METROFOCUS JUNE 3, 2019

June 04, 2019 at 5:30 am

Donald Trump became the first Republican president to recognize June as Pride Month, while LGBTQ activists decry the administration’s efforts to erode their civil rights. Journalist and activist Michelangelo Signorile will share his perspective. Each year more than six thousand veterans die by suicide. We have the details on a program that enlists vets to save each other from themselves when adjusting to life back home. The Babe, the Lady, and the Star make up what is Broadway’s greatest sensation.

Aired on June 3, 2019.

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>>> TONIGHT ON "METROFOCUS,"
DONALD TRUMP BECOMES THE FIRST
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT TO
RECOGNIZE JUNE AS GAY PRIDE
MONTH WHILE LGBT ADMINISTRATION
FIGHTS TO ERODE.
A SOBERING STATISTIC.
EACH YEAR MORE THAN 6,000
VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE.
IN MOMENTS, DETAILS ON A PROGRAM
THAT ENLISTS VETS TO SAVE EACH
OTHER FROM THEMSELVES WHEN
ADJUSTING TO LIFE ON THE HOME
FRONT.
AND THE BABE, THE LADY AND THE
STAR.
EACH PROVIDE A FACET OF THE LIFE
OF AMERICAN ICON IN THE CHER
SHOW.
DIRECTOR JASON MOORE IS HERE
WITH A LOOK AT THIS BEDAZZLED
BROADWAY SENSATION THAT HAS
AUDIENCES DANCING IN THE AISLE.
THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS
"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.
>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH
RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND
JENNA FLANAGAN.
>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE
BY
JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,
THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA
PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM.
BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,
ROSALIND P. WALTER,
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,
AND BY --
>> CORPORATE FUNDING FOR
"METROFOCUS" WAS PROVIDED BY
MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR
RETIREMENT COMPANY AND BY PSE&G.
SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING
THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.
>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M JACK FORD.
PRIDE AND POLITICS.
NEARLY 50 YEARS AFTER THE
STONEWALL RIOTS IN GREENWICH
VILLAGE IN THE BEGINNING OF THE
EQUALITY MOVEMENT, NEW YORK IS
HOSTING WHAT'S BILLED AS THE
LARGEST PRIDE CELEBRATION IN THE
WORLD.
AND WHILE THERE IS PLENTY TO
CELEBRATE DURING WORLD PRIDE
MONTH, MANY MEMBERS OF THE LGBTQ
COMMUNITY FEEL THAT THEY'RE
INCREASINGLY UNDER ATTACK BY
PRESIDENT TRUMP.
HE BECAME THE FIRST REPUBLICAN
PRESIDENT TO RECOGNIZE PRIDE
MONTH THIS PAST WEEK, BUT
CRITICS BELIEVE THAT HIS
ADMINISTRATION IS WORKING TO
UNDERMINE THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF
THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY.
THAT INCLUDES OPPOSITION TO THE
EQUALITY ACT, WHICH WAS RECENTLY
PASSED BY THE HOUSE.
AS PART OF 13'S CELEBRATION OF
THE SUMMER OF '69, RAFAEL PI
ROMAN SPOKE WITH MICHELANGELO
SENORELLI WHO IS ALSO HOST OF
THE MICHELANGELO SENIORELLI
SHOW.
HE STARTED THE CONVERSATION BY
ASKING HOW WHITE HOUSE POLICIES
HAVE TARGETED THE LGBTQ
COMMUNITY.
>> THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FROM
THE OUTSET HAS REALLY HAD A
BRUTAL EFFECT ON ROLLING BACK
AND ATTEMPTING TO ROLL BACK MANY
RIGHTS FOR LGBT PEOPLE.
WE HAD EARLY ON TRUMP TWEETING
AND THEN IMPLEMENTING A BAN ON
TRANSGENDER PEOPLE ALREADY
SERVING IN THE MILITARY.
THERE WAS A DIRECTIVE FOR
STUDENTS IN SCHOOLS ACROSS THE
COUNTRY AS WELL THAT THE OBAMA
ADMINISTRATION PUT IN PLACE FOR
A TRANSGENDERED PEOPLE ON HOW TO
ACCEPT THEM AND HOW TO ALLOW FOR
THEM TO BE IN A SAFE
ENVIRONMENT.
THAT ALSO WAS RESCINDED.
WE HAD JUST RECENTLY A RULE BY
THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND
HUMAN SERVICES A CONSCIENCE
CLAUSE EXPANDED, ALLOWING
DOCTORS, NURSE, PHARMACISTS,
HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS TO
TURN AWAY LGBTQ PEOPLE BASED ON
RELIGIOUS GROUNDS AND OTHERS.
WE ALSO HAD A PROPOSAL NOW FROM
THE OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS IN
HHS TO STRIP THE OBAMA
ADMINISTRATION'S BAN ON
DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTH CARE IN
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT FOR
LGBTQ PEOPLE.
SO THOSE ARE JUST A FEW OF A
VARIETY OF THEM THERE HAS BEEN A
REPORT NOW THAT TRUMP WILL ALLOW
FOR FOSTER AGENCIES AND ADOPTION
AGENCIES TO BAN ADOPTIONS IF
THEY'RE FEDERALLY FUNDED
AGENCIES, BAN ADOPTIONS TO GAY
AND LESBIAN COUPLES AS WELL.
>> FROM RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS?
>> ANY ADOPTION AGENCY THAT
CLAIMS ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS AND
IS FEDERALLY FUNDED WOULD BE
ABLE TO DISCRIMINATE.
OBAMA HAD BANNED FEDERALLY
FUNDED AGENCIES.
IF IT'S AN AGENCY THAT'S NOT
GETTING FEDERAL MONEY, THEY CAN
DO WHAT THEY WANT, BUT FEDERALLY
FUNDED AGENCIES CAN'T
DISCRIMINATE.
>> SO HOW IS THE COMMUNITY
RESPONDING TO THIS?
YOU'VE WRITTEN ABOUT VICTORY
BLINDNESS WHERE THE COMMUNITY
HAS TENDED IN THE PAST TO SAY
OH, WE HAVE ALL THESE VICTORIES,
NOW WE CAN REST EASY.
ARE THEY TURNING FROM THAT
VICTORY BLINDNESS?
>> PEOPLE ARE WAKING UP.
THEY HAVE REALLY GALVANIZED I
THINK CERTAINLY EARLY ON THERE
WAS AN IDEA THAT MAYBE IT
WOULDN'T BE SO BAD.
TRUMP TRIES TO PUT FORTH THAT
IDEA.
HE STILL DOES EVEN UNTIL TODAY.
HE RECENTLY SAID HE HAS NO
PROBLEM WITH PETE BUTTIGIEG'S
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, THE CANDIDATE
WHO IS RUNNING IN THE DEMOCRATIC
PRIMARIES, AND YET HE HAS DONE
EVERYTHING HE CAN IN PUTTING
JUDGES ON THE COURTS WHO ARE
OPPOSED TO MARRIAGE EQUALITY.
SO IN THE BEGINNING, PEOPLE
THOUGHT MAYBE BECAUSE OF THE WAY
HE WAS SPEAKING AND YOU KNOW
WASN'T SO HARSH, HE WOULD BE
OKAY.
BUT THAT CHANGED RAPIDLY.
AND CERTAINLY WITH THE POLICIES
THAT MIKE PENCE HAS REALLY BEEN
DEEP INVOLVED IN, DEEPLY
INVOLVED IN THIS STRIPPING LGBT
RIGHTS.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE QUALITY
ACT.
WHAT IS IT?
WHAT WOULD IT DO IF PASSED INTO
LAW?
>> THIS IS A HISTORIC BILL THAT
WOULD ADD GAY, LESBIAN,
TRANSGENDER PEOPLE TO THE 1964
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.
IT WOULD ADD GENDER ORIENTATION
AS A CLASS JUST AS WE HAVE RACE,
SEX, ORIGIN AND OTHER CATEGORIES
IN THE 1964 CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.
IT WOULD BAN DISCRIMINATION IN
HOUSING, IN PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS, IN EMPLOYMENT,
IN BANKING, ALL OF THESE AREAS
WHERE PEOPLE STILL EXPERIENCE
DISCRIMINATION.
RIGHT NOW A LITTLE LESS THAN
HALF THE STATES, INCLUDING NEW
YORK STATE HAVE THESE
PROTECTIONS.
MANY MUNICIPALITIES HAVE THEM.
BUT THEY'RE NOT -- THEY'RE NOT
ENJOYED BY A HUGE MAJORITY OF
PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY.
>> OKAY.
LET'S BRING IT CLOSER TO HOME.
YOU KNOW, IN 2018, A NUMBER OF
CANDIDATES RAN VERY FRIENDLY TO
THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY.
A LOT OF THEM WOMAN.
WHAT'S BEEN THE AFFECT IN NEW
YORK STATE FOR THE LGBTQ
COMMUNITY?
>> WELL, SEEING THE STATE
LEGISLATURE NOW BECOME
DEMOCRATIC FULLY AND HAVING A
DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR HAS OPENED
UP JUST AN ENORMOUS ABILITY FOR
EQUALITY AND SO MANY OTHER
ISSUES IN THE STATE THE STATE
LEGISLATURE PASS A BILL BANNING
CONVERSION THERAPY FOR YOUNG
PEOPLE, PUTTING PEOPLE THROUGH
THE TORMENTING AND HORRIBLE
PROGRAMS TO CHANGE,
QUOTE/UNQUOTE, THEIR SEXUAL
ORIENTATION.
THEY FINALLY ADDED TRANSGENDER
PEOPLE TO THE LAW BANNING
DISCRIMINATION IN THE STATE.
IT'S REALLY BEEN A SEA CHANGE,
AND IT SHOWS THAT ELECTIONS
REALLY MATTER.
>> YOU KNOW, THERE HAS BEEN A
CONTROVERSY HERE IN NEW YORK
CITY SURROUNDING THIS YEAR'S
PRIDE PARADE AND THE
CORPORATIONS TAKING PART IN IT.
WHAT'S THAT CONTROVERSY?
AND WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON IT?
>> WELL, FOR SEVERAL YEARS,
THERE'S BEEN A CONCERN THAT THE
PARADE HAS BECOME SO CORPORATE
SPONSORED, AND PEOPLE UNDERSTAND
WHY CORPORATIONS ARE SPONSORING.
THEY BRING IN MONEY, AND PARADES
NEED MONEY, AND ORGANIZERS NEED
MONEY.
AND THERE WAS A TIME WHERE YOU
COULDN'T GET A COMPANY LIKE AT&T
TO WANT TO SAY THAT THEY
SUPPORTED LGBTQ PEOPLE.
SO EVERYBODY GETS THAT.
BUT WHAT'S HAPPENED NOW IS YOU
LITERALLY CANNOT MARCH IN THE
PARADE UNLESS YOU MARCH WITH A
CORPORATION OR A COMMUNITY
GROUP.
AND THIS YEAR, IN FACT, THEY'VE
CHANGED IT EVEN FURTHER.
THEY'VE PAIRED UP THE
CORPORATIONS WITH COMMUNITY
GROUPS.
SO PEOPLE HAVE TO EITHER, YOU
KNOW, ALIGN THEMSELVES WITH A
CORPORATION OR THEY CAN'T MARCH,
AND A LOT OF THESE CORPORATIONS,
A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE PROBLEMS
WITH A LOT OF RACIAL JUSTICE
GROUPS HAVE PROBLEMS WITH SOME
OF THESE CORPORATIONS IN TERMS
OF SOME RACIAL ISSUES THAT HAVE
HAPPENED, SOME OF THE BANKS LIKE
WELLS FARGO THAT WERE INVOLVED
IN GIVING MORTGAGES TO AFRICAN
AMERICANS AND WHO DEFAULTED ON
THEIR MORTGAGES BECAUSE THEY
WERE SOLD THESE BAD MORTGAGES,
THERE ARE CORPORATIONS THAT HAVE
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AS WELL,
DEGRADATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT.
PEOPLE FEEL LIKE WHY ARE WE
ALIGNING WITH THESE COMPANIES,
AND, YOU KNOW, THEY VALIDLY ARE
SAYING, OKAY, IF YOU WANT TO DO
THAT, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE OUR
OWN MARCH.
SO THERE IS THE RECLAIMED PRIDE
COALITION WHICH IS GOING TO HAVE
MARCH IN THE MORNING AND ANYBODY
CAN JOIN AND THERE ARE NO
CORPORATIONS BACKING THEM.
>> OKAY.
SO LAST QUESTION, 50 YEARS
AFTER, WHAT IS THE MOST
IMPORTANT GOAL FOR THE LGBTQ
COMMUNITY TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT
YEARS OR DECADES?
>> IT'S BEEN AMAZING SEEING THE
PROGRESS.
AND THAT YOU CANNOT DENY.
WHEN WE THINK BACK TO 50 YEARS,
THOSE PEOPLE WHO STOOD UP AND
FOUGHT BACK, THE POLICE WHO WERE
HARASSING THEM AND FOUGHT BACK
IN THE STREETS AGAINST THE
BRUTALITY AND ALSO, YOU KNOW,
THE MOBSTERS WHO WERE RUNNING
THESE BARS KIND OF RECLAIMING
THEMSELVES TO SEE ALL THE
PROGRESS HAS BEEN AMAZING.
BUT WHEN WE LOOK AT WHAT WE'RE
FACING NOW WITH THE TRUMP
ADMINISTRATION AND THE
REPUBLICAN PARTY JUST GOING
ALONG, WE SEE HOW EASILY THAT
CAN BE ROLLED BACK.
SO TO ME, THE CHALLENGE IS TO
NOT BECOME COMPLACENT, AND NOT
ALLOW THINGS TO ROLL BACK, AND
TO MAKE SURE THAT YOUNG PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND THAT THESE RIGHTS ARE
NOT -- THEY DON'T JUST COME AND
THEN THAT'S IT.
THAT'S OVER.
YOU TO FIGHT TO KEEP THEM AND
FIGHT TO MAKE SURE THAT FUTURE
GENERAL RATIONS HAVE THEM.
>> ALL RIGHT, MIKE.
WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR
JOINING US TO TALK ABOUT THIS
TODAY.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
§
>>> A SOMBER STATISTIC.
ACCORDING TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT
OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, EVERY DAY
ABOUT 20 VETERANS DIE BY
SUICIDE, A TRAGIC SITUATION.
HOWEVER, ONE ORGANIZATION IS
TAKING A BIG STEP TO COMBAT THIS
EPIDEMIC.
THE INDEPENDENCE FUND IS
STRIVING TO EMPOWER VETERANS TO
OVERCOME PHYSICAL, MENTAL, AND
EMOTIONAL WOUNDS AS A RESULT OF
THEIR TOURS OF DUTY.
BY TEAMING WITH THE DEPARTMENT
OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, THE FUND
HAS LAUNCHED OPERATION
RESILIENCY, A PROGRAM WITH
PROMISE FOR THOSE WHO CAME HOME
SUFFERING FROM PTSD AND MENTAL
ILLNESS.
HERE WITH DETAILS ARE TWO
SOLDIERS WHO HAVE JUST COMPLETED
THE OPERATION RESILIENCY
PROGRAM.
VETERAN ARMY STAFF SERGEANT ALEX
HAREGI AND DAVID ARMSTRONG.
THEY JOIN ME NOW.
GENTLEMEN, WELCOME TO THE
PROGRAM.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>> WHAT IS OPERATION RESILIENCY?
>> SO OPERATION RESILIENCY, AS
YOU STATED, A JOINT VENTURE
BETWEEN THE INDEPENDENCE FUND
AND THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS
AFFAIRS.
AND WHAT IT FOCUSES ON FOR
CONTEXT, AS WE CAME OUT, FOR
EXAMPLE, DEPLOYED IN '09-10 TO
AFGHANISTAN, IT WAS A PRETTY
ROUGH TIME IN TERMS OF FIGHTING
AND COMBAT CASUALTIES.
THEN THE UNIT REDEPLOYS AND
EVENTUALLY EVERYBODY GOES SORT
OF DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS.
MAYBE SOME GET OUT.
MAYBE SOME GO TO OTHER UNITS,
AND A SMALL AMOUNT STAY IN THAT
UNIT.
SO THE PARATROOPERS ARE
REALLY -- DON'T HAVE A WHOLE LOT
OF TIME TO REFLECT UPON WHAT
EXPERIENCES THEY JUST HAD AND
THE REASONS FOR WHY THEY HAD
THEM.
THEY GO ON WITH THEIR LIVES.
THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY WE
THINK POWERFUL THROUGH THE HUMAN
CONNECTION, THE BONDS THAT THEY
SHARED BACK THEN A CHANCE TO
REVISIT THAT, REFLECT ON IT,
PERHAPS UNDERSTAND IT A LITTLE
BIT BETTER, AND THEN DEAL WITH
OTHER THINGS THAT THEY'VE BEEN
DEALING WITH IN THEIR LIVES FOR
THE LAST NINE YEARS.
WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT IT.
>> ALICE, WHAT WAS YOUR
EXPERIENCE LIKE WITH OPERATION
RESILIENCY?
>> THE FIRST DAY WE DID WAS
AMAZING TO WATCH THE GUYS AT THE
VERY BEGINNING THEY WERE VERY
RESERVED AND CLOSED.
AND THE MINUTE SOMEBODY BROKE
THE ICE AND HEY, MAN, I'VE BEEN
STRUGGLING.
LET ME BE HONEST.
IT KIND OF OPENED THE DOOR AND
EVERYBODY STARTED OPENING UP AND
TALKING ABOUT HOW THEY'VE BEEN
STRUGGLING.
I THINK IT MADE THEM REALIZE
THAT YOU'RE NOT WEAK FOR
ADMITTING THAT YOU HAD SOME HARD
TIMES.
AND THE OTHER PART THAT I THINK
IS VERY IMPORTANT IS AS A
WOUNDED VETERAN WITH VISIBLE
WOUNDS, WE ARE VERY FORTUNATE TO
GET A LOT OF SUPPORT FROM THE
COMMUNITY.
BUT THE GUYS COMING HOME WITHOUT
VISIBLE WOUNDS, THEY GET OUT AND
THEY KIND OF LOSE THEIR
IDENTITY, IF YOU WILL.
SO THEY DON'T GET THE THANK YOUS
AND THE HUGS BECAUSE THEY CAN'T
IDENTIFY THEM.
AND THEY WENT THROUGH JUST AS
MUCH STUFF.
SOME OF MY FRIENDS HAVE BEEN
THROUGH MORE STUFF.
IT'S REALLY AMAZING TO SEE AN
ORGANIZATION THAT IS ALSO
FOCUSING ON THE WOUNDED AS WELL
AS NONVISIBLE WOUNDED.
>> AND IS THAT REALLY THE
IMPORTANCE OF THIS
ORGANIZATION'S EXPERIENCE TO
BREAK DOWN THOSE WALLS OF
PERHAPS ISOLATION THAT PEOPLE
MIGHT FEEL?
>> IT'S ABSOLUTELY CORRECT,
MA'AM.
IT GETS DOWN TO SHARED VERSUS
SAME EXPERIENCE.
SO THERE IS VETERANS ALL OVER
THE COUNTRY.
HIGH CASUALTY RATES ARE NOT
UNIQUE, BUT THE ONLY ONES, OR
THE ONLY UNITS THAT THESE GUYS
EXPERIENCE THIS ONE WITH WERE
THE FOLKS THAT WERE IN THAT
UNIT.
SO THAT IS THE UNIQUE PART OF
THIS PROGRAM IS THAT IT BRINGS
TOGETHER THAT COMPANY WHERE THEY
FORM THOSE EXTREMELY STRONG
BONDS IN COMBAT, AND NOW MAYBE
THAT ALLOWS THEM TO BE JUST A
LITTLE BIT MORE VULNERABLE
BECAUSE THE TRUST IS THERE, THE
HUMAN CONNECTION IS THERE FROM
WHAT THEY'VE ALREADY SHARED.
AND SO THE TEAM GOT THROUGH IN
THE DEPLOYMENT.
NOW THE TEAM CAN HELP TO GET US
THROUGH FOR THE REST OF OUR
LIVES.
>> NOW THIS FEELS INCREDIBLY
REVOLUTIONARY OF AN IDEA, EVEN
THOUGH IT NECESSARILY SHOULDN'T
BE.
AND I'M KIND OF WONDERING IF
THERE WAS ANY PREVIOUS PROGRAMS
THAT WERE DRAWN ON TO CREATE
SOMETHING LIKE THIS, OR IS THIS
BRAND, BRAND-NEW?
>> WELL, I DON'T REALLY KNOW IF
THOSE PROGRAMS EXISTED.
THIS ONE CAME ABOUT BECAUSE OUR
GUYS WERE AT A FUNERAL FOR ONE
OF THE TWO SUICIDES THAT HAVE
HAPPENED SINCE.
AND WHEN THEY SAID HEY, WHEN IS
THE NEXT TIME WE'LL SEE EACH
OTHER, THERE WAS KIND OF A
SOMBER MOMENT AND A REALIZATION
THAT THAT MIGHT BE THE NEXT
FUNERAL.
THE CEO OF THE INDY FUND WAS AT
THAT FUNERAL AS WELL.
HER HUSBAND WAS AN AMPUTEE IN
OUR COMPANY, AND, YOU KNOW,
THAT'S THE IDEA THAT THEN GREW
UP TO BE PARTNERED WITH THE V.A.
TO HAVE SUCH A MEANINGFUL
EXPERIENCE FOR THESE GUYS.
AND HOPEFULLY, FOR MANY, MANY
ORGANIZATIONS AFTER OURS.
>> ALICE, WHEN IT COMES TO AS
YOU WERE SAYING THE PEOPLE WHO
HAVE VISIBLE WOUNDS AND PEOPLE
WHO DON'T HAVE VISIBLE WOUNDS OR
INVISIBLE WOUNDS, WHAT IS IT
THAT YOU FIND WAS ONE OF THE
MORE HEALING EXPERIENCES OF
BEING ABLE TO SHARE WITH PEOPLE
WHO DIDN'T HAVE THE VISIBLE
WOUNDS BUT ABLE TO STILL CONNECT
WITH THEM AND SAY I STILL
UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE GOING
THROUGH EVEN THOUGH THE PUBLIC
ISN'T OBVIOUSLY SEEING IT.
>> LIKE I SAID, THE ONES WITH
VISIBLE WOUNDS, WE'RE VERY LUCKY
TO HAVE THE COMMUNITY WHICH
MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN THE
HEALING.
BUT YOU STILL GET TO A POINT YOU
ISOLATE YOURSELF AND START
FACING YOUR INNER DEMONS.
FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO OPEN UP TO
MY BROTHERS AND TELL THEM LOOK,
MAN, WHICH HUSBAND IN A REALLY
TOUGH SPOT AND I DIDN'T CALL YOU
GUYS.
SO WHEN WE NEED TO GET BETTER AT
THAT I THOUGHT WAS VERY
REWARDING FOR ME BECAUSE A LOT
OF GUYS WE FOUND OUT THAT WERE
IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS THAT ARE
NOW SEEKING HELP FROM IT.
>> IS THIS THE KIND OF
ORGANIZATION WHERE A LOT OF
TIMES PEOPLE SAY WHEN SOMEONE IS
IN CRISIS THAT REALLY THE ONLY
PERSON WHO CAN REALLY HELP THEM
IS THEM.
IS THIS SOMETHING WHERE FAMILIES
CAN REACH OUT AND SAY, YOU KNOW,
WE HAVE A RETURNINGS OF A
VETERAN WHO HAS RETURNED AND
THEY'RE STRUGGLING, OR IS IT
SOMETHING WHERE THAT VETERAN
SAID THEY NEED TO TAKE THAT NEXT
STEP AND I WANT TO RECONNECT, I
NEED THIS CONNECTION AGAIN.
>> THE FOCUS OF THIS IS
HARNESSING THE POWER OF THE BOND
IN THAT SMALL UNIT TO ASSIST THE
INDIVIDUAL AND THE COLLECTIVE IN
GETTING THROUGH AND COPING WITH
THOSE TOUGH TIMES.
IF A UNIT WOULD LIKE TO A PART
OF THIS, A WAY THAT THAT COULD
HAPPEN IS BY THE COMMAND TEAM OR
SOMEBODY FROM THE UNIT
CONTACTING THE INDEPENDENCE FUND
THROUGH THE INDEPENDENCE
FUND.ORG OR THE V.A. TO SUBMIT A
NOMINATION FOR THEIR SMALL UNIT.
AND THEN THAT WILL BE LOOKED AT
AND BASED OFF OF THE
QUALIFICATIONS OF THAT KIND OF
STRESS THAT THEY HOPEFULLY WILL
BE FOR THE SAME OPPORTUNITY.
>> ALL RIGHT.
AND JUST WONDERING FOR YOURSELF,
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU WOULD
SAY I GUESS ON A POSITIVE NOTE
THAT HAS DEFINITELY CHANGED FOR
YOU ONCE YOU'VE BEEN ABLE TO
REESTABLISH THESE CONNECTIONS?
>> JUST SEEING ALL THESE GUYS,
THEY SAID THE BEST THERAPY IS
LAUGHING, AND WE LAUGH SO MUCH
OVER THE WEEKEND THAT WE CRIED
AT SOME POINTS FROM LAUGHING SO
HARD.
I THINK EVERYBODY, AGAIN
REALIZING THAT THEY WEREN'T
GOING THROUGH ALL THIS STUFF
ALONE AND THEY WEREN'T WEAK FOR
HAVING WHAT THEY WERE GOING
THROUGH.
YEAH, THE POSITIVE IS THAT
EVERYBODY OPENED UP AND REALIZED
THAT IT'S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY.
>> AND IS THIS SOMETHING THAT
WILL BE SERVING ALL BRANCHS OF
THE MILITARY?
>> YES, ABSOLUTELY.
>> WELL, LISTEN.
ALEX AND ADAMS, THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR JOINING US.
THANK YOU FOR SHARING NOT ONLY
YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH US, BUT
DEFINITELY WITHIN YOUR UNIT AND
MAKING SURE OTHER UNITS HAVE THE
ABILITY TO RECONNECT WITH EACH
OTHER.
>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
>> THANK YOU.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON
OPERATION RESILIENCY, YOU CAN
VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT
METROFOCUS.ORG.
§ I GOT YOU BABE, I GOT YOU
BABE §
>> FOR SIX STRAIGHT DECADES, AN
UNSTOPPABLE FORCE HAS FLAT-OUT
DOMINATED POPULAR CULTURE,
BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS, PUSHING
BOUNDARIES AND LETTING NOTHING
AND NO ONE STAND IN HER WAY.
"THE CHER SHOW", A NEW MUSICAL
ON BROADWAY IS HER STORY.
IT'S PACKED WITH SO MUCH CHER,
IT TAKES THREE WOMEN TO PLAY
HER, ONE STARTING OUT, THE POP
STAR AND THE ICON.
THE SHOW HAS JUST BEEN NOMINATED
FOR THREE TONY AWARDS.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN, BEST
LIGHTING DESIGN AND BEST ACTRESS
IN A LEADING ROLE FOR STEPHANIE
J. BLOCK.
HERE IS A QUICK LOOK.
§ I GOT YOU TO HOLD ME TIGHT
§ I GOT YOU TO LOVE ME SO
§ I GOT YOU, BABE, I GOT YOU,
BABE §
§ I GOT YOU BABE
§
§ DO YOU BELIEVE LIFE AFTER
LOVE, I CAN SEE, I REALLY DON'T
THINK IT'S STRONG ENOUGH §
§ DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER
LOVE §
§ YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE LAST OF
ME §
>> AND IT TOOK ONE SUPERSTAR
DIRECTOR TO CAPTURE THIS
TIMELESS ICON'S STORY ON STAGE.
DIRECTOR JASON MOORE HAS HAD
EXPERIENCE DIRECTING AND A FEW
OTHER MUSICALS YOU PROBABLY
HEARD OF.
AMONG THEM AVENUE Q WHICH GOT A
TONY NOMINATION AND "PITCH
PERFECT."
WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE JASON ON
"METROFOCUS."
>> THANKS.
>> IT WAS MARVELOUS.
>> GOOD FUN.
>> TO ME THIS IS JUST MORE THAN
A MUSICAL REVIEW.
THERE WERE STORY THINGS WHERE I
FOUND MYSELF SAYING TO MYSELF I
DIDN'T KNOW THAT.
I DIDN'T KNOW THAT HAD HAPPENED.
>> I THINK WE KNOW A LOT OF THE
HIGHS.
BUT THE SHOWS TRIES TO HIGHLIGHT
THE DOWNS FOR HER.
PEOPLE KNOW HER AS A SURVIVOR
AND REINVENTOR AND WHAT IT
REALLY MEANT THE WAY SHE LOST
THINGS AND LOST HER BUSINESS,
LOST HER CAREER, LOST HER TICKET
SALES, THAT'S WHAT WE TRY TO
BALANCE OUT WITH THE HIGHS.
>> I MENTIONED IN THE
INTRODUCTION, YOU HAVE THREE
DIFFERENT CHARACTERS.
YOU HAVE WOVEN THEM ALL
TOGETHER.
WHAT WAS THE IDEA BETWEEN THREE?
>> SHARE HAS LIVED FOR SUCH A
LONG TIME AND THE WAY YOU
EXPERIENCE A STORY IN YOUR LIFE
WHEN YOU'RE 19 VERSUS 16 IS VERY
DIFFERENT.
THE THINGS YOU KNOW AS A WISE
ADULT YOU DON'T KNOW AS A YOUNG
CHILD.
THE NOTION OF YOU BEING ABLE TO
TALK TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF OR
LEARN FROM YOUR OLDER SELF, THAT
SEEMED LIKE A THEATRICAL TODAY
BUT A THEMATICALLY INTERESTING
ONE, HOW DO YOU LEARN ABOUT
LIFE, TRUST YOURSELF.
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER
WHO YOU WERE AND SOMETIMES YOU
HAVE TO HAVE FAITH IN WHO YOU'RE
GOING TO BECOME.
>> HERE YOU HAVE THREE ACTORS,
AND THEY'RE ALL SO TALENTED.
I MENTIONED STEPHANIE J. BLOCK.
THE OTHER TWO ARE IMMENSELY
TALENTED.
THEY DO A GREAT JOB.
BUT HOW DO YOU DIRECT THEM WHEN
THEY'RE GOING TO BE PORTRAYING A
LEGEND WHO IS STILL A LIVING
LEGEND?
>> WELL, PART OF IT WAS WE ARE
SORT OF LOOKING AT THE BEGINNING
OF CHER'S LIFE WHEN SHE IS 6 TO
WHEN SHE IS 19.
SO MICAYLA PLAYS THAT PART.
SOME OF THE THINGS WE KNOW AS
CHER AND HER VOICE AND HER
MANNERISMS HADN'T REALLY
MANIFESTED YET.
YOU START TO SEE THE BIRTH OF
HOW THAT HAPPENED.
THE MIDDLE CHER IS DOING THE TV
VERSION OF HERSELF WHICH WAS
SMALL AND SEXY AND KIND OF EYE
ROLLING AND KIND OF DISMISSIVE.
AND STEPHANIE EMBODIES THE CHER
THAT HAS HAD TO FILL A BIG POP
ARENA WHERE SHE BECAME LARGER
THAN LIFE.
EACH ACTRESS HAD A DIFFERENT
TASK.
AND OUR OTHER TASK WAS TO MAKE
THEM FEEL LIKE THEY'RE ALL THE
SAME PERSON.
SO IT'S LOOKING FOR THE HAIR
FLIPS AND THE TONGUE AND THE
SPEAKING VOICE THAT WORKED ON
EACH ACTRESS BUT MADE THEM FEEL
LIKE A UNIT.
>> AND SHE PARTICIPATED.
TELL ME SOME OF THE THINGS THAT
SHE DID IN PUTTING THIS THING
TOGETHER?
>> CHER BROUGHT US ALL TOGETHER.
SHE IS A PRODUCER ON IT.
AND THERE IS NO DEFINITIVE
BIOGRAPHY OR MOVIE ABOUT CHER'S
LIFE.
SO WE DID IT JUST BY
INTERVIEWING HER.
IT'S ALL THE STORIES IN THE
SHOWS ARE ONES THAT SHE TOLD US
VERBALLY.
AT SEVERAL READINGS, GAVE US
FEEDBACK, NO ONE CAN TELL US BIR
WHAT HAPPENED THAN CHER.
SHE CAME TO SEE IT IN CHICAGO.
SHE HAS SEEN IT MANY TIMES ON
BROADWAY.
SHE GAVE US THE FEEDBACK BECAUSE
IT NEEDS TO BE HER STORY AND
ALSO IN HER VOICE.
IT'S SO SPECIFIC HER SENSE OF
HUMOR, THE WAY SHE SPEAKS, WHO
ARE HERR OBSERVANCE, BEHAVIOR
ABOUT PEOPLE.
>> I SAW WHERE SHE GAVE SOME
ADVICE TO THE THREE WOMEN WHO
PLAY HER ROLE ABOUT PLAYING HER
BUT STILL BEING THEM.
WHAT DID SHE SAY TO THEM?
>> IT WAS ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS
WE REALLY NEEDED PERMISSION
BECAUSE IT'S STILL CHER.
AND WE NEED HER APPROVAL, RIGHT?
WE WANT IT AS ARTISTS BUT ALSO
FOR THE SHOW TO WORK.
I THINK WE WERE WORKING SO HARD
TO MAKE SURE WE CAPTURED HER IS
WHAT CHER SAID TO STEPHANIE YOU
SHOULD BE AS MUCH YOU AS YOU ARE
ME.
PEOPLE ARE ULTIMATELY SHOWING UP
TO SEE CHER.
BUT THEY STAY BECAUSE OF YOU.
AND THAT WAS ONE OF THOSE SORT
OF FREEING MOMENTS.
>> THAT'S GREAT WAY TO PUT IT.
>> TO FEEL COMFORTABLE, OH, I
OWN THIS PART, EVEN THOUGH I'M
NOT CHER.
>> WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL THE
OTHER MARVELOUS WORK THAT YOU'VE
DONE, I'M ALWAYS CURIOUS FOR
DIRECTORS, HAVE THEY WOVEN IN
SOME OF THE LESSONS THEY LEARNED
FROM OTHER SHOWS OR TECHNIQUES.
AND I GO IMMEDIATELY TO "PITCH
PERFECT."
AND I SAW THAT YOU'VE TALKED
ABOUT KIND OF WHAT YOU BROUGHT
FROM "PITCH PERFECT," HOW IT
HELP YOU'D MAYBE TO DIRECTING
"CHER".
>> WHEN I STARTED WORKING ON
"CHER" I WASN'T SURE WHAT THE
ANGLE WAS, THAT SHE FELT SHY.
HER FATHER WAS ARMENIAN AND HER
SKIN COLOR WAS DIFFERENT.
SHE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE
ON THE COVER OF VOGUE THAT HAD
DARK HAIR, AND SHE WAS MADE FUN
OF FOR THAT.
OH, CHER, EVEN THOUGH SHE IS AN
ICON, SHE IS AN OUTSIDER.
AND THAT REALLY IS WHETHER IT'S
SHREK OR PITCH PERFECT, THE
SENSE OF BEING AN OUTSIDER IS
SOMETHING I IDENTIFY.
I THINK WHAT MOST PEOPLE
IDENTIFY.
I THINK IF WE CAN SHOW HOW CHER
IS AN OUTSIDER, WE CAN SHOW HOW
EVERYONE CAN BE CHER.
>> AND YOU'VE DONE THAT SAID IT
IN THE VERY BEGINNING.
IT'S ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE
TIMES I'VE HAD ON BROADWAY.
>> WELL, GREAT.
>> AND I THINK MY AUDIENCE JUST
LOVED IT.
THEY WERE ON THEIR FEET STANDING
AND APPLAUDING, LITERALLY BEFORE
THE CAST STARTED TO COME OUT TO
TAKE THEIR BOWS.
SO YOU'VE DONE A WONDERFUL JOB
ACCOMPLISHING WHAT YOU WANTED TO
DO, TELLING A GREAT STORY.
JASON, ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU.
>> THANK YOU.
>> CONGRATULATIONS.
GREAT WORK ON THIS.
AND FOR YOU FOLKS THROUGHOUT,
JUST REMEMBER "THE CHER SHOW" A
NEW MUSICAL IS PLAYING AT THE
SIMON THEATER.
FOR MORTGAGE INFORMATION VISIT
US AT "METROFOCUS."
>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE
BY
JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,
THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA
PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM.
BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,
ROSALIND P. WALTER,
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,
AND BY --
§
§ I DIDN'T REALLY MEAN TO HURT
YOU §
§ I KNOW MADE YOU CRY, IF I
COULD BRING BACK TIME, I GIVE IT
ALL TO YOU §
§ AND YOU'D LOVE ME, LOVE ME,
LOVE ME LIKE YOU USED TO DO §

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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