Bruce Edwin is CEO of the A-list firm Starpower Management LLC, publisher of The Hollywood Sentinel, and also a film producer. His services, based on his years of expertise and success in the music and film industry are sought out and used by some of the most powerful companies and stars in entertainment. This ongoing article series, a precursor to his upcoming book, is his way of giving back to models, actors and bands, with free education- that in its totality and with its unabashed honesty- cannot not be found anywhere else. Free.
I have stated many of these items before, but I constantly experience these same mistakes being made by artists over and over again. And so until I no longer have artists doing them, I will keep repeating them, as it is vitally important to know.
1, Don’t send material that is unsolicited. That means, e-mail or call first and ask if it is OK to send the material. If I get material that is unsolicited, that is not quality work, it gets added to the spam folder, with no future chance with us ever again.
2, Ask, don’t tell. Ask people to hear, read, or see your work. Don’t order them to. If we get an ‘order’ to do something, again, unless it is really mind blowing, it goes to spam. Be polite. Ask for what you want, don’t give orders to someone you are not the boss of.
3, Don’t use people or screw people over, it will come back to haunt you, and it is no way to do business.
4, Don’t ask people to invest more time in to your career than you invest in yourself. If you want someone to work very hard for you, you had better be already working 10 times that hard for yourself.
5, Personalize all query letters. If I get an email asking me to read or look at something, that does not have my name on it, unless it is really amazing, it gets deleted or again, marked spam. Spell check and check all grammar before sending something out.
6, Stop smoking. Many people these days, including myself, hate cigarette smoke. As a former smoker, even the smell of the smoke on someone’s clothes disgusts me. Smoking is a sign of failure to control ones life, mind, and body. Smoking is a sign of weakness and being a loser over ones willpower. Being a smoker tells people, “I’m an addict, and a willing victim of a billion dollar industry that knowingly kills people.” Quit.
7, Eat healthy, get enough sleep, and work out regularly. When you work out, in whatever form, it feeds your body, mind and spirit and actually gives you more energy and ambition to do even more.
8, Surround yourself with people more successful than you are, and emulate what they are doing right, applying it to yourself, in your own unique way. Don’t hang around losers, failures, complainers, and whiners. You will become like the company you keep.
9, Get a great agent or manager. If you get rejected, don’t take it personally. Ask them what you would need to do or have for them to be willing to sign you. If it is something you want to and can do, do it.
10, Be a professional. Be on time, and do what you say you are going to do. Have accuracy and integrity with your word. A great book on this topic I recommend is titled ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz.
I hope this has helped many of you. As always, if you have any questions, you are invited to contact me at the front page of this site.
The Art Los Angeles Contemporary Show was held here at the Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Avenue, in Santa Monica, California, starting Thursday and going until Sunday the 31st. Santa Monica, to those who are not aware, is an amazing beach city on the West Side of Los Angeles noted for its great food, upscale shopping, hipsters, chill environment, beautiful hotels and beaches, film festivals including AFM, and art galleries including the great Bergamot Station which is a large cluster of over 30 art galleries.
Barker Hangar itself has evolved into an upscale show space right adjacent to the Santa Monica Airport, hosting many upscale VIP and celebrity events. This week, it was transformed into Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC), an art show of nearly 70 galleries of contemporary art from around the world.
While I don’t know how many sales took place on this particular Saturday, if they were plentiful, it was certainly thanks due to the show itself, for the show was buzzing, elbow to elbow with affluent people of all ages, and plenty of young money. One area here includes art and indie literature, a nice outdoor sitting and smoking area for those smokers, and another nice outdoor patio dining area with food and drinks.
The art here ranged from works by what is known as the ‘emerging artist,’ to ‘outsider art.’ Most art seen here today was very safe and functional, and a good place to shop for the early collector. Around 10% of the art here was an exception to the norm, with some artists’ unique approaches pushing the edges conceptually, and with some very refined painterly techniques such as that by ‘Liam Everett’ at ‘Altman Siegel’ Gallery, who creates excellent work.
The main reason I was here was for none other than the legendary Kenneth Anger. One of the most influential filmmakers in the world, Kenneth Anger, remarkably today in great shape at a ripe young magical age of ‘88,’ has reportedly influenced all from Martin Scorsese to David Lynch among countless more. Actually painting right on the film frames he shot themselves, Anger has produced some of the most mystical, and magnificent images on film ever seen.
With a history rooted in America’s rich tradition of rebellion, counter-culture, and the occult, Anger’s work has featured members of the Rolling Stones, Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, and former Charles Manson buddy Bobby Beausoleil, among more. Openly promoting his religious path as a Thelemite, Anger has for decades, been a proud proponent of famed occultist Aleister Crowley, who later headed the magical group; The Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O). While many call Anger a Satanist, due to his frequent use of the word and homage to ‘Lucifer’ in his work, along with his interesting cast of characters in his films and his life, which often imitate each other, he has reportedly called himself merely a Pagan, and a Thelemite, not a Satanist.
The O.T.O, incorporating a series of magical grades, similar to the Masonic Order, adheres to Crowley’s writings as their religious body of texts. Crowley, once called ‘The Wickedest Man that Ever Lived,’ popularized the slogan which became so prevalent with the Beat generation and later the hippies; “Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law!” Along with the pagan precept; “An it Harm None, Do What Thou Wilt!”
As a film major at an avant garde film school in Chicago, and as a decades long student of counter-cultural movements, rebels, and misfits as a punk rocker, I was of course raised on Kenneth Anger since I was a teenager, yet had never before met him–until today.
The fact that The Art Los Angeles Contemporary show hosted Kenneth Anger, speaks volumes as to the great significance, intelligence, and power of this show. Only former MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch was, as far as I know, wise, daring, and hip enough to book Kenneth Anger any time recently in L.A. This fact alone puts ALAC over the top in terms of relevance as a cultural and arts institution.
The Alex Theater here at the Barker Hangar rapidly filled up to over capacity, with staff having to tell the young guests to stand up, not block the door, squeeze closer, etc. The theater was packed, and tension was mounting by the minute. Over a half hour before the start, no seat was empty. The crowd’s energy swelled from waves of nervous conversations in synchronicity, to a dulled silence, then conversation began again. A sinister looking model type lad glared at me against the wall, then smiled. A male staff walked by and looked like he was going to plow into me, bumping my leg.
Finally, a tall man with glasses walked to the front, telling us that Kenneth Anger had now entered the building! It was 3:45, and he was 15 minutes late. Some of the crowd clapped. A few minutes later, a distinguished looking man with long hair entered the side door–Brian Butler, Kenneth Anger’s confidant’ collaborator extraordinaire. Kenneth appeared next to him, and walked on to the stage. The crowd excitedly clapped.
Kenneth Anger is a cordial, polite man. He said he was sorry at least twice for making a minor error in a date or technicality of a name. He answered every question posed to him by the audience. He spoke of Crowley, and he called Lucifer his guardian angel. He mentioned that the thing he was most obsessed with and upset about these days was the destruction of art, and what he called, the ‘murder of art,’ in the Middle East, by idiots destroying beautiful, ancient civilization landmarks, artifacts, art, and temples there, including what was the original Temple of Baal. He mentioned how he is making film again, yet stated how it takes time with his process, as he paints on each frame. He stated how he liked Santa Monica, how he was born here, and considers it his home town.
After a little over a half an hour, Kenneth Anger left the stage, said thank you, and walked to the show booth where around a half a dozen of his collections’ works were displayed. He there sat at a table in front of his prized art works by Aleister Crowley, Marjorie Cameron, Rosaleen Norton, and Bobby Beausoleil, and signed autographs for the hundred plus crowd that followed him. I took a final photo, and departed.
I walked outside, and the sun was blazing behind some clouds, about ready to go down. A fire red bi-plane flew over, its engine blaring, soaring into the sun. The same color as Kenneth wore. The Solar Fire.
(Interview questions by subnormal along with a portion of the lecture will be published in a future issue of subnormal. visit back here to listen to that later this month).
This content is copyright, 2016, Bruce Edwin, The Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved. subnormal magazine
Welcome to the newly revised Hollywood Sentinel! This online magazine is a creation that we are very passionate about, as we are passionate of all of the arts in general. The Hollywood Sentinel is the only magazine on the planet that covers all areas of the arts, features ‘only’ the good news, is seen by every star in its pages, as well as many more of the world’s most powerful people, and is created by working professionals in the entertainment industry. It is also unique in that it infuses a spiritual message in the publication, something lacking in most other entertainment publications. And, it serves as a voice to fans, to those aspiring in Hollywood, as well as an insider tool for top, A-level VIP’s and moguls.
After nearly a decade online, we decided it was time to re-vamp our look, upload speed, and smart phone capabilities. We are pleased that this new design does the job, enabling us to now bring The Hollywood Sentinel to you not only every Monday, but at times, with even daily new content. So, visit us often, explore the site, check out the back issues, and tell your friends and loved ones to read us too. There is truly a wealth of information and creativity in these pages, and we promise you, it will keep getting better, and better. You can always contact us via the contact box on the site, and for those of you that want to really do something great for yourself or your business, you can call us at 310-226-7176 to discuss advertising. Thank you for reading, and enjoy the new issue!
I grew up listening to my Dad’s great record collection when I was a boy. At 6 years old, I was singing to The Beatles, Janis Joplin, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Tommy James and the Shondelles, and the Everly Brothers among many more. By 8, I was picking out my own music, and by 12, I started building my own record collection which included Joan Jett, Queen, Styx, Rush, Billy Idol, The Police, and dozens more including a man named David Bowie. When I first heard Bowie, I was stunned. The first thing that struck me all at once was the power and quality of his voice, songwriting, musical composition, and production quality. I had never heard anything else at all like Bowie. The production value was amazing, his voice sounded like it was right there in the room with me. His vocals were miked higher than most other bands I’d heard, and even among the solo artists like Bob Dylan or Donovan, Bowie’s production team did something I had never quite heard before. He was definitely out of this world; The man from Mars, to quote Debbie Harry. A genius songwriter, better than most any in the world, and with a voice and look that was captivating; David Bowie was legendary.
By the time I was 15, I had gone from being what kids called a metal head, to a new waver, to a punk rocker. I still loved metal bands including Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, and more, and I still loved the so-called new wave bands like Blondie, Bananarama, Flock of Seagulls, Culture Club, and The Cure, but I had now officially been introduced to punk rock. The Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash, The Ramones, The Dead Kennedy’s, Suicidal Tendencies, Black Flag, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and many more were my new favorites. Across all genres of music, David Bowie was loved. My metalhead friends loved Bowie and listened to him, marveling at his wild outfits and theatrical make up and great songs. The new wavers naturally idolized him for his brilliance and songs that led so many movements musically and in fashion, and the punk rockers loved and appreciated him as well.
I recall many un-official David Bowie parties where my crowd of punk rocker friends host for the nights or days party would entail playing many hours of non-stop David Bowie CD’s. When I would go to the dance clubs in Chicago including Medusa’s, and later Club 950, and Neo among more, I would always hit the dance floor–as did everyone else who danced, when Bowie’s ‘Little China Girl,’ ‘Ashes to Ashes,’ Space Oddity,’ ‘Ziggy Stardust,’ ‘Fashion,’ ‘Fame,’ ‘Blue Jean,’ ‘Rebel Rebel,’ or any other number of his great hits were played.
During my early punk years, I also made friends with a number cool black kids that also introduced me to early rap music. While I never became obsessed with rap like I did other genres, I liked a number of early rap artists, especially Public Enemy who I saw live several times. Even my rap friends loved Bowie. The mainstream pop crowd even liked Bowie, and although they and some of the rap crowd called him ‘weird,’ for having the guts to be one of the first male artists to wear make-up or wear a dress, they still liked him.
I loved music so much that I decided to start a music magazine which I called ‘subnormal,’ based on the college town of Normal, Illinois that I lived in for a number of years, and to describe a magazine that was definitely ‘not’ normal, featuring interviews with some of the bands listed above among many more. Having been called many insults during my early days as a punk rocker for how shocking I dressed, one of the entries of the word subnormal which also meant retarded, fit perfectly, to demonstrate an artistic and subcultural movement that could not be hurt or phased by even the worst of insults, similar to how some blacks later on began calling themselves the ‘n’ word. Like the punk rockers, and David Bowie himself, subnormal was un-insultable. We spoke our minds, and literally did not care what anyone thought or said. Like Bowie, subnormal wore its weirdness like a badge of honor, before it became trendy.
I remember how excited I was when David Bowie’s record label sent me some of his material, and an 8×10 glossy of David Bowie himself which I subsequently published. I was thrilled. I later decided to major in music in college, only later switching to film, as I realized it could include all of the arts within it including music, photography, writing, and even painting. David Bowie mastered nearly all areas of the arts; he sang, he wrote songs, he composed music, he danced, he acted, he wrote plays, he designed sets and costumes, he designed and wore fashion, and he made art as a painter.
People from every music scene out there loved David Bowie, and appreciated his artistic ingenuity, talent, brilliance, and greatness. He also collaborated with some of the other greatest artists of our time including The Rolling Stones, and Tina Turner, as well as from the punk scene including Sonic Youth, and Iggy Pop, and industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails among many, many more. I had the great pleasure to see David Bowie live when he toured one year with Nine Inch Nails and even performed some songs together with them. Trent Reznor was heavily influenced by Bowie, and reportedly asked him to do a tour together. Virgin Records kindly put me on the guest list. Bowie apologized that night for cutting the set short to about 90 minutes or less. He said he had a terrible cold and flu, and a sore throat. Yet he still sang, because, he said, he “didn’t want to cancel on us.” That was the kind of performer Bowie was. He loved his fans that much, and he was that kind. And if he hadn’t told us he was sick then, we would have never known, because he still sounded great.
David Bowie was light years ahead of his time, and still is. The world is still catching up with Bowie, and he influences artists across all genres in a myriad of ways. He gave me and countless others the strength to realize that an artist can be, do or have anything they want. An artist can wear anything they want, dress however they want, look however they want, and become anything they want, and that was their prerogative, and if someone else didn’t like it–too bad. Bowie gave hope to the hopeless, a voice to the voiceless, and a ray of light and celebration to anyone different, or yearning to be. David Bowie made being an outsider and rebel as cool as could be. And Bowie, unlike most any other, brought fashion, performance art, theatre, film, and more on to the stage, blending perfectly a multi-dimensional level of the arts like none before him. He realized that fashion itself was an art form, and more than most any performer of all time, made fashion an essential part of his persona. He even wrote a song called ‘Fashion,’ and married a fashion supermodel–Iman, which was shocking to many at the time, as Bowie was white, and she was black; yet another rebellious act that he didn’t just talk about, but lived. An actor, fashion icon, and musical great that made, broke, defined and defied genres, David Bowie made changes in music, the arts, and culture that will last forever. He was a true punk rocker; fearless, daring, and innovative, always pushing the edges.
The early morning when I clicked on the news and read that David Bowie had died, I was in a state of shock. I got tears in my eyes. Like other musicians I spoke with on the days that followed, they all felt like I did, that Bowie would be with us for ever, leading us all out of this life on Earth to the other side. I loved David Bowie’s work, and I am very sad that he is gone. A big piece of all of our global musical soul has been hit, and hurt since Bowie departed. I read that during his last months, he knew he was dying, but wanted to make his one last album for us, to leave to his fans, which he rushed to create and finished. That album, has since gone on to become his first #1 Album ever on the charts, giving his estate more sales at it’s debut than any of his other albums. I’m thankful I got to see his art exhibition that he personally put together, on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago just two years ago, which was amazing. I developed an even greater appreciation of Bowie after seeing that incredible show. There will never be another David Bowie. He stands at the very top of the greatest icons, performers, songwriters, and singers in all of the world, for all time. David Bowie, thank you for gracing us all with your brilliance and your art. You were and are– an amazing man.