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Showing posts from March 20, 2011

Magical Moment 415, "Long Lost Twins"

I love visiting old, cluttered antique shops. I love rummaging through the mess and spotting something that sparks an old memory. I think, Oh I remember seeing something like that in my grandma's basement. And then for a minute, I can reminisce over that thought.
Sometimes the feeling is so overwhelming, I just have to buy whatever it is I see. When we lived in North Carolina, I found this doll and I couldn't believe it! It was just like one that my mother had as a little girl. I remember because I played with her too. Her name was Hilda. I bought the doll, took pictures, and e-mailed them to my mom. A short time later, she sent me her doll Hilda because she thought they should be together. I know nothing about the two dolls except they are identical down to the hand stitched lace on their bonnets, and their hair is a different color. They now sit together on my shelf, thankful to have found each other again after all these years.
Only a few short days ago, in Sleepy Hollow, NY,…

Magical Moment 414, "Blind By My Mind"

I'm playing for a new musical one-man show by Nathan Lucrezio called "Unheard."  It's a funny, artful, entertaining, toe-tapping, and heartfelt play that I'm proud to be a part of. At the emotional height of the show, Lucrezio describes his battle with cancer in this moving, intimate number. His sister, Elizabeth Lucrezio dances as he plays piano. At the end of the dance, I come and take over piano for him and he sings the beautiful ballad, "Blind by my Mind."
I read another blog post today by Dawn at Puzzle Pieces and it meant SO much to me. Musicians are often the background. It's easy to blend in. For me, it's safe and comfortable. It's easy to be overlooked by others and when that happens often enough, you start to overlook yourself. The post beautifully illustrates that the "backdrop" has a very important job - to make the "scene" stand out. So I do not take my job lightly. And I hope I never do.
Enjoy the video. The s…

Magical Moment 413, "Opening Night"

For a performer, there is no greater feeling of anticipation and excitement than in those moments before "show time." I am fortunate to be part of the debut show by Nathan Lucrezio, "Unheard." A short 2 weeks ago, I received a phone call out of the blue from someone I worked with a year and a half ago on my very first New York City gig. They needed a last minute replacement pianist for a new musical and there was no written sheet music - and only 2 weeks until opening night. 
I spent the next several days transcribing music and chords from recordings and watching the hands of the musical's composer, Lucrezio, play the songs for me. In typical show business fashion, everything came together at the last minute, with our first and only complete run through finishing 2 hours before curtain. Opening night was a success. The audience was pleased. Eddie my dedicated fan and honest critic, had nothing negative to say and found himself tapping his foot along with the ene…

Magical Moment 412, "Harry's Got the Right Idea"

To celebrate the new spring season, I thought about taking Joy for a good, long run today, but then I looked outside. Hello white snow flakes. Welcome back. Instead, I ran on the treadmill where it was warm.
When I looked outside later, I realized Harry the squirrel (named by my neighbor) had a very similar idea. Spring, you deceptive little thing.
"Forget it. I'm staying underneath the tree where it's still spring!" -Harry

Magical Moment 411, "The Entertainer"

Yet another video from the Play Me, I'm Yours project in New York City last summer. I am lucky enough to be involved with the planning of this year's 88 pianos throughout the 5 boroughs sponsored by the charity organization, Sing for Hope.
This video was taken at City Hall Park in Manhattan and was pretty early on in our exhausting hunt for all 69 pianos. Enjoy the video and take a moment to check out Sing for Hope's website!


To see other videos from the project, click here.
Sing for Hope also does bedside performances at local hospitals: A Dose of Song A Message of Song

Magical Moment 410, "Come Spring"

An man once said in the frustration of the winter season, "I get so angry at the snow. It kills the plants and leaves my trees bare."
His wife reminded him, "The trees are bare, but they haven't been killed by the snow. All the moisture is giving them the strength they need to bloom again come spring."
And spring has come!
Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!

~Thomas Blackburn, 
"An Easter Hymn"

Magical Moment 409, "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears"

The museum at Ellis Island is filled with photographs, stories, facts, and written interviews of the historic days when immigrants to the U.S passed through the "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears." I've been there a number of times now and am always struck by something new and fascinating. I can't get enough of the stories, some joyful, some heartbreaking. Thousands of people were sent back to their homelands after the excruciating voyage because they were deemed unfit for labor, a burden to society, or illegal in some way. There are stories of translators who hated to see immigrants deported, and so they would translate to the officials in a way that might keep them here. Over 300 babies were born on Ellis Island. Many people reunited with their families here after years, decades of separation. 
However, this short paragraph, transcribed for a particular exhibit, remains my absolute favorite part of the entire museum. This time, I remembered to take a picture so I could sh…