Getting "discovered" is hard.
Imagine being a busy theater producer and you are asked to look at a script and sheet music by an unknown composer. It would be very difficult to imagine exactly what it could sound like. Or frankly, to even be interested. You're busy, remember? But... if the script came with a demo album, you would be more likely to check it out. Now imagine that the music is performed by some amazing vocalists, backed on many of the tracks by a 13-piece orchestra. Suddenly you are able to see potential in a show you might have never even noticed.
Scarlet is a funny, (yes, funny!) sweet and heroic show that stays true to history and Hawthorne's novel. It's a heart-wrenching tale of two star-crossed lovers and the scorned husband who can't find a way to forgive. Its the story of a strong woman who makes a choice to stand alone, and whose one purpose in this life is to protect her child. And it is about taking responsibility for the choices we make. It really is an AMAZING story, and it deserves to be told through a soaring score. I want producers to be able to understand that right away - thus a demo album.
I am very fortunate, for the artists who will sing are top level performers who are sought-after members of the professional music and theater world here in Portland. Many of them demonstrate exactly what it could sound like if done on a big Broadway stage - they're that good. So in addition to promoting my new work, this demo will also give them a way to be heard by more theater companies, and hopefully boost their careers as well.
For these people, it is just that - a career. It's not a hobby. They have worked hard to get to this level, and should be paid for their time and talents. But they are also very generous. When you figure the time needed to do the recording and all of the hours of rehearsal, it is easy to see that they won't be getting rich from the stipends for this project. But it will be enough that they can afford to commit. (FYI - none of the funds raised will go to me. Bringing my dream to life is enough for now.)
In addition to the 33 performer stipends, there are costs that come from use of the recording studio, renting rehearsal space, mixing, mastering, etc. All of it adds up. But when you think about how this album will help us bring this epic story to the stage, it's all worth it. Won't you be part of the crowd that gives this story the boost it deserves?
CAST (just look at this list!)*
# denotes a soloist on the album
- Rebecca Teran # (Hester Prynne, the heroine)
- Sheridan Stevens # (Rev. Arthur Dimmsdale, Hester's love)
- Leif Norby # (Roger Chillingsworth, the scorned husband)
- Lisette Bair # (Hester's 6-yr-old daughter, Pearl)
- John Starke # (Samuel Maverick, a witty non-Puritan landowner)
- Zachary Hoyt # (Reverend John Wilson)
- Nancy Olson Chatalas # (Mistress Hibbins, the snarky woman who is ofttimes called a witch)
- Paul Sadilek # (Governor Bellingham)
- Elizabeth Klinger # (Sarah Ainsworth, Hester's friend)
- Riley Vogel # (John Winthrop)
- Ally Starke # (young Clara Ainsworth, Act I)
- Cobie Wentross (grown Clara Ainsworth, Act II)
- Liz Bacon (Anne Dudley, town gossip)
- Jimmy Wilcox # (Deputy Governor Dudley)
- Yonah Barany (grown Clara's husband; to be named by one of you!)
Plus: Eleanor Bray, Rose Lee, Hayley Mousley, Jordan Ruttert, Cameron Starke, Cara Starke, Kendryn Starke and Mary Starke.
Risks and challenges
By paying the people involved, we reduce most of the risk of losing them if a paid gig came along. Of course, with a cast of 24 there is always the chance that someone will get sick, get hired in New York, etc, and we will have to make adjustments to the scope and timing of some of the project. The good news is that after 20 years in Portland, I have gotten to know enough talented people that personnel challenges won't stop us from getting a great demo done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Why is owning a copy of the demo album tied to such a large donation? Why not let a lot of people have it to get the music out there?
By the time a show makes it to a large stage, it is very different than when it was at inception. It's impossible to see in advance how every single word will work, so for a while it remains a work in progress. When Jonathan Larson first wrote Rent it was a musical with songs AND dialogue. The final version is all music. In Wicked, Steven Schwarz discarded dozens of half-finished and even a few completed songs before "Loathing" became part of the show we all know. So this demo is not exactly the same as a cast album will be someday. If everybody had a copy, it would by default become the known version of the show. This version is just the tool to help us convince producers etc. to support us in working toward that final perfected version. Ultimately, for the rest of the world, having a copy of the demo it is about insight into the show's progress and about owning a slice of the show's history. And, by limiting the number available, then if/when the show is successful, this "in the works" version will be an interesting little collector's item.
Support this project
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