Saturday, May 31, 2014

True West

The Dark Side of Saturn Productions is presenting Sam Shepard's True West at the Orlando Shakespeare Center. I was surprised by the intricate set by Tom Mangieri. I had just been in the Mandell Theater multiple times at Fringe and got used to seeing a bare stage. Fringe just ended two days ago, so this set was created incredibly fast. This was the first time the actors got to move around in the actual space. Director Kevin Becker was in the audience seating while Chaz Krivan who plays Austin, and Cory Volence who plays Lee sat at the breakfast nook table on stage.  Lighting levels were being adjusted, so the actors got to relax for a bit.

After all the lights were adjusted, Bill Warriner, the fight director, put the actors through the paces as they fought in the kitchen. The fight began with Austin breaking a beer bottle over Lee's head. He then slammed Lee into the counter. As Lee lay on the floor recovering, Austin grabbed an electrical chord and wrapped it around Lee's throat. Now, this was a rehearsal, and the action was supposed to be at 1/4 speed. The safe word for Cory was "Hold". He called out to stop the action several times. He stopped the action when he was slammed into the refrigerator, because he was concerned it might topple over. He was concerned that Chaz was getting too aggressive. In a staged fight, both actors need to feel they are in control of the action. In the heat of the moment, the fight accelerated. There was a long moment where Austin was chocking Lee. Lee's face was beet red as he struggled. Was he struggling to say the safe word? Was this acting, or had the fight crossed over the fourth wall? Austin said, "I could easily kill him, all I have to do is twist." Lee's eyes bulged in his head before he fell limp to the floor.

After the fight rehearsal, there was a full run through of the play. Tara Rewis picked up the broken glass and other refuge had to be cleaned up before the play could begin.  Dorothy Massey who did costuming, had to help Cory figure out how to use his belt. "This is why I get paid the big bucks!" she joked.

The play is about two brothers, Austin and Lee.  Austin was writing a screenplay while he watched his mother's home. She was on vacation in Alaska. Lee,who is the black sheep of the family, showed up wanting to drink beer, borrow Austin's car and in general cause mischief. He had a knack for bullying, scheming or stealing anything that he wants. Arguments erupted but, despite their differences, these brothers did care about each other, or they would do just about anything to steal each others lives. When Hollywood agent, Saul, played by Jim Cundiff comes to the home to check the progress on Austin's screenplay, Lee schemed his way into convincing Saul that his true life experiences in the desert would make for a great screenplay. The brothers collaborated on writing the script outline but the writing sessions never went smoothly. When the mom, played by Barbara Blake, returned home, she found the house a mess. Her crowning moment came when she grabbed a bottle of rum off the table to spare it when the brother's brawled.

This was a powerful drama that dives deep to explore the relationship between brothers who are polar opposites, yet united by a dark past. If you are missing the mad rush of Fringe, then head to the Shakes to see True West. Nothing beats a hangover like a nice cold beer. Don't miss it!

The Mandell Theater
Orlando Shakespeare Center

812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL

May 31 at 8PM
June 2, 6, 7, 8 at 8PM

Tickets are:
$16 in Advance
$20 at Door
$15 at the Door with a Fringe Button

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, May 30, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday May 31, 2014 
10am to 1pm $10 Dessin de Figures. Maitland Art Center Studio 6, 231 W Packwood Ave, , Maitland, FL. This is the return of this workshop from last year. It will be an on going figure drawing session that has been offered by Steve Pi, one of the Sculpture Instructors at the Maitland Art Center and one of our members. This is part of the Orlando Artist inspiration activities that this group was founded on.
This workshop will be open to any Orlando Artist Member that wants to attend and pays the model fee . This is part of Steve's Sculpture class with a figure model who is posing for that series of classes. Steve is the Host & moderator and will determine (First come) who can sit-in. He will also collect the model fee of $10.00 which is a discount to members.
Figure drawing session will be limited to 5-8 Artists that day, on a first come reservations. This is a repeating session every Saturday.
No photography is allowed, cell phones included per Steve. Noncompliance to this rule you will be asked to leave. Artists to provide their own easel (some are available) and supplies. Model will be doing 1 continuous pose (this is a sculpture class). Model will break for short periods.

7pm to 1am Free. Mayloween. The Geek Easy 114 S. Semoran Blvd Suite #6, Winter Park, Fl. Celebrate the end of Free Comic Book May with an awesome FREE half way to Halloween PARTY! Halloween games, cheesy Halloween movies, and.... Everyone that comes in costume gets a FREE BAG OF COMICS/CANDY/SWAG!!!
Random Encounter- Video Game Rock
Voted #1 Rock Act in Orlando 2013
Caffiends-Pop Punk P A R T Y!!!
Claire and The Potatoes-Pop
Voted #1 Pop Act in Orlando 2013 Control This-Ska/Rocksteady
Orlando's hottest ska, rocksteady & reggae group!

7pm to 9pm Free but order a drink or two. Music Mount Dora. One Flight Up 440 N Donnelly Street, Mount Dora FL

Sunday June 1, 2014
 Noon to 3pm Free.  Music at the Casa. Shannon Caine and Beautiful Music presents Cellist, Educator, and Orchestral Musician - Beth Feeley, A delightful addition to our Paint It Black Trio, Quartet and Orchestra as well as our Beautiful Music Ensembles. Beth is a joy to perform with no matter the repertoire or event. An educator, and avid runner she has an infectious joyful spirit and sweet personality. It is a pleasure to feature Beth at our events including the Casa Feliz Music Series 2014. Beautiful Music with Shannon Caine - established in 1989, also featured as preferred partner at the Casa Feliz since prior to Grand Opening events with our musical groups. Our Spanish Guitarist and Latin Jazz Guitar Flute Duo performed for the pre -opening party and Grand opening events for this special venue.

2pm to 4pm Free.  Josh Garrick presents a talk about the Parthenon. Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL.

3pm to 5pm Donation suggested. TAKE YOUR BLINDERS OFF Meet & Greet Fundraiser. Take Your Blinders Off, Inc. (TYBO) is a non-profit vegan/animal rights outreach organization created by Dr. Randall Cannon, a Winter Park, Fla., veterinarian, in April, 2012. Randy and other volunteers educate the public about animal-related issues with the help of his black Toyota Tundra, on which he had two large custom-made screens built and installed. They primarily display Mercy for Animals' "Farm to Fridge" video, but also feature a broad range of images, video and messages depending on the nature of a demonstration or event.
Maintaining TYBO and its custom truck is expensive: gasoline, repairs (vehicle and screens), insurance, materials, corporate expenses, etc. To cover these costs, Randy and his friends are hosting a fundraising event at which attendees can meet the vegan vet and see & ride the TYBO truck.
Please come to this fancy affair, at which there will be cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, desserts and entertainment. Admission is whatever donation to Take Your Blinders Off, Inc. you can make.

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, May 29, 2014

Jem Rolls Off the Tongue

This is Jem Rolls 93rd Fringe Festival. He hails from Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. He worked the Fringe lines hard here in Orlando pointing out to anyone who would listen that the flier's back had an austere simplicity. It was blank. The show offered a solid hour of poetry, at times funny and at times mystifying. This wasn't a performance that gave any linear narrative. His subjects were all over the map. His energy and enthusiasm are contagious.

One rather funny poem was titled, "We split up because the sex was too good." He claims to be working on the sequel which will be, "We stayed together hoping the sex would get better." In one poem he personified words that resisted his every attempt to wrangle them into a poem. He grimaced and leaned towards the audience to show how determined, selfish and difficult words can be. He recited a poem about how the British always win. "We won! We Won, Wewonwewon, we Won!" He blamed the American Revolution on the fact that Germans were doing the fighting not the British.

The poems came out so fast and furious that at times I didn't know how to react. Bikini Katie sat across from me. Craig's Lust had purchased ad space on her bare mid drift. Fried cheese curds had an ad on her right thigh and I believe Ship Happens had prime ad space above her cleavage. I could only squeeze a small bit of Lust into the sketch.

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, May 28, 2014

Reincarnation Soup

Viet Nguyen performed all the parts in this Fringe show that a story about a family's hardships and suffering. He hobbled onto the stage as an old man who sat silently watching a sunset. At the Fringe preview, he had performed a heart warming story about how he met an incredible girl while singing at a Vietnamese karaoke bar. Being American, he couldn't keep up with the lyrics. The girl however filled him with confidence. Afterwards he imagined how wonderful it might be to be a tree  standing eternal vigil beside her home.

That heart warming scene was still part of the production, but it was a faint glimmer of hope among a cast of hardships. There were rapes at sea, arguments in a jail cell and a childhood game with a water pistol. Viet played so many characters, both men and women, young and old, that I lost track of who was who. With so many experiences spliced together, I wasn't sure who I should care about. Viet's performance was amazing but Reincarnation Soup as a whole unfortunately left me cold and indifferent.  The play ended with the old man returning to watch the sun set. I wasn't sure if it was his experiences that I had just witnessed.

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, May 27, 2014

Sacco and Vanzetti

Between shows at the Fringe Festival, I would stop on the green lawn in Lockhaven Park for a bite and a drink. The outdoor tent this year was alive with incredible acts all the time. Jessica Pauli was asked to take charge of the programing and she brought in a constant stream of talented musicians. I could have spent the entire week out there sketching the performances from some of Orlando's best musicians. Kaleigh Baker came all the way from Portland Oregon to perform.

Sacco and Vanzetti was performing the last of their set when I sat down to do this sketch. Several of the musicians children took an interest in what I was doing and they watched every line and wash go down before they started a game of tag. I believe I sketched this group once before at an outdoor festival on Sand Lake Road. The music was lively and fun, but I was sketching so fast, I was in panic mode the whole time.  I also needed to finish before getting to the next show.

The green lawn of fabulousness was a constant party thanks to all the amazing talent that performed on the outdoor stage. I'm betting that beer and alcohol sales must have went through the roof this year at Fringe. I stuck to caffeine for my fix.

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, May 26, 2014


TJ Dawe from Vancouver, Canada presented this incredible one man Fringe show about recognizing your own blind spot and trying to address it. When the lights came up, TJ was on stage acting like he was running in slow motion. He joked that it was impossible to do that and look graceful. His show addressed the idea that people fit neatly into 3 distinct instinct types.

The first is the self preservation instinct. These are the people who are ready for anything. They plan ahead, bringing water along on a hot day or a sweater in case the air conditioning gets pumped up too high. When they pack for a vacation they bring pretty much everything in their closet, just in case. Hotels are booked ahead of time and even restaurants are reserved weeks in advance.

The second is the sexual preservation instinct. This doesn't just mean they are sexual, it also means they are obsessed with the creative process. They love the uncertainty of beginning a creative endeavor and they are risk takers, living on the fringe.  This creative process might have seemed like a fun playful idea 9 months ago but there are pains and uncertainty as the project nears completion. Then it is released into the world, beautiful and imperfect. These people are individualists they don't show off by writing a status on Facebook, but instead share their ideas on a more personal platform like a blog. The more TJ talked about the sexual preservation instinct, the more I felt like he was talking about me.

The third the social preservation instinct. People who have this instinct are energized by small talk at parties. They love gossip and knowing what is going on with everyone around them, even celebrities. This instinct can be a blind spot for someone with the sexual preservation instinct. Being creative, they don't have time for empty conversations. However beneath this facade of superiority is irritation and shame. They want to feel like a part of the group but they are always an outsider, looking in. When the creative person breaks through that social barrier and actually enjoys meeting people at a bar or on the green lawn of fabulousness, they want to feel rewarded. There should be an 80's movie montage that shows how they broke free.

All through his discussions about instincts he also talked about a high school foot race that was a defining moment in his life. Although not a jock, he began to run with a passion. This culminated in a steeple chase race against a team whose coach was named satin. At the starting line he suddenly realized satin wasn't the coach but a runner who looked every bit like a man. Ready, set, Go! The race spread out gradually with the fastest runners breaking away, the average runners clumped together as a pack and then there was Satin followed by TJ. It became clear TJ wasn't going to win but he decided to sprint at the end of the race to beat Satin. He reached down for that last minute reserve and discovered there was nothing there. Blind sided he stumbled across the line last.

He discovered there are no great victories as you struggle to expand your horizons and grow into a more social creature. It isn't a sprint to we won. It is instead a life long goal, a marathon. This was a show that spoke directly to my insecurities and creative blindness. I can not recommend this show enough.

There is only one more show of Marathon today at 1:45pm to 2:45pm in the yellow venue in the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St., Orlando, FL). Tickets are $11 along with the $9 Fringe button that is required for all the shows. Just GO!

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, May 25, 2014

Sperm Wars

Random Samples Collective from Toronto Canada presents this Fringe show that follows the stories of millions of sperm embarking upon a high stakes suicide mission to battle a large, dangerous, and mysterious enemy deep behind the hymen. Meanwhile in the ovaries, the eggs are forced to say goodbye to one of their own as the time for their monthly sacrifice to the uterus looms on the horizon. The entire microscopic battle was presented by a single actor, Jeff Leard, in pristine white underwear, black studded arm bands and army boots. I couldn't help but notice that his "package" loomed rather large. There was also a subtle smudge on the tip of the bulge, which caused my mind to wander. Had he fallen during a performance to smudge his pristine white visage?

If you love Star Wars and you love sex, you should love this show. The entire army of characters were tied together in this one actors performance. A rare moment of improve happened when someones cell phone went off in the audience. At first he sat down and said, "we can wait." Then he wondered, "what is a cell phone doing in this vagina?" Another audience member blurted out "phone sex!" Everyone laughed.

At one point the inner workings of one of the Sci-Fi Sperm Wars vehicles had to be opened.  The actor mimed the machinations involved in opening the multiple panels, cylinders and digital pads with an orchestration of sound effects that he mouthed. The sequence was completed with the magical phrase "dry ice." Which was accompanied with his hands miming the delicate clouds descent. When this long drawn out sequence of events was repeated, it got a bit old.

The horrors of battle became clear as millions of sperm perished because the vaginal canal was blocked by a diaphragm coated with spermicide. The immense ovum sat protected behind this impenetrable force field. Sperm withered and melted like the witch in the Wizard of Oz. A single sperm made it past the diaphragm and wiggled his way deep inside the wet moist humid egg. He lamented the millions lost in the assault.

There is only one more performance of Sperm Wars today,  Sunday May 25th at 4:30pm to 5:30pm in the Blue Venue at the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St., Orlando, FL). Tickets are $11 along with the $9 Fringe button required to get into any show. Rated 18+.

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, May 24, 2014

Chase & Stacy Present: Joyride

Chase Padgett and Stacey Hallal teamed up to create a hilarious sketch comedy improv show at the Orlando Fringe Festival. Chase hails from Orlando and his experience at the Orlando Fringe presenting 6 Guitars lead to him hitting the road and traveling to Fringe Festivals across the country. His girlfriend at the time was less than enthused by his career. On the Fringe Circuit however, he met Stacy who trained at the infamous Second City and together they present a show that is as playful as two 10 year olds pretending to put on a show at bed time with flashlights and imagination.

There is adult humor. At one point Chase and Stacy used the Mics and sound boards to playback moans and groans of pleasure. The couple were in the darkness with just the scrim light behind them to show their silhouette. In the scene the couple were on a date and about to kiss. Stacy stressed that there would be no sex. Chase was resigned to the idea that this was always the case. The lights dimmed and the first moans began. They could play them back and the interwoven moans began to feel like a rap tune. I tapped my toe to the rhythm and laughed as I sketched. Stacy then whispered into the mic "Put your hoo ha in my ying yang." That stopped the beat. Chase questioned her phrasing and she came back with a series of absurd names for his and her privates. When she came up with "The Cave of Wonders", Chase said, "I can live with that." The rap-moan orchestration began again.

Another sketch presented Stacy as a ribbon twirler who was in tears because she couldn't get her ribbon to work. As she cried, Chase came leaping out of the wings twirling his ribbon with graceful abandon. He coached Stacy but repeatedly she failed. Finally she got her emotions in check and together their ribbons flowed gracefully. The audience clapped enthusiastically.

In one scene, the couple asked the audience for a place that a couple might meet. Someone shouted out, "a library!" Chase and Stacy then presented a long form comedy set in a library. The endearing thing about Stacy is that you could see by the expression on her face, that she was always on the verge of laughing herself. At one point, Chase pretended to whisk open some curtains to present a surprise to Stacy. She paused, not sure where he was going. He explained that it was a moving truck so she could bring her cherished books and be with him. She replied, "That's amazing, because that used to be a wall!" Their quick wits sparred playfully until they had each other laughing as well as the audience. This show is a must see!

There is just one show left of Chase and Stacy Present: Joyride!
May 24th 3:15pm to 4:15pm in the Pink Venue at the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL) Tickets are $11 plus the $9 Fringe button required to get into all the shows.

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, May 23, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Fringe Picks with 3 Word Reviews...

Saturday May 24, 2014
3:15pm to 4:15pm Chase and Stacey Present: Joyride. Pink Venue in the Orlando Shakes ( 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL.)  $11 plus a Fringe button $9 required for all shows. 13+ Silly, crazy, fun!

4:20pm to 5:20pm VarieTEASE. Black Venue. The Venue (511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL.) $11 plus a Fringe button $9 required for all shows. 18+ Mysterious, dark and beautiful!

7pm to 8:15pm The All New Nashville Hurricane. Orange Venue in the Orlando Shakes ( 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL.) $11 plus a Fringe button $9 required for all shows. 13+ Lightning quick and uplifting.

Sunday May 25, 2014
8pm to 9pm Taking out the White Trash. Brown Venue in the Orlando Shakes ( 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL.) $10 plus a Fringe button $9 required for all shows. Hilarious southern stereotypes.

8pm to 9pm Sperm Wars. Blue Venue in the Orlando Shakes ( 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL.) $11 plus a Fringe button $9 required for all shows. 18+ Star wars + sex.

11pm to Midnight God is a Scottish Drag Queen II: An All New Testament. Yellow Venue in the Orlando Shakes ( 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL.)  $11 plus a Fringe button $9 required for all shows. 13+ Quick witted humor.

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, May 22, 2014

Truth or Dare with Pepe!

As part of the Fringe Theater Festival, Pepe is performing at the Black Venue, known as The Venue (511 Virginia Drive Orlando, FL) owned by Blue Star. Pepe, played by Rob Ward, is a Fringe regular. He speaks with a gregarious, affected Miami accent and does everything with a flair. No expense was spared on the set which consisted of a bubble lamp and his signature red high heeled chair. Pepe always has guest performers and for the first show I saw, they were, Logan Donahoo, Paul Strickland, Adam McCabe, Blue Star and Lady Raptastic who was remote on Skipe.. The guests were shown slides of celebrities and asked to provide cutting commentary. Blue despises Miley Cyrus who was shown with her legs spread wide.  Logan did a hilarious job roasting Madonna.

"Yellow Shots" were offered to the entire audience. His "Shot Boy" only had his underwear on which showcased his large bulge. Pepe came up with the idea of starting a restaurant chain called "Bulges" which would be like a Hooters for gay men. It is a million dollar idea. The jello shots were actually orange but Pepe's pronunciation changed their color. We all raised the shots as a toast and then the room went silent as everyone sucked down the shots. Consuming one of Pepe's jello shots is a bit suggestive. You have to stick your tongue out as far as you can, and then slit the tip of your tongue all around the edge of the tiny cup to dislodge the jello from the cup. Then you have to wedge your tongue under the jello to dislodge it from the cup completely. If your tongue is long enough and your licking was thorough enough, the entire mass cap pop into your mouth. I grew self conscious half way into the process and tried to suck the jello down prematurely. The loud sucking noise that resulted was more embarrassing than if I had continues exercising my tongue. The many chunks left behind had to be dislodged with further tongue explorations anyway.

A guest from the audience was asked onto the stage and given the choice of Truth, or Dare. He chose a dare. Pepe had a stack of playing cards and the guest was asked to pick a card. The number on the card would result in the guest having to remove that number of items of clothing. He picked a card with a high number and soon he was standing buck naked with his tight cheeks facing the audience. Everyone went wild. When he turned around, Pepe put the jello shot tray over his privates.

Another performance had Fringe comedians doing improve on stage with Pepe as the MC. As one of the straight performers, Chase Padgett was offered a makeover. He stood behind a small table covered in cosmetics and Chris Dinger stood behind him to act as Chases arms. Chase put his hands in his pockets and Chris slipped his arms under Chases pits. They began by applying a powder which Pepe noted is usually the last step in a makeup regimen. Powder got on Chases T shirt and everywhere else. Red lipstick followed which resulted in a huge Bozo ring of red around Chase's mouth and on his left nostril. The lipstick went everywhere but on his lips. Eyeliner and mascara followed which resulted in black and blue raccoon eyes. By the end of the session, he looked very much like Judy Garland minus the black gloves and high heels. Everyone was laughing so hard they were crying.

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, May 21, 2014

The All New Nashville Hurricane

This Fringe show by Chase Padgett was absolute magic. Chase was originally from Orlando but he has since moved to Portland Oregon when he isn't on the Fringe circuit. The stage was set with a single chair and a lone guitar. A spotlight illuminated Chase as he opened with an incredibly dexterous guitar performance. He warmed up the crowd by asking innocent questions. One question he shouted out was, "Who is with the love of their life?" Hands shot up. He turned to the couple to his right. "I see a problem hear" he said. "Her hand shot up like a lightning bolt, but your hand sir didn't budge from your diet Coke." I felt a bit guilty that my sketching prevented my hand from going up. Chase also asked a few people what their one true passion is in life. It is surprising, funny, and a bit sad that some people have no clue.

Then Chase began to relate the story of a child prodigy. This kid could repair any electronic device and he was a natural on the guitar. The prodigy's story was related from the view points of three separate characters, his white trash mom, a conniving promoter and a kind low income southerner who was a recovering alcoholic. Chase would switch between characters or a dime propelling the plot forward. Although incredibly talented, the prodigy wasn't as he said, "A people person." His mind wandered in the intricacy's of stellar dust and sub-atomic particles. He was a nerd's nerd, unable to meet anyone's gaze.

The promoter prayed for a ticket to the big time. His prayers were answered when he saw the boy play guitar. He saw the boy as a gold mine and he managed to steal the him away from his dead beat mom. He put sun glasses on the him and promoted him as "The Nashville Hurricane". He bullied and forced the boy to perform, until the joy once found in playing guitar became a misery. A sunrise seen towards the end of the show made the boy realize that we are all a small part of a much bigger cosmic plan. There was  no longer a need to fear the abuse and mistreatment by others. That glowing, life affirming message is what made the show resonate. Strength and inner peace replaced uncertainty and fear when the boy faced his life head on. This is my favorite show to date, but with so many talented story tellers and shows, I know there are other treasures to be mined at this year's Fringe. Chase's other show, Chase and Stacy Present: Joyride was a hilarious improve show that was hilarious I highly recommend show that as well.

The remaining shows for The All New Nashville Hurricane are...
Thursday May 22,  10pm to 11:15pm
Saturday May 24,  7pm to 8:15pm
Sunday May 25,  3:15pm to 4:30pm
Tickets are $11 and the show is in the Orange Venue in the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL.)

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, May 20, 2014

Judy Garland: Is it Just Me or is it Just Me?

At the last minute, Clandestine ARTS had to pull out of the Fringe. Their show, Tuesday Morning, was replaced by the incomparable, Judy Garland performed by Mark Baratelli of Many of the seats in the Blue Venue had small questionnaires, asking which Judy Garland songs people might want to hear. The MC warmed up the crowd and Judy stumbled around back stage. Then she began to slur the lyrics to a song and she came out, greeted by thunderous applause. Props on the stage were covered with dark fabrics and she stripped them bare as she sang. Yellow medicine bottles hung from her necklace.

Her legs were often crossed or akimbo as she wavered in the spotlight. Her high heels caused her to stumble and fall more than once. Misplaced mascara gave her raccoon eyes and the lipstick was smeared all around her lips. The dark wig often hid her face and the baggy man's dress shirt hid her supple figure. Judy is 93 but she still belts out those tunes with a vengeance.

The MC announced that local artist Thomas Thorspecken was in the audience drawing. He wasn't talking about me however. Chase Padgett was in the audience posing as me. Chase did a sketch of Judy but he was supposed to imagine her nude. I couldn't bring myself to go there. Judy's medicated antics were laugh out loud funny. At times she was on the floor slayed out as she sang and other times she tried to escape into the shadows to avoid the spotlight. Some songs were just improvised on the spot to hilarious effect.

Don't miss Judy! She is hilarious and the shows are selling out. The remaining show times are...
Tuesday May 20, 11:30pm to 12:15pm
Friday May 23, 10pm to 10:45pm
Saturday May 24, 1:30pm to 2:15pm
Sunday May 25,  8:15pm to 9pm
Tickets are $8 and Judy can be found in the Blue venue in the Orlando Shakespeare Center (812 E Rollins St., Orlando, FL.) If you are trying to find information about Judy in your printed Fringe program, she isn't listed. She was a last minute replacement for Tuesday Morning.

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, May 19, 2014


Terry and I went to The Venue (511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL), to see VarieTEASE on the first day I could get out to Fringe. Terry sat front and center while I sketched from a high top table. Smoke filled the space and a long prologue scrolled up the back wall of the stage. The dance followed the male protagonist who was dealing with a deranged ex-wife, his wife and a mistress. The performance began at a train station which was simply created with a projection of a fast moving train roaring by.

There is a playful mystical magic to VarieTEASE. The choreography was at times angular and hard and at other times soft and flowing. At all times life was depicted as a circus or carnivale act. The white face make up made every performer look like a mime or china doll. The protagonist was confronted by each woman in turn. They danced at times with sexual abandon to the point of exhaustion. There was one moment of female frontal nudity with polite pasties, so the show verged on burlesque.

Large free standing door frame shaped structures had rubbery vertical bars. These functioned at times as a prison and in one instance as harps. The man eventually was overcome by heart break and despair. The women returned in flowing light dresses to look over him. I suspect that he truly had cancer and all the drugs and needles were an attempt to slow the tide of the ravaging disease. Credits at the end of the show indicated that the cast was behind dear friends who were fighting for their lives. The show expressed a roller coaster of emotions from anger, despair, loneliness and absolute joy. Life is a dance, and this show captures that life and mysterious magic. This is a must see Fringe favorite.

Mark your Calendar!
Monday May 19, 10:30pm to 11:30pm
Wednesday May 21, 9pm to 10pm
Friday May 23, 9pm to 10pm
Saturday May 24, 4:20pm to 5:20pm

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, May 18, 2014

WTF? (What the Fringe?)

The 2014 23nd Annual Orlando Fringe Theatre Festival takes place May 14th-27th in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park. Venue locations are within Lowndes Shakespeare Center, Orlando Rep (corner of Princeton and Mills)-812 East Rollins Street, and The Venue (Virginia Dr.). Kid’s Fringe is located at the Menello Museum (across Princeton from Loch Haven).

The Fringe is...
100% of $ from ticket sales go directly to the ARTISTS

Fringe volunteers manned the information table inside the Orlando Shakespeare Theater while Jeff Ferree promoted his puppet show "Girl Who Fell Up a Chimney" in his bright conical Gumbyesque outfit. Jeff waved to me, and I gave him a stiff armed wave in return. At the information table you could buy the $9 buttons which are needed to get into any show as well as the Fringe program which lists all the shows.  There are about 100 shows so the choices are daunting. The best way to find out what you have to see is to hang out at the beer tent and ask around to find out what people have seen and loved.

While doing this sketch, I was given two tips. Nashville Hurricane is "Frigging Amazing" according to Curtis Meyer. I was also told by Karen that Take Out the White Trash was laugh out loud funny. Actress Michelle Knight walked up to the information table. Michelle just completed a run of Disenchanted which is a take on Disney princesses who didn't exactly live happily ever after. This hilarious musical comedy was first premiered at the Orlando Fringe several years ago as Bitches of the Kingdom, and now it is headed to off Broadway in NYC. This is a great example of how the Fringe is a great place to launch a creative concept.

If there is a show you feel I should see and sketch, please leave me a comment!

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, May 17, 2014

East End Art

On Wednesday May 14th many of the pieces from my retrospective show were moved to East End Market (3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL.) I was on hand to make sure all the labels were with the right sketches. Most of the hanging was done by volunteers, Halee Sommer, Livia Morgane, and Emily Jourdan.

It started to rain heavily just as we all removed the art from Patrick Kahn's SUV. We all made a mad dash to the stairwell and found cover just before the deluge. The artwork made it inside without getting wet.

 22 original sketches were hung upstairs in the Community room.  Each was leaned up against the wall where it would be hung. Someone didn't lean one of the frames back enough, and it crashed forward to the floor. The glass didn't break, so no harm done. Some sort of morning Brunch had just ended so all the tables were set up. We decided to hang one piece over each stud in a sort of rural woodwork that covers the lower half of the wall. This resulted in even spacing between each piece and an airy well curated look to the whole room. Halee and Emily worked closely together to get all the measurements right. Emily held the hammer choked up by the hammer head.  Part of me wanted to coach her on how to hold the hammer right, but she got the job done so I let it go.  Every measurement was accurate and level. Even when mathematically accurate, each piece was checked by eye to be sure it looked level. The show was hung incredibly fast.

John Rife, East End's owner showed us how to aim the spot lights onto the art, and then Halee took on the fearless task of sitting on top of the ladder and aiming each light. I wanted to sketch her high wire act, but aiming each light took only a few minutes. Instead I sketched downstairs in a narrow hallway where the 30 by 24 inch prints were hung. There was constant foot traffic so it was hard to find a spot where I wouldn't block traffic. I sat near a water fountain across from the woman's room to get the sketch.

Patrick  offered us all lunch on him. Livia speaks French, so we all ordered Parisian sandwiches. There was only one Parisian left, so I ordered a Tomato, mozzarella and basil salad. These three simple ingredients with a light touch of olive oil makes an absolutely sumptuous meal. Livia is going west on a road trip soon, so the lunch conversation turned to travel. Emily is a photographer, so we discussed the challenges of travel when you want to pause and take in the scene while the tours rush on by.  I related the details of my cross country road trip that I took from Colorado to Florida on the day after 9-11. Amazingly everyone knows where they were on that day. Livia in Europe remembered first hearing the news and Emily had just finished an exam in school when the school intercom told the teachers to turn on the TV. Her instructor disregarded the announcement at first but was eventually swayed. A strange day that few ever forget.

Stop by the East End market to see my art on display. Check out the many events held upstairs in the community room to see 22 of my originals on display.

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, May 16, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday May 17, 2014
8:30am to 10:30am Free. Hands Across The Land Orlando. Gaston Edwards Park 1236 N Orange Avenue, Orlando, Fl. Show support for clean energy. Now is the time to stand up let let your voice be heard. Meet like minded people who share your interests in clean energy. If you don't start to make a difference, will you ever? This event is sponsored by the Central Florida Surf
rider Foundation.

11:30am to Midnight shows on Saturday. $8 Fringe button and ticket price. Fringe! Lock Haven Park 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL. The Fringe Festival started May 14th and runs through May 27th. WTF you ask? It is an amazing assortment of un juried shows that run from the sublime to the insane. I will be living here getting as many sketches as possible. Check the Fringe schedule or just go to the green lawn of fabulousnss and ask around to find out what you have to see!

8pm to 11pm  A $15 cash donation is recommended at the door. Guys With Ties “Spring Fashion Show”. 180 Grey Goose Lounge at the Amway Center in Downtown Orlando FL. Central Florida’s Fun and Philanthropic Night of Fashion Returns With Proceeds to Benefit Guys With Ties Philanthropy of Orlando. Orlando Magic Dancer Cori Yarkin will take the stage as Emcee with DJ A-Rock spinning, creative direction by Studio|Couture and strings sensation Fretless Rock starting the show.  This year’s Spring Fashion Show proceeds benefit Guys With Ties Philanthropy of Orlando, who have been hosting themed events for nearly ten years to raise funds for numerous local charities in the Central Florida community. They put the fun back in fundraising!  Total donations made directly from Guys with Ties events are over $200,000. 

Sunday May 18, 2014
 Noon to 4pm. Free. Bookmark Book Fair. Bookmark It 3201 Corrine Drive, Suite 201, Orlando, Fl. The best part of a summer vacation is finally having time to READ. Why not have it be YOUR book ! Bookmark It's second Local-Author Book Fair is Sunday, May 18, 2014 from noon-4pm. East End Market weekends continue to draw new and repeat visitors. #1 overheard comment at last Locally Grown Words event: "We loved getting to meet the author !" 20 tables (up to 40 authors/publishers) will line both floors and courtyard at East End Market.

2pm to 4pm Free. How the Parthenon came to be Josh Garrick. Winter Park Public Library, 460 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL.

5pm to 9pm Free. Orlando Food Truck Bazaar. Orlando Fashion Square, 3201 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL.

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, May 15, 2014

CRAIG'S LUST: a Sexploration

Ryan Price of Invisible Frisbee Productions is producing an improvisational comedy show for this year's Fringe called Craig's Lust. I went to a rehearsal held at Rollin's College. When I got there Ran was at the rehearsal space waiting for a meeting to clear out. The space was a small conference room on the ground floor of the Bush Science building room 102. This improv show had a creative edge because all the comedy skits revolve around the romantic crushes that people often don't act upon. "Meeting people is hard. Meeting sane people is harder. Meeting sane people on Craig's list is nearly impossible! Join us for an improvised adventure into dating, modern romance, and missed connections. Come see us, and who knows, maybe you'll be someone's missed connection… Your suggestions fuel the scenes. From the people who brought you 2013’s improvised version of The 39 Steps."

Stage manager Jamie Lynn Woods sat beside me filming the rehearsal. The rehearsal began with a quick session of zip, zap, zoop in which the cast members stood in a circle and threw imaginary knives at each other. Each comedy act was improvised with the actors building off of the scenarios that were offered by the other actors. I admire this sort of high wire act performed without nets. It was of course fun to watch the female actors flaunting their sexuality when needed, however if a male role was needed they could switch genders. It was when such roles were embraced with a flourish that I found myself laughing loudest.

One skit involved a company bowling outing. An employee's wife caught the eye of the boss as she leaned down provocatively to pick up the ball. The boss patted her on the butt and she didn't seem to mind at first. Such uninhibited lack of personal boundaries were often the source of a laugh. The woman's husband was up for a promotion, so he encouraged her performance while hoping it didn't get out of hand.

Nadia Garzon's friend was crocheting during the whole rehearsal. I could identify with his busy act of creation. At the end of the rehearsal, he gave me what he had made. It was a 4 inch high mushroom. I wasn't sure what to do with it, but it traveled with me on a trip to Virginia. I decided to "plant" the mushroom on a wrought iron public bench figuring someone would be happy to discover it. I like this idea of leaving tiny artistic tokens around town. I'm considering the notion of an Origami business card that I could leave behind wherever I have planted myself to sketch. What I lack is the time to create them.

Craig's Lust is being performed at the Orange Venue, Lowndes Shakespeare Theater (812 East Rollins Street, Orlando Fl.)
Thursday, May 15th, 2014  10:30pm to 11:30pm
Sunday, May 18th, 2014  10:30pm to 9:45pm
Thursday. May 22nd, 2014  8:15pm to 9:15pm
Friday, May 23nd, 2014  6:30pm to 7:30pm
Tickets are $11 along with your $9 Fringe button which is needed to get into any show.

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, May 14, 2014

Aloft Orlando Downtown

There was a Spring Fling presented by Orlando Style Magazine at Aloft Orlando Downtown (500 South Orange Ave Orlando, FL) on April 10th. I didn't even know that this building nestled between OUC and City Hall was a hotel. The evening was a way to celebrate the opening of the W XYZ Bar and Re:mix Lounge with the City’s Premiere Luxury Lifestyle Magazine. There were select complimentary cocktails and appetizers, live Entertainment, fashion models and more at this Spring’s most exclusive event. The dress code was Spring-Chic but I didn't get the memo. Neither did Bronze Radio Returns who performed live.

Fashion models were stationed all around the room showcasing skimpy swim suits. For heavens sakes, I could see their ankles! I sat on a couch and immediately started drawing the band. When I stretched my neck, I noticed two models right behind me on a mini stage. I wish I had noticed them earlier, I would have put them in the foreground. The music was lively and entertaining but it ended all too soon. Terry's office is right across the street, so she came down to join me. She sat across from me on the other couch and fingered her phone. Psi, a former co-worker of hers stopped in and they went outside where it was less noisy to talk.

Several people introduced themselves to me as I worked and I picked up their business cards.  With the sketch done, I went outside to join Terry and Psi. There were so many beautiful people clustered around on the patio. Aloft is also a hotel. A pool sat unused on the other part of the patio. Psi said the rooms at Aloft are rather industrial and not in any way plush. If you want plush, then you stay at the Grand Bohemian across the street.

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, May 13, 2014

Emotions Dance Rehearsal

Emotions Dance Company is rehearsing for the premiere of "Art Evolution", a collaborative arts experience. Larissa Humiston the Emotions founder and choreographer invited me to be a part of the experience.  At first I thought I would do a series of sketches of the rehearsals but it is a long drive to the dance studio, and I try to reserve Sundays as family time.

Art Evolution is inspired by the famous works of well-known artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, Degas and more. Audiences will experience live contemporary dance by Emotions Dance Company, including a piece created by special guest choreographer, Genevieve Bernard of Voci, and spoken word poetry by artists such as Jessie Bradley, Mark Harriott and more.

I love the idea that the dance is inspired by famous paintings so I've started a series of paintings that show the dancers as part of the paintings. For instance the dancers gestures are evocative of the spiraling night sky in Van Gogh's Starry Night. Video reference of the rehearsals is giving me the luxury of picking gestures that work best for my paintings. In all there will be ten paintings I need to complete that will be displayed at the Shakespeare theater during the show. I'll likely make affordable gift cards from the series of paintings as well.

 This contemporary dance, visual art, and spoken word collaboration will be performed twice: Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14, 2014, at 8 p.m. at The John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center’s Mandell Theatre (812 E. Rollins St. Orlando). Pre-sale tickets for the performance are $18 for General Admission and $14 for Students/Seniors and will be on sale starting May 1 and will be available through June 5. After that, tickets can be purchased at the door for $20 General Admission or $15 for Students/Seniors.

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, May 12, 2014

The Solution

The Solution was an artist collective exhibition held at the Orange Studio ( 1121 N Mills Ave, Orlando, Fl) on April 4th. The show represented 6 Different perspectives, 6 different backgrounds, and 6 unmistakable voices in one venue were brought together to show that our differences unite us. These ambitious artists were given no restrictions and total creative control of the 4000 square foot venue. They intended to avoid the feeling of small stale claustrophobic galleries that display limited art styles. The artist invited the public to ignite their senses and experience art in a large open environment coupled with local musical acts, modern dance and local fashion designers. The goal was to showcase the overwhelming creative talent in Orlando and bring together all these different crowds. The exhibition was free and open to the public but only for one night.

 When I arrived about an hour early, the exhibition was still being hung. One exhausted artist was asleep on a couch. Several of the paintings by Genevieve DeMarco on the far wall refused to be hung. A ladder was used to hang one of the expressive paintings high on the wall and when the ladder was put away the painting crashed to the floor. The hot paintings of Natasha Brockman were expressionistic in style. One painting had a woman holding a bird cage which was open, allowing the birds to fly off towards a blazing sunset. Natasha sat at the computer likely firing off last minute invites or checking to see who was coming to the show. Other artists included, Victorious Fidelis, Marcela Rivera,Yve Illz Tbg.

Loose spiraling figurative wire sculptures depicted what I imagined to be dancers. A romantic couple titled "Compromise" by Jamile B. Johnson, held hands while their intestines spiraled free from their severed torsos. They didn't seem to mind. A DJ set up her station on the white seamless photo corner. As I was finishing my sketch people began to fill in the space and move their hips. Thin fashion models were in the green room being made up. The place was jumping.

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, May 11, 2014

Trucks & Tech III : Truckpocalypse

I went to Truckpocalypse on March 23rd at Lake Eola Park (195 N Rosalind Avenue, Orlando, Fl.) From the write up in the Orlando Weekly, I expected to see chrome hub capped monster trucks and a crowd of moaning zombies. My wife walks around Lake Eola every afternoon for exercise. When I got to the park I saw her walking up ahead of me. She walks fast and I wasn't sure I could catch her. I fired off a text that said, "Look back!" She reached into her pocket to check her phone. She paused then turned to see me walking up behind her. She laughed. Chance encounters are rare and you have to appreciate them when they happen. She had already done a lap around the lake and when I asked about Truckpocalypse she said she noticed some trucks at the south east corner of the park. She changed course and we walked that way together. She hadn't noticed any zombies other than the regulars in the park.

She stopped to see some baby swans. The little fur balls had just hatched and mom was watching over them with care. Truckpocalypse wasn't what I expected. The Trucks and Tech event was a mashup of two cultures , foodies and techies. It was the only Orlando event that combines discussion from leaders in the Central Florida tech community with top local food trucks to fill attendees’ minds and stomachs with the best of the best.  Survivors and zombies went head to head in an epic costume contest. I only saw one couple who made a lame attempt to look like survivors. The only zombies I saw were on the Swede Dish food truck.

Terry and I decided to order from the Swede Dish food truck. I had to order the "Thor" which is a hot dog smothered with mashed potatoes and crunchy onions in a wrap. It was a unique and unexpected taste combination. Picnic tables were set up, and Terry and I sat down to have dinner together. It was a romantic meal among the undead. Terry returned to work when we were done, and I decided to sketch the Swede Dish food truck. A zombie had a meat hook jabbed through his eye and his loose black fabric fluttered in the breeze. I sketched the food truck proprietress handing a sandwich to a costumer. It looks like she is handing him a legless zombie. I consider that a happy accident.

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, May 10, 2014


It had rained all day on Saturday March 29th. An e-mail flash from the Maitland Art Center had said the that evenings "pARTicipate" would go on rain or shine. pARTicipate is an annual fundraiser where local artists are assigned a table to host and decorate. The dress code was cocktail attire, with a flair. The email highly recommend wearing comfortable (flat) shoes. This is a traveling party, and there will be walking on bricks and grass. I considered wearing my hiking boots to transverse the mud but they didn't quite go with the suit and tie. Guests could take photos at the photobooth, make pieces of art at a creation station, visit any of the artist demonstrations, and bid in the silent art auction.

Terry and I were assigned to Robert Ross's table. Amazingly he had small 5 by 7 inch paintings matted as a gift for each guest.  One painting was a colorful plein air painting of a lake and the other had neutral greyed down colors depicting a barn and fence. It had a Grant Wood simplicity. Each wall of the architecture was a single brush stroke. Long after the event Robert contacted me to get a high resolution scan of the painting because he wanted to use it as a study for a much larger piece.

A large tent had been set up in preparation for the rain but thankfully the sky cleared up just enough so that there was I gorgeous sunset over the lake behind the Art Center. Glowing balloons lead guests back to the tent which was outside the Art Center's fortifications. I didn't sit for diner. Instead I stood at one of the high top tables to sketch. Three Full Sail students also sat at Roberts table as well as Kelly Canova who was photographing the event.

Voci dance performed a ritualistic dance accompanied by a drum. Terry and I explored the auction items inside the museum. Terry did place several bids but didn't win the items. It was shoulder to shoulder standing room inside the museum. This annual gala is really a highlight every year to see what Orlando visual artists are doing. Dawn Schreiner's table was a playful pop up book style map of Orlando. Another table had art supplies so that guests could create.

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, May 9, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday May 10, 2014
8am to 2pm Free. Second Seconds. The Carousel Emporium 2000 Alden Road Orlando FL. Monthly antique Flea Market.

2pm to 11pm $15 at the door. Smashington Music and Art Festival. 3301 Gardenia Ave, Orlando, FL. Mission Statement: Separated we are artists, together we are a movement.
Smashington: A progressive collection of Orlando's music and art culture, spotlighting the most popular and emerging local artists.
Join us we undertake an epic collaboration of your city's most brilliant minds and fuse them into one awesome festival. This smorgasbord of artistry, musicianship, and entrepreneurial originality encompasses our ever evolving scene.
The goal of Smashington, is to create more consumer awareness in Orlando. By connecting local bands, artists and businesses and allowing them to share one another’s fan base/clients, the growing audience/scene is able to connect with these unfamiliar outlets. A "Cultural Marketplace."
This years festival will feature over 60 acts, dozens of local businesses and the biggest mix of Central Florida’s talent to be collectively combined. We will be showcasing Urban and Street Art styles by incorporating a graffiti wall, a sticker wall and spray painting a school bus! Featured on 3 stages will be; hip hop, live performance art, acoustic duos, bands improv comedy and a collection of central Florida’s rising musical groups! Keep up to date with everything at
This is our story, it’s time to be heard!

7:30pm to 9:30pm  Free. The Geek Easy with Amy Watkins and Open Mic. The Geek Easy
114 S. Semoran Blvd Winter Park Fl. Featuring Amy Watkins and Superhero Poetry. Open to all: Musicians-Lyricists-Artists-and Poets of all kinds. Bring out the cape and have some fun

Sunday May 11, 2014
10am to 6pm Free. Fashion Square Art Fair. Orlando Fashion Square 3201 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando, Fl. On the 2nd Sunday of every month Gallery Fresh Art Markets and Orlando Fashion Square Mall proudly present our "Fashion Square Art Fair." This is an indoor event showcasing 30 to 60 artists and fine crafts persons located throughout Fashion Square Mall.

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

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.

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, May 8, 2014

33 Variations

On March 28th I went to The Winter Garden Theatre to see 33 Variations written by Moises Kaufman and staged by Beth Marshal Presents. I had been to a dress rehearsal and hopefully that write up generated interest for this incredible production. Though it was the second to last performance, I had to see the set and lighting to feel the shows full impact. Aradhana Tiwari directed this stellar cast in this show about Beethoven's struggle to create late in his career as he went deaf and a modern day researcher obsessed with understanding his motives as her health also fails. The 33 variations were written by Beethoven based on music written by a lesser known composer and music publisher.

I was touched by the idea that the music researcher felt the need to travel to Vienna to see and touch Beethoven's original sketchbooks. I wrote out every compositional idea, so the sketchbooks were a way to see his every thought. The minimalist set acted as a multi media projection space at times covered in notes and in one scene becoming a bustling subway. At one point a ghostly silhouette of Beethoven was projected walking from stage left to stage right. The sound, lighting and projections became a creative escape into two tortured minds.  Modern day events and historic Viennese events overlapped and intermingled. I was swept away.

Peg O'Keef who played Katherine Brandt, the music researcher, did an astonishing job performing with the advancing stages of sclerosis. After the show, she explained to me that she had found a series of You Tube videos made by a gregarious and vibrant man who recorded himself repeatedly as he succumbed to the muscle debilitating illness.  In one daring scene Peg disrobed for an MRI. In the nude isolation, she and Bethoven were back to back.  The magical moment wag gone in a flash.

After the show, Aradahna hooked her arm in mine and asked me to have a drink with the cast at the bar next door. I only stayed for one drink but the party was just starting. It seems sad that such an amazing show should have such a short run. But, like Beethoven, a creative life can't last forever. The music and inspiration does last forever. There is a link above to all of the 33 Variations. I suggest you listen to it while your surfing the web or social media. They are inspiring in their entirety.

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, May 7, 2014


Walking down Church Street, I noticed that the old railroad station had been "modernized" with some aluminum awnings. It seemed like overkill since the entire station is designed to protect passengers from the elements. A sign conveniently instructed me to "Look", so I sat down to do just that. The new SunRail commuter train has begun its service and the train is completely free from May 1st to May 16th. I need to get on board to sketch. The free service is designed to allow passengers to experience the comfort and ease of commuting on SunRail, and become familiar with SunRail schedules and cost-savings prior to purchasing or activating more than 12,000 pre-sold passes on May 19.

During the free trial period, SunRail ambassadors will be available at each station and on board trains to answer any questions that SunRail riders might have. The Ambassadors will also be available on May 19, and for several weeks thereafter, to assist customers with pass purchases at Ticket Vending Machines located on each platform, and to remind riders to “Tap On” at ticket validators before boarding SunRail, and to “Tap Off” at their final destination. The SunRail Ambassadors will be easy to spot in black polo shirts with the bright SunRail logo, and black pants.

The SunRail train runs from DeBary in the North,  to Sand Lake Road in the South. There are 12 stations in all. SunRail trains will arrive at each station every 30 minutes during peak service times when traffic on the roads is typically at its worst. During non-peak periods, trains will operate every 2 hours. Initially, there will be no service on the weekends. If you're looking for a free adventure in the next week, then hop on board!

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, May 6, 2014

Howl at the Moon

Howl at the Moon, 8815 International Dr, Orlando, FL, was bustling on the evening I decided to stop out and sketch. Inside people had obscenely large tropical drinks and the piano was blazing. A large party of people from the Orange County Convention Center were stuffed inside. I sat outside and sketched the crowd of people at the entrance. I found it ironic that a full moon was in the sky right behind the logo of a howling wolf perched on a piano.

Howl at the Moon rocks International Drive! the high-energy dueling pianos and awesome events make the dueling piano bar the coolest spot for Orlando nightlife! From corporate events to happy hour with friends to bachelorette parties, the party is always at Howl at the Moon.

I keep thinking that I will return someday to sketch inside the piano bar, but I dread driving or International drive and parking around there. My car was towed once from a parking lot on International Drive, so I am very cautious, anytime I park there since I suspect that cars that are presumed to belong to tourists are targeted with the intent to make hundreds of quick bucks by seizing and holding cars hostage.  It is business as usual in Orlando.

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, May 5, 2014

Art Car

March at the Maitland Art Center involved a solid month of artistic events called Art 31, meaning 31 days of art. On March 25th, I arrived early for the Artists Critique and Conversation in the Germaine Marvel Building, 210 W. Packwood Avenue, Maitland. Artist and muralist Andrew Spear had covered a Toyota with symbols and patterns inspired by the many sculpted patterns on the Maitland Art Center campus. The car was silver and some of the panels had been painted white to accentuate the line work added to the car. He made a wonderful use of just one color, orange which  showed up throughout. The car had a pizza delivery or taxi signage with information about Art 31.

Although we never experience fall or winter here in Central Florida, there were plenty of leaves blowing around the carport across from the Art Center. Which reminds, me, it was a very windy day. A couple had taken the afternoon off and were bringing their ten year old son to the museum. He noticed me seated in the car port and kept his eyes on me. His parents never looked anywhere but straight ahead. The building had recently been covered with blue plastic as part of the 31 days of art. The plastic rustled and snapped in the wind.

I was one of the first people to arrive at the Critique which was a blood bath.

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, May 4, 2014

16th hole at the Bay Hill Invitational

On March 22nd Jesse Newton invited me to a Green Party at the 16th hole of the Bay Hill Invitational. My North Bay neighborhood is right near the Bay Hill Country Club, so we were issued neighborhood access passes for the car to guarantee we would not be turned away since parking for the golf event is a logistical nightmare. My sister Pat Boehme was in town to go to my gallery opening. Mark Baratelli of The Daily City was up for an adventure as well, so the four of us drove towards South Bay and thanks to the neighborhood car passes we were able to drive through check points and avoid traffic tie ups.

The South Bay home was absolutely gorgeous. It was a casual but very fashionable affair. A bar was set up behind the home next to the pool. Many of the people at the party were restaurant and bar owners and it was a crowd of beautiful people. Right behind the pool deck, a small grassy hill sloped down toward a small pond. Just beyond the pond was the 16th hole. I ordered a soda and turned my back to the golf because I needed to sketch the beautiful people. One woman had a white paddle with "Quiet" written on it. Whenever an important putt was about to happen she would raise the paddle and hush the revelers. Once the ball was in the hole the party conversations would fire back up with plenty of laughter and joking. The "Quiet" sign holder posed provocatively for me several times but I knew she wouldn't be able to hold the poses long. I sketched her when she least expected it. Several times during the party the "Quiet" paddle was used like a fraternity butt spanker.

A short path to the left lead to a spot right next to a TV camera tower where the putting action could be viewed from up close. It was possible to get closer to the action than any of the spectators on the greens behind their ropes. I glanced over my shoulder periodically when I heard the crowd on the green murmur or applaud. But honestly, the gorgeous people on the hill captured most of my attention. Mark and I joked about how this must be what it feels like to be part of the "in" socialite crowd.

A women introduced herself and watched me work for a while. She analyzed my composition and decided that the woman in the black tights and shapely hips was the primary focus of the sketch, the rest was just supporting detail. I laughed. "Guilty as charged" I had to admit.With the sketch done, Terry, Pat and I retired to a shady spot in the pool area. I had to sit in the direct sunlight to get the sketch, so my neck got sunburned. I have no idea who won the golf tournament. The last balls plopped into the holes and the golf greens slowly cleared as the sun set. With so much to see and sketch the tournament scores were the least of my concerns.

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, May 3, 2014

United Way

Six Volunteers gathered at a home known as the "Shepherd's House" that would one day be used by a woman who had been homeless or the victim of domestic violence as she got back on her feet. The small split level home was in a suburban neighborhood off of Semoran Boulevard (436), just north of Colonial Drive. The Catholic Charities of Central Florida (CCFL) initiated the program, known as "Shepherd's Promise", just across the street is responsible for getting these homes in tip top shape. Work outside included spray washing the gutters and porch. Yard work was being done as well, including mulching and trimming trees. Inside, the kitchen was getting a new paint job and everything was being cleaned. The place was constantly buzzing with friendly activity. It was a riot of ladders, buckets, brooms and paint cans.

Any woman who moved in to the residence could have up to two children and she would have to take job interview training and computer courses. The children could then be dropped off at the church nursery once a job was found. The goal of course would be for the single mother to become self reliant. Two of my sisters have had to raise children alone and it was always challenging. Child support was non-existent. One of my sisters, when she was at the end of the rope financially, went to a church to ask for help. She was told to start gathering tin cans for the ¢5 refunds. I suspect this CCFL would have offered a better solution. 70%  of each paycheck earned by women in this housing program would have to be contributed to the charity, of that half would be put into savings to be returned to the women when she leaves, so that she could afford to find her own place.

The woman would have to verify that she was separated, since many had been in abusive relationships. If a man was found living in the home then the safety of the place would be compromised and they would be asked to leave. Every day social workers would help to ensure that the home was being well maintained. This respite was intended only as a temporary place where the family could recover and work towards a more permanent solution.

There was a playful atmosphere as the volunteers turned the empty shell into a future home. Hopefully the single mom and her family could feel that love as they worked their way back from the brink. On United Way's "Day of Caring" there were dozens of these volunteer projects going on all around Orlando. Another project involved building a wheel chair access ramp to a home. When I got to that site, the ramp was already built and the volunteers posed for a quick group photo. Each of these volunteer projects was a big step towards changing someone’s life.

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, May 2, 2014

Weekend Top 6 Picks

Saturday May 3, 2014
4pm to 10pm $50 Derby on Park. Winter Park Country Club, 761 Old England Ave, Winter Park, FL. We are offering each guest a private labeled bottle of Stollenbosh Merlot or Central Coast Chardonnay as a keepsake – provided by Quantum Leap Winery.
    Wine and; Beer and food is included
    Fashion/Runway Show Commences =~ 6:30PM for Women’s Best Dressed ~ Women’s Best Hat, & Men’s Best Dressed ($100 Gift cards/Gift baskets(provided by Elle Vie) to be awarded, $50 Gift Cards/Gift baskets to be awarded(provided by Elle Vie)
    Multiple TV’s provided by Best Buy will be displayed throughout event.
    Complimentary Cigar Roller – First 100 Cigars rolled given out.
    Pulled pork from a whole pig provided by 4River’s Smokehouse
    Grilled chicken provided by John & Shirley’s Catering
    Either Lobster grilled cheese sandwiches or Lobster Ravioli provided by Boston Lobster Feast Restaurants
    The event will be both indoors and outdoors & the Winter Park CC will have AC
    The Cash bar for premium alcohol & champagne will also allow for debit/credit cards

7pm to 10pm $5 Trend Studios Orlando Celebrates Their Two-Year Anniversary. Vanity, 110 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL 32801 (second level). Join Trend For a Fun Night of Fashion, Music and Trendy Style To Commemorate Two Years as Downtown Orlando’s Hottest Salon. Attention trendsetters: Get ready to join Downtown Orlando’s most popular, cutting-edge salon, spa and beauty studio for a fun and stylish night to commemorate their exciting two-year anniversary.  Enjoy delicious cocktails and food samplings by Mingos Restaurant, non-stop DJ entertainment, fabulous fashion, salon giveaways and of course amazing avant-garde styles by Trend Studios.  Plus, be among the lucky attendees chosen to win a first-ever “Trendy Award.”  A $5 suggested donation at the door is recommended to benefit the Femmes De Coeur non-profit organization.

7:30pm to 9:30pm Free. The Geek Easy with Amy Watkins and Open Mic. The Geek Easy 114 S. Semoran Blvd Winter Park Fl. Featuring Amy Watkins and Superhero Poetry Open Mic.  Open to all: Musicians-Lyricists-Artists-and Poets of all kinds Bring out the cape and have some fun.

Sunday May 4, 2014
1pm to 3pm. Free. Yoga. Lake Eola East side of the park.

6pm to 8pm Free. SHUT YOUR FACE! Poetry Slam by Curtis Meyer! La Casa De La Paellas 10414 E Colonial Dr Orlando FL. The only current ongoing slam in Orlando officially certified by Poetry Slam Incorporated, IE. Send a team to Nats as well as poets to The Individual World Poetry Slam & Women of The World Poetry Slam! $50 to the winner! If you’ve never seen or been in a slam before, it’s definitely worth checking out!

9pm to 11pm. Solo Acoustic Spoken Word. Natura Coffee & Tea, 12078 Collegiate Way, Orlando, FL.

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, May 1, 2014

Equality Connection

Terry and I went to the Hammered Lamb for the "Equality Connection". Commissioner Patty Sheehan had just put her painting up at the bar in Ivanhoe Village that afternoon. She paints "Equality Kittys" and she can barely keep up with the demand. I heard that every painting sold from her last show. The evening was a fundraiser for Equality Florida which is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. This organization has grown exponentially in the last few years but there is plenty of hard work still left to go before people recognize that all people are created equal.

Many of the board member of the Orlando Fringe were there to show their support. Terry is on the Fringe board now and has loved the amazing people she has met. Fringe is now going strong down at Lock Haven park and I will be there sketching as often as possible. You never know what you will discover on the green lawn of fabulousness. Devon ordered some wings which surprised me since this venue used to be all vegan. She offered me a wing and I tried it but they were to hot of my taste. Of course food this hot means you need to drink more beers which could be a perk.

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

Love Out Loud

I went to a tech rehearsal for "Love Out Loud" a DiDonna Productions new multi media dance performance choreographed by McClaine Timmerman. It  takes an intimate look into the world of dating, relationships, and love today. The multi-talented cast explores the struggles, opinions, feelings, hopes, fears, and doubts that we all experience at one point or another. McClaine uses an amalgam of modern dance, projection, and live music to express the topics under investigation.

Showing their commitment to original music, Timmerman and DiDonna utilize all original music throughout "Love Out Loud" including works by Scott Hall, Nigel John, a collaboration between Keifer Curtis, Aurelio Guimaraes and Jeremy Studinksi, and features original live music by Paige Keiner. Paige was at the rehearsal. She explored social media on her phone before the rehearsal started and then performed a solo acoustic piece on her guitar as the cast performed. I had never seen her perform before and I was impressed by her silky confident voice. One of her songs, "What Good is a Throne When You're All Alone?", featured an incredible dance performance with McClaine and a male dancer. McClaine was in a black night gown and the male dancer in PJ's. They danced intimately before bed but their differences and inner turmoil erupted as they performed. This wasn't a peaceful loving couple but a couple who never seemed to connect. Their bodies rippled in angst as they resigned themselves to the inevitability of being at war yet sharing the same bed. As the lights slowly faded, they lay down together and then their touching arms rose up and their fingers laced together.

McClaine accomplishes something I've never seen before. The show is part documentary, part drama and part modern dance. Interviews are projected during the performance that have people sharing their raw honest feelings about what it is like to love in a digital age.  Have the words "I love you" lost their meaning? Social media brings people together in a hive mentality and yet separates us behind computer and cell phone screens. Interpersonal, one on one conversation, is becoming a lost art form.  Is it possible to find a long term relationship while voyeristically following everyone else's relationships? Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

One dance piece had a male and female dancer circling each other as they fingered their cell phones firing off texts. The flirtatious texts were projected on the back wall of the stage. Through the whole dance they only occasionally glanced at each other. It is easy to fall in love with an illusion through text. The next couple on stage fired off an accelerated angry barrage of bitter texts at each other. They bumped into each other like football players forcefully and immaturely jockeying for dominance.

A dance number about "selfies" had all the dancers lined against the wall as they shot iPhone photos of themselves alone and in small groups. The photos were projected above them in accelerating frequency. They all arched their backs raising the phone high above them in a graceful chorus line. They pouted and puckered their lips and smiled and over acted for each shot. Any individuality became lost in the sea of self absorption. McClaine brings humor and fun to each piece while exploring raw emotions. I found myself laughing often with delight. The show offers dance with a deep personal and insightful twist.

The cast includes choreographer McClaine Timmerman, along with her troupe including Andres Avila, Alina Gavrilov, Aurelio Guimaraes, Felipe Vasques, and Nagi Wakisaka. Dancer Dion Leonhard was at the rehearsal to offer notes to McClaine. As McClaine warmed up, stretching a leg above her head, Dion said, "I'd like to have a relationship with your extension McClaine." "Whatever, you've got your own extension." McClaine fired back. I could feel the love and respect these talented performers had for each other.

Mark your calendar! "Love Out Loud" will be presented for four performances only, at the Santos Dantin Theater in the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center (Loch Haven Park, Corner of 1792 and Princeton Street Orlando FL.) Performances are 8pm on Thursday May 1st, Friday May 2nd, and Saturday May 3rd, with a 2pm matinee on Sunday May 4th. Tickets are $15.00 general admission, and $10.00 student admission, and are available at the door cash only, or by reservation (will call cash only at the door) by calling 407-721-3617.

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