Years ago I learned a very cool thing about Robin Williams, and I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it. I never actually booked Robin Williams for an event, but I came close enough that his office sent over his rider. For those outside of the entertainment industry, a rider lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting them for an event, anything from bottled water and their green room to sound and lighting requirements. You can learn a lot about a person from their rider. This is where rocks bands list their requirement for green M&Ms (which is actually a surprisingly smart thing to do). This is also where a famous environmentalist requires a large gas-guzzling private jet to fly to the event city, but then requires an electric or hybrid car to take said environmentalist to the event venue when in view of the public.
When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that. I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back. I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions. He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example.
For once, there’s some good news coming out of Ferguson
The Highway Patrol of St. Louis has taken over for the St. Louis PD. Their captain is from Ferguson, and has been marching with the protesters.
From Reddit’s Live Feed: http://www.reddit.com/live/tdrph3y49ftn/
O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!O the bleeding drops of red,Where on the deck my Captain lies,Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! My Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here captain! dear father!This arm beneath your head;It is some dream that on the deck,You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!But I, with mournful tread,Walk the deck my captain lies,Fallen cold and dead.
Robin Williams 1951-2014
Your memory will live on in the lives and hearts you touched. I hope you found the peace and happiness you were looking for.
“Imagination is the highest kite that can fly.”
Rest In Peace Lauren Bacall (September 16, 1924 - August 12, 2014)
"I saw Twilight - my granddaughter made me watch it, she said it was the greatest vampire film ever. After the ‘film’ was over I wanted to smack her across her head with my shoe, but I do not want a (tell-all) book called Grannie Dearest written on me when I die. So instead I gave her a DVD of Murnau’s 1922 masterpiece Nosferatu and told her, ‘Now that’s a vampire film!’ And that goes for all of you! Watch Nosferatu instead!"
Two years ago, I was performing at The Punchline in San Francisco, and Robin came to the show with our mutual friend, Dan Spencer.
This particular batch of material was the first time I had touched upon my then still-fresh divorce wounds, and big chunks of it were pretty dark. The next day, I got a text from a number I didn’t recognize. Whoever it was had obviously been to the show and knew my number, so I figured they would reveal themselves at some point and save me the embarrassment of asking who they were.
The Mystery Texter asked how I was REALLY doing. “You can’t fool me. Some of those ‘jokes’ aren’t ‘jokes.” By now I knew that whoever this was had been through what I was enduring, as no one else would know to ask, “What time of day is the hardest?”
He wanted to know how my kids were handling it, all the while assuring me that the storm, as bleak as it was, would one day pass and that I was not, as I was then convinced, a terrible father for visiting a broken home upon my children.
I am not rewriting this story in retrospect to make it dramatic. I did not know who I was texting with. Finally, my phone blipped, and I saw, in a little green square, “Okay, pal. You got my number. Call me. I’ve been there. You’re going to be okay. - Robin.”
That is what you call a human being.
Oh and I’m crying again.
What a spirit for others he had.
To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
Rest in peace, Robin.
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
‘Hank’s life has a tragic arc, but in simple truth, he was a genius: a star that burned twice as bright and lived half as long. It’s a huge role for me and a huge responsibility. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. I’ve already started singing and playing every day’. —Tom Hiddleston [on I Saw The Light]
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
The Isla Vista killings were rooted in the frustration of a man who felt entitled to sex. The ‘men’s rights movement’ and pop culture enable these dangerous delusions.
Actress Shailene Woodley, star of ‘Divergent’, claims she’s not a feminist — yet she expresses many feminist beliefs. It’s time that #YesAllWomen embrace the other ‘F’ word.
'X-Men: Days of Future Past' fulfills the promise of what a so-called 'comic book movie' can be: it stretches the imagination while teaching an important lesson.
Days of Future Past is probably the best X-Men film so far (though I loved First Class as well). This review talks about how the movie finally got it right.
It has been 10 years since fans said goodbye to Angel and the gang, though it doesn’t feel nearly that long. Here’s a look at 10 of the best episodes from Joss Whedon’s series.
Did your favorites make the list?