Friday, September 21, 2018

Bullying In Our Culture: WE Have Created This!

Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke. 
Benjamin Disraeli

Happy Friday, September 21st, 2018
September 21 is the 264th day of the year. There are 101days remaining until the end of the year.
It is a rainy overcast day here in New York and as I sit down to write today's blog, I'm listening to  Lee a la V: Veronica Klaus and the Tammy L. Hall Quartet-A Peggy Lee Songbook.
There is so much to celebrate but today, I'm taking a different turn to shed light on a problem that has pervaded every aspect of our culture and that is bullying. We have a man in the White House who ran his entire platform on bullying and continues to do so.
While Rome is burning, Nero is fiddling ( or golfing). FLOTUS began her reign by announcing that her platform would be cyberbullying.
Her announcement was met with huge outcries and derision. After all, her husband has taken
cyberbullying to a high new level.
I know a bully when I see one. I was bullied as a kid and called names even before I knew what some of those names meant. I have even been bullied by a few people as an adult.
It always stings and the only remedy is to try and rise above it.

Of course, bullies have been around since the beginning of time, but I have definitely seen a shift in my lifetime...and not for the better.
It has seeped into every aspect of our culture. I do believe that the current man in the White House is there because of Reality television.
Biff Tannen in Back To The Future II was actually modeled on Donald Trump. I'm not kidding. The filmmakers said so.

An entire generation or more has been exposed to a celebration of a bullying culture. Every reality
The Queen of Mean... but an interesting one
show is based on a theme of one-upmanship.
Someone is going to get kicked off the island. OR your cupcake is not as good as the others. OR 'real' housewives are going to publicly humiliate themselves for the world to see. (thank you, Andy Cohen).
Right now, GOP senators are bullying a woman who was allegedly the victim of an attempted rate by a man who may be our next Supreme Court Judge.
Most of these older White males have already made up their minds. Orin Hatch called Professor Ford "mixed up."
Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) said on Wednesday that, "Women across this nation should be outraged at what these white men senators are doing to this woman".

Like I've said before. Those who are not angered by what is going on by the man in the White House, just don’t get it, perhaps they never have and at this point, you never will. They probably have never experienced ANY discrimination in their lives. That’s why they can only see this situation up to a certain point.
Nothing about my life has been 'normal. I came into the world bullied. It started with my dad, continued with aunts and uncles, escalated in school, and continued for the first 18 years of my life. It dissipated for the most part as I got older and became solidly aware of who and what I am.  Last
month marked 39 years in New York and I'm devoted the next year focused on the road that has led me to who I
am today, for better or for worse.
I hope my family will forgive my honesty in upcoming posts. Please understand that I love my family. I always have and I always will.
When I left home, it felt like a graduation. I was on my own and I was truly free to be me for the first time in my life. From the moment that I decided I was going to move to New York, every waking moment was focused on that.  I decided on August 5th, 1974, that five years from that date that I would move to New York...AND I did!
When I left home, it was time to move on.
When the day arrived, I could have flown to New York without the aid of the now defunct Piedmont Airlines.
I remember taking my seat and the flight attendant telling me to put my seat back up. Everything in between is a blur.
Stay tuned! There is Much more to come.
Now, go and do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return!

Richard Skipper Celebrates
The Abundant Life

October 14th

1PM Brunch Show

Laurie Beechman Theatre
(Theatre Row, NYC)

Russ Woolley Proudly Presents
Richard Skipper Celebrates
featuring Jeff Harnar, Renee Katz, Marnie Klar, Avery Sommers, AND Haley Swindal Tantlef. Steve Doyle on bass, Erik Lawrence on sax, Daniel Glass on percussion, all under the musical direction of Dana P. Rowe! 

With music, reminisces and an afternoon of fun and show business! 90 minutes of merriment and excitement . . .As we Celebrate the Present, we Honor the Past!

THE LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATRE, 407 West 42nd Street (lower level of the WEST BANK CAFE) Producer: Russ Woolley $30 ticket plus $20 food/beverage minimum - exquisite and reasonably priced food and drink.

Richard Skipper has assembled a great cast to Celebrate and honor . . . RICHARD SKIPPER has become synonymous with "feel good entertainment of the highest quality". For decades Richard has entertained thousands and celebrated the careers of many of Theatre Row’s finest and most honored stars… The afternoon will prove to be an event where all will arrive and leave with smiles! This will be similar to the old-fashioned TV specials and series where we get to chat with and honor this Entertainment Icon.
A Few Audience Testimonials about Richard Skipper Celebrates
Congratulations, congratulations, a thousand congratulations" and many, many Thank You's t Richard Skipper for his marvelous performance in "Showtune" at the Madison Theatre. If Jerry Herman had seen it, I have no doubt he would agree that with Richard's rich tenor voice and spectacular stage presence, he was THE perfect performer to get things rolling with "It's Today" … lead us into the Act I finale with "Before the Parade Passes By" … remind us in between that "It Takes a Woman" to bring us the sweet things in life … and, of course, to wrap things up by leading the cast and the enthralled audience with a sing-along of (what else?) "Hello, Dolly!" Working with Richard was a real pleasure and I look forward to the next time, and of course to see Richard perform in the interim! 
~~Bruce Bider, Director, Producer Showtune: South Shore Theatricals, Madison Theatre at Molloy College, Rockville Center, NY

Really KNOWwhat a wonderful gift Richard Skipper gave me in having me perform in Richard Skipper Celebrates. To sing in that beautiful setting (the Laurie Beechman) with that fabulous band (Matthew Martin Ward - piano, Rex Benincasa - percussion, Erik Lawrence - sax, Steve Doyle - bass) and that super-nice audience - so happy, upbeat and warm... This truly was a dream-come-true for me - like walking through a very cool movie :-) but it's real!! I thank Richard Skipper and Russ Woolley from the absolute rock bottom of my heart.I can't stop smiling and they are the culprits :-) 
~~Sheree Sanoo. NYC

Love Richard Skipper Celebrates. Looking forward to new shows! 
~~Bea Sonnenshein, Sparkill, New York
The show is also made possible by Wright Bros. Real Estate. 
You never know who you might see there and what might happen! If you have attended a Richard Skipper Celebrates Event, please add your thoughts in the GuestBook at

With grateful XOXOXs,


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This Blog is Dedicated to Paula J. Riley
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!
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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!


Richard Skipper,

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