Sunday, September 28, 2008

Improv Cabaret in 2008 Denver Improv Festival


Improv Cabaret, my musical improv show, was accepted to the 2008 Denver Improv Festival which will be November 6-8, 2008.

My first time ever in Denver was on that Piano tour. For one night. We got there at like 2am in the morning after traveling all day. Wretched!!! The show played the Denver Opera House. Beautiful space and the whole facility (with multiple theatres) takes up like an entire city blog. It's big.

The male swing went on, so I didn't do crap but sit backstage drinking free Diet Cokes and chatting with the Company Manager about the tour. But the entire day prior to the show, I got to walk around the city and soak it all in.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Goldfish on cupcakes?

Fishies!, originally uploaded by winglessangel383838.

Goldfish crackers on cupcakes? Hey, maybe I need to try it before I judge. However, on first look.... ick.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jeff Goldblum walked by me in Chelsea

And I didn't get a face pic. :(

Har har

This sign is nuts, originally uploaded by Mark_Baratelli.

This is that "we use peanuts in our food" warning every single place I eat at seems to be required to post, only this version is (I think) unintentionally funny.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Love a Piano: going out again

I Love a Piano is going out for a second run.

I define what is

Skip to 1:30 and see Mark Baratelli explaining what a fruitquake is. I TOTALLY forgot about this video. I was at the 2nd Annual New Media Expo in 2006 in Ontario, California with my good friend John Valines, and I got stopped by a guy with a camcorder asking me what I thought "Fruitquake" was. And now, the video has come to life on the internets.

NYMF fan and theatre musician

A theatre musican and fan wrote about NYMF and Fairy Tale, including listing Mark Baratelli in the credits. Can you tell I am googling myself tonight?

Podcasting role model: me!

I got a shout-out in a comment on Episode 58 of "Eat This Hot Show."
"Great show, fascinating conversation. I liked how you pointed out the lack of gay role models in mainstream media. And although that may be true, I have found great gay role models in podcasting. In my opinion all three of you are amazing gay role models. The first one I found was Ragan Fox, then he led me to Eat This Hot Show, which resulted in me becoming a fan of Madge and Wanda’s shows. Then Auntie Vera popped in via Madge and it kept going. Now I know many gay role models, albeit they’re in podcasting and not mainstream, but I know that this country has a strong gay presence. You see it in Madge, Wanda, Ragan, Vera, Mark Baratelli, all of you are trying to bring this media up and use it to spread our message. And I love you for it."

Pidgeons eating vomit

Pidgeons eating vomit
Originally uploaded by Mark_Baratelli

I saw this with my own eyes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More auditions: Monday, September 15

Dance floor: see the big poster in the back?
Opening night party of the New York Music Theatre Festival
Monday, September 15, 2008
This is where I end up Monday night.
Maybe I'll get to it in another post.

More of Monday Sept 15th (same day as Drowsy audition)
I forgot what I did between 1pm and 4pm after the Drowsy Chaperone call, but I do know I didn't go to the Disney Cruise Line call or the Cinderella EPA cuz (a) I heard people saying they cut the line at DCL at 300 and (b) you can't sign up on the EMC list at an EPA after the lunch break. So whatever I did, it's lost.

My Favorite Christmas
I do know what I did at 4:40pm: I arrived early for my 5pm audition slot for "My Favorite Christmas," a small xmas show at a small theatre. The call was held in THE smallest room at 939 8th Ave (I forget the name of those studios). The assistant outside the door was an actor. She perused my resume and informed me we had a mutual friend. I'd worked with her on "I Love a Piano" and she'd worked with her on "Oliver" in Arizona (the show I turned down to do Improv Cabaret at the Chicago Improv Festival).

So I go into the room after maybe a 15 minute wait (enough time to go downstairs to the bodega for a coffee) and enter THE smallest audition room I've ever been inside. It's the size of an apartment. I sing a standard ballad and then sing another ballad. As I'm talking to the pianist about the second ballad, I leak out that I dislike the song. He laughs and says he has to play it for a show that night. Ha!

So I do my attempt at legit singing, and they ask me if I have a monologue. I don't and quickly tell them I will improvise one. I ask for a suggestion (which I hate doing, but it proves to them that it's improv) and I end up doing a monologue about being a wealthy adult child who reminisces about Xmases past. They laughed, cut me off and asked if I could do scripted material. ??? I said yes, then, here's my favorite part, they offered me a Hersey kiss "since I auditioned so well." I thought this was so cute and sweet (and weird). But more cute and personality-ish. But still weird, especially after just having sung in a room the size of an apartment and being asked if I can do scripted material.

Extra: Doo Wop What?
So I walk down the two flights of stairs and get on the phone with my friend (and longtime NYC resident) Stephen to ask if I should get a coach to help me prep for this "Drowsy" callback Wednesday. He says yes. We have a long talk catching up, then a friend from my Disney Cruise Line days pops up on the sidewalk (in a very cute 1950s dress) and tells me I should go sing for a "doo wop" audition on the second floor of the same audition studio I was at.

I thank her and keep talking to my friend on the phone. I hang up and wonder how to kill time before my 7pm rehearsal (for that NYMF reading) and I remember this doo-wop thing.

So I clonk upstairs in my dress shoes (not too big this time) and hit that doo wop audition. It's 10 minutes till 6pm. I'm informed by the person handling the headshot/resume collecting and appointment taking that they might not be able to see me. She goes in after a singer comes out, asks if I can be seen and they say yes. A guy singer goes in to do his thing and I wait, making small talk with the assistant. Apparently, 25 of her 60 appointmentswere no-shows. She did not like this. I told her people sign up for every audition they can then go to the nes they can. She said people should have called to cancel. I agree, to a degree, but when you're rushing from audition to audition and a lot of times, from building to subway to building, you forget to make that call. Or you don't bring the phone number with you.

It's my turn. I go in. They don't want to hear my audition songs and instead ask me to sing "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." I sing the Lauren Hill version of course, with piano accompaniment of the original version playing behind me. I realize I am doing Lauren Hill, then ease off the melisma and hand waving (kidding). The thing I LOVED about this experience (singing a straight song) was one of the three behind the table said "Don't think about what you look like. We're listening for sound. WOW! That totally relaxed me. Seriously. So I sang like I wasn't being looked at.

Then they asked me to sing the falsetto part of "Walk Like a Man." The part that goes: "Ooh OOOOOOH!!!! ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh OOOOOOH!" You know what I'm talking about? High as hell. I doubt myself and all three of the folks at the table are encouraging me to do it. So I take their positivity and sing it. I crack at that high note, but they all are like "You got it! You got it" egging me on. And I do it! I sing the full thing, and even give the little flourish at the end.


They ask me to sing one of my songs. I choose "My Romance." It's a traditional ballad not in the right style they need to hear. However!!! The amazing pianist, turns this boring song (that I said earlier in the day I disliked, remember?) into a FIERCE jazz bluesy song. I quickly pick up on the vibe and go with it.

This time they want to see me sing it and perform it. So I do. And it feels so natural. They were smiling, nodding their heads. And when I got to any high or falsetto part (which I amped up cuz clearly they were looking for that) I extended those notes and let them float (I never talk like this. Do not judge.) I am focused on making these light whispy, almost, dare I say, romantic sounds, and I can still see them nodding their heads at each other out of the corner of my eye.

They ask me if I am available for work. I do a frigging cheer that went something like this, with choreography:

Yes! I am unemployed! Hire me! Hire me! Hire me!"

And hit a cheerleader pose.

It was the end of the day, they were clearly nice people, and I am, um yeah, in need of some work. Not gonna lie!

They tell me the male project won't start until February, but they give me their card and tell me to keep in touch. (I emailed them that night cuz the assistant outside had earlier said one of them books acts. So, I emailed her when I got home and sent her links to some Improv Cabaret stuff).

So let's recap. I started the day (1) wailing my crazy/wacky song, then (2) bellowing out manly-man Broadway ballads, and (3) ended the day crooning jazzy! Three completely different vocal sounds. What a challenge and at the end of it all, how fulfilling.

I still have to get to the reading rehearsal at 7pm and then opening night party of the New York Music Theatre Festival. Yes, all this audition and rehearsal and partying happened on the same day.

Audition: Monday Sept 15

I filmed a bee on a flower last week in Central Park

Auditon: Monday, September 15
The Drowsey Chaperone non-equity National Tour
Monday morning I drag my ass into the "Drowsey Chaperone" national tour men's open call at 10am (which means I was late. The call STARTED at 10am. You should be there by 8am to get a decent slot), to find that I am number 110. Dammit. I wait in the waiting room until 1pm to be seen. Luckily it's men only, so the room is (not trying t be sexist, but at these calls, it's true) quiet. Thank God.

So it's finally my turn to line up and go into the audition room. I walk in and I am greeted with "Are you gonna do it?" It's the supa-fly casting director. He wanted to know if Iw as gonna sing a particular audition song. What a way to kick start an audition! A request! And excitement! Love that!

Then he tells the other casting director who's helping him out "Sit down, you have to see this."


He warns Jason Wetzel (musical director from Orlando!) too.


I'm thinking "Damn now I really have to deliver!"

In the hallway before I went in, I decided I'd try something new. Robyn P. I must confess. I stole something from you and used it. Thank you. I've heard her do this before... she'll count off before she sings, but instead of singing "6, 7, 8" she goes "7, 8, 9" which is funny as hell to me. So I tell the pianist (who I recognize and who recognizes me from Annie callbacks last yer) once I am in the room that I am gonna count him off weirdly. He's cool (in general and with my little idea) and I go to the middle of the room.

7, 8, 9....

Well, I do the song. You've heard the recordings. You know what I do. But there's this one section at the end that I leave open for improv. I've just sung a big note, then turn away from the table, in character, facing the wall to "catch my breath" and do something. In the past, I've touched or played with something behind me, spoken out lout things like "my vibratto sounds fantastic in here" or, you know, that kind of self-indulgent character-type thing.

This time, I sing the big crazy note, turn around, and there's a bulletin board with five clear plastic thumbtacks. There's one white sheet of paper as well. I take one of the thumb tacks, pause the note briefly, casually say "I'm going to put that there" while moving the thumb tack from one spot to another, turn around and belt/scream the final words/ notes.

SOOO retarded! Bhe reaction was positive from the people behind the table and I got callback for...

Man in Chair!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Photos: UCB Grad Show

Level 101 Class (Most of them) right after our Grad Show
Upright Citizens Brigade, September 14, 2008

A sign in the Green Room at UCB, September 14, 2008

In the Green Room, right before the Grad Show, September 14, 2008

I took Level 101 at UCB September 8-12, 2008, and wrapped it up with a performance, a "Grad Show," at the UCB Theatre September 14, 2008.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cast in NYMF reading

NYMF reading
I got cast in a reading at the New York Music Theatre Festival (NYMF) that goes up September 19th for 2 free performances at the 99-seat 45th Street Theatre. Here's the reading's page on the NYMF website. I play a King. My wife? Terri White, Nell Carter's original understudy from "Ain't Misbehavin." omg.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

How I spent my morning: on a treadmill

Don't cry for me. I've got 4 hours worth of podcasts in my ears. You can see a part of the gym in the background I just joined a week ago. F*** those glam Manhattan gyms with the super-high fees, juice bars, clothing stores and... air conditioning. This one has every piece of equipment I personally need, the people are nice (employees and fellow worker-outers) and it's 5 short blocks from my apartment. $50 for 2 months, no join fee.

Photo: Chocolate Covered Bacon

Chocolate-covered bacon

The one day I don't bring my camera, and hence the shoddy camera-phone picture, I discover chocolate covered bacon in a shop in Brooklyn. No, I didn't try it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Daily Show: Everything they do is funny

(Another repost post. Hate them. But it's all I got right now) I am getting bombarded with stuff from the Daily Show, and unlike spam... this is good! Everything I have seen from that show, through these embeddable players has been smart, clear and pointed. Love it.

The Daily Show: Reporting live from Larry Craig Bathroom

No original content today. Or in recent days. Just "This was funny" posts. Sorry!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The job hunt: sending out resumes

1. Temp Agencies I sent resumes to:,,,,,,,,,

2. Craigslist ads I sent cover letters/resumes/links):
PR and Marketing intern for Brooklyn Artists Gym
Blogger/Web Film Producer for Energy Marketing Firm (TriBeCa)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lily Allen and Elton John: BFFs

Lily Allen and Elton John

I watched this and two other videos of this event and there's something haunting about it.

UPDATE 9-6-08: Lily Allen blogs about how she doesn't feel sorry for her behavior:
I'm not defending my drunkeness because i don't need to, i'm 23 it was an awards ceremony i drank the free champagne, how awful of me.
Trying to create a feud on the other hand, and trying to make me out as being some rude little girl with a drink problem is just unfair, Elton and I exchanged jokes and there were no hard feelings at all, infact neither of us gave it a second thought. It's sad that an evening enjoyed by all had to ruined by some bitter journos again.


I turned up and presented an awards ceremony for charity, i drank some champagne and went home for 12.30 and again I've been made to feel like a bad friend and an embarassment to my fans and the people who support me. I shouldn't have to defend myself when i've done nothing wrong.

This bodega got milk

This bodega got milk, originally uploaded by Mark_Baratelli.

Found this sign while walking this morning.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Stuff on a stick

Ad for a partyI HAD to take a picture of THIS.

Improv Cabaret
Applied to Denver Improv Festival and (too early) the Dirty South Improv Festival. Got some advice from Andy Eninger (in Chicago) about hiring a director in NYC and some advice from someone else about cruise ships. My friend wants me to learn piano so I don't have to hire pianists for gigs. Miami invited me down to perform (and split the house!) and I am waiting to hear back from Boston on a performance/teaching combo thing with them. Also, out of nowhere, someone in Livingston, Montana contacted me. And I wanna bring the show back to 2009 Fringe: 30-minutes, blue venue.

The move was easy. The move FORWARD is hard. And I have no qualms about moving back to Orlando, or to Chicago or LA or Nova Scotia. Wherever. Doesn't matter to me, so long as I can do something creative.

Marketing Stuff
Spoke on the phone for an hour with some people from Mad Cow. I stepped down from doing the 09 Orlando Fringe website. I wrote Universal Orlando in reference to my blog. There's an arts marketing conference in a couple months in Texas. And in small news, I re-organized my Google reader and subscribed to ten new podcasts, all of them news-based.

Press | Mark Baratelli

"But my favorite things about Orlando’s art world in 2009 were two people who expanded my definition of what it means to be an advocate for the arts... Mark Baratelli, even while often living out of town, broadened his indispensable blog, The Daily City, to encompass Meeting of the Minds (MOOM) meet-ups, Taco Truck Taste Tests and the vehicular-venued Mobile Art Show. If everyone in Orlando who claims to care about the arts had 1 percent of Baratelli’s... energy and commitment, this city would be a world culture capital."
Orlando Weekly | 1-6-10

"Mark Baratelli is a man of many talents. Maybe you’ve seen his one-man improvisational cabaret performances, which were a highlight of the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival for several seasons. You might have seen his show-saving star turn as King Herod alongside Ted Neeley’s geriatric Jesus in the recent national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. Or maybe, like me, you’re one of the readers who rely upon his indispensable arts and events website, where he blogs and tweets on any and everything stewing in Orlando’s cultural cauldron (somehow scooping us even when he’s out of town – how does he do that?)."
Orlando Weekly | 7-9-09

"Back outside on the street, I picked up a poster print by Lure Design at Mark Baratelli’s Mobile Art Show #5... I spent most of last Saturday there, from the Daily City’s live podcast at noon through the..."
Orlando Weekly | 1-27-10

Photo 141
Watermark Orlando | 8-20-09

Spotlight on Mark Baratelli | 8-20-09
Busy Baratelli | Metromix | 8-19-09
Improv comedian Mark Baratelli, the next Oprah? | 8-10-09
Live Active Cultures | 7-9-09

Best Arts Advocate in Orlando 2nd Place | 7-14-10
#36 "101 Things We Are Thankful For" list | 11/10

91.5 WPRK | 12-23-09
91.5 WPRK | 6-24-09
Comedy Festival: Music Off the Cuff | 1-17-07
Improv actor offers comic relief | 4-9-09 | Listen

Other Online Mentions
Orlando Sentinel "Check It Out" feature | 1-21-11
Photo and Video in "Selections" Section | 1-19-11
Broadway Across America Seeks Twitter Users | 11-15-10
Laugh Out Loud at Orlando Improv Festival | Orlando Sentinel 9-17-10
On The Spot Comedy | Orlando Weekly 9-16-10
Web TV Goes Local: Orlando Shoes Are new But Plentiful | 9-5-10
Mark Baratelli and Beth Marshall in Truth or Dare | 9-8-10
Mark Baratelli's photo of "Hell yes" on
Mark Baratelli on
Mark Baratelli on
Mark Baratelli in The Charleston City Paper
Mark Baratelli on Metromix Orlando
Mark Baratelli: Baratelli Seeks Coolness

Event Listings
Mark Baratelli Tries Two Hard
Mobile Art Show

Audio Interviews:


Improv Cabaret (solo show)
photos | youtube | myspace
"It is what comic improvisation should be. Mark Baratelli is a freakin' comic genius! Go see his show!", 2007

"Singer/ improviser Mark Baratelli and his accompaniest were like a two-person Baby Wants Candy — the Second City group that improvises an entire stage musical — except his was a cabaret act. If you missed it, you missed one of the festival’s best performances."
-Charleston City Paper writer Patrick Sharbaugh, 2007

"Your voice is amazing. Your improv is amazing."
-San Francisco Improv Festival Producer Shaun Landry, 2008

"I continually get comments on what a tremendous performance you put on"
-Santa Cruz Improv Festival Producer Lee Ann Gray, 2008

"Had the audience captivated from the moment Mark hit the stage"
-Dirty South Improv Festival Producer Zach Ward, 2007

"Mark Baratelli's... cabaret set slapped a huge, silly smile on my face."
-Show Showdown Blog

"Mark Baratelli’s mind-boggling improvised songwriting technique insures no two shows will be alike."
-Watermark Magazine 2008

"The songs were good, the singing was very good and the storytelling was fantastic. It's not always what Baratelli says, but the rapid-fire/borderline A.D.D. way he says it, the sideways glance, the dancey pose, the selling it to the back row."
-Orlando Sentinel 2007

"Mark Baratelli has an impressively showy singing voice and a nicely warped imagination"
-Orlando Sentinel 2006

"Everyone's favorite diva"
-Rob Ward 2008

"Finally was able to catch “Improv Cabaret” yesterday and loved it. I laughed out loud a lot, which is something I didn’t even do during TJ Dawe’s amazingly funny show! Really some great songs too, like “Praise God for the Untalented” and two songs about homicide. “Speaking of going nowhere… I moved to Orlando.” Hilarious."
-Brian Feldman, 2006
How Do You Feel? (solo show)
photos | podcast

"To witness Mark Baratelli in person is a completely overwhelming experience." 2008

"Alternately hysterical and uncomfortable, Mark Baratelli's show is at least as entertaining as the art form he ridicules."
-Archikulture Digest (Ink 19) 2008

"Mark Baratelli has devised a swell stage persona."
-Orlando Sentinel 2008
National Tour: Irving Berlin's I Love a Piano
"The versatile Mark Baratelli captures just the right period sound in his nasal, reedy delivery of the Berlin rarity "Pack Up Your Sins and Go to the Devil," and surprises in the second act's "The Girl That I Marry" with a robust Alfred Drake-like baritone." 2008

"Mark Baratelli...was cutecutecutecutecute."
Kevin R Free Blog

"Mark Baratelli is a mime who sings and acts, but mimes best. He is a dancer who moves his voice around, sometimes in one range, sometimes in another. Often he is off-pitch."
-Berkshire Bright Focus
National Tour: Jesus Christ Superstar
"And in his one moment of brilliance, Norris has Mark Baratelli play Herod like a fey send-up of the Jewish King, fawned over and fawning, eliciting enough laughter to set up a great contrast with the crucifixion scene."
-Jim Rutter, Edge Philadelphia, Feb 4, 2009

"Special praise must be given to Mark Baratelli’s fabulous comic turn as King Herod. He takes the role to another level with a deliciously timed mix of nonchalance and flamboyance, supported by a group of women from Herod’s household."
-Steven McKnight,, March 19, 2009

"'Herod's Song' always serves as the brief comic relief from the drama, but Mark Baratelli, who performed this version, made it fresh. Baratelli turned Herod into an inebriated diva who delivered little barbs between vocals, such as "move please" as he elbowed his way through his harem between verses."
-Stephanie Merry, Washington Post, March 19, 2009

"Mark Baratelli made Herod’s comical scene the show’s liveliest and most colorful production number..."
-Andrew S. Hughes, South Bend Tribune, Feb 12, 2009

"Another performer of note was Mark Baratelli, who brought to life King Herod in a most interesting and entertaining way. He had the house in hysterics during "King Herod's Song." It was a fresh new twist to the tune and was truly delightful." (If you click through to the review the reviewer uses the name of the actor who played Pilate in this production instead of mine)
-Scott Novak, Niles Daily Star, February 14, 2009

"thinks King Herod stole the show"
-Charles Jensen, @chasjens, Twitter status update, March 18, 2009

"In the touring show, the stand out was Herod, whose role affords him the most latitude in performance. This show's Herod sang a Calypso version of his solo, with four Carmen Miranda-like back up singers. My only reservation is that the actor played Herod as a kind of mincing bitchy queen--and the last thing the gays need right now is to be connected to the crucifixion of Jesus, if you ask me. But he was funny, and he incorporated the most anachronism into his brief moment on stage, combining a divaness with the kind of critcal rancor usually reserved for restaurant reviews and NPR film reviews."
-Charles Jensen, Kinema Poetics, March 19, 2009

"Mark Baratelli's over-the-top Herod was a show-stopper"
-Ancourage Daily News, Dec 10, 2008

"...Mark Baratelli, whose flamboyant King Herod provided the otherwise melodramatic production with some much-needed and well-delivered comic relief."
-Matt Fountain, Mustang Daily, January 7, 2009

"Mark Baratelli stole the only scene he was in as a feminine King Herod."
-Jeff Korbelik, Lincoln Journal Star, January 25, 2009

"But even more offensive than Mark Baratelli's over-the-top swishery is his utter disconnection from the story: This Herod shows no interest in Jesus' miraculous abilities, just in ad libbing and pulling focus to himself. It's a disgraceful performance in an execrable bit of staging."
-Variety, Dec 17, 2008

"And Mark Baratelli’s King Herod, who seemed to be played more to the audience than to Jesus? Oh, dear. His “King Herod’s Song” was zapped of all its sly humor and relevance to the story. One wonders if Baratelli knew what play he was in."
-Arizona Daily Star, Dec 31, 2008

"Only Mark Bartelli disappoints with a strangely uneven rendition of "King Herod's Song.", Brad Hathaway, March 12, 2009

"Although this juxtaposition is the appeal of the show, it was jarring at times, especially the quick back-and-forth between the modern rock ‘n’ roll bits and the more serious religious aspect. This was especially true of musical numbers such as “King Herod’s Song” during the trial of Jesus, where King Herod (Mark Baratelli) is portrayed as something akin to one of the “Queer Eye for a Straight Guy” cast.", Laura McKenzie, Mar 18 2009

Five Course Love, Winter Park Playhouse
"As for Baratelli, he has that appealing desperate air of a clown, whether as an Italian waiter in fear for his life, or a German realizing his dominatrix girlfriend and his secret boyfriend have arrived simultaneously at his restaurant. And he has the most fun with the various cartoon accents employed."
-Orlando Sentinel, Matt Palm, January 21, 2011

"Baratelli, who is known more as an improv guy and a producer, brings angst to his Italian waiter and more than a touch of comic dementia to the German one."
-Elizabeth Maupin | 1-22-11

"Baratelli looks like he’s never seen Gunsmoke..."
-Archikulutre Digest | 1-24-11