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Goblins and ghouls and ghosts, oh my! Get spooky this October 29th at Spec Labs’ frighteningly fun, Spec-O-Ween! Join us as we haunt the night with live performances by the Spec Bands and the Spec-ond City Players, featuring many talented neurodivergent and autistic artists, musicians, singers, actors, and comedians at Spec Labs! DJ Index (Lucas Salusky) will also be spinning some of your favorite Halloween tunes to get the audience pumped for the live performers.


Not to mention an exciting performance by our special musical guest, Tom Kenny & the Hi-Seas! That's right, the voice of your favorite pineapple dwelling sea creature, Spongebob Squarepants, will be taking the stage with his RocknSoul party band! Their high energy 13-piece band is known for rock classics and raucous performances that are sure to get the crowd up on its feet. We're so honored to have Tom Kenny & the Hi-Seas playing alongside our artists at Spec-O-Ween to celebrate the neurodiverse and autistic community! We can't wait to see what they have in store for us. Watch the video below to get a taste of what the band has to offer and check them out on Instagram @tomkennyandthehiseas to get pumped for their live performance at Spec-O-Ween!



This year we’re hosting our fan-favorite Halloween show at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood. The night will be nothing short of spooktacular with our awesome lineup of comedy, music, and costumes to die for!



It’s not Spec-O-Ween without some classic Halloween tunes courtesy of the Spec Bands. In preparation of this spooky spectacle, I took a trip to the bands’ NoHo rehearsal sessions to get a glimpse of what these magical artists were brewing up for the show. When I entered, the first Spec Band’s singers were honing their time warping harmonies. One at a time, each singer practiced finding their note to ensure wicked good vocals for the performance night. From there, the vibe turned psycho as the Spec Band rocked out a rendition of the Talking Heads’ iconic “Psycho Killer.” The band’s guitarist, Spencer, slayed several mind-blowing guitar riffs throughout the setlist, supported by the spellbinding talent of his fellow bandmates.



The freaks came out when the second Spec Band took to the stage with an extra spooky version of Rick James’ “Super Freak.” Lyric changes like “she’s a very freaky ghoul” turned this beloved funk jam into the perfect Halloween tribute. A little bit of saxophone, trombone, and some well-timed tambourine throughout the set added an extra oomph to the band’s sound. Towards the end of rehearsal, the conversation turned to choreography, as the band brainstormed ways they could liven up their spine-tingling set with dance moves. An impromptu dance lesson had the whole room shuffling side to side and clapping their hands along to the beat. The scene was infectious. Their dance moves and scary good vocals are sure to get the audience up on their feet and howling like the wolf!



From there, I headed over to the Spec-ond City Players rehearsals, where all our favorite monsters and slasher villains came out to play in some killer comedy sketches. The sketches have the perfect mix of horror and humor that is sure to have you splitting your sides. One sketch, a trick-or-treating adventure that turns nightmarish, was written by one of the Spec-ond City Player’s very own, Chelsea Darnell. The atmosphere was collaborative and fun, with each of the players getting to add their own personal touch to the characters they’re bringing to life. The best live comedy is all about comedic timing and audience engagement, both of which the Spec-ond City Players have in spades.




The Spec Bands and Spec-ond City Players will bounce off each other’s acts in a satisfying blend of Halloween-themed music and comedy. Add some Tom Kenny & the Hi-Seas to the mix, and Spec-O-Ween is sure to be a night of mischief, magic, and lots of laughter that will keep your spirits lifted way past the witching hour.



Festivities start at 6 pm, giving you just enough time to stock up on candy before the show starts at 7 pm. Costumes are a must if you want to fit in at our Halloween bash. You might even get the chance to win our Spec-O-ween costume contest! So, dress to impress (or possess) and fight for your shot at the Spec-O-ween costume prize. Tickets are expected to sell out, so don’t miss out on your chance to party it up ghost style with our Spec Labs’ artists! Head over to speclabs.org or click on the flier below to secure your tickets for our Spec-O-Ween extravaganza--before it's too late!


We’re dying to see you there! ;)


-Michael Ware, Spectrum Laboratory


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Get excited: Spectrum Laboratory has relaunched its website with a fresh batch of classes for this upcoming Fall 2023! Classes across the Spec Labs’ departments will start this August with a wide variety of offerings in music, voiceover, acting, and film. Keep reading to get a glimpse of the Spec Lab opportunities that are coming soon and explore which ones are the right fit for you!


If music is your jam, Spec Labs’ music department has a Fall roster built to give you hands-on experience playing and producing music. Join us at The Anything Box recording studio, owned by Spec Labs’ co-founder Garth Herberg, to learn the ins and outs of making and performing music. Get in behind the scenes with studio engineering and music scoring classes or put yourself in the spotlight with classes like vocal coaching and Spec Band. You can even bring your songs to life with your own music video and flex your filmmaking skills!



Classes include:

  • Songwriting & Music Production

  • Singing Studio

  • Spec Band

  • Music Scoring

  • Studio Engineering

  • DIY Music Marketing

  • Create Your Own Music Video!


The Fall slate for Spec Labs’ film & acting department is full of great opportunities for experience in front of and behind the camera. Prepare yourself for the silver screen in Spec Labs’ on-camera acting classes or learn to perform live on stage in an improv and sketch comedy class. Explore the art of filmmaking in the short film production class and work with your peers to create your own scripts and bring original characters to life on-screen. If you want to learn more about film but work best in one-on-one environments, Spec Labs’ film & acting department also offers private lessons and mentorships in a variety of areas, including acting, scriptwriting, and editing.



Classes include:

  • On-Camera Acting

  • Short Film Production

  • Sketch Comedy & Improv Acting

  • Acting Audition & Apprenticeship Program

  • Private Lessons & Mentorships

  • Create Your Acting Demo Reel!


Whether you’re just starting your voiceover journey or are well on your way to becoming a pro, Spec Labs’ Voiceover department has the perfect classes for you this Fall! Practice your skills in all genres of voiceover, including commercial, animation, and promo narration. Voice actor extraordinaire and Spec Labs’ mentor, Cathy McAuley, will help students of all abilities find their unique voice and prepare them for a potential future in the voiceover world!



Classes include:

  • Beginning to Intermediate Voiceover

  • Advanced Voiceover

  • Master Voiceover Apprenticeship Program

  • Create Your Voiceover Demo Reel!


Performance Workshop: A Specmas Carol

This Fall, Spec Labs’ is doing something extra special with a spin-off performance workshop course. We’re seeking voice actors, singers, and instrumentalists to put on a brand-new Holiday production: A Specmas Carol! This exciting production will teach Spec Labs’ artists how to act with hand puppets and perform in a musical with a live band. Be a part of this original show and put your voice acting and musical skills to good use with the help of Spec Labs’ mentors. It’ll be a Holiday show unlike any other!


There’s no shortage of great classes being offered by the Spec Labs team this Fall, and we can’t wait to get them all started! Visit the Spectrum Laboratory website at Spectrum Laboratory | Neurodiversity in the Arts (speclabs.org) to learn more about Spec Labs’ Fall sessions and find the best classes for you and your entertainment interests. We’re so excited to be back and to make some amazing art with you all!

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This May 21st, come celebrate neurodivergent musicians and songwriters at Spectrum Laboratory’s music showcase! Spec Lab Records Presents will be live at North Hollywood’s famous Knitting Factory where The Spec Bands and songwriting students will take to the stage with some good vibes and even greater music. The night will feature original songs, accompanied by the Neurotribe band, as well as classic covers performed by the Spec Band students of Spec Labs’ music department.


The showcase is fast approaching and the students have been hard at work perfecting their performances for the event. I had the pleasure of attending some rehearsal sessions to get an inside look at the students’ preparation for their big show.



I headed over to the Spec Labs’ recording studio for the Advanced Songwriting Class where I was greeted by six friendly faces, plus one on Zoom. The studio is a small, cozy room with an adjoining recording booth. It was just enough space for the seven of us, but not much more, which lent itself to an intimate collaborative atmosphere. I came in halfway through class, right in the thick of a workshopping session for student Max Tuber’s song, “Stuck in a Cellphone Crisis.” The focus at this moment was on the chorus. Garth Herberg, Spec Labs’ co-founder and songwriting class instructor, suggested adding a higher-pitched harmony on the repeated line, “I just wanted to go home,” to add more dimension to the chorus. The class concurred, and it wasn’t long before each of the students was hopping into the booth to back up Tuber’s vocals on the track.




In this moment, I was exposed to the camaraderie of the group, and the respect they had for one another as fellow artists. This collaborative vibe continued throughout the rest of the session, as each student shared their nearly completed demos with the class. The students weren’t shy to provide input on each other’s songs or to step into the booth for a feature or back-up vocal.



With every passing demo, I got to see the completely unique voice of each student, both in their lyrics and vocals. From synth heavy electro-pop, to bouncy hip-hop, to an angsty ballad, each original song covered a different base of the musical catalog. A week later and everyone’s catchy songs are still stuck in my head!




I also made a visit to a rehearsal session for both of The Spec Bands. When I stepped into the practice space, the first band was rehearsing. It was a completely different vibe from the chill, intimate songwriting session. My ears were blasted with sound coming from all corners of the room. The speakers were turned on and amped up, capturing every hit of the drums and pull of guitar strings to bring to life The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” The room was bigger and the sound was louder, but that same level of fun and collaboration was present through both bands' rehearsals.



The bands’ setlists consist of classic rock and soul covers–the kind of familiar music that makes you want to sing and dance along with the musicians. The Spec Bands make the songs their own with their energetic spunk and flair. The members of the Spec Bands invite you in with their warm smiles and carefree dancing. Their energy is infectious; they make it easy for the audience to have as much fun watching from the crowd as the band is having on stage. And this was only a rehearsal!


The showcase at the Knitting Factory is sure to be a night to remember thanks to the talent and hard work of Spec Labs’ music students. Both individually and collectively, whether through an original song or an unforgettable cover, the Spec Lab artists are prepared to share the joy of music and put on performances that will make the audience wish they were rocking out alongside them.



Doors open at 6 pm and the show kicks into high gear at 7 pm. It’s going to be a night of music and fun you’ll never forget, so make sure to buy your tickets now and come support Spec Labs' artists! Head over to noho.knittingfactory.com now or click on the flier at the top of the page to buy your tickets for this amazing night of music. We can’t wait to see you there!


-Michael Ware, Spectrum Laboratory


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