Saturday, January 14, 2017

Today, Jennifer Holliday...Tomorrow: YOU!

Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.Martin Luther King Jr.

Happy Saturday, January 14th, 2017!
It is Martin Luther King weekend. 
Wow! What a week this has been. It is difficult for me to sort all the thoughts currently running through my head (and heart) and transferring them to the written word.
The week began with an eloquent heartfelt speech from Meryl Streep on last Sunday evening's Golden Globe Awards when she won her Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award.
She used this platform not to discuss the drama of her film career that truly warranted her receiving this high honor, but to discuss the drama we have seen playing out front and center from the moment our POTUS-elect entered into the race. She never mentioned his name and I'm going to follow suit.
Before you read any further, I want to give a full disclosure.
I am not in favor of the incoming president on any level. My feelings about him are not based on fake news, second hand information, and/or innuendo. It is based on what he himself has said and done since June 6th, 2015 when he and his wife descended from his lofty tower on his escalator.
I don't desire that this turns into a political blog but I do believe that certain things need to be said now. 
I also want to state that what you are about to read are my OPINIONS (although based on facts as they've been presented to me). I do respect your right to disagree. Vilifying me before you've taken the chance to get to know me or knowing what has brought me to this point in my life is not the answer. I'm accessible. ALL of our voices need to be heard. It is our differences that we need to celebrate in our individuality.

Remember, the loudest voice in the room doesn't necessarily make it the right voice.
I call my brand Richard Skipper Celebrates and the title says it all. My goal is to celebrate people and their body of 'worth'.
When Meryl spoke the other night, she spoke from the heart and said what MOST of us , as a nation, are feeling and needed to be said.
Jennifer Holliday was under fire for agreeing to sing at inauguration
You could hear a pin drop in that theater as she spoke and everyone was riveted on every word.
Within hours, he that shall remain nameless, tweeted that Streep is an over rated actress and that he was attacked by her. Neither of those claims is factual. Streep is the most awarded and nominated actress in the history of cinema. His response is typical of a bully.
That, above all other reasons, is the reason that I don't respect him. I am not alone in trying to understand WHY people voted for him, people I respect.
He dismisses people who criticize him. It is one thing to speak out about a claim brought against you. It is a completely different ball of wax when you begin to attack the messenger.
I have a rule of thumb when it comes to criticism: If it's going to help me, I want to hear it. If it won't help me, it will go in one ear and out the other. If it is meant to hurt me, PLEASE keep it to yourself. I don't need to hear it. I am a work in progress and I want to be the best I can be and I ask my FRIENDS to hold me accountable.
I applaud Streep for having the courage to say what was on her mind and in her heart. She said it. He responded. PERIOD. She did not stoop to his level by even responding to his misguided tweet.
The next day, we immediately saw how divided we are as a country. Those on the left were applauding her exercising the First Amendment. Those on the right felt that she had hijacked the awards to set her leftist leanings.
We are ALL inter connected
As a matter of fact, the next day,Whoopi Goldberg and her “View” co-hosts ripped into Jedediah Bila after Bila criticized Streep’s speech.  She said she was so 'sickened' by the speech that she wanted to turn it off. What was in that speech that she found sickening? I have listened to the speech over and over. I don't hear any attacks. What I do hear is a request for compassion and respect for each other. I concur. By the way, Trump is not alone in his bullying tactics. It is playing out on a level that frightens me to my very core.
The next night, I had a very good dinner with friends. We covered a lot of topics and even discussed the political climate in a respectful manner.
Jennifer Holliday's reason for dropping out. Read HERE
The next day,I made a decision to no longer post anything pertaining to him on my Facebook pages. I made this decision because how divisive it has become. I will admit, I'm sometimes afraid to voice my opinion because of the vitriol it exposes. A friend of mine suggested that perhaps all that is happening is to bring us all to a place in which we can heal.
I think it's even bigger than that.
I think this is a time for people to reveal who they truly are. There are many great people around me daily. I'm also seeing a lot of dark souls.
We have come to where we are because we have been lowering the bar lower and lower over the years. We have TV shows in which 'Real' Housewives embarrass themselves and their gender by attacking each other and saying outlandish things for ratings, MOST of the programming on Logo has gay men attacking each other and making bitchy comments for laughs, every 'reality' based program on TV is about one upmanship: it is about kicking
someone off the island, it is about someone getting fired, it is about making someone feel less than.
It has evolved into our political world as well. Our president elect has behaved in a way that would send a ten year old to time out for doing and saying the same things. I'm embarrassed at what we as a nation have turned in to.
I have been hurt and embarrassed by some of the posts I have seen on social media. We ALL are better than this. I refuse to drop and play among the lowest common denominator. Let's all choose to rise higher rather than sink lower.
I have seen some of the most hateful rhetoric on  social media over the last few hours over Jennifer Holliday's decision to perform at the inauguration (as I was writing today's blog, it was announced that she has decided not to perform). I'm concerned over the pressure applied to her to change her mind. Where is the line drawn? When is the next decision you make going to be put under such intense scrutiny? Careers can be destroyed by people out to vilify an artists' choices. I personally would have not taken the gig but I respect her RIGHT to let HER voice be heard in the manner she sees fit. She is not a hate-monger or someone who has devoted a career to attacking others publicly.

If you disapprove of the choices that she's making in her career, choose not to partake… Just attacking a person the way that I've seen people keep attacking here speaks more about you than it does about her. Let's all look with in our own hearts and make the right choices for each of us and stop attacking a
fellow artists, PLEASE: We are all better than this. Respectfully, please!
We all are better than this. Let's all spend a little more time on self-reflection on what we can do to KEEP AMERICA GREAT through our art. Otherwise, a lot of precious energy is going to be spent on the negative over the next four years. Let's celebrate each other instead of tearing each other apart. A pres-elect attacking a civil rights icon days from the oath divides the country, diminishes himself, and brings discredit to his office.
Life is so much better when you stop caring about what everyone thinks, and start to actually live for yourself!!
Sit back! A new news cycle is about to begin!
Click HERE for more info.

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 ,

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

ONE WEEK till showtime: Please celebrate with us January 16th, 2017! RESERVATIONS A MUST!
Russ WoolLey and Wright BROS. Real Estate NY Present
Richard Skipper Celebrates...The 53rd Anniversary of Hello, Dolly! Opening on Broadway 7PM at the Triad on Janurary 16th, 2017 featured guests will INCLUDE Beth Fowler, Lee Roy Reams, Sondra Lee, Rita McKenzie...AND Marilyn Maye. 
 Tedd Firth 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.
 Wear David Merrick red for amazing photo ops. 
Tickets are $30.00 plus a two drink minimum.  Reservations a MUST! To purchase , go toTHEIR website.  Mix and mingle with the cast  afterwards. You never know who may show up! ;)  Check out our promo:

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



  2. Bravo Richard! Everyone expects tolerance of their views, but recently they seem to not have any tolerance for opposing views. Don't condemn others or hate them or destroy their lives for their difference in thought or action. Try to be proactive. Get involved without resorting to verbal violence. Read as many different opinions on a certain situation and draw your own conclusions. Democracy is when we all can respect the others opinion even if we do do not agree. No one has stressed this better than you Richard Skipper.