Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Blog Post About Blogging!

To celebrate and share my adventure in my dream role of John Adams in 1776 this summer, I had the crazy idea of doing a video blog.  I recently did some work with a brilliant social media consultant, Tony Howell, whose company Creative Social Media teaches creative artists how to harness the power of such things as Facebook and Twitter to enhance their careers.  Tony advised me that people are more likely to look at what he calls 'rich content' than to read written blogs or other material (since you are reading this, you can consider yourself in an educated minority, ha ha!).  Rich content means photos and video.  So, this old dog decided to learn a few new tricks and I pitched the idea of "Becoming John Adams" to Cape Playhouse, where the idea was met with great enthusiasm.

I use the term 'becoming' with a double meaning:  the obvious one of transformation into the character of John Adams, but also the sense of wanting to honor him and provide a positive view.  The video blog will capture my process of researching the part, including field trips to Philadelphia, Boston, and Quincy, MA where the John Adams homes are preserved as a National Park.  I'll also share wig and costume fittings, voice lessons, some rehearsal and back stage footage, all leading up to our opening night on the Cape July 7.

The project has presented some considerable challenges.  First I had to find a good digital camera and tripod, and I was lucky to have a generous friend who loaned me her equipment.  Then I had to learn how to use it!  To edit and produce the video blog segments I had to teach myself iMovie, which was a painstaking but exhilarating process.  Then I had to enlist the help of kind folks who'd agree to operate the camera, including, while I was in Massachusetts, my Mom!  The biggest challenge--aside from keeping my verbosity to a minimum in order to bring the running time of each post in at a maximum of 3 minutes--was to find the right tone for the project.  John Adams is one of the great men of American history; the subject matter of 1776 is monumental.  But just as the musical brings a sense of whimsy and humanity to the subject, I wanted to avoid any sort of professorial (i.e., boring) stance and make the whole thing more lighthearted.  The key, of course, was to be myself and to infuse the blog with the enthusiasm I feel for the show, the role, and my obsession with research.  I think, so far, the results strike a good balance, although I won't deny it is difficult not to be critical of how I appear on video-- does anyone NOT find watching themselves on video excruciating?!

I am posting the blog to youtube and sharing it on my website; I have also been invited to be a guest blogger on, which I am thrilled about.  So, come along for the ride and many thanks for your support!  Here's the first post of "Becoming John Adams."  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jamie! Just found this. Thanks for the shout out.

    I'm so thrilled for all of your success.

    Hope to work with you again soon—onstage or online!