2004-04-08 / Community

Songwriting team creates powerful message

By Lori E. Porter

By Lori E. Porter porter@theacorn.com

Karen Soroca and Janet AlloccaKaren Soroca and Janet Allocca

Sometimes it takes something simple (like reading an article in a newspaper) that can alter a life. That’s what happened to songwriting partners Karen Soroca and Janet Allocca of Danstar Productions after reading a feature story on Rebecca Hulem (a.k.a. "The Menopause Expert") in the March 11 Acorn.

The songwriting team known as Soroca and Allocca believed that their most recent song, "Wise Woman," which they co-wrote, was a perfect fit for the lessons conveyed in Hulem’s book, "Feelin’ Hot." Hulem also teaches seminars on the topic.

The songwriters sent a copy of the song to Hulem and arranged for a meeting. Hulem listened to and fell in love with the song.

"It gave me goose bumps," she said. Subsequently, the women signed a deal.

The song will now be featured at Hulem’s seminars and in her lectures on compact discs.

"Were very excited about this strategic alliance," said Allocca. "The song is a powerful anthem for women that states, ‘You’re never too old to follow your heart.’"

The pair’s unique approach to the music publishing business contains lessons about fusing creativity with commerce.

The philosophy of Soroca and Allocca is based upon three principles.

The first one is what Soroca calls the "right livelihood." Individuals should ask themselves, "What are you here for and what are you doing?" They should follow their hearts and work where their talents and gifts are needed. By doing this, the money will follow.

The second principle is honing your craft or talent. Most people know that naturally gifted artists are rare. Talent usually must be developed through training and practice. Allocca said she spent years honing her craft––and it eventually paid dividends.

The third and final principle is thinking and looking "outside the box." Unlike many songwriters whose sole goal is a billboard hit or major recording contract, Soroca and Allocca thought outside the box by using niche marketing.

"We look for interesting projects and unique ways for our songs to be used," said Allocca. While it would be thrilling if a popular artist performed one of their songs, Soroco and Allocca remain open to all possibilities.

That philosophy has paid off through the recent contract with Hulem but also in other business deals. "Wise Woman" was featured as the underscore song in a documentary film titled "Above and Beyond: One Hundred Years of Women in Aviation" as part of the Air Force Centennial of Flight Exhibit tour, which commenced last year at the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.

The professional backgrounds of Soroca and Allocca have certainly facilitated their success. Allocca has been singing and playing piano since she was 8. She pursued her passion for music by earning a bachelor of arts degree from prestigious Smith College and later earned a master’s degree from Pace University.

Currently living in Calabasas, Allocca moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college. She embarked on a career in the entertainment industry.

She was a production manager, organizing music videos for The Police (Sting’s former band), Rod Stewart and Earth, Wind and Fire. Allocca went on to work as a unit manager for ABC-TV. Her credits include "American Bandstand," "General Hospital," the Olympics and "Family Feud," among others.

While working on a radio show for KIEV-AM in L.A., Allocca wrote the lyrics to the show’s theme song ("Love Patrol".) This led to an epiphany––she realized that writing lyrics was her passion. She began her new career in 1998 by teaming up with Soroca.

Soroca, who lives in Novato Calif., began singing and playing music when she was little. She earned a degree in vocal music from Hofstra University and later a master’s in choreography and dance from New York University.

Soroca sung professionally on TV specials, in commercials, in films, and in studios and on stages. She has also sung with choral groups (the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, the Marin Symphony Chamber Chorus and the Los Angles Chamber Singers).

Her voice has been featured in films such as "Scrooged," "The Addams Family," and most recently, "Spy Kids."

In addition, she’s worked as a singer on many TV shows (from soaps and morning shows to Christmas specials).

Soroca and Allocca want to share their success. They’re in the beginning stages of forming The Wise Woman Foundation. It will, they said, provide scholarships for older women wishing to return to school.

For more information, visit www.danstarproductions.net.

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