Last I left you it was last year and I was getting ready to do my annual 5 mile Midnight Run in Central park. Amazing that a month has already passed in 2006…hope the year is going well for all of you.
Okay so here is the quick catch up on the Capo happenings.
Midnight Run – New Years Eve.
This year I managed to gather 8 willing participants to run. We were on a touch and go basis that night because they were claiming bad weather…torrential downpours. I can run in some snow, and some rain, but buckets of water might not be the way to start the new year. None the less, Spencer’s dad, Pat, drove in from Virginia to do the run with us, so we figured lets give it a shot. We had plastic baggies on our shoes, garbage bags over our jackets, waterproof containers for our cell phones, even threw in some Saran wrap for good measure, nothing like the mummy look for a real fashion statement.
Well, turns out it did rain, but it ended before midnight so the worse we had to do was sidestep a few lakes, pass some people dressed as sumo wrestlers, work our way around a man running only in shorts with a jiggling pot belly and we were set.
Spencer and his friend came in at :37 minutes, claiming they could have finished in :30, Pat came in at :46 laughing that he finally beat the guy next to him on crutches, Me and my friend Lisa trailed in at :58 minutes, (but in all fairness we did stop three times to tie our shoes—long laces…you get the picture, had to double knot them) and the rest of the gang, Ali and crew came in at 1:10 minutes singing and taking pictures.
Then we all went out, ate pizza and hamburgers, with a side of lettuce – gotta watch that figure… A perfect New Year celebration.
RADIO, TV & BLOGS
Sports Gumbas – Atlantic City Radio Station
Got a called from a radio station that I had been on before called, Sports Gumbas. The host, Greg, called and said he had just seen me on the Game Show Channel and that my “To Tell the Truth” segment aired again – the one where I say I’m the naked skydiver.
Then he asked if I’d be willing to come on his show and give a fast talking predition on the superbowl…since I’m not exactly a sports person in that way…adventure wise, yes, but not following the team stuff, I was a bit nervous. I told the host, …”Okay I’ll do it, just tell me how many teams are playing in the superbowl?”
“Fran, there is two.”…At that point he realized, “This is going to be a challenge.” Then he said, “Listen it doesn’t really matter what you say, just make it fun.” So after convining my ex-husband #1, to give me a quick one minute summary on what is happening, I went on and gave my rendition and prediction…here’s a quick excerpt.
“The Steelers also have this guy Pala-mala-moo-moo with that crazy long hair hanging out of his helmet.They found out last week it’s really a Samoan woman, but nobody has the guts to tell her she can’t play.” …There was also something in there about Tom Cruise being cloned. Then I gave…some bogus prediction. To this day, I still don’t know who won. But congrats to whoever did. (Please don’t feel the need to email me and tell me).
Signed development deal with Letnom Productions. (Yes, that is Montel spelled backwards- it’s Montel Williams Production company).We are pitching some ideas for tv…don’t want to Jinx anything…so that’s all I’ll say for now on that.
THE WB & BLOGS
Don’t know if you guys remember, but I have a fast talking commercial for the WB, called, Quick6.com running in the Arizona market. Apparently the commercial is doing well. Well the WB ( which is soon merging in September) is launching a new website, mysweetconnection.com on March 3, 2006. They have asked me to write a weekly blog for them called, “Fran’s World and welcome to it.” So if you guys enjoy the monthly Capo Updates, and you really want to know more what is happening in my life….you can get me weekly at that site.
AND THE WB went one step further, They have asked me to be a keynote Speaker on April 9th at their Women’s EXPO, sponsored in Arizona by 3TV. It’s their 14th year of doing this expo.
Financial Wizard, Susie Ormand will be speaking on April 8th, and I’m the speaker on April 9th with my “Dare to Do it” lecture….shoud be a lot of fun. BTW, I know this is going to be a good gig, they asked me for a list of my likes and dislikes for the green room…now I really feel like a star…I will have chocolate covered soy nuts in my green room and a copy of the movie Shrek..this is living…love it.
WORLD RECORD BOOKS:
If you check out comcast.net…they have a short video blurb on my being part of the 50th anniversary of Guinness Book. Don’t ask me where exactly it is, because one of my CAPO UPDATE readers informed me of it, called me on the phone and actually played it for me, but when I tried to go on line and get the clip, I wasn’t able to bring it up.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not:
My Titanic book signing, will be in the 2007 book, with pictures of the event.
The Book of Alternative records informed me that I will be in their book as well, and I have an offer to possibly go to Russia, to demonstrate my record to the Russian comrades, don’t know if they speak English…we shall see.
So as we all know Valentines day is coming up. If you have someone to celebrate with great, if not, don’t fret, it’s just a made up holiday and there are 364 other days to fall in love.
I always try to find unique gifts, especially for my mom. I found the perfect gift.
You see my mom loves Harrison Ford. Nothing like hearing your mom go on about “what an absolute doll” some guy is. She has seen every movie of his…her eyes are glued to the screen, it’s actually really cute- as long as she doesn’t start carrying around his picture in her purse and hanging posters on the wall…its healthy.
So anyway…I find out that the Learning Annex has this special deal where you can see a sneak preview of his new film, Firewall and then the kicker is afterwards he’s interviewed in the theater in front of all his adoring fans by Joel Siegal. All for $20 bucks, not a bad deal at all.
So I sign my mom and I up. I tell my mom I’m gonna pick her up and take her to her Valentines surprise. She’s trying to guess what it is. On the drive there, she mentions that she is so upset that she missed Harrison Ford on Letterman the other night. I tell her, I’m sure he’ll show up other places, he’s trying to promote his movie. (I was laughing inside.)
So we get inside the theater, we are searched, several times, my camera is taken away, (so much for a shot of mom and Harrison), and then we sit and watch the movie. She still has no clue. After the movie they start setting up the directors chairs, lights go on, cameras start to roll and out walks Harrison Ford. My mom lets out a grasp… “Oh my, it’s him, I can’t believe it!”
Harrison comes out to a standing ovation. Then he starts telling some inside stories on his career, like for example, in almost every film, (Star Wars, Frisco Kid and Indiana Jones) he was not the directors first choice of actors. But he said it doesn’t bother him, he feels lucky that his career has gone so well. Then he tells how his being a carpenter ( real, stick-your-nails-in-the-wall carpenter) lead to his getting a screen test for Star Wars. He was very gracious, told us about his new projects and well, my mom was swooning. I was hoping she wasn’t going to throw her panties or bra on the stage. Anyway, we left the theater after he was escorted out by security guards, and my mom floated to the car.
You know I normally do corporate gigs and comedy clubs. Well my bellydancing sister, Shahira, told me she had a gig for me at a Polish birthday party and told the host, Vlodek that I could emcee or do my stand up. The money was good, and I figured it would be fun to work together so I accepted the gig. Only problem, Vlodek spoke broken English.
“Hello, this is Fran, Shahira’s sister. I understand you want me to emcee an event for you.”
“What is emcee?”
“You know, host the event, introduce all the acts.”
“You must speak slowly, I do not have such perfect English as you.”
“Sorry, I’m the worlds fastest talking female.”
“You mean you fast woman?”
“No not fast woman, fast talking woman.”
“All woman talk fast. But I’m sure you are beautiful like your sister. She has beautiful toes, I want to kiss them.”
My sister had warned me he was a smooth talker…
“Ah that’s great…my toes are covered though…comics don’t show their toes. But thank you for the compliment, Vlodek. So listen, normally I get x amount per show. I realize this is a birthday party, and my sister works for you often, so we will work out a money deal.”
“I want you to not to do your tv show that cost me so much, but not do so little that no one is happy. Understand?”
“Okay, you come to dinner with me as guest…eat and drink, but don’t drink so much that you cannot talk, and you help me make show great.”
We settled on a price, a time and the deal was set.
That Saturday, we arrive at the gig at 7:30. The performers were me (emceeing and doing a bit of stand up), my sister headlining as the bellydancer, and this African Jazz troupe doing 3 dance numbers, and 3 original songs. It was like the united nations.
The only problem…the birthday girl, with her 100 guests, did not have the party room to themselves. There were 3 other birthday parties going on. So the night became trying to get the band that was hired by the catering house to give us the microphone so we could perform during breaks to “our” birthday party. The band spoke and sang polish songs.
During the break the dance troupe went on and did a duet. The owner of the catering house whispered to me “Speed things up.” Exactly how I was going to speed up a duet ballet, I haven’t a clue, so I just nodded.
Vlodik kept saying, “Ignore him, I pay good money here.” The band leader who looked like a white haired Fabio, kept saying, “We go on break in few minutes…You have 10 minutes to do your thing.” It was now Midnight, we fit in 1 song and a dance number.
By the third band break I introduced my sister.
This everyone liked, a sexy bellydancer, all of a sudden it was okay to have an intermission…she got cheers and applause, not to mention a few bucks tuck ed into her outfit.
Immediately after that I was instructed by Vlodik to give out raffles. Vlodik was giving out 16 pairs of Broadway tickets as raffles prizes. He had numbers written on ping pong balls and I was to pull them out of a basket.
The owner of the catering house is standing besides me on stage…”Come on, speed it up.” Little did he know I was the fastest talker. SO I start reading off numbers really quickly. The polish people are saying…”What number was that again?” Vlodick starts throwing out the ping pong balls to the audience. People are trying to catch them, I’m trying to see who has matching numbers. Meanwhile the owner is on the stage with me, playing tug of war with the microphone, and I’m trying to finish giving out some raffles, and keep my composure. Fabio is in the back flicking his hair and tapping his foot impatiently. By the time the whole thing was over it was 2:30 in the morning…IN the end, everyone was happy, we all got paid and Vlodik in his manner said what he thought was a compliment…”You did magnificient…so wonderful…you and your sister, I look at you two and think…sex…not have sex here on the floor now sex…but sex..if you do not know what I mean, I can explain no further…thank you so much…I do not know if your toes are as beautiful as your sisters…but if so I would kiss them.”
I settled for a handshake and left.
I turned to my sister later in the car, “Thanks for the gig it was certainly interesting, but do me a favor, next time you want us to spend time together, lets go to the movies, and whatever you do…wear sneakers.” We both laughed.
ZIG ZAGS IN THE SNOW
In case you didn’t hear, the weather man predicted that the East Coast would be hit with a major winter storm. I had a gig on Saturday in Morristown NJ, but it was cancelled by noon. I kept looking out and no snow and was getting pretty upset. I wanted to perform. Then by 10 PM it starts snowing. At midnight I had this burning desire to go out in the snow. So I got all wrapped up, and was the lone person out there in my community. It was beautiful, snow coming down hard, only a 1/2 on the ground, the sole set of footprints in the snow. It was awesome, like my own mini-adventure. I started making zig zags in the snow, figured if anyone saw the footprints might as well make them interesting, so I backtrackked, walked from one side to the other, skated some ways, ran others… then I remembered the other day that my son said in the early morning (we are up here in Ossining…country area for this native Queens girl) that a racoon growled at him when he walked over a sewer grates, the racoon actually stuck his paws up and tried to grab his foot. It creeped him out. Since I had just finished reading a Dean Koontz book and with my wild imagination I started thinking what if I was being tracked by a family of mobster racoons. Where would I hide, my footprints would give me away. So I started circling round, walking on the grass etc. Then a branch snapped behind me, and I jumped. It made me laugh out loud at how the imagination can run away with you. Today of course there is a record 24 inches in Central Park. The worst storm since 1996.
Okay I think by now you all have to figure that I probably have some wild friends. I want to tell you about what two of them are up to.
Ashrita Furman – WORLDS MOST VERSITILE MAN
One of my best friends is Ashrita Furman…the guy who holds 100 world records in the Guinness Book, everything from Pogo sticking up mount Fuji, to somersaulting along Paul Revere’s ride. He is presently in Malaysia and he always keeps me informed of his latest world records…. I love reading them because they are filled with adventure. So get this his latest record was that he was trying to break his underwater juggling record.
So where better to juggle than in an aquarium tank filled with Tiger Sharks?
Here’s what he wrote, “The curator of aquarium guaranteed I would get out alive but he wouldn’t guarantee in what condition! Anyway, things were going well until a large white shark decided he wanted to be in my spot and he knocked into me causing me to drop the balls. He was a nice guy (or girl) but he messed up the record! Of course, the media had a field day!” Ashrita broke a record later that week, but this time without the the help of sharks. He’s an amazing person, and always goes after his dreams, and in the process inspires people all around the world.
JIM KWIK – MEMORY EXPERT
If you or anybody you know wants to improve their memory skills or learn to speed read, Jim Kwik is the guy. A very down to earth guy with a cool way of teaching these skills. I’m going to be taking his class soon, I sat in on a demo session…very impressive. Here’s an article a recent paper wrote about him.
The Master of Memory Training the Brains of White Plains
Okay that’s it for now…in 2 weeks I leave on my next adventure. A night in the ICE HOTEL in Quebec. Yes a real ice hotel..ice chandeliers, ice staircase, ice bed…28 degrees inside. Should be interesting. Will tell you all about it in the next capo update.
Till then, stay warm.
create a great day,