Singer/songwriter, meditation guide, and healer, Alicia Mathewson, asked me to direct a music video for her new song, Wise Innocence, for her new album. What an honor it has been working with Alicia to create this beautiful music video. This provided me the opportunity to work with another filmmaker here on Cape Cod, Michael Dubois, who I’ve wanted to work with for many years, so I reached out to him and Michael said, “Yes!” He agreed to be our cinematographer/ editor, so we sat down with Alicia to crack the story for her music video. Afterward, I took the information from our production meeting and created a working script and storyboard and off we went! I assembled an amazing, like-minded, team of artist who all brought their hearts and talents to make this music video what it is today.
I reached out to ten of my acting students, and we started production during the summer of 2015. Our first day was with ten actors filming in two locations, the Sandwich Boardwalk, and then a local store in town. Each location provided us with so many beautiful and interesting looks for our music video. Michael and I both agreed, after our first day of production, that we might be on to something… working together was so unified on many levels. All our creative efforts went into making sure Alicia was truly happy with the process and her product. Working with my students/actors was also a smooth process and each one of them really brought their “A” game to the set, completely prepared and ready to reveal their humanity for us. It was important for me, when casting, to select actors that could deliver certain emotions with the strong ability to story tell through their eyes and physicality. The locations needed to have a variety of looks to give us as much production value as possible. I also wanted a walking bridge in the music video to use as a metaphor within the song that every one of us, at some stage in our life journey, must be brave enough to cross that bridge to attain “wise innocence,” and that is something which resonated with us when Alicia shared her song.
How do we grow and learn for our life’s struggles/losses, but yet maintain our innocence? For me, it starts with breath and taking moments to find silence. In the music video, you will see the actors taking time to breathe, to listen, closing and opening their eyes, reaching up and toward each other, because we need others in our lives to help us grow. Alicia also expressed how she wanted a lot of nature in the music video which also serves as another way to get grounded. Another bonus was having access to a lighthouse on Cape Cod! It turned out that Alicia’s family rents out a summer house right next to a lighthouse and we were able to schedule a filming day during that same time. The lighthouse serves multiple symbols. Alicia’s inner light is so abundant and she truly shines her light so others may shine. The summer home also was important to her because that’s where Alicia was engaged to her beautiful bride Kristen O’Toole, who is our dancer in the video, and Alicia’s mother had spent time at the summer house right before she passed away. So that lighthouse truly is layered with many memories and brings much comfort and peace to Alicia and her family. Filming at the lighthouse was breathtaking as it was quite the adventure, taking up to an hour with an escort to drive us out to the location. I couldn’t be more proud of Michael, the entire cast, crew and of course, Alicia Mathewson.
After experiencing the music video, you will notice how everyone looks so natural and at ease. Thank you once again, to all our actors for bringing your authentic humanity forth when we called action, and to our youngest on set, SaraEllen. What a natural! And she takes direction so well! Michael Dubois did such a beautiful job capturing each moment of truth that you each brought. Thank you once again Michael, for not only being a great collaborator, but such a great, genuine person overall. This art form is truly such a collaborative effort and twenty people were involved with this project, either behind the camera or in front and everyone played such an important part in the project. Because of that, we have a beautiful video to share with the rest of the world.
I hope you enjoy our music video, Wise Innocence.
Newark Memorial High School
Kevin Lasit was the Choreographer/Theatrical Director for the Newark Memorial Choral Program. Kevin worked with all the five choirs (a total of 200 students), giving them facial expression, a sense of story, and character. (Top three from L to R- Beginning Choir, Soul, and Choraliers. The two bottom rows of four - Cougar Chords the Advanced Show Choir performing RENT.)
Click to play
PEACE SIGNS 2005-2006
ETP Performers: Eduardo Draven, Aviance Rhome, Sean Fenton, Carolyn Webster and Galen Brown.
This was the opening day of Kaiser Permanente's Peace Signs Program on 9/15/05. Kevin directed and did additional re-writes to the script. "I am so proud of the troupe to have such a strong opening day and I know they will have a great touring season." This was the last show under the direction of Kevin Lasit. He has left the company after ten years of service with a heavy heart to pursue other dreams and spend more time with his family. "My heart will always remain with ETP. It's amazing work we do there and it is so demanding and challenging on so many levels, but the reward at the end of the day is that you know you made a difference in a young person and gave them hope. Thank you Regina Dwerlkotte and the entire company of ETP."
PEACE SIGNS 2004-2005
ETP Actors/Peer Youth Educators: Galen Brown as Mr. H, Krystal Young as Trina, Carolyn Webster as Jessie, Eduardo Draven as Alex, and Aaron Leong as Bo.
Kevin directs Peace Signs, a violence prevention show for grades 3rd-6th, for Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs. This marks Kevin's sixth show for ETP. He has also re-written the script and added new music, written by Keinya Williams (You're music rocks!). "It was important for me to put a heart beat into the script and effect the students, teachers and parents on an emotional level with this production, and I am so pleased with the results. Thank you Henry Perkins and Jared Randolph for the great set, thank you Lawrence Iriarte for the colorful back drop design, thanks for all the vocal sessions Melinda Lasit, thank you Jana Morris for the fun choreography, and thank you Regina Dwerlkotte for giving me the opportunity to work on Peace Signs this season."
Peace Signs offers multiple interventions: the 48 minute show, Q&A, follow up workshops for classes, teacher guides, resources for the communities, and an evening show for the parents and guardians of the students. Stay tuned for more photos as the show evolves.
NIGHTMARE ON PUBERTY ST. under the direction of Kevin Lasit:
Nightmare on Puberty Street 2003-2004
With: Amber Nimedez (Understudy), Becca Kirsch as Malika, Flo McCalma as Jerry, Greg Edwards as Nick and Karla Acosta as Natalie. This show tours to middle schools and junior highs throughout Northern and Southern California addressing issues of peer pressure, body changes, first feeling of sexual attraction, thoughts of depression and suicide.
Dong Nguyen, Tracy Johnson, Brenda Lamberty, Galen Brown 1999-2000
Keinya Williams, Cindy Im, Che Soto Vigil, Jared Randolph 2000-2001
Keinya Williams, June Sparanga, RJ, Casey Robertson 2001-2002
Adam Fresquez, Flo Macalma, Keinya Williams and Tracy Dougarian
KEVIN'S SCRAPBOOK PAGE OF HIS TOUR WITH Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Programs
I thought it would be fun to show some photos of my past tour with Nightmare on Puberty Street for the 1998-1999 season.
A DAY IN THE LIFE . . .
We travel throughout Northern California, as far up as Sacramento, down to Fresno and the greater Bay Area. This season we even went down to Los Angeles for an eight-day tour.
I'm usually at work at 5:00am, sometimes we have later calls, and we travel to the school in our seven ton truck (which holds our set, costumes, sound system and props). The other two actors follow behind in the company van.
"I'll drive the truck!"
Once at the school we warm up and stretch before we unload the truck. "Work those calves!"
We work in all weather conditions. "Don't slip on that wet ramp".
Once everything is unloaded into the performance site, we begin the set up. "Sound check in forty minutes!"
Krista Knudsen sets up our sound system. Look at her poise and grace as she carries the speaker cords.
Brenda Lamberty sets up our props and fog machine, but always has time to pose for a photo.
After forty minutes everything is set and in place. Then we do a sound check to balance our mics. Now all we need are the students.
A look from our view.
Show time!!! We work five days a week and do two shows a day. Here is the 1998-1999 cast of Nightmare on Puberty Street.
After the second show and question and answer session, we strike the set.
Dong Nguyen gives me a hand with the sound system. Everything goes back into the truck for safe keeping and the next days shows. After we are all packed up we are ready to go back to the rehearsal space for our production meeting.
This is truly a wonderful gig. Lots of hard work, as you can see, but there are so many rewards. I get to perform everyday, honing my skills and at the same time peer educate with students.
There are six plays/troupes within ETP:
Nightmare on Puberty Street (Northern/Southern)- The show deals with these critical heath issues: peer pressure and self-esteem, first feelings of sexual attraction, depression and thoughts of suicide, coping with violent environments, communication with parents and peers. Age level 6-8.
Peace Signs (Northern/Southernl)- a violence prevention play. Students learn how to "Increase the Peace." As students watch P.E.A.C.E. Signs, they learn five steps to resolving conflict, respect building, cooperation and communication, and how to seek help from adults. Age level: grades 4-6.
Zip's Great Day (Northern/Southern)- a heath and safety show with actors and puppets inspiring children to learn about: nutrition, safety, skills to resist smoking, the importance of reading, and conflict resolution. Age level: K-5
Secrets (Northern/Southern)- an AIDS awareness show in which audiences will learn techniques to help them practice abstinence (the only 100% effective way to prevent HIV infection), resist peer pressure effectively, understand that actions have consequences, create positive parent-teen communication, and connect with information resources. Target audience: Teens to Adults.
CareActors (Southern Cal)- offers live theatre as a training tool for physicians, health care professionals, and employees of Kaiser Permanente. This troupe of experienced performers uses role playing, dramatic scenes, video coaching and discussion techniques to heighten communication skills, and strengthen interpersonal relationships. Age level: Adults.
Community Troupe (Northern/Southern)- One or several of the acclaimed characters from these touring productions can visit or perform at local heath fairs, grand openings, and other events. Subject to availability. (Fees vary for this service)
Our professional, award-winning presentations provide health education in an engaging, innovative way: through live theatre. Each program presents the most up-to-date health information in age appropriate ways. The performers/educators, who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve, are fully trained in health issues and peer counseling. Resource materials for students, teachers, and parents reinforce the educational messages in each presentation.
Kaiser Permanente is proud to provide each of the school based programs free of charge as a community service.