Caheej AKA MasteSaySay
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Caheej AKA MasteSaySay

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"Splendid pacing and acting make 'Seven Guitars' a seamless melody"

April 27, 2006
"..Director John Pryor pulls off the neat trick of drawing out terrific performances from his talented cast without ever showing his hand. His soft touch guides the play along with a natural ease (he coaxes a nice performance from Barnes, a rookie actor who debuted this season at another local theater and who shows increasing promise).

If Atkins were any funnier, and he is very funny, he might just steal the show -- just not while McGloun is on the stage.

McGloun -- who was the lone bright spot in M Ensemble's recent staging of Ceremonies in Dark Old Men -- once again delivers a standout performance, this time as the leading man. He has a commanding presence, a strong voice and the kind of believability that makes the other actors on stage even better.

The great performances are the ones that look easy. M Ensemble's seamless production of Seven Guitars is so together, it has the feel of improvisation, the sweet melody of truth." - The Miami Herald


"Ceremonies In Dark Old Men"

February 8,2006
"..Set in 1950s Harlem, Russell Parker (Jerry Maple Jr.) is an out-of-workbarber, a failure as a father and a former vaudeville dancer who dreams of days gone by. His wife is recently deceased; his sons Bobby and Theo (Cameron Rabie and Curtis Allen) are criminals, and his daughter Adele (Carey Hart) just barely keeps the house together as the only gainfully employed member of the family. When Theo -- who has a talent for brewing bootleg corn whiskey -- hooks up with a gangster named Blue Haven (Herman McGloun), the two convince Russell to let them use the often-empty barber shop to run whiskey and a numbers racket. The sudden influx of cash and the loss of the family's last shreds of integrity lead to tragedy..
Thirty-seven years after Ceremonies was originally performed by New York's Negro Ensemble Company, perhaps the real tragedy of the play is how poignant its major themes remain: fathers who don't bother, a woman as the household's sole provider, the allure of the hustle rather than the grind of the 9-to-5..
Individually though, there are several fine performances.
McGloun plays the all-angles-covered hustler with depth and a quiet, convincing cool. Hart does a decent job as the play's conscience, though she often mistakes yelling for acting.
And Keith Wade is brilliant in the role of Jenkins, a checker-playing friend of the family and minor investor in the bootlegging venture. "

- The Miami Herald


"`SPUNK' HAS SPARK IN 3 FOLKSY ACTS"

April 29,2003
``I get to the get, with some spit, and some pain and . . . spunk,'' says the Blues Speak Woman (Carey Hart) as she introduces Spunk, the blues-infused, charm-exuding, folksy play-cum-music being presented by M Ensemble. Adapted for the stage by George C. Wolfe from three Zora Neale Hurston stories, Spunk presents three colorful portraits of black life before integration. Though one of the three stories, the middle, takes place in Harlem, Spunk has the imprint of the black South, with its rhythm in its parlance and its blues. The blues are delivered by the team of Ike Woods (Guitar Man) and Val Woods (Blues Singer) and the mellifluous music sets the tone for the storytelling.

Sweat, the first story, centers on Delia (Stacy-Ann Rose), a laundress whose hard work has mostly earned her plenty of abuse from her husband. Sykes (Marvin Gay), pronounced with a sissing ``S'' to denote his snaky character, has devised a plan to get rid of Delia, keep the house she's been paying for years and bring in his mistress. Delia will get the last laugh in this tale that exults womanhood.

One of the joys of the three vignettes is its side characters, local folks who create the sense that the central drama doesn't happen in isolation. In Sweat, Man I and Man II (nicely portrayed by Keith Wade and Herman McGloun) assure us that for the drama of life to be played out, it takes a village.

After a remarkably well-accomplished set transformation (designed by E. Marcus Smith), Sweat is followed by Story In Harlem Slang, a tale about two petty swindlers posturing to outdo one another. With names like Jelly (McGloun) and Sweet Back (Gay), you assume these dudes are smooth. They try to talk the talk and walk the walk of Harlem, but they're from the South, and in Harlem, well, their tactics don't impress. The arrival of a new Domestic Girl (Rose) proves that making it there is not that easy.

Funny and thought-provoking, Sweat and Harlem complement each other in style and delivery creating a solid first part for Spunk. Directed by John Scott, the cast, especially McGloun, Wade and Hart, gets immersed in the various roles.

But direction and performances fizzle for the concluding third story, The Gilded Six-Bits, a story of love and deception. Missy (Carlyne Belot) and Joe (McGloun) are a couple very much in love until Slemmons (Gay) and his ``yellow coin'' splits them up.

Though it feels rushed and muddled, Six-Bits' message of redemption provides an upbeat ending to a play that has no qualms in showing some of humanity's ugly sides. Unfortunately, by then, this otherwise and entertaining play had lost some of its spunk.
- The Miami Herald


"AFRICAN-AMERICAN `STRANDS' IS POWERFUL MASTERPIECE"

February 9,2004
Plays by and about African-Americans appear infrequently in the season line-ups at most South Florida theaters. If they do, the chances are good that it's February - Black History Month - and the theater is motivated more by theme than by passionate commitment.

At the M Ensemble Company, it's a different story.

South Florida's oldest black theater company does an entire season's worth of African-American plays and musicals in its cozy North Miami space, and for this celebratory month, it has come up with a piece of sweeping breadth, a play-with-music that revisits triumphs and tragedies played out over several centuries of history.

Eric L. Wilson's Strands uses dramatic monologues and scenes, poetic passages, pieces of songs and chants, simple movement and elaborate dance to trace the experiences of black men from 18th century Africa to 20th century America.

Seven actors - Meshaun Labrone Arnold, Loye Hawkins, Kwame Riley, Prince Bowie, Herman McGloun, Curtis Allen and Jerry Maple Jr. (who also staged Strands) - take the audience on a journey that begins in 1729 in Africa with the joyous birth of a prince (Arnold) and ends in contemporary America, with the men expressing pride in their history and hope for the future.

Two other distinct ``voices,'' drummers Kai Oginga and Ahmed Jordan, help drive, interweave and underscore the exultant, frightening, terrible and celebratory strands of this powerful play.

Everything you might expect to find in a history-traversing play like Strands is there.

The African prince and his subjects are captured by slave-traders, loaded like cargo onto ships, sent on a horrific journey to America and displayed like cattle at auction. As slaves, they are ordered to ``breed,'' only to see those they love sold off and lost forever.

They serve valiantly in World War II, then discover that their sacrifice means nothing in a racist, unchanged America. A man is lynched for a rape committed by another, but the perpetrators care only that a black man - any black man - is dangling from a wooden bridge.

Wilson takes his men from Southern farms and churches to Northern cities. He touches on fractured families, on the Black Power movement, on domestic violence, on meaningful and meaningless nods to equal opportunity, on the escapist deadliness of addiction.

In terms of the way it's presented, M Ensemble's work can be very basic in comparison to shows at better-funded theaters. With costumes ranging from loincloths to ornate African garb to a basic ``uniform'' of pants, shirts and dance shoes, Strands has simple production values, with lighting designer Apon Nichols washing E. Marcus Smith's deliberately spare set in vibrant colors. But director Maple and the other actors take their observers on a vividly imagined, shared journey.

For Strands to work, all of the men in its acting ensemble have to be able to handle material that ranges from the humorous to the harrowing. No one in this cast fails to measure up; each achieves moments of theatrical power, moments that can be difficult to watch. Most unforgettable are the versatile Arnold, proud and fierce and lost, and Bowie, whose telling of the rape-lynching story is soul-scorching.

To those ``mainstream'' artistic directors who say they'd love to do more black plays if only they could find acting and directing talent capable of delivering the goods, M Ensemble's Strands suggests a question: Have you been looking hard enough?
- The Miami Herald


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

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Bio

Performance art has always been an intricate part of the human survival. It's an instinctive human characteristic that is evident in our common relationships with one another. A random phone conversation between siblings, a heated argument between lovers, the conniving car salesmen; these are all identifiable performance acts that reveal the natural knack that we possess for performance expression.

Herman "Caheej " Mcgloun is a native to the the Metro-Miami areas. He is a theatre-stage actor who has spent several years studying with the FIU Theater Program. He has performed in a number of stage productions throughout the South Florida theatre community. A few of his stage appearances include playing the character of Othello in William Shakespeare's tragic tale, "Othello: The Moor of Venice." He has also worked with Florida's first and oldest running African-American theatre company, the M Ensemble, with whom his performance in Eric Wilson's, "Strands" has received a nomination for Best Ensemble Cast by the prestigious Carbonell Awards. His latest project would be playing the starring role of Mario in this year's most controversial film, "Kidnappings." Kidnappings is Caheej's first full feature film which was produced by Florida's renowned Miami Film Group (www.kidnappings.org). In addition to his acting experience, he has also worked several years in the communications industry as a voice over talent for market-leading radio stations such as 99JAMZ WEDR-FM and Hot 105 WHQT-FM.

Herman "Caheej" Mcgloun enjoys the many facets of the performance arts, thus incorporating his theatre training into his all-original spoken word poetry. He has been a performance spoken word artist for over five years. His talent for evoking and galvanizing audiences has been recognized by renowned industry luminaries such as Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets and Bruce George, Talent Executive Producer for Russell Simmon's Def Poetry Jam. In 2004, Caheej was awarded by the South Florida spoken word community and the E-Literary Group as Best Poet of The Year. In 2005 he would become the second place finalist for the Southern Fried Regional Slam Team Competitions, where him and his slam team members would compete before a international audience. Caheej is soon to release his next cd project: "Language Art" featuring Abiodune from the legendary Last Poets and More. Visit www.MasterSaySay.com for updates and details.