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Storyville nominated for Best New Off-Broadway Musical!!

by Hayley Levitt – Apr 22, 2014. New York, NY

“The Outer Critics Circle, an organization of writers and commentators covering New York theater for out-of-town newspapers, national publications, and other media beyond Broadway, has announced the list of 2013-14 award nominees recognized in 24 categories.



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I would like to say Thank You to my appendix…. NOT!

Hello my friends!!!

Well, I’m sitting here, post appendectomy surgery with nothing to do and that means it’s time to write, lol… First of all, can we talk about how useless and stupid the appendix is, not only because it can randomly become inflamed, but also because mine decided to randomly become inflamed the day before my FINAL CALLBACK for the new Broadway musical Holler If You Hear Me. I felt so bad for the Surgery Doctor who came to tell me the news Thursday night, because my girlfriend and I both sat there mouth agape in silence. The doctor thought it was because I was worried I needed surgery until we told her it was because I had a HUUUUGE audition the next day. The staff at Lower Manhattan New York Presbyterian Hospital were all so nice though, every time one of the surgeons or assistants came in to check on me, they would ask if my agent had received any news from the casting team if I would be able to audition for them again. So nice of them… The answer to their question, is not at the moment. It’s all good though, in my previous auditions for them, I gave it my all and showed what I can bring to the table, so though it may not happen on opening night – if the show is received well and remains for a little while, i should get a shot on the next round of casting.

So far to start out this year I have had very little free time, which is a good thing. I booked back to back shows to start the year. One was a very Off-Broadway play called Philosophy for Gangsters and the other was a musical showcase called Sweetie. I did not have a single day off from February 2 – March 31…. That was ROUGH!!! Neither gig payed well enough to pay the bills, so any second I wasn’t working on the shows, I was at my day job making up the difference. I definitely felt what it was like to be on the 70-80 hr work week. For those of you out there that live that as your normal work week, God Bless You because I almost went crazy, lol… It’s very very difficult to stay focused on the stage, which always takes a lot out of you, and then find the motivation to care enough at the restaurant you work to make money. You can be a server and not care, but your tips will suffer; I’m not about that. I’m going for 20% tip every time and thusly am equally exhausted after day job work as acting work.

The Sweetie showcase was soooo much fun. First of all it was directed by Pat Birch – don’t know who that is? Look her up right now, if you’re in musical theatre, she is top tier. Secondly, it was the first time I’ve ever performed in anything as an actual musician. Last year for Storyville, I fake played the trumpet while an actual trumpet player played behind me. For Sweetie, I actually played harmonica in the show… Now, for those of you who didn’t know I can play the harmonica, I’ll let you in on how that came to be. Up until I went to college my top sport was Tennis (yes this is going somewhere, I promise), and I was pretty doggone good at it. Definitely could’ve gone somewhere to play, but I was no where near good enough to play at a top Div I school nor had the desire to put in that kind of sports effort once I got in to Notre Dame on an academic scholarship. As a kid though, my dad (who used to play professionally in the 80s) was a Tennis teacher and my coach. One of my favorite things to do with one of his summer camps is that we would get to go to the Legg Mason USTA tournament in Washington D.C… Well, one year at the Legg Mason they had this little mini-tennis court and they had a “tournament” to see who was the best mini-court player, hosted by the Jensen Brothers. (waaaay before the Bryan Brothers, who are all clean cut and amazing – there were the Jensen Brothers in the early 90s who both had long hair and acted like rock stars. They only ever ended up winning one Grand Slam title, but to kids they were the shit) Anyway, I won the little mini-court tournament and my prize from the Jensen Brothers was a harmonica (why, I have no clue). Since that day, I always played it for fun and once I moved to LA and had no job and was just figuring my way around, I used all of my free time to actually learn what the instrument was about. Eventually I got to the point where I realized I needed a real instrument instead of a hobby toy to get better, so last year my girlfriend bought me a professional harmonica… and now, after doing the Sweetie musical, I can actually say that I am a harmonica player, instead of just a person who can kind of play harmonica.

Well, time to get up and walk around a little bit, sitting in bed is making my legs stiffen up… ugh, this surgery thing is no joke!!!



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Che Sará, Sará!!

“Here we are, and there is was… that Basin Street Station, The Delta Express!!! Stand back and watch the people come to Storyville!!”

Now that Storyville is done, and I finally have a free day to sit down and write a little bit, I can just say in reflection of the Storyville experience – I really am extremely lucky to have such supportive friends and family. It is always an absolute pleasure to see familiar faces in the audience and after the show. Someone asked me one time if I’m the kind of actor who doesn’t want to know when someone is in the audience to see me, and I responded, “absolutely not.” I make it a challenge to see if I can make that particular show something uniquely special for whoever is there to see it. So that when people compare stories to different shows they’ve seen, they find that they aren’t sharing any redundancy. As per the cast, creative team, and York Theatre tech personnel – what an amazing little core we set up in our short time together. It was a very rocky ride to opening night (we didn’t get nearly as much rehearsal in as we wanted, and thusly were forced to make additions, subtractions, and adjustments during preview week, pretty much on the fly), but every one stayed focused despite shaky composures and netted a great New York Times review, which is never an easy accomplishment. Every week the show got more and more vibrant, and as Jim (our producer) would always say to donors who asked what the future of the show will be, “your donation of a mere 6 million dollars will find this show on a Broadway stage.”… While that is a distant future in a land of money sprouting from oak trees, the only rumor I’m happy to spread is that word got to the Mayor of New Orleans that our show was inspiring and he called our producer personally to discuss the possibilities of a New Orleans show. What those discussions yield is for time to tell… For me, it’s back to auditions and “che sará, sará.”

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The Daily Grind

Well hello everyone!!! I know it has been quite a while, a few months, in fact. To start, I’m still alive and breathing oxygen and managing to pay my rent and eating decently healthy food. I’d call that doing pretty damn well in the book of life, lol… And therein lies my inspiration for today’s post. This isn’t an uncommon question, but for anyone out there who may want a little more clarity on the topic, WHAT IS AN ACTOR WHEN THEY’RE NOT ACTING?… and I don’t mean that in the mega-Hollywood actor sense, but the every day actor whose just trying to book a professional gig.

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21 – Roberto Clemente

Hey everyone!!

So over the last two weeks I had the wonderful opportunity to play Roberto Clemente in a developing musical called 21 by Alki Steriopolous. It was an absolute whirlwind of an experience that left me so exhausted when I was finally done, that I got home and could barely move, hahaha. It was only a reading of the musical which I’ll explain more about in a minute, but I really hope that I made a good enough impression to be considered again if the musical finds more monetary backing.

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A Funny Audition on the way to the forum

Hey everyone!

So as promised on my Facebook page, I am going to attempt to express the “interesting”-ness that was this Robert Wilson audition I had about two weeks ago… But first, quick update… Lombardi has been a really fun show to be a part of. It’s simple, quick, to the point, and I feel it’s been perfect for our market in Smithtown because most of the audience members were actually alive during that time period and the jokes are really resonating with them. Rehearsal for Charlie Brown started last week, which means that I’m now on the train for three hours total EVERY DAY. I’m getting real tired of it, but then I remember that my mom (and thousands of other Northern Virginians) make the trip from Woodbridge and beyond to DC everyday for decades, so then I stop complaining like a whiny actor, hahaha. Last but not least, I get to play Roberto Clemente in the upcoming workshop presentation of a new musical called “21” in November. This job has more potential than even In The Heights did, only because we’ll be presenting the show to new investors in NYC (as opposed to Heights where, yea we were on tour, but noone in NYC could’ve given a crap, lol). As long as I make sure to put my A game out there, it will lead to this being a wonderful marketing opportunity for me. This being my first workshop, I’ll share whatever I’m legally allowed to share to fill everyone in on how this process operates; it’ll be a learning experience for all of us!!

Ok, so this audition…

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