Saturday, September 10, 2011


Em wants to do a video blog about self promotion, and advise would-be artists about selling themselves.

John Cullum talks specifics, and describes how Em, back in the days when she was just a beginner, sold a dance duo, (herself and Mark Ryder), even though they had no program, no photos, or choreography.

"You sold yourself, alright -- you sold what you invented, Em."

Em admits she used her writing skills back then -- creating a brochure, a program with descriptions of the choreography. John reminds her that she even wrote reviews for the program she was selling before it existed.

As their discussion unfolds the story, Em wants her readers and friends to know that "selling" yourself isn't difficult if you sell what you believe in.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


When I first saw her about two years ago, I thought, "OH NO" What I saw in that photo, the face, the words that were quoted seemed ... oh dear, so righteous, so self-promoting, and unseeing of the real world

Now KA-BOOM, Michele Bachmann is all over the news, proclaiming her truths.

Her face is symmetrical, perfectly shaped, unwrinkled.. BUT -- gee -- her eyes. The beam of her blue eyes bothers me. Those eyes stare at the camera and beyond, and say she's utterly secure about her ideas and thoughts -- be they religious convictions, certainties, personal ideology.

That look in her eyes is not just what she's figured out. It's in her genes, her bones, her bearing, her thoughts and language, her everything.

She's almost beautiful but there's a cold something -- sternness? Or is it an unbending, impenetrable will? a stiffness? Whatever it is, it makes me very uncomfortable.

I don't like her. I don't trust her. I don't feel any approachable womanliness in her. She's not a person with whom I can, on any level, share or communicate.

Her bearing says "keep away." It's as if she's one of those wonderfully tended green lawns in the center of the city park. And there's a keep off the grass sign.

Sarah Palin, whose ideas scare me, is preferable. Though I would hate (yes, "hate") to see Sarah as President of the United States, she has a feminine beauty, warmth, humor, inner joy -- and even with all her convictions that to me are wrong, prejudiced, limiting --- she's a much more acceptable candidate. Despite Palin's "sell" -- the often repulsive (to me, repulsive) ways she has promoted herself, I find Sarah Palin beautiful and real.

Bachmann is not.

I don't like the look of her. Yes, it's ridiculous, to base my attitude toward a viable candidate, based on her looks, not her politics.

What Bachman stands for -- her connection to Republicans, her opposition to things I feel are essential to America, I can't begin to discuss.

When I see Rick Perry, hear his tone, feel his energy, I respond to the man. Like him? Yes, I like him -- he states who he is and expresses what he feels. Though the thought of him as president makes me shudder --I think he'd be a nightmare for our country -- I can still listen and look and at him and explain why I totally disagree with him.

I've written this post to explain why I simply cannot think about Michele Bachmann. Newsweek called her the "Queen of Rage." In my opinion, she's not a queen of anything, except, perhaps, blind ambition.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Have you been on a roller coaster recently? Have you seen them lately?

Remember -- OH WOW -- OH JOY-- your heart beating in your throat -- wishing. praying it would be over before the cars started to move?

That coaster in the photo -- it's 12 heavenly horrible seconds, falling at a 121 degree angle. Obviously, it's one of the greatest, most marvelous, most scary, sickening, terrifying, dangerous amusements that you can love, live through, and brag about.

Is it better, more WOW than bungee jumping? Better than soaring? Is pursuit of the thrill why Houdini did what he did? .And whatshis name -- (had to Google him) -- David Blaine, 38-year- old magician? He submerged himself in a chunk of ice in New York City's Times Square, and almost died, broke the records by holding his breath for 17 minutes 4½ seconds.

Did Blaine get what he was after -- fame, notoriety, wealth? He was gravely ill for quite a while afterward, but since then, he's done other incredibly dangerous ventures. He's doing what boxers, football players, and other sports super-heroes do -- committing themselves to winning, even if it permanently damages their bodies, and shortens their lives.

But heading for the park, enduring the roller coaster won't make you famous or rich. Is it the thrill of the thrill? The fun of scare-yourself-to-death fun? Is that what we get from a roller coaster?

Someone on said, "I always will try to get on a roller coaster as soon as I enter the park. Its torture, but as you get off the ride, you feel so vibrant and alive!"

Howard Belkin, psychiatrist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, said the reason is rooted in a deep psychological need to conquer something. The release of adrenalin and dopamine makes one's heart rush, a rush that many get addicted to."

Belkin also said that the roller coaster is a version of being tossed in the air by your dad. "If you like it, you will scream with joy. If you don't, well, you may throw something up yourself."

Ph.D. John Elliot, a doctor/professor with stupendous education credits, currently provides performance consultation and training to business executives, professional athletes, and corporations, nationwide. Clients have included Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Adidas, NASA, the United States Olympic Committee, The Mayo Clinic, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and hundreds of elite individual performers.

(Part of me is very impressed by where he studied, that client list, and curious about his philosophy -- the other part of me is instinctively, immediately "hmm," and skeptical.)

In his best seller, "Overachievment: The New Science of Working Less to Accomplish More," Elliot said, "You are innately designed to use your personal power. When you don’t, you experience a sense of helplessness, paralysis, and depression — which is your clue that something is not working as it could. You, like all of us, deserve everything that is wonderful and exciting in life. And those feelings emerge only when you get in touch with your powerful self."

Susan Jeffers' bestseller summarizes her philosophy in the title: "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway."

Gee, should I be heading for an amusement park? I don't feel helpless, paralyzed or depressed.

I jumped from the horrendously scary parachute drop at Coney Island on my very first date with John Cullum. Yep, I really did. I wanted to show him how bold and brave and fearless I was.

My powerful self isn't quite as powerful as it used to be, but hey, Cullum is in my life. I am not going to do any roller-coastering ever again.

Watching this scary life-threatening venture is fun enough for me.
Daredevil jumps from mountain in Antarctica

Sunday, September 4, 2011

WINNING (video)

"What makes a winner?" Em asks John Cullum.

His theories are usually objective. Em wants to know why John Cullum won -- got jobs, was able to build the career he built as an actor?

John says he's not a winner, but Em is certain that there's a special something that John Cullum has.

They discuss tennis winner Andre Agassi, who has expressed resentment about being pushed by his dad.

Em persists, and gets John talking about who and what pushed him -- what made him a winner.