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January 30, 2017:

THE NON-JUDGMENTAL JUDGE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I had quite an interesting day yesterday. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, I, BK, had quite an interesting day yesterday. I don’t really recall why it was interesting, but it was because I was never bored. If I wasn’t bored it must have been interesting and, conversely, if it wasn’t interesting I must have been bored, but I wasn’t bored so it was interesting, which I found interesting if a little boring.

The day began when I woke up at ten after eight hours of sleep. That was interesting right off the bat. I answered some e-mails, had some telephonic calls, and the last of the red hot proofers came by to get the hard copy of the book. I then got ready to go judge at a singing contest. On the way, I put some gas in the motor car, then went to the Colony Theater, where Kay Cole and I met up and went to P.F. Chang’s for a snack and chat. We’re planning the release party for her CD, which happens the first Monday in March and which will be at the Colony Theater. So, we talked over those details, whilst each having a cup of soup, some egg rolls, and some chicken satay – it was all very light and not much food, but I knew it would tide me over until I got dinner later.

Then we went back to the theater, met up with our fellow judges and then the competition began. Michael Sterling has it all down to a science now in terms of how the judges operate. I won’t name names, but I’ve been judging these for over a decade now and some of my fellow judges over the years were much too long-winded and really quite ridiculous. I’ve complained about it before, but now the judges keep their remarks focused and to thirty seconds, which is plenty. The theme of today’s competition (it changes every week) was musicals that Cameron Mackintosh produced. So, we had quite a mix of songs, but interestingly an awful lot of Sondheim. It’s a good group of younger performers this go round. I gather there was a panel of judges last week that was very negative and unduly harsh. If it were MY competition I would not allow them back. It’s very simple to present any critiques in a positive manner and that is the only way to actually help the singers. So, the four of us today were completely positive always, which is good because I would have gone after anyone who was negative. We’re all very different people so they heard a variety of comments. I tend to focus on interpretation, color, and how to build a song. Others focus on other things. We gave scores to everyone, and then all the judges return for the final round, but thankfully in that one we just vote and don’t yak – a good thing because if the negatives started up I would not be nice about it. Anyway, I had fun and was, as always, irreverent.

After we finished, I went directly to Gelson’s as I knew in their hot food bar on Sunday they have chicken enchiladas, which I like. No one ever buys them. And yet, because I wanted them, they were completely decimated with not a single enchilada left. So instead I got some rigatoni Bolognese and a bit of lobster salad, then came home and ate those items, and had some popcorn about an hour later. Otherwise, I listened to music and relaxed. And Doug Haverty sent over another batch of cover ideas. There was one font I liked, and one kind of fun design that I’d like to see with some color added. But there was one other design that just grabbed me instantly – great colors, and a font that worked perfectly with the design – it gave me a good feeling in that if I saw it I’d want to pick up the book and see what it was. And that’s what a good book cover should do. I don’t know what it will look like with my name added, but there’s a good place for it so we’ll see. I sent those two designs to Muse Margaret and I’m really hoping she likes the one that grabbed me – if she does then we’ve got our cover. Digits crossed because there’s just something about it that speaks to me.

Today, I’m having a noon-thirty luncheon with David Wechter – haven’t seen him in ages and ages and it will be grand to catch up. After that, I’ll hopefully pick up some packages, then come home and we have our second Kritzerland rehearsal, which goes until eight o’clock, I believe. We’ll be doing a lot of detail work.

Not sure what all is going on tomorrow, but Wednesday is very busy and then we have our stumble-through at six-thirty. Thursday we have sound check and show. Then I go right into the March show, our tribute to Rupert Holmes.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, have a lunch, hopefully pick up packages, have a rehearsal, and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: I love book covers, whether there’s art or just a striking font or whatever, and it’s always interesting to me when a book cover, like a film poster, fails hugely by giving you a design that makes you think you’re getting one kind of book when it’s not that kind of book at all. All of Doug’s initial designs, which were all very good, were completely wrong and would have given anyone who looked at them the notion that there was a completely different kind of book awaiting them. That was the conundrum and this cover that I like, while it doesn’t really say anything, does have a mood and a feeling to it that kind of does convey at least something that has to do with what you get. So, what are your favorite book covers, hard and softcover? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy to have had fun being a judge who was not judgmental.

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