SOCIAL MEDIA MANIA

Social Media is no longer the novelty as it was once was. It’s now a way of life, and the stats prove this fact!

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Centerr filed a report upon the habits of social media from the domestic adult public at large based upon its usage, as well as who takes advantage of the type of media expressed via cyberspace land.

According to the report filed last March, Facebook and YouTube are the leaders here at this landscape. Some 73% have used YouTube, while 68% are on Facebook. 78% of younger Millenniums (aged 18 through 24) use Stapchat, 71% take advantage of Instagram, and a little less that half (45%) are on Twitter. And out of the 73% of all adults that use YouTube, some 94% of the 18-24 crowd use this form of viewing and/or posting media to that platform.

The report does go on by noting that 88% of those aged thirty or less use some form of social media. It drops ten points to 78% of those in their thirties and forties. Among those that are in their fifties through early-middle 60’s, 64% note they take advantage of social media. The minority that are social media users are those 65 and up, as 37% of this demographic are online with any of the standard platforms.

How often do they visit a social media platform? Facebook is known to have daily visitors as 51% report they visit the site multiple times per day. Snapchat ranks in second as 49% report they visit throughout the day. Instagram comes in third at 38%. YouTube receives a lot of hits, but not as often. 55% state they do visit but more on an occasional basis.

Breaking down things further in terms of demographic, females tend to use Pinetrest more than males (41% vs.14%), Linkedin are mostly used by those that are college graduates and/or of households that are of higher income. (50%). The messaging service WhatsApp is popular among hispanics as it reaches 49%. (It’s also popular in use within counties of Latin America.)

A question remains. How addictive are these groups in the use of social media? Not as much as one may suspect. When asked on how difficult would it be to free one’s self of social media, 59% as a whole stated they it would not be difficult to do so compared to the 40% that admitted it would be tough to let it go. The younger one is, the difficulty of being free from social media increases. Those 18 through 24 would find this act the hardest as 51% noted they would be in a bind to release themselves from social media. (49% stated that they can live without it for a while). 40% of the 25-29 age bracket gave its difficult ranking while those in their 30’s and 40’s stand at 45%. Perhaps the biggest group to live without all of this social media hubbub are those 50+ a.k.a. the “baby boomers”, as two-thirds noted that they could walk away from social media and function quite nicely!

The above stats came from research done by the Pew Research Center in January of ’18 through phone and online polls. All were done without the usage of specific knowledge of those being polled. So it can be assumed that the accuracy is rather high for what it presents.

It’s really no surprise that social media is what makes domestic life just what it is. It’s a method of gathering information, sharing details, and finding out who holds an interest (or lack thereof) to what’s going on for better or for worse. It’s the world’s biggest soapbox to discover new details, create new ideas, start or finish movements and its related aspects that make up part of the domesticated human drive of existence, no matter where one may be. And it’s a sure fire method for big companies to gather up information from others in order to to sell products, ideas, and opinions. It’s also been proven on how a few (really few) big companies can find out nearly anything and everything on specific groups, no matter what age they may be regardless to the legal aspect of the age(es) in question.

In spite of these privacy issue stances, folks will still flock to a few or perhaps to all of the platforms found in cyberspace land to post, pin, tweet, or whatever one does to get a point across for others to view or hear about an issue in question, no matter how far fetched it may become–if at all!

This writer has seen social media grow from the novelty it once was to the way of life it grew up to be. We will admit that this here newsletter and the staff behind it all is on selected social media platforms, from Facebook, Twitter, and even Linkedin. One can view selected episodes of Accessibly Live, a regional television program produced and hosted by this writer in the 1980‘s that became the predecessor to Accessibly Live Off-Line. And if this same writer ever gets around to it, I may present other program titles from the parent company of ALOL, Linear Cycle Productions. (Coming soon, ‘natch!) And a colleague of ours that assist us in our preservation of vintage television programs has posted bits and pieces of material for all to view and to comment on YouTube. So we are far immune to what social media can do for us, with us, and perhaps against us!

One thing for sure. Social media as we all know it will never go away! Granted, platforms may come and go or change the scope to what is used to be such as the case of MySpace where at one time was the be-all-to-end-all place to make one’s self known to the world, to other places that are long gone! But as the ‘net grows to the megagiant is now is, having a place in the cyberspace world is now smaller, faster, and maybe cheaper! All one needs is an internet connection and the device to get online! And that could be nearly all of us!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre Palisades presents Fredrick Knott’s WRITE ME A MURDER, a tale of two murder mystery writers who team up to create a story of a perfect murder, only to have that story turn into a reality.

The setting is the Rodingham Manor located in a rural community some 100 miles outside of London. Clive Rodingham (Tyler Parker) and his younger brother David (Jeff DeWitt) arrive to their childhood home to take aside of their ailing father, nearly at his deathbed. Clive is in line to inherit everything in the vast estate, but plans to sell much of the property to Charles Sturrock (Phillip Bartolf), a local land developer. David, who writes crime and murder mystery stories, would rather keep everything as they exist. This element brings a strain between the two siblings causing some havoc. Meanwhile, Charlie’s spouse Julie (Holly Sidell) a fledging writer, is asked if David can assists Julie into honing her writing skills. This inspires him to team up with Julie in creating the most perfect murder plot as their story. Perhaps this suggested plot becomes a disguise in the creation of an actual murder. They would be able to use the Rodingham home as their set. And who would become the victim, and most important, can they actually get away with acting on this method of crime? It’s all in the name of fiction, as well as completing a reachable act of possibly getting away with…..!

This play written by the master of mystery and thriller stage pieces Fredrick Knott, was only one of a trio of pieces he wrote in his entire career. (The other two are Dial “M” for Murder, and Wait Until Dark). Unlike the other for noted pair, this title as presented on the Theatre Palisades stage is the lessor one of the group. It does contain the same elements that make up the setting for murder, although with its three act running time, the murder itself isn’t in full development for a while. However, there is the tension aspect to face, and the performers that appear in this TP production add towards the climax that slowly unfolds. The cast that does appear that also features Michele Schultz as the Rodingham family physician Elizabeth Wooley, and Laura Goldstein as domestic maid Mrs. Tibbit, append themselves into the storyline, making this program very enjoyable and amusing–until the murder nearly commences! Michael-Anthony Nozzi, who previously directed TP’s production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof a few years ago, directs this program with an easy paced yet steady buildup showcase from the basic concept to murder right to the fateful deed.

Since this is a period piece (the play takes place in the late 1940’s), the costuming by June Lissandrello speaks for the era, while longtime TP’s set designer Sherman Wayne creates a library/study space of a old British-style manor full of antique-esque furnishings with vintage weaponry (guns, knives, etc.) hanging on its wall as decor–possibly doubling as handy murder tools!

One can’t beat a classic whodunnit as this show fully demonstrates. And it can be seen with high sprits within the confines of one of Pacific Palisades’ finer gems found within this oceanside community.

WRITE ME A MURDER, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until July 15th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

For more information and for ticket reservations, call (310) 454-1970, or via online at http://www.TheatrePalisades.com

Theatre Palisades can also be found and followed through social media via Facebook and Twitter as “Theatre Palisades”.
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Continuing its run at the Hillcrest Center For The Arts of Thousand Oaks is the Tom Kitt/Brian Yorkey musical NEXT TO NORMAL, a domestic story of one’s woman struggle with her emotional nonconformity, and the family that must also face their own conclusions to her inner demons.

Michelle Lane is Diana. She’s been married to her husband Don (Brent Ramirez) for shy of twenty years. Through her marriage, she gave birth to two kids-Natalie (Julia Lester), and Gabe (Landen Starkman). The family lives a middle class life in a suburban bedroom community. Dan goes to work at a local architect firm, and Natalie is an on-the-go high school student. Diana keeps house, assuming that she can have her mind in gear in not only maintaining the homestead, but just keeping her life in check. Ever since she first encountered bouts with depression and anxiety some sixteen years before, she has been on some sort of medication while drifting in and out of various forms of manic ups and downs. She eventually sees a professional, Dr. Fine (Renee Cohen), who suggests more than prescription pills and basic therapy. While Natalie faces her mom’s inner bouts, she meets Henry (Daniel Bellusci), a fellow student in her high school that becomes intertwined between Diana’s emotional states and Natalie’s challenges. All of Diana’s feelings are linked to her son Gabe over an episode that occurred many years before. It’s a mini epic about a family that must face the disputes between emotional gain, loss, affection, and hope.

This musical with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey is a unique musical of sorts. Perhaps the most obvious difference between this piece and any other musical that takes place within a domestic setting in an contemporary era is the fact that this show depicts a family clan that falls into a depressed and stressed-out state of being. Although Diana, as performed by Michelle Lane tries to be content, she is dependant on way too many little colored pills with names starting with “X”s and “Z”s. Husband Don as played by Drent Ramirez, gives as much support to Diane as he could, assuming that she allows such support. Daughter Natalie, as performed by Julia Lester, is a robust teen. Perhaps she’s a bit on the “full” side, but with what’s going on in the home, who can blame her over her physical state of being let alone emotional? Henry, played by Daniel Bellisci, is a ‘nerdy’ type that will stand for and with Natalie through her rises and falls. Renee Cohen as Dr. Fine, is a doctor that may be seen as a “rock star” type, but is just a therapist nevertheless. Rounding out the cast is Landen Starkman as Gabe, Diane’s son who will be his forever young self, or at least in Diane’s vision.

The dialogue spoken and the musical score it goes with expresses this internal story that consists of tunes that are upbeat at first, only to sink toward moody levels. Jan Roper’s musical direction completes these tasks with his five piece orchestra, featuring Jeff Castanon on guitar, Steve Clift on bass, Jeff Gibson on synthesizer keyboard, Alan Peck on percussion, and Roper on second keyboard. Corey Lynn Howe provides the set design that only shows a physical wall as a cubicle with a picture frame in its center, suggesting the domestic homestead, along with a series of floating sets and scenes that move the storyline along.

NEXT TO NORMAL’s basic theme shows how one can attempt to live a normal life through various methods of change, human effort, and chemical reactions. Granted, it’s not a “feel-good” musical in the traditional stance. But it’s bold enough to be presented in an informative yet entertaining stage technique. In spite of this dare, the method works out!

NEXT TO NORMAL, presented by Panic Productions, performs at the Hillcrest Center For The Arts, 403 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, until June 17th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Saturday-Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

Tickets and further information are available online at http://www.panicproductions.org.
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WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (Focus Features) is a documentary that calls upon the theories and personna of Fred Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister who used television not as a pulpit, but to teach and entertain children over the trails of life in a easy paced yet genteel manner. That program became Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, a staple on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) from its start in early 1968 and continued into the new millennium.

In this documentary, Fred Rogers is pictured as a man from Latrobe, Pennsylvania who saw television as a powerful tool to present the lessons of life in childhood using basic friendliness and the notion of honor and love. This was a far fetched method in children’s television placed within an era when kidvid was limited to cartoon shows (mostly seen on Saturday morning) as well as live action programming both on a local and national level where its main on-air purpose was to hard sell the sponsor’s products!

Using contemporary on-camera presence from such people as Francois Clemmons, Joe Negri, David Newell (people involved with the original program), as well as Joanne Rogers (“Mrs” Rogers) and musician Yo-Yo Ma, who made an early appearance on this show, comments for the man that spoke with a simple and calm method with the understanding on how kids emotionally functioned. As with the many other programs geared for the “small-fry” bunch (as the trade journal Variety used to refer this demographic) that littered the TV landscape during MRN’s presence on the air, it did use puppetry in its delivery, limiting those puppets in a separate segment called The Land of Make-Believe, a place that was inhibited by such characters as X the Owl and Daniel Tiger (among others), under the rule of King Friday the XIII. (Rogers himself provided the voices to these puppets, and never interacted with them on camera.)

This documentary produced and directed by Morgan Neville, whose previous documentary Thirty Feet From Stardom won him an Oscar, showcases the sprit of Rogers rather than giving him the life story treatment. (Rogers himself stated that if anyone wanted to create a biography of his life, that tale would be rather boring!)

One will get a bit of history of Rogers himself. Born in a rather privileged family, he get his start with a local show that aired on the regional NET (National Educational Television) affiliate WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, PA. in the 1950’s during the time when such stars as Pinky Lee, Soupy Sales, and Buffalo Bob Smith (Howdy Doody) used rowdy physical comedy for entertainment. Rogers had none of that. All he did was to let the viewer become aware that (s)he would be within an environment that had the perspectives of love and understanding, as well as teaching the basic things found in a domestic situation even if those things didn’t ring of the said love, including the notions of death and divorce.

For those that were raised on Fred Roger’s TV neighborhood from the late 1960’s through the turn of the 21st century, this documentary fulfills itself as a nostalgia trip where the former child (now an adult), can see the same landscape through mature eyes knowing that Rogers was one of a kind. Yet he was always in the foreshadow of another kids show that aired on the same TV network, often programed back-to-back, Sesame Street. SS still lives on in physical form, while Fred Rogers (and the neighborhood) still prevails through his belief of kindness and spirit using the magic number “143”!

Now playing in selected theaters. Rated “PG”.
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is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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