Sunday, August 11, 2019

EMILY FRANKEL IS ON VACATION


EM NEEDS A VACATION


Need new ideas.
Will miss blogging and friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and be back after Labor Day.


Friday, August 9, 2019

BIKING DAYS REVISITED

Back in the days when John Cullum, my husband, was job hunting and I was taking over as artistic director of my dance company, John and I biked everywhere. Quite often on weekends, we went on excursions to areas of New York City that we'd never visited before.

It was an autumn thing to do. I loved the wind in my hair, and the exercise -- using my legs, my straight-backed posture -- tut-tut observing John, who rides his bike hunched over. I wanted my ex-tennis-champ husband to have a dancer’s posture. He wanted me to bike like a biker, and stop worrying about how I looked.

Golly, I still remember when I was a little girl, what a big deal it was to learn how to ride a bike. Harder, even more important than learning to tie the laces on my shoes, riding a bike was a way of becoming a grownup who could head for the park where grownup, bigger kids were jumping rope and playing baseball.

Well, I did it -- learned, and it grew me up, like learning to drive a car did, when I was older. I had to learn to drive in order to be able to tour and earn a living from performing on college campuses.

After John landed a role in Shakespeare in the Park, on our bikes, we visited all sorts of wonderful Central Park nooks and crannies. When John, who was understudying two leading roles in “Henry V" went on for the Chorus, and did the famous “Oh for a muse of fire” speech, he was discovered by Alan Lerner’s assistant.

While John was playing Sir Dinadan in Lerner and Lowe's “Camelot," on his day off we rode our bikes up and down all the streets -- 41st to 50th street, stopping and studying the exteriors and backstage entrances of famous theaters, not realizing that John would be working on the stage in most of them someday.

Sometime around then, my second-hand pink bike (I’d painted it) was stolen. We’d been parking our bikes in the hallway of our building, where the main entrance door wasn't locked. We'd rented and transformed the 4th floor loft into a spacious home and dance studio, but back then, we didn't have a buzzer that allowed us to unlock it for mail and package deliveries.

John’s blue bike (I’d painted it) was stolen when he was standing-by for Richard Burton in "Camelot," when Richard was off to Rome to co-star with Elizabeth Taylor in “Cleopatra” -- big event that changed their lives, as well as ours.

John’s rising income enabled us to install a buzzer system and buy a smallish Honda motorcycle from an actor pal, who was in “1776," when John was singing “Molasses to Rum.”

Though traffic and potholes scared me, while John auditioned for Lerner, over and over for a new show, working on the Viennese accent Lerner wanted the leading man to have, I started learning to ride “Harry” the Honda.  (That's what I called the Honda.)

Nevertheless, I usually sat behind John on Harry, clutching him as we explored NYC's downtown Jewish shopping district (open on Sundays) where I was shopping for fabric for 16 costumes for my performances at Lincoln Center.  Suddenly, “helmets” had to be worn. Golly, I hated the way my head sweated, when I wore a hard hat. John said, "Stop worrying -- you look fine," but my hair looked lousy for hours, after a trip on Harry.

Also, Harry stalled sometimes, and there were skids -- a nasty skid hurt my collarbone, so Harry temporarily lived in the hallway. With John’s “On a Clear Day” earnings, we bought our building, also new bicycles, and baby furniture --  parenting was part of our growing up -- our little one, John David Cullum, was arriving.

As JD grew, we employed housekeeper-baby-sitters, and there were more jobs on Broadway for Dad, more prestigious bookings for Mom. We ventured out as a trio on Harry but it was nerve-racking, not safe -- city streets were getting to be very crowded. We gave Harry to John's understudy. JC, while playing Laertes in Burton’s “Hamlet,” bought a tricycle for JD.

On Sundays, the three of us biked around a nearby huge empty parking lot -- us on two new bikes, JD on his first two wheeler, then, a full-size bike. He was growing up fast.

When JC starred in “Deathtrap,” like rich folks, we commuted to a rented summer home in the Hamptons, exploring, on rented bikes, possible fabulous homes to buy. It was a fun game -- we weren’t rich, but a lot of things were in the offing -- meetings with Hal Prince about “On the 20th Century,” talk about John starring in a TV show, a tour for my adaptation of “Cyrano,” with John playing the part. All that, while I was on my way to London for a British Arts Council tour and JC was starring in “Shenandoah,” with JD playing a small role. No doubt about it -- the Cullums were in the busiest time, the prime of life. John bought a scooter but his producers objected, so he and JD traveled to the theater in the limo they provided.

Today, in NYC, there are about 800 Citi Bikes stations in the five boroughs. Cost: $3 for 30 minute trip, $12 for 24 hours, 3 day pass $24.00; annual membership $169.00 per year.

T'aint a friendly city these days -- car-guys hate bikers, bikers hate car-guys, pedestrians hate the cyclists whizzing the wrong way on one-way streets -- last year about 800 people were injured by bikes, but Citi Bikes say fewer are being injured nowadays.

Anyway, JD’s a working actor in LA now, driving a fancy sports car, and our dusty new (old) bikes belong to a neighbor who has two rambunctious kids. Hey, if you want to ascend to a ripe and active old age, you live less dangerously. On weekends, if we’re not busy puttering and fixing worn-out things, JC’s on our treadmill in our studio, and I, being concerned with staying in shape, do my barre every day in my studio and practice standing tall.

Yes, now is a great time for biking -- yes, our biking days are over -- but I stand very tall, and so does John Cullum, when we go on one of our long, long, lovely long walks.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

(VIDEO) DO THE CULLUMS EVER YELL AT EACH OTHER?

John politely avoids the topic. Emily admits and demonstrates that she's often too loudly passionate.


John explains lovingly, why he tends to keep disagreements "sweetiepie graceful."

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

BIOHACKING YOURSELF...

A well-known, No.1 British researcher, backed by the rich guy who founded PayPal, says that someone alive today will live to be 1000. A bunch of other No.1 guys--Oracle’s founder, Larry Ellison, Google's co-founders, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and Tesla's Elon Musk, are into ways to live longer, along with tens of thousands of biohackers, who are sure that ageing is just another curable disease.

Is it? Or isn't? The oldest humans have lived to about 120, and that hasn't been topped in recent decades despite vast improve-ment in health care. Most scientists are skeptical. Professor Richard Miller, of the University of Michigan, wrote an article that's been co-signed by 28 ageing experts, stating that extending our life-span is "So far from plausible that it commands no respect at all within the informed scientific community."  

If dreams of bio-hackers are realized, rich folks, who can afford enhancements, will be superior to the rest of us. Also biohackers, who install hardware in themselves.
A car salesman in Utah, installed magnets in his fingers that can open car doors, and got headphones implanted in his ears. In Sweden thousands of people have installed Radio Frequency devices, which are the size of a grain of rice, and cost about $180 each.

Here's what the most famous biohacker, David Asprey, does so he'll live till he's 180 years old.


If you don't want to change your life, you don't want to make a commitment to biohacking, is there anything you can do if you just want to live longer?

Yes.

Guys, all you need to do is concentrate on what you are doing. Stop thinking about ageing, and wondering about living longer. Just quietly, without making a big deal about it, utterly intensely at the moment you are doing something, focus on the moment of the moment. Ten seconds, sixty seconds of focus, or a day of focus--it's tricky. It takes practice to do whatever you are doing, with all of you participating, no day-dreaming, no visions or comparisons of yourself to what other guys are doing. Just to be there on the moment of the moment you are living longer.