Happy Monday everyone!
Hope you are all taking advantage of the holiday deals for the season! As you head into the season, don't forget to mark your calendars for the next Spotlight On YOU Open mic coming up next Friday, December 15th featuring Bistro winning artist Deb Berman and her wonderful musical director of choice for the evening Gregory Toroian!
On that note, it is my pleasure and honor to present to you, my interview with Deb Berman.
I met Deb for the first time a few years ago when I signed up for a master class with Marilyn Maye. Since then, our paths had crossed many times when I've attended her open mic at the Metropolitan Room. I saw her last show which was nothing short of amazing! Deb is warm, outgoing and a super fun performer!
As all of you readers may be familiar with by now, I usually start with a little bio on my featured guests. I had a personalized bio in this case where Deb gave me a quick sum up!
For those of you who don't already know, here's a treat for you!
Deb Berman: " I started singing in my teens in musical theatre, and did some summer stock in South Dakota. In my 20's, I was lead singer in a Top 40 cover band & then a wedding band working about 60-70 weddings a year while pursuing a daytime career in the music industry. For the next 35+ years, I worked at Warner Bros, Chappell Music, A&M Records, and then for 23 years at Sony Music as Vice President of Marketing.
While working in the music industry in my 30's, I sang on weekends in a 17-piece big band and then in a jazz trio. Marriage and baby soon followed, so performing went on an extended hiatus. In 2008, I found my way back into performing and landed in Lina Koutrakos's cabaret workshop. Soon after, I started collaborating with Pianist/ Arranger Barry Levitt on my debut show SUCH A LOT OF LIVIN, which won a Bistro Award for Best Debut.
Around this time, I met the Marvelous Marilyn Maye and I wanted to study with her. When I found out she wasn't teaching in NYC, I proposed that it would be an incredible benefit to NY singers if she shared her valuable knowledge on "The Art of Performance". So now ..... it's been 10 years that I've have the privilege of assisting Marilyn with the promotion and coordination of her acclaimed Master Classes and private coaching sessions.
In 2010, I followed with my second show ALL IN GOOD TIME, with guitarist extraordinaire, Sean Harkness.
With my career ending in the music industry, I decided it was tmie to work for myself, so I secured a real estate agent license. I am now a successful full-time agent with EXIT Kingdom Realty in Forest Hills helping buyers and sellers alike.
In 2014, my best bud and fellow performer, Susan Winter, began a bi-monthly Open Mic brunch on Sundays at The Metropolitan Room. We had such a great time for four years providing a fun and supportive environment for all singers to attend and hone their craft.
In 2016, I discovered a new passion which was directing other singers. To date, I've directed Josephine Sanges with her show celebrating the music of Ann Hampton Callaway, and with the debut performance of Kati Neiheisel's show AMONG THE STARS.
I am currently collaborating with pianist / arranger, Gregory Toroian, and his seven-week workshops, where singers have the opportunity to perform with a trio (piano, bass and drums). The workshop culminates with a group performance where I assist with the direction of all the shows.
I get much fulfillment from assisting singers by maximizing their talents and turning their visions into solid, tangible and hopefully, enjoyable shows!!
For the interview, here are my questions for Deb:
What motivates your creativity and passion for life?
So many things ..... Everything from creating a meal, to decorating a room, helping a friend, learning a new song, directing a show, selling a house.......etc....etc....etc....
Name three things that never fails to put a smile on your face!
To name a few: My friends laughing; My son's successes; An enjoyable cabaret show;
My purring kitties; Everybody Loves Raymond; Dark Chocolate; The scent of fresh-cut grass; My bed!
4) Share with us what you have in the pipeline for us to be on the lookout for!
Kati Neiheihel's third performance of her debut show on Thurs, Dec 21 @ 7 pm at Don't Tell Mama
Real estate commission checks (Yeah!!)
More homes to sell!
More shows to direct!
New songs to sing
AND . . . the optimism of knowing there will be some other wonderful things ... yet to be uncovered!!
Stay tuned for my interview with Gregory Toroian, coming soon!!
Join us NEXT FRIDAY AT THE SPOTLIGHT to experience Deb Berman LIVE! Until then, stay happy and healthy!