Retrospective: Micaela Blei

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"I was a classroom teacher for so many years, and feeling like I wasn't allowed to be an artist because I was a classroom teacher. And people would ask me, 'Are you an artist?' And I would say, 'I'm a classroom teacher.' So I'm growing into being able to say, 'I'm a scholar and I'm an artist and I make things and do these other things as well.' . . . I'm allowed to have these other pieces of myself." --Micaela Blei

In this episode of Retrospective, scholar, artist and educator Micaela Blei shares:

  • what working with children has taught her about being herself
  • what storytelling on stage and having a conversation have in common
  • what she tells vs. the image Georgia O'Keefe gave her for what stays "in the vault"
  • how her work and studies now weave all her interests together, even as she creates what's next

MICAELA BLEI is a storyteller, teacher, writer and scholar. She's appeared onstage at the Moth, the Story Collider, Told, BTK Band and in elementary classrooms across New York City. Micaela is working on her PhD in Educational Theater, and she's also currently creating a story/performance for young audiences about New York City and a big, strange museum heist.


Click the player above to listen, or listen in iTunes.

Retrospective: Jonatha Brooke

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"As an independent, you really have to decide: what is enough? What is success for you? And there's, of course, a part of you that still wants to be Beyoncé, or sell a gazillion records but is 100,000 gonna be enough? That would be incredible--a hundred thousand records as an independent? You will end up making more money then you did on major Blah Blah label. And you will have done it yourself and you will have had control, you will have made all the decisions. You will have chosen the artwork. You will have paid for the record, and yes, your pockets are not as deep as Warner Brothers, but it's yours." 

   --Jonatha Brooke 

In this episode of Retrospective, we follow the journey so far of acclaimed singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke. Click the player below to hear all about:

  • her first record deal
  • going independent
  • caring for her mother
  • and her new musical play that's in the works right now.

Click the player above to listen, or listen in iTunes.

Jonatha Brooke has been writing songs, making records and touring since her early days in Boston with her band The Story, which released two albums, Grace in Gravity and The Angel in the House, on Elektra Records. In 1995, Jonatha released the first of two solo albums on MCA/Universal, Plumb, followed by Ten Cent Wings in 1997. In 1999 she started her own independent label, Bad Dog Records and has since released six more albums. Her latest, The Works, combines previously unheard, unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics with her own music and arrangements. Jonatha has written for three Disney films, has had songs included in many television shows and composed the theme song for Joss Whedon's television series Dollhouse. Currently she is working on two theatrical musical projects - Quadroon, with legendary contemporary jazz pianist Joe Sample; and My Mother Has Four Noses, a multi-media musical play that is an intimate account of her experience caring for her mother who endured dementia.