Monday, October 26, 2009

Cosby Honored

2007-2008 season headliner, Bill Cosby was honored this evening at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock were on hand to salute one of their comedic mentors as well as Cosby Show cast mates Phylicia Rashad and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.

While Cosby deserves all of the recognition he receives for his lifetime achievement, I must admit, I was a little disappointed with his program in Sacramento. His book, Come On, People: On the Path from Victims to Victors had come out just day prior and Cosby refused to take any serious questions about the book or his stance on the African American community. A missed opportunity for all involved from my vantage point.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stapitol Ceps

Those in attendance last week might understand our headline posted above, but for those that missed the Capitol Steps, I strongly suggest visiting their website and the "Lirty Dies" section in particular.

During the last part of their program, a Capitol Steps member went on an extremely funny rant about the current political scene and national news headlines. The bit was made laugh out loud funny (my editorial), by the "Lirty Dies" application.

What is "Lirty Dies" you ask. Lirty Dies are what you get when you mix your basic national scandal with word-initialization-rejuxtaposition closely following the underlying precepts of harmony, alliteration and innuendo.

A couple of facts we learned about the Capitol Steps that we learned backstage last week:

  • There are enough troupe members (29) at the Capitol Steps to employ four to five full casts every night of the year.

  • Last year the average cast member was on the road 224 days out of the year.

  • All Capitol Steps cast members live on the East Coast in and around the Washington D.C. area.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

If in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C.'s Newseum, which claims to be Washington D.C.'s most interactive museum is honoring one of our favorite speakers beginning on November 20th of this year. The museum will be recreating the office of the late Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert; complete with Buffalo Bills pennants and cluttered paperwork.

Museum organizers have been quoted as saying that "there are many respected journalists in Washington D.C.... but very few who are both respected and liked. Tim was one of the special ones. Thus, we want to honor him in a special way." The exhibit will run through the end of 2010.

From our local perspective, Tim Russert graded out as one of our patrons favorite lecturers. On stage he was personable, genuine, alive, and seemed to connect with everyone on an individual basis. Off stage, he was exactly the same. He took a personal interest in our organization, our personal lives, and couldn't have been more accommodating to us; which is seldom the case with many of the personalities we work with.

If you happen to visit Washington D.C. over the next 15 months, make sure and visit the exhibit and let us know what you think. We certainly hope they honor Mr. Russert well!

Monday, October 5, 2009


October is always one of our favorite months for a number or reasons: the fall season kicking into gear, a college and professional sports bonanza, a speakers series program, and the very beginning stages of our next speaker series season.

You read that correctly...our 2010-2011 season is beginning to take formation this month. And to ensure a great season, we need your help. If you have a couple of spare minutes we'd certainly appreciate you sharing your ideas by taking our speaker survey.

If you don't have time right now, you may also find a link to the survey from our home page and take the survey at your leisure.

We certainly appreciate the help and look forward to hearing your collective voice.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A First for Us

In hosting over 30 different speakers during our time in Sacramento, I didn't think I could be surprised any more by the actions, needs, and responses we receive from the distinguised guests that visit Sacramento.

I was proven wrong however this last week as I was going through our mail that had piled up over the last few days. Among the junk mail and bills was a letter addressed to my wife and me. I was taken aback by what I found inside; a hand written note of thanks written by our first speaker of the season, General Colin Powell.

The letter of thanks was informal and somewhat bland but it certainly caught my attention for two reasons. One, it was the first letter of thanks that we had received from a lecturer in our five plus years in operation. Secondly, it came from a person who is extremely busy, somewhat important on a national stage, and frankly, doesn't need to write thank you notes to someone like me.

Certainly makes you realize how small things can make a big difference in your feelings towards others.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Week Late...Still Newsworthy

Looking for support for his health care issue and a jump in approval ratings, the President made the rounds last Sunday on all the major news shows. Newsworthy to us, as one of the interviewers was the host of Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer. Schieffer will visit the Sacramento Speakers Series this coming January. Click the link below to see Schieffer's interview with Obama.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Powell Shines

From early survey results from patrons, General Colin Powell seems to have been a big hit with patrons last night at the Community Center Theater.
His story detailing important "venting" talks with President Ronald Reagan seemed to be the highlight for many.
If you were in attendance and would like to take the survey, simply click here. We will share the results at our next program.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Past Speaker in Motion

Past speaker Ken Burns (06-07 season) is at it again with his latest documentary featuring America's National Parks. The six part film debuts on PBS on September 27th.

While the story does not have nearly the local ties to Sacramento that his latest film (The War) did, I would imagine it will be equally interesting and powerful.

Here is a link to the official site where you can find more information about The National Parks: America's Best Idea.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welcome to Behind the Podium

Welcome to the Sacramento Speakers Series brand new blog. From time to time, we'll be here adding information about upcoming speakers, comment about an interesting article we might find, and give patron feedback from an evening or two. We hope you'll join the discussion and be a part of our forum.