Today we’d like to introduce you to Blake Ward.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Blake. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
It’s 2012, the summer of my sophomore year entering into my junior year at Loyola Marymount University (graduated with a B.A. in Theatre Arts). I am back home in Santa Cruz, CA, and had just gotten off the beach from playing beach volleyball. I get in my car and drive along our famous West Cliff Drive passing by one of Santa Cruz’s favorite surf spots. All of a sudden, “California Girls” by The Beach Boys comes on the radio and like a bolt of lightning it hits me… “I need to write THE Beach Boys musical.”
I went home and immediately downloaded the famous all-time best hits album, “Sounds Of Summer,” and began to write. Now, there are two different types of “jukebox musicals;” the music biopic version, such as Jersey Boys (Frank Vallie and The Four Seasons), or the original narrative version, such as Mamma Mia (ABBA). I took the Mamma Mia route, so I could bring iconic Beach Boys characters to life such as “Barbara Ann” and “Rhonda.”
By the time my senior year hit (2014), I had finished the first draft of the musical and choose to submit Sounds Of Summer for my senior thesis. After receiving a perfect score, the heads of my department told me the musical was amazing, and I needed to get it in front of the band. I knew in my heart of hearts this musical was going to be the next big hit musical, so I put my nose to the grindstone and began to pound the pavement.
I was nervous at first, but the best advice I have ever been given in this town is, “Don’t be afraid to ask people for things. The worst they are going to say is no.” Fast forward to today, my production team and I are currently approaching A-List talent, have met The Beach Boys, secured funding and distribution, and are currently organizing a premier at United Recording of the short film in April – to pitch Sounds Of Summer to the studios and the band. This project has been in the works for over seven years – off the record reporters from Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter have read it, and given their voice of approval, it is THE next big hit musical.
The same summer I started writing Sounds Of Summer, I was working at my old elementary school as a summer camp counselor. It was music appreciation day, and as a musician, I was in charge of it. The kids ranged from kindergarten to 8th grade. “Alright, class, who here has heard of the song, ‘California Girls’?” They all raised their hands. “Okay, who wrote it?” All at once the class yelled out, “Katy Perry!” After hearing that, I played the real California Girls by The Beach Boys, and the class all began to get up and dance goofing around, having a great time.
The Beach Boys are iconic, to see them fade away into history is something that cannot happen – Sounds Of Summer will help, “…spread the love and sunshine to a whole new generation.”
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It all comes down to your drive – how badly you want something. I know many friends who had the same dreams as me but only stayed here in LA for two years thinking they were going to break in over night. It doesn’t work like that. Nothing comes to you easily in life. You have to work hard day in and day out to get what you want. When an opportunity presents itself, take it. If you don’t, you will always regret it for the rest of your life.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
G.O.A.T. Squad Productions is a new production company. Our mission statement is to bring forth brand new and original ideas. How many times are they going to make a Spider-Man or King Kong remake? Hollywood has lost its creativity, we are here to change that.
What were you like growing up?
Outgoing, enthusiastic, passionate, fun, a natural born leader. I was never apart of a “click” in middle school or high school. I was friends with everybody, always wanting to lift people up – put people before myself. If I could make someone smile that was having a bad day, I did my job. I still, hold these values true to who I am today.