SEPTEMBER 2014 Issue • 407
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NAIL ART IS ALL OVER YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED. ANDREW JAMES TAYLOR IS AN ARTIST MAKING MAGIC HAPPEN ON YOUR FINGERTIPS PROJECT RUNWAY ALUM EMMANUEL TOBAIS TALKS WHAT’S NEXT FOR HIM AFTER THE HIT DESIGN SHOW
maor luz No longer Los Angeles’ best kept secret, Maor Luz is changing the fashion game at price points worth cheering about. KEVIN ZAK STOLE THE SHOW IN CLINTON: THE MUSICAL IN NEW YORK
“AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR” REKO RIVERA TALKS THE SUMMER HIT & MORE
TOKYO FACES AND THE BLOG ABOUT THE ART OF BLEEP 1 BEING YOURSELF
n i p e e bl inside: 18 20 24 28 32 42 50 52
SUMMER 2014’S GREATEST HITS
From TV to Broadway to music, the summer of 2014 gave us some pretty incredible artistic moments.
SO WE KNOW THEY CAN DANCE
It’s hard to believe “So You Think You Can Dance” has been on TV for a decade. We highlight our favorite dancers and routines from the past ten years of brilliance.
KICKING IT INTO GEAR
We feature some of the standout films from the Kickstarter Film Festival that landed in Brooklyn this summer.
SHINING A ‘LIGHT’
We talk with Paper Lights, a band whose sound is at once driving pop and cinematic fullness.
ONE-ON-ONE WITH KEVIN ZAK
You may not know his name now, but Kevin Zak stole the show this summer in Clinton and he’s one to watch.
He’s the best kept secret is Los Angeles, but the secret’s out! We chat with the designer who is creating fashion-forward, fun, completely wearable and unbelievably affordable fashion. Trust us when we tell you, you’ll be a fan too.
Open up your Instagram feed and nail art is everywhere. So we talk with Andrew James Taylor about being one of the artists who make your nails something worth staring at.
BECOMING A REAL LIFE SUPERHERO
“American Ninja Warrior” fever caught on this summer and one of those warriors is Reko Rivera. But there’s more to him beyond his theatrical run on the toughest show on TV. BLEEP 3
n i p e e l inside: b
The “Project Runway” alum talks about his new line, his experience on the hit show and what’s next for him as a designer.
FACE THE FACTS
Tokyo is one of the fashion capitals of the world and no where is that documented as well as on TokyoFaces.com. We talk with Said, the blogger behind the fashionable faces.
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FALL FASHION EXTRAVAGANZA
From the chic everyday wear of Manhattan to the forever beachy looks of Miami, we take a look at fall fashion through the lens of some of our favorite photographers.
It’s back! Our version of the 20 Questions every artist needs to be asked right now.
BLEEP CREATIVITY. UNCENSORED.
RYAN BRINSON Editor-in-Chief SARAH ROTKER Business & Audience Development Manager PABLO SALINAS Social Media Associate BEN HUMENIUK Cartoonist RACHAEL MARIBOHO Culture Editor COVER PHOTOGRAPHER: Albert Lopez FEATURE EDITORS: Nathan Robins WRITERS: Caleb Bollenbacher Hatley Moore Laura Seitter Alex Wright FEATURE CONTRIBUTORS: Florian Hubertus WEB CONTENT: Sheena Wagaman Eric Lehman
All articles and photos are the property of the writers and artists. All rights reserved.
Letter from the Editor I hate paying a lot of money for clothes. I really hate it. I’m all for paying for quality, but the notion that designers can get thousands of dollars for a single coat or purse has never been something that has made any sense to me. I have a conversation about this with a friend who works in the high-end fashion industry and he told me he looks at it less as a coat and more as a piece of art. I think that can be a valid argument in some cases, but ultimately, I can’t reconcile paying that amount of money for a coat. That’s one of the reasons why I’m so enamored with our cover designer, Maor Luz. Not only is he designing fashion-forward and completely wearable clothing, but it’s at a price-point that anyone can afford. We need more designers like him. I live in New York City and there is no shortage of fashionable people on the streets at any given moment. What’s amazing is that it doesn’t matter what part of town you’re in, someone is impecably dressed and, in my mind, headed somewhere important. Stores like H&M, Joe Fresh and Forever 21 set out to bring fashionable designs to the masses at a price they can afford. Much like IKEA did for furniture, these stores revolutionized the styles of clothes the world could purchase. Affordable clothing wasn’t left only for the Old Navy’s of the world. Now, you can get the same look at Heidi Klum, Beyonce and David Beckham for a fraction of what the advertisers in Vogue would charge for arguably the same look. Some designers are seeing the importance in affordability and it all comes down to a simple question: Do you want the masses to wear your clothes or do you want an elite few? Whichever the answer, I find it refreshing that top notch designers have their eyes on the everyday consumer. Fashion is a lot of things. It’s what we wear to function in. It’s what we wear to change our outlooks and attitudes. It’s what we wear to protect our skin. Ultimately, it’s a lot of fun and it changes on a daily basis. It defines cultural eras, it’s brings back memories and the endless cycle of styles and color palates can bring a reassuring consistency to our lives. How many times have we said, “Oh that’s back in again?” Cheers to you, fashion designers who have an eye for style and affordability. You make it possible for us to look and feel great when we wear your art. After all, it’s art we live our lives in.
Sidenote: In this issue we look back on some of our favorite dancers and dances from “So You Think You Can Dance.” The show that brought dance back to the forefront of American pop culture has gifted us with dancers, choreographers and art that has moved us and challenged audiences to open their minds to new forms of expression. My favorite dance was created by Mia Michaels to the song “Dancing” by Elisa. In it, Lacey Schwimmer and Kameron Bink soared and broke our hearts. It was stunning, it was sexy, and it was superb.
Ryan Brinson Editor-in-Chief BLEEP 7
BLEEPbliPs Luigi Sardo’s newest design Designer Markas Lacaria talks to BLEEP about the inspiration behind his newest shoe, the Lacaria Pro Model. “The inspiration for the shoe was to come up with something that has never been done before that allows the wearer to change components on the upper. It uses some new applications in upper construction and high quality materials like full grain leather, ballistic nylon, neoprene, thermo plastic urethane, reflective 3M fabric and zinc hardware. Patents are pending on this model so I can’t divulge too much until the applications are passed, but it has been received very well from the people who have seen it in person.” www.luigisardo.com
Good at being ‘Bad’ The Bad Boys of Ballet made good on “America’s Got Talent” this season. After making it through the auditions to the live shows, even being voted off the show wasn’t enough to keep them down. Judge Mel B brought the boys back as her wildcard pick, cementing their status as one of the best acts of an incredibly talent-filled season. They’re fun, they’re sexy and they brought ballet to the forefront at Radio City Music Hall. We want to see more from them! www.twitter.com/BADBOYSofBALLET 8 BLEEP
“Baby, Baby” One More Time Six-time GRAMMY® Award winner Amy Grant is having a moment, again. Her original Billboard No. 1 hit “Baby, Baby” has returned to the charts as her remixed version of the single broke into the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. Her first remix album, In Motion: The Remixes, released on August 19. Amy Grant’s career spans more than 30 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into becoming an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. Her total career album sales have exceeded 30 million, she’s won six GRAMMY® Awards, Grant has earned 26 Dove Awards and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now she’s remixed and has us dancing to her greatest hits.
YouTube sensation Alex Boye makes music his own Alex Boye wowed the world with his version of “Let It Go” with the One Voice Children’s Choir to the tune of more than 48 million YouTube hits. Now, he’s released a new album, “Africanized,” and he puts his spin on songs like “Happy,” “Roar” and “Set Fire To The Rain.” The album is a joyous celebration of the convergence of cultures and a testimony to the power of music’s elastic nature. Good music is good music and his African-infused songs breathe new life into them. To hear the album and download a copy for yourself, head over to: www.alexboye.bandcamp.com/album/africanized BLEEP 9
A FringeWorthy Win
When Sean Kelly applied to be a part of this season of “Project Runway,” his goal was likely to become a rising star after the show ended. But that success came early for Kelly as host Heidi Klum wore a dress he designed to the Creative Arts Emmys, stealing the fashion headlines and giving Kelly a very public boost. It’s flawless and we can’t wait to see more from Kelly.
James Franco’s Next Bold M OVE
James Franco is something of an enigma in the entertainment industry. He’s a multi-hyphenate entertainer who has most recently added “Broadway performer” to his resume. But he never veers away from filmmaking for long and the most recent project he produced, “Kink,” is a documentary on a facet of the porn industry that claims to be misunderstood and misinterpreted: BDSM. This is the second foray Franco has made into provocative documentary filmmaking as his film, “Interior Leather Bar,” was released earlier this year. Some have said he’s pandering to gay audiences and others have said he’s telling stories people aren’t otherwise hearing and seeing. Either way you feel about it, in the current cinematic landscape where sequels, prequels, regurgitated characters and recycled stories are the norm, documentary filmmaking is giving voice to originality and gives reason to provocative thought. Franco is using the medium as a tool for saying something new and that’s refreshing. One of the subjects of the documentary, Jessie Colter, is five-year veteran of the industry and found out on one of his filming days that his shoot was more than business-as-usual. “They said they were filming a documentary and it wouldn’t be a big deal, just another camera. I had no idea is was James Franco’s production,” Colter said. “After we were done, I was pulled into a room and there was James Franco. It took me a minute to realize it was actually him! I mean, I know who he is but it took a minute to register that he was actually there and telling me he chose me as the gay model for the documentary.” When it comes to the final product, Colter said he’s happy with the way “Kink” turned out. “I was glad to be portrayed as myself,” he said. “I’ve been portrayed as someone I’m not before because of editing, so I was nervous. I’m silly and goofy in real life so I was glad I was portrayed as a real person.” He believes this documentary is important because it shines a spotlight on something that’s not only considered taboo, but something he feels is extremely misunderstood. “It’s not about hurting someone,” he explains. “People have a distorted view of BDSM and hopefully this will help enlighten them.” Colter is currently transitioning to do more work behind the camera. “I’m trying to expand my knowledge. When it comes to the model aspect, I’ve got that down,” he said. “Now, I’m learning more about camera angles and the creative and technical side of things.” Creativity is something that comes easily for Colter who still utilizes his Masters in Horticulture when designing elaborate garden designs for he and his friends. “I love doing it. At the risk of sounding full of myself, I’m a bad ass designer when it comes to color schemes, patterns and scale. I do it for fun and I love it.”
a conversation with Jessie Colter about being in the center of franco’s provocative new film.
James Franco with “Kink” director Christina Voros at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. © PA Images / Chris Pizzello / AP
Jessie Colter during filming.
To find out where “Kink” is playing closest to you, check out www. kinkdoc.com BLEEP 11
One of TV’s biggest stars?
Much has been made about the Bible making a comeback on movie screens but right now, The Almighty is having quite the TV moment. Currently, three hit TV shows (and more on the way) have taken over the airwaves and are giving God His biggest TV moment since Roma Downey was touched by an angel. Not sequestered to any of the gospel channels, these shows are proving that God’s a hit on any network. The leader of the pack is “American Bible Challenge,” which garnered Emmy nominations for both the show and for host Jeff Foxworthy. This Game Show Network show was a surprise hit, with audiences tuning in to see a twist on the traditional trivia competition. It’s as fast paced and exciting as any game show on TV and that’s why the Emmy nominations come as no surprise. Game Show Network has another hit on its hands with “It Takes a Church,” which it just renewed for a second season. Gospel superstar Natalie Grant hosts the show where she visits a congregation to surprise a dateless member with the news that they’re about to be “saved from the dating world.” The congregants go to work trying to find the best match for them and hopefully, they meet someone to connect with. It’s a dating show with a gospelinfused slant. You won’t find any “Naked Dating” action on this show, and the focus is always on connecting on a deeper level. In a different direction, “Preachers of LA” on Oxygen appears to be just another reality show full of drama and confrontations. While that’s true in a sense, the drama isn’t about petty disagreements and dinner parties gone awry. The arguments end up being about disagreements in interpreting their faith. It’s no surprise that six different pastors and their wives/girlfriends would have different views on the world, on the way people act and how they live their faith. At the most basic level, this is a show about the intersection of different views on “living by faith.” Next up on the Oxygen roster this fall is “Fix My Choir,” led by “Preachers of LA” star Deitrick Haddon and Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams. The premise is simple and outlined in the title. The duo goes in and fixes choirs who need the assist. The combination of star power and the promise of amazing music makes this a must-watch show for the network. So God’s having a TV moment and with more versions of Oxygen’s “Preachers” series on the way, it seems that moment is going to continue. 12 BLEEP
Photo: Karen Almond/Dallas Theater Center
by Laura Seitter
Les Missouri-ables One of my youthful, wilder ambitions in life has always been to somehow take part in a revolution. Maybe it’s a fantasy for history geeks like myself; I’ve long been enamored with written accounts from the 18th and 19th centuries, chronicling the American, French and Latin American wars for independence. There is a certain romanticism to revolution, where people believe so profoundly, so deeply in something that they are willing to sacrifice their lives. Of course, my preoccupation with period pieces has probably also helped shape my schmaltzy view of revolution. When the music swells, when the flags start waving, when the cannon fires and our heroes charge with abandon into peril – in slow motion, of course – I’m practically ready to pick up a bayonet and join the fray. Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is the quintessential literature of romanticized revolution, but when Cameron Mackintosh produced the phenomenon musical in 1985, musical theatre reached new heights of sentimentality. After 30 years and one Oscar-winning film, “Les Miz” has fulfilled its quota for flag-waving and frilly shirts. This summer, the Dallas Theatre Center made a bold choice to stage Les Miz in a very different way. By modernizing the production design, making the time period ambiguous and therefore familiar to the audience, this show became a whole new kind of revolutionary. While the music and libretto remained entirely unchanged, DTC incorporated clever, simple details to pull the setting into the 21st century. Rebellions were planned on laptops and iPhones, while the homeless carried signs that decry the VA and home foreclosures. Instead of donning army uniforms, the police forces wore riot gear, which was truly striking on the stage. The “Master of the House” sequence looked like something emerged right out of Jersey Shore. It seemed to me that the true ingenuity in this modernization was how natural it all appeared; the whole production was a recipe of imagery we see on television every day. In my mind, the most memorable scene from DTC’s Les Miz was during the first act, the riotous and provocative “Lovely Ladies” song. It’s always
been a classic moment in the show, when rougesmeared tarts parade themselves across the stage, but I’ve never really gotten it. It seemed like a farce, making too light of a truly tragic situation. In the DTC production, though, the hookers shed the MoulinRouge-persona and pull out the whips. It was raw, shocking and uncomfortable in a way that this scene has always needed to be. The intimacy of the performance space (Wyly Theater at the AT&T Performing Arts Center) was a great advantage for both the performers and the audience. With a downward-sloped stage, the central conflict between the wretched rich and the wretched poor spilled out into the audience. A three-level set ensured that even the viewers in the top-most balcony were not safe from the melee. The message was clear: These are your problems, too. Get involved. I saw the matinee performance of DTC’s Les Miserables on Saturday, August 9. While I sat in the third row of that theatre in downtown Dallas, 18-yearold Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, MO, plunging America into its own modern-day insurrection between classes. Les Miz is a compelling story because the characters are complex and the conflict is intricate – just as the standoff in Ferguson is complex. I don’t mean to cheapen our societal ills and tragedies by equating them to simple theatrics, but when life starts to imitate art in such a disquieting way, it’s important to take notice. I’ve been enthralled with the romanticized idea of revolution, imagining brave men and women fighting for change in a bygone history. It’s so terribly disheartening to see that some things still haven’t changed. Society continues to fight one another over issues of poverty, racism, sexism and countless other forms of hatred. DTC staged a brilliant and thought-provoking production of Les Miserables, and ended up reflecting back to the audience the exact world we live in today. Do you hear the people sing? Because I’m pretty sure it’s getting louder… BLEEP 13
the intersection by
Rebirth, Repeat I hate having to write about death. Sometimes it’s a necessity though. Sometimes writing needs to happen to process, to grieve, to expunge all the confused thoughts out into some measure of ordered mess. Sometimes it needs to happen so we can all get on the same page. When I heard about Robin Williams’ death I didn’t want to believe it. When I heard it was a suicide, I wasn’t capable of believing it. My knee-jerk reaction was the same as nearly everyone else’s: how could someone so alive, someone who had taught us to “suck out all the marrow of life”, have fallen in a battle with depression? In the midst of my moping around a few days later, a co-worker turned to me while discussing Williams and exclaimed “I just don’t understand why someone would do that.” I started to respond before quickly ending the conversation. Work wasn’t the place for my response. But I understood. People always laugh when I tell them that all artists have a crazy streak. I don’t know what people think crazy looks like, but everyone has a little bit of my kind of crazy in them. People don’t “go” crazy. They unlock it, or it’s unlocked in them. With artists, things are different. Those who are creative, who create, carry heavy weight. There’s more of the world to be experienced, to the point of looking like other worlds entirely. There’s people roaming around in our heads, waiting to be set free and introduced to the world, but at the end of the day we are their home mailing address. It gets crowded up in that headspace. It gets loud, like Thanksgiving with your extended family (including that one crazy uncle who you can never believe you’re related to). I’ve lost sleep on numerous occasions when characters – some of whom are so broken that punctuation is foreign to them – refuse to stop talking. Artists feel more. Feelings go up to eleven, because every little emotion has context and consequence. When you have to inhabit countless characters 14 BLEEP
you start to be even more aware of what feelings mean. You empathize and feel for everyone else, and you can’t make it stop. It’s not just our feelings, it’s all of yours too, and those of all of the characters you can’t see but aren’t any less real. And then there’s the pressure. People have expectations of entertainers. They expect to be entertained. There’s the people writing the checks who consistently need some sort of product that will sell. Clocking out is a luxury that holds no substance. Friends and family can be a safe place, but they can just as easily be another demand, another set of people to perform for. To watch Williams work was to watch a genius. All the things I try to do as an artist are on full display in his body of work, and it flowed out of him as if there was no filter to stem the outpouring. That kind of effort is exhausting. I’ve tried it for short periods of time and been worn out. Robin Williams made a living out of it, which takes an enormous amount of strength that most might not recognize. Constantly emptying the well of creativity leaves a spirit needing rest. Throw in the fact that Williams had Parkinson’s Disease (of which depression is a symptom) and the sum total is a battle I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’m not trying to justify anything that happened, just trying to shed some light on something that most don’t seem to understand. Just because artists look like they’re having fun doesn’t mean that it comes easy. Let’s let the tragic death of Robin Williams teach us something. For those of you that might not indulge a creative side, remember that celebrity or not, artists are complex people with very normal struggles, just like anyone else. At the very least let’s be understanding. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that we can never know. And for the artists out there I say this: Let’s all go crazy together, but make sure there’s a safety net out there when you’re going to create. Artists engage in a depth that may seem crazy, but that doesn’t have to require tragic consequences. I’m going to keep sucking the marrow from life, I don’t want to look on either side of me and find you missing.
by Alex Wright
Between blood and breath
Actor tip: locate your solar plexus—it is the network of nerves located in space between the top of your ribcage. Place your palm over your solar plexus. Laugh. Make a crying sound. What do you notice, students? You should easily feel your solar plexus contracting with both emotions; your rib cage squeezes together as your solar plexus becomes activated. This is why, often times, we laugh so hard we cry, and we cry so hard that we start laughing. So, to all you actors out there, if you are ever having a difficult time laughing or crying on cue, squeeze your solar plexus, make the sound, make the face, and the emotion, most of the time, will follow, thanks to a little thing called muscle memory. I’ve always loved this handy dandy acting trick, and not just for what it means in terms of executing truthful emotions onstage. I love that our body has memory, that it stores emotional life in its muscle fibers. There’s an honesty in the fact that our bodies are just a collection of experiences, for good and for bad. It seems fitting, then, that the solar plexus, this spring from which flows laughter and grief, is right between the heart and the lungs. It is at the intersection of blood and breath that two of the most extreme emotions live. With the death of Robin Williams, and this year’s earlier death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, there has been a lot of chatter about the prevalence of depression and substance abuse within the artistic community. Psychologists have noted that there is a definitive link between creativity and depression, and that what makes someone creative, is also what can lead to depressive tendencies. Openness, sensitivity, being emotionally aware—all of these aspects that are crucial to being creative are also tenants of a mind rigged for depression. Add to this a fluctuating career
and constant criticism, and you have a perfect storm. Depression has been described as feeling nothing, so it makes sense that our brains—as a means of protecting itself—might shut down, turn off, and feel nothing once it becomes overloaded with emotions that are too strong to handle. Is it no surprise that in a career where we are asked to feel everything, we often feel too much? Afterall, what makes an artist great, in my opinion, is their insistence on being honest. Being honest requires looking at the world for what it is, including all it’s dusty bits, all its raw parts, all its shadows, and then taking in its immense and unsupportable light. At this intersection of life’s darkest and lightest moments lies truth—it’s a small space, a minute sliver of transparency, but it is undeniable once it is discovered. Living life in such a state of awareness can be overwhelming, and most artists are not brave enough to examine the world with such a magnifying glass. If I could wish for one thing, dear friendly Aladdin genie, it would be for bravery and courage to explore life and art the way you did. To not be afraid to explore death, in all its velvet mystery, so that I might find a more glorious way to explore life, in all its metallic mystery. From extreme darkness can come extreme light, and maybe that is why some of the most gifted comedians are also the most depressed. Good comedy has huge stakes, and no stake is higher than life or death. And isn’t that what is so fabulous about life? Our bodies are wired so that we can be laughing one second and crying the next! And isn’t that what is so great about being artists? We get to live, breathe, and bleed in this space—the space between laughter and tears, the space between blood and breath. BLEEP 15
by Rachael Mariboho
Robin Williams once said “In America, they really do mythologize people when they die.” Now, of course, Williams enters that pantheon of celebrities whose legacy will be endlessly discussed, whose life and death will be debated about, and whose contribution to film, comedy, the armed forces, St. Jude’s Hospital, etc., will be honored ad infinitum. Few contemporary stars have the multi-generational/crosscultural appeal that Williams had, which makes it impossible to write a list that encapsulates his “best” moments. Instead, I am writing a list of Robin Williams moments that made me laugh, cry, or inspired me the most. THE PASHMINA ROUTINE Williams’ 2001 appearance on “Inside the Actor’s Studio” was remarkable for several reasons, not the least of which is that it was the first episode to go for two full hours. At one point, host James Lipton asked Williams how he employs the mental reflexes that allow him to move faster than everyone else. Williams response was to launch into an eight minute improve set that delighted viewers. The highlight was his borrowing a pashmina from a woman in the audience and creating four minutes of pitch perfect comedy centered on this prop. If you have not seen this improv masterpiece, please Youtube it right now. “FOSSE, FOSSE, FOSSE!” People have a kind of love/hate relationship with Mike Nichols “The Birdcage.” But whether or not you think it helps or perpetuates stereotypes, one thing cannot be denied: it is funny. And while Williams recitation of the most famous choreographers, and their signature moves, of the 20th Century has become a bit of a caricature, it is one of the most impressive scenes in the film, combining a history of dance, choreography, wit, and a pitch perfect ending line. It works so beautifully because of Williams ability to walk the line between seriousness and poking fun so adeptly. OSCAR-WINNING BECOMES PART OF HIS TITLE Every single moment of Williams winning an Oscar was fantastic—from the joyful reaction he shared with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck on the way to accept his award 16 BLEEP
to Billy Crystal hugging him at the end of his speech—it was three minutes of pure joie de vivre. “YOUR MOVE, CHIEF.” There are several quotable moments from Sean Maguire, the psychologist Williams plays in “Good Will Hunting,” but the one I find most profound is the monologue where he challenges Matt Damon’s Will to tell him something real about himself. Throughout the course of his speech on book knowledge versus real world experience, his halting, heartfelt delivery reminds us all of the importance of choosing to love someone more than ourselves. “O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!” It is the ultimate moment for a teacher: to have tangible proof that what you taught your students has actually made an impression on them. Such is the influence of Professor John Keating on his students in “Dead Poets Society.” The final moment of the film, where a small group of students in his literature class flout the authority of the school and make a stand (literally) in support and honor of their teacher, is nothing short of inspiring. The pathos of the scene works because Williams performance throughout the film was that of someone who really believed in the power of words, poetry, and seizing the day. HONORABLE MENTION: JUMANJI Yes, I know, I have not mentioned classic Williams performances like Peter Pan, Mrs. Doubtfire, or the Genie. These are all performances that should be mentioned, celebrated, etc., and they will be on hundreds of other lists and tributes. Instead, I am writing about a film that probably won’t receive as many mentions, though it should. I love this movie, and it combines everything that we love about a Robin Williams performance and film: magic, profound ruminations on the importance of family, adventure, child-like wonder of the world, good overcoming evil, and the importance of facing and overcoming our fears.
Summer 2014 in creative pop culture 6 COMPLETELY UN-RELATED MOMENTS IN CULTURE WE LOVED THIS SUMMER. Summer is an interesting time on Broadway. Some shows are closing post-Tony Awards, and some are full to the brim with tourists. Luckily, the New York City Center filled the summer with revivals of shows in their Encores! OffCenter series. In Pump Boys and Dinettes, Katie Thompson, with her powerhouse voice, not only stole the show but once again proved she can command the stage. It only underscored the
tragic fact that there’s not a ‘Broadway’ credit on her resume yet. We vote for that to change. Quick. “American Ninja Warrior” has been a summer staple on NBC for a few years now, but this year, the attention around the strength and endurance competition reached a fever pitch. For the first time in the show’s history, a woman, Kacy Catanzaro, made it through to the finals (and made it look easy by the way) and an entire new
audience became hooked. It’s inspiring, it’s fun and it made us all feel lazy. Best show ever.
mostly because it’s not just singing or dancing. It’s literally anything that people cheer for. That can be a rock band made of kids, or an acrobat who interacts with “Face Off” is one of the great creative cartoon projections like Aerial Animation competition shows on TV and has slowly (pictured below). Sure there are some lessbeen gathering steam. What sets these than-stellar acts, but the ones who are artists apart is that they have to be great are world-class talents. sculptors, painters, builders and designers all at once, creating makeups that are Adam Lambert and Queen seemed worthy of being on the big screen. The like such a natural pairing and as they result is some of the most challenging and toured across the States in their sold-out artistic final products on TV. shows, they proved how right that was. In a perfect fit that pleased both long-time Sara Bareilles is on fire. Perhaps with the fans and new ones alike, Lambert sang his exception of Beyoncé and Jay-Z, no concert heart out and while the obvious Freddie filled up our Facebook timelines like Sara’s Mercury comparisons exist, he didn’t try to “Little Black Dress Tour.” The songstress replace the iconic vocalist. Rather, he sang is finally garnering the attention she the songs we loved and highlighted deserves, and she’s doing it by being true one of the greatest bands of our to herself and the music she loves to write. time. He also proved just She’s also hard at work on a Broadway how talented he is and musical, and if it’s even half as poignant as we are expecting big the songs on her albums, we can’t wait to things on his next go. album. “America’s Got Talent” might be the most fun competition show on television,
THE SHOW THAT BROUGHT DANCING BACK INTO LIVING ROOMS IN WE HIGHLIGHT OUR FAVORITE DANCERS AND ROUTINES FROM TH
SYTYC TRAVIS WALL
With Emmy-nominated choreography seen on SYTYCD, “Dancing With The Stars,” the VMAs and Broadway as well as starting his own dance company, Shaping Sound, Travis has easily found the most success out of all the show’s alums. Travis is also the first person to serve as contestant, choreographer and judge on the show.
Allison has come a long way from being the “High School Musical” girl from season two. Since her time on the show, she’s been dancing in film, television and on tours but still manages to return every year as an all-star on the show. She also earned an Emmy nomination last year for her choreography with Derek Hough and is joining “Dancing With The Stars” as a pro this fall.
STEPHEN “TWITCH” BOSS
Aside from being an allstar and making many appearances on the show, tWitch has appeared in the last three “Step Up” movies and has basically become the face of “So You Think You Can Dance.” You can catch him in the latest in the Step Up series, “Step Up: All In.”
LACEY SCHWIMMER Lacey joined the ranks of the pro dancers on “Dancing With The Stars,” where she competed for many years as well as choreographing numerous pro dancer group routines. She also released her debut album as a recording artist.
N AMERICA HAS BEEN BRINGING THE BRILLIANCE FOR A DECADE. HE MOST ARTISTIC AND CREATIVE SHOW ON TELEVISION.
CD FAVS MARK KANEMURA
As Lady GaGa rose to fame, so did Mark. When you watch those iconic videos and live performances, check the man dancing directly to her right. Chances are, it’s Mark, who became one of her lead dancers and has since come back to SYTYCD as an all star.
Directly after finishing up the season 4 tour, Chelsie moved over to ABC as a pro dancer on “Dancing With The Stars.” She still finds time to come home as an all-star now and then.
BY RYAN MACHEN ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY RYAN BRINSON
After landing 3rd place on season 3, Neil made his way to the Great White Way where he performed with the original casts of The Times They Are A Changin’, 9 to 5 and Bring It On. He also joined the first national tour of West Side Story and the off-Broadway production of Altar Boyz as Luke. You can see him currently in Cinderella on Broadway.
Another frequent all-star, Kathryn has danced onscreen in TV, music videos and on film. Most notably, she landed the lead role of Emily in the movie “Step Up: Revolution.”
OUR FAVORITE ROUTINES “A Woman’s Work”
“Rama Lama” by Wade Robson - danced by the Season 2 Top 10 dancers This is THE ROUTINE that put “So You Think You Can Dance” on the map and won Robson an Emmy. There was nothing like it before or since. “Calling You” by Mia Michaels - danced by Travis and Heidi The lovingly-named “bench” routine, which aired the same week as “Rama Lama,” will always be one of the most loved routines from the show. It gets mentioned every season and won Michaels an Emmy. “The Garden” by Sonya Tayeh - danced by Courtney and Mark Everyone immediately fell in love with Sonya’s quirky, weird choreographic style after this routine which confirmed her spot as an in-demand choreographer on the show. “Bleeding Love” by Napoleon and Tabitha - danced by Mark and Chelsie Napoleon and Tabitha essentially introduced the style of lyrical hip-hop to audiences and we loved it. Not to mention the song exploded after this routine. Coincidence?
“Get Out Of Your Mind”
MIA MICHAELS “Gravity” by Mia Michaels - danced by Kayla and Kupono Sometimes a piece goes beyond dancing and becomes a metaphor for life. The dance known as the “addiction dance” did and left the judges and audiences speechless. “This Woman’s Work” by Tyce DiOrio - danced by Melissa and Ade We were all reaching for the tissues during this piece about cancer that gave DiOrio, known mostly for being a jazz and Broadway choreographer, a moment of depth and meaning. “Get Out Of Your Mind” by Napoleon and Tabitha - danced by Alex and Twitch
This was the dance that put both Alex Wong in the list of favorite dancers from the show. Then, after Ellen DeGeneres danced the routine with Twitch in the finale, she proved there was more to her dancing than the opening of her TV show. “Fix You” by Travis Wall - danced by Robert and Allison Travis told a personal story by movement when he choreographed his mother’s own battle with cancer. The result? We never stood a chance of making it through it with dry eyes and a deeper appreciation for life.
The choreographer whose work became must-see-TV
Perhaps no choreographer has become more synonomous with “So You Think You Can Dance” than Mia Michaels. Not only has she won three Emmys for her work on the show, but she crafted the contemporary routines in the early seasons of the show that would set the bar for the dances to come. While there have been other choreographers on the show who have crafted poignant and beautiful routines, her work has remained the standard of excellence to match and she showed an American audience just what contemporary dance could be. Perhaps that’s her greatest gift through the show: Bringing her style of dance into living rooms all across the world and showing a side of dance that wasn’t on TV. She choreographed Celine Dion’s “A New Day” in Vegas, she’s currently working on the Broadway-bound Finding Neverland, and she remains one of the most defined and inspired voices in dance.
BLEEPon the scene KICKSTARTER FILM FESTIVAL
We headed to the Kickstarter Film Festival in Brooklyn to see some of the best crowd-funded films Kickstarter had to offer. We saw films and sneak-peaks from all genres and from all over the world. We picked out some of our favorites we think you need to know about.
Me and Ewe
“Me and Ewe” is a stop-motion short that was created by an 11-year-old director, Trinity Andersson. She started putting her Playmobil figures and toys into movies as a toddler and advanced to creating dozens of stop-motion films since. She committed herself to learning the process of moviemaking and spends countless hours working with stop-motion software, working out motion shots, and shooting movies with her friends. We loved that the brainchild of a...well...child was so beautiful. What seems like a simple story about sheep is a glimpse into love that’s universal. This is the kind of art we can believe in and want to see more of, especially from such a young and promising filmmaker. www.facebook.com/meandewe
“Prospect” is a coming-of-age story following a teenage girl and her father on a foreign planet as they hunt for resin, the valuable by-product of rare insects. Inspired in part by the California Gold Rush, the film features a planet of desperate individuals seeking their fortunes, governed only by natural law. When the father is attacked by a roving bandit, the daughter must take vengeance. What we loved about this film was that while there were usually only two people on the screen at any given time, the film felt like an epic. Reminiscent of Luke and Leia in the woods before the speeder bike chase in “Return of the Jedi,” this film feels like it’s a part of a larger universe. www.shepfilms.com/prospect
In 1939, on the heels of the Great Depression, millions of people traveled to a former ash dump in Queens, New York, to catch a fleeting glimpse of a better future. “World Fair” is a short documentary that weaves together the memories of former fairgoers with colorful, archival Kodachrome footage, transporting viewers to the futuristic and hopeful realm of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. We loved how this film was about more than just documenting an event. It’s about the love of life and the hope of a brighter future. It’s poignant and
honest and we wanted to see more. www.worldfairfilm.com BLEEP 25
No film garnered such an enthusiastic response as “King Fury.” This over-the-top action comedy written and directed by David Sandberg features: arcade-robots, dinosaurs, Nazis, Vikings, Norse gods, mutants and a super kung fu-cop called Kung Fury, all wrapped up in an 80’s style action packed adventure. We all went wild for it. David Sandberg “Laser Unicorns” is a 28 year old Director living in Umeå, Sweden. He began
his career as a motion designer and visual effects artist. At the age of 16 he taught himself 3D animation, in hopes of creating effects for his movies, and he eventually freelanced as a director, doing mostly commercials and music videos. Now, David has quit his commercial work to start working on his very first “own” project; “Kung Fury.” The imagery produced in the film is incredible and seems to take some of the tropes from “Scott Pilgrim” and make them completely original again. www.kungfury.net
We support crowd-funding for new art! For more on the Kickstarter Film Festival and all of the films that were a part of it, head over to www.kickstarter.com/events/filmfest2014 26 BLEEP
“Stan” is a story about an unusual man who is abandoned at birth on the doorstep of an old house. He spends most of his life in solitude, never really accepted or visited by others, aside from the occasional pranksters. Stan uses his imagination and hobbies, particularly his obsession with discarded objects, to fill his void until one day something changes that. We clearly have a soft-spot for claymation films and “Stan” is a lovely story about accepting who you are and accepting the love that comes to you. www.facebook.com/Stanthefilm
The Burning House
A depressed twenty-something aficionado of one-of-a-kind vintage goods writes into a popular blog with a list of possessions that he would hypothetically take with him in the event of a house fire. When his house actually catches fire in a freak accident that very night, he flees with nothing but his armload of luxury items, and must use them to survive on the hard streets of Philadelphia. We loved this film because of the spiraling story of this man as he becomes more and more desperate to use the items he’s saved from the fire. It’s a
simple premise with complicated results. It’s terrific, as are many of the other films made by Scott Ross and Karl Beyer. www.scottandkarl.tv/The-Burning-House-Short-Film
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If you are a fan of music that isn’t cookie-cutter-pop and carries you away through an almost cinematic sound, then you need to discover paper lights. We chat with vocalist dan snyder on their sound, their current ep and what’is next for the band. HOW DID PAPER LIGHTS BEGIN MAKING MUSIC TOGETHER? We’ve all been friends for a while, making music together for other artists and occasionally traveling together to play somewhere. The next step into starting a band was just a natural progression after we started enjoying what came out of writing together. WHAT’S IN THE NAME? WHAT DOES “PAPER LIGHTS” MEAN? We started writing these songs around a time that some of us were experiencing a great deal of loss. We
wanted to name our music after something that was a reminder to us that our relationships and sense of family were always a priority. The frailty and beauty of paper lanterns really embodied that idea for us. WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER BANDS ON THE MARKET? I really don’t like to think about what we’re doing in competitive terms. I would hope that as things progress we would be able to encourage and help more artists rather than view them as competition. I’m not sure we’re doing anything different than the next band. We’re just doing the best job we know how to do and learning everything we can. It seems like every time we’re able to stop mimicking something another band does and write music that we ourselves connect with, then other people connect with it too. Probably the best thing you can do as an artist is be true to your skill level and hope that someone else identifies with the things you create. TALK ABOUT “CAVERNS.” WHAT MADE IT SUCH A GIANT LEAP FORWARD FOR THE BAND?
Making that record was so encouraging because it was the first time we tried to do something in-house and so many people have supported it. It was exciting to get licensing deals from it, but even more so to get emails from designers and other creatives saying that they like to listen to it as they work. I can’t imagine a greater honor than for other artists to see the value in our music and want to create other works of art to it. That’s incredibly humbling. The album did everything we hoped it would and more. “THE CAVE” GAINED ATTENTION INCLUDING FILM AND COMMERCIAL PLACEMENTS FOR ESPN, CHICK-FIL-A AND OUTDOOR MAGAZINE. AS A BAND ON THE RISE, HOW DID YOU HANDLE THE ATTENTION? Well again I’m super excited and honored that brands like those would find value in our work. Outside of that, nothing matters to us as individuals so much as the oneon-one relationships we’ve been able to gain with people lately. We’ve been playing in really small venues and focusing a lot of time that could be spent on production on the people who show up instead. DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND. I think it’s somewhere between cinematic and pop. We were having a hard time deciding how to categorize it then someone from ASCAP said we should definitely call it “Alternative Pop”. Either way I would hope people hear it as an epic soundscape, something they could listen to while enjoying an adventure. WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE BAND? We’re currently working on a new EP. Also, we’re in the middle of a summer coffee shop/house show tour which has been super awesome! If I’m being honest, it’s really easy to get caught up in how to get to the next level and overlook a great opportunity. I had no idea what it would be like to play in towns that rarely, if ever, have live music. We all love the relational aspects of that so much that we’re already planning more tours next year in small venues and coffee shops across the country.
For more on Paper Lights, head over to www.PaperLightsMusic.com Also, follow them at www.twitter.com/ThePaperLights 30 BLEEP
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When Kevin Zak graduated from college, the Buffalo native didn’t know what his next step should be. He ended up landing an internship at The Ellen Degeneres Show and without ever having visited Los Angeles, headed to the west coast. “It taught me a lot about the business of comedy. I knew nothing about TV and film. I went to school for musical theatre and this fell into my lap and was an amazing experience. But it also taught me that I’d rather be in front of the camera.” What brought him back to the stage was when he was cast in the national tour of Cats. “Like most jobs in my life, it was last minute. It was August and I was done at the Ellen Show. I was taking classes at the Groundlings, got called in for a swing in Cats and got the job.” Being a part of Cats is a notoriously difficult job because of the stamina involved. “With a show like that, you play big cities and you play one-nighters where you load in, do the show, dance on stage the entire time, then get on the bus and head to the next show. That’s difficult. My associate choreographer got me into running to build up the stamina. I’ve been a runner ever since. It’s how I kept up with the show every night even if I wasn’t on stage.” After working on cruise ships and in Off-Broadway shows like Silence! The Musical, Zak’s ended up being a part of the cast of the publicized new musical, Clinton. “I was working as a reader during the casting for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMTF) show, Clinton, so I’d been reading all of the parts opposite the actors who were auditioning. I was asked to audition at the end of the callback day and was offered the part of Ken Starr that evening. It was the first time I’ve been paid to audition,” he laughs. When his character, Ken Starr, was introduced in the show, Zak’s flamboyant, diabolical and farcical take on Starr went to a whole new level when he ripped off his suit and tie to reveal what Starr didn’t include in his Starr Report. “The audience died laughing,” he says. “First when the pants came off and then when the shirt came off. It’s something that has nothing to do with the actual story, but it’s hysterical and works for the parody that it is.“ Clinton closed when NYMTF ended this year, and up Above: Kevin Zak in Clinton. Photos by Russ Rowland next for Zak is some work on the west coast for “Funny Or Die” and hopefully more opportunities to write. “I also really like to continue playing villains,” he says. “Before Clinton, I played Buffalo Bill in Silence! The Musical and those diabolical, just horrible, characters are just a lot of fun to play.” -Interview by Ryan Brinson 34 BLEEP
INTERNATIONAL CHANTEUSE, BROADWAY STAR, COMPOSER --- IT’S NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PUT ANY ONE LABEL ON THE TRANSFORMATIVE, 30-YEAR CAREER OF PERFORMER UTE LEMPER. IN YET ANOTHER SEAMLESS ADDITION TO HER CATALOGUE, MS. LEMPER GIFTED HER AUDIENCES WITH FOREVER: THE LOVE POEMS OF PABLO NERUDA. JOIN BLEEP AS WE DELVE INTO THE MUSIC AND THE POETRY BEHIND UTE LEMPER’S NEWEST ALBUM AND THE SUBJECT OF HER UPCOMING SHOW, UTE LEMPER SINGS THE LOVE POEMS OF PABLO NERUDA.
WHICH ONES TO USE FOR YOUR ALBUM? Of course I had the poems in French, English and Spanish ... and German too. The books are out in 26 languages. I certainly didn’t want to do everything in Spanish, because I am not fluent in Spanish, though I embrace the language. It’s the original language of the poetry. I wanted to keep a bunch of it in English, but then I read the French adaptations --- I’m fluent in French, French is like my second language --- and I thought to myself, “Oh my God that is so beautiful in French”. It was especially poetic and existential. It was as if this vibe of existentialism, already in Neruda’s poems, was brought out even more by the HOW DID YOU COME TO SELECT THE POETRY OF French language. I decided I would have to use some PABLO NERUDA (1904-1973)? of them. You just have to be courageous enough to I fell on a little book that contained just the love listen to your intuition and to your first impulse. poems and it was such a beautiful cycle of poetry. The other poetry and the other writings are very compact DID YOU CHANGE ANY OF THE POETRY TO SUIT and very wordy --- with a lot of political context. It YOUR MUSICAL NEEDS? would have been a little overwhelming to put that Here and there I just repeat in my choruses a certain into music, so I stuck with the love poems. fragment of the text to create a verse-chorus structure, but I did not change any of the words. These are the THE POEMS YOU SELECTED, ARE THEY ALL FROM words the way they are written. NERUDA’S BEST KNOWN COLLECTION, 20 POEMS OF LOVE AND A SONG OF DESPAIR (1924)? HOW DOES THIS PROJECT FIT IN ALONGSIDE They are love poems from all different cycles. He THE REPERTOIRE (THE FRENCH CHANSONS, THE wrote many different books over the years. These are WEIMAR-PERIOD CABARET, BROADWAY…) FOR not only poems from those 21 famous ones. There are WHICH YOU’VE BECOME KNOWN? two of them from his most popular book and the rest With this cycle, I wanted to write music that has very are taken out of others from all different periods of much the integrity of the chansons tradition that I am his life. born into and with which I identify myself. This means the German song book, the more expressionist song ONCE YOU DECIDE ON A TEXT, HOW DO YOU SET IT books, the French ones, the impressionist ones and, TO MUSIC? after living for 17 years in New York, opening it up to It’s a very intuitive process. Once I decided to go for jazz. Most importantly, I wanted to create the most these poems, I just started. I just took one and started. beautiful melodies that I carry around in my heart. First, I try to find out the musicality of the poem itself There are so many melodies that live inside of me and by reading it. Then, once I’ve begun with the musical inspire me. The goal was really just to write beautiful, context, it’s like a canvas that comes together. It’s beautiful melodies, set them into a beautiful musical like a ping-pong game. I begin context, and bring my European soul to it. Although it with the music and I try is European soul, it is at the same time a world citizen to develop a melodic line, … as I am. a melody that suits the musicality of the actual Ute Lemper Sings the Love Poems of Pablo Neruda syntax. Then, very early on, will receive its official stateside welcome with I decide on the language. a week-long engagement at NYC’s 54 Below, September 2nd-6th, 2014. YOU SPEAK AND PERFORM IN SO MANY LANGUAGES, INTERVIEW BY DEIDRE BIRD HOW DID YOU DECIDE BLEEP 37
Bringing Rappaccini’s Daughter to life.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW THE WORDS, MUSIC, AND STORYTELLING CAME TOGETHER IN YOUR FAVORITE MUSICAL DRAMA? WONDER NO LONGER! BLEEP WAS GRANTED A SPECIAL ‘BEHIND THE SCENES’ INTERVIEW WITH COMPOSER MICHAEL COHEN AND LIBRETTIST LINSEY ABRAMS, THE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND RAPPACCINI’S DAUGHTER. THEIR ONE-ACT OPERA IS SET TO PREMIERE SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2014 AS PART OF THE POWER OF LOVE DOUBLE-BILL AT THE THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY. INTERVIEW BY DEIDRE BIRD
HOW DID YOU TWO MEET? Linsey: Michael and I met each other when a friend of ours, a director, said he was inviting the 10 most intelligent people he knew for dinner. Of course no one said no. So he introduced the two of us and handed us Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Rappaccini’s Daughter (1844), saying that he thought it would make a great subject for an opera. Michael: In the late 1970’s the New York Times ran an ad for a one-act opera competition at New York City Opera that was going to be judged by Beverly Sills. This was really the trigger. I called Linsey, and I said “Look, here’s an opportunity for us to really do this”. We submitted our first version of Rappaccini’s Daughter and we were one of the 10 finalists selected.
WHEN YOU WRITE MUSIC, WHAT DO YOU INTEND YOUR SCORE TO ACCOMPLISH WHEN IT’S ACCOMPANYING A STORY LINE? Michael: When setting text, it’s important to me that the text sounds credible. That the words they are singing sound emotionally correct. There is a lot of contemporary opera featuring pyrotechnical singing that has nothing to do with the words. I want to make an audience’s experience believable and credible. The challenge is to put it into a musical form within that framework.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE MAJOR CHALLENGES IN ADAPTING RAPPACCINI’S DAUGHTER FOR THE STAGE? Linsey: Part of my work is making opportunities HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT THE TWO OF YOU for Michael to be able to do different sorts of things. WOULD BE A GOOD FIT? There are places that I try to write lyrics that give Michael: The basic answer to this question is that him space to do what he wants to do. Often that is I read Linsey’s books and I loved her writing. She an emotional place or a place that has extra nuance. listened to my music and she loved my music. So we I think that’s one of the things that I love about felt that we had an aesthetic --- one that seems to working with Michael. I really feel like we are doing a be perfect, because we really like the work that we play, but it’s a play in a different language. Sometimes produce. I say “play me what you think your mood is for this … Linsey: It’s really a perfect collaboration. I think just doodle around a little bit on the piano”. Michael one of the reasons it works so well is that we work will come up with something, and then I can go back together so intimately. It’s not as if I hand him a lyric and work with that in mind. If you change the music, and he sets it to music. We go back and forth and back you change the perception of the picture. and forth. Over time, I have come to see places where I know it would be great for a musical ‘Michaelism’ WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO CHANGE THE ENDING? --- so I write the lyrics in a slightly different way. We Linsey: First of all, operas traditionally only kill off the were both naturally drawn to Rappaccini’s Daughter woman. I was cognizant of that, even though I didn’t and it became clear that our emotional sensibilities initially think of changing it. In our interpretation of are really in tune. Rappaccini’s Daughter, the lovers are put front and center --- and it was just not right, artistically, for HAVE YOU LISTENED TO ANY OF THE OTHER Giovanni not to end up with Beatrice. VERSIONS OF RAPPACCINI’S DAUGHTER? Michael: it also makes for an opportunity to write Michael: I have never. I don’t want to. I mean, I’m beautiful music. very curious. In fact, Margaret Garwood’s (1983) came out about the same time our first version did. When Rappaccini’s daughter will be performed with a I’m totally finished and it’s staged and it’s done, then piano score and vocals at the Theater For The New I would be extremely interested to hear the others. City September 12-28th alongside Seymour Barab’s Linsey: It’s such a compelling story. There is no (1921-2014) one act opera, Out The Window. internal life in Hawthorne. Everything is handled THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY symbolically --- with the poison garden and the 155 FIRST AVE (Between 9th & 10th Streets) poison daughter. There is so much left over for September 12-28th 2014 Thursday-Saturday @ 8 PM the librettist to bring out. I would think that all the Sundays @ 3 PM Rappaccini’s Daughter’s are really different based on Smartix.com or 212.868.4444 what the librettist decided to emphasize and how Box Office: 212.254.1109 www.TheaterForTheNewCity.net they interpreted the symbolism in the story. BLEEP 39
BLEEP CREATIVITY. UNCENSORED.
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r luz Maor Luz’ designs have been featured in GQ and are being discovered by people all over the world. Focused on fusing his unique style with affordable comfort, Maor Luz has created a bright, fun and fashionable line that includes everything from sport coats to sweatpants. What was once a Los Angeles secret, is now what you’ll want to fill your closet with. We talked with Maor about how he got started and where he’s headed next.
Maor Luz’ designs have been featured in GQ and are being discovered by people all over the world. Focused on fusing his unique style with affordable comfort, Maor Luz has created a bright, fun and fashionable line that includes everything from sport coats to sweatpants. What was once a Los Angeles secret, is now what you’ll want to fill your closet with. We talked with Maor about how he got started and where he’s headed next. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? I grew up in Israel and came to the States around seven years ago. I was spending some time traveling around the world and when I came to the US, I decided to stay. WHEN DID YOU START NOTICING WHAT PEOPLE WERE WEARING? WHAT WAS THE FIRST PIECE OF CLOTHING YOU CREATED? I was always into fashion. My mom and family were always into fashion and I worked in clothing stores when I was younger. I always wanted to create something for men because the selection for men wasn’t big anywhere. There are so many options for girls in stores all over the world but there aren’t many for guys. We don’t have nearly as many options. Price was also an issue for me too. I wanted to make something fashionable that people could actually afford. WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM? I’d say there’s a very New York style, and my clothes are very comfy. HOW DID YOU TAKE YOUR LOVE OF CREATING CLOTHES AND MAKE IT YOUR PROFESSION? I started when I was around 10 years old. I remember sketching and trying to make some fashion happen for girls and guys. When I was 15, I made my first garment. DESCRIBE YOUR LINE FOR ME. Comfy fashionable sweats. I’m all about the sweats. But not just for 44 BLEEP
working out, because they are able to be combined with other pieces to work and go out in. WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR LINE? I want to have stores all over the world. We already do international shipping and people buy from all over the world, but I want it to be more available for them. I want to have stores all over and I want to expand into womenâ€™s, kids and even some clothes for dogs. My fashion is very different. I want to continue to bring out different ideas that no one else is doing. WHATâ€™S NEXT FOR YOU? Making suits. I have them online already and they are made of sweat pant material, but they are tailored and made to be fashionable suits. HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU/YOUR WORK? For more info on his line, head over to www.maorluz.com and pick up some of his designs. Also, follow him on Instagram to see stay up to date on the newest looks at http://instagram.com/maorluz
Photography by Albert Lopez Photography Styling by Nicole Cannizzaro
EMAIL US FOR DETAILS THEBLEEPMAG@GMAIL.COM
one to watch
Born and raised in Riverside, Calif., Andrew James Taylor visited Big Bear about two years to spend time with family, and after a day on the lake, he fell in love with the area. Now he co-owns Digits Nail & Hair Studio with his sister and two other girls, and spends his time making other people feel beautiful. “I started doing nails in September 2013 before starting school at Marinello in November. I graduated in April and passed my State Board Exam in May,” he says. “Some of the things that keep what I do from feeling like a job are definitely my clients. They are such fun, wonderful people. Always good for a laugh. I also get to express my artistic side which is always fun. I love following new nail trends and adding my own twist to them.” It seems nail art has taken over Instagram, something Andrew has seen spill into his daily work. “Social Media has definitely been a big part of my business. I can tell you that at least 3 clients come in a day with a photo from Instagram or Pinterest. It also lets my clients feel like they are living on the ‘wild side.’” With such a creative medium, it comes with the territory that there would be some crazy requests made. “Back in the middle-ages, people would use human nail clippings as nail enhancements to add length to their nails,” he says. “I have actually had someone ask me if I could do that to their nails because they felt that is was a more organic way of going about nail enhancements. That is probably the most awkward request that I have had to date.” Up next for Andrew is going back to school for Cosmetology. “I’ve always enjoyed doing hair and make-up and feel that this would be the next best step for me. There is just something in making someone feel beautiful. It’s a great sense of accomplishment.” For more info, head over to www.facebook.com/digits.studio or look for Andrew on Instagram and Facebook for more of his work. BLEEP 51
BECOMING A REAL LIFE SUPERHERO.BLEEP 53
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? WHAT WERE YOU INTO AS A KID? I grew up in a small town just west of Tampa Bay called Oldsmar. As a kid I was into almost everything just as I am now. I loved being outside with my friends, playing sports and going on adventures into the woods. At night though it was all about the video games! I was lucky enough to grow up during the NES days all the way to the PS4 days! I was put into gymnastics for a couple years when I was young and loved it but we couldn’t afford it long term. That’s when I knew I loved the feeling of being in control of your own body the feeling of weightlessness and the freedom in movement. WHERE DID YOUR LOVE OF MUSIC ORIGINATE? I’ve always loved all kinds of music no matter the genre. If a song is good, it’s good. I use to rent equipment for my own birthday parties and then one day realized I was basically DJing for my friends and I enjoyed it so much, I decided to make a living out of it. WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC IS YOUR FAVORITE TO MIX? 54 BLEEP
My favorite music to mix is upbeat electronic festival music. Usually a mix of EDM, house, some trance, trap, and dubstep. Music you can feel. YOU ALSO WORK AT UNIVERSAL AS A ENTERTAINER? HOW DID THAT COME TO BE? I’ve always been an entertainer at heart. There’s nothing like being on a stage showing people something you’ve worked really hard on and them acknowledging you for it. In my early 20’s, I was working day-to-day serving tables, doing manual labor, just trying to get money any way I could to pay the bills. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing and one day a random guest came in and asked me if I was into all those performing activities, why was I working at a restaurant? I could only answer with a “I don’t know...” Very soon after, I went to one of my first auditions for a company and quit doing things I didn’t love. I have never looked back or regretted it. Universal always seemed like a great company to work for, where there was a lot of opportunity to grow and learn, so they were an easy choice. I was lucky enough to be picked
up after my 2nd audition for a dream job that not many people get the opportunity to do, and for that I am thankful. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT THAT? Being an entertainer in general is amazing but my specific role I really get to be a big part of kids’ lives. There aren’t many jobs where you can make kids dreams come true every single day. It is extremely gratifying making a huge impact on a kids life in a positive way. I can’t believe they pay me to do that. YOU BECAME A REAL LIFE SUPERHERO AS A COMPETITOR ON THE HIT “AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR.” IT’S KNOWN AS THE MOST CHALLENGING COURSE IN THE WORLD - WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE? “American Ninja Warrior” is just as much a mental game as it is physical. Not only do you have to be peak physical condition, but you also have to be to perform under pressure with a live audience, 100 other competitors, and all cameras and lights on you. It gets to some people. Luckily, as an entertainer, I am used to that but it still does add the pressure of it all. One little mistake and your year of training is out the window. I would say not knowing how to do an obstacle properly is the most challenging part for me. Technique is everything and again, one little slip up and you’re done.
YOU HAD FLAIR ON THE SHOW AS WELL WITH BLOWING FIRE AND WEARING A BAD ASS COSTUME. Everything you do in life, if you’re gonna do it, you should give it 110%. So if I’m gonna call myself an entertainer, then I better put on a show! Costumes are a huge part of my life so it was only natural to don one for the show. I always try to be unique and BLEEP 57
Photo by Marc Shahboz
different from everyone else and not everyone can blow fire. (Do not try at home.) YOU EVEN HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW OFF YOUR SKILLS ON “THE TODAY SHOW.” WHAT WAS THAT LIKE? Being able to do a ninja obstacle on one of the most watched TV shows in America was an honor. It was cool being on set and seeing how they produce the show live and how quickly things can change. Anything we ninjas can do to promote the show is great. WHAT’S YOUR TRAINING LIKE? Staying in shape and healthy have always been important to me, I lifted weights for a long time. Once I started doing Ninja Warrior though, I had to switch my training to calisthenics and functional muscle exercises. The transition from weights to body workouts was not easy, I pushed too hard, too fast and had a lot of joints and tendon injuries because of it. Through my 58 BLEEP
calisthenics training, a lot of stuff has healed nicely and I am stronger and more defined then when I was lifting weights. It’s never been easy staying in shape, you just get stronger. It’s definitely a lifestyle. YOUR INTERESTS SEEM SO DIVERSE. WHAT KEEPS YOU CREATIVELY FUELED? My interest are very diverse, life is full of amazing things and I want to experience as many of those things as I can on the short time we have here on this Earth. You can be creative in so many ways: performance art, painting, singing, dancing, acting, or making costumes. Whatever your interest are, do your best. Change it up a bit and make it your own. There are no rules when it comes to art, no matter the form. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I’m gonna keep doing what I’m doing: Training year-round for Ninja Warrior, entertaining groups of people, and continue chasing my dreams of being a working actor in the movie biz.
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turning disappointment into determination WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? I grew up in different low-income neighborhoods in Dallas. As a child, I loved to play outside, I remember always being a kid with so much interest in climbing trees, playing marbles and playing with my toy cars. I used to build little roads in the dirt with houses made with sticks. In first grade I danced Ballet Folklorico and I was good but I didn’t pursue it after elementary school. I loved art, painting, and I always illustrated houses because my mother said I would be an architect. I would sit for hours and hours drawing what our home would look like and I would even draw the floor plan with the most peculiar detail. I never fit in with the other boys because everyone around me (cousins, brother, family) loved sports. My father played baseball in a local team and we would always be at the park. My mom cheered him on with all the other baseball wives, as I would go to the playground with my sister, while all the other boys played baseball separately. I was always an
outsider looking in but I have learned to observe the smaller things in life. WHEN DID YOU START NOTICING WHAT PEOPLE WERE WEARING? I think I was in middle school when I noticed what everyone “cool” was wearing. However, I feel like I became aware of real trends after high school when I was able to fully express myself with clothing. The first piece of clothing I created was a black panne velvet backless dress with sheer lace side panels. It was a hot mess but then again I didn’t have the experience and knowledge I have now. WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM? When designing I look through lots of books, stories, photography, animals, insects, fantasy art, and meditation. Textiles always inspire me and I playfully drape fabric on the mannequin to see what the actual texture wants to do. BLEEP 63
HOW DID YOU TAKE YOUR LOVE OF CREATING CLOTHES AND MAKE IT YOUR PROFESSION? Before I pursued fashion, I was intrigued when I decided to design my sister’s quinceanera dress. I found someone to make it and I loved the process so much that I decided to enroll next semester in a fashion program and have never looked back.
FROM THAT EXPERIENCE? Before the premier of “Project Runway” it appeared as if I was a contestant and on the actual cast of the show. All the viewers now know that wasn’t the case. As I was sent home before I could even compete, I was devastated and I felt embarrassed. On camera I was very gracious and held it together but I did end up going to the hotel afterwards and actually cried HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE PRESSURE OF HAVING my eyes out. My first thought was “what is everyone TO CREATE SOMETHING CREATIVE/FUNCTIONAL/BY going to think? I’m one of the first three to get sent A DEADLINE FOR PRODUCTION? home and I am better than that!” At the end of the I have always worked best under pressure and I feel day I told myself that it was simply an audition and like some of my most creative work has been executed I can always try again if I am allowed. I have been under a time crunch. In many ways, I feel like crunch receiving so much support and lots of emails from time helps the editing process for something to be people from all over the world. I had no idea I would functional. receive this much attention from my small time on Runway. Throughout the rigorous audition process HOW WAS THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING A PART OF I learned so much about myself and I feel so much “PROJECT RUNWAY?” WHAT DID YOU TAKE AWAY more in tune with who I am as a designer. Although
my experience on “Project Runway” was cut short, I feel like it was a beautiful learning experience and great exposure. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I am very optimistic and I still dream of showing at NYFW one day, but for now I have launched my ecommerce site with a line of fun and quirky bowties. Soon, I hope to add men’s accessories, underwear, squares, collar pins, shirts, and other things found at a men’s haberdashery. For more on Emmanuel, head over to www.emancandy.com and you can follow his journey through www.Facebook/emmanuel.tobias
As they put it, Andrea and Matteo Pieri were born and raised in “the land of pasta and pizza, twinning since 1991.” After graduating from university, they joined forces to create a men’s fashion and fitness blog, Those Pieri Twins, and have been helping men all over the world look their best ever since.
IT’S ONE OF THE COOLEST, MOST FASHIONABLE AND MORE PERSONABLE BLOGS AROUND. WE TALK WITH SAID KARLSSON, THE FACE BEHIND THE CAMERA FOR WWW.TOKYOFACES.COM ABOUT WHY HE STARTED THE BLOG, TELLING PEOPLE’S STORIES THROUGH FASHION AND WHAT HIS DEFINITION OF STYLE IS.
WHY DO YOU CONTINUE? WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING? Tokyo is an endless source of inspiration. Even though I’ve lived here for close to six years now, I still keep discovering interesting faces and people. As a photographer who wants to document everything and everyone around me, it’s impossible NOT to do it. WHERE DID YOUR LOVE OF FASHION ORIGINATE? I’m more interested about the people than the fashion. Clothes always say something about the person wearing them, of course, but personally I rather see my website as a document of people more than anything.
YOUR BLOG, TOKYOFACES.COM PRESENTS SUCH A DIVERSE ARRAY OF PEOPLE AND CLOTHING STYLES. HOW DO YOU FIND THE PEOPLE YOU FEATURE ON YOUR BLOG? They’re all just people from the streets of Tokyo DEFINE WHAT STYLE MEANS TO YOU. Style is being able to express who you are through that me or my colleague find interesting/inspiring for what you wear, and doing in a way that feels natural various reasons. and obvious. WHEN DID YOU START BLOGGING? Tokyofaces started in October 2011. But I’ve been (photo) blogging personally since long before the word “blog” was even invented. 68 BLEEP
TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT DO YOU DO OTHER THAN BLOG? I work as a freelance journalist and photographer for various newspapers and magazines all over the
world. I mainly cover news and social issues from Japan. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? I’m born and raised in Sweden, but lived and worked a few years in Germany and China before finally settling down in Japan WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR CITY? In a city as big as Tokyo there’s a “scene” for every subculture imaginable. This attracts more interesting people to come here. Even though the constant flow of people coming and leaving all the time can be tiring, being able to meet so many fascinating personalities is also one of the biggest benefits of living here. That and all the amazing food. My favorite places these days are the cozy villages along the sea one hour south of Tokyo. All the concrete do get quite tiring in the long run, after all. To check out the blog for yourself, head over to www.tokyofaces.com.
BY DIABE SALE
Forever 21, jewelry- agaci
Pink skirt/top set- Guess. White jacket- agaci. Black leather shortsForever 21. White clutch- Charming Charlieâ€™s. Big ornate purseBDonnas. Jewelry- Assortment of Forever 21 and Agaci.
Shirt- Guns and Roses Boutique (Dallas, TX), bra- Victoria secret, jewelry- H&M and Windsor.
Jono grew up in Los Angeles, Calif. and was inspired by the work of Cindy Sherman early on. “She would do these elaborate setups and put thought into these self portraits. I was amazed, then started photographing myself.” In a day and age where professional cameras are no longer a novelty, his advice for photographers who are wanting to find their “voice” in the medium is to “keep testing. Learn how to read light, and to understand the different types of light there is to shoot with. Get inspired but make it your own. It takes time, even years, to develop your style, so remember it will not come over night. Continue to practice.
rush For more of his work, head over to www.jonophoto.com
Photography by Jono www.jonophoto.com
Model: George Johnson III Stylist/Makeup: Malcolm Joris, LUVGEN BLEEP 79 www.malcolmbacani.com
On George: Sleeveless Overalls, Luvgen. Moto Gloves, Luvgen. Black Visor, Luvgen.
On George: Abstract Dress Shirt, H&M. Jeans, Acne Jeans. Belt, Military. Boots, Dr. Martens. Wool Coat, H&M. Necklace, H&M.
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Photography by Matthew Holler Model: Annelise Adams Hair: Cheyanne Clark, Joe Clark MUA: Kamila Wysocka Fashion Stylist: Christina Sadler 88 BLEEP Assist: Monica E Bello Photographerâ€™s
Top, Alice + Olivia. Denim, Joeâ€™s Jeans.
Blazer, Philosophy. Dress, Trina Turk. Necklace, Alexis Bittar. Ring, Stylistâ€™s Own
Top, Diane Von Furstenberg. Jewelry, Vaubel.
Top, Vince. Skirt, PAUW. Gold Clutch, Jimmy Choo. Red Bow Pumps, Valentino. BLEEP 93 Belt (worn as necklace), Stylistâ€™s Own.
Dress, Trina Turk. Bag, Marc Jacobs. Shoes, Miu Miu. Cuff, Alexis Bittar Earrings, Vaubel.
kcab to the by Fwee Photography
e basics BLEEP 97
Model: Mathieu Francois Spannalgel
102 BLEEP Compiled by the BLEEP team
bleep Quiz I am…an Artist. I’m here because…my mother well um... made me! What makes me happiest is...when I’m hanging out with people who share the same artistic needs and wants I do. The color that best represents me is...that might depend on my mood, but I would say Red: passionate and sassy. What I hope to accomplish today is...finish editing a new series I just shot. My best friends are...the people I see day to day who love me for me inside and out and that of which I feel the same for them. I can’t live without...my iPhone! It’s my life. My phone died last night for the first time in a long time and I felt lost. Between an Olympic champion or an Oscar winner, I’d rather be...Olympic Swimming Champion, for that tight swimmers body. If I wasn’t me, I’d be...no one, I’m happy to be me. I like it best when you...do that thing I like. God is...what I believe is a higher intelligence. I’m hungry for...to continue to create a body of work I’m proud of. I cry…when I’m at my happiest moment. Style means…it’s one’s form of design. It’s a freedom of expression. I want to go...to Disneyland Paris so bad! The most obnoxious sound in the world is... the sound of someone’s horn honking behind me. What makes me weak is...when I don’t get my full 8 hours of sleep, or, if I don’t get my morning Iced Coffee. At this exact moment, I’m passionate about… my next photoshoot, and to work with the team that shares the same passion as I do. I crave...a delicious deep dish Chicago style pizza! My inspiration is… my continuous growing imagination, I get inspired with the simplest thing it can be an object, color, or feeling to create.
Jono BLEEP 103
P E E L B
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