Archive for August, 2007
Tonight's show is a rerun of an episode from our second season in which I interviewed two intrepid travelers: history hunk Josh Bernstein and you-go-(alone-)girl jet-setter Teresa Rodriguez Williamson. Strangely, neither guest seemed intimidated by my Old Hollywood-type glamour. ...
You can read my original blog item here.
August 27th, 2007
... things might just be looking up. You know how sometimes you'll look in the fridge for something, and you won't see any, but you really want whatever it is, so you reopen the fridge door and look again? Well, tonight, after my performance at the Rep, I looked in our fridge for ketchup. Didn't see any. Looked again: still no ketchup. Looked a third time: ketchup!
I may have to revise my views on religion.
August 23rd, 2007
As fall approaches (or is it here already?) I find myself in a familiar position: unsure of what the future holds. After two seasons, The Josh Kornbluth Show has not been renewed and faces, at best, an uncertain future. (For now, it continues in reruns.) I'm having a great time performing my new monologue, Citizen Josh, at the Berkeley Rep, but that run will end on Sept. 2. I hope to tour the country with Citizen Josh, and I have two new projects I'm just beginning to work on: a narrative-film adaptation of my previous monologue, Love & Taxes, and a new stage piece about playing the oboe.
But for now, at the end of a couple of years devoted creatively to this TV program and to developing Citizen Josh, I am again -- as I haven't been, for a while -- somewhat vectorless: without an existing structure to direct my energies. It's exciting, in a way, but also scary.
Last night I went to see the movie Once with my mother and stepfather; it was as delightful and moving as the word of mouth had led me to expect. The slender story focuses on a street musician and a young woman (also a musician) he meets. Despite their poverty, they manage to put together a band and record a CD, which the man plans to take with him from Ireland (where the narrative takes place) to London and, he hopes, make a successful entry into the music business. The film manages to convey both the glorious and pathetic qualities of trying to make your way as an artist. I was struck, while watching it, by how pleasurable -- and yet artificial -- it was to enjoy these fictional characters' struggles: Film edits, takes you from point to point, conveys (if it is done well) a momentum that is often difficult or impossible to feel in your own day-to-day existence.
If I had been a more dedicated blogger, perhaps I might have gotten across that stop-and-start, and stop, quality of my life with some accuracy. But I've felt too uneasy to reveal myself in that way (except, perhaps, in occasional moments) -- also, unsure whether such unfiltered self-expression would be in appropriate in a blog that was on my employer's website. Maybe in the future I will learn to blog in a more open way. Or it may be possible that in order to express myself most deeply, I must go through the process of editing -- as I do with my collaborators on each monologue (and on Haiku Tunnel, the movie that I made with my brother Jacob and many other wonderful people).
I think that if I do more interviewing in the future, I'll also try to find ways of getting more lost in the conversation, so that the a vector can naturally emerge in the improvisational interaction with my guests. I still dream of finding a direction within an experience without necessarily editing away the points in between. I'll keep working toward that. I just don't know exactly where I'm headed. Let's keep in touch.
August 23rd, 2007
In the men's locker room at the Y this afternoon there was a carton of two dozen Grade AA eggs sitting on a shelf. I wouldn't normally expect to see an egg carton in a locker room -- especially a men's locker room. As I changed into my workout gear I tried to imagine how the carton got there: maybe it was part of a bodybuilder's nutrition regimen? Before I went up to work out, I checked the carton -- empty. Upstairs I saw no one in the weight room (to which I am only a casual visitor, believe me) with egg on their face, or tanktop. Perhaps next time I go to work out, I'll bring a bag of flour and leave it on the shelf. What with all the microbes floating around in that locker room, maybe we can get a nice quiche to spontaneously appear.
August 21st, 2007
Tonight's program is a rerun of an episode I really enjoyed -- I got to interview author and pro-wrestling expert Irvin Muchnik, and I got to try my hand (and butt, and ...) at wrestling myself. You can read my original blog item here.
August 20th, 2007
My latest comic monologue, Citizen Josh, begins a run at the lovely Berkeley Repertory Theatre tonight at 8. (The run continues through Sept. 2) It would be swell to see you there!
The piece is about my attempts, as a basically passive person, to participate actively in our democracy. What makes this run particularly poignant for me is that the Berkeley Rep sits squarely in the middle of the community that has become my home. Much of the action of the show takes place within blocks of the theater, and a key figure in my story -- political theorist Sheldon Wolin, who was my thesis advisor at college -- was at the center of Berkeley's Free Speech Movement in the '60s. Plus the thrust-stage theater at the Rep is just a fantastic place to perform, and see, a show.
On Sundays, after the 2 p.m. matinées, I'll be having onstage conversations -- "Democratic Dialogues" -- with a series of Berkeley notables. Aug. 19: Joan Blades, co-founder of MoveOn.org and founder of MomsRising.org. Aug. 26: Berkeley linguistics professor George Lakoff (who was a wonderful guest on our little TV show in the first season). And on Sept. 2: Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates (who also has appeared on our program.
In addition, I'll be playing oboe in the theater's courtyard before each Saturday-night performance -- you can take that as either an inducement or a threat. This Saturday, I'll be duetting with Chloe Veltman.
So that's what I'm up to, starting tonight! For tix and info, you can click here.
August 16th, 2007
Instead, Dr. Wayne Dyer will be telling you how you can "change your thoughts, change your life." Well, at least they're sticking with bald guys in my time slot. ...
August 6th, 2007
These particular eggs that they offer at our hotel's breakfast buffet, next to the regular scrambled eggs, they call them "special eggs." I don't think they're so special.
August 4th, 2007