About CHRIS BLISSET
Chris Blisset is an actor-musician, director, music director, and teacher dedicated to the advancement of actor-musicians. His qualifications include:
• An M.F.A. in Theatre Pedagogy.
• A B.A. in Theatre (Acting Concentration).
• Over 140 Professional Contracts of Actor-Musicianship (As Actor-Musician, Director, Music Director, Choreographer, Arranger).
• Taught Actor-Musicianship, Acting at Virginia Commonwealth University.
• Teacher and Organizer of many private Actor-Musicianship Workshops.
• Several Visiting Lectures at Universities and Professional Theaters.
• Studied Actor-Musicianship on Two Continents.
• Years of research into the origins Actor-Musicianship.
• Assistant Instructor of Musical Theatre, Audition Showcase, Script Analysis, others at Virginia Commonwealth University.
One of the turning points for the actor-musician movement in the UK was when we began to recognize it as a distinct discipline with its own attendant training agenda. Chris Blisset understands this and has been tireless in supporting the development of actor-musicianship in America. His work is informed by many years of professional practice, an openness to exploring new approaches to training, and a commitment to nurturing this most vibrant of ways to share stories with audiences.
Jeremy Harrison - Author of the book Actor-Musicianship, MA Program Director, Actor-Musicianship, Rose Bruford College, UK.
Chris “Red” Blisset is the most valuable mentor, resource, and champion of Actor-Musicianship I have come to know. As a mentor, his enthusiasm for the subject immediately engages his students. He backs his energy up with an arsenal of knowledge and experience which is imparted through group-focused exercises and personalized attention to every student’s strengths. It is rare to find someone with a passion and energy that keeps on giving like Red’s.
His once-a-year Actor-Musician workshops in NYC should not be missed. The leaders of each mini-masterclass have their hands deep in the work. Not only does it provide professional opportunities for networking, but the amount of personal gain felt from each participant is invaluable. Red has a way of bringing people into a room and creating the warmest, most nurturing spaces that only serve to encourage and uplift artists of all backgrounds.
Denver Crawford – Student of Actor-Musician I at Virginia Commonwealth University, and work-study scholarship recipient for Actor-Musicianship NYC II, 2019.
I have had the pleasure of hiring Chris “Red” Blisset as director for two of our recent actor-musician musicals at Saint Michael’s Playhouse and could not have placed those productions in better hands. His multitude of strengths (which include extraordinary musicianship, leadership, creative thinking, and compassion) combine to make him a perfect candidate to lead performers, creative team members and production staff to highly successful theatrical productions. From concept to opening he is a champion.
Chuck Tobin - Artistic Director of Saint Michael’s Playhouse, Colchester, Vermont.
I’ve been trying to take my Once audition to the next level. A friend suggested that I schedule a one-on-one with Chris. I couldn’t be happier that I did! If you’re looking to get some honest, straightforward feedback that will help you take that next step. Do yourself a favor and work with this man!
Craig Foster – One-on-One Student.
On several occasions Chris “Red” Blisset and I have collaborated on professional theatrical projects as Director-Musical Director. As a musical director, he is an excellent collaborator who brings an innate musical talent, vast acquired knowledge, passion and professionalism to his work. His expertise in the genre of musicals that employ actor-musicians has afforded him the status of a being much sought-after artist within the industry.
Michael Licata – Actor/Director. As an actor, he has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway regionally and internationally - under Bob Fosse, Harold Prince, and Albert Marre.
As a director, he has helmed nearly one hundred productions.
Chris "Red" Blisset is one of my favorite directors to work with. He takes entertainment and turns it into art by infusing the process with humanity and inclusion of people and ideas. He has an incredible talent for weaving together music, musical instruments, text, and bodies in space to create compelling story telling. I would have happily called his production of Godspell or Once until I retired!
Molly McCarter - Stage and Production Manager, faculty member at UNCSA. Her work includes productions at The New Victory, Berkeley Rep, Second Stage, Blue Man Group, Yale Rep and Shakespeare & Company.
Chris Blisset is the real deal. He’s one of the finest musicians I’ve ever worked with in this industry and makes the actor-musician track in a musical seamless. He’s a master at the craft of being an Actor-Musician, blending the two worlds to the point that the actor and instrument become one.
Kurt Stamm - Producing Artistic Director of Mason Street Warehouse.
Chris Blisset is an extraordinary director. He cares deeply and this care becomes obvious during the rehearsal process in the way he works with actors, crew and staff. Chris accepts you as you are in the moment and works from there, giving an actor unparalleled freedom and opportunity. Everyone brings their ‘A’ game, not only because they want to bring their best to the table, but because it is expected and demanded. These high standards create a magical space to play, devise and initiate meaningful theatre. Chris brings back the concept of ritual to the theatre and this alone generates an energy of success and wonder among the cast and crew that translates to the audience. He works with compassion, love and respect and puts on one hell of a production.
Matt Ferrell – Assistant Professor at Winthrop University, Actor, Director.
Red understands the intricacies of actor-musicianship in a way that I have not found with any other coach. I enjoy the clear focus and energy he shares during a one-on-one coaching. His passion for the art form and for teaching is evident, and he successfully pairs it with the knowledge from his studies and his career. In a short time, he has helped me feel more grounded and achieve deeper understanding with my work as an actor-musician.
John Fitzpatrick – One-on-One Student.
I've always been an instrumentalist and an actor, not seeing how to combine the two worlds. As a black woman it was hard to see a place for myself in shows like Once and Bright Star. A friend recommended Chris Blisset's Actor-Muso workshop, and I nervously committed to going. Boy am I glad I did!
There were many different levels of musicianship in class, so I never felt judged for my lack of knowledge of this particular world. At the same time, everyone felt challenged to improve their craft - even the Broadway veterans! It was amazing to find a network of artists with the same goal - to make instruments more than a gimmick.
Take his class. You will feel confident in forming emotional connections with your scene partners as well as your instrument. You will form bonds for life - even if it's just with your guitar! Chris really loves what he does, and anyone who meets him can't help but join #TeamRED.
Rachel Lyn Fobbs – Student of the 2nd Annual Actor-Musician NYC workshop.
Cast member, first national tour, Escape to Margaritaville.
I had a great one-on-one session with Chris. His experience and insight with casting, teaching, and working in the Actor-Musician field is a great asset to have in your corner. His coaching and suggestions were helpful and specifically tailored to highlight my strengths, and build confidence in my areas of difficulty. it also doesn't hurt that he's a genuinely great and caring person!
Joey Boover – One-on-One Student.
AWARDS & NOMINATIONS
Wilde Award, 'Best Musical Direction', Once, Mason Street Warehouse, 2019 (Music Direction by Chris Blisset).
Wilde Award, 'Best Musical', Once, Mason Street Warehouse, 2019 (Associate Direction by Chris Blisset).
Creative International Film Festival, 'Best Score', Life is Funny, 2016 (Score composed by Chris Blisset and Larry Tobias).
Wilde Award Nomination, 'Best Supporting Actor in a Musical', Once, Mason Street Warehouse, 2019 (Role of 'Billy' played by Chris Blisset).
Irene Ryan Nomination, Prelude to a Kiss, Western Illinois University.