Sound Bites - Issue #16 - December 2014
Community Education's Premiere Online Magazine
In This Issue:
- Get Fit in the New Year
- From Photographer to Actor
- Holiday Shopping Tips: Frazzled to Dazzled!
- First Look:Terri Bromberg: Her Artistic Inspirations
Get Fit in the New Year
Career & Contract Ed.
We at SMC Community Education want to wish all of you a very happy holiday season and thank you for your support throughout the year. Our instructors and students have created a wonderful community of learning, enrichment and even changed lives.
Many of you have New Year’s resolutions to get fit – and we can help you achieve those resolutions with a wide range of health and fitness classes in our winter session, which begins Jan. 5. And if you register for any of these or enrichment courses by Dec. 15, you will get a 10 percent discount!
Of course, we offer many other classes this winter – in fact, more than 80, which is one-third more than last year’s offering. We’re proud of the role we play in enriching the lives of our community, providing new experiences, and launching new and meaningful careers in a changing economy.
To register, call (310) 434-3400 or go to http://commed.smc.edu.Again, our sincerest wishes for a very happy holiday season and a fulfilling new year!
Director of Career & Contract Education
What’s New: From Photographer to Actor
Community & Contract Education
Our students and instructors lead such interesting lives, I am constantly blown away by what I hear. And I like to think their experience demonstrates the endless possibilities of a continuing education program.
“First I was behind the camera and now I’m in front of it” – such is the amazing journey of Brian Leng, and his story of life after retirement. When Brian and I met last summer, he was the thinnest I have ever seen him, and it was the result of relentless nights of film shooting. However, he was a ball of excitement about his newfound passion. I knew he had taken an acting class with our very own Cyb Barnstable a couple semesters earlier, but had not expected that it turned out the way it did for him. Brian is now a busy man and hard to get a hold of.
Our readers might remember Brian as one of our photography instructors who was featured in Sound Bites a year ago. Unbeknownst to me, the person I have always known as someone who had a successful career as a commercial photographer had actually always had a secret yearning to do something different, like being a background actor.
He was first introduced to background/extra work by his late wife, an ex-dancer who took up doing background work with her dancing friends. Brian told me that when his wife returned from doing a movie job, it sounded so exciting that he thought it might be something he’d like to try one day. It was a secret fantasy for all these years, something he never thought he would get a chance to do, but here he is, loving every moment of it and it is exactly what he thought it would be.
And adding a nice touch to the story is that Brian Leng the instructor became Brian Leng the student at Community Ed. taking Cyb Barnstable’s Commercials, Improv, Acting and Filming class bolstered his confidence and no doubt helped him get more background work.
In the last year when he was a non-union background actor he had played parts in movies, TV shows and commercials. What he liked best about his new profession is that each job is different: different location, different people, and most of all he gets to play a different character every time!
Our dear readers can see from the photos here just how diverse some of these roles that Brian have played: from psycho patient to gun-toting store owner. He has appeared on Grey's Anatomy, Bones, The Mentalist, The Mindy Project, Marriage Boot Camp, State of Affairs, Getting Away With Murder, Jersey Boys and more. He’s also appeared in commercials for Dr. Pepper, AT&T, and Honda, to name a few. In other words, Brian Leng is having the time of his life, in semi-retirement, and it seems like he is just getting started.In between filming assignments, Brian Leng will be back to teaching photography classes in the Spring: Photographing at a Museum: Spring at the Getty Villa, taught in conjunction with yours truly, on March 7, and Tourist for A Day: Cellphone Photography on May 2. If you are interested in exploring the realm of acting work, Cyb Barnstable’s Commercials, Improv, Acting and Filming is a great introductory course, starting Jan. 10.
Holiday Shopping Tips: Frazzled to Dazzled!
class next spring
SMC Community Ed is excited to offer a new class next spring - "Dressing From the Inside Out© - 7 Steps to a Whole New Look," to be taught by Julie Greene. Calling herself "The Closet Therapist," Julie works to make your best self shine through your wardrobe. Here she offers some great holiday shopping tips.
By Julie Greene
Want to go from feeling frazzled to dazzled this holiday season? Here are some quick tips to get your shopping done – and get on with the FUN!
- Make a List and Check it Twice: Writing everything down will organize your shopping and help you remember all your helpers – personal trainers, doormen, teachers, etc.
- Get “Appy:” Check out these time- and cost-saving new apps – SnipSnap, SaleSorter, and EbayNow.
- Fly Solo: Shopping by yourself will allow you to stay focused and on task without having to worry about what your friends are getting their friends, and their friends’ friends. . .you get the point.
- Take the Road Less Travelled: If possible, shop at odd hours like early morning and midweek to avoid getting stepped on and ruining your latest pair of Tod's.
- Call for Help1 Elicit the help of personal shoppers. Most high-end department stores have them, or you can simply call me!
- Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving: Don't forget to treat yourself! No one likes a grumpy Santa, so make sure you give yourself the love so you can spread the love.
“The Closet Therapist.
And if all else fails, just order everything online and pop open some champagne. The holidays are a time for fun, family and friends. So get out there and enjoy, and if you need help deciding which Prada suit to wear, you know whom to call. Cheers!
For more information on wardrobe consultation and personal shopping, please visit my website at www.juliegreeneinc.com.
Featured Instructor: Marlene Hutchinson: Play Guitar in One Day!
Guitar playing and teaching came later to Marlene Hutchinson than many, but that has not dampened – in fact, it has fueled – her passion for the instrument. She started playing the guitar in 2002 and began teaching shortly after that.
What’s particularly unique about her teaching is that she has developed a workshop called Learn to Play Guitar in a Day!™ – and delivers what sounds like an impossible task.
“People are so excited about how much you can learn in a day,” she says.
Using that same format at SMC Community Ed – where she has been teaching since 2011 – Hutchinson has received enthusiastic student reviews as well as plenty of media attention for her unique approach to teaching guitar. (Her next workshop at SMC will be offered Saturday, March 28.)
Originally formulated to meet the needs of busy adults, the workshop is based on her private lesson program format and is equivalent to about six weekly private lessons.
The former elementary school teacher and married mother of four has taught the workshop to thousands of students at colleges, universities and other locations around the United States.
In 2011 she produced a DVD of the workshop, which airs periodically on PBS. She and her workshop have also been featured on CBS, KCAL 9 News (Los Angeles), NBC, Orange County Register, Acoustic Guitar Magazine, and The Women’s International Music Network website, as well as several print publications.
In addition, “Learn to Play Guitar in a Day!”™ is a 2014 Acoustic Guitar Player’s Choice Award nominee. Hutchinson is a clinician and spokesperson for the Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association (GAMA) and a Contributing Editor for Making Music Magazine.
Hutchinson, of Orange County, is the owner of Marlene’s Music ~ Guitar Lessons, Guitar Workshops and Guitar Products; the author of the “Learn to Play Guitar in a Day!”™ book; producer and star of the “Learn to Play Guitar in a Day!” ™ DVD. In addition, she has recorded 2 CDs.
How did you get to be a guitarist and guitar teacher?
My guitar journey began in 2002, when I thought it would be cool to play guitar, so that was my New Year’s resolution. I found a group lesson, bought a starter guitar, and from the first strum I was hooked. I loved playing so much that I played frequently for all types of audiences – my kids’ classrooms, my own classroom (I used to be an elementary school teacher), church band, local festivals, senior care facilities, and friends’ homes. Within a year several people asked me to show them how to play, and my guitar lesson program was launched. My concept was to keep it simple and basic so that my students could begin playing right away.
What’s the best thing and the worst thing about being a musician?
Best: The opportunity for me to actually create music. I love to sing too, so it’s fun to play and sing along with my songs. I like to share my music whether I’m performing or just sitting around with friends jamming, it’s just so peaceful to make music.
Worst: Not one thing!
What’s been the highlight of your career as a guitar teacher?
My program airing on PBS was a huge milestone and being featured on CBS & KCAL-9 this year was a thrill! The most recent highlight was meeting a man who recognized me at an event. He told me that he plays guitar all the time, thanks to me getting him started, and that “playing guitar has changed his life.” That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing – guitar changed my life and I know it can make a difference in other peoples’ lives too!
Tell us one to three things that most people don’t know about you.
I took 6 months off during college and went on a road trip around the United States and Canada with my best friend. We went to 38 states and 3 provinces in Canada. It was a wonderful way to see this amazing country!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Skydiving! I thought it would be cool to try and it was super cool. Though I must admit that jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is a bit nuts, once your parachute opens (thankfully), then the peace and quiet you experience is like none other. The views are fantastic too!
What do you like best about teaching at SMC Community Ed?
I like teaching at SMC because the staff makes it simple for me to focus on what I do best, which is to share the wonderful world of guitar with my students. SMC does a terrific job of managing the various administrative aspects of teaching, like registration, and SMC provides the facilities that are just right for my students.
What turns you on most about the guitar?
I like to try a new skill/technique and then work hard to “master” that skill. It can be frustrating, but when I’ve got it, it’s a fantastic feeling. The sound of an acoustic guitar is sweet and the smell of the wood makes me appreciate its origins. I also like playing familiar songs that evoke fond memories. Sometimes the inspiration for a song will simply be hearing a tune while out somewhere, like the grocery store, and thinking “I forgot about that song and how much I like it.” Then I’ll look up the music and play the song.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Playing guitar on the beach!
Who are your favorite guitarists and/or musicians?
Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Page, Tommy Emmanuel, Nancy Wilson, Neil Young.
What kind of music do you like best?
I like most any kind of music. I tend to lean towards the music from the 70’s and 80’s, but I like contemporary songs/artists too.
What tips do you give your students?
- Find music/songs that you really like because then you’ll be more inspired to play your guitar frequently.
- I remind my students that when you practice you are making muscle memories and the more you practice the more permanent the memory – “practice makes permanent.” Another way to put it is: Step 1: Play guitar, Step 2: Repeat step 1! The more you play the better you get.
Anything you would like to add?
My mission is for everyone in the world to play guitar because it’s so much fun!