JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011 • 101
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the first letter from the editor The name BLEEP Magazine isn’t mine. I didn’t come up with it. My sister did, but I think it’s appropriate here. I love that BLEEP is the word used when censoring what you say, which couldn’t be farther from what this magazine is about. Nothing’s bleeped out here. Just people being creative. So who are we? Why do we matter? Do you watch Ace of Cakes? In the opening credits of each episode, Chef Duff says that he hired the most talented people he knew…his friends. And I feel that’s appropriate to say here as well. I’m surrounded by people who are so talented and so passionate about what they do. I wanted a way I could both show them off and allow them to have complete creative freedom. So that’s who we are, but why do we matter? We matter because we aren’t seasoned. We matter because we aren’t professionals. We matter because we don’t have to see things the way that an established magazine or corporation would prefer. We matter because we just want to be creative. We matter because we just want to matter. There are people all over the world who are doing amazingly creative things and most people will never see it, much less know why or how they do what they do. So here it is. BLEEP magazine. A place where anything’s okay and the more creative and out there something is, the more likely we’ll publish it. This first issue is The Photo Issue mostly because we’re obsessed with pictures in our culture. Digital cameras have made everyone a photographer but here are some people who have something to say through the images they take. I hope you enjoy the magazine we’ve put together, but more importantly, I hope you’re inspired by what you see. Inspired to one-up us. Inspired to join with us and become part of our team. Inspired to think more creatively in your own life. I hope you’re mostly inspired to live your life and do what you love. Stick with us. Let’s see what we can create together. Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief of BLEEP Magazine
Each season, a slew of new shows opens on Broadway and this fall, two of the most anticipated shows of the season opened, both utilizing a different take on big-budget storytelling, both with superb casting, and both extremely different from what’s currently on the boards and both were rewarded with closing notices. For Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, the OffBroadway transfer from The Public Theatre, the off-beat, psuedo-indie, frontier-angst-ridden musical hits all the right notes, when it decides to hit them. There aren’t a lot of actual show tunes in the show, with the writers choosing modified reprises to further the story. But it’s a good story, being told by really great storytellers and the audience is immersed in the world of this emoAndrew Jackson. Just not really through the music. And it’s at that point that The Scottsboro Boys shines. The music from Kander and Ebb is so entertaining and so excellently scripted into what is a very deep and upsetting story that it creates a world that doesn’t physically manifest on stage. It’s a transcendent look at the story of these men that allows the audience to at once laugh and be moved. And the voices are superb. So what’s the problem here? Why can’t these two shows, both different but both brilliant in their own ways, find audiences? Audiences would rather spend their money on stories and music they already know. They’d rather listen to ABBA music than hear a new song sung and there’s not much that can be done about it. What’s really terrible is that these two shows didn’t even get to stick around until the Tonys to maybe garner some additional recognition on a national stage. But for what it matters, The Scottsboro Boys was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Hopefully one day, new shows will have a voice again to tell new stories. 6 BLEEP
’ve never been to the ballet. Well, that’s not entirely true. I went to my sister’s dance recitals when she was really young. But I haven’t been to an actual ballet before. I’ve watched plenty on TV though so it’s not like I’m unfamiliar with the concept. When I saw that Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake was going to be in the city when I was there, I jumped at getting tickets. I’ve seen clips of it on PBS and I’ve been aware that it was a big deal and all, so I needed to see it for myself. Taking the traditional Swan Lake and flipping it on its head, this production replaced the female swans with an army of male dancers, telling a story not really about love, but of unrealized desire and being the version of yourself you want to be. This was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Funny, quirky, and magnificent. Everything from the sets to the costumes to the interpretation
of this world made the production fascinating from beginning to end. After seeing it, I don’t know that I will ever be able to enjoy a traditional telling of Swan Lake again. I’m afraid it will just seem normal or beige or dated now. There was just something about this performance that was so profound and so rich in meaning beyond just a love story, and isn’t that what we’re looking for nowadays? We want something more than just a silly little love story or a clichéd happy ending. We want something that will linger with us long after we’ve left the theatre. That’s just what this production did. It took something classic, made it more accessible to a pop audience and then infused it with deep seeded moments of meaning that gave it a new life. It was the type of theatre that doesn’t happen often enough: The really magnificent type. BLEEP 7
“I’ve finally caught up on my life,” David says on a cold morning at the beginning of December. His apartment in an ultra-swanky Chelsea building is chic but disheveled at the moment and when I arrive, he’s organizing his silly bands in the top drawer of his dresser. He apologizes for his apartment being what he describes as a mess. He’s charming and personable, the near polar opposite of the character that said “I hate people” on an episode of Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker this season. That character, of course, is David Yontef, the “somewhere between 30 and 40” year-old millionaire contestant on the reality dating show that aired in November of 2010. “It’s amazing that became a big deal,” he says, smiling. “I don’t regret anything I said, that’s how I live my life. Did I say I hate people? Yes. Do I hate all people? No. Do I hate some people? Yes. Am I a happy person? Yes. I think it’s funny that Patti picked up on that and made a big deal about it. I don’t know how it works in L.A. but people in New York say ‘I hate people.’ A lot of people have reached out to me and said ‘I hate people too so don’t worry about it.’ It’s just a figure of speech.” But for David, it’s a figure of speech that’s bought him an enormous amount of airtime on the perpetually overplaying reality show network. According to him, his episode is one of the highestrated episodes of the entire series and one that I’ve seen three times without even trying. He’s right. It airs all the time. “Now that it’s aired, I probably have 500 more Facebook friends, some of which I call super fans because they will IM me and email me every time it’s on. That I expected. I expected the Facebook stuff just because I know people who have been on these shows.” But what he never expected was the recognition that he would get on the streets of New York, saying he gets recognized at least twice a day. “I think part of it is that I’m gay and I was the only gay guy on the episode. I also have a recognizable look and face, and I guess people thought I, at least, made for good TV since my episode was so highly rated.” The view from David’s apartment, one of the two he owns that were mentioned on the show, looks out over downtown New York City and the Hudson river. “It really is a spectacular view,” he says. David
made his money through a combination of being a sort of executive headhunter to the elite and a real estate broker, but what he really loves is television. “I watch anywhere from 30 to 35 hours of television a week, which is a ton of TV if you think about it. That’s like a full-time-job,” he says. It’s been this love of all things TV that’s led him to the reality circuit. “I’ve been in the mix for other reality shows before,” David explains. “It’s kinda what I do with my spare time. I’m always checking casting sites. (Millionaire Matchmaker) was kinda the last show I wanted to do, but of course the thing that you’re the least excited about it what you end up getting.” Though he wouldn’t go into all the other shows he’s gotten far in the casting process for, one he did mention was the LOGO reality show A-List New York. But apart from being on an episode of Dr. Phil, his casting on Matchmaker has become his first real taste of the TV limelight. “I’ve come really close to getting other shows, so obviously if you come really close, something about me is good for TV. I went on this show more to be on a reality show than to look for love.” So how does he feel about how he looked on television? “I really have nothing to hide,” he says. “If you’re going to be on a reality show, of course anything that’s filmed can be edited in any way. You sign a four page long, sign-all-your-rights-away contract, so nothing that made it into the show shocked me. I stand by everything.” David spends our interview answering emails and checking his laptop. He says he’s a multi-tasker but he’s very single minded about what’s next for him. “My goal is to get another show. I’m currently in the mix for three new shows but again, I’ve been on the reality show mix for years. My goal is to be on my own show where I get paid. I go on castings, I answer casting calls every day and while I’m busy doing that, I’m still doing real estate and helping people buy and sell apartments. But what I really want is my own show.” It’s yet to be seen if that show will materialize for the guy with the black-rimmed glasses, outfit matching sillybands on his wrist, and particular taste in pear martinis, but David’s determined. “This is what I do. I want to be on TV.” BLEEP 9
the photo issue
GRAPHIC DESIGNER TYLER ELLIS STUDIED THE MOST FAMOUS WORKS OF ART IN THE WORLD WHEN HE WAS ART HISTORY MAJOR, BUT NOW HE’S TAKING HIS LOVE FOR PAINTING INTO A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ARENA. PHOTOSHOP. TELL ME YOUR HISTORY WITH ART. WHEN DID YOU START DRAWING? WHEN DID YOU START USING A COMPUTER TO DO IT? It’s hard for me to remember at time when I wasn’t drawing. It’s just always been what I do, ever since I was able to. I started using a computer to create art in my early college years, mostly pretty basic graphic
design work. It wasn’t until late 2009 / early 2010 that I started using a tablet and stylus to create any kind of digital drawings or paintings. It was intimidating, initially, but was surprisingly easy to pick up WHY A COMPUTER? WHY NOT JUST PAINT IT WITH PAINTS? At that point in my life that I started painting on a computer, I wanted to be an illustrator, and that was how I saw lots of people doing it, particularly some of the talented folks working for Wizards at the Coast that I really looked up to, Raymond Swanland and Steve Argyle and Jamie Jones. Also, for that kind of BLEEP 33
work it’s already in the correct format, so it just kind of made sense. You’ve already got it digitized, so no scanning or taking photos would be necessary – it’s already in the form it’s going to be in when it needs to be sent off, as it were. Sounds lazy, I know, but that was my thought process. It’s also much easier to correct mistakes, and correct them quickly, with digital art, and the image is so much easier to manipulate. If you want to make adjustments to the color scheme, two clicks and it’s done, whereas with traditional paints you’d have to rework the entire piece. That kind of convenience would probably be considered a cheap trick in the fine arts world, but in the realm of illustration I think it flies. Plus, it’s just fun. While there’s something that can’t ever match the feeling of stretching and painting on your own handmade canvas, there’s a quickness and a freshness, a freedom that comes from digital painting that I love. WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM? Mostly from literature. If I’m not on commission or if I’m fresh out of ideas, there are plenty of books that I’ve read to give me inspiration I need. Most of it is your standard fantasy fare, the Harry Potter series, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan and the like. What I aim to do with source material like that is to grab hold of a traditional idea or established character and make it my own, while keeping true to the work from which I pulled it. WHERE DO YOU SEE THIS MEDIUM GOING? It’s hard to say – it’s not exactly considered a “fine art,” so I’m not sure of how far it will get in that arena, but art is always changing so who knows? In terms of illustration, for books, comics, graphic design… I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon. WHERE DO YOU SEE THIS TAKING YOU? Hopefully, this will lead me down an exciting and vibrant career in art. I would love nothing more. A career in drawing comics or as an illustrator would be a dream come true. FOR MORE OF TYLER’S WORK GO TO HTTP://TYLERELLIS.DAPORTFOLIO.COM/
A call for simpler times does not mean to forgo interiors. While owners are recovering from a recession, need for extravagance in design recedes as well. Reevaluating design makes for a new level of opulence in both residential and commercial design, leaning spaces into a more straightforward merge of nature and technology in a thoughtprovoking, yet comfortable design aesthetic. Hereâ€™s my 10 cents on just how to keep on top of those design trends as we move into 2011â€Ś
INCORPORATING ANCESTRY is probably the biggest up-and-coming emphasis in interior design. Reflecting on rich time periods and the preservation of the past is reflected in materials and finishes and not just in those sepia portraits of Great Aunt Marge. Voluminous velvets in modern hues and even in crushed patterns mingle with 1940s inspired lighting, mixed woods, and a foundation of tribal influences behind bold patterns. COOL NEUTRALS…mainly in the form of gray as it is the neutral everyone can get along with. From silvery whites to stormy charcoals, it’s never too scary or too bland to play the role of the “neutral.” Gray walls or furniture can set the perfect stage for other colors to play on with ease in simple accent piece changes at any time.
HONEYSUCKLE. Not just a flower anymore, as Pantone Color Institute® revealed this bright reddish-pink hue to be the color of 2011. Encouraging boldness in everyday troubles and a punch of vitality in everyday life, genderneutral honeysuckle brings a burst of energy and enthusiasm to any space. From a club chair to a lamp, from a throw pillow to an entire accent wall, ring in the new year with a dash of color spice in your home or workplace.
BOLD PATTERNS…whether in masculine or feminine color palettes, bold patterns are a must have in any space. Small doses or big doses, it doesn’t matter. Grab that geometric repeat or the giant damask or even a bigger-than-shouldbe-normal floral graphic and let it sing in your space. Tile patterns, bedding, sofas, wall coverings, flooring…or even just in accent pieces for the timid at design heart. APPAREL FABRICS are not just for your body. Rich textures of men’s suiting, pinstripes, and tweeds welcome their way onto upholstered pieces, accent pillows, and draperies bringing weight and textural dimension to spaces in the home and the work place. And they often provide a more economical solution to big projects. METALLIC ACCENTS! What would apparel fabrics be without the cufflinks? A touch of bronze, gold, pewter, brushed nickel, whatever touches your fancy, the jewelry in a room is just as important. From lamps to furniture, mosaic tiles to wall finishes, a touch of metallic brings opulence. Simple or overstated. Add that finishing touch.
MIXING OF WOODS has always been an acceptable design tactic. But now more than ever, as we lean into a more organic take on design, dip into the vast array of finishes and wood grains for both traditional and contemporary looks. Stir it up with zebra woods and bamboos, cherries and walnuts, all in the same space to add excitement and a natural inspiration on all surfaces. CREATIVE USE OF SPACEâ€Śtight quarters? Having to downsize? Get creative! Murphy beds have become more decorative and new technology and thinking is developing multi-functioning pieces such as sofa/storage walls turning into beds and trunks and ottomans transitioning into tables and work surfaces.
BOLD PATTERNS…Lighting is moving forward by looking back. 1940s is the decade coming to the surface with tropical-inspired lamp bases, glass globes, tiffany style pendants, and gooseneck lamps. Let those metallics and play on textures venture into the lighting. WALLPAPER. Yep. I said it. The word once made taboo by pastel floral bathrooms and apple borders parading around your mother’s kitchen. Wall coverings have been making a comeback over the last few years and they are rollin’ into this next season. From bold statement patterns, to natural grass clothes and bamboos, wallpapers are a yes! But don’t be taken aback when you see them covering other surfaces than walls…that’s right. Look up because wallpaper is making its way to the ceiling! Bathrooms, dens, foyers, dining rooms…it’s not taboo! Punch up those ceilings. SO THERE YOU HAVE IT…BOLD, NATURAL, TEXTURED, AND…WELL, WALLPAPER. MY TEN CENTS FOR BRINGIN’ IN 2011.
Designing a float for a parade. It sounds simple, right? Wrong. Well, I did it, along with a group of six other college students, for the Baylor University Homecoming parade. The parade was in late October, but the designing and approval process began in April. Not only is coming up with a theme a collaboration of ideas between everyone designing it, but it’s also a chance to prove that you can design and build what seems impossible. Our team ultimately decided on a patriotic ,American theme that was originally supposed to include Uncle Sam, an eagle, the Statue of Liberty’s crown surrounding a stage, the Iwo Gima Memorial and a huge American flag. Of course, three weeks before the parade, we decided to change direction with the theme because all of it didn’t fit together. So we started over. The only thing we kept was the eagle framework. We were robbed one day, and the guy was still in the building when we got there to work on it in the morning, but he was hiding so we didn’t know. We noticed our iPods and speakers were gone, and then later that the air conditioning unit had been stolen. The funny part about all of this is that he stole the unit for the copper wiring, but if he had opened the welder, he would have found over $400 worth in copper, at least, not to mention the fact that the arc welder is worth thousands on its own. Whoever robbed us was an idiot; they could have made off easily with over $500,000 in tools minimum. One day we had to put out five fires on our float because we were re-working some of the interior, and the guys were welding the bus after we already had feathers on the eagle and the metal on the ship. Smokey the Bear would have been proud at our ability to put fires out so quickly. Even though it was a roller coaster of events that surrounded the building of our float, it did make its debut in the parade. We were one of the few groups that were under budget (by almost $3,500 dollars at the end) but what was most awesome was having the veterans and their families salute the float as we passed by.
THERE’S EVEN MORE TO BLEEPIN’ LOVE
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IT BEING OUR FIRST ISSUE AND ALL, WE LOOKED INTERNALLY AT OUR OWN CONTRIBUTORS FOR THE FIRST FACE ON OUR COVER. WE COULDN’T HAVE LANDED A BETTER FASHIONISTA THAN STEPHANIE MELIOTES. NOT ONLY DOES SHE MANAGE THE FASHION PAGES OF THE MAGAZINE BUT SHE LIVES HER LIFE BREATHING FASHION. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELSEY ERVI 44 BLEEP
by Rachael Mariboho
FOUR POP CULTURE THINGS TO ADORE A Class Act
In an era when many women attempt to achieve fame and fortune by sleeping with married men or making sex tapes (think Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, or any of Tiger Woods’ prostitutes) Kate Middleton is a refreshing example of class, grace, and propriety. While the British press dubbed her “waity Katie,” mocked her commoner roots, and hounded her for the past eight years in a manner reminiscent of their treatment of Princess Diana, Middleton never lost her cool. Now that Prince William proposed and they announced they would be married in April, countless women around the world are emulating her hair and wardrobe, signally the fact that she is emerging as a 21st century icon. Of course only time will tell what kind of global influence she will have or how she will handle the pressure of being one of the most watched women in the world. If her past behavior is any predictor, we can be assured that she will handle any situation with the same sophistication she has always shown.
While it has provided great fodder for Saturday Night Live, there is no question that Oprah’s favorite things show has the capacity to touch even the most cynical of hearts. Why? Yes, some may laugh at the hyperbolic arm gestures and the loud, reverberating voice Oprah uses to announce the thousands of dollars worth of cool stuff she’s giving to unsuspecting audience members; and, yes, their reactions – the tears, the screaming, the jumping up down with arms waving like they are at a church camp meeting – are just a bit over the top. But it is the sentiment behind the show that is truly meaningful. What Oprah is enacting is the old adage that it is truly better to give than to receive. Watching her two final favorite things show this past November was a reminder that there is such a thing as joy unspeakable, for both the audience receiving the gifts and the audience watching the show.
In a year of sequels and 3D overload, one film reminded Hollywood that grown-up fare can be complex and intelligent and still make more than half a billion dollars worldwide. While there are many reasons Inception is one of my favorite things this year, the main one is that it reminded me why I love going to the movies: often, when least expected, a film can surprise you. Given his pedigree, Memento, The Prestige, and a little film called The Dark Knight, it was probable that writer-director Christopher Nolan would have a few tricks up his sleeve. Four levels of a dream-within-a-dream story where idea thieves are hired to plant an idea in the mind of their bosses’ competitor while trying to evade the dead wife of their leader is an interesting premise to start from. Add amazing locales, brilliant special effects, the best fight scene since The Matrix, and a cerebral ending that makes viewers question the reality of what they have been watching, and this becomes, to me, one of the greatest films of the past decade.
As the popularity of reality TV has grown, the major networks have developed a disturbing trend of dropping programs after a season, or a couple of episodes, if they have not immediately garnered a large audience. They’re replaced by cheap reality shows that cost less to make (“Dating in the Dark”) because there are plenty of people willing to make fools of themselves on TV. The USA network has a different philosophy: foster character-driven-hour-long-dramas—like “White Collar,” “Covert Affairs,” “Burn Notice” and “Royal Pains”— that take unique approaches to tried-and-true concepts, and allow them more than two episodes to find an audience. The result: funny, inventive television that is geared toward a grown-up audience that doesn’t think watching one man make-out in a hot tube with twenty-five different women appealing. 50 BLEEP
& FOUR THINGS TO ABHOR FROM 2010 A Most Unclassy Act
While there is really nothing more despicable than a married man cheating on his wife with a plethora of prostitutes and porn stars (I am talking about you, Tiger Woods), the media’s fascination with these prostitutes and porn stars comes close. For much of the first half of 2010, we were inundated with these women, each of whom believed she had a right to tell her story. They were paraded across television programs and magazines where they were asked to spill the intimate details of their time with Tiger. The women seemed to relish this opportunity, many expressing their shock that they were not the only one he was sleeping with. While the media in general is responsible for giving these women their extended 15 minutes, the award for most disappointing coverage goes to Vanity Fair magazine. In the May and June issues, writer Mark Seal and photographer Mark Seliger presented these women like victims and photographed them like GQ covergirls. One would have hoped that a publication with such a pedigree would be above such tabloid antics.
Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen, and Lindsay Lohan have already gotten too much press for their breakdowns, meltdowns, and general bad behavior. The stories of their crazy antics dominated magazine covers and daytime television. Here’s hoping that in 2011 Lindsay will get sober and stay off crack; Charlie will keep his clothes on and stay away from prostitutes and the Plaza Hotel; finally, let’s believe that Mel will be more careful when using the telephone. Above all, let’s hope that we don’t have to read or hear about any of these people in the New Year.
Why are you Famous?
With the advent of reality television, we have become inundated with pseudo-celebrities who are famous just for being famous. The unofficial queen of this group has to be Kim Kardashian. Even if you don’t watch the much-hyped reality show starring her entire family, it was hard to get away from Kardashian this year. She was a constant presence on the cover of tabloids and often seen hawking diet pills. She was in a creepy photo spread for Elle magazine posing provocatively with Justin Bieber. Along with her sisters, she was a constant presence on various red carpets, while her dating life was given about as much coverage as the BP oil spill. And yet, no one has adequately explained why this woman is famous. As far as I know she has not starred in a successful film, sung a hit song, or written a bestselling book. What she has done is become emblematic of the new kind of celebrity being forced on the American public, someone whose fame cannot be understood or explained.
Jumping the Shark
There is no question that “Glee” is one of the most popular shows on TV or that it has had some standout moments in its second season. However, the overly hyped guest stars and the didactic after-school special moments have overshadowed the originality that made the show so fun to watch in its first season. We knew the show was dangerously close to jumping the shark in the second episode of the new season, Britney/ Brittany. After the hugely successful Madonna episode, there was a lot of excitement about a whole show revolving around Britney Spears songs. However, students’ visiting their dentist and then being put under anesthesia, which causes them to imagine themselves re-enacting Spears videos? This episode showed that “Glee” was little too wrapped up in theme shows and not in actually advancing the storyline of its main characters. The pattern would be repeated throughout the season, making the show seem desperate than inventive. BLEEP 51
The debut issue of BLEEP Magazine, the online creative culture magazine. Featuring photography from Kelsey Ervi, Matt Tolbert, Ryan Brinson...