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Posts published by “Miranda Robin”

Miranda Robin is one of those rare natives of Los Angeles. She earned her BA in Women’s Studies, minoring in Sociology of Sexuality and Gender, from UCLA and an MA from LMU in Early Childhood Education. Miranda is an Artist, a Writer, a Producer for the Topanga Film Festival and Preschool Teacher in Venice. Her passions and inspirations stem from a love of self worth, adventure and turning an inner dialogue to an outer expression.

Hair Changed Everything: Music, Sex, Drugs and Music


Special To Topanga Journal

Producer Michael Butler talks about the groundbreaking musical Hair, June 12, 2007 at the Met Theatre in Hollywood, with Lee Ferris.

1968. The height of the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement, a time of peace, love and chaos. A year that held the death of RFK and MLK Jr., anti-war protests and a musical that changed lives, embodying core values resonating in self-worth and hope. The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the original Broadway show “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical.” It is a social-emotional, politically driven force of rights and voice. “Hair” parallels attitudes of the time it was born. The producer of the original Broadway show, Michael Butler, states, “the musical taught me about peace and love. I believes that ‘Hair’ is a work of God. It has such an effect on the people that work within it.”

Cara Robin and Richard (Dick) Osorio, General Manager of the Original “Hair” Broadway Production
Cara Robin and Richard (Dick) Osorio, General Manager of the Original “Hair” Broadway Production

Flower children, hippies, musicians, artists and revolutionaries are voices loud and strong; A part of history woven into stories of freedom, oppression, happiness and desire. Stories told through music, sex, drugs and politics. According to Butler “Politics are more serious now than when it opened. The war situation is much worse. America has become War Incorporated. The social point of view is that the rich are dumping on the poor. Politics are helping that. The President is out to lunch. Fascism is now a keyword in this country. “Hair” is more current today than it was in 1968.”

A reflection of counter-culture perspective, “Hair” opens conversation for future collaborations. This dialogue will start with Cara Robin, the production coordinator and second company casting director of the original Broadway show. Cara Robin is “an important part of the ‘Hair’ community and a light” beautifully expressed by Mr. Butler.  

I got into ‘Hair’ because Bobby Kennedy asked me to go to New York.“ Michael Butler

Interview of Music, Sex, Drugs and Music. Reflection: The 60s and 2018  

TJ – It is the 50th Anniversary of “Hair” – does its message still stand strong? 

CR – The musical still gives hope to a generation. It’s a sing-along of social issues by people looking for their identity, wanting a voice, and looking for the sun to shine in. It addresses topics with which we’re familiar: the military, air-pollution, love-triangles. Racism is alive and well. And people need people. 

TJ – What are the main musical messages of the 60s? 

CR – The explosion of rock n’ roll came via the Beatles’ early music, infectious and fun, pop lyrics with super style. It didn’t yet have the social messaging folk music had but grew and evolved to set the tone for the changing times. Bob Dylan’s evolution to rock n’ roll music were lyrics speaking to a new generation looking for change and feeling alienated from society and addressed their deep-held fears and hopes.  The closest sound to the energy and feeling of the 60s is the “Hamilton” soundtrack. Poetry in music via rap. “Hamilton” made me cry the first time I heard it. It has power, passion and skill of storytelling.

TJ – What was the reaction of gender assumption in relationships? Talk about the idea of free love and open relationships.  

CR – The counter-culture was quite liberal and inclusive. People didn’t seem to judge others because of their sexual preference. There was also a lot of sexual exploration going on in relationships. We’re addressing a specific group here – the counter-culture – where, yes, free love and open relationships was prevalent. People were exploring new freedoms and defying the “normal.”

TJ – Does free love exist in 2018?

CR – Free Love does not exist amongst my peers as far as I know. We are looking for committed relationships and strong friendships rather than free love. It could exist amongst the younger generation, but it’s not being shouted from the rooftops as it was in the 60s.

 TJ – What was the usage of drugs for self-discovery? 

CR – LSD was the main “self-awareness” drug, although it was usually taken for recreation rather than self-analysis. But the thoughts the drugs produced were quite mind opening, even though usually forgotten the next day. I had a friend that took LSD under a doctor’s supervision; so all of his experiences were recorded, which must have been quite interesting after the fact.

TJ – Is the usage of drugs for self-discovery is still a good idea? 

CR – Seems like more people use yoga for self-discovery these days.

TJ – How did the musical “Hair” inspire you politically and emotionally? 

CR – It awakened me to the urgency of being present and aware, of recognizing goodness as well as danger in the political climate and society. Emotionally it opened my heart to love and accepting people for who they are, to acknowledge the warmth and light feelings of happiness.

MB – I got into “Hair” because Bobby Kennedy asked me to go to New York. When at a club, I saw a poster for the musical “Hair.” The faces in the photograph were of two interests, the Native Americans and being against the Vietnam War. It was the strongest anti-war image I had ever seen. The musical got well reviewed and was wanting to be something commercial. Would I like to do it? I said yes. I was in politics, running for US Senate, and I decided to produce “Hair” instead. These were the messages of anti-war that I wanted to be a part of. Emotionally the story of “Hair” is such a strong statement that I could get into. 

TJ – How do the political themes of the 60s compare to the political views expressed today? 

CR – Similar. Life seems to progress in circles, same issues with little resolution. Especially with regard to race. Hopefully we can change this in the next years, awareness is coming, people are getting woke. 

TJ – Were you involved in politics in the 60s? Are you involved in politics today? What is your main goal in working in politics?

CR – I participated in marches against the Vietnam War and worked briefly on Eugene McCarthy for President campaign, the anti-war candidate. Currently I am President of the West LA Democratic Club, Executive Board Member of the California Democratic Party, elected Member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee and Co-Chair of the Westside Democratic HQ. My main goal is to elect Progressive Democrats to every level of government and inform the public on issues and candidates through meetings and events. 

TJ – Talk about women’s rights in the 60s compared to women’s rights today. 

CR – In the 60s you had to be a strong woman to be heard, and as I was in a position of power in my casting work, I had a voice.  But not equal pay, the men always made more. Men were in higher positions in most areas in business, politics, fashion, publishing and the arts. Women have much more power and standing today than in the 60s. Women are at the top in nearly every field, and the fight for equal pay for equal work has made great strides. Women are leading the way in the political fights and protests.

TJ – How do we move forward politically with positivity? 

CR – We identify what is important in society – social justice, affordable health care, housing, debt-free education, immigration, gun control, people feeling safe and happy. We can’t discount the importance of feeling happy. Then we work to elect strong, conscious representatives that will move these ideals forward, and this can only happen when we take money out of politics. 

Remember to Love. “Hair” brings about a reason to care and an example of how. Through the topics of music, sex, drugs and politics we hear stories of a time that reflect the self and its current surroundings. “Hair” in lyric, style and production is a profound example of hope for the future. The messages of “Hair” will continue, the discussions of change and growth present new ideas of communication and a common ground of trust. Randy Brooks, Tribe from the original Los Angeles production of “Hair” expressed “what the show did was open my eyes to the unfairness and hate that needed all the love the show was preaching.” 

“Hair” will be the soundtrack for our lives for generations to come. Its impact is evident with the compassion it continues to produce. Remember to LET THE SUN SHINE IN! 

ON THE WEB:

https://youtu.be/P0Wh-ccZVfs


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Climate Change A sonnet By: Miranda Robin


Special To Topanga Journal

hues of green and blue, colors of land, of sea, and sky

fragile structure filled with knowledge of educated hope 

storms brewing, sea levels rising and we know why 

climate is changing and denied by a small orange dope

Miranda Robin

By Miranda Robin

the conversation is here, the dialogue is now 

heat waves and health risks, irreversible sadness 

extinction real, saving lives essential, help presents how 

working together to better the worlds immediate madness 

“temperatures escalating water ranging from drought to flood…” Miranda Robin

temperatures escalating water ranging from drought to flood

this is a reality, a fact, watching coastal populations before us die 

water dwindles, some ignore, concerned humans out for blood 

the discussion is clear, forward momentum, no longer a silent sigh  

ice is melting matching the beat of the heart, we know the planets worth 

she opened her arms to our dreams, protect our magical mother earth 

ON THE WEB:

https://climate.nasa.gov


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The Bowling Sisters: Feminism, Film Directing & The Inner Female Monologue


Special To Topanga Journal

Strong independent voices like the The Bowling Sisters – Kansas Bowling (22) and Parker Love Bowling (19) are make it happen people. Their drive and achievements are a refreshing outlook of the millennial generation. No sibling rivalry here. They’re true supporters of each other’s talents, and not to mention they’re best friends. They’re old souls that relish in old cinema, literature and travel, bringing a fire and passion to their inspirations that have become reality.  

Kansas Bowling is currently directing her second feature film while simultaneously directing music videos, two dozen already under her belt. Her latest music video for a band called Death Valley Girls features the legendary Iggy Pop. Her first feature film – B.C. BUTCHER – was shot on 16mm film in the wilderness of Topanga Canyon and the waterfalls of Jalan Jalan. Her film premiered at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd in 2016. That same year she was featured in W Magazine as one of the up and coming talents to look out for. She continues to innovate and create imagery to be remembered for decades. Memorize the name Director Kansas Bowling.  

Miranda Robin

By Miranda Robin

Her younger sister Parker Love Bowling is another star on the rise. Her dedication, creativity and confidence are what continue to make her roles captivating and memorable on screen. She is an avid reader and writer who uses her knowledge to build on character choice. In addition she is able to design and make her own wardrobe, wearing her own styles as she sings original standards at The Mint and other Los Angeles venues. The camera loves her. Parker Love Bowling will have her name in lights.   

These women were asked to reflect on the word Feminism, a sensitive subject and a way to guide human choices. It crosses generations, blending ideas to form a new hope of equal rights and a solid voice for all people. The voices of Kansas and Parker are powerful, honest and ready to succeed.    

“Feminism and political correctness today has become rabid and dangerous at times. Its important people think for themselves and read into issues before jumping on bandwagons.” Kansas Bowling

TJ: Do you think there is a difference on views of feminism between decades?

KB – Feminism and political correctness today has become rabid and dangerous at times. Its important people think for themselves and read into issues before jumping on bandwagons. Media has made it very easy for misinformation to spread, and people are becoming brainwashed easier than ever. Remember that you don’t have to agree with every “feminist” issue because it’s what you’re told is the right thing to do. 

PLB – There is definitely a new wave of pseudo feminism that is destructive to the very concept.  So-called feminists should not petition for superiority over men. 

 

TJ Do You Remember The First Time You Heard The Word Feminism? 

KB – I think I first heard it when my parents got divorced, and my mom started dating a woman. 

PLB – No clue when I first heard the word Feminism, but my guess is it was from my 7th grade English teacher when I read a biography on Margaret Sanger. 

TJ: Do You Consider The Term Feminism More Of A Positive Or Negative Idea? 

KB – I think it rides a fine line. 

PLB – I think Feminism, by text book definition is a positive term. EQUALITY, not female supremacy. 

TJ: As A Writer-Director, Do You Think About Feminism While Writing And Describing Characters And Themes For Your Films? 

KB – I don’t tend to think about any issues while writing. I just write and then the issue / theme presents itself from somewhere in my subconscious. There are occasionally themes that come through in my writing that would be considered feminist. 

PLB – I don’t think about feminist issues while writing, though naturally my films seem to be female driven. I like to write about vulnerability and the inner monologue of the female. 

TJ: When Hearing Feminism, What Are You Interpretations Of How Each Political Party Feels About The Word and What It Demonstrates? What Political Party Do You Find You Standing Ground? 

KB – I don’t feel like either party has a healthy relationship with feminism – one side goes against everything it stands for while the other side exploits it. 

PLB – I think both parties misconstrue the true meaning of feminism. I believe in equal rights, but I certainly don’t believe in the belittlement of men. 

TJ: What Are Your Thoughts On Men Still Getting Paid More Than Women? Do You Think It Is Fair? When You Pay You Actors For A Film Shoot, Is The Pay The Same?

KB – I think the issue lies more in men getting offered bigger roles more often than women and that’s where the pay issue comes into play. It seems to be more of a problem with the types of movies being made. I pay my actors differently based on the project and what roles they’re playing. Usually a more experienced actor will get paid more than someone with no experience at all. But it obviously never has anything to do with gender. 

PLB – It’s obviously not fair for a man to get paid more than a woman if they are doing the same job, but there are exceptions. If a male actor is more well known than a woman, it would make sense that he gets paid more and vice-versa. 

TJ: What Is Politically Correct For Social Media, And What Gets A Site Shut Down? What Are Your Ideas Of Censorship On Social Media? 

KB – Social media could never be a real platform for art because of the censorship issues. It’s not important in the grand scheme of anything, which is why people should focus more on creating rather than advertising.

PLB – Censorship is fascist. Social media platforms should not be allowed to remove art or suppress freedom of speech. 

TJ: As Actors In Film, When You Are Making Roles For Yourself, What Types Of Roles Do You Gravitate Toward? 

KB – I’m only now getting to a point where I can turn down roles so I haven’t yet had the luxury of being able to pick and choose. 

PLB – I take whatever roles I can get, though I prefer to be the antagonist in a film. I feel there’s a wider range of expressing yourself in that niche. 

TJ: How Did Growing Up In Topanga Affect Your Thoughts In Social Interaction And Self-Expression? 

KB – I was practically ostracized from Topanga for having a lesbian mom so it should have instilled introverted conservatism in me, but instead it made me realize how unimportant people’s opinions are if you’re happy. 

PLB – Topanga is very isolated, which has made me extremely shy while meeting new people. Growing up in Topanga also made me very paranoid that the people I meet have secret agendas. 

TJ: Your First Feature Film Was Made In Topanga. Did The Location Inspire Parts Of Your Film Or Were They Written Prior To Location Scout? 

KB – I followed the Roger Corman school of thought – use what you have. My dad lives in Topanga and has the state park at his backyard. A cavewoman movie seemed like an easy and cheap movie to make with what I had available to me.

TJ: What Are The Main Themes In Your First Feature Film And The Second FEature Film? Talk About Similarities And Differences. 

KB – My first feature film had absolutely no themes, moral, or allegory. It was merely a trial of me seeing how to make a film on my own, which then happened to get distributed by TROMA. My feature that I am working on now is about troubled adolescence inspired by all of my friends growing up in Topanga. 

TJ: When Writing For Others To Read, What Female Views Are Mostly Constant In The Characters You Create? 

KB – I write from my subconscious so every character is myself. I don’t write different genders.  

PLB – I write about the worst aspects of myself so I can come to terms with them. I like to write and read about the darker side of any character’s mentality. 

TJ: What Is Your Main Goal/Message You Want To Express Through Your Films? 

KB – There are a lot of messages I put into my work, but most important to myself is to never censor my own work for the sake of others. I would rather get in trouble for something I stand by than never say anything. 

PLB – I’m not sure there is a main goal. I like to explore the subconscious of the characters I play or write.   

Our future is bright with women like Kansas and Parker at the helm. Their views are owned with wisdom, research, knowledge and a love of creating art through any medium. The Bowling Sisters are taking on the world and the world is ready for them. Support talent, support a voice and make your own voice known whenever you can. 

ON THE WEB:

http://kansas-bowling.com

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6718920/


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