Topics » “Curators”

A Truth From Inside the Obama’s 08 Campaign

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Did I ever mention, in 2006 I was threatened on an hourly basis based on my ability to write hit getting headlines?   This is a REAL, honest to gosh, truth from inside the Obama Campaign!   Its also the story behind Schmooru‘s most popular series The Narrow Show which launches our ALL NEW FALL SEASON!

2008 was an inspirational time to pretty much anyone.  Down at Obama’s New Media heaquarters in Chicago, it was an epicenter of CHANGE & HOPE.   We worked so hard there, we really didn’t have much time for anything else.   So, when I used to sneak out every week for an hour or three to go down to Chicago’s NPR station WBEZ and hijack an empty studio with my friend “Mike” to record a few conversations, I was really just trying to get a break from it all and do something…anything.. NON HOPEFUL.

Its true that IRA GLASS once spit on one of those mics we used, but he unfortunately had little to do with this extremely precious story about two college educated white boys who met at a university.  Despite Obama’s direct and divine influence on their creation, almost none of the recordings from these ‘campaign sessions’ have ever been released under “The Narrow Show” nomer.   In fact, Mike & I continued to record real conversations together despite very long distances and we’ve found that to work out much better.   It was over a year after the campaign was over, when we needed to start building a library for Schmooru, that we decided to take things to the ‘next level’ (please wait 30 years for the Narrow Show Anthology for these precious audio wonders to be released & they are good).

I sent Mike this show above as a method of putting still images to illustrate our words.  Its from this PBS show called Gather ‘Round(the guy in it was hip, before sters were born)– it was something they played for us during “Plan B” during elementary school growing up in Ohio.   “Plan B” meant that somehow the weather was too bad for even us rusted Northern Ohioans to go out and play–that we had to stay inside.   Accordingly, they still had to torture us while INSIDE, by playing VHS copies of alternating episodes of these BORING stories and the Freaky Friday with Jodie Foster, in 20 minute intervals.   While to this day, I’ve never seen any of these things all the way through — in the end, I guess it inspired this form that has brought joy, or maybe fascination is a better word, to 10s of thousands of schmoo viewers.

Despite many amazing things I’ve been a part of with great teams of people– The Narrow Show is the most cultural relevant things I’ve ever worked on that truly reflects the closest thing to my own personal vision.   We do not script– and it all just comes out.   From the personality that has driven away throngs of women(and many men too), is now the most successful thing we’ve got going right now.

Without further delay–the new as a brand spankin’ new baby’s forehead–> episode 110, The Cranials.

Why Schmooru is a California Based concern

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

I still like the CRAZY days
I always will
thats why SF is home )
Liz: why is SF home?
me: I can have the crazy days without judgment my whole life through

I need the crazy days

Liz: ha
me: not so much at once
as HARRISON and etx did in the day
but I need crazy to be possible
there’s an unwink to people on the streets there, (she’s one who gets it and wants them too)

In NYC they seemingly want to write something or be told something about crazy days
then act them out. That’s all they have time & space for.

In DC they do this too, but they despise the crazy days


In SF, we’re just a bunch of little kids out there.
Liz: is there a heroin scene in brooklyn?
Liz: I got that distinct impression last time I visited
me: it wouldnt surprise me
thats not what Im looking for
Liz: I really tried to change the subject
no way man
awful

me: crazy is the freedom to not ‘make CENTS’

california-as a direct democracy doesnt make CENTS
they have laws that disagree
the place is ungovernable

like trying to make sense to a little kid
Liz: ha
me: I love that shit
theres so much opportunity in that

me: sometimes that leads to a BUMMER
but there’s more a chance to allow for STOKED
in california you only have those two choices.

Schmooru.com Launches!

Monday, February 21st, 2011

index

Welcome to Schmooru.com. For those of you waiting since May 2009 — you no longer have to get your schmoo on alone! Every video you see here was made by a member of our community. While thoroughly checked before admitted — each was given the creative freedom and a modest budget to complete their work. They were not conceived in a conference table by a committee of people related to each other, NOR was any focus group or ratings paper consulted — each one of our creators had a vision and was able to go with it. (more…)

Don’t Fear China. Those Grammarians Will Kill It First.

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

With last month’s visit of Hu Juntao, President of China — its like everyone’s worried about China taking over the United States! OMGAA! What’s most shocking to me is that this display of pageantry has sparked so much discussion about the two NATIONS, as if there aren’t people working on relations or flying on airplanes between the two places at every hour of every day of the year. (more…)

My Junior English Teacher Passed Away This Week

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

To set the mood, lets start this class in the continued pursuit in this forum of where creativity originates — with this sound to begin the “Morning Announcements, just as it once did in Barbara Wagner’s English classroom in 1990s Ottawa Hills, Ohio as she scowled from her front table. (more…)

The Blind Spot Pilot

Friday, April 16th, 2010

I found this pilot that I made for ABC News Now — what at the time was billed to be a mobile phone concentrated news network, which was to be the future. With the layoffs at ABC News this past month, mentioned in this blog, I thought it interesting to revisit this moment in time — late 2004. John Kerry had just lost the election and George W. Bush had a lot of political capital. Of the THREE Anchors of a generation, only one had walked off into the sunset, another was in the process of being disgraced and yet another, didn’t know his fate. (more…)

What it Feels Like to Being Jewish on Christmas Through Music

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Let me come out with it. I’m Jewish. And I was raised in one of those households who really appreciated the change from Christmas Break to the Holiday Break. Toledo, OH is not a pro-semetic place. Its not the type of place Woody Allen could have developed his phobias in, unless he liked practicing his monologs behind closed blinds in the middle of the night when the neighbors were asleep. (more…)

It Takes a Village to Raise a Schmooru…

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

To give you all a clear understanding that Schmoonews is about the Creative Process and holds nothing back–I’m about to peel away the curtin into some of the questions you all have been asking me about how we’ve gotten this thing together and what’s the deal with BECKMANN and his seemingly illustrious life of travel and mystery. More than anything this post documents our PRE HISTORY in creating SCHMOO.

Exactly one year ago today, Barack Obama was elected president–and that’s a critical moment in the history not just for the world, but for us. You see, I started my self-imposed exile from my place in San Francisco at the end of July 2008 to move to Chicago and join the New Media part of that campaign. When we won–and then a week later, Current TV laid off the division I had been working for, I decided in those cold dark days of November, to start something SCHMOO–although not even the name had surfaced yet.

All I knew was that so many of you who had done work for us and so many of the talented people I’d worked with were now all of sudden out in the cold–whilst I felt like I had won the lottery. Finding myself in the midst of a historic and winning presidential campaign.

Fast forwarding to now–we will get to the parts in between at another point–I never went back home. I continued to go about the country and put together the pieces that at first became our parent company, IB5k and then later our subset for the creative types, Schmooru.com.

How did I do this? As you can recall–after Obama got elected, the sky was literally falling. The economy was in shambles and people thought the banks were going to fail. Schmooru, I’m proud to say has received no investment in these early stages which means there are no strings attached while firmly developing our foundation. We control our own house and from there we can dream unbeholden.

It did cost money–and I’m happy to report, my savings are mostly intact. The first thing that’s been mysterious to me and I hope no one from the MGM Mirage corporation is reading this–but every time I’ve needed the money for something, I’ve gotten it in a casino. In a sense MGM and a few other names are investors in this company. Same way FEDEX started.

I don’t believe in gambling–but I’ve only lost one time this year. I’ve never gotten more than I needed to get me past the next post. Before Obama called in July of 2008, I had won a HUGE take in Detroit which made me feel comfortable taking the drastic pay cut to sign up–because it was so mysteriously large, I thought it meant something larger than me.

Picture 4

There are your curators who worked on a HOPE and a DREAM who basically did this stuff for future pay, but beyond that they deeply care in what we’re all trying to do there. Primarily, to have a lawyer, a webmaster, a business builder, a powerful DC power broker, an impeccably capable renaissance video man–but also, the girl I called one week after the election and said “I don’t know what it is, but we’re going to go out there and do something’–the most networked girl in video production–cause this thing always was conceived and lives within community–without these people–there would be no SCHMOO.

Picture 5

But that’s not all. It took a village. A global one–in order to build this thing. And primarily–its not having paid rent for an entire year that has really gotten this thing off the ground. By my count I’ve stayed in over 47 different spots this year, and never slept in the street unless it was on purpose(There was the one night in Chicago when I wanted to go home and my hosts were partying all night but that was good for me;). I would say a word to the wisest is you have to keep on moving every three days in order to not overstay a welcome–but below, I’ve chronicled every place I’ve stayed in the last year–and many of them were repeats.

These people all contributed to the possibility, that creative people like all of you could band together–do projects bigger than oneself–and in doing so, help to preserve a creative lifestyle and profession that’s necessary to ensure our happy futures.

CHI
Caitlin Dorsey
Mike Debonis
The New Media Mansion people

STL
The Rev. Ben Schartman

NYC
Katie Beckmann

LA
Lauren Cerre & Tyler Manson-

SF
John Reed & Sarah McKinney

Omaha
Paul Tulipana & Megan Malone

Louisville
Tom Green

Birmingham
Mark Nugent & Jessica Kerley

Miami
Mark Steiner

St. Louis
Harrahs;)

Toledo
David & Esther Beckmann

Washington, DC Inauguration
Allison Archaubault

NYC
Holly Ecker and Christopher Smith

Washington DC/Manassas, VA
Mathew Taylor
David Bychkov & Nadia Madjid

SF
Richie Zevin

Bozeman, MT
Michael J. “mini” Noogent
Michael and Naomi Nugent

LA
Sarah Evershed & Julian Robinson
Dylan Ris

SF
Danny Debonis

Chicago,
Zac Witte & Goeff Domeracki

SF
Tori Taylor & Dave McMillan

LA
Saskia Wilson Brown

Wyoming
The Eversheds

NYC
John F. Brunner
Jory Cunningham
Sam Reiff-Pasarew

DC
Max Harper

Amsterdam
Dennis DeLange
Mike Glennon

NYC
Clare Sullivan & Thomas Hallaran

Great Barrington, MA
Nathanial Kerksick

CHI
Caitlin Dorsey
Mike Debonis
The New Media Mansion people

STL
The Rev. Ben Schartman

NYC
Katie Beckmann

LA
Lauren Cerre & Tyler Manson-

SF
John Reed & Sarah McKinney

Omaha
Paul Tulipana & Megan Malone

Louisville
Tom Green

Birmingham
Mark Nugent & Jessica Kerley

Miami
Mark Steiner

St. Louis
Harrahs;)

Toledo
David & Esther Beckmann

Washington, DC Inauguration
Allison Archaubault

NYC
Holly Ecker and Christopher Smith

Washington DC/Manassas, VA
Mathew Taylor
David Bychkov & Nadia Madjid

SF
Richie Zevin

Bozeman, MT
Michael J. “mini” Noogent
Michael and Naomi Nugent

LA
Sarah Evershed & Julian Robinson
Dylan Ris

SF
Danny Debonis

Chicago,
Zac Witte & Goeff Domeracki

SF
Tori Taylor & Dave McMillan

LA
Saskia Wilson Brown

Wyoming
The Eversheds

NYC
John F. Brunner
Jory Cunningham
Sam Reiff-Pasarew

DC
Max Harper

Amsterdam
Dennis DeLange
Mike Glennon

NYC
Clare Sullivan & Thomas Hallaran

Great Barrington, MA
Nathanial Kerksick

Chameleons All Around

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

From the “Streets of Philadelphia” comes an hour of music from Schmooru Josh Johnson. Listening to this latest episode of radio hour, you get a feel for his affable personality and intelligent insights into music, culture and more. In this epsiode, Josh delves into jazz vocalists—some you’ve heard, and more that you haven’t.

Mr. Johnson has been producing, shooting and editing video, television and the rest of it on two coasts (with gusto!) for as long as I can remember now. So listen now or subscribe to the radio hour podcast to get your weekly (give-or-take) fix!

De Bonis does Radio Hour

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Looking for a break from your workday (or just something to pick it up)? Check out the latest episode of Radio Hour, curated by SchmooNews contributer Michael De Bonis.