Monday, November 06, 2006




 I get this call about five p.m.  that my sister –in-law LORI was having an opening at the Downtown Gallery in about two hours of her vivid, exotic yet controlled paintings.  But I had the rehearsal for whatever show the combination of three songwriters, one of which is moi, will somehow create for Kulak’s Woodshed and other venues late in the year.


I look in my drawer of small plastic boxes of eyelashes – and just pick some old raggedy ones as I had no time to be clever.  Mascara, gluing on the eyelashes in a false line above my eyes to enlarge them about three times their actual size, eyeliner, a slop of base and much pale pink across huge lips.


Out I run, into the car. Drive fast.  My husband is in the street near Van Ness and Melrose, near his offices at Raleigh Studios, baseball cap covering a balding head, but still, the handsomest face I’ve ever seen –waving his arms to gain my attention.


Downtown L.A. is an original this night and mysterious as ever.  A new town, another city, really.  My husband Stephen and I speak again about coming down here to the Bonaventure Hotel and just taking a vacation, so different from uptown lifestyles that we can just pretend we’re in another distant city somewhere.


The gallery: large white tall rooms with a huge area for Lori’s work.  Wine, crackers- I eat heartily if one can on crackers and cheese, since I haven’t had time for any food at all this evening.  A beautiful child of about five with dusky skin and lavish curls asks and asks and longs to touch some of the work which I thought a sign that the work was truly vivid, and I wished that he could follow his desires.  If the paintings had been mine, I would have put his little fingers against the solid tiny seas of paint for him to understand of what a painting is made the better.


Others mill; one woman has a sort of smile, that kind of-- I -know – better- than -these -other -people -but I’m- politely- (generously)- tolerating -them –anyway sort of  smile.  She interests me as a study and I attempt to do her or I guess to be her, mimic her walk, the pose of her head as she looks up “generously" tolerating my sister-in-law’s work - which she would never be able to attain to. 


Afterward some blocks away alone in the car now,  I stopped at Bogie’s Liquor to get something anything to take with me to rehearsal and finally discovered ham in a package. Ham, being fat free or nearly so is on my wonderful Weight- Watchers core plan diet. ( I’ve lost twenty pounds without realizing it! Until I went back to be weighed.  And it stays off!)  The man behind the counter  knew my name as I’d once lived down the street (Rossmore) when I was wealthy.  He asked after my beautiful son. I told him – more beautiful than ever-


Mark Cote, the first Mark in the group Karen and the 2 Marks has a wonderfully appointed apartment in the Fairfax/ Wilshire area. The other Mark, Mark Salling, hadn’t arrived yet, so I sang with Mark Cote’s accompaniment, my country song for the show. In the U.S.A. from around 1865 to 1895 , cowboys drove cattle up from Texas to the North where they could feed on the green up there or be sold.  What many people don’t realize is that educated men, from the East and even from Europe found this great procedure interesting and came out West, sometimes mistakenly, to experience it for themselves.  This country song, fashioned after the simple plaintiff cowboy songs of the 1920’s, is about a girl, a sister or cousin to one of these adventurers, who was taken along from the Eastern states only  to find herself completely lost and lonely on the open range.  It’s called “Cowgirl”.   My three songs, I assure the reader, though, will not compare with the winsome evocative songs from the 2 Marks, who are each tremendous musicians.


Saturday, October 07, 2006


I’ve noticed that in life there are stopping places, yet no one stops there:


You are experiencing your life, moment by moment, and you are having chicken dinner with your family, or you are doing homework with your child, or you are at some social gathering and there it is! The moment that will be one of the most vivid to you for the rest of your life! 

And it simply goes by.  Only later and sometimes , much later, upon referring to that time in memory do you realize that that one moment stands above the others. And it is not only vivid, and salient, but also that awful word: precious.



Three years ago, in June, my husband Stephen and I went to the older more interesting part of the town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to take a much needed vacation and do some work on writings.  He was sitting on the veranda which faces the fast sea with his mini-laptop open before him, staring into it.  I wasn’t looking directly  at him, but at his  reflection in the window behind his incongruously baseball -hatted head.  In that pane was only himself and sky, which was pale orange this time of day with two long  palm trees side by side and  black against the luminous view.  He was concentrating hard and didn’t know I was watching him.  His late afternoon growth of beard, his thick dark brows, his distant gaze into his own imagination – those sea blue eyes -  I loved him so much at that moment I could have stayed there, just stayed, looking at this captured afternoon for an infinity of time.


Friday, October 06, 2006

"Hollywood Dreams" at the AFI FIlm fest

The American Film Institute film festival is now in its twentieth year.
This year you can see the US premiere of Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain" starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz; David Lynch's "Inland Empire" starring Laura Dern and Jeremy Irons and, I am proud to say, "Hollywood Dreams" starring Tanna Fredrick, Justin Kirk and Moi! (Karen Black that is). Here is the skinny:


October 6, 2006

Henry Jaglom's “HOLLYWOOD DREAMS" which will be having its
World Premiere at the 2006 AFI FEST on Saturday, November 11th, introduces
newcomer Tanna Frederick in the starring role and co-stars Justin Kirk
(HBO's “Angels in America,” Showtime's “Weeds”).
The film, written and directed by Mr. Jaglom, also stars Karen Black,
David Proval, Melissa Leo and Zack Norman in major roles and introduces
singer-songwriter Keaton Simons.
“HOLLYWOOD DREAMS,” which follows the journey of a young woman
from Iowa (Ms. Frederick) who arrives in Los Angeles profoundly obsessed with
a lifelong need to achieve stardom, challenges her - and our - ideas of success,
fame and love.
Produced by Rosemary Marks for the Rainbow Film Company,
"HOLLYWOOD DREAMS" and is due for release in early 2007.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Things to go and see

Please read what I'm doing lately. Hope you will enjoy this press release:
Karen Black - What's going on!
Karen has six movies coming out, starting this coming fall with legendary director Henry Jaglom's "Hollywood Dreams" starring stunning newcomer Tanna Frederick, Justin Kirk of "Angels Over America" fame and David Proval.
Next up is "Suffering Man's Charity" a film by one of the brightest stars on the world horizon, Alan Cumming, which stars Karen along with Anne Heche, Carrie Fisher and David Boreanaz in what Karen describes as "a part you would give your eye teeth for, if you haven't already lost them."

Then there's "Watercolors" a coming of age gay film by David Oliveras, with Greg Louganis, four time gold medalist, and David Siqueiros' film ,"One Long Night" with Alison Eastwood ( Clint's daughter),Jon Seda and Ed Begley, Jr.

"Read You Like a Book", with Danny Glover and Lorenzo Pisoni will open the prestigious Mill Valley Film Festival this September and -completed only a few weeks ago- Mr. Jaglom's next enterprise, "Irene In Time" coming out next year.
Karen says she is very proud of her work in these six films - a fascinating panorama of characters -from an overbearing acting teacher in Jaglom's "Hollywood Dreams" to a drugged nymphomaniac in the Alan Cumming movie to the most endearing librarian you would ever want to meet in veteran director Robert Zagone's, "Read You like a Book"!

Next up?

Karen has written the book for a musical going up in the fall, called "Missouri Waltz" - an endearing tragedy about the travails of two ghosts trying their damnedest to save the old home in which they have always "lived" from destruction. Harriet Schock has written the music!

In September, Gabriela Tollman's first full length feature, "This Was the Night" will star Karen as a woman destined to raise hell and at the same time illuminate the lives of three couples who had simply come to her home for dinner. Ms. Tollman's last film was in competition at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

On September 21st, Karen and the Two Marks who are Mark Cote and Mark Salling will be performing their songs at KULAK'S WOODSHED, just the most amazing walk-back-into -the sixties- watch the performance from the bed there-or the old chairs near the walls- birds dropping fresh eggs daily- oh my god I've walked back in time !place! Karen loves it there and will also be reading with one of the Marks- Cote-, her own poetry. World-wide webcast!
7:30 pm. 5230 1/2 Laurel Canyon Blvd., just north of Magnolia.

Monday, July 31, 2006

First Blog

This is my first page of my new blog and I just want to express admiration.
Is it not incredible that one can turn on one's television and see great stars whose luminosity will never dim?  -So easy to have them there to appreciate and admire.
Last night James Garner walked into a dangerous compartment in a train which was barreling along in the movie, "The Great Escape".
And I just thought-- doesn't matter what he does there's always a twinkle and an unmistakable sense of warmth of heart.
Is there someone in the world who doesn't like James Garner? I don't really think so.  Really.
Is there anyone, anyone at all  whom this gentle man has not treated with respect?  No.
Have I ever heard or read anything but gratefulness and good feelings toward this man in all my years in Hollywood?  No.
He is a rare treasure.  May he live forever.
--signing off for now,
But come and see me this fall in legendary Henry Jaglom's "Hollywood Dreams" with stunning new find, Tanna Frederick and Justin Kirk ( from Mike Nichol's, "Angels in America").
Then just a LITTLE later, I'll be starring with the ever unsinkable, piquant genius who is Alan Cumming in his next directed feature, "Suffering Man's Charity",  with Anne Heche, David Bereanaz, and Carrie Fisher.
And I'll return here, to my diary to talk about people I've known: Jack Clayton, Jack Nicholson, Alfred Hitchcock and others.  And to talk about people I wish I'd known.
In 1970, I turned down a movie with Mr. Garner called, I think, "Support Your Local Sheriff" and I've been biting my dialing- my- agent- finger ever since!