MusicalWriters Academy is made up of bookwriters, composers, and lyricists from all over the world. We love supporting our members, and we want to help share what they’re doing, what they’re learning, and where they’re headed.
I write musical theatre to help people feel, and yes at times, even to make myself feel.
Nicolette Blount is an Academy member who is making great strides with her show Savage the Musical. Nicolette is a performer, songwriter, and producer, and has learned the key to building a show’s social media following (see below)!
What are you working on right now?
Nicolette Blount: Savage the Musical (savagethemusical.com) continues to consume my life, 4-1/2 years and counting. We were in rehearsals for our first production here in Massachusetts, when COVID hit. I had to keep the hustle going and stay sane during the lockdown, so we released another single, “Currency of Men.” We also did a music video collaboration for the single with a talented dancer, Mackenzie Lehner. You can see it on our Youtube channel or our IGTV. We have five singles streaming with 2K streams on iTunes and Spotify, cumulatively, and are preparing to release our first EP June 28. We recently had another developmental reading with our NYC director, Rachel Klein, and we have been doing a lot of interviews as of late. I am pretty humbled by our social media which has gained thousands of followers on Facebook and Instagram (IG is over 4K). I do all of our social media myself. I’m still in awe of the interest in a show that has yet to have a production. I am trying to branch out a bit, however, and have started to write a new show called Red with a new collaborator.
What’s a lesson you’ve learned from your writing journey that you’d like to share?
NB: Collaborating with your creative team (bookwriter, composer, and lyricist) is one thing, but collaborating with a director and producer is a whole other animal. Be open to change and try new things. I am always willing to try something to see if it works, however, you and your writing team are the keepers of your story. Go with your gut. You know more about your characters than anyone. Pick your battles and know when to put your foot down. Especially if you are writing a musical about someone in your family, as I am. Although, I am still learning to find my voice and put my foot down more.
Be open to change and try new things. I am always willing to try something to see if it works, however, you and your writing team are the keepers of your story. Go with your gut. You know more about your characters than anyone. Pick your battles and know when to put your foot down.
Writing a musical isn’t easy. What’s your “why” in being a musical writer?
NB: I am consumed by either performing or writing musicals. I love the emotions musicals create. Many people in our society are so busy and stressed that many of us have become numb. I write musical theatre to help people feel, and yes at times, even to make myself feel. Musical theatre is not just to make people laugh or cheer or dance…even the saddest, most dramatic shows are not just to entertain, but to help others feel emotion. I’m not just in the business of storytelling, I’m in the business of feelings. As my surgeon husband put it, “theatre is medicine.” Do you know how I know this is true? When my father passed from a rare cancer at a young age and then my mother died a few years later from another rare cancer, I wrote and recorded a song for my dad’s battle with cancer, “Eagles Wings” (now streaming). It was played at my dad’s and mom’s funeral. I didn’t write another song for seven years! I had been writing music since I was in my teens, then because of depression and anxiety—nothing for seven years!! One day, I started to write Savage the Musical about my Chickasaw Great Grandma who was a rising star in the 1920s. It pulled me out of a seven year funk. Musicals are medicine for the soul. I love being a Musical M.D.
Why did you join MusicalWriters Academy?
NB: I wanted more resources for writing musicals, the business and the whole process of getting a musical on its feet. At college, I double-majored in voice and theatre, but the college I went to at the time didn’t have an official musical theatre program. I have not had formal training in writing a musical, thus I had to learn the ropes by scouring the internet and reading. I bought and read tons of books (if you ever need a good list, hit me up), but I also wanted a place where I could be in a community of support. I was driven to just learn more, so I found and joined MusicalWriters. When I have a question about something, I go here first to find an answer.
How did you get bit by the theater bug?
NB: Since I was old enough to sing in front of my mirror with my hairbrush singing to my record player of the 101 Dalmatians soundtrack or my Barbra Streisand album. My first experience with a musical was my mom (who was not musical or creative at all) taking me to the college she was a professor at to see West Side Story. I will never forget that feeling of excitement and the draw of my soul to want to jump up and be a part of that. My first Broadway musical I saw was with my college when we went on a singing tour from California to the East Coast. We stopped in NYC and I saw Miss Saigon with Lea Salonga. It is still to this day one of my favorite musicals, the 1990s version, not the newer one (Why did they get rid of “Now That I’ve Seen Her”???).
What do you love about MusicalWriters.com?
NB: I love the resources like the Musical Writer’s Planner, and the guides and worksheets like the Script and Score Diagnostic. I also really enjoy the interviews that Holly does, like the one she did with Steve Cuden. I think the classes are great too! There’s so much to do and be a part of here. I need to do more of the social things in this group. Being that I am a social butterfly, I am sure I will love it.
What is your favorite musical-writing tech tool?
DW: My piano? Oh wait, I don’t think that is a tech tool. Maybe Final Draft, although I will say when doing live collaborations it is glitchy at times. I use GarageBand, but I am starting to use Logic for writing music.
Southern California native Nicolette Blount is a songwriter, performer, writer and producer who has traveled the globe singing and performing. At a young age, Nicolette had the honor of singing at Carnegie Hall, and has performed in numerous musicals as well as two operas. While living in Hawaii, she wrote and recorded a solo album called Conversations. Nicolette studied voice under Chariya Bissonette who has sung with Disney and many notable musicians including Sir Elton John. Nicolette is a member of the Dramatist Guild, ASCAP, and Maestra. Nicolette’s recent work and collaboration on Savage the Musical, a musical about her Chickasaw Great Grandma, Wanda Savage, and her rise and fall of fame in the 1920s, continues to be in development. Savage tells the story of an indigenous mother who rose above racism, abuse, and misogyny to make a name for herself. Savage the Musical has received rave reviews from those in the industry for its music, currently streaming, and at its two sold out concerts at the 2019 New York Music Festival. Nicolette currently lives in Massachusetts with her amazing husband and two beautiful, talented daughters and is preparing for Savage the Musical’s first production, which was stalled due to COVID, to begin rehearsals again. You can hear some of the music she wrote for Savage the Musical on all streaming platforms, watch performances on Savage the Musical’s Youtube channel or follow behind the scenes on Instagram and Facebook. savagethemusical.com