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Cindi Sansone-Braff talks ‘Beethoven’ play, future, technology (Includes interview)

On the critical success of Beethoven’s Promethean Concerto in C Minor WoO, Sansone-Braff said, “It was a dream come true. It was probably the hardest thing I ever did from start to finish. Beethoven’s Promethean Concerto in C Minor WoO took four years of research and writing to complete. Written two decades ago, it would have been almost impossible to produce back then. Because of copyright laws, we would have had to use live musicians to play or record all of the musical pieces, and the cost of that would have been prohibitive.”

Sansone-Braff continued, “This historic music drama used upwards of thirty of Beethoven’s most memorable musical compositions and finding public domain versions of them only became possible because of the magic of the internet. The pieces that we couldn’t find fair use copyright for online were then scored by Nicolas Yandell using Sibelius music notation software.”

She went on to acknowledge her talented cast in Beethoven’s Promethean Concerto in C Minor WoO. “Thanks to my co-producer and talented musical director, Debi Toni, our amazing chorus, and the phenomenal acting of Michael Brinzer, we were able to successfully bring to the Long Island stage, the kind of drama you would ordinarily only see in major cities like New York, Vienna, or London,” she said.

New romantic comedy in the works

When asked about any future projects in playwrighting, Sansone-Braff revealed, “I just finished revamping a romantic comedy I wrote a quarter of a century ago, Angel’s Mice and Men. Back then, it became a finalist in Lodi’s National New Play Contest and Theatre Festival. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and although I never stopped writing plays, I did stop actively marketing them.”

Sansone-Braff continued, “In the 65th year of my life, I have come to the conclusion: If not now, when? Resurrecting my undying passion to be a produced playwright, I spent most of the summer of 2018 updating Angel’s Mice and Men and I am now sending out to theaters and playwriting contests. The original script ran two hours, with one intermission, and utilized the structure of a three-act play. This format was popular back in the day, and the one taught to me at the University of Connecticut, when I was studying for my BFA in theater. The updated 21st-century version runs 90 minutes. Still set in the 1990’s, this streamlined, full-length, one-act romantic comedy has a contemporary feel capable of resonating with New Millennium audiences.”

She also shared that she is working on a full-length play, Karma Bums, which is a comedic look at all things spiritual. “I am having a lot of fun with this one,” she said. “On a more serious note, I am also working on my memoir, Confessions of a Reluctant Long Island Psychic, and this is taking much longer than I thought it would. I am doing a lot of soul-searching for this nonfiction work, and haven’t quite come up with the best format for it yet.”

Digital transformation of the entertainment business

On the impact of technology on the entertainment business, especially with streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu being so popular, Sansone-Braff said, “People can watch movies and shows twenty-four hours a day, and I am hoping this will open the doors for more and more writers to have their works produced.”

Regarding her use of technology in her daily routine, Sansone-Braff acknowledged that her BlogTalk Radio show, where they offer free advice to their listeners, would have never been produced without the Internet. “My co-host and producer, Nicole Semidei, and I have been doing this show since 2008 as a way to promote the philosophies espoused in my spiritual, self-help, relationship book, Grant Me a Higher Love,” she said.

“This show is done via the telephone and Nicole can be in her home and I can be in my home doing the show,” she said. “We have a loyal following, and they can just call into the show from anywhere using their cellphones and get some guidance about their lives.”

She also credits technology for helping her flourish her career as an intuitive. “People find me via my website, and it is not unusual for me to be Facetiming clients around the globe all hours of the day,” she said.

In addition, technology has helped her substantially as a playwright. “I find the ease of doing research anytime day or night to be the biggest blessing of all,” she said. “Fact-checking, spellchecking, and just writing and editing on your laptop anywhere at any time still amazes me. I don’t even want to think how hard it was to write in my younger days. The daunting task of writing a play using a typewriter used to take forever.”

“Oftentimes, I had to go to the library with a list of words to check the spelling, because they weren’t listed in our small home dictionaries,” she said. “Doing research meant going through books or worse yet using Microfiche, and combing through it for hours to find a date or details about an event that you can now locate in a few seconds using your smartphone.”

Radio show

In her weekly radio show on BlogTalk Radio, Sansone-Braff revealed that she and Nicole cover a wide range of topics. “People can call in and ask us anything. Our favorite topic is love, but we cover career, the afterlife, family dysfunction, how to deal with difficult people, and all things spiritual. The show can be accessed online. We do a show 48 weeks out of the year, every Thursday night at 7 p.m. EST,” she said.

For aspiring radio hosts, Sansone-Braff encouraged them to be patient. “It takes a while to build an audience, so keep at it,” she admitted. “Get your listeners engaged, entertain and enlighten them. This gives them compelling reasons to come back week after week after week.”

She scored a 2019 nomination for “Best of Long Island” for “Best Psychic” in the Services section. “Knowing my clients care about me enough to take the time to nominate me and to vote for me, year after year after year, warms my heart and makes me feel that I really am doing something that makes a difference,” she concluded.

To learn more about multifaceted entertainer Cindi Sansone-Braff, visit her official homepage.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 18,000 original articles over the past 16 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a six-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past three years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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