Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Surgery, Gene and Some Stuff Inbetween

I was so sad to hear Gene Wilder passed away on Monday. Similar to the way I feel about John, I always felt connected to Gene, he was such a big part of my childhood and he was just one of those people that you knew had such heart. He was magic and like John, he always managed to bleed a little of himself into every character.

I researched Gene a couple of years ago, I have mentioned before that by learning about John I had to learn about a lot of other people, one of whom was the wonderful Gilda Radner. (If you don't know anything about Gilda she was one of a kind, please go and watch her work, read her story and share her legacy.) Gilda, of course, led me to Gene as she was his third wife. I researched Gilda to learn about her life and hopefully find out about her friendship with John. I contemplated trying to contact Gene for an interview as I was sure he would be able to tell me a few John and Gilda stories. I chickened out, I really wish I hadn't.

During this time I read Gene's Autobiography "Kiss Me Like A Stranger" and I just fell in love with him. It's a must read for any fan, he is sweet, kind, clever and does not try to hide his flaws.

My fear when any celebrity and all round 'good egg' passes away, is that some authors tend to jump onto a biography bandwagon straight away - totally fine if you are a lifelong fan, you are going to take your time, research every angle, interview people (please let them grieve first), but there will be some books written in a matter of weeks of regurgitated material looking to make a quick buck. For now. please go and read his own words, another biography is justified - just not yet.

Rest in peace Gene, I know Gilda in particular is going to be over the moon to see you. My heart goes out to your wife for the last twenty five years, Karen Boyer, your friends and family. Eighty three is a wonderful age, you brought so much happiness and laughter to this world and just like John you will never really die.


In other news I have finally had surgery (ten days ago to be exact), a bigger job than they thought I was on the table for three hours! It took two years to get to this point but I am now on the mend and apart from post op pain, I am for the first time in a long time - chronic pain free. Great news for me and it means now much life can continue and focus fully on the book as opposed to fighting my own body on a daily basis (which I have been doing for the past year). I really appreciate all your patience through this rough time, you have all been nothing but supportive and I can't thank you enough. I'm now looking forward to finishing "Searching for Candy" and getting it out this year.

Hope you are all doing really well!

Lots of love to you as always
Tracey xx

Monday, 1 August 2016

Who ya gunna call? Mayor Tommy Shanks...

Soooooooo finally I got to see the new Ghostbusters film, I couldn't go to the cinema when it first came out as for the past three weeks I have been staying in the most beautiful manor built in the 1500's - on my own! My imagination spooks me enough I certainly didn't need to fuel it with anything else (yes I know it's a 12 rating but still...)

"What's this got to do with John Candy?" I hear some of you cry! Well it's no secret John was going to be in the original Ghostbusters, however he had a disagreement with director Ivan Reitman on how his part should be played. John was originally going to be cast as Louis Tully (later played by his friend Rick Moranis), but they couldn't agree on the type of character Louis was going to be. John wanted to play the character as a German that owned several dogs, however their visions didn't really meet so John decided to pass. He was however in Ray Parker Jr's Ghostbusters theme video.

Strangely enough there were many roles that were meant for Candy and were cast to Moranis and vica versa, although they are physically very different, they worked quite similar and according to Mel  Brooks when I interviewed him,  both were great at "Comedia dell'arte".

Dean Thomas Shanks
Fast forward 30 years and Paul Feig, director of the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot, got so many references in for old school fans of Ghostbusters, SCTV and SNL. Harold Ramis' (RIP) bust was in the University, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts all make cameos. What I loved most was the two John Candy references, the un-apologetically offensive, short fused Dean Thomas Shanks (played by Steve Higgins) at the Kenneth P Higgins Institute was a homage to John Candy's character Tommy Shanks, Mayor of Melonville in SCTV, he even chases them out of the building with a baseball bat. Also Abby, played by Melissa McCarthy, says the line "that will leave a mark" a nod to John's character Mog in Spaceballs, a line that John ad-libbed and Mel Brooks kept in. I love the fact so many years after the original came out, John was not even part of the film and yet his spirit and influence sneaks into the reboot.
Tommy Shanks, Mayor of Melonville

With regards to the book I am getting my head down. I have a surgery date now for 22nd of this month which is hopefully going to take the chronic pain away (or at least relieve it for a bit) and fingers crossed take away the chronic fatigue and brain fog that pain brings with it. I do have a release date in mind but until I know for definite I daren't announce it.

Thanks for all your patience and sending you all lots of love

Tracey xx

PS Who ya gunna call?
PPS I now want to be Kate McKinnon with a proton pack