The Casting Couch is nothing new.

Sadly, the casting the couch has been around for years but I am very gratified that women (including myself) and some men, are finally standing up and saying, “No More!” Fear is a great weapon and powerful people have used it for years to abuse and use women. (And men too, there are a lot of men coming forward to give their own horror stories.  I think that is very powerful too because it is less known.)

I have heard that it has been around for years, going back to the Actor/Mangers in the 19th Century but there is no written accounts of that I could find. The earliest I could find was from; The Boys From Syracuse: The Shuberts’ Theatrical Empire by Foster Hirsch. In the 1900’s Lee Shubert kept “an elegantly furnished boudoir, reserved for leading ladies and promising ingénues, and a shabby, spartanly furnished room with a single couch where he met chorus girls and soubrettes.” “If you didn’t sleep with them you didn’t get the part,” dancer Agnes de Mille later recalled about the Shubert brothers. “The Shuberts ran a brothel: Let them sue me.”

In the 1910’s the Studio Bosses made it into an art form.  They had secret rooms just for liaisons with their actress. Tales told about women of the old Hollywood System and how they were used and abused are legendary. Some of the stars that were abused are, Marilyn Monroe, Shelly Winters, Evelyn Keyes, a very young Joan Collins, Even Shirley Temple was a victim!  And the powerful men were; Harry Cohn, Darryl F. Zanuck, Jack L. Warner, Buddy Adler, Spyros Skouras,Arthur Freed and Howard Hughes!

And a line that is sometimes used as a punchline today, but was and is a real threat, “You’ll never work in this town again.”  Harvey Weinstein was even said to use it a few times in the horror stories recently told about his abuses of young women.

It happened to me when I was young but I was lucky, my Dad was right on the other side of the door and I told the casting director that I would scream and my Dad would come in to rescue me. The reason my Dad would never allow me to go to any audition alone was because he knew of the casting couch and was always worried for me, even when I had an appointment with a woman, he said, “You never know.” Later, I found out that he was right. Abuse can come from anyone in power. It’s been years and I blanked out the casting director’s name, I don’t even remember the name of the horror movie I was trying for, I just remember leaving the room crying with verbal abuse ringing in my ears and pulling Dad out of the office.  I didn’t tell him till we were in the car and then I begged him not to go back, I was afraid of what my Dad would do to the man, not for my career. Dad was fiercely protective, he was a pacifist, but he when we were threatened,all his Brooklyn came out.

As any women can tell you I have had sexual harassment and attempted abuse all my life, that I never actually was assaulted was pure luck, I think.  I have had men touch me inappropriately at work that were old enough to be my Grandfather.  I have had several really, really close calls that I either, talked my way out of, cried my way out of, screamed or ran.  I am sorry to say, I have never been elegant and regal when faced with an attempted assault against me, all I wanted to do was get away.  Lucky for me I did.  Not everyone is lucky.  That is why this “Me Too” movement is so very important.  Whether you have been abused or you love someone who has.  Speak up.

 

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Fans get to help Miss Fisher movie get launched!

This is not the first Kickstarter Program for a movie, and it is not the first time fans helped with a launch in this way.  There are many instances of such group efforts even before mass media came around.

But this is an example of how a group of really enthusiastic fans got to bring about their dream.  It is not a secret that I am a fan of Miss Fisher and the stars of the show.  I have had the privilege of interviewing three members of the cast; Nathan Page, Anthony Sharpe and Travis McMahon!  Nathan has been on my show twice and his second show was the first one of all my shows after 5 years to reach over a million downloads so quickly, so no one has to tell me that he is a popular fellow.

So those very clever people at Every Cloud Productions, (the producers; Deb Cox and Fiona Eagger) asked Mr. Page to put out a video appeal to the fans to help with the Kickstarter Campaign; https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/468758721/miss-fisher-the-movie/description.  It’s rather adorable isn’t it? It’s special guest star (the star of the show) Essie Davis helps out with a special appearance and of course that part is just what we fans want too.  We want Jack and Phryne to finally come together.  Not just a kiss but maybe a chat about it? We also love the whole family so the more that we get this around to everyone and help out, the better the chances that the whole cast will be able to be a part of it.

Anyway this my pitch to help out, as you can see by the counter the campaign is doing very well but some fans that are not on Tumblr, Facebook or Instagram and might not have seen it.  Also some fans may not be following groups, Phryne is an individualist and so are many of her fans.  So if you have not heard about it and can afford to, please help out.  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/468758721/miss-fisher-the-movie/description.

Talented actor Nathan Page answered our fan questions!

 

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This amazingly gorgeous photo of Nathan Page is by the talented  © Sam McAdam-Cooper.

I am so proud to have taken part in this interview with the talented and diverse Nathan Page. I am so excited to finally get to see his answers to my questions and now I finally get to read everyone else’s questions as well as his answers to those great questions too. I am so excited!!!!

Here is a sneak peak, below is just my questions and answers you can read the rest here at his fantastic site;  https://nathanpagetheactor.com/2016/08/01/nathan-answers-your-questions/

From @Rithebard:

From your posts on Instagram, you love to read. What literary character would you like to bring to life from any time or genres?
There are so many wonderful novels being written that it’s hard to choose. In that sense I don’t feel obliged to classics or the past. I do love a thriller though and the Bourne series would’ve been my recent choice (Damon does it brilliantly).

If you could have any job in the world what would you like to do, and what job would you hate to do?
I’ve always had a quiet place in my heart for understanding and observing nature. And I love the remoteness so in that sense gardening on some level works for me. Form has always sparked my interest and I love looking at buildings of all sorts including interiors so there’s that architectural element. I always, since a young boy, wanted to be a sniper but Bradley Cooper nailed that character so perfectly. Worst job….Definitely ambulance. There’s a reason the suicide rate in ambo’s is 4x higher than any other profession. They see what you shouldn’t see and there’s no coming back from that.

 

 

Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries vs Partners In Crime

Nice and tidy.

Is Bethenny Frankel the Reincarnation of Xena, Warrior Princess?

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Ok, I know this is far-fetched (and it is just for fun so please don’t take it too seriously) but I have a rather wild imagination, and you have to admit that like Xena, Bethenny takes no prisoners.  The idea hatched the other night while I was watching Real Housewives of New York City.

They have many things in common, I will list them so you will see my reasoning;

  1. Xena uses brains more than weapons, in fact it is an early lesson for Gabrielle at the beginning of the series.  Bethenny is all about brains, she uses her brains to fight every battle and she usually wins, just like Xena.
  2. Xena’s preferred weapon is her Chakram, Bethenny is her mouth (not in a bad way. Really, I love to listen to her talk her opponents down, it is one of the intriguing traits of Bethenny.)  How can those weapons have anything in common? Well they both can be set to either hurt or kill, they are both a great warning to all enemies (people fear both and try to stay away from them, unless they are a foolish Warlords or Warlord types.)
  3. They are both all about empowerment of women.  They both believe that women can do anything and should help each other, not tear each other apart.
  4. They both work toward the greater good, though in different worlds and styles, they both have helped in their own ways.
  5. They have become very successful in their goals, through hard work and brain power.  They are both great a strategy and they really look at things analytically so that they can help and advise others.
  6. Finally, they are both striking to look at, they both have their own style and they use it to reach the goals, as an entry point to get in, then overpower the enemy with their brains.

So you see it was not that far-fetched, you just have to look at it from the right angle.

The loss of Magic; The MGM Backlot

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As anyone who has read my blogs know, I am a classic movie lover.  And there is nothing more classic then the great MGM Studios and its wondrous movies.  Some are timeless, some are of its time, but they are all important to movie lovers like me.  They are a part of a film legend.

I watched a movie on TCM about the fall of MGM, it has been shown a three times but for some reason it really hit me today, Hollywood, The Dream Factory was about the end of an era and what really hit me is how the back lot fell apart.  I mean, I have been to back lots at Universal and Warner Brothers (I worked there.)  They are still maintained and look wonderful, why did it just crumble?  I guess they knew they were going to sell it and they just didn’t have the funds to pay for the maintenance.  But it is like looking at someone who was very beautiful that has become a derelict.  Just so very tragic and sad.

The other thing that struck me is how the props and sets went for such low prices.  Even considering the change in the economy, it is striking that something that sold for thousands dollars, now sells for millions of dollars.  Shocking really.

Its like watching all the classic homes in Beverly Hills disappearing for the monstrosities they are building, so heartbreaking.

 

 

 

 

The true loss of a great talent, Alan Rickman.

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When I read of Alan Rickman’s passing my first feeling was shock.  No, he is too young.  He has too many parts still to play.  It’s not fair.  I always hoped I would get to see him on stage.  I would have loved to see him doing Shakespeare, from all that I know of him he would have been magnificent as King Lear.

The first time I saw him I really did not see his features under the make up or the horrid fright wig he wore in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, it was his voice that stayed with me.  It was such a unique voice and though he was a bad guy, it was a wonderful, sexy voice.  It stayed with me.

Then four years later, my Mother and I wanted to do something anti-Superbowl, and I had just become obsessed with Jane Austen.  I fell in love with her writing from the TV mini series of Pride and Prejudice so when I heard that Emma Thompson, (who I admire a lot) had written and starred in Sense and Sensibility. I thought it would be a perfect balance to my thDad and brother taking over living room with the Superbowl. All through the movie the voice of Colonel Brandon drove me mad, I knew it and I had no idea from where.  As we drove home I realized who he played and in the middle of conversation on the drive home said, Robin Hood,  The Sheriff Nottingham, that is where I know him from.  I think I shocked my Mom a bit, but I always remember a voice.  And his was special.  I tried to watch everything he was in that I could.

 

The next film I saw was Galaxy Quest, he was hilarious as the egotistical actor playing an Alien in a Sci Fi show.  Then Love Actually, again like Sense and Sensibility he played the leading man type, you could see what he looked like.  Though his character had some issues he seemed to turn it around in the end.

I came late to Harry Potter, I did not start watching it till the third movie came out.  I started to read the books that year and fell in love with them.  Alan was perfect as Professor alan rickmanSnape. I saw the first two movies on video tapes, so I didn’t get the full effect of the Professor till third movie.  He was amazing as old Snape,  you just loved to hate him.  It was nice that you saw why he did it in the end, again the bad guy was shown as a good guy and redeemed at the end.

 

 

Outside of Harry Potter the last show I saw him on was The Song Of Lunch on PBS with Emma Thompson. It was a lyrical show very much the cycle of love.

There were a lot more movies of course but those are the ones that stood out.  He was a talented man, who was very diverse and special.  He was very well-loved and he will be so very missed by all of his fans.

I raise my wand for you Professor…