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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Volunteering (BookPals/Euclid Academy)

I’ve just become a BookPal volunteer ( ). On Nov 3rd I was asked if I’d be interested in coaching 10-year old students on monologues they had written. I volunteered for Euclid Academy

At the front gate I was greeted with a smile, asked to sign in and escorted to the office. Shortly after that I met the drama teacher, outside acting coach and co-Book Pal actors.  As I understood it, the students had been working on this project for a couple of weeks and many had never performed on stage.

We moved over to the library. To start, we ALL had to say our name and in a word or two let the group know how we felt about what we were about to do.

As we broke into groups of ~5 in the library my mind was racing with how to use all this energy around me and keep them focused and committed to the task at hand. 

We created a “little” stage area with a starting position and the kids arranged their seats to face the actor. I told them that they’d be doing their monologues twice. First we’d hear it the way they wanted it to be heard. Then their co-actors and director would give them some feedback and they’d do it a second time with that in mind. We were off to a very good start!

Then the magic began.  Stories of being a rock star, inventing an iPhone8, killing alien creatures on Halloween, trying hard and getting good grades and being homeless and asking and getting a second chance in life. (If you’re still with me, re-read that last storyline and remember they are 10!)

The kids really supported each other. They gave each other lots of applause and some really helpful feedback. Just before wrapping up, I sat with my group and we reviewed what we had learned from this and some of the theatre terminology I had given them.  They had not missed a thing.

Okay, time to fast forward to performance day, Wednesday, Nov 16th.  I walked into the auditorium and saw a full stage with curtain drawn and an audience of their piers.  After a brief intro, the curtain rises and there were probably 45 children. Each student moved center stage, expressed how they felt about what they were about to do and then took a seat next to a classmate. Next, one-by-one, each of the ~45 took their starting position on stage and performed their “memorized” monologue.

The diverse themes, the acting, the laughter and the applause were very moving. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. And though I was really PROUD of my five actors I give a standing ovation to all (including the teachers, staff and Robin Roy of BookPals).


Sunday, October 28, 2012

“STFDS_8” Pat Battistini, Director/Writer/Producer

I’m proud to call Pat a good friend and highlight him and his upcoming film festival.
Pat began his career as an actor at the Player’s Workshop of the Second City in Chicago.  He continued working in improvisation and eventually performed in over 500 improv shows.  Pat suffered having to work for Club Med in their Entertainment Department in places such as St. Lucia, Thailand and Tahiti.  Continuing to have fun in Asia, Pat moved to Tokyo where he collaborated with an all Japanese comedy group for a year.  Only making sense, he moved to Miami after his Tokyo gig, where he started his filmmaking career.  Pat finally made his way to Los Angeles in the fall of ’98.
In LA, he has written and produced several short films.  His shorts “Sexy Seniors”, “Braggin’ Rights”, and “Three Specials” have all been nominated to at least one film festival as a finalist to their Grand Jury Award.  “Lincoln Vs. Bush has been viewed over 81,000 times on and has been shown, in controversy, in several other festivals.  His short, “Legs To Stand On”, dealing with the disabled, received a Special Recognition Award at the Los Angeles Italian American Film Awards.
Pat’s current project is his most challenging.  He shot a period piece short film in the northern mountains of Italy.  Not fluent in Italian, Pat decided to shoot the film in the Italian language because he felt his story could only be told using the language of the time.
Pat resides in Santa Clarita with his wife Marnie and his two children, Maggie and Burke. 

 "The All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival is one of the 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the U.S (Moviemaker Magazine 2011)"

You’ll have the wonderful opportunity to meet Pat in person at his 4th Annual “All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival.” It will kick-off Friday, November 9, 2012 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, CA. 

“We’re here to promote the art of screenwriting and filmmaking in the world of sports and competition.” Pat Battistini

Click here for here for the 2012 Program, 2012 film schedule and zany festival trailer!

For complete FESTIVAL details visit All Sports Los Angeles Film Fesival 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

PAY PAL - Agreement to Arbitrate (Section 14.3)

PayPal recently posted a new Policy Update which includes changes to the PayPal User Agreement. The update to the User Agreement is effective November 1, 2012 and contains several changes, including changes that affect how claims you and PayPal have against each other are resolved. You will, with limited exception, be required to submit claims you have against PayPal to binding and final arbitration, unless you opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate (Section 14.3) by December 1, 2012. Unless you opt out: (1) you will only be permitted to pursue claims against PayPal on an individual basis, not as a plaintiff or class member in any class or representative action or proceeding and (2) you will only be permitted to seek relief (including monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief) on an individual basis.

I encourage you to review the above mentioned section of the Agreement to Arbitrate and make your own decision.  If you wish to OPT-OUT, this is how you do it: 
If you were a PayPal user prior to November 1, 2012 (i.e. registered a PayPal account before that date), to opt out of the Agreement to Arbitrate, you must mail an Opt-Out Notice to PayPal, Inc.,
Attn: Litigation Department,
2211 North First Street,
San Jose, CA 95131.

Your Opt-Out Notice must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2012 .

The Opt-Out Notice must state that you do not agree to the Agreement to Arbitrate and must include your name, address, phone number, and the email address(es) used to log in to the PayPal account(s) to which the opt-out applies. You must also sign the Opt-Out Notice for it to be effective.

Should you need further assistance, you are most welcome to call us at 402-935-2050 or888-221-1161 during these hours:

    * 4:00 AM PT to 10:00 PM PT, Monday–Friday
    * 6:00 AM PT to 8:00 PM PT, Saturday and Sunday

Sunday, October 21, 2012

“STFDS_7” Artist, David McKeag

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would be unbearable.”
George Bernard Shaw

David McKeag is a self employed artist. David paints anything from abstract to photo realism/portraits. In addition to this, Davis has a second career as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. David has been certified since 1994. 

“I strive to be professional and thorough in my approach to any endeavor be it Art or Personal Training. I believe in complete customer satisfaction.”
David McKeag

I train with David at Park East Fitness. It’s a really nice space, fully-equipped that gives me the feel that it’s my own private gym.  David tailors my workout to my body type, age and goals.  We started with a baseline session and each session after that has been designed to build and strengthen. David is firm, focused and results driven.  I get more out of my hour with him then a week on my own at my gym!

As for the artwork, you have to see it in person to fully understand its beauty.  Here’s an on-line peak:

“In McKeag's abstracts, he stretches and manually manipulates the work in every fashion, hue and texture, making the painting jump off the canvas, Belsito says. The paintings bleed over and "fingers" of color grab and surround the edges of his works.” -Paul Belsito, Owner, Belsito-Roche Gallery

David is scheduled to exhibit at Gallery Expo, November 17-December 7. The theme, “The Art of Debate: Political Images, Statements and Satires.”  This will be a great opportunity to meet David and see his work. 

For more information regarding the training:
David has been an ACE Certified Personal Trainer since 1994.

Additional background information:

You may also find David on LINKEDIN and FACEBOOK

Sunday, October 7, 2012

"STFDS_6” Catherine Stanley & Hettie Lynne Hurtes

“STFDS_6” Catherine Stanley & Hettie Lynne Hurtes

The goal of STFDS is to highlight something or someone that makes life as an Actor, Voice Over Artist, and/or human being a little easier and alot more fun!

Many years ago (~1998) I was introduced to these two wonderfully talented and dedicated women through my good friend and fellow actor/singer Laurel Jones.  What a lucky introduction for me!

Drama West was founded in 1997 by Catherine Stanley and Hettie Lynne Hurtes.  To this day, Catherine is the Artistic Director/Producer and Hettie is Co-Producer/Casting. 

Drama West is a 'not-for-profit' gathering of Writers, Directors & Actors with a love for live performance. Drama West presents original one-act plays written by local playwrights and featuring local actors. Occasionally, audiences are treated by Special Guests performances from folks like (examples and not all inclusive –visit FB page): (Jon Monastero/Stephen Simon) (Alan and Karen Chapman)
Finally, the DW Program usually closes with a film screening.

Thanks to Catherine and Hettie countless Playwrights, Actors and Filmmakers have been given an LA stage and screen to showcase their talent.  It is for this reason I highlight and THANK YOU both.

Drama West Productions
Check it out both on-line and in person! Please join the cast, crew and friends at Taix Restaurant after the show… it’s a friendly group! 

Catherine and Hettie: SNAPSHOTS:
I encourage you to click on the links and enjoy learning more about these two dynamic ladies!

Catherine Stanley, Producer, Writer, Editor

Catherine’s film, “Center Street Rising” was the winner Audience Award Best Documentary Newport Beach Film Festival 2009 and the Official selection Orlando Film Festival November 2009.

An inner city boxing club in Santa Ana changes young lives, countering a destructive influence of gangs, crowded schools, poverty and blight.

Catherine has many new projects in the works for 2012.

Hettie Lynne Hurtes, Broadcast Journalist, Writer, Actor
On-air host at KPCC Radio 83.9FM

CRN Digital Talk – very recent interview! (8:59) (3:24 – Hettie’s wedding story!)

# # #tfl

Sunday, September 30, 2012

“STFDS_5”: Tim Keenan and Sylvia Aimerito

Today is a double-header presentation because l was unable to post last Sunday.  Last Sunday I was playing the role of Jason Reed (Standardized Patient) for Kaplan.

This Sunday I’m highlighting Mr. Tim Keenan and Ms. Sylvia Aimerito. I had the very good fortune of studying with the both of them this past month at Creative Media Recording in Cypress, CA.

Tim is the Operations Direction/Engineer at Creative Media Recording.  Here’s a snapshot: Please visit his company’s website as it details all its services, amenities and accomplishments:  You may also say hello and follow Tim on Twitter @tjkeenan and @Soundtrack_pro

Sylvia is the Owner/Creative Director of AudioGirl Productions. Here’s a snapshot: I encourage you to visit her company’s website as it too details all its services, amenities and accomplishments: Say hello and follow Sylvia on Twitter @sylviaaimerito and @audiogirlpro

I’m highlighting this dynamic duo because they are very good at what they do. What sets them apart is their passion for teaching and mentoring those who want to start or excel in Voice Over.

It does not get any better than being taught by two working and seasoned professionals in the studio. I’d love to detail all that happened in class but NO-WAY! Instead get on their mailing lists and experience it for yourself first hand…you will be very glad you did.

# # #

Sunday, September 16, 2012

“STFDS_4 “ Brandi Ford, Actor, Writer, Producer

The goal of my Shut The Front Door Sunday series is to highlight something or someone that makes life as an Actor, Voice Over Artist, and/or human being a little easier and alot more fun!

May I present: Brandi (Ford) Payne:
Actress, Writer, Producer
Wife and Mom

I first met Brandi at the Actors Network in 2011. I was new to her Powergroup and did I luck-out when I was paired with her as a “powerbuddy.”  At our first offsite buddy meeting I met a smart, focused, energetic woman with direction and purpose. We got right down to business, did our shares, set our goals and set a date for meeting #2. 

Brandi is not new to being a successful Actor, Writer or Producer. For example, her first web series project (“Diary of A Wedding Planner”) was very successful. She’s also a blogger, Social Media guru and is a writer/producer at Rainy Day Bliss Entertainment.

I’m very excited about Brandi’s latest project, “Missing” which has just advanced to the second and final round of judging for participation in the Sundance Institute’s prestigious  2013 Screewriters Lab.

“Missing” the trailer is mesmerizing.
Written by Brandi Ford
Produced by Brandi Ford & Tara Tomicevic

Like (Missing on Facebook) and follow @MissingTheMovie on Twitter to keep up to speed on “Missing’s” progress and needs

So a year later our friendship and professional relationship remains strong. Day in/day out I’ve experience first-hand Brandi’s willingness to lead, mentor, share and support her colleagues and friends.  BRANDI makes life as an Actor, Voice Over Artist, and/or human being a little easier and alot more fun and that is why Brandi is my “STFDS_4!”

I really encourage you to read through the various links below to get a better understanding of the breadth and scope Brandi’s talent and projects: