With only 9 rehearsals under our belt, we opened George M! at TheatreZone in Naples, FL... and boy, what a joyous journey it's been!
To be completely honest, I had no idea who George M. Cohan was. Shame on me and my limited musical theater history knowledge. Come to find out, George M. Cohan was the father of musical theater as we know it today. His verve and tenacity brought countless songs and musicals to the Broadway stage that I feel is so important for every actor to recognize.
A truly ensemble show, this show goes by in the blink of an eye. As George M says himself - speed! lights! music! - the pace is key. The ensemble is on stage and off and back on again until the final notes of the orchestra. It's a blast! I get to play a few bit parts (Madame Grimaldi and Ma Templeton), tap dance to Yankee Doodle Dandy, and have a handful of other fun features.
We run through Sunday, January 22, 2017, and then it's on to the next project. More info here --> http://www.theatrezone-florida.com/current_season.html
2016 was a big year, you guys. It's hard for me to even reflect on all the wonderful, weird, heartbreaking, heart-fluttering, and quite honestly, life-changing moments I had. Besides the fact that I turned 30 (and boy, does it feel great!) and entered a new decade, I also grew artistically and made leaps and bounds in my career.
I became EMC (Equity Membership Candidate) by doing INTO THE WOODS at TheatreZone. I got to play a role that fit me like a glove: SHEILA in A CHORUS LINE with many of my best friends. I originated my first ever role in a musical with Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre AND got to record the cast album in Nashville. I performed THE HOME GAME 100 times. Yes. One hundred times. I also assistant directed my first film (50 Words) and assistant directed my first musical (Sweet Charity). Also, the web series I'm involved in (Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer) was released on Amazon Prime and I got to film more episodes with the incredible team.
And not only am I proud of all these accomplishments that I've made as a working actor, I'm so grateful for all the people that have helped to push me, inspire me, teach me, and grow with me along the way. I am beyond thankful for each and every person that I've worked with and played with on this journey. In 2017, I hope to create more. Read more. Learn more. Grow more. Let's do this!
I am so thrilled to join the production staff of "Sweet Charity" at The Players Centre in Sarasota, FL.
I will be assistant directing and assistant choreographing the production, until I leave for another contract in Naples, FL. This is one of my first forays into the field of directing, and although a bit daunting, it has been exceedingly interesting to be a part of the process from beginning to end.
From attending the auditions, having a hand in casting decisions, creating and mapping out schedules, down to running dance rehearsals (as dance captain), and providing assistance to the director in all capacities... it's been a whirlwind experience.
I look forward to the next opportunity and to learn and grow more as an artist, a director, and an actor.
After all the political turmoil, I declared one thing: disconnect from all the negativity and reconnect face-to-face. It's times like these that we need to take stock in the people we love, the relationships we have, and make it count.
That's what art truly is about, too. A friend of mine, Joseph Visaggi, and I got together to sing and create. Here's one of those gems.
Click here to view our cover of "Imagine" by John Lennon.
When I heard a colleague (and dear friend) of mine was writing, producing, and starring in her own short film, I knew I wanted to be involved. Friends working together to create work? Sign me up.
I joined the production team of the brand new short film 50 WORDS as the assistant director to the Director/Cinematographer Mark Palmer.
What a fun and interesting process to be a part of. On a low-budget, small-scale, locally-produced film project, the crew is small, the actors are unpaid, but the passion in the room is palpable. Everyone wants to create something, and create something that is good.
Not only was I able to assist the director, but I wore a plethora of hats and was a part of the process from beginning to end. We filmed over multiple weekends, and for long hours. I learned that I really love being a part of the creative process BEHIND the scenes. My ideas and my "can do" attitude were always useful, and I got to help a project flap its wings and soar.
We are all looking forward to a screening of the short film in Spring 2017! Learn more about this project here, and stay tuned!
Barry Baker: Aspiring Serial Killer (BBASK) Episode One is an official selection of the 2016 Orlando Film Festival!
If you didn't know, I play the character "Annie" in BBASK. We filmed the first episode almost a year ago (can you believe it?), and director/creator Tony Ahedo has done an amazing job submitting it to festivals and gaining lots of traction and buzz.
It first appeared at the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, FL, last spring, where it had two screenings and lots of interest.
In other news: we completed filming on episodes 2 and 3 in August, and a release date is potentially set for October/November! Stay tuned!
It's hard to believe that after 4.5 months and 100 performances, I finally had to say goodbye to this sweet Amish sister, Ruth.
I crossed a lot of things off my bucket list when I took this incredible contract at Blue Gate Musicals in Shipshewana, Indiana.
Not only did I get to experience a lot of "firsts," I also got to explore a new part of the country that I never would have found myself in otherwise. A few highlights included:
But, all of this wouldn't have been the same without the hard-working, generous, talented, and all-around GOOD people I got to work with every day. I'm so thankful for the time we had together, and the memories we made. I hope to see you all again soon! Special thanks to Wally, Dan, Sara, Sylvia, Scott, Bill, John, Jamie, Jaime, Chuck, and Lorna.
Thanks to our marketing team at Blue Gate Musicals / Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre, I present to you a special interview they did during our first couple of weeks here in Shipshewana.
You'll get to see some clips from the show and hear a little more about me and my experience with THE HOME GAME!
I have in my hands my very first Original Cast Album! Today, we got these beauties at the theater. It seems like just a few weeks ago we were spending time in Nashville and Franklin, TN, recording with Dennis Dearing and Menace Music Studio.
Because of my voiceover background, recording was a comfortable and fun experience. Dennis made it quick, easy, and effective. I'm so excited to give these a listen! And, of course, send to my family and friends across the country who can't make it up to see the show.
Do you want a copy? Send me an email and I'll see what we can do.
Proud to be a newly-minted member of the Equity Membership Candidate program with Actors' Equity Association! Thanks to TheatreZone in Naples, FL for offering me my very first equity points with INTO THE WOODS in March.
The candidate program can lead to eventual membership into Actors' Equity. Founded in 1913, "Equity" is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 50,000 Actors and Stage Managers.
Danae DeShazer is an actress, singer, and dancer living in Sarasota, FL.