BWW Review: SARASOLO FESTIVAL at SaraSolo Productions
The SaraSolo Festival is one of the most unique festivals promoting the solo performer and offering master classes in the arts for people of all ages and stages of life. Artistic Director Ann Morrison and Managing Director Blake Walton of Gotta Van Productions, members of the United Solo Academy in New York, were encouraged to start a version of the United Solo Festival to be presented in the Gulf Coast area, with a dream of expanding it in the future to include a retreat for solo artists to develop and hone their craft with other like-minded artists. Ms. Morrison says, "Blake and I are excited to be going into our fifth season which we believe is going to be deep, profound, entertaining, and provocative!" Now in their 5th year, they continue to present unique, brave and uplifting solo performances from a variety of national, local, and international professional artists in all areas of The Arts - including dance, musical theater, stand up comedy, cabaret, storytelling, magic, performance art, and poetic, dramatic, biographical and autobiographical solo plays.
An example of the diversity of talent you can catch at SaraSolo is Jeremy Ryan Mossman performing This is How I Feel, This is What I Think, a sung-through song cycle of a man explaining his story of love, loss and gratefulness, and Kaylene McCaw returning to the festival with Suntelia, a session with "Universal Tech Support" addressing the challenges humans deal with from shame, powerlessness, and fear of death, presented in lighthearted "tech talk" for all of us that can use some assistance from G.O.D. (Guidance On Demand), available to all.
In This is How I Feel, This is What I Think, Mr. Mossman soulfully delivers 13 short songs that unfold the story of his attraction to a woman with whom he is in love and his lack of confidence in whether he can win her heart, Love Will Find You in Its Time. He overthinks how he is handling his love for this woman and only wants to please her and make a good impression. Should he have said this, should he have done that, oh the woes that go into courtship. After winning the girl, they blissfully enjoy marriage - for a while. Then the spark slowly fades; then divorce. He sees the world is set up for couples and he feels out of place and alone. His therapist tells him to do something different, paint the house a different color. Humorous lyrics such as "it's not a coat of many colors, it's a color of many coats" bringing a roar of laughter from the audience. As he finds himself again and grows in confidence, "I'm not incomplete", he re-connects to God, "I let go the reason to know why; You know better than I", and declares he is blessed and very grateful in the end, "in a city full of strangers, I have a family of friends." In his last song he boldly declares he is "leading life instead of being led; living life instead of playing dead". This was a powerful journey on how love can make or break you and how you can recover from love lost by loving yourself, counting your blessings and living in gratefulness. Many songs are taken from the Grateful CD, inventively written by Broadway composer/lyricist John Bucchino and sung conversationally to the audience. Jeremy has a twinkle in his eye that will grab your attention, a kindhearted smile, and a charming way of delivering this lovely piece of work. Artistic Director Ann Morrison describes Mossman's work as "a master class on how to do cabaret". Mr. Mossman holds a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre Performance from the University of Miami, Florida, and his Master's of Music in Vocal Pedagogy from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He is a Certified Master Teacher of the innovative physiology-based, Estill voice model and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the prestigious New York Singing Teachers' Association (NYSTA). For more information on Jeremy Ryman Mossman visit www.
Kaylene McCaw is a returning local favorite to SaraSolo Festival in her always entertaining and spiritually uplifting look at life, human interactions and the choice to be an affirmative force affecting humanity in a loving and positive way. Much love and ingenuity goes into Miss McCaw's cleverly written work. Paralleling life with computer tech terminology Kaylene acts as our guide through "the human experience" as we enter the world through the "worldwide womb web" where our "human mother uses her womb to 3D imprint our body". Our bodies enter the "blue planet matrix preloaded with our mother's story of the world software". Our technical support comes from "universal tech support" otherwise known as "Guidance On Demand" or G.O.D. for short. There has been a "NOT virus" passed down from generation to generation that taught us to focus on the things we do NOT want during our life's journey. Kaylene charges us with shifting that paradigm and concentrating instead on the things things we DO want. If you understand the foundation of all things being, you bring about what you think about, it makes sense to concentrate on the positive. We are cautioned that thinking so much about what we do NOT want, we will forget to remember what we DO want. Energy creates manifestation regardless of negative or positive. This production is a profound reminder that we have the choice to focus our energies on the things we DO want on this life's journey. Kaylene uses a set of creative props to create memorable visuals. The one squeaker prop that sounds like a squirrel will get your attention and is the perfect accouterment for her storyline that also involves a tree and an eagle interacting with the squirrel. Her entertaining, positive message is enlightening and educational. At the end of her session she freely offers a certificate to each audience member that you both sign declaring, "I am the master of my own destiny". Her colorful book Human Experience Quick-Start Guide is a delightful read. For more information on Miss McCaw and her work, visit www.kaylenemccaw.com
For more information on SaraSolo Festival, SoloSynergy and their workshops and master classes, visit www.SaraSolo.org.