Saw on a local LA news report last night and heard on a news podcast today that hospitals need BLOOD donations. According to the Red Cross there is a “Severe Blood Shortage, Donors Urgently Needed.”

Some reading this may be bored at home. Personally I’m buried with work at home, not enough hours in my day: Mark Roman Empire podcast, Heroteer & Lt. Frank of Vegas 90210 doing PSA’s for The 90028 (via fun drinking game, benefits local bartenders who can’t work due to pandemic).

I intend to find the time to donate blood, hopefully before the weekend…

My cause to help a homeless friend helps more during the pandemic

I previously wrote about my friend Venka. She’s been homeless for over a year, living in her car with her partner in homelessness (Will) and Will’s Chinese Crested Powderpuff (Andy the dog). A word I coined about a decade ago became our verbal rallying flag: heroteer.

Is it silly? Perhaps. But does it work? Oh hell YES!

I’m building an empire. That’s what it takes. Otherwise humans like my friend Venka and her BFF Will (pictured above) shall remain homeless. In the civilization we built. Our shining “city on a hill”.

The political discussions complicating the homeless epidemic infuriate me. So I will ignore them. The way we ignore the growing numbers of homeless fellow humans on our streets.

I’m an Eagle Scout. Who could never serve in the military. When I was 19 a college expelled me. They vehemently denied it was because I refused to shutter my indie student newspaper. Soon thereafter I discovered via…

My food, clothing, shelter, and letters

I earn from entertaining. Entertaining strangers.

Sometimes as a costumed busker on Hollywood Boulevard.

Sometimes an actor working on his SAG-AFTRA union card.

But how could this possibly be?

Industry brains explode upon discovery.

Boulevard characters are mentally ill and homeless!

Actors are — well at least they can kinda dress.

Sure, I can cosplay familiar primary colors, easy for everyman to digest.

But why not improv? A kind of Don Rickles! But in public spaces! As court jest.

Hijacking what feels vaguely familiar to locals and tourists in stride

Performing without the protection…

Before the stroke. Before the homelessness.

We flock to brands. As we flee curiosity. Is that our human condition? Yet we audition for “Best Heart” when we “suddenly” notice evil. Or human suffering.

Like Boeing killing people. The wrong way. War in some country where people don’t look like me? Patriotic GOOD! My Southwest flight to Vegas? BAD! Or the NCAA insisting their athletes play without pay. (Too soon? Perhaps. Celebrities or the Justice Department have yet to ask loud enough “How is that not slavery?”)

Or the pay-to-play university system suddenly “uncovered” via college athletics loopholes larger than your alma mater’s football stadium. Only when…

U.S. Senator Martha McSally revealed her superior officer raped her while she served in the Air Force. I’m still processing. Yeah, I was triggered. Now, I’m not a woman. But think Captain Marvel trailers kick ass. Because of Captain Marvel. Plenty of trolls would question my manhood. They’re not the first.

Also, I was never raped in the military. Since age 19, I could never serve. I may be an Eagle Scout. But I’m also on the F.B.I.’s Subversives List. And that’s a difficult ugly story to share. Believe me. I’ve only spent my entire life trying.

Regarding Senator…

Meeting my Member of Congress, Representative Adam Schiff, at a bowling alley. Because the Dude abides …

What is a “busker”? Fair question. You’re not alone in the asking. My Member of Congress, Representative Adam Schiff, asked the same question. When I nonchalantly dropped the word “busker” in conversation. At a bowling alley. As if it were a common term like “coffee”. Or “Trump”. Or “Lebowski”. (The Congressman loves the film The Big Lebowski. Who knew? Me neither. Maybe that’s where this article should end. LA journalists might hope so.)

The Wages of Growing Up Born Again Christian … While Curious & Creative


Why do I struggle in this culture so coarse?

Why don’t I pursue profit without remorse?

Why do I want to heal, write and sing?

And feel guilty every time I permit that fling?


See scrolls, screens, and stages speak to me indeed.

So many died, some lived, that I might listen, watch and read.

But why did Mommy transmit that curious reading itch?

Why me? Kimmy Schmidt? Son of Elmer Gantry’s bitch?


Is it because I grew up Kimmy Schmidt, not boy but…

[My slightly professional highlights biography is here. I’m due to update the one below, but I’m intrigued by what I wrote 04 December 2007 as I walked out of the closet, embracing the truth about me: I’m an entertainer. Or for those whose small-town church pews lack cushions: a creative.]

I write sexy, witty, dangerous. I am a professional “subversive,” an honorary degree I managed to earn without the perfunctory commencement speech at the FBI. And after years of auditioning my comedy routine before bewildered sales prospects, I’ve now ended my crusade of chasing the windmills of sales success. I’ve…

Mark Roman Empire

“Son of Elmer Gantry’s Bitch” poet, expelled student editor, religion survivor, podcaster, busker, improv comedian “Lt. Frank”, SAG-AFTRA actor. Can We Laugh?

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