Art Knows Best


Me in the West Village, 1983.

New York City is still the last best place to get that Art “fix” and look humanity right in the face.

The Kiss mural seen from the HighLine, NYC.

The Kiss mural seen from the HighLine, NYC.

Hankchampion (sculpture by Mark Di Suvero) at the New Whitney museum.

Hankchampion (sculpture by Mark Di Suvero) at the New Whitney museum.

Street musician, Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, NYC.

Street musician, Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, NYC.

After being away for 23 years, which I now refer to as “Manhattan Interruptus,” my cup runneth over with the juice of this pulsating metropolis.

The World Trade Center from the New Whitney Museum.

The World Trade Center from the New Whitney Museum.

Thanks to the good company of Beau Gage, who  is a true patron to the arts and fine sculpturess herself, I got an inside glimpse to Martha Graham’s living legacy, the FANTASTIC new Whitney Museum, a Russian Modernist’s exhibit at the Neue Galerie, coupled with a classical performance by lively, young musicians.

BERLIN - JULY 04: (GERMANY OUT) The Martha Graham Dance Company performs during a photo call at he Deutsche Staatsoper on July 4, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sven Darmer/DAVIDS/Getty Images)

BERLIN – JULY 04: (GERMANY OUT) The Martha Graham Dance Company performs during a photo call at he Deutsche Staatsoper on July 4, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sven Darmer/DAVIDS/Getty Images)

Beau and I at the Neue Galerie in front of Klimt's Woman in Gold.

Beau and I at the Neue Galerie in front of Klimt’s Woman in Gold.

People at the Whitney overlooking Hudson River.

People at the Whitney overlooking Hudson River.


Alexander Calder’s Circus at the New Whitney.

Whitney Museum

Whitney Museum

View from Whitney of New Jersey.

View from Whitney of New Jersey.

More extraordinary view from the Whitney of Hudson River.

More extraordinary view from the Whitney of Hudson River.

Beau at the Whitney looking downtown.

Beau at the Whitney looking downtown.

Brooklyn, New York.

Brooklyn, New York.

I was able to track down Miles Bellamy, a well cultured buddy from my starving artist days, and devour his “Spoonbill and Sugartown Bookstore” in Brooklyn,  before sharing spaghetti on the roof with his 11 year old daughter. Time has certainly marched on.


Miles, me and Jonas.

Fountain and boy along the Highline.

Fountain and boy along the Highline.

I walked the fantastic, new HIghline that stretches 30 blocks along the Hudson River and is planted with indigenous flora. I think I heard someone speak English, once, and a Buddhist monk gave me a beaded bracelet.

The sure footed journey down the middle path is like an amusement park without the rides or admission.

I stayed at Westbeth in the West Village, which is a well known artists housing and cultural center and where I participated in Nancy Gabor’s acting workshop (the whole reason and purpose for my trip).

Nancy Gabor making her magic.

Nancy Gabor making her magic.

Me doing Chekhov in Nancy's acting workshop. Playing to Greg Taubman.

Me doing Chekhov in Nancy’s acting workshop. Playing to Greg Taubman.

Wrapping up an amazing weekend. Transforming!

Wrapping up an amazing weekend. Transformative!

Since Nancy and I reconnected after 30 years, I have rekindled my passion for Nancy’s acting core techniques. My early roots as a fledgling dancer/actor/playwright are in New York and my return feels like divine intervention. Nancy’s work gives wings to anyone who experiences it.

Happy Actors.

Happy Actors- Ethan, Shelley, Nancy, Allyson and Greg.

I am filled to the brim with possibilities, friendship and inspiration.


Hannah and I started in the village and ended up in Mexico.

Although, NYC has changed and I miss some of the grit and danger of the old days. I’m glad I had the good fortune of being broke and starry eyed during the 80’s. My humble performances in black box theatre seem better than ever in retrospect. Romantic even.

Tourists with money to burn have replaced the struggling artists and the neighborhood diners now resemble boutique eateries. Every one I talked with lamented the exorbitant rents with more luxury apartments coming. The grueling theatre arts scene has all but abandoned new talent. Every venue is a clique with its own niche. The Broadway world seems to be shrinking with remakes and star turns where everything old is new again. WTF. Cheers!

New York City is a hard place for dreamers and real people trying to make a living. That’s the case almost anywhere nowadays.  Where have all the interesting people gone? Oh well, artists have always had to live by the skin of their teeth and the wits of an alley cat. What gives me hope is how determined a true New Yorker is about never leaving or ever giving up. Now that’s what makes great art!

One of my favorite moments was sitting in a Bleecker Street Cafe over Caesar salad and helping a fellow playwright get his play back on track.


Martha Graham dancer


Kids Art at the Neue Galerie. The artists of tomorrow interpreting Adele in America.


Adele in America, Kids art at Neue Galerie, NYC



Mural from the HighLine.

Mural from the HighLine.


Adele in America, Kids art at Neue Galerie


Adele in America, Kids art at Neue Galerie

Mural from the Highline.

Mural from the Highline.
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Plucking the Poison Out of Eden



An interview with Permaculturist Linda Gibbs


Permaculturist Linda Gibbs

Spring is a great time to celebrate our beautiful earth by heeding the call to stop recklessly spreading poison into the environment.  Linda Gibbs, Permaculturist and volunteer for Poison Free Malibu, has shared a few tips about how to “restore” the landscape on your property without toxic chemicals. Linda is a native Californian, passionate organic gardener, herbalist, amazing wife and mother. Whenever I want to know the right thing to do for my garden, I ask Linda.

ALLYSON ADAMS- Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. What is the best way to eco-spring clean your yard and create a sustainable landscape?

LINDA GIBBS- It’s not about sustainability anymore, it’s about restoration. “Sustain” means you sustain the same thing. We want to make our yards and environment better and healthier so that everything works together. Healthy plants attract “good bugs.” You want to “restore” the landscape and begin to envision your yard as its own little eco-system.

AA- California and many other states are suffering from drought. What are the best ways to save water and cut down on usage?

LG- There is a phrase that’s catching on about landscaping water use.

“Slow It – Spread It – Sink It “ Any water that you are using, you want to be able to harness it, so that it doesn’t drain off your property. Treat your property as its own watershed.

AA – How do you harness water or keep it on your property?

LG- Swales, and there’s a lot of information about them online. Swales are a way to divert rain water from your gutters so that the water runs through your yard, instead of into a drain that goes into the street and out to sea. You make small ditches around your mounds of plants to capture moisture and direct water from one spot to another. I encourage people to research it.


AA- What about watering your lawn? Over 30% of our water usage in the United States goes to watering lawns and golf courses.

LG- There are many alternatives to having a lawn. Mowing a lawn every week uses gas lawn mowers. The amount of resources to maintain a lawn is staggering and the chemical nitrogen from the fertilizers runs off into the ocean and kills the reef and marine life.

Rather than having a yard that looks like wall to wall carpeting, have diversity in your lawn. Let weeds grow. Plantain and clover are good for the soil. Why not plant clover that feeds the soil by taking the Nitrogen from the air, chokes out the other weeds and feeds the bees. Dandelions are a good, edible plant. Find more drought tolerant plants and diversify. images-1

Plus, mowing your lawn too short makes the roots grow shallow. Letting grasses grow taller make the roots grow deeper and nourish the soil. Long grass roots sequester carbon and counter Global warming.

AA – What can you do with the leaves from trees?

LG – Another catchy phrase is “Leave them be.” When they fall, leave them be. Let the leaves break down by themselves and go back into the earth. Or you can put them in the compost, or use them as mulch for ground cover.

If your leaves fall on concrete, try sweeping instead of blowing. One hour of leafblowing admissions is equal to 1,000 miles of car travel. Leaf blowers stir everything up, including allergens that irritates the sinuses. I find sweeping therapeutic and meditative because it’s quiet, and I’m cleaning the energy.

AA – Any tips about taking care of trees? Can you use ashes from the fireplace to put around trees and plants?

LG- Yes. Ashes are good for citrus and makes the fruit really sweet. You want to mix the ashes with other organic compost for fertilizer.

The best time to trim trees is in the Fall. Don’t trim trees in the Spring because birds are making their nests. When we trim our trees in October, we burn the tree trimmings in the fireplace for heat, because they dry fast. The rest of the wood needs to dry longer because the pieces are bigger.

Rather than have the tree trimmers haul your wood away, have them chip up the wood so you can use the wood chips for mulch. That way you are recycling the yard into itself. It’s better than buying and using chemicals.

The best fertilizer is a layer of manure and a layer of wood chips. That will create a great area to plant or a walking area. If you buy wood chips, make sure they are untreated. Then they will break down and feed the soil and you can replenish with more chips. 245-4

We used our Sycamore logs for our front steps. Eucalyptus wood chips and leaves are great weed abatement and they don’t compact the soil. When weeds grow taller you can pull them up easier because the soil is open. The chips reverse compaction.

AA – What made you change your whole yard and begin this “restoration” process?

LG – Before I became an active steward of my piece of heaven (laughs) I wandered over to a neglected area of the yard where there was thick mulch under a tree. I noticed the soil was so dark, rich and loamy. I realized all the weed pulling and leaf clearing was depriving my soil in the areas our gardener was paid to expose the soil.

Soil hates to be naked. Never leave it exposed. Would you leave your skin exposed all day to the elements? Plants or mulch must always cover the ground. Mulch can be leaves or cuttings from your plants near by. We call that “chop and drop.” You can use hay, or straw, or woodchips. They all work well. The hay breaks down the fastest, but has a lot of nutrients. The straw lasts longer and the woodchips last the longest.

My soil has become so active and healthy. The healthy soil eats up the woodchips faster and faster every year and leaves behind great soil. I add a lot of bio-dynamic preps to my soil which creates more activity.


 AA – How can people avoid rats, insects and spiders, so they don’t have to use poisons?

LG- Poisons adversely affect the whole food and plant chain. Poison Free Malibu’s campaign is to help people understand that All Things Are Connected. Natural predators will kill pests, but if a poisoned rat gets eaten by a pet dog, cat or owl, let’s say, they could die.

AA- The latest report that Roundup, a commonly used herbicide, is proven to cause cancer, is just another ugly fact in a string of alarming truths that add up to one thing; The poisons in the environment are slowly killing us. Anymore catchy phrases?

LG – Yes. With rats, it’s all about cleaning up. So we say “Clean up – Seal up – Trap up.“ Clean up and you starve them. You have to keep trash lids on and clean up all around the garbage. No food around anywhere. Trash lids need to be sealed, so pests can’t get inside. You have to seal your home as well. Any place they can get in, you need to close up and seal.

You don’t need poison if your area is free of food. If there is food, no matter how much poison, you will always have rats coming to eat. No food, no rats. Cleaning up is the answer, not the poisons or the traps. Traps are the last alternative.

AA – What about spiders and ants?

LG – Spiders eat the bad insects. Why would you want to get rid of them if you don’t like bugs? Clean the webs in your home and leave them alone.

If you don’t like ants in your kitchen, clean up. It’s just like the rats, clean everything up. Wash with soap and water and put chalk in the hole. Find where they are coming in from and put chalk and eucalyptus leaves.

AA – You’re right, that works. Anything else?

LG- To be sustainable, you need to do more than save water and stop using poisons. We need to think restorative. When you use wood chips and clover, and start growing taller grasses, you are restoring the soil better than it’s ever been. Healthy plants attract “good bugs” so you don’t need the poison. You can use water in a way that recycles and replenishes the watershed on your own land.

Begin thinking about restoring your yard to a healthy Eco system that self generates. You want a landscape that recycles resources and grows more abundant with life and diversity the older it gets. Less and less outside input every year will be less work for you. A healthy Eco system has everything it needs.

AA –Thank you Linda! For more information, visit Earth Friendly Management. We can do it green, one yard at a time!




Happy Spring!

From the Remaining Chord


Hmm, these are the most captivating images and references I’ve seen in a long time. Nelson Mandela had this HOPE image on his cell wall. Martin Luther King Jr. referenced this in a sermon. Thank you to The Genealogy of Style.

Originally posted on The Genealogy of Style:

Hope, George Frederic Watts, 1886

Hope is a Symbolist oil painting by George Frederic Watts, two versions of which were completed in 1886. The painting was intended to form part of a series of allegorical paintings by Watts entitled the House of Life. The painting shows a female allegorical figure of Hope. Hope is traditionally identifiable through the attribute of an anchor, but Watts took a more original approach. In his painting, she is depicted sitting on a globe, blindfolded, clutching a wooden lyre with only one string left intact. She sits in a hunched position, with her head leaning towards the instrument, perhaps so she can hear the faint music she can make with the sole remaining string. According to Watts, “Hope need not mean expectancy. It suggests here rather the music which can come from the remaining chord”. The desolate atmosphere is emphasised by Watts’s soft…

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50s Westerns DVD News #182: The Rebel (1959-61).


Finally, The Rebel is being released on DVD by Shout Factory. The best news of all is that the original Johnny Cash song will accompany the episodes. That song really made the show and that’s what everyone remembers. Thank you to Toby Roan for posting this on 50 Westerns from the 50’s.

Originally posted on 50 Westerns From The 50s.:


Timeless Media Group has announced The Rebel: The Complete Series for release this August. You get all 76 episodes and plenty of bonus stuff: interviews, stills, commercials and a featurette.

Nick Adams plays Johnny Yuma, a young Confederate veteran who “roamed through the west” following the Civil War. Each week, he encounters a new batch of characters, played by the typically wonderful character actors of the period, from John Carradine to Marie Windsor — and some folks we’d come to know later like Warren Oates and Strother Martin. Johnny Cash, who released a 45 of  the title tune, even turns up in one.


While we’re on the subject of Nick Adams, I’m a big fan of Fury At Showdown (1957), an excellent little Western with a terrific performance from Nick. It’s out on DVD and I can’t recommend it enough.

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The Rebel & The King Book Clearance!

BookBabyCover13Page 1- -BOOK CLEARANCE-
Order Now!

Last Chance for “First Edition”

 Nick Adams’ Original Manuscript

(Not available on Amazon)

Order by June 1, 2015

The Rebel & The King website- BUY BOOK Here

$19.95 plus shipping

REVIEWS 4.5 stars on Amazon-

“The Rebel & The King” is a sweetly naïve account by the late actor Nick Adams about his friendship with a young Elvis Presley.”  Susan King, Los Angeles Times

“An unabashedly adoring glimpse into the life of The King.” Brett Johnson, The Huffington Post {Ventura County Star}

“This is the first book I read about Elvis that made me smile.”  Tracy Rossman, Malibu, CA

“Nobody knows Nick Adams better than me, and Nick was E.P.’s best friend in Hollywood.” Robert Conrad, Actor

“This is one of the most honest, touching and truthful books I’ve read about Elvis. I had no idea that extent of Nick’s connection to Elvis’ family and hometown. We never hear much about his mother and father. Nick brings them to life. It’s fascinating stuff.” Tom Brown, TCM

“A rare look at Elvis at the beginning of his career.” Suzanne Guldimann, Malibu Surfside News

“The essence of Presley is found in Adams’ writing….the best of times.” Steve Gillespie, Meridian Star

The Rebel and The King is truly a delightful book and what a fantastic find.” Piers Beagley, Elvis Information Network

“A new book gives an in-depth look at life as Elvis’ good friend. It is a behind-the-scenes look at the friendship and bond shared with The King of Rock-n-Roll.” Action 5 News, WMC-TV, Memphis, TN

“Nick’s charming tale recalls those days of comparative innocence for two ambitious celebrities destined to die young. It’s a diary of encounters. I admit to being a bit star struck when I read Nick’s original manuscript. Allyson has brought her father’s unfiltered portrayal of the legendary Elvis to life.” Kevin Giles, author and journalist for Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN

“Nick Adams’ story about his friendship with Elvis and his parents now have, in its entirety, seen the light of day thanks to Nick’s daughter Allyson Adams who, after many years finally opened up the box marked ‘Daddy’. If you want to read about the unspoiled, curious, lively Elvis before ‘all hell broke loose’ this book is for you.” Roger Ersson, The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Sweden

“The book presents a behind-the-scenes view of what Elvis was like behind closed doors while hanging out in Hollywood and back home in Memphis.” Trina Yannicos, Elvis Presley Examiner,

“Once I started reading The Rebel & The King, I couldn’t put it down, and read the whole book in one evening. I highly recommend The Rebel & The King to everyone, whether you’re an Elvis fan or not! Thank you, Allyson Adams, for generously sharing Nick’s memories of Elvis with the rest of the world!”   Phyllis Hill, Nashville, TN

“I read it in one evening, devouring every word. From the very first page you will be hooked. This is a must-read for Elvis and Nick Adams fans alike. You will not be disappointed. Thank you so much, Allyson, my hat is off to you. Enjoy the journey.”  Verna Briscoe, Chicago, IL

“This is an honest, heart-warming, charming book. It’s especially nice to know the story behind some of the photos that we Elvis fans have seen all these years. Thank you, Allyson!”

“Hello Allyson, I met you in Graceland. I have to tell you that I loved the book. It was just so nice to read about something so special as the friendship of your dad and Elvis. It was quite refreshing to read what truly came from the heart. It certainly put a smile on my face.
Thank you for sharing.”
   Joan Couch Wusaty, Brooklyn, NY

A Feminist’s Blueprint 100 Years Ago

PeaceDVDcover100 years ago, Montana elected the first woman to Congress and her name was Jeannette Rankin. Rankin built an army of women and believed that if women got the vote, they would end war. Well, you can’t blame her for trying. Hillary Clinton could take a lesson from the convictions that shaped Rankin’s career.

Filmed entirely in Montana, Peace is a Woman’s Job, is an American tale about a courageous woman that has been forgotten in the history books. The story opens with the ghost of Jeannette Rankin surprising a young woman, Lindsay, that is reading a book about her by the river. Away they go in Jeannette’s Model T, where they time travel back to Jeannette’s early suffrage days, a successful campaign for Congress and ends with Jeannette’s controversial NO vote against U.S. entry into WWI.

I made this humble movie in 2003 to show how Rankin built a grass roots movement based on the principles of Democracy. Perhaps now the world is ready for Jeannette Rankin’s powerful message.

 Order your own copy today and learn about a woman who never gave up on what she believed in. The DVD is $13.95 and shipping is $5.95 for a grand total of $19.90!

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Watch the trailer and order your DVD today!

Upcoming April 10-12 Workshop

SDC12051Hi Everybody! It’s getting closer to the workshop April 10-12. Please contact me if you would like to join Nancy Gabor and Paul Binnerts for an amazing weekend! Here are some quotes from their recent New York City workshop at LaMaMa.

“If you have the chance to study with Nancy and Paul – TAKE IT! Their workshop was transformational and left me with rich material for further growth and exploration both in performance and in life! Recommended!”
Sean Kaminsky SDC12034

“Working with Nancy and Paul is like being in the room with Joseph Chaikin and Bertolt Brecht at the same time.  By the end of the weekend I felt vulnerable, validated, emptied, empowered, and above all: present.” Greg Taubman – director/actor


The workshop was a completely beautiful, loving, experience. Nancy & Paul work in tandem as they lead the way into storytelling with creative aliveness filled with technical clarity, exercises both simple and multifaceted. Shelley Hainer SDC12055

Nancy Gabor’s use of the golden circle of trust, figure 8 breathing and colors as a way into freeing the body and emotion stood out for me. I really appreciated the tune up and the constant reminder to be so. Beyond the technical, it was also special for me to learn more about her experience as an artist and her point of view. I saw it as a form of mentorship, and made me reflect on my own journey. Tan Shou Chan – LaMaMa – Umbria SDC12046
actor/director Acting from the Bare Essential