Monday, January 30, 2012

Laughter, A Revolutionary Emotion

It's a gorgeous day at the Marion Davies Guest House.

Gloria Steinem said laughter is the most revolutionary emotion.  Why?  Because while you can force someone to love you, fear you, respect you, you can't force someone to think something is funny.

Ever notice how easy it is to make someone cry, especially in the movies where you just cue up the music.

Not only is comedy a gift that keeps on giving, laughter supposedly is the best medicine.  I'm told people who laugh more live longer.  This gives me an even greater appreciation to people who can make you laugh.   Marion Davies was such a person.  A rare comedienne.  Physical and verbal.

Here are some of my favorite gems I discovered in her book, The Times We Had, Life With William Randolph Hearst.

Barbara (Cary Grant's wife) doesn't like to exercise at any time.  I'm the same way.  My exercise is going from chair to chair.

It's a very funny thing -- I just love the smell of a hamburger.  Nothing in life like food to make you feel good and give you strength and make you think nothing matters  You know, I do many bad things in my life that I hate, but when I eat food I think, It's not so bad, after all.

A man working on the Telegram in New York wrote a scathing article about the picture Cain and Mabel;  he said I should be washing dishes.  Little did he know that I loved to wash dishes, and I liked to dry them, too.

That's why I wanted the February 18th workshop to explore our sense of humor, and gifts of love and laughter.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

99% Guerrilla Lit Feb 21

Thank those of you who've asked me about my work, and expressed interest in learning more.  As much as artists strive to be true to their voices and Muses, artists also need to reach and resonate.  I've been invited to participate in an evening called 99% Guerrilla Lit, downtown L.A., in a brewery.  Very excited by how the Occupy Movement has changed the dialogue in America.  Have a pint, open your heart, lends us an ear.  99% Guerrilla Fun.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Year of the Dragon

Wow, what a harrowing drive today.  Took two hours, gallons of patience and nerves of steel, to get to the Annenberg Beach House today.  Lots of accidents, vehicles of mass and minor destruction dumping water on the windshield, limiting visibility.  One driver nearly collided into me, but luckily I was fully focused.  No texting, No talking on the cell phone (bluetooth falls out of my ear most of the time), no, no, no.  Marion wouldn't have it.  Me dying on the 405.

Some good news, a short play of mine, WIDOW'S PEAK, is a semi-finalist in the 8th Annual Lakeshore Players Ten-Minute Play Festival.  From 350 to 40.  Fingers crossed.

Colin Newton, a reporter for the Santa Monica press, sent me this link this morning to share his article:

In spite of the rain, my writer friend Eric is on his way to visit this historic landmark, and learn more about the Annenberg.  Excited to show him around, and discuss the process, and business of writing.  And to warm the writing fingers and stimulate brain cells, did some creative writing prompts for this private writing group I belong to.  

One of the prompts....
Describe what is outside your window....

What you should never do on a treadmill...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Strangers No More

Thank everyone for attending yesterday's workshop, New Year, New Beginnings.  It was quite a kick-off, a rocking New Year's celebration.  As one of the participants, Zoe, remarked, "The most intimate thing you can do is tell strangers your stories."

Indeed.  The stories shared nourished, bonded, and inspired us.  Food, and the absence of food.   The high and low notes, flats and sharps, that compose a life.  So much bounty that at the end of our workshop, Zoe offered to cook us a dish that changed her life, and one lovely couple has graciously offered to host this potluck dinner party in their home.  This is yet one example of why I love storytelling.  You never know what will happen.  There's always an element of magic, mystery, and yes, perhaps even "luck."

Learned yesterday that most people think they are lucky in one fashion or another.  Some have parking luck.  Lottery/windfall luck.  Others, good health and the wonderful people in their lives.   Of course, as Beth pointed out, it was really hard not to feel blessed with the stunning view of the ocean before us.   The clear skies, warm sunshine.  And, of course, the people around us, so open and giving.

Strangers no more.

Next office hours, Jan 23rd, Monday 11 AM -- 1 PM
Next workshop, TBA, Feb 18, Saturday 2-4 PM

Monday, January 16, 2012

Perfect Day for Banana Fishing, Perfect Day at the Annenberg Beach House

Opening Day.  Always conjures up so much excitement.

I recently bought and started reading The Times We Had by Marion Davies, and forced myself to stop.  How cool, I thought, it would be to hear her voice, her laughter, her stories while a writer-in-residence at her guest house.   The sun is out, hear the roar of the PCH as well as the roar of the ocean.   Does it get better than that?

My opening workshop today is full, with people on the waiting list.  Music to my ears.  I love stories, and look forward to sharing.  Stories nourish and elevate the soul.  So happy that I'm not alone in recognizing the importance of the arts.  Already thinking about what might be a barrel of laughs for workshop number two, and a fun tribute to comedienne Marion Davies.

Come visit.