Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Well, yesterday was a marvelous trifecta for me. First off, after being released from Folsom on August 22, 2008, I officially was released from parole status after three years. Serendipitously and symbolically, I received my new passport ahead of schedule, and I debuted the short works-in-progress version of my one man show about my prison experience, to a rousing reception at The Marsh theatre, the nation's premier showcase for one man and one woman shows. It was the culmination of a longtime aspiration and a wonderful class by superstar solo performer and artist-in-residence Charlie Varon.
A description of my segment of the five solo performances:

The Great Escape. The most outrageous, moving, inspiriting, and hilarious description of a bestselling self-help author’s 7 years at Folsom State Prison.

One piece of my work-in-progress involved the audience, as I told them that one of the greatest blows to my emotional equilibrium in prison was the periodic arrival of a new cellmate. A stranger entering your cell to spend hour after hour, sometimes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, locked in this tiny space with you. You have no idea how long you will be cellmates, or even what his crime was, and prison protocol dictates you don't ask, unless they volunteer the information. I suggested audience members look around and find their own stranger nearby and imagine that this person just arrived as their cellmate and had some of the characteristics of a few of my real life cellies, like:

"Charlie, who has an obsession...his fancy breed pet chicken back home. Something i still remember was called a feather-footed, bearded and muffed black-breasted red Cubalaya chicken..and he even brought a stack of photographs of the chicken...and he constantly talks about the chicken and how much he loves it....and now considers you his best friend because you foolishly reveal that you don’t like eating chicken in any form."

I have considered myself free since long before I left Folsom, thanks to the rich internal world I created for myself, but it is nice to now have the physical reality of freedom from all parole restrictions, like not being able to travel more than 50 miles from San Bruno, California. But since I was released, I've enjoyed an even greater freedom, to choose the company I keep. Back in 1976, I had a book published, FRIENDS: The Power And Potential of The Company You Keep. At that time, I couldn't have imagined not being in charge of the company I kept. And now I count that blessing every day. The ultimate freedom is to be doing what you love to do and want to do, when and where you want to do it, and with whom you want to do it. Without that, anyone is a prisoner.


Check out my prosperity blog, too, at www.MoneyloveBlog.com

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