Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas dies at age 75

Posted on August 31st, 2017

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Acting teacher and director Milton Katselas died Friday at age 75, after suffering from heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He began the Beverly Hills Playhouse in 1978 and taught acting classes there to noted actors including George Clooney and Gene Hackman. Katselas is survived by a sister and two brothers.

Katselas directed an off-Broadway production of Edward Albee‘s The Zoo Story, and received a Tony Award nomination for his 1969 direction of Butterflies are Free. Actress Blythe Danner won a Tony Award for her role in Butterflies are Free under Katselas’ direction. He moved to California to direct the film version of that play, and went on to direct films and television movies. Actress Eileen Heckart received an Academy Award for her role in the film version of Butterflies are Free.

Katselas directed the San Francisco and Los Angeles productions of the play P.S. Your Cat Is Dead! by playwright James Kirkwood, Jr. In his author’s notes in the publication of the script, Kirkwood acknowledged Katselas, and wrote that the plays were “directed with incredible energy and enthusiasm by Milton Katselas, to whom I am extremely indebted”.

Katselas directed the television movie Strangers: Story of a Mother and Daughter, and actress Bette Davis received an Emmy Award for her role in the movie. Katselas taught many famous actors including Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Gere, Robert Duvall, Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Goldie Hawn, Christopher Walken, Burt Reynolds, George C. Scott, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Alec Baldwin, and Patrick Swayze. Katselas was credited with being able to nurture actors with raw talent so that they could develop strong Hollywood careers. He utilized innovative techniques in his courses – one course called “Terrorist Theatre” had a simple premise: successfully get an acting role within six weeks or leave the course.

He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents who had immigrated from Greece, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon. He studied acting with Lee Strasberg in New York at the Actors Studio, and received advice from directors Joshua Logan and Elia Kazan.

Katselas was a prominent Scientologist, and a July 2007 profile on Katselas in The New York Times Magazine observed that some of his students stopped taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse because they felt they had been pressured to join the Church of Scientology. According to the article, Katselas credited Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard “for much of his success in life”, and one of his students works at Scientology’s Celebrity Centre. The article commented that some in Los Angeles view the Beverly Hills Playhouse as “a recruitment center for Scientology”.

Katselas met L. Ron Hubbard after moving to California, and began studying Scientology in 1965. The New York Times Magazine reported that he had reached the level of “Operating Thetan, Level 5, or O.T. V.” in 2007. According to The New York Times Magazine when Scientologists proceed up the “The Bridge to Total Freedom” they learn the story of Xenu, and that: “75 million years ago the evil alien Xenu solved galactic overpopulation by dumping 13.5 trillion beings in volcanoes on Earth, where they were vaporized, scattering their souls.” A Church of Scientology publication, Source, lists Katselas as reaching O.T. V. in 1989.

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He is brilliant, and knows me so well as a person and an actress that he gets the most out of me.

Though some actors felt pressured to join the Church of Scientology after taking courses at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, at least one individual felt Katselas was not active enough with the organization. Actress Jenna Elfman left the Beverly Hills Playhouse because she felt Katselas was not committed enough to Scientology. Katselas had previously directed Elfman in half of Visions and Lovers: Variations on a Theme, two one-act plays about relationships that he had written himself. In 1999 Katselas had planned to adapt the script of Visions and Lovers to a film version, and Elfman was set to reprise her role from the play. In an article in Variety about the project, Elfman commented on her experience working with Katselas: “He is brilliant, and knows me so well as a person and an actress that he gets the most out of me.”

Other prominent Scientologist actors who have studied under Katselas include Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Lee, and Leah Remini. According to Rolling Stone, Katselas also recruited actress Kelly Preston to Scientology. Actress Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), told Scientology publication Celebrity that Katselas motivated her to get more active in Scientology, and she stated she took the organization’s “Purification Rundown” and her life “took off completely”.

Life is an endless unspooling of art, of acting, of painting, of architecture. And where did I learn that? From Milton.

Anne Archer was introduced to Scientology while studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, as was former Scientologist and now outspoken critic actor Jason Beghe. Beghe told Roger Friedman of FOX News in April 2008 that “He [Katselas] gets kickbacks”, and that he was brought to a Scientology center by fellow Beverly Hills Playhouse classmate Bodhi Elfman, Jenna Elfman’s husband. In a 1998 article for Buzz Magazine, Randye Hoder wrote “In his class, Katselas is careful not to label anything as a tenet of Scientology, but there is no question that the church’s influence seeps into the playhouse.”

Anne Archer’s husband and fellow Scientologist, producer Terry Jastrow, commented to The New York Times Magazine that Katselas changed the way he experiences life on a day-to-day basis: “I go out in the world and look at human behavior now. I see a woman or man interacting with a saleslady, and I see the artistry in it. Life is an endless unspooling of art, of acting, of painting, of architecture. And where did I learn that? From Milton.”

Actor Anthony Head of Buffy the Vampire Slayer spoke highly of Katselas in a 2002 interview with San Francisco Chronicle: “He’s this wonderfully intuitive teacher and his premise is basically: The only real barriers are the ones we put in front of ourselves. If you say, ‘My character wouldn’t do that’ — bollocks! Ultimately it’s you who wouldn’t say that. Who knows what your character might do.” In the acknowledgements of her 2004 autobiography Are You Hungry, Dear?: Life, Laughs, and Lasagna, actress Doris Roberts wrote: “I thank my friend and acting teacher, the incredible Milton Katselas, for his insights, wisdom, and inspiration, which have helped make me the actress that I am.”

I really care about the craft of acting. It’s absolutely necessary to take the time and patience to really develop an actor.

Katselas authored two books: Dreams Into Action: Getting What You Want, first published in 1996 by Dove Books, and Acting Class: Take a Seat, which came out earlier this month. Dreams Into Action, a New York Times Bestseller, sought to modify motivational acting exercises to the field of business.

In an interview in the 2007 book Acting Teachers of America, Katselas commented on his experiences as an acting teacher over the years: “I have very special teachers here at the Beverly Hills Playhouse—some have been with me for over twenty-five years. I believe that to make a difference over the long haul, we need to train teachers. I really care about the craft of acting. It’s absolutely necessary to take the time and patience to really develop an actor.”

Star Wars III premieres at Cannes

Posted on August 31st, 2017

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The final Star Wars film, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith premiered at the Cannes Festival on May 15, 2005, with George Lucas and the stars of the movie in attendance at the Grand Theatre Lumiere.

At the subsequent United Kingdom premiere on May 16, 2005, fans turned out in costume. Outside London’s Odeon cinema in Leicester Square, dozens of fans dressed as storm troopers, Jedi knights, and other characters for the film.

The movie is about the temptation of a Jedi knight to the Dark Side of the force, and his fiery transformation into the arch-villain Darth Vader.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is scheduled for general release in the United States on May 19, 2005, and is rated PG-13.

Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian described the climax of the film as following “what seems like seven hours of CGI action as dramatically weightless as the movement of tropical fish in an aquarium”. Bradshaw said the leading characters “gaze out over massive futuristic cityscapes resembling the photorealist artwork once used for 1970s sci-fi paperbacks: pointy buildings with swarms of pointy aircraft criss-crossing overhead, often bathed in crimson sunsets”.

He described Ewan McGregor‘s accent as “a simperingly lifeless Rada-English accent, a muddled and misconceived backdating of the Guinness original”, and said of Hayden Christensen that “If Princess Diana had gone to the Dark Side, she would have looked a lot like this”.

Describing Jimmy Smits, and Samuel L. Jackson as “acting as if on some kind of medication”, Natalie Portman as “incorrigibly clunky”, Bradshaw concluded that the film was “a product of George Lucas’s overweening production giant Industrial Light and Magic. No magic, little light, but an awful lot of heavy industry.”

Wendy Ide from The Times commented that “any spark of humour or irreverence that might have been present in the earlier films has been all but extinguished”, and accused the film of being carpeted by “a bombastic and overbearing” musical score.

Ide concluded that the film was “a textbook example of style over substance and, more importantly, soul”.

Greek film director Yannis Dalianides dies at age 87

Posted on August 31st, 2017

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yannis Dalianides, a Greek film director who worked on over 60 movies, has died at the age of 87. Dalianides died after spending a month in hospital. He was known as the “godfather” of the Greek musical and the “Gentle Knight of Popular Cinema”.

Born in 1923, Dalianides was placed in a children’s home until he was adopted. He made his first appearance in children’s theatre at the age of 10. He studied at the Drama School of the Thessaloniki Conservatory, before moving to Vienna and studying dance. Dalianides tried choreography before turning to cinema.

After appearing as an actor he directed his first film in 1959, titled, Mousitsa (The Temptress). He continued to have success with films such as Some Like It Cold, Downhill, and Training Old Man Yorgis. From 1961 to 1977, Dalianides worked exclusively for the Fino’s Film Company. Dalianides is credited with the introduction of the musical into Greece but preferred the term “musical comedy”.

Dalianides worked into his seventies. His last project was Mikres Amarties, a television series made in 1999. Dalianides funeral will take place on Monday; he will be buried at Athens’ First Cemetery.

Advantages Of Offering A Dental Benefits Plan To Employees Part 2}

Posted on August 30th, 2017

Advantages of Offering a Dental Benefits Plan to Employees – Part 2

by

Ken Charnly

Important factors while finalizing on a Dental Insurance Plan

An employee has to ask himself the following before he finalizes on a plan:

Would the employees like to retain the freedom of choosing their own dentists?

Will the mode of treatment be determined by the patient and the dentist?

What type of routine and preventive dental care is covered? Does the plan cover braces, oral surgery, crowns and bridges, root canals and treatment of periodontal diseases?

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Will the plan cover all diagnostic, preventive and emergency services? Including preventive services viz. sealants & fluoride treatments, which might result in financial savings to the patient in future? Does it provide for full-mouth x-rays?

What forms of major dental care is covered? Does the plan cover implants, dentures, or treatment for temporomandibular disorders?

Does the plan allow for specialist referrals? If so, has the dentist be limited to the list of specialists to choose form?

Does the plan provide for emergencies? What are the provisions made for emergency care when the patient is on tour?

What percentage of monthly premiums goes into actual care and not to administration?

Dental Insurance benefit coverage should be taken into consideration but should not be the deciding factor in choosing the treatment.

Dental Insurance Plan Models

There are numerous dental plans available. Basically they are of two kinds:

Managed care and Fee-for-service.

Managed care dental plans are restricted forms of dental insurance which aim at reducing costs and payouts. They tend to restrict the coverage by limiting the access to care by restrictions (by predefining dentist, specialist, hospital or treatments in form of lists) and restricting level, type and frequency of treatment (usually in form of clauses in the coverage policy).

Fee-for-service dental plans have a freedom of choice options where one can choose their own dentist and the fee is paid as fixed by the dentist…(Go To Part 3)

Ken Charnly is a personal finance publisher whose website

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is dedicated to quality information on online loans. For quality information and for all your online loan needs visit and

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Advantages of Offering a Dental Benefits Plan to Employees – Part 2 }

Augusten Burroughs on addiction, writing, his family and his new book

Posted on August 30th, 2017

Friday, October 12, 2007

I had an unofficial phone call from Gay Talese last Tuesday. He had just flown back from Colombia and he was cranky. “I’m happy to do an interview with you,” he said, “but what the hell could you ask me that’s not already out there? Have you even bothered to look?!”

“Jeez, Mr. Talese, lots of things,” was my response. I lied. The truth is that when I call people to interview them, I do not have a set of preconceived questions. My agenda is to talk to them and gain a sense of who they are; to flesh them out as humans. To find out what they think about the world around them at that moment. With Gay Talese I had little interest in talking about Frank Sinatra Has a Cold and with Augusten Burroughs I had little interest in discussing Running with Scissors. I want to know what they think about things outside of the boxes people have placed them in.

With a memoirist like Burroughs, even this is a challenge. What parts of his life he has not written about himself, other interviewers have strip-mined. When we met for dinner at Lavagna in the East Village, I explained to Augusten this issue. I suggested we make the interview more of a conversation to see if that would be more interesting. “Instead of you in the catbird seat,” I said, “let’s just talk.”

We struck an instant rapport. What set out to be an hour and half interview over dinner had turned into four hours of discussion about our lives similarly lived. I removed half of the interview: the half that focused on me.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s conversation with writer Augusten Burroughs.


Contents

  • 1 On addiction and getting sober
  • 2 On the Turcottes and his mother
  • 3 On his work
  • 4 On the response to his work from addicts
  • 5 On belief in a higher power
  • 6 On the gay community
  • 7 On his new book, A Wolf at the Table, a memoir about his father
  • 8 On women’s breasts and tattoos
  • 9 On losing his hair
  • 10 Sources

City of Calgary, Canada removes fluoride from drinking water

Posted on August 30th, 2017

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Calgary city council voted 10 to 3 on Wednesday to stop fluoridating their water supply. This overturns a previous plebiscite from 1989 to add the fluoride in an attempt to reduce tooth decay.

Opponents of water fluoridation claim that there could be unknown health effects of fluoride, and question its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay. They also claim that individuals should be able to decide for themselves whether or not to use fluoride. However, Alberta Health Services maintains that current evidence shows that fluoride is both safe, and beneficial to dental health.

It is estimated that no longer fluoridating the water supply could save Calgary’s city council C$750 thousand (550 thousand) annually, as well as cutting a C$6 million (4.3 million) upgrade to the fluoridation system.

Immigration Detainees on Hunger Strike in Oxford UK

Posted on August 30th, 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2006

One hundred and twenty detainees at an immigration removal centre in Oxford, UK, are on hunger strike. The protest started when some detainees refused breakfast on Wednesday 14th June 2006. A letter from the hunger strikers explaining why they are seeking to draw attention to their plight in this way has been reproduced in full below.

Those detained at the centre are mostly men who have sought asylum in the UK and whose asylum applications have been rejected. These people are then held without knowing how long they will be detained for – some end up being held for many years while awaiting deportation.

The removal centre, known as Campsfield, or Campsfield House is approximately 5 miles north of Oxford and has been in operation since 1993. It was managed on behalf of the UK Government by Global Solutions Limited, until may 2006 when it was taken on by GEO UK, the centre has a capacity of 198. Only males are detained at Campsfield.

According to the campaign group Barbed Wire Britain Over 2,600 individuals, mostly asylum seekers, are detained indefinitely in the UK without trial and with no automatic right to bail.

There have been reports in the UK press of the state taking people to detention centres without notice, in the early hours of the morning using excessively heavy handed tactics, taking children out of schools and separating families.

Many UK people and politicians express their disgust at the way detainees are treated, yet it continues. Perhaps this action by the detainees themselves will further highlight their plight and result in more UK electors writing to their MPs and demanding improvements to the way in which rejected asylum seekers are treated.

“We are detainees at Campsfield removal centre in Oxford. Most of us have been here for a long while now. There are people who have been detained for up to two years and down to three months. We are cramped in here like animals. We are treated like animals and moved around different detention centres like animals. The immigration service have taken husbands from their families and taken people who ran away from persecution in their various countries, and dumped everyone in here.

Once you are put in here the immigration service forget you. There are detainees who have applied to go back to their own countries that are still being held here for months without any news about their cases, just so that the private security companies get more money.

Detainees are asked to seek asylum and then refused. The immigration service also ask detainees to apply for bail. When you get a bail hearing date all of a sudden they serve you with removal papers that are not valid. There are many of these situations. In most cases the immigration service don’t take you to your court hearings. And then they tell the judges you refused to turn up, just so the hearing goes ahead in your absence. Many detainees have been served with removal papers and travel documents but nothing happens on the removal day.

Campsfield has become a slave house. We detainees are treated like slaves, to do odd jobs for officers. Detainees are handcuffed to see doctors or dentists in hospitals or clinic appointments. We have some racist security officers who make racist comments to detainees and go out of their way to make you feel like committing suicide. Detainees have to be at the point of death before they get to see the doctors.

The food is not worth eating. Even dogs would refuse to eat what we eat. But we don’t have a choice; every single day we eat the same food (the food we eat is rice, chicken, sandwiches, and left-over eggs)”.

Why Long Term Care Insurance Is A Good Financial Investment?}

Posted on August 28th, 2017

More On This Topic:

Why Long Term Care Insurance Is A Good Financial Investment?

by

Jenny Nielsen

Most people do not perceive the risks of not insuring themselves from uncertain sickness and disability that may afflict them at some point in their lives. Lengthy stay in nursing homes and other rehabilitative care poses dangers to a persons financial security, concretely if the costs of care become excruciatingly unaffordable.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, people age 65 and older have 60 percent possibility of entering a nursing home. The risks fall greater on women than men. It is true then if you visit a nursing home facility you will observe that most residents are comprise of women. However, both men and women have no escape in long term care. As science and technology advances our lives, we also extend the financial burden that will be shouldered by our families.

Others believe that self-insuring is a wise move to save on long term care. In reality, self-insuring is merely a selfish act to waste your earnings and assets that should have been saved for your children and family.

There are four fatal flaws that people think about long term care:

A person wont catch any health problem until age 75 to make them eligible for long term care insurance

The cost of long term care insurance today is still the same in the next five years.

A person can save at least $2,000 a year and earn at least five percent of their annual savings

They will not live longer than expected

Those assumptions are skewed in reality. Long term care, in the first place, is always expensive and continues to be expensive in the next couple of years. This means that becoming uninsured throughout your golden years only put financial stress on your part and your family.

The national annual average cost for nursing home care is $72,000; the lowest in Louisiana with $43,000, and the highest in New York with $140,000. Over the next 25 years, this rate will increase faster than the inflation rate as the shortage in nursing home workers agitate the heightening demand for LTC services that could double in few years.

Another reason why long term care insurance is a wise financial is because of the unavailability of strong health care program that will wane the problem with LTC.

Medicare is hailed as the nations saving grace for long term care, but this is not the a wise decision to rely solely on the program. Medicare partially covers the 100 days in nursing care, provided that the person has received hospital care for certain period. In fact, Medicare only pays the 20 days, and the remaining 80 days require a so-called Medicare supplement.

Medicaid, the nations main financer of long term care, provides limited assistance because it pays massive percentage of long term care. It is not a wise move to depend on Medicaid since it gives priority to the poor and requires the applicants with greater income to spend down or transfer their assets in order to qualify for coverage. Through this, The government has been trying to cut the reserves for long term care and encourage people to handle their own care through long term care insurance partnership.

Need more information on

long term care insurance partnership

? Visit http://www.completelongtermcare.com to read vast collection of articles and resources on

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.

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Texas baby removed from life support against mother’s wishes

Posted on August 27th, 2017

Tuesday, March 22, 2005 Sun Hudson, a six-month old Texas baby died last week when health care providers at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas removed his life support system over the objections of his mother. The action was authorized under the 1999 Futile Care Law which was signed into law by then-Gov. George W. Bush.

Under the Texas Futile Care Law, health care workers are allowed to remove expensive life support for terminally ill patients if the patient or family is unable to pay the medical bills.

Sun Hudson’s mother is dealing with the aftermath of that law. “This hospital was considered a miracle hospital. When it came to my son, they gave up in six months,” Wanda Hudson told reporters how she was forced to give up medical control of her son. “I talked to him, I told him that I loved him. Inside of me, my son is still alive.”

The hospital had blocked the media from the child, despite mother’s invitation to see the baby. “I wanted y’all to see my son for yourself. So you could see he was actually moving around. He was conscious,” she said.

The event stirred national attention as it sparked comparisons to the Terri Schiavo case in Florida. A victim of severe, and otherwise terminal brain damage, Terri Schiavo’s future is locked in a legal battle between her husband who wants to remove life support and her parents, who cite religious reasons for keeping their daughter alive.

Michael Schiavo, husband of Terri Schiavo, was asked about the Hudson situation on the March 21 edition of CNN’s Larry King Live. When King asked how Mr. Schiavo felt when he learned that President Bush had signed such a law in Texas while he was governor, Schiavo was at a loss of words.

But Schiavo’s lawyer did respond, saying, “Obviously, there’s a tremendous amount of hypocrisy there … it would lead one to believe that a lot of this was politically motivated, and I think that’s what the American people have concluded.” Schiavo’s lawyer echoed the sentiments of Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Democrat, who raised the “hypocrisy” question when she first mentioned the 1999 Texas law issue on the House floor last week.

Over the weekend, President Bush signed a special federal law that moved jurisdiction of the Schiavo case out of the state of Florida and into the U.S. federal court system after Florida courts ruled that Michael Schiavo had the right to remove Terri’s life support, which includes a feeding tube and intravenous liquids.

After signing the Schiavo Law Sunday, President Bush said, “It is wisest to always err on the side of life.”

Three hostages return home to Florida

Posted on August 27th, 2017

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Three American hostages – Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell – that were being held in Colombia by FARC are now free. They are safely in Florida after their rescue by Colombian forces; 12 other hostages were rescued at the same time. They received care from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio before being sent home to their families. The men were taken captive when their drug surveillance plane went down in the jungles of Colombia in 2003 – more than 5 years ago. All three of the men were working for a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation at the time.

Keith Stansell emphasized that while he was grateful to be home, no one should “forget the people that are still there”. “Because of our rescue, there are fellow hostages that are still there,” Stansell said. He reminded those listening that some of the remaining hostages have already been in captivity for 10 years, in squalid conditions. “You wait for a day like yesterday and today, you know, for the end, you… you want it to end,” added Marc Gonsalves.