November 4, 1989
November 4, 1989 *** Watched the Janette MacDonald, Clark Gable movie "San Francisco". Jeanette was a beautiful and graceful lady. She sang a couple of operatic arias, and at the end she sang San Francisco. I told Marjory-Jean (M-J) she should put it in the act. I had forgotten that I said it would be good in SF but not here. I was wrong; it is a good song anywhere.
November 5, 1989 *** Finished editing a presentation tape of M-J. It was difficult to get some parts that I wanted because of her movements. Her eyes were moving back and forth like she was watching a ping pong game. I met M-J & Don, her husband, in the afternoon at a restaurant in Studio City. I told her my feelings about her avoiding working with me on the act. It got her on the defensive, and she explained to me her theory on performing, which sounded like something she read in a book. I told her that she was using Joy, here drama instructor as a security blanket. When we talked about her eye movement she said it was because she was visualizing the room and the audience.
Then she told me that she and her backers wanted me to work more on the business and not the creative part. I was the one who put her new act together and selected the songs. Having seen where she was coming from it was not difficult to maintain the anger that rushed into my head for a quick minute. She was getting desperate about not having any place to go next. I told her I was not a yes man and would tell her when I felt the act was or wasn't right. If I am going ask people of importance that I know in the business to see her, it will have to be right.
November 6, 1989 *** Tonight M-J does her new version of the J-M act. I hope it comes off really good. There is great potential all she has to do is say the lines and sing the songs. She has made it very complex for herself. After the show we will have to have a meeting. They will have to tell their backers to take a pencil and add up the money they spent on all of the performances prior to my idea to go into Gio's with the new act. Then divide by the number of appearances she made. And place a value of what benefits were gained by those performances. Then do the same thing with Gio's. Then look at the money I've saved them and look at the reviews that I got for her. Someone told me that people would kill for reviews like that. Then tell them that I am trying to get a good videotape to show to some people I've already contacted. Before I tell them that, I am going to tell them all of my qualification so that they can tell them about that. Then tell them that the show had to develop and that is where we are at now.
I didn't have to tell them my qualification. Their record producer, Jeff Woods, came in, and while I was getting the sound system packed I heard him telling them some things about the show. I had intended to join them as soon as I was finished, however a man, Jim Lincoln Morgan, came in and ask me some questions about the show. When he learned that I was her manager, he invited me to the bar for a drink. He was looking for a good lyric soprano to demo some show tunes he had written. Seems he is the great grand son of Sir William Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan. He just returned form England where he met with his agent, ?????, son of Irving Berlin, (Sounds like one of those Hollywood Cons) who told him that he liked the concept and the songs but the vocals wern't good enough to shop around. He needed a really good vocalist. He is meeting me tomorrow.
I spoke briefly to M-J and Don--told them what to tell their backers and we hugged and they left. Oh yes, mixed emotions on M-J's performance. She used a lot of props and her new concepts? She will get better at using them as she practices but I'm not sure that she needs all of them. A few work, like the Mounties hat but the boa gets to me. She still over acts. She is coming from her head instead of her guts when she sings and still tries to be dramatic with her monologue. If she would just say the lines and forget about all of the stuff she has been taught about acting, she would do much better. Then she could put in some dramatics that might work.
November 7, 1989 *** Tuesday
Slept late. Usually do when I am up late. Jim Phoned and made an appointment to come by around Noon. He did and we talked till 4:15 about his musicals. He listened to MJ's tape and almost immediately said she wasn't so good. For some reason I feel he knows what he is talking about. He listened to her show and he listened to tapes. I played some of Paula's tape he liked her but didn't feel it was what he wanted.. He liked Samantha's voice. Then I played him Delia Mae's tape and he jumped up and said that was what he was looking for. He was excited about her. I told him that I would need to know what to offer her.
He just phoned as I was writing this and said that he would put her in a good studio, provide the musicians and make four commercial songs that I could use to sell her. And then do the others with just a piano. His agent had told him to keep it simple, to use just a piano and a good voice. So the others would be for her/me to take to a record company. I'm helping Charles host an art showing tonight in Beverly Hills. I wonder what will happen there. Nothing!
Stopped at Gio's to check the piano. Sat in with the jazz group. I just happened to have my conga drum in the car.
November 8, 1989 *** Wednesday
Made calls to Texas about the song. Also tried to reach Chris (Cinegrill) all morning and afternoon. Hard guy to catch, have to go in again. Talked to people at the times. I mailed press release and copies of Drama Logue review. Hope they make it. Contacted Dee Dee, she is taping with Dionne at the KTLA studios. Going to meet later today. Jim called and said he would produce a record with her. Sounds good. Time will tell. Also copied Maria's tape of "Wonderwoman" which has been changed to the "The ????? and the Beauty".
MJ's last show at Gio's
MJ's letter with check.
MJ's phone converstion. "I don't remember that."
10 page letter to MJ.
Phone conversation with Don.
April 28, 1990 *** Thursday
Put Boda in a canvas bag and caught the Amtrack to Oceanside where Barbara picked us up and drove us to her house. Had a good time with Barb and Jack. We drank a lot, and talked a lot. It was great being with them.
April 29, 1990 *** Friday
Borrowed Barb's car to pick up Candace at school and take her for her riding lesson. I am very impressed with her riding, but I am very impressed with her anyway so I shouldn't be surprised at anything she does well.
April 4, 1990 *** Thursday
Flew to San Jose, bused to Santa Cruz and was picked up by Samantha and Chris. Hooray!!!!
April 7, 1990 *** Monday - I had a wonderful weekend with Dapa and Chris. We just hung out together, they are great to be with. How lucky/fortunate to have a daughter and son-in-law who are as great/wonderful as they are. They drove me to Berkely Sunday afternoon and then returned home. I was dropped at Bob Blauner's, author of "Black lives, White Lives," home.
Bob and I drove out to the airport in his '73 Peugeot to pick up the rest of the cast of "Black Lives, White Lives". We stopped for a late dinner and then went to our housing for a nights rest. Bob is a typical absentminded professor, which carried over to his driving. Scared Debbie and Joseph so bad they wanted to take a cab on the return to the airport.
Kent and I stayed in an apartment that belonged to Bob's Son and Joseph and Debbie stayed with Bob. The next Morning we hopped a BART to the College. Our first time on BART was interesting. We put the tickets into a slot and didn't take them out; Kent's didn't open so he jumped over the turnstile. When we got to our stop we discovered that we needed the tickets to get out. I squeaked through behind a girl who had a ticket but kent got stuck. I explained the situation to the Bart people and they let him through.
We met the rest of the cast for Breakfast, and then went to U C Berkely to look at the area where we would be performing our two shows; one at 4 PM and one at 8 PM. There were over a hundred and twenty people at both performances. After the play the audience remained for questions and answer session. At times it was quite controversial. I can see the value of doing this now. While we were doing it at the "Theatre of Note" I didn't feel very enthusiastic about doing it. But I feel differently now. I'm glad I can change my mind, some people stick with their first impressions forever.
April 9, 1990 *** Wednesday
Got a call from Ron Hacker, the owner of 7214 Fountain Ave. He wanted me to meet him at the Century Plaza Hotel for breakfast with Henry Tillman and his manager, Henry Broome. I met them around 9:30 AM. Ron introduced me and said he thought it would be a good idea for Tillman to study some acting before going for commercials and films. Henry Broome felt differently about that and started explaining his position as manager of Henry Tillman. I knew where he was coming from, and we got on very well, also we both came from Pittsburgh. Ron told him I used to fight so that is how Pittsburgh came up. Henry is fighting Mike Tyson in Las Vegas on June 16th. They were holding a press conference at 10 AM with Mike Tyson, George Foreman and a fighter from Brazil, who is fighting Forman. Don King the Fight promoter spoke first and was very colorful. I stayed for the conference and then spoke briefly with Henry Broome about Pittsburgh, our hometown. He asked for my card and said he would be in touch. I wished Henry Tillman success on the fight and left. (Tyson Knocked Henry out).
1991- Moved to Escondido - Wanted to be near Candace for her final days at school. In a way I was glad to get out of Hollywood, but in another way I had the feeling that I was putting my life on hold again.
April 19, 1993 - Samantha gave birth to Nathaniel, my grandson. I never thought I would be a father let alone a grandfather. I can't wait to see him. About four days after he was born, I spoke to Samantha on the phone while she was holding him. I could hear him making sounds and then I heard him laughing. Later, I reflected on that, and realized that he had said' "Grandpa". The reason he laughed was because he knew that no body would believe me. What bright kids I have.
June 1, 1993 - Just finished reading "Elsa Lanchester, Herself", written in 1983. She was a remarkable lady and actress. Her thoughts and insights into people, herself, and her husband, Charles Laughton, who was a famous actor, are enlightening. Here were two very creative people who lived together most of their lives, suffering all the agonies, enjoying all of the benefits that creative people who become successful encounter. It is great book. People who harshly judge creative artists (actors, painters, writers, etc.) from their own narrow point of view could benefit from reading this story. They may never understand them, but hopefully they would get some insight into the makeup of a creative person.
Candace is getting ready for the prom and I'm getting ready for a Bilateral Laparo-scopic Inguinal Hernia Repair. I hope to get a copy of the tape.
January 24, 2007
Candace has graduated, back packed for nine months through Europe with our neighbor, Noel Bingstonsd, returned from Europe after nine months and a two day stint on Good Morning America. She then went to study at ATC in San Francisco and never returned, except for brief visits. She is happy there and I am happy for her. Of course I miss her.
Found this neglected journal on my computer. Decided to try again. I am working on an article related to Carl Gustav Jung. I am almost finished reading his book “Memories, Dreams and Reflections,” another long-term project. It must be five years or more since I first started to read his book. After going through the first couple of chapter, I liked what I read, and decided to work up a monologue for a one-man show. I re-read the first chapters many times, and started the monologue, then, like so many of my projects, something else came up and it sat on a shelf. I have moved several times since I first picked up the book that is now falling into pieces. Then about a year ago I found a fresh edition of it, so now I have two copies and believe that I am getting much more out of it now than when I first started. Today I started the article, by first copying the pages of his writings (pages 234-5-6-7.) It is about a tower he built in Bollingen, Switzerland. It is his reflections and solutions that will be the topic of my article.
Candace just phoned. She got my vibrations while riding in a car with June Bug, her friend that is a dance choreographer. I’ve got to get up there to visit SOOON!!! Her Mothers Birthday is coming up January 26th. I will call.
January 29, 2007
Awoke at 3:10 this AM and had two stories in mind, about my very early days, but can’t remember them now nor can I remember the dream that I had before awakening. I have resolved to write these thoughts down immediately, so as to capture the thoughts. I really believed I would remember them because I ran them through my head a few times. I can feel a tugging, but they have not returned yet.