" She always studied her parts more through mental concentration-through meditation, in fact-than through any great external activity at rehearsals. She would sit alone for hours, in front of an open window, visualizing each character, listening for the sound of its voice, searching for its inner life, striving to lose herself in it through her imagination and will.
This singleness of purpose, this power of 'one-pointed' concentration-of action through inaction-was the foundation of that discipline of the spirit which enabled her, to an ever greater extent as she developed as an artist, to eliminate self, and become a clear channel for that higher force it was her aim to serve."
-Excerpt from THE MYSTIC IN THE THEATRE: Eleanora Duse by Eva Le Galliene
Today was a very interesting day. I began the day with a very important meeting looking back over the past few weeks and events that changed the path I am on and to look ahead to my future. As the meeting started to end, I felt that my fate was sealed. Then the last few moments gave me a little more clarity. One thing is for certain, I deserve to be treated with respect for the work I have done. That is ALL that needs to be said on the subject.
After the meeting, I took a "master" class with Judith Light.
I have always admired Judith Light as an actress. WHO'S THE BOSS? is still one of my guilty pleasures. I have admired Judith as an advocate for gay rights. But today, I fell in love with Judith Light...thanks to Primary Stages. Last year I took Andrew Lanese's audition technique class. I'm still considered a "student" of Primary Stages. Since I was going to be in the city anyway today (and because I'm ready to take classes again). I signed up for the class. I EXPECTED a class where, if I was lucky enough, I would probably do a few scenes and/or get direction from a pro in the business. I got SO MUCH MORE. She began the class by saying that she didn't really like it being called a master class because she considered us all masters. She also said that she was not concerned with our careers, but rather, with our LIFE choices. Over the course of the next three hours in a class that included 31 "students" , a life affirming session unfolded. Not only did I receive so many blessings from Judith; I also received SO MUCH from everyone who shared in the class.
It also gave me the clarity I needed from my earlier meeting today. The very things that were discussed In our meeting today were driven home LOUD AND CLEAR!
I now know that decisions that I have made over the past few weeks (and made for me)are now the right decisions for me. I know to some (not knowing ALL the details), that my actions have been questioned. When the time is right, ALL will be revealed. Thank you Judith! I have seen the LIGHT"! Cannot wait to see you in Lombardi. Visit the website at http://www.lombardibroadway.com
Earlier this week, I saw Donna McKechnie. Another MASTER CLASS in how to do it.
The evening was brilliantly directed by by Richard Jay-Alexander with musical direction by Alex Rybeck.
McKechnie's autobiographical My Musical Comedy Life "encompassed music from some of Broadway's most celebrated composers, including Stephen Sondheim, Ed Kleban and Marvin Hamlisch, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Cy Coleman, as well as more contemporary artists including Francesca Blumenthal and Ann Hampton Callaway."
Best known for her Tony-winning performance as Cassie in the original production of A Chorus Line, McKechnie has appeared in a plethora of musicals both on and Off-Broadway, some of which include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Company, State Fair, Can-Can, Annie Get Your Gun, I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road, State Fair and Promises, Promises. In her first full length, one-woman musical celebration, Inside the Music, McKechnie performed songs from several of these productions and offered personal anecdotes about her experiences with some of the theatre's finest actors, directors, producers and writers. A live recording of that act was released on the Fynsworth Alley label. Simon & Schuster published McKechnie's autobiography, "Time Steps: My Musical Comedy Life."I saw Donna McKechnie at The Laurie Beechman Theatre with a star studded audience Wednesday night. I have seen several incarnations of this show.The show is better than ever! This show is superb! It is a master class in HOW TO DO IT! Kudos to Richard Jay Alexander ( I want to work with him!) , Alex Rybeck, and, of course, Donna and to all who have been part of this remarkable career. We are all better for it.! To read more about Donna, please visit her website at http://www.donnamckechnie.com
Take Donna home with you! http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=donna+mckechnie&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&hl=en&cid=10022299951653568385&ei=w6XUTPL6AajswgXvg4zzDw&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p
Saturday night, I did a gig that was a MASTER CLASS on how to present an entertainer...with class! It was one of the best private gigs I have ever had! Robin and Ken Kencel. Hired me to perform at their home in Greenwich, CT after they saw my July 27th show at St. Luke's. They invited 50 friends to their home for a surprise presentation.The guests knew they were going to see a show but had no idea what they were going to see! Very frightening for me (and Robin!) because we had no idea what the reaction was going to be.
Chairs were set up in the parlor theatre style and a gorgeous baby grand piano. John Fischer accompanied me. I did my full show for them! One of the best audiences I have EVER ever played to! The care and consideration that went into last night was incredible. Robin, I will gauge ALL future gigs on the high standard you set last night! Thank you! With grateful XOXOXs!
Today, thanks to a FACEBOOK friend, Sandra Holiday, I received items from the London production of "HELLO, DOLLY! starring Danny LaRue!Danny is one of my idols. Read about Danny here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_La_Rue
Now, I'm going to be creating my own master classes on Building a Following: How to Increase your Audience and Fan base! Stay tuned!! What three things have you done in the past five days to move you to the next level? GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING!
Have something to promote? Please send a press release to Richard@RichardSkipper.com and I will include it in my next blog (November 5th)!
THE FOLLOWING ARE RECENT COMMENTS FROM
Thank you Richard for such a great time at the Iguana! I think that there may be no where else in NYC where you can hear such a wonderful diversity of style and talent. It is an honor and a pleasure to be included in your Company.
Vicki Burns, http://www.vickiburnsjazz.com
Richard, Thank you so much for making Wednesday Night at The Iguana such a memorable occasion. I was honored to be on the program with so many other wonderful, talented singers. What a bore Wednesday nights will be without the joy of you and the diverse group of artists you managed to bring each week to the Iguana. Wish it could have gone on, and on, and on and on.
Alicia Terry Littman, NYC
On Tuesday nite (7/27/10), I saw something at St Luke's theater I am still thinking about today. I saw Richard Skipper transform himself into one of the Grand Dames of American Theater, Ms. Carol Channing.
From the moment he stepped on the stage, I BELIEVED I was watching Ms. Channing. This wasn't your typical tribute show.
This was a show that was put together with love and respect and it showed. I learned more about Carol Channing from this show than I ever knew!
This show was about music and life. The life of Carol Channing and all of the wonderful music she brought to the world and put her signature on. Who could imagine the role of Dolly Levi or Lorelei Lee with anyone besides Carol Channing...maybe Richard Skipper!
Richard gives performers something to aspire to. He gives audiences something to enjoy. He gives the world the gift of Carol Channing with a touch of Richard Skipper thrown in for good measure. Thank you.
Fran Giannini Leonardis, Ringwood, NJ
. . . the first time ever I have been shown with such love, respect and polish. Richard Skipper is a true musical comedy star! He is fabulous as me!"~ Carol Channing
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Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/foundation.htm
TILL NEXT WEEK...HERE'S TO A MUSICAL HALLOWEEN!
With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com