Kinky Boots Star Stark Sands Looks Back on His ‘Life-Changing, Invigorating and Exhausting’ Year in Heels

first_imgIn the corporate world, employees leaving a job are asked to sit through a sometimes exhausting “exit interview” with HR about their time at the company. Although that concept doesn’t exist for Broadway performers, we think it’s fun to check in with stars as they finish up a successful run. Tony nominee star Stark Sands is about to unzip his six-inch heels for good as he departs the Tony and Audience Choice Award-winning musical Kinky Boots on January 26. As he says goodbye to his Kinky pals, Sands reveals how Cyndi Lauper taught him how to “cut a vein” and why Annaleigh Ashford’s fearlessness tightened his comedic chops. Employee Name: Stark Sands Annaleigh Ashford Kinky Boots Stark Sands How do you feel now that you’re leaving the job? I’m leaving after a year of performances (counting the Chicago run), and I still absolutely love doing the job. So I’m sad. But I think it’s important to walk away while you still love doing it—before you reach your saturation point. I’d much rather have mixed emotions about the end of my run than be only excited or relieved to depart. What are three words you would use to describe your experience at the job? Invigorating. Exhausting. Life-changing. Job You’re Leaving: Charlie Price in Kinky Boots What was the highlight of your time at the job? I think it’s the little things—the moments you can’t plan for and the times you just crack up onstage. Ellyn [Marie Marsh] not having her shoe rack and having to pile all the shoes up in her arms a la I Love Lucy; Annaleigh accidentally saying “Don really rose to the equation”; Billy [Porter]’s heel breaking right before “Sex Is In The Heel” and having to ad-lib lines to cover for it, and then effortlessly changing shoes in the middle of the dance break; the time there was huge, ominous thunder right after Jen handed me the sparkly, finished boots and said “…Well?”, and we all looked up into the rafters like the sky was going to fall on us; I could go on and on. Those are the things you remember most. What was the hardest thing about the job? The level of absolute commitment—not just my energy, but my time and my focus. It can be all-consuming. Related Shows How do you think you’ve grown during your time at the job? Well I grew six inches taller every night, at least for the finale. But really, I think anytime you dive into something for such an extended period of time, you become a better performer across the board. I know I’m a better singer now than I was when we started this. My range and control have come a long way, and I’ve learned so much just from singing with Billy. I also think my comedic chops have sharpened a bit, thanks to Annaleigh—she has a fearlessness that’s inspiring. And Cyndi probably pushed me harder than anyone I’ve ever worked for. Even though it was tough at the beginning, I really owe her. I’m a different singer than I was before. She taught me how to “cut a vein.”center_img What was the easiest thing about the job? Having fun. With a cast, company, creative team, and material like ours, it’s impossible not to enjoy this. Even when we’re tired or worn out, the show just lifts us up. What advice would you give to future employees in your job position? We luckily have our very own Andy Kelso taking over on January 27, and he’s been an employee of “the factory” since the beginning. I’m so excited for him to sink his teeth into this role, and I can’t wait to see it for myself. He already knows this, but future Charlies will discover that the trick to the job is to win over the audience in Act I and really get them on your side, so that in Act II when you push Lola and the factory workers away, you manage to keep the audience with you. It’s an incredibly delicate maneuver. What will you miss most about the job? I’ll miss the company. The cast, the crew, the band, the creatives, the stage management, company management, everyone involved. I have been so lucky to be a part of such a wonderful, loving supportive “family,” and I’ll be popping by and visiting often. Star Files View Comments What skills do you think are required for future job applicants? Patience, focus, and balance. It takes awhile to get a handle on the responsibilities of this role, and to learn the subtle adjustments you have to make from night to night depending on the audience. Also walking in six-inch heels. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 7, 2019 Why are you leaving the job? I miss my wife. She’s been an incredible bastion of support and encouragement through this whole experience, and has made huge sacrifices in the name of my career. It’s time to hang up my heels and spend some good time hanging out with my best friend. How did you feel when you first got the job? Really excited and a little terrified.last_img read more

Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy Opens Off-Broadway

first_imgIs laughter really the best medicine? Audiences will soon find out as the first New York revival of Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy opens off-Broadway on March 25. The comedy will play through April 19 at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row. Beyond Therapy is about the search for a meaningful relationship in an insane world. Prudence and Bruce are two urbanites seeking romance with the help of their psychiatrists, each of whom suggests the patients try personal ads. Discovering that the therapists may be more disturbed than Prudence and Bruce, complications ensue. Related Shows Beyond Therapy View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on April 19, 2014 Beyond Therapy is directed by Scott Alan Evans and stars Mark Alhadeff, Cynthia Darlow, Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Liv Rooth, Karl Kenzler and Michael Schantz.last_img read more

Costa Rica Creates Antivenin For Three Nigerian Snakes

first_imgBy Dialogo April 16, 2009 Costa Rica has created an antivenin serum to combat the venom of three Nigerian serpents which bite a total of 150,000 people a year, official sources told Efe today. Yamileth Angulo, director of the state institute “Clodomiro Picado” (Instituto Clodomiro Picado), which produces these kinds of sera, told Efe that Costa Rica will send Nigeria a total of 20,000 bottles of antidote for the poison of three African snake species: echis ocellatus, bitis arietans, and naja nigricollis. Two to three of these bottles are used per patient, depending on the severity of each case, Angulo said. The researcher explained that the project is part of a World Health Organization (WHO) program to provide Africa with antidotes for snake bites, which are a problem that in that continent affects half a million people, among which 20,000 cases are fatal. In 2001, the WHO called on countries producing antivenin to offer their services at low cost to the African continent. Following this, Instituto Clodomiro Picado joined the working group Echitab, formed by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom) and the Ministry of Health in Nigeria. “Because there are no such snakes here, the Liverpool laboratory sent us a sample of their venom, with which we created the serum,” said Angulo. The researcher stressed that to test the antidote, a clinical study was developed in Nigeria “in which 400 people, one of the largest medical samples in the case of snake venoms, participated.” The study used two different antidotes, one created by the Instituto Clodomiro Picado and the other by Micropharen, an English company, and both sera passed the test successfully. “The idea is to sell inexpensive antidote to the Nigerian government so the doses can reach the largest possible number of patients,” Angulo emphasized. The doctor stated that the serum was prepared in six months, but the study took two years because, after the clinical study in Nigeria, a preclinical examination and analysis of the results were required. According to the specialist, now the antidote “is ready, so at the middle or end of the year the first samples could be exported to the African country.” At first, the antivenin will be used in Nigeria, but Angulo did not rule out that in the future it could be provided to other African countries where these snakes live. Instituto Clodomiro Picado, a branch of the University of Costa Rica, was established in 1970 to develop antivenin for snake bites, and currently exports its products to various parts of the world, including Africa, Japan, and Taiwan.last_img read more

U.S. Military Conducts Medical Mission in Nicaragua

first_imgBy Dialogo August 24, 2012 Approximately 1,600 inhabitants of Wapí and other surrounding towns, about 186 miles from the Nicaraguan capital, benefited from medical and dental care services sponsored by the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and U.S. Joint Task Force-Bravo, based out of Soto Cano, Honduras. According to the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua, the mission, which took place between August 15 and 18, consisted of 40 people, including medical, technical crews and support personnel who arrived in three U.S. Air Force helicopters. This mission is an integral part of the assistance program that the U.S. Military provides each year to Central American, South American and Caribbean countries. The medical missions in Wapí were supported by the Nicaraguan Army, municipal authorities, and personnel from the Comprehensive Health Care System, NicaSalud, the Peace Corps, and the U.S. International Development Agency. U.S. Military medical missions have assisted tens of thousands of Nicaraguans in recent years. In 2011, the humanitarian mission of the hospital ship Comfort offered medical and veterinarian services to residents of the Rivas Department. That same year, 45 members of the U.S. Air Force treated more than 10,000 patients in the Matagalpa Department.last_img read more

March 15, 2006 On the Move

first_imgMarch 15, 2006 On the Move March 15, 2006 On the Move On the Move Maureen Deskins and Carol Rooney were named partners for Butler Pappas Weihmuller Katz Craig in Tampa, and Eric Zivitz was named partner in Miami. Deskins concentrates in the area of personal injury liability defense and related litigation. Rooney concentrates in the area of large loss subrogation, including products liability, construction litigation, and other complex civil litigation. Zivitz devotes his practice to third-party liability defense, and uninsured motorist coverage issues.The law firm of Carlton Fields is pleased to announce that Gary L. Sasso is the new firm president and CEO. Thomas H. Tukdarian joined DeCubellis, Meeks & Uncapher in Orlando as a principal, and Jonathan Innes, Joseph Greco, and James Gentry have joined the firm as associates. Ray Taseff joined Chavez and de Leon in Miami. Jeffrey Flanagan and W. Chad Williard joined Zumpano, Patricios & Winker in Coral Gables as counsel. Additionally, Lori Desnick joined the firm as a senior associate and Martha Esperón joined the firm as an associate. Richard A. Greenberg joined the Tallahassee office of Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell as a partner. He focuses his practice in the areas of professional responsibility and criminal defense. Ira Bodenstein joined Shaw, Gussis, Fishman, Glantz, Wolfson & Towbin as a member practicing in the areas of business bankruptcy, bankruptcy litigation, creditors’ rights, and commercial litigation.last_img read more

Lakeview Man Charged With Shooting Another

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York An alleged gunman has been accused of shooting a man when a fight escalated at a deli in the suspect’s hometown of Lakeview last week.Nassau County police arrested 27-year-old Terence Cunningham late Sunday night and charged him with assault, criminal use of a firearm, attempted robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.Police said the alleged shooter got into a dispute with the 32-year-old victim inside Middle Store Deli & Grocery on Woodfield Road and waited for the victim outside, where Cunningham allegedly shot him with a handgun, striking the victim in the shoulder and chest at 5:46 p.m. Thursday.A witness reportedly told police that they say the suspect try to rob the victim before the suspect fled northbound on Woodfield Road.The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries.Cunningham will be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Hempstead.last_img read more

Generation “us”

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr This year, let’s celebrate where we’re alike as well as where we’re different.  by: Aaron PughPuzzled by Gen Y? I think I finally understand the sentiment. See there’s this new crowd on deck — Generation Z — that’s about to enter the world and the workforce in some very meaningful ways over the next few years.According to some, this generation will build on many of the strengths my generation often claims to posses, but will also be absent many of our naivetés and shortcomings. After all, these individuals have lived almost all of their lives in a period of recession, war, and other struggles, compared to Gen Y’s relatively prosperous upbringing in the 80’s and 90’s. Personally, I believe that hard times typically build the hardiest people, which bodes well for Gen Z’s ultimate potential.As Gen Y begins having kids of their own, there’s also the lingering question mark of the impending Generation Alpha, a group whose story has only just started to be written. Those VHS movies I loved watching while growing up? Well, they might as well be phonographs or cave drawings to these kids. Even DVDs will be an entirely foreign concept for a generation raised on streaming media and other modern technology advances.In the business world, such demographic shakeups are both exciting and confusing, necessitating frequent analysis and interpretation in order to stay ahead of market demands.In support of those efforts, I’ve selected several of my favorite articles on attracting, serving, and even employing Gen Y individuals.8. 3 Ways To Put Millennials Behind The WheelThis group will soon exceed Gen X in auto-buying activity. But for credit unions, getting a piece of that action will require using alternative indicators of character outside of credit score, as well as offering additional benefits such as rate discounts and built-in educational resources. continue reading »last_img read more

The Executive Pay Cap That Backfired

first_imgAllan Sloan is an editor-at-large reporting about business and finance for ProPublica. Read his recent story on pension bonds, “When Wall Street Offers Free Money, Watch Out.“Researcher Derek Kravitz contributed to this report. ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York center_img By Allan Sloan, ProPublicaThis story was co-published with the Washington Post.Wealth, jobs and pay inequality are big political issues this presidential primary season, and they’re bound to become bigger once the parties pick their nominees. In the plethora of plans candidates tout for tackling these problems, one favored tool stands out: the federal tax code.But trying to legislate corporate behavior and economic fairness — however you define fairness — through the tax system is a lot trickier than it sounds.Consider the supposed solution to an equality and social-justice issue debated six elections ago — a law designed to limit how much companies could deduct from their taxable income for lush pay packages to high-paid executives.In 1992, as now, key electoral issues included inequality and the spectacle of American jobs moving overseas — underscored by a gaping disparity between executives making multiple millions and ordinary workers with stagnant wages.The idea was to give companies a tax incentive to rein in executive pay or just shame them into it. But a new study done for ProPublica and The Washington Post by S&P Global Market Intelligence shows that the law has had little effect. In fact, the titans of American industry and commerce shrugged off the statute and moved to pay top executives way more than the deductibility limit.Bill Clinton, the not-yet-a-household-name Arkansas governor, proposed limiting deductions for what he called “excessive executive pay” during his first presidential campaign in the early 1990s. The concept had kicked around Washington for several years and was one of the planks that helped him win the Democratic nomination and deny George H.W. Bush a second term. In 1992, Bush had vetoed a budget bill containing a provision to limit how much companies could deduct for high-paid people.Clinton’s victory and a Democratic Congress resulted in a tax law change that limited companies’ deductions for executives’ compensation to $1 million per executive per year. That’s the amount that Clinton proposed for chief executives in “Putting People First,” a campaign book that he co-authored with Al Gore.The compensation deduction limit, known to tax techies as Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code, was adopted in a 1993 bill that also increased taxes on higher-income Social Security recipients and reduced deductions for business meals.The legislation, however, was stuffed with loopholes. It covered only companies with publicly traded stock; it applied to only five (and since 2007, four) “named executive officers” who aren’t necessarily the highest-paid; and it exempted “performance-based” compensation, including stock options, and huge bonuses based on easily attained goals, allowing unlimited deductions for them.Section 162(m) fulfilled a campaign promise. But, in hindsight, it’s clear that it has had little or no influence on corporate behavior. Says Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), a leading congressional tax maven: “Regardless of how you feel about limiting compensation through the tax code, the current law is like a gnat on an elephant in accomplishing its goal. It’s easy to swataway, and that’s exactly what many companies do.”We decided to see whether that was accurate.Our study looked at the history of executive compensation for the 40 members of today’s “Nifty Fifty” — the 50 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index with the highest stock market value — that also reported executive compensation information for 1992, the year before the pay-deductibility limits took effect.To compare apples to apples, we eliminated the 10 members of the Nifty Fifty, including Facebook and Alphabet (Google’s parent company), that weren’t publicly traded back then or didn’t exist.In 1992, only 35 percent of the people in our study — executives whose income was reported in companies’ proxy statements — had more than $1 million of income in the categories subject to deductibility limits. (Those are salaries, bonuses and restricted stock that vests over time.) But in 2014, the last year for which corporate salary income is available, the number had risen to 95 percent.(Read our complete methodology.)Given inflation, it’s no surprise that more top execs would breach the $1 million cap. But the numbers also showed something completely unintuitive.From 1992 to 2014, compensation per executive in the limited-deductibility categories rose more rapidly — by about 650 percent, to $8.2 million from $1.1 million — than compensation in categories such as stock options and incentive pay that aren’t subject to deductibility limits. The latter rose by about 350 percent, to $4.4 million from $970,000.“That’s powerful,” Steven Balsam, a leading academic expert on executive compensation practices, said when told what our study showed. Balsam is a professor at Temple University’s Fox School of Business who published a 2012 study on the deduction cap for the Economic Policy Institute. “At best, 162(m) has had a marginal effect,” he said. “It hasn’t had a major impact.”Some of the companies with the most notable increases in compensation subject to the limit include Allergan (to $77.4 million from $378,000), Cisco (to $75.2 million from $1.1 million), Oracle (to $119.4 million from $4.9 million) and Walmart (to $55.4 million from $2.9 million).What happened? It turns out that losing deductibility isn’t all that big a deal to companies — we estimated the effect of lost deductibility on corporate profits at only about 0.2 percent in 2010 for the companies in Balsam’s study. And there’s no reason to think those numbers have changed much.(The 0.2 percent figure is based on Balsam’s estimate that the 7,248 companies in his study paid an extra $2.5 billion of federal tax because of lost deductibility in 2010, and on S&P Global Market Intelligence’s calculation that the 7,722 firms in its slightly larger database had $1.153 trillion in after-tax profits that year.)“Decisions on the pay mix are not guided by the deductibility factor,” said Steven Seelig, executive compensation counsel for Willis Towers Watson, a big consulting firm. “Compensation committees are certainly mindful of the tax rules and meet the deductibility rules when they can. But the decision on the pay mix that’s appropriate is guided by their companies’ unique circumstances.”One of the reasons that the deductibility limit has been so ineffectual is that it was watered down from what was originally proposed.According to coverage by Tax Notes, which tracked the progress of 162(m) in great detail, the intellectual godfather of the legislation was then-Rep. Martin Sabo, a Minnesota Democrat.Sabo, who represented Minneapolis and some of its suburbs, said in an interview that his goal had been to reduce economic inequality. “My proposal was trying to send a message,” he said. “This was a sort of symbolic thing because I felt that those at the top should care about the bottom.” He had pushed for deductibility limits in the 1992 tax bill that Bush vetoed.But what became Section 162(m) a year later wasn’t Sabo’s original concept. “What I proposed was that you couldn’t take a tax deduction if the compensation exceeded 25 times the compensation of the lowest-paid employees,” he said.That idea began life as the Income Disparities Act of 1991. Because it applied to all employees, not just top officers, the legislation would have had a sweeping impact across corporate America. How did it morph into something that affected only a few executives at publicly traded companies?“I don’t know,” Sabo said.A hint of what happened comes from former congressman Tom Downey. The New York Democrat was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and was involved with Sabo’s 1991 legislation, but he left Congress before 162(m) became law.“There are all sorts of things I did to try to get rich people to pay more in taxes, and none of it worked,” Downey said. All sorts of people were upset by Sabo’s proposal, Downey said, and major attacks “came from my friends in Hollywood.”It’s doubtful that anything resembling Sabo’s proposal would have been adopted. What Clinton proposed in “Putting People First” — a $1 million cap — was a simpler and easier sell.“This is an example of a law that’s so watered down it’s meaningless. It’s still on the books, but it has no value,” said Graef “Bud” Crystal, a compensation consultant and critic of excessive executive pay. “It should be put out of its misery.”Crystal had a 1991 phone conversation with Clinton about limiting deductions for executive compensation that was widely publicized at the time. Crystal said he told Clinton that the proposal not only wouldn’t hold down executive pay, but would hurt shareholders by increasing the after-tax cost of CEO pay packages.Crystal said that when people told Clinton that the legislation was so diminished it would have no effect, “he said, ‘Bud Crystal made me do it.’” Actually, Crystal said, “I told him just the opposite.”What does Clinton think of how ineffectual his legislation has been? That’s a mystery. The former president was campaigning in New Hampshire for his wife, and his spokesman declined to respond to a list of detailed questions.On the campaign trail these days, Republicans say that eliminating the corporate income tax (Sen. Ted Cruz) or cutting it sharply (Donald Trump) will set off a hiring boom. Democrats say that jacking up tax rates (Sen. Bernie Sanders) or changing capital gains rules (Hillary Clinton) will reduce the advantages that rich people enjoy over the rest of the populace.It’s impossible to know whether any of these ideas will become law. But based on history, it’s a safe bet that if they do, they are not likely to produce the results their proponents predict.last_img read more

QLD Budget ‘a dangerous game’ warns property industry

first_imgREIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoThe Property Council warned that “unfortunately the Queensland government has succumbed to yet another potentially economically damaging additional tax on foreign investors”.“The introduction of a land tax surcharge on foreign property owners comes 12 months after the State government introduced an additional stamp duty surcharge on foreign property investors,” warned Property Council executive director Chris Mountford. “Both represent a broken election promise to not introduce new taxes, fees or charges.”He warned that the Queensland Government was putting housing supply, jobs and taxes at risk.“The Queensland government is playing a dangerous game by upping taxes on foreign investors.“If we keep pushing up the costs of investing here, ultimately another part of the globe will become a more attractive place to invest, and the money and associated jobs will be redirected.“We are not just competing with the southern states, we are competing with the rest of the world.” Property Council executive director Chris Mountford. Picture: Mark CallejaReal Estate Institute of Queensland chief executive Antonia Mercorella was disappointed that yet again the Palaszczuk Government failed to tailor the FHB grant towards existing housing in hard hit regional centres where there were already oversupply issues.“This (FHB) measure has been successful in the southeast corner, with the added benefit of additional supply moderating price growth where demand is strong. However, additional supply in regional Queensland is going to further slow these markets and make any price recovery much longer to come into effect.” Master builders deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell. Picture: Josh WoningMaster Builders deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell questioned why the Government continued budget for certain spending programs but failed to spend those allocated funds.He said the government had underspent its allocations by $1.7 billion annually for the past six years.“The government needs to ensure it spends all of the money it’s allocated, as well as show that it is prepared to pursue new opportunities to unlock investment,” Mr Bidwell said.center_img The Queensland government has been accused of having a blinkered view on housing to the detriment of the regions.THE Palaszczuk Government has been warned it is playing “a dangerous game” with the property market in its 2017-18 pre-election Budget.While the property industry welcomed the extension of the $20,000 First Home Buyers grant to the end of December, there is growing concern of a blinkered approach towards investors and regions that could backfire on Queensland.There was disappointment over the government’s failure to consider the regions in its FHB grant, instead continuing to support the South East corridor and ignore realities everywhere else in the state.last_img read more

Luxury unit once owned by Queensland richlister Clive Berghofer has sold for $1.65m

first_imgThis unit at 4704/71 Eagle Street, Brisbane, has sold for $1.65m. Picture: Drew Davies of McGrath Estate Agents New Farm marketed the property as “possibly the best two-bedroom apartment Brisbane CBD has to offer”.Mr Davies said the apartment had been completely remodelled and sold in 40 days. This unit at 4704/71 Eagle Street, Brisbane, has sold for $1.65m. Picture: Berghofer paid $1.215 million for the unit five years ago.He currently owns the neighbouring three-bedroom apartment in the building, which he bought for $2.1 million in 2013. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoThis unit at 4704/71 Eagle Street, Brisbane, has sold for $1.65m. Picture: local buyer, who spends a lot of time overseas, will use it as a “lock and leave” for when he returns to Brisbane. The sale of the 212 sqm unit at 4704/71 Eagle Street has fallen short of its original listing price of $1.75 million.center_img A Brisbane unit formerly owned by Queensland richlister Clive Berghofer has sold. Picture: Lyndon MechielsenA LUXURY Brisbane apartment once owned by Queensland richlister Clive Berghofer has sold for $1.65 million.The two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in the Harry Seidler-designed Riparian Plaza in the CBD has been snapped up by a local buyer who pipped two offers from Sydney-based buyers.last_img read more