(日本語) Goodnight to Jukebox Paradise

Wow, that was fun.

Over 50 people involved – amazing group of people – all doing it for a love of theatre and fun and life. Thank you to you all for getting involved in a little idea that started in the head of a much younger me in Dublin way back in 1989.

The cast did an amazing job of bringing the songs and the story to life.

Ah the songs and the music of Jukebox Paradise. As musical director for Jukebox Paradise, and the writer of the songs, these little songs have been my obsession for the last 12 months and long before. Writing, composing, arranging, performing, editing, reshaping, rewriting, adjusting to fit the cast, adjusting to fit the flow of the story… these songs have flowed in and out of so many people’s lives and yet are still hanging out in my head.

On our cast mailing list and in personal conversations, people are telling me how the songs are still going around and around their heads. I know, I know! That was what I set out to do – to create little song viruses that get stuck in people’s heads. Of course, I caught the virus myself and the songs are on constant play in my head. It’s at night when the internal jukebox in my head turns on loudest and it has kept me awake too many nights since the show successfully closed on the evening of December 4. Kids who came to the show and hardly understood a word are singing the chorus of these songs and driving their parents mad. Mission completed 😉

Coindrop62 were the band that created the sound of the Jukebox. And what a band.
The final night was a completely full house. The Saturday evenings were full. And all of the other shows had a great turnout.
More importantly, the feedback from the audience has been overwhelmingly positive.
“That was hard work. You made me cry three times, and then made me laugh three times.”

The messages and themes of the show got through to many people, too.
“ … “

Goodnight and thank you, Jukebox Paradise. We sure have had fun together and I look forward to seeing you on other stages in the future. In the meantime, there are other fun projects ahead.

Gifu

I love going out to Gifu. It’s less than 30 minutes from Nagoya, but it feels like a different world out there. First, I went to an interesting Gifu JALT presentation by Phil McCasland. Phil talked about developing an entrepreneurial mindset through narrative and gave lots of interesting examples from his own classes as well as extracts from a government paper showing the official perspective.

As this article on the dearth of entrepreneurship in Japan concludes:

“Japanese often need to be persuaded that entrepreneurship is another possible path to success, and not just a path that entails risk and shame. Unfortunately, an overhaul of the social and educational structure in Japan might be needed before it can happen.”

In the book, GOAL, that I authored with Ben Backwell, we follow the same kind of thinking. We aimed to have students think more creatively and to show more initiative. There is no simple answer to counter the low level of entrepreneurship and independent thinking, but it is clear that something needs to change in Japan in order for the economy to get fresh energy from young people who have the courage and ability to start new businesses.

After the JALT presentation, I went out to play at a gig In KJs Yanagase, one of my favourite places to play.

 

I Play the Music

“If you sit down and listen
I’ll play you a song
But I’d probably play anyway
I play the music
I play the music”

These are the first few lines of the song, I Play the Music. I wrote the song with my good friend Mark Renburke when we were playing together in an Irish band called The Rising Pints. We were playing lots of gigs in crowded bars. Sometimes people listened closely – sometimes people didn’t seem to listen at all. But you know, we played the music, yes we played the music – that’s what we did. For some people in the pubs, we were the focal point of the evening. For others, we were just a background for the fun and talking. And that’s fine, too. Because the music doesn’t always have to be at the center. Sometimes, the music is just the background that makes the rest of our life so much richer. Read More

“Today is the First Day” from Jukebox Paradise

Today is the First DayThis year, one of my big areas of focus is our rock and roll musical, Jukebox Paradise, produced by KPB Theatre. This is a musical theatre production that has been in my head since 1989 and it is finally coming to the stage at the end of November 2016 in Nagoya. Please contact me to get your tickets. The script was written by Gary Beaubouef and it is directed by Steve Pottinger. Below is a quick description that Sarah and I wrote up for the program: Read More

Joy of Soy

The other day, I was reading an interesting recipe that involved soy yogurt. I was about to pass on because soy yogurt struck me as one of those hard-to-get ingredients. There is always at least one of them in every recipe in the cookbooks that my sister gives me. That, of course, is because our average Japanese supermarket is designed to fulfill the needs of Japanese cookbooks rather than Western cookbooks. Fair enough.

So I was giving up on the recipe when it occurred to me that Read More

New book: 100 Days of Creativity

100DaysofCreativity_Volume1_Bigger

Sarah and I have just published a new e-book designed to trigger and support creativity. You can download the book on the Amazon Kindle store.

This book arose out of our own efforts to stay creative over a long period of time and I can say with certainty that it works.

This book is based on a very simple concept. Each day, the book offers you a few triggers to get your creative juices going. And then it sends you off with the message “Now go and be creative”, because that is where you really should be putting your time and energy and passion.

There are little milestones along the way as you achieve the important 4 days, 10 days, 21 days and so on. The book is designed to help you create a new habit of creativity (pun intended!). As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

We enjoyed making it and using it and hope that it will be useful to other writers, songwriters, drama folk, poets, business folk or anyone else that wants to be consistently creative over a long period of time.

Here is the description of the book (and the other books that will be coming out in the same series).

Welcome to the 100 Days of Creativity series of books designed to support your creativity. This series is titled 100 Days of Creativity because we believe that great things begin to come about when people are consistently using their creativity over a sustained period of time. Like other physical and mental skills, creativity is a muscle, and the more you use it, the better you get at it.

Every creative effort has to start somewhere. If you look at any finished novel or play or story or song, it was initially triggered by something that the creator saw or heard or felt.

This book gives you 100 days of triggers to fire up your creativity. Each day, the book gives you three thought-provoking or inspirational quotes that will help you to foster the habit of being creative every single day.

Download the book on the Amazon Kindle store.

Superman

I was talking to a friend, Dave, on Facebook and he said that he wanted to get a creativity boost. So I invited him for a coffee and we started talking about NLP and life and music and all that good stuff.

And of course, one of the best ways to get the creative juices going is to just jump into something new. In NLP, we might talk about the OPERATE stage of the TOTE model. You’ve got to do something!

So I threw two songs at him, and Dave reminded me of just how experienced a musician he is by learning them in about 2 seconds and then adding in keyboard and bass lines that are lots of fun.

It’s obviously a rough demo, and if you weren’t clued into that, you can listen to my comments to Dave as he is overdubbing the bass part. “Nice, yes, I like that …” – that isn’t actually part of the lyrics 🙂

I wrote the song a few years ago when I was going through a bad patch with pollen allergies and I was running the NLP allergy relief process on myself about three times a day. Nice process and it definitely gives relief. I never have managed to fully clear the pollen allergy. I’d say that I have reduced them about 90% though, and that is a mighty fine thing.

Anyway, as usual my unconscious mind got bored and decided to play, so it wrapped up the process into this song. Because of course, the “allergy relief” process isn’t just about relieving allergies. It is a great way of learning anything in a dissociated manner.

In the song lyrics, first you watch Superman, and then Superman flies right inside of you, bringing his thoughts and strength and beliefs and so much more. I didn’t actually get the words right in this demo … just enjoy it until I get around to the next step of the recording.

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