Sweetest Day

Happy Sweetest Day!

Today is Sweetest Day Celebrated the Third Saturday of October. As a kid growing up, I became enamored with the local Hallmark Card store that was on my walk to school. I became friendly with the family that owned it, and eventually worked there, decorating the windows or handling the register… I was probably 12 years old the first time I entered that store. It was right around this time of year, and Harrison who was to become one of my very best friends was wrestling with a crepe paper tissue monster to get it displayed in time for Halloween. Back then, Halloween decorations went up in October, and Christmas decorations went up in December. Life was simpler, then. Sweetest Day was a holiday brought (more…)

75 DAYS

I know.

I know.

With all that is going on in the World right now, just the mention of “CHRISTMAS” could make me appear tone-deaf and out-of-touch.

But this is not about rushing the Season.

Quite the opposite.

This is about forging a path around the imposed commercialism and giving ourselves the time to create for ourselves a Season of Love and Kindness the way we would ideally like it to be.

If you have followed this Blog for a while, you know of my Passion for Christmas,

The Time of Fellowship

Peace on Earth

Good Will Toward All

The Season of Kindness

The thing that growing up, we wondered why it couldn’t be All Year Through…

Or if it could, how we might make that happen…

It is a Truly Beautiful Season

And its essence is Caring for One Another,

Loving One Another,

And extending Kindness through Good Deeds and Good Acts…

I cannot think of anything the world needs more, right now!

CHRISTMAS, like most things, works out Best when Planned for…

I am not a Big planning-within-an-inch-of-my-life kind of person.

But READINESS is a Gift.

When I am READY, things just go Better!

Life can feel so overwhelming – even in this pandemic and this sort-of- quarantine we’re all doing – it can feel tough to find time to get Ready and focus on some future experience when our attention is demanded by current projects and concerns.

But when something is important to us – say, a Wedding or Special Occasion — we plan in advance.

We make a list of what will need to be done, schedule out the time we have, budget, and take action to Get Ready for it.

Those of us in Show Business understand this well, as we go from Show to Show; 

This little bit of mindfulness often Creates some of our Happiest Memories!

For many of us, Christmases past contain some Joyful Memories – some traumatic ones, too perhaps, although I would venture a guess that the latter are more often than not from Christmases for which we didn’t plan as well.

This Year is a very unique and challenging one.

Christmas will not be the same.

We know this.

Perhaps Large Family Gatherings will not be taking place – Less Travel…

For those of us in New York, no crowds at the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree,

And no massive crowds in stores…

Shopping & Shipping will likely be even more Online than in years past,

And we might be buying Less this Year overall, as for many of us, we are facing severe or more severe financial hardship.

Okay!
Good to take an inventory and know where things stand.

Now…

We have 75 Days!

Lets’ take some time and think about all the things we would ideally like to do for the people we Love to make them Happy! And by that, we make our Soul Happy!

Lets’ envision the Better World in which we would like to be Living!

Hopefully, by this Christmas, we will have a new Governmental Administration.

But Maybe Not!

Hopefully, we will have an approved vaccine against Coronavirus that works and is readily available to us.

But Probably Not!

Hopefully, we will be with Loved Ones.

But perhaps not as many as we had hoped…

We can begin to make a choice now:

Do we wish to envision and prepare for our Worst Christmas Ever?

Or do we wish to envision and prepare for our Best Christmas Ever?

What if we took some time Now, this weekend, and just sat down with a piece of paper or some phone app, and jotted down a few special ideas of things we might want to do or make happen for Christmas this year?

What if we jotted down for ourselves our vision for Christmas 2020?

Has it been a tough year? What if we gave ourselves permission to envision for ourselves the Very Best Christmas – one that would make the Whole Year worth it?

Are there some special recipes we might like to make?

Someone with whom we’d like to be in touch?

A Zoom Christmas Party we might like to coordinate before everyone’s calendars get filled with obligations…

Is there an elderly neighbor or shut-in who could use our socially-distanced help?
Are their Local Charities at which we might like to look into some volunteering at the Holidays?

Is there someone we need to Forgive?

Is there someone for whom we’d like to do something personal that would take some time to prepare?

Maybe we want to hand paint some items from a craft store to give as gifts?

Perhaps we want to write or draw some gifts this year?

Perhaps we want to think about engaging our family in a White Elephant Gift Exchange, by mail (in which names are picked, and each person gives up one thing they own that they think the family member they’ve picked will just LOVE, so the only new cost involved is shipping).

Begin Planning.

Get READY.

What I would LOVE is if I were Very Wealthy and could just send everyone I know a check for a thousand dollars as a Christmas Gift this year and help to make people’s situations easier.

But that is not the case at the moment.

So now to figure out the next Best Thing…

Other Ways I can make people’s Lives easier…

Better…

More JOYful…

Christmas is Coming.

It’s 75 Days Away.

And there is plenty of time to plan for how we would like to Celebrate the Season of Kindness and Giving and Love this year…

Time to think Creatively about ways we can spread JOY and Help Others!

Time to Create a New Kind of JOYful Experience for ourselves and others…

Sure we can sit alone and dwell on what a miserable year it’s been and indulge in our woes.

But that would be to miss the entire point!
We can get off the pity pot,

Stand

Take a Step Forward

And embrace the Possibility of what this upcoming Holiday Season could be for us!

Has there ever been a time when JOYFULNESS would be More Welcome!

Get Ready…

Let us Open our Minds and our Hearts

To Creative Possibility

And the World as we would Like it to Be!

Prepare for JOY!

#  #  #

World Right Side Up

A dozen or so years ago,
I visited a Shaman.
He waved a large eagle wing back and forth over me.
He took me on a Journey of Soul Retrieval – we did not see the wolf which I am given to understand means that my Soul did not need to be retrieved. Apparently, I have all of it with me – so that’s a relief!
He danced and chanted and drank some green juice from a glass bottle with a long thin neck – then gargled and spit it across my body…
That doesn’t happen every day!
He explained to me that there is a group of Shamans from all over the World who meet in some sacred place — maybe somewhere in South America — once every fifty years to hold sacred ceremonies for several days during which they receive a Message from the gods about the World in the coming Half Century.
He told me that in the 1950’s when they had last met, the Message they received was,
“World Upside Down!”
More recently, just after the start of this Century, they convened once again and received the Message for this Half Century:
“World Rightside Up!”

Events of these past two decades – and in particular, these past three and a half years – may not make us feel that the World is Rightside Up! Quite the contrary, it feels we are through the Looking Glass, especially this past 100 days or so.
And yet… (more…)

HAL

HAL PRINCE
January 30, 1928 – July 31, 2019

HAL PRINCE and me at the Opening of CANDIDE

I was HAL PRINCE’s Casting Director for the better part of a decade.
We worked together on his revival of SHOW BOAT from its inception throughout its many productions all around the world. Our production of SHOW BOAT premiered at the North York Performing Arts Center in Toronto 26 years ago. I also worked with HAL on the most recent Broadway Revival of CANDIDE, as well as KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and PARADE.

This year alone, we have found ourselves saying goodbye to countless theater luminaries, including DIAHNN CARROLL, CAROL CHANNING, ANDREW ZERMAN, KAYE BALLARD, PHYLLIS NEWMAN, VALERIE HARPER, BILL ESPER, DORIS DAY, E. KATHERINE KERR, KATHERINE HELMOND, MARTIN CHARNIN, MAX WRIGHT, ALAN WASSER, ALVIN EPSTEIN, ERIC LAJUAN SUMMERS, TONI MORRISON, RIP TORN, GLORIA VANDERBILT, ANN CRUMB, TIM CONWAY, GEORGIA ENGEL, LUKE PERRY, ARTIE GAFFIN, MARION MCCLINTON, KYLE RENICK, RON LEIBMAN, RENE AUBERJONOIS, and So Many Others… But even among so many shattering losses to our Community this year, this one stands out.

HAL PRINCE died on July 31st at the age of 91. There will be a Celebration of his Life at the Majestic Theater next Monday December 16th.
I have never known a professional life without him in it, and the loss to the theater community is perhaps the most profound imaginable.

You see, (more…)

Live Out Loud With Significance …Or… My Strong, Good, Courageous, Positive-Thinking, Magical Marvelous Friend! Part II

The Drive Home from the Funeral Services

You are gone several weeks now.
Gone?
No.
Transitioned into the Non-Physical Realm.
The Place above this Pettiness.
The Place where DICK CHENEY and I will learn to be friends — and other such Unimaginable Graces
The Place where All is Forgiven.
The Place of Higher Consciousness.
The Place we all reside.
As THE COURSE IN MIRACLES tells us, “’Heaven and Earth shall pass away’ means that they shall not continue to exist as separate states.”

Evidence exists.
Evidence may be accepted or dismissed.
But it is still Evidence.
(more…)

It’s Noble What We Do

geoffrey-owensGEOFFREY OWENS is a friend of mine.
He is a Class Act — a Wonderful Actor, and an even More Wonderful Human Being!
He achieved some celebrity status when right after graduating from the Yale School of Drama, he played the character of Elvin on THE COSBY SHOW.
I was the Casting Assistant on that show for several seasons, and between that and our mutual social circles, we have known one another some thirty years.

You may have heard some of the hubbub this week, created when some pathetic ignoramus took a picture of GEOFFREY working at Trader Joe’s and in an abuse of social media, (more…)

Community

CommunityIt has always been one of my Favorite Things!
People Coming Together!
I was a Theater Geek in High School — I think mainly because of the way people came together toward one Goal.
And it was tangible — the momentum of a Group of People
To Create a Show…
To Create a Country…
To Create some Vision of the World…

Lately, I find myself immersed in Community!
And Deeply Moved by its Power!
The Brahman!
The Expanse of one Soul! (more…)

Independence Day 2018

 

4thofJuly

A Meme from the Internet

Today, We March.
We March for our Lives!
We March for Civil Rights!
We March for Equality!
We March for Freedom!
We March for Justice!
Though I have Marched countless times before,
Today is the first day in America I have had to March to keep Children out of Cages!
(more…)

Happy Eleventh Day of Christmas!

2016-12-24-10-46-31Still Celebrating.
Still Enjoying.
Still in search of Peace.
Still getting in touch with all the Myriad Ways we can feel God With Us!

Deep Breath…

Monday was that unusual Federal Holiday celebrating New Year’s Day because January 1st was on a Sunday this year,
So it felt like an Extra Day!
It was nice.
Many People chose to take down their Tree and Christmas Decorations, as it may have seemed to them an ideal time to make that happen.
Not to me!
Monday was the Eighth Day of Christmas!
Today is the Eleventh Day of Christmas!
(more…)

All In The Striving

Writing QuillI posted an excerpt of my last Blog Post into one of my FaceBook Groups —
Only the first part — the words of President Obama in his last State of the Union Address.
This alone caused a bit of a stir — an onslaught of comments which escalated to the point where the Group Administrator deleted my Post.
I felt it required a response from me.
In responding, I learned a little bit more about Why I Write.
I am sharing excerpts of that here:
 
“Firstly, Thank You all for your responses!
I have always been a big fan of Diversity — of all types!
I am a little late to the party on FaceBook, but I see people (not just in this group) saying, “If you disagree with me, unfriend me!” and I think,
“What an Uninteresting World THAT would be!”
One of the things I always most admired about us —
(more…)