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Musical Album "Chosen"

Musical Album "Chosen"

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Something has gone wrong with my blog!  So until I can fix it please do NOT follow and of the links except for this brand new link to my new blog:

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Alembic Acknowledgements

Written in the program pages of “The Alembic,” you will see acknowledgements of those talented minds that assisted Terra Mysterium with the physical aesthetics for the show, Terra Mysterium’s own Kat O’Connor for the use of her brilliance in Marketing, the theatre spaces who so graciously allowed us to share their space during the rehearsal process, and of course the friends and family of Terra Mysterium who contributed funding to the project. I would particularly like to thank those financial contributors who donated funds when I personally asked: My brother, Jim Christensen, my favorite Steampunk Band, V Is For Villains, my friends Cathy McManamon, Joshua Safford, Krista Hanson, Angie Buchanan, and Drake Spaeth and those friends determined to help me in other ways, like Sue Borremons and Joan Forest Mage. In addition to these donors there are some other people I, as the writer of “The Alembic,” would very much like to thank.

The first person is of course the woman who gave birth to “The Alembic” project with me,
Shannah Lessa.

Two summers ago both Shannah and I had profound spiritual and personal experiences that we were attempting to process, and being the creative people we are, we decided to compose a musical. At the beginning, we weren’t sure what the course would be, but we knew we wanted a story that incorporated alchemy and strong female characters. It was Shannah Lessa who helped design the characters and the story structure. It is common for stories to change from the outline in development, but in the case of “The Alembic” Shannah’s clear and planned outline became a consistent anchor for me as I wrote the script and music. It was also Shannah who christened the project with the title, “The Alembic.”

I would like to point out that Shannah and I came up with the idea for “The Alembic” at the inaugural summer retreat in 2010 “Oasis” hosted by Earth Traditions. Earth Traditions provided just the right atmosphere for Shannah and me to evaluate our personal experiences and recycle them into art.

I must also thank again my Leanan Sidhe, for I never would have been able to identify with my lead character’s longing had it not been for you.

I am profoundly grateful for the inspirational talents of Terra Mysterium. Kat O’Connor’s fluid but powerful presence became the backbone of Mrs. Sorenson,

Song Marshall’s quiet yet potent strength fueled the divine force which became Astraea

Keith Green’s resonant voice and grace not only helped me design the character of Phineas, but he further assisted me with proper Victorian intonation and helped me tighten the script and the overall message.

I must also mention the talented Sean Wilson.

He breathed life into the role of Sorenson. The God of theatre, Dionysus and His Wife, Ariadne couldn’t have provided a better player.

Jessie Lynn Whitington, our stage manager deserves an enormous thank you for her organization in rehearsals, and for tolerating me when I called for lines in rehearsal as a performer, even though I wrote the lines and therefore, should have already known them.

Finally, I must thank Matthew Ellenwood, who despite my flippancy, neurotic and morose behavior continues to put up with me. I have never met a person who believed in me so much. First, he gave me back performance, then he called me a song writer, and then, he actually let me write him a play. With Keith Green, he kept me on track and called out the problem points of the script. He was responsible for the words of Astraea and of course he and the lovely, Marissa Deitz fleshed out my simple melodies and divined them into songs that made me weep.

I call Matthew “Yoda;” because in addition to being quirky, likeable and at times, the comic relief, he is without question, a wise man who knows more than most and he is “he who has taught me much.” Matthew, and all who I’ve mentioned, thank you for believing in me.  You will always have my gratitude.

“The Alembic” opens tomorrow, Friday, August 31, 2012 as a part of the 2012 Chicago Fringe Festival.   

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vera Discovers the Truth

Tickets to "The Alembic" a NEW Steampunk Musical are now on sale with the Chicago Fringe Festival

And please, don't forget about our IndieGoGo Campaign.  We are SO close to our goal!  Please help bring this show to life.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Make a Major Impact with Terra Mysterium

I want to tell you a little about Terra Mysterium. They are a collective of passionate and spiritual people who write musical works of art that incorporate mythological stories to inspire personal transformation. In 2010, I was invited by Terra Mysterium to perform the role of the Goddess Persephone in their original musical performance piece “Finding Eleusis.” It opened as one of the 47 shows in the very first Chicago Fringe Festival and was one of the top five best attended and top grossing shows of the festival. While Terra Mysterium did not perform at the 2011 Chicago Fringe Festival, the directors contacted Terra Mysterium to perform at the fundraising benefit for the 2011 Festival to demonstrate to donors the very best of the talent to be showcased.

Not only did I return with Terra Mysterium as a part of that benefit, the amazing performers of Terra Mysterium welcomed me into their company. Despite the fact that I had not been a part of the entertainment world for over fifteen years; this talented group of performers had an unwavering faith in my abilities and brought forth new depths of my personal creative power I had no idea I possessed. In Terra Mysterium’s next piece “Betwixt and Between,” I was encouraged to push myself into composition and two of the featured songs were my own originals. I contributed yet another original song to the next show, a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream;” and now, with the assistance and encouragement of the brilliant people of Terra Mysterium, I have written both the script and all of the music for “The Alembic.”

“The Alembic” opens August 31st as a part of the 2012 Chicago Fringe Festival, bringing me full circle. “The Alembic” is based on the Grecian mythological characters of the Goddesses Dike and Astraea and brings them into the world of Victorian Alchemy and the modern Steampunk movement. In the story of “The Alembic,” an alchemist desires to prove the supreme power of faith by transmuting lead into gold, and when he calls upon divine assistance, Astraea sends Dike. However, Dike is confronted with the consequences of her own mortal transmutation and flounders in a strange world of unfamiliar emotions.

Terra Mysterium is now raising funds to build a Victorian parlor and an alchemical laboratory to bring “The Alembic” to life. We are also in need of Victorian costumes and the rent required for rehearsal space. I am so honored to be a part of Terra Mysterium and I am so proud that their faith in me has produced this work from me. I ask you now for your help in this final stage of the process. Will you help me raise funds for this inspirational performance group and help me to tell my story of “The Alembic?”

Even a small donation will have a major impact. Please visit our IndieGoGo campaign page:

Monday, April 16, 2012

Music Video

I've been meaning to share this for some time. My first music video! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Costume Imagry

Terra Mysterium has committed itself to maintaining an active blog. As a member, last week it was my turn to post. I was rather proud of the concept which I presented and I have to say, I admire the group's commitment to activity...ahem...

I encourage you to visit the Terra Mysterium blog to read my colleagues' work and the video blog portions are quite something.


It’s the beginning of the holiday season. It’s that beautiful time of year when the air turns crisp and scents of apple pie drifts on the wind. Our clothing changes towards cozy sweaters and outfits for the upcoming festivities, this seems to fuel the pulse of the world; for even the trees are putting on their party clothes. Don’t you know that they have a party before their long winter sleep? They get pretty wild, the trees. We clean up traces of their dresses for days after their celebration.

The way we dress makes a powerful statement as to who we are. Even the trees are aware of this when they pull out their stops with their “look at me!” leaves in sultry autumn colors. When we walk into a room full of people, unconsciously everything from our color choice and the shapes we have combined come together to help people form an opinion. Our clothes have an answer for a question that hasn’t yet been asked.

Especially in the finite world of a stage performance, a character’s clothes are specifically important. A costume designer has to consider carefully the message the overall image conveys to the audience. Like any art, costuming does have to have fluidity. A true artist must attempt to voice a message in the most boisterous tone, while allowing the audience their own vision. Different individuals, with unique set of circumstances will have different interpretations of the same art form.

Color is particularly open to interpretation. Green is a color particularly favored by Terra Mysterium. With connotations of growing things, images of spring and the environment around us, it is easy to see why green is a favorite for shows featuring the spirits of nature. Green can also imply abundance and vitality as a reference to vast flowing green fields. Did you know though, that in some Eastern philosophy, the power center (most commonly referred to as a chakra) over your heart is green? If your circumstances include this, the color green might suggest love or vulnerability. We can also be “green with envy.” Which suggests that green can be associated with darkness and the more dangerous. This, in Terra Mysterium shows about the unpredictable tendency of nature, is perhaps an appropriate message to convey.

The color red too, also provides multiple messages. It is without question a power color, an anchor.

In the gothic world, enamored of death, black is the favored color. However it was the deep passionate shade of the pomegranate which took center stage in Finding Eluesis. Partly because Terra Mysterium wanted to make a statement about the passion between Persephone and Hades, rather than getting caught up in a dark depiction of the Underworld. Red can also symbolize profound joy.

Shape, is also symbolic. Terra Mysterium is particularly fond of more historic lines. The forms of the Renaissance era which are flowing and constricted at the same time fit our perceptions of those unpredictable nature spirits of which we are so fond. Though truth be told, Terra Mysterium is currently enamored of the Steampunk movement. There is something decidedly alluring about Victorian era clothing done in modern leather and metal. These costumes ask a question: what is being repressed and hidden? And, what is desired?

Truly our hope through our entire art form is to reflect our questions on our audience.

What are you hiding?

What is your secret desire?

Did you think about that when you got dressed this morning?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Terra Mysterium's Video Blog

I am very proud to have been included in Terra Mysterium's Video Blog series.

Keep watch for other interesting clips and announcements!