Twitter, that ever loving message place on the social media map where one can sport their expressions in 140 characters of less, have been making the rounds within the last few weeks, from their recently released second quarter financial report, to how this method of “tweeting” has extended itself from intimate communication to breaking out rants to the world while even making some kind of impact from its results.
For starters, many people use Twitter to offer praise about a company, service, or an individual person–either known to the masses or just known to the party doing the tweeting. (Note: The term “tweeting” or “tweet” as used within this article are those written statements that fall within the 140 character maximum!) Many of these comments usually favor big companies or the products they offer. Some of the tweets that use commerce as its theme are unsolicited. That is, somebody really is pleased over a product or service where they just have the desire to rave about it. (Name of product) is just awesome! might go a tweet, sometimes with a word or phrase that’s proceeded with a hashtag i.e. #awesomeproduct or something to that effect!
On the other hand, many of the tweets are anything but about praise or glory! In fact, they are the opposite, usually in the setup of rants about something or another that the tweeter wasn’t too happy nor pleased about, and wants to let the world (Twitter world or otherwise) know all about it!
One segment of Jimmy Kimmel’s late night TV talk show is entitled “Mean Tweets” where celebrities (mostly) read aloud tweets submitted by fellow tweeters that have nasty or mean things to tweet about about them. The tweets that are more humorous in nature than threatening (as well as suitable for use on air) are the one featured. This form of entertainment that’s presented within this program is not only popular, but is cheap to use; “cheap” meaning that not only its creativity is outside of the writing staff’s output, but it’s a method of obtaining material where the writer(s) of the tweets are not paid! After all, why not get a few gag lines form somebody that isn’t going to be paid for the service? But that’s beside the point!
When it comes to products or services, airlines tend to receive a load of the negative flack. Over the last few years, thanks to further deregulation of airline’s standards, as well as going through the hassles of government backed security measures, people’s perceptions of flying has taken many turns for the worst! A number of these accounts speak (or tweet) for everything as getting to or from the airport, dealing with rude agents, delayed and/or canceled flights, lost or misplaced luggage, cramped seating, charging for goods or services that were once offered for free, and countless other rants about getting from points A to B via air travel.
But there is more then just bad mouthing (or “bad tweeting”) about people, places, or things. There are the nice comments that tend to occur, although most (if not all) of those pleasant tweets hold little drama and thus, aren’t the ones that are usually passed to others within cyberspace land. But as with the Jimmy Kimmel pieces where nasty tweets are broadcast, there has been a new(?) method of airing tweets to the masses. Recently, the Today Show as part of their entertainment segment, offered a few short and intimate musical performances featuring some artist, mostly for the purposes of promoting something or another. (A concert tour, an album release, a line of products endorsed by the artist(s) in question, an upcoming appearance on another show airing on the same network, etc.) While the artist was performing on the segment, live in this case, superimposed on the bottom edge of the screen were live tweets submitted by tweeters via the Today Show’s Twitter account. Of course, the tweets in question were of praise, many times followed by a set of words with a hashtag placed right in front. This went on during the performance that made its viewing a bit obstructive if not annoying! If somebody watching the performance wanted to follow tweets while the event was taking place on TV, one would turn to their second (or third) screen to follow the action! If one just wanted to view one element or other, then one single screen of choice could be accessed. However, this on air tweeting was only presented as a live element. When the segment was repeated within the hour that the Today Show was tape delayed due to time zone differences, the tweets were not presented.
Social media applications as with anything else, can be taken and accepted for what they are worth! They can be a great way to communicate with one another, or they can be just another form of stress and general annoyance. Of course, if one wanted to express themselves over something or another be it for the good, bad, or ugly, one can compose a print letter directly to the source in question where the whole world doesn’t have to know about it. That might bring better results to the complainer addressing their concerns to the source in question rather than tweet “I hate you big deal company! #Ihateyoubigdealcompany!”. If one can’t share the love (so to speak), then where’s the fun (and fame) to that? That’s worth tweeting about as that stands! #wherethefuninthat?
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Comedian Don Reed returns to the Hundson Backstage Theatre once more for his production of SEMI-FAMOUS, consisting of little stories, antidotes, and other fables about his professional life as a stand up comic in Hollywood and points in between.
In this solo presentation, Don tells the it’s-so-real-one-can’t-make-this-s#it-up sagas of his life trying to make a living by being a comical actor and joke teller, from his auditions for Spike Lee, his near gig of playing The Tonight Show with Johnny, to his attempts of getting his name around town for the so-called “big break” he desires! He runs into celebrities (on purpose and by accident), as well as meeting those that he didn’t want (or care) to meet, such as Secret Service agents, rowdy audience members, and mobster types. And there is a story of some kind about starting out in a neighborhood acting troop where it disbanded while he nearly get killed in the process, but he never goes forward into that episode with the intention of that story being told at a later time–if at all!
As to his first performance called Can You Dig It? (See review: Vol. 19-No. 35), Don emotes his selected yarns with words and actions, illustrating each and every part of his calumnies with enough character assassinations to fill up a room, if not die a thousand deaths! (His words!) Unlike his previous show where his mild fabrications come from his childhood living in his native Oakland, California, Don’s legends are extracted from Hollywood, his new home of sorts, as well as various locations outside of Tinseltown where he was able to land a gig or two!
It’s a bit of a wonder by this writer that, in spite of all of the supposedly failed auditions and opportunities Don had to muster through, why didn’t he become fully famous rather than semi? Perhaps he was too black as one casting person labeled his persona, or perhaps he was too white! (An actual comment from another casting director!) Whatever the reason or whatever the cause, Don still has it all! He’s funny, he’s animated, he’s talented, and he’s semi famous all rolled into one! And his chronicles are just another one of those eight million stories of the naked city where nudity isn’t the exception, it’s the norm! Or according to Don’s version, it just seems that way!
SEMI-FAMOUS, performed and written by Don Reed, is presented by Hudson Theatricals, and performs at The Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. (one block west of Wilcox at Hudson Street), Hollywood, for one additional performance on Friday, September 19th at 8:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call (323) 960-7822 or via online at http://www.plays411.com/donreeds
ORPHANS, Lyle Kessler’s dark comedy about two bothers living a rather low lifestyle that encounters a man of means that offers them a better way of life only to have that offer spin into a totally different direction.
Siblings Philip (Raul Bencomo) and Treat (Jeff Cheezum) live in a run down row house somewhere within Philadelphia’s north side. Treat, the eldest, earns a living robbing people of their valuables, copping watches, jewelry, or anything that can turn a quick buck. Treat can even get somewhat violent if deemed necessary. Philip is quite the total opposite. He stays home while watching old movies on TV, if not watching the folks in the neighborhood parading past his front window while living on a diet of Chicken of the Sea brand tuna and Hellmann’s mayonnaise. (He isn’t mentally ill per se, but just doesn’t get out much by chose!) One day,Treat grabs his big score by meeting a businessman from Chicago named Harold (Karl Schott) in a bar while he was drinking alone getting himself tanked in the process. Instead of rolling him for what he had in value, Treat takes him home as sort of a kidnapping ploy, perhaps collecting a ransom. It tunes out that Harold is into big finances, carrying around high ticket stock certificates in his briefcase. But Harold isn’t some kind of kidnapping victim. He begins to befriend these two young men, playing a father the boys never had, and they playing the brothers Harold missed out on as he was raised in an orphanage while his “bothers” were comparable to “Dead End Kids”-types. Harold eventually offers to hire Treat to do some work for him with a pledge of a big salary, more that he’s been getting selling other people’s valuables. The offer, although promising at first, make a sharp turn to the left as this promise doesn’t hold out as Harold said it would, or at least intended.
This is a play that holds the standard comic setup as one could expect; Two brothers of opposite fields and attitudes meets up with a elder man that could be their dad, and even becomes one up to a point. Then the action by the second act becomes meatier and a bit macabre–not something that would normally be presented as standard community theater fare. However, this notion works and for a good reason, and that reason is due because it’s projected very well! Raul Bencomo as Phillip is a with-it child in an adult body. He’s holds an intelligence he teaches for and to himself such as underlining obscure words found in newspaper articles only to look up its meanings in a dictionary. Jeff Cheezum as Treat is the back alley kid that swings both ways as he plays the mean streets while he looks after his younger bro. Karl Schott as Harold plays the could be yet so-often missing dad as he waxes poetic over nearly long forgotten characters that appeared in a string of B-movies released in the 1930’s that were like his “brothers” from a nearly forgotten past! Kathy Dershimer directs this stage show that’s funny for the two shades of humor this theater piece presents for itself.
As to the behind the scenes stuff, Jim Crawford’s set design shows off a rather spacious row house living room where its furnishings are better portrayed in the first act, emphasizing it’s comical overtones before the dark clouds start rolling in.
ORPHANS holds up a punch for its humor and drama all rolled into one. It may not be for everybody, but so are opportunities that come from out of town businessmen that compare companions to fictitious ones that would later become adults with the likes of Slip, Satch, and the rest of the boys from the bowery! (If one doesn’t understand that last line, one better brush up on their old movies!)
ORPHANS, presented by The Kentwood Players, performs at the Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Avenue (at 83rd Street), Westchester, until October 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 645-5156, or on line at http://www.KentwoodPlayers.org
TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
22 pounds down. Still going. I’m in the painless stage of this diet. The hardest part ended two weeks ago.
Passed a Little Debbies truck while listening to At Home in Mitford en route to Blowing Rock.
FINALLY! Trading in my Texas driver’s license and adding my married name! Yahoo!!!
Book done. Turned in. Brain tired. No words left. Going to sleep. Bye.
WE HAVE A SON-IN-LAW!!!!!
As of September 15th, Tiffi has 2,234 Facebook “friends” and counting!
WRITE TO US!!
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