All posts by Chris Corning

12 Days of Giving: Back on My Feet

This is the one of several posts by us outlining charities and non-profit causes near to our heart. It isn’t always about monetary donations for these groups. Tight on funds? They welcome your time and talents to help them as a volunteer as well. When it’s all said and done you feel closer and connected to your community when you help it out. And isn’t giving of yourself all that matters this time of year regardless if its Christmas, Hanukkah, or Pagan rituals?


As someone whose life has been transformed through running – becoming active and participating in races and so on – I feel a special sense of kinship with others who have used fitness as a way to break out of a rut. Back on My Feet is a program aimed at helping homeless people overcome their circumstances, using running as a catalyst.

Back on My Feet uses running to empower individuals experiencing homelessness and guide them on the path to self-sufficiency. Members and volunteers gather together as a community for early morning runs, and side by side take steps towards restoring value.
Through dedication to our program, members begin to feel appreciated, valued, and develop an enhanced sense of self-worth. The positive changes enable them to make strides towards leading healthier, more successful lives and earning their way to independent housing and employment.
Please take a moment to view the story below which confirms how the simple act of running can fuel self-worth.

Find out more about how to donate, volunteer, or “fundrace” by visiting Back on My Feet LA’s website.

The Winter’s Tale at the Alex Theatre

Remember that one-time-only performance of The Winter’s Tale we mentioned a while back? Well, it’s coming up soon (June 29th), and this week you can get tickets at a reduced price. Here’s word from one of the Little Candle Theatre group’s founding members, Betsy Roth:

This week only, we are offering tickets directly to the public (saving our patrons $6.50 in processing fees by bypassing the theatre) that can be purchased through this link.

The concept of a one-time-only performance seems pretty neat to me, and the Alex Theatre seems like a pretty cool venue. Anyone think they might go?

Can LA Get a Do-Over?

Will Campbell's Manzanar Photo
Will Campbell's Manzanar Photo - click through for post

Sure, Angelenos are no strangers to the concept of a makeover. But when it comes to an egregious error on the part of elected officials—decades in the past—is it possible to get a do-over? County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas thinks that it might be possible, at least, for the LA County Board of Supervisors to try to facilitate some healing regarding one serious misstep taken by the board in 1942.

Specifically, when our country decided that certain broad swipes of our populace could not be trusted based solely on their ancestry, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted 70 years ago to pass a resolution urging the President of the US and Congress to proceed with internment as soon as possible. According to one of his aides, current LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will introduce a motion to repeal that resolution at the 5 June 2012 meeting of the board.

We’ve blogged about the internment at before, here and here. (And by “we” I mean Will Campbell!) It is certainly a dark page in the past of our nation, and one that we would like to think is mostly behind us. Alas, in the post-9/11 attitude toward Middle-Eastern Americans and the ongoing atmosphere of racial profiling and harassment that thrives under Joe Arpaio, perhaps that page hasn’t fully been turned just yet.

Still, steps such as this move by Ridley-Thomas—which on its face may appear not to change much of anything—can help to push the dialogue of greater racial tolerance and perhaps prevent further injustice as we progress as Angelenos, as Americans, as humans. In fact, this move will help to highlight the progress Los Angeles has made in overcoming institutional racism, as current Chief Executive Officer of LA County, William Fujioka, and the LA County Board’s Executive Officer, Sachi Hamai, are both Japanese Americans.

That, and everyone’s favorite Japanese-American actor and celebrity, George Takei, will also attend the board meeting and offer testimony in support of Ridley-Thomas’ motion. Goodness knows he’s familiar with the challenges of being a second-class citizen.

In the gallery below, view the board’s resolution as it was passed in January 1942.

The Bard’s Birthday

Another new LA-based theater company, Little Candle Productions, is getting all set to do a one-night only production of Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” in June. Not only is it a one-time performance, but it will take place at Glendale’s historic Alex Theatre, a beautiful venue with a whopping 1,400 seats.

To help make this possible, Little Candle Productions is having a fundraiser this Monday—Shakespeare’s birthday the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death—at the Colorado Wine Company in Eagle Rock. See the flyer below, and click through to buy tickets.

Ticket Giveaway: Mare Nubium at JACCC

No, that picture is not a still from a new J-horror movie that’s bound to be remade for US audiences, and Mare Nubium is more than just a trench on the moon; there’s a new show opening soon at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo, and we have FIVE pairs of tickets to give away! Here’s a description of the show:

Mare Nubium is the abbreviated performance of the kalpa, which was performed at the kick off of Pacific Standard Time at the Getty. In Sanskrit, kalpa means eons, or a long period of time. It’s said that once every hundred years, an angel comes down from heavens and swipes the surface of a stone with her silk sleeves until the rock disappears. Hiro Kosaka creates a symbolic parallel between the kalpa and the inevitable passage of time that slowly transforms our lives and the memories that we hold onto. Performers include Butoh (Japanese dancer) master Oguri, who leads a small company of dancers.

Find out more about the opening night show and how to win tickets after the jump.

Continue reading Ticket Giveaway: Mare Nubium at JACCC

Happy 85 to Grauman’s Chinese!

I like going out to the movies. And I like cheap stuff. Normally, however, the second-run theaters may have lower prices, but the experience can also be somewhat lacking, as well. (I did learn this weekend, though, that the cheap theater in NoHo has $1 hot dogs. Awesome!)

As of this month, Grauman’s Chinese has been a fine establishment for movie outings in Hollywood for 85 years. To commemorate the anniversary, they’re doing some low price showings of movies that are decidedly not first-run. Find out more from their flyer below:

Grauman's Chinese 85th Anniversary flyer

Lonesome No More: No Exit

After writing a post about Three Year Swim Club a few weeks ago, I was contacted by a small new-ish theater group called “Lonesome No More” and invited to come see their production of Sartre’s No Exit. As an English major who toyed with the possibility of declaring a philosophy minor as an undergrad, I was a bit embarrassed to admit that I had never read the French philosopher’s play. (I did read The Age of Reason around the time I finished my BA, so I’m not a complete slacker…)

In any event, while I was interested in seeing the Sartre play and hearing Travis Koplow‘s favorite line (“Hell is other people!”), I was also somewhat intrigued by the Lonesome No More! company. Los Angeles being a city so filled to the brim with aspiring actors and writers, I’m just so damned impressed by folks who are willing to step out and take a risk like starting a new theater company. Read more of what I learned about Lonesome No More! and my thoughts on No Exit after the break.

Continue reading Lonesome No More: No Exit

Fire in Chatsworth?

Where there's smoke...
Where there's smoke...

Spotted at 10:35 am, there’s a serious plume of black, black smoke just outside my office window near the border of Northridge/Chatsworth. There’s already a ghetto bird police helicopter overhead.

Anyone know what happened?

Update: NBC Los Angeles is on the story.

Update 2: About 20 minutes after the plume first appeared, the fire seems to have been successfully extinguished. Go LAFD!

Jump Around

trampoline parkUrbandaddy recently tipped us off to this fascinating new type of recreation facility: the indoor trampoline park. According to the Sky Zone website, they are planning to leap right into the southland (sorry) with over a half-dozen SoCal locations open or planned, including Covina, Glendale, Anaheim, the San Fernando Valley, and more.

According to the Urbandaddy post, the Gardena location was set for a soft opening this past Saturday. Anyone make it out there?

Vox Femina LA Ticket Giveaway: St. Paddy’s Day Special

LA may not be the first city you think of when it comes to Irish-Catholic heritage, but that doesn’t mean there are no Angelenos interested in celebrating the man who single-handedly drove snakes from the Emerald Isle. Vox Femina LA, a women’s choral ensemble “dedicated to the performance of quality choral literature from a world perspective with an emphasis on music by women composers,” is celebrating St Pat’s day in style with music inspired by some old playwright from England. Here’s some info from the press release:

Vox Femina Los Angeles, the almost 40-member women’s choral ensemble, continues its 15th anniversary season with From Shakespeare to Shamrocks, a spring concert celebration that brings the English and Irish together in song on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2012 at the Zipper Concert Hall in the Colburn School of Music in Downtown LA.

In this bi-cultural evening, Vox Femina will unite classic Shakespeare sonnets with authentic Irish music sung in Gaelic. From classical works to folk songs, traditions new and old from England, Scotland and Ireland will be celebrated at the event.

Continue reading Vox Femina LA Ticket Giveaway: St. Paddy’s Day Special