Friday, February 22, 2019

Updates for January and first half of February

Recent acting activities
  • "Sleeping Ugly" continued into January. 
  • an indie movie 
  • booked my first reasonably highly paid commercial. 
  • joined a short form improv team called Cherub Improv that does charity shows and workshops in hospitals and nursing homes. 
  • I've been to a few improv mixers as well

I got some new, slightly quirky headshots. Here's a link to those

I also opened an art show in the Borough Park Library in Brooklyn. It's gong to be there until February 28, then move to two other libraries in Brooklyn. If you're interested in my art, here's a link to some pix

I just realized that my single can be streamed on spotify -- duh.  I should have realized this sooner.  Warning: the lyrics are quite sociopathic

I wrote this single back in 2014.  At that time, I was participating in a Villain Contest for Jaguar, based on their 2014 SuperBowl commercial.  Originally, they said I should write a villain song, tho later the rules actually said I only had to name an existing villain song.  I hoped that if I won their villain contest it would make it easier for me to book the kind of villain roles that I dream of booking -- comparable to Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars.

I didn't win the villain contest, but then I realized I could use this song as a piece to use to audition for villain roles in musical theater.  I had a friend arrange it.

I'm working on a music video for the song, which I hope to take to festivals, but that's going slowly, due to SFX issues.  My current fantasy is that the song would be picked up by someone who is writing a musical --to be used for the villain character.  Some people have said they think it sounds like Disney Song. That would be amazing, if Disney bought it.

photo of me with Cherub Improv

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Penultimate Diversity Jam at UCBeast

The improv community is trying to promote diversity by having diversity jams. I attend from time to time, for age diversity.  There aren't too many active improvisers who have white hair.

Sadly, the theater called UCB East, aka "The Beast," is closing. Apparently, UCB is choosing to concentrate its resources at the Hell's Kitchen location, which I haven't yet visited.  I've done several class shows and jams at The Beast. It's not very convenient for me, coming into NYC on MetroNorth, arriving at GCT, but it's been a major part of the NYC improv scene for a number of years.

The penultimate Diversity Jam at UCBeast was January 27. I was there.  Here are some set photos that include me on stage.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December 2018 updates

I’m going to be in the Christmas Alumni Show of A Sketch of New York December 21, 22, and 23, at the Producer’s Club, 358 w 44th St, NYC.  There are three teams every day.  I’m in the *middle* team, which means 7:45 on the 21st and 22nd and 2:45 on the 23rd. 

These are all *new* scripts — and I wrote one of the sketches in my show.

Agents, casting directors, artistic directors, and anyone with casting authority can get in free by leaving a business card.  If you stay for all three shows, you’ll see a lot of actors, who have been selected from the basic show to reappear.

Also here’s a video of me performing in a concert on the 9th

I also completed Musical Improv 101 at UCB.  I've taken this course at the Magnet, but not at UCB before.  Eric Gerson was great.

I'm going to be having an art show in Brooklyn in January

Movies seen recently:

Spiderman: into the multiverse

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Performing with Bronx County Chorus December 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018, I sang in a concert with the Bronx County Chorus at the First Lutheran Church of Throggs Neck  You'll note that they spell "Throggs" differently from the way the name of the Bridge is spelled. I should find out why.

I got to sing a duet.  Here's the YouTube video

We also did an outreach concert at the Kings Harbor Multicare Center .  This was written up in a local paper in the Bronx here: Bronx Times write up of outreach concert

There was also a writeup of our concert 12/9/18 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody and Me

I saw Bohemian Rhapsody. 

This was analogous to when I first clicked on Michael Jackson's Thriller video shortly after his death, and got totally hooked on him. I had been vaguely aware of Michael Jackson before, but suddenly I was immersed in him. 

I wasn't even vaguely aware of Queen, tho I recognized some of the songs in the movie. 

What was I doing in the late seventies and early eighties. First, I was at Dartmouth. At th that time, there was no TV there. It was too rural to get more than one very fuzzy channel. Cable hasn't really come in yet. 

I decided I liked being free of video material. I felt it was addictive. I didn't watch TV for twenty or thirty years after that. 

I generally hated popular music on the radio. I still do. I usually turn it off fairly quickly. Classics is not a whole lot better. 

I had magazine and newspaper subscriptions, but popular music was a topic I generally avoided. After all, I hated it. 

I sang classical music in choirs, which I enjoyed. Singing was different from listening. 

I went religious services, usually Quaker. I did volunteer work for some groups, including a suicide prevention hotline and some newsletters. 

Then I went to law school, which was pretty all consuming. Then I worked. Then I got married. Then I had kids. 

I was pretty busy. 

YouTube changed things for me. I was unemployed and on the internet reading news when suddenly links to videos came up. My video addiction was triggered. 

Also, suddenly, music I might have heard once or twice on the radio was suddenly available in video form. I could learn the names of the performers and see them perform.  They stopped being anonymous. 

The short videos were even more addictive than TV, actually. 

I heard the name Queen. I heard of Freddie Mercury, but I didn't watch many of his videos. 

The movie changed that. Mostly, because the movie took me back to a time when I lost at least seven friends and acquaintances to AIDS.  It was such a painful time. I was desperately in love with one of those guys, even though he was gay. His death was shattering. 

I read about Freddie online. There was a Quora post saying he caught aids in NYC around 1982, around the same time and place Freddie got it. Maybe one or more of them had sex with him, who knows?

I relocated the AIDS quilt project online. I searched for my friends. Three of them weren't there. Why? Didn't their families make panels for them? These people were hugely important to me. Weren't they important to others? I guess those other people died or were numb wth shock. 

I've got a homework assignment. 

Wow. I've got to make some panels. Why didn't I notice before? Guilt. 

P.S. I bought some materials for one panel Sunday.  Will I get it done?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Memorializing a FB discussion about whether abortion is prohibited in the Bible

I just want to memorialize a discussion that I’m having with a fundamentalist Christian about why the Bible does or does not prohibit abortion.  She cites to me Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5

I say:

Abortion is not murder.  That’s your opinion.  The Bible does not say so.

King David, in writing Psalm 139, if he was the author, as you say, did not write verse 13 in a vacuum. It’s part of a longer missive, in which he requests the defeat of his enemies.  He says to God “you covered me in my mother’s womb,” as part of a longer request.  Taking that out of context to relate to US abortion laws runs entirely contrary to the passage.

In Jeremiah 1:5 — God apparently says that the addressee is to be made a prophet and that God knew Jeremiah even before he was conceived. This is not addressed to the general public.  It relates to a particular person and the context was his being appointed prophet.  Certainly the general public is not being appointed prophet.  That would defeat the whole idea of there being special prophets.  Again, expanding the scope of this verse to relate to US abortion laws takes this passage entirely out of context and is contrary to the plain meaning of the passage.

Again, if the Bible intended to prohibit abortion, it would have said so.  It made no bones about kosher dietary laws, for instance. 

She says life begins at conception.  I say

a sweater begins by casting on stitches. That doesn't mean a needle with cast on stitches is a sweater. 

Life may begin at conception, tho the Bible seems to imply before conception, but that doesn't mean an embryo is a human being any more than cast on stitches are a sweater

She says that I’m implying that Jeremiah was more special than any other human being ever born

I say

Yes, he was special.  He was a prophet. God apparently planned for him, according to this story. This doesn't mean that God didn't plan for others.  There were other prophets in the Bible.

It also doesn't mean that abortion is murder. Abortion isn’t mentioned or suggested.  If God planned for the arrival of this particular prophet, presumably He made sure that the guy was going to be born.  There are any number of reasons why a person might or might not be conceived at a particular time.  

At that time, half of all children died before one year of age from disease.  Presumably God planned for that not to happen as well, otherwise the prophet wouldn’t have been able to be a prophet.  

Not all people are fore-ordained to be prophets.  That’s the clear intent of the passage. So, yes, Jeremiah, was special