Spies – Axes – Rail biking, Talking to the dead and “Love, Laughter and Light”
INSPIRATION THROUGH STORIES OF HUMOROUS ADVENTURES,
where to go and simple takeaways you can apply to your life and business.
One of my secrets to happiness – “Always have something to look forward to!” If every day is the same, life gets boring…fast. But when you have something to look forward to you get excited for that day to arrive. The beauty is we can create these gifts for ourselves weekly; get a massage, take in a play, blow bubbles at your cat, camp in your garden and scare the rabbits…whatever strikes your fancy…it’s your life, create your own happiness big or small, and drag others along, hopefully smiling.
Below are snippets of what I’ve done to create my happiness:
HIGHLIGHTS: January 2019
BRING THE NEW YEAR IN WITH AN AXE.
In an effort to bring in the New Year with something new, we went “Hatchet throwing in Paramus”…nope, it’s not the name of a new horror flick, it’s an actual sport that is big in Canada and is taking the U.S. by a storm. The funny thing, when I called up to find out the details, I was told three key elements: “You have to be over 18, wear closed toed shoes in case the axe falls on your toes, and it’s BYOB”. What? Bring your own booze? Who thinks throwing sharp objects and drinking alcohol is a good idea?” But I was reassured, “Mam, it’s not hard liquor, it’s just beer, relax! (I heard her eyes roll). She continued, “Just think of it as darts, but a lot bigger and sharper.”
“Oh ok, now I’m totally relaxed!” We (the 6 family and friends) decided to venture forward anyway after requesting to be as far away as possible from the axe wheeling drink-pounding patrons. We were relegated to our own steel cage section so we were relieved we wouldn’t be hit by stray axes. The only thing we’d have to worry about was not to hit our own cheer leading section of friends behind us, just in case a sweaty palm wielded the hatchet backwards. But once we got in our Paul Bunyan mode, we had a great time and I even scored big points on my second shot!
Takeaway: Try something new as often as you can, even if it seems a bit scary at first.
Where to try axe adventure: burythehatchet.com
A DEN OF ALLIGATORS AND SOME SHARK TEETH.
Every year, my childhood best friend Viv and I, (who are one day apart) get together for a unique adventure to celebrate our birthdays. This year I flew to Florida, for the two main adventures we had planned. First up, we headed to Myakka River State Park Wilderness Preserve (in Sarosota County) where only 20 hiking permits per day are handed out. Then you get the honor of trekking 2.2 miles over uneven terrain (where wild pigs can jump out) to the Deep Hole, an alligator infested sunning area where you can cozy up with these living dinosaurs. We were told many were not going to be out that day because it was cloudy, but they were wrong…we got within 30 feet from a 8 foot gator, that was until it didn’t like us videoing him and swam straight towards us…Viv and I became giselle’s and ran out of the swamp in Olympic time…of course, then we went back again to tempt fate once our heart rate slowed down. (We were armed however with the knowledge of the 3 key things not to tempt an alligator with – which is on the video below – think S’mores).
After that we headed over to the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”, Caspersen Beach Park, in Venice to treasure hunt for…GOLD…only kidding, shark teeth. We were digging like second graders with our hands and then some lady took pity on us and just GAVE Viv her metal detector! We were happier than dentists at the Willy Wonka Factory. (Of course a huge nugget of Gold would have been a nice souvenir to take home as well.)
Take away: You don’t have to go to a zoo where the animals are prisoners. If you love wildlife you can get close, and as long as you respect nature, it will respect you. But keep a safe distance and take photos not lives. (Although if the alligators did decide to dine Italian, A la Capo special, those alligators would have been made into a nice set of pumps! And I would have worn a shark necklace to boot!)
Where can you do Alligator deep hole adventure?
HOW TO GET A ROOM FULL OF STAR STUDDED MARTIAL ARTS PEOPLE TO LISTEN without using a stun gun.
So where can you go to be surrounded by 1200 top Martial Arts celebrities from around the world? You go to SIFU Alan Goldberg’s Annual “Action Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Honors Mega Weekend” in Atlantic City. Since, SIFU was the guy who threw me (the church cleaning lady) into the trunk of a car during the award winning Mark Goldman film, “Father and Father”, I had a special place in my heart for him. So my good buddy, Sensei Tom Renner, arranges for me to do a book signing at the event. But why stop there when you can play a couple of good pranks during the festival. So I convinced, WWF champ Bob Buckland, who I had just met as he was signing books next to me, to put me in a chicken hold and cause a ruckus in the middle of the convention to shake things up for the fans.
But why stop there? At the annual black tie dinner, Alan, Michael and I prearranged for me to pretend in front of a crowd of highly trained experts, (who could kick my butt faster than I can talk) that we were running out of time, and so I had to deliver the awards really, really, really fast, and basically they would have to make a dive on the stage to keep up with the pace. I was also throwing in ranking comments on guests like the Guardian Angels head honcho, Curtis Sliwa (who I had met during a hot dog eating contest), and the former DA of New York, and on and on. The crowd loved it, and I was relieved!
Afterwards, ten of us hung out and celebrated the event. (Sasha Mitchell, Chuck Zito, Vince Pastore, Henry Mok, Dr. Bob Goldman, Tom Renner, Mark Goldman, Michael DePasquale, and from Mortal Kombat – Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa- who I wound up talking to for a long time and clicked with right away.
Takeaway: Find ways to stand out and be remembered, within the context of who you are. Even if it’s a new world of people and you are out of your element, just talk, you might find you have lots in common.
10 UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN KEY WEST:
So hubby and I decided to do an impromptu 3-day getaway to Key West.
I wanted to go by seaplane to the Dry Tortugas (68 miles west of Key West) to look for treasure, I even went out and bought underwater metal detectors for us, …but alas it gets booked up early.
So I came up with 10 things to do in 2 days while there: (We walked and rented a golf cart to get around)
1- See the sunset at Mallory Square (Gorgeous and lively atmosphere)
2- Take a haunted bus tour and talk to the voodoo cursed “Robert the doll” (Actually I felt like an idiot asking the doll for permission to take his picture – later that night my toe hurt for no reason, and I was told that if you got aches that means, “Robert did it,!” and thought you didn’t respect him…so I told that doll to knock it off, and later that day my toe was better!)
3- Visit Ernest Hemingway’s home with the 6 toed cats (Nice house, but his wife got it in the settlement)
4- Visit Sloppy Joes Bar (Ernest Hemingway’s local drinking hole when it was around the corner- very crowded, the original place is now called Tony’s Saloon)
5- Visit famed treasure Hunter Mel Fisher Museum. This man searched for 16 years for the Spanish galleon Atocha shipwreck. Everyday he told his crew, “Today’s the day!” Eventually it was the day and he hit the $450 million mother lode in the waters off of Key West. (Talk about persistence!)
6- Photo opp with the buoy in Key West that marks the southern most point in the Continental United States.
7- Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory at 1316 Duval Street. (Houses 60 different species of butterflies. One hooked on to me and stayed on my shoulder the entire time I was there. I think he was trying to break out of the joint.)
8- Go to Frances street to the Key West Cemetery to see wise cracking signs like “I told you I was sick” on tombstones (Hint do not do this without a guide, you’ll never find the stones!)
9- See the Parrot lady (She closes promptly at 3 – we missed it)
10- Get a massage and shop at “Treasure Chest” to buy real Mel Fisher gold treasure coins.
Takeway: Explore other things besides the common tourist traps. If you want to find unique things to do, check out www.AtlasObscura.com.
BE A GUEST ON FRAN’S WORLD RADIO SHOW! IT’S ABOUT HUMOR, HEATH, HAPPINESS AND LIVING YOUR DREAM.
The last Friday of every month I have on a unique calvacade of guests, from holistic healers to billionaires to caulbearers to WWF champs – all positive conversations that can give you tips on how to live your best life…check out Fran’s World at: Fran’s World
And if you want to be a guest on my show pitch me at Fran@franCapo.com
Sample Broadcast: https://francapo.com/frans-world-podcast-23-june-2019/
HOW TO FEEL LIKE A GIANT WITHOUT EVEN TRYING:
As a 5 foot 2 Italian chick, I like to feel bigger sometimes. So I headed over to Gulliver’s Gate, in Manhattan. “A Giant experience in a Miniature World!” They have a whole technologically advanced, interactive, immersive world of miniatures down to a tiny science. This 50,000 square foot exhibit covers from Antarctica to Niagara Falls to Paris to New Zealand – you have to look close to see all the intricate details- like whose walking hand in hand, whose selling bananas, whose having roast beast in their apartment etc. It gives you an appreciation for all the unique cultures you can see if you travel the world, or at very least if you’re not into culture, you will know what it feels like to be Godzilla. (Just don’t step on the little people!)
Check it out at: https://gulliversgate.com/
IT TOOK TEN YEARS TO CUT THIS RIBBON.
Ten years ago my good friend, Donna Drake had a dream and called me on my Satellite phone while I was out on the Drake Passage (how appropriate) riding the waves in Antarctica ready to be chased by a Leopard Seal. She said, “Frannie, I don’t know where in the world you are, but I want to create a show called, “Live it Up!” and I want you to co-host it with me. Are you in?” And thus we began our TV journey. The show has morphed since then, won awards and featured celebrities in all walks of life. I have become the adventure correspondent; eating fire with people, doing Zero G, battling a Sumo wrestler, and crawling in a Polar bears den, etc.
After all what good is doing adventures and exploring the world if you can’t share it with people? So I’m proud to be part of Donna Drake’s, never give up, journey that culminated in a ribbon cutting ceremony of her brand new studio. Want to be a guest and be seen in 66 million homes?
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org – Say Fran sent ya.
Takeaway: If you have a dream, never give up and make it happen!
SIMPLE EXERCISES ON HOW TO PRESERVE YOUR VOICE –
So I run across this guy, Per Bristow, the world’s most followed voice and performance coach. He has a class called “The Singing Zone”. Outside of the Rap record, “Rappin Mae” which I toured with LL Cool Jay, I have no desire to sing, but Per teaches you how to loosen your voice chords and help prevent hoarse throats, so I was intrigued. Now you know me, I can’t just show up to a class, so Per and I decided to play a prank on the students where I pretended my “Problem was that when I get nervous, I can’t slow down and talk too fast.” So I was speaking faster and faster and the class was shocked, then started to laugh when they realized it was a prank. Happily it ended with applause. However Per was not done with me, he had me do these vocal exercises on stage, and I swear if anyone outside that room heard me, they’d lock me up in an asylum.
Later I practiced at home until I saw the cats cover their ears with their paws. But seriously, if you want to strengthen your voice check his method out. It’s great for anyone who teaches, speaks for a living, sings, or performs etc. You can also check out my Fran’s World radio interview with him at
Takeaway: Forget assets that lose value as soon as you purchase them, invest in yourself!
A ROMANTIC TWIST ON COMEDY NIGHT
I went to perform at my favorite comedy club, Comedy Cabaret, in Doylestown, PA. I was performing with Vinnie Marks, Scott Baker and Al Issacs…but that night was different. All the comics were in on a HUGE secret. During their improv act, Scott Baker was going to propose to his girlfriend on stage. Everyone was camera ready…she was called on stage and asked to be part of one of the improv scenes. She didn’t have a clue! Scott held up the ring behind her and winked at the crowd. She said, “Yes!” The audience gave them a standing ovation!
If you are ever going to propose to someone make it memorable, and if it’s in front of an audience be pretty damn sure she’ll say yes! (and if you want to do it at one of my clubs, shoot me an email: Fran@francapo.com.)
LAUGHTER IS A GREAT FUNDRAISER (NEXT SHOW is Sept 21, 2019)
Twice a year I book a fundraising comedy show for the Knights of Columbus in Carmel, NY. So far EVERY SHOW has sold out a month in advance with our double headliner and dinner show 7-10 pm. It’s a great night and you even have a picture of a priest and the Grand Knight front and center starring at you, so the comics have to be funny! For tickets go to email@example.com (I’m also still booking the Dinner-Comedy Shows at Taormina’s in Peekskill. I will keep you posted when next show FALL SHOW will be via FB.
Takeaway: Treat yourself to a (K)night of laughs or book a fundraising show yourself! Fran@francapo.com
TWO HISTORIC SETTINGS FOR “LOVE, LAUGHTER AND LIGHT”
So the award winning interior designer Natalie Weinstein says to me, “Fran how would you like to do your stand up in an historic Vaudeville theater?” I say, “Let’s do one better, how about I do my one woman show, “Love, Laughter and Light there – it’s a 90 minute show of inspiration through my humorous stories of daring adventures. You know getting held up at gunpoint 3 times and smacking the gunman’s hand, holding sharks, eating fire, saving an inch worm, book signings on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and down by the Titanic…basically my crazy life.” She says, “Yes!” We did it, sold out – standing room only and I got a standing ovation.
Fast forward to June 22. I did the show again, this time at the Seven Angels Theater in Waterbury CT, with a media blitz on CT Style TV (WTNH), WSBS “Lets Talk with Jessie Stewart” and historic actor & Superman impersonator Kevin Titus, WATR radio with Tom Chute, and WPLR with Chaz and AJ. This time I added a new element – everyone got a special gift at the door that they could use for inspiration! If you want to book this humorous empowerment show for your company, school or fundraiser, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Takeaway: If you know you or your business have something that can make people’s life easier, scream about it from the top of the proverbial mountains. You are not being conceited, you are sharing your unique gifts of your expertise for the world.
CREATE WAYS TO USE YOUR CONTACTS TO GET THE WORD OUT:
For my self- published books, I use a company called, 48hourbooks.com to get books quickly for speaking engagements coming up. I noticed that they were doing “AUTHORS SPOLIGHTS” so I pitched to blog on some tips on “How to be a great guest on a radio and TV show” from my book, “The Ultimate Guide to Getting yourself on Radio, TV and in Print” The blog helped authors who were looking for ways to mass market their books and at the same time it profiled my book! Win-Win for all.
(Ultimate Guide available in my bookstore: my online store)
Takeaway: Whenever you get an newsletter from someone see if there is a way you can mutually benefit each other and help cross promote. You lose nothing by lighting another’s candle!
SPEND AN AFTERNOON AND EXPLORE YOUR INNER SPY.
If you are a James Bond lover, or ever dreamed of being a spy and pulling off some pretty sneaky things, then the two spy museums in Manhattan are for you.
#1 SPYSCAPE MUSEUM- 928 8th avenue, NY, NY 10019
So I dragged Spencer and his fiancée Heather and we trekked into NYC to get a quick interactive course in spydom. We were checked in, briefed, had a personality test done and then had to go into a series of rooms to be tested on our different spy skills from: Deception, encryption, hacking, to getting out comrades via code before a room blew up, to testing gadgets in Q’s Lab, to surveillance, to going through a mission impossible type room without your body hitting any of the lazars. At the end we are debriefed and our test results were recorded, calculated and we were given a profile of what kind of spy, if any, we would make and where to report for duty if we chose to accept it. I decided to stick to my stand up and story writing because I can be anything I want with that without really getting shot at.
#2 KGB ESPIONAGE MUSEUM- 245 W 14TH STREET
So not to be outdone, on the other side of town we have the Russian’s checking in. So I trekked over with my tea lady friend Ellen, to see this one floor museum which houses the worlds largest collection of Soviet KGB artifacts like KGB cameras imbedded in combs, shoes, eyeglasses etc, as well as one bullet shot umbrellas, and “The Kiss of Death” lipstick. Pucker up baby! During the cold war the KBG was in direct competition with the CIA for world military dominance. (Some things never change!) A tour guide with a very heavy accent and said hw was sworn to secrecy, told us about the equipment and and even strapped me into an electric chair. I promised not to talk anymore if he let me out!
Their motto: “The fact that you don’t have a criminal record is not your achievement but our lack of imput!” (WOW!)
Okay quick quiz: What does KGB stand for?
Don’t look: KGB (КГБ in Cyrillic) stands for “Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti,” which can be translated as the Committee for State Security.
TAKEWAY: There are always new things (relatively inexpensive) to learn and explore in NYC and probably in your home town, expand your world and take your kids.
PERFORMING WITHOUT SHOES
I’ve done speaking engagements all over the world but there was only one time I had to remove my shoes to do it and it was at the Go No Sen Karate dojo in Westchester, New York. I gave a leadership talk to 50 kids and their parents ages 8 – 10 on the sacred mats, so all shoes came off. Luckily I had no holes in my socks. I spoke for half an hour and sold books. The best question of the night came from a 11 year old kid, ‘Miss Capo (I immediately loved him), can I ask you a serious question?”
“Sure, what’s up”
“How do you have so much energy to do what you do and never slow down?”
I cracked up…here’s an 11 year old thinking I have energy, it should be the reverse! I looked him straight in the eyes (since he was my height) and said,
“Always have something to look forward to, laugh everyday and never give up on your dreams.” He smiled. Then I added, “Now tell your mother to buy you a book!” The great part was now my “Hopeville: The City of Light book” and it’s 44 principles of happiness are going to be part of the black belt test from here on in!
For your copy go to: www.hopevilethecityoflight.com
RAILBIKING ACROSS THE CATSKILLS (PHOENICIA)
So what’s the best thing to do with an abandoned railroad track? Get an Australian to make it into an adventure buy building both a two-seat and four-seat bicycle made to go on the steel tracks and then peddle your way downhill over the river and through the woods reaching speeds of up to 20 miles an hour if your ambitious, then where hurricane Sandy has blasted out the track, lift the bike up, turn it around and send those peddling fools back fours miles to the station with the aid of an electric engine. All this and more in a roller coaster type ride lasting up to two hours. And thus another family adventure was recorded on video and checked off.
If you’d like to experience this yourself go to: https://www.railexplorers.net/
Takeaway: Great family exercise adventure, inexpensive, fun, and whoever you like least in your family make them the break guy because they have to do most of the work. Spots fill up quick so book early, open 7 days a week in the summer.
Bring a snack, drink, sunscreen, insect repellent, camera and closed toed shoes. Also available in Rhode Island and Vegas.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY CLOSE TO HOME
So I’m a member of the Putnam Valley Business Network (PVBN), and they chose to do a video highlight of me for their newsletter, and then asked me to be their keynote speaker. Pretty cool. So we were going to tape it in the library, but I’m too loud for a hush-hush arena. Imagine that! So we went across the street to a local restaurant and the music was too loud. Ha Ha! I was drowned out by Simon and Garfunkel! Anyway, we were trying to find the Goldilocks place to shoot. Finally we noticed an enclosed glass back room, with so much sunshine shinning I needed blinders, but we contorted our bodies to block the sun and asked them if they could turn the music just for a few minutes, I promised we’d be fast! They did, we did, and it all worked in one take! A few months later I was live on the stage in front of all the business men and women of the town! It was an honor, and the best thing was I was home by 10!
Takeaway: Join a local group for networking in your area and build relationships, It saves on gas, you get to know your neighbors and you each help support each others business! Also be flexible and go with the flow!
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO CALL A CAULBEARER
Okay first you might say what they heck is a Caulbearer, I said the same thing…but this is how I found one, and how his message was dead on. (Pun intended)
In January, I had 49,000 emails in my in box. I’ve got it down to 16,000 with the help of Unrollme.com. Needless to say I miss a few emails, along the way. But that doesn’t stop me from reaching out to people, even if they emailed me 4 years ago and I never saw it. Such was the case with Bob Buchanon, a retired cop and photographer. I met him at a Yonkers chamber meeting, he emailed to say hello, and I never emailed him back…until now. So on Friday I called Bob and he tells me about his special talents (like that of a medium). I invite him to be a guest on my Fran’s World radio show. Out of nowhere as we’re securing details, Bob stops me and gets a message from my deceased dad, Frank to my son, except instead of using the name Spencer that dad always called him, he refers to him by his first name, William. Dad tells Bob to tell me to tell William, “That I’m proud of his major accomplishment.” I had no clue what accomplishment my dad was talking about, but I relayed the message to Spencer. Spencer played along and said it was about an app he was building. The following Monday, I found out it wasn’t about an app, but that Spencer was getting another college degree, and the diploma had on it his first name, William. No way Bob could have known this, because I didn’t even know about it. Spencer surprised me with this news that he had secretly been doing working on it for two years. We’ve used Bob again, and again he has been dead on with his message…so if anyone is looking to connect with those who have passed give Bob a holler. He’s the real deal. Contact for Bob: BobbCaulMedium.com
Takeaway: It’s never too late to connect with people, on this side or the next. Give it a try, at best it works into something, and if not, nothing lost.
HOLDING THE WORLD RECORD FOR 33 YEARS!
March 5, 1986 I broke my first fast talking world record at 585 wpm. I re-broke it on June 5, 1990 at 603.32 wpm. A lot of fast-talking years later and my tongue is still not tired! (Poor Steve!)
HOW TO FEEL HIGH WITHOUT DRUGS
I wanted to sit back, relax and experience something that would ease my mind in a unique way. Since I’ve never tried pot or any drug, I went to the next best thing, Mesmerica 360 Phoenix, a technological Metamorphosis, a visual music journey of color at the Liberty Science Center that is designed to relieve stress and is suitable for those 6 and up. Since I fit those requirements I went. (222 Jersey City Blvd. Jersey City, NJ)
If you want to destress naturally check out: eventbrite.com
Takeaway: Stress is harmful on your body, so find ways to distress naturally. At this show, you get so relaxed you can fall asleep easily, so make sure you are well rested before you go so you don’t waste your money. Also, the music is loud so bring earplugs, and sit in the middle of the theater so you don’t have to bend your neck too far back.
THE BIG BANG AND BEFORE THEY WERE FATHER AND FATHER THEY WERE #SATGM.
We celebrated July 4th on our boat with family and friends watching the Peekskill Fireworks. It was a great until it ended abruptly without a finale. Cars honked, people booed, Police yelled on horns, “People stay calm.” We knew that somewhere in that barge a barrel of sparks were waiting to fly. After 15 minutes it was like someone said, “Joe, Let em’ rip.. all at once!” and thousands of fireworks sprang into the air, pigeons were taking cover, blind men could see the display, in the end it was all good.
During our wait for the finale, Sensi Tom Renner who was on board happened to casually drop this delightful bomb.
“Oh Fran, btw the comedy film we wrote, “Sensei and the Goldman” (#SATGM), the prequel to our award winning film, “Father and Father” got accepted in two Vegas festivals: “Action on Film (AOF) Mega International Film Fest” and “Hollywood Dreamz screenplays and writers festival.”
We’re up for best comedy short! The film will be released in April 2020 and we shoot this summer, but how cool is that, that we are up for awards before we even shoot it!
I now can proudly add, “nominated award film scriptwriter” to my resume!
Life is what you make it. Never wait on others, create your own destiny!
Hope you enjoyed this and have some positive take aways.
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