Showing posts with label CBS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CBS. Show all posts

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Promise You A Happy Beginning!

 "Sin cannot be undone, only forgiven."
with Jill Melanie Wirth, Christmas Night 2011
--Igor Stravinsky, Russian-born composer (1882-1971)
Happy Thursday!

After today there are only two days left in this year. As I usually do every year at this time, I reflect on the past year and contemplate where I would like to be one year from today.

Within the last five days I have lost my beloved cat, Nala, and my dear friend, Harry Kullijian.
It is made me think once again how precious life really is. We all need to take the time to seize the day, carpe diem! We also need to honor the past. When I first started out as an actor, my teacher and mentor, Miss Epps, taught me that every time I walked out on stage,that I was carrying the mantle of every great actor and entertainer that have ever gone before me.
I have never forgotten that and I still think about that every single time I walk out on stage. How many people working in the theater today even think about those that have paved the way for what they are able to do today?. I don't like the way this business has changed.  The emphasis is more on the business and less on the show.
David Merrick
Anyone can now call themselves a producer, simply because they've raised the money. Where are the David Merrick's? Those that call themselves producers today have "produced" NOTHING, at least artistically. And yet these people are shaping the direction that Broadway is going towards. I, for one, don't like it.

Yesterday, a very interesting thing happened at my home. I received a package via UPS. As the delivery man was handing me the package, from Tiffany's no less, he noticed two portraits that are hanging in our dining room. Here they both are. Well, anyway, he asked who they were. I said Ruth Gordon and Judy Garland. He said he had never heard of either of them! Were they relatives!?!?!   Ruth Gordon I could possibly understand.  But Judy Garland!?!?! One of the greatest cultural icons of the 20th century?!? A few things you need to know about this deliveryman... First of all, he is American. Born and bred right here in New York.
He is also 38!  When I asked him, incredulously, if he was serious, he just stared back in disbelief that I seemed so surprised. I mentioned The Wizard of Oz and that Judy Garland was the star of that film. He then asked me, now hold on to your hats, if Judy had played the witch!?!?! I took my package and told him to go out and rent the film.

This situation is not as isolated as you might think.When I mentioned to someone yesterday that Carol Channing's husband  had passed away, I was asked who Carol Channing is. I am finding more and more that if it didn't happen within the past 25 years, people seem to forget that it happened at all. I think the problems began, believe it or not, with MTV. Those that have grown up in an MTV generation have only been fed what MTV has given them. Believe me, it is not a full diet!

Those of my generation grew up watching contemporary performers and entertainers performing and appearing with those from our parents generation AND those from our grandparents generation. We also only had three networks: ABC, CBS, and NBC. Those three networks vied for the largest demographic, across the board, possible.
Also please take into account that those three networks only ran from about 5 to AM in the morning and signed off, after the national anthem, at 1 AM. I believe that because they had less time, they were more aggressive in their desire to entertain. The quality was much higher. When you think of the Golden age of television and the fact that so much of it was live, why can't we have live theater in today's TV world?

My partner, Danny's nephew Scotty, who is 21, is not familiar with most of the people that I write about and cover in my blogs
 It's not a matter of ignorance,  it's a matter of not being exposed to it. When I think of the cultural landscape, and the fact that we deify those who have achieved a level of success and notoriety based in most cases, on nothing more than scandal, I believe there are many, beside myself, desire something on a higher level.

My goal as we travel into the 2012 year is to celebrate the artistry of those that are worth celebrating...those who have paid their dues, those that are paying their dues, those that need to be recognized, and those who should be recognized.
I will continue to carry the torch that Harry and Carol ignited with their Foundation. I will also work diligently in the new year to ensure that Carol receives her Kennedy Center honor.

On Sunday, time permitting, I will write a little about my goals for the new year. But as Carol always says to me," don't talk about it, just do it."

Thank you all for the support you have given me over the past year and also in previous years. My career and my desires and goals have shifted and I am now traveling down a new path. I am at a very good place and I am very excited about what the future holds. I have a lot of irons on the fire right now, and to paraphrase Jerry Herman, I promise you a happy beginning. Now go out and celebrate with those you love and let's all make the world a better place in 2012.


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!
Follow me on Twitter If you've seen one of my appearances/shows, add your thoughts to my guestbook at

Tomorrow's's blog will be...YOU TELL ME...I'M OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

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


 Become A Facebook friend of mine!

Richard Skipper,

 In Loving Memory of Harry Kullijian Born:December 27th, 1919 in Turlock, CA. Died December 26th, 2011 in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

O'Donnell's take on Leno, GLEE is GOLDEN, Controversial FOCUS ON FAMILY AD...and more!

Comedian and former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell said Thursday she wants Jay Leno to step aside and allow Conan O’Brien to continue hosting “The Tonight Show” at its regular time of 11:35 p.m.

“If you’re privileged enough to drive the bus, you should say, ‘Thank you’ and drive it to the best of your ability, and when it’s time for them to hire a new driver, you should say ‘Thank you for allowing me to drive this as long as I did’ and pass the keys to the new guy with red hair, and not try to flatten his tires before he even gets going,” Rosie said while promoting a new HBO documentary, according to the Associated Press.

NBC has announced that it plans to move “The Jay Leno Show,” which has been killed in the ratings in its 10 p.m. slot, to 11:35, pushing Conan to a 12:05 start.
Conan has refused to accept the move and has blasted NBC execs on his recent shows.

TMZ is reporting that NBC has offered Leno a new contract to host “The Tonight Show” and Conan is out. NBC is denying that, according to the Hollywood Reporter, citing network sources.
This was sent to me this week and it sums up my life's philosophy:Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain and my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because People cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer.
One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips.
She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process.
The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list.
If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say?;And why are you waiting?

Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you? Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see her sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND including me if you consider me a friend. If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.

To those I have sent this to... I cherish our friendship and appreciate all you do.

'Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!'
It's a New Year!...a time for change and growth. Here is a picture of my gorgeous co-star at The Iguana every Wednesday Night.
Dana Lorge (photo taken by Ivan Farkas):
Not just good, they're Golden: Glee cast hums a happy tune.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Ryan Murphy, co-creator, head writer, senior executive producer and Svengali to the kids of Glee, looks like hell, and why not?

Murphy and a dozen cast members of the Golden Globe Award-winning dramedy are in the middle of rehearsing a scene for an episode that will air in April. Murphy, a tuque pulled down over his weary head, looks positively wowed as Lea Michele, who plays Glee's desperately perky diva-in-waiting Rachel Berry, launches into a solo, unplugged and unmiked, coiling and uncoiling around a grand piano.
The Glee sound stage on the Paramount lot is a cavern of empty space, with lights and scaffolding high overhead – Murphy says the sound stage is the largest of its type on the lot, which is why the Glee production team has claimed it as their own. But Michele's voice is so pure, so pristine, that when she hits the high notes – and holds them – the sound, while soft around the edges, is easy to hear, even though she isn't wearing a microphone.
Amber Riley, who plays the irrepressible Mercedes, performs a gospel-themed solo – a radically different style from Broadway star Michele – and even if you haven't seen a single scene of Glee, you know, based on those two performances, that something special is happening here.

"Are you hung over?" a reporter asks Murphy, after the applause died down.

"I think we're all hung over," someone else says, and the whole cast laughs.

After the Golden Globes, the cast separated and went from one party to the next, passing each other in the night, "from one dance factory to the next," Michele says cheerfully. If she's tired – and there are moments when, yawning and curled up on her chair, she looks it – her voice certainly doesn't show it. When she hits her mark, uncoiled over the piano and lets her voice go, it's as if another being takes over her body.

Murphy admits to being overwhelmed with emotion at the Golden Globes. As he jumped onto the stage to accept the award, he says he couldn't help but look at "this sea of 17 faces I have lived with for the past year" and feel a deep sense of wonder and appreciation.
"I won one before for Nip/Tuck," Murphy says, deadpan, "but this one feels more wholesome."

Murphy says A-listers' jaws dropped in the Beverly Hilton ballroom when Glee was announced as the winner, and his kids took the stage en masse. It was a beautiful moment.

"There were so many people who looked floored," Murphy says, "but the face I'll always remember is Julianne Moore."

Murphy made a face of moon-eyed shock and astonishment.

That plug for arts education in his acceptance speech was deliberate, Murphy says.

He has no way of knowing if Glee has had an effect on school arts programs – "We don't get to see the numbers," he admits – but he does know he's been swamped with e-mails – "more than I can count" – from individual kids who say their school arts programs have been cut back in recent years, or gutted entirely.
If Glee helps school administrators give arts education funding a second look, even if only briefly, it will have been worth it, he says.

Cory Monteith, the B.C.-based actor who plays Finn Hudson, appears laid back and relaxed in a hoodie, even though he was rushed to the stage after shooting a scene, and immediately rushed out afterwards to rehearse the next morning's scene.

"This one felt good," Monteith says. "This one felt really good."

Glee returns on Tuesday, April 13, with the first of nine new episodes. A second season has already been confirmed for the fall.

CBS has accepted a controversial ad from anti-gay & anti-choice Focus on the Family despite having rejected an ad five years ago from the United Church of Christ a pro-LGBT and affirming denomination to air during the Superbowl. At the time CBS said it has "a longstanding policy of not accepting advocacy advertising."

Sign on to the petition asking CBS to Reject the Focus on the Family Ad, or accept the UCC ad. Allowing this ad to go on without allowing UCC to air their ads is hypocritical because it allows advocacy by anti-gay organizations but not by pro-LGBT Churches.

Support THE ARTS! LIVE THEATRE! Go see a show this week! Send me your reviews and suggestions and I will put them in my next blog coming out next Tuesday! Here's to an ARTS-filled week! Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS:

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper

This show is so peppy it's almost like it's been plugged into an electric socket! We had a jolly good time, and so will you! Alix Elias,

We the members of Bending Threads, fresh back from the Holidays & New Year, wanted to tell you BOTH how much we enjoyed performing for you at Iguana's on 12/18/09!! You too are a fantastic duo of personalities and hilarious duets! We enjoyed the personable family environment at Iguana's and the DIVERSE range of performers you had there. We were honored that you like to push the publicity side of things for the performers performing and encourage the audience to catch our outside shows & acts. All in all what a great network to be apart!!! Hope to see you on March 17th, us and let us know!!!!

Bending Threads,

I am so glad to be a new friend! I love the Iguana show and will be keeping up on all of your activities. Thanks for the fun times.
Roger Mapes,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NYC Now a night out in NY to see a show at a VERY AFFORDABLE price! Dana Lorge and I have put our OWN spin on the variety show format and are now hosting every Wednesday night in NYC at The Iguana VIP Lounge ( in the heart of NYC (240 West 54th Street 8-11PM/with an intermission).

Cover: $12 - no food or drink minimums – but remember – the food is great!
This is a nice night
out with the family! A
"throw back" to the variety shows we grew up with.

For more info, please call 845-365-0720 or visit _www.RichardSkipper.com_

212-765-5454. No one admitted before

January 20th: Douglas Davidian, Cait Doyle, D'yan Forrest, Greta Heron, Catt John, Alegra Themmen

Feb 3 : Michael Austin, Christopher Gerrard, Lucia Mozzola, Jane Schechter, George Stella, Jane Stuart

February 10th: MY BIRTHDAY SHOW! Glen Charlow, Jenna Esposito, Helene Feldman (who shares a birthday with Richard), Jeanne MacDonald, Stearns Matthews, Jim Speake, Maureen Taylor ...
...and a few other surprises as well!

February 17th : James Alexander, Sally Swallow

March 10th: David Alpher & Jenny Litt, Louise Quick (pictured), Nicholas Tamagna, Pam Tate, Maureen Taylor

March 17th: Cindy Marchionda returns!

March 24th, Julie Reyburn returns!

March 31st: Frank Basile returns

April 7th: RJ Shaw

April 28th: Kecia Craig and Frank Stern!
Keep checking for upcoming entertainers and shows!