The Hart's Beat

The cardiac cycle functions from one heartbeat to the next. The cycle's frequency generates via the heart rate. Throughout the cardiac cycle, the blood pressure increases and decreases... and is coordinated by a series of electrical impulses produced by specialized heart cells, so forth and so on...
... And so describes the makeup of the City of Hartford (CT), lovingly referred to as The Hartbeat by its residents and supporters. Hartford is the small New England city that ebbs and flows. And with sheer derring-do and tenacity, defends against its detractors even during the low-tide.
There're people who live here despite its unfair reputation, work here and who actually like and enjoy it. The Hartbeat's core is the very people that constantly work toward making the city a better place to live, improving the quality of life for the city's residents. Not content to just sit by idly, thumb up ass or pointing and jeering in mocking "Your city is shit!" tones (one would need to read the comments section of Courant.com to see the nonsense that permeates the feedback section whenever there's a story- good or bad- about Hartford) - Poets, writers, filmmakers, movers and shakers use artistic expression and wonderfully grand ideas to help relay the patchwork of stories that give Hartford its grit and spirit.
I recently was offered the opportunity to work with a group of creative people who are amongst those that make The Hartbeat expand, grow and contract rhythmically. They're fittingly called HartBeat Ensemble and they were able to acquire the means to hire a blogger and videographer to help document the process of their play in progress, "Flipside." 
An advocate for and believer in my city, I am honored to currently hold the blogger position and had the opportunity to watch this group of actors build on what will undoubtedly be a riveting play, giving voice to real people and actual events. HartBeat Ensemble stands out amongst other local professional theaters, because they create their own original works and pay homage to Hartford's history and the current events that affect the city's surrounding communities. 
Monday I sat in on a table reading of Flipside,  and it was definitely interesting to see how actors get into their... zones. The Actor is definitely an interesting breed of artist. The members of HartBeat Ensemble tossed around actor's lingo and gesticulated wildly as they edited certain aspects of the script on the spot. Their language is colorful and I anticipate (and hope for) an increase in its crudeness as rehearsal and preparation treads along. 
There'll be a lot of hip-hop based language, a span through different times during the war on drugs in Hartford, not to mention the technical aspects of the stage work, sound, and lighting will be interesting. This will definitely be a compelling ride to be on... to see a play's inception and then follow the process to fruition... 
It definitely needn't be missed once it reaches the stage at The Hollander downtown. Perhaps the group's presence in their new space will allow them to dance the Rigadoon around The Hartbeat's naysayers and hecklers who claim the city doesn't foster a creativity or who seem to think Hartford is full of nothing more than "Blacks, drug dealers, and poor people." The ignoramuses who truly believe that propaganda would need to have a heart in order to be attuned to what's unfolding in The Hartbeat. And what's unfolding is the work of poets, visionaries, and truly talented people. 
In the meantime, I will enjoy watching these actors flail, act, and gesticulate their way toward the finish line as they work to build a really good play. 
Stay tuned... 

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