Listen to the interview:
Malcolm Cross moved to Los Angeles from London for a record contract he signed with his band. Thanks to the charm of the city, the opportunities, and a lovely American woman who eventually became his wife, Malcolm never ended up leaving. Since moving to L.A, Malcolm has achieved the musician’s dream. He makes a living scoring music for films, documentaries, commercials, and playing shows with his band. He’s toured across South America, Asia, Europe and the States. Still, something seemed to be missing. Malcolm explains that, “as a professional musician it can feel like it’s all about me… it can be very egocentric. Teaching is one way to give back, especially working with something like the Possibility Project.”
The Possibility Project uses performing arts education to empower youth to give back to their communities. Although the program originally started in Washington D.C. it has since spread to cities across the U.S. as well as to cape town South Africa and Tel Aviv, Israel. The goal of the program is to create engaged community leaders. Youths join the program for a one-year period during which they write and perform their own musical theater production about their lives.
Malcolm joined the organization’s L.A. chapter as the program’s musical director. He describes his role as primarily an editor. Rather than writing or composing music for the show, he helps the teens turn their own musical ideas into a reality. Malcolm noticed that the teamwork and the intensity of the creative process required to create a show allows the participants to process many of the issues they are writing about. “As much as the content of the show, I think its this feeling of, ‘we just created this company this team of people that can rely on each other, that know each other well and who have got each other’s backs,’” says Malcolm.
This past L.A. Possibility Project performance was put on by an all-foster-care cast. It was through this production that Malcolm met participant Adreanna “AJ” Patterson, co-writing the song “Shine,” which Adreanna performs in a magnificent solo. Enjoy this interview with Malcolm and AJ, and keep your eye out for the next possibility project performance near you.
Published October 3, 2013