Photo by: Jeremy Daniel
What has been and continues to be exciting about writing a blog is watching it develop. “Un-Block The Music’s” original vision has taken a very different shape. With my background in pro-audio, I thought most of my stories would be a bit more technical. However, instead of writing about equipment, I am writing about people that make the music happen. Emergency has become one of my favorite projects to watch. And, “Un-Block The Music” finally saw the show as a whole at the Hudson Guild Theater in New York as part of the New York Theater Festival’s Summerfest.
Winners of The Ken Davenport Inner Circle grant, father/son team Jeff Foy and Jacob Foy wrote the book, music and lyrics to this show. Jeff is an emergency room doctor and Jacob is a student at Indiana University. Their view of theater is fresh and a welcome change. After being mentored by Tony- winning producer Ken Davenport, this duo put together a cabaret of their music which they performed earlier in the summer, and from there put together their entire show for the Summerfest. At the festival, the show had a lot of buzz behind it and after its sold-out performance its final night, they were asked to extend. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make that happen, but Jeff and Jacob are certainly ready for their next step.
Jeff told “Un-Block The Music,” they will be performing a concert of the show’s music at the American College of Emergency Physicians Scientific Assembly Conference in Denver later this month. “It’s the largest emergency medical conference in the U.S. We are interested in getting the word out there and getting support from the medical community.”
After having their show performed in New York, what have these collaborators learned? Jeff says they have been talking to people who were part of the show and asking for feedback from people who saw it as well in order to build on suggestions and make the show suitable for the next step. “Being part of the New York process was different than expected; a learning curve for sure.”
You can know all of the steps, but putting things into action in real life is a challenge. Jacob says it is much like the challenge the lead character Justin faces in the Emergency room. “You can know the science but how it works in the real world only comes from experience.”
“It was all very eye opening,” says Jeff. “Being in the room and seeing things done in a professional way with 40 people involved in the show. There was a lot to be done in a very short time.”
Jacob is studying the business of theater, but he said, “there is only so much you can learn in a classroom. Working on Emergency has let me learn from the inside. Before this experience with Emergency, I couldn’t have told you even one percent how a show gets to New York.” No classroom can prepare you to handle the unexpected. The night “Un-Block The Music” saw the show, one of the cast members became ill and the stage manager jumped in to cold read the part. She pulled it off while most everyone else sweated it out for her. She was a young woman having to play and old woman. She made it work! Can’t learn that in a classroom.
However, before the show even came near a stage, the duo had to learn to work together. “What took time to figure out is how to act with dad as a collaborator. It’s a different relationship than a father and son one.” And it’s a different relationship than if the collaborator was a paid stranger. “We had to realize, we are a father and son first. I not only value is artistic opinions, but also value his opinion more than anyone else’s on how decisions we make will affect my career and my image as a whole.” They also had to learn to keep business in the room and not take it home.
What was fun for both, in fact, is that they are father and son, and as Jacob says, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. “Our ideas are similar; our humor is the same and the types of music that I listen to is influenced by him. We bounce ideas off of each other well, and as a result we write well together.” The good news is, that another show is also under construction by Jeff and Jacob. How do they balance it all? “A welcome challenge,” they both say.
Speaking of balance, Jeff will be handing the medical conference show himself as Jacob has school to handle. The show will have four singers and Jeff will introduce the songs from a doctor’s perspective. The two hope to get continued support from the medical community and see where things go from here.
The theme throughout the show is “Always remember…Feel the Pulse!” “Un-Block The Music” feels the heart of the show, and encourages you to stay tuned!
Here are past stories about “Emergency””