Tuesday, January 24, 2012

David Friedman!

"NO MATTER WHAT, NEVER FACE THE FACTS!"
Ruth Gordon


Happy Tuesday!


I hope this finds you all doing an extremely well. After an incredible trip out West, I jumped into a new week with both feet on the ground. Yesterday was a very productive day for me.Steps are being made towards the next phase of my life. I love the above quote. There are people all around who want to create the facts for you. Those naysayers will be negated. Either you're on my team or you are not. One team that I desire to be a part of is the David Friedman team. David is truly one of the most positive people I have ever encountered. He is a prolific songwriter, a coach and teacher, and author, and he has a film that will be premiering at the Tribeca film Festival later this year. I was thrilled when he consented to take the time for this interview. Ladies and gentlemen, today I am celebrating David Friedman.

As with all my blogs, and to quote a very wise good witch, it is always best to start at the beginning. I asked David to tell me about the first show that he remembers seeing as a kid. David's response was surprising. He said it was so long ago that he doesn't remember. It's so strange that someone so see to musical theater would not remember what his first show was. But he thinks that because musicals have just always been a part of his life, and he started seeing them before he could remember them.The first one he is aware of his Peter Pan on TV with Mary Martin.That, of course, was in the day when you couldn't take being so you had to watch it when it was on, and you could only see it once a year. 

He remembers that extraordinary sense of anticipation and excitement and being in front of the TV at exactly the moment it started so as not to miss a moment.


David believes his first time on stage was playing the Mad Hatter in the sixth grade production of Alice in Wonderland. David says that although the casting is probably quite predictive of who he was to become.He did play the guitar, studying started at the age of five, so he also saying and recitals and other related activities. He also made recording at five of him singing.He clearly had talent and great pitch and interpretive flare, although he had a tendency to breathe in the middle of words. 

David cannot remember his first professional job, but he does know that the first time he ever conducted an orchestra was on Broadway! He had played an audition for a singer for Mitch Leigh for Sarava. Mitch notice David and asked him to play more auditions. Mitch then asked David to assist him. He then asked David to be rehearsal pianist and he tried his hand at of vocal arrangements any appointed him vocal arranger, and then Mitch gave David the position of assistant conductor in the second week of rehearsal even though David never conducted an orchestra or had done a Broadway show in his life. He had however conducted choruses.And then the conductor was fired and after interviewing a bunch of well-known Broadway conductors, Mitch turned to David and offered him and said," You're the most qualified for the job" and hired him as conductor. This happened in the men's room of Broadway dance rehearsal studios. It's not what you think, David has never slept with anyone to get a job… David says he would have in a minute, but nobody ever asked him to.


David's thoughts on arts in education
David Friedman
David says that we need to educate people to join and expressiveness of the arts rather than the competitiveness and perfection of it. David thinks the perfection comes out of the joy, not vice versa.


What makes you cry out of the blue when you see or hear it?
What makes David cry are expressions of true friendship over circumstances.Like the scene in Sex and the City were Maranda is getting married and Samantha finds out she has cancer. Maranda is at her own wedding, but when she finds out her friend has cancer, she sits down with her and really listens to her and pays attention to her rather than saying," You've ruined my wedding". David found himself weeping at this, and he always tries to be that kind of friend.

David's thoughts on Carol Channing ( all my blogs focus on Carol Channing's Foundation for the Arts). I'm also campaigning for Carol Channing to receive the 2012 Kennedy Ctr. honors. I would like your thoughts on all of the above
David thinks that Carol is a unique, once in a generation (or once in several generations) talent who has devoted her life to entertainment and should be recognized for creating an extraordinary persona who is given the world so much laughter and so much to look at.

David's most recent appearance
David just appeared in the StageWorks, Tampa benefit singing Listen To My Heart.They produced what David calls the definitive production of his show, Listen To My Heart last summer. They are now performing a nonprofit and taking it around the country with that cast and director, where there is a large Unity presence. David will speak at the Unitys, do book signings and Thought Exchange workshops, run the show at a local theater, and the profits will go to the local Unity, to the local Gay Men's Chorus and to StageWorks, Tampa.They're going to be raising money through  Kickstarter and other means for these productions, and it should be a win/win for everybody.

David's next appearance
David is doing the Sunday talk at the Center for spiritual living in Sarasota, Florida, followed by a book signing of his book, The Thought Exchange-Overcoming Resistance to Living a Sensational Life and a thought exchange workshop afterward.

I asked David what his biggest success in show business is so far. David said that is hard to say. His biggest financial success has probably been conducting Disney films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and writing songs for Aladdin and the King of Thieves, the Lizzie McGuire movie and Bambi Two.Actually, the things David considers truly his biggest successes, producing, writing songs for Nancy LaMott, teaching Thought Exchange all over the country, having his Thought Exchange book published, doing a concert of his own music at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, having Diana Ross, Barry Manilow, Petula Clark, Allison Kraus, Laura Branigan, Laurie Beechman, and many others record his songs, and writing musicals with Peter Kellogg, Deorah Brevoort, and Kathie Lee Gifford. Other things that he has really enjoyed are writing a song a month for The Today Show, writing songs for the Duke Children's Hospital benefit for 15 years, and having the opportunity to work with so many fantastic performers and writers, all of whom have taught him so much. In his Songbook, he literally. thanks 1000 people!

David and his partner, Shawn Moninger
I asked David what his lowest low was and how he surpassed that.David told me that he has had three lowest lows in his life:being in a mental institution when he was 20, suffering from agoraphobia and not being able to leave the house, and when his relationship of 15 years suddenly ended in one day. The interesting thing is, in retrospect these three incidents gave him the magnificent life he has today. It is these experiences that have infused his art, his songwriting, his spiritual work, his teaching, his creation of the Thought Exchange, which has changed his life, and from all reports has changed many lives, and the amazingly fulfilling relationship he is in today.

 I asked David what one change he would like to see in today's industry. He said he would like to see it more artistically based and less money based. That seems to be the ongoing thread through most of my blog interviews. He is finding that Broadway has become about such enormous amounts of money that getting a show on is about so much more than having a great show. It has to be a show that will reach the lowest common denominator, and it has to be a show that people will think they can make money from. This is all well and good, but what happens is, it relegates so much art to the regions and makes getting to Broadway mostly a financial transaction.

I asked David to his top five models and influences are as an artist. His response is Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow, the Supremes, Nancy LaMott, and Barbra Streisand. David listened to Dionne incessantly as a teenager, and recently got a chance to meet her on The Today Show, he said her songs, and she wrote back that she really liked him!It would be a dream come true to have her record something of his. Barry, David has actually gotten to meet.
 Barry has always been David's kind of songwriter and he thinks he is one of the most underrated musicians in the world, although certainly not under popular-he sells out where ever he goes. And if you desire to see screaming adoring fans go to one of his concerts.
David grew up with the Supremes.He went to their concerts every time they were in New York, and had the extraordinary honor of having Diana have a quadruple platinum hit with his song, " Your Love".
Nancy LaMott was David's muse and his inspiration and David thinks, as I do, that Nancy LaMott is one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. He misses her every day. And Barbra Streisand...she's the Cadillac of singers.

I asked David what he thinks ultimately made him become an entertainer. He says that's an interesting question. Just as happens in metaphysics, David thinks his original reasons for becoming an entertainer, not the reasons he has now. He thinks he did it for attention and fame and fortune, but has morphed into so much more. It's now about exploring the infinite beauty and possibilities in the universe, and sharing that with others. It's so much more fulfilling, and so much less pressured. It doesn't matter if he's a star. It matters that he has this world of emotion and thought an infant possibility available to him at all times.

David says that he is happy at this point he has right now in his career, but not content. There is so much more that he desires to do, so many dreams he's more than fulfilled, but so many he hasn't. He would like to have a show on Broadway, and at the moment has five shows poised to do that. 8 million bucks anyone? He's currently working on three CDs of him singing his own songs, which has taken him over two years to do because of so many other projects. He would love the Thought Exchange to go global in a big way, as he would like to share how it's changed his life with the entire world.. He looks forward to performing Listen To My Heart around the country, and he looks forward to the things he didn't even dream about or know about or know weregoing to happen that he hasn't even expected.


Interestingly enough, because of all the work he has done on developing the Thought Exchange, David has a completely different awareness of life. Life is simply a mirror so that he can see what he's thinking.All thoughts are available to us at all times, and circumstances mean nothing. David says the only place we can experience in life is inside us, in the world of our thoughts and sensations, and even those are not who we are. David is watching those from who he really is, an invisible observer who always  has infinite possibilities and who is not affected by thoughts, sensations or events. David knows this may seem really airy fairy, but as it becomes the truth for us, our lives are ever joyous, free and full of possibilities, even when circumstances don't appear that way.

I asked David if he had all the money in the world that he needed, would he continue working. his response was absolutely. He says he would probably do a lot more shopping, put a gorgeous lap pool on their property, and Shawn and he would go to the theater more, but other than that, he doubts that he would change anything. David works with wonderful people. He loves creating, he loves music, and he has an ideal partner because he has the awareness that Shawn  is a mirror of him is a mirror of him (David) who he needs to work on. They have three gorgeous homes and a wonderful cat. . He would show more and Shawn would have more shoes.


I asked David what he does to maintain his skills. His response is WRITE, WRITE, WRITE, PERFORM, PERFORM, PERFORM.

If David could travel anywhere in the world and spend some time there, it would be Italy. David speaks Italian, but he would love to perfect it. He would probably take a villa on the water in Italy for a year, and write there.

When I asked David what he would ask God if he could right now, his responses that he feels God is the invisible observer so that he is, so he feels that he can ask anything at any time and simply listen for the answer. He supposes what he would ask is what happens after this.

The last stage show that David saw was Lucie Arnaz at Feinstein's and she was more spectacular than ever-and that's pretty spectacular! Read my blog about that night. I was there too and I more than agree!

The book that is on David's nightstand right now is a book of Double crostics. His passion!


If David could not be in show business, he would have liked to be a psychotherapist.

Please visit David' website and Midder Music.


Thank you, David, for the gifts you give to the world!

NO COPY WRITE INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!
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                              Tomorrow's blog will be...YOU TELL ME!  I'M OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!
with Ruby E Drash, Sia Furler

Here's to an INCREDIBLE day for ALL...with NO challenges!


Now, GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE TODAY!

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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com
Alison Burns

Buy The Thought Exchange Today! Tell David I sent you!

4 comments:

  1. Loved your interview with David.

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  2. wonderful --thanks Richard. Always love to read about my fabulous old friend. David is so interesting--you could blog about him weekly!

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  3. Thank you Richard. Wonderful interview.

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  4. I could fill A HUNDRED BLOGS with the good things I have to say about David Friedman. He's a Father, Brother, Son and FRIEND to me, all rolled into ONE!

    Luv' 'Ya, David!

    Ronnie

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