For this week’s Fast Forward Friday, we interviewed composer-writer-director-artist David Eric Davis. The cast album for his rock musical Brooklyn Crush will be released on Broadway Records. The Brooklyn Crush cast will be performing at The Cutting Room on May 16. Save $5 off tickets with the code BC2016FF at http://bit.ly/1TTUagE.
Q: What are you currently working on? Tell us about it.
We are preparing for the release of the cast album for my rock musical Brooklyn Crush, formerly known as F#%king Up Everything, on Broadway Records, co-written with the amazing Sam Forman. We have a new opening song to go along with the new title and I’m really happy with how the album came out. The cast is reuniting to sing all the songs at The Cutting Room on May 16. Shameless plug: $5 off tickets with the code BC2016FF at http://bit.ly/1TTUagE.
Q: What was the inspiration and impetus for doing this project?
The show was well received in NYC in 2013 (a New York Times Critics’ Pick and Off-Broadway Alliance Best New Musical nominee – sorry, more shameless plugging) but we felt we needed to change the name to try to move to other markets. It took us a while to settle on a new name and to come up with a new opening song (I wrote and demoed three different candidates), and then it took a while to record it but it’s finally finished and we can’t wait to share it.
Q: Who are your artistic heroes — who have had an impact on you and your work?
I grew up as a musician and wasn’t very involved in theater so my artistic heroes are mostly musicians: The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, The Who, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Randy Newman, Bob Dorough … Yikes, all men.
Q: What keeps you motivated and inspired as an artist?
Well, I’m more often inspired than motivated. I always have a lot of ideas for things (songs, shows, artworks …) but don’t always have the discipline to work on them. Or I try to work on too many at once and end up not making enough progress on any of them. But it seems to be part of my process – I’ll be working on a bunch of things until one rises to the top and then I have to keep reminding myself of the expression, “Every yes must be defended by a thousand nos.”
Q: What other projects would you like to tell us about?
I’m very excited about an immersive, interactive retelling of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner that I’m working on with the brilliant director Adrienne Kapstein.
Q: What is one instance of knowing you are living in your vision?
When we did the first version of F#%king Up Everything at NYMF in 2009, the first time the house lights went down, I felt that I was sharing a dream with a roomful of strangers. That was kind of magical.
Q: If there were no barriers to entry, what is one thing you would be doing?
Q: What has been big your biggest obstacle in achieving your vision?
Q: If you could let go of something that has held you back, what would it be?
Fear of financial ruin.
Q: What is your favorite piece of art?
Hedwig is up there.
Q: If you could be known and celebrated for one thing, what would it be?
When I was 10 years old I got the “Kindness to Others” award. Others got things like “Best Athlete” or “Funniest.” I was humiliated at the time. But now I think that’s a pretty good thing to strive for. That and speaking my truth.
Q: If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
Q: If you could sit down with yourself 15 years ago, what would you say?
What I wouldn’t say is how much work it takes to write a musical. I wouldn’t want to scare myself away from doing it.
Q: Where would you most like to live?
Right here in NYC. Most of the time. Other times, anywhere else.
Q: What is your idea of success?
Getting to do what you love. Getting to be with people you love. Helping others do the same.
Q: What is your idea of happiness?
There was a period of time when I was meditating, doing yoga, chanting and journaling three hours a day and my mind was always clear and I never got freaked out. That was pretty good. Not quite there these days but something to strive for.
Q: Final Thoughts?