The Pandemic Shoved Me Off the Stage. Then Aretha Franklin Opened My Eyes

When Live Theater Went Dark, an Actor Sought Comfort and Found Grace Instead

The other day I was watching the Aretha Franklin documentary Amazing Grace, which was filmed while she was recording her album of the same name at church in downtown L.A. in 1972. The movie’s climax comes when 29-year-old Aretha performs her rendition of the title track, “Amazing Grace.” As soon as she started singing, I started weeping. By the time she got to the line “Was blind, but now I see,” I was experiencing full body chills.

I couldn’t stop crying. God, I prayed, I need a break, I need a …

The Play I Had to Write About the Murder That Haunted Me

To Forget Is to Remain Trapped in Purgatory, but Reimagining Horror Can Bring Catharsis

Mary Turner.

That name is forever etched into my memory … into my existence, as an artist, a writer, a woman, a mother, a human being.

On May 19, 1918, …

America’s First ‘Indian’ TV Star Was a Black Man from Missouri

Stymied by Hollywood Racism, Korla Pandit Reinvented Himself as a Mystical Brahmin Pianist

Turning on the TV in Los Angeles in 1949, you might have come face-to-face with a young man in a jeweled turban with a dreamy gaze accentuated by dark eye …

My Life as Barack Obama

For an Actor, Impersonating the President Is an Exciting Gig, and an Unexpected Gift

Celebrity impersonators get a lot of strange press. They get blamed for crimes, sometimes falsely. In L.A., there have been recent stories about cop impersonators. Does this mean that the …

John Lehr

Hollywood’s Most Affable Caveman

John Lehr’s most famous “role,” if you can call it that, masks a personality that is, at heart, a persistent smile. You’ve seen him—and heard him—over the years as the …

The Day Obama Didn’t Bring It

The President Has Been Wonderful In Tragedies Past. But, Last Thursday, He Was Playing a Part.

“Everyone is an actor, at heart,” I say when I’m training neophytes. I believe it to be true even for those who think, “Not me—I am not the acting type.” …