Schulenberg’s Page: Video Killed the Radio Star

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An illustration for a pharmaceutical brochure that was entitled, "A Drug for Four Reasons," and continued to explain that this one drug could be used to control allergies, anxiety, nausea or persistent cough. I was amused to read that the side effects might be nausea, anxiety or similar symptoms! By Schulenberg

December, 1976: The year was winding down and it had been a busy one.

Ric Mendez, Sharon Lamoreaux, and I had kept busy making, promoting (and selling!) fabric jewelry and accessories. We were being noticed for it so I guess it could be said that we were successful!

We’d also been a part of Mimi Russell Judson’s ambitious boutique, 801 Madison (Avenue) which just recently had closed. It was an admirable concept — to bring together designers who were little known but “on the way up”!

That was us, I guess, and it was better than thinking of ourselves as being “on the way down”! Although the boutique was closed, we were still represented by Laura Kruger.

I met Sharon (with her many characters) and talked about the future and our plans. She was still working on a cabaret act that would feature these different characters and she was also still going to dance classes.

I was optimistic about the upcoming DANCERS ballet company tour to Palm Beach and wondering what kind of promotional material they were planning.

With my background in advertising and publishing I thought I could be useful but I never got a response when I mentioned it. I had to assume that someone involved was taking care of things.

Again, my hope was that the company would develop into something that would allow me to design a ballet! Again, I was still thinking about Picasso and other artist’s involvement with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes!

Picasso’s costumes for the ballet, PARADE, by Eric Satie.

I still had shopping for supplies to do and we still had deadlines to meet.

I was sorry that there were fewer calls for illustrations as photography appeared to be preeminent in advertising. Magazines still used illustrations, but advertising paid better. Much better!

With all of my diverse projects I didn’t feel that I was spreading myself thin but that I was preparing for whatever the next professional stage of my life would be!

I was still fitting in illustration commissions however and was professionally represented by illustration reps, Barbara and Elliott Gordon.

I’ve always been a fan of radio and found it’s kept me company while working.

Richard Amsel always worked with the television on and I couldn’t understand how that was possible since television is a uniquely visual medium.

I used to tease Richard and say that if he were watching, or I should say listening to, a mystery TV program there might be an “Oh!” and a gunshot and a “Thud!” And by the time you looked up, the scene might have changed and you’d have no idea what had happened!

In radio, someone would shout, “They’ve got a gun!” A sound of a shot would ring out and then, “Oh! He’s been shot!”

You wouldn’t have to watch the radio to understand what was happening!

So in 1977 there was a radio show CBS Mystery Theater that was produced by Old Time Radio producer Himan Brown reviving the old style of radio drama. I knew the actor, Paul Hecht, who was a frequent personality on the show.

Paul had been nominated for a Tony Award, won an Obie award and been continuously featured on many popular television shows and this was an enjoyable and easy way to work!

I told him how much I enjoyed the show and he invited me to visit during a broadcast! I was thrilled and excited to go!

The program I visited also had as the leading lady, Marian Seldes.

I was very impressed to meet Seldes who was a two-time Tony winner and a legendary theater actress. She had also been in many movies and held the Guinness Record for the most consecutive performances in a Broadway play!

In this radio play, she was playing Paul’s love interest and I smiled to myself realizing that she was more than a decade older than Paul!

Radio magic!

Again — it wouldn’t have worked on television!

Remarkably, I met her decades later in Los Angeles and she remembered my CBS visit! She had the gentility and grace of an earlier time!

At CBS during The Mystery Theater broadcast.

I still had a lot to finish up before I could go to Florida with the ballet company!

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