Alissa’s Blog

NEW SITE!

Oh my goodness, I’m so excited to introduce you to my new website! The smartest thing I did was reach out to my friend, Tami Heaton, of Undeniable. Tami and I go way back, having worked together years ago in NYC for the SCI-FI Channel’s website. I said, “here’s a picture of my yellow polka-dot ukulele; make me a site inspired by it.” and boy, did she ever deliver. It totally suits my girly personality, and the friendly, fun environment I try to create in my performances. Even if I do sing sad songs (and I DO!) I like to break the tension with levity between songs. Sometimes you have to laugh at the tough situation in life. I think the design of this site hits that balance of a serious musician, who isn’t always so serious.

Also a huge shout-out to Alex Griffin (https://www.alexugriffin.com) and Shuva Rahim (http://www.shuvarahim.comfor the beautiful photography work. And Andrew Brown for hosting the site all these years.

I know really smart, talented people.

Release Your Story Masterclass

I recently had the pleasure of leading a group of about twenty members of the Berkeley Ukulele Club in a song interpretation masterclass I call “Release Your Story.” Thank you, Mike DaSilva, for inviting me!

I took a class for years in New York City with Warren Kelley and Steven Katz with a focus on singing with piano accompaniment for musical theater auditioning, preparing for a cabaret show, etc. In that class I learned so much about connecting with a lyric. Since I started performing with my ukulele, I’ve tried to infuse that same technique in my work. It’s such a pleasure to share this method with the ukulele community.

In my masterclass, you discover the personal connection to your songs. Really telling the story helps you deal with the nerves of getting up and singing in front of people, and has the added benefit of actually releasing the vocal instrument. If you’ve ever wanted to sing at an open mic, this is the place to start. If you’re a seasoned performer, this is how to take your material to the next level. If you just love to sit on the couch and sing, this method will help you find a personal connection to the lyric and singing your songs will mean so much more to you.

Please contact me to book this masterclass for your uke group, festival, or any musical event.

Performing in Iowa City

I was born and raised in Iowa City and I graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Iowa. Go Hawks! My family still lives in Iowa City and it is always a treat to be able to perform when I’m back for a visit.

You can check the calendar for any upcoming performances. I usually do a 30 min set at the Monday Open Mic Night at The Mill, hosted by J. Knight. And for those who can’t stay up late enough to catch the evening show, (cough, my mom, cough) I book a full 60 min set at Uptown Bill’s Coffee Shop on Saturday afternoon.

I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be able to have my mom hear me sing. She’s always been my biggest supporter. She was the one who drove me to auditions, choir rehearsal, dance class, play practice, or picked me up at the community theater late at night past her bedtime. She’d already be in her robe and slippers, so she wouldn’t get out of the car…unless I was busy talking inside and forgot to check for her. Teehee. Now she’s in her 80s and it’s precious to share my songs with her. Also, my sisters come and cheer me on and cry, or heckle from the audience, depending on which sister you’re talking about. Also my very best friends from childhood are still in the midwest and make a point to come see me. It truly is a family homecoming every time. I’m so grateful.

What’s a Puppet Slam?

A Puppet Slam is an evening of short puppet acts that can range from outrageous to quietly touching. A little vaudeville, a bit of burlesque, part festival “potpourri,” and a dash or two of performance art – welcome to the world of Puppet Slams. Over the past decade, Puppet Slams have popped up everywhere. And I’ve performed in a whole lot of them!

I’m drawn to short form puppetry with a connection to music. I usually base a piece on a song and in addition to singing live, I am telling the story visually through whatever medium of puppetry does that best. I have pieces of table top, marionette, toy theater, miniature object puppetry, and shadow puppetry. It’s an opportunity to develop a new act and share the wide range of this art form with new audiences.

Most, if not all, the puppet slams I’ve had the pleasure of performing in were made possible in part by a grant from the Puppet Slam Network. By providing an outlet for short form puppetry, slams support puppetry overall and its continued evolution in this country.

ALISSA HUNNICUTT

Alissa Hunnicutt is an alternative folk singer currently recording her debut album. As a puppeteer, her specialty is short-form musical puppet theater in a variety of puppetry styles.

SHOWS