I’m at it again, shape-shifting, reinventing myself, becoming a 69 year old first time father, and while at it, tackling a new artistic medium. After 30 years of teaching theater (improvisation and solo performance) at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, I will be retiring in the Spring of 2017. I have also just launched a brand new travel podcast called “e-travels with e. trules“.
Why not? What else am I going to do while I’m bringing up my newly adopted Indonesian son?
People think I’m touched… or oddly altruistic… or something. But I guess, like Charlie Chaplin and lots of other celebrated artists and clowns, raising a child in your grandfatherly years keeps you young. And with Exsel, well, he just makes me laugh.
I’ve certainly had my share of surprises, turns in the road, and artistic careers.
“Life is what happens while you’re waiting for your plans to work out.”
I think John Lennon said that, or perhaps he overheard it from a little old lady in Liverpool.
In my case… after dropping calculus twice in college, physics three times, and ultimately dropping pre-med altogether, I skipped my college graduation at SUNY Buffalo for a trip to Niagara Falls (not to get married).
I then hit the road on my “Bob Dylan-Jack Kerouac, beat travel adventure” in 1970, when I “drove up and down America like it was one big map.”
That was my first travel adventure, when I discovered that New York was not the center of the universe. And ever since then, I’ve been traveling around our big, beautiful, problematic planet. I’ve seen that even though people speak different languages, eat different foods, and have different belief systems from one another, they also have a lot more in common with one other as human beings than the differences between them suggest. Family, home, security, children, survival, aspiration, love, spirituality, these are all things that humans value across cultures.
So after becoming a modern dancer and professional clown in my 20s (running for Mayor of New York City in 1977 as clown candidate, Gino Cumeezi, and finishing 5th out of 4 candidates!), then becoming a solo performer in my 30s, and then, over the next many decades, wearing the hats of poet, theater director, festival producer, college professor, and documentary filmmaker (“The Poet and the Con“), I’ve now put all my artistic marbles into this new travel podcast, “e-travels with e. trules“.
It’s definitely not a one shop podcast to find out the best travel deals on the internet. Nope. It’s more about a literary and entertaining re-telling of my idiosyncratic, off-the-beaten track, travel adventures, and misadventures, and what kind of sense I can make of them. Using travel as a vehicle and metaphor for life, I guess I’m trying to discover what kind of insight travel offers us. Why do we travel?
In fact, “Why Travel?” is the name of one of my podcast’s episodes:
“Travel is a amazing elixir. Enticing, adventurous, mind-altering… even addicting. Because travel… expands your consciousness, stretches your horizons, and disrupts your habitual behavior. It broadens your perspective, refreshes your world view, and hopefully even, cures your myopia.”
So far, I’ve released just one podcast story on iTunes. In podcast parlance, it’s called “Episode 0“.
It’s a sampler of the work to come, showcasing little snippets of several of the stories I’ve already recorded at the sound studio at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts (SDA). I received a Capstone Grant from the university, and with it I’ve been able to hire 2 wonderful young artists, Amanda Yamate to compose original music from all over the world and Alysha Bermudez to create immersive sound designs. With the help of Professor Phil Allen of USC’s SDA Sound Design Program and the podcast expertise of Harry Duran, host of Podcast Junkies, I’ve been able to launch a pretty high caliber podcast, I hope, where listeners are saying that production values are “off the chart”.
Here are a couple of reviews from new subscribers on iTunes:
“Between the music, sound design and pleasant low rumble of Trules’ voice, this is a podcast that will satisfy that craving for a story that lets you live by your mind’s eye.” -Irma Gerd
“Trules has a wonderful quality of engaging and transporting his listeners, where he will take you from your living room couch to vast corners of the world” – DeaneSullivan18
My goal is to build “e-travels with e. trules” on iTunes, and I ask readers of this Cultural Weekly piece to subscribe to, rate, and review the podcast by logging into the Welcome post on my new home page, erictrules.com.
Also see my, hopefully-entertaining, TEDx Talk, “The Train of Opportunity” please click HERE.
Finally, a big SHOUT OUT to Editor, Adam Leipzig, for publishing the Cultural Weekly.
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