Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Follow Your Dreams

Action is the foundational key to all success.
-Pablo Picasso

Today has been the kind of March day we sometimes get in New York: crystal blue skies, a few wispy white clouds,  37 degrees and sunny.

The strangest thing happened to me this morning. A sympathy card fell off of my shelf. It was sent to me twelve years ago after my father passed away. Tomorrow is the twelfth anniversary of my father's passing.  Richard Hampton Skipper was 67 when he died on Wednesday March 6, 2002 at Conway Hospital in Conway, South Carolina following an illness. THAT illness was the culmination of many things, most notably, heart dis-EASE. It came as a result of lack of exercise, poor diet, bad genes, and other unknowns. Daddy was born in Galivants Ferry.  He was the son of the late Emory Lee and Getha Wallace Skipper. He was a member of Pisgah United Methodist Church and a retired welder with Carolina Pipeline. Daddy, I wish you were still physically with us.

It was also a week ago today, that my partner's mother passed away.
Danny's Mom
Today, I have been going through a lot of old cards covering anniversaries,birthdays, congratulations, greetings (this was before the internet pretty much curtailed that), holidays, sympathies, and other occasions. Their voices are all ringing in my ears and heart. Looking through these cards, I am amazed at how many have passed on. Many have also drifted away. In this fast paced twenty first century, a LOT of people don't take the time to say "hello, how are you?,  what's happening in your life?"
Things like that have been happening a lot to me lately. It has gotten me to thinking about transitions. Some are moving from one part of our lives to another. Some transitions are caused by passing on.
I don't like to use the word death because I don't feel that when a life is well lived, that "death" occurs at the end of our physical existence on this planet.
A great transition was when I married my husband, Danny
There have been transitions, career wise, as well. I realize that when I came to New York in 1979 at the age of 18, I was running away from the past just as much as I was running towards a dream.
If anyone would have told me that I would spend twenty plus years of my life performing as Carol Channing,
with Georga Osborne at the 2012 Bistro Awards
I would have thought they were crazy. I didn't pursue that career path as much as it pursued me. It led me all over the country and the world. I headlined in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. I won awards and audience and critical acclaim.I also had a great friendship with Carol Channing and Harry Kullijian and was proud to raise money for their, now defunct (unfortunately), Foundation for the Arts.
Nothing lasts forever, but I do have a future and it is starting now.
I have the opportunity to move forward with the invaluable knowledge of all that has gone before this moment. With all the incredible highs that I have had in my personal and professional life, I have had equal lows.
I choose not to dwell on those, but rather to move on.  

The title of my blog today comes from my dear departed (but not from my heart), Dottie Burman.
Dottie passed away several years ago and there is not a day that I don't think of her. There are reminders all around of our friendship. Dottie used to be my sounding board. At the time that she was around, I was very involved with MAC (the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs).

Dottie was my "sounding board". Anytime I wrote a notice or passage about things that were happening that I was passionate about, I would call Dottie. By the end of our conversation, what I had to say would be completely changed or I would send as it was or I would simply discard it. HER opinion mattered that much to me.  I have so many fond memories with Dottie. Dottie, along with Diana Templeton and Gerta Grunen, all cabaret entertainers, were known as the three redheads.
Another person that I had that connection with was Michael Nelson. Michael was not an entertainer. However, he LOVED entertainment! He was probably one of the most supportive audience members I ever had. He came to everything!

I was reading this morning that on July 14th, Bastille Day during the summer of Love, Warner Brothers was sold for $178, 122,000 and formerly dissolved as a corporation. Harry and Albert Warner had retired and sold their interests in the 1950s, but Jack held on as a king without a realm.(Source: Road-Show). Sometimes transitions are foisted upon you!

Yesterday, I wrote about Karen Wyman who won a Bistro Award last night and tonight opens at The Metropolitan Room in NYC. I told you Karen's story because each one of us deserves to come into our own in the exact way we desire to do it. I'm at a cross roads. I've been thinking, which is better: To have ambition or to have none?There are no greater treasures than the little things. Yesterday, I also wrote in my blog on Karen that the
with David Meulemans, David Goldwyn, and Tawny (David Drake) Heterton
mind, body, and spirit are all connected.
I also wrote that the outside (body) is a reflection of the inside (mind). Although being fit can mean something different to everyone, I like to define fitness as the state in which our bodies and minds function at our optimum levels.
Expanding energy will create more energy, both physically and spiritually. My friend, David Meulemans, pictured, wrote on Facebook this morning, There are people in my life who often say "that was great" and for that, I love them. There are people in my life who say "you can do better" and for that, I love them even more! 
Thank you to the people who love me enough to push me to be my best!

I want to thank all of you who have pushed me to do my best.
In my life there have been MANY who have stood in the way of my happiness. One thing that I am learning is that most of the time, it very little to do with me and everything to do with them.

My grandmother used to say, "What you think of me is none of my business."

I want to be the best I can be in every aspect of my life. When it comes to advice and "criticism",  if it's going to help me, by all means, tell me!

If it's not, it will go
Karen Wyman
in one ear and out the other.

If it's going to hurt me, PLEASE keep it to yourself.

Lessons didn't stop on graduation day.

I remember my great teachers. I also remember my "bad" ones.
What makes a "bad" teacher? For me, it is someone who impedes progress.

It all started with Miss Meredith, my first grade teacher at Rehoboth Elementary School in Aynor, South Carolina.
 Aynor is a small town in Horry County, South Carolina, United States, south of Galivants Ferry and 29.3 miles (47.2 km) by road northwest of Myrtle Beach.
Aynor began as the Eyenner's Farm in the mid 19th century under John Eyenner.

A railway terminus was added along the railroad from Conway and it became incorporated in 1913.
I can't for the life of me remember my very last teacher in school. EVERY day is graduation day.

Oscar Hammerstein II wrote, "If you become a teacher, by your pupils you'll be taught." The same could be said for me and my blogs and interviews.
Like Karen Wyman, I believe THIS is the prime of my life. I used to think that my life truly began when I moved to New York. This summer will be thirty five years ago. That truly blows my mind.

As I get older, I'm BEGINNING to accept and embrace the first eighteen years of my life more and more.

Last month, I went home to celebrate my mom's 75th birthday, a week before my 53rd.

It had been ten years since I was last "home". There is an old saying that you can never go home again.
I think that is so true. We drove around to see markers of my childhood. The house that my got the property and it now shows no signs of being the farm that was so prominent for the first eighteen years of my life.Where our home stood is now a bank. I grew up next door to a Centenary Methodist Church. Ironically, now, I live across from a church with another church several buildings down the avenue. Right next to Centenary Methodist Church is now a McDonald's! When I lived on Highway 544 from the time I was in the second grade until I left home at the age of eighteen, other than a few homes, the Highway was basically barren and sparse. I used to walk from my house to Coastal Carolina. I guess it was the equivalent of a mile. There was NOTHING there. Even the football stadium didn't change in those years. I can't believe what it looks like now. 

I am constantly learning from my subjects. That is one of the things that propels me to move forward.

Thank you EVERYONE mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!

 With grateful XOXOXs ,

See Karen Wyman TONIGHT at The Metropolitan Room NYC

Check out my site celebrating the FIRST Fifty years of  Hello, Dolly!

I desire this to be a definitive account of Hello, Dolly!  
If any of you reading this have appeared in any production of Dolly, I'm interested in speaking with you!
If you have anything to add or share, please contact me at


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!  
Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Keeping Entertainment ALIVE!
                                                                   Richard Skipper Celebrates


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