SOCIAL MEDIA BUTTERFLIES

Social Media, perhaps the greatest device that the internet has provided since e-mail, had been affecting more people than ever before. Once considered a novelty and something that the so-called youth of domestic society gave birth to, social media has reached out to those that hold the desire to let the cyber world to know what they are doing, how they are doing it, as well as how they do their part to keep up with the Jones’s or any other name that could be connected to celebrities, both real or imaged.

The Pew Research Center’s Internet, Science & Tech division recently filed a report on the usage of social media applications, and noted that nearly two thirds (65%) of American adults 18 and up use some form of social media in terms on how they communicate and network, how such contact has affected employment, politics, and communications, in addition to the way people receive and share information about health, civic life, news consumption, communities, teenage and youth lifestyles, parenting, dating, as well as people’s level of stress.

It’s no real surprise that social media’s use is fueled by the so-called Millennium demographic, those born in the 1980’s and 90’s that were the first ones totally weeded through technology. (90% of those aged 18 through 35 state they use social media!) That number of 90% would be increased further is those under the age of 18 were counted, as this form of communication are used by those as young as eight years old. If those kids (or “young adults” to add another demographic label) were added, that increase can reach 95% or more!

But it’s not just the Millenniums are the ones on line all of the time through any device that connects to the ‘net and its offshoots, but those that are a bit seasoned are connected yet not as intense. A little over three fourths (77%) of the “Gen-Xers”, those age 35 through 50, are social media subscribers. This age demographic were the ones that were introduced to the internet and its connected technology, usually through their place of employment or through their learning institute as those places were most likely to adapt. Individual use wasn’t as connected then due to overall cost and practically. Back in the day, this group first adapted, some hesitantly, but later accepted the fact that those new fanged computers, cell phones, and that pesky internet wasn’t going away, and would wind up as television became. It would morph from an amusing novelty to a hard way of life.

The next demographic, the Baby Boomers, the ones that hold most of the power, money, and fame this nation has witnessed to, also use social media, but not as much. The Pew Research study noted that a little over half (51%) use this medium. Many use it for work or business, while some use it for amusement or entertainment. Others use it to keep up with family, friends, and others they feel are worth the time and effort to keep up to date with.

That leaves us to the final group of folks, those aged 65 and up. As well noted, this demographic are the last ones to keep up to date with any new and usable. 35% of those use social media to do the same thing as their younger cohorts are conducting. Some do use it for work and business, but many use it to keep up with the family and friends that are online much of the time or all of the time! Interestingly enough, this demographic has been the fasted growing sect that adapt to this new style of contact. When the Pew Research folks started to track usage of social media in 2005, only 2% of those 65+ were users. Although usage and adaptation varies to people, many of those of this demographic use it because somebody within their social circles taught them to be in contact. After all, it a person of that age raised a standard family, it’s most likely that their now adult kids are on the air, and their kids are doing the same. Not only that, the methods of getting access has been a whole lot easier as well. Many senior centers have computer terminals, and those same folks do use smart phones, although their daily usage may be limited to a few hours a day if that much!

Of course, there are other fact and figures that this report pondered upon, and those interested can read the full report as filed by Pew Research at the this link, http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/08/social-networking-usage-2005-2015/

     Oh yes! Does this article have to note what forms of social media are the “breads and butters” of the ‘net? It’s most likely that you the reader are already aware of the forms we note about. But just in case you don’t know, we are speaking of places as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Of course, there are other links whose purpose is to connect, inform, and to post. But those five places are the ones that are the de facto contacts to use, misuse, and abuse!

As a disclaimer, this here news service does takes advantage of most of the sites listed above, both as a sender and a receiver. Some we do use more than others, while one of the listed names we don’t use at all! However, since anyone worth their salt has grabbed the opportunity to become heard and noticed, we just did the same thing. It’s a case to join them rather to beat them. And it others beat you to the punch, those beaten are indeed licked!

And it will be safe to report that social media isn’t going away no matter what! So if one does face the temptation to stop friending, tweeting, posting, linking, or otherwise keep in contact, then one should get off line, get rid of their electronic gadgetry, and head over to the most remote location they can find to live a life just like everyone did back in the day! Of course, one can keep a dairy of one’s experiences, enough to tweet and text about once that person does change their mind! What’s the point of living a life when there is no way to let anyone know about it–like it or not!

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NEWS AND REVIEWS

     The Sacred Fools Theater Company presents the world premier of Jake Broder’s MIRAVEL, (or THE PROMISE OF ALPHONSO BLOCH), a musical tale between a jazz composer, a jazz vocalist, and the muse that is inspired to one for the other.

The tale takes place in an unnamed urban setting where Alphonso Bloch (Jake Broder) has just completed creating a symphonic piece. He is a sequestered type of person, showing his middle age rather quickly, walking with a cane due to an injured leg. He’s troubled by an episode that occurred beforehand. The story shifts to that recent past incident involved in performing and composing jazz numbers-his specialty. He meets up with a music student named Miravel (Devereau Chumrau) who becomes an inspiration for him, down to falling in love with her. Although he holds talent music wise, he doesn’t possess the same level of confidence with himself. At the jazz club he performs at is Henry Brooks (Will Bradley), a jazz vocalist who’s a lot younger, snappier, and keeps a rather cocky attitude. Allophone sees Henry as the man he is not, using him as a shadow of himself. Wanting to impress Miravel, he uses Henry to move her emotions by introducing a number of music pieces he has created. These three become involved in a love triangle of sorts, set to both a driving jazz beat along with the personal obstruction of the creative aura.

This play with music, called such because it isn’t a musical in the traditional sense, borrows a bit of the classic story of Cyrano De Bergarac  adding a modern and musical twist. It bids a mini epic of a talented music composer as played by Jake Broder (who is also the playwright), a young vibrant woman as portrayed by the ever so lively Devereau Chumrau, and the snappy jazz “scat” singer Henry Brooks as imaged by Will Bradley. Although these three assemble the performing side to this production, what makes this mini musical function is the jazz score! Many of the songs and music beds presented in this work are original pieces as written by Jake Broder (with Ryan Johnson) that add to the mood of what appears to be described as a rather complicated love story. Shaunessy Quinn directs this production that sets the pace for tales of affection borne in a post modern environment.

In addition to Jake on the piano (and even guitar), the jazz combo creating the tunes and appearing in this showcase features Colin Kupa on sax, Michael Alvidrez on bass, and Kenny Elliot on percussion. As to the visuals, Alex M. Calle furnishes the set design, and Rosalie Alverez provides the costuming, decking out Allophone in a well worn suit, Henry in a snazzy outfit complete with jacket, vest, and hat, and Miravel in various flowing outfits that match up with her performing style and grace.

Jake Broder is best known for his involvement in Louie and Keely: Live at the Sahara that makes its debut at the Sacred Fools Theatre a few years back. He takes another spin on the aspects of jazz and love, along with the difficulties and free noumenon these elements brings toward the human sprit. MIRAVEL is a stage piece that delivers these motifs, blending all that really matters!

MIRAVEL, (or THE PROMISE OF ALPHONSO BLOCH), presented by and performs at The Sacred Fools Theater, 600 North Heliotrope Drive (off Melrose Avenue), Los Angeles (Hollywood adjacent) until December 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM.

     In addition to its featured main stage presentation, Serial Killers, its long running series (now in its eleventh season) returns performing on Saturday nights at 11:00 PM through December 19th. Serial Killers presents three stories in tandem where the audience decides what fables are to return the next week and what yarns are to be “killed”. The next week, new tales are added undergoing the same voting process. Audience members can return each Saturday night to find out what happens in the next episode–assuming that there is another installment to these mini epics!

     For the new year, Fast & Loose is featured where a series of short plays are created, rehearsed, and performed for the first and possibly only time, all done within a twenty four hour period. Fast & Loose will be presented on Thursday, December 31st at 8:00 PM.

    For ticket reservations or for more information on all Sacred Fools Theater performances, call (310) 281-8337, or visit their web site online at http://www.SacretFools.org.

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The Eclectic Company Theatre continues its run with the world premier of TIMESHARE, Steve B. Green’s black comedy of a young man who works for a vacation timeshare firm, selling dream vacation packages to folks that are more interested in the “free” prize rather than the timeshare itself!

Tony Pauletto is Tom, a one time writer that has seen better days career wise. He’s on the verge of losing him home, as well as his wife and kid. In order to survive, he takes on a job as a timeshare salesman. He’s aware that he’s selling a product that is rather pricey for what it is, knowing that the only incentive for having people come in to invest in these deal is to offer a lavish prize–in this case a 42” flat screen TV, in exchange to listening to a sales pitch that is suppose to last seventy five minutes but can last much longer! His boss Frank (Jon Mullich) motivates his sales team at the start of each day. He’s joined by fellow sales people Jack (Kerr Lordygan), Mike (Travis Quentin), and Christine (Samarie Klien) to sell the goods! It’s a rather uphill clime, but Tom has to motivate himself, facing himself in the men’s room mirror, while dealing with the couples that come in to grab their TV set, and perhaps buy a timeshare package! However, one man Neil (Paul Messinger) who came with his wife Gretchen (Marby Stewart), had enough of these phony promises of a so-called dream vacation. He takes the matters on his own terms. It’s up to Tom to use his own wits to give not only what the client wants (besides the TV set) but to just survive getting through this ordeal–all in the name of luxury style vacations!

This comedy written and directed by Steve B. Green, is a hit-home satire of those timeshare companies where prospective clients (married couples mostly) are asked to come in (suckered in?) to their showroom where they are offered lavish sounding gifts just hear their sales pitches offering vacation packages that are rather expensive, being sold through high pressure tactics. The overall comic tome is witty, cocky, and at times, doesn’t stray too far from the truth! (One will understand if one was ever suckered in to visit one of these places just for getting a gift that wasn’t as great as first promised!) The action moves in a rather swift pace, and hosts a collection of wacky, let likable characters.

Among the performers that appear in this production are (as listed in their order of appearance), Gerard Marzilli, Victoria Yvonne Martinez, David Datz, JC Henning, Alyssa LeBlanc, Zachary Davidson, and Madelyne Heyman.

TIMESHARE is (rather loosely) based upon an actual episode of the playwright’s life, where in order to pay excessive bills, he answered an ad posted on Craigslist to sell timeshare vacations to prospective clients, meeting people coming in for their gifts that are portrayed in this play. As noted, it doesn’t stray too far from the truth. This fact just enhances the comedy involved in this play. It’s tight, it’s funny, and it’s your ticket to hassle free vacations in exotic places, as long as one can sit through a sales pitch!

    TIMESHARE, presented by and performs at The Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Valley Village, until December 13th Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For tickets or for more information, call (818) 508-3003, or online at http://www.EclecticCompanyTheatre.org

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The Verdi Chorus, under the direction of artistic director Anne Marie Ketchem and accompanist Laraine Ann Madden, will present FIRE AND SPICE, a vocal concert featuring selections extracted from the great opera works as Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlo,

Il Trovatore, and Otello, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Samson Et Dalila, Manuel De Falla’s La Vida Breve, Agustín Lara’s Granada, Federico Moreno Torroba’s Maravilla, and Georges Bizet’s Carmen.

Featured performers will include mezzo-soprano Audrey Backcock, tenor Todd Wilander, baratone Roberto Perlas Gomes, and dancer Misuda Cohen

The concert will take place for two performances, Saturday, November 21st at 7:30 PM, and Sunday, November 22nd at 4:00 PM at the First United Methodist Church, 1008 11th Street (two blocks north of Wilshire Blvd.), Santa Monica. Parking will be offered in the structure across the street from the church grounds. Limited street parking is also available.

For more information on FIRE AND SPICE, including ticket pricing, directions to the event, and more about The Verdi Chorus, call (800) 838-3006, or visit TVC online at http://www.VerdiChorus.org.

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The Angel City Chorale will present its 22nd annual holiday theme performance entitled SING JOY!  taking place at the Wilshire United Methodist Church the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, December 5th and 6th.

This concert for the festive season, lead and conducted by ACC artistic director and musical master Sue Fink, will consist of a blend of sounds and vocals that take their roots from African, Middle Eastern, Jewish, English, and South American heritages that adds towards the flavor to the sprit of the season. These choruses, along with the tunes one may be more familiar with ranging from classical to contemporary, is the ideal experience for all ages to enjoy and cherish. And with family style events as this event is, it’s also a sing-a-long too! It’s just a harmonious celebration of the season were tidings and high level sprit become the theme for all world places and all colors, be it red and green, blue and white, and all in between, commemorate.

The performances occurs at the Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd. (adjacent to the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre), Los Angeles (90010). A dessert reception in the church’s main social hall follows each performance.

For more information on SING JOY!, including ticket pricing, directions to the event, and about The Angel City Choral itself, call (310) 943-923, or visit ACC online at http://www.AngelCityChorale.org.

The Angel City Choral is also present on all the major social media outlets. (Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter, and YouTube.)

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