March 2012 Issue • 202
TONY PENICHE FASHIONS THE ANNUAL BLEEP AWARDS
time to dance with
n i p e ble inside
WE’VE GOT A CRUSH Purple Crush has already taken the underground dance scene by storm. Now they’re set on the big leagues. We check in with Isla and Jared about what the future holds, Madonna’s influence on their music and the love of leg-warmers.
AND THE ‘STREEP’ GOES TO... The second annual BLEEP Awards have landed. New look. New trophy. Same love for award shows.
THESE WOMEN CAN DANCE
TONY, TONY, TONY
TAKE A SEAT
More than that, these women are choreographers and creators within the dance industry. BLEEP takes a look at the “Women In Dance” showcase and what the Legros Cultural Arts organization is doing to ensure women’s voices continue to be heard in dance.
Tony Peniche wants to create. Creat fashion to be exact. We chat with the designer about his aesthetic and what he brings to the fashion industry.
San Antonio set the stage for 20 interior designers to compete to create a new spin on the standard Eames Molded Plastic Chair. Take a look at the designs and decide for yourself which chair you think deserved the top spot at the competition.
Letter from the Editor
This is a special issue of BLEEP Magazine in that it features our annual BLEEP Awards. I love awards shows more than pretty much anything on television (except for the Kennedy Center Honors, which is really, just a different kind of awards show) and for as long as I can remember, me and the rest of the people that would eventually form the BLEEP team have gotten together, texted during or Instant Messaged backand-forth through all of the major awards shows. It would only make sense that we, a group of creative people, would want to give awards based on the goings-on at the awards of creative people. Thus, the BLEEP Awards were born. We think they’re fun. This issue is also special because it is the first issue of BLEEP Magazine as a monthly magazine. For our first year, we released an issue every other month but we’ve transitioned now into a monthly format. It’s the first of a few big changes at BLEEP that will be happening over the next few months. But celebrating isn’t unique to just this issue, it’s something we do in each issue of BLEEP. We celebrate the art, the creativity and the talents of artists from all over the world, regardless of whether they’ve been recognized from the podium yet. This issue is no different. The pages are full of actors, dancers, creators and musicians. There are people that want to make you look great and there are others that make you want to dance. This is the type of celebration we love. So while we are proud of our BLEEP Awards and all the exciting new things happening at the magazine, the thing we are most proud of are the artists, writers and photographers that grace our pages each month. It’s why we do what we do, why we’ve gone monthly and why we are continually inspired.
THE TROUBLE WITH TREVOR
BLOGGER WE LOVE
He’s been acting for years but now, Trevor Zhou is taking a new risk by writing and directing a short film, The Problem of Gravity. We talk to one half of the SuperTwins about what it takes to bring his new superstory to life.
‘MAD’ ABOUT VINTAGE LOOKS It’s March and that means only one thing: Mad Men is back on TV. Photographer and visual designer Amber Danese Grandfield and Co. take vintage inspired looks and give them an edge that Don Draper would be proud of.
Each issue, we feature a blog we think you need to add to your bookmarks. And this issue, we’ve got a very ‘green’ choice.
Editor-in-Chief Ryan Brinson Editor at Large Julie Freeman • Photography Editor Ruth Fleurinord Design/Decor Editor Lisa Sorenson • Culture Editor Rachael Mariboho Online Media Editor Nick Dean • Business & Audience Development Manager Sarah Rotker Cartoonist Ben Humeniuk • Social Media Team: Jessica Acklen Cover Photography by Mr. Means (www.mrmeans.com) Contributors: Danielle Milam • Nick Dean • Alex Wright • Amy Stone Joaquin Abrego • Natalie Kim • Holly Renner • Courtney Shotwell Featured Photographers: Amber Danese Grandfield All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.
P E E L bliPs B BROADWAY BLONDES On February 6th, five blonde performers came together to perform “Blonde Ambition,” a benefit concert for Broadway Barks. Lora Lee Gayer (“Follies”), Tess Soltau (“The Addams Family”), Ryah Nixon (“9 to 5”), Jessica Waxman (“Beehive”) and Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (“A Little Night Music”) sang songs of famous blondes (Madonna, Dolly Parton and Jessica Simpson) as well as selections from some of their favorite Broadway shows. (“9 to 5”, “Follies” and “Company”) With musical direction by Benjamin Rauhala, these Carnegie Mellon graduates blew the roof off the Triad Theatre on New York’s Upper West Side. Broadway Barks came about as a result of Bernadette Peters’ and Mary Tyler Moore’s passion for animals. Originally conceived as a program to promote the adoption of shelter animals, Broadway Barks has evolved into an organization that has not only focused on the plight of homeless animals but has opened the door of communication and fostered a spirit of community among the number shelters and rescue groups working throughout the city. The concert raised money for the organization and a few of the performers shared their personal stories about working with Bernadette Peters (who was in attendance that night). The next time you see one of these five names, run, don’t walk, to where ever they’re singing.
PERRY IN PERSON Katy Perry had quite a 2011, one of the highlights being her Teenage Dream Tour. BLEEP writer Danielle Milam checked out the show. “I walked in expecting a night devoted to the new pop sensation. I thought Katy would get out, perform her songs with a distinct pop beat, say a few words to the audience and call it a night. But the concert wasn’t about Katy Perry, the star; it was all about Katy Perry, the girl next door. It was those moments that we all remembered Katy Perry isn’t just a name, or a brand, she’s a person who happens to be a wonderful entertainer. I do know this: I’m not just a fan of Katy’s music, I’m a fan of Katy. “ 8 BLEEP
‘THE ROBOT WAR’ IN THE NEW OHIO THEATER
Going to the theater doesn’t always involve the bright lights of Broadway. Sometimes, (some would argue most times) the most meaningful theatre is found in smaller venues and independent spaces. Such was the case with “Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War.” The concept sounds like a strange fit for a small theater when you first hear it. Robots have taken over the Earth and a band of survivors in Russia are taking to the airwaves with a 1950s-style live radio program to entertain their countrymen. But the fact is, the cast brought this story to life in such a tangible way, the anxiety and emotions of the characters are readily felt in the basement space where the play was staged. Conceived by Marc Bovino, Joe Curnutte and Lila Neugebauer and created with the ensemble, this piece of theatre transforms the small downtown space it was staged into a broadcast studio. In the current theatrical climate where successful Off-Broadway producers are trying to reproduce the intimacy of smaller theaters in larger Broadway houses to less-than-stellar returns (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Lysistrata Jones), this show stays true to the feel of the story and the intimate venue becomes a part of the story. The writing by Marc Bovino and Joe Curnutte is both period appropriate and fresh at the same time, and Curnette himself provided the foundational performance as the radio program’s host. Most recently seen in the Off-Broadway hit “Unnatural Acts,” Curnutte volleyed between farce and fear, giving a foundational performance for the other cast members to build on. Stephanie Wright Thompson, Marc Bovino and Michael Dalto each provided performances so comfortable and full of depth, it was easy for the audience to feel connected and close to the story. Moral of the story: When you get the chance to see a piece of theatre that’s not a touring production of Wicked or the newest show on Broadway, you should . You never know when you are going to stumble upon something that will make you think about something larger than sequins and glitz. “Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War” proves that small venues and small casts can tell a larger than life story so impactful, my heart raced at the thought of an impending robot attack. But more than that, I feared for the characters and cared about their fate. For more information about the upcoming works of the Mad Ones, check out: www.madone.wordpress.com. Stephanie Wright Thompson, Marc Bovino and Joe Curnutte, Photo courtesy of The Mad Ones.
KNOW ABOUT IT AS IT HAPPENS
FOLLOW bleep BLEEP 9
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson Danielle Milam
4 out of 5 iPods “If you want to know what genius looks like, study Jobs’ words.” - Scott Abrams
beautiful product imaginable. Jobs wanted to give the user an inspiring experience from start to finish. His products weren’t for the average businessman, they were for the creatives.
These words have been proven true by Walter Isaacson’s biography, “Steve Jobs.” Jobs commissioned Walter Isaacson to intimately explore his life, work and Isaacson delves into Jobs’ own way of thinking. He legacy. Isaacson does not disappoint. He chronicles showcases his vision into the future of technology, Jobs’ early creations with his eccentricities, his success music and animation and even while celebrating Jobs’ with his tantrums and his genius with his humanity. successes, Isaacson doesn’t sugarcoat his unusual behavior. He discusses in great detail Jobs’ “reality Although this 571 page tome can get technical distortion field.” The way he would ignore reality and at times, the detailed accounts, including Jobs own demand the impossible, making everyone believe it recollections, are integral in painting Jobs’ entire could be done simply because he demanded it be persona. It’s Jobs’ own accounts sprinkled throughout done. Jobs’ habit of ignoring the confines of reality that make this life allowed him to make Apple a revolutionary entity. story unparalleled to others about the same Readers, who may lack sympathy for Jobs due to man. his tumultuous temper tantrums are suddenly faced with Job’s own humanity as he is diagnosed with Most fascinating is cancer. It’s the stark reminder that even the genius Isaacson’s exploration is merely human. This revelation is the beauty of into the artistry of Isaacson’s biography. It’s the story of a creative genius, Jobs work. Jobs never a technological revolutionary, a business mogul, a settled for anything flawed man. but the best. He obsessed over the details. He had to Must read for: anyone who has ever create the simplest, owned an apple product; business owners most user friendly, wanting to revolutionize their field. most artistically 10 BLEEP
www.redpenguingallery.com BLEEP 11
AWARDS by Rachael Mariboho
Once again, we at BLEEP are paying homage to our favorite moments from the 2011-2012 awards show season. Unlike other award shows that always have the same categories and predictable winners, we choose to give awards to the moments and people who made the award season memorable. One change from last yearâ€™s awards is that we now have our own award to give to the deserving winners: The Streep. Yes, artist Kristen Graham has created a likeness of the great Meryl Streep to hand out to our winners. Why did we choose her? Because there is no name more synonymous with excellence, class, talent and Oscar nominations than Meryl Streep. She epitomizes everything we admire about the celebrity world and we feel there is no higher honor a person from film, television or music can receive than a Streep. So, without further ado, here are the winners of the second annual BLEEP Awards.
Best Film Montage—British Academy of Film and Television Awards Once again, the BAFTA’s delivered a great film montage. Last year we honored them for their brilliant goodbye to the Harry Potter series. This year we honor them for the intense and moving way they presented the best moments in film in 2011. Also, using Florence and the Machine as the background music was a stellar choice. Best Performance by a Duo—Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy at the Golden Globes This charming husband and wife duo turned what is often a boring introduction into a funny song reminding everyone that though winning is good, losing is blah, blah, blah, blah.
Best Performance by a Group— Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy, Martha Plimpton, Edie Falco, Tina Fey, and Laura Linney At first, it seemed like a prank that Amy Poehler was pulling on the Emmy audience. Her name is announced as a nominee in the Best Actress in a Comedy Series category; and, instead of smiling benignly in her seat like nominees are supposed to, Poehler struts onto the stage and poses like a beauty queen waiting to hear if she has won the pageant. The audience laughs and applauds, loudly with Poehler and then more effusively as each of the other five nominees walk up to the stage. While it is clear that this is the kind of stunt Poehler and Tina Fey would pull, the fact that the other heavyweights in the category went along with it is thrilling to the audience, who begin laugh at the joke as the applause dies down. And then something interesting happens. All of a sudden the audience realizes the breadth of talent on the stage, and a standing ovation led by Don Cheadle, Kate Winslet, and Melissa Leo begins. In that moment, these six incredible women reminded everyone that it was not so much about who won, but the fact that there were six great roles for females on television.
The Christoph Waltz Award for Best Foreign Language Winner—Jean Dujardin After Waltz won every acting award imaginable in 2009 for his role in Inglorious Bastards, and provided original and entertaining acceptance speeches each time he won, it seemed impossible that any winner could be as entertaining. And then came the mesmerizing Jean DuJardin. With his first win at the Golden Globes, where he started his speech with a story about his eyebrows, we were reminded that one of the joys of award season is the introduction of international stars whose performances transcend language barriers and hopefully award show acceptance speeches. DuJardin’s charm on screen is undeniable, but it is his joie de vivre off screen, along with his obvious attachment to Uggie, that has made watching him waltz away with Best Actor again and again so enjoyable. BLEEP 13
Best Shout-Out—Mindy Kaling Discusses Michael Fassbender Jane Eyre and X-Men: First Class were two of my favorite films last year, precisely because of Michael Fassbender, so it would have been nice for Fassbender to have a more of a presence at this season’s award shows. However, Kaling almost made up for the lack of Fassbender with her shout-out at the Critic’s Choice awards. Yes, Mindy, he is sexy for every type of woman.
Best Comeback Winner—Laura Dern at the Golden Globes Because she was in Jurassic Park, because she is amazing, because her talent has not been recognized the way it should be, because she wore a gasp inducing green dress, because the editor of BLEEP loves her, because she was in Jurassic Park…
Best New Tradition—The Scorsese drinking Game At the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy introduced the Scorsese’ drinking game: whenever you hear the word “Scorsese,” you take a drink. What it made it funny was the delivery by the three Bridesmaids stars; what it made it memorable was when Tina Fey and Steve Buscemi played along onstage during Buscemi’s acceptance speech for best actor in a drama series. And, kudos to the Bridesmaids cast for continuing the gag at the Oscars.
Most Overlooked Performance—Brad Pitt in Tree of Life This category was the toughest to decide; Michael Shannon in Take Shelter and Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton in Warrior all gave magnificent and woefully underrated performances this year. But we have to give the award to Pitt for The Tree of Life. Yes, he was good in Moneyball, and he received several accolades and numerous acting nominations for his role as Billy Beane, but that performance is nothing compared to his heartbreaking work in The Tree of Life. His performance is so nuanced and restrained that it takes awhile to recognize the depth of emotion he is portraying. George Clooney did a nice job playing a father trying to keep his family together in The Descendants, but with one devastating look, Pitt showed the tragedy that comes when father realizes he can never be the father, husband and provider that he truly wants to be. 14 BLEEP
Best Dressed—Octavia Spencer at the Golden Globes, Critic’s Choice, Screen Actor’s Guild, and Academy Award… Because she proved that you do not need to be Angelina Jolie thin to dress beautifully every time you win an award. Normalsize girls of the world salute you, Octavia.
Best Performances of the Year— Jessica Chastain in Everything She was wonderful in The Help and certainly deserving of an Oscar nomination for it, but her performance in that movie is even more impressive if you have seen her one of the other six films she was in 2011. My favorites are her turns as a young Helen Mirren in The Debt, the ethereal wife opposite the domineering Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life, and the supportive and practical wife of a man having apocalyptic visions in Take Shelter. At this rate, she will be winning her own Best Actress Oscar soon. Best Award Show Moment of the Entire Season—Meryl Streep Winning Her Third Oscar She is the greatest of all time and until this past Academy Awards it had been more than thirty years since she won an Oscar. It was her time, and it was the BLEEP award show moment of the year.
Honorary Bleep Award—Angelina Jolie’s Right Leg Mock her all you want, with one leg Angelina Jolie stole the night and proved her savvy. She knew she wouldn’t be a press-maven this time around - so she just stuck her leg out there and became the headline without saying anything. Brilliant.
m e l b o r p a s a h Trevor Zhou
with gravity Trevor Zhou’s new film, The Problem of Gravity, is his first foray into short-filmmaking. After picking up Stephen Kings’ book “On Writing,” he found him self inspired by the story. It got him thinking about his own childhood and his memories growing up.
Where did the concept of this film come from? I didn’t have many toys when I was a child as our family immigrated to America and started from scratch. My toys came from garage sales and classified ads. One day, I was perusing the classified section and found an ad selling two bins of comic books for $69. Two bins! So I called asking that they be held, then began trying to convince my parents to pay for them. After laying out a passionate argument about how reading comic books would increase my comprehension and reading speed, not to mention keep me out of trouble, they remained unconvinced but decided to humor me. I collected my bounty and fell into a world of imagination. I learned about the X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, Batman, Spiderman, Spidey (a silly version of Spiderman, laden with puns) and many more. It was also the first time I learned of Superman. I took to him immediately because he has a ton of superpowers like flying, invincibility, super strength, super speed, super vision, super breath and more. But the coolest thing about him is that his true identity IS his super identity whereas with other superheroes, their true identities are their everyday alter-egos. Plus, we were both immigrants. And so it was settled. I was going to be Superman when I grew up. I watched all of his movies and I dreamed of being able to fly. I also made myself feel weak whenever I encountered anything resembling kryptonite (essentially anything that was green). And this is where the idea for The Problem of BLEEP 17
Gravity originated. What’s the story about? What was compelling you to tell this specific story? The Problem of Gravity is about a young Brooklyn boy who one day, as he’s tossing a baseball in the air, sees a plane flying overhead and decides he wants to learn how to fly. The reason I wanted to tell this story is twofold. Firstly, because it is autobiographical and I wanted to share a personal experience I had growing up. I felt the story was touching, fun and simple enough for my first film. Secondly, I wanted to begin creating my own work as a filmmaker as I wasn’t feeling creatively fulfilled exclusively acting. I believed a short film would be a good vehicle for a crash course on how to make a film. Where do you start when you decide to make a short? I began with the story. Great films always begin with a great story. Once I had the idea, the script flowed out of me within an afternoon. I later had a reading of the script at the Asian American Film Lab where it was well received. I was surprised and excited that people enjoyed it because it was the first script I had written and I wasn’t expecting much. At this point, actually making the film hadn’t entered into my mind. I was just happy to have written a solid script. I sent it to a friend who is a cinematographer in order get some more feedback. He told me that he really liked it and said he would help me shoot it. I was floored. Following his response, the script became a short film. How many other people are involved with bringing something like this to life? Lots of different people are involved making a film a reality. When a good film happens, the stars align. In film, usually the director and actors get the spotlight, however, an incredible amount of time and energy from lots of people fulfilling various roles help bring a film to life. Having read numerous books on how to make a short film, I realized that with my budget, I would have 18 BLEEP
to take on a lot of the different responsibilities to make it work. However, I could not have done it without the help of the pre-production team, the production team, and the post-production team. I think over 50 people helped in making this film happen. What are you trying to accomplish with this film? With The Problem of Gravity I’m trying to tell an engaging story that kids and adults alike will “gravitate” toward. We were all kids once and the film nudges us back in touch with our imaginations, with dreaming big, chasing that dream and believing it will all work out in the end, even if not exactly the way you wanted it to. Professionally, I hope this film will be like a sort of calling card for myself as a filmmaker. I am interested in making engaging films with artistic integrity. Why are short films important in the landscape of cinema today? Short films are important for cinema as they provide a platform that allows directors to fully express themselves with a freedom not possible with a large-budget feature film allowing for more creative experimentation and risk. There really aren’t any rules to making a short film. The focus is usually on a single character/ event and can be told much more creatively than features, which tend to be more structurally formulaic. This openness to experimentation permits much more creative freedom, and this is where the magic begins. What’s next for you? I’m submitting The Problem of Gravity for a festival run. I’m currently trying to raise some money for festival submissions to gain as much exposure as possible. A few projects are in development right now. The first is a complete departure from the familyfilm genre. It’s a short film called The Lobby in which a tale is spun of surveillance, love, fish and murder. Another project is a collaboration for a comedic web series about a beer league hockey team. And lastly, I’m developing a short that puts a twist on the filmnoir genre. Lots of things on my plate, but then again, trying to make your career happen is a full time job.
Great films always begin with a
wed out of me.
Production photos courtesy of Trevor Zhou
Once I had the idea, the script flo
Women in Dance
Think dance is a woman’s game? Not according to Simone Sobers. The choreographer and director of the Legros Cultural Arts’ “Women in Dance” showcase talks with BLEEP about the importance of women’s voices being heard in the dance world. Photography by Michael Krasowitz
hantal Legros has a passion for the arts and through her organization, Legros Cultural Arts, she’s been mentoring the diverse talents and abilities of creative people all over New York City. During the month of March, Women’s History Month, Legros spent time showcasing women in music, dance, poetry and theatre. Inspired by the experience working with female dancers, Legros wanted to further mentor and engage women within the dance industry for longer than one month a year. Thus, the “Women in Dance” project was born. That’s when Simone Sobers was brought on board to direct the project. Sobers, who has her own dance company (Simone Sobers Dance), has traveled internationally presenting her work and her dance company, made up of women-of-color, sets out to increase the exposure of women-of-color in modern dance. “Our first year (2010), we selected 14 choreographers and we would meet with them over the course of ten months,” Sobers said. “We would meet each month and they would have a work-in-progress they would be working on. We would give them feedback on the work and tried to bring in different professionals to give feedback. After the months of work, the culminating performance took place at the Alvin Ailey theater.” In 2011, they downsized the number of choreographers accepted into the program and the first professional that was brought in to give feedback was three-time Emmy winner Debbie Allen. They brought in other women in the profession to mentor the choreographers, but they were able to give more
than just critiques to the women. The mentors were able to also help steer them in the right direction as far as what festivals to apply to and how to shape their careers to be successful within the dance industry. The most challenging aspect of the process for the choreographers? “Figuring out what advice to take,” Sobers said. “Each month they’re seeing a different person and they’re getting different critiques about their work. So I think the most challenging thing would be figuring out how to balance all the critiques and constructive criticisms they were getting about their work. The point of the project is to give emerging female choreographers a platform for their work and the ability to create a network among other choreographers. We want to bridge the gap between the emerging and the established choreographers.” It goes without saying that it’s difficult to be an emerging artist in any creative field, but Sobers says it’s particularly difficult to be an emerging female choreographer in the current dance world. “In my opinion, the dance industry tends to be very male dominated in the sense that there are tons of female dancers, but the choreographers, directors and artistic directors all tend to be men. That’s another reason why this is so important because it’s training women to step into those roles.” Up next, another season of the Women in Dance project and also the creation of an alumni network for the choreographers to continue to stay connected and work together in the future. “We want the project to keep expanding,” Sobers said. “We would love for this to be an international project where choreographers from all over the world come in and work together.”
Above: (L to R) Simone Sobers and Chantal Legros. Other photos taken at the “Women in Dance” showcase on January 19, 2012 by Michael Krasowitz. 24 BLEEP
Eliotte knows she can dance by Alex Wright
I swear this girl can do anything except flap her wings and fly. Eliotte Nicole and I grew up together in San Antonio, TX, and I can tell you from firsthand experience that everything Eliotte ventures to try, she succeeds at. We sang together in our high school choir and I was always amazed at Eliotte’s capability of being in a million places at once. She was involved in choir, theater, all of the honors classes and of course, dance. When you saw her dance, she lit the stage on fire. She was transfixing, elegant and out of this world. But before she started dancing, she trained to be an Olympic swimmer. It wasn’t until injuring herself at the age of 12 and having a growth spurt that threw off her training, that she gave up the Olympic path and start focusing on music. “I guess I always had natural flexibility, rhythm, and love of performance” Eliotte said. “I had always loved music—I had been singing and playing other instruments—and figured I would just try it, but then I fell in love with it. It initially started as therapy for my injury, but then it stuck.” In high school she picked up her passion of dance, something that’s quite astonishing when you consider most dancers of her caliber began dancing at a much younger age. She started taking classes at a studio and became involved in the pep squad, drill team and dance team. Her strong high school academics helped her receive a scholarship to Washington University in St. Louis, where she BLEEP 27
double majored in marketing and dance and began working as a dancer and choreographer at Cecil Slaughter’s Slaughter House Project. Due to all of the experience she gained during her time at Washington University, Eliotte remains a huge advocate of dancers going to college and recommends that dancers double major in dance and then something academic. “You can’t just have an empty brain as an artist,” she said. “There are so many other things that affect you as a person and as a creative brain to let it just be spent in the studio all day long; you need to be cultivating other parts of your mind.” While she knew in high school that a dance career was something she wanted to pursue and wasn’t merely a hobby, it wasn’t until her sophomore year of college that she began to take steps to set up a professional career. “I was more on the academic side, so I wasn’t very verbal about it, because I thought I wasn’t supposed to be— although I knew in my heart it’s what I wanted,” she said. “The light switched on in myself my sophomore year. I though, no, this what I want to do, I’m talented and I want to pursue it. So I began to go after it.” Her first big leap was auditioning for the Fox television dance show So You Think You Can Dance. She made it all the way to Vegas week, but was cut at the last round because she was too tall for the male dancers. However, her experience helped her make some extremely important contacts. Four years later, she continues to work professionally with the choreographers of the show including Mia Michaels, Napoleon & Tabitha D’umo (Nappytabs) and Adam Shankman. Eliotte utilized her college summers by moving to New York and running the audition circuit and it seemed that the Big Apple was the obvious path for her. However, her agent at MSA, one of the top dance agencies in the nation, thought she should try the commercial route in Los Angeles before navigating the concert and Broadway realm in New York. “My career path is almost exactly what I expected and different at the same time,” she explains. “I did
the college thing, which is always the big debate in this industry. College felt like my waiting period, and after that, my career would take off. If I had moved to New York, I would have worked off the bat because I had people that wanted to work with me. Moving to Los Angeles made me start from scratch. A lot of the time spent here has been establishing myself. It takes time.” Needless to say, it didn’t take her long to get professional work: after two weeks in Los Angeles, she performed at the Ford Amphitheater, and a week later she assisted on a music video. Since then, she has done a comedy spot on Conan, numerous live performances, worked several times at Choreographer’s Carnival— acting as both choreographer and dancer—and performed at the MTV Video Music Awards with Neyo. “It’s about being right for the job. It’s about things that are out of your control. Hardly ever is it just about dancing. Accepting that and dealing with that is something I didn’t expect.” She says that the most important advice she has for aspiring dancers is being knowledgeable of not only the entertainment business, but also of the history of dance. “Knowing who and what comes before you is crucial because it informs you how everything has influenced and inspired the work that exists today.” Furthermore, she says that dancers really need to know themselves and their passion: the more knowledgeable you are of your talent and capabilities, the more confidence you will have to enter auditions and not hold back. “Know that growth happens not only in a learning environment but in every single moment. Be sensitive to the details at the beginning so you can perform to the fullest throughout.” I ask her what has been the biggest difference between being a student and suddenly being a professional, and her answer speaks volumes about who she is as an artist and as a person: she says that it’s about “keeping artistry as king. Trust your education and commit your whole self to the performance in order to allow the message to come across to the audience. You are sharing your soul.”
"Know that growth happens not only in a learning environment but in every single moment."
Photos courtesy of Eliotte Nicole
Thereâ€™s more BLEEPing than just in the mag. Check out www.bleepmag.com for past issues and find us on Facebook and Twitter.
FREE DOW REMIX NLOA D 2012 has already seen Olugbenga tour Japan, Australia, Italy and the UK, gaining much acclaim for his original and innovative DJ sets. With forthcoming dates including Kendal Calling (UK), Soundwave Festival (Croatia) and a debut to tour of Russia, Olugbenga is about to step things up another level with the first release of his own productions. In the mean time, he presents a remix for Berlin based singer/ songwriter Jim Kroft - an artist who is making some blissful waves in the scene. Head over to his Soundcloud to download the remix! www.soundcloud.com/olugbenga
Tony peniche Weâ€™re hanging out with one of the industryâ€™s most interesting up-and-coming designers
Where did you grow up? I’m originally from San Diego, as a teenager I moved to Portland, Oregon with my family, post grunge movement. School? Higher education? In high school, I was a dedicated athlete and really into health and fitness. After graduating, I went on to Western Oregon University and studied exercise science. After a couple years, I realized I was unfulfilled creatively, so I transferred to The Art Institute of Portland.
Photo to right by Scott James
At what point did you realize you had an eye for creating fashion? I remember as a child, I enjoyed using my hands to build things and in elementary school I discovered a passion for oil painting. I was introduced to fashion when my older sister gave me a “make over” I guess you can say. Not [with] make up, just clothes. She took me to the mall, bought me a new wardrobe, to the hair salon where they cut off my long shaggy blond hair and then convinced me to wear my first leather jacket to school the next day. I remember walking into class feeling like a dork and a bit awkward wondering what my classmates, the middle school critics, would think. To my
Photo on previous page by Levy Moroshan
Where are you based now? Why? I’m based in the heart of downtown Portland, where I’ve fallen in love with the music, art scene and its eclectic culture. There is an amazing creative energy here and a continuous source of inspiration.
surprise, everyone was blown away by my sketches could make it to the trash, I’d made the transformation. I was so amazed by the positive decision I was going to quit studying Exercise response a new image or look could produce Science and I was going to pursue Fashion. that from that day forward, fashion became a major part of my life. What was the first piece of clothing you designed? How was this design significant to The morning of November 18, 2006, I woke up you? to probably 30 sketches I had created the night I designed my first pieces on Christmas break before, after watching the movie “Requiem For of 2006. I worked with a seamstress creating A Dream”. While I was cleaning up the mess of a couple jackets and knit tops. The moment I papers on my living room floor, I noticed the threw on the samples and looked in the mirror, outfits I sketched were pretty awesome and I knew I found my place and the title “designer” unique. It was in that moment, before the pile of was exactly who I was and what I wanted to
“The moment I threw on the samples and looked in the mirror, I knew I found my place.”
Photos by Michael Zaugg
be. I remember feeling anxious about what lay impact and be more artistic. ahead. It would be a long and winding road with a lot to learn along the way. You have a diverse resume that includes everything from web design to photography. At what point did you get into modeling? How did you become so diversified? I’m not a model but I also haven’t turned down Some people see the many things I do as being hired as one either and have done a few extra work, but honestly, I just love all facets things here and there which, of coarse, is fun of the creative process and exploring all areas and always flattering. I think the experience I that have to do with fashion and developing do have modeling has really helped me in my my brand. I want everything I do to be a true own photography and understanding of the representation of my vision. So it is imperative other side, but ultimately, I prefer being behind to be hands on, doing not only my fashion the camera. That’s where I feel I can have more designs, but also my website, videos, photos,
Photo by Levy Moroshan
etc… giving me freedom to express my vision What has been the most challenging aspect of the way I see it. launching your line? When it comes to launching a line, I’ve learned How do you juggle everything that’s on your there are many challenges you can run into plate? without fully understanding the steps involved. Well, I don’t have much of a choice. This is I get excited about my ideas, and want to get my dream and passion, so it’s important that them out there while they’re fresh before I I keep my priorities in order. Some would say come up with another idea. But it doesn’t work that staying secluded, working most weekends that way. It’s a long process. For me, learning instead of being out with friends is a sacrifice, to be patient has been my biggest challenge. but to me, its not. Obviously, if I felt it wasn’t Learning the business, manufacturing and worth it, I wouldn’t be doing it and so far I’m distribution takes time and a lot of planning. So really enjoying this journey. as an artistic person, being patient and having to sit on my ideas isn’t always easy. What’s more Where does your inspiration come from when difficult is being consistent with the line before you’re designing your clothing line? jumping into new ideas and allowing the line For me, inspiration comes from everywhere, to grow. the irony of life, perceptions and ideas, which is what inspired my “Killing Beverly” collection What is your dream and how do you plan on a few years ago. Music is another place I draw reaching it? inspiration from. Not being a musician, I had My dream is to inspire the “Beautiful Rebellion” always been a bit envious of the creative outlet in everyone. That’s my message and that’s what musicians have through performing and the my brand symbolizes. The definition of“Beautiful ability to express themselves with a message Rebellion” is about love and individualism, with to the world. I’ve learned that through fashion, an equal voice for all. It’s also about our own I too have that ability. I can speak volumes inner battles and insecurities that restrict us to the world with out making a sound. I don’t from taking action. “Beautiful Rebellion” allows have to be a vocalist or guitarist to entertain an us to explore our inner selves, seeking out audience. I can produce a show, a fashion show individual truth and passion for anyone who where Rock & Roll can be worn, not just listened dares to embrace it or wear it. My passion is too. spreading this message to the world.
TIMELESS style Photography by Amber Danese Grandfield
GREEN accessories 48 BLEEP
I don’t consider myself a green person and I prefer to wear high heels over Birkenstocks. I’m a city girl inside and out and looking cute usually trumps all. If my lip gloss is made of small children, I really don’t care because honestly, I look good with my moist looking lips. This all changed when I saw on Facebook that my friend was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. I messaged her and it took some time due to our schedules but we finally decided to meet up. One of my hobbies is to give my friends make-overs and when I asked her if she’d like one she responded emphatically: “Yes!” When I met her at her apartment in Brooklyn, she was still the same beautiful girl I knew but with shorter hair and a twinge more vulnerable. She chatted about the unbelievable hardships she faced for the past year (in the most cheerful and upbeat way possible) and I got a fuller picture of what her life was truly like behind the brave and cheerful status updates on Facebook. When I began her makeover, I began putting foundation on her and she said: “Do you know what’s in this? My doctor said to avoid sunscreens because of the toxins in them...” and she began talking about everyday drugstore sunscreens that were laced with toxins. My mind thought: “What the @#%$ am I putting on your face? Will it make you sicker?” I felt a pit in my stomach. And while my friend loved her look at the end, I knew in my heart that something had to change. I realized I needed to educate myself and make more conscious decisions about the beauty products I used. I don’t consider myself a “green” guru, I consider myself someone who loves fashion and beauty but with a critically thinking mind. There is no great dichotomy here: you can look great and be conscious about where your products come from. With this new found critical eye, I am looking at fashion and beauty in a different way. I’m not getting angry and pissed off about it because an angry expression isn’t flattering and quite frankly who wants to be around someone like that? Instead, I look at the makeup, fashion and design with a fresh pair of eyes and I’m excited about what I’ll discover. -Natalie Kim
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Natalie Kim is a comedic actress living in New York City. More info can be found on her website at www.nataliekim.com. More than an actress, Natalie is also a writer and artist. Her web series, “SuperTwins” was featured in the September issue of BLEEP last year and can be viewed at www.SuperTwins.tv
HAIL THE RIGHT BRAIN is the adorable duo of Veronica and Kelly Chan. These two sisters create duct tape wallets as an alternative to leather. Where did Hail The Right Brain originate from? KC: It was surprisingly difficult to come up with a moniker for our project when we started, but shame aside, ‘Hail the Right Brain’ was a line lifted from a poem written by Incubus front man (and admitted teenage crush) Brandon Boyd. People still compliment us on the name and you’re one of the first to know that it’s not wholly original, but I think we’ve done a good job finding our own meaning for it. VC: Since the right side of the brain is the “creative” side, we thought it was a fitting name for a project that started off as a creative outlet to ease our minds from academics. I mean, who wants to do homework when you get home from school?
experience. Since the both of us work at tech companies, we spend most of the day staring at the computer screen. Being able to channel our creative energy into producing an actual tangible object is really cathartic. Nothing quite beats the feeling of making a crisp new wallet.
When did you start the company? KC: We started my freshman year of high school, in 2003, when I was determined to raise money to attend a concert. We ended up raising more than enough money, but my entrepreneurial streak got the better of me and I ditched the concert idea and invested the money right back into the business. VC: Shortly after Kelly made her first wallet, the two of us decided to team up on the project together and expand the project into an actual business. Since we were both in school, it was nice to make a little extra spending cash doing something fun. Initially we sold them to our close friends, then to our other classmates and eventually we’d take monthly weekend trips to Brooklyn, selling them at a couple consignment How do you enjoy working with each other? KC: Veronica and I have always shared freakishly shops in Williamsburg. similar taste when it comes to anything visual. For instance, when we go clothes shopping together, it is Why duct tape? uncanny how we know what shirt, jacket or dress the KC: As we hear all the time, countless teenagers have other is eyeing, and why the other one would pick it experimented with duct tape to make accessories. up and/or put it down. So when we started Hail the The DIY look is patently counterculture. But we’ve Right Brain, we fell right into our old ways; we would been trying to turn the duct tape wallet into always agree on what concepts, themes and designs something more refined, give it a sort of renaissance; worked best in our eyes, down to the smallest detail some people actually confuse our products for leather goods. We actually like to consider our wallets like the angle of a square of origami on a wallet. VC: Not to get all mushy, but making and designing as small works of art, with the focus being on the wallets with Kelly can be quite a sisterly bonding individual designs. The duct tape is kind of secondary 50 BLEEP
to that, but we love that people feel OK plastering their wallets with stickers and wearing them down into truly unique objects, because it’s just duct tape after all. Sometimes our wallets get the most compliments when the design is practically falling off and the pockets are stuffed with receipts. Why wallets? What do you enjoy about creating them? KC: Again, making a duct tape wallet seems to be a fairly common coming-of-age experiment. Constructing a wallet out of a roll of tape is a challenge that has definite appeal; you are making one thing out of a material totally meant for something else. And duct tape is pretty much found in every house, so what better way to pass the time in the suburbs? Making something with your hands is not something you get to do often these days, at least not for my sister and me. What is your process in choosing designs? How often do you change it up? VC: The design process isn’t quite a “process” per se, it’s more akin to trial and error. We’ve got an impressive collection of clippings boxed up in our closet which we add to every so often consisting of magazine tear outs, picture books we’ve salvaged from Salvation Army and scraps of inspiration accumulated from trips abroad. After we make a large batch of wallets, we’ll typically pour out the box onto our dining table and shuffle everything around until it feels right. KC: It’s a fun though sometimes painful process, because when the images and colors aren’t fitting right, it’s very frustrating. But when they do, it’s a total eureka moment, and we sometimes get very attached to designs we’ve made because they seem so perfect.
VC: The collages on our wallets are made almost solely from recycled images, outdated calendars, rescued old magazines, posters, used wrapping paper, ads and postcards. It’s a lot of fun turning these discarded images into something worthy of attention. What are the future plans for the HTRB brand? KC: I’d love to just keep getting our work out there as much as possible. We’ve had a lot of luck with craft fairs and festivals. And it would be great to collaborate with more artists and use our wallets as a way of spreading fine art in ‘pop’ formats. VC: To expand on Kelly’s point, I’ve always aspired for our wallets to become a medium to serve as a canvas to showcase the work of emerging artists. I admire what Jen Bekman (20x200) and Alexis Tryon (Artsicle) are doing to make art more affordable and accessible in innovative ways and it’d be awesome to follow a similar path. During a brainstorming session at a Skillshare class about how to bring art and community together, I fleshed out grand plans to go on a travelling trunk show, displaying our wallets in galleries, and working together with local artists along the way. Ultimately, this is a passion for both Kelly and me. We’ll see if our ambitious plans for expansion makes sense in the long run, but for now, we’re pretty happy continuing to share our craft with people who love what we do.
Is there such thing as “green” duct tape KC: I’d say our product is green in certain ways but not in others. We can’t pretend that duct tape is a highly biodegradable material, as it is made of plastic sealed cloth mesh. However, our wallets are definitely a more environmentally friendly alternative to a lot of wallets out there. It only takes a few precisely cut strips of tape to make each wallet, and the product can last you a while depending on how you use it. And I would say that our designing process is actually very ‘green’ because we source the bulk of our images from recycled paper, things that were probably headed into the trash can if not intercepted by us. Ever since we started making wallets, every magazine, ad, flyer, or poster that crosses our path has been seen as a potential element of collage. This is why our closet looks like a giant recycled paper plant, because it kind of is. BLEEP 51
Kat Roberts is an independent designer living Brooklyn, NY. Her collection, Whitehaus, is created from unusual combinations of colors, materials and various vintage and recycled pieces. She makes all of her work is by hand and with an emphasis on the creations that are one of a kind. In addition to her work as a designer, she also works as an artist, fashion instructor and on her recycled DIY blog We Can Re-Do It. When did you first start designing jewelry? It’s been about three, maybe four years now. I was doing a lot of technical accessory design at the time and was desperate to add a creative process to my day-to-day that I went about totally organically. Making jewelry turned out to be the perfect answer. It definitely saved me from getting crazy burned out at my job. How would you describe your jewelry? It’s all stays pretty personal. I have a lot of different styles, but I feel that my aesthetic can still be seen pretty clearly from piece to piece no matter how varied and eclectic they may be they may be. What is the type of person that would wears your stuff? For the most part, my pieces are far from bashful and tend to attract customers of a similar temperament. Why do you use recycled materials? Moving to New York years ago gave me a different appreciation for garbage than I had previously. There is something about having to see it everywhere that puts the magnitude of how wasteful we all are in proper context. As faithful a recycler as I may be, I still couldn’t ignore the mountain of scraps my creative activities produced. The practice of viewing the scrap 52 BLEEP
material in fresh ways sort of enabled me to pull back and apply this new way of seeing to rest of my life. Now I can usually find new purpose for pretty much any item that once upon a time I would have just tossed out. Do you use it on all of your designs? Not all, at least, not yet. Originally the recycled pieces were more for me than for customers, but the practice is totally contagious. What had started out as just a few designs has now turned into the majority of my work. Even pieces lacking recycled materials generally contain at least one vintage element, so the idea is always present somewhere in there. Where do you get inspiration from? I find inspiration everywhere, sometimes just from the materials themselves. What are your thoughts about following trends vs. making trends? I don’t give too much thought to trends. I certainly, can’t say that I don’t love when trends put things I love into wide availability, but as far as the way I dress or how I create, for better or worse, it doesn’t really factor in. Any special plans coming up? I’ve been working on a lot of new designs that are will be going up in my Etsy store in the next couple of weeks. I’m getting into territory that is entirely new to me, so I’m really excited to see how it goes over. How do you want the wearer of your accessories to feel? Because all the work I do is created by hand, in really limited editions, if not one of a kind, I’d like the person wearing it to feel like they’ve been given something special, that’s unique to them. This is part of the avoiding trends thing. I’d like to think that what I make will continue to be loved by my customers long after the current season’s trends have come and gone.
r e g g o l b WE love “Recycling is something that I take very seriously. I view the ability to re-purpose, reclaim, up-cycle and reconstruct as an art form. This, and the desire not to have the same thing as anyone else, is what my personal aesthetic is formed around.” Kat Roberts has taken her love for recycling and turned it into a blog to teach others how to make use of what might have seemed useless. She says one of her biggest creative inspirations has been Frankenstein because, “there is a lot to learn from the good doctor’s commitment to putting what was available to use.” So she’s been combining scraps, various thrift store finds and whatever she could find to then transform those things into something new and different. And in the slew of DIY blogs out there, Kat stands out in that she not only shows you how to make it, but if you’re just not handy or strapped for time, she makes her accessories and clothing available for purchase at her Etsy store, Whitehaus. It’s for these reasons that she’s our “Blogger We Love.” For more information on Kat and her work, check out her blog and her Etsy store.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/whitehaus www.wecanredoit.blogspot.com BLEEP 53
from Simba to the sea
Where did you grow up? Houston. I sang in church and sang in choir but it wasn’t until I got to high school that I was sure it was what I wanted to do. I went to a high school for the performing arts.
What else is a perk of performing on cruise ships? The ability to travel and see the most amazing places in the world. Most people spend all year saving to spend a week there and you get to go there for months at a time and get paid to be there.
What did you study in high school? I studied film and television filmmaking and screen writing but realized I spent most of my time in the theater and dance departments. By my sophomore it was obvious my major was not the right major for me. I did a summer theater workshop in Houston and from there, I focused on performing.
What do you do before you go into an audition? If possible, I’ll try and reference the show through the score, cast album or, if possible, by seeing the show itself.
As you enter that final call-back, what do you do to prepare? As I’m walking into the room, I’m trying not to think of the enormity of the audition, but rather that they really must like me and what I do and want me to do well. That helps me to remain focused. Knowing that I’m not a number at this point, but, rather someone they know What did you like about Canada? by name. Someone that they asked to see that day. The I felt like, in terms of openness, they were just so far number one thing I do as the stakes get higher is to know ahead of Texas for sure, but even New York in a lot of that “Whatever God has in store for me, is for me and me ways. I felt like Toronto is like New York but cleaner, nicer only.” So, I’m not competing with anyone else. But, rather and more accepting. competing with myself to do the best job I can and then let go, because then it’s out of my hands. What came next? I did cruise ships. What I love about ships is the length of What’s next? work is much longer than most people do outside of a Headed out to perform on a cruise that will sail to production contract. I love the fact that from a financial Vancouver and Alaska first and then down to the point of view, you have six or seven months of steady Caribbean for the last month and a half. work as opposed to six or seven weeks if you’re lucky. 56 BLEEP
Photos by Ryan Brinson
What was your first big show? The Lion King. I was working for Disney World when I auditioned in Orlando. Three months after the callback, I got a call from the producers to come to New York for another callback. There was a four or five day workshop – learned choreography and music. They tried the Simba head-gear on me and then I didn’t hear anything for another four months. Then I got the call to be in the Toronto cast. I was in the cast for two years and I stayed there for another six months because I just loved Canada.
Walk us through your most recent audition. I attended a chorus call. A few days later I got the first of what turned out to be four call-backs. I was given sides to prepare after the first call-back, then learned a dance combination for the second. The third and fourth consisted of me singing and dancing again for the entire production team.
Photos and story by Joaquin Abrego
Ashley White “Eventually Everything Connects” Eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” This contemporary, organically inspired, geometric design is meant to exemplify the architectural philosophy of Charles & Ray Eames. Made entirely of wool felt in an organic motif, each square is cleverly hand-cut and interlocked into one another to create an intricately “connected” pattern. The importance of form, flow, and overall feel were taken into consideration. No one aspect should outweigh another. The reverse side of the chair is hand painted with quotes from the Eames spouses regarding their perception of what makes a “good design”.
hat happens when you give 20 designers an opportunity to use an iconic chair as a blank canvas? Well that is exactly what Herman Miller and Workplace Resource wanted to find out. So they partnered with the IIDA San Antonio City Center and Say Si to present 20 of the Eames Molded Plastic Chairs to 20 talented San Antonio designers. The Challenge: What inspires you? The designers were given a little over a month to design their chairs and the rules were simple: keep the form of the chair and keep the overall footprint the same. Other than that, it was a no holds barred contest. The grand prize, the Eames Lounge chair and ottoman custom to the winners specifications. Proceeds of the event and auction helped benefit the Say Si non-profit multidisciplinary arts program which provides opportunities for artistic and social development for San Antonio’s youth. Now for those who are not familiar with the chair, let us rewind a bit. Charles and Ray Eames were a husband and wife design team that revolutionized furniture back in the 1940’s & 50’s. Their contributions to the industry stood the test of time and managed to successfully walk the line between aesthetics and functionality. Their accomplishments are too numerous to list but none was more iconic and easily recognized as the Eames Molded Plastic Chair. It was created in 1948 originally out of fiberglass and introduced by the Herman Miller Furniture company in 1951 with 6 base options. Charles and Ray’s experimentation with molding plastics and bent wire allowed them to create the first mass produced one-piece plastic chair making them some of the most revolutionary and ground breaking designers ever. Fast forward to 2012 and take a look at how 20 designers decided to adapt and re-imagine the classic chair into an art piece. Tell us what you think about the designs and if you agree with the judges selections. Go to our Facebook page to share your thoughts.
Cecilia Gutierrez “Regeneration of a Classic” The regeneration of a classic… inspired by nature and timeless design.
Anissa Chettouh Untitled The fabrication of the design is based on the geometric partitions of the chair. It is intended to find the hidden structure of a curved plane while expressing it in a decomposed state.
UTSA IIDA Group “Pack Me” Discarded packing peanuts were used as a module to create pattern, depth and texture.
Anne Galmore & Erin Groffman Untitled By definition, an optical illusion is something that deceives one’s eyes and causes such an experience. Our chair provides a trick of the eye with color, pattern and materials.
Denise Miranda & Shane Valentine “Dancing Calaveras”
Our inspiration comes from Mexico’s unique culture of native legends, art, artistic expressions, music and craft traditions.
Inda Hahn Untitled
Jennifer Castillo “Poco De Gall”
The Eames [chair] made structure and nature one. This is going green 1949 style B***h. “Believe that!” - Ice Cube
I wanted to bring vibrant colors and a playful design to a chair that is known for its beautiful modern shape.
Karina Garza “The Branding Chair” This chair was inspired by a seldom noticed symbol which characterizes their brand, the Eames Office Logo.
Leigh Anne Seale “Acapulco” Derived from my love of summer and sunshine, the base is meant to resemble a hammock and the seat resembles my beach towel.
Rebecca Hupp “Captured” My love of structure and symmetry lead me to take the organic form of the Eames chair and incorporate a rigid geometric design. The String Compositions series by artist Sue Fuller, Music, and New York City also inspired my design.
Susan Sellers “Corked” My concept was derived from a material that could be recycled. I chose the wine corks I had been collecting for recycling to change the chair’s texture in an organic fashion.
Say Si: Christin Englemert & Frances Baca Untitled Cosmic representational imagery with equally humorous and clever swine imagery.
Tara Mitchell “Design Uncorked” The intent of this design was to incorporate natural elements within a chair that is composed of completely man-made materials.
“I’m GAGA for this CHER” Inspired by fashion, freedom, expression, acceptance, music and iconic entertainers. This design has an in-your-face, love me or hate me attitude and makes no apologies for being different. In fact, it strives to be different and refuses to play it safe or settle for normal.
Jennifer Blakemore & Tony Abilez “10 things I love about you”
This chair is a small but significant symbol of what is positive and sure in this world…love. Love comes from kindness, honesty and inspiration. It can be directed toward an object or a person. This chair has inspired its artists to show their love through its simple form. 1. You’re super ticklish. 2. You invented “huggles” an ingenious combination of hugging and cuddling. 3. You’re good at everything that I’m not. (Which is a lot by the way.) 4. You took me skydiving against my will. 5. Your number one fantasy is to swim in a giant bowl of mac and cheese. 6. You’re my best friend. 7. You don’t know you’re perfect. 8. Your idea of a good time is being with me. 9. I’ve never laughed so much with anyone else. 10. You love me for who I am.
Vanessa Pevey “Sound Design”
For the Good Design Challenge, I combined two things I am very passionate about, music and design. From a very early age, music has been an integral part of my life, acting as a creative and emotional outlet for me. The records breaking apart into varying shapes and sizes and spreading across the chair represent the countless ways that ideas, designs, art and music can spread and morph into something beyond its original intent.
“Golden Throne Chair” With my interest in art and history, I decided to bring history back to life with the Pharaoh, King Tut. To me, The Eames chair’s shape resembles Tut’s Headpiece. This is where I found my inspiration to re-create him. The Golden Throne is finished with an airplane-type paint making it functional to sit in.
Maria Dominguez & Henry Keller “Icons + Mentors”
[I paired] up with San Antonio artist, Henry Keller, to emblazon a white Eames chair with a symbolic image of fashion icon Coco Chanel. Both shared simple and refined design philosophies, and a commitment to their respective visions.
With Papel Picado as inspiration, this classic Eames chair embodies San Antonio’s Latino culture and celebration of design.
Purple Crush has been making dance music for years. With the resurgence of dance music into the top 40, they are ready to make even more people move. We talk Madonna & making the transition from NYC to L.A.
Purple Crush has done production work for Lady Gaga, Greyson Chance and Little Boots and have been frequent remixers for Cherry Tree/Interscope Records including for Far East Movement and Natalia Kills. They’ve been working for years, toured the globe and are taking Los Angeles by storm. Originally from Brooklyn, the duo talks their music, their style and Madonna. Where did the band start? How did it form? Isla: We met at art school in LA. I was studying dance and Jared was studying music. I dropped out after a year and moved to New York to pursue a career as a professional modern dancer. A year later, Jared followed and we almost immediately started making music. Photo by Mr. Means
What led you to your sound? Isla: I was a Madonna wannabe. I was like ‘Jared, make me the next Madonna.’ So there was a real phase of me pulling him away from the learned. I was approaching music as a dancer, so I didn’t have the theory. It was about how it made me feel or BLEEP 69
Photo by Ani
how it affected my movement. Jared: I think there’s always an element of unlearning what you learn. You have to learn what makes people dance, not what some nerdy guy in his room is saying. Jared started playing jazz music in Seattle when he was young, but it was while working at a music store that he discovered techno music. Jared: I bought a drum machine and knew that’s where it was at. I learned as much about producing on the side as I could. I know all the theory. Jazz theory is basically a Swiss Army Knife of classical theory – what you really need to know. As far as making music, I know what key it’s in, what chords to use and for remixes, I know how to harmonize. If you know how to build a bird house, it will be easier to build something else with wood. Isla: I had an English teacher in high school that would always say ‘you have the tightrope walkers that are skilled but it’s the clowns that walk across the tightrope and pretends to fall that are the masters.’ Jared: In a lot of DJ music I listen to, they aren’t even in the same key. In that way, I had to pretend to not know what I was doing. Isla: Once we started moving away from DJ culture and come to pop music, the ability to know the song structure became important. We were a part
of the rise of electro that started in Brooklyn in the early 2000’s and is now all over pop radio. In the last couple years, we watched our culture get usurped by the major labels and it’s been amazing to see how electro has infiltrated the main stream. It’s cool to see our community has influenced culture without referencing where it comes from. Your
performances are incredibly energetic. What other live performers do you admire? Isla: I would say MIA is a big influence. Her performances are kind of chaos but there’s something exciting. As a dancer, I was in modern dance and I was really involved in improvisation. When we started making music, it was when Britney was at her peak and everything was so calculated. I wasn’t so fond of what’s going on at the time, though I look at it now with early Britney stuff and I get nostalgic. Jared: As far as the music goes, it’s kind of like alchemy. I’m always thinking ‘this song is going to be 90’s industrial music mixed with 80’s freestyle. I like to fuse things together and come up with something new. Isla: We’ve been trying to bring Jared’s guitar back into dance music. In 2005, our band was getting blogged all over the world through MySpace, and we were booked in Europe and all over the world. Because of permits, we couldn’t bring his guitar so he BLEEP 71
had to be a computer DJ. We’ve been trying to bring it back. Jared: Our music is an awkward fusion of different things. There’s hard rock, grunge, 90’s rave and techno. Isla: It’s so redundant to say Madonna but it’s almost like I went to the school of Madonna as a kid. Jared will lay down all kinds of tracks and I will lay down a very Madonna-esque pop melody. The song “Sweat” is my most Madonna song yet. Where does your style come from? Isla: 1984 got ingrained in me and just won’t leave. I was a dancer so I lived in lycra and cut off shirts. I’ve never taken leg warmers off. I sorta dress like a 5 year old. These days, we’re rockin’ a lot of plaid. We’re both from Seattle so there’s that grunge influence from our youth. I’m really into bright colors. The whole origin of Purple Crush is that literally, “purple” was one of my first words. “Crush” because Jared had a crush on me. Why did you move to L.A? Isla: We’re married and we have this dynamic within each other. I am a serial New Yorker and I have such a hard time not being in New York. Jared: I don’t need to be there to be happy. Isla: I want to interject that we’ve found that L.A. is pretty incredible. I had that sort of typical New York chip on my shoulder when it came to L.A. when in fact, the creativity that’s happening here is really exciting. We’ll do a video or a photoshoot with a friend, and then suddenly a stylist will show up and a make-up artist will show up and they’re just in it for the sake of the art. We’ve never been surrounded by such a
fertile community. It’s definitely opened my mind. Jared: A lot of make-up artists are doing that as a day job and maybe they aren’t doing it where they dream to be doing it – so when they get a chance to do it for artists they like, they will do it for free. What’s your dream? At what point will you feel like you’re a success? Isla: I think having our music on the radio and on the charts. We can’t seem to let go of that dream. But the industry is changing so much so it’s really hard to say where we’re headed. If that format doesn’t exist in the future, then I guess having as many fans as possible and having our music infiltrating worldwide. There was a moment when we were in Paris and it had taken us so long to get to that point. We had just been grinding in New York for so long, I mean, when we started making music, YouTube didn’t even exist. It was almost impossible to get yourself out there. We were in a hotel in Paris and I got really emotional because we had accomplished a goal. We were traveling, people were loving our music and we had done it ourselves. I will always look at that as a landmark moment and I’m looking forward to the next one. What’s next? Isla: We have launched a weekly dance party in L.A. – Bird Haus – and it’s a dance, music and performance art event. We’ve got music videos for “New Me” coming out soon and a video for “Loverboy” as well. We are planning on following up quickly with an LP.
“Welcome 2 The Underground” is out now. Check it out on Spotify and be sure to download it on Amazon or iTunes. For more information about Purple Crush, head over to their website at www.purplecrush.com and be sure to follow the band on Facebook & Twitter.
Heisman more than a
Robert Griffin III recently picked up his Heisman trophy award in New York and will make a return trip in the coming months for the NFL draft. If you are even a casual college football fan, you know of his incredible arm, running ability and Superman socks. You may even remember he began the first several games of the season with more touchdown passes than incompletions. Countless articles dwell on his athletic accolades in football as well as track and barely mention the huge segment of his life outside a sports stadium. While Robert will go down in history as a Baylor great, I will always remember him as a scholar. Let me introduce you to Robert, as a first year graduate student before the life-changing Baylor 2011 football season.
Photo by Caesar Scott
slept and are more likely to be at the library than at the football game on Saturday. Truthfully, some members of our program felt insulted rather than privileged that the quarterback chose our program. Another jock thinking the communication department will be a piece of cake. Personally I was excited to meet RG3 the football player, but would be equally excited to watch him squirm if the course work proved to be harder than he was expecting. I had two of my three classes with Robert that semester. The first was a three-hour long seminar on Organizational Communication. When he came into class we were all trying so hard not to give him special treatment that I’m afraid we came off pretty cold. No one wanted to be the one rushing for The Communication and Digital an autograph or gushing about Media Master’s program received the upcoming season. It took time, an email that Robert Griffin III, star but he steadily proved himself. He quarterback, would be joining our wasn’t the one constantly raising small program in the spring. In most his hand with the answer, but graduate student minds this was he was never tripped up when a blip on the radar. The majority of the professor blitzed him with a students in our program did not go to random question. It was in this Baylor as undergrads; most weren’t even from Texas. class that I realized Robert may be “Mr. Cool” on the Graduate students are typically over-worked, under- field, but inside he is a huge goofball. We were privy
to his cartoonish sock collection long before he revealed them on national TV. His classroom snack habits were even louder than his socks. Most days he chomped his way through an entire sleeve of graham crackers. Imagine this, graham crackers in a graduate class: we’re in the middle of discussing a scholarly article and the professor is making a point and all the sudden…CRUNCH….CRUNCH….CRUNCH… all eyes to Robert. He’s slightly embarrassed, shrugs his shoulders, and we all try (unsuccessfully) to keep from busting out laughing. I got to know Robert better in the Future of Digital Media class we took with only 5 or 6 other students. In this class we were each responsible for managing a group of undergrads through a series of projects. In addition to digital media topics, we discussed our leadership successes and failures with the undergrad team members. I’m not sure leadership as a character trait can be defined, but it was apparent from Day 1 that Robert had it. While the rest of us struggled to get our group’s attention and time, it seemed effortless for him. When the day came for mid-semester presentations, Robert’s group was scheduled to go first. We were expecting mediocre at best. He absolutely awed the room. The topic was Augmented Reality in Digital Media. Their presentation was smart, funny and (each of the grad students agreed later) the best one given. It seems obvious that a quarterback would perform well in high-stakes, stressful situations, but this doesn’t always translate to the classroom. Personally, he proved to be different from the stereotypical big-time college athlete too. A friend and I were at Subway and ran into Robert just before our next class. We were late so he offered to drive us across the street back to campus. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but a mini-van wasn’t it. I continued to be impressed by how down-to-earth he was. After a few playful jabs, Robert told me early on to absolutely NOT call him Bobby. In an effort to bring him down a notch, I called him Bobby consistently, much to his chagrin. I think he lightened up to it after a while, and with every class it became evident to me that he didn’t need to be brought down a notch. He was a pretty humble guy in the first place. Despite all of his other commitments, he never missed a class, he attended pizza parties and on a rare night off he even brought his fiancée Rebecca to our year-end graduate celebration. Through the past season, I watched him ace dozens
of interviews and an emotionally-charged, nationallytelevised acceptance speech for the Heisman trophy. It dawned on me that maybe he had chosen a Master’s with an emphasis on rhetoric and speech communication for a reason. If you spend time getting to know Robert Griffin the scholar and the person, you’ll find it’s impossible to avoid being a fan. He delivered in the classroom as he did on the gridiron: with authority, finesse and an obvious love for competition. There is some certainty in today’s job recession: At least one graduate of my Master’s program will have a job next fall, and it will be a high paying one. In my opinion, no one deserves it more than RG3.
creative in the
With each snap, the quarterback is faced with dozens of possibilities most of which depend on perfect execution by each offensive player. It’s like playing a complex game of chess with only seconds to decide which move to make before you are pummeled by a 300 pound tackle. This takes more than quick-thinking. It requires hours of studying the plays, a calm presence and creativity when the quarterback is forced to improvise. I remember Robert being passionate in his presentation about training programs for quarterbacks through Augmented Reality. For football, AR is a digital overlay that provides realistic scenarios for an individual player. In essence, it allows a quarterback to practice game situations on his own time without the presence of 21 other players. A quarterback can read defenses and practice escaping fast-charging linebackers, gaining invaluable repetitions of split-second innovative play-making.
Grecian Yearn Holly Renner
“We’re not going to Greece because it’s too dangerous right now. You should probably reconsider going,” a friend muttered to me as I told her about my week long travel plans to Athens. Carrlee, my travel companion, and I heard about the strikes happening in Athens. At the time of the protests, cancelled flights were daily occurrences, but I didn’t care about the fears other people had; I was eager to explore Greece. For a once-in-alifetime opportunity, Carrlee and I ignored the warnings and took the first flight out. We arrived in Athens on a beautiful afternoon and a cab driver greeted us with a smile. He was delightful. I immediately felt welcomed and quickly discovered the friendly culture. I could talk endlessly about Greece and what the country has to offer in terms of culture, attractions and people, but the experience that lingers in my mind is visiting Poseidon’s Temple in Sounion, Greece. Sure, the Acropolis certainly intrigued me and the Greek food was phenomenal, but the exhilaration I felt driving our little rental car along
the coast of the Aegean Sea and seeing Poseidon’s Temple is simply incomparable. When Carrlee and I got to the temple, we sat in awe as we looked up at this ancient, gargantuan stature. Thousands of years ago, for the Greek people, Poseidon served as the god of the sea. This temple belonged to him and served as a landmark to sailors traveling the sea. To know this history and be there in person to witness it blew my mind. The way the temple sits, perched high above the sea, truly encapsulates beauty. The gigantic marble pillars had the wear-and-tear of thousands of years, and I appreciated that the temple wasn’t flawlessly renovated because that made it far more fascinating. It told a story. I stood next to the temple and looked out onto the beautiful, crystal-blue water that surrounded Poseidon’s Temple. I’m not sure if it hit me that a landmark’s shadow I stood under began construction in 500 BC, but as I write, I am reminded of that day. We never saw one strike or protest, but we did see and experience ancient history for ourselves. BLEEP 77
THE UNEXPECTEDby Nick Dean
The dichotomies that were threaded through my trip to Morocco were the reasons I long to go back to the burgeoning city of Marrakech. Instead of heading for the cinematic Casablanca or the coastal Tangier, I traveled to the country’s capital, Marrakech, for a weekend excursion from my study abroad base camp of London. Marrakech is a place where the old is surrounded by the new, where the authentic experience can be booked using the impersonal Internet. Were the idea of travel actually is best experience by capitalizing on your hotel. I call it Marrakech the Unexpected. If you find yourself at liberty to take advantage of the cheap European airlines and you don’t mind the on-board sales pitches throughout the flights, then consider jet setting to Marrakech. I snagged a cheap $80 round-trip flight via RyanAir. The minute I landed, I could tell this was one of the best on-a-whim decisions I had made. The colors of Marrakech are best represented through a rustic red and dusty orange – but everything else about the place is bright — from the red tomatoes that accompany your tagines to the green of bright Weeping Willows that sprout along the road trailing to the nearby Atlas Mountains. The city has two parts — Old Medina and New Medina — also known as the old and new city. Once you leave the bustling square in the middle of Old Medina, you find yourself in a maze of mud-colored walls with sensational various colored doors every 50 feet. Each door leads to a Narnia of its own – Moroccan riads. A riad is a home with a square courtyard around which guests’ rooms are situated. I booked a peaceful riad through Priceline for only $100 total for two nights stay. The room slept three and the place’s tranquility was perhaps the greatest dichotomy of all. In my particular riad, an ever-flowing brook bubbled in the middle, muffled by green shrubbery. The staff guided us to and from the center of the Old Medina several times to ensure we would not get lost. The manager suggested several places for traditional dinner and I even capitalized on a home-cooked meal for only 20 bucks cooked by the in-house manager. As a weekend getaway, it could not have been a better choice. I spent one day on a mountain hiking adventure followed by the popular camel ride experience. The next day was one of haggling and bartering in the shops followed by a dinner and relaxation in what felt like the most tranquil place on earth. Marrakech gave me numerous stories in my short time there and it’s definitely a place I will return to, possibly for the riad experience alone. 78 BLEEP
One for the Twenty-Something Dreamers Courtney Shotwell The decade of your life when you’re an adult, but still considered a ‘young version’ of an adult. The times when you figure out school loans, what you aspire to be, and who you want to be with while chasing your dreams. We drink a lot of coffee, read numerous books and soul search. The twenty-something generation makes room in their finances for what they love: travel, charity, fashion and Chinese take-out. If you’re like most of us, pinching pennies is how you get by and make those ambitions happen. Learning to alter your own clothing, having egg sandwiches for dinner, refurbishing someone’s ‘trash’ to be your treasured furniture – they all play a huge part. This time lasts for 10 years. Simple math, I know. I once heard ‘who you are from ages 18-25 will set the pattern for the rest of your adult life’. It’s not foolproof logic, but does have legitimacy to it. Our major/ minor is decided. To get our Masters, or not get our Masters? To get married, or be single? The hardest part is having every avenue open. Hypothetically, you’re single, graduated and have enough money to move. Do you go across the street, to the west coast, or overseas? The possibilities are endless. When you do make a decision, it changes everything. If you stayed where you were, your life would look different. If you moved somewhere else, different people would be met, different job opportunities would come your way and different travel routes would be taken. If you’re like me, flying by the seat of your pants during such an intricate time doesn’t set well. There has to be a pseudo plan. Finding the balance of planning, and still having a free spirit can be a fine 80 BLEEP
line. I don’t want to look back on my twenties and think, ‘I did such an amazing job paying my school loans. I’m so glad I’m taking that to my grave’. No, no, no. Am I suggesting that you slough your bills and loans to the side and make irrational decisions? No. But you have the rest of your life to pay bills. School loans don’t disappear but the opportunity to ‘go and do’ may not always be there. I want to think, ‘What an exciting time in my life. I genuinely feel that I took advantage of some amazing opportunities that came my way’. In your twenty-something’s, eat lots of eggs (hey, they’re cheap), read countless books, expand your mind, take advantage of travel--airports are here for a reason, spend a couple of hours at a coffee shop each week to soak in life. Volunteer. Invest your time in something you believe in. You might do this later on in life, but chances are you will have more room in your schedule now. Enjoy brunch at outdoor cafe’s, invent your own recipes, complete DIY projects and run that little car into the ground that you’ve had since you were 17--it’s paid for and cheaper to repair every six months than making a monthly car payment. The things on your list you have always wanted to do, do them. Why not? If you have the means, take advantage of them. Make memories and stories to tell your future children. Wear extra layers during the winter to save on your utilities bill--buy a box fan to save on your AC during the summer. This is such an exciting time in life, so chase after what excites you the most.
bleepquiz Sincée Daniels
I am... unbreakable. I’m here because... New York City is the center of the universe. What makes me happiest is... being on stage. The color that best represents me is... red. What I hope to accomplish today is... serenity. My best friends are...inspiring. I can’t live without... red velvet cake. Between an Olympic champion or an Oscar winner, I’d rather be... an Oscar Winner,of course. If I wasn’t me, I’d be... a veterinarian. I like it best when you... laugh unapologetically. God is... awesome. I’m hungry for... love. I cry… too little. Style means…confidence in your own skin. I want to go... to bed soon. The most obnoxious sound in the world is...that “hocking” sound before someone spits...and then, actually doing it! What makes me weak is...romance. At this exact moment, I’m passionate about... getting better at my craft. I crave... Pecan Pie a-la mode. My inspiration is…George Clooney...duh. BLEEP 81
The March 2012 issue of BLEEP Magazine featuring Purple Crush, Tony Peniche and the annual BLEEP Awards.