DOREEN TAYLOR TELLS ALL ABOUT HER OFF-BROADWAY SHOW “SINCERELY, OSCAR” & LOOKS TOWARDS A VERY BRIGHT FUTURE 0 296

Doreen Taylor is no stranger to dreaming big. With two music and performance related degrees under her belt, an array of theatre production credits to her name and a successful career as a solo artist, she’s ambitious and not afraid of people knowing it. After her production “Sincerely, Oscar”, which she created and produced herself, had a successful run in Philadelphia last year, the show has now moved to New York and is currently undertaking a 14 week run at Theatre Row, Off-Broadway. In between shows, Doreen kindly took the time to chat to ThisIsTheLatest about the creative process behind the show, her memories of opening night and where Sincerely, Oscar might go in the future.

TITL: First of all, for those unfamiliar with you and your background, can you just give a little insight into your music and performing career? 

Doreen Taylor: I’ve been performing for many years now, and having earned myself degrees in both opera and voice performance, I consider myself very fortunate to have been a part of some fantastic theatre productions including Robert Ward’s The Crucible, in which I played Abigail Williams, and Christine in Phantom Of The Opera. In terms of my music, I released my first album Magic back in 2012 while my latest album Happily Ever After has received great reviews and is to hopefully become an Off-Broadway musical in the next couple of years.

TITL: You’ve been pretty busy lately with your off Broadway show, Sincerely, Oscar, after a successful run in Philadelphia last year. How does it feel to know you’re working on the same streets and around the same venues as some of the biggest and most popular musicals and shows in the world? 

DT: It is pretty surreal. One of the very first musicals I starred in when I was just a kid was “42nd Street” and now here I am all these years later starring in my very first show I have written in an iconic theater on 42nd STREET! It is pretty amazing how life can just come around full circle and give affirmations that I have been on the right path all along. I guess the most amazing part is that the shows that we are honoring by the great Oscar Hammerstein all opened on Broadway within one mile of where we are performing “Sincerely, Oscar” now. That is a pretty humbling feeling!

TITL: You created and produced the show yourself – what is it about this particular show that made you want to bring it to life in the way that you have?

DT: It’s weird… I was busy working on my mainstream Adult Contemporary music career writing, producing and performing my own music and this opportunity came out of nowhere at a music video premiere that I was hosting. I was lucky enough to meet the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein and his lovely family at this event and we instantly hit it off. I felt a strong calling to use my talents to bring recognition to Oscar and help honor this iconic Broadway legend. I created the previous iteration of the show and debuted it in Philadelphia and we did so well that I wanted to bring it to the heart of Broadway. I worked for over a year and a half developing “Sincerely, Oscar” and am so proud at the finished product. It is truly like my child and I feel as though I have nurtured and loved it every step of the way.

TITL: Did you have any prior creative/production experience prior to this or was this project something you felt so passionately about you just had to give it a first time try? 

DT: I always have had a hand in producing my solo mainstream concerts that we have toured around the US, and even some of my music videos, but this is the first time I have written and produced something of this colossal size and importance on the theatrical stage. I feel so lucky that I have been given such a great opportunity right out of the gate!

TITL: Can you talk me through the creative process for the show? Where did your first ideas come from and how did you expand them over time to the point you realised you could make your thoughts and ideas a reality? 

DT: I think the most incredible achievement in the creative process of this show was the way we created the role of “Oscar Hammerstein” himself. Early on, I got it stuck in my mind that I wanted to do something unique and totally “out of the box” for his character. I had just visited Las Vegas and caught a Michael Jackson tribute show at Mandalay Bay where they had created Michael as a hologram and he interacted with the other performers. It blew me away and never quite left me. I wanted to be the very first to bring this technology to the NY stage and I never really let go of that idea – even when others said I was crazy! And now, here we are, being the very first production ON or OFF Broadway that has used this 3d holographic technology in a theatrical production. It is really quite stunning and impressive and I am so honored to be the one to pave the way for this new technology. Sure, there has been some blow back from purist critics who don’t believe in bringing this kind of technology to the theatrical stage- but I have news from them—like it or not, it’s coming and “Sincerely, Oscar” is living proof of it. You can’t stop progress.

TITL: Were there ever any days or times that you questioned or doubted what you were doing, or were you 100% committed to?

DT: Every. Single. Day. It would be weird if I didn’t occasionally doubt my creative choices- especially when you have to deal with ridiculous opinions from people who are afraid of the technology or of the advancement. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have changed anything and I am so proud at what has been created. I sometimes sit back while I am performing in the show and absorb the incredible audience response and feel a huge sense of pride that I am here and I am able to live out this incredible dream!

TITL: How did you bring the production’s cast/crew together? Were/are they friends of yours or did you put out a casting call? When did you know you’d found the right people for each part of the show? 

DT: A little of column A, a little of column B. In the case of my gifted director, Dugg McDonough, we had worked together years ago in several productions at Temple University as well as Des Moines Metro Opera Company. I immediately thought of him when I was creating this show and asked him to return to collaborate on this project. As for the rest of the cast and crew, most were hired from referrals and casting. One of the hardest parts of creating any new production is finding the right people to work on it. I can honestly say that in all my years of performing professionally, I have never worked on a show where I truly like and respect every person that is there. This is the first time I can say that. We have become like a family and we all look out and protect each other. It is a really wonderful thing.

TITL: What can you recall of the infamous opening night? Were you nervous or just buzzing and raring to go? 

DT: It went by SO fast! I can say that I am a little nervous before every show I do. That never really goes away and I am actually glad that those butterflies are there. I never get complacent or “phone in” a performance. Every show is like opening night to me. The party was a blast and we really had one amazing night celebrating this great success together!

TITL: Given that Broadway is typically considered to be more of a man’s world, how proud does it make you feel to know you’re proving yourself to be just as good as your male counterparts when it comes to putting on a successful production? 

DT: To be honest, I still feel there is a lack of support and respect for women creators/producers in this industry. While it is admittedly a lot better, there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done. I am really honored to be a strong woman voice out there creating good, commercial theater in an otherwise male dominated industry. It is so sad that in this #metoo era we don’t embrace more female voices attempting to create on the theatrical stage but I think there are more of us out there that will brave the storm and keep pushing the boundaries, regardless if we are always embraced or not while we do it! However, that being said- women need to start supporting women colleagues in theater more. Sad to say that some of the harshest critical voices out there are from other women. That has always baffled me. Trying to blow out the candle of another does not make theirs burn any brighter.

TITL: What advice would you give to anyone out there who has an idea that they’d love to see brought to life on a stage such as one on or off Broadway? What traits might you say they need in order to keep pursuing that idea/dream until it becomes reality?

DT: I would say that dreams can come true and I am living proof of that. However, set your sights with reasonable goals. Start small. Test the waters. People don’t usually wake up one morning and decide to have a show open on Broadway next week. It takes a long time of work, dedication, financial support and most of all- thick skin, to navigate this industry. There will be enormous sacrifices that will need to be made and there will be a lot more tears than laughs at times. But after all that is said and done, there is no greater joy than to see your creation brought to life by fabulously talented people each and every day and I truly feel blessed to have this opportunity.

TITL: Finally then, now that Sincerely, Oscar is proving to be a hit, have you thought about any other productions you might like to work on, or is all your time and energy focused on this for the time being? 

DT: Right now I am focusing on this limited engagement run at Theatre Row in NYC, but I would be lying if I said I am not looking to the future for what is next. I believe we have even bigger and better things in store for “Sincerely, Oscar” coming in the near future. Maybe it will be a national tour, maybe an international tour, or maybe a residency in Vegas? There has been a lot of buzz as to where this should go next… and right now the sky is the limit! I am just excited to see where this remarkable journey will go!

For more information on Sincerely, Oscar visit the official website. You can also keep up to date with Doreen via doreentaylormusic.com, or by following her on Twitter and liking her page on Facebook. Her latest album Happily Ever After is available now. Header photo credit: James Jackson.

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THE BAND GOOCH TALK ‘MODERN HIGH’, FAVOURITE ARTISTS & ULTIMATE COMPLIMENTS 0 23

They say siblings share most things. For the majority, that means clothes and other day to day items, but for Jared and Jordan, aka The Band Gooch, the one key thing they share and bond over is their love of music. Inspired first and foremost by Green Day, the two brothers have just dropped their new album ‘Modern High’, and are currently working on putting together some tour dates. They spoke to ThisIsTheLatest and spilled the beans on the two venues they’d love to play, their views on social media and how they’d like to start a revolution with and through their music.

TITL: What sets The Band Gooch apart from all the other acts out there today?

TBG: I think there are a couple things that set us apart from other acts out there today. First, we are not making music simply to get rich and famous. That is not our goal and never has been. Our band to us is more than just a rock band, it’s a lifestyle, a culture. To us it’s a symbol of freedom and liberty, meant to inspire people to do and be more. To us it’s a community of people brought together by music, living their best lives, being completely free. The other thing that would set us apart would be our musical taste. There are a lot of acts out there who are into a little more electronic type music. We write music with the idea that, it needs to be able to truly be played live, and sound just as good if not better live. No BS. You don’t see that anymore. 

TITL: As siblings, do you find or have you found that your musical tastes are very similar or different and how have those tastes and influences filtered through into the music you make?

Jared: For the most part our music tastes are very similar. We are both very into classic rock, punk rock, a lot of 80s and 90s stuff. That’s the foundation of what we do. We differ in other things. For example I’m into Enya, I love Brad Paisley and things like that. Jordan is way into Lord Huron, Young The Giant and other acts like that. Having a foundation of similarity with different flares really makes creating music fun and interesting for us. We go the same direction, but keep it interesting. 

TITL: What would you each say the other brings to the band? 

Jared: We each bring personality I think. I bring passion I think, sometimes probably a little too much for the band! I can get a little OCD with things, but that’s okay. I do a lot of the melody work, a lot of guitar and bass, foundation work and lyrics. Jordan brings the flash and style. He is really good at spicing up bass lines, adding good guitar solos or spicing things up a bit. He also brings a lot of passion in his own way. He is more relaxed and easy going which is good to have, it keeps it loose and we all have fun. 

TITL: Family relationships are hard at the best of times, so how do the two of you deal with any personal or artistic differences that might cause tensions within the band? 

TBG: We are super close in age and we are extremely close but also have always had differences growing up. We prefer it this way. We can have a huge fight and disagree on everything, which has happened multiple times, but at the end of the day, we are still brothers so things get resolved easy. Anyone else is not so easy, people get pissed, bands break up and that’s that. 

TITL: Which three bands, collectively, would you say TBG is most influenced by? 

TBG: First and foremost Green Day. We love their music, and their live presence is second to none. Second would be Metallica, for the same reasons. Third would probably be a general collection of 80’s rock mixed with artists ranging from Enya to Metallica new or old. 

TITL: What can you tell me about your new album Modern High?

TBG: Modern High is a rock album about Modern Society. It talks about the good the bad and the ugly about life in the modern age. We have more luxuries than ever, yet people seem to be more stressed out and anxious than ever. People seem to care more than ever what other people think about them, they have distractions everywhere they look, expectations to manage, and life is just chaotic all the time. Modern High is an album of anthems preaching liberty. Fuck the modern age, what other people think, it doesn’t matter. What matters is doing what you love, being your best, and being happy. Too many people spend time living for someone else. Fuck that. It’s your life, live it your way. Start the business, make the album, marry that girl, do whatever you want. Just don’t spend your life trying to please everyone and stop measuring your life by likes and follows. Modern High is a classic punk album preaching liberty.  

TITL: Could you pick a favourite track from the collection? What is it about those songs that mean and matter so much to you?

Jared: Mine would probably be “Rebel Inside”. That is one of the more personal songs I wrote. It’s about my wife, and finding perfection in her imperfections. 

TITL: Are there any summer/fall tour plans lined up to promote the album? 

TBG: We are working on that now! We are going to be booking some shows around the west coast later this year and/or next.

TITL: Which venue anywhere in the world would you most like to play and who would you choose to support you?

TBG: Probably the Emirates Stadium or Old Trafford, both in England. We’d of course want to play with Green Day but I think they are a little too big to support us, so we’d support them! If we had to choose a supporting act, I don’t know; I think we’d find someone we like who puts on a good show and bring them along. 

TITL: You’ve already been praised by the likes of Ghost Cult Magazine and PunkNews.org, but what’s the biggest thing anyone has or could write/say about you? What is or would be the ultimate compliment? 

TBG: The best thing is when someone who has never been to a show before, or hears our music for the first time reaches out or comes up after a show and says; “I just found this song, it is AMAZING!” OR “You guys are way better than I expected – I had no idea you guys were this good. I thought you’d be okay but you guys are an actual band rock band!” Or: “You guys sound way better live than you do on your album!”Or: “You guys put on an actual rock show, that was amazing, I feel bad I haven’t come yet! I did not expect this at all!” These are all real quotes from people, and these are the best compliments. When someone listens to our music, or comes to a show and has a great time. 

TITL: To what extent has and does social media impact your ability to reach an audience? How much of your following might you say has come as a result of you posting/sharing your music on the likes of Twitter and Facebook? 

TBG: Twitter zero. I think we have one but we are never on it. We do most our marketing on Facebook and Instagram. The thing with social media is it’s an amazing tool for reaching people all over the world. We can share our brand and our story and connect with fans and that is really fun. We love talking to people that find and like our music. The problem is, everyone is always getting crap thrown in their face and it is distracting, so the market is super saturated. Also on a personal note, we hate social media because it is addicting and we think at this point it’s more of a problem and a distraction to society than a solution. So it sucks. I am not sure how much of a following comes from it, probably a pretty good amount. But we really don’t spend as much time on social media as we “should”. 

TITL: Looking further down the line, where to you want TBG to be five, ten years from now? When they write the history book of music, what would you like to see written about the two of you and the music you left/shared with the world?

The Band Gooch: Good question. At the end of the day, we aren’t doing this for money and fame. If we wanted that we’d do pretty much anything else, there is almost no money and no fame in this business. We do this because it is WHO we are. This is our life’s work, and whether or not it works out for us tomorrow, next year, five years or after we are dead it doesn’t matter. This is WHO we are and it is what we do. We are doing it because we want to show people you CAN do what you love, and you SHOULD do what you love. That there is more to life than money, likes and follows. The world needs a revolution, it needs to get back to its roots and that is why we exist. We just so happen to make awesome rock music, so what better way to start a revolution? 

For more information on The Band Gooch, visit their website or give their page a like on Facebook. Their album Modern High is available now.

CEO FIELDS UNVEILS HIS BRAND NEW SINGLE “YOURS” 0 33

It’s amazing what an idea can do. After dropping out of college and moving to LA, following managing a big pet boutique for a while, CEO Fields had the idea to launch his own fitness company for dogs. With business going well, Fields went on to invest his profits wisely and made his first million in two years.

This rags to riches story was personified and showcased for all to see and hear on Fields’ debut single “25/8” , which highlighted just how far perseverance and dedication to what you do can get you and now, with his business established, his position in the music world set on a solid foundation and his following on the rise, he’s sharing his latest work in the form of new single “Yours”, which ThisIsTheLatest are delighted to premiere.

Asked about the new release, Fields says:

“Yours is my version of a love song for the Boss Woman out there that has my heart and all of my attention. After ’25/8′ I wanted to speak to the women so that they know I have something for them too. It’s a fun song, both empowering and raunchy.”

Give “Yours” a listen below and for more information on CEO Fields, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.