Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cabaret Month: Carly Ozard and MORE!

What is happiness, anyhow? … so impalpable — a mere breath, an evanescent tinge.
-Walt Whitman

Happy Spring!
It's March 20th, 2018.
March 20 is the 79th day of the year. There are 286 days remaining until the end of the year.
It is a gorgeous day here in New York. My horoscope tells me that the sun moves into the most sociable area of my chart today and almost immediately I will be making plans about where to go and who to see. I've decided to stay in and chill tonight as we prepare for yet another Nor'easter here in New York!
 I'm listening to the 60s channel on Sirius XM Radio...always bridging the past with the present.

As my followers know, there is a soundtrack always playing throughout my like.  As part of my continuing celebration of Cabaret Month, today, I celebrate Carly Ozard.
Powerhouse Entertainer and actress Carly Ozard has had solo shows at The Rrazz Room, Feinstein’s
at the Nikko, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Stage 72 at the Triad and The Metropolitan Room. She works in musical theatre, cabaret, and as a FEMcee for various events. An exceptional vocalist with comic and dark sides showcasing a repertoire that includes Musical Theatre, Contemporary Pop, Classic Rock and Electric Dance Music. A newly budding songwriter and cover artist, she just released her debut recording Universal Child on iTunes and CDBaby. Having acted as head judge of The Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco as well as a judge for The Voice of Vallarta and the San Francisco Cabaret Competition, Carly has been part of every community she has performed in. Carly has shared stages with Charles Strouse, Klea Blackhurst, Rita Moreno, Leslie Jordan, Maureen McGovern, Miranda Sings! and more. She is a two time Burner at Burning Man, a proud member of AEA and The New York City Friar’s Club, and she is reinventing herself and expanding her fan base! Carly Ozard performs regularly in San Francisco and is based out of New York.

Who/What keeps you going in the creative process? 
A combination of working in the subway singing three times a week, and constant guidance from Peter Flynn, my Stella Adler Musical Theater Instructor. I also have a brand new career direction which is scary and exciting, but it's all happening. My voice teacher Badiene Magaziner stumbled upon my voice and recognized its potential to have a career in Wagner in the opera world. The connections and support have been coming through in spades, and I'm really going to give this a chance! 

What, other than performing, has inspired you recently? 
I really am inspired by creating new pieces of art whether it's jewelry for my bridesmaids, or finding things on ebay or even on the street and turning them into wall art for our new apartment.
I love designing a necklace with a person in mind and then creating the piece thinking about them and capturing them in the piece. 

Who are your biggest musical influences? 
Freddie Mercury, Bette Midler, Leonard Cohen, Carole King, Snatam Kaur, EDM music by Kaskade, Aloe Blacc, Avicci, Armin Van Buuren, David Guetta 

Why don't cabaret shows attract more of the public, in your opinion?
This is a loaded question. There's several components to this: 
A lot of people don't really know what cabaret is. People come to NYC to see a Broadway Show and they will visit a piano bar for that experience of singing bartenders and live music, but they don't know there's shows going on in the back. You also have Simon Cowell and other judges on singing shows put down the cabaret singer several times over, so not only is cabaret not mainstream enough, it's put down by people who are, so people aren't going to be interested in something they don't really know about or associate a negative rap with. 
Another truth is it comes down to money. An average night out to a cabaret show is at least $50 per person.
If it's not your best friend or a huge name, it gets expensive. 

Another thing is, sometimes cabaret is too sophisticated for the average attendant. People want to hear Don't Stop Believin' and Tiny Dancer, not go on a musical journey of Cole Porter's life. 
If someone like Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry did a night at the Carlyle and did an evening of standards or a tribute to Judy Garland, people would say it's edgy and unique, but a night of Judy by an experienced cabaret singer isn't going to sell seats to tourists who are in town to see Hamilton.
There's practically no newspapers left as well. That's a big part of this demise. There's no way to get the word out. 
The last thing I'm going to say about this is the same people are getting used and featured in the biggest events that cabaret has going on. Every year, the same people get to do the higher end gigs. There's rarely any room for newcomers. There's serious nepotism going on and even if the talent is good, there needs to be more radical inclusion.There's no drag, burlesque, contemporary, or other, which all fall under the Cabaret Medium. 
A lot of young people do not feel welcome at the table. If you're not welcome, you stop trying to sit down.

Tell us a secret.
I fell asleep during Blood Brothers in England, 14 years ago! 

What about your career isn't working? 
Even though I'm in the midst of a career change, I realized that I had no idea that in order to do Broadway, you have to do TV and Film. I always said "The only way you'll get me on TV is if it's a PBS Concert." I really believed that I could pursue an onstage career and have it be purely onstage. 
With Chrissy Metz blowing up the TV screen in This is Us, there are a lot of roles being written
now for plus size actresses. That's fantastic, but I was not ready to be sent in on anything. It seemed like I was going for Broadway, Off-Broadway and other contracts in musical theatre, and studying at Stella Adler to finesse my onstage acting chops and I was mainly being sent in for nothing but fat girls on TV. I am not complaining, I was not READY. I felt very unable to approach anything with film because I honestly never saw it as part of my life. The last few months have been me taking steps to get into on camera acting to try to learn something that I never saw myself doing, and then a brand new career direction landed in my lap taking me away from all of it and I've never been more relieved.
I'm not closing the door on TV/Film, but it's a "not right now." Kind of thing.
I just want to sing. I can always come back to TV/Film as a character actress.

How did you hear you’d booked your first big gig 
I guess I will go with my recent concert at the Friars' Club. I grew up with my grandmother who lived and breathed Frank Sinatra, and so being inducted into the Friars' Club as a young associate was a really big deal for me, and for my family. 
I never thought I would get to headline the club so soon, and I was ecstatic to get the phone call confirming my evening at the club last November. "Chasing Cameron Mackintosh" really introduced me to a lot of members, and it selling out was a really proud moment for my parents and grandmothers' family to see. It was serendipitous to have my singing voice change after that show closed so I could kind of start a brand new chapter pursuing life as a dramatic mezzo. 

What is your favorite event in the cabaret community? 
Michael Garin and Mardie Millet have a pop-up cabaret show at the Roxy Hotel and a show at Jacque's. I was able to participate in it and it was some of the most fun I've had in a very long time. The hotel is fabulous, and the talent was incredible, and it's basically like bringing an old New York Speakeasy to life. I absolutely loved being part of it and will go whenever they have it. 

If you could have coffee with any living person, it would be... 
RuPaul Charles. She/He (depends on the day) fascinates me. He's built an empire for himself and what he has done as a businessman/woman is absolutely inspiring.  I would love to chat with him about everything from recovery to discipline, to the fact that he really can do anything- act, sing, produce, write, be funny, and gender bend. I'm absolutely in awe of him. 

If you could trade places with anybody for a day, I would choose… 
Emma Gonzalez. To be that young and that confident and full of solutions and to rise to the biggest occasion and be the face of change- it's truly inspiring.

 If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?
Rescuing every animal possible. 

 If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?


What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision? 
Jay Binder is always there with answers when I need them. 
He's like my fairy god-father. He shows up in his forms whether it's a class, an invited audition, or we run into each other in life- he shows up, as my shoulder angel to tell me to take a load off and put it on him so I can go get the career I deserve. 

YOUR top 5 credits 
Nettie Fowler, Carousel
Ol' Mother Hare, The Golden Apple
Pardon Me, Boys! -Hosting the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
Love Don't Need a Reason- 54 Below
Chasing Cameron Mackintosh- Live at the Friar's
To be successful in this business, it takes… 

Resilience. People are going to tell you you're the thing that you want to change about yourself. In my situation, people need to tell me I'm heavy and that's why I'm not on (Insert name of big singing competition here).
You have to find creative ways to say "Thank you for sharing" without killing anyone. 

What is something about you that you wish people could understand about you better? 
Appreciate the song I am singing for you right now instead of telling me what I should be doing with it.

Name one person you would like to see profiled in my blog:

What's next? 
Catch me singing in the Subway. It's my job- it's how I pay my bills! Follow me on my Facebook Fan Page and Twitter for announcements of which stations I'm in on what days. 
I'm at the Long Island Railroad in Penn Station, 53rd and Lex, Times Square Mezzanine and Grand Central Station! Come say something NICE. 
I'm appearing in 54 Sings Alice in Wonderland as the Duchess and I'm ecstatic to bring my childhood to life. My best friend Matt says that "acting is about playing cops and robbers like when you were a child." This is my "cops and robbers." I lived for Steve Allen's Alice in Wonderland, and I'm finding out how much it means to so many people now that the concert is happening! I can't wait to play! 
Wagner is next. This has been very unexpected. Basically my voice changed, and my teacher is someone who has some real pull in the opera world with Juilliard and more. She and her staff have been fostering me, and we've begun the intense training to go after a career that I didn't know
what possible until about two months ago. Stay tuned! 
Buy My Album Universal Child on Itunes and CD Baby

Buy my single "I Love The Way You Love Me" with proceeds benefiting the Brown Dog Foundation in Nashville, TN! 

Anything else you wish included?
I'm debuting my brand new EDM Single Because It's Love at an Indian Wedding in Bali in June! I'm really excited about the Punjabi Mantras I feature in it. It's a song of celebration! It will be available for download soon- it's my first original!



If you want to go see 54 Sings Alice, here's a discount code that expires on March 28th! 35% off is pretty fantastic so I hope you'll take this offer!!!! Hope to see you April 3rd! Click for tix https://54below.com/events/54-sings-alice-wonderland

Richard's Picks for Today
Verzet Amsterdam [Resistance Amsterdam] dramatizes the true story of artists in World War II occupied Amsterdam who band together to resist fascism and protect Jews from deportation and death. Written by Barbara Kahn. Directed by Robert Gonzales Jr. and Barbara Kahn. Set and light design by Mark Marcante. Costume design by Everett Clark. Sound design by Joy Linscheid. Vintage prop design by Lytza Colon. Featuring Steve Barkman, Benjamin Cardona, Robert Gonzales Jr., Carl Ellis Grant, Jared Johnston, Anya Krawcheck, Christopher Lowe, Paolo Solis, Steph Van Vlack. April 5-22, 2018. Theater for the New City 155 1st Ave (9th & 10th Sts.)
Thus-Sat. @8pm, Sun @3pm. Reservations: 212-254-1109. Advance tkts: www.theaterforthenewcity.net.

I did this one year ago today! On March 20, 2017, Anne Marie enjoys a conversation with Richard Skipper. Click HERE To see a bit of that. 

The Paley Center for Media said “Hello, Gorgeous” to their latest “Icon”: the legendary Barbra Streisand. Streisand was on hand for a conversation with Ryan Murphy as part of a special PaleyFest Icon Tribute, marking the first time the multihyphenate star has been honored for her overall body of work.                

Broadway vet Alli Mauzey (Cry-Baby) replaces Jennifer Simard in the Tony-winning revival of Hello, Dolly! beginning Tuesday, March 23. Simard played her final performance as Ernestina on March 18. Read MORE.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow just landed a James Comey interview on April 19th!

 Washington, the Tony- and Oscar-winning star who is slated to return to Broadway this week in Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, will be honored with the 2018 Distinguished Achievement Award by the New Dramatists organization. Washington will receive the award at the New Dramatists' annual luncheon on May 15 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for gifts you have given to the world and will continue to give

Now, go and do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return!
April 8th, 2018 

Russ Woolley Proudly Presents
Richard Skipper Celebrates
Broadway and off-Broadway Firsts...and More!

1 PM Brunch Show Laurie Beechman Theater 
Lane Bradbury created the role of Dainty June in the original Broadway production of the classic show Gypsy starring Ethel Merman.
Annie Hughes off-Broadway Closer Than Ever
Lauren Mufson Broadway and National Touring companies of Mamma Mia!
Marta Sanders Best Little Whorehouse In Texas Original Company

Musical Direction Joe Goodrich with Rex Benincasa on Percussion, Steve Doyle on bass, and Erik Lawrence on Sax

With music, reminisces and an afternoon of fun and show business! 90 minutes of merriment and excitement …Right on the heels of the 2/11 Russ Woolley's CELEBRATES Richard Skipper's’ BIRTHDAY…SELL-OUT Extravaganza…

When and Where:
Sunday, April 8th - 1 PM, Doors open 12:15

THE LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE, 407 West 42nd Street (lower level of the WEST BANK CAFE) Producer: Russ Woolley $30 ticket plus $20 food/beverage minimum - exquisite and reasonably priced food and drink

Richard Skipper has assembled a great cast to entertain and honor Broadway and off-Broadway artists… RICHARD SKIPPER has become synonymous with “feel good entertainment of the highest quality”. For decades Richard has entertained thousands and celebrated the careers of many of Theatre Row’s finest and most honored stars… It is now our turn to honor artists and the roles they created and/or made their own… The afternoon will prove to be an event where all will arrive and leave with smiles! This will be similar to the old-fashioned TV specials and series where we get to chat with and honor this Entertainment Icon.

So — Order your tickets now online…

A Few Audience Testimonials
Richard Skipper and Russ Woolley, Tom and I were thrilled to see Richard Skipper Celebrates...John Kander 3/18/18- what an afternoon! My second one, Tom's first, and he is now a convert/addict too! Such talent, imagine all those wonderful performers doing a number together? The roof would blow off! Thank you for a terrific afternoon, and we can't wait for the next one! XOX 
~~John Oakley Higgins 
Another fantastic edition of Richard Skipper Celebrates 3/18/18 in honor of John Kander’s Birthday. Obviously, the music was terrific but the performances were outstanding. I loved Ms. Asbury’s YES! and Also the duet performance by Jana Robbins & David Sabella. But my favorite, (which RICHARD hinted before the show was just for me was Lucy Spina’s RING THEM BELLS (bells included) .. This show never disappoints... If you’ve attended one or several, you know what I mean, if you haven’t done so yet, you’re really missing out. ~~Avi Duvdevani, South Amboy NJ
 Wow! After interviewing Richard Skipper on our podcast Behind the Curtain: Broadway's Living Legends, I was on Cloud 9. Well, his show put me on Cloud 11! How he is able to create such magical events, time and time again astounds me. Richard Skipper is a national treasure and no one can really call themselves a New Yorker until they have seen a Richard Skipper show. 
~~Robert W Schneider, robertwschneider.com

The show is also made possible by Wright Bros. Real Estate. If you have attended Richard Skipper Celebrates, and if you haven't already, Please add your thoughts in Richard Skipper's Guest Book at RichardSkipper.com
You never Know Who You Might See There and What Might Happen!

With grateful XOXOXs ,


Please LIKE (if you do!) and SHARE!


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

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!


Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

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