Seattle-based musician, calligrapher and all-around colorful human Brandon Blake reprised his role in The Leah-Rachel Play at the Festival in May and reflects on his experience bringing all of his passions together in NYC. To hear some of Brandon’s beautiful music check out his latest album “It’s Bonus Time!” and let his talent wash over you!
Brandon Blake (left) and Jon Levin in a scene from The Leah-Rachel Play
Having an opportunity as a musician to work in the world of theater was incredible. Being tasked to craft a score out of thin air for a story so deep in meta, was a beautiful challenge. I was asked to play in dialogue with the sisters of the play but not while the male main character was present. JAR and Chantal made it clear that they wanted the music to be expressed while the women told their stories. I would scribe only when Jack (the main male protagonist) was present. Scribing for the male; literal, verbatim. Music for the females; present, expressive.
I’ve never had an opportunity like this to combine my love of scribing Hebrew calligraphy with my love of performing music. I can’t understate how much fun this whole experience was. I was in a role which brought me to a world I have dreamed about since childhood; I was an ancient scribe, which was of course the job I would’ve wanted if I lived way back in the day. I got to be that guy in NYC! How cool is that? Are you kidding me?! BonusTime! Life is good, ya know? What a joy to have one month out of my life be to live and work in New York as a musician/scribe (*and to have a partner encourage me to go)! I mean, I had the utmost pleasure working with some seriously talented people but you know what? As talented as this group of people are, they are even kinder and more awesome humans. I am a better person for the month I was able to call this crew my family and bear witness to the talent they all brought to the productions. They’ll be in my heart forever!
Moral of the story to you the reader? No matter how bad things get in the world or your life, go see/support live theater made by real humans! It’s what’s good in the world today!