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Brooklyn is in the house as consummate entertainer Ben Vereen joins host Robin Milling to talk about his new film, Time Out of Mind, his upcoming stage show From Brooklyn to Broadway and much more.
Ben tells Robin what it was like to portray a homeless man opposite Richard Gere, and how the film affected his personal relationship to homelessness.
He also reveals plans for an upcoming stage show and his long overdue memoirs.
Patrick Stewart stars as Walter Blunt in the Starz series Blunt Talk; a straight talking newsman who brings his English wit and wisdom to American broadcast news. This is not your Star Trek or Shakespeare Stewart. Blunt is much more politically incorrect; a bawdier, mischievous scalliwag who spoons his female manager, snorts cocaine, suckles prostitutes and makes no apologies for his behavior. And that's just the first four episodes!
Patrick tells host Robin Milling the character is closer to him personally than any other in that he shared his deepest secrets with writer Jonathan Ames (HBO Bored To Death) which made their way fictiously into the series. He even named the character based on his pseudonym.
Patrick talks about his first on-camera sex scene with Elisabeth Shue, guest stars from the Enterprise including Brent Spiner, and throws down a rap about salmon, charmingly revealing there are many hidden talents we have yet to discover about him.
Kevin Pollak joins host Robin Milling at the Tribeca Film Festival, now in it's 14th year to discuss his film Misery Loves Comedy. Kevin wrote and directed this insightful documentary about what goes on behind the laughter and what drives today's hottest comedians to get up in front of a roomful of strangers to be the center of attention and tell jokes. Kevin was ultimately curious about the type of person who suffers from 'hey look at me syndrome devoted to acceptance and appreciation.'
He tells Robin he began with a very strict shooting schedule which allowed for a commitment from comedians; most of them his friends such as Jimmy Fallon, Amy Schumer, Christopher Guest, Janeane Garofalo, Bob Saget, Lisa Kudrow, Tom Hanks, Kevin Nealon, and Larry David; to name a few. By the end he had over 60 but one that was sorely missed is the late Robin Williams, a mentor and close friend to Kevin, who unfortunately was not available during the locked-in time. Kevin says they had hour-long conversations which made up for his absence, and when he passed while he was editing the film it was a 'no brainer' to dedicate the film to him in his memory. “It was frustrating for both of us. He wanted me to know how much he wanted to be in the film, how much it meant to him that I was doing this and spoke a great deal about his own journey and misery and happiness and life. All of those things that long-time friends talk about.”
Kevin keeps very busy with his own podcast, Kevin Pollak Chat Show, and has no immediate plans to join his friend Larry David on the Broadway stage in A Fish In the Dark. He tells Robin, “I'm happy for Larry's now historical Broadway success but that is the last thing I want to do!”
The Bacon Brothers, Kevin and Michael join host Robin Milling backstage at City Winery in New York City to talk about their new album 36 Cents. A blend of folk, rock, soul and country; this band of brothers debuted in 1995 and are still going strong 20 years later.
Their songs have always had a sense of humor, but not always, such as Hookers & Blow which Kevin says has a much darker side. 'With the kind of straight ahead lives that both of us live; being married for a long time we lead pretty normal sort of lives. So when somebody said, 'well how was your weekend my joke is, oh you know it's just the usual, hookers and blow! It's kind of a walk in the shoes of this guy who is messed up.'
Currently on tour, Kevin tells Robin they've played everywhere from The Roxy in Los Angeles to even a pork festival at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. Michael says, 'I think we have a really hardcore group of fans that really appreciate the band's music.' The show featured a young musician from WHEELS (Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School) who jammed with The Bacon Brothers on stage using a donated guitar from WQXR's instrument drive. Kevin says, 'Alot of the schools and kids throughout the five boroughs in the New York City school system don't have access to instruments. And they don't get lessons. Music as you know is a really peaceful, healing, brain-making pleasure. We're trying to raise money now on six degrees.org to refurbish some of these instruments that they have.'
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It appears to be a long time since David Crosby released a solo album; 20 years and counting. Croz, named for what his friends call him, is 11 tracks, some of which he wrote with his son James Raymond. It's the amalgamation of the inevitability of time passing. Crosby tells host Robin Milling that time is a theme that has run in his songs throughout his life.
He also reflects on how his near death experience has impacted his life since, and where he is headed. He says, 'I think your time here on the planet is the most valuable resource you have. I came to that from having wasted a great deal of it. I wasted years and years of time just getting loaded or just getting laid or just being a crazy man.'
In this candid, outspoken, provocative and blatantly honest conversation, Croz talks about debunking song myths, what drove CSNY to break up, his Woodstock memories, and where he currently stands with Neil Young to name a few topics. His rants on Twitter exemplify his need to tell it like it is which he says might be a Leo trait he's always had.
No matter how much he may get in trouble for speaking his mind, the music has always been his essential means of communication which he describes as a 'lifting force on the human race.'
For more information on David Crosby visit his website www.davidcrosby.com
What do you do when you're born to legendary comedian Richard Pryor and white Jewish go-go dancer Shelley Bonus in Los Angeles, California, spending your formative years navigating what it's like to be Black and Jewish? You write a show about it! Rain Pryor joins host Robin Milling for a backstage chat about her one-woman show, Fried Chicken & Latkes, now playing at the National Black Theater in Harlem, New York.
On stage Rain tells poignant tales of her childhood, growing up in Beverly Hills in the heyday of the 60s and 70s, expertly weaving in the voices of her mother, her Bubby, her father's grandmother, and her dad. There was the time when she was five and someone called her the 'N' word, and all through her teenage years valley girls bullied her just because she looked different. She tells Robin, 'Growing up in Beverly Hills there weren't kids like me. I think I just wanted to feel normal. It wasn't like I wanted to be white. I didn't want to be black. I just wanted to be OK to be me and it wasn't. I was bullied when kids would chase me down the street throwing rocks at me; that's bullying. It felt like I was running for my life through Beverly Hills! And I literally hid in bushes.'
And then there are the stories of her famous father who had Miles Davis play her a lullaby to send her to dreamland, and when she first realized his comic genius. Father and daughter relationships can be tricky after divorce, but Rain also had to deal with sometimes coming second to her dad's fame and career. She tells Robin how his presence is still strongly felt even 10 years after his death, and dedicates the show to his memory.
It's been 42 years since the original cast and crew of the 1973 film Jesus Chris Superstar have all been in the same room together, and tonight (April 27), Director Norman Jewison, Ted Neeley (Jesus,) Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalene,) Barry Dennen (Pontius Pilate,) and Josh Mostel (King Herod); to name a few, will reunite for a special screening at the Beekman theater in New York City.
Getting the band back together so to speak would've happened much sooner for Ted whose boundless enthusiasm for what he calls his life-changing role has never left. He tells host Robin Milling, “I've been trying to get this reunion to happen since the film came out. I've been trying to get all of us together to do another production; if nothing else just to hang out for a few days. It's never happened until now. And the fact that we'll all be in the same place at the same time with Norman is a miracle!”
Miracles have been known to happen in the life of Jesus Christ, but it almost didn't happen for Ted who reveals he almost missed out on being cast in the iconic role. He also tells Robin how he met his wife of over 40 years, Leeyan Granger on the set and how their two children have been happily following dad's adventures as a superstar.
Most actors run from one role defining their legacy but Ted has embraced Jesus, still performing the role wherever and whenever he can; most recently touring Italy for a year. He says joyfully, “It completely changed my life, spiritually, personally. So why slap that in the face? And I still love it; every performance is like the first time all over again. That music starts to play and I just lift off the ground, 'ok take me wherever you want me to go!”
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.
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/
Sam Jaeger explores a different kind of parenthood in the indie short Plain Clothes. Sam wrote, directed and stars as a cop trying to balance the brutality of his work without bringing it home to his family. In real life, Sam is a family man with two boys who married his college sweetheart. He tells host Robin Milliing how the themes of marriage and family have resonated throughout his projects. He says, 'I guess I've always been fascinated by how we are defined by our families. Parenthood was another avenue of that. The construct of that entire show was we're fallible people but we're trying to do better.'
Growing up in the small quaint Ohio town of Perrysburg, Sam says he sought out the movies rather than 'drinking and sledding.' The Dead Poets Society inspired him to become an actor. His passion for filmmaking began in high school where he'd shoot movies on VHS and offer free rentals in the local video store. He says taking control of the stories he wanted to tell was what compelled him to write and direct.
Recently he took his wife and kids to New Zealand to film the pilot Lumen which he says also touches on the realities of family, but with a sci-fi backdrop.
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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/
Hi Everyone! I'm Robin Guayasamin-Salerno, the host of "One-Heart Messages with Robin". Our weekly online radio program is dedicated to loving messages from the world of Spirit and our animal friends.
Tonight we will discuss how it is truly OURSELVES that doing the healing of our bodies and the lives we find ourselves in. We as a western culture have a current understanding that all our better truths exist outside of us, and it is essential for our survival that we search outside ourselves to bring Balance, Health, and Prosperity to our lives.
Our loved ones, Spirit Guides, and our "animal family" wish to remind us that the shortest path to God is Within us- Listen in tonight as we receive messages to help us get "back on track" for Healing on all levels! Call in at (646) 649-0027 for a chance to receive a loving "reminder"!!
I am available for further in-depth communication readings for you and/or your pets by calling (262) 501-4838, or by contacting me at www.robinsalerno.com. I look forward to assisting you!