Monday, June 29, 2009

Fear and Loathing of
Barbecue Grills
It was Thursday afternoon when the helicopters hovering above my head changed the headlines from "South Carolina Governor's Argentinian affair" to Michael Jacksons death. At the time I was assembling a new barbecue grill on the deck. Home Depot would assemble it for $30, but the guy at the store suggested I should do it myself to, "Know the grill better." It was a matter of saving the money rather than having "quality time" with a stove that motivated me to take the "do it yourself" challenge.

I have lived my life in the belief that instructions are for sissies. They are the course of last resort only. When all else fails, consult the directions... not the full manual, mind you, just the relevant page. This step is usually proceeded by creative uses of the "F" word.

My usual method is to look at the picture on the box, identify the parts and go for it. This generally leads to a point of absolute desperation when a part doesn't fit. If hammering and forcing doesn't work, I curse out the maker, the seller and the entire industrial manufacturing complex. It usually happens when I find out I have failed to assemble something in a specific order. Undoing good work because I missed a step requires me to throw whatever tool is at hand into the lawn. My family knows to leave the area when there is a large box delivered to the house.

This time I decided to do it by the numbers.

Page one: List of the parts. Before I can get to the actual list there is a large boxed in paragraph with the word WARNING at the top. In bold foreboding type face it tells me that if any part is not original from the box there is a danger of fire and explosion.

Page two: Assembling the parts. At the top of this page is another boxed in paragraph with the word WARNING at the top. It tells me that if the parts are not properly assembled there is an extreme danger of fire and explosion.

Page three: Assembling the burners. Another boxed in paragraph with the word WARNING at the top. If the manifold air intake is not adjusted correctly there is an extreme danger of sever burns, fire and explosion.

Page four through six: Attaching the propane tank. A boxed in paragraph with the word WARNING at the top. The gas lines and the tank must be inspected for leaks with a solution of soap and water in addition to the wields of the tank itself at least twice a year. If there is "dirt, grease or spider webs" clogging the lines there is an extreme danger of blow back, sever burns, fire and explosion.

Page seven: Lighting the grill. WARNING lite the grill in an open area by checking for leaks first, opening the top, lighting match, and then turning on the gas. If it doesn't lite immediately there is an extreme danger of flying shrapnel, blow back, sever burns, fire and explosion.

Page eight: Using the Grill. WARNING, extinguishing grease fires with water can cause scalding, blow back, flying shrapnel, flash fires and extreme danger of explosion.

By the end of the booklet only a quarter of the page contains actual instructions, most of the page is now devoted to the extremely dangerous, hazardous, risky, perilous, treacherous, unsafe, precarious, chancy, insecure nature of the very act of operating the grill.

Page nine repeats the instruction from page one only in Spanish. Of course at the top of each page is a boxed in paragraph with the word ADVERTENCIA and the admonition "extremo peligro de incendio y explosi├│n."

It all reminds me of a joke. Parachutist jumps out of a plane. His chute tangles, he goes for his reserve but it flags in the wind. Doomed and falling fast he sees a man below coming up from the ground toward him in a hurry. Parachutist yells, "Do you know anything about Parachutes?
"No" says the man, "Do you know anything about assembling barbecue grills?"

We now have a shiny new barbecue grill ready for the traditional Forth of July cook out.... But after reading the instructions, I'm too afraid to use it. Next time I will avoid the directions. Ignorance is bliss.

As you were,
Jay

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009
Aquarius - Combinations of seven and six are all good for you this month. There are seven days in the week use them all to reach your destination. Today's number is nine, it will be a lucky day for you.

Pisces- Rise above the horizon so you can see what is ahead. Don't forget to plan, but let it come without forcing it. Try a more diplomatic approach and see if there is an better way to see your mate. You are in your own way.

Aries- The fountain is flowing forth more than you can accept. Do not wish for abundance when it is pours out more than you can accept. Do not water down your ideas, stay single minded and strong.

Taurus- Have you been listening to the chicken littles of the world. You know the rumor is not true, and you know things are looking up. Be happy, work at being happy. Be strong and work hard for someone else in your life.

Gemini- Try to bridge the gap between what seems to be two entirely different ideas. One looks like the beginning the other an end. You are the connection that will make them both one. Focus on the center.

Cancer- It is sometimes ego to observe yourself too much. Keep a perspective, but realize that it is you watching yourself and you can't really be objective. Others have a stake it the outcome. Don't smother people with your words.

Leo- It is a roller coaster ride for you. There have been ups and downs happening so fast you can't keep track. In fact sometimes you have mistaken a valley for a hill. Don't worry the struggle is always followed by a hill to coast down. Save your strength for the next hill.

Virgo- You want to stay home, but force yourself to get out. The more you stay in your shell the more you will spiral downward. Go to that party, it will make you feel like a different person.

Libra- The path is straight and swift for you right now. Use the strength you have now to see the goal. Become one with your goal as the arrow becomes one with the target. Celebrate.

Scorpio- Don't be over blown. You can be bigger than life, but try being better not bigger. The bigger you are the more you need to help the smaller. Take care of the little ones, human and animal.

Sagittarius- There are things you are taking for granted in your life style. Be grateful and don't over indulge. Know that this time is a gift and treat it so. You may think you are in balance, but you are just a little bit off. Change your habits just to do something different.

Capricorn- You have some bad habits that need to be looked at. It doesn't seem to matter now, but you need to correct them now while you can and have time. Others may see you as pure as the driven snow, but be honest with yourself. You know what you need to do.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Doesn't Live Here Anymore

I knew something was wrong when helicopters began to hover over the neighborhood about 2:00 pm Los Angeles time. There were as many as three news choppers in the sky at once for a while. It eventually became too loud to ignore. After I knew why they were there I snapped this picture from my back yard.

When I moved to Encino there was mention of the fact that the Jackson Family home was near my house. It was not Michael's home, but he was there some of the time. A picture of Michael Jackson posing with the owner of a jewelry store at the corner of my street and Ventura Blvd. hung on the wall of the shop. Before his child molestation trial there were occasional "sitings" of Michael on Ventura. Celebrities going about their daily life is not that unusual in Los Angeles.

Celebrities always die in threes. It has become a running joke between my friend Harry Anderson and me. When two celebrities die I call him to see if he is feeling okay. Ed McMahon died, then Farrah Fawcett so I was planning to call Harry to continue the joke. Before I could my son called me from UCLA where a crowd was already gathering at the medical center. Michael Jackson was dead. "That's the third, Dad, so you don't need to call Harry, " he said.

I turned the television to CNN but it could have been any station; they were all covering the same story. It was true, the King of Pop was gone. Some of the live shots were coming from the choppers I could see and hear from my back yard. The "eyes in the sky" were focused on the Jackson Family home. It became clear that the Jackson house was much closer to me than I ever realized.

The choppers left for a while as they followed a medivac helicopter carrying Michael's body to the coroners office. Soon they were back and stayed until after 11:00pm for a live feed to the local news. We had planned dinner outside but were eventually driven indoors by the noise.

So ends the strange life of a very talented man. I think of him as the Sammy Davis, Jr. of our generation. That is if Sammy lived with a chimp at a theme park, carved his face to look like Peter Pan, bleached his face and liked small boys.

It is hard to watch the old footage of an eleven year old boy singing "ABC"as lead singer for the Jackson Five. It is all too obvious now the toll this early popularity took on the little boy. There will be questions and blame thrown toward the "handlers" and "enablers" that surrounded him at the end. We may never know what really killed him, but my bet is on fame itself.

He was a money machine who needed to generate some more cash after massive legal fees. A sold out tour was to begin in weeks. Like a pedigree race horse, any treatment, any drug, any excess would be acceptable to get him back on the track. It wasn't his bizarre life style that killed him, it was his talent, or more rightly, the fame that his talent ignited.

Now begins the funeral circus and the media frenzy that was a constant refrain to his life. For a while everyone will be asking each other, "Where were you when you heard?"
I heard helicopters.

Rest in peace Michael.

As you were,
Jay

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Episode #10
(CONTINUED)
BACK TO POWERS LUNCHE ACE REPORTER ON THE STREET

POWERS LUNCHE
We will try to get someone to tell us
What they saw…. Sir.. sir… can you tell me what
Happened here… What is your name sir?

MAN
My name?

POWERS LUNCHE
Yes can you tell us your name sir?

MAN
Why don’t you know me? I’m Jam Shade…

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

JAM
Decetive Dyslexic…

POWERS LUNCHE
You are, Jam Shade.

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

POWERS LUNCHE
Decetive Dyslexic…

JAM
The very same. And you must be Powers Lunche
I’ve seen you on National Visual Radio… Big fan.

POWERS LUNCHE
Jam, what happened?

JAM
I don’t know I was just born this way..

POWERS LUNCHE
No. No. What happened to the Blonde who has been shot?

JAM
I don’t know… we haven’t gotten that far into the story yet?

POWERS LUNCHE
You mean?............

To be
(CONT.)


Saturday, June 20, 2009


The correct medical term for a sex change operation transforming a female into a male is an... ADDADICKTUME
Believe it? Why Not?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Episode #9

(CONTINUED)
STATIC – RADIO BUZZ –

ANNOUNCER
We again interrupt with this broadcast with a
Special News Report.

MUSIC – SPECIAL NEW REPORT THEME

SFX – TICKER TAPE SOUND OF VINTAGE AP /UPI TELETYPE

ANNOUNCER
We now go live to Anchor Man Hinkley Kelly

SFX- MICRPHONE CHANGE

HINKLEY KELLY
This is anchor man Hinkley Kelly
We go live now to Ace reporter Powers Lunche
Do we have that link now? We do… then we go
Live to Powers Lunche. Can you tell us what is happening?

SFX – STREET NOISE

POWERS LUNCHE
Thanks Hinkley. I’m here at 7th Avenue
on the corner of Kent Street, just a few feet from Bills Bail Bonds

MUSIC – SERIOUS BAIL BOND COMMERCIAL THEME

POWERS LUNCHE
If you ever find yourself in trouble - you need a friend and there is no greater friend you can buy than Bill your Bail Bond Buddy. Cheap rates, easy credit and no questions asked. Use your one constitutionally required call to ring up Bill’s Bail Bonds – 818 DEEP SHIT that’s 818 3337 7448 Bill your bail bond buddy…. no felony too small for Bill

COMMERCIAL MUSIC ENDS

POWERS LUNCHE
There has been a trajedy here on the streets. A blonde has been shot
Seemingly by her own hand gun. We will try to get someone to tell us
What they saw….

To be
(CONT.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NYC
We spent the weekend in New York to decompress after Switzerland. The weather was perfect and the energy of the city is still a drug to me. They have closed off Broadway between 47th and 43rd and tuned it into a "lawn chair town square". It really is reminiscent of the plazas in European cities only a little more frantic. There is mixed opinions as to whether they should permanently block it off to car traffic. I personally think it is a great idea, but I don't think I get a vote. I makes the congestion in the Time Square area just a little more tolerable.

I'm home for a day and then off to Orlando for a corporate show. When I return I hope to have some time to up load pictures we took on the trip.

As you were,
Jay

Monday, June 15, 2009

Art Basel

I suppose when you are having too much fun to write about the fun you are having, then you are really having a good time.  In Manchester “Il Tempo del Postino” was a work in progress and Matthew Barney’s piece dominated the show and the press (the appearance of naked women usually has that affect).  But here in Basel, Barney chose to do a very benign musical presentation. Because of this, the show has become a very viable piece of theatre/performance art. It really does work in energy and pace. Most of the kinks have been ironed out.  All this to say that it is not as exciting back stage as it was in Manchester (the absence of naked women usually has that affect).

The fun part comes off stage.  Because we have all worked together before, this show has become a family.  There is an old Chestnut in showbiz that goes, “We arrived, we worked, we loved, we left.”  It speaks to the nature of performing together in a show.  You get very close, very fast because there is always a closing night. Feelings for fellow performers seem to concentrate with the run of the show.

The Basel theatre has a lunchroom/cafeteria the next floor down from the dressing rooms, or in Swiss German “Garderobes”.  It’s like being in the commissary of the old MGM studio.  All the performers would gather there for coffee and snacks before the show.  In addition we are all stayed at the same hotel where breakfast was gratis for guests.  We all compared notes from the night before as we straggled into the breakfast room for orange juice.  It was great to check in with everyone in the morning, share plans and prospects for the day.

Some of the interesting characters in the show are: the auctioneers who are just that, professional auctioneers. They’re all from the South Carolina area, friends and extremely funny “good ole boys (and a couple of girls)” They are a continuous source of laughter. Their southern accent and attitude was an absolute novelty to the Swiss, everyone loved them.

Then there is John and Sarah who are the actors inside costume body puppets for one of the pieces.  Both from Britain, John is almost 8 feet tall and Sarah is just under 4 feet tall.  John would reach the coffee cups for Sarah and Sarah would tell John what the weather was like on earth.

The “Butterflies” were 8 Asian women opera singers.  Some spoke more English than others.  One told me that she didn’t realize when we were in Manchester that I was doing the voice she heard.  She thought it was a recording.  It was a compliment of the highest order for a ventriloquist.

The “musicians” were a rag tag group of guitar players who participated in the musical Barney piece. For this event they played a very small four stringed Greek instrument with a round body.  Although I forget the name as soon as they tell me, it is an instrument almost no on plays anymore. They learned to play it for the show. 

Then there are the artists. Some stood out in the way they dressed, some by their attitude and some would be over looked entirely in a crowd.  Romdan, the artist who designed the costumes, was always “dressed” in character.  For two days he wore exactly the same outfit. His hair cut in a 30’s style with a sever a part down the side, a Charlie Chaplin/Adolph Hitler mustache, green sweater vest half buttoned, a coat that was a little to tight to come together in the front, pant legs rolled up to his mid calf , ballet slippers and no socks. He was a “site” in every way my mother ever used the word.

The main way to look like an “Art Basel Artist” is to carry a Macintosh under your arm at all times.  Their computers function like medication must hast to be taken every few minutes.  They are never far from a place to plug in and recharge and exchange zip drives at a moments notice.  I know for sure that the international “Art set” is a Mac. The more successful the artist the newer the Macintosh they possess.  Don’t think you can be a poser with a Dell, it’s just not done.

All in all this version of “Il Temp del Postino” was civilized and G rated. These stories will not take the place of the first incarnation for sheer insanity. There is one interesting footnote. In the Art Basel main art exhibition there hangs a 5 x 8 foot picture of me standing behind the magnifying glass.  It is a piece of art Philippe Perreno created from Manchester.  This image has become the icon for “Il Temp del Postino” and was printed on the back of every Art Basel program. After going to the main Art exhibition in Basel the South Carolina auctioneers said to me in their distinctive accents, “Jaaay, yore a piece of Arrt at that Gallery show.”  Indeed that image is for sale to the art conscious public.

I have forgotten exactly how I got involved in this project and with this group of artists, but I am grateful it happened. My artistic soul grows every time I am around them.  It is just another example of how blessed I am.

In my next life I think I want to repeat this one.

As you were,

Jay

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009
Aquarius – 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.

Pisces – 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

Aries- 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.

Taurus – 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.

Gemini – 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.

Cancer – 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.

Leo – 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.

Virgo – 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.

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 - 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

Sagittarius – 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.

Capricorn – 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.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


ART BASEL

Evidently the hottest ticket in the Art world was the one to last nights opening of “Il Tempo del Postino” at the Basel Theartre.  It’s no small accomplishment to make a splash this big at the Art Festival of Basel.  Art Basel is very prestigious and just a little over whelming.  The entire town turns “arty” for the duration.  Every possible space is turned into a gallery or installation or performance art space of some kind.  There is even a Cathedral next to the theatre that turns into a gothic performance space at night complete with bar service.  They push back the pews cover the stain glass of Jesus with a large canvas and bath the entire sanctuary in an “abseinth-green” light. The metal music pulses  and animates the bell tower to the beat. For a few days leading up to the Festival opening, we watched a warehouse near the train station turn into a very gothic installation called Volta.   In most cases if the actual exhibit lives up to the poster advertising it you have a winner.

Brad Pit was discovered and photographed attending the Festival of Art Basel making arrangements to have the million-dollar painting he purchased here sent to his New Orleans home.  But the real story is the number of art-world super stars that are here, the very people Brad Pit is willing to shell out a million to. Unless you are in that world you would not necessarily know them, but they have very dedicated and loyal fans.  We have the A list participating in the show.

Speaking of the show, it has really pulled together since its inception two years ago.  As with anything it becomes easier to do the second time around than the first. Things have grown and changed for the better and in some cases for the stranger.  The Matthew Barney piece, which occupied the entire second act last time with the bull, wrecked car and urinating naked ladies, is gone. Matthew doesn’t repeat concepts. I understand the car was shredded and cut into scrap metal as a performance piece some time after Manchester.  I hope he saved the naked ladies.  Some of the pieces in “Il Tempo” that needed explanation have now been clarified.  A few of the artists have opted to do different pieces, which now need explanation.  There are some stunning moments like the Auctioneers, The Butterflies, and the dancing curtain but there are an equal number of “pregnant pauses.” It seems that artists don’t mind a dead stage and an awkward silence, making the audience uncomfortable is sometimes even encouraged.  But for the art fans who have come to the show a silence is only extra time to be in the presence of the adored.

 The theatre complex is huge. Although our auditorium is only about a thousand seats the fly space is five stories high and the depth of the stage almost equals Radio City Music Hall. I have gotten lost several times on my way to the stage.  If it wasn’t such a modern building I could believe there is some masked genius Phantom living in the bowels. There are three other theatres contained in the massive building and I am told that they present more than 700 shows a year between them, which is several a day in some cases.  There is even a commissary/restaurant for the crew and staff with a long balcony that overlooks the city below.  More about the theatre, more about the Swiss, and more about the show in up coming blogs. 

(NOTE: As I logged into my blog to publish I discovered my remote internet was all in Swiss German. I navigated by rote through buttons with unfamiliar words.  I feel very uneducated here as everyone here in Basel speaks at least three different languages. There is a computer in the green room of the theatre, but it is a french/dutch keyboard. It is impossible for a semi literate like myself to type on.)

As you were,

Jay

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Episode #8
(CONTINUED)

SFX- THE FILTERED VOICE OF THE OPERATOR ON THE PHONE

OPERATOR
You are Jam Shade….

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

OPRATOR
Decetive Dyslexic…

JAM
Yes, Jam Shade.

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

JAM
Decetive Dyslexic…

THERE IS A FLIRTY LILT TO THE OPERATORS VOICE

MUSIC - SEXUALLY CHARGED VIOLINS

OPERATOR
What is the trouble Mr. Shade?

JAM
It’s a Blonde.. She’s been shot…get someone
Over here fast…

OPERATOR
Tell me how to get there.

JAM
You better come in that white truck with the
Red lights on the top… it has the word
Ambulance written on the side.

SFX – A SUBTLE BUT NECESSARY RIM SHOT.

To be
(CONT.)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Il Tiempo Del Postino
Here is a link to the site with information on our show. 
Yes, that is a picture me with the big head.  I am doing my act behind of a very large
magnifying glass.  Pretty cool although it does give me a very distorted view of the audience.

They are calling this show the worlds first
"Art Opera".  I guess that comes closest to a description.

More later we open the show on Wednesday of this week.
As you were,
Jay


Monday, June 08, 2009

Poster Tease
I am attending the Vent ConVENTion this July. It happens every year but my participation has been lacking as I have only attended three or four times. However, this year I am going back to do a show for my vent peers. It can't be the full Broadway version of "The Two and Only" because of time and venue constraints. I have been working on a scaled down, sort of unplugged version of the show that I can do easily. This is the first time I will be trying it out.

I create backwards. I tend to visualize the poster before the show. If I have a poster to look at it makes me think of the show in real terms as I put it together. Here is what I have come up with for the show in July.

Hope you can be there. Fort Mitchell, KY at the DrawBridge Inn- Canterbury Hall.

As you were,
Jay

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Although some residential dwellings in New York City are called "Apartments"...
they are actually all built together in one building.

Believe it? Why Not?


Friday, June 05, 2009

Traveling

Never liked it, still don't. I tolerate the TSA albeit akin to the same tolerance I have of poisonous reptiles. I leave them alone and hopefully they don't bother me.

"But the TSA is there for our safety." Some will say. Bull droppings! Most of the hourly wage earners for the TSA are control freaks that couldn't get a job as a mall security guard. They wouldn't know a real threat if they boarded a plane with a grenade launcher.

However, they certainly are concerned about puppets on a plane and demonstrate no respect for the tools of someone's profession when searching a case.

Whomever said that travel was glamorous said so before the TSA.

Have a good weekend.
As you were,
Jay
www.monkeyjoke.com

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Weather or NOT
Yesterday Los Angeles experienced thunder and lightning. That's not typical of storms here. As I was growing up in Texas there was hardly ever a rain cloud that did not bring lots of thunder and lightning. In the flat geography of the Texas panhandle you could see a lightning bolt fork to the ground for miles away. It was always a spectacular show.

However, in the thirty some odd years that I have lived in LA I have heard thunder less than five times. It is so rare that I first thought it was an explosion in the distance. And this lightning storm was deadly killing a couple of people. One person was struck and the other was killed as a result of lightning striking a tree which fell to the ground.

It will be rainy in Basel, Switzerland when we are there, but for the most part it will be great weather. I am looking forward to being there and finding out what it is that I will be doing exatly. Although my part is the Ringmaster, last time the director did not write the dialogue until the night before. I assume he will write something else this time. I remember it was very esoteric translated from native French into English. At one point I remember asking the director Philippe if the audience would understand the complicated references contained in some of my dialogue. In a very serious French accent he said, "Perhaps not". I wasn't sure if that was a comment on my enunciation or a statement about the audience.

I did activate the Sim chip in my Blackberry so "thumb blogging" is a possibility from Switzerland. However, Sandi is going with me so any blog time will probably be taken up with "exploration". Perhaps this is a chance to actually twitter? I'm just not sure that a travel log delivered at 140 characters at a time really tells the story. I don't go to twitter everyday, but I have been following Astronaut Mike's twitters when I do. If he can't make the daily life of an Astronaut exciting, my little trip to Switzerland is probably not going to make it as a twitter. I am also taking my camera of course, but there probably won't be in any pictures published here until I return.

We leave for a couple of days in New York tomorrow very early in the morning. I will do my best to post a Friday comment.

As you were,
Jay

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Episode #7

(CONTINUED)

STATIC – RADIO BUZZ – BACK TO HINKLEY

HINKLEY KELLY
We seem to be having some difficulty in our communication with Powers Lunche. Here is what we know so far: Powers Lunche can not hear us. Did I get that right? Powers? Powers...

AWKARD RADIO SILENCE

HINKLEY KELLY
Well, Powers seems to be unable to hear us.

SFX- STATIC FROM A BAD CONNECTION

POWERS LUNCHE
That is right Hinkley I can't hear you.

HINKLEY KELLY
Did you just hear that?

POWERS LUNCHE
No, I didn't hear that.

HINKLEY KELLY
How did you know what I said if you couldn't hear me?

POWERS LUNCHE
That's the point I don't know what you said, because I can't hear you.

SFX-MORE AWKARD RADIO SILENCE

HINKLEY KELLY
We will keep working on that technical glitch. For now we return you to your regularly scheduled program. This is Hinkley Kelly keeping you informed. Back to
Jam Shade.

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

HINKLEY KELLY
Decetive Dyslexic…

SFX- STATIC RADIO BUZZ

ANNOUNCER
Jam by her side the Blonde looked up at Jam. She was no shooter and her life was in danger.
The Blonde needed help and fast. He grabs the telephone from her...

JAM GRABS THE TELEPHONE FROM THE BLONDE

SFX – TELEPHONE CLICK

SFX - FILTERED PHONE VOICE OF THE OPERATOR

OPERATOR
This is the 911 operator what is your emergency?

JAM
I need an Ambulance here immediately a Blonde has been
Shot.

OPERATOR
And what is your name sir?

JAM
This is Jam Shade….

MUSIC STINGER – BFLAT 7th CHORD

JAM
Decetive Dyslexic…

To be
(CONT.)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Art and the Real World?

I will be leaving for Basel, Switzerland the end of the week. I'm not sure if I will be able to post from where I will be staying/performing. I hope so.

I'm reprising the Ringmaster role in "Il Tempo del Postino" the Art/performance show we did in at the Manchester Arts Festival a couple years ago. If you look back in the archives of this blog (around July 10, 2007) you will find an extensive narrative on the show as we did it then. I am sure it will be just as interesting this time around. I'm not sure if Mathew Barney will be involved. If so I am sure his contribution will be just as controversial.

I'm very excited to be around the artists again. The art world is so different from the circles I frequent it is really refreshing to hang out as an observer. I think what I learned the most from them it to let art be art. I tend to want to explain what I am doing, make sure everyone gets it. These artist don't have that same sense of obligation. If the observer gets it, good, if they get it on another level, that is okay too. If they just don't get it at all then nothing is wrong... that is just the reaction. The true artist doesn't care if you are a fan or outraged by their work. They just do the work and any reaction is the intended result. I suppose it is a matter of confidence in your specialty coupled with the idea that the art you do is important simply because it came through.

I tend to want to play the numbers. I want more people to like what I am doing than don't or than have no opinion at all. Of course this tends to create a situation of playing it to the lowest common denominator. It is possible to water down the soup enough for everyone so that it loses all the taste that could set it apart. Rather than a unique and acquired taste it becomes blandly forgettable.

More later.

As you were,
Jay

Monday, June 01, 2009

Who is Operating Bob?
Below is a photo taken May 23rd at SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) during the question and answer session following the world premier of "I'm No Dummy". In the group photo from left to right is Thelonious, Tom Ladshaw, Bob, Jay Johnson, Chloe, Lynn Trefzger, Marge Simon, Bryan Simon and the SIFF moderator.
In the picture all three ventriloquists are operating their puppets and, at the point this picture was taken, I am clearly answering a question with Bob. At no time did I ever take my hands off Bob's control stick but it looks as though my right hand is resting his shoulder.

In the close up you can clearly see what appears to be both my hands. It leads us to the question.. How is Bob being operated? I pretty sure this is just an illusion and the film taken at the time would show that I never rested my hand on Bob's shoulder as pictured. However it is kind of a spooky picture. It is a ghost picture of Bob actually moving by himself.

By the way it was a great time hanging out with the Lynn, Tom, Marge and Bryan. See the film when and where you can. It is a great ride.
As you were,
Jay