The human spirit can conquer most — if not all — boundaries. But it is the artist that can conquer these boundaries and make it look pretty.

Take two ambitious and talented performers — Haley Ostir and Paris Martino. Both having played leads and featured roles in musicals, both competent actors, both superior dancers. But here we examine their innovation during one of the worlds most trying times.

We have seen how stage plays take on a life even without the stage thanks to virtual platforms like zoom. We’ve seen how indie filmmakers have turned social distancing into an avante…


It’s sadly too familiar to hear that women — while making up about half of the arts industry and 60–70% of its audiences — are not given the same spotlight as their male counterparts. It gets worse.

These facts are basically for the commercial arena of the arts. Exact figures for independent stage and screen are rare, yet they are sadly the same. Happily, there’s people doing something about it … women.

The great art-incubator that is the independent film and the off-off Broadway stage show the same sort of statistics. Many more women are taking power positions in non-profit…


Coronado’s version of Hamlet had identical twins (one naked) play the Dane and Laertes while Helen Mirren famously doubled as Ophelia and Gertrude with Quentin Crisp as Polonius; Claudius was into BDSM and the players scene was inches from porn. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is done all over the world at all sorts of venues. Children welcome. Actual animal guts were used in 1897 at the famed Paris theatre of horror, Theatre Du Grand Guignol (which gave birth — in a peripheral way — to Hammer Films — which was once rated X and today is considered classic). Animal…


Ron Klain. Antony Blinken. Lloyd Austin. Gina Raimondo. Pete Buttigieg.

Five of Joe Biden’s most trusted advisors. A group of brilliant minds, tasked with the challenge of saving the union from the dual threat of a public health crisis and economic disaster, restoring norms and decency along the way. It’s being hailed as the most diverse administration ever assembled. But who are these people? What are their credentials? Most importantly, why did Biden pick them?

To answer this, we can examine two shared characteristics. First, they are successful products of the meritocracy, who use their intellect to become venture capitalists…


Saving the theater means returning to those thrilling days of yesteryear.

The Fresh Fruit Festival, one of New York’s premier LGBTQ arts organizations, would not allow the pandemic to close its doors. Last year, they turned their new plays festival into a new film festival and now they are heading into the real golden age by creating a series of radio plays.

We are seeing history repeat itself. Great stage actors of the late 19th century and early 20th lent their voices to the radio and recreated some of their most acclaimed stage works in audio form. The Barrymores captured…


I used to SUFFER from stage fright. I would throw-up before going to school; shake and refuse to eat before any form of performance or presentation; even visibly tremble if something looked askew on stage or in my path.

Then one day, it stopped.

I just went on. Spoke at events. Performed full productions. Now, I even go on camera, sometimes daily.

In a recent performance class, my students and I had a philosophical discussion about stage fright. …


Anthony Laura, the auteur behind Face to Face Films

Anthony Laura and his repertory of actors in Face to Face Films — an independent film & theatre production company founded by Laura, that aims to focus on women-led films & bringing voice to stories about people who are not regularly understood — created a brief repass until we get-back-to-business. “Theatre Interrupted” was originally a reading series meant to pass the time in a meaningful way. Laura just wanted to keep his company occupied. Instead, it became a celebrated and highly visible project on the new place for live theatre … Zoom. …


Now celebrating their 11th year, 4thU Artivists a New York City-based performance group, dedicated to activism through the arts, will present “Radical Voices: The “Otherness” of Feminism,” directed by Mercedes Vasquez, online, November 7 @ 8:00 p.m. The evening is a curated reading interwoven with dance, musical performance, and additional narrative focusing on the systemic trauma for the most marginalized in our societies.

Originally founded in 2009 to support Eve Ensler’s global V-Day movement to end violence. The group produced benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues in their first several years, working in collaboration with Ensler, the playwright.

Since then…


Return with us to the wondrous days of Famous Monsters, the science vs. fiction of Omni and Starlog, the satirical humor of Mad Magazine, and the brilliant short stories of the legendary pulp magazines.

Gravity City Digital Magazine — a stunning amalgam of these great periodicals will burst upon the genre by Halloween!

Filled with Mad Magazine lampoon-style ads and spoof gadgets and products, the magazine — aside from its humor — serves as a platform for emerging authors of science fiction, fantasy, and Horror, as well as illuminating interviews and articles about new films, books, and other genre events.


The pandemic making the world of Horror look more like science fiction.

Conventions across the country are now online. HorrorHound just completed an exciting weekend of events and films; Phantasm-Con, one of the first to attempt such a feat, had a successful weekend in May; Hot Springs Horror Film Festival and Boston Sci-Fi are gearing for the same. But there’s one that is breaking new ground even in this ground-breaking time. Phoenix FearCon, a popular southwestern event — is now virtual … FOR THREE MONTHS!

Most festivals are a weekend — maybe a week — but Phoenix FearCon Online is…

Jay Michaels

Prof. Jay Michaels lectures on communications & media culture nationwide. He is executive director of Channel I — an indie theater & film network of programs.

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