When western approaches to medicine, religion, and diet don't quite cut the proverbial mustard, the monkey has turned to the east. Never has this been more true than with astrology. HAPPY YEAR OF THE BLACK WATER DRAGON! MONKEY BUSINESS by Tony Asaro (Composer/Librettist)
I have friends that are Scorpios. Their horoscopes always read like a trashy romance novel. Being a capricorn, mine typically go something like this:
Little clouds of anxiety sail in your mind today, however, it is on you to control your feelings. On a professional front you will be left worrying on account of various matters that lower your productivity at work. You will be disappointed to find a disturbed atmosphere at home along with work. Maintain your cool and you will feel better. You are suggested to reschedule your important meetings for a comparatively favorable day.
See, Capricorns are described as "practical and prudent , ambitious and disciplined , patient and careful , humorous and reserved, pessimistic and fatalistic , miserly and grudging." Oh, it's loads of fun.
But having been born in January in 1977, in Chinese astrology, I am a RED FIRE DRAGON!
The Chinese will totally let you have New Years resolution do-overs. By Melissa Presti (Book Publisher)
A couple weeks ago I found myself walking into a sketch apartment building in Chinatown, up a flight of stairs, and into a hidden karaoke bar where song choices did not extend beyond 1999. Which is why we were belting Boyz II Men’s On Bended Knee while video of a ballet dancer played in the background with doves flying in slow motion. Totally normal. Love the Chinese and their whacky establishments.
Which is why this past weekend I was back in Chinatown action for the 13th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and Festival. It’s the Year of the Dragon! Also the year where I bought my first party snappers to bomb the sidewalks, NYPD cars, my friend’s feet, and random children’s pathways. Nothing like a firecracker pop to jolt some joy into my day (I still have 2 boxes, watch yo back).
Modern science is telling us what the mystics have been saying throughout the ages: if you want to tap more of your own creativity, slow down. by Loren A. Roberts (guru of multi-hyphenate media)
In spite of all of the totally downer things about our specific time here on earth (wars, poverty, hatred, injustice, The Bachelor), I believe this is one of the most incredible times to be alive in all of human history. Why? Because scientific understanding is finally catching up with our bodies. I remember, back in the 60s and 70s, how different our simplistic discussions of things like genetics and cosmology and gravity and memory were from those same discussions today. In college, I took a bunch of cognitive science courses, because it fascinated me what was going on inside our own brains.
But we still don’t know that much. Sorry.
Now, scientists are getting much better at observing our brains, and the discoveries are both rather amazing and completely common sense.
Here are the scientific headlines from this past week that got me thinking about the creative process:
In one clip what I found were not just ridiculously low-budget images of “The Civil War. In. Action” (featuring a girl in a black tank-top, who might just be me, smiling uncomfortably as another contestant described the Confederate Army as “Rock & Roll") but also that odd modern phenomenon that reality TV has introduced of having people you don’t know dissecting you when you are not there. In this case a member of the "Confederate team", when noting the "Union team's" competition, stated in regards to moi: “You got the little girl from New York who’s so fragile she’s like a tulip!” It's too bad they didn’t feature the clip where I learned to load an ancient rifle 30 seconds faster then all those Confederate boys. Booya! Enjoy…
GENA OPPENHEIM Gena is a fourth generation New Yorker who teaches second-grade in Brooklyn. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received her MFA from NYU Tisch's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.http://twitter.com/#!/genabeans
Or at least I’m told I should. Listen, I’ll join the chorus of folks that bemoan the idol take over of theater - or theater related television for that matter (though there certainly have been some inspired performances - think Fantastia). It also bumped up the use of pitchy in the vernacular - which is NOT OK. Then again, idol in so many ways is the definition of theater. Simon was never Broadway’s champion but he certainly served up plenty of drama that was often far better than what was happening on the stage. It also gave us Kelly Clarkson. She’s never graced a Broadway stage but if you’ve seen her live, you’ve seen some truly great theater. This is not from her new album (which is insanely good) but it's one of my favorite performances. I was in the audience for this and no video could really do it justice.
Steven Jamail is a Composer and Music Director in New York City. www.stevenjamail.com