Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Digital Artist in a Digital World

Terry took of for a weekend to shop with her friend Elaine Pasekoff in Miami.While she was gone, I spent my Sunday trying to figure out a new digital paint program called SAI. The program is pretty intuitive and it allows for quick spontaneous mixing of colors right on the sketch. Several times last week I was sketching in theaters where the house lights were out for the duration of the show. That meant sketching and painting in the dark. On one occasion I used my cell phone as a light source but that meant I had to hold the cell phone with my left hand which made it impossible to hold the palette. I'm coming up with a simple clamp, lamp stand device which could hold the cell phone but haven't figured out the design yet. It would have to fold up to be put back in the art back once the sketch is done.

SAI Paint Program could be an alternative for dark theaters as well. The tablet obviously generated its own light. It would however likely be considered intrusive however if there were other audience members in the theater. You might recall that someone was shot and killed for using their cell phone in a movie theater down here in Florida. SAI offers me the ability to apply saturated colors behind the line sketch and a quick way to paint gradations and highlights. As a paint program it is superior to Sketchbook Pro which doesn't allow for mixing colors.

There is a major problem however in that SAI doesn't have pressure sensitivity on my Motion Computing tablet. This means that lines don't start out thin and then grow thicker as pressure is applied to the stylus. It is a major drawback. Sketchbook Pro does have pressure sensitivity so putting down lines is intuitive and fun. I spent the whole day trying to figure out how to switch drivers and or turn on the sensitivity. After a solid eight hours or so of research online, I was no closer to an answer.

When Terry got home and started to watch a movie, I decided to do a sketch using Sketchbook Pro and then I imported that sketch into SAI and started to paint. Bold brush strokes don't necessarily always need pressure sensitivity but because of that, I spent far too much time switching brush sizes to go back and forth between thick and thin.

Wacom has a new Cintiqu Companion that is just like my tablet in that it can be used as a digital sketchbook. I looked up several videos that show it using SAI with all it's sensitive features in use. My Motion tablet was designed for field technicians and nurses so it wasn't designed with the artist in mind. For now I'll continue to use the Motion tablet with this two program workaround. If I keep doing digital sketches I might be able to speed up the process so that it can be used every day. It basically makes it possible to have rich color quickly and apply light opaque paint over a dark base. I might start using gouache paint in my sketchbook to get a feel for a similar effect using real paint. If I switch to doing digital sketches, then there is no longer any original sketch to sell. The original would only be a computer file and I would have to sell prints. It is a catch 22, I love the look that is possible digitally, but there is a definite advantage to having an original sketchbook which can be stored away on a book shelf. I've had computers and tables die before and when that happens all the digital sketches disappear on the lost hard drive. I would have to get much better at creating and backing up a digital bookcase. Technology keeps changing which makes archiving work a constant challenge. When I first started this blog, my intention was to switch back and and forth between traditional and digital sketches. I might be bringing that experiment back again.

After two days of endless research online, I finally found an article that helped me resolve the issue of no pressure sensitivity. I deleted the Wacom driver and downloaded and installed  the latest European version of the Wacom driver. Since SAI was written by a Japanese company, it makes sense that a European driver would work.  I was amazed and elated that it finally worked.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Corsets and Cuties Brings a Lush Cabaret and Burlesque to The Venue

On July 23rd I went to a rehearsal for a Double Trouble Production of Corsets and Cuties, a Burlesque Cabaret. I made the mistake of first going to The Venue. Luckily I was a bit early and when I looked at the calendar on my cell phone, I realized I was supposed to be at Dreamworks Dance Studio a couple of miles away. The Dance studio is in a strip mall right next to Clemmons Produce Plaza which had huge watermelons in the window. When I arrived at Dreamworks, I found Babs and her husband waiting at the door to the dance studio. Babs is a producer of the show, along with Lady Jaimz. It turns out, I had sketched Babs before at a body painting party at DRIP on International Drive. Her talents had turned her model into a glittering white pixie fairy.

As we waited for someone to arrive with a key, it began to pour. Thankfully we were under cover. Performers who arrived late however were soaked along with their costumes. When one performer arrived, she complained that she had stabbed herself on the porcupine quills that were sticking out of a pocket in her purse. Now that is an occupational hazard you don't hear about very often. I can't imagine what kind of costume would require porcupine quills. I once took a survey to find out which Indian spirit animal I most resembled. It turns out I am a porcupine.  The porcupine walks through the world with quiet confidence. He is keenly aware of his surroundings and always prepared. He protects himself with authority without being outwardly aggressive.

I helped cover the front windows of the dance studio with tarps since there would be partial nudity at times.  It was Bab's birthday and performers showered her with flowers and balloons. The back dressing room became a buzz of activity as the women and one male performer got into costumes. Corsets were tightened and glitter and feathers were everywhere. Risa Risqué is the performer who was kind enough to arrange my sketch outing. I spotted her in the audience of Legally Blonde way up in Eustis. She has a tattoo of tiny angels wings nestled between her shoulder blades. It is one of the classiest tattoos I've seen. I've often wondered what image I could commit to for the remainder of my life and as a visual artist my tastes change too often. I sketched Risa as she adjusted her frilly svelte costume in the mirror. I then focused on Lady Jaimz as she introduced the show. I figured she would return center stage between acts giving me multiple chances to refine her sketch. I was right.

Frank arrived. He is a blow up doll that is integral to Bab's first number.  He was a bit flaccid when he first arrived, so she had to blow him up until he was rock hard. The inflation nipple isn't locate where you would expect it to be. It was in the small of his back. He was a marvelous dance partner and she helped him strip. He was fully anatomically endowed and it was hilarious when she had him nestle between her ample breasts. Like most men, he was a disappointment and she cast him aside. Seven performers sang during their burlesque routines. They are consummate performers with good lungs and a knowledge of how to entice with humor. There was one costume mishap when Honey Child's banana belt fell off as she danced. Group dance numbers were well choreographed and polished. One group number had all the girls and Jax N. Augh wearing hats. After he stripped, he kept the hat over his privates and then let go. The hat dangled in front of him as if by magic. Even the girls dancing with him were laughing. This is going to be one hell of a show!

Mark Your Calendar! Corsets and Cuties, 2 shows only! 9pm on August 1st and 2nd at The Venue (511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, Fl)   The shows are already sold out folks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Hike Down Monument Avenue in Richmond Virginia

In April. Terry and I traveled to Richmond Virginia to attend a wedding of one of Terry's clients, Thomas Justin Morton to Andrea Marie Kastner. The day we arrived, we decided to take a hike up Monument Avenue. This main drag had traffic circles about every other block on which large Civil War era monuments were erected. The Robert E. Lee monument stands at the corner of Allen Avenue and Monument Avenue. Terry continued to hike to see the remaining monuments while I stopped to sketch.

The Virginia Commonwealth Campus had beautiful old historic buildings. We actually spotted another urban sketcher who was sketching one of the buildings. She was in the middle of the sketch, so I didn't interrupt her. The entire street had amazing architecture along with some fixer uppers that would make a gorgeous studio. I'm sure the price of real estate would make that dream less practical.

Terry and I were staying in the Jefferson Hotel (101 W Franklin St, Richmond, VA) which is rated five stars and is absolutely gorgeous. The room itself wasn't that amazing but the lobby was worth every penny. One scene in Gone with the Wind was shot on the grand staircase. Any time we weren't at wedding related parties. we were happy to explore this city by foot. It was an Urban Sketchers dream, a step back in time.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Real Estate Showcase Event at Snap! Space

On April 23rd as my Retrospective Exhibit was still hanging as Snap! Space (1013 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL), a Real Estate Showcase Event was held in the gallery. Jim Lussier contacted me, saying, "As the Artist in residence, I think you should hang out with us and take a bow. Please bring Terry with you if she is free. We will have about 100 people in the space from all aspects of the Real Estate industry for a 2 hour Meet and Greet. I have another idea I’d like to run past you. We want to collect everyone’s business cards and have a drawing for ….a piece of Thorspecken art? I thought one of two things – either identify a piece you already have that you would part with for $300, or create a small piece at our event, and award it “hot off the press.” Third idea – we will award a selected piece that we purchase from you for $300, or, at the winner’s option, we will contribute $300 if the winner wants to purchase a more expensive piece from the collection. Maybe you have a better idea. We want you and Terry to come no matter what. Please call me when you have a couple of minutes. Thanks! We are very excited to be having our event surrounded by your work."

I decided to go with the option of awarding a print done from the sketch done that night. The event did get rather crowded and the sketch was presented with a flourish. I made the print the next day and dropped it off at Snap. The exhibit was financially more successful than I expected.  Enough originals and prints were sold to cover the framing costs and there was a profit of about $8000. Having the frames has made it easier to showcase my work at other venues as well. I exhibited a series of paintings based on Emotions Dance rehearsals and sold over $2,000 worth of originals and prints. This is the type of collaboration I need to be doing more often. Snap founder, Patrick Kahn, arranged to exhibit my work is now on display at East End Market (3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL) through August.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Case of the Cervical Spine

Jillian O'Connor and her daughters hired me to sketch Dennis O'Connor, their father and husband as a gift for his birthday. On the evening before the court date, Jill sent me an e-mail to let me know that the trial would be in courtroom G of the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford. Unfortunately I didn't read the e-mail until 1:30pm after I had written several articles. Court had started at 9am. Jill decided to sit in on the trial. This was the first time she had watched Dennis in a courtroom in 30 years. I called her in a panic and asked if the trial was still underway. She whispered that it was. I rushed to get dressed and quickly drove up to Sanford. I knew I was up against the clock since the trial would likely shut down for the day at 5pm.

I had to take my shoes off for security when I got to the courthouse but all my art supplies slipped through without a hitch.  Courtroom G is rather small with just 2 pews for spectators. There was a full jury but I knew better than to try and sketch them. Jill sat in the back pew wearing a red dress. I had seen Dennis in one photo and I spotted him as the lawyer on the far right with the yellow legal pad. I quickly sketched him in and then focused on everyone else. Judge Alan A. Dickey presided. For much of the time he seemed to focus on his computer the same was true of the court officer and the woman seated next to her. The most active person in the courtroom was the stenographer who often moved to get closed to anyone who was speaking.

The case involved a cervical spine injury of Samantha Stringer Bobbitt. Blame was implied again and again in the cross examination of a medical expert named Dr. Jones, who was paid $4000 for his time in court. Earlier in the day Dr. Scharfman had been examined as a medical expert. I actually used to go to Dr. Scharfman to try and handle constant headaches I suffer from due to a pinched nerve in my neck. The doctor prescribed a series of drugs, three of which I still take today so that I can function. Over time the drug cocktail seems to have lost it's effectiveness and I have stoically resigned myself to the fact that living is painful. However whenever I sketch, I forget about the pain as I wrestle with the creative process. So, I identified with Samantha's plight as they outlined six years in which she went to numerous specialists to try and control her pain. The human body is a frail and delicate structure with a nerve filled tent pole of a spine to defy gravity. Age and trauma either from daily chores or an accident can  cause those nerves if pinched to constantly send a signal of pain to the brain. It seems odd that so much expense went into finding a blame for the pain.

No expense was spared to create graphics to sway the juries opinions. Dennis's team of lawyers had a large dry mounted poster made up of a view of someone's back with hundreds of acupuncture needles protruding out of it. The opposing lawyer said that he didn't even object at the use of the image because of how creative Dennis's argument had been. Dennis knew Dr. Jones socially but on the stand he had to try and sway and challenge the doctors opposing opinion.

At 5pm the judge called for a recess. Dennis introduced his wife to the judge and he explained that this was her first time ever in the courtroom. After the jury left, the judge chastised the lawyers, saying the trial was taking much too long. He said if they didn't pick up the pace, then he would call a mistrial. After the judge left the lawyers justified their days work reassuring each other that it was hard to cover six years of medical treatment in a single day. The court officer noticed I was still sketching and she asked if I was actively involved with the defendant or the prosecution. I paused, not sure what to say, it was obvious she planned to kick me out of the courtroom. Dennis's assistant council covered for me saying I was involved in the presentation materials. If Dennis wasn't suspicious about what I was doing, he must have suspected after that little power play. In the end, I'm not sure of the outcome of the case of Samantha's spine, the backbone of truth was lost in a mountain of detail and grey innuendo. I do know a lot of money is involved.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Red Bull presented Hip Art Inspired Water Cooler Conversation

On July 24th, Red Bull Curates presented the Orlando Canvas Cooler Project in the gorgeous Orchid Room at 122 West Church Street which was once Paris Hilton's Nightclub. As I arrived, Red Bull girls with backpacks were getting ready to work the venue in their tight shorts and v-neck shirts. They were about to climb a metal fire escape staircase to enter the building. I asked if that was the entrance and she pointed me toward a door around the corner with a Mini Cooper that had a huge Red Bull can on the roof. There were two entrances, one for media and one for everyone else. I decided to walk in the Media door. The volunteer looked for my name on the list and I wasn't there. I repeated my name several times until she said, "Alright, you must be media." If you believe you are the media, then you are the media. I had a tablet in my bag because I want to start drawing with it more often. I decided to stick with paper however since the room was so spacious that I felt I needed to work across a large spread in my sketchbook. Digitally, I tend to spend too much time zooming in and out of the program which means I'm not sketching as fast.

20 Orlando artists were picked to decorate Red Bull coolers. Of these artists tow were picked for the possibility of being picked for the chance to have their creation show at this year's Art Basel in Miami Beach. Judges for the Orlando event included, Sam Flax Owner of Sam Flax Art Supply, Patrick Kahn the founder of Snap! Cultural Events, Inc, Commissioner Patty Sheehan of Orlando District 4 , Coralie Claeysen-Gleyzon the curator of Jai Gallery,and Erin Sullivan the Senior editor at the Orlando Weekly.  

Featured artists were, Brandon McLean, Andrew Spear, Adaro Art, Winkstyles, Soco Freire, Peter Van Flores III, DRES13, Holly Tharp, Chris Rodriguez, Christopher Reason, SKIP, Swamburger, Peterson, Sean Hartman, Christie Miga, SPEN and Wolfrich. There were a wide variety of colorful styles. I was a bit disappointed that all the coolers were already finished. I had hoped to sketch the artists at work. They had eight hours to complete the work on the Sunday and Monday before the event. Canvas tarps were spread around the venue and tables so the artists wouldn't make too much of a mess. Christie Miga claimed she was so nervous about the event that she was considering backing out. She did an amazing job however when the ax hit the grindstone.

Sketching the event was a challenge since the crowd was endless and ever shifting. People stopped to say hello every few minutes, and I was happy to say hello but then got right back to work. I didn't have the luxury of being able to relax when the sketch was still unfinished. Billy Franchey, from Artsfund introduced himself and he was fascinated by what I do, but he didn't have a business card and neither did I. He is responsible for these events all over the country. Terry explored the room and was able to interact socially with everyone we knew. The winners for the evening were Marcos Cruz and Gregorii.  Both artists are represented by Jai gallery. Their pieces might end up in the scope art Fair in Miami as part of Art Basel but they are up against 10 other who were winners in cities around the countryThere was also a peoples choice award that was given to G. Lemus. A social media contest in November could put him in contention as well to have his creation shown in Miami's Art Basel. The next Red Bull Curates events will be in Houston on August 14th and in Philadelphia on September 25th.

As I walked Terry back to her car, she told me that Patty Sheehan had told her that the Red Bull marketing people might like me to document future events around the country. It is funny that I was working so hard that no one mentioned this idea to me. I suppose people don't want to interrupt me when I'm in the middle of the process.

Friday, July 25, 2014

AADW Weekend Top Six Picks For July 26th & 27th

Saturday July 26, 2014
9am to 4pm Free.  National Dance Day Orlando. Orlando Ballet Central Campus 2201 McRae Ave Orlando, FL. PARKING 2399 McRae Ave  Orlando, FL.
National Dance Day Orlando will host its second annual celebration that aims to educate, inspire, and promote the Orlando dance community. This event has been specially designed to promote progressive development of dancers, celebrate the diversity of Central Florida's dance professionals, and further connect the Orlando dance community.
This year’s event will encourage dancers and non dancers alike to participate in a variety of 15 free dance workshops. These classes are taught by local Orlando dance company directors, choreographers and fitness instructors who will be leading participants through body conditioning, dance technique and choreography at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. NDDO desires to bring opportunities to those who love the art of dance and encourage ongoing education. Let's celebrate and support this creative expression and healthy lifestyle together!
9am: Yoga / Improvisation / Beg Ballet
10:15am: Choreography 101 / Int-Adv Jazz / Swing
11:30am: Hip Hop / Adv Contemporary / Salsa
1:30pm: Beg-Int Contemporary / Jazz Funk / Afro-Latin Dance Fusion
2:45pm: Dance Fitness / Broadway / Int-Adv Ballet
Event Website:

4:30pm to 6:30pm Free.  In Stitches - Free Sewing/Alterations Class. Lil Indies 1036 N Mills Ave (Next Door to Will's Pub), Orlando, Fl. This is the first of what will be (hopefully!) a monthly meetup about sewing, tailoring/alterations, upcycling/recycling garments, and anything else your little hearts desire to learn about making clothes.
For this first gathering, I'll be demonstrating how to make a few basic fit alterations and how to reconstruct a vintage piece for a better, more stylish fit.
You're welcome to bring something frumpy that you found at a thrift store (or just something from your closet that needs revamping), and we can figure out what to do with it!
Oh, and the location means, yes, there will be drinks. Woohoo!

7pm to 10pm Free. 2nd Annual Winter Park Canine Memorial. Harbor Park 4990 New Broad Street Orlando Fl. Floating lanterns at Dusk.

Sunday July 27, 2014
10am to Noon. Free. Super Joy Riders. Eastern entrance of the Lake Eola Farmers’ Market.
You + Superhero Costume + Bike = Best Sunday Ever
Participants dress as superheroes and ride en masse around the city as they check off their scavenger hunt-like list of Do Gooder Duties; collecting litter, helping senior citizens cross the road, returning shopping carts, basically performing small acts of kindness for an hour and a half of hilarity and love.
The Super Joy Riders: Do Gooder Bike Ride is an exercise in community organizing and active engagement. We hope to use the ride as an opportunity to show how helping people can be simple, fun, and easy, especially while wearing a cape.
We are inviting Orlando to come with us on a fun filled bike ride of awesomeness on the last Sunday of the month. Dress like a superhero, hop on a bike, and follow our scavenger hunt list of Good Deeds as we all try to save the world with small acts of kindness.

Noon to 5pm. Free but imbibe.  Sunday's with Smiling Dan. The Falcon Bar and Gallery, 819 East Washington Street, Orlando, FL. DJ Smiling Dan mixes tunes all afternoon.

7pm to 9pm $10 Departures. The Venue 511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, Fl. Join Red Right Return for an evening of experimental dance works featuring new movement by Elise Frost, Heidi Busher, Kim Matovina, and the dancers of Red Right Return! This will also be a farewell celebration as we send off our fearless founder and director, Elise Frost, to grad school- not to mention a continuance of the fun National Dance Day events from Saturday!
Tickets: $10 cash/credit/debit at the door
Reservations can be made by phone:
(407) 504-7452

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Elite Animation Academy Keeps the Tradition of Hand Drawn Animation Alive

Elite Animation Academy (8933 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL) is located only a few blocks away from my home. I've been asked to step in and substitute teach a couple of times and had a blast doing it. I was issued a black polo shirt with the Elite logo that made me feel like a member of the team from the start. The pay is actually better than what I make at Full Sail University so I was happy to step up to the plate.

The first day I interviewed there with Gladys West, I decided to stay and see another instructor, Chi Wang, at work. He was teaching a class on comic book character design. His laptop was open and connected to a large screen TV. Sketches of multiple comic book character heads filled the screen. Three students sketched diligently trying to emulate the heads. Basic proportions were covered and then the students sketched for the rest of the class. As the students worked, Chi, stood at the white board and cranked out an amazing sketch of a Transformer. Students were so involved in their own sketches that they didn't glance up. I am always fascinated and inspired watching another artist work.

The first class I taught was on perspective. I covered the basics of 1 point, 2 point and 3 point perspective and I got the students involved in studying the perspective in the room around them. The room has vintage Disney Feature Animation Desks circling the central work area. Computers are found in a separate area. I had the students draw a single desk using the 3 principles of animation. Then I had them imagine the desk as a giant skyscraper in a city. I helped as we created intricate city blocks.

The second time I stopped in, I had just finished a huge rushed storyboard assignment, so I showed them the scripts, thumbnails and final storyboards I had created. It was a solid real world crash coarse on what it is like to be a professional artist. I then pitched them a simple story idea and they began doing thumbnails to built their story. I just had three students, but they impressed me with their ideas and execution. We batted around ideas and laughed at the possibilities. One student was working on his own story and I asked him to pitch the story to me. Once I knew what direction he was taking, I made suggestions on how he could make each character unique by giving them a shape that separated and defined them. I suggested he try to draw the male protagonist with nothing but straight lines and then I had him draw the female lead with nothing but curves. His work took an immediate leap.

At Full Sail there are 30 to 40 new students every month that take 10 classes and then move on.  There just isn't enough time to turn so many students into animators. At Elite it was such a luxury to have a few students that were hungry to learn. Gladys is very aware of my daily sketch routine, and I appreciate that she considers me a valuable asset because of that. With the few classes I taught, I felt that I could truly inspire and  start these kids towards a lifetime of learning and sharing. That is what art is all about.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Red Bull BC One Orlando Cypher Brings Insane Dance Moves to Full Sail Live

Red Bull BC One was founded in 2004 in Biel, Switzerland. Over the years, the championship has moved from Germany to Brazil, South Africa, France, the USA, Japan, Russia and South Korea. Today it remains a key event in Hip Hop culture, pushing the art forward to new levels while holding true to the original one-on-one battle format. Loaded with spins, flips, and acrobatics, B-Boy has been a prevalent form uniquely urban dance art for decades and has become a staple of hip-hop culture around the globe.

Last year marked the biggest year yet for Red Bull BC One, with its eight past champions competing against eight new challengers. Millions tuned in from around the globe to watch the battle go down in South Korea, where Seoul’s own Hong 10 took home his second World Champion belt.

I got to this year's event right after work on June 7th. A large crowd was gathered in the center of the floor with people testing their dance skills as others watched. A bus load of children had arrived and the youngsters had some mad skills. It was fun seeing them show some urban attitude as they challenged each other. They might get up in each others face, but there was a strict rule of no touching. I didn't stay to see the big boys compete. I only had one hour to sketch because I was going to meet Terry at Jeans and Jewels fundraising event. The two events couldn't be more polar opposites. I relaxed at Terry's event and had a few drinks.

“We had 16 of the top dancers in B-Boy competing in the Red Bull BC One Orlando event,” Jose ‘Keebz’ Abdiel said. “The talent level was incredibly high, and it all came down to technique.” Ultimately, Tung “Tung Fu” Phan, 22, was crowned Red Bull BC One Orlando Cypher champion. From Orlando, he will be advancing to the National Finals in Las Vegas on August 16. represents the largest online network of B-Boys and fans; and the event is home to the biggest Facebook community in the scene, with more than 1.2 million fans. The Finals and World Final will be live-streamed at.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

All Shook Up Brings the 50's to Life in Mount Dora

Opening the Sonnentag Theatre at the IceHouse's 67th season, All Shook Up, the Joe DiPietro musical features the love songs of Elvis Presley and characters and plot devices from "Twelfth Night" by William Shakespeare to Mount Dora. The plot was paper thin with characters that were stereotypes with no any depth. The show was a reason  to string together as many Elvis songs as possible. Love was the driving force for the action and the music with back up by a live band backstage was fun, fast paced and at times spectacular. The set designed by David Clevinger had a barrage of commercial images and scenes. It was much like the show with many elements thrown together with no single point of interest. I became frustrated by the many set changes which would force me to stop sketching as the theater went black.

A small Midwestern town's  moral code is set by the Mame Eisenhower decency act. Then a roustabout (Fredy Ruiz) drives into town dressed like James Dean on a motorcycle. His motorcycle needs repair and Natelie, (Whitney Abell) the town mechanic is immediately smitten. She does everything she can to win the roustabout's love and she doesn't succeed until she decided to dress as a boy to approach him as a friend. The roustabout only has eyes for the exotic curator at the town museum (Carly Skubick) but she sees him as a brute with no culture. When she lets her hair down, watch out! Everyone in town seems to fall in love with the wrong person and then the show spins out of control to try and find balance and meaning in unrequited love.

Director, Darlin Barry, faced challenges bringing the show to the stage. The lead actor playing the roustabout wasn't showing up to rehearsals so she had to do something. Fredy stepped into the roll from withing the cast of about 20 actors. When everyone including the ensemble are on stage dancing the stage is close to overflowing. I was made aware of this dress rehearsal by stage mom Kathy Wilhelm Witkowski, who's daughter Corina was in the show. Corina introduced herself before the show and let me know that she had almost been in one of my sketches last year when I sketched the Buddy Holly Story at the Icehouse. She was on stage checking her cell phone on stage right and she walked back stage before I put her in the sketch. I kept my eyes open for her but she didn't appear on stage until very late in the first act when she posed as a statue with five other women in the museum. It was a perfect sketch opportunity, and I penciled her in the sketch several times as a statue but couldn't find a reason for showcasing a statue in the middle of the action that I had put in the sketch already. I had to erase her for the sake of the composition.

Sylvia, (Laurie Sullivan) who owns the local honky-tonk sang brilliantly. She courted Natalie's widowed father Jim (David Coalter). Songs in the show include "Jailhouse Rock," "Heartbreak Hotel," "One Night with You," "Love Me Tender", "Devil in Disguise" and "Can't Help Falling in Love." A five-piece band will accompany the singers with music director Justin Ward Weber on keyboards. The music often bought back memories of working on Lilo and Stitch which incorporated many of these Elvis songs in the soundtrack.

All Shook Up is a simple fun summer romp. It runs July 18th to August 3rd.
Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The show is already 85% sold out. Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 on Thursday and for seniors. Student tickets range from $10 to $15. For reservations or for more information, call 352-383-4616.