I’ve been lucky to fill in on occasion for over a year now on the Broadway show Wicked. Playing the show has been an experience for me like no other – exhilarating, stressful (in the beginning), and oh so fun.  In my other freelance work,  I’m rarely in the position of being the only violist, so having solo lines and the chance to be heard is a nice change.  In addition, I really enjoy the camaraderie of all of my colleagues at Wicked, from the “regulars” to the other substitute musicians I’ve met.

Some of the regulars have been playing the show for so long that they have the “book” memorized.  It’s not uncommon to see musicians reading or otherwise occupying themselves during the breaks between numbers.  I’m a long way off from that point (I doubt I’d ever feel confident enough to play an entire show by memory), but there have been a few times where I’ve taken advantage of one of the longer breaks to do some sketching.

A year ago, I did a quick sketch of clarinetist John Moses and was delighted and honored when he asked if he could include it on his website.  (Scroll down towards the bottom of his photograph page to see the sketch.)

And today, I did a cartoon of another colleague who doubles on saxophones, clarinet, flute, bassoon and some other devices…

Wicked with text


(P.S. Although I’m keeping his identity anonymous, I’m happy to say he burst out laughing when I showed him the sketch.)


  1. Helen Reich says:

    So cute! I should show to a certain personnel manager who gets upset when bored brass players look at their phones during rehearsals, when they have nothing to do. Behind the times?

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen,

      I’m actually on the side of your unnamed personnel manager. 😉 However, in the particular Broadway show I’m playing, even the main conductor is on his ipad during the long breaks, so it almost seems “de rigueur.” I keep my phone turned completely off, though; even so, I live in fear that it’s somehow going to magically turn itself back on and start ringing in a rest.

      XOX – Joana

      On Sat, Jun 11, 2016 at 11:50 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


  2. Lol!… We are all addicted to our phones!… It is very comical to see that in your sketching!… What a nice experience to be playing in such a fab Broadway play!… Enjoy! 😊

    • Joana says:

      Yes, a friend called them “adult pacifiers” and I think she has a point. 🙂 I hope you are having a great Sunday!

    • Joana says:

      Thanks, Pam!

      The cartooning portion of my brain is getting very fired up looking around for inspiration…and somehow the silly rhymes follow fairly easily, too. It’s an interesting departure from where I’ve been for the past few years, but somehow it all feels very organic and right to me.

      XOX – Joana

      On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 12:44 PM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


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