From the archives: Michael Douglas

(Published in 2014)

Michael Douglas offers me water and ensures that I’m comfortable during our interview at the Toronto International Film Festival. Is there anything he could get me? I decline, but thank him, acknowledging that it’s very nice of him to offer. “I’m a very nice guy,” he responds. I point out that a nice guy wouldn’t say that. Oops.

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Find Travel Inspiration From These Five Eco-Minded Instagrammers

Looking for some travel inspiration? With Instagram, you can hold a mirror to our planet, its inhabitants and its cultural treasures. Some photos go beyond simple travel inspiration though. They can ignite a desire to change how we interact with the world around us and encourage us to make conscientious, sustainable choices on our journey.

With that in mind, here are five Instagram accounts you can follow to get hyped for your next eco-minded voyage.

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Make the Most of Your Flight Stopover

Don’t stress about small stopovers in your travel plans. Instead, think of them as mini vacations tucked into your existing one. Many airlines offer great deals if you’re willing to take on a flight stopover, so not only will you get to spend a day in a great destination you may not have gotten to visit otherwise, you’ll also save money. It’s a win-win.

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Five Air Travel Tips to Get You Through a Long Flight

Jetting off to an international destination? You’ll need some air travel tips to survive and even enjoy your long flight. Here are five:

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On Learning to Drive (and Trust)

“What took you so long to learn how to drive,” said the examiner as he got into the car, saddling himself next to me. No doubt, preparing for a bumpy ride.

But, indeed, what has taken me so long?

All these years, I’ve been quick to blame my reluctance to get behind the wheel on a general condition known as laziness. An affliction known to many, overcome by few. Further examination, however, revealed that something else was at the root. Fear.
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My Year: A (Very Brief) Recap

This hasn’t been the perfect year (is it ever?), but it’s certainly been a productive one. At the top of the year, I made some concrete plans. To my own chagrin, I kept many of them. As result, I’ve had many adventures. Continue reading

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‘Face Paint’ and Lisa Eldridge

I have to admit, I’ve always thought makeup or ‘face paint’ as something rather frivolous—or practical (since it’s so handy at hiding flaws from people with otherwise perfectly good vision). But then, as I learned more about it, I began to think about it differently too. (The shift begun when I was researching a story on makeup competitions for a theatre magazine—one of the privileges of being a writer is that you come to learn a lot about the most random things).

You see, in many ways, it’s art.  The canvas just happens to be different. And like art there’s much to it beyond just an expression of creativity. It can be very political, for example.

Recently, for FLARE, I interviewed London-based celebrity makeup artist and author of NYT best-seller Face Paint: The Story of MakeupLisa Eldridge.

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Dick Van Dyke, Carl Reiner & Other Writing Pursuits

It’s been a while since we talked. You, kind readers (all five of you), don’t deserve the silent treatment.  So I thought I’d share some of my most recent stories:

Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner on pushing 100, charming the FBI and falling in love again

The Hollywood legends may be in their 90s, but they’re all fired up. Carl trolls Trump, Dick still dances on rooftops – and they both want a gay president. - THE GUARDIAN

What’s real and fake in ‘The Americans,’ according to real-life spies

Tom Hiddleston on the Comic Chaos of High-Rise: ‘Dystopian Nightmares Are Manifestations of Our Fears’
The world of the ’70s-set class-warfare thriller doesn’t seem too different from our own

Bryan Cranston on Learning to Think Like a Spy
- The Science of Us, NY MAG

Sutton Foster on her Gilmore Girls character

British Columbia Reduces Production Incentives but Expects Little Impact


Feel Like a Movie Star at These 8 Cinematic Hotels

A Taste of Old New York

A Brief Survey of the World’s Most Decadent Hotel Amenities

California: Sweet Carmel looks even better at 100 (pg 68-69)

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Interview: David Duchovny – Mr. Positivity

Not too long ago, in the year 2015 (now but a distant memory), I got to chat with Mr. David Duchovny as he was in the throes of soundcheck for his musical performance that night. This resulted in a cover story for Montecristo Magazine.

It goes something like this…

David Duchovny doesn’t know why he suddenly decided to take up music, only that he had always wanted to play guitar. And so he picked up the instrument, initially, to amuse himself—on a whim. “It’s a total mystery to me,” he says, quipping: “It’s either that or buy a Porsche.” Taking up either endeavour would would be costly, but music seems to be the more rewarding fit at the moment.

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INTERVIEW: Josh Hutcherson on Escobar, Acting & Benicio Del Toro

There’s more to Josh Hutcherson than The Hunger Games. Not that he minds being associated with the exceptionally popular franchise, but he’s equally passionate about bringing to life stories that are perhaps a little less special effects driven. Stories like Escobar: Paradise Lost which has had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Things don’t always move at the speed of light in the movie biz. Hutcherson read the script for Escobar two years before it went to camera, but he was immediately attracted to it. “It was like 160 pages, it was going to be like a 3 hour movie, so they changed a lot,” he recalls, “but I read the script and just fell in love with the story and the character of Nick.”

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Robert X Modica

July 30th 1931-March 14th 2015 (83)

I don’t know what to say. I mean, what can you say when someone so spectacularly special departs?

All I can do is recall his story, told through my own (rambling) recollections…

Robert Xavier Modica (83) has been a master acting teacher for over 50 years. But he taught so much more than acting. For those of us fortunate enough to study with him in room 809 at Carnegie Hall (and later, elsewhere), we learned lessons in humanity and in living truthfully and fully. In that room, surrounded by plays, peers, and peeling, crackling, magical paint, we spent nights reading the greatest playwrights and listening to Mr. Modica’s stories.

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An Update…

I never think I’m going to be busy. So I’m wrong most of the time. I’ve been paddling as hard as I can beneath a sea of work, as well as a pet project: a a new event series in Vancouver called STAGE to SCREEN. Our first event which mixes film, live theatre, and conversation, turned out beautifully, with a truly engaged audience, and a wonderful guest, Pulitzer/Tony winner, David Auburn (ProofThe ColumnistThe Girl in the Park). Now, everyone keeps asking, who’s next?

Since I’ve been so terrible at providing new content for this blog, here are a few recent articles I’ve written:
Is the Other Woman Not Safe for Men? (Mashable) Continue reading

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