Monday, October 31, 2016

Far Away at the Venue.

Far Away written by Caryl Churchill brings a nightmarish vision to The Venue (511 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL 32803). The play began with a young girl (Brenna Arden) in a nightgown crawling on stage. She couldn't sleep. The older woman (Amanda Hudson Giese) in the rocking chair was an aunt that the girl was visiting. The girl had heard screams and crawled out her bedroom window to investigate. Her uncle was beating someone and there was blood everywhere. Others were held captive and were also bloodied. The aunt twisted each aspect of the story to paint the uncle in a better light. Everything she said was a lie. She made the girl swear an oath of silence. Ultimately I feared for the girls life. She was too innocent, to caring to witness what she did. A truly deviant criminal will eliminate all witnesses.

 The next act featured hat makers. It was the woman's first day on the job. The male hat maker (Charlie Wright) took her under his wing, letting her know the best place to get lunch. A series of scenes showed them creating hats and becoming more playful together. He ultimately informed her that the way that the business was run, was corrupt. She lamented the fact that 211 their beautiful work would ultimately be cremated along with the bodies. "You make beauty, and it disappears." he replied. That sent me thinking. If a body is lying in a casket then how can a hat be worn? The brim would get in the way or be crushed, ruining the shape of the creation. Perhaps in this futuristic society, bodies are suspended Christ like at a wake, minus the cross of course. The male hat maker vowed to speak to the boss about his concerns about corruption. He might loose his job by speaking up. "If I loose my job, I'd miss you." He said to his work companion. "All ready?" was her response. In one last seen their romance blossomed as they shared some beads. They found themselves holding hands. 

A final scene was the strangest of all. Characters spoke of a war with animals and people. I'm assuming the categorizing of animals and nationalities made a point the it makes no sense to separate people based on their skin color, or nationality. A couple hugged for an eternity. She took off a poncho she was wearing and she had on a latex black jumpsuit underneath with gun holsters on he legs. She was a rebel. I lost track of which animals we allies and which were enemies. I believe the elephants switched sides. Wasps were poisoned. The older woman had a phobia about butterflies. She said that in Roman times, people commit suicide by plain a sheet of gold leaf in their throat to asphyxiate themselves.   She imagined that inhaling a butterfly would have the same effect. All these scenes seemed to play up to peoples need to categorize each other, thus limiting our view of all the subtle layers that make us each unique. 

Far Away presented by Unseen Images Theater runs through November 6.
Tickets are $18.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Phantasmagoria VII, "The Cards They are Dealt"

The brand new PHANTASMAGORIA VII “The Cards They Are Dealt” thunders on to the Mandell Stage at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center with all new stories of terror! Live performers, “Phantastical” dance, explosive stage combat, large scale puppetry, aerial performance and haunting storytelling combine to create a tapestry of macabre and whimsical horror! Phantasmagoria’s evocative troupe of steam punk storytellers, dancers, and chorus  embark on their newest journeys through literary tales of terror, horrific folk stories, legends, and myths from around the world. They present  dark tales from the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, Oscar Wilde, Ambrose Bierce, and M.R. James, as well as Arabic folklore, whimsically macabre German fairy tales, and so much more – all to set the tone for a truly Phantasmagorical Halloween season!

I arrived early to watch the fight call. The swords looked threateningly red and even at quarter speed, the swashbuckling action seemed all too real. Dancers stretched and limbered up on the suspended hoop. Right before the house opened John Di Donna had all the N circle up on the stage. He reminded everyone to breath and since it was a smaller house, he let everyone know the still needed to maintain the is momentum. "Throw your energy out there!" "We get to collapse after wards" he said. Regarding the fight sequence, ever one was advised to keep their focus. "lets sling some steel!"  the actors shouted.

An unexpected twist to this evenings presentation was that John's character managed to bring a mortal, namely Alice, out through the looking glass to join his story telling troupe. The Phantasmagoria storytellers are eternal an they resented a mortal in their midst. Alice however was a very good storyteller. At the height of a brawl she screamed and the specs on volume knocked everyone down. It turns out she had powers beyond everyone's expectations.

Once a story is begun, it must be completed. These storytellers live the tales often to a menacing effect.  They take a fiendish delight in each tales macabre humor and drama. In Some ways they are like a circus Sideshow troupe, but each Story fully consumes them. the re was d wonderfully choreographed waltz dance that had all the actors paired up and dancing with delight. Each year new stories weave their way into the tapestry, making Phantasmagoria a show that can be revisited each Halloween season. One member of the troupe wanted to explore the darker side of the sinister tales. to do that he would ha to splinter away from his family roots and forge his own path.

Remaining Performances are October  30 and 31 (The 100th show!) Box office will open each night at 7:15 / doors 7:50 / Curtain at 8:00pm - VIP After show follows immediately after in courtyard Regular Student/Senior/Military - $15.00 / VIP Student/Senior/Military - $25.00 Regular General Admission - $25.00 / VIP General Admission - $35.00 (VIP includes Pre-Seating, VIP post show performance, photo op, souvenir, and a glass of wine or soft drink post show)
TO PURCHASE TICKETS: WILL CALL/CASH ONLY AT DOOR reserve by calling our hot line at 407-476-5121 (Leave name/number/date of performance and number in party – you will be called back only if there is a problem with your reservation) CREDIT CARD PREPURCHASE – For further information contact our box office email:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Beth Marshall presents The Glass Menagerie at the Garden Theater.

The Glass Menagerie written by Tennessee Williams harkens back to memories of his youth when he worked in a warehouse to support his mother and sister. Tom, (Anthony Pyatt Jr.) restlessly dreamed of a life of adventure as a poet. The only way to find that adventure in his work a day life is to escape to the movies. His mother, Amanda Wingfield, (Cami Miller), is a faded southern belle who lives in poverty with Tom and her painfully shy daughter, Laura, (Anneliese Moon) in St. Louis during the late 1930s. Tom's fragile sister seems unable to find her place. Believing that marriage will be the answer for Laura, Amanda pushes Tom into finding a male suitor (Zack Lane) for her. What begins as a promising evening soon unravels, and the fragile fantasy world the family had begun to build is irreparably cracked. Tennessee Williams drew upon his own life to create a poignant tale that has become an award-winning American classic. The Glass Menagerie was first brought to the stage in 1945, the play was a 2014 Tony Award nominee for Best Revival of a Play.

 Laura is so frail and vulnerable that of course my heart went out to her. So many survivors of the Pulse shooting spoke of their life being on hold. My own life seems frozen, waiting for the next chapter to begin. Laura got flustered at business school and had to drop out. Her every memory of High School, is of being different, an outsider. The gentleman caller, Jim is the embodiment of the American ideal. He believes that a few courses in public speaking will catapult him towards certain success.  He wants a give his confidence to Laura and every time he touches her she calms down. My theater companion felt that Laura's constant shaking was distracting, but I was so won over be her delicate beauty that it didn't bother me. Animators stage a scene so that it plays to back of the theater. Perhaps that is the reason used for Laura's mannerisms.

What mattered most was how the last act bowled me over. Tom had left to seek out his life of poetry and adventure. He however loved his sister and wished he had been able to do more for her. In walking down a city street at night he remembered seeing brightly lit colored glass in a drug store window. That beautiful glass reminded him of his sisters delicate Menagerie of glass animals.  His sister was the glass unicorn who only wanted to be like every other horse. She joined the herd by having her dream smashed and her heart broken. Tom's memory of her caught me and made me well up. Was I crying for her, or all of us?

The Glass Menagerie runs through November 6th.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Weekend Top 6 Picks for October 29th and 30th.

Saturday October 29, 2016
2 pm to 9pm Free. GUTS Orlando 2016. 2428 E Robinson St, Orlando, FL 32803. GUTS is a friendly pumpkin carving competition with all proceeds benefiting Make-A-Wish®
AIGA Orlando invites you to its 2nd Annual live pumpkin carving competition, GUTS Orlando. The event will be held October 29, 2016. The carving competition will last from 2 to 5 pm, with an after-party featuring live music from local bands until 9 pm.
More information on the music lineup to come!
The event is free to attend, open to the public, family-friendly, and features the carvers going head-to-head to craft pumpkin creations live that will then be put up for auction to raise money for Make-A-Wish®. While the carving happens, there will be food and drink for sale, trick-or-treating for the kids, live music, silent bidding for the auction, raffle opportunities, and activities for all ages.
Interested in being a carver or creating a carving team? Visit GUTSORLANDO.COM for more information on how to register for carving competition!
The primary goal of this event is to unify the creative community in support of children who fight for their lives every day and to make their wishes come true through Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida. All money raised from the carver’s registration fees, the silent auction, as well as food, drink, and merchandise sales during the event will go to benefit Make-A-Wish Central and Northern Florida, and donations will also be accepted.
The competition is open to local and regional creative professionals who want to test their pumpkin carving skills, and more importantly, raise money for the brave kids of Make-A-Wish®.
The deadline to register to carve will be Friday, October 14th.
About AIGA Orlando
AIGA Orlando advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage, and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts, and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future.
For additional information please contact:

8pm to 2am Free. Return of the PokeParty 2016! Bikkuri Sushi Noodle & Grill, East Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL. Guess who's back? Back again! DING! is back! TELL A FRIEND! Tons of people have been asking for this, and OMNOM is bringing it back in style! Not only are we going to celebrate our love for Pocket Monsters old and new, but in true DING! fashion we're also going to be celebrating our friend Sammi's Birthday AND Halloween all at the same time!!!!
Featuring a performance by Pokemon Master Rapper Shammers!!!
This is going to be one hell of an event, and we want to see everyone dressed up to be the very best! Feel free to wear your favorite cosplay OR Halloween costume! (Not required to be Pokemon related!) The only requirement is to come out and have fun!!!
...BUUUUT be prepared for more awesomeness than ever before! Some of the fun things available to do include video games, dancing, sushi, bar specials, AND A PI√ĎATA FULL OF CANDY!!!
Bring your family, your friends, and whoever else that you think would enjoy a night of friends, fun and fantastic memories!

8pm to 10pm $10 4th Annual Thornton Park Halloween Block Party. Party. Entrance in front of Dexter's Thornton Park. Festivities include:
Live Music by The Sh-Booms, $1000 Costume Contest, Food Trucks, DJ Spreadsheets, Dark Art Market... and much more and it's all for a good cause! Proceeds for the event benefit non-profit Thornton Park District!
Patrons will fear the spooky brick-lined streets of Thornton Park, the city's most haunted district. (21+ event)
Tickets are $10 in advance.
Thornton Park District is an entity, made possible through the interest, efforts and generosity of the national trust Main Street USA, the City of Orlando as well as our many members and volunteers. Event Chair:
Board Member Melissa Schumann

Sunday October 30, 2016. 
10am to 3pm Free. Annual Pet Costume Contest.  North Park Ave at Garfield in Winter Park. Presented by Doggie Door.

10am to 4pm Free. Lake Eola Farmers Market. Southeast corner of Lake Eola Park.

2pm to 4pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL. Near the Red Gazibo. Every week.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

49, 53 and Beyond Children's Mural.

Michael Pilato a mural artist from Philadelphia has come to Orlando to create a series of murals dedicated to the 49, 53 and beyond who were directly affected by the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub. He has moved into the empty apartment above Tony's pizzeria on the corner of Mills and Colonial. This run down apartment was formerly known as "The Space" and has been the location for quite a few cutting edge exhibits and performances. Volunteers have been working tirelessly to make the space livable. New floors are being put in, along with a new sink and cabinets. Piles of scrap wood were piled in the hall, waiting to be taken to the dump. There was no air conditioning and some window panes were broken and missing. Michael was bitten by mosquitoes on his first night in the space.  The groundwork for this artist studio is a true labor of love.

Long narrow staircases lead up to the space. Chimene Pindar Hurst came up with the idea of having home school students create a mural on the walls of the front stairwell. Susan Gromala Crary has done murals on Disney property and she stepped in to spearhead the project. Day one had the children sketching and writing ideas on paper. The kids wanted to sling paint from the start, but Susan assured them that they needed a unified plan before paint touched the walls.  They circled up to share ideas and chat while they worked. The moms sat on the opposite end of the room, also chatting. Susan took all the sheets of paper home to her studio to create a unified concept that incorporated all the separate ideas.

When the kids were finished, Susan sat with them and enthusiastically let them know which ideas inspired her the most.  She collected all the sketches and notes and the conversation she had with the kids gave her a definite idea of how to proceed. Words are very important to these kids because of texting and the internet. Therefor words of love and inspiration would weave themselves in to the visual tapestry of the mural. The plan was to have the kids come in weekly to get the mural painted.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pirates invade Ceday Key.

The Cedar Key Pirate Festival became a mecca for pirates from all over Florida and Georgia in September of 2015. The drive north west from Orlando passed by the Ocalla National Forest. The pirates invaded the quiet city of Cedar key on the first day landing on the beach and fighting their way towards the city park. They set up a thieves row and a pirate encampment.

A gazebo in a corner of ye park, becomes the main stage for Arrr Ink, which is short for, Acme Rogue, and the Ruffian Recruits. Arrr Ink offers the crow card trick, walking the plank, and get hi patrons to jot the Pirate Union, which is an organization of their own invention. Their show consists of light hearted comedy that is family friendly. I was picked out of the audience, and got to play along side the pirates.

Music consisted of sea shanties and folk must reminding me of the simple days crewing on board the Clearwater Dutch Sloop on the Hudson River. We used to wall up to the gent strumming on a banjo. Of course there was plenty of grog, and decent food at various vendors. In the evening the pirates dance with fire on the beach, and invade the local pubs. A quiet evening out could suddenly become quite boisterous.

I sketched pirate performers as they rested near a tent that acted as their green room. Pirates have an appreciation for art and several watched as I worked, saying "Arrrr you an arrrrtist?" "No, I'm a deck hand, I just do this for fun," I might respond.

Mark Ye Calendars for the 5th Annual Invasion September 15-17, 2017. The Pirate Invasion Weekend website will have more information as the date approaches.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Love appears across from Pulse.

Artist Michael Owen used to live in Orlando, going to Dr Phillips high school. He moved to Baltimore to attend art school and has lived there ever since, his family is still in Orlando and he visits often. In Baltimore he executed a series of 20 murals, all with the theme of love. After the tragic shootings at Pulse he wanted to return to Orlando to share this theme. Finding a location was difficult, but Einstein Bagels right across the street from Pulse decided this was a great idea that might help in Orlando's healing process.

Michael used large rollers to paint. He also executes more refined detail using house paint brushes. "They are like the filberts I use when painting on a smaller scale." he said. The lift helps him paint the details high on the wall. LOVE is spelled out in silhouette using human hands. I first met Michael at After Orlando, a one night theater collaboration that featured 20 plans that addressed feelings and emotions after the Pulse shooting. Originally, he intended to have 49 orange blossom floating in space. After Orlando inspired him to paint more of the stems and leaves for the blooms. The outpouring of community support is symbolized in this more solid base.

We talked d bit about a common friend, Cole Nesmith, it turns out that Cole is the first person to ever buy a piece of Michael's art.  People would stop to talk to the artist and he was always happy to tell then his story. One woman walking past the mural had on a deep purple blouse. "you match.' he said. "I what?" she replied. "You match the mural." Sure enough her deep purple blouse matched the purple hands on the mural.  "Purple is the color of royalty."  he informed her. Several I cars honked their approval and some people wanted to shoot photos with their phones. "People just react" he told me as we talked abort what it is like to create art in public. The positive responses he has had from everyone in Orlando has been unprecedented.

 From interviews with Pulse shooting survivors, I know that the Einstein Bagel's parking lot had been used as a triage site where the injured and dead had been taken to get them any from the gun fire. Survivors used their shirts and socks to plug bullet holes in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Blood had stained the pavement. Now splashes of purple spattered paint dripped from the well to the pavement. Once the scene of horrible carnage, the parking lot is becoming a beacon of hope and love.

The drips are all part of Michael' spontaneous process. He uses the paint as if is were watercolor being used by a giant. He would sweep the roller in an arch creating elegant sweeping lines to the purple foliage. He asked me how far Sam Flat was and I gave him directions. The Sun was getting close to the horizon, and he needed more supplies. He needs some spray paint to because he wants to add delicate gradations to the flowers. Each blossom is unique having it's own shape and form.

People in Orlando are still trying to process the horrors of June 12. People grieve in their own ways. Creating art is an artist's attempt to come to terms with that evening. In that way, Michael a I have much in common. I hope his mural does help in the healing for those who visit the pulse memorial across the street. Perhaps some will cross the street and leave memorial items at the base of the mural. Michael has invested his one money and  gofundme money to bring this message of love to Orlando.

I heard a skid and then the crunching of plastic hitting plastic. there had been a fender bender at the stop light.  The drivers got out and exchanged insurance information. Life still rushed past even as art blooms. You can't rush a labor of love.

Monday, October 24, 2016

After Orlando

Margaret Nolan has worked diligently to bring "After Orlando" to the stage. Usually it takes years for a theater production to come to life. In Orlando, nerves are still raw, so Margaret felt it was important to bring After Orlando to the stage only months after the Pulse shooting. "It was a labor of love. [I've] been steeped in it daily since the 1st week of July and it's taken an emotional toll....but so worth it to present these important plays and project to honor the Pulse tragedy." Margaret wrote me. The event was sold out.

After the Pulse tragedy NYC creators Zac Kline and Blair Baker invited fellow theater artists to create short plays and poetic pieces as a response to create something with heart, and spirit.  After Orlando is now a collective of over seventy playwrights from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Uganda. Plays are being presented in venues and universities all over the work and will be published in an anthology by No Passport Press.

Margaret commissioned and curated Orlando based writers to join in the conversation. The evening consisted of 20 short plays with ten local playwrights showcasing their talents. My short film, "Finger on the Pulse" was screened right after intermission. As I entered the theater, Paul Casteneda said he was close tears watching the film at the last rehearsal. There were tech issues but they were resolved right before the opening. My favorite play was written by young playwright Rose Helsinger. Called "Albino Crocodile". It was a monologue be young actress who witnessed a gay classmate being bullied in the school halls. The bullying centered around a mispronunciation of Albino. Albino Crocodiles have blood red eyes and beautiful white skin. When an albino goes to the watering hole all the other crocks go  "Hey what is this? We can be seen around the likes of you." At a girls slumber party conversations turned to boy crushes. One girl confided that she had a crush on another girl. She was shunned like the albino. She however stood resolute finding a strength and joy in being herself.

A Poem by Aradhana  Tiwari called "I remember I am a Rainbow" got me choked up. The poem started showcasing a storm's approach and violence. Despite the turbulence and darkness the rainbow emerged to explain the joyful meaning behind it's every color. It was somewhere around the description of a yellow bird chirping happily and taking flight that I broke down. It was a dark theater. I didn't have to wipe away the tears.

Other heart wrenching plays, had actors exchanging messages and phone calls in a desperate attempt to find out if loved ones were lost. Janine Klein had an incredibly powerful monologue as a mom getting ready for bed and seeking silence from social media. Her sleep is disturbed by phone calls and she discovers her son is among the missing. Janine grew desperate, hoping her son was alright. Her love was palpable even as she described the tattoo he loved and she hated. She faced the possibility that her son might be forever silent.

The final play, had all the actors on the stage. I imagine the final production would have 49 actors. Rebecca Fisher recited a series of joyful phrases beginning with "Today is a good day to..." Tell someone you love them, hug a stranger, to take dance lessons, to sky dive... All the statements came from the obituaries found for the 49 victims in the Orlando Sentinel. It ended the evening on a high note, reminding us all to live life to the fullest. Life is a gift that is all too short. Part of me wants to shut down, to steer dear of the pain. But compassion and hurt bubbles to the surface any time I see OrIando's Creative community unite to answer bigotry and hate with an enlightened response. As Paul Castineda said, "I'm proud of all my fellow artists."

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Angels in the Abbey

I went to a red carpet event benefiting the Pulse of Orlando Fund at The Abbey, (100 S Eola Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32801). Outside angels were set to welcome guests, but) a sudden rain Storm sent the angles scrambling for corer.  The evening marks three months since the tragedy and will be focused on the positivity, love, and inspiration we have seen from around the World. The event included a Silent Auction, sale of Original Art pieces from around the World, performances by the Orlando Gay Chorus, Evin, and featured performer Brandon Parsons - singer of the hit single "Forty-Nine Times." Pulse entertainment manager, Neema Bahrami, will MC the evening and Pulse owner Barbara Poma will also be in attendance. This was a VIP red carpet event with limited tickets sold. 100% of the proceeds go to the Pulse of Orlando Fund, the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit currently distributing funds to victims.

Brandon's song and the appearance on stage of Pulse employees and survivors had me fighting back tears. Healing is a slow process and my need to understand keeps the nerve endings exposed. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Catharsis adds a personal touch to horror.

Catharsis is an all-new immersive haunted experience unlike anything Central Florida has ever encountered. This experience is not about simply startling you. It  is not an "extreme" haunted house. Catharsis is about reaching you on a deeper level. It is about the chill that runs down your spine, about the involuntary feeling of dread that consumes you as you step out into the unknown.

Executive producer Ricky Brigante walked me through the dark sinister warehouse maze. We stopped in the Lust room, and we both knew that this is where I should sketch. To help me blend in, Ricky walked me to the actors dressing room and  picked out a long flowing night gown with sequins and large triangular shoulder pads. The actress it was tailored for only had a two inch wide waste, I couldn't wrap it around my bulky chest. All that guests would see, would be sequins on my legs and a white pearl necklace around my neck. I sat right beside them in a dark corner.

The actor in the Lust room, Sam Matusrek, had long lashes, eyeliner and a beautiful red silk night gown. We were briefly introduced in the dressing room before the doors opened. You enter the lust room through a jagged hole that has been knocked through a wall. Sam searched for a flashlight in the dark when he first entered. The room was illuminated by a single exposed red bulb. It had the sinister feel of an old school photographer's dark room. An analog camera and darkroom chemicals were on the floor along with rose pedals. Masks were on a dresser and on the single lamp.

When guests arrived, Sam would inspect each silently by lightly touching their hair. Then he signaled for them to sit on two stools.  He would then focus on his favorite by shining his light in their face and delicately painting their face with lipstick. He quietly sighed and moaned with delight at his creation. Some times they had their backs to me. Had I reached out, I would certainly have startled them. However I'm a good boy, a reserved pornographer. I kept my hands to my self.

Then he would take his muses hand and guide him or her to the sex stained bed. He would have them lie down and then he posed them in the position which best suited his lustful fetish. He would place the right hand above their head, and then cross the other across their chest or belly. He then opened a small cabinet at the foot of the bed. He removed a featureless yet sad mask for himself and then a second mask of sewn together bits of flesh. The flimsy and light flesh mask went over the face of his muse. He would then lie next to them and spoon close to their back or side. He wrapped his arm around them and would lightly stroke their arm. That delicate touch would illicit some chill up anyone's spine,  good or bad. Reactions varied. A few laughed nervously and others would lie stiff and still with only their twitching fingers as a hint that they were still alive.

As Sam left the room with his new cuddle buddies, he would check my sketch on the iPad and sigh with delight. I felt very much like a filthy pornographer. Sam's camera was broken. He usually took photos of his models before he molested them. I became his only means of documenting his filthy creative routine.

make a Catharsis reservation

The Catharsis experience is available on select nights throughout October 2016.
hours: 8:00pm - 11:30pm

Tickets to catharsis are sold in 30-minute arrival windows. You must arrive and check in during that window. Upon arrival, you will first enter the deadly sins bar, where you may check in, relax, enjoy a drink and a few sinfully fun activities while you await your entry to the experience.

Select a remaining date to purchase a ticket:
October 22, 2016
October 23, 2016
October 26, 2016
October 27, 2016
October 28, 2016
October 29, 2016
October 30, 2016
you will experience Catharsis in groups of 1 - 4.

Standard entry ($24 per person) - you / your group may enter with other guests.

Private entry upgrade ($10 extra per person) - you / your group will enter without other guests. this upgrade enables you to enter ALONE, if you wish...

Catharsis is inevitable.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Weekend Top 6 Picks for October 22 and 23.

Saturday October 22, 2016
9am to 5pm Museum entry price. Adult $19.95, Youth $13.95 Grand Opening Weekend for the NEW Kids Town. The Orlando Science Center. 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL. The new kids Town features a new and improved Orange Grove, a Drip Drop Splash Zone, a huge Climb Time experience and tons of interactive exhibits.

10am to 6pm. Free. Veg Fest. Orlando Festival Park 2911 E. Robinson Street Orlando FL.
Veg Fest is an exciting day of colorful and educational exhibits and activities!  Veg Fest is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, and smoke-free event. Veg Fest, now in its 11th year, is one of the biggest and best vegetarian festivals in the country!

8pm to 11pm Grab a drink and or food. Jazz Saturdays. Cork and Fork American Grill. 

Sunday October 23, 2016
9am to 5pm Free event, But $22-25 for camping plus entrance fee to Springs is $6 adults, $4 children. Earth HealthFest Celebration of Earth's Medicine, Foods, Energy and Beauty. 26301 Southeast Highway 42, Umatilla, FL. A Celebration of Earth's Medicine, Foods, Energy & Beauty in its contribution to our Health. This FREE event is for all of us to enjoy, with FREE workshops in Plant Based Medicines, Foods that Heals, Native American Wisdom, Yoga, Wilderness Survival, and more. We have planned daily swimming & canoe trips to areas Mineral Springs as well as Hiking in the Forest. Bring your family, bring your friends to one of a kind adventure, and yes bring your diving mask, snorkel and fins, tent or RV.
Weather you arrive and set-up your tent Friday or Saturday Morning, there is enough activities to enjoy. October is a great time to experience the Ocala Forest; cleanest purest waters, air, abundant flora & friendly faunas.

• Friday-night Campfire Workshops begins with a Native American Sage Ceremony, follow by an interactive talk on Plant Based Medicines. Around 7pm at the edge of the Forest.
• Saturday-morning around 11am we take off to Alexander Springs, for swimming, canoeing, hiking, socializing. Return to camp around 3pm or 4pm. at around 6:30-7pm we are planning a potluck dinner, a good chance to meet & greet plenty of interesting people. NOTE: this is a mix group of Vegan, Vegetarians & others. We respect the food choices of others, and will provide separate tables for different food choices. Plan to bring a plate to share, as others will do same.
• Sunday's activities, so far will include a trip to Juniper Springs, which offers, spring swimming, hiking and an exciting canoe trip, and workshops to be announce. 
Liz Fuentes will be providing daily morning Lyengar Yoga sessions for your pleasure & health.
WE SUPPORT INDIVIDUALITY & FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT, SO FEEL FREE TO ATTEND WHAT PRESENTATION YOU LIKE AND EXPLORE ON YOUR OWN....Remember everyone involved in this gathering is doing it for free, speakers and organizers are providing their time, expertise and efforts in the true spirit of Celebration. Those who will attend, are meant to be here, weather 30-50 or 150, the success is based on our time to relax, and learn from each other, and yes Celebrate the Beauty, the Magic and the Energy of Natural Earth.
FREE just the cost of camping site and admission to Spring...
The only cost is $22-25 per night for the renting of your tent site, all sites with electric and water. The campground offers excellent hi-speed Internet, unlimited ice machine, bathrooms with hot/cold water showers, TV room, laundry room, an excellent pool, beautiful scenery, and amazing view of the stars surrounded by the night sound of the Forest. located just 15-20 minutes from Alexander Springs & Juniper Springs, as well as many Hiking trails to experience the Forest.
Entrance fee to Springs is $6 adults, $4 children. Canoe fee is $16 for 2hrs, $24 for full day, your option if you want to rent a canoe. There is plenty in the springs to keep you and your family busy.
To date our workshop providers includes;
1. Janet Malcolm, Medicine Grandmother Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. Opening Sage Ceremony & Chat on Native American Wisdom.
2. Guru Tony Torre, Urban Survival craft Concepts
"Total Survivor Philosophy"

Noon to 3pm Suggested donation. Music at the Casa. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Reverend Shawn Garvey, guitarist and singer/songwriter.

8pm to 11pm The brand new PHANTASMAGORIA VII thunders on to the Mandell Stage at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center with all new stories of terror! Live performers, “Phantastical” dance, explosive stage combat, large scale puppetry, aerial performance and haunting storytelling combine to create a tapestry of macabre and whimsical horror!
WHEN: Oct 13th – 31st 2016
All evening performances at 8:00pm (Box opens at 7:15pm/Doors at 7:45pm)
Oct 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 and 31
WHERE: The Mandell Theatre, John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center
Loch Haven Park, Orlando, FL
TICKETS: Student/Senior/Military Admission – $15.00 / General admission – $25.00
Student/Senior/Military VIP Admission – $25.00 / General VIP Admission – $35.00
(VIP Admission includes Pick of Seating, VIP post show performance, and much, much more!)
WILL CALL/CASH ONLY AT DOOR reserve by calling our hotline at 407-476-5121
(Leave name/number/date of performance and number in party – you will be called back only if there is a problem with your reservation)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Robot Man at Cavanach's.

Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, a new performing art center, held a social hour fundraiser at. Cavanaugh's Wines (1215 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, Florida 32804). The proprietor offered everyone a free cup of wine to start out the evening. I found a table close to the stage and started drawing. Musicians Chris Cortez and Danny Jordan started out the evening. 1 t started to rain outside and it felt safe and comfortable to be sipping wine with several dozen patrons, and enjoy and the live music.

Robot Man definitely livened up the evening with their unique blend of music. I was in the midst of boxing up my life and moving to Winter Park. This evening was a reassuring reminder of why I needed that independence. The storm might be raging, but I could find peace of mind by documenting inspiring and creative performances. I usually do one sketch a day so I could keep the peace at home. This was my second and therefor a decadent sketch. I didn't think I would have time to finish it, but I took the chance anyway. It is time to take more chances and to stay longer at events like this to get the whole story. In this case, we all had to wait for the storm to pass.

The Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts (1905 Kentucky Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789) is now open and hosting performances and workshops regularly. Blue Bamboo Center for the arts is part venue, part recording studio, part art gallery.  This unique new space offers live performances most evenings, state of the art recording equipment, and gallery space.  They cater to jazz, classical, and world music, theater, dance, and spoken word. 

Blue Bamboo has limited seating so they encourage guests to purchase tickets in advance.  Most shows begin at 8PM and our doors open at 7.  They offer drink service, including beer and wine, but no food.  This is the hot teens new music hot spot in town. I hope to sketch there soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

An interview at the Enzian Theater.

I interviewed Julie Norris Wilder at the Enzian Theater to find out what I could about the law suit she was in with her founding partner at Dandelion Commonitea Cafe. She and the partner had different ideas about how to run the business. When her daughter, Maya, was born, she asked the partner to step in and help run the business more. She felt that corners were cut and the cafe didn't live up to the who is it idea she had mind. She tried to buy out her partner but couldn't raise I needed funds to make that happen. The differences had to be settled in court an ultimately she surrendered her shares to the business she helped build. There were personal aspects to y conflict, but those details can be left behind as both parties move forward and grow independently. She is happy to know that Dandelion is still doing business and thriving.

I have collaborated with Jul. when we put out an Analog Artist Digital World calendar several years ago. She is a graphic designer on top of being an entrepreneur, an environmentalist and devoted mom. She has plans to build a business that helps empower women. She dreams big and goes for those dreams. She has been the host of Front Porch Radio for years. She show airs every Wednesday at 4pm on WPRK 91.5FM. She interviews people who make a different in the community, and sparks thought provoking conversations.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Milan's Red Shoes.

Dylan Kratky began the day of June 12th doubting himself. He had just released a video of himself dancing at Pulse nightclub online and he didn't receive any responses. Dancing is his art. He actually studied at a visual arts college. Every artist wants to know that their art is seen and appreciated. "I don't need a response to fee adequate" he countered. Freddie, his soulmate visited. He spoils Dylan a bit, and he made him a wrap for lunch. They worked out.  Dylan spend the rest of the day creating his line of custom underwear, feeling inspired.

The first time he went to Pulse, he was just 18 years old. He was new to the city and needed a job. On that first evening he was hired as a dancer and he took the stage name Milan. From that day forward he was part of the Pulse family. He perfected some dance moves not attempted by the other dancers. There was a bar above his station and he used it like a gymnast. "I miss being a monkey." he said. Looking back, he thought, " I don't know if I should keep dancing."

It was 9:45pm when Dylan left his apartment for another night as a performer at Pulse. He remembered looking for the Pulse sign. The place smelled of Fabuloso. It always did. He did a circle around the club, meeting people. He was excited to be there, this was more than just a job. Pulse was for the good times. He got changed into underwear and got up on the bar. There were so many cool people to see. He wanted to get down a little early, to walk around. The cool manager wasn't there so he kept dancing until around 1:57am . A dear friend, Eddie Sotomayor, got him a fireball which they drank in the bathroom.  Dylan went to the dressing room, and began counting his money. Then he heard fireworks.

"It must be a fight" he thought. Then things quickly spiraled downwards. I'm from Lakeland Florida" he said  "And I know what a gun sounds like." He was about to lock the dressing room door, when a kid runs up, "There's a shooter!" he shouted. Dylan locked the door behind them. There were several rounds fired, and then another one. Someone dropped a sheet on him and he became disassociated. Another dancer, a girl from New Jersey, turned the lights off, and everyone turned their phones to silent. The door to the dressing room could possibly be mistaken for a closet full of wires. If they were silent, they might survive.

There was the sound of more shooting and people screaming. It sounded like all the mirrors in the club were getting shattered by bullets. There were four cabinets in the dressing room. Dylan hid in the cabinet closest to the door. The girl in the third cabinet was freaking out and kept using her Phone. "Put it away!" Dylan insisted. "I'm not going to die for you." Two boys hid in the other cabinets. There was alot of prayer. The girl preoccupied Dylan. He needed to keep her calm to survive. None of the dancers got dressed. They all had no way out. One final shot sounded incredibly close it continued ringing in Dylan's ears. A bullet punched a hole in the wall 1/2 inch above Dylan's cabinet.

At about 4am, Swat was at the door. By 4:17am they were being escorted out. They had been trapped and fearful for their lives for two hours. Unless you are in close proximity to someone who wants to play god, who wants to end your life, you can't understand the situation. Seeing this unfold on TV is not real life.  The dancers were escorted to the Einstein Brothers parking lot across the street.  Dylan was wrapped in a blanket, but otherwise undressed. A boy was grazed by a bullet and bleeding. Dylan ripped his blanket in half and gave it to the boy who eventually passed out. Pulse VIP hostess Dawn Goldstein came out of the club barefoot. Dylan gave her his red shoes. At least he had socks.

Pamela Schwartz the interviewer, turned to Freddie who had listened stoically.  Dylan said, "I'm glad Freddie wasn't there because he lost 2 friends, both girls,  and he is protective." If Freddie was in the building, I couldn't hide. We would have had to find each other, and probably died in that search."

Freddie had to go to work the next morning, so he was asleep when he kept hearing his phone go off late at night. He figured it might be spam at this hour, but the phone kept ringing. A friend said, "Are you at Pulse? There is a shooting. They say they have a bomb." He texted Dylan, "Babe, I love you so much," Then he called Mercedez Marisol Flores and Amanda Alvear. They weren't picking up. He tried to drive to Pulse. Orange Avenue was closed at Michigan so he could go no further. He called Dylan who was being retained in the parking lot. He stayed until 7am hoping to drive Dylan home. He finally left and drove straight to work. He got off work early and went to Dylan's around 4pm. He met Dylan's parents, and then went into Dylan bedroom. Dylan us still asleep, but he woke up, and they both cried.

It was two or three days before they found out about Amanda and Mercedes. Freddie was planning to go to Pulse that night because the girls were going. He feels an intense guilt. What if he had been there? They all would have regrouped and been outside. The girls snap chats were all over the news. You could hear the gun shots. It hurt him. Freddie wasn't out before June 12th. Now he and Dylan are getting a new place together. Blue cheese is an adorable idiot of a puppy. Dylan shared a tater Tot recipe with me that he says sealed his romance with Freddie. I made the Tots on my first date in about 22 years. They were delicious. When Dylan and Freddy left the interview they held hands as they walked towards Lake Eola. Love one another, reach out. life is to precious not to.

Monday, October 17, 2016

How Kate Maini survived the Pulse shooting.

Kate Maini moved to Orlando from Boston. She is far more beautiful than my humble sketch. She discovered she could be herself here and she found a strong sense of community. She met a beautiful woman, got married and together they are raising a son.

On June 12th it was a typical night at the Pulse nightclub. Dancing, drinking and laughter. She remembers, it was 1:55am and last call, so she was busy pouring drinks. She heard three loud bangs, and then ten more loud gun shots in quick succession. She dropped down behind the bar. Three more people ran behind the bar. There was screaming and running and broken glass. She rolled under a glass rack that holds glasses but her legs were still sticking out. She didn't quite fit.

She noticed her cell phone up on the bar and she reached up to grab it. She realizes now that that move could her have gotten her killed. She quickly texted several friends in a panic. She grabbed a young boy and pulled him close. She told him she loved him because she wanted that to be the last thing he heard before they died. Glass kept shattering and falling on her chest.

She began to imagine the pain of being shot. Could she handle the pain? Later inspection of the bar showed that some of those bullets came within inches of hitting her. "It is the scariest thing I ever felt." she said. She is lucky to be alive. Had the gunman looked behind the bar, she and the three with her would be dead. She wondered what her son's mother would tell him. She wanted to live for him. She heard the gunman come and go along with gun shots throughout the entire three hour nightmare. She dismissed the notion of two gunman because she could follow the footsteps and gunshots at every moment.

At the end of the siege, police escorted the survivors from behind the bar. For the first time she saw the piles of bodies and the blood. A vivid memory is of the broken glass of the waterfall at the front entrance. Three people rushed by carrying a body. The police asked them to take their shirts off to cover wounds. She had two shirts and also took off her socks and tied them over bullet holes. She felt disbelief and shock. In her dazed state she picked up someone's shoes and shirt and they were covered in blood. Realizing this, she dropped them. How could this happen?

When she finally got home, her son was still asleep. Although separated from her partner, she was there, and they held each of the for an eternity and cried. "Call your loved ones and tell them you love them. Tomorrow is not a promise." Kate said.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Form Structure and Interactions at the White House.

The Timucua White House (2001 Hamilton Ln, Orlando, FL 32806) hosts weekly concerts in their spacious living room that rivals some concert halls. Benoit Glazer built his home around this pitch perfect sound proofed space. This concert featured original compositions for trumpet and electronics. Most of the composers were in the audience. Besides the main performance, an artist usually creates on stage as well. On this evening, a sculptor named Diego Inkusual worked on a life sized bust of a young poised dancer named Megan Crawford. I'm pretty sure I sketched Megan at some dance rehearsal, because I recognized her. I decided to sit down at a back patio table, and my chair tumbled over backwards, thankfully with out me in it. As we all waited to get into the concert hall, Diego kissed Megan's neck and she smiled at the distraction.

Benoit's wife Elaine Corriveu, Wendy Wallenberg and others bustled in the kitchen. Guests usually bring a bottle of wine or a side dish, turning the evening into a community potluck. Strange, the program doesn't list the Trumpet player's name. That is a strange oversight. Anyway, he was quite good as was the sculptor, also not listed.

Diego had several life sized sculpture on stage, and another in The entry-potluck area. Fabrics flowed from their semi nude bodies. It was impressive work. Diego was quite active as was his model, Megan. He would often ask her to rotate in her seat so he could sculpt her from a different angle. He would often stand and he would gouge deep grooves in the sculpted hair. The facial features had been delicately refined back at his studio. He was feeling the music and it influenced his movements. Megan kept perfect still.

One composer wasn't in the audience. He was at an inspirational seminar. The concert was being shared with him and another audience with him at the seminar. Most composers got on stage to introduce their original music, he called in to talk to us all. Charles Griffin composed Between Islands this year. He told both audiences, that when he moved to Orlando, his creative urge dried up. He tried to work through it, but he was stuck. He had never experienced this before. The support and contact with other creative people finally reversed the stagnancy. This composition was the first he wrote as he got back on track. He spoke about his mother's death, loss and the need to remember. It is a theme that has hit home with me many times as I sketch people affected by Pulse. I try to remain in business mode, but often it sinks in. Charles used the sounds of ocean bells clanging quietly on the waves. the somber music hit a chord with me and the pencil stopped dancing on the page, so I could stop to close my eyes and truly listen.

The next White House concert is, Tonight 10/16/16 at 7:30 pm. It is Contemporary Classical, featuring Elizabeth Baker, Toy Piano and electronics, Art is by Gladiola Sotomayor.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Paint the bride.

So, what do you do with your wedding dress when the wedding is over? Most women pack it away in a box and store it for eternity in their closet or attic. Kimme Priddle married Ed Hernandez and she decided to turn her wedding dress into art.

Current Galleries right above The Imperial at Washburn Imports (116 E 1st Street Sanford, FL 32771) is run by local arts promoter Frankie Messina of Apartment E. Frankie loves the arts and bringing people together. He let Kim and Ed use the Current Gallery's round room to exhibit their photographs and mixed media art. The highest price was $225 and the lowest $50. 

In the center of the gallery was a small stage with a garden trellis acting as the framing curtains. White Christmas lights were spiraled around the trellis, shining like bright stars. Roses and yellow flowers along with fern and lace completed the elegant stage, along with a sign saying, "Paint the bride." Wedding guests friends and artists took turns painting the dress being modeled by Kimme. I didn't see who put the red hand print on her right breast. The room became quite crowded and I patiently waited for quick glimpses of the bride. The paint supplies sat a large wooden wire spool that acted as a table. Two bedside lamps illuminated the scene. 

A daughter of the couple played tunes on an electric keyboard beside me. As quickly as the scene grew crowded and chaotic, it then quickly became still as everyone left. How wonderful would it have been if the groom and officiant arrived, also were painted and then the ceremony took place as well. Unfortunately the wedding happened either before or after.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Weekend Top 6 Picks for October 15th and 16th.

October 15, 2016
5pm to 11pm Free. Creative City Project. Orange Avenue Downtown Orlando FL. With an estimated 15,000 attendees and more than 800 artists at Creative City Project 2015, it was the biggest and baddest yet. But it's only the beginning of what we can achieve together as we help Orlando become a city know for creativity and innovation. My sketches will be projected on the side of the Sun Trust building as part of the event.
The Creative City Project 2016 will take over Downtown Orlando with art and creativity.
And this marks a new rhythm for the Creative City Project. From here on out, the Creative City Project will take place the THIRD WEEKEND OF EVERY OCTOBER. No more need to look up dates. Just remember the third weekend of every October. This should make it easier for us all to remember and make space for our city's most exciting art and performance event!
Journey with us as we awaken the streets and public spaces of our city with art and performance. See Orlando like never before as you immerse yourself among the 100 person Central Florida Community Arts Orchestra. Encounter the Orlando Ballet among the high rises of the city. And, back again this year is a performance from La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil high above Orange Ave.
The Creative City Project is ready to awaken you to a new life of deep inspiration. As you walk the streets of the city, you’ll encounter unexpected creative experiences that remind you that more is possible. You’ll discover amazing cross genre artistic collaborations; large scale performances; and intimate, interactive moments. And when it’s all over, you’ll walk away inspired to embrace a life of adventure the rest of the year.

8pm to 11pm $7 No Borders The Tournament. Will's Pub, 1042 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL. After a year and a half of building this unique platform for artists to challenge themselves while putting on a show. We were overwhelmed with all the artists that want to participate. What better way to test their skills then on our 4ft x 4ft canvases in an 8 artist tournament.
The 4 winners will qualify to compete on our 6ft x 6ft competitions starting early next year.
Our original rules apply.
4 Black markers with different tips
One color marker
4ft x 4ft Smooth White Canvas
30 Minutes to Complete
Artists get judged on 5 categories
1. Creativity and Originality
2. Neatness
3. Time Management
4. Use of Color Marker
5. Overall Balance
The Crowd gets to pick The Peoples Champ before the judges ruling is announced.
Artists for our first tournament are as follows:
Don Rimx
Jesika Butler
Heidi Kneisl (The Naysayer)
Dante Seven Alvarado
Darrell C Johnson
Todd Bot
Luce Sky
Alejandro Ruiz aka Revel
Our trusty judges are
Earl Lugo
Stazo Oner
Special Guest Judge
Josue Ortiz
 Our house DJ spinning that 90's hip hop we all grew up listening to and falling in love with Chris Mendez aka DJ Cubby and laying down some cuts, scratches and bruises DJ Sureshot (Theo Sureshot Smith)
Doors open at 8
Show starts at 8:30
$7 Cover

Sunday October 16, 2016
Noon to 3pm Suggested donation. Music at the Casa. Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, 656 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. Classern String Quartet.

2pm to 4pm Free. Yoga. Lake Eola Park, 195 N Rosalind Ave, Orlando, FL. Near the red pagoda. Every week.

8:30pm to 10:30pm Free but get a coffee. Solo Acoustic Spoken Word. Natura Coffee & Tea, 12078 Collegiate Way, Orlando, FL. 407 482-5000.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Creative Process Workshop with Cirque Artistic Director, Daniel Ross.

The Gallery at Avalon Island (37 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida 32801) hosted a Creative Process Workshop with Cirque Artistic Director, Daniel Ross. The even I promised to bring a new level of depth and strength to attendees artistic process in this first Creative Process Workshop. The talk uncovered how to develop strong personal practices and how to work with a team of artists to bring a work to life. The Creative City Project is honored to host the Artistic Director of Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba in this evening in three parts. First, Daniel gave insights into the Creative Process from his experience working with Cirque du Soleil all over the world. Second, we'll take time to answer your questions about your own Creative Process and how to develop a strong company and organization to bring your creative ideas to life. And lastly, Daniel gave feedback on some of your works in progress.  The Creative City Project is committed to cultivating a thriving arts community in Orlando, and this new series of workshops is just one more way we're doing that. Don't miss it! Reserve your spot today.

When I arrived, the talk back was well under way. I muscled my way in through the standing room only crowd to find a decent view. The room was full of choreographers, dancers, visual artists, documentary film makers, writers and actors. I recognized faces in the crowd from past sketches. Orlando has such a rich talent base. One point that came up that I firmly believe in is to create, even when the mood doesn't suit you. So long as you keep creating on consistent schedule, then you then find you are creative than you thought you are.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Liahona LDS Books: A Deseret Book Location.

Liahona LDS Books: A Deseret Book Location, (8905 Conroy Windermere Rd, Orlando, FL 32835), is a Mormon bookstore supplying religious reading material, music, movies, art, jewelry and gifts.  I didn't know the meaning of Deseret, so I asked Linda Sarascino what it meant and online. "The State of Deseret was a provisional state of the United States, proposed in 1849 by settlers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years and was never recognized by the United States government. The name derives from the word for "honeybee" in the Book of Mormon." 

I decided to bring my Elite Animation Academy, Urban Sketching Students to the bookstore to sketch. A statue of a prophet held out his to let costumers see the items on the counter. American Flag triangular flags were draped along the counter. My students sat in the stores reading room chairs. I need to encourage them to get closer the action. 

A very well dressed family entered the store and wandered the racks. There were children's books and toys in the bad of the store. I never knew there were so many religious children's books on the market. American flag and cloud paintings hung on the wall next to the entry door. Prints were arranged in the wicker basket. The sales lady was from New York City as was the family. They were in town for the Morman Convention. I was fascinated by this clean fashionable sub culture. My mom used to dress me up in a new suit every Easter with an embroidered label on the breast pocket. For whatever reason their clean cut out fits brought me back. 

Outside the sun set behind the duck pond.  My students got some decent sketches, and this was the first class, where I encouraged them to add watercolor to their sketches. Perhaps there was some divine intervention.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blackalicious at the Social.

I met Katie Jane, and Britton Paine, at the Social (54 North Orange Ave, Orlando, FL) to hear Blackalicious perform.  I ordered a drink and sketched the band as they set up on stage. The place gradually filled up as I sketched. We must have arrived very early. The concert itself was a blast. Blackalicious i a bulky mass of a performer and he dominate the stage and crowd. The pit in front of the stage filled with a unified dancing mass.

New Breed was a lively brass band that performed next. with several drinks in me, the lines flowed easier but less accurately. (t was fun to try to catch the glow of all the different colored stage lights. Local artist and perform Asaan Swam burger Brooks was in the house and swung by for some face time.

Blackalicious took the stage again, and his rap lyrics seemed absolutely spontaneous as if s constant improvised flow.Another rapper got the crowd to raise their hands and pump their fists in the air. I have never experienced a mo lively and raucous concert. the social is small which keeps , performers and audience in close proximity. Sketching to rap music is a joy. I couldn't stop myself and ended up do in y third sketch.  What ever happened to my "one a day" mantra? Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. In an inebriated moment of inspiration I might produce some thing unexpected.
Someone flipping through my sketchbooks though these sketches were an unfinished mess, but I rather like them. Sometimes it in about a polished result, but about the experience. Right now, Hurricane Matthew is threatening Florida, essentially shutting down the state. Wouldn't it be fun if the Hurricane were named Blackalicious? This performer is very much a force of nature.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Angels at the Abbey.

The Abbey, (100 S Eola Dr #100, Orlando, FL) hosted a red carpet event benefiting the Pulse of Orlando Fund. The evening marked three months since the tragedy and focused on the positivity, love, and inspiration we have seen from around the World. The evening included a Silent Auction, sale of Original Art pieces from around the World, performances by the Orlando Gay Chorus, Evin, and featured performer Brandon Parsons, singer of the hit single "Forty-Nine Times." Pulse entertainment manager, Neema Bahrami, was the MC for the evening and Pulse owner Barbara Poma was also in attendance. This was a VIP red carpet event with limited tickets sold.  100% of the proceeds for the evening went to the Pulse of Orlando Fund, the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit currently distributing funds to victims.

When I arrived at the Abbey, the Angels were lining up outside to greet guests as they arrived. It was a grey dusk and as I started to sketch it started to drizzle. I ran for cover on the patio. Winds picked up and angel wings snapped briskly, sometimes in other angel's faces. Finally the light rain became a downpour and all the angels had to take cover. Some angels held their wings in place, while others let their wings flap. Duane Garrett in the bandanna and hat looked like a serious biker. That makes sense since Harley drivers are often some of the most charitable people you will meet. Duane introduced me to his wife Sunshine Garrett and she told me about how they have been wearing the wings to as many events as possible since day 1.  The wings were finally abandoned to the costume racks. The elements had won, but only after a valiant effort. In tight quarters, the wings PVC supports would often get tangled. The best way to maneuver was stepping sideways. One woman stood in the rain alone despite being drenched. The wings must get heavy when wet.

Toward the end of the evening, Barbara Poma, Pulse employees and several survivors lined up on the stage. A woman at the end of the line began to cry and the person next to her put her arms around her. Who had she lost? I felt an incredible love and loss as the room filled with applause. Approximately $4000 was raised for the Pulse of Orlando Fund.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Family Days at the Mennello Museum of American Art.

On the Second Sunday of each month there is a Free Family Day at the Mennello Museum of American Art, (900 E Princeton St, 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. 

The craft table is always bustling with parents and children. On this day, kids could convert an ordinary stick into an exotic talisman. Yarn could be wrapped around the stick and there was plenty of paint and beads to add to the decorations. The Earl Cunningham paintings literally glow with the way they are lit in this gallery. 

The next free family fun day will be Sunday, October 9th, 12 - 2:30 p.m. Guests can engage with the newest temporary exhibition, Three American Artists on one of the 15 minute Tenacious Tours happening every half hour. Be inspired to create your own work of art investigating energy and wind like Alice Aycock, landscape and material like Barbara Sorensen, and figure and metaphor like Deborah Butterfield. The galleries will remain open until 4:00pm!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Catharsis brings a personal form of Horror to Orlando.

Catharsis is an all-new immersive haunted experience unlike anything Florida has ever encountered. You are offered the freedom to discover your true self. This experience is not about simply startling you. This is not an "extreme" haunted house. Catharsis is about reaching you on a deeper level. It's about the chill that runs down your spine. It's about the involuntary feeling of dread that consumes you as you step out into the unknown. Reservations are now open. click here for tickets.

Human beings have always been attracted to vice, but too often our sinful impulses are thwarted. experience Catharsis to find out for yourself what happens when our species is given complete freedom to express our darkest desires. when experiencing catharsis, you will find all attention is fiercely focused directly on you.

This experience is not about simply startling you. It's about reaching you on a deeper level. It's about the chill that runs down your spine. It's about the involuntary feeling of dread that consumes you as you step out into the unknown.

Choosing to enter alone or in a small group is only your first decision. Your next may very well spell your doom. Whether you hide your frightened face, try to cease your nervous shakes, or simply scream out with the voice of a thousand wretched souls... now there's a choice that we will enjoy toying with. You will face consequences for your reactions. You may never know just where you went wrong.

You won't see the scares coming. You won't be distracted by others ahead of you. It's as if all of the terrors have been specifically unleashed on you...

You're just one sinful step away from losing your soul.

The Catharsis experience is available on select nights throughout October 2016. 

Hours: 8:00pm - 11:30pm

Tickets to Catharsis are sold in 30-minute arrival windows. you must arrive and check in during that window. upon arrival, you will first enter the Deadly Sins Bar where you may check in, relax, enjoy a drink and a few sinfully fun activities while you await your entry to the experience. Selena Blackwood behind the bar has an amazing ability to know what sins tempt you most. She knows no boundaries.


October 8, 2016 
October 13, 2016 
October 14, 2016 
October 15, 2016 
October 16, 2016 
October 21, 2016 
October 22, 2016 
October 23, 2016 
October 26, 2016 
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October 29, 2016 
October 30, 2016

You will experience Catharsis in groups of 1 - 4.

Standard entry ($24 per person) - you / your group may enter with other guests.

Private entry upgrade ($10 extra per person) - you / your group will enter without other guests. this upgrade enables you to enter ALONE, if you wish...

To experience catharsis ALONE or in a PRIVATE GROUP you MUST purchase a standard arrival ticket PLUS the upgrade for each person. 

Catharsis is inevitable.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Weekend Top 6 Picks for October 8th and 9th.

Because of Hurricane Matthew, many weekend events are being canceled. Check online.
Saturday October 3, 2016
9am to 5pm Free. 43rd Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival. Central Park, West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park, FL. Art confined to tents.

3pm to 5pm Free. The Orlando Come Out with Pride Parade. The streets around Lake Eola, Downtown Orlando. Show your support make the the biggest most color of Pride Parade ever. 49 Angels will march with Macy's balloons. Many more surprises. Pride, Predjudice and Protest, an exhibit at the Orland Regional History Center has the history of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender (GLBT) community in Central Florida . This exhibit from the nonprofit GLBT History Museum of Central Florida shares the progress and setbacks of the Central Florida GLBT community over the past five decades of change. A section of the exhibit features items left at Pulse memorials.

6pm to ? Free. Come Out With Pride After Party. The Abbey, 100 South Eola Drive, Orlando, FL. Sure to be a wild party and celebration of life and love.

Sunday October 4, 2016
 Noon to 2pm Donation based community YogART class: 7 Chakra series. Artegon Marketplace 5250 International Dr, Orlando, Florida 32819. Every 2nd Sunday of the month YogART will be hosting FREE Color Therapy Yoga classes for the community at Artegon Marketplace (located in the community room across from section B6 - use movie theater entrance)
We are excited to bring you our "7 Chakra Series" that will focus each class on each individual chakra: breaking down it's color, meaning, location and function. This particular class will revolve around our second major energy point known as "The Sacral Chakra".
Color Therapy glasses will also be provided for those who wish to experience the effects of color therapy. Orange will be the primary focus for our Root Chakra but you may wear any color you want to work with.
This is an ALL LEVELS class which incorporates stretching, breathing exercises and light yoga poses geared around the Sacral Chakra.
We also have a color wheel on our site that explains the benefit of each color (glasses) Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.
Please bring your own yoga mat and prepare to unwind

1pm to 5pm Free. Family Day on the Second Sunday. 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.

2pm to 7pm Free. Feria De Tapa Toro. 8441 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819. FREE PAELLA, MUSIC, DANCING and GAMES!
We’re bringing a taste of Feria De Seville, a traditional Spanish fair, to Orlando. This free, family-friendly event will include free paella from Tapa Toro, live music, flamenco dancing entertainment and various interactive games.
This event will be held on the I-Drive360 Courtyard

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Get Ready to Rumble.

At the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, idealistic young lovers Maria and Tony find themselves caught between rival street gangs, the American Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence, and prejudice is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, and relevant musical dramas of our time. West Side Story’‘s legendary jazz, Latin, and classical-inspired score features the treasured songs ““Something’‘s Coming,“” ““Tonight,” ““I Feel Pretty,” and ““America.“”

I didn't find anyone to take the second seat. I also had a drink ticket, so I ordered a red wine at Harriet's bar before the show. Several kids getting snacks at the bar had never seen the show before, so the lady behind the counter let them know the they were in for a treat. I sat house right and pretty far back, so my sketching wouldn't disturb anyone. This show is incredibly timely. Each show is done in honor of a victim of the Pulse tragedy of June 12th. Angel wings were on display in the lobby and a photo and biography was on the display.

In the second act Tony and Maria dream of a place far away from street gang and violence. The idyllic song "Somewhere" in this show featured gang members and the women dressed all in white and they danced and played like children. There was in once and joy in the dance. I found myself crying. It was beautifully choreographed and I'm certain it was inspired be the violence that has traumatized Orlando. Towards the end of the song all the dancers lifted their arms, and they seemed to float blissfully above the stage.

So many of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting we Puerto Rican thus the prejudice an hate against them seemed as if it had been written yesterday. In a world where labels define us all, how can there be a time for us or a place for us? That is why I found myself crying. Nothing has change since the 1960 when the play first hit the stage.

Both Marc Koeck who played Tony and Carlee Evans who played Maria had amazing voices. I was swept away, safe in the darkness of the theater.  I slipped away during the uproar of the standing ovation. I didn't want to break the spell by clapping. I let the emotion linger and wash over me on the drive home. People want to forget. A committee vetoed some of my sketches of Pulse vigils from being projected on the Sun Trust Bank during this month's Creative City Project. We are only strong if we remember and don't sweep aside the loss. We hope for change but it never comes. But we can never give up.

You don't want to miss this show.