How Books Brought Two Theatre Majors Back Together Decades After Pursuing Acting

September 24, 2018  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

Phoenix Books Owner Mike DeSanto to Host Author Event Featuring Graduate School Alum Gray Basnight for His New Political Thriller “Flight of the Fox” 

When Mike DeSanto, longtime co-owner of Phoenix Books, decided to plan a book festival for 2019, he began looking at other events for ideas.  Imagine his surprise when his research uncovered an old acting friend now writing novels who attended one such writer’s conference last fall.

Mike and Gray studied theatre at GW University in Washington DC in the 1970s.  Mike recalls that the two appeared together, sharing several scenes during a summer performance of the play “Cassiopeia,” by Roma Greth, and that The Washington Post’s theatre critic Richard Coe was not impressed.

“We tried our best, we always tried our best,” recalls Mike fondly.  “Our theatre student days were long and our nights were eventful, probably even a bit wild and wooly.  What fun to come back together around books after so much time.”

They both moved to New York City after graduate school, landed in the same apartment building and pursued their art.  Mike juggled casting calls, small parts and teaching while shuttling between New York and DC where his then wife and children lived.  Family ultimately pulled Mike back to DC and a career in government affairs.  After divorcing and remarrying, Mike and his second wife, Renee Reiner, eventually left the mainstream, moved to Burlington, Vermont and bought the bookstore BookRack & Children’s Pages in 1995, selling it in 2003, only to begin again in 2007 with Phoenix Books.

Gray pursued acting — and waiting tables to pay rent.  A few year later, he moved to broadcast journalism and then spent almost 30 years as a news writer, producer, editor, reporter and announcer at NY radio stations such as WOR, WINS, and ABC Network.  In his spare time, he wrote his first novel, a Civil War story about young slaves on the edge of freedom.  When he was let go from his broadcast job at Bloomberg News during the 2009 financial downturn, he and his wife decided it was time to focus on being a full-time novelist and house-husband.  When the Civil War story wasn’t getting picked up, Gray shifted to a contemporary detective story called The Cop with the Pink Pistol, published in 2012 to starred reviews.  Shadows in the Fire, the Civil War novel, was published next in 2015.  And this year, his political thriller hit the shelves in July.

Mike reached out to NY-based author Gray Basnight through Facebook and the two connected, sharing updates of each other’s lives since their young acting days, and realizing that they both moved from the stage to the page.  The two reunited at Phoenix Books on September 13, where Gray read and signed copies of his new thriller Flight of the Fox at the Burlington location.

 

More Older Americans Are Starting Their Own Business

September 19, 2018  
Filed under Business, Money

By Robert Yaniz Jr.

 

Traditionally, we tend to think of aspiring entrepreneurs as young professionals with decades of potential ahead of them and energy to spare. However, judging by current trends, perhaps it’s time for this outdated notion to be refreshed.

According to recent estimates, nearly a quarter of new entrepreneurs fall between the ages of 55 and 64. Given the rise in technology and the accessibility it provides, it makes sense that more workforce veterans might decide to start an LLC of their own. But while they certainly have plenty of knowledge, starting a business after retirement has its own set of challenges. Thankfully, finding your way doesn’t have to be so difficult. So strap in: Let’s discuss what you bring to the startup world and the first steps you can take now to bring your vision to life.

Advantages of Starting a Business After Retirement

No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s never too late to pursue your passions. Such is definitely the case for retirees looking into the startup space. Age, after all, isn’t only a number — it’s an indication of a life lived and lessons learned. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the ways late-in-life business owners can leverage their circumstances to fuel the success and promise of their latest endeavor.

Experience Is Still Key

Retired entrepreneurs may initially feel in over their heads. But despite the appearance of insurmountable odds, don’t overlook everything you’ve accomplished up to this point. Your experience — both in business and in life — can often inform your decision-making. Don’t forget that you have the invaluable assets of intuition and savvy that simply can’t be won any way other than through the rigors of time. So rather than lamenting your age, harness everything you’ve absorbed and weaponize it instead.

Financial Flexibility

Although many young and hungry entrepreneurs may have big dreams and high hopes of where they want to take their business, one thing that few have on their side is a reliable source of funds. By the time you reach retirement age, you may have developed significant savings you can use to infuse your new business with some startup funds. The financial standing of your business when you start out has a huge impact on its potential; this is another advantage older entrepreneurs are likely to have in their back pocket (literally).

Solid Support System

Often, young aspiring entrepreneurs dream of the startup they want to leap into after college, only to encounter a ton of resistance. Why risk your future when you could embrace the comfort of a cushy corporate gig?, they’re told. But it’s an entirely different story for retired entrepreneurs. At this stage in your life, you may already have a family of your own, longtime friends and trustworthy colleagues who can give you honest feedback. Moreover, knowing that your social life is beyond stable allows you to relax and take your startup one measured step at a time.

How to Get Started

Now that you have a better sense of how your business can benefit from your age and experience, you’re probably wondering what you should do to actually put it into action. As you brace for the next stage of your professional life, be sure to keep the following tips in mind to maximize your chances of achieving your startup goals.

Know Yourself and Your Limits

One reason your age is such a critical ingredient in your business is that it helps you gauge the terrain ahead. Carefully consider all your options before investing your time and money in a new business venture; if something doesn’t add up, doggedly pursue the answers you need and the level of risk involved. Regardless of what business you’re getting into, you’re certain to face a variety of setbacks as you get your bearings. Use your experience to keep you ready for them before they’re upon you.

Outsource and Assemble Greatness

Even the most heralded professional minds of our time can only accomplish so much as single individuals. Remember that — and don’t burden yourself with the notion that you need to wear all hats indefinitely. The most successful companies got that way because of their leadership…but also because of the team that leader assembled to execute their vision on a grander scale. No one knows your goals better than you do, but you need other passionate team members who can contribute to them and complement your own role in the process.

Practice Self-Care Above All Else

This is a critical point for all aspiring entrepreneurs, but especially for those of advanced age. In the early days of your new business, you may be obliged to drive ceaselessly toward your next objective. While this persistence is a testament to your passion, don’t let it run your life. In other words, know when to disconnect from your work and connect with loved ones, have some fun or just get some rest. Most retired entrepreneurs will need to consider their health more seriously than their younger counterparts. In the end, remember that you won’t be able to push your business forward if you’re feeling run down.

It’s Never Too Late

With any luck, we’ve helped you feel empowered to more confidently move in the direction of your startup dreams. Now we want to help you take the next steps to make your business a reality.

Incfile has already developed easy-to-use guides for businesses across a wide range of industries, and there’s no time like the present to begin exploring your options and plotting out your startup strategy. Are you ready to get your business up and running in three simple steps? We can help you form your company and manage it as it grows, too.

This article was originally published on the Incfile Blog.

Robert Yaniz Jr. has been a professional writer since 2004, including print and online publications. Much of his experience centers on the business world, including work for a major regional business newspaper and a global law firm.

 

The trust older patients place in doctors can compromise their medical care: study

September 13, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, News

Placing trust in doctors to advocate for their health needs, older adults rarely ask for referrals to specialists, specific prescriptions, express concerns or follow-up after medical visits, according to a new study from Case Western Reserve University.

The findings highlight a disconnect between the expectations of older adults and the realities of a changing health-care system, where doctors have less time to spend with patients.

“These findings are concerning,” said Eva Kahana, Distinguished University Professor and Pierce T. and Elizabeth D. Robson Professor of the Humanities at Case Western Reserve. “Our data suggests older generations are clinging to how health care used to be, when doctors had more personal relationships and continuity with patients.”

“When patients incorrectly assume actions and advocacy by doctors, this leads to major problems,” Kahana said, “especially for older adults living with one of more chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood-pressure.”

The study shows that older adults (defined as 65 and older) are less likely to advocate for their own health concerns the more they trust the role is being taken on by their doctors.

The findings are especially relevant for minorities and the sickest of patients, who have less access to health care and face particular challenges in finding responsive care, according to previous research.

Among of the study’s other findings:

  • Older adults who feel comfortable advocating for their own care feel more empowered;
  • Compared to white patients, African-American patients were less satisfied with their physicians;
  • Latino patients expressed greater satisfaction with their medical care than white and African-American patients;
  • The perceived emotional support of physicians was associated with patients’ satisfaction.

“Our findings strongly suggest that families of older patients should be ready to step in as advocates for their older relatives,” Kahana said. “And it’s helpful for doctors to be more aware of how older patients see them.”

Published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, the study is based on data from a diverse pool of 806 older adults from a large retirement community in Clearwater, Florida, and others in Orlando, Miami and Cleveland, where Case Western Reserve is located.

Read more

The Lamoille County Players Present Their Foliage Musical:  ALL SHOOK UP

September 13, 2018  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

(From Left to Right): Tricia Grube of Essex, Sam Lewis of Johnson, Shannon DeSantis of Waterbury, and Olivia Sheppard of Cambridge share a Coke and a smile.

The Lamoille County Players are proud to announce their upcoming Foliage musical, “All Shook Up.” Performance dates for this Elvis Presley® inspired musical are September 27-30 and October 4-7 (Thursday – Saturday, 7:00pm; Sundays, 2:00pm) at the historic Hyde Park Opera House in Hyde Park, Vermont.  Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for students, or seniors ages 60 and over.  The Lamoille County Players are offering a $10 Matinee Special:  any seat for the 2:00pm matinee on September 30 is only $10.

 

Tickets for all shows are now available online at www.LCPlayers.com where people can pick their own seats and get ticket confirmation, all at no additional charge.  To speak to a real, live person in the box office, call 802-888-4507 to find out the specific hours.  The box office is also open one hour before the start of each performance.  If you are unsure of your plans, we recommend that you not make reservations, but rather buy your tickets at the door.

 

“All Shook Up” is an American jukebox musical inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley®, and based on William Shakespeare’s 1602 play “Twelfth Night.”  It’s 1955, and into a square little town in a square little Midwest state rides a guitar-playing young man who changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling, lip-curling musical fantasy that’ll have you jumpin’ out of your blue suede shoes with such classics as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”   The town is divided along class lines: the haves, and the have-nots. Lorraine and Dean fall controversially in love; she is from “the wrong side of the tracks.”  Four other couples also fall in love… but with whom?

 

Director Patricia Jacob was drawn to “All Shook Up” by the music, the dancing and the energy of the show.  It is a perfect blend of rock and roll and musical theater styles.  Anna Sargent’s dance numbers are sure to delight and impress audiences of all ages.  If you are a fan of the fifties, you’ll love “All Shook Up.”

 

The “All Shook Up” cast features Federica Veluntini-Hoffmann (Waitsfield), Sam Lewis (Johnson), Kris Johnson (Essex), Becky Millard (Montpelier), Katelyn Shaw (Morrisville), Marcus Becherer (Cabot), Kim Anetsberger (Hyde Park), Holly Biracree (Essex), Jack Manning (Hyde Park), Richard Shanley (Morrisville),  and 18 other local actors and actresses.

 

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR AARP FOUNDATION TAX-AIDE PROGRAM

September 12, 2018  
Filed under Money, News

 

AARP Tax-Aide Wants You!

 

Want to volunteer to help neighbors in your community?  Want to be engaged in a meaningful way?  Want to give back?  AARP Tax-Aide is looking for volunteers for the upcoming tax season. Tax-Aide volunteers make a difference in their communities by assisting many older, lower-income taxpayers who might otherwise miss out on the credits and deductions they’ve earned. Volunteers receive training and support in a welcoming environment.

 

In addition to tax preparers, there are several important positions that help the program run successfully that don’t require tax knowledge:

-Technology Coordinator

– Site Coordinator

– Electronic Returns Originator

-Volunteer Recruiting Specialist

-Communications Specialist

 

Following the training most positions require 4-8 hours a week during the tax season but most schedules can be accommodated. There are tax sites throughout Vermont.

 

In Vermont last year, 187 AARP Tax-Aide volunteers helped more than 14,400 people file their federal and state tax returns. The program is offered at approximately 35 sites in Vermont, including senior centers, libraries and other convenient locations. Older Vermonters received some $4.4 million in tax refunds as a resulted of this program.

 

To learn about our volunteer opportunities, contact kathiebtv@comcast.net or visit www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide . AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in coordination with the IRS.

 

Shelburne Players present “Sleeping Indoors”

September 12, 2018  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

When literary reviewer Paul and his wife Nora invite a homeless man, Dwain, into their home for Christmas dinner, they don’t expect to be so charmed by him, or that his journal will be the incredible literary masterpiece that it is. But can Dwain, whose art thrives in anonymity, be convinced to give up the only life he’s known for such comforts as sleeping indoors?

Find out when you attend Shelburne Players fall production, “Sleeping Indo,ors” by Jim Holt. Show dates are Oct. 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. at Shelburne Town Center, 5420 Shelburne Road. Tickets are $15, matinee tickets are $12, and can be purchased at Shelburne Market or reserved at www.shelburneplayers.com.

Vermont Shakespeare Festival premiere of Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart In a New Version by David Harrower  

September 10, 2018  
Filed under Arts & Entertainment

 

A country torn apart by public dissent, terrorism, greed, lust and pride. 

Two Queens fight to the death in this newly adapted political thriller. 

400 years later, the intrigue and violence of Mary Stuart feels ripped

from today’s headlines.

 

Vermont Shakespeare Festival premiere of Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart

In a New Version by David Harrower

 

Vermont Shakespeare Festival will present the U.S. premiere of a new version of the only classical play starring two women in power, Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart.  It will be presented as a staged reading, the latest in the Salon Series, on Saturday, October 6th at

7 p.m. at the Highland Center for the Arts in Greensboro, and on Sunday, October 7th at

3 p.m. in the McCarthy Recital Hall at St. Michael’s College.  This is a rarely seen epic in a fresh and lean adaptation.

 

Adaptations of Mary Stuart have recently played to great acclaim on Broadway, the West End and the Stratford Festival. See it before the release of the film in December 2018 starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, directed by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon.

 

Directed by Margo Whitcomb, the presentation will feature Sorsha Anderson as Mary Queen of Scots, Jena Necrason as Queen Elizabeth and and a cast of regionally prominent actors.

 

About our Salon Series: Vermont Shakespeare Festival’s 2018 Salon Series asks our community to play a role in interpreting and exploring plays inspired by Shakespeare and his times that examine faith, longing, and the relationship between morality and politics. A discussion follows the reading, giving an opportunity for audience and artists to connect on a more intimate and immediate level.

 

Tickets at Highland Center for the Arts are $15 adult, $12 senior, and $10 student.  Go to www.highlandartsvt.org.

Tickets at McCarthy Recital Hall at Saint Michaels College are free to the public, donations accepted at the door.

For more information go to http://www.vermontshakespeare.org

 

 

 

PO Box 64733 ● Burlington, VT 05406-4733 ● 877.874.1911 ● www.vermontshakespeare.org