— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Today, I offer the next installment of a series of blogs celebrating the upcoming Bistro Awards which will be taking place at The Gotham Comedy Club and also celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Bistro Awards.
Each year The Ira Eaker Special Achievement Award is given to an outstanding entertainer on the rise, and named after Back Stage’s co-founder, co-publisher and first cabaret critic.
When I think of Kristoffer, I think of a man who is still figuring out his career path but who is definitely not defined by his work. We sat down to discuss his past, present, and future yesterday. Today, I celebrate Kristoffer and his body of "worth".
If you ask Kristoffer who Kristoffer Lowe is, he responds: He is sensitive, complex, witty, thoughtful, kind, creative, and TALL!
He is also always hungry.
|with Tracy Stark and Stacy Sullivan backstage at the 2014 Cabaret Convention|
What does Kristoffer do when he wants a little "nonsense" in his life?
Besides eating Kettle Corn and watching Little House on the Prairie?
Everything else to him would probably not be nonsensical. The world is full of nonsense...being an artist.
Kristoffer's favorite children's book was The Little Red Hen!
|"TheLittleRedHen" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TheLittleRedHen.png#mediaviewer/File:TheLittleRedHen.png|
The best-known version in the United States is that popularized by Little Golden Books, a series of children's books published for the mass market since the 1940s. The story is applied in teaching children the virtues of the work ethic and personal initiative.(Source: Wikipedia). How Apropos.
Kristoffer started very late as an artist. He didn't start singing until he was seventeen. He auditioned for the high school show choir.
And here he is, winning a 2015 Bistro Award! I wrote about the snafu that leaked prematurely this years winners in my blog on Stearns Matthews.
|with Ricky Ritzel|
|with John Treacy Egan Karen Mason and Klea Blackhurst|
Although this is his first award in the cabaret community, it is not his first win. He won the MetroStar Competition. That is a very specific competition as opposed to be awarded for your comprehensive body of worth.
As mentioned earlier, Ira Eaker was the co-founder of Back Stage. He was also one of the first cabaret critics. The publication was established in 1960 in a small office on West 46th Street in Manhattan, producing a print run of 10,000 copies.This award carries with it a lot of history and prestige. He was a very well respected man. This award is special for that. His vision for cabaret AND Back Stage was very specific. It is great that daughter Sherry Eaker is carrying on his legacy and mission. This is a great honor for Kristoffer.
Beyond The Bistro Awards, Kristoffer is going to follow through and present his MetroStar win show at The Metropolitan Room. He is aiming for June although he has not had any meetings about that yet. He has no idea yet what he desires to say or bring to the table as far as a new show is concerned. Usually the Metro Star becomes a debut show for the winner. In the case of Kristoffer, his debut show has already happened. He doesn't know if his next show will be more wacky Kristoffer stories interspersed with the Great American Songbook or something a little more theatrical and unique, he doesn't know yet. The Great American Songbook is the canon of the most important and most
|with KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar|
He is still trying to figure out what he's going to do and get the motivation behind it.
I asked Kristoffer if he is absolutely sure that he is doing EXACTLY what he should be doing at this point in his life, his response is that he is not sure. He doesn't know if anyone is absolutely sure if they are doing what they should be doing.
For now, acknowledging that he is "getting on up there", he can say this, he is happier now than he has been in a very long time. It is now just a matter of getting to express himself through music and now, getting recognized for that, is a huge part of that happiness. Just being on a stage, wherever, is a huge part of that for him.
He trained classically but he doesn't bring any of that to cabaret other than just good vocal technique.
Most of his career, he believes, is SELF directed. He admits that he has sat on a couch mostly for the past two years. He had gone through a terrible breakup and he was very depressed. He had no vision of doing anything. He just sat around. His motivation was very self directed. He says, "YOU are the only YOU that YOU have!"
Kristoffer has always kept notebooks with random ideas and story ideas and words and songs he might like to sing somewhere. It sounds very "Oprah", but one night, sitting on his sofa, he pulled out those notebooks and started going through them and he thought, "What am I waiting for? What am I doing?"
Kristoffer's opinion of show business is that it has become very diluted. We seem to now embrace "generic" verses"unique". Everything is so commercial now. We kind of approach everything from a "cinematic" approach. We see a show and we kind of get this whole "wash of everything." He is not sure that he sees a lot of specificity any more. Think about Barbra Streisand coming on the scene or Liza Minnelli. We don't seem to embrace that uniqueness anymore. Everything seems to be "factory" created people, albeit, some of them are very good and very serviceable and the talent speaks for itself, but there is nothing unique for casting directors to go for.
There is no one special in Kristoffer's life right now. He has put himself on the market again. It is all a rat race to him.
If Kristoffer could change ONE THING about cabaret, it would be the perception of cabaret. When he tells people he does a lot of work in the cabaret world now, he sees their eyes kind of resisting rolling back in their heads. He thinks people think of cabaret as some older lady in a beaded gown sitting on a bar stool wearing jewels and singing Stormy Weather. It is no longer that.Cabaret can be very comprehensive and embrace a whole new variety of music. It can be anything you want it to be. However, the general perception and feeling is that it is old fashioned and over indulgent. It is not that way and we need to break that image. If we can achieve that, we can take cabaret into a whole new realm and a whole new space with a whole new respect.
If Kristoffer could change ONE THING about Kristoffer Lowe, it would be his height. "I'm just too damn tall." It makes him stand out at auditions...in a bad way. It is hard for dating. It is bad for doorway clearances.
Kristoffer is looking forward to what is around the corner. He hopes to be supporting himself through his singing.
Something tells me he will be! I for one will be cheering him on on March 4th as he walks up to receive his WELL DESERVED Bistro Award!
Thank to ALL mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Jerry Herman's Hello, Dolly!
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Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!
Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please join Richard Skipper in NYC February 25th!. He will be interviewing Lee Roy Reams LIVE ON STAGE to benefit The Spiral Theatre Studio at 300 West 43rd Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10036 at 8PM! The evening with Lee Roy Reams will begin with a Wine and Cheese mixer at 7:30 PM, and interview of Lee Roy Reams at 8 PM promptly. Call me if interested. 845-365-0720 $30.00 RESERVATIONS A MUST! Please reserve today!! SEATING IS LIMITED!
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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com