The most important part of beginning this particular production was assembling the right team. The idea for What You Can Do was, and remains, daunting and ambitious. And I was, and remain, well aware of the limitations I possess as a human, an intellect and a producer. Even the conception of the idea was problematic: find an issue and solve it! Bam! Done! It did occur to me somewhere around this time that if things were this easy we would be living in a very different world. So the first person I pulled in was the brilliant, talented and very funny Mary Micari. I wanted to work with Mary as she is a woman who I trust implicitly ,not only as a performer, but also as a human being. I wanted a partner who I knew shared my passion for the issues as well as my personal sensibilities and values about how we could get this show done. I also wanted Mary to cook for me.
Listen to me as I speak to you now. If you are ever in your life lucky enough to be invited to Mary's for any sort of meal; drop everything and run there. But I digress...
Mary is an extremely gifted actress and writer, as well as a dear friend of mine. Over coffee, Mary heard me out and almost immediately came up with the hook: frame the show by time increments: what you can do about an issue if you have a minute, an hour, a week or a year. Immediately the show was given a context. As New Yorkers, we are constantly rebuffed by our inability to stop time. The number of things to accomplish personally, professionally, economically and civically is overwhelming even at our quietest moments. The thought of adding anything to our already jammed schedules induces panic and wincing. One of the toughest issues for producing WYCD is convincing people that in order to aid a situation you do not need to give up your life and become a slave to the cause. At first even Mary and I were skeptical - can you really help stop violence against women if you have only one minute? After extensive research and Internet trolling, it turns out you actually can.
Well now we are getting somewhere!
The idea of devoting a very small ( one minute ) or relatively small ( one hour or one week) amount of time to a cause is something that is not only doable, it is marketable. And marketable is something you need to land upon before pulling in a producer.
And speaking of.... I am very fortunate to have one of the most talented producers in NYC in my familial unit. Mary and I pitched the idea to Alicia and she jumped onboard. And thankfully with Alicia comes Julie Tortorici, the very talented writer, actress, and producer whose ideas have been instrumental in leading us forward.
With the team in place we were able to set out upon getting this show done.