The Sunday Giveaway: Three free hours at the Davenport Rehearsal Studios!

Since our giveaway of a week of free theater rent was such a big hit, I thought I’d try to help out all you emerging artists and producers out there with a different kind of freebie space offer – rehearsal space!

One of the reasons I opened my own rehearsal studios was simply so I could have a place to go work on stuff, whenever I wanted.  There’s nothing like getting a few friends in a room, around a piano, in front of a mirror, away from computers, and away from prying eyes, to just work, talk, think, move, whatever.

And there’s something so cool about rehearsal studios.  Artists go in.  Art comes out.  They are our Willy Wonka-esque factories because no one in the outside world knows how we get our chocolate to taste like it does.  It’s a secret.  And it’s also a little bit of magic.

If you’ve got “magic to do” with a new project, or if you want to have a production meeting, or if you want to get in a big empty room and dance around like a Smurf, this giveaway is for you.

As the headlines says, we’re giving away three free hours of space and here’s how you can win:

Speaking of space, tell me . . .  where do you like to work?  Where do you get your creative juices flowing?  Your apartment?  Your office?  Central Park?  A Starbucks?

Let me know where you feel the most inspired and get the most done in a comment below and you’ll be entered to win the three free hours of space at my studios.

Good luck to all!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)
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  • My inspiration seems to always come in the middle of the night. It never fails. Rather I’m working on a new novel, script or a blog post – I have a pad next to the bed so when it hits I can write it down and then attempt to fall back to sleep. (Sleep doesn’t usually come that easily after inspiration has waken me.)

  • Like Gregory Allen, I too am struck with inspiration through out the night. Sometimes solutions/creativity pop into my dreams. A few times I’ve even been able to pre-program my dreams, asking for help. I also find that riding the subway triggers off lots of inspiration. Or sitting alone in a restaurant. And when a clear head is needed, a walk along the Hudson on the Upper West Side always stimulates ideas.

  • Ben Vining says:

    I mostly compose in my bedroom. It’s not as fancy as an office, or even a Starbucks, but it works for me. I can concentrate on a scene, completely cut off from the outside world, and if I get stuck, I can lay back on my bed and play back what I’ve written so far to reassure myself that I haven’t wasted half my life on this project.

  • Meryl says:

    I’m a library person, I still miss the 24-hour libraries from school! Finding a quiet area with a table or (on really lucky days) an empty room on the side hallway was the Holy Grail of getting “in the zone”.

  • Porsche says:

    Anywhere with a power outlet works for me!

  • Shari P says:

    starbucks…listening to music. perfect.

  • I get inspired in my bedroom, or near water or on a plane, where I generally write
    poetry. I can write anywhere. When I was homeless, I kept a journal in the backs
    of small notebooks, would write in the street, in shelters, pretty much anywhere.
    I like to write by hand first drafts.

  • Ege says:

    Creative juices flow in New York Public Library (Performing arts branch) for writing, simply because it’s silent and I have “I’m here to work” state of mind when I’m there (it’s a “library” after all:) . For acting and directing; in a clean and neat rehearsal space, with sunshine if possible.

  • Although, I am inspired in many different places, the most unusual place I came up with the perfect lyric for the show I was writing at the time was the bathtub. And since there is no paper/pencil or computer in the bathtub, I had to use my preschooler’s bath crayon, dark purple, and write on the tub wall. That way I could relax and then come back and transfer to paper after I had my “calgon moment.”
    Other than that, the best place for me is my car. Every time I drive more than 30 minutes it seems like lyrics, story lines, titles of future books, etc. come flooding out of my mind. I have to keep my iPhone voice recorder handy so I don’t forget anything. Now, if I only had time to do something with all those ideas!

  • Where do I like to work? I usually go old school — at my kitchen table, often by candlelight. Yeah, a bit corny but it feeds me. Not too old school though, usually I write on my laptop with a CD blaring from the D drive — appropriate music is key. Current project is being fed by classic ballet scores.

    I am in the process of conducting a series of readings of this new play (the first will happen this week) and boy would three free hours rehearsing at your studios be a Godsend.

  • Neil says:

    A writer here. I do my best work behind the steering wheel of my Nissan. Parked, of course. For some reason moving brings on creativity. When something clicks, you pull into a shady lane — no sun, please — and jot down the riff. Next thing you know, two hours may go by. (Great for driving upstate to see the folks — seven hours of driving and jotting.)

  • Marshall says:

    Hands down: back patio, late evening, laptop, bottle of scotch and good cigar. Get my Hemingway on. 🙂

  • Allison Beauregard says:

    Strangely enough, I feel the most inspired in my laundry room. It doubles as my rehearsal space when I’m at home, and when I close the door I can just shut the outside world out and focus at the task at hand. The room is basically soundproofed, so I can sing, scream, and cry freely without fear of being heard or interrupted. There are no distractions there, so I can pass the hours studying my character without being lured in by Facebook or Twitter. It might not be the fanciest rehearsal studio in the world, but it certainly gets the job done and allows me to do my best work. 🙂

  • Robert says:

    On an empty stage! There is something so magical about it

  • I like the plaza in front of the NYPL Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Centre on a nice day. So much artistic buzz!

  • I get my best writing done not at my computer, but walking, jogging, or sometimes ice skating!

  • Writing music at my grand piano with pencils and staff paper then I move to the computer and Finale software.
    Little known secret! I love production meetings – anywhere and any time!
    And I love being in a casting session watching actors and creative teams collaborate.

  • Place isn’t that important, actually — more important is having had a recent musical experience (concert, jam session, gig, etc.) that has gotten me “thinking in music.” But if push comes to shove, I’d say that being on the bus usually gets things flowing — if only because I’m alone there, undistracted.

  • Gayla Morgan says:

    I tend to recognize when an idea is moving past the incubation stage and is ready for me to scrawl down on paper. I usually don’t know many details about what I’ll be scrawling…it’s just that recognition factor: some voice is ready to speak. Often I’ll be aware of a topic that needs to be addressed, a moment that needs singing in a script and where it is – but I usually don’t have any type of hook ready, or a pre-determined approach to the solution.

    When that moment hits – and, very importantly, if I have blank space in my schedule so that I don’t feel rushed – I sit down at my piano with a blank piece of manuscript paper and a blank look on my face. And I wait.

    Something almost always gets scrawled. And it’s usually a very respectable seed of the song that eventually shows its full face.

    And, just FYI, The Tennis Channel is quite often droning on in the background…

  • Seth Ward Pyatt says:

    Still looking for a perfect spot to work in Manhattan. Ideally it’d be a coffee shop or small cafe with outdoor space. Somewhere not too noisy and distracting but also not too empty and boring. Preferably a hip joint with loads of rich history, nostalgic charm, and calm atmosphere.
    Where does this place exist?!?!

  • Ryan McCurdy says:

    With the exact right people and a well-lit room, sky’s the limit.
    Pending that, the Rubinstein Atrium at Lincoln Center does wonders.

  • George Rady says:

    Great Acting/Singin/Dancing… and NEVER more so than when I attended the Cab Calloway High School for the Arts production of “Les Miz” down here in Wilmington DE!

    I went with some trepidation (it was High School aged kids, afterall) and there was no doubt that no one in the audience was gonna buy into the dramatic characterizations of the story…

    BUT! Those kids took on those roles with such COMMITMENT and such YOUTHFUL VIGOR – and most Important – were having SO MUCH FUN… that they won over the audience with each successive musical number…

    (Okay the audience mostly consisted of Family and Friends who were cheering them on…)

    But it reminded me of TWO things that the most seasoned professionals often forget:

    1.) Have FUN! This is “playing” and – no matter how serious the content (this was “Les Miz” afterall) the audience MUST believe that the performers LOVE being on stage and pplaying for THEM!


    2.) Community! Theatre started, in the dust of time, as a celebration of the community around a camp fire… everyone took part – the performers performed – and the audience… not only watched… but allowed themselves to get caught up in the story so that it was a Religious Celebration of telling a Great Story where everyone felt they were a part of the Live Event where ANYTHING could happen… and everyone HOPED that it would a GREAT!

    And “movies” and “video games” still can’t come close to that!


  • David Arthur says:

    My local library has a “Quiet Room.” It is a large downstairs room, facing a garden with several large tables and chairs. It is meant for quiet work and study. This is where I write. No on talks. No phones. No distractions. I can spread out all my research materials, thesarus, rhyming dictionary, legal pads and pencils – plus my laptop. I don’t have this kind of space and solitude at my apartment. I can stay there for hours – take a break for a bite to eat if I like, and return. When my songs and shows are ready to rehearse, then it’s off to the Davenport studios!

  • While I like to rehearse in a studio , it is fun to just go outside, and run through a scene or even the play in a park.
    The change of venue, being outdoors , it gives the work a different energy .

    I once rehearsed A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM that way, and we got a good crowd to watch and even laugh, which showed that we were going into the right direction .

  • Michael Reed says:

    I get the most done on the nights I’m at work when I’m the first one in and no one else is there yet. It’s a nice quiet time to get the creative juices flowing and I am always really productive during that time.

  • Randy Hobler says:

    There’re two aspects to the creative process. One is getting the ideas, often fleeting germs of ideas,
    and the other is executing them, expanding on them, rewriting. When you say “where do you like
    to work?” with respect to the latter, I obviously have to work at a computer at my desk. In terms of
    getting the ideas, walking, driving, in the shower, while sleeping, on an airplane. To be sure I capture these fleeting sparks, I have a notebook and a digital recorder (to capture music ideas.) Of course,
    your subconscious does a lot of this work and I make it a point to pump up my brain with possibilities,
    paradoxes, etc. before going to bed and often first thing in the morning the perfect idea pops out.

  • Roger Gindi says:

    I find it difficult to get inspired at home so I go to my office.

  • KL Brisby says:

    A quiet room with a computer, a keyboard and a guitar, and available-but-not-too-convenient internet access. And coffee.

  • anita simons says:

    mine is easy…the sun. I live in southern CA, so there’s no excuse not to be inspired to write. No sun, very little inspiration…unless I awake with a new idea for fixing a scene that didn’t work. A typical day: lather on the sunscreen, don sunglasses, have plenty of water and sit down in the sun to rewrite or create new scenes. The only drawback: no salary for doing what I feel compelled to do, but someone has to tell these stories and it might as well be me. In the meantime, I’m getting a tan and if I’m unlucky maybe skin cancer. But then I’ll just write about it.

  • Geri W says:

    I get inspired being outdoors in nature. If I could transfer this great prize to my best friend, an emerging musician living in the city, that would be great!

  • Elliot says:

    I prefer to work in the park. I get inspired by the world around me, and it fuels my creativity.

  • Bruce Roberts says:

    I love to walk around the streets and something always hits me…i find New York and all its people, funny, intelligent and creative, from their clothing to their conversation. When i see such a thing i run back to my office and write it down.

  • Catherine Downey says:

    I get a lot of work done at home…but if I want to ‘get out’ to get a different environment…oh how many hours I’ve spent at the Ace Hotel sandwiched between a bunch of other people on the couches doing work!

  • Alexa B. says:

    Any coffee shop that isn’t too crowded!

  • Rick Hinkson says:

    i do a lot of walking and don’t like to be plugged into earphones, so i do a lot of thinking and planning and daydreaming while walking.

  • Andrew Joy says:

    I like to work at a table, however it is best if the location of the table is different each time.

  • ECP says:

    Walking is often my go-to head-clearer. But it has also become a very productive means of getting, sorting, working through ideas mentally. Now if I could move physically into your space for three hours to shape these thoughts…

  • Douglas Braverman says:

    Believe it or not, I find I am at my most creative while taking a shower. There is something about relaxing under a cascade of warm water that gets my creative juices flowing along with the water.

  • Keni Fine says:

    On a tricycle. In the rain. In a box car. On a train.

  • I work at home on East 44th street. I have people around me. TV Goin’ etc. All started when I was an ad copy writer. Ad agency: Ya gotta be able to write and create with people poppin in and out of your office. Noise. So I used to put on a radio and work on Great Performances. MC’ D radio spots, Star War Toys commercials.
    But when I am in a creative when I needed to write lyrics for a musical premiering in Arizona in a few weeks, I was put in a hotel room with a new lap top to write. I stayed in that room for 3 days, only to pick up food and write. Wrote 17 lyrics that weekend. LOVED IT!! Did the same when I was stranded in a hotel upstate in a HUGH snowstorm. Did it again….Lyrics for the musical!!! I also used to write on the 104 bus when it went for East to West…….

  • I get the most inspired at Jou Jou cafe on 168th. It’s more of a learned behavior because I don’t work well at home, and being a night owl, this is the only 24 hour place where I can spend two bucks and sit for hours without anyone bothering me.

  • fran says:

    I get most of my work done at home, on my computer. I’m blessed with good concentration once I start focusing.

    Most inspired – in the shower. It’s when I stop focusing and my mind relaxes and plays “what if.” What if one of my characters didn’t die inspired me to write a sequel.

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