The scintillating life of Creative Director/ Variety Entertainer, Christian Fitzharris, and his never ending voyage to do everything in the world. ( at a respectful pace... of course)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Plain truth from Nietzsche.

"I believe that artists often do not know what they can do best: they are too vain. They are intent on something prouder than these small plants seem to be which grow on their soil, new, strange and beautiful, in real perfection. What is ultimately good in their own garden and vineyard they esteem lightly, and their love and insight are not equal."


"Dreams into Action"

"Dreams into Action: Getting what you want" by Milton Kateselas Copyright 1996

This book was referred to me by my close friend and mentor,Robert Urich. We used to read aloud in his study from "Letters to a young Poet" by Rainer Maria Rilke. It was a very unique experience hearing Robert's mellifluous baritone read these great artistic words of encouragement. He would read awhile and then pass a particular section over to me to read aloud. Eventually we moved on to "Dreams into Action" by Milton Katselas, who held Master Classes at The Beverly Hills Playhouse. Robert and his wife Heather were adamant about how much I would benefit from attending classes with Milton. They really thought I could gain a lot from going to The Playhouse and plied me with wine and encouragement from the living room of their family vacation home outside of Toronto, Canada. I decided to give it a try and Robert made the request for me to be accepted into The Beverly Hills Playhouse's next open class. With The Urich's vouching for me I was a shoe in, and started class within a month of returning from Canada.

The ideas and stories Milton talks about in his classes and writes about in this great book have the power to change your life. He is patently persuasive while being pertinently practical. (It must be because he grew up in a Greek family in Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania where age Appalachian wisdom meets steel mill common sense!) "Dreams into Action" is a quick easy read ,but the real challenge is doing the exercises and uprooting the problem areas of your life. It is a courageous task to take on and Milton is a warm friend talking you through it the whole way. If you are looking for that self help book that doesn't insult your intelligence and scratches at the areas we try to hide and ignore, "Dreams into Action" is for you. But don't let Milton catch you sleeping on your homework or he may enlist you in "Terrorist Theater" so that you get on the fast track to overcoming your fears and defeating the snake that lurks beneath your insecurities. For the discerning autodidact in all of us.

Rest in Peace, Milton and Robert. I'm sure Master Class is rollicking now.

Smile! Your immortal.

I must've been asked to pose in thousands, even tens of thousands of pictures over my many years performing in shows all over the world. People want to capture memories and moments and lock them in technology to be relived later in a different location of geography and time. You may not even be in a "show" and are still asked to be in pictures with guests at your work place. A lively conversation with the couple at the table next to yours may turn into a quick picture and plans to meet again in the future. If you work in the food service industry you are often included in photos with the birthday boy or girl or even their parents and grandparents. But you never know where these pictures end up.

Sure most of them sit on hard drives or in undeveloped film canisters at the bottom of a drawer or box, but a few are chosen to be incarnated and sealed within the records in a family room or on a homemade calendar on a senior family members refrigerator. Others are lost in boxes over years marinading in the moist heavy air of a dark basement under the darkness of Martha Stewart magazines and recipes, ever to be estranged from human palettes. The most elite of all of these photographs captures the person in a passing moment everyone wants to remember them by. That look on their face. The restriction in the muscles smiling. The plastic time cementer encasing racing moments. Paused glowing and frozen.

Somewhere a picture of you taken in a public place may be sitting in a frame on a vodou altar after your dead. You don't want to look like a jackass for eternity, so give us a smile worthy of an immortal.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Merci, Cirque du Soleil's Totem!

I want to thank everyone in Cirque du Soleil's "Totem" for having me as a guest today to teach my "Clown and Movement" class in the Artistic tent. I was surprised how many people came in to work early to take part in the class. Thank you so much! We had a lot of fun and crammed a lot of material into an hour and a half.
Everyone was so attentive and committed to doing the exercises and I really appreciated that.
What a fantastic group of people! Thank you so much, Melanie for having me. And thank you cast members who gave me your energy and personalities so freely today.

I really had a great time and I hope you gained a lot as well.
All the best!