Saturday, February 5, 2011


Would-be actors, attention!

I am married to a well-known actor, who has sometimes been called "the legendary John Cullum." Okay -- he's been around a long time and he is an extraordinarily good actor. as well as a Musical Theater Star.

Many people who saw him a long time ago, in "Camelot, "On a Clear Day," "Shenandoah," "On the Twentieth Century," (and very recently in "Scottsboro Boys"), mention him as their most favorite performer.

I loved Matt LeBlanc as "Joey" in the television show "Friends" -- loved all the actors who were in that show. Each time I see a re-run of "Friends," I fall in love with the six performers all over again.

But Matt ... well, he was sexy, funny, charming, and unpredictably amazing. I watched him in the other shows he starred in after "Friends," but only for a while. Those shows didn't work. Sometimes it seemed as if the supporting actors and actresses just weren't interesting. When Matt was on the camera, (onstage), he was fun, but when he wasn't on, the shows got boring. .

Now Matt's in a new show on Sunday nights, called "Episodes." The ads summarize it saying -- "A married writing duo sells its U.K. sitcom to Hollywood and finds the price of success is Matt LeBlanc. The "Friends" star, foisted on the creators, plays himself as a demanding but savvy he-diva in Showtimes witty satire about lies, damned lies and TV."

I am not sure "Episodes" works. I got restless, even when Matt was on camera -- somehow he seemed restrained, but ... well, I'll watch again.

This film clip made me laugh and cry, thinking of the auditions that my legendary actor husband goes to when the directors and producer love him, but he isn't what they have in mind for the role of a granddaddy, a dying father, a great grandfather who's got Alzheimer's. In the past few years, very often those are roles my husband is asked to read for.

Here's Matt, and it's funny, funny sad, and true, watching him to audition to play himself.

Friday, February 4, 2011


I don't watch award shows.

"You won't watch the awards tonight?" Our friends ask, when I turn down their invitations to come to their after-the-awards-show parties.

"No, it depresses me!" I blithely explain.

I avoid the Academy Awards. the Tony Awards, SAG Awards, Golden Globes, Grammys, Emmys, People's Choice Awards, also the MTV Video Music Awards, Country Music Awards and the Clio Awards for commercials.

"You're a weird one, Julie Jordan ... " I sing the song from "Carousel," telling myself I'm worse than the "queer one" as per the lyrics.

JC laughs, but understands. It's not just the glamorous names, fabulous clothes, red carpet, and memories of us sitting in limos, waiting in a limo line until our limo was told to pull up. It was depressing when we emerged, and the various TV announcers called out John Cullum's name, and I observed fans staring at me, shrugging, turning away because I was not somebody.

It's even worse, being at the ceremony, sitting in special aisle seats in case JC's got to rush to the stage. And nowadays, watching the show on television, my feelings for the winners and the losers make me intensely aware of me in my performer days.

I find myself wondering what I could do to get more attention -- be better known, be more famous, and that is NOT good -- it's wrong, distracting-- instead of doing the work of my work, my mind is on what I could write about that would please more readers -- whoa -- that is a big loud no!

A painter cannot paint well if he's thinking about what other painters do and why they're famous. An actor at an audition has to focus on the who-what-when-where-why of the part he's playing, not beating out the other actors waiting their turn, not winning the part, or impressing the director.

In writing, I have to stay focused on what I'm feeling about things that are going on in the world -- not my personal, private successes/failures in my former-career- world, the dance world -- the real world.

It's not weird -- that I need to avoid show biz things -- that I have keep away from my performer self. What makes my writing exciting and important to me is what I manage to convey.

So this post about why Em avoids awards shows -- apply it to yourself.

What is the work of your work? Does the evening you spend watching the movie and music stars leave you peppy, or does it make the work you have to do tomorrow seem unimportant, ho-hum, tedious?

If it inspires you -- each year there are more and more award shows turning people you never heard of into somebody in the limelight -- do something marvelous, outrageous, uniquely special and next year it could be you!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


John Boehner wept before Pelosi handed him the gavel. He wept as he was congratulated.

Then, gavel in his hand, he wept. He wept, as he addressed Congress for the first time as Speaker of the House.

I feel like weeping when I hear what he and the Republicans plan to do -- stall, delay, argue, filibuster, repeal health care, hold on to the tax breaks for the rich, and then attack other legislation that the Obama administration has managed to pass.

John Boehner didn't weep -- I can't forget his ugly angry manner, the day the Health Care bill was passed.

Actors who weep too often during a play are self-indulgent phonies.

When you are moved, you don't need tears to prove it. Weepy Boehner is an actor.

I think, Mr. John Boehner -- you are an indulgent, bad actor.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Rod B., the impeached ex-Gov of Illinois, continues to seek jobs, stardom, tons of money, stature, with his hair blown-dry, poufed-up and sprayed. Last time I saw him, he was selling pistachios on TV. Well, maybe Rod B will convince the semi-retired Connie Chung to make another comeback, with him in the guest seat, and I'll have to remember how to spell Bla go jev ich.

Joe Wilson, the GOP congressman from South Carolina, who shouted out during President Obama's health care address, "You lie!" (after Obama said the plan will not cover illegal immigrants) -- he's still around. Oh goody -- I'm braced for more rude Joe-ery as the house tries to repeal, re-write, ruin and re-invent Health Care.

Ex Governor Mark Sanford, of South Carolina -- he's still weepy, blabbing about that Argentinean lady, philosophizing about love, planning on writing a book. Alas, we're not done hearing from him.

What about Michael Steele, ex-Republican National Committee chairman, who's informed us about the RNC's nifty-neat plans for Health Care, handling the war, and solving terrorism? Will the high-profile Steele be helping or hindering the low-profile new Chairman, Reince Priebus? (How do you pronounce his name?)

Adam Lambert, the sexy, indefatigable, almost-American Idol, who's head-to-toe, gorgeous -- will he be knocking us out with his bump and grinding, his teasing, seducing everyone/anyone gay or straight? We'll be seeing him turned on, ON all the channels --no way will this hunk quit!

Hey, with shouting congressmen, sinful and impeached governors, the RNC tearing down this and that, and probably a few headlines about John Edward's woes, Spitzer's wrangles on CNNand the latest bed-hopping stars, sexy Lambert, the-almost-idol is tame relaxation, while a hopped-up Paula Abdul with her Live to Dance Show vies with Randy J. and J Lo to recreate a new wowing, wonderful American Idol Show.

U-hoo Simon Cowell, if your new show doesn't work, don't be a jerk! Come back -- give the new Idol another whack. We NEED the Cowell scowl.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Whew! I just finished reading a really nasty, negative, full-length, mean article on Oscar-winning Gwyneth Paltrow, and her Website,, where Paltrow chats about the many-many things she's doing. At the end of the piece, the critic said, "Her lifestyle -- guru identity, combined with the cookbook that's coming out in April, suggests Paltrow aspires to be an object to emulate, an Oprah with an Oscar."

Do I love Gwyneth? NO. She's never been a lovable. vulnerable movie-heroine. She's not a "sweetheart " type. And gee, she's too gorgeous! She's had -- golly -- all the big breaks and great roles to play, which she plays well, opposite star-type leading men.

The critic reluctantly gave Paltrow's legs "those legs!" an exclamation point, definitely a rave, and told us -- in a put-down tone -- at 38, mother of two kids, Gwyneth can still wear short-shorts "with 2 inch in-seams," (buttocks showing). And proceeded to attack Paltrow for the pop singing she's been doing lately in skin-tight jeans.

Hey, it's a free country -- Paltrow's smart, bracing herself for when she hits her forties, and the phone rings much less often.

I think the critic is jealous, in the way that most women are jealous of a gorgeous, famous actress. Actually, it was fun reading the put-down -- it helped me (temporarily), not think about how I'd look in short-shorts and skin-tight jeans.

Monday, January 31, 2011


The slender ailing Cheney is back to expressing his learned opinions.

Oy Vey!

Yes, I feel sorry for him, because he has to live with the fact that he hasn't got a lot of busy, productive years ahead of him -- that he isn't going to go down in history as a great vice president, or humanitarian, or knowledgeable authority on administrative affairs.

In fact, he's got a lot of critics down on him -- the half truths and lies, the contractual commitments that made him richer and the country poorer, commitments that the country is still paying for financially and spiritually-- for instance Halliburton and water-boarding.

I feel sorry for us because Cheney puts poison in the air that's already laden with emissions and ...

I am not going to list what I think are the Cheney environmental and global poisons. It's only polishing the memories of what Cheney promoted, or ignored, or dismissed as nonsense, or encouraged -- ugly words, ugly politics, that right now are slowing up stymieing, tainting, and inspiring fear, horror, and criminal behavior ... just about everywhere.

All I can say is, Mr. Cheney, we don't need you, don't want to see you, or hear you, or get your opinions about anything. Please, do us all a big favor -- deal with your exercise, your doctors, your pump, your family, your place on the Heart transplant list, and shut up.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


John Cullum is taken aback when Emily asks him what he is doing with his project, "Bible Ballads." He can't concentrate on it, he's been working on a benefit for Burton Lane, and learning music for a workshop.

Emily Frankel presses him to sing just a bit of "In The Beginning"-- a song he's been working on as the opening number for his bible project. But John doesn't want to even begin to try. He starts into another song -- stops and shrugs it off.

The Cullums finish the session, but Emily begs John, and downstairs in his office, Emily films John singing his opening song.