'I'm a ham," said legendary actor-writer-director Carl Reiner.
"When you're a showoff, you've gotta get on that platform."
Which is why 80-year-old Reiner is eager to regale the audience with tales of his life in a speaking engagement at the Orange County Performing Arts Center on Dec. 9. He'll cover everything from working on Sid Caesar's TV shows to playing straight man to Mel Brooks' 2,000-Year-Old Man to writing semi-autobiographical novels such as "Enter Laughing."
During Orange County's annual "Chanukah Concert", a corner of Costa Mesa's Performing Arts Center is transformed into an all-Jewish music store featuring CDs recorded by some Reform cantors who participate in the performance.
"They don't have much opportunity to put their CDs up for sale," said Dr. Gordon Fishman of Newport Beach, who co-produces the concert with his wife, Hannareta. She and some friends supervise sales, which this year include works by Ruti Brier, Nancy Linder, Shula Kalir-Merton and Arie Shikler. Also available are CDs by the Orange County Klezmers, who play at the concert intermission.
As president and chief operating officer of The Orange County Performing Arts Center (OCPAC), Jerry Mandel must perform the delicate art of balancing the need to present great performances with the imperative to raise the funds to do so.
"The kind of person you need today to run a not-for-profit business is not an artist," explains Mandel. "It's a manager who has a passion for the arts and is good at fundraising."
Mandel, who served as vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of California, Irvine, prior to joining The Center in 1997, must raise $28 million per year (including ticket sales) to finish in the black. Previously he served as vice president for University Relations and Development at California State University, Long Beach.