Showing posts with label announcement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label announcement. Show all posts

+Happy Fourteenth Birthday🎉🎂, Joey Koala!

Joey's Number 14 should be a good one! Let's hope so.🎈

Link Starbureiy

+Apple Dapple redux

In 2014, I unveiled an independent 'numeracy complement to Reading Rainbow's literacy initiative' called Apple Dapple. It was an app (supposedly, when apps were the big news) that lived inside a user's mobile device. Again, this was designed to be a mathematics pedagogical twin for Reading Rainbow's contemporary makeover. Back then I was asking for a substantial sum of money ($2million) to deliver the app to secondary schools across America (just like with Reading Rainbow).

Well, that was years ago. The app went into hibernation, ..and some other stuff. Now, I've learned a few things here and there about educational marketing (education is the biggest market in the world, especially when it's free), network advertising (ie. renting ad space), and streaming. I'm giving Apple Dapple another go (this time sans coach/teacher April Appleberry, for now, and with a new name - 'ed'*). It's been re-branded from a pure origami platform (the lessons involved using paper-folding to understand trigonometric principles), to a standardized certifications preparation (including training) platform that will sit under my 'edUUe ("ed")' banner. Video🎞 content will be hyperlinked back-and-forth from a YouTube playlist (@LinkStarbureiy [subscribe now]). A student helpdesk utilizes Google Classroom (get a Google Account if you don't already have one). Typically, in today's over-zealous world of timely product launches, people always emphasize how "excited" they are. As any teacher can attest, curriculum planning is hard work, pupils can be rambunctious, and the pay could be better; hardly anything to get too "excited" about. But, I like to win.'ed' is the short form of 'edu'. Since the jukebox is named 'UUe', I thought about branding it 'UUedu', but there is a domain ( that points to a real university, so that was out. I then tried 'edUUe' (and it sounded cool voicing the spelling) before truncating it to just 'ed'.

Note (+): I do not proctor exams.

Realizing that there is lots of competition out there in K-12, college, and vocational training spaces, I'm "curious" to see what kind of a dent I can make this time around. Nothing will be sold. I promised myself that I wouldn't overtax anybody trying to be super-innovative here. -- That's not to say that you can't count on machine learning being a huge factor in threading submitted queries. -- I simply want to see how far libre test preparation - mainly for STEM development / bug bounty programs / mathletics - can go if people know where to look (free or not, an education should pay off). That said, if you want to help out, donate some of your time and/or money. Thanks.


Wish me luck.

+Brock Vickers as🎭 'Gunyo Gruber' in Easter


Yes, that Gruber. The infamous villain from The Detective series (especially, Nothing Lasts Forever, where he is better known as 'Hans Gruber'), who became a household name in the movie, Die Hard (1988), after being played impeccably by Alan Rickman.

Fast-forward. New time. New interpretation. New actor.

Brock Vickers[a] will bring his acting chops and athletic background (he was a former collegiate baseball player) to the role of Gunyo 'Little Gun' Gruber in my opera, Easter. Let's keep our fingers crossed in hoping that we make Roderick Thorp proud.

We know that (according to the literature), despite his gruesome exterior, Gruber did what he did (perhaps not in the manner that he did it) because he was a freedom fighter. Ironically, he attacked the Klaxon corporation because he thought - thanks to his independent leftist leanings - that the company wasn't doing enough to help the less fortunate in the South American country from which it was exploiting. In that sense, he (as the leader of a terrorist group) was a self-proclaimed Robin Hood.

Our first encounter with Gruber comes in Die, Detective!, where he is a Pinkerton contractor working for shipping magnate, Maundy Lindros, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Normally, Maundy wouldn't need the services of someone like a Gruber, who is a versatile mercenary employed by her business to head general counsel as she battles legal difficulties put forth by the incoming competitor, Canaan Dusk and his company, Nile, LLC, because she's made due just fine these past forty years with smart management to her credit. But the days are no longer quotidian. This is the first time in her career that Maundy has had to operate from a position of apparent weakness - a challenge she does not relish by any means - as she engages with her longtime political rival, Ember Libitina, in the civic sphere.

Some call him "Little Gun", even though he stands 6'3''. He's nice when he has to be, the jobs call for it. Just know that Gruber is a dangerous thirty (30) year-old German-born double agent for the IDF. He was hired to do a job - and he'll do it well - but can he really outmaneuver Ms. Lindros at her own game? We have five (5) chords to do a character study and learn his fate, as Gruber starts out as a lightweight, but becomes a major player by ChordH of the opera.

+Rock Hefner to portray🎭 'Bobbe Penn' in Easter.Die, Detective!

Moving along...

In my opera, Easter, we have an overarching plot with a lot of smaller substories. And in those substories are front-facing characters with tie-ins to real-world happenings. Basically, what this amounts to is me trying to say that I couldn't tell the story of Easter without a ritornello.

What may be confusing to some people is that the prelude, Die, Detective!, is in itself a backstory, so to speak (sort of like a roman à clef), that sets up the remaining four (4) chords (you'll see). But, as it stands, this actual first chord features a number of times where the protagonist/antagonist must revisit his past in order (for the audience) to piece together present-day clues. Take, for instance, August 1978, where we find a young Montana-grown Joseph, full of hope+aspirations, caught between his military friend's personal strife, and his own ambitions of perhaps someday becoming a renown comedian.

Note (+): The comedian angle for Pascha is reminiscent of me. Part of my own biography is that I was a touring stand-up comic during my teenage years. I retired from the craft February 14, 2009, but I *think* I still have some funnies left. In this chord, pretty much all of the jokes spoken are mine. I consider it a natural extension of what Bruce Willis brought to the John McClane role, where he would make wisecracks throughout. Also, Philadelphians (particularly folks from West Philly) have a special kind of humor that I'm excited to showcase here.🤪

black and white photo of the Uptown Theater

That Summer (Labor Day weekend), Philadelphia's famed Uptown Theater is closing its doors due to increasing blight in the north part of town*; the neighborhood is no longer as safe and vibrant as it was just a decade prior. The African-American community is still feeling the effects of the Civil Rights Movement, compounded with first Chief of Police and then-Mayor Frank Rizzo's antics and policies frozen in place during that decade. Turning inward, the Community becomes increasingly activist, self-destructive, and simulataneously self-expressive [in my opinion, some of the most beautiful music from that era came directly out of Philly]. In the middle of all this we have some blue-eyed soul, a young Pascha who is also struggling to find his place in the world as he chases his dreams, follows his heart, and succumbs to destiny. This part of the story (fictitiously what transpires in the aftermath of the Amateur Night held on Saturday August 5, 1978) is the most pivotal in telling because the events define who and what our eponym is (to become).The venue's closure🔒 part is factual, but the date(s) may not be accurate.

The significance of the Uptown Theater cannot be understated here (it was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1982). Factually, Georgie Woods ceased to produce shows in/by 1972, not 1978. I, of course, am using artistic license with many facets of this history - dates, names, etc.. I'll artifact some interesting tidbits of information about that period of time in Philadelphia's history in this footnote.

The venue is located at 2240 N. Broad Street, near the campus of Temple University. It was erected between 1927 - 1929. For many years afterward, as North Philadelphia became a bright spot and entertainment destination for fresh immigrants to the city, the middle and upperclass residents frequented the area (section of town) for its nightlife, which complemented the blue collar vibe of the neighborhood. In its heyday, Uptown Theater was a rival to the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC in terms of acts brought in, community tradition, and popularity.

In its later years, namely those from the 1960s and early 1970s, it was a hub for civil rights activism in the forms of spoken word and music, as the Black demographic was somewhat under siege from law and order. The area was riddled with high crime, causing the neighborhood to, well .. change. A lot of prominent and high-profile African-Americans from that era, such as Malcolm X and those from the NAACP, would visit (the area, radio stations, and the venue itself), thereby re-energizing the Community. Additionally, Woods would hold what he called 'freedom shows' to further make this point.

In Die, Detective!, we go as far back as June-July 1978, and explore the ongoings of MOVE (particularly the buildup to August 8, 1978). This is crucial as presented inside (metaphorically-speaking) the Uptown Theater.

Rock Hefner posesAgain, in bringing this flashback to life, there was a lot of second-hand study done during my research, but I had a few allies here. There are people still around who can vividly recall the days when acts such as The Supremes were booked to perform at the venue on the cheap (relatively speaking, $400 for a 10-day residency!!!🤯). Uptown Theater was also a staple on the so-called Chitlin' Circuit. Many of the acts (colored or otherwise) over a period of time were brought in courtesy of Georgie Woods, himself a voice (literally, he worked in radio🎙️📻) instrumental in getting other voices in the Community heard at a time when the work to do so was still greater than the payoff. As they say, old habits die hard. In Die, Detective!, Woods is portrayed (an indirect representation) by native Philadelphia personality, Rock Hefner, who - as Bobbe Penn (the name was his pick) - brings his own individuality to the role.

Note (+): At first, I had Bobbe Penn as part of a duo that was supposedly modeled after the music production team, Gamble & Huff, from that era. They were called 'GO' from 'Todd G' and 'Warren O'. There was a scheduling error with the would-be partner of one of the actors, so I went ahead with just making the producer solo. I then decided that music production (having to create 1970s-style R&B tunes) just for a solo act would be too costly, and wouldn't really add anything outside of a soundtrack.

Penn's story was always going to be attached to the Uptown Theater. After further review, the solo act became synonymous with the tellings of those years through the lens of Georgie Woods. Now with that character being a disc jockey, I have a perfect excuse to introduce one of my all-time favorite songs, 'Blame It On the Boogie', which was something I was going to do, anyway.😅

In real life, Rock Hefner has a fantastic sense of humor. Considering that this chord is ultra-serious in its content, having him onboard to convey this backstory is quite the treat in an otherwise pseudo-depressing piece.

+Rauol Gore cast🎭 as 'Socks' in Easter.Die, Detective!

Having spent a considerable amount of time in Philadelphia trying to gather an understanding to the swagger of the City, I've come to realize that you truly must carry yourself a certain way in this town in order to remain respectful of her inhabitants and customs. Or else. I made a few announcements with the Greater Film Office of Philadelphia about my opera, Easter, as well as with some of the local newspapers🗞, but to really get the vibes of how things are done, I took to the streets.

There, I consulted with a number of people who - if you must know - have helped me with crafting certain elements* of this storytelling that make it look and sound authentic. One of whom is Rauol Gore, who will play the character of 'Socks' in Die, Detective!. Ironically, 'Socks' is so-named because he adopted the style of actually not wearing socks🧦 over his feet with his attire (that name and backstory were credited to Gore himself).Okay, really just his scenes while in character.

I originally had Roscoe as a lone kingpin, so clever and dangerous that he has managed to evade capture and prosecution for nearly three (3) years pretty much by his lonesome. This is as radical as it is incredible, say some persons with legitimate street cred in Philly, who tipped that in reality, the code for any gangster to follow is that they must always watch their back because there is a hungry lion in the shadows ready to pounce. It would, therefore, be highly unlikely for a gangster, let alone a kingpin, to operate solo (hence the term 'gangster'); there would be an intrasquad Number Two. That person would be the lookout and group manager, considering that a drug ring is a type of business operation. In Roscoe's ring, this person is Socks. I was also informed that when huge sums of money are involved (as is the case with Mr. Alphabet's city-wide investment), the worst of human nature surfaces, and individuals tend to only (want to) take care of themselves [folks don't share]. This translates as Roscoe needing to always look over his shoulder in the company of his understudy.

Socks' character allows for me to innovate with the format. Since he is more or less a bit player in the opera, not dissimilar to Ric Flair's part, we are releasing a set of compensatory 2D 'mixtapes' (ie. experimental short dramatic videos) under his banner to help further emphasize his importance and better explain his angle leading up to Die, Detective!. His own credibility was on the line in this endeavor, as Gore, also known as the rapper, Zula, was a tremendous resource in intimating intricacies of the streets (within certain parts of Philadelphia) with me.👍🤐

+Laura Stetman cast🎭 as 'Ethel Porst' in Easter

Newcomer, Laura Stetman[i], has been cast as Ethel Porst in my opera, Easter. Ethel starts out as a bit character in the piece, but as it progresses, so does the importance of her role.

At one point early-on, I wanted Stetman to play a young version of Palm (aka Karen) in the flashback scenes of Die, Detective! (the first chord), but that idea was soon discarded after further thought and factoring in a few details. The younger Ms. Gennaro's story must be told, as it is essential in understanding the character arc of Joe Leland, but the realization I had when writing her was that, since Easter is peppered with (the notion of) premonition - where Joey Leland is the ultimate sufferer of déjà rêvé, there would be an inevitable revisit of a guy named 'Leland' who is delicately balancing work and an intense amorous relationship.

Ethel Porst is a young professional in the Washington, DC area. She very much enjoys her job as an actuary for the federal government, yet can't seem to shake the feeling of not being able to fit in with the local culture of the District. Is it because she is a tried-and-true small-town Southern belle from Wickliffe, Kentucky? Is she just too serious for her own good? Will her personality and uniform upbringing yield to the necessary multi-cultural and ethic shifts that the DC area demands? These are questions she asks herself five days a week. The other two days, she finds herself wrestling with the make believe bliss of being in a relationship with Egg (Joey Leland), who, on paper looks like a great match. In reality, his job as a field operative of a prominent intelligence agency is leaving him weary, distrusting, and second-guessing his ability to devote the right amount of time to their romance. She shares similar concerns, but, at her age (28), there's a glaring truth that being single and having to start over again sucks. So, she is patient.

+Dianne Wiest🎭 as 'Ember' in Easter

Acclaimed and award-winning actress, Dianne Wiest, will play District Attorney Emerita Ember Libitina in my opera, Easter™.

Actress Dianne Wiest will play Ember in the opera, Easter.

In the storyline, Ember Libitina is a hold-over from the Frank Rizzo era in Philadelphia; a direct characterization of District Attorney Lynn Abraham (after whom she was modeled). Now in her eighth decade of life, she sees this special election in which she is running as the culmination of all of her works and possibly her last chance at holding office. It's a credible longshot, but being the Mayor of Philadelphia would cap the efforts of a distinguished legal career and satisfy her public ambition. Ember seeks to re-assert the 'natural order of things' throughout and around the town. Her campaign is based on adjectives such as reform, gentrification, safety, and progress. She is definitely "in it to win it".

"Ultimately, strength prevails. -- There is no balance of power. Equality is just a stranger's myth." - Ember

In real life, Abraham is/was known as a deadly prosecutor who regularly sought the death penalty for those convicted. Even though on paper, she was a liberal democrat (having voted for Barack Obama), her stat sheet reads that her heart is actually rather conservative.

Frank Rizzo's tenure as both Chief of Police first and then mayor, was marked as being full of strife and animosity towards Philly's African-American demographic. It may be difficult to gauge his impact today considering the national political climate after the Obama presidency and so forth, but he remains a towering figure that may have set a precendent on how to 'handle' crime and criminals in large American cities.

I actually couldn't tell this story without Ember. One, the incumbent mayor, Curran, needs a worthy challenger in the runoff election that's taking place, and two, in order to keep things from spiraling out-of-control, Maundy's overbearing authority has to be challenged by an adversary from the political sphere. It just does. This situation (the distribution of Mr. Alphabet's intra-city investment) lends itself perfectly to a winner-takes-all 'Battle for Philadelphia' that nobody can actually win. The ever-so-sharp Ember shows us that people's migrant behavior is recycled from patterns of economic health [ie. roughly every two (2) decades or every other generation, the wealthier class relocates back into the city for jobs+employment before saving their money and moving to the suburbs]. This is an important note and plot point, as we see that residential stagnation is a detriment and impossibility where there exists youth.

"I've lived a long, normal life. Like you, I used to be overwhelmed with sadness when people died. Stay in law enforcement long enough, and we all come to the same satisfying conclusion: criminals make it easy to see that not everyone wants or deserves to live." - Ember Libitina

To get this point across, a small sample of actors were considered, but Ms. Wiest made the cut based on her work in Little Man Tate. I love how she (as Jane Grierson) switched it up in that, going from kind psychologist, to fierce and controlling headmaster in such a short frame. That's pretty much what happens here; given enough time and resources, we see that the true nature of the beast is to rule. Wiest also had mentioned* in past interviews that she wanted to assume more aggressive roles where she perhaps played a cruel woman, not unlike roles that went to Glenn Close. Now, as Ember Libitina opposite Close's Maundy, she'll get that chance.Exact quote: "I'd like to play a real cold, mean mass murderer. Some cruel, hard-bitten women, like the roles Glenn Close gets, just to show that I am capable of not being vulnerable and not being fragile on screen."

+Joey Koala is a teenager!

Today, our favorite friend, Joey Koala, turns teenage (thirteen [13]).

Looking back to the beginning of my teenage years, I can remember succinctly the day I turned that age. Where I was. What I was doing (it was a schoolday, and I felt so accomplished😳). I held my head up high that day. It was also a huge transitional period for me, and other teens I'm sure. That's about the age (13 - 17) when children become lethargic because, ironically, their bodies are trying to process unusually large amounts of energy (ie. growing/sprouting). And then you have the rebellious phase of life, which those leaving adolescence (not all) are notorious for.

Anyway, here's to hoping that Joey's teenage years, my portfolio, and work all turn out great.

Happy birthday!🌾

+Reginald VelJohnson will reprise role🎭 of 'Al Powell' in Easter

Reginald VelJohnson looking up. Easter.

Video game entries aside, we last saw Sergeant Al Powell, in uniform, briefly in Die Hard 2 (1990). Well, the wait is over. Reginald VelJohnson will reprise his signature character, deuteragonist Alven, in my opera, Easter's, first chord, Die, Detective!.

Note (+): Information supplied here has been valid since October 2017.

"This guy, Fer, is scary, John. You're going to need my help, even if you don't want it." - Alven Powell

Powell and Leland, now both retired, have actually become good friends since the fateful events of Nothing Lasts Forever, and are seasonal fishing buddies on the Clark Fork River. This happy-go-lucky guy is always there when you need him, and given Pascha's knack for bad timing, there's a not-so-slight chance his friend will come calling in this episode.

As an aside, I gave Powell the full first name of 'Alven', as it wasn't stated in Thorp's novel. Also, since the prelude leads up to the crescendo (ChordH), pay attention because we find that Alven has an idle nephew named 'Albert', who himself is strongly considering a career in law enforcement, possibly influenced by his "legendary" uncle.

+'The Detective' reboot greenlit

The seventh installment of the original The Detective series is officially in pre-production/post-announcement stages. Recording is to commence in the Spring (March/April) of 2018, with a tentative Easter 2019 release date.

The movie, with a working title of '"Die hard, John McClane."', is based (in part) on the ballet, Easter by Link Starbureiy (+source characters by Roderick Thorp), and will be shot on location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The usual suspects and others who hopefully will/may reprise their respective roles from previous installments in the franchise. 20th Century Fox might have (first) billing to distribute the picture during any international theatrical run.

Notes (+): +This movie bears no relation to other announced so-called Die Hard projects, namely, Die Hard: Year One (Wiseman) or respective video game titles.

+Information here is speculative and subject to change.

+Happy Birthday🎂, Joey Koala! - number 12

Today (March 15, 2017) marks the twelfth birthday of Joey Koala, my sidekick (the older I get, the stranger (probably because Joey's non-human), yet more normal (probably because I'm used to it) that sounds ... weird). This is a coming-of-age, so to speak, for the both of us, drawing some parallels. Let me explain.

Joey is the mascot of Egglepple, my portfolio which was also created/founded (/...whatever you want to call it) on my twelfth birthday. Knowing that, we've rounded a full circle in that sense. Also, in the last twelve (12) years, the portfolio has morphed/evolved from being a standalone body of work, into a (critical) subset of a larger structure (the jukebox, UUe) [Egglepple ⊆ UUe]. That fact in itself is not so different from Joey being (a) part of a much larger group of playmates (siblings?), all of whom are instrumental in my conduction.
.. as the story (ahem!, .. legend) goes, I created Joey after celebrating my father's birthday (happy belated, Pops!) in a span of reflection. Nowadays, it feels almost like I'm a father (really, but not really) to Joey (I guess that would make my own dad a grandfather ... whoah!), in the sense that my creation relies on me nurturing every idea of mine that our favorite koala🐨 pops into. This is quite the responsibility and an honor that I'm actually glad to have. Building something (especially something technical/arcane) and having a representative for that construct be a thing that is instantly recognizable says to me that I'm adding both tangible and intangible value to the world almost with my thoughts alone. In that regard, I am proud to look at this as a generational legacy, one I think that my father, myself, and the countless others Joey will inspire can take joy in.

Happy birthday, Joey!🎂

+Watermelon🍉 Shirt Tour announcement

I will be touring parts of the country (USA) this Fall and (maybe) into Winter for my Watermelon🍉 Shirt Tour.

The show covers the latest works regarding both juking and the jukebox, UUe. All of which is a featurette of my repertoire. More details to come.

+UUelcome .. back

Work has begun (but not yet production) on the upcoming new season of UUelcome.

I have to be really careful here in my wording because I've got some ideas floating around in my head that may take some time to materialize, but I want to share some things with you now.

From here on out, UUelcome will just be a multi-part cinematic; there won't be any more syndicated episodes (like those that took place years ago in the large lecture hall or at MCAT (for those of you who remember). It will be a 64-part demonstrative program showcasing the ludology of juking, more than anything else. Yes, there will still be contestants, but the environment will be more controlled in order to demo gameplay.

This will be a Summer/Fall project. Casting calls will be made in the second-half of the year.