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Laurie E. Baker RSS Feed (Long Island City, NY United States)
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Places: The Journey of My Days, My Lives
Places: The Journey of My Days, My Lives
Price: $7.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Book by a Fascinating Artist, July 15, 2014
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PLACES: THE JOURNEY OF MY DAYS, MY LIVES is in three sections – all of them capturing a different aspect of Thaao Penghlis’ career and life.

PART ONE: ALONG THE PATH has Old Hollywood style glamour to it, even from the very beginning when a legendary clairvoyant tells Thaao that he was destined to move to America and become an actor. I almost felt like I was watching a classic black-and-white movie, imagining Thaao hungry in NYC; studying art, acting and metaphysics; rubbing shoulders with Claudette Colbert, Jackie Kennedy, Robert Redford, John Gielgud, Charlton Heston, Sal Mineo, Omar Sharif and Shirley Maclaine…to name just a few celebrities; and finally getting work in film and television…which was a Hollywood roller coaster of ups and downs. We also get a sense of Thaao, the actor – strengthening in his work as he learns with his teacher and mentor…later his dear friend, Milton Katselas.

PART TWO: DODGING BULLETS. Being a long-term Days of Our Lives watcher, it is hard for me to read this chapter and be objective. I can vaguely remember Thaao’s first episode on the show. By the time, his “twin” Andre Dimera came along – I was completely hooked on the character – all through the romances...all through the deceptions and adventures of what it was to be a “Dimera”. When “Tony” was killed off in the mid-90s, I walked too. When Thaao was asked back to DAYS in 2002, I started watching again. I did not care if “Tony” or “Andre” was romantic, evil, good or psycho. Thaao always had me riveted to the screen because he never phoned it in like so many of the other soap opera actors do. So it has always been a mystery to me why James E. Reilly and later Gary Tomlin kept killing off the character. I enjoyed reading about the good times: Thaao’s stories about Leann Hunley, Joe Mascolo and Macdonald Carey, about his Daytime Emmy nomination…and Ifound out quite a bit I did not know about the tragic Brenda Benet (Lee Dumonde). But reading about all of the times that the writers threw away gold by killing off “Tony Dimera” and firing Thaao over and over just gets me disgusted every time.

PART THREE: PLACES. Not only am I soaking up history, myths and cultures of so many different countries around the world (Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Israel)…but this section (22 or so chapters in it) really captures Thaao’s passion for exploration and discovery. At the age of 12, he could not resist touching a sarcophagus. At the Tomb of Mere, he found a young man’s jaw in a mummified cloth (4,000 years old) and took it home with him. And it goes on and on. Balloon rides (some of them crashing), running into unsavory characters, avoiding scams. Even while Thaao had to become savvy in foreign lands by necessity, his drive to continue to visit “places” remains. That he can spiritually connect so deeply with so many different ancient sites and figures from the past amazes me. That he can feed himself creatively and spiritually from his journeys is a tremendous gift. And throughout all of it, there is a sense of “coincidence”, of miracles that lead him from one adventure to another.

In all three sections of the book, I got a strong sense of Thaao’s determination – whether it was to become a success in America or to get into a forbidden room in a sacred church…of his constant quest for knowledge and understanding…and of what he has learned along the way. A fascinating book by a fascinating man.


The Steve Blackwood Sessions
The Steve Blackwood Sessions
by Steve Blackwood
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passion, Motivation, Acting and Soap Opera, May 14, 2013
As a long-term DAYS OF OUR LIVES fan, I was thrilled to find out that one of my favorite comic character actors from the show, Steve Blackwood (Bart), was writing a book about both DAYS and acting. What struck me right away is how Steve's positive and determined spirit shines through so clearly. You read it; and you feel like you are armed and ready to go face all of the obstacles in your path, regardless of what career you are pursuing.

Having studied at HB Studios in NYC, I was familiar with the ground that Steve covered about Uta Hagen's technique; and it is a good overview for actors to become familiar with this groundbreaking teacher. What I had not known about was the technique of Milton Katselas -- and about the administration end of the business, such as how to win over agents, directors and producers. A personal lesson I took away from the book is how important it is not to become bitter with the rejection and hardship of your career -- but to practice being cheerful and upbeat and not gossip, that "90% of this business is getting along with people...talent 10%." Also, I loved how he encourages artists to follow their passion; and the money will come. The book is full of all sorts of advice like that -- both practical and motivational.

There are some fun DAYS stories in there as well; and you get a real feel of what it is like to work on the set...from the perspective of a character actor as opposed to your typical soap hunk or diva. Although "Bart" would always be good for a laugh, Steve clearly took his work on the show seriously every day. Also, it is so refreshing that this book is not a tell-all gossip fest...but one that gives integrity and intelligence to acting on a soap opera -- which this genre in trouble so desperately needs more of.

Kudos to Steve Blackwood for sharing his knowledge in this wonderful book!


Trumpet
Trumpet
by Bill Hayes
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.48
37 used & new from $5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romance, Theatre and Napoleon!, December 13, 2012
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This review is from: Trumpet (Paperback)
The main character, Lizzie Trumpet, pursues her love of the stage; along the way, she travels the world and learns hard life lessons. Bill and Susan Hayes do a wonderful job of conveying the rich historical detail of the Regency Period while keeping us in suspense with the trials and tribulations of Lizzie, complete with humor and pathos.


The Last Great American Housewife
The Last Great American Housewife
by Staci Greason
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.43
14 used & new from $11.16

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fall of the White Picket Fence, December 9, 2011
This book is a humorous and realistic portrayal illustrating how the American Dream is not all it is cracked up to be. The protagonist Kate wrestles throughout the novel between dealing with an increasingly stressful family life or running away. All of the characters are very well-defined in a relatable way. Even when I did not always think "Kate" was making the best decisions...as a reader, I could always identify with her position regardless. I very much look forward to reading another novel written by Staci Greason.


The Last Great American Housewife
The Last Great American Housewife

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book with its own path, March 31, 2011
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What I loved most about "The Last Great American Housewife" was that it was not formulaic. This is truly an original story with its own crazy path. The most I can categorize it as is "slice of life fiction".

For me, the main character of Kate was entirely relatable, funny, imperfect, trying to live to others' expectations as well as her own but finding herself entirely too human. All of the supporting characters were eccentric with their likable qualities as well as faults, including Kate's mother, husband, children, et cetera. There is a very clear portrait of the ups and down of family life (no stereotypes of a "white picket fence").

The plot had suspense where I could not put the book down. You go on the ride with Kate with no idea how things are ultimately going to end up for her. Also, the flow of the prose was excellent.

I definitely will read the next Staci Greason book!


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4.0 out of 5 stars Intermediate Cathe, November 10, 2006
If Cathe is usually too high impact or advanced choreography for you, then this may be the workout for you.

This is similar to Cardio & Weights, her other circuit step workout in the Intensity series, except this one is all low impact. The music is 80s stuff like "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Somebody's Watching Me", etc. There are some low impact "blast" sections on the step which really works the legs. Also, some band work with upper body.


Cathe Friedrich's Body Max 2 DVD
Cathe Friedrich's Body Max 2 DVD
Offered by Blue Chrysalis & Advanced Workouts
Price: $26.95
15 used & new from $9.68

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A long and little bit of everything workout, November 10, 2006
This is a 96 minute workout so you do get a lot of bang for your buck with this one. There are also about 6 premixes for shorter workout options, including only cardio, upper body, circuits, etc.

I would recommend this to people already used to Cathe's choreography as the step workout is fairly intermediate. There are 4 power circuits which are quite good. The part that I found the toughest was the upper body workout using the stability ball.

The music is fun, using 80s hits like "Don't You Forget About Me" and "Jessie's Girl", etc.

I wouldn't say this workout is as high intensity as Cathe's IMAX workouts, but it is good for circuit or intermediate step, etc.


Cathe Friedrich's Drill Max DVD
Cathe Friedrich's Drill Max DVD
Offered by Blue Glass Notions
Price: $19.95
13 used & new from $5.48

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of her latest series, November 10, 2006
I really like this workout. If you are a Cathe fan, it is pretty different from any other workout that she had done. The closest thing to it is Boot Camp. Both videos are good in separate ways. Boot Camp is only one hour and seems to concentrate more on strength work. Drill Max has a lot more cardio in it. And I found it to be a pretty tough go, but mixed up enough where it was enjoyable. I intend to do this one regularly. I would say however that this is a pretty advanced workout.


Get Ripped! with Jari Love: Get Ripped to the Core
Get Ripped! with Jari Love: Get Ripped to the Core
DVD ~ Jari Love
Offered by Recla's Endeavors
Price: $16.75
19 used & new from $0.36

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jari's best..., November 10, 2006
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This is the most advanced out of Ripped, Slim & Lean and Ripped To The Core. These are mainly compound moves, but I find that these not only build your strength but also get your heart rate up with compound moves using the step. I wouldn't say it is a cardio workout, but it sure doesn't hurt to burn those extra calories on a weight training day. If you want to go heavy, stick with Slim & Lean. This one, you may need to use lighter weights to accomodate the compound moves.


Get Ripped! with Jari Love: Slim & Lean
Get Ripped! with Jari Love: Slim & Lean
DVD ~ Jari Love
27 used & new from $3.87

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very thorough high-rep low-weight workout, November 10, 2006
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I have done this workout quite often and find that it is very effective in slimming and toning the shape of your body. You should alternate this with cardio to really get good results.

After repeated use, I will be honest, the video can get tedious with endless reps on each track. I sometimes resort to playing other music in the background just to jazz things up. Jari is a good instructor, not overly perky or obnoxious.

It is a good solid workout that you can grow with without having to constantly be switching equipment around all over the place, going crazy.


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