Sunday, May 31, 2009



Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009
Aquarius – Always being ready to pounce is exhausting. You can keep a look out, protect your family and yourself while relaxing at the same time. Your experience will see you through. Even with your guard down you are shielded by what you know.

Pisces – It is a roller coaster or maybe a yo yo. Just about the time you are feeling that life has hit bottom there is a new light. Things change and the way to be happy is to fall in love with change. Nothing lasts forever good times will be followed by tough times, but the good will be here again before you know it. Love the ride.

Aries- The self-analyzing you are doing is not just looking into a mirror. The very act of observing changes the experiment. What personality is it that looks at you? They are both you but both different. Be yourself and know that we are all complicated combinations.

Taurus – Some things that make you mad are but sheets in the wind. They billow, snap and wave for your attention, but they are not taunting you. It is but movement trying to make you charge.

Gemini – Be proud and stand tall but do not give in to stubbornness. You can lower your head and try to break through an obstacle, but you are guaranteed to get a headache. Think of the horn of a ram, it curves and bends and makes a point in a round about way. Use your head in a different way than as just a battering ram.

Cancer – Your worry is that you are simply running around in circles. You think you are just chasing your tail but perhaps you are catching up to your own goals. Action is good and motion creates more motion. Keep going don’t slow down. Even if you have been down this road before you can always notice something different in your mindset journey. Pick a tool that can be both.

Leo
– Give out of your abundance and not out of your lack. Do not see it as the depletion of a limited amount but the flow of an infinite source. You are just the gate through which eternity flows. Share with no thought of running out and no thought of getting it back. It will always be there.

Virgo – You sometimes think it is wishy- washy to stop and think for a moment. You are so accustomed to charging ahead, a moment’s pause is to you a sign of weakness. It is not. Stopping and kneeling in prayer can sometimes be the very best action to take. Try finding that meditation time you have neglected.

Libra – Caught between the warrior and the worker you tend to buck with the forward motion. You are both warrior and worker equally and both sides of your ego much be acknowledged. Know that weapons of war can be used as tools of peace with the correct


Scorpio - It is when you are still that you find your greatest awareness. In movement you are briefly blind. Move forward with time planned to be perfectly still and understand your surroundings. It will help you avoid your enemies but it will also help you find your path.


Sagittarius – Even when you are right it may not be correct to point that out. You have the ability to see things in a balanced way. Not every one sees the world through your scale. Do not judge but give everyone safe passage through your life.


Capricorn – The idea of embodying angelic qualities may not appeal to you, but that is who you are. Acting out in denial or trying to show that you are something you are not leads nowhere. You will never be fully realized until you embrace the spiritual side of existence.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Life off the Stage

A friend once told me, "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you ever find time to do it again?"

Words to live by.

As I am writing this a crew of 10 guys are spelunking the attic and banging in the closet outside my office door. We are replacing the antique air conditioning and heating system in our house. It is not the original system but was here when we bought the house. I am guessing it is over 30 year old. It has been on its last leg for years and we have been keeping it going with semi-annual visits from the Air Medic.

I was reminded of my friends old chestnut while looking at the empty holes where the old heating system was sitting. Behind the intake grill we found an electrical outlet, still live and coated with dust. It had not been disconnected, just left where it was and covered over with the grill. I often wondered why there was no plug on that wall, now I know. I am amazed that the dirt did not short circuit it over the years.

During every repair job to this house the phrase, "I don't know why they did it this way when they installed it," is said at least once. I know that everything is about the budget and it costs more to do it right. So my new chestnut is, "If you don't have the money to do it right, how will you ever be able to afford to rebuild it when it falls down or burns up."

Wish they could all be show biz blogs, but life does get in the way of my stage world from time to time.

As you were,
Jay

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tony Nominations
There have been several versions of this film set to different subtitles. This could be my new favorite. Nothing funnier than Hitler raving about the politics of the American Theatre Wing.
Enjoy.




As you were,
Jay

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Episode #6

(CONTINUED)
MUSIC - NVR THEME SONG




ANNOUNCER
And now back to National Visual Radio's Presentation of
.... Jam shade...

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

ANNOUNCER
Decetive Dyslexic…

MUSIC STINGER – ORGAN BOUNCE

ANNOUNCER
Visual Radio is brought to you today by
a grant from the Corporation for Pictorial
Radio and the Ima Rich Capitolist Foundation.
where quality is just another word to us. Today’s….

SFX – NEWS ROOM TICKER TAPE - INTERRUPTING

NEWS ANNOUNCER
We interrupt this regularly scheduled program with
A breaking story from our news desk with a Special News Report

SFX – MUSIC – SPECIAL NEWS REPORT THEME

NEWS ANNOUNCER
… We go live to our Special News Desk and
Hinkley Kelly at the National Visual Radio news desk..
Hinkley are you at your desk.

SFX-NEWS ROOM NOISE

HINKLEY KELLY
Yes, this is Hinkley Kelly at the National Visual Radio news desk..
We now go live, on the scene with our Ace reporter Powers Lunche.
Powers, this it Hinkley Kelly at the National Visual Radio news desk, can
you hear me?

STATIC AND WHITE NOISE

POWERS LUNCHE
No, I can’t hear you at all. I didn’t even hear you ask me if I could
Hear you… that is

STATIC – RADIO BUZZ – BACK TO HINKLEY

HINKLEY KELLY
We seem to be having some difficulty. Here is what
We know so far…. There has been a….


To be
(CONT.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

HBO The Alzheimer Project
I have been watching HBO's Alzheimer Project off and on. I can't watch for very long because it becomes too emotional. It is depressing to see a human life when the mind has abandoned it. That is perhaps the worst trick this physical body can play on us.

If you have not watched the show, it is simply a documentary of Alzheimer's sufferer's in various stages of the disease and how it affects the person, their environment and their families. There is no narration, only the people involved telling their story. It casts light on a very dark subject that millions are affected by daily. The light, however, makes the dark only that much darker.

A man named Woody is one of the subjects. In his lucid days he was a singer, in a singing barbershop quartet club. He loved to sing. His family picked him up from his care facility to take him to a party for his old singing group. He was very polite but clearly did not know who his family was. On the way to the party Woody asked where they were going every three minutes followed by the same answer phrased differently by each member of the family hoping this time it would stick. It never did. When they got to the party they asked Woody to come on stage. As the group started into one of the Woody's favorite songs he sang every word in perfect tune with a polished stage presence. That part of Woody was still there, but moments after it was over he did not know where he was nor who he was with. The fickle nature of a fragmented brain.

Back at the home a nurse was trying to keep a group of residents mentally exercised by asking some questions their age group should know the answer too, such as: "What is the game called that is played with four bases?" "How many wheels on a bicycle?" etc. At one point the nurse said to the group. "Who was Mortimer Snerd?" No one seemed to know the answer. Several people got upset and others reacted with nonsensical responses. The nurse finally said, "You all remember Mortimer Snerd... he was the little dummy on the radio.... He was the one that sat on Jack Benny's knee."

Oh well, perhaps they would not have retained the correct information. I guess it is a testiment to Edgar Bergen's talent that his puppets are more famous than him at the old folks home. I guess when I forget the answer it is time for me to join them.

As you were,
Jay

Monday, May 25, 2009

Someone wished me a Happy Memorial Day. I thought about is for a very long time and wondered if it was not an oxymoron. I suppose a day to remember fallen soldiers could existentially be happy, but remembering loved ones who have died before their time in hostility is not really a happy notion.

So here is to Memorial Day. Thanks to all the people like my Dad who fought, sacrificed or died in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iraq, Bosnia, World War I, The Spanish American War, The Civil War.... well you get the idea there are really too many wars to really even list. So many people died, were crippled or broken because we just can't get along. Here is hoping that some day we figure out a better solution.

Have a Grateful Memorial Day.
As you were,
Jay

Saturday, May 23, 2009


As a defense from predators the Chameleon lizard can change its skin color to match the background. However, it will actually explode if placed on
Plaid fabric
.

Believe it? Why Not?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Idol Thoughts
Kris Allen? Well we certainly weren't expecting that. I know game shows are subject to a lot of practice and standards rules to keep the show honest. But, is American Idol a game show? Is it subject to the same rules that were enacted after the game show scandals of early television? I'm not sure they are. They never talk about an accounting firm which keeps the votes a secret and verifies them like the Academy Award votes.

It makes me wonder if American Idol is obligated to correctly announce the voting results or make up a result that would make a better ending? This year's finale was a little suspicious for me. The person everyone called the one to beat after the second week, loses. That seems to be the perfect ending for a show that wants viewers for another season. If the obvious person wins, why even watch the last few weeks. But if anything can happen and even a "dark horse" can win, well that is a reason to watch.

As you were,
Jay

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Variety Television?
There was a television show on this week called "Glee".  I figure it is competition to the "High School Musical" demographic.  It has been scheduled very strangely. They aired the pilot on Tuesday night and will start to air the show a month from now.  It has gotten wonderful reviews already and it really is a kick back to the musical films of the 50's.  I hope it becomes a big hit because it will further signal that musical variety is back on television. 

Variety television is back but it has come in the guise of sport not art.  Every time we see dancing, singing or variety acts on television it is on a competition show. American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, America's Got Talent, are variety shows; however, with the voting element they become barely one step above the Major Bowles Amateur Hour.  There is no doubt these shows draw a very big audience. I think there is a way to produce a variety show on television that does not rely on "competition" which would be just as successful.

Presentation of the variety arts and acts should be just that, a presentation, not an Olympic event to be given a score.  Why do we have to pick a winner, crown a champion?  Do we really have to judge,  can't we just enjoy?  Performance artists need to have a venue where they can just express their talents.  That would be art. 

As  you were,
Jay




Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Episode #5
(CONTINUED)
MUSIC - TRANSITIONAL STRINGS

ANNOUNCER
Will this be true Love for our hero, Jam?
Will Jam finally find a girl who doesn’t know
that the can’t spell true love? Will Jam and his
dyslexic blonde bombshell both be able to blindly
find their way home?

MUSIC STINGER – ORGAN SWELL

ANNOUNCER
Tune in next week when these and many more questions will be answered on the
Next Episode of…..

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

JAM (cont)
Jam Shade Decetive Dyslexic!

To be
(CONT.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Coming Soon to this Blog
In response to a recent email from the famed television director with whom I share a first name, a new weekend feature "Jaysons Believe it Why Not?" will alternate with Medium Rare's Astological Projections on Saturdays here at "The World is a Stage". The first installment of this new feature will begin this weekend.
Please use the information contained in this feature responsibly.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dyslexic Editor's Correction
In today's post, below, in the last sentence of the fifth paragraph the phrase "Lisa's show is a valentine" is incorrect.  It should correctly read "LIZA'S show is a valentine..."  Anyone who can sing the song "Liza with a Z" from Ms Minnelli's first television special should not make such a mistake.
ED
More than You Ever Wanted to 
Know about a Tony Award
There has not been a winner of the the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event since 2007 when it was awarded to "Jay Johnson: The Two and Only".  The Best Special Theatrical Event Award is only given out when there are two or more shows opening during a Broadway season that qualify and are nominated by committee.

The winner in 2005 was "Billy Crystal in 700 Sundays" and before that "Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on Broadway" in 2003. For a decade the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event has been presented during odd numbered years with only the exception of "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" which was given out in 2002.

This year the American Theatre Wing has nominated four shows in the category of
Best Special Theatrical Event they are:

Will Ferrell - "Your Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush"
Slava Polunin - "Slava's SnowShow"
Liza Minnelli - "Liza's at The Palace"
Hui Guang - "Soul of Shaolin"


Slava's Snowshow is playing at the Helen Hayes and I understand it is a very wonderful show celebrating the art of Russian clowning.  "Soul of Shaolin" is a show about the traditions and disipline of Asian martial arts.  Will Ferrell's show is a political satire featuring his incredible "Saturday Night Live honed" impersonation of George W.  Lisa's show is a valentine to her godmother, singer/MGM vocal arranger Kay Thompson. 

I have not seen any of these shows and  don't know who is favored in the Gypsy odds to win. I'm not even sure there are Gypsy odds on Broadway.  Will Ferrell made a joke about his Tony nomination as host of Saturday Night Live this week end. He said he was sure to win because his only real competition was some Broadway new comer named Lisa Minnelli. No denigration to the other two shows nominated but I think it boils down to Will or Liza. 

Although I will wince a little at loosing my "current winner" status I will be very excited in the most vicarious way for the winner this year.  I will fondly recall the night Sandi and I got to attend the Tony Awards and take home a trophy.

The best to all the nominees.
As you were,
Jay

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday, May, 16, 2009
No Future Forecast today

With her unique and special talents Medium Rare has divined that no one will read the forecast today so she did not publish a prediction. Medium Rare knows all.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Movie of the Week
My friend Dick Hardwick sent me this YouTube. I am married to a dancer who adores Fred Astaire and I have never seen this clip before. To hit a golf ball in time to the music with what looks like excellent form could only be done by a master. For your Entertainment a true artist.


Have a great week end. A golf game perhaps?

As you were,
Jay

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One for the Road

I find myself in Victoria, British Columbia today. The Victoria International airport is smaller than the Burbank Bob Hope airport and not nearly as busy. The ticket counter for Horizon Air was closed for about an hour while the only agent on duty went to lunch. That is acceptable since there are only two flights a day on that carrier.

I'll be flying to Seattle in a couple of hours which is a 35 minute international flight via prop plane.

I will not get to see Victoria more than the time spent at the airport but I have been here years before. That time was a little more memorable.

I was in Vancouver to do the Alan Thicke Show. It was at the time the "Tonight Show of Canada." The schedule called for a day off after we taped the show and before we flew back home. Barbara Eden was also a guest on the show and we hit it off at the taping. Barbara is a very funny and charming lady. She was traveling with a friend and I was with Sandi. We all decided to rent a car and drive to Victoria for High Tea at the Empress hotel. It sounded like something American celebrities should do in Canada.

It is 40 minutes by ferry to get to Victoria and because Barbara will always be television's Jeanie we were all soon guests of the Captain for a tour of the bridge.

We made a quick stop at Buchart Gardens to smell the roses and laughed our way through a very formal Tea service at the Empress Hotel.

I guess after that experience it's only right this trip to Victoria would be so mundane and forgettable. It doesn't matter, I will always be able to "dream of Jeanie" and Victoria.
As you were,
Jay
www.monkeyjoke.com
Episode #4 (CONTINUED)
MUSIC SFX – ORGAN RIFF

ANNOUNCER
The Blonde was hurt badly. Hit by a stray bullet from her
Own Gun.

MUSIC STINGER – ORGAN SWELL

ANNOUNCER
In a breathy voice that made her breasts heave ... She says….

BREATHY BLONDE VOICE

BLONDE
Quick Mister, I’m really hurt from this bullet. Quick
Call 199.

CUT TO JAM SHADE – DECTECTIVE DYSLEXIC –SHOCKED LOOK

ANNOUNCER
Jam’s heart leaped to his throat… and it made him gulp
He realized by looking at her chest that she was….

MUSIC STINGER - DUM DE DUM DUM

ANNOUNCER
...A Deslylic just like himself. She hadn't been following him, she was lost too.

JAM
Don’t you worry your blonde little pretty head Ma’m.
You are in hands good.. because I AM

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

JAM (cont)
Jam Shade Decetive Dyslexic!

To be
(CONT.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maltese Doody

I remember when a Howdy Doody puppet was put up for auction at Sotherby's years ago. A buzz went around the collectors grapevine speculating on "which" Howdy it was.

Seems that validating a Howdy Doody puppet is much like the hunt for the real Maltese Falcon.

The one pictured on this blog last Sunday has a curious pedigree. It is actually a copy taken from the original Velma Dawson Howdy Doody which is the freckled face (48 freckles on Howdy's face one for every state in the union at the time he was created). Velma's version was created after a license dispute with Frank Paris who created an older bumpkin version of Howdy for the original 50's television show.

The Howdy Doody puppet pictured Sunday was used in the Andy Kaufman 1979 television special "Andy's Funhouse". That television show was recreated in the movie "Man on the Moon" with Jim Carry. I'm not sure if this is also the puppet that was used in that film or not.

I do know that the Howdy pictured on Sunday was made by Ren`e and his Artists and approved by Velma before she died. I took that picture when Rene was showing it to her.

What I know about the 50's Howdy Doody puppets is this. There were three Howdy's created for the television show. They were identified as Howdy Doody, Double Doody and Photo Doody. Double Doody was a back up in case of a string break during a live show, and Photo Doody had no strings, it was just a poseable puppet for photos. I think it is Photo Doody that is in the Smithsonian along side my original Bob Campbell.
More information than you asked for, but sometimes we have to share what we know. This is the way we find out which mushrooms are poisonous with out dying first.
As you were,
Jay
www.monkeyjoke.com

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009
Aquarius – Your worry is that you are simply running around in circles. You think you are just chasing your tail but perhaps you are catching up to your own goals. Action is good and motion creates more motion. Keep going don’t slow down. Even if you have been down this road before you can always notice something different in your mindset journey. Pick a tool that can be both.

Pisces –True friends are always there. Others who are not true friends will try to confuse you. Don’t worry the truth will always come out, and the more you do not resist the truth it will come out faster. Parasites usually flee from the light. Once you have cast a light on them they will evaporate.

Aries
- The idea of embodying angelic qualities may not appeal to you, but that is who you are. Acting out in denial or trying to show that you are something you are not leads nowhere. You will never be fully realized until you embrace the spiritual side of existence.

Taurus – The self-analyzing you are doing is not just looking into a mirror. The very act of observing changes the experiment. What personality is it that looks at you?
They are both you but both different. Be yourself and know that we are all complicated combinations.

Gemini – Always being ready to pounce is exhausting. You can keep a look out; protect your family and yourself while relaxing at the same time. Your experience will see you through. Even with your guard down you are shielded by what you know.

Cancer
– Tough Love is sometimes required and necessary. However, don’t forget that you can catch more flies with honey. There are times that you just need to acknowledge that someone is hurting. They will correct themselves if given enough positive love. Why do you always need to be the one who pushes the lessons in their faces?

Leo – Your visions are coming together and the future you saw is happening. It has become obvious the last couple of years that you can affect your future so always see the good and prosperous, not the shadow and un happy.

Virgo – It is a roller coaster or maybe a yo yo. Just about the time you are feeling that life has hit bottom there is a new light. Things change and the way to be happy is to fall in love with change. Nothing lasts forever good times will be followed by tough times, but the good will be here again before you know it. Love the ride.

Libra – Maybe you should move from your comfort zone and stretch a little. Look into another career while you have this job in hand. It is not that this job is bad it just may not be sustainable. It might not be the future that you want.

Scorpio -The world will not come to you so you will have to go to them. Keep pushing no matter how many people try to distract you. There are those who will poke at you and tease you but you will soon leave them behind. Push forward, stand your ground if that doesn’t sound like a contradiction to you then you have found the way.

Sagittarius – Some things that make you mad are but sheets in the wind. They billow, snap and wave for your attention, but they are not taunting you. It is but movement trying to make you charge.

Capricorn –Since there is no end to your service to others, you need to find time for yourself. You do not need to make sure the entire world is happy before you smile. It is the reverse, smile and the world is more likely to become happy. You need to be of service to yourself as well in these times.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Eposide #3 (CONTINUED)
MUSIC SFX – A MYSTERIOUS CHORD

ANNOUNCER
Jam saw the shooter clearly. There was no doubt about it
It was Her….

MUSIC STINGER – Gm 7th CHORD

ANNOUNCER
The BLONDE

MUSIC STINGER – Am 7th CHORD

ANNOUNCER
The mysterious Blonde that Jam had noticed on the streets before. He was lost at the time and thought she might be following him around. She was probably 22 and a solid 10 holding a 45 or was she more like 45, Clutching a 22… the gun could have been a 357…. No matter…. Numbers were all the same to him… cause he is….

ANNOUNCER
Jam Shade

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

ANNOUNCER
Decetive Dyslexic! He doesn’t know right from left
he doesn’t know how to get home… but he knew SHE
Looked Good.!!!

MUSIC - ROMANTIC GLISS

JAM
Wow.... she hot really is.

To be
(CONT.)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

On the Flight with Danny
Yesterday I wrote about the flight to Chicago with Danny Gans.  The story really isn't complete without telling the entire story.  

When the flight landed in St. Louis, every one's plans changed not just for Danny and me but everyone.  We were on the ground in St. Louis for about 3 hours before we took off for Chicago again.  Most of that time was spent on the plane parked away from the terminal.  They kept looking for an empty gate to pull up to, but there was none available.

By the time we were on the ground in St. Louis for a couple of hours we had been on that plane for 7 hours straight. What was normally a two hour flight had become a marathon. Up from the back of the plane came an Asian man who was obviously in a panic.  He was sweating and rambling in broken English about needing to get off the plane... now.  At the front of the plane he was trying to push the flight attendant away and get into the cockpit.  She was doing her best to calm him down but he was beginning to exhibit signs of classic claustrophobia.  Everyone on the plane was aware that the situation was about to escalate. 

Just at the moment it could all flash out of control,  Mel Tormé rose from his front row seat and stepped into the aisle behind the man.  He said, "Hey, Babe.... why don't you settle down, she is doing the best she can.  We all would like to get off the plane.  We will as soon as it's safe." 

The Asian man heard the voice and turned around to see Mel Tormé looking at him.  The man said, "Mel Tormé......oh my god.... it's Mel Tormé..... Mel Tormé is talking to me.... Mel Tormé"  He shook Mel's hand and melted into a giggling fan.  He sheepishly walked back to his seat in the back of the plane muttering  "Mel Tormé.... Mel Tormé".  He totally forgot about his claustrophobia and his need to get off the plane.  Mel Tormé saved flight 237.

I knew Mel but did not know he was on the flight.  After 7 hours trapped on an American Airlines flight I made my way up to Mel and said, "I guess you are the hero who saved the plane from an incident."  

Mel looked up at me and said, "Jay, babe.... are you on this flight?" (Oh no Mel, I just dropped by to say hello)

Later I was able to introduce Danny Gans to Mel Tormé and they seemed to hit it off.  I guess Mel and Danny are talking that over where ever they are right now.

As you were,
Jay

Monday, May 04, 2009

GoodBye Danny
It was some time before Danny Gans was a fixture in Las Vegas.  A time when he was a fixture in the Corporate show world.  Danny Gans was king of the hill and everyone who did Corporate shows used his calendar and quotes as a bench mark.  Buyers used to brag that they had once booked Danny Gans act for 10k; it was a statement of how long they had been in the business or how quickly Danny had be able to up his price.  The last quote I heard for a Danny Gans private show was a million dollars. He was a star in Vegas by then and I don't think anyone bought at that price. It was mainly a way of saying he didn't want to do any more Corporate shows. However, the quote did make the gossip circles in the Corporate show field.  Danny and I did a couple of shows together, but it was soon obvious that if Danny was the act for an evening there wasn't a budget left for anyone else.  

It was during those days that Danny and I ended up sitting next to each other in the first class section of a flight going from Los Angeles to Chicago.  We were both flying to do corporate shows for different clients.  We talked for a while and eventually Danny put on earphones and went to sleep.  I dozed for awhile as well, but when we should have been landing in Chicago the Captain interrupted with an announcement. He said Chicago was socked in with a terrible rain storm, so we would circle the airport until it was safe to land.  

Three hours later the Captain broke in and said that we were running very low on fuel and if the storm didn't clear soon we would have to divert the flight plan and land in another city for fuel. An hour after that the Captain said we were almost out of fuel, the storm was too bad to land in Chicago and we would be diverted to St. Louis.  Danny was sleeping like a baby during all of this and was unaware that it was not just a routine flight to Chicago.  

As the plane bumped to a landing, Danny woke up, adjusted his seat, took his headphones off and looked out the window.  I said, "Welcome to St. Louis, Dan."  He laughed and said something like, "Wouldn't that be the deal? Get on the wrong plane and miss the show tonight?".  Just as he was laughing at what he thought was a joke, the Captain broke in with the announcement.  "Well folks, welcome to St. Louis.."  

Danny turned white and began to panic. It took me a few minutes to calm him down and explain what had happened while he was asleep.  There were no cell phones in those days, only an air phone between the seats that we could share. We took turns calling our clients and agents trying to figure out what we could do.  

We sat on the runway at St. Louis for another 3 hours waiting for the storm and fuel.  At baggage claim we waved a quick goodbye and ran different directions rushing to our respective shows.  Later when I attended his show in Vegas he recalled that adventure.  We both made it to our shows with only minutes to spare.

Danny was a good guy. Very talented man who has left us too early.  The irony of moving into that fabulous theater at the Encore only two months ago, with everything set for a very long and successful run at the hottest hotel, and passing away so suddenly, is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.  I will miss his face smiling from the marquee in Vegas.  I am one of many who will miss you, Dan.
As you were,
Jay

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009
Aquarius – Things are happening fast and you need to stay on top of them. Perhaps you need to a break from your pod so you can swim with others on your journey. If you only know the ones around you, how can you help them become enlightened. Expand your family.

Pisces – Stop trying to beat the legal system. You must find the balance within yourself, because established systems will always let you down. Just pay the fine and get on with your life. Keep a clear head.

Aries- – Give out of your abundance and not out of your lack. Do not see it as the depletion of a limited amount but the flow of an infinite source. You are just the gate through which eternity flows. Share with not thought of running out and no thought of getting it back. It will always be there.

Taurus – Don’t give up so easily. Nothing worth while can be taken for granted. The long trip is part of the destination. Work at it and become what you seek. True value is earned and delivered. Never be afraid that it is not coming so quickly.

Gemini – - Things are happening fast and you need to stay on top of them. Perhaps you need to a break from your pod so you can swim with others on your journey. If you only know the ones around you, how can you help them become enlightened. Expand your family.

Cancer – Your worry is that you are simply running around in circles. You think you are just chasing your tail but perhaps you are catching up to your own goals. Action is good and motion creates more motion. Keep going don’t slow down. Even if you have been down this road before you can always notice something different in your mindset journey. Pick a tool that can be both.

Leo – The see-saw was always your favorite playground toy. When you were up you could see forever and when you were down you knew you would be up again soon. Your life is like that a series of ups and downs. Remember that and know that it may take two for a great see saw ride.

Virgo – Try to be yourself and not what you think others want you to be. It may be that you have to be more truthful to yourself and admit that you are no angel. It is okay, no one is perfect and if you think others see you that way you are probably wrong. Let go.

Libra – Some things that make you mad are but sheets in the wind. They billow, snap and wave for your attention, but they are not taunting you. It is but movement trying to make you charge.

Scorpio - Since there is not end to your service to others, you need to find time for yourself. You do not need to make sure the entire world is happy before you smile. It is the reverse, smile and the world is more likely to become happy. You need to be of service to yourself as well in these times.

Sagittarius – Be proud and stand tall but do not give in to stubbornness. You can lower your head and try to break through an obstacle, but you are guaranteed to get a headache. Think of the horn of a ram, it curves and bends and makes a point in a round about way. Use your head in a different way than as just a battering ram.

Capricorn – Don’t give up so easily. Nothing worth while can be taken for granted. The long trip is part of the destination. Work at it and become what you seek. True value is earned and delivered. Never be afraid that it is not coming so quickly

Friday, May 01, 2009

Politically Correct
The client for my show this week was very concerned that my material for his audience be politically correct. I assured him that my act was corporate clean. He then proceeded to tell me a racist joke about the President Obama meeting the Queen of England. He laughed and said I couldn't do stuff like that. I let him know I don't do those jokes. (I try to only tell jokes that are funny) Then he said that on my demo reel there was a bit he was concerned about. I asked him what that was.

Turned out he was concerned about a bit I have been doing for years where Bob's head gets stuck around backwards and I struggle to free him. It was inspired by a Russ Lewis bit I saw years ago where Brooklyn Boy accidentally gets his mouth stuck open. In my mind it is a basic wood joke. It points out Bob's non-reality, only wooden people are able to get their heads turned around and stuck. It is part of the ventriloquist performing philosophy to occasionally remind the audience that your partner is not real so they will appreciate the skills it takes to make him look so alive.

I wasn't sure how that bit was politically incorrect so I said, "Who would object to a puppet joke like that, are there going to be wooden people in the audience?"

He said, "I think some people will look at that as child abuse."

I said, "You do know that at the end of my act I stuff Bob in a suitcase and lock it?"

He said, "Oh yeah, love that. What a funny routine."

In the corporate entertainment business the client is always right. However, if you analyze it too carefully you can make a case that all humor is politically incorrect on some level. There was a telecommunications client of mine who was so concerned about "gender" correctness that they stated in my contract I was not to use the phrase "Ladies and Gentlemen" during my act. I guess that could possible offend 'asexual life forms' in the audience. I got through it without using the phrase but it is amazing how many times that can be accidentally used on stage.

The very first circus I ever went to the Ringmaster said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls and children of all ages...." I guess by the telecommunications company standards he would have to say, "Good evening humans."
As you were,
Jay