All posts by Dana Smith

Author and Entertainer

April 19,’18 Gridlocked in Tsunami Zone

Bio-Debatable Bat-Poop-Crazy 

Rattan Bike

Not the Destination? It’s the Journey? Are You Sure Sherlock?

We’ll say a quick hello… Thursday here in LA with Emeryville on our evenings itinerary. Got that? We’re aboard the vessel Sweet Seas.

Yesterday foolishly believing I could do better than be held hostage to the tyranny of Los Angeles traffic I took it to Malibu. There amidst the splendor the the brilliant and beautiful I walked along the shore briefly imagining I would speak with Dylan who wasn’t home and Cindy Crawford’s doorman who informed me that she couldn’t see me right now.

So instead I took a table at Gladstones where I’ve carved out heaps of almost free time- if you don’t count the $10 it costs to have valet parking hold your keys and car hostage until finished with that portion of the other part of the self indulgence you have so fruitfully come wallow in.

Highway One was bounded in traffic congested fender bending behaviors while I was completing the pleasant part of the adventure. Next came the extract the American from the inundation zone. Gladstones parking lot spit me out onto Sunset Boulevard and there snug and tightly fitted between others who had also taken to their automobiles I rotted away growing way too old way too soon on an otherwise lovely afternoon. A mere two hours and twenty-five minutes later I limped into my parking place in downtown some twenty plus miles away.

Let me leave you today with a quote from one of my favorite bachelors from one of my characters in Hot Spring Honeymoon.

Warm tubs

“You’re coming out for ‘naked night?’” Keefe asked.

“We’re going to have strong feelings for one of the guests.”

“What are you going to do with those pictures?” Keefe had a sly look on his face.

Glenna resolved. “Change how a person thinks…”

“Help him see the error of his ways?” Keefe asked.

“Finding a way to changing a man’s mind isn’t necessarily done by playing around with what he has between his ears,” Glenna said.

“A lot of men do their most penetrating thinking by way of another part of themselves altogether,” Keefe said.

“I’d say that holds true for near all the men I’ve ever known,” Glenna said.

Edited Red Star

April 17,’18 Empire on Respirator

Bring Me a Bigger Wind Bag

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Getting it all wrong

As every new day in this era now includes a dose of obscenity blended with a good dollop of hypocrisy there was otherwise nothing out of the ordinary. Just your typical day. Heroic street magician turned television star Harry Anderson bites the dust at a youthful 65 years of age. Needn’t remind any of you that we are all mere mortals unless while you’ve been enjoying life you’ve also been exercising your right to denial and with any luck a crap lawyer has been keeping you out of trouble in spite of their being deep in in bed with the not so friendly Feds.

We live in the era of where All Empire goes into death throes.

Then with  collective gasp an entire courtroom in NYC shoots astonishment through their nostrils simultaneously. Really sad to see the plotting masterpiece Citizen Kane being eclipsed by the male fueled bimbo eruptions of not so untouchable delusionals.

My wife is ever disciplined, withholding judgement, giving every benefit of the doubt to the caught red-handed. Me, I’m more vindictive and prefer rushing to conclusions. I really don’t need more time I need a more speedy trial.

And for sheer majesty of paradox there was no more esteemable moment in recent times than Stormy Daniels addressing the assembled media horde:

“Hi everyone. So for years, Mr. Cohen has acted like he is above the law, he has considered himself and openly referred to himself as Mr. Trump’s fixer. He has played by a different set of rules or should we say no rules at all. He has never thought that the little man, or especially women or even more women like me, matter. That ends now. My attorney and I are committed to making sure that everyone finds out the truth and facts of what happened and I give my word that we will not rest until that happens. Thank you very much.”

Our history grows more revealing by the day.

Buy a book, book a show… you’ll be well served by either choice. And remember life is a comedy, it has to be a comedy, otherwise why would we all be laughing now that we know how the story ends?

Edited Red Star

 

April 16,’18 Street Scene

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Veteran Working the Craft in Red Deer, Alberta Canada

I was there when the scenes exploded. The artists medium was variety entertainment. The venue was street. Street was the canvas of choice. Indoor ticketed facilities had been a dead end for decades. Like wildfire the spreading news of variety acts turning a good buck out on a sidewalk drew in more and more talent willing to give the thing a try.

We were busy tipping the carts over, ignoring convention, abandoning restrictions and jumping on the bandwagon. Fern bars and fire juggling were in this era synonymous with this new thing emerging.

Standup comedy was a rocket ship. European cities were fertile ground for the impromptu showman. Summers in Western Europe and winter in Thailand.

We didn’t know how good we were. Nobody had gone from street to stardom yet and maybe nobody would make it all the way to the tippy top of the highest rung of the ladder. Robin Williams played street shortly. He’d gotten picked up from his open microphone appearances at the hole in the wall comedy clubs in San Francisco. The Other Café and Holy City Zoo was the location. Prior he’d worked the steps of the New York City Public Library and briefly appeared at The Cannery in San Francisco.

But, there were others who you know. Robert Shields of Shields and Yarnell, Michael Davis who worked Sugar Babies and A Whitney Brown who was a big deal at Saturday Night Live. All came from the street and all made millions of dollars working at the highest levels of the entertainment industry.

They all had that intangible creative anxiousness. Awkward offstage and on fire when on. Many of us made up the scenes that these talents emerged from. All of us working with some blend of talent and passion and trying our best to keep up, to fit in, to raise the bar, to maybe catch a break and ride along up the ladder. Some of us felt street was a creative end in itself. We were part of a scene that peeled back one more layer of uptightness that had been the hallmark of the previous decade. More tomorrow…

Edited Red Star

April 15, ’18 Star Date

where are the cars

Over Under Sideways Down

A full week ahead. Saturday at Harvey Milk’s Civil Rights Academy in San Francisco. More LA in the mix.

A big shout out to the heroic work underway on our behalf and for the sake of this experiment in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You don’t want Sally Yates or Stormy Daniels feeling like you aren’t leveling with them. You cross them at your own peril and it seems that one rather prominent man in a position to know better has done just that.

My life aboard in Emeryville where we keep our sailboat is filled with some of the bravest, toughest, smartest, nicest beautiful inside and out women I have ever had the pleasure to know. They possess uncommon courage, wit and emotional insight. The women of Emery Cove are a gallant lot whether with a cocktail in their hand or a power tool. Look out, they are not to be underestimated. Ever

Edited Red Star

April 13, ’18 Isley Bros. Fight the Power

As ever buy a book, book a show… You can scroll down to my power to the people-John Lennon Memorial Friday the 13th Giant Quarter-Ring Sidewalk Street Show blog if you are ready to join the love army. Well are you? 

Fun

Go Back We’re Going the Wrong Way

Arizona’s striking teachers had to explain the facts of life to the states conservative politicians. The tyranny of only cutting taxes and never raising them ever-ever-ever is capute. It turns out the cost to our future, the loss of not investing in our youngsters might save money in the present but will bankrupt our nation’s future.

A productive well educated future worker is far more valuable than another round of tax cuts that end up in the pockets of a golf playing Cadillac driving-private equity-carried interest deduction gluttonous-capitalist who is well past the most productive years in their now much shorter less influential lives.

Resist

Making Change Makes People Happy

That my card carrying teacher union sympathizing brothers and sisters is but a first shot with a water pistol across the bow of a scorched earth winner take all now collapsing conservative all wet revolution.

I’ll take only one more moment to do a tap dancing victory lap on the forehead of the foul mouthed former disgraced adulterous Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. His intemperate trolling rhetoric has infected our constitutional form of government until now. Now is the moment when his kind are rounded up and sent in one miserable pile of venomous pythons to insult one another on a cruise ship of no return. Goodbye.

Our Peeps

More and More of Us, Less and Less of Them

Now that we are getting back to basics. Now that we are beginning to understand we need to do a few things right. You know we need schools and teachers. We need health care. We need a social security system. We need to focus on clean air and water. We need to fix our energy system and do something about the climate.

Seems so simple doesn’t it? Getting the basic things right means we will have the time and energy to handle the more complicated things. Keep the faith. Helping our teachers so they can help our children is simply doing something besides helping the high and financially mighty.

Let’s go peeps…

Edited Red Star

 

 

April 12, ’18 Summer Reading Self-Esteem

As ever buy a book, book a show… My highlight reel, biography, book synopsis and contact information are a few clicks away. You can scroll down to my blog. Hope you come back soon…!

love children

She’s Got it in Spades…

Friends of the Library raise funds all year long in support of the summer reading programs. They are selfless citizens dedicated to the proposition that the most precious natural resource is life! Sort of  love life locally but think globally… These peeps wear glasses and have books on their coffee tables.

Aside from the juggling and comedy my show is really about infusing my young readers with a sense of self esteem. Inner self confidence is a construction project. We don’t come ready made with very much of this appreciation in our own abilities. We need to have an elder guide us to the location of this cultivated inner resource.

Brilliant Child One

Having the Heart to Try

I use volunteers to accomplish all manner of amazing tasks. Most of the children succeed, some struggle but learn right in front of an audience, and the biggest gift is the look of determination on their faces as they risk trying.

No admission charge the summer reading program is aimed at creating a safe, non-commercial- free to the public event where parents and children, friends and neighbors, librarians and volunteers can gather for the important purpose of building a more resilient community.

So I do take offense at politicians too mightily focused on tax cuts. I am one of the many who believe our children are a future worthy of investing in. We want our employers to have access to the brightest, best educated, most self confident college graduates our country can create.

Risk Taking Two

True Grit Uncovered

Go see a show this summer. Support your summer reading program. Sell a cupcake and give the proceeds to your library. Read a book. Volunteer to help children learn how to read. Be sure to be enthusiastic about these little new people. Encourage them. Tell them how good they are. Our kindness and helping hand up might well be one of the single best ways we preserve our freedoms and protect our liberties. We give without limit. Love and kindness is infinite. You’ll see your generosity shining back in the eyes of the children looking up to you.

bows

Audience Bestowing Honor Upon our Little Risk-Taker

Edited Red Star

April 10th, ’18 Headwaters

As ever buy a book, book a show… My highlight reel, biography, book synopsis and contact information are all right here a few clicks away. You can scroll down to my blog. Hope you will and see you back soon.

Where Spirits Go to Fly

chasmal small 2

Tideline

Much preparation is underway in readying our boat to sail from San Francisco to Santa Catalina Island. I’m working on acquiring a second anchor. Type, size, shackle, chain, rode and large bucket to stow the gear in is in process. Anchoring a boat requires skill. Next to going somewhere being able to set your hook into the ocean floor is right up there on the to do list.

I’ve carved most of the summer to make this round-trip voyage. From the middle of July to the middle of September we will be sailing. I’ve never been to Catalina during prime time, peak season. I am ever the busy busker seeking to know more about my California kind and how my kind behaves when the days are long and dusk is a straggler.

Yucatan sunset small

Sunset in Living Color

In the present there are shows to do, writing to get done, circus workshops to teach between now and when we shove off. There remains much on the plate with life not offering a momentary lapse to flirt with a standstill.

For hijinks I’m reading about the expedition and discovery of the source of the headwaters of the Nile River. The source waters eluded discovery and somewhat stubbornly were finally located in the latter nineteenth century.

Like consciousness it is always easier to witness the phenomenon of thought even if you are left to wonder from where our river of thought begins? When the headwaters to my mind can be plausibly located and convincingly explained, until those mysterious temporal coordinates are precisely set down, I will wait in the camp of those who seriously question whether this precise location will ever be found.

heart of coin

Heart Counting on Change

Edited Red Star