MJK News

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New Title for my documentary: HEARING VOICES plus Fiscal Sponsorship!

I’m  unveiling a new title for my in-production documentary feature film about the history and power of radio: HEARING VOICES: How Radio Changed America & America Changed Radio.  Title changes are nothing new for most film projects, especially early on. As the film is developed and refined, a new title can more accurately convey the essence of the project. I believe this new title does just that.

In even bigger news, the International Documentary Association (IDA) has become our fiscal sponsor.

That means, dear friends, that any and all money donated to my film project will be a tax deduction since the IDA is a 501(3)(c). For a documentary filmmaker like myself, this is pure gold. You give, you get! Investment in a film is always a gamble, plain and simple; but a tax-deductible donation is guaranteed value in return, PLUS you get to be a part of making this film happen. Needless to say, please check it out here!

 

2015 OFF TO A ROUGH START

The loss of my mother on January 22, 2015 set the tone for the beginning of this year. However much I feel like stopping in my tracks, I cannot. It’s not just because I have things to do and goals to achieve. I have my life to lead. Accepting that it will never be the same will take time and I don’t control how that part of my journey goes.

 

That being said, I am very excited about the balance of this year! First and foremost, my documentary film project (“Radio Changed America” is now known as “HEARING VOICES: How Radio Changed America & America Changed Radio”) has acquired the International Documentary Association (IDA) as its fiscal sponsor! That means, dear friends, that any and all money donated to the film project will be a tax deduction since the IDA is a 501(3)(c). For a documentary filmmaker this is pure gold! You give, you get. Investment in a film is a gamble, plain and simple, but a tax-deductible donation is guaranteed value in return, PLUS you get to be a part of making this film happen. Needless to say, I will have more information available soon.

 

Additionally, a screenplay that I co-wrote is still alive in the industry circles. These things are always long shots but that fact that it continues to be read and considered is a significant thing.

 

And if that isn’t enough, I continue as the introduction voice of the web series “Creative Continuity” and I have a couple of other irons in the fire that may yield wonderful creative opportunities.

 

So 2015 may indeed be off to a very rough start, there is no reason to believe it will end in that manner! Stay tuned…

Audio Excerpt of MJK on YesterdayUSA talking about directing at OTR Conventions

Audio Excerpt from MJK on YesterdayUSA.com talking about Norman Corwin Projects

Preparing to Direct “The Shadow” for SPERDVAC’s 40th Anniversary Convention

On November 14, 15, and 16, 2014, the Society to Preserve & Encourage Radio Drama, Variety And Comedy (SPERDVAC) will celebrate its 40th Anniversary with a wonderful Old Time Radio Convention to be held at the Holiday Inn Burbank-Media Center in Burbank, CA.

I have once again been asked to direct one of the old time radio re-creations and I decided to do something personal: the very first episode of “The Shadow” that I ever heard called “Death Stalks the Shadow” from 1938. I remember buying the record on the basis of my mother’s recommendation. It had been one of her favorite shows growing up. I was around 13 or 14 when I played the record album for the first time.  I loved it! And so, I will return to my own personal Old Time Radio roots and do this show.

If you are in town and can make it, I’d love to see you there! “The Shadow” is scheduled for Friday November 14 at 4pm at the Holiday Inn Burbank-Media Center, 150 E. Angeleno Ave., Burbank, CA 91502. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men…?” Come find out!

Also of note: SPERDVAC has just launched a Kickstarter campaign hoping to offset some of the convention costs.

You can check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1212872639/classic-radio-performances-live-on-stage

 

Back in production with Marsha Hunt Interview!

I am so happy to share that I have returned to production on my feature film documentary currently titled “Radio Changed America” (I say currently titled, because these things are almost certain to change; the original title was “OTR” — meaning simply Old Time Radio).

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Last weekend my intrepid crew went to the home of actress Marsha Hunt to talk to her about her days in radio, her work with Norman Corwin, and the terrible period of the Blacklist when Marsha’s acting career was ended. Marsha was one of the stars in MGM’s heaven in the 1940s. She c0-starred with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson in “Pride and Prejudice” among many other films (and when I say “many others” I mean over 60!). Marsha talked candidly about her blacklisting and the shocking effect it had on the broadcast and motion picture industry. This is a small, but extremely important part of the film and Marsha is the last remaining person from the famous October 1947 flight of movie stars, writers, and artists, (including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, John Huston, and Ira Gershwin) who journeyed to Washington DC to publicly protest the House Un-American Activities Committee’s witch hunt. Marsha was there and she tells that part of the story first-hand. For me as a documentary filmmaker, this is pure gold. Marsha turns 97 next month. She remains lovely, gracious, and very much alive with hope for our future and activity engaged in the present. As you can tell, I was (and am) very impressed by her.

And what did she do after her acting career ended? Only devote the next 25 years to the many programs of the United Nations, establish charities, and work toward a better world. In fact, she is the subject of an upcoming documentary that tells it all: “Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity” from filmmaker Roger C. Memos. I very much look forward to seeing her story told properly!

New Website Launches

Hooray! After quite some time we have now successfully re-launched my website. It’s hard to define what will go on here. After all, there is Facebook and Twitter and Google and so many venues to communicate, express and ultimately, self-publish. This website is a catchall for things that I’d like to share with you or just talk about. We’ve moved my blog, “I’m Just Saying…” here after 75 issues over five years posted on blogspot.com. All new blogs entries will appear solely on this website.

While it’s unlikely that you’ll ever see my baby pictures on this website, most everything else is fair game! Cartoons, audio clips from my days in radio, acting, directing, writing, photos and such, along with any public speaking engagements that happen to come my way. I’ll also keep you updated on my upcoming projects and adventures in the entertainment industry. There is always something brewing on the horizon. I’ll be sharing more later…

Thanks for visiting the new website.

REP SHOWCASE 2013 REFLECTIONS

I’ve just returned from a wonderful three-day event in Seattle, WA. Their annual showcase for old-time radio is held every June at the Coast Hotel in the suburb of Bellevue. Whenever the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound (REPS) come calling, I get ready to answer the challenge. I directed three old-time radio recreations this year: Duffy’s Tavern, Gunsmoke, and Inner Sanctum Mysteries. Plus, I was invited to act in two more: Suspense and The Halls of Ivy.

It is such a personal thrill to act alongside old-time radio veterans Tommy Cook, Gloria McMillan, Bob Hastings, Terry Moore and others. Chuck McCann was a childhood hero for his daily kid’s show that I watched religiously on WPIX New York. To work with him is special. Last year, Don Hasting (Dr. Bob Hughes of As The World Turns) happily wrote a personal note to my mother, a longtime fan. Don’s wife Leslie Denniston is a wonderful talent, too! Add to the mix the honor of directing these people and you can see why I always book my flight to Seattle. It’s creative fun and it’s personal fun!

Up, Up, and Away!

My dance card at REPS is filling up nicely. As I’ve previously mentioned, I will be directing recreations of the Norman Corwin classic radio play “Descent of the Gods” as well as an episode from Night Beat called “Wanna Buy a Story?” But now I’ve just learned that I will play the Man of Steel in a 1945 episode of “The Adventures of Superman” and perform in “The Halls of Ivy” recreation later that same day. Think of it! Me as Superman? On radio everything is possible. Even that! REPS will be

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held in Seattle, June 22-24, 2012.

Norman Corwin book published

The book I edited for Norman Corwin is now available at BearManor Media! “Memos to a New Millennium: The Final Radio Plays of Norman Corwin” began last July when Norman agreed to select previously unpublished radio plays for this book. It was a sincere honor to work with him on this book and, following his death in October, to see it through to completion. The foreword by William Shatner is quite special, as well.

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