Tag Archives: The ‘HereAfter’

New Orleans Authors, Audio Books… And The Hereafter

In NBC’s raucous 1960s LAUGH-IN, Arte Johnson, as “the dirty old man” Tyronne Horneigh, would sidle up to Ruth Buzzi’s frumpy, old lady character on the park bench and ask her if she believed in “The Hereafter”.

When told, “Sure!” he’d retort through lecherous laughter, “Well, I guess you know what I’m here after!”

Jokes aside, being human, as we all make that journey from womb to tomb, sperm to worm, maternity ward to crematorium … we all wrestle with this issue… THE HEREAFTER.

The issue of existential angst.

But none more skillfully than Ms. ANNE GISLESON.

AnneGislesonRecordsTheFutilitariansAtAirliftProductionsNOLA
New Orleans Author ANNE GISLESON records her audio book at Airlift Productions NOLA

Anne has dealt with more grief, heartache, pain & loss than anyone should have to deal with in one lifetime, and yet found her release – and relief – in the keyboard of her computer.

A gifted writer, Anne today divides her time between teaching creative writing at our NOCCA (New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts), raising Silas & Otto, and caring for her ultra-cool & talented Hollywood South set painter/artist & husband Brad.

I didn’t even know Anne when first hired for this job.

I sure do now.

Contracted by Hachette Audio Books in NYC, together with the Listen Up Audio Book krewe in Atlanta, it fell upon me to work with Anne, record her, and give LIFE to “THE FUTILITARIANS”.

Oh. My. God.

Opening up the pdf from New York on the iPad, it quickly became apparent what I’d signed-on for.

Suicides. Yes, two. The twins. The babies of the family. Cemeteries. Bourbon Street. Oncology wards. Father’s death. Hurricane Katrina. And Plato?

You see, what Anne, Brad & friends had done to survive through all the pain and loss was to form a club. The Futilitarians.

Sub-titled, “Our year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading.”

Forming what amounted to a 21st century, old-fashioned reading club, they bonded through weekly readings of Tolstoy, Kafka, Sartre,  & Kirkegaard.

Each week, comparing notes and discussing what they’d each gleaned from their studies… over wine, scotch, and other libations.

Group therapy. Without a lettered shrink to assist.

So, day-by-day, through the third week of July 2017, Anne & I, together with Listen Up’s director Jennifer Nittoso via the phone-patch, doggedly plowed through painful story after story, chapter after chapter.

Available now, from Hachette Audio/Listen Up, sample a small excerpt from Chapter 3 here ….

** Anne Gisleson reads from Chapter 3 of “The Futilitarians”

Well, light, frothy summertime reading/listening at the beach this ain’t.

But for those of us who wrestle, perhaps in those early morning pre-dawn hours staring at the ceiling, with those “Why are we here? Where do we go when we’re gone?” issues ….

This one is an exceptionally essential existential must!

And, Anne, next time I catch you around the bar at the Napoleon House in the Quarter, the Johnny Walker’s on me.

**************************************************************

“Working with Airlift Mike in NOLA was an utter pleasure. I was in town for business for a month and needed to maintain my audiobook recording schedule. Mike was accommodating and a pure professional. He mastered the punch and roll technique in 24 hours to be ready for our first session, and over the course of the month we laid down 5 books and a number of auditions. His studio sounds great. The vibe & atmosphere can’t be beat. You’d be hard pressed to find a better recording studio in the southeast – no matter what your needs. I wish I could have stayed!” ~ Amy Landon

*******************************************************************

Airlift Productions ~ Telling America’s Greatest Stories from New Orleans, since 1984

My Reality Check Bounced. A Long Time Ago.

 

My very first 'selfie'
My very first ‘selfie’

 

Sunday mornings around the Airlift Studios have a different beat … a different vibe. Reflective.  Quiet.  Thoughtful.  Picture Paul & Art in the background,  choirboys Simon & Garfunkel harmonizing and that would be about right.

Problem is, I’ve never been ‘right’.  Except when the whole world turns Left.

As America gobbles down fast food by the truck-full – I’ve got the crock pot going in the kitchen – for eight hours.

While most folks knock themselves out in a morning commute to a job – I’m traveling up-hill at ten mph on a Nordic track cross-country ski machine – meditating!

Even people who don’t know the most – know that I believe in ghosts.  

Truth be known,  I’ve always been this intensely mystical, metaphysical space cowboy.  Color outside the lines?  You mean, there are lines?

Nip it, tuck it, tint it, lift it … do what you will with the body, but it’s just a place your memories call home.  And at the end … it’s just a fingerprint that your soul has left behind.  Really.

Reality?  It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.  Or in the eyes of the beer-holder – in bars & nightclubs all around America last night.

Complaints?  Mine are few.  My life has been blessed with many fascinating and captivating women across many state lines and across many decades. 

I’ve seen sorrow and I’ve seen pain.  I’ve been burnt by the blazing sun … and drowned in the pouring rain.

But through it all – Spirit, Music & Humor have always seen me through … to the other side. 

A classic case in point – I once received a post card from the ex-wife containing the image below, and the note said simply … “Having a great time, wish you were here.” 🙂 

 

The blue marble - 3rd rock from the sun
The blue marble – 3rd rock from the sun