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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

 

 

Entries in Seattle (3)

Thursday
Apr142016

Call Answered: Kristin Piacentile: A Night With Janis Joplin at The 5th Avenue Theatre

Kristin PiacentileAfter seeing A Night With Janis Joplin on Broadway in 2013, I was delighted to now interview Kristin Piacentile, the "Janis" alternate in The 5th Avenue Theatre's production of A Night With Janis Joplin. I adored this show so much when I saw it on Broadway that I've been eager to still get inside the mind of one of the actresses who portray or have portrayed "Janis." I feel like the Lord just bought me a Mercedes Benz! A Night With Janis Joplin plays through Sunday, April 17 at The 5th Avenue Theatre (1308 5th Avenue Seattle, WA 98101). Click here for tickets!

For more on The 5th Avenue Theatre visit https://www.5thavenue.org and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

For more on Kristin be sure to visit http://kristinpiacentile.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. You are currently starring in the 5th Avenue Theatre's production of A Night With Janis Joplin as the alternate Janis. What made you want to be in this show? I wanted to be in this show because it was a challenge. Vocally it's the hardest thing I've ever done, and I wanted to prove to myself and prove to others that I'm capable. And of course I get the added benefit of portraying a strong iconic woman in rock and roll!

2. During one of the performances, you had to go on mid-way through the show because Kacee Clanton got ill. What was it like to have to take over so suddenly and how long did it take you to win the crowd over? Because this show is so demanding both Kacee and I have to watch each other's backs. That's why there's two of us, it's a team effort to play Janis eight times a week. I did her Act 2 and then my own show two hours later. Yes, I was vocally tired, but I was ready because as an alternate that's my job. And the crowd didn't need winning over, they already love Janis and her music! Mine was simply a different portrayal.

Kristin Piacentile as "Janis Joplin" in 5th Avenue Theatre's "A Night With Janis Joplin"3. Janis Joplin is one of the the world's greatest musical legends and this role has been performed by several actresses, so how do you make this role your own? I feel that Janis and myself have quite a lot in common so I can easily put myself in her shoes. It's not an impersonation, it's an interpretation. As long as we musically and physically lean in her direction, the rest I can just make my own.

4. What do you relate to most about Janis Joplin? What's your favorite Janis song you get to perform and what song do you wish you could perform, but is not in the show? Janis, though she'd been through a lot of hardships, loved to perform and connect with an audience like no other rockstar. To get the chance to go onstage and sing in front of thousands of people is exhilarating. All of her greatest hits are in the show, but my favorite song to sing in the show is "Maybe." It's the kind of song where you just lay it all out there and hope someone will come pick up the pieces.

Cast of 5th Avenue Theatre's "A Night With Janis Joplin"5. In A Night With Janis Joplin, you do sing Janis' "Piece of My Heart." If someone wanted to get a piece of your heart, how would they go about doing that? Oh, that's easy. You'd just have to feed me.

6. Another song you perform is "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out." When has there been a time in your life when you've been down and out, but kept it to yourself? How did you get through that time? This business is 99% percent rejection, so sure I've felt down and out. But I have to remind myself that it just takes one person to say "yes." And then it's all worth it.

Kristin Piacentile7. Speaking of getting through things, on "Call Me Adam" I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent everyday. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent every day? One of my NYU professors said that everyday you should be doing something to benefit your career. And that's what I'm working on. Everyday I go to the gym, or learn a new song, or take a piano lesson, or read a play. Everyday I make sure that I'm doing something involved in the arts that can help the future version of myself.

8. What made you and your family want to start the Piacentile Family Foundation? My family has always had a generous spirit and was raised to believe in helping others. Both my parents came from simple backgrounds and feel tremendously blessed both financially and spiritually. The foundation is a way for them to give back.

9. How did you decide which organizations you wanted to support? Why did you want to support so many instead of just one or two? The foundation supports several institutions and entities that reflect the passions of my parents. My dad started out as a local musician and my mom was a back up singer. The foundation support is divided between the performing arts and social impact organizations, including organizations providing healthcare internationally wherever it's needed. My dad is on the board for the Cherry Lane Theatre and my mom is on the board of The Transport Theater Group.

10. Who or what inspired you to be a performer? What do you hope to do that you haven't done yet? When I was young my mom would play CDs of Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Phantom of the Opera, all sorts of things. I think it was those long car rides and the joy of singing along that inspired me to perform. And my dream and goal is to originate a strong female character in a Broadway musical. One day all the pieces will fall into place, I just have to wait.

Kristin PiacentileMore on Kristin:

Regional: The Wedding Singer (Holly), Urinetown writer's new musical ZM: A Zombie Musical (Eugene O'Neill Theater), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Silvia), Jeff Marx's new musical Home Street Home (Eugene O'Neill Theater and Z Space, San Francisco), Sweet Charity (Charity), Big RiverLost in Love: The Air Supply Musical (World Premiere), and All's Well That Ends Well (Helena). Proud member of AEA-SAG-AFTRA. Back up singer in Tony® nominee Lauren Worsham's rock band Sky-Pony.

Monday
Aug032015

Call Answered: March to May: Darren Guyaz and Beth Wesche: The Water's Edge

March to May: Darren Guyaz and Beth Wesche I was first introduced to folk-pop duo March to May by Michael Stover of MTS Management Group who also got me hooked on Country singer Amy Rose. When I took a listen to March to May I was also hooked to them. I am so excited to be able to share this interview with you because not only is March to May a talented group, they are so enthusiastic about their music, how can you not get engulfed by their debut EP The Water's Edge!  Click here to purchase on Amazon and click here to purchase on iTunes!

For more on March to May be sure to visit http://www.marchtomay.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. Who or what inspired you to be musicians/singers? Both of us have been musical ever since we were children – music has been a huge part of our lives since before we can remember. Darren played classical piano as a child, and both of us sang in choirs from a young age. As a teenager, Beth started playing the harp and training as a classical vocalist. We’ve always loved music, but the spark didn’t really take off until we met each other and started playing together. We were definitely inspired by other artists, though – Tori Amos and Damien Rice have been big influences, in particular.

March to May: Darren Guyaz and Beth Wesche 2. You first met in December 2012, but didn't start collaborating as March to May until 2013. What was the moment when you were like "Let's do this?" We actually didn’t know we both played music until a few weeks after we met – then, we were out on the Washington coast with some friends and Darren started singing one of his songs and Beth started harmonizing. It was definitely a surprise for both of us, but things really took off. We started playing around with some instrumental and vocal riffs, and by March we’d written our first couple of songs. We played our first show in April, and it was pretty clear we had something special going on. By May, we’d made the decision to move forward as a band. So it took a few weeks for us to get started, but once the spark hit things moved pretty quickly.

3. What has been the best part about working together? The level of trust and communication we’ve been able to maintain around our music. Neither of us has really co-written before, so this has been a new experience, but a really wonderful one. We work together really, really well, which is something we’re deeply thankful for. There’s a kind of joy in just doing the work of the business together, as well as writing and playing and performing together. That’s a pretty rare thing to say about any partnership. So we count ourselves pretty lucky.

4. You just released your debut EP The Water's Edge. What excites you most about having your debut EP out, available, for the world to hear? It feels like we finally have something to offer the world in ways that our live performances can’t. When we play a song live, hearing the music is tied to being physically present in a space, watching two people embody the sound. That’s a pretty powerful experience – but you have to be there. Having music available online and on a CD means that anyone can listen to it, no matter when or where. It seems obvious, but it represents a HUGE difference in terms of how people can enjoy our music. In a funny way, it gives the music more of a chance to take on a life of its own.

5. What was your favorite part of the creative process in putting this EP together? Being able to get really into the process of how a song is made. We had a lot of say in the production of the songs, as well, which was exciting because it gave us the chance to look at the bones of each song and every little thing that fleshes it out to become the piece of music that you hear through your speakers when the recording’s done. When we play live, we’re thinking about the music much more intuitively – when we record, though, we’re looking at each piece of a song analytically. We’re not sure we’d say we like the recording process MORE than playing live, but it’s definitely a different – and interesting! – experience.

March to May: Darren Guyaz and Beth Wesche performing in concert6. If you could give people one reason as to why they should purchase The Water's Edge, what would that reason be? If you believe the reviews (and you should!) – The Water’s Edge is just a beautiful album. Enough said. It’s great for listening to on a mellow evening, and we’ve heard from several fans that it’s great road trip music! Click here to purchase on Amazon and click here to purchase on iTunes!

7. You are currently on tour on the West Coast. What do you like most about performing live and meeting your fans? It’s really inspiring to be able to play for people and hear about the different experiences they are reminded of by our music. Ultimately, what we’re aiming for is to write songs that people can identify with and use as lenses for the way they see or interpret the world. Touring is a lot of fun because we can talk to people from so many different places and so many different backgrounds, and still see our music having an impact. Fundamentally, we both also really like meeting new people, and touring gives us the opportunity to do that as well as to explore different parts of the world.

8. What's the best advice you've ever received? Play a show to an audience of five people with the same love, passion, and professionalism as you would to a crowd of 500. They won’t forget it.

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? That’s a tough one. Probably the ability to slow down time? There’s so much to do and see in the world! It’s a blessing and a curse.

10. If you could create your own signature drink, what would you call it, and what ingredients would you put in it? Haha, someone actually did that for us at one venue! Darren and I are both fans of the whiskey family – whiskey, bourbon, rye, scotch – so we’d definitely go in that direction for the base. We’d probably base it off of one of the best cocktails we’ve had here in our hometown of Seattle: bourbon for smoothness and strength, Angostura bitters, black tea for mellow complexity, apricot liqueur for brightness and depth, orange peel, and nutmeg. We’d call it "Embers," after the first song we wrote together.

March to May: Darren Guyaz and Beth WescheMore on March to May:

When is the right time to take a chance? Who are the right people? What are the right conditions? March to May was born under unusual circumstances. Neither Darren nor Beth realized the musical potential they shared when they first met in December 2012. It took several chance encounters -- passing vocal harmonies on a trip to the coast with friends, tentative instrumental work one cold winter evening, comments here and there on lyrics and melody -- before the spark hit. But when it did, it didn't take long for them to catch fire. By March 2013 they had co-written their first two songs, by April they had a paid gig under their belts, and by May they had a name and shows booked out into the months ahead. Both halves of the duo are passionate about the music they write and play, and view March to May as a constant evolution; from pursuing collaborations with other artists (with styles ranging from classical to hip hop and electronica) and keeping an ear attuned to the myriad ways they can expand the range and expression of their own music, their primary interest is to keep the music fresh and personal. And, above all, to keep love - love for the music, love for each other, love for the world they live in - at their core.

Darren GuyazMore on Darren Guyaz:

Darren roamed the northern Appalachians through his childhood, plinking & plunking the classical keys until he ventured West to his birth-state of Montana, settling in Missoula to finish a degree in Geography. One evening on an old, historic homestead in the hills north of town, he picked up a friend’s guitar and began strumming, teaching himself how to play a few chords, finger-picking his way through the frets, and forever changing his musical expression.

Soon after, he headed south on an open-ended ticket to South America, criss-crossing the Andes until finally resting for a month on a small goat farm in Patagonia. Here, on long rainy nights straight out of Márquez’s 100 Years of Solitude, he borrowed an old guitar from Matias, the owner of the little farm, and began writing songs in a small, dilapidated cabin over many glasses of cheap, Chilean red wine.

His vagabond days came to a close after falling in love with Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, where he now spends his days wandering the mountains, and his nights playing music with the newfound collaboration March to May.

Beth WescheMore on Beth Wesche:

Beth spent her formative years wandering through the Andes and across a smattering of U.S. states. The daughter of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, she stayed in each place just long enough to fall in love with it before moving on to the next adventure. Music wove its way through her life from an early age - she sang in choirs from elementary school to college, beginning classical voice training and starting to sing a cappella as she grew older. While living in Ashland, Oregon, she picked up the Celtic folk harp and found herself captivated by the sound. However, a few short years after beginning to play, she moved to the East Coast, leaving her harp silent in her family’s living room for five years and largely convincing herself that music would have to take a back seat in her life.

In December 2012, though, things changed: she moved back to the West Coast, settling a few short blocks from the little acoustic instrument store in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood where her harp was created many years before. Perhaps she should have taken it as a sign. Within a few short weeks, music surged back into the forefront of her life when she found another musician with whom she shared an unmistakable musical chemistry, and she began to question how she had ever left it behind to begin with. And thus, March to May was born.

Friday
Sep092011

Dina Martina

Dina Martina hanging with friends, Photo Credit: David BelisleI was first introduced to Dina Martina in 2005 when I came to Provincetown, MA with a group of friends. What we saw that night was something none of us had ever seen! Dina puts on a one of a kind show filled with music, comedy, dance, and gifts (using the soft "g" on gifts). Since then, every summer I have come to Provincetown and even a few times in NYC, my friends and I have continued to go see Dina Martina's brilliance! Now, to have the opportunity to interview Dina Martina is a real dream come true!

Since making her debut in 1989 at Seattle's Center on Contemporary Art, Dina Martina has been an instant success! She is an award winning performer who has performed around the world from London, Vancouver, Seattle, and Maui to San Francisco, Provincetown, and New York City. Dina has shared the stage with Modest Mouse, Built To Spill, Nina Hagen, and The Village People. In 1997, Dina was nominated for a Stranger Fringe Theatre Award for best solo show and in 1999 and 2004 won Footlight Awards from the Seattle Times.

Whenever Dina has a show, audiences race to get their tickets because she always sells out! You have a few opportunities to catch the hilariously brilliant talent known as Dina Martina:

In Provincetown, MA: Through Sept. 17 at The Crown & Anchor (247 Commerical Street)

In New York City: Sept 22-Oct 2 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Ave)

For much more on Dina Martina be sure to follow her at http://www.dinamartina.com, Facebook, Twitter!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? It's just something I've always done. When I was very young I won the Young Miss Las Vegas Pageant, which was a natural segue into doing commercials. I did cereal commercials and baby shampoo commercials and I was the Johnson's Thumbtack Girl from age 8 until I started spotting.

2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? McFadden & Whitehead.

3. How does your show at the Crown & Anchor differ from your previous shows and what can audiences expect with your upcoming show "Moribound" in NYC? The Crown & Anchor show is all-new, so I guess that part is different. Audiences can expect the same show I did in New York June 21st.

4. One thing many people enjoy at your shows is when you give away gifts (using a soft "g" of course). What made you decide to have gifts as part of your show and how did you decide what to give away? Why do you think the "Cheetos Lip Balm" is everyone's favorite? No fair, that's three questions.

1) It makes for good filler. 2) Sale items make the best gifts. 3) Peeps are hungry.

5. What is your favorite part of the creative process in putting a show together? Telling drunks to stop talking during the show.

6. Favorite place to practice/rehearse on your own? Next to the refrigerator.

7. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I learned I can't do the Chinese splits.

8. You have performed all over the country, what do you enjoy most about performing in Provincetown, Seattle, and  NY? In Provincetown, I love the saltwater fudge; in Seattle, the Hard Rock Cafe; in New York, the scaffolding.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? "Front to back." My mother always used to say that.

10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Wilford Brimley (sigh!)