Tuesday, October 6, 2015

FAVO showcases local art, rain or shine.

Faith Arts Village Orlando (FAVO),  221 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, Florida, features 36 art studios open for public viewing, food trucks, live music, and children's fun art projects. The family friendly event happens every first Friday. The former motel comes alive with art. It was a rainy day when I did this sketch of Will Benton's studio space on the second floor at FAVO. Friends visited sitting on his couch and will sold one of his pieces. will has been painting really large canvases that reach to the ceiling. One canvas featured large spiraling Ultramarine circles that matched a lampshade.

This sketch was done from outside Will's studio looking in. Thankfully there was some cover from the rain but wind gusts sometimes caused some spray to settle on the page. A guitarist performed which offered a calming effect. I went to FAVO to see a show that featured artists paintings on sneakers titled, So Shoe Me. Organized by Deliz V. Berrios and Bethany Taylor Meyers the show was  incredibly fun, the room even had a central bench where you could sit down and try on the art to see if it fit. I felt it was too cramped in the small motel room for me to sit down to sketch,  I'd be blocking art. My solution was to be a voyeur on the outside looking in.

On Friday October 2nd Jack Void showed his ceramic work at FAVO. That is the great thing about this monthly showcase, there is always something new to see. Mark your Calendar, the next FAVO is on Friday November 6th from A pm to 9pm.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Emotions Dance heats up the holidays.

I needed to pick up some art that I had donated to a 7 Deadly Sins performance. I arrange to to go to an Emotions Dance rehearsal to pick up the art and possibly sketch. Emotions Dance had moved to a new dance studio, (145 Wekiva Springs rd. Suite 145 in Longwood). A landmark was a Graffiti Junction which seems to be every where these days. Larissa Humiston the dance company's founder greeted me and gave me the artwork. The room had dozens of folding chairs set up for a recital, so it was easy to find a place to sit and sketch.

A male and female dancer were performing a romantic duet. They went through the motions but weren't generating enough heat. Larissa shouted, "You're going to look like you are madly in love by the time I get done with you." An under study followed the female dancers moves without dancing all out. Sketching dance rehearsals is always a challenge because I need to pick out one moment from an endless stream of graceful fluid dance. I'm never completely satisfied but that is what keeps me coming back.

Emotions Dance offers a variety of classes and workshops for all levels. Adult open contemporary classes are held every Tuesday night for only $10/ $8 professional rate. All classes are located at Turning Pointe-145 Wekiva Springs Road Suite 145 in Longwood. 9-10:30pm. Each week we do a little bit of everything, ballet barre warm up and technique work, across the floor with jumps and turns and then a combination at the end of class in either ballet, jazz, modern or contemporary. Join to get a full body workout and technique class!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The OrlandoiX Welcome Party at Wall Street Plaza.

OrlandoiX features five power-packed days (October 2 to 6) of dynamic keynotes, panels, exhibits, and entertainment that showcases leading advancements in entertainment technology, interactive media, and digital arts. Prepare to meet the largest brain trust of knowledge and connections you have ever reached in one week. No other event attracts this many technology-astute early adopters from disparate, yet complementary, backgrounds. Attendees will include: game developers, designers, producers, creative technologists, animators, artists, programmers, tech enthusiasts, national media, venture investors, and digital entrepreneurs.

The opening night welcome party was held downtown at Wall Street Plaza. Since this is a tech centric event, [ decided to take my new tablet out on location. I just started using a Cintig Companion 2 and I've put free trials of Photoshop, Sketchbook Pro, and SAI. Since Windows 10 is also a free download, I decided to get that operating system up and running since I find Windows 8 to be quite confusing. I went inside the barricaded party area and got a wrist band covered in bats. I started sketching an inflatable IZEA sign and the stage using SAI, but then the program froze up and closed, giving me a cryptic message. "Unprotected exception, application has terminated by unprotected exception." WTF! I tried opening the programs but kept getting the same warning. Finally [ decided to switch over to Sketchbook Pro which is what I used to do this sketch. Since I got crowded inside the barricades, I decided to sketch from outside the enclosure to avoid sketching a sea of butts.

As I worked on this sketch I got a low battery warning. I saved and kept sketching in a panic. Three disheveled, pleasantly drunk people looked over my shoulder as I raced against the battery. "That is dope! I always thought technology sucked but that is amazing, It's just like a pencil on paper." Another couple of drunk guys stood in front of me saying something about my sister. I ignored them until they got bored and left. It threatened to rain and stage hands rushed to set up a tent over the DJ to protect the equipment. I had the same concern, but the faint mist never became rain.  Then the screen went black. Well, I guess the sketch is done.  I was so annoyed. I should have brought a sheet of paper and a pencil!  I had spent most of my time fighting software problems. Back at home I worked until 2 am to try and get SAI to open up. After going into a misc.ini file and changing a 0 to a 1, it finally started to work. Although technology was more of a hindrance than a help, it is still a mountain that I need to climb.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Outside the Spectum Tent at Art Basel local artists worked.

The Spectrum Tent at Art Basel in Miami featured Monique Lassooij and Eleazar Delgado hard at work on large canvases. Monique's work is somber being executed mostly in black and white with some hints of red, while Eleazar's work was bright with orange flames visible even on the back of his canvas. The canvases were held up with two by four supports which were anchored into the ground using lengths of re-bar. I found some nice shade and started sketching. The Art Miami tent was right across the street. There is so much happening during Art Basel that it seems redundant going into the tents. Besides the art, there is the lure of air conditioning however.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekend top 6 Picks forSaturday October 3, 2015 and October 4, 2015.

Saturday October 3, 2015.
11pm to 1pm. Free. Book Launch Party: Perspective Made Easy by Robbie Lee. Bookmark It 3201 Corrine Drive, Suite 109, Orlando, Florida. What better way to celebrate Florida Bookstore Day than with a Book Launch Party! Join local illustrator, beloved art teacher and now AUTHOR, Robbie Lee, on Saturday, October 3 for the launch of his new book "Perspective Made Easy" by Impact Press (2015).
Besides giving us a peak into his creative process, Robbie will be leading hands-on drawing demonstrations, so bring your imagination! Delicious treats will be provided by Audubon Park favorites La Femme du Fromage and Bikes, Beans and Bordeaux. Budding artists of all ages welcome!
Designed to teach readers of all skill levels how to draw the world around them- everything from cars, rooms, and landscapes to rockets, furniture, and pants- with realistic and convincing depth, Perspective Made Easy's format is a colorful blend of a comic and traditional step-by-step instruction.
Plus rumor has, it's pretty dang funny too.

1pm to 4pm Free. Fan Faire 2015. Hart Memorial Central Library, 211 East Dakin Avenue, Kissimmee, Fl. The time has come, geeks one and all, for our yearly Fan Faire! A comic-con celebrating all fandoms. If you love Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, GoT, OUaT, LOTR, Anime, Manga, Comics, Pixie Hollow, Minecraft, or more, cosplay your best and join the rest! Games, prizes, costume contests, and crafts aplenty. View presentations by experts and shop local artists.
Check out our website!
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament - Orlando
Grand Artifice at www.fb.com/GrandArtifice

7pm to 9 pm. Free. Functionally Literate presents: Padgett Powell. Celebrate 3 years of Functionally Literate, plus Florida Bookstore Day, and the release of Padgett Powell's latest book: Cries for Help, Various.
Readings begin shortly after 7pm and feature: Padgett Powell, Rebbecca Evanhoe & Beth McKee.
Free & open to the public.
Beer & wine by donation.
Books for sale by Bookmark It Bookstore.
Book signing to follow the reading.
This event is part of Burrow Press' 5-year anniversary double-header. Consider making a tax-deductible donation to Burrow, or purchasing tickets to our October 7th Literary Death Match. More info here: burrowpress.com/tix

Sunday October 4, 2015.
3pm to 5 pm. Free. Pine Castle Historical Society quarterly meeting. Pine Castle Woman's Club 5901 South Orange Ave, Orlando FL 32809 (at the corner of Oak Ridge Road).Christie Woods will present on the Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library as a potential vision for our new Pine Castle History Center.
Please join us for snacks and root beer floats courtesy of our local A&W!

9pm to 11pm. Free.  Comedy Open Mic. Austin's Coffee: 929 W Fairbanks Ave Winter Park, FL. Free comedy show! Come out & laugh, or give it a try yourself.

9pm to 11pm. Free. Solo Acoustic Spoken Word. Natura Coffee & Tea, 12078 Collegiate Way, Orlando, FL. 407 482-5000

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Kerouac House Poluck

The Kerouac House Project supports writers wit no a writing residency program. It was part of the lore of College Park, a cozy northwest Orlando neighborhood, that Jack Kerouac lived in the area for a short time in 1957–58 when his classic work On The Road was published to much acclaim. It was also the place he typed the original manuscript of his sequel, Dharma Bums. Very few people knew exactly where in College Park he lived, and nobody seemed to be aware of the historical significance of such a place. When a new writer arrives there is usually a potluck dinner so that the writer can get antiquated with the local literary scene.

On this evening I arrived early, so I decided to sketch the house in the gloaming hour after sunset. This is the first tome I saw the historical marker outside the home. The marker was erected a few months ago to honor Jack's legacy. Now that the home has been researched, it has become a literary pilgrimage site for visitors from out of town. Almost every author who has been a part of the residency program has reported that groups of of people will randomly show up at the door wanting to get a peek inside.

These potlucks usually end with a group of people on the porch debating literature, punctuation and work events. After a few bottles of wine, all the worlds problems have been solved, or at least viewed in an entertaining light.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Realms of the Untold brings humor and horror to the stage.

Realms of the Untold is a brand new anthology of short plays, written by local playwright Corey Volence, the scriptwriter of the award winning 2013 Orlando Fringe musical Key of E. These six short plays are written in a style meant to evoke classic horror and science fiction shows such as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Tales From The Crypt. These short stories are filled with the strange and the unknown, this production is sure to make you squirm, laugh, yelp in fright, and might just even give you some nightmares.

I went to a rehearsal in a suburban bungalow in Ivanhoe Village. Everything had been cleared from the living room except some set pieces and props. The opening play set the stage in a famous actors dressing room (Ken Luzadder). A star struck understudy (John Reid Adams) was greeted rudely. The boy had seen every performance. When he asked how to get ahead in the acting business, he was told that you need to sell your soul to the devil. A dark twist then redefined their roles.

Actress (Jan Taylor Hendricks) then took the center stage seated in a chair. She told a long story from her childhood. Her grandmother was from the old country and schoolkids spread rumors that the old woman was a witch. Another rumor circulated that a local lake was inhabited by a mysterious creature that ate children. When she told her grandmother the rumor, she got very serious and was warned to never go in the water. She promised, but like most childhood promises she eventually broke it. Classmates dared her to enter the lake. To save face she waded out in to the water. Jan's performance with a sweet southern accent was incredible. I stopped sketching and sat on the edge of my seat to find out what would happen to the little girl. I have no doubt there will be standing orations for this performance.

Each play has its own emotional tone. From one horrific moment, we cut to a light comedy about a couple who are debating about a lifetime commitment. The guy (Charles Krivan) is hesitant and lacks confidence. The girl (Monica Titus) has the absolute conviction that comes from a long life of experience. The conversation between these love birds was at times hilarious. I stopped sketching and simple enjoyed their banter. The commitment turns out to be far more eternal than what can be bought with a wedding ring. A commitment of 50 years or so seems trivial in the larger scheme of things.

Monica Titus also played the part of a social worker in an insane asylum. She interviewed Ken Luzadder  who was in a straight jacket. She set him free of his constraints and then he related the tale of the fateful day that put him behind bars. He described the day with absolute lucidity. Perhaps he was sane and falsely institutionalized. The memories he related however contradicted the facts as related by the social worker. The tension between the two of them escalated until he became violent. The rehearsal had to cut at that moment since props were missing that were needed for what would follow. I honestly don't know how this play ends, but I was left concerned for the social workers well being. Why on earth did she take off his straight jacket. He could very well be a Hannibal Lecter.

I can say without hesitation that this show is going to be one hell of a roller coaster ride. This will be a great way to kick off the Halloween season.

Show Dates: 
October 1 - Doors at 7 Show at 7:30
October 2 - Doors at 7 Show at 7:30
October 4 - Doors at 2 Show at 2:30
October 8 - Doors at 7 Show at 7:30
October 9 - Doors at 7 Show at 7:30
October 10 - Doors at 7 Show at 7:30

There will be discounted tickets for Military, Student, and Theme Park Employees with ID. Ticket Link

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Man's Dominion a true story about the nature of man.

There are some stories in American history that need to be told because they resonate through the ages. In September of 1916 the god fearing people of Erwin, Tennessee lynched an elephant named Mary. She was a star in Spark's World Famous Circus. The 18 year old elephant had grown up in captivity.  Red Elkridge, on his second day on the job got thrown and then had his  head crushed when  Mary stomped on his skull. For this, Mary was sent and to death, and the giant railroad cranes of  the Blue Ridge Railroad were to be the engines of her demise. She was chained by the neck and hung. Man's Dominion provided  a voice for ten witnesses and participants in this  horrific event.

Presented by Pachyderm Productions, Tim Powell performed  in this tour De-force one man show this one man show That brought ten characters to life. The play written by David Castro and directed by, Dennis Neal peals away the  layers to show man's basest nature. I've seen many one man shows at  Fringe but none of them compared  to the emotional punch of this  show. A circus ringmaster opened the show, setting the scene. The show became particularly powerful when Fish, an Irish Roustabout, spoke about the lynching feeling that Red, an outsider, deserved what he got. Captain Prescott who had seen slavery and lynching gave his insights into the white man's blood lust.  Reverend George McKee became more and more demonic as he spoke a boot man's dominion over the animals and the need for vengeance. Hobo Joe, a clown, had spent years working beside Mary and he blamed Red for his mishandling of the billhook. A bullhook is a sharp steel hook that is used to this day to inflict  pain when used to poke elephants where there skin is the most tender and sensitive. It is a tool of torture.

There was a talk back after the show. Tim who resides in Los Angeles confided that he had reached a low point in his career. He didn't even want to get up in the morning. He was introduced to David's play and his southern up bringing made him the perfect actor for the part. He asked Dennis Neal to direct. This was Tim's first one man show, and it was Dennis's directing debut.

There were just five shows of Man's Dominion at the Mad Cow Theater (54 West Church Street Orlando FL). The show is heading to the New York City next at the United Solo Festival on October 9th, 2015 in Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, New York City). There is only one show at 7:30pm.
for tickets visit Man's Dominion Ticket sales and specify the 7:30pm showing on Friday, Oct 9th.

Monday, September 28, 2015

A whale rolled into Orlando.

Poncili Creacion presented Ballenarca at the Winter Park Public Library. I believe Ballenarca is derived from baleen, which whales use to strain and eat krill,and ark, as in a large sea vessel. They had just come from Miami's Art Basel where a Whale Arc seemed quite in order. The whale was constructed on a boat trailer.  Car jacks held up the whales massive jaw. Large metal ribs were covered with fiberglass. There was a wide cast of foam characters in the show. Orlando has a strong puppetry community thanks to Heather Henson's Ibex puppetryHannah Miller and Jack Fields were there. I would say that half the audience were puppeteers and the other half were excited children. There isn't much of a difference between the two.

The show was colorful and surreal. There was a four legged dog fish, a red character that looked like a cross between a tooth and a heart, and an eight foot high centipede. When the centipede interacted with the kids, the squealed with delight. Kids easily accept the characters and can quickly imagine the world they inhabit. This was no longer a parking lot, but a magical under sea world. Kids don't react the same way when high tech movies force feed every digital detail.

After the performance, kids were invited inside the whale's open mouth. The puppeteers needed to drive the whale to Heather Henson's warehouse where it would stay for the night. They would be on the road the next day to their next open air stage. I was invited to have dinner with the cast at Loving Hut and I jumped at the chance. On the drive to the restaurant I ended up driving right behind the whale. The tale had to be removed for the drive, but the whale still grinned at me. You don't see a whale in traffic very often. At Loving Hut, one member of the cast was fascinated by one of my brush pens. He did a drawing of a mysterious dark haired girl with straight bangs, in the back of my sketchbook. He signed it Poncili.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Sunburst Convention For Professional Celebrity Impersonators featured a Love Boat themed party.

The Sunburst Convention For Professional Celebrity Impersonators is being held in the Florida Hotel in the Florida Mall, 1500 Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL.  The Convention's website explained, "The Sunburst Convention is a great and friendly environment helping promote the careers of Professional Celebrity Impersonators and Look  A Likes. This is a rather unique profession and we take it seriously. You can NOW see what it's about on NETFLIX!  Look for the movie/documentary "Just About Famous" and you will see what we are about!

I went to a Love Boat themed party on the second night of the convention. Greg showed up dressed up as Captain Stubing and all the attendees were encouraged to come in costume. Ginny Soskey a Hubspot section editor came to the convention from Boston. Before we were let in to the Hospitality suite she explained that there are 3 tiers in the celebrity look alike field. The first tier are the look alikes, they don't necessarily need costumes to resemble a celebrity. then there are the Celebrity impersonators. They research their celebrity's every mannerism and they often create their own costumes. The final tier are the tribute artists, they have the look, the costumes and they develop a complete act that they perform on stage.

One whole meeting room in the hotel had rows of tables with celebrity impersonators cards and promotional materials. Agents show up to the convention to scout for talent and Ilene Lieber who does PR for the convention told me that there were more agents than ever this year. Colonal Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame arrived and shook my hand. I thought his presence was appropriate since KFC is running ads now that have a Saturday Night Live comedian doubling as the Colonal. The actor didn't look like the Colonal so I suddenly lost faith in the brand. It was like they stole my belief in Santa Claus. Another look alike showed up is a stunning outfit with jewels and a fur lined hood. Her lips sparkled orange. I thought she was Lady Gaga but it turned out she was Cher. Captain Jack Sparrow staggered about with some thick brown swill in a bottle. It wasn't beer, perhaps it was a thick fermented cider.

The party was a blast. A tropical billboard was against one wall with a rail so celebrities could take a photo in an exotic island setting. As the room filled, people took selfies together.   The Blues Brothers hung out at the corner table. Dolly Parton later sat at the table to check her phone. The whole fun in attending the convention was trying to guess who was being impersonated. Yet this is a skill set I haven't developed. The last thing I wanted to do was walk up to someone and say "So, who are you supposed to be?" I kept my guesses private

Apparently Charo had appeared quite a few times on the Love Boat, so there was a rather hilarious hoochie coochie contest. On stage, The Ladies of Soul performed along with the L.O.S. Band from Vero Beach. They definitely got the attendees out on the dance floor. This was a rare instance where I didn't sketch the stage. Instead, I had to focus on the celebrity audience.