Saturday, February 25, 2012


John and Emily find themselves remembering life on the West Coast when "Northern Exposure" was beginning to be filmed. He was commuting from Malibu where they lived in the sunshine, to a long, skinny, not sunny guest house in Redmond. Washington.

It was a new life -- new friends, new recreations, as well as a lot of shopping to make the skinny house a home.

John arranged a first reading of Em's play, "Shattering Panes," using the Northern Exposure cast -- John Corbett playing the dog, Barry Corbin's wife playing Em's part and Janine Turner playing the cat.

The Cullums chuckle about John's character, "Holling the Bartender," who had a young, blonde, other wife (Cynthia Geary), and the headlines, interviews about Holling's private parts.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Oh my, why oh why didn't someone warn me that SELLING is a fact of life?

Dancer Em learned to SELL her looks, promote her resumé, make brochures, flyers, write ad copy, and SELL exciting, varied, choreography.

You SELL--you have to keep SELLING if you want to get a career going.

You are a secretary writing letters,
You are a phone operator making and answering calls.
You are a file clerk, typist, bookkeeper.
And errand girl, messenger service, cleaning girl, shopper, chief cook, bottle-washer -- PLUS the do-everything-gal-Friday every day of the week.

"Success" becomes SELLING more so, SELLING harder.

You're the CEO, top exec, boss, leader, personnel manager in charge of hiring helpers and contracting professionals to create fancier ads, brochures, while you are SELLING tickets to performances, SELLING agents on selling you and your ever larger organization, while you are mothering dancers, musicians, costume maker, and coaching your booking agent.

You SELL-SELL promoting, publicizing your play, your various theatrical doings -- projects that are a big hit or not a big hit -- turning them into smash hits in ads, interviews, lunches with critics, and at cocktail parties, SELLING yourself gracefully, humbly, honestly, eloquently as you're transforming yourself into a successful "somebody."

Every thing Em created -- - "Cyrano" (made money), "People in Show Biz" (lost money); "Shattering Panes," Off-Bdway and "Kings" On Bdway.(lost money) -- and all the other plays, projects, readings, show-cases, (even the book about Em that a sports writer wrote ) required publicists, PR agents, producing, fund-raising, and SELLING.

Even giving away tickets, padding the house requires SELLING.

Like a salesclerk behind the counter, like the poor flower girl, you SELL you, your ideas, your talents in order to acquire a manager, accountant, lawyer, or a maid or janitor.

So pay attention to what you are promoting, while you're socializing, social-networking, commenting, "liking," buying, or not buying -- you are SELLING your point of view. You need to know whatever you say is SELLING.

Since this post is about succeeding, not failing, I am confidently, knowledgeably, humbly, honestly, SELLING you about everything you need to know about SELLING you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Why is it so important to get more friends and followers?

It makes me feel as if I'm back to collecting marbles and seashells -- stamps -- Indian head nickels.

My neighbor has three cartons cluttering her basement-- baseball cards her son used to collect. I don't know if kids still collect them, but no doubt about it -- millions of people are collecting Friends and Followers every day.

I log onto Facebook and Twitter every a.m. -- again in the p.m. i spend two to four hours on this what -- hobby? Obsession?

Why am I doing it? What am I accomplishing?

Am I getting more famous? More successful?

Um ...

Well, I think I'm getting a larger audience for my blog. If more people "like," approve, retweet, comment, won't it help me sell my published books?

Well, book markets are jammed with books by celebs and semi name guys. I'm just a semi-demi name because I'm married to John Cullum, who's not exactly a celeb, but he's got a name as a Broadway, TV star.

So, okay -- by expressing very carefully my philosophies and politics (not alienating Repubs), merely sharing what's on my mind -- my "art" is perceived by 50 to 150 people a day.

Though I'm not earning money, I'm emerging from the general mass of people tweeting and Facebooking, and therefore, I am actually doing something worthwhile -- more people reading my blog means MORE, which is better than LESS which happens if you're not promoting yourself.

Um ...

Comforting element: Aggrandizing friends and followers is a measurable activity like losing weight -- you can SEE the numbers changing.

Hey, celebs tweet about daily trivia. Millions follow, and one mill can become five mill, who might buy the celeb's DVD, or tickets for their latest film, , or head for the stadium where they're playing.

Okay. What's the nitty gritty? If you are not famous how do more friends and followers help YOU?

I Googled. (When I'm not sure what's really significant, Googling helps) I found out what the actual monetary value of a friend, and of the follower is.

Two experts -- Brian Ries, a Newsweek researcher, and Susan Payton, President of Egg Marketing and Communications, who published a paper that Facebook and Comtech have quoted -- say friends are worth about $3.50 each. Tweet followers $2.50.

The numbers are based on what your list of friends and list of followers might be worth to a product manufacturer. Value is measured as ROI -- Return On Investment.
Clearly, collecting names keeps me creating smart art -- art that I'm hoping someone will discover and turn into a real McCoy ROI ... .


Um ...

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Em asks John Cullum, "How do men feel, how do you feel, about checking yourself in the mirror?"

She describes a Magic Mirror" invention that one can buy nowadays. It not only reflects how you look, it can give you your daily agenda, the morning news, or a weather report.

Though it sounds as if it might be an interesting sort of wall decoration, ex dancer Em, who has spent hours and hours in front of mirrors, knows how checking oneself in the mirror can become an obsession.

John Cullum describes his mirror routines. He likes the idea of a mirror that could help him figure out what to wear, and remind him of his schedule. And of course, when he's in a show, the mirror is the way he checks out his costume.

The Magic Mirror is definitely not for Em who declares if you've ever, even vaguely, thought or hummed, "darling you are growing old," all mirrors should be studiously avoided.