Talk about entertaining...

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

"Plan B."

"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.


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

the corner."

-- 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

library basement."

-- Ray Bradbury, author, on completing "Fahreheit 451" in the basement

of UCLA's library. Bradbury lectured at the Newport Beach Public Library

in November.

"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

than others."

-- 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.

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