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            I have collaborated with women as playwright and composer.

            I met Christy Arnold, my music collaborator, at the Village coffee in Scottsdale, Arizona. She radiated patience as my adult fingers stumbled over guitar chords. Christy told me to sing songs I love. At our first lesson I belted out Amazing grace to the dismay of patrons glued to their lab tops. Four and a half months later I visited my stepdaughter and composed my first song on the guitar to a slug (Roger) who made frequent appearances in Dhyandra’s slightly rusty bathtub. Suddenly I heard the opening song of my first musical Re: Undine Odine (released on face book on Slug in the Tub Productions) “Siren.” Six months later I was with Christy in Andrew Brown’s studio with five actors recording the trailer to Re. Christy’s spirit and skill and driving guitar and flair for sharpening my lyrics and chords gave life to Re: Undine Odine. Christy continues to breathe life into my current musical in progress, “Vampyre, Vampyre.” Her work on “Re: Undine Odine” made this musical about two people who write letters and poems over the internet possible.

            My life changed with the next gift from a female collaborator, Odine Hofstahl. We exchanged e-mails and poems that form the core of the story of my musical, “Re: Undine Odine. Ben wants love from Odine; she needs a true friend.  Ben floods Odine with his poems and coaxes Odine to an open mike to perform her poem, “My baby called me on the phone.” Odine sirens Ben into her dreams where she becomes Undine, the siren who gave up her immortal soul for a mortal and Ben becomes Odin, the God of the Vikings. The soul of this piece is the letters and poems Ben and Odine write to one another. These letters and poems became the libretto of “Re: Undine Odine” and the heart of the songs.

            Dyan Cavalli is my collaborator in both “Remain Calm” and “Vampyre, Vampyre” a musical in progress. Gin and Lou are back together, not as lovers but collaborating on a screen play about Mary Shelley, the creator of Frankenstein. In walks Frankenstein himself. The play poses the question whether lovers whose paths have separated through the storm of love can return to each other as friends. As I write this Dyan and I have completed “Remain Calm” and she continues to collaborate with me on the book of my musical, “Vampyre, Vampyre.”

            The final jewel in this life chain of female collaborators is my daughter, Brandy. I am now coached by my daughter at the AZ academy in Phoenix in “The Method.” My daughter helps me to reawaken a forty year acting career stopped by a twenty year career in the public schools.

            Christy Arnold, Odine Hofstahl, Dyan Cavalli and Brandy Hotchner are the women collaborators transforming my work as a playwright, composer and actor. I can barely fathom how lucky I am to have these women infuse the spirit of my art.