Cynthia Kaplan inspires instant fandom for her smart subversiveness. Though she also goes by Cindy and has blonde curls, she would eat that Brady Bunch Cindy for breakfast. We invited her to be an Ideasmyth Featured Creative during our Interdependence month because I see her as a multi-genre cross-pollinator and master collaborator. She’s got a really rich bio for one young dame. This week, enjoy your daily dose of Kaplan’s darkly funny career highlights embellished with creative process backstories.
~Victoria C. Rowan, Ideasmyth Creatrix-in-Chief
Sometimes the best way to get people to hear your music is to give them something to watch. I played this new song at gigs all winter, and I knew that if I didn’t make a video before the snow melted I’d regret it. I give you “We Were the Donner Party,” a four-minute documentary short/music video I made in the style of Ric Burns as a child on crack. “We Were the Donner Party” is the true story (set to music but not a musical, per se) of ninety pioneers who became stranded in the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the winter of 1846. I don’t know if any of you recall that winter, but it was a motherfucker.
After you watch it I know that you will all be asking yourselves that age-old question: Why did a grown woman do this? [Ed. Note: Enter the password donner to view the video]
See more of Cynthia’s Featured Creative posts on our Ideablog
~~~Cynthia Kaplan is a comedian, actress, and the author of two acclaimed collections of comic essays, Why I’m Like This: True Stories and Leave the Building Quickly. She has been published in newspapers, magazines, and humor anthologies, and has written for both film and television. She has performed her comic works at Naked Angels, The Atlantic Theatre, Moonwork, and Dixon Place among many others, and has appeared in many plays and some films. She co-wrote and appeared in the indie favorite Pipe Dream, starring Martin Donovan and Mary Louise Parker. She was the co-creator and co-host, with Nancy Giles, of the long-running New Jack Paar Show at the West Bank Café. Her band, The Cynthia Kaplan Ordeal, has played in theaters and rock clubs throughout the country, including NYC’s Joe’s Pub, City Winery, the Cutting Room, and The Kitting Factory. The band recently released its first album, FANGRY, whose songs have won prizes in international song contests and whose video Merry Christmas to You! was voted a top Christmas video on funnyordie.com. Her newest video, We Were the Donner Party, is headed to the Acme Comedy Festival in LA this month. She writes plays and songs for the 52nd Street Project. She has never appeared on Law & Order.