Archive for the ‘Arts & Culture’ Category

Marcel Marceau died on September 22nd.

I read a news link sent to the mime list I am a part of on Sunday afternoon. And being right about the one month mark of Elmer’s passing, I have to say it hit me a bit harder than I would have expected.

I never met Marceau. I almost made it to Mimeistry’s 2002 workshop where he came and taught, and he was supposed to be there in 2003 when I was, but was unable to make it. Almost.

But I do know people who met him. People who felt privileged to have met and been taught by him. And I know people who knew him fairly well – people who spent much time with him, who were trained by him. And I know the impact he had on their lives.

I did get to see him perform once. I barely remember it as I was just a kid and it was a special field trip in elementary school. I’d nearly forgotten. In fact, it was nearly two years after I started doing mime that I caught up with a classmate who’d moved away and when I mentioned my newfound passion he said “Didn’t we see that famous mime guy in school?”

“Marceau?” I asked, incredulously, my mind and heart racing, “Are you telling me I saw Marcel Marceau and don’t remember it?”

When I got home I searched through all those papers Mom had kept from my school days and found the program from the show. It’s since been framed.

And I remember him doing a butterfly (mostly because the kid next to me leaned over and asked “what’s that supposed to be?”). And I have recalled other images from that day – Bip on a date, the Lion Tamer… just pieces…

Marceau was largely responsible for the revival of mime and the popularity of it here in American (and, I’m sure, elsewhere). And I am just a small part of a large community that was impacted by his life and his art. And I am grateful.

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And yes, I had to laugh.

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“Artists can color the sky red because they know it’s blue. Those of us who aren’t artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we’re stupid.” Jules Feiffer (a quote found in Woman’s Day magazine, February 2007)

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Something fishy….

Tonight for dinner I made fish in the dishwasher. And I got a load of dishes done at the same time!

It started about 2 weeks ago. I was driving to work and I heard the morning show hosts on Word FM talking about cooking fish in the dishwasher. I thought it was bizzarre. So did they. Then one of their listeners called in and said she’s done it multiple times. Then she gave the recipe!

I, of course, was driving and unable to write it down. But it’s been on my mind ever since.

I did some searching on the internet and found a couple of recipes. Always for salmon. But it was mentioned that other fish could be done as well. Allrecipes.com has one with lots of reviews. But the best information was on the Surreal Gourmet website. So I got up the nerve to try it.

I’d mentioned cooking fish in the dishwasher in passing to my parents. Who thought I was joking. (Which would be a natural reaction.) So today I quickly made a sauce, basted and tightly wrapped up my flounder in tin foil (sealing it in), placed it in the dishwasher with the dirty dishes, added the dishwasher soap and turned it on. Before anyone noticed what I was doing!

I figured the dishwasher cycle (normal cycle, including drying time) was about an hour. So I made country potatoes in the oven and prepared the vegetable and an appetizer. About 10 minutes before the potatoes and peas were done I served the appetizer (yummy spinach and artichoke dip). Of course, I underestimated the dishwasher cycle and the fish wasn’t done till nearly 30 minutes later… But the potatoes and peas were kept warm and I placed them on the table. Then I opened the dishwasher and removed the fish. At that point, too tired to make a pretty serving dish, I placed one foil packet on each plate.

The fish was delicious! Now, I am not a big fan of white fish. Or at least I wasn’t before. And I’ve never been able to cook it right. But this fish was tender, moist, flakey and so tasty! I’ve never had better fish.

I will totally do this again in the future!

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World Wonders

Apparently, there is a new list of 7 Wonders of the World. And I missed the voting process.

The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World were named by Philon of Byzantium in 200 B.C. – and only 1 remains today – which in itself might say something about “wonders” and endurance. They are: The Temple of Artemis, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Colossus of Rhodes, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, The Lighthouse at Alexandria, The Pyramids at Giza and The Statue of Zeus. The pyramids are the only wonder left.

But our global culture has determined the need for new wonders (ones tourists can actually go see) and voted for them.

The new seven wonders are: Chichén Itzá in Mexico, Christ Redeemer in Brazil, The Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru, Petra in Jordan, The Roman Colloseum in Italy and The Taj Mahal in India.

I wonder what Philon would think?

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stage falls…

Last night I was demonstrating to one of my VBS sketch actors how to fall safely for her part.

What I forgot was the little tin that I had in my pocket, right at my upper right thigh (which takes the brunt of the fall).  I landed hard.  The pain was excruciating and brought tears to my eyes.

Later last night when I realized it was swollen I put some ice on it.  Should have had ice on there much sooner.  It still hurts to walk and now I have this neat little tin-shaped bruise on my thigh.

So much for teaching someone to fall without hurting themselves…

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Who does that?

One of my favorite shows is CRIMINAL MINDS. I love the characters and the team aspect and the quirky genius Reid has always been a fav.

Back around the Superbowl they had this 2-parter where Reid gets kidnapped by this guy with 3 personalities. (One which liked him, one that wanted to kill him and one who was “impartial” but “doing God’s will” and bringing judgment.) As these shows do on occasion, it had a religious theme where some person takes the Bible to (in this case murderous) extremes. Totally out of context.

So Reid is this genius who can speed read and remember every word (among other things) and he had been kidnapped and was trying to give his team clues (he was being videoed with a live internet feed) to find him. And in the process he goes off about classic narcissism and vanity and says “Genesis 23:4, Let him not deceive himself and trust in emptiness, vanity, falseness and futility for these shall be his recompense.”

Now Genesis 23.4 is actually Abraham wanting to buy a plot of land for burial. And because the genius wouldn’t misquote a verse, that was the clue for the team to find him…

But ever since I saw the initial episode I’ve wondered where the verse he quoted came from. So I recorded the rerun last night to get the wording of the other verse. I went to a Bible program and chose the King James (since most of the verses sounded like that version) and could not find it. I finally googled it. It was Job 15.31 – taken from the Amplified Version!

Now, I have an Amplified Bible. It’s really cool because in parenthesis it gives you alternate or more descriptive meanings of some words that might lose meaning in our culture – because in Hebrew especially it is hard to translate one English word for the true meaning… And that’s cool.

But who in Hollywood reads the Amplified Bible and uses it in writing a TV show? Most shows quote the Bible in Latin, King James or NIV… (if it’s accurate at all.)

This bewilders me.

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Take Back

So about a week ago I wrote a long post exclaiming how I was finally interested in a reality tv show. It was short lived. Not only did they skip an entire episode (leaving me lost wondering how they got from 24 to 18 people), but the set-up is now more American Idol style where they spend most of the show talking about calling in votes and in commercials and in trying to make the poor contestants antsy as they do their elaborate dance around who got the axe. Plus a minute here and there of who the people are and their short films.


Everything I hate about reality TV is there now. Including how America votes in really stupid ways. It’s not about how well these people are doing – it’s a popularity contest. (Well, for the most part.) Hello, high school.

Goodbye, “On the Lot!”

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… or at least some videos of them are.

So I typed in “mime” into the search box at the On The Lot website. 29 hits. Some movies, some actors. So they say.

I watched a few of the shorts. The one that’s linked to the title of this post is pretty good. Funny, in fact. Reminds me of Jenny Grey – or something she could do. *grin*

But many of them made me cringe and cry. The mime technique was horrendous. *sigh* People who think it’s cool or funny or even derogatory to use mime in or as the main part of a film, should at least take care to get a professional or at least decent mime. With good technique. It only makes the director look bad.

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Well, it finally happened. I got hooked into a Reality TV show. I never thought I’d see the day. (Look out your window, do you see those pigs flying?) I don’t much care for Reality TV – mean judges or wild competitions or random situations that are highly edited and (often) purposely designed by the head haunchos to bring the most drama, conflict and head-butting.

But last week I was channel surfing (while having my evening snack) and I caught a glimpse of a group of people taking a tour of Universal Studios. I’ve only been there like a dozen or more times (another reason I miss SoCal.) So naturally, I had to pause. It was part of “On The Lot” a reality show where directors (or director wanna-bes) get challenged to test their stuff during a bunch of challenges and then viewer votes for a $1 Million deal with Dreamworks.

So I was gonna keep going after I saw what it was. Reality TV. (Shudder.) Then they brought out the judges. Brett Ratner (recall the kid in segment #38 of Jenny’s story?). Carrie Fisher (the one and only). And two other cool director guys who’ve made movies I’ve heard of.

And maybe it was living in SoCal for all that time, or knowing people who are (or who want to be) “in the industry,” and people who want to make it big as directors… but I kept watching… and watching… and watching…

I’m invested. I’m intrigued. Some of them are really talented. Some of them really get on my nerves. Spielberg said in an interview (he and Mark Burnett are behind this thing) that this wasn’t a typical reality show. The judges aren’t overly cruel. The contestants have no reason and are not prodded to be mean and out for one another. It’s really focused on their work. (Not that there’s not some editing for dramatic aspects… I mean, this is a reality TV about directing!)

I have a few favorites already. Including this guy… Zach Lipovsky. Like what I’ve seen of his work. As well as 4 others that really stand out to me.

But I’m still in shock. I’m watching – and hooked on – a reality TV show. And I may even end up voting! (Shudder.)

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