Associate Producer

Open the door for strangers, and let Christmas in!

This Christmas I teamed up with Improv Everywhere and Target to deliver a spontaneous interactive musical performance for an unsuspecting family in New Jersey.

Now here’s where I reveal a secret: We didn’t surprise the family in heir own house, rather we invited several families one by one throughout the night to come by a house we rented and rigged up especially for this event.  The mothers of each families were contacted through Improv Everywhere’s massive list and they knew they were in for a surprise from us, but weren’t told what to expect, and instead they convinced their families that they were visiting a friend’s house to take holiday photos with a professional photographer.

Alan Aisenberg and Andrew Soltys at Deverge brought me on to help run the show.  I started off by sourcing and putting together the Victorian Caroler’s costumes from the the vast collections at the Theatre Development Fund in Astoria, Queens. Many of the clothes had appeared on Broadway stages and were donated by top shows.  Everything was rehearsed at the Deverge studio the morning of the performance and it was quite a whirlwind couple of hours of practicing singing, dancing, with an entire orchestra (the incredible Patriot Brass Ensemble) polishing the songs, costume fittings, tech prep and above all the anticipation of “could we pull this off?!”.

I coordinated with the families one by one to have them stop by a local coffee shop a few minutes ahead of time to wait for my cue to drive to the house.  I greeted them at the front door when they arrived, and playing my part, told them we were just finishing up photographing another family and that they could answer the door if the doorbell rang.   They all bought it! But when the bell rang and the door opened they found quite a different set of visitors, four carolers turned into an entire chorus plus a brass orchestra, dancing snowmen and Santas complete with fake snow and more!

Everyone had a real blast making this, from the lightning fast prep and turn around to the back-to-back family visits and performances, it was a sight to behold.  Charlie Todd really knows how to wow an audience, online and in person.  Much credit goes to our DP Justin Ayers and master of hidden cameras Ilya Smelansky and Sound Mixer Harris Karlin for capturing it all so spectacularly. It’s great working with great people and the most rewarding part of it was the smiles on everyones faces as we really brought something strange and magical to life in front of their eyes.