MAY 2012 Issue â&#x20AC;˘ 204
P E E BL
Ryan Steele leads the cast of the new film
Five Dances THe bittersweet blog - tomm polos BLEEP 1 clint clark - cube - the creative class of 2012
n i p e ble inside
ON THE COVER Our cover features lead actor/dancer Ryan Steele from the new film “Five Dances.” We sit down with director Alan Brown and his cast of actor/dancers to talk about making the film, having no plan and speaking for the first time.
8 2 BLEEP
latest Check out our reviews of some of the be n’t shows on Broadway and who you wo ts. We able to take your eyes off of in the cas ing ord rec CD live also take to to Scott Alan’s in Manhattan.
THE CLASS OF 2012
ONE LAST SHOW
LOTS OF GLITTER
It’s May and that means it’s time for graduation. BLEEP contributor Alex Wright takes us through her grad school experience with the rest of her class.
Cube has been making sweet music in southern Texas for a while and they are about to hang up their hats as a band, they are playing one last show together. Find out all about how they started and where they’re headed next.
Clink Clark has given his brand of jewelry to celebrities. Now it’s time for you to find out all about it.
“Snow Queen.” Photo by Rose Lincoln
Letter from the Editor One of the amazing things about art is its ability to cross boundaries. A painting can inspire a hit Broadway musical, a rock star can win an Oscar for scoring a film and writer can craft an imaginary world that comes to life as an amusement park. Art is something that transcends the boundaries of industry and genre. Our cover story is a prime example of this. Director Alan Brown’s new film merges cinematic storytelling with story told through dance. After hiring some of the best working dancers in New York, he is merging a true-to-life story about dancers with the art they create. The convergence of different mediums is what makes art an ever-changing and ever-important facet of society. While the big Broadway houses may be filled with “bankable” stories based on movies and pop music may be auto-tuned to digitized perfection, the world is perpetually on the cusp of the next great talent that will change artistic directions around the globe. I truly believe these great artists are the ones that know how to exist where different mediums converge. It’s in that convergence where an artist will find resonance. The fusing of different forms of art excites me. It means the possibilities of creative expression are continuing to expand. I’m proud that this issue celebrates people like Alan Brown who are bringing different art forms together while retaining the integrity of both mediums. “Five Dances” isn’t a glamorized version of the industry like a certain prime-time television show about Broadway with waitresses living in large Manhattan apartments and directors using giant production numbers to “try out a new song” for a new, yet-to-be-financed, musical. Rather, Brown allows the real life of dancers to come through and, in that restraint, creates something real and poignant. That’s art.
-Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief
WHAT’S A POLYMATH?
BLOGGER WE LOVE
Check out our feature about “TP with TP” podcast creator Tomm Polos to find out.
This month’s Blogger We Love is simply delicious. Take a peak at what’s inside her kitchen and find out all about this “bittersweet” vegan.
THE BLEEP QUIZ
Tough name to say, easy food to eat. We check in at the intersection of good tasting food and good taste in design in The Big Easy. Our quiz in each issue where we ask one of our creative people the tough questions about love, life and whether or not they’d want to win an Oscar or an Olympic gold medal.
Editor-in-Chief Ryan Brinson Editor at Large Julie Freeman Design/Decor Editor Lisa Sorenson • Culture Editor Rachael Mariboho Business & Audience Development Manager Sarah Rotker Cartoonist Ben Humeniuk • Social Media Team: Jessica Acklen Cover Photography by Ryan Brinson Contributors: Danielle Milam • Nathan Robins • Alex Wright • Amy Stone Holly Renner • Colton Scally Featured Photographers: Matt Tolbert All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.
P E E L bliPs B with all the broadway shows opening before the tony cut-off, we sift through some of the biggest and highlight the artists you should be looking out for.
The number of bad plays running in New York at any given time is staggering, but once in a while, a truly brilliant work of theatre emerges. Cybourne Park already proved it’s a force to be reckoned with by winning the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for drama but it’s just now getting to show Broadway audiences why. Clybourne Park isn’t your average play about racial inequality. It’s a poignant look at the ever-changing face of racism over decades of time. But what sets this play apart from so many heavy and overlabored plays about race is that this play is a comedy. It’s hysterical and shocking in a way that makes the audience feel they shouldn’t be laughing at the joke but can’t help themselves. The brilliance of Bruce Norris’ play is the balance between the harsh reality of past and present racial tensions and the comedy in the cast of characters. It blends and mixes in a way that allows the audience to breathe in the story, and more importantly, to really consider it.
DON’T MISS IT
Cast member you won’t be able to take your eyes off of: Christina Kirk Why: She steals the show even when she’s not in the center of the action. More than just comic relief, Christina is the glue that keeps the characters together.
know about it as it happens
Of all the revivals on Broadway this season, perhaps Evita is the most true-toform. No gimmicks, no forced technology and no overwrought reworking, Evita succeeds in the strength of the cast, Rob Marshall’s choreography and the timeless music that’s made Evita a classic. Cast member you won’t be able to take your eyes off of: Aleks Pevec Why: Audiences may be flocking to see Ricky Martin and Elena Roger star in the superb revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic, but in the large (and very talented) ensemble, it’s Aleks that will captivate you. He dances as if it’s the first and only time he will ever take that stage, and that unbridled exuberance is what makes him so dynamic to watch.
Peter and the starcatcher
It’s brilliant. Just go see it.
Cast members you won’t be able to take your eyes off of: Well.. the entire cast actually. Why: This show breaks with conventional stage shows in that the line between the ensemble and the principle cast is nearly indistinguishable. While they each have specific characters to play, the entire cast spends most of the play on stage, working together to create the scenes, DON’T transitions and story that MISS IT make this show so brilliant.
Taking the ‘leap’
Continuing the slew of films being turned into Broadway musicals, Leap of Faith is the story of a crooked pastor scamming his way through small towns church folk. Raul Esparza may be the main draw of the show, but the true star here is the ensemble. The choir is the pulse and redemption of this gospel show. Cast member you won’t be able to take your eyes off of: Angela Grovey Why: While the ensemble is the star of Leap of Faith, it’s Angela Grovey that made me feel the spirit. She doesn’t need to be the main character because when she starts dancing, she is the most charismatic person on stage.
The problem with Ghost is a simple lack of editing. It’s just too much. Having said that, the ensemble is a terrific group of dancers, Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman are both stellar and the production utilizes video screens better than any show has before. It’s a hit in London and may be here too. Cast members you won’t be able to take your eyes off of: Carly Hughes and Moya Angela Why: Da’Vine Joy Randolph is earning the accolades for her brilliant turn as Oda Mae Brown, but it’s Carly and Moya that bring her scenes to life. They are the dynamic duo of the psychic’s office and they never miss a beat. I’ll go as far to say that Carly and Moya deserve their own spin-off show.
scott alan: live at birdland Scott Alan has made his name for himself for writing songs that singers like to sing. Across the country, Broadway-hopefulls have been singing his songs and uploading videos to YouTube. That culminated in Alan’s first live album recording at Birdland in New York City on April 30th. Flanked by some of Broadway’s most talented singers, Alan unleashed a “best-of” of sorts, reimagining the arrangements of some of his songs and having different vocalists sing familiar tunes. Though all the musicians and vocalists were stellar, there were a few standouts in the set list. Sierra Boggess and Jane Monheit (pictured at right) singing “Always”/”Goodnight” was understated and stunning while Lea Salonga closing the concert with “Look (A Rainbow)” demonstrated the emotional range of the composer. Perhaps the most unconventional song of the evening was also one of the strongest. The Pentatonix, the winners of the last season of “The Sing Off” on NBC, gave an acappella rendition of “Love, Love, Love” that naturally stood out against the sea of ballads. Not only did they shake up the audience, but they showed that some reality show contestants really can hold their own in the real world of performing. That’s something that Laura Osnes has been proving on stage and did as well for this album. She’s a true
talent and showcased that again singing Alan’s “Now.” But it goes without saying that the night belonged to Stephanie J. Block, the woman responsible for giving Alan his first big break singing “Never, Neverland” on his “Dreaming Wide Awake” album. This time, she brought the house down, twice actually, singing “Watch Me Soar.” She may be his signature artist, and rightfully so. Not only can she interpret his songs unlike anyone else, but they fit her voice so perfectly, it’s as if they were meant to go together. Alan’s live album will be released in the next few months, so be on the lookout. If you’re already a fan, you’ll hear his songs in a new way. If you’re not, you will be soon.
BROADWAY wants you to BID The Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV) is a choir made up of singers from the Broadway community and are committed to providing children access to high quality and engaging music arts programs and resources. Beginning on May 9, 2012, Broadway Inspirational Voices will be holding an online auction to raise funds for these valuable arts education outreach programs. The auction will last for 15 days. The fund-raising drive culminates on May 24th, shortly after our Spring Concerts on May 20th & 21st. Contact us at BIV@biddingforgood.org to take advantage of promotional opportunities for your business or to pledge your individual support.
www.biddingforgood.org 10 BLEEP
Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton Danielle Milam 3 out of 5 McQueen heels He is a very powerful and original force and one with Enormous creative potential. – Katell Le Bourhis Alexander McQueen was, and still is, one of the most iconic designers of the twenty-first century. You can’t say his name without a bubble of inspiration bursting forth. In the summer of 2011, The Metropolitan Museum of Art debuted the exhibit, Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty. From there was born the exhibition catalogue, otherwise know as a coffee table book. The book mimics the exhibit as to recall the memories of those who were fortunate enough to experience the show or to serve as second best for those who didn’t have a change to see the first hand genius of McQueen. The man himself was an artist in every context of the word. His canvas, fabric; and his paintbrush, needle and thread with some unusual materials added here and there. The genius of his clothing was, and is, in the overwhelming details. This book gives a wonderful overview of his life and work using McQueen’s own words as well as the accounts of his dear friends and co-workers. It delves not only into the complexity of the man, but also his creative process
and the awe in which those around him possessed for his unique perspective. The true highlight of the book is the photographs taken by Solve Sundsbo perfectly paired with quotes from McQueen himself. They serve as a still runway show with commentary from the designer himself. What’s so great about this book is there’s nothing special done to portray McQueen’s work: it’s the inherent creativity of the clothing that moves the reader to an emotional connection or repulsed reaction. The only flaw in this telling of McQueen’s story is the medium in which it is told. Bear in mind that this is a retelling – the original telling being a life sized storybook one walked through. Although Savage Beauty mentions McQueen’s shows, it doesn’t do more than mention it. This is a grave injustice since part of McQueen’s creative storytelling was in the fashion show itself. He was known to create collections after the premise of his shows that included a life sized chess game, a dress sprayed by robots and a journey to Atlantis. If any book were to truly encapsulate McQueen the artist, it would have to find a way to incorporate the videos of his shows. He was a showman and it does not do him justice to omit this part of his artistry. The book is a well done guide to the highlights of McQueen’s fashion and design. However, it does not give you the whole picture of Alexander McQueen.
Must read for: Fashion aficionados, aspiring fashion designers and photographers, and anyone needing a little inspiration in their day. Want more book reviews? Check out www.daniellesviews.blogspot.com
opening cover of ybook
class of 2012
American Repertory Theater/ Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University BLEEP 13
A look back at the
Class of 2012
By graduate and BLEEP contributor Alex Wright
One of the first things you learn how to do in graduate acting school is breathe. Seems odd, I know, but it’s the building block of everything you do as an actor, and it’s a component that runs through all our classes, from voice to acting to ballet to fencing. Breath is even vital in how we connect to each other as scene partners; we are taught to breathe in our partner as they are speaking—we are literally taking them in and experiencing our partner fully. So it seems fitting that the word inspiration literally means, “breathed upon.” For the last two years I have been inspired by my graduate school classmates. And yes, I have also been breathed on my classmates in all of our various classes; after two years, all sense of boundaries is gone. At this point, they aren’t classmates—they are family. We have been trained to think and act as an ensemble, while simultaneously finding and cultivating our own artistic individuality. Our first summer together consisted of building us as a unit. The exercises ranged from us telling Milia Ayache Matthew Lieff Christian Liza Dickinson Teri Gamble Alison Gregory
Dustyn Gulledge Rose Hogan Carl James Michael Kane Luke Lehner
intimate stories about life changing moments to us running around with chairs asking, “If you were a stripper, what would be your stage name?” to tracking each other’s energy and observing small details about behavior. Some days we would enter the room, have to close our eyes, and describe classmate’s outfits and accessories in detail, or someone would place their hand in ours and we would have to guess whose hand it was based off of the physical feeling of their hand as well as the energy we were receiving from their palm. It was intimate and crazy, but at the end of the summer, we were a family. I knew how Alison’s hand felt in mine, I knew that Carl would kill for a bag of Chex Mix and I knew that if Michael was a stripper, he would name himself Dusty Curves. Oh, and if there’s any doubt, Teri is wearing purple. The fall of our first year consisted of a breaking down phase. All of our bad habits were pointed out and then quickly beaten out. It was also our first time to act with text as a class. We started
Photo by Rose Hogan
Lindsey Liberatore Lisa Maley Scotty Ray Lanise Antoine Shelley Roland Walsh
Luke Woodruff Alexandra Wright
“Futurity: A Musical by the Lisps.” Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva
out ambitiously with one minute scenes, and let me tell you, it kind of freaked me out: if I can’t act a one minute scene without relying on all my actor tricks and habits, how in the world will I make this a career? During a class meeting before the fall semester, the head of our program wisely said, “This fall you will feel like you are becoming a worse actor. And you will. All of your bad habits will be broken, and before you are able to build up new, healthy habits that can benefit you in your technique, you will suck. It’s just part of the process.” And suck I did. If you entered with any arrogance, it quickly went away. There’s nothing like a failed improv scene to make you shake in your boots. No doubt about it though, we began to improve. We began pursuing action, connecting, and most importantly, breathing. We were beginning to look like actors. Spring semester began with a bang. Rehearsals for our first company show started in January, and with rehearsals came our first fourteen-hour days as a class. The fourteen hour days, six days a week schedule, as well as the very nature of the show, tested our ensemble capabilities: we were building the show as a class, collaborating with the playwright on the storyline and plot. With March came our three-month residency in Moscow, where we performed and studied at Stanislavsky’s Moscow Art Theater. We navigated the city and the foreign language barrier, explored the intricacies of Chekhov’s character 16 BLEEP
creations, and invented silly dorm games at crazy hours of the night when we were hopped up on sugar and the high of performance. When we first got to Moscow, I remember my singing teacher punching my diaphragm (literally punching me—that old woman had quite a fist) and yelling at me in Russian to breathe, breathe, breathe. Finally she screeched, “You’re in Moscow! Breathe in!” At the time, I didn’t understand how being in Moscow correlated to me breathing—I’m obviously breathing, I’m alive. She wanted me to find a connection to my breath through discovering a connection to each specific moment. Breathe in Moscow, breathe in the experience. Find inspiration through literal inspiration, or the taking in of breath. Second year was spent stateside, but it has brought along its own set of accomplishments. Fall at the ART was abuzz with The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess— Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, and David Alan Grier walked our hallways, and our own classmate, Carl James, worked alongside with them as a castmate. As the year progressed, we worked with Neil Gaiman, Stephin Merritt, Sarah Benson and The Lisps, had three students in two separate television pilots, and had two ART mainstage subscription productions, one of which was a world premiere written by a dramaturg in our year. Currently we are preparing for our Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles Showcase—the first step in our transition out of
“Nutcracker Turbo.” Photo by Anastasia Korotich
graduate school. We are ending our two years with a remounting of our Moscow production, our first show as a class. I’m trying to breathe it all in, breathe in this last month together. Our Moscow professor told us that we would divide our life pre and post Moscow. I’m beginning to see just how right he was, and how more than that, I will divide my life pre and postgraduate school. The great thing about the theater is that we are constantly in school. We will forever be students, even if we aren’t in a classroom pretending to be a sea lion or a tennis racquet or a sea turtle. There are still stories that are begging to be told. There are still parts of our soul that are begging to be unearthed. We are an ensemble, but this two years, more than anything, has been about searching for who we are as artists. Graduate school has acted as a catalyst for growth, and we have all grown tremendously as people and as performers. My classmates have molded me as an artist and because of that, they will be a part of every character I create. Their hands, the ones I am so familiar with now, will take part of everything I create. More importantly, they have molded me as a person. They have built my character, and I know I am better person because of them, and that’s the most
principal character I could ever build. I don’t have to act with my classmates. They take me for who I am, the good, the bad, and the ugly—and believe me, they have seen it all. You learn a lot of ugly things about yourself in graduate school, but you also unearth a lot of beauty. In our two years together, we have had tremendous successes and tremendous failures, been humiliated and rejoiced, worked our butts off and partied with the Russians, laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed. We’ve dealt with concussions, cancer, abuse, death of loved ones, revolutions, break ups, engagements, weddings, herniated disks, bad hips, hospital trips and a really traumatic production of a not-to-be-named musical in Rhode Island. It bonded us. We’ve traveled the world together. We’ve had our hearts broken. We’ve even fallen in love. So, to the class of 2012, thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for teaching me how to breathe. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey. We each have a unique perspective and story to tell, and it is now time to go out and share that story. Don’t be passive. Don’t wait for anything. So, stand up straight, loosen that jaw, and tell your story. And just breathe. BLEEP 17
CUBE “We met almost accidentally in a story that I feel would make a pretty decent movie scriptquite literally we were at the right place, at the right time, with the right talents who stumbled upon each other like discovering your new favorite cafe while desperately trying to find your way home. We challenged ourselves with genres we’ve never played before, structures that were ever-changing and styles that originally felt uncomfortable; from this constraint grew a sound that was as unique as the individuals in CUBE but was as cohesive as a stereotypical 1950’s sitcom family.” 18 BLEEP
On the eve of their final concert together, vocalist Andrea Muschenborn, guitarist Logan Wigglesworth, bass player Joshua Letton, Percussion player Luke Yeager and pianist Mike Gipson, the members of the southern-Texas based band CUBE, think back to how it all began and where they’re headed photos by stephen green next.
When did Cube begin? How did the members of the band come together? Logan: I saw Josh carrying a bass in the dorms we lived in freshman year. I thought, “Well, dreadlocks…he has to be good.” We started jamming in the common areas of the dorms we lived in and random musicians would join in. I don’t know if we were welcome by everyone because there’s a statutory rule now there that prohibits amplified instruments.
building and I really wanted a soda. None of the vending machines worked, so I had to go all the way to Blocker building, a place that I did not frequent at all. After paying for my soda, I turned around and saw a flyer that said “looking for singer/song writer.”
Josh: People would come by, listen and some people would run and grab other instruments to join in. Looking back on it, I really miss that. There was one point where we had mandolin, melodic and djembe players join in. Luke joined us a little later on and we started playing some gigs around town playing mellow stuff we had come up with during lots of those Commons jams.
Andrea: I had never sung with a band before, singing in my high school choir and in the shower was the only singing experience I had. Seeing Josh blindfolded did not help my anxiety either. I sang “At Last” by Etta James.
Andrea: I was the last one to join Cube, and it felt like it was meant to happen. One morning I was in the engineering
Mike: Cube began as three very perpendicular lives were junctioned by a shared love of music. It started by Logan,
Josh: I actually met Andrea for the first time blindfolded because I had just finished reading the book “Blink” and didn’t want to be biased in any way because of looks.
Josh: After she sang “At Last,” I was sold (I think we all were) and none of the other auditions really mattered.
Josh and I wanting to fulfill something within us that we were previously unable to fill, which was creative musical expression, and it quickly grew into a need to share our art with our friends and anyone else who wanted to listen. Where did the tone of your music come from? Logan: I think all of our different influences. Josh listens to Motown and funk, I listen to rock and blues, Andrea listened to pop/Latin and Luke listens to just about everything. It all comes out in our playing and you can really tell whose brainchild which song was.
Others were the result of all of our contribution, setting a plot and describing what we felt from the music. Overall our music is the fusion of our diverse backgrounds and interests that when combined, create a unique tone: Cube. Mike: My best response to this question is: Where did our tonal influence not come from? We stuck to our identities and worked together to blend everything we loved into one sound.
What was the most exciting show you performed as a Luke: None of us were really content to just pick a genre band? for our band. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve created a new genre or Josh: For me it is a show we played at this outdoor bar anything, we just take a sampling of a lot of pre-existing called Revolution. We had this one jam at the end where we invited to of our friends, a sax player and a trombone genres. player, on stage. I could see over the fence and people Andrea: Some of our songs already existed before I joined were stopping and standing to listen. The music rose and Cube but had no lyrics. Some triggered memories in me fell so organically and I just saw the audience bouncing to that inspired me to write about particular experiences. it and I swear it was like a trance. No experience has ever BLEEP 21
topped that performance for me. Luke: We all had a great time, there was a big crowd, and we had a brass section from the Conglomerate come join us. That was definitely the most fun we’ve had at a show. Andrea: To me, it was the first time we played at Revolution Café in downtown Bryan. Even though it was extremely cold for an outdoor show and I was wearing a pain patch for a recently dislocated rib, our excitement to play at Rev’s surpassed all these adverse conditions. The energy emanated by the crowd kept us warm.
and performing together to the point of sweating and losing yourself is a way of binding your souls with the band members and even the audience. The hotel lobby was packed with families, friends and strangers, people were dancing, everyone was happy and for three hours, nothing was wrong with the whole world. Everything was perfect.
What was the worst experience you had performing with Cube? Logan: When we first started, we went to a bar called Zapatos that supposedly had an open mic we were going to play at. We showed up and there was no open mic, so Mike: My most exciting show was at the La Salle Hotel in we just asked to play anyway on the stage outside for free. Bryan Texas. We did a series of three or four consecutive weeks of shows that seemed to all blend together into Josh: I remember seeing people in the audience looking one big celebration. I always felt that being in a band like we were disturbing them by playing. Then on top of all 22 BLEEP
that, it starts monsooning outside and all our equipment is almost ruined.
play our worst show again.
At what point did Redroom come into the picture? Luke: There were only about five people there, and we Logan: Summer of 2011, Josh and Luke were gone on only got to play three songs before it started raining and internships in Austin. Andrea and I were still in College we had to quit. It was really coming down, too. I thought I Station and we got pretty bored pretty quick. I looked on was going to ruin my djembe the first time I brought it out Craigslist and saw an ad for a drummer so I responded. to play. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fun to laugh about now, but that was about as It was more of a cover band and was supposed to be a summer thing, but we got along great and loved the bad as it gets as far as live performances go. music, so we continued it on into the semester. Mike: I loved it all: the disagreements, the empty audiences, the technical errors, the sour notes, the Andrea: Immediately, we connected and wrote a list of scheduling conflicts. I loved every moment of everything our favorite songs that we would like to cover. In less we did. There is no way to have a bad time while doing than a month we were playing at Schotziâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, a local bar in what you love. Live performance is like a relationship. If Northgate, and the crowd just loved the music. We tried you love them, then the crappy times only strengthen focusing on classic rock; we were in a quest to keep fine your relationship. I would give up everything I have to rock and roll alive. BLEEP 23
Mike: Redroom was always in Cube somewhere. Here’s how I see it: if my pride and joy, my love, Cube, gives birth to new art, new projects and new culture, then Cube will live on forever. Redroom, because of Andrea and Logan, is an extension of Cube. They found a fantastic drummer and bass player and created something new and edgy and a sort of dedication to the artists before us who designed what we do and perfected it into the live-music culture we have in America. They are more than a cover-band, they are renovators of what needs a little dusting off.
Andrea: The journey with Cube has been an exciting one: we started from scratch; playing in coffee houses with barely the right equipment. Then we started playing at restaurants and bars and we started getting positive feedback from the crowd. We peaked right when we recorded our CD, in Logan’s apartment by the way, and then we slowly began to play less frequently. Now the time to say goodbye.
Mike: I’m currently in the Air Force serving in Japan mainly for the Earthquake relief, which has pulled me so far You’re transitioning from Cube right now and readying from what I love that I feel like I’m stretched 6,000 miles. your last show together. Why is that? Cube is playing their last show as Cube, but there are five Logan: Luke is moving after he graduates this May, members here that will carry on the however small legacy Andrea is getting busy with her Ph.D. and we just decided Cube may have had. We all have our purposes in life. I am we can’t possibly keep it going after the semester. honored that four of the most amazing people I have ever 24 BLEEP
met, took precious time out of their lives to dedicate to Cube and to share it with me and our audiences. What does the future hold for you and the members of the band? Luke: We’re all pretty much going our separate ways. I’m heading overseas for at least a year to do college ministry, Josh is leaving after the fall semester to get into engineering, and Logan and Andrea are going to stick around College Station for at least a little while longer. What do you hope you were able to accomplish with Cube? Logan: Just bring some enjoyable music to College Station and Bryan. There needs to be an alternative live music to country. Josh: I had sort of this dream of “bringing some culture” to College Station, which I like to call the cultural waste land some times. For me, music was a great way to do that, no one was really playing the sound we had. I was hoping that with Cube I would show this town some music besides country or what was popular. More importantly I think it was kind of a test to see if you could really just set out to make music period without saying “we’re this type of band.” Andrea: My experience with Cube exceeded all of my expectations. I just hope our music stays alive. Josh: I think I felt I accomplished what I set out to do when I was able to look out and see people moving to the music. Not because it was something they had heard before or because it was their style but because it was something they could feel, which is what it is all about. Luke: The biggest thing I think we’ve done is affect people. We’ve learned to love each other as band mates, and to push each other to create new ideas and help us become better musicians, and we’ve also been blessed to be able to bless people with our music. That’s one of the most rewarding things about playing in a band: hearing people’s feedback about how they like our music and how it affects them. Mike: I just want one person, to turn to someone else and say something along the lines of “I remember this one fantastic night when...” and be thinking about us.
The final show for CUBE is Friday May 4th at Revolution Cafe and Bar in Bryan, Texas. find out more on facebook. BLEEP 25
Clintclark This â&#x20AC;&#x153;Glitter Gangsterâ&#x20AC;? talks about cassette tapes (remember those?), Nicki Minaj and following his dreams
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Keokuk, Iowa. A fun fact about Keokuk is that Elsa Maxwell, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hostest with the Mostest,â&#x20AC;? was born there. It had a population of about 13,000 when I was living there. The town sits on the Mississippi river where I spent a lot of time exploring. We have a large amount of geodes in Keokuk and I was always cracking them open and making things from the crystal inside of the geodes. My mom and grandma kept my creative juices flowing. They taught me to sew, oil paint and always supported craft time. After college is when I started opening up and being creative with what I was wearing. While I was in college I spent three years working in the costume studio in the theatre department. I learned so much about construction working there. When did you start with the cassette tapes? The cassette tapes started as a joke in 2009. A friend and I were shopping at one of our favorite secondhand shops, The National Council for Jewish Women in Venice, Calif., and I remember my friend came across a stash of cassettes and said these would make cool belt buckles. Then the ideas just started flowing. I remember, I took a Pat Benatar cassette, covered it 28 BLEEP
with silver glitter using Elmers glue and tied it around my wrist. I went out to a bar and people kept asking me about it. Eventually I started designing bracelets, headbands and necklaces using much more complicated techniques then the Elmers. Now I pretty much have a whole line strictly dedicated to using the cassette tapes. It’s also important to me that when I make an accessory, I leave the area with the artist’s name and album title visible. It’s part of the nostalgia for people when they order.
is, I can not mass produce anything right now and I don’t think I ever want to go that route. I love custom making things for people.
Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration comes from having fun with my friends. It’s also a mix of Midwest craftiness/pop culture. It’s also fun to try to push the envelope of “costume” yet have it be pulled off as a “wearable.” I also have to admit that sometimes I like to wear an accessory just to be weird. I How did your work end up in the hands of Nicki Minaj? love the idea of taking objects that are not meant as an I was at an after-party with Nicki Minaj. I had a necklace accessory and turning it in to one. I had made for her and presented it to her at the afterparty. It was a Cyndi Lauper cassette with gold glitter What’s your dream? embellished with pink NM lettering. She loved it. To live a life that allows me to create all the time. Richard Simmons also asked for a necklace. I made him a necklace using a Tiffany cassette. I was in a music What’s next for you? video (Tight Pants Body Rolls) with the Midwest pop diva Incorporating shirts and handbags into the Leslie Hall, so when she was in LA on tour, I brought her glittergangster line. a necklace as a gift. How can people get their hands on a piece of your What’s your goal for your line? jewelry? My goal for my line is to eventually have the products Right now the items are only custom order. Anyone can sold at high-end boutiques across the nation. Japan is get in touch with me through my website: another market I would love to be big in. The challenge www.glittergangster.com BLEEP 29
Tomm Polos and his ‘TP with TP’ podcast have caught the attention of young Hollywood. He talks with BLEEP about mascots, being a polymath and his place on Mount Rushmore.
Where did you grow up? According to the women in my life— that hasn’t happened yet. Beyond the Peter Pan syndrome, I was born and raised in Katonah, New York. There are several places that I can credit my development: The First Presbyterian Church of Katonah, Rippowam Cisqua Schools, the John Jay schools, the Neighborhood Playhouse and Camp Timanous. I have the most supportive parents, sisters and cat in the world who thankfully endured my antics and nurtured my creative curiosities.
You gave the commencement speech at USC. How did that come about? I was very grateful to be selected by my peers to speak on behalf of the class. It meant a great deal to represent them and share my reflections with my Trojan Family. That kind of ties in to your previous question—I got to be the mascot and rally the crowd once more. You co-founded a theatre company. Tell me about that. How much time do you have? The Black Radish Theatre Company was a cluster of absurd guys who loved absurdist theatre. We received a grant to do Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” and due to our adoration of Beckett we later named the company in his honor. The name Black Radish came from his quote “What do I know of man’s destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.” I, too, know equally little about both subjects.
You were the basketball mascot at USC. What other odd jobs have you had? I can’t tell if I’ve had odd jobs or jobs that I made odd. When I was in middle school, I worked as an assistant to a dog trainer. That was wonderfully weird. My boss wrote “Puppies for Dummies”-- among other works-- and there are pictures of me demonstrating proper technique in the book. It’s fun to bust those out at parties. The books—not the proper puppy training technique… You’ve worked with Jason Robert Brown? I like to think he’s worked with me. (Laughs). Yes, 32 BLEEP
I studied songwriting under him. Myself and nine other students were fortunate enough to be under his tutelage. The course culminated with us writing a musical based on a movie. We made the grownup decision to write a show based on Judd Apatow’s “40 Year Old Virgin.” We called it Virgin: A Conceptual Musical. It turned out great-- side-splitting yet sentimental and something Jason and the entire class were both very proud of.
star Troian Bellisario. We did “True Blood or True Lies” with True Blood’s Deborah Ann Woll and had General Hospital’s Nathan Parsons read Outback Steakhouse menu items in an Australian accent... Life’s strange and beautiful and our show reflects that. You’ve interviewed musicians to cast members from TV shows with cult-followings. What are your criteria for having someone be a part of your podcast? Everyone is worth interviewing. Just because you’re on television or have a hit record doesn’t make your voice more deserving. We’ve had some amazingly gifted and recognizable people on our show. I’d love to be in a place where I can say “Here we are live with John the guy who towed my car last year. John, tell me about your week.” I think that’d be equally compelling. However, listeners like name-face-brand recognition. And I’m a man of the people.
Where did the idea for the podcasts come from? Most programs—on television especially-- are either really heavy or really soft. I refer to it as substance abuse: their goal is to either strike so much fear in you that you watch every night or it’s to be so delightfully trashy you get addicted to the smut. Don’t get me wrong—I love my fair share of smut, but we wanted to come up with an earnest and effervescent series that embraces substance with joy. I feel that’s what BLEEP Magazine does well, too. BLEEP celebrates substance and those responsible for it. There’s room What do you hope to accomplish with TP with TP? I heard Larry King say something that really put for absurdity within the material. We played “Is this quote from Pretty Little Liars or Golden Girls” with PLL interviewing and life into perspective. “Nothing I say
7 Quick Facts about Tomm • When Tomm Polos meets celebrities he asks them to sign his shoes (Clark’s Wallabees) • Polos’ heroes are Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, Jim Henson and Walt Disney • Polos has beaten Chevy Chase at ping-pong. • his website, ThePolosGrounds.com is an homage to the former New York City ballpark. • Polos runs marathons • Proud Son of the American Revolution • Referred to as a “polymath” or “humorist”
this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” My job on “TP with TP” is to be the listener. Sure, I need to come up with the questions that spark the conversation but my true task is to sit back and learn. People love knowledge. My mom still repeats the Buddhist proverb to me “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I need to be the student as well as the teacher for my listeners. What do I hope to accomplish? I hope to create an atmosphere where people can be their weird selves and be applauded for it. “TP with TP” devotees will quickly think of “Guy from the Apartment Complex” and understand. In your graduation speech, you say that you are a part of “a generation of artists, one that is on the cusp of something dangerously great.” How do you fit in to that grouping of artists? First, be there to support fellow creators. One of my favorite Benjamin Franklin quotes is “a man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” If I can be a buoy of reliance for the ones I love that will in turn help me. If you have no one to share your work with— it will become a cheerless existence. What’s your dream? How much room is left on Mount Rushmore? None? Okay. (Laughs). Jokes aside-- I’m working on my dream right now— I’m not there yet. There are a lot of moving parts to it. Mr. Franklin says, “Words may show a man’s wit but actions his meaning.” My dream will take plenty of words and action. You can bet I will share it with BLEEP Magazine soon.
Photo by Peter Ross
FIVE DANCES The new film from Alan Brown puts dancers center stage story by ryan brinson
Photo by Peter Ross
lan Brown didn’t start out as a filmmaker. After attending art school for photography, he found writing was what was moving him, not photography. After Matthew Shepherd was killed in 1998, Brown was compelled to write a one-act play that ended up being produced in some small regional theaters. From there, he left his camera and focused on writing. “I was at a party and there was a cinematographer there, someone I knew through a friend, and he’d done music videos and commercials. He said to me, ‘You’re a writer and I’m a DP [Director of Photography], let’s make a movie. I said ‘sure.’” It was in 2001 and Brown had never made a movie before. The film, “O, Beautiful,” made it into Sundance and won Top Prize at Palm Springs. It ended up being bought by Strand and released with some other short films. “After years of being a writer, I looked around the set and said, ‘this is cool. I love this.’ I loved film from the beginning because it was so hard. It’s ridiculously hard and if you don’t make films you don’t know how hard it is. Every moment in film is like a miracle because there’s always a garbage truck a half a mile away that spoils your shot or something. Because of the success of the short, I was able to do my first feature.” That feature was “Book of Love,” starred Frances O’Connor, Simon Baker and was the film debut of Bryce Dallas Howard. He’d written the play earlier and was able to leverage the short film and his Sundance success to get the script made. He decided then to leave the novel and play writing behind to focus on film. During the making of his 2007 film “Superheroes,” a heavy drama about a returned Iraqi War veteran, Brown used a handful of dancers in one scene as “this wonderful, feminine break from this grim, masculine story.” After enjoying working with dancers and a choreographer and having always loved the art of dance, he decided in his next film, dance should be central to the story. But this film would be decidedly different than his previous films. “I’m super, neurotically prepared for all my films,” Brown said. “I make low-budget indies so you have to be prepared because of the constraints of time and money. I never worked improvisationally, I don’t have the constitution for that. But I wanted to leave this looser. As we were casting it, I planned on there being seven dancers, but I couldn’t find seven dancers that
ryan steele What do you consider to be your first big break? I was cast as Baby John in the 2009 West Side Story revival when I was 17. At the time I wasn’t aware it was a “big break.” I didn’t really understand how cool of an experience I was about to have. My high school senior self thought of it as a better answer when my teachers/peers/extended family asked what university I was attending in the fall. I got to say “Broadway.” Tell me about your first Broadway experience. West Side Story was my first real job. Until I booked it, I was almost completely unaware of the musical theater world. I had so much to learn. Beyond the business side of things, I also learned a lot about myself. I was still a teenager for most of my West Side experience. I was at the age where most people go to a university and find themselves. I was figuring out who I was, while having to figure out what the heck I was doing at work. It was a crazy and exciting time. I miss it. Billy Elliot was an interesting experience. It made me feel like a grown up. I was a Swing in the show, so I had to know a dozen tracks. Every night was an exciting challenge. What has it been like to be in the biggest show of the season, Newsies? It’s been an absolute dream. The company is such a crazy little family. Every one of us is so passionate about the project. We were all that same 10 year old wearing out the Newsies VHS, and now we’re getting to sing these songs on Broadway. I couldn’t BLEEP 39 be happier.
What do you consider to be your first big break? Before I graduated from the Australian Ballet School, I was offered a contract with Sydney Dance Company (SDC). At the age of 19, I remember my first performance at the Sydney Opera House, with my parents in the audience. For the first time they were in the audience and not paying for me to dance. I had a great solo and was surrounded by love. No matter what happens in the future, it could never replace this first time experience of dancing for my family and in that world-renowned opera house. Why did you move to the States? After dancing for SDC for four years, I had accomplished a lot that I had wanted to do at the time. As a dancer at SDC, I was fortunate enough to work with NY choreographers – Stephen Petronio & Aszure Barton. Firstly, Aszure offered me a spot with her company, if I ever moved to the States. So, I decided to get my visa, pack my life in Sydney and move to the Big Apple. Tell me about the Reed Luplau Company. As a choreographer, I have created works for Sydney Dance Company, The Australian Ballet, West Australian Ballet and the Sydney Opera House. However, I’ve always wanted to create my own work with my own dancers. The company is a future project that I intend to start back in Australia, when I am finished conquering my goals in the US, that is. What inspires you? This beautiful city we live in. We are so fortunate with what we have in this city that I try to take the opportunity to see as much as I can so I am more 40influenced BLEEP with what I do.
Photo by Peter Ross
could act or that I wanted to be in the film, so it became five dancers. The film was actually called “Seven Dances” and we changed it to its current title, “Five Dances.” It wasn’t until we cast the people we cast that I really started to flesh out the characters and the story. I’d send them rewrites at two or three in the morning because the story just kept evolving.” Brown wasn’t the only one that was doing something new in this film. The dancers he cast were trying something they weren’t used to as well. Speaking. “I didn’t know what to expect,” cast member Catherine Miller said. “This was a whole new realm and genre, with speaking and dialogue as a form of acting. I was scared to death. But Alan creates this environment that puts you at ease and gives you complete confidence that everything is going to work out.”
“I’m glad we danced first because that’s our comfort zone. We learned the choreography in three days and it was 12 hours a day,” cast member Ryan Steele said. “We were in the room with each other for a long time and because it was dancing and we were comfortable doing that, it helped us feel comfortable. But I was also terrified to go into filming and the scene work. It was fun though. I like doing things that scare me.” Brown was aware the dancers were new to acting, but he also knew when he saw them audition, they had something special to give. They just hadn’t utilized their acting abilities yet. “All these people, in one way or another, sort of woke me up in the casting session,” Brown said. “They had to dance and then they had to act, so it made it a little more difficult, but they woke me up.”
After casting, Brown went to work restructuring his script for five dancers, rather than seven. “Honestly, besides not having enough time or money, which is the problem with most films, the biggest challenge was allowing myself to remain scared,” Brown said. “It was a conscious decision to go into this film not completely knowing what I was doing. I remember going out with some artist friends after going to a dance performance of Jonah our choreographer and I was telling my friend how terrified I was. He told me to stay terrified, that it was good for the process. That was the hardest part for me, letting myself go in not knowing exactly what was going to happen.” Dancer Reed Luplau didn’t know what exactly what was going to happen either when he got cast for the BLEEP 41
Photo by Holly Jo Schnaudigel
film. “I didn’t really have any expectations,” Luplau said. “I just wanted to do a good job. We had a fabulous family by the end of the two-and-a-half weeks of filming. You couldn’t ask for a better first experience filming. After the rehearsals and filming were over and Brown said he was most surprised by how compelling the dance was in the film. “To me,” Brown said, “Five Dances falls in the category of a poetic film. There’s a narrative but I wanted a film that was evocative as opposed to something you’re watching for a moment-to-moment narrative. When we got in the editing room, we first kinda rushed through the dance to get to the dialogue. But when we went back and just watched the dance, it was so compelling. That was the biggest surprise; how strong 42 BLEEP
the dance is. You don’t have to make excuses for it or cut it up or interrupt it with other things to make sure the audience stays interested.” With the rough cut of the film nearly completed and with investors and distributors already showing interest, Brown plans on being ready to submit the film to festivals starting in the fall and hopefully land a State-side distribution deal so wider audiences can see it. “Five Dances” proved to be an exercise in venturing into the unknown. For Brown that was making the film without having every second mapped out. For the dancers, it meant having to learn to be an artist in a new way, with words as well as with movement. But more than that, this film proved to be a project of personal growth for everyone involved. “I learned a lot about myself as a performer,” Ryan said. “A lot of my artistic ability was stretched. We
catherine miller What do you consider your first big break? Before I graduated college, I auditioned for the Yard- a dancer’s colony on Martha’s Vineyard that promotes the creation of new work. I got accepted to be a dancer and that summer was one of the most creative six weeks of dance I have ever discovered. I made connections there with amazing transformative artists who opened my mind to the possibilities of what dance and art could be.
Jonah Bokaer, choreographer of “Five Dances.” Photo by Peter Ross
What’s your niche in the dance world? I have been very lucky in my dancing life to have danced for and with incredible choreographers. I have fluidly migrated between different styles and movement forms. When I teach, I always emphasize the key to dancing professionally today is versatility. You have to be able to do it all really well. You are currently cast in an opera. I am currently in rehearsals for NY City Opera’s “Orpheus.” I have worked with the choreographer, Mark Dendy before and he suggested I audition for the director, Rebecca Taichman. I’ve worked on other operas before and going into rehearsals I am always struck by how amazing singers are. I have so much respect and awe for what they can do and working with live music is such a thrill and treat. I love learning from everyone in the room. What’s your dream? That dance as an art form will be revered in society and be given the same respect and consideration BLEEP 43 that other art forms and public services enjoy.
were told to have to feel something, like, 3-2-1 feel this. That exercise made me realize I can do that again and do things where I can be on camera.” “We shared this amazing time and took away some great friendships. This is my first film so for me, it was such an adventure,” Reed said. “In ten years, my family and I can look back and have this. Not only was it a great journey but it was an emotional journey. It was such an adventure.” “I want a film that when it’s over, you say ‘I want to see that again,’ because there were moments that made me feel something,” Brown said. “I wanted to do something on screen that I hadn’t done before. What’s so amazing about making films is, I’m not a choreographer, I’m not a dancer…but I kinda am now in a way. For a while I get to enter this world and be on set with these wonderful dancers.” “Dance is really hot right now with So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars,” Catherine said. “But stories about the dancers who are doing the daily grind, going to classes and working in the city aren’t out there. This film combined amazing people, a great leader, a story that we were all bringing ourselves to and invested a lot of ourselves into, and it’s a film about dance. It celebrates the unsung lives of performers, the lives of dancers.”
Photo by Peter Ross
Photo by Ryan Brinson
Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more BLEEPing than just in the mag. Check out www.bleepmag.com for past issues and find us on Facebook and Twitter.
www.redpenguingallery.com BLEEP 47
Hope [hohp] noun, verb 1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. 2. to believe, desire, or trust 3. to feel that something desired may happen.
ope fleeted quickly from the city of New Orleans in 2005 as the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the season, Katrina, swept through. But a city rooted in culture, music, arts and passion can never stay down for long. In the years since, the Jazz City has reclaimed its hope and continues to show that it blossoms throughout its quarters. I stumbled across one of these hope-filled blossoms on a recent trip down to my beloved New Orleans. Neighborhood bistro, Atchafalaya, is perfectly nestled on a residential corner of the city’s Garden District; and everything from the joyful staff to the funky Cajun recipes to the up-cycled décor evokes the essence of New Orleans. Once a house, just like all the surrounding residences, the floorplan has been playing the role of a restaurant since the 1920’s and Atchafalaya finds a perfect home within its walls. I doubt the owners who first turned this house into a restaurant in the 20’s had any idea it would continue to be serving this purpose nearly a century later. They could only hope it would continue to bring this spark of home and
Photos and Story By Lisa Sorenson
flavor to both residents and visitors of the city. Equipped with a bar area and several different dining rooms, these areas are ready to serve any type and size of group. The layout also accommodates the live music found to be echoing throughout the space, from rising NOLA artists to the Sunday Jazz Brunch’s instrumentalists to the Monday night pianist, the musical soul of the city flavors the visit of any patron. Greeted by a friendly and accommodating staff, I couldn’t help but let my design eyes wander from the bar immediately in front of me to the sculpture pulling my attention to the right. A floor-to-ceiling wall of window panes fused together created an architectural feature, providing a literal window into the happenings and buzzing of the restaurant patrons and staff. When I asked our waitress about the interesting feature, she referred me to owner, Tony Tocco. Charming and sociable, he was quick to offer insight for this curious designer. In the spirit of up-cycling, the windows were reclaimed from various homes torn apart by the
ravenous Katrina storms. While no Louisiana native wants to remember the devastation and uprooting the 2005 hurricane season, there is a certain reverence that hovers over the city, in both tribute to the past and hope to the future. These windows taken directly from the wreckage are the perfect presentation of just that. Peaking through the windows, from the back wall, is another symbolic moment. At the back of the dining room is a tree. Awkwardly shaped and less than a desired luscious green tree, the carved branches and trunk are looked upon with aspiration for the future, confident that everything will turn out for the best. The overall image of the connected windows overlaying this frail tree of hope paints a beautiful picture of the city. The combination of a respectful, reverent design,
with a cozy, comforting atmosphere, and a wait staff you would have over for coffee is topped off by the decadent flavors of the Bayou. Creatively crafted Cajun dishes complete the mold of a well-rounded, neighborhood bistro for both locals and visitors to enjoy. A good design is one thing. Up-cycling, reusing, re-purposing and creating beautiful things out of nothing is all part of being a good, thoughtful, creative designer. But designing with a story? That is a whole other game. That’s something I will forever strive to be: a designer seeking her story in each space. In each project. Always reflecting others and overflowing a hopeful joy into each and every client’s job, in the hopes of affecting them with my designs. That’s the case at Atchafalaya. BLEEP 49
R E G G O L B e v o l we
Here’s the thing about Hannah Kaminsky: She’s more than just a blogger we love. She’s a published cookbook author, a student and an entrepreneur. Her blog, The Bittersweet Blog, not only includes her recipes for some delicious sounding desserts and savory dishes, but her photography to showcase the dishes will have you salivating all over your laptop keyboard. She’s young, she’s full of new ideas and she is truly someone to look out for. Move over Paula Deen. Hannah is coming through (and her dishes are Vegan too).
t e e w s A truly vegan Photography by Hannah Kaminsky
When did you realize you had a knack for making things in the kitchen? I can’t say that there was ever a singular moment where I thought to myself, “Wow, I can really make awesome food!” It was just something I did, and had to do, in order to survive as a happy and healthy vegan. Eventually I started cooking for others more and since no one ever got sick or kicked me out of the kitchen, the recipes kept on coming. Baking for me was more of a craft or an art project, so I simply went wild in dreaming up different desserts and pairing up unconventional flavor combinations. It was more about the journey than the destination in the beginning; ending up with something edible was merely a bonus when it was all said and done. What was the first cooking contest you ever won? “Competitive” is about the last way I’d ever describe myself, so I can’t say I have many cooking contests to reflect back on. However, my first win was a pivotal moment in my baking career, which really did spur me on to try creating more recipes. It must have been 9 or 10 years ago, I decided to enter a local baking contest connected with the local Dogwood Festival. It was open to all, I was the only vegan baker to be found, but I submitted 52 BLEEP
my Mocha Devastation Cake right along with the rest of them, no further comments from me. Amazingly, it took first place, above all the other butter- and egg-filled sweets, and even edged out my own mother’s fruit tart. I still can’t believe I won, to this day. Why did you decide to start blogging about food? The blog was actually never supposed to be about food. It began as a craft blog, where I showcased my latest knit, crocheted, beaded or sewn projects. BitterSweet really just took on a life of its own and recipes eventually began to weave their way into the fabric of my posts. They took over, slowly but surely, and I just went with the flow. If something works, why fight it? I still try to throw in a few crafts every now and then and keep a number of free patterns stashed deep within the archives, but it’s clear that the focus has permanently shifted over to edibles. On your blog, you feature a lot of your own photography. How long have you been into photography? Photography has only been in my life as long as the blog. It came about merely as the way I needed to document my finished projects and slowly grew to become another
hobby of mine. Constantly using that camera quickly Eventually, she simply asked if I would be interested in improved my skills, and then I became hungry for even doing a cookbook, and thus the book deal fell into my better images; “good enough” just didn’t cut it anymore. lap. I got so lucky, because that really got my foot in the publishing door. I was 18 years old at the time and I shot You have an eye for visual presentation for food. Why all the photos on my little point-and-shoot camera, too. is that important for people to note when making It’s almost out of print now, so you may want to snap up these recipes at home? a copy very soon... Most people, myself included, tend to be visual learners. Vegan Desserts came out last year and was a big step If they see it first, it’s a lot easier for them to recreate at up in terms of content. Organized with a seasonal theme, home. It’s also helpful to know what the finished recipe it feels more like a complete thought. Plus, it’s a stunning should look like, both to entice the viewer and to reassure hardcover and my camera got a nice upgrade, too. This them that they’ve made it correctly (or... not.) A plain one has over 100 recipes, including the highly soughtlisting of ingredients doesn’t do very much for me, but after vegan meringue. a photo for that same recipe can make get me running That’s not the end of the story though. I now have a into the kitchen. If something looks good, it’s more likely third on the way, due out mid-June of this year. It’s called to be made, and eaten. Vegan a la Mode and as you might guess, it’s all about vegan ice creams. The waiting period is always so difficult, What do you hope comes from the blog? as I’m just bursting to share all about it. Beyond that, I’ve My goal is that everyone who wanders on will find already started work on number four... But I can’t give too something that they want to make, feel they can make much away about it just yet. and will enjoy. I’ve always said I write tasty recipes that just happen to be vegan, because I don’t want anyone to What/where are you studying in college? think they’ve been excluded. I’m not looking to “convert” I’m working on a BFA in commercial photography at anyone, but if I can get someone to try a new vegan dish Academy of Art University. The strange but pretty darn that they may not have otherwise, I’d consider it a success. nifty thing about it is that I’ve never been on campus. Not once. It’s based in San Francisco but has an extremely Tell me about your books, My Sweet Vegan and Vegan strong online program, so I’ve been able to stay at home Desserts. in Connecticut. I’d be miserable without the ability to The story of how My Sweet Vegan, my first book, came continue working on cookbooks, blogging and holding about is so unbelievable, it still sounds like a made-up down a part time job at Health in a Hurry, so I’m incredibly story to me. It started, like most things, with my blog. The grateful that it could all work out. I joke that I’m on the head of an awesome indie publisher started following “20-year-plan” though since I’m only taking 2 or 3 classes and we developed a close friendship- Well, as close each semester, considering all the different projects I’m as two people on opposite sides of the country can. juggling. I don’t mind though, since it’s never been about BLEEP 53
much as what’s fresh and in season. Holidays point me in certain directions for recipes, too. Trying a new dish at a restaurant might set me off, whether I try to recreate it Vegan cooking is very trendy right now. Why do you or make it even better at home. There’s just no end to the creative process. think that is? It’s all about increased awareness about health, the environment and animal suffering. I feel incredibly lucky It’s fair to say that you’re a young cooking mogul in to be vegan at this point in time, because it’s truly never the making. Where do you hope the blog and the been better. There are many reasons to be vegan and books will take you? Right now, I’m just looking to turn a few books into that’s finally being properly understood. It’s not just about more books. I love writing, photographing and sharing being a crunchy-granola health freak (as I try to disprove them, so I’m quite happy to continue along that path for with my dessert recipes, too.) a while still. I don’t have any grand plans for the future in You have three eBooks that are available. Where do particular, but I’m just seeing where this path takes me. you get your ideas from for the books? So far, that’s been working out pretty nicely. Same place I get all of my other ideas: Everywhere. Honestly, I have more ideas than I know what to do with What’s your dream? It would be just about the coolest thing if my books or time to actually bring to fruition. I keep notebooks of desserts I want to try making and I doubt I’ll ever get were ever translated into different languages and sold to the bottom of the stack. Seeing what’s in my pantry abroad. and how it might all go together inspires me just as getting a dinky paper diploma, and I’m getting a lot out of the experience.
Pick up one of Hannah’s books on Amazon.com today! BLEEP 55
Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more BLEEPing than just in the mag. Check out www.bleepmag.com for past issues and find us on Facebook and Twitter.
Photography by Paul Smith
Humorist & Polymath
I am... 6’2. I’m here because... of my grandparents. What makes me happiest is... watching/doing the Carlton Dance. The color that best represents me is... Green. What I hope to accomplish today is... this quiz. My best friends are... thinkers and doers. I can’t live without my... dangerously old Ford Explorer. Between an Olympic champion or an Oscar winner, I’d rather be... an Olympic champion! Skeleton. If I wasn’t me, I’d be... Michael Phelps. I like it best when you... say nothing at all. Or is that a Ronan Keating song? God is... an Awesome God. I’m hungry for... a Mark Twain quote: “Hunger is the handmaiden of genius.” I cry... at the end of Homeward Bound. Style means... Clark’s Wallabees. I want to go to... ThePolosGrounds.com The most obnoxious sound in the world is... a cranky Tomm Polos. What makes me weak is... a well underscored montage. At this exact moment, I’m passionate about...exact moments. I crave... Coke with Lime. BRING IT BACK. My inspiration is... Bop. BLEEP 57