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February 13, 2015

The upcoming release of Peter's newest book, "THE RAINMAN'S THIRD CURE: An Irregular Education" has already been garnering wonderful praise! The publication date for this 288-page book by Counterpoint is set for April 14, 2015.

"The rainman gave me two cures
And he said, ‘Just jump right in.’
The one was Texas Medicine
And the other was railroad gin.
And like a fool I mixed them
And they strangled up my mind
Now people just get uglier
And I have no sense of time.”

--Bob Dylan, “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again”

Amazon.com description:
The guiding metaphor in Peter Coyote’s new spiritual biography is drawn from a line in an early Bob Dylan song. For Coyote, the twin forces Dylan identifies as Texas Medicine and Railroad Gin – represent the competing forces of the transcendental, inclusive, and ecstatic world of love with the competitive, status-seeking world of wealth and power. The Rainman’s Third Cure is the tale of a young man caught between these apparently antipodal options and the journey that leads him from the privileged halls of power to Greenwich Village jazz bars, to jail, to the White House, lessons from a man who literally held the power of life and death over others, to government service and international success on stage and screen.

Expanding his frame beyond the wild ride through the 1960’s counterculture that occupied so much of his lauded debut memoir, Sleeping Where I Fall, Coyote provides readers intimate portraits of mentors that shaped him—a violent, intimidating father, a be-bop Bass player who teaches him that life can be improvised, a Mafia consiglieri, who demonstrates to him that men can be bought and manipulated, an ex game-warden who initates him into the laws of nature, a gay dancer in Martha Graham’s company who introduces him to Mexico and marijuanas, beat poet Gary Snyder, who introduces him to Zen practice, and finally famed fashion designer Nino Cerruti who made the high-stakes world of haute monde Europe available to him.

What begins as a peripatetic flirtation with Zen deepens into a life-long avocation, ordination as a priest, and finally the road to Transmission - acknowledgement from his teacher that he is ready to be an independent teacher. Through Zen, Coyote discovers a third option that offers an alternative to both the worlds of Love and Power’s correlatives of status seeking and material wealth. Zen was his portal, but what he discovers on the inside is actually available to all humans. In this energetic, reflective and intelligent memoir, The Rainman’s Third Cure is the way out of the box. The way that works.

Kirkus Review:
An imperious and flawed father figure looms large in Coyote's artfully rendered chronicle of his intriguing journey from confused, privileged youth to enlightened Zen practitioner. Not long ago, Coyote, international screen star and veteran countercultural revolutionary, had a transcendental experience that he had arguably been searching for his entire life. But while the author's Buddhist practice is a vital component of his often descriptively brilliant biographical odyssey, it is by no means the only one. Coyote's story, the follow-up to Sleeping Where I Fall (1998), is as much about a boy's initial introduction to the great wide world as it is about one complex human being's lifelong hunger for inner meaning. Coyote presents a fascinatingly intricate portrait of what it was like being the peculiar scion of wealth and power. As a child, the young Peter Cohon found himself languishing in neglect, floating in the staid world of his conflicted parents, Morris and Ruth. Soon, however, he was propelled headlong into a parallel existence where he met lively figures hired to run the family's Turkey Hill farm and Englewood, New Jersey, abode. "For the next ten years [caretaker] Susie Howard was the North Star around which my heavens revolved." The impressionable young boy eventually encountered jazz legends, intellectual radicals and rough-hewn outdoorsmen. In addition to an imposing gangster uncle, each of these individuals managed to shape the boy who would later become not only a central figure in America's nascent youth movement, but also a dusty pioneer in communal living, a left-wing rabble-rouser working inside the political system, and a struggling father trying to support a family with a heroin monkey on his back. Astonishingly, well into middle age, the author accomplished another remarkable turn, evolving into the well-respected film actor many know him as today. Presented with so many well-defined faces, there's guaranteed to be at least one Coyote, and probably more, that readers enjoy meeting.

For further reviews, please visit the new book page.

January 12, 2015

In November I reported that Peter had been invited to speak at DePaul University in Chicago, sponsored in part by Ancient Dragon Zen Gate. You can access two of his speeches at their web site . Here are a couple more photos from that event.

"An Evening with Peter Coyote" will be presented on January 29th at the Harris Center for the Arts in Folsom, CA. Peter will share his reflections on a life that includes "doing the Sixties" in San Francisco and chairing the California Arts Council in the '70s as an appointee of then and now Governor Jerry Brown. Tickets for the 7:30 pm event are priced at $19-$29; Premium $39; Students with ID $12. Tickets are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Peter has narrated a new documentary called "Rise Above the Mark" about the heartbreaking realities of public education. It's the story of what happens when politics enters the classroom. Public schools are boxed in by current corporate reforms. Rules and regulations restrict vision, depreciate funding, demoralize teachers, and turn students into test-taking machines, robbing them of time to foster creativity. This film focuses on Indiana’s struggles with public school reforms—the same types of struggles experienced in schools throughout the United States. Experts Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond, Pasi Sahlberg and others discuss how America can make positive changes to provide an exceptional public school system for all children.

Another recent narration was done for "Nicklaus: The Making of a Champion", which will debut on Sunday, January 18, on the Fox Broadcast Network. The documentary chronicles the life, career and legacy of Nicklaus, winner of a record 18 professional major championships, including four U.S. Opens, tied for the most all-time. His eight USGA championships include two U.S. Amateurs and two U.S. Senior Opens. The one-hour documentary features archival footage and interviews with family, friends and golf icons. The film's list of interviewees includes his wife Barbara, son Jack II, and daughter Nan, as well as golf legends Johnny Miller, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods. Prominent golf journalist Mark Mulvoy and USGA Senior Historian Michael Trostel are also featured.

December 23, 2014

Norman Kline Productions and CreaTV San Jose will host the world premiere of "Changing Boundaries: The History of San Jose" on January 22, 2015, at the California Theatre in San Jose. The feature-length production, narrated by Peter, tells the story of the working people, political leaders and dreamers who built the City of San Jose. The film features interviews with key historical figures, from farmers to civic leaders, including Tom McEnery, Blanca Alvarado and Norm Mineta. Other notable interviewees include historians Terry Christensen, Nannette Regua and Steven Millner.  The premiere is open to the public. Tickets are available at two prices: $25 for general admission to the show only, and $50 for the VIP reception and the show.

November 25, 2014

On November 9th, Peter was invited to give a speech at DePaul University in Chicago. The event was sponsored by the DePaul University Center for Interreligious Engagement, Chicago Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, and Lakeside Buddha Sangha. His speech was called "Breaking the Barriers Which Bind Us: Spiritual Practice and Political Problems". You can view his speech at this link.

Here are some photos taken from the weekend events including his Mask Workshop.

November 6, 2014

Here are some photos from EVA ET LEON, a French film shot last summer in Paris. Helmed by first-time director, Emilie Cherpital, the cast includes Clotilde Hesme, Florian Lemaire, Clotilde Courau and Peter. Described as a comedy, the film tells the story of a friendship between a 30's something woman and a little boy looking for his mother.

Here is a link to a video of Peter speaking on behalf of the Dalai Lama Foundation about their Living History project.

October  30, 2014

I
n the spring of 2013 Peter was on location in Thailand doing a French film, written and directed by Olivier Baroux. On October 22, "On a marché sur Bangkok", opened in France. It has comedy, adventure and love. A TV journalist turned has-been, played by Kad Merad, and a war reporter, played by Alice Taglioni, travel to Thailand in search of the best kept secret in recent history - what really happened during the television broadcast of the Apollo 11 mission when man set foot on the moon for the first time. Peter plays a somewhat cartoonish CIA official, Burt Lowell, who chases them down. He says he had a great time filming though it was dreadfully hot.  Praise was given for its spectacular scenery and soundtrack. Here are a few photos from the film:

It appears that Peter is on the road doing several Mask Workshops. Tomorrow he'll be leading one at the Austin Zen Center. Two days later, he'll be at the Houston Zen Center. On November 8th, another workshop will be held, this time at the Ancient Dragon Zen Gate community in Chicago. Back in February 2013, he conducted this same workshop at the Houston Zen Center. According to a press release, the workshop helps participants "Explore the masks we all wear; putting them on, taking them off. Experience the playful and profound activity of the masks we know we wear, and - perhaps - the masks we don't know we wear. "As many of you are aware, Peter is a Zen Buddhist priest, ordained in 2012. Here are some photos from his 2013 workshop at the Houston Zen Center.

Last week The Monterey County Weekly published an interview with Peter. Many of the questions and answers were familiar but a few caught my eye. He gave his opinion on how people know him. He shared, "I'll be known for E.T. forever. A Walk to Remember was a big hit among younger people. Jagged Edge [with fellow Buddhist Jeff Bridges] with older people. A Man in Love in the late '80s put me on the cover of just about every European magazine." When asked what qualities directors are looking for when they hire him, he answered, "I have no idea. I play a lot of bad guys. I'd look in the mirror and think, 'Gee, that doesn't look like a bad face.' They hire me for a certain kind of Henry Fonda, rough-hewn, American integrity. I would like to retire from film because my first love is writing. I'm pretty much done now. I like the camaraderie, the acting, the rehearsing. I don't enjoy the business."

Carlos Santana will join the swelling ranks of famous rockers who’ve published autobiographies when his own memoir, "The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light" is released on November 4. Carlos has scheduled a few special events to promote his book, one of which includes Peter. On  December 4th Carlos will be featured in conversation with Peter at Dominican University in San Rafael, CA. His book includes his childhood in Mexico and his early days playing music in Tijuana strip clubs to his emergence as a pioneer of Latin rock and psychedelia to his late-career success with the Supernatural album and beyond. He also delves into how he developed his trademark guitar sound, shares his recollections of performing at Woodstock and pays tribute to the musicians who inspired and influenced him. In addition, he discusses his lifelong spiritual journey, which was informed by his Catholic upbringing and his fascination with Eastern philosophies and various mystical teachings.

On October 26th a special advance screening of "A Coup in Camelot" was held at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. The new documentary, narrated by Peter, is about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The 105-minute exploration draws on film footage, research and interviews to challenge the orthodoxy that a lone gunman, firing from the Texas School Book Depository, killed the president.

Peter has joined the cast of AMERICANA, a Hollywood noir being made by the film group Flies Collective. The film chronicles an alcoholic editor, played by David Call, as he puts together the pieces of the murder of his movie star sister, played by Kelli Garner. Jack Davenport will play Calib, a small-time producer behind the starlet's final film. Zachary Shield wrote the script and will direct as well. Filming will begin shortly in San Francisco.

October 12, 2014

As a member of Amazon Watch, Peter attended the 9th Annual Luncheon in San Francisco at the Bently Reserve on October 8th. The organization works with indigenous communities to build local capacity and advance the long-term protection of their lands. The first series of photos were taken at last year's luncheon on September 25th and the second set is from this month's event.

 

There's a youtube video of Peter discussing his role in the upcoming film, GIRL ON THE EDGE. He discusses his personal experience with addiction and how he relates to the story of healing in the film, starring Taylor Spreitler and produced and directed by Jay Silverman. The synopsis reads - "Based on a true story, GIRL ON THE EDGE is a powerful drama from the co-writer of "Blue Valentine" and the Executive Producer and Co-creator of A&E's "The Cleaner". It follows the journey of a young girl struggling with the aftermath of a horrific trauma, the toll that it takes on her family, and the last chance she has to overcome it in the most unlikely of places. It is a moving account of how we can find strength even when we're at our most vulnerable, and that the only thing keeping us from our own happiness is our willpower to achieve it."

September 14, 2014

Tonight the newest Ken Burns 7-part series begins! In view of that, the San Francisco Chronicle has run an article called "Think 'The Roosevelts' sound familiar? It's because of Peter Coyote".  Having partnered with Peter in the past, Burns describes him as "extraordinary". He says, "A great deal of the power of our films comes from the authority his voice brings to the proceedings." Peter responds, "My gift seems to be that I am able to tell a story in a comprehensible and engaging way."  He compares his voice-over work to jazz and says he uses his peripheral vision to "see ahead of the words I'm reading. I can tell if there's a comma coming or a dismount on a period. The first time I read something, I have this special feeling of being fully engaged with it. It's fresh to the audience because it's fresh to me. It's a little mystical, but I really believe that."

David Bianculli of NPR writes, "Each of these Roosevelts, if studied individually, would be fascinating. But looking at them together like this is a revelation — a sort of storytelling synergy, where the whole ends up being even more valuable than the sum of its parts. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History is biographical binge-watching at its best. In fact, I think it's Burns' best, too." He also adds, "Peter Coyote, who has narrated many Burns documentaries with the perfect pace and pitch, and does so again here."

Hank Stuever of the Washington Post agrees that the series is among Burns’s best works and points out "the elegant and simple narration of the series, read by Peter Coyote and written by Geoffrey C. Ward."

And from Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture.com: "Sensitively written by historian Geoffrey C. Ward, who also appears as an onscreen commentator, and narrated by Peter Coyote in one of the finest voice-over acting jobs I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard quite a few."

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