Category Archives: Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Story

Hear My Music on the Stuart Meyer Artist Page at ReverbNation

The procrastination has ended and I finally built a social “home” for a portion of my own music library on ReverbNation .  If you are already knew I was a composer and music producer, then simply click hear to visit my page, listen to music and, fingers crossed, help me spread the word .

I composed my first piece of music at age 10 and had originally planned to pursue a career in music.  After several detours in life brought about by fear, insecurity, shyness, false starts and allot of trial/error I’ve spent the last 10 years putting myself and my music out there, mainly through my work in independent film.  Nonetheless, music has been the greatest constant in my life and over the years and regardless of the path I was on, I’ve never stopped composing, writing and recording.

What I’m about to say may hopefully seem more fascinating after you listen to a few of 28 tracks presently posted, but to this day I’ve not made a single cent for my music, volunteering my services for each director/producer I’ve work with up this point… still it remains one of the most gratifying aspects of my life.  I always tell people that if you go into film or music first and foremost to make money, you’re certainly going into it for the wrong reasons.  But if you have a relentless passion, a devotion to your art and focused persistence then one day the opportunities will arise.  This is where I’m at and why I feel the need to get this music out to a larger audience beyond my immediate network of collaborators.

As you’ll read in the bio section of my ReverbNation page ,  I believe there are things in life that we do because we have to… there are things in life we do because we can… and then there are things in our lives we do because we quite simply can’t not do it.  For me… that’s music.  SM

My Greatest Business Weakness is Perhaps My Greatest Personal Strength

As I sit here on this Friday evening reflecting upon the way in which 2011 has started, my thoughts turn to my film shoot this morning over at NCO Youth and Family Services.  What an inspiring organization.  I’m wrapping up the final pieces of production for the documentary film I’m producing about the Naperville Exchange Club’s Ribfest, which places a strong emphasis on non-profit organizations who benefit from all net proceeds.

As I worked through capturing principal and b-roll, my mind couldn’t help but pause to bask in the fact that since I started my own media production venture, I’ve never had a more rewarding and enjoyable year-and-a-half of work in my life, not to mention family balance and plenty of cherished moments around my two rapidly growing little men-in-training.  My business is a thriving success from the standpoint of being able to do what I love for a living connecting and collaborating with great people.  At the same time, there is that uneasy tension that all business owners feel with regard to the nagging need to make money… you know, for life’s indulgent luxury’s such as that roof overhead, food and taking care of the most cherished possession of them all… my children.

I started my business for one simple reason… to live my purpose in the service of others and be an example to my children to follow their passion in life.  I love people… I love to help people solve problems… and I love to tell inspiring stories.  While 2010 was a fruitful year for my business, 2011 has started out as one that leaves that uneasy feeling in your stomach.  Yet, I’ve come too far through my professional and personal evolution in life which was full of its own share of sobering highs and crushing lows to ever considering turning back.

So what’s going on?  Well, I’ve been told by someone very close to me that my weakness is I simply give too much away.  I would be inclined to protest, but the irrefutable evidence against me in the wide span of pro bono and speculative projects I’m working on these days only yields an airtight case.

Even more, I’m a passionate ball of energy when I meet potential clients and end up spending hours of thought and research to bring as much to the table as I can offering up ideas and strategies that most everyone else would require a fee in exchange.  I do it because I simply can’t not do it… it’s the relentless and inexhaustible creativity that takes over.

I’ve been in and around the media business for many years, yet never so focused on taking chances, bringing big creative visions to life and placing my full 150% percent effort into all that I’m producing.  I believe it shines through in the herculean effort and devotion I pour into creative media production.  While I hope to one day be sharing the best examples of the pilot projects I’m working on right now, below are a couple of brief examples.

This is just the beginning for me.  I’ve never expected anyone to “swing open the door” without extending effort.  But I hope and pray each and every day that my blood, sweat, tears, passion and determination earns me that ticket into the door to help tell great stories and to create with a little less fear of where that next check is coming from.  Isn’t that what true dreams… the ones which have been with since your first memory, that something that you were uniquely put on this earth to do… are all about?

It’s been a tough week, yet all I can do is put myself out there and work as hard as I can knowing I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I was meant to do and loving every minute of the creative process.  Perhaps this post might resonate with you and inspire you to think about your own life and purpose.

In the end, maybe I do give too much but I’ve always believed that if we put ourselves out there, working in the service of others and creating value that good things will happen.  For these reasons, I’ll continue to see giving of my God-given talents and abilities as a great personal strength.  I hope that you will do the same for yourself in reflecting upon your own life.  SM

Association Publishing Magazine Features Composer and Filmmaker Stuart Meyer in September/October 2009 Issue

Association Publishing ArticleMy advance apologies for the dreadfully ego-centric sounding headline above.  I simply wanted to make sure this posting was optimized for search engine results… or “SEO” as it is called… which translates into posting views and insures that this story might reach a wider audience.

As many of you know, I’ve spent the second half of this year making the transition toward living and sustaining my life purpose.  This wonderful article, written by the very talented Carla Kalogeridis, provides a deeper perspective on how I am working to translate my humbling gifts and talents into my daily vocation as composer, filmmaker and not-for-profit social media consultant.

Earlier this year, as a step along this journey, I voluntarily composed a theme song (click here to listen) for the Association Forum to be used as a source of motivation for all the not-for-profit association professionals out there who have weathered a very difficult year.  The title of the theme song is “Go the Distance” which pretty much says it all to anyone from any walk of life who has endured this year of economic heartbreak and setbacks.

Within the past couple of months, I was contacted by Association Publishing Magazine about their interest in writing an article about the story behind this piece of music.  If you click here you can read the full article.

As the journey continues, I also invite you to support my current documentary film project, Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Storywhich is an inspiring story about a blue-collar Midwestern kid from Chicago who faces unimaginable triumph and tragedy in pursuing professional and international acclaim in the world of ballet.

When I first met Ken, I knew this was a powerful story that had to be told in a way that is as uniquely creative and as beautifully artistic as his life.  This film will not be your typical documentary, but rather an emotive and inspiring cinematic journey that well leave audiences reflecting, and hopefully acting upon their own inexhaustible purpose and calling in life.

Please join the official Imprévu film group on Facebook by clicking here where you can read our production diary dating back to 2008, listen to clips of film music I’ve composed and see our growing collection of production photos. I also welcome you to spread the word.

Von Heidecke and Meyer to Debut Two Original Ballet Works at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet

DSC_0298The  Von Heidecke School of Ballet of the Chicago Festival Ballet will present  its annual summer workshop performance this Sunday (8/9/09) at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet.   

In addition to student performances, there will be two original works performed by professional ballet dancers relating to my current collaboration with Kenneth von Heidecke.  The pieces are derived from a full-length ballet which Ken and I are currently developing concurrently with our documentary film project, Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Story .

The inside story is as production on the film has progressed over the past year, I found the original score I had been composing and recording telling me a story of its own as I listened over-and-over.  There is one piece of music, in particular, I had composed which unexpectedly summoned memories of an extraordinarily lucid and vivid dream I had shortly after my father passed away from a year-long battle with cancer in 2001.   My own grief had become amplified by the fact my mother lost her battle to cancer in 1997.  There I was, at age 29, sleeping in the only family home I had ever known for the first time in my life in the days after my father’s passing, feeling as though my life’s foundation was vanishing around me.  That night, I dreamed that I was standing along a small winding stream that was running downhill in a dense, yet beautiful forest.  I was paralyzed by my own grief and at a complete loss as to which direction I should travel.  To my astonishment, my mother appeared with a peaceful smile on her face, comforting and reassuring me that this was not a dream, that they would always be with me and that it was time for me to move on with my own life and dreams.  With that, we embraced before she turned and walked away back up the hill into the most beautiful rays of light.  I awoke in a peaceful calm that I had never before experienced and that morning a new sense of resolve began to surface.    

Based on this dream, I introduced the rough storyline I had visualized vividly to Ken along with the music and soon thereafter we had crafted the overall story.  The premise of the ballet flows from the same type of unforseeable and unexpected triumph, tragedy and transcendance which has characterized mine and Ken’s life, as well as the lives of so many others.   The story is as beautifully passionate as it is dark and tragic with the theme resting on the truth that dreams may grow dim, but they never truly die.

The two original pieces which will be performed on Sunday at the Rialto are taken from the second half of the ballet, one a romantic Pas de Deux and the other a high-energy rhythmic piece featuring three male ballet dancers.  The photo above features two professional ballet dancers, Katherine and Shane, who will be performing the Pas de Deux.

The full workshop performance featuring these works along with other performances from all levels of Ken’s school will take place at 2:00 PM on Sunday (8/9/09) at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet.  Tickets are $22 for adults and $20 for Seniors and children under the age of 12.  If you would like to attend, tickets can be purchased at the Rialto Square Box Office prior to the performance at 2 PM or by calling 815-726-6600.  We would love to see you there!

Big News from Stuart Meyer in the World of Naperville

London_ParliamentTo my regular readers, you may have noticed that it’s been nearly a month since my last post to the World of Naperville.  Atop the 4th of July holiday, a week-long vacation and quick business trip to London there has been much change brewing in this Naperville household. 

As many of you may recall, part of my original reason for launching the World of Naperville back in 2006 was to become a virtual activist of sorts, participating in our community despite the fact my job carried me 35 miles away each day.  For a long time, I’ve dreamed of not only living, but also working in Naperville being able to stay connected to our community on a daily basis.  Today, I’m pleased to say that I’ve made the leap of faith.

SF Logo_6-09As of July 2nd, I launched my own social media and association management consulting practice, Social Frequency Media Communications and Association 2020 Consulting right here in Naperville.  It has been natural next step for me and I’m humbly excited to be embarking upon this new venture which moves me further down the path of my life’s purpose. 

ImprevuAdditionally, this move also positions me to focus more time and energy on my current documentary film project, Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Story , which will be finishing principal photography by early 2010 and immediately heading into post-production.

As for the World of Naperville, my new path will provide me more time to focus on my labor of love… this blog.  With that said, upcoming postings this week will focus on Safety Town and a film shoot with legendary opera stage director, John Copley, in London.  SM

Listen to an Excerpt of Original Score from “Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Story”

imprevuGreetings everyone.  I’ve posted the first musical excerpt from the early portions of the score I’ve composed and recorded for Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Story.  As a means to encourage more of you to join the Imprévu Facebook Group I’ve created for the film, the audio file is posted via a video on the main page.  You can access directly by CLICKING HERE .

Again, my approach to this film has been to compose all of the music in advance of post-production to strengthen the score’s role as a storytelling element and to celebrate the relationship between music and ballet.  All music has been composed based on my own musical interpretation of Ken’s story and has factored into all principal photography.  Ultimately, the film will be edited to the music in post-production.

I hope everyone enjoys this first look at the music behind the film.  Even more, I invite everyone to join the Facebook group to read regular updates and interact with me about the film.   Take advantage of this unique opportunity to join the group, interact and participate as development continues on this film project. SM 

Announcing Facebook Group for “Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Story”

kvh_facebook-groupI realized how the World of Naperville has been suffering lately by all of the competing demands.  The moment actually came when my wife’s Aunt from the DC-area was at our home to celebrate Thanksgiving and she made the observation that I haven’t been posting as often.

My sincerest apoligies to everyone as I have really been immersing myself deeply in the film project between shoots and recording sessions for the score.  The good news is I’ve created a special Facebook Group as an interactive behind-the-scenes look at the production side of the film.  In addition to tracking progress, you can interact with me directly through any thoughts, comments or questions you would like to post.  Though I’ve only been up a couple of days, that membership continues to grow.

If you would like to join, visit:

Otherwise, stay tuned to the World of Naperville as I’m on my way back now that we are moving into a quieter December.  SM

Principal Photography Moves to Naperville for Kenneth von Heidecke Documentary Film

Having completed film shoots in Highland Park and Skokie over the past couple of weeks, production moved this week back to Naperville to begin the first of mutilple shoots involving four principal ballet dancers who will play a central role in the blended storyline for this film.  While I don’t want to reveal too much about their connection to the story, I will say that audiences will be invited into the lives of these talented ballet dancers to learn more about their significant commonality.  To Sarah, Stephanie, Ashley and Teanna, I thank you again for opening up your lives to this project. 

In additional news, as you may have noticed, a moment of inspiration found me within the past week and the film title revealed itself.  Imprévu is French for “unexpected”.  As many of you may know, the language of classical ballet is French.  Unexpected is definitely a word I would use to describe Ken’s life.

Through trial, triumph and tragedy, Kenneth von Heidecke’s story supports the very notion that everything in life just might happen for a reason.  Whether you love ballet or not, this film will serve as an inspiration to anyone who has pursued a lifelong dream only to watch it tragically disappear in a heartbeat.  Out of dark despair arises the discovery and realization of a greater unexpected purpose in life.