Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Inspiration from Johnny Carson

People will pay more to be entertained than educated.
Johnny Carson

It's Wednesday...
I hope you are having a success-FULL day. The above quote I came across this morning. During my childhood and way into my adulthood, Johnny Carson was a huge presence. He still is. Many a late night would find me watching The Tonight Show STARRING Johnny Carson and I still laugh out loud from those memories.I agree with Johnny Carson. Find what thrills you and stick with it like a life vest. If you want to reach your audience emotionally you need to understand what they value and where they come from

A few nights ago, I was having dinner with friends, and we got on the topic of Jimmy Fallon's move to The Tonight Show. A friend said that she felt that it brought back memories of The Johnny Carson Show. She is younger by the way. Immediately another friend and I jumped in and said, with no disrespect to Jimmy Fallon that no one could compare to Johnny Carson. Since Johnny stepped down, late night television has never been the same.From 1962 to 1992, keeping America entertained late at night largely was the duty of one man. And it was a task Johnny Carson performed willingly.
I used to sneak up to watch The Johnny Carson Show.
Image Credit: James White/NBC

He always had the most exciting guests and, to me, it was like eavesdropping on a private conversation.

Talent alone won't make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: 'Are your ready?'
Johnny Carson

That is something I am trying to evoke in my own interviews these days. The cultural landscape has changed drastically since Johnny left television.
I refer to him as "Johnny" because he did seem like an old friend.
A lot has been written and said about him since he died that paints an entire different persona from what we saw on television. However, on television, he exuded a warmth and an eagerness to please that made him a
Joan Rivers and Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show"
welcome fixture in our homes.
I wonder how long he would have stuck around in today's world of quick jokes, put downs, and demeaning the guests.
Johnny really listened to his guests.
I can't imagine that there there was an earpiece in his ear giving him his next joke and/or move. I was incredibly saddened when Johnny Carson stepped down.
I, like MOST of America, tuned in to his last night with special guest star, Bette Midler.
Bette Midler singing One for My Baby on Carson's last night on The Tonight Show in 1992



When Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show, it may sound woefully out-of-date to suggest that he in any way wants to be, or should be, or is going to be “the new Johnny Carson.”Everything had to go "wrong" for Jimmy Fallon to get The Tonight Show.

 For days after death hair and fingernails continue to grow, but phone calls taper off.
Johnny Carson


 I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing. Johnny Carson

Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. 
And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.
Johnny Carson


According to Entertainment Weekly,"Over the last two decades, starting with the moment when Jay Leno launched his Attack Of The Nice Guy blandified makeover, The Tonight Show has effectively been de-Johnny-fied, and Fallon, who is 24 years younger than Leno (and would be 49 years younger than Carson if Carson were still alive), represents a brand new generation — or maybe I should say a new-brand generation — in the dominance of late night."

That is a generation that I obviously am not a part of nor do I understand. I am, as I have for sometime, been working on the brand name of Richard Skipper Celebrates. I desire to celebrate artists and their bodies of "worth" rather than tearing them down.

My success just evolved from working hard at the business at hand each day.
Johnny Carson

 There is enough negativity in today's world of "entertainment". I would rather celebrate artists and will continue to do so.
I've learned from the best. So did Johnny. His college thesis was on the comedy of Jack Benny.
 There is a new face to pop culture and I don't like it. The one thing I am learning is the key is to have something to say, and then choosing who to say it to.I'll take that a step further. Use that knowledge for positive good and to build others up instead of tearing them down.
When Carson took over The Tonight Show in 1962, he took over at a time when there were only three networks.
The networks vied for the largest demographic they could get and the caliber of programming was at a higher standard.
 
If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.
Johnny Carson

There was also no competition for Johnny at that time. ABC had late night "final" news and then, both on CBS and ABC, it was local programming. The THREE networks at that time all vied to get the LARGEST demographics they could muster. Therefore, in most programming, stars from MY generation would be seen with those from both my parents and grandparents generation.
That type of casting led to the success of shows like The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and Hotel in the seventies.

The Entertainment Weekly article goes on to say, "Yet moving fearlessly into the future can sometimes return you to what’s fantastic about the past. Fallon, who has cited Steve Allen as a key inspiration, will be working out of the same Mad Men-era New York NBC studio at 30 Rock where Carson first hosted The Tonight Show in 1962, and that’s a crucial symbolic move."

 Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.
Johnny Carson

I believe audiences who grew up with Johnny would love to see HIS kind of talk show return.
Johnny had guests on that he truly liked. Once again, the conversations were sophisticated and not about "going for the joke", although the jokes were abundant and not without an occasional double entendre.
I don't remember Johnny being insulting to his GUESTS.
  The ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY article is right on when it says that we will never again see a world of three television networks, or an era when there are fewer than 47 competing late-night talk shows.
I miss that era. When the National Anthem was played (in a more patriotic time) and signed off with a test pattern, you KNEW it was time for bed.Late night was not filled with infomercials and just "filler".
I was 12 years old when The Tomorrow Show starring Tom Synder went on the air and I still remember it!
It followed the Tonight Show and it was a much more intimate format. There are few of this type of show on the air now. The closest, in my opinion, is Charlie Rose on PBS. It is interesting to note that Piers Morgan, who took over for Larry King, has been cancelled this week. There are many that may be rejoicing, especially the NRA. I am sorry to see him go. I am in total agreement on his stance on gun control. That is a whole other blog. I saw an interview yesterday in
Cabaret favorite Marilyn Maye was on Carson's Tonight Show 76 times!
which Larry King said he was never a "fan" of Piers' format. He felt that Piers concentrated too much on the "I" of the interview as opposed to the "You" of the interview. That is a great lesson for interviewers and a rule that I try and follow. Remember the days, also, in which someone would report the news instead of giving their opinions.
The bottom line is that these shows were set up to entertain.
When guests stopped by, it was as if they were stopping by for an informal get together and you learned about who they were.
I watch Craig Fergusen from time to time.                                                                                                            

Nicholas King with Liza
I like him but I have never heard a discussion with any real substance.
The entire program is ALL jokes. Even with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Arsinio Hall...all of them...the shows are more joke oriented than truly being about the guests. Black face is politically incorrect. There are many who get upset about how far we have come (or not) as to what is or is not politically correct. To me, bullying is not acceptable. Why is it acceptable for our comedians to say the most hateful things about others and, because it falls under the guise of comedy, it is acceptable? 
I KNOW that I am in the minority, but put down humor is not funny to me.
I remember one of Liza Minnelli's early appearances on the Jay Leno Tonight Show. I tuned in to see her. They spoke NOTHING of her and her career, but rather, they talked about the upcoming Super Bowl!

I know I am being very redundant in this blog but, please wake-up Networks, the fact that your ratings are dropping on most of the current crop of talk shows should tell you most of us desire more!
Let's start celebrating artists again rather than tearing them down. No wonder Alec Baldwin wants to walk away from public life. TMZ has done nothing to add to our cultural landscape.
Thank you ALL of the artists mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
Here's hoping that Jimmy Fallon will create his own great legacy and longevity!


 With grateful XOXOXs ,









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

http://www.nysms.org/newsletters/14-02/


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 Richard@RichardSkipper.com.

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!    
              
Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!



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





With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper 845-365-0720


http://www.playbill.com/news/article/186700-Looking-at-the-Old-Girl-Now-mdash-Hello-Dolly-50-Years-Later/pg1?tsrc=hph

                                                                  Keeping Entertainment ALIVE!
                                                                   Richard Skipper Celebrates

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
http://thecultofgenius.tumblr.com
 

         


Monday, February 24, 2014

Responding Vs. Reacting

Love this movie! My favorite! A movie about responding...
Change is not difficult. It is the resistance to change that is difficult or painful.

Monday, February 24th, 2014

I hope you are having an awesome day.
As the next 24 hours unfold, think about this...along the way, you have the option of how you respond and/or react to what happens to you. I desire to be a champion of YOU-ness. I hope that my blog will help you to learn, not only of other artists, but a little bit about me, and it will get you to thinking about where you are, where you've been, and where you're going as you skip along the yellow brick road of life. Inspiration, innovation, and self-WORTH are just some of the elements that I desire to fill you up with. My hope is that I don't flood you with information that is not important. I do not desire to dilute your interest.I hope that I am hitting you only with important stuff. I hope that you'll be excited when you see my blog published.   

We all have the opportunity today, once again, to right some "wrongs", pray for peace, plant trees, sing joyful songs.I wish you all a day of happiness and success.I hope you enjoy yourselves today.
During my time in high school, I was, believe it or not, at times, a bullied kid.I think my story is quite interesting. I hope you will find it so, too,
No wonder I love Hello, Dolly! I have always been a person who arranges things...

I was bullied all through grade school and middle school.


I decided to take charge in high school. I would ALWAYS have the last laugh. I became a clown. I learned, through television comedy, how to take everything that came by way and turn it around to my advantage. When something mean or cruel was said or done to me, I would make it a joke.I would NEVER allow the bullies to see that they had "won". In their minds, maybe they did feel as if they had won. Their goal was to intimidate and/or feel that they had dominion over me."Create A Life That FEELS Good On The Inside. Not Just One That Looks
I have a VERY STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM now
Good On The Outside!"...that became my mantra.

It's funny as I look back on my life 40 years ago, I didn't have a support system.

All the adults around me, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles (if they even knew I existed), and even teachers were telling me to fight back. I'm not a "fighter", at least physically. Why was I asked to be something I was not? I'm still as an adult often asked to be something I am not. I learned a long time ago that I must be selective in the choices I make.
In martial arts, kids and adults are TAUGHT the importance of controlling ANGER and using their brain to avoid conflict before resorting to physical conflict. 





Can you imagine if social media existed in 1974? I don't know that I would have survived it. Although I might have become a YouTube sensation. I used to do lunchtime concerts. On the front steps of the high school, I used to do lunch time concerts!
It started out with just a few of us sitting around and mimicking what I saw on TV the night before. Certain favorites began to emerge, especially my impressions of Carol Channing (THAT'S where that began!) and my rendition of Steam Heat, which was more Pointer Sisters than Pajama Game
What started out with a few "friends" quickly grew to more and more.Perhaps they WERE laughing at me, but I was generating most of the laughs.
This began to take on a life of its own. At one time, two guys decided they were going to get a jump start on me and seize "my" stage. They, unfortunately, started before the lunch break, while classes were still in session, and they almost got suspended.

My main outlet throughout high school was my involvement with The Theater of the Republic, and in the early part of my senior year, The Upstage Company at Coast Carolina University.
When I was in the 10th grade, we met with guidance counselors.

If we met a certain grade point average, we could choose our electives for the next year. I met the criteria and went in to meet the counselor. She asked me what courses I would like to take the next year.
I said without hesitation, "drama"! She said that that was not an option. I asked "why not?" I knew that I was going to be a professional actor. 
I left with no promises but that they would seriously consider it. A few months later, I was told that they would be creating a class the following year in drama and speech making!
The teacher that was assigned the class was Mrs. Vickie Russell. There were 17 of us in the class and the first day of class, she confessed that she might not be the most qualified person for that class but that we all would learn together as the year progressed.The first part of the year was spent working on famous speeches and creating some of our own. The second part of the year would be devoted to studying the classics of drama and a high school play.
We had to find something that could accommodate as many of the class as possible.
There are some who have no desire to be on stage.
We started the search and settled on a play that was perfect for our high school, our region, our class, and the times we were living in. The play was called Breaker Calling Cinderella and it was a spoof of the Cinderella fairy tell but utilizing the world of the CB radio which was very prevalent at the time. The cast asked for 4 men and 9 women, but Mrs. Russell came up with the idea of having the CB Godmother be a CB Godfather! ""Break one-niner for the Silver Princess … Come on back at me, Silver Princess."
It was suggested that I play the Godfather! I was in heaven! I looked like a cross from the Tin Man and Celeste Holm in Cinderella.
My hair was spray painted silver. My face was a clown white with ruby red lips, and glitter. I wore a white robe. Since the play took place in Texas, I wore white cowboy boots with glitter up the sides. I had a CB pack on my back and my wand was a CB antenna. We did two shows. Our "dress rehearsal" was for family to attend before performing it for the school the next day.
I want to digress a moment to discuss the importance of arts in education. Unfortunately, when budgets are cut, the first thing to go is arts funding. Several years ago, I got involved with Weston High School in Weston, Connecticut due to their production of Hello, Dolly!  Since then, I have tried to catch as many of their productions as possible. They are always top notch.
It is a rather affluent company but these kids AND the school work very hard on their productions due to Damien Long, director of the shows as well as a teacher at Weston. Success begins with Self-Esteem and how you fill about yourself. Damian is great in building up all of his students. Class plays really brings out a sense of community on achieving a single goal, the success of a show. This happens both on and off stage.
It is an interesting irony that when a school budget is being cut, arts is the least important thing in a kid's curriculum.
Being in Breaker Calling Cinderella gave me a chance to shine in my class and in my school. When I walked out on stage in our school play, I got a standing ovation from my fellow students.
Me at 4 with my sister
I no longer felt like that bullied kid. I belonged. I had found MY niche. It is an ovation I can still feel 33 years later.
A few years ago, I went back to my hometown to once again perform for my friends, family, and former co-stars.
As a small child, I KNEW I wanted to be on stage.
I pursued it with a very focused determination. Years later, I got the opportunity to return to The Theater of the Republic where it all began for me to entertain my friends, family, and former thespians.
My father passed away in March 2002. The following Thanksgiving, being the first one without our father, Danny and I decided to go to South Carolina to be with my family. We drove down, arriving in Conway shortly after 7PM. I was too tired to go out and didn't desire my mom to cook a dinner.
We stopped into Wall mart to grab something to take home. At the checkout counter, I was asked if I was Ricky Skipper by the lady behind me in the checkout counter. It was Cookie MacMillan, now on the board, and when she found out about my "Carol" show started plotting on bringing me home again. To be continued...

Thank you all the people I have met on this journey who help to shape who I am. 




 With grateful XOXOXs ,






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 Richard@RichardSkipper.com.


NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!
with Francine Pascal, Michael Stuart's sister at my brunch celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Hello, Dolly! at Sardi's 1/19/14




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!


http://www.playbill.com/news/article/186700-Looking-at-the-Old-Girl-Now-mdash-Hello-Dolly-50-Years-Later/pg1?tsrc=hph

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


I hope you can join us March 25th in NYC as we celebrate Marge Champion to benefit The Spiral Theatre! Would LOVE to see you! Bring friends! It’s going to be star-studded party!

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!
Richard Skipper 845-365-0720


Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
Richard Skipper Celebrates

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com


   







Saturday, February 22, 2014

Think HUGE

Sharing the stage with the great Marilyn Maye
The word is like a seed, and the human mind is so fertile, but only for those kinds of seeds it is prepared for.
-The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz


I could wile away the hours
Conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain
And my head I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain
-Lyrics to If I Only Had A Brain:  Harold Arlen (music) and E.Y. Harburg (lyrics)

Hi there...
Today, I'm thinking of two more events that helped shape me to who and what I am today. Every day, we make choices in our lives that propel us to the next level.   
Thought is without limits. It is not enough to think big. I think positive thoughts, read inspiring books, and remember that I am part of the interconnectedness if life. I have a friend Peggy Eason who defies all odds and succeeds. She is truly one of my inspirations.
My last blog, I wrote about the events leading up to my getting to New York (including purchasing a one way ticket to New York).

After purchasing my ticket, I walked six miles back to the Grand Strand Amusement Park to show off my achievement. It was a concept that people, especially my family, could not grasp and/or wrap their heads around.
Often people are doomed to mediocrity by thinking they can only expect what is "realistic" or "normal" for most people. It is no wonder that when I was growing up, my favorite film was The Wizard of Oz. Like most people of my generation, it was an annual event. Like Dorothy, I dreamed of something beyond what seemed to me like bleak surroundings.
As everyone around me was telling me about the dangers of New York, although none of them had ever been, I kept thinking about the possibilities of a better life for me.

As I wrote a couple of days ago, the pieces were falling in place for me to make that dream a reality.
As the days led to the eventual goal day, a few events took place which solidified the reality of this happening. My friends Beth Mahar and Donna Catton threw me a going away party. They were friends of mine from
This is how I looked when I arrived in New York in 1979
Coastal Carolina's Upstage Company.
I had starred in a production of Marat/Sade a few months earlier. Just as doing that show, I was now in a zone in which I was always following my gut.

Marat/Sade was a turning place in how I perceived myself as an actor. Up until that time, I had appeared in Mame, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Night of January Sixteenth, Cheaper By The Dozen, and Oliver...all with The Theater of the Republic in Conway, South Carolina.  
Marat/Sade would take me out of my comfort zone on so many levels.
I first became familiar with this show on the
1979
backseat of our school bus in January of 1979. Cindy Kujala told me that she was an "extra" in this show and they were looking for more actors to play inmates in the asylum. I thought that was right up my alley and would be fun to look into.

I couldn't stop thinking about it on my way home from school. By the time I got home, my mind was made up...I was going to go "audition".
I decided to go to the auditions that night. I did my afternoon chores and homework in anticipation of my parents getting home from work. My mom was the first to get home and started dinner and gave me permission to go audition. 

As I started up the steps of the theater on Coastal Carolina's campus, my instincts were confirmed. A young woman came running towards me screaming, "Are you Ricky Skipper?"
That person was Beth Maher. It turns out that she had been following me since The Unsinkable Molly Brown. I played Roberts in that production and it was the first time I played a real role.
The Molly Brown House in Denver, Colorado. I visited years later.
There was a moment in which Molly mistakenly calls me Mr. McGlone. I did a "slow burn" to the audience and the audience howled! Beth told me in that instant, she became a fan. She saw every subsequent production I was in but never said hello.
Now, a year later, she was the stage manager for Marat/Sade and now, only desired to do it, if I was on board! 
It was beshert that I be there at this moment in my life. Not knowing anything about Marat/Sade, I was continuing with great trepidations but was willing to do it, if Beth would work with me.
She said absolutely and began a friendship that continues to this day. That night, the director, Cynthia Hodell, and the company sat around in a circle and everyone said a few words about ourselves and why we were there as a chalice of wine was passed around. This certainly was different from Theater of the Republic!
At the end of the evening, I was asked to read for Cynthia. I barely got the first words out when she told me I had the part of the Herald! Beth's enthusiastic endorsement was enough for her. She gave me the script and I very excitedly went home to give my parents the great news!
Marat/Sade production at the University of California, San Diego, 2005 (Directed by: Stefan Novinski)
When my parents  asked me what the show was about, I told them I did not know but that I had a lead. When I sat down to read the script, panic set in. There were several contributing factors to this.
Number one, the entire show was in verse. I had NEVER done anything like this. Number two, this show was edgy and "X rated"! I went to the first rehearsal in sheer terror. I had decided to drop out.
When I told Beth this, she pleaded for me to stay saying that she knew I could do this with me and she
Marat/Sade is set at later mental home "Hôpital Esquirol" in present-day Saint-Maurice
started working to help me "learn my lines". For the next few weeks, I lived, ate, and breathed Marat/Sade. For those of you who are not familiar with this play, the full title is The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade, usually shortened to Marat/Sade is a 1963 play by Peter Weiss. The work was first published in German. Believe it or not, it was produced on Broadway by David Merrick. It is a FAR CRY from Hello, Dolly!
As the full title implies, the entire show takes place in an insane asylum. Most of our rehearsals were improvisations of us as insane inmates.
I LOVE improv and this was a lot of fun for me. I remember one night, a security guard ran into the room because he thought I was actually attacking someone!
I remember that with some in the cast, there was a lot of frustration because more time was spent on the improvisations than on the actual script.
It has been thirty five years, but I seem to recall we spent three weeks on this improvisations.
One night, we started the improvs as usual. Then Cynthia pulled me OUT of the improv and whispered in my ear to start reciting my lines.

Again, I was playing the Herald, which is the narrator of the piece. When Marat/Sade first opened with the RSC in London, Ian Richardson played the Herald. Eventually he went on to play Marat.

As I started "setting the scene", Cynthia was placing each of the characters in their appropriate places on stage...with the "characters" they had created over the preceding three weeks. It was the greatest form of alchemy I have ever seen/experienced in the theater.
At the end of the evening, the room burst into applause. We were on our way, then we hit an iceberg.
Remember, this was Conway, South Carolina in 1979. Cynthia and the Upstage Company was really pushing the envelope with this production. Not only was their the harsh language, but one of the title characters spends the entire show in a bathtub. We were told that we had to give a command performance in front of college personnel to get permission to open.  
I thought all of this work could possibly be in vane.
Very similar to my look in Marat/Sade

I came up with the idea of playing my character as a harlequin and somehow I came up with this weird Daffy Duck laugh. The entire set was drab colors. The costumes were drab, the make up was to make everyone look ashen and sallow. MY costume was bright purples and greens, Mardi Gras colors.
My friend Russell Fowler did a photo shoot of me all around the campus in costume. Shortly after moving to New York, I left my portfolio on the stage and lost ALL of these photos!

Well, the evening came for our command/preview. I come bounding out on stage and my mind went completely blank! I could not remember my first word! Flop sweat started rolling down my neck and back. Luckily for me, the character of Abbé de Coulmier has the first lines and welcomes the audience for the evening we are about to experience. The entire time he was speaking, I was in panic mode. When he said his final line leading into mind, the words came pouring out of me with no thought of what was next. It was truly a zen moment of truly being one with a character. This bizarre play unfolded complete with VERY SOUTHERN players playing VERY FRENCH characters. "We got rots! The rots to starve!"
I told Beth earlier today tha I was writing this blog and she sent me this: "After the show, three or four very southern young men - probably wearing baseball caps approached me and asked - "Do you know the girl who was jumping across the stage with the flags?" I smiled and asked "Why?" One of them said - "She has a great set of legs!" Another one mentioned that they would like to get her phone number. I remember telling them something like. "Ricky is a boy. A very talented actor." and gleefully watching the expressions on their faces change. It was classic! I'm going to go and look for a program."
I remember the sustained standing ovation we received at the end of the evening. As excited as I was about doing this show, one thing was certain...I DID NOT desire my parents to see this. They would NEVER understand this and I asked them not to go see it.
These characters were so insane that it was impossible to distinguish between what was real and what was not and who was sane or insane. The cast was filled with a lot of  "background" extras to give the fill of a true insane asylum. My cousin Rose "Reecee" was in the show. At that time, she was prone to epileptic seizures. One night she had a seizure in the show and the audience thought it was part of the show!  
It was also at this time that I discovered the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Beth and Lynn Marlow, who was playing Charlotte Corday, were talking backstage one night and they were describing this new interactive movie experience. There were these midnight showings of this film in which the audience interacted with the movie.It was playing at the old Camelot Theater in Myrtle Beach. The more they described it, the more I HAD to go! Please understand that at this point in my life, I was probably the most a-sexual kid in the entire state, if not the entire universe! I never had a date in high school. I never went to a prom. My only means of a "social life" was through my theater experiences. 
I was not that teenager who went out with friends on Friday and Saturday nights.
There was no heavy wrangling from my parents to go out with a few friends to see a midnight movie. My parents KNEW they had nothing to worry about as far as I was concerned. 
It was discussed that we would all go to the next midnight showing after our Saturday night show in costumes from the show! 

After the show, we all took off for Myrtle Beach from the theater. I was giddy with excitement. 
I was dressed in my harlequin costume. One thing that some of you may not know about me is that I am as blind as a bat. I learned early on how to acclimate myself on stage without my glasses. Years later when I first started wearing contact lenses and I could see the faces of my audiences, I was in heaven...I still desire to see the faces of those I'm entertaining.
So, with my Harlequin costume and coke bottle glasses, I bought my ticket and we made our way to our seats. We were told what props to bring to the theater so we were prepared. 
Once we got to our seats, we were told what to do with those props and at the appropriate times. The film started and I had NEVER seen anything quite like this; I still haven't! When it came time for The Time Warp, I eagerly jumped in. I did a turn, my glasses flew off, and ended up smashed all over the movie theater floor. Oh my God! How was I going to explain to my parents what happened!?!?!
When I came in around 2:30 in the morning, although my parents had gone to bed, my dad was still awake. He asked me how the evening went. When I told him I broke my glasses doing The Time Warp, he said he didn't need to hear anymore. We would talk about it the next day. He also told me that I had gotten a rave review in The Sun News, Myrtle Beach's hometown paper. 
He said he was going to check out what all the fuss was about the next day. 
My parents came to the theater unbeknownst to me the next day with my seven year old baby brother. The show unfolded with them not understanding what was happening. Everything was fine until the guillotine scene in which one of the character's is
My parents the year before I was born
beheaded and her head is thrown around like a volley ball!   
My brother started screaming and my dad had to take him out of the theater. My mom stayed! It's a wonder to me that my brother is not in therapy today because of that afternoon. The same could be said of my parents. 
One thing is certain. Their lives were never dull with me!
These events all led to who I am today and thinking HUGE and outside the box.




    Thank you ALL who have shaped me in my journey to this point.

 With grateful XOXOXs ,




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 Richard@RichardSkipper.com.



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!    
              

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!



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





With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper 845-365-0720



Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
Richard Skipper Celebrates

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY