CHARMING at Don’t Tell Mama

Click on the date to make a reservation at

Don’t Tell Mama

343 W 46th Street (212) 213-4567

online:

Friday, April 25 at 9:30 PM          -         Monday, April 28 at 7PM

Friday, May 2 at 7:PM              -           Monday, May 5 at 7PM

 

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Biz-relationship: Wedding Planning

On April 18, 2011 – I got married.

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We literally planned the entire event in two months. How lucky we are to be artists, and because we were able to apply our creative juices to make it a special (and affordable) day. Hopefully you will feel inspired to approach your events with the same creativity and community.

My Spouse is primarily a Ballet dancer Stephen Hanna.  We are also both men, so planning a wedding in 2011 was relatively new territory all around. How to pay for it? Who wears the dress?

This also appeared as a blessing, as we had no traditions that we HAD to follow. We could create our own, and boy was that fun.

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These photos are by Laura Marie Duncan who was in Billy Elliot on Broadway with my husband.  Almost every vendor in our wedding was someone we knew, and a dear friend.  This made us feel surrounded by love the entire day.

First we decided to get married on a Monday, for several reasons: April 18 was the anniversary of our first date, also Monday is when most of our friends are off from their 8 show a week schedules, ALSO, we could get a venue for pretty cheap as Mondays are not always busy days for events!

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We go married in the beautiful town of Greenwich Connecticut because it was legally recognized there (little did we know NY would change their laws two months later). Also, when I googled towns in CT near NYC, Greenwich had the prettiest Town Hall. (truth) It’s a free venue.

So, we sent invites, but chose to invite people the “green” way, with online Paperless Post invites. Many people think this is a “ghetto” way to go, but I disagree, we were able to get the invites and feedback from people in the short amount of time we had to plan our wedding. It proved to be a guiltless, cost-effective way of getting the news out.

Then came the best part of it all, planning the actual event. I was inspired from photos I found on different websites, and wanted to give it an earthy vintage feel. I used Etsy to have our suits and ties custom built.  Ordered vintage vases, rented vintage books by the foot from the Strand, and had a florist friend order flowers for us wholesale.

The reception was organized by our dear friend Jeno at Manhattan Penthouse.  It was a glorious space!

We have these wedding rings designed and created by Jamie Wolf Designs that featured our birthstones on each side, Stephen’s being Topaz and mine Emerald, we decided to use Yellow and Green as our colors. Then all of our center pieces were focused around different yellow flowers.

What’s amazing about being an artist in NYC is all of our friends have amazing creative gifts. Instead of receiving physical gifts from some of our friends, we asked if they would give us their creative gifts. Some very special friends assembled all of our flowers on the day of, check out these arrangements.

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Then to make sure people knew their seating assignments, we assigned corresponding seeds and bulbs to the centerpiece. Everyone got to take home seeds and plant them, so they would continue to grow with our marriage.

Our “first dance” was with the Spangles Dance Company, we couldn’t take it too seriously, and no one expected it. I love a sweet surprise.

My Broadway pal Scott Barnhardt was in charge of the entertainment during our meal, and he and several of our talented musical friends put on a cabaret that was incredibly special to us.

Once the cake came out, the dining room became the dance floor. The cake provided by our generous friend Adrian Bailey was chocolate with Strawberries and whipped icing. It was to-die-for.

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Finally, our friend George Hahn was in charge of videoing the entire day, and later we had our friend Eric Anderson edit the video below for us to keep forever.

 

Planning a wedding can be a community event, and when your community is artists, why not make it a creative one. It certainly is one we will never forget.

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CHARMING: A Tale of an American Prince

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In 2013 most of my work was coming from two income streams: Coaching and Singing.

The hilarious thing about this business is that most people who knew me in my early days as a performer know me as a dancer. However, people who have known me in the last two years know me as an Actor/Singer.

8 years ago I couldn’t get some people to audition me for singing/acting roles, and now people who call me in won’t see me for roles that dance. “Pigeon-holed” frustrates many actors, but for people in this business it is necessary and sometimes completely unconscious.  When you’ve built relationships with people as a type of person, it takes time for them to see you as a different person.

Last year I was getting impatient.  With all of this singing work coming in, I thought about creating my own show.  Then one day I saw on Facebook that the Eugene O’Neill Center Cabaret Conference was accepting applications.  Just send some videos of you singing and an application it said.  I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I thought I was just putting possibilities out into the universe. Lo and behold the universe answered back and I was accepted.

I spent 11 days in August with some of the most inspiring, vulnerable, talented, and gutsy people I’ve ever met.  I became a friend/mentee of Donna McKechnie (an idol of mine), and John McDaniel, Wesla Whitfield, the most amazing collaborators/music directors and everyone at the Eugene O’Neill Center.

All we did for 11 days was wake up, eat, sing, eat, sing, eat, watch people sing, drink, and sing!  For 11 days!!  It was like Musical Theatre Mecca!!  While there I was sparked with an idea for my own show.  CHARMING: A Tale of an American Prince.  My music director, Tracy Stark, and I collaborated with Lennie Watts on creating an original “Once Upon a Time” tale and performed it at the Duplex last November.

To my surprise, the show was really good!  So good that CHARMING is getting a return engagement this Spring in New York City, and is being invited to venues around the city. Check out the Sizzle Reel:

The reason I am telling you all of this is to empower you to create your own work!  You may discover that your own creation can help you through whatever blocks, or joy, or frustration you need to work through, and it could help someone else too.

Sign up for my Monthly E-Mail NewBRETter to get information about reservations for April 25, 29, May 2, and May 5.

 

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Most Handsome

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In middle school I was voted Most Handsome in the Yearbook.  This was a surprise to me, and still is to this day.  Handsome to me was Luke Perry, and the cast of 90210. Handsome was not me.

I discovered that I spent more time focusing on all the things that were “wrong” with me:

I had no interest in sports.

Unlike Katy Perry, I kissed a girl and I hated it.

I was in love….with Miss Saigon.

I wasn’t paying attention to what others thought of me, until I realized that others thought of me.  Yet, I paid close attention the negative thoughts inside.

I still don’t always see it, but I trust that each day I can “Act as If.”  Besides, Beauty is subjective, so why not objectify yourself?

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Beaumont Enterprise Article

My hometown Newspaper, the Beaumont Enterprise, wrote a lovely article on me and my career.  It feels good to be recognized, and also a great perspective on a dream come true.  Check it out. Happy New Year!BE1

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