Testimonials

Phyllis Diller: "Susan Horowitz has analyzed female comedy and dissected it to the bone!"

Joy Behar: "A must for anyone who wants to crack the mystery of estrogen-induced yuks!"

American Express: “You listen to our concerns. Your methods to handle stressful situations work!”

Stark State College, John David, Faculty President: “Your outstanding keynote speech: ‘Celebrate Learning Diversity’ was highly motivational, educationally sound, and entertaining”

Mount Sinai Hospital: “Entertaining and uplifting!”

Atlantic Cape Community College, Avon L. Chapman, Director,: “You are an energetic, charismatic speaker who demonstrates a high level of preparedness resourcefulness and mastery of the topic.”

Author-Gender & Humor, Dr. Regina Barreca: "a wonderful combination of somebody who puts women's comedy in context, and is a funny, effervescent performer!"

Books

New York City

New York New Works Theatre Festival – Blog & Video by Dr. Sue Horowitz

NYNW Director Gene Frisch & Dr. Sue

NYNW Director
Gene Frisch & Dr. Sue

What’s so special about New York New Works Theatre Festival?

First: there’s the fun, party-like atmosphere in the theatre lobby/bar.  You can single/mingle, find friends, or even meet real industry heavy weights, like Tony-Award winning Broadway producers, directors, writers, designers, etc.  (Here’s a tip – if the show starts at 7pm, show up at 6:30 and check out the crowd. Order a drink, which you can bring into the theatre – you’ll support the venue – which keeps your ticket price low.)

Second: there’s diversity. Each night offers a buffet of entertainment possibilities – five/six twenty minute excerpts from different shows. Festival selections include hilarious comedy, political cabaret (with parody songs), heart-wrenching drama, musical theatre (including a Broadway revival), sexy dance theatre, a puppet show for kids, etc. If you don’t like one show – stick around for the next. (Here’s a tip – there’s a short intermission between each show, so stand and stretch or chat with your neighbor – you may learn something or make a connection – and your legs will thank you. Wait? Do legs talk – well, maybe – in experimental theatre.)

Third: there’s the location and time – Times Square Arts Center -300 West 43rd Street/8th Ave. (2nd Floor) NYC – one block from Port Authority; 7pm – How easy is that? (If you absolutely have to leave early – you can do it during a short intermission.)

Fourth: there’s the price – only $20/ticket for a full evening of theatre. If you’re an audience member you can have fun and support your friends,  make new ones, and make your opinion count – (you can vote for your two favorite shows to make it to the finals and win prizes).

Fifth: if you’re a theatre artist, you get to showcase your show to industry pros and get feedback – for a reasonable cost.  Why? Because New York New Works Theatre Festival picks up most of your production cost and invites a panel of experts to give feedback and select (along with audience votes) the shows that make it to the finals.

“We wanted to make a difference.” says  Gene Fisch, Jr., founder and Festival Director. (The “We” includes Abby Judd, Festival Manager, and Melissa Gordon, Marketing, of Bear In Mind Creative.) “I noticed that many theatre festivals put a real financial strain on emerging artists – with little to show for it.  I thought – we can do better. New York New Works Theatre Festival aims to  include emerging artists in the Broadway community and offer guidance and real opportunities. – and several of our shows are on their way!”

Video by Saat-Sue Multi-Media

So – why is New York New Works Theatre Festival special? Because it offers audiences and artists entertainment and opportunities – for fun, creativity, and professional success!

The New York New Works Theatre Festival runs August/September – Semi-Finals September19-22, 26  with the finals gala on October 5 2016.  Tickets are available online at www.nynwtheatrefestival.com . Find The New York New Works Theatre Festival on Facebook @nynwtheatrefestival, Twitter: @nynwtheatrefest  |  #nynwtheatrefest and online at www.nynwtheatrefestival.com

 

 

Dr. Sue Horowitz

Dr. Sue Horowitz

“My Mission is Empowering Art, Education & Positive Living!”

– Susan (“Dr. Sue”) Horowitz, Ph.D. 

SssWitch!” – an Anti-Bullying, Empowering  Musical! www.ssswitch.net

CD: “For Heroes and Lovers”: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/drsue2

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (interviews with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, etc.) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367

Published Plays: “Judy Maccabee”: a Comedy with a Girl Hero!

“Poe-tic Justice” A Naughty Thriller!

Susan Horowitz: Facebook (Susan.Horowitz1) , Linked In, Twitter @drsue6

Entertainment/Video: “A Jewish Girl Named Tex”

A Jewish Girl Named Tex - Photo by Russ Weatherford

A Jewish Girl Named Tex – Photo by Russ Weatherford

A song publisher once advised me to write story songs. He said that some of our favorite songs tell stories.  Audiences enjoy them,  and they’re hard to get!

I love stories, comedy, and writing challenges! I also  believe that if you can do something a bit unusual, you have a real advantage, so I was excited about taking a class in comedy songwriting at my favorite songwriting/performance camps (www.Summersongs.com ),  and Posi Music Festival at Empowerma.com in Orlando, Florida).

I wound up writing and performing my song “A Jewish Girl Named Tex” in many venues, including Summersongs concerts and New York City cabarets.    Please enjoy the video, and read on for a few thoughts about writing story songs and comedy.

Video: “A Jewish Girl Named Tex”

)

Sue Tex (2)1. What makes a great story?  One of the most important elements is a central character with a strong “want”.  Also, when a sympathetic character is unfairly mistreated and/or headed for trouble, we worry and want to know what comes next.   In “A  Jewish Girl Named Tex” the main character is abandoned by her parents, confused about her identity, and looking for love.  Sympathetic? You bet!)  The other important character – the impulsive mother – gets used and dumped by a no-goodnik, but she’s still “hopin’ for romance.”   What happens? The song takes you on a journey that answers these questions.

2. What makes something funny? Question #1 doesn’t sound funny – but it is, because comedy is rooted in pain – as long as it’s framed as comedy pain and uses comic writing/performing techniques. How do you do that?

To answer that question (plus questions about comic combos like Brooklyn girls and cowboys, song structure, rhyme, punch lines, audience participation, etc) , we need more than a short blog.   I invite all writers/performers (amateur and expert) to contact me for workshops in New York City, Online via Email, and at Summersongs.com and Posi Music Festival.

RickBassSueI also invite you to hear me sing  romantic songs & parodies in New York City and songwriting camps like Summersongs!  

Creative Living:

Do What You Love – and Be Part of a Community: I love writing and performing songs.  What do you love? Can you find a way to connect (via camps, conferences, meet-up groups, clubs, professional associations, etc.) that supports who you are. Chances are you’ll find more than feedback on your skills – you’ll find friends and community.

(Editor/Photographer: Jay Berman, Videography: Jim Vern)

Sue MimosaBlog by Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz,Ph.D.  www.drsue.com 

CD “Keys of Love”  www.cdbaby.com/drsue

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (interviews with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, etc.) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367

 

Travel: New York Times Travel Show

Win a Cruise @NY Times Travel Show

Win a Cruise @NY Times Travel Show

The annual New York Times Travel Show has something for everyone:  from fantasy vacations to a fun afternoon!

You can vacation globally (Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, Antarctica)!

You stay-cation in NYC with a Broadway Show, Dining Certificate &  Parking Voucher with ManhattanClub.com

You can spin a wheel and win a deal (a cruise for two) at GetReadyToCruise.com

 

NYTimesTravel1You can book a cruise or cruise with books with RoadScholar.org , EnrichmentVoyages.org , or SemesteratSea.org (learning & adventure for savvy seniors or college students).

You can time-travel through New York State via ILoveNY.com/PathThroughHistory,.

You can climb-travel in the Himalayas or a fiberglass wall at the Javits Center. (The wall is a good place to drop off the kids – but fasten that safety harness – unless you really want to drop them off!)

 

You can climb into a bikini  at a resort pool… or climb into a martini at a midtown Manhattan bistro…

RickSue1BrightSue “Dr. Sue” Horowitz (Vocalist)  & Rick Bogart (Clarinet)

Perform Jazz Standards, Romantic  Songs & Clever Parodies

Broadway Thai Restaurant  241 West 51st Street (btwn Broadway-8th Ave) NYC

Saturday/Sunday Nights  (212) 226-4565, No Cover.

Thai &  American Food & Drinks are delicious (and reasonable)

Creative Living:

Live Your Vacation Dream  – You can’t take it with you – but you can take a plane, train, bus, boat or taxi  to wherever you imagine! So as the song goes, “Pack up all your cares and woes…” and go for it!

 

(Editor/Photographer: Jay Berman)

Sue MimosaBlog by Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz,Ph.D.  www.drsue.com 

CD “Keys of Love”  www.cdbaby.com/drsue

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (interviews with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, etc.) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367

 

Travel/Entertainment: New Orleans & NYC

NO Red Fish GrillLike a rich gumbo (New Orleans ) or Manhattan clam chowder (New York), big cities can be spiced for every palate:  from fantasy wild to family mild.

There’s no way to summarize their delights in one blog, but here’s a taster’s menu.

Red Fish Grill: “Friends don’t let friends eat frozen fish” is the motto of this Bourbon Street restaurant, which serves only fresh-caught fish in an ambiance of  artworks by local artist Luis Colmenares.

Here I am displaying my catch: a metal sculpture of a fish by Colmenares.

(By the way the meal was much tastier – and easier to cut!)

 

NO MasksWear and Buy a Mask – or admire one in a Mardi Gras parade, shop, or museum.

 The carnival season lasts from January 6 (or “Twelfth Night”) through Mardi Gras (translated from the French as “Fat Tuesday.”

Mardi is traditionally the last day of feasting before Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent).

A variety of  krewes (clubs) create and ride on themed floats, fling  “throws” (beads and trinkets) at the crowds lining the parade route, wear costumes, and/or sponsor balls all season long.

 

NO HarlequinEven out of season, you can catch the flavor at Mardi Gras World!

It’s a unique museum/warehouse/studio – with a fabulous book/gift shop!

Artists design the sculpted decorations for the next  festival season.

They also provide decorations  for casinos and theme parks all over the world!

 

NO Jazz ParkExplore the French Quarter .  You’ll find everything from street musicians to strip joints.  Some of Bourbon Street is on the seamy side, but other parts of the Le Vieux Quartier  (The Old Quarter) offer courtyards with splashing fountains and hundred-year-old houses that suggest New Orleans green, purple and gold theme colors in muted, vintage hues.

You can pump up the volume at jazz clubs (the spirit of Louis Armstrong and other jazz greats lives on!) grab a chicory coffee and a beignet (doughnut) at Cafe Beignet; ride a river boat right out of Kern/Hammerstein’s musical “Showboat”); board a trolley (think “A Streetcar Named Desire” – Tennessee Williams’  classic play set in New Orleans); or catch an outdoor tumbling act with multi-ethnic audience participation and equal opportunity ribbing.

What to Eat: New Orleans is famous for its cuisine. Here are a few favorites:

Marriott Marquis Downtownn – this unexpected gem is tucked away near the Convention Center in Warehouse District, an up-and-coming neighborhood of art galleries and museums.  Marriott jazzes up its menu with local cuisine (gumbo, jambalaya), and the health-conscious traveler can keep it light with fish and salads. My favorites were the bouillabaisse (fish stew) and wintergreen salad with blackberries.  One rainy afternoon, the lobby featured an “action station” where chefs put their twist on hot buttered shrimp over grits with a cocktail called a “blonde hurricane”!

New Orleans in New York City!

RickCamera2Sue “Dr. Sue” Horowitz (Vocalist)  & Rick Bogart (Clarinet/Musical Director) 

Perform Jazz Standards, Romantic  Songs & Funny Parodies

Broadway Thai Restaurant  241 West 51st Street (btwn Broadway-8th Ave) NYC

Saturday/Sunday Nights  (212) 226-4565, No Cover.

Rick is from New Orleans, so enjoy a taste of Dixie in NYC!

A Bientot (See you soon)!

Creative Living:

Visit New Orleans – or live a your own version of its life style by eating fabulous food and celebrating your culture and heritage!

Festivate! – it’s a fantasy word – but just like wearing a mask, sometimes it’s fun to play with fantasy.  (You can always remove the mask, ditch the glitter, and return – refreshed – to the daily grind – especially if it’s New Orleans chicory coffee!)

(Photos by Jay Berman)

Sue MimosaBlog by Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz,Ph.D.  www.drsue.com 

CD “Keys of Love”  www.cdbaby.com/drsue

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (interviews with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, etc.) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367

 

Dr. Sue Performing Host JCT Variety Show

Dr. Sue: Performing Host/Interviewer

 JCT Awards  Dr. Sue Horowitz "Entertainer of the Year 2013"

JCT Awards
Dr. Sue Horowitz
“Entertainer of the Year 2013”

JCT Multi-Media Awards Dr. Sue “Entertainer of the Year 2013”

Where to go to catch a show?  Beat the heat, drink and eat?  

Air-conditioning  on full blast – so chill out – enjoy the cast: 

Funny Comics who can talk, Models struttin’ the catwalk  

Dancers with and without  shoes – Singers and fun Interviews  

Tangos, Tappers, Actors, Rappers, Broadway ballads, Caesar salads 

Entertainment – a full menu – dinner – drinks – you’ll love our venue!

The JCT Variety Show (August 2013) was tons of fun!  The talent was definitely varied and entertaining:  “The Amazing Amy” Yoga-Contortionist-Dancer (who demonstrated flexibility at any age) ; Fabielle – a handsome model (who showed me how to catwalk); a teen dancer(who tapped her way through a Beatles song ); an actress (with a monologue about a hamburger flipper); a model/singer (who warbled “Sistah” from The Color Purple)  to Miss Asia – an R&B  singer. I hosted the show and sang my original songs “Dare to Believe” “Celebrate Your Life” and “Yo Te Amo (I Love You)” .

After the performances, I did  a group interview of show biz kids with their parents (including Producer Poppa T.)  All agreed that  being in show business is intense, demanding work that takes patience and persistance – plus (from the parents) a willingness to chauffeur their talented offspring to auditions, invest finances and time (and handle the jealousy of siblings who may be too young for the biz – or just not interested).  A bad stage parent pushes the child past his/her own needs and interests to satisfy what is really an adult agenda.  A good stage parent and mentor knows when to step back – to avoid making a performer feel pressured – and when to step forward to encourage, teach, and protect – and to know the difference between the child’s interests – and the parent’s own needs.

All this is a mental health ideal – and it’s not so easy to draw the line – especially when a child is gifted.  What we call “genius” is a combination of unusual talent, hard work, and determination. Where would young Wolfgang Mozart have been without pushy poppa Leopold?  What about young Michael Jackson and driver dad Joe Jackson? More peaceful? Perhaps.  Less productive? Probably.

Whatever your talent or taste, there’s something for everyone at JCT”s variety show.  The audience gets free entertainment, delicious food and drink. If you’re an aspiring star, this is your chance to be seen! “Success Awaits Us!”

Creative Living

  • Live your dream – and your talent – you don’t know if you’re hot till you give it a shot!
  • If you’re pushing your child or significant other(s) to achieve – make sure it’s their dream – not yours.
  • Enjoy good entertainment good food -and do what you love!

(Editor/Photographer Jay Berman)

Sue MimosaBlog by Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz,Ph.D.  www.drsue.com 

CD “Keys of Love”  www.cdbaby.com/drsue

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (interviews with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, etc.) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367

Entertainment: Cabaret Convention 2012

Cabaret Convention 2012

Cabaret Convention 2012

The New York City 2012 Cabaret Convention, a celebration of song standards and divine divas rocks the rafters of the Rose Room at Lincoln Center October 17, 18, and 19 from 6-9pm. This annual showcase of Broadway and bistro talent makes audiences sing, “You’re the tops!”  – a fitting tribute to Cole Porter and other creators of the Great Popular Songbook.

This year’s fest fetes the late Donald F. Smith (“The King of Cabaret”) former Executive Director of the Mabel Mercer Foundation.  Stepping in Smith’s shoes (transformed into high-heeled pumps) is the ever-elegant KT Sullivan, newly appointed Artistic Director and Singing Host of the Gala Opening Night (Wednesday, October 18), who presents the Julie Wilson Award to newcomer Shana Farr and Noel Coward Award to Jeff Harnar, with performances by Emily Bergl, Barbara Carroll, Tony DeSare, Ms. Farr, Lauren Fox, Gregory Generet,Edward Hibbert, Valerie Lemon, Amanda McBroom, Mark Nadler, Catherine Russell,Ms. Sullivan, and Amra-Faye Wright (starring as Velma Kelly in Chicago The Musical on Broadway).

On Thursday, October 18th: Salute to Cole Porter (Smith’s favorite composer/lyricist) will be hosted by Andrea Marcovicci and Jeff Harnar, with performances by the Co-hosts, plus Karen Akers, Anna Bergman, Ann Hampton Callaway, Clint Holmes, Marilyn Maye, Maude Maggart, Colleen McHugh, Todd Murray, T. Oliver Reid, Steve Ross, Jennifer Sheehan, Daryl Sherman, and Billy Stritch.

On Friday, October 19th: Thanks for the Memory is hosted by Klea Blackhurst (who will be awarded the Donald F. Smith Award) and includes the presentation of the annual Mabel Mercer Award to Christine Andreas, with performances by the honorees, and Carole J. Bufford, Jim Caruso, Natalie Douglas, Nicolas King, Karen Mason, Beckie Menzie & Tom Michael, Sidney Myer, Lee Roy Reams, and Craig Rubano.

For more info and ticket orders, go to Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre box office (Broadway at 60th Street) online at www.jalc.org or call The Mabel Mercer Foundation at (212) 980-3026.    Come to the Cabaret!

(Editor: Jay Berman)

Sue MimosaBlog by Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz,Ph.D.  www.drsue.com 

CD “Keys of Love”  www.cdbaby.com/drsue

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (interviews with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, etc.) http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/219367

 

Queen of the Mist Rules Off-Broadway!

 

Queen of the Mist - photo by Hannah Oren

Queen of the Mist – photo by Hannah Oren

Queen of the Mist rules Off-Broadway with an original, brilliant musical about the first woman to shoot Niagara Falls in a barrel.  In 1901 Anna Edson Taylor (Mary Testa), a 63 year old con-woman with poker-straight posture and a temper to match, has been run out of several towns and the home of her married sister Jane (Theresa McCarthy).  Out of cash and stalking fame and fortune, she pounces on her last possibility for greatness -a feat that will establish her as proto-feminist, self-described “phenomenon!”  To bring in “the green” through bookings on the lecture circuit, she hooks up with a hard-drinking manager, Frank Russell (Andrew Samonsky), and they unexpectedly fall into something like love – which turns out to be harder to navigate than the Falls.  Mono-focused on her own feat, Taylor inadvertently encourages a presidential assassin (Tally Sessions), insults hatchet-wielding Carrie Nation (Julia Murney), hires and fires new managers (DC Anderson), and sells her last promotional postcard to a boyish soldier (Stanley Bahorek) who is headed to the front lines of WWI. Words and music are by 5-time Tony nominee Michael John LaChiusa, who blends operatic intensity, humor, and melodic inventiveness; Direction is by Jack Cummings III, who makes imaginative use of the dramatic/comedic potential of the piece and space (an open floor framed by gauzy curtains that suggest both the mists of Niagara and early 20th century parlors – Scene design by Sandra Goldmark). Queen of the Mist is playing at The Gym at Judson Church 243 Thompson Street at Washington Square South, NYC through November 20. www.transportgroup.org

Happiness/Success Habits:

Single-minded focus, passion, planning, persistence, talent (like Anna’s scientific mind), and contempt for conventions – like ageist, sexist stereotypes – may make us a “phenomenon” and help us reach our goals. Arrogance, ambition, and the certainty that we are right can push us beyond the crowd and sometimes change the world.  But without compassion and compromise, we, like Anna, may wind up blind to the flawed people who love us  – a lonely queen of the mist of memory.

Blog by Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz, Ph.D. www.drsue.com

CD “Keys of Love”  www.cdbaby.com/drsue

Book: “Queens of Comedy” (essays and interviews with legendary comediennes – Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller.)

 

Danny Aiello & Dr. Sue

Danny Aiello & Dr. Sue

Danny Aiello & Dr. Sue

Where to go for swingin’ singin’ holiday? Try Danny Aiello’s new album My Christmas Song for You,which he debuted at our last meeting of the New York Sheet Music Society (NYSMS).  Linda Amiel Burns, President of NYSMS and Director of  The Singing Experience, interviewed Mr. Aiello.

But who can resist calling him “Danny”?  He’s a down-to-earth guy from the old Italian neighborhood – a real paisan (Italian for friend, homie, amigo, landsman etc.)  He’s also an Academy Award nominated actor and singer with performances in over 80 hit films.

Not that anyone expected Danny to have stars in his eyes – or if he did, it was because he was an amateur boxer.  “I had a good left hook” Danny grins, “And. like most Italians,  I was a physical guy – so I got a job as a bouncer.”   Danny secretly wanted to be a singer “but in my neighborhood, that meant you were a sissy – not that there’s anything wrong with that.”   He did get an audition for the Arthur Godfrey Show, but he panicked and excused himself to go to the bathroom. “I never came back.”

By the time he was in his 30’s he was married to Sandy “a gorgeous Jewish girl”  and had three kids. Times were rough, and Danny used to lie awake at night imagining becoming homeless. He even slid into temptation and robbed a few safes that were stored in warehouses. “I’m ashamed to admit it, and robbery is always wrong.  Besides, the most I ever got was $27… and I  could have gone to jail!”

Fortunately, petty crime did not pay, and Danny did get a paying job at the old Greyhound station announcing the bus route – with flair.  Producer Dore Schary heard him and offered him a job on a touring show. “But it was forty bucks a week and on the road. I had a family to support – so I passed.”

Danny finally did get his break on stage in That Championship Season.  “I didn’t really know how to act, so I just put out a lot of energy – and the critics loved it!”  Other offers followed  on stage and screen, and Danny found himself hanging out with movie stars like Vincent Gardenia. When Danny told Gardenia that he wasn’t sure how to say his lines, Gardenia (familiar with unemployment statistics among actors), counseled:  “Don’t worry about it – you’ll never work again.”

Danny gained renown as the pizzeria owner  who stays in a tough, black neighborhood in Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing. “When Spike sent me the script, I turned the part down. He had me twirling pizza. I asked him, “How would you like it if I had you twirling watermelons?  But Spike sweethearted me – he took me to Knicks games – and I finally agreed.  I hated my line  ‘these people grew up on my food’ but Spike insisted that we keep it – and that was the line the critics raved about!”

Danny also scored as Nicholas Cage’s weak-willed brother who is derailed from his engagement to Cher in Moonstruck. Nick gets the girl, and Danny goes back to his hypochrodriac mother.  “I played such a wimp.  After that, women would come up to me and offer me cokes – but that was all they offered me.  I mean, I wouldn’t have done anything about it because my wife would kill me, but still…”

Danny must have been quite the actor, because in person – and especially when he sings – the wimp is nowhere in evidence. The New York Times says Danny “has the bounce of his idols Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra and Louis Prima, and the throaty lyricism of another idol, Tony Bennett.”  Aiello puts a mellow, macho snap  into  “Santa’ Claus is Comin’ to Town” – but the warmth is all Danny.   It’s that warmth that wins over the crowd from big arenas, to intimate bistros, to TV shows like Good Day New York, to to my heart when he complimented me on my red hat and pulled me in for the photo which I snapped from my own cell phone. Made me feel as cheery as Ms. Santa Claus!  

Happiness Habits

  • It’s never too late to do live your dream:  Danny Aiello started acting when he was 35 – with no training. And now, at 70 plus, he’s making movies and performing and recording songs.
  • Build bridges to other generations and cultures: Danny is back in the studio working on his fourth album entitled Bridges, a collaboration of standards with hip hop, due for release in 2011. As the singing host for the JCT Variety Show and singing professor at a community college, I also interact with the “hip hop generation.”  I love the standards, but it’s good to keep your tastes, personality, and opinions open to fresh influences.
  • Be honest, admit your mistakes, and move on:  Being emotionally honest is crucial for actors – and for anyone in a close relationship. We may admire (if we believe) people who say they’ve always done the right thing, but we like and feel more comfortable with people who, like ourselves, have a few flaws.  My blog is called “How to Be Happy If”  Sometimes those “if’s” are on the inside.
  • Blog by Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz,Ph.D.  www.drsue.com,CD “Keys of Love”  www.cdbaby.com/drsue
  • Book: “Queens of Comedy” (essays and interviews with legendary comediennes – Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller.)

JCT Variety Show: Success Awaits Us!

JCT Variety Show Group Photo 9-24-2010

JCT Variety Show Group Photo 9-24-2010

What a thrill! This weekend, I was the singing host (that’s me in the pink top) for the JCT Variety host (now co-sponsored by BMCC club: “Success Awaits Us”)  at the Lafayette Grill, NYC.  As Amy Harlib, our yoga contortionist says,  “I love the mix of talent of all kinds and all ages!”  I do too!   My own style and songs are Broadwayesque pop – with a li’l bit of country.   But our variety show casts a much wider spotlight – and it’s fun to see all the different styles.

This show, we featured a beautiful dancer Valerie Kale (who looked like she shimmied out of Disney’s movie “Aladdin.”),  singers (Edwin Arzu, Juadon Rafik/Rocky Ousmane, Shadiya Thompson, Greg), guitarists (Johnny Mantra, Zhen), a comic (Scott Rios), an actress (Jazmin Luperena), rap artists (L.B., One Son),  and  Zurab (in the red shirt) who displayed the movie poster for his film).  Bridget Graham (who sculpts chocolate flowers for her Sweetable Eatables confections) contributed an interview and a yummy blend of chocolate and bling to our raffle (supervised by TV host Leyna). Danni (Kourtney Brown) and Poppa T. (producer) handled the videos.  Whew!  Pause for memory recharge…okay I’m back!

Actually, I believe that memory (and all mental functions) benefit from the stimulation of new challenges.  Certainly, as an English professor (and, shall-we-say “mature”? woman), most people wouldn’t expect me to belt out songs and co-produce a variety show, where some of the performers are  half my age and culturally very diverse. But why not?  It’s exciting, fun (that rush of applause from my students felt fantastic!) – and mutually educational.  We all get a chance to step out of  our usual roles and see each other as whole people – vulnerable, talented, sexy, smart, stupid, making mistakes, and fixing them.

But even though our roles stetch, they don’t entirely vanish.  Zhen, our young guitarist, likes to say “yes ma-am” me.  I think it’s culturally more natural for her – and I kind of liked it, too.  My performing name “Dr. Sue” works on stage – and for my students.  “Dr. Sue”  feels like a comfortable compromise between the respect of “Dr.”  (as in “Dr. Horowitz”) and the easy-to-pronounce, friendliness of “Sue.”   My producer, who calls himself “Poppa T.”  really is a kind of father figure to the whole production – and his name says it all.

Beyond that, we get a chance to experience different cultures – and to feel adventurous, yet safe.    After our show, I stayed for a  late night supper at Lafayette Grill with my former student Diana Taylor.  I also got up and danced with a hot middle-Eastern/Greek dance band and crowd.   An older gentlemen threw dollar bills on the floor.  I figured they were for my dancing, so I picked them up and tucked them into my waistband and top (feeling a little naughty).   Then we got our check and left.  Right outside the door, another gentlemen told me the money was for the musicians, so I went back inside and threw the bills back on the floor near the band.  it was a little embarrassing, but I figured the simplest way to handle the situation was to admit an honest mistake and move on.  Wouldn’t it be great if some of our bigger problems in politics and the mid-east could be handled that easily?

As Diana and I walked toward the subway, we both commented on how everyone danced together – young and old – and how everyone enjoyed the sensuality of traditional dancing and the community bonding.  I also thought the presence of elders provides young people with protection.  In American pop culture, many adolescents and 20 year olds go into a hard-drinking/clubbing culture of peers and strangers with no adult supervision.   Anything can happen – and sometimes does.

I hope our variety show provides excitement, fun, a way to explore diverse cultures – and safety.  I hope we can all grow as a powerful community by thinking outside our “jobs” – special thanks to Jazmin,  her lovely parents, and Juadon who helped with sign-in sheets; Johnny Mantra who played guitar beautifully for my cruise songs “Oceans of Fun”and “Fortunata”  and for Amy’s yoga dance; Danni and Zurab, who handled video and sound tech, Leyna who handled the raffle, and to our wonderful, supportive audience! There are many ways to be a star off- and on-stage.  I hope we can nurture and develop talent and provide a fun, social experience for our guests so people will stretch, take risks, have fun, and know there is a safety net of support – so we all can grow together.

Happiness Habits

  • Step out of your culture/age/stereotype box – some limits are real, but many are self-imposed. I’m not about to do a balletic grand jete (a  thrilling leap that gives the illusion of floating in air),  but I can enjoy the thrill of ballroom and belly dancing.
  • Celebrate your life and your own tastes and preferences. I might enjoy a cross-cultural foray into the hiphop hood – but my heart will always be a “golden oldie” -especially since, by a miracle of nature – my hair turned blond 🙂
  • Review by Dr. Susan Horowitz www.drsue.com,  CD “Keys of Love”  www.cdbaby.com/drsue  Book: “Queens of Comedy” (essays and interviews with legendary comediennes – Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller.)