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Showing posts from July, 2007

Missing: Joey Lynn Ofutt

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My adopted godson, Jason Hungerford, has posted a notice on his website that his aunt has been missing for two weeks. Of course, everyone is terribly stressed about this and he asked that his friends post a notice about her.

MISSING: Joey Lynn Offutt

FindJoey.org

Cue to Cue.

Yesterday, with the New Conservatory's excellent crew, we did a cue to cue tech rehearsal. This is where we go from lighting cue to lighting cue, setting each one up individually to get different "looks" for each scene. We really are enjoying working with these folks. I'll have pics and names for you soon. But they are lovely, fast and creative.

Stupid us, though, we forgot our sound cues. So, we contacted our folks back in New York who quickly overnighted us a disc. I felt like a total idiot. And the other thing we forgot to pack was socks! I had grabbed a bunch of unwashed socks and threw them in because we planed to just do laundry here -- which we did yesterday morning -- but only a few of them actually match.

I don't know how I missed that. I never forget to pack socks. I think what with packing up the cats and everything else, it was just one of those things that slipped through. (Well, counting the sound cues TWO of those things that slipped through).

But so…

Finally made it to SF.

We drove in the car all the way to San Francisco. The cats came with us! They were so good in the car. And today Joe.My.God. gave us a wonderful plug.

More to come!

Big Voice in SF Chronicle

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I got a note from Bev this morning, who lives in Davis California.
So Walt walks out to the driveway to pick up the paper this morning.
He's halfway bent over, reaching for it, and the attached is what he
sees, staring up at him.

Naturally, I quickly went online and found the well-written article by Pam Grady.
"The show is very inspirational," says Ed Decker, New Conservatory Theatre Center's artistic and executive director. "It's just a great testimony to the power of love, and at the same time, this amazing homage to the temple of musical theater. It's just this interesting, fascinating, heartfelt blend of those things.

"They're in a long-term, gay relationship, which is a very big part of the gay civil rights movement right now. They've been together for years and years and years, but they're not able to tie the knot the way everybody else is able to do."

That the show catches the zeitgeist of the gay-marriage debate is a happy accident…

Writing, Writing, Writing.

The thing I've been doing the most here at home is work on songs. Amy has been tossing quite a number of lyrics at me for our upcoming musical revue, and my job has been to turn it all into music. Now, that might seem like an easy chore, but it's not just writing music. It's making the demos and then writing out the sheet music. All of this takes endless hours of literally back breaking work. It's also very intense.

Songs are like little movies. Each one is a world of its own, something I've talked about before. And I believe strongly that if you're going to ask people to give up three minutes of their time to listen to you, you better give them something interesting and gripping to listen to or they'll get bored after about 30 seconds.

Anyway, this is why I've not devoted any time to finishing the videos from the Norway cruise. Since I'll be away from home for the next month doing Big Voice in San Francisco, I won't have access to my studio. So I…

SF Sentinel Features The Big Voice

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The press releases are starting to flow! We've done three interviews with more on the way as we make our way to San Francisco. There's a terrific article in the San Francisco Sentinel by Seán Martinfield featuring screen snaps from the animation on my original bonus round site.

Crappy Day.

I had a crappy day yesterday and it wasn't anything in particular that set me off. I was yelling at Amy. I was... Oh, I know. My foot. Day before yesterday, my right foot suddenly just started KILLING me. It's neuropathy, which is nerve damage, but from the HIV meds and from the diabetes. Usually, I don't notice it much. It only affects my toes, makes them numb and weird feeling if they get too cold.

But the day before yesterday, after I went out for my run, I took a shower so that we could go out for errands, and I literally could not walk. My right foot, right around my second to the last toe, whenever I put it down on the floor, hurt so much, I couldn't put any pressure down on it.

First we went over to Charlotte Rae's house. Jim is helping her with a project, a presentation for a cruise ship. And I had to go pick up my monthly supply of meds at a little AIDS-oriented drug store down in the south of town. But it hurt so much!

Also, my endocrinologist called and sai…

Blame the Gays!

Want to know why your (hetero) marriage is going downhill? This video answers the question:

New Lube Inhibits HIV and Herpes

Implant microchips in HIV poz persons?

Want to know how to drive people with HIV underground so that they don't get tested or know they have the virus, so that they become a bigger threat to themselves and others? Do what's being proposed in Indonesia.

Lawmakers in Indonesia's Papua are mulling the selective use of chip implants in HIV carriers to monitor their behaviour in a bid to keep them from infecting others, a doctor said Tuesday.

John Manangsang, a doctor who is helping to prepare a new healthcare regulation bill for Papua's provincial parliament, said that unusual measures were needed to combat the virus.

"We in the government in Papua have to think hard on ways to provide protection to people from the spread of the disease," Manangsang told AFP.

"Some of the infected people experience a change of behaviour and can turn more aggressive and would not think twice of infecting others," he alleged, saying lawmakers were considering various sanctions for these people.

"Among one of t…

Best Movie Of The Year.

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This week I saw a movie that I loved so much, I talked Jimmy into going a couple of days later so I could see it again. It's ironic that the most adult, most mature, best written and most beautiful movie of the year is a cartoon. And it's called:

Ratatouille.

Run. See it now before it leaves the theatre. Stunningly beautiful, tightly written without a single compromised frame, this tribute to cooking, art, the restless heart, the aspiring artist and seeker of quality, this unassuming colorful and touching movie never talks down to kids, never makes a single pop reference and never loses a moment of its charm as a tiny little rat who loves cooking and food finds a way become a chef in a top restaurant in Paris.

I'm not a critic, so I can't tell you in very much detail how good this movie is. All I can say is that I laughed a lot, smiled more, and got a tear rolling down my cheek at the end.

This is bravura, perfect filmmaking. And best of all, it's great for all ages, a…

Generation Chickenhawk.

Young Republicans meeting together defend the Iraq war. Just don't ask them to go there and actually fight the war they support so vigorously.

Day of Magic

I always know when company is coming over because we start cleaning the apartment. That started a couple of days ago. Up and down. Over and through, the biggest shock came when Jim volunteered to clean the bathroom. So, wanting to be the dutiful partner, I tackled the kitchen, the dishes, vacuumed the living room, the cat box area, etc.

But all the while, I'm racing up and down the spiral staircase to my loft because I want to finish writing out the sheet music to the new song "Nobody Leaves New York." Work, rest, work, rest. Jim is doing the same, between coughing and sputtering and gagging at the smell of the cleaning fluids in the bathroom. Finally, however, the apartment begins to look fit for habitation again. (I keep thinking we should get one of those nude cleaning services that L.A. is so famous for, but what do I know.)

Finally, Saturday rolls around.

Oh, remember a few days ago, I said I was going to see my old friend, Bob Malone playing his gig at The Mint? I tot…

Alexandra Billings in Michigan

As long as I'm plugging people that I love, the more than fabulous Alexandra Billings is doing her one woman show in Michigan in October. I helped her with the musical direction on this and it's really one of the greatest performances I've ever witnessed on a stage.



Lampkin Music Group in association with David Fink presents

Alexandra Billings”
in “Before I Disappear”

October 5th & 6th, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. Two Shows Only

Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Street, Three Oaks, Michigan

Tickets are $30.00. For Reservations Call - 1-269-756-3879

An autobiography in story and song, transgendered actress/singer Alexandra Billings' tour de force is a hilarious, and sometimes harrowing, roller coaster journey through her complex life. From boyhood to womanhood, she paints a Picasso-like portrait of herself through the eyes of those who knew her best, and least. Not for the faint of heart, this ride takes you from
summer camping into the asphalt jungle and back alleys of Chicago and its …

Southern Comfort in New York

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For readers in New York, I want recommend a show I've heard a lot about featuring a singer who I think has one of the most magnificent tenor voices I've ever heard. His name is Scott Coulter and though he's well known in the New York area on the cabaret scene, I first heard him at the Broadway By The Year concert last month. When he stepped out onto the stage and that voice -- THAT VOICE -- filled the room, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

It's unlike the typical Broadway voice. Instead, it has a delicate, reedy edge that is purely contemporary pop/country/folk, and as I sat there listening, I kept thinking, "Oh, man. This guy needs to sing my songs." I met him afterwards and, sure enough, he had seen The Last Session, knew all about it and was very enthused about getting some material. So, naturally, with the new show Amy Lynn and I are writing, I wrote him back and said that once we are ready for New York, I was going to camp out on his doorstep and…

Norway Cruise Part 3: Honningsvag

Busy Making Music, Seeing Doctors.

I haven't posted a lot in the past few days because Amy and I have been writing more songs. I don't know if I've announced it yet, but we're writing a new musical revue about New York City. I've even got a title for it, but I'm going to hold the title in secret for now until the piece is done. But my plan is to get four of the best cabaret artists in New York together on a stage, give them this material and let them go at it.

I'm particularly excited about the song we finished yesterday. Jim said, "This is among the best songs you've ever written." Once again, Amy Lynn has come through with an absolutely beautiful lyric and I feel so lucky to be her "mentor." But I think sometimes she's the one mentoring me. She is outracing me like mad with her propensity for sharp, incisive, witty and, finally, touching lyrics.

Each morning, after she gives me a new lyric, we get on Google Chat (since she's still back in New York) and start t…

Norway Video 2: Spitzbergen

Spitzbergen is a small island way above the Arctic Circle near the North Pole. We cruised north from mainland Norway to two days to find the desolate, but beautiful place. Here is the video:

Video: Geiranger, Norway

The Wizards of Oz

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My friend David Ehrenstein pointed me to this absolutely wonderful article about the writing of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." If you're a songwriting geek like me, or a movie geek or a Judy Garland geek, this is a delicious find. The article should be read in its entirety because it brings out some fascinating details about the entire score, mainly that, unlike most movie or stage musicals of the time, the songs actually propel the plot and reveal character.

All the Oz score was lacking, as Arlen and Harburg moved into the final week of their contract, was the song that would establish their main character, a spunky but discontented 12-year-old girl from Kansas named Dorothy. Narrative shows of the post-Oklahoma! Golden Age of American musicals usually had a song up front in which the main character told the audience what he or she was yearning for. It became such a formula that it was known as the “I want” song: Think of “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” from My Fair Lady, or “S…

Norway Cruise Part 1

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(First of all, if you click on the midnight sun pic on the previous entry, you'll click through to a high resolution shot that is an excellent desktop pic. I'll be posting a few more of those as I go along.)

We first flew to Copenhagen where I knew an old friend of mine was living. His name is Bret Perkins and he is a songwriter who moved there from the US and has found himself a nice career both performing and sponsoring songwriter retreats and "living room" concerts both abroad and in the states. I used a hotel computer to send him a quick message that we would be at this hotel for only a couple of hours. It was great fun making old acquaintance and eating actual Danish danish in Denmark.

Bret Perkins

Sadly, we only had a brief time in Copenhagen and it was raining, so I only took photos from the bus to the ship terminal. My favorite one is this one because it reminded me of the boat ride we took when we were there a few years ago. Copenhagen is a relentlessly beautif…

Home At Last.

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The fabled Midnight Sun.

After a 2 hour flight, a 2 hour layover, a 9 hour flight, a 2 hour layover and then a 5 hour flight, we got into LAX, got our car and got home at 4am.

My body clock has NO idea what time it is. But as you can see from the picture above, we had PERFECT weather for our cruise in Norway. Sometimes a bit overcast, but almost no rain, which is what people usually get (lots of rain).

When we got to Nordcapp (the North Cape), we had a party at midnight and Jim took that picture of the midnight sun. I'll be posting more things over the next week or so.

Meanwhile, we are SO EXCITED because in two weeks, we'll be performing THE BIG VOICE in San Francisco at the beautiful New Conservatory Theatre. More info soon!

Midnight Sun

We sailed so far north -- Spitzbergen; look it up, there was no satellite reception. We're at the North Cape in Norway. Online time expensive so just saying hello. It's beautiful here. And cold.