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  1. death to doma

    Sunday, June 30, 2013

    What took us so fucking long?

  2. Subtle tones of incense softly caress the air.  An exuberant brook glides over embracing stones.  Blissful birds circle the sky calling to the universe. And then the meditative quiet is broken by the chant of a revered leader.  

    He urges racial purity, restrictions on intermarriage and mob violence!?!?  Wait a minute.  Is this a gathering of no-hoods saffron robed KKK?  

    No, it’s just your everyday Burmese radical Buddhists.

    Ashin Wirathu
    (center) speaks at a clergy gathering

    Myanmar banned a recent issue of Time magazine, featuring a cover story of Wirathu, a Buddhist monk accused of fueling religious violence.  Religious violence / Buddhist monk...

    I’m sorry, that does not compute.

    Sandal shod, shaved head monks calling for violence?  The cognitive dissonance I’m experiencing around this issue is more confounding than the ageless question, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”

    Yes, I guess my stereotypical thinking rears its bald Buddhist head when it comes to my (formerly) soothingly exotic ideas about this group.  And yes, some of my best friends ARE Buddhist.

    Spending time with Angela Scott is a cherished opportunity to breathe a fragrant multi-hued bouquet of comedy. She has worked with the greats, Cosby, Townsend, Mooney and many more.  She’s an encyclopedia of inside humor history.  

    Angela Scott can recount endlessly, tales of comedy world woe and wonder as experienced by the giants and the not so tall of our industry.  She has worked with them all and Dear Reader for her eternally ebullient personality, she is beloved by each and every one.  My pal for decades, since we were fledgling actors at the original Negro Ensemble Company, when it was ensconced on St. Mark’s Place (a creative outpost) in New York City’s East Village, my friend Angela Scott is a Buddhist.

    Although I’m no longer married to Phil, I am grateful for the fellowship the loving family of my erstwhile spouse, continues to extend to me.  And by way of extended family - Phil’s 1st cousin’s 3rd husband – Seth Segall is my valued friend. 

    This Existential Buddhist, retired psychologist has an appreciation of music as vast as his unencumbered embrace of humanity.  

    Seth Segall is the least pissed off person I know.  One day he lost track of his wallet at a play we attended.  I immediately began mentally cursing and counting the scores of phone calls I’d have to make to thwart the nefarious scheme of whoever might find MY wallet should it be discovered.  All the while Seth remained calm and after making the inquiries possible at the venue, he went on with our evening with little more mentioned about his wallet.

    So when I read of  anti-Muslim mob violence, fueled by radical Buddhist rhetoric you can understand that I sit shaking my head. 

    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, writer, director and stand-up comic. You can see her All July as the Bar Owner in Date Me Do Me Dump Me, a new musical coming to a bar near you.

  3. Looking Forward

    Tuesday, June 25, 2013

    I have some things to look forward to, so I decided to look forward today instead of backward or sideways or too far inside though there are lots of things in those directions that need expressing.

    My jobs are simmering down for the summer which is good and bad.  The good part is I get to do other things.  On Monday, July 15th at 8pm, I will be co-featuring with Mindy Levokove for the Saturn Series poetry reading (in its 19th year!) at Revival Bar on E.15th Street off of Irving Place, NYC.  This series is curated and hosted by Su Polo, a woman with a lot of stamina.  She is also a fine artist and a music maker. 
    This is she.

    The open mic portion, which takes place before and after the featured readers, welcomes all kinds of spoken word – poetry, comedy, prose, drama – and music.  They request a $3 donation (or more if you can) and a drink.  I hope some of you New York City people will feel inspired to come out and even share something of your own.  Su is a warm and caring host.  The reading series is weekly, but July 15, 2013 is the one I call “The Night of Two Mindys.”

    (Spring 2011 me at the open mic of Saturn Series when it was located elsewhere)

    Mindy Levekove is full of surprises, so I don’t know anything about her performance until I’m seeing it.  

    (Mindy Levokove above and below.}

    Rehearsals begin July 1st for the short play in which I’m happy to be cast.  That is a week away and I have to have my lines memorized, which should be do-able.  I am so very curious who is cast to play my character’s ex-husband.  In the play, I have to kiss him.  Lord, Lord, Lord.  That is one of those things that could be lovely or yuck.  This may sound weird to some, but I’d find it easier to have him touch me almost anywhere than to kiss.  Kissing is more personal.

    For those of you interested in attending the play, "When We Met" will be one of several short plays in the Unboxed Voices 2nd Annual Summer Short Play Festival.

    The shows will be:                           

    Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 7:30pm & Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 2:00 at the Kraine Theatre, 85 East 4th St (between 2nd Ave and Bowery).  Mark your calendars, and I will continue to share details as I get them.  In the meantime, let’s visualize a decent person to play my character’s ex; healthy, handsome, and heterosexual would be good too.


  4. Oh, The Irony

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

    By Samantha DeRose

  5. Happy Juneteenth by Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Dr. Joy DeGruy (Formerly Leary) spent a dozen years of research developing her theory of Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome.  P.T.S.S. is a condition arising from the multi-generational oppression of Africans and their descendants resulting from centuries of chattel slavery.  This systemic subjugation was based on the belief of the inherent / genetic inferiority of the enslaved. 

    Even after the Emancipation Proclamation, this ingrained, economically beneficial belief enabled and sanctioned institutionalized racism and its accompanying injury.

    We Americans don’t talk very much about the present day effects of our history of enslavement.  Even the release of a movie like Django Unchained, does not spark a national examination of conscience regarding the pernicious dehumanization of a people; let alone a discussion on the residual effects manifest today.

    According to, Juneteenth is the oldest celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.  On June 19th 1865 union solders, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas with the news the war had ended and the enslaved were free.  So two years AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation the declaration was made real in Texas and June 19th became a regular day of celebration for many black Americans.

    My feeling is that Juneteenth should be a national day of observance.  A day to look at this nightmare episode of our collective history - how far we have come from slavery and how far we still have to go towards healing. 

    Happy Juneteenth America!

    Rhonda Hansome is an actress, writer, director and stand-up comedian.  Watch her as the Bar Owner in  the promo for Date Me Do Me Dump Me  the musical on tour this summer.

  6. Sometimes It Takes a Poet to See

    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    Sometimes It Takes a Poet to See

    I celebrated a friend’s birthday out in Brooklyn on Saturday night.  I am glad I went.  I am especially glad my buddy Bob joined me and even drove.  The birthday woman, Jean Lehrman, is a poet among other things.  That is how we know each other – through the poetry circles in NYC.  Some years ago, when I curated a poetry reading series called Hidden Treasure, it was held at a bar in the Bronx called Johnny O’s.  Jean once featured for us and then my friend drove her from Castle Hill to his Norwood neighborhood, so she could get on the D train.  We got to talking about the Bronx getting such a bad rap.  I remember her statement about her Bronx experience, and I will always appreciate this about her.  She said, “The Bronx is a place where people live.”

    Such a plain and simple truth sounds revolutionary when living in such a prejudice society with the Bronx as a scapegoat.


    Many think of the Bronx as a battlefield where you dodge bullets to go here


    or here

    or here  
    …but there’s also plenty of this






    Students at Lehman College working toward a more peaceful world.

    This is Daniel Hauben, a fantastic local artist who has honored the borough with his wonderful depictions of the Bronx.  He's had numerous shows and won numerous awards and chooses to make the Bronx his home. 



     “…a place where people live.”