The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #262 and Like a Hood Ornament 17: Welcome Stunt Woman Jazzy Ellis to the Show!

Episode #262 and Like a Hood Ornament 17: Welcome Stunt Woman Jazzy Ellis to the Show!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-262/Podcast%20262.mp3

jazzy

This week, stunt performer Jazzy Ellis joins the show.  She is a Screen Actors Guild Award winner with many film and TV credits you may have seen or heard of, like Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Walking Dead, Bad Boys for Life, Chaos Walking, and more.  She is also a former teacher, ballet dancer, and a tireless crusader for equal representation for people of color in the stunt and film world.  It was great to have her on to discuss her circuitous journey to where she is now as well as how she prepares for stunts and keeps in shape for the very physical job she has.  We also had a chance to touch on issues of race in the film industry as well as the country at large and what she’d like to see for performers of color in the industry.

For the “Like a Hood Ornament” section of the show, we’re looking at this clip from The Rocketeer, where the Rocketeer takes off:

Coincidentally, the music  – a short version of the theme done I think with a French horn with chimes in the background – that plays right before, about 0:53 in, happens to be my favorite part of the entire soundtrack.  It has always seemed to me that it embodies the spirit of entire film, a little snippet of pre-war optimism for a better tomorrow where rocketpacks wouldn’t be experimental and flight would be commonplace.

In any event, Jazzy is giving her professional thoughts on the fall that the stunt man does around 1:20, where Peevy is tossed backwards by the force of the rocket’s blast.

By the way, if you’d like to learn more about Jazzy, check out the following clips:

… and on the web here:

Imdb

Twitter

Instagram

www.jazzyellis.com

Thanks, Jazzy, for coming on the show!

Also, the next segment of the fanfic short story, “The Last Rocketeer,” describing a team-up between Centauri from The Last Starfighter and a 71 year-old Cliff Secord who has long since given up being the Rocketeer (but secretly wants one last flight) is up.

You can read the first chapter on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/919346978-the-last-rocketeer-1-in-which-cliff-finds-a

Here’s part 2: https://www.wattpad.com/926948946-the-last-rocketeer-2-nighttime-visitors

And here’s the section I was reading from in episode 260: https://www.wattpad.com/930869004-the-last-rocketeer-3-into-the-depths-of-hell

The next part of Chapter 4 is here: https://www.wattpad.com/934519790-the-last-rocketeer-4-in-which-the-proverbial

rocketeer night

More coming next week!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #255: Welcome Bboy / MC / Professor Raphael Xavier!

Episode #255: Welcome Bboy / MC / Professor Raphael Xavier!

https://archive.org/download/podcast-255/Podcast%20255.mp3

On this week’s show, I’m pleased to welcome Raphael Xavier, a breakdancer and emcee who got his start in 1983 and has been around to see these aspects of hip hop come, go, return, and evolve over the past 30+ years.

RaphaelXavier

He is also a professor at Princeton University, where he teaches a history of hip hop class as well as one that provides an introduction to breaking.  My co-host today is not only my friend but former roommate, training partner, and fellow breaker / Princeton alum, Justin Liang (last on the show on episodes 47 and 48).  We were both blown away that not only is hip hop being taught at our former alma mater, there are actual classes on how to break.  ABSOLUTELY MIND BLOWING.

XaviereBreakdancingClass_0031-people-page

We covered so many topics in this conversation, including a lot of things that, while not part of dance, are important life skills to keep in mind for creative people – transforming pain into insight and then power, not giving up, having a direction in life as well as daily practice, how the creative process changes over time and with age, the past and future of the dance, and – for all the high school and college graduates who didn’t get a keynote speaker at a formal ceremony speech this spring – there’s even one in this interview for you.

Check out the following links for info:

-Agency Website: https://www.pentacle.org/blog/artist/raphael-xavier/

-Benefit Performance (1/30/20, about 33 min into the clip): https://vimeo.com/388609182

-Ignite Philly talk on breaking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRbibaOxAW4

-A Conversation with Urban Artistry (5/30/20 – thanks to my friend, breaking professor, and bboy Taylor Lomba) for posting this clip): https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=541382093407459&id=493753445299&_rdr
-Find Raph on IG and Facebook
-By the way, the clip we were discussing at ~2:05:00 you can watch below on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BN3GwSZgNg7/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Thanks, Raph, for joining Justin and me for this interview!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If the past few months have got you needing a break, you may want to chill out to this 80s synth throwback track for a upcoming LP with the accompanying music video:

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #214: A Conversation with Author and Tibetan Medical Practitioner, EzDean Fassassi

Episode #214: A Conversation with Author and Tibetan Medical Practitioner, EzDean Fassassi

https://archive.org/download/podcast214_201909/Podcast%20214.mp3

This week, I have the pleasure of speaking with a friend and classmate, EzDean Fassassi, who has a great story about how he came to be where he is now, an author and an owner of a Tibetan medical practice.  We had a great conversation about fad diets, parenting, how he got interested in and studied the esoteric art he now practices for a living (taking him halfway around the world and consuming multiple years of his life) as well as how he wrote the book below.  And if you ever thought about making your own audiobook, like he did, keep listening for his thoughts in the latter part of the episode.

Check out a few clips below of EzDean discussing some things he discusses in his practice:

 

Click on the cover of the book below to check out the book on Amazon (now available as a hardcover and as an audiobook):

The Eight Principles of Good Health: Modern Health Advice from an Ancient Healing System by [Fassassi, EzDean]

By the way, if you were curious about the Tibetan language book EzDean wrote, you can find it here.

If you’d like to get a Cliffs’ Notes version of some Tibetan health tips, check out a few high yield tips on his website as well as his Instagram profile for a range of examples of how to pair Western foods together in a healthy way for color, nutrition, and taste.  If you have a question sparked by this podcast, you can get in touch with him here: (https://holistichealth.consulting/#section-contact).

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In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

 

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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Open letter to Princeton University Protesters

Dear Princeton Student Protesters:

     I hear congratulations are in order.  They’re not coming from me, but a part of me respects what you did.  Another part does not.  But I’m not here to hate.  I write about escapist entertainment on this little blog, after all, and try my best to avoid politics and social commentary.   I just have a word of caution … and encouragement (of a kind).

      Take what I have to say with a grain of salt, since I’m not the best alumnus out there, nor was I the greatest student.  I didn’t take an interest in campus news or events when I was a student and still don’t, really.  Almost all of the orange and black I now own was bought by my wife. I think I owned maybe one or two Princeton shirts by the time I graduated, and that they were given to me by Outdoor Action. I never went to a football game. I didn’t like Prospect Street then and have since forgotten the names of most of the clubs. If someone held a gun to my head and asked me to sing the words to Old Nassau, I’d probably get it confused with Auld Lang Syne.  Oh, and I have made it a consistent point to recycle the annual giving letters that come in the mail.

     Point being, despite these issues then and now, I look back and realize I had a good four years there. Make no mistake, the social scene left a lot to be desired, and I basically fit into none of it.  There was, of course, elitism, racism, sexism, and a lot of other unfair stuff.  But my friends and I did the best we could with the time we were given while trying to keep our heads above water enough to graduate.  Then, things got easier in some ways, harder in many others.  And I slowly came to realize that all those “-isms” that irritated me at Princeton were not much different from the “-isms” I found when I got out and looked around.  Life is – as a black-leather-pantsed David Bowie said to a young Jennifer Connelly in the movie, Labyrinth – unfair.  Everyone learns about that bitter pill in elementary school, but … it never does get easier to take.

     So when I heard about your protests on campus to get the administration to acknowledge that former US President Woodrow Wilson was a racist, that staff needs cultural competency training, and black students must have their own space on campus, I got where you were coming from and why you were passionate for change.

     But let me say this.  You can do better. You are capable of so much better.   You got into Princeton, after all, and though family, teachers, and friends helped you get there, you were the ones taking the tests, doing the interviews, and filling out the applications that made it all happen.  Do yourself and those folks in your corner justice while you’re a student so you can do something worthwhile with what you learned once you leave.  The fight is out there.  There’s a big, bad world, as some of you already know well, and you’ll need your energy for whatever challenges you’ll face, day-in, day-out.  There’s no graduation to the rest of life.  Don’t let your finest hour be fighting the Man to get your own space on campus.

     It’s kind of like punching the ref before the match even starts.  The University isn’t the enemy.  They have their issues, to be fair, but as much as they enjoy your 60K/yr (or whatever astronomical sum it is now), they ultimately want you to finish and look back on the experience fondly.  Because then, of course, you might come back, give them money, or maybe even send your kids there.  And that’s part of the reason they’re giving in now.

     So, if you want to rebel against Mom and Dad, fair.  But just remember what you are asking for, and that there are consequences now that are a bit more far reaching in adulthood than liberating the family car for the night or smoking a blunt in the bathroom.  Asking for safety from prejudice and judgement is one thing.  Asking for voluntary segregation is another.  It’s a free country, and you can do what you want, but remember that the Civil Rights Movement and the philosophies that stemmed from it were hard won battles in a war that’ll probably never really be over.  Maybe I’m just jaded, but it’s really hard to get people to coexist without them wanting to kill each other eventually.  Look at all the issues we have in this country – in this world – because groups of people can’t get along.  That’s why humanity needs your help, your continued, daily help, because there are some things Mom and Dad can’t fix, and no amount of demanding will make things right.  That’s not their job anymore.  That’s yours, since you are the future.

     So although I don’t agree with the President’s decision to have made these concessions, I’m not in your shoes, nor his, and what’s done is done.  Now they have to be carried out.  If you really, really feel strongly that the these concessions will make daily life at Princeton better for you, then be prepared to do the leg work to make these things a reality.  If it really means that much to you, then you will find a way to goad the administration along over the next months and (likely) years needed to fully implement these changes (for institutions, as I’m sure you know, change slowly).

     And, if instead – just by coincidence, hypothetically speaking – you decide that your time is better spent working on your senior thesis, applying to graduate school, trying to find a job, or doing any number of things necessary to get on with your life …   That’s okay, too.  To paraphrase something Mr. Miyagi said to Daniel in Karate Kid III – “Daniel-san!  Best karate still inside!”  Best karate, indeed.

     Sincerely,

     Joshua Blum, ’02