What’s the first thing you do when you sit down to write? Find something else to do. I do 500 things before I sit down and write. When I actually have to try and write, I’ll pray. I’ll say a prayer, you know, after I smoke 500 cigarettes and check my email and whatever. Prayer helps. What essential items do you like to have on hand when you write? Unfortunately, cigarettes. I like a candle. And lately I’ve been wearing sweatpants—basketball sweatpants. I spend a lot of time at my desk when I’m not writing, and when I put the sweatpants on, that’s a reminder it’s time to go to work. Like a uniform. What’s something you think all aspiring playwrights should know, do and/or see? All aspiring playwrights should see theater and also act and direct. I’ve done backstage, front stage, small parts, big parts, direct. It all helps. Get your hands dirty in the theater. Even if you’re sweeping up, you’re going to learn. You’ll learn more than you can read in a book or just focusing on your story. I try to write my plays in such a way that someone’s going to want to play every part. Between Riverside and Crazy What play that changed your life? View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on March 22, 2015 Was there a specific event that sparked the idea behind Between Riverside and Crazy? Yes, there were two events. The first was I moved in [to his sprawling Riverside Drive apartment] the night my mother died. I moved in to take care of my dad. The idea of him being alone just seemed impossible to me. The other event was the color of the day shooting: A white police officer shot a black undercover transit officer. It was a really sad case, and I knew I wanted to try and write about it. Though Stephen Adly Guirgis is the ultimate multi-hyphenate—he’s a writer, director, actor, educator and former co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company—he is best known for his visceral and engaging plays. These include the Tony-nominated The Motherf*cker with the Hat (his only Broadway credit), Our Lady of 121st Street, In Arabia, We’d All Be Kings, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train and many more. His latest work, Between Riverside and Crazy, is a semi-autobiographical piece that centers on a retired cop and the inhabitants of his Upper West Side apartment. Guirgis graciously invited Broadway.com into his writing space, answered a few questions about his process and even picked up a pen for us. Related Shows How do you stay motivated to finish a piece? Deadlines! That’s the only real motivation. It’s a motivator even to start a piece. If I had an idea that I want to try to write something, I might call you guys and be like, “Hey, I’m doing a reading in a week, can you be in it?” I haven’t written anything, but now I’m like, “All right, I have to write something!” That will get me started. I keep creating those artificial deadlines, and then the real deadlines eventually kick in. Name a playwright that influenced you. What’s your favorite line in Between Riverside and Crazy? What’s the best piece of advice you ever received about writing? Writing is rewriting. I agonize over the first draft. Somehow I feel it needs to be birthed perfectly, but really the trick is just get that first draft out. You can revise and rewrite, and hopefully you’re going to make it better and better. What time of day do you get your best work done? Middle of the night. Definitely. When everyone else is asleep. When there’s nothing else to do and no one else to call. What’s the nitty gritty hard work of being a playwright that nobody ever told you? It’s hard. The hardest thing is doing it. It sounds like a simple answer: sit down and stay down. But if you sit down and stay down, something will happen. And you just repeat, repeat, repeat.
Jan 6, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – A 3-year-old Colorado boy fell ill with tularemia after a bite from a pet hamster last year in the first documented case of its kind in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.”Tularemia has not been associated previously with pet hamsters,” the CDC says in the Jan 7 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published online today. “Clinicians and public health officials should be aware that pet hamsters might be a potential source of tularemia.”Tularemia in the United States is usually linked to insect bites or handling carcasses of small animals, particularly rabbits. The disease is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, one of the six biological agents deemed most likely to be used by terrorists.The Colorado boy’s family had bought six hamsters from a Denver pet store in January or February 2004, according to the CDC report. All the hamsters died of a diarrheal disease within a week after they were bought, but one of them bit the boy on a finger before it died. A week later the boy had fever and swollen axillary lymph nodes. His symptoms persisted despite treatment with amoxicillin clavulanate.Seven weeks after the onset of the boy’s symptoms, an axillary biopsy and subsequent laboratory tests led to the detection of F tularensis. The boy had had no other risk factors for exposure to tularemia, such as tick or mosquito bites or contact with game meat. He improved after treatment with ciprofloxacin, the article says.Investigation revealed that many hamsters kept at or recently bought from the Denver pet store had died around the time of the boy’s illness, the report says. But because no carcasses were available for testing, officials couldn’t confirm that the hamster was the source of the infection. However, a pet cat that lived at the store had a positive serologic test for tularemia, though it was not sick. In view of the circumstantial evidence and the lack of other possible risk factors, the hamster was the most likely cause of the boy’s illness, investigators concluded.The CDC speculates that wild rodents carrying tularemia might have “infested the pet store and spread the infection to hamsters by urinating and defecating through metal screens covering hamster cages.” A similar scenario led to a tularemia outbreak among monkeys in a zoo once before, the report says.Tularemia has been associated with “hamster hunting” in Russia but has not been previously linked with pet hamsters in the United States, the CDC says. No further cases were found after the pet-store owner was advised to set traps to control wild rodents, the article concludes.CDC. Tularemia associated with a hamster bite—Colorado, 2004. MMWR 2005 Jan 7;53(51 & 52):1202-3See also:CIDRAP overview of tularemia
American Legion Riders said a prayer and made a salute at Jerry Blunk’s residence this morning.by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” The American Legion Riders made a visit this morning at the home of Jerry Blunk, who is fighting an illness. The riders started in front of the American Legion, drove to his home on Plum Street in Wellington, and gathered to say a prayer and salute Blunk. The Legion Riders are known to come to the aid or show their support of law enforcement and military personnel who are in distress.Â Don’t forget there is a Free Will Offering chili feed going on from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today by the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office and Sumner County E911 to help raise money for with expenses.The Legion Riders are a group of motor cycle riders whose members also attend the funerals of members of the U.S. military, firefighters, and police. The group also greets troops returning from overseas at homecoming celebrations and performs volunteer work for veteran’s organizations such as Veterans Homes.Â American Legion Riders starts ride on Jefferson St. by the Wellington American Legion.Follow us on Twitter.