Kicking off 2017 With Some Fine Southern Flair

Hey Y’all!

We are just wrapping up the first month of 2017, and I’m excited for what this year will bring. It’s already been a productive month of preparations for the upcoming audition season with only a few broken New Year resolutions. (I’m still going to the gym, if only occasionally.)

However, the highlight of my month was to join my favorite group of actors for Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s Literary Salon, Eudora Welty: Mississippi Myth. 

Property of Tennessee Shakespeare Company. 2017

Eudora Welty: Mississippi Myth/PC: Jillian Barron, TSC 2017.

I had the honor to perform beside the marvelously talented TSC actors Dan McCleary, Stephanie Shine, Marquis Archuleta, and Jillian Barron for this fun-filled night that included Welty inspired cocktails (Haymaker punch, anyone?) and readings from her works. Stephanie Shine curated the event and included selections of Welty’s short stories such as the well-known “Why I Live At the P.O.” and the heart-breaking “The Whistle.”

It was a magical night dedicated to Southern culture and art.  I always give thanks to the generous sponsorship and support that helps organizations like TSC thrive to enrich the community and give actors like me a marvelous place to play and create.

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Eudora Welty: Mississippi Myth/PC: Jillian Barron, TSC 2017

The Eudora Welty: Mississippi Myth Literary Salon was quite a party that we won’t soon forget. Fortunately for you guys that missed this swinging shindig, TSC has yet another Southern Literary Salon in April! Visit www.TNShakespeare.org to buy tickets for the Flannery O’Connor: Georgia Gothic Salon on April 21, 2017.

Until Next Time,

Merit

 

 

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“The Winter’s Tale” @ TSC

Hey y’all!

It’s getting colder here in Memphis as we approach the winter season. As much as I’m glad not to have the miserable humid heat of summer, this Southern gal doesn’t do particularly well in icy temps.

Fortunately,  William Shakespeare wrote such a play for those of us who need some extra warmth to our bones during these solemn months, and Tennessee Shakespeare Company in collaboration with the Memphis Hunt and Polo Club is playing host to such a merriment.  Join us for none other than a staged reading of The Winter’s Tale 12:30-3:30pm on November 20, 2016.

I am fortunate to play but a small role (Dorcas) alongside a company of tremendous actors sure to enchant and entertain.

What’s even better than Shakespeare with TSC, say you? Only Shakespeare WITH BRUNCH FOODS. That’s right. Your ticket to The Winter’s Tale includes a delightful buffet to enjoy before the show (cash bar available as well). So hurry and visit www.tnshakespeare.org to get your tickets today!

Until Next Time,

Merit

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“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out! “

Hey y’all,

Halloween is over, and we’re speeding into the holiday season. You may not be in the holiday spirit yet (normally I wouldn’t be either), but I’m lucky enough to have an AWESOMELY FUN directing project that makes me start thinking about candy canes, Christmas carols, and B.B. guns. Yes, that’s right!  B.B. Guns. It’s all part of our production of A Christmas Story: The Musical at Harrell Theatre .

We got everything from fast, fancy footwork, beautiful vocals, leg lamps, and even the occasional Bumpus hound, too!

All of us young and young at heart are working hard to make this a special treat for the whole family. Be sure to come see us at Harrell Theatre December 3-11, 20016.  Click here for more info and tickets. 

 

Until next time,

Merit

 

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“To Kill A Mockingbird” at TSC

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“Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” -Harper Lee

Hey, y’all!

Rarely do I have the opportunity as an actor and artist to be a part of something so poignant and life changing as my current project with Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s To Kill A Mockingbird  (running Sept 24-Oct 2, 2016). Not only do I acutely identify with Harper Lee’s voice as a Southern woman writer, but I also struggle with coming to terms with the injustice and inequality in my country and in my home of the Deep South. Lee’s narrative strikes profound resonance in my being, affecting every nerve in me.

The beauty of her work is that these heroes and villains are so heartbreakingly human. As Atticus explains to Scout, “This time we aren’t fighting the Yankees, we’re fighting our friends. But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.” It is with this type of understanding that we at TSC have approached the story, not as a means to attack but rather as a vehicle for understanding.

This production of To Kill A Mockingbird  with Tennessee Shakespeare Company has been a phenomenal experience for me. The cast and crew have such care and consideration for this poignant story. I weep that this story is still relevant to today’s times of poverty, violence, and darkness; however, I’m proud that I have the opportunity to be part of this work. Like Miss Maudie tells Scout, “Well, we’re taking a step–it’s just a baby step, but it’s a step.” 

We have only this weekend of shows left (Sept 29-Oct 2, 2016). I’d love to share this with you. Tickets available at the door at Hutchison School or at www.tnshakespeare.org.

Until Next Time,

Merit

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Takin’ Over Huey’s and OSTRANDER NOMINATIONS

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

Just want to say THANK YOU for everyone that came to Huey’s Collierville to #showup and #showout with fellow Merit Koch & Co. members. If you didn’t make it to the Collierville show, you missed a great time! We had over 40 MK & Co. members enjoying the best burgers in town along with some great music.

But you don’t have to miss the next MK & Co. party! Come on out to Huey’s Southaven THIS SUNDAY (AUG 21) from 8pm-12am.  Click here to get all the details and RSVP to the Huey’s Southaven takeover here on Facebook.

 

OSTRANDER NOMINATIONS FOR “RING OF FIRE’

In addition to having a fabulous time with the MK Company members at Huey’s Collierville (you guys know how to have a good time), I’m also feeling unbelievably grateful about the Ostrander nominations for Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash.  The Ostrander Awards celebrate all the great professional, community, and college theatre productions in the MidSouth. Not only did we get a nominations for Best Small Ensemble but I also got Best Leading Actress in a Musical.  Click here for the full list of nominees. Can you say #blessed?

UNFORTUNATELY, the awards ceremony is the same Sunday night as the HUEY’S SOUTHAVEN TAKEOVER. There’s only one thing to do: throw a party. So grab all your friends and lets make Aug 21 a night to remember for the MK & Co. Huey’s Takeover!

 

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The Cast of Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, 2015

 

Until Next Time,

Merit

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July Updates

Hey you!

How are you? Yes, I know it’s been a month(ish) since I’ve posted but here’s all the updates of what’s going on with Merit Koch & the Company (that includes all of you awesome people that are helping me as a musician by #ShowingUp and #ShowingOut.) PLUS, check out the awesome shows for this fall!

Meet Me in Memphis⏤Singer-Songwriter Night @South Main Sounds                -June 24, 2016-

South Main Sounds is an amazing organization that promotes local musicians in the Memphis area. Their weekly Friday “Songwriter Nights” are no exception. I had the great honor to share the stage with awesome regional artists while also playing my originals. Here’s just  a glimpse from this amazing, music-filled night.

Huey’s Southaven Takeover (June 26, 2016)

Thanks to all the friends and fans who #ShowedUp and #ShowedOut for my first gig at Huey’s Southaven. I was so happy to see everyone come out and help me #TakeOverHueysSouthaven. It was a night filled with great music and (of course) the best burgers in the Memphis Area! Missed this show? Come on out and see me (same time, same place) August 21st!

Memphis Farmer’s Market (July 9, 2016)

Some of my favorite gigs are festivals, arts fairs, and farmers markets. These events always have a deep sense of community, where friends and neighbors come together to socialize and support craftsmen and farmers. I always meet the most generous people at these gatherings, and the Memphis Farmer’s Market was no exception. Hosted by South Main Sounds, the Farmer’s Market music stage brings musicians all over the city to fill the space with a perfect Saturday morning soundtrack for shoppers and vendors alike. Throughout my set, I had the opportunity to break out the egg shakers for the kids, play Johnny Cash and Cyndi Lauper for their parents, and perform some Adele for Gen Y’ers like me. While I did get some money in my tip jar, I was overwhelmed by the farmers and merchants who gave me peas, squash, cantaloupe, and more. Making friends like these is why I love my job.


Upcoming Shows

Want to be part of the Merit Koch Company? I need help by #showingup and #showingout at this August gigs. Join us as Merit Koch & Company takes over these fine music establishments.

  • Huey’s Collierville–August 14, 2016 (8pm-11:30am)
  • Huey’s Southaven–August 21, 2016 (8pm-12am)

Yup, that’s right. We’re back! Come on down to Huey’s Southaven for an awesome time of burgers and jams by yours truly. Fun for the whole family!

 

XOXO,

Merit

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Tracks of Art and New Content!

Howdy, Y’all!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog update. Fortunately, I’ve got some seriously cool things happening and want to share with you!

Tracks of Art

A few weeks ago I had the awesome opportunity to play at the Holly Springs Depot for “Tracks of Art.” Dozens of local artists exhibited their works and created a wonderfully supportive environment with their generosity and encouragement to everyone around. I walked away from the gig energized by this creative group to dream bigger, work harder, and help more in community. #blesssed

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Then my original “Fool’s Romance” was featured in the Holly Springs Depot promotional video! I am so happy that Megan Wolfe allowed me to collaborate by providing my original songs to her awesome photo slideshow.  She is an amazing photographer and supporter of the arts. Click here to visit Megan’s site.

Watch it here:

The Tracks of Art from Megan Wolfe on Vimeo.

 

XOXO,

Merit

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RTT, Congressional Award, and New Social Media!

Hey y’all!

It’s a beautiful day in Byhalia. I had a pretty busy week with Merit Koch and Co. Let’s recap the highlights!

Real Talk Tuesday (#RTT) made its second appearance on the channel, offering some insight into how to deal with changes and time. It’s not easy, but knowing you aren’t alone can help.

Youtube is my life. Whether I’m binge watching a web series or learning how to shine my cowgirl boots, Youtube is where I go for everything! So if you’re an avid Youtuber, let’s be friends. Click here to go to my user page and subscribe today!

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My own Bronze and Silver Congressional medals.

This weekend I had the unbelievable opportunity to perform the National Anthem for the Congressional Awards in Jackson, MS. The Congressional Awards program is the only civilian award given by Congress to commend youth for public service and personal development goals. Teens complete over 400 hours of community volunteer work as well as countless hours achieving goals in fitness, expedition, and personal improvement.

This program means so much to me particularly since I’m a bronze, silver, and gold medal recipient. I know how much work it takes to achieve those awards. I am in awe of anyone who does so much for their communities as well as their own personal development. For more information or to join the program, visit here to their main website.

 

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To right, yours truly with Congressman Gregg Harper; To left me and my first boss lady mentor Dr. Linda Mitchell, Vice Chair of the Congressional Award Board of Directors.

This event was special to me since I saw so many of my young acting students take home the bronze, silver, and gold for setting goals and completing them. I also met Congressman Gregg Harper, which was admittedly pretty kickin’ for this Mississippi Girl.

While the country (and my state) may have so many problems,  it’s encouraging to see these young people tackle the task of improving their communities.

Finally, I am on Instagram as well as Facebook. Let’s be friends and have a good time on the interwebs.

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What you could see if we become Instagram buddies. Find me @Meritmoo

 

So that’s been my week! I’m now booking shows in the Memphis and North Mississippi areas for the summer. Got ideas for venues or would like to be part of Merit Koch and Company? Drop me a line at MeredithGkoch@gmail.com or post a comment below!

Until Next Time,

Merit

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April Updates!

Hey y’all!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new blog post. Now the spring season is in full bloom, it’s time to get moving and enjoy the beautiful weather with good friends, awesome food, and PLENTY of music.

First things first, it’s time to get social. Do you Facebook or Instagram? If so, let’s be friends. Click here to go to the Facebook and here to follow me on Instagram.

I’m also on Youtube! If you’re on there,too, then I’d love your help by subscribing to the channel. (click here to go subscribe on Youtube.) Here’s the latest #TBT video on my channel. Rockabilly, sunshine, and back porches…that’s what I’m all about.

Until Next Time,

Merit

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Live at McCrary’s Recap

Hey Y’all!
This past Saturday, I played my first one-woman show at McCrary’s Antiques in Byhalia. What a fun way to kick off my 2016 show schedule surrounded by friends, fans, and family in my hometown. We had a great turn out of all ages. Much thanks to everyone who made this night so special and came out to support me and the show. A special shoutout goes to Amy Burrow and her family and everyone at McCrary’s that allowed me to use their venue.

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As for the music, Mama Koch stepped in at the last minute to provide beautiful harmonies and even a xylophone solo or two (Check that out here). I felt apprehensive about doing an entire show that was just up to me (two hours of solo work is intimidating compared to sharing the bill with someone else). Playing and singing alongside my mom (my ultimate inspiration for a trail-blazing woman) was an amazing experience. Last Saturday night was one of the best nights of my life because it made me go out on uncharted waters as a solo artist.

Local talent Jesse Allen also played a few songs from his upcoming album, which comes out Feb 19th. Awesome stuff is happening in my home town, and I’m proud to be part of it!

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Merit and Mom performing a cover of “Rip Tide” during the LIVE AT McCRARY’S show.

In case you missed the show, here’s a few clips for you to check out!

 

Until Next Time,

Merit

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