Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Bumble Hive, Mr. Big Stuff and The Power of Getting What You Want

Last Friday, I decided to check out the Bumble Hive in Soho. The Bumble Hive is, in short, "Bumble in person." Part of these events was networking/mixers at their pop up location in Soho. Having had some slow down in my dating life recently along with possessing a spirit of sheer curiosity mixed with boredom, I make the trip to go see it.

It's smaller than it looks and I had to wait in line to go in but once you did, you were able to get free desserts!! Check out my pics.

That was the line to get drinks. I'm not really a drinker and decided I was not waiting in that long ass line to use my 3 drink tickets so I ventured off and checked out more of the layout.

Yeah, I was NOT going to wait in yet another line. Would you?

The Bumble Hive even had what I call "the beauty room." I saw a girl in there curling her hair with a curling iron. It apparently was in a drawer in this room.

Yes, I took one of those sunscreen bottles. I am a natural redhead & need it more than any of you fucks!! Almost no place I go has many natural redheads in the vicinity and I'm lucky if a small handful are present. Furthermore, if you didn't want me to take it don't leave it out everywhere. I also took one of the coasters since I needed one in my room and they were plentiful. If you've ever seen the movie House of Games, you're familiar with Mike's line about always taking something from where he's at in order to have a memory of the place. I don't know if that's why I'll take freebies but I do think it's a psychological thing.

What weirded me out about going here was that it seems in the whole pro-woman atmosphere, you couldn't get guys to approach you to save your life as a girl. I'd wondered if the place was rife with beta males & had about just concluded it was a night of a few freebies but no men to speak of until a cute guy approached me. We had a nice chat but not sure if that one is going to keep up with me since I wrote him a few days ago and no response. I've also grown more weary of 20 something guys in light of what happened to me earlier this week. We'll get to that.

Later that evening, happy I'd met a guy that seemed interesting I continue with my night plans to stop by a venue that was on the same train line. I catch up with some friends, talk to this guy in my industry who keeps pursuing me (this is a pet peeve since I live by "don't shit where you eat" & my breakups are notoriously awful) and got invited to an event the next evening by an industry contact I know who works in the fashion industry. I had a fashion show in Brooklyn that night but opted out since I figured it would be a good idea to do some business networking and expose myself to different people in an attempt to elevate my network. It was a black tie event so I prettied up, put on makeup and we go to the event.

My plan in this was to see about networking, talk to the sister of the CEO of the film company I was previously involved with (she was apparently one of the organizers/event folks involved & I thought that was an interesting coincidence), basically do business. I was not there to meet guys or do personal stuff but that did end up happening.

A few things to know about me if you were some guy trying to approach me:

1. I don't like beta males. If I'm stronger than you, that's a bad thing. I REALLY fear rejection, live in a state of "when's the other shoe going to drop?" & I'm from NC so you MUST approach the woman, man. I'm also a natural redhead and look as I do so if you thought I wasn't good enough to approach, I'm not going to disturb you and be at fault because I interrupted you with my mere presence.

Plus, do you see luxury retailers begging people off the street to buy their wares? No, you don't. Nobody lowers the price of Gucci or Godiva chocolate or any other luxury brand for the unwashed masses; you have to come to THEM, not the other way around (my having a majestic view notwithstanding).

2. For at least a few months, I thought back to the days when I met guys and we spent hours making out. No sex, just simple making out with some touching and movement (but nothing on the bottom half of either person). I was thinking "What happened to just going out with a guy and making out? What happened to hickies?" I figured in NYC, the land of hookup culture and being my age and divorced that was something I wasn't going to find again. Every single guy I've met since my divorce just wants instant sex and the making out didn't happen nearly as long as I wanted. No hickies since my ex, maybe even my wedding day. I did have a hickey on my neck on my wedding day but fortunately my dress had a scarf with it (which I used to cover that hickey; I just did with style).

Call me sentimental or girly or traditional but I LIKE that stuff. I think if you asked other women about that, they'd tell you the same thing.

3. You're not going to impress me with looks, money or titles. You'll have to use personality. I actually matched up with this Jewish doctor on Bumble who seemed to think commanding me to give out my number when he'd not given me his first was acceptable. I tell him about the nature of my business being such that I do not give my number without getting the asker's first. He goes "Don't be stubborn." I retort that I'm a natural redhead and a lawyer; you don't speak to me like I'm some piece of gutter trash who's going to drop her panties because you have MD next to your name. I have Esq. next to mine & I'm of a smaller minority than you. Plus, either of those things are associated with the person who has them being stubborn by nature. I don't know what he wrote in response but he apparently wrote something then deleted me.

I figured he had no personality. Oh, well.

4. I'm a PDA junkie. I have definitely been guilty of grossing out strangers with my PDA with guys & have no shame about it. A guy who does this willingly and without me having to ask is awesome in my book (at least, if I WANT him to do that with me).

There were a lot of cute guys at this event but plenty were with other women (one of the biggest turnoffs for me is a taken man) and I'm too freaking terrified to approach any guy + don't think I should have to do that.

My friend and I go into this room of the venue where there's a sketch book and drawing materials. She draws a really great sketch and is talking to one of her friends. This really cute guy approaches me and I tell him that my friend drew something in the book. It seems this is something where you're supposed to draw a set of lips and for $10, the group helping this charitable organization will be sending your picture to the kids in Haiti they're doing the event to help. I explained that drawing is not my forte & explained what mine was along with my connection to the event. We get to talking and end up having significant common ground. He tells me he's a scientist and knows nothing of fashion + says he finds many of the people there superficial and in general, finds that you never get to know the real person. I'm thinking "Oh, my God he's saying what I've said and thought!" He said this before I said anything about it. I'm also thinking "He's cute and he's smart so he can understand me." I almost never meet guys who manage to be on my level in looks and education. I got to talk about having majored in Pre-Pharmacy in college and wanting to be a pharmacist before I pursued going to law school and becoming a lawyer. I spoke of my unique career path/vision for all this. We had a lot of common ground, something else I rarely find.

After we spend a lot of time talking at this event (ditching our respective friends we came with), we end up going to the quietest room we can and he moves my head down in a position where I'm not feeling really comfy. The next thing I know, I'm sitting in his lap. We talk some more then he kisses me. After my friend has left and many others have left since this is near the end of the event, we start making out. Since I'm a PDA junkie, I'm thinking "I REALLY like this guy."

He'd driven there so he was kind enough to get me to my friend's place so I could get my comfy shoes and my umbrella. I was forced to wear my shorter nice dress instead of one of my many long gowns due to the rain forecast for that evening (though I never had to be out in it). I was getting hungry by this point because I didn't formally have dinner and ate a little food at the event but not tons of stuff by any stretch. I knew of one place that was open 24 hours but it was closer to where we had been. He actually did drive there. We park then make out some more as neither of us had a curfew to meet or any early morning plans. I was wanting to avoid the significance of Father's Day since gee, my father is dead. His wasn't but he said he didn't have to do family stuff until later.

We go into the restaurant (an empanada place I knew of in the area that's really good) and I was surprised at how crowded it was at 4:30 in the morning. I told him this since every other time I went in there before, it was never that crowded. I was wondering if there were that many people in NYC who didn't have fathers or family obligations the next day. He did like my choice of venue; while we were in there the sun came up.

When we leave, it's 7 in the morning. I'm thinking "I really don't want to have to take the subway home" but I figure he might want me to do that. Instead, he offers to drive me home. I accept and he does this; since he doesn't have any pressing obligations, I invite him up then change my clothes and take off my makeup so I'll be more comfortable. I do my hospitable self and we make out for about 3 more hours. I'm downright giddy at this point and we're both actually awake even though neither of us do these all nighters on a regular basis.

That was not how I expected the night to turn out at all. He didn't even try pressing me for sex or pestering me over it. He seemed to appreciate and enjoy the art of making out like I did. I also got my first hickey in years, I'm pretty sure since Comic Book Boy. I think to myself "Man, I'd like to get to know him since it feels like this guy could be good for me but what if he tells me later on he's dating some other bitch?"

That's precisely what happened to me on Tuesday with Mr. Big Stuff except he didn't bother telling me that: Facebook did. I saw that Mr. Big Stuff was "in a relationship" with some commoner who didn't hold a candle to me in looks & wasn't even a natural redhead. I tell him he'd better not think he was staying at MY house if he's coming to NYC & I knew going to events with him that he'd previously mentioned was out since this lady surely wouldn't approve. He had history with me.

Truth be told, I was kind of dreading having to deal with that in light of the past weekend. I had more fun with that guy in one night than I did dating Mr. Big Stuff for months. I certainly didn't want to get to know this other guy and have Mr. Big Stuff's presence interfering in the new. However, Mr. Big Stuff infuriated me by acting like a public declaration of a bitch was no big deal, told me we'd never been "boyfriend/girlfriend" (funny but HE was the one who asked for exclusivity and was all affectionate to me when he visited in months prior) and said he "didn't gaf (give a fuck) who I met." I took that as my cue to block him everywhere and declare him dead to me; so much for his remembering people who helped him in his life and were there at his lowest. He got "Mr. Big Stuff" because of his attitude matching the song and other personal factors. It just feels fitting, despite the fact that it's a song title and not the most original nickname ever.

Told the guy I'd just met about this because it made me feel depressed and unhappy; he said he was sorry since it sounded like I was close to him at one time but that I didn't need to let this jerk occupy real estate in my head. I told a friend about this and she said "he's exactly right." When I read his response to this early in the morning before I was going on a last minute work assignment, it made me cry with the sweetness conveyed. I told him that red eyes were not a good look for my court appearance though I liked what he said.

After that, I really couldn't help but wonder if this happened for a specific reason. Particularly, that his legend and future potential being gone could clear the way for this guy I just met who'd told me things that aren't what you typically hear from guys in this area (like he rarely goes out & doesn't do online dating but thinks you get a personal connection meeting in person). I'd thought I'd never find a guy who'd just make out with me for hours or give me hickeys; it feels like that sort of thing is considered passe in NYC where you've got instant sex happening left and right & definitely unheard of in the post-divorce world. However, a big part of me is terrified of the other shoe dropping, getting no real consideration and having his story also turn out to be a lie or learning he viewed me as some spontaneous mistake.

I'm trying to keep some faith and focus on my stuff as he focuses on things he told me about that I'd like him to deal with as needed. Plus I can't do instant exclusivity with anyone & said I don't mind gradually getting to know one another though I won't consider exclusivity without seeing one another in-person where possible.

But it's really weird that this whole night happened and it changed me more back to myself. I was definitely more numb and hardened before that. Now I know it's actually possible to get that stuff where I thought it was impossible or a total pipe dream; there's a power in realizing you can do better than you thought you could. I bet my being able to get hot guys post-divorce probably led me to dating Mr. Big Stuff though I hope this will actually go someplace vs. being a mere stepping stone to finding that where I never talk to that guy again. When you realize you CAN do something, you also realize it's possible to get that again.

The only thing I really don't feel that way about is love, maybe because I feel like I never actually had it but simply was the victim of a long con game. The question in my brain is "Do I dare hope?"

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "Maps For a War Tourist" by Sister Sylvester at Dixon Place

“Maps For a War Tourist” by Sister Sylvester marks my first viewing of a performance art piece. It is definitely a unique piece revealing the story of a young woman in Turkey named Deniz Karacagil who finds herself facing a lifelong prison conviction (90 years) but manages to escape that fate and become a militant fighter with the PKK or the Kurdish Workers Party, a group both the United States and her native Turkey consider a terrorist organization. We see an interview with her mother (a life-long activist who favors peaceful means), various maps from Deniz's cohorts of routes they'd taken or took and of course, the tortoises!!

Yes, there were actual tortoises as part of this show in a glass pen. The “aww, cute animals!” part of my psyche was delighted to see them & hoping that they were getting treated well. Yes, I'm a weirdo who wanted to have a turtle as a pet at one point in my childhood though I was surrounded by cats; I even thought this huge sea turtle at an aquarium in Long Island my ex took me to was cute though that turtle startled me when we were at that exhibit and my ex made fun of me for being startled.

I also thought their inclusion was a daring move on the part of the production since animals as a rule are unpredictable and could end up someplace you didn't plan on them being or relieving themselves at some time + location you didn't expect, creating a very unpleasant environment for your audience. This would definitely happen with cats. These tortoises seemed at ease and comfy enough.

Dixon Place is a very interesting venue. You walk into a bar with a tiny stage in the front left along with a mishmash of various styles of chairs for the audience as well as a piano to the left of the stage. It feels like a small coffee shop with a bar though I would fear running into members of the crazy liberal set. Before going in, I swear I heard some political discussion going on to my side that was of an anti-Trump nature. I didn't interject since I was present to observe and review; I also didn't hear utter hypocrisy being brandished so I felt no compulsion to speak up.

The stage is down a small, dark hallway and we arrived in a room with a large amount of paper covering with chairs lined up in a gap setting among 3 huge stair steps. The chair setup was awesome since you didn't have to worry about anyone's head blocking your view. I arrived to see someone sitting next to the tortoises along with 3 people at a long table to the right. I thought “so they're tech and this woman's the tortoise handler” and that we should expect someone to come out and start the show. Instead this show started sort of unexpectedly with lights going down, a pause and then a woman on the side where I figured they were the tech people started reading the script. In fact, it felt like we were just waiting for the show to start and getting background on Ms. Karacagil & her journey vs. watching the show. Audio visuals were involved and there was the description of seeing the world as a bird or as a tortoise and how your view of the world is different if you see it as a bird vs. as a tortoise. Our tortoises make significant appearances on film & our tortoise wrangler does far more than that in the show: she handles spreading out the maps drawn, steps into the tortoise pen at one point where we see her socks on the screen in front of us.

Perhaps I'm not the best audience for this show as I'm not a geopolitical expert by a long stretch and am definitely no performance art expert. I'm also not sure if I felt the story was as relatable as it could have been for myself or others who did not come from that culture or those circumstances or follow the geopolitical details. I would have liked more details and development of some of the people that are discussed in the script and how they made an impact on Ms. Karacagil; I liked seeing the interview with her mother, who seemed worried about her daughter & was unhappy about not getting to see her later on but supported what she was doing and felt her cause was justified. She stated that it was “an eye for an eye” though she decided to align with a political party called the HDP, the People's Democracy Party, that was supporting the same ideals her daughter was fighting for without the violence. At one point, a performer crawls underneath the paper covering the stage in order to create what appears to be a live map right in our floor space. Our tortoises are placed in that area towards the end as well and I'm thinking “I hope they are okay.”

I didn't feel like this was a piece where the audience was being pushed to feel positively or negatively about Ms. Karacagil but to simply give her a voice as a human being in the world faced with circumstances that we have to ask ourselves what we would have done if we were in her shoes. The cast was Kelsea Martin (our tortoise wrangler), Cyrus Moshrefi, Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste and Kathryn Hamilton (who also conceived and directed this piece). It definitely qualifies as one of those performances where if you attend, you will feel you are seeing the true NYC and the egalitarian feel that this city prides itself on. I wouldn't bring the kids but your politically minded, global citizen type friends might be a good choice for this one.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: Ahmani Croom Productions bird Fashion Show

So, here I am again reviewing another fashion show. I was happy to get this one since this happened to fall on the 4th year anniversary of my father's death (see this from 2013 if you're that curious). I thought my friend who did the photography for the last show was going to join me on this one but he bailed on me and until telling me the reason DAYS later, I was pissed at him. You know, friends aren't supposed to be making your bad days even worse or leaving you to handle multiple complex tasks at once. He's someone I love like an irritating little brother who will be a great man once (if?) he grows up mentally.

So left to my own devices, I did the best I could on pictures (since a professional always carries on) but there were professional photographers in attendance who certainly got better shots than I did as a reviewer. Let me tell you, trying to watch a show with a critical review's eye AND take photos can not be done simultaneously. You've got to do one or the other & that's just all there is to it.

Going through what I got, I did my best to crop/retouch the best shots and show you enough of what was presented to give you context.

This show took place at the Skyroom. Skyroom is a venue I know very well; the doorman even knows who I am, I've been there that much. I have been to Skyroom as a model, as a spectator, even as a fashion show judge. Thursday nights at Skyroom is probably akin to my “Cheers”; I've made industry connections, gotten picked up by guys, made new model friends, gotten cheered at by name when walking down the “runway” on the rooftop floor where the shows are held, once witnessed a fight backstage that security had to break up (fortunately, not anyone connected to the designer or producer I was working with), and even got recognized in the elevator by other attorneys who saw me in my day job. Some Thursdays I've gone there thinking “I could get any guy in this place” but I'm never going to make the first move since I'm old school and way too terrified of rejection.

Using the Skyroom facilities for a fashion show is something of an art at times; you will want to bring things to put over your designs if you don't have a separate changing area for your models since there is no bathroom to use that will not put you out in the middle of the venue where others can see the clothes. The lighting is not ideal for hair and makeup once the sun goes down; anyone who has done a show there in these capacities can tell you stories but fortunately the staff is pretty nice from my own experience. Outlets can be a precious commodity as well. Be resourceful and plan accordingly if you are doing hair or makeup.

I arrived at 7:30 to get a good seat and wait on my friend, who was supposed to show but didn't. The rooftop floor is really nice in daylight; there was a random event going on and I wondered “How long will I be sitting here before some random guy approaches me?” 17 minutes but the good news was he was polite and not a jerk towards me though he wasn't my interest. One night I actually did meet a guy who was my interest and this ditching friend announces his presence by swiping my cell phone out of my hand while I'm trying to show this guy a specific modeling pic I'm trying to find on my Facebook page. My friend's then girlfriend, who got into some shows at Skyroom based on my introduction to one show producer I was working with at the time & was also present that evening, was much more polite.

See why he's the irritating little brother I didn't ask for, don't have & kind of got stuck with?

The show began in a swoop and a flourish, as they always seem to at Skyroom. When you are modeling, it's usually “get out there, show your outfit and keep it moving.” It's even harder to make your brain pause here since the music is usually fast, it's dark and there's a fair amount of people you sense may get impatient if you hang around too long. I did my best to get shots but those ladies moved FAST. I appreciate the ones who paused some, which is why you can see some of these good sideways shots.

I loved this blue dress; it was my favorite piece in the show though I definitely felt this was a great collection overall.

The design for the dresses and certainly for the accessories is very unique, as I said in my previous review of the bird brand it reminded me of Betsey Johnson in its aesthetic. I'm not sure I could pull of all of these looks but I definitely like the blend of classic and modern that comes in, the sexy blended with the classy that would make these dresses appropriate for venues outside a typical nightclub where short skirts and miles of cleavage reign supreme. I definitely felt the blend of a floral print with the striped skirt was innovative and a risk I wouldn't have considered attempting myself.

Accessories were by Joy Vay, which you can see some of in these pics (hopefully). A seamless pairing; I'm not sure who came up with that but it works very well. The black spiny bag reminds me of something you'd see in a Mario game.

Random fact: I played a LOT of Nintendo in my childhood and my mother would tell you I make a lot of games look easy. I've beaten many a Mario game on various Nintendo systems (though I've opted out of anything post Wii). Getting a Wii from my family after my evil ex absconded with the one I had played on was me regaining a piece of myself that had been lost since now I can play video games on that Wii.

Clearly, Leigh Grahill is a versatile designer who some professional women should talk to if they were looking for something unique and different to wear to a business function. She definitely could be the go-to designer for dressing female entertainment lawyers since we are supposed to be cooler than all the other lawyers & blend into the creative scene; at least I personally strive for that since nobody ever thinks I'm an entertainment lawyer unless they speak to me and I consider myself a person with a fashion sense.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

SJWs and Third Wave Feminists Have No Place in Entertainment: Get The Fuck OUT of the Industry!!!

Now I'm no fan of SJWs (social justice warriors for the unenlightened) and third wave feminists on general principle. How come? The short answer is both groups are hypocritical, obsessed with being politically correct and never listen to the opposing viewpoint but instead resort to shrillness both in tone and shutting down the other side (such as calling people who disagree "racist"). They are certainly as big of bullies as any of them would deem Donald Trump to be. I swear the man could eradicate cancer, give every US citizen a million dollars tax free, murder every domestic abuser & gang banger in the country and people would still hate his guts.

Take the Kathy Griffin incident. She does a photo where she's holding a bloody, severed head of Donald Trump, gets all kinds of public backlash, including from the Trump family THEN turns around a files a lawsuit against the Trump family for harassment. What kind of logic is that? Who is honestly seeing viability in this case?

If I were on that jury, I would think she brought any harassment she claims to have suffered on herself. How would she like it if someone did that holding HER severed head? Wouldn't her kids and her family have a right to be upset? Maybe nobody loves her and she has no children or family members who give a damn if she lives or dies. As she may not even be a natural redhead (I don't know), I should point out that not all natural redheads are uneducated liberal mouthpieces. Some of us actually have fully functioning brain cells and use our critical thinking skills. Yet it seems some brainwashed SJWs and third wave feminists are on her side and seem to think having a vagina makes you God. No, it doesn't.

This is perhaps one reason SJWs and third wave feminists have no business being in the industry but I can identify much closer to home reasons why they need to get the fuck out: they preach for superiority not equal opportunity & support censorship of dissenting viewpoints. They are more than happy to ignore the reality that freedom of speech and employment laws apply to straight white men just like anybody else. I'm actually a member of a social media group that deals with entertainment and some members post job ads.

One such ad sought a "female director" with no details on this project indicating that a female director was essential to doing the job and that a male couldn't do it at all. When one man pointed this out, a significant number of females and minorities chimed in on "why not" and didn't seem to get that "promoting diversity" is not an exception to federal labor laws. I, as an attorney, pointed out that this person just handed someone who could allege employment discrimination Exhibit A for their case to win against the offender trying to do this. Unless you can provide a "bona fide business reason" to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, and so forth, you don't get to do that. That's why you can't post a job ad saying "no blacks/Jews/Mexicans/Muslims/women/Irish/whatever" unless it's for an acting or modeling job where you're casting for a particular role or the designer has a particular demographic or body type for his/her collection. Abercrombie isn't required to hire full figured models for their ads anymore than a director is required to cast a woman to play Romeo in "Romeo and Juliet." Implicit discrimination is the same thing as explicit discrimination per legal precedence.

Some of these ignoramuses had the gall to think this was okay because of their dislike for straight white guys and their having lots of jobs in entertainment. Wow, what does that make you when you're telling some white guy "too bad" about this? Are you really any better than the white people who said that to black people who complained about segregation and employment discrimination?

Newsflash: there should be more diversity in Hollywood and the indie film world. But if you want that diversity, you need to be privately contacting female directors or gay filmmakers or whatever "diverse" category of choice person you wish to work with. Go find those people and network with them. Go seek out their works. Go ask those people who they know who might get overlooked generally but who is great at their craft. Get off your duff and start finding these people. Pay them what they are worth.

Most importantly, find the people who are good at this stuff regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Plenty of people are good on their own merits that they don't need some handout based on affirmative action. What they need is to get into the doors and for the gatekeepers to get to know them on their own merits. We need gatekeepers to have interactions with other groups where people in those groups are professional, humble and just as competent as anybody else without thinking they're God or entitled to anything because of some "minority" designation. We also need the people with talent to show they have it, not spend their time waiting around on a handout or demanding a handout. Almost nobody is handed a career in entertainment so people will heavily resent the whole "I'm a minority" card. If everyone else has to hustle, guess what entitled SJW/third wave feminist? YOU have to hustle too.

Any competent producer of worth hires based on the person, not their race/gender/nationality/orientation.

Maybe the biggest reason SJWs should not be in this field is that art is about telling a good story that everyone finds relatable in some fashion regardless of their race, gender, orientation. If you can tell me a story that might be about a culture or people who have nothing in common with me on the surface but as we go along, you show me there is commonality and a reason for me to empathize with these characters/this culture you're doing it right. If you sit down and say "I'm going to write a story that will appeal to women/gay men/Muslims/whoever," you're doing it wrong.

Art is not a segregated medium and should never be treated in that way. Being a good storyteller has nothing to do with your gender, race, age, sexual orientation, religion, political party and so forth. Your goal there is to show me how you see the world and why I should care about your world/perspective. A good writer is sharing a truth & I personally feel something that is great is something that makes me look at a situation differently, changes my perspective, shocks me, isn't predictable but ultimately shows me that we're really not so different from one another. Others may define their good in different ways but ultimately you're supposed to be telling a story that lots of people can relate to.

I think as an indie film person since I've heard all sorts of really nasty things about Hollywood and don't feel it's a world I could relate to. I'm the type who insists on doing things on her terms or not at all; I'm not about selling my soul or degrading myself to get someplace. I'd rather die with my morals than live as a puppet or a shill or a slave. There may be other "minorities" who feel like I do and there may be some willing to sell their souls. That's a personal decision and also has zero to do with race/gender/orientation/etc. Regardless, anyone should get the opportunity to do what they will.

Getting opportunity has nothing to do with special privileges you demanded from others, which never works in life. People hate feeling policed or like they MUST consider such things in hiring decisions. I've made my own stance on who I am clear in prior entries, even talking about why I wouldn't join a "women's group" and how I don't want to be known for being a "woman" this or that since I'm not some inferior who's just good at it "for a woman" or even "for a natural redhead."

Finally, to address the third wave feminists they don't belong in entertainment because getting offended at old white men calling you "sweetheart" or some other term of endearment that comes from their being from a different generation and time or even geographic region (these types would explode if they had to live in the South where such greetings from strangers are commonplace) is going to be a problem for all concerned. It creates drama as well as trite offense and nobody wants to deal with that. That rage needs to be saved for real sexual harassment situations like groping and being propositioned or told you have to come across to keep your job or get a role. Why not address that stuff instead of whining because someone said "good morning" to you? People who do that diminish real situations and actual victims of sexual harassment; they make things a hundred times harder on them.

Third wave feminist types embody the eggshell skull types we hear about in law school; actually so do SJWs. Those people bother me personally on many different levels and I'm always relieved and gratified to find others who feel the exact same way. Those others have tended to cross racial, gender, socioeconomic and sexual orientation lines. It gives me hope for the world.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "Antigone" by Jean Anouilh Presented by Fusion Theatre

This was actually my first time going to an opera of any type. Most of my exposure to culture came from going to a local theater in my town as a child for school field trips and some field trips to cultural centers in my hometown. Perhaps my first significant exposure to opera was meeting lawyers at one of the bar associations I belonged to who can actually sing it and did quite well at it. So in short, I am not a lady with Italian language competency or any real qualification to evaluate opera in a traditional sense as someone with knowledge would be able to do.

Fusion Theatre, whose mission is to strengthen classic plays with the great art of opera, will present Anouilh's "Antigone," enhanced by sung selections from five classic operas, May 17 to 28 at The Studio Theatre in Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street, directed by Eilin O'Dea. Antigone Cast

I came to “Antigone” with some familiarity of the classic story but never having actually read the play, either the Greek play or Jean Anouilh's adaptation. I also wanted to go to an opera and figured a show combining opera and theater would be an ideal format for me.

Eilin O'Dea as Antigone. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

Antigone (Eilin O'Dea) is a young woman of royalty who lives in the palace with her sister, Ismene (Allison Threadgold). Both are the daughters of Oedipus, the former king who was slain in battle. His brother, their uncle Creon (Paul Goodwin Groen) is the new king. His son Haemon (David Grant) is set to marry Antigone (this is the royal family in Greek times so that sort of marriage is the normal course of business in this place and time).

Eilin O'Dea as Antigone, David Grant as Haemon. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

It seems Antigone's life is all planned out but there is the pesky business of her older brothers being slain in battle in the face of turmoil in the kingdom. The brothers were to share the throne but the first one placed by Oedipus refused to give up his throne when it was time for the second brother to reign. Creon, for the sake of practicality and getting things back in order, decided to honor one brother while leaving the other one to rot and be picked apart by the birds vs. getting a proper burial and funeral rites. Furthermore, Creon has declared that if anyone attempts to bury the disgraced brother, that person will be sentenced to death.

Byron Singleton as First Guard, Paul Goodwin Groen as Creon, Igby Rigney as Page. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

This does not sit well with Antigone since she feels her brother deserves a proper burial regardless of the law and the need to restore order to the kingdom. With full cognizance of the consequences and the urging of Ismene not to do it, Antigone reveals that she has already attempted to bury her brother.

Foreground: Eilin O'Dea as Antigone, holding dirt from the burial of her brother. Behind (L-R): Allison Threadgold as Ismene, Igby Rigney as Page, Sue-Ellen Mandell as Nurse. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Creon, being caught between his own law and love for his niece/future daughter in law, tries to hide her involvement in the crime despite her being seized by the guards watching over the body to avoid illegal burials.

Paul Goodwin Groen as Creon. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Antigone refuses to comply. She insists that the burial must happen and if she can not accomplish this and receive her proper punishment for doing this, it is not worth continuing in her life. She stands by her principles regardless of the price and later revealing her fear and uncertainty to the first guard who discovered her (Byron Singleto).

Byron Singleton as First Guard, Adam Shiri as Second Guard. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

Haemon, the man she is betrothed to who loves her dearly, insists that if Creon kills her Haemon will die as well and we learn later that he's joined her in her tomb and killed himself when Creon discovered him.

Many positive things can be said about this show and its performance: there was a diverse cast, which worked very well since the story itself is universal and the casting did not feel forced or coerced but seemed natural. I also like the sparse staging and limited props used to tell the story since the show wasn't overblown or fancy like some performances might be. This had to have put pressure on the performers to be top notch. Fortunately, they were. When Creon is doing his piece after Antigone has refused to let him cover for her, you can see him crying. The first guard, Antigone and the messenger (Paulina Yeung) also have songs and all were great at conveying their respective character's feelings, emotions and/or the story through their work even if you didn't know the Italian words.

Paulina Yeung as Messenger. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

This performance was held at the Studio Theater on Theater Row, which is a great place to see a show in the summer since there is air conditioning, a precious commodity in New York City. The theater was also small enough to be personal and the seating was set up in a way where everyone could see the show regardless of what row they sat in.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Women's Equality: It's Not Just for the Old and the Ugly

So, my views on feminism are extremely nuanced and after reading a story on LinkedIn a few days ago I definitely think some words need to be said.

A young, attractive looking woman recounts her recent experience of being fired from her admin job the very same day she started there despite making effort to learn the job, having lunch with the boss and doing nothing wrong except existing on the planet. The male boss hands her a check at the end of the day, saying "I didn't tell my wife I was hiring for this role." I along with some other commenters suspected this woman was the victim of a jealous wife and her insecurities. Worse, others talked about how this was commonplace in the work force (particularly in closely held private companies) or personally experienced that themselves in these our modern times.

So, as a woman who went from married to divorced and ugly to pretty by society as well as a business owner who dealt with the HR end in a company, I have a few choice words to say about this situation:

1. These wives should have ZERO hire/fire authority in a business. There is a little thing called gender discrimination, which is a state & federally protected category. Who knows what these harpies said to these women or what they heard from the male boss or anyone else in the company that could subject the place to a deserved lawsuit or EEOC complaint? If you can't run a business separate from your insecurities and mental issues, you should not be in an HR leadership role.

Instead, these crones need to seek counseling, perhaps even take their husbands to couples/marital counseling. They need to be asking themselves why they wish to stay in a marriage with a man they have so little trust in. Why in the hell do you want to subject yourself to that aggravation and harassment in the name of a "marriage?" Children see that stuff & they'll just learn Mommy is a jealous bitch or think it's okay to treat attractive women like garbage or that marriage is all about controlling men instead of a mutual, loving relationship where those two people have each other's backs no matter what. That's what I would have picked up from that. Do these women hassle their attractive teenage and 20 something daughters for their looks?

2. These men do not need to have businesses since they don't have any balls, which leadership requires. It doesn't work if you're running to your mommy or your wife every 5 seconds for every little decision. See #1 if your wife refuses to behave like a mature grown up and recognize that attractive women have the right to gainful employment and not be looked upon as scum for doing nothing more than existing on the planet. Also, if men are that unhappy with their wives they need to seek out a divorce instead of cheating on them or enabling their insecurities.

3. Who wants to bet these same wives are Clinton supporters and claim to be feminists and "pro-women?" Plenty of women backing Clinton claimed that women who didn't vote for her were traitors to the gender. But look how Hillary treated the women who said her husband sexually abused them? Was SHE in any way being "pro-woman?" NO!!!!!!!!!! That along with her stealing the nomination from Sanders and thinking it was a coronation convinced me she was not worthy of my vote.

Newsflash, harpies: if you're pro-woman, that means you support ALL women. That includes women who are younger and more attractive than you. It includes women who disagree with you. If you're okay with bashing and harassing some woman for being better looking than you, then you aren't a feminist. That makes you a hypocrite along with a harpy, a crone, anything else negative we can think of including jealous and insecure. Another newsflash: it takes TWO to tango. Where is your rage at the guy harassing such a woman? Why are you blaming some woman's mere existence when it could easily be a different one tomorrow? Being an asshole to someone who's better looking doesn't make you a saint nor a hero.

Do you want to fit the guy for a chastity belt or shouldn't you grow the fuck up, get some self-confidence and be content with who YOU are? That's why you need counseling. Confident people don't have to knock others down to lift themselves up. They actually TRUST their spouses and boyfriends and react to cheating with "nobody's stopping you from walking out that door but you'd better not try coming back since I won't have you."

What would these wives do if some attractive sales person or business development person from a potential client's office walks in trying to solicit business from that company? What if she's from a company that could make that business tons of money? Are we going to let jealous harpies dictate these decisions? Is she going to have the husband call up the client company and say "you can't have this person discuss the deal with us?" If it were me, I'd say run your own damn business and I'd spend my money elsewhere instead of catering to some old crone's self-esteem problems.

I think there should be a listing of these businesses and they should be boycotted as well as sued or run out of business since those are terrible businesses which shouldn't exist, period. I would happily boycott these places and if that incident happened to me, I would seek out whatever recourse I could.

So in reading about this, I realized that this is why you will never organize a truly proper pro-women's movement. It seems too many of these women are talking out of both sides of their mouth. Get the young pretty secretary fired for merely existing (no actions on her part) while claiming to want equality for women. I also can't get behind third wave feminists since they just want superior rights & to create offense out of thin air. I'm not for that.

There was an observation years back that conservative women are more attractive than liberal women on the whole. In light of this story, I can see why that could happen. Plenty of liberal women are hypocrites on the cause of equality of women and who wants to deal with that? I've generally been seen as smart instead of pretty first so many look at me as intelligent but I've had to deal with jerkoffs who'll tell me how it's great I'm a lawyer but then ask me out as though I have to put out to get business. That infuriates me and I definitely make that known to guys who do it. If they hate me for that, I don't care & I wear that proudly. Attractive women deal with that even more when they aren't licensed professionals so why would they want more shit from insecure harpies? The women's rights leaders should really examine this & ask themselves these questions, don't you think?

Friday, April 14, 2017

It's All Fun and Games Until You Have to Clean the Pee

I guess you could say that for babies as well? That's how my dating life has felt.

Perhaps I was very spoiled with my ex since I never had to do this in the many years of my married life. I don't recall doing this while we were living together or dating either. In my varied adventures, this never happened but in my post-divorce life that has come up with more than one guy. Men, if you've got no other selling point for yourself just tell the ladies that at least you clean up your own pee. You are not that guy who gets urine EVERYWHERE in the public bathroom to the chagrin of everyone who ever walks in & especially the janitor. Come to think of it, maybe the fact that my ex had been a janitor/custodian is why he didn't do that stuff. He was the guy who got stuck cleaning it for a living. He told me a tale of feces being smeared about & one tale of a cell phone that was sitting in pee!

Unless maybe you were into that as part of your sex games, why in God's name would you go to someone else's house and not clean up after yourself? If that person has roommates, you've also managed to make your significant other the target of ire and scorn from his/her roommates. This, in turn, will piss off your significant other who has to live with these people & frankly, these people have a valid point. If I go to YOUR house, will your bathroom be grosser than one inside a gas station?

By the way, some free advice: if you're going on a road trip DO NOT go to a gas station if you need to use the bathroom. Go to a McDonalds or another fast food restaurant. In the Southeast, at least, the McDonalds bathrooms on a whole are much cleaner, located in a safer place and no one will hassle you to buy food first. Of course, if you can to a place you want to get food at the bathroom trip will be much easier to take care of. When I drove from Atlanta to NC, I'd look for the Chick-Fil-A since I'd eat the food there & you better believe their bathrooms are immaculate. Not to mention their customer service is a trillion times better. Apparently if you want to use the bathroom in NYC, you go to a bar if you can't get to a Starbucks with a bathroom.

There should be a law that you never have to clean a grown person's bodily waste unless A) you are married to that person, B) you are that person's paid caregiver, or C) you are a medical professional on the clock at work. No mentally functional adult's parents should ever have to deal with that since that parent already went through all that when that person was growing up.

Do other straight women deal with this? What do they do? I have my ideas for tackling such an issue that hopefully won't involve me setting off an air horn indoors. This is another one of those "men are puzzling" things. Another thing that puzzled me is this guy I liked, went out with a few months back, figured it wasn't going to happen after getting some uncool information from him suddenly reappeared and wanted to hang out with me. My feeling was shock then "okay..." How many men actually follow through on the "let's be friends" stuff? In my experience, zero.

Now I think he could end up being good for me if I can feel comfortable and there can be mutual trust. Definitely within the league of Single 2.0 me but I feel like it's still in the "getting to know you" stage & I'm wary of putting too many emotional eggs into one basket + don't trust that quickly.

I also met a guy who claimed to want to see me again but decided to pick the day I started that time of the month to do anything of an intimate nature. Not heard from that one since I've been hanging out with the guy who reappeared. It's like "if you just wanted to find some girl to do the nasty with, why would you pick the one who's bleeding?" Even if you're a 3 on the 1-3 scale of such things (see a prior post on this subject), wouldn't you only do that with someone you knew vs. picking a total stranger, regardless of how cute she was? It's just easier for cleanup and all that, isn't it? So I haven't concluded if this guy was sincere in his claims to care or if he's just really lousy at selecting drought breakers.

Let's not even get into the reappearing acts. I think some men are like stray cats. You feed them once & they always return, even a long time later. Not sure if I have some type of talent or what that's all about. Still trying to figure that one out since I feel like there are plenty of other attractive women in NYC, even natural redheads with some looks. These men don't need to keep bothering me, yet they do. Why?!?!?

Seriously, though some of us are childfree & if we wanted to clean up bodily waste we would give birth to our own children and deal with diaper changes. Agreed?

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "Your Name on My Lips" presented by Crystal Field (Executive Artistic Director) at Theater for The New City by Eric B. Sirota

* A disclaimer before you read this review: I am a very cynical woman in matters of romance and love. My parents had a dysfunctional marriage featuring my father as an emotionally abusive alcoholic and my mother as his enabling, God fearing wife in the backdrop of the American South, a region known for wives in particular getting the short end of the stick in marriage matters. A lack of money did not help their problems though my mother should be commended for her emotional strength and resourcefulness.

I had no childhood sweetheart, often got dumped by guys in college when I wasn't having to fend off clingy psychopaths I didn't find remotely attractive, fell in love at the ripe old age of 23 and after a marriage of more than 7 years found myself thrown out into the street by the “love of my life” a mere 9 months after my father's sudden death with no real explanation except his stating “I don't want to be a subsistence farmer” and him thinking it was my duty to be his meal ticket so he could sit on his butt and do nothing.

After a very bitter divorce and 16 months as a transient in NY and CT, I have slowly been trying to make myself whole again if not better. To say that I do not believe in love and don't trust anyone is a gross understatement; I even got a tattoo many years ago commemorating the fact that true love does not exist for yours truly.

So for those of you reading this review, please bear this perspective in mind. You might agree, you might disagree but this is my honest critique.

Perhaps the night I saw this show wasn't the best time as I did have a brief panic earlier in the day that a guy I'd seen recently is & has been carrying a torch for someone else; yeah, most women and especially me do not want to deal with any guy carrying a torch that isn't for her whether you are just friends with benefits, boyfriend/girlfriend or getting engaged. *

“Your Name on My Lips” is about an artist named Sam (Matt Mitchell) who comes from a troubled family background but finds his artistic muse in a young girl named Suzanna (Michelle Siracusa). As they grow into teenagers and into high school age, they become romantically involved and Suzanna even loses her virginity to Sam.

Matt Mitchell, Michelle Siracusa

Like many young girls, Suzanna comes from a modest, middle class background where her father (Brandon Grimes) loves Sam's vision of Suzanna and how much Sam clearly loves her while her mother (Erin Evers) is more of a social climber type. She dismisses Sam for his lack of drive to become a millionaire or hailing from a good family and really wants Suzanna to marry rich, including dating George, the son of an affluent banker in their town (Jarred Bedgood) even though Suzanna has no romantic interest in him. Of course Suzanna is going to attend college and she attends a school far away from her childhood home.

"Your Name On My Lips," written and composed by Eric B. Sirota, directed by Gerald vanHeerden, presented by Theater for the New City March 2 to 19, 2017. Foreground: Matt Mitchell as Sam and Michelle Siracusa as Suzanna. Behind: Brandon Grimes and Erin Evers as Suzanna's parents. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

While in college, Suzanna ends up meeting Phil (Clint Hromsco). Phil is another guy from money who introduces Suzanna to drugs, cocaine in particular. As Suzanna and Sam are apart and see each other sporadically, Suzanna is torn between her devotion to Sam and the siren sound of wealth, affluence and materialism. Sam faces his own temptations via his friend Jack (also played by Grimes) to go after the lovely, more in his league Kate (also played by Evers). The difference is Sam stays true to his Suzanna while Suzanna throws Sam under the bus in more ways than one.

Suzanna decides to bring cocaine to see the anti-drug, anti-alcohol Sam (whose parents were killed by a drunk driver, as we learn at Suzanna's 12th birthday party). When the police notice the drug she'd discarded, Sam took the fall for her so she would not get kicked out of school and have her life fall apart. Eventually, Sam is released on a technicality but the police officer and public defender even engage in a song called “No Girl is Worth It” to prove the utter futility of this act. Suzanna is nowhere to be found in Sam's time of need but not to worry: Fantasy Suzanna (Aja Downing) comforts him while Suzanna is being a wussy little B.

Suzanna also refers to Sam as “just a friend” while talking to George, unknowingly in Sam's earshot. However, it feels like a warning to Sam that Suzanna isn't nearly as devoted to him as he is to her. Even Suzanna's college roommate Beth (also played by Evers), who at first tells Suzanna to go live the college experience, later changes her tune about Sam. She tells Suzanna outright that if a guy felt about her the way Sam feels about Suzanna, she'd not throw that love away like Suzanna is doing.

Erin Evers (as Beth), Michelle Siracusa

Another act of betrayal is Suzanna's hooking up with Phil, which leads to her getting pregnant. While in the hospital, presumably approaching death, she claims that she loves Sam and claims to love him and that she'll have “your name on my lips.” After the doctor comes in to tell him Suzanna will be fine, he notices the diamond ring on her finger. It turns out Suzanna is pregnant with Phil's baby, is engaged to him and is a big fat liar.

I really wanted Sam to yell “Fuck you, bitch” all Eminem style in the face of all this betrayal and nastiness against him, perhaps right after the drugs scene. But alas, that's not our Sam. He acted far more graciously than just about any man in America would if confronted with such a scene. Fortunately, Fantasy Suzanna reappears and talks sense into the man so he doesn't throw away his future over a cold, materialistic liar. Sam eventually gets his full scholarship to art school and decides at the end to go pursue his dreams and leave the real Suzanna behind.

You have to wonder what poor Phil is thinking about this woman who sat here and claimed all this devotion to a guy that wasn't him. If she's not lying about her feelings for Sam, you have to wonder what type of marriage and family upbringing this kid is going to have. Will Phil eventually tire of moral duty and leave Suzanna to carry torches for other guys, maybe taking their kid with him? We learn that Phil has pure intentions toward Suzanna and wonders if she'll ever get over this other guy to feel that professed devotion toward him someday. Perhaps that child will grow up to be as cynical about marriage as I am.

Clint Hromsco, Michelle Siracusa

The cast as a whole was extremely talented & needed to be as this was essentially a musical. Jarred Bedgood is an extremely talented dancer, as we saw when Sam meets with the art dealer to decide what works he would like to buy from Sam. I also thought the songs were well done (especially “No Girl is Worth It” and “Joules/Jewels,” a song that's funny, blunt and painfully accurate), the scenes at the party were great, Beth had some great song lines that made me laugh and you definitely felt empathy for Sam.

I just lost my empathy for Suzanna around the time she was trying to get Sam to use drugs or maybe it was when she told George Sam was “just a friend.” It is absolutely nothing personal against the actress. I'm not sure what her direction and aim toward the character was but if it was to not make us have empathy or sympathy for Suzanna later, she succeeded.

I would have liked to see how Suzanna viewed herself in light of this behavior. Is she aware of how her conduct harmed Sam? Does she hold herself up as a great human being? Does she feel ANY remorse at all for playing these men? I suppose I saw none so that led to me losing any empathy toward her and really wanting her to be the recipient of an Eminem style verbal smackdown. Another random fact about me is that I have been told I think like a guy with regard to relationships so I despise fickle females like Olive Oyl from the “Popeye” cartoons.

Thank God for Fantasy Suzanna. I feel like she deserved a better introduction earlier on and the actress herself was underutilized. She brought a quiet, calming presence to the proceedings and her talking sense into Sam made me leave the show feeling a little better about humanity.

Matt Mitchell, Aja Downing

I've been to Theater for The New City a few times, even doing a show there myself once but had never been to the Johnson Theater. Nice auditorium and I liked the set design for this show. It seems the writer was also taping the show and I overheard him speaking to audience members near me about this show; he said that it was a work in progress until he got it to Broadway. Well, as a woman I would have liked to see where I could feel any real empathy for actual Suzanna later on vs. thinking she's another portrait of why men don't trust or have any loyalty to good hearted women who'd never put crass materialism ahead of true love.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Surreal Adventures of The Angry Redheaded Lawyer: "The Wizard of Oz" by the Harlem Repertory Theatre in association with The Yip Harburg Foundation

The timeless story of “The Wizard of Oz,” brought to life by a jazz soundtrack, modern & innovative musical numbers as well as an ethnically diverse cast (except for natural redheads, which I will get to later) is given a modern and fresh take at the Harlem Repertory Theater in association with The Yip Harburg Foundation. As background, Yip Harburg found in L. Frank Baum's classic book a story that was applicable to all races and backgrounds instead of that portrayed by the Hollywood film.

When I walked in, I was greeted by the most friendly staff and was instantly escorted to my seat right in front. For those who have never been to the Harlem Repertory Theater, it is literally an immersive experience. The audience seating is located on an uphill incline in a circle while the stage is located at the bottom and the jazz musicians were placed right next to the stage on the left. There was no problem at all with not being able to see if you were sitting in the back and the setup was traditional like when theater began in Ancient Greece but the atmosphere was far from stuffy, dull or boring. Jazz was playing as we were waiting for the show to start and whether the presence of kids had anything to do with the homey touch and feeling or not, I thought it was a wonderful vibe. In fact, this was one of the best venues I have ever seen a show in because of the warmth and comfort in the atmosphere.

The dance numbers, choreography, music and the presentation of the show was wonderful. The actors came right into the audience though no one touched audience members or made anyone feel awkward from what I observed. I like that Dorothy had on a more traditional outfit for a girl living on a farm in the first act and how the dancers moved in the tornado scene. You definitely felt that tornado hitting the farm.

Harlem Repertory Theatre, in association with The Yip Harburg Foundation, presents "The Wizard of Oz" at Tato Laviera Theatre, 240 East 123rd Street (at 2nd Ave.), Manhattan. Taylor-Rey Rivera (Dorothy) and Toto. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

I love that the Wicked Witch of the West was a redhead. Somebody did their research on redheads (insert devilish grin here). My mother, herself a natural redhead, will tell you that “redhaired children are mean”; eventually, we grow up into redhaired adults and continue to disturb the order of things—I like to think my mere presence as a natural redhead accomplishes that. I would have liked to see a natural redhead doing something though I get the realities of rarity (we are 1-2% of the global population, after all) & if you were looking for a redhead who is also black or of Hispanic/Latin origin, then you have even more difficulty even though a couple of those redheads have spoken up on social media groups I've posted in. I face my own problems existing in a “niche” that is almost never represented nor entirely respected and regarded in many places. Apple, I'm looking at you.

Despite this, the actress who played the role (Emily Ramirez) definitely pulled off the evil and nastiness of the Wicked Witch/Myra Gulch.

Foreground: Emily Ramirez (Wicked Witch of the West), Barbyly Noel (Glenda), Taylor-Rey Rivera (Dorothy). Behind: Munchkin Ensemble. Photo by Jonathan Slaff

In fact, all of the actors were great in their roles along with the dancers. I like that all the dancers weren't your stereotypical, uniform skinny dancers who looked exactly alike. Aside from that whole redhead slight, I applaud whoever did casting in picking performers who represent everyone who might have a dream of doing this someday so kids of all body types and looks could see themselves reflected in this show. This being a show kids were invited to see, I like that someone was thinking about this issue.

L-R: Dexter Thomas-Payne (Lion), Derrick Montalvado (Scarecrow), Ben Harburg (Tin Man), Taylor-Rey Rivera (Dorothy). Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

One of the best moments in this show was when our heroes were in the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West and the Lion scares off the guards. A kid shouts out “You did it, Lion!” The actor playing the Lion (Dexter Thomas-Payne) looks in the direction that shout came from and gives the kid a thumbs up. I thought that was a sweet, impromptu moment. You could tell that the cast really liked doing this show for the kids as I saw many hang around afterwards to talk to and take pictures with them and their families. If anyone was phoning it in or merely humoring these kids, I never saw it.

Dexter Thomas-Payne as Cowardly Lion. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

The variations from the movie we all know were also quite good. No poppies but you did see the Gale family rebuild their farm so things ended more happily for them and we saw that the tornado did in fact cause damage they had to fix vs. the movie ending where Dorothy wakes up in her bed, talks to everyone who came to see her after her injury and it ends from there. The jazz soundtrack also worked well for the story and definitely made it more universal in its scope.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Public Statement on My Withdrawal From One Way or Another Productions LLC

Today, I bid One Way or Another Productions LLC adieu.

For the past 9 years, I've learned a great many things from my colleagues and gotten an incredible opportunity to build a career in the entertainment industry as an executive and entertainment attorney that has gone further than I ever expected when I first came to New York City in 2007. It has been a constant among divorce, death, new opportunities and the various life changes we all (hopefully) experience in nearly a decade.

However, much like when a bird matures and eventually has to leave the nest, it is now time for me to leave the nest and fly on my own. This comes after I have been reduced to the role of figurehead, informed that the CEO does not “trust” me and after the CEO unilaterally removed/disabled the company's website, blog, email accounts, social media pages and altered an IMDB page for a project the majority of us had put blood, sweat and tears into over the course of many years.

Under attorney ethics rules and due to this unwarranted lack of trust, there is no longer a place for me in One Way or Another Productions LLC. I will not work as a mere figurehead and no one will play attorney under my name. I am disappointed and saddened that Thanksgiving with my family 1,000 miles away was deemed less important than an unpaid business conversation that could have awaited my return to New York City and never took place subsequent to Thanksgiving. I am angered that I have been cut out of legal matters concerning “my” company and that the CEO decided to improperly play attorney instead of properly delegating legal matters to me, particularly where my involvement would have saved all concerned significant time, money, stress and other expenses.

Where there is no trust, you have nothing. As there is nothing, it is now time for me to take the skills and lessons I have learned during my tenure and fly freely. I hope my colleagues will take a lesson, treat future attorneys with more respect and find happiness personally as well as professionally.