As I prepare for my upcoming, “Live at Drom” concert to promote my single, “Be Here” I have had a one of the most awesome opportunities, an interview on the world-wide network, ARISE. This interview was amazing, I went there to discuss my role in Motown the Musical and also to tell them about my new single release, Be Here. I was a little nervous but the hosts of the show were fun and seemed to be genuinely into it. I saw several people I know working there including my friend Cece. These types of interviews are few and far between but I was able to talk about my music and my career and introduce it to a whole new audience. This is priceless for an independent artist like myself. I hope to have a great relationship with them and I look forward to going back to sing on the Arise.tv/entertainment show. That would be beautiful ya know?
If you’re following this blog please know that you are one of the people who knows what its like to be an independent artist, perhaps you read the blogs I’ve written in the past, all we seek is a platform. Motown has been a wonderful platform and I look forward to seeing what else comes of these endeavors. Look for my song Be Here online and ask me about dropcards or CD’s whenever you see me in person!
share share share and repost please!
Special thanks to :
Randy Bonds of RCBondsPR and Kerstyn Dioulo of Glowconnection
Thanks again for your support and feel free to tweet and repost the interview on your various social networks! Share the blog, share it all! More opportunities come base on clicks and interest!
I am at a loss for words, in this same year that I have lost my beloved physical grandmother, Miss Susie May Jackson, I just heard on the news that “Madiba”, my spiritual grandfather, Nelson Rolilahla Mandela. The news was not a complete shock due to his waning health but it is deeply saddening. A great deal of my life as a teenager was spent learning about Nelson Mandela, and having not known any grandfather, paternally or maternally, I secretly carried him in my heart as the grandfather I never knew. His passion and political career and life has served as an inspiration to me and countless others over the years. The true example of passion and unrelenting commitment, In fact, me and my cohorts had an obsessive focus on South Africa as kids studying Apartheid and Nelson Mandela and studying the great changes that took place in that country from the 70’s- late 80’s. As a theatre student and member of the Freddie Hendricks’ Youth Ensemble of Atlanta,also known as Y.E.A. I can still hear the voice of Michael “Sahr” Ngaujah yelling Amandla! Long before we starred together in Broadway’s Fela!, we, and many others, portrayed the young South African students who struggled in their fight against Apartheid in some of the earliest productions of “Soweto! Soweto! A Township Is Calling!” with Y.E.A.
Saycon Sengbloh and cast of Freddie Hendricks’s Youth Ensemble “Soweto! Soweto! A Township is Calling”
As a child of a Liberian father I saw very few African stars on television, but I saw Nelson Mandela walk from prison after 27 years of captivity, a star indeed. Every year just around the time for school Turner Broadcast the mini-series, Shaka Zulu about a great South African warrior king who reigned tall above tyranny from his own people and from foreigners alike. Mandela was a great warrior king and first black president of that nation. Next to my own Liberia, the South African story has fascinated me to no end! Seeing and learning about Nelson and Winnie Mandela helped with my own appreciation and pride in my African heritage, as children can be cruel I was often isolated by my name. My African pride was seeded more deeply as I watched in 1990 as apartheid was abolished much like the ending of segregation had occurred so many years before in the United States. It is with great pride that I honor the life of Madiba! Nelson Mandela!!! #Amandla
Saycon Sengbloh & the Cast of Motown rehearse in their coats: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo: courtesy of Joe Perrotta
OMG We’re going to be on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! You’ve got to watch us doing it up in the frrreeezing cold! Honey, my Mom is up to visit and all my Motown the musical people have been getting ready! So here we come!
ALSO, did you know I am going to be performing December 16th at Drom?
Visit www.DromNYC.com to learn more about it! In the meantime watch us on the Macy’s Day Parade!
What a world-wind this weekend has been. I’ve been work-shopping on a new show in development, and I’ve been doing Motown the Musical at night! But on top of all that I had the wonderful opportunity to perform on the Tony Awards along with my fellow cast mates! Motown the Musical received 4 Tony Award Nominations! Watch us perform on the Tony’s below:
Saycon greets Quincy Jones after Motown performance! photo by Bruce Glikas
” Mr. Jones its so nice to meet you! Ooooh and you smell good!” yep those were the words I said to a man who has been credited as the king daddy-o of modern jazz, orchestrations, and pop music! “I played Martha Reeves,” I nearly screamed in his ear! “Maaaartha!!!” he responded and laughed with genuine joy and affection. The cast each had their own moments with him as he held court with us for a nice amount of time after our Tuesday night performance. I was thrilled to meet him at this point in my life and career although I met him years ago as a teenage in the Youth Ensemble of Atlanta when our group performed at a birthday party for Jane Fonda. This somehow was much different though. In this incarnation I’ve read his biography, obsessed over his performances as he conducted the Rat Pack concerts in Vegas (I have the DVD box set), and google the fun questions like “Guess who scored the theme song for the hit tv sitcom Sandford & Son?” I’m a little obsessed and totally inspired by the lexicon of music that flows through this man’s mind! From the soundtrack to The Color Purple to Michael Jackson’s Thriller this man’s music shaped so much of the sounds my generation and generations before me have come to know and love. To meet him after performing in Berry Gordy’s Motown was a thrill simply because Quincy Jones, a statesman of music has the rare a true and absolute peer in someone like Berry Gordy. They are the two men who’s influence help to guide one of the most talented performers the world has known, Micheal Jackson. Good times indeed. What a great omen to meet such a great music man on the first day of several studio sessions to come for my Howlin’ project. with less than 48 hours to meet our goal, he was certainly a positive reminder of what a person can do with talent and creativity.
Visit the link below to support my album fundraiser by May 17th:
We have officially opened and I can’t wait to share my personal photos from opening night but to recap leading up to it I last wrote about preparing form Good Morning America! Well now we’ve done it and it was amazing. I’ve been busy spreading the word about the Music Campaign but I just had to share this link! Better late than never! LOL Many have seen it already but in case you missed it here is the cast of Motown on Good Morning America! Click! Click! Click photo or copy and paste link at the bottom!
Motown is counting down until we start previews so that means its technical rehearsal time also known as the infamous: Tech Week! Lord have mercy! Technical rehearsals can be amazing and challenging time. This is the time when the cast leaves the rehearsal space and goes into the theatre onto the new home space: the stage! My main goal during this time is to remain comfortable, ready for action, and able to adjust to change. The fun part is bringing a wonderful show to light but the hardest part about tech week can be managing your time and personal life outside of the theatre during the tech process.
Andrea Dora and Saycon Sengbloh using backstage tech time to work online.
Top thing to consider:
The hours are much longer than they would normally be during the 8 show week. You could be in the theatre from Noon to midnight.
Time management: Remembering and scheduling personal appointments during your spare hours. Because during technical rehearsals the majority of your time is spent onstage.
Keeping tags on friends and family and maintaining relationships while adjusting to the new schedule
Really preparing yourself for your new show, figuring out your backstage traffic i.e. water break moments, warm-up areas, costume changes, wig changes, make-up, and accessories
Great time to bond with your cast mates and make the show gel
Actors let me tell a few things I do to make tech week a success. Whether it lasts for 2 days in a short regional production or 2 months of tech and previews for a Broadway show it can be the ultimate challenge of an artist . Shows look easy to the audience and there’s a reason for that.
Check out this quick video for Tech Survival tips:
Marty Thomas Presents: Diva, is one of those nightclub shows you have to see to believe. His talent is phenomenal and then he surrounds himself with more of the most talented theatre performers and recording artists in NYC. Marty and I were in Wicked on Broadway together and his warm spirit is one that I continue to see every time I see him. He really is the quintessential showman complete with musicality, costumes, and great talk to make your night our worth it! I’ve been on the bill with him on many occasions and every time he gave a show stopping performance. Ya just gotta love him so I’m pleased to tell you guys about this show!
Finally his newest record release is coming for a One Night Only Concert release on March 4th, 8PM, at New World Stages along with an encore performance and after party and show that features the one and only Eden Espinosa who recently released her new album. Marty Thomas along with Kelly King, Marissa Rosen, and Alexa Green will be on the new Diva recording!
Mmmm, mmm, mmmm I was hanging on for dear life waiting for the news! And now we know, its official: Bryan Terrell Clark will be playing Marvin Gaye in Motown the Musical! Heard it from the man himself and it was confirmed by our director not to mention the repeated tweeted congratulations he’s received. Its been a longtime coming, truly you gotta go figure. To find a man with the voice, looks, talent, air, and hippie dippy heart breaking swagger of the (god-rest-his-soul) Marvin Gaye is hard to find! (wooo, I faint at the thought) but (hiccup, hiccup) here he is for all to see and enjoy in the upcoming Motown the Musical. Having been a part of the workshops for over a year and a half I’ve seen several talented young men play the part (including Isaiah Johnson, Clifton Oliver, Joshua Henry) and it has definitely been a joy to watch each of them thus far. I watched him during the last developmental stages, researching and working himself to the bone to get the spirit of Marvin Gaye and it really paid off. So I’m excited to see what Bryan will bring to the table. Being a girl in Motown the Musical ain’t easy I’m forced daily to watch gorgeous young men rehearse and re-enact the moves, and the vocals, of the Jackson 5, the Four Tops, the Contours, and the mighty, mighty Temptations (Claude have mercy) But now to add our official Marvin Gaye to the roster, is oh too much! Enjoy!
Check out one of my favorite clips of the original Marvin Gaye rehearsing for a concert in Europe in 1981. Now mind you this clip ain’t polished, it ain’t glossy and perfect, it may be only something a musician or his mother may love but I seriously enjoy every braid, beard, and Jerry curl in this clip each time I watch it. And yes the beautiful Marvin Gaye reclined on the sofa sounds THAT good. We loved him. Not to mention the beautiful lyrics sung by poetic musician who was gone too soon.
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! We are counting down the days until Motown rehearsal starts! And with the buzzzz we’re keeping it going with the several artists from the cast of Motown glowing and showin’ out in NYC! What a treat to have yet another rising star in our midst! I’m talking about Morgan James. This soulful young lady has come on the scene with a steady burn and I’ve watched her rise, working hard as an indie musician ( love it), singing her face off, and reaching the epitome of music fire securing a dream deal with Epic records.
I’m gonna be there to support her I’m sure lots of Motown cast members will be in tow! Will you be there?
Saturday January 12th, 2013
Morgan James 54 Below 254 West 54th St. New York, NY 10019 866-468-7619 use code Morgan5 for $5 off cover charge in main diningroom