Joanna's Story MUST be Sung!

My story must be sung: help me to bring my MUSICAL to LIFE!  It's been my dream for forty amazing, creative years.

The opening 'My First Love Was My Bicycle' ("teaser") video gives you, the  reader, an idea of who the character Treva Believa is. Her video is the first step. Then we introduce  Dame Sonja with the second video.... stay tuned!

The video above, Take Myself Out Dancing, written by me with the help of James Lambert, is a sample of the diverse styles and eras that you will hear in the show. For more recorded songs and soundscapes go to itunes: Joanna Finch or soundcloud:ergot isthmus or

When I fell off my bike and cracked my head forty years ago I did not know what level of creativity would pour out of my consciousness. I had always had a vivid imagination, but after my head injury my fantasies became my friends.

A guiser of creative inspiration flowed from my mind but the  concussion led to epilepsy for which I was given strong medication that dulled my ability to focus. I had to work extra hard to get my ideas out. I struggled to keep up in school. The only thing that made me feel succesful was my ability to transform thoughts into songs. 

Music saved my life. I suffered severe episodes of depression, anxiety and self -loathing. Singing made me feel sane, loved; it became my closest, lifelong friend.

I sang all the time and dreamed of being in the movies...I wrote scores of songs for movies, and became the characters I wanted to play. My audience was small. Usually just me.

When I was twenty-two the epileptic seizures stopped and the fog cleared. I applied to a theatre school in San Fransisco and was accepted. My dreams were about to come true! Then, love came along, and babies and the boonies, and, well, I never made it to theatre school. But I did continue to sing and to write songs and become a recording artist of some renown. (You can hear some of my recorded music on itunes: Joanna Finch)

Now, thirty-three years later I'm stepping back into my dream of making my songs into a musical. I need your help. It's a very interesting story. Please, help me to get back onto the stage where I belong.

I will be sharing any profits I make from my show with Mental Health and the Transition Society, in respect for my Father and Mother and thier perspective "tragic musicals" in which I was their "Cochlea."

"Cochlea the Freakshow Musical" is an avant garde musical-cabaret of three women, who live inside the head of Cochlea, the quirky, child-like narrator who tells the story of her disturbing and hilarious life through the songs and poems of Amanda, Treva and Sonja.

The project is complete when the show is on the stage!

My first goal is to create three videos that represent my three diverse musical styles. I'll be picking up gigs and touring with various bands, sometimes with my WORLD-ROOTS repertoire; sometimes with my SOUL-JAZZ-FUNK sets and soemtimes with my LATIN & CABARET DINNER SHOW. I've started a website where fans can see my tour schedule.

My intention is to get some buzz going about my music in general, during the touring phase, so that when Cochlea The Music is complete I will have generated some interest.

My dreams is to travel with this show. But for now I'll keep my sights on North America.

The process is really where the art is....and for your support in this process, I am very grateful.
Here are the steps that will take me to my dream goal...and here's how YOU can help:

Produce 3 professional videos of 3 songs performed by each of the 3 characters. 
FINANCIAL GOAL: $3000.00 each
Money will be spent on hiring musicians; renting location space, hiring videographer/producer; editing and marketting.

A) The Blackwidow's Tango (Winter, early 2016)
Seductive Sonja sings this Marlene Deietrich style tango with the accompaniment of acordian, violin and drums. Set in a 1930's cabaret, The Black Widow seduces her prey, then appologises for her "voracious, rapacious, and salacious" appetite!

B) My First Love Was My Bicycle (Spring 2016)
Treva, the positive, upbeat earthy love child sings this happy,danceable ska tune about the freedom she feels when she rides her bike. Set amid the splendid colours of autumn, accompaniment includes a full reggae band with trombone and tuba!

C) The Beautiful Mystery (Spring 2016)
Romantic, sensual Amanda melts hearts and touches into the soul of all who hear her sing. "The Beautiful Mystery" is a R&B style ballad that released her from a dark spell of depression.  Set in a temple, by the sea, and in a stark room, accompaniment includes piano, bass, drums and saxophone.

Write the show...
This provides me with travel expenses to work with my musicians and directors and all materials, props, etc that need to be purchased for the show.Your contributions to this stage will grant me the resouces to research, write and prepare the show for production. It will also allow me to hire an arranger, director and an editor.
Much of the music has been written and or recorded professionally, so I have a very good start. I have  directors friends in  Vancouver, Quito, Cuenca and New York who are willing to help me pull the show together, and many theatre professionals from whom I can get support and guidance.

Practice practice practice!
The third stage is when the band, the 'extras' in the show, the director and I, all work out the kinks... (Sonja loves this part...)
There will be spring, summer and fall festivals in which all three characters will perform their individual shows, each of them talking up "Cochlea, The Musical... Freak Show Cabaret!"
The videos that YOU help me to produce in PART ONE will help me to get into these festivals that will give me a greater chance of making "Cochlea" a success.

"Cochlea, The Freak Show Musical" is my chance to make it onto international stages with a show that pulls together 40 years of dedication to my art. It is my opportnity to show you my gratitude for what you have helped facilitate with your support.  And the best part: you will get to witness me fully, happily, doing what I love to do best: create music and SING!

I love my Muse. She is so generous. I call her Cochlea.

Cochlea is the inner ear. This name was suggested to me by my dear Rodney Gage who died of cancer in 2007. He also advised me to take one step at a time... which I cannot heed; instead I walk with three inspiring and compelling muses, all eager to animate her character first.  Cochlea presented me three women: the "SirenTryptic", to study the scope of my artistic canvas.


AMANDA LOVE is the jazz, R&B singer with the soulful, dulcet tones whose serenity is the embodiment of feminine mystique. Amanda teaches me about love; and through her connection to spirit brings me to a peaceful acceptance of who I am.

TREVA BELIEVA is the energetic, poly-amourous earth-honouring social activist whose music is inspired by roots, rock and reggae. Treva gives me the courage to keep believing in the goodness of the human spirit and to share the wisdom of Mother Earth through inspiring acts of social consciousness. 
"DAME" SONJA is the sophisticated, cabart diva with  operatic influences, whose music sounds like Cesaria Evora, Edith Piaf and Eartha Kitt. Playing as the woman or the man, Sonja reminds me to be completely unrestrained, to revel in dramatic representation of the human condition,  and to always make it FUN!

Thank you from my heart for your kindness and support. I hope  to meet you face to face soon so I can thank you for helping to make my dream a reality.

In loving kindness,
Joanna (Cochlea)

September 21 2014 as summer turns to fall

(Revised and updated January 30, 2016)

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Joanna Finch 
Cumberland, BC
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