THE CREATIVE LIFE: LESSON 1

by Robin MunsonCreative

Long, long ago in the faraway kingdom of Pittsburgh three little princesses were groomed for “The Business”.  The King and Queen — my parents — were frustrated singers and songwriters.  We were schlepped from voice teachers to dance teachers to piano teachers and acting teachers. We made command performances in our living room on a regular basis, singing standards from the American songbook — Rogers and Hart, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Lerner and Lowe. . . (NOTE:  It’s impossible for me to say whether I would have wanted a life in The Business with different parents, but that’s a topic for another day.)

At 3,  I dreamed of one day being a ballerina. But not all little girls have the requisite long legs and athletic coordination for the Ballet Russe, so by the time I was ten years old, it was pretty clear that wasn’t going to happen. Continue reading

The Five Stages of Writing A Cue

by Robin MunsonClimbing

(With apologies to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. . .)

We’ve noticed that whenever we write a cue, there are certain predictable stages that, try as we might, and as many times as we have tried to avoid them, keep cropping up like — well, use your own metaphor.

Stage I:  Denial – “I’ve got this great idea!  I know exactly what to do!  This will be a piece of cake!” You start with an epiphany.  The more outlandish or difficult the project,  the more irrational enthusiasm courses through the bloodstream.   “Silent Night” as a tango?  Jay-Z meets Celine Dion meets Ennio Morricone?  A live Czech orchestra action-adventure-comedy trailer on a shoestring budget?  “NO PROBLEM!  I’ll have this puppy wrapped up by 6:00 tonight!”  You come up with a simple melody and a three-chord riff within five minutes.  “Brilliant!”  Yeah, right. Continue reading

Musicish – A Translation

by Robin Munson

For as long as I can remember, music has had a profound effect on me. It was my comforter when I was sad, my companion when I was lonely, my protector when I was translate-110775_1920 scared, my cheerleader when I was unsure of myself. I sang to myself constantly as a child. It was so second-nature that I didn’t realize I was doing it. One day as I was walking through the halls of my elementary school I was singing without realizing it. I don’t remember the song, but it was probably something cheerful – maybe “I Whistle A Happy Tune”, or something like that. A teacher stopped me and said, “You must be a very happy little girl! You’re always singing!” Little did she know. I was singing to bolster my spirit because school was such a misery for me! (a topic for another day.) Continue reading