FBN Alumni Spotlight: Evan McCormack

When did you sing with FBN Productions, Inc.?  
Evan:  2010  

Which production? 
Evan:  Pinocchio

What have you been up to since? 
Evan:  Performing, working and creating in NYC. Right before I moved to NYC in 2009 I started an online company, OperaPulse, with my roommate and fellow singer after we lost our jobs during the demise of Connecticut Opera. OperaPulse.com became quite a large undertaking as in a few short years; it had grown from a news and resource hub to a leading industry services, marketing and social platform. I write articles and editorials for the company, design and market new products as well as serve as it's CIO and CFO. In terms of performing, I've had the pleasure of working with many companies and groups in and around the NYC area, the most recent being a role, Solomon, that I created with composer Andrew Beall in his new musical Song of Solomon. We performed it as part of the Thespis Festival at the Actor's Temple. It has since been seen in a handful of states and just got a nod from a company in Jerusalem interested in putting it up. To pay the bills I've been developing another passion of mine - wine. I taste and sell wines during the day. Not a bad gig at all!

What are you up to now? 
Well, a lot of the same! Except that I recently married the love of my life, Jennifer, and I'll be happily preparing for a life for two (or more) now! With respects to performing, I've been given a "you're on the hook" to create the tenor role with Opera on Tap next year in a newly commissioned comic opera called the Inner Circle based loosely on the life of Dr. Alfred Kinsey. Yes, you imagine correctly - it'll prove to be quite scandalous. OperaPulse.com is rolling out several new products to the site and perhaps the most exciting is the artist promotion aspect we've designed. I've also just taken up my pen to start writing the lyrics to a new musical called For Love and Espresso: A Coffee Shop Musical, which questions our fears and reservations of legalized euthanasia in America. It has been commissioned by a prominent off-Broadway company, which specializes in exposing harsh truths of current affairs. And it's a sure bet that I'll be tasting quite a bit of wine while helping to launch products from my family's winery in the Finger Lakes.

How is the experience of working for FBN prepared you for your career? 
Evan:  I did several young artist programs during and after my masters. Some of the programs treat you like you've already become a professional while others make you realize that you have a ways to go. FBN is the latter and I'm convinced that it is for the best. In order to be a great, all-around artist you have to know the ins and outs of putting up a show, how to work and collaborate with colleagues at any time of the day (even during 8:30am school shows), and understand the amount of work it takes on both sides of the curtain. Working closely with peers, colleagues, creators and supporters during my time with FBN was instrumental in helping me create efficiently and, more importantly, with an open ear with professionals in NYC. In my opinion, many artists who don't get this hands on, eye-opening and humbling experience miss out on the micro-opportunities of industry insight and practicality, which set them apart at the macro level. You can actually infer who has had gigs like FBN while in a room full of artists, and in terms of professionalism, there is a big difference.

How has it shaped you as a singer and an artist? 
My respect for all of my colleagues from directors to the stage hand in control of the fog machine is equal. Each roles is so crucial. Programs like FBN have ingrained this into my way of life as an artist and I feel it's because of this respect that people want to work with me and have rehired me. FBN helped me to be a team player and find collaborative synergy to create efficiently and effectively. Oh yeah, and let me reiterate - being able to do it at any time of the day regardless of a 6:00AM wake up call for a morning show.

What is the most memorable experience from your time with FBN? 
Evan:  When I finally got to see Ellen after being in Columbia for a few days for rehearsals. It sounds silly, but Columbia is lucky to have her as she inspires many. As my mentor in college I was looking for more opportunities to pick her brain. She, alas, stays quite busy and it was one of the only occasions we were able to share smiles during the run. Other moments include watching amazing baritone, John Dooley, knit his newest scarf in the van and swapping life and performance tips with other performers during the run. The hotel accommodations were top notch too.

How can our readers keep up with your latest accolades?
Evan: I primarily use Facebook for OperaPulse purposes so come like us on Facebook! Operapulse.com, Operapulse.com/evanmccormack, twitter are other great ways to see what I'm up to. Oh, and Janstan Vineyards is the name of the new winery. No website yet, but soon. Cheers!

Please note:  The production photo attached is of Song of Solomon at the Actor's Temple in NYC. Courtesy of Victoria Medina.