Film, TV and Video Game Composer Michael Gordon Shapiro Is Inspired By …
Here’s another interview with an inspiring, creative person from Goldstar Pulse. Michael Gordon Shapiro jokes that he writes music for film, TV and video games in order to finance his musical theater habit. He’s written a collection of award-winning short (10-15 minute) musicals called A Feast of Snacks — a collection he describes as “the dim sum of musical theater.” Here’s how live entertainment inspires Shapiro — and how a performance of The Nutcracker changed his approach to Facebook.
For more about Michael, head over to Goldstar Pulse.
Tell us about what you do.
I’m a musical accessory to storytelling. I compose scores for film and video games, pieces for the concert hall and works of musical theater. I usually work collaboratively, with film directors, game developers or book writers.
Has a live show ever caused you to change the way you think or behave?
This may sound like a big associational leap, but after seeing American Ballet Theatre’s recent production of The Nutcracker, I vowed to pay less attention to arguments on Facebook. The ballet, particularly its conclusion, was so convincingly joyous that it made life’s petty annoyances seem trivial, unworthy of my time. I think this is an important function of the arts: re-calibrating us emotionally, and re-connecting us to the big picture.
What live show excited and inspired you?
A number of years ago the Blank Theatre Company staged a virtuosic production of the musical The Wild Party. It’s a raucous, frenetic show, but musicians and cast both blasted through it without missing a beat. I was blown away by both the material and the sheer skill with which it was executed.
What’s your favorite thing about composing for a live show?
There’s something energizing about being in the same room as a performer, whether musical, theatrical, both, or something else. There’s a sense of stakes and necessity; there may be many performances in a run, but this moment, right now, is the performer’s only opportunity to connect with this particular audience. And from that fragile, once-in-a-lifetime chance, magic happens.