Monday, July 30, 2012

wonder wall

Feeling kind of exhausted today... I think the late nights this past weekend have finally caught up with me. 


Although I feel guilty about not getting to the gym this evening, my legs feel pretty good from all the dancing. Here's another karaoke moment: another go at Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" (the night before I did "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," but don't have that on video):




Not quite as successful as the Oingo Boingo song, but I do see some progress in terms of performing (here's a go at the same song back in February). This clip also reminds me that I did indeed do a split that evening! Once I strengthen my singing, I should be all set... but will have to pace it with the dancing! How does Britney Spears do it?... Eh, don't answer that.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Solid Gold!

I'm telling you, if this weekend were being judged like the current Summer Olympics, it would a gold medal-winner! 


My birthday/post-wedding celebration continued from Thursday on, including two nights of karaoke and dancing at Albany's Fuze Box nightclub. It was wild heading back to the Fuze, which stirs up all kinds of good memories for Sarah and me. The DJ was someone we knew previously, and she gave us a special shout out, and special non-80s request: "Analogue" by A-ha, which I had hoped to have played at the wedding reception. It was just a non-stop party, with plenty of great tunes (it helps to give requests ahead of time)! I certainly did a lot of dancing over the past couple days. 


Also, I really enjoyed last night's karaoke, held at bar called Bourbon Street, here in Schenectady. The DJ has everything... I even had a go at this old blast-from-the-past favorite of mine:





It certainly feels great to have strangers coming up to me afterwards, sharing their praise... saying that "you were really 'feeling' that song!" Yeah, I do love doing this type of thing, and watching the clip back, I see areas where I believe I did indeed "nail it." To me, it confirms the feeling I have that I should be trying my hand at more music and performing, in a much more dedicated, serious effort.


Tonight Sarah made a delicious dinner, with vegetables we picked up this afternoon at the local farmer's market--there's no comparison to fresh, from the farm to table taste.


Thank you friends for an unforgettable weekend.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Back to the Future

Today is National Dance Day, so tonight we are heading to... where else? The Fuze Box! Where it all began!

Photo by John Whipple. All rights reserved.


Friday, July 27, 2012

We Can Be Heroes...

Leaving the theater in style (others used the
front door)! Photo ©Jeremy Clowe. All rights
and Spidey-sense reserved.
Yesterday was a good day. Sarah treated me to dinner (including my free mega-margarita from Bombers Burrito Bar) and a movie. We finally went to see the new Amazing Spider-Man movie—I had been waiting to see it.

Now, as a long-time Spidey fanatic, I was skeptical about this new version, following so soon on the heels of director Sam Raimi's trilogy of films. I liked Tobey Maguire in the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and first thought this new actor (Andrew Garfield) looked a little too hip... pretty. The more I saw the trailers, I started to change my mind—it seemed to have a different aesthetic from the previous films, and the introduction of Parker's "other" girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, was an interesting move. In the comics, there was a tragic storyline involving Gwen's character... I wondered how closely they would follow this in the new movie.

Well, we enjoyed this new movie. It did, indeed, have a different tone than Raimi's version. One thing that struck me was the acting—a little more natural... realistic... Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy was quite refreshing. But I'm not saying it is better than the other films (except for #3), just different. The other thing that struck me was the cinematography—much darker, with many shadows falling. It made me think they were taking a cue from Christopher Nolan's new Batman movies (that's next on my list). The storyline was very well-done, relying less on the original story, but weaving (pun intended) some interesting details into the plot, like how Spidey received his super powers. It gelled rather nicely with the introduction of the super villain, The Lizard (who looked pretty cool). 

I think the big advantage this film had over the previous adaptations was the special effects. The use of CGI in Raimi's films can be a little distracting at times, and it was better executed here. I really liked Garfield in the Spider-Man costume... more than I did Tobey Maguire, but I'm torn about the other way around. Maguire is closer to how I picture Peter Parker... Garfield does have the angsty thing down, but he also is... maybe a little too hip. Perhaps it's the way I see the younger generation now... pulling out their computer games or texting... seemingly indifferent... apathetic... oh man, am I getting old? 

Overall, it was a very nice night, and my inner fanboy was thrilled. I always related most to Spider-Man... lots of adversity thrown his way (almost too much), but he perseveres. 

Alex Ross, “Mythology: Superman,” 2005
courtesy of the artist, SUPERMAN,
®, TM and © 2011 DC Comics.
All Rights Reserved.
Earlier in the day we had a meeting at Norman Rockwell Museum regarding our upcoming exhibition on comic book illustrator Alex Ross. I have been a big fan of Ross' work since his extraordinary Marvels books from the 90s, which contained his beautifully executed, realistic paintings of superheroes from the eyes of normal, everyday people. He has become quite a big deal in the comic book industry for his work, and back in 2003 I took my "little brother" (also named Jeremy) to New York City to see an exhibition on his work at Illustration House. We had a chance to meet with the artist, who is a big fan of Norman Rockwell, and I told him at the time that it would be wonderful if someday we were able to exhibit his work at the Museum.

Well, that day has arrived—the show, curated by the Andy Warhol Museum, will open at the Rockwell on November 10, 2012. Heroes and Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross looks at the acclaimed artist's career (including work for Marvel and DC), and also will feature some original Andy Warhols (interesting to note that he also started his career as an illustrator). 

I felt good that I had so much to offer during our planning meeting... I grew up completely immersed in this world (and collected regularly up through my first year in college), and still go back to visit from time-to-time. Similar to the way that my father and others of his generation learned an appreciation for art through the magazine covers of Norman Rockwell, I gained an appetite for the arts, partly, through the imaginative world of comic books. Yeah, I've got this one covered...

Related Links:





Thursday, July 26, 2012

J-Day!

You say it's your birthday? It's my birthday too, yeah! 

Happy Birthday to me! It's been a good month.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mazel Tov!

We got our photos back from the wedding photographer! I can't say enough about his work... he has a real gift at capturing these moments.... I knew he would for ours as well.



Photo ©John Whipple Photography. 


Check out more of his work on his website:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Let's Dance

First dance!



Video courtesy Margaret W. (aka Mrs. Batman).


Promising news today about another potential party... let the dancing continue!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back To "Reality"...

Well, we made it back to Schenectady--bit of a long drive last night, partly because we didn't want to leave...

We spent a final day/night in Montreal--it's a creative, friendly, sexy city, filled with a lot of history--it gets better each time I visit, and we definitely covered a lot of ground on this trip. 





Yesterday's highlights included another street festival (seems like every day in the summer), joining a student-led protest (against the controversial Bill 78), shopping around the city's eclectic neighborhoods (including Chinatown), and taking in a bit of an African music festival. I find the city quite welcoming and possessing a certain bohemian vibe, which is really refreshing--I hope we can go back again soon... maybe for our anniversary!

Today it's back to reality... sorting through my things, bills, and making plans for the coming weeks... I'm about to get busy in a different sense. There's still a bit of a high though... and our wedding presents to unwrap later tonight! So in that sense, the "honeymoon" continues...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Magnifique!

Sights of Quebec City... felt like we were transported to Europe! The sounds weren't bad either--whether it was the rush of the largest Canadian waterfall this side of Niagara (Mont Morency), or jazz and folk musicians playing in the city... we also could hear Roger Waters playing Pink Floyd's "The Wall" in its entirety... kind of special to hear this around the fortress of Old Quebec... "all and all it's just another brick in the wall..." What day is it again?



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Je pourrais danser avec vous toute la nuite!

Ok, now our French translation guide is coming in handy... we arrived in Quebec City late yesterday afternoon-- it is a beautiful city, and even more French-based than Montreal... we speak very little, but I was pleased that I managed to order grapefruit juice during breakfast this morning (jus de pamplemousse)!

Another highlight of this trip was the opportunity to finally see a Cirque du Soleil performance-- there was a free(!) show in the city last night, which amazed with high-flying trapeze, acrobats, and colorfully costumed characters... it continues the artistic, weird vibe that we have encountered several times on our trip--the kind of thing that seems more rare in the U.S., but here seems much more appreciated on a large scale.

We walked around the city a bit, hiking up a very steep incline to reach the outskirts of Old Quebec City. It was getting late and after the long-drive from Montreal and some shopping during the day, we didn`t last long... wè`ll head back over there today... as well as checking out a huge waterfall that we have learned about... need to keep that theme going... it`s our honeymoon after all!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sightseeing

Mont Royal... Saint Joseph's Oratory... absolutely beautiful! A good hike and plenty of inspiring views in this city... there's no excuse for not going to church in Montreal!




Thursday, July 19, 2012

For Better or Worse

We`re having a wonderful time in Montreal. Last night we caught a live theater show, which in some ways was wilder than anything that took place during my bachelor party-!... Canadians seem to have a lot less hang-ups than their North American counterparts. We have also been enjoying some amazing meals... usually served with fruit, which is ok by me.

Of course we keep thinking back on our wedding--in some respects it all seems a little surreal... having all of our loved ones in attendance... having all the attention focused on us. We have been so happy to get a sneak preview of photos, and can`t wait to see what our professional photographer and videographer have come up with.

Having said that, there are things I wish could have gone differently (damn melancholy). We received a bit of rain, but there`s nothing we could do about that, and it seemed to add to the poetic nature of the ceremony... starting almost on cue, and then clearing up not long thereafter (there was also a rainbow at the end of the day). People tell me it is good luck, so I`ll keep that in mind... at the moment, I just wished I had a handkerchief. I have to remember to be more vocal about what I want... not be concerned about coming off too pushy... I mean, this was our big day!

Most everything went off without a hitch, but I do have some mixed feelings about the music. We had compiled a huge list of songs, and it seemed like many were ignored. I don`t know if it was poor communication on our part, or the DJ didn`t have the songs... but this went differently than I had expected. I`m not saying it was all bad... our guests were having a blast, but again... it was our big day--once I realized it was the last song, I felt a little cheated. We`re thinking about throwing a big dance party to make up for it, and celebrate our wedding and my upcoming birthday... maybe I`ll look into renting the dance club where we met.

Of course we`ll look back and have the fondest of memories, but right now the perfectionist in me is trying to get over a few sour grapes- a reminder not to rely on others for the fulfillment of what you want out of life. I think it might be harder for people who are sensitive... but this also makes our intuition stronger, and I am never wrong when I listen to that.

One of the highlights of our trip has been a trip to the botanical gardens yesterday... you could spend a full day in this beautiful area of the city, not far from where the Olympics were held. Sarah wanted to visit the Japanese garden, and it was a real treat--it was partnered with a Chinese garden, and an insectarium. Walking around these beautiful gardens had a real calming effect on me, and reminded me of the value of getting out into nature, as well as the power of feng shui--I believe very strongly in the effect that your surroundings can have on you, in both well-being and creativity.

How can you not feel creative in this city? As an English-speaking American visiting a largely French-speaking area, it is a lesson in seeing the everyday in new eyes... and I`m finally getting the hang of the French-Canadian keyboard! More adversity, more challenges to conquer... in my life it seems unavoidable, but the benefits of perserving are ultimately quite rewarding... like a kiss in the rain...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Olde Songs

Our honeymoon begins in... Montreal! What a beautiful city. Today we enjoyed crepes and a walk around Olde Montreal... felt like we were in Paris.

We stopped into the Basilque Notre-Dame, an absolutely stunning church. I have included a photo of the sanctuary... we just sat and soaked it all in... must have been sitting there close to an hour, and were treated to a beautiful organ performance... my father, a church organist himself, would have loved it.

Tonight we're going to check out some African music festival taking place right on the streets of the city.

Looking forward to a week of adventure, and getting lost in Canada...


Monday, July 16, 2012

Love + Happiness

It's official... presenting Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Clowe! 



Thank you to all of our friends and family for joining us on our special day... so many special (and emotional) moments... we are very happy, and excited to start our new life together.


The reception was a blast, and brought us back to the dance floor... can't wait to see the video. The DJ did a great job, but I regret that a few of my favorites did not get played, including this one... (sigh... I'm definitely going to get cracking on that a-ha tribute show for WEXT):





That pretty much sums it up. Thank you again. All I want you to know... WE LOVE YOU!


On to the honeymoon... xo






Saturday, July 14, 2012

Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Thank you to all our family and friends for the wonderful weekend send-off before the wedding... which is tomorrow! WOW. Why am I blogging right now? Time to get ready, cause here we come!



Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday I'm In Love

It's Friday the 13th! For the third time this year(!) we have to endure this day of supposed bad luck... those who are superstitious about the day suffer from "friggatriskaidekaphobia"--wow. I have  a fear of spelling that one. So let me look back on the year so far... has 2012 been unlucky?


The first Friday the 13th took place last January. It actually was a great day... I had the day off from work, and spent it with my girl in New York City, where we made some important contacts, including meeting the rabbi for our wedding for the first time. We also caught a real-life Irish pub sing, toured a couple of the local museums (for free!), and met up with one of Sarah's college friends for a independent filmmaker get-together in the evening. 


The second date took place in April--it looks I had that day off from work as well, and again got to spend it with Sarah. I was bummed about not making it to Pulp's reunion show in New York City, but spent a very satisfying evening catching their set from Coachella, along with many other favorite Brit bands... from the comfort of my couch! Saved some dough there.


And finally... yes, today I have off again! This time to prepare for my wedding--in just two days! Sarah is right here with me, and although a little stressful checking on all the last-minute details, we have our rehearsal later today (with family and friends) and the sun is shining.


Take that superstitions (he says while crossing his fingers)!


Fear Of Friday The 13th: Inside America's Most Common Superstition, International Business Times, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Satisfaction

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the great Rolling Stones! I was always more of a Beatles fan myself, but have become more and more enamored of the Stones as time has gone by. I also have to thank Mick, Keith, et. al. for bringing me to Albany back in September 2005 to attend their live show. I met Sarah later that evening, and we've been joined at the thumbs ever since!


Funny enough, this song was one of the first I remember dancing to with Sarah (and it wasn't even 80s!). The lyrics don't really fit our relationship, but I love the song, and now it always reminds me of the way I literally swept her off her feet on the dance floor... yes, I even twirled her around on the first date... and we had only just met! That was a good sign of things to come... even then.


It's hard to believe that the Rolling Stones' story started 50 years ago, playing their first show on July 12th, 1962 at London's Marquee Jazz Club. Talk about longevity and staying considerably strong... I was amazed at that 2005 show how they could still blow many young musicians' away with their energy.


Of course I think I have been channeling the "moves like Jagger"--he certainly embodies the rock and roll spirit, and I try to emulate some of that with my own performing.


So here's to the Stones... I know, it's only rock and roll, but I like it! May you continue burning bright, and thanks for helping me find... satisfaction!





Related Links:


www.rollingstones.com


"50 Years Ago Today, The Rolling Stones Played Their First Gig," Rolling Stone, July 12, 2012 







Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Getting To Know You

Left to right: CTSB host Olga May Millgan, cameraman Leo Mahoney,
and the J. Clowe Experience at Norman Rockwell Museum.
Photo ©Jeremy Clowe. All rights reserved.
This morning found me back in front of the camera, doing an interview with TV host Olga May Milligan for her CTSB-TV program, Getting To Know You. Conducted at Norman Rockwell Museum, I filled her in our latest programs and exhibitions, including Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered and Norman Rockwell: Sports! For the latter exhibition, we have Rockwell's old bicycle on display, and Milligan actually remembers seeing the famed artist ride it around town back in the day, as a break from working long hours in his studio. Olga is a sweet lady of British origin (she even brought me a wedding card!), and she was joined by my buddy Leo Mahoney, who is the station manager at CTSB, where I work and volunteer part-time. The show should be airing in the next few weeks and might even be available online--details to come.


I certainly feel comfortable in front of the camera... and on stage. Last night while I was running the treadmill at my gym, I happened to catch the new ABC-TV show Trust Us With Your Life, which reunites many of the old improv players from Whose Line Is It Anyway? On this new show, hosted by actor Fred Willard, comedians Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie, and Jonathan Mangum act out scenes in the life of guest celebrities. Last night's premiere featured tennis star Serena Williams, and there were some hilarious moments recreating a time when she broke a piggybank as a child--I saw many similarities to the games I perform with the Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe, but the "this is your life" element was a fun twist. The show looks very promising... I found myself grinning on a number of occasions while watching--Brady and Mochrie, in particular, are hysterical-- very quick and smart--there was one great scene where they lie on the floor, and the camera made it look like they were playing tennis... funny, clever stuff. jack and Kelly Osbourne (Ozzy's kids) were the celebrities featured in the second half-hour.


Watching this show makes me anxious to get back to performing with RBIT again... during our last show, one of the young kids who helps us out with tech learned about my wedding and honeymoon... he became very concerned, wondering what I was going to do because I have a show next Friday, July 20? Bless his heart. I won't be joining them, but you can indeed catch RBIT next Friday at the Spectrum Playhouse in Lee, Massachusetts, or this Friday, July 13, at the Freightyard Pub in North Adams, MA. And don't worry... the J.Clowe Experience will be back... performing seems to be in my blood... bloody good, that!


Related Links:


"Trust Us With Your Life" official website
www.ctsbtv.org
Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Good Sport

Hot on the heels of Dr. Ruth, we had a visit from another highly regarded broadcaster today--sports writer/commentator Frank Deford. The event was being held by WFCR, the NPR affiliate in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Deford was their special guest speaker for the evening. 

Strictly a Sharpshooter! Frank Deford at Norman Rockwell Museum.
Photo ©Jeremy Clowe for Norman Rockwell Museum. All rights reserved.
Although I'm not a huge sports fan myself, I always enjoy listening to Deford's commentary that airs every Wednesday on NPR's Morning Edition. He has a great style in his delivery, and his segments frequently address the world of ethics in sports--something that is a true concern in this age of steroids and big moneyed sports franchises. 

Deford obviously has a love for the game--he joined Sports Illustrated back in 1962 (he's now their senior correspondent), serves as a regular correspondent for HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbeland has read over 1500 segments on NPR. He recently released an autobiography of his life as a sportswriter, titled Over Time, which he was signing during the Museum event-- I picked up a copy, which he graciously signed for me (including some words of encouragement on my upcoming nuptials). 

Deford is a tall man--not quite what I pictured when I hear him on the radio (that's usually the case with radio personalities!). Yet he certainly has a grace about him, which also comes through in his radio announcing. We walked to the new Norman Rockwell Museum exhibition called Norman Rockwell: Sports, and I did my best to try and interest him in doing a feature on some of Rockwell's iconic sports imagery (I would love to hear his take on it). Like Rockwell, here is a guy who can really draw you in with his storytelling--there is an honest and pure gift there... at age 73, I'm sure he has seen a lot, and it is nice to have an elder commentator add his viewpoint to current sports discussions... frankly, I think it is sorely needed. As I have grown older I appreciate the value of sports--from health to dealing with adversity, to the idea of teamwork--I know that Deford also gets it--that this is (and should be) the heart of sports' appeal.

Nice to meet off the radio, and I wish his beloved Baltimore Orioles the best of luck this season.


Related Links:


www.frankdefordbook.com


www.npr.org/series/4499275/sweetness-and-light

sportsillustrated.cnn.com/writers/frank_deford/archive/index.html

Monday, July 9, 2012

Closing Walls and Ticking Clocks

Man, it really feels like we're racing against the clock right now... not enough hours to work on all the thing we want to have ready before the weekend!


Last night I was back in the Hudson Valley, cleaning the house and getting ready for the arrival of my family. The house is big... takes a good few hours to get it all covered. In the midst of all that (and looking for old photos/video with Sarah), I forgot to complete my blog post for Monday! You'll have to take my word for it, but I did have this video clip saved in my drafts yesterday... so I did have something prepared and underway (I'm going to go ahead and date it for July 9, anyway). 


This Coldplay song, "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall," will forever be linked with my engagement--I had it on a mix tape that I played that evening in September as we rounded Niagara Falls, and the urgency of it perfectly matched that feeling of racing against the clock and the excitement over what was yet to come.

There seems to be a ongoing association with deadlines and Coldplay's music for me... a few years back I was invited to film a portion of a very intimate concert they gave at the Avalon (now the House of Blues) in Boston. I got the word very last minute, so I hopped in my car and drove the couple hours from the Berkshires to Beantown... unfortunately, my Mapquest took me out of my way, and I missed the opening songs I had been invited to record... disappointing, but I did get to see the rest of the show for free, and that was a good time. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Finishing Touches...

She's crafty... and she's just my type!
Photo ©Jeremy Clowe. All rights reserved.
Exactly one week to go! Unbelievable... I can't believe we're finally in the home stretch. Still a bit of work to do, but it has been fun... 

Today we stopped by the wedding venue to have one last meeting to go over things before our rehearsal. A lot of details to consider, things to look out for, and a few new ideas... As we walked outside, near where the ceremony will take place, we were pleasantly surprised to come across some new landscaping... we could not believe it... the site has built a mini-waterfall! It looks beautiful, and will tie in perfectly to one of the themes of our ceremony. I have to think that this was built just for us... right? Now if we can be assured that's the only water to fall on this (hopefully) outdoor event.

Here we go!...


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Love Is All You Need

Feeling much better, thank you. Finally got a good night's sleep, and enjoying some green drinks and healthy fruit and veggies today. 


Most of the day has been spent working on our wedding program--I'm really happy with the way it turned out! Again, I feel a certain calling to be a graphic designer... it was also fun to collaborate with Sarah again. The programs reveal a secret that we won't share until the wedding. Good fun.


We're off to a graduation/birthday party... there are several celebrations happening this weekend and through the week... it seems only fitting.


Friday, July 6, 2012

pop goes my heart

Well, I spent most of today still trying to get out from under this pesky cold I have developed over the last couple days... I can't tell what was making me feel so miserable: the cold, lack of sleep, or the heat (or combination of the three). There could be a third factor: lack of food. Yeah, we hadn't managed to get the store yet this week, so my "breakfast" consisted of left-over tortilla chips from last night's burrito. The saving grace came when my soon to be mother-in-law called to see how I was doing, and offered to bring over some homemade chicken soup... ok, I think I'm marrying into the right family here!


I was still feeling pretty drawn out for the rest of the day, and just looked at a few wedding-related items here and there. Trying to figure out banners, and we had a meeting scheduled with our DJ to go over music... but I was feeling so lousy by the time we were planning to meet, that I told Sarah to go ahead without me--that's saying something, because music matters to me! I told them to give me a call, and went and made myself a bowl of popcorn...


Get ready... cause here we come!
Photo by John Whipple. All rights reserved.
Well, if I didn't love popcorn enough before... I ate the delicious fluffy kernels and found myself feeling a hell of a lot better... sinuses cleared up a little, my head stopped hurting, and I suddenly felt a surge of energy--it was the best I have felt in a couple days! Did I just need some fresh air (popping)? 


I jumped in the car and headed over to Starbucks, where Sarah was meeting with our DJ, Raphel. It was cool in there, and the chai tasted good (as always). Again, I think we're in good hands... Raphel brought up certain considerations about the use of music in the ceremony and other details that I had thought about myself; she's a fun personality (and former high school classmate of Sarah's) and I think she will be a big help to us on our wedding day. Now comes the challenge... whittling down our list of songs for the reception... hmmm.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Listen to the Doctor's Advice

Warning: Parental Discretion for the Parents Advised


Ugh. Little did I know two days ago that I would come down with a nasty little sinus bug... last night was particularly rough--my head was pounding uncontrollably... not much sleep, needless to say... I have felt pretty run down these past couple of days (maybe this past weekend caught up with me).


Dr. Ruth Westheimer discussing the facts of life
(and Rockwell's painting) at Norman Rockwell Museum.
Photo ©Norman Rockwell Museum. All rights reserved.
So I stayed put today... worked on some wedding stuff, which I had been meaning to find the time to do anyway. Unfortunately, I was hoping to help welcome a special guest visitor to my Museum today: Dr. Ruth Westheimer. The beloved sex counselor has been in the Berkshires this past week to catch the premiere of Dr. Ruth, All the Way, being presented at Barrington Stage Company. The play, written by Mark St. Germain, tells the remarkable true life story of the pioneering radio and television sex therapist--from fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport and joining the Haganah in Jerusalem as a scout and sniper, to her struggles to succeed as a single mother coming to America. The play has received good reviews, and my friend Frank, who works at Barrington Stage, says that it is a tough ticket to grab!


This past week Dr. Ruth has been making the rounds... from a post-show discussion with the writer and actress Debra Jo Rupp (who plays the diminutive therapist), a signing at the local Barnes & Noble, taking part in the annual Pittsfield Fourth of July parade, and making a visit to Norman Rockwell Museum today. Apparently she had a great time, and even offered an amusing talk in front of the study for Rockwell's 1951 painting, The Facts of Life. I wish I could have been there... I have long been a fan.


Back in late middle school to early high school, Dr. Ruth burst on to the scene, hosting the groundbreaking radio program, Sexually Speaking, where the therapist took calls and offered advice on sexuality. As a young teen battling with his hormones, it was pretty wild to learn about this program, which aired Sunday evenings on one of the local stations in my hometown of Rochester, NY. I remember making excuses to go to bed early, and then would pull out the tiny walkman that my father picked up in Japan, and listen in awe... now I know what you're thinking, but relax... there was nothing salacious about this program--Dr. Ruth talked about sexuality in a very frank, honest, and mature way. Sure, it was a little funny to hear her grandmotherly German accent pronounce the word "penis," or punctuate her conversations with a "terrrrific!" but what I really appreciated was her open manner in talking about things we only seemed to skim over in sex-ed class. I certainly learned a lot from her show, and found the whole approach to be quite healthy... I had to laugh when I learned that my sister also tuned in occasionally (in the same way) to the show! 


So, I guess I missed my chance to thank this deserved celebrity--one of the best radio broadcasters I have heard. I thought I might even dare to ask her for some last minute advice about my impending marriage! Well, It sounds like this sweet woman of 84 has plenty of energy, so perhaps I'll have another opportunity... that would be terrrrific!


Related Links:


http://drruth.com


barringtonstageco.org/events/64175/dr-ruth-all-the-way


"Audiences Can Now Analyze Dr. Ruth," The New York Times, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The State of Independence Shall Be...

Happy 4th of July! It's my last as a free man... just kidding!


We spent the day working on preparations for our wedding- tying up loose ends for the ceremony and designing the program. It was hot and muggy today, and I seem to have come down with some kind of cold... ugh... but we soldiered on... got a lot done.


Last night I was feeling energetic and kicking up a storm in our dance class. We started learning the lindy hop, which was a lot of fun. It may have been our last class for the session, because time is running out... time for us crazy kids to face the music!


Photo ©John Whipple. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Worlds War Too

Still trying to rest up from the weekend, so I'll finish posting some of my War of the Worlds photos. It was a great chance to learn how a professional film production is done... I'm spoiled... first it was this, and then Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock.

My memories from War of the Worlds: working from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. on the set in Athens, New York, and then crashing at my Grandmother's across the river in Hudson; one night of real snow, the next courtesy of a snowblower; meeting director Steven Spielberg on the first day, and talking about Norman Rockwell, whose artwork he collects; acting next to Tom Cruise, and then his identical stunt double (LOL); Dakota Fanning's midget old lady double; pretending to watch a burning train run by the tracks; running to catch the ferry that was being attacked by aliens; recording scared voices up on one of the nearby streets; our rotating groups... it was all done like clockwork (we were Group C); and the checks... oh lord, that was good money (just in time for Christmas). Wonderful experience. You can even see me during the ferry scene, looking up at the sky in "terror"... good times. 


Photos ©Jeremy Clowe. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Love and War


Oh dear. Looks like TomKat is on the skids. Yes, while we talk of happy weddings, it seems the fairy tale is over for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. It's been about six years since TC was jumping up and down on Oprah's couch... I know this because that's when War of the Worlds came out, and people began talking about their relationship. Yes, he was acting very strange indeed... like a man in love? Perhaps... I tried to offer my own advice during my audition tape for the movie's red carpet contest. 


I remember back in late high school being impressed by Cruise--I sort of tried to copy that super-confident, charming manner... he was the guy who could do anything on screen... fly planes? No problem... play a perfect set of pool? You rack 'em, I'll smack 'em... Make a mean martini? Gotcha covered... I also kind of admired his hairdo (especially in Cocktail)--when I read in an article that one of his biggest pet peeves was his "bone-straight hair," I felt an instant kinship. I'm not sure at that time I ever imagined I would one day be standing next to him on the set of a major Hollywood picture. 

I had promised before to post some of my personal photos from my time as an extra on the set of War of the Worlds, so here you go... even one of me on top of the ferry (we did several takes, and I made it to the top on the last try). 



All photos by Jeremy Clowe. All rights reserved.
It was a wonderful, surreal experience... there was even a stunt double for Cruise walking around--he had a bit of an attitude, even bad-mouthed the extras while waiting for a drink in the small cafe near set-- I kept my mouth shut... I knew the real TC would never talk like that... no, not Tom with the perfect hair. When I stopped in the cafe, I saw a sign that said "All drinks paid for by TC"-- well, I think this was intended for the major players of the movie who had taken over the restaurant, so I had to take him up on it. I ordered a latte... named it the "Top Gun" special. 

So I'm sorry to hear about all these recent developments, TC--the next latte is on me.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bachelor Daze

The sun always shines on JC!
Photo © courtesy M to the T.
Survived New York! We had a great time in the city—dinner, dancing and, yes, karaoke. Sarah also enjoyed her bachelorette party, with a wine-tasting tour and apparently ended the night by riding a mechanical bull-!


I'd say the wildest it got for me was accidentally falling on someone while doing karaoke (don't ask), and climbing to the top of the bar during one of my songs (I always did like to set the bar high for my performances). 

Thanks to my friends and family for a truly memorable evening!