Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Currently I am taking a Creative Nonfiction class at UCLA. I’ve taken other writing classes in the past at UCLA but it has been awhile. It feels good to work beside and learn with others. I’m hoping to begin my Memoir while in class. . .
In a few days, the cover story with Apolo Ohno will be out on the stands, which will coincide with the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City where copies will be distributed.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Checked out Palm Springs Art Museum that currently has two extraordinary exhibitions: Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nick Muray – and -- D. J. Hall: Thirty-Five Year Retrospective. Both are extremely interesting, informative, and have that “Oh, wow” factor.
Monday, July 14, 2008
LOOP DE LOO
You think you know Valerie Harper as Rhoda [Morgenstern, from her Emmy-award winning series] or Golda [Meir, from her award-winning one woman play]? Nope. Try again. She’s doing yet another stellar transformation and this time it’s Tallulah Bankhead. Valerie’s appearing in Matthew Lombardo’s brilliantly written play, LOOPED, currently in its debut at the Pasadena Playhouse. By the time the curtain
falls, the audience is eerily convinced they have spent a few hours with the Diva -- the woman who created the word, my gosh!
I attended the Saturday matinee performance and the audience shot to their feet when Valerie appeared for her curtain call. I understand that this has been normal fare at every show. It’s a 3-character play, though with all due respect to actor, Michael Karl Orenstein, the main grit is between Valerie and Chad Allen, who both compliment one other and create a moving story. In the second act, Chad’s character has some intense rollercoaster revelations and it’s fun to watch this actor stir up the audience’s emotions.
My friends and I went backstage to congratulate them. Thanks to Tony for playing photographer!
A couple years ago I interviewed both Valerie and Chad:
Thanks to Tim Courtney for the extra photographs.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
RIPENING, THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME
Seeing the inspirational film THE VISITOR last night, which will receive several Oscar noms including Best Actor for Richard Jenkins, brought to mind-- yet again -- the journey of aging. I find that because our society is so based and invested in youth, especially Madison Avenue and Hollywood, it’s difficult to approach ‘ripeness’ with grace. [‘Ripeness’ is the positive way of saying ‘growing older.’] There’s not much support. But, as Debbie Reynolds who played Molly Brown in THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN sang, I ain’t down yet!
Thanks to new scientific research and progressive Baby Boomers who continue to set an example, we are defying our older gens sentiment of ageing. What has assisted tremendously in my journey recently have been these authors and their writings:
Dr. Don Kilhefner – Los Angeles based psychologist who writes articles for national publications that are geared toward the gay community
All of these authors above have changed my perspective and I’ve learned to switch my negative thoughts into delightfully positive ones!
Thoughts create how we feel.
When I lived in New York in the early 80s, I was taught this philosophy by a wise therapist, Miller Minor. He introduced me to a cognitive therapy called Rational Emotive Therapy [RET], which Dr. Albert Ellis conceived in the 1950s. Most cognitive/behavioral theories today are spin offs of RET, like the theory that Dr. Phil is anchored in or Dr. Wayne Dyer. When I was a kid my grandfather gave me a book, The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, so my positive attitude was established at an early age – thank heaven. My bible for most of my adult life has been Dr. David Burns’ The Feeling Good Handbook.
In my early twenties, I read several books including The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol, which made an impact on my life, as it did with Phyllis Diller. When I interviewed her several years ago, she confided that this book “was responsible for my success.”It’s so wonderful to know that we can control our thoughts. However, as with anything in life, it takes time, effort, and patience -- but it works. With aging comes wisdom, experience, maturity, centeredness, and a comfort in one’s own skin. With my renewed outlook, I actually look forward to ripening more….
Thursday, July 3, 2008
During my limited social interactions over the past several weeks I’ve encountered yet more individuals who have come down with the "FI Disease." I guess we’ve all been infected to some extent. I call it the "Fear of Intimacy Disease." We all seem to yearn for intimacy with another, but when we get it, we run away. Whether it’d be with a friend, family, or fan [a lover, partner, etc.]. Of course, I am NOT talking about sex! Intimacy is the act of bearing one’s heart and soul with another. It means being vulnerable, which can be very attractive. However, it can be scary, as well. Because when we're intimate with another, we're intimate with us. That means getting a good look at ourselves, both positively and negatively. Others become a mirror for us. Confrontation time, Baby. Granted, all this ain’t easy!
It helps to be intimate with ourselves FIRST before we become intimate with another.