Viewing entries tagged
theater

Arts Advocacy Day 2015

#AAD15
"Advocacy must be a part of your daily mission," words spoken by Jay Dick the Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs from Americans for the Arts (AFTA) in the opening of this year's Arts Advocacy Day. With over 550 advocates from 48 states it was great to see so many people passionate about advocating for the arts. Being able to take this opportunity to travel to Washington D.C., speak with our government officials and advocate for the arts was such a great experience in learning why I love doing what I do as well as continuing to fight to have the next generation to have the same opportunities that I was given. Even though this was my first time attending the event, this was not the first time I've spoken to my elected officials about advocating for the arts as well as having my voice heard.
To read more of what I wrote go to the Educational Theatre Association page.
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Transformation

It's been a couple months since I've updated here.

I'd like to think the year is getting off to a great start, I've put up my website (www.whoismarkdrum.com), I'm dancing in a showcase at Alvin Ailey, I'm attending this year's Arts Advocacy Day in Washington D.C., and I'm relearning my native language.

Change is never easy and doesn't happen overnight. It takes time and I'm continuing to make the positive changes I want in my life. I can say I'm learning from experiences whether it was good or bad, I can admit when I'm at fault or was wrong and I'm just overall trying to be happy.

Isn't that what everyone wants? To be happy?

I can say that I'm keeping up with my resolutions and continuing to find more reasons why I love where I am. The next few months I've filled my calendar with events and I've even scheduled a little vacation in between! However I'm still pursuing acting and I say that I'm a blogger but I haven't blogged much. So hopefully more post will come to fruition and I'll continue to share my story to those who want to read.

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Opportunities Abound

It's a new month and I'm really excited because I've just been working hard to pursue what I love and it's slowly coming together.

I'm part of an AMAZING organization, the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) and this year I've finally paid my dues (literally) to become a professional member. I had been a part of the organization through the International Thespian Society as a Junior Thespian (Troupe #88331) and Thespian (#Troupe 6513). Now living in New York, I've been asked by the Chapter Directors of the state to be the new Student Thespian Officer (STO) Coordinator. Which I was thrilled to have been asked and honored to have been consider. I of course humbly accepted and now I'm getting to work with a great group of kids. Though I'm still relatively new to the role, I have plenty of leadership experience and hope that I can make an impact.

Also with the organization, since the National Festival, held every year at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, I've been making a push to reach out to other state festivals/conferences to help out. I'm happy to say that I'll be getting to go to the Georgia Thespian Conference in February to teach Beginning Hip Hop. I'm really excited for the opportunity and it'll be my first time visiting the GA Thespian Conference. Hopefully this will be the beginning of more to come! Here's a link of me dancing during a Hip Hop Class at Alvin Ailey taught by David Terry to see my moves.

I also had the privilege last month to help out with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids annual Flea Market. It was great getting to be a part of the event and help out! So many theatre goers at the event supporting the cause! Here's a pic from the event, where I was at the EdTA table along with this year's International Thespian Officers (ITO)

Last month I made my debut on a New York Theatre at The Flea Theatre performing in #serials@theflea in a show called, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dragon," by A.J. Ditty. The best part of doing it was the show was selected to come back this month and I'll get to perform with it (hopefully) in two weeks. It just needs to survive this next week and I have a good feeling it will! The writing and the cast has been great! Plus the audience has been very receptive and loving it! However it will have to place in the top three against four other shows!



I've also been cast in another Flea Production in The Cutthroat Series: Grand Guignol Duels - Night Terrors in the show "The Blind." I'm excited for another great opportunity with this theatre community. I look forward to the rehearsals and the experience! 

Besides my theatre involvements, I've finished another year of blogging as a freelance writer for CBS Detroit for the show Big Brother. Now that it's been announced for two more season, only continues to fuel my desire to be on the show! But I'm thankful for the opportunity that I've had to write and even though I'm not getting paid for it, I'm doing it for the experience. Plus the byline isn't so bad as well as the exposure I've gotten. I love reading the comments (both positive, negative and random) as well as emails from fans of the show. I get into weekly conversations with a friend of mine who now lives in Canada about the show! Check out all my articles on CBS Detroit!

My job has been good too! I've been giving the opportunity to train the new hires as they start with the company. It's always great being able to mentor and resource for my new co-workers. Plus I'm thankful my job has been able to work with my passions of acting and be able to have a "survival job" and do what I love. 

This weekend I head back to Michigan (or home you could say) to be the photographer for a friend's wedding. I am honored and excited for this opportunity. This will be my third wedding I'll be photographing. I'm just hoping the rain won't be an issue as this will be my first outdoor wedding I'll be doing, but rain or shine I will be capturing the moments! I look forward to the challenge!



My "Dear Anonymous," post was very therapeutic and much needed. I was finally able to get all the emotions I wanted to get out. But it's shown me that it's ok to make mistakes, friends come and go as well as you can lose touch with some but then pick up where you left off. Ironically after I wrote that post I looked over it and thought, "Man this sounds like a good monologue," and laughed.

But keeping up with my New Year's Resolution, to always stay positive which hasn't been easy however many of my coworkers are annoyed with my positivity so I must be doing something right! 

All in all, NYC was the right decision. I may be working my butt off, but I know that with determination, drive and passion I can achieve my goals and dreams. Though it may be in a different form, I take all the experiences and learn something from them. Again trying to stay positive. Who wants to be sad and negative? I know I don't!

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Tonys 2014 Predictions

Just like when I (miserably) put my predictions for the Oscars, I'm doing it again but this time for the Tonys! 

I have the great opportunity to be in the city, however not fortunate to be in Radio City Music Hall. But I will be with friends and watching it at a viewing party!

We'll see how I fare this time around with these predictions, let's hope better than the Oscars...
These predictions are completely guesses and I had to do some research on some of the shows since I haven't seen all of them. 

Best Play
Act One 
All The Way
Casa Valentina
Mothers and Sons
Outside Mullingar

I predict: All The Way

Best Musical
After Midnight
Aladdin
Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

I predict: A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Best Revival of a Play
The Cripple of Inishmaan
The Glass Menagerie
A Raisin in the Sun
Twelfth Night

I predict: Twelfth Night

Best Revival of a Musical
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Les Misérables
Violet

I predict: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Best Book of a Musical
Aladdin (Chad Beguelin)
Beautiful - The Carole King Musical (Douglas McGrath)
Bullets Over Broadway (Woody Allen)
A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Robert L. Freedman)

I predict: A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Robert L. Freedman)

Best Original Score
Aladdin (Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Time Rice and Chad Begeulin)
The Bridges of Madison County (Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown)
A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder (Music by Steven Lutvak; Lyrics by Robert L. Freedman & Steven Lutvak)
If/Then (Music by Tom Kidd; Lyrics by Brian Yorkey)

I predict: The Bridges of Madison County (Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown)

Best Actor in a Play
Samuel Barnett, Twelfth Night
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Chris O'Dowd, Of Mice and Men
Mark Rylance, Richard III
Tony Shalhoub, Act One

I predict: Bryan Cranston, All The Way

Best Actress in a Play
Tyne Daly, Mothers and Sons
LaTanya Richardson Jackson, A Raisin in the Sun
Cherry Jones, The Glass Menagerie
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Estelle Parsons, The Velocity of Autumn

I predict: Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

Best Actor in a Musical
Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Ramin Karmloo, Les Misérables
Andy Karl, Rocky
Jefferson Mays, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Bryce Pinkham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

I predict: Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Best Actress in a Musical
Mary Bridget Davies,  A Night with Janis Joplin
Sutton Foster, Violet
Idina Menzel Adele Dazeem, If/Then
Jessie Mueller, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Kelli O'Hara, The Bridges of Madison County

I predict: Jessie Mueller, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

Best Featured Actor in a Play
Reed Birney, Casa Valentina
Paul Chahidi, Twelfth Night
Stephen Fry, Twelfth Night
Mark Rylance, Twelfth Night
Brian J. Smith, The Glass Menagerie

I predict: Mark Rylance, Twelfth Night

Best Featured Actress in a Play
Sarah Greene, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Celia Keenan-Bolger, The Glass Menagerie
Sophie Okonedo, A Raisin in the Sun
Anika Noni Rose, A Raisin in the Sun
Mare Winningham, Casa Valentina

I predict: Celia Keenan-Bolger, The Glass Menagerie

Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Cabaret
Nick Cordero, Bullets Over Broadway
Joshua Henry, Violet
James Monroe Inglehart, Aladdin
Jarrod Spector, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

I predict: James Monroe Inglehart, Aladdin

Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Linda Emond, Cabaret
Lena Hall, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Anika Larsen, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Adriane Lenox, After Midnight
Lauren Worsham, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

I predict: Linda Emond, Cabaret

Best Direction in a Play
Tim Carroll, Twelfth Night
Michael Grandage, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Kenny Leon, A Raisin in the Sun
John Tiffany, The Glass Menagerie

I predict: Tim Carroll, Twelfth Night

Best Direction in a Musical
Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Michael Mayer, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Leigh Silverman, Violet
Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

I predict: Darko Tresnjak, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Best Choreography
Warren Carlyle, After Midnight
Steven Hoggett & Kelly Devine, Rocky
Casey Nicholaw, Aladdin
Susan Stroman, Bullets Over Broadway

I predict: Warren Carlyle, After Midnight

Best Orchestrations
Doug Besterman, Bullets Over Broadway
Jason Robert Brown, The Bridges of Madison County
Steve Sidwell, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical
Jonathan Tunick, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

I predict: Jonathan Tunick, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Best Scenic Design in a Play
Beowulf Boritt, Act One
Bob Crowley, The Glass Menagerie
Es Devlin, Machinal
Christopher Oram, The Cripple of Inishmaan

I predict: Beowulf Boritt, Act One

Best Scenic Design in a Musical
Christopher Barreca, Rocky
Julian Crouch, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Alexander Dodge, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
Santo Loquasto, Bullets Over Broadway

I predict: Christopher Barreca, Rocky

Best Costume Design in a Play
Jane Greenwood, Act One
Michael Krass, Machinal
Rita Ryack, Casa Valentina
Jenny Tiramani, Twelfth Night

I predict: Jenny Tiramani, Twelfth Night

Best Costume Design in a Muscial
Linda Cho, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder
William Ivey Long, Bullets Over Broadway
Arianne Phillips, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Isabel Toledo, After Midnight

I predict: Linda Cho, A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder

Best Lighting Design in a Play
Paule Constable, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Jane Cox, Machinal
Natasha Katz, The Class Menagerie
Japhy Weideman, Of Mice and Men

I predict: Natasha Katz, The Class Menagerie

Best Lighting Design in a Musical
Kevin Adams, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Christopher Akerlind, Rocky
Howell Binkley, After Midnight
Donald Holder, The Bridges of Madison County

I predict: Kevin Adams, Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Best Sound Design in a Play
Alex Maranowski, The Cripple of Inishmaan
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Dan Moses Schreier, Act One
Matt Tierney, Machinal

I predict: Steve Canyon Kennedy, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

Best Sound Design in a Muscial
Peter Hylenski, After Midnight
Tim O'Heir, Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Mick Potter, Les Misérables
Brian Ronan, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

I predict; Brian Ronan, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical