Archive for the books Category

Heading To The Stage

Posted in books, news, the biz, updates, working news on August 11, 2017 by Robin Eller

Excited to step out of my booth of narrating audiobooks to do a staged reading by novelist Richard Setlowe and directed by Tony nominee Marcia Rodd.  This was a press release on Performance Arts Live.   In case it’s too small to read, I have copied it below.  It’s Showtime! Here we go!

LA.Woman Confession

 

L.A. Woman – The Confession

Fasten your seat belt, Padre. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” An unnamed, middle-aged Los Angeles actress, at a crisis point in her life, confesses her sins to an unseen priest in L.A. Woman – The Confession, a one-woman drama being read at Beyond Baroque in Venice. The story of a struggling woman, recounting her childhood and career, builds to an explosive revelation — her “really big sin.”

Award-winning performer Robin Eller will be the first actress to star in this powerful role in the monthly series that starts on August 12, 2017.

Playwright Richard Setlowe, in this theatrical tour de force, propels the actress wildly from Showboat to Hamlet. “This play isn’t one woman’s biography. In a way, the details and the drama have been there my whole life,” he explained. His father was a playwright and actor, his mother a dancer. He recalls girls in high school and at USC with show business ambitions, “and the actresses, singers, ballerinas, and belly dancers I interviewed first as a young reporter in San Francisco, then with Variety, then as an executive on major motion pictures like Cabaret.” Setlowe describes the readings as a “weird hall of mirrors” with Los Angeles actresses who have lived that life playing a Los Angeles actress who has lived that life.

Robin Eller is an award-winning audiobook narrator, voice actress, and dance educator. AudioFile Magazine said that her narration “elevates into the realm of memorable inspiration.”  As a dancer, she traveled the world with the James Brown. TV and stage credits include The Young and The Restless, General Hospital, the Bernie Mac Show, Ragtime the Musical, A Street Car Named Desire.  robinrayeller.com

Lisa Robins will perform the role on September 9.

Richard Setlowe is a playwright, novelist, and journalist. His recent play, staged in Los Angeles, was Norma Jean & Johnny about a tryst between Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein.  Most recent novel is The Sexual Occupation of Japan, published by HarperCollins, and his most recent articles featured in the Los Angeles Times and Variety.  Richardsetlowe.com

L.A. theatre director Marcia Rodd as an actress won a Drama Desk Award and Tony Nomination on Broadway, starred opposite Candice Bergen and Eliot Gould in film, and was featured in television shows All in the Family, M*A*S*H*, Home Improvement, and dozens more.

Presenter / Producer: Beyond Baroque

KIDS CORNER- BookPALS

Posted in booklover, books, life, my little bookpals, news, people, reading, SAG-AFTRA, updates with tags , , , on August 11, 2017 by Robin Eller

I am looking forward to the school year to begin because I truly enjoy being a BookPAL.  BookPALS (Performance Arts for  Literacy in Schools), “provides SAG-AFTRA members gifted in the art of storytelling, the opportunity to give back in their local communities by reading to children.”   One of my 2nd grade classes loved to tell jokes.  I was inspired to start recording each child as they told their jokes. Most of the students bravely walked over to the mic to tell their jokes; however they would run away when it was time to play them back. It was so cute! Eventually they became quite accustomed to hearing their own voices. Time permitting, the jokes became a weekly tradition after reading a story.   As a surprise, I made a compilation of their jokes and played the recording on the last day of our reading time together.  I made a promise to a few of my young internet researchers that they could find some of their jokes on my blog before the summer ended. Summer has flown by, the new school year is around the corner! GULP!  Keeping my word, here are some favorites by Ms Dawson’s All-Star Jokesters (Class of 2017).

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End Of The Year Round Up

Posted in audiobooks, books, life, people, the biz, updates, working news on December 30, 2016 by Robin Eller

Wow, 2016 has flown by and not without its peaks and valleys. With the overwhelming state of our country,  I found the need to remind myself of the good things that occurred this year.  Here are some highlights:  It was an honor to be a co-presenter at the Audie Awards in Chicago. I presented with my talented and chivalrous colleague Will Damron. It was a beautiful night at the Adler Planetarium celebrating our colleagues and the audiobook industry.  Admittedly, I felt like Cinderella on the red carpet.

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This fall,  I won an Earphones Award for my narration of  Frientimacy by Shasta Nelson.    There’s something extra special about winning an award for a book about friendship. Check out the review on AudioFile Magazine, AudioFile’s blog entitled  Self Sunday and Sound Reviews.  I am thrilled for author Shasta Nelson’s little gem!

Another favorite part of my year has been reading weekly to 63 first and second graders via SAG Foundation’s  literacy program called BookPALS.  It’s a joy to be surrounded weekly  by these loving children who are reminders of the innocence, love and excitement for life’s experiences.  I am looking forward to another semester of reading and fun.  One of my 2nd grade classes loves to tell jokes.  I wish I could remember jokes the way they do.  I’m going to post their jokes in 2017.  Please come back and have a listen to the students’ unique style of telling jokes. Too Cute!

BookPALS on Halloween

BookPALS on Halloween

BookPALS before holiday break

BookPALS before Holiday Break

By attending Variety’s Power Of Women luncheon I had the opportunity to be inspired by a room full of women and meet some of the honorees: the amazing Dame Helen Mirren and  the unstoppable Ava DuVernay (13th, Queen Sugar, Selma). Helen Mirren helps empower children who stutter via SAY: The Stuttering Association For The Young.  We have a common our love for Italy.  An Italiophile buddy!  Ottimo!  Ava DuVernay supports a young “literary hero” (at least to me) Marley Dias,  Founder of the #1000BlackGirlBooksCampaign;  I had the honor to meet Marley’s amazing mother Dr. Janice Johnson Dias who runs the GrassROOTS Community Foundation.

As I enter 2017 with great uncertainty for my country, I am determined to thrive in spite of it all.  I wish the same for you and your loved ones.  Quoting Nelson Mandela “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. ”

Variety's Power Of Women Honorees

Variety’s Power Of Women Luncheon



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CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY

Posted in audiobooks, books, life, news, people, updates, working news with tags , , , , , , on February 24, 2016 by Robin Eller

 

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On February 15th, I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at a Black History Month Celebration -hosted by The Ebony Ladies Of Distinction of the Pasadena Senior Center.  I read excerpts from Our Auntie Rosa: The Family Of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons.  For the first time, the seniors heard the facts told by Rosa Parks’s family about exactly what transpired on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1st. 1955.  The refusal to give up her seat was just one moment in the life of Rosa Parks. Well into her senior years, Rosa Parks began practicing yoga. She even answered her door wearing yoga pants.  I mentioned in a previous post that my first day of recording this title fell on the 60th Anniversary of that historical day.

Another keynote speaker at the Black History Celebration was (LAFD) Battalion Chief David L. Spence.  Chief Spence is also Interim President of The African American Firefighter Museum.   He read from the book of “The Old Stentorians” and shared with the seniors about the experiences of black firemen during  segregation.  Undoubtedly, the preservation of stories, artifacts and other memorabilia demonstrate the importance of the African American Firefighter Museum.

If you haven’t visited the African American Firefighter Museum, I encourage you to check it out as well.  Tell people who travel to Los Angeles, to put this museum on their list and visit an essential part of the history in Los Angeles. Look for the AAFFM to reinvigorate how it shares these historical moments in time; which will include an audio tour. It is my privilege to be the voice that shares these indelible memories.

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Source: The African American Firefighter Museum

There are many who aren’t educated in the history of African American firefighters.  My Italian friend visiting from Rome had only learned a “brushstroke” of Black American History during early schooling in Italy.  I told her that she wasn’t alone and we had the same problem with limited information taught in American schools.  I found myself repeating these words  “Black History is American History.  It’s much more than a month celebration.”  My intelligent friend understood quickly after showing her the video about the integration of firemen in San Diego (1951).  She also had a quick visit to the AAFFM.  I encourage you to view this informative video and educate others about  The Men Of Station 19.   A powerful statement from one of the pioneers in the video: “When you are fighting a fire and trying to save a life, color means nothing.”  Ben detto! Well said!  To all of the men who rush into burning buildings and save lives, I have the utmost respect for what you do.  Thank you!

Lastly, check out the video that has gone viral and understandably so. The Obamas Dancing With Their 106 Year Old Guest, Virginia McLaurin.  How can one not be touched by the joy and excitement of this woman?!  This is tangible truth that Black History should never die after a month.  It should be celebrated every day along with all history in America.  It hurts to imagine what this woman endured over decades.  At 106 years old, her attitude is heartening: she smiles, laughs, dances and her dream has come true. She said in an interview after her visit to the White House, “I can die smiling now.”  Bless her!! Click on the quote and read her story. It’s worth a full read.

Just as Virginia McLaurin danced so happily with appreciation, I was reminded that on the same date: The Ebony Ladies of Distinction danced so proudly and gracefully; celebrating life, education and culture.  Of course I joined them on the dance floor doing the electric slide! 🙂 I love dancing with people who choose to celebrate life with an open heart and mind. Will you dance with me?

Open mind

JUNE IS AUDIOBOOK MONTH

Posted in audiobooks, books, life, news on June 5, 2015 by Robin Eller

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Did you know June is Audiobook Month?  If you’ve never listened to an audiobook, this month is a perfect time to start. Go ahead, I dare you to have a new experience. Get caught listening to an audiobook.

If you have an audiobook on your mobile device, tell me what you’re listening to right now OR divulge the names of your favorites.  I enjoy meeting new people. On Twitter, join the many discussions about audiobooks or simply tweet your favorites using the hashtags #audiobookmonth #JIAM2015.

Audiobook News- Part 2

Posted in books, news, updates with tags , , on June 10, 2014 by Robin Eller

Part 2 of My Audiobook News:  I had the privilege to narrate  a compelling memoir of  an 8 year old girl sold into slavery by her parents. The book is called “Hidden Girl by Shyima Hall with Lisa Wysocky (Tantor Media).  When I began to do research about this author, her story sounded familiar to me.  After seeing Shyima’s interview on the Tavis Smiley show, her story became even more familiar to me.  I finally put the pieces together and recalled reading an article in the L.A. Times about the arrest of this girl’s captors.  I had some pronunciation questions and Tantor Media arranged for me to speak with Shyima on the phone.  I confess to being extremely excited about my first “narrator-author” contact.  What a Geek.. I know!!  Through our conversation, it was discovered that Shyima and I had someone in common.  This discovery brought an added ease and comfort for two strangers.  She was very kind and extremely helpful in answering my questions.

This painful story changed the course of a young girl’s life in a way that most could never understand. We have choices in our country that some take for granted.  The fact that this book was given to me not long after the tragedy of the missing school girls in Nigeria, felt like a gift in a strange way.  Like many, I was up in arms about the lack of media coverage regarding this horrible act.  I even sent an email to the editor of the L.A. Times to express myself about the lack of  newsworthy stories in our paper.

With social media today, one voice can make a difference. It has been demonstrated every day what a number of voices can do with social media use.  By sharing an incredibly courageous woman’s story, I hope to help her inform and educate others.  If there are other stories like Shyima’s to be told, perhaps her story will inspire others to tell theirs.  Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery does exist. It’s a worldwide problem that most adults aren’t aware of.  May Shyima’s story continue to enlighten, educate and empower many.  The publication for the audiobook is on June 25th.  June is #audiobookmonth. What are you listening to? Here’s the link on the Tantor Media site. http://www.tantor.com/BookDetail.asp?Product=F0350_HiddenGirl

Read by Robin Eller

Read by Robin Eller

Audiobook News..

Posted in books, life, news, updates with tags , , , on June 10, 2014 by Robin Eller

I’m way behind with my audiobook news. Mamma Mia! So much for that agreement with myself to blog more often. Where does the time go?  If someone cares to share their secret regime of daily or weekly or monthly blogging, your suggestions will be most welcomed.  Well, the year still provides me an opportunity to attempt this agreement.

Since June Is Audiobook Month. #audiobookmonth and formerly known as #JIAM (on the Twitter feeds), it’s a great time to post my audiobook news.  Thus far, the year has provided me with some interesting audiobooks to record.  I’ll share a few highlights; however the two books that I would like to share deserve separate posts: First, I was thrilled to have recorded the memoir of six-time Grammy Award-winning artist, Toni Braxton.  The book is called UnBreak My Heart: A Memoir by Toni Braxton (Harper Collins Publishers).  For people who still think the entertainment business comes with no price…well, listening to this book will give one (at least) a better perspective of this artist’s journey.  Looking back on my life as a dancer, it was exciting for me to have “lived my rock star life” and toured with a music legend (James Brown).  As an audiobook narrator, I’ve recorded the story of another renowned artist. #verycool! http://http://www.amazon.com/Unbreak-My-Heart-A-Memoir/dp/B00JBL7RRI

UnBreak My Heart: A Memoir by Toni Braxton

Narrated by Robin Eller