How I Got to Madison Avenue. And beyond.

As with life, this blog is developing and changing. It began with a lot of stories that occurred on my career path from Albany to Madison Avenue and back.

There were some similarities to the AMC series "Mad Men," and then I went even farther back in time with a somewhat fictionalized version of growing up in Troy's Little Italy.

And now, a new development. As my free lance advertising and marketing career winds down, I'm becoming more interested in the theatre arts that my father and his 3 brothers helped instill in me as I grew up.

As a result, I've volunteered to help promote the Theatre Institute at Sage, and now, to continue a long-interrupted desire to be behind the proscenium, I've joined the newly formed Troy Civic Theatre, and was actually fortunate enough to appear in their first production.

So, I hope you'll enjoy the new stories that will develop from this latest turn.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Another departure from my normal blog postings, if there is such a thing. A recipe I found on line for three ingredients I was fortunate to have in the house. Enjoy. And Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it.

Cranberry, Pear and Apple Crumble Recipe

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray with a nonstick cooking spray, a 2 1/2 quart (2.75 liter) casserole or oval gratin dish, or a 10 inch (25 cm) deep dish pie plate.

For Crumble Topping: Place all the topping ingredients (flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, oats, nuts, and butter) in a food processor and process just until the mixture has clumps the size of peas. (This can also be done in a large bowl with a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips.)

For Filling: In a large bowl combine the sugar and cornstarch (corn flour). Peel, core, and slice the apples and pears and toss them, along with the cranberries, in the sugar mixture. Once thoroughly combined transfer to the prepared baking dish. Spread the topping evenly over the fruit.

Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until bubbly and the topping is golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat before serving.

Makes about 6 servings.

Crumble Topping:

3/4 cup (95 grams) all purpose flour

3/4 cup (155 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (70 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats

1/3 cup (40 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces


2-3 tablespoons (30-45 grams) light brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch (corn flour)

1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) Granny Smith Apples or other firm apple - peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) ripe Bartlett or Anjou Pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks

1/2 cup (50 grams) dried cranberries (or fresh cranberries that have been, rinsed, drained, and picked over.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I'll Be The Judge of That.

I can't say it was a triumphant return to the stage, but I hope the audience had as much fun watching as I did playing the irascible judge in Troy Civic Theatre's initial offering, "The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge."

My recent stage experience is pretty sparse, and this was only the second show I auditioned for this year, each, coincidentally, for the part of a judge.

The first, which I didn't get, would have been a huge stretch -- not age-wise, but acting-wise -- it was a 2-person play, and the male was a retired judge at Nuremburg, beginning to lose his faculties, and dealing with a young, sharp-witted assistant.

The part of Judge Stanchfield R. Pearson, for which I was selected, was a lot less complicated. This judge out-scrooges Scrooge, and deserves the eerie finish that the play provides. But the only variation is in the character's bellowing and anger -- he's the most cartoonish character in the play, and honestly, I don't think I'm ready for any more variation that that. On top of that, it was an enhanced stage reading, not a full-up production, so when I stumbled, I had the script in front of me, and experienced actors around me to help cover me.

Hopefully, I'll develop and grow into other, more complex characters over time.

Today, I want to publicly thank all the members of the company and cast for their support, and also to my family and friends who took the time from a busy holiday season to come to the show. They were all kind enough to tell me that they enjoyed it.

I don't know if anyone missed the absence of postings over the last few weeks; I was using my energies to concentrate on the play.

That's all for today, except for this -- the short "bio" I wrote for the Playbill:

Frank LaPosta Visco grew up in Troy, watching his father and three uncles, known as the Visk Brothers, put on many shows that helped support, entertain and unite the residents of Troy, especially those of Little italy, and is happy to (finally) help continue that family tradition as a member of the new Troy Civic Theatre Company. "Somebody knows something."