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  • Blake Eberhard

The 12. That's a dozen, cousin.

Day #9 of 10. Number Nine, Number Nine…

Number 9 is actually the number 12, as in “The 12”.

If you’ve managed to read the previous eight posts so far in this recap then bless you. I’m certainly no scholar and I’m not a skilled writer, but it has been fun for me to look back on my career and to share some thoughts with you. Free non-fiction that reads like an Isaac Asimov story.

I have played several Musical Theater shows. I’ve played “Brigadoon” “Little Shop” “Grease” “Nunsense” “Forever Plaid” and a few others. Many of my colleagues primarily play in show pits for their livelihood, so for them it’s routine to do that type of work. In my career however, the freelance gigs and the many people I work with make it hard to block out the weeks involved with playing a show. I like playing shows, and here’s a Top 10 highlight for me in my 42 years of Colorado bass playing, when I joined the disciples and played on “The 12”.

In 2015 I auditioned for the rock band that would play for a new Musical Called “The 12” at the DCPA, and it was the only audition I’ve ever done in my career. I got the part, and as I participated in the rehearsal process I also got to help finalize the official bass score. That was an honor. This show made it’s debut here at the DCPA and performances were a lot of fun for me. Instead of being under the stage in a pit, we were above the stage on a loft where the audience could see the band. By the end of the run we were playing to full houses and really blowing people away!

The show was written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning author Robert Schenkkan and New York musician/songwriter Neil Berg. The cast was comprised of actors and actresses from Broadway and they were all so good that it inspired me every night. One actor/singer in particular (Gregory Treco from ‘Hamilton’) was so good that it made me choke-up every time. One of my favorite songs to play was “Pick Up the Knife” where Gregory’s performance was so powerful and striking that the audience was afraid to applauded at the end, due to the dramatic moment the song created. I felt bad that he got gypped-out of the applause he deserved on that song, so I gave him a Starbuck’s gift card. Love you brother Greg!

The experience I had doing “The 12” was unique for me in my Colorado career. I wish the show had been scheduled for a longer run, I had so much fun doing it. I liked being part of the whole production where everyone did their job with professionalism and dignity. It felt great to be around the cast, the crew and the other cats in the band, and to know that I can do a Broadway-level show if I decide I want to. “The 12” won the Henry Award (that’s Colorado’s Tony Award) for ‘Best New Play or Musical’ that year, which is a huge accomplishment. I am very proud to have been in the loft!

Grateful to Robert, Neil, Michael Mancini, Wendy Cavett and everyone else who worked this show, and to everyone who attended this show!

Rise Up!

Here's an added thought or two not included in the original Facebook post...

One of the things I loved about doing a show at the Denver Performing Arts Center is that people didn't screw around and goof off. I am rare I guess, in that I don't like wasting time at work. Many musicians seem to look forward more to the goofing-around and deliberately not taking things seriously than they do to the gig, and taking pride in their work. Some people never outgrow that junior-high locker room humor. We're all clever and funny and witty, but if every person insists on adding their comic contribution it wastes time. Save it for the right moment. When I walked into the building to do 'The 12' it was an awesome feeling because I knew that everyone was serious about what was going on. Whether it was a rehearsal or performance, our time was respected and that felt great. No doubt about it, we had many laughs and fun times socializing after the shows!

Okay dear readers we have come a long way! All that remains now is Day #10 of this challenge.

What could it be? Stay tuned!

Peace.

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