Actor/director Paolo Costanzo, who plays Evan R. Lawson on the USA Network series Royal Pains, needed a collaborator to bring to life his vision: a musical production number to cap a five-episode summer 2013 series on the show’s website. Working with composer/arranger/producer Charlie Barnett, Costanzo wrote and filmed “Shine,” a Disney-style musical daydream about a hotly contested village council election.
I could not live in a small town. I know thqt because I grew up in a few of them. The smallest was 800 people living on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. But I love it when I am thrown, for an evening, into the center of a small town. We played a gig last week in Lexington VA at an outdoor theater in the woods called Lime Kiln. I think that every person in the audience knew everyone else. We were the only strangers there. At the first song they clapped politely, just feeling out this new friendship between town and band. By the intermission we were on a first name basis. And by the end of the concert I feel like we could have gone home for coffee and ice cream with half the crowd. Music is an amazing way to build a friendship. You can leapfrog the years and years of passing on the street, having kids in school together, working on the same block and go right to a powerful personal, albeit non-specific, conversation that would normally take 20 years of friendship to get to. I got the whole experience of knowing everyone in town in the span of 2 hours.
What an amazing time that was. To be 9 years old. You are generally allowed, even encouraged , to occasionally be as enthusiastic and as loud as you can possibly be.
The North Chevy Chase Elementary 4th grade invited me back to listen to them sing ” 43 Good Excuses”. This time I came prepared. Sue and her trusty flip cam came along. The video is sooooooo cute. Their teacher, Jacqui, is incredibly cool. And they respond by being the hippest little people on the planet. My own memories of 4th grade revolve around Mrs. Blackburn at Maury Elementary, who referred to me only “Loudmouth” for the entire year. Happily, that singular trait of being VERY LOUD, has been part and parcel of my entire career. It has at times made a broken PA a non-event. It has made public speaking an easy thing for me to do. It has gotten the quick attention of three unruly children. And it made me unconditionally love the sound of a Marshall stack turned up to ‘pulverize’.
An Open Door is a feature-length documentary on the uplifting story of how a small Asian nation was able to save over 1,300 Jews as they fled the pogroms of Nazi Germany. It is written, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Noel M. Izon and co-produced by author Sharon Delmendo. This is the third film in his World War II trilogy Forgotten Stories. This unique film will explore the rare confluence of the Pacific and European theaters. It juxtaposes momentous events in history such as the passage of the Nuremberg Laws and the inauguration of the Philippines as a Commonwealth of the United States. An Open Door is the story of a deep friendship borne of common adversity and intense love for freedom. Together, Filipinos and Jews struggled, endured and ultimately prevailed.