Getting close to the action

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Miami Vice cast

I was talking about “old” Miami Beach, which to me was the 1980s. This was before all the glitz and glamour and before they called it “South Beach.” It was just Miami Beach.

We used to watch them film Miami Vice often. And we really got up close. Years later I would watch them film Burn Notice around town, but we couldn’t get as close, but I managed at times, I would take pictures and write about them here, and here and here). And this is a funny story called, The Accidental Extras, how we were mistaken for extras while they were filming.

I remember one time in the ’80s we were watching Miami Vice film and there was a car chase on Ocean Drive and we were standing right there on the sidewalk watching. Cars were speeding and spinning mere feet from us and there we were, watching the action.

Once I left the beach, the actual beach with the sand where I was laying out, and I got in my car and as I drove down Collins Avenue, I was stopped and asked if I wanted to be in a movie. I said, ok and was told to drive when they said, “action.” I did, but I never made in the movie. You can see the scene they were filming on the opening credits of “The Making of Mr. Right,” the 1987 film with John Malkovich and Ann Magnuson.  It’s where Ann is driving down Collins as the film titles roll at the beginning. You can see a lot of the Miami Beach I hung around in at that time, raw and not made into the pink and purple and neon place it is now.

Back to Miami Vice. Once my friend Jack and I were watching them film at the Hare Krishna hotel. Were were right up close and personal again. As we watched, my friend said, “Isn’t that Karen Black?” She was a big actress at the time. I asked, “Where?” And he says, “You’re leaning on her chair!” And so I was. She was sitting in a director’s style chair and I was leaning on the back of it, while she was sitting watching the scene. You could literally get up that close in those days.

I always remember in that episode, “Victim’s of Circumstance,” how they screwed the Hare Krishnas out of their moment on film. In the last scene, Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas are walking from the hotel, down a walkway/alley type thing and behind a wall were the Krishnas. As the two men reached that spot, the Krishnas came out from behind the wall and did their thing with drums and tambourines, you know how they do. Well, that was the final scene in the episode and on tv, as the two guys walked, the credits rolled. As they reached the wall, the scene froze, it just froze and the credits rolled over that. So the Krishnas were never seen on the show.

Years later, the Krishnas moved from that hotel to a church in my neighborhood and I got to know them on a first name basis.

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I wanna be like Kylie Jenner

forbesKylie Jenner is my inspiration. I want to be just like her. I want to sell lip gloss. Well, not exactly, what I want to do is have 110 million Instagram followers or at least a bunch of them.

Forbes magazine just named 20-year-old Kylie the youngest self-made billionaire. She is worth $900 million and in a year she should reach the $1 billion mark, making herself the youngest billionaire ever.

She created Kylie Cosmetics and does most if not all of her marketing and advertising on Instagram to her millions of followers, costing her nothing. She leverages her social media following.

In the past I published my comics on Instagram and I had quite a nice following, I plan on doing that again. My audience is there. I would like to start publishing daily on Instagram, Facebook and on a website. Instagram especially is where the audience is.

I’ve always said that social media is so great for so many things. The comics come up in people’s feeds, they don’t have to seek them out and they are unobtrusive. There are a few cartoonists that post to too many groups on Facebook I’ve noticed. One guy posts to almost 40 comic related sites, the only trouble with that is if you post all at the same time, they seem to all come up at the same time, which annoys the readers more than enticing them. I’ve taken to hating the cartoonist and his work due to the fact that it overpowers my feeds! Not a good idea.

Do it the Kylie way. Post on your own pages and create a following through shares and likes, the best part of social media are the shares and tagging and things like there were fans are doing the advertising for you by word of mouth. All you have to do is post quality content. Constantly.

I would love if you followed me on one or more of my social media sites where I will start publishing Tomversation comic panels daily in the fall.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tomversation.toons/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tomversation
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tomversation

 

 

Hello Dolly!

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Saw “Hello Dolly” the other day, starring Bernadette Peters. She’s been taking over for Bette Midler, who will return later this month.

The show was incredible. So fun, so beautiful, the music is fantastic. When Dolly/Bernadette came out all in red at the top of the red staircase and started singing the “Hello Dolly” song with the waiters in the scene, I got goosebumps.

During the show I kept picturing Bette and Barbara Streisand, the original Dolly, in the role, going back and forth in my head from Bernadette to them and back again.

The play is so much fun. And so colorful, every scene is more colorful than the next. I don’t want to ruin anything, but some surprises happen during certain scenes and they just blow you away.

At a couple of points in the show, Bernadette had Victor Garber, who plays Horace Vandergelder, cracking up, out of character, like they used to do on the Carol Burnett Show. So great.

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Anthony Bourdain; a friend in my head

anthony-bourdain-no-reservationsAnthony Bourdain is friend in my head. You know how you see people on tv or movies and you just feel as if you know them? Every once in awhile someone famous dies and I feel as if they were/are a family member. I mean I guess I feel that same way when they were alive, but it hits hard when they pass on. Random people have had that effect on me over the years. It was shocking to hear his name announced on the tv this morning. I had my back to the Today Show, I was making breakfast when they announced a famous chef had passed. I held my breath as they said the name, hoping that I didn’t know the person they would announce, so it knocked the breath out of me when they said his name.

I loved Anthony’s attitude and story-telling technique. I was drawn in like so many millions when he took us on adventures of far away places and even places close to home. I’ve lived in Miami most of my life, but on his Miami episode I learned so much.

First No Reservations and then Parts Unknown. I would watch marathons of these shows, always drawn in from the beginning of each episode. The food and the locations were featured, but Anthony was the star.

New Tomversation comics store

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I have a new Amazon store called Tomversation – you can see it here.

I’m offering all sorts of comics-related things from books and dolls to t-shirts and jewelry.

Please check it out. You might like something for yourself or as a gift and it supports this blog.

Thanks!

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10 things you didn’t know about Trading Spaces’ Paige Davis

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

paige-davisTrading Spaces is coming back! Yup, the granddaddy of DIY shows! Paige Davis is back along with most of the designers you might remember from the popular show that ran from 2000 to 2008. Along with Paige, returning are Doug Wilson, Genevieve Gorder, Hildi Santo-Tomas, Vern Yip, Frank Bielic, and Laurie Smith. Carpenters Ty Pennington and Carter Oosterhouse are back too!

As you may remember, two sets of neighbors redo a room at each others houses over a weekend with the help of two designers for that week.

The new version premiers Saturday, April 7 at 8 pm on TLC.

I had the chance to ask Paige the 10 With Tom Questions. Here we go . . .

TOM: How did the idea for the reboot come about?
PAIGE: I’m not 100% certain, but I believe TLC felt it was good timing on the heels of the nostalgia wave that is sweeping television right now. There are currently so many reboots of old shows. It’s comforting and fun. Waiting for Trading Spaces to air is like saving the best for last.

TOM: Had you kept in touch with any of the cast/designers over these past 10 years that the show was off the air?
PAIGE: Definitely. And Facebook and social media has made it even easier than before to keep up with each other’s lives.

TOM: Where will the shows be taped? One city? Different areas of the country as in the past?
PAIGE: Our show has always been taped around the country. This reboot is no different. This season there are episodes in southern California, Atlanta, and Baltimore.

TOM: Are you stopped by fans when you travel? What is their number one question?
PAIGE: I am stopped by fans sometimes, yes. The number one thing I’m asked is, “Will you come to my house?” I always say, “Careful what you wish for.”

TOM: Are you a designer, have you designed or did you just fall into the hosting aspect of the show?
PAIGE: I am not a designer. Though I do have a love of decor and design. I am a dancer/singer/actress by trade. Trading Spaces was simply a job I auditioned for. A bit of fluke that I booked it.

TOM: If you had one super power, what would it be?
PAIGE: To never be hungry or to be able to curb cravings with the wiggle of my nose.

TOM: What was the last tv show you watched?
PAIGE: Speechless.

TOM: What’s the last thing you took a picture of?
PAIGE: The Playbill cover of Carousel on Broadway. My dear friend is in the ensemble. We went to see her last night.

TOM: When you guys trade spaces, what is your favorite room in the house for a do-over?
PAIGE: I can’t speak for the designers, but I love when we do family rooms because they have the most jeopardy if the homeowners are disappointed. Lots at stake when it’s a room you spend a great deal of time in.

TOM: Starry Night, Mona Lisa or Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso?
PAIGE: Picasso, all the way.

TOM: Thanks Paige! We’ll be looking for you on April 7!

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