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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

SAG Nevada Members, I am asking for your vote.


ART LYNCH TO THE NATIONAL BOARD.

Picture

There have been inferences that I am not an actor, that I do not have the national experience (Chicago, LA, and other markets) that I do have, and that I am not qualified for an office I now hold. 

I have a strong proven track record and am in the position to make things happen for Nevada and for the membership.

I have major training and experience as an actor.  

I meet as an equal with fellow board members, management and others in the industry. I understand the industry.

As your national board member I have achieved great things for Nevada and the membership. 

I would like to make it clear, as the immortal Popeye once said "I yam who I yam" and everything I say or teach is real. 

I am an actor. 

I have worked great opera houses and tiny basement theatres, large budget films and small independents, commercials and industrials as an actor, voice actor and as background.

I am an actor who knows that SAG is a union and that it is vital for members, the profession and for Nevada. 

Not everyone receives a standing ovation from those who represent the branches in the big room. I have.

I fight for Nevada, Nevada's membership and I am in a position, as regional and national leadership, to be listened to and to work for and protect our branch. 

Hard for me to write this since I prefer my light be kept under a bushel. After all, it is the membership that counts and the membership I represent. I am not out for self gain, ego or the false perception of advancement. I am out to continue to fight for Nevada and for our membership. 

I am asking you to call and in every other way you can generate votes for my candidacy for returning to the National Board. It is very important for Nevada (although my wife Laura would be happy either way, as the Guild takes up ten to as much as thirty hours a week of unpaid work….worth every second!).

I am an active board member as any of the people below will testify, effective for Nevada and the membership. My local and national support goes well beyond the list below, to include current and past presidents, board members, leadership, executives and those with the power to make a difference.

I work with others to gain for all members, including the only expansions of background zones during the last three contracts, landing a local boots on the ground executive in Nevada, attracting production under multiple contracts that hire my fellow actors, and all without personal gain or illusion of gain. It is for unionism and our membership.

I am a classically trained actor with hundreds of theater, film and audio roles, from Chicago to California, Wyoming to Nevada. I worked with the stars of film, television, stage and opera. I was a proud member of both SAG and SEG when SAG was forced to absorb the Screen Extras Guild. I met my opponent when he was still non-union as a background artist. 
I teach acting and have taught acting for over 20 years, and have coached my entire life. 

My friends and actors I have worked with, not rubbed elbows with but actually worked with, are on Broadway and in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago and every city in between.

This helps greatly in gaining the best for Nevada in the board room.

I am asking of your vote and the votes of anyone else you pass this message on to.

Feel free to call any national board member, current or past, for honest feedback on who I am and what I do.



-Art Lynch

Createcom@gmail.com    (702) 714-0740   http://artlynch.org

Survey’s surprising finding: tea party less popular than atheists and Muslims


Tea Party supporters have slipped to 20 percent, while their opponents have more than doubled, to 40 percent. - New York Times

yahoo! news (click here)



Political Reporter
By Rachel Rose Hartman | The 

A Philadelphia tea party rally July 4 (Joseph Kaczmarek/AP)
In an op-ed article in the New York Times, Robert D. Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, and David E. Campbell, a political scientist at Notre Dame, say they have collected data indicating that the tea party is "less popular than much maligned groups like 'atheists' and 'Muslims.'"
But Campbell says the tea party was really an afterthought in their research.
"We didn't go into this study to look at the tea party," Campbell said in an interview with The Ticket.
The professors were following up on research they conducted in 2006 and 2007 for their book "American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us" and decided to add the tea party and atheists to their list of survey queries. By going back to many of the same respondents, the professors gleaned several interesting facts about the tea party.
One of their more surprising findings, Campbell concedes, (and one drawing national attention) is that the tea party drew a lower approval rating than Muslims and atheists. That put the tea party below 23 other entries--including Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Republicans and Democrats--that the professors included on their survey of "a representative sample of 3,000 Americans."
By examining which respondents became supporters of the tea party, Campbell and Putnam's survey "casts doubt on the tea party's 'origin story,' " they write in the Times--though, in fairness, it's perhaps difficult to generalize on the movement's origins from a poll sample of 3,000 respondents.
Early tea partiers were described as "nonpartisan political neophytes," Campbell and Putnam write, but their findings showed that tea partiers were "highly partisan Republicans" who were more likely than others to have contacted government officials.
"They are overwhelmingly white, but even compared to other white Republicans, they had a low regard for immigrants and blacks long before Barack Obama was president, and they still do," they went on.
In addition to being socially conservative, the study found  a close tie between religion and the tea party, whose supporters seek out "deeply religious" elected officials.
"This helps to explain why candidates like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are just as much about the public presentation of themselves as religious people as fiscal conservatives," Campbell told The Ticket.
Campbell said Tuesday that he does not regard his research as politically motivated.  "I don't have a particular dog in this or any other political fight," he said.
"We actually didn't go into this study primarily to look at the tea party," he told the Ticket. "The primary purpose of the study is to update what we learned about religion in America."

A different Martian Chronicles


‘John Carter’: A devoted fan chronicles his own martian fascination

July 17, 2011 | 10:47 a.m.
GUEST ESSAY
The first trailer for Andrew Stanton’s “John Carter” has arrived to introduce a century-old bookshelf hero to today’s moviegoers. The character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs (who also created a certain jungle hero) has never really gone away but Disney knows one challenge for the expensive new fantasy epic is to tap into the brand’s heritage but also make the property feel fresh and cutting-edge. Juhani Nurmi, a Finnish journalist and screenwriter, is one of the longtime fans of the Burroughs books who believes that the warlord of Mars is ready for his moment in the 21st century spotlight.



In the late 1970’s, when I was still a wide-eyed kid watching TV series like “Six Million Dollar Man” and “Space: 1999,” as well as movies like “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” and the early James Bond entries at the cinema, a very good buddy of mine visited me one day. With a knowing smile, he lifted a set of well-worn books from his school bag. I must’ve been around 12 years old at the time, with testosterone, fears and dreams kicking on overdrive. My buddy was 14, and he’d already turned me on to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.” But how on Earth could the Tarzan author’s pulpy sci-fi fantasy series even dream to compete with Tolkien’s mastery?

An early Frank E. Schoonover cover for Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars" (1912).
Well, it rocked my world. Maybe it wasn’t as cultured or finely tuned as Tolkien’s, but I’m telling you: I’m still reeling from the experience, at the age of 45. If you love fantasy, pulp sci-fi and yarns crammed with all kinds of derring-do and swashbuckling, these books have it all – and then some. As I browsed through the elegant cover illustrations, I was instantly hooked by their Space Gothic imagery. Most importantly of all, the imagery spoke to me on a deeply personal and atavistic level. I was gawking at half-naked male warriors fighting to save voluptuous damsels in distress, Mad Scientists surrounded by bizarre contraptions, black-hued villains with ivory-toothed leers and fiendish noblemen wearing bright yellow hairpieces, all of them plotting to eliminate the main hero. Somehow, I knew instantly that I also wanted to co-habit that most elusive of alien worlds, Barsoom, the “Mars That Never Was.”
Obviously, I’m talking of “A Princess of Mars” and its ten literary sequels, perhaps more widely known as “The John Carter of Mars” series. However, this series (which according to some was Edgar Rice Burroughs’ personal favorite of all of his literary creations) isn’t really that well known in popular culture, not to mention the younger generations. This is very important to point out these days, since right now one of Pixar’s best and brightest, Andrew Stanton, is adapting the first novel, with the title “John Carter” (recently shortened from “John Carter of Mars”). The movie will open in March 2012. We only had to wait an entire century for it.

Frank Frazetta's cover for the 1970 Doubleday edition of "A Princess of Mars."
Despite its less than PC world view (“A Princess of Mars” saw first light in 1912), Burroughs’ rousing tale still ought to be pure dynamite on the screen: A Civil War officer fights Apaches in Arizona, and gets inexplicably teleported to Mars (a.k.a. Barsoom) after getting wounded. Once on Barsoom, Capt. Carter, miraculously healed – but not bound by the planet’s natural ultra-light gravity – doesn’t waste any time making larger-than-life friends and lethal enemies. He ultimately wins the heart of a gorgeous Martian princess (Dejah Thoris of Helium), and fights all kinds of monsters alongside an enormous, six-armed Green Martian warrior (the fiercely loyal Tars Tarkas), only to end up becoming “the finest swordsman on two worlds.”
But Barsoom is also a dying world, as its fauna and sentient life are sustained only by the Atmosphere Plant. The ending leaves the reader with a tantalizing, infuriating cliffhanger, leading to the inevitable sequel, “The Gods of Mars.” So, will the brave Barsoomians survive, and what will happen to the two lovers, John Carter and Dejah Thoris? If you haven’t read the books, my lips remain sealed.

"John Carter: Warlord of Mars" (Marvel Comics)
I still think that the sword fights depicted in the John Carter books are the most rousing and riveting I’ve ever seen or read, either on the page or the screen. A sword duel in the John Carter series is often like a hypnotic dance of death, where John Carter and his nefarious opponent first taunt and complement each other (a cat-and-mouse game in its purest form) until inevitably, Carter gets fed up, and skewers his overly arrogant enemy with his long-sword.
The John Carter aficionados know that Walt Disney himself had serious plans to make a John Carter animated movie in the 1930’s. Animation maestro Bob Clampett (working closely with Burroughs’ son, John Coleman) produced some spectacular footage, which impressed producers and exhibitors alike. But that project was never to be, alas. The cost of making even one John Carter movie, with six-armed Green Men and multilegged Thoats (Martian horses), would’ve been prohibitive in the Depression era. But imagine, if A Princess of Mars would’ve been released before Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), and thus become the first American feature-length animated movie? The mere thought is mindboggling.

"John Carter of Mars" vintage comics, reprinted (Dark Horse Comics)
They tried to make a live action John Carter movie in the 1980’s and the 1990’s, all the way into 21st century. Hollywood directors including such talents as John McTiernan, Robert Rodriguez, Kerry Conran and Jon Favreau were heavily involved. Ultimately, each of the aforementioned filmmakers had to witness, disillusioned, how the plug was pulled from their respective productions. Harry Knowles, the founder of the hugely popular Ain’t It Cool News website, was one of the key media personalities who urged Tinseltown players to recognize the unique qualities of E.R. Burroughs’ original pulp sci-fi material. After all, even George Lucas and Frank Herbert had cherry-picked elements from Barsoom for their works (Star Wars, Dune).

Poster for Andrew Stanton's "John Carter." (Walt Disney Studios)
A few years before Andrew Stanton started filming, he readily admitted: “John Carter will either make or break me.” For months, little was known about the under-wraps production, which shot in London sound stages and the Utah desert last year. Supporting actors such as James Purefoy (playing the heroic Kantos Kan of Helium) and Mark Strong (playing the main villain of the piece, Matai Shang) have lauded Stanton’s craft in interviews and said that movie audiences can look forward to something very special. I think that Strong’s comments about male warriors wearing “helmets with wings” speaks volumes about Stanton’s uncompromising eye for beautiful details in John Carter. I also hear there’ll be a lot of sword-fighting in the movie. Princess Dejah Thoris herself will wield a sword in a lethal manner! Guess what, that’ll earn an extra rating star in my book. The shooting part wrapped early last summer, whereas the postproduction – or, as Stanton puts it, “digital cinematography” – continues until early 2012. That’s when the Green Martians, the Great White Apes, the grand cities of Helium and Zodanga will finally come to pristine, digital life.
John Carter is played by Taylor Kitsch and Dejah Thoris is portrayed by Lynn Collins. (A tidbit: Both actors were seen in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” two years ago). Perhaps my favorite Barsoomian character, Tars Tarkas will be brought to life by Willem Dafoe, one of the finest character actors in the known universe. The latest version of Performance Motion Capture (which brought us special effect tentpoles like Gollum and the Na’vi) will help Dafoe with his unearthly performance and translate it into photorealistic CGI.
John Carter was an essential part of my childhood. It still occupies a sizeable amount of my daydreams. In my mind’s eye, I’m already watching Andrew Stanton’s John Carter adaptation in a packed theater. While doing so, I find myself enjoying it as much as “Star Wars” or “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” I owe those two movies my entire career as a film journalist, but long before I sat in the dark with those adventures my heart belonged to Barsoom.
–Juhani Nurmi
RECENT AND RELATED

From the LA Times Hero Complex. Click here for more. Personal note, I grew up blocks from where these books were written, in tree lined Oak Park, Ill. - Art Lynch

Improv Actors Wanted

gigs-ur4ra-2551898658@craigslist.org 


Brand new Improv game show at hotel on strip casting improv actors for nightly shows. Experience necessary and commitment a must. Please send resume and video link if you have one. Thank you and good luck to all applicants. 

NOTE: This is a blind box through Craigslist, so use appropriate caution.

A Great Teacher and Honor to the Teaching Profession


James Eitrheim RIP, Oak Leaves obituary


OPRF theater mentor dies

James Eitrheim also will be memorialized from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 14, during a party at the OPRF High School auditorium. The gathering will celebrate the release of the book “Look and Lean,” part of The James Eitrheim Oral Biography project. The public is invited.


April 18, 2011 
James Eitrheim, a 31-year theater teacher at Oak Park-River Forest High School who inspired such movie and TV stars as Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Dan Castelleneta, Tom Lennon and Kathy Griffin, died Saturday, April 16, of stomach cancer. He was 78.

Eitrheim is credited with mentoring hundreds of students and developing their passion for the arts. Many of his students went on to pursue artistic careers.

Mastrantonio, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in “The Color of Money,” said Eitrheim was “driven, imaginative, enthusiastic, passionate, compassionate without being sentimental.”

“Mr. E was just fun to be around and I am ever grateful that our journeys coincided,” she said in a book to be published in May about Eitrheim.

Eitrheim also was the force behind building the school's theater gems — an auditorium with 1,700 seats and the Little Theatre for an audience of 350. Not only did he drive the campaign to fund the theaters, he also helped construct the buildings, drawing on his experience in carpentry.

Eitrheim was born Feb. 21, 1933, on a farm in Baltic, S.D. He graduated from Augustana College in 1958 after serving for two years in the U.S. Navy aboard the destroyer USS Rowe.

On Aug. 17, 1958, he married his college sweetheart Diane C. Johnson.

He received his Masters of Arts in 1959 from the University of Illinois at Urbana. Afterward, he pursued a 52-year career in drama and the theater arts.

In the fall 1959, he began teaching at Oak Park and River Forest High School. His work there spanned four decades.

His peers noted Eitrheim's made an already respected OPRF theater program even better. His focus and discipline galvanized a lifelong desire for learning and accomplishment in his students.

“There's so many people that he touched,” said one of Eitrheim's biographers, John Sullivan, who went on to earn three college degrees and work as a pharmacist.

Eitrheim's impact led former students John Sullivan and Bill Sullivan (no relation) to create The James Eitrheim Oral Biography. The book includes dozens of memories from former students and colleagues celebrating Eitrheim's life and legacy. The book's title, “Look and Lean,” refers to an Eitrheim catch phrase recalled by all of Eitrheim's drama students about actively participating in a scene.

Eitrheim planned, cast and supervised hundreds of theater productions and directed more than 50 plays. A skilled carpenter, he taught stagecraft in addition to drama. He also served as theater department chairman.

He is the namesake for the high school's top drama award, the James Eitrheim Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts.

His former students earned numerous honors, including seven Emmys, a Peabody Award and a Jeff Award, and nominations for an Academy Award, three Tonys, a Golden Globe, two Drama Desk awards and two Grammys. Eitrheim served for five years on the awards committee of the prestigious Joseph Jefferson awards.

He was awarded the OPRF Outstanding Alumni Achievement and Service Award in 1990.

In 1963, when planning began in earnest for an expansive addition to the 50-year-old OPRF campus, Eitrheim, only 30 years old, was the point man for the planning of the new auditorium. He ended up helping design and build three theaters. The new theaters debuted in the fall of 1968, ushering in the modern era of OPRF's theater program.

“What followed in the next 10 years could be fairly described by anyone as a golden age of memorable, if not unforgettable, shows,” said John Sullivan. It was all the more remarkable, he said, “for being high school theater.”
When Eitrheim left OPRF after the 1989-90 school year, the program was producing 11 shows a year in its three theaters, a rate of productivity unmatched by few if any high school and college programs in America. In 1990, Eitrheim accepted a position at University of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he taught until retiring in 1998.
Before retiring, Eitrheim used his carpentry skills one last time to build his retirement home on several acres of land along the banks of Sibley Lake in Pequot Lakes, Minn.

Sullivan said Eitrheim handled his terminal illness in the same manner he conducted himself as a teacher: with openness and inclusion.

In December doctors discovered a large mass in his stomach and he started chemotherapy in January.

“He was open about it with everyone,” said Sullivan. “When people wrote him letters, he wrote back. When they called, he answered the phone.”

As news of Eitrheim's illness and now his passing have spread, more than 300 tributes have been posted on the non-profit CaringBridge.org website. (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jimeitrheim/guestbook/2).

One contributor Patti Rann Cheney (Class of '72) wrote of Eitrheim's enduring spirit, quoting from “Angel on my Shoulder.” “Do not stand at my grave and cry: I am not there. I did not die.”

She concluded, “Mr. E will always be watching over us and smiling. Look and lean.”

He is survived by his wife, Diane; sons Kristofer (Eileen) of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Erik (Dawn) of Owatonna, Minn.; daughter Karin (Steve) Maas of Chanhassen, Minn.; brother Norm (Clarice) of Sioux Falls, S.D.; sister Esther (Bill) Boadwine of Baltic, S.D.; and sister-in-law Joan Eitrheim of Crooks, S.D.; five grandchildren, Greta, Ingrid, Alec, Erik and Ava; and nine nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Selma Eitrheim; his brother, Donald; and his niece, Susan Lankford.

Eitrheim's family noted that he is also survived by “four grateful generations of friends, colleagues, students and community members who loved and respected him, and admired and were entertained by his works on and off stage.”
A memorial service will be held at Lutheran Church of the Cross, at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 7, with a reception to follow. Funeral arrangements are through Kline Funeral Home, Pequot Lakes (www.klinefuneralhome.com ).


Memorials are requested to the following funds: The Jim Eitrheim Theatre Scholarship at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D.; The James Eitrheim Award for Excellence in Dramatic Arts, Oak Park and River Forest High School; lighting for the Sanctuary at Lutheran Church of the Cross, Nisswa, Minn.


Eitrheim also will be memorialized from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 14, during a party at the OPRF High School auditorium. The gathering will celebrate the release of the book “Look and Lean,” part of The James Eitrheim Oral Biography project. The public is invited.