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Musing #36: Broadway, Hollywood, the Genie and My Lifetime’s 1968

Musing #36: Broadway, Hollywood, the Genie and My Lifetime’s 1968

Aug 29, 2014

Welcome, dearest readers, to Part IIB of Musing #34: Yo, Broadway! Stop with the Hollywood. Mere weeks after I posted Part I, this aspect of it was rendered painful to read: WORK OF ART YEAR OF      FILM/SHOW APPROVAL? WHY OR WHY NOT Aladdin 1992 2014 NO BELONGS ON ICE, NOT ON STAGE! And there is only one Genie.                                                                        There’s nothing left that hasn’t been said/written/Tweeted about Robin Williams. But I’ve found myself utterly incapable of completing the long-promised apologia of the chart that alludes to him ever since the loss of him. Thus, I’m opting to explain that incapacity instead. It’s my column, and I’ll switch if I want to. I’m a wizard of snark and fundamentally a very angry person (arguably, irrationally so). Therefore, trust me when I say it’s hardcore that I’ve reached the extent to which I can spew venom at the unimportant (at least, for now, in a public forum). I promise I won’t neuter my narrative voice going forward, those of you who dig the bite. (Love you guys!) I’m just temporarily squelching the urge to hurl it at innocent strangers who make others happy, in deference to a stage and screen genius who made everyone but himself happy. I’m a student of history, and I’ve thought of 9/11 as my generation’s Pearl Harbor since the moment the South Tower fell at my feet; long before I had any idea what was actually going on. It just felt like Pearl Harbor (for which I was, obviously, not around) in the moment. And I can’t help but feel that 2014 is my generation’s 1968 (for which I was also, obviously, not around). Everything is so bleak and violent. It’s more than one ghastly morning on the American coast (not that it was ever exclusively that). It’s infinite, worldwide strife…with a nightmarish epicenter in the center of America. And it just seems unreasonably petty to be bitching right now about that which brings people joy…even if I find it to be unpardonably lame. I do prefer, emphatically, when the arc of dramatic adaptation flows...

Cruel Beauty Part 1

Cruel Beauty Part 1

Aug 26, 2014

The synopsis of the character and the film is much longer than I intended. I felt all the details were very important in this day and age when bullying is a subject with a raised awareness, so this particular column will be in two parts. This two part column is especially for parents and is dedicated to anyone who has ever been bullied. Christine Hargensen is a very smart, pretty and well liked 17 year old. She is probably the most popular student at Ewin High School. Her best friends are Sue Snell and Tina Blake. Her daddy is a lawyer and I believe a single parent. He indulges his little girl in her every whim. She has a beautiful home, a killer wardrobe and a life most teenage girls would kill for. On the flip side Christine is narcissistic, spoiled and mean. She is the ringleader in the her group and no one dares to cross her. She enjoys tormenting a shy girl they go to school with named Carrie White. Chris is about to make it her life’s mission to destroy Carrie. What Chris is not aware of is she just picked on the wrong girl. Welcome to Movie Bad Girl of the Week! This week we explore the life of Christine Hargensen, the meanest of the mean girls out there. The movie of course is “Carrie”. For this column I am using the 2013 version of the film. We meet Christine during gym class. The girls are playing water volleyball. The gym teacher pulls Carrie White into the game and tells her to serve. Christine gives Carrie mock encouragement. Carrie serves and the ball hits Sue Snell on the back of the head. Christine erupts laughing. The other girls join in. Carrie starts to laugh with them until Christine turns and insults her. You can see the hurt on Carrie’s face. Carrie slips into the showers after the other girls are done and gets her first period. She is terrified and goes to the other girls for help. She grabs Sue smearing blood on her shirt. Chris realizes it is menstrual blood. She tells Carrie “It’s just your period.” and she tries to...

Re-Motivate Yourself In 3 Steps (and Stay That Way)

Re-Motivate Yourself In 3 Steps (and Stay That Way)

Aug 25, 2014

Have you lost the zest? Has your original fire dulled to a single ember? It happens. Motivation is the machine that powers your thoughts, words, and actions. Starting a new job, workout, or hobby can be an exciting rush. After a while, the excitement wanes and it becomes a chore to complete the same tasks you were recently thrilled about! Why is that? Pick The Brain contributor, Stephen Guise, recently published an article offering insight on what kills motivation and how to get it back.  Here are the best ways to get your motivation back and keep it: 1. Don’t let temporary thoughts or feelings interfere. This one is paramount! How many times have we let a short-term change in circumstance, attitude, or emotions get in the way of our own success? For me, many. Guise posits, “You can want something in general, but not want it in any given moment… .” Avoid letting a negative thought chain, feelings of doubt, or worry about a recent situation sabotage your overall goal. Remember, you wanted this! You ARE excited about your goal OVERALL. A temporary fluctuation is just that–temporary. Guise warns, “It only stops people who confuse how they feel as being the same as their long-term desires.” 2. Remember WHY you are working towards your goal. Question yourself. Why did I want to get in shape? Why did I want a new challenge at work? Etc. Keep site of not only the goal itself, but the reason behind the goal. Take a second to reconnect, on an emotional level, to your goals. Guise advises using a “vision board” to stay mindful of your “why.” 3. Break goals into smaller, manageable chunks. Getting in shape, for example, is a big goal. It’s easy to loose steam or feel overwhelmed. If you take a inventory of the components of your goal, break it into manageable pieces, it will be much easier to accomplish. Plus, the excitement of completing a goal and crossing it off, generates more energy to complete the next one–it also becomes more habitual and routine. Here’s an example of one way to dissect your goal into smaller chunks: Large Goal: Get In Shape Reason: To...

You Were Already Good Enough

You Were Already Good Enough

Aug 20, 2014

Romy White and Michele Weinberger were best friends in high school. They didn’t belong to a particular clique, they were their own clique and everyday is a party to the girls. While in high school Romy was a chubby girl and Michele had to wear a back brace because she had scoliosis. The bane of Romy’s existence was the “A” group. These were the most popular girls in school. The group was lead by a very pretty girl who is a bitchy little diva named Christy Masters. She takes great delight in harassing the two girls. Christy views them as weirdos with horrible fashion sense. What gives Christy even greater delight is the fact that Romy has a crush on her boyfriend Billy Christianson. Her mean pranks culminate in Romy’s greatest humiliation on prom night. Romy and Michele are both dressed as Madonna which sets Christy off calling them “The Madonna Twins”. Romy figuring it is prom and the last time she will get a chance asks Billy if he would like to dance with her once in the course of the evening. He says “Sure, why not.” This excites Romy. Billy goes and tells Christy that Romy asked him to dance. This tickles Christy and she sets her final mean plan into action. She confronts Romy and tells her that Billy broke up with her because he’s always had a thing for Romy and she has ruined her life.  Christy turns and stalks off. Romy is stunned and now can’t wait for her dance with Billy, sadly for Romy all she will do is wait. Christy and Billy ride off on his motorcycle although Romy is unaware. The prom comes to an end and Romy heartbroken realizes she has been tricked again. 10 years later. Romy White and Michele Weinberger are best friends and roommates. Everyday is a party to the women. They are living in California in a small apartment on the beach. Romy works as a cashier in the service department of a Jaguar dealership. Michele is unemployed. The ladies life consist of clubs, designing and creating new outfits, lying around in bed watching movies and telling each other how cute...

The Procrastinating 47 Year Old Showgirl. Am I Getting too Old for This?

The Procrastinating 47 Year Old Showgirl. Am I Getting too Old for This?

Aug 18, 2014

This weekend I got the opportunity to perform at a benefit for a gentleman named Leo Wilson Starr. He won the title of “Mr. Florida Proud 2014”. The benefit was to help gather funds to get him to the big show to compete for the title of “Mr. U.S. Proud 2014” where he will have a chance to bring the national title home to Florida. I was invited to perform and became instantly excited. It has been well over a year since I have been on stage. I was so thrilled I can’t put it into words. It was about 3 weeks before the show and the first thing I had to do was select music. What songs would I do and how many? I was running through the list of music I like and had about 30 songs in mind. I acted like I was doing a concert and no one else would be on the stage. I had to narrow it down to two songs. Call me greedy. I was thrilled. The question was which two songs? Did I want to do show tunes or something current? Did I want to do disco? Country? Hip-Hop? Blues? Opera…I’m kidding about that one. I wanted to make money for Leo, not put people to sleep in a club. I settled on the songs “Stupid Girls” and “My Humps”, then I changed my mind, I settled on “Jesus Take the Wheel” and “She Works Hard for the Money” then I changed my mind and I settled on “I’m All About the Bass” and “Private Dancer”…then I changed my mind… The two songs I finally settled on were “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” and “Hell is for Children”. Now I had to start thinking about the way I would like my hair styled. Two retro numbers, two different time periods. Hmmm…what a dilemma. I guessed I would pop down to one of the local wig shops. I can just go out with my natural curls to do Cher but I needed a Pat Benatar style as well. Yes that would solve my problem….NOT! First I went to a wig shop that was run by a scary older...

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