Moments of escape can be moments of clarity!

"Oh, had I but followed the Arts"-William Shakespeare

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bits & Bobs

Hello Summer! I am optimistically gearing up for a great Summer. Hopefully with some life changing transitions. Hoping to fit in a 2nd trip to Dublin, possibly late Summer, early Fall.
I have just finished an Online Finger-Spelling refresher course. So I will be ready to finally tackle the 401's. I believe there may be light at the end of this ASL journey.
On the Acting front. My latest CMP commercial has been running on CBS. Unless you know me very, very well, you won't recognize me. I will be the only brown hands plugging in various & sundry electronic devices. I'm still thrilled when I see it & find myself shouting at the TV. "Those are my hands & those are my hands & that's me...."
I have also become a member of  the CROWBAIT CLUB" a cross between Improv & a kind lunacy. Definitely not for those who crave direction & order. It's fun, and a great way to keep my foot in the Theater door without the commitment.
Now on to what pages I'm turning & what has me dancing in my own private Idaho.
I have just finished "BLANCHE ON THE LAM" by Barbara Neeley.
It's a book that presented itself like a treasure from under my vast pile of books that seem to procreate under my bed. Because I swear that there are more every time I look. So, once in a while I peruse the pile until I find a book that piques my interest.
"BLANCHE ON THE LAM" was a delightful & entertaining sleuth story.
Blanche White is a Domestic worker who tries to make ends meet working for well to do families of North Carolina. She is also trying to raise the children of her dead sister. She will do whatever it takes ,to make a life for herself & her unexpected family.
When she finds herself facing 30 days in jail for a series of bounced checks. Blanche plays out the scenario of thirty days in jail: losing her kids, her jobs, & even the respect of her mother. Blanche makes the decision to grab the opportunity to flee when it presents itself. Knowing she can't go home, she wanders the genteel neighborhoods. She spies a familiar gated Community. She is mistakenly identified by a woman waiting at the gate, who believes Blanche is the help she has hired from an agency to accompany her family to their Summer home.
Blanche knows better than to look a gift horse in the mouth. So she jumps at the chance to remove herself from her troubles. But has she really escaped danger or has she jumped from the frying pan into the fire. The family she finds herself in the midst of , is rife with murderous intentions & Blanche must solve a crime & save her own life. She has only her instincts & her network of fellow domestics to rely on, & not much time.
I was amused & captivated by "BLANCHE ON THE LAM" . Barbara Neeley turns the Murder & Mayhem genre on it's ear. She creates a twist to the "detective" story. I am hooked and have moved on to "BLANCHE AMONG THE TALENTED TENTH". What new dangers await Blanche?
On to my dancing feet. Summer for me is music's muse. Why is it that during winter, I never sing at the top of my lungs with radio cranked? Is it the heat? the sunshine? I don't know, but Summer has me blasting the radio, Cd player & MP3 player.
I throw content to the wind & long for a catchy hook & tapping feet.
oh hell...why not..

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Intrepidity of an ordinary life

It's time for the Reel of the Week from my list of favorite movies. This week it's 1983's SILKWOOD. It's an engrossing real life who done it, or more of a Did someone do it? I think besides "A CRY IN THE DARK", it is absolutely, for me, one of Meryl Streeps best performances. She portrays Karen Silkwood, a rebellious, passionate & mischievous woman. Someone thought to be the most unlikely person to become a Labor Union Activist. She was employed as a chemical technician for Kerr-McGee, a Uranium Fuel production Company in Oklahoma. Karen was disturbed by safety violations she witnessed while working in the metallography department. She relayed her concerns to the Labor Union & was asked to testify in front of the Atomic Energy Commission, along with her best friend and co-worker Dolly Pellitier. Played with a brilliant lack of selfconsciousness by Cher. Also her live-in lover Drew (Kurt Russell), who is simultaneously devoted to Karen and frustrated by the total abandonment in which she lives her life.
When Ker-McGee gets wind of what they view as collusion with the Labor Union,Karen's life starts to become the terrifying stuff of nightmares.
During a routine exposure check, Karen is found to have been exposed to 400 times the legal limit of plutonium, which fuels supposition as to how this happened. Karen's explanation & Kerr-McGee's are wildly divergent.
Her life from then on becomes a living hell. Her fellow employees & friends are forced to take sides. Her decision to get involved with the labor Union affects everyone she hold dear. Ultimately a very high price is paid by all involved.
SILKWOOD is probably one of the earliest films depicting consequences of becoming a Whistle Blower. The courage it takes to go against the flow of things.
SILKWOOD is a well written, well crafted, taut tale, written by the talented & much missed Nora Ephron.
The mystery surrounding Karen Silkwood remains to this day. Is it a cautionary tale of strength & courage or the stuff of legend.Maybe something in between.