I don't write or create often for money. Calling me an amateur is a compliment. If you literally have 8-12 minutes to spare (and I think it will be worth it!), here's a few examples of what I have made…


A recent company-wide email for a colleague (names have been redacted to protect the innocent or fabulous):

Here’s a great way to start a Friday: Mike <
fellow colleague> has charted the unexplored areas of the <long-time, widely-know exploration and discovery publication> Custom Business Application Division. Armed with nothing more than a compass, rope, and blog posts about Javascript and FileMaker, he very quickly earned the trust of the natives in only 7 hours time. The head tribesman, <client contact>, was highly impressed. Though difficult to translate the native tongue, I have been able to paraphrase his comments:

“This is great work, I’m very impressed.”
“It’s very clever and easy to implement on our side.”
“To deliver this under budget and on time is outstanding."

I tried to record as much as possible, but the praise was flowing as if from a firehose (an analogy I knew would be quite foreign to the tribe.)

And my favorite (this was transcribed very accurately by the glow of the evening fire, emphasized with great seriousness and solemnity): “This is the first time we have dipped our toes in the water of <
our company>…and we like how it feels.”

Soon after, a great ceremonial dance broke out as warriors outfitted with fierce weapons and tattoos danced among priestesses adorned in flowing gowns of shiny medallions and belts bejeweled with highly polished stones and precious metals. We feasted on succulent game as our discussion drew further into the long night about JSON/XML export/import automation and Adobe Experience Manager integration.

At day break, we bid them farewell and left an invoice as a token of our appreciation. As we set of the shore, we knew in our hearts that the work of Mike <
my colleague> would not end, but continue to shed light in this formerly dark, unknown corner of the world.

Project Manager Cavalieri


In Chicago Classical Review's review on the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Il Travatore from the 2014-2015 season, reviewer Larry Johnson said that opening night's opening scene was affected by a chorister's sword falling loudly to the ground. This was my comment on his site:

Mr. Johnson,
I wish to gently correct a detail in your above post. I have great faith in the accuracy and integrity of your reviews (regardless of the fact that I have been reviewed favorably on your site in the past) and would like to offer a clarification.

It was my RIFLE, not sword, that you heard crash to the floor during Ferrando’s aria (“Di due figli vivea padre beato”) in the opening scene. The rifle’s shoulder strap BROKE when I was moving it from my shoulder to the ground, in an appropriately dramatic gesture when hearing of Azucena’s role in the abduction of the Count’s child. The timing and motion was executed in the same fashion as it was exercised during the numerous previous hours of staging rehearsals under the watchful eye of the delightfully energetic Leah Hausman. The rifle was NOT dropped.

We in the chorus are diligent about our dexterity and ability to manage ourselves and our props to the degree of the scene’s demand. Our diligence is matched, if not exceeded, by the extraordinary care the IATSE prop handlers afford to the sometimes aging and used swords and rifles that have seen more battles over more centuries than any weapons (real or fake) known to man. Yet, even metal clasps bend to the will of physics, with gravity its willing partner, at the most inappropriate times.

In conclusion, I greatly appreciate your kind words to all of us involved in this production of Il Trovatore… as do the many colleagues of mine who brought this particular issue to my attention in the dressing room and backstage since your article. I offer to you, in sincerity, that each of our performances reflect the very best artistry and attention to detail that this fine art form that we call “opera” requires. But inaccurate descriptions of “batterfingers” (antiquated) or “butterfingers” (common) will not be passively tolerated.

I am, sincerely,
Michael Cavalieri
Seventh-or-Eighth Chorister from the right

This is Mr. Johnson's reply:


Thank you for your witty, droll and diplomatic missive. I rarely change reviews once they're posted but, in deference to your innocence in this incident, I have removed the phrase in question.
I hope Lyric pops for some new rifle straps soon.



In 2008, the musical duo Paul and Storm created a project called "
25 Days of Newman", encouraging others to create their own songs by providing the raw piano track. I took their track and added my own lyrics and engineered my own recording on a slightly non-Christmas themes…




Before my family grew, I had time for a short podcast I loved dearly called "
Old Timey News". The copy is drawn directly from century-old articles of the Paris Beacon News newspaper from the central Illinois town of Paris.


This was for a really unique and incredibly rewarding experience for a promotional show created for Norton software: