Watkins Mill hosts 20th annual Artspeak!, feature Broadway special guests
March 22, 2017
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Watkins Mill hosted the twentieth annual ArtSpeak! in the O’Shea Theatre on March 11. This ArtSpeak! featured special guests Broadway actress Kerry Butler and Broadway pianist Seth Rudetsky.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Butler has been acting since she was nine. She started out doing a lot of community theatre, but had aspirations for a bigger stage. “I begged my mom to let me do commercials and get an agent,” Butler said.
Now she has been in 14 Broadway shows with 21 movie and TV credits on IMDB. In 2008, she released her own album called Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust, which is available on Amazon.
Rudetsky grew up on Long Island by JFK. He started performing when he was five. “My parents loved seeing Broadway shows, so I started seeing shows really young and I fell in love,” Rudetsky said. He is now an acclaimed writer, actor, musician, and radio host.
Rudetsky has been nominated for an Emmy for his work as a comedy writer on the Rosie O’Donnell Show and has performed as a pianist in a number of shows. Rudetsky also hosts his own radio show, Seth’s Big Fat Broadway, every weekday from 3pm-9pm on SiriusXm radio.
The most interesting part of these performers is that they grew up and have been working together since they started auditioning for Broadway. “My favorite part was when they shared their stories together,” senior Jyline Carranza said, “because they have grown together as artists, it felt really intimate.”
Because of their time in the business, Butler and Rudetsky had tons of advice for young performers. During auditions, Rudetsky told performers they should perform to the audience and make sure to pick a song that represents them. Rudetsky also told young performers to “say yes to everything, do as much work as you can.”
ArtSpeak! is funded by the Shugoll Research, a Bethesda, MD marketing research company that supports the arts and art education. ArtSpeak! is really important because “it’s a way for people to meet stars they wouldn’t normally meet, ask them questions and get insight on show business,” senior Ian Nathan said.
Since ArtSpeak! is free, it is easily accessible to anyone across the county. The event is open to people of all ages, “I think ArtSpeak! is important because it brings all type of people from all ages and backgrounds together on common grounds of the arts,” junior Shareyne Repaje said.
Both stars said that giving back is the most rewarding part of their career. “There is just so much I have to give back,” Butler said. Butler does volunteer work outside of theatre whenever she has a break. “Theatre is so much about you and giving back allows you to focus on others,” Butler added.
To get more information on ArtSpeak! and to keep up to date on when ArtSpeak! is coming to town visit: www.artspeak.net