Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Saran serpent

Last Friday I tripped and fell on a concrete walkway.
Spent the week end thinking my my arm was broken - compression fracture.  
Found out Monday - it was my wrist not my arm.  
Tomorrow I'll have surgery to fix the broken bones.
This will be a part of my fashion statement for a while.

I'll be on a blogcation for a while.   Too hard to type with one hand.
Following is a response to the responses below.

His Students: Escalante's Living Legacy

If you look at the banners that surround PCC you'll see images of alumni who have gone on to make their mark in the world after having attended the college.  You'll find images of Jackie Robinson, Dr. Adriana Ocampo, Bob Mackie, Jerry Tarkanian, Betti Mae Scott.   You'll see many more on the banners and on the PCC website.*  This is a bit public history - sharing history in ways that are somewhat nontraditional.

The Escalante Project offers a similar opportunity.  The project uses a traditional exhibit - beautifully curated by Reina Prado - as well as a series of panels, a play, a movie as a means to share how he taught, where he taught, and who he taught.  How he felt politically about bilingual education - all of this is a part of who the man was and his impact on education in California.

Lawyers, engineers, and teachers that will be participating at the following events.  They are, as Luis Torres' has titled his panel discussion, the living legacy of Escalante's work.

March 20
Washington Post journalist Jay Matthews biography Escalante: The Best Teacher in America 
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. – Westerbeck Recital Hall

March 24
Luís Torres, journalist and author of
His Students: Escalante’s Living Legacy
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. – Creveling Lounge
Pasadena Unified School District Exhibit Tour – Circadian

April 2
Stand and Deliver Film Screening 6:00 p.m. – WiFi Lounge

March 26
Puente Project Exhibit Tour – Circadian 


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cruising toward the magic

Pasadena City College is hosting an exhibit on Jaime Escalante, the math teacher featured in the movie "Stand and Deliver".  Mr. Escalante was a student at PCC.  There'll be several activities taking place connected with the exhibit.

Tomorrow night, thursday, March 19th, 7:30 p.m. at Creveling Lounge there'll be a staged reading of "Stand and Deliver".  Usually actors will be on stage and will either sit or stand in one place.  The reading tomorrow night will be a far cry from that.

It's at the rehearsal where you dig to the core to know what to share on stage.  You edit the context of the tale so that the audience can follow the characters in a way that is intimate and immediate.

I was reminded of this last night when I watched Dr. Alma Martinez direct a rehearsal at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre/Pasadena Playhouse.  You may be familiar with one of her most recent roles; she was a drug smuggling queen on the show "The Bridge"; a woman tough as nails and very clear about her desires.

Last night the director/educator was in the room.  The first hour was all about cuts to the script - 100 pages to review.  Most of the focus was on what stage directions to be read out loud.

In a soft, even voice - "We're cutting out all the stage direction because Pancho is such a fine actor". "You got that, m'ijo?" "We'll cut, 'Claudia cries.  Claudia's sad.', it breaks the magic". "We're almost there, guys, we're almost there". "Cut all of that because we're going to do it".  "Are you with me?"

And then came the making of the magic.
The actors were assigned a seating order.  The music stands were assigned an order.  
And the chart that I have seen on the back of all the script pages begins to make sense.  

The direction is about action; about the movement from place to place to make you believe that the interactions are in a school that has 4,000 students. 
How do you make the reading feel like it is taking place in the halls of Garfield High School?  You have all the actors stand, rather than sit, in place.  A sense of the motion that takes place when the bell rings? "Turn your bodies, away from each other, like a little mess of motion".  The sound of the classroom before order is set - "Keep with the heckling - (but) let's bring it down about 30%.  That way you're not going over his lines".

Notes are taken - by the most seasoned of the lot and by the young artists who may become directors themselves - in the future.   The directions are clear.  Point taken, point noted.  Lesson learned.

Like a ride in a fine, classic lowrider; it's all easy and smooth.  

I can barely wait to see the finished production.  
Thursday at 7:00 p.m.  PCC.

By the way, there'll be free tamales and churros prior to the show.  I'll be there at 6:30, when the doors open.

invite you to a staged reading of
| 03.19.2015 | 7 PM
(BY COLORADO BLVD. AND HILL AVE., ADJACENT TO LOT NO. 1) 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91106
Free Staged Reading, Free Tamales and Churros
RSVP by text, Phone: (323)577-2188 or email vvazquez@pasadenaplayhouse.org

There will be no free rides, no excuses. You already have two strikes against you: your name and your complexion. Because of those two strikes, there are some people in this world who will assume that you know less than you do. *Math* is the great equalizer... When you go for a job, the person giving you that job will not want to hear your problems; ergo, neither do I. You’re going to work harder here than you’ve ever worked anywhere else. And the only thing I ask from you is GANAS.

This reading is part of The Pasadena Playhouse’s Mi Historia, Mi Manera program, supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. The Pasadena Playhouse is a participant in the Audience (R)Evolution Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre. Produced by special arrangement with DRAMATIC PUBLISHING, Woodstock, Illinois. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's pi day

Some of us have taken this more to art than others...

Idea, baked goods and photo - Nichole Mihara and Gregory Harrison

Friday, March 13, 2015

ArtNight - Spring 2105

The worse thing about ArtNight?
Don't know as there is a worse thing.
Only lots and lots and lots of choices.
Tonight 6-10 p.m.

I'm starting the night at Offramp Gallery.  

Robert Kushner, Red Tulip, 2014
"Offramp presents a series of collage works on paper by New York artist Robert Kushner.  Utilizing book pages and ephemera from different centuries and countries, Kushner explores floral and botanical subject matter".

I'll also get a chance to see the exhibit "Sampled", curated by Anita Bunn.  The exhibit will include work by - Melanie Ciccone, Raul de la Torre, Clifford Eberly, Susan Feldman, Nicholette Kominos, Meg Madison, Thinh Nguyen, Echiko Ohira, Andrew K. Thompson, Joan Weinzettle

Joan Weinzettle, Cosmic Laundry, 2014

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Americans, known and unknown

The City of Pasadena does a lot things well.  One of the things at the top of the list is the annual "One City, One Story" community discussion presented by the Pasadena City Library.   

To quote the City's website "The idea of getting a community together to discuss a single book actually arose in Seattle and quickly spread across the US, coming to Pasadena in 2002. Since beginning, the Pasadena Public Library has hosted ten titles and with each presentation the list of collaborating organizations, firms, volunteers, and businesses grows". 

 will give you more details about the book and you'll find a link to the many, many activities that began as early as March 3rd and will continue through March 28th.  

The Conversation with the author will be taking place tomorrow night at All Saints/Forum beginning at 7:00 p.m.  

There will also be an opportunity to be a part of a more intimate conversation with the author tomorrow from 2:00-3:00 p.m at the Pasadena Senior Center. 

Please come and be a part of the conversation.  As they write on the site - "In sharing we all learn".

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Election day and Election Night

Today is Election Day in Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre.

We have a chance to vote for some of the people who will make decisions that will affect our lives in ways we may or may not know.

I voted early this morning.  If you haven't voted yet, you have until 8:00 pm.

This evening Hoyt Hilsman and I will be co-hosting "Pasadena Votes"

Although I've hosted a show before, I've never hosted a show focused on election coverage.  I'm looking forward to being active in this part of the election process.  And a little nervous, too.

The City of Pasadena's media release shares the following:
"After the polls close, the City Clerk will begin announcing results as soon as possible once the ballot counting begins.  Ballot counting will b conducted in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave., second floor.  Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. for the public to attend the ballot-counting process
Election night coverage will be broadcast live by Pasadena Media, www.pasadenamedia.tv on KPAS, the City's government cable TV station, available on Channel 3 for Charter subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T U-Verse subscribers.  Coverage also will be streamed live on the City's website www.cityofpasadena.net in addition to the Pasadena Media website.  Election updates also will b exposited in real time on the City website...Polling location can be found on the City Clerk's webpage or in the pre-printed voter information pamphlet that was mailed to registered voters".

If I didn't see you today, perhaps you'll see me tonight.

In any case, your vote is your voice.  Be sure to use it.s