Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just Looking Around
I worked for a producer named Charles R. Meeker, Jr. for the first ten years of my professional career, basically from the age of 15 until I moved to Los Angeles at 25. He encouraged all of his performers to adopt a more mainstream attitude toward their art. (Encouraged was not really the word for Mr. Meeker, insisted and demanded is probably more his style.) He really didn't like performers who thought they were entitled just because they happened to be talented. We were never allowed to act like the world owed us something because we were lucky enough to be able to dance or sing or do ventriloquism. It was our job and we should try to fit in. So... I guess that attitude comes second nature to me now.

However, sometimes I really do forget that not everyone makes a living talking to a puppet. Or I forget that some might look at my career as "different". Like the other day when someone walked into my office and gasp at the head hanging on my wall. "Yipes... what is that?" they said.
"Oh that... it's just the bronze death mask of Edgar Bergen," I replied. Then it comes clear to me that maybe I shouldn't try to pretend that all is normal at the Johnson house.

Bergen's "death Mask" has been hanging on my office wall for a long time. It was a gift from who else but my friend Harry Anderson. I don't know where he found it, but some how he knew it had to go on my wall. He was right, I can't think of too many people who could fully appreciate the significance of a gift like that.

It isn't really a death mask, but it is a cast of Bergen's face done in bronze. I am guessing it started life as a plaster cast for a makeup test when Mr. Bergen was doing movies. Someone had the idea to turn it into art. Someone else had the idea to give it to me and I had the idea to hang it on the wall with my animation cel collection. Sometimes you just have to look up from the keyboard to find an inspiration.

I want to thank you for all the emails and comments concerning yesterday's "blues blog." I think I was just worn out from a long trip and an odd show. Thanks for reading, writing and friending.

As you were,


Roomie said...

Mandy and I want you to know that..."The pleasure is and always has been....OURS!!!!!"
Carry on,

Roomie said...

Oh, and Mandy says to tell you that if we had accompanied you on your most recent trip...it would never have been an "odd" show...we would have seen to that....now put that in your "Jam Shade" and play us a "B Flat Seventh chord" with that infamous "organ swell."
Carry on,

Anonymous said...

We are privileged to spend a little time with you here.

Your influences extend further than you know.