Nightmare Man: living the dream.

I am in the thick of a Fringe Fest musical drama production called ‘Nightmare Man, A Musical.’  Here’s the information I pinched from the facebook page:

Show Times:
Fri. Aug 12th 4:00 PM
Sat. Aug 13th 7:00 PM
Sun. Aug 14th 2:30 PM
Gremlin Theatre
2400 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN
Directed by Paul von Stoetzel
Featuring Derek Meyer, Madelyne Riley, Marty Ruben*
Written by Nathan M. Schilz
Orchestra: Cory Grossman, Cello; Jonathan Ehresmann, Guitar; Jeff Grady, bass; Nathan Schilz, piano
*Courtesy of the Actor’s Equity Union
Thomas, a former nutritionist, finds himself in a low place years after a terrible accident. He can’t sleep, and if he does, he is sure to come face-to-face with who he calls “the presence.” In the midst of a dream he meets Jade who has an unlikely request.

So my role in this has been rather hands-off, which is kinda’ nice for a change – I just showed up to the rehearsals, wrote down cues/chord progressions, and plugged in my musical two cents.  Being hired as an improvising musician comes along with the added challenge of composing your own complementary music on the spot, every performance.  But I’ve come to realize that it’s not necessarily harder or easier than the job of a musician who strictly plays music off the page, because in order to do [most] music justice you need to internalize it and understand it before expressing it.  In the case of reading music one basically has to reverse-engineer the composed music (decompose it, if you will) in order to understand what makes it effective/affective, which requires the technical skills/knowledge of a composer.  Or maybe I’m just rationalizing all of the hours I spent struggling through music theory class.  Anyway, I think that in any musical scenario you just need to show up prepared, and there’s no reason for any style of musicianship to claim superiority.  That said, improvisation does involve higher brain functions than reading music off the page, but who’s keeping score anyway?

So the show’s going great and we’ve got 3 shows this weekend, starting today at 4pm!  And did I forget to mention that the acting is superb!?  Come check us out!

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