Independent from Long Beach, California on February 24, 1969 · Page 25
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Independent from Long Beach, California · Page 25

Long Beach, California
Issue Date:
Monday, February 24, 1969
Page 25
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GEORGE TAKEI CAST FOR 'IN' SESSION 'Star Trek' to Shakespeare is challenge for actor Guest columnist Judy Nelson Senior, Narbonne High School Judy Nelson, 17, a senior at Narbonne High School, visited George Takei in the actors' green room below the Inner City Cultural Center. Miss Nelson is co-editor-in- chief of the school's "Green and Gold." She also plays piano, sews and does hospital volunteer work. She expects to enroll at Pepperdine College and to major " m a y b e in English, maybe in history." GEORGE TAKEI . . . "Star Trek" actor to appear at "IN" Session By JUDY NELSON Charming, warm and infectiously enthusiastic George Takei describes himself as a "frustrated writer" and says lie hopes someday to play the Shakespearean characters Hamlet, Brutus and Richard III. For the present he is portraying Sulu, helmsman on the USS Enterprise on the television series, "Star Trek." But, theatre is Mr. Takei's "first love, hobby, and livelihood." He plays Ross in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" at the Inner City Cultural Center with the Inner City Repertory Company. He is very enthusiastic about the purposes of this group. "Certain segments of the population are deprived both economically and culturally," he said. "One purpose of the culture center is to f i l l this gap. Another is to give artists of minority groups a chance to show their talents." Every facet of the theatre is challenging to Takei. He enjoys directing and participates on the training level by teaching young actors and actresses the history of the American theatre. The group he teaches at the center covers a wide range of ages and types. TAKEI'S ADVICE to young performers: "If you enjoy the performing arts, look for the satisfaction in that itself. I suggest you get a good solid grounding in your craft. Know and polish it, then attack the professional world." He was born in the Boyle Heights district of Los Angeles. Before the war, the neighborhood was a mixture of Japanese, Jewish and Mexican people. "My mother learned to cook tacos, chicken soup and Jewish dishes while she taught others how to make sukiyaki," Takei said. When he was two, his family relocated in Arkansas during World War II. This confinement was made easier for the young boy by his parents telling him it was "a vacation." His professional debut was made in a "Playhouse 90" Production. After living in New York for a time he travelled to Europe, and there became part of a Shakespeare repertory group at Stratford-on-Avon. His movie credits include "The Green Berets" "Walk Don't Run," "Hell to Eternity", and "An American Dream." ARCHITECTURE is the actor's second love. He began his college education at the University of California at Berkeley as an architecture student. He received his master's degree in Theatre Arts at the Los Angeles campus. Building his own theatre is one of his ambitions. Takei spends his spare time hiking, swimming, reading, cycling and painting. His adventurous spirit has taken him into the rugged Rocky Mountains, the Alaskan panhandle, and Baja California. The most important quality in the girl he dates is for her to "know herself." She must be able to communicate and concentrate on other people. A girl doesn't need beautiful features to be attractive. Takei says that if she has the basic core of security, it will show and pro- cluoe a glow. As for today's fashions for girls, T;ikpi t h i n k s "they're great!" Till?. JAPANESE actor enjoys t h e clv.illcngc of working both in films and on stage. In the theatre a person must bo "bigger t h a n life" with his expressions and voice projection. "Unlike any other series (Star Trek) comes closest to repertory work," he said. "The actors have a chance to play a wider variety of character types than on most television series. The characters change with the script and the scene. "Writers of 'Star Trek' are a literate, intelligent staff who have something to say about today's world," Takei added. Takei s.iid "Star Trek" has been un- o f f i c i a l l y c.mcclled for next season. Last \ e a r (''.e serie:. was cancelled but a bar- ia'.;r of l e t t e r s received by the network in C a l i f o r n i a and New York influenced NBC executives to save the show. There is still a chance to induce the executives to give the show another chance if fans once again write letters. Takei will speak March 22 at "IN" Session, a self-improvement program for high school girls sponsored by the Independent, Press-Telegram. INDEPENDENT (AM) PRESS-TELEGRAM (PM]--B-5 Long Beach, Calif., Monday, Feb. 24, 1769 Bear facts and tiger tales told by author By ROBIN PAXTON Did you know that snakes have no eyelids? That pigs are smarter than dogs? That a beaver never stops growing? These arc but a few of the little- known facts about animals that John Hunt learned while working with the Los Angeles Zoo. He shared his experiences with guests at Thursday's Edna Davidson Book Salon at the Virginia Country Club. "When I went to work for the zoo, I thought I knew evetything about animals" Hunt said. I soon realized I had known nothing. That's why I wrote my book, 'A World Full of Animals'; to share with others the many unusual things I learned." His love and respect for animals were evident when he noted sadly t h a t in 25 years he'd not be able to make this talk, because "Many of the animals just won't be around to talk about." More than 200 species have become extinct since the time of Christ, and we now are losing them at a rate of one species a year. Hunt pointed out that this loss is due primarily to man's drive to hunt and kill--for sport as much as for profit or need. Some of the stranger-than-fiction facts Hunt drew from his new hook: · A snake's forked tongue isn't poisonous. It simply makes a chemical analysis of all it touches, informing the snake about his environment. · When importing snakes from the Orient, Zoo keepers must inspect them carefully to see that their gallbladders haven't been removed. It seems a snake's gall bladder is a tasty Oriental delicacy to be enjoyed with an evening glass of wine! · Gorillas aren't savage. On the contrary, they're very shy and q u i t e decent chaps. Chimpanzees, t h o u g h t to lie smartest of the great apes, are less i n t e l l i g e n t t h a n the u n a t t r a c t i v e orangutan. ("Or- angs aren't so ugly once you get to know them.") Orangutans just won't condescend to taking an intelligence test. And legend in Borneo has it that the or- ang knows how to talk, but is too smart to reveal his talent for fear he will he- put to work! · A f t e r the killer whale, pigs have the most savage bite. · Polar bears are very poor swimmers, and don't even ti'.e t h e i r h i n d leg.-; to paddle. · The shape of an elephant's ears can t e l l you whether he is an African or an Indian elepham, for the ears have the form of the c o n t i n e n t from which the great beast originates. · Black bears, who grow to -iOO pounds in adulthood, have the tiniest babies in proportion to the size of the parents. Their six-inch mini-offspring weigh only about eight ounces. · The cheetah is not the fastest animal, as is commonly believed. Instead, a certain species of fly, which can fly at GOO miles per hour, is considered the speediest member of the a n i m a l world. H u n t also drew on his experience as eo;:i:iy:n:t'.' relations director of the Los Angeles /oo io discuss zoos in general and some of their major problems. People are naturally generous and want to feed animals, Hunt said, and can't resist tossing hot dogs and pickles right over the "Do Not Feed" signs. This may make the kiddies squeal with delight, but it also makes the animals squeal--with stomach cramps. SOME OF THE zoo's animals come from the most unexpected sources. Their first cobra came from a Spring Street bar. And another of their prize snakes came from a Los Angeles motel. It seems an exhausted traveling salesman checked into a motel one r.ight, and. just about to doze off, felt something crawling across his legs. He reared up in a l a r m , and came face io face with his unwelcome bedmate -- a 12-foot python. ' I h i - motel liMr-d the i n t r u d e r as "unclaimed baggage," and h t m hastily to t h e zoo. In response to objections t h a t zoos are cruel and jail-hke, Hunt admitted. t h a t they leave much to he desired, but added that in the newer zoos efforts are being made to recreate the animals' natural habitats. "Ideally, of course, it's not the animals who should he caged, b u t , rather, the people," he said. "The. animals should be running free while the people view them from protected walkways." H u n t pointed out that without zoos many more species would become ex- itr.i't. He also emphasized t h e i r educa- t i o n a l value. "There is no experience like firM-har.d experience," he concluded, "and showing a child a stuffed tiger in a museum of natural history just can't compare with exposing him to the live cat's graceful gait and resounding roar."

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