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Milling About visits The Big Bungalow in Nashville, Tennessee. Located in historic Edgefield, it's a homey three bedroom B&B, owned and operated by Ellen Warshaw. A native New Yorker, Ellen tells host Robin Milling how she came to Music City with the dream of continuing her career as a singer/songwriter when 'the 80s and MTV killed my careeer'! As John Lennon says, 'life is what happens while you are busy making other plans;' Ellen made a go of it but found her style wasn't in harmony with everyone else's so she set her sights on something new. She says, 'It wasn't my heart. Rock 'n roll was my thing and here it's a different language. It wasn't fun anymore, so you have to move onto the next thing. I write feel songs and country music is story songs and that wasn't my story.'
That next chapter of her story was the hospitality business, specifically a B&B which came to her in a eureka moment one morning. Her philosophy was, 'if you build it they will come and that's what happened!' Her love of music is infused in The Big Bungalow with The Music City Room; covered with her own memorabilia and a country music decor. The other rooms are The Grandiose Suite and The Cozy Room. She also hosts house concerts in her living room where all the local musicians gather to jam.
The other kind of jam is served with the delicious breakfasts such as French Toast Casserole and Spinach and Feta Frittata with homemade fruit and nut bread. Ellen admits it was a learning curve to turn down the fancy. 'In the beginning I was making things like smoked oyster and proscuitto quiche with provolone cheese but nobody ate it!' Now her motto is simple but tasty.
Multi-talented performer Sam Harris joins host Robin Milling for a backstage chat about his one-man musical, 'Ham: A Musical Memoir,' now playing at Theater 511 at Ars Nova in New York City. Directed by Billy Porter, featuring pianist Todd Schroeder, the show is based on his autobiography, 'Ham: Slices of A Life.'
On stage Sam expertly tells stories, speaking about his life's journey from boyhood to the present; whether in song or candid monologues. He tells Robin he's embraced the term, 'ham,' recalling his earliest performance at three singing The Star Spangled Banner at a football game in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Sam says performing is everything to him. 'It was my coping mechanism being a little bit of a different kind of kid growing up in rural, Baptist South; the buckle of the bible belt! For a burgeoning gay showbusiness kid it was a little freaky especially being born in the early 60s.'
And for those not born in the 60s, Star Search was the American Idol of it's day, where Sam won the 1983 grand champion singer with his rousing rendition of 'Over The Rainbow.' He tells Robin he accepts the legacy, along with his other accomplishments as an actor, a writer, and a recording aritst.
Sam talks about the cathartic experience he feels exorcising his demons on stage, although some things were left in the book such as his alcoholism; celebrating 11 years sober. Even though the show is personal to his life experience, he tells Robin it's universal. 'I don't think there's anybody who doesn't feel outside. I don't think there's anybody who doesn't need to be told 'you're enough.''
For more about Sam visit http://www.samharris.com/
Milling About visits Bang Candy Company in Nashville, Tennessee where handmade gourmet marshmallows are the bomb! There's all types of confection creations designed by owner Sarah Souther. Sarah came to Nashville by way of Ireland and the idea for her candy company started over dinner with a friend when her dessert contained a handmade marshmallow. She tells host Robin Milling, 'I thought, wow, people make marshmallows! I went home and I messed around in my cupboard and I found some cardamom and some rose. I thought, ooh I'll make a rose cardamom marshmallow! It's very simple; gelatin, some syrup and you whip it up until it gains volume, cools, traps the air bubbles and then you have this lovely spongy substance.'
A big hit at a potluck party, Sarah was convinced she could make a business out of her designer marshmallows and she did. She jokes how she first would 'deal marshmallows' to friends in parking lots but then expanded to a 'shed on wheels' to cart her sweets around town called The Cocoa Van. Their home now is a former car factory for Marathon Motor cars right next door to the Antique Archeology shop where American Pickers began.
There are literally endless ways to flavor a marshmallow and Sarah has tried them all taking full advantage of her neighboring distilleries including black currant absinthe, maple bacon bourbon and spicy margarita, as well as chocolate chili and toasted coconut almond; then dipped one by one on a diagonal in chocolate. Sarah says it's time consuming but well worth it and encourages anyone to try making marshmallows at home. Recipes are at http://www.bangcandycompany.com/
Thomas Jane brings in the new year with Vice, playing a futuristic cop investigating a resort run by Bruce Willis, where human-like androids (Ambyr Childers) programmed to fulfill a user's fantasy have gone off the grid. Jane tells host Robin Milling he is a Sci-Fi fan so the opportunity to tell the story which might be a cautionary tale of abusing technology in the present, intrigued him.
He admits he is not a fan of social media but got into the game with his own site, http://www.rawstudios.com/ where he can check in occassionally to a supportive forum of like-minded graphic novel enthusiasts. He jokes, 'Nobody has created a fake Thomas Jane account on my forum; at least not that I know of!'
Thomas' plans for 2015 are vast, with a second graphic novel in the works, and a western that he wrote which he hopes to direct. The working title is 'The Magnificent Death From A Shattered Hand.' On the small screen he's got The Expanse for SyFy and the History channel's Texas Rising, which features his daughter making her acting debut alongside her dad. He tells Robin he was amazed by her talent, 'She was kind of uncanny. She must've absorbed it through some mechanism that we're not aware of, yet. There's some kind of morphogenic field out there where you can absorb experience from your parents somehow!'
Milling About visits The Sagamore Resort in Lake George, New York, an idyllic property on Green Island in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Everywhere you turn is a view of the lake and the mountains. General Manager Tom Guay who grew up in the area tells host Robin Milling guests can hike the surrounding mountains as well as relax. There's a serenity with the sweet smell of pine permeating from the year-round lobby fireplace. Just outside is the Veranda terrace where brides begin their matrimonial walk down to the lake to say, 'I do.' The 385- room resort in existence since1883 is rumoured to be haunted, especially Room 209. Director of Sales Lori Rehm tells Robin about the resident spirits. There's a 1930s maid whose affair with a guest caused the wife to smother her with a pillow. Lori says some guests have seen someone in a maid's outfit standing in the corner or felt the blankets being tugged down by someone, and when the lights were turned on there was noone there! Visit www.thesagamore.com
To celebrate the holidays, Milling About joins the cast of Elf, now playing at The Papermill Playhouse. Based on the film, it's a musical about Buddy, an oprhan who was left on Santa's doorstep in the North Pole and raised by elves. All grown up, he returns to earth to discover his true identity; and in the process learns much more about love and family.
Host Robin Milling asks James Moye (Buddy), Heidi Blickenstaff (Emily Hobbs), Robert Cuccioli (Walter Hobbs), Jake Faragalli (Michael), Kate Fahrner (Jovie), Paul C. Vogt (Santa) and Matthew Sklar (Composer) about five things they couldn't live without if they traveled from earth to the North Pole and their fondest Christmas memories.
Gary Busey wants you to get into The Busey Zone, interactive webisodes where you ask Gary questions and learn from his unique perspective on life, like 'A Moment With The Hobbits.' Gary tells host Robin Milling he's visited Middle Earth in his dreams through body projection. He says, "I time travel in my dreams." These observations come from a Harley Davidson accident when the curb split his head open and he died after brain surgery, seeing the other side. He jokes, "I could tell you more but it's like explaining an orgasm to a 10 year-old; you can't really discover it all!"
There's three books in the works from the mind of Busey including his autobiography, "360 Ways To See An Elephant;" meaning there's more than one way to see something. Plus a two- volume collection of his Buseyisms; Gary takes the letters from a word and creates a definition. His buddy Donald Trump is 'Taking Redirection Understanding Massive Power.' And from the man who played Buddy Holly, will be his book of lyrics 'Song Poetry.'
For Busey's outlook on life visit http://www.buseyzone.com
Gillian Anderson joins host Robin Milling to discuss The Fall, her first lead investigative series since The X Files. Playing a detective superintendent investigating a serial killer in Belfast, she jokes she's had nine years of medical school as Scully. The Fall is shot in Belfast and the tourism board has Gillian to thank as room 203 in the Hilton Hotel, where her character stays in the series, is booked through the winter of 2014.
Gillian tells Robin she's got a bit of an identity crisis, being born in Chicago and moving to London. In grade school she used her English accent to make friends, but kids can be cruel so she adopted an American accent. Now she says she can't escape 'the Britishisms' and calls London home.
You can also see Gillian on the NBC series, Hannibal as Lecter's therapist, and the upcoming series Crisis.
Jim Sturgess joins host Robin Milling to talk about his new film Upside Down. Jim tells Robin he actually had to practice hanging upside down for the role and got to 20 minutes with the aid of gravity boots; but not before nausea got the best of him! He even has an upside down kissing scene with his co-star Kirsten Dunst who had some previous experience with that in Spider-Man.
Jim says he was asked to appear in the Spider-Man musical on Broadway by his Across the Universe director Julie Taymor but opted to help out in the workshop with Bono instead. He prefers playing with a band and writing his own music rather than having back-up dancers behind him on a stage. One band he tells Robin was Saint Faith; a seven-piece outfit he started in Islington which he says never saw the light of day.
Music will always be there for Jim, but these days he prefers acting. He talks about working with the Wachowski brothers as an Asian man in the controversial film, Cloud Atlas, and is excited about his upcoming role as real life bank robber Eddie Dobson in Electric Slide.
Renowned rock 'n roll photographer Kevin Mazur tells the story of the paparazzi and the point of view of the celebrities they hound in $ellebrity. Kevin joins host Robin Milling to talk about issues in the film which include 'are celebrities' children fair game?'
Famous folk such as Jennifer Lopez and her then husband Marc Antony and Sarah Jessica Parker weigh in on the 'stalkerazzi.'
At the start of his career Kevin says a run-in with Robert DeNiro pissed at him for taking his photo without permission gave him the leg up he needed. By simply asking he's earned an exclusive pass to shoot the biggest names in show business.
For more information visit:
Photos courtesy of Kevin Mazur
Milling About visits The Samoset Resort in Maine where romance, relaxation and recreation meet at their lovely waterfront property sitting on the edge of Penobscot Bay. Just sit back on a lawn chair and watch the boats go by or play 18 holes of their championship golf course while taking in spectacular views of the ocean. Luxuriate in your renewal journey at The Spa at Samoset after negotiating rocks on the near mile trek on the Breakwater to the Lighthouse.
General Manager Connie Russell and Spa Director Julie Slade join host Robin Milling. Connie came to the hospitality business working at his father's motel in his hometown of Orono. Along the property are one and two-bedroom cozy cottages Wind Drift, Spring Tide and Sea Spray, which Connie says are perfect for couples with screened porches and gas fireplaces. The glorious 100 year-old Flume cottage juts out on the rocks boasting an outdoor hot tub on a glass railing deck overlooking Penobsot Bay. Like any historic hotel, The Samoset originally built in 1889, has had it's share of ghost stories like the elevator closing or opening by itself!
At The Spa, Robin was treated to an aromatherapy massage deeply inhaling frankincense; the scents are tailored to your mood. Before your massage, breathe in the ocean air while sipping tea in the serenity room with privacy screens so you can walk around freely in their cushy velvety robe. Julie tells Robin the massage mixes western and eastern traditions with reflexology, Chakra work and Swedish. A former owner of her own day spa in Camden, Julie led Colorado whitewater rafting tours before she settled in Maine, and now she comes 'skipping to work!'
Milling About visits the Bath Street Inn in Santa Barbara, California. Host Robin Milling chats with co-owner Deborah about this lovely 1895 Victorian home which was gifted by Mr. Hales to his wife Abigail for their 50th wedding anniversary. In fact, Deborah tells Robin that The Abigail Room is the former master bedroom where guests have reported sightings of a white-haired woman sitting on the edge of their bed. This however was 15 years before their time with the inn so Deborah jokes that perhaps she's moved out!
The Bath Street Inn is a mixture of the old and the new with eight guest rooms. We stayed in The Rose Room, aptly named for the wallpaper which has a jacuzzi; perfect at the end of a long day walking downtown Santa Barbara. The newer Summer House with fireplaces and jacuzzis is adjacent to the wisteria covered courtyard where breakfast is also served. And breakfast is a healthier vegetarian alternative which Deborah says was put into place because the former owner wasn't exactly a morning person! Each morning homemade granola with seeds and nuts is served along with fresh fruit complimented by gourmet-style meatless dishes. You will never miss the meat or taste the difference as they are delicious as well as nutritious. During our stay we were served peach-topped croissant french toast, baked pear with ginger sauce, eggs florentine with raspberry muffins, and pain perdu with cherry berry stuffing...yum!
For more information visit www.bathstreetinn.com
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