Sunday, August 26, 2007

I'm offering two new Arts-in-Education courses

If your community or school offers Arts-in-Education programs for children, teens, adults or seniors, here are two courses you might want to book:


Both courses can be categorized as Literature, Music, Theater, Visual Arts, Professional Development and meet New York State (NYS) Learning Standards I, II, III, and IV and New York City's Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts.

You can learn more about these and some other courses I teach, and access excerpts from my teaching portfolio at my teaching website.

NorthxEast is a Bloggers Bonanza

My blogroll's latest edition is NorthxEast: Unmissable Weekly Articles for Bloggers. This virtual blogger's bonanza lives up to the hype pushed by its publishers, Collis Ta’eed (the Sydney, Australia-based print and web design man behind the machine at Eden Creative Communities) and Leo Babauta (ZenHabits' "simple productivity" guru and contributor to the powerblogs:, DumbLittleMan, FreelanceSwitch and the WebWorkerDaily).

About NxE reads:

NorthxEast is a blog about blogging. Written by two up and comers with contributions from guest experts across the industry, the blog presents both sound blogging advice as well as penetrating insights. With a longer, more in-depth style, NxE aims to provide a series of weekly articles that no blogger can afford to miss.
Eden Creative Communities also describes NxE at Family of Sites: One big happy family. And getting bigger... Here is an excerpt:

The site provides analysis, tutorials and tips for bloggers and is building a small, steady following.
NxE boasts another blogger bonus: Freelance Jobs (which links to Writing/Blogging Jobs at Freelance Switch (also an Eden Creative Communities ( website).
NOTE TO COLLIS AND LEO: Write on, bros!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Lisa Tolliver Show is being rescheduled. Here's what's in the works.

WVOX 1460 AM has reshuffled its lineup and the Lisa Tolliver Show is being rescheduled. Another show will debut today at noon in my old time slot. Stay tuned for the new Lisa Tolliver Show schedule.

In the meantime, I'm preparing programming for two other shows. Here's what's in the works.

On Wednesday, September 12 at 11:30 AM, I will host SCORE Radio: Counselors to America's Small Business.

And then throughout October, November and December 2007, I will be hosting The Big Read radio series, sponsored by the Westchester Library System. The radio series will support the National Endowment for the Arts "Big Read" initiative, for which the Westchester Library System and the Westchester Arts Council will be sponsoring two months of exciting programming. The "Big Read" radio shows will feature interviews with authors, book publishers and celebrities and readings by notable actors of Westchester County's "Big Read" book selection: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

    For more details about the aforementioned radio shows and my other "four-eyed" programs, visit and click "Come See What's New."

    Saturday, August 18, 2007

    Today's podcast at Sports Shorts & Thing Shots

    Today's podcast episode at Sports Shorts & Thing Shots is Swimming: Dive!

    ExpoTV is paying for "videopinions": videotaped reviews of products and services

    Got opinions? Get paid.

    Expo Television ("Expo TV") is paying people to submit "videopinions": videotaped reviews of products, services, films, vacations, foods, motor vehicles, seacraft, etc. If you can buy it nationally, you can review it and get paid.

    There are four ways to earn:
    1. Per videopinion submitted,
    2. Per viewing of published videos,
    3. Per referred friend who uploads a video review, and
    4. By winning ExpoTV sweepstakes, contests and bonuses.

    Expo Television is TV-syndicated, too. Submit bang-up reviews; they could end up on national TV!

    Here's what you need to get started:
    • A video camera, mobile phone or digital camera with video capabilities
    • An Internet connection
    • A valid email account
    • A valid PayPal account
    As my readers and listeners know, I've got opinions and the world's entitled to them. I'll be uploading videos shortly.

    To view my videopinions, and for more information about submitting yours, visit this link:

    See you on TV!

    Saturday, August 11, 2007

    Friday, August 10, 2007

    A star is shorn, removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame

    Actually not "a" star, but many, were shorn recently. They were not shorn, exactly, but removed from the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.*

    Don't panic! The stars were not stolen, as some have been. And they won't be vandalized, as was the unassigned placque depicted in the photograph, right: "Sylvia Hutt's self-written star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame." [Source: Hollywood Walk of Fame - Wikipedia. Contributor: Usfirstgov].

    This situation is temporary. A 1/2-block strip near the famous Hollywood and Vine intersection was temporarily closed, and the brass placques of 61 stars were dug up. So were the charcoal
    terrazo squares they were embedded in.

    The stars and still-intact squares are safely stored in a warehouse. The eight squares that crumbled during extraction will be replaced.

    What would be so important as to eclipse the stars of stars? Apparently, a private real estate project. To meet federal requirements for providing access for wheelchairs, Ken Summers, project director for Webcor Builders, said the old walkway had to be replaced by a new, flatter, sidewalk.

    When Webcor's work is completed, the starry, starry placques and Hollywood squares will be returned to their former, glitzy glory. Strollers along that stretch will be seeing stars again. And all will be back to normal, er, business as usual along that starry, starry right of way through La La Land.

    FYI, not all the Walk of Fame placques are stars, not all the placques are on the ground, and not all the honorees are people. Moreover, the price of fame on Hollywood Boulevard - specifically, the cost to be immortalized with a brass placque, terrazo block and associated fanfare - is rising.

    According to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which selects nominees and installs the stars, the cost of a Walk of Fame star ceremony is currently "$25,000 upon selection. The money is used to pay for the creation and installation of the star, as well as maintenance of the Walk of Fame." Today's price reflects an astronomical increase over the $15,000 fee reported four years ago in Hollywood Boulevard's Price of Fame>>Fox News (Decembe 3, 2003). Reporter Catherine Donaldson-Evans itemized the associated expenses: removal of an old, blank star; installation of a new one with the honoree's name; security; publicity; and staging costs, with a portion set aside for maintenance and repair.

    The Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame is but one of many monuments to celebrities. Where the Stars are Immortalized>>Seeing Stars in Hollywood lists other monuments, as well as various types of imprints, halls of fame, statues, museums, and other honors.

    One example is Grauman's Chinese Theater, where celebrity handprints, footprints, cigar prints, nose prints, gun prints, wand prints, hoof prints of the horses they rode, and more are inscribed in cement blocks. The photo, right is encaptioned: "Many older entries contain personal messages to Sid Grauman, such as Myrna Loy's 1936 contribution. Loy's first job was as a dancer at the theater in the 1920s.' [Source: Myrna Loy, in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Taken by Rossrs. Source: Grauman's Chinese Theater - Wikipedia]

    * NOTE: After reading "61 stars removed from Walk of Fame," I couldn't resist posting this.

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    Intervention: Sopranos Style

    Commercial breaks punctuating Season 4, Episode 49 of The Sopranos (which first aired on HBO in November, 2002 and reran tonight on A&E TV) promoted the documentary Intervention. The juxtaposition was ironic because this episode - "The Strong, Silent Type" - could easily have been subtitled, "Intervention: Sopranos Style."

    Intervention documents sit-downs (a.k.a. "carefrontations") with substance abusers, whose loved ones make offers the addicts shouldn't refuse. At the outset, those staging interventions express affection and concern for the target, describe the tolls exacted by the addicts' behavior, and make clear: change is mandatory. The upshot: "Go to rehabilitation immediately - with our blessing - or risk losing all contact and our support." (Source: Intervention (TV series) - Wikipedia)

    It was in this traditional manner that the intervention instigated by Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) for heroin-junkie Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) began. But it quickly degenerated into a brutal brawl.  [PHOTO: From >>The Strong, Silent Type (The Sopranos, season 4, episode 49)]

    Anyone who didn't expect this intervention, Sopranos style, to be over the top is an uninitiated outsider.  The assemblage, alone, could not have gotten more gansta.

    First, let's consider the gang of mobsters and molls gathered for Chrissie's intervention.  The former included godfather Tony Soprano, consigliere Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt), and capo Paulie "Walnuts" Gaultieri (Tony Sirico). Additionally, enforcers Benny Fazio (Max Casella) and Furio Giunta (Federico Castelluccio) stood watch as the rear guard.  The molls included Chris' cousin Carmela Soprano (Edith "Edie" Falco), fiancee Adriana Le Cerva (Drea de Mateo), and mamma dearest Joanne Blundetto Moltisanti (Marianne Leone Cooper).

    Finally, there was interventionist Dominic Palladino (Elias Koteas), a recovering alcoholic, former "family" associate, and ex-convict. This bumbling, not-so-wise guy's less-than-stellar reputation, for such fiascos as getting busted for breaking into Stew Leonard's and stealing pork rinds and for requiring multiple interventions to straighten out, immediately rubbed out Dominic's credibility and efficacy. 

    Pickings were slim, however, and Tony had little chance of bringing in a more credible interventionist.  For one thing, engaging Dr. Melfi in this role was out of the question. (For his sake and the good doctor's, Tony kept Dr. Melfi a secret from everyone but Carmela).  And hiring any other "civilian" counselor was similarly impossible.  A major premise, repeatedly emphasized throughout the show, was the lack of respect this bunch had for therapy in general or for people who needed it, and their inability - in both practical and cultural terms - to bare secrets with outsiders.

    All these factors would have rendered even world-reknowned crisis intervention professionals, such as Candy Finnigan, Ken Seeley and Jeff VanVonderen, hard put to prevent this goodfellas' gathering from going bad.  But poor Dominic lacked a gabagool's chance at Casa Soprano of forestalling Christopher's carefrontration from being hijacked into a blame-filled, judgmental, critical, angry, ambush of the sort warns is ineffective.

    In reality, bad sessions happen even with good people. But the devolution of fictional gangster Chris' drug intervention into a full-out brawl was a larger than life debacle. The mobsters transformed the meeting - intended to send Moltisanti to rehab to treat drug addiction - into a profanity-laced, insult-hurling, knock-down, drag-out melee that landed him, first, in the ER to fix a fractured skull.

    As far as I know, that's never happened (on camera) on Intervention, and likely never will. Thank goodness, cuz Intervention captures real-life. But I've never LOL'd while watching Intervention as I did during this Sopranos episode, which has been commonly hailed as great TV.

    Although realistic, the verbal and physical gang-up on Christopher seemingly exceeded the bounds of tough love, even by The Soprano's standards. But few of those involved in Chris' intervention - save Tony, Carmela and Adriana - had primarily compassionate intentions from the get-go. And even Tony had a mixed agenda.

    Christopher's beat-down, ignited by insults on all sides, was fueled by resentments and distrust. Some of Chrissy's partners in crime were jealous of Chris and Tony's protegee-mentor relationship, of Chris' fast track up the ranks, and of his seeming status as heir-apparent to the role of capo di tutti capi (or capo dei capi) of the DiMeo/Soprano Family. Additionally, animal-lover Tony was furious about a stoned Christopher's having accidentally killed "Ade's" diminutive lap dog, Cosette, by sitting on it and breaking its neck. (Tony seemed more distressed by Christopher's killing the dog then he was by a stoned Christopher's giving "Ade" a black eye: "I ought to suffocate you!" an incensed Tony shouted ominously, foreshadowing Tony's hand in Chris' ultimate departure.) And the whole cabal feared a drug-addled Christopher could "flip over a nickel bag of white powder."

    Because those secrets could be prosecutable (and, I surmise, because he had other beefs with Christopher), Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) told Tony, earlier in the episode, to put the young turk "out of his misery" the way one puts down a cherished pet who becomes "rabid." But Tony opted for an intervention (at least as Plan A).

    Reviewing's Online Assessment- alcohol drug detox interventions and Jeff Van Vonderen's Why You Shouldn't Wait>>>An Intervention Is On the Way reveals Tony did the right thing, if only to get Christopher's attention. Only in Chris' case, the formal intervention session was merely a coat-puller. (Or should I say, the only way to get the message through his thick skull?)

    The ultimate intervention, in "The Strong, Silent Type," was Tony's one-on-one with Christopher at the hospital. There, Tony shared: "You're my nephew, Christopher. And I love you. And that's the only reason you're alive right now. If it were anybody else, anybody, they would've had their f*ckin' intervention right through the back of their head."

    The outcome was an interventionist's dream. Christopher, apologetic and scared straight (for the moment), obeyed Tony's order to check into a Pennsylvania rehabilitation center and stay put until released. (Of course, Tony's explanation that button man/accountant Patsy Parisi (Dan Grimaldi), whom Christopher understood would "take him out" if Christopher defected, prematurely, from rehab, might have been effective, too.)  All in all, Tony's approach was unorthodox, but he had staged an intervention Christopher couldn't refuse.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    On August 8, 2007, I will interview Gerd Leonhard, CEO - Sonific and Bob Patrick, Director - Veteran's History Project

    Tomorrow, August 8, 2007, I will be hosting two shows back to back on New York Radio WVOX 1460 AM and At 11:30 AM-noon, Eastern Time, I will interview Gerd Leonhard - CEO, Sonific and co-author, The Future of Music on 'SCORE Radio: Counselors to America's Small Business'. Then, without missing a beat, from noon-12:30 PM, I will interview Robert W. ("Bob") Patrick, Director of the Veterans History Project (of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center).

    I've posted about Sonific and the Veterans History Project before, but tomorrow will be my first on-air talk with the men who run those operations. Come join us, and feel free to talk with them, too!

    You can hear and share in the show by phoning our call-in line: (01) 914 636 0110. If you're listening, we're listening. Talk with us!

    The show is made possible, in part, by support from The Field (they grow art!) and USPS (they deliver!). We welcome your support, as well! Contributions, donations and sponsorships are tax deductible. Moreover, matching funds can double, even triple your money!

    It's that time again: National Night Out Against Crime

    As I wrote last year at Ganging Up Against the Bad Guys and Gang up against bad guys in tonight's National Night Out Against Crime, the annual National Night Out campaign is "a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW)." NATW is a nonprofit, crime prevention organization which works in cooperation with over 6,000 crime, drug and violence prevention organizations and law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

    National Night Out objectives are to:
    • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;
    • Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;
    • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
    • Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
    NATW reports: "Last year's National Night Out campaign involved citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from over 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. In all, over 34 million people participated in NNO 2006."

    Visit the National Night Out website to learn more and:
    If you're in or near the 49th Precinct tonight, why not check out this National Night Out 2007 event?

    Source: Bronx Council on the Arts e-calendar.

    Aug 7 / 5:00pm / Concert / 49th Precinct / Night Out Against Crime / Pelham Parkway
    Mixed Nuts – A free concert in Senator Jeff Klein’s 2007 Summertime Symphonies concert series. 49th Precinct Night Out Against Crime, Pelham Parkway North & Wallace Avenue. Don’t forget to bring folding chairs and blankets. Co-sponsored by the Bronx Council on the Arts and the Westchester Arts Council. Click here for a complete schedule of Senator Klein’s 2007 Summertime Symphonies concerts. For more information, call 800-718-2039.

    Monday, August 06, 2007

    How to Write Your Radio PSA and How to Get Your PSA On the Air


    Have an event, issue, accomplishment or cause to shout from the rooftops? Don't bother. Instead, ride the waves. The radio airwaves, that is.

    Create a radio PSA (Public Service Announcement). There's less climbing involved, and you'll reach more people.

    Download the COAHSi (Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island) guide: "How to Write Your Radio PSA and How to Get Your PSA On the Air." That Assistance in Marketing guide, and other valuable content, are downloadable at >> Professional Development Resources. Although targeted to Staten Island artists, these resources are universally applicable.


    COAHSi's guide is excellent, but I'll add these caveats:

    • Airtime for non-profit PSAs is not always free; some radio stations and producers charge fees to air PSAs, although non-profits may qualify for discounts.

    • PSAs are only means of getting broadcasat exposure. In fact, radio profiles, on-air interviews, infomercials, and regular, sponsored "tips" (such as those USPS sponsors on the Lisa Tolliver Show) garner more airtime than PSAs and may include interactions with listeners.
    Want airtime on my radio shows? :

    • First, visit - to review the programming information and audience demographics.

    • Then - Contact me:

    Email - ltolliver AT 360meridian DOT com,

    Telephone or fax - (01) 309 279 7528,

    Or Send Mail to - 360 MERIDIAN, LLC, 648 Central Park Avenue, Scarsdale, NY 10583-2512 1 Wolfs Lane, Box 655, Pelham, NY 10803-9998 USA.

    • Although I cannot guarantee airtime to everyone who requests it, I will review all pitches.


    If you like what you see at COHASi's website,, why not submit a contribution? COHASi (promounced "ko-see," like "go see" with a "k") is a non-profit organization with the mission "to develop, foster and promote the arts, cultural and humanities activities on Staten Island."

    Similarly, if you like my work on air, online or on demand, why not support my creative, educational and cultural productions? They are made possible, in part, by support from The Field (dba Performance Zone: a non-profit arts service organization; they grow art!), USPS (they deliver!) and 360 MERIDIAN (they’re all around world class!).

    IMPORTANT NOTES: Since I am a sponsored artist, contributions, donations and other support addressed to “The Field in care of Lisa Tolliver” are tax deductible. Sponsorship dollars qualify for matching funds, too, which can double, even triple, your money! Now THAT's worth shouting from the rooftops airwaves.

    [See mini-podcast: "Give me a hand (or two)."]###

    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Today's podcast at Sports Shorts & Thing Shots

    Today's podcast episode at Sports Shorts & Thing Shots is Golf: Putt!

    Obsessive-compulsive house flipper, Jeff Lewis, and his staff: classic brutal boss and prey? Part II

    "I’m selling a lifestyle. You either live like me or you want to live like me."
    -Jeff Lewis, Flipping Out (Episode 1, Bravo TV)


    RECAP OF PART I: Real estate speculator Jeff Lewis is the Queen B. of Bravo-TV's new show Flipping Out. Despite cash flow and marketplace challenges and conventional wisdom, he is obsessively, compulsively committed to mining more gold from them thar California hills, and to doing so in the same vein he always has. [Pun intended.] He will maintain his flimsy financial footing by accelerating the sale of a residence he renovated and currently lives in.
    Jeff's determination, despite the real risks of bellying-up, channels two iconic American images. One is of "California or bust!"-chanting prospectors during the Gold Rush era. Historical accounts indicate: some forty-niners, especially early on, struck it rich near San Francisco. But many others risked, and lost, everything.

    I'm not wishing that on Jeff Lewis, or predicting he'll go bust. Because there's that other image: Debbi Fields. Some called her crazy, too.

    Exactly 30 years ago, the young mother with no business experience ignored conventional wisdom , which warned: "no business could survive just selling cookies." Today, Mrs. Fields®, is "the premier chain of cookie and baked goods stores."

    Jeff Lewis shares some traits that made Mrs. Fields wildly successful and a "worldwide celebrity." These common traits, as described by, are: "headstrong determination" and a mission to "create the highest quality product possible - every time." Mrs. Fields' mission, which aptly describes Jeff's stated philosophy, "has yielded products like no others, deeply satisfying personal indulgences that consumers just can't get enough of.

    The following advice from Mrs. Fields also applies to Jeff: "The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it."

    A major difference between Lewis and Fields, however, is their personalities. states: "A dynamic personality. A sincere concern for people. They [and the above-mentioned factors] all played a role in Debbi Fields' success."

    Ironically, Jeff's less appealing personality may be a key success factor for his Bravo TV show. What distinguishes Flipping Out from competitive shows is the zoom in on Jeff and his staffs' interpersonal dramas. For example, Lewis' staffers show and tell why they think he is "crazy," and the cameras capture the sometimes-brutal boss browbeating and manipulating his prey, e.g. by threatening to fire them.

    In fact, Jeff admits to having fired every member of his staff at one point or another. Usually, they come back aboard. But Brandt, the assistant Jeff booted for no good reason in Episode 1 ensured the split was mutual by quitting. Screwdrivers to sawdust, that split will stick.

    Some may wonder how much Jeff pays people to put up with him. It doesn't necessarily have to be much; brutal, bullying and a**hole bosses abound in poorly-compensated job sectors as much as they do in highly-paid posts. "Trash Guy" Chris Elwood and his wife Jenni, actors both, describe non-cash benefits working with Jeff provides.

    Still, if Hornstein, Crowley and Elster decided to seek new stories for their books, I'd bet all of Jeff's staff, past and present, would spill the beans on that boss.

    SHAMELESS COMMERCE: The banners below link to pages containing reviews and purchase options for the TV shows and books referenced above.