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entertainment arts leisure

May/June 2005

AUSTIN SKYLINE The Image of Austin

KUT’S Paul Ray What is Twine Time?

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS Making Music Making History

o i R AUSTIN

Singer/Songwriter

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A letter to our readers. WELCOME

publisher

Renee Judkins

...to the inaugural issue of Austin Wide Open, a new publication which we hope will become a rich resource of arts and entertainment news and information for our readers. We are fortunate to live in Austin, a city that embraces the arts and artists and honors creative process, a city where artistic energy enervates the people, the night life, the cultural scene, even the business world. Virtually every aspect of our lives as Austinites is touched by the considerable force of talent and the widely varied expression of artists from every conceivable genre. At Austin Wide Open, we intend to keep you abreast of events and dates, provide profiles of local artists and their work and familiarize you with Austin’s abundance of venues - art galleries, music venues and clubs, coffee houses, poetry slams, live theatre, and film houses. We will cover the visual arts, performance arts, literature, architecture, fashion design, culinary arts, and much more! We will introduce you to exciting new talents, as well as better acquaint you with established Austin performers, creators, and venues. It is our goal for Austin Wide Open to be your first line resource for arts and entertainment in Austin.

- the staff

www.AustinWideOpen.com

editor-in-chief

Dan Jennings editorial advisor

Bob Currie assistant editor

Rebecca Ballard Jennings marketing consultants

Cindy Briggs, Sally Forsman staff photographer

Carlos & Beth Austin Austin Photography cover & feature photographer

Mary Beth Greenwood Photography

Austin Wide Open Magazine is published bi-monthly by Austin Wide Open ŠCopyright 2005. All rights reserved. The information in this publication is believed to be accurate, and Austin Wide Open will not be held liable for the performance of goods and services provided by advertisers and any other portion of this publication.


LINEUP MAY/JUNE 2005 RIO

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A Profile of an Austin Singer/Songwriter.

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS

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Making Music Making History

KUT RADIO

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Paul Ray What is Twine Time?

AUSTIN’S

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ART-CHITECTURE The Image of Austin

ACCLAIM TALENT

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Launching Your Career in Austin

MARY BETH GREENWOOD

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Having an Eye for Perfection in Photography 19 24 26 27 28

Art Encounters at Benini’s Artist on Display - Carol Hawkins Scene Around Austin - in the spotlight AstroStar Guide The Modern Art of Anti-Aging & Wellness


A Profile of Rio and The Heart Project, An Austin Indie Band story by Dan Jennings photo by Mary Beth Greenwood Photography

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ou know the story . . . . boy meets girl, boy woos girl, girl falls for it, boy leaves . . . what’s a girl to do?

What’s a girl to do?

Rio, the leader of the indie band, The Heart Project, channels her frustration into a raw combination of insight and wit in her songwriting. We’ve all heard that hindsight is 20/20 and Rio, who has dreamed and worked for years to build a career as a songwriter and performing artist, uses that clear vision to dissect her experience, rearrange the parts, and hand it back to the world in her music. I recently caught The Heart Project’s act at one of their regular gigs at the Carousel Club, a neighborhood bar off I-35 and 51st Street. What the Carousel lacks in substance it more than makes up for in style. Walking into the bar, I saw a handful of booths, a few tables and chairs populated by a smattering of fans, and walls covered in circus and carousel themed paintings. Behind the stage reared an elephant and on stage appeared Rio – her copper curls streaked with magenta, like a new-wave Irish Bride of Frankenstein, tiny gem glinting in the flawless skin of her nose, vintage dress. She stood serenely strumming her ukulele, singing one of her originals, while Stanley Roy Williamson (vocals and co-writer), Zafer Hamza (bass guitar) and Fernie Renteria (percussion) filled the stage with enough sound and energy to light up a small town. Rio began writing songs as a teenager growing up in Dallas, setting to music the poems she’d been writing since the age of 10. When her family moved to Austin, she played alto sax in the high school band. "They (the high school) wouldn’t let me join the jazz band because I didn’t have enough P.E. credits and I sure as hell was not joining the marching band," she laughs. "So that’s when I got serious about the guitar! When I was about 15 I noticed some of my old poems had a beat in them and patterns in song form. It’s hard to say when I picked up my first instrument, but Dad showed me how to play chords on the guitar and I began to


flesh out the simple melodies I’d created for my poems." With little formal training in music, Rio was influenced by her father, a professional musician who played and sang everything from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa. Being raised around a great deal of musical diversity helped forge her style – a style developed over the last ten years that now has drawn other talented musicians to team up with her to form The Heart Project. Rio’s partner in crime in The Heart Project is Stanley Williamson, whom Rio had seen perform as a soloist when she was looking for a male vocalist/guitar player. Stan began his singing career by studying choir, opera and music composition at Sam Houston University. And, like many classically trained musicians, Stan discovered the guitar and rock music and his musical direction changed forever. His rich baritone voice, unusual for a rock singer, strongly affects the band’s unique sound. Stan’s approach to music blends folk, blues, electronic, and rock. The collision of these diverse styles makes Stan the ideal compliment to Rio. "I’m much more reserved and shy, but Stan is so confident and free that he pulls me out of my shell and makes me more comfortable, both on stage and in songwriting. With Stan, I’m willing to try more things and be a bit more raw." The call and response technique, used throughout many of their songs, was part of the reason Rio sought a male vocalist for her band. On stage, Stan and Rio play the roles of lovers in distress, holding on despite the pain in order to experience the pleasure they hope awaits them. Defining her style is difficult, she admits, but Rio is willing to settle for indie/rock/pop. "Though I don’t know about pop. Some of our songs are a bit heavier . . . but we also have slower love ballads." When asked about other artists besides her father whose work influenced her style, Rio sites the Magnetic Fields, Billie Holiday, Tom Waits and Stephin Merritt, as well as the Beatles. "I seemed to come out of the womb knowing and loving the Beatles." After seeing The Heart Project perform, I too would be hard pressed to categorize their music. They’re definitely not easy listening; the music is unique, the lyrics most provocative.

"I saw you call my name through space and glass but all the stars reflected in your eyes won’t bring me back". That song, "2 Just B Free", is a tale of lovers on a space ship ending their affair while being chased by space pirates. Another intriguing number, "Don’t Make a Sound", addresses men who, though they want to experience love, flee commitment. In writing "2 Just B Free", Rio adopted the man’s perspective in the relationship. In performance, the main lyrics are performed by Stanley with Rio chiming in during the chorus to provide backup vocals. As well as intriguing lyrics and story lines, The Heart Project’s performance is diverse. After playing a few original numbers that ranged from angst-filled rebellion to a quiet little number like "The Drunk Mistress", the band jumped right into the theme from Xanadu – a total surprise to this audience member, but somehow The Heart Project made it work. I asked Rio what she considered the biggest reward of the music business and its biggest challenge. Rio says she is rewarded by the effect of her music on her audience. "I love how music changes people’s moods. I love to people-watch when I’m on stage; love the feeling of a new song that really rocks the rest of the band. And I love other artists’ interpretations of our songs and how sometimes the lyrics seem completely different than what I originally meant and suddenly the song has new meaning." Rio and The Heart Project are currently in the process of cutting their debut CD entitled "The Heart Project Loves You". The songs on the CD

range widely in subject matter and temperament, as did their live performance. Both Rio and Stan have worked for years to develop highly individualized songwriting styles; yet, as they collaborate, those distinct differences meld into a very interesting blend. Rio believes this is the combination that will get her and the band noticed. Of course, recording a CD is the easy part these days, while finding a label becomes more and more difficult, with fewer and fewer record companies taking a chance on new talent in favor of the predictable bigprofit cookie-cutter bands.

"So you played that lover’s card that I was never there for you Write it down in your wounded heart that I could never care for you Holding on like a drunken fool while I was only passin’ through So I said you were beautiful but you assumed that it was true." So, perhaps love isn’t lost . . . maybe it’s just relocated. Rio has found love in writing songs, in performing them, and in the hope that one day she’ll be able to devote all her energy to her music. Rio makes love to her guitar. You can learn more about The Heart Project and listen to some of their tunes at www.theheartprojectlovesyou.com. Check it out.

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MAKING MUSIC Making History

B.B. King ACL Season 8 1983

This is the King of the Blues in his prime. "This was taken before his heart attack, and he was as powerful as I've ever seen him," recalled Scott Newton. "This shot shows the power and the depth of emotion. I can't believe we had such a giant onstage. I've seen Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, and they were on the same level. He's taking it in and giving it out, all in the same motion." As far as producer Terry Lickona is concerned, King personifies the blues, in the same way that Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash embody their respective genres. "Back then, B.B. hadn't done a lot of national TV, but he was given the full hour of the show," Lickona said. "Within minutes, he had the audience totally mesmerized. His face showed either pain or ecstasy for every note he squeezed out of his trademark Gibson guitar, Lucille." John T. Davis 9-14-04

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Central Texas Museum Celebrates 30 Years of

AUSTIN CITY LIMITS story by Craig D. Hillis - photos by Scott Newton

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he Museum of Art & Music in Gruene, Texas is once again making history with a new exhibit, Austin City Limits: Making Music – Making History. This multimedia, hi-tech presentation celebrates the award-winning program’s thirtieth birthday. The Museum has been working closely with Austin's Public Television station, KLRU, the creator of the series, in fashioning an exhibit worthy of the program's exemplary history. Austin City Limits—arguably the most successful and enduring music show in broadcast history—has established an impeccable reputation for outstanding audio and video production, progressive lighting and staging techniques, and of course a talent line up that signifies the excellence of American music.

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Ray Charles ACL Season 9 - 1984

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One of Austin City Limit's major attributes has always been its function as a repository of performances by protean American artists. This role became newly poignant with the recent death of Ray Charles. Charles did it all, of course— soul, blues, jazz, country, pop, the whole nine yards. But what producer Terry Lickona recalls about Ray's ACL appearance is the "bat episode." A Mexican free-tail bat wandered into the KLRU building and thence into Charles' dressing room, whereupon his manager announced, in a high degree of agitation, "Mr. Charles will NOT go on until somebody removes that bat!" Neither Brother Ray nor Brother Bat seemed particularly perturbed by each other's company, but nevertheless a bat-suppression squad was drafted from the ACL security staff, and shortly thereafter, Ray Charles wrote another chapter in Austin City Limits history. John T. Davis 9-11-04

This is one my all time favorite images. Ray was rockin' out, stomping his foot on the floor in time with the music, then he leaned back in this position, and it said everything, but I missed it! So I sat back, looking through the box, waiting, and finally, he did it again. When the shutter clicked, I felt the electricity running through me and the hair on the back of my neck reaching for the roof. Music has the power to prophesy, and brother Ray is prophesying right here. Scott Newton 8-22-04

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The Museum sits on the banks of the Guadalupe River, only a stone's throw away from historic Gruene Hall, and is one of the few Smithsonian Institution Affiliates in Texas. It is dedicated to creating, presenting, and archiving the art and music of Texas. To that end, the Museum is constantly seeking out innovative presentation techniques. The ACL exhibit is its most creative effort to date and moves well beyond the common perception of a gallery presentation. Austin City Limits: Making Music – Making History recreates the ACL stage and the trademark Austin skyline backdrop of the legendary Studio 6A on the UT-Austin campus. Visitors to this multimedia presentation will experience the dynamic lighting techniques, the flawless sound, and the energized ambience associated with the program. Even the seating is authentic. The Museum has imported and reassembled the original bleachers from Studio 6A. The exhibit includes a virtual director’s booth, interactive custom kiosks presenting a decade-by-decade timeline with film footage of ACL highlights (some of which have never been seen before), and special interviews with artists and members of the ACL production crew. The exhibit will be enhanced by two state-of-the-art documentary films currently under production: The Making of Austin City Limits, an exciting behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of ACL that focuses on the recent filming of Lyle Lovett, and The Thirty-Year History of Austin City Limits. Additionally, the museum's ample wall space will host over 90 high-definition, digitally enlarged photographs by ACL photographer, Scott Newton. Each one of these spectacular images is accompanied by captions that reflect the insights of the artist, the photographer, and the historian.

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Through its thirty-year history, Austin City Limits has not only estab- Antonio artist Naomi Shihab Nye entitled, Is This Forever or What?: lished itself as the television industry's gold standard for live music pro- Poems and Paintings from Texas. This popular book combines visual art duction, it has also emerged as a desirable career destination for a gener- and poetry into a beautiful tapestry of sights and artistic experience that ation of new entertainers who have grown up with the show. John Mayer promises to translate beautifully into an exhibit format. Austin City Limits: Making Music – Making History opens in midsaid of his first ACL experience, "Being on the show after watching it so many times on TV was surreal. The stage, the lighting, and the whole May, 2004 at the Museum's exhibition hall in Gruene. The touring comscene are so unique that just turning around and watching my band ponent of the exhibit begins later this year at the River Music Experience behind me was like, 'Wow, this is Austin City Limits!'" Pat Green, when in Davenport, Iowa and plans that will take the exhibit to other museums recently asked about ACL said (with only a hint of hyperbole), "I've nationwide are currently in the works. To learn more about any of the Museum's upcoming exhibits, particularly the ACL exhibit, visit their watched it every day of my life." website at www. For so many long-time friends of the series, Austin City Limits: nbmuseum.org. Making Music - Making History will evoke an abundance of musical and personal memories. The exhibit is more than a retrospective, however: It Craig D. Hillis is offers special glimpses into the future as ACL moves beyond the production studio to the ACL Festival stage and on to other progressive a freelance writer, media formats like DVDs and CDs all designed to continue the quality musician, and hispresentation of America's best contemporary artists. torian in Austin, Robert In December, the Museum will feature Texas. a Smithsonian exhibit, Robert Rauschenberg, Artist-Citizen: Posters for a Los Lonely Boys Better World, a brilliant assessment of the life and work of a native Texan currently recognized as one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century. The Rauschenberg exhibit is followed in late w Chet Akins January with an exhibition of poetry and art derived from a book compiled by San ACL Season 12

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The Dixie Chicks ACL Season 26 2000/2001

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This is a classic Scott Newton composition. As staff photographer for ACL since Season 4, Scott has had the luxury of having some of music's biggest stars perform in what is essentially his personal studio. He has long since mastered every nuance of light, every angle, every perspective, and it all pays off in shots like these. Two triangles, one of light, and one of flesh, intersect at the incredibly powerful and dynamic presence of lead singer Natalie Maines. Behind her, leaning toward a central energy source as if to defy gravity, Emily Robison (dobro) and Martie Maguire (fiddle), lend strength and structure to a timeless triumvirate.

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John T. Davis 9-11-04 It's a straight-on wide-angle shot, as wide as the camera would go. What I'm trying to convey is the underlying invisible forces that motivate what it is you're seeing. You can see the flow of those forces, then you push the button, and then if other people can see it too, then you've done your job. You get the feeling that you've transported their emotional and spiritual state, and when you do that, you've attained art, because what is art but a celebration of consciousness in some tangible form? Scott Newton 8-22-04

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1987 Chet rarely opened his eyes when he was playing . . . Not that he needed to, he knew where everything was! He was the consummate Nashville professional and an extremely nice guy. Normally when you hear "Nashville," you don't hear "nice guy" in the same sentence, but in Chet's case, it's a perfect fit. He was a southern gentleman and conservative personally, but he was very generous to musicians of all genres and tolerant to those who were different than he was. I've never met a serious musician who didn't revere Chet Atkins. Scott Newton 8-22-04 Chet Atkins has had a profound influence on modern American music. He was an established touring guitarist by the mid 1940s, he began his Nashville career in 1949 as RCA's go-to studio player, and by the late 1950s he was one of the most influential record producers in America. Chet chartered a path from the early Hillbilly sound to the Nashville sound and helped shape the future of popular music through his sterling production techniques. Even if you don't own a Chet Atkins solo album, if you've heard Elvis, Floyd Cramer, the Everly Brothers, or hundreds of other hit artists (not to mention thousands of songs), then you've heard Chet. Craig D. Hillis 9-9-04

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KUT’s PAUL

RAY

AUSTIN RADIO

ICON

story by Rebecca Ballard Jennings photos by Austin Photography

What is Twine Time, Anyway? Besides the familiar name of the popular weekly radio program Paul Ray has dished out every Saturday night at KUT for some twenty-seven years — what does Twine Time mean? The Twine is a dance, popularized by Alvin Cash out of St. Louis – a dance that Paul Ray has never seen performed. He has no idea what the dance is like, but in 1978 when he took over the radio program, he decided Cash’s record would be his theme song. The result has been one of the jewels in KUT’s programming crown, a radio program that embraces all ages, has amassed fans spanning several generations, and teaches its listeners about the roots and origins of popular music in America. It is no small coup on KUT’s part that Twine Time has survived almost three decades on the air, and it is certainly to the credit of KUT management, that they have been savvy enough to recognize Ray’s broad appeal and loyal following.

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ay began at KUT in 1978, after “retiring” as front man and singer for his popular band, Paul Ray and the Cobras. “My vocal chords were shot and I just said ‘no more on the road for me.’ I needed to find a real job.” At the time, Kirby McDaniel invited Ray, along with long time friend and noted guitarist Denny Freeman, to do a guest shot on his Sunday night show, Rock of Ages. That night Ray delighted his audience with the music of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. Ray went on to another guest shot on Pat Crumhornz’s Folkways, turning on Austin to early Hank Ballard, Lazy Lester, and Guitar Slim, and essentially forging the on-air format that became Twine Time. The show’s popularity led to Ray getting his broadcasting license and becoming an employee of KUT — like he said, a “real job”, and Ray has been spinning the tunes ever since, charming his audience with his mellow, laid-back voice and humorous though sometimes slightly caustic opinions. Ray is quick to point out that at the time he began on the air, there were no “Oldies” stations. There was nowhere for folks to go to hear this music unless they knew a friend who owned the vinyl. And own the vinyl Ray certainly did. His vast collection of 45s and LPs numbers in the hundreds, and he drew liberally from that collection when he launched Twine Time. In fact, he once went an entire year without repeating a single record. The first year on the air, Ray pulled from his own extensive collection of R&B, Motown, Blues and early Rock and Roll 45’s and LP’s. He also borrowed from the collections of friends like Jimmy Vaughan and Keith Ferguson. Occasionally, but rarely, Ray will play his own work on the air. When designing a set, Ray says he chooses songs based on the music, so that one song will flow rhythmically into the next until eventually the set cycles back around to its beginning. “Beat is really important. I don’t care so much about lyrics. I listen to the beat.” Ray and Diana, his wife of more than 30 years, decided they needed to assertively promote the show to get it going, something they had experience with after years of promoting Paul’s bands. Diana, a talented graphic artist, was known around Austin at the time as a poster designer

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for many local bands, and she designed the Twine Time poster (now a collector’s item), a friend paid to print it, and the posters were spread around town. When asked about his fans, Ray responds with a wide grin, “They’re absolutely rabid. One old guy, he’s probably in his seventies, calls me every Saturday and has for about twenty years.” Another gentlemen, Ray says, calls every year on his birthday to ask Ray to play some rockabilly for him. Ray’s listeners are of all ages. Some are teenagers just developing a taste for classic R&B and rock and roll, or who’ve discovered that their favorite Rolling Stones song is actually a Muddy Waters original. Other fans are aging Baby Boomers, many of whom thronged into clubs like the One Knite, and the Armadillo World Headquarters in the late Sixties and Seventies to hear Ray’s mellow crooning with the Cobras, while still others are people in their 70s and 80s who remember the artists Ray plays and their original recordings and performances. Today Twine Time plays in the background at numerous cocktail parties, gallery openings, and gatherings across the area. No matter where you are or where you’re going in Austin on Saturday night, at 7:00 p.m. you tune the radio to KUT to pick up Twine Time. Hundreds of Twine Time cassette tapes are floating around, literally all over the world. When this writer lived in the mountains of Colorado, I received tapes of Twine Time for birthday and Christmas presents. Ray has heard from fans who’ve listened to his taped shows in Vietnam, Boston, and New York City. Doug Sahm told Ray he heard a Twine Time tape in a cab in Amsterdam. Now fans all over the country can listen via the Internet. Over time Ray developed his “specials”, which he carefully scripted. He’s presented the Elvis Special, a Christmas Special, the Back to School Dance, a special featuring only the music of Fats Domino, a Valentine special. About his Valentine special, Ray says, “no songs about lust or breaking up, just songs about love and sweethearts”. He’s done a New Orleans retrospective, a Mother’s Day salute to R&B women, and a show titled “Potpourri of R&B”, playing five numbers each by artists like The Supremes, B. B. King, The Temptations. His wife comments, “He is always working, always designing the next show. He works 24-7 on his show”. Somehow I believe his fans know that, and recognize how important they are to Ray, and they obviously appreciate it immensely.


Ray is also known for the Christmas Reunion gig with the Cobras When asked about plans for the future, Ray shrugs and says, “I’ll each year at the Continental Club, and as the Emcee for the Austin Music keep on at KUT for as long as they’ll let me.” Awards. The first year of the Awards, Ray was to present with Lou Ann KUT wisely expanded Ray’s on-air presence in the 1980s with Paul Barton. They arrived at 8 p.m. when the festiviRay’s Jazz on Tuesday and Wednesday night. ties were scheduled to begin, but no one was When questioned about the material he plays on there. The hall was empty. his jazz show, he says that KUT possesses a phe“It was way too early in the evening for the nomenal jazz library, so he didn’t need his own musicians to show up,” says Ray. “So Lou Ann personal collection for that one. As for how he and I presented the awards to each other and selects his jazz play list – “I just play what I think accepted on behalf of all the winners.” the hipsters I know want to hear.” Originally Ray shared the job of Emcee with As for the immediate future, Ray comments, Mike Priest and Kerry Awn. Around the third “I’ve had the great fortune to work with some of year, Paul decided to do a little preparation, the finest guitarists and talents around. I’d really researched the nominees and wrote out index like to work with Denny Freeman again.” cards with facts about each performer. “Hey, I Freeman is now with Bob Dylan. Also looking took Speech in high school. I knew how to pretoward the future, Ray is in the process of compare for something like this.” So, Ray showed up piling a collection of his own work, digitizing The that night at the Music Awards in a vintage suit recordings from the many bands he’s fronted for, first year on the air, Ray pulled and skinny tie, with his index cards, and did such going back as far as 40 years. from his own extensive a great job he was dubbed “Emcee for Life”. KUT is to be commended for seeing the inescollection of R&B, Motown, Blues and Ray has a vast matrix of information in his timable value of Paul Ray and his programming, early Rock and Roll head, an encyclopedic memory for details. He for recognizing the solid nationwide following he 45’s and LP’s. recalls frustrating his adolescent friends when has earned, and for allowing those of us fortunate they were listening to music because, before placenough to live in Austin to have 27 years of ing a 45 on the turntable, he would always meticulously read the labels. Twine Time and Paul Ray. Paul Ray’s shows include Twine Time, Saturdays 7-9 pm, Paul Ray’s “That’s what interested me – who wrote it, who’s singing, playing guitar? I just stored it all up here” (he taps his temple). Ray doesn’t need to use Jazz, Tuesday and Wednesday 8-11 pm, and Blues on Monday, 11 pm to the Internet or Google to pull up songs of similar themes or artists. He’s 3 am. If you don’t already tune in regularly, you’re missing one of Austin’s great artistic offerings. got it all recorded in his head.


Austin’s Art-chitecture

The Image of Austin story by Rebecca Ballard Jennings photo by Austin Photography

The Austin "LOOK"

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ou are driving to work in the pre-dawn light. It’s 7:00 am and the luminous presence of the Frost Tower glows against a black, thickly clouded sky. It beckons – this touchstone that draws local commuters into the diverse skyline of downtown Austin. And, of course there is also the University of Texas tower, more often than not radiating burnt orange, and the grace of the Capitol building. Downtown Austin shines in the morning light, a panoply of shape, texture, light and shadow that assails the senses. Eclectic, varied and grand, sometimes whimsical, the silhouettes of Austin’s downtown buildings paint a geometric mosaic in the morning sky. Austin architect Marla Bommarito-Crouch, of The Bommarito Group, says Austin is developing an international design presence. "Local architects and interior designers have worked for twenty years to develop the Austin image, to have a public identity. . . . not too long ago, when traveling around the world, if you were asked where you are from, you would have to say Austin, Texas. Now we have an image that

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we’re real proud of. Now we can just say Austin and people know what we’re talking about." What do you call that "look"? What is the Austin image? How is that image created, inspired, regulated? What is it about Austin that expresses architecture as art, and what does the word "green" have to do with it? There is consensus among City government officials and the architecture/design community that new construction should reflect the character of Austin, without any regulatory body dictating what that look or character should be.

GREEN . . . But Not with Envy What Austin is doing with its downtown Mecca is exciting and admirable – cutting edge design, new regulations, and an aggressive and effective program to protect our environment and use sustainable, indigenous materials – a "green" building program. As well, there is a concerted effort to display artwork by local artists throughout the downtown area, to create a nurturing ambience for those who work, live and play in the downtown area. The city originated a "green" building program some years ago, the first of its kind in the nation, and an outgrowth of the integrity, imag-

ination and conscience of the Austin architecture and design community. The approach was so popular that cities across the country began to adopt similar strategies. At the national level, the U.S. Green Building Council developed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a voluntary, consensus-based rating system of national standards for developing high performance, sustainable buildings. The "green" approach to design and construction incorporates the concepts of sustainability, energy conservation, the use of recycled, non-toxic and resource-saving materials, and the use of indigenous woods and stone, such as pecan, mesquite, limestone. Other "green" strategies include the use of solar orientation and passive solar energy, alternative building systems like rammed earth and strawbale, ICFs (insulated concrete forms) and energy-saving appliances and fixtures. Austin city government and local institutions like UT/Austin are now requiring that a certain percentage of all new construction use sustainable materials. According to Bommarito -Crouch prominent manufacturers, major leaders in the industry, have really done their research and are now producing almost 98% of their products in sustainable materials. For example, a manufacturer might choose to avoid the use of endangered products such as rosewood, and many have developed synthetics that

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An Aerial View of the “Seaholm Power” Design

Aerial Perspective Looking Northeast have the look, feel and beauty of natural products, and when possible use locally produced, indigenous materials, drastically reducing shipping costs. The new City Hall is a dynamic representation of the City of Austin’s commitment to green building strategies. The building’s construction boasts an amazing array of environment-friendly processes and indigenous, sustainable materials-- over 99% of the reinforcing steel is recycled, as is 90% of the sheetrock, 82% of the copper and 45% of the concrete. The builders in addition recycled more than 80% of the construction debris. Landscaping is irrigated by pumped groundwater; the waterfall is fed by air conditioning condensation. Lighting and water supplies in the building cut

off automatically when not in use, and shade cover for the amphitheater generates solar power, enough to power two Austin homes on a hot summer day.

DESIGN Guide Lines According to Bommarito-Crouch there are existing guidelines in place to direct local and out-of-town architects and builders, and there are individuals within the city government who are sensitive to design issues and well versed in urban planning. Citizens of Austin are the beneficiaries of this sensitivity. She points out that our mayor, Will Winn, has a degree in architec-

ture and has contributed his own knowledge and environmental awareness to the issues that effect design and construction here. Bommarito speaks of design elements and ideas which are appropriate for downtown but would not work in East or South Austin. "There is a need for regional awareness in that Austin design is distinct and different from elements that would work in San Antonio, Houston or Dallas." Retail development presents different design issues from corporate. Retail is developed under a different time line, changing and building out much faster. Retailers have developed a partnership with AMLI, the real estate management and construction firm that specializes in multifamily properties, and have recently completed the

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Faulkner USA’s vision for Seaholm. Rendering courtesy of Gensler.


Southwest Strategies Group’s “Seaholm Power” proposed design.

multi-use residential property at Second Street and Colorado. The retailers who have chosen to locate in the Second Street corridor are influenced by the Downtown Austin Design Guidelines, the purpose of which is to orchestrate the development of the downtown area to create a more livable, pedestrian friendly space in which to live and work. Also impacting downtown development is the Second Street Streetscape Improvement Project, whose goal is "to enhance the identity and image of downtown as a civic and cultural destination for residents, visitors and businesses, while preserving and enlivening Austin’s sense of place". At the Commercial Design Standards Open House at City Hall, Councilman Brewster McCracken discussed the 190-member task force which labored for over a year to produce specific design standards for Austin. As a city Austin has lagged behind other Texas cities such as Houston, San Antonio and Dallas in development and implementation of design regulation and standards. Robert Gibbs, a national

commercial development consultant, was asked by the City to rate Austin’s design standards on a scale of 1 to 10. Gibbs gave Austin a 0-1 rating. The guidelines seek to direct large issues like land use and positioning of buildings, to impact orientation to the street with the goal of increasing pedestrian usage and avoiding vast expanses of asphalt and paving. A maximum set-back will be established to achieve this goal and builders will be encouraged to increase the use of sidewalk entrances and windows, awnings and shade trees to cool the effect of the rabid Texas sun on pavement. Light-colored paving and roofs will be encouraged. The standards will be a long-term solution to existing sprawl because they will only apply to new construction. The current design standards represent six previous drafts and address other issues such as big-box retailers, the cost impact of infrastructure deterioration and urban sprawl, the need to utilize the natural landscape, and sign regula-

tion. At the Open House McCracken pointed out that big-box retailers, national chains like WalMart and Target, generally occupy six to 10 blocks of land and then abandon their buildings every eight to 10 years. "These huge spaces," McCracken said, "which, besides being just large and ugly and bereft of any design elements, are difficult to re-use." There is, of course, some concern on the part of smaller businesses that the changes will have a negative financial impact on them. In general, though, the guidelines seek to inform and direct future building in a way that will create a more "Austin" look to both downtown and suburban development.

What Lies AHEAD? Much is coming to downtown in the way of innovative design and construction. The City sponsored a competition for development of

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The Stratus/Trammell Crow’s vision for Block 21.


Block 21, the area just west of the new AMLI development and to the immediate north of City Hall. Design proposals were submitted by AMLI/Endeavor, Stratus/Trammell Crow, and Zydeco Development Corporation. The City also requested proposals for the redevelopment of the old Seaholm Power Plant, stipulating that the proposed project must ultimately provide a home for three cultural entities: KLRU (Austin City Limits), the Texas Music Hall of Fame and the Austin Children’s Museum. Southwest Strategies, one of the finalists under consideration for the Seaholm project and winner of the Heritage Society of Austin’s Merit Award for their renovation of Penn Field, has developed a team of remarkable designers and professionals to realize their vision. They call their team Seaholm Power and according to John Rosato, broker and architect with Southwest, seek to create a cultural site that provides the public with cultural activities 24-7, proposing retail space and restaurants and clubs on the ground level of the Grand Hall (the old turbine hall), with two levels below ground to house the museums. Their proposal includes revamping the old water intake facility which sits on the southern bank of Town Lake. "People who run the hike and bike trail," says Rosato, "have passed it many times and not known what it was, but for years it was the source for Seaholm. We’ll use it to create a scenic overlook and perhaps a display space for art." Seaholm Power’s proposed design includes a pedestrian bridge over Cesar Chavez to connect the site with Town Lake, echoing the historical connection when the power plant pulled water from Town Lake. Behind the existing building would be a residence tower, probably condos – a 10story building of approximately 90,000 square feet. To respond to the need to provide housing for KLRU-TV and other cultural organizations, they propose a two-story building behind the original plant that would

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mimic the design elements of the original turbine hall, with retail on the lower level and offices on the top. This building sits within the Capitol View Corridor and would be kept at the height of two stories in keeping with the state laws that mandate an unobstructed view of the Capitol. Parking would be provided below ground underneath the public plaza, and reflecting pools would enchance the stylistic connection to Town Lake. Rosato says the Southwest Strategies design would seek to connect the concept of power generation and use of energy with the power and energy of Austin’s artistic community. Another local firm that would like to take on the Seaholm project is FaulknerUSA, a development and design-build construction company responsible for the 800-room Hilton Austin and the award-winning conversion of the Bergstrom Air Force Base Command Center into the Hilton Austin Airport. In response to the City’s Request for Qualifications, Faulkner set about the task of developing a winning team that could most efficiently and creatively address the Seaholm project. "We didn’t focus so much on design," said Ruben Rodriguez, vice president of business development. "It was too early for that. We focused instead on why we are the best team to deliver the renovation project." Their vision for Seaholm is a design-build concept, where one entity handles all aspects of the project. One of Faulkner’s team members, Hyper Entertainment, a retail and entertainment consulting firm, is currently completing the Battersea Power Station in London – a 38-acre mixed-use revitalization of a 1930s power station. Faulkner believes, according to Rodriguez, that the best possible use for the existing Seaholm building would be to house the Texas Music Hall of Fame and the Austin Children’s Museum, with the development of a multi-use facility with residential, retail and a boutique hotel behind the turbine hall, as well as public performance space and promotion of art in public spaces. In addition to the Seaholm renovation, the City is pursuing the development of Block 21, which would include a public plaza area across from City Hall, a beautiful place for people to walk, sit and read on their lunch hour and enjoy the downtown ambience. Also looming on the radar screen is Tom Tracy’s 40-story building at Fifth and Congress, and a multi-use development on the site of the old Jalisco Bar building, which is owned by the estate of the late Peanuts cartoonist, Charles Schulz, and will bring another combination residential/retail/office development to the area. The Civic Arts/Public Art Downtown Master Plan aims to provide a framework and guidelines for the arts that will contribute to the creation of a more pedestrian-friendly, culturally rich experience downtown. Civic arts and public art will enhance and enrich downtown public spaces, creating an environment that will draw people to walk, socialize and enjoy. Another city program that seeks to provide public exposure for art is the Art in Public Places Program, placing art throughout Austin, ranging from outdoor sculptures and murals to functional works integrated into architecture. City Hall currently offers a display of over seventy pieces of art by local artists. So, much lies ahead for the downtown area -- projects that will employ and challenge the vast array of talent in the design and architecture communities. The Austin "Look" will continue to develop with a heightened sensitivity to environmental issues and responsible, sustainable building and development, and a commitment to the arts. That distinctive skyline that reaches down to commuters in the early morning hours will continue to evolve and Austin’s image will expand and grow and solidify in the years to come. Time and space constraints made it impossible to include detailed information about all of the talented design teams that submitted proposals for the City’s consideration.


ArtsEncounters at T

he last weekend of each month, the Benini Foundation Galleries and Sculpture Ranch near Johnson City hosts a series of cultural programs, free to all. To visit the project, art lovers usually drive through Johnson City, an hour’s drive west of Austin. Only after continuing about seven miles further on the country roads, does one discover Benini’s ranch. LeStelle, The Stars. On these 140 acres devoted to the fine arts, large-scale sculptures are featured on the hillsides and along the roadways. It is a work in progress – to date, contemporary artists have placed 22 sculptures on the grounds. A 14,000 sq.ft. Studios Building has galleries, offices and the fine arts library. Here, each month, the work and passion of artists and other creative professionals are highlighted during the Arts Encounters Series. Saturday and Sunday, June 25th and 26th, for example, Gary Simmons, renown for his elegant and precise pen and ink drawings will present slides and sign copies of his book, The Technical Pen, a popular manual for the medium that includes a thorough explanation of the pen’s anatomy, operation and care. It shows, with step-by-step demonstrations and more than 300 illustrations, a wide variety of strokes and stroke patterns possible with continuous line, parallel line, crosshatching, stippling and more. Simmons who currently lives in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas will present slides from his recent trip to the Anasazi ruins and his new watercolor series. Dr. Marshall Cunningham, who heads the Department of Plastic Surgery at Louisiana State University, will speak about his Gathering series installed on the Sculpture Ranch which includes eight largescale pieces up to 16 feet tall, that required a year to complete and were installed in 2004 in a circular formation on one of the rolling hillsides. Cunningham, who moved his family to the Texas Hill Country, and is building a home and studio on a mountain near Willow City, has installed several other pieces on the Sculpture Ranch and will conduct a walking tour of his works during an Arts Encounters event. Susan Kirchman, who teaches digital photography at Texas A & M Architectural School - and is planning to open her contemporary fine arts gallery in Johnson City within the year - will bring a slide presentation of her work. A new website was launched this month listing schedules of the events, with artists’ information, at www.ArtsEncountersat Beninis.com. Past programs have included Sam Spiczka from Minnesota presenting his large-scale sculptures; C.L. Williams, garden designer extraordinaire (with a Masters’ degree from Harvard in Landscape Architecture) speaking on The Art of Gardens: Design with Time; Loren Impson’s focus on Ferro Cement in Life and Sculpture, related to the two enormous sculptures of hands he installed at the Benini Sculpture Ranch; Johann Eyfells speaking about his installations on the Sculpture Ranch; as well as Amazon explorer/journalist Peter Gorman whose writings have been published in Omni, Wildlife Conservation, Playboy, High Times, Mexico’s Geo Mundo, Italy’s Sette, and England’s World. For further information visit the website for Arts Encounters or www.Benini.com or call 830-868-5244.

Renowned Sculptor, Bill Worrell, with Benini.

BENINI’S!

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Acclaim Talent, located in South Austin, is the largest full service talent agency in Texas. Their actors are cast in every major film that comes to the region. Recently, I spoke with Jeffrey Nightbyrd at his Acclaim Talent offices. Originally I was interested in how people get started in the film industry. Though we did discuss this topic, I was amazed to learn from Nightbyrd that the Austin film industry, once touted as the "Third Coast", is now threatened by serious competition from other areas. by Dan Jennings

FILM ACTORS – Launching Your

Career in Austin An Interview with JEFFREY NIGHTBYRD of Acclaim Talent: DJ: With so many new movies being shot in Austin, how does that help the local actors? Nightbyrd: It’s a great opportunity. Austin may be the best city on the planet for young actors. There are so many independent films being made here that people can start young and perfect their craft and when one of the Hollywood movies comes here those locals are seasoned professionals. One reason that Austin keeps attracting film is because we have a very solid acting base. DJ: What is it about Austin’s "acting base" that attracts filmmakers? Nightbyrd: Big demand for the whole ethnic/cultural diversity thing. Acclaim works nationally and we see a great demand for actors that represent the whole diversity of the country. For instance, Austin has the largest Latino acting base in the southwest and Acclaim gets calls from all over the country seeking Latino or Spanish speaking actors. Austin has a good range of diversity – Asian, Indian American, Eastern Indian, and Hispanics. The other day a Bollywood company called me and needed a little boy about six to be in their film, and in this ethnically diverse world an actor can play whatever ethnic type he can get away with. In this case, we found a little Hispanic boy to play an Indian boy and it worked out fine. DJ: How does an aspiring actor go about finding indie films to work in? Do they have to have an agent? Is there a web site? Nightbyrd: Austinactors.net is a very good website, and Dan Eggleston has a free email list you can subscribe to (groups.yahoo.com/groups/ AustinFilmCasting). He has listings by city --

20

Austin, Houston and Dallas, but of course there’s a lot more in Austin. Reel Women (www.reelwomen.org) is an organization started for women in film that’s very credible. They have monthly meetings and many interesting events, speakers, etc. Of course the Austin Film Society will bring interesting people to town and that helps too. DJ: Do you get advance notice of major motion pictures coming to Austin? Nightbyrd: Acclaim subscribes to something called the Break Down Service. All the studios put out what they’re doing via this electronic service and licensed agents can subscribe. So we’ll see what’s coming to Austin a month and a half before it gets here. And we see everything that studios are producing all over the world. For instance, for money reasons, a lot of movies that require huge casts like Troy will be shot now in Eastern Europe, or maybe Troy was shot in Morocco, where you can get your extras for five dollars a day. So this is one of the trends we’re seeing – cutting costs by shooting in Eastern Europe. DJ: Is it possible for American actors to get into those films? Nightbyrd: Yeah, because it’s an electronic age we can submit Austin actors electronically to casting directors based in L.A., shooting a Hollywood movie in Romania. We just submitted some actors for a movie that’s shooting in the Caribbean. We also see interesting hybrid movies shot in Mexico. These green card situations make it so hard to get visas for Mexican citizens to work here that most of those kind of joint-venture sort of films are being shot in Mexico because it is much easier to get people down there.

DJ: Let’s say you’re an aspiring actor just getting started and you want to find a good agent. How does that happen? Nightbyrd: I think it’s better to have no agent than to have a bad agent. I think first you make sure they’re licensed. Texas has a good licensing law. There are lots of scams that come to town and advertise on the radio that you’re going to meet all these famous people and have this supercharged take-off in your career. Bottom line -- if they ask you to pay them money to go to this event -- a legitimate agent doesn’t ask for money. I have moms come in here, moms with teenagers, who’ve spent between one to five hundred dollars on these fly-by-night operations. A legitimate agent makes his money by getting commissions from jobs. So the first red flag for anybody is that if an agent’s asking for $2,000 for this great event – they’re scamming you. DJ: Are you seeing more modeling work coming to Austin? Nightbyrd: No. There are two types of modeling -- runway and print. Historically modeling was associated with the apparel industry. It was basically about selling clothes, but that’s now outsourced to China, Korea, Taiwan, etc., and the catalogues we used to get 4-5 years ago are now shot in places like Taiwan. They’ll have a dormitory of Russian girls who get paid $1000/month, work 6 days a week and live in a dormitory and no American girl would do it. So they crank out the catalogue work we used to get here in the States. Now we’ll get something out of L.A. or New York maybe twice a month --the good paying jobs. In print ads there is work for all ages and a whole range of types. In addition, I don’t want to put


people in a box, so I encourage someone who’s beautiful and a potential model to take enough acting classes that they can do commercials, because the difference in pay between a speaking and nonspeaking part is huge. Some models find that they really have an aptitude for acting and take off. I think if you can communicate in one medium, such as through the camera, then you have the communication skills to work on other things like film. Obviously people have different skill levels, but what you really look for is if they have that ability to communicate via film or pixel images. Can they jump off that page, jump off that screen? And generally if you can do it in one medium you can do it in others. You may not be able to play Hamlet or be the next Meryl Streep but you can get roles. DJ: How many people does Acclaim represent? Nightbyrd: Currently we have about 400 and the turnover is high. We have two-year contracts and people who haven’t done well over two years -we don’t renew their contract. Sometimes the talent is unhappy and chooses not to renew the contract. So if somebody wants a good agent, they need to get in films, get in theatre – but primarily films. And there are plenty of opportunities here. DJ: I understand you also represent a lot of voice over talent? Nightbyrd: Yes, the video industry is actually bigger in revenue than the film industry. And we’re part of Voice Bank which is a national system. Voice work is now global. George Lucas called us because he was doing a series of documentaries and wanted us to submit some voices. We sent a voice actor – he wasn’t even primarily a voice actor -- to London for a job on the BBC. They called and said they were doing a documentary and needed a young male Texas voice. They listened to about eight and then flew this 19 year old college student to England. It was great and that’s international voice. We also represent motion capture artists, the people who were generally in dance and they put on those lights and costumes and move precisely in front of a green screen for days to play video characters. Can I say something about how Austin is lacking in film? DJ: By all means . . . Nightbyrd: In the last year Austin has made strides to be more film friendly, but the problem is that other states and cities have done much, much more. In comparison, we are losing the race right now to Louisiana which has the best film incentive laws maybe in the world, certainly in North America – even better than Canada’s right now. Last year Austin was probably the third film market in the country, and this year New Orleans will have two to three times the number of films Austin has. I’ve talked with a number of city politicians here about film as an industry -- that we could do half a billion dollars worth of film and commercials here -- that could be a goal. They listen very carefully and then say things like, "Do you think I could meet Sandra Bullock?" I realize they don’t really think of film as an industry in which an ethnically diverse group of people could find high paying jobs both behind and in front of the camera and in the technical end. They see it as still the "star deal", whereas Louisiana considers film making an industry. Frankly, Louisiana is killing us! So far this year we’ve lost four or five films to them. Now New Orleans will probably be the third film market and Austin will be the fourth or maybe we’ll slip even a little more because New

Mexico, though they don’t have the cultural diversity, still has a very positive law. Austin’s political leadership really needs to get a little more active and offer better incentives. Our problem is the State legislature meets every two years and if we don’t have a good bill before the legislature now, then Austin’s going to be struggling for the next two years until the legislature meets again and passes some incentive laws. DJ: These incentives -- are they in the form of tax breaks? Nightbyrd: Louisiana gives a 20 percent tax break back in cash, but they have a 15 percent investment credit -- if you put $1million into a film, you get $150K back. It’s more of a rebate. They expect to give out basically $100 million in two and a half years in incentives. And they also waive the sales tax there. Austin has an 8 percent sales tax and waiving that for filmmakers would be good incentive. Austin could negotiate reduced rates with local businesses for all the kinds of services and products that films utilize. That could be part of the package. DJ: So all their hotels, food and everything they purchase during filming would be tax-free? Nightbyrd: In Louisiana, for productions over $1 million. It starts in at $300K and at $1 million the incentives double. Texas is going to have to come up with a competitive package to bring new productions here. I’d propose we consolidate the film office because part of it is at the Mayor’s office and part in the Convention/Visitors Bureau and it’s bifurcated right now. We need a web site – Austin is doing a web site that’ll be ready in three months, but Louisiana’s is up and running and updated every three days. I see real fire here in the film community but I don’t see awareness in the political establishment that this is jobs, a job producing industry. Citywide, the local political structure gives lip service to the film industry but doesn’t really embrace it. We have done good things like -- I think the permits for shooting on the streets are free. That’s important, making ease of shooting because that’s costly. Though the city spends a huge amount every year on lobbyists, I’ve heard nothing about lobbyists pushing film as an industry. So we’re going to suffer in the future. Our business will plateau. Commercials will probably keep increasing but the Hollywood film business will be going to Louisiana, a little to New Mexico and to other states. The Third Coast was on its way here, but now New Orleans is being called Hollywood South. Acclaim’s business over the last four years doubled and doubled and doubled, but now this year it will grow some, but not much. It will grow off TV commercials and print, not off film because Louisiana is stealing the films with good business practices. I said to the head of the Louisiana Film Commission that they were going to beat out Austin and he said, "Hell, we’re competing internationally. I’m not competing with Austin." The mayor of New Orleans was out in L.A. visiting the studios, selling their package saying, "Come on down". DJ: And Austin’s doing nothing like that? Nightbyrd: I’ve never seen Austin do anything like that. DJ: Do either Austin or New Orleans have sound stages or is that in the works? Would the availability of sound stages help?

Nightbyrd: Sound stages do help and we need more than one here. And the Film Society, which manages the former airport quite well, is working to get a sound stage in one of the hangars, though it’s not pushing ahead at a rapid enough rate. The money people should be pushing it harder. New Orleans, because it’s been one of the great ports of the world has tons of really great warehouse space. Our New Orleans office has 30,000 square feet of open warehouse space behind it and a film company is leasing about 15,000 square feet of it. So they have a lot of places to build sound stages. Disney is talking about building a studio in New Orleans. So Louisiana is stealing a lot of our thunder. Another problem for Austin is that actors, crew, everybody in the film business is very mobile. People are moving away. We probably have one whole crew that’s now working in Louisiana. I used to see one actor per week move from New York or L.A. to Austin because they had kids they didn’t want to raise there and thought that Austin was a good place with a good school system. Now I’m starting to see them leave Austin. I asked one actor why he moved to Austin and he said he was now moving to New Orleans. People will move to where the work is. We have the film industry here because the independent filmmakers like Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, Mike Judge etc. really took off and made great films and caused a digital revolution that’s still going on and that attracted a lot of other filmmakers. U.T has The Burnt Orange Program, which is a joint public/private partnership, the first university film program that’s actually producing real films for distribution and giving students the opportunity to work on them. They’ve already produced one that was edgy and good and plan to produce three films a year. And that’s visionary because they’re competing with NYU, USC, USCLA film schools. It’s one of those innovative ideas that Austin is known for. But why aren’t we teaching filmmaking in high schools here? Kids get bored and do delinquent behavior, but good film programs could really benefit the city. Why do we have theatre departments that don’t teach people a career? Take some money out of football and put it into a filmmaking program where students learn how to work sound, camera, and lighting. There are certainly plenty of people here who could teach those skills. If we were training a whole base of actors and technical people for the film business it would make us very attractive. Films offer real opportunity to an ethnically diverse people. I just know that every kid of any ethnicity who had a chance to make a short film in school with a little digital camera and learn editing and stuff would be in love with their school. New Orleans has mobilized the junior college system to start teaching film production and the University of New Orleans has a huge film program. ACC should have a huge film department. There are so many capable people here who could be guest lecturers and help out and we could really reinforce the creative process of our young people. I have one young guy here who is 15 who has sold two shorts to HBO. I’d just like to see Austin get more assertive about pursuing filmmaking as an industry that can provide jobs and positive financial impact for our community. ************************************************ Acclaim (www.acclaimtalent.com) recently opened a new office in New Orleans. Acclaim’s Latin/Hispanic division is the largest in the southwest. They represent actors from age six to that last great audition in the sky.

21


Mary Beth Greenwood PHOTOGRAPHY

Having an

EYE for

Per•fec•tion photo by Jen Gallo/Stylist Brooke Olson

M

story by Monica Penn

ary Beth Greenwood,

Target. Mary Beth Greenwood is unsurpassed

here, and in a given month, there could be

a native Austinite, has photographed and guid-

when it comes to providing her actors with

dozens of movies and commercials being shot

ed models, actors, and musicians in their

headshots that have helped them land roles in

here. In Los Angeles, Austin is all-the-buzz –

careers for over twenty years. Her distinctive

many successful movies including, "The

it’s like ‘Little Hollywood’," says Greenwood.

and stunning photographs have played a large

Rookie", "Spy Kids", "Miss Congeniality",

role in landing layouts for many of her models

"Where the Heart Is" and "Courage Under

in publications such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan,

Fire".

Vanity Fair, Elle, as well as work with promi-

"The models from high schools and universities around Austin are being picked up by major markets such as New York, Miami, L.A.,

nent retailers Abercrombie and Fitch, Neiman

"It’s a really exciting time in Austin right

Marcus, Bloomingdales, Polo, Gap, Coke, and

now. Actors are getting more and more work

Opening up the DOORS of

opportunity 22

Model Patty Markison/Stylist Brooke Olson Model Cassidy DiCicco for Anne Kelso Salon/ Hair by Brooke Olson/Make-Up by Kathy Miller


and Dallas. We have started models that are now

with

Ford,

Wilhelmina,

The actual shooting involves a team.

IMG,

Photo Assistant Jen Gallo, a University of

Metropolitan, Elite, Boss, etc.," says

Texas honors graduate, brings youth and the

Greenwood. "Austin, the ‘Third Coast,’ is

latest technical photo and computer skills to

on the cutting edge, a central hot spot for art,

the table.

fashion, and film".

graphic arts degree from the University of

Brooke Olson, stylist with a

Texas, combines her make-up and hair skills Mary Beth Greenwood’s uncanny talent

with her vision for advertising.

to quickly perceive a person’s potential and direct them toward the particular market best

To learn how to break into the acting and

suited for them, places her top in her field.

modeling industries, learn about her photo

The process begins when they walk in the

internship program, and to view more of

door – Greenwood promotes enthusiasm,

Mary Beth Greenwood’s work, visit her web

dedication and confidence in each and every

site at www.greenwoodphoto.com.

Model Kaylan Burnette/Hair by Brian Rowland/ Make Up by Eric Leonardos

potential client. "By teaching and training my clients how to react in front of a camera -- I feel that this gives them the confidence they need to excel in the business".

Model Danielle Bennett/Stylist Brooke Olson

Musician Zak Loy/Stylist Mandy Hernandez

Model Patrick Buchanan/Stylist Jennifer Curttright

RIGHT door

OPEN up the


ART I S T

Carol Hawkins

on display by Dan Jennings

T

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murals portraiture

his month AWO highlights Carol Hawkins, a busy artist in the Austin area for many years. Carol began her career later in life. As a stay-at-home mom with children to raise and a very busy husband, Carol found herself feeling rather stressed. She spoke with a counselor who suggested she do what she loved, and she knew exactly what that would be…art. Carol returned to school and received her B.F.A. in painting from The University of Texas, began her career and never looked back. Besides her work in oil and other media, Carol is an expert at photo restoration. By careful study of the anatomy of a photo and referencing other photos from the same period, she can fill in the gaps in photos that are over one hundred years old and restore them to like-new condition. However, painting is her first love. "I enjoy portraiture the most," she says, "because I love people and they are the hardest thing to paint." Although Carol creates many paintings, a great deal of her business comes from commissioned portraits, the latest of which is a portrait of Austin’s child advocacy hero, the late Barbara White. White came to Austin in 1967 to work for Austin/Travis County Child Welfare, the precursor to Child Protective Services, then moved to Juvenile Court in 1971. There she discovered that children involved in divorces and child custody cases were having their futures determined by attorneys and judges. Working within the system, White initiated sweeping changes, and investigators were appointed as a child’s Guardian ad Litem, a role delineated by the Texas Family Code. She also added social workers, psychologists and other professionals to the decision making process, thereby placing children in the best possible environment. Barbara, who passed away at the age of 48, never had children of her own but she was known for her deep love for children and her courage to fight for them. Currently, only portraits of judges hang in the Travis County courthouse, but in honor of Barbara White’s memory and vital work, Carol Hawkins’ portrait of her will be hung in the courtroom of Judge Jeanne Meurer this May. "There are people who live their lives trying to help other people. And that should be celebrated in my opinion." Hawkins says. "And Barbara White was one of those…a real life hero."

animals

Barbara White

Carol Hawkins

CarolHawkins.com


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e n e Austin csAround

in the spotlight photos by Austin Photography

Street-rod enthusiasts gather to view the latest in Street-machine design and technology at a recent Austin rally and expo.

Spamarama celebrated its 30th anniversary on April 2nd at Waterloo Park.

Oh, the madness!

Visitors once again enjoyed the out-of-control mystery meat cook-off and merry making.

Kites of all shapes and sizes filled the skies over Zilker Park at the 72nd Austin Kite Festival.

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ASTRO

May/June 2005

star•guide "What is above is as what is below.”

el a h p Ra Nichols

Astrology shows the relationship between celestial cycles and human experience. This ancient tool assists in understanding ourselves, our relationships and our place in the Cosmos.

ARIES

(Mar 21-Apr 20): You have the opportunity to bring inventive and creative ideas into manifestation. Take a deep breath, slow down and watch them take form. Before you know it, you will be enticed to new projects. The end of June you will be dealing with old issues regarding commitment.

TAURUS

(Apr 21-May 20): Move out of your comfort zone and try a new approach, assessing where you are and where you want to go. Get ready. You will be challenged to be more open-minded and flexible. June ends with a renewed sense of security. Enjoy the company of friends at home and intimate gatherings.

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20): Deal with your responsibilities now, boring as they may be. Before you know it, playtime comes again. People find you fascinating and exciting. Go ahead and shine. By the end of June you'll begin a new and creative project that will require a change in your home environment.

CANCER

LIBRA

(Sept 23-Oct 22): Your charm attracts others. Don't let stubborn people keep you from speaking your truth. Your mind is open and perceptive, assisting you in the skill of compromise. Try redecorating your home, using your wonderful sense of style and artistry.

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21): Your strong will and passion is intense in May and will fascinate and attract others. Don’t let your tendency to be a control-freak take over. You may have an opportunity to share your magnetic personality with more than one close relationship. Watch out for misplaced desire or jealousy.

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“Lookin’ for Ev a n g e l i n a ”

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov 22Dec 20): Share your knowledge and wisdom in a way that will delight and comfort others. Update your mission statement. Prepare for challenges that encourage you to think outside the box. Regroup before you run off to that new adventure. Can you hear it calling to you?

CAPRICORN

(Dec 21-Jan 20): It can become too easy to get so comfortable that you miss important changes going on around you. Don't get too set in your ways. A wild wind will blow into your life making it very chaotic, but it will lead you to your heart's desire.

(June 21-July 21): Your gentle heart is especially sensitive. Focus on what you are grateful for, rather than what you regret. Try not to take things too personally. By the end May you'll be a bit more daring. Don’t quit before you get results. Keep positive and it will AQUARIUS (Jan 21-Feb manifest! Use your flair for the dra18): You appreciate the beauty matic. surrounding you, which opens up channels for more of life's glory to LEO (July 22-Aug 22): Share shine through. Keep one foot on the your creativity with the world. ground, or you may float away. But don't forget to pay attention to Others find your ideas difficult to others feelings. The end of May will comprehend. Don't let that discourage find you distracted and scattered. Go you. Transform your environment. with the flow. This is the time to hone Have you thought of creating an altar your skills and creativity. You have or building a sweat lodge? an inspiring effect on children through use of creativity and imaginaPISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20): tion. People are not cooperating with your vision. They'll eventually VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22): come around if you can present it in a You tend to take things very more down-to-earth manner. You can seriously. You are a perfectionist, but be a trendsetter in fashion and art if you'll be disappointed if you expect you trust your intuition. Don't overother's to be as "perfect" as you. Use commit. By the end of June you will your keen intelligence and discrimi- be able to relax and forget your nating mind. The end of June you will responsibilities for a while. Take a need to rein in worried thoughts break. regarding finances. Pay attention to your nutrition and exercise to keep off S a m a n t h a those extra pounds. Vanderslice is a cosmictologist and herbalist specializing in Tarot, Kabbalah and Astrology. Her retail shop in Lakeway, SOL Reflections, offers the finest herbs & supplements, natural body care & aromatherapy, crystals, books, cards, Goddess clothing, gifts and tools of divination & celebration. Services such as Massage, Personalized Bach Flower Remedies, Spiritual Tarot, Nutritional Guidance and astrological interpretations are available by appointment. Come share the magic at SOL Reflections, The 620 Center, 107 S. RR620 in Lakeway. 512263-6990. Check out our website at www.solreflections.com. Email us at solreflections@earthlink.net.

27


The

Modern ARTof

ANTI-AGING & WELLNESS

Bio-Identical Hormones, Yes! Designer Hormones, No! by Lane Sebring, M.D.

H

ormone replacement has become a very complicated issue, but it is governed by a few simple principles. By understanding and following these principles you will be able to determine if hormone replacement is appropriate for you. If it seems a contradiction that the same hormones that help build strong bodies when we are young, and help us maintain our health during our middle years, suddenly turn on us to promote cancer, heart attack, and stroke when we attempt to maintain their levels by supplementation in our later years, then you will be able to appreciate the information presented here. The first principle is simply that bio-identical hormones (the exact same molecules that your body has been making since before your birth: estradiol, testosterone and progesterone) do not cause the deadly side effects associated with hormone replacement. In fact, when bio-identical hormones are used, especially through the skin as a cream or gel, there is a reduction in the risks associated with hormone replacement when compared to women who do not use hormones. The second principle is that the human hormones used in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can no longer be patented, and therefore offer little profit incentive to the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, the published studies that show some bad risks associated with hormone replacement are done on synthetic non-human hormones that do offer a profit to the drug companies. Objective medical research has shown that bio-identical hormones given to humans in human amounts to replace deficiencies, especially when administered through the skin, lead to either an improvement or cause no change in virtually every measurable parameter. The problem with modern hormone replacement, which is more accurately called hormone substitution, is that it utilizes molecules that have been altered quite dramatical-

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ly. This can lead to very different and unintended actions on the body. For example, when altered by moving just two hydrogen atoms, the testosterone molecule becomes estradiol, a female hormone. Estrogen and testosterone have very different functions in the body. When the pharmaceutical industry makes major changes in hormones in order to secure patents, and then sells them as hormone “replacement,” nothing but trouble can result. Another factor to consider is that there are two different pathways in the liver where hormones are broken down to be eliminated by the body. Simply put, one pathway is good and one is bad. In large amounts the breakdown products produced in the bad pathway are strongly associated with an increased risk of estrogen-related breast, colon, and uterine cancers. High amounts of the breakdown products produced in the good pathway, it has been shown, actually resulted in a decreased risk of these cancers, even when compared to women who are not taking hormone replacement. It is vital in hormone replacement therapy to not introduce foreign hormones into the body. The hormones that are taken should be broken down in the good pathway and not the bad one. There is actually a lab test to determine the ratio of the breakdown products in the good pathway versus the bad. Eating cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts, or taking indole-3-carbinol (13C), which is the critical molecule contained in them, increases the enzymes in the good pathway so that it becomes the larger funnel. By having these items in her diet, a woman can ensure that her hormones move away from the bad pathway and that they are broken down in the good one. If a woman takes hormones orally in pill form, she must be given ten times the amount needed, because 90% will be broken down in the liver before reaching the bloodstream.

This overload strategy of the pharmaceutical industry might sell more pills, but it necessarily causes much more of these hormones to be pushed down the bad pathway. Hormone cream applied to the skin is a far more intelligent and healthy method of hormone delivery. The increased risk of heart attack and stroke caused by blood clots associated with hormone replacement is not the result of using bio-identical hormones, but of using a synthetic altered progesterone in the form of medroxyprogesterone acetate, the typical progesterone offered by physicians (Provera and Prempro). When this hormone passes through the liver it increases clotting factors thus resulting in an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Paradoxically, medroxyprogesterone acetate actually acts as a progesterone blocker in most tissues, thus not increasing bone density, but decreasing it; not decreasing fibrocystic breast disease, but increasing it; not promoting a calming effect on the mind, but promoting agitation and anxiety; not reducing the risk of breast cancer, but actually increasing it. Considerable medical research indicates that bio-identical hormone replacement results in an improvement in cholesterol and increases insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of diabetes and of gaining fat around one’s middle. Bio-identical hormones are stronger than other prescription medications for treating osteoporosis. There is evidence they reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 86% if taken for more than ten years, which is profound considering that 50% of women age 85 have some form of the disease. Despite all the research and available literature on bio-identical hormone replacement, little of it shows up in the major medical journals. Most physicians are therefore completely unaware of the virtues of this treatment option for their patients. Bio-identical hormone replacement also makes women feel better and have more energy, and reduces mood swings and makes them seem happier, both to themselves and to their spouses. Libido returns or increases. Vaginal dryness resolves. Mental clarity returns. Healing is more rapid. Bladder leakage can be eliminated without surgery. Natural oils come back to the skin. Elasticity of the skin is maintained. Literally, the sparkle comes back to their eyes. Hormone replacement should respect our biology and only be done with bio-identical hormones. The benefits for most women far outweigh the risks. Dr. Sebring is a Board Examiner for the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. His practice combines traditional medicines and treatment with nutritional and hormonal supplements, diet, exercise and relaxation training. The results often drastically improve chronic conditions. Dr. Sebring may be contacted at his clinic in Wimberley at 512-847-5618.


Sebring Clinic for Anti-Aging and Wellness A

fter 10 years, Dr. Lane Sebring has moved his Wimberley practice 2 miles down the road to a beautiful new setting that illustrates his philosophy of medicine. The new facility is situated on 15 acres on the outskirts of picturesque Wimberley. Dr. Sebring has a Board Certification in Family Practice and is a Board Examiner for the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. His practice emphasizes optimal nutrition and he has seven years experience using transdermal bio-identical hormone replacement therapy that is individualized for each patient guided by how they feel. These therapies are designed to reduce or elimi-

Here at the Sebring Clinic, we recognize that modern medicine has ignored our biological past. That is a mistake. This mistake has led us down a path where we have come to believe only the pharmaceutical industry holds the keys to our health. At the Sebring Clinic, we believe you were born to be healthy - a state that should not be dependent on drugs. Dr. Lane Sebring, M.D.

nate the experience of such chronic diseases as diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression, and even apparent mechanical problems such as urinary stress incontinence.

D

he Sebring clinic is known for

T

results, because they get your

r. Sebring calls his nutritional philosophy, “a down to earth view of your health.” He says that, “our biological past is the key to understanding what your body needs to be healthy. If we deliver to our cells the nutrition they need, they will efficiently perform the function for which they are designed. A study of the health of modern day huntergatherers and the archeological records of our past provide compelling evidence that the multitude of chronic diseases we now suffer were not always present.”

body working the way it was designed to work. Dr. Lane Sebring is results oriented, and his individualized approach transcends the limits set by traditional medicine and the insurance companies and allows him to help his

T

his approach to health is a powerful paradigm shift and conceptual break from traditional symptom-treating modern medicine. The new clinic provides a place for Sebring to teach patients how to incorporate this paradigm shift and thinking into their lives.

patients use the full complement of tools needed to achieve optimal health.

SEBRING CLINIC Lane Sebring, M.D. Board Certified in Family Practice Board Examiner for the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine

16811 Ranch Road 12, Wimberley, TX 78676 30 minutes from Oak Hill

512-847-5618 • www.SebringClinic.com

“It makes far more sense to treat diseases at the cause much further upstream than the downstream symptom-treating approach of the pharmaceutical industry,” Sebring said. “Prescription drugs are, of course, occasionally necessary when disease is far advanced. In these cases I do not hesitate to use modern prescription medication, but I also often use specific nutritional supplements to minimize their sometimes harmful side-effects.”


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