Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving plans, travels, coping, gratitude, seasonal trials and tribulations and triumphs

Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough. Oprah Winfrey

Happy November, 21st, 2017,
As I sit down to write today's blog, I'm listening to Neil Sedaka singing Laughter In The Rain in the background from 1974. November 21st is the 326th day of the year. There are 40 days
Thankful that I'm still entertaining! Please join us on the 9th of December
remaining until the end of the year.

Thanksgiving is in three days! That's a whole different type of theater! 17 days till my show.  
33 days till Christmas! Yikes!!
150 Days till Bette Midler's opening night in Hello, Dolly!
Today, I'm going to address the issue of Thanksgiving plans, travels,
I am thankful for the friendship that I had with Carol and Harry Kullijian
coping, gratitude, seasonal trials and tribulations and triumphs. Thank you to my friend Russ Woolley, who I am truly thankful for as a friend and supporter, for the suggestion for today's blog.

I'm thinking of the things that I am grateful for and there are so many. This Thanksgiving will find me in South Carolina with my friends and family. I don't think I have been home for Thanksgiving since the year my dad passed away. That was 2002! 
I felt that it was important for me to be with my family that year. My sister
I'm thankful for all of the artists who have granted me interviews on this project
and brother in law had a home on Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina. At that time, I had been diagnosed with Vasovagal syncope, which meant I was passing out a lot...mostly on planes. I used to joke that I landed more planes than some pilots. Because of the beta-blockers I was on at the time, I was in a drowsy state the entire time. Everyone was complaining about the fact that I wanted to do nothing but sleep. 


As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

After returning home, I weaned myself off of the beta-blockers and with very few exceptions this issue seems to be a thing of the past.
It has been a few years since seeing my mom so I truly am looking forward to it. Danny, Horace, and our friend Peggy Eason will be hitting the road on Wednesday morning. I'm thankful to our friends who will be house sitting for us while we're away! Our babies will be well taken care of.


Work is more fun than fun.
-Noel Coward

I am thankful for all of the artists who entrusted me this year to handle the press for their shows. It gave me the opportunity to focus on them instead of myself. I hope that I lived up to their expectations. I am a work in progress and I am only as good as the people I surround myself with. I thank all of the artists that I have shared a stage with this year. 
As I move into the performing arena full time again, I once again, would like to thank all who have invested in my shows this year with your time and energy. I realize that there are so many options to choose from...especially here in New York. When I am the one you choose, you have no idea what that means to me. 

I also am grateful for the shows I have been able to attend this year. There are so many shows that I have been fortunate enough to see this year. There are also many that I have missed. My apologies to those of you who I've missed.
Happy Birthday, Marlo Thomas. Thanks for all you do 
Keep trying and as we careen towards 2017, I hope to be able to support as many of you as possible.

Let's ALL support each other instead of tearing each other down. 
For all of my relatives seeing this, I'm promising you a politics free zone from me over the next week. PLEASE offer me the same courtesy.
Now, I want to talk about Thanksgiving memories. I've written in the past about my family and background but for those of you new to the Skipper train, here goes. 

Life moves fast. As much as you can learn from your history, you have to move forward. -Eddie Vedder
My dad with my brother Emory
 


I was born in a small town in South Carolina, Conway, which is the gateway to Myrtle Beach.
I am the oldest of four kids. I have a sister, Debbie, next in line, and two brothers, Emory and John. John and I were born ten years apart. 
My dad was one of ten. There were eleven but one died ten days after he was born. He was actually born on my dad's birthday, January 10th. My mom is the oldest of sixteen. There have been passings on both sides. (I don't believe in death). My dad was the first of his brothers and sisters to pass away. I'm talking, of course, of the family that I grew up with. My uncle Burroughs was the first on my mom's side of the family. On my dad's side of the family, my paternal grandparents, especially my grandmother, was all about celebrating the holidays. I suppose that's where my sense of celebration comes from. 
My paternal grandfather, Emory Lee Skipper
All of the Thanksgivings for the first eighteen years of my life were pretty much the same. (I left home when I was eighteen). We would go to my maternal grandmother for Thanksgiving 'dinner'. In the south, the daytime meal was dinner and the evening meal was summer. We would leave to go to Grandma Rabon after watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I remember her stuffing and the pies and cakes most of all!  I also remember the drama! There always seemed to be some sort of drama swirling around the day...mostly due to alcoholism. It was straight out of a Tennessee Williams play and something I never have gotten used to. We would be there until about five PM and then head over for our Skipper Thanksgiving.  
Now, because there were so many of us, there were two seatings. I expect some of my readers to be either appalled or shocked at what you are about to eat, but this is the way it was. 
The men would sit down during the first seating and all the kids would be fed as well.
My mom standing in the dirt driveway that led to my Grandparent Skipper's house
When the uncles had finished eating, the aunts would sit down to eat. 

It was such a big deal when I turned fifteen and was able to sit at the adult table.  
It was the time I grew up in. It has been thirty-seven years since that last Skipper Thanksgiving. Since my grandparents are no longer here and families are now dispersed, I'm not sure if the paradigm is the same. 
After the dishes had been cleared and put away, a couple of my aunts would start compiling a list of all of the names of aunts, uncles, cousins to draw names for Christmas. To me, THAT was the official start to the holidays...
To be con't.

Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor. -Sholom Aleichem
 
People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy. -Anton Chekhov

Favorite Thanksgiving Memories
SCHMOOLIE
The one six years ago when SCHMOOLIE (a rescued Australian Shepherd, who his now celebrating his Bark Mitzvah) came for dinner and decided to stay.
-Avi Duvdevani

For me they always center around family gatherings and cooking in the home NEVER in a restaurant.  As a little kid I can remember my mom cooking, I remember wondrous anticipation of grandparents, Aunts Uncles and my two cousins gathering.  I loved being with the relatives, listening to their stories of Sweden and what it was like there in the 1800's and early 1900's... I remember being outside on a bitter Thanksgiving Day , and coming indoors to the fantastic smells and warmth of our home. 
I'm thankful for Horace. He's thankful for his toy squirrel
I remember enjoying setting the table "just so"  putting out the "good goblets" and silverware - polishing the brass candlesticks etc.  I love a gorgeous table,  I love entertaining family and friends.  You know that I love to "go out", but I also LOVE entertaining in the home.  It gives me extreme pleasure to share my home.  I think it was also one Thanksgiving morning that my mom asked me to walk to the milk machine to get milk which we ran out of, and of course in those days, there were NO STORES open on Thanksgiving -- the milk machine was like a tall dispenser which for probably 30 or .35 cents dispensed a quart of milk in a bottle.....
-Russ Woolley

Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for showing me that it is up to ME to lead by example!


With grateful XOXOXs ,
 





Courtesy Scott Clarke
Click on site to go to website



NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!   
        



Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook



  • Richard Skipper Celebrates...December 9th 7PM at the
    "A Charlie Brown Christmas" first airing Thursday, December 9, 1965
    Triad. featured guests will INCLUDE Kevin Dozier, Peggy Eason, Eddie Korbich, Marieann Meringolo Lisa Viggiano...AND A Mystery Guest*! Bryon Sommers, Musical Director with Jeff Carney on bass and Rex Benincasa on percussion.
     
    Richard Skipper Celebrates: A Talk/Variety Show encouraging us to celebrate each and every day and the hidden gems therein. Did you know A Charlie Brown Christmas Debuted in 1965...Buck Henry, Margaret Hamilton, Dalton Trumbo, Douglas
    Douglas Faitbanks, Jr.
    Fairbanks Jr were all born on December 9th? 
    Wear Purple! The Ruling Color Of The Day and The Color of Royalty! 
    Tickets are $30.00 plus a two drink minimum. Reservations a MUST! Call 888 596-1027 to purchase tickets or YOU can also do it on THEIR website. http://www.triadnyc.com/buy-tickets

    Hilary Kole
    *Previous Mystery Guests have included Hilary Kole, Melba Moore, and Stacy Sullivan
    Boy Do we Need it NOW!

    Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
     
    TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
    Let your voices be Heard!

    Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com










Saturday, November 19, 2016

Our Voices Will Not Be Silenced: Not a Left or Right Issue

50 years ago tonight Cabaret opened on Broadway
The sun on the meadow is summery warm
The stag in the forest runs free
But gather together to greet the storm
Tomorrow belongs to me
The branch of the linden is leafy and green
The Rhine gives its gold to the sea
But somewhere a glory awaits unseen
Tomorrow belongs to me
The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes
The blossom embraces the bee
But soon, says a whisper
"Arise, arise, tomorrow belongs
To me!"
-  Fred Ebb, Cabaret 1966



Happy November 20th, 2016!
As I sit down to write today's blog, I'm listening to What I Did For Love from A Chorus Line in the background. November 20 is the 325th day of the year. There are 41 days remaining until the end of the year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Tuesday, Friday or Sunday (58 in 400 years each) than on Wednesday or Thursday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Monday or Saturday (56). 
Thanksgiving is in four days! That's a whole different type of theater! 18 days till my show (more about that below).  
34 days till Christmas! Yikes!!
151 Days till Bette Midler's opening night in Hello, Dolly!
Today, I'm going to address the issue of Mike Pence and Hamilton
First of all, you would have to be living under a rock not to know that Hamilton is the hottest show on Broadway. It is sold out a year in advance and has put Lin Manuel Miranda on a level that many of us will not see in our own lifetimes. The show has won just about every award that can be awarded to a show.
From The Public Theater to Broadway, it has been on a wave unprecedented in my lifetime. Over the past fifteen months, I have been feeling like I'm living in a topsy-turvey world. 
Over the past year and a half we have seen a demagogue reality star run for President AND get elected. I will not say that he 'won' the election because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
If what we've seen and witnessed over the past 15 months of our lives was a movie even five years ago, no one would believe it. I am reminder of A Face in The Crowd and Elmer Gantry when I look back over this election. I highly recommend that you see both of these movies if you haven't already. It will cause you to look at the results of the past year and a half differently.

I have my own theories as to why Donald Trump has been elected but that would be a whole other blog. I do believe that Trump was elected because he is a celebrity. The media played into that as well over the past year. They've created this! As Les Moonves said very early in the campaign, "He may be all wrong for the country, but he is great for ratings." With all due respect, Mr. Moonves and all others in the media, this is more than ratings.
It's our future and the future of generations to come.

On Friday night, Vice President Mike Pence decided to take in Hamilton on Broadway. He was greeted by boos and cheers. When one is controversial, that is to be expected.
At the end of the show, actor Brandon Victor Dixon had a message for Pence who was walking out as the actors were taking their bows (bad form by the way).
Vice President-elect Mike Pence, center at left, attended a Friday showing of “Hamilton.” Afterward, a lead actor read a statement.


The New York Times reported, "A surprising confrontation erupted on Saturday between
I'm thankful to be able to express my views without fear of censorship
President-elect Donald J. Trump and the cast and creators of the Broadway hit Hamilton, setting off furious debate over American principles like free speech, respect and the ability to challenge authority in the Trump era.






Brandon Victor Dixon in July. At the end of the show on Friday, he told Mr. Pence, “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf all of us.” Credit Brad Barket/Invision, via Associated Press
President-elect Trump demanded an apology from the cast for making a rare, politically charged
appeal from the stage on Friday night to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was in the audience, urging him and Mr. Trump to “uphold our American values” and “work on behalf of all of us.”   Mr. Trump’s response significantly escalated an unusual protest inside a theater into a furor on social media and cable news."
First of all, it is not surprising. Trump has gone after the media every time something is said that he does not approve of.

Early on in his election, he vowed to take press credentials from those who do not support him one hundred percent.
  
Facebook Post: "Make America great again" = make it 1861 again.
"The theater must always be a safe and special place" = theatre must be a place where we are
Carol Channing campaigned for Lyndon B. Johnson
never challenged to think for ourselves and all comments must agree with the State.
Could this get ANY worse? Will I be arrested for posting this?


You may think that this is an extreme way of thinking, however, there are many who disagree. We have a President elect who questioned the Emmy Awards when he didn't win an Emmy Award. He has attacked many in the media. He has been unusually cruel to Rosie O'Donnell and he has said horrible things about Megyn Kelly among many others. On October 2, The  New York Times compiled a list of people that Trump had insulted ONLY during his campaign up to that time. The total was 281!
He took to Twitter again last night to slam Saturday Night Live, calling the NBC show “one-sided” and “biased.” Mr. Trump, you are filling your cabinet with people that are biased and one sided!
THAT is our concern, not on a show based on satire.
He said in his Tweet after Pence attended Hamilton that Pence had been harassed by the cast. FALSE!
Another example of his delusional take on things. You can see on tape what was said.However, he still tries to peddle his own version of an incident to suit his agenda. We must all keep track for when they start to systematically try to delete records of his delusions. 
I just read that Mayor deBlasio was booed last night when he attended a birthday celebration of Tony Bennett in Staten Island.
It goes with the territory. Carol Channing once told me that for every person who likes me, there are an equal number who don't. I get that. There are those that dislike me because of things I've said and/or done. I apologize if I've ever offended anyone. That is never my intention.
I've written about being a bullied kid so many times that I run the risk of sounding like a broken record. I often wonder if there is anything that I have ever said or done that brought/brings that upon myself.  
Donald Trump's attacking tweets through most of his campaign
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, in Johnson City, N.Y., on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. Photo Credit: Office of the Governor / Darren McG
"America was built on the promise that all of us were created equal and should be treated equally.
In the days since the election, that promise has been threatened."
- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo

 THAT, Mr. Pence and Mr. Trump, are why people are booing!

Scarlett O'Hara ( Vivien Leigh ):
"Fiddle dee dee. War, war, war. This war talk is spoiling the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream."
 

Alec Baldwin tweeted this after another one of Trump's Tweets last night: You know what I would do
Is Trump's Twitter account a foghorn alerting us that he will suppress free speech.
if I were Prez? I'd be focused on how to
improve the lives of AS MANY AMERICANS AS POSSIBLE.


If retired Gen. Michael Flynn becomes Donald Trump's National Security Advisor, will he continue to be fooled by "fake news?"


Another Facebook post:
I am SO sick of hearing "Make American great again." I can't stand it. America IS great. She is great for her laws, principles, history and people. Sure we have some problems and maybe even some big problems but America is still GREAT! We would not trade it for any other country. Not to offend anyone from another country. Thanks!

Is this our new reality? Trump Supporters Call For A “Hamilton” Boycott After The Cast Addressed Mike Pence. Click HERE for Full article. 


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke

There are many things I don't like in the media. Violence depicted in movies, for example. However, it is not up to me to try and squash it. I simply don't support it. It is a slippery slope when our President-elect starts advocating censorship in the media.
Tweet from Trump: The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!

Mr. Trump, PLEASE pay attention to what WAS said. It was welcoming and delivered with respect. The theater is a microcosm of the world. I beg of you, PLEASE make America SAFE again! 


Sit back! A new news cycle is about to begin!

Thank you, to ALL who are mentioned in this blog for showing me that it is up to ME to lead by example!


With grateful XOXOXs ,
 





Courtesy Scott Clarke
Click on site to go to website



NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!   
        



Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook



  • Richard Skipper Celebrates...December 9th 7PM at the
    "A Charlie Brown Christmas" first airing Thursday, December 9, 1965

    Triad. featured guests will INCLUDE Kevin Dozier, Peggy Eason, Eddie Korbich, Marieann Meringolo Lisa Viggiano...AND A Mystery Guest*! Bryon Sommers, Musical Director with Jeff Carney on bass and Rex Benincasa on percussion.
     
    Richard Skipper Celebrates: A Talk/Variety Show encouraging us to celebrate each and every day and the hidden gems therein. Did you know A Charlie Brown Christmas Debuted in 1965...Buck Henry, Margaret Hamilton, Dalton Trumbo, Douglas
    Douglas Faitbanks, Jr.
    Fairbanks Jr were all born on December 9th? 
    Wear Purple! The Ruling Color Of The Day and The Color of Royalty! 
    Tickets are $30.00 plus a two drink minimum. Reservations a MUST! Call 888 596-1027 to purchase tickets or YOU can also do it on THEIR website. http://www.triadnyc.com/buy-tickets

    Hilary Kole
    *Previous Mystery Guests have included Hilary Kole, Melba Moore, and Stacy Sullivan
    Boy Do we Need it NOW!

    Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
     
    TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
    Let your voices be Heard!

    Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com