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The JazzCatz / Blog

How To Cast A Low Budget Musical With High Caliber Talent

I just finished the most amazing auditions for my musical One In A Million. We have found and hired an extraordinarily talented group of performers. They are not household names yet but I predict they will be. If you’re already hip to these things, you will see faces you have seen before – but I’m not ready to let the cat out of the bag just yet! I just wanted to leave you with some important takeaways on what I have learned about attracting quality actors to a project. Mind you, our showcase of One In A Million is a low budget production. But low budget is not synonymous with bad theatre! How do you find quality performers that can take you to the next level given this economic reality? First, you must recognize that casting is 80% of your production and everything else is 20%. Some of you are probably ready to stone me right now but, before you do, read my next blog which will prove this point. We must know the characters in our production intimately. In other words, how would they respond to life situations beyond the scope of who they are in the script? Have “conversations” with the characters you create. How would they spend their normal day? Are they kind and generous? Are they complicated and distant? Would they prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate? Once you know who “Bart” is, then get out there and look for him! Since you spent “quality time” with him/her, it will be much easier and faster to find this person. Look on professional acting sites; go to professional and community theatre productions; go to the college campuses and acting schools; and don’t forget your friends. When you find the” REAL” Bart’s” invite those people to audition for you. You will be surprised how much money and time you save when your goal is to find the right person rather than the right actor. In order for me to present authentic relationships on stage, I need my actors to be – not act! As they audition, give them positive feedback and tell them how much you appreciate them. It takes a lot to stand up in front of a room of strangers. We all fear and hate rejection. Be kind and considerate of their efforts. The actors that get cast will be excited to work with you. The actors that didn’t will never forget the respect they were shown and want to work with you in the future. For my musical, four of the actors that worked on it last time called me and asked if they could work on it this time! If you choose to nurture people, you will get back from them more authentic and transparent performances. You may also get a bonus that is sadly in short supply these days – loyalty. Well that is a sketch of how I save money without sacrificing quality. Come see for yourself. It is going to be amazing! Tickets are on sale now: http://www.itickets.com/events/328185 

Who Is Stealing Your Dream?!

Beloved, Many years ago I was on my way home from work – my nice corporate career – and I ran into an old friend I had not seen in years. I was suited down in blue or gray( with white shirt and tie of course!) and was carrying the sweetest attaché case you ever did see! Jimmy was dressed in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. I was happy to see him but at the same time embarrassed for him. His attire alone told me that my poor friend had fallen on hard times! We exchanged the obligatory niceties and then I asked him what he had been doing all these years. It turns out he been pursuing an acting career. This journey began for him in junior high school, where we met, and he was determined to follow his heart no matter what. “LOSER” I said to myself of course. A few months later, I was watching TV when a commercial came on about this new show, LA Law, and to my complete, falling outta my chair, amazement my friend Jimmy had landed one of the leading roles on the show! LA Law went on to be a big hit and Jimmy never looked back and has enjoyed success in stage, screen and television. By now you might have guessed that my friend Jimmy is Jimmy Smits. I have not seen him since that day but the lesson he taught me was one of the most valuable a friend could teach. Jimmy never let anyone steal his dream. This begs the question…. who is stealing yours? Let’s take a very brief look at the dream stealers we must overcame in order to succeed as artists. 1) Friends – always quick to throw water on your plans. Be very wary of the advice of the friends who gave up on their dreams long ago! 2) Pessimists - always quick to give you the” grim statistics” on how many people have tried and failed. Be very wary of pessimists. They never accomplish anything with their lives and will do all in their power to talk you out of doing anything meaningful with your life too. 3) Relatives – Mom/ Dad love you and mean well. They, along with Uncle Frank, have your best interest at heart and don’t want their “baby” waiting tables hoping for the big break. Respectfully, we are not babies anymore and have an obligation to live the life we were meant to live. 4) Guilt – Your kid brother went to law school and lives in a mansion on top of a hill. Bully for him….if it really makes him happy. What makes you happy? 5) Fear- It is the most powerful of all the dream stealers because this one is internal and will paralyze you unless you learn to manage it. Fear is a common human emotion. Let’s use fear to help us. Instead of allowing the fear of failure to steal your dream, why not let the fear of NOT achieving your goal motivate you to action? Here is one trick that has helped me. Each day I give myself the grade of A-plus which signifies that I will do something daily to get me closer to my goals. Let’s learn how to hit singles. The home runs will follow! As for me, I have put the gray and blue suits in the back of the closet and work full time in the arts through my production company Kevin Davis Productions, LLC. Our next production is a musical of faith, joy, and laughter! It premiers this December at Theatre Three (home of the Mint Theatre Company in NYC). We are very excited about the musical and hope you will come out and see it!! Check out our summer sale! http://www.itickets.com/events/328185

An Open Letter To My President

I have recently started a blog to comment on faith, entertainment and cultural issues. However, with the recent spate of tragic events that have occurred globally, I feel compelled to express my thoughts on them in an open letter to my President. Mr. President, I realize that you have the toughest job in the world. I am also quite aware that many people dislike you. I have watched the opposition party attempt to block everything you have tried to accomplish and can only imagine your frustration. However, I believe the world has become more dangerous and you must rise above politics to confront these global issues head on. I am not one to suggest we send the marines in harms way at every provocation. But I do realize that as the leader of the free world, we have to take a strong stand against aggression. Mr. President, to this juncture, the measures you have taken to deter Mr. Putin from annexing the Ukraine have not worked. Putin, like many dictators, are not concerned about what we think of them – they already know they are bad actors on the world stage! Accordingly, you must become more forceful In your response to his aggression. Why not send the arms the Ukrainian government has asked for? This will demonstrate that the United States is serious about defending freedom. From a purely practical point, the Ukrainians need these weapons to stave off a rebellion that is backed by Russian arms and money. Mr. President, I am reminded from history that when England was under attack from Hitler, President Roosevelt created the Lend Lease program to get them the arms they needed to defend themselves. During the Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy used the navy to blockade Cuba. These were bold, decisive moves that showed the world we were committed to freedom and prepared to address aggression. We need bold steps now to counter thugs like Putin. May I also suggest that you impose stiffer sanctions on Putin targeting key Russian industries. Another bold move you could make is to sell and or find new sellers of natural gas and oil to Europe. This will have the twin effect of empowering our allies and weakening the soviet economy. All of these measures fall far short of putting our brave soldiers at risk. I would urge you to consider enacting these measures now – while the world is still outraged by the senseless slaughter of innocent civilians. As the Middle East has once again erupted, and we watch the tragic death toll mount,we need you to explain to the American public what is at stake. May I suggest you pre-empt a prime time television show to unpack the situation. As of this juncture, you have stated that Israel has the right to defend herself while at the same time calling for an immediate cease fire. There is an inherent contradiction in those statements unless you can explain where the United States stands. For Instance, If Hamas is a terrorist, radical Islamist organization, why should Israel stop fighting until she is confident she can secure her borders? While war also rages in Iraq and Syria, ISIS has issued a statement that Christians have until Saturday to convert to Islam or leave ISIS held territory. If they refuse, ISIS has stated they will be killed. Mr. President how much of a threat is ISIS to America? What is your position on this? I have sited a few problem spots that I believe require bold action but there are other volatile situations that also require your attention. Mr. President, I am a person of faith and I hate war and believe that every human life has value. I also know that there are times that we must stand up to aggression and for freedom. I hope and pray that in the coming weeks and months you will be more proactive on the world stage of which the United States is the leading player.

One In A Million Musical

Beloved! A couple of years ago I began producing faith based theatre in NYC. We produced our first successful show ( One In A Million) at the Roy Arias Theatre in December of 2012. Along the way, I think we made every mistake in the book and created some spankin' brand new ones! But we still managed to successfully get our show off the ground. This blog is dedicated to sharing what I learned and am still learning about taking your start up venture from the dream stage to reality. My hope is that this will be a blessing to you. Since we are currently hard at work on the bigger and bolder version of One In A Million that is coming to Theatre Three ( home of the Mint Theatre Company) this December 17th, lets pick it up right there! All of the successful projects that I have been involved with share this common truth. Successful people surround themselves with teammates that can help them complete their vision. There are no lone rangers on the road to success. In choosing your team, focus on the few that share your vision and bring skills and talents you lack. Once you find these folk, nurture them and learn to listen to them so the entire team and project can move forward. Do not be afraid to involve people that do not always see eye to eye with you. I am not telling you to" employ" a team of rebels - far from it. But you see, God made each of us as unique beings. Accept that those beautiful difference were ordained by God for the purpose of achieving the task at hand. Also recognize that surrounding yourself with a bunch of "yes" men may inflate your ego but will ultimately derail your project! Learn to recognize, nurture and celebrate the various gifts your production team brings into play! I have been blessed with an amazing team which I will tell you more about next time! Keep believing and working. If I did it so can you! Please visit this site for our special summer discount ticket sale for One In A Million: Check out our $20 savings on ticket purchases now: http://www.itickets.com/events/328185


Hey everyone, the critics love One In A Million! We begin our fundraiser on Monday July 8th!....stay tuned!....thanks for your support!!....and happy 4th!!!!! For this blog I choose to submit the New York Podcast review of One In A Million in its entirety. Enjoy!


I loved “One in a Million” and I would go see it again! This amazing play is a joyously funny experience! While it is not an interactive show, every highly charged scene, with the beautiful songs and heart rendering and sometimes hilarious lyrics, brought the audiences out of their seats.

Wanda Velez's journey is set in late 2000’s in the borough of Manhattan, on New York's Upper West side. Wanda finds herself caught in a struggle between holding on to family values and faith, and the ambitions and influences, of her oddball church going friends, who are a friendly group of people, as they compete for their chunk of the $350 million dollar lottery prize.

All too soon, the tightly knit friendships begin to unravel by greed and the loss of loyalty to one another, as they begin to suddenly find themselves out of control and ruthlessly shedding their spiritual veils and facades. Given the inevitable conflict, their true natures are exposed with hilarious consequences.

This play is filled with powerful music and lyrics, hilarious situations and great surprises. While it is saturated with comedy, it also drives a special and important message straight to the hearts of all audiences. Whether you go to church every Sunday or not, this play will keep you interested, as it presents human nature and the importance of love, loyalty and friendship, in a fresh, delightful, hilarious and powerful way. The wonderful cast performance is memorable, along with the impressive and catchy music numbers. All of this insanity came together nicely, under the direction of Kevin Davis who also wrote the book and the music. “One in a Million” is a MUST SEE!!!

Carmen Amoros Host - New York Pod Cafe Online Radio by Carmen Amoros www.blogtalkradio.com SAG-AFTRA Actress and Singer and speaker. Carmen Amoros interviews speakers, authors and personalities on the New York Podcasting virtual cafe. She has worked on various television shows such as Law and Order SVU, Sopranos and feature films such as Enchanted, WTC, School of Scoundrels and others.

One In A Million Musical Sez.........

As our team gears up to begin work on our next production, I start to make lists of all that we need to do in order to take "One In A Million" to the next level. We ran the play in the NYC Theatre District for one week Last December. Although it was a successful run, I have discovered that producing a play for an extended run is like going from a horse and buggy to the star ship Enterprise! With so many daunting challenges ahead of us, It is good to take a look back and reflect on what motivated us to do this in the first place. My motivation is quite simple. For many years now, mass media and mass entertainment have created a narrative about people of faith that is hurtful,damaging and just not accurate. Christians, in particular, have been cast in a number of stereotypes. Typically, we are depicted as fools, hypocrites, cheats, and narrow minded bigots. These depictions invalidate the experiences of the majority of Christians. My production company will produce authentic plays/movies that tell stories about real people that face real obstacles. However, they will face issues with dignity,hope and the knowledge that God is real. Of course, we hope to entertain you along the way!! We invite you to visit our website to learn more about us: gust.com/c/jazzcatz


Wow! Whadda weekend! I said whadda weekend!! We did something really crazy this weekend that was a lot of fun. Sometimes you just have to shake things up a little bit. I think that is one of the secrets to unlocking one's own creative potential. We inivited one and all to join the JazzCatz in a mass choir to perform Foreigner's mega hit "I want To know What Love Is" at "New York Shouts Praise." When you open your doors to everyone and anyone, - you never know what could happen. We all had about 1/2 hour to learn the song before "showtime." I'm happy to say that everybody got in the spirit of things and we had an awesome time. In fact, we sounded pretty good! There is something amazingly spiritual when people gather just to sing! Sometimes, the best way to approach a "crazy" idea is just to do it! The excitement, anticipation and plain old fashioned fear mixed together just served as a catalyst to propel us beyond our self imposed limitations! FYI - were going to do another " New York Shouts Praise" event in June! Stay tuned for the details.

Were Up and Running Again!

Hey everyone, After months of "behind the scenes work" we are happy to announce that we are moving ahead with our plan to bring "One In A Million" and the Jazzcatz to Broadway for an extended run. Much hard work remains but with God's help and guidance we will succeed. I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone (you know who you are) who worked so tirelessly to bring the show to the Roy Arias Theatre for its first showing late last year. I am also encouraged by all of the positive feedback we received from our fans. I will be giving you all a sneak peak of goings on as we move forward but today I want to leave you with just a sample of the great feedback we have received from our fans: One In A Million made me cry, laugh and think of the importance of friendship and unity. Loved every minute and will recommend to everyone to come. It is a must see - Margarita Luna

I absolutely loved One In A Million. I literally loi'd. I enjoyed the music, the humor and the message. God bless - K.L. ..."The play was hysterical,made my stomach hurt from laughing so much - and the music kept us dancing and singing for hours. It was entertaining and witty and had a great message to send to all. I want to thank you not only for writing it but inviting us." - Mike Acierno

Broken Pieces

I often marvel at the amazing, creative, brilliance of children. We would all benefit greatly if we took a moment from our daily routine to reflect on our childhood and/or watch children at play. When I was a child, there was always something to do - even when there was nothing to do. My world was filled with possibilities and wonder as probably was yours. I was poor yet rich. Whatever I lacked in material things was more that made up for with my imagination. Didn't have money for G.I Joe and the legion of other expensive action figures? I simply substituted for them with crayons,pencils and pens. I have saved the world many times over with my hand made Avengers! Didn't have money for a new ball to replace the old one that somehow crashed through a neighbors window? That was easy to replace with my imaginary ball I always had in my left back pocket. Many a mighty imaginary slugger met his doom from my equally imaginary curve ball. Pots and pans became spaceships;shoe boxes became forts; and, my faithful Crayola crayons were equally adept at filling in for toy cowboys and Indians. This madcap creativity was not limited to me but showed itself through all the kids I played with. Not enough guys for a real baseball game - how about one on one stickball with a brick wall as the catcher? I may have just dated myself with my stickball and cowboy and indian references (the term Native American came much later) but the point is that children have this marvelous ability to "see" all the colors of the rainbow. Something very strange happens to us on the way to adulthood. We are confronted with the twin-killers of all dreams which are the words "NO" and "DONT". NO - you can't play with mommy's pots and pans! "DONT" you know that crayons are for coloring silly - and you better stay in the lines! NO! - DONT throw that ball against the wall. Why? - because we said so! With each new "no" and "dont" our freedom to create becomes splintered into so many broken pieces. I share this because the creativity you see in children is divinely inspired by God to fulfill some great purpose he has for us. If, like I, you are now beginning to understand and walk in that great calling God has for you, we must also reconnect with that "child" in us who always saw the rainbow's many shades. We must also encourage all of those precious people that are taking this journey with us to reach out and touch that rainbow once again. What do you think? I love the feedback!

This Is What I Call Old School!

In the year 1504, at the tender age of 19, Hernan Cortez set sail from Spain to the new world determined to find fame and fortune. Fourteen years later, he was leading an army against the powerful Aztec empire which he conquered in 1521! I am sure you are asking yourself what does this have to do with building a production team and producing a broadway bound play? I am so happy you asked! Now I am not celebrating or glorifying the plunder,rape and destruction by one group over another. However, there are a couple of valuable lessons to be learned from this historical event. It took Cortez 17 years to finally achieve his goal. He understood that success is a journey best measured by the small steps you take daily. Your ultimate success or failure, for that matter, will be determined by your willingness to master what you need to do daily in order to achieve your long term vision. What small steps forward did you take today? What steps did you take yesterday? It has been reported that, at some point during his journey, the men under Cortez began to grumble and complain. It was hot; they were far away from home; and there was no end in sight to the mission. Realizing what was happening, Cortez embarked upon a bold strategy to help everyone re-focus and "keep their eyes on the prize." He had all his ships and supplies burned at port! Suddenly all grumbling ceased as they all knew there was no way out and unless they pulled together they would surely perish. What "ships" do you need to burn that are holding you back from achieving your dreams? Choose to burn them now. Remove the shackles and let's get on with it! I told you this was an old school story. What do you think? I love feedback!