With the world’s technological advancements and globalization, you can do anything you desire with some networking and dedication. I’m going to share the story of how I put on a musical with the help of people all over the world. Yes, that’s right, I developed a musical from scratch, in 2016.
I had always wanted to work with ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, a Renaissance play written around 1633 by John Ford. I was introduced to the show in my early twenties when I was a musical theater student at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). It wasn’t very well known, but it was a regularly performed piece even during the era. It was kind of in the mid-range you might say, kind of like your B-level classical theatre piece. I wanted to take this and turn it into a musical. This kernel of a thought started in 2006 but didn’t really pop until 10 years later.
I became an English teacher in South Korea for two years and I had been in criminal justice school prior to this. I was looking for university teaching positions but to my mind, there was no thought whatsoever of ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore: A Pop Opera. I was focusing on teaching and that was it.
Because I was focused so much on teaching, I was very surprised that I returned to the idea of writing this musical when I left teaching in South Korea and moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand where I wanted to learn about business and working online. I never thought I would be doing this musical in the country because I was initially looking for new ideas to pursue, instead of looking at things that I had already worked on.
One fateful night in Thailand, I was just thinking about my old life back in New York and New Jersey and what my interests used to be as I felt lost and unsure of myself. I started looking back at my strengths and passions because maybe I could find some kind of direction there.
I began by singing. And then realized that I wanted to develop a musical.
Soon I started singing out the scenes. Once a scene was musicalized, I would repeat this again, like clockwork almost every afternoon or sometimes in the evenings. One scene led to another, and with each scene, it was as if the words just emerged. I would write the lyrics that came to my head and my heart. I began musicalizing each scene with the ukulele, never having played ukulele in my life, at least not consistently. The music took on a life of its own in reconnecting with John Ford’s tale in a new and exciting way.
Each day, I would compose a song, record it and that would be the song for the scene. To record the songs with my…