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!
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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!


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Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

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


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