D-PAN made a brilliant move in developing a partnership to encourage innovation in creating their own ASL music video. D-PAN teamed up with powerhouse AT&T to launch a new campaign called, “Feel the Music Campaign“. According to their website, this will be a community generated voting system where everyone can upload their own videos & each video will be voted on by everyone.
D-PAN & AT&T kicked off their campaign by releasing their own ASL version for the new single, “Different Colors” by Walk the Moon called, “Subway Serenade“. Walk the Moon made their fame with their biggest hit with the song, “Shut Up and Dance” which has charted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached #1 on Billboard’s Rock Song chart. Winners of this campaign will get VIP Meet & Greet experience with Walk the Moon band members.
When you watch the music video, “Subway Serenade” co-directed by Jules Dameron and Adrean Mangiardi it just amazing the vision they both had and made the video look like it was done in one-shot, yet, it had that inspiring feeling when watching Broadway actors/actress from recent highly acclaim Broadway show “Spring Awakening” show. They show the world the beauty and awe of signing “Different Colors” as if they were signing and singing on the Broadway stage itself.
We asked Jules Dameron how she was able to put together such an pure, passionate cast and she responded, “It made sense— I wanted to choose deaf talent that had a tremendous love for music and performance and were in or nearby New York City at the time. It was definitely perfect and fortunate timing– during rehearsals for “Spring Awakening.” I felt that these performers would deliver the performances needed for a song of this type.”.
Adrean Mangiardi told us about his experience co-directing Subway Serenade with Jules Dameron:
Jules was in charge of casting the performers and directed them during the shoot. I directed the camera department and post production side of it. I basically choreographed the cinematographer while Jules worked with the cast. It was our vision. We collaborated together to modify an existing concept created by another group hired by AT&T. She wrote the script and I drew the storyboard so technically, it was all teamwork between Jules and I.
You’ll love Alexandria Wailes who is currently one of the associate choreographer of the show, Spring Awakening, which is, a huge Broadway hit. She takes on the lead role in this music video. Alexandria Wailes is one of the hardest working actress and a great leader. Her performance as the lead performer in the video shows how much she is passionate about her acting and how serious she takes her love for music and ASL. It’s also amazing how much she manage her time being a associate choreographer for Spring Awakening and then working on her own production called, “Don’t Shoot The Messenger“.
You’ll love Treshelle Edmond, who lately, is one of the hottest demanding deaf actress on the market. Oh yeah…seriously, we already wrote several articles about her…she’s on fire! Speaking about that, she also did a great ASL music video version of “Girl on Fire!”.
You’ll love Joshua Castille who plays Ernst in the Broadway version of Spring Awakening and played a beautiful part in Dickie Hearts short 2015 Disability Film Challenge called, “Passengers”. Joshua is certainly a rising star that you should be on the lookout for in the next two-three years!
You’ll love Ali Stroker who is now showing amazing potential in her acting career and is an advocate for people with disabilities. She is a beauty inside & outside & with over 31 thousand Twitter followers, she will have fans that will follow her and love her for the rest of her life.
You’ll love Ren. Cuz. She. So. Loveable. Period. Ren is one of the breakthrough stars not only in Spring Awakening, but as well as all over the Internet. We caught her with this viral classic, “Eleven Things You Should Know about Deaf People“. Snap. Snap & Yeah, Double Snap!
You’ll love Kriston Pumphrey. He’s a little known actor who is deaf, yet somehow he’s starting to slowing get his name out in the real world. He see himself first as a performing artist, then as a visual designer, then as a community organizer.
We pulled Alexandria Wailes aside as asked her some more detailed questions about her involvement in Subway Serenade and Spring Awakening on Broadway.
What did you enjoy the most about your experience on Subway Serenade?
What I enjoyed most about the process was being with the others- so many people involved! To mention a few, there were my fellow performers- Josh, Treshelle, Ren, Ali, Kate, Lisa and Kriston and the background actors. The crew, the choreographer- Jacklyn, Kailyn (who did the ASL translations), Bridget and the other interpreters, make up artist- Tia and her associate, Sean Forbes, Mark Levin, Adrean M and the AT & T people who were all tremendously supportive and excited for this project. We had a blast!!
I have not mentioned everyone, but want to stress that it took all to contribute to one of the main reasons why the video turned out so well. What was also truly empowering and felt so right was experiencing Deaf talent in front of and behind the camera working together.
The SPRING AWAKENING actors, Treshelle, Ali, Josh, Ren and myself gleefully juggled the two schedules of rehearsals to make this video happen. It was definitely intense, but so pleased it worked out!
We were working three consecutive days of nearly fifteen hours (split between SA and DIFFERENT COLORS) each day then went back to our SA rehearsals for the rest of that week.
How did it make you feel being the lead performer on Subway Serenade?
When Jules Dameron approached me to be involved on Subway Serenade, I said yes without thinking twice. It is always an honor to be directed by her and to have worked with this phenomenal cast and crew.
It didn’t really occur to me that I was the lead performer in this because we all were working together. Nonetheless, I was honored to be asked. Jules trusts my work and I’m so grateful to her for every opportunity she shares with me.
Tell us what it was like working with other Spring Awakening actors/actress since this show is an instant hit on Broadway.
I have had the good fortune of working on SPRING AWAKENING as the associate choreographer in all three productions, including the current Broadway run.
We were at Inner City Arts in downtown LA just over a year ago, moved to the Wallis Annenberg Performing Arts Center in Beverly Hills then lo and behold, here in NY.
The director, Michael Arden and I previously worked together in two of Deaf West’s productions- BIG RIVER and PIPPIN. Working on SA with him and the super talented Spencer Liff, associate director- Blake Silver, our amazing ASL team- Shoshannah Stern, Anthony Natale, Elizabeth Greene and Linda Bove and the other creatives, made it all the more enriching.
See a pattern here?
It has taken alot of people, both hearing and Deaf, professionally collaborating and working closely together to create incredible art.
Personally, I have delighted in witnessing the SA actors blossom into their characters. It is an understatement to express that everyone has worked diligently together in creating such a spectacular ensemble. Of course, already being the wonderful individuals they all are, collectively they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Having worked with them for over a year now, this has been absolutely enthralling! It is an honor knowing each of them and to have been part of the SA journey. I’m also Marlee Matlin’s understudy for this particular production. Thrilling times!!
What future projects are you currently working on? How is your production Don’t Shoot the Messenger coming along?
DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER is still in production for the remaining episodes. However, we are in a holding pattern of sorts as we continue to raise the funds to film and pay the talented people who make the episodes happen.
In the meantime, please make sure you, the public reading this, subscribe to our YouTube channel!
This has been an especially exciting time in my life as an artist. I’m grateful for this and look forward to more. The hard work pays off and I’m not about to stop now.