Monday, October 17, 2011

October 2011

Remember when we would dressed up at Halloween as kids?…Costumes were so simple then. You’d find a lot of witches, goblins and pumpkins. Far cry from the costumes we see today. Most times now you see these huge Halloween costume mega stores cropping up.

Back in the day there was just more creativity. Not even a thought about going to a mega store for anything. There was so much more simplicity to Halloween and it was fun. We really took the word "imaginative" and worked it.

I always enjoyed dressing up for Halloween. And alwasy enjoyed homemade costumes. I loved making costumes with my kids.

When I worked in advertising, we would have a big costume parade. I always loved the first look at the costumes and how clever everyone was.  

When I was 7 months pregnant, with my oldest daughter, I was a Volkswagon for Halloween.
I've seen some really creative costumes that I've seen throughout the years.  I thought I would share some of my favorites. By far the Fred Flintstone was my favorite. Again, homemade.

Fred Flintstone


This costume was very creative. One of the teachers at my daughter's middle school was The Princess and The Pea...

I made this ragdoll costume  with a cheap mop for the hair and red dye...

 I made this Egyptian princess costume with some glittery material and fancy trimming. It won first prize.

Now that I'm going to be a grandma in a few months, I look forward to doing costumes again. There are so many great ways to utilize the imagination at this time of year that don't cost a  lot in this economy. I always say that thriftiness is the mother of invention.

 Next month is the 4 year anniversary of RSP! I can't believe it. Thanks for reading! 


STEVE JOBS:                                                             HIS REAL CONTRIBUTION TO OUR LIVES

By Kevin Goins
Days have passed since Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away after a long battle with cancer at the age of 56.  While media outlets and the world have focused on the greatness of this man's vision, one thing that struck a chord in my mind was his dedication to make technology accessible to millions of people by creating devices that simple to use and are built to last.  All based on his philosophy that the consumers are SMART PEOPLE who want to be SMARTER. 

Why do I say this is unique? Simple - look at what we have here in the world.  PC's, laptops, cell phones, MP3 players - devices that many of us use and rely on.  Yet many manufacturers and companies who make these devices often take shortcuts or use inferior parts to make these things and sell them cheaply, thinking that they can make a bundle of cash while saving a bunch of money by taking the discount route.

Enter Steve Jobs.  Now, not saying that everything he and the Apple gang have made is perfect (the iPhone had its share of glitches left and right) but for the most part whatever came from Apple was made to last for years.  Whether it was their early PC's or the iMac, if you bought an Apple product you didn't have to worry about a whole bunch of defective issues.  And yes, Apple products did cost more than their competition but you were paying for QUALITY and more times than not that's what you got.
Speaking solely from retail experience, when I worked the customer service desk at a store and someone returned an MP3 player or a computer that was defective, Apple products rarely hit the radar.  And if someone did return an iPod, it was because they received it as a gift and didn't want it (I pity them....)
So what can we can learn from the legacy of Steve Jobs?  How about a commitment to excellence no matter what we do as a living.  Create services and goods that allow little or no room for error.  Deliver these things in a timely fashion.  Communicate with our clients and colleagues with intelligence and compassion.  When things go wrong, fix them immediately.  Do not use cheap products and/or shortcuts to maintain the bottom line, for that will only devalue the work and insult the consumer's intelligence.  And above all a commitment to create things that will help enrich the lives of the customer as well as the world community.

That is why I posted Steve's great quote on my page and why I will keep my commitment to quality work for quality people.



Michael Jackson plays the mayor
In the October 2008 issue of RSP, I wrote about Michael Jackson’s Ghosts…One of the most brilliant masterpieces of the Halloween season. The story was written by Stephen King and Michael Jackson. Jackson plays 5 characters in the music video which first aired on MTV in 1997, including the mayor, pictured here...Ghosts was holds the word record as the longest music video.

From the first time it aired, I was amazed by this work. Every time I see it is like the first time.

The music to the dance sequences is brutally funky!!!  The choreography, a combination of "Beat It" and "Thriller" is in ultimate Jackson style to the 10th power. The video is almost 40 minutes and is usually only televised during Halloween. It first aired on MTV in 1997.

When I originally wrote this article of the film, we had not quite entered the HD with you tube and the video was grainy. Now I can share this work of art with you HD in a way that you can truly see it as the unique masterpiece that it is.




The dance to Thriller is probably the most re-enacted  choreography of it's time...Whether it's a wedding reception, inmates at a correctional facility in the Philippines or an Oklahoma marching band.. The tributes in doing this dance keep on coming.




Stephan Lang
I love shows and movies that probe into the future. There is something that absolutely fascinates me about this Fox show that premiered on September 26.

Terra Nova gives us a look into the future but takes us to the past. Set in 2149, a family living on  the deteriorating and dying  planet earth, are transported back to a prehistoric earth 85 million years. They join a colony known  as Terra Nova with the hopes of a second chance at building civilization.

I kept thinking Jurassic Park to the 10th power as I watched this. No wonder, Steven Spielberg is one of the  executive producers. It's got a little bit of LOST in it with the island theme.

Broadway, film and TV actor, Stephan Lang who you may remember in Avatar (Colonel Miles Quaritch), portrays Commander Nathaniel Taylor, leader of the new civilization at Terra Nova. Lang has narrated many audiobooks and recently played villain Khalar Zym in Conan The Barbarbian.

Check out this series on Fox on Demand or your local Fox station.


I guess someone answered my question with this new talent competition show. Why should their be a limit on the age? This is what I like about this show...Sometimes I get bored with Simon Says with Simon Cowell, but I think that to his credit, I like that he opened up the flood gates to every age group. But really, he had no choice because we don't need another singing competition with 20 somethings. (yawn).

I was hesitant on watching this show because I thought it was just another "American Idol"...To define the name of the show, The X-Factor should really be called the The It Factor. I've always believed that you either have it or you don't. 

This show doesn't focus on "the look" or "the age", but the "it". That's a good thing. On the cons side: I don't believe that a show will make you or break you and that no one should be able to judge you and their opinion of you is the absolute word. (I'm still reminded of Simon Cowell eating a lot of humble pie when it came to Jennifer Hudson)...

As I watched X-Factor I was awed when one of the contestants (a real school pre-schooler) didn't make the cut and went into a rant about how his life was over....Hmmmm...sad....A perfect example of my thumbs down on that part of this televised competition.

What makes this even more enjoyable is watching the real school preschoolers approach competition as opposed to the real schoolers... Yeh baby...

Leroy Bell

Here's one contestant who we should keep our eyes on. Leroy Bell. He's 59 and looks and sounds great. His writing has purity and humility in it. 

Bell hails from Tacoma Washington and I think he's got it. He's opened for Sheryl Crow and done a few dates with B.B. King. He's had a couple of hits 1979's "Livin' It Up (Friday Night) and "Mama Can't Buy You Love," written for Elton John. Elton got a Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Performance back in the day.  Check out his site.

Bell has Elton John to thank for helping him break into the biz in the late 70s. Leroy Bell is no newcomer to the game, he's the nephew of Thom Bell. Paula Abdul is certainly looking dreamy eyed. 

The X Factor is a better competition show than most. It allows everyone and anyone to participate and levels the playing field. My only complaint is that the show is too long and repetitive, showing clips over and over.

I've never heard Purple Rain belted out like this! 42 year, Stacy Francis worked it! I don't get these judges who are talking about will a record company pick her up, is she marketable. Evidently, they didn't get the memo that there's a new record industry in town and she's got the listeners' ears. And really, if she gets her confidence in gear, she can do what she wants.

It's refreshing to  see and hear real people and not manufactured Barbie dolls. Gone are the days of the Ted Mack Amateur Hour.



I’ve always said that it doesn’t matter where you got it from as long as you have it. Creativity from where I see it has never been ordained from a college curriculum or formal training. You either have it or you don’t. Clarence “Pencilman” Pointer “has it”. I call it real talent. 

Clarence back in the day
Born in Hillsboro Alabama, this real school artist knows how to tell a story through his work. He got inspiration for his craft while stationed in Japan when a formidable Japanese artist gave him some mentoring words that have remained with Pointer. Those words of wisdom? “Devote more time to each project” He does and even shares his works in process on his facebook page. 

He is the master pencil artist. To his credit, his work was featured on the shows “Hanging with Mr. Cooper” and “Sparks” in the 90s. With an impressive list of accomplishments, Clarence continues to inspire with his work. He does personal protraits and custom orders. So--what are you waiting for? Christmas is coming.  

Check out his gallery       His Facebook Page                              

Clarence's achievements
  • Invited to showcase his art masterpieces at Motown Legend Smokey Robinson’s 1st Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament in 2005. 
  •       Commissioned to draw cast members of the Gospel Musical Play “Gods Trying To Tell Me Something” for their promotional tour.
  •        He was commissioned to create an entire wall of legendary musical artist for Los Angeles Rams Wide Receiver Willie “Flipper” Anderson in 1990 consisting of 15 pieces.
  •       Other patrons are Smokey Robinson singer/entertainer and Barry Gordy Motown Record Legends; Lindsay Hughes a southern California McDonalds executive.
  •       He currently has artwork displayed at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, a famous Soul Food restaurant located in downtown Hollywood California.
  •       Recent patrons of his art masterpieces are Singer Stevie Wonder and Actor/Actress/Singers Will & Jada Picket Smith and Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy D. Baca, he holds the highest police position in the city; all acquiring his latest 44th President of the United States of America Barack Obama Masterpiece.
  •        Dr. Frederick K. C. Price founder of Ever Increasing Faith Ministries; Crenshaw Christian Center one of the worlds largest churches has one "Barack Obama" masterpieces showcased in his Pastoral Office.
  •        Antelope Valley Mayor/Bishop Henry Hearns one of the respected individuals in the state of California.
  •        Clarence was personally invited as the featured artist for the 2009 Barack Obama Beverly Hills California Inauguration Celebration.
  •        Featured on the Local Edition in January 2009; a Time Warner Cable Company Television Program reaching all of Southern California
  •        Selected as Art Director and Illustrator for JMC Gospel Music Record Label in January 2009 by Founder and CEO Janice Marshall. He will be the sole artist to create and design every CD cover. He will be bringing true art back to form like back in the day...
  •        Recent patrons to acquire my artwork have been legendary Singer Melba Moore and Aids Activist/Spokesperson Rae Lewis-Thornton
  •        Actor Sy Richardson the multi-talented actor, who is famous for his character roles and one man shows.
  •         Actress Troy Byer of Dynasty and The Five Heartbeats
  •         Actress Ella Joyce
  •         Recently was selected to create a drawing of Apollo Theater Percy Sutton and PR Specialist Terrie Williams for an Washington D.C. Awards event in which both received Legacy Awards.
                REAL SCHOOL PRE


Evan as Romeo

Evan Ross is an amazing talent…I was floored at his chilling portrayal as the heartless gang banger, Romeo in Life is Hot in Cracktown. I don’t know how I even happened on this film, but I’m so glad that I got a glimpse at his amazing transformation. 

Okay. Disclosure: This film is VERY disturbing. It gives new meaning to the phrase "crack is whack." I went from watching a movie to peering through a keyhole as my jaw dropped to the floor. 

Evan brings the character such reality and depth that we get every complex dimension of this ruthless thug.  Now I want to see everything that Evan does because I see him as a 360 entertainer.
Evan and mom, Diana Ross

He not only acts, but he sings. He got his talent honest. Well, no wonder, his mom is Diana Ross. I see this young man becoming an industry staple as a performer and actor. If this 23 year old is this good now, imagine when he turns 40 and hits the real school.

 Evan's music video:



Unbelievable! She looks like she's 11 but this 13 year old really knows how to work her vocal game. Rachel Crow was a standout for me on the show The X-Factor. She has so much polish and conviction for a singer so young.  

I loved everything about her: tenacity, grace and style.

She has focus and she knows what she wants. Rachel is a great talent and as her voice matures she will undoubtedly bring much joy to the heart of listeners throughout the years to come. 




It was touted as one of the top ten Halloween favorites. RSP remembers Screamin' Jay Hawkins and his most successfull recording, I Put A Spell On You (1956). The song  was selected as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. 

Originally, Hawkins saw the song  as  ballad." His song was personal,  born from his hurt in an unrequited love.  He wowed the band during the recording session when he screamed, and gurgled through a raw guttural rant. Hawkins had blacked out from intoxication, not remembering the session and had to learn the song from the recording. The record company released a second version because the record was banned from radio in some areas due to complaints that the original was too sexual.

DJ Alan Freed paid Hawkins to emerge from a coffin onstage. It soon became a part of Screamin' Jay's  stage persona and the coffin became one of the props along with a smoking skull on a stick named Henry. Hawkins donned leopard skin costumes with voodoo stage props...


Thanks for sharing the journey.

1 comment:

  1. RSP...just keeps getting better and better. The "Thriller" videos..awesome! And, yes, I too remember Halloween at it's best using whatever materials grandma had available to make the "winning" costume. Looking forward to follow-up articles on the X-Factor contestants. did it again...Thank you...thank you...thank you!