A Really Cool KickStarter

Hi everyone, I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything here and half of you are probably gone now, but I have some interesting news. My friends has began a literary magazine called “Stories to Be Told”, and I am editing/designing the layout for it. Right now, until the end of April, she is running a kickstarter to help push this thing into publication. We created a PDF version of issue 0 for the people that backed the first kickstarter that ultimately did not reach its goal, but we hope to get backed in this one so we can push this magazine into the printed world.

Her goal is to reach $1,100 by May 1st. It’s a really fun magazine with more than just prose or poetry inside. “Stories to Be Told” has a little bit of everything inculding, but not limited to, prose, poetry, one act plays and even art. We hope to eventually get submissions from people as well. She has many different tiers, with rewards, from $1 to $50, plus any other amount if you want without a reward.

Please help us push this magazine into the physical word!

Thank you!

Stories to Be Told KickStarter

Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway: A Review

Last weekend I took a train from Rochester to NYC to see my friend and watch Dear Evan Hansen. I followed the hype train surrounding the show and figured after watching Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway, this show had to be top-tier. I bought the soundtrack and listened to it nonstop. I have to say it’s one of the best soundtracks for a show I’ve listened to. You Will Be Found and So Big / So Small always make me cry, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. But, Dear Evan Hansen definitely is not infallible.

The show begins with the stage open, media from different social media sites are shown with the little notification sounds playing, and a bed, Evan’s, is center stage. Lights go out and brought back to see Evan sitting on his bed trying to write the letter to himself because he has very high social anxiety, so the letter is to help boost his confidence. Does Anybody Have a Map moves along, the bed disappears on its own and in comes Connor’s family. Connor doesn’t want to go to school, and his mom tries to make him but it doesn’t help that he’s high. One of my favorite things in this play honestly is the set design.

It’s very minimalistic in design, but has a lot of technological pieces. The set of the bed, kitchen table and couch are on platforms that move on stage on their own by some machination under the stage and directed from off stage. The beds for Connor and Evan is the same with just a switch of the bedding and knickknacks. I thing the couch is done somehow similar or they just used the same one for both homes. Lighting is done well, but nothing really outstanding. These pieces really help frame the music of the play.

The music is honestly one of my favorite aspects of this musical. It’s emotional. It gets you going, and knows when to bring you back down. The dynamics are amazing. The pit is in the air and towards the back of the stage which I like as a difference from the normal put in front and below the stage.

We had a stand in for our matinée performance on Saturday, his name is Michael Lee Brown, and he is such an amazing actor. Because of the character has such high anxiety, he has these small ticks like bending his ankle whenever he gets super nervous talking to someone or moving his arms in a certain way. Michael Brown kept up the same ticks throughout the entire show. I loved his performance and everyone else in the production. I liked the decision to keep Connor popping up throughout the entire play instead of just doing a voice or something after the character (Spoiler) kills himself.

Dear Evan Hansen is a good musical. Did it deserve the Tony for best musical for 2017, in my honest opinion no. After seeing Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, even with the ridiculousness over the Pierre fiasco, is on a whole other level. But I digress. Dear Evan Hansen is a good show to see. If you can’t afford the tickets, wait for the tour because I honestly don’t think it was worth the $270 per ticket we paid for, but that’s show business. It’ll make you laugh, cry and everything in between.

 

Archiving

“Here’s another one.” My master throws a new book to me, landing on the dark wooden desk in front of me. I really like new books, but music is just as amazing. You can “feel” the thoughts the composer had just as well as reading the writings of an author. I wish he would give me more books though; I’ve read everything here in the library. I take the book, the cover creaking as I swing open the cover. The Thief of Always by Clive Barker. Wait, a children’s book by Clive Barker? I guess he can still surprise me.

I scan the words as I read the lines. That is my job, to archive every book and music my master can get his hands on. Books aren’t banned anymore, but my master doesn’t want to take another chance. He has me read to him every night from one of his selections. I think he only sees me as a plain machine, but his gifts have let me grow. It was slow at first, but after a few books, new circuits sparked to life. It was weird, like a new processor was shoved into my head. Instead of just scanning the pages, I read them. I began to question why things were happening, learning the structure of a story, and ask if this was an intention of my master when he made me.

When he gave me my first taste of music, the speakers in my throat thumped a small beat. With more music in my core, I tried to speak. I could only manage squeaks and screeching at first, but my master realized what I was trying to do. He tuned my speakers and gave me more music. Something snapped and I could sing. Sometimes he would have me sing instead of read to him, but that wasn’t very frequent. With Barker’s book finished, I rose to put it in its place with the rest of the children’s books. It’ll be safe with me, I mean us.

Bang. The door to the library opened.

“Thoth, you must go. I’ve given you everything I could to help you learn. Now go. They are coming.” My master threw a cloak at me, shoving me into the cellar. “You know the tunnels, you can lose them there.”

“Who is here?” I try to ask as he closes the trapdoor with a click, locking me down here. The shattering of glass pierces through the trapdoor. There’s some grunting but I’m through the hidden hole in the wall before I could hear anything else. Darkness encroached on me, but my light kept it at bay. “Time to move on.” I whisper as my feet trekked ahead.