Tim Reda, Surfing Inspiration

The tides may have changed for this Orange County professional longboarder and surfing instructor, but he continues to encourage himself and others to surf the waves.

A man does not have to have children of his own flesh and blood to be considered a noble father figure, and Tim Reda is living proof. As a longtime surfing instructor, the 34-year-old professional surfer has trained, mentored, and motivated countless children throughout the Orange County community to face their fears and ride the waves of life – both literally and figuratively.

Tim instructs at the Newport Beach Endless Sun Surf School, alongside his surfer wife Amy. The Costa Mesa couple has dedicated their lives to helping young surfers learn the art of the sport. Tim not only has the talent and titles to make anyone feel comfortable being by his side in the ocean, but he also emits a positive and inspiring nature to him that would ignite any heart to chase their dreams. As a world-class surfer, he placed third in the 2013 Longboard North America Championships, which qualified him to travel to China to compete and earn 25th overall in the December 2014 Longboard World Championships.

Tim set his sights on earning a world championship, but life began to write a different story when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor (an Oligodendroglioma) in 2016, just months after he returned from the China competition. The diagnosis led to various prognoses and opinions from doctors – some have said he has no more than a decade to live, while others have discouraged operating.

“At first it was really scary. I didn’t have much hope for treating it. Surgery was always on the table, but I didn’t want to jeopardize my surfing and my teaching by having a risky, major brain surgery,” said Tim.

After attacking the tumor with chemotherapy and radiation, he followed up with twelve cycles through one year of chemotherapy treatments between 2016 and 2017, and a six month ketogenic diet trial. Struggling and feeble, Tim and his longboard still made their way into the water as much as he could handle it. As of now, the tumor has reduced in size and is stable. He has an MRI scan every three months to monitor growth.

Tim Reda and Alex Chery return after surfing tandem.

“I want to inspire others with serious conditions that they can fight and overcome it,” said Tim.

Throughout his treatments, Tim has been very weak physically but has maintained his big, upbeat smile and a passion for his students and surfing. He and his wife’s optimism and love for eachother and others can be seen through the eyes of the many children they have instructed, who look up to them with trust and excitement in the water. One child in particular, 12-year-old Alex Chery of Newport Beach, has surfed alongside Tim for several years. Alex was born with cerebral palsy, which affects his physical development and motor functions, and Tim has helped him to become strong and balanced through tandem surfing.

“Alex is an inspiration to all. Everyone in surf classes with Alex sees how much fun one can have surfing just by watching him. He has no fear and loves surfing! Six years ago, while my wife and I were promoting our surf class at Newport Elementary, Alex wheeled up to us and enthusiastically says he wants to surf in our class. We were totally open to the idea and it just clicked,” said Tim.

“Alex has cerebral palsy but that doesn’t stop him from doing anything. Last time we surfed was the end of our Fall Mavericks Surfers after-school surfing class. That was when I had just finished my over a years worth of chemotherapy treatments. And actually, during my treatment, I continued to surf with Alex. It was hard because I was so tired and weak; but I would actually strength-train in order to lift Alex up, so I’m sure it was really good for me, both body and spirit.”

Tim said “good deeds, big or small” is his daily inspiration. And no matter what life brings his way, there is nothing that will ever hold him back from being in the water with his students.

“It’s everything to me! I love all the energy that the kids bring to surf camp and classes. I could be having the most stressful day, and then once we are in the water focusing on surfing and having fun, I get this renewed perspective on life. I love that I get the chance to give back to the youth and community.”

To follow and encourage Tim through his health journey, visit his GoFundMe page (Amy continuously writes updates). Although they have reached their fundraising goal, Tim and Amy graciously take donations for medical bills. Whatever they do not use, they donate to a non-profit Oligodendroglioma research foundation that is looking to find a cure. The GoFundMe link is: www.gofundme.com/9ywqr7d8



For more information on Endless Sun Surf School, visit www.endlesssunsurf.com

By Jackie Moe. Featured in Parenting OC Magazine.

‘The Nutcracker’ returns with ABT superstars and local dancers to kick off your holiday season!

Dancers from the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School will perform in ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Dec. 7-17


It’s opening night of Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ annual production of “The Nutcracker” and the young dancers of the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School are more ready than ever before.

The ballet program’s students have worked tirelessly every weekend for the past three months for the opportunity to join the prestigious American Ballet Theatre troupe on stage in one of the most beloved holiday traditions.

Rising star ballerina Misty Copeland and Russian dancer Daniil Simkin will lead the opening night cast, with plenty of exciting cast rotations during the 13-performance run through Dec. 17. Choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky and set to the timeless score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the music will be performed live by the Pacific Symphony.

Returning dancer Chase Rogers, 13, who performed in the annual production since the theater opened at the Center in 2015, said working alongside the ABT dancers has been a dream-come-true.

“It feels really magical in a way, when the company comes and we’re rehearsing; the whole process feels exciting, because it’s the great ABT and there’s nothing like it,” said Rogers, who is from Ladera Ranch.

The ABT William J. Gillespie School follows the ABT national training curriculum, a ballet program designed specifically for children ages 3 and older that promotes discipline, creativity and encouragement to aspiring dancers.

The students began rehearsing in September; taking weekly notes in their “Nutcracker notebooks” said the program’s dance mistress Sarah Jones.

“The kids are so dedicated to the production. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them every weekend and they just take it so seriously. They come to every rehearsal focused and driven; they’ve all had a Nutcracker notebook where they take notes and write down all of their corrections and everything they’ve learned,” said Jones.

After several months of rehearsing together, the students were joined by the ABT troupe this week to do final rehearsals and prepare for opening night.

“All of their hard work has really paid off, and it really showed last night when the kids got to finally work with the company. They were so well-rehearsed and prepared, and they just fit in with the professional dancers.”

Chloe Presa, 13, will return to her role as a toy soldier in the mystical war scenes of the production. She said working with ABT has also been a fun challenge.

“I feel really lucky to be a part of this tradition because it’s with ABT, which is one of the best ballet companies in the world,” said Presa, who is from Anaheim, “It’s been really inspiring working with the professional dancers.”

The production will present two rotating casts that tell the classic story of the curious Clara and her prince as they journey through a magical world of characters and holiday adventures.

Rogers will perform as the Prince in this year’s production.

“When I first started, I was younger and I didn’t really know what was going on. I was very new to the whole Nutcracker schedule and what was required. This year, I know the ropes a lot more,” said Rogers.

“It feels very good to know that someone in the next five years will be wearing that same costume and doing what I’m doing. I’m playing a principal part with ABT and hundreds of people are coming to watch, so it’s all amazing.”

Jones said the set is “stunning” with a tree that actually grows and lifts Clara at least 12 feet above the stage. The second act will open with a large golden gate over a blue backdrop that is “beautiful and memorable.”

Jones added that Ratmansky brings “a new take on an old tradition” which will show Clara and the prince seeing an older version of themselves.

“Clara and the prince are actually transformed in this production. In many versions, the two will sit on the stage and observe in act two. But in this show, the story is really magical; there’s even some moments of unexpected humor.”

Jones added:

“ABT is not a new organization; it’s been around for 76 years and they’re one of the top ballet companies in the world. You’re not going to get the whole experience at any other production of ‘The Nutcracker’ like you do with ABT, with the set, choreography, principal dancers…it’s a very developed and beautiful show.”


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WHERE: Segerstrom Center for the Arts – Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa
WHEN: December 7 – 17, 2017
Thursday – Friday at 7 p.m.
Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m.
Sunday at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday – Friday at 7 p.m.
Tickets – Start at $29

Phone – 714-556-2787

Phone – 714-556-2787


‘End of the Rainbow’ tells the fun and tragic story of Judy Garland


Before Angela Ingersoll steps out onto the stage to portray film icon Judy Garland in the Broadway musical “End of the Rainbow,” she turns on one of Garland’s albums and does her own hair and makeup.

“That’s my time to commit to being truly present for the task at hand. As I paint her portrait in the mirror before me, I fall in love with Judy all over again. It’s always full of discovery,” said Ingersoll, who received a Jeff Award nomination for “best actress in a play” for the role in September.

The Chicago actress shines in her portrayal of Garland with a unique yet uncanny style that makes the audience feel like they are truly witnessing the singer and film icon tell her story. The La Mirada Theatre is currently presenting the play through Sunday, Nov. 12.

The musical drama, written by Peter Quilter, spotlights the life of Judy Garland in the months leading up to her death in 1969, at the age of 47. The production had its premiere in Sydney in 2005 and opened on Broadway in 2012.

Ingersoll took the time to share insight into her role as the legendary actress-singer:

What have been the challenges of taking on this role as Garland?

This production of “End of the Rainbow” is my second. We had a very short rehearsal process, which demands excellence from the entire artistic team. I’ve only been working with our director Michael Matthews for a week and a half, and I am in love. He’s a gorgeous artist. He’s helped me keep a fresh approach, even though I’ve been singing Judy non-stop for a couple of years now. In addition to this show, I also sing my own concerts of Judy’s music all over the country. Just a week before we began rehearsals, I finished filming my Judy concert for Public Television. My life has, just in the past couple of years, dramatically shifted focus to shining a light on her legacy, as her artistic descendant.

Previous to taking on the role, what did Garland mean to you?

I’ve been a devoted fan of Judy’s for as long as I can recall. I don’t remember a time without her. So many of us meet her as children, when she’s a child as well, and her Dorothy stays with us. Yet even as a child, I was most attracted to 60s Judy, to TV Show Judy, to Carnegie Hall Judy. I saw a self-possessed woman and artist and knew that’s what I wanted to be. Now that I’ve just turned 40, I feel I’ve come into the time of my life I’ve always dreamed about.

The press pitch stated you are “the spitting image of Judy” – have you received this comparison throughout your life? 

I have been compared to, or likened to Ms. Garland since I was about four years old. That’s when I started singing. Folks said to me then, as they do now, “How does that big voice come out of that little body?” People have continuously throughout my life pointed out my similarities to Judy: stature, eyes, emotional intensity, sheer volume. Even our teeth are crooked in precisely the way – of course she wore caps over her teeth during the MGM years. So yes, I’ve always been short, loud, and confident.


Every actor/actress can feel the energy of the audience at specific parts of the story. What parts of this production do you feel the audience become the most exhilarated? 

I can certainly hear an audible reaction to my first entrance. I hear folks tittering and sizing me up, all five feet of me. They’re commenting on my stature, my hair, as well as Bill Morey’s striking costumes. There’s a palpable outpouring of love and excitement from the audience in all of the musical numbers, but when we get to “Over The Rainbow” we’re all of us at our most intimate and exposed. The listening we share in that song is, for me, quite spiritual.

What song numbers are your personal favorite? 

It is always pure joy to sing “Over The Rainbow.” It is the greatest song of the 20th century, and a perfectly marvelous existential poem. As we grow, “Rainbow” grows with us; that’s its magic. I would say that the emotional power of “The Man That Got Away” has ingrained itself most deeply into the fibers of voice and body. It’s cathartic. And it is utterly exhilarating to sing “Come Rain Or Come Shine” with our outstanding orchestra. It’s a burning arrangement that really soars!

What do you want your audience to take from this production?

Well, our story is both deeply inspiring and deeply painful. I hope that audiences confronting and experiencing that pain can find a sense of peace in their own hearts. Because none of us has a monopoly on heartache. I believe this beloved music and this great humor can give us all the courage to feel a little less alone.


“End of the Rainbow”

Where: La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd.

When: Currently presented through Nov. 12

Info: lamiradatheatre.com

Why this ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’ star kept her pain private in the 12th season


Published in: OC Register/LA Daily News/Press-Enterprise

The “Real Housewives of Orange County” is about halfway through its 12th season with the standard overabundance of emotional escapades that has kept its viewers hooked, including friendship feuds, surgical renovations and a new face to the group of O.C. royalty: Peggy Sulahian.

The season so far has mainly focused on the ongoing quarrel between veteran housewives Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge, former friends who have been at war with one another since Gunvalson mentioned Judge’s husband may be gay in the last season. However, this round of women have also had their own stories going, including Kelly Dodd undergoing breast reduction surgery, Meghan King Edmonds’ new mom struggles, Shannon Beador’s marriage and weight-loss issues and Lydia McLaughlin’s constant attempts at finding harmony between the fighting friends as the self-titled “friendship whisperer.”

Although the newest housewife Sulahian – who originally entered the show as McLaughlin’s friend – has made her way into the drama at the group’s various parties and events, she also has taken more of a backseat in comparison to the rest of the group. The Armenian-descent mother of three and wife of Diko Sulahian, owner of Santa Fe Springs-based luxury wheel company Giovanna Wheels, said she had a lot of private commotion happening at the same time she was filming the season.

What the 12th season has presented so far is the Crystal Cove resident preparing for breast reconstructive surgery following a preventative double mastectomy – steps she has taken after a lump was found in her breast, and her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 51. In episode 11, viewers saw Sulahian get fluid pumped into her chest to expand her breast-tissue to eventually get implants.

What the viewers did not see, Sulahian shared, is that just a month before her reconstructive surgery (which took place in January), her father had become very sick and died on December 5, 2016. Around this same time, she had received the news that she had cancer – but kept it private from everyone, including her family, because of her sick father.

“My dad was a healthy man and losing him was so unexpected. I remember I could barely get up from my chair when he passed away; it was hitting me so hard. Even with his funeral, nobody knew I had cancer,” said Sulahian, “I had to pull it off. Nobody knew about it, I barely knew about it; I was in a different world with my dad.”

Sulahian said she postponed her double mastectomy for January 2017, so she could have Christmas and New Years with her children, without worrying them. During this time, Sulahian said she was still in filming for the reality show, so she kept most of her personal life private while she dealt with both her grief and recovery.

“When you see me at lunch with Shannon on the show, I wasn’t speaking clear. I don’t even know what I said because prior to that I had been in bed for six weeks… it wasn’t a two hour surgery; it was a seven hour surgery… I was drugged out in the hospital for three days. I was on medication during the whole process of filming, that’s why you hear me stuttering; I was in pain the whole time.”

Sulahian added that she did not reveal her pain to the group of women or the viewers, because she did not want that to be the focus of her story. She also said she herself did not come to terms with the cancer diagnosis.

“I was in denial, and I don’t want to sit there crying, because it hasn’t hit me yet, because I was still dealing with my dad’s death. So it’s been a mess. I was on medication. I was in pain; my face color is different, my tone is different,” said Sulahian, “You can hear me stutter, because my breasts were hurting so bad… they were expanding it and that pressure, it feels like metal in there, and I was just not a happy person.”

Sulahian said she shares this part of her private life now, because she wants to spread the word of how important it is for women to get their yearly mammograms. She said in terms of the show, the most difficult part was the lack of support she felt she received from Judge and Beador in particular; but she does not hold it against them anymore.

“I needed support and so that’s where the disappointment came from was when they were interrogating; I get so upset about it. I don’t care because that puts them where they are, and I can overcome it. God forbid they get diagnosed with something; I would be there for them. But that’s not what I got from them.”

When asked if she currently keeps in touch with the women on the show, she laughed:

“It just depends on who you’re talking about. With Lydia, yes. Vicki and Lydia I’m very close to. And Tamra, you know, I think when Tamra is around, I think she likes me; she just doesn’t want to say it, I think. It is what it is.”

Over the last few months, Suliahian said she has received an outpour of support from fans and the Armenian community via her Instagram, and she said that while it is up to the fans, she hopes she will be able to return for another season. As for favorite moments of the season so far:

“(I love) telling the women how it is, with no ‘ifs, ands or buts’ about it. Those are my favorite moments; there is no running away from it,” said Sulahian. “I made sure that I put it straight out and say what I needed to say, which I think is embarrassing for them. That’s how I’ve always been; it doesn’t matter if there are cameras there or not. That’s why my motto is, ‘It is what it is’… that’s how I was raised.”


‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’

When: Season 12 premieres at 9 p.m. Monday, July 12

Channel: Bravo

Broadway’s ‘The Bodyguard’ star Deborah Cox recalls Whitney Houston: “Same Script, Different Cast”


Published in Orange County Register

“Same Script, Different Cast” could be considered a serendipitous song title for R&B singers Deborah Cox and Whitney Houston’s 2000 duet single. Grammy Award-nominated singer and Broadway star Cox is currently playing the lead role in “The Bodyguard: The Musical” – the same role Houston played in the 1992 hit film of the same name.

Based on the film and adapted by Academy Award-winning writer Alexander Dinelaris (“Birdman”), the national touring production of the jukebox musical features Cox as the music superstar Rachel Marron, belting out the same Academy Award-nominated songs that Houston introduced to the world 25 years ago. Fresh off of a three-week run at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, the musical will stop at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Tuesday, May 30 through Sunday, June 11.

Life has come full circle for Cox, who said she has always looked up to the late Houston – long before their collaboration 17 years ago – and is honored to carry on her legacy through the musical.

“I see it as my job and my mission to help keep Whitney’s music alive and bringing it to the stage has been a huge part of that,” said Cox in a recent phone interview during the Los Angeles run.

Especially exciting for Cox was the Pantages Theatre is where the Academy Awards scene takes place in the film, so she said the theater experience has felt especially authentic for her.

“The movie has always been one of my favorites and Whitney has always inspired me, so initially I was curious and drawn to the fact that this story was going to be a musical,” said Cox,

“And now being in the same spot where Whitney stood, I think the cast and crew is feeling something really remarkable,” she said. “We’re really a part of the ‘Bodyguard’ legacy, because it’s not just about the film now, but the musical too.”

The romantic thriller tells the story of pop superstar Rachel who, after being stalked and sent death threats from dangerous fans, seeks the protection services of former Secret Service agent Frank Farmer, played by actor Judson Mills. While he serves as her bodyguard, the unlikely pair fall in love.

The London West End musical’s premiere opened in December 2012 and ran for nearly two years at the Adelphi Theatre. Since then, the production has toured in the U.K., Ireland, Netherlands and China, with future tours planned for Toronto, Australia and Madrid.

Dinelaris made several changes to the original story, including bringing it to present day and changing the focus to Rachel rather than Frank. The role of Rachel’s sister Nicki, played by actress Jasmin Richardson, is also expanded.

The musical features the film’s highly successful soundtrack as the score, including songs “I Will Always Love You,” “I Have Nothing,” “I’m Every Woman” and “I Run to You,” as well as some of Houston’s greatest hits, such as “So Emotional,” “One Moment in Time,” “Saving All My Love For You” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

For many actors, filling the shoes once worn by a renowned icon could be intimidating, but Cox says she puts a personal touch on her character, which has helped her make the role unique. The 43-year-old made her Broadway debut in the lead role of Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical “Aida,” and most recently starred on Broadway in 2013 as Lucy in “Jekyll & Hyde.”

“I think in the beginning, I was trying to find my rhythm with it all, because the show is really like a marathon,” Cox said. “I have 15 costume changes as the story progresses and you have to prep yourself in the fastest way possible, because it’s all-encompassing. But it’s all very exciting. The story opens with her playing in a stadium for thousands of people, and you also get to see her performing at the Oscars.”

The role is not too far removed from real life for the Canadian-born singer-songwriter, who began her recording career as a background singer for Celine Dion before releasing her self-named platinum selling debut album in 1995. Cox may be most recognized for her 1998 song “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here,” which held the record for the longest running R&B single for 14 consecutive weeks and received a Billboard Music Award nomination.

Stepping into the role as a famous pop singer felt natural to Cox, and she hopes that familiarity and comfortableness shows on stage.

“The story resonates a lot with me, so that’s part of the perks of being Rachel … it’s easier for me to find the connection to the story, and I hope the audience will see that I’m sincere.”



L to R: Jackie Moe, Deborah Cox, Judson Mills and Lisa Moe at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa for the opening night of the Broadway musical “The Bodyguard.”


Adam Carolla is a man of many talents


Adam Carolla is a man of many talents. But his ability to juggle multiple projects – standup comedy, radio hosting and podcasting, writing best-selling books, producing films and documentaries – and succeed in each of them could be his most impressive.

Even during a recent phone interview, Carolla was discussing his new podcast master class he will be teaching at the Irvine Improv on Saturday, Aug. 5 in one breath, and instructing a carpenter who was measuring a door in Carolla’s house in another: “That’s your threshold, man, take your last piece and add a quarter inch to it,” said Carolla, who also has “former carpenter” on his lengthy résumé.

The former KROQ’s “Loveline” co-host and creator and host of the television series “The Man Show” said he has a natural inclination to teach people. So when the proposal of Carolla teaching a six-hour class on podcasting in Irvine came up, he said yes both to getting paid and instructing others on the art of creating digital audio files.

“The number one thing I like to do is impart wisdom, knowledge, facts, whatever. I mean, I just got done telling a guy how to cut a threshold for a door,” said Carolla, “I actually enjoy teaching people, and not critiquing them but coaching them; that’s the best way to do it. Some people take it well and everyone else just pushes back. Teaching people how to podcast or teaching them carpentry or teaching them other assets of life, I’m all in.”

Known for his raunchy, dry sense of humor, Carolla got his start with improvisational comedy at both the Groundlings and ACME Comedy Theatre in Los Angeles. He gained notice for co-hosting with Dr. Drew Pinsky on “Loveline” from 1995-2005, creating and co-hosting “The Man Show” with his longtime friend Jimmy Kimmel and co-creating the Comedy Central show “Crank Yankers.”

Carolla left “Loveline” in 2005 to host the radio show “The Adam Carolla Show.” When the show was canceled in 2009, he launched “The Adam Carolla Podcast” only three days later on his personal website, receiving over 250,000 downloads in its first 24 hours. It went on to be downloaded more than 50 million times, becoming the the No. 1 podcast on iTunes in the U.S. and Canada and earning a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records.

Since then, he has hosted more than 10 podcasts on Carolla Digital Network – which also launched his three New York Times bestselling books and two Spike TV shows “To Catch a Contractor” and “Adam Carolla and Friends Build Stuff Live.”

Adam Carolla sits down to talk about his new comedy and carpentry show "Adam Carolla and Friends Build Stuff Live". It airs Tuesdays at 10pm on Spike.This segment aired on the KTLA 5 Morning News on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

The class will be divided into six different one-hour lessons on podcasting: industry, creation, technical, monetization, marketing and an open forum for questions and answers. Carolla will instruct all six lessons, with various industry professionals from the PodCast One digital audio network co-teaching, including the PodCast One network founder Norm Pattiz.

What is Carolla’s best advice for aspiring podcasters?

“Consistency. A lot of people say they want to do it, but when I ask how many times they want to do it, they say something like, ‘Twice a month.’ That’s not a job. If you want to do it, do it. That’s the one thing that I’ve run into; people don’t want to commit to it.”

Carolla – whose daily podcast topics range from interviews with celebrity guests, to news and personal commentary with a stand-up comedy style, to discussing his passion for subjects like vintage car racing – said it is also important that podcasters try to find a unique voice, rather than try to please everyone.

“Early on in my career, I would fly home from doing Letterman and I would talk about riding first class on ‘Loveline’ and my manager would be like, ‘Hey man, don’t talk about riding first class, our listeners are 17 and work at Taco Bell – they’re not rich and they can’t relate.

“And my thing is, when you do Letterman, they fly you first class, so I’m going to tell you all about my experience; I’m not going to pretend to be you. You’re 19, you live in Glendora; you’re into snowboarding. I just did Letterman. Why would I talk to you about what you’re into? If that’s the case, why are you even listening? Go talk to your friends.”

In addition to his daily podcasts, Carolla maintains a fairly consistent schedule of performing live podcasts and stand-up in venues throughout the country. Although he said he never really has a plan for his future, the entrepreneur seems to always be trying new things, including creating his own alcoholic drinks Mangria and Rant IPA beer, and is currently producing and filming a couple of documentaries (including one on the history of KROQ) – with most likely many more projects on his plate.

“When I got into the comedy business, I finally found something that I have a natural ability in … like I was a natural athlete. So I always had this feeling that you’re not going to host the Oscars like your buddy Jimmy, you’re not going to make billions of dollars, but you’re going to do whatever you want, cause you have a lot of natural ability,” said Carolla,

“I just always had this feeling like I’m good, so I’ll just do what I want. So that’s what I did with podcasts, writing a book, making a movie; the answer is always yes to everything, because I can.”

Kevin Nealon = Nicest. Guy. Ever.


Comedian Kevin Nealon is one of those guys that everyone just feels like they know. Even in spots like grocery stores, Nealon said, people will approach him trying to figure out where they recognize him from.

“(People) come up to me racking their brains. ‘Do you come to this store or restaurant often?’ or ‘I’ve seen you before’ when I’m at an airport or somewhere,” Nealon said. “I can see it drives them crazy.”

This may be because of Nealon’s approachable demeanor – he just seems like an overall nice guy, even in a world of cynical comedy. Or maybe it is because he has had small but memorable roles in a variety of films and television shows – “Happy Gilmore,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Joe Dirt,” “Just Go with It,” the Emmy Award-nominated Showtime series “Weeds” and, of course, his nine-year stint as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (1986-1995).

His personable nature has recently led him to do a popular web series, “Hiking with Nealon,” in which he goes on hikes with big-name celebrities – Brad Paisley, Matthew Modine and Howie Mandel have been featured on his hiking chats. He currently has several projects on his plate, including a stand-up show at the Coach House on Saturday, Aug. 26, which he said will be his first time at the San Juan Capistrano venue, and he’s looking forward to presenting his new material.

“I’ve been working on a lot of new comedy lately and I’m coming with Kirk Fox, who’s a headliner himself and very funny, so it’ll be an overall fun show,” Nealon said. “I think people who know me know the tone that I bring with me, and I hope my new stuff will fit their expectations and not disappoint.”

That tone, he said, involves observational comedy based on Nealon’s life experiences, with a little spin of exaggeration to it, including his adventures in parenthood, marriage and Los Angeles living. Nealon became a father at the age of 53, and chronicles his comical views on pregnancy both on stage and in his 2008 book “Yes, You’re Pregnant, But What About Me?”

Missouri-born Nealon entered the standup world somewhat later than most. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut in 1975, he did some traveling throughout Europe before eventually moving to Los Angeles to pursue a comedy career around the age of 25.

“I kind of putted around feeling out what I wanted to do, but I always knew stand-up was my passion,” said Nealon, “Comedy is what has always interested me the most out of any other pursuits, so I left to L.A. and started doing open mic nights.”

Nealon finally got his big break when he landed a stand-up routine spot on “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson” in 1985, when he was 32.

“My favorite moment has always been doing ‘The Tonight with Johnny Carson’… seriously to this day, it’s always been such a thrill for me, above all the shows and movies I’ve done,” said Nealon, who added it was this television appearance that opened later doors to his comedy career.

As one of the longest running cast members on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” Nealon created some of the show’s most memorable characters, including “Subliminal Man,” “Hans and Franz” (with Dana Carvey) and his reoccurring role as an anchor on “Weekend Update.”

Today, he is working on the CBS sitcom “Man with a Plan,” as the brother role of starring actor Matt LeBlanc. He is also focused on his stand-up career, which he said is influenced by comedians Steve Martin, Albert Brooks and Andy Kaufman.

“My friends always tell me my comedy sneaks up on them, and I like that uniqueness or individuality-type comedy,” said Nealon, “I always try to maintain that thing where I keep my audiences guessing what I’m going to say next and also add audience interaction, so we all enjoy our time together.”


By Jackie Moe

Published in OC Register

Photo credit: Mike Carano


OC Craft Runners go the extra mile with their own IPA

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Published in OC Register

Every Monday evening, the O.C. Craft Runners meet at various local breweries to run a few miles before cooling off with a cold one– a growing trend among social running groups. So why not take it to the next level? One bold group is sprinting down a new road: brewing its own beer.

The 6.5 percent Extra Mile IPA will have a limited run – literally, the beer will only be available beginning at noon until its last drop – at All-American Ale Works in Anaheim on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Co-founder John Hale said he always wanted to brew a beer that represented the group. After meeting for the weekly run at All-American Ale Works, Hale asked the establishment’s head brewer Ryan Hugh if they could collaborate.

“It’s something I wanted to do and All-American Ale Works was the perfect spot for it. They’re a new brewery and one week, they opened up for us,” said Hale, “This kind of thing goes a long way with me, and it was just them being hospitable that was the springboard for this whole enterprise.”

On Aug. 24, members of the club met at the brewery to create the beer, brewing a total of about six kegs for the release day. There will be cans or “crowlers” available for purchase and the group hopes to set a personal record for how quickly they sell out.

“We kept the grain bill simple to let the aroma and flavors of the hops shine through. The hops we used were citra, mosaic and amarillo, all added late or post-boil for a smooth bitterness,” said Tim Meltreger, who helps manage the club, “The beer drinks easy with a light body and the peach, passion fruit, apricot and light citrus aromas and flavors of the hops stand out from the first sip.”

The release is all in good fun, with no profits going to the O.C. Craft Runners. The mission of the running group, said Meltreger, is to have fun and support local breweries, so he hopes the release will help promote the Anaheim brewery as well.

The social running group, formed in Orange in 2015, is free to join and open to runners and walkers of all levels and ages; members must be over 21 to participate in the post-run brewery gathering. For the last two years, the group has grown in size and has even started a chapter in Los Angeles.

“For us, it’s all about having fun. We love running. We love beer. We love doing this whole thing together week after week. It’s an opportunity to share who we are and what we love with the people of the community, runners and non-runners alike,” said Meltreger, “The O.C. Craft Runners is about bringing people together, and having our own beer is a natural extension of that.”

O.C. Craft Runners’ Beer Release

Where: All-American Ale Works, 5120 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim

When: Noon Saturday, Sept. 16

Call: 657-549-2140

Online: facebook.com/occraftrunners

25 best Green Day songs according to your mood


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Green Day will perform at the Rose Bowl Stadium for their final concert of the summer North American “Revolution Radio” tour on Saturday, Sept. 16.


Published in OC Register and Daily News

With over three decades and 12 studio albums under their studded belts, Green Day has produced hundreds of ultra-catchy tunes to make you pump your fist, shed a tear or want to start a revolution. As the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers prepare to close out the North American leg of their Revolution Radio tour on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, it seemed only fitting to attempt to compile a list of the band’s greatest hits from throughout its illustrious career.

The East Bay punk trio has a song for every mood. So here are 25 of Green Day’s finest – 26 if you want to count “Brain Stew/Jaded” as a two-fer – not in any particular ranking, but conveniently separated into categories based on one’s present state of emotion.


1. “Welcome to Paradise” – “Kerplunk!” (1991); “Dookie” (re-recorded 1994): Almost like a prelude to the storyline of the band’s coming-of-age Broadway hit “American Idiot,” this track still rides the airwaves with relevancy 26 years after its initial release. “Dear mother, can you hear me whining?/It’s been three whole weeks/Since I left your home” is a rallying cry that has been heeded by Generation X, Millennials and that lost generation between them both.

2. “Basket Case” – “Dookie” (1994): The band’s pop punk sound rocks hard with this track, which earned them explosive popularity, a Grammy Award and everyone singing, “Do you have the time to listen to me whine?” See aforementioned note about angst for every generation above.

3. “Brain Stew/Jaded” – “Insomniac” (1995): This combo track opens with one of the band’s iconic riffs, a churning, more aggressive rock sound that the band developed after its preceding albums.Then, the heavy downtempo dirge flips into the mosh pit-ready “Jaded.”

4. “Holiday” – “American Idiot” (2004): Warning – playing this song at a high decibel may cause one to shout rebelliously, clap hands furiously and belt out one of the most politically charged and catchy choruses the band has ever produced: “I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies/This is the dawning of the rest of our lives.”

5. “Bang Bang” – “Revolution Radio” (2016): The band revisited its punk rock roots with this single off its latest album, with lyrics that portray a grim perspective of the modern culture of social media and mass shootings. “Broadcasting from my room and playin’ with my toys, I wanna be a celebrity martyr.”

6. “Geek Stink Breath” – “Insomniac” (1995): Admit it, you played this one originally because of the bizarre title, but the song’s somewhat brash sound that is just as fun to rock out to as its name is to say.

7. “When I Come Around” – “Dookie” (1994): While “Longview” and “Basket Case” broke the band on MTV, this one holds up decades later as arguably the most recognizable track of all the band’s catalog. It was also the one that every band of ’90s teenagers figured out to play for their first basement/backyard/birthday party gig.

8. “Know Your Enemy” – “21st Century Breakdown” (2009): The band emerged from the explosive success of “American Idiot” with this hard-hitting, politically potent punk rock hit four years later.

9. “Say Goodbye” – “Revolution Radio” (2016): The band expresses the most illustrative emotions of modern American violence with a chorus that sounds almost like a church hymn. “Violence on the rise/Like a bullet in the sky/Oh Lord have mercy on my soul.”

10. “American Idiot” – “American Idiot” (2004):  The aggressively catchy song that kicks off the coming-of-age concept album that spawned a Broadway musical of the same name is Green Day’s legacy piece. “American Idiot” is the precise moment that Green Day transformed from being your annoying brother into a mature adult with political feelings in a post-9/11 world. The country is divided politically. The country is at war. Sound familiar? The themes resonate just as strong in 2017.  “Don’t wanna be an American idiot/Don’t want a nation under the new media/And can you hear the sound of hysteria?”

11. “Going to Pasalacqua”– “39/Smooth” (1990); “1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours” (1991): The band unveils its punk harmonies to the world loud and proud in this tune from their ultra-rare debut album, which was later re-released as part of a compilation of its earliest work.


12. “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” – “Nimrod” (1997): This is the one that’s so overplayed, even your parents know it. One of the band’s strongest (and tear-jerking) ballads, with singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong’s acoustic guitar strings sounding as smooth as his matured vocals. There was a strange run where it was used in both “Seinfeld” and “ER” and at every graduation from 1998-2001.  “It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right/I hope you had the time of your life.”

13. “Wake Me Up When September Ends” – “American Idiot” (2004): The heavy lyrics inspired by the loss of Armstrong’s father (who died of cancer when he was 10 years old) have made this song one of the band’s most genuine tracks.

14. “Outlaws” – “Revolution Radio” (2016): The rebel teens who “destroyed suburbia” in the band’s continued coming-of-age story since its debut album reminisce about their days of reckless adolescence in this melodic and wistful rock song. “Baby hooligans, we destroyed suburbia when we were outlaws, the outlaws of forever.”

15. “Emenius Sleepus” – “Dookie” (1994): Bassist Mike Dirnt’s lyrics capture those familiar feelings of running into a former friend who has changed. “How have I been, how have you been? It’s been so long. What have you done with all your time? And what went wrong?”

16. “Macy’s Day Parade” – “Warning” (2000): The song muses over childhood memories and ties it in with the annual Macy’s Day Parade with an underlining message of American greed and consumerism.


17. “2000 Light Years Away” – “Kerplunk!” (1991): This is teenage puppy love expressed through a fun, alternative punk beat. “I hold my breath and close my eyes and dream about her. ‘Cause she’s two thousand light years away.”

18. “Last Night On Earth” – “21st Century Breakdown” (2009): So romantic and melodic, this track is worthy of a wedding playlist. The piano-led tune is beautifully sung with Armstrong serenading, “With every breath that I am worth here on earth/I’m sending all my love to you.”

19. “Oh Love” – “¡Uno!” (2012): This one has that likable and catchy quality that one does not have to even be a fan to appreciate.

20. “Brutal Love” – “¡Tré!” (2012): The ballad-iest of all of the band’s ballads, this one could have been slow dance number at a high school prom in the ’60s with its mixture of doo-wop, soul and rock.


21. “21 Guns” – “21st Century Breakdown” (2009): This anti-war power ballad hits all strings – acoustic, electric and heart – with Armstrong landing some of his highest and strongest notes in the band’s history.

22. “Still Breathing” “Revolution Radio” (2016) – This one has Green Day’s patented mix of an extremely catchy melody with inspirational lyrics about surviving through hardships: “I’m like a soldier coming home for the first time/I dodged a bullet and I walked across a landmine/Oh, I’m still alive.”


23. “Redundant” – Nimrod (1997) : A relationship waning from its initial passion is expressed through the lyrics of this mopey yet jaunty rock song that Armstrong belts out with pure sorrow. “Now I cannot speak, I lost my voice/I’m speechless and redundant/Cause I love you’s not enough/I’m lost for words.”

24. “Give Me Novocaine” – “American Idiot (2004): The lyrics sing out about being so down that the only thing that could help numb the pain is the anesthetic dentists use when drilling out a tooth – but the song is sung so beautifully and melodic, one may hardly notice the sad premise.


25. “Jesus of Suburbia” – American Idiot (2004): The band’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” – nine minutes and eight seconds of about seven songs with different tempos, all tell of one extraordinary, coming-of-age story.