Rock ‘n’ Rollin’ At A Therapy Concert

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - March 17, 2010
Rock ‘n’ Roll Therapy workshop’s brave graduates will perform at Gordon Biersch this Sunday

Some people dream of performing in front of a sold-out crowd - for me, that’s my nightmare.

I don’t sing karaoke, I don’t sing in the shower, I even hesitate to sing my kids to sleep. Why? Because I know I ain’t good at it, and because I don’t want to torment anyone. But really it’s a huge fear and a false idea that I should only do things I’m good at it.

This is especially why I stand up and applaud the eight individuals who’ll take the stage Sunday at Gordon Biersch. At 6:30 p.m., a group of brave Oahu residents will make the final step in their journey through Rock ‘n’ Roll Therapy, an eight-week workshop designed to help individuals conquer fears and limitations and reclaim authenticity and vulnerability.

The proud graduates of Hawaii’s first Breakthrough Performance Workshop are Cathy Reed, Marcia Zina Mager, Malia Flores, Pam Matsuda, Surta (Gary Culver), Carrie Hyman, Tim Reed and Riley Fernandez.


Created in 1995 by accomplished musician Mick Pulver and wife Tess, the unique program allows participants to channel the power of the voice to make transformative, life-affirming changes.

“Mick says that everybody on the planet can sing and everybody on the planet wants to be fully expressed, but we hold enormous amounts of fears and limitations in our voices,” says Mager, a former MidWeek contributing writer. “So the reason this can be so transformative is you get to meet your fears and limitations that come up. We learned that it’s not about being perfect.”

Mager says that she first heard about the program three years ago from a friend in California.

“After hearing my friend rave about it, what I did was I gave the weekend program based in Santa Barbara to my husband as a Christmas present,” says Mager. “Reluctantly he went, and came back saying it was the best time he had ever had in his life. A year later I did the weekend program in California and was so inspired to do the eight-week workshop, but I knew if I wanted to do it they had to come here. So I arranged to bring them here.”

Phoenix Rose represents Hawaii at SWSX Festival in Texas

For the past two months, Mager and her classmates have held to Pulver’s promise made during the start of the workshop that, when performance time comes, we’ll be ready and we’ll love it.

It was a hard sell for the shy Kapiolani Community College student; massage therapist; a Kahala businessman, who said that he was once thrown out of a karaoke bar because of his voice; a single mom; a seasoned family therapist, who confessed that signing up for this was the most terrifying thing she had ever done, and a 55-year-old journalist who hated the sound of her own voice.

“In a lot of ways, this workshop is meeting your fears and befriending your fears,” says Mager. “It’s as Mick says, ‘learning to work with and dance with your fears.’”

Tickets for this evening of courage cost $15. Money raised will benefit the Honolulu Waldorf School.

Weekend Workshops are March 26-28, April 16-18 and May 14-16. The next breakthrough eight-week workshop begins April 24. For more information, visit ...

Phoenix Rose, a local metal/hard rock band, is gearing up to take on Texas at the South By Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival next week.

Band members Colin Kop (guitar), Isaac Waters (guitar and lead vocals), Paul Van (drums) and Jack Jackman (bass) can’t wait to make their debut appearance at the popular festival.

“This is our first trip out there, so we don’t really expect too much,” says Van. “We just plan on putting on a good show. We’re hoping that there will be people there who will see us and help us get to the next step. Basically we want to be able to be on the road and touring- living the dream.”

The band took form in 2007, and the guys have spent most of their time gigging throughout Oahu and the Mainland, and just got back from a tour covering Washington and Oregon.

“The styles of music we play are not the more known styles in the Islands, so it’s a challenge for us to set a name for ourselves,” says Van. “But at the same time, it seems it was easy because we were able to infiltrate the people who were into it.”

The group describes its music as high-energy, aggressive, but positive. Focused on putting out original music, songwriting has become a group effort that’s resulted in a recent EP recording.

“One of the main goals in our songwriting is to be best realistic to any type of feeling we have,” says Kop. “We try to be mostly positive with what we write, and inspire whoever is listening.”

Following the performance at the SXSW Festival, Phoenix Rose will be back in the studio to record some new material ...

Good luck to both groups!

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