Passion = Truth? How Jeffrey James Francis Ircink Sees The World? I love when people are passionate about something. That surging of emotion is the one honest measure of what truth is. It's a truthful display of how a person really feels about something or someone at that particular moment. That passion IS truth.

About me...

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Greendale, Wisconsin, United States
Ex-producer of THE REALLY FUNNY HORNY GOAT INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, playwright, actor, singer, outdoorsman, blogger, amateur photog, observer & bitcher, Beach Boys groupie, Brett Favre fanatic, lover of everything Celtic and forever a member in the Tribe of HAIR. Spent most of my life in the Village of Waterford, a small town just outside of the Milwaukee suburbs. After 12 years in North Hollywood, Bel Air and Culver City, Cali, I moved back to Wisconsin in September 2009. No regrets - of moving to LA OR moving back to WI. Have traveled to Belfast, Ireland, Dayton (OH), Manhattan, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, New York, Miami and Sydney, Australia with my plays. Moved back into the Village of Greendale where I was born. Life is good.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Robin Hood and the Men of Greenwood

Classic illustration by N.C. Wyeth. 1917.

Up at the crack of dawn this morning, I was paging through a Milwaukee newspaper sent to me by my friend, Janis, while drinking Alterra Coffee (sent to me also by Janis) and I came across an illustration of a pirate. The first picture that popped into my head was this illustration by the renowned American artist and illustrator, N.C. Wyeth. It's one of my favorites - I have the poster in storage I'll someday frame. Wyeth is known for his children's book illustrations - among them Robinson Crusoe, Last of the Mohicans, Treasure Island and Robin Hood. I've always loved the legend of Robin Hood and, as I come from a family of bowhunters, Mr. Hood shares a special place in all our hearts.

If you're as interested in RH as I am, go to
for everything you ever wanted to know about England's favorite "outlaw".

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Friday, July 27, 2007

New Link to Plays

Look for this new link - situated on top of the right panel - that'll take you to Plays of Jeffrey James Ircink. You'll have access to a synopsis, setting, character breakdown, author notes and a 20-page dialogue sample of each play. Just click on READ MORE and a second window will open for that particular play.

Still working out a few little bugs here and there, but this is a good thing.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Biggest Little Play Festival in the World

Short & Sweet in Melbourne, Australia, showcases bite-sized dramatic treats – each less than 10 minutes. Over 200 new plays are premiered at festivals in Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore annually. The Sydney season alone features 90 main stage theatre productions (one week run), 50 wildcards and 10 music theatre pieces. It's anticipated that 1400+ scripts will be submitted from around the world – the bulk of them from Australia and New Zealand.

I submitted two 10-minute plays – "PASS THE SALT, PLEASE." is a dinner conversation between a married couple in their 50’s which resembles the script pages of a scene in a pornographic film. It won BEST OF SHOW honors at UNcover: An Art Exhibition with an Erotic Vibe, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 2007. The other new play is 4 1/2 MINUTES (give or take) TO CLIMAX, a drama about three couples attending a Christian swingers convention who are trapped in a janitor's closet by a gun-wielding religious fanatic.

This is my first year submitting to Short & Sweet – they offer over $20,000 in total prize monies and only a small percentage of their submissions come for the U.S. You Aussies and Kiwis will rue the day you met Jeffrey James Ircink. Wish me luck.

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Goodbye, De Cotter.

Ed Cotter's wife, De, passed away this past weekend in Torrance, CA. They were/are both heavily involved as director/producer at the Westchester Playhouse, near the airport in Los Angeles. Ed directed me in two separate productions of Blood Brothers (he won an Emmy for Editing while working on Happy Days). De was one of the sweetest ladies I know - really...always had a smile on her face. And she was a great theater producer.

Her memorial was a wonderful celebration of her life and I reconnected with a number of my Blood Brother actors/friends. As a matter of fact, two of the actors are interested in performing in "Pass the Salt, Please." and we're looking at a venue in Hollywood for a future production. Funny how the passing of a loved one brings people together. Why do we wait until such a moment to rekindle friendships and loves?

Let's see, I connected with a playwright acquaintance who now lives in Birmingham, England - Jaz Davison. She now has in her possession several of my plays she plans to read; I found out one of the BB cast members moved to Hawaii - Rob Duvall; another cast member is opening his own theater in the Valley - August, and finally, a director/actor from the Westchester Playhouse suffered a similar eye injury as me (Gail) and we talked and held each other and assured each other that everything will be OK.

That's it. Isn't that enough? Thank you, De. You will be missed.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Aldo Luongo, "The Hawk" & 100th Posting on PASSION = TRUTH!

Yes, yes, thank you. Not that you've been keeping track but 'tis a milestone. Just need to figure out how to get PASSION = TRUTH out to more people. It's already been perused in over 20 countries and all over the U.S. and it's been a fun process. So I thought long and hard about the subject matter of my 100th post. And it's an interesting story.

The artist Aldo Luongo was born in Argentina to Italian parents. The character you see here is Luongo's, "The Hawk" - a character spun from the memory of his father and Luongo’s discovery of his future self.

According to the wine dude at Artiste, one of the wineries we visited last month in Santa Barbara, Aldo aged his father many years to come up with "Hawk". There are 14 paintings in this series - Hawk shooting billiards; Hawk sitting on a park bench; Hawk cooking and playing cards. You get the picture. Here's the catch: these vignettes of Hawk are representative of the last 15 minutes of his life. You see, he's just been told he has 15 minutes to live and he is caught on canvas doing the things he loves to do most before he dies.

Pretty cool concept. The portrait of Hawk here was commissioned for Artiste Winery and appears as a label on select wines.

So, a Hawk - and all of you. Thanks for hanging around these last few months. I hope you've enjoyed what you've read and seen as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Stroll Through the Venice Canals

I first toured the Venice Canals about a year ago when I spent a weekend in Venice. It only took me 8 years to find the little buggers. I swear - I can't tell you how many times I've searched them out only to come up empty-handed. So I went out today to snap some photos - it was a Beach Boy-esqe, gorgeous California day. The Venice Boardwalk was packed - you could tell by the line of traffic down Washington Boulevard waiting to get to the beach. Idiots. So I stayed far away from that whole mess (the canals are only 3 blocks from the beach) and aside from the few other folk touring the canals - maybe 20-30 people in all - it was wonderfully quiet and I was alone.

This is my favorite of all the homes on the canals. I've noticed it several times, but actually got to meet the owner today. Nice guy. I love this hideaway as it reminds me of Wisconsin and the Northwoods. Maybe that's the reason the owner was so nice (and he was grilling). As a matter of fact, I met four owners this day - 3 were nice and one must have been a mute because when I said hi they (2 people) ignored me (oh they heard me alright!). See two more views below.

So that's the Venice Canals in a nutshell. Nice. It was already 3:15 and the beach traffic had not let up. Idiots. I had about 30 minutes left on the meter so I hightailed it over to the Baja Cantina, sat outside in the sun and had me a Corona and a smoke. Then back home to crying children (not mine - I don't have any). Goodbye canals. Goodbye tranquility. Goodbye little black and white, herder dog. I SHALL return.

© Copyright 2007. All photos by Jeffrey James Ircink

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Friday, July 20, 2007

"Pitch Away to Bonds!"

Barry Bonds and the Giants are in Milwaukee this weekend and Bonds needs two HR's to beat Hank Aaron's record - a record Aaron set while he was with the Atlanta Braves. I say pitch away and let him walk all weekend. Aaron ended his career with the Milwaukee Brewers and he started his career with the Milwaukee Braves (the Braves moved to Atlanta). Why have him break Aaron's record IN Milwaukee (remember, I'm from WI)? Screw him - I don't even like Bonds.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

"Promise you will always remember me".

"Promise you will always remember me". That was Christopher Robin talking to Pooh. I alluded to this subject briefly in the post below. Being in California, it’s difficult to keep in touch – particularly face-to-face – with many of my friends whom I would choose to remain close with. Time and distance can have such an eroding effect our relationships, don't you agree? These thoughts are a constant with me. Funny how at one time two people are as thick as thieves, and suddenly neither of them knows the other exists. People move away, make new friends, get married, have kids, make more new friends or simply drop off the face of the earth. We ALL have them - people we've bonded with while growing up, while attending high school or college, family members, work/social acquaintances. Even some friends in CA I don't see nearly as much as I would like - believe me, it can be hell getting around here. Now don't get me wrong - I'm very lucky and my life is rich with the friends I am in contact with. But it's healthy to take stock in the things that matter to you most - and family and friendship ARE the most important thing to me. I have friends – and you know who you are – that I’m lucky to see once or twice a year when I go home to Wisconsin, either during my May fishing trip or around the Christmas holidays, visiting my home state, IA and IL. Most of these I'm in touch with over the phone or by email throughout the year, but it’s never enough. Then there are friends I'm in contact with via phone or email but that's all. That too is never enough.

I had my college reunion in October last year and my high school reunion in February and like my other classmates, I reminisced. You conjure up the good ole days with some folk and that's the extent of the reunion. But then there are others who are different – you pick up where you left off and you can talk about anything and not miss a beat. And those people - those I would not miss a beat with – are mentioned below. Perhaps I've been in and out of touch with you and I apologize. Know that I think of you often and that you are my special friends that I rarely get to see (if ever) but that when we do meet up, our “reunion” is as if we were never apart. You are my friends regardless of how often we see each other, or talk on the phone or email. I put this post up in haste, so if inadvertently missed you, do not take offense – I will revisit this writing. If people think it's odd of me to write down such things, let'm. Some people wear a badge of honor – this list is a badge, of honor roll of friendship.

Eddie Wavro, Chris & Doreen Van Els, Jim Scharnburg, Mark Stanek, Kim Ellie, Jay/Tim/Wade Labecki, a number of my cousins on both sides of the family & family members, in general (way too many to mention), Ned Zoelle, Cameron Bruce, Kenny Wiemer, Ben from UW-Milwaukee, Steve Gresl, Tom Surges, Tom Millonig, Dave Wanta, Paul Voeller, Mark & Kim Totty, John Bell, Caryn Burkhardt, Echo Gaffney, Gerry Krause, Todd Peterson, Deanna Long, Damon Cole, Richard Barker, Lisa Clark, Mel & Linda Clark, Mike and Tracey Clark, Lee Hayden, Lisa Bohn, Jim & Patty Klika, Kurt Roller, Col. Marcy Steinke, Julie Stelling, Lisa in Newport Beach, Sherri & Tom Brisch, Jeff Jeanpierre, Doug Lorretto in IL, Ray Smith, Susie Streit, Pat & Sandy Gilpin, Rip & Janice Russell, Jody Hovland, Ron Clark, the Stuehn’s, the Olson’s, Saad, Ed Cotter, Dave Parke, Dan Forrest, Dan Velicer, Dave Stauffacher, Rich Inman, John Mamerow, David Ellie, Chris Korman, Kenny Koepsel, the Pilot brothers, Bishop Tom Skrenes, Greg Amborn, Tex, Bob Wade, the Ircink’s in Spokane, Eddie Hale, Jack Saunders, Gary Sauders, and Ken & Michelle Burke.

Three more names – Jeff Hall, Doug Boden(?) (ex-Lamer's bus driver in Milwaukee), and Keith from New York who I met when I moved to North Hollywood. You three are the most elusive as I have no way of knowing where you are or how to get in touch with you.

YOU are all special people to me, and I wish you were all here with me right now.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pix from New York City

I originally posted a few pictures from the NYC trip (see May 25, 31 and June 5) and I said I'd post more. Well - here they are ('cause I knew you were foaming at the mouth to see I right, huh, huh?).

Tulips in the Shakespeare Gardens - 4 acres reserved for "quiet time alone".

View of The Great Lawn from the highest point of Belvedere Castle.

Angel of the Waters Fountain (Bethesda Angel - 1868) - South End of Central Park.

Tony Clements and I go way back to high school in Waterford. We worked on the school paper - he used to have layout parties at his house (he was editor his senior year, then I replaced him the next year). Kick ass layout parties (that's all I can really say - what's the statute of limitations on....oh, forget it).

Great actor, singer, musician, musical theater playwright. He and his partner, Rob, live on the Upper West Side - two blocks from Central Park, and Tony read in Stan's Addiction. I stayed with he and Rob for a couple days and they showed me around the city. Great tour guides. Tony and I sorta stayed in touch and kind of knew what we were each sorta doing - he was with one of the National Tours of Mama Mia for four years and doing other acting stuff in Milwaukee and I was in Iowa acting there. Anyway, we hooked up again and I'm very happy. There are people in your life that, if you never saw them again, no biggie. And there are people you wish you could see more often. Tony's one of those people.

So is Michael. Me with Michael Harrington (center), director of Stan's Addiction and John having a Guinness at some Irish pub. I met Mike back in Cedar Rapids when I first got into theatre. I think he was a freshman in high school at the time, but already a fantastic tapper and dancer. He just received his Masters at NYU in directing. Good man. Fun guy. And I believe he's gonna be a helluva director. It had been a few years since we had talked as well (before this play reading came up). So, I'm glad the play brought us back together. Thank you, Michael.
The cast of Stan's Addiction outside the Manhattan Theatre Source in Greenwich Village (the East Village). The woman is Elena Shaddow - Mike's wife, who is an up and coming Broadway theatre actress and singer, having starred or performed in several Broadway shows, and most recently the National Tour of The Light in the Piazza. I didn't get to chat with her as much as I would've liked but a nice girl.

My theater debut in Cedar Rapids at the Paramount Theatre for Follies...I had a picture taken in my tux in this exact same pose. That was 13 years ago - I haven't really changed much either. Huh.

Tony and Rob in Times Square .
Times Square. Bright. Crowded. Loud. Nuts. Chaotic. Exciting. Busy. It's a sight, that's for sure. But I could never stay down there long.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sort of...Kind of BREAKING NEWS!

I'm supposed to meet with someone this weekend to discuss the possibility of writing a 2-3 minute very short film/commercial for this client - can't say who. Anyway this client's film/commercial will feature one of the biggest movie producers of all-time as the main character.

Possibly. The director is interested in seeing what I can come up with. Not a lot of notice, but we'll see. I may just tell him I can't do it in his short time-frame. Did I say the actor in the film is a big, BIG producer in Hollywood? I did.

Stay tuned.

7/29 - They didn't use my concept. Actually never got a chance to present it. The director came up with his own idea and I looked it over, giving him some feedback. My concept was better.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More "A Bumbershoot of Friends".


Met'm in Cedar Rapids while working for the former Fortune 500 firm, Parsons Technology (owner Bob Parsons currently runs the Scottsdale-based Lead singer in Aerosol Halo. Huge Dallas Cowboy fan. Beatles groupie. Married to Angie - she's a Doctor of Psychology. Has a pug named Yoshi. Just bought a house in CR. Is a Star Wars fan. Crazy like a fox. Good people. (Oh...he collects Star Wars figurines, too. Guess they're valuable.)

Nick's pursuing music in the same vein that I'm pursuing acting and playwriting. He coined the phrase, "slay the Beast" - meaning go for what makes you passionate and don't settle for anything less (right, Nick?). He's one of a few close friends who truly understands what it's like to pursue "the arts". 75% of the songs Aerosol Halo performs are originals. One song, Velvet, is featured in my latest play, Chromosome 21, about a man with Down Syndrome who is celebrating his 21st birthday his way. You can hear a snippet of that song on my Gabcast #2 "Greeting" (look on the right panel near the top). Nick has said, "The only thing keeping us (Aerosol Halo) from Beatles-sized stardom is a half-assed Irish tin whistle player...". I'm learning to play the Irish tin whistle. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Favre and the Pack @ Dallas 11/29/07. Pack - 28. Cowboys-17. Nerts!

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70th Anniversary - George Gershwin

American composer George Gershwin passed away 70 years ago today at the age of 39. Gershwin composed theatrically and for concert halls, becoming an American "standard" with such hit songs as Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, Summertime, Swanee, Embraceable You, A Foggy Day (in London Town), I've Got A Crush On You, I Got Rhythm, Someone To Watch Over Me, Piano Concerto in F - among others, as well as such musicals as Porgy and Bess, Crazy For You and Funny Face. The musical Of Thee I Sing was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for a Drama in 1932 - the first musical to win the prize.

I've had the pleasure to sing a number of Gershwin tunes on stage in Cedar Rapids, IA. Trust me - chicks dig Gershwin.

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What Mother Wants, Mother Gets.

My parents live in Wisconsin. I'm in California. We see each other maybe twice a year. My mother wanted to see a recent picture of me; I don't know why - she just did. So - there I am.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

GABCAST Up and Running!

For those of you who thought I'd be satisfied with just my blog - with it's pictures and blog blurbs and other stuff only I find interesting...guess again.

Gabcast offers audio for your blog. So if I want to record a greeting or read excerpts from my plays or other writings or feature original music by my friend Nick Perkins of Aerosol Halo (currently featured) or Rick Bell from It's Only Roy or Luke Hranicka out in Fargo, the Gabcast feature located on the right panel (scroll down) allows me to do just that. And you can subscribe to it so it's readily available on your blog or site.

If you find maneuvering through blogs daunting - don't. Just hit the arrow pointing to the right and you're ready to go. After listening to an audio blog, the screen should scroll to allow you to choose others. If not, hit MENU and then the KJJI next to the orange tab - that will refresh the site. You'll know the site's ready to go if you see a KJJI under the menu and an RSS in the top right corner. Clicking on either one of those takes you off-site, where you can listen to the audio Gabcasts in different locations. I may have just made it sound harder than it really is.

The cool thing about this is that it's a feed - so when I record something via the Gabcast site, it automatically feeds it to my blog, updating your choices in seconds.


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Iraq, Immigration, "Idiot" and Insurance Folly

Recent polls asking the question, "Do you fee the U.S. should be involved in a war with Iraq?":

NBC News/Wall Street Journal = 68% disapprove
LA Times/Bloomberg Poll = 67% disapprove
ABC News/ Washington Post = 67% disapprove
CBS News = 70% disapprove
Newsweek = 73% disapprove of Pres. Bush's handling of Iraq
CNN = 67% oppose the war
USA Today/Gallup Poll = 62% US made a mistake getting involved

So, it's obvious the American people aren't happy with the situation. Now, I'm not saying this is my opinion. I'm torn - I don't know.

I also heard that the U.S. may be allowing up to 100,000 Iraqi refugees into the U.S.? And that the U.S. just gave the United Nations $40 million in aid as a gesture to Palestinian refugees?

In the meantime, I'm still waiting for my former employer's insurance company (former employer heretofore known as, "Idiot") to approve my workman's compensation suit as a result of my eye injury - paperwork that's been sitting on their desk since November 2006.

Continuing. Paperwork that could've been avoided had my former employer, "Idiot", reported my work-related injury to her insurance company in a timely manner as is required by law and by the insurance coverage she purchased when she bought her mansion in Bel Air instead of waiting until I sued her - then saying (I'm putting words in the "Idiot's" mouth), 'oh, I had a worker's comp. policy all along, Jeffrey - I just NEVER reported your injury to my insurance company; I NEVER informed you I had WC insurance; I NEVER gave you the claim form to fill out when you reported your injury, I NEVER posted signage informing my employees of their rights if they're ever injured on my property while working for me (all required by law), AND I NEVER EVER even signed the claim form once you mailed it to me like I'm supposed to (also required by law) but I'll pay your medical bill with my credit card so I don't have to report it to my insurance company' (also...required by law). That's one long sentence. And the "Idiot" is still one heartless, conceited, arrogant, selfish bitch. I ask you - why would a woman of means not report a worker's injury to her insurance company when she's legally bound to? That's why you have WC insurance - so you don't get sued. Oh - but wait. "Idiot" tells me on the phone (she was explicitly told not to contact me by my lawyer) after she found out I had sued her, quote, "I guess it's true when they say no good deed goes unpunished". Excuse me (I chuckled)? What good deed did you do for me exactly? OK - she let me live on her 8-acre mansion in Bel Air for 7 years - in a nice guest house (which I miss) - and treated me like family. In return, "Idiot's" dipshit LEGAL gardener hits me with a garden house and f%^&*ks up my eye for life and then "Idiot" proceeds to violate almost every law an employer must follow under CA worker's compensation statutes. AND - get this - and "Idiot" chastises me for making my 2nd doctor visit on a day that I'm working for her (as opposed to a day that I was working my 2nd job off the property), saying, "Your first visit was on a day you work for me...I think I'm getting the short end of the stick here". Wait a second - WHO got the short end of what stick? I got injured by YOUR gardener, on YOUR property, working for YOU and it was a God damned HOSE and I GOT IT IN MY FREAKIN' EYE, LADY!!! Thanks, "Idiot". Thanks for all your "good deeds".

I'm laughing. The rich break the law. The poor and meek continue to get screwed. There are people walking around thinking they're doing good deeds for others when they're just a bunch of assholes. And our country gives aid to every Tom, Dick and Harry, but when it's own citizens need help, we continue to get the big shaft. I'm also very - very angry - like our Orc-friend there. As a matter of fact, I'd probably kick his ass.

And people still want to emigrate here. It's ridiculous. Don't get me wrong - I love my country, but something HAS to change or the Idiots of the world will truly run this planet.

[UPDATE: Three weeks ago, the insurance company said they'd mail me the forms to fill out in order to choose one of "their" doctors for an impartial check-up on my injury. It took them 6 months to inform me of this - information I had already anticipated would be "the next move"...6 months ago! Oh - and I still haven't received the doctor list from them...three weeks ago.]

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Friday, July 6, 2007

The Girls of Solstice 2007 - Santa Barbara

We did watch the floats and drink beer, too, you know.

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