Archive for the people Category

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

Rest In Peace Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

Posted in death, life, people, the biz on June 26, 2012 by Robin Eller

Nora Ephron wrote some of my favorite movies. The Deli scene in, “When Harry Met Sally. “I’ll have what she’s having.” Genius!! She was the voice of women in a male dominated world of writer/directors and producers. Nora Ephron’s writing in Julie and Julia made me fall love with Julia Childs. Of course it had two of my favorite actors, Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci. I remember seeing one of my best friends in a play on Broadway that was written by Nora Ephron, Imaginary Friends. I thought she was quite clever. I have yet to read her book: I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Thoughts About Being A Woman. I can only imagine the book is as clever as her other body of work. Oh it breaks my heart that another incredible talent has transitioned from this physical plane. There must be some amazing stage on the other side. Thank you Nora for speaking from a woman’s perspective. Your creativity will be sorely missed.

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Father’s Day

Posted in life, people on June 17, 2012 by Robin Eller

Happy Father’s Day to the Fathers, Grandfathers, Stepfathers, Uncles, Brothers, Teachers, Coaches and Father Figures who have made a difference in a child’s life. Cheers to the special men who have stepped up to be a presence in their child’s life; give unconditional love, support, instill confidence and place a child’s needs ahead of his own.

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Funny Photos

Posted in life, people on June 17, 2012 by Robin Eller

There is nothing better than seeing cute photos that just make my day. This bull dog put a smile on my face. An example of nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

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Bikram Yoga

Posted in life, people, travel with tags , , on September 11, 2010 by Robin Eller
Bikram Choudhury at a book signing in New York...

Bikram Choudhry "Boss"

I have tried a few types of yoga in the past and although I enjoyed them in the moment; none of the classes have inspired me enough to get me to come back until now.  It’s old news to most people in the Yoga scene but for my body, it’s a new journey.  I’m on my second week of taking Bikram yoga which is also known as “hot yoga.”  I fell in love with this yoga class after taking my first one. Two weeks ago was when I took my first class and now it seems like a lifetime ago. As I reflect on the first day: I recall the room being a bit intimidating; I didn’t know what to expect. I had heard about the heat and there was the uncertainty of how my body would respond to this new experience. I told myself to crawl first before I try to walk. The most important thing was to stay in the room.  I thought it was a good sign that the “Boss”; as he is referred to so lovingly by the other teachers; Bikram Choudhury taught my very first class. I am told by a few friends who used to take Bikram yoga, that they had never experienced a class with him. Now I really know it was good karma for me. What a sense of humor this man has! I am inspired by his energy and tickled by what might come out of his mouth next. There is no edit button. LOL!! Bikram’s humor makes it easier to hold a pose and not think too much about what my body is doing.  Most importantly, I try not think about what I “can’t” do and more of what I “can” do. In a previous life I had been a dancer which made some of the poses recognizable for me; at least in some ways.  In spite of my dance experience; this is this the most difficult exercise I have ever experienced. With my mind remaining positive, I quickly realized that I went beyond what I thought were my limitations.  A great discovery in the first week was that my entire body was truly energized afterward. In the 90 minutes it takes to do just 26 poses: it felt as if I had basically worked myself to death. The question of  “will I make it?” came up with 15 minutes left to go. Those thoughts disappeared each time I went back. Today, the time really flew by for me.  Bikram taught again and was hysterical as usual.  I realize that there are 86 poses to learn which might take the rest of my life.  I am still finding my way through 26 poses. Hey, I have something to look forward to. In the meantime, there are 26 poses that I have to perfect and that’s enough to give me the determination to take class as much as my schedule will permit. Yoga really puts me in a good mood to face my day.  It’s nice to have something to keep me strong inside and out; especially during a time when one can be affected by the imbalances that are around us. It’s too soon to say where this yoga journey will take me but I already like how my body and my mind are responding to it.  Chissa` but for now….Namaste…