Monday, June 26, 2017

What's In It For Me?

I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.
-Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

Happy Monday, June 26th, 2017!
June 26 is the 177th day of the year. It is a gorgeous day here in New York. I woke up, washed my face, brushed my teeth, got dressed.. and sat down to see what the day holds for me! I am ope to ALL possibilities.  Conquer the day! You got this!So often when people feel creatively stagnant, it is because they stopped dreaming and they stopped imagining. Never stop! It is in the news now that Obama knew about Russian interference and our current POTUS is blaming him from doing nothing. Real MEN acknowledge their OWN mistakes. Real Presidents FIX mistakes made by others.
As I sat down to begin today's blog, I was listening to Any Moment/Moments In The Woods from Into The Woods
This blog is a stream of consciousness blog. I post my thoughts as they unfold on the theme of this blog throughout the day. My hope is that it will trigger thoughts within the reader and that it opens up a healthy dialogue on these themes.  
Max Ehrmann wrote, "In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul." The 'WORD' for the day is INNOVATION
Think of this word as your mantra for the day.
A shameless plug!
First apply the word to yourself, THEN apply this word to EVERYONE YOU meet. Think of this word as you respond to EVERY POST you see throughout the day. The 'word 'for TODAY is INNOVATION  Please pay it forward...


There are many lessons to be learned swirling around me today.  The title of the blog came out of my horoscope today. It read, "To ask 'What's in it for me?' isn't selfish today; it's practical. That question, for good or bad, kept popping up over the weekend in a situation that I would rather not write about here. 
Let's just suffice it to say, I'm not sure if I handled it correctly or even if I was right or wrong.
Sometimes, it is a matter of just aligning yourself with the universe and going with the flow.

Yesterday there was a post on Facebook that I responded to. 
I don't want to either 'out' or offend the person who posted, but it really got me to thinking! 
The person who posted, who is a writer, wrote about a phone call he received late the night before. I hope to get the facts right here. 

It turns out that it was from a 'stranger' that he even vaguely remembered meeting. The guy went on and on talking about himself. At end of call, the guy said suggested that the writer do a feature on him. 
The post ended with the writer stating that he had no intention of writing about this guy.  
I facetiously wrote that in the time that he wrote that post that he could have written about the guy!
He went on to say that he didn't write about people that cared little interest for him or that he wasn't familiar with and that if I was interested, I could do it. I said, "Sure! Why not?" He said he had no intention of reaching out to this guy but if he heard from him again, he would pass on my number. Again, that is fine with me.

Enjoying a weekend with friends.
The responses that followed were mostly snarky. Of course, we don't know all the facts. We only heard one side of the story.  
Perhaps this guy would have a completely different take on the conversation they had. Perhaps the writer was the only person he felt that he could reach out to. There may be a myriad of things going on that precipitated that call.
One person wrote asking me why I would be interested in writing about a narcissistic self centered person. I responded that most of the people I knew on Facebook fell into that category! Think about that statement for a moment.
Is Dolly self centered or beloved by all she encounters?
We ALL have somewhat of that in us. We feel that our posts, our photos, what we have for dinner, where we checked in to, etc. are newsworthy for all of our Facebook friends, followers, twitter followers, and all other aspects of social media that have acclimated themselves into our lives. 
I know people who post selfies every time the light changes! There is even an app and a twitter site called Guys with Phones in which guys are constantly posting selfies of themselves. Were we always like this or did social media create
this?

I think we all need to step outside of ourselves and start thinking about how and what we do serves others.
I have seen some posts in which the subject writes about the most incredible experiences only to end the post with, "And how was YOUR day?"
Are they posting because they genuinely want to share an experience or are they showing off? I LOVE the human experience. Most of my blogs lately have been about the desire and need for a totally interactive immersive experience. 
THAT is what I'm looking for. My posts are usually political and/or promotional. If I post something political, it is either what I consider newsworthy or my OPINION on an issue affecting us. 
My promotional posts are a necessity if I desire to build my audience, brand, following. My hope is that those of you who are following me or are "Facebook friends" as opposed to REAL FRIENDS are indeed getting an entertainment value from my posts. 
What are these!?!?! I asked for cha-cha heels
I don't want my experiences to be solely about ME, but rather about US.
The series Richard Skipper Celebrates...is created as a showcase for other artists. I could very easily expend the same amount of energy and time into doing a solo show. I, however, LOVE sharing the stage with other entertainers. It thrills me beyond belief when some have garnered new fans, audience members, and, even in some cases, bookings,  because of an appearance in this series.
There are a couple of performers who have actually reached out to me to appear in the show. 
You know, if you're lucky enough to have two smash hit shows, the traffic of the world goes through your dressing room.-Carol Channing
If I talk about something I either talk about it or I DO it... the minute I talk about it it's lost all it's drive and all it's fun.
Those come from one of three columns, those who have been in the audience, those who have appeared previously, and to a large extent, those who have never been to a previous show but who have something to plug. 
I try to share the 'wealth' as far as I can but my hope is that there is enough enthusiasm to let others know about the series. That becomes a win-win situation for all. I've had two artists appear recently who when trying to get them to post one posting about OUR show was akin to pulling teeth. They now have their own show and are posting daily. Do they feel that when they are guesting in someone else's show that there is anything in it for them? OR that it is less than a show for them? Whatever the case, how do we change that paradigm.
This is not an issue that is mine alone. I have had this discussion with other artists who have guest artists in their shows. I think it is less about the person putting the show together and more about the guest. The bottom line is some people are more pro-active than others.
One musical director that I've used consistently over the past year and a half posts nothing about playing our shows and yet, every time he plays for a 'celebrity' posts prior to and after the show.
I have decided, as a result, to shake it up a little. For next season, I'm using different musical directors for each show. This gives me a chance to showcase them as well further utilizing my goal with this series in the first place. 

I was reading an article today in which it  stated that "American life has coarsened over the past several decades is not much argued, but the nature of the beast is still in question." Read MORE   

Life is so much better when you stop caring about what everyone thinks, and start to actually live for yourself!!

What a wonderful afternoon at Richard Skipper Celebrates... (June 18th) I'd had a very trying
morning on Sunday, and I wasn't in the best of moods when I arrived, but within seconds of the show starting, all tension slipped away and I could feel the smile creeping across my face, a smile I kept for days after. 
-Doug Devita, NYC

What a wonderful afternoon at "Richard Skipper Celebrates" at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on June 18th.
Do you remember Johnny Carson and the Tonight Show or WNEW AM from years ago.This show brought me back to those days. Besides being a wonderful entertainer, Richard is an fascinating interviewer. His guests in this show
included Sarah Rice and Mark Watson, David Sabella, Warren Schein and special guest Sharon McNight.
It's been such a long time since I have seen such a wonderful show.
Richard has this event as a Sunday Brunch once a month. He is taking the summer off but will return with a blockbuster show on Sunday September 10th. If you are in the New York area please join me to witness talent that is rare seen any more. (September 10th, brunch at the Laurie Beechman Theater on West 42nd Street)
Elaine Marlowe Mitchell, NYC

On June 18th, 2017,  I had the great good pleasure of singing in one of Richard Skipper’s Extravaganzas par Excellence at the Laurie Beechman Theater. This one celebrated Father's Day. It was a  terrific show and Richard was, as always, a wonderful host and singer.   The show ran smoothly and professionally and the performance level was exceedingly high.  Upbeat and fun it reminded me of those wonderful TV variety shows of my youth.  But it isn’t an imitation of one of them, it is Richard’s own, unique creation.  If you have never been to one, I recommend it highly, if you are one of the regulars, you are already hooked.
 Mark Watson

Sit Back! A New News Cycle Is About to Begin!

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 , 



Please visit CallonDolly.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!   

Keeping America great through Art!     

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com   













Thursday, June 22, 2017

Easing Into Summer...with Judy Garland and PRIDE

THIS is what my childhood looked like. Conway, SC circa 1960s
Aaah, summer - that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It's a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.
Darell Hammond

Happy Second Day of Summer (June 22nd, 2017!
June 22 is the 173rd day of the year . There are 192 days remaining until the end of the year.
On Monday night, this rainbow stretched across the tri-state area!
My horoscope tells me that I have a magical way with words today and can use them to paint a picture, tell a story or persuade someone to support your position.. I hope to give that impression! The 'WORD' for the day is INCREDIBLE . Think of this word as your mantra for the day. First apply the word to yourself, THEN apply this word to EVERYONE YOU meet. Think of this word as you respond to EVERY POST you see throughout the day. The 'word 'for TODAY is INCREDIBLE ! Please pay it forward...
Judy Garland by Al Hirschfeld (whose birthday was yesterday)
Today's blog is a stream of consciousness blog about things that are on my mind today. 

As I write my blog today, I am listening to Judy Garland
48 years ago today, she passed on. I remember the day like it was yesterday. 
I was eight years ago and cried like a baby. 
I was sad that "Dorothy' had passed. She was 48 and what a legacy she left behind. This blog is dedicated to her and her amazing body of 'worth'! It is also dedicated to my Aunt Grace. She was my Daddy's oldest sibling. As I was working on today's blog, my sister called to tell me that she passed away today. 
I got word earlier this week that it was inevitably probably going to happen this week. I loved her so much and my heart is broken. Interestingly enough, she gave me one of my first Judy Garland biography's, Rainbow by Christopher Finch in 1975. Aunt Grace, you are loved and will be missed. 
What was it within the heart and mind of an
eight year old boy that resonated so deeply? Believe it or not, I've heard similar stories from so many others. 
During the past 8 years and with the inception of this blog, I've had the privilege of interviewing and getting to know thousands of honored and dominant people, and I'm always fascinated by what makes one person end up more successfully than another.
Obviously, Judy had the talent to succeed. Events also led to her eventual success...and demise...at
MGM and beyond. 
Why did Judy Garland go on to achieve the success that she had that eluded her sisters and parents? 

Some observers of the Gay Rights' Movement in the sixties go so far as to argue that Garland's passing sparked the modern gay-rights movement; the Stonewall riots occurred in Manhattan's West Village just hours after her funeral, in New York in June of 1969.
 
My husband and I (together 27 years, married almost six years)
William Goldman described the final night of Judy Garland's Palace run in Esquire. 
The Rainbow flag represents our community.  It is commonly known as the gay pride flag or LGBT pride flag and is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements.There has been a lot of controversy lately about  adding new color stripes and symbols to add more diversity. The colors represent various aspects of our lives and do not have anything to do with gender and/or race, and therefore, I, in my humble opinion, don't believe they have any place in this flag.
The truth of the matter, however, according to Wikipedia, is that it as undergone several revisions since its debut in 1978, first to remove colors then restore them based on availability of fabrics. The most common variant consists of six stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The flag is typically flown horizontally, with the red stripe on top, as it would be in a natural rainbow.  

I get nostalgic every year at this time. It took me a lifetime to appreciate what I had as a kid and I long desperately to hold those memories in my heart.
Bette Midler feels that you can't move ahead if you are looking back. I feel the opposite. I think looking back can propel us to where we need to be.
photo taken from Google to show you a tobacco field
I think back to the days of my youth in South Carolina. 
I grew up in tobacco territory in Conway, South Carolina. 

I’m not a smoker. Never have been. However, I grew up in a world of tobacco. My grandfather had one of the largest tobacco farms in South Carolina and it was the main source of income for some of my Aunts and Uncles and cousins. 
Not so, with my own parents.When I was very young, my father was an insurance salesman, but eventually became a welder for Carolina Pipeline Company. I don't even think they are in business anymore. My mom worked for a factory called AVX
AVX is a leading manufacturer of advanced electronic passive components and interconnect solutions with multiple manufacturing facilities around the world. Long after I moved to NY in 79, my mom continued to work with them until she retired.
When I was thirteen, my Uncle Joe gave me my first job, for $36.00 a week!
It afforded me the opportunity to go see a movie once in a while or to buy a book (my passion) without having to ask mom and dad. 
It was a small pittance but I truly didn't need any more.
But I knew there was a life beyond this and I was going to go after it. I knew that I wanted to be in show business. I lived and breathed that thought constantly. I would perform at the drtop of a hat. My goal was to make people laugh. When I was thirteen, I auditioned for my first show,
Gower Champion, far left (Today is his Birthday). Who knew these people would play such an integral part of my life
Mame, with The Theater of the Republic in my hometown.

I had a two line walk in and appeared in a couple of ensemble numbers.
It was a start and my foot was through the door.I also announced to anyone that would listen that I was moving to New York as soon as I graduated from high school and I did. I got very little support but I was determined!
If my life was a movie, the title would be From Conway to Broadway.
I am part of a generation whose sensibilities were shaped by the Great Depression and World War II.
In my home town, you are born there, you go to school there, you get married, have children (not always in that order), most likely go into the family business there, and eventually pass on there. What I did was very unusual and almost 37 years later, my family still has no idea how to process me. I have always been my own person. 

I have very few friends from my home town. They don't relate.
That being said, and I do love to look back, Bette, I feel that my life truly began in the waning days of summer, on August 5th, 1979, as I arrived in New York and forged a life for myself. 
I'm reminded of Judy Garland's song from The Harvey Girls, It's A Great Big World
I am a work in progress and I desire to be the best I can be.
This is my thirty seventh summer since I left South Carolina. For the first few years that I was here, I tried to get home ever Christmas and summer. Then life began to happen and I was unable to get home as often as I'd like. Either tomorrow or first thing Saturday morning, I am flying home again.
This time,  under sadder circumstances. But as Judy Garland encourages me, I just have to Smile.  

Life is so much better when you stop caring about what everyone thinks, and start to actually live for yourself!!

Charles Busch posted this on Facebook (I hope he doesn't mind my using it!)
What a wonderful afternoon at Richard Skipper Celebrates... (June 18th) I'd had a very trying morning on Sunday, and I wasn't in the best of moods when I arrived, but within seconds of the show starting, all tension slipped away and I could feel the smile creeping across my face, a smile I kept for days after. 
-Doug Devita, NYC
I was most impressed with the balance and variety of Richard Skipper Celebrates... on June 18th.  I love hearing Sarah Rice, and her Bourne-Jones beauty is a joy on top of that.  That segment was really top notch.  David Sabella was so moving when he was talking about his children, and the Sondheim montage was unexpectedly thrilling.  I liked the little table where I was sitting because I could watch Richard Skipper's reactions to everything, and that just added to the joy.  I don't think a smile left my face for the entire show.  Good for Richard!!!!
Jacqueline Parker, NYC


What a wonderful afternoon at Richard Skipper Celebrates... at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on June 18th.
Do you remember Johnny Carson and the Tonight Show or WNEW AM from years ago.This show brought me back to those days. Besides being a wonderful entertainer, Richard is an fascinating interviewer. His guests in this show included Sarah Rice and Mark Watson, David Sabella, Warren Schein and special guest Sharon McNight.
It's been such a long time since I have seen such a wonderful show.
Richard has this event as a Sunday Brunch once a month. He is taking the summer off but will return with a blockbuster show on Sunday September 10th.
If you are in the New York area please join me to witness talent that is rare seen any more. (September 10th, brunch at the Laurie Beechman Theater on West 42nd Street)
Elaine Marlowe Mitchell, NYC

Sit Back! A New News Cycle Is About to Begin!

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 , 





CallonDolly.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!   

Keeping America great through Art!     


Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
 
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com







Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's Not Always About Trying Harder


Hip-hop artist Mos Def wrote, All the things that are worth doing take time.

Happy Tuesday, June 20th, 2017!

June 20 is the 171st day of the year. There are 194 days remaining until the end of the year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday (58 in 400 years each) than on Thursday or Friday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Tuesday or Sunday (56).
Tomorrow is the first day of summer! What is your favorite season?
So you can see this is a rare June 20th! Wishing Jon Ossoff great success today. Go Georgia!!
My horoscope tells me that I wish I could relax in a familiar safe space today, but my dreams are calling and I'm driven to answer. TRUE!
I don't settle! I pursue your goals and enjoy the journey. Every day is a gift.
As I sat down to begin today's blog, I was listening to Lullaby of Broadway from the original Broadway production of 42nd Street.
42nd Street, with a book by Michael Stewart, who  also wrote Hello, Dolly!, and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer, and music by Harry Warren. 
Taking the summer off from entertaining to focus on my CallonDolly project

I listen to songs and they immediately take me on a journey. In this instance, it brought me back to a more innocent time in my life and as I look back and realize that every day events happen that take us down unusual and sometimes amazing paths.
I feel like I'm just hitting my stride as an entertainer (with Glenn Hochburg 6/18/17)
I was 19 when 42nd Street opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater. I had been in New York exactly one year.
It was a different time in New York. I was still finding out who I was. I was living in the Bronx with a woman named Lydia DiVito.
Me in the summer of '79 with The Unsinkable Millie Brown
When I had first come to New York the previous August, I met a woman named Millie Brown, or The Unsinkable Millie Brown, as I called her.
As I've written before, I arrived in New York on August 5th, 1979. I came to New York ALONE at the age of eighteen with $500.00! I had made up my mind five years prior that I would do that on THAT date  and I did. I did it without the encouragement of almost anyone. I had a dream and I went for it. I'm still going for it. There were many who tried to discourage me and/or talk me out of it. My dream was bigger than me. I remember saying at one time that I think those with no ambition might be at a greater advantage. My aspirations and dreams consume almost every waking moment of my life. It even seeps into my dreams.
The point is that I still work at it daily. I'm very disciplined. I get up every morning, grab a cup of ambition, go into my office and am driven until Danny comes home at night. Then, I TRY and shut down. It's not always easy. I'm consumed with the slings and arrows of this business.
Some might say my goals are unrealistic but I have little doubt that you can reach them if I continue to be persistent. Social media has made it increasingly difficult!
I saw a clip last night of Gavin Creel after he won his Tony Award. He said that he is not on social media. It is difficult to be an actor when we are focused on these devices instead of our craft and what's going on 'out there'. I have hit many snags and detours in my life and career.
When I first started having relationships, in my twenties, I often morphed into what my partners desired me to be. I also wanted to be as accessible to them as possible.
As a result my ambitions and career took a back burner. I met my husband, Danny, in the summer of 1990. I was 29. My entire 20s had been spent trying to secure my roots here in NY. My twenties found me drifting from various 'relationships' AND various room mates AND various survival jobs.
As an artist, it has taken me a lifetime to learn firsthand that success is not always about trying harder. It is about aligning myself with the right people, those that are on the same wave length as I.
I have met various people along the way who convinced me that they believed in my talent and desired to catapult me to the next level in my career. This has included agents, managers, producers and various other characters of that ilk. Unfortunately, their agenda was about lining their pockets from my blood, sweat, and tears.
Bette Midler: Current Toast of Broadway and our hearts
Each time, I was left with VERY LITTLE, a lot of heart ache, and a little bit wiser.
I look at Bette Midler's trajectory in her career. She came to New York to be a Broadway actress. She got cast in Fiddler in '64. Interestingly enough, at that time, the other big hit on Broadway was Hello, Dolly! 
Creating her future required her to build a solid foundation first.
She met Barry Manilow and they became the toast of New York with their shows at the Continental Baths.
That led to an amazing career!
She has been honored with multiple Grammy Awards and Oscar nominations for her work in films like The Rose and Beaches. Earlier this month, she won a Tony Award for her starring role in the revival of Hello, Dolly! She has definitely earned this phase of her life!
Recently, CBS Sunday morning did a rare interview/profile on Bette. She said she never looks back. She went on to say you can't move forward if you are constantly looking back.
I have learned the hard way that trying harder at doing the wrong things, making poor choices, and doing the same 'mistakes' over and over much too often, will not bring you closer to success.
Yesterday, I wrote about 'friendships' in social media. It has given most a false sense of acquaintances, friends, and colleagues. I am clearing the deck!
I cherish my friends, my audiences, my followers, and all who have a genuine interest in who I am and what I have to offer. If you find that we are no longer 'Facebook friends', think about the last time we communicated either with a phone call, an email, or even on Facebook. I am probably one of the most accessible people around. I am seeking a totally immersive interactive relationship that I call friend on EVERY level!
I'm not going to be able to soar as I'd like if we all aren't on the same page.
Cherishing my Friends Peggy Eason and Natasha Castillo
That doesn't mean we cut ties. Feel free to reach out anytime. As a matter of fact, I welcome that. I'm just shifting my paradigm. It's ALL good!
Also, if you've been 'unfriended' on Facebook, it's a business decision and not a personal one. It's just the direction I am taking my business.
Reach out to me and I'm here for you, ALWAYS! 

Let's Be Friends! I promise you a great experience!
On this date in 1975 – The film Jaws is released in the United States, becoming the highest-grossing film of that time and starting the trend of films known as "summer blockbusters".
Thank you Alison Arngrim for a great interview today on Facebook LIVE today!

Life is so much better when you stop caring about what everyone thinks, and start to actually live for yourself!!

On June 18th, 2017,  I had the great good pleasure of singing in one of Richard Skipper’s Extravaganzas par Excellence at the Laurie Beechman Theater. This one celebrated Father's Day. It was a  terrific show and Richard was, as always, a wonderful host and singer.   The show ran smoothly and professionally and the
Tomorrow is the first day of summer! Celebrate!!
performance level was exceedingly high.  Upbeat and fun it reminded me of those wonderful TV variety shows of my youth.  But it isn’t an imitation of one of them, it is Richard’s own, unique creation.  If you have never been to one, I recommend it highly, if you are one of the regulars, you are already hooked.

 Mark Watson

Anyone who has an opportunity to see Richard Skipper's cabaret shows should BY ALL MEANS do so! They're sensational! Great entertainers, wonderful music, lots of laughs, just the best way to spend an afternoon! I just cannot wait for the next show because I will DEFINITELY be in the audience (quietly singing along)!
Arlene Jacks, New York, NY

Richard Skipper is the consummate host.  I always enjoy the shows and all the performers--and even the little film intros by Michael Masci!  The theme song Michael picked for the Father's Day opening montage is one of my favorite TV themes--how did you know? Keep up the good work Richard--looking forward to your next season of shows!
Glenn Hochberg, Easton, PA

Sit Back! A New News Cycle Is About to Begin!

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 , 




CallonDolly.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!   

Keeping America great through Art!     


Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
Please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!
 
TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY

Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com