2014.02.02 Text 2 notes

  1. My first NYC roommates (& friends) were friends with Phil Hoffman (he was “Phil” to them and how he introduced himself.) So I got to meet him from time to time back in the 90’s. I vaguely recall a poker night or two at our place where I would lose my money so fast I used to say I was just there to provide the start-up money & then be the dj. I’d not seen him act on stage at that point, I’d seen “Scent Of A Woman” and by all accounts, he was an actor to pay attention to. Anyway later, he was back in NYC doing theater (my roommate Gary was directing Phil in Troilus & Cressida) at HERE in SoHo where my sketch comedy group was performing. We’d run into him, remind him of our mutual friends and we asked if he’d check out our show. He sat in the front row and was the most generous audience member ever. Ridiculously kind and complimentary afterwards. I spoke with him outside the negotiation headquarters during the 2000 SAG strike. I’d seen he and John C. Reilly in “True West” but tried not to gush too much. Again, he could not have been nicer, recalling poker nights and how different his life was then. So unbelievably sad for his partner & children. And for the rest of us, to lose not just a genius artist but also a truly kind soul. Love to his family and friends.

  2. 2013.09.11 Text 1 note

  3. I wrote this diary of my NYC recollections in 2011 for the 10th anniversary.

    http://itsmikerock.tumblr.com/post/10092899108/random-thoughts-ten-years-on

  4. 2013.08.19 Text

  5. First they get trafficked: As if what happens at the destination wasn’t bad enough.

  6. 2013.06.06 Photo 49 notes

  7. Hey all, let’s get the fantastic Liezl a fantastic job! Re-post, share, etc. 

    liezlwashere:

    Liezl for Hire! 

    Work has been slow at my real job, which has unfortunately lead to cutting everyones hours at work. That being said, I’m now available on Thursdays and Fridays along with the weekend. If anyone has any (paying) freelance work I can do, let me know! 

    I’m proficient in Illustrator/inDesign/Photoshop along with all the photography jive you’re used to seeing from me. 

    You may gmail me at heyitsliezl with any leads. THANK YOU.

    Hey all, let’s get the fantastic Liezl a fantastic job! Re-post, share, etc. 
liezlwashere:

Liezl for Hire! 
Work has been slow at my real job, which has unfortunately lead to cutting everyones hours at work. That being said, I’m now available on Thursdays and Fridays along with the weekend. If anyone has any (paying) freelance work I can do, let me know! 
I’m proficient in Illustrator/inDesign/Photoshop along with all the photography jive you’re used to seeing from me. 
You may gmail me at heyitsliezl with any leads. THANK YOU.
  8. 2013.05.21 Text 2 notes

  9. Ray Manzarek died today. I had a radio show at college in Wisconsin and while I honestly don’t recall playing The Doors much, I loved talking about music trivia and not-terribly obvious connections between bands. One such tidbit was that Manzarek had worked with Echo And The Bunnymen & X, which I loved, partly because I like seeing  the bridges between generations of music and how there’s often very little room for any sort of snobbery (which is usually the domain of fans/critics and absent in artists ) about old versus new music.

    Years later I was in NYC doing improv and sketch comedy. For a time, our sketch group would be asked to be part of various smorgasbord comedy shows, usually for Comedy Central but other places too. The ill-fated UPN did a pilot called The Virtual Ed Sullivan Show. (No, really.) It was a bizarre attempt to re-capture the magic of the decades-gone original, complete with a motion-capture animated projection of Ed Sullivan; acted by the comedian/impressionist John Byner. (Go ahead and read that back, it’s all there.) The show was taped in a theater (versus on a typical tv soundstage) Byner did his Sullivan impersonation in a full motion-capture  body suit in a separate room, custom green-screened, upstairs from the theater. The animated Ed appeared on a giant screen on stage. (I know, grim.) The (potential) viewers at home would see the cartoon Ed on the stage similarly to when animated characters accept Oscars™ etc. I’ve over-explained, sorry.

    Bizarre as the concept was the line-up for the shoot which they’d hoped would yield a few episodes, was very true to the Sullivan style: Violinist Sarah Chang, puppet comic Jeff Dunham, dance show cast Tap Dogs, a contortionist named Malenga, jugglers The Flying Karamazov Brothers, magician/storyteller/actor Ricky Jay, acrobats, The Bert Fershners (the sketch comedy group I was in) and the beat poetry of Michael McClure accompanied by Ray Manzarek on piano.

    Backstage was (perhaps obviously) a pretty bizarre scene. The basement of the theater was sectioned off for acts to hang out in different areas. In our area, Malenga was practicing putting his body through a tennis racket, Ricky Jay was practicing card tricks and not being particularly chatty, Michael McClure was pacing, and then the peaceful Ray Manzarek just hanging out with his wife. My group and a couple guests were sort of keeping to ourselves in a semi-private curtained room.

    I felt bold and introduced myself to Ray and his wife. We chatted a bit, (I remember I tried to sound cool talking about his work with X and Echo instead of The Doors) and then I asked if I could introduce him to the rest of my group. He was delighted. He walked around and introduced himself to all of us and our friends like we were his peers or something. It was such a completely non-rock star, kind, friendly gesture, I’m surprised just recalling it. It’s the kind of thing you’d hope for if you were going to be acting along side this person, in the same scene and had dialog together (but even then such a cheerful introduction definitely does not always happen.) But we were entirely separate acts, this guy didn’t need to bond with the sketch group nerds. He was just being an awesome guy.

    I told Ray we’d recently made a comedy cd of some songs and sketches and could I send him one. (I was emboldened.) He said something like: “Absolutely! I’d love it” and wrote down an address to send the cd. Of course, I wasted little time getting the cd in the mail to him. I later thought about how ridiculous it had been to be so geeked-out to send our cd to a rock god; like his accepting it might possibly have some effect on our career or something. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t.) But it was amusing to picture an assistant at a record label or agency opening an envelope and saying “huh, some weird comedy group sent Ray their cd” before it went directly into the garbage.

    A couple of weeks later, however, something did happen. It wasn’t career changing but it certainly made our day (and then some.) I got home from a long day of whatever b.s. was going on in NYC with us at the time and checked the answering machine (it was the late 90’s, folks.) There were some messages, mostly dumb stuff (at least by comparison to the last one) and then: “Oh hey, Bert Fershners, Ray Manzarek here, thank you for the cd, very funny stuff guys, great job, I laughed a lot” and then something about being in touch if/when we might be performing in L.A. again and then “Okay, Ray Manzarek, signing off, bye.” 

    That guy was all class. Thanks, Ray. Rest in peace.image

  10. 2013.05.07 Link 250 notes

  11. kevin w murphy: Ray Harryhausen and the Theater of my Kid Mind

    kwmurphy:

    image

    So. I heard about the passing of Ray Harryhausen, and my mind immediately spun back to 1963.

    It’s the first year of my life I remember with any clarity, the year that my Dad would move us out of the elm-lined avenues of River Forest and into the corn-and-soybean-surrounded spankin’ new…

  12. 2012.11.29 Link 47 notes

  13. Jen Kirkman - comedian: I Started A New Tumblr Account For The Guys

    jenkirkman:

    Well after I posted this - I realized that I need to get it started. So I hope my guy friends - especially the ones in comedy who often lament on their lady peers behalf - that they want to help.

    So help. I present to you “MA’AM” (Men Against Assholes and Misogyny)

    (Source: jenkirkman)

  14. 2012.10.27 Link

  15. Art, Artists & Modern Culture - Welcome To The Vacuum, Where's The Bottom?
  16. 2012.08.31 Photo 152 notes

  17. jamesurbaniak:

    Because it is the law, I’ve started a podcast. It is fictional and I play a character named James Urbaniak. Different writer each month. The first episode is written by great New York playwright Anne Washburn. Please put this in your ears and enjoy.

    jamesurbaniak:

Because it is the law, I’ve started a podcast. It is fictional and I play a character named James Urbaniak. Different writer each month. The first episode is written by great New York playwright Anne Washburn. Please put this in your ears and enjoy.
  18. 2012.07.12 Photo 4 notes

  19. Another uninvited house guest today.

    Another uninvited house guest today.