Posts Tagged ‘Worcester MA’


Caitlin McCarthy received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Emerson College. An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin has two feature films in development: “Resistance” with Populus Pictures; and “Wonder Drug” with actor/producer Alysia Reiner. In addition to screenwriting, Caitlin serves as an English teacher at an inner-city public high school.

A SOAPY LIFE by Caitlin McCarthy

The Great Aunts

 In 1974, when I was 4-years-old, the TV became my babysitter. Now don’t worry – I wasn’t planted in front of a TV all by myself.  My great-aunts were right there with me, watching the entire CBS soap opera line-up. My parents both worked during the day, so my friend Michael’s mother would drop me off at my great-aunts’ house after nursery school. I had quite the set-up: a little chair before a marble coffee table, where I ate lunch and watched TV at the same time. My great-aunts surrounded me like guardian angels on the couch. Even Bijoux, my Great-Aunt Lulu’s beloved French Poodle, had a perch – the La-Z-Boy recliner – where he watched the soaps with his “missy.”

First Communion: Caitlin and sister Erin, 1974

The afternoon would kick off with “The Young and the Restless” and end with “Guiding Light,” which my great-aunts (born in the late 1800s) had started following when it was just a radio show in 1937. When the music for GL’s end credits started, my great-aunts would turn off the TV, put on an Engelbert Humperdinck record, and then discuss the various shows at length.

This was my first master class in storytelling. I learned about character motivation, storyline development, plot critique – you name it. No wonder I became a writer later in life.  I was surrounded by characters, both on and off screen.

Great-Aunt Lulu was, by far, the biggest character in my family. Of Acadian descent, she dated a fellow French-American named Napoleon for 25 years. Uncle Nap died 10 years after they married.

Great Aunt Lulu with Bijoux

Childless, Great-Aunt Lulu treated her French Poodle Bijoux like a baby, sewing outfits for him and giving him a rhinestone collar long before bling came about. She refused to feed him dog food or let him eat of a bowl. Instead, she would place him on the La-Z-Boy recliner, tie a bib around his neck, and feed him a specially prepared “gruel” with a spoon. The poor thing hated having the spoon shoved into his mouth. But he developed a case of Stockholm Syndrome and only had eyes for his missy. He growled and snapped at everyone else, especially if they dared to sit on *his* La-Z-Boy.

The real-life characters weren’t limited to my great-aunts.  My neighborhood in Worcester, Massachusetts was filled with them. (more…)

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Voting continues for Disgraced Celebrity of Summer 2011; cast your vote in any COMMENT.  And check out Elizabeth Searle’s upcoming novel GIRL HELD IN HOME.

JOSE ANTONIO RIVERA is a 3-time world champion boxer and an actor in the award-winning film THE FIGHTER starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.  As a pro boxer, Jose won among other prizes the IBO Welterweight World Championship, WBA Welterweight World Championship and in 2006 the WBA Junior Middleweight World Championship in his hometown of Worcester, MA. Jose also works on the speaking circuit in the New England area.  He is composing an autobiography about overcoming huge obstacles and winning his championships.  His next fight is at the Mohegan Sun Casino in CT on Nov. 5th.

A BOXER’S SECRET by Jose Antonia Rivera

Mark Wahlberg, Jose and Jose's son AJ Rivera

I have fond memories of soap operas. “General Hospital” was my program of choice because it started right when I got home from school.  My aunt and female cousins always watched the show with me.  I had moved in with them after my mother passed away when I was ten.  Soap operas were one of the things that served as a common bond.

Whenever I stayed home sick from school, my aunt stayed home, too, and watched the soaps with us.  I say “us” because when my cousin Angie stayed home sick, I suddenly didn’t feel well, either.  My ploy was obvious and too funny, but I refused to let Angie watch the earlier soaps without me and then brag about what I had missed.  On those “sick” days, we would lie on the sofa while my aunt ironed her wardrobe, watching TV the entire time.   (more…)

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An award-winning screenwriter at international film festivals and labs, Caitlin McCarthy has two projects in development: “Wonder Drug” with director Tom Gilroy (“Spring Forward”); and “Resistance” with director Si Wall (“Marbella Nights”).

**Good news continues to come in for Bret Michaels…

Bret Michaels: The Cruelest Month  by Caitlin McCarthy

When I heard on April 22 that Bret Michaels had been rushed to the hospital with a brain hemorrhage, it gave me chills. Exactly twenty-two years earlier – on April 22, 1988 – I had seen Bret’s band Poison open for David Lee Roth at the Worcester Centrum. My BFF in high school, Olga, held onto the back of my Izod as we made our way towards the front row. We were two preppies in a sea of perms and headbanger t-shirts, just begging to get our asses kicked by some pretty scary broads, but we didn’t care. Bret’s energy drew us to him. (No offense to David Lee Roth, but Poison ruled the stage that night.)

I know this may sound crazy to some people who only know Bret from reality shows like “Rock of Love” and “Celebrity Apprentice.” But if you were a teen in the mid to late ‘80s, you know that Bret was a star and sex symbol. Back then, heavy metal dominated radio and MTV (when they still played videos). It was impossible to miss Bret’s teased blond hair and made up face. I may have been preppy, but I liked his androgynous look. (My first celebrity crush on John Taylor of Duran Duran served as a precursor of this.) I also liked that Bret was genuine about entertaining his fans. You have to respect someone who respects the fans and never, ever takes them for granted.

Poison’s first album was released on my sweet sixteen: August 2, 1986. I remember dancing around my bedroom when “Talk Dirty to Me” debuted on the radio. The song is now on my iPod, and I have played it many times with my nephews on Guitar Hero. (Don’t worry: The boys pay more attention to the catchy tune than the lyrics.) (more…)

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