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Showing posts from July, 2013

You can see our movie online!

Thanks to Carl Conway Maguire and Megan Stein, Jim and I are now film actors. It helps when you're the oldest people the filmmaker knows.


Old Timers from Carl Conway Maguire on Vimeo.

"Old Timers" was great last night.

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My "adopted" sons, the Jasons, who have made many appearances in this blog, including the one where Jimmy served as officiator of their wedding, were in town today. Both are extremely tech savvy, one helping to set up the new Cornell University tech campus coming to Manhattan (to be built on Roosevelt Island).

They went with me to Brooklyn to the Flux Fest, where Jimmy and I were starring in a movie (called "Old Timers") in competition, all based on time travel premises, plus other "prompts" that they picked out of a box. Prompts such as "white" or "mentor" or "revenge," etc. These prompts became the jumping off points for the films, most of which looked and sounded as professional as any feature film. Some even used special effects to great advantage.

Our movie, "Old Timers," is about two old friends who live next door to each other, and, having long ago found a time machine, decided to never use it because it got…

Sewanee Conference & All Saints' Chapel in Tennessee.

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It was fun to go from being almost a celebrity, hugging hundreds of open, happy people at the World Domination Festival's closing party to, a week later, being an anonymous songwriter at a conference of church musicians in the mountains of Tennessee.

I was in one of my most favorite spots: Tenor in the back row.

For one week a year, about 150 or so organists, musicians, musical directors and choir members assemble at Sewanee, Tennessee to learn about choral conducting, find new music for their own choirs, and generally get to know each other. Mark Janas was on scholarship, so they sent me along, too. As long as I'm writing music for the church, I might as learn something about it.

What I didn't expect was to get a University level lesson in choral conducting by one of the most talented and mind-blowing geniuses I've ever encountered, Richard Webster who is at Trinity Episcopal in Boston. Oh, my god. Working with him, you get things done. He really knows how to listen …

Trailer for FluxFest.

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Who wants to go to Brooklyn with me? Both Jim and I make quick appearances in this new trailer for Fluxfest, which is this Sunday. There will be 10 high quality short films competing on the subject of time travel. Jim Brochu and I star in the one called "Old Timers."


Flux Fest Promo #2 from Megan Stein on Vimeo.


FluxFest. (scroll down the page).
July 28, 2013.
Sandbox Studios Brooklyn
154 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn

PrashNYC is proud to present “Old Timers,” starring Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin. Written by Megan Stein and directed by Carl Conway Maguire, with cinematography by Grier Dill and production design by Brett Warnke.


To my legal eagle activist reader.

This lawsuit has been brought to my attention and I wanted to pass it along. It's about a man being sued because he strongly criticized the work of an AIDS denialist. I didn't even know they still existed. But the one doing the suing reminds me of Saul on Breaking Bad.

Again, the link http://www.popehat.com/2013/07/23/popehat-signal-vengeful-aids-denialist-sues-critic-in-texas/

World Domination Summit Pt. 5: My Secret Weapon & The Mystery Solved.

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For #WDS2013 I had a big surprise: an Unexpected Choir. (Part 4 here).
Since the prizes are better in the bonus round, I always look for ways to bring something unexpected or extra any time I make an appearance. When Chris said it was in Portland, Oregon I immediately thought of my old L.A. friend, David Peterson, with whom I've sung, who's now with the Portland Gay Men's Chorus and I asked him if the chorus would sing with me. He asked me what I was singing for.

I said I wasn't sure what it was. But that it looked like a nice event. (At the time, I hadn't read that much about it). It was definitely not promoting some cult or religion. It's just people.

He said that they would have finished a long season and would be on break, but that he thought he could gather a group who were fast readers. I gave them two pieces: The background choral arrangement of "When You Care" (by Alan Satchwell) that you hear on the CDs and in the show -- with a big soprano…

World Domination Summit Pt. 4: Rejection Therapy.

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The speaker who most changed my life since #WDS2013 was an adorable Chinese man named Jia Jiang.
(EDIT: HIS REAL SPEECH FROM WDS IS BELOW, REPLACING THE TED TALK I HAD POSTED EARLIER.)
The first thing he said, after taking the stage, was, "I love rejection!" Then, he told us his story about coming from China to Houston (because of the Houston Rockets).

He found something online called "Rejection therapy," where the point was to go out and try to get rejected. In his case, he decided to spend 100 days trying to get rejected. At first, he was did get rejected a few times, but then, as he persisted, he started to get more and more people accepting his crazy requests -- driving a police car, playing soccer in a stranger's backyard, etc.

Here is his speech (now updated):


Jia Jiang from Chris Guillebeau on Vimeo.

I have always been a bit of a coward when it comes to asking people for things. Maybe it's because I'm from a small town or because I'm actually…

World Domination Summit Pt. 3: The Audience Is The Hero

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#WDS2013

Nancy Duarte's lecture on the first day set my head spinning.

As I got to the venue the following day, following J. D. Roth's advice, I was sitting over in a little area near the stage prepared for the speakers.



But, first Chris Guillebeau came out to introduce the event with the question, which attributed tosomeone else, "How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?" by announcing that on the day before I got there, all the attendees, plus other townspeople had broken a world record by creating a human chain on Willamette River.




Then he introduced Nancy Duarte, someone I'd seen on a TED Talk, because she was talking about storytelling.

As a songwriter, storytelling is one of my fortes and her observations about great speeches -- comparing graphs of MLK's "I Had A Dream" speech with Steve Jobs' iPhone speech and Jesus' Sermon on the Mount -- I was familiar with, but it was fun hearing them live and getting reminded of …

World Domination Summit Pt. 2

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#WDS2013 Part 1 is here.

When I finally spoke with Chris Guillebeau, asking him how he found me, he simply said he had two songs of mine on his iPod, "Connected" and "When You Care." He also said that though they'd help me get there and find housing, there would be no pay for my performance. (That none of the speakers were being paid). 
Rather than feel insulted, I was actually intrigued. Really? What kind event was this, anyway? I never turn down a chance to sing, anyway, so that wasn't a problem, but still...
I went to the website, hoping it wasn't some weird religious thing. (It wasn't). Well, then, what exactly was it? There were videos and they resembled the TED Talks. Motivational and inspirational speakers talking about self-empowerment, etc. Okay, I like that.
Even more, no commercial sponsors. No corporate donors logos allowed. Double really? He turns down money? In fact, there was a video from last year. A donor insisted on giving him mon…