Charlie Gilbert is a writer, composer, educator, and theater maker specializing in musical theater. Given my lifelong fascination with musical theater, this made him an obvious choice as a guest for this podcast! And while this episode is chock full of little musical theater tidbits, it’s also a beautiful look at what a lifelong dedication to Great Work looks like. Charlie started doing musical theater as a young man, in college, with his friends.
1979 he wrote Assassins, a musical whose idea was compelling enough to attract the attention of Stephen Sondheim; the musical that Sondheim eventually wrote based on Charlie's idea went on to win the Tony.
After teaching and freelancing as a musical theater professional for a number of years, he had the opportunity to start an undergraduate musical program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His experiences as an educator and artist led to the development of a signature pedagogy for musical theater performers that he calls the SAVI System. And, for the last ten years, he’s been a composer in residence at the Enchantment Theater company. Listening to Charlie talk about the fire he still has in his belly for even more success in musical theater was inspiring, to say the least.
Join us as we discuss:
· How to sustain your interest and passion for something highly competitive and full of disappointments
· What it was like to be peers with Stephen Sondheim, Jonathan Larson, and other broadway legends
· How to juggle multiple interests and areas of expertise in a field usually populated with narrowly focused artists
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About The Guest:
Charlie is a writer, composer, educator and theater maker who specializes in musical theater. He has been creating original work for the musical stage for nearly fifty years, and is perhaps best known for Assassins, his 1979 musical which was the source of the idea for the Tony Award-winning musical of the same name by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman.
His other works for the musical stage include Gemini the Musical, an adaptation of Albert Innaurato’s hit comedy Gemini for which Charlie wrote music and lyrics. For the past ten years, Charlie has been composer-in-residence for Enchantment Theatre Company and has created original music and lyrics for works that have toured the US, including Harold and the Purple Crayon, which will be seen in theaters this spring.
He started the undergraduate musical theater program at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1991 and served as a faculty member and administrator there for over thirty years. His experiences as an educator and artist led to the development of a signature pedagogy for musical theater performers he calls the SAVI System; his book The SAVI Singing Actor was published in 2019, along with an innovative teaching tool called SAVI Cards, and both are used by voice and theater teachers in the US and abroad.
Charlie was a founding member of the Musical Theater Educators Alliance, an organization created over 20 years ago to facilitate the collegial sharing of information and best practices among musical theater training programs worldwide, and served as an officer of that organization for many years.
About The Host:
Dr. Amanda Crowell is a cognitive psychologist, speaker, author, and coach focused on changing our perspective on the world of work. It IS possible to do Great Work—the work that calls to you from the inside-- without sacrificing your health, happiness, and relationships.
Amanda is the Author of the book, Great Work: Do What Matters Most Without Sacrificing Everything Else, and the creator of the Great Work Journals. Amanda's TEDx talk has received almost two million views and has been featured on TED's Ideas blog and Ted Shorts. Her ideas have also been featured on NPR, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz, and Thrive Global.
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