Posts filed under 'let’s digress'

If You Want To Stay in Touch with Me …

... just go to my homepage. You'll find my upcoming gigs there, and a link for you to get on my emailing list if you want.

Peace out,
Josh

13 comments September 5th, 2007

Then Again …

... 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.

1 comment August 23rd, 2007

Vectors

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.

5 comments August 23rd, 2007

Grade AA Eggs

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

Citizen Josh Opens in Berkeley Tonight

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.

2 comments August 16th, 2007

No Show Tonight …

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. ...

2 comments August 6th, 2007

Special Eggs

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.

1 comment August 4th, 2007

Trip

Got out of BART in downtown Berkeley a short time ago. Excited about getting to Half Price Books, which was holding a copy of Romeo & Juliet in the edition that my son and I like best (Signet Classics), because of how they clearly mark which words and phrases are footnoted. (We're going to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., this week.)

In front of me, on the sidewalk, an older man, with a cane, moving slowly. Next to him, spread across the sidewalk, a large family (apparently unrelated to the older man), also walking slowly. So I'm stuck behind a wall of slow movers.

I accelerate and sidle around this group, and cross the street toward the bookstore. Coming up on the curb, I trip on something infinitesimal. It all happens in slo-mo: me starting to fall; my full cup of Peet's coffee getting squeezed in my hand, so the top flies off and the coffee starts to pour out; my knee, then my hand, hitting the pavement; the coffee spilling out onto the sidewalk and onto my glasses (though thankfully -- somehow -- not onto one of the beautiful shirts my wife has made for me).

Now everything relating to me is still; I'm on the pavement; my glasses are splattered with coffee. I stand up, feeling somewhat foolish (and a bit sore), and begin to clean off my glasses. At which point that elderly man walks by. As other people stroll on, he stops. "Are you okay?" he asks.

Yes, I am, I tell him. And I hobble into the store to get my book.

4 comments July 17th, 2007

A Great Performer’s Great Benefit for a Great Cause

If you've ever seen local writer and solo performer Anne Galjour onstage, then you know that she's a deep and magical theater artist. Her masterpiece of a monologue, Hurricane, drawing both on her Louisiana upbringing and on her close affinity to the vicissitudes of nature, took on extra relevance in the tragic aftermath of Katrina. And now -- in collaboration with another local theater great, Ellen Sebastian Chang -- she's got a new play, Bird in the Hand. It's about people and birds in migration, and it's currently running at the Berkeley City Club. For more info and tix, you can click here or call 510-558-1381.

Tomorrow's performance is going to be a special benefit for The Z Space, my wonderful artistic home for the past decade. Tix for the show (at 8 p.m.) are $50, and will include what is being billed as "an intimate post-show reception" with Anne. Trust me, spending time with Anne is like being in the presence of some incredibly cool holy person -- she herself is a force of nature. So if you have the dough, I think you'll have a great time. To purchase tix for this benefit, call Clay Lord at The Z Space: 415-626-0453, ext. 104. (If you think of it, ask Clay why someone as ridiculously young as himself can be so mature -- I've been wondering.)

A couple of years ago, Anne took my wife and son and me (among several others) on a little bird-watching expedition along the San Francisco Marina. We've never forgotten it. I bet this show will be a blast.

June 27th, 2007

Call for Feedback

Very coolly, both episodes of The Josh Kornbluth Show submitted this year for consideration were nominated for regional Emmys. Sadly, both lost out to our wonderful sister show at KQED, Check, Please! Bay Area (even after I had Check, Please host Leslie Sbrocco on my own program -- oh, the ingratitude!). So I know I need to pick things up a notch or two. And I'd love to get your ideas: Guests? Topics? New and exciting hairstyles for the host?

Also, if you dug our first-ever broadcast in front of a live audience -- I had a blast! -- let me know if you'd like to see more of those.

Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Thanks!!

4 comments June 27th, 2007

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