Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kristin: Rude Awakening

For me, Monday mornings are unlike the rest of the week. I find them stilted, sleepy, and full of resistance. It's good that Wade and I have conference calls first thing, or there would often be little motivation to put warm feet onto cold floors.

But this is a Monday morning for the books... I went to open the script to hammer out some thoughts on a scene deep in Act II and found that the script is gone.

Yep. The lovely electronic file is no longer where I had it. In fact, it's not anywhere.

And, of course, that structure is replicated on my back-up disk.

At least there's a paper copy... but there's nothing worse than having to retype and format sixty pages in script software I can hardly navigate.

Is it too late to go back to bed and start over?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

a big move! to brooklyn

SO.... we just moved to Brooklyn! Williamsburg, where things are a bit greener, quieter and quite frankly Portlan

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kristin: Research Pitfalls

It’s a fine line between ‘research’ and ‘procrastination’…

Kristin: A Good Technology Day

While most days I think that technology is making us faster but not necessarily happier, there are days when I thank the big circuit board for it. Like this morning for instance. I logged off my three-times-a-week online call with Wade and thought about how cool it was that I could pull out my laptop, sign onto a free little program, and ‘call’ Wade. We can talk for as long as we like without worrying about the wrath of $.45 a minute when those coveted ‘anytime’ minutes deplete. We can drag and drop pictures and documents and they just magically appear across the country. We can even see each other if we want.

It’s no substitute for the real thing, but it’s definitely one in the ‘technology working for the good of the whole’ column.


Writing a musical where the collaborators live on opposite coasts is challenging. There’s something about face-to-face ideas and energy that help the work take shape. But after a productive and exciting two weeks in NYC, my Metro Card expired. My credit card, too. I was so grateful to come home to Portland — home to my squishy bed, crazy cat, bike lanes, farms full of peaches, mountain views, three-dollar beers, and above all, some personal space and quiet. The constant noise and elbow rubbing of the Big Apple is inspiring, but here in my Pacific Northwest hideaway is where I can get my work done.

And the work IS getting done. The first act is kicking some serious ass, if I do say so myself.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pivotal Scenes by: Kristin

Pivotal scenes are often the ones you don’t see coming. They sneak up on you when you think you’ve gotten them wrangled, and reveal themselves to be so much more than you’ve ever imagined. Once they explode like that, the smaller pieces also crack open. The sound is beautiful and deafening all at the same time.

And there’s no way out of it, but through.

Another cup of coffee please, I’m going in.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Joe's Pub

Cabaret show with Justin Bond and Amber Martin (a Portland favorite).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Research...

Off to visit the world famous freak show at Coney Island. Research you ask?? Yes... research.

Behind The Scenes...

While Kristin & Wade work and re-work each element of the show our two managing producers are out and about doing all of the behind the scenes business dealings. Contracts, investors, research, budgeting lots of hard work being done by these two fantastic producers who came to the project for their love of theatre, the love of this story, and their passion to move it forward. Introducing to you David Nevell & Samantha Swaim.

David is an actor, director, producer, teacher, and voice/dialect coach working both nationally and internationally.

Samantha is a producer, production manager, event manager, and fundraising consultant working in non-profit and for profit production.

Not all fun & games...

While it may seem that we're out playing all over New York, there is also a lot of work going on here. We've been clocking ten-hour days filled with typing key pads, scribbling notes, and exploring music. It's been exciting to work for two weeks in the same room and talk through things face-to-face. Otherwise we share ideas through our emails, talk via skype, or chat late at night on instant messenger... but those can never replace the energy of actually working in the same space. The place we are working in is in Washington Heights and we've been able to luxuriously dedicate one room to work. Lined with books on one side, my keyboard and recording equipment on the other and a small writing desk for Kristin, it has proven to be a successful working space.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Highly recommend this totally amazing 360 degree theatre experience that captures the audience and brings them into the explosive world of Fuerzabruta.

The Lottery

While in NY we have all been trying to see as many shows as possible. A few observations: there is a lot of Disney being produced and Times Square on a weekend is insane, packed with tourists all clamoring for that special ticket. And because of observation #1 the majority of those filling Times Square have kids in tow. It's a mad scurry of activity.

Some rush to the TKTS booth and stand in line all morning to get discounts on tickets. Some rush from theatre to theatre asking about rush tickets, student discounts, or cancelled seating. Some linger by the theatre door looking for an extra ticket from another patron. And then some go to the lottery. The lottery is offered in several theatres, it's a discounted ticket, front row, and is often the cheapest seat in the theatre. But they're not always easy to get.

In our case, we went to participate in the lottery for "In the Heights." We arrived early and sat on the stoop of the theatre. Patrons buzzed about looking for every possible entry option. At noon a box office staffer offered up slips of paper for us to enter. Then we waited as more and more folks droped in their little slip of white paper. What had only been a few slips, multiplied exponentially. At 12:30 the names were drawn with only 22 seats available. With each name called, a cheer came from the winner as if they just won the NY State Lottery. Quickly 13 names were choosen to fill the 22 open seats for $26.50 a piece. Ours was not one called. Luckily, there were still a few seats available so we slipped in just before curtain.

Summer on Broadway is buzzing! So exciting.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shakespeare in the park...

After a great breakfast meeting and a thunderstorm that cooled down the city, we headed for a stroll through Central Park. As we rounded the corner, heading toward the Turtle Pond, we came across a line. But not just any line. This was a line of dedicated theatre patrons who had been standing in the rain all morning in an effort to secure tickets to experience that which has become a NY institution—free Shakespeare in the Park. But these days, the fabulous people at the Public have rounded out their free offerings with a blend of Shakespeare and modern text. Tonight's show was Hair. And this line that had begun to form at 6AM was buzzing. We found ourselves in a moment of sheer luck. The usher told us that they were about to open the box office to release tickets. If we jumped in line right then we could probably get seats. Such luck! So we jumped in. Thanks to a rainy morning chasing away the normal line of hopeful patrons we were able to get a handful of tickets. We made a few quick phone calls to friends offering to share our bounty... luckily Noah and Andy were available to join us.

Both Noah and Andy are fantastic actors and singers who were involved in the 2005 production of ONE in Portland. It was a fun little reunion, rocking out in Central Park!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tribute To Our Dear Friend...

While walking in SoHo the other night we all paused as we noticed across the street a familiar business, yet somehow misplaced... Our fabulous friend Dr. Thomas Barretto is at Eyes on Broadway in Portland, but we found another in New York. Thanks for joining the journey with us Tom!


Yesterday the temperature broke as a thunderstorm rolled in to provide some much needed relief to the hot and humid city... so we took advantage of the cool weather and headed out for some research. Visited The Strand for some books, Virgin Records for some CD's, and strolled around the East Village before dashing home to avoid the abnormally large raindrops showering the city.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Last night we got to see our friend Lenelle Moise in her new Off-Broadway show, "Expatriate." Lenelle was the writer of "Cornered in the Dark," a Drammy-winning piece produced by Insight Out Theatre Collective in Portland, OR back in 2004. The same company that we produced "ONE" with in 2005. It's a small world after all...

Further adventures of the Post-It Pad

Well... the Post-It pad adventure continues... it has proven to be very useful!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

[title of show]

Last night (with our Post-It pad in tow) we headed over to the Lyceum Theatre to see the fabulous new musical... [title of show]. We laughed and cried over and over at this play that chronicles the making of itself. A musical about two guys writing a musical... trying to get to Broadway. There were so many fabulous moments that we could relate to, laugh at, and cry with. As we sat in the audience, with our Post-It pad flip chart poised... we (book writer and composer) sat and watched them (book writer and composer) explore the road to Broadway. It was a weird duality that was a total thrill. We highly recommend catching it when you can!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Post-It Pad Adventure

While talking through each scene of the play we both had an urge to start mapping, tracking, and visually getting a representation of the piece in a bigger sense... so on a hot and humid day in NY we decided we needed to find an Office Depot... for a Post-It pad flip chart! The solution to everything - a flip chart. We ventured out to the streets where children were running through fire hydrants, folks dashed from shaded spot to shaded spot in a futile effort to stay cool... and where we discovered that the closest office depot was 112 blocks south of us. The subway was a cool and convenient way to traverse in the heat to find our mecca. Once we had our new magic tool, we decided... while in Times Square... we should see a show before we ventured back to our writing studio. So the flip chart came with us, into the Lyceum Theatre where it comfortably took it's seat next to us in B10, where lucky for us... no one was sitting.

Kristin and Wade in NY

Kristin's journey was a success... and now at 1:30pm on a Friday afternoon we sit across from each other at the same table.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Leaving... on a jet plane...

After a fabulous morning visiting with fellow artistic souls Jack & Sarah Greenman and their new beautiful baby boy Walker Star... we dash off to PDX to find our first delay... air traffic control problems... our plans are to be in NY before midnight... let's hope this is only a slight hiccup.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


With 2,898.39 miles between us it's easy to get lost in our own worlds of creativity... but in one week Kristin will be in NY, removing the distance and putting us right in the middle of eachother's feverish whirlwind. Looking forward to the collision of energy, ideas, and inspiration. In the meantime words, story, characters, arc, music, notes, lyrics, words, story, characters, arc, music, notes, lyrics, words, story, characters, arc, music, notes, lyrics...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Transcontinental Epiphanies

How do you know you're having a good creative day?

When you and your collaborator have the same exact thought at the same exact time with the span of the United States between you.

Ah ha!

Late start...

Worked last night until 6am on a pivotal song. 2:30 in the afternoon... just getting up and getting back to the keyboard. Exploring some great new sounds.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Four Noble Truths for Writers

1. Writers write

2. Writing is a process

3. You don't know what your writing will be, until the end of the process.

4. If writing is your practice, the only way to fail is to not write.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Friend to Write With...

Introducing Miles... he loves to hang out when I'm working... sits on the keyboard causing a little trouble here and there... chasing my fingers on the keyboard. But when he's had enough of work he enjoys the window sill, where he can keep an eye on the birds in the neighborhood while still keeping an eye on my progress.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


summer starts in NY wiith a humid 100 degrees, green lightning storms all night long and wind, oh wind!!!!

the endless river of faces on sidewalks and crowded trains, become dotted with perspiration,

42 st. station after audition, loud multi cultural drum circle in the tunnel pounding ancient tribal rhythms, frenetic, yet in deep cooperation, matches the infinite river of faces from tribes around the world pouring out of the rush hour A train to the beat of the drums, like gears we mesh- the in and the out- the tides of travelers, some with children in tow, me with my guitar and groceries....

walking to the river to compose on the bank, I run into top broadway producers, from previous projects they know me by name.... i am surprised and delighted, we talk of ONE and how well it is going, they are genuinely enthusiastic and I gratefully head to the Hudson to play.... glad to be in NYC....

Monday, June 23, 2008


Morning or Night?
Wade: Crepuscular, Liminal moments ie: Dawn, Dusk, the inbetweens....
Kristin: Morning

Ocean or River?
Wade: Ocean
Kristin: Ocean

Hot or Cold?
Wade: Hot springs in the snow, or icy water on a hot day.....
Kristin: Just right

Coffee or Tea?
Wade: Tea.
Kristin: Coffee

Jazz or Opera?
Wade: Jazz...Jopera?
Kristin: Jazz

Yoga or Aerobics?
Wade: Guess.....:) OM
Kristin: Yoga

Green or Yellow?
Wade: Green!!!!
Kristin: Blue

Cloud or Sun?
Wade: Rainbows....
Kristin: If it's April after a long winter, sun. If it's October after a long, hot summer, cloud.

Sunrise or Sunset?
Wade: Crepuscular! Yay, I got to use that obscure word twice in one post!!! Sunrise all the way, from the rose garden in Portland.... wow.
Kristin: I like the feeling of sunrise, but the lighting category award certainly goes to sunset.

Water or Mountain?
Wade: Water....I'm a pisces.
Kristin: Mountain

More Questions...

What are you currently reading?

"Commentaries on the the Dhammapada" the Mother, and "Savitri" the epic poem by Sri Aurobindo

What musician are you listening to the most these days?

Ravi Coltrane, saw him live the other night, wow.... Jazz amazingness, harp, piano, tabla, sitar, bass, drums and of course ravi on sax.... he played all Alice Coltrane originals,super spiritual blends of jazz, east indian music and hymns..... yummmm....

What piece of technology do you rely on the most?

my subway card :)

Last play you saw?

"Top Girls" by Caryl Churchill on Broadway, two nights ago, sooooo good!! Starring Marissa Tomei, Martha Plimpton, etc.... some really incredible performances....

I would recommend...

On Broadway: Passing Strange, August: Osage county, Spring Awakening, Top Girls....
On Film: I'm not there, the story of the weeping camel, William Gazecki Documentaries

Something yummy... Dried Gooseberries!!! Blueberries!!!!

Favorite place to read a book...
By the Hudson, near the George Washington Bridge and the little red light house... there is a perfect patch of grass next to the river where all you can see is trees and flowers and river, and hear no cars.....

What were you doing yesterday at noon?

Writing Music.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wade... on writing music

Having fun. Yesterday I worked from 10am til 5am last night, wild.... I dreamt about it all night long, B flat over F, playing scales, working it out...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What are you up to right now... Kristin?

What are you currently reading?
"Hakawati" by Rabih Alameddine

What is your favorite blog?
I've been reading a lot of "The Dish," Andrew Sullivan's blog for "The Atlantic"... I also laugh a lot at "Stuff White People Like" and that I do is a likely entry for the site...

What musician are you listening to the most these days?
Charlie Parker

What piece of technology do you rely on the most?
The printing press... when in doubt, there's nothing better than heading to the books for an education

I would recommend...
Julian Schnabel's "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly"
Todd Haynes "I'm Not There" for eating in Portland... dinner at Toro Bravo and brunch at Beast.

Last play you saw?
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival... they got an actual VW bus on stage...

Photo of Oberon & Puck in OSF - Midsummer Nights Dream

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Exploring the story...

Why rewrite the book you might ask?

An ancient Sanskrit treatise on art, the Natya Shastra, suggests that all good theatre accomplishes three tasks simultaneously:
1. It entertains the drunk
2. It answers the question “how to live”
3. It answers the question “how does the universe work?”

I want this to be true for ONE.

I want ONE to be accessible to those who sincerely want just good entertainment, but I also want it to have many layers that audiences can choose to engage with. If someone wants to engage with the larger thematic elements and philosophical musings we are embedding ONE with, they can dig and dig.

While on one hand there is great wisdom in the continual lesson of impermanence and letting go of things you have devoted your meticulous intentions to, there is also something in me that yearns to create expressions that last beyond me. To create something that endures the ever-shifting tides of fashion and perspectives, rides the evolving waves of political and social complexities, and lives to heal and hearten.

ONE can be an enduring creation if we tap the collective chords of human drama and articulate them in an accessible and entertaining way. Many enduring dramas look back in order to look at the present and into the future, and this show does just that. It reaches into our not so distant past and looks at a poetic soul making mistakes and rebelling against the formulae of his era in order to find his own path.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Introducing my collaborator...

Kristin Steele


Catching Up

In 2005 we produced our largest staged production to date of ONE The Musical, and at that time, I saw so much more that I wanted to do with the show… so I went on a journey… to work on the story, discover, rewrite, and continue to explore.

The essential thread that has tied all of the incarnations of ONE together is: UNITY. Despite our apparent separation, we are one people, expressing ourselves in brilliant diversity. The manifestations of this musical have been different, yet this fundamental thread has remained the same.

After several months in re-write mode, I felt like I was writing on a hamster wheel, coming up against the same problems and still lacking the tools to solve them.

That is when I sought out a book writer and brought on Kristin Steele. She had worked intimately with ONE since 2004 and has her Master’s in creative writing. She is a woman who understands the workings of a story loom, and understands how to weave a web of conflicts and arcs leading toward resolution. She understands this story from the inside and has helped weave an altogether magnificent script.

So now together we take this journey… and the discovery is beautiful. I hope you will join us in our creative process… we intend to post as often as possible and look forward to having you along for this crazy thing called art.