Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Memory

I remember the first time that I interacted with a guy named Bill Harrison. He was a senior at Richardson High School and I was a Sophomore. I was walking between the buildings at lunch hour and for some reason my attention turned to a ground floor class of Seniors.  What happened next had nothing to do with the class going on, but was a defining moment.
At the time the seniors were selling candy to fund some activity. Although he was supposed to be studying,  the person I would come to know as a friend saw me looking in his direction.
The seniors seemed so much older and more mature than me and my class, and although it was a big school and I was the new kid who knew no one... I was somewhat aware of this guy.  He was nice looking clean cut, and extremely well spoken. He held the attention of everyone. even the teachers when he wanted to.  He didn't dominate a conversation nor was he "always on" he knew how to use his abilities of the spoken word appropriately and to me they seemed like gifts from the muse. Bill was the senior I wanted to be. 
As Bill saw me through the window in the courtyard he made some pantomime motions that got my attention.  He held up the box of candy and without a word spoken he proceeded to give me one of the greatest silent sales pitches I would ever experience.  Later that day between classes I bought that box of candy.
The next semester I ended up in a speech class with Bill.  That is when I got to see his  skills at work.  We all waited for Bill's speech, even Mrs. Gray the teacher.  I remember one of his stories about climbing a mountain in Mexico in search of a legendary giant green bird that was said to have swooped down from the sky to carry away the still beating heart of an Aztec human sacrifice.  I will never forget the level of detail in his story down to the "groove in the mountain a gentle flow of water had carved into the granite over the eons."
Toward the end of the year Mrs. Gray encouraged me to run for the Student Council. I was reluctant until Bill said he would be my campaign manager. The job of campaign manager was mainly the task of introducing the candidate to the student body in a quick speech. That is something that Bill could do in his sleep. It was a beautiful speech that I remember to this day.  It was the first time in the history of RHS that a Sophomore won a position on the student council.
There was no doubt that graduating senior Bill Harrison, my friend, hero and mentor, would accomplish great things. 
Bill went off to college and I didn't have much contact with him after that. Two years later when I was a senior I tried to believe that I was as mature and accomplished as my friend Bill. It didn't seem to ring true. The shoes were just too big for me to even try to walk in. I couldn't command the best table at the lunch room, or hold a class in rapped attention with a story.  That is when we got the news.
After visiting his girlfriend at the University of Oklahoma, they found Bill Harrison's car on the Oklahoma side of the Red River Bridge. First, there was hope that he had thumbed a ride with someone after running out of gas and was having another adventure.  But the car was full of gas and running fine. A day or so later they found his body down stream. 
He died from the fall off the high bridge. The officials ruled it a suicide, none of us who knew him thought that was right. There were rumors that Bill had told a guy at the girlfriends college to leave her alone.  His parents chose not to challenge the ruling of suicide.  No one understood why.
I choose not to think so much about how he died but how he lived.  I speculate on what he might have accomplished if he had made it to his 21st birthday. For me he is back on that Mexican mountain keeping company with a giant green bird, because that is where legends live.
As you were,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Nothing changes and everything is different.  I have been writing this blog consistently for seven  years.  I thought it might me fun to look back on this day six years ago and see what was going on. Everything is different, but nothing changes.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Wiz made a very observant comment about my trip to Vegas last week. She mentioned I was at the Orleans Hotel on Mardi Gras. Indeed I was. Since my friend Harry Anderson, who recently moved from New Orleans, was there at the same time the coincidence did not elude us.

However, there was not a mention, not a thought or even recognition of Marti Gras at the Orleans Hotel. It is decorated like a cheap Fat Tuesday float, but there was nothing special that was done for the holiday so closely associated with the name Orleans. Harry and I even wished “Happy Marti Gras” to a waitress at the Orleans. She looked at us blankly and said, "I don't think we have that on the menu."

Rather than a mention of Marti Gras, all of Las Vegas was decorated for Chinese New Year. You couldn’t look in any direction without encountering three story high red banners with Chinese character writing on them. Perhaps they were advertising the $11.99 Prime Rib, but I doubt it.

So there you go. Las Vegas doesn’t give a hang about New Orleans because they are broke. But the Chinese are cash flush. Again, I miss the mob, they were a little softer hearted than the modern day corporations that have taken over Las Vegas.

Here is a Jeopardy question from the show I would like to see.
Alex: “And the answer is Ovaltine.” Contestant buzzes in.
“How do you describe Rosie O’Donnell’s early years.” Rosie, don’t think you are off my list.

I am off to yet another ship tomorrow. Yeah, I know this is becoming a “career”. However, I am still trying to recover from last year’s Broadway based salary. This cruise is not part of my usual contract and is a little quick for me to return to the sea. They had a drop out for the show this week and they loved me so much on the Explorer, I am being brought back. It seems I can get held over most anywhere but the Helen Hayes. Yeah, I’m still bitter, and based on a conversation I had with one of my producers yesterday, the Magical Mystery tour for the Two and Only seems to be evaporating. Stay tuned, it could all change, but you know you will get the truth from me here.

I feel I am losing my blog readership by posting so irregularly since leaving New York, but for now it really can’t be helped. We will be discussing the up and coming Tony race. And I think it is time to pin the tail on the donkey, and tell the inside story of what happened to The Two and Only, and name names.
As you were,

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nothing but Nyet

There are times when I think that the world has turned to Nyet. Although the Russians spell it "Het" it means "no".  I'm not saying the world has turned to No.... it has turned to Nyet. 
It is not so much the meaning of the word as the sound.  It sounds final and finished. Nyet.  There is also a desperation to the word as it almost sounds like NOT YET in English.  Nyet ends in a consonant. The "t" sound is the sound of a spit. Nyet is NO with the punctuation of a spit in your eye.
It just seems to express more than negativity, it expresses an attitude of hopelessness. 
Of course hopelessness in not contained in a word, or even several words.  In fact it is not a word at all, it is perspective. Every NO has to contain some element of a yes or it has no function.  When doing an improv exercise the first thing you learn is to answer yes to any question.  Yes let's the action continue when No will stop it.
For example one actor asks the question, "Is that someone at the door?"  The only logical continuance of the action is to answer "yes"  and add to the movement. No stops all direction, movement, action and conversation.
"Is that someone at the door?"
"Yes, and if it is the landlord coming for the rent you have to pay." And the action continues
"Is that someone at the door?"
"No"  That answer stops the conversation and the action is over.
"Nyet." The action is over and I spit in your eye to make you go away.
As easy as it seems to say Yes to life and answer every question the world throws at you with Yes...and, it is a constant struggle for me. Today I needed to remind myself in a Blog that I do have a choice.
So, Jay will you listen to what the world is telling you and find a way to say Yes...and?
Probably Nyet.
As you were,

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Believe it.... Why Not?

A feature presentation for people who believe everything on the Internet is the truth.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Blinking Cursor

Coming to this URL soon. 
It used to be the blank page that frightened the muse from my psyche.  Now it is the Blinking Cursor.  It even sounds like a curse... that Blinkin' Cursor. It is Friday for all you current readers and the cursor is blinking. But since I choose to take the weekends off from this self-imposed blog schedule. TGIF.
I just returned from a trip to Orlando and while I was there I saw Paul Kreppel do the part of the Wizard in "Wicked".  This is the last three weeks of his contract after a year of touring the East and Canada. I love Paul and he was wonderful in the show.  In fact he does a star turn with a song called Wonderful, if you know the show.
It was my second time to see the show. I saw the touring company that came to Los Angeles.  There was a lot that I had forgotten, and much that was clarified in Paul's production. In fact I mentioned to him that the actual story telling in this company's performance was clear and well delivered. Most of my party, who had seen the show before, agreed. I don't want to make this blog a review of the show except to say what a great time I had watching my friend Paul.  He has watched me as director of "Jay Johnson: The Two and Only" so many times I am still behind trying to match his record.  
When Paul was doing the solo show "My Mother is Jewish, my Father is Italian and I'm in therapy" at the WestSide theater in New York I said to him after the show: "Now you know how difficult it is to carry a one man show."  Without a moment he said, "Yeah, but I have to do this show alone." 
It is true, I have several "actors" that perform with me.  Funny thing though... their performances seem to make me more tired than if I was alone. 
Keep in touch.
As you were,

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Lucid Dream

Last evening was spent in the company of my friend Joe who is an opera singer and efficienado. He was telling me in great detail about an opera he had been in recently at the Met. It was full of elephants parading, extensive set changes, spear carriers and lots of dancers. I guess his description was exciting enough that it was the theme of my dream that night. I might also say that Bourbon was involved in more than a small way.
I was suddenly wondering around backstage in a huge show with elephants, dancers, and lots of sets. I was clueless about what I was doing, but the visuals were wonderful. It was a massive theatre, sometimes an amphitheatre sometimes an auditorium that rivaled the Paris Opera house. That is the wonderful thing about dreams... they do not have to conform to the natural laws of physics. I was aware that people kept coming up to me saying what a wonderful theatre I had here in my back yard as I wondered around trying to figure out what was happening. I became a little upset that this massive show had been mounted in my backyard theatre and I didn't know much about it, nor had I approved of it coming to my magical amphitheatre.  The elephants were trampling the grass and the giraffs were eating my trees. I was pissed.
Finally the director, an asian man who looked a little like Ang Lee, came up to me to calm me down. He said, "Perhaps you can do some act in the show tomorrow night." I was at once flattered and challenged by what I might do in this incredibly large space. I told him that I certainly could do an act if they could figure out how to attach an HDMI cord to my iPad and project the image on a very large screen.  He set about yelling for the produciton people to "Find me an HDMI cord... now."
The anxiety of performing began to take over my senses. What would I do with this technical wizardry... did I really have a routine that would work.  The stress was palitable when it suddenly came to me in the dream.... I don't have a theatre in my back yard, and if I did, I would be the star of the show not some added attraction.  It was at that moment I knew I was dreaming, but I didn't wake up. Instead, I said to myself... if this is a dream, I can do anything I could think of. I first thought of the routine I could do with an HDMI hookup. At the same moment I said to myself, screw that... if I can do anything..... I want to fly.
The tecky handed me a small black electronic box and said it was my HDMI connection.  I held it like a television remote control and took off like I was superman flying above the amphitheatre. I was even taking people on a ride with my new found ability. I felt the rush of weightlessness and the thrill of loops in the air.  It was wonderful.
As I was soaring above the elephants and giraffs it came to me that this was still a dream.  I was having fun but said to myself, "you know dreaming about flying is the sign of ambition."  What an ambitous person I was flying so well. 
Unfortunately my ambition did not last long enough to reap the benefits.  I woke up. Stressed that I could not fly, did not have a theatre in my backyard and had no clue what I would do with an HDMI connection to my iPad.
I have read about astral projection, and lucid dreaming.  This is the first time that I have become concious of being conscious of participating in the experience.  Now I konw what all the fuss is about.  It was as the Shamans tell us.. a mind altering moment. 
As you were,

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bastille Day

No,  your calendar is not wrong. It is not July and it is not Bastille day.  I was reminded of a story a friend told me based upon an incident this after noon. Hopefully the reference will be come clear.
Sandi and I went to lunch at the Orlando Fashion Square today.  The total of the bill came to $19.61. The cashier said, "That will be nineteen sixy-one."  I said, "That was a very good year for me as a child." She looked at me as if trying her best to even "imagine" me as a child.  Not only did I suddenly feel very old, which is not difficult in Florida, I didn't feel very witty either.
That reminded me of this story. My friend was topping off his tank at a gas station in Oregon. There is a state law that you can't pump your own gas anywhere in the state.  It is like the old days when the attendant does the pump jockeying.  After pumping the gas the attendant came to the drivers side window and said, "Seventeen eighty-nine."  To which my freind replied.... "Bastille Day..." which of course took place on July 14, when the rabble stormed the Basille in the French Revolution in seventeen eighty-nine.
The attendant seemed irritated, looked at my friend and said, "Hey Buddy, I don't make the prices."  Some of us will never learn that we are throwing intelectual pearls of semi-humor to the swine. But then again if you wait for the perfect audience to ply your wit then you will get out of practice.
Have a good Tuesday...
As you were,

Lost at Sea

Normally I blog at my desk at the house in the bedroom that functions as my office. My Fortress of Solitude. When I am on the road I blog via my iPad where ever I can find some solitude. Today I am at the home of my Sister-in-Law in Orlando. She is a therapist working out of a sound proof office at her home. Since she has sessions most of the day, I find that the rest of the house is quiet and calm. So... with trusty iPad I attempt to blog.
To my surprise there was a Johnson Rant already on the screen when I opened up Blogsy. It was written on a ship before Christmas but was never published since the Internet connection there is often sketchy. So... here is the blog that I would have published on time at the time. The reason for writing it is dated but the feelings are not. It is risky to talk about religion or politics and in this missive I have touched on both. However, with fool hearty belief that my readers will take it with the usual understanding grain of salt, I finally publish the missing blog that was indeed lost at sea.
On a ship there are limited television stations to watch. I guess they figure if you are in your cabin watching television you are not at the bar spending money. Mostly the stations are promotions for the cruise line and advertisements on the excursions you can buy at each island destination.
Three stations are a staple for the floating audience. Two are CNN, the European version and the Spanish version. The other is Fox News.
On most any other occasion I would not be watching Fox News especially Bill O"Riley, but on a ship when most of the time I am cargo I will stray to that form of "entertainment" out of boredom. Last night was just such a case.
Bill O' was on a rant (yeah, hard to believe) about something he called the secular agenda. Evidently he believes President Obama with his "secular" supporters are trying to "de Christianize" America. At issue was manger scenes on public property and the greeting of Merry Christmas. His theory is that America was founded by Christians so it is a Christian nation. As I remember it the nation was founded on the idea of religious freedom. Anyone could believe anything they wanted without fear of government repercussions in America. Freedom is the key to that sentence. Believers in this country have the right to be free of a compulsory belief dictated by the government.
Let's suppose for a minute we are a not a country of religious freedom. Let's suppose also for argument sake that we are a Christian Nation like Bill O' rants. What sect of Christianity do we enforce? If Catholicism is the sect we enforce, are we then required to have a rosary with us at all times like a drivers license? If it is the Baptist sect we enforce, will dancing be illegal? If we are Church of Christ is music no longer allowed? If we are Church of the Nazarene then jewelry and make-up for women will be forbidden. If Christian Science is the official religion will we then outlaw all Doctors and medical treatment? You see the problem with this approach. Even in Muslim countries there is decent. The Suni's hate the Sheits and everyone hates the Jews.
The only way to let everyone believe what they believe and practice what they practice is to not involved in the discussion. Freedom of government intervention is the only way that can happen.
So Bill O' believe what you want to believe and worship a block of cheese for all I care, but don't tell me I can't have it on my Hamburger.
To me religion is like the old parable of the blind men describing an elephant. Those who touch the elephant tail think it is like a snake. The blind man who touches the ear of the Elephant think it is like a leaf. The one who touches the leg thinks an elephant is like a tree. They are all correct and they are all wrong. No one can explain God or even correctly describe him... or her (you see how it happens). In the end we will see the light and all will be clear. A loving Deity will not turn someone away from eternity because they could not see the totality of his or her magnificence.
To think anything else is to worship a fickle and King like God who like some lawyer in the sky will hold us to the letter of a man made law. If God is also Grace which most religions, Particularly Christian, believe then he can not be so cruel.
As you were,

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Poetry....

by Dee Preshon

I love life and life loves me,
I'm as happy as a guy can be
A happier man nowhere exists,
I think I'll go and slash my wrists.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Carnival on the Triumph

Experience the adventure of real sea travel...
with a new concept by Carnival Cruise Lines.
Tired of frills and the over attentive service aboard a modern Cruise ship?  Have you yearned for an experience that is NOT just the same as a floating hotel? How many times have you wondered what it was like to cross the ocean like our forefathers did on the MayFlower?
Well if you have the desire to sail the seas like the Vikings did in the 17th century,  now there is a Cruise just for you.
Actual passenger photos... used without permission.
Brought to you by the same parent company that gave you the headline grabbing adventure of the Concordia, Carnival is now offering a new way to travel... Old School.  No airconditioning, no electricity and no modern comforts like toilets and showers; just the raw power of the sea.
Dine on onion sandwiches after standing in a long line for rations. Use plastic containers as "toilets" Sleep on the deck under a make shift tent made of sewage soaked bed sheets. Sniff the aroma of rotting spoiled food kept in the galley without the benefit of modern refridgeration.  And more.
Your Adventure cruise my start in New Orleans but where it will end it anyone's guess.  Just like Columbus you will be looking for one continent and accidentally find another. You will creep along at the speed of a crawling baby extending your tour by days... even weeks. And most of all you will have little to no communication with the relatives you left behind.
Yes if the Love Boat is not what you are looking for... Try the Carnival Triumph Garbage Boat.  It will be a tour, a cruise, an adventure and study in the human nature of survival that you will never forget.
Book now... don't wait any longer to grab your headlines. Whether it's "abandon ship" off the Coast of Italy on the Concordia... or limping into Mobile on the Triumph.... you can trust Carnival to make your vacation one that can never be duplicated again.*

As you were,
*Not intended to be a real advertisement, statement of the truth or comment on actual events. Brought to you by a writer who never expects to be hired on Carnival Cruise lines ever again. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

To my exclusive Valentine for 41 years.....Sandi... this digital bouquet is for you...

You know,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Marti Gras

It's Ash Wednesday. Welcome to the beginning of Lent. Not being Catholic or even raised in a town where there was a Catholic church, I don't really understand the custom. I only know it is a time of sacrifice and one must give up something for a time. Anticipating that event one is allowed to party as hard as possible. This is called Marti Gras.  I assume the theory is: booze is easier to give up if you are hung over from excessive drinking.
I have never celebrated Marti Gras in New Orleans.  I did however celebrate a Halloween night there one year. I was working a comedy club that is no longer exists. If the Marti Gras party in New Orleans is more opulent than the Halloween celebration...and I am told it is... I might not be a candidate for that level of revelry.  
Ritzy the VooDoo Clown
After observing and participating in the impromptu Halloween parade the two other comics and myself ended the evening at a 24 hour diner recommended by the locals. We entered the diner with a party going on outside and exited into an empty dark, almost boarded up ghetto. When the police decide to shut down the French Quarter  the streets became a scary place to be.   I was amazed how old the French Quarter looked when the neon signs and scantly clad women were no longer the focus. 
I was staying at the Royal Orleans Hotel and the other comics were staying at the condo. We started to walk back to my hotel, but I really didn't know the address. I only knew the route from the club to the hotel but thought for sure that I could get back. The other guys were not staying in the quarter and had no idea or sense of direction.
After what seemed like longer than 45 minutes, with no familiar land marks and all the businesses closed, all three of us were lost. I wasn't sure where we were and thought we were walking around in circles, getting further and further into an area that just didn't feel safe. I finally suggested we jump in a cab which could get us back to my hotel and then take the guys to their condo.  I was willing to spring for the fare. 
However, this is not New York with lots of cabs trolling the streets.  We continued to walk and walk realizing that finding a cab was almost as hard as finding the way back to the hotel.  Finally we rounded a corner and saw a taxi parked on the opposite side of the street heading the opposite direction.  I hailed the cab and it made a U turn to our side of the street and we got in. The driver said, "Where to guys?".
I said, "The Royal Orleans Hotel." The driver glared at me from under his furrowed brow and pointed to a building across the street. It was the Royal Orleans Hotel. He had been parked in front of the Royal Orleans Hotel when we hailed him.  I got out handed him five bucks and said, "Thank you very much..." with a couple of comics howling in the back seat the taxi sped off in a direction I hoped was to the condo. 
Happy Ash Wednesday. 
As you were,

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Crows Campus Corner

Memory is an incredible thing. Sometimes an old song will take me back to a very detailed moment in my past when I was listening to it before. Other times a memory sense is triggered by the whiff of perfume or the scent of a flower. There is a flower smell that takes me right back to Maui every time. A certain rose smell takes me to the memory of a funeral I attended as a kid.   English Leather cologne takes me back to an Edwardian suit and a Houston apartment.
Yesterday it wasn't a smell or a song that took me back to my days as a grade school child. It was a candy bar. To be specific the Chase's Cherry Mash which is not so much of a candy bar as it is a chocolate lump.  In true FaceBook protocol here is a picture of it before I ate it.
Although it may not look as appealing to you as it did to a 7 year old Jay Johnson, I assure you it is the holy grail of candy treats.  This story is really about buying this treasure as a kid, but for you connoisseurs of fine chocolates here are the ingredients of Chase's Cherry Mash.
Ground roasted peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, chocolate liquor, dextrose, Cocoa powder, cornstarch, maraschino cherries, soybean oil, powered skimmed milk, palm kernel oil, lecithin, egg albumen, whey, invertase, salt, natural and artificial flavors, red#3.
I do not remember the ingredients being on the package when I was 7.  Even now years later I do not know what half of them are.  I am fairly certain that the ones I ate as a child contained red#2 instead of#3. Red dye number two was banned in the 70's when it was discovered to be a carcinogen.  Basically the Cherry Mash is a pink wad of cherry flavored nugget dipped in chocolate mixed with ground peanuts.
I went to grade school in a large two story iconic red brick school house in Abernathy, Texas. From the second story classroom window of Mrs. Wilson's class I could see Crows Campus Corner half a block away. It was a school supplies/candy store and as you might guess by the name, it was on the corner of the School Campus.  It was a small establishment owned by the Crow family. We simply called it "Crows".
With a dime you could buy most any kind of candy. Salted peanuts cost a nickel. The Chase's Cherry Mash was not always available at Crows (for reasons unknown - perhaps seasonal) I would buy one every time they had it.  The site of this Cherry Mash for sale at World Market took me immediately back to Crows.
I remember the glass counter where they kept the candy. My chin barely came to the top of it.  I was small for my age, perhaps a touch hyperactive and precocious. Waiting for my turn to buy the Cherry Mash and being over imaginatively stimulated, I would balance the coins on their edge. They floated beautifully on that old glass counter top.  It was my trademark, my personal MO.  Most of the kids and some of the ladies who worked behind the counter were impressed with my coin dexterity. In Abernathy a stunt like that was almost a magic trick. But... it was not a trick that Mrs. Crow seemed to appreciate.
Mrs. Crow was the wife of the owner of the store. She was the boss in charge. I have no idea how old she was. To me she was a Crone in a white apron and hair net, an old lady. Wrinkles were carved deeply into her face which was set in a permanent scowl. She was sort of an unhappy looking apple Face doll.   Mrs. Crow seemed to relish knocking over my standing coins before she swept them into the cash register drawer.  Eventually I began the practice placing my cupped hand over the balancing coins until I knew which of the candy ladies would be waiting on me. For anyone other than Mrs. Crow I would lift my hand off the standing coins presenting my payment with a flair.  If it happened to be Mrs. Crow, I would flatten my hand and slide the coins toward her.
There it is in a candy wrapper. It's not just a Chase's Cherry Mash... it is an entire flash of my former life.  Perhaps it really is my life flashing in front of my eyes from invetase and artificially flavor poisoning. I do miss the taste of Red Dye #2.
As you were,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Morning Poetry

The Spider's Web
By Jay K. Johnson
In a seldom used dusty old storage space,
I spotted a beautiful spider’s webbed lace.
The work that it took to create such a sight
Must have taken a spider all day and all night.
A marvelous feat of a spider’s great skill.
Anchored securely from the walls to the sill.
With no more time for a web on this day.
In a wave of my hand I swept it away.
As the fragments of gossamer swept past my face,
I crushed a small world and I left not a trace.
A spider now homeless and jobless it seems
I killed spider hopes and all spider dreams.
A day and a night to a spider must be
A month of hard work to you and to me.
What is contained in the spider’s small id
That lets him create such an outstanding grid?
Do spiders get down and go through a depression
At seeing the end of their only expression.
Do spiders hire therapists just to ask why?
Do they cry and get mad, and curse God or die?
Spiders don’t scream out to God “We can’t take it”
Or worry of webs and the time spent to make it
At losing a web they don’t run to their mother
They simply get busy and create another.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Sandy Hook - The Movie?

Recently it was revealed that cinema vultures are circling Newtown hoping to make the movie of the mass pedi-killings at the Elementary school.  The question on every one's mind was: is it too quick after the incident to make the movie. It was a question of timing not intent.
The question should be "Why make a movie about it at all?" What in site or understanding will we gain by having Hollywood depict an incident that was covered 24/7 for weeks  as it was happening? Any insight to why it happened will be a screen writer's speculation driven by a producers desire to make money. If there can be no new reasoning, no real understanding why relive the tragedy in Dolby surround sound and a High Definition picture?
Is the entertainment industry so completely money driven that even the killing of 20 kids in kindergarten if ripe for a "rights" bidding war?  Where is the line that humans refuse to cross in the name of "entertainment?" OR is there in fact any line at all. My fear is the latter. There is no line that won't be crossed if there is a potential for money on the other side.
The only thing I can do is vote for higher thinking with my wallet. Make the Sandy Hook movie or not, it makes no difference to me because right now I am stating clearly that, I won't buy a ticket to support it.
I suppose that is the only point to this mini-rant. It is repugnant to me that a greedy production company would stoop low enough to attempt a piggy back ride to the bank on the shoulders of 20 dead children.
As you were,

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Self Portrait

Every artist, for some strange reason, is required to draw a picture of themselves.  A self-portrait. 
I did not paint myself after I cut off my ear like van Gogh,  however this absolutely conveys my innermost feelings at this moment. 
The restrictions are over following the PDT procedure. I no longer have to avoid the sun completely. I can go out of the house now, but....why would I want to go out of the house. I look like this.

As I am,


Monday, February 04, 2013

Poet's Coroner

The Holy Man
By Jay K. Johnson

The Holy Man, upon the mount knew all 
       or so I’d heard.
He was a man of letters and 
       He possessed the Holy word.

This secret word was written,
inside His Holy book.
I made the trip to see the Man,
and hoped to steal a look.

He prayed inside a simple cave
no golden temple glare.
He seemed to gaze right through my soul
 and know why I was there.

He smiled at me a gentle smile
and then had nothing to say,
He gave to me His Holy book
and sent me on my way.

I had no gift to give the Man,
he didn’t seek exchange,
I now possessed the Holy Book
my life was soon to change.

I quickly opened up the book,
 with secret how to live,
Within the book was just one word
and that one word was “Give”

©Copyright and common sense applies to all intelectual property
any where by anyone.  Please credit what you share with others. 

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Ground Hog Day

Once again it is Ground Hog Day, proving that superstitious humans will immortalize anything in the name of good weather even a disease ridden ground rodent.  The fact that it comes again so soon after it did last year is also a reminder of one of my favorite films.  But more than that... here is a reprint of the blog I wrote last year for the same reason.  The information and the feelings remain the same. I couldn't have said it better myself.
As it was,

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Robert Mandan
It's GroundHog Day
On my top ten list of movies "GroundHog" day is near the top.   And here it is in real life, Groundhog day 2012.  But I think the Punxsutawney rodent gets too much attention today.  It is a special day for other reasons.

Robert Mandan, Bob Campbell, Jay Johnson, Jay Sandrich
Opening night of "Jay Johnson: The Two and Only"
It is also the birthday of my friend Robert Mandan: "Better Dressed!" 
Only a true SOAPY will get that reference, but it is how I know my friend Mandan. He is better known to some as Chester Tate on SOAP. 

I remember when I moved to Los Angeles I was with my vacationing folks having dinner at the  Toulca Lake Marie Callendars. Although I didn't know his name at the time Robert Mandan was also waiting for a table.  Mandan is one of those actors I had seen in many staring roles. Bob was my first "celebrity siting" in my new home town.  Bob received the ultimate compliment my Father had for working actors when he whispered to me, "That guy has been in a gillion films." Indeed my friend has been in a "gillion" things. Take a look at his IMDB - Robert Mandan. That impressive list is only the film and television roles. There is an even more impressive list of stage productions that Bob has done, including an Ovation Award for "The CareTaker" and a critically acclaimed portrail of "King Lear", not to mention three Broadway shows. 
 I had no clue that soon I would be working with that "guy who has done a gillion films". We became friends almost immediately.  For a time we had the same personal manager, the same publicist and hung out with the same group of television actors.  We were known as the "terrible ten" because of fun we used to have at various Los Angeles restaurants. The members of the social group changed but Bob and I have remained friends all this time. 
Bob and his wife Sherry have been impromptu godparents to both my sons.  My oldest son will say, "How is Mandan?" even today.
Robert Mandan in "Barney Miller"
Chester Tate and Benson
Bob is an actors actor.  He never stops studying and learning how to better deliver his gift. He is funny and smart and yes, as piss elegant as Chester Tate sometimes. If you're lucky, a working relationship turns into a real friendship in this town of huge openings and quiet closings. I am grateful to have friends like Bob and Sherry in my life. On a day like GroundHogs day when the talk is about the weather, I will be thinking about my friend Bob Mandan, certainly not a "fair weather friend".  
Note to Mandan: You are not getting older, like wine you are getting more valuable.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Mandan. We shall celebrate with a bottle of "HOOP DE HAH".

As you were,
Bob Mandan on "Three's a Crowd"
Bob Mandan on "Star Trek,The Next Generation"

Robert Mandan Movie of the Week