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MASTHEAD

Times Square Magazine | Vol.1 No.5 | November 2012 PUBLISHER LORENZO TARTAMELLA EDITOR IN CHIEF JOEY FRANCO MANAGING EDITOR LARRY HARGROVE ASSOCIATE EDITOR MARIA CHIAZZESE EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ANNA CHIAZZESE COPY EDITOR DAWN BARRETTO PROOF READER DEBORAH JACOB CREATIVE DIRECTORS LORENZO TARTAMELLA, JOEY FRANCO,SARAH-LOUISE JEAN-LOUIS COVER PHOTO SETH WALTERS HAIR AND MAKEUP ANGELA CALISTI PHOTOGRAPHY SETH WALTERS, NATALI GOON , LAURA DE SANTIS-OLSSON, MARK WEISS LAYOUT DESIGN SARAH-LOUISE JEAN-LOUIS CONTRIBUTORS LIZ BELILOVSKAYA, ALEX ZAGLIN, RICH MONETTI, PEGGY HOGAN, LORENZO TARTAMELLA, JOEY FRANCO, BRAD BALFOUR,VANESSA IOANA B,CHRISTIAN LEADLEY,TADHG FERRY, KAREN HOLLY BERLINIER, JAY EFF FOUNDER BROOKS WILLIAMS SPECIAL THANKS LISA GOLDSTEIN, GEORGE DASSINGER,LAUREN SACHS, CHRISTINA PARVU, GREG CHARLES Times Square Magazine | November 2012


CONTRIBUTORS TADHG FERRY Tadhg Ferry graduated from Fordham University in 2010 with a degree in English. He spent 2011 teaching English at a kindergarten in South Korea. He grew up in Philadelphia. He once caught a homerun hit by Jim Eisenreich. Check out his interview with Tommy Castro in this edition of Times Square Magazine.

RICH MONETTI Rich Monetti is a freelance writer who lives in Somers, New York, which is about an hour North of New York City. He received a degree in Computer Science from Plattsburgh State but switched to the other side of his brain in 2003 when he began a career as a writer. He also works part time in the after school program at Mt. Kisco Childcare.

LIZ BELILOVSKAYA Liz is a 27 year old female mix of Super Mega Soviet Ethnicities. She has a younger brother who she aspires to be like when she grows up. He is her inspiration, motivation and partner in crime.

VANESSA IOANA B Reporter, photographer, visual, graphic and performing artist, part-time DJ and part-time video editor. Her main goal, as a person and an artist, is to push human consciousness to higher levels, by presenting life in unusual perspectives. She believes I’m an artist, you’re an artist, we’re all artists! “How else would we be here?”

SARAH-LOUISE JEAN-LOUIS Sarah-Louise Jean-Louis is a native of Montreal, Canada. She has always considered herself a creative individual; naturally graphic design is something that has intrigued her for some time.Thanks to her work, the pages of Times Square Magazine come to life. She absolutely loves practicing design, both at the office and at home!

TIMES SQUARE MAGAZINE

THE TIMESSQUARE.COM CORPORATION 1501 BROADWAY, SUITE 1808A NY, NY-10036 | 1-800-777-2323 info@timessquare.com

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15 21 25 29 33 39 COVER STORY

15 J.ELAINE MARCOS

CONT CLASSIC INTERVIEW

33 SAM JACKSON

MORE THAN SUM OF HER PARTS

JEDI HERE AND NOW

21 ROBERT CRAY

39 HARRY BELAFO

Q&A WITH ROBERT CRAY

25 TOMMY CASTRO

THE GUITAR AND THE SINGERS

29 SHEBA MASON FAMILY AFFAIR

NEW YORK WISDOM

43 MARK WEISS

ROCK STAR PHOTOGRAPHE

47 LET THEM EAT C 6 TOP PLACES TO SOOTHE

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


43 47 53 57 63 67

TENTS

53 ROBERT CUCCIOLI ANYTHING BUT STANDARD

ONTE

57 ACCESORIES AND BEAUTY MEN AND WOMEN

63 THE SECRET WORLD...

LETS YOU DELVE INTO THE WORLD OF INTELLIGENCE ....

ER

CAKE

67 PHOTOS

TIMES SQUARE PHOTOS AND SHOWS

YOUR SWEET TOOTH

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J. Elaine

Marcos

MoreofThan The Sum By Liz Belilovskaya Photos Seth Walters

Her Parts!

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


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J.E

MA

J.Elaine Marcos is killing it in the

biz. Whether it’s Broadway, television, film or dance, she does it all and there’s no stopping her. She is one of those remarkably charismatic performers that possess an unmistakable stage and screen presence, and you can tell, plain and simple, that she is very talented at what she does. Check her out as Lily St. Regis in the upcoming revival of Annie, where she’s sure to steal the spotlight this fall. J. Elaine is of Filipino descent but was born in Ontario, Canada. While she does not come from what you would call a typically “theatrical” family, it helped her discover the performing arts while she was very young. According to J. Elaine, being Filipino “means you have to sing and dance and play the piano at some point in your life,” and so she did. She didn’t like keyboards “at all”, so J. Elaine’s mom transferred her to dance class, which was also attended by her cousins. She flourished there over the next few years. J. Elaine liked dance because she had fun with her cousins and because of the energy reTimes Square Magazine | November 2012


Elaine

ARCOS quired in dance, it’s an inherent part of the discipline. She remarked that, “there is something about dance and being really close.” Despite Toronto being a bustling film and entertainment hub, J. Elaine dreamed of Broadway and New York. She realized early on that she wanted to pursue a career in entertainment with a special focus on musical theater. When she graduated high school, she packed her bags, took a few Tai Kwan Do classes and moved to the big city, soon after enrolling in the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. About a half a year after graduation, J. Elaine landed her first professional gig in musical theater; she embarked on the national tour of A Chorus Line. She credits this experience as one of the best times of her life. Reflecting back on it now she states, “I felt like that show really brought everybody closer together and since that was my first job, a lot of those people are still my great friends today.“ It was a surreal opportunity because J. Elaine finally felt that she was achieving what she set out to accomplish - earning a living by doing what she loved. She got

to travel and it was easy for her to stay excited about her evolving career, so she worked relentlessly opting to give it her all, while taking in as much of the experience as possible. “I just loved being with the company so much,” she reflects. After the tour, J. Elaine went corporate and got a job as an improvisation performer at Disney’s, Dino Land. “You’re on the streets while they are going from one show to the next. Your job was to entertain them,” she recalls. During these micro performances, she realized she could use improvisation and physical comedy in audition settings, separating herself from the others hopefuls. Shortly thereafter she was cast in Miss Saigon. One Broadway show turned into another and finally, J. Elaine was cast in the Broadway production of A Chorus Line. Unfortunately, around the time A Chorus Line ended, J. Elaine tore her ACL. Taking it as a blessing in disguise, she called her agents, “OK, no more dancing, why don’t we really just , film and television in New York?” she suggested. Without much debate, her agents agreed and booked her to audition for a number of television series. page 17


W

ith time and experience, J. Elaine grew to understand her strengths and weaknesses as a performer. In regards to musical theater, she accepted that she was not a dancer who could do major turns nor had the widest range of flexibility. As a film and television actress, she had to find her edge to compete with many other hopefuls. Knowing that she could make people laugh, she tried her hand at stand-up. Turned out that stand-up was not her cup of tea. While she loved the general scene, improvisation and participating in comedy troupes was more of her forte than simply being a stand-up comedian. She realized that she could leverage her experience with improvisation and physical comedy during her stage and screen auditions. Her hunch did not disappoint. She was soon cast in Morning Glory, starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Patrick Wilson and Jeff Goldblum. Not too shabby for a movie debut. The experience also proved to be completely different from what she was used to in musical theater; the movie expanded her understanding of her future acting possibilities. J. Elaine loves the freedom that comes with live performance. The energy and the instant feedback from the audiences fuel her onstage passion and perhaps, even the delivery itself. “In theater you have an instant reaction and you feed off it, changing something a little bit to influence the reaction of the audience. In film and television as well, it’s just not that instant and you wait,” sstated. The idea of putting something together layer by layer is an appealing challenge to J. Elaine. When J. Elaine prepares for her roles, her day consists of a lot of physical activity. She does yoga, biking, vocal and physical warm up’s, and does a lot of general “running around”, which is not to be confused with actual running. The one thing she does do to get in the zone is by saying hello to all of her cast members before the show, “You don’t want to see them for the first time on stage.” So far, Cynthia, the mail order bride from Pricilla Queen of the Desert has been Elaine’s favorite role because she incorporates everything J. Elaine loves to do. The character is fun, well developed, well rounded and “so wrong – that she couldn’t do any wrong”. It was the perfect Times Square Magazine | November 2012


Click to watch the interview with J.Elaine Marcos

opportunity for Elaine to showcase her comedic acting chops. Now, J. Elaine is trying to find out who Lily is as she prepares for her role as Lily St. Regis in the revival of Annie. It takes research to prepare a character, which doesn’t simply consist of reading the lines; it’s about the back-story, the relationships between each character, and the time period when the story takes place. She insists, that “you have to get a sense of what that is,

the type of physicality people back then possessed, I have been watching a lot of old movies”.

Coincidentally, it will be playing in the same theater as Pricilla Queen of the Desert. Many actors auditioned for the role, so J. Elaine was a bit surprised when she was asked to go in as well. “Do they know I’m Asian?”Before the audition, she realized that she had to make an impression doing something unique, so she decided to go the comedic route. It paid off. When she got the call informing her that she got the part, she was surprised but mainly over the moon! The reaction of the show’s fans is what she is looking forward to the most. “Everyone has a story about Annie, about when they saw it, how their kid really wants to see it. I’m really looking forward to that because the last show I’ve done…Pricilla (Queen of the Desert) wasn’t really a kid show, not that this is a kid show…” she gushes excitedly. Because Annie is a hallmark Broadway show, Elaine’s a bit intimidated but up for the challenge, even if the original authors of the show are in the room, “this is what they wrote years ago, I wonder what they are thinking. They’ve had so many casts, I need to know if what I’m doing is right,” she nervously states. Yet after spending a bit of time with her, something tells me that she’ll be just fine. J. Elaine hopes to have her own sitcom one day, maybe something along the lines of her current favorite, which is J. She has always loved John Ritter, deeply respects Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Kristin Wiig, and would love to have the careers of Steve Carell or Will Ferrell. Like most driven professionals, she aims to take the entertainment world by storm and with any luck, she is currently positioned to do so. page 19


R

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


ROBERT CRAY By Alex Zaglin

Play

Five-time Grammy Award winner Robert Cray has been playing blues guitar and singing for decades. While the blues have influenced his style, his music is truly a signature blend of a variety of genres. The Robert Cray Band has been rocking out since the 70’s and is comprised of Cray, bassist Richard Cousins (whom Cray had known for years before the band even started), drummer Tony Braunagel, and Jim Pugh on keyboards. The Robert Cray Band’s new album was just released at the end of August, and Cray gave some insights into the recording process.He also discussed his background and some details about the band, perhaps most interestingly, the way they approach live shows! Listen to (Won’t be) Coming Home From Robert Cray’s recent album; Nothin But Love

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Time Square (TS): You were born in the South. Did that mold your musical taste?

R

obert Cray (RC): I was born in Columbus, Georgia, but I was only there for a bit. My father was in the service—in the Army. So there’s not much I remember about being down there. I did spend some time in Newport News, Virginia in the late 60’s, but that’s about it for the south. A lot of my musical tastes and musical experiences come from listening to records and radio around the country. I got a lot of experience with music when we lived in Germany in the early 60’s because of the fact that we didn’t understand German. We bought a lot of records at the Post Exchange. We had jazz and blues from artists like Ray Charles and B.B. King. My parents had all of that music when I was growing up. That was a big influence. When I started playing guitar the Beatles were big.

TS: When did you start playing guitar and singing? RC: In the mid 60’s. I got a guitar when the Beatles came out.

TS: How did the Robert Cray band form? RC: The Robert Cray Band started with my good friend Richard Cousins, the bass player, in 1974. We left Tacoma, Washington to go to Eugene, Oregon. We met with a friend of ours that used to live in Tacoma who played drums. We wanted to start a blues band, so we went down to Eugene, Oregon and started the band down there.

TS: You’ve really lived all over the place! Your new album just dropped—can you tell me a bit about the recording proces for that? RC: Our keyboard player Jim Pugh contributed two songs. One of the songs he wrote with our drummer Tony Braunagel, and that song is called Worry. The other song Jim wrote is called

I’ll Always Remember You. Richard Cousins and a good friend of his named Hendrix Ackle wrote two songs as well. One of those songs is called A Memo, and the other is the current single that’s called Won’t Be Coming Home. There’s one cover song called Blues Get Off My Shoulder. The other five songs are songs that I wrote. As far as the process goes, people write on their own schedules. We were out on the road for twelve days, and when we got done with that, we went straight into rehearsals for a week. Then, the following week, we were in the studio for two weeks to record the new album.

TS: How would you describe the sound of the new album? RC: The sound there’s a bunch of different flavors. There’s not just one particular sound. There’s blues, jazz influences and soul. So it’s a little bit of everything, which is typically what’s associated from the Robert Cray Band’s sound.

TS: What can fans expect from your current tour? RC: We’re the kind of band who goes onstage without a set list. What we do when we’re in the wings getting ready to come on is decide what the first song is going to be. Then, we get onstage and we call them after that. If someone out in the audience shouts something out and it’s the appropriate time, we might just do it!

TS: You’ll be playing in Europe. Are you guys excited? RC: Oh, yeah! And it will be our second time this year.

TS: Where have been some of your favorite places to play? RC: Wherever you are, basically! There’s not one particular favorite. The thing that’s great is that we have the opportunity to travel. We get to go a lot of different places. That’s what makes it a lot of fun.

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


TS: What about your long-time collaboration with Fender Guitars? RC: That collaboration started with Fender in 1989 to make a Robert Cray signature Stratocaster. We worked on it for a couple of years. We wanted to get the right pickups and the right neck radius—things like that. Stratocaster is a pretty basic guitar, so it has subtle variations from the normal one. The rest was cosmetic, and I think it came out about ‘91. Then about ten years ago we had a less expensive model out on the market.

TS: What does music mean to you? RC: It’s part of life. Every time there’s a song that I can relate to, there’s a time and place where you first

heard it. There’s a special connection to the story. I don’t think I could go through life without a good song.

November

UPCOMING SHOWS

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The legendary B.B.KING

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Times Square Magazine | November 2012


Play Listen to Greedy from Tommy Castro recent album; Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Blues rock luminary Tommy Castro earned his success the old fashioned way. After more than a decade playing guitar in various Bay Area-based groups, Tommy finally launched his own project in the early ‘90s. Within a few years the group had been chosen to serve as the house band on NBC’s Comedy Showcase; a tour with B.B. King followed not long after that. I spoke with Tommy last week in advance of the November 4th release of his group The Painkillers’ new two-song 45, Greedy/That’s All I Got.

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Times Square (TS): You spent many years as a guitarist and a sideman. During that time, were you always planning to eventually become the leader of your own group? Tommy Castro (TC): Not really. I was just having fun playing. For a long time I didn’t really think that this was gonna be my day job [laughter]. I didn’t know that I was going to eventually do this. I made a decision at some point to go for it. But for a while I was just happy playing. I played in a band in my hometown of San Jose where I was mostly the singer, and a second guitar player, since they had sort of a lead player. And he was the leader of the band. So I played backup guitar and I played some solos here and there, but mostly I was the singer. So then I got picked up by a soul band who had a lead singer and needed a guitar player! So then I was mostly the guitar player, and not so much the singer. Something inside was telling me,” Tommy Castro, you need to be the guitar player and the singer”. To make a long story short, I did finally set my sights on starting my own band, and wound up doing that in about 1991. I remember quitting my gig with The Dynatones, who were a sort of a blue-eyed soul band, and then traveling around the country, playing shows. I made a decision at some point in the middle of one of those road trips that it was time for me to start my own band.

TS: If you could change anything about your career what would you change? TC: Oh, well, I would’ve been better prepared before I got my first record deal. It kind of took me by surprise a little bit. I started a band, and we were in the middle of just barely starting to work on original material. I really felt I had a ways to go as a guitarist, you know, I was still working on my guitar skills. Even though I had played for a long time, I just felt like I had a lot more to learn, and I was in the process of doing all that when we got the offer to do our first record. And I went, “Okay! I’m ready! Let’s go.” And I wish I had been a little better prepared.

TS: What’s been the biggest thrill of your career? T.C: Oh wow. Well, going on tour with B.B. King would have to be it. He was my main influence when I was a

young kid learning about blues music. When I found B.B., I had already been listening to Clapton, you know, guys like Johnny Winter, Elvin Bishop, Bloomfield -just a bunch of sixties blues players who were out at the time. And I started tracing things back a bit, found my first couple of B.B. King records, and those were the ones that really changed my life. Something like twenty years later I was on a tour with B.B. King, opening the shows for him all around the country, and it was really cool. So, that was a big thrill for me.

TS: How would say you’ve changed as an artist over the past two decades? T.C : I am a lot more involved in the song being the most important thing. The guitar solos, and how we sound as a band and all that stuff – it’s all very interesting. But mostly, the song itself is the most important thing. So all that other stuff doesn’t really matter. So, I think that I’ve evolved it to be more song conscious.

TS: Like, as opposed to being more about guitar playing? T.C: Yeah. Maybe in the beginning I would just write a song because I felt like I needed a new shuffle, or I needed a new something with a funky groove, or I needed something with a, you know, an old soul vibe to it – and I would write a song. But now the song kind of comes first, and how we play it and how we deliver it kind of comes after. And I think that is a little bit of me evolving as an artist.

TS: Last question. What does music mean to you? T.C.: Well, it’s the thing that has given my life purpose. I’m sure I would be fine if I hadn’t become a musician. But I really can’t imagine me in existence where that wasn’t what I did... what my life seemed to revolve around. I have kids and I take my dad life very seriously. I’m pretty involved. I have teenaged kids who are still at home. I’ve got a couple of growing kids, and those are always my first priority. But what I do to take care of them is I go out there and I make music and make a living doing this. I’m so grateful because I really don’t know if there is anything else out there that I would still be this excited about. We just put out these two new songs, and I listen back to the recordings and I go, “Wow! These are really good songs!” [laughter]

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


kind of comes “first,Butandnowhowthewesong play it and how we deliver it kind of comes after. And I think that is a little bit of me evolving as an artist.

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Times Square (TS): You spent many years as a guitarist and a sideman. During that time, were you always planning to eventually become the leader of your own group? Click here for more details: http://tommycastro.com/upcoming-dates/

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The Iridium 1650 Broadway | ( 51st) 212.582.2121| www.Iridium.com


photos: Seth Walters

FAMILY AFFAIR

Sheba Mason An Interview with

BY PEGGY HOGAN

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


Times Square had the opportunity to talk to New York comedian, Sheba Mason. She recently appeared at Carolines and is known for her frequent appearances in New York City comedy clubs. Her off-Broadway show, 702 Punchlines and Pregnant, in which she portrays her mother, Ginger Reiter, is the story of her mother’s relationship with Jackie Mason. Sheba spoke to Times Square about her family, growing up in show biz, and what it means to her to be a woman in comedy.

page 29


Times Square (TS): I understand you started performing as a child, and I’m wondering at which point in your life you decided to start pursuing comedy?

Sheba Mason

(SM): Well, I’ve always been in theatre. My whole life I’ve been on stage. I moved to New York to become an actress and I sing too. I realized, look, I’m short, I’m a little weird looking, no one’s going to pick me to be an actress. So how am I really going to make it in this world? I became a comedian. TS: Being that stand-up comedy tends to be a heavily male-dominated medium. I’m wondering if your experience in the industry has been colored in anyway because you’re a woman?

SM: Well, there are certain show producers who will say that they only want one woman per show, and things like that. Women really have a long way to go in comedy still… There’s a lot of... you’ll try to book a room and they’ll say that a woman “can’t handle” this room, or that room, and it’s not true. Women can be just as funny as anyone else. As far as my looks go, my grandmother always said to me, “You’re not gorgeous, you’re not beautiful, but you have a face.” But it helps the comedy a little bit. TS: What is your response when someone tells you something like a woman can’t handle a specific room or audience?

SM: It makes me want to do the room more. I’m up for the challenge. They’ll say a certain woman can’t there are certain men that can’t. They’ll do things like they won’t put two women in a show or they won’t put two women back to back, when they’re entirely different. How many white guys go up on a show back-to-back all the time? TS: I understand that you really have a very demanding schedule and I’m wondering how you balance everything – real life, performing, and I understand you were in school too. How do you handle it all?

SM: Wow, you really know all about me. [laughs] Well, you know, I’m really excited every day. I’m really lucky in a way – even though I’m not a big star yet – I’m lucky in that I get to wake up knowing that night that I have a show. It’s exciting. You’re always trying to write more and do new stuff. You know, it

hurts your sex life a little bit [laughs].

TS: A lot of the media coverage I’ve seen about you mentions your father. I’m wondering if you feel that his name has been a blessing for you, or rather, if you feel like it’s been difficult for you to get out from under his shadow? SM: He’s a legend and I can’t say anything negating that. The truth is, no, we don’t have a great relationship, although we are getting closer. Last week, I saw him on the street, and he actually recognized me . I know he recognized me because right when he saw me, he ran the other way. TS: [laughs]

SM: You know, the times that I really feel like I’m under his shadow is when I perform for old Jews. I feel that because, first of all, I wouldn’t get booked for shows like that if I wasn’t his daughter, and so I appreciate the money – you know. I would say it is a blessing because it’s just helps me get a little bit more than what I could have gotten. You know what I mean? Sometimes people come up to me at the end of my act and ask me if I’m really Jackie Mason’s daughter. I always say to them, if I’m going to lie about who my father is, wouldn’t I pick someone a little more prominent right now, like Chris Rock? TS: [laughs] What do you feel that you bring to comedy that nobody else does?

SM: Well, I’ve been told that I have kind of an oldschool vibe, a little bit like my father in a way, but I bring it into a modern twist. So I’m still hip. [laughs] I mean, it’s really not cool for me to say I’m hip. But, you know, I still can talk about sex or whatever, but I have a sort of old-school delivery, so I consider myself to be a little unusual in that respect. 702 Punchlines and Pregnant is on every other Sunday at 3PM at The Broadway Comedy Club.

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


UPCOMING

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CLASSIC INTERVIEW Sam Jackson WITH

JEDI HERE AND NOW

Photo credit: Peter Yang

By Brad Balfour

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


Timessquare.com takes a step back in time to 2005 and our classic interview with veteran actor and Oscar nominee, Samuel Jackson. Few actors prompt the same kind of awe that Jackson does after having played a remarkable range of characters from the tough gangster in Pulp Fiction to the heroic Jedi Council leader Mace Windu in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith. He was humbled by the fact that he got to play a truly heroic figure in a film series that changed the face of filmmaking forever and was a benchmark in history.


Original Date of publication: 10 November 2005

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Times Square Magazine | November 2012


Timessquare(TS): Do you think fans will get what they want to see in this final episode of Star Wars ?

 Samuel L Jackson(SLJ): I don’t know. I have no idea what these fans want to see. Star Wars fans are kind of a different breed of people [laughter]. I really have no clue what they expect to see. I don’t know because from film to film, people have their favorite films and have their favorite characters and their favorite moments. I mean, there are people who write down “Jedi” on their job application as religion.
 TS: There is a general perception that the new trilogy is inferior to the original. Do you think they hold up?

 SLJ: Who are those people and what are they talking about? The people that don’t like “Episode 4” are adults who were not adults when they saw “Episode 1”. If you ask any 12-year-old kid who was seven or six when they saw the first one, who their favorite character was, they’d say Jar Jar Binks because the first movie was a kid’s movie. It’s about a kid and gives kids an opportunity to feel like they’re heroes.The next movie is a bit more about teenage love, the kid’s voice changes and he’s in love with a girl and he’s trying to figure it all out. People didn’t like that one too much either but there was enough action in it to satisfy the people. Hopefully, this one will be dark enough and bloody enough and will wrap up all those loose ends and everybody will feel some sense of satisfaction so that when they sit down to watch all six of them by the time George puts all of them out. They can watch them in any order they want. 

 TS: So you think that those six or seven year olds see the first couple of episodes differently?

 SLJ: They’ll have a whole another idea of how all this fits together and how they like them in terms of what the sequence is. For us, who were young adults when the first one came out, we went through all the others [differently]. Some of those others I didn’t like either but it was “Star Wars” you know. It’s always going to be “Star Wars.” Years and years and years down the line, out of all the things that I’ve done-if they don’t remember anything else I’ve done-that movie will be studied, or that particular series will be studied as a watershed moment in filmmaking. It kind of changed the way films got made, it changed the way films got marketed, changed the way a lot of people approach making movies about outer space, and it brought a lot of people into the cinematic page 35


world to make different kinds of movies that they started out there but they ended up making a lot of different kinds of movies. TS: Is there a cool factor to ultimately say to yourself, “I’ve been in the Star Wars franchise”?
 SLJ: A cool factor? There’s a wish fulfillment factor that’s there, because when I sat there watching the first one, all I wanted to know was how I could get into a movie like that and when were they holding auditions for the next one. Granted, it took me 30 years to figure that out, but it’s something that I wanted to do and the kind of movie that you watch and wish you could be in and a lot of times that never happens. You see things and you want to be in them. You wish you could be in a movie like that. It’s kind of like me wanting to be in a Western. I was passionate enough about it that when the (Star Wars) opportunity presented itself and I was able to do it. I feel good that I was able to make that happen for myself.
 TS: How far removed are you from your character in the Star Wars franchise? SLJ: Well, Mace Windu is a lot quieter than I am. He’s a lot calmer and he’s a lot more analytical and thoughtful then Sam is. TS: Was that franchise more challenging for you as an actor?

 SLJ: Well, yeah, because the world is very different. It’s a fantastical world full of people who have special abilities that you have to be a lot more omnipotent and less vulnerable than say, a human being, because they aren’t. They see further, they have specific powers that allow them to get into people’s heads in different kinds of ways. They’re involved with characters who are from different particular planets and

worlds, more so then the same world you’re from and everybody’s experience is different. Except for the Jedi, which is a whole closed society. I’m not part of [such a society]...well, maybe the Screen Actors’ Guild. 

 TS: Who are some of the actors that you can see follow in your footsteps?

 SLJ: I have footsteps? (Laughs) Anthony Mackie, Idgis Elba, wow, so many young actors out there. Guys that are just kind of starting and finding their way. All of those guys that were on like The Wire. They’re fortunate that they have a television venue that allows them to do something that’s real and honest and gives them a chance to explore the stuff that will serve them well later on down the line, in terms of being able to create characters in another kind of way. I wish I’d had something like that.

 TS: You really love being part of the “Star Wars” veteran club…

 SLJ: It’s a really great family to be a part of though it’s kind of freaky with people from the streets. There are so many Star Wars religious fanatics. In Brazil, there were these people who camped outside the hotel called the Jedi Council of Rio.

 TS: Is it more important than getting an Oscar?

 SLJ:I don’t think getting an Oscar is going to define my career. I think that at this point, people respect what I do and I am okay with the respect. I have from the audience members and my peers. Getting an Oscar only means you were the best that year. It doesn’t mean you’re the best forever.

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


page 37


NEW YORK

WISDOM

FROM HARRY BELAFONTE

Harry Belafonte Interviewed by: Lorenzo Tartamella Photos: Joey Franco

page 39


WISDOM FROM HARRY BELAFONTE

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


1

I’ve spent a lot of resources helping the marginalized and invested in uplifting those who are on this earth… but I’ve come to the realization that we should direct our resources to the marginalizers.

2

I am a young artist!

3

Many people ask, when, as an artist, did I decide to become an activist?I made the point that I was an activist who became an artist.

4

I’m not a Calypso singer; I’m a singer of Calypso songs.

5

I think there are a handful of people who seriously prowl power, and then seriously punish the generosity of people who let them have their way. We are not the people taking advantage of the system, we are the people who create the system… we are the system!

6

I’m a little surprised that at this time in my life I would still be looking back and doing things yet again, that I thought we had done quite effectively when I was a young person.

7

The lazy population that doesn’t want to forage for itself is just so contrary to what Americans really are.

8

I must say that the Democrats are extremely fortunate because they themselves have done so little to really champion their own cause. They’re lucky they have the Republicans!

9

When I first met John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy and several presidents over the course of my life, I never met one that wasn’t in need of an active citizen.

10

I found in art the ability to use theatre, and all of the gifts of art to speak to the human condition.

11

Human expectations are given justification for suspecting you can do better, and sometimes those expectations are not fulfilled… like our current political climate in North America.

12

I’m aware of how puny our language and our intelligence is because we have defined it all in such narrow terms. We create all these images that help us understand time and space, when time and space is not that easily understood. I’m not too sure we’ll ever understand it.

13 14 15 16

I’m always fascinated by people trying to define who and what I am as a singer. Most people out of journalistic laziness settle on my being a Calypsonian… all of my work was really far more eclectic. I sang all sorts of songs.

As long as there is human need there is opportunity to make a difference. I asked him [Dr. King], if he had concerns for his life. He pointed out he didn’t care about the longevity of living as much as he was concerned about quality of life. One of the truly great problems with the minds of the 21st century is that people really know so little about each other. We know so little about each other’s history. I consider myself a member of the human family. I’d much sooner see humanity without borders, without separations, without things that distance us… but that is not the way it works at the moment. I think we can work towards changing that.

page 41


photo credit : Laura De Santis-Olsson

Kicking it old {glam-rockstar-badass} school

By Jay Eff

A memory is a slice of time, which transcends time itself. Mark Weiss creates memories. Memories of platform-soled boots. Memories of glitter. Memories of spandex. Memories of hair, especially hair… lots of hair. “Out of all the photographers out there in the world, I’ve probably shot more hair than any other photographer out there.” Of course, beneath the platforms, the spandex, and the hair, lie some of the greatest musicians of our time; from Bon Jovi to Van Halen.

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


except through your eyes.” His iconic photographs line the walls of the Helen Hayes Theatre, where the musical Rock of Ages is currently staged. The canvas prints also include all the artists who are featured in the Rock of Ages soundtrack from Journey to Poison. According to Mark, this type of visual element offers a type of interaction that no other Broadway Theatre offers. When Mark first heard of Rock of Ages on Broadway, he thought it would be a great idea to feature his photographs at the theatre the show was playing at. The idea began when Rock of Ages was still at the Brooks Atkinson theatre. Now, these memories will live on forever, and thanks to phenomenon’s such as Rock of Ages, future generations of music lovers will be able to explore genres that they might not have been otherwise exposed to.

Mark would attend concerts and try to get as close as he As for Mark, he will always be a Rock Star of could to the stage. He was arrested at a Kiss concert for photography. selling photos without permission. His work eventually caught the eye of a photo editor at the now defunct Circus Magazine; that was Mark’s big break, and he never looked back. George Dassinger, a former VP at Rogers & Cowan, who has known Mark since the early ‘80s, would hire Mark all the time to shoot Kenny Rogers, Peter Frampton, David Lee Roth, and so on. Dassinger, who was also a VP at Electra records, knew Mark was as reliable as he was talented. “I only hire people who make my life easier,” states Dassinger, adding, “Mark was always there and he would always get that great shot!”

photo credit : Laura De Santis-Olsson

M

ark’s foray into photography happened almost by accident. At 14-years-old, he would mow the lawns in his neighborhood when he struck a deal with a difficult client. Mark would cut his lawn for the season and in return the client agreed to give him a 35mm Bell & Howell Canon Camera. It was a very bare bones camera, but for Mark it was worth its weight in gold. He slowly learned how to develop photographs and snapping anything he could from his pet to his motocross. Mark was also extremely fascinated by magic as a child, and for him, watching his images appear on a sheet of paper was truly a magical experience.

It seems as if everybody in the music industry has something positive to say about Mark’s work ethic, and his eye. His website feature quotes from many iconic Rock Stars that Mark has photographed. There is a Gene Simmons quote on Mark’s site that reads, “Mark Weiss is a Rock Star, if he didn’t have a camera hanging around his neck it would be a Les Paul guitar.” Weiss’s body of work reads like a true who’s who of Rock; he has shot everything from album covers, portraits, concerts and the behind the scenes of rock and its Stars. Each photograph snapped by Mark Weiss, somehow manages to capture an emotion. A good photograph is about being able to communicate with your subject says Mark. “To me it’s about the eyes… looking in their eyes and seeing how they connect. How else are you going to connect

page 43


“

Out of all the photographers ou shot more hair than any other

www.markweissgallery.com/ www.weissguygallery.com/ Times Square Magazine | November 2012


�

ut there in the world, I’ve probably photographer out there.

Photos courtesy Mark Weiss

page 45


Let Them Eat Cake

Six Top Places to Soothe your Sweet Tooth

by

photos Seth Walters Times Square Magazine | November 2012


A

s a kid, a bakery cake foreshadowed every event in my household. No matter what the occasion, I was sure to see a stack of white boxes on the kitchen counter. There’d be a small and plain boxed cheesecake whenever Grandpa Sam visited us, his well-earned reward for the long bus trip from his apartment to ours. Holidays promised a bounty of sweets as well, the Strawberry Short cake being the star desert and always the first to go, leaving jealous layer cakes and coffee rings behind in the dust. I remember the telltale white cardboard box, knot tied on top with red candy striped string to exquisite precision. Plain pound cakes would remain intact till dessert time that night, with not a finger print on them. The cupcakes though, were way too scrumptious to ignore, would get a preview poking from either my big sister Lori or I. We would expertly edge a meddling pointer into the corner of the cake box, taking great care to retrace our steps back out to hiding the evidence. We hoped against hope for an unmarked sampling but knew full well we’d be caught. At first mom would be angry, a scolding finger poised and ready to reprimand. Sis and I would shrug ourselves out of it, cajoling mom into having a sampling herself. After her first bite, we knew that all would be forgiven. Predictably it was, and we’d celebrate the peace treaty with delicious crayola colored cupcakes divvied up. I take a trip to Times Square, with a nostalgic heart in tow, in search of all things confectionary and sweet. Sure enough, the steady stream of “after baking” hours junkies come through today, with the very same thing in mind. The Chocoholics compete with diehard loyalty and gather at Hershey’s or the M &M’s Headquarters at Times Square. The lines that form are as lengthy as the line of varietal cupcakes showcased at Baked by Melissa. As for Crumbs, the name says it all as that is what is left not long after the first bite.

page 47


Baked by Melissa vs. Crumbs Need I say S’Mores?

Who doesn’t love a cupcake?

Just to be able to bite into a quarter scale sample of your favorite cake with minimal calories to count; a non- guilty pleasure is always welcome.

At Melissa’s, the cupcake is revered; no bells

or whistles necessary, just ten standard flavors to choose from plus a mini of the month. Eager to taste a few, I peruse some of the choices in front of me; cookies and cream, red velvet, peanut butter and jelly and their novelty flavor S’mores. S’mores in cupcake form translates to a dreamy puff of chocolate fudge cake topped with vanilla meringue buttercream, drizzled with bittersweet ganache and topped off with crumbled graham crackers, a mini Hershey’s bar and a giant toasted marshmallow. I can’t imagine how I lived so long without tasting this delicious treat. For the tech savvy as well as the picky, Melissa’s offers a Cupcake Creator application on their website, Bakedbymelissa.com, allowing you to create your very own cupcake in just a few easy steps. Simply choose your cake, choose your icing, choose your topping and choose your stuffing. Oh, the possibilities!

Keeping the playing field even, I set my sights on Crumbs Bakeshop and in particular, their cupcakes. The Crumbs in Times Square is modest in size but the neon lights and the flashing logo will immediately catch your eye. Walk in and make your way toward the cupcake cabinet, where their perfectly adorned confections are on display. Made with the finest ingredients, Crumbs offers a selection in several sizes cupcakes. Each flavor I tasted was moist, creamy and satisfying. They have a wide selection too from the standard dark chocolate or carrot to the more unique choices such as their black bottom cheesecake brownie. I had the cookies and cream cupcake; a chocolate cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting mixed with crushed sandwich cookies and topped with a sandwich cookie. I’m Speechless. If cupcakes don’t quite cut it, their array of full sized cakes, from Red Velvet to Vanilla cake and everything in between is sure to do the trick The Crumbs motto is “Made by Hand. Baked with Love.”Mission accomplished.

Time Square Magazine’s Choice: Baked by Melissa Why? They had me at the S’mores!

109 East 42nd Street

1675 Broadway

(212) 842-0220

(212) 794-9800

New York, NY

New York, NY 10019

www.bakedbymelissa.com

www.crumbs.com

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


M&M”s WORLD vs. HERSEY TIMES SQUARE Make Friends with M&M’s or Hershey’s?

M&M’S World is more than a candy headquar-

ters; it’s a 25,000 square foot Times Square entertainment hub. Enter and be wowed as you take in the three glass stories of interactive attractions, over 4,000 one-of-a-kind souvenirs and the world’s largest display of M&M’S in 22 different colors as well as the two-story-high “wall of chocolate” comprised of 72 continuous candy-filled tubes. As for those little “melt in your mouth, not in your hands” candy coated chocolate buttons, with the longstanding popularity this brand has enjoyed, there is really nothing more to add. It’s all about personal taste. What would you do for a Klondike Bar? Personally, not much. As for those adorable and tasty M&M’s,” ain’t no mountain high enough”.

Then again, there’s Hershey Times Square aka

The Great American Chocolate Company.

Enter under the giant, 16-story candy spectacular and you’ve arrived at a magnificent world of sweetness. Imagine creating your own personal mix of candy with the Original Automatic and Gravitational Chocolate Machine. Outside, the 215-foot-tall, 60-foot-wide store facade is the largest permanent fixture ever constructed in Times Square. Inside, you’ll find tins and jars loaded with Hersey’s chocolates, collectible souvenirs, clothing and toys. On any given day, you can expect free samples of candy when you walk in. Be greeted by a giant Hershey’s kiss swirling in front of you, choose your own silver bucket of chocolates, Reese’s pieces, Hershey chocolate bars, twizzlers, kisses and eat your way out of chocolate paradise.

Time Square Magazine’s Choice: m&M’s World Why? That Willy Wonka esque wall of chocolate!

1600 Broadway

New York, NY 10019 Phone: (212) 295-3850 Fax: (212) 292-1079 www.mymms.com

1593 Broadway

New York, NY 10036 Phone: (212) 581-9100 www.hersheys.com

page 49


THE CAKE BOSS CAFE vs. AMY’S Bread

Enter the Cake Boss Café, Times Square’s own offshoot of Hoboken’s now-famous and popular Carlo’s City Hall Bake Shop, owned by TLC reality star Buddy Valastro. Housing everything “Cake Boss” from episodes playing on flat screen televisions around the room to a gift shop complete with Buddy bobble heads sharing the cafe display case with a fresh batch of cakes, this is far more a bakery experience. All of the desserts are authentic Carlo’s Bakery products delivered fresh to the café, including cannoli, lobster tails, Italian cookies, biscotti and other seasonal selections. Old school scrumptious!

For more nostalgia, visit Amy’s Bread; also traditional and old fashioned, featuring hand-made breads, morning pastries, decadent cookies, oldfashioned layer cakes and more. Using traditional European methods, their all-butter, old-fashioned layer cakes, coconut cream cake, black and white cake, lemon mousseline cake or yellow cake with mocha frosting are just a few oldies but goodies.

Time Square Magazine’s Choice: THE CAKE BOSS Why? You got to love a Celebrity!

Discovery Times Square

226 W 44th St,New York, NY 10036 (866) 987-9692

75 9th Avenue

New York (212) 462-4338 www.amysbread.com

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


Robert

Cuccioli

Anything but Standard By Christian Leadley

R

obert Cuccioli is a talented actor who has earned his stripes in the musical theater world from the ground up. He began his career as a chorus member in the Light Opera of Manhattan, quickly working his way up to featured roles and eventually staking his claim as a leading man. He went on to play on national tours and regional theaters across the US and offBroadway, constantly adding to his broad and diverse body of theater work. In looking at the history of roles he’s played, it’s immediately apparent that Mr. Cuccioli is a man of dedication and drive. This is self-evident after seeing that he has racked up quite the impressive list of credits including: Lancelot in the ‘87 US-Canadian national tour of Camelo; Javert in Les Miserables on Broadway from ’87-’95’; the title role in Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway in ’97 for which he received a Tony Nomination, also winning the Joseph Jefferson Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, and the Fanny Award for that role; most recently taking over the role of Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark on Broadway beginning August 7th of this year.

With this seriously huge resume, it comes as no surprise that he had a relatively sober-minded approach to his craft. Cuccioli takes his art seriously and chooses his words carefully. He speaks frankly and confidently about his work. “…I think it’s just how the characters come

out and develop, I guess. I think that a [dual internal nature that’s at war with itself] makes a character interesting. I don’t believe in playing any character as just one-dimensional “bad”. I don’t think that that even exists in the world. And of course every character is multi-leveled/multi-layered and I try to find those. If there is some aspect of the character that is charming or funny, regretful…selfish, I look for those…It might be why my characters come off with a little bit of likeability about them, because I try to create an interest level in these guys. They’re fascinating, complex people. They’re people that want to know what happens to them next and that helps them be enjoyable for an audience.” Obviously, even if he hasn’t taken stock on how many baddies he’s played, Cuccioli puts some very serious thought into who he shapes his characters into and it’s a smart choice that’s paid off time and again. The first thing that comes to mind is the movie Terminator and even Schwarzenegger’s tin man had a heart (albeit a mechanical, nuclear powered one, but that’s neither here nor there…). What character has been the biggest challenge to tackle? Well, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of course.

page 51


“It was the most demanding role I’ve ever had to play. Physically, vocally, emotionally… so pretty much everything I’ve had to do since then has been easy compared to it. I mean…not that my other roles are ever “easy”, but you know…that’s been the most challenging and the most difficult.” And though he earned great notoriety playing another dual role, he doesn’t compare his current role in Spider Man to that at all.

“No. It’s apples and oranges, actually… Jekyll and Hyde is a gothic thriller. Er…. rather a gothic horror thriller? And Spider-Man is more…well, I mean it’s based on a comic book. We’re talking two different genres completely. I guess my style for Spidey would be a little broader? It’s definitely not as dramatically intense. I mean it has moments of that, but it’s a different kind of dramatic intensity…. To some extent, you wouldn’t play a comedy villain the same way you would play a thriller villain. And there’s quite an element of comedy that I’ve found in my character [Osborn/Goblin] now. But the humor comes out of the situation. It’s finding the situational humor that makes it funny in those roles. You have to know what to do and when.” Cuccioli has an interesting approach to a learning a new song , “I like to learn the music as-written out of respect for the composer and then once I’m comfortable with it, I’ll start to allow my expression to start moving things and making connections. But I like to start off with what is given to me before I put my own spin on it. ”

years ago called A Standard Love, which uses 30’s and 40’s standards to guide his audience on a journey of loves and losses through the course of his life. Why the Standards? Cuccioli obviously has a deep love for his favorite genre,

“…You know, the more I listen to the standards, the more I believe they are some of the best music that’s been written, both musically and lyrically. The stories they tell are heartfelt and I believe they’re called “standards” for a reason. They endure because everyone can relate to them.” Cuccioli has a great awareness of who he is and who he’s playing. The style, genre, and tone of the piece he’s been cast in, shows that he is a strong, intelligent and mindful actor. His voice , while dulcet and melodious, is impassioned in performance. Whether it is on Broadway or his latest project it is apparent he is anything but standard. Robert’s new album is available for purchase on CDBaby. com http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/robertcuccioli

AND visit Robert Cuccioli’s official website for updates and exclusive content at http://www.robertcuccioli.com/ Robert can currently be seen playing Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark on Broadway.

You can buy tickets at http://spidermanonbroadway.marvel.com/

His choice of words offers clues into how meticulous and detail-oriented he is about his work. The ability to allow or deny creative expression is a valuable tool for any actor to have, though it can be a tricky flame to play with but it seems Cuccioli walks a perfect balancing act between smart and heart. It’s a matter of respecting what the composer wrote.

“And sometimes when you listen, that informs you in a direction without you anticipating it. I want to hear what the music is telling me first before I start deciding for myself what I think it should be.” Cuccioli has also ventured into the crossover world of cabarets and concerts, and most recently into recordings. In fact, October 8th marked the release of his debut solo album, The Look of Love. This album is directly based on a cabaret he created several

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


BUY YOUR BROADWAY TICKETS AT TimesSquare.com/broadway_tickets


3 New Shows To check out

On BroadwaY By Vanessa Ioana B

Annie The original production of Annie opened April 21, 1977, at the Alvin Theatre and went on to win numerous awards, including seven Tony Awards. One of the biggest Broadway shows of the ‘70s, and one of the longest-running shows in history; Annie returns on stage for its 35th anniversary. Annie sets out, from the Municipal Girls Orphanage, in a New York City ravaged by the Great Depression, to find her parents. Along with her dog, Sandy (it’s a coincidence, I swear!), she lights up the life of everyone she meets by making them believe anything is possible. The creative team of the Annie revival includes Tony Award and Pulitzer winner James Lapine directing, Tony Award-winning sound designer Brian Ronan, Tony-Award-award winning costumes designer Susan Hilferty, two-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Donals Holder, Drama Desk Award-winning scenic designer David Korins, and Tony-Award choreagrapher Andy Blakenbuehler. Phew! Now that’s what I call an award-winning team! Annie is is a heart-warming tale and with catchy songs (original music and lyrics from Charles Strouse and Martin Carnin). It is a show you and your family just can’t afford to miss!

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


A Christmas Story A Christmas Story will be coming to Broadway this holiday season! It is based on the magical 1983 film of the same name. The film has lit up many a home year after year and become a Christmas staple for many. Christmas Story, set in the Great Depression era, is the hilarious account of Ralphie’s quest to make sure that his perfect gift (A Red Ryder BB gun) ends up under his Christmas tree. Ralphie tries to make his wish come true and in his quest he encounters a cranky department store Santa, a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole, pink bunny pajamas and kooky leg lamp. The child’s imagination translates well into musical theatre and the audience is in for a treat with this musical version of the movie. Johnny Rabe leads the cast as Ralphie, with Joe West stepping in at certain performances (both of them making their Broadway debut in this role). Choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, A Christmas Story, The Musical, is holiday entertainment that captures a simpler time in America, with delicious wit and a heart of gold.

Chaplin: The Musical Chaplin: The Musical, is the latest biography of Hollywood’s legendary silent film actor, Charlie Chaplin. The lead role is played by Rob McClure and it is obvious he has put heart and soul into this performance. He not only sings and acts with feeling; he also tightropes, roller-skates blindfolded, and does a backflip without spilling any of his drink. I’ll clap to that! The show is an ambitious task of documenting the life of the multi-talented Charlie Chaplin. Christopher Curtis pens the songs and lyrics with Warren Carlyle choreographing and directing. This musical production has four dancing couples impersonating never-ending Hollywood partying; black-and-white color palettes; and an energetic cast especially one that highlights Rob McClure’s incredible talent. Charlie Chaplin’s life is showcased and we see the onscreen silent actor and the man in this musical interpretation now playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre

page 55


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Times Square Magazine | November 2012


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ITEM # 1372374 2 oz Eau de Parfum Spray $73 available Sephora

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Times Square Magazine | November 2012


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Times Square Magazine | November 2012


et World

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By Rich Monetti page 63


If I told you about, Spy: The Secret World

in pictures, devices and artifacts from the Spy in question. Otherwise, the president was able to put the “hotline” to planet-saving use during the Cuban Missile Crisis, while it was the hot seat for the KGB officer who provided the intelligence. Which ended with his execution, I realized I was going to be here for a while – without remorse.

of Espionage - it seems I’d have to kill you. Not to worry, Discovery Times Square and the CIA have given me clearance but the encrypted communiqué in confirmation strongly implied that future inquiries would be met with categorical disapproval. That said, upon entering the very credible looking CIA front on West 44th Street and receiving an electron- Off the shock, I made my way to a CIA ic device containing recordings of my mission and sanctioned dissertation – movie myth vs. reality. the extensive history preceding it, I was whisked in The touch screen talking heads began with a real isolation to a darkened room. live spy who drew a distinction between fiction Anxiously awaiting my indoctrination, I re- and the real thing. “What we do is much more exceived a plasma-based video overview of what spies citing,” said the agent. Unfortunately, he did not do. Through ingenious science, undercover danger elaborate, which was disappointing, but I assume and diligent synthesis of information, America at- his constraints are far more restrictive than mine. tempts to gain an upper hand in regards to national Regardless, the weekly airing of Mission : Imposdefense, government affairs, business interests and sible in the 60’s did create a real life intersection beanything else where the stakes are high. The con- tween life and art. Langley set aside an agent every cerns of highest property land in the oval office week to field the onslaught of questions from viewevery morning in the form of the Presidential Daily ers. Remarkably, the dialogue occasionally led to Brief. JFK crucially utilized such data, according to tactics that the CIA employed. Nonetheless, I felt a “The Spy Who Saved the World” briefing I received little drag as I hooked into the birth of the OSS and on my transmitter, which was visually enhanced then the development of an underwater canoe used

Times Square Magazine | November 2012


during WWII. The Francis Gary Powers incident was old news but various gadgets kicked my gear up a bit. A hollow KGB nickel containing a tiny radio transmitter intrigued and a giant mechanic claw developed to recover a sunken Soviet Sub was an engineering marvel of the CIA. But as I was informed earlier, the most important tool of the intelligence agency is the human brain.

The Soviets used to inten-

tionally publish tourist maps of Moscow with mistakes to keep American spies off balance and WWI saw the French put cameras on carrier pigeons to do battlefield reconnaissance. Counter intelligence would come full circle in WWII when the Nazis deployed hawks to wreak havoc on

French carrier pigeons. Still, this low tech war waged above has not been lost to the modern age and the CIA wasn’t shy about poking fun at the Iranian version. “An Israeli spy pigeon was recently arrested by Iranian intelligence as an enemy of the state,” the electronic narrative jibed sarcastically.

But no matter

how you disseminate, I was working and getting tired. Exhausted, I trudged to the wing below. I was immediately struck by the Life Magazine cover story on the assassination of Trotsky. As an avid consumer of Russian history, I was completely reengaged by the display. I learned that the Soviet fugitive initially survived the attack, as was proven by his picture in the

New York Daily News. Mystified by the historical record, I almost missed the actual ice pick that did the damage and the blood stains left behind. If that wasn’t enough, his skull was also featured but a closer look revealed it to be a forensic duplication.

I then breezed

through some seriously interesting assassination gadgets and listening devices, the American treachery of the Walker Family, Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, while tracing the CIA’s footprints to the capture of the Lockerbie Bombers. Maybe somehow sensing my elevated biorhythms, I seemed to have received an unspoken upgrade in clearance. Meaning, I stood at the open doors of the CIA’s storied, “vault.” This left me privy to

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a piece of the Berlin Wall, a mechanical Catfish used to gather information on enemy vessels and a victory letter home written on the actual stationary of Adolf Hitler. Written by OSS operative and future CIA director, Richard Helms, it still could not compare to what I deemed the Holy Grail – a Nazi code machine known as Enigma. Cracked by the Mathematicians at Bletchley Park in England, the operation shortened the war by two years, according to the history.

Initially,

I thought how cool would it be to put my fingers to the keyboard but that sounded like interacting with technology, which really pains me.

This temporary agent aside, there was plenty

of interactive technology to go around for the kids. So in case a lull comes over them, they can navigate their bodies through a laser alarm room, touch screen an encryption program and produce a digital disguise to keep them on top of their spy game. Either way, if history and covert activity is something that inspires, this secret initiation is to die for even if it won’t likely come to that.

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Photos By Natali Goon


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Times Square Magazine | November 2012


Vol.1 No.5