Monday, March 30, 2009

BECOMING RICHARD SKIPPER/BLOG THREE


“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~George Eliot

Can you believe we are at the last week of March!?!?! I feel like it was JUST Christmas. Where does the time go? March came in like a lion! Will it go out like a lamb? WOW! What this month held. This month started with me in Penelope Brackett's FEARLESS FOURSOME: ACTORS IN ACTION. Being in this wonderful group has helped me get over some of the challenges that have held me back in the past.
I begin each day with a book called “A YEAR TO SUCCESS” by Bo Bennett. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It, too, is keeping me on course.
As you can see, I have also started a blog! Here we are with BLOG THREE! Hope you enjoy it. Earlier this month, I went to a free marketing seminar at The Gay and Lesbian Expo. I learned A LOT and was able to network as well! Tools were given that are part of the wave of the future. I was told that if you’re not blogging, you are missing out.
A blog (a contraction of the term weblog) is a type of website, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. It was great training for a seminar that I held later this month on PROMOTING AND MARKETING YOURSELF IN THE 21st Century. I wrote a little about this in my last blog. It was at the 36th Street Studio and was a big hit. So big in fact that we have already scheduled our next class (See below*)!
I keep hearing from everyone who took the seminar that it was quite useful. Took my first class with David Friedman (also mentioned in my last blog). Looking forward to my next class tomorrow night after seeing Mitzi Gaynor!

I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog. I hope to start work with Bob Cline in late April. He is a major casting director and it is a six week musical comedy audition technique intensive. Please join me! Contact me for details. It is never too late to keep learning and perfecting your craft whatever your profession.

Please let me know what you think!

This month, saw the revival of GUYS AND DOLLS on Broadway starring the great Oliver Platt who isn’t in this show! Guys and Dolls is a musical, with the music and lyrics written by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, based on "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure", two short stories by Damon Runyon. I love this show. Hated this revival! I also saw Blithe Spirit which I loved! I began working with Bobbie Horowitz on IMAGE (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). Saw Michelle Collier & Mychelle Colleary's show at Don’t Tell Mama’s. It was a celebration of Michelle's birthday and Mychelle's going to Europe. Packed house with cabaret dignitaries and fun, too! Saw RAGU (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) at The Actor's Playhouse followed by Cynthia Crane's show at The Metropolitan Room. This is the best show Cynthia has ever done and THAT is saying A LOT! If you’ve been following my previous blogs, you know about my involvement with Weston High School’s (Connecticut) production of HELLO, DOLLY! I was blown away by these kids! (pictured with Samantha Rehr, Dolly Levi)
Great move choosing a "light-hearted" as opposed to "bittersweet" musical to perform during a grim economic period- hey, isn't that why movie musicals (MGM, Universal, Warner Brothers,RKO, etc.)were so popular during the Depression?
Tonight, I’m seeing Jack Donahue at Birdland. So looking forward to it!
In the coming weeks, we will be celebrating our dear departed Hope Hardcastle.
Before she passed away, she set aside a sum of money and a guestlist to have a party to celebrate her life! LOVE that!
As you may or may not be aware, I have been working along side Carol
Channing and her husband, Harry Kullijian on the DR. CAROL CHANNING
ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. Please check out: http://www.richardskipper.com/foundation/index.html

My goal is to make the importance of Arts in Education a national campaign.
Any ideas and/or suggestions you may have are greatly appreciated!
I continued to take classes at PRIMARY STAGES. AUDITIONING FOR TODAY’S THEATRE with Andrew Leynse and a great group of dedicated and committed actors. Wednesday is the last class! I can’t believe it and I hate to see it end!

How are your New Year’s Resolutions sticking? As you end this month and go into the next, identify the behaviors you wish to change. With me focusing on new career opportunities, there are new twists and turns every day! After many happy years of performing as Carol Channing, I have refocuced my career on being "Richard Skipper" once again, and am getting back to my roots as an actor beyond Carol Channing. This is not to say that I will not be appearing as “Carol” from time to time, but that is not the focus of where I am RIGHT NOW. I am taking classes, going to workshops, seminars; I have met with an agent who is now submitting me for theatre and film projects; I am auditioning again and I have opened myself up to ALL possibilities. I still would like to keep in touch with you on a regular basis, and I hope that you will continue to contact me to let me know how you are and please know that I am always available to "lend an ear" to discuss your ideas and dreams and thoughts for your own lives. I have made some incredible friendships throughout the years and I want you to know that you are very important to me. If we’re in the same area and you are interested in breaking bread or going to see a movie, if you want to see a show or share some quality time together, please let me know. I am always here for the wonderful friends who have always been there for me over the years!

Respectfully, Richard Skipper
PS… Still offering my career coaching: http://www.richardskipper.com/workshop/index.html

* Apr 30 - 11am-2pm - AXA ADVISORS, 1633 Broadway, between 50th and 51st St., 3rd Floor

STILL WORKING TO GET CAROL CHANNING A KENNEDY CENTER HONOR, GO HERE: http://www.richardskipper.com/links.html and click on appopriate banner.

The DR. CAROL CHANNING ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/Foundation.htm

ANY HELP YOU CAN GIVE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

HAPPY THURSDAY! BLOG TWO

Happy Thursday!
As promised, here is my second blog! Incredible things are happening all around. Last night, I (along with Glen Charlow) conducted a seminar at The 36th Studio on Promoting Yourself in the 21st Century. Sandra DeLuca, who I'm sharing a class with at Primary Stages wrote on my Guestbook on my website:

"I attended your seminar on promoting yourself in the 21st century, leveraging the Internet for self-promotion. I was impressed how your finger is on the pulse of the latest developments and tools the Internet and networking sites have to offer. Your experience and advice regarding the dos and dont's of website tools and promoting yourself are invaluable. And such a great public speaker, so helpful! Thank you so much, and keep me posted on your future seminars."

The response was overwhelming. So we have scheduled a workshop for April 30th 11AM-2PM (15 people max). We are offering a recession booster...we are only charging $100.00! We had several people sign up last night, so act fast if you would like to be part of this.

Yesterday afternoon, I had my next to last class at Primary Stages with Andrew Leynse. The talent in that class is great. Alison Esterin (casting director) from Barden-Schnee sat in on the class. I did a scene from Terence MacNally's Dedications. I am pleased with my work yesterday!

Tuesday night, I FINALLY started David Friedman's singing class. My good friend, Maria Otavia joined me. Another great class! Such love and support in that room. I sang "IT'S NOT WHERE YOU START" from SEESAW. Got a great response.

Saturday, I went to the Gay & Lesbian Expo to network and take a marketing seminar. I got so much from being there. It was because of that seminar, that I started this blog. Was also able to give out a lot of cards and collected a few as well.

Tomorrow night, I'm going to Weston Connecticut to see Weston High School's production of HELLO, DOLLY! (As I started to write this, John Abernathy's wonderful version of IT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT came on my IPOD!). If you saw my last blog, you may recall that I have gotten involved with Weston's production. http://www.richardskipper.com/archives/2009march19A&L.html

I received a GOOGLE ALERT stating that Helen Story, of the costume department, was looking for hats for the production. I wrote to her to let her know that I had played Dolly and that I was willing to loan them the feathered headdress for the Harmonia Garden's segment. Helen went to my website and called to see if they could buy my Dolly gown. I said that I would loan it for the run. Helen called me and after a few conversations, I volunteered to come to the school and speak to the cast and crew IF they were interested. Helen spoke to Damian Long, the director, and he said yes. I went to the school about a month ago and spoke about the history of Dolly... How Dolly came to be, the historical time frame of the show, who these characters are, Carol Channing; I even did the Ephraim soliloquy (Ephraim, Let me go...). These kids were wonderful! See this article: Hat's Off to Hello, Dolly!

Helen then contacted the Weston paper about my involvement and Patty Gay did an incredible feature on my getting involved with this production! When I called Patty to thank her, I said if there was anything I could do to return the favor, let me know. She informed me that she was a huge Carol Channing fan and would love to interview her. I told her about The Foundation for the arts that Carol and Harry have started and that if, perhaps, she made that the crux of the article, I could possibly arrange it. I spoke with Carol and Harry and they said they would be happy to oblige! Carol even wrote a letter to the cast which will be included in their program! Two weeks ago, I arranged an interview with Jeffrey Williams on AT THE RITZ. I was there to talk about the history of HELLO, DOLLY! and Damian along with Samantha Rehr (Dolly) were there to talk about taking this show to new generations.
Anyone who knows me knows how compassionate I am about keeping arts in education and this production has allowed me to make my voice heard!

Sunday, I'm going to the ShowBiz Expo and then to another Networking Group after that. GET OUT OF YOUR ROUTINE AND MEET NEW PEOPLE!

Sad news to report...Marilyn Borden, who played "Teensy", the overweight daughter of the sheriff in the classic "I Love Lucy" episode where the Ricardos and the Mertzes visit Bent Fork, Tennessee, passed away yesterday at age 76 from respertory problems. She had been in poor health for the last couple of years. Her twin sister Roz died in 2003. Together, the two were an act that spanned over 60 years in show business, appearing with such greats as Jimmy Durante, Beatrice Arthur, and Bob Newhart. You can visit their website (designed by Glen Charlow) HERE.

Again, I hope you enjoy this blog. Your comments welcome. DON'T FORGET TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DR. CAROL CHANNING ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS: http://www.channingarts.org
LET'S KEEP THE ARTS IN EDUCATION!
Don't forget to visit my website, www.RichardSkipper.com, and sign my guestbook with your thoughts on my work!
With grateful XOXOXs!
Richard Skipper

Sunday, March 22, 2009

MY FIRST BLOG!

I am thrilled to be entering the blogging world. I hope that all who see this will join me and share in this incredible journey with me. I'd like to share what's happening and what's coming up. I don't anticipate this being a daily blog as of yet. I just want to write about things going on in my Life and my thoughts and HOPE that you will be interested. An exciting week coming up. Tomorrow, I'm joining my dear friend Dana Lorge to see an advanced screening of REUNION. I was hoping to see LEGENDS tomorrow night starring Charles Busch, Lypsinka, and Whoopie Goldberg but I don't think it's going to happen.

Tuesday afternoon, I have my ACTORS IN ACTION GROUP led by Penelope Brackett. I can't urge you enough to get involved (Call me if you want details). It is very empowering and is causing me to set weekly goals and to stay on track. Each week, we are assigned "accountability partners" to check in with each other and to make sure we are setting goals AND achieving them! As a result of the last class and due to a discussion regarding my involvement with a Weston Connecticut High School production of "HELLO, DOLLY!", Penelope suggested I create a page on my website regarding my involvement with The Dr. Carol Channing Endowment For The Arts. I took my webmaster and designer Glen Charlow to lunch afterwards, discussed what I wanted and voila, HERE IT IS: http://www.richardskipper.com/foundation/index.html.
CHECK THIS ARTICLE OUT: http://www.tinyurl.com/d8mmlg.

Talk about paying it forward, I sent the page to Harlan Boll, Carol Channing's publicist; he forwarded it on to Daeida Magazine which is doing a feature on Carol Channing. My "essay" about the importance of the arts to me and getting involed with Carol's foundation is going to run!

If you're in NY on Wednesday night, please join me:
Mar 25th @ 7pm - 36TH STREET STUDIOS, 260 West 36th Street 3rd flr. between 7th & 8th Avenue, NYC
PROMOTE YOURSELF IN THE 21ST CENTURY!
Promote Yourself in the 21st Century! Create High Visibility Through The Internet. In this free seminar which will focus on internet marketing for actors and other entrepreneurs, I will be answering the most frequently asked questions about website and online marketing, including, "I don't have a website. Do I need one?"; "I have a website! What's next!?!?!"; "How do I get work through my website?"; "How do I get people interested in MY website?"; "How do I position myself at the top of the search engines?" Because I am waiving my fee for this workshop, and seating is very limited, reservations are a MUST. Please call 212-302-2724 to reserve your seat.
On board with me is graphic designer, GLEN CHARLOW, who brings over 15 years in the business to the participants of this class and who will discuss the concept of image; how to use the internet effectively and how your website "sells" you even before you pick up the phone. To read more on Glen Charlow please visit: http://www.gcdtp.com/.

Tell me what you liked MOST about this blog, what you liked LEAST, and what you would like in my next blog to come sometime later in the week! Don't forget to visit http://www.richardskipper.com/!

With grateful XOXOXs!,
Richard Skipper