T H E A T R E
welcome to RAMALLAH
F A S H I O N
GRETCHEN PRODUCTIONS M U S I C
Irina Negulescu The Paintings of
F A S H I O N
vol 1. issue 3 winter 2011
paola hornbuckle, head editor editor/writers donnie matsuda kristen fogle sandra van de moere editorial interns jennifer nguyen jessica dearborn megan marrs taylor romine graphic design katie sundberg, head graphic designer sundbergcreative.com
marianne domingo mariannedomingo.com
sarai elguezabal wix.com/elguezabal/saedesign alizeehazan.com
david varela ohsnapiwasthere.com
advertising/sales scott hornbuckle
Letter from the Editor by Paola Hornbuckle
Art of SD Living 6 by Sandra Van de Moere and David Goodman San Diego Style 14 by Sandra Van de Moere
Fashion GOGA by Kristen Fogle 18 Gretchen Productions by Paola Hornbuckle Medavog 33, 40 Photography Michael RealPeople Music The Man Behind the Tone by Chrissy Mulder
Events ArtsNFashion Launch Party by Rob Appel RAWards by Jessica Dearborn 30 Playwrights Project - California Young Playwrights Contest by Taylor Romine 46
Arts Education How I Learned to Look Away from the Monitor by David Wiener 45 Fiction Writing Evoking Dreams, Experiencing Possibilities: Sobre la tela de una arana by Nancy Bird 44
Theatre Welcome to Ramallah by Paola Hornbuckle, Charlie Riendeau, Haig Koshkarian, and Dr. Gary Fields Arabic translation by Aya Malhas 48
letter from the
As a life-long student and professional educator nothing brings me more joy than to learn and to share that knowledge with others. The arts can be an extraordinary vehicle for education and multicultural understanding, as well as a source of beauty and inspiration. Covering Irina Negulescu’s paintings I learned that in communist Romania, where she grew up, painters had access to only three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. By writing about “Welcome to Ramallah” the play written by Jewish playwrights Sonja Linden and Adah Kay, I learned that during the creation of Israel hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes and villages and forced into ever shrinking territory. I learned that there are two sides to the story of Palestinians and Israelies, and that Palestinians have suffered tremendously and continue to suffer to this day. Talking to Gretchen Burns Bergman of Gretchen Productions, I learned that combining theatre, dance, music and choreography is the best way to create exciting and successful fashion shows, and she has been doing it in San Diego for over thirty years. Farrowtone taught me how important it is to stay true to your roots and be proud of where you come from, even as you promote yourself on a national arena as a musician. Everyone featured, whether they contribute an article, a photograph or an ad has something to teach and I am eager to learn. I hope you are too.
Part of speech: noun Synonyms: Artist; painter, designer, illustrator, graphic artist,sculptor, photographer, dancer, cinematographer, thespian,cartoonist, engraver, architect, interior designer 5
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m a g a z i n e
GG OA BOUTIQUE and (soon) on PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS!
Gordana Gehlhausen may seem familiar due to her success on Season 6 of Project Runway (she came in fourth) By Kristen Fogle 18
photo by Rockwell Anderson Studios Lights On San Diego at Eden 2011
the man behind the
TONE story by Chrissy Mulder graphic design by Katie Sundberg
san diego roots
San Diego’s own Pop, R&B and House Singer! He has soul! He has a voice love songs are created for, combined with the talent of a veteran Motown song writer and for Ryan Farhood, his dream is that the world will notice what the people of San Diego already know. There is an artist, from the heart of San Diego, dedicated to bringing Pop, R&B and Soul into the House. Raised in the coastal community of La Jolla, California, Farrowtone, as he’s known in the music industry, was born on October 24, 1978 to Barry and Jeanette Farhood. A dynamic blend of cultures sculpted the person that he has become today. Ryan’s father is Persian and his mother is half Cuban and half Puerto Rican. A loyal San Diegan, Ryan has lived in the prestigious community of La Jolla the majority of his life.He loves his community and feels it’s important that people know where he’s from. “San Diego is an amazing place. But in the music industry, it’s highly underrated. San Diego needs to be put on the map musically and culturally. I’m from La Jolla, a beautiful place from the ocean to the hills. It’s my home. I want to represent it, ” says Ryan.
welcome to the gospel choir
Growing up in the small community, Ryan was the youngest of five siblings. He describes his home as a melting pot of all types of music, “You would hear Persian music one day, Motown the next. My parents, brothers and sisters exposed me to every kind of music out there throughout my entire childhood.” He found himself drawn to his brother’s R&B classics: Boys II Men and Jagged Edge were at the top of that list. But one type of music eventually made him take notice enough to get up out of his seat to sing. He attended private school and went to church regularly. One day, he was invited to go to church with one of his African American friends who attended a Baptist church. “He wanted me to hear what the music was like at his church,” he explains. That’s when he discovered the gospel choir. Moved by the feeling in the music and by the passion he saw emanate from the congregation he fell in love with it. He remembers the feeling vividly, “This electricity went on inside me. It was so soulful and emotion filled. The voices were filled with passion!” He took that passion and energy and transferred it into his own music.
a boy with two loves
Ryan was constantly in his room singing along to his assortment of various Pop, R&B, Soul and Motown tapes. “I would push myself to hit the notes they were hitting. I’d sing until I didn’t have a voice left. When my voice would come back it would get easier and easier to hit those notes. Eventually, the note just came.” It was that same dedication to perfection that Farrowtone displayed while he played football in high school. Football was his second love, and he was often described by people as having the body of a football player, standing at 6 feet tall and over 220 lbs. He was built to play and he enjoyed playing as a fullback. After high school, he attended the University of Oregon. Although he wasn’t given the opportunity to play football his freshman year, he was selected as a walk on for his sophomore year. During practice and prior to the start of the season, he suffered a concussion. After the injury, he was forced to resign from football forever. “Something was gone and I couldn’t get it back. So, I threw all my focus into my other passion - music.” Ryan left college in pursuit of real world experiences and to follow his dream of becoming an R&B singer. While home for the summer, Ryan recalls two important experiences. He met Gaetano Lattanzi, a New York Native living in La Jolla at the time who would eventually become instrumental in his career. He also met his first girlfriend. “We only dated for a few months, but I fell for her.” The relationship ended and Ryan experienced his first broken heart, but he used that emotion to fill his writing. He also took that inspiration to New York where he and Gaetano worked together to write and record several ballads. Gaetano, being a little more seasoned in the industry, knew that Ryan needed some more time to define who he was as Farrowtone. He and Gaetano eventually lost touch and life took them both in different directions, but his guidance at a key moment was never forgotten.
this went on inside me. It was so soulful and emotion filled.
Performance with Osceola Dubois 23
farrowtone at the House of Blues
the story behind the music industry
Ryan helped his Dad with the family business during the week and focused on his career in his off-time, but the pressure to take over his Dad’s company was increasing. He knew that wasn’t part of his own plan as he felt he had a gift in his voice that was meant to be shared. It was a matter of getting his music into the right hands. Ryan quickly learned that though there were many hands extended in his direction, “the right hands” were not always easy to find. He met a man in the music industry who he describes simply as The Deceiver. “He seemed like a good guy. He was from a group I knew was successful. But I was young, and this guy promised me the world. I paid him a lot of money. We recorded a few of my songs and he promised to get them out there. It never happened.” Ryan soon realized he had been taken advantage, so he decided it was time to take things into his own hands and go to Los Angeles. Motivated and excited about what lay before him, Ryan made his way to LA in search of the dream. “I worked as an errand boy at Larrabee East Studio and as an assistant for the head engineer at Will Smith’s studio. I wanted to learn the business, so I listened intently to everything and learned all I could,” he recalls. It was a one chance encounter that led him to one of the most memorable experiences of his life.
music Ryan met Linda Holland, daughter of world renowned Motown writer Brian Holland. Brian Holland was part of the trio Holland-Dozier-Holland, considered to be one of the greatest songwriting teams in popular music. Linda agreed to manage Farrowtone. This relationship gave him the opportunity to sit down with Brian Holland and learn to write music. Ryan describes the experience, “I have never been a star-struck person. But knowing what he had done and what he had accomplished, the feeling was very surreal. I knew all the songs I grew up loving and that made me love R&B, Brian had written most of them. It was an honor. I was learning from the best.” He credits his writing abilities to the time he spent learning from Brian. He continued to write while working odd jobs. He even worked as a make-up artist and skin care specialist for companies such as NARS and Kiehls. But it was a chance encounter by Ryan’s Mother, Jeanette, which brought Gaetano Lattanzi back into his life. During a trip to New York, she went into a restaurant owned by Gaetano’s family, “Paper Moon Milano”. Jeanette asked the waiter if he knew Gaetano and gave the waiter her son’s phone number. Within an hour, Ryan received a phone call from Gaetano. They made a pact to reconnect and work more on recording.
Motivated and excited about what lay before him, Ryan made his way to LA in search of the
family comes first
Money was tight. Ryan was having a hard time making ends meet. “My dad came to me and told me how much he needed me.” Beat up by Los Angeles, and more than discouraged, he moved back to La Jolla to help his father with the family business. He also worked with Gaetano on his music. As he learned his dad’s business and managed his father’s investments, he would fly to New York to record music on weekends. All seemed to be going well, until October 2008. “I remember my mom called while I was driving and asked me to rush to the hospital.” It was hard to believe this was happening, as the stress and tension of his father’s business life was overwhelming. While his dad laid in the hospital bed, he promised his father he would take over the business. Ryan knew his family had to come first and he had to make sure his mom was taken care of. For the next four years, he put his dreams on hold and worked to secure what his dad had spent years building.
album art for farrowtone’s new single “just let go” 26
one more try
During that time, Caelum Entertainment was established by Gaetano Lattanzi. Eventually, the financial rewards of working his father’s business also gave Farrowtone the freedom and the time to adapt his song writing to the music of today. He continued to go to New York to write and record. Farrowtone discovered the popular style of music being played in the local clubs in San Diego and New York. His style of writing and his music seemed to fit very organically into the new wave of House music. It was another unlikely encounter by Gaetano that gave Farrowtone the last push he needed to put his music first. Gaetano met a radio promoter that had heard his music. Given the opportunity, the promoter was sure he could move his music to radio stations nationwide. Gaetano and Ryan agreed, and the national radio push began. Within weeks of the release, Farrowtone’s song “Bedroom,” was picked up and made its way to #8 on the ACQB charts. “It was amazing to watch my song climb the charts with people like Colbie Callet and Katy Perry.” But, as with much of the music industry highs, there was a harsh reality to the industry. Record labels quickly took notice to the unsigned stranger on the charts and within days the song was pulled off the air. “At first it was frustrating. But I knew I had a hit and that was exciting.” What is Next for Farrowtone? For the past year, Farrowtone has been unstoppable, working the club circuits hard, performing with some of San Diego’s hottest DJ’s and in San Diego’s best venues, including the House of Blues. As an artist, it is important to Ryan to stay true and dedicated to his home town. He is dedicated to being known as the POP, R&B/Soul/House artist from San Diego. With a national chart topping hit single and a strong fan base, he knows his hard work and passion for music are paying off. Ryan and Gaetano are ready to shop Farrowtone’s first EP. They have just released what they believe to be his best song to date, “Just Let Go” which is available for download on iTunes. In the coming months, they will be releasing the video to “Just Let Go” and will be embarking on the biggest promotional push by his team so far. While the journey has been long and filled with many lessons, Ryan Farhood - Farrowtone - knows he has only just begun.
become a fan 28
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Irina Negulescu the paintings of
story by Paola Hornbuckle
People ask me what do the underwater women in my paintings mean, what do they tell us?” explains Irina Negulescu during a sunny Sunday morning in her studio on India Street in downtown San Diego, “and I think they want space; freedom of expression. I like to capture the essence of their femininity through the movements they make underwater. Every painting, more or less, represents a self portrait. I like to capture fluidity and dance since I always listen to beautiful, uplifting music when I create each piece. I don’t like when people interpret my underwater paintings as women drowning.” Irina confides that she tries to always be positive and not dwell on the unfortunate - despite a difficult upbringing -and makes sure that her paintings are happy, colorful and airy. The sensual otherworldliness, striking rich colors and ethereality of her paintings are her trademark.
graphic design by Katie Sundberg
“st rawberry float” 35
Hardship in Romania Irina never knew Romania other than as a communist country. Raised by the Black Sea in her native town of Constanta, she knew hardship early on as her grandparents both died leaving her under the care of an alcoholic mother. “I have a horror for alcohol. I don’t like to be around drunks,” says Irina. As the eldest daughter she tried to handle the difficulties of her life and care for her younger siblings, but at seventeen she could not take it anymore and ran away from home to escape an abusive stepfather.
Irina learned how to accurately imagine the female form even when the model was not nude – she learned to “undress with her eyes.” Her passion for art firmly entrenched, she set out to live her life the best she could while hoping for a better future. Eventually, her sailor husband decided to make an escape by getting off a ship in Spain and making his way to the United States. The day he left she found out she was pregnant with their child. She had no choice but to wait until he could request Irina and their child to join him, and she could then leave the country legally.
At age 5, Irina would secretly draw on the walls behind her family’s furniture, under the table and on the back of every book she would find in the house. She had acquired a passion for painting, but in Romania only the three primary colors were available: red, yellow and blue. Irina learned how to mix the primary colors to make secondary colors, and then mix those to achieve tertiary colors. “The first time I went to an art store in America I could not believe the magnitude of choices for colors. The pink pastels – I wanted to eat them.” Although schools were free in Romania until 12th grade, she worked in computer data entry and as a puppeteer to raise the money required for a private college. She studied English, French, and Art. She also met the man that was to become her husband, provide her with stability, and eventually bring her to the United States.
After years of separation from her husband and the birth of a son she finally got permission to come to the United States, where her husband had relatives in New York City. After one year, they decided to move to San Diego where they lived together until their divorce in 2002. They had an amicable separation, and continue to keep their son’s interests in mind by encouraging him to persevere in life and reach his goals. Their son Liviu serves for the US Navy, and is currently in active intelligence duty in the Persian Gulf. Irina fit in New York immediately, and at times wonders what might have been if she had remained there. “In New York I would grow, there is a lot of competition but I would be challenged.” San Diego is not as large as New York, therefore art is not promoted and glamorized in the same fashion.
In Romania Irina studied how to draw and paint the female figure, but because it was a third world country and sexual education didn’t exist she had to take classes with female nudes behind closed doors in secrecy. Often there was no electricity and the models didn’t always disrobe, thus keeping much of their clothes on.
Irina paints in all mediums including pastels, watercolors, acrylics and oils. She paints murals which can be quite lucrative but paintings give her the most satisfaction.” I love violets and blues and deep reds. I never use the color black – pure black looks like a hole to me, nothingness. I would rather mix three or four colors to
Life in San Diego
â€œcelest ial danceâ€?
I love what I work on, but hate what I finish because there’s always room for improvement. Painting is like capturing your soul. If I hear one criticism, it is like a stab in the heart. produce a very dark shade of blue. This represents a color with life to me. ” She is also, like many artists, very self-critical. “I love what I work on, but hate what I finish because there’s always room for improvement. Painting is like capturing your soul. If I hear one criticism, it is like a stab in the heart. I don’t like criticism so I try to repair it. I like to be alone when I paint so no one will be able to see it until it is finished,” says Irina. Irina experienced significant struggles in the past year. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of 2010, and then spent the better portion of 2011 fighting and eventually winning her battle. Most would panic and fall into depression, but Irina overcame this obstacle with incredible courage, grace and class. After numerous surgeries and radiation treatments, she is back on top, focusing on her love of art and life as her first priorities. “When I’m not involved with my art, I love to travel because I feel free, and always want to learn and get inspired.” Extremely modest she would rather let her work speak for itself, and is not keen on self-promotion. She does not like to bother people to buy her paintings or to sell. However, she is protective of her work and requests that she always has the first option to repurchase if a client wants to sell her work. Irina lives life one day at a time and always smiles even when she’s faced with adversity. She lives life according to her favorite quote “Do what you like (for a living) and you will not have to work one day in your life”- Confucius For more information on this talented San Diego artist go to www.Negulescu.com
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fashion show production
san diegoâ€™s class act story by
graphic design by katie sundberg
There are many fashion shows in San Diego that make full use of music and dance to enrich the experience of the audience, but Gretchen Burns Bergman has been successfully doing just that since 1979. She is owner and director of Gretchen Productions, a fashion show production company that specializes in large theatrical productions which include professional models, lighting, sound, commentary, special effects and entertainment. Her clients are made up of malls like Horton Plaza and Fashion Valley, corporations like Harley Davidson and Pacific Southwest Airlines, and national charities like the American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, and Soroptimist International. Her expertise has a proven track record and her productions are of the highest caliber. A background in dance, drama, and modeling paved the way for her inclusion of all these art forms in fashion show productions. A degree in Dance Major/Drama Minor from SDSU led to a position as Artistic Director for San Diego Dance Theatre in 1979 and Director of Dancemania from 1980-1985. She was a professional model for 15 years and a teacher of Jazz Dance, Fashion Promotion and Runway Modeling at various community colleges and in her own studio. She was also a Fashion Editor for San Diego Décor and Style Magazine. Gretchen is also Director and Co-Founder of A New Path (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing) San Diego is lucky to have the expertise, mentorship and professionalism of such a lady in the local fashion world, and we hope her company continues to produce quality fashions shows and inspire all those that seek to learn from her for a long time to come.
What do you believe are the elements that make a fashion show a success? GBB: It depends on your perspective. I feel that my shows are successful when the audience leaves the room having seen beauty, experienced art and design, heard amazing music and been moved emotionally by the whole experience. It is also important that I have showcased the designer’s and stores collections in a creative, favorable and memorable way. If a nonprofit is doing a fashion show as a fundraiser, success is measured by the revenue raised, plus the audience response. In other words it is a friend-raiser as well as a fund-raiser.
own boutiques. If you attend a fashion show that showcases student talent you will be amazed at the creativity. There are also several local designers who could use more publicity to highlight their work. What have been some of your greatest challenges in building up your business? GBB: The challenge is always to actually make a living in this industry. I didn’t come from a business background. Most of my clients are non-profit organizations that really need to raise funds, so budgets are always a challenge. But, I have been able to create a sustainable company.
What is the state of fashion design in San Diego?
What is it that you most enjoy about it?
GBB: We have several quality fashion design schools in San Diego, where young designers can get a good education. This is a tough field to break into, so often very talented people aren’t able to make it to the next level of actually manufacturing and selling or opening their
GBB: I got into this business because I love what I do. I started as a dancer / choreographer with a background in theatre. I also modeled, so I combined the things I love into my company. It is exciting to work with wonderful, talented people to make magic happen.
fashion show production
What is different about working with big corporate clients as opposed to non-profits?
What advice would you give to promoters putting on small fashion shows in clubs and non-traditional venues?
gretchen burns bergman
GBB: I enjoy both. Corporate clients sometimes have larger budgets and there is usually one point person that you work with. Non-profits have committees of people that you work with, and sometimes everyone on the committee doesnâ€™t agree about what the desired outcome is, so that can be both a challenge and a pleasure meeting new people.
to create results, not just to have some fun with your friends. Good luck! âˆ™
GBB: Do your homework. Know who your potential buyers and clients are. Do the show for visibility and
How I Learned to Look Away From the Monitor
by David Wiener
“Do some stretches at least once an hour.” “Don’t get locked into staring at the screen.” “Look away from the screen every half hour or so.” Very good advice from occupational health-care professionals. The question is, what do you do while you’re looking away? I started looking around - and what I saw were plenty of arts and theatre programs running into plenty of money trouble, resulting in plenty of cutting back and cutting down. The reasons for these money troubles are many and various and they aren’t likely to change any time soon. I decided to leave the debates and fist-fights to the accountants and the politicians and just concentrate on what I could do to help while the shouting goes on (and on). What I found was “educational voluntarism;” in my case, offering my services as a lecturer in theatre, writing, and related subjects. It definitely requires an investment in time, effort, and research - but the experience is well worth it. Basically, you create a multi-media monologue on a specific topic tailored to a particular age group. The youngest group I’ve lectured to was a combined class of advanced theatre students at Valhalla High School in El Cajon, California; the oldest would probably be late-career professionals at the Lipinsky Institute at San Diego State University. I’ve also donated lectures to UC Irvine and the Osher Institute at UCSD (the next one is scheduled for February 2012). The wide variety of arts-volunteer activity going on all over this County is recognized each year by the San Diego Performing Arts League with their SDPAL Star Awards. Scores of people have received this award over the past two decades, which says a lot about volunteer involvement with the local arts (I received a Star Award in 2010 for my education and outreach work with the San Diego Shakespeare Society). As a supplementary activity to playwrighting, I’d have to say that lecturing is one of the healthiest ways to “look away from the monitor.” It also provides help where it’s badly needed - and will almost certainly be needed for some time to come.
California Young Playwrights Contest
On November 5th, 2011 the Playwrights Project,
Program Director and Producer Chelsea Whitmore with young playwright winners, Caleb Roitz, Nachi Baru, Matthew Maceda and Eric Pak and Kira Nolan.
Program Director and Producer Chelsea Whitmore with Recollections playwrights: Savannah Sincoff, June Gottleib and John Whitmore.
a program dedicated to advance literacy, creativity, and communication by empowering individuals to voice their stories through playwriting, awarded four playwrights for their amazing work in the annual California Young Playwrights Contest. Awards were given to four playwrights for their participation in the new program Recollection, for ages fifty five and up to share the experiences of their lives in a more dramatic fashion. The winners for the California Young Playwrights Contest and Recollections will have their plays performed at Plays by Young Writers at the Lyceum Theater from April 20th to 29th in the upcoming spring. The two main winners of the California Young Playwrights Contest were Nachi Baru, age 15, with American Idyll, and Caleb Roitz, age 18, with Hallowed. American Idyll was inspired from Baru’s anger towards obsession with reality television and wanted to emphasize the importance of literature. This is Baru’s third win in this program, progressing from when he was in fourth grade with stories about animals to the decay of modern culture. Roitz, who is also a returning winner, won with his emotional story Hallowed, which analyzes a man’s life through encounters with different groups of people. Roitz has been a crowd favorite before with his win the previous year, producing thoughtful and intriguing work that shows lots of potential for a career in theater. Two additional plays were also awarded with staged readings. From Underdog to Top Rhino was written by Matthew Maceda, age 12, and Eric Pak, age 11. The two young writers begun this story in class and not only produced a creative and imaginative story but it also was the beginning of a close friendship. Kira Nolan, age 12, additionally won with her play The Eccentric Flight of a Fly, which was inspired by her accidentally swallowing a fly. Recollections produced a batch of well written plays as well. Let’s Have Drinks, written by Savannah Sincoff, reviews two long lost friends’ memories on losing their virginity in a comedic style. June Gottleib’s Changing Roles & My Year of Being Alone made the audience teary from the description as a play about the loss of her spouse from Alzheimer’s disease. Wahoo by Les (Topper) Birdsall is about a young boy during The Great Depression working with his inattentive father at a Christmas tree lot. Last, but definitely not least was John Whitmore’s Childbirth the Musical about the conception and birth of a child. Near the conclusion of the ceremony, the fourth annual Deborah Salzer Excellence in Arts Education Award was given to Martin Benson, cofounder artistic director at South Coast Repertory in Orange County. In honor of his accomplishments a staged reading of The Martin was performed to review his helpfulness he has provided over the years. Overall the evening was a wonderful representation about what the Playwright Project is all about.
All photos by Reminisce Photography and Design
Beeb Salzer, Pat Launer (host), Deborah Salzer and Martin Benson, winner of 4th Annual Deborah Salzer Excellence in Arts Education Award.
Published on Dec 7, 2011
The arts can be an extraordinary vehicle for education and multi-cultural understanding, as well as a source of beauty and inspiration. Cove...