Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween!

National Novel Writing Month Begins Today!

30 days of literary abandon to write your novel!

How NaNoWriMo Works

1) Go to the website  and sign up for the event by clicking the “Start Here” button at NaNoWriMo.org.

2) Follow the instructions on the following screen to create an account.

2.5) Check your email for the account validation email and click on the link included.

3) Log into your account, where you’ll be prompted to finish the sign-up process.

4) Start filling out information about yourself and your novel in My NaNoWriMo.

5) Begin procrastinating by reading through all the great advice and funny stories in the forums. Post some stories and questions of your own. Get excited. Get nervous. Try to rope someone else into doing this with you. Eat lots of chocolate and stockpile noveling rewards.

6) On November 1, begin writing your novel. Your goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by midnight, local time, on November 30th. You write on your own computer, using whatever software you prefer.

7) This is not as scary as it sounds.

8) Starting November 1, you can update your word count in that box at the top of the site, and post excerpts of your work for others to read. Watch your word-count accumulate and story take shape. Feel a little giddy.

9) Write with other NaNoWriMo participants in your area. Write by yourself. Write. Write. Write.

9.25) If you write 50,000 words of fiction by midnight, local time, November 30th, you can upload your novel for official verification, and be added to our hallowed Winner’s Page and receive a handsome winner’s certificate and web badge. We’ll post step-by-step instructions on how to scramble and upload your novel starting in mid-November.

9.3333) Reward yourself copiously for embarking on this outrageously creative adventure.

10) Win or lose, you rock for even trying.

That’s all there is to it! Occasionally, participants write in to ask about the rules of the event. We don’t have many! But because we’ve found that creativity is often heightened by constraints (and communities bolstered by shared goals) we have evolved a handful of rules over the years. The rules state that, to be an official NaNoWriMo winner, you must…

  • Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
  • Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
  • Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
  • Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
  • Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
  • Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.

Help The Colony Theatre Survive

Here in Los Angeles, Gia On the Move, since its beginning has been a supporter of small and mid-sized theatre.  So it was shocking and sad to receive the news below, about The Colony Theatre in North Hollywood, via an email from our friend Colin Mitchell, editor over at Bitter Lemons.  It is a letter to subscribers and friends pasted and cut from BL.  This is our attempt to spread the word.  Please keep this going.  And please consider helping…

…These folks have been in business for 37 years.  If you can, do. If you can’t, do anyway.

Their plea below, the link for helping is right here.

October 27, 2012

Dear Friend of The Colony Theatre,

This is a painful letter to write.

The Colony enjoys an extremely loyal subscription audience, routinely renewing at a rate of over 90%, which is virtually unheard of in the theatre world. The quality of our shows remains stellar ─ this year we received nine Ovation Award nominations, including the coveted one for Best Season. However, because of recent changes in the environment and problems with the economy, it has been very difficult to attract new subscribers, making us highly dependent on single-ticket sales. Unfortunately, these have plummeted.

As a result, our financial situation has become critical. And, despite the fact that we have both forgone our salaries for many months, wiped out our personal savings, and maxed our personal credit cards in an effort to keep us alive, we have simply run out of money.

Consequently, we must raise $49,000 within the next two weeks in order to open our next show, The Morini Strad, as scheduled. And we must raise an additional $500,000, including pledges, by the end of the year in order to discharge our obligations and produce the final two shows of the season, I’ll Be Back Before Midnight and Falling for Make Believe.

We continue working very hard to raise the money, but if we are unable to raise the necessary funds, we will be forced to suspend operations indefinitely.

Live theatre is precious, and its very existence is being challenged in this economy, with too many theatres already having closed their doors. The Colony has a proud 37-year heritage, and we are exploring every possible avenue to keep the magic of our stage alive. If you, or someone you know, can provide this vital support, or partner with us in some way long-term, please let us know, so together we can turn this situation around.

We promise to keep you informed as we move forward. But whatever is to come, let us say to you, yet again: Thank you for coming to the theatre! 

Best regards,

Barbara Beckley Trent Steelman
Artistic Director Executive Director

Gia On The Move reviews: Those Whom The Gods Love

by Tracey Paleo

We live in a delusional culture.  It is that simple.

There may be Those Whom The Gods Love, but in writer/director Olivia Lilley’s two act drama of 3 people trying to live a lie it is obvious that delusion is an addiction we may never break because the alternative, Reality, is unbearable.

It is a story of psychotic proportions wrapped inside the self-deceptions of three individuals who on every level seemingly get sucked into the proverbial Hollywood Dream.

Billed as a “coming of age” story, Those Whom The Gods Love is a tawdry tale of Sonia (Elise Cantu) a sheltered astrophysics major who secures, via the internet, Darren (Tyler Ham Pong), an aging trust fund baby (at all of the age of 30), who flies her out for the weekend from Chicago to lose her virginity and Lulu (Christina Myers), Darren’s neighbor and earlier fling, a former Harvard dropout turned undercover paparazza, who will stop at nothing to win back the love of a Lindsay Lohanesque superstar.

Those Whom The Gods Love takes us through a profundicized gamut of mediocrity advanced by a generation whose perspective of the world is mostly realized through television, celebrity gossip, fantasy games and sexting.  In fact this play is a version of an outcome that “could have happened” had Ms. Lilley herself, accepted the sort of invitation that was offered to her in real life from an entertainment executive, long distance, early in her writing career.

Ms. Lilley’s “almost” experience is the grounds for Sonia’s character whose goal is to virtually if not actually erase herself as the isolated college student who although scientifically brilliant is lonely and desperate for beauty, money, excitement, nightlife, fashion, and famous friends — all of the things we are made to want in the purely advertorial societies within which we now live; an anxiety also shared by Darren and by the spiraling Lulu whose (very un-paranormal) doppelgänger the naive Sonia quickly becomes.

Grabbing at quotes from Andy Warhol and Oscar Wilde it is clear that these pleasure seekers are as eviceral as air and yet the desire for pleasure is so evocatively seductive.

For those of us with a clearer head, able to look at life straight in the eyes, it is oppressive and twisted.  Living outside of this very “real” spurious existence, is to be completely ostrasized. To have no place at all; to be silent, unnoticed, unimportant and undesirable.  We’ve gone far far beyond just having the latest and greatest anything.  We have been “Sucker Punched” living the psychosis like Babydoll except we are not trying to escape the asylum.  We like it.

What is least interesting in this play is what is actually its brilliance.  I.e. although lacking in a classical theatrical style or even depth, “always in the middle of a thought” writing,  playing the ideas a bit too small and very “slice of life,” and at instances, struggling with blocking and structure, it nevertheless, absolutely captures and specifically mirrors the obsessive ideals and behaviors of today’s youth culture which are not merely the affectations of people wanting to “be somebody.”

Andy Warhol’s words, “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” is now the realm of passe and the aphorisms of Oscar Wilde reign supreme, “The first duty in life is to be as artificial as possible. What the second duty is no one has as yet discovered.”

Cast members Elise Cantu, Tyler Ham Pong and Christina Myers all resonate in their respective portrayals amplifying the intellectual sentiments and questionably ethical “spirit of the age.”

Ms. Lilley’s point of view as she matures as a writer will hopefully continue to offer us a sound, if not brutal portrait of ourselves.

Well done.

Those Whom The Gods Love
NO MORE PERFORMANCES
Written and Directed by Olivia Lilley
Presented by Kids Terribles
http://www.KidsTerribles.com
Producer – Christina Myers
Set Design – Andrew Leitch
Lighting Design – Mike Berger
Costumes – Mitra Hosseini
Stage Manager – Marcus Gonzalez
Props – Alec MacNamara
Production Assistant – Robert Norman
Lost Malibu Surfur – Parker Marshar

Just For Fun – Spoofs, Smiles and Women in WIGS

Just in time for Halloween…This Toronto based comedy script group called Nocturnal Emissions has proclaimed, “The Scary Movie series sucks.  THIS is how you spoof a horror movie! Check out their website for more: http://nocturnalemissions.ca/

Just plain weird…All the way from Indonesia [Chris] sent us this Happy Dent gum maker video.  The video features chin mouth people and is hilariously strange. With the breakout success of Gangam Style we can’t  agree more that language doesn’t really matter with amusing videos.

Celebrity. Fashion. Style. Youth.

Photo Credit WIGSCO, LLC

Premiering this Saturday, October 27… A behind-the-lens look at Danielle Levitt, acclaimed NYC photographer known for her vibrant and cutting-edge images that straddle the worlds of fashion, art, and popular culture. Her subjects: include Mark Wahlberg, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jon Stewart, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Stone and Katy Perry.

Danielle is now the subject of a new documentary titled Danielle, on WIGS, the YouTube channel built around compelling, provocative stories centered around women. Ironically, the doc mirrors one of WIGS’ scripted series, Jan, which has more than 2.1 million views and stars Virginia Madsen (Sideways), as a world famous celebrity photographer.

Photo Credit WIGSCO, LLC

Upcoming Live Performances in Los Angeles 

Bits, Bites, Bikinis…The Bad and the Beautiful

by Tracey Paleo

Recently the very gracious Editor in Chief at LA Fashion Magazine asked me about my style of writing for GOTMLA.

“I’m always nice, but I’m definitely honest. I like to be generous but I also look at things with a critical eye [artistically] and although I hardly ever do it, when earned, I will call something out.”

“Well, in LA that isn’t going to get you a lot of friends, you know.”

“That’s true, but I’m never vicious, and I always do it with style!”

Sometimes you just have to call a Duck a Duck.

The Medusa Raspberry for Bad BehaviorAnd that is why this month Umami Burger on Cahuenga gets The Big Medusa from Gia On The Move for its bad behavior with the Los Angeles Deputy Editor of Flavorpill Magazine.

Being an invited press guest for a recent tasting should have been enough to sample a new musician-inspired burger (which at best was only mildly creative). But receiving an unending stream of wrong information from hostesses to other staff, refused entry onto the VIP stage (she thought she already was a VIP), generally ignored and then told by a server that she was not allowed to eat a hamburger without a mandatory Gold bracelet not received apparently by half the invited guests on the list, who nevertheless, gobbled up the free booze and barbecue in full view and THEN hearing that same server lie about her statements to the event coordinator who attempted to brush it all off, was just a bit rude.

 “I never said that.”
 “Ah, yes you did, verbatim.  And I was standing right there.”
`

Notwithstanding that Umami is an occasional local stop of my own, it really needs to be said, “Guys please get your act together or hire a more organized event coordinator and better train your staff.”  Being an invited guest anywhere generally means that you are welcome.  In this case, neither of us were at all sure.

24 Hours a Day of Comfort Food and FunWe joined forces and walked up the street to Kitchen 24 instead and had the best meal and best service of the night.  Thumbs up from this food critic for favorite comestible comforts and fun! (The After School Special with Tomato Soup is a MUST TRY!)

~~~~

`

One of my favorite highlights of the last 30 days was meeting Sam Milgrom, owner of the Mr. MusicHead Gallery on Sunset  over pizza and pasta at Cheebo Hollywood.

A spontaneous friendship of spectacular culinary proportions mixed with Music Industry history, Sam went on to make me his personal guest the next evening for a psychedelic 60’s singles party sponsored by Singular Magazine.

Where music meets art,” I didn’t leave empty handed.  Filled with iconic photography of legendary rock & rollers, the evening featured the artwork of Alan Aldridge, one of the era’s signature artists who was dubbed by John Lennon as “His Royal Master of Images.”  Mr. Aldridge is in part known for creating the original, scandalously graphic 1966 Andy Warhol Chelsea Girls film poster.

This culture vulture can now claim to be the proud owner of a numbered and signed print (seen here) re-colorized from the original.

Most interesting people met to be sure including designer Sue Wong in attendance who brought plenty of color to the evening.  Get yourself a classic and get framed at Sam’s other studio right next door.

~~~

Friday night at the 2012/13 LA Fashion Weekend offered a much more subdued experience than the outrageous fan fare of last year, with the new Nobu Lounge showcased as an indoor/outdoor experience.  Combined with a Juniper Sake shot bar, a cupcake booth, bangles, bracelets and a full sized sample bedroom set-up, the chic was outre.

To capitalize, cosmetics impresario Napoleon Perdis once again brought symmetry to much of the glamour of the evening with clean faces and heavy lips on the runway.  But so much fun was my pre-show beauty lift. And seriously, I needed it.

Makeup goddessesTotally saved by the delicate fingertips of the makeup goddesses, the One Concealer I’ll ever need under my Flaming Road eyes became, Creme de la Creme in a Quick Silver Flash! And with my Lolita Lilac Lip Lacquer, I was ready to flirt (which I did, generously).

Mikey Koffman in full swing as the heavy lifter MC’d the ceremonial opening in full fashion power introducing Summer appeal on the runway.  It was bikini season for designers Culture Swimwear, Nicolita, Amelie and Kate Swim who definitely strut the most vibrant collection.

Featured were  floral busts, full length sheer cover-ups, heavy fuchsias and fringes, peplum waisted bottoms, sexy razor backs, high waists, exquisitely simple one pieces and stringy mono-kinis, many heavily bejeweled and set off with loop earrings and hoop necklaces in gold.

All must haves for next years summer season.  Don’t wait.  Shop now. Get Customized by some of the designers with your favorites.  And may the gods of style be with you!

Jeff Versus The Volcano

by Tracey Paleo

With Halloween sold out everywhere, Thanksgiving sentiments on the shelves and hints of Christmas and Hanukkah wafting through the minds of early season bargain hunters, it’s clear that the holidays are upon us.

And, oh what jocund cheer!  Running around town every Saturday and Sunday off from a 50 hour work week; blazing through aisles and catalogs; draining the savings accounts; misplacing and last minute replacing of credit cards, check books and cash you just withdrew from the nearest teller; fighting road conditions on freeways that mask the swan song of local traffic jams on the way to every mall destination, to be finally met by the possibility of a $68 street ticket because there aren’t any more parking spaces in the free lot.  And wait? I have to go back? I didn’t get the right one; the right size; the right color?  My girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, sister, daughter, son, mother, father, employer wanted that one?  [S*@#]! It’s on backorder.  Do they still give Rain Checks here?  Why can’t I just get this on the website?

Bursting a blood vessel yet?

Let’s admit it.  Mostly, we’ve all come to somewhat sarcastically distinguish October 31st through January 1st as the furthest thing from the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

Every season each of us heads into the final months of the calendar with a certain expectation of dread.  We make promises to ourselves and swear that it will be normal.  It will be happy.  There will be more time for family and friends.  We will actually celebrate. Airline travel arrangements will be made earlier.  We will not have pay “those” prices, and there will be three seats, together.  There will be tickets left for the show that I and my spouse and my kids want to see, by the time I get paid.  There will be no crying!

There will be no fight to the death with the person who cut me off screeching into the last parking space I had been waiting patiently for.  The parties will be smaller; the cleanup more manageable.  There will be less presents under the tree. There will be no succumbing to the advertising induced mania.  Everything we want will be purchased online and arrive unbroken, batteries included, with exquisitely simple directions to use, and on the date specified by the manufacturer or retail fulfillment house.    I will NOT have to “Like” 55 Facebook pages or make a dangerous cell phone call while driving in my car just to enter the iPad contest.  Nothing will be done last minute.  It WILL be fun, darnnit!  And I will not explode!

If the thought of your head swiveling around well past October costume expiration dates or the price of a quick fix massage, to keep you from “losing it” has you down.  Don’t worry.  You are not alone.  Managing emotions during normal stress is already tough enough.  Under extreme conditions it can be pretty impossible.  Or so I thought.  And then I met Jeff …

Anyone who had been following the out of control coaster ride called Charlie Sheen (that would probably be 99.9% of us unless you live in a cave) stayed glued to the continuously erupting story as his new FX sitcom “Anger Management” based loosely on the 2003 feature and his public meltdown and firing from Warner Bros. “Two and a Half Men,” was picked up for 90 episodes; a back order of whopping proportions!  And with a cable history record setting 5.4 million viewers for it’s premiere back in June, it seemed clear that managing all that ugly spitfire was something that most people not only related to, but contended with and possibly expressed on a regular basis.  Watching Charlie mouth off publicly gave us justification as to why we couldn’t or wouldn’t figure out better ways to handle our own emotional selves.  But now that its viewership has taken a downward turn perhaps we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  All of that pissed off, might just be going nowhere, and maybe a good sign that we’re ready to do something about it.

Creative Anger Management SolutionsWhen I met President and Founder of Creative Anger Management Solutions, Inc., Jeff Feldman, it was one of those days where I myself was stuck in the middle of all of those statistics; stressed out at getting to the location on time; annoyed that I might have to park at the not so free, Beverly Center and backtrack through pedestrian traffic and street crossings to the local Coffee Bean on 3rd & La Cienega; sweating and trying to be “presentable” on an unusually humid Los Angeles day.

As it turned out, my anxiety was all for nothing.  Who sat with me, was one of the sweetest, most intelligent, interesting men I had ever met.  The “calm” of Jeff has an instantaneous soothing effect.  There’s no push-pull.  And for that reason alone, it was easy to just converse, “do coffee” and discover the true path of Emotional Intelligence.

So why is it that we get stuck automatically going to the extreme end of anger when tensions get high?  Does that make us stupid?  No, according to Jeff.  People just need better skills to deal with it.  They need to understand themselves, their decisions, available choices and that anger is not necessarily a bad thing.  Getting angry is normal.  Denying that is ridiculous.  But handling it is sometime difficult.  And that’s where Jeff comes in.  Having been used to working with petty criminals to lawyers with violent tempers, to corporate management employees frustrated with impossible work situations, Jeff has dealt with a full spectrum of agitation.  One would suppose that coaching all of these personalities would be as complicated and a spider web, but Jeff’s rule is simple.  Think and pull back.

One of Jeff’s secret weapons might be compassion derived from the extraordinary life experience of being a severe stutterer as a child all the way past college.  At 3 years old his mother was told that he would never be able to “speak for himself.” He would never carry on a conversation and never be understood by anyone.

After a crying jag that lasted three days, Jeff says, “My mother got out of bed and said, “F” it!  She wasn’t going to accept this. I was going to speak.  So she put me on a non-stop daily ritual of hard core speech therapy until when in my late teenage years, I finally took it over as a self-discipline. By the time I got to college, I had even invented new techniques for myself.  I learned to think very quickly.  I had to figure out how to replace words that I couldn’t say in the moment, with words I could actually pronounce out of my mouth, so that I could get my sentences across.  Out of necessity, I became pretty lightening fast about it.  The stuttering was still there, but I learned to communicate better and effectively in order to get around it.”

Adding to the arsenal is Jeff’s expertise in social media, marketing, sales management and branding, having founded and/or developed or consulted with other companies such as SelfPitch Media Group, Sprint, AT&T and Cisco, all dedicated to understanding and creating relationships of some sort.

In the grand scheme of things you could say that the skill of Communication is Jeff’s personal denouement brought about by practical self-evolution.  Overcoming something difficult by thinking, organizing, focus and practice; translating that skill into coaching others into a better, happier, even more sane way of living and relating.

On September 4th, 2012 Jeff posted on his own Facebook page:  The increase in people quietly seeking Emotional Intelligence Coaching for Impulse Control/Anger Management has risen exponentially in the last few years. Since Emotional Intelligence Coaching does not have any stigmas attached, it has no negatives.

Well that’s certainly good news.  I just hope that on the road to recovery, I make it through all of the traffic!