From the silly to the sappy, the philosophical to the practical, every
once in a while an artist makes a statement that becomes memorable. Here
is the best of what was said in the Datebook pages of the Daily Pilot in
"Every show has a certain amount of dressing."
-- John Slauson, prop carpenter, on the special effects used for the
March production of "The Lonesome West" at South Coast Repertory. Effects
for the Martin McDonagh comedy included an oven that blew open when shot
with a gun and a melted set of plastic Virgin Marys.
"It's amazing how creative you can get when you're starving."
-- Scot Bruce, Elvis impersonator, on why he chose to make a living
playing the King. In August, Bruce played an Elvis tribute concert at
Muldoon's Irish Pub in Newport Beach.
"The music is like the taste of a grapefruit."
-- Konstantin Rassadin, founder and artistic director of the St.
Petersburg State Ice Ballet, on Sergei Prokoviev's score for
"Cinderella." The ice ballet performed the fairy tale at Orange Coast
College in March.
"My playing is very close to the way we use language. The rhythms of
English, and I'm playing the language of the rhythms I'm hearing."
-- Stefon Harris, jazz musician, on his style. Harris played at the
Orange County Performing Arts Center in April.
"I feel there's a lot of things sometimes I cannot use my voice or
speech to talk about. But my music will explain it. My instrument is kind
of like my equipment to get in more contact [with] the world."
-- Karen Han, who plays the Chinese erhu (a violin-like instrument),
on her music. Han performed Tan Dun's selections from "Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon" at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in October.
"The orchestra becomes my instrument. It becomes the sound of the
score, and I'm basically playing the orchestra."
-- Brian Tyler, film composer and Corona del Mar High School grad, on
what he uses to create his music. Tyler wrote the scores for "Panic" and
"You can't force it to do something against its nature. Sometimes you
find you're in the middle of a piece and you find you can't force it to
do what you want it to."
-- Edna Kuhta, Newport Beach jewelry artist, on working with silver.
Kuhta's jewelry was displayed at the Boudreau-Ruiz Gallery earlier this
"I think that sometimes museums and people involved in the arts field
underestimate the intelligence of the average person, whatever average
-- Howard Ben Tre, artist, on wanting people to find their own way to
his art. The Brooklyn native's cast glass sculptures were on display at
the Orange County Museum of Art.
"It's a really beautiful and incredible experience when an image stops
and you see it moving, or your brain says it's moving but it's not."
-- Jennifer Steinkamp, artist, describing her video work "X-Ray Eyes,"
which she co-created with artist Jimmy Johnson. In March, the abstract
computer animation was part of "One Wall: A Video Series" at the Orange
County Museum of Art.
"Life is really about your family and your niece and nephew and
friends. Entertainment is incredibly rewarding, but it's not everything."
-- Kristin Chenoweth, singer and actress, on keeping herself grounded.
Chenoweth, who won a Tony Award as Sally in "You're A Good Man, Charlie
Brown," performed at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in January.
"If the aging process isn't about growing wiser, then what is its
purpose? If we don't learn from our mistakes and all the other things
around us that permit us to learn, then shame on us."
-- Barton C. Friedberg, teacher of a class unofficially titled
"Reading Shakespeare" at the Balboa Performing Arts Theater, on learning
about the Bard's works at a late age.
"Any day above ground is a good one."
-- Malachy McCourt, author and actor, on life. McCourt, who wrote
"Singing My Him Son," appeared at the Newport Beach Central Library in
"When I was a little kid living in the cotton field, if you didn't go
out there and pick your own [darn] piece of cotton, you didn't get your
piece. Why are we in general asking others to help us? God helps those
who help themselves."
-- Eartha Kitt, actress, on her philosophy for life. In June, Kitt
played the fairy godmother in "Cinderella" at the Orange County
Performing Arts Center.
"We're caught up in computers, we're tied up with the television, and
instead of hugging or giving a kiss, we just sit in front of the TV and
watch the color of the channel."
-- Lee Mallory, Newport Beach poet, on his belief that technology is
estranging us from one another. Mallory organized a Valentine's
Day-inspired poetry contest at Alta Coffee House.
"I just think, when you play music or you do something that you love,
that's your passion already, and you can't help but be passionate about
-- Regina Carter, violinist, on her passionate, almost aggressive and
furious performance style. Carter performed in February at the Orange
County Performing Arts Center.
"I'm going to win the Tony and the Pulitzer Prize. If you don't have a
dream, how are you going to have a dream to come true? If you're going to
have a dream, might as well have a good one."
-- George Rothman, Irvine playwright and retired dentist, on his
future plans. Orange Coast College students performed Rothman's one-act,
"Where Were You On Your Ninth Birthday?", in late January.
ON OTHER THINGS
Mickey Rooney: "That's a terrific mouse, Mr. Disney."
Walt Disney: "How would you like it if I named this after you?"
Mickey Rooney: "That's fine, but I gotta get a cheese sandwich down
-- Mickey Rooney, actor, recounting how Mickey Mouse got his name.
Rooney performed at Orange Coast College in May.
"I feel like the one thing you have to do when you do 'Much Ado' is
you have to have heels -- there's something about the language and
-- Nike Doukas, who played Beatrice, on the '30s style used in South
Coast Repertory's production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" in
"It was horrible. I bugged my mom for fiddle lessons."
-- Eileen Ivers, violinist famed for her role in "Riverdance," on her
parents' insistence that she learn Irish step-dancing. Ivers performed
with the Pacific Symphony Pops in December.
"It was a great place to write a novel about book burning, in the
-- Ray Bradbury, author, on completing "Fahreheit 451" in the basement
of UCLA's library. Bradbury lectured at the Newport Beach Public Library
"I've heard people say that with crime novels, there are people who
prefer to read detective crime novels before they go to a new city,
instead of reading travel books."
-- Pamela Briggs, director of "Women in Mystery," on the lessons to be
learned from reading crime fiction. Her documentary featuring Marcia
Muller, Sue Grafton and Sara Paretsky was screened at the Newport Beach
Central Library in March.
"Every theater I called, I had to say, 'I'm doing the Scottish Opera.'
-- Joel Berlin, costume designer, on the caution he had to use when
talking about the Verdi opera "MacBeth," which was performed by Opera
Pacific in January. In theater, "MacBeth" is considered to be a cursed
play, and it is bad luck to say its proper name.
"Producers, directors, designers and board members, they're all people
who have their own particular frame of reference, and for whatever
reason, they dream as they dream. And I realize that sometimes my face
may not be a part of their vision, so I have to work very, very hard in
what I do and in my commitment to what I do."
-- Denyce Graves, opera singer, on the hurdles she faces as an African
American in opera. Graves performed at the Orange County Performing Arts
Center in January.
"I went from the digestion of analids to digesting Shakespeare."
-- Evan Hirsch, 15, on studying while getting ready for a performance
of "The Weather Started Getting Rough," a reinterpretation of "The
Tempest," as a member of Teen Players, part of South Coast Repertory's
Young Conservatory division.
"Songs are like children. And some of them behave better some nights
-- Noel "Paul" Stookey of Peter Paul and Mary, quoting Mary Travers as
an answer to which song he likes best. Peter, Paul and Mary performed in
May with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra Pops.
"It was my first taste of performing for people who were drinking, and
I really liked it. I'm much more entertaining when people are drunk."
-- Jason Graae, entertainer, on performing in "Forever Plaid" off
Broadway. Graae appeared as part of the Orange County Performing Arts
Center cabaret series in October.