Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Friday, January 6, 2012

From the Sketchbook- Chewbacca

From Way Back When: Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Commercial with Robbie Benson and Donny Most

Any idea what year this was from? I remember it from my childhood and I'm guessing it was the early seventies before these two actors hit the big time. I have no idea as to the specific year. Help!

Theater Memories- Cast Member Caricatures

The "Three Penny Opera" cast and crew from the Theatre Three production in Dallas, Texas.

Every so often whenever I was in a play I took a lot of photos with the express purpose of making a drawing of the cast in caricature that I would at the end of the run give out copies as presents. I'd look for funny things to highlight in the drawing that emphasized some bit of the character or actor being drawn. In the lower left hand side of the drawing above, standing next to the kitty litter box, is the stage manager in a strait jacket. Most folks wouldn't know that the stage manager's job entails a lot of stress. Some of that comes from dealing with minute details of the daily grind before, during and after rehearsal, i.e. having props costumes and actors on the stage when needed.

"World on a String" cast from the Texas State Fair in Dallas.

Drawing the cast for the puppet shows I was a part of had to be the most enjoyable because the cast featured puppets. For the show at the Texas State Fair in Dallas we had a wide variety of characters including a trapeze teddy bear, an operatic dog glow in the dark skeletons ans shirts on a clothesline dueling with foils. Lots of fun to draw.

"Magic Toyshop" huge cast and modest crew.

The best time I had as a puppeteer was working for the holiday puppet show set inside a toymaker's shop. It had everything I loved: comedy, puppets, Christmas and the coolest set ever. Now that I think about it I don't believe I've ever posted any photos of this particular show. Oopsy! Time to dig through my photo albums.

Friday Roundup

A Texas Blind Salamander- the real thing not the puppet.

My first work week of 2012 wraps up today and it's been good so far. I recently got a this neat little gizmo to add to my hard drive that will allow me to play and burn dvds among other things. When we get it all figured out we should also be able to do some editing and so forth. Pammy and I have been meaning to do some video work so this is a big step in the right direction to achieve that goal. It's not a New Year's goal but one we've had on the top of our list for a very long time. Money has always been the obstacle as the goodies needed to do all we need to do doesn't come cheap. We're getting there, though! Huzzah!!

There was also a meting with the good folks of the Edwards Aquifer Authority to chat about the year and what the plans are as well doing some brainstorming. We have a Texas Blind Salamander puppet now, perhaps not as nice as we would have liked but it's a start and we'll make the best of it. Oh, I've learned that his name selected from all those submitted in the contest is Karston. Very cute.

This afternoon I'll be signing up my son for some stop motion animation classes that he is very excited about and that maybe I can take next year. I've always loved that type of animation and still hope to learn the art someday soon.

Pammy is in the middle of prepping the fine food and beverages for the flamenco show this weekend. She'll breathe a big sigh of relief when it's over. She's got some really tasty dishes planned for it so I hope she has some leftovers this Sunday but I doubt it.

Anywho, I just finished walking the dog and I'm about to put things into high gear here at Rancho Ramirez. I hope you have a great weekend. Adios!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Climate Change

Mention of climate change in the news has dwindled recently. Climate change is happening and it affects all of us but it's not too late to do our part to help fight it. For more information check out the EPA Students Guide here

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

From Way Back When: Heaven and Hell (1980)

Hey everyone! Pammy taking a shot at the blog (Albert mumbles " 'bout time").

When Albert said he was going to post about Dio, I was like " oh yeah! I have to share!" I saw Dio with Black Sabbath live and they did this song among others. What a great show! These guys knew how to put on a show. I was in the 7th row with all my cool friends, all male except my best girl friend (no names please). I believe this concert was responsible for a lot of my hearing loss... ah good times.

I remember as soon as the lights went out, no one said a word. Everyone just stood up on their chairs in silence and stayed up for the entire concert. When the concert was in full swing the weirdest thing happened. A real pretty girl in a sundress and high heels, we had no idea who she was, came to our aisle and hand motioned to the guys to make room for her. I couldn't believe the gawl of this girl and I remember thinking" who's going to win?" Well the guys just looked at her and, really laughed. Boy was she mad. I think she actually stomped her high heel.

As an adult I look back at all this devil talk and think how silly. I wondered how rock went from peace and love to Heaven and Hell, Sign of the Southern Cross etc. When I was a kid in California in the sixties, it was hippies and peace and love and anti-war and well...drugs. There was a real dark side to the sixties and early seventies. As a very young child of the sixties I was exposed to this a lot. I am guessing that Black Sabbath-type songs were a kind of reaction to this. And a communication of darker emotions. Of course when I was young I was not so analytical about it. (Said in goofy voice) "Black Sabbath rocks dude!" As I write this, the radio is playing nothing but Dio and Ozzy all in a row. IT'S SO WEIRD! Do blogs reach heaven and hell???

Anyway Thanks for listening everyone! I have had my debut on the blog and it was relatively painless...
Pam (devoted wife, Mother, and Rocker!) Ramirez

Monday, January 2, 2012

Legendary Flower

The holidays wouldn't be the same for me without the poinsettia or flor de noche buena. We've got a couple growing here at home. They're in large pots but I've seen them at homes on the west side of town where they've grown into huge bushes. It's amazing, almost magical how they go from green to red as the weather gets colder. In Mexican folklore there's a Christmas story featuring the lovely plant. Check it out if you get a chance. Below is the link.

Theater Memories-One Woman Show

Pammy performing the finale of her one woman show at Mountainview College 1997.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Slapstick Theater - Cloris Leachman

Here's a modest sampling of the works of the immensely talented Cloris Leachman.

Because every great comedian is also a great actor here's Cloris Leachman in her Oscar winning role for best supporting actress in The Last Picture Show. Thanks to my lovely wife who is also a talented comic and dramatic actress for suggesting inclusion of this clip. Most people never consider actors known for their comic abilities as dramatic actors.

Sunday Morning Matinee: Born of Hope (2009)

Here's a another Lord of the Rings fan film inspired by Peter Jackson's version. Below is a link to the film's site and a wiki link with some more tidbits on it. Happy New Year!
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