Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ha


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lucy deLeche

Lucy deLeche kicks so much ass.

Yes, that is my blog post in it's entirety.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Henrey Cat 1998(?)--2012

 Henrey Lee Lucat died today.
 Henrey had been impatient for summer to get here. Today was a warm summer day in the middle of cold weather because it was Henrey's time to go and he cut a deal with the Universe to be allowed one more beautiful warm day.
In case you were wondering why it was cold yesterday and 80 degrees today,
now you know.
 Hank had connections.



 Sizing up the competition.
 He was such a tiny creature but he was always head cat through to his last day.
Henrey was a window cat.
I learned more about zen from him than any human zen master.
We could stare out the window for an hour together,
or stare into each other's eyes too.
I'd been giving him extra window time these past few days.
Today we held hands and looked at each other for a long, long time.
He taught me patience and a comfort for the present moment I didn't have prior to meeting him.
 Frank would often try to sleep close to Henrey
but when Hank would wake up, he'd be so annoyed!
 Frank would watch over his big brother while he slept.
 This was Hank earlier today. He couldn't eat any more, no matter how hard he tried.
He didn't give up, he fought to survive till the last day,
then he let Marie know it was his time to go
in a way they had agreed on earlier.
Henrey Lee Lucat 1998 (?) -- 2012

Videos of Henrey:
Henrey Cat: Gardening in the Sky:
http://youtu.be/ItZiyTgAGkM

Henrey and the Snow Storm:
http://youtu.be/P0snTKI5Pdk

Squeaky Toy Action Film: http://youtu.be/6O-Slu1Jm78
Henrey Cat Flossing Film: http://youtu.be/BTxbWgx9mPc
Henrey Cat 3 Second Subliminal Film: http://youtu.be/R_W-PSY-rnI
Henrey in "Every Cat Must Get Stoned:" http://youtu.be/SZqFhF1-1hs

His good close friends Charango and Mungo are looking after him now.
We'll see you in thunder storms, Henrey, and in dreams.




Saturday, February 11, 2012

I've known Lucy for years now but I never got to eat her cooking before. It was worth the wait and the dinner lived up to her (and Bethany's) now growing reputation as excellent chefs. Lucy says it's simple to make-- just rice pasta, tomatoes, onions, spinach, and secret magickal ingredients which nobody but a trained chef is allowed to pronounce the names of. All right, she didn't say that last part. I don't think in a million years if you gave me those same ingredients I could come out with an end product that looked anything like this:
Thanks Lucy!!!
Lucy is one of the only people I ever met who is nicer in real life than on TV.
I'm really very proud to get to work with someone who is not just talented but honest and straightfoward and trustworthy.
And that was one of the best dinners I'm ever going to have, too!
TONIGHT:
Roller Derby in Orlando!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1998

At the end of the last century, public access television in New York City was an important part of a culture that almost entirely doesn't exist any longer. Look at the hand-drawn 1998 postcard above -- my hostess and our main guest both were on to plug their self-published zines they sold at a local store, SEE/HEAR.
Back then we could promote stores and venues on our shows, it was a different time than now, when we aren't even allowed to say where an artist will perform beforehand!
I think it's a terrible misreading of the intention of the bylaws that results in us not being able to do shows promoting the local community. I have girls from Florida star on my show now. It makes sense for me-- they're nicer than New Yorkers!

Nearly everyone has friends in multiple countries these days, thanks to the internet. Nearly everyone does their business and performs or presents their art internationally. Back then it was really very different, the whole world was local, at least to us DIY artist-types. For the most part, I'd say things are better now for the small or underground artist but I miss things like real local television and real neighborhoods all the artists lived in and local stores selling handmade magazines.

Not THAT much! The internets are vastly superior! Just once in a while.

By the way, this was the worst episode of that show I ever did, but it's not because we didn't have a good guest. The problem that time was we had too many good guests. I'd have to explain the weird time and bizarre subculture the show existed in for you to understand. After all this was 14 years ago! Hardly a man left alive to tell the tale of Williamsburg when it was still scary -- ooooooh! 
Actually, Frank Wood has lots better stories than mine about Billyburg, but I can only give you mine.

Okay, P5 was a psychedelic glam queen artist scenester party girl known for wearing outrageous outfits and makeup. She played drums in a band that was favorited by the survivors of the Warhol scene. The first time she came on the show happened in a weird way. This girl from LA who showed me photos to prove she had worked in a record store with Pat Smear had me over her place to meet P5, who proceeded to ask me if she could read incest porn on the show while topless. The other girl volunteered to wear KISS makeup and react comedically (to the incest porn).
I remember insisting P5 wear a bra but otherwise let these two follow their creative vision.
Wouldn't you?
It was going to be on after 1:30am haha.
When it aired, it got 14 calls in 7 minutes, which is a big deal for public access, so P5 was the new star as far as I was concerned and I wanted it to revolve around her.
I didn't know about her Warhol following at first and so I didn't understand the Warhol chatter about our show (until years later when I saw Andy's early "interview" film work, which was alot like our show in a way haha).
P5 was a leader, and she was known in every community, by every ethnicity on every scene. All the graffitti artists knew her by name at least, she was quite streetwise. One time she got annoyed at me for stopping taping while she was talking about how much money she spent on drugs that week, haha! She was so funny, I liked her alot and we had some real fun times as well as hairy times together. We started off doing the show as a party in P5's amazing Pee Wee's Playhouse on acid apartment filled with furniture, walls and doors she'd repainted herself to have a big eyeball on it or something really bizarre. She lived on Bedford and one of the NY Press cartoonists lived in her building so boy cartoonists I won't name would leave their new comic books on her doorstep haha. Anyway, the plan each week was we'd invite twice as many people as we figured we needed to make a good show, and hope half of them showed up.
Everyone would get drunk or whatever (usually both-- it was a trippy scene) and we would tape the show for 2 or 3 hours till the party broke up. I would later on run the shows directly from the camera into a vhs tapedeck for 29 minutes each week and hand in another "episode" but it would be live footage of P5 and her guests getting progressively more wasted week to week. I could get 3 good episodes/weeks out of each taping by cutting away to footage of the bands or other artist guests performing at local clubs that I'd shoot another time, but we would do it as though we were doing a live TV show with no edits or retakes.

This episode above is the one that marked the point when P5 and I accidentally crossed over into doing an "in-fashion" show for a while--
We invited twice as many guests as we needed and EVERYONE showed up!
And it got LOUD really fast, it was just too many people.
It was impossible to hear anyone.
My throat was sore by the end of it.
I watched the footage and wasn't sure what the hell to do with it.
Nobody would be quiet so anyone else could answer a question, it was just horrible, a disaster.
Really good guests but a total disaster.
I sat on the episode and P5 and I thought we should do episodes with girls as guests instead.
Wartella kept asking me to run it, I'd tell him it sucked! haha
He would say yeah but Bob Bert-- Pussy Galore, Sonic Youth's first drummer-- he's great!
And I'd say yeah but you can't hear him on the tape!!
And this went on for months until people were actually getting angry at me for not airing the show,
which utterly baffled me, like everything else with those guys, basically.
So anyway, vainly trying to please the people who were going to be angry at me anyway, I spent forever cutting out the crap, leaving the best parts of the "show" and got like 12-16 usable minutes.
Then I got this other girl to host the segments in her bedroom upstate and explain the action to the folks at home, cutting back and forth to the footage at P5's in Brooklyn.
She volunteered to do it in blacklight with the show's phone number taped to her bra.
I always encourage the creativity of my collaborators!

That's one thing that I don't think I would ever want to change.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lucy de Leche

I don't think people really appreciate how talented, honest, and valuable Lucy deLeche is. There's none of this "Those American Girls" stuff that could have happened without her.

It's not just that she's great at being Alicia American, it's that in real life, she's the opposite of Alicia. Whereas Alicia is based on the women who have actually been in my life, personally torturing me and making me want to die while all my friends and family would side with them in every fight, Lucy is the one person who has always had my back. She's one of the few genuine friends I've ever had and I'll always be loyal to her.
Because of Lucy, I can see who is a true friend and who isn't. Because of Lucy, I can get projects finished on time even though my "friends are distracting me and creating false drama and plagiarizing me then smirking at me in unison each time. No matter what they do, as long as Lucy is on my team, we'll keep moving to the next town and doing our show and gaining 1 or 2 new genuine fans per day.

I don't see life the way klout.com sees it. I see it in terms of gathering enough of a small fan base who actually gets what you're doing that you can earn a living at what you love and never have to care about what your "klout score" is ever again. I see the point of life as being able to create a niche for oneself so that one can do one's work, be proud of it and know it's good, and have enough food to eat and enough money for rent. If an artist can do that, his or her work will be remembered and will continue to influence long after he or she is gone.

For those of us drawn to working in media like film or video or music or animation, it's often impossible to do the entire project ourselves. If you're someone like that, you're probably not going to get more than one Lucy deLeche to work or play with per lifetime. When she comes along, you better recognize her.


And the same goes for if a Peter Bernard comes into your life haha.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Those American Girls


It only occurred to me recently that some people might have thought I fell off the face of the planet.
I'm just extremely busy lately.
Our cartoon project, Those American Girls, has 25 thousand followers on Twitter
and it's led to more work than Lucy and I can handle so far,
although we're certainly not complaining.
The characters, who are running for President(s), sell the project themselves,
and you can interact with Alicia & Deb on Twitter here:
http://twitter.com/ThoseUSAGirls
Buy their first album here:
See their latest music video here:

& get regular daily (usually) updates from Debbie American here:
http://debbieamerican.blogspot.com
~~~~~~~
If you follow either the Twitter or Debbie's blog,
you'll be up to date on what used to be stuck on this blog.
Only it'll be written by the girls, so you'll like it far better.
~~~~~~~~

Friday, August 19, 2011

Whale Song: Review of the new Claire Kiechel play


Whale Song or: Learning to Live With Mobyphobia
a New Play by Claire Kiechel
Directed by Brad Raimondo

The Dreamscape Theatre
15th
Annual FringeNYC Festival

“Belief in a future Heaven creates a present Hell.”
~Eckhart Tolle

Is insanity hereditary? If your father was crazy, what does that make you? Are synchronicities really omens and portents, or is your paying attention to them a signal that you are schizophrenic?

Now here's an even bigger question-- how do you take those dark questions and turn them into a really funny play? Only Claire Kiechel could answer that last one, and she answers it in brilliant but wiseass fashion with this new play, “Whale Song.” Here is a writer of serious drama that could have been scripting for the Marx Brothers if she lived in the 1930s (I can DEFINITELY picture her at the Algonquin Round Table).

A writer is only as funny as her performers, and this play is cast extremely well. Each actor has an approach and delivery that maximize the humor while taking nothing away from any sadness or drama; it's a talented cast.

Hollis Witherspoon stars as Maya Swan, a schoolteacher grieving over her father, whose bizarre death- suicide by whale- haunts and humiliates her. The stress of wondering about her own sanity leads to increasingly stressed-out behavior and she begins to hear whale song wherever she goes. At the same time, a different whale shows up in the Hudson River, and Maya becomes convinced all these things are related. Is this her father talking to her? Or some great message just for her?

Maya's devoted boyfriend Mark (played charismatically by Ryan Feyk) can't understand why she won't see him or return his calls any longer. This guy tries so hard to please her that I'm betting half the women in the audience were thinking if she doesn't want him, they'd take him. Feyk plays the boyfriend so charmingly that even while you're laughing at the jokes, you're feeling really badly for him.

But Maya doesn't want the life of TV-watching and frozen food dinners that Mark represents and so “accidentally” falls in with the sincere rocker dude “Shep The Motherfucking Drummer” (played innocently by Jordan Douglas Smith). Maybe Shep is on drugs or crazy too, because he hears the whale song as well... and if you want to know the rest of the story, get a ticket today! Cuz I shall go no further in the spoiler department.

All of the main characters are both very funny and fully-formed, which is not the easiest thing to pull off, trust me. One of my favorites in the play, though, was this deliberately 2-dimensional hot chick TV newsbabe played by Rosie Sowa. Each time she clomps on stage in her mega-heels, you know the next scene is going to be funny. She reminded me of Alicia American (from me, that's a compliment).

Siri Hellerman as Maya's preppy sister Sarah has no doubt at all about her sanity or anything else for that matter, any smugness genes in the family went to her. Hellerman plays it realistically, which works perfectly for this character in this story. Maya's world is cartoon-like as she doubts her sanity, but her sister Sarah lives in the real world, understands money, handles the family business. Their dead father is played by Gavin Starr Kendall in a light fashion (considering he's dead, at least).

In the interest of disclosure, I should state that Ms. Kiechel actually helped me a bit in an uncredited fashion when I was first forming my “Those American Girls” concept. She grew up in Europe and so had a perspective on what people from other places really think of Americans, and she helped me condense my thoughts on that project, for which I'm very grateful. Because I'm biased toward liking what she does, I brought Checker Phil of the Checkerboard Kids television program with me to provide a second opinion. We left the theatre comparing the play to a good meal and wondering what vegetarians say instead of “meaty.” This play is meaty and satisfying but doesn't leave you too full or groggy, haha. Tickets are under $20 and there are only three performances left, so if you want to see something exciting and new that will leave you with a lot to think about AND teach you several new vocabulary words, go see “Whale Song.”

WHALE SONG or: Learning to Live With Mobyphobia
a new play by Claire Kiechel
directed by Brad Raimondo
Three performances left:
Mon, 8/22 at 6pm
Wed, 8/24 at 7pm
Sat, 8/27 at 9:30pm
For Tickets:
http://fringenyc.org
or 866-468-7619

This is part of the FringeNYC Festival and sometimes shows sell out in advance, so reserve your tickets today.
The First Floor Theatre at LaMaMa
74A East 4th Street, NYC

P.S. REAL theatre critics like this play, too! The NY Theatre Review called it, "...surreal and cleverly absurd."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Saturday, July 9, 2011