Wednesday, February 28, 2007

“All’s Fair in Love…” (CLICK PODCAST)

“All’s Fair in Love…”
February 26th 2007 Posted in Podcast
We continue to present our monthly “Friday Night Live” recordings of Story Salon ON THE AIR. For the month of February all of our stories are about love. From romps with cowboys to heartfelt tales of family. Our Featured Performer is the one and only Dan Klass of The Bitterest Pill. Enjoy!…

Next Month’s Featured Performer will be Michael Lambert…
Recorded Live on Friday, February 16, 2007 at The Coffee Fix in Studio City, California…
53.52 / 49.4 MB / Rated: PG-13 (Some Adult Language and Themes)…
Thanks for the Download!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Congratulations Keith

MSNBC announced that Keith Olbermann will be counting down the top stories of the day for four more years, continuing as host of his enormously popular nightly news program, "Countdown with Keith Olbermann". In addition, he will contribute to NBC Nightly News with occasional essays and will host two "Countdown" primetime specials each year on NBC.

To quote Keith Olbermann quoting Edward R. Murrow, "Good night and good luck"

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Remembering John Randolph

My Story Salon friend Dan Tirman told a couple of stories about an actress named Anita O'Day. I realized that I had a similar link to old Hollywood.

After the Northrige Earthquake Donna and I had to move to a new apartment. It wasn't because of quake damage, it was because after the quake several of our neighbors left California for good. Since the building was not getting any new tenants, except some bikers with phony section 8 vouchers, the building's management decided not to repair things like lights or the security gate. The building manager also had her life threatened by the phony section 8 bikers causing her to never leave her apartment. This forced a lot of us to leave what used to be a very nice apartment complex. We moved about a mile east to a building built in the early 1960s. Several of the residents were older character actors, some were the buildings original tenants. In the lobby I heard a familiar voice. This was the voice of Emily's father on The Bob Newhart Show, Roseanne's father on Roseanne, Brad's father on Angie. Col. Potter's friend on M*A*S*H, The Mayor of Los Angeles in Earthquake. It all comes back to Earthquakes. This new building's manager introduced us. He greeted us with, "Hi I'm John Randolph, I'm an actor". The week we moved in we saw John as an evil white supremacist on Matlock, then as a man who lost his wife on E.R. The next time we saw him we went to compliment his work on the shows. He greeted us with "Hi I'm John Randolph, I'm an actor". Obviously he'd forgotten that we had already met, but that's okay we complimented his work on the shows and Donna mentioned that she hated him one day and he broke her heart the next. He really appreciated the kind words.

Our building used to hold a Christmas party. This was a great event, because for so many of the elderly residents this was their Christmas. When John entered the party it was like Norm entering the Cheers bar. JOHN!!! John greeted everyone with "Hi I'm John Randolph, I'm an actor". There were times we crossed paths at the elevator then forty-five minutes later were sitting on this black couch and he's telling me about the time when he and Will Geer were blacklisted. I had been facinated by that period in American history for a long time so to hear what it was like from a man who saw it first hand was priceless.

I don't remember exactly when but I was told by another neighbor that John had Alzheimer’s. This explained why he kept introducing himself and why he would tell me the same Will Geer stories over and over again. He once asked if I knew who Will Geer was of course to me he was Grandpa Walton and he stared in one of my dad's favorite movies Intruder in the Dust (1949) also staring Puerto Rican actor Juano Hernandez (We were both born in San Juan). I enjoyed hearing him talk about the good old days and he enjoyed talking to a younger man who knew of his contemporaries.

One time I ran in to him at the elevator and I was telling him about a scene I just did for my television production class. The more I talked about it the more excited I got. At one point he stopped me and said, "You hear that excitement in your voice? Don't ever loose that." Another time we met at the elevator and he went on a very long rant over the fact that the Academy was giving a life time achievement award to Elia Kazan. In 2000 the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists went on strike. Even though he was not in the best of health John visited us on the picket line. His presence was a shot in the arm for everyone’s morale. My only complaint about him as a neighbor was that he would flirt shamelessly with my wife. In his final years he had a caretaker help him walk the seventy-five or so feet from his apartment to the elevator. If he saw Donna he'd have his caretaker wait, walk over to Donna on his own and escort her to where ever she was going.

Even though John is no longer with us (Died Feb. 24, 2004) I still see him often when I channel surf. He may be the CEO, the General, someone’s father or a multitude of other characters thus proving that old actors never die they just change costumes. When I write my column I like to close with a quote. John had a lot to say either through his characters or as himself but the quote I want to use is the first thing he ever said to me, "Hi I'm John Randolph, I'm an actor" because that says it all.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Story Salon: ON THE AIR... Appreciations

We kick off "Season Two" of the Story Salon Podcast (Story Salon: ON THE AIR) with a show filled with "Appreciations". Everyone from Muhammad Ali to Filmmaker Robert Altman. Our Featured Perfomer is Emmy Award winning writer, Joseph Dougherty. Joe talks about how Ray Bradbury has been a life long influence.... The first episode of our monthly "Friday Night Live" recordings features just a sample of the most compelling stories that have been told during our regular Wednesday Night shows. Enjoy!...

Next Month's Featured Performer will be Dan Klass... Blog Art shot by Joseph Dougherty...

Recorded Live on Friday, January 26, 2007 at The Coffee Fix in Studio City, California...

52.50 / 48.5 MB / Rated: PG-13...

Thanks for the Download!