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HarryCarter

Lucy's Sherwood Oaks Comedy Seminar!

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Here is a THREE HOUR long audio recording of Lucy's 1977 seminar class at the Sherwood Oaks Experimental College.  :HALKING:  :HALKING:  :HALKING:  This ought to be interesting! I'm only a few minutes in. I wonder if the Shirley Hemphill moment is here. 

 

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I've heard this Hemphill story before. I haven't started the vid yet. Doesn't she talk about Ginger Rogers mom?

I've listened to the first hour so far. This is week three of the six week course. Lucy talked about Lela Rogers at the beginning of the first class. Lela had died that day. I'm assuming the Shirley Hemphill "incident" happened that day.

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Somebody needs to caption this lol.  Such crappy 70s recording equipment.  It makes Lucy's voice sound like the announcer on a PA system at a train station or something...

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Not sure but there is someone in about the last hour that sounds like it could be shirley. It's the only person she gets mad at. Seems to sort of fit.

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Not sure but there is someone in about the last hour that sounds like it could be shirley. It's the only person she gets mad at. Seems to sort of fit.

 

I just got to that part. That's Shirley. I don't think that's as bad as people have made it out to be. Shirley's talking so loudly, I think Lucy's trying to get a word in edgewise and talk over her. Shirley makes it sound like she's asked a question before in the class. I wonder if they had clashed before. All the stories have Shirley leaving the class never to return, so I would think this is the "incident" unless they had a bigger confrontation in a later class. 

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I loved this. I hope they upload the other seminars. They actually screened a video recording of one of them in Jamestown in August 2003. Did anyone go and, if so, do you remember if it was this same session? I love Lucy's laughter when the guy tells the story about nearly getting run over by Barbra Streisand. 

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I CAN NOT BELIEVE that of all the classes, the one with Shirley is here for all of us to hear, after so many years of just being told about it. 

Im half way into it, and I could listen to this over and over. Its so interesting to hear Lucy talk about her vulnerable days, days in which shed loan money, and commit to other peoples problems. Its so transparent

 

AND THE BILL FRAWLEY, BAKED ALASKA  story! Its so good to see the things that we;ve only read about in books, come from Lucy, out of her mouth, and in such a intimate setting. 

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This is an amazing find. I love these videos of Lucy telling it like it is -- even if some people don't like it. Good, sound common sense -- and no tolerance for nonsense and idiots.

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Sounds like she and Shirley were just bantering back and forth. Why was this incident blown so out of proportion? It was just Lucy giving her a lecture. Pssssh.

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This is an amazing find. I love these videos of Lucy telling it like it is -- even if some people don't like it. Good, sound common sense -- and no tolerance for nonsense and idiots.

Yes and it sounds like the students appreciate Lucy's truthfulness. Lucy seems more relaxed here compared to some of her other seminars. She has more time and a smaller group than usual. Lucy really takes the time to answer every question. During other Q&As she tries to answer many people in a short period of time so she doesn't disappoint people.

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Yes and it sounds like the students appreciate Lucy's truthfulness. Lucy seems more relaxed here compared to some of her other seminars. She has more time and a smaller group than usual. Lucy really takes the time to answer every question. During other Q&As she tries to answer many people in a short period of time so she doesn't disappoint people.

True, I love how relaxed she is here! I love the audience participation as well. Ive always heard that the classes were not that interactive, and that the students had no interest in the topics, but this particular class is so fluid in their discussion about their  craft and "the biz" 

Its so interesting to hear words like "authority" and "priorities" when talking about comedy. I LOVE IT!! 

Im at the place where Lucy has just taken a break and is talking to Garrie Kelly. She sounds like she's almost ready to go, and then in comes Shirley lol 

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Listening to Lucy and Shirley now lol...after all this time, it seems a bit over exaggerated. It seems as if Lucy is talking to a pro, who knows she has potential to be a pro, but may not be accepting it, or receiving it in the right way. Lucy also seems defensive, because she can't hear what Shirley is saying, all she knows is that the audience is laughing- she doesn't know at whose expense. Beyond that, This seems like one of those talks she gave Desi Jr when success was thrown at him at a young age. 

Its a very motherly, affectionate way of showing concern, and at the same time, its reprimanding and hard. 

 

In todays society, people are more vocal about feeling inadequate with success,with show business, and the pressures it has. I can't even imagine how Shirley was feeling at the time, being a hit with her act, over night, over weight, being a woman of color, being a stand up comic and not a stage actor etc. yet being considered for TV- managers, agents, casting calls etc.

That all, can be very overwhelming when its placed in your life abruptly, and being ill prepared for it- BUT I think she was going to the wrong person for the answers she was looking for..maybe a spiritual person, or a life coach( or some one who could have helped her distinguish who and what she was, in and out of the business) could have been more helpful. I think she understood how to be a good actor and appreciated learning the fundamentals and techniques of her craft, but I think she wanted to know how to handle success and stay afloat in the business.

I think a mutual respect was given, though -but I think Shirley was ready to go in on Lucy towards the end lolol  like "honey, I like you and all, but keep talking side ways and we can continue this outback in the alley after this" lol

 

I LOVE LUCY'S LAUGH at the Streisand story, but most of all, I heard Lucy say s**t!!!!! lolol I can die happy. BTW this has inspired 97 Lucy caricature sketches alone lolol - time to hear it again, from beginning to end! wooohooo

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Did Lucy need a hearing aid? the mics are all turned up extremely high until they are all giving feedback, yet she can never hear. 

I remember hearing another Seminar, where this one young lady had to repeat her question about four times, and Lucy still said "I still didn't hear ya, speak up honey!"

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So much to digest from this. It took me a while to catch on to that being the infamous Shirley confrontation as I just could not hear/understand what she was saying. I’ll have to go back and listen to this again, but yes it doesn’t seem as bad as we’ve heard.

Some highlights for me were hearing that Dietrich story, and actually hearing her describe how Bill worked. As said before we knew about these stories but so wonderful for Lucy to describe them in such detail and the fact she had to pause to remember the punch line about the Sweet Sue number ( I think that is the one she was describing) does make it seem this was not a story in her general repertoire of stories. Didn’t know she was as much of a fan of Streisand as she was. I’ve never liked her because she comes off so pompous but I guess Lucy saw the talent there. Interesting to know she saw Funny Girl 5 times.

Very interesting to know that she had her business manager from the early film days. I was under the impression that he did not come along until after she was married. Lucy had a good head on her shoulders from early on and shows that she really took advice to heart and used it. We had read before about the one drawer at a time philosophy and heard one sound bite in the Home Movies about the more you do the more you can do, but so wonderful to hear her describe these. She seemed to always be seeking a way to get through life positively and do what was best.

 

I really enjoyed hearing her tell the Burton story. She was not a bitch in that scenario. She knew that was the British acting style but also knew something had to be done or the biggest show of the series was going to be a disaster. What I found interesting is she asked Jerry about this, didn’t overstep and go right to Richard at first. Just goes to show how much an ass Paris was. She said that when she gets nervous she would stutter. This is inline with her mental breakdown she almost had around the time she did Dark Corner and as she described in her book she was doing the same stuttering thing.

 

Lucy gave great advice but I was completely disagreeing with her advice to one woman. It was the woman who’s husband didn’t like her community play involvement. Seems like the husband was just jealous of this woman pursing a dream. Yes she’s young but if she doesn’t do this now she never may. Maybe she’ll have more kids. Does she still have to stay at home then? As you get older you tend to lose that wide eyed ambition. I think Lucy’s advice might come from guilt since she keeps saying how she needs to stay with her kid. She wasn’t able to do that because she was off working and she knew how much she missed. I think without her saying anything about it that this is maybe where her advice stemmed from.

 

The free flow format, the somewhat unrestricted time limit was great. She really got into stories but they had a point and were very enjoyable. She probed and questioned an individual and got them to illustrate how they used that advice, or how they interpreted something a director, etc.. told them. We knew she was a smart lady but I was just impressed on how really smart she was. This interview really does a good job in exhibiting her serious tone. As Marcella said in the Home Movies she was a serious woman and I can believe every word said about her being serious on the set. Also how much they talked about professionalism goes with this. This just lends itself more to how those who didn’t know Lucy or how she conducted herself at work would say she was a bitch. This seminar goes a long way to prove that wrong and show where her dedication to the craft lied and how she didn’t put up with crap.

 

More of these need to be released. This is a gem to hear her talk at very long lengths about career and life. I really what to hear the first one to see if her talking about the things that were mentioned in that interview that was posted on the lounge with a woman who was at that class and seemed to be really confused by Lucy’s tone and what was going on.

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I think that was always a problem when fans or in this case, students, got to see Lucille Ball when they expected the actress they saw on tv doing goofy things. 

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BUT IT WAS WELL WORTH IT AND THANKS TO WHOEVER GOT THIS AND PUT IT UP FOR US TO ENJOY.  I wish I knew if any of those people actually made it in show business.  This says May '74, yet Lucy says she's waiting for her writers to come back from Europe to start the new season?  The three highlights for me were the Bill Frawley story, the one about Marlene Deitrich and the last one about Lilian Gish which I had heard before.  The Streisand and Burton ones were not perfect but nice to hear nonetheless.  Hey Brockie, Lucy really spoke highly of Barbra Streisand there, must have killed ya!  LOL!

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And yes, the shirley hemphill story really was exaggerated, unless this was just the pre show and the one we heard comes in the next week's installment, LOL!

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Did Lucy need a hearing aid? the mics are all turned up extremely high until they are all giving feedback, yet she can never hear. 

I remember hearing another Seminar, where this one young lady had to repeat her question about four times, and Lucy still said "I still didn't hear ya, speak up honey!"

Not necessarily. Perhaps she didn't have her own stage monitor, where the miked sound would be facing her so she could hear better.  

 

Since we can't see and it's audio only....hard to say.  Just a thought. :)

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