I have performed for “many” nice big name celebrities, but one that stands out to me is the one that I originally thought was “unapproachable.” Recently I was saddened to hear that Olivia Newton John’s cancer had resurfaced and spread to her back area. For those of you who have not yet heard the story here is the link:
Years ago I performed for a big program in Washington, DC for the Susan B Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. I remember that on this show I had to play for Stephanie Mills, Lynda Carter and Olivia Newton John. When we first met Olivia, she came across as someone who didn’t want to be besieged by autograph hounds and picture takers. We did sound check and she immediately left to go back to her dressing room. However, her musical director, Amy Skyy was still around so I asked her if there was any possibility of getting a picture with her and Ms. Newton John. She told me that she would set it up and she was very true to her word. I waited for about 10 minutes and both of them came out. Ms Newton John was “very friendly” and told me that she herself was a breast cancer survivor. She informed me that she loved the way I played and was looking forward to this show. I thanked her for the picture and she thanked me for asking. To me that was a special moment. Cancer is a tough thing to deal with. I lost my mother in 2004 to ovarian cancer and I have seen on too many occasions what it an do to those diagnosed. I sincerely hope that she can fully recover from this setback and resume touring. Today I just wanted to share my experience with you. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Olivia Newton John, Brett Jolly, and musical Director Amy Skyy
The holidays are coming up (Depending on what you celebrate they may already be here) and this should be a time for people to exhibit love from your heart. As with every holiday, you should get the most out of it when you invest the most into it. I already know I am blessed, and I could honestly say that if I got nothing I would still be “very” happy. However, the other day I was wondering about something. If I could give one particular gift (real or imagined) to everyone in the world, what would that gift be? The imaginary gift I would give would probably be the “ability to see.” No, I am not talking about regular eyesight, but rather the ability to see “beyond the surface.” Can you imagine how we would feel about someone if we could actually “visualize the love in his or her heart?” Can you imagine being able to see the thoughts of someone who was troubled enough to want to commit random acts of violence? How about the ability to see the good in man beyond the color of his skin? Imagine being able to see the abuse that someone may have endured during his or her life and being able to deliver that one hug to stop that person from “going over the edge.” This kind of sight might be more beneficial “with your eyes closed.” We often concern ourselves with what’s on the outside. We judge people by their deeds and not necessarily the “thought behind the deeds.” We often stereotype people based on what we have learned as opposed to what we experience. We take the time to criticize without even attempting to realize. While our regular ability to see could be considered one of our greatest blessings it can also be the one thing that causes our greatest deficiencies. We base a lot of our behavior on what we see. However, for most of us our sight is only limited to what we perceive externally. Real love shouldn’t depend on a person’s physically attributes, but rather the content of what they have inside. If I could give an imaginary gift like that to everyone in the world I would gladly do so. Then maybe there would be less discrimination, second guessing, racism, and even terrorism. There are people in this world who are in need of help, and our problem is that even when we see them we still can’t see them… I hope we all can at least make that effort to try… Just that act alone might make all the difference… “One love” is more than just a statement. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought today, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Olivia Newton John, Brett Jolly and musical director Amy Skyy before a concert
Recently rapper TI made headlines when he stated that he couldn’t vote for a woman to be the leader of the free world. Many people are outraged at that comment, and at this point the rapper may be sorry that was even asked that question. Here is the article:
He stated that women are often “too emotional” when it comes to making rash decisions. Yes, the comments were very sexist, but were they far from the truth? Studies have shown that women tend to be more emotional than men, but that doesn’t mean that all women would make wrong decisions based on emotion. If Hillary Clinton became President, then of course she would have her own cabinet (like other Presidents do) to discuss matters with. She would also have the benefit of conferring with a husband who had already held the position of President himself. She has held her own as a woman dealing with a man’s “political environment” very well up to this point. However, as sexist as TI’s comments were, there are many other people who “also” believe that the world is not ready for a “woman” President. I think we need to keep in mind that at one point the world was not ready for a “minority President either,” and look where we are now. Would other world leaders respect a woman who was in charge of the United States? My response would be “They’d better.” I personally would not have any problems with a woman President. Times are changing and women are proving that they can be just as competent and able as men in a lot of situations (and in some instances, do it better). In order to get over our “stereotypes” of women I think it is imperative to put one in power first so that the world can see for itself. Hey, many people thought Ronald Reagan was suffering from memory losses during his last days as President. Some believed that George Bush was drunk for most of his term. Given those circumstances we probably would have been a lot better off if we “had” a female leader instead. For the record, men can get pretty emotional sometimes too (and many of us have ego issues). As for a woman being elected “leader of the free world?” My answer is a very simple “Try it.” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Olivia Newton John, Brett Jolly and musical director Amy Skyy
Want to write and record a song? Don’t think you have the necessary equipment to make it happen? Well, if you have a computer, headphones and something like Skype I can actually help you write and record your own song. Most people believe that you have to spend a lot of money and go into a major studio just to put it all together. I am telling you that if you have lyrics (and a melody line would also help) I can produce your song for you professionally over the internet (the way you want) with all instrumentation needed, and the best part of this is that you won’t ever need to leave the comfort of your own home to do it. If you don’t have a singer for your tune, I have plenty that can be used, or if you prefer to sing your song personally that can be accomplished as well. A LOT of people have talent, but are afraid to use it because they are fearful of failure or they believe that you have to travel to some big name city just to put a song together. All you need to do is contact me at Brettjolly@aol.com and we can discuss how to make this happen. You can also do jingles, audio commercials, voiceovers and personalized messages put to music. Also a lot of people are misled into thinking that this will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to make this happen. Actually, making this happen is “very” affordable, and you will find out when we discuss details. The “only” difference between you and Beyonce just might be the fact that she has recorded material and you do “not.” You now have the power to “change all of that.” Do you need to be as great a singer as her? The careers of Brittney Spears and Rihanna should give you a real good indication as to how talented you need to be in this business.”The world is yours” and if you want to make it in “this” business you “absolutely” need to have a “package.” Don’t let excuses stop you from reaching your destiny. Email me at Brettjolly@aol.com and allow me to launch your career. Thank you and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer today.
Olivia Newton John, Brett Jolly and musical director Amy Skyy before a concert together
I try to follow the news whenever I can. Because my schedule has a tendency to be really hectic at times it is not always easy to do. One story I really wanted to follow up on is the “prisoner swap” that recently took place in Afghanistan. It appears that some people are outraged over what transpired (and how it transpired). The Taliban released American Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for 5 Taliban prisoners. On the surface this seemed to be an “ideal” situation to me, but then I kept hearing the “backlash” from people who totally “rejected” the transaction. It has been “alleged” that the American was a deserter who voluntarily “left his post” while on duty when he was captured. It had been said that “men lost their lives searching for him. Because of this, “some” people feel the barter for his release was unjustified. There are also people who say that the 5 Taliban prisoners could be getting “yet another” opportunity to inflict terror since they have now been released. When it comes to war, those that fight it tend to do what’s expected of them for the country or organization they serve. Even though killing is wrong “according to the Bible” many of us are “trained” to do so in acts of war. The Taliban followed orders. So did our men when we battled them. A prisoner of war is someone who no longer has a country or organization to battle for. Once a soldier is captured, his entire association with his country automatically gets “shut down.” We don’t know the circumstances of what really happened to Bowe Bergdahl, but at least with his release we can now hopefully “find out.” It is difficult for me to think of him as a deserter when he was “in fact” a “prisoner of war.” If he no longer wanted to be a part of the United States, then why would he even volunteer to come back home? As President Obama referenced, he should be considered “innocent” until “proven” guilty. I am going to agree with that until someone can actually “prove” otherwise. As for the Taliban prisoners, I don’t know them, and I don’t know what’s been “done” to them during their times of “captivity.” I do know that war can change our “strongest” ideals in a heartbeat. I had a cousin who served as a medic in the Vietnam war, and when I was younger he was the most “laid back” guy I knew. However, once his stint in the war was over he was a drastically “changed” man. He showed me his personal picture book and he treated it like it was a prized family collection. In it he had pictures of some of his army mates who were eaten by dogs, shot in the head and all “sorts” of other things that for me just seemed “abnormal.” He laughed loudly at them as though he believed the pictures were somehow “cute.” Sometimes we hear stories about people getting killed in combat but it is “never the same” as actually “being” there. The easiest thing to do is to “judge the circumstances” rather then the “actual” details, but in all fairness I hope that people take the chance to at least “hear” the story first. As for the released Taliban prisoners “time will tell” if they still have any “fight” left in them. At this point, the deal is done, so I do hope that we can “put it behind us” and go back to enjoying our lives. I realize that some will strongly “disagree” with this, and to that I will only say that I truly “respect your right to voice your opinion.” Take care and I hope you have yourselves a great day.
Olivia Newton John, musical director Amy Skyy and Brett Jolly just before a concert
I have a problem at my job. One of my coworkers dresses really nice, and from time to time I compliment her on how she looks. If her pants are tight, I will sometimes say that she is rocking it with those tight jeans. I have said some other things as well, but nothing I said was meant to insult her. She went and filed complaint charges to the head branch against me for harassment. I really feel that this was unfair, because I honestly meant no harm. Now I am being looked at as some bad guy at work and they may end up firing me as a result. When I say this, I really mean it. I was not trying to insult her at all or disrespect her. Now as long as she is there I can never view my job the same again. I need to ask you. How should a man handle a situation like this?
One of the things most men need to remember is that one woman’s “compliment” can be another woman’s “harassment.” What you said might not have been “intended” to disrespect her but she could have felt offended from the “way” you said it. You see, harassment is one of those charges that don’t usually have any “clear cut” definitions. There are no exact standards or statements that “specifically” define “harassment.” Most times the “sexual” advances are the ones that women will bring up. Many years ago professor Anita Hill had to testify in court about Clarence Thomas, a man who was up for nomination as a Supreme Court Judge. One of Ms. Hill’s accusations was that Mr. Thomas told her that there was a “pubic hair” on his soda can. That statement might probably have been “overlooked” by a lot of women but this woman considered it “very” insensitive and repulsive. The final outcome of the case was that Ms. Hill’s charges were found to be “unproven” and eventually Mr. Thomas won the nomination. Sexual harassment is “extremely” tricky to determine, and that is because most times it is never done in front of witnesses and often the omission (or misinterpretation) of one word can make the biggest difference in the complaint. However, sexual harassment is a very “serious” charge, ESPECIALLY in the workplace. It happens a lot, but because of the difficulty in trying to prove it most times it causes complications when under review. A woman has the right to be able to work in the workplace without feeling harassed, and if you were “constantly” addressing her in an uncomfortable manner then she had “every right” to file harassment charges against you. At this point, I strongly suggest that you “man up” and apologize to her AND the company. Right now it is “not” about whether you were right or wrong, but the atmosphere needs to be corrected. Should you decide to battle this case you could still end up losing in the final outcome, because the other women (and coworkers) at your job will probably keep “tainted” views of you and your behavior, and that won’t necessarily make for a “harmonious” atmosphere. A LOT of men “have great intentions” when making a compliment to a woman, but we are “well known” for “occasionally” saying the “wrong thing”‘ at the “wrong time.” I think you should let the woman know (in front of witnesses) that you have truly learned from this experience and if she is “willing” to forgive you, then you will be an entirely “changed man” in the workplace. Make “sure” that if you are going to say this that you do so in front of witnesses. I would never tell anyone to admit to a crime they feel they didn’t commit, but it is important that you weigh all the implications of this case. You can end up winning the battle and ultimately “losing” the war. Without knowing “specifically” what you said to her, this is the best recommendation I can think of right now. You don’t necessarily have to admit guilt, but you need to “handle your business,” and do your best to “make things right.” Good luck to you, and yes, you KNOW you are going to have to hear it from the Phantom Poet on this one:
I think my coworkers are thinking of me as being some inconsiderate, obnoxious, jerk face
And that is because I have just been accused of “sexual harassment” in the work place
I was just trying to be a gentleman and compliment the lady using my male charm
I really never meant to disrespect her or even cause her any harm
I never said I was perfect, and I will never admit to being any kind of saint
but now I realize that “one woman’s compliment” can be “another woman’s complaint”
I don’t want to be tagged a “sexual harasser” because that is no way for a man to live
Maybe I should just choke it up and apologize and hope that she has the heart to forgive
I will never ever address the way a woman dresses, her makeup or even her tan
And if it is necessary, I will stand up there and apologize for just “being a man”
You can subject me to 50 lashes with a whip if you will just make these charges “gone”
Of course, if “she” does it to me, then that will almost automatically “turn me on”
Oh darn! I did it again! I said a bad statement and now I am “confessin’
It is obvious that even though I apologized I still haven’t learned my lesson
I know I am an “over stimulated” man and I can be a little frisky of a sort
But if she brings up charges against me, I hope she wears those high red pumps to court
I would hate to have those charges brought against me, because to my ego it would hurt
Of course, it would be a lot better to deal with if she wears that really short white skirt
If I could take back the statements I made to her, then rest assured I surely would
but if she is going to bring me down in court, then I at least want her “looking good”
“After court is over, can you walk in front of me for the very last time? Thank you”… The Phantom Poet
If you like, you can send me a friend request on Skype at Brettjolly1. Thank you and have a great day
Olivia Newton John, Brett Jolly and her musical director Amy Skyy