Saturday, November 17, 2018

VegFest


This year's VegFest was held at Festival Bay Park. This festival has grown exponentially since I started sketching it back in 2010. Pam Schwartz and I did a full walk about and ordered some vegetarian food for lunch. I ordered a Dosa which was much larger than I expected. A dosa is an Indian version of a pancake but much thinner. Mine was filled with some mashed potatoes and spices. It was tasty, but honestly I couldn't eat the whole thing.

The food tents were set up on a narrow pathway through the center of the park. This arrangement created a major traffic funnel with line of people blocking traffic in every direction. Had they move the tends back off the pathway then strolling by could have been a more pleasant experience. Pam's  dog, Sprout came out too the festival with us and he and a great time. There were so many scents and things to see. He also got to meet so many other pups.

There was a cute little pig that people could pet but when I returned to do a possible sketch he was being taken for a walk. I settled instead on this tent full of people meditating. Pam warned me that they would stop meditating once I started sketching and she was right. Regardless I stayed committed and got some semblance of a sketch.

We walked around some more once my sketch was done. There were a few politicians since Mid Term elections were right around the corner. It seems Florida is the laughing stock of the country again since there is a major recount for three of those mid term election races. In the 2006 election there were hanging chads to contend with but today there seems to be inefficiency and an inability to count quickly. Hopefully every vote will count. We all need to take a moment and breath deeply. Ohmmmmmm........


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Friday, November 16, 2018

Weekend Top 6 Picks for November 17 and 18, 2018

Saturday November 17, 2018
 8am to 1pm Free. Parramore Farmers Market. The east side of the Orlando City Stadium, across from City View. Purchase quality, fresh and healthy food grown in your own neighborhood by local farmers, including Fleet Farming, Growing Orlando, and other community growers.

3pm to 8pm Buy food and drink. Lucky 7 Rock the Block Party / Maxine's 7th Anniversary Party. Maxine's on Shine 337 N Shine Ave, Orlando, Florida 32803. WOW... Has Time Flown By. Seven Years, We Says, We Says... Seven Years of Epicurean Cheer. Right Here. Because of You, Doing What You Do..We Have Thrived, And That Ain't No Jive!!! So let's have a massive celebration, an exclamation, a City Beautiful proclamation, of a good ole block partay staycation, where life is good in the neighborhood! FREE SHOW DON"T YOU KNOW! We will wage you will find no better musical sage on any stage, and vaudevillian performers too, round out the performing crew. The Shine Ave band shell will be a rocking with Eugene Snowden and Friends, Katie Burkess Band and Maygen Navarro street side, and Juno Smile does the lyrical mile on the inside. Vaudeville llc, will be flowing creativity. Win a holiday party for 10, while you have an opportunity, to help others in our Community. The restaurant will be open all day for food and tasty beverage purchases of your choosing, everyone's a winner.. no losing. All ages, and well behaved four legged friends welcome. We truly appreciate your embrace, of our sexy, comfortable and delicious space. - Cheers, Kirt and Maxine Earhart "Much Love to All of You"

5pm to 9pm Free. McRay Holiday Open House. 1000 Arlington St, Orlando, FL 32805. It’s time for Holiday Open House! Meet artists, tour studios, buy unique gifts! Creations by 23 Artists to Be Featured.
McRae Art Studios will kick off the holidays with their Holiday Open House on Saturday, Nov. 17. The annual event, open to the public, will be in the studio group’s new home in Orlando. Last year, the 23-member artist collective, the largest in Central Florida, returned to the city where it was founded 32 years ago.
The eagerly awaited annual Holiday Open House at McRae (mcraeartstudios.com) gives art collectors and gift-givers a unique opportunity to browse artist studios, visit with the artists and purchase original art. Hundreds of original art works will be available including paintings, pastels, photographs, mixed media, sculpture, jewelry and ceramics.
Secure on-site parking is available.
MCRAE ART STUDIOS, a collective of 23 independent artists founded in 1986, was established to allow member artists to work together and to attract community attention to the area’s outstanding talent. McRae maintains the highest level of artistic accomplishment by bringing artists into the group by a jury process. It has been home to many nationally recognized artists. Twice a year, McRae hosts Open Houses that attract thousands of visitors and collectors.

Sunday November 18, 2018
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.

Noon to 1pm Free. Yoga. Near Lake Eola red gazebo. Bring your own mat.

Noon to 3pm Donation based. Music at the Casa. Vocalist Shirley Wang. 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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Thursday, November 15, 2018

ODD at Lake Eola Wine Company


ODD (Orlando Drink and Draw) is a monthly sketch event I host where I invite artists to go to a different bar each month. There is no model and no instruction, it is just a chance to get out and meet other artists while working on a sketch. I was living near Lake Eola and Eola Wine Company (430 E. Central Blvd Orlando, FL 32801) was just a block from my studio, so this was a convenient location to hang out and sketch.

I ordered a red wine and sketched the length of the bar. It was early in the evening so the place was just starting to fill up. There is a certain refined atmosphere to the place as patrons sip glasses of red wine rather than mugs of beer. Well, they do have beers, but wine is the usual drinks of choice. This was a rare evening where no other artists came out for the night. I think the prospect of downtown parking scares off artists. Regardless, I had fun blocking in my sketch and when done, I simply walked the block or so back to my studio.

The next night, I was interviewed by Pam Schwartz of the Orange County Regional History Center about my experiences in the weeks following the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. Since that night, she tends to join me on many of these types of sketch outings. I tend to keep my head in the sketch for the entire hour or two until it is done, so she can chat with artists or patrons while I work and when I am done, I join the conversations. For me this is the best of both worlds, I get absolute focus and then come up for air and enjoy the company of the artists around me.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Assassins


I went to sketch the opening night performance of Assassins at Breakthrough Theater (419 W Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789). Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics and he also wrote the music for one of my favorite shows, Sunday in the Park with George. I had never seen Assassins but since I love Sondheim, I had to go. The book was by John Weidman, and the show was directed by Angela Cotto.

Breakthrough theater is a tiny little gem in Winter Park. The  lobby was warm and welcoming with a concessions stand. The walls were covered floor to ceiling with framed posters from past shows. This show wasn't as crowded as I would have expected for a Sondheim musical.

The premise of the show was strange and unsettling. Assassins from throughout America's history assembled together to justify their second Amendment right to bear arms and kill presidents. In the opening act, Iris M. Johnson, acted as a gun dealer offering guns to each assassin in turn to bolster their self worth and ego. John Wilkes Booth, (Gabrial Garcia) sang a ballad,  about why he needed to kill Abraham Lincoln after the  Civil War had ended.

Every Assassin was always waving around a gun, and sitting in the front row, I felt uncomfortable having so many weapons pointed in my general direction. Granted they were clearly toy guns and the audio sound effects were faint caps popping any time a gun was fired.

In one scene, Rebecca McVeigh as “Squeaky” Fromme, the girlfriend of Charles Manson, and Carol Jaqueline Palumbo as Sara Jane Moore, started shooting at a bucket of Kentucky Fried chicken. Squeeky's manic laughter was truly terrifying, but what was more terrifying was the fact that so many people in the audience were laughing. Perhaps this is deeply ingrained in America, we are taught from an early age that violence is funny and entertaining.

Lee Harvey Oswald (Scott Gilbert) had a conscience. He went to work carrying a package of curtain rods. His minimum wage job left him with low self esteem. The entire cast of assassins, sang a song encouraging him to shoot John Kennedy. According to them his act of violence would help keep their memory alive. When he opened the package of curtain rods, he found a rifle. At one point they became a chorus line waving their guns in unison.

I find myself sketching people who are still deeply affected by the massacre at Pulse. I respected Anderson Cooper for never saying the gunman's name when reporting about the Pulse Nightclub massacre. The names of these assassins are better left unsaid. The very premise of the play seems to make light of the horror of such violent acts. I lost some respect for Sondheim for writing this musical that seems to glorify and justify the acts of these assassins. Perhaps the show might make audiences think twice about gun control, but the message is lost if they laugh instead. A mentally deranged person seeing this play might think that they might one day share the fame of these assassins. We are sitting on a powder keg. All that said, one song from the show keeps ringing in my head. (Why did You Do it Johnny?)

Performances of Assassins continue through November 26, 2018.
Tickets are $20 General Admission, $18 Seniors, $15 Students, and $12 on Mondays.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Story Corps at the Library


Alisa Petit and Diana Griffith, are two very dear friends who have seen other relationships come and go. They spoke to Story Corps about the strength and fluidity of their friendship. Diana founded Orlando Lady Boss which is an online podcast in which she helps value based businesses tell their unique brand story so they can attract their ideal customers. She offers news about women empowerment and feminism plus best tips about digital storytelling and online marketing so businesses can grow their brand based on their values. 

Carla and Sally Stanton Brown were a mother and daughter with old Florida roots. Carla recognized me form past events I had sketched. While Maria Gabriella Toledo and Vivi Valencia Serrano were employees of the Library. Unfortunately the time spent filling out forms in the green room wasn't always enough time to learn anything about the people participating in Story Corps. The final interviews in the Library of Congress are the final result.

Ross McCoy and Don Price were the final people I sketched for the project. They both like to blow things up which is a fair binder for any friendship. Ross is a comedian and Don was the caretaker at Greenwood Cemetery for years. I had sketched him before when the History Center did an oral history with him about the Cemetery's response to the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. He is a treasure trove for any Orlando History and lore. His nighttime Greenwood Cemetery tour has been a staple for years. During the Story Corps interview, I could hear them laughing from down the hall. That must have been a fun time.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Monday, November 12, 2018

Post Story Corps Interviews


A mom (Riley Roca) and daughter (Celeste Kuri) discussed how the library Children's Business Fair was a supportive environment for Super Soaps, an idea that won the $50 prize for the Highest business potential. Celeste started making soap as a hobby when she was about 9 years old. "I made them for fun and I didn’t think I would get anywhere with them. I gave them to my family. When I heard about the fair, I thought that I could make soaps because I love making soaps. One of my cousins is allergic to a lot of things. So I decided to color and scent them with natural products. I have colored my soaps with turmeric and beet root and scented them with essential oils. My parents helped me a lot along the way." She said in a Library post online. It was wonderful to see how supportive Riley was of her daughter who is home schooled. The library is a major resource for her home schooling needs.

Jessica Dawson and Sam Singhaus were close years ago but had a falling out. They came together to do the Story Corps interview. Sam is a local celebrity. I have seen him many times performing as Miss Sammy at events around town. He participated in Drag Queen Story Hour at the Orlando Public Library. Impulse  Group Orlando organized the event which was presented in the spirit of the City of Orlando and One Alliance’s “Acts of Love and Kindness” movement. I am proud of the library for sponsoring the program which must have been fun. Any time I have seen Sammy perform I know I will laugh out loud. Jessica's voice gave out so the interview had to be cut short, but it was heart warming to know that these friends realized that their differences weren't as important as what they have in common.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Sunday, November 11, 2018

PlayFest: My Lord What a Night


The final PlayFest rehearsal I sketched was, My Lord, What a Night by Deborah Brevoort. The author was present and actively working on rewrites during the rehearsal. For the first half hour of the rehearsal the cast sat around the table going over new lines added or subtracted from the script. At first I thought I would not have enough time to sketch this process but then I leaped in and thankfully this part of the rehearsal lasted for more than the projected time allotted. For the second half of the rehearsal, all the actors stood at the music stands.

When famed African-American singer Marian Anderson (Sheryl Carbonell) is refused lodging because of her ethnicity, she finds an unlikely friend in Albert Einstein (Eric Zivot). Quick witted debates attempt to solve the nation’s problems over tea. Inspired by true events, this story explores the racial, religious, and gender-based struggles plaguing two of the most iconic entities of the 20th century.

Einstein wants to use his fame to protect Marian from the racism in America. He is so adamant about the cause because he narrowly escaped the Nazi racism against Jews during World War II. At the tie of this drama he worked at Princeton University and Aberham Flexner (J.D. Sutton) Abraham wanted to dissuade Einstein from letting Marian stay at his flat. The request seemed racist but he also felt it would seem inappropriate since both Einstein and Marian were unmarried. Another concern was that the college might loose funding because of the controversy. Flexner seemed like less of a villain when he explained that he was attempting to get Jews out of Germany with these funds.

Mary Church Terrell (Trenell Mooring) was arrested when she was trying to get into the Marian Anderson concert in Princeton. Trumped up charges claimed she was causing a disturbance when she asked where the theater was. When she finally got there, she found that these was only seating left for whites. Though old, she was a strong willed woman who wanted Marian to use her fame to address these racial injustices.

The rehearsal was not a straight forward read through, so the timeline I saw was disjointed, but on a whole I was fully engaged as I discovered more about each character. This PlayFest production seemed to involve the most movement and blocking which was beautifully orchestrated by the director Kel Haney. Some scenes had to be run over and over to get the lines to work with the action. This show has an intriguing premise and is sure to be be fun to watch on the stage.

Stage Manager: Justin Little, Stage Directions Reader: Rachael Lord

Be sure to catch this final PlayFest production. Be part of the creative process.
My Lord What a Night by Deborah Brevoort. Sunday November 11, 2018 at 1pm. At the Orlando Shakes, Margeson Theater (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL 32803).
Tickets are $10.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Saturday, November 10, 2018

PlayFest: The Great Beyond


I sketched a rehearsal for The Great Beyond by Stephen Dietz, leading up to their performance on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Orlando Shakes (812 East Rollins Street Orlando FL). This is a four character play that focuses on a family in a time of grief. Despite their differences, sisters, Monica (Courtney Bahr) and Emily, (Melanie Whipple) reunited to tie up loose ends after their father’s death.

The two sisters are always at each other's throats. Emily is the younger and perhaps favored daughter but she lived a life of addiction and with her recovery, she set a task of apologizing to everyone she had slighted.  This became her new addiction. Rene, another character, referred to the people Emily found as her "marks". Some of these apologies resulted in rifts that pulled other people's lives apart. The road to ruin is paved with good intentions.

The true seed of discontent between the sisters, however, is the death of a brother, Joseph, when they were young. Blame, whether founded or not, always surfaced in every conversation. Another point of contention was the estate left behind by the father. Emotions run raw when you want some physical object to remember someone by. Who gets what can become a battle that can divide any family. A coat or table might suddenly become the most important artifact to remind you of love.

Monica's Ex, Rex, (Cameron Francis) is there with his girlfriend, Rene, (Chelsey Panisch) who happens to be a medium. With her help, the siblings attempt to summon their father’s spirit to gain forgiveness and discover the truth. The second act revolved around this seance. Monica dismissed the seance as a hoax from the start but even she was swept up in the raw emotions in the darkened room.

I fell in love with this family as they stumbled to find their way after their father's death. For years an unspoken agreement had held the family together but after the father's death a greater truth was needed. What was so exciting about watching the rehearsal was that the script was in a constant state of flux. Having the author in the rehearsal resulted in his trimming and fine tuning the script as they rehearsed. Actors highlighted their lines as they were changed. Monologues could be made into more concise and polished gems. It was a fascinating process to watch. When you experience PlayFest you are actively participating in the development of new plays.

 
Director: Cynthia White
Stage Manager: Alli Gersbach
Stage Directions Reader: Krystal Rajkowski

Other Cast: Mark Ferrara as Coach Mayes. 

Tickets for The Great Beyond  by Stephen Deitz are $10. The performance is at 8pm tonight, November 10, 2018 in the Shakespeare Center Margeson Theater.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Friday, November 9, 2018

Weekend Top 6 Picks for November 10 and 11, 2018

Saturday November 10, 2018
4pm $10 PlayFest: I Can Go by Meridith Friedman. Orlando Shakes 812 Rollins Street Orlando FL. Armed with sharp tongues and dry wit, Richard and David navigate complex family relationships on the eve of their wedding. Despite hindrances ranging from white lies to life-altering secrets, I CAN GO uncovers human truths about the ones they love most. This contemporary and wryly humorous dramedy is the final installment in a series of three plays by Meridith Friedman, following The Luckiest People (produced by Orlando Shakes in April 2018) and Your Best One (read at PlayFest 2017). 

6:30pm $15 per person in advance; $18 per person at the door. PlayFest Party. Orlando Shakes 812 Rollins Street Orlando FL. Share a drink and dinner with your fellow PlayFest attendees, playwrights, and artist between readings in the Dr. Phillips Patron's Room. Buffet dinner provided by Tako Cheena.

8pm $10 PlayFest: The Great Beyond by Stephen Deitz. Orlando Shakes 812 Rollins Street Orlando FL. Despite their differences, sisters, Monica and Emily, reunite to tie up loose ends after their father’s death. With the help of a medium, the siblings attempt to summon their father’s spirit to gain forgiveness and discover the truth. 

Sunday November11, 2018   
Noon to 1pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola near the Red Gazebo. Bring your own mat.

1pm to 4:30pm Free. Family Day on Second Saturday. The Mennello Museum of American Art, 900 East Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803. The make-and-take craft table is open from noon-2:30 p.m., and docents are available to give mini-tours of the museum. Then it's open house in the galleries until 4:30 p.m.

1pm $10 PlayFest: My Lord What a Night by Deborah Brevoort. Orlando Shakes 812 Rollins Street Orlando FL. When famed African-American singer Marian Anderson is refused lodging because of her ethnicity, she finds an unlikely friend in Albert Einstein. Quick witted debates attempt to solve the nation’s problems over tea. Inspired by true events, this story explores the racial, religious, and gender-based struggles plaguing two of the most iconic entities of the 20th century.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

Thursday, November 8, 2018

PlayFest: I Can Go


I sketched the first read through rehearsal for  I Can Go by Meridith Friedman which is a Comic Drama at the Orlando Shakes (812 Rollins Street Orlando FL).

Armed with sharp tongues and dry wit, Richard (Dan Bright) and David (Alexander Mrazek) navigate complex family relationships on the eve of their wedding. Despite hindrances ranging from little white lies to life-altering secrets, I Can Go uncovers human truths about the ones they love most. This contemporary and wryly humorous dramedy is the final installment in a series of three plays by Meridith Friedman, following The Luckiest People (produced by Orlando Shakes in April 2018) and Your Best One (read at PlayFest 2017).

I had seen and sketched a production of The Luckiest People but missed Your Best One. Despite that I felt quickly up to speed and familiar with this family and cast who had already won my heart. The patriarchal father had passed away but the family had a way of resolving any differences with humor. Richard and David now have an adopted son, Josh (Connar Vidman). Josh didn't have a large part in the section of the rehearsal I sketched, but I heard him rehearsing in the Shakes lobby and thus knew something of his back story.  Richard's sister, Laura (Suzanne O'Donnell) spilled a family secret in her attempts to get the attention of her son Matt (Terance Lee) who seemed largely shut off, tuned in to his headset. Nancy (Kate Denson), David's mom sat with her back to me. She had a calming voice and seemed the anchor of fairness and reason as wedding plans escalated into petty arguments.

For me, this was time well spent with a family I already had grown to love, and a fun cast who seemed at home in this family’s skin. You don't have to have seen the previous two dramas by Meridith Friedman for this show to make sense. There was a relaxed humor as they eased into the comedic drama. This is clearly going to be a fun performance.


Director: Tara Kromer, Stage Manager: Jackqueline Hilliker, Stage Directions Reader: Kaley Pharr.

The performance will be on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.


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 analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com