Sunday, March 29, 2009
I went to an event called Mills 50. When I got to the location, called Cameo, there was a crowd outside. I made my way inside got a wrist band and was surprised when I was greeted by and old friend from my Disney Days named John Hurst. Not only had I known John from Disney but his dad taught me history in High school in New Jersey! It turns out John and his wife had bought the building on a leap of faith and turned the ground floor into an entertainment complex. John told me that the building opened on Christmas day in 1940 as a movie house. Today the ceiling has been lowered to add another floor. John has his freelance animation studio on the second floor and rents out other offices to entertainment companies.
The interior of Cameo is a hip industrial complex of exposed brick and ceiling beams. An arched line on the wall hints at where the movie theater seating used to be.
The evenings entertainment consisted of folk singer Kaleigh Baker who's warm inviting voice greeted me when I first entered. The Black V Tribal Dancers were sitting to my left while I was sketching. There exotic belly dancers outfits caught my eye but I was committed to this sketch and it looked like they might be the next act on stage. Sure enough they went up and danced and gyrated to the whoops and screams of a very pleased crowd. The last act I saw was Beef Wellington and Divinci they played the keyboards to the right in the drawing. Divinci, who I didn't draw, played the keyboard for a solid 10 minutes with his face which was to say the least very amusing and entertaining.
I fell in love with this place. It has the best of art and entertainment. It is raw, exposed and very real. I suspect I will be back many times.