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Marlan Warren is a free-lance publicist who promotes entertainers and book authors (Roadmap Communications and Book Publicity by Marlan, respectively). She is also a film maker (Roadmap Productions), Reiki Master/Teacher (Light Hands Reiki Studio and Institute), Screenwriter, Novelist, PhotoJournalist, Tai Chi practitioner. 

L.A. NOW & THEN

You can check out but you can never leave...

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?

My life, your life, our lives inside and outside of Los Angeles and its angels.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Life After Hollywood: Artemis Craig's Firewalk Back To Salvation ("Inspirational Verse" Book Review)

Title: Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst
Subtitle: A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul
Author: Artemis Craig
Genre: Inspirational and Religious Poetry
(Sale Sheet Info Below)
Reviewer: Marlan Warren

I have respect for anyone’s spiritual journey. And I have a lot of respect for the poet Artemis Craig, whom I met at USC, while we were both in film school studying screenwriting. We only met once, in the changing room of the gym, but her feisty humor made a lasting impression.

“Before they’re done, this school’s gonna own the drawers on my butt!” she said. I don’t know about her, but that school does own the drawers on my butt. The one thing I do know that we share is post-film-school depression. A not uncommon affliction in L.A.

Now, a couple decades later, Craig has risen out of the ashes of Hollywood as an evangelical poet who has walked through fire, and lived to tell her story in the form of Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst: A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul.

With straightforward honesty and a gift for storytelling, Craig has arranged the poems in this anthology as an odyssey washed in the blood of heartaches, losses, and disappointments after returning home as the Prodigal Daughter. All the elements that make  “inspirational verse” inspirational are there (finding and praising the Grace of God), woven into searing moments from Craig’s life, told with her flair for dramatic prose and metaphor.

Her post-graduation first experience--pitching to execs at a major studio--soured her forever on staying on that track. Many film school alumni can relate (this one does). A sensitive soul, Craig stayed away from the written word until she began writing poetry in the 21st Century, finally gaining the spiritual strength to openly share it in 2013 with this book.

The poem that opens the book, “Speak Now,” reflects the pain felt by many a disillusioned film student:

Without words I became invisible which was fine by me,
Found a home for my anger and bitterness in my invisibility.
Disappointment and hatred festered inside all the while,
But none knew because through it all I wore a smile.

I felt personal resonance with her personal poems about loss. One deeply regrets missing the passing of her grandmother because Craig was busy pursuing her career on the other coast. I was at USC editing my film for class when news of my father’s sudden passing came.

One of the most moving poems is “Life Not Mine to Save,” remembering her futile attempts to save her father’s life when he died of heart failure:

One, one thousand, two, one thousand
Chest compressions like I’d been taught weren’t enough
Formed a seal over your mouth and into it blew a quick puff.
Stay with me! Stay with me! But you refused to wake

Afterward she fills such bitterness, that she questions God’s actions:

Though it’s hard to believe, your life was not mine to save.
Anger at God is all I can feel,
That along with the hope that somehow
This can’t possibly be real.

The poem plays out like a short film. With a “resolution” that is accepting and spiritual:

Away from me, Daddy, your body lies in the cold grave
It seems like only yesterday, try as I might,
Your life was never mine to save.
But mine to cherish in moments of panic and doubt,
To keep as memories when I feel trapped and can’t get out.

I had an elderly aunt who would tell the story of her life and end it with “I didn’t know they’d throw the book at me!” Here, Artemis Craig, has thrown a book out of her life for others to gain some solace as they grapple with their own journeys.

As Charles Bukowski once said: “What matters most is how well you walk through fire.”


About the Author
Artemis Craig was born in a rural town in Birmingham, Alabama to a steelworker father and educator mother. She graduated with a BFA in Cinema and Television from the University of Southern California. She is the mother of one son, Roderic, who is her inspiration. Her hobbies include writing poetry in the Gifts of a Wordsmith group at her local library, as well as, performing at the On Stage at the Carver Theater open mike showcase. Currently, Artemis is finishing her second poetry book, Southern Fried Comfort Food: Recipes to Encourage the Soul, as well as her first novel, a sci-fi murder mystery, A Little Taste of Death. She divides her time between Birmingham, Alabama and Newport News, Virginia.


SALE SHEET INFO

Title: Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst
Subtitle:  A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul
Author: Artemis Craig
Publisher: Artemis Craig Publishing (Nov. 6, 2013
Paperback: $15.00   Pages: 64
ISBN-13: 978-0989087605
ASIN: B00HLXV864
Genre: Inspirational and Religious Poetry

#ChristianPoetry
#FaithBasedPoet
#Recovery
#SpiritualOdyssey
#Evangelical
#Poetry 
#ArtistSurvival

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Is that a Confederate Flag Scarf or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: United Daughters of the Confederacy Tried to "Mend Fences" with Slavery History (2006 Picnic)


UDC Picnic at Pennytown: Photo by Marlan Warren

March 2006: Unpublished Feature for Newspaper in Marshall, Missouri by Marlan Warren
 
United Daugthers of the Confederacy visit first black settlement site in Missouri:
"Our mother told us if there was ever a fire, grab a box of records and run..."

   There isn’t much left of Pennytown anymore. But when Virginia Huston looks at its vacant landscape, she sees more than just meadows, a church and a house. She sees memories that must be preserved.

   Huston was the last person born in Pennytown, a black settlement located eight miles southeast of Marshall that was started by Joe Penny in 19871 when he managed to purchase eight acres for $160.

   “What is unique about Pennytown is that it was started by a freed-slave,” Huston said.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

MAKE YOUR OWN FUN -- Sneak Peek at Phil Wolff's and Monty Warren's Creative Process for #TwoBadasses

Happiness is...Creating! Phil Wolff decided to shoot his initial reactions to hearing how the 2 songs ["Wicked Man" and "Every Time"] that he sings lead vocals on are turning out (still unmixed, with some polishing to go) after Monty Warren passed them along, months after conception and initial laying of tracks. 

"Make your own fun."-- David Mamet

Album: TWO BADASSES
Due: TBA Date 2018
Phil Wolff (Spain) (We R Comin') 
Monty Warren (USA)(Monty Warren & The Friggin' Whatevers) 
Facebook: 
Monty Warren - Facebook.com/monty-warren 
Phil Wolff - Facebook.com/philwolfffanpage/
Monty WarrenWebsite: www.montywarren.com 

YouTube Channels:
Phil Wolff Monty Warren
Marlan Warren (Publicist)

Monday, April 2, 2018

L.A. Artist Violetta Antonia Sorcini Will Show At La Galeria Gitana (4/21-6/1) Before Italy Art Trip For New Book

Echo Park DipTic by Violetta Antonia Sorcini
Violetta Antonia Sorcini
Artist: Violetta Antonia Sorcini
Gallery Website: http://galeriagitana.com/
Artist Website: http://www.sorcini.com/

If you've never experienced Violetta Antnoia Sorcini's passionate artwork, you will have this exciting opportunity starting Saturday, April 21 at La Galeria Gitana in the San Fernando Valley. The show, which features local artists, closes Friday, June 1.

Sorcini is a veteran artist whose paintings, photography and collages often show at local galleries, including ChimMaya.

Born and raised in East L.A., the half-Latino artist is now preparing for what she anticipates will be a life-changing Art Odyssey to Central Italy to meet and live with the Italian side of her family for a month.

"The whole reason I'm going to Italy is to create an art book about my experiences with my relatives and the communities that I'll be visiting,"
Violetta explained during our interview in her charming studio. Although she and her Italian relatives have often been in touch, they have never met in person.

Mixed Media Collage by Violetta Antonia Sorcini

The central theme of Sorcini's non-abstract paintings, photographs and collages is "story."

Señor El Sereno by Violetta Antonia Sorcini

"My artwork is composed of allegories that make statements about how I see the world," said Sorcini. "I invite contemplation while staying positive."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

"BITS OF PARADISE: KOCHIYAMA'S CRUSADERS" VIDEO CLIPS OF STAGED READING

Yes, it was in July 2017, and no, I don't know why I didn't  post any video clips or the gorgeous photos I received in January 2018 from actor/playwright/producer Ariel Kayoko Labasan's father before now. But they should not be invisible to the public.

For more video clips and photos of the play and the documentary that grew out of it, please visit:
BITS OF PARADISE WEBSITE


SUMMARY:
Excerpt from staged reading of the One-Act Play "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders" by Marlan Warren with Ariel Kayoko Labasan at Rogue Machine Theatre (July 2017) featuring Labasan as human rights activist, Yuri Kochiyama, and Warren as a filmmaker who wants to document the little-recognized war effort of girls and women behind the barbed wire of the "Japanese American Internment" who called themselves "The Crusaders" as they embarked on a letter-writing campaign to boost the morale of the Japanese American soldiers who were fighting to prove patriotism while their families were held in U.S. concentration camps.

Warren adapted verbatim the letters and circulars sent out to "any soldier missing a letter" (the en masse correspondence was all written by Yuri) from The Crusaders scrapbooks in the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, and the Japanese American Museum of San Jose.

Videographer: Michael J. Labasan

These scenes from the play will be integrated into Warren's documentary film, "What did you do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama's Crusaders" -- currently in post production.

NOTE: This show was also performed as a benefit for Founders Metropolitan Community Church at the invitation of Rev. Kevin Downer and FMCC Board. (July 2017).

[This play was originally produced in 2008 at The Marsh in a Reader's Theater version, "Bits of Paradise" by Marlan Warren.] Director: Marlan Warren Producers: Marlan Warren and Ariel Kayoko Labasan Special Thanks to Rogue Machine Theatre (Hollywood, CA) and to Founders Metropolitan Community Church (Los Angeles).

Cast: Ariel Kayoko Labasan............Yuri Kochiyama and Mary Nakahara
Douglas N. Hachiya..............Bill Kochiyama & Various Soldiers of 442nd Infantry
Jacky Jung..............Various Crusaders
Zoe Jean Kim..........Various Crusaders
Scott Shima............Various Soldiers of 442nd Infantry
Mack Wei...............Various Soldiers of 442nd Infantry
Marlan Warren.......Filmmaker
Theater Sound: Amanda Bierbauer (Tech) and Roger Owens (Sound Design)
Website: http://bit.ly/2tSXRto
Facebook: @YuriKochiyamaPlay and @CrusadersFilm






"Better go and doublecross yourself / Turn tail and run / In sickness and in health / Something wicked this way comes..."

Monty Warren & The Friggin' Whatevers tune "Doublecrosses" was aired by Steve Kelly on his Kelly's Heroes show on Fylde Coast Radio (U.K.) on March 14, 2018. It was an honor to be included in the 2 hour / 48 song lineup! "Doublecrosses" was penned by Monty Warren and John Beemiller, for album #3: "Far Out Close Up." Monty Warren leads a motley group of "Whatevers" who hail from the South Florida / Raleigh, NC area -- all veteran musicians who just plain love rock 'n' roll. If you like us, won't you please get in touch or follow us? Here's some more info: Website: http://www.montywarren.com EPK: http://montywarrenmediakit.blogspot.com Facebook: @montywarrenandthefrigginwhatevers CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/montywarrent..
. iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/tt/artist/mo... Video by Marlan Warren.

WOMEN'S MARCH REVISITED: Because Flicker deleted my photos on this blog

Because I didn't get out to the Women's March 2018, I'm posting the music video I made of the "first" Women's March that happened after Trump's "election." Music is by Monty Warren & The Friggin' Whatevers. Anger and Humor and Desire for Positive Change is by the wonderful people--women, men and children--who gave their all for Democracy.

Remember: "Power never concedes without a Demand. It never has and it never will."


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

L.A. Photo Blog

Master Au, Chinatown L.A.
Neuvo Generacion Mariachi

Archangel Raphael (LACMA)

Fumito Nagasu, Sushi Guy (Ai)

Ai Japanese Restaurant

Thursday, November 16, 2017

THE POEM OF YES




The Poem of YES

Gave up
Air pressure like an anvil
Forcing me to stop
Lie on floor
Wondering if my heart would stop
Cat there
Flattened
Why go on?
If you can't stand the Heat...
Then what?
A show of hands, please.
Who fucking knows?
Just lying there
Pretending it was good for me.
Then it came to me
After how long I don't know
"THE YES IS WHAT MATTERS"
And I saw
My Week
had too many
No's.
No, you can't do that.
No, I should do that.
No, we don't want that.
No, because she hates us.
No, because we hate him.
No, because I'm afraid of you.
No, because I just
can't.


Then I remembered a text from my friend
sent from his favorite place on Earth:
"I am always happiest when I am here..."
And I felt what it feels like to feel free.
Even just for a moment.
Because you feel loved.
And you are giving love.
You are wanted. And you are glad to be wanted.


I thought, "I need to write this down."
THE YES IS WHAT MATTERS.


I got up.
Rumbling.
Outside rain.
Sun shining.
Thunder.
So so hot still.
But wet.


And the lady across the street
Watering her lawn.


But I made it back.
And I am not afraid anymore.

Marlan Warren, August 2017, Los Angeles, California


Monday, August 14, 2017

#WonderWoman Poem By Carolyn Howard-Johnson: "My Woman-of-Steel Brand"

My mother Trudy Warren 8 months pregnant right after Hurricane Donna, Ft. Myers, FL
Perhaps I am remiss in not posting current national events and my relation to them as they happen. A couple weeks ago, I posted this poem by the extraordinary California poet, Carolyn Howard-Johnson about her inner "Wonder Woman." Now with Hurricane Irma bearing down on my hometown of Ft. Myers, I can't help but recall this picture my father took of my mother hauling away the multitude of fallen branches from the banyan tree we shared with our neighbors' yard. Eight months pregnant with my brother Monty. Mom played the piano the whole time the hurricane raged around our 2-story clapboard house. The tin roof blew off our neighbors' home behind ours. And they came into our house for protection during the calm of the Eye.

A toast to all Wonder Women everywhere. May your praises always be sung for your beautiful warrior spirits and loving ways.

You Think You Know Me Well


By Carolyn Howard-Johnson


I am Wonder Woman. You may have known 

me so long you remember

my original star-studded skirt

a la 1942 or still sigh over that skirt metamorphosed
to a bias-cut bikini singing
a patriot’s song to the female derrière
That would have been the same time 
it became hard to tell if I was born
to empower little girls or to mesmerize 
boys--the big ones and the small.
If that’s what you think
when you hear my name,
you’ve clearly not internalized
the idea of cruel waxing demanded by today’s
experts on grooming. (You should know
I didn’t do that. Somehow I was never convinced. 
Tights were another matter. I wore
them proudly--my woman-of-steel
brand-- lasso-wielding woman,
woman who bounced bullets
from magic cuffs, woman who didn’t need
D-cup implants
spilling out of her lamé bustier. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Rogue Machine Theatre Hosts Staged Reading of Play by Marlan Warren with Ariel Kayoko Labasan

The work of the Crusaders, although obscure and unknown, was a means by which young people in confinement were able to prove that no physical boundaries could stop them from transcending beyond the 'barbed wires.' - Yuri Kochiyama (aka "Mary Nakahara")#YuriKochiyama
 
At the invitation of Rogue Machine Theatre in Hollywood, "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders" will be presented as a staged reading on July 19 (3pm and 8pm) and July 20 (8pm). The play, by Marlan Warren in collaboration with Ariel Kayoko Labasan focuses on a women's movement founded by renowned human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama when she was known as 20-year old "Mary Nakahara" and incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps during World War II with her fellow Japanese Americans. Calling themselves "The Crusaders," the girls and women mobilized a morale-boosting letter-writing campaign that ensured that "any soldier missing a letter" would receive mail.

"The performances will be more 'staged' than 'reading,'" explained Warren, who co-produces with Labasan, and directs the play. "Some actors may not be holding scripts, and there will be action sequences, props and costumes."

Warren originally directed and produced "Bits of Paradise" as a Reader's Theater piece at The Marsh Theatre in San Francisco in 2008.

"Bits of Paradise places its footprint on the timeline of a much-needed theatrical examination of the Asian American journey."--Asian Week

Recently, the play was reworked and re-titled "Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama's Crusaders," after Warren joined forces with actor/playwright Ariel Kayoko Labasan, whose solo show, "Yuri Speaks Out!" played to packed houses at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Labasan will reprise her role as Yuri Kochiyama, portraying the activist from ages 20 to 84.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

L.A. Playwright Marlan Warren's "Chasing Sangha" Featured at Athena Cats New Works Fest (4/8/17)




Los Angeles playwright Marlan Warren's play, "Chasing Sangha," has been selected for Athena Cats' New Works Festival of 10-Minute Plays, and will be performed as a staged reading Sat., April 8, at the City Garage in Santa Monica's Bergamot Station Arts Center. The event ties in with SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day.

"I'm thrilled Athena Cats invited me to be part of this afternoon of 10-minute plays," said Warren. "Athena Cats--with its focus on women playwrights and directors--is like a dream come true for me."

Athena Cats is the brainchild of playwrights/screenwriters Debbie Bolsky and Laurel Wetzork. This collective of Southern California area female playwrights and directors formed to bring unrepresented works written by women to the stage.

According to the Athena Cats website, the statistics for female playwrights are grim. Twenty-three percent of plays produced during the 2011-2014 season were written by women, according to a Female Playwrights Institute study.

"Our goal is to redress this imbalance," said Athena Cats co-founder Laurel Wetzork.

When Warren's one-act "Bits of Paradise" showcased at The Marsh in San Francisco, it received praise from "Asian Week":

"Based on letters written between Japanese American girls and women in the U.S. internment camps and Japanese American soldiers during World War II, Bits of Paradise places its footprint on the timeline of a much needed theatrical examination of the Asian American journey."

"Chasing Sangha" focuses on a Night in Hell in the California winter desert where two brand new women friends try to achieve mystical enlightenment according to a Shaman Certification course one of them is taking, but Murphy's Law comes along with them. "Sangha" refers to the Buddhist concept of finding strength and protection by bonding with like-minded people.

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