Our lamp is alight,
Finally disappearing
Our lamp will again burn brightly
More brightly than ever before
With this, now slowing, comes peace
Not knowing what tomorrow brings
Removing susceptible grief
Finally, somewhat abating
Too soon for applause
Though danger is beginning to slow
A good time will warm us all
Stand straight and aligned, all countrymen
It’s always the right hour for a song
2021 is here, let’s all stand straight
We must remain strong
Hands together, we await!
Last year we were all weakened.
In God’s eye, we did no wrong.
—  HK —
          Many years ago, I found myself enamored by a couple of ladies during a particular time period in my life; neither of which had a social connotation. Both of them entertainers par excellence: Martha Graham and Lena Horne.
          What got to me the most was simply their way of communicating. Whether it was through dancing, singing, acting, or life in general, they told it to you straight from their well-traveled shoulders. It appears to me today, with our current problems, these two gals still provide us with much we may all learn from. From Martha (left): “Misery is a communicable disease”. And from Lena (right): “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
Thinking and Dwelling
          A baby asleep quietly in their cradle, for most of us, remains in our mind’s eye as a vision of peace. Then, a stir is added to the mix, and the simplicity of an infant’s crying may be the signal of a family’s rude awakening to the pendency of what a future year at large may hold. Those without incidents of life, being turned upside-down, were free of anything symptomatic of what nature held in store for every living, breathing, human-being worldwide, and remain far outnumbered by the masses.
          Three months into the now fabled 2020, our cradles were about to be rocked vehemently. The menacing symptoms science named COVID-19 were challenging everyone in the world. Human mutuality, inhabitants of our world’s societies, were about to experience the bitter taste of relenting punishment for an ominous crime we did not commit. We were all allies, joining forces in a fight against an assailant we could not envision as being possible. Almost all of us became, or were, about to become totally cognoscente of our God-established human mutuality.
(If you sense my resentment over the political intrusion by elected officials into my life as a heavily taxed citizen, congratulations on your perceptiveness. Cathy and da harv, husband and wife, as well as business partners for the past thirty years, hereby offer da harv’s GENERAL “PISSISSATUDES”!)
          Yes, without reservation, during the many years, our business life has prospered. We, the two of us, are happy with our chosen profession. From coast-to-coast of this great land, our integrity-driven exploits are noticeably respected throughout the voiceover industry.
          For both of us, nothing beats the pleasure of helping people in an effort to improve their lives. Our company, Kalmenson & Kalmenson, as casting directors and educators, has been instrumental in the success of the untold, thousands of actors, worldwide. We don’t keep people from working and making a living, we provide a track for them to run on! Cathy and I have acted as a continual conduit for literally many millions of dollars as a bridge to an unheard number of deserving actors.
          We know and understand what it entails to compete for work. I seriously doubt if any of our elected politicians have any idea of what we go through on a daily basis in order to survive. Can you imagine any of the stalwart members of Congress having to audition daily? Or, for that matter, having the nerve to tell their agent to book them out for a recess?
          As educators, we don’t receive residuals. We stay in business and continue to grow, predicated on the personal human device known as integrity. We sanctify our brand by our implacably driven display of continually driven business integrity.
          On March 15th of this year, 2020, we at Kalmenson & Kalmenson (a seemingly successful small business), had no choice but to close down and cease operations of our extremely prominent voiceover education operations. All current, as well as all prepaid future students, were individually contacted by yours truly, Harvey Kalmenson, who personally informed them of the business and personal debacle we faced. For those of you who are curious as to what our shutdown entailed, herewith follows some very short and salient points of the actual arithmetic of the stall.
  • March 15, 2020: Burbank, Tustin, and Santa Monica went dark, following the edict as set forth by the governor of our state of California.
  • Thirty classes per week were postponed until further notice.
  • Currently, we have about three-hundred students awaiting our reopening, during our first six-week cycle. (Formerly, before the stoppage, we operated on an eight-cycle per year schedule.)
  • The good news is pleasurable. We have had a steady flow of calls from past, and prospective students, enquiring about our return to business expectancy schedule.
  • Cathy and I are prepared to work, day and night, in order to solve the needs of our students.
  • Our hands-on integrity approach to every actors’ education is cranked and, God-willing, we’ll make 2021 a better year than the last.
          The happiest of New Year’s to all our friends. We especially offer our prayers to our friends and associates in the restaurant industry. There are many entry-level actors who rely on part-time restaurant jobs in order to help them remain active in the voiceover world we live in.
          And one more thing, if you have the time for recess. Okay, here I go, back to grammar school again. As a kid, I was under the impression the word ‘recess’  meant it was time to urinate, take a break from studies, and play in the schoolyard. It was all good, for sure—either you didn’t have to worry about not making it to the bathroom, or you got away from the teacher and were allowed to play for a few minutes. If you screwed up, one way or another, our teachers were allowed to inflict some form of punishment. Things like: making you return to the classroom without having a chance to play.
          We actually had a teacher who required a student to stand in a corner, facing the wall, for the remaining time left during the recess. These severe punishments were usually dolled out to the boys in the class. For some reason or another, it seemed like little girls never screwed up. Come to think of it, nothing has really changed for me. The little girls, even the big ones, never have to take the blame for screwing up. I mean, I ask you, has Nancy Pelosi ever made a mistake? Oh, I’m sorry, that was political, wasn’t it?
          That will have to be it for now. It’s time for recess. If I were a politician, I’d go stand in the corner. That, of course, doesn’t apply to voiceover. We don’t stand in corners, we go around them, where success lies for all the good boys and girls.
Happy New Year, to all my friends!

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