Tag Archives: music

The Trouble With Words [Funding Fridays]


Coeurage Theater Company announced they’re bringing back their hit musical The Trouble With Words – bigger,better and brighter – but they need your help. Read through to see where the money’s going and how you can take part.
Find a discount code at the bottom to a cool How-To Kickstarter Video Workshop. 
CMJ: Why are you bringing TTWW back?
Jeremy Lelliot, Artistic Director of Coeurage:
We feel like we haven’t really done the show yet, not the way it deserves to be done. It’s hard to conceive, since the workshop production was such a runaway success for us, but this is the world premiere as far as we’re concerned. So much is new: new songs, new set, new creative team, major revisions to the script and score… this is the fully realized version that we’re ready to share with Los Angeles.
Greg Nabours, Composer/Lyricist TTWW:
The original production of The Trouble With Words was actually a workshop production. Songs were still being written up until (and into) the week before we opened. We managed to cram six actors and six musicians onto a stage no larger than most people’s kitchen, and we did what we could with a piggy bank budget.  Somehow, we ended up attracting all the right attention and winning multiple awards, but it was always meant to be a workshop.  This production is the real thing.  All of the weaker elements from the first production have been cut or reimagined, and the new material that is taking its place really launches the show into new territory.  On top of better material, we are adding a choreographer, a set designer, a costume designer, a sound designer, a live mixer, and a publicist.  We don’t consider this as “bringing TTWW back.” We actually think of this as the world premiere of a new musical!
CMJ: What will the Kickstarter funds benefit and why is that important to the production?
The Kickstarter funds represent about half of our budget, so we’re doubling our resources for designers and production values. We have a lot of top notch folks working on this one that we wouldn’t have been able to afford on our own.
The Kickstarter campaign is essentially our backbone right now.  We pulled in the best talent we could find, and that kind of knowledge and skill doesn’t come cheap.  We want to see how far we can get with this show, but we can’t do it alone. We believe that a successful Kickstarter campaign will actually allow this show a pathway to New York and beyond.
CMJ: What are your coolest perks?
For 30.00 you get an autographed cd, digital download, Coeurage tote bag, and TTWW pin. That’s more like a good deal on a purchase than a reward for a donation. For 10,000.00 we’ll do a live reenactment of Indecent Proposal starring Greg as Demi Moore. Plus you get every other incentive we’re offering.
Clearly, the coolest perk is the $1,000 mark. At that point, on top of getting all the merch that we have to offer and drinks with the cast, you also get a personalized song written by me (and a live performance of said song).  I’ve been paid more from people who were looking for the perfect proposal or an anniversary gift, so I actually think a grand for a song (and I can write a great song in any genre of music) is a fair trade.  Our show did win LA’s highest theatre award (the Ovation) for best original music and lyrics, after all.
Clearly the WORST perk (not that you asked) is the $10,000 mark. At that point, our company has agreed to do a live reenactment of the film Indecent Proposal, with myself as the female lead. I don’t actually remember agreeing to this, but I will follow through with it if someone actually pays that amount. 
CMJ: What was your favorite audience reaction during the first production?
Nicki, our general manager, came to almost every performance and bawled. A lot of the time it was tears of pride and joy for Greg. She was genuinely concerned about being a distraction (she never was). She often hid herself in the back row.
This is a hard one, as many stories come to mind.  As the run progressed, we started seeing more and more industry professionals in the audience.  After one particular performance, Jason Alexander walked up onstage after the show and asked if he could take me out to lunch. After another performance, a Disney representative took my info for future projects. 
BUT my favorite was during a song near the end of the show, Raincloud.  Apparently an audience member connected a little too much with the song. He started crying early in the song, and he gradually reached hysterics by the end.  In a tiny theater, this is very difficult to ignore. Eventually his sobs were louder than the actors and the band, and other audience members were having a hard time not laughing at the situation. I took it as a compliment…though I do wish he had waited ’til after the show to give it. 

Ovation Award Winning
The Trouble With Words by Gregory Nabours
March 1st – March 31st
A song cycle that explores the relationships people have with words and how language affects our everyday life.


Crowdfunding Secrets to Success



Demo Video Lab

Saturday, February 9, 2013 from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (PST)

Use code CINDY20 for 20% off – expires on Monday, Feb 4th!

Santa Monica, CA

Did you miss the Kickstarter Tips ? Read here.

Backstage Backbeat at the Ahmanson

Center Theatre Group LA invited me and a guest to a live broadcast of the radio show “Breakfast with the Beatles” before the matinee of


Actors with a fan.

Backbeat last Sunday. Here are some clips, including the actor playing Paul McCartney singing “A Taste of Honey,” a scene between John Lennon and McCartney, and Chris Carter on how accurate the show is to reality of The Beatles’ legacy.

I have some more thoughts on the whole experience to share soon.

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Don’t miss a segment @cindymariej or Facebook

Trans-Media Prep for Project1979: Jackson Edition

Tonight I’m the Online Storyteller for Project1979: Jackson Edition. Alice works hard to connect the stories she gathers from YOU to every city, town, country she visits & performs.

My job is to connect wherever she is to the world online & create even more conversation online to integrate into real-time as well as future project1979 editions.
Join us tonight: 8pm PT & 9pm Jackson Wyoming time! The link to watch will post here: http://project1979.wordpress.com/
Or follow @Project1979 & on Facebook

Here I outline some of the ways Alice & I prepare for a Trans-media Storytelling experience and hurdles we faced/overcame.

Social Media Week LA – Live Blog

All day I’m running around Hollywood to catch parts of Social Media Week LA. Check back every hour for updates & follow @cindymariej

Starting @ioLA :

9am Freshwire Daily Brief: KSwiss

No level listed. Pretty beginner but more informal chat than info session.

Join us every morning at io/LA, our Social Tech Hub, for coffee and bagels during the Freshwire Daily Brief.

Fashion continues to blaze a path forward in social media, whether it’s sites like Fab and Tumblr or innovative digital content strategies. Shawn will speak with Brian Ogle, Senior Director of Sports Marketing and Digital Strategy at K-Swiss, about how he’s keeping his company ahead of the curve.

Brian Ogle @KSWISS

“There’s just that moment at midnight, the night before it goes live…at the end of the day the goal of this…is to make people stand up and re-engage with our brand.”  (He’s talking about this very funny, very NSFW video.)

“We just have to stay true to ourselves and not try to be anyone else.”

“This is a 24/7 audience. You can’t turn your back….it’s really due diligence, setting the time aside daily.”

10am KEYNOTE – Million Downloads

Advanced Level. #MillionDownloads

Derrick N. Ashong, a vibrant story-teller, on the music industry process & why Million Downloads makes sense.

Musician, entrepreneur, former host of Emmy-nominated social media tv show, “The Stream,” and former Oprah radio personality, Derrick N. Ashong (DNA).

DNA will speak about the Million Download Campaign – a project to give away a million free downloads of tracks & remixes from the album “AFropolitan” by DNA & Soulfège — as featured in FAST COMPANY MAGAZINE this past spring. The goals of the campaign are to engage a global community in a dialogue about the power of “Open Source Culture” as represented by the music and message of “AFropolitan.” It is also a challenge to the outmoded paradigm of the mainstream music industry, and an illustration of how the power of technology, social media & grassroots networks can be leveraged to “break a band” without a corporate label.

On the music industry: “Everyone was wondering where is all of this going and what are we doing?”

Ashong gives a concise history of open source software for the varied makeup of his audience.

3 traditional barriers of entry in the music industry. High cost of :

1. production – Now everyone has garage band on their laptop. Ashong works on his tracks on the airplane. “Impossible ten years ago, unthninkable fifteen years ago.”

2. distribution – one digital file is ubiquitous

3. promotion – “What happens when it’s easy to make a record, it’s easy to put it out there, everyone who is musically inclined now has something out there…how are you heard above the noise?”

His answer to the promotion obstacle is Million Downloads. Why would you do that and make money? “We’ll make money the same way musicians always make money.” Estimates are between 3-7% of major label musicians make a profit on their record sales. Lyle Lovett never made money off his record sales, Ashong says. He takes the audience on a journey through the average musician on a major label to prove his point: Musicians don’t make money on their music. So why not give it away?  The way the industry is structured right now, many voices never get heard. Ashong says The Beatles couldn’t get signed today (something I heard before today). Three major music labels after a recent merger: how likely that world-changing music out there is not being heard by those major labels?

This whole campaign is educating people on how to share content and how to monetize those opportunities for new voices to be heard.

He brings up a great point: everything uses music to sell other stuff, to “heighten the experience of something else.”

Summary: Not necessarily advanced, but Ashong as a story-teller is dynamic, clear and made a great business argument towards free downloads at a certain point in a musician’s career.


10:30am Better Than Room Service: Travel & Hospitality Gets Social 

Intermediate Level. #SMWLATravel

Moderator & CTG LA Social Media Manager Jim Halloran. Glad to see theatre represented!

This panel discussion will explore how travel and hospitality brands use social media to find new customers and build brand loyalty. The session will use examples from hotels, restaurants, attractions and destinations.

Speakers on Twitter: @CTGLA , @saradunaj , @SaraRoderickLA , @ceralockhart , @LawrenceMoore , @LAtravelwriter & @discoverLA

@CTGLA Jim Halloran thinks their challenge is taking a Brain-On Approach. I’ll have more on that with Jim later.

CTGLA Impressions increased by 23% by paying for Twitter exposure. Engage celebrity tweeters. People won’t Retweet about discounts. Jim has a great metaphor about a Rubick’s Cube. He’s now showing us an incredible way to buy group tickets to a show without fronting the whole amount, in beta mode.

“We all do better when we all do better.” – Jim Halloran @CTGLA

@SaraRoderickLA on how to engage when people are your property. 3/4 people talking about travel on social media. “Customer service has completely changed.”

Now on to using Klout for perks. Kind of like Tweet Seats on speed. If this person says (or reads) “This campaign was a great success” one more time, I will throw my cold coffee at her.

@LawrenceMoore says good things but brings the session back to Beginner status.
“Social media is like a children’s book. You don’t want to be intellectually stimulated, you want to be sensory-stimulated.”

He is very informative, but what does it have to do with travel or hospitality? He ran through general social media guidelines for the most part and seemed to pitching for new clients rather than speaking to the topic.

Summary: first half much better than second half. Mostly Intermediate.

Running off to the Egyptian now for a noon session.


12pm Unraveling the Mystery of True Influence at the Egyptian Theater

#SMWDBA  Advanced

Panel by Digital Brand Architects

Speakers on Twitter: @lateafternoon @kendrabracken @therealDBA @ngoodyear @TigerScion @bobbyisaacson

Understanding the role of the Digital Influencer + Fan to create Advocacy and the platforms, tools and influencers that will drive the strategic use of social media to advance mobilization efforts, consumer behavior, purchase intent and conversion.

Many first timers in the room, so SMW Global Rep is introducing them to the whole endeavor. This is the first time they’re setting up a campus of sorts, between the Egyptian and ioLA.

@KendraBraken from @TheRealDBA – interesting that they represent online influencers.

What is influence? The panelists’ respond:

@ngoodyear – The ability to influence purchase intent or purchase. There’s a rise of brand influencers.

@bobbyisaacson – From technology standpoint, we believe people-powered marketing (word of mouth marketing) is the most powerful. Get people to talk about your brand. Anyone who can help get a brand out there is an influencer.

@TigerScion – It’s really hard to influence or be influenced if you can’t start the conversation. If you are above q million followers, only 2% will see your Facebook content. They repurpose it. As an influencer, you have an obligation to increase other influencers’ reach.

@lateafternoon – She is a client of @TheRealDBA – 2 sides of influence. 1 is to connect with readers who like what they do. 2 is using that influence to change perception about a brand.  She is a brand ambassador but doesn’t try to sell a brand.

60% or tablet users are using it in front of their TV. @ngoodyear

I get why @TigerScion wants to know how to automate content or influence, but it defeats the purpose of social media, doesn’t it?

How does Blogger @lateafternoon track influence? She rattles off numbers but stresses that it’s important to establish a fan base that is engaged. She has to create a conversation about a brand so they get excited about brand, so they want to be part of its lifestyle. “This the the attendance at this event…..This is how many clicks you can get by me tweeting something…”

Nichole @ngoodyear thinks Influencers are great because Brands don’t have to carry the weight on their own.

Summary: Great talk, excellenet diversity of panelists. Intermediate to Advanced, but it was audience questions that often took it to Intermediate.


LUNCH – Took some time to work at Little Devils on Hollywood Boulevard. Great spot that lets you sit as long as you want near an outlet.


4pm The Integration of Youth, Nonprofits & Social Media

#SMWChangeAgents No level listed. [Update: this is Beginner, based on the first 15 minutes.]

Speakers on Twitter: @PhilJav @everyone_nose @dumb_tweets @FosteringMC @imayawashington

Panelists from youth focused organizations will discuss how the use of social media impacts their outreach and effectiveness.

Already I really like this panel. We’re on the patio at the W Hotel, and it’s a fantastic spot. This is not your typical nonprofit youth panel setting  no florescent lights, for one thing.

@FosteringMC “My job is to reach the mass media….social media allows for us to create moments of off line interactions that allow us to push forward the policies of foster youth.”

@imayawashington agrees that Facebook reaches friends and family very quickly. @PhilJav really likes instagram and Twitter. @everyone_nose says his community really likes Twitter, especially when they can connect with celebrities. Facebook is good for connecting with parents. @dumb_tweets says youth love pictures and for their demographic, pictures and instagram work better than even using YouTube. We are a super narcisistic society. They are building up their instagram and photo-based platforms.

Moderator: How have you transferred the audience online to offline?

@dumb_tweets “Start off small and recognize people for what they do.”

@everyone_nose says the bill for autism last year worked really well for the Special Needs Network. “We’re very lucky to have passionate families that care about the issue.”

@PhilJav admits to using the wrong technology that made it look wonky at first for a live stream, but “whatever, we were trying something out.” That’s a great attitude (no sarcasm intended. “Create moments where people outside of where you are can experience….That lead to AP Press and coverage across the country.”

@dumb_tweets “It’s okay for stuff to not always work out, to be janky at first” (using @PhilJav ‘s term). He says later that nonprofits should act more like for profits regarding branding.


5:30pm Intro to the YouTube Partner Program

#SMWLAyoutube – Beginner Level.

Thousands of Partners have found global audiences by pursuing their creative aspirations on YouTube. Come hear the YouTube team discuss how to leverage your creativity on the platform to become a Partner. We’ll take a look at some exceptional examples of partner programming on YouTube, highlighting ways disruptive creativity, collaboration, and social media can grow your audience and your revenue.

Whether you’re a filmmaker, comedian, actor, or producer, join us to learn about the Partner Program followed by a Q&A session with the presenters.

I came in a little late, but they’re reviewing the basics of becoming a YouTube partner. Now showing Kids React: Planking by TheFineBros (one of my personal favorite shows). I’m glad they mention that The Fine Bros won an Emmy for this series.

Building community is crucial. Encourage your audience to interact & subscribe.

Shout-out to PBS and the Bob Ross video!

That’s about it. They’re answering questions very thoroughly and most can be found on the YouTube Creators Playbook.

Time to catch the bus home!

Let me know what you thought. Comment below.


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