Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mark Wallis, Kimberly Faye Greenberg, Clifford Bell...and MORE!

Rest in Peace, Doris Roberts. You will live forever thanks to the magic of television. 

Doris Roberts~ Always a treat to watch. You did a good job. Rest in Peace ~

Today's blog is dedicated to Doris Roberts.
Happy April 19th, 2016

Today is primary day! Today is the 110th day of the year. There are 256 days remaining until the end of the year. Today was a gorgeous day in New York. I voted first thing this AM

I pray that we all make the right (or should I say the left) decision. The Outer Critics Circle Award nominees were also announced today. 

Mark Wallis

Today's blog is devoted to three artists that are making strides in their careers. What I love about each is that they have created their own niche in this business. One is reinventing cabaret utilizing many aspects of cabaret as we know it. One celebrates Fanny Brice and one is celebrating Barbra Streisand this Sunday in LA on the occasion of her birthday.  

I'm starting with Mark Wallis. Born in Cornwall England in 1977, Mark started writing at a local gay magazine where he was the youth and music editor. He interviewed a band called SLAMM and a local venue called Mark about booking them to perform. They ended up doing 6 shows and Mark got to meet the cute band members!  After that, he worked with a number of performers and comedians and have many storys. He was one of the people responsible for AMAZONFAIR that bought together 16 Amazon models from around the world, this was a very different world. Started performing in 1997 after a discussion with a friend, his first show "this isn't a gift it's just the way I feel" toured England for a couple of weeks including the ICA in London. He was very lucky to perform at the pride arts festival in 2003 being on the same bill as Patience Agbabi who is a
London based poet and wonderful.
To date, he has had 7 tours in England, 2 books and one spoken word CD. Www.iamcerealkiller.com
 Since moving to to America, he has found that he has a talent for photography. Over the college holiday, he worked with The Market NYC and set a booth up for a couple of months and sold a great number of pieces of work. Www.nycpicturebox.com
He feels himself to be more of a communicator than a stage performer. By this, he means he has many ways to get his message out and if it is though writing, then that's how he does  it.
Mark looks forward to the future as he has the man he loves but he is looking forward to starting his "unopen mic night" at the duplex www.wordnyc.net where they celebrate the fact of the written word though performance or song. The night is all pre booked. Www.wordnyc.net.

Here is our mini-interview. 

Mark Wallis

What is an Unopen Mic Night?
Unlike many open mic nights it means that the event is a pre planned show that gives many unknown artists a stage.

If you are an undiscovered artist go to the contact page and send samples of your work and we will be in contact. 

His on stage persona is " I am Cereal Killer" 

I began by asking Mark to briefly describe what this time in his life means to him.

 My life is so exciting as I have married my wonderful husband Bart Greenberg and my life is coming together. I miss my family in England but I have made so many true friends here that they have made me feel so welcome. My husband gives me strength to devise my series opening at The Duplex June 3rd. It is called WORD and it is an "Unopen" Mic Night. The series is a performance (poetry, theater piece, spoken word) night based on the idea of
alternative performance. This will include a wide range in themes and styles, but remain personal and original to the performers. Emphasis will be on fresh approaches to traditional subject matter. Unlike open mic nights, this will be a pre-booked performance schedule with 1 headliner (20 minute slot) and 4-5 10 minuet slots for up-and-coming performers.
The very wonderful Cynthia Crane will be the musical guest on the opening and the months after Craig Greenberg (no relation), and Robert Garnham will be the headline acts.

Do you have a hard time changing when things change?
Yes, the major change in my life was when I
moved to America. When I moved here I thought it was going to be harder but the city is so big that it keeps your mind busy. I tend to take my life in stride and not procrastinate if it need doing.

What is your secret to keeping the balance between “Show Biz” and home life?
I can honestly say I am not show biz but I am someone who has been lucky in life. My friend always said to me that good things seem to happen around me. I have a strong drive to get things done and NYC is my gas. I like to keep home life and stage life separate, even though we do have a framed poster of Judy draped by a boa. I do have a funny story about Marilyn Maye but that is for another time.

Finish this sentence, I feel Old When... I started college in NYC. My college yearbook quote was going to be “I told you I am not a professor!”

Book or Kindle? What are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
Book all the way! I like the smell of books, and of course I like autographed books. I have just been reading the latest Whoopi Goldberg book, If Someone Says "You Complete Me," RUN!,  as it is research for a show about an obsessed man. I have also enjoyed books by Dean Atta, Sandra Bernhard, and Robert Garnham recently. 

Incidentally, Robert will be performing in October at my "unopen" mic night at the duplex, opening June 3rd.

What disappointment ended up teaching you an essential lesson?
Performing at Polaris in London. I had so many problems that night that I stopped performing for a
while. I feel bad because I know that wasn’t my best but the crowd that was there only saw me at that point in my life. I never had the opportunity to apologize to the promoter and I would have liked to have. I did learn soooooo much that night. ALWAYS WEAR
WATER PROOF MAKE UP!


If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
Pole Dancer. I have strong thighs and always admired Nomi Malone’s get up and go. But never walk down the stairs in front of me (reference film “SHOWGIRLS”)

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
As an agent: When I was younger I was part of a local magazine where I interviewed singers and bands, I once interviewed a band called SLAMM and a local venue got in contact about booking them. I made a few inquiries and it was easy (I was in Cornwall so no stress) and we did six shows across Cornwall and as they say the rest is history! As a performer: nineteen
friends passed away in a three year period and as you can imagine I was not a happy boy. Friends said to start writing and then someone said to get up on stage and perform. My first show was at The Camden Peoples Theatre and it was on the day Princess Diana was buried, we thought that nobody would turn up and we are insane but people turned up! I have had eight shows around England and two books published. I am currently working on my NYC stage debut Just call me Caryn: My Obsession with a Goldberg.

What do you think it is that makes you who you are?
The people in my life
The people I have lost

Add caption

What challenges do you face trying to fill a room?
“You like me, You really like me”. Basically not getting lost in all the shows happening in New York. Something I do not like and makes me mad is at The Edinburgh Festival all of the papers make an offer to the students to make some extra money they can go to shows and review it. I realize why
they do this as there are so many shows at the festival but sending someone with no experience of reviewing could potentially kill a show and all for £20.00.

What drives you to do what you do?
If I believe in the message I have strong enough then that’s all I need. I have written pieces of work before and some I have loved but some have no feeling, message or I was being arty for the sake of it. I am a terrible critic of myself and give myself a hard time all the time.

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Kimberly Faye Greenberg

“Kimberly Faye Greenberg has the vivacity and voice of Fanny Brice” says the New York Times, with The Associated Press declaring her a "Warm, Sassy Diva!"  Most notably, Kimberly is the first and only actress ever to star in two legit Off-Broadway musicals at the same time with leading roles in Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical (as Sylvia Fine, a role she played for over three years), and the solo show One Night with Fanny Brice (receiving a Patrick Lee IBTA Best Solo Performance Award nomination amongst fellow nominees, John Leguizamo, Michael Shannon and Michael Birbiglia). 

as Fanny Brice


Please send me a brief message about what this time in your life means to you. 

This time in my life means not being afraid to continue to take big leaps of faith in all my endeavors. I'm at an age where I feel confident I truthfully know who I am…the good and the bad AND the perceived ugly, as well as what I have to offer in the business of show. While I know I will continue to evolve as we all do, currently I’m doing my best to press forward and not hold back when it comes to reaching for new things not yet within my grasp. In this time, I believe more than ever that “no risk equals no reward,” and I’m striving to overcome any detrimental thoughts that slow me down, like “I think I can’t do this” or “I’m not at an age to do this endeavor any longer” or “this goal is difficult to pull off in my age bracket”. Right now, I’m continuing to tackle new goals, take risks;  I also keep reaching for the strength to stay at bat for my dreams, aiming to achieve my goals and make the best life for myself, while also hopefully inspiring others to do the same through my professional coaching business.

 Do you have a hard time changing when things change?
I think it depends on what is changing. I think as a person I'm constantly changing, but I very much believe in individuality and making your own personal mark.  So even though my family might say I’m ‘exactly the same’ in terms of my commitment to my career, I have enjoyed growing and adjusting to shape my own individuality, to stand against the changing times so I didn’t succumb to the fickle ideas of the industry---I changed to become more my true self, which is what I believe is the best way to continue to have a solvent career. There’s only one Kimberly Faye Greenberg!

What is your secret to keeping the balance between “Show Biz” and home life?Haha!  That’s the trick, isn’t it? I’m still working on finding that balance. I'm a self-admitted workaholic. And although I love a good Netflix HGTV show (I could watch those for HOURS!) and snuggling with my lovable cats, most of the time when I'm at home I'm working on the next project, getting the next gig or coming up with yet another ambitious idea that i want to carry out. My friends find it endearing.

What do you do to refill the well when you've worked too hard and feel your life is out of
balance?
I’m still figuring this part out, but I am doing better about giving myself specific office hours when I'm at home--- when the clock ticks 7 o’clock, the computer goes off and the relaxation begins, tv watching and cat cuddles, or catching up with my friends, maybe seeing a cabaret or Off-Broadway show. I also find it really helpful to take a day away from NYC every few weeks or so, whether it be in a park surrounded by trees, a quick trip to Atlantic City to smell the salt air, or even a trip to a proper shopping mall to decompress and allow my creative batteries to recharge.

What is your biggest fear or an activity that you would never do, now that you’re older?This question really drudges up some old fears, ha ha! I can firmly say I will no longer ride any roller coasters.   Two reasons,basically the very idea of them scares me now more then ever, and my body at this stage is terrified to sustain any wild whiplash! Have you seen some of those new coasters? NO THANK YOU.

How do you measure success?
Ive always defined success by being able to do what I love as a full time endeavor. I feel I've achieved that. For me, it means having my hands busy in a lot of different areas of the theatre field. I think that is what most of us in the arts do, we mix and match different opportunities and somehow make it work.  That’s the definition of living the dream to me.  And living the dream = happiness. That’s how I measure success.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?I got started very young. I was begging my mom to take me to auditions at the local dinner theatre by the 4th grade.  I had also been playing the violin for years and was taking dance classes, and that led me to the stage performing, which led me to the backstage side of the theatre spectrum.  Acting and backstage theatre were my first two loves as a kid, and that is what I stuck with as my career.

What one thing would you change in the world, to make it a


happier place for yourself?

This is an easy one: more sunshine.  The weather this year so far has been pretty dreary!  I thrive in the sunlight, but I just want to be a hermit in the winter months.  I'm like a begonia.  In fact, I'd really prefer it if the Broadway scene could be relocated to Hawaii.  Doesn't that sound great?


What disappointment ended up teaching you an essential lesson?
Gosh, I've had many disappointments. And the
further you go in your career, the hits will keep coming, which is par for the course in the biz of show. I learned early on that I must aim to keep rising above the disappointments, to keep pressing forward. I try to turn criticism into action, by learning how to overcome it or adjust my learning to address the critics. 

Or if I don’t agree with the criticism, then I work to prove it to myself, like “ let me show you how wrong you are” by gaining success with the exact thing that had reviewed the criticism.   That’s what always gets me through. 

 
 For example, recently I took a hard hit in an audition for a production of Funny Girl, where someone behind the table told me to my
face that I “wasn't a good enough singer to play Fanny Brice”.  Yes, it was only one person’s opinion, but I hold high praise in my career for my Fanny Brice portrayals.  And I know I'm not Barbra Streisand, but sometimes the constant comparisons can wear me down.


I was knocked out for a few days, but reminded myself to take that feedback with a grain of salt, to
remember all the good work I've done as Fanny, and to recognize that my version of the Fanny Brice personae was apparently not what they were looking for in that particular version of Funny Girl.  I heard the criticsm and am now even more determined to get a production of Funny Girl under my belt.   But still and all, that one stung.   Thank goodness I'm surrounded by amazing friends, family, and artistic partners who always whisper in my ear, “…keep moving forward…” Without them, I think I might be living somewhere else by now with an entirely different career!

What comes up next for you?
I’m excited about what lies ahead because I'm seeing some of fruits of my labor come to fruition this year. The show I created about Fanny Brice, Fabulous Fanny, will be heading to tour the midwest for performances in the fall---you can see fabulousfannybriceshow.com for cities and performance dates.   I've begun a professional consulting business, Kim’s Proactive Professionals, for onstage and backstage artists, which is starting to grow,  and it's very exciting and fulfilling to watch my clients really take control of their careers and guide them away from making mistakes that I did. While there is no one road to success, I advocate for the proactive creation of one’s own artistic work, for working smarter not harder, and for the tenet that risk usually means reward. I'm a proud mama watching them attain goals (two already got their Broadway shows

from our work together), and their work continues to inspire me as well towards my own goals. I’m also continuing with several other projects in the acting realm. There are several different web series that I'm going to be a part of, and am currently co-creating with people, and I'll be announcing those in the near future.  I’m also a part of three Broadway-bound shows that I am very passionate about, and I feel confident they  will hit the Great White Way very soon! Keep an eye out for Ghostlight, Freedom’s Song, and Rocket Boys. And otherwise, I’m constantly creating, and I love collaboration. I am very open to anyone that approaches me about something they are passionate about.  Who knows what my other next theatrical ventures will be…that's why I'm sure to keep my website updated! (kimberlyfayegreenberg.com)

WHAT'S THE ONE THING YOU'RE RELIEVED I DIDN'T ASK YOU?
My craziest audition stories…I have several, and they are each such Oy-Vey moments. I'm not ready to offer those moments for public consumption yet! Maybe if i ever have the opportunity to tell my life story on The Tonight Show...or if Amy Poehler was asking for her podcast or something, maybe then I could share and laugh about them… but not today.

What do you love the most in nature?
The ocean. I love to be around water. I wish I could live in a place with beaches and warm weather year round. Maybe one day i will have occasion to work more predominantly in Los Angeles, but until then Ill be content living the the concrete playground with no easy beach-access….and the ever shifting four seasons.

What does your art help you express or resolve?
Oh, that's so personal. I live for my art. It fills my soul, it is my passion. Honestly, When I'm doing it I feel whole, a sense of completeness.  It may sound corny, but when I'm working on or inside of my art, I am realizing the full potential of my own personal human experience.

                                        Please visit KimberlyFayeGreenberg.com for more info

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And now from celebrating Fanny Brice to celebrating Barbra Streisand. This Sunday night in Los Angeles on the occasion of Barbra Streisand's Birthday, a special concert is taking place, Our Name is Barbra 2016. Meet Clifford Bell, one of the stars of this concert. 

Here is a little background  

"OUR NAME IS BARBRA" was something that came about when an incredibly talented and funny group of friends got together one night eighteen years ago to celebrate Barbra Streisand's birthday...Basically, we just did it to make each other laugh....As Musical Theater/Cabaret types, we all loved and knew every word from Barbra's long and prestigious career....And as most people in show business observe, 364 days a year it's not okay to do songs heavily associated with Barbra, so we designated one night a year where everyone could come out and get their Barbra on....We took it out of the living room and started doing it at the big clubs
around Los Angeles for various charities...The last couple of years we have given all the money raised to the very beloved and important organization PROJECT ANGEL FOOD which is in it's 26th year of delivering meals to people with life threatening illnesses.  What began as a response to the AIDS crisis is now one of the most admired and efficient charities in Los Angeles, having recently celebrated serving it's 10 millionth meal!!

This year, we're at the fabulous Rockwell Table and Stage, run by New York's Kate Pazakis, and the best singers in Los Angeles are lining up to rip the roof off the joint!!! Featuring Jason Graae and Mary Wilson of "The Original Supremes" and Special Visiting Co-Host SCOTT EVAN DAVIS!!

Here is my mini interview with Clifford Bell

Did you ALWAYS entertain or did you ever have another type of job?
Clifford Bell

I've actually been pretty lucky to find my way into jobs that were always related to what I most wanted to be doing....The only real "Day Jobs" I've ever had, very early on, were that I used to manage "Live Wires Singing Telegram Company" more than 30 years ago....and I worked for "The Director's Guild Of America" straight out of college..and I did a brief stint working for Robert Blake, one thousand years ago as his live in personal assistant...Other than that, I've always been able to make a living with my creative abilities...Producing, Directing, Publicity, even singing occasionally...for probably 30/35 years....which is pretty amazing...and I'm very grateful for that....

with Katey Sagal.

Why do you feel that you became as successful as you did?
Well, I always say that my friend LARA TEETER gave me the career that I have today...Lara is a Broadway Veteran and Tony Award Nominee for "On Your Toes" and when he moved to L.A., our mutual friend Sha Newman intuited that we were kindred spirits. She arranged a meeting for us and we basically never left each other's side for about three or four years.....Lara is straight and long time happily married but he was the dream partner/best friend any musical loving creative type would yearn for....He was getting lots of offers for Directing work and he basically had me hired as his assistant for everything for several years in a row.....Through that, I developed really wonderful working relationships with people like Debbie Gravitte, Bonnie Franklin, Billy Barnes, Michael Maguire, Michael Orland, Shelly Markham, and on and on...All the musical/Cabaret people that lived and worked in L.A.
Aside from the warm and supportive introduction that Lara gave me, I guess I've lasted so long and mostly so well at it, because I'm 100% in....I love the genre of LIVE ENTERTAINMENT IN INTIMATE SETTINGS.... I've never been interested in any other types of jobs or pursuits or career paths...I'm passionate about a gal in a black dress re-imagining show tunes (metaphorically) ....Can never get enough of it!!! 

Can you tell me about a time when you had to deal with your ideas from opposing parties?
Mmmm..not quite sure what you mean but the clearest response that forms in my head is that our genre tends to be a fairly small pond, so you encounter occasional competitive situations...which always sort of take me by surprise....I tend to be a "one for all and all for one" type of a person and I'm always sort of hurt and caught off guard when I'm reminded it's not all show tunes and standing ovations...

with Katy Sagal

Finish this sentence, I feel Old When...
I stand up.  Not doing "Stand Up" ...Literally getting up out of the chair...oy oy oy.  I was 19 years old until about three years ago and overnight I became my grandfather...

Book or Kindle? What are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
Book over Kindle to be sure....but I'm not a big reader...I can however recite most of the Great American Songbook...and basically anything Barbra has ever recorded.


What disappointment ended up teaching you an essential lesson?
How much space do you have?  I'm very wise...born out of lots of different disappointments...but you move on.  I guess that's what you learn.  You learn that you "move on".

​If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
At his moment...I'm looking into if I can be Nyle DiMarco's Butler....For THAT I would give up Cabaret!!!


How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
My father was a symphony conductor and my mother was a cellist...My older brother is very successful in the music industry so I feel sort of born into it...

What do you think it is that makes you who you are?
Whatever the gay gene is.....The art gene...the pretty dress gene....the passion of music gene...That defines me.

What challenges do you face trying to fill a
room?

I'm very prolific...I work a lot...I can do as many as 6 or 7 different shows a month, so it's always hustle hustle hustle to promote.....some shows sell out instantly and some you have to drag in people off the street....it never changes and it's always heavy lifting....

What drives you to do what you do?
I guess when all is said and done...I just really believe in the importance of what I do....It's more interesting to me than anything else I've ever been aware of.....It's art...it's therapy...it's community...it's commerce...it's personal achievement ....it's greater good....I just really believe in the importance of what I do.

WHAT'S THE ONE THING YOU'RE RELIEVED I DIDN'T ASK YOU? 
Who is the one person within your professional community that you don't talk to anymore that you regret not talking to anymore?

How I wish I was in LA Sunday Night!

 "OUR NAME IS BARBRA 2016: A BENEFIT
FOR PROJECT ANGEL FOOD Hosted by SCOTT EVAN DAVIS & CLIFFORD BELL"

 NOW IN THEIR 18TH YEAR!!

FOR TICKETS TO THIS YEAR'S "OUR NAME IS BARBRA 2016"-

http://tickets.rockwell-la.com/event/01200561d4db68fb4d73b41edae827c5

SUNDAY, APRIL 24 at ROCKWELL TABLE & STAGE-

Here's an hour long podcast discussing the upcoming event and the wonderful organization PROJECT ANGEL FOOD-


In Other Entertainment News
Legendary Broadway star, Lee Roy Reams, will make his Feinstein's at the Nikko debut with his one-man show, Song and Dance Man, on Thursday, June 9 at 8 p.m. (Read MORE

Those Girls at the Beechman have just 2 more shows.
Wednesdays, 4/20 & 4/27 - both at 7pm (at the Laurie Beechman Theater).... There's even a $5 discount for MAC members! www.westbankcafe.com

The Wizard of Words: Yip Harburg with Musical Director
Tedd Firth
Tuesday, May 17, 2016, 7PM (Dinner Show)
Sunday, May 22, 2016, 1PM (Brunch Show) at
The Laurie Beechman Theatre
Downstairs at West Bank Cafe
407 West 42nd Street. Between 9th and 10th Avenues
$20 Cover. $20 Food/Drink Minimum.
Reservations required!
The Laurie Beechman Theatre is now selling tickets, both online and phone sales, through Ovation. Advance sales can be made through the website or Ovation's phone service at 212-352-3101.

Thank you, to all of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!


With grateful XOXOXs ,
 



 

Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Dolly Gallagher Levi!
CallonDolly.com

NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!   
        

American Popular Song Society Presents Annual Songwriter's Showcase Hosted by Award Winning Songwriter Tom Toce

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
 
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

PLEASE CELEBRATE WITH US Friday, May 6th AT DON'T TELL MAMA NYC


Don't Tell Mama Presents...

Wendy Scherl returns in What Do You Do All Day?  Directed by the incredible Helen Baldasarre with great musical direction by Matthew Martin Ward. Wendy is an amazing vocalist with a rangy and rich sound. “This is someone to watch!” Go see her, you can thank me later.
- Sue Matsuki   In “What Do You Do All Day”, Wendy Scherl shares anecdotes and song about the numerous hats she wears every single day as a wife, a mother of two boys and two dogs, a short order cook, a daughter, a house manager, a chauffeur and Cabaret Singer! Her show is both touching and real, theatrical and funny!
This show WILL sell out! So reserve today and be a part of his star studded audience!
You will truly be amazed by what this full-time executive director of a family of four accomplishes every day!  Wendy will wow you with both her choice of material and her talent!
After graduating from Northwestern University with a BA in Theatre, Wendy performed in numerous
regional theatre productions around the country, including some of her favorite productions: Hair (The official 20th Anniversary Production in Chicago), Grease (numerous roles), Annie (Grace), The Pajama Game (Babe), and Godspell.  

$20.00 Cover/Two Drink Minimum Cash Only Reserve at 212-757-0788 (after 4PM or through me)

$5.00 OFF COVER OF ALL MAC MEMBERS
Richard Skipper Celebrates is the publicist for Wendy Scherl and What Do You Do All Day? at NYC's Don't Tell Mama. For press reservations, interview requests, or more information, contact Richard Skipper at Richard@RichardSkipper.com or 845-365-0720

Check out Wendy's Interview with Sue Brender HERE

 




1 comment:

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR BLOG, RICHARD!! Proof that i love it is that I enjoyed reading about everyone else as much as I liked what you put together with me! Thank you so much for supporting our fundraiser for PROJECT ANGEL FOOD!! We really appreciate it!!

    ReplyDelete