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Interview: Catching Up With TOGETHER INSIDE'S Becca Kidwell

Becca Kidwell's third act since the reopening of the clubs debuts April 30th at Don't Tell Mama.

Interview: Catching Up With TOGETHER INSIDE'S Becca Kidwell Some four short years ago Reiki healer Becca Kidwell decided to test the waters of the cabaret stage to explore new ways of storytelling. The born natural and self-professed introvert captured the attention and the hearts of audiences and the New York City cabaret community. Today, several shows, some award nominations (and wins), and a pandemic later, Becca Kidwell prepares to premiere her third show since the lifting of the lockdown. As, one by one, each of her recent club act outings have garnered praise and support from her colleagues in cabaret, Becca Kidwell finds herself graduating from the industry's baby sister to their fearless peer. With ongoing praise from industry cornerstones like Meg Flather and Dorian Woodruff, Becca Kidwell is no longer a novice - she is a Kabarettist, a storyteller, and an inspiration to anyone thinking that maybe they, themselves, might want to try out the small venue stage.

Becca Kidwell is a champion.

As the days wind down to the opening performance of TOGETHER INSIDE, this storytelling champion chatted with Broadway World about community, the last four years, and what on earth makes an introvert step into the spotlight.

This interview was conducted digitally and is reproduced with minor edits.

Becca Kidwell, welcome to Broadway World!

Thank you for this opportunity!

You are about to open your third new show since the lockdown lifted! Tell me what TOGETHER INSIDE is going to be about.

Interview: Catching Up With TOGETHER INSIDE'S Becca Kidwell My show is about being an introvert and how my social life became easier during lockdown, and then how I struggled to adjust as the lockdown lifted. I started working on it in 2020 as a general "COVID experience show," but I got stuck, so I put it to the side, and did SHOW OF DARES. As I was writing songs, particularly as lockdown lifted, I just wrote what I felt and I realized I had a unique perspective to share about lockdown and that's when the show began to take shape.

Is it true that you wrote the title song?

Yes! Musically, I was influenced by "Alone Together" by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz and "Mr. Moon" by Tracy Stark. Once I had the musical ideas, my truth about lockdown flowed out, and I wrote the song that night. After I wrote that song, I knew I had found the heart of my show.

Share with me a little bit about your work as a songwriter, if you would, please.

Interview: Catching Up With TOGETHER INSIDE'S Becca Kidwell
Meg Flather

I'm still very new. I was first inspired reading Meg Flather's book Home Shopping Diva: Lessons, Lyrics, and Lipstick. Someone asked Meg when she was going to write her own songs to tell her story and I liked that idea. I am able to tell an entire story with other people's words, but could use my own words? That sounded like something worth exploring. I took seven songwriting courses online since the pandemic started. I write constantly and while most of it is experimental, I'm hoping to have enough songs within a couple of years to record an album with 1/2 to 3/4 worth of my own songs. I am reaching out to other musicians to work on songs together as I am still learning some of the technical aspects of music.

Coming out of the lockdown, you dove right in with your SHOW OF DARES, and then you had the long-awaited premiere of MY MAYBE WORLD, which was your tribute show to Mary Chapin Carpenter, and now you are opening TOGETHER INSIDE. What is the driving force that keeps you on a continually evolving path of creation?

I was struggling with depression as the lockdown lifted, but creativity and specifically performing are where I find my joy. So, I got to work on new shows. Also, I was inspired by something that Hal Prince said. He said, "The idea is to work and to experiment. Some things will be creatively successful, some things will succeed at the box office, and some things will only - which is the biggest only - teach you things that see the future. And they're probably as valuable as any of your successes." The more you do, the better you become at your craft, and I'll keep following my joy wherever it leads me.

You have a new creative team for Together Inside. What are your philosophies on bringing new artistic influences into your growth as a storyteller?

Interview: Catching Up With TOGETHER INSIDE'S Becca Kidwell
Jeff Harnar

I've been blessed to work with incredibly talented and supportive collaborators. Every person teaches me something new about performing and about myself. I am a better performer and person because of each person that I have worked with. There are two specific things that I look for in collaborators: we need to have mutual respect for each other so that we can challenge and lift each other up; and we need to have fun. Performing is my happy place, and if we're not having fun what's the point?

You work with a balance of songs from the catalog of popular songs and by original composers. Put a picture in my head of your experience working with composers that you know on original material.

I'm fortunate to have several friends who have entrusted me with their songs. I try to honor their vision and heart that they have put into the songs and then find my own voice within them. If there are any changes that I want to make, I do check with them before making them, and that's a benefit of personally knowing the songwriter. I do feel an added level of responsibility to showcase their songs in the best light because I want to make sure that the beauty of these songs is realized, and I want to be able to look them in the eyes after a performance and know that I've done that.

You have had a rather remarkable journey into and with the cabaret art form and community. What are your most prominent thoughts and feelings about the ride you've been on so far as a cabaret artist?

Interview: Catching Up With TOGETHER INSIDE'S Becca Kidwell
Matt Baker

It's nowhere that I expected to be, but it's exactly where I belong. I have come so far, and I have so much more to learn. I am so grateful for the wonderful community of cabaret artists and for the mutual support we have for each other. I am grateful to be surrounded by so many talented people who teach me either directly or through their own performances. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Are you actively aware of the changes that you have undergone as a person, through your induction into the world of small venue storytelling?

Very much. I've found my own voice. I didn't feel like I knew what I was doing at all when I started, and I tended to defer to anyone else's opinion. I'm very glad that my collaborators challenged me at every turn and helped me to come to a place where I could take full ownership of my performances. Now, I know who I am and what I'm about. There's the ability to have a more of an equal partnership with my collaborators and, without question, what you see is a Becca Kidwell performance. Skill-wise, it's about continually learning new things, refining my practices, so that my performances continue to become more fine-tuned and nuanced. A former teacher once said, "When you have nothing left to learn, move on." I live by that idea.

Are you ready to begin testing the out-of-town waters of cabaret storytelling?

I would love to, if the opportunity presents itself! I have family and friends in Boston, Arizona, and Georgia, and I would love to bring the show to them instead of having them come out to see me. I'm always up for a new challenge!

I hear a rumor that there is a planned sequel to the Show of Dares. Are there any hints or teasers that you would like to share with our readers?

Interview: Catching Up With TOGETHER INSIDE'S Becca Kidwell
Tracy Stark

We have a theme this time. There are some more original songs. But the best part, like the first show, is that anything is possible.

Becca, how surprised are you by all that has happened to you in the last four years?

Most of it has been a surprise, and I'm grateful for every moment. I don't take any of it for granted, and I'm grateful that I get to share it with this wonderful cabaret community.

Thank you so much for taking time out of rehearsals to chat with us today, Becca. I am really excited to see Together Inside.

Thank you!

Becca Kidwell TOGETHER INSIDE plays Don't Tell Mama on April 30th at 4 pm. Information and tickets are available HERE. There will be a second performance on May 22nd at 4 pm; tickets available HERE.

Becca Kidwell can be found online HERE.

Becca Kidwell's headshot is a Matt Baker photograph.

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