Archive for September, 2009

Lesléa & Cher-gifLesléa Newman’s 57 books include the novel THE RELUCTANT DAUGHTER, the poetry collection NOBODY’S MOTHER and the children’s classic HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES. Currently she is the poet laureate of Northampton, MA. Visit her site at www.lesleanewman.com Watch for Leslea in Preview to A Good Whack.

photo:Leslea in line to meet Cher (in bangs); courtesy of author

It was sure to be the New York moment of a lifetime. Cher, singer of “I’ve Got You Babe,” “Half-breed,” and “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves;” Cher, wearer of those outrageous wigs and outfits; Cher, the first woman to show her belly button on TV (and to call David Letterman an a–hole, in public anyway); Cher, mother of Chastity and widow of Sonny (Mary Bono who?); Cher was going to be signing copies of her book, The First Time at the Barnes and Noble in Chelsea. It was just too good to be true.


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IMG_0201I woke to an email from a helpful celebsindisgrace blog-reader alerting me to Kanye West‘s onstage award-show rant.  My day’s online news featured on-court US Open meltdown by tennis superstar Serena Williams.  In the evening, I went to Tracy Slater’s super-cool Four Stories Reading Series,where I discussed Kanye, et al, with Sebastian Stuart (check out his celeb.-obsessed novel THE HOUR BETWEEN) and where author/comic Steve Brykman urged the audience to interrupt his own reading with Wilson-esque cries of ‘YOU LIE!”

Why such a spate of ‘disgraceful’ outcries?  My husband believes we may be at a ‘pendulum end.’  Washington Post columnist Michael Kinsley decries the ‘umbrage wars.’  Meanwhile, the once-obscure Joe Wilson– proving that outcry, like crime, can pay– is suddenly a household name raising millions online.  How, President Obama asked wistfully on 60 Minutes, can we make civility interesting?  Do we even want to?  Do you have a favorite or most-hated celeb. outburst?  What would your Inner Joe Wilson yell on national TV?  Here’s your chance to rant without making a spectacle of yourself on YouTube.  WDYT?

PS: Breaking; everyone piling on Kanye, even Obama, in ‘off the record’ outburst

PPS: and Litotes reminds us there can be good reason for ‘outbursts’– see this update on the Iraqi shoe-thrower

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Screenwriter Caitlin McCarthy gives an insider view of icon/actor Steve Guttenberg

Caitlin McCarthy‘s screenplays have won awards and recognition at over 30 international film festivals and labs — most notably “Wonder Drug,” which was chosen for a live staged reading starring Steve Guttenberg at the 15th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival; and “Vera,” which was a winner of the Atlanta Film Festival’s inaugural screenplay competition. “Wonder Drug” is currently in development.


I lead a schizophrenic life. By day, I am an English teacher at an inner-city vocational public high school, where over 60 percent of the students are on reduced or free lunch. By night, I am a screenwriter with a project – WONDER DRUG – in development with acclaimed filmmakers Tom Gilroy (SPRING FORWARD) as producer/director and Vanessa Hope (WILLIAM KUNSTLER: DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE) as producer.


My two worlds couldn’t be more different, and they usually don’t collide. But sometimes my students Google me and discover pictures online – not the kind that land you on the chopping block with Human Resources or on the news. (I’m not one of those teachers!) They’re the kind of pictures that trigger disbelief: “Miss, you know Steve Guttenberg?”
Yes. (more…)

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The votes have been tallied; your choice for #1 Disgraced Celebrity of the Summer:
‘Congratulations’ and ‘congratulations’ in quote-marks too to worthy runner-ups Gov. Mark Sanford, Ryan O’Neal and Dick Cheney. Thanks to all who voted– and it’s not too soon to start pondering Disgraced Celebrity of 2009.

Meanwhile, let us celebrate Sarah P.’s ‘victory.’ Has everyone read Levi Johnston’s Vanity Fair rant? Do you believe or not that Sarah pressured daughter Bristol to hide her pregnancy so Mommy Sarah could adopt Bristol’s baby and claim it as her own? Do you believe that Sarah’s wedding ring– conspicuously absent in recent photos– is resting at the bottom of an Alaskan LAKE? That Sarah’s marriage to ‘First Dude’ TODD is on the rocks? But that a divorce is on hold till after Sarah’s book tour? Do you agree with the ever-wise GAIL COLLINS that Sarah’s efforts to keep Levi Johnson away from her daughter belong in the ‘rather slim folder titled: Sarah Palin’s Good Ideas’? WDYT?
(photo credit: celebs on sticks from my book-party cake plus summer cover-photo from the National Examiner…)
PS: Thanks to ‘Reed’ for looking to the future and keeping us posted on the growing T. Tequila scandal: thanks for the link, Reed!
And thanks ‘Caitlin’ for sending in this link from celeb.-in-waiting Arthur Kade
PPS: Breaking; another related & red-hot link from a helpful reader: Levi Johnston considering $$ offers to pose nude

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jaime clarke author photoJAIME CLARKE is the author of the novel WE’RE SO FAMOUS, the editor of DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME: CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS ON THE FILMS OF JOHN HUGHES and co-founder of Post Road , a national literary magazine.

~~Thanks to Jaime Clarke for writing our blog’s first Guest Post. More to come!~~

Eric Rivas, aspiring actor, was born in Brooklyn and when I meet him I’m at Joe Allen, a friendly Broadway bar and restaurant where nervous Hollywood actors are known to knock back a whiskey and soda before a Broadway debut. I’m soliciting an opinion on fame from the bartender, George, himself an aspiring actor, when Mr. Rivas leans over and says. “Being famous means you’re more than everybody else.”

In New York, Conversation Interruptus is a common disease among the people. There is always someone trying to aggressively insert themselves into your life. But Mr. Rivas’s words come down with such an authority it begs further exploration. Wait until you find out what he is doing at Joe Allen.

We talk for a moment before awkwardly backing up and introducing ourselves. You can’t cross the street in Manhattan without passing an entire cast of aspiring actors, so the fact that Eric longs to see himself on the silver screen is in keeping with the wish-upon-a-star mentality that draws amateur thespians the world over to the Big City of Dreams. But it’s the method to this particular actor’s madness that is intriguing.
Eric Rivas believes the key to his career is in rubbing shoulders with the famous, most specifically the shoulders of Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino. (more…)

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