Ross Baum is a lot of things. He’s a composer, arranger, producer, vocal coach, and a performer and does ALL of those incredibly well. The reason why I wanted to sit down with him NOW is because the new musical Gun+Powder, which he wrote the music for, began rehearsals this week for the world premiere production that will open at the Signature Theater in DC this January. I felt like capturing how he’s feeling right now and hearing where he’s at as an artist and in his life, would make for not only great conversation, but an incredible time capsule for this moment before his first step into what he refers to as, “The Big Leagues.” In our conversation we hit on things like collaboration, community, success, momentum, the starving artist mentality, and the difference between writing pop and theater music. Ross and I, before this recording, had only spent one-on-one time together, once. I’m extremely happy to say that since we sat down for this, he’s become much more integrated in my life and listening back made me feel deep gratitude for the opportunity that this podcast has afforded me in a short amount of time. I’m excited to continue on in 2020 and I couldn’t have asked for a better guest to close out the decade with.
It’s hard for me to put into words what this conversation means to me. This truly is an insight into the way that Melissa and I communicate with one another on a daily basis. Having a friend who’s as vulnerable, truthful, and compassionate as Melissa, gives me the opportunity to be my truest self – and that’s made clear in this episode. She is an artist in whole sense of the world. She’s someone who’s creativity isn’t limited to one outlet and she’s given herself permission to try anything and everything to spread her light. She has the ability to make others feel seen and heard and is the heartbeat of any room she walks into. I was so honored that she was willing to sit down and talk to me with microphones in front of our mouths. We cover too many topics to mention but a few of things we hit on are fear, vulnerability, community, communication, change, the Work, love, and connection. I’m hopeful that you’ll hear something in these 60 minutes that will make you feel less alone and inspire you to lean into your own truth.
I met Alex Wyse 3 or 4 years ago after an event and we became quick friends. Aside from being hilarious, he has such a wealth of experience and the perspective he’s gained from all the work he’s done is so informative and, I think, helpful for anyone who’s trying to figure out how to navigate a career in entertainment. He’s worked on and off-broadway, in television, film, as a producer and most recently he and his writing partner, Wesley Taylor, released the third season of their award winning web series INDOOR BOYS. I thought this would be a perfect time to sit down and reflect with Alex on where he’s at. He was pretty insistent with me that this not be a rundown of his resume, which I was thrilled to hear. I wasn’t quite sure where the conversation would take us, but we found ourselves talking about self-worth, the definition of success, creating your own path, mothers and sons, and much much more. Wether you know Alex or not, I think you’re really going to come to appreciate what’s he’s got to share.
A conversation with playwright of Our Dear Dead Drug Lord and producing artistic director of Off The Grid Theatre Company: Alexis Scheer.
Ben Holtzman is a producer, director, teacher and was the assistant to the prince of Broadway himself, Hal Prince. After studying musical theater in college and touring the world with Beauty and the Beast, Ben began his transition to another side of the business.
Welcome to THE COME UP – a podcast that holds space for honest conversations about the reality of what it means to be a growing artist in entertainment industry today.