OCTOBER 2013 Issue • 309
P E E BL
STAR OF FILM, TV & STAGE, ALAN CUMMING IS PUTTING HIS SUSPENDERS BACK ON IN THE ROLE THAT WON HIM A TONY
LEADS THE MEN OF
ERIK ALTEMUS from PIPPIN THAYNE JASPERSON from MATLIDA CODY SCOTT LANCASTER from ROCK OF AGES JESSE NAGER from MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL BLEEP 1 SHOT BY KEVIN THOMAS GARCIA
n i p e ble inside
ON THE COVER
International star of film, television and the stage, Alan Cumming leads our pack of Broadway men. He opens up about “The Good Wife” and his upcoming revival of Cabaret on Broadway. We also chat with Eric Altemus from the Tony Award winning revival of Pippin, Thayne Jasperson from Matilda: The Musical, Cody Scott Lancaster from Rock of Ages and Jesse Nager from Motown: The Musical. It’s 30 pages of some of Broadways finest men, all shot by Kevin Thomas Garcia in New York City. 2 BLEEP
Our cocktail connoisseur has created three new cocktails that are sure to be a hit at your Halloween gatherings, World Series parties or football games. Theyâ€™re easy to make and delicious to drink.
Letter from the Editor When I was talking to Erik Altemus who stars in the Tony Award winning revival of Pippin currently, we were talking about fans and how each show has their “superfans.” My favorite encounter with a set of superfans was when I saw the Broadway revival of Godspell. In front of us was a girl who had seen the show more than 20 times and behind us was a guy that was almost up to 100. I didn’t even know there had been 100 performances of the revival at that point... but he knew. And he knew all the ushers, the box office employees and every performer of course. Erik was saying how there are Pippin fans who, much like the Godspell fans, have seen the show dozens of times. In his article, you can read what he thinks about that, but for me, I find it to be pretty matter-of-fact why those fans exist and will continue to do so. In theatre, you are in the same room with the art that’s being produced. That’s not the case with film or television. There’s a barrier there. When you listen to an album, that art lives within your head and your soul, but unless you are at a concert, there’s a barrier between you and the artist. But when you are within arms reach of the performers, you begin to feel like you know them. That’s the point after all. You’re supposed to feel like to are connected to the actors on the stage. That’s the point of the theatre. To make that connection. That’s why I love the Broadway features we do. We get to talk to Broadway performers who are at the top of their game. Within these guys, there’s a Broadway veteran, a Broadway debut, a “So You Think You Can Dance” alum, a Canadian transplant and a film and TV star. Each of these guys has the privilege of having their art be personal and in person on the Broadway stage eight times a week. So we’ve tried to give you a glimpse into their lives, how they got to where they are and what inspires them to keep inspiring up-and-coming performers. All five of our guys were shot by Kevin Thomas Garcia, one of the best photographers in New York. I’m proud to have them all on our pages. They inspired me when we were chatting, and hopefully they will inspire you as well.
Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief 4 BLEEP
With their debut performance just a few weeks away, the members of the newly minted Trio Fundacion Astor Piazzolla (Sebastian Forster, Gjilberta Lucaj, and Galina Zhdanova) granted BLEEP exclusive access to one of their rehearsals. In between pieces, they chatted about their trio’s namesake, their mission, and the joy of performing in a chamber ensemble that ‘clicks’.
ART AT 200 MPH
You may not have heard of Sam Bass but he is one of the most in demand artists in America. Those designs and paintjobs that adorn the cars, race suits, hats and team memorabilia at NASCAR events all come from his head. It’s art at the fastest speeds in the world and he tells us all about it. BLEEP 5
BLEEP CREATIVITY. UNCENSORED. RYAN BRINSON Editor-in-Chief RACHAEL MARIBOHO Culture Editor SARAH ROTKER Business & Audience Development Manager KADI MCDONALD Content Manager PABLO SALINAS Social Media Associate BEN HUMENIUK Cartoonist KEVIN THOMAS GARCIA Cover Photography FEATURE EDITORS: Juan Lerma Molly Craycroft WRITERS: Caleb Bollenbacher Danielle Milam Courtney Shotwell Lisa Sorenson Laura Seitter Alex Wright FEATURE CONTRIBUTORS: Katherine Morgan Nathan Robins WEB CONTENT: Sheena Wagaman Renee Rodriguez Eric Lehman Jordan Shalhoub
All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.
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Multi-Track Mind “Am I evil? Am I good? I’m done asking those questions. I don’t have the answers. Does anyone?” When Dexter Morgan, the title character of Showtime’s “Dexter,” poses the above questions, he’s being purely rhetorical. After all, the framing structure for the hit TV show is the inner monologue of a serial killer, not a conversation between characters. But here’s the thing: the entirety of the show is a conversation, albeit not in the most traditional sense. It’s a conversation between the media – and by extension, those who create it – and the audience. That’s the nature of any created thing. What fascinates me about “Dexter” and shows like it – “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead” to name a few popular examples – is that it’s a conversation about morality, and as a result there is a pressing responsibility involved in the creation of the show. That’s why I’ve been stressed for the last few months leading up to and during this season of “Dexter.” Ever since the network announced that the 8th season would serve as the finale run for the highly successful series – it has garnered an impressive twenty-five Emmy nominations, and several wins – I’ve been in a state of figurative nail-biting. It’s not just that one of my favorite shows is ending, it’s that I feel as though it has to end in a certain way, and I don’t necessarily like that ending. This is the problem with a show that features a serial killer or any other sort of career criminal – looking at you, Walter White – as a protagonist: it turns morality on its head, and that cannot be taken lightly. It’s all well and good to paint Dexter Morgan as a tragic antihero, who funnels his psychopathic tendencies into vigilantism, but the momentum of that artistic decision can only be carried so far. Eventually the piper has to be paid. Audiences have to be made aware of the consequences of wrongdoing, or else the creative team is guilty of endorsing wrong behavior. These characters have to get their just desserts, no matter how attached we’ve become. Of course there are other options. Dexter is such a complex character that it was always conceivable that the writers would point him to some sort of redemption. Up until the ending there was plenty of indication that this would take place, but I always wondered if there’s any way to make that into a satisfying ending, just as 10 BLEEP
I wondered if we could afford to watch serial killer Dexter ride off into the sunset for a ‘happily ever after’. As it turns out (SPOILER ALERT), the end result was a weird bastardization of all the possibilities. Dexter lost his sister, and in doing so, experienced the one ultimate pain that could wake him from his reverie and realize the consequences that his lifestyle had on others. Unfortunately, in the midst of all this emotional cataclysm something was lost and the show missed its landing, which is probably just a testament to the difficulty of extricating the show from such a murky climate. This strange meeting of morality and media is a relatively recent invention. It used to be that good wore white hats and evil wore black. In the past few decades the idea of the antihero has taken hold, and from a creative standpoint it’s easy to see why. It makes things interesting. But when white hats are replaced by meth labs and kill rooms we’re entering dangerous territory. Entertaining? Absolutely. But the danger is very real. When black and white start to bleed together in our stories it allows for depth and intrigue, and those are both key traits that should exist in any tale. The end result, however, contains a verdict, and a verdict is a statement. If Dexter had gotten away like I wanted him to, then something falls out of balance. Justice ends up a victim. I don’t want to have to say goodbye to Dexter, but I feel like I didn’t have any other options, because as much as he’s a complex, and, at times, lovable character, his actions reveal a black hat, even if he’s conflicted about wearing it. In creation, every decision has power to push home a point, and that’s something that shouldn’t exist outside of accountability. Dexter may not have the answers as to whether he is good or evil, but the people who write these gray area shows definitely do, and they’ve managed to push me to the edge of my seat awaiting their verdict. This anticipation is a testament to great power in writing, but with that power must come great responsibility.
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THE ROLLING STONES 12 BLEEP
The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
(4/5) BUTTERFLIES “I am different, not less.” Temple Grandin Autism. It’s a word we associate with many others: disability, loner, awkward, spacey, socially inappropriate, and strange. “Creative” is simply not one of the words we think of when we hear “autism”. However, Naoki Higashida, author of The Reason I Jump, shows us how very wrong we are. As a special education teacher, I work with many students with autism. I see everyday the struggles they face while trying to fit into a world they don’t understand. So, when I heard about this book, written by a boy with Autism, I jumped at the chance to get a glimpse into the autistic world. Naoki Higashida is a young man from Japan who has been diagnosed with severe autism. He has never been able to talk. His mother and teachers helped devise a form of fingerspelling so he could communicate, but people didn’t believe it was really him speaking. They thought his mother was making up what he was saying to make him more intelligible. Angered by this, he became motivated to learn how to use an alpha-grid independently, and used it to write this book at the young age of 13. The first three quarters are set up question and answer style. Higashida reveals why he speaks loudly, why he seems to hate being touched, and why he jumps. His answers are surprisingly complex. Yet, there does seem to be some meaning that gets lost somewhere between the autism and translation from Japanese to English. It had me wondering if certain aspects of Higashida’s answers were
because of the culture he has grown up in, or because of his autism. What completely blew me away about this book - and is the reason you should read it - is the short story at the end. Higashida writes a creative, allegorical story about what it’s like to live with autism. This 13-year-old boy understands his complex disability enough to write a fictional account complete with multidimensional characters. I was, and still am, stunned. And, I am ashamed. I am ashamed that I am so stunned by Higashida’s creativity. I wonder how I got this idea that “autistic” doesn’t mean “creative”. I wonder how many childrens’ creativity I’ve discounted because of a silly label. Higashida’s book is a lesson to us that creativity is an innate human desire – even in those whom society labels as disabled. MUST READ FOR: EVERYONE. Want more book reviews? Check out www.daniellesviews.blogspot.com
by Laura Seitter
I’ll Never Let Go, Jack – and other tales of excessive loyalty For a while after its initial release, I resisted seeing Sam Mendes’ 2008 film Revolutionary Road. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a good soul-crushing examination of stifling conformity in suburban America – because Lord knows I do. I was hesitant to see the onscreen reunion of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, the dynamic duo that shaped my young notions of forbidden romance in a blockbuster about a certain ill-fated ship. Titanic was a film that ultimately defined a decade, and it catapulted Kate and Leo into superstardom. When the two were cast as the leads in Revolutionary Road, I resisted the idea of seeing “Jack and Rose” in a setting that might alter an ideal I had formed in my own mind. It took less time than the opening credits to become completely transfixed. This time, Winslet and DiCaprio are on a completely different kind of sinking ship. The story of a wildly disappointing marriage proved the pair’s maturity and versatility as actors, and my preconceived notions from Titanic simply melted away. I was left spellbound by the honesty and utter tragedy of the two characters that were left: not Jack and Rose, but Frank and April Wheeler. As viewers, we judge actors on their ability to convince. They must transcend their own quirks, celebrity status, and previous incarnations to become a new character, comfortable and unique. Some actors achieve this more successfully than others, and they are rewarded with money, Oscars, and Walk of Fame stars. If an actor is playing a known entity, though – like a treasured literary character, or the hero in a rebooted franchise – we, as an audience, have a tendency to set the bar too high. At the beginning of the year, moviegoers were positively glowing over Ben Affleck and his highly praised film Argo. Now, just a few short months later, Affleck’s name is practically a joke. With the announcement that the actor would be playing Batman in the 2015 Man of Steel sequel, the Internet exploded with outrage, doubt and Matt-Damon-asRobin memes. The reaction is somewhat bewildering; Affleck is not set to play in a biopic of Einstein or Nelson Mandela or Jesus. He’s going to be a fictional superhero. And while it is certainly an ambitious risk to
follow after Christian Bale’s noteworthy performance in Chris Nolan’s series, it was inevitable that someone would step in to revamp the Caped Crusader. Similar shockwaves rocked TV culture when BBC announced the imminent regeneration of Matt Smith on Doctor Who. In August, Scottish actor Peter Capaldi was revealed as the twelfth incarnation of the beloved Sci-Fi character, and the Internet once again lost its ever-lovin’ mind. While the revelation was not necessarily met with negativity, it is still bemusing to see the divided reactions of the fans. In a role that is so utterly defined by the constancy of change, how can the audience hold such strong loyalties to one particular actor? It is by no means wrong to be loyal to particular actors, especially when they succeed in bringing an extraordinary character to fruition. Likewise, when a character resonates emotionally, it is natural to want to preserve those fond feelings. Change is gonna come, though, and it will probably come fast. Someday, someone will remake the Harry Potter series, and some other kid will bear that lightning scar. Your favorite child actor will grow up and breakout in an outrageously strange indie flick. Ben Affleck will probably get cast as Professor X in another superhero reboot. Regardless of these uncertainties, it sure would be a shame to miss out on an unexpected gem in order to hold on to a supposed ideal that’s already hit the iceberg. BLEEP 15
The Cocktail Connoisseur Nathan Robins
ith the advent of autumn the time has come to set aside the rum fueled neon colored libations of summer and reach for mellower fare for the coming months. In this issue I attempted to provide something for everyone, something sweet, something rich and something warming and strong to capture the wide spectrum of seasonal flavors: from the sugary delight of Halloween to the spice of Thanksgiving. Though I am writing from Texas, where the seasonal shift is presently more apparent through the change in dĂŠcor rather than weather I have found myself tempted more often by Sidecars and whiskeys than the ubiquitous Margarita. I hope these creations can lead you toward something new in the coming months, always remember to have fun and experiment - take something here and tailor it to your own tastes. The first drink is my ode to my favorite thanksgiving treat and perhaps everyoneâ€™s favorite seasonally available drink. The second pays homage to the changing of the leaves, and makes use of the recent trend in maple infused and flavored spirits. The third and fourth are quick and easy additions to a Halloween party which are designed as shooters, but could fairly easily be scaled up into a punch, hopefully one accented with a block of dry ice.
Pumpkin Spice Martini While some Thanksgiving flavors may not lend themselves well toward drinkability, turkey infused vodka was a major misstep, others are simply bliss. Thanksgiving is not complete without pumpkin pie, the creamy texture, the sweetness and spice complements the savoriness of the preceding meal to perfection. While the pumpkin itself provides richness and some flavor, the nostalgia inducing punch comes from the blend of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg often sold together as ‘pumpkin pie spice’ in fact. To make your own pumpkin spice flavored vodka simply mix a fourth of a cup of vodka with a tablespoon of pumpkin puree and two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. Allow the mixture to sit for at least an hour then filter through a coffee filter. Likewise, pumpkin spice flavored sugar can be made by mixing a few dashes of the spice blend with a small amount of castor sugar or another fine sugar. If you want something more akin to the astoundingly popular pumpkin spice coffee drinks which pervade the fall coffee liquor can be added to make this cocktail a pumpkin spice white Russian, or iced coffee could be added for something not quite as strong.
4 oz. Pumpkin Spice Infused Vodka 1 ½ oz. Irish Cream Pumpkin Spiced Rim Sugar Variant addition: 1 oz. Coffee Liquor Combine Vodka and Irish Cream in a shaker with Ice, shake vigorously and strain into sugar rimmed martini glass. BLEEP 17
Autumnal Old Fashioned
Though maple trees are more often tapped for syrup during the spring their chromatic brilliance is on display during the autumn, and besides, I doubt a leaf distilled spirit would taste particularly good. Of late a number of producers have been releasing maple flavored spirit variants and liquors, here I used a popular Canadian whisky flavored with maple, alternately another smooth whisky could be used and accented with a small amount of maple liquor, or an even smaller amount of high quality maple syrup, in which case the sugar should be omitted. A traditional old fashioned is made from bourbon, bitters, water and a sugar cube. Here I substituted in some citrus notes by replacing the water with juice and the usual Angostura bitters with orange bitters which arenâ€™t quite as spicy. A sugar cube can still be used if desired, but castor sugar dissolves much more easily. 18 BLEEP
3 oz. Maple Whisky 3 Dashes Orange Bitters Â˝ oz Orange Juice Â˝ Tsp. Castor Sugar Orange Peel Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass or a rocks glass over ice.
Ghoul Gore & The Vampire’s Nightcap Some people love Halloween some people hate it, either way you can celebrate or drown out the sugar enhanced hyperactive doorbell ringing with a few quick drinks. These two shooters are simple and easy to pull together right before a party, they also can be scaled following the same proportions for a communal punch bowl.
If you want richer colors - if your gore looks a bit too much like ectoplasm and your blood is too watery for your liking – a very small amount of food dye, especially the gel type used for cake icing, will provide a bit more opaqueness and deeper cooler. It is Halloween after all, and Ghoul Gore even a drink deserves a bit of a 1 oz. Melon Liquor costume to look scarier.
1 oz. Vodka ½ oz. Pineapple Juice ½ oz. Lemon-Lime Soda Vampire’s Nightcap 2 oz. Vodka 2 oz. Cranberry Juice ½ oz. Orange Juice Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and strain into shot or cordial glasses.
Throughout his life, Astor Piazzolla’s music and compositions inhabited a space between the passion of tango and his ambitions as a composer of classical music. The result of this balancing act procured a style that was uniquely his own; nuevo tango. With their debut performance just a few weeks away, the members of the newly minted Trio Fundacion Astor Piazzolla (Sebastian Forster - piano, Gjilberta Lucaj - cello, Galina Zhdanova – violin) granted BLEEP exclusive access to one of their rehearsals. In between pieces, they chatted about their trio’s namesake, their mission, and the joy of performing in a chamber ensemble that ‘clicks.’
story by deidre bird 20 BLEEP photos by tyler dean king
The Trio Fundacion Astor Piazzolla: (L to R from top) Galina Zhdanova – violin, Sebastian Forster - piano, and Gjilberta Lucaj - cello.
me. She even helped me start the first Piazzolla trio over 10 years ago.
WHAT MAKES PIAZZOLLA’S MUSIC SO SPECIAL, AND HOW WILL THAT HELP YOU CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCES? Sebastian: [His music] is like the perfume of Buenos Aires. That is how I like to introduce his work. It is basically what, at the end of the day, remains when you listen to him. And for me … it opens very deep places of my heart. So it’s a music that describes the new Buenos Aires in a way that brings a mixture of Buenos Aires and the streets of Paris…A music that describes a culture - which is the Argentine, but also the European culture. It’s a way to connect with young people…that serves as a bridge between classical music and other genres. When they used to ask [Piazzolla] “Do you compose tango? Your tango is so personal it doesn’t look like tango,” he would say, “My music, it’s about tango, but it’s mine, more personal … it’s different”. That’s the difference. The strong personal influence is what makes Piazzolla’s music easier to connect with than classical music - although it is classical as well.
AND NOW YOU’VE SORT OF RE-INVENTED THE GROUP, AS A CLASSICAL CHAMBER TRIO. IN A CITY THAT IS SWIMMING WITH MUSICIANS, HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO FIND THE STRINGS THAT FIT YOUR NEEDS AS AN ENSEMBLE? Sebastian: Well, we know a lot of people in common - and we all live in New York and we all work in the city. Gjilberta: He and I met first and we just said let’s play a few tango pieces together that were specifically composed for cello and piano, especially the “Grand Tango”, which was originally dedicated to Rostropovich. Sebastian: This is a letter from Laura Piazzolla in July 24, 2000. I will translate it for you: “Dear Sebastian, Astor wrote this work with lots of love and illusion for two great artists, Martha Argerich and the great Rostropovich. They couldn’t play together, so hoping in your privileged hands, the great artist that you are, AND SEBASTIAN, YOU HAVE A PERSONAL you will have the success and the distinction that it CONNECTION TO THE PIAZZOLLA FAMILY AS deserves. Love and admiration, Laura Piazzolla” WELL. HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT? Gjilberta: So yea, that’s how we started together. And I have known (his widow) Laura and him since I was eventually [Sebastian] said, “So I have all these piano maybe 7 or 8. We used to go to Uruguay to spend trios that were arranged by the great Jose Bragato family vacations there, as would Piazzolla, who went that have never been performed.” So we started for the shark hunting. He knew my parents very looking for a violinist, and then Galina came, and we well, and he used to come to have barbecues at our fit. house. I had the conflict that there wasn’t a piano yet, so I told my parents “Listen, if I don’t have a piano, I DOES THIS STYLE OF MUSIC PRESENT ANY cannot go on vacation”. So, actually, Astor helped me PARTICULAR CHALLENGES TO YOU AS PRIMARILY in choosing my first piano. He thought I had a lot of CLASSICAL MUSICIANS? potential, and he said, “This kid needs advice”. Gjilberta: I think I am speaking for Galina too - we Laura, his widow and the head of the Piazzolla were both trained classically. You are expected to foundation, has been like a musical Godmother to do everything perfectly; perfect timing, perfect
“AS CLASSICAL MUSICIANS, COMING FROM THE EXPECTATION OF PERFECTION, IT IS EASIER FOR US TO PLAY MUSIC WITH FEWER RESTRICTIONS THAN, SAY, IF THE SITUATION WERE REVERSED.”
-GALINA ZHDANOVA BLEEP 23
everything. You are not supposed to stretch the music, you are not supposed to over-express something unless it’s written on the page. It’s all with passion of course, but there isn’t as much room for the musician’s personality. Tango offers something else. Of course you are playing what was written by the master, however, you can stretch, you can show your colors, you can truly express what you feel in a piece of music. It’s more personal. Galina: As classical musicians, coming from the expectation of perfection, it is easier for us to play music with fewer restrictions than, say, if the situation were reversed. However, there are some people from the classical background that are unable to go “freer”. They are so stuck in their training or maybe it’s a personality thing, but they find it difficult to deal with less restrictive, more emotional music.
happen. They were busy with other things, so things weren’t meant to be at that time. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE PERFORMING THE MUSIC OF PIAZZOLLA WITHOUT HIS SIGNATURE BANDONEON? Sebastian: I actually think that the absence of the bandoneon brings more of a classical approach, if you would. But that is exactly the point - the omission of such a popular instrument serves as a bridge between classical and popular audiences. This is a classical trio, and we will have been invited to Buenos Aires to perform Mendelssohn, Schubert, along with the works of Piazzolla. I love [Bragato’s] arrangements. They sound so balanced. With the bandoneon, every other instrument accompanies the bandoneon. These trios are chamber music. Every instrument is a soloist. It’s the music that is being featured rather than any one instrument.
GALINA AND GJILBERTA, DID EITHER OF YOU LADIES HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPOSURE TO PIAZZOLLA BEFORE JOINING THIS ENSEMBLE? Gjilberta: Oh yes, of course. I love Piazzolla’s music DO YOU THINK THAT AT SOME POINT YOU MIGHT Galina: Definitely. I’ve played his music several times BRING IN THAT SIGNATURE BANDONEON TO with different chamber orchestras. COLLABORATE? Sebastian: They sound better than Argentines! Sebastian: I would love to collaborate. The possibilities are limitless. AND SEBASTIAN, THE TRIO’S MAKE-UP IS DIFFERENT FROM ITS LAST OUTING. WHAT Performing on October 11th at the Allen-Stevenson MOTIVATED THE CHANGE TO BECOME A PIANO School , the trio’s upcoming concert will feature many TRIO? “firsts.” Sebastian, Gjilberta, and Galina’s contagious Sebastian: The original set up [was] with bandoneon, enthusiasm for their namesake’s work and upbeat cello, & piano. The reason it is as it is now is because camaraderie as a group will make this a debut outing Bragato, the great helper of PIazzolla, was one of not to be missed. the closest musicians to help Piazzolla with all the arrangements and transcriptions. Bragato had arranged Piazzolla’s music for piano trio for people from the Berlin Philharmonic - then the tour didn’t 24 BLEEP
“[HIS MUSIC] IS LIKE THE PERFUME OF BUENOS AIRES. THAT IS HOW I LIKE TO INTRODUCE HIS WORK..”
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bass AN INSIDE LOOK AT A HIGH-SPEED SPORTING VISIONARY WHO TURNED HIS LOVE OF RACE CARS INTO THE RIDE OF A LIFETIME BY GARY SHACKLEFORD
Valentine’s Day 1988: a historic Daytona 500 was in the making. Richard Petty barrel-rolled down the front stretch, the introduction of the carburetor restrictor plates was the talk among NASCAR fans, and Bobby Allison came from behind to win in his brand new #12 Miller High Life Buick. Bobby edged out his son, Davey, and became the oldest winner ever for the Daytona 500. What he didn’t realize was that he set the stage for another legend: behind the scenes, a young Sam Bass had designed the paint scheme for the car that drove into Victory Lane. That car launched Bass into a legacy that continues 25 years later. 30 BLEEP
am Bass saw his first NASCAR race when he was about 6 years old. “I remember the program designs and the colors on the cars,” he said. “Both excitement [for the race] and artistry was brought out by the designs of these cars.” He brought home the souvenir program that night and began sketching racecar designs. He knew after that race that he wanted to design cars. In 1984, Bass graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Fine Arts. Still in love with NASCAR, he drew a picture of his favorite driver, Bobby Allison, and headed to Talladega Motor Speedway to wait outside the track for a chance to meet Allison. Merely hoping to have his drawing signed, Allison loved the drawing so much that Bass left Talladega with commissions from Allison, and from two other drivers who wanted their own portraits. “Three commissions from NASCAR icons at $35 a
pop? I thought I had finally made the big time.” Then, in 1987, Allison’s Miller High Life team approached Bass to see if he would design their 1988 paint scheme. His dream was coming true. NASCAR was a different world back then. It was still fairly new to television, and sponsorship was beginning to have a major impact on the top drivers as well as the fans. Bass approached his first design challenge just like he approaches his designs today, with a simple question: “What excites me as a fan?” The idea for his first car was to make it look like a can of Miller High Life. The process was quite lengthy, from drawing and painting his design on paper, to getting approval from owners and sponsors, to having an artist actually airbrush the car. The process in 1988 was exhausting, but on February 14, 1988 the Miller High Life team made it to Victory Lane. With that, Bass’s design was featured in every photograph of the winner.
“Miller High Life was so ecstatic with the design, they offered me the job as their designer for their Indy, Le Mans, Daytona’s 24-Hour Race and Dragster teams.” He hasn’t stopped since. In 1993, his design work hit a high point when he designed Jeff Gordon’s #24 Dupont Chevrolet. The paint scheme led Jeff to become known as the “Rainbow Warrior” and has cemented itself in NASCAR and the world as one of the most popular and successful paint schemes ever. “I had no idea how I would top my debut of winning the elusive Daytona 500, until this design.” The ‘Rainbow Warrior’ ran for almost a decade around the NASCAR circuit - one of the longest runs for a team design. Bass’s ability to use color and graphics that not only represented the team and sponsors but also enticed fan loyalty to their drivers’ product is a difficult task. The true difficulty arose at the end of the ‘Rainbow Warrior’ run and Bass was approached to change the design that was so loved by fans. “It took almost 8 months of work before we finally settled on the final design of the ‘Flame’ car. Reinventing and debuting the icon was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to design.” As he broke down all of his concepts, Bass consistently brought all of his designs back to a simple art lesson in basic color theory. “I still believe as I did in 1988 that simple color theory is the key to designing a car that excites the fans and makes the painting come to life at 200 miles per hour.” BLEEP 31
Below: Bass with race winner Kyle Busch after he smashed the guitar trophy. Right: Bass’ “Talladega Nights” artwork.
His process for testing car colors hasn’t changed since he was a kid when he was first falling in love with the art of design. “When I have an idea for a paint scheme I want to present to a team, I simply paint a scale model car. After that, I put the car in its lane on my HO slot track and race it around a few laps. Then you can see how the colors will look from above and make sure you can read the numbers.” NASCAR design has come far from the airbrush days and Bass can design a car, have it printed on the decal and have the car wrapped the next day. The ability of technology to print the designs on the decal has allowed NASCAR to do more special and event specific designs. For exmple, Disney’s animated film “Planes” ran a special car for Jimmie Johnson this season. “Not knowing how long it will take these
negotiations, the ability to hammer out an idea to a decal wrap made my life just slightly easier.” This all changed when Bass was offered to design the Will Ferrell movie “Talladega Nights.” Bass was hired to design all of the movie’s fictional racing elements which included cars, uniforms, banners, transporters and gear. Initially, Bass was hired with a 14 week window to design the movie but, after the negotiations, he ended up with a mere 4 weeks to create the memorable designs of the Wonder Bread, Cougar and Old Spice teams, as well as ones that didn’t make the movie. “My favorite designs that actually didn’t make the cut. For ‘Julio’s Thongs for Men,’ I got to design a car that had a giant thong from hood to tail. I got to design outside of the practical realm of NASCAR and have fun with it. “
he only thing Sam Bass fell in love with before NASCAR was music. His first concert was Dolly Parton and his love for music and NASCAR merged when he designed guitars for the country duo Brooks and Dunn, for NASCAR’s 50th Anniversary. That led Bass to work with Gibson later on, designing guitars for Zac Brown, Sheryl Crow, Foreigner, Lenny Kravitz and more. “My favorite thing about designing the guitars and meeting the musicians is that most of them are just as big of fans of NASCAR as the drivers are of them. Before the race, the drivers are trying to get autographs from the musicians and after the race, the musicians want the autographs of the drivers.” Over 150 hours of work go into Bass’s guitar design for the trophy guitar that is given to the winner of the NASCAR race each year in Nashville, Tennessee. His specialty guitar designs have become even more popular since an incident involving driver Kyle Busch, which has become infamous among NASCAR fans. Over 150 hours of work go into Sam’s guitar design for the trophy guitar that is given to the winner of the NASCAR race in Nashville, Tennessee. Upon his win in 2009, Kyle Busch, in true rock star fashion, smashed
the $25,000 guitar into pieces in Victory Lane. The incident garnered press attention for many reasons – not least of all because Bass’s designs are regarded by ESPN as some of the best trophy designs in sports. “I mean, I was a little hurt,” he recalls, “but really, I was grateful for the outburst of attention because it pushed NASCAR into the spotlight of sports media.” Reaching over 150 countries on television and between 40,000 and 400,000 fans trackside at the race, Bass’s art is in the spotlight on a global stage. His creativity and innovation continue to push forward a sport that is usually overlooked in terms of artistry. “I still believe, to this day, that NASCAR fans are the best fans in any sports realm,” he said. “They will follow their driver through fire. They buy, wear and live by their driver’s sponsor and color scheme. I’m so appreciative and inspired by the fans and their loyalty to this sport.” His advice for any designer who wants to design for sports? “Remember, you’re a fan first. Your designs will only be great if you look at it through the eyes that fell in love with what you do as an artist.”
SAM bass fast FACTS Sam is the only Officially Licensed Artist of NASCAR He still paints portraits that gave him his start Florescent Colors are his favorite to use in his designs His illustration of Dale Earnhardt was featured on Wheaties Box His studio is in Charlotte, North Carolina WWW.SAMBASS.COM
Above: The Bank of America 500 race program designed by Bass.
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alan ALAN CUMMING HAS HAD A BUSY YEAR. HE STARRED IN MACBETH ON BROADWAY, RELEASED A FILM, “ANY DAY NOW,” & CONTINUED TO BE A SCENE-STEALER ON THE HIT SHOW, “THE GOOD WIFE.” THIS SPRING, HE’S HEADED BACK TO BROADWAY, AND TO THE ROLE THAT WON HIM A TONY AWARD, IN CABARET. 36 BLEEP
STORY BY RYAN BRINSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY BLEEP 37 KEVIN THOMAS GARCIA
lan Cumming has done it all. He has faced off with James Bond in “Goldeneye.” He has dressed Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex and the City.” He’s been in cult classics like “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” and “Spice World.” He’s hosted SNL. He’s starred in multiple Broadway shows and won a Tony Award for his role in Cabaret. He’s been nominated for Emmys and SAG Awards, wrote a novel, “Tommy’s Tale,” and even squared off against Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in “X2.” For a guy who first came to the United States in 1995 to do press for an Irish film, “Circle of Friends,” he’s left a indelible mark on the American entertainment landscape. Alan continues to be one of the most versatile actors working today, starring as fan favorite Eli Gold on the hit CBS show, “The Good Wife.” “I had no point of reference from my own life,” he says of crafting the character of Gold. “I just trusted the writing. He was this guy they were going to use as the political advisor but had a reputation for losing his temper and being very ruthless. There was a lot of information about the character and I just trusted the writing during those first few episodes while I got the hang of it.” It’s fair to say he got the hang of it. Now in its fifth season, “The Good Wife” has become a Sunday night mainstay for millions of Americans. “The writing on that show is so great and I think the best thing about it is that it doesn’t tell you what to think. So much of American culture tells you what to think. It guides you to a place where you know what you’re supposed to think and what to root for. But this is one of the only shows, certainly on network television, where the leading woman does something where you think, ‘Why the fuck are you staying with this guy?’ and then you’re thinking, ‘Why are we feeling sorry for this guy now?’ The writing is
just so good.” Beyond the fulfillment of being on a show with writing he admires, filming “The Good Wife” in New York has allowed Alan to stay in one place long enough to settle down, a perk of the job he relishes in the city he loves. “For years, if I wasn’t doing a play in New York, I would most likely be flying around the world to do films,” he said. “That sounds nice, and it was nice, but after a while, when you look at how many flights you’re taking in a year and how little time you’re spending at home, I reached a point when I thought I wanted to have a life I’ve chosen to live. And the other part is a life I’ve chosen to live too, but this has been a really settling thing.” Being planted in New York has allowed Alan the freedom of spending more time on the stage. His celebrated run of Macbeth, a production that originated in Glasgow and made its way to New York, ended in July of 2013. Remembering the show’s journey, Alan talked about what it taught him about his own level of commitment, and about the endurance required to maintain such a heavy character over the length of a run without missing a performance. “I really prepared and trained for it,” he explained. “I trained for doing it in Glasgow and after that was over, I kinda knew we were going to do it again so I kept training. So it taught me how committed I am. When I say I’m going to do something, I am going to do it.” This spring, he’s returning to Broadway, and the role that won in a Tony Award in 1998, in the much heralded revival of Cabaret. It’s been fifteen years since he last portrayed the role of “the Master of Ceremonies,” but for Alan, this is a unique role in which age isn’t a factor. “I think it’s really interesting that you can come back
Photos by Kevin Thomas Garcia Photo assistance by Erik Christensen
ALAN ON HIS SOME OF HIS FAVORITE FILMS HE’S BEEN A PART OF. SPY KIDS
to certain roles at different times in your life and there are other things to say and the production becomes something else. For me, returning to that role [Emcee], I first did it when I was 28 and I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown, and then I did it when I was 33 and I felt sexy, confident and in my prime. Now I’m going back to it at 48 and I still feel sexy, confident and in my prime, but I’m older and wiser and I think it’ll have different layers to it. It’s one of those roles that’s not really a part. It’s not really a fully formed character and you have to make it what you will.” The original Broadway production debuted in 1966, but Alan feels the show is just as relevant today as it was when it first premiered. “When we did it in New York the first time, it was when the Clinton impeachment and Monica Lewinsky scandal was happening and I remember being so appalled by this sort of puritanical, shameful society [the scandal] was revealing to me. I thought it was interesting that Cabaret was a celebration of diverse sexuality in a way,” he said. “Now, I think it’s interesting with everything that’s happening in Russia. We are living in a time when a huge superpower is actively trying to suppress people for being gay and for being themselves. I think it will be fascinating to do the show and press buttons in this time because of that.” Roundabout’s revival of Cabaret will, no doubt, be one of the most talked about shows of the 2013-2014 season. It will allow a new generation of theatre-goers to experience the Broadway classic that has inspired audiences and sparked conversation for decades. So what inspires the man who will once again ‘Willkommen’ audiences on the Great White Way? “People who just go for it and are committed,” he says. “Living in New York, everyone is a wee bit scared, it’s a tough city, but the dividends for diving in are so much greater. People who jump into life inspire me.” Perhaps it’s because he’s leading by example that he is an inspiration to so many other actors. Alan Cumming is a man who commits and jumps in and the result, whether on stage or on screen, is something not to be missed.
“I really like the Spy Kids films. I think they’re great, I loved doing those.”
THE ANNIVERSARY PARTY
“That film I did with Jennifer Jason Leigh. We wrote and directed it and it came out how we wanted it to. Everything went well and was a really lovely experience.”
“I really loved that film. Not enough people have seen it but it interesting how it gets rediscovered over the years. I quite like being in films that are ‘builders,’ like ‘Josey and the Pussycats,’ it’s a film that people discover. “
ROMY AND MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION
“I like it but I mostly like the place is has in peoples’ hearts in America. It’s nice to be in a sort of classic film.”
ALAN ON HIS MOST RECENT FILM, “ANY DAY NOW:”
“It’s on Netflix now.” Such great strides has been made in terms of equality but not enough. This film is about a gay couple in the 70’s. A boy in my building is abandoned by his mother, he runs away from his foster home and I take him in. The film is about growing as a family and being pulled apart because of homophobia and bigotry. It’s a period piece but the basic tenants of why they aren’t getting to keep that kid isn’t because of laws, but because of what’s in people’s hearts.”
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ERIK ERIK ALTEMUS MADE HIS BROADWAY DEBUT THIS SPRING IN THE TONY-WINNING REVIVAL OF PIPPIN. WE TALK TO THE ACTOR ABOUT WHAT HE’S PASSIONATE ABOUT OFF STAGE AND WHY HE DOES WHAT HE DOES FOR A LIVING. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEVIN THOMAS GARCIA INTERVIEW BY RYAN BRINSON
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WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? I grew up in northern California, outside of San Francisco in the East Bay and then I moved to Orange County and lived there for a little bit. WHAT WAS THE FIRST SHOW YOU REMEMBER SEEING? Mack and Mabel. I remember seeing it at a local community theatre and the dancing and singing really captivated me. I was really young but really enthralled by it. I did my first show when I was seven years old. I played Daddy Warbucks in Annie and from that experience on, I knew it was what I loved to do. WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO NEW YORK? In 2009 after I graduated. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST GIG IN THE CITY? The Fantasticks. I played Matt (the Boy) and I did that for a year. AT WHAT POINT DID PIPPIN ENTER YOUR ORBIT? I was in Chicago doing Hairspray and I got a call from my agent about Pippin at A.R.T. and they wanted me to send a video in. So I sent it off and that began the process of me flying back and forth from Chicago to New York on my day off for auditions and call backs. I did that four times. WHAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOING THE SHOW IN BOSTON AND WHEN IT TRANSFERRED TO BROADWAY? Not that much really changed. When we started rehearsals in New York, Diane Paulus [the director of the revival of Pippin] said the goal was to take the moments in the show that kinda dipped a little bit and we are going to elevate them to where everything else was in the show. It was fine tuning and adding small details. I will say the biggest change was the finale. We really reconceptualized it for New York. What we came up with is really
the best version of what it could be.
point to feel secure in what I was doing.
TELL US ABOUT CURTAIN CALL ON OPENING WHO INSPIRES YOU? NIGHT ON BROADWAY. In moving to New York, I’ve been inspired by artists I think there’s a photo from opening night and my outside of the theatre scene. I’m inspired by people hair is flying and I have this big smile on my face. who live their lives artistically. It sums it all up without words. It was thrilling. My family was out there and it was pure joy. I thought I YOU’RE MAKING YOUR OWN MUSIC NOW. was going to be really nervous but I wasn’t and I really DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND. enjoyed it. That moment is one I’ll remember, taking Electro-native. I love electronic artists and the my first bow on Broadway. native part connects to the acoustic sound I have. I play guitar and I love the juxtaposition of those two TELL US ABOUT THE MOMENT YOU HEARD THE things together. It makes it really interesting. I first WORD “PIPPIN” CALLED OUT AS THE WINNER AT picked up a guitar three years ago and I’ve always THE TONY AWARDS? been a singer. I never imagined I would be able to We were all in the basement of the Music Box accompany myself but there’s something about New theatre with the crew, the staff of the theatre and the York where you want to sit on a roof and play guitar. cast with champagne. Half of us were still in make-up from performing and when they called out our name, WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO? it was like we each won the lottery. Everyone jumped I had gone out with some friends after Pippin one up, screaming and we were so happy for all the hard night and when we were walking back to the train, work we had all done. It was like being rocket blasted we passed the theater. It was around 1 in the morning into space. and there was already someone lined up, waiting for the next day’s rush tickets. At first, I thought that was WHAT HAS PIPPIN TAUGHT YOU ABOUT a little intense but when I actually thought about it, I YOURSELF? realized it was really cool that there are people who This is my first Broadway show and I have just want to see your show so badly they will wait all night enough responsibility in the show playing Lewis. It’s just to be a part of it. To be a part of something that not a huge part but I have some moments when I affects people in that way is really cool and that’s why have to pull my weight so it’s really great to reach a I do what I do.
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEVIN THOMAS GARCIA INTERVIEW BY RYAN BRINSON
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HE WAS A NERD IN “HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL,” A STAND-OUT ON “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE,” AND SIEZED THE DAY IN THE HIT BROADWAY MUSICAL NEWSIES. NOW IN MATILDA, THAYNE JASPERSON HAS PROVED TO BE A TRU TRIPLE THREAT. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? Think You Can Dance.” Originally in Wyoming and I moved to Utah when I was in high school. I’ve been in New York WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO THAT SHOW? for a year and a half. I’ve always loved it from season one. They were auditioning in Utah and thought I’d go. WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOU HAD It worked out for me. I got to learn from all of AN INTEREST IN PERFORMING? the choreographers and also learn a lot about I didn’t start until later. When I was in second television and show business. grade, I started clogging and I loved it. But, I got made fun of by all the boys and I didn’t like that WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT BEING ON so I quit. I regret it because I wanted act and sing THAT SHOW? and dance, but I never did it. I just watched. So When you’re on the show, you feel like a pop from the second grade, I’ve wanted to be an actor star. It’s really incredible. Especially on the tour, but I didn’t do it because of peer pressure. you’re on these amazing buses and you’re filling After high school, I decided I didn’t care anymore arenas full of people. That was surprising, seeing and I was just going to do it. So I started training how much people reacted to it all over the nation. every day. Singing, acting, dancing...all day. I was cleaning at the studio so I could pay for classes. DURING YOUR TIME ON THE SHOW, IS THERE I got in a dance company after training and I did A MOMENT THAT STANDS OUT AS PERHAPS musicals on the side. I did Oklahoma in Jackson MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN OTHERS? Hole, Wyoming and I loved it, but the first big I always wanted to work with Mia Michaels. thing I did was “High School Musical.” I do a toe- When she expressed that she liked me and was touch off the table during “Status Quo.” I did “High on my side, that a big moment for me. I’ve always School Musical 2” and then made it onto “So You looked up to her. 52 BLEEP
HOW DID YOU GET FROM DANCING ON THE “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE” TOUR TO DANCING ON BROADWAY IN NEWSIES? I always wanted to come to New York but I was a country boy, scared of the city. It just seemed so big and scary, but I think SYTYCD helped me by being in L.A. and learning to understand the industry more. I was working at Disney World and I just decided to move to New York, bought a one way ticket and was determined to get any sort of job. I was booked on the West Side Story tour and when the Newsies auditions happened, I flew back for that. Then I got it and I called my mom. ‘Mom! I’m on Broadway!” WHAT WAS SURPRISING ABOUT BEING A PART OF NEWSIES, A SHOW THAT HAS GARNERED SUCH FANDOM? It’s kinda the same thing as being on SYTYCD. Suddenly, you’re these boy icons for these girls. They go crazy for the newsboys. I love how the cast was like a big group of brothers. I don’t know if it was surprising but it was magical. It was my Broadway debut and it was such a cool show to get to be a part of for a debut with recording the album and performing on the Tonys. YOU HOPPED FROM ONE TONY AWARD WINNING MUSICAL TO ANOTHER. When I went to the auditions for Matilda and I was
learning the music and the sides, I fell in love with the material. Once I got going with it, I realized it was something I would love to do. It’s such an opportunity to be a part of another original cast and such a big hit. WHAT HAS BEING A PART OF MATILDA TAUGHT YOU THAT BEING A PART OF NEWSIES DID NOT? Going into Matilda, I wondered how I would do with all the kids. I thought it could be crazy. But those kids are awesome and so focused, talented and dedicated to the work that it’s inspiring. And I love that it’s so over the top. In Newsies, it was all about joy and victory and overcoming. In Matilda, it’s so much about outrageous characters. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? I love seeing people who become artists through whatever they do. I’ve been able to work with so many great people along this journey and the way they work and tune into their spirit is inspirational. I love when they get in tune with what their soul is trying to say. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I’ve been letting life take me where it does. If something good comes my way, then I go that way. I believe if you train and do everything you can do and put yourself out there, something will happen. It might not be exactly what you thought would happen, but something will happen.
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEVIN THOMAS GARCIA INTERVIEW BY RYAN BRINSON
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AS ‘FRANZ’ IN THE CAST OF ROCK OF AGES, THE FEEL-GOOD HIT BROADWAY MUSICAL, CODY SCOTT LANCASTER LETS LOOSE ON STAGE EIGHT TIMES A WEEK. HOW DOES HE LET LOOSE WHEN NOT ON THE GREAT WHITE WAY? BY MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH. WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Pickering, Ontario, Canada. WHEN WERE YOU BIT BY THE THEATRE BUG? In the fourth grade, I did Oliver! and I didn’t do anything again until I joined an improv team in high school. Then in eleventh grade, “The Scarecrow” dropped out of the show and I was put in. That’s when I realized I loved it. WHAT WAS THE MOMENT WHEN YOU KNEW YOU WANTED TO PURSUE ACTING AS A CAREER? At the end of high school, I looked at a bunch of college programs for acting. In Canada, there are colleges and there are universities and when you go to college, you don’t get a degree. I realized I wouldn’t have a fall back and when I realized I didn’t care, that’s when I knew I wanted to do this with my life. WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR FIRST BIG SHOW? The Boys in the Photograph, in Toronto, which was BLEEP 61
a new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based off of The Beautiful Game. It wasn’t very successful but we were the original cast which was fun. A few months after that, I was cast in Rock of Ages in Toronto. We closed in January of 2011 and three weeks later, when the show was moving theaters on Broadway, they put a new cast together from the Toronto, tour and Broadway companies and that’s how I came to New York. WHAT KEEPS YOU IN THE SHOW? There aren’t many shows I could do for this long. We have such fun music and a really great group of people. We are in such a confined space, our theater has the smallest dressing rooms on Broadway so we are together all the time. We are best friends and call each other family. Also, I love the comedy. I’m a comedian so I don’t think I could stay this long if the show wasn’t funny. WHAT GOALS HAVE YOU SET FOR YOURSELF? My main goal is to be on Saturday Night Live. I take classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade and I love that form of entertainment. My next goal is to originate a role. WHY UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE? I was on an improv team in high school and it’s always been my first love. UCB is pretty renowned and when I came here, I didn’t know many people and I signed up. It’s been a good fit. WHAT’S YOUR DREAM ROLE? I want to be the first Caucasian Simba in The Lion King. That is my dream role. I’ve always said that and I will always say it. I sing “Endless Nights” for every audition and I would just love that. WHO INSPIRES YOU? Any artist who has passion. When you see someone who loves what they do and you can hear it in their voice when they talk about what they do. Passion is inspiring. 62 BLEEP
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CURRENTLY IN THE BROADWAY MEGA-HIT MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL, JESSE NAGER IS A BROADWAY VETERAN. MORE THAN THAT, THE CHANCE TO DO A SOLO SHOW TURNED INTO ONE OF THE PASSIONS OF HIS LIFE, HIS ACCLAIMED SINGING GROUP, THE BROADWAY BOYS. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? I was born in Boston and my family moved to New York when I was ten.
about how I could get to Broadway.
AND HOW DID YOU GET TO BROADWAY? When I graduated, they were doing Fame on 42nd HOW DID YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH PERFORMING? Street and they wanted me to be in that as a success When I was five I started dancing and I wanted to story of someone who graduated from that school go to a camp that had dancing and soccer. This camp and was now actually doing it. Then I auditioned for I went to ended up being mostly a theatre camp and Mamma Mia and six months later, they called and everyone there was auditioning for the theatre show asked me to join the Broadway company. so I figured I would as well. From that point on, I loved theatre. AT WHAT POINT DID THE BROADWAY BOYS ENTER THE PICTURE? AT WHAT POINT DID THAT LOVE OF PERFORMING All through my childhood, everything in my life was BECOME SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO DO FOR focused on how to get to Broadway. Then, once I got A LIVING? it, everything changed. After you realize you’re doing Probably at the third year at that camp. Then I went the same show every night, I needed something to to LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts for do outside of the show to keep things interesting. A voice. I then went to the University of Michigan for club downtown asked me to do a solo show and since musical theatre. Everything from that point on was I’d always loved group singing, I asked some friends 66 BLEEP
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEVIN THOMAS GARCIA INTERVIEW BY RYAN BRINSON
to join me, we called ourselves the Broadway Boys and we sang a bunch of covers. That was 2004. WHAT’S BEEN A STAND-OUT MOMENT FOR THE BROADWAY BOYS SO FAR? We did a performance at the Lucille Lortel awards two years ago. We felt like the Broadway community was welcoming us and we’d established ourselves within the New York City theatre scene. Our album debuted at number six on iTunes which was also really cool. WHAT KEEPS YOU INTERESTED? The music. I love finding new songs and wanting to go home and arrange them immediately. Also, there’s such a brotherhood among the guys. They’re immensely talented and it’s really great to be inspired by the guys I’m working with. HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL? I was late in the process. A lot of people had been working on it for years during workshops and readings. I was doing Scandalous last year when they finally had an audition and I got my chance to be a part of it. WHAT’S BEEN THE MOST SURPRISING ASPECT OF BEING A PART OF ONE OF THE BIGGEST SELLING SHOWS ON BROADWAY? The coolest thing about Motown is how directly and specifically the show reflects life. These are real people, not characters. I play Eddie Kendricks from The Temptations, he’s a real person so his family and friends come and talk to us about it. We went and recorded the cast album with people who used to record the songs during that era. We are day-to-day working with the Motown family. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Talent inspires me. The cast of Motown is supremely talented. Every person is unbelievably talented so that drives me. 68 BLEEP
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apparent WE CHAT WITH TRUDI BELL, OWNER AND CREATOR OF JEWELRY HEIR, ABOUT HER PASSION FOR DESIGN AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND HER LINE. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? I grew up right here in the Dallas, TX area; the southern sector. My childhood home is in Hutchins, TX. WHAT WERE YOU INTERESTED IN AS A KID? Being cute and glamorous! I was such a girlie girl. I can remember having over 10 pair of sunglasses of various designs and I would put on a pair to go outside and play, but come back home and change shades about every 10 minutes. But professionally, for some reason, I thought I would pursue law as an adult. WHEN DID YOU START TAKING NOTICE OF WHAT PEOPLE WERE WEARING AND HOW IT WAS CONSTRUCTED? I was in middle school. I remember noticing the style and fit of clothing on friends and classmates. I also started playing with matching various styles of clothing together to make and outfit. AT WHAT POINT DID YOU START WORKING WITH FASHION? About five years ago actually, when a friend needed earrings for an industry party. I just got creative. It was also around that time I did my first photo shoot and 72 BLEEP
Photography: Evelyn Murphy Model: Benjamin Watlington, The Dragonfly Agency Makeup/Hair: Kelsey Capo Jewelry: Trudi Bell, Jewelry-Heir
was introduced to agency models that gave me my first real fashion insight. WHAT DID YOU DO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW ACCESSORIES ARE CONSTRUCTED? I’m completely self-taught when it comes to constructing jewelry. I simply went to the craft store and began picking up metals, strings, and beads and figured it out. There was some trial and error, but eventually I got it right. I construct something in my mind, and then I figure it out. WHAT ARE YOUR DESIGN INFLUENCES? Modern Day Vintage, I love pearls and elegance but with bold statements. I love making elegance speak loudly. I love Erikson Beamon, Noir Jewelry, Coco Chanel, and Audrey Hepburn. WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW WITH YOUR DESIGNS? I’m currently working on cohesive collections for the fall/winter 2013 season. I’m bringing in lots of semiprecious/precious stones and distinctive colors. HOW DID YOUR COMPANY GET ITS NAME? My dad designed and made jewelry before I was born. I didn’t have the chance to witness his craft, but I have his tool kit and remaining supplies that he used. I strongly feel that my craft was inherited and without a doubt is invaluable. That made Jewelry-Heir the perfect name for me. WHAT’S NEXT? My collections should be wrapped up soon and I want to take Jewelry-Heir on the road. I want to travel across the U.S. to promote and do pop-up shops along with branching Jewelry-Heir out into luxury accessories for the home, such as candles, and picture frames. WHAT’S YOUR DREAM? I want Jewelry-Heir to be amazing. I want my craft to be perfected in such a way that my jewelry inspires and influences people and fashion. I want Jewelry-Heir to flourish and become a platform to help so many originations that I’m passionate about. That’s my dream. HOW CAN PEOPLE GET YOUR DESIGNS? My designs are right at your fingertips, at www. jewelryheir.com You can find current designs along with my contact information for custom designs. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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THERE’S MORE ART TO A PHOTO THAN THE ARTIST WHO ENDS UP IN THE PICTURE. THESE ARE ARTISTS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT AND ARE CREATING SOME HAIR-RAISING ART OF THEIR OWN.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS STUFF? I wanted a Summerglow on both of them. I used a French method of balayage, or “painted” highlights to give them a sense of natural warmth and beachiness. It’s one of my favorite services because it mimics nature. WHAT LED YOU TO HAIR? I think I was born with the desire to make people feel good about their self image. It is very satisfying to see a smile on someone’s face. WHAT ARE YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS? Recently, I have ventured into a partnership which is soon to open. A salon named Buzz and Honey. WHAT’S NEXT? To be more involved in our local community to give back. IF YOUR BUSINESS HAD A “MOTTO” WHAT WOULD IT BE? Working on it, but it would be something like: Let us create the next best you. HOW CAN WE REACH YOU? Buzz and Honey Hair Salon in Dallas. Find us on Facebook!
Karl wears his own shirt, and a Vintage Blazer from Ditto Boutique Dallas Demi wears a Prada shift dress from Ditto Boutique Dallas
Producer/Creative Director: Jerrad Trahan Photography by Amanda Williams Hair Artists: Levi Monarch, Jenny Armijo, Walter Fuentes Makeup Artists: Shawn Cude & Walter Fuentes Fashion Stylist by Juan Lerma Models: Diana Carl @ The Campbell Agency, Anthony Stravlo @ The Kim Dawson Agency, Anthony Garrett @ The Dragonfly Agency, Karl Drexel @ The Dragonfly Agency, Demi Newsom @ The Dragonfly Agency, Colin Theall Photography Assistant: Ekaterina Kouznetsova Special Thanks to Stasia Langford at Dragonfly for sponsoring the location for this shoot.
levi MONARCH HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS STUFF? I am always drawing inspiration from what’s around me. For these cuts, it was when I was looking through an architecture book. Using lines in the cuts to create different feelings, emotions, and movement. And I was able to achieve this through my sectioning patterns, disconnections, and undercuts. WHAT LED YOU TO HAIR? I drew my original passion from the owners of my first salon. They are the ones that first introduced me to session work, photo shoots and runway shows. Stuff like that allows me to tap into my creative side. It’s when I get to have the most fun with hair. WHAT ARE YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS? I started in Oklahoma where I worked several years developing myself. Relocating to Dallas and jumping into a larger market has proven to be challenging and rewarding. I’m constantly learning new things about myself and the industry I’m in. I get to work with talented artists in all fields of the fashion industry, so I’m thankful I get the opportunity to work and learn from them. WHAT’S NEXT? I always love a good challenge so I usually have several goals I am working on, but my main focus this upcoming year is to become more involved in education. IF YOUR BUSINESS HAD A “MOTTO” WHAT WOULD IT BE? A razor’s edge only remains sharp through continuous sharpening. HOW CAN WE REACH YOU? The Dallas Toni and Guy at Hillcrest. You can follow me on Instagram @levimonvrch or email me directly at email@example.com BLEEP 85
Both wearing LUCA LUCA knit sweater from Ditto Boutique Dallas
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS STUFF? My inspiration was drawn by the great glass sculptor, Chihuly. The frothiness of the colors and the rigidity of his sculptures were used to create the effect. Hand dyed wefts were set and sculpted to emulate his work.
WHAT LED YOU TO HAIR? My sister was a flower girl in a wedding at age nine. I managed to pin her hair into a French twist (which didn’t hold up). It set me on a path to discover how to create a perfect one. WHAT ARE YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS? After leaving architecture school, I found myself in corporate America. This taught me [about] professional client communication which then led me to pursue an education from Paul Mitchell. The 88 BLEEP
fact that I have been able to manage my own brand and consistently meet my clients’ needs makes me feel proud. WHAT’S NEXT? Goals are our mind and soul’s fuel. One of my professional goals is to work backstage with affluent designers during Fashion Week and major advertising campaigns. IF YOUR BUSINESS HAD A “MOTTO” WHAT WOULD IT BE? Consistency and an open mind and heart are always my priority. HOW CAN WE REACH YOU? WAFU Artistry on Facebook or www.wafuartistry.com
Diana Carl wears an Una Burke Harness from Urban Flower Grange Hall Colin wears an Una Burke Belt from Urban Flower Grange Hall
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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I would describe it as simple. It’s comfy, casual and feminine. Others would classify it as sporty, which I can agree with. My style is really versatile because I have a lot of pieces that I can dress up or down for any event.
by Katherine Morgan
ANNABEL, 19, student
WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR STYLE? Prices. I’m very frugal... If it isn’t worth it, then I won’t spend the time or money on that item. That way, each item in my wardrobe actually means something to me.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS ONE THING THAT WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE? Nude pumps. they match with every outfit and make it look more sophisticated. Oh, and Chuck Taylors as well.
bleepquiz Gjilberta Lucaj
I am... Human on most days. I’m here because... I chose to be. What makes me happiest is... music. The color that best represents me is... Blue. What I hope to accomplish today is... touch a life for good. My best friends are... from childhood. I can’t live without...the cello. Between an Olympic champion or an Oscar winner, I’d rather be... Are you kidding me? Of course an Olympic champion. If I wasn’t me, I’d be... Mother Teresa, then Madeleine Albright. I like it best when you... are yourself. God is... power. I’m hungry for... knowledge. I cry… when I see people suffer. Style means… comfort being sexy. I want to go... to the moon..I have a thing for space exploration. The most obnoxious sound in the world is... nails screeching in the chalkboard…phew! What makes me weak is... children crying. At this exact moment, I’m passionate about... tango and French. I crave...adventure. My inspiration is… my parents. BLEEP 95
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