Monday, February 20, 2006


Well, at last here’s the photographic proof – Zicree on the grassy knoll in Dallas.

Of course, the fact that I was eight years old when JFK was assassinated might be viewed by some as an acceptable alibi, but there’s always that nagging doubt…

Actually, this photo was taken last Friday, when Elaine and I were in Dallas to teach a weekend seminar of actors, directors, writers and producers on how to have a successful career in the Industry. The weekend went wonderfully well, especially as the talented Lamkin family – actress mom Kathy¸ editor/casting director daughter Katie and NASA engineer dad Steve -- were helping us lead the class. Kathy showed her DVD of her heartbreaking and wonderful performance as Mama Boone on the season opener of NIP/TUCK -- which should win an Emmy if any performance deserves to.

On our day off, we visited the Sixth Floor Musuem, which is devoted to the Kennedy Presidency and assassination -- in fact, the Museum is housed in the Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald actually shot JFK from a sixth floor window. It's eerie and remarkable to actually look out that very window!

In the photo on top, you can see me in front of the infamous Grassy Knoll; to the left behind me is where the second assassin allegedy fired from. Below is the photo of me in front of the Depository itself. The sixth floor on the right hand side is where Oswald positioned himself... and the car on the street is literally where JFK was first shot. Tremendously moving and sad to actually be there.

A once-in-a-lifetime weekend, and experience.

Friday, February 10, 2006


My father, Stuart Gordon Zicree, turned 75 the other day, which is quite an achievement for anyone! We celebrated in high style along with his wife Sherri at a splendid Indian restaurant. Great fun.

But most all, we were celebrating a miracle, for two years earlier at Christmas my father survived a series of strokes, a near fatal heart condition and stomach cancer -- all at the same time!

Remarkably, he's fine now, with all his faculties intact. To meet him, you would never dream he had been through all this. But because didn't expect to survive, he came out the other end of that experience totally at loose ends, not knowing what to do with the rest of his life, or why he was here, really.

So the two of us embarked on a journey of exploration to answer that question. On my side, I began asking questions of my older friends who were living full, joyous and creative lives, among them 85-year-old RAY BRADBURY and 95-year-old NORMAN CORWIN (who wrote the movie LUST FOR LIFE and still teaches at USC).

Along the way, I wrote some ideas, guidelines and suggestions for my Dad. I also find them very valuable for myself, because whether we're 25, 50 or 75, we all need to remain curious, connnected and committed to this incredible world we've been given, this miracle of the life we all lead.

What I wrote for my dad follows. Enjoy.



I will do something new today...
because I love my wife.
because I love my kids.
because I love my life.
because I'm learning to love myself.

I will talk less and listen more.

My answers will come by acting, not thinking.
By doing, not talking.
Through my heart, not my head.

I will embrace willingness.
I will meditate.
I will volunteer.
I will speak from love, be positive.
I will repay with gratitude and action.
I will be of service.
I will write thank you notes to my kids.
I will send a bouquet to my wife.
I will take guidance from others.
I will be open to what the universe offers.
I will do what scares me.
If I say something is "not me," I will recognize that's a good thing and then do it.
I will remember that life rewards the brave.

I will list what I loved...
at 10.
at 20.
at 30.
at 40.
at 50.
at 60.
at 70.
at 80.
(... and the things at eighty should be new and adventurous!)

Remember the power of yes -- saying yes to life, to love, to the universe.

I will give off a loving warmth and draw others to me.
I will keep negative thoughts to myself.
Complaining does nothing but drive people away.
Saying, "I don't know," is not the end of the conversation, but rather the beginning of how you find out.
I will grow.
I will learn.
I will risk being brave.
I will use this miracle well.
I will do things I have never done.

Remember to ask yourself, "Is that an explanation or an excuse?"

I will take contrary action.
I will jump before I'm ready and in the jumping be ready.
If my kids invite me to do something, I will do it without question at least once.

And here's my pact with you if you do the above: for everything you do that scares the shit out of you, I'll do one thing that equally scares me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Another first in my storied career.

About a month ago, my very distinctive-looking friend Natasha was at a non-Industry get-together and announced that she was looking for someone with a possible line toward getting hold of a "STAR TREK-type" uniform. She had an audition for a commercial the next day for the role of a Trekkie and wanted to come in character.

She didn't really expect anyone to be able to help her on such short notice -- little did she know. It turns out I have a genuine STAR TREK - THE NEXT GENERATION crew uniform, from when I wrote for the show. In fact, I'd worn the costume this past Halloween!

Natasha came over to the Zicree manse to check out the jumpsuit. Fortunately, she's five ten, the same height as me, so it fit her perfectly. She went in uniform to the audition, went again in it to the callback and landed the role -- beating out 500 other actors! (None of whom had come in uniform...)

Natasha was elated -- she'd always adored STAR TREK and longed to be a Vulcan... and the pain-killer commercial was starring LEONARD NIMOY!

But when they showed her the costume they'd made for her to wear during the shoot, it turned out to be baggy and ill-fitting. Natasha asked if she could wear my uniform for the shoot. But, of course...

She also wondered if I knew anyone who could put her in Vulcan ears. I connected her up with my friend, the brilliant makeup artist JAMES LACEY. Because of their conflicting schedules, James had to put her in the ears the night before he six A.M. call time -- so Natasha ended up sleeping in the ears.

But it all paid off. Because of how amazing and authentic she looked, they put her right up front -- and gave her the major closeup and also the best reaction shot of the entire commercial. She's the star of the thing, right up there with Nimoy.

And best of all, it ended up as a commercial during the Superbowl, so the entire country saw it in one fell swoop. It doesn't get better than that.

So now Natasha and I are both permanent part of the STAR TREK legend.

Just goes to show the benefit of going that extra mile -- and telling people EXACTLY what you need.

If you want to see this charming and funny commercial, log onto

And as for spotting Natasha, don't worry, you can't miss her. She's the one with the ears.


Friday, February 03, 2006


Just spoke to my wonderful, brilliant, eternally-young friend RAY BRADBURY today and will be seeing him next week.

Ray has been a great friend in recent times and has been mentoring me on my new book, LOVE, GLORIA, a memoir about my mother that will be completed by May.

One of the proudest moments in my life was when Ray recently asked me to write an introductory piece to the forthcoming limited-edition COMPLETE MARTIAN CHRONICLES. Ray was moved to tears when he read the piece -- what could be better than that?!(I'll post the intro here sometime soon.)

I first became close with Ray after my father suffered a series of life-threatening events two years back -- heart, strokes, stomach cancer -- all in a matter of two months. My father survived amazingly well, but afterwards was looking to find meaning in his life. I sought out Ray to learn from him the secrets of his amazing creativity, vitality and joyfulness. I thought at first I was doing this just for my Dad, but soon realized these were vital lessons for me, too (and anyone, for that matter).

What follows is some of what Ray taught me. The lessons continue... and what a great gift that is.



·Get up and work, five days a week.

·If you need help getting your work done, reach out to those who love you. They want to help.

·Take time off on the weekend. Be with those you love.

·Live from love, work from love, and do everything else from love.

·Find joy in every day, every hour, every moment.

·Save everything that matters to you, and keep it within reach.

·Get out into the world, no matter how difficult.

·Laugh at what limits you. It pits your life force against the darkness. (This doesn’t mean you can’t be pissed off at it, too.)

·At the same time, always keep fighting to be and do your best.

·Never sell out, and don’t suffer those who have.

·Do everything with gusto.

·Take naps.

·Help your friends, and view everyone with compassion.

·Stand up for yourself. Modesty is not a strength.

·Answer your own phone.

·Mourn for those who are gone and don’t forget them, but don’t bury yourself with them.

·Cry easily. It’s not a weakness.

·Never grow up. At least, not in the areas where it counts.

·Stay curious about everything.