We’re happy to introduce our 2021 MusicalWriters Summer Intern, Paige Menneci.
Paige Menneci is a singer/songwriter-musical composer/lyricist who is just as comfortable on stage as she is writing at the piano. Her bright personality shines through her clever yet earnest lyrics and strong melodic impulse. Combining a background in musical theatre with an ear for contemporary styles like pop and rock, Paige channeled her anxieties about graduating college and entering the “real world” into her first musical/song-cycle Laws of Motion. A love letter to everyone in that “still-figuring-it-all-out” phase, Laws of Motion debuted in April 2021 at the Musical Theatre Workshop at the College of Saint Rose, where Paige is finishing up her B.S. in Music Industry-Composition. Paige hails from Long Island where her dog enjoys hearing all of her first drafts.
What are you working on right now?
Paige Menneci: I recently finished my first song cycle/musical Laws of Motion. Laws of Motion is about mostly young people in the “still-figuring-it-out” stage, whether that’s choosing a college, navigating a hard relationship or deciding on what to do with the rest of their lives (yikes!). The song cycle explores the hopes and worries of this group, venturing to say it might be okay to not have it all figured out just yet (or ever). I am currently in the editing process and hope to record a concept album in the next year. Check out the live-streamed workshop performance here!
What’s a lesson you’ve learned from your writing journey that you’d like to share?
PM: The importance of finding your authentic voice (a journey I’ve just started). I’ve been writing songs for years, always a bit frustrated when I’d write a rock song that got the comment “this sounds like it could be in a musical!” Then I realized: if musical theatre is the language I naturally think in and write in, I can bring rock, pop and singer-songwriter styles into theatre instead of pushing my theatre-style way down below the surface. Bring who you are and what you love to theatre and it will be authentic and it will be new. Sondheim said it best: “give us more to see.”
Writing a musical isn’t easy. What’s your “why” in being a musical writer?
PM: Writing—really creativity in all its forms—feels so inherently connected to being human…a way to identify what I’m feeling, a way to express it, a way to connect to other people who feel the same way. Writing music for me is therapeutic, not necessarily because I’m discovering some deeper meaning in my life with every song, but simply the act of creation seems to say I’m alive and I have a voice. I write musical theatre specifically because it combines music and storytelling into this magical art form that can make you laugh, make you cry, make you more compassionate- and it’s fun!
Why did you join MusicalWriters Academy?
PM: I joined MusicalWriters Academy for the community and the special opportunities. Finding MusicalWriters made me feel like there are other people out there in the same boat as I am—trying to do this stuff for real.
How did you get bit by the theater bug?
PM: Ever since I saw the My Fair Lady movie when I was a little kid, I was hooked. I perfected my cockney accent, and learned every Eliza Doolittle song, along with every other classic. I made my acting debut in 4th grade as the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical, and theatre has been a huge part of my life ever since.
What do you love about MusicalWriters.com?
PM: I love the resources MusicalWriters.com provides: the articles, the webinars, the submission calendar, everything! As someone who is starting out, MusicalWriters provides much needed clarity on how it all actually works. The upcoming Pitch Night is such a cool opportunity.
What is your favorite musical-writing tech tool?
PM: My favorite musical writing tech tool is definitely Pro Tools, especially for writing group numbers and harmonies! My favorite way to write duets and harmonies is to record the melody into Pro Tools and then improvise over it. It’s also perfect for creating good quality demos.