Why yes, I was! I have returned home from quite possibly one of the most fun and fast-paced weekends of my life. Granted, I now have a cold and am very tired but it was well worth it. What was I doing out in the big apple? I'll tell you.
Last spring, my good friend Jesse Sanchez called me up. Jesse and I went to school together at the University of Idaho and then I wrote his marching band shows for a few years when he was the director at Westmont High School in Campbell, California. This past year, Jesse was hired as a music assistant for Hamilton (the musical) out in San Francisco. Since then, Jesse has been very busy in the world of musical theater. So anyway, he calls me up last spring and tells me that he is writing a musical! I was surprised to hear this but I was also really excited for my friend as a project like that is a massive undertaking! But if anyone could pull it off, it would be Jesse. Then a little while later, Jesse tells me that his new work has some great momentum and that the script is going to be read in California. And it was! This was this past June. Finally, he calls me up a few months ago and tells me that he's starting the musical numbers for the show and he then asks me if I can help him write them to which I say, "Sure why not!" Jesse then lets me know that there's going to be a reading of the musical in New York City on November 5th-6th, and that we have a lot of work to do! So we get busy.
Jesse composes nine musical numbers and I help him arrange them and proofread them. Our process was awesome. It involved iPhone recordings, many late nights, a dropbox full of Finale files and a whole lot of fun. The clock was ticking down towards this reading in New York City. Finally, we got everything as done as it was going to be. So last weekend, Jesse, his girlfriend Aly, a stage manager (Beth) and a pianist (Katie) all fly out from California to New York City and I fly from Seattle and we all rendezvous at an Airbnb for the weekend in Brooklyn. And we're off and running!
We had individual music rehearsals on Sunday for each number in Manhattan. These consisted of making sure the music worked, tweaking things and just getting an overall feel for how things felt. We were very happy with how everything turned out but also had copious amounts of notes about things that needed to be revised.
Then on Monday, we had the reading! All 12 cast members met us in New York City, we circled up in a studio space in Manhattan and we read the whole musical down from top to bottom. Act 1 had music and script, Act 2 only had script. On top of having an absolute blast working with the entire team to bring this new work together, I could not believe how kind and supportive everyone was. You have to understand that some of these cast members have performed on Broadway. These aren't no-name people by any means. But everyone came together to support Jesse and provide excellent feedback on his new work. I've never been a part of anything quite like it.
So yes, I was in New York City this past weekend. I was helping bring to life, a new musical called "Sincerely Mom" written by my good friend, Jesse Sanchez. You can read more about it here: http://www.jessejsanchez.com/sincerely-mom.html
We are going to be continuing work on this new musical including writing all of the numbers for Act 2. It's a great story and I can't wait to see it develop and come to life on a stage near you very soon!