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Articles by: Darrell Fusaro

  • Op-Eds

    It's Not What They Think About You




    It's not what you think of me that makes me upset, it's what I think you think of me that makes me upset.  Jumping to conclusions as a result of mind reading is a dangerous mode of operation, and this
    usually happens before I'm about to speak to a large group or teach a class.  "OMG.  Why did I agree to do this?" 


    Whenever I catch myself beginning to worry about what other people will think of me I try to remind myself that it's all in my head.  I'm the one making up the judgmental thoughts I believe they'll be thinking about me.  Thank goodness I've found a solution that snaps me out of this, and not just for whenever I'm about to speak or teach.  This works whenever I catch myself mind reading and jumping to negative conclusions: I begin to shift the focus from the negative things I'm imagining they'll think of me to thinking loving thoughts of my own towards them.


    I get my mind out of a 'getting' mind set and into a 'giving' mind set.  When I worry about how people perceive me, or whether or not they'll approve of me, I feel cut off and at a disadvantage, but when I think thoughts of giving love, appreciation and adding value to their lives, I feel connected, confident, and optimistic. 


    It's simple but it's not always easy to shift gears from worrying about how people will judge me to blessing them.  This is when affirmations are helpful.  Affirmations make us feel better because they're statements of truth.  I've included some here that I use.  When choosing affirmations it's best to pick the one that naturally feels like it clicks for you.  I like to go with the one that gives me an optimistic boost upon first read.  Don't bother with affirmations that you 'think' you 'should' be saying.  It defeats the purpose.  The affirmation that transforms is the one that feels great just saying it. 

    Here are some affirmations I've found to be effective.

    My soul is filled with divine Love. I am surrounded by divine Love. I radiate Love and Peace to the whole world. God is Love, and all men are expressions of divine Love. The Love of God burns in me for all humanity. I am a lamp of God, radiating divine Love to all whom I meet, to all whom I think of.  

    –From Around The Year With Emmett Fox  


    The following are from Your Word is Your Wand by Florence Scovel Shinn  


    Divine Love, through me, now dissolves all seeming obstacles and makes clear, easy and successful my way.
     

    I love everyone and everyone loves me. My apparent enemy becomes my friend, a golden link in the chain of my good.  

    I am at peace with myself and with the whole world. I love everyone and everyone loves me. The floodgates of my good now open.  


    This one is from The Science of Mind, by Ernest Holmes

    The Power Within Blesses All  

    The Power within me is blessing all mankind, and is forever healing all with whom I come in contact. The Power within me is God, and it must bless and help and heal all who come near it. Silently the work goes on, and silently all are being helped by this Inner Power which is operating through me. I will give thanks that my Power within is silently blessing and helping everyone to whom my thought reaches.  The life within me blesses all mankind.



    –Darrell Fusaro

  • Events: Reports

    Get Away and Discover Your Best

  • Life & People

    Learn how to make pizza with Two-Time World Pizza Champion Fabio Ferrari!


    Hope you've enjoyed watching how to make pizza with Two-Time World Pizza Champion Fabio Ferrari and Piccolo Chef co-founder Tina Fanelli Moraccini as much as I have.  Piccolo Chef Founders Tina Fanelli Moraccini and Lilian Palmieri have a vision to make healthy cooking attainable and fun to children of all ages and walks of life.

     

    They opened Piccolo Chef to teach children and their parents the art of healthy cooking and reconnecting with one another through all phases of the cooking process from the garden to the table. They deliver all of this with compelling recipes, highly nutritional ingredients, a kitchen with real tools and a nurturing team-based approach which respects the intelligence and abilities of children in different age groups.

     

    The expanded Piccolo Chef team includes celebrity chef Celestino Drago and many incredibly talented chef instructors. Together, they offer classes, workshops, summer camps, private parties and more for children ages 3 to 17. Topics covered include all phases of the cooking process from garden to table, including etiquette classes to polish the experience.

     

    Prior to opening Piccolo Chef in 2008, Tina and Lilian worked as a team for 12 years at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Los Angeles (Cultural Center of the Italian Consulate General) where they organized countless cultural events which underscored authentic Italian culture.

     

    Both Tina and Lilian reside in the Los Angeles area where they happily cook wonderful meals together with their families (almost) every day of the year.

     

    For this recipe and more, please visit http://piccolochef.com/


    Host: Tina Fanelli Moraccini

    Executive Producer: Stacy Jolna

    Director: Michael Abbott

    Writer: Stacy Jolna

    Special Guest Chef: Fabio Ferrari, Two-Time World Pizza Champion

    Piccolo Chefs: Annabella Fanelli, Ethan Jolna

    Food Stylist: Susan Heldman

    On-Set Chef: Pace Webb

    Music: Monitor-Pop

    Production: United Front Films

    Editor/Post: Biscardi Creative Media

    Piccolo Chef Co-Founders: Lilian Palmieri, Tina Fanelli Moraccini


    SPECIAL THANKS

    Steve Wiener & Jim Hardy, Illuminate Hollywood

    Chef Celestino Drago, Drago Centro Restaurant, Los Angeles

    Fabio Micucci, Micucci Collection

    Kate Seton, Oliver Dashiell by Kate Seton Jewelry Collection

  • Life & People

    The Unintentional Healing Power of Facebook



    “When people say or post ‘sending prayers.’  Do you really think they are praying?”

    That’s a question a listener of the radio program I co-host, “Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed”, asked in a Facebook message.  My answer was, and is, “Yes!”  Since prayer is to think loving or affirmative thoughts regarding a person or situation, Facebook has given us the opportunity to utilize the power of prayer more efficiently.  These are exciting times.


    Several weeks ago our 17-year-old dog, Sunny, had a major stroke.  She passed out and when she regained consciousness she remained still, had no use of limbs; they were limp.  She would not and could not eat.  After calling our veterinarian it was clear nothing medically could be done for her.  We were dreading the thought this might be it.  But before giving too much thought to putting her to sleep, I posted Sunny’s condition with a photo of her on Facebook and asked for positive thoughts and prayers.  What happened?  100's of likes and "sending prayers" comments rapidly began to accumulate.  Soon after she began to show signs of improvement and 48 hrs later she was miraculously back on her feet and eating as if nothing ever happened. 

    The thing is the 'like' or comment IS the prayer.  To believe that prayer only counts as prayer when you are repeating rote verses in a church or begging God for help is B.S.  Jesus himself even said that was nonsense.  The positive thought you have after reading a friend’s post is a powerful prayer in itself.  It floats off into the ethers loaded with love and instantaneously begins to remedy the situation.

    So yes, when someone says they'll pray, they already have.

    In addition to Sunny’s experience, two of my childhood friends were diagnosed with cancer and shared their condition on Facebook, receiving many ‘likes’ and “sending prayers” comments from friends during the course of their treatment, both have made miraculous recoveries. 

    “Love is the most powerful chemical in the universe,

    and dissolves everything which is not of itself!”

    –Florence Scovel Shinn


    "Thank you for all your prayers, I feel better than ever!" –Sunny

  • Life & People

    Born This Way


    Paul Vitagliano is DJ Paul V, a renowned club and radio DJ in greater Los Angeles, who created the blog  in January 2011 as a simple and sincere way to celebrate the awkwardness and acceptance of growing up gay.  His modest blog became wildly popular among people from the LGBTQ community and today has achieved more than 4.3 million views since its debut.  In addition, it has been featured on NPR, Salon, CNN, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, and ABC News.  Paul's blog doesn't just limit itself to growing up, there are stories of childhood, a shared history of the gay community, and lots of photos.  The photos are priceless.  Not only are these photos worth a thousand words they inspire just as many smiles. 


     

     

    Recently, Paul Vitagliano has added another talent to his repertoire: author.  Inspired by the blog, his new book, Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay, is a collection of adorable childhood photographs accompanied by sweet, funny, and at times heartbreaking personal stories of those who grew up LGBTQ, (the acronym for lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, queer). Feeling different is, for many LGBTQ people, a central part of the experience of growing up.  Born This Way features 100 photographs submitted by participants from around the world, dating from the 1940’s to today, and paired with personal narratives about the images and about each contributor’s unique perspective on growing up LGBTQ. Their warm, inclusive stories give people the courage to say, “Yes, I’m gay. And I was born this way. I’ve known it since I was very young, and this is my story.”

     

    Among the diverse entries are contributions from Rep. Barney Frank; columnist Michael Musto; Erasure’s Andy Bell; celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, actor/drag performers Miss Coco Peru Jackie Beat, Sutan Amrul (Raja, winner of the reality TV series, Ru Paul’s Drag Race); Grammy-nominated singer Sia Furler; acclaimed photographer Mike Ruiz, and award-winner composer Marc Shaiman.


    *Author and DJ, Paul Vitagliano will be at the West Hollywood Book Fair, Sunday, October 29th. He will be available in the LGBT Lounge at 3:30pm as part of a panel discussion on LGBT memoir writing.


    Click on the following links to follow, for more information and to purchase your copy of the book today:

     

    Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay


    Writer Darrell Fusaro and his wife, Lori, have known DJ Paul V since 1997 when he sent them a fan letter regarding their then public access TV show, "Psycho Dance Party".  They reciprocated by inviting him on the show to join the party and they've remained friends to this day.

  • Op-Eds

    Answers for Art Students



    After having an incredible time giving my presentation of "Where Do Great Ideas Come From?" to students at West Los Angeles College, Culver City, CA, I received the following inquiry from one of the attendees.


    Hi Darrell, hope your day is going good. I have an assignment for another class where I have to interview someone in a field of work similar to my career goals, and I was wondering if you could answer a few of these questions for me so I can write my paper. If you're too busy I understand, just let me know so I can find someone else. Would need the answers before Monday night. Look forward to hearing back from you, thanks!


    How did you get into this field?

    What is your day like?

    What are the pros and cons of working in this industry right now?

    What is your stress level at your job?

    What do you suggest I do right now to get on the right track to enter your industry?


    Thanks A lot,

    Amber


    In order to keep my response honest, personal and to the point, I jotted my answers down quickly on a paper plate while enjoying a slice of pizza with my friend, Ed.  Ed is my very close friend and co-hosts Funniest Thing with Darrell and Ed with me on Unity Online Radio.  So he's adept at keeping me honest and to the point.  Following are my answers to Amber's questions.

     
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    How did you get in this field?


    I’ve always been in this field.  It's what I love and constantly feel compelled to do.  Ever since I was very young I've enjoyed making things to share with others that would surprise them and make them happy.  Your question made me think back as far as my memory can reach for a defining moment, and it came to me.  When I was about 4 years old I had a Batman Colorforms set.  The characters, Batman, Joker, Robin, Riddler, etc... came in solid colors red, blue, green, yellow with black ink printed on them, being creative, this bothered me.  Being solid colors seemed so unrealistic and cheap.  So in an effort to improve them I cut the legs off the solid red Batman to use with the blue costumed body of the blue Batman.  My plan was to cut all the characters up carefully so I could put them together in multiple colors and unlimited positions.  Well, my parents caught me and thought I was destroying my new toy.  I tried to explain, but my dad didn't get it and I got punished.  Although I was distraught over being so misunderstood today I can see it as definitive proof that I was born a creative.  Much like how you've described yourself.

    What is your day like?


    I start by feeding my dogs, making myself a cup of coffee and then sitting alone to read the daily messages out of a few inspirational books I enjoy.  This is like a creative reset button for me.  By taking this time, these 7 to 30 minutes to be kind to myself, I have a much better chance at picking up on the creative hunches that pop up as the day goes on.  From this point my day alternates between doing the next right thing, i.e. make bed, take shower, walk dogs, and acting on a creative hunches  that pop into my head regardless of how crazy they may seem.  I try my best to EAT WHEN HUNGRY.  This even means when I'm on a roll!  Especially, when I'm on a roll.  Because when I don't eat when I’m hungry, I begin to second guess intuitive leads and start over-thinking my work.  Soon I am making mistakes and frustrated.  So EAT WHEN HUNGRY.  Also don’t disregard the everyday daily chores that can be consider a nuisance.  These ordinary activities create a forced break and I always appreciate how they open my mind to even GREATER ideas than I had at the drawing board.  Learn to appreciate the interruptions, they give birth to some of the most fantastic creations.

    What are the pros and cons of working in this industry right now?


    Being able to create things that make other people happy is a gift that has made every area of my life fun, exciting, and prosperous.  Even jobs that may seem as a mere bread and butter job at first are transformed to big breaks for creative artists.  Like the example I gave in class about my time on the Coast Guard ship in the Bering Sea leading to my becoming the ship’s artist/cartoonist and the New York City doorman job that transformed into my becoming a Special Effects Stunt Supervisor on the major motion picture Con Air.  The only drawback about being a creative person is tendency to be sensitive to the judgment of non-creatives that can sway me from trusting my creative intuition.  There is also the problem of the fear that I should follow the herd, the status quo, and play it safe.  If there is one thing I am sure of, it's that playing it safe is dangerous.  It only leads to frustration, doubt, insecurity, depression and regret.  Surround yourself with other creative artists you will need each others confidence and reassurance to stay the course.

    What is your stress level at your job?


    I am 100% responsible for my stress level.  If it’s high it’s due to; 1) not trusting that intuition will provide the perfect idea at the right time, 2) my inability to accept an intuitive idea as being the perfect idea for the project, because it came to easy and 3) creating pressure by constantly reminding myself that I have only a limited amount of time to get the job done.  All these thoughts are bullshit.  The only way to reduce my stress is by realizing that these thoughts are nothing more than irrational fear.  And this irrational fear always comes disguised as insecurity about my ability.  From this recognition I can begin to develop confidence, which means 'moving forward with faith.'  One way I do this is by reminding myself of the fact that all creative artists suffer from these erroneous thoughts.  The truth is that our competence always exceeds our confidence.  This lifts me to the point where I can begin to take the next small step (right action), even if it’s just clearing my desk to begin, or something totally unrelated that needs to be done, like the dishes.  Soon my stress level decreases and as my enthusiasm grows, great ideas begin to flow.


    What do you suggest I do right now to get on the right track to enter your industry?



    Don’t believe it has to be difficult.  It doesn’t have to be.  Try not to fall for any, ‘get there quick scheme’ because most of those ‘Make It There Fast in the Art World’ books are B.S.  The quickest way to enjoy a prosperous life doing what you love to do is by simply continuing to do what you love to do.  Keep doing what you are inspired to do when you are inspired to do.  Any and every job, (this includes lousy jobs that appear to have nothing to do with your goal), will always lead to something incredible if you continue to create and share your talent.  Doing this is powerful.  You will soon discover that the good you seek has been seeking you.

     
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  • Life & People

    Darn side effects

  • Life & People

    Blessed Are the Nobodies



    Whenever I visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angeles I head straight downstairs to the mausoleum to take a peek at my friend’s crypt.  He’s still very much alive but has his place already for when his time is up.  His name is Mike Dugan and I never get tired of reading the inscription below his name, “Mike tried!”  I find his healthy attitude and sense of humor toward death very comforting.  On a recent visit I felt the urge to check out an area I’ve never been before.  I felt drawn to what appeared to be an area of dead space just beyond the mausoleum’s chapel.  There is no visible indication that anything is to be found beyond the end of this corridor, until you get there.

     

    In this out of the way alcove is a plain marble tomb with “Saint Vibiana” inscribed on it.  There is nothing explaining who this Saint is, and why he, or she, was placed here, just the tomb and two individual kneelers.  Intrigued, I pulled out my smart phone and did an internet search.  Here’s an excerpt of what I found from the Cathedrals of California website;

    "We know next to nothing about Saint Vibiana.  Yet for nearly 120 years her name was attached to the Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles, and today her tomb is in the crypt of the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angel.


    Who was she?  She is an enigma.  She is nobody and everybody.  Her feast is celebrated only by us here in Los Angeles.  Because we don’t know the details of her life, in one way it is difficult to ascribe to her particular virtues we can imitate.  Yet in another way this makes it easier for us to identify with her.

     

    She stands for all of us, the insignificant ones who will never be written about in history books.  Our lives may not be widely known, but they are known to God, who has called us each by name from before the beginning of time.

     

    When we stand before the Tomb of Saint Vibiana, let us imagine our parents, our grandparents and great-grandparents.  In many ways, they are like Vibiana, unknown to the world but beloved by God.  To a world obsessed with celebrity, they are nobodies; but in the eyes of God, they are precious beyond all imagining.”

     

    It makes perfect sense that the Patron Saint of Nobodies has been enshrined in the city that thrives on celebrity.  Whether or not you’re Catholic, or even a Christian, Saint Vibiana is a symbolic reminder that we are all necessary, important, and worthwhile, forever encouraging us to relinquish of our foolish desire to ruthlessly compare ourselves to others.




    There are no signs leading to the Patron Saint of Nobodies. 

    St Vibiana is a hidden treasure, located in a small alcove at the end of a nondescript corridor

    in the basement mausoleum of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels, Los Angeles, CA.



    Born and died in the 3rd century the remains of Vibiana were rediscovered on

    December 9, 1853 in ancient catacombs near the Appian Way

    A marble tablet adorned her tomb upon which was inscribed

    "to the soul of the innocent and pure Vibiana", above a laurel wreath.

    A wreath was a symbol of martydom among ancient Christians.



    There is no visible indication or directions to St. Vibiana. 

    At the bottom of the stairs to the mausoleum

    follow the corridor to the very end and look to the right.

  • Life & People

    Merry Christmas Day!

  • Life & People

    George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life" is Based on an Italian-American


    I never get tired of this fascinating Italian-American Horatio Alger story.  My interest began several years ago when I discovered that Bank of America was originally the Bank of Italy, started by a young man named Amedeo Giannini, the son of Italian immigrants.  In my curiosity to discover more about this fact I soon learned of one of the most fascinating and generous men I've never heard of.  While gathering all these bits and pieces of information I had no idea that I would discover the man who would turn out to be the inspiration for the character of George Bailey in Frank Capra's classic holiday film, It’s a Wonderful Life.


    Amedeo Giannini started the Bank of Italy in a converted saloon in San Francisco at 9 am on Monday, October 17, 1904. On the first day, 28 deposits totalled $8,780.  The equivilant of $37,486 today.  When an earthquake struck in 1907, he ran his bank from a plank in the street.  Ironically, the word “bank” is from the Italian word “banca”, meaning a bench or counter.  The news quickly spread about his commitment to previously underserved members of the community such as the working class, immigrant populations, and small businesses.  Giannini changed the name to Bank of America in 1928 and by 1929, the bank was strong enough to withstand the Great Depression stock crash.  Matter of fact, at the height of the depression in 1932, Bank of America financed the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. 


    In the early days of Hollywood, motion pictures were huge risk.  Many lenders felt the fledgling medium was a fad and a sure money-loser.  But not Giannini.  In 1923, he created a motion-picture loan division, which backed such luminaries as Charlie Chaplin, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks and Frank Capra, and financed hundreds of films, including such classics as West Side Story, Gone with the Wind and Lawrence of Arabia.  Frank Capra was so impressed with Giannini's humility and generosity that he based the main character "George Bailey" in his 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life on him.  When Walt Disney couldn't get a loan to complete the first full-length animated film, Bank of America stepped in and lent Disney the $1.7 million he needed to finish Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


    "Much like the fictitious George Bailey, Giannini kept little for himself through all this.  Despite that fact that the bank he started was worth billions at the time of his death, Giannini’s entire estate was valued at only $500,000 when he died at the age of 79 in 1949.  He avoided acquiring great wealth as he felt it would cause him to lose touch with the working class.  For much of his career, he refused pay for his work and when the board attempted to give him $1.5 million as a bonus one year, he gave it all away to the University of California stating “Money itch is a bad thing.  I never had that trouble.”  -The Real Life 'George Bailey' who founded the Bank of Italy which became Bank of America




    Amedeo Pietro Giannini (May 6, 1870 – June 3, 1949)

     

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