“Wouldn’t You accept me the way I am?
Your hard tests are difficult to pass!
If You’re not there to hold my hands
I’d fail immediately!”

—Excerpt from Silent Tears poetry collection
 By Supreme Master Ching Hai
Formosa - 1980s











  Singer Flo Ankah (France) performing “Accept Me the Way I Am” in Loving the Silent Tears
In-Depth with
Loving the Silent Tears

Flo Ankah

Within two weeks of joining the cast of Loving the Silent Tears, Flo Ankah was already on the plane to California to begin rehearsals for the grand production, representing her native homeland of France through the song, “Accept Me the Way I Am” with poetry by Supreme Master Ching Hai and music composed by Grammy winner Nan Schwartz.

A versatile performer, Ms. Ankah sings original songs and vintage tunes with a modern twist in her acclaimed shows, Edith Piaf Alive, Floin’ to America, and Love Is French. She is also an actress who has worked with Helen Hunt, Jim Jarmusch, and Jonathan Demme.

The award-winning Flo Ankah has been on radio’s NPR, For Your Ears Only, and French national television on France 5, M6, and TV5 Monde.

During her time in Los Angeles, she was interviewed and featured in media such as “French Morning,” “Good Morning 90210,” “On Air with Tony Sweet,” and many others. “French Morning” wrote, “Time Out nicknamed her ‘the French Madonna,’ others see her as the new Edith Piaf… Chosen for her original tone and her voice charged with emotion, Flo Ankah stated she is ‘honored to have been selected to participate in this production.’ … For her talents as an actress, for her spellbinding performances as a director, Flo Ankah is praised by the critics.”

Let’s follow Ms. Ankah through her beautiful experience with Loving the Silent Tears, in her own words.

Artistic Passion

Flo Ankah: I found that I was able to grow as a person through my study of different art techniques. And I found that it’s such a beautiful thing to be able to give back through your creativity. Because I think our art is really, hugely important in making people’s lives more beautiful. And everyone has a difficult life and challenges, but if we can make something beautiful that can soothe someone’s soul, then I would like to be a part of that.

Thoughts on Flo

“She only came here about six hours ago, and immediately got the sheet music, read it down in the studio, put it down for a record, recording it in French and in English, keeping some of her own translations because she wanted to make it just perfect. And then coming here and immediately dancing, singing, acting and making the song her own. It’s just another consummate professional.”

— Doug Katsaros,
Emmy Award-winning composer
Loving the Silent Tears music director,
composer, conductor

“You are a very beautiful woman inside and out, and you are very talented and just to watch you and to be able to be in the same production as Flo, it’s a blessing, it’s a blessing.”

— Brian Joo,
Korean pop star &

Loving the Silent Tears castmate


On Her Musical Role

I’m very much French at heart, so the music in French, it really connects for me and it puts me in a place where I can resonate France the way I know it. I really loved the words when I got them. It’s “accept me the way I am.” Everyone should be accepted just the way they are with all their defects and their abilities, and so I really relate with the words as a person. I have the little balloons to hand and there are these moments that are very beautiful.

First Day of Rehearsals

I am so happy to be in Los Angeles, because I am from France originally, but I live in New York. And it’s really warm here. It’s warm because of the weather, but also because all the people who are cast in this production are so open-hearted. I arrived yesterday, and I didn’t know what to expect and everything was amazing. We just started rehearsals, so I am not going to start expecting things if what I’m going to get is better than what I hope for. It’s a little bit of a dream and it’s nice.

Everyone has such pure voices. It feels like the Olympics of voices from the heart. I was very humbled to be with such musicianship. I love everyone’s dedication and personal involvement. Everyone cares very much.

On the Red Carpet

I’m delighted to be part of this event which has a spiritual connotation. And I think it’s very cool to do a Broadway musical that is trying to enlighten and elevate people. I believe in this work, so I’m happy to be in it. Even though it’s musically tied as a real Broadway musical, each country is represented authentically and I feel that the French song is very beautiful, and I’m very proud to be part of this and representing my country.

The Performance

I felt I was a lot more powerful. I felt like I was able to just open the party, which is what my song does in the show. There was an incredible momentum, and each piece was shining with its own culture and identity.

My involvement in this show made me ask questions to myself. I was happy to rise up with the work of Vincent and Bonnie to really uplift my performance, and I go home with a little bit more confidence in being open about my spirituality.

On the red carpet

At the Vegan Banquet

I'm from the countryside so I love fruits, I love vegetables. And it's different flavors, and it’s authentic food. I come from a farm so since I was a child, we have a deep respect for the animals.

Thoughts for the Poet

The themes explored in the poetry are very dear to me: a world with no boundaries, music, and the practice of meditation. The message of the words of Supreme Master Ching Hai will come with authenticity, and it would be in French so hopefully it would resonate with someone who is hearing it.

I think it's so cool for someone so open spiritually to delve in creativity. I think we need a message like this to the world. This is a very ambitious message and everyone's embracing it, and everyone did the show because they believed in the work. I would like to say thank you very much to Supreme Master Ching Hai. Thank you very much because it’s an honor.


On Air with Tony Sweet conducted an engaging interview with Loving the Silent Tears stars Flo Ankah and Mark Janicello, with radio hosts Tony Sweet and Eddie Connor:

Tony Sweet: Both are going to be in Loving the Silent Tears. And just watching the highlights from it just really touched me in a lot of ways, because it’s bringing people from all over the world together to make this musical, and I love that. I mean, it really is inspiring. Now Mark, I know you’ve done a lot of stuff all over the world too, what attracted you to do this show?

Mark Janicello: Well, I was very surprised, quite honestly. In the commercial theatre you very seldom deal with spirituality on any level except the most superficial. And here, the Supreme Master Ching Hai’s poetry is talking about all of us wanting to have a relationship to a higher power, to God, however you want to call it. And they musicalized these poems, which in and of themselves are quite beautiful, using Grammy, Oscar, Tony and Emmy-winning composers.

Eddie Connor: It sort of raises the electricity, don’t you think?

Flo Ankah: Yes. There is some momentum that it is going to be spectacular.

Mark Janicello: I saw a run-through of the show on Tuesday, the first run-through. The dancing is unbelievable! You have ballroom dancing, you have jazz, you have hip hop. And to see the guy who’s dancing in my number with me, he was on stage with Celine Dion in Vegas for all that time!

Eddie Connor: Don’t you find that it completely erases all prejudices? Don’t you find that when you do what you’re born to do, that it completely heals the planet?

Flo Ankah: Sure, I find that the very first thing that came to me after reading the script is that it’s like it’s a world with no boundaries. It has performers in the same song with countries that would never look at each other.

Mark Janicello: And I think that the organization of Supreme Master Ching Hai and her followers, their whole goal is to bring understanding of different cultures, by showing different cultures working together, singing together. This is the goal of any artist in any case.

Tony Sweet: And I love how they’re doing it here in America.

Mark Janicello: Of course, it is the media center of the world. And I think they are so ambitious and so generous, the whole production is a generosity. It’s going to knock everybody’s socks off!

Flo Ankah: I feel that in today’s entertainment, there is a tendency for everyone to go towards the same norm. And so in this, like the first day, we rehearsed with all the vocalists, I was really stunned because every single person had so much soul and so much heart in the sound.

Mark Janicello: We have Black Uhuru, the first Grammy-winning artists for reggae. These guys are reggae legends. And I’m rehearsing my big opera number there, and the guys were sitting in the room in the rehearsal studio because they just like the way I sang. And they said, “Oh wow! That’s just so great what you’re doing.” And I’m like, “I’d kneel before you guys.” And it’s a mutual admiration society because we all respect the others. You know, we’ve got Kay in Cantonese and Hong Kong, she’s a pop superstar, singing in the choir with me and with Flo.

Eddie Connor: But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. When you do what you’re born to do, and you’re both doing it, you will rendezvous on the Earth plane with other like-minded people who have higher dreams, goals, and aspirations than everyday people dared to dream. You will find each other on this planet. And you will find each other in a place like the City of Angels (Los Angeles), and you will morph and transform the frequency of this Earth plane. And you will take it beyond, beyond.  

Mark Janicello: I’m a little bit stunned because that was really impressive.

Tony Sweet: Eddie’s a psychic and he has a lot of great insight on stuff like this.

Eddie Connor: So I wonder how you guys are going to hold it together when you’re getting a standing ovation, when the entire cast is out on stage, taking your bows, tears streaming down your face, the audience will have tears streaming down their face. I mean, it’s going to be otherworldly.

Flo Ankah: Everyone, the audiences and the performers equally, we will just be in the moment together.

Mark Janicello: Yeah, and I really feel it has been a gift of the universe toward me, toward Los Angeles, toward all of us.

Tony Sweet: I think it’s very important that we have stuff like this. You know, there can be all these shows that tour the country, but I think stuff like this, it brings not just the talent but just the heart and the soul onto one stage. And like you said, not too many other musicals give me goosebumps just watching.

The diverse cast of Loving the Silent Tears

The Artists and Creative Team:

The Presenters: Guest Speaker: George Chakiris (Vegetarian)  /  MC: Susie Castillo (Vegan)  /  MC: Corey Feldman (Vegetarian)  /  MC: Kelly Packard (Vegetarian)  /  MC: Kristoff St. John (Vegetarian)  

The Cast: Camellia Abou-Odah (Arab region)  /  Flo Ankah (France)  /  Black Uhuru (Jamaica)  /  Liz Callaway (Australia)  /  Junior Case (Conductor)  /  Patti Cohenour (Joy)  /  Luke Eberl (Pete)  /  Debbie Gravitte (USA)  /  Hồ Quỳnh Hương (Vegan)(Âu Lạc)  /  Mark Janicello (Vegetarian) (Italy)  /  Brian Joo (Korea)  /  Liel Kolet (Israel)  /  Kiril Kulish (Russia)  /  Katie McMahon (Ireland)  /  Heather Park (Vegan) (Korea)  /  Fabiana Passoni (Brazil)  /  Jon Secada (Cuba)  /  Siavash Shams (Iran)  /  Kay Tse (Vegetarian) (China)  /  Jody Watley (Africa)  

The Composers: Jorge Calandrelli  /  Al Kasha  /  Doug Katsaros  /  Henry Krieger  /  Don Pippin  /  Nan Schwartz  /  David Shire   

The Creative Team: Director: Vincent Paterson  / Choreographer: Bonnie Story   /  Production Scenic Designer: John Iacovelli  /  Writer: Frank Evans, Writer: Cynthia Lewis Ferrell