We had the good fortune of connecting with April Alsup and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi April, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
There’s an old expression, “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. Right? Well, not exactly, because you can’t say, you don’t actually have to work. Au contraire! It just means you love your work so much it never feels like you are actually working. I’ve been writing music for as long as I can remember. My mother and I would sit at the piano and create stories. It was never about the notes on a page, we would create thunder, lightning, raindrops and church bells. What started as simple childhood games turned into a passion for writing music theatre works.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been fortunate to have lived and visited so many different places in my life and I’d like to say that those experiences have shaped my art. It’s funny, at the Louvre in Paris, I wasn’t looking at the Mona Lisa, I was looking at the people looking at the Mona Lisa, it’s like another dimension. I call Denver home these days. I’m a composer, a so-called expert in the performing arts and I guess a technology guru, but those just happen to be the skills you need to take audiences to magical destinations in the COVID-age. One of the goals of musical theater is to transport an audience into the spectacle of the stage and it all starts with what I like to call “method composing”. You immerse yourself into the musical genre and the components of the ensemble: for example, in my latest Musical “the Isle of Eigg” there’s a small group of townspeople that get together periodically to discuss politics, drink and play Scottish Ceilidh music. So I traveled to the Inner Hebrides to experience the island in person, then I spent months learning how to play and compose Ceilidh music for and on the accordion. I think it’s important to be genuine and authentic in your music. That’s the secret sauce for successful music theater works. We’re planning to take the show to Scotland in 2022. Editor’s Note: Other Musicals to April’s credit include the award-winning cyberspace fantasy WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) and The Age of Sisyphus, which takes us to Corinth in ancient Greece.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of my favorite things to do on a hot Summer day in Denver is head up the hill to the old Central City Opera House. It’s a small 350 seat jewel-box theater nestled in the mountains about 40 minutes west of Denver. Each Summer they put on an inventive music festival of classic opera works and American musical theater with extraordinary talent from all over the country. Opera lovers, you won’t be disappointed!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I was a senior in High School I won the West Virginia State drama festival for special projects. That was the category for projects that just didn’t fit into any other category. Afterwards a professor from WVU invited me to visit his ala mater and that Summer he took me to interview with Yale’s technical theater department. We even spent an evening with famed Broadway lighting designer George Izenour and his wife. Unfortunately, I was young, naïve and quite frankly my math skills were just not good enough. Afterwards, we lost touch, but someday I’d like to thank him in person for opening my eyes to all the opportunities beyond my understanding at that time.