- OLYMPIC SPECIAL -
THE 5-TIME OLYMPIC MEDALIST TALKS ABOUT INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF GYMNASTS
EVAN LYSACEK THE GOLD MEDAL CHAMPION ON HIS PERSONAL OLYMPIC MOMENTS THEY’RE NOT WHAT YOU THINK
ELVIS STOJKO THE TWO-TIME SILVER MEDALIST
TALKS SKATES, CARS AND BROADWAY
THE ENSEMBLIST MO & NIKKA TELL BLEEP ABOUT GIVING
VOICE TO SOME OF BROADWAY’S FINEST IN THEIR GROUND-BREAKING PODCAST
DAVE MARTIN THE “TOP CHEF” ALUM SHARES WHAT HE
LEARNED FROM THE HIT SHOW AND WHY HIS BLOODY MARYS CAN’T BE MISSED BLEEP 1
n i p e e bl inside:
Photography by Matthew Holler
You’ve seen Travis Wall on “So You Think You Can Dance. Now you’ll see him and some of the best dancers in the industry in a whole new way. On the scene with Shaping Sound.
WILD ABOUT KACEY
SUNDAY FUNDAY BRUNCH
A FOND FAREWELL
DALE EARNHARDT JR. JR.
The Grammys bring plenty of moments to talk about the next day (or immediately on Twitter), but this year, we at BLEEP were smitten by Kacey Musgraves, for all the right reasons. “Top Chef” is one of the hottest shows on television and we catch up with alum Dave Martin. He shares what he’s been up to and how to make the perfect Bloody Marys. Have you ever been on an exotic vacation and wished you could bring the food back with you? Us too. So we turned to Brad Beskin, who just got back from Vietnam, to show us how to make Sunday brunch a vacation from normal life. Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark was one of Broadway’s biggest shows...ever. Now that it’s closed its doors and is headed to Vegas, we turned to one of the show’s most devoted fans to share why they loved it and what that final performance was so special. Austin, Texas prides itself in being the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and we’re on the scene at Black Fret, where local musicians are being supported in a really unique way. No, it’s not an article about the race car driver. It’s not even an article about NASCAR. If you haven’t heard the band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., we guarantee you’ll be surprised to hear this duo’s brand of indie pop.
ON THE COVER
The five-time Olympic medalist chats with BLEEP about life after the Olympics and what’s next in her career. Oh, and there’s that gold medal to talk about too. BLEEP 3
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He skated his way to a gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, but only after years of hard work and dedicating his life to his craft. We talk with Evan about what it takes to be a champion. The two-time Olympic silver medalist and figure skating legend chats with BLEEP about the Olympics, racing cars and starring on the Great White Way. You hear about the leads in Broadway shows all the time. But what about the dancer in the second row who is on their 4th Broadway show? Cut to Mo Brady and Nikka Graff Lanzarone and their awesome podcast, The Ensemblist. This month, we feature Isaac Harris and his blog, Breaking Fad, as our ‘Blogger We Love.’ His eye for photography and fashion will keep your eyes fixed on his blog for hours.
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: Nathan Robins Hatley Moore WRITERS: Caleb Bollenbacher Courtney Shotwell Lisa Sorenson Laura Seitter Alex Wright FEATURE CONTRIBUTORS: Katherine Morgan WEB CONTENT: Sheena Wagaman Eric Lehman Jordan Shalhoub
All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.
Letter from the Editor The Olympics are, without question, one of my favorite things. An Oscar can be bought with a heavy-handed campaign, but an Olympic medal is won right there in front of you. They are the definitive signifier of unparalleled achievement: worldwide recognition of an athlete’s extraordinary abilities. The opportunity to feature Olympians in an issue of BLEEP was something I never thought we’d be afforded, but we have been overwhelmingly blessed to chat with three of the most bad-ass Olympians around. For me, it’s not about the celebrity that comes with being an Olympian in a high-profile sport - it’s about the dedication it took to get there. These people dedicate their entire lives to being an Olympian. From the things they regiment (what they eat, how much they sleep, how much they train) to the things they sacrifice (living away from their families, the movie nights they give up, the vacations they don’t get to take), it’s all in pursuit of the one symbol that means the same thing no matter where in the world you are: an Olympic medal. Few people look at athletes as artists, and I’ll be honest enough to say that I don’t believe a linebacker is being an artist on the field. But skaters and gymnasts are in rare sports where artistry is not only allowed, but is an integral part of winning. And they take their artistry very seriously. Little known fact: “So You Think You Can Dance” mainstay and Emmy-nominated choreographer Travis Wall has choreographed for gymnast Nastia Liukin and skater Evan Lysacek. These people are dedicated to learning from and working with the best of the best. And let me tell you, I also know a thing or two about dedication. When I was in grad school during the Beijing games, my friend Cheryl and I watched 96 hours of Olympic coverage. This year, NBC announced this year there is over 1000 hours of available Olympic coverage. Challenge: accepted.
Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief BLEEP 7
BLEEPbliPs Pictured: Travis Wall, Melanie Moore and Jaimie Goodwin. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
THE NEW FACES OF DANCE: SHAPING SOUND
On January 12th at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, the company of Shaping Sound gave a preview of what fans can expect on their upcoming 2014-2015 World Tour. If the preview is any indication, fans should expect an all-out dancing extravaganza. The difference between Shaping Sound and other dance companies is simple: the dancers. Made up of the best in the business, the dancers have taken the choreography (which is very “So You Think You Can Dance,” as it should be), and added a degree of theatricality that infuses the dances with new meaning. Every single one of these dancers are stars in their own right, so when they come together, it’s beautiful. It’s difficult to mention Shaping Sound without mentioning “So You Think You Can Dance.” After all, it’s the show that made dance cool again in mainstream culture. One of the faces of that re-introduction is Travis Wall. He, SYTYCD season one winner Nick 8 BLEEP
Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and Kyle Robinson set out in 2012 to create Shaping Sound as a way to transform contemporary dance into a mainstream form of entertainment, the highs and lows of which were documented on the television series “All The Right Moves“ on Oxygen. They are on the road to doing precisely that, and with this company, they are sure to extend beyond the reach of SYTYCD, and make dancefans out of people all over the world. (Sidenote for SYTYCD fans: Not only were Travis, Nick and Teddy joined by Jaimie Goodwin and season eight winner Melanie Moore, but we had the honor of seeing fan-favorite Allison Holker dance with the company as well. We don’t even have enough space to write about how unrealistically talented she is.) To stay up to date on when you can get your tickets, head over to the Shaping Sound website. www.shapingsoundco.com
Photos by Kevin Thomas Garcia
NOT YOUR AVERAGE MOVIE NIGHT
Marty Thomas and Marissa Rosen have been New York City nightlife mainstays for a while now. Their newest venture? Movie night. Except, this isn’t your average movie night. “We wanted to create an audience interactive environment that would appeal to a wide age range,” Thomas said. “We show our favorite campy movies, with lyrics on the screen for sing along magic. We edit out all the sad, or boring dialogue so we can just focus on drinks and fun! We play drinking games, give out prizes and drinks! Did we mention drinks?” New York is a difficult place to stand out when it comes to nightlife, but this is something Thomas has been good at. “It’s a way to embrace your inner child, with adult beverages. We show abridged versions of your favorite movies ( “Showgirls,” “Burlesque,” “9 to 5,” “To Wong Foo,” “Bridesmaids”) with sing along lyrics and movie themed drinks.” With a constantly rotating lineup, new moveis are announced each week via Twitter (@martyandmarissa). There’s no cover, you will meet fun new people every week, and how can you resist putting on that nuns habit for Sister Act 1 and 2 (Feb. 7 and 14, respectively). If you’re in New York and looking to join the fun, head to The Green Room in New World Stages at 340 W. 50th St.panyxiv.com
“He’s a spectacular talent - a big influence for us as players, being from Seattle. He’s there all the time, supporting us.” -Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on the now four-time Grammy winner Macklemore during Super Bowl Media Day.
by Laura Seitter
Theatre at the Theater Terrence Mann, a long-time veteran of the Broadway musical stage, once said, “Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good.” I’m not quite sure if Mann is saying that theatre makes the actor a better performer or if it makes him a better human being, but in either respect, it is evident that the live medium is the apparent superior. There is some veracity to his statement; theatre is an essential component of a society’s culture. Dramas and historical performances are studied in schools alongside classic literature. Whereas movies are created to be consumed by the masses, theatre is elite. The audiences are smaller, the tickets are more expensive, and – in my experience – it’s generally frowned upon to wear sweatpants to opening night. In a column where I regularly extoll the virtues of great film, it may seem a stark departure for me to wax poetic about my love of theatre. Or maybe not, as the two mediums frequently share from the same pools of actors and source material. More recently, film, and live performance have even been able to share something more important: an audience. Through the powers of technology, live productions can be simulcast or captured on film and shared with new viewers, regardless of time or place. In the last year alone, I was able to get to about 6 live productions – and still saw just as many by means of cinema. While some may argue that removing the “live” from “live theatre” too drastically changes the definition, I would contend that the opportunity to experience a great performance, even from thousands of miles away, shouldn’t be missed. Musical theatre has perhaps seen the most demand for “filmed on stage” release. In the last few years, classic power-house shows like Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables celebrated their 25th anniversaries with reunions and revival productions, which were subsequently recorded and released through PBS drives on DVD. I don’t blush to admit that I’ve nearly burned through my copy of Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, starring one of BLEEP’s favorite “Women of Broadway” Sierra Boggess. Other contemporary shows have been recorded 10 BLEEP
for distribution, including Shrek: The Musical and Rent. In 2011, the show Memphis was broadcast in select theatres nationwide, and was the first Tony award-winning Best Musical to be presented while concurrently running on Broadway. It is an incredible production, and the cinematic premiere gave me a glorious opportunity to experience Memphis nearly three years before the National tour started. In December, I was able to see another “meta”style, theatre-in-theater production, when The Royal Shakespeare Company simulcast Richard II live from Stratford-upon-Avon. David Tennant, cast in the titular role, has an uncanny knack for making classic speech seem more modern and comprehensible without compromising the magnificent language. (Tennant also exhibited his Shakespearean prowess in RSC’s Hamlet in 2009, alongside Patrick Stewart; if you haven’t seen it yet, watch for free on the PBS website, and be amazed.) RSC has announced a new “Live from Stratford-upon-Avon” program, where Shakespearean productions will be broadcast live from the bard’s hometown throughout the next several years. This exciting development means that, for the RSC, all the world truly is a stage. Live performances can be one of the most intoxicating and life-affirming aspects of any culture. Whether its music, theatre, or poetry, it is an important experience to bear witness to an artist’s craft, sharing that space and that moment he or she has created for you. One of the great purposes of theatre is to bring people together to share emotion, and it’s pretty awesome that, in today’s world, the audiences have the possibility to be bigger than ever. At the end of 2013, for the first time in over 50 years, NBC broadcast The Sound of Music, a full-scale live musical production. It doesn’t really matter who was cast, or how it was reviewed, because what matters is that over 18 million people tuned in and NBC has already announced Peter Pan as 2014’s live musical broadcast. Theatre doesn’t have to be only for the elite few, and bringing art to a wider audience shows that sharing is what makes theatre truly good.
by Katherine Morgan
RIANNAN, 19, STUDENT
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I would call it a mixture of downtown Seattle, meets hobo-chic, meets posh. I really like to wear designer labels, but I also love to wear pieces that I find from thrift shops. WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR STYLE? My life, certainly. My style has always been a big part of my life, simply because it has always been the one thing that I could control. Another important factor is cost. I’m a student and a big bargain shopper so I frequent thrift shops and the Nordstrom Rack. WHAT’S ONE THING THAT WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE? Good hair, and a good tube of red lipstick. My favorite one is MAC Russian Red. It costs $15, but it works wonders. WHAT’S THE ONE WAY THAT YOU WANT PEOPLE TO REMEMBER YOU AS? I would like to be remembered as happy. I want people to remember me as being happy with myself.
SERII,19, STUDENT HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I would call it very pattern-oriented. I am especially drawn to tribal-like prints. My style is a combination between boho-chic and punk rock. WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR STYLE? I am influenced by my friends’ style often. I once saw a friend wearing a sweater over her dress and I tried it and loved how it looked on me. WHAT IS ONE THING THAT WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE? Combat boots, because they can go with anything. They can make anything look good. WHAT’S THE ONE WAY THAT YOU WANT PEOPLE TO REMEMBER YOU AS? I want people to remember me as being openminded and eager to try new things. I just want to be remembered as being someone who was easy to talk to.
the intersection by
My Problem With Gravity
Some forces need opposite reactions. I get that you all loved “Gravity.” I loved “Gravity.”Honestly, I did. It was one of the most enjoyable movie experiences I had this year. That being said, the movie did not sit well with me as I digested it. So, as the Oscars approach, I’ve gotten increasingly bothered by all the buzz. Sure, I think it is worthy of plenty of awards. From a technical perspective it was one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen, and so nominations in many of the technical categories seem warranted. I could even put aside my dislike for Alfonso Cuarón and acquiesce to the merits of a Best Director nod. But let’s talk about the Holy Grail. The Academy Award for Best Picture is as big as it gets. It’s the last award of the season - because there’s no one-upping it. And “Gravity” should not win it. To be perfectly frank, I don’t think it should even receive a nomination. Let’s go back to what I said before, to address those of you who may be crying “hypocrite.” “Gravity” was one of the most enjoyable movie experiences of 2013. It might have even been the best movie experience of 2013. But I go to the movies to see a film, not ride an amusement park attraction, and as much as I appreciated “Gravity,” I think it’s little better than that in a lot of ways that matter. Best Picture is the only award where every member of the Academy is eligible to vote, because it is the only category that is universal. It’s the one category that doesn’t hone in on fine details, but rather looks at the ‘big picture’, the intersection between directing, acting, music, writing, editing, and so on and so forth. This one is for all the marbles, and I think in that regard Gravity has some very real issues. Two out of the twenty-four major Oscars go to writing, so clearly I’m not the only one who thinks it’s important. Alfonso Cuarón seems to disagree. For all its visual beauty, Gravity was an absolute travesty from a writing standpoint. The script may as well have just been a single page that read “Murphy’s Law.” 12 BLEEP
There’s no real character development, the dialogue is sparse (and in large part just consists of George Clooney being George Clooney), and the story was predictable. By the time the movie was nearing its end I couldn’t help but laugh at the most recent crisis to befall Sandra Bullock, because of course more things were going wrong. It all made for a passable motivation to push the scenery from one space to the next, and it was a stunning journey to be sure, but that shouldn’t cut it when we are talking about the “best” movie of the year. This is the same reason that I was so indignant about “Avatar’s” critical success and nominations several years ago. Special effects are great, and I love that they’re being advanced in ways that would have been unthinkable a decade ago, but they are merely a part and not the whole. Next to James Cameron’s smurfy “opus”, “Gravity” looks like the best writing of the decade - let alone 2013. I’m all for pushing the boundaries of cinema, but let’s not call a mum a rose. All the effects in the world cannot make up for poor storytelling in the context of awardworthy filmmaking. This sort of behavior is perfectly acceptable in blockbuster popcorn fare, but if we start giving out laurels for looks then we’re enabling the loss of story. And if story isn’t the whole point then what is?
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by Rachael Mariboho
Oh, figure skating! It’s the sport that’s most clearly a blend between athleticism and artistry, where athletes are expected to perform unbelievable tricks while looking like world-class dancers. And then, of course, there’s the drama that always accompanies a sport that is so subjective: the judging scandal at the 2002 Olympics that resulted in a complete change in the judging system. Then there is the most famous incident of skating drama: in 1994, Tonya Harding hired a man to club rival Nancy Kerrigan in the knee before the national championships that would decide the Olympic team. Even as I write this, the United States Figure Skating Association is dealing with intense criticism over their controversial decision to send Ashley Wagner to the Olympics instead of Mirai Nagasu. While the drama associated with figure skating is often what drives interest in the sport, it’s also the moments of brilliance and passion that draws viewers. Here are five of the most memorable Olympic figure skating performances in the history of the sport.
5. KATARINA WITT: 1988 LONG PROGRAM
In what was billed as “The Battle of the Carmens,” American Debi Thomas and East Germany’s Katarina Witt both skated to selections from Georges Bizet’s Carmen for their Olympic long programs. Much was made of the minute and 16 seconds in the middle of Witt’s program where she focused solely on the artistic mark by portraying the flirtatious side of Bizet’s gypsy heroine. Dick Button commented that she used her acting ability, not her skating ability; however, it was her acting ability (which would win her an Emmy a few years later) that turned this program into more than just presentation of athletic prowess; it became a moment of art on ice.
4. XUE SHEN AND HONGBO ZHAO: 2010 SHORT PROGRAM
One of the great pair teams, this Chinese couple were the sentimental favorites going into the 2010 Olympics. They had overcome obstacles—including what could have been career-ending injuries—in order to try to win the Olympic gold medal for China in figure skating. Their short program to “Who Wants to Live Forever” was the epitome of perfection from the first note to the final pose.
3. MICHELLE KWAN: 1998 SHORT PROGRAM
It would be hard to pick a single performance that stands out in the anthology of Kwan performances; she has been brilliant too many times. But her short program at the 1998 Olympics was a master class in grace, power, beauty, and the sublimity that occurs when music, choreography, and skater are so perfectly matched. She is the standard by which all female figures skaters are judged.
2. PAUL WYLIE: 1992 LONG PROGRAM
He was a controversial choice to the 1992 men’s Olympic team—his highest placement at a world championship was ninth, he had never won a national championship, and he made the team by one-tenth of one point. All he did was go to the Olympics, have the skate of his life, and win a silver medal.
1. JAYNE TORVILL AND CHRISTOPHER DEAN: 1984 LONG PROGRAM
Arguably the greatest Olympic performance of all time, Torvill and Dean’s Olympic free dance to Ravel’s Bolero has become the stuff of legend. Their flawless performance is the standard which all ice dancing teams for last thirty have been chasing. They are ONLY competitors to ever receive all perfect 6.0’s for artistry at the Olympics. For many years, no skater would dare perform a routine to Bolero because no one wanted to be compared to Torvill and Dean. Now that is the definition of greatness. BLEEP 15
Music’s Biggest Night had some truly great musical moments and some that were less than extraordinary. Pink soared, Taylor head banged (and we loved it), Sara Bareilles proved again why she’s awesome at all things and and Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Madonna and Queen Latifah stole the show as well as the headlines. But it was the performance by Best New Artist nominee Kacey Musgraves that really got us excited. On the surface, it was as honky-tonk as a performance could be. A neon cactus or two, light up costumes, an outfit that would have made Loretta Lynn jealous in the 70s and the sounds of a quaint country song. But beneath
the surface was an artist who was in on the joke - who turned country kitsch into a colorful, artful, and even profound moment. The lyrics to the bridge of “Follow Your Arrow?” Say what you think / Love who you love / Cause you just get so many trips round the sun / Yeah, you only, only live once. She’s an artist with a message and she’s making waves in country music by writing about what other artists aren’t writing about. She also has two new shiny Grammy Awards as well. We BLEEPin love you Kacey.
bloody ma bloody ma bloody ma 18 BLEEP
ary ary ary
e love Bloody Marys, so when chef Treat others as you want to be treated – every Dave Martin offered up some new day, all the time. takes on some old favorites, we had to know what was in them. WHAT MAKES YOUR BLOODY MARY’S SOMETHING WORTH TALKING ABOUT? WHERE DOES YOUR LOVE OF This season, I teamed up with Ultimat Vodka COOKING COME FROM? to create some new Bloody Mary recipes perfect My passion for food began as a child. I had the for a Super Bowl tailgate, Sunday Brunch or any good fortune of growing up in a home where entertaining occasion. Fun fact: Ultimat is the only my mom cooked, my dad cooked, and my vodka created through a distillation of wheat, rye grandmother cooked and baked. Everything was and potato. The unique combination of these two made from scratch - we never had store-baked grains and potatoes gives this spirit a subtle taste, garbage or pre-fab food. My passion for food smooth texture and rich complexity uncommon in started with my family. I’m so thankful for that. most vodkas. Each Bloody Mary recipe has its own distinct style and flavor profile - not to mention WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING, WHAT IS YOUR its own tomato, from heirloom to tomatillo. It INSPIRATION? was important to me to create unique colors for I’m a type-A Capricorn overachiever. I am driven each drink that make the Bloody Mary as unique to make my mark on the culinary world and more as the vodka itself. I used uncommon ingredients importantly, want to make people happy. I’m a and garnishes – from a chicken wing, to bacon, people pleaser! My inspiration when it comes to curry. I encourage you to get creative at home, to cooking is using real, quality and seasonal but make sure you have an ultra-premium vodka ingredients. There is so much to work with and base, like Ultimat. You can find more recipes at play with; from braised meats in the winter, to www.ultimatvodka.com. grilled sweet corn in the summer. And of course chocolate is perfect for me in any season. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NEXT FROM YOU? What’s next? One never knows for sure. There’s WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING the Dave’s Homemade line of cookbooks, rubs BEING ON “TOP CHEF” TAUGHT YOU ABOUT and sauces. I also have a number of consulting YOURSELF? projects in the works and I’m helping bring other Always be yourself - don’t try to be what others brands and products to the market. It is a very want you to be. exciting time, as I see my personal business really Cook what you know how to cook and what you starting to flourish and grow. love to cook. Don’t cook what others think you should, because it’s never going to work or taste www.chefdavemartin.com right or be a true reflection of who you are.
(Pictured on previous page)
“SMOKIN’ HOT MARY” 2 oz Ultimat Vodka 14 oz Yellow Tomatoes (cored and blended) ½ tsp Buffalo or Red Hot Sauce ½ tsp Fresh Horseradish ½ tsp Red Chili Garlic Sauce (Sriracha) ½ tsp Granulated Sugar 1/8 tsp Celery Seed ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce 1 tsp Fresh Lime Juice ½ tsp Kosher Salt 1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper
Garnish: 1 each- 4 inch Bamboo Skewer; 1 piece Baby Corn; 1 chicken wing Dave’s Sweet & Sassy Smokehouse Rub for rim (sub with your favorite smokey BBQ rub) Using your food processor, blender or immersion blender you will need to blend the fresh tomatoes until they become a puree. Then add the remaining ingredients into a shaker or stir in a pitcher. Dampen the rim of your Pint Glass and gently coat with the Smokey Rub and then fill with ice and your cocktail mixture. Rest skewered garnish into Pint Glass and serve.
Dave Martin “CAPTAIN MARY” Yields One 10 oz Highball Glass 2 oz Ultimat Vodka 4 oz of your Favorite Tomato Juice 2 oz Heirloom Tomatoes ½ tsp Fresh Lemon Juice 1 tsp Red Chili Sauce(sambal olek) ¼ tsp Fresh Horseradish ¼ tsp Worcestershire Sauce 1/8 tsp Celery Seed 1/8 tsp Celery Salt 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt 1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper 1/8 tsp Tabasco Sauce Garnish: 1 Marinated Artichoke Heart; 1 Peppedew Pepper; 1 roasted large shrimp or Lobster Claw Other suggestions: 1 piece Marinated Bocconcini (stuff this into the center of the peppedew pepper), 1 Roasted Garlic Clove Blend all ingredients along with ice in a shaker or pitcher and then pour over ice cubes into Highball glass. Serve with skewered garnish resting on glass and serve immediately.
“ULTIMAT HEAT” Yields Four 2 oz Shot Glass Cocktail Formula2 oz Ultimat Vodka 4 oz Clamato Juice 2 oz Fire Roasted Tomatoes 1 Roasted Garlic Clove ½ tsp Fresh Lime Juice 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt 1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper ½ tsp Agave Garnish: 1 each- 5 inch Bamboo Skewer; 1 roasted Large Shrimp; 1 piece Lemon Rind and 1 piece asparagus Shake all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and pour into shot glass. Set garnish across the top of the glass and serve.
the art of
Donâ€™t have time to travel to Vietnam for brunch? Donâ€™t worry, Brad Beskin did and brought back an easy way for you to recreate the cuisine, no matter where you live. Photos by Garrett Burnett BLEEP 23
I live for Sunday Brunch, when the champagne pops, the bacon simmers, and friends gather to reflect on the quality of their weekend decisionmaking. It’s that final celebration of autonomy and self-expression before the reality of Monday morning meetings, cheap coffee, and way too many pleats sets in. Compounding my brunch affinity is a pretty serious obsession with Southeast Asian food which controls most of my eating habits. Even as I write this for you, I’m enjoying a steaming bowl of noodles in beef broth, gigantic shrimp dumplings, and coffee swimming in sweet condensed milk…at 9:00 in the morning. The implication here is profound when brunch rolls around: While you may order eggs benedict with golden hollandaise and a side of hash, I want that savory, herb-bombed, fresh veggie wonderfulness so synonymous with the Southeast Asian peninsula. Vietnamese food is, generally, and artful assembly of fresh ingredients that satisfy all ranges of your taste buds. The country was a part of the French colonial empire for decades, and all that traditional franc epicurean excellence remains a key part of Vietnamese culture. Think crusty, flaky baguette combined with umami knockout punches like savory pork sausage and that awesome bitterness that 24 BLEEP
comes from fresh basil and mint. It’s everything you’d want for Sunday Funday Brunch: carbs, pork, more pork, and some endorphin-raising heat. And it’s hard to find a better example of this blissful marriage than in the quintessential Saigon street food, the Bánh mì. While the term Bánh mì simply means “bread,” it has become synonymous with the stuffed, hoagiestyle sandwich. Its unique texture and flavor lies in the country’s history; since Ho Chi Minh ousted the French and led the country to independence, the baking style morphed. Rice flour began to replace much of the wheat, and the Vietnamese baguette, the Bánh mì, assumed its present lighter, flakier state. As you walk the streets of Saigon, the smells of its many ingredients (frankly, you can put whatever you want on one and it counts) fills your nose. The key to its amazing taste lies in the balance between the flavors. The (disputed) best Bánh mì in Ho Chi Minh City boasts 9 different types of pork products including pate, something called pork floss, sausages, and cold cuts. This undertaking for Sunday Funday is simply exhausting, and I am not about to write about making pork floss. However, we can treat our Sunday Funday Brunch Bánh mì in the way it was intended by sandwiching all of our favorite ingredients into one eye popping bite.
Brad’s Sunday Funday Brunch Bánh mì •
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Start with Fresh Baguette If you’re inclined to baking, look online for recipes that include significant proportion of rice flour. Or, buy the perfect baguette at Vietnamese grocer. Spread the Pate Butter Mix equal portions of pate and unsalted butter, then spread it on the top half of the baguette. Spread Avocado Whip fresh avocado so it spreads evenly, and cover the bottom half Add Roast Pork Add Bacon Mmmm bacon. Place on ungreased cooking sheet. Place into cold oven, then heat to 350 degrees. When oven reaches temp, check bacon for desired texture. Add Fried Egg Add Fast pickles Soak carrot, cucumber, jalapeno, and/or radish in rice vinegar with a pinch of salt and sugar for up to an hour. Strain and serve. Garnish Finish with Cilantro & Basil If your herb garden is empty, the best place to buy these in bulk is often your local Asian grocer.
A final note on condiments: Hoisin and Siracha (think BBQ sauce and ketchup, respectively). It’s best to keep these on the side. Don’t forget the cocktails; it’s Sunday Funday, after all. Let’s hop to the other side of the Malaysian peninsula for a twist on the Thai Tea. • 1 part strong chai tea • 1 part Bailey’s Irish Cream • 1 part gin Shake heavily over ice and garnish with Kaffir Lime leaf
HO CHI MINH CITY
of Ho Chi Minh city. A O, (which translated phonetically as the Ah-Oh) is said to be Country: Vietnam the first performance using Population: 7,990,100 contemporary circus in Ho Chi Minh City. The beauty of Vietnam The Arts In Ho Chi Minh The A O Show, an hour long is depicted through a blend immersion into Vietnamese of athleticism, acrobatic acts, culture and people takes place dance, drama and live traditional at the magnificent 114-years- music in the show. old Opera House, in the heart BLEEP 25
f o t u o g n i y fl
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l l e w e r a f d n o f a n a f r e p u s a from BY AARON CRAIG
Our first “Stage Issue” of BLEEP, in 2011, featured Brandon Rubendall, then a cast member of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. He said then about being a part of the show: “For me, it was a dream come true. Growing up, I wanted to be in a Wicked or a Lion King type of show. I wanted to be in something so monstrous that you didn’t hear about anything except that show. So it was my dream come true to be in a show that everyone knows...being able to talk to anyone in or out of the country, and they know what show you’re in, that was a cool feeling.” Thanks Brandon, from all of us at BLEEP, for being our first Broadway cover and for sharing your love of the theatre with us.
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On January 4th, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark spun its last web in New York City. What initially brought me to the show was the fact that it was, well, Spider Man! I’m very much a comic fan as well as a Broadway fan, so the idea that these two elements had been brought together was something I wasn’t going to miss. Despite what the seasoned theatre-goer may have said about the show, my individual experience was thrilling and great fun. I never walked into the Foxwoods expecting a life-changing Shakespearian opus, but boy was I entertained! I’d never seen anything quite like it before, the costumes were flawless and having already been a fan of U2, the music wasn’t a hard sell either. In the show, Peter saw his idol Norman Osborne as potentially his future-self, but because Norman lacked Peter’s integrity and selfcontrol, he ultimately became the very monster Peter would have to defeat. Therein lies the integral message of the show, “Rise Above.” It really stuck with me; overcoming adversity and choosing good over evil is something I hold close to my heart. I get asked a lot, why do I kept going back,. Personally, Turn Off The Dark was like a favorite DVD or album you played over and over, except in this case I’d just head to Broadway. Many of my repeat viewings were with family and friends who I’d raved about the show and wanted to see it for themselves. I‘ve also met some really cool people through the show as well. During my repeat visits to Turn Off The Dark, I’d had the fortune of connecting with fans who at first, shared my admiration for this production and now have become good friends. Over its three years on Broadway, I’ve had the great fortune of getting to know some of the crew and performers a little and I’ve never met a more humble
y a w e t i h w t a e r g e h t
and hardworking “family” as the one that inhabited that theatre. Thanks to Spider-Man, I’ve been exposed to the talents of actors and dancers and because of that, I’ve enjoyed following their success after they have moved on from Spider-Man. I’ve seen Brandon Rubendall, the original Lizard and aerialist in the show, in both Anything Goes and on the Wicked tour after he left the show and I’m a proud Twitter “Ruby” (Brandon’s fellow fans know what I’m talking about). I got to enjoy cast member Adam Roberts and his friend Kelly Fox in a fabulous cabaret last spring at The Duplex and supported several of the performers in Spider Man who were active fundraisers for Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS, using their talent for song, dance and “body” to raise awareness in BCEFA’s mission to fight HIV/AIDS. That stands as another example of how big the heart of this show was. Supporting these artists onstage as well as off has become a welcome pleasure. I attended the closing performance with a couple of my fellow “Spider-Fans,” there I met Glen Berger, the original writer of the show, and shared a brief word with Patrick Page and Reeve Carney, the original Green Goblin and Spider-Man respectively. During the show, the energy was incredible. The applause and cheers were especially louder that night, and rightly so. A friend and I sang and danced in our seats throughout the show, and I got a laugh when fellow audience members asked if we were in the show. At the evening’s close, seeing performers that have spent the last few years entertaining us walk out those stage doors for the last time really got to me. It was definitely sad to see the show I love go away, but it was also a celebration of three years that the naysayers never thought could be. BLEEP 27
on the scene at
BLACK F 28 BLEEP
story and photography by hatley moore
When it comes to naming some of the most musically influential cities in America, Austin, Texas is undeniably one of them. Home to artists such as Gary Clark, Jr., Explosions in the Sky, and countless other musicians, the “Live Music Capital of the World” remains a thriving community for artistic creation and a breeding ground for up-and-coming musicianship. However, the music industry is not one of the easiest routes to pursue these days, and independent artists need all the help they can get in order to bring their dreams to life. Colin Kendrick and Matt Ott have devoted their lives to helping these artists thrive in Austin and establish their names amongst the greatest. Heavily involved in the founding of the Austin Music Foundation ten years ago, these two men are no strangers to the music industry in Austin and what it needs to stay strong. Black Fret, founded by Colin and Matt, is an organization geared towards providing grants to independent artists in the Austin area in order to enable the artist to take that next step towards achieving their dream.
one recognized internationally as a mark of true artistic excellence. On January 18th, Black Fret kicked off the new year with an event to reach out to potential members and show them why this organization is a special addition to the Austin Community. With the goal to exceed 100 members so they could formally start giving grants, the night consisted of musical acts including Graham Wilkinson, Nakia, Emily Bell, and headlined by Ben Kweller. Emily Bell, who was featured in BLEEP Magazine back in July, sees the importance of something like Black Fret and how beneficial it can be for that struggling artist.
WHAT SORT OF IMPACT DO YOU THINK BLACK FRET HAS ON ASPIRING MUSICIANS? Emily Bell: I think the impact Black Fret can have on aspiring musicians is huge. And I’m not really even talking about the grants- which is of course major. It’s the energy and love they are giving. I said it on stage, that musicians are said to be able to survive in the WHAT IS BLACK FRET ALL ABOUT? harshest of conditions. But they only thrive when they Colin and Matt: Black Fret is based on a simply have the right team of support. Black Fret provides principle… that popular local music is an art form and that. Aspiring musicians have to realize that music can worthy of public support just as the symphony or opera only exist when there are music lovers. And that’s what have been for centuries. We are building an institution Black Fret represents- they are like a beacon of light for that can provide annual financial grants that are paid the working musician. directly to our local musicians with a goal of enabling the best of the best to create and perform more great Ben Kweller also remarked on how special Black Fret music. Grants are awarded to musicians selected by is on the community and how much of an impact it our Members on the basis of artistic excellence. can have for that struggling musician. “I feel like we’re sculptors from the 1600s, we just want to make our art, SO BLACK FRET’S MISSION STATEMENT IS ALL and things like Black Fret are the guys who help keep ABOUT EMPOWERING MUSICIANS SO THEY CAN that dream alive.” MAKE MUSIC, WHICH IS FANTASTIC. WHAT PIECES But the 100 members this event was trying to reach DO YOU PLAY IN THE PUZZLE OF CREATING THESE is only the beginning, and is laying the foundation for MUSICIANS INTO A BIGGER NAME? the massive goals they expect to accomplish. Colin and Matt: Our objectives is for the grants to be large enough that they allow a great musician SO WHAT HAPPENS AFTER YOU’VE REACHED THE to undertake a transitional effort whether being 100 MEMBERS? investing significantly in recording a new album, in Colin and Matt: Next is building that membership an international tour, in a quiet period off the road from 100 to our ultimate goal of 1,333. With 100 focusing on song writing or something entirely Members we can fund ten $10,000 grants in our first undreamt of before. We combined the grant with year. With 1,333 we will have the ability to sustain over a year of artist residency and mentoring from our $1,000,000 a year in grants. That equates to forty or advisory board of music industry professionals. This fifty $25,000 grants each year. empowers a musician with the resources they need to Over the next decade our Members will fund build themselves into a bigger name. Ultimately we hundreds of artists and thousands of new songs while hope that the brand of being a Black Fret Artist will be building a new Austin institution capable of supporting 30 BLEEP
the sustained artistic, cultural and economic growth of Austin and the artists who call our city home. And with multiple member-only events a year with big name artists in intimate settings, the payoff for becoming a member is huge. After experiencing the intensity of Kweller and Bell on a smaller stage with only a couple hundred people in a room, I can support the fact that there is a special punch to that kind of setting for these concerts. After talking to these guys and hearing what is on their heart, there is not a doubt in my mind that they just truly love music, Austin, and whatever it takes to help these musicians keep the art and beauty of music alive in the capital of Texas.
than ever before despite the leaps in recording and distribution technologies. And its changing quickly. If your goal in life is to create art you’re on the right road. If you goal is financial, perhaps better to look elsewhere. The music industry is not for the feint of heart. But, because of that fact, the music industry is filled with people fiercely devoted to making incredible music. Being in a room with people like that is an incredible experience. So much shared love. So much shared passion. There are moments in this industry that are so profoundly beautiful, so connecting, so restorative of the human spirit… that you will find yourself wondering why anyone would want to do anything else.
WHAT MESSAGE WOULD YOU WANT ASPIRING To learn more about Black Fret or become a member, go MUSICIANS TO GET FROM YOU ABOUT MAKING IT to www.blackfret.org IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY? Colin and Matt: It’s a difficult road these days. Harder BLEEP 31
jr. jr DALE EARNHARDT
WHEN YOU HEAR THE NAME KATY PERRY OR METALLICA, YOU KNOW WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC YOU’RE GOING TO GET. WHEN YOU HEAR “DALE EARNHARDT JR. JR.”, YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO GET...WELL...WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU GOING TO GET? WITH NO TIES TO POPULAR NASCAR CIRCUIT DRIVER DALE EARNHARDT JR. ,NOR HIS LATE FATHER, THE BAND’S NAME HAS COME TO SYMBOLIZE THE FREEDOM TO EXPLORE WHATEVER MUSICAL ENDEAVORS THEY COULD THINK UP - AND WE THINK THAT’S...WELL...WINNING. BLEEP 33
to a crowd cheering. Willing to try anything once, if that doesn’t work, he’ll reverse the track, In a world where music is a constant layer it and try it again. The time and meticulous revolving door of singles after planning that goes into each and every piece of singles, fans are endlessly charging this band’s work is something the listener may never know about. $1.29 to their Itunes accounts, thus These guys have grown leaps and bounds from only downloading pieces of a puzzle their debut work “It’s A Corporate World.” Because that attention to detail, their sound has become and never putting it together. of more rich, “sonically better,” as Zotts explains. Lucky for those who still believe “Ben White has helped so much,” he said. “We’ve in putting on one album, rolling really worked hard to make this album the best we could.” down the window and driving until Even though the world has seemingly stopped the music ends, Dale Earnhardt Jr. purchasing records and now only downloads music, the guys appreciate the idea of the album: Jr. has come to the rescue. two sides, two feelings, a story that has two acts. If you check their track list, in the middle of the The duo, made up of Daniel Zott and Joshua album, there’s a reprise of their first track. Epstein, got its start in the basement of a Royal “It’s there for a reason. It’s a palate cleanser,” Zott Oaks, Michigan home. The guys had been playing said. “It allows you to ‘flip over the record’ and start in the Detroit music scene for a while before they the ‘B side’ that, for us, is a little darker.” decided to join forces. Short version, Epstein calls Currently Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr is on tour through Zott, offers to collaborate, and they write “Simple March to promote their new album “The Speed of Girl” the first time they meet. Wouldn’t be great if Things.” Ironically, the album is the perfect set to all collaborations were this easy? slow down and enjoy a day in the park or a nice The music is a complex blend of folk and drive. Their artistry and talent far exceeds what is electronica that founds its home in Indie Pop. expected of a band named after a NASCAR driver. Zott finds much of his inspiration from his past Take a chance on them and you just may come “My dad had a great collection of music, with out on the other side, like Epstein, finding beauty Motown being a big influence.“ in places you never saw it before. Zott’s appreciation for the classics of yesterday and Epstein’s abilities to create audible art from WWW.DALEEARNHARDTJRJR.COM nothing, have joined to create a beautiful tapestry. The band prides itself on two things: a ridiculous name that has nothing to do with anything about them or their music, and their blend of deep and emotional lyrics against a pop/electronic sound. “A big influence was the Beatles,” Zott explains. “Our lyrics are very Lennon-esque and just like the Beatles, the words are powerful which heavily contrast the pop beats they are layered on top of.” “Genius to a fault.” That’s how Zott describes Epstein. “He finds music in everything, he’s always on a search for beauty in the world and it’s found all over.” Epstein will place anything and everything on a track, from cool noises they make playing around, BLEEP 35
by Alex Wright
The Art of the Blocked Artist
When I told my Mississippi grandmother I was moving to California for college, she shook her head, sighed, and mumbled, “You’re going to break off into the ocean with all those fornicators.” Well, sorry Granny, but turns out you’re probably right - at least about the fornicating part. There are plenty of myths about Hollywood that aren’t true, namely that everyone in Los Angeles is out for blood. The truth is, the business is very much like middle school; everyone just wants to be invited to sit at the cool kids’ table. And so, they spend a lot of money on cars, clothes, plastic surgery, and, if you’re an old man, younger girlfriends, so that they can secure an invitation at the table. It’s nothing personal. They aren’t out for blood. They’re out for power, and every now and then, some blood is spilled. These people - the cool kids - aren’t even the worst sector of Hollywood players. The blocked artists are the worst. A blocked artist is just that: someone who has an artist’s soul, but somewhere along the way had their artistic voice silenced. Something crushed their dream, and now they are just a vessel of bitterness, carrying around this seed of artistry that can’t be expressed. So instead, some enter the business in some capacity so that they can still be near their dream. Some are agents or casting directors in Hollywood. They don’t mean to be rude - really, I don’t think they do; however, they carry around so much resentment for other artists, that they make it their duty to crush the dream they see in everyone else. Blocked female artists tend to use their words as a way to silence your dream. You’re too fat. Your nose is too big. You have too much training on your resume (?). I had a woman tell me my eyelashes were too long. Huh? Men tend to go a more personal, and in my opinion, more damaging route: the casting couch. Yes, it exists (sorry, Granny!) I’ve encountered it a few times. Sadly, I had a devastating experience at my last management company where both of my managers tried to sleep with me. Being the good Southern girl I am who has a smidgen of self respect and a pretty large and pulsating moral compass, I respectfully declined. Then I left the company. My boyfriend, who, yes, was my assistant director on my last project, tells me that I’m just too darn 36 BLEEP
nice. I, however, do not accept his answer. I will not become a Hollywood bitch in order to keep men at bay. Shouldn’t the men carry some responsibility in realizing that responding to an email in a friendly and prompt manner does not, and will never, represent an invitation to a sexual escapade? Then, I realized that it was all a part of the cool kids’ table game and that some of these men, more likely than not, are blocked artists. We all know that sex is often used by misguided men (and women) as a means to power, and that’s exactly what these unhappy men were trying to do. By making me feel like an object, not only were they stripping me of my humanity, they were stripping me of my artistry. I was no longer an actor worth respecting. I was, in their mind, a young impressionable girl worth taking advantage of. Well, let me tell you, they picked the wrong girl. I am my Granny’s granddaughter, and you better believe that when California breaks off into the ocean, I will not be counted among the fornicating blocked artists. Recently, a graduate school classmate of mine published a very revealing article online where she outlined an affair she had with a professor. She also confesses to many other affairs with married men. There is a self-congratulatory air of importance about the piece; she feels powerful and in control of these men, and even describes herself as being their savior. I’m unnerved that she can look at these situations with such flippancy and nonchalance; the whole time I read her piece, I thought, “But it’s so easy to be the ‘other woman’.” (I have seen wedding bands on many men who approach me.) Hollywood isn’t out for blood. Hollywood is out for power because some of the people running Hollywood are blocked artists. They once had dreams to act, to create something special, something beautiful and artistic, and instead, they create empty blockbusters that leave them empty. Women criticize, men sexualize, and in the end, yes, maybe I will be left behind because I have too much training or too much butt and not enough sexual freedom, but at least I will be left with my dignity, or what is left of it. I can sleep okay with that. I can sleep, at least, until I break off into the ocean.
NASTIA 9 time World Championship Medalist. 5 time Olympic Medalist. 1 Olympic All-Around Gold Medal. Nastia Liukin has conquered the gymnastics world and is now focused on inspiring the next generation of Olympic gymnasts.
A PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEVIN THOMAS GARCIABLEEP 39
Interview by Ryan Brinson Make Up by Timothy MacKay On set assistance by Matthew Skrincosky & Sarah Rotker
“Nastia Liukin” became a household name in 2008 when she won five Olympic medals for gymnastics, including the AllAround gold medal. Since then, her life has been a whirlwind of new opportunities and chasing new dreams. We sat down with Liukin before she headed to Sochi for this year’s winter Olympic games. HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED SINCE THE END OF THE 2008 GAMES? For me, gymnastics was something I always did because I had a passion for it. I never thought it would end up being a career or something I could live off of. After the Olympics, some of the 2008 gymnastics team had a 40-city tour. Then I attended my first fashion week and the whole media circuit was very different. But other than that, I started training again. My life has changed more drastically since last year. I finished my competitive gymnastics career and moved to New York. For me, school was put on hold for a long time, and now I’ve started school at NYU.
around, but I was definitely better on the events that I could use the artistry, like the balance beam or the uneven bars. I was lucky, I never really had to work on flexibility. I was just born that way. But I had to work really hard to be strong enough to do these skills. WHAT OTHER OLYMPIC SPORTS DO YOU ENJOY? I love figure skating. I feel like it’s the closest to gymnastics in the Winter Olympics because of its artistry and grace. But at the same time, you have to be so strong. I think the gymnasts and skaters make what they do look so easy but of course it’s not. WHAT’S IT LIKE TO FOREVER BE A PART OF “TEAM AMERICA?” That’s the really cool thing about the Olympic movement as a whole: Even if you’ve never met the athlete, you almost automatically have a bond with them. The Olympic world is so small, as big as it is, and it seems like everyone knows everyone. It’s like a family. For me, just because I’ve been there, it’s cool to be in a different role and give some advice to some of the athletes. I know exactly what they’re going through. There are so many different emotions and nerves, excitement and pressure, going through their heads, But there’s no greater sense of pride than representing your country at the Olympics.
WHEN YOU WERE COMPETING, HOW DID YOU YOU’VE BEEN INVOLVED WITH NBC AS A COMMENTATOR SINCE THE BALANCE THE ARTISTRY WITH THE TECHNICAL GYMNASTICS OLYMPICS AND ARE GOING TO BE A PART OF THE SKILL SIDE OF GYMNASTICS? I was more widely known for my grace and artistry SOCHI COVERAGE. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE rather than my power and explosiveness. A lot of my YOU DO? Every day, with the help of my producer, we will competitors and I separate ourselves like that: the artistic type and the power type. Of course you have be going to different venues, interviewing different to have a little of both if you want to achieve the all- athletes, and trying out different restaurants for 40 BLEEP
segments. It allows me to use my passion for the Olympic games but also allows me to step out of being just a gymnast. I want to get into, not only broadcasting gymnastics, but other aspects of the TV world as well. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AFTER THE OLYMPICS? After The Games, I will fly back to school because I’m missing the first three weeks of the semester. The last weekend of February is the Nastia Liukin Cup, which is for up-and-coming girls in the sport of gymnastics. There are 14 qualifying events in January and February and the top two from each event qualify for the Nastia Luikin Cup. It’s in a different place ever year and last year it was at Madison Square Garden, which was amazing. To walk into Madison Square Garden and see my name everywhere, I felt like it was a dream come true. I competed there exactly four years prior when I won the competition before going to the Olympics. Four years later, I have my own competition there. So many legends have gone through that arena and it’s amazing. WHAT’S YOUR DREAM NOW? Ever since I can remember, my dream was to go to the Olympic games and win a gold medal. For 18 years of my life, that was my dream. Being able to achieve that dream left me with the feeling of ‘What now? What do I do with the rest of my life now that I’ve met this goal?’ But I’ve learned it’s possible to have new dreams and new goals for yourself. Currently, I want to graduate from college and I’d love to commentate at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. I would also like to continue to work with kids, inspiring them to set goals for themselves and show them that nothing is impossible. So many people told me it was impossible for me to win an Olympic gold medal, and it was kind of against all odds that I did. It made me realize that as long as you set your mind to something and work hard every single day, anything is possible.
Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren
ev an Evan Lysacek was the first American man to win the gold medal in figure skating at the Olympics in more than 20 years, joining the ranks of skating legends Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Dick Button. Then he conquered prime time on “Dancing With the Stars.” Now, he looks toward a future that’s as bright at the Olympic lights. - Story by Ryan Brinson -
he word ‘champion’ is used a lot when describing Evan Lysacek. A two-time U.S. National champion, a two-time Four Continents champion, a Grand Prix Final champion, a World champion and a 2010 Olympic gold medal winner, he made it his goal to become a competitive skater when he was very young. “I didn’t have any natural ability - not great balance on the ice - but I liked it. I stuck with it and once I could go fast, I really started to like it,” Lysacek said. “Once I realized I could compete as an individual, that was very attractive to me. I like to control my own work ethic, intensity and pressure so overall I was meant to be an individual athlete.” Watching Michael Jordan and the Dream Team win the basketball gold medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics, Lysacek realized he, too, wanted to be an Olympian. “I wasn’t a skater then, but that later became my vehicle. Skating could get me to the Olympics.” And that it did. He joined the Men’s Olympic Figure Skating team for the 2006 Winter Olympics. He fell just short of a spot on the podium, finishing fourth place in the men’s event. “That was a moment of clarity in my life that I don’t know how many people are afforded,” he explained. “I didn’t know if I would go on after Torino. The sacrifice skating requires is so incredible. When I saw those three guys who I knew and competed with my whole life step up on the podium, I knew I wanted that. I wanted that gold medal so badly. And I
dedicated every waking moment to it after that.” Over the course of the next four years, he worked every day to achieve that goal, and in 2010, he became the first American man to win the men’s figure skating Olympic gold medal since 1988. “It takes a lot of time for it to sink in – that your name is in the history books,” he said. That spirit of never giving up is at the core of every Olympic story, something Lysacek says is the reason the Olympics are so powerful. “Why do the Olympics continue to capture the attention in the way they do? When you compare it to the drama of reality TV, and stories of people who dedicate their life to their country for one thing, I think people really do know the difference between fame and achievement. Olympians work, live and achieve a lifestyle of discipline that most people can’t imagine. That’s why people are fascinated with the Olympics. I’m just one of many Olympic stories – human stories of achievement will trump fame any day.” Since his Olympic triumph, Lysacek has kept busy. He appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” and became a fan favorite and the runner-up of his season. “It was so opposite of what I was doing and training for at the point and the producers were very persistent about how the dance and movement would help my skating. I knew I’d be ready for something new and it turned out to be a great experience.”
“Human stories of achievement will trump fame any day.”
Photo courtesy of International Figure Skating Magazine
Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren
Photo courtesy of International Figure Skating Magazine
The moves on “Dancing with the Stars” may have been new, but Lysacek was no stranger to the artistry of movement. “I’m a technician fundamentally,” he explained, “but I really try to learn as much as I can about music and movement. What I couldn’t learn, I was at least humble enough to enlist the best people in each field. I worked with music editors who do runway shows, and I worked with talented choreographers such as Travis Wall. In that sense, I’ve tried to enlist the best people around.” He also enlisted the best in the business when it came to the costumes he wore on the ice: Christian Dior and Alexander McQueen, to name a couple. For the 2010 Olympic season, he collaborated with Vera Wang on his two costumes. “I started working with Vera about six months before the Olympic season started and I really just let her go and do what she wanted,” he said. “She explored what those two pieces of music would look like. Since then, as we’ve become closer, we’ve been able to collaborate. I’ve continued to work with her for the past five years, and she’s done everything I’ve worn on the ice. What I think is cool is bringing subtle design choices into athletic clothing.” After having suffered an injury while skating, Lysacek’s immediate plans for the future focus on healing, rehab and
looking beyond the injury to what’s next. As the next wave of athletes prepares to take the ice in Sochi, Lysacek remembered how he felt when he saw the American flag rise above the ice and the national anthem begin to play. “One thing that surprised me when I was standing on that podium was that I was thinking of all of those moments in my career I never thought I would remember. When I was too tired, too sore or too injured and I somehow kept going. Those became my Olympic moments. There weren’t 20 million people watching those private moments, but they superseded the very public moments. The private moments are what made that happen and I really thanked God to never give up.”
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BLEEP CREATIVITY. UNCENSORED.
The two-time silver medalist is taking the leap from the ice to the race track to the Great White Way.
Story by Ryan Brinson
Elvis Stojko is a bonafide figure skating star. The twotime Olympic silver medalist grew up north of Toronto in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, and was introduced to figure skating when he was just two years old while watching someone spin on TV. “I told my parents I wanted to do that,” he said. “So when I was four years old, I began taking lessons.” The instinct to be competitive in skating was innate for Stojko, as he conquered jumps and spins on the ice just to prove he could. “I started doing competitions as a way to test my abilities,” he said. “A coach told my parents I should go to a more competitive club, so when I was nine years old, we went to Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club. That’s when it took off.” The love of competing and challenging himself meant that obtaining an Olympic medal was always in the back of his mind as he trained. “As a kid, you just believe you can achieve it. Around age 14, when I won the junior national title, it became a dream that could actually happen. As more people would talk to my parents and coaches, telling them there was a strong possibility I could make the Olympic team, it became a reality in my mind as well.” When Stojko first joined the Winter Olympics team, he finished the men’s competition in seventh place. His second trip, however, landed him on the podium with a silver medal. “When I won the silver in ‘94,” he explained, “I stood on the podium and pictured gold for ‘98. I was excited about challenging myself for four years. I was ready to go. That drive was instantly there. I finished looking at my flag and I was pumped to go forward. I had the World Championships a month later. I won gold there and won three more titles after that.” Four years later, Stojko took home another silver medal for Canada, cementing his status as one of the greats. While he said each of his trips to the Olympics had a different feel, he said they all feel like “The Olympics.” “When you go to a world championship, you feel the intensity,” he said, “but it just feels like a big international 54 BLEEP
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competition. But the Olympics, you know it only happens every four years and there’s an added bit of pressure because it feels like it’s the pinnacle. When you see the Olympic rings, it really puts things into perspective.” In figure skating, it becomes necessary to balance the technical and powerful moves with the artistry of the performance – something each artist handles differently. “What I love about skating is all the tricks and pushing the envelope,” Stokjo said. “I did the quad-triple in ‘97 and it was something you could put a measuring tape to and say, ‘Wow, I did it.’ When it comes to the artistry, the music is always pretty inspiring. I wanted to be able to translate the feeling and vision I had of movement to the music I was skating to.” Stojko has retired from skating and since 2011, has been racing karts in the Canadian Rotax DD2 Master Class and the SKUSA Mexico Series – something that has become a main focus of his life. Next up for Stokjo is conquering the Great White Way as “Billy Flynn” in Broadway’s smash-hit musical Chicago. 56 BLEEP
“It’s a neat thing to do in the month of March before the racing season starts. The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is learning from everyone there on how they rehearse and train,” he said. “I want to be able to soak in everything and learn from everyone. I also want to let go of the expectation of what people think and learn from people on Broadway. It’s huge! It’s a great honor to play this part and I’m excited.” For the man whose dream was to win an Olympic medal, his next professional goal is to achieve the highest level of racing he can achieve. “As a person, my goal is to find a complete sense of peace and calmness in my life. There’s always turmoil that goes on in people’s lives but the biggest thing is to let go of the worry of the outcome and enjoy the process,” he said. “When I’m racing in a car, I can’t be thinking before me or behind me, I have to be in the moment. A lot of times, skaters have to think ahead because it’s a recital and you’re anticipating the next move. When I race, I’m in the moment and I feel the most human, most connected and most fulfilled when I’m not thinking about what’s next.”
w o n k o t Get o M d n a a k k i N
Photography by Matt Tolbert Interview by Ryan Brinson
Los Angeles native Nikka Graff Lanzarone knew she was destined to end up in New York City from a young age. “My entire family is from here,” Lanzarone said. “I come from a theatre family and I grew up going back and forth a lot. It was the only place that felt like home to me. As soon as I could, I came.” For Seattle-bred Mo Brady, after having spent a year around actors from New York while working on a Disney Cruise Line, he knew it was time to head to the city as well. He was also in love. “I moved here for a boy,” he said. “I also wanted to be on Broadway and was excited about the prospect of pushing myself artistically, but the impetus was that I was dating a guy who is now my husband.” Both Brady and Lanzarone found comfort and community within the theatre world at an early age. “I think a lot of people tell this story – that it’s where they found their community and where they felt safe and supported,” Brady said. “I did a youth theater program and that’s where I felt the most comfortable. They were my people.” “They were always my people,” Lanzarone echoed. “Literally, my entire family - this is what we do. I was always going to be a dancer of some kind. When I saw Jerome Robbins Broadway when I was six years old, I was like ‘Wait a minute. You can be a dancer and do all of this?’ This is the thing. This has to be the thing. So then it was the thing.” Lanzarone said she never felt pressure from her family to live a life in the theater, “But when I did decide to do it,” she said, “I had overwhelming support because no one could tell me ‘you can’t make a living in show business.’” Her Broadway debut came in the form of “Women 60 BLEEP
on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” where she shared the stage with Broadway mainstays such as Patti Lupone, Laura Benanti, Sherie Rene Scott and Danny Burstein. “I was that girl, who for five years, every day woke up at dawn, trucked it to every open call there was, and got cut more often than not,” she said. “When people are constantly telling you, ‘It’s not you,’ they mean ‘that thing that you do, there isn’t anywhere for it to be done yet.’ So to be able to be that person for this specific show (Women on the Verge) who could do this specific thing, that was thrilling.” Lanzarone credits “Women on the Verge” for teaching her more than she could have ever learned in a graduate school program. “I learned more about acting in that tiny amount of time – getting to watch all different types of people at the top of their games, and see how they work on stage and off stage – than I could have in school. I didn’t know what table-work really meant, and I went to a BFA program, but when you’re developing new work, you get a chance to fall on your face and it was okay to fall on your face because everyone was doing it.”
Brady’s career, in his words, has ‘ebbed and flowed.’ After working in marketing departments for theatres right out of college, he ran a youth theatre program while simultaneously landing acting jobs in Seattle. Booking “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” at Fifth Avenue theatre led to assisting Christopher Ashley on “Memphis”, and then booking “Catch Me If You Can” out of town. “Three years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have a podcast and be doing video editing for Broadway
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Cares,” he said. “Three years before that, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have make my Broadway debut. Three years before that, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have booked ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’. My career is winding and has surprised me, and I love that.”
These are incredible artists with a lot to say about what it is to make a life in the theatre.”
That podcast is The Ensemblist, which opens up the lives of those working in ensembles on the world’s biggest stages. Brady had the idea of doing a podcast in 2011 when he was in the cast of “The Addams Family” on Broadway. After six months of being in the show, he began what he calls a “beta-version” of the podcast, but ultimately felt dissatisfied with the direction he was headed with it. He wanted to bring something new to the conversation. “Two years later,” he explains, “I decided to go at it again. The first time, I had just interviewed one person per episode. So my new idea sprung from ‘What if we take one aspect of being an ensemblist and ask multiple people about it?’ That’s when I contacted Nikka.” “There wasn’t a question of ‘Do you want to do this?’ because as soon as we started talking about it, I started, in my mind, working on it. It was born instantly,” she said. “There’s always something that’s routine to you because it’s your life, but is interesting to someone else who doesn’t know what it is,” Lanzarone said. “I feel a lot of the Broadway press is star-driven and a lot of people don’t even take the time to write out who is in their pictures. It’s a lot of ‘...and cast.’ and so many of these people have done 14 Broadway shows. These are incredible artists with a
lot to say about what it is to make a life in the theatre.” Hopeful that audiences will connect with the human stories they are telling, Brady and Lanzarone would love to share the podcast with as many listeners as possible. “Some of the most interesting podcasts are the ones who give me a window into a world I don’t know anything about,” Brady said. “I think of the podcast as educational for the casual theatre-goer but also for people who want to make a life in the theatre. They don’t talk about being a replacement in most BFA programs, but that’s what most people on Broadway are doing.” “They rarely talk about being in the ensemble in most BFA programs and that’s what most people on Broadway are doing,” Lanzarone adds. “There’s a large part of this experience where we can help people who want to be a part of this community understand how it works,” Brady said. “I think when you are primarily in the ensemble and you move into being a principle, the spirit of community and collaboration doesn’t go away. Being in the ensemble, you appreciate the really great leaders of casts who don’t put any space between you and them. When you are a lead and go back into the ensemble, I think the willingness to fight for yourself and your fellow ensemble members is still there,” Lanzarone said. “It feels like there’s so much about the life of an ensemblist that there is to share,” Brady said of what keeps them motivated to produce the podcast. “There are so many topics that are interesting and people who have stories worth telling.”
“There’s a large part of this experience where we can help people who want to be a part of this community understand how it works.” -Mo
WE CHAT WITH ISAAC HARRIS, THE CURATOR OF BREAKINGFAD.COM AND THIS MONTH’S ‘BLOGGER WE LOVE.’ FASHION BLOGGERS CAN BE A DIME-A-DOZEN, BUT EVERY NOW AND THEN, YOU FIND ONE WHO IS ABLE TO SEE SOMETHING THE OTHERS DON’T. ISAAC’S EYE FOR STYLE AND PERSONALITY THAT EXTENDS BEYOND THE PHOTOGRAPH KEPT US LOOKING AT HIS BLOG FOR HOURS, AND WE’RE IT WILL FOR YOU AS WELL. 68 BLEEP
YOU HAVE AN EYE FOR INTERESTING PEOPLE. WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT A PERSON? The composition and energy of my photos are really important to me. It’s all in the details. Like where their hands are placed or how they are stood, it really brings a photo to life; capturing their moment, that 5 minute coffee break, or waiting for a friend to arrive. I’m not a huge fan of smoking, but those are the best looking photos to me. People are usually in their most relaxed state when having a smoke. I try to stay away from the basic shot with someone standing straight looking into the camera. But sometimes that’s all you get. As far as the outfit goes, it’s really not one thing I notice. I guess it’s the whole package. I do tend to lean toward that worn down rugged-vintage vibe. I like the outfits to inspire people and make them feel like that could be them. I must admit though, I am a real sucker for a girl in high top vans. WHEN DID YOU START NOTICING WHAT PEOPLE WERE WEARING AS A FORM OF EXPRESSION? I guess it all started when I got into skateboarding. I must have been in 6th grade. I loved the excitement of
the sport and the camaraderie, being with a group of friends that all shared the same passion. Back in the day, and still today, skateboarders always went against the grain with what they wore and the type of music they listened to. That, to me, is fashion. Daring to be different. It’s funny but awesome to see the stuff we wore in the late 80s being worn today by people who would have nothing to do with us. I saw Rihanna the other day in a photo wearing a vision street wear shirt, which was dope. I pretty much wear the same thing I did when I was a kid. Old school vans, a white tee and beat up jeans. WHEN DID YOU START BLOGGING? I started my blog about a year ago. My first post was actually on my birthday. It has been an amazing first year, and I hope it continues into 2014.
WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO BLOG? I used to look to magazines and be influenced by musicians or skateboarders. I would try to imitate what they were wearing. However, a lot of the time I wasn’t able to buy what they had on and would have to make do with something else. Now, I find the most inspiring outfits and looks are from the average person walking down the street. I continue to blog to give others a chance to see this, hopefully to inspire them, and show them what is going on in the streets. I also get a rush from the feeling of taking the perfect photo. It doesn’t happen as much as it should, but when it does I cant wait to get home to edit. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? People who are driven. I really get inspired from people who try to be the best at their given craft. One of my friends is an amazing painter, another is veterinary radiologist, and is one the best in the world at what he does. Being around people like that drives me to be the best at what I do. Howard Stern is a huge inspiration to me also as far as public BLEEP 69
music videos and going to the cinema to see what the movie stars were wearing. Movies and music videos WHAT INFORMS YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? had a huge influence on what people wore. These days, Skateboarding has a huge influence on how I dress. I we are pre-occupied with our smart phones, looking at like to be able to wear what is comfortable to skate in, social media sites and Instagram. Bloggers have been but also look decent enough to go out and have a beer able to tap into that market really successfully and can in. I love clothing that looks like it has been lived in. I offer you a new look, or inspiration, daily, not monthly. am really into raw denim, and vintage clothing. I think if They have become the new magazines of today. People offers a unique style.. are influenced by the things they see, editors will always want to be in on what is driving the latest trends, and IN YOUR OPINION, HOW HAS FASHION BLOGGING bloggers have that daily insight. IMPACTED THE INDUSTRY? Bloggers have impacted the industry in a huge way. WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR READERS TO TAKE AWAY Not only are we seeing bloggers become celebrities FROM BREAKING FAD? in their own right, [but they are also] showing up at I want my blog to be a place where people can go fashion shows and events. Major clothing labels are to get away for a couple minutes, for people to feel now reaching out to bloggers to endorse products. It’s inspired and set the day off in a positive way. Whether become a big business. There are some bloggers who it be on their coffee break, or on their ride home from have more followers than major pop stars. It’s crazy. work. DO YOU THINK BLOGGING WILL CONTINUE TO WHAT’S YOUR DREAM FOR YOUR LIFE? AFFECT TRENDS AND INFORM EDITORS ABOUT To live in New York and be successful doing what WHAT TO COVER? I love...taking photos and feeling inspired single Yes absolutely. In the 80’s, we were obsessed with everyday. 70 BLEEP
Speaking of what we’re
We’re still obsessed with La Soiree, the burlesque/circus/vaudevillian show from across the pond making audiences roar with laughter and delight in New York City. Speaking of ‘across the pond,’ we loved Tom Cullen in “Weekend” and love him even more on “Downton Abbey.” He makes brave acting choices and is consistantly superb. Speaking of being yourself, “Brave” is one of those songs that never seems to get old. And just when you think it has, there’s another YouTube video that reminds you why the song is so important and just how great Sara Bareilles is. Speaking of powerful women vocalists, we love Idina’s performance of “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” But that’s it. Just her version. No need to re-record for radio. Speaking of “Frozen,” the news that it’s headed to Broadway is in no way surprising, but doesn’t make us any less obsessed with the idea. Speaking of Broadway, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway is funny, it’s well written, it’s brilliantly acted and doesn’t feature Broadway belters trying to out-Elphaba each other with high notes. Speaking of hitting a metaphorical high note, we love Britney’s Vegas attitude. Not only did she get solid reviews from critics and fans alike, but she looks happy and healthy - both things we want from our pop stars. Speaking of looking healthy, Resolutions at the gym who have stuck it out this long are inspiring. Hey, some people will stick with it and end up on the cover of the weight-loss issue of People Magazine. Speaking of people who frequent the gym, we get to enjoy more than 1000 hours of Olympic coverage over the course of two weeks on NBC. Speaking of NBC, we love Ariane Rinehart and Michael Campayno in the TV production of “The Sound of Music.” They more than held their own against the cast full of Broadway vets. We can’t wait to see what they do next. Oh and we’re also obsessed with eating dried fruit instead of dessert. Just saying.
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