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Play Me the Music; Give Me a Chance to Come Through

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"We Have Arrived at a Moment in Our Lives When the Future Passes into Our Hands" Sep. 13th, 2007 @ 03:29 pm
I am feeling extremely sentimental today for some reason and in a way want to curl up and go to sleep for a week, if that makes sense. I don't know; one of those days. The Summer went by too fast, as it does every year. Life is long, and yet can also seem too short at times, if that makes any sense. I don't know. I am beat, and yet have done nothing today. Strange indeed. I don't want to get up; just want to sit here and feel down, because I don't feel like being up. I am trapped; trapped in a bubble of nothingness trapped within a cruel and angry world. I want out. Out of this empty collective unconciousness and back in to a collective conciousness. I want life. Not the fake kind, but the real kind. I want love. Not the fake kind, but the real kind. I am watching one of my greatest addictions, TV Land, and Leave It to Beaver is on. I have always wanted to live in the '50's and '60's, and this time it's so bad it hurts.

Somebody rescue me.

Been working off and on on this composition for a few days:

"Nothing"

Forget me not,
When I am gone;
Love me so,
While here on earth.
Beauty has risen,
To awaken the dawn,
Of prosperity,
Touched by the hand of God

Cherish me not,
When I am dead;
But cry out,
For a life yet to be led.
Meaningless beings,
Yet so vital to the feelings
Of love,
Touched by the hand of god

Fear me not,
This love of mine;
The unknown beckons,
For you to come,
Towards a life so rich,
Yet teeming with pain;
Which still remains,
Touched by the hand of God

"Let's Not Wish for the Moon, When We Have the Stars" Sep. 12th, 2007 @ 09:27 am
First off, if you are on MySpace or Facebook, please add me to your frends lists:

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/musicaltheatredork

Facebook: I am the only Daniel Mart on on there

OK, well, after nearly a year off of here, I am back (not that all of you missed me, I am sure). I am going to try to post regularly again; writing is like the ultimate healer, and over the last few years or so, I have really enjoyed composing blogs, and do use it as a stress release.

So, what have I been up to ... going to The Stanford Theatre. A lot. The Stanford is an awesome restored film palace from 1925 ... it is run by the Stanford Theatre Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to restore movies around the nation. Their centerpiece, though, is The Stanford Theatre. Love that place so, so soooooooooooo much; I do my best to attend every show. Next door to the theatre is an awesome independent cafe (truly indie; they have only one location) nestled in a "great" and haunting brick building from 1909. The cafe serves middle-eastern food and fair-trade coffee (remember: say "no!" to Starbucks and only go to indie/fair-trade coffee houses ... do not even buy Starbucks ice cream or take-out/bottled coffee). "Amazing" food, and the people there are so nice; I will often get a coffee and/or sandwich and then go to the shows next door. There is just something about saying, "I am seeing Sparticus and the curtain goes up at 7:30" that is so beautiful. These really were simpler times; a time where an increasingly greedy and corrupt corporate America had not squashed the real romanticism of "puppy love," and when morals and ethics played a huge role in both society "and" culture.

It is also so trippy to think that you are walking in the same places as moviegoers in the '20's and '30's. And directors and movie stars, I am sure, as security was not as tight then.

I have always been a true believer and, well, "fanatic" about ghosts and spirits and the occult, and it would be so interesting, I think, to take a ghost meter, infrared light and camera into the theatre after closing, turn off the lights, and see if anythings there.

Hmmm ... what else ... got a job at our local amphitheater, which is so awesome ... been seeing a lot of concerts. This is, of course, in addition to concerts I pay for myself. Next up is the Arcade Fire, followed by The Steve Miller Band, which is followed again the next day by CoCo Lee (an amazing singer from China). I have tix to Boys Like Girls on October 26th (except I just found out that Bruce "The Boss" is doing a concert the same evening in Oakland, and I may get tix to that and sell the others ... decisions, decisions... ) and Fall Out Boy November 29th. And the timeless Carol "She's Still Alive?" Channing is performing a concert here in San Jose next month! Tix go on sale September 14th, and you "know" I am going to that show.

As for musicals, Theatreworks is now home to the pre-Broadway world premiere of Emma, which runs until the end of this month. See it if you can ... I have gone twice, and am thinking of going a third and possibly fourth time. The music is so gorgeous, and after the show leaves us, who knows when I will see it again.

Summer classes at AMT have ended, and rather than signing up for the Fall program, I will probably apply for an interns position. It will be great experience for me, and an internship looks great on any theatre resume.

Not too much else. My birthday was a week ago (I am writing this post from the new HP computer my parents got me, as the harddrive on my old one suddenly died) and, as was the case the last few years, rather than being excited, as I get older, I become more philisophical. On one hand, I like my life, and do plan on reaching for my dreams. On the other, what is the real "point," you know? We look forward to something, it goes by, and that is that. Every second that comes is instantly in the past. I will be working an 11+ hour concert, and while the day might seem long, after it is all over with, it suddenly seemed really short.

Life ... go figure. I do often feel that I am on a higher plane than most, if that makes sense. So many gullible people in this world; so many jerks; so many people who don't have common-sense; so many people who don't give a damn. I am not too depressed today, but will admit to being very prone to it. Very deep feelings; very sentimental. Monday night after the Stanford Theatre, I came home in time for the final five minutes of the 49ers season opener, and, I don't know if this sounds odd to some, throughout much of the evening and night, I felt ... not elated, but extremely deep. Very spiritual. Very "close to God," as some people might say. In a way, as strange as it sounds, I somewhat enjoy being down at times. As an artist, it gets me to that higher plane; it releases the creative and spiritual processes. In the end, it does not matter if some people think it is alright that Barry Bonds used steroids to break sports most hallowed record. Two generations have grown up on an inferior Disney Channel, but instead of saying that it matters and arguing at the top of my lungs, I am using common-sense. These are two examples of what I have realized over the years; that it "does" not matter at first. Rather, you have to use common-sense to "make" it matter. And if some people do not or just plain refuse to get it? Well, that is the downfall of society, my friend. Yes, I will get angry over some issues; yes, I do get fed up with the world. Nobody is immune. It will get me down, and at the same time, it gets me that much higher.

Society "is" a lot worse. Part of why I love The Stanford Theatre so much.

Am I blabbering? I do that a lot; I don't care.

oOo ... and BTW, my gramma went from being paralyzed on half her side to perfect again within two days. Thanks for all your good thoughts and prayers .. this was the second time in three years that it had happened (both around New Years), and she has emerged in perfect health each time. At age 90 and two near-strokes later, she is still swimming three times a week, gardening, canning fruit, and cooking meals for her entire church congregation.

Keep her in your prayers. To end this post, here is a poem that I wrote the other day; first composition in forever. Enjoy:

"Unknown Life"

And what love have I witnessed with my own eyes?
What tears have swallowed the shallow goodbyes?
What pain and despair,
Has my own life become?

What struggle and strife have we not gone through?
Only to get us back to you?
A life we once led that is now all but dead,
In a world so tried and true

What suffering have we all but endured?
For the memories which will never fade?
For the life we once had,
For the good and the bad,
For the love,
Which we all feel today

And the trials and tribulations,
Which we all have gone through,
Will seem meaningless on that judgement day,
For the life we have lived,
The life we had known,
Will be gone

And all we will have left,
Is the unknown
Current Music: The new Mamas & the Papas box set I got as a present

Science Can Prove the Existence of God! Dec. 27th, 2006 @ 10:42 pm
Rather than copy and paste a gigantic amount of text, let me invite y'all to this awesome website I recently stumbled upon:

http://www.doesgodexist.org/

It does have some very good points, and further proves how closed-minded some scientists and professors are. The other day, I was listening to NPR and part of an episode of City Arts and Lectures. The guest was the professor who wrote the new book on why believing in God is irrational. What really bothered me was how some people in the audience were laughing and clapping hysterically whenever he referenced something from the book. And it wasn't like regular laughing and clapping at a lecture; the crowd literally sounded hysterical. I even remember thinking, "This is sick!"

Don't athiests have lives? lol
Current Mood: okayokay

Life is a Cabaret, Bitch Dec. 23rd, 2006 @ 05:59 pm
I know that I have used this subjerct line before, but oh well. Have not had a "real" update since September, so here goes...

I have seen quite a few concerts over the past few months: Pearl Jam, both Bridge School Benefit concerts, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Aerosmith/Motley Crue, and Panic! at the Disco. First, we will start with Bob Dylan; rather, the "great" Bob Dylan. He really is one of music's greatest legends, and his concerts show us why. The guy has always been a perfectionist (which explains why his band has always been one of the tightest around); even though his singing is extremely un-traditional and either like-it-or-hate-it, he does have a great sense of pitch. It is nearly perfect, in fact. The man does know how to put on one of "the best" concerts; he is a master at getting a crowd riled up and into it. He even shot off a few smiles while singing, which is totally the opposite of his image in the media; you can obviously tell that he loves performing. Even gave us a few slow dance moves across the stage before returning to the keyboard he stood at and played all evening (as opposed to his trademark guitar).

A truly amazing lyricist; I actually got emotional during "Brokenman Blues." I have to say that Dylan is one of the few artists I would be willing to pay a gigantic sum of money to see.

The concert was at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, which is also where I saw Pearl Jam. My friend and I get there early, and fortunately, even though other fans run up to the stage immediately after getting in, we still managed to get five rows back center stage on the floor (I was around 13 rows back for Pearl Jam). And I still somehow managed to fight through the crowds for souvenirs during intermission. People are nice, though, and usually let me through; half the time because I am plowing forward, and the only alternative is being rammed by a walker :). Many are smiling widely and patting me on the back, most likely because a disabled person with a walker is like the last one they would expect on the floor at a rock concert.

Same thing happened with Panic! at the Disco at the San Jose Arena; my friend and I were lucky enough to get front row floor, and I got several huge smiles. Kind of a different feeling at that show, as the majority of fans were high school girls; it really made me miss high school terribly, and was like living a lost part of my teenage life, as it has been like a couple years since I got into this kind of music. The concert was so so so awesome, as were the two opening acts (Cobra Starship and Jacks Mannequin)! Speaking of Jacks Mannequin and Cobra Starship, I am seeing both of them in Feb; cannot wait.

Aerosmith and Petty were not on the floor, as they were in amphitheaters, but still equally as amazing. Aerosmith is my favorite band in the world; they are by far "the" greatest rock band of all time! Their set here was extremely tight with Steven Tyler sounding perfect (which is incredible, considering his recent throat surgery), but ultimately dissapointing, as it felt too rushed; and after a very hurried Finale of "Walk This Way," Steven said, "God Bless," and the band was in their limo and up the hill literally within fifteen seconds. Motley's set, on the other hand, was just as tight "and" did not seem rushed at all; they were also great at getting the entire crowd involved. Granted: the lead singer cannot belt anymore, and his continued lifestyle of hard drugs and drinking probably will not create a desire for singing lessons to gain it back. He is still an awesome showman, though, and the Crue will survive on that. Plus, their pyrotechnics were "beyond" incredible, with tons of smoke and fire all around the stage. I was in the 15th row on the side, and I must say that, as soon as Aerosmith appeared, I was the rowdiest fan in our section. I used the hard seat backs to stand up and lean against, and as long as I have something to secure myself with, my balance is perfect; and I mean "perfect." Just ask the people who went to that concert :). One fan on the Aerosmith fan club forum said that he could even hear me singing along to "Dream On," and his seat was two sections over lol

Tom Petty was incredible, and, as with Bob Dylan, clearly showed us why he is a true legend of rock. Stevie Nicks showed up for a few songs, and that was amazing; she has one the best singing voices is rock music today.

And as for Pearl Jam, they are so totally beyond incredible in concert! Eddie Vedder think must have caught a glimpse of me during the final song, because he was eye-to-eye with me and put on a huge smile. The highlight of the evening? Most definitely "Even Flow." Everybody should see that song performed live at least once. And their latest hit, "Worlwide Suicide," is among their greatest of all-time.

The Bridge School concerts are always a highlight for me, and this year was no exception. The only difference was that, while I always get emotional during both concerts, this was the first time where I literally became teary-eyed during Neil Young's opening set. It happened during concert #1. The Bridge School is just like the special ed program I grew up in, and it pains me to think how much special ed has gone downhill in California, and all because of money. I miss my times there so very much. It was more than just school; the people there were my second family; I would not be the person I am today without my years there. I would give "anything" to go back.

In January of 2003, I had a very emotional letter published in a local paper greatly expanding on this very issue. In a way, I feel strange mentioning this article time and time again, as it is a few years old; but in all honesty, I do not think I could compose anything better on this issue:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/01/30/ED216739.DTL&hw=daniel+mart&sn=011&sc=588

Please read it, and hopefully it will inspire you to write a letter to the powers-that-be; to join me in the fight to fully regain great special ed in California. If you know me, you know that I will never ever give up!

What else ... went to local productions of King & I (starring Debbi Boone) and Christmas Dreamland (a world premiere show written by AMT's conservatory director and former artistic director), which were both excellent. Sseeing Dreamgirls the movie the day after Christmas, going on our annual trip to Utah December 29th (and returning on the second), already have four concerts lined up (Bowling For Soup Jan 24th, Jacks Mannequin Feb 3rd, Cobra Starship Feb 25th, and My Chemical Romance March 15th), Speech Level Singing workshop on Jan 28th, and a hair sppontment Jan 9th. Oh, and school starts Jan 8th.

There you are; a long-overdue update on my life. "Please," if you can, go to my website at:

http://www.preservethemagic.org

And finally ... don't shop at Wal-Mart, and only buy your books, music and movies from independents!

God Bless you all. Watched a repeat yesterday of that very, very interesting episode of 20/20 on Heaven and the many religous viewpoints of it. Extremely intriguing.
Current Mood: okayokay

Anybody Want a Floor Ticket to Panic! at the Disco? Nov. 30th, 2006 @ 06:40 am
I have one extra floor GA ticket to Tuesday's Panic! at the Disco concert at San Jose Arena ... anybody want it? Two friends r going and I was unable to find a third, so my fourth ticket is available.

Happy Thanksgiving! Nov. 23rd, 2006 @ 09:41 pm
Just wanted to wish y'all a Happy Thanksgiving! Damn, time goes by so fast sometimes ... before we know it, it'll be Christmas.

Anybody getting up before dawn for the six hour -- or whatever -- sales tomorrow? Remember ... try not to shop at online stores, Wal-Mart, Costco and other extremely huge chains; instead, hit up indies/smaller chains; places like Kepler's, Books Inc, Best Buy, The Wherehouse, Rasputins, Virgin Megastore, etc. Trust me ... you will feel a lot better about yourself :)

Happy Thanksgiving! Nov. 23rd, 2006 @ 09:41 pm
Just wanted to wish y'all a Happy Thanksgiving! Damn, time goes by so fast sometimes ... before we know it, it'll be Christmas!

Anybody getting up before dawn for the six hour -- or whatever -- sales tomorrow? Remember ... try not to shop at online stores, Wal-Mart, Costco and other extremely huge chains; instead, hit up indies/smaller chains; places like Kepler's, Books Inc, Best Buy, The Wherehouse, Rasputins, Virgin Megastore, etc. Trust me ... you will feel a lot better about yourself :)

RIP Robert Altman Nov. 21st, 2006 @ 01:08 pm
WTF? This is sad; too many great celebrities are passing away. This time it's the great Robert Altman:

Film Director Robert Altman Dies
Nov 21, 11:38 AM EST

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Robert Altman, the caustic and irreverent satirist behind "M*A*S*H," "Nashville" and "The Player" who made a career out of bucking Hollywood management and story conventions, died at a Los Angeles Hospital, his Sandcastle 5 Productions Company said Tuesday. He was 81.

The director died Monday night, Joshua Astrachan, a producer at Altman's Sandcastle 5 Productions in New York City, told The Associated Press.

The cause of death wasn't disclosed. A news release was expected later in the day, Astrachan said.

A five-time Academy Award nominee for best director, most recently for 2001's "Gosford Park," he finally won a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2006.

"No other filmmaker has gotten a better shake than I have," Altman said while accepting the award. "I'm very fortunate in my career. I've never had to direct a film I didn't choose or develop. My love for filmmaking has given me an entree to the world and to the human condition."

Altman had one of the most distinctive styles among modern filmmakers. He often employed huge ensemble casts, encouraged improvisation and overlapping dialogue and filmed scenes in long tracking shots that would flit from character to character.

Perpetually in and out of favor with audiences and critics, Altman worked ceaselessly since his anti-war black comedy "M*A*S*H" established his reputation in 1970, but he would go for years at a time directing obscure movies before roaring back with a hit.

After a string of commercial duds including "The Gingerbread Man" in 1998, "Cookie's Fortune" in 1999 and "Dr. T & the Women" in 2000, Altman took his all-American cynicism to Britain for 2001's "Gosford Park."

A combination murder-mystery and class-war satire set among snobbish socialites and their servants on an English estate in the 1930s, "Gosford Park" was Altman's biggest box-office success since "M*A*S*H."

Besides best-director, "Gosford Park" earned six other Oscar nominations, including best picture and best supporting actress for both Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith.

It won the original-screenplay Oscar, and Altman took the best-director prize at the Golden Globes for "Gosford Park."

Altman's other best-director Oscar nominations came for "M*A*S*H," the country-music saga "Nashville" from 1975, the movie-business satire "The Player" from 1992 and the ensemble character study "Short Cuts" from 1993. He also earned a best-picture nomination as producer of "Nashville."

No director ever got more best-director nominations without winning a regular Oscar, though four other men — Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Clarence Brown and King Vidor — tied with Altman at five.

In May, Altman brought out "A Prairie Home Companion," with Garrison Keillor starring as the announcer of a folksy musical show — with the same name as Keillor's own long-running show — about to be shut down by new owners. Among those in the cast were Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Kline, Woody Harrelson and Tommy Lee Jones.

"This film is about death," Altman said at a May 3 news conference in St. Paul, Minn., also attended by Keillor and many of the movie's stars.

Video: Altman on "A Prairie Home Companion"

Gallery: "A Prairie Home Companion" stills

He often took on Hollywood genres with a revisionist's eye, de-romanticizing the Western hero in 1971's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" and 1976's "Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson," the film-noir gumshoe in 1973's "The Long Goodbye" and outlaw gangsters in "Thieves Like Us."

"M*A*S*H" was Altman's first big success after years of directing television, commercials, industrial films and generally unremarkable feature films. The film starring Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould was set during the Korean War but was Altman's thinly veiled attack on U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

"That was my intention entirely. If you look at that film, there's no mention of what war it is," Altman said in an Associated Press interview in 2001, adding that the studio made him put a disclaimer at the beginning to identify the setting as Korea.

"Our mandate was bad taste. If anybody had a joke in the worst taste, it had a better chance of getting into the film, because nothing was in worse taste than that war itself," Altman said.

The film spawned the long-running TV sitcom starring Alan Alda, a show Altman would refer to with distaste as "that series." Unlike the social message of the film, the series was prompted by greed, Altman said.

"They made millions and millions of dollars by bringing an Asian war into Americans' homes every Sunday night," Altman said in 2001. "I thought that was the worst taste."

Altman never minced words about reproaching Hollywood. After the Sept. 11 attacks, he said Hollywood served as a source of inspiration for the terrorists by making violent action movies that amounted to training films for such attacks.

"Nobody would have thought to commit an atrocity like that unless they'd seen it in a movie," Altman said.

Altman was written off repeatedly by the Hollywood establishment, and his reputation for arrogance and hard drinking — a habit he eventually gave up — hindered his efforts to raise money for his idiosyncratic films.

While critical of studio executives, Altman held actors in the highest esteem. He joked that on "Gosford Park," he was there mainly to turn the lights on and off for the performers.

The respect was mutual. Top-name actors would clamor for even bit parts in his films. Altman generally worked on shoestring budgets, yet he continually landed marquee performers who signed on for a fraction of their normal salaries.

After the mid-1970s, the quality of Altman's films became increasingly erratic. His 1980 musical "Popeye," with Robin Williams, was trashed by critics, and Altman took some time off from film.

He directed the Broadway production of "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean," following it with a movie adaptation in 1982. Altman went back and forth from TV to theatrical films over the next decade, but even when his films earned critical praise, such as 1990's "Vincent & Theo," they remained largely unseen.

"The Player" and "Short Cuts" re-established Altman's reputation and commercial viability. But other 1990s films — including his fashion-industry farce "Ready to Wear" and "Kansas City," his reverie on the 1930s jazz and gangster scene of his hometown — fell flat.

Born Feb. 20, 1925, Altman hung out in his teen years at the jazz clubs of Kansas City, Mo., where his father was an insurance salesman.

Altman was a bomber pilot in World War II and studied engineering at the University of Missouri in Columbia before taking a job making industrial films in Kansas City. He moved into feature films with "The Delinquents" in 1957, then worked largely in television through the mid 1960s, directing episodes of such series as "Bonanza" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."

Altman and his wife, Kathryn, had two sons, Robert and Matthew, and he had a daughter, Christine, and two other sons, Michael and Stephen, from two previous marriages.

When he received his honorary Oscar in 2006, Altman revealed he had a heart transplant a decade earlier.

"I didn't make a big secret out of it, but I thought nobody would hire me again," he said after the ceremony. "You know, there's such a stigma about heart transplants, and there's a lot of us out there."
Current Mood: surprisedsurprised

"Loneliness" -- New Composition Nov. 19th, 2006 @ 01:38 pm
Wrote this as a song last night at like 1 am. Enjoy...

"Loneliness"

I am alone in this world,
I am afraid,
Of what it may hold,
Or am I too late

To re-live the days,
Of my youth;
To look at everything,
I had gone through

To get where I am today,
I wouldn't change a thing,
The plan for my life was already drawn up.
In the stars and the heavens,
Hanging up above,
Yes, I have regrets,
But I will never ever,
Give up

Looking through the looking glass,
At a world I never knew,
It all seems different,
But we all stay the same

We all dream the sacred dream,
That we live through anything,
But when we wake up,
We all remain the same

To get where I am today,
I wouldn't change a thing,
The plan for my life was already drawn up.
In the stars and the heavens,
Hanging up above,
Yes, I have regrets,
But I will never ever,
Give up

The dreams that we all share,
Through a lifetime of despair,
Hope and misery,
The pain that I follow through

With you.
You are my rock and my savior,
I knew,
That I would never love another

It's true,
Though the wind and the fire,
We'll make it through,
And love one another
Current Mood: okayokay

If You're Free this Weekend ... Please Donate to this Extremely Worthy Cause! Oct. 20th, 2006 @ 05:23 pm
Are you free on Saturday and/or Sunday? Then why not go to the Bridge School Benefit at the Shoreline! Nearly ten bands, all accoustic, donating to an extremely worthy cause ... if you can, please buy a ticket ... the Bridge School is something that is very, very close to my heart.

I always go to both concerts ... if you can, please attend at least one:

http://www.livenation.com/venue/getVenue/venueId/1022

And if you do end up going, please say hello (look for a blue walker ... I'll be wearing a black Hairspray the Musical hoodie) :)
Current Mood: okayokay
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