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Ask Bob Blume – Column #39- The Creation of SPECIAL 3K (Part 1 of 2)

Ask Bob Blume – Column #39- The Creation of SPECIAL 3K (Part 1 of 2)

Hi everyone, this is ASK BOB BLUME – a twice weekly visual column with summary discussing issues pertinent to the entertainment industry and appearing exclusively here on Times Square Chronicles. I am your Host and president of Step Forward Entertainment, a Talent Management and Production company located in both New York and Los Angeles. I am currently in New York.

Our column is also a benefit for The Actors Fund Covid 19 relief effort and I ask you to go to the link below on your screen and donate if you are in position to do so. They are most grateful to accept donations from $25 to whatever you want and this money is used to help out all eligible members of the entertainment community as a stimulus while in the pandemic.

The subject of today’s column #39 is The Creation of Special 3K, a diverse female singing group I created during the pandemic that have been creating virtual live concerts. The 3 members are the guests on this column which is the 1st of 2.

To backtrack, Special 3K are 3 Step Forward clients of Filipino, Hispanic, Caucasian & Chinese heritage. They work with music director Bobby DeLeon on their material for their individual performances and receive vocal coaching/singing lessons.

When they could resume safely in late June, 2020, I saw the ‘chemistry’ between them and decided to put them together as a group of 3 individual rising stars, naming them Special 3K because of their special performing talents and their names which all start with the letter ‘K’… Kea (Chan), Kayla (Merrow) and (Denise)Kara.

All 3 girls spoke about their debut concert on August 7th, 2020 on the Metropolitan Zoom virtual nightclub platform where they had an audience of 115 people from 7 different countries.

In column, #39 and 40, meet these 3 young stars on the rise and you will hear their thoughts on the transition from solo performer to becoming part of a group.

Playing a clip from their opening number of the August, 2020 performance I tried to give “a feel for their talents.”

Kayla Merrow, Kea Chan and upfront Denise Kara

Now for the interviews……….
Kea Chan: I am from the Philippines where I was awarded child performer of the year, toured Asia as a teen and was the official national anthem singer of the Philippines. I am in the US, now in my 4th year on an 0-1 Artist Visa sponsored by Bob Blume. My first theater experience was in New York. 

Kayla Merrow: I am 19 from New Jersey (Note: she is Filipino-Caucasian) and made my professional debut was with the Special 3K concert in August 2020. Before that, I starred in a lot of high school musicals such as Anything Goes (Reno Sweeney), The Addams Family Musical (Wednesday Addams) and in plays such as Almost Maine, etc. I love singing, dancing and acting.

Denise Kara: I started singing at 2 and performing at 5. I play piano and ukulele in addition to singing, dancing and acting. I was born in Jersey City and am a known performer within the Philippine community in the tri-state area.

Bob Blume: They were all part of our scheduled live concert at The Green Room 42 in late March, 2020 which was cancelled due to lockdown. However, seeing them working together and getting along like “3 peas in a pod” and all being students of Bobby DeLeon, gave me the idea to form the group.

Bob Blume: What do you like and not like’ about being part of a group compared to performing solo.

Kayla Merrow: I really have fun with both and I have learn a lot from them. Kara has such great stage presence that I take notes and use her various techniques for my own performance. Kea motivates me and although we have different styles, I learn a lot about singing from her, especially how to use vibrato.

Kea Chan: I love working with these girls. Less pressure than working by yourself and you get support from both of them. New to me is working with them on harmonies, numbers to learn with them as we do many duets and songs with the three of us together doing individual parts and harmonies. Very different from being a solo act.

Denise Kara: Working in a group is not new to me as I have worked with groups, bands and backup hip hop dancers. I like the fact that they always have my back because sometimes I am clueless about what to do. They are just always there for me. And I really like them a lot.

Bob Blume: Special 3K has a Director named Justin Senense, a Step Forward client, who is also a guest performer in the concerts. I asked the girls what it was like to work with a director?

Denise Kara: Justin is great. He is fun to work with and really helpful.

Kea Chan:It is great to have a director, as it helps with flow and I feel more comfortable. Also he shapes the show to help keep the audience entertained.

Bob Blume: I elaborated on the fact that this group and their concerts were conceived during the pandemic and the difficulties involved in rehearsal, etc because of that. And how they all LOVE working with him. He gives them all confidence.

Kayla Merrow: Justin gave us structure, organization and another set of eyes to guide us. It took a lot of weight off our shoulders. Unlike the others, my musical theatre training has prepared my working with directors.

Bob Blume: I gave the information for our upcoming concert on Feb.13th at 3pm EST on Metropolitan Zoom. Then I asked Kea to relate a touching story regarding her parents in the Philippines getting to watch her live at the August concert.

Next a clip of Special 3K performing a song from a Christmas special.
I closed the column at this point by promoting the upcoming concert; mentioning the viewers could ask questions by emailing me; and asked them to watch Part 2 in the next upcoming column #40. So long for now!

Special 3K web page

Special 3K facebook page

Special 3K instagram page 


Ticket link to Special 3K Concert on Feb 13 at 3pm EST:

Bob Blume’s company site is

To Donate to The Actors Fund:

To Send in a question:

To see ALL of the prior columns: ASK BOB BLUME columns


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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