Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'M STILL HERE! Carpe Diem!! THIS IS MY LIFE!

Happy Sunday!...the day AFTER Judgement Day! A lot of us had a field day yesterday making fun of the entire concept! But what if it HAD been the end of the world? Would we be ending our time on this planet complete?

In other words have you completed your goals OR did you at least have fun pursuing them? Or do you have regrets? Are there words still left unspoken? Deeds that need to be done?
In all honesty, we should live EVERY day as if it were our last and if it were our own personal judgement day. What were you doing at 6PM yesterday? I was at Angus McIndoe's celebrating a friend's 72nd birthday with friends, both old and new. I was exactly where I should have been, doing exactly what I desired to be doing!
How about you? Were you doing what you desired to be doing OR were you doing what you were forced to be doing?
I remember seeing one of the survivors on Larry King right after 9/11. He said the victims happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. We often hear this when a tragic situation happens.
But the woman being interviewed responded by saying everyone was exactly where they were SUPPOSED to be. Making a living for their loved ones. I wonder how many were excited to go to work that morning or how many were reluctantly going to work dreaming of a day of retirement.
Make THIS your Judgement Day At 6PM today, ask yourselves what you liked most about today, what you liked least, and what you will differently tomorrow?

Carpe diem is a phrase from a Latin poem by Horace that has become an aphorism. It is popularly translated as "seize the day". Carpe literally means "to pick, pluck, pluck off, cull, crop, gather", but Ovid used the word in the sense of, "To enjoy, seize, use, make use of".
The picture at the top is Yvonne DeCarlo. She was the original Carlotta in FOLLIES. She was the first one to sing Stephen Sondheim's, "Good times and bum times, I've seen them all but I'm here, I'M STILL HERE".
I thought it would be fun to write about the Carlotta's we've loved on stage and screen Yvonne DeCarlo had earned the right to sing that song. She had done high drama, camp, Biblical epics and even The Munsters! And she IS STILL HERE! And will continue to be after many of us have come and gone.
That is the magic of film and now cds. Everything can be preserved. I would love to think that someone will be writing about me long after I'm gone!Carlotta amuses everyone with a tale of how her dramatic solo was cut from the Follies because the audience found it humorous, but somehow the number works when she sings it today ("I’m Still Here").
Yvonne De Carlo (September 1, 1922 – January 8, 2007) was a Canadian-born American actress of film and television. During her six-decade career, her most frequent appearances in film came in the 1940s and 1950s and included her best-known film roles, such as of Anna Marie in Salome Where She Danced (1945); Anna in Criss Cross (1949); Sephora the wife of Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956), starring Charlton Heston; and Amantha Starr in Band of Angels (1957) with Clark Gable.
In the early 1960s, De Carlo accepted the offer to play Lily Munster for the CBS television series The Munsters, alongside Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis. I have heard many versions of this and none matches Yvonne's. This was written especially for her, and knowing her history from glamour girl to Lily Munster makes the lines "First you're another sloe eyed vamp / Then someone's mother, then you're camp" so much more poignant.
The daughter of an aspiring actress, Marie De Carlo, and a salesman, William Middleton, De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton in Vancouver, British Columbia, and nicknamed 'Peggy'. "I was named Margaret Yvonne – Margaret because my mother was very fond of one of the derivatives of the name. She was fascinated at the time by the movie star Baby Peggy, and I suppose she wanted a Baby Peggy of her own."(Baby Peggy Pictured)Her maternal grandfather, Michael de Carlo, was Sicilian-born, and her maternal grandmother, Margaret Purvis, was Scottish-born. Margaret's mother ran away from home when she was 16 to become a ballerina; after a couple of years of working as a shop girl, she was married in 1924. Little Peggy was three years old when her father abandoned the family. She lived with her grandparents. By the time she entered grade school, she found that her strong singing voice brought her the attention she longed for. Although her mother recognized Peggy's singing talent, she had already decided that her daughter would be a dancer. As a teenager Peggy was taken by her mother to Hollywood where she enrolled her in dancing school; she also attended Le Conte Middle School in Hollywood. Margaret lived in a downtown apartment with her mother, while Marie took on odd jobs such as waitressing. Mother and daughter were uprooted when their visas expired. Unable to find work, they returned to Vancouver.
She attended and dropped out of Vancouver's now-defunct King Edward High School, to focus more on her dance studies. She then attended the B.C. School of Dancing. It was there that Canadian dance instructor, June Roper, started her in a new direction, for which she was grateful and relieved. The following year at the Orpheum Theatre, Peggy appeared as a hula dancer in the famous revue Waikiki. A new nightclub, the Palomar, opened in Vancouver, and she acquired a week-long booking. Hoping to present more sophisticated image, she combined her middle name with her mother's maiden name and became "Yvonne De Carlo."


Polly BergenPolly Bergen (born Nellie Paulina Burgin; July 14, 1930) is an American actress, singer, and entrepreneur.
The 2001 Broadway revival of FOLLIES opened at the Belasco Theatre on April 5, 2001 and closed on July 14, 2001 after 117 performances and 32 previews. (This Roundabout Theatre limited engagement had been extended to close on September 30, 2001). Directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Kathleen Marshall, it starred Blythe Danner (Phyllis), Judith Ivey (Sally), Treat Williams (Buddy), Gregory Harrison (Benjamin), Marge Champion, Polly Bergen (Carlotta), Joan Roberts (later replaced by Marni Nixon), Larry Raiken (Roscoe), and an assortment of famous names from the past. Another former MGM star, Betty Garrett, played the role of Hattie.[45] It was significantly stripped down (previous productions, especially the original, were most notable for their extravagant sets and costumes) and was not a success critically.

LAUREN BACALL!I had breakfast with Lauren Bacall (Call me Betty) once! Her memoir, NOW, had just come out and she was doing a book signing. She walked in and the first thing she said was that she was not a morning person and for us not to expect her to be pleasant! A woman came over to the table to get Betty to sign her book to the greatest mother alive. Betty refused because she felt that HER mother had been the greatest mother that had ever lived!
Lauren Bacall, original name Betty Joan Perske (born September 16, 1924, New York, New York, U.S.), American motion-picture and stage actress known for her portrayals of provocative women who hid their soft core underneath a layer of hard-edged pragmatism.

EARTHA KITT! The late, great Eartha Kitt sings "I'm Still Here" on (I think) the Olivier Awards during her run in Follies in the late 1980s. The woman was one of a kind. I was lucky enough to see her last run at The Carlysle two years ago. I had no idea she was sick. She grabbed Danny and kissed him at the end of her performance. When I heard on Christmas eve that she had passed, I was saddened and shocked. We are both from South Carolina, but I never knew ANYONE to sound like that!
An out-of-wedlock child, Eartha Kitt was born in the cotton fields of South Carolina, a pregnancy resulting from the rape by a white plantation owner and a sharecropper mother of African-American and Cherokee Native American descent. Given away by her mother, she arrived in Harlem at age nine, and at 15 she quit high school to work in a Brooklyn factory. As a teenager, Kitt lived in friends' homes and in the subways. By the 1950s, however, she had sung and danced her way out of poverty and into the spotlight: performing with the Katherine Dunham Dance Troupe on a European tour.
Katherine Dunham, pseudonym Kaye Dunn (born June 22, 1909, Glen Ellyn, Ill., U.S.—died May 21, 2006, New York, N.Y.), American dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist noted for her innovative interpretations of ritualistic and ethnic dances.
Dunham early became interested in dance. While a student at the University of Chicago, she formed a dance group that performed in concert at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1934 and with the Chicago Civic Opera company in 1935–36. On graduating with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology she undertook field studies in the Caribbean and in Brazil.
Eartha soloing at a Paris night club and becoming the toast of the Continent. Orson Welles called her "the most exciting girl in the world". She speaks out on hard issues and plays no favorites; at one point, she drew flak from blacks by working throughout South Africa and reveling in her treatment there as an honorary white.
She had her share of controversy.
Read: Kitt, Eartha, Confessions of a Sex Kitten, Barricade Books, 1991.
Kitt, Eartha, with Tonya Bolden, Rejuvenate! (It's Never Too Late), S. & S. Audio, 2001.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/eartha-kitt#ixzz1N5fCZNPC
Eartha Kitt's life story is one of show business's most unusual and poignant tales. From an unimaginably humble background in the Deep South, Kitt rose to become the toast of Europe during the glamorous 1950s as a cabaret singer with a dynamic persona and memorable, throaty voice. Back in America, however, she faced criticism from the African-American community for being perceived as too "white," but later earned public support the hard way after speaking out against the Vietnam War in 1968. The media backlash over Kitt's remarks, combined with government harassment, effectively derailed Kitt's career in the United States for several years. Later, however, Kitt returned to both stage and screen and her recording career.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/eartha-kitt#ixzz1N5fbXeKk


Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/eartha-kitt#ixzz1N5az5cZ1

She was enveloped by controversy in 1968. Invited to a White House luncheon by Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon Johnson, Kitt thought about the women she had met while giving dance workshops in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles; they told her that it was primarily poor people who were being sent to fight in Vietnam, while well-off college students avoided the war through student deferments. Kitt in turn told the assembled dignitaries at the White House that the Vietnam War was to blame for growing civil unrest in the U.S. "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot," she was quoted as saying by Schneider. During the firestorm of criticism that followed, the Reverend Martin Luther King called her and said she should be recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize. The antiwar student counterculture of the day also came to Kitt's defense, and "Eartha Kitt for President" buttons were seen on college campuses.
Signed contracts for performances quickly evaporated, however, and Kitt was not even allowed to appear on Hollywood Squares, a well-known haven for careers on the way down. She was effectively blacklisted in the United States and did not work there again until 1978. Kitt was investigated by the Central Intelligence Agency (which once issued a report calling her a sadistic nymphomaniac) and suffered losses of friends and money. But she was unrepentant. "This country has given all Americans IOUs: freedom of speech, freedom from oppression, freedom from hunger, etc.," she told Haywood. "Then I tell the truth, and I get my face slapped…. If you don't want my honest opinion, then don't ask me the question." Kitt kept her career going with performances in Europe, and, having faced criticism from conservatives in the United States, she took more from liberals when she appeared in apartheid-era South Africa in 1974. She was unrepentant about that, too, pointing to the humanitarian projects she had funded with proceeds from the show.
In 1978 Kitt was rehabilitated in the U.S. with an appearance in the Broadway musical Timbuktu, and President Jimmy Carter invited her to sing at the White House. Though she was at an age when most performers slow down, she climbed back to popularity. A disco recording, "Where Is My Man?" (1983), added a homosexual contingent to her fan base, and she began to find stage and film roles. Cameos in Ernest: Scared Stupid (1991) and in Eddie Murphy's Boomerang (1992) kept her camp-sexy image before the public, and she stayed in shape with an exercise-and-raw-juice regime that allowed her to pull off her act convincingly. In 1996 she appeared in the one-woman show Lady Day, a biographical treatment of the life of jazz singer Billie Holiday. Major stage successes came with appearances as the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz in 1998, and as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella (2001).
She supplied the voice of the sorceress Yzma in the film The Emperor's New Groove, and in 2005 she was still going strong, touring and taking over for the late cabaret singer Bobby Short with a recurring engagement at the Hotel Carlyle in New York City. Eartha Kitt seemed indestructible. At the age of 81, Kitt succombed to colon cancer. She died on December 25, 2008, in Weston, CT.
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/eartha-kitt#ixzz1N5YrfAf4


Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/eartha-kitt#ixzz1N5Y6mXxK

Eartha Mae Kitt was an international star who gave new meaning to the word versatile. She has distinguished herself in film, theater, cabaret, music and on television. Miss Kitt was one of only a handful of performers to be nominated for a Tony (three times), the Grammy (twice), and Emmy Award (twice). She regularly enthralled New York nightclub audiences during her extended stays at The Cafè Carlyle and these intimate performances have been captured in her recording, Eartha Kitt, Live at The Carlyle.
Though Kitt is uncertain about her exact date of birth, since no birth certificate exists (her mother was most likely still a teenager, while her father was white), she recalled a hardscrabble life in the sharecropping territory of South Carolina during the Depression. She, her mother, and younger sister moved from house to house while their mother did chores in exchange for room and board. The young Kitt routinely suffered taunts of "yella" because of her lighter skin; eventually her mother left her behind with one farm family when she married a man who rejected Kitt because of her mixed race. "My mother felt a man was more important than her daughter," Kitt told Richette Haywood in Ebony. "I would never have left my child," she added.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/eartha-kitt#ixzz1N5fwGbyW


CAROL BURNETT: Carol Creighton Burnett (born April 26, 1933) is an American actress, comedienne, singer, dancer and writer. Burnett started her career in New York. After becoming a hit on Broadway, she made her television debut. After successful appearances on The Garry Moore Show, Carol moved to Los Angeles and began an eleven-year run on The Carol Burnett Show which was aired on CBS television from 1967 to 1978. With roots in vaudeville, The Carol Burnett Show was a variety show which combined comedy sketches, song, and dance. The comedy sketches ranged from film parodies to character pieces. Burnett created many endearing characters during the show's television run.
Burnett was born in San Antonio, Texas, the daughter of Ina Louise (née Creighton), a publicity writer for movie studios, and Joseph Thomas Burnett, a movie theater manager.
Both of her parents, particularly her father, suffered from alcoholism, and at a young age she was left with her grandmother, Mabel Eudora White. Her parents divorced in the late 1930s, and Burnett and her grandmother moved to an apartment near her mother’s in an impoverished area of Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. There, they stayed in a boarding house with her younger half-sister Chrissy.

ELAINE STRITCH:Elaine Bawson Stritch (born February 2, 1925) ANOTHER AQUARIAN!is an American actress and vocalist. She has appeared in numerous stage plays and musicals, feature films, and many television programs. She is known for her performance of "The Ladies Who Lunch" in Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical Company, her 2001 one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty, and recently for her role as Jack Donaghy's mother Colleen on NBC's 30 Rock. She has been nominated for the Tony Award four times in various categories, and won for Elaine Stritch at Liberty.

SHIRLEY MACLAINEShirley MacLaine giving a hell of a performance. On Shirley's website, she writes, "I think we all choose the paths of our lives. I knew I wanted to be a "communicator" from the very beginning. So I communicated through fifty films, many TV and stage shows and ten books. For me the search for Truth is paramount... The truth of a character I'm playing, the truth of the subject matter I write about or the truth of why we are alive and how it relates to our destiny."

Thinking of recent deaths David Gurland, Randy Savage, Barbara Stuart, Randall Wrigitt, and Doric Wilson, I'm constantly being reminded of how fragil life is! Carpe Diem. Doric Wilson (February 24, 1939 – May 7, 2011) was an American playwright, director, producer, critic and gay rights activist.


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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED WEEK!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

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