Artist Spotlight: Nicolette Blount
Native American Heritage Month is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the stories of incredible Native American artists that are prevalent in the performing arts. And because of that, we’re excited to shine a spotlight on Nicolette Blount who has hopes to bring forth more conversations about the Native American Heritage through her Great Grandmother’s incredible story via her new production, Savage the Musical!
Last year we sat down with Nicolette to talk about Savage the Musical when it first premiered at Ja’Duke theater in Massachusetts but since then, so much has happened!
Scroll below to find out her Savage the Musical updates (including a 54 Below performance!) and to get her list of must-see exhibits at the NEW Museum of Broadway (Nicolette is an investor of the museum)…!
About Nicolette Blount
Nicolette Blount, Southern California native and Chickasaw tribe member is a songwriter, performer, writer, director, and producer who has traveled the globe singing and performing! Nicolette's most recent collaboration is writing the lyrics, and music, and co-writing the book for Savage the Musical, a musical about her Chickasaw Great Grandma, Wanda Savage.
Savage tells the story of a 1920s indigenous mother who rose above racism, abuse, and misogyny to try to make a name for herself. In addition to co-writing Savage, Nicolette can be heard on Savage's Take My Shot and Warrior (lead vocals) and on backup vocals on the recent EP. Recently, some of Nicolette's music from Savage the Musical was featured at Women of the Wings at the famous 54 Below in NYC.
Last year we got to sit down with you to hear more about what inspired you to create Savage The Musical. How has the show evolved since then?
We finally got our show up on its feet after being paused mid-rehearsal because of the pandemic. We put on four developmental productions at Ja’Duke theater in MA and received standing ovations each night, which was so humbling and amazing. And we received such good feedback! We learned a lot from that production and it has helped inform us on our next rewrite we are currently on. We are also bringing on a very experienced Chickasaw playwright and dramaturg, Laura Shamas, to help with our show.
Another update is, I had the pleasure of premiering as a songwriter at 54 Below in September for Women of the Wings Vol. 4. Two songs were performed from Savage that are currently streaming; Warrior and Currency of Men. I was honored to be among such talented female composers/lyricists and to have such talented singers perform my music! We also released two new singles to streaming, the beautiful ballad There’s Something in Her Eyes performed by Alan Couture and Cat’s Meow Burlesque Reprise performed by Christina Cerbone.
What’s next for Savage? Are there any upcoming previews of the show that we should have on our radar?
The hardest part now is “what next”? So many balls in the air. Producer, Jo-Ann Dean, came to our recent production and loved it. She is very excited about Savage the Musical. She is joining our team as a co producer and producing consultant. To be honest, we have just now started to “shop the show around”. We are looking for that strong lead female producer to take this show on.
We are also looking for a theatre to further develop the show, whether that be a reading or concert or residency or workshop or production. Investors would be helpful as well, especially since my husband and I have funded it to this point. I definitely don’t want to lead produce it. I am tired! Please someone take it from me! (Nicolette laughs)
We are in the process of putting together a 54 Below concert with a Broadway cast in the spring along with a 29 Hour Reading. For those who don’t know, that is where you have Broadway talent, read your show and sing your songs with a piano for invited Broadway industry people. It’s a very common part of most show’s development and not cheap, hence needing to find investors.
We are honored to be nominated for 12 awards on Broadway World’s Regional Awards.
*Just make sure you put in your email to start voting and fill out the form at the end. Votes don’t count until you confirm the email they send you by clicking on the link.*
Happy Native American Heritage Month! Can you share which Native American artists have inspired you throughout your career and why?
Yakoke! Thank you! Obvious choice, my great grandma, Wanda Savage. She was a badass woman in a time when women had just been given the right to vote, but not Native American women. She had to overcome a lot. She made hard choices and stuck with them, even if they were not the best choices. She was trying to overcome all the Native American stereotypes of her day. Her tenacity, drive, and independence inspire me. She definitely was a female warrior who was a trailblazer.
This may sound like an odd choice, but Kristin Chenoweth. Many may not know she is part Cherokee. Besides her just being talented, I think she has overcome a lot, including being adopted which can not be easy no matter how great your adoptive family is. I have read her autobiography and it is good. It made me admire her even more.
Another person I admire who is Native in my industry is Shaun Taylor Corbett. He is a Broadway actor and co-writer, co-composer and co-lyricist on Distant Thunder. He is so talented and in the short time I have come to know him, I have grown to admire him. He is just a kind person with a big heart for his tribe and the Native community in general. He is passionate about his show, telling our Native stories and bringing our tribes together to tell these stories. His show recently had a production at the Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma. It was beautiful!
He and I are in the same boat with our shows in terms of what are the next steps, how can we find producers or investors.. It is nice to have someone who is going through similar things you can talk to that understands. He has been very encouraging to me. Please go check out his show Distant Thunder!
Outside of Savage, we hear you’re an investor for The Museum of Broadway! What are you most excited for people to experience at the museum?
Oh my gosh! The museum is fabulous! I am grateful to producer Robin Gorman Newman for bringing my husband and I onboard. There is so much to say about the museum. Julie Boardman and Diane Nicoletti have done such a fabulous job spearheading this massive project that so many just talked about for so long!
We had a private tour on Saturday and it was even better than I thought it would be. We spent 2 ½ hours there and the only reason we left was to eat. It is so exciting to be part of something so awesome and historic! It will definitely be a legacy. There are hands on things to do, QR codes that give you more fun things to do, history, pictures, artifacts from shows, photo ops, and THE COSTUMES!!!!
Each room is curated by a different artist for a different show. If you love pink, you are going to love the Ziegfeld Follies room! I especially loved the two rooms with the shows that have impacted me the most: West Side Story and Rent. West Side Story was the first show I ever saw as a young girl. I remember feeling like my soul wanted to jump out of my chest and jump on that stage. I was able to sit at the counter at Doc’s as if I was in the show and you can learn a choreographed dance from the show. The Rent room was amazing too! You can be on Maureen’s set for the rally, you can be on Mimi’s stage from Out Tonight, you can pick up a payphone and Jonathan Larson will tell you about the making of the show and more. As a creative I loved seeing all the original hand written compositions from composers of different shows, or the lyrics written then crossed out with new lyrics written in, same with the scripts. In the Rent room, seeing all of the theaters Jonathan submitted to and their letters of rejection was actually very encouraging to not give up.
You can be immersed in what it is like to be on stage and backstage of a Broadway show with all the sounds and sights. I also loved the exhibit dedicated to how a show runs and the creatives; how the music, lyrics and books are written. I need to stop before I give away too much now. Just go! It’s worth every penny! It’s not just a museum, it’s an experience.
Nicolette at Museum of Broadway
The holidays are just right around the corner, what is your holiday arts addiction? (meaning, what shows do you always see during the holidays as a tradition or what music do you HAVE to listen to for the holidays?)
The minute it hits Nov. 1…we start the Christmas music. Being that I am a big standards and jazz lover, I have to bring out Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Harry Connick Jr., Michael Buble, shall I continue??
I also like the newer stuff, but those are a must. We also love the old claymation Christmas movies (Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Jack Frost, etc.) and Elf is number one for the modern movies every year. Then we go around the rest of the season saying the funny quotes… We also watch A Christmas Story since my kids were in the musical one year. They think that is funny too.
For more on Savage the Musical click HERE!
Written by: Jillian Hayes
RCA's Social Media Manager