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

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 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 , 

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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!   

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

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