Monday, October 21, 2019

Black Bottom House of Prayer Historic Preservation Dinner

Pastor Dana "Action" Jackson has a dream. The Black Bottom House of Prayer (921 Bentley St Orlando Fl) has been abandoned for years, falling into disrepair to the point that the the red-tiled roof leaks and needs to be replaced. Once the roof is replaced then renovation can begin inside.

In 1916 a few black families settled in an area of Orlando called Black Bottom. The name came from the fact that when it rained, water settled and remained for so long that residents had to use canoes for transportation. Before the church was built families worshiped in neighborhood homes.

Construction of the church began in 1925 and was financed through a stock purchase from the Orange County Building and Loan Association. Thirty shares were purchased at $100 per share, for a total of $3,000. It was designed in the popular Spanish Mission Style with exterior stucco finish, arched doorways, and casement windows. The thick brick and stucco walls were thought to have a cooling effect in the Florida sun in the days before air conditioning. The building, now 92 years old, is possibly the oldest church building in Orlando's black community.

Action Jackson fought hard and won to approve the building for historic preservation. Once that designation is established, guidelines prohibit the property from being destroyed. She is now praying for the community’s support in restoring the church. Normal wear and tear over the past 92 years have taken their toll, but Jackson’s most immediate focus is on securing help in replacing the roof over the sanctuary. “Estimates to complete the renovation come in at around $250,000,” Jackson said. “It’s a large, but not impossible amount to raise. We welcome angelic underwriting and favor.”

Pam Schwartz was invited to speak at a fundraiser for the renovations and I joined her to sketch the occasion. Evangelist Patricia A. Akshabazz presided. There was an invocation and then commissioner Regina Hill of District 5 welcomed everyone. In the midst of one dignitary's praise for the project Dana and the crowd burst into dance and song. Joy and exuberance rushed through the crowd as they celebrated to raise the roof!

Takeriya and Queen, who are action Jackson's grand daughters, bravely gave a dance routine involving twirling batons called Miracle Worker, by Youthful Praise and JJ Harston. They faltered a bit but members of the congregation got up to dance with them and coach them to the finale. Pam spoke about the importance of preserving history and how the Orange County History Center is working to preserve everyone's story. After a blessing of the food, each table got up in turn to load their plates with a chicken, macaroni, collared greens, and corn bread dinner. 

A basket appeared on the stage and everyone was encouraged to donate towards the $250,000 goal for the roof repair. Checks can be made at Chase Bank to the following account, ASPAP Law PLLC IOLTA Account - 3883990897. The memo section of the check should mention Black Bottom House of Prayer. Donations may be sent to The Black Bottom House of Prayer, PO Box 547882, Orlando, FL 32854. If any information is needed call 407-285-0415. Considering a billion dollars was raised to help rebuild Notre Dame after its fire, it seems reasonable to hope that enough can be raised to help put a new roof on this Orlando historic gem. Action Jackson hopes to restore the the building as a place of healing, help, and hope for Orlando's Parramore community.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Career Fair

I head out to Career Fairs periodically since I need a full time job to help make ends meet. This one was at Four Points by Sheraton (5905 International Drive, Orlando, FL.) The invite stressed that it was FREE to Job Seekers.

It was billed as a great opportunity to meet local, regional, and Fortune 500 Companies with immediate job openings in your area. Their events are open to executive level experienced professionals as well as entry level and recent college graduates. This was your chance to meet directly with hiring managers! Participants were encouraged to register so that companies can review your resume prior to attending the career fair.

Many career opportunities included the following:
    Base salary plus commission
    Flexible schedule
    Opportunity for advancement
    Car/Gas allowance
    Health care
    Stock Options
    Retirement Plans
    Sales Awards/Bonuses/Trips

Participants were encouraged to bring updated crisp resumes to the fair, prepare to interview on the spot, dress to impress, professional attire was required.

As I entered, an older gentleman exiting and told me to not even bother going in. He said that only commission jobs were available. Since my primary concern was to get a decent sketch, I went in anyway. The day did not result in any amazing career opportunities, but you never know.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Donut Central & Fuelpresso

I am always on the hunt for fun places to bring my Crealde School of Art students on our urban sketching outings. We sketched a car show in the parking lot outside Donut Central and Fuelpresso (495 N Semoran Blvd Unit 1, Winter Park, FL 32792) and the owner invited us to sketch inside, so the following week we stopped inside for some donuts and sketching. I ordered some caffeine and a round shaped sugar bomb and got to work as my students sketched. I kept my sketch simple, knowing I would be going to each student to offer suggestion on composition, line value, and color. The sugar rush kept my lines flowing quickly.

Staff and locals seemed to congregate together at the central table and I was quite taken by the giant teddy bear in the corner of the room. Much of the purpose of the course is to get students comfortable with the idea of sketching in public. Venues we go to are friendly and supportive of the arts. This place is a real gem and my students created some stunning sketches. My hope is that they will continue to sketch each day and share their work with the world.

My next Urban Sketching, Tips and Techniques class starts Sunday, October 27, 2019 and runs for 6 consecutive weeks on each Sunday from 9:30an to 12:30pm. The cost is $275 for 6 classes.
We learn to sketch from subject to the environment. Classroom sessions focus on sketching clothed models and progress towards sketching the model and classroom environment. Students learn how to incorporate storytelling into sketches in the location sessions. These trips to local venues will challenge you to use your sketchbook the way a photojournalist uses a camera. The six-week goal is to produce finished sketches using pencil, pen, and watercolor within two hours. See the online course description and sign up if you are interested.
Skill level: Intermediate

Suggested Supplies:
#2 pencil with an eraser.
05 and 08 micron pens.
Stillman and Birn 9 x 12 inch spiral bound sketchbook (Alpha or Epsion series).
Travel sized watercolor pallet (mine is a Windsor Newton with 14 color pans)
Pentel water brush (water goes in the handle)
Black Prismacolor pencil
Compact artist stool

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Friday, October 18, 2019

Weekend Top 6 Picks for October 19 and 20, 2019

Saturday October 19, 2019
All day. $18.85 Architects of Air Immerse. Dr. Phillips Center Lawn, Downtown Orlando. Through October 27, 2019.

10am-1pm Free. Young Artists Urban Sketching Workshop Ink and Twig: Sketching Brutalist Architecture. Orange County Regional History Center, 65 E. Central Blvd, Orlando, FL.  
Learn to sketch with only ink and twig to capture the Brutalist ”raw” architectural style of
The Orlando Public Library. This workshop is part of the Young Artist Workshop series
sponsored by Orange County Regional History Center and Urban Sketchers Orlando.
Workshop includes admission to Orange County Regional History Center, tour of the
exhibit: The Accidental Historian, and materials.
Learn more & register. Instructors: Art Esteban and Gay Geiger.

7pm to 9pm Free. The Orlando Shuffle. Beardall Senior Center, 800 Delaney Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801. The Orlando Shuffle is always free, family-friendly, and fun. It takes place the 1st and 3rd Saturdays every month. Come play, learn, or just hangout. Retro attire is encouraged.

Sunday October 20, 2019
10am to noon, Free. Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation Class. University, 5200 Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32811. The Method of Heartfulness A simple and practical way to experience the heart’s unlimited resources. 

11am to noon. $5 Yoga. Lake Eola near red gazebo. 

Noon to 3pm Donation based. Music at the Casa. George Grosman. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Members of the public are invited to visit our historic home museum on a Sunday afternoon to listen to live music and take a tour of our historic home museum and the James Gamble Rogers II Studio by trained docents.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Thursday, October 17, 2019

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Winner of a Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience.

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of outlandish words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! The losers get a juice box. A riotous ride, complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius!

From the start I was rooting for a young girl who hoped her father would come to the bee, but he never showed. Her love of words and bravery to be a part of the bee despite not having the $25 entry fee won my heart. One boisterous kid made his own outfits and had a cape shaped like a leaf. A rigid straight-faced young asian girl spelled each word with absolute surety, but realized she was not really living her childhood and misspelled a word on propose feeling absolute joy in the defiant act. Another young speller had a magic foot that he used to trace out the spelling of the word on the stage before him. There is something very fun about watching actors relive their childhoods.

I was laughing the whole time. I am not the greatest speller. Vowels seem to blend together for me and subtle spelling rules are a mystery to me other than, "I before E except after C." Every article I write must have at least 5 spelling mistakes and I just hope the computer spell check, or Pam, can keep things from getting too weird.

Tonight is the last performance. Stop out and see this show if you love to laugh. I left feeling elated and ready to take on life's next challenge. This was a fun night of theater.

Tickets are $25 to $35. Tonight's performance is at 8pm at the Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts 445 S. Magnolia Avenue Orlando, FL 32801.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Bryan Fulwider: Faith After Pulse

This post discusses the shooting that took place at the Pulse Nightclub on June 12, 2016. It contains difficult content, so please do not read on if you feel you may be effected. 

This article and sketch have been posted with the express written permission of the interviewee. Analog Artist Digital World takes the privacy and wishes of individuals very seriously. 

This post summarizes Bryan Fulwider's responses during an interview. On the day after the Las Vegas Harvest Festival mass shooting, Reverend Bryan Fulwider, one of the Three Wise Guys on NPR's Friends Talking Faith spoke about his experiences following the Pulse Nightclub massacre here in Orlando. He mentioned Thomas Lynch, a poet, writer and mortician who said, "There is nothing like death to cause people to press their noses up against the windows of their faith." This is the reality that can cause us to ask the ultimate questions like, why am I here? What is life all about? What happens when I die? In every religion there is some idea of death and what it means. They all seem to conclude that death is not the end. There is always hope built into the reality of death. Life is not meaningless.

That person who perpetuated that heinous act in Las Vegas, if they ever made any meaningful contribution to society, that no longer matters. You think about how you live your life, and the things you do and you would hope that the sum total at the end would contribute positively to the world. These acts of barbarism, and viciousness and hate simply erase an individual. In all traditional religions it sends you straight to hell. Maybe hell for those who don't believe, is simply to cease to exist. We don't use the name of the Pulse shooter in our community. He is not a person of consequence. He is not worth remembering as a person. That is the sad reality if your life ends in treachery.

Bryan was called to the Winter Park First Congregational Church in 1999. It was not yet an open and affirming congregation but it was welcoming. Before he left, it became open and affirming to the LGBTQ community. In 2012 he made the transition out of local church ministry into a broader community ministry. Together with Imam Muhammad Musri, and Rabbi Steve Engel, he helped found Building Us which now houses the Interfaith Counsel of Central Florida. They also started the radio show Friends Talking Faith. 

When discussing the rights of women there is an across the board understanding among religions that women should have basic human rights. They stand pretty much unanimously against policies that are anti-women. While they may not all agree about reproductive health issues, they do agree that woman should be treated with respect and that they have the right to their own decisions.

On June 11, 2016 the Three Wise Guys were getting ready for a show the next day where they would visit a Turkish family for their Iftar dinner, which is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. On June 12, he got up early, around 5 am, and was getting ready for a sermon at the Unitarian Church. He rotated out of bed and put his feet on the floor and immediately picked up his phone to see if there were any important messages. The Pulse news flashes lit up his cell phone screen. He subscribes to the New York Times and they were reporting about a shooting at an Orlando club. He was immediately on high alert. He wondered if there might be someone there that he knew. The reports at that point were very sketchy. The siege had just ended and they were rushing people to hospitals. He immediately texted half a dozen friends who might have been there. Little by little he got responses back that they were waiting to hear from others they had not heard from yet.

He could not fathom all that had occurred. By the time worship started at 10 that morning, the report was that 20 had died and a number injured. The sermon became all about Pulse. His phone was on the pulpit next to him. As the worship ended, a news report confirmed that 50 had died. They included the shooter in that number. Disbelief prevailed. He was shocked and stunned and could not process the news. As that news sank in there was a pall over the congregation. 

The Three Wise Guys debated whether they should go to the recording session at the Turkish home that night, but the family had prepared, and were planning for them to be there. The Imam had been out in the hot sun all day because he had been called immediately when the shooter was identified as being from the Islamic community. Bryan drove down after church but felt there was nothing to be done. Later he realized he should have driven to the hospital. He doesn't speak fluid Spanish but he could have gotten by. Perhaps the shock kept him from thinking about that. People were bereft, not knowing if loved ones were there or not, alive or dead. The whole day was a blur.

After sun down the three men went to the Turkish family home for Iftar. All the conversation that night was about what happened at Pulse. There was a prevailing feeling of depression, the small children thankfully did not understand. All the adults were somber. There had already been some kind of call for harm to the Islamic community because of the shooter. Candidate Trump was focusing on the shooting as an act of terrorism. Yet this kid was born in Queens not far from where Trump grew up. Like Las Vegas this was domestic terrorism. 

That night the 3 wise guys shot a video offering condolences, sympathy, love, and compassion for the community. There was so little that could be said other than to be a sign of hope in a very dark and uncertain time. The community quickly decided that we will not be defined by the hatred that this act represents. We will define ourselves by love, by compassion and by embracing one another. The LBGBTQ community was opening a dialogue to remind people who was most affected by this. It was the beautiful, full of life youth who had been dancing there that night. The community began to stand together rather than allow itself to be torn apart.

A radio show was recorded and ready to air the week after Pulse. Bryan called the executive producer and asked them to not run the pre-recorded show. He wanted the show to be recorded live so they could address what had happened. The Rabbi was leaving for Tel Aviv, but he was ready to call in. Michael Farmer from Equality Florida, and Reverend Kathy Schmitz from First Union Church joined Bryan and Imam Musri in the studio. The show was broadcast state wide. It was a raw program with people trying to make sense of the unfathomable. It was a chance to grieve together, think together, and to call for a community of love and compassion.

Bryan and the Imam opened the ceremonies at the Dr. Phillips Vigil. Someone from the Mayor's office called saying they really wanted everybody to rethink being there for security reasons. They could understand the concern for public safety, the police force was stretched thin at that point. The organizers pleaded, saying that we really needed to have this. People are hurting and they need to be together. The mayor's office said, "We will make it happen." They hoped to offer a bridge of faith and life, helping people find their way through the early hours of the aftermath. The vigil at Dr. Phillips was remarkably hopeful. Bryan took a photo from the stage of all the candle light going all the way back to City Hall. It was such a powerful moment of the community saying we will not give in to hate and violence.

Bryan and the Imam were also the religious presence at the 50,000 person vigil at Lake Eola. Joe Saunders called them to be a part in that vigil. A Muslim group was handing out water shoulder to shoulder with an LGBTQ group. The work of the media that week was well done and thoughtful. It opened up conversations like, who are the LatinX community, the LGBTQ community? The wise guys would lead the conversations. They reached out to families and survivors being sure to be non-intrusive, but being available. Every show on the radio for the next 3-4 weeks was Pulse related. Dan Kirshank who wrote, "The Bible Tells Me So" said that religion ran all through the Pulse shooting from the young people who were at the club, that might not be welcomed in their own religious communities, to the shooter who was identified as Muslim, to the preachers who may have had anti-LGBTQ sermons who now had to face their own bias. Promoting an anti0gay rhetoric in a house of faith is a bad idea. The horror of Pulse triggered the ongoing religious conversation and there is a lot of work to do. 

Bryan prays that, "We will not rest until we have put an end to this kind of unspeakable violence and this kind off violence is worn in our hearts, its worn in the way we think, and the way we think about others, its worn out of our own sense of self destruction, and the need to force that upon others. He  wishes that we would have an honest conversation in this country about gun violence and sensible gun legislation. And that we would have an honest conversation bout mental illness and about the things that need to happen if someone is teetering on the edge, and that we would have a continuing conversation with religious communities about how dangerous some of the rhetoric can be. If you are feeling isolated, depressed, lonely, come talk to us. We are here to help with the problems you are facing. If we don't address this continuing issue, in our society, and culture, we are going to be in ever deepening waters of trouble."

Post script: Bryan Fulwider was arrested on October 2, 2019 and booked into Seminole County Jail following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor who reported being sexually battered by the pastor between 2005 and 2010 while he was in a position of authority at Winter Park First Congregational Church. He faces 30 counts of sexual battery of a person younger than 18 years old. Bail was set at $700,000.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Grand Opening: Cholo Dogs Mexican Street Dogs

Co-owner Chris Delahoz invited me to the Grand Opening of Cholo Dogs which is the newest resident in the Mills 50 District. They officially opened at Wally's Mills Avenue Liquor on September 26 from 7:30pm - 11pm. A sizable crowd showed up to celebrate the fun food-filled fiesta. Cholo Dogs offers all beef, veggie, and vegan Mexican themed hotdogs.

• El Borracho: Nathan's All Beef (or Veg), Elote (Mexican Corn), Cotija Cheese, Tajin, and Cilantro. • La Pelirroja: Nathan's All Beef (or Veg), Avocado Sauce, Crema, Tajin, Red Onions.
• El Chicano: Nathan's All Beef (or Veg), Pickle Slice, Crema, Cotija Cheese, Tajin.
• Cholo Dog: Nathan's All Beef (or Veg), BBQ Sauce, Ancho Chipotle Sauce, JalapeƱos, Tajin.

As the crowd waited for their hot dogs, I sat "back stage" behind the cart to watch the hectic action. A bell would ring as soon as a dog was ready. Franco Furtero manned the grill with a small army of assistants at the opening. Orders were coming fast and furious. As an added bonus we heard there would be a Mariachi band to add to the festivities. My fear was that they might set up right in front of me and block my view, so I sketched quickly.

Pam tried the Borracho and I tried the La Pelirrojo. Mine came smothered in avocado and crema, which made it difficult to eat while sketching, but it was delicious. I managed to keep the sauces off the sketch for the most part. I actually liked Pam's hot dog better, so I ordered a second with the elote and cotija cheese. I never would have thought to order corn on a hot dog but it tasted great. Pam then tried the El Chicano which had a pickle on top. I didn't taste it, but she said that from now on any hot dog she is served must come with a pickle on top.

I didn't realize until I was half way through the sketch that a photographer was set up beside me. He was offering Polaroid photos of families and kids for $25 or so. Several boys posed wearing Mexican wrestling masks. He tried to convince another family to pose but they balked at the price. The response was, "But that is more than a hot dog!" Dear god, I live in a town that values art less than the price of a hot dog. Well these were some mighty fine hot dogs, I have to admit. They bumped up the culinary art of street food a notch in Mills 50.

The Mariachi band was late and there was concern that they would never show, so Pam and I headed out after the sketch was done and we had downed the hot dogs. We saw a video later that night of the band performing. Oh well, another sketch another day. Besides Wally's Mills Avenue Liquor, the Cholo Dog Cart has been spotted at at  Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company, The Veranda at Thornton Park. Check the Cholo Dog FB page to see where they might pop up next. A marriage made in heaven of American hot dogs and Mexican toppings. Grab a loaded dog!

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Monday, October 14, 2019

Orlando Super Kids Classic

Pam Schwartz and I went to Special Soap Box Derby Races with special needs children at Manheim Central Florida, (9800 Bachman Road South, Orlando, FL.) This story began in 1980 with the #34 Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America. That year, the group took on a community project; they chose to work with the Akron Soap Box Derby. Veteran Dave Mitan was working with the racers when a tug on his shirt caught his attention. As he turned around, Dave came face to face with a special needs child. Sitting next to a brother who was competing that day, the child asked, “Why can’t I do that?” Dave’s heart was so moved and his spirit so touched that he shared the experience with his fellow veterans.

Together, the chapter immediately scheduled a meeting with the All-American Soap Box Derby to design and build cars for these special children. The following year, in 1981, the first race was held in Akron, Ohio. Through the smiling faces and positive attitudes of these special children, the veterans were able to overcome many of their own debilitating war experiences. Thus the event was named the “Super Kids Classic.” 

Dave travels the country with his sons, transporting the cars and ramp equipment in a truck. There is a heart warming level of glee among the kids who participated. One girl took the lead in her race and her car veered off course until she gently coasted to a stop just short of some fencing. One enthusiastic young boy kept pressing his father to let him race in the eagle car. When he won his race he desperately wanted to try another car. Granted the cars probably never went faster then 10 miles an hour and they coasted to a stop after just 50 yards, but the joy and contagious enthusiasm was overwhelming. On this particular race day a child with special needs was paired with another child in foster care. It was fun to watch everybody interact and have such a great time all afternoon!

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Castrol Sales Force Convention

Stacey Paul Barabe hired me to work at the Castrol Sales Force Convention here in Orlando. Jeff Hollis and Roger Edwards wanted me to do some live sketching during their training session. Castrol is a British global brand of industrial and automotive lubricants offering a wide range of oils, greases and similar products for most lubrication applications. The goal was for me to create 20 sketches live that would fit into their Powerpoint presentation. Michele Bires kept everybody on track and saved my butt when I realized I had no script for the next day. She sent over the latest slides and I cobbled together something for the next day.

The day before we all met for a walk through of what they planned to present. The basic flow of the presentation was to start with introductions, compare technical and adaptive approaches, Reactive versus creative approaches a mindset shift and then a final commitment. From the meeting I learned that the presentation would move quickly. Some of the sketches were to be dome in less than a minute which presented technical difficulties for me since any sketch worth its weight would take longer than a minute.

The night before I set up each of the 20 sketches on my iPad Pro so I would not have to deal with layers and some writing was done before hand which I could swipe into place when needed. The rehearsal the next morning proved that even with this plan the sketches could not be done as fast as needed. With Powerpoint the presenter has full control of transitions at the click of a button. I was positioned in the back of the room and knowing exactly when a transition was needed was problematic. Some of the early images were only on screen for 30 seconds. I am fast, but not that fast.

My responsibilities shrank from 20 images sketched live to 4 or 5 sketches done live. Also several that were planned to be done live were instead rotated into the Powerpoint presentation. I don't believe anyone realized that when sketching live that I would have to open pallets when changing colors. I followed the presentation sketching each of the 20 images live and did mange to keep pace, but none of that work ever went on the screen. The sketches I did do live went well. I learned much from the process and realize now that what would be needed to fit into an established presentation would be for me to create the sketches before hand and send the client 30 second lime laps animations of the drawings being created. Those animations could then be fit into their Powerpoint presentations and played at the press of a button. Watching art being created for more than 30 seconds at a time is like watching grass grow for most people.

There were team building exercises in which teams had to support a bamboo stick with just 1 finger and then everyone had to work together to try and lower the stick to the ground. It seems simple enough but in practice it proved difficult. Participants also had to stand in order of height without talking or pointing. It was news to me that a new CEO had been tasked with leading Castrol into the future. Paul Waterman, is an American businessman and the chief executive officer of Elementis Plc. Paul was Global CEO of BP Lubricants, a part of the BP Group.

The final Powerpoint slide I got to create live and it consisted of a box. After a break, everyone returned to find boxes had been set behind each seat. On each box people were asked to write a commitment about how everyday business might be done better or more effectively. All these boxes were then stacked at the front of the hall to create a large wall. On my sketch I got to play with a reference to Pink Floyd's "The Wall." My biggest take away from the inspirational afternoon was that great teams value differences. Live on the edge folks!

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Pepe's Truth or Dare Dating Gayme

To celebrate Pride Week here in Orlando I arranged with Rob Ward to sketch one of Orlando’s favorite Fringe and SAK Comedy Lab performers, Pepe! Pepe brings an over-the-top performance and interactive LGBT Version of the classic Dating Game show, as three sexy singles play Truth or Dare to win an all expenses paid date. The tickets to get into the show at the Savoy (1913 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL) were rainbow wrist bands.

Pepe stood like a giant in his huge platform shoes and bright pink mow hawk. Even before the game got underway, he shouted out, "FREE JELLO SHOTS Beetches!" He instructed us on the proper way to rim the cup with our tongue or finger and then suck down the shot. Pam informed me that apparently I did everything wrong trying to rim the edge with my tongue and also scoop it up like an ant eater. The end result was that much of the jello remained in the cup. I was so anxious to sketch that I didn't go back into licking the half full cup. My hands were busy on the page.

The lead contestant wore a blue t-shirt that said simply, "Send Nudes." Pepe put a blindfold on him and then introduced the three contestants who would compete for his blind attention. Pepe played up the notion that the contestant was a hunk, not a Rhodes scholar. When the three other contestants came out I recognized the center contestant as a dancer and Fringe Performer. When he was asked "TRUTH or DARE!" He picked the dare. He was tasked with slipping a condom on a semi-large dildo the lead contestant was holding in his lap. He however could not use his fingers to unroll the condom. He managed to convince the lead contestant to to the hard work of getting the condom unrolled with his mouth as he thrust the condom deep into his mouth. It was hilarious but not as sketch worthy as someone on their knees doing the job with plenty of head bobbing.

Another contestant took a dare built around an iconic scene from Lady and the Tramp. He wasn't a fan of Disney movies, but he had to eat a meat stick at the same time as the lead contestant until their lips met. The resulting meat mouthed kiss that followed was impassioned. Another contestant had to talk dirty while his mouth was stuffed full of cotton candy. The resulting muffled mumbling sounded more like he was grunting into a pillow. One woman in the front row must have had too much to drink since she nodded off while her friend shouted, "TRUTH OR DARE!" so loud that Pepe had to dial he back a touch to get the desired subtle effect. AS he said you don't just shove it in you have to have some gentle foreplay.

Lisa donated a bandanna for the next dare that involved some sexy dancing that the lead contestant couldn't see but the audience hoots and hollers must have peeked his curiosity. The bandanna was used to hide any dangling bits when the pants came down. When the red bandanna was passed back through the audience to Lisa, she gave it a healthy sniff and clutched it to her heart.

The show was over before my sketch was complete so I rushed to finish up as the audience filtered out into the bar. This was an over the top fun night that was a great intro the the Pride festivities. The Pride Parade is TODAY from 3:30pm until 5:30pm at Lake Eola. Pride is celebrating 15 years in the Central Florida community, as well as 50 years since Stonewall - a half-century of LGBTQIA+ liberation.

One of the most eagerly anticipated events of Pride Week, this year's festival and parade will feature more than 100 groups spanning a 1-mile route through downtown Orlando. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy live entertainment at multiple stages around the park, including celebrity headliners.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at