rants, reports, raves, and embarrassments from eric trules


TEDxFulbright 2015 in LA, Sept 26 @ the Broad Stage

I’ve had the good fortune and privilege of traveling abroad twice as a Fulbright Scholar – once to Islamic Malaysia in 2002 shortly after 9/11, and a second time to Bucharest, Romania in 2010. The first time I was a Fulbright Senior Scholar, the second, a Fulbright Senior Specialist in American Studies (Theater).  Unlike most academics, I was not  a “lecturer” per se; rather I was  a teacher of theatrical workshops in solo performance, improvisation, and clowning. Both Fulbright grants offered extraordinary experiences, for me personally, and I hope too, for my students and colleagues in each of these unique…

An Homage to “Teachers”

General Constance Greene. Lieutenant Colonel Joan Colaprete. Those are the names of the two “teachers” in my life. Both high school English teachers. Both members of the legion of “teachers” we all hopefully remember from our childhoods throughout the course of our lives. Both were strong and unrelenting. Both eccentric and inspiring. They set the bar high so their students could rise. They got the best out of us. And they planted the seed in me, for the hunger to learn. I use the word “teacher” as an homage to the great John Steinbeck, the Mark Twain of the mid…

The “R” word

5/13/14 It used to be the “C” word. C-c-c-ommitment. Normally a young man’s word. Why ever get married, settle down, have a family, limit your (sexual) options? What about freedom? Opportunity? Spontaneity? Improvisation? Living in the moment? Be here now? What about the 60s? Sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll? I’ll tell you “what”. Life is what. It has a way of catching up with even the best (free-est) of us? Leaving us older, lonelier, less and less healthy and attractive with each passing year. Maybe even sadder, wiser, but more isolated… eventually, if we don’t make the effort, we…

ripples in the pond

may 17, 2013 beware. this is a story of curmudgeonliness turning into beatitude. let’s start with the first. it’s the merry month of may. time for college graduations. i never go. never went to my own, never will. you know the routine: 1969… the me generation, protest, stick it to the man. my parents made me go to the college i never wanted to go to, just to save the dough. i certainly wasn’t gonna go to make them happy. i was socially inept, volcanic, and generally, i had a hard time making it out of adolescence. i didn’t need…

mountains and ocean and hollywood sign… and yet?

look to the right, exactly 90 degrees from the terraced hillside back deck of lucretia gardens, and there are — the san gabriel mountains — gently looming over the hazy glendale flats. turn 180 degrees back to the left and there’s — the glassy silver rim of the pacific ocean, dividing the big sky of another multi-colored california sunset from the slightly high-rise sprawl of snarky century city and the equally-hazy flats of LA’s toney west side. turn back another 90 degrees to the right, and there, straight ahead, is the white dome of the griffith observatory, the shrubby tree tops of tom mix hill (of legendary silent film cowboy lore), and lo and behold… the iconic hollywood sign itself.

wanna travel vicariously?

by now the airport shuttle bus from attaturk international is driving over one of the many, many bridges that connect the city into a whole, and i can not only see the multitude of islamic mosques dominating the istanbuli skyline, but i can hear the muezzin’s call to mid day prayer, which for me, is the clearest sign that i’m no longer in the clutches of western civilization. the shuttle drops me in dead center of taksim square, for lack of a better comparison, the istanbuli equivalent to the big apple’s times square at 42nd and broadway. perhaps taksim should be called “the big olive”, because there seems to be all the energy and bustle of an 18 million person cosmopolitan capital hovering on the crossroads of two antithetical continents. but there, smiling at me welcomingly, is hassan, the manager of “istanbul apartments”, our home for the next 2 weeks. as i de-board the bus, i can hear the cacophony of arab-turkish “belly dance” music, mixed with the sounds of britney spears, turkish rap, and the loud voices of touts on megaphones, hawking their restaurants’ mid day discounts.

“trules speaks”, changing the world 1 student at a time

may 21, 2010 bucharest, romania, it started out with just the 2 of us. mihaela and i. sitting for lunch at a little wooden table at the “one” café, right next door to the caragiale film and theater university, where i’d been invited to teach for 2 weeks on a fulbright from my imperial government. it was the first day after the first class of solo performance and only 7 out of the 19 students had bothered to show up. half of them late. you know, “romanian time”. i had met mihaela on the street, after the performance of “hamlet”…

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