“Ordinary Wonders” Poem in Mirador Magazine

I am so happy to say that my poem, “Ordinary Wonders,” was selected for publication in Mirador Volume 12. Many thanks to the editors, Nikki Jardin and Tavé Fascé.

Mirador is an award-winning, dementia-friendly publication. I dedicate this poem to my mother, who struggled with Alzheimer’s/dementia. If you have loved ones who are experiencing cognitive challenges, you may find Mirador helpful for, as their tagline says, “making connections.”

My friend Diana Rosen, a published poet and a tea expert, also has work in this volume. Congratulations to her and to all the contributors to this special publication.

If you’re a writer, you know that it’s just as competitive and as difficult to get worked placed as it is to get a role acting on film or TV. But writing is one of the things that gives me the most joy in life, so I’ll never stop writing and never stop trying to get my work in publications, so it can be shared–with you!

Wishing you a wonderful spring season, Paul

HIMYF, Season 2, Episode 8, “Rewardishment.”

I had such a blast working on How I Met Your Father, Season 2, Episode 8, “Rewardishment,” that I’m going to be adding some photos here and talking about the process of being the Hula-Hoop Stunt Double for the character of “Jesse,” played by the multitalented Christopher Lowell.

Here I am BEFORE getting into the wig that allowed me to look like Chris/Jesse.

“Is that a wig you’re wearing?” “Why yes, it is!” These first shots are from a rehearsal/run-through day on the lot. Everything gets tested for how it will function and look on the day of the shoot. I even had pants switched from this day’s wardrobe fitting (not the ones pictured here), to give me more tapered and form-fitting pants in order to facilitate the motions of the hula hoop that we would be working with on set. Why? Well, it has something to do with…

… Well, it has to do with what I do when I’m spinning the hoops. As you can see, they go just about everywhere. And even with only one being used on HIMYF, the savvy wardrobe department noted the motions, and they felt it would be easier for me to work with more form-fitting pants. They don’t miss a thing. They are all pros. But back to the hair:

Fabulous Katy McClintock, Head of the Hair Department on HIMYF, designed the wig that really transformed me into the “Jesse” character. I loved seeing what I looked like with brown hair, because I’d once told my mother that I was planning to dye my black hair a lighter shade of brown, and she was quick to comment: “Not while you’re living in this house!” (Dear Mom, how I miss you!) So, many many years later, I got my wish to have lighter hair. Thanks, Katy–and a shout-out to all the fabulous crafts departments on set that make us look our best, especially hair and makeup!

So, how similar did we end up looking, Chris/Jesse and Paul/Jesse? You be the judge. But I can tell you it was absolutely enough to help this “double” get in there to help realize the episode’s Vertical Lasso Catch and Release hula-hoop trick. And I loved every moment of it!

Here we are in our identical outfits, with the hoop that was used on set. (Congrats to the prop department, by the way, for the amusing collapsible one that has its moment in the episode. Wouldn’t that be handy?) We practiced for a time between the soundstages, and I can tell you that Chris is a natural talent with the hoops. I even taught him a new trick out there: Because he could already spin the hoop on his hand and arm, I said he could bring the hoop in and then bring his elbow in toward his arm to get the hoop rotating around the bent elbow–and he got it on the first try! So, he’s adept at comedy and drama, is a photographer with a keen eye, and he’s a hula-hooping natural. If he tells me he also sings and dances, I may need to hide under a rock for a little bit. See other related photos on the Acting and Hula-Hooping pages of this site.

And last, but never least:

At the end of the filming days, it was so sweet to see Cherie, and to get my final food/snacks/water… Crafts Service–yes, that’s how it’s styled for this show–is, obviously, indispensable on a set. And the people! Cherie, Leilani, Tom–and all your team–my deepest appreciation for what you do. Thank you!

Which brings me back to the top, where I said I had a blast working on this show. To everyone associated with HIMYF–so many departments, I’d have to list two pages of people from the call sheets–my admiration for you is great, and I give you all my most sincere thank yous! To those who got this going: Jeremy Roth for writing an episode of a TV comedy that revolves around a character’s past and present as a hula-hooper–with jokes and tricks aplenty–wow! Missy Alexander, UPM supreme, you found me–I’m so delighted you did! Jodi, Norvie, the team at FSE–always happy to be represented. To SAG-AFTRA, the union for actors working in film and television–thanks for the hard work on our behalf every single day. To all these and all those who aren’t mentioned here by name, I do appreciate your work, and I will always have fond memories of my time on How I Met Your Father.

And to my family and friends, for their ongoing support as I work toward the fulfillment of my dreams in the entertainment industry, my love and my thanks. Onward…until the next great development!

Check out the show’s Instagram @himyfonhulu and #himyf

Peace, Love & Soup

I was asked to contribute a bilingual piece for this recent remix of an older Day of the Dead-themed podcast, cohosted by my friend Tave Fasce Drake with her podcast partner, Brian Delaney. I recite my poem “La clara del huevo” at 27:04.


Deep Focus – Summer 2020

My friend and former coworker Deborah Wexler has graciously published my poem “Current Affairs” in the Summer 2020 edition of the Deep Focus AVD Newsletter. Find me on page 2.

When a woman named Lucinda was gassed by police during a peaceful protest in Portland, I was moved to write this poem.

Current Affairs

–For Lucinda Fasce Drake

After the doubts,
that’s when the violence begins.
One must be certain
to call on the gas.
Alas, the innocents get caught
in the fray, tangled
in the curtain of rights
and an idealistic display.
We cannot sustain
a state of peaceful complaint.
Whatever this currently is,
peace ain’t.