Entries tagged "art"

Art is not a quarterly business, says Rick Rubin. And me.

the structure of the music industry is rooted in a corporate structure. It’s a quarterly business, but art is not a quarterly business. At Columbia, if Beyoncé didn’t deliver a record one year, for whatever reason, that really affected the whole economics of the company. And it’s impossible to build a music company as if you were selling shoes.

Rick Rubin

I remember when the bankers came in to meet with my boss when I worked at New Line Cinema. They wanted to know about the second quarter films slated this year and then were going to compare them to last years second quarter. And I was only 24 and had only worked there for less than a year but it was clear to me that they had no idea what they were talking about. We weren’t making pencils, or as Rick Rubin puts it, shoes. The desire for predictability means the bankers want to decrease risk. But you decrease risk really differently in making art. Value isn’t created by avoiding risk. And as you would in a business, any business, you have to take the right risk to grow and benefit. And you have to keep taking risk to get good at it. And the knowing of art is not a thinking knowing. It is a feeling knowing. That’s where the value is.

Taylor Negron distils Sandra Bernhard’s impact

Great piece by the wonderful comic, writer and director Taylor Negron which captures the best of Sandra Bernhard and her impact. Sandra’s work had a huge influence on me and it’s fair to say that I wouldn’t be performing today if not for her groundbreaking solo show Without You I’m Nothing.

Like many innovators, much of what she did unique and edgy was rooted in the context of the time. Taylor Negron’s piece captures that beautifully. He’s a wonderful performer too. If you get a chance to see him live too, jump at it.

Toni Morrison explains Charlie Rose’s privilege to him. Slowly.

Toni Morrison patiently schooling Charlie Rose on privilege and offensive questions:

If I’m going to say when are you going to write about Black people to a white writer? If that’s a legitimate question to a white writer then it is a legitimate question to me? I just don’t think it is….As if our lives have no meaning without the white gaze.

The rhythm starts building into this at 2:47 but watch the whole thing. I especially like the raised brow when she says “journalist” to him. Her absolutely profound self-legitimacy of voice (among other things) is inspiring to me. Her standing in her self is beautiful. She holds the moment. She does not seek only to make him comfortable. She does not avoid what is at stake. She does not cede herself in explanation. She holds the space and it is the interviewer who must understand. Toni Morrison creates a very rare genuine moment on television. Video after the jump. I’m trying to keep the pages concise.

Continue reading…

Why, oh why can't I? Video of a beautiful moment in song pre-Prop8 trial.

Melanie DeMore sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow early morning Jan 11th before the start of the Prop 8 Trial in San Francisco. 
I love the gentle threading of Judy Garland into this hopeful moment. She was a social force in connecting the GLBT community. Some say heartache after her funeral emboldened the harassed to fight back that night when the Stonewall Riots happened the next day giving birth to the movement that has led to this trial. 

This trial is being led by Ted Olson, a lawyer with impeccable conservative credentials. The man who helped put George Bush in office. A man who had his own tragedy when his wife died in the 9/11 attacks. 

This story has quite an arc.

Thanks for the song Melanie. I’m happy to feel the melancholy and the community and the hope of the moment. Yes, “why oh why can’t I?” 

(via Elyse Singer, Michael Winn)

Posted via email from subvert with heather gold

Comedy playlist: Madeline Kahn and Gilda Radner

 

70s SNL clip. Madeleine does a baby eating ice cream for the first time. Gilda does a parrot.

People often ask me about who i like comedically and what influenced me. I’m going to occasionally post favourite comedy bits. Here’s two of my all-time favourites together. Both brilliant. Both “heart over head” as I’ve read Judy Toll liked to say about comedy she liked and the brilliant comedy she did. Judy was the closest thing I’ve seen to Gilda and Madeleine and cancer took them all. Fuck you cancer. You’re not as big as this what they did.

Can you succeed at business and be a good person?

I got a lovely compliment the other day naming me as someone making a name for myself entrepreneurially and being ethical.

I think every artist has to deal with business. But we tend to do it the way Gruber quotes Disney (me I’m not so sure Disney meant it): we make money in order to make work not the other way round.

I believed I had to work in business and not make creative work for many years because I grew up in a family where business was seen as reality. I question for years, “Can you succeed at business and be a good person?”

I asked Sara Little Turnbull this question once (and why the hell doesn’t this pioneer of industrial design have a wikipedia entry? Among other things she invented Corningware). She lives for human values and it took her a while to answer.

She told me a story about turning down a job for Charles Revson who wanted her to put his lipstick in every drugstore in the world and sell it for some high price. She walked out of the meeting but turned around and walked back and told him: only if I can make it worth what you’re charging.

Now I think we have a moral imperative to make the necessities of life available to people. But to the degree to which business is the way in which human being exchange things to meet their wants and needs (tougher question about business’ ability to meet all needs) well being honest, having real choice and providing real value seems to be a better place to but your focus.This was the most helpful response I’ve had so far to my question. Focus on the value of what you’re creating. Make the exchange as fair as possible.

Do you want to feel you’ve out one over on people or that your stuff is really worth it?  

And of course you can liberate yourself more from a money focus and business the more you minimize your needs and wants. The more you appreciate what you and and value what you do and make, perhaps the less you need.

I’m not sure I have the perfect answer. But I do know that you receive and live by whatever you focus on. If you spend all your time convince people and putting one over on them, well then that’s what your business, or “art,” is.

What do you think?

Pink Ladies at Hunky Jesus in SF

Poem: You are safer than you know

In the interconnected moments that make up our lives/
Nodes and joints are built solid to take the weight of our now/
Before we know they’re there.

We live /
We take the step /
That the religious call faith/
That writers call arc /
That scientists measure as tendency/
That we all call living /

And the weight is held/
By all of them
And then we know Love

 

I wrote this for Dr. Leonard Schlain a physician, writer and father of my friend Tiffany when she emailed me along with many colleagues and friends to ask for help visualizing healing for Dr Schlain during his surgery for brain cancer.

 I was just reading a Fritjof Capra book this summer about Capra’s Journey writing the Tao of Physics.  Dr Schlain played a significant part in Capra’s coming together with a group of people at Esalen to work on the ideas, including the physicians who created mind body visualization work with cancer.

All About Sarah

I was watching a bit of Sarah Palin’s speech tonight and thought, “Wow. This chick is as uninformed as W. but way, way tougher and hungrier. And smarter. Those old dudes might think they can ride her the way they rode him but they are fooling themselves.”

The Republicans have been using their new Christianist base without delivering much that’s really, really important to them. They’ve been all about the ends justifying the means. But what if they have to actually make core decisions as the Christianist base demands?

Palin may be the first to really do this. I sense a spectacular 3rd act for her. She will go all the way. Whether that means following through on legislating Christian evangelism and thereby walking that walk, or finding she enjoys the taste of the life of “cosmopolitan elites” that it will be in her interests to mock (until it’s not), whomever thought they could use this woman for their own purposes has another thing coming.

Eve Harrington: I will regard this great honor not so much as an award for what I have achieved, but a standard to hold against what I have yet to accomplish.

Lloyd Richards: I shall never understand the weird process by which a body with a voice suddenly fancies itself as a mind. Just when exactly does an actress decide they’re HER words she’s speaking and HER thoughts she’s expressing?
Margo Channing: Usually at the point where she has to rewrite and rethink them, to keep the audience from leaving the theatre!

Eve Harrington: I’ll never forget this night as long as I live, and I’ll never forget you for making it possible.
Karen Richards: A part in a play. You’d do all that just for a part in a play?
Eve Harrington: I’d do much more for a part that good.

All About Eve – Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Harvey Korman is gone and so is comedy with heart

He died at 81. This is very sad news. I loved Harvey Korman. He was brilliant comedic performer with a pitch perfect sense of camp.

My favourite memory of him is as the (Jewish) Fairy Godmother in a Carol Burnett sketch asking the knight in white armor, “You vanta blintz prince?” As one of the only Jewish kids in a small town, this scene would send me into its of giggles anytime anyone in our family quoted it. It was a fast love affair with the ridiculous, camp, comedic large life that felt right to me and that I saw almost nowhere else.

His passing has prompted me to watch a whole lotta video clips of him on the Carol Burnett Show and in Mel Brooks movies. Mel Brooksis one of my few heroes (I pour a kiddish cup for him at Seder).

I had two, no three feelings (these may seem like thoughts, but I assure you I felt em :-):

1) Damn, Harvey Korman was brilliant and why didn’t I get to see him in much these last 30 years?
2) There were so many more women that these guys performed with (Carol Burnet, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman) and so much more togetherness in that supposedly more sexist time than i see now
(insert avg. TV sitcom or summer Ferrell/Sandler/Stiller movie here)
3) Wow our comedy (the comedy of MSM) seems less silly, good-hearted and campy than the Mel Brooks/Burnett/Korman era. It’s really distant and snarky-guy based or childish without being childlike.
The stuff of the Harvey Korman era is why I wanted to do comedy in the first place. Time for more fun and comedy with heart!



Copyright © 1998-2014 Heather Gold. Everything I made is licensed under Creative Commons nc

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