Monday, July 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain Hits Town in November

From a press release issued today:



NASHVILLE – With new, uncensored material, Anthony Bourdain travels to Nashville with stories that are sure to make your ears burn.

Chef, author of Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw, and internationally renowned television host, Anthony Bourdain, will visit the Tennessee Performing Arts Center for one night only, Saturday, November 3, at 8:00 p.m. Bourdain will spend the evening sharing candid, and often hysterical, insights about his life’s work and travels, including an open question and answer session with the audience. The appearance is part of his 11-city tour this fall.

Bourdain, the chef at large at New York’s famed Brasserie Les Halles, is the author of the bestselling Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, a hilariously blunt and sometimes shocking portrait of life in restaurant kitchens that has been translated into over 28 languages. His book, A Cook’s Tour, published in conjunction with his series on the Food Network, was also a bestseller in the U.S. and the U.K.

A contributing authority for Food Arts Magazine, his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times and Gourmet. He has also been profiled by CBS Sunday Morning and Nightline and has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Bourdain will also debut a brand new show on CNN in early 2013, expanding the network’s coverage of food and travel.

Tickets range from $15 - $65 and will go on sale Friday, July 27, at 10:00 a.m. CST. Tickets will be available at, by phone at (615) 782-4040, or by visiting the TPAC Box Office at 505 Deaderick Street in downtown Nashville.

VIP Tickets Available

A limited number of VIP tickets are available. VIP tickets include: premiere seating and an exclusive meet and greet session with Bourdain featuring hors d’oeuvres, a photo opportunity, a limited edition Anthony Bourdain tour poster and a limited edition tour VIP laminate. The meet and greet will be held at The Nashville City Center, featuring a menu by Chef Tandy Wilson of City House Restaurant. Promotional partners Corsair Distillery, Yazoo Brewery and Olive & Sinclair Southern Artisan Chocolates will be providing selections of their specialty spirits, beers and chocolates for all in attendance. Other promotional partners include Nashville Scene and YELP.

Copies of Kitchen Confidential, as well as several other titles from his catalog, will be available for purchase onsite via Parnassus Books.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

‘Two Heads’ Memoir: Faith-Strengthened and Sweet

Chris LaddI’ve known Chris Ladd for several years; we met during a gathering of actors represented by the Talent Trek agency, and I’ve had the privilege of serving with him on the Screen Actors Guild Nashville Branch Council and now on the initial SAG-AFTRA Nashville Local Board. From that first encounter through today I’ve known Chris as a fellow “big man” with a very big heart.

He’s just published a short sweet-natured memoir called Two Heads Are Better Than One: A Story of Success in a Life with Christ through LifeWay’s CrossBooks imprint. And just like its author, there’s a mix of humility and humor that begins with the dust jacket and threads throughout the volume – that jacket displays a title that gives credit to the Son of God while also sporting a picture of a beaming Chris with his beloved cocker spaniel Laddie resting his head on Chris’ head.

We all know the street-corner-praying hypocrites that make a big show of their religion for others; we may even come to see that surface sanctimoniousness in ourselves because it’s so easy to say the words and much harder to live them every day. Chris knows that; he’s the first (in person and in his book) to admit his flaws. I can say I’ve crossed paths with very few people that appear to consistently practice what they preach from moment to moment, hour to hour and day to day. Chris, though, is one of those rare individuals.

It would have been so easy and understandable for Chris to have taken a different path; his parents divorced when he was only five and life for him as for others has had plenty of struggles. But in surrendering himself to Christ, Chris found a way to survive the lows and celebrate the highs while understanding our human existence is merely prelude to a larger life: One of the verses he quotes more than once in Two Heads essentially serves as his mantra – “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” That passage from Philippians 1:21 puts the life and writing of this faithful servant in its proper context.

Through that context Chris tells us about his life in the same easy-going style that I’ve heard him use when speaking to others. Sometimes what he talks about is tough to relate, like his mother’s battle with cancer, and sometimes it’s funny, like his anecdote about not being the only actor on set of TV’s Barnaby Jones who really wanted to call the gentlemanly Buddy Ebsen “Jed” after his famous character on the long-running comedy The Beverly Hillbillies.

Chris has worked in many fields besides acting; he’s produced records and spun them as a disc jockey; he’s been a salesman and an ambulance driver. His various professional walks have brought him into contact with many people, and some of them figure prominently in his story: Doris “Cousin Tuny” Freeman, a West Tennessee television personality that Chris first met when he appeared on her show as a child, has gone on to be “like a second mom to me” and provides the book’s foreword; now-deceased country music singer/comedians Jim and Jon Hager, Grand Ole Opry member Billy Walker and soulful singer Dobie Gray; and country music living legends like Jim Ed Brown and Jan Howard.

Those well-known folks aren’t mentioned in a self-serving “name-dropping” fashion; they’re noted with affection and respect by a man who’s long been a true friend to them and so many others. There are also loving tributes to the four-legged companions Chris has had over the years; from Shane and Lad to Buddy and Laddie, each has found place in his spacious heart. I’ve often thought one could tell a great deal about someone from the way they treated animals and children; between his care for dogs and such endeavors as his work for cerebral palsy, his shining character is readily revealed.

Chris also examines the destructive force of greed, the health care morass and the need for honesty in his memoir. His thoughts about each mirror the man who writes them – straightforward and grounded in a true desire for peace and harmony with God and His creation.

It’s been a blessing to read the words of this kind and gentle soul just as it’s been a blessing to know him personally. Get a copy of Two Heads Are Better Than One and I think you’ll quickly find all I’ve written about this force for good is true.

Chris Ladd’s book is available now from several sellers; offers it in various formats, including hardback, paperback and Kindle (click here for the paperback version).

Friday, March 30, 2012


YES! From the press release:

SAG, AFTRA Members Approve Merger to Form SAG-AFTRA
March 30, 2012

LOS ANGELES (March 30, 2012) — The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Screen Actors Guild are pleased to announce that members of both organizations have overwhelmingly voted to approve a merger, creating a new entity, SAG-AFTRA. SAG members voted 82 percent in favor of the merger. AFTRA members favored the merger with 86 percent, exceeding the 60 percent threshold needed for both unions' membership for passage.

The merger is effective immediately, and brings under a single union banner more than 150,000 actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. Their work can be seen and heard in theaters, on television and radio, sound recordings, the Internet, games, mobile devices and home video.

"With this historic vote, members of both unions have affirmed one of the most basic principles of unionism: Together we are stronger," said SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Ken Howard. "This merger, the result of months – really years – of planning, brings together the best elements of both unions and positions us well to thrive in the changing 21st-century media landscape."

"The merger of these two unions is a huge victory for our members, and it is a monumental achievement for the labor movement," said SAG-AFTRA National Co-President Roberta Reardon. "As this vote today proves, great and transformative things are possible when working Americans stand together and shape their collective destiny through their union. I applaud every member who voted, and invite all members, locally and nationally, to join with us in building a successor union worthy of AFTRA and SAG."

In July 2010, Reardon and Howard, as presidents of AFTRA and SAG respectively, created the Presidents' Forum for One Union to facilitate focused and informed discussions between leaders of the two unions and their members to establish a common vision for a single, new national union.

The forum included a nationwide Listening Tour, in which Howard and Reardon traveled to cities across the country to connect with members and solicit their feedback for a possible merger. They received an overwhelmingly positive response.

In June 2011, elected member leaders from both unions formed the Group for One Union — known as G1 — which subsequently created workgroups to focus on key areas such as governance, collective bargaining and operations for the proposed new union. In late January, the National Boards of AFTRA and SAG overwhelmingly voted to send the merger package to members for ratification.

The following are results for both unions:


105,368 number of ballots mailed.

81.9 percent yes votes

53 percent returned


65,744 number of ballots mailed.

86.18 percent of yes votes

51.7 percent returned


SAG-AFTRA represents more than 150,000 represents actors, announcers, broadcasters journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. With national offices in Los Angeles and New York, and local offices nationwide, SAG-AFTRA members work together to secure the strongest protections for media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at