I’M A LUMBERJACK AND I’M NOT OK!

Although the Labor Day weekend is at the other end of the so-called summer season that unofficially begins this week, this here news service well pay tribute to those that might be considering a career change from shifting gears from doing one task to performing another for a stipend. That is, working in a job for pay!

For the most part, people that have been employed performing some kind of task tends to remain within the occupation. This reasoning for this is usually conducted because the employed person (or in some cases, the formally employed person) had the knowledge and skill of conducting the task or assignment. These kind of workers do not necessarily need any special or specific training in order to do their job. In theory, they already know just what to do, already equipped with the knowledge and experience as previously established.

However, due to various circumstances, people conduct career changes presenting some kind of work that holds little to know connection to what they did on a professional scale, although the change in question dose hold a link to their previous occupation. A fry cook can become a rocket scientist (and vice versa), but that shift doesn’t necessarily take place. However, a person that did some fry cooking can become somebody that arranges meals that require fry cooking. A rocket scientist can also do something else that involves such high technical aspects as well. You get the idea.

Much of the shirting comes from people who board bored with their jobs, or for those that work too hard that pays little–if anything at all! Some lose their jobs mostly through technology, or through a method that’s cheaper for the company to handle. (i.e. outsourcing) A few have a “dream job” that those dreamers hold a real passion to do, even if those have little to no connection to what they really work in for a living! That fry cook slaving away has an interest in writing that great American novel, speaking their days flipping burgers and taking their off times pounding away on a keyboard composing that story that can make the best seller lists, if not being options for a feature film, or TV series!

Then again, there is the reality part of the whole career change notion. It is indeed quite possible to become whatever one has the desire to be, from a person that saves the humpback whales to on that builds hang gliders. However, one has to find out the back story in doing what they would rather do!

Many web sites are out there to give one the latest scoop on the current status of a career position. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has their itemizing of the domestic job market. Ditto for such places as Glassdoor, and related places on the web. CareerCast.com recently posted their list of the 200 worst jobs to have! (The bottom 200 so to speak) Their listing takes its resources from such aspects as environment, current income, outlook, and stress levels, as well as what the Department of Labor reports on the jobs in question, giving each aspect a rating number based upon what is usually connected to each element. Environment to a job includes emotional and physical factors. Stress includes how safe is the job, the demands it brings, and hazards encountered among other notions. Each trait is added and tabulated, bringing the list to its rankings and meanings.

So what are these bottom feeder jobs? Starting from the ‘’bottom ten” and working toward the top (bottom?), links newspaper reporter at the very end of the list at 200. Thanks to the shift of how news is written and delivered, relying upon traditional print has been long abandon over the past fifteen years. Many news sources has either limited its print edition or totally abandon it, only going online. And many places use what been called “citizen reporters”, those people that write blogs on their own time for their own purposes for little money. (Most work for free!) Ditto for media outlets that use imagery (still and moving) for reporting events and happenings as captured not through a professional camera and the person behind the lens, but through their cellphones that people have on their person at all times! If they submit such media, it’s usually done for little pay or for free as some folks do it for the recognition of supplying the pictures and/or the video footage! This notion lowers the pay scale for those that do (or did) that task for a living!

Rounding out the list is as follows:

199. Lumberjack (Ranking up +1 up the list from the previous year)

198. Enlisted Military Personnel (no change)

197. Cook (-2)

196. Broadcaster (no change)

195. Photojournalist (-9)

194. Corrections Officer (-3)

193. Taxi Driver (+4)

192. Firefighter (no change)

191. Mail Carrier (-7)

     And on the opposite side of the list, ranking the top ten jobs?

1. Actuary (+3)

2. Audiologist (+3)

3. Mathematician (-2)

4. Statistician (-1)

5. Biomedical Engineer (+7)

6. Data Scientist (N/A)

7. Dental Hygienist (-1)

8. Software Engineer (-1)

9. Occupational Therapist (no change)

10. Computer Systems Analyst (-2)

    So in order to make it in this world, does everyone have to be involved in the medical or high tech field? Not really. Those driving a cab is just as an important assignment. Ditto for those that service a public such as a firefighter or those involved in the military. But being a mathematician or a dental hygienist isn’t for everybody either! It’s just the fact that any type of work has its meaning and purpose in today’s society. The sad notion is the fact that many jobs do not hold the same respect as others!

This writer knows that he is working within the top (bottom?) occupations of that list, using the written word to get the news across to those that seek it. Then again, this same writer doesn’t necessarily sport a trench coat while donning a brimmed hat with a piece of paper that says PRESS sticking out of the hat band, running around yelling “Stop the presses! Stop the presses! I have a scoop!” (That only happened in 1930’s and 40’s era “B” movies!) Then again, what does an actuary do anyway? (Use that Google search for those that desire to be in the know!) And is an audiologist a person that makes sure that somebody collection of downloaded Beyonce MP3 files sound OK from their iPhone? Maybe! Or then again, maybe not. That is what us newspaper reporters are here for–reporting the news so you’ll know. “Nuff said!

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NEWS AND REVIEWS

     Currently performing at the Los Angeles Theatre Center is ANDRÉ & DORINE, a performance that is told with unique characters within an exceptional setting.

The simple plot involves André and Dorine, an elderly couple who spent much of their life together. André is a writer, keeping at his typewriter creating his latest work. Dorine is the spouse, who performs on her cello–not as a professional musician, but as to express herself. They have a son now grown up. The two see their world as routine while time goes by, living each day as the other. That is, until Dorine develops an illness that changes their routine. The couple do recall their earlier moments via flashbacks as the pair were once robust and much younger. But that was then. So as André, Dorine, and son cope with current matters, each one begins to prepare to face the consequences over Dorine’s fate.

If this show had been a standard stage presentation performed in an expected stance, the play itself would be simple and perhaps customary and routine. But not in this case as the characters are displayed donning full head masks as if these same characters were presented as whole body “puppets”, with hints of cartoon animation. These actors are not puppets per se, but as stage actors donning costuming that represents their beings with slightly oversized heads that show who they are. Since this is a show that become unequaled with the “puppet” features, it’s also performed as a full length pantomime! No character “speaks”. (One cannot project their voice easily if one is wearing a mask as these performers do!) They only use body language synced to an original transcribed music score as composed by Yayo Caceres.

This show was created by Kulunka Teatro, a theater troupe based in the Basque country of Northern Spain. The three players that perform as the title characters, along with an adult son (unnamed) in addition to supplementary characters, consist of Jose Dault, Garbine Insausti, and Edu Carcamo. These three players perform as the non human humans with grace, style, and with heart. The show is comical, somber, and very touching. But the real star showcase is how this ninety minute stage show is curtailed. It’s very unique and really has to be seen in person to not only understand what this reviewer is expressing, but to partake in it to deeply appreciate what goes into devising a stage piece as this one personates.

Many others that stand behind the scenes make this production shine throughout. Garbine Insausti designed and created the masks used in this show, Ikerne Gimenez arranged the costuming, and laura Gomez charted the set–a simple yet effective backdrop consisting of wallpapered wall along with a wooden desk where a classic manual typewriter sits, while off to stage right sits a cello. The keys pounding on the typewriter and the sound of the cello become the only “words” spoken, so its silence doesn’t become ear shattering!

Directed by Inaki Rikarte, ANDRÉ & DORINE is ideal for anyone over the age of twelve to appreciate the art that went into this show. The theater troupe had traveled across places around the world through multiple continents with the high respect upon each performance, no matter where journeyed. And the international language of being wordless rings true, although to does have that transcribed music score that set the mood and feeling. Again, these performers do not don full body costuming, only their heads are covered. This show overall charms its audience through all of its emotions with complete results! It’s unique, it’s remarkable, it’s fulfilling, and most of all, it’s André & Dorine!

     ANDRÉ & DORINE, presented by Kulunka Teatro, and performs at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 South Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles, until June 7th. Showtimes are Thursday through Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call (866) 811-4111, or online at http://www.TheLate.org

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TOMORROWLAND (Disney) features George Clooney as Frank Walker. As a kid living in the 1960’s (the young Frank played by Thomas Robertson), he was a budding inventor. He created  a jet pack device from an old vacuum cleaner. In order to become noticed, he takes a bus to the 1964 New York World’s Fair where they (supposedly) hosed an inventor’s forum where folks can bring their devices for “experts” can see if the device is practical. The expect Frank visits, Nix (Hugh Laurie) says there is no value to it. Hovering over Nix is his daughter Athena (Raffey Cassidy) who believes in his device, and tells him that they will experience one another in the future. The young Frank’ experiences his look into the future while taking advantage of the attraction It’s A Small World, hopping on a empty boat. His boat takes a different turn, where he is transported into a “real” Tomorrow! The story moves to the present era where the adult Frank, now totally jaded by disillusionment , lives in a secluded old house full of gadgets and contraptions monitoring an end to the world long predicted by fate and circumstance. Meanwhile, Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) the young daughter of former NASA engineer Eddie Newton (Tim McGraw) and a budding engineer herself taking after her dad, attempts to discoverer the cause of NASA’s deconstruction of the project Eddie was part of. After Casey is caught and released by the local law authorities, she finds a strange metallic button with a “T” embraced on it. This button transfers her to a futuristic land where the technology is over the top. But this button only last for only a short time. She discovers that this button is linked through Frank, and the two embark on a long and curious journey to uncover the secrets of an cryptic place somewhere in time and space.

This feature can be described as a fantasy action adventure saga, full of the for noted action, adventure, and (of course) special effects–and a lot of it! It also plays as a super hero-type feature without the super heroes (thank goodness) with hints toward the TV series Lost, where small intertwined subplots fall in and out of play. That’ link to the noted TV series is not necessarily a surprise, since its screenplay was co-written by Lost’s co-creator Damon Lindelof. Brad Bird, a one-time animation director who moved toward live action pictures (and directs this one to boot), co-wrote the screenplay with Lindelof from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen. These blends of elements creates a summer time flick that’s big, loud-ish, and interestingly enough, entertaining! It’s also very family friendly as well for what this feature is. With a “PG” rating, the cussing is limited to “damns” and “hells”, and the violence factor is on a standard TV level. Thus, this movie has a little something for everyone. Boys will like it for the action factor. Girls will enjoy it because of its strong female cast performer–Britt Robertson as Casey. The elder women may find George Clooney appealing. And the adult guys? Since it’s comic book-esk, they may find this movie amusing as well. That covers just about nearly everyone that matters!

Sticking to the Disney track, Richard and Robert Sherman penned the tune “It’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow”, where optimism for the future was at its peak. Although what may (or may not) occur around the corner of time may be pretty or not, TOMORROWLAND takes its notion that comments upon the theory that if the present is great, the future will be better! Better for some, while not so hot for others. But that’s besides the point!

Now playing at all multiplexes nationwide, and in IMAX in selected theaters.

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5 FLIGHTS UP (Focus Features) stars Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton as married couple Ruth and Alex. They have been living in the same Brooklyn, NY apartment for some forty years. Alex is in art, painting portraits on canvas while Ruth is a recently retired school teacher. Alex once did well in his job of creating artwork, but times have since  changed as he is presently more of a struggling artist that a successful one. Over time, their humble neighborhood has changed from blandly average to very trendy and progressive. But this progress hasn’t caught up with the couple, so they decide it’s time to move on and to sell their place. Their real estate agent, Ruth’s niece (Cynthia Nixon) is aggressively offering their unit that’s on the market to those willing to buy and move in. It’s a challenge for this couple who has seen time and tide pass them by becoming overwhelmed with many notions, from their dealing with fussy buyers to their own personal issues including upon how their own marriage lasted as long as it has, in spite of the series of circumstances that came and went.

This feature, based upon Jill Ciment’s novel Heroic Measures with screen adaptation by by Charlie Peters, is an intimate story that takes its focus upon a couple that’s pushing senior age to only see much or their life long far behind themselves while coping to survive in the big city. The two leads, Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton, hold their legacy based charm and appeal, although the characters they play (husband and wife) may be a but unsettling. (After all, Keaton is white while Freeman isn’t!) However, if such traits can be set aside as its rather easy to do since both Morgan and Diane hold their own self created attraction, then viewing a seasoned “zebra couple” isn’t much of a burden. The plot itself isn’t just about a couple wishing to downsize their place. It also has a few running subplots as seen throughout this picture, such as the couple’s aging dog (named Dorothy) is held at the vet undergoing treatment, flashback episodes of Ruth and Alex as they were some thirty or forty years beforehand, as well as a subplot of newscasts blearing out of TV monitors reporting upon a single terrorist causing havoc in the city! (The first subplot is mildly charming, the second one shows how this couple first came to be, while the third is rather unnecessary, even bogging down the feature’s cuteness appeal!)

Outside of Keaton, Freeman, and Nixon, their are others appearing in this film that’s worth noting, such as Claire van der Boom and Korey Jackson as the younger Ruth and Alex as seen in the flashback episodes, along with a healthy cast of character performers that play slightly off beat roles. These folks and the roles they portray add to this title’s allure, far more comical than what one would find in a post modern sitcom of a similar ilk.

Richard Loncraine directs this movie that showcases more wit rather than laugh out loud humor, or “LOL” is text speak! Because of the nature of this film and the stars that appear, 5 FLIGHTS UP will win the hearts and tastes to those more of a seasoned age. Don’t be too surprised if this title wins a spot on AARP’s “Movies from Grownups” campaign that takes aim to those little films whose winning characteristics lean toward character development and plotting rather than comic book super heroes battling themselves out among a parade of CGI laden special effects full of gunfire and explosions! After all, those movies are aimed for kids, while 5FU is reserved for their parents or grandparents–take your pick!

This feature is rated “PG-13” for mild cussing. Currently playing in selected theaters.

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The Angel City Chorale under the direction of Sue Fink, will present their upcoming presentation entitled EPIC, a blend of music and choir extracted from popular media, from motion pictures, television, and even the world of video games–a medium that has successfully mimicked the grandeur once limited to feature films and television, and now available at one’s fingertips.

The choir, consisting of a membership of 150 plus singers backed by a 25 piece  instrumental ensemble, will present a vast selection of songs from selected media titles from a variety of genres (comedy, drama, science fiction, and all points in between) pulled from those virtual worlds found on the big and little screen. This range comes from such time tested favorites as Frozen, The Lion King, Friends, I Love Lucy, World of Warcraft, Tetris, 2001: A Space Odyssey (performing Richard Strauss’ biggest hit) and more! A preference of highlights will also be presented, including the men’s ensemble vocalizing the opening number from Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles–Its theme tune sounding as majestic as the choir itself!

A number of languages will be represented in this presentation, including Russian, Latin, Italian, Swahili, and Dovahzul–the Dragon Language. (One has to hear it to fully believe it!)

The event will take place on Saturday, June 6th and Sunday, June 7th at 7:00 PM, at the Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd. (adjacent to the Wilshire-Ebell Theater), Los Angeles. This majestic church, a pillar of the community since its opening in 1925, serves as the performing home of the Angel City Chorale with its grand architecture influenced by Italian, Spanish, and Gothic form, and functions as a acoustically perfect setting where choirs have performed to congregations for generations.

For more information on the Angel City Chorale’s presentation of EPIC, as well as for ordering tickets (save five dollars per ticket when obtained in advance), call (310) 943-9231, or via the ACC’s website at http://www.AngelCityChorale.org

     Note: This announcement was repeated from last week’s issue (No. 20). -Eds.

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