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Showing posts from February, 2010

CNN: We're Hoping More People Die

Maybe I'm crazy, but when CNN announced the Chile earthquake on Saturday morning, I swear I detected a note of disappointment in their tone.

"So far only 60 people have been reported dead BUT THERE WILL BE MORE."

Okay, so those letters weren't capitalized, but why the "but?" Were the 60 dead people not enough?

Until the numbers went up, every time CNN would post how many people were dead in Chile, they would follow it up by posting how many people had died in Haiti.

It was almost as if they were saying--"Wasn't the Haiti earthquake way worse? It totally was."

There's a great Seinfeld episode where they talk about how many people have to die in order for something to be considered a real tragedy. It got a lot of laughs, but the sad part is, I think it's actually accurate.

Apparently mass devastation and destruction isn't enough--you also need REALLY big death tolls.

Overall, most websites and television were guilty of this. When Hawaii did…

Who Else Would Be Dumb Enough to Give Me This Role?

Just when I thought my least favorite expression in theater was solidified with--

"It'll be fine. I mean, like, it'll be fine."

A new contender has arisen.

Drumroll please--

"I only took the role because I knew I'd never play it anywhere else."

I don't even know where to BEGIN with this statement.

In the past two weeks I've heard three different actors say something to this effect regarding three different shows.

Think about all it implies:

1) It infers that you don't belong playing the role but you took it anyway KNOWING you don't belong playing it simply because you want to.

2) It infers that the theater/director that gave it to you is inferior in some way because they've miscast you in a way that no other theater/director would.

3) It infers that you don't belong doing theater or performing--ever.

Okay, maybe that last one is a stretch, but not by much.

I've written many notes about miscasting, and they all boil down to the same t…

Getting Up in a Down Economy

I work in a public place that offers computer access. That means I get exposed to a lot of people looking for work.

Now, I'm aware that the down economy has hit many different sorts of people, but what astounds me is how some people seem to refuse to adapt to the changing times.

I often see people who have little or no computer knowledge come in to apply for jobs online only to tell me that they're "computer illiterate." They offer this up right away, and almost seem proud that they're so behind the times.

Part of me wonders if these same people go into job interviews with the same attitude.

In fact, some of them come in after job interviews wearing completely inappropriate outfits then complain that they felt the interview didn't go well.

The subtext I hear over and over again is that these people used to be able to find work without having to acquire new skills or change who they were. They seem to be unwilling to accept that in a bad economy you have to figu…

Editor's Picks: It's All in the Title

I think I've discovered the way to be an Editor's Pick on Open Salon.
It's all about your title.
Concise. Eye-catching. Specific.
Oh, I forgot to mention--sometimes, it can be just downright f**king weird.
"Stuff the Puppy: Adventures with Pets."
Or disturbing--
"Slaughtering Joe: How Killing My Husband Saved My Life"
Or something that makes you scream TMI--
"My Elbow Tumor: I Named It Bo."
As you can see, colons are also important.
"The Wonderful World of Colons."
Okay, that's not really the colon I was talking about, but I guess that can work.
Oh, and Editors love stories from the older generation. I got in trouble for suggestion that many Open Salon posters are older, but just look at these titles:
"Menopause and Me" "Hot Flashes" "I'm Almost Dead" "What's With All These Whippersnappers?"
Then there's the political titles mixed with snazzy wordplay:
"Obama? Oh Mama!" "Failin…

My Shear Genius Rant

Though I know I may be the only person in the country watching "Shear Genius" on Bravo, last night's episode made me so angry, I simply had to rant.

So here it goes:

WARNING: Spoiler Alerts, But Not Really Because the Whole Show is So Damn Predictable

1) It is absolutely unfair to tell the stylists that they will be judged based on how happy their clients are with their hair and then tell them it's a competition and that they should force a style on their client in order to win. Why nobody seems to understand this is beyond me. If they want everybody to have an equal chance at winning, they have to give them models who don't particularly care what happens to their hair. To say that some of the stylists could show the client something really great that maybe they didn't initially want and change their mind makes no sense. It's possible to do that, yes, but it gives the stylists that got more amicable models an easier time. They can either judge on clie…

American Idol Recap: The Top Twelve Girls

I have to say, even though I disagreed with the judges A LOT tonight, I was still really pleased at some of the things they were saying.
For the first time I was hearing them talk about musicality, singing technique, and being one-of-a-kind.
Granted, they probably should have thought of some of that before they advanced these people to the Top 24.
Simon's "X-Factor" has an element in it that I'd love to see integrated into Idol--having the judges coach the contestants. A lot of the problems were the results of poor song choice and extravagantly bad personal style.
Overall, I agree with Randy. It didn't seem like many of these people were keeping star quality in mind. They need to think about busting out a little bit more.
That being said, from Worst to Best, here are my Top Twelve:
LACEY BROWN: What the hell was this? First of all, this girl isn't likable at all. Secondly, I know what she's going for, and it's not working. It wouldn't work on the…

My Chatroulette Adventure

Chatroulette is an up and coming website where you cam with people much like Skype, except that you have say in who you talk to. A screen pops up with a person in it and if you want to talk to the person, you do, if not, you pass and move onto someone else.

Sort of like speed-dating, except with speed-dating, you don't get a lot of people masturbating in front of you.

Plus, the goal isn't to find a match, just to talk to people you may not normally talk to given the choice.

You have to love the internet. It allows us to talk to random strangers and feel like we're a part of a new and cool trend rather than like a bunch of creeps in front of a webcam doing something that only crazy homeless people do in the real world.

That being said, I've never met a growing trend I could resist trying, so I fired up my cam, and spun the Chatroulette wheel.

The first person to pop up on my screen was a forty-ish African American woman named Georgia. I decided to talk to her, and lo and …

My New Olympic Sport

Watching the Olympics is always inspiring, but for me, it also gets a little sad.

After all, I'm not an athlete. I can't identify with many of the participants.

It made me wonder how many other people feel like I do.

Shouldn't there be an event for us?

So I've come up with a new Olympic sport--

Growing Pains Trivia.

Every four years, people from all over the world will come to test out their knowledge of the one of the 80's most brilliant pieces of art.

Can't ski? Can't skate? No problem!

Just make sure you know who played the baby-sitter that Mike ended up dating.

Think the Americans will have an unfair advantage? Clearly you're not aware of how big Growing Pains is in Norway.

So mark your calendars, everyone.

In 2014, it'll be time to show me that smile again.

Reinterpreting the Lyrics to Mandy Moore's "Candy"

-- To keep all the skills I acquired as an English major as sharp as possible, I've decided to do an analysis of one of the greatest poems ever written. Of course, I'm talking about "Candy" by Mandy Moore. Enjoy. --

"Candy"

I'm so addicted
To the lovin that you're feeding to me

-- Right away we get that the speaker is very vague, but also, obese. She can't stop eating the "love" that her partner is giving her. What is this love? At this point, we're not sure. We have the title to go by, but could she really be talking about an addiction to Skittles? Let's press on. --

Can't do without it
This feeling's got me weak in the knees

-- The speaker is physically ill as a result of her addiction. At this point, we might ask ourselves: Could candy be a code word for something more sinister? La cocaina, perhaps? Baby powder? Sweet meat? Casper's Cookie? Within four lines, we're aware that the speaker's got…

What I Learned From College

The other day I was thinking about what I wish someone had told me before I started college, specifically as a theater major.
So I decided to write down everything I think I know now, in retrospect. This isn't necessarily advice--I know it would have helped me, but everyone has their own experience. The farther I move ahead, the more I can see when I look back.

Here's what I learned from college, so far:
1) I should never have used phrases like "I'm sure it'll be fine" or "Well, what are you going to do?" To me, theater seems like the last place to take an apathetic attitude. I feel that in many ways theater is about having an aggressive attitude towards creation and expression. I've never regretted the times I've been ambitious and gone after what I've wanted or spoken up when I felt something was wrong, but I do regret hanging in the background hoping something good would happen or keeping quiet when something unfair did happen. …

The Problem with Marrying Him

First, read this: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200803/single-marry
If you're interested in what you've just read, there's an entire book coming out that's getting a lot of attention called--you guessed it--"Marry Him."
I'm so happy that I can comment on an article like this as a man, because ladies, I can tell you, without a doubt, that this woman is full of shit.
Do NOT settle for Mr. Good Enough. Do not SETTLE for anyone.
Yes, many times we try to find the "perfect" person forgetting that we ourselves are not perfect, but to suggest that women should just grab the first good guy they meet in their twenties and nail him down is repugnant to me.
On top of that, to suggest that men shouldn't worry about settling because the numbers are on their side is so ridiculous, I'm surprised more men haven't called this woman out on it.
Everyone worries about finding the right person, but what this woman is suggesting--that living a life with the wr…

How to Make a Hipster Posse

I was watching a movie about twenty-something's turning into thirty-something's the other night, and I realized that I would like a hipster posse.
You know what I mean--that group of friends you see in every movie where the lead character is a writer, an artist, or something involving being creative.
All his/her friends are usually hipsters and they form a posse.
Well, I have decided that I need a hipster posse as well.
So--I set out to find one.
It's not all that difficult, believe it or not.
Ideally, you need about six people. You want at least one couple--two is preferable--and then the two random singles.
Most hipster posses are like the cast of 'Friends' except they're not as attractive and at least one of them has to have had sex with a prostitute.
The easiest thing to do is find people with hipster names.
I browsed around on Facebook until I had a list assembled:
Danica Patrice Louisa Kale Vivon Brogan And This She-She Nico Valissa Hatrack Diphtheria
And--
Clyth (Pronounced Cl…

My Charity Song Remake

With the rebirth of charity song remakes, I'm finally able to make one of my all-time dreams come true--
I'm doing an all-star remake of "Sun City."
Originally done by Artists United Against Apartheid, or AUAA (Pronounced Ah-uu-ay), it was sort of a poor man's "We Are the World."
Since most pop stars in the 80's only had time to do one song for the greater good, Steven Van Zandt--yup, that Steven Van Zandt--had to make do with the really hardcore charity people.
That being said, he still managed to get his boss the Boss, U2, and a bunch of well-edited clips making the horror of apartheid shocking and yet still accessible for MTV audiences.
Well, I know apartheid is over, but that doesn't mean the music has to be too, does it?
...Okay, maybe it does.
So let's call my little project a tribute to Little Stevie and his fight against the white man--not him, of course, not a fight against himself, but other white men. Mean South African White Men. Thos…

How to Look Like You Belong at New York Fashion Week, or at Bellevue

Departing Senators?Clinton on Iran? Betty White on SNL?
Forget all that.
The only news that was splattered all over the magazine websites is New York Fashion Week.
Esquire caught my attention by offering to help me take the essence of the looks shown at Fashion Week by picking one element of the designer's line and adding it into my own wardrobe.
Let's see how this goes.
Warning--all the models look like amphibious vampires.
(Frog vampires are very in this season.)
http://www.esquire.com/the-side/style-guides/new-york-fashion-week-fall-2010-mens?click=pp
Look #1: The Buick Interior
Careful--you need to get this jacket upholstered every three years.
http://www.esquire.com/the-side/style-guides/new-york-fashion-week-fall-2010-mens?click=pp
Look #2: Daddy's Super Expensive Christmas Morning
It took me a few minutes to figure out this wasn't a pajama ensemble.
I guess I could go out and get a topcoat, but would there be any point to wearing anything else underneath it?
I'm not sure…

Sarah Palin's Other Hand

Everyone's made a big deal about what was written on Sarah Palin's hand at the Tea Party Convention, but few people know what was written on her OTHER hand.
I've obtained her other cheat sheet, and it makes "Lift American Spirit" look downright tame!
The following was found on Sarah Palin's other hand:
"Mention raising daughter's--um--YOUR--baby." "Use KFC metaphors." "Try to get the crowd to go after Katie Couric." "Topic: Joseph McCarthy--victim of liberalism." "Call Ann Coulter--see if she wants to hang later." "Lean forward a lot to show off Lady Jane and Fantasmo." "Make at least four inappropriate Ted Kennedy jokes." "Mention how if you had been elected VP, Conan O'Brien would still be on television." "Announce that John McCain has died--hehe." "Plug your next book--'Almost Readable.'"
Unfortunately, Palin sweat all this over--otherwise that would hav…

The Poor Response to an Olympic Tragedy

While watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics last night, I couldn't help but feel that the event was marred by the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the 21-year-old from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Many have come out to say that they felt the Olympics committee should have post-poned the ceremony out of respect for the athlete and his family.

I disagree, but that might be the theater in me talking. The show does have to go on, and as far as being respectful, I think dedicating the opening ceremonies to Kumaritashvili was a nice way of handling it.

Now that the opening ceremonies are over, however, the response to the young man's death seems to be anything but respectful.

It started yesterday afternoon at a press conference, when a reporter asked about the safety of the track.

The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, responded by saying, "I'm sorry, this is a time of sorrow. It's not the time to ask for reasons."

What exac…

I'm Not Your Honey

I have a major irritant.

"Thanks, honey."

I dislike when someone calls me "honey."

Actually, to be more precise, I dislike it when anyone I don't know calls me "honey," "sweetie," or anything else that resembles familiarity when I'm interacting with a complete stranger.

It happens to be the one thing I don't enjoy about working with the public.

Every time someone uses one of these terms of endearment towards me, all I can think is--were you actually raised to believe it's totally acceptable to call someone you barely know "honey?"

I know, I know--it's friendly. I think that's why so many people get away with it. Nobody wants to be the curmudgeon who tells someone not to call them "honey." I've never said anything for that exact reason.

Still, I don't like it--and I frown noticeably whenever someone calls me that...

Granted, they probably think I'm just unpleasant, but that can't be helped.

Th…

Kevin Broccoli's Sold Out "Rent"

A few months ago, I reported to you that my production of Rent was opening amid much excitement.

Since then, we're continually sold out every single weekend.

That's right. Every seat in our three-seat house has been FILLED for the past three months for every performance. And we do two shows a week, people--you do the math.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to thank all the people who made this production the unprecedented success it is, but I just don't know where to start.

I mean, there's me--and then other people.

Mostly, I just feel blessed, because I managed to take a hard-to-sell show like Rent and make it marketable.

I mean, do you have any idea how hard it is to sell out a show that ran on Broadway for ten years, spawned a movie, national tours, and an entire generation of die-hard fans?

It takes an amazing PR guy to warm that turkey up, trust me.

Plus, we weren't exactly playing in the hosh posh downtown arena of your typical Manhattan or Los Angeles or Top…

I Don't Quite Understand Malin Akerman

Malin Akerman.

Most of you know her.

You just don't know you know her.

So here's her Wikipedia page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malin_Akerman

I don't quite understand her.

Perhaps I should say, I don't quite understand her career.

I understand that she's a person, an actress, very pretty, and seemingly a nice girl.

That being said, I don't understand her.

Let's track her career, then maybe you'll understand--or rather, maybe you won't.

She was born in Sweden, moved to Canada at age two, and did then a lot of small-time appearances on television shows and movies.

Then she got her break playing Juna in "The Comeback."

Here's where things get tricky--Yes, I know, things are tricky already.

She was cast as Juna, a bad actress on a sitcom who clearly is only working because she's pretty.

The show ended, then Akerman proceeded to get work...

...where she proved herself to be a bad actress...

...who only gets work because she's pretty...

Do you see …

Rhode Island Has Talent

I've written about this before, but with a resurgence in the phrase "talent from New York and Boston" coming into the theater lexicon in Rhode Island, I feel I should reiterate.

Rhode Island has talent.

I'm currently putting together my fifth monologue show using all local performers. At this point, I've used over sixty people from the Rhode Island area who were all talented, dedicated, and hard-working.

I'm not against using people from outside the state, but I am against making it sound like coming from Boston or New York automatically makes you more talented especially if the person didn't actually WORK in Boston or New York, but just lived there for a little while then came back to bask in their foreign glory.

Right now the problem is that it's very hard to get theater work in Rhode Island, and getting work outside Rhode Island is even harder because places like Boston tend to like to hire people from Boston. So it's a lose-lose for Rhode Island…

Let's Talk About Underwear

Now this is some fashion I don't mind discussing.

I feel you can tell a lot about a person by what they wear underneath all their other clothes.

That being said, I wasn't aware there were actual rules for buying underwear.

GQ feels differently:

http://www.details.com/style-advice/perfect-wardrobe/201001/tips-and-tricks-for-finding-the-right-boxers-briefs-boxer-briefs#slide=1

It only took them one slide in the slideshow before they busted out the meat reference.

Personally, I think these boxer briefs look a little bland. I feel that if you're going to go for the BB's, you need to liven it up a little. Cartoons, phrases, strategically placed arrows, etc.

Just because you want to be well-covered doesn't mean you can't have a little fun.

http://www.details.com/style-advice/perfect-wardrobe/201001/tips-and-tricks-for-finding-the-right-boxers-briefs-boxer-briefs#slide=2

Yawn, yawn, yawn. How disappointed would you be if someone removed their pants and THESE were hiding und…

Dissecting the Focus on Family Commercial

I watched the Superbowl "Focus on Family" advertisement.

For those of you who missed it--

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4_2CrMGDpI

Now, I have a few questions:

1) What is this commercial supposed to be about? I know it's supposed to get me to google these people and check out their website, but isn't a commercial supposed to persuade you of something? The only thing I'm convinced of is that this kid and his mom probably made out at some point in his life.

2) What does this have to do with their controversial stance on abortion? Babies are cute so don't abort them? Is that the pitch? Babies can grow up and become professional athletes and give all their money to their moms after they make out with them?

3) Was that tackling thing supposed to be funny? Because it was way funnier in the Betty White commercial. Betty White's commercial was like when one person makes a joke and it's really funny, and this ad was like when someone else tries to tack o…

Men on Abortion

I have no opinion on abortion.

I do, however, have an opinion about other men's opinions on abortion.

My opinion is that men don't belong having an opinion on abortion.

First, let me clarify.

I believe a man should have a right to at least participate in a discussion if a woman may be pregnant with his child and wants to terminate the pregnancy.

Aside from that, I get very agitated when I see men on television talking about women and women's bodies and what should be done with them.

As a man, I will never be in the predictament of being pregnant (at least not until science takes some very strange leaps forward).

I will never know the anxiety or fear that comes from an unplanned pregnancy.

I will never be sexually assaulted and then have to think about whether or not I should keep the child.

There are a variety of situations I will never be in because I am a man, and therefore, for me to tell a woman what she should do in those situations would be beyond hypocritical.

Some men feel t…

Snow Needs to Be More Productive

There are three kinds of people in the word when it comes to snow--

Those who love it.
Those who hate it.
Those who expect it to do what all bad weather is supposed to do.

Get you out of work.

As a kid, nothing made me happier than seeing snow fall before I'd go to bed at night.

Alternatively, nothing made me angrier than to wake up the next day and find that it had only snowed an inch or two, and that I was still expected to go to school.

What good was snow then?

Who cared if a light dusting looked pretty on the trees? How was I supposed to enjoy it locked away in a classroom doing algebra?

I believe that snow is terrific--when it serves a purpose.

The past few years, it always seems to snow over the weekend.

This is not the snow I love. The snow I love shows up Sunday night, annihilates any plans of going back to work on Monday, and in some cases (when it really wants to go the distance) skates me clear into Wednesday--while I sit around in my pajamas and eat nothing but soup and oreos.

Y…

The GQ Spring Accessories

Just when I thought I was a complete fashion disaster, GQ decided to drag me deeper into the gallows of style--

Accessories

There's still snow on the ground, and GQ wants me to worry about having a warmer look.

I agreed to play along, but hopefully they won't try making me wear an $800 poncho...again.

http://www.gq.com/style/wear-it-now/201002/spring-style-essentials-ties-watches#slide=1

Stingy?

First of all, not an adjective.

Second of all, being narrow has nothing to do with stinging anybody.

Thirdly, I cannot pull off a straw hat. I am neither a scarecrow nor a hobo.

http://www.gq.com/style/wear-it-now/201002/spring-style-essentials-ties-watches#slide=3

Nor am I World War II governess.

Let's move on.

http://www.gq.com/style/wear-it-now/201002/spring-style-essentials-ties-watches#slide=14

Badass-itude?

GQ is just making s**t up now.

And just so we're clear, a bright yellow face on your watch does not make you Shaft.

http://www.gq.com/style/wear-it-now/201002/spring-style-essentials-…

It's All About the Money

I'm putting together the next monologue show.

The theme?

Money

A month ago I asked for God tweets, now I want Money tweets (but I won't be as picky about how many characters you use, just don't go crazy).

Tell me your thoughts on money.

Philosophies, stories, anecdotes, fears, hopes, quotes, and debts.

Talk to me about money.

Lunch with the Boys: Good in Bed

Someone called Brian bad in bed.

BRIAN: So I need to know if any of you know of a good hit man.

This meant time for lunch with the boys.

ME: What was he basing this on?
BRIAN: Well, according to the the third party who relayed the information through a mutual friend--
TURNER: This information has been passed around more than Scooter.
BRIAN: Who lives with this guy I know--
SCOOTER: Is this story over yet?
BRIAN: He said I just lay there.

Silence.

SCOOTER: Brian, as someone who has known you...in that way...
ME: You mean the biblical sense?
SCOOTER: We didn't f**k in that church. We just fooled around.
BRIAN: Moving on!
SCOOTER: You do just lay there.
BRIAN: That's because I like...enjoying.

Instant uproar.

TURNER: You like enjoying?
BRIAN: Yeah.
TURNER: You mean you're lazy.
BRIAN: I'm not lazy.
SCOOTER: What would you call laying back and reading a magazine while someone's trying to do gymnastics on top of you?
ME: What kind of freaky sex were you two having?

Awkward…

Esquire Gives Me Ten Outfits to Wear

Esquire published the ten outfits I'm going to want to wear this spring.

Good thing they gave me some advance warning, because some of these ensembles are going to require quite a bit of planning.

http://www.esquire.com/style/fashion-story/mens-spring-clothing-0210

For this look, I'm going to have to grow my hair out until I've achieved that nice 'I smell pot out of my car' look. (Nowadays they call it the "Italian" look.) Relax and enjoy the weather? Yup, that's a stoner talking.

http://www.esquire.com/style/fashion-story/mens-spring-clothing-0210

Why is it that whenever someone talks about a leather jacket now they have to talk about how buttery it is? When I set out to learn more about fashion, I never knew that all I'd have to do is bone up on my dairy adjectives.

Anyway, a bomber jacket would require me growing mutton chops and learning to fix my hair using only spit and a comb.

I guess I'll have to get on that.

http://www.esquire.com/style/f…

How I Wrote About God and Became a Plagiarist

I started to write about God.

I'm putting together a solo piece called--tentatively--"You Might Be God" that will be going up in March.

So I spent a month writing about God, or a lack of God. I wanted to explore the issue every way I could, and then cull the best stuff and put it into a show.

Then yesterday, I had an idea for a piece about God going to India.

But, I thought to myself, that sounds sort of familiar.

Why did it sound familiar?

Because when I was in college I read a fantastic collection of poems called "God Went to Beauty School" by Cynthia Rylant.

The poems are about God coming to Earth and experiencing things humans experience. I know it doesn't sound that original but Rylant's writing is really clever.

She writes poems about God getting cable, getting arrested, finding God, and oh yeah, going to India.

Today I went back and looked at everything I've written this month. Although none of it is word-for-word plagiarized, my writing style is V…