Archive for December, 2011


Artists, Stars And John’s Reflections ON THE SCENE

December 31, 2011

I know the year is winding down when all the “year-in-review” pieces are on the news. You know, the compilations of the deadliest storms, salacious sex scandals, most outrageous political gaffes and hottest celebrity weddings.

So I figured why not do one of my own revisiting the best arts and entertainment interviews for ON THE SCENE. No murder, no torture. Unless you count waiting an extra 35 minutes in a stifling theatre dressing room for Richard Belzer. 99 degrees, lousy air conditioning, yeah, that was torture.

But during the edit session last night I was reminded why the show touched so many lives this year and how it brought unique experiences to our audience.

When I saw again the tremendous talents whom I had the opportunity to interview: Darlene Love who poured out her heart describing her bumpy journey  to becoming a Rock ‘n’ Roll icon; Christine Ebersole reliving the moment she stood up for herself against Hollywood agism and packed her bags to start a new life in New York theatre; painter Bojana Coklyat surviving a double organ transplant to paint again.  (All of these pieces can be seen in their entirety on

I’m thinking also about photographer Timothy White and his fascinating stories about shooting Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford and Elizabeth Taylor. And how Rita Rudner kept going and our interview stretched more than twice the agreed upon time because she felt that I had “really done my homework” to prepare.

And there were Tyne Daly and David Hyde Pierce who did their only tv interviews with ON THE SCENE for the debut of the musical “It Shoulda Been You” this fall…and by next fall the show is scheduled to open on Broadway.

And dance legend, Judith Jamison, of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater came to show us how dance can turn around troubled and deprived young lives when I interviewed her about Ailey’s Newark, New Jersey dance camp.

So for me this ON THE SCENE year-in-review celebrates our audience who tune in looking for everything from artistic enrichment to a few minutes of the famous dishing celebrity stories. And it celebrates the artists who say “yes” to being interviewed for the show. ON THE SCENE is the rarest and most precious of things in television…a local arts and entertainment magazine show. Check around the United States and you will see that a show like this is almost impossible to find on commercial television.  By appearing on our show, artists are perpetuating coverage of their craft at a time when we risk losing that altogether.

ON THE SCENE is my passion project. I know that I have a good chance of having a happy new year with the show to throw myself into. And I invite you: come join me!






All The Best: ON THE SCENE

December 23, 2011

Before the cork pops on a new year and the cameras roll on the new interviews we’ll bring you in 2012…we’ll be looking back on 2011 and the year that was ON THE SCENE.

Next week I’ll be working with an editor to put together a best-of reel culled from interviews I’ve done over the past 12 months. You can guess some of the stars who’ll be in it: Darlene Love, Tyne Daly, David Hyde Pierce, Christine Ebersole, (a little Rock ‘n’ Roll, a little Broadway in that bunch), we’ll revisit the great photographer Timothy White,  and many more. Some tremendous talents came on our show this year and allowed me into their studios, rehearsals or performances to share it with all of you.

I’ll let you know when it’s going to air and where it’s posted online.

For now, Merry Christmas and may you have a holiday of peace, love and beauty in all that surrounds you.


ON THE SCENE Fans: Thanks for Watching!

December 6, 2011

I can’t tell you the enthusiastic, inspired responses I got from viewers who caught this past weekend’s ON THE SCENE encore with Darlene Love and photographer Timothy White. I actually heard from more people than when the show aired originally in January. People who watched seemed to connect with both interviews and that’s what I strived for.

Also,  come to find out a lot of readers are finding my blog searching when Darlene Love will be on the David Letterman Christmas show this year. According to Darlene’s Facebook page, the Letterman appearance is December 23rd. You can watch my interview with Darlene on Credits page. If you’re a Love fan, you’ll always remember this interview. The response has been like nothing I have experienced in a long time.


Interviewing Peter Max

December 4, 2011

A great experience earlier today, I interviewed Peter Max. I’ve seen his paintings, logos he’s designed and all of the pop culture surrounding him all of my life. So to meet him for the first time and be able to ask him about his incredible career was a highlight of my own career.

I’ll be writing more about the interview here on the blog next week. And I  know I met a lot of you at the Wentworth Gallery in Hackensack, New Jersey today who said how much you’re looking forward to watching. I don’t know when this segment will air yet, but it’ll be announced here on the blog.

Become a follower of the blog and you won’t miss a thing! Everything’s announced here.