The World According to a Rhode Island Medium

Published in Pawtucket Times, September 27, 2013

Cindy Gilman knew something was wrong but just could not put her finger on it. Three weeks before Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, when four coordinated terrorist attacks launched by Al-Qaeda upon the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in the Washington, D.C. area, killing over 3,000 people, the well-known Rhode Island medium felt shaky and weak. The fifty-five year old medium had a metallic taste in her mouth, she even began to experience unidentifiable fear. Every time Gilman went into a meditative state to “spiritually lift herself up” her discomfort became even stronger. A series of blood tests just one week before the national tragedy, performed at her primary care physician’s office, found no medical irregularities.

When the huge passenger planes dove into there iconic targets, Gilman, like others across the country, learned about the Islamic terrorist attacks. Only then did she realize that her symptoms where what New York residents were now feeling, even down to the foul-tasting smoke and ash they breathed in, from the falling, burnt debris.

One day before the mass shootings inside the Beltway, on Sept. 16, 2013, Gilman began to violently shake, even having an unidentifiable sense of fear, like she experienced twelve years earlier before 9/18. The medium knew intuitively something was going to happen. The next day on local radio, confirmed by CNN, validated her uneasiness. That something was going to happen. It did. A lone gunman fatally shot twelve people, injuring three others in Southeast Washington, D.C., at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command at the Washington Navy Yard.

Having the Gift

The petite, blond-haired medium, whose 37-year-old son, Danny, resides in the Boston area, with wife and one-year old child, consciously began her spiritual journey in the early 1950s.

One of her first major spiritual experiences that she can recall, as a second grader, the young student went up to her teacher and said, “I have to go home because my mother needs me, my grandfather just passed away.” The teacher let the youngster walk home where her mother validated this death in fact did occur before her arrival.

At age seven, over sixty years ago, Gilman became aware of her spiritual gifts as she sang to a roomful of Holocaust survivors at a memorial service held in Boston. Standing on a milk crate to reach the microphone, the child singer brought tears to the eyes of many in the room, as she nervously sang lullaby songs they remembered being sung by their mothers while they were in captivity in German concentration camps. As the horrific, repressed memories came to the surface of the audience as she continued singing, a nervous Gilman remembered, not seeing them as they were dressed that day but seeing them as emaciated, with shaved heads and wearing stripped pajamas like they did in the camps. “I just closed my eyes and saw my maternal grandfather standing before me with my spiritual eye,” said Gilman, seeing him as “young and healthy,” not a man whose body was once ravaged with cancer, who passed on months earlier. “My deceased grandfather nodded his head and at that moment I knew that there was something more to life, more than just a person’s physical body,” added Gilman.

For a long-time the young child told nobody of this experience, but eventually brought it up with her paternal grandmother. “She started to cry and rubbed her hands on my face,” she said, telling her that “God is with you.”

Later at a family gathering Gilman would walk up to an uncle and warn him of an impending heart attack. This happened. Her mother quickly told her not to say things like this. “I was told to sit on the couch and not put my intuitive foot in my mouth,” she said. As to her spiritual verbal slips, Gilman now knows that “some things come through my higher intuitive self or through spirit guide.

Looking back at her childhood, the seasoned medium thought “everyone had the abilities of being intuitive, it was a part of human nature,” but life would teach her that this was not the case.

From Singer to Intuitive Pioneer

At age 17, Gilman would seek formal educational training to enhance her musical career by attending Emerson College where she once danced with Henry Winkler, “the Fonz” in a college production. “We remained in touch long after our college days,” she says.

Ultimately, the college student transferred to New England Conservatory of Music, where she graduated. Now, residing in New York City, the young college graduate honed her musical abilities by professionally performing in Miami, Florida, New York City and the Catskill Mountains in Upper State New York, and the Bahamas. At this time, before she became a professional medium, she would sometimes pick up things from the audience as she performed her repertoire of songs from the stage. In her late twenties she returned to Boston to begin to work as a professional intuitive spiritual medium.

“I really was a pioneer doing this type of work. People started calling asking me for readings,” Gilman remembers. Both print and electronic media also began calling asking her for interviews on spiritual understanding.

For over 23 years, Gilman has brought comfort and insight to thousands of listeners, as a radio talk show host at WHDH – AM, Boston, (1972-1993), later moving to WHJJ-AM, Providence, (1984-1996), and, using her intuitive and healing abilities, understanding of hypnosis and meditation skills to assist in the healing process. She is a certified Hypnosis Counselor and Meditation Instructor. As an intuitive, her ESP expertise has been called upon to work with psycho kinetic children in cooperation with Dr. J. B. Rhine (who coined the phrase “ESP” in the early 1970s and 1980s. Besides giving readings that bridge the physical world with spirit, Gilman has also lectured at colleges on spiritual topics, also teaching psychic development classes and working with intuitively gifted children.

Gilman has even assisted Police Departments to solve crimes. In one instance, She traveled to Miami, Florida, to assist the chief of detectives in locating a murder. Quickly looking at photographs of five suspects, Gilman intuitively described where the police could find the murderer, at a cottage she described in detail, including a printed sofa inside with three garbage cans in the back. The suspect was later captured at that location. However, she has retired her services working with law enforcement because “it is just too painful to do.”

Successful Hits

While Gilman will tell you that no intuitive can be 100 percent accurate in their psychic predictions, she gives a few examples of intuitively zeroing in on major New England events. The medium gave a feature writer at the Boston Herald a prediction when he asked for one, that is a big blizzard would happen in February 1978. “I clairvoyantly saw a newspaper headline that read, “This Is the Blizzard that Paralyzed Boston.” Meanwhile, an image of Valentine cards on a shelf would date the event around February 14th, she noted.

Meanwhile, detailed in Dave Kane’s book, 41 Signs of Hope, the former radio talk show host, comedian, performance artist, and author, shares how Gilman gave him a message from Nicky, his son, who had died at the Station Nightclub Fire. A day before the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in United States history that occurred on Feb. 20, killing 100 people, injuring 230 in West Warwick, Gilman smelled smoke as she walked through her office. The medium knew that a tragic event would happen close by and that she could not do anything to stop it.

The day after the tragic fire, a figure of a young man appeared to Gilman, with long blond hair, a glittery shirt and a leather jacket, this spirit had just died at the Station Nightclub Fire, begging her to “call his father.” Startled she did not know who to call. A moment later the spirit reappeared showing her his charred body, then transformed back to his original form.

The young man wanted her to tell his grieving father that he had “crossed over, was ok and not in pain,” says Gilman. Picking up her personal phone book, she turned to “K” and immediately saw the name of a professional acquaintance, Dave Kane. She ly called his beeper. That evening Kane returned the call, the medium offering him to help those who lost family members and friends in the fire. Kane told her “we had lost Nicky in a fire,” Gilman remembered, “I knew it, I should have said something.” Kane hung up but he ultimately called back the next morning and she described the spirit to him. It was the splitting image of his son, he said. He confirmed to Gilman that this was his son, especially detailing how he had dressed the night he died.

A Few Thoughts and Observations

Gilman concludes my interview at the Kitchen Bar Restaurant on Hope Street, noting that there is definitely a spiritual, financial and social shift happening across the world. Although horrific events, like earth changes even terrorist attacks, like the recent shooting at the Washington Naval Yard, will still occur, but she stresses that people will become more spiritually-inclined, too.

“Finding ways to become more grounded and focused will become more important,” says Gilman, recommending meditation.

For more information or to book an appointment call Gilman at (401) 885-4115.

Herb Weiss, LRI ’12, is a Pawtucket-based writer who covers aging, health care and medical issues. He can be reached at


R.I. Producers Host Festival After Premiering New Film

Published in Pawtucket Times, September 20, 2013

In 1999, little did Anthony Ambrosino and Nick Delmenico, working in retail stores at a shopping plaza in Coventry on Tiogue Ave., know at the time that their budding friendship would later propel them into the movie business, even putting them on the red carpet at the recent Toronto International Film Festival.

At that time, the twenty-two year old Ambrosino was just “messing around with a camera with friends,” he recalled, it wasn’t really a hobby nor a career. But, four years later, in 2003, Ambrosino, got tired of making comedy movie sketches,” this just pushed him into asking his younger friend, Nick Delmenico, age 19, to co-write a script.

“I dragged Nick in, keeping him from going into the corporate world where he might make a decent living,” quipped Ambrosino. After many rewrites, in 2005, the two novice filmmakers would finish their first script, beginning their filming of Sleather, a 92 minute “comedic adventure, about friends, family and fame.” In 2010, the independent film, costing under $100,000 to make, mostly self-financed by Ambrosino and a few investors, was completed and premiered at the Rhode Island International Film Festival were it received the Audience Choice Award for the most popular film.

Before filming Sleather, the young Rhode Island film makers created a production company, Sleather Studios, later changing their moniker to The 989 Project four years later when they took on a business partner. “You really need a production company to make movies to attract actors to the auditions, noted Ambrosino. “Are you are going to respond to an audition called by Anthony and Nick, probably not,” he said. “We just wanted to be taken more seriously.” Now, the company is referred to as Ambrosino/Delmenico.

Being in “the business” for over a decade, now seasoned, Ambrosino and Delmenico have become key players in the Rhode Island film scene. In 2005, they co-founded the Rhode Island Film Collaborative, where Ambrosino, 36, serves as the group’s Vice President and Delmenico, 30, its Secretary on the Board of Directors. The Pawtucket-based nonprofit film group fosters the growth and education of the local independent film community.

Ambrosino has worn many hats on the movie set, that being Producer, Director, and advocate for film and television production in Rhode Island. The West Warwick, resident, has worked on numerous productions throughout the New England region and has produced five independent feature films which have garnered several awards, including Best Film at Monaco International Film Festival and the Audience Choice Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Ambrosino is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Rhode Island, a Producer and Programmer for the Pawtucket Film Festival, and currently sits on the Executive Board of the Pawtucket Arts Festival as the Marketing Chair.

Meanwhile, Delmenico is a Producer and Line Producer from Coventry, Rhode Island. Most recently he has completed four feature films, as well as several short films, which have won awards such as Best Film at the South African International Film Festival and a Spirit Award at the Boston International Film Festival.

Both are active in the Pawtucket film scene, being producers of the Pawtucket Film Festival, now in its 14th year. The three-day Pawtucket Film Festival celebrates the artists behind the films it shows.

Hot off the Press

With Ambrosino, serving as Producer, Delmenico co-produced Almost Human, which premiered in the 38th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Midnight Madness program. The TIFF took place in Toronto, Ontario, between Sept. 5-15, 2013. A total of 366 films from 70 different countries were screened at this prestigious international film festival including 145 world premieres that included the film from the Rhode Island film makers.

The TIFF programmers are very selective on what films get chosen, says Delmenico, noting that thousands may even be rejected.

Founded in 1976, TIFF is considered to be one of the most prestigious public events held for screening of independent films in the world. According to Wikipedia, in 1998, Variety magazine called TIFF “second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity.” The website free encyclopedia also noted that in 2007, Time noted that TIFF had “grown from its place as the most influential fall film festival to the most influential film festival, period.”

Some of the most notable and publicly acclaimed films that have been premiered at TIFF include Chariots of Fire, The Big Chill, Silver Linings Playbook, The King’s Speech and Argo.

Now Ambrosino and Delmenico have reached a new level in film making. The New York-based IFC Midnight announced on Wednesday that it had acquired the North American rights for their film, Almost Human, following its TIFF premiere. “We are thrilled about Independent Film Channel (IFC) Midnight picking up the rights to their movie. It’s huge to get our name on a film that will be distributed throughout the country,” said Delmenico, noting that only a very small percentage of films get distribution deals.

Ambrosino said, “Getting acquired by IFC Midnight [owned by AMC Network] is crazy for a small film like this but it is a testament to Joe [Begos] and the rest of our cast and crew, he is a unique talent and the movie was a ton of fun to make.”

“We are so happy for Anthony and Nick as they had a dream to make movies and turned those dreams into actions. Throughout the years, I have witnessed them build their careers on various film and television production sets in Rhode Island. They gained experience, education, relationships, and together, have persevered to become wonderfully successful filmmakers with a phenomenal future ahead!, added Steven Feinberg, Executive Director, of the Rhode Island Film and TV Office.

Axe Murders and Alien Abduction

Written, produced and directed by former Coventry resident Joe Begos, Almost Human, which TIFF describes the 80 minute low-budget indie film as “… a raging inferno of axe murders and alien abduction…” and a ”… lean, mean, grisly indie horror flick,” was shot in February of 2012 with little fanfare and no big stars in front of or behind the camera. “I’ve always wanted my first film to be a gritty, dirty, low-budget splatter movie made with my friends just like Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson did for their first features, and it feels amazing that it actually happened and that people are responding to it,” said director Joe Begos.

The plot of Almost Human is quite simple. On a very quit night on the outskirts of a small town in Maine, Seth (played by Graham Skipper) witnesses his best friend Mark (Josh Ethier) suddenly disappear in a brilliant flash of blue light. Two years later, Seth still faces the fallout from this unexplainable event, with many of the locals blaming him for his friend’s disappearance. With the occurrence of a number of grisly murders taking place in throughout the small rural community Seth comes to believe that Mark has returned. Teaming up with Jen, Mark’s ex-girlfriend (Vanessa Leigh), he seeks to determine if their friend is responsible – or is it something they can not understand (possibly the result of an alien abduction).

About shooting in his home state, Begos added, “I love the feeling New England adds, I grew up loving Stephen King and in his stories the setting of Maine is like its own character, and I wanted to elicit that same feeling with Rhode Island.”

“Ninety nine percent of the scenes in Almost Human was shot throughout the Ocean State, says Delmenico, specifically in Coventry, Cranston, Little Compton, and East and West Greenwich. Rhode Islanders are well represented in front of the camera as well. Many of the film’s stars are from New England with the majority being from here.

A final note…

Mark your calendars. The three-day Pawtucket Film Festival runs on Thursday (Night) September 26th, Friday (Night) September 27th, Saturday (Day and Night) September 28th, and Sunday (Day and Night) September 29th. Pawtucket’s celebration of film offers music, movies, and more at every event.

Patrons are provided with a unique festival T-Shirt, courtesy of Pawtucket-based Mirror Image Inc., an array of food from local sponsors such as Iggy’s Bread, and beverages, which regularly includes beer donations from Sam Adams. Music, Food, Drinks, Short Films, Features, and an official T-Shirt ALL for the price $10 (per scheduled time). For a schedule, go to!aboutus/c2414.

Finally, for more details on Almost Human, go to

Herb Weiss LRI ’12 is a Pawtucket-based writer who covers aging, health care, and medical issues, even the arts. He can be reached at


Artist Philippe Lejeune Brings Interactive Installations to Slater Park Fall Festival

Published in Pawtucket Times, September 13, 2013

In writings about his artwork, French artist Philippe Lejeune says, “I play and stage ‘ephemeral images’ that live and move with us in the present time – accurate reflections, illusions of form that relate to our existence. Volatile images that can feed or simply touch our mental images, something one can remember.”

For me, and probably many of my readers,’s comment might just seem a little bit esoteric. On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21-22, 2013 at Slater Memorial Park during the upcoming Slater Park Fall Festival, you can meet this new Pawtucket artist and experience his “Glass Project” ( Your trip may well unravel any confusion pertaining to his artistic medium, vision or creativity.

Coming to America

The sixty-two year old French artist, who grew up in a suburb just five minutes from Paris, discovered his artistic talent at age 13 when on a weekend he picked up a pen to sketch his family during a moment of boredom. Years later after graduating high school, his talent would be sharpened by formalized artistic training in printmaking at the “Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, an acclaimed fine arts school in Paris.

The young man became an apprentice at the printmaking studio of Mario Boni, where he would later work with renowned illustrator Jean-Michel Folon. As Folon’s engraver, Lejeune translated the printmaker’s vision into the medium of print, gaining an international reputation for his mastery of Aquatint, a technique that causes the finished prints to often time resemble watercolors or wash drawings.

In 1984, Lejeune and his wife moved to Westport, Connecticut, where he became an etching artist in his own right, where his etchings were exclusively being distributed world-wide by Cavalicro Fine Arts. As his success grew by leaps and bounds, the artist became disenchanted with the “Art marketplace” because he felt he was becoming just a “producer of commodities.” Three years later, Lejeune would leave his beloved printmaking, branching into painting and sculpture with a more contemporary art approach.

Developing his Artistic Craft

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Lejeune was commissioned to create outdoor aluminum sculptures for private estates and public spaces in both the United States and France. The city of Stamford, Connecticut commissioned a public installation consisting of seven wood, glass, and mirror pieces for the Bank Street Program at the Toquam School. The commission required students to interact with his art work. His huge installations became a vehicle for their own artistic expressions.

In 1992 the French artist returned to his homeland where he later developed a new artistic approach. His site-specific installations were created to challenge the viewer’s perceptions by juxtaposing reality with virtual images, to blur the line between “what is” and “what is not.” Lejeune took his concept to the Centre d’Art Contemporain de la ferme du Buisson in Marne-la Vallee as well as in schools, museums and public spaces around Paris, using his artwork as a teaching tool for expanding the awareness of children as well as adults.

In 1996, the French artist returned to the states, bringing his wife and four children to Cotuic in Cape Cod, residing in a home-built in 1850. A decade later, he moved his family to Boston.

During this time, the French artist began painting trees on plywood, creating what he calls a “plywood forest,” later on experimenting with digital photography within the boundaries with traditional photography, transforming still images into virtual animation. He also became an adjunct art teacher at Cape Cod Community College, teaching drawing and painting, creating a hybrid on-line art classes along with a video blogging class.

Coming to Pawtucket

The high cost to rent artist live-work space in Boston brought Lejeune (now separated) to Pawtucket, to rent a 2,800 square foot studio, owned by internationally acclaimed Glass artist, Great Howard Ben Tre.

The transplanted Massachusetts artist began an exploration of Providence and Pawtucket, reaching out to local art groups and artists. An internet search led him to this writer (who serves as the City’s Economic & Cultural Affairs officer). Learning of Lejeune’s interest in bringing interactive installations to Pawtucket, he was referred to Patty Zacks, an organizer of the Slate Park Fall Festival. Lejeune was invited to bring his “magical confusion” installations to the large outdoor art festival in the City’s largest park. He also was invited to take part in planning the two day event.

For those coming to Slater Park Fall Fest, they will experience Lejeune’s interactive installations, created to confuse the viewer’s senses and perception. viewers don’t just passively look at the art work, they are drawn in to become more physically engaged.

Celebrate the Beauty of Slater Park

Art lovers of every age can greet more than 125 artists and artisans at the Slater Park Fall Festival, which also presents a highlight of the festival performance by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Pops Orchestra sponsored by The Pawtucket Teachers’ Alliance. An exciting addition to this weekend is a performance by the Cowsills, national music heroes with hometown Rhode Island roots (the rain date for the Rhode Island Philharmonic Pops in the Park concert is September 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Slater Memorial Park). Bring your lawn chairs and blankets. A dazzling fireworks show sponsored by Bristol County Savings Bank will take place at the conclusion of the concert.

The Slater Park Fall Festival is a ‘community festival’ where the public has the opportunity to meet some of its local artists, learn about their craft and discover what makes Pawtucket special! This event also features an “open air market” of food trucks, farmers market, and craft exhibitions, a gallery at the Watercolor Society, and tours are available at historic Daggett House.

Other performers and presenters at the two-day event includes: Marvelous Marvin the Magician, Greek dancers, Big Nazo puppets, the Sons & Daughters of Erin Irish Festival, Living Statues by Students of Beacon Charter High School for the Arts in Woonsocket. Enjoy a classic car cruise, Chicken Little dance performance by the Part of the Oath, Poetry Slam, Peace Flag project, and demonstrations by URI master gardeners at Daggett Farm, and Rock-A-Baby RI. This “pet friendly” festival has something for everyone – including the Slater Park (Pawtucket) Dog Park!

Children will enjoy face painting, paddle boat rides, the Pawtucket Bookmobile (Sunday), and the Looff Carousel.

A final note…

So, if classical or oldies music is just not your cup of tea, why not attend the Sept. 22 fundraiser of the Pawtucket Fireworks Committee, scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket. This fundraiser features Rhode Island’s own Steve Smith & The Nakeds, currently celebrating their 40th anniversary, have proven their staying power as they continue to enjoy a full touring schedule and an ever-growing fan base. Fondly called simply “The Nakeds” by their legion of fans, this band of musicians was inducted in April, 2013, into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. Admission: $20.

For more details about the Slater Park Fall Festival or for programming information about tomorrow’s Pawtucket Arts Festival events (Rocktucket, Behind the Scenes Tour of TEN31 and Central Falls Bright Future Festival) or the events scheduled for the final weekend, visit: or call 401-724-2200.

Herb Weiss, LRI ’12, is a Pawtucket-based freelance writer covering, aging, health care and medical issues. He can be reached at