Love Bytes says hello and welcome to author Ken Bachtold joining us today to talk about new release “A Compagny of Players” , set in Dreamspinner Press’ State of Love Series.
Welcome Ken 🙂
You’ll find all the standard information below, but I wanted to give you some background on how the book came to be, as it is in many ways quite different from my former Dreamspinner books. Mainly, this is because the story line is quasi-autobiographical! So many of the elements in the story were taken from similar scenarios in my real life. For instance, I did, indeed graduate from San Francisco State University (with a BA & MA in Theater and a minor in Art). Hence, all the theatrical references in the story (the plays mentioned, etc.) are quite authentic. The whole audition process described in the book is exactly as it played out in real life. When Nick returns to San Francisco, the descriptions of the cable cars and the Fairmont Hotel are exactly as depicted.
I came to New York from San Francisco (passing up a great teaching job) mesmerized by the “lure of the bigtime”, i.e., Broadway. Luckily, I was able to join Equity by playing on of the fathers in the S.F. running production of The Fantasticks! However, when I thought this was halfway along the path to a part, even a tiny one, which proved not to be the case. The first time I walked into an Equity audition, it seemed there were are least a million guys who looked just like me! I did eventually manage to get an audition for a Broadway musical! But, when my turn to sing came along, I was so nervous (singing that old standard “My Funny Valentine”) I sharped about a note and a half. As I walked away I thought to myself, “Maybe it wasn’t all that bad.” As I passed by them, all the people waiting to audition quickly looked right at the ground. Ah well, and so it goes . . .
Finally, I decided, as does Nick in the story, to start my own company (hell with those fuzzed up people who couldn’t recognize real talent – hubris much?) Naturally, I called it A Company of Players. I ended up with a core group and auditioned for any additional parts. We managed five plays! So, all the chaos surrounding the setting up of a theater and staging a play are directly from memory. And, as usual, I choose New York as my setting, so as to keep the background as authentic as possible, i.e., the little square mentioned in the story. I hope this information is interesting and helps. I’ve attached the cover to this email, created by the fabulous Reese Dante, who at my imploring did my last three covers. She’s a true artiste!
Ken Bachtold (Friendlykenn@aol.com
Company of Players
Leaving romantic wreckage behind him, Nick Charles and his best friend Barb Anderson use Nick’s sizable inheritance to fly to one of the most exciting places in the world—New York City—with plans to open their own theater. In doing so, they meet Ross Gordon, the handsome real estate man and actor, and Rudy his construction-worker cousin. Ross is determined to heal Nick’s fragile heart, while shy Rudy and oblivious Barb stumble toward their own connection. Will Rosie Dupree, a rigid method actress, and talented but devious Gordon Holmes destroy their theater dreams? Was choosing the original piece, Starting Over, by an unpublished young playwright the best move for opening night? Will the two invited critics show up? Amid the frantic and colorful world of the New York City theater scene, Nick and Barb must open their hearts and risk everything for their endeavors to succeed—both on the stage and behind the scenes.
The book can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel.
I can be found at the following under my name, i.e.:
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Ken Bachtold Biography
BA & MA from San Francisco State University in Theatre (Acting and Directing) with a minor in Art.
When I constantly had trouble finding the type of book I liked to read, I finally said to myself, “Why don’t you stop moaning and write one yourself?” So I did. I was thrilled to the marrow (literally) when Dreamspinner accepted Seeing the Same Blue. Then followed acceptance of Blue Valentine Blues, part of their Valentine anthology. Next, came acceptance of All By Myself, Mood Indigo and now A Company Of Players is being released on March 22, 2017. My cup runeth over! All books can be found on Amazon and Barnes& Noble
Before that, Outskirts Press published Love Like Lightning – Ten Stories of Love at First Sight, also on Amazon.
My original play, Starting Over (which I also directed), was just staged as part of the Ninth Annual Fresh Fruit Festival here in New York. Audience reaction was terrific. It was one of nine plays accepted out of 60 submitted. It was an MM romance. The blurb in the brochure for the festival read, “A play about love and loss. Griff has recently lost his longtime partner. Can he find happiness with Ben, the new neighbor down the hall? He’s supported by his sister and opposed by his widowed mother, now remarried to a homophobic preacher.”
I’ve also written 4 musicals, book, music and lyrics.
Saloon (loosely suggested by the old melodrama The Drunkard) which opened The Gatetway Dinner Theatre in New Jersey to great reviews (I can forward them if you wish). It was subsequently optioned by Broadway producer Jerry Schloschberg (who, at the time was, producing the revival of On The Town with Bernadette Peters), but a show sluggishly following the old material opened and closed the same night, and he backed off thinking there was now a “stigma” on the material.
The Facts of Life (a musical about War, Prejudice and Aging, circa the ’60s) was written at the BMI Music Workshop, taught by Broadway legend, Lyman Engle, and only after several auditions before acceptance in the class. It was deemed worthy of a staged reading there.
Boo! based on the old gothic novel The Castle Spectre was done by several regional theatres.
I was hired to doctor a musical based on Iphigenia At Aulis, called The Winds Of Aulis. I changed the name to Dilemma! and wrote a subplot and mostly new lyrics. Although the play was fully backed, it never reached production and I never found out why.
I’ve written and staged numerous night club and cabaret acts and taught singing for the musical stage for 15 years.