Talent can only get you so far but it takes drive and creativity as well if you want to be successful. May-Elise Martinsen is showing that she possesses all three in "59 Days in New York", a musical vlog where Martinsen not only serves as its star and creator, but also has written every song that is performed in each episode.
The vlog centers around a young performer named, Amy. With only 59 budgeted days before she runs out of money, Amy preps for moving to New York City to launch her career as a singer-songwriter. Each episode showcases a different part of her journey from the initial move to New York to securing a highly desirable internship, all while trying to score her first "job".
Each episode not only shows the progression in Amy's mission but also features fully produced songs and choreography. It's ideal for any up and coming performer or for someone who knows what it's like to go through something similar.
The songs are great too. Martinsen shows great promise as a sing-songwriter with catchy melodies and smart lyrics. I had a chance to talk with her about "59 Days in New York" as well as what the future holds.
"I started thinking about writing a musical vlog series when I first moved to New York in February 2013", Martinsen says. "I had graduated from Wellesley College a few months before and my plan was to attend the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at Tisch that September. I had a few months where I would just be interning at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. At the time, writing a musical vlog seemed like a fun, small-scale project that would keep me creative before I started grad school. But of course as I started developing the series, it grew tremendously."
Deciding not to attend Tisch due to both financial reasons and to continue developing "59 Days in New York", Martinson self-produced the first four episode of the shoe before launching a successful Kickstarter campaign last spring. " That campaign lead to yet another growth spurt for the project as we were able to improve the video production values and afford paying for quality recordings and musicians", she said. "Over 40 different cast, crew members, and musicians contributed to Episodes 8 and 9 -- a huge step up from the near one-woman production of Episode 1. Honestly, I couldn't have imagined the series developing in this way back in 2013. "
Originally from Norway, Martinson's family moved to the United States when she was 10 years old. Growing up, her mother helped her develop a strong love for the music of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin.
During high school and the early part of college, she devoted most of her time to singing and performing. But towards the end of college, "I became interested in composition and specifically writing for musical theatre. As part of my senior thesis, I explored writing musical theatre for different mediums, including scored silent film and song cycle. That experience also spurred my interest in creating musical theatre for the most affordable and accessible new storytelling platform (hello YouTube!) when I moved to New York. "
While the series has wrapped, Martinson is leaving the door open for a possible second season but in the meantime is going back to composing, "I'm returning to work on a musical about Norwegian Queen Margrete I, which I began in college."
Queen Margrete I was responsible for uniting Scandinavian countries for over a century in a time where it wasn't custom for a woman to hold such a title. I'm interested already.
I got a real kick out of watching this series and I think you will too. The best way to view the series is on its Youtube channel at"
For more information about May-Elise Martinson, visit mayelisemartinsen.com