Eternal Love – Michael Marano’s Personal Journey from the Stages of Grief to the Stage Itself.
Love has to be one of the most powerful forces known to man. Love is responsible for some of the most moving works of art, poetry, music, sculptures and songs ever produced. You name it, love leads the way when it comes to inspiration and creativity.
Likewise, the loss of a loved one can create feelings so strong, that the motivation is too intense to ignore. Grief goes far beyond emotions, and encompasses so many dimensions of the human spirit. Grief affects physical, behavioral, social and even spiritual aspects of life.
Michael Marano’s cabaret, Eternal Love, is no exception to the incredible forces of love and loss. As a matter of fact, it was through the joy of love and the pain of loss, that Eternal Love was produced. Michael Marano, now a 59 year old Licensed Customs Broker, has recently set his path on establishing a singing and acting career. You may ask yourself the question, “Why would a 59 year old man suddenly seek out a singing and acting career?” The answer simply is this, “After losing his beloved wife of almost 31 years to chronic illness, why not?”
Michael and Lisa shared a wonderful life together and an incredible love story. Together they created a beautiful family and home for themselves in Tannersville, PA. Unfortunately, life threw many curve balls their way medically, and after quite a battle, Lisa lost her fight at 51 years of age. Michael was devastated by Lisa’s passing and spent the next several months after her death in a dark and lonely place.
Even though family and friends were there to support Michael through his loss, there was little anyone could do to lift his spirits. It wasn’t until Michael sought the unlikely advice of a psychic that he was given a new direction in which to find himself. The psychic had many things to say which Michael could connect with, but one of the most powerful things she said to him was, “Lisa wants you to sing to her.” Since Michael used to sing a great deal in his younger days, especially in high school, he thought this request made a great deal of sense. Two weeks later Michael set out to buy a karaoke machine and started putting it to use almost immediately.
It was also around this time that Michael’s sister, Melissa, strongly encouraged him to see Sierra Boggess, in The Phantom of the Opera, on Broadway. Sierra’s performance was such an inspiration to Michael that he started doing some research on the singer. Michael found that Sierra Boggess was trained by the Broadway singer and international voice teacher Mary Setrakian. Coincidentally, Mary Setrakian was holding a voice class in New York City that following week. This singing intensive was open to all levels and provided Michael with a perfect opportunity to see if he still had what it takes. Michael wrote an email to Mary, ended up attending her classes, took part in her showcase, and has been singing and performing regularly ever since.
While studying with Mary Setrakian, Michael learned how to better integrate acting with singing, but more importantly he learned how to tap into his emotions and reach the 4th wall. Reaching the 4th wall, or that space that separates the performer from an audience, is key when trying to give a convincing performance. This concept also proved to be an emotional breakthrough for Michael. This theater technique not only brought Michael closer to his audience, it brought him closer to Lisa.
While preparing for his first showcase with Mary Setrakian, Michael was privileged to work with some amazingly talented people. One of the most amazing by far was the musical director, pianist, and vocal coach, John Fischer. Following their first showcase together, Michael began working with Mr. Fischer privately. It was through John’s unwavering support, superb musical arrangements, and energetic musical direction that Michael was able to find the strength and confidence to produce his very own cabaret, Eternal Love. Michael not only found a tremendously gifted accompanist in John Fischer, he also found a true friend.
Susan Campanaro, another key player in the evolution of Eternal Love, was also introduced to Michael by Mary Setrakian. Susan Campanaro, an accomplished actress and acting coach, also directed Michael through his first solo cabaret, Eternal Love. Michael credits Mary Setrakian, John Fischer, and Susan Campanaro for their ability to help him “feel the words and covey the emotion.” Michael has also said that, “When emotions get to high you may have to redirect them to keep a certain amount of control.” The gentle guidance of those musical professionals that worked with Michael made that level of control possible.
Michael Marano’s first cabaret, Eternal Love, was introduced in May of 2015 at The Duplex in New York City. A second installment followed later that year in November. The cabaret, Eternal Love, is an emotionally charged musical journey through life, love, loss, and rediscovery. Through Theatrical Gems, Michael Marano will be performing Eternal Love once again on April 23, 2016 at the Evergreen Community Charter School in Creesco, PA. Tickets available @theatricalgems.org
Michael explains that singing is a freeing experience for him and that it helps him to open up. When Michael envisions someone on the 4th wall, it is Lisa that he sees. Michael says that, “knowing she is still there, it’s ok to go on living.” While it is not exactly clear that Michael will sing and act enough to make a living, certainly his singing and acting will give him life. Michael Marano not only rediscovered his true talents these last couple of years, he also rediscovered his true faith.