Ray Caspio

"a shapeshifter of an actor" - Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Liza Minnelli Sketch

Bless me, Liza, for I have sinned. It's been over three years since I've been to church.

At least the last mass I attended was at the Palace. It was the last concert my grandma attended. A year ago today was the last time I saw my grandma at a place that wasn't the hospital or under hospice care at her house, where she passed away on May 23rd.

So many wonderful memories are connected with Grandma and attending Liza concerts at her side.

Happy Valentine's Day!

For Valentine's Day, I wanted to share a Liza Minnelli performance with you. It's no secret I'm a huge fan, having seen her live 11 times since June, 2002. If you're looking for a master class in performing, just buy a ticket to one of her shows.

Here I'll Stay/Our Love is Here to Stay is one of my favorite songs and the song that played at my wedding, so it holds great meaning for me. It's a promise. It's a commitment. It's to one person or an entire audience, or making an entire audience feel like one person. This particular performance is a stand-out.

It's clear her vocals aren't up to what they can usually do, but Liza is the master of working with whatever she has at the moment and giving it fully. And giving, she is. Every gesture in this song is an open one. Whether it's opening her heart, repeatedly, to the audience or painting the picture of her environment, she is sharing through her ultimate exclamation of "Here I'll stay," when she tears her heart open, stands emotionally naked, and sends her love out to the universe. The connection is made. She'll have them the entire show.

It's not ever about a voice: it's about a heart.

Fast forward to 5:05 to watch.

liza minnelli

Here's to hoping Liza wins a well-deserved Tony for Liza's at The Palace.... this Sunday! I've been fortunate enough to see Liza perform numerous times over the past seven years (seven years as of June 1st!), and she keeps getting better and better.  Every performance is an event.  I've learned so much from Liza about art, acting, and life, and this illustration is one way of thanking her for everything she's given me. Thanks to Kevenn T. Smith for helping out with colors.  I could not have done this without his input and expertise.


Liza Minnelli 11″ x 17″ Pencil, Illustrator Detail view:

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background photos by Frank J. Lanza Photography, courtesy of Theater Ninjas
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Ray Caspio received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship. The Fellowships is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Funding for the Fellowship program is made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.