Pictured above: Jacob Foy
While “Un-Block The Music” is getting to know Emergency The Musical’s Jeff and Jacob Foy better as we move forward with the WFYL’s radio show From Bullets To Broadway, Anatomy Of A Show, I still have a hard time telling them apart on the phone sometimes. So…how the heck did they read the first drafts of their show to get a “real feel” for what the dialog and music sounds like before ever attempting to take it to the stage? Did they disguise their voices and become impressionists?
On the May 1 chapter of From Bullets To Broadway, host Sgt. Dan McCaughan asked the Foys to talk about table readings. A table reading is exactly what it sounds like. It’s actors sitting around a table and reading the show. This week’s guest was Annie Wolfert who was “in” on the show right from the beginning. Annie is a musical theater actress from the Foys’ hometown in Indiana. “Un-Block The Music” got a chance to talk to her after the radio show aired.
Annie said, “When Jacob first approached me about singing the songs for a demo, he sang them. Admittedly it sounded a little wonky with Jacob singing a girl’s song but, I immediately also thought, ‘these songs are really something.’” Annie continued our talk with some anecdotes. “There exists a demo of at least one song where Jeff is singing really high. Unnecessarily high,” she laughed. Jeff admitted, “I was singing the girl harmonies.” “Un-Block The Music” thinks they should someday release those early demos for a Bloopers-type show. “We were just cackling,” Annie said.
Seriously though, “when Jacob first approached me about the show, I thought, ‘who writes a musical in high school?’ Before she actually read the story, Annie had to make the songs work. While sometimes she made scenarios up in her head about what the characters were going through, she was often able to figure out the circumstances just by their lyrics, Jacob said. And, when the group actually did the first table reading, the lines were cold for everyone.
While it’s not typical for a high school senior to write a musical, Jacob said, reaction to the table reading was surprisingly positive. While Annie said, at first, most everyone just thought it was a fun activity to do for a friend, but “after the reading, they were like….’this is actual something…there is potential.’”
Jeff said, the readings are so important to the process of getting a show to the stage. “After every reading we have, the show comes out 40 percent different.” Since that first reading, “we have added a major character and cut songs”. Jacob added, that “the only thing that is the same from our first draft is the song ‘Forever in Your Eyes.’”
“Un-Block The Music” lost track of the timeline, so Jeff reiterated. “We did the first reading and then met with Producer Ken Davenport, then we joined his Inner Circle (which is how they won the $10,000 grant to get started on a production), then we had the Bloomington, Indiana presentation.”
“Un-Block The Music” asked The Foys whether they are still part of the Inner Circle. They are not. They have a lot going on this year. In addition to Emergency, they have another musical actually scheduled to open mid-summer Off-Broadway (fingers and toes crossed.) It’s called One Night Only https://www.onenightonlythemusical.com/. Annie has done a lot of demo work on One Night Only as well. This pop/rock musical is about Marty, a slacker, with an ex-wife from Hell and his 8-year-old daughter whom he adores with all his heart. He makes the mistake of a lifetime when he promises that Beck and Becca will be at his daughter’s birthday party. Little does he know that Beck and Becca were a famous musical and romantic duo who split up two years before. A comedy of errors ensues as Marty and his best friend attempt to coerce the two into a reunion.
In the meantime, how did One Night Only get an opening date before Emergency? Don’t get ahead of us…”Un-Block The Music” and From Bullets To Broadway will answer all your questions. And…if we don’t, you can send us an email either directly to Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org or to me at email@example.com. If your question is read on the air, you’ll get an Emergency T-Shirt.
If you missed Chapter 4 of From Bullets To Broadway, Anatomy of A Broadway Show, it will be re-broadcast on WFYL1180 AM (www.1180wfyl.com) at noon this Saturday, May 9th. Archived chapters can also be found here: www.BroadwayBullets.com. The next new episode will air May 16th. And, if you want to follow Annie, she is @annie_wolfert on Instagram.
For past stories about Emergency on Un-Block The Music, just put “Emergency” in the search bar. And, if you don’t want to miss anything, you can follow the blog on social media, or better yet, scroll down and hit “follow” on the right side of the screen.
In the meantime, the pandemic is slowing in New York City. New cases have peaked and are coming down the mountain; not as quickly as we’d like, but there is improvement every day. If you have been following Emergency’s story on this blog, you know Jeff is an Emergency Room doctor in Indiana. So, please keep he and his family in your thoughts. And, always remember, the healing power of music.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato