Monthly Archives: January 2011


I looked up at the stage, admiring the simplistic yet colorful sets. A Palace resided on one side, while a cave was on the other. The Sky was green with a tint of blue and seemed magical.

The lights dimmed, and the music began to play. The stage began to fill with people, dressed in clothes of Arabian nature. For you see, we were about to enter Aladdin’s universe.

However, one would not take long to realize the actors in this production were different.  A kind of difference that is often frowned upon or misunderstood. The majority of this cast was disabled. Disabled either by deafness, blindness,  mental intellect and many others.

This was the Detour Theatre Company, which aims to give the experience of theatre to those who may not otherwise get the chance.  I watched with the most curiosity and fascination as the musical went forward and the actors were animated, excited, and happy.

Occasionally, an actor might forget a line. But, the director, Sam, prompted them with usually just one word, and they would continue on as if nothing had fazed them. Aladdin himself had difficulty speaking, but he did his best and was in character the entire time.

Aladdin came to an end and HONK began. The Ugly Duckling who was misunderstood. But soon became a swan of absolute beauty and embraced his uniqueness.

The Duckling’s Mother was blind, but was a true actress and had a singing voice that is record- worthy.  The Frog danced with the most energy and heart. The entire company finished the production asking us all to join them in ‘A Whole New World,” with smiles and waves.

And, then, I began to think. I began to realize.

Anything is possible.



As her arms fly up high, she clenches her fists.  “Own It!”, she yells.

The crowd screams with joy, amazement and sheer ecstasy.  Because, these words have been muttered by the most influential woman in the world, Oprah Winfrey.

“OWN IT” is the slogan for a new cable television network, nicely dubbed OWN, after Oprah Winfrey (Network).

Everyone should know the name and who she is. But, by chance you have been living under a rock, Oprah is a famous talk show host. She also has a heart of gold. She’s done countless wonderful things for people through her show. Her opinion matters, and she is rolling in the dough.

Now, I rarely tuned into her show, simply because it isn’t exactly my thing.

However, OWN has a show with a ‘behind the scenes look’ of Oprah’s talk show, and it’s quite entertaining.  From Oprah disagreeing with her producers to Liza Minnelli refusing to discuss her failed marriages before taping — it’s great tv. If you’re into writing, producing, or hosting your own show– you’ve GOT to watch this.

OWN also has a reality show, looking for a new tv host of their OWN show. (Get it?) —-> Your Own Show.

However, the show isn’t exactly well put-together.  The first challenge was interviewing Dr. Phil for a ‘segment.’ The men’s team was excellent. But, the women’s team was a complete disaster.  But, before we get to that… let’s talk about the Guest Judge.

Dr Phil sat in as the guest judge, as well as being the main aspect of the first challenge.  This wasn’t a good move, OWN.  The celebrity judging shouldn’t be part of the challenge. It’s too much pressure on these contestants, firstly.  But, the main problem was Dr. Phil himself. He  had this attitude that was condescending and demeaning.  Dr. Phil acted as if he was the king of the studio and that the contestants were bugs. Dr. Phil was cast in a new light, and it wasn’t flattering at all.

Now, the challenge itself. I want to talk about the female team, VISION. Their interview segment failed mainly because their video didn’t run on cue.  Leigh Koechner, the contestant hosting this segment, was at  lost for words and didn’t know what to do.  What she ended up doing, was asking Dr. Phil her own question and cutting him off within 3 seconds of him speaking.

It was no contest. Clearly, the other team won.  But, the judges still went through the motions, acting as though they weren’t sure who would win. The biggest upset here, was even when discussing VISION’S failure, they not once mention the video not beginning on cue. Not once! And, Dr. Phil wanted a certain contestant considered for elimination, when she had nothing to do with the failing segment.

In the end, Leigh Koechner went home, because her ‘final interview’ went badly. And, while she was loud and slightly annoying, she didn’t deserve to go home.  Elizabeth Espinosa should have gone home. She was the contestant who produced the segment. She was the reason the video was late. She twirled her finger, causing Leigh to interrupt Dr. Phil.  The reason she stayed? Her ‘final interview’ was much better. Did I mention she’s a news reporter?

I feel OWN messed up.  Big time.  I feel if the first elimination was so wrong, who’s to say the true winner of the group won’t go home early on?

Now, I’m still going to watch the show, seeing if it gets any better.

But, Oprah, you’ve got to fix this show. Your producers made a huge mistake. One that have got to OWN up too.

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The Mind’s Eye.

People have asked me, “What exactly is your writing process?”

For a good while, it was daunting to answer and complicated.

But, I actually sat down and thought about it.

I’ve always listened to instrumental music more so than ‘normal’ songs.  This started because I grew up hearing the classical radio station a lot as a child.

And so, in listening to instrumental music, it provides the backdrop to ‘movies’ in my mind’s eye.

It’s much like when you read a novel, you ‘see’ the action playing out in your mind.

This works the same way, except with music, I’m free to create whatever I want to see. Instead of words, I’m hearing the film score to whatever I chose to picture.

Once I have an idea, and I’m actually writing, I’ll put on music that fits the mood of the scene I’m writing.  I’ve read that this method is used by a few other writers, but I did it even before I thought it was a technique.

I’m going to be writing a version of ‘Hansel and Gretel’, and I’m listening to John Williams’ score to ‘Harry Potter’ for inspiration.

And that, is my writing process.

“Isn’t that Print Beautiful?”

Crate and Barrel.  

That’s where I was for a good part of my day.   The store that has every ice cream scoop  you could imagine as well as very expensive sofas.  And, don’t forget the aprons, purses, and the Every Recipe A Man Should Know book.

I wasn’t here by choice, mind you.

My mother wanted me to go with her, so I obliged.  I swear, my mother should have been a designer. She’s always remarking about colors, types of floors, how the walls could be extended… really. She needs to get a degree in this now.

But, as we were finally on the second floor (after an hour) she ran to a sofa she liked. She’s been wanting to buy a new one for months.

And, then, I see it happen.

A man, with a name tag, smiles at her.  Yes. A Salesman is on his way over to try to get my mother to spend money on this couch.

My mother had been admiring a painting above the couch, on the wall.

“Isn’t that print beautiful?”, says the Salesman. His voice is higher than most, and it is awfully piercing.

“Yes, I love the colors,” says my mother.

I quickly pretend to be looking over a dining room table, hoping the Salesman doesn’t ask me what I think about it.

“So, this couch is on sale,” he says, as he rubs the leather with his hand.

“Oh, really? What are the other color choices?”

The Salesman had a quick look of surprise flash across his face, but he recovered. ” Let me go print off some information for you.” He said, running off as if he’d lose the sale.

He came back, with colors, designs, and his business card.

Now, the man attempted to engage my mother in conversation. So much, that she began to grow annoyed. But, she kept it pretty well hidden, nodding her head and saying, “Oh?” a lot.

Finally, he got the hint and told us if we had any more questions to give him a call and off he went.

And so, that was my day, at Crate and Barrel.

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