Failure IS an Option
Tom Rubin: Success Guru
Review by Ross Anthony

That's a bold, but dangerous title for a $25 show. As "luck" would have it, Tom doesn't fail. However, since he praises the advantages of failure, one could accuse him of failing to practice what he preaches. It's a beautiful irony, Tom talks down the appeal of "striving for success" all the while striving to succeed at delivering a good show. It's a joke, of course. But like most good jokes, there's a slice of dark truth. You know, thorny wisdom that we try to ignore and certainly never express. Tom delights in cutting directly to the painful chase.

You might be concerned such a premise is really a promise to depress or demoralize. However, if you're already depressed, you've got nothing to worry about. If you're the upbeat type who keeps those positive thoughts dancing in your mind, I think you'll have a good time, despite. Whisper: This is not a real seminar. Tom aims not for disillusionment, but amuse-you-ment. Which reminds me, while most of his impersonations are a lot of fun, his "Joe Pesci" needs work (or perhaps that particular bit has been done to death).

The show opens with "Forest Gumpy" Photoshopped slides of Tom hobnobbing with popes and presidents or in various seas of his adorning fans. Our audience ate it up. Visual aids accompany Tom throughout the conference, uhm show. While we were all encouraged to wear name tags (Hello: I'm Ross) and participate, Tom was quite tame when interacting with us directly. In fact, I think the show would be improved if he took the risk to bring a few folks on stage (not me, of course), and provide some spoof action to compliment his spoof monologue. At 70 minutes, the show could use some augmentation to its duration. While never dull, some of the satire lacks spark. That said, there are moments (and many of them) when Tom's whit and delivery pack such a punch that the audience broke up into full-on belly laughter. At the end of the day, that's what I think the brochure was getting at when it said, "surprisingly uplifting."

-- Books by Ross Anthony, Author/Illustrator --

  • Tom Rubin: Success Guru. Copyright © 2013.
  • Based on the January 18th, 2013 performance at Santa Monica Playhouse. Written by and Tom Rubin. Directed by Rocco Urbisci.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Saturday, 26-Jan-2013 09:53:22 PST