exciting ideas for this blog. Let’s see how they’ll be made real.

 

What did you do?

Are you curious and can’t wait for my posts to see what I thoughts of the shows I saw? On the Theaterkind facebook page I posted pics of the ticket stubs with small thoughts for every show I saw – head over there and check it out!

Have a great new week starting tomorrow!

My Week #30, Mar 18th – 23rd

what I saw
Gypsy at the Red Rose Club, directed by Martin G. Berger. For my thoughts on that clicke here: Thoughts.
Super Night Shot, Gob Squad, HAU 1, a little (rather) cool.
Iphigenie auf Tauris, directed by Barrie Kosky
Ohne Titel Nr. 1, (directed) by Herbert Fritsch, Volksbühne am Rosa Luxemburg Platz

what I read    
my lovely friend S. gave me a book for my birthday. Glücklich die Glücklichen by Yasmina Reza, I’m not too far in, but….

what I listened to
Big Fish, Violet and recently I returned to Bonnie & Clyde because I’m waiting for the Artus recording from St. Gallen.

what I did
I finished my Hebrew class and I liked it (if anyone for you is reading this: today at the gym there was a girl in front of me with לקוות tatoo-ed to her neck), I worked and went to see stuff in theatres and yesterday I got all messed by from my excitement to go to NYC next week!