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FDA OKs another Pfizer, Moderna COVID booster for 50 and up

 March 29, 2022 at 4:34 PM PDT

S1: Details about the FDA approval of a fourth booster shot.
S2: And that's why FDA didn't really make this as a blanket recommendation. It's really targeted on older individuals as well as those that are immunocompromised.
S1: I'm Jade Hindman. This is KPBS Midday Edition. Hear about the California Supreme Court's first Latina justice.
S3: I think as important as her biography is the geography , she's the first judge from San Diego on the high court in 100 years.
S1: Will tell you about the roadblocks to getting the lifesaving COVID medication you shelled and where you can watch the theatre production Water by the Spoonful. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Earlier today , the Food and Drug Administration authorized a fourth vaccine dose of the Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines for people 50 and older. The news comes as local coronavirus restrictions ease and San Diego moves on from the worst of the Omicron surge. But it also comes on the heels of a new variant hitting Western Europe. So what does the FDA's announcement mean for San Diego's vaccination effort today , and what impact will the new Omicron Beidou variant have ? I'm joined now by Dr. Christian Ramirez , a local infectious disease expert with family health centers and member of San Diego County's vaccine clinical advisory group. Welcome , Dr. Amos.
S2: Thank you for having me.
S1:
S2: The first being those that are above age 50 who have gotten their complete series , including a booster , the second being immuno compromised adults who actually could have already gotten four shots , three in a primary series , plus a booster. And then also children between 12 and 17. And we have to be a little specific about that , because the different products are already authorized for different age groups , meaning Pfizer and Moderna.
S1:
S2: Look , the antibody levels do fade with time , especially in people that are older and who have immunocompromised conditions. And this is not really unprecedented. We have many other diseases that we give boosters for , depending on how the vaccine works , for example , tetanus. We get flu shots essentially every year. And then for immunocompromised people , we get boosters for pneumonia vaccine for meningitis vaccines. It's just because the immunity does wane for the general public who's gotten their two shot series and that a booster. It's not really clear that another booster would really offer too much additional protection. And that's why FDA didn't really make this as a blanket recommendation that's really targeted on older individuals as well as those that are immunocompromised.
S1:
S2: And so that's based on the best guess of when immunity starts to wane a little bit and when people become a little more vulnerable to severe outcomes. And so what the FDA does is it really sticks to the data. And so that's what the recommendation is.
S1: Will this new shot change what we consider to be fully vaccinated ? No.
S2: And in fact , on the CDC website , fully vaccinated is still considered two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and one of the JNJ vaccine. They've introduced a new term , which is to be fully up to date. That would mean receiving the booster of Moderna or Pfizer and then getting a booster after you get the ginger vaccine. So for now , I think those terms will not change. This is , of course , an evolving field and stay tuned , but fully vaccinated. It still means the primary series up to date means that booster. And then this is just a select subsegment of the population that's being recommended to get a second booster at this point.
S1: And this authorization includes both the Pfizer Biontech and Moderna vaccines. How does the JNJ shot fit in here , and are the boosters interchangeable at this point ? Yeah.
S2: So for the general population above age 18 , the Pfizer and Moderna are going to be interchangeable. Yes. And in fact , there is some data to suggest mixing and matching and taking a different booster than your original series actually has some advantages to it. There's a slight difference between those aged 12 to 17 , because the Moderna vaccine is really not authorized for that group at this point. And so only Pfizer boosters are recommended. And then the J&J vaccine really hasn't hasn't really emerged as the go to vaccine for a booster. In fact , it's not really preferred for that. So it looks like the mini vaccines perform a little bit better over the long term.
S1: And our health reporter , Matt Hoffman , told us yesterday that the new al-Muqrin B two variant accounts for some 80% of coronavirus detected in local wastewater samples. This is the same variant that seems to be driving Europe's latest coronavirus surge.
S2: But the remarkable thing about these vaccines is these are all still based on the original Wuhan strain , and they look like they still are providing very good protection against whatever it is that emerges at the moment. Now , you bring up a good point , which is that maybe we should be making vaccines that specifically target these new variants. And those clinical trials are actually underway at this moment. I think the move by the FDA is that it's something temporary that we need to do what we can to get those most vulnerable people protected. And. We have a little bit more targeted vaccines. Of course , the problem with developing a vaccine against a specific variant is that that variant may be gone within several months. So we're always playing catch up. But because of the unique and amazing aspects of the immune system , even using the original Wuhan strain , we can actually still develop and maintain and sustain really good protection against whatever new variant comes along.
S1: Local case counts remain low , but wastewater samples have noticed an uptick in coronavirus levels recently. With that , as well as Europe's recent surge.
S2: Everybody is in their own unique circumstances. For example , we've seen really high case rates in some Asian countries , in South Korea and in Hong Kong as well. But we've had very different experiences through through the pandemic , you know , lots of different case rates and vaccination rates and that type of thing. I think what we're going to see is a modest increase , at the very least in the coming weeks to months.
S1: I've been speaking with Dr. Christian Ramirez , assistant medical director with Family Health Centers of San Diego and a member of San Diego County's vaccine clinical advisory group. Dr. Ramirez , thank you so much for joining us.
S2: Thank you for having me.
S1: There's a recently available drug for San Diegans whose immune systems are not able to fight COVID. But for some , access is an issue. KPBS health reporter Matt Hoffman spoke with one local resident who is anxiously trying to get their hands on every household.
S2: So I have what they call primary immune deficiency.
S4: We spoke with a San Diego woman who lives with a compromised immune system. She didn't want to use her name , but says her condition has been with her since she was a kid.
S2: I had two surgeries before I was 18 for sinus infections. I had gotten so bad that they couldn't treat them with antibiotics. I think most of high school I was on preventative antibiotics because I was sick.
S4: So often something as simple as a cold can send her to the hospital. And like others who are immuno compromised , she doesn't respond well or at all to vaccines. To counter that , she gets monthly antibody infusions to beef up her immune system. When the pandemic hit , a San Diego resident didn't know what to think.
S2: I was terrified. Honestly , I was like , Oh gosh , because remember , the H1N1 was the last pandemic and I ended up in the hospital during the pandemic , right ? Like seriously ill. And I was like , Well , I guess I'm going to die.
S4: She got good news. In December , a new drug called EV U Shield is a preventative antibody therapy proven to give the same protection that healthy people get from COVID 19 vaccines.
S2: I was so excited. I was I thought finally I can maybe like I have nieces and nephews that live across the country and maybe I can go visit them and know my parents are older and I haven't seen my dad since the pandemic began. And I would really love to go visit him. Sorry , but it's actually hard. I really love to visit my dad and I would love to do it and feel safe and feel not scared or feel like if I there was a very good chance I wouldn't get very sick. And I don't have like I talked to , I just don't have that assurance right now. So it's it's hard.
S4: She's been medically eligible for everyone out for months. And even though she needs it , she hasn't been able to get it. Her doctor is in Los Angeles and can't get access. She was excited to hear San Diego County medical director Dr. Seema Shah recently putting out the call for treatment requests.
S2: There's definitely increasing demand , but not at at the rate at which we would like to see it. And that's really why getting that message out there , too , that if you're immunocompromised , talk to your doctor or get refer you to get your of you. She'll wait. It's available.
S4: She tried to get a view held locally at UC San Diego Health , but was disappointed to find out that they and other hospitals are reserving doses for their patients. She could become one , but that would mean starting a new care plan with a new doctor. San Diego County officials control the local distribution for above shield. The bulk of doses are going to major hospital systems like UCSD Health , Kaiser and Scripps. Other systems have limited supply. Health care in.
S2: San Diego is is a little bit siloed. And there's four or five large systems , but also a lot of people in they have private physicians and they're kind of lost here.
S3: And so.
S2: We're happy to serve.
S4: That role. Christian Ramus is chief of Population Health at Family Health Centers of San Diego.
S2: And we've even had inquiries.
S3: From out of state.
S4: The county is working to expand awareness about a view shared , but the current system doesn't work for everyone.
S2: I actually found a infusion center and Oakland.
S4: The San Diego resident , is not waiting around and is jumping on an opportunity to get the treatment up in Northern California. It's not her preferred option , but sees it as the only way to get the same protection that vaccinated people have.
S2: The shot was free for everybody. I feel like the we should also make this really easily accessible for everybody that's efficient and needs it. So that way they are protected and they have the same equal of a protection as a vaccine. The person beside them.
S4: Federal data shows UC San Diego Health has access to the most doses of our view shield. However , they aren't available to everyone who is immunocompromised. UCSD health officials say that they are working with the county to develop an open referral process , but that system isn't in place yet. Matt Hoffman , KPBS News.
S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. Maureen CAVANAUGH is off. The California Supreme Court welcomed its first Latina justice yesterday. And Patricia Guerrero , a San Diego appellate judge. During her confirmation , Guerrero invoked her local upbringing as a daughter of immigrants.
S2: When I was growing up in the Imperial Valley , I never would have dreamed that I would be here today. One thing is clear to me I did not get here alone. I am here because of the courage , the sacrifices and the struggles of my parents and my grandparents. They came to this country knowing that it would not be easy for them.
S5: But like so many.
S2: Others , they came here with hope. Hope of a brighter future for their children. The Pursuit of the American Dream.
S1: And as KQED senior politics and government editor Scott Shafer writes , Guerrero's appointment was not marred by the partisan roadblocks that Supreme Court nominee KRG Brown Jackson is experiencing. Scott Shafer joins us now with more. Scott. Welcome.
S3: Thank you , Jane. Good to be with you.
S1: So , Scott , as we mentioned , Patricia Guerrero's confirmation was markedly different to that of KRG , Brown Jackson's.
S3: They know her well , all of them for different reasons. And so I think this California Supreme Court , especially in the past , I don't know , 15 to 20 years , has been a much more collegial place. You don't see any of the rancor that you see sometimes in Washington with the U.S. Supreme Court or even occasionally in the ninth Circuit here in California. So it was a very friendly process. The whole process from start to finish was an hour long. That's how long it took for her to be questioned and introduced and then the vote. So it was very uncontroversial. She is an exceptionally well qualified candidate for this job. There was no question about that. And she's got a great biography as we just heard a little bit of. And so this is a pretty smooth sail for her. Tiny cattle where the chief justice , in fact , called it at the very beginning of the hearing a joyous occasion. And that sort of set the tone.
S1: And the same is true for Katie Brown Jackson. Absolutely.
S3: Absolutely. You know , certainly , although it became much more partisan and it continues to be very partisan with her Judge Jackson's nomination , I don't think , you know , any rational , objective evaluation of her career , her experience and her qualifications could be anything other than stellar.
S1:
S3: We heard her biography , the fact that she's the daughter of immigrants from Mexico. But I think as important as her biography is the geography , she's the first judge from San Diego on the high court in 100 years. William Arthur Sloane served from 1922 , 1923. You know , San Diego is the second biggest city in California , and they haven't had representation. And I think also the fact that she was born and raised in the Imperial Valley , very agricultural part of California , very high unemployment. I mean , you have a very different range of experiences , all of which you bring to the court. And so as they take up cases , those seven justices sit around a table , she'll be talking and she'll be bringing with her , in a sense , her family , community , her experiences and her background.
S1:
S3: She worked as a U.S. attorney for a year , 2002 to 23. She was a partner in a prestigious law firm , Latham Watkins. And she also was on the bench in San Diego , the Superior Court , from 2013 to 17. Jerry Brown , then governor , picked her to serve as an appeals court judge in San Diego in 2017 , and now you have her on the California Supreme Court. So a real diversity of background and experiences on all levels , both professional and in the court and outside the court as well. She's a mom with two boys. And I think all of those things go into making her a compelling nominee and now associate justice.
S1: And to that point in her confirmation speech , she made a point to reference her upbringing.
S4:
S3: Think this is a woman who was not handed anything. She earned everything. And I think that was clear from her biography and also from the things people who spoke on her behalf said. You know , she was working at the age of 16 in a grocery store to help pay for her education. She went to UC Berkeley undergrad and then went to Stanford Law School , graduating in 1997. And so after she graduated , she continued to work in the community. You know , she did a lot of pro bono work on behalf of immigrants and asylum cases. She worked as a family law judge. She's very dedicated to. Working in classrooms , she said. She loves working , especially with fourth and fifth graders , to talk with them about the importance of the law and the importance of , you know , really setting your goals high and trying to really not settling , but really reaching for the stars of it. You know , she is really the embodiment of the American dream in a lot of ways.
S1:
S3: You know , if you think about it , she is the first Latina on the high court in California. And we've had a number of firsts for Latino men. Senator Alex Padilla , of course , appointed by Governor Newsom. Xavier Becerra , the former attorney general. We've had several speakers of the state assembly who are Latino John Perez , Antonio Villaraigosa , Cruz Bustamante and others. But we haven't seen Latina women really reach these heights. And so I think that that's a very significant thing. And you've seen that kind of response from people like Senator Barrasso from Los Angeles really applauding this , as well as members of the Latino caucus in Congress , saying that this is long overdue. You know , Latina women represent about 20% of the population in California. So it's I guess you could say high time that there is someone on the Supreme Court representing that.
S1:
S3: She's replacing a justice who stepped down a he , like all of the appointees of Governor Brown and Governor Newsom , have been Democrats. They've been fairly you know , I would say liberal , certainly right of center. You do have two justices , including the chief justice , who were appointed by Republican governors. So two out of seven. But this is really a consensus oriented court. I think where they will look to her in the chambers is , you know , the times where her personal experiences as the daughter of immigrants , as somebody with young children , all the experiences that we've talked about , I think those are the ways in which they may look to her to bring a special background and experience to the kinds of cases that they take up. You know , as the Supreme Court.
S1: I've been speaking with KQED senior politics and government editor Scott Shafer. Scott , thanks for joining us today.
S3: Thank you , Jane.
S1: Father Joe's Villages is known for its efforts to help end homelessness around San Diego. And the organization offers many programs and services to help families get on the right path. One of those programs is the Therapeutic Child Care and Family Services Center , which provides resources to help shape a bright future for homeless children and help parents in need. In 2021 , the program provided critical child care and support to 150 parents , and the majority were mothers. Joining me to talk about the program is Ruth Bruin , chief programs officer of Father Joe's Villages , and Michelle McElroy , a mother of six and former client of the program. Welcome to you both.
S2: Thank you. Thank you , Jane.
S1:
S2: It is really not counterintuitive that when you're out on the streets , when you're doing things and eat with toddlers , with really little kids , that you want to maybe confine them a little bit so they don't run out in the street. So the safest place for a small child is to be strapped into a stroller. It's the safest place for them to be. But at that age , if those kids spend a disproportionate amount of time in that stroller , so many things can happen that will ultimately cause some developmental delays. Now , those delays can be mitigated really easily if we get to it fast enough. But it if all of a sudden that safest place to be then becomes counterintuitive because in the big picture , it's not the right thing to have happen. So a place like therapeutic child care , we can not only provide places for the kids to run for them to learn , but also to mitigate some of those delays that might have occurred because parents really were doing the right thing by having them confined more than otherwise they'd have to be if they were not homeless.
S1:
S2: And so we've got the typical things. But then we also are paying attention to those areas where there might be those developmental delays. And we work with psychologists to provide the appropriate assessments for the kids. We really want to zero in on those things that might get in the way of that child having equal footing , equal chance of success in school and really just in life.
S1: And who qualifies for the program.
S2: So any of our kids , as long as we've got capacity , which sometimes can be an issue , any of our kids who live on our site at 51 Imperial Avenue in East Village or that we have in shelter at Golden Hall , we've got a number of families that we're providing shelter for in that program. And then if we've got people in our rapid rehousing program , they also would qualify.
S1: Michelle , as a mother of six and a former client of the program.
S2: Every day my children would go there after school. They had tutoring places for them to work. They had computers. They just they had everything that a child needed there. They didn't have to go outside. They didn't have to go to the library. I didn't have to worry about them on the streets. It was just all there in one spot. And the attention that they got from the teachers in the help that they got from the tutors is just amazing.
S1: That is great.
S2: And that was during the height of COVID and the eviction moratorium was in place. So families were able to double up , triple up , you know , maintain their housing through different mechanisms in ways that we had not experienced before , which for the families was good news. But , you know , there's a domino effect in some of that. So it's a complicated situation. Now we're starting to see an uptick again of families becoming homeless. And so , you know , COVID is getting better. We're all glad about that. But we're still we just got some things that we need to pay attention to. So there were ways that we could do this differently. I hope and I trust and that together we're going to get it figured out.
S1:
S2: And the program there was awesome. They have great hands on training every day. The skills that I learned there was just a depth. They just they teach you so well. Me personally , I honestly believe that a lot of my success today , basically it is because the same visit of home to help me get my life together. I've been sober for ten years now. They helped me get my driver's license. I got my education. They visit upon my G.E.D. , they try reading culinary. I was able to get work. The tutoring and everything they have for the kids help my children to become successful. All of us are really thankful for everything that they had to offer us.
S1: And it's great.
S2: I think a lot of parents would feel more comfortable if they knew what things looked like and how it felt. So that's at 1501 Imperial , and we've got a front desk that families can go in and talk with staff there. We do have a waitlist now , so it's not an immediate thing. And then we also have , as I said earlier , family beds at Gordon Hall , and that process is managed by the San Diego Housing Commission. And so people could call the the Housing Commission or two on one also to get information and can enter through that process. So there are a couple options. We're not the only program that works with homeless families in town , but we are one of the few programs where we have rooms for families at the Joan Kroc Center. It's terrible when you're homeless with your kids. And so to have those two locations is really , really helpful for our community.
S1: And Michelle , at this point now , you and your family are thriving.
S2: I have one child still in high school. My oldest daughter is a captain in the army and she graduated from one of Mother Jones programs early because of everything they had to offer. She has got to do so much , and I feel a lot of her success today has come from the programs that Father Joe had offered to my other children. They they love the children's services. They do. They had so much attention from each teacher that helped them become successful with the tutoring and everything.
S1: I've been speaking with Ruth Berland , chief programs officer of Father Joe's Villages , and Michelle McElroy , a former client of Father. Jazz villages , therapeutic child care and Family Services Center. Thank you to you both.
S2: You're welcome. Thank you for having me. Yeah , thank you , Jade. Great to meet you.
S1: You're listening to KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. Maureen CAVANAUGH is off the play Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria. Hudes won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012. It follows Elliott , an injured Iraq war veteran. The play is partly set in a drug addiction chat room. It is set to the dissonance in John Coltrane's masterpiece , A Love Supreme. The play had its Southern California premiere at the Old Globe back in 2014. Cygnet Theatre just opened a new production of the work. KPBS arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans spoke with actor Stephen Loane , who plays Elliot and the play's director , Meg Debord , who gave us her quick elevator pitch of the play to kick things off.
S2: Warner Brothers Spoonful is about finding connection , and some of our characters find connection virtually through a chat room. Some of them find it physically through their family , and also sometimes you just find connections through strangers. I feel like this is an opportunity to talk about found family. So sometimes you do have connections with people who are related to you by blood , but also sometimes that blood family isn't something that you feel comfortable in and you create your own family by finding others. And this play really highlights that. And I wanted to talk about that online chat group. Meg , who are these people ? And also , how do you pull that off on a stage ? Well , these people are all on a website or a chat room that is created called Recovery Together. And these specific people are recovering from cocaine addiction. And we have a set that I think can live very well in both the physical world as well as the virtual world. That was one of our big challenges. And so we have various portals. We heavily rely on projections and lighting , and we have moments where we have the actors look at each other , but we have to understand that they're not actually looking at each other. That was actually probably the biggest challenge is finding ways to make the text and the actors connect with each other without them physically being able to touch and and hug and still make it all come alive. And I want to talk a little bit about that character of Elliot , the veteran who is played by actor Steve Allen. And this is part of a trilogy of standalone works called the Elliot Trilogy. Water by the Spoonful is actually the second installment , but we are given everything we need. And Steven , I would like to hear a little bit about who Elliot is and what is Elliot's world that has given us three entire plays. So Elliot is in Water by the spoonful. He is six years removed from returning home from Iraq , where he enlisted as a teenager. And he has returned home to Philadelphia and he has found himself just trying to adjust to civilian life and currently working at a sandwich shop and taking care of his sick mother. And so throughout the play , we're seeing his journey not only navigating life as a veteran , but also with some , you know , twists and turns that have come his way via his family. And what we're discovering throughout this play is how he adjusts to big life events that are currently happening. Meg , can you tell me about the Coltrane subplot or more specifically , the idea of dissonance and in music and that sister figure that Elliot has and his relationship with his cousin. Our playwright wrote the book for In the Heights , and so she is very connected to music , and she wrote each of these plays in her trilogy to be underscored , maybe not literally underscored by a certain song or type of piece , but they inspired her as she wrote. So for our play , actually , John Coltrane's A Love Supreme is going to be heavily in our show because that was what she was listening to or inspired by. She wrote the piece. And so there's a lot of dissonance if a Love Supreme and his cousin Yazz at she is a music professor or an adjunct music professor , and she has this incredible monologue about the first time she heard dissonance. She was 13 and she composed a piece and her music teacher tells her , Wow , it all goes together so nicely. But let's listen to these two types of chords together. And she plays the two chords and they have a huge amount of dissonance in them. And that's her first memory of dissonance. And I think what I love about it is that in our monologue , we , we talk. Ah , in Jazz's monologue , she talks about how dissonance suddenly became an option for an ending before before a John Coltrane music had a beautiful ending. If there was dissonance in a piece , then it would still resolve itself by the end of the piece and end in a lovely chord. But actually , that's not really how life is. And so John Coltrane said , you know what dissonance and that ugliness that comes with it , that can be the ending. And this play won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012. Stephen , what do you think it is about the story that resonated so much ? I absolutely love the characters that Kiera develops and anything that she writes. And I think what's so. About these pieces. And Water by the Spoonful specifically is just how real these. Characters.
S3: Characters. Are.
S2: Are. You know , it's relatable. Victim makes points about the playwright , not. I'm not trying to make it seem as if , you know , life must always end in a pretty cord. It's messy. You know , you might not come out at the end of this show feeling completely satisfied with everything , being tied up in a nice little bow. And I love that. I think that's that's life , isn't it ? And so I you know , I think that's what resonates the most. You know , also , especially given , you know , the diversity of the characters in this play , we have Latinos , we have , you know , black , we have Asian. We have such a great representation on the stage , which is so representative of the community that we are in. I think that very much resonates , especially for a person like me who represents one of those communities. It's very powerful. It's very powerful to see that on the stage. Very powerful to see stories , you know , pertaining to to these communities. You know , lifting them up , but also showing that it's.
S3: It's not perfect.
S2: Right ? It's just like life.
S1: That was KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon. Evan speaking with actor Stephen Lone and director Mac Debord from Cygnet Theatre's production of Water by the Spoonful onstage through April 24th. Michael Mesure. Amy has worked as a choreographer most of his life , but more recently has turned his attention to playwriting and to horror. This weekend he premiered his play Twisted Bargain , which was inspired by a real life murder case. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO speaks with the playwright and one of his actors , Juan Ayala.
S5: Michael , you are probably primarily known as a choreographer , but you have been working quite a bit as a playwright. And you are about to premiere your latest piece , which is a horror play , which of course delights me. And this is called Twisted Bargain.
S4: And the play I picked was Never The Sinner , and that was about the Leopold and Loeb. So I did my research and like this is really interesting group of guys like these two men are twisted. The play itself dealt with the trial , but the background of the guys was really twisted. And so I don't do more. And based on that , I wanted to write a play about where I thought their minds were. It's set now. It's not set back in the 1920s when they murdered a boy and then they were put on trial and Clarence Darrow was their lawyer and they're both sent to prison. And Lo was killed in prison and Leopold was paroled in 1958.
S5: And what attracts you to kind of these darker topics ? Because this is not the first venture you've done into horror.
S4: Knowing some of the dance stuff I've done , it has been very dark. I think a lot of it has to do with true crime. I have a desire to better understand the unthinkable capacity for cruelty and what makes a person tick and think like that. Because I think I could never do that. But I really want to understand why a person could. And so this this play is my idea of why they do the things they do. It's fiction for sure , but it's my take on it.
S5: And one , you are playing one of the two murderers , Michael. So tell me what your character is like.
S4: He's a psycho psycho with a little bit of a bipolar kind of disorder. I think he confuses the lines in between violence and sex a lot. So what does that bring into into life ? You know , that's the question , I guess , you know , because once you feel passionate about something , you just you just want to do that over and over again. And that's what he feels about. Killing Michael is based on love all his life , used his looks in sex to get what he wanted. And so that was just a way he worked. He'd , you know , it was second nature. And so Michael is exactly like that. He just uses the sex and the lust and that as power and not so much for pleasure and but to get the upper hand , which also in this play , the power exchange goes back and forth. It's not just one person.
S5:
S4: You know , I don't know if I say you should not or we're not allowed to present these sides of ourselves in our everyday society. And so it's great that we get to or , you know , artists , me , myself included , get a chance to do to bring that out and to share that into a in a form that's productive and in a form that somebody else can relate to , somebody can watch. And so , I don't know. I like going there. It's always something new. It's always something that I'm not expecting , what it's going to come out. And that's the fun of it , you know.
S5:
S4: I have to like how how he does things so that I can actually do them in a real way. It's it's kind of interesting because I leave that. I leave the rehearsal. And so I go and I think , okay , you know , like , wow , what was that mindset ? You know , what was I what was I thinking ? But I come back here and and it and it all comes and it's like all of these feel so good. So I love I love doing this , you know , you know , we watch it and think , I could never do that. I mean , we think about it like , I just want to do that , but then we don't do it. So what makes that person go there ? What makes that that person do that act ? And that's what like that's the interesting thing to me to explore. How does that person get there ? I want to understand that that person , even though maybe you can't and that person's a sociopath and you can't understand it , but as people with hearts , we we want to believe that there is a reason why. And sometimes there's just not.
S5: Talk a little bit about the interplay between the two characters.
S4: Zander is desperately in love with Michael. So. He is going to do anything to be with Michael. And Michael goes , Oh , well , if that's the case , well , if you do this for me , I'll do this for you. And so they make this pact a twisted bargain , and then it just escalated , escalate. And they just think they're so smart and their minds are so intellectual that let's do the ultimate crime. Let's kill someone , and we're so smart , we'll get away with it. But they find a bargain and they make if you do this for me , if you do crime and murder , I'll give you what you want physically and calmly. And not that that's what happened in real life , but that's my take on it.
S5:
S4: Michael Play they one. Ayala is a one that and Zander played by Hunter Brown is in the other and they're discussing almost gleefully how they're going to kill this person. How are we going to do it ? Let me think. Baseball bat to the head. No , it'll do the job. A rock to the head. Then we tossed the body off a cliff. Denise will take turns. Yeah. First me than you. And if people notice his missing , he's gone missing before. Yeah. No big deal. Yeah , no big deal. He'll turn up. He always does. He always does. We have to play in the details. I know. Lawyer Co. No , Torrey Pines Glider Port Torrey Pines. People have died there before. They bounce off every crag , every ledge before they hit bottom. Very easy to stumble and lose your balance , especially if you're drunk. Which he will. Goddamn , I got where you need to meet with Celeste. But you hate Celeste. Not for that. He'll be there. You're right. Always passed out on the corner. Send him on an errand. Tell him to pick up some liquor and then meet you in Celeste at the glider point. And he'll be drunk. So he'll take a left , make sure he takes a left. We don't want him to drive off a cliff and kill himself. Yeah , that'll be ironic. Drop off , Celeste , and then I'll meet you at the park. Can we go together ? No , separately. And we can't take a lift. We can't have any sort of record , any paper trail. And how do we get there ? We walk. That's like three mile. We walk in the dark , their path. Fine. I'll meet you here and then we can walk over together. Yeah , that'll be better. And alibis. We're not going to need them. Doesn't matter. We have to have them. All right , I'll drop off Celeste and head back here and I'll be your alibi. Great. I'll post photos on Facebook and Instagram. Stupid things like alone again on the Saturday night hashtag. One of the loneliest numbers. Sad face from. From the dorm. Yes. And the laundry room. I might as well make good use of my time just in case. Never hurts to be prepared like being Boy Scout. Superman. Superman.
S5:
S4: Yeah. This scene is really a dark comedy scene in that they're sitting on a bed and talking how they're I'm going to kill this man. But there's almost a glee fullness in their voice as they plan. So it's not very , Oh , we're going to kill it. It's like , we'll do this and we'll do this and we'll do this and we'll do this. Oh , that's cool. Yeah , yeah , yeah , yeah , yeah. And so it's like college boys on their beds gossiping about stuff as opposed to you guys are planning on murder.
S5: All right. Well , thank you very much for talking about Twisted Bargain.
S4: Thank you , Beth Camarda.
S1: That was Beth ACCOMANDO speaking with Michael Mizrachi and Juan Ayala. Twisted bargain opens this weekend at 10th Avenue Art Center in downtown San Diego.

On Tuesday, the FDA authorized a fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines for everyone 50 and older. Plus, the California Supreme Court welcomed its first Latina justice, Patricia Guerrero, formerly a San Diego appellate judge. Then, a newly available drug called Evusheld would help protect people whose immune systems are unable to fight COVID-19, but not everyone who needs it can access the drug. Then, we hear about a childcare program offered to mothers experiencing homelessness through Father Joe’s Villages. Finally, a preview of "A Twisted Bargain," a new play opening this weekend at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center which was inspired by the infamous Leopold-Loeb murder case.