Saturday, June 2, 2012


What is it that happens to John Cullum at celeb parties? It's a brain freeze! Names disappear!

Old friends -- fellow actors whom he knows well -- their names are not on the tip of his tongue. Even very famous movie stars whom he knows, suddenly, horrifyingly, become "um ... ah ..." nameless.

It's tricky. Especially when John Cullum needs to introduce wife Em.

But like a team, they've evolved quite a few ways to avoid what could turn out to be a face-aching "name jam.


Thursday, May 31, 2012


Cut off everything that has to do with social networking?

Quit Facebook, quit Tweet?

Yes? No?

This is a question I am asking myself.
Have you asked yourself this question?

It eats up my "work" time.

I am not accomplishing anything with Face Book news feed, likes, comments, or Twitter tweets, re-tweets, favorites, though doing this stuff makes me feel as if I'm accomplishing something.

It's like a drug I'm hooked on. The more I do this social networking stuff, the more I think about it, plan what to say and observe what other net-workers are doing. And the MORE I am hooked.

What I am actually seeing, reading and absorbing is mostly not very important or very interesting. In fact, it's quite boring -- photos, chit-chatty discussions on pets, relatives, dead heroes, film clips, newspaper clips, stuff about the latest political or current issues.

Of course, I'm accruing "likes," subscribers, followers, friends, comments and links to articles, books, blogs, and websites.

C'mon, that's the same as collecting marbles, seashells,

Am I getting more famous? No ... well, my name is more familiar to other people like me who're hooked, feeling they're accomplishing something, like me, on the seed-planting, lowest level of "fame."

Will seed-planting get more people reading my blog? Well, sure, maybe. Will more people buy my e-books? Probably, sure. But it's small potatoes -- small numbers of readers or buyers doesn't mean "fame" You've got to be dealing with ... with ... what's the magic number?. 250,000 people knowing your name?. 500,000? One million?

Hey, that's the answer!

Stop wasting time wondering if it's accomplishing something.

Just do it. Shut up and do it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Lots of new-talk about Heaven has been inspired by a bestseller "Is Heaven for Real," by Pastor Todd Burpo, and just recently Time magazine grabbed on this topic.

Burpo, pastor of a church in Nebraska, a down-to-earth, do-everything man, wrote about son Colton, who almost died at age four, during emergency surgery, and told his daddy afterward, that he went o heaven.

What does one think, nowadays, about Heaven? Are your visions of heaven created by parents, grandparents, the church, bible stories, loving teachers or what?

What do you picture?

Maybe someone told you that death is "a long, long sleep." (Someone sang me a beautiful song that said that.) Or were you told that after you die you will reunite with beloved dead relatives? Perhaps you need a HEAVEN to inspire you to do good deeds, and thoughts of burning in HELL stop you, prevent you from doing ugly, selfish, unlawful things.

These are just my thoughts circling around, me wondering and wandering.

There are so many things to fear .-- fires, poisons, weather disasters, bombs, guns, nutty people, disease, corrupt officials, food and water shortages, and ... golly, there are so many things to put on my list.

When we're little, very, very young, we learn about death when we see a flower die, or find a dead bird on the ground. We learn ways not to think about death or talk about it or fear it. And that makes us fear it more. And fear, I think, is like a black blotch of ink spreading on a blotter.

I wrote a blog two years ago, about the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped for 70 days in a mine, and suddenly, almost miraculously, saved. I knew from my own personal experience, that the miners had a new perspective -- a power they didn't have before the mine collapsed. Aside from becoming celebrities, which is a life-changing experience, there's a change in your spirit when you almost die.

I don't mean a scare, "Oh my God, I could have crashed into that car." When you almost die, but don't die, there's a new awareness, a loud, strong sense that this is MY LIFE.

It happened to me.

Six months after I'd recovered from a major automobile accident, all of a sudden I was convulsed with intolerable pain, and landed in an operating room. During the surgery my heart failed. I watched the doctors, I saw them above me trying to revive me with electric paddles.

Did I see light at the end of a tunnel? No. I saw white light over my head. I heard someone say my heart had stopped beating for five-and-a-half minutes. A doctor said I might be bedridden, there might be serious brain damage.

The fact is, I am not brain damaged, paraplegic, or bedridden. While I was recovering, still unable to walk without crutches, I decided -- yes, decided -- that I was going to dance at Lincoln Center. It took a lot of doing, and hours and hours of rehabilitation exercises. It seemed like a fantasy, but it kept me going.

Yep, I did dance at Lincoln Center, two sold-out performances.

No, I don't think I'll go to Heaven or Hell when I die. The fact is, I feel I have been in heaven. And I am writing about heaven, because I am still in heaven -- yes -- it IS heaven -- that I can dream up something I want to do and -- YAY -- go for it!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Em asks John Cullum to read aloud the speech she wrote for Cyrano, in her adaptation of the Rostand play. For Em, this speech represents what an artist stands for. The words are her own personal credo.

All the projects that John Cullum and Em created, mounted, and produced together are the high points in the time they've shared. Even now, looking back, or looking ahead to future undertakings, "CYRANO" is the number one favorite.