• Interview with Andrei Maleav Babel

    10-15-18 Interview

    Andrei Maleav-Babel is a Russian Immigrant. The son and grandson of writers and artists, Andrei wrote musicals and directed his parent’s friends in his plays, by the time he was 10 or 12. Luckily coming of age as Perestroika was occurring in Russia, Andrei was able to start his own theater as a very young man. Barely able to speak English, he met, courted and married an American sociology student and became a Professor of Acting at the prestigious FSU Conservatory for Actor Training, one of the top ten actor training companies in the United States. Listen to him tell his amazing story and talk about his direction of the Conservatory’s production of Ibsen’s’Ghosts opening on Jan 4th

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  • Interview with entrepreneur, consultant, author and public speaker and Sensei George Schofield

    10-22-18 Interview

    10/22/18 George Schofield is an entrepreneur, consultant, author and public speaker, but that is not all. As a single parent he raised his small sons, and has zealously studied Sogetsu Ikebana, the ancient art of Japanese flower arranging. Listen to him describe his realization that he had spent his life learning those things knew he didn’t know, and now wanted to discover “what he didn’t know he didn’t know” Always attracted to the beautiful and elegant George joined The Sarasota Chapter of Ikebana International where he studies with Sensei, Patricia Bonarek. Typically he progressed quickly through the rankings, is now an accredited Sogetsu Ikebana Instructor (Sensei), and has achieved a Japanese name. On Thursday Nov 11th at 11:00 AM, as part of Bookstore1’s Bridge to Japan: A Celebration of Japanese Culture, George will perform a ceremony, creating a Sogetsu Ikebana flower arrangement for the store window. Listen to this atypical, thoughtful, interesting man talk about a life dedicated to pursuing personal growth as well as helping others achieve their best possible life. And come to Bookstore1 12 South Palm Ave, (365-7900) to see George demonstrate this ancient art 7900

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  • Part 3 – Interview with actor, author, lecturer, editor, reggae archivist, photographer and, producer Roger Steffens

    9-1718 Interview

    9/17/18 Part 3 of my interview with Roger Steffins begins with his description of how he discovered Bob Marley and Reggae Music and how this discovery became a lifelong obsession. Today his collection of records, posters and other memorabilia, is the largest in the world. Hear about his frustrating campaign to establish an archive of this collection as the Museum of Reggae Music in Jamaica. Then he describes his years of doing a radio show on MPR, the creation of the Reggae/African Music newsletter which lasted 28 years and had as many as 60,000 subscribers, his relationships with film greats Waldo Salt, Bill Link and John Ritter which led to his career as an actor and narrator of film, audio books and documentaries.

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  • Part 2 – Interview with actor, author, lecturer, editor, reggae archivist, photographer and, producer Roger Steffens

    9-10-18 Interview

    9/10/18 The radicalization of Roger Steffins. Part 2 of my 3 Part interview with Roger takes him through his service in the army during the Vietnam War. Listen to Roger describe his extraordinary experiences, including; training in Psyops, having had the Tet Offensive happen all around him, and being responsible for tons of food and clothing delivered to displaced refugees. Listen to him talk about the impact his war-time experience had on his beliefs, the life he then chose to lead as a result, and the work it spawned. This segment ends with my asking Roger about his relationship with the legendary Bob Marley.

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  • Interview with actor, author, lecturer, editor, reggae archivist, photographer and, producer Roger Steffins Part 1

    9-3-18 Interview

    9/3/18 This is the first of a 3 part interview with the indescribable Roger Steffins. It seems impossible that one person would have had the time, energy or talent to care about and/or do all the things that Roger has both cared about and done. Truly Roger demonstrates what we humans are capable of, but which few achieve. In this segment Roger describes his early love of, interest in, passion for all things visual which begins at the age of 5 with stamp collecting, all things written, beginning with newspapers, he wrote his first newspaper at seven both the copy and the editorial cartoon, and the serendipitous way in which he created his one man show “Poetry for people who hate poetry”’ which took him all over the world. This segment ends with my asking Roger if he was drafted during the Viet Nam war.

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  • Interview with Arthur Keyser – Before Steepletop

    8-20-18-23-18 Interview

    8/2018 Arthur Keyser is a playwright but he didn’t know it until he was eighty years old. Born to deaf parents who were unable to guide their children, Arthur and his brother had to find their own way. Arthur discovered and fell in love with theater “by accident” when he was fourteen, but never thought of writing for it. A voracious reader and naturally gifted writer he decided on the law as a career. In retirement he volunteered for a senior citizen acting company at the Players Theater. A director, having read something Arthur wrote, suggested that he write a play. With the diligence and attention to detail that made him a successful attorney, he “read every book he could find on the art of play writing.” And it paid off. Some 30- 50 plays later he is being performed all over the country. Now, as he approaches ninety, his play “Before Steepletop,” which won last year’s new play reading festival at the Players Theater, is running there from 8/21- 8/26.

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  • Interview with Betsy Gertz

    10-31-17 Interview

    10-31-17 Betsy Gertz is a multi-talented woman. A gifted photographer, sculptor and potter, she has also worked as a chef, an EMT and a nurse. Betsy excels at whatever she decides to try. Currently she is living on a large plot of land which she calls her “piece of peace,” where she cares for dogs, cats, horses, ponies, burros, sand cranes and deer. Somehow in addition to the work it takes to minister to the needs of these creatures, she finds time to ride her horse, create art and assemble and publish a book of her photographs called “Encounters.” Listen to this extraordinary woman describe her struggle with and survival from a deadly disease, and come down to The Starlite Room 1001 Cocoanut Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236, on Sunday Nov 5th from 4:00-6:00 to help Betsy launch her book.

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  • Interview with dancer, actor, singer, author Carole Schweid

    10-17-17 Interview

    10-17-18 The multi-talented Carole Schweid began taking dance classes at six and continued studying through the grueling program at Julliard. But by then she had already discovered her interest in and talent for acting and singing, and her passion for plays. Listen to the delightful story of how she got her first Broadway show – Minnie’s Boys, and the life changing experience of being part of the company of the iconic show A Chorus Line. But performing was not enough for Carole and in addition to raising her two sons, Carole and her partner Nancy Diamond created the hugely-successful Play with Your Food, a truly unique theater experience, and the basis for her newly published book Staged Readings – Magic. Listen to Carole’s funny, charming, disarming story, hear her describe how she went from someone who was “dancing from the minute she could walk,” to the singer, actor, writer, director, choreographer, producer, and author she became.

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  • Interview with Mark St Germain and Jason Cannon

    7-26-16 Interview

    7-26-16 Although he adored stories, read everything he could get his hands on and went to the theater as often as possible, Mark St Germain never expected to be a writer. He never considered it an option – no one he knew was a writer… In his mid-20’s he was helping to put on a woman’s poetry event and decided it needed something comedic to lighten the mood – no one would write it – so he did. When the audience laughed, he was so delighted that he decided then and there to be a writer. Listen to the way he pursued this goal which lead to the creation of many wonderful plays. Mark has had a long relationship with Florida Studio Theater in Sarasota, which has produced many of his plays. Most recently they commissioned a play called Relativity and produced its premiere performance. In it protagonists, Albert Einstein and the daughter he gave away when she was 2, debate the thorny question of whether a great man – one who contributes to the good of the community/world – need also be good. In this show Mark talks about his life and work and Jason Cannon, who directed and was part of the creative collaboration which culminated in Relativity, discusses the development and production of the play and Sharon Leslie reviews it.

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  • Audio Interview with Diana Colson

    6-2-2015 Audio Interview

    Diana Colson is a teacher, an award winning film maker, a composer, a lyricist, the creator of musicals and children’s opera and an author. Although she was an accomplished pianist Diana believed that “if you’re married to an artist somebody better get that anchor job that has insurance…,” so she became the song and dance lady – aka the music teacher. She used her musical skills and her passion for musical theater to write musicals for her students. And she took advantage of her summers, while traveling the world with Frank and their children, to honor her every creative impulse. Listen to this exuberant, fiercely creative woman talk about her ability to juggle her teaching career, the raising of her children and her insistent creativity.

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  • Interview with author Kevin Peraino

    4-8-14 – Audio Interview

    Writer Kevin Peraino is one of the lucky ones; when he was in kindergarten – he wrote a little essay and the school principal told him and his parents that little Kevin was a good writer. Kevin never looked back. From then on he knew that he would be a writer and that is what he is. Kevin has written for Newsweek magazine. He has reported from Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Israel, Sudan, Iraq, and other countries, and was a finalist for the Livingston Award for his foreign-affairs writing. He has also written for Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications, and has appeared on Morning Joe, PBS NewsHour, and elsewhere. His first book which has recently been published is Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power. Listen to this knowledgeable man talk about Lincoln, and the joy of being a writer.

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  • Interview with Ridley Pearson

    2-4-14 – Audio Interview

    Ridley Pearson is a storyteller; he tells his stories in the books he writes and the music he writes and plays. Luckily for him both of his grandfathers were storytellers who fascinated the very young Ridley and stimulated his lifelong interest in the magic of stories. For 11 years, thinking that he and his friend would be another Simon and Garfunkle, Ridley told his stories in the songs he wrote and played. When he realized that he “didn’t want to be moving all this equipment when he was 45,” Ridley decided to tell his stories in books. He wrote steadily for 8 ½ years (while playing music at night) before his first book was published. He recently published his 47th book and is hard at work on # 48. And he still plays music – until recently with the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock and roll group made up of published authors, which includes, Dave Barry, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Sam Barry, Scott Turow, Joel Selvin, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount, Jr., Barbara Kingsolver, Robert Fulghum, Matt Groening, Tad Bartimus, Greg Iles, and Aron Ralston. Listen to this clever, quick-witted, charming man talk about his passion, and hear a little of the Rock Bottom Remainders.

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  • Interview with Diane Ladd and Candice Russell

    Audio Interview

    Diane Ladd is an actress, film director, producer and author. She has appeared in over 120 roles on television, in miniseries and feature films; including Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974), Wild at Heart (1990), Rambling Rose (1991), Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), Touched by an Angel (1997) (TV), Primary Colors (1998), 28 Days (2000), and American Cowslip (2008). She is the mother of actress Laura Dern, by her ex-husband, actor Bruce Dern. Ladd has won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA and has been nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has recently published her 2nd book – a series of short stories called A Bad Afternoon for A Piece of Cake. Listen to this extraordinary woman talk about an extraordinary life in which she travelled the countryside with her veterinarian father; convinced her cousin playwright Tennessee Williams to let her do his play (Orpheus Descending), and then convinced the New York reviewers to come out and review it; and experienced the sensation of seeing a “white light” which convinced her that she would be an actress and a writer – which of course she had been.

    Author and journalist Candice Russell discovered Haitian Art seemingly by accident, but the minute she saw it, she was captured. And that capturing led her on a journey which would culminate 25 years later in the creation of her beautiful coffee table book – Masterpieces of Haitian Art. Early in life Candice fell in love with books, making the library her second home. She thought her life would be was dedicated to words and, not surprisingly, she worked as a journalist. In her early 30’s, seeing her friend Michele’s ability to create a beautiful environment and saddened by the thought that she had no “visual sense,” Candice prayed to develop an “artistic sensibility.” Remarkably her prayers were answered. Listen to Candice talk about the way she’s pursued what has become her passion – the advocacy of Haitian Art and Artists.


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  • Interview with Esta Cassaway

    10/23/12 – Interview

    Like Austin, Sheilah and Preston, Esta Cassway knew she was an artist by the time she was 3, and she has the sketches to prove it. But the fine arts – she is an accomplished, represented and purchased painter and print maker – were not enough to satisfy Esta, who is also a singer, a lyricist, a published author and most recently the memoirist of her deceased father. Listen to this extraordinary story of Esta’s attempt to learn about her charming, larger than life father whose history remains a mystery to this day but whose spirit continues to make itself known in the most dramatic ways. Hear Esta describe how she came to believe that her father wanted his story told and how he participated in its telling. Her book, aptly titled Ghost Daddy, was recently published by XLibris and is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book. Go to Esta’s website to learn more about this amazing journey; listen to Daddy’s voice and get a copy for yourself.

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