Saturday, October 8, 2011


Oops, this video came out very yellow and we ought to record it again, but the second time might not be as much fun as this first time.

Where is living day-to-day better? Where's the better place for John Cullum, for Emily Frankel to earn a living?

It doesn't matter to Em, writing can be done anywhere. But John needs to be in NYC. In LA, even 10 years ago, JC found himself sitting around, sometimes for months, without even an audition for a grandpa role. In New York City there's always work. Auditions, play readings, meetings, benefits, tributes.

Life for the Cullums, living in the heart of Manhattan, means noise, congestion, shopping problems -- getting food and supplies. Home means climbing five flights. They don't have an elevator in the building they own -- an 100 year old 5 storey loft building where they have a big home on one floor, a theater, dance studio and offices on another floor.

Life is LA is easier, more relaxing -- there are stars in the sky, wonderful vegetation, flowers. But John and Em agree, life in NY is what they want right now.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


She's a big name woman who helped to change the face, the stance, the status, of girls, gals, sweethearts, babes, mistresses, brides, divorcees, ladies -- all women.

(Including me. And when all women are involved, so are all men.)

Steinem's still talking, taking on the masculine world, defining and redefining what a woman is, what a woman can be.

One of the founders of what we came to call "Women's Liberation" -- Gloria Steinem has more than survived moving out of the limelight, into what she is now.

She states what she is with humor, clear speech, the ability to communicate on the level of the best reporters, and shapes her idea of what a woman is by revealing who Gloria Steinem really is -- a caring, nurturing, person who teaches, and reaches out to others.

I admired Gloria Steinem when MZ Magazine arrived in my mailbox every week. I admired G.S. when others said important things that rang the bell in my head and the heads of woman throughout the world. I used the names, wrote about these women in my novel, "Somebody, Woman of the Century."

(...Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emmeline Pankhurst, Victoria Woodhull, Simone de Beauvior, Kate Millet, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm. Bella Abzug Germaine Greer, and quite a few others -- too many names to list here.)

Gloria Steinem, in my novel, affected the lives of my main characters in various ways, borrowed from my experience, and the way she affected my life. I didn't need woman's liberation to tell me that I could do and be and take on whatever I wanted, whether it was a male or female thing. I didn't accept the rules, mores, or standards that were my mother's, her mother's, and the hand-me-downs from the last century and centuries before that.

But gee, every female friend I ever had, every woman that I know, every female I've identified with, and every character I have created has worn, dressed in, and covered her naked real self with the hand-me-downs.

Gloria Steinem took on that mountain of vintage things. She's climbed the mountain of what womanhood was supposed to be, and from her work has made the route to the summit, a pathway for all women.

All woman? Listen to what Gloria Steinem says and see for yourself.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


When my husband was performing in two Shakespeare plays this summer, at the Delacorte theater, in Central Park, he took a subway to the park every day, then walked, wended his way along the curved, complicated path that leads to the backstage areas of the theater and entrance for actors.

After each performance, he left the stage area in a golf cart. It is the Shakespeare Festival's policy now. Actors don't walk through the park after a show. It's not safe. They are driven to the park's east side or west side exits, in one of the park's golf carts.

Zoom -- speeding along, you sit in a seat and hold onto the cart's rails. The wind's in your face. The driver is your chauffeur. He knows how to avoid crowds and collisions with humans and other carts. When he crosses the one road that he has to cross, at the stop light, he waits until there is no other traffic.

It was interesting -- it got us where we needed to go, in a easy-going way that enabled us to relax and see things we ordinarily wouldn't have seen.

The cart left us (passenger Cullum, wife Em, other actors, guests) on fifth avenue, where we could safely flag a taxi, or head for a city bus or subway.

What a ride! What a easy, pleasant way to get around.

In Los Angeles, our son has a 2010 Mini Cooper sports car. He wants to buy the 2011 new Mini Cooper because it comes with a warranty to fix major things (transmission, brakes, etc). Therefore -- "Please Mom and Dad, if I buy a new car, and trade in my old Mini Cooper? I might need a ."loan."

Why? He explained that the cost of repairs is unbelievably high, sky high because it's a foreign car. Son JD said it's much more economical to buy a new car.

Holy smoke, Holy Cow! Do you see the new car ads? Do they drift over your subconscious -- those "new" cars -- the shiny, pretty "tin," (dent-susceptible), same style cars that have been overpriced, are now higher-priced?

The ads proclaim, and tout great mileage --it's the same mileage the manufacturers were getting three years ago when their cars were gulping down too much gas! The new (same as the old) lovely color cars continue to dent from a pebble, and crumple if anything -- be it a tree branch, guard rail, bike -- or other car -- happens to even slightly graze it.

The Shakespeare Festival of 2011 is now an event on John Cullum's resume. JD, our son, is still mulling over buying a new car so save money? To avoid hassles of car repairs that sooner or later every car needs? The fall weather has peeked in on us, disappeared, reappeared, and we're dancing in the rain more often than usual, I think.

I can't help thinking traveling on shanks' mare (they way people did it before there were autos) is a way to go.

It's good exercise.

Getting somewhere -- wherever you live -- means traffic jams. And riding around, looking, searching for a place to park.

What's the hurry? Hurrying to get somewhere distracts and wastes the time for seeing, hearing, smelling, absorbing and living -- just plain breathing and taking in the scenery and living your life.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

NEW DOINGS (video)

Emily asks John Cullum what his latest, newest project is going to be.

"IF -- " John says immediately If I'm not working on a show."

And that expresses what's on John Cullum's mind. Like most actors, getting the next job is foremost on his mind.

John discusses "Bible Ballads," -- it's been an important, number-one creative project of his for more than a year. Emily reminds about the "Jack Tale" -- a play, a one man show, a recording maybe, that the Cullums have worked on together for quite a few years. (On and off, that's the way their projects develop.

Talking back and forth, you can see, and hear that they're cooking on it, he's not sure yet what to focus on, and she's stirring the pot.