by Lisa Roma

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Years ago, someone told me that I minister thru my music. I had not thought of it that way. At least, I had forgotten what I originally knew.

During a moment of depression when I was 15, I vowed in prayer to help and heal people and make them happy using all my creative talents, the ones I knew about and the ones I had yet to discover. And in that moment, had a glimpse into the future and knew that I would be combining my natural talents with new creative skills in unique ways in the future to “make a difference.” From then on, I was always conscious of having clear mind and pure loving thoughts whatever I was creating, music, art or poetry.

Since age 2, my father had accustomed me to listening to every genre of music in his record collection, and I especially loved Broadway showtunes. I began writing poetry at 16, and composing songs on piano when I was 17. I desperately wanted to learn guitar, and have been self-taught since age 20, when I opened up to receive divinely inspired “songpoems.”

Never having studied theatre, I began writing the outline for my first musical in the mid-1990s. Shortly after auditioning for Rob Darnell’s Poetic Notion Chorus in December 2006, we discovered we had separately been writing the same musical over the years. This began our collaboration, and the Half Moon Theatre Company was born. We’ve been performing our music together and co-producing various music shows ever since, highlighting other artists’ work besides our own. We are currently working on developing Arts and Education workshops for youth.

Last year, I had an intention to bring writing to the prison population. This year I am giving ex-prisoners a voice thru writing workshops in a NYC organization, hoping they will want to publish, and eventually introducing them to theatre and spoken word performance. Whomever I work with, I bring the art of spiritual peacemaking, and I see healing take place.