We Miss You, Charlie Hill!

Charlie Hill and ArigonAs many of you know, the legendary Native American comedian/writer Charlie Hill passed away on December 30, 2013.

Charlie was known to many Native actors, singers, musicians, comedians, writers, radio folks — pretty much anyone involved in media. His ground-breaking stand-up routines broke color/race barriers on such programs as “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” “The Richard Pryor Show,” “Late Night With David Letterman” as a Native American comic who not only talked about “the plight” of the Native American — he regularly brought our funny and human side.

Arigon first met Charlie as a volunteer at one of the early First Americans in the Arts Awards in Beverly Hills. He encouraged her to follow her dream as a musician, even telling her once, “Hey, Buffy (St. Marie) and I were talking about you. She said — ‘We better keep an eye on her!’,” which was followed by a big, supportive laugh. Charlie also supported Arigon as a writer and actor, attending many of the performances of her one-woman show “The Red Road” at the Autry.

Arigon walked on air when Charlie agreed to be part of the cast of “Super Indian.” The radio series got a second greenlight for additional radio scripts, but sadly, those six stories didn’t make it to broadcast. However, Charlie lit up the stage as “Uncle Chester” and as a mysterious Oneida shaman who hummed “Begin the Beguine.” “Working with him was a dream,” marveled Arigon. “He helped me to mine the funny and add extra punch and bite to scripts.”

When Charlie was to be presented with a prestigious Diversity Award from the Screen Actors Guild, Arigon (along with Saginaw Grant) were tapped to present the award to him. “Because we had had so many interesting discussions about things not at all related to stand-up comedy, I thought it would be great fun to ‘roast’ Charlie onstage by displaying a bit of his off-stage interests. He loved comic books and baseball — just like me.”

Here, in it’s entirety, is the script Arigon wrote to present Charlie with his award.

Charlie Hill is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. He’s the godfather of Native American stand-up, the only Native comedian to have guested with Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Jay Leno. A staff writer on the Roseanne show – and a series regular on “The Richard Pryor Show.”  He’s a regular at the Comedy Store here in Los Angeles and no stranger to nightclubs and universities across the U.S. He’s the producer and host of the upcoming “Indian Comedy Slam” on Showtime Networks.

Here’s what you don’t know about Charlie Hill:

He was born in swaddling clothes, floating down Duck Creek in a Birchbark canoe, where his parents found him while harvesting wild rice. He spent his early years in Smallville, before becoming the resident stand-up comedian at the Daily Planet. When he wasn’t fighting crime with comedy, Charlie spent every April through September as the power slugger for the Milwaukee Brewers, with a career average of .305 and 755 home runs – until his record was eclipsed by Barry Bonds. However, Charlie’s name will never be followed by an asterisk.  In a world where most people have forgotten Native American superstars like humorist Will Rogers or athletic phenomena Jim Thorpe, Charlie Hill is still here, reminding Native and non-Native people of the power of humor to heal the world.   

All Roads Lead To Norman — Arigon To Perform at University Of Oklahoma

RR_ClydeIt’s time to hit the road again! Arigon Starr will be hitting the trail and taking excerpts from her one-woman comedy with music, “The Red Road” to the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma on Thursday, December 5th. The show takes place at the Meacham Auditorium within the University’s Memorial Union from 6:00-9:00pm. The show is open to the public and is free to all who attend.

Arigon will also be talking about her experience in the theater, plus playwrighting.

The Native American Studies Department and the English Department at OU are sponsoring the lecture and performance.

“I was so thrilled when Professor Kim Wieser told me that her Native American theater class was studying ‘The Red Road’ this semester. Never in my life would I have expected for my work to be part of college cirrculum,” remarked Arigon. “I’m always writing and creating for myself. It’s always a big bonus when other people enjoy what I do as much as I do,” she laughed.

You might remember “The Red Road” premiered in Los Angeles, CA way back in March 2006. Produced by Native Voices at the Autry, the show has been performed in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC, Tulsa, San Diego and in Australia. The show also has an amazing soundtrack that features a host of Nashville and LA pro country musicians to back up Arigon’s songs from the show. You can download “The Red Road” from a variety of sources, including iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and Bandcamp.

Arigon has been hard at work on her comic book series, “Super Indian.” She completed work on Super Indian Issue #5, “The Curse of Blud Kwan’Tum, Part I.” She also has several workshops and comic conventions schedule for 2014, including a return to the Tulsa City/County Library and American Indian Resource Center’s “Festival of Words” and to Anaheim’s major WonderCon comic book convention.

Here’s the details on the upcoming show. We hope you can join Arigon for a night of music, comedy and fun!

ARIGON STARR – LECTURE/PERFORMANCETHURSDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2014 – 6:00-9:00PM
MEACHAM AUDITORIUM – OKLAHOMA MEMORIAL UNION
UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
900 ASP AVENUE, NORMAN, OK
Free Admission

Click here for Parking Information

 

Arigon cast in “Sliver Of A Full Moon”

VAWA Signing Day

Great news for Starrwatcher fans!

Arigon Starr will return to the stage in Mary Kathryn Nagle’s play, “Sliver Of A Full Moon.” The play centers around the ground-breaking Violence Against Women Act that was signed into law in March 2013.

The performance will take place on Tuesday, October 14th in Tulsa, Oklahoma during the upcoming National Congress of American Indians. Tickets will be available very soon.

Click HERE to read about the play’s opening in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Arigon is thrilled to be re-teaming with her friend and colleague, Carolyn Dunn.

More information to come regarding this special performance.

Native American Comics Roundtable Set For Phoenix Comic Con 2013

Indigenous Narratives Collective logo

Indigenous Narratives Collective logo

It’s happening again! The Indigenous Narratives Collective is gathering May 23-26, 2013 for the annual Phoenix Comic Con. This time, the group includes Native artist/writer/creators Ryan Huna Smith, Jacques LaGrange, Jon Proudstar and Theo Tso. The panel takes place on Saturday, May 25th from 12noon to 1:00pm. Thanks to Ryan Huna Smith — the panel boasts a most amazing moderator — the legendary Native American literature renaissance poet from Acoma Pueblo, Simon Ortiz.

Arigon took the planning reigns from the busy hands of Jacques LaGrange and worked directly with Shawn Demumbrum at the Phoenix Comic Con organization. “After many, many emails between me, the artists and Shawn, we nailed down our panelists, panel time and all the details,” said Arigon. “I’m so excited to be part of such an excellent group of artists. I’m sure that Mr. Ortiz will have some great questions for us. Hope that the room is packed and standing-room only like last year!”

Arigon will be at the Indigenous Narratives Collective booth (Tables #2315 & #2317) throughout the convention. “Looking forward to seeing folks that I saw last year and hopefully some new artists promoting their own work. I understand that Jacques LaGrange will finally have copies of his Native super-hero “Shadow Wolf” with him, plus Theo Tso will have copies of “Captain Paiute” to sell. There can never be enough Native superheroes. We are just barely scratching the surface here!”

“Super Indian” continues online focusing on a new storyline about Vampires. “The Curse of Blud Kwan’Tum” is scheduled to run two issues and will be featured in “Super Indian Volume Two.”

“Working super hard to get the issues finished before the end of the year,” Arigon smiled.

Clive the vampire and his gal, Giblet“The Curse of Blud Kwan’Tum” tells the story of a vampire desperate to become a full-blood Indian. Another popular series, “Twilight” is also in the sights of fangirl Arigon. “Yes, I read all of the ‘Twilight’ books and saw all the movies. Like Neil Innes (of Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Monty Python fame) used to say, ‘I suffered for my art. Now, it’s YOUR turn.’ It’s been fun to do a Mad Magazine-like satire of the world of those sparkly vampires.” Instead of Bella and Edward — it’s Giblet and Clive near the Cowlitz Reservation near Battle Ground, Washington. “I have a bunch of good friends from that part of the world and I try to mention them whenever I can,” said Arigon. “It was cool to be able to incorporate the satire into the already silly storyline of Blud Kwan’Tum. Don’t you think a vampire would kill to get his own CDIB card? Ayyy!,” she joked.

Arigon also made time to visit the beautiful island of Maui. “The only experience I had of Hawaii was on the way to and back from the Philippines,” Arigon remembered. “My Dad was stationed there and we lived in the P.I. for two years. The airport was dark and deserted….so there were no sightings of Magnum, PI or Dano,” she laughed.

Ukelele sunsetWhile Arigon was there she purchased a beautiful, brand-new Ukelele. “It’s a neat traveler-sized model — so don’t be surprised if you see me with it on an upcoming road trip,” she enthused. “I might even have to do a ukelele CD like Eddie Vedder!”

She continues to work on new music, including a collection of songs based on Robert J. Conley’s western outlaw novels. We are all hoping to hear new music from Arigon later this year.

Gentlemen, start your engines and may the best Ukelele player win!

Arigon will also be traveling to the Denver Comic Con. More details next week!

 

“Natives in Comics” panel coming to 2013 American Indian Festival of Words

Arigon singing at OU

Arigon Starr singing her heart out on the campus of the University of Oklahoma

Hope everyone is having an awesome 2013 so far! Arigon Starr has been busy traveling over the holiday season. She visited her family in Oklahoma, stopped off to see her pals in New Mexico and has finally returned to Los Angeles to begin work on her next two issues of her comic book, “Super Indian.”

Next month, Arigon will be returning to Tulsa, Oklahoma to participate on a “Natives in Comics” panel at the annual American Indian Festival of Words presented by the Tulsa City-County Public Library’s American Indian Resource Center.

Arigon will also be joined on the panel by Cherokee artist Roy Boney and Caddo artist/author Michael Sheyahshe. Many of you know that Roy Boney has published many comics and was a featured artist in the Eisner-nominated graphic novel “Trickster.” Michael Sheyahshe is the author of the excellent book “Natives Americans in Comics: A Critical Study,” published by McFarland Books. Both gentlemen as also members of the Indigenous Narratives Collective, the group Arigon co-founded with Lee Francis IV of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.

The INC group will be talking about how to create your own comic books — coming up with characters, writing the story and drawing your stories. They will also tackle what to do with your book after it’s finished.

More information on the panel and the festival can be found here:

http://www.tulsalibrary.org/airc/

The event is free to the public. You’ll want to get there early as “Natives in Comics” isn’t the only panel happening at the library! There are also panels on Native media, theater, filmmaking and music.

Arigon will have copies of “Super Indian Volume One” for sale, too. Great opportunity to grab a book directly from the author and score an autograph!

Arigon will also be doing media interviews while in the area — more on that when we get the schedule.

See you in T-Town!