ISSUE # 1 - MAY 2014
Underground Sparks Magazine
ANDREW KEENAN-BOLGER FEATURING
Nick Blaemire, George Long, The Seretones, Like Knows Like + MORE
Special Thank Youâ€™s: Andrew Keenan-Bolger @keenanblogger Victoria Donelda @victoriadonelda Brittnie Price @BrittniePrice Vini Uehara @viniuehara Like Knows Like @likeknowslike The Serotones www.theserotones.com Nick Blaemire @nickblaemire George Long @veguntold Juuri @juuriart Taylor Hanson www.iamthans.com Social Media: www.facebook.com/undergroundsparksmag @UGSparksMag undergroundsparksmag. tumblr.com Contact Us undergroundsparksmag@ gmail.com Cover Andrew Keenan-Bolger By Spencer Clark Design by: Andrey Lyle Patino
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 2
Welcome! Bienvenue! Hello! Welcome to the very issue of Underground Sparks Magazine. Weâ€™re a magazine dedicated to amazing individuals who work to make their dreams come true everyday. Sparks in the world that help inspire others with all of their incredible hard work and talent! This magazine has been such a labor of love and I canâ€™t wait to share all of these amazing talents with all of you. None of this would have been possible without my amazing writers and photographers, and I can wait to share their talent with you too! May is the beginning of summer and adventures, find the right adventure for you and take the journey! Enjoy,
WRITERS Sage Kirwin Katie Tull Kayla Hollatz Mitchell Smith Ebeth Engquist Lexi Wiseman Akelia Ingram Jessica Ondrejicka
Andrey Lyle Patino PHOTOGRAPHERS Kelly Vaughn Spencer Clark Anna Grace Barlow Alexandra Johnson
Founder | Editor-In-Chief | Photographer Andrey Lyle Patino
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 3
WHAT’S INSIDE 6 // Staff Favorites BRITTNIE PRICE // 7 12 // TAYLOR HANSON NICK BLAEMIRE+THE HUSTLE // 20 26 // FASHION STYLE WATCH // 28 30 // MAY DIY expressyourself // 32 34 // george long victoria donelda // 38 42 // andrew keenan-bolger juuri // 48 54 // the serotones like knows like // 58
Staff FAVORITES Diane Birch
Location: New York City Jam Out To: Speak A Little Louder
I’ve been pretty obsessed with Diane Birch since her first album Bible Belt a few years ago, and I got her sophomore album Speak a Little Louder last fall when it came out, but it’s a go-to album for just about any moment in your life. Jump on the Diane Birch bandwagon, and check out her website www.dianebirch.com
Words by: Katie Tull
Sara Bareilles Location: New York City Jam Out To: Cassieopia
It’s got to be impossible not to be on the Sara Bareilles bandwagon at this point. She cranks out hit after hit, but the true beauties are sometimes the ones that don’t hit the radio. We’ve got a new summer jam with Cassieopia; inspirational and catchy, you’ll never forget it. Check out this gem on Sara’s most recent album, The Blessed Unrest
Words by: Andrey Lyle Patino
Location: Chicago Jam Out To: Show My Hands
Gemini Club is a band to watch out for. Their great beats, and entrancing lyrics will be stuck in your head for days. You’ll find yourself humming along and not see it coming. Check out Gemini Club at: www.geminiclub.tumblr.com
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 6
Words by: Andrey Lyle Patino
Words by: Sage Kirwin Photos by: Alexandra Johnson
Some people do it for the feels and
some for the fame. Kent State University senior Brittnie Price writes for the feels. A self-taught guitarist and soul singer/songwriter, Price has a new EP out, titled Everything We Are, and big dreams of making it on Broadway and the top charts. Having already done a national tour with the Broadway musical Hair, Price is well on her way to making those dreams reality. She’s surprisingly grounded and perfectly aware of the challenging spotlight she’s chosen to step into, with enough faith in her music to carry her anywhere. Price took piano lessons as a kid, and picked up her first guitar at age 12, teaching herself how to play through cover songs. She grew up listening to R&B and Motown and says finding her own voice as a
writer took more time. “I’m still learning. I love that it’s so indefinite. Without that, life would be so boring, you know?” Yes girl, we agree! Price avoids boring by listening to her musical inspirations, which include a deep love for Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston, as well as a healthy appreciation for the likes of John Mayer and Lianne La Havas. Music has always been a part of her life and she is continuously drawn to “people with something to say.” Not one to confine herself to one genre, Price draws from all of her musical inspirations to write somewhere in the middle of it all, lending a truly unique sound to her music. “I don’t write for the sake of writing. I write what I see and what I feel, and that inspires my sound.” Her biggest inspiration is life itself, which Price feels gives her more than enough material to write about.
As with everything, there have been bullies, and people that think I’m crazy, and that think what I’m doing is just silly, but I know the work that I do and why I do it.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 9
There’s a wisdom in her approach to writing and a transparent honesty in her outlook on musicianship. When asked how she views the actions of fame hungry stars like Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, Price has a refreshingly cool and collected response. “I say to each his own. Do I agree with everything they do? No. Does that make them better or worse than I am? Nope. In my opinion, it’s about the music. Period.” That kind of level-headedness is rare these days in young artists and its restoring my faith in the many aspiring youths to hear those words from Price. And while she is clearly dedicated to the work, she adds a dash of her own humor, following up her response with the notion that Bieber and Cyrus must be doing something right seeing as they reach a much larger audience on TV then she does playing to her dog. If you ask us, that is one lucky dog. In a day and age where the internet has transformed the music industry and social media has made it easier than ever to access your favorite artists, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Gone are the days when one could just drop off a demo and cross their fingers. Now, Price and her contemporaries really have to “stand out as something people want.” She’s hard at work releasing new originals and doing covers on her Youtube channel, as well as playing live in venues. She keeps her facebook, twitter and tumblr updated and she is constantly spending her free time recording and writing new material. With a new EP out, Price is grateful to the accessibility the web has enabled her to share her music through and to the people who support her. While there will always be those who doubt her or tell her a music career is pointless, Price is buoyed by a steadfast group of close friends and family. She’s fortunate to have that much love behind her and we hope she always receives it. Price will be graduating Kent State U this summer with a BFA in Musical Theater and plans on moving to NYC in the fall to really pursue her musical passions. Auditions for theater and gigs with her guitar are on her list, as well as experiencing all the city has to offer. She plans on doing what she needs to make sure she can live comfortably, but her main focus is taking a shot at really promoting her career. When asked where she sees her ventures taking her she replies, “I have no idea, but I’m learning to love the unpredictability.” Her self-assurance is astounding and her belief in herself is the most inspiring thing about Price. We can’t wait to see her here in NY and watch as this little star soars. Check out Brittnie Price on Youtube and Facebook, and snag her newly released EP Everything We Are on iTunes. Find Brittnie at: www.brittnieprice.com www.twitter.com/brittnieaprice www.youtube.com/BrittniePrice
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 11
TAYLOR HANSON PHOTOGRAPHER [This Minneapolis photographer has captured some truly unique and almost transcendent moments through her looking glass. A keen eye, skillful camera maneuvers, and an artistic vision like no other has set her apart from everyone else. Taylor gives us some insight on her work, life, and some advice. ] Interview by: Andrey Lyle Patino Photos by: Taylor Hanson
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 13
taylor hanson WHAT GOT YOU INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?
I had enjoyed setting up “photo-shoots” for friends in middle school, and always had this desire to capture what I saw in relation to how I felt about it. I didn’t realize until I was in high school that this desire could be translated into something tangent, something potentially profitable, something I’d make into a lifelong career and passion. I had an incredible photography teacher in high school who made me want to be so much better, and who challenged me to do so. I am forever grateful for that.
WHAT KEEPS YOU INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
I continue to shoot because I don’t know how to stop. Photography is, and has been a way for me to communicate and enjoy the ongoing picturesque moments that I am surrounded by on a daily basis.
WHAT ARE YOUR THREE MUST HAVES AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?
Starting out, I think it’s important to have extensive knowledge of your camera or extensive knowledge of a post processing program. The familiarity with one, will teach you more about the other. I was trained really will with Photoshop, and kind of weaseled my way around the camera function part. However, learning how to edit what didn’t work well in my photos made me want to learn how to take better photos. That’s the other important thing, the drive to learn, explore, and expand your skills. You have to be really self-driven to exceed in anything, don’t keep yourself in a box.
DESCRIBE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE
I really enjoy highlighting beautiful color relationships in often impulsive, documentary style shots. I usually do this by enhancing the colors with some sort of post processing program to combine colors that work well together and appeal to the eye. Lately I’ve been overlaying film shots on my digital photos and infusing design work with them as well.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 14
GIVE ME A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE.
Typical day in my professional life involves waking up at some sort of hour, browsing the internet, coffee, work (at a coffee shop), more coffee, surprising (and potentially annoying) people with the flash of my disposables and/ or holga, and then attending to business upon returning from work. I usually send out a few photo requests for shooting live shows every week, manage a few instagram accounts where I post photos of live music, design concert posters, album covers, and random tidbits for my second job, as well as for friends and local artists, reach out to people who express interest in my work on social media sites, edit photos (basically all the time), and try to submit to as many publications and sites as possible. A lot of these things I do daily, and some of them I do a few times per week, the days start to blend between too many cups of coffee and not many hours of sleep. I love my lifestyle.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE?
Keep shooting, and never doubt your instincts. The more shots you take, the more you make. (This is not intended to be a basketball reference). In all seriousness though, continuously shooting helps improve your skills and knowledge of camera functions. Don’t ever let a current fad or someone’s negative comments sway the way you choose to capture the world through your own perspective.
CATCH UP WITH TAYLOR AT: www.facebook.com /iamthansofficial www.iamthans.com www.instagram.com iamthansofficial
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 19
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 20
NICK BLAEMIRE + THE HUSTLE Interview by: Sage Kirwin Photos by: Anna Grace Barlow
TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR LOVE FOR SOUL/R&B. WHAT DRAWS YOU MOST TO THE GENRE? I think there’s an element of surprise to soul music that isn’t always as easy to find in straight up pop. The more jazz-influenced the song, the more opportunity there is to break conventional song form, chord structure, etc. There’s a sense of “I know it might sound simple at the beginning, but watch THIS – ” that I love following in great R&B and soul songs, both as a listener and as a writer. Good examples of this are every single thing Stevie Wonder ever made. HOW DID YOU AND JESSE VARGAS BEGIN EXPERIMENTING WITH NEW AND OLD SOUNDS? HOW DID YOU DISCOVER THE RIGHT BLENDS? We spent a lot of time experimenting with different feels and instrumentations until we struck the balance we were looking for – we love our good friends Michael Jackson, Stevie, Donnie Hathaway, but our spin on the genre would be that we blend it with the sensibility of John Hughes movies.
WHAT IS “NERD SOUL”? It’s the music of the underdog, man! Babymakin grooves for the wallflower sect. Our goal is to not take ourselves too seriously, while still allowing for exciting shit to happen. THE HUSTLE IS COMPRISED OF A 9 PIECE BAND WITH A 4 PIECE HORN SECTION. TELL ME A BIT ABOUT HOW YOU ASSEMBLED THE MEMBERS AND HOW EACH CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR UNIQUE SOUND. Some guys we’d played with in the theater work we do – Charlie Rosen is an insanely talented orchestration and arranger (check out his 17 piece Broadway Big Band), but in our band he plays bass. Everyone is either a friend or a friend of a friend, and it’s made for a great vibe. Not to mention they’re the best musicians I’ve ever met.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 21
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR BAND ADDRESSES CRITICAL GENERATIONAL GAPS IN MUSIC? DO YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR MESSAGE YOU’RE TRYING TO SPREAD WITH YOUR MUSIC? We’re hoping to resonate with as many people as possible, no matter what age. We’re kind of blending two different generations of music, so it’d be great if somebody who’s just going through the trials of trying to love on other people can enjoy our songs as much as someone who’s been through it all. Which I guess means that the message of our music is “we’ve been there too.”
WHAT DO YOUR SONGS FOCUS ON? I tend to write about what makes me insecure, and what I hope will happen, and what I observe in other people that makes connecting so difficult for all of us. I also like writing songs about making out. HOW HAS PERFORMING IN MAJOR VENUES BEEN FOR THE GROUP? WHERE HAVE YOU PLAYED AND WHERE MIGHT WE SEE YOU GUYS IN THE FUTURE?
I can feel us get better and better with each gig. We just played Le Poisson YOU HAVE A PRETTY DOPE EP OUT RIGHT NOW. Rouge and it was a complete blast – there TELL ME A BIT ABOUT THE ALBUM AND THE were tables on the dance floor, and people WRITING PROCESS. just moved them and made a floor for themselves to dance on. We’re hoping to Thanks! Usually how it’s worked is I write get to just keep playing better and better a song with a simple accompaniment, places and get better and better from and then give it to Jesse, who fleshes out them, both at how we play, and how we an arrangement around it, and acts as an read what the crowd wants in order to editor and sounding board to make the have a good time. song better. Then we bring it to the band, play through it a few times, refining as we WHAT IS THE BAND WORKING ON NOW? WHAT go. And for recording, it becomes about SPECIFIC GOALS ARE YOU WORKING TOWARD? finding an arrangement and production aesthetic that feels like you get the full We’re in the process of planning our next experience from without watching us recording project, which is tentatively titled while dancing with a bunch of people. We “The Ampersand EP.” We’re working with wanted to cram all that into your earbuds a producer on picking a few new songs to so we can be the soundtrack to your mess with, and try to take a step forward subway ride, and make the trip a little from the way the last record sounded. To more fun than was without us. try some shit and see what clicks.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 23
HOW ARE THE DYNAMICS IN SUCH A LARGE BAND? ARE YOU ALL PRETTY CLOSE FRIENDS? WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO IN AND OUT OF PERFORMING AND REHEARSALS? The band is this wonderful balance of what I equate to school friends – people who are friends at school, but different traffic patterns outside of our time together. A lot of the band is made up of gigging musicians, who are somewhere in the world playing music for a living every night, and the rest of us are theater folk, so we usually only see each other at gigs, but we’ll always hang after, especially if it went well. WHY DO YOU FEEL YOUR SOUNDS ARE RELEVANT TO TODAY’S AUDIENCE? Music is always a fight between surfing wherever the zeitgeist might be that moment, and timelessness. We’re trying to straddle those two, and stay rooted in the things we love about songs and performing, while giving you something you haven’t seen or heard before. I also think most pop music is almost insultingly simple. And people are smart - they can take a little bit of dissonance, or gratification delay that will eventually pay off after a listen or two. When other artists take those chances, those moments eventually become my favorite parts of those songs. YOU’RE ALSO AN ACTOR AND SINGER. HOW HAS YOUR MUSICAL THEATER BACKGROUND INFLUENCED YOUR WORK WITH THE BAND? I feel like it’s made me more aware of how I perform songs, which has been good and bad. I don’t have much stage fright anymore, but I do have to remember that it’s not important if people understand every word – that it’s more about the general experience. Which has become very freeing, to let go and just enjoy the music as much as the audience hopefully is. IF YOU COULD HOPE FOR ONE THING FOR BAND, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? That we make as many people feel good as possible. AS YOU CONTINUE WRITING AND PLAYING, WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO LEARN AS AN ARTIST? How to create a more and more honest and direct line from what I’m experiencing being a person to what I’m doing as an artist. And to get stressed out less.
CATCH NICKBLAEMIRE + THE HUSTLE ON THE FLIPSIDE, CHECK THESE LINKS OUT: http://www.nickblaemireandthehustle.com http://www.cafepress.com/nbandthehustle UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 24
SPRING FASHION Words by: Akelia Ingram
Pastels are in for Spring! Seen below are shots from both the New York and London fashion week. (From left to right) Burberry Prorsum, Rebecca Taylor, Peter Pilotto, and Burbery Prorsum.
[ I’m super super super excited about this trend for Spring 2014. Being a LOVER of pastels, I die for the sky blues, mints, and pale pinks. As fabulous as these runway looks are, being a student and a girl on the go, I like to take it down and be a little more comfortable while still maintaining full powered fierceness and FABULOSITY. Here are my must haves for April whether you’re rollin’ in dough or ballin’ on a budget! ]
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 26
Mac Retro Matte Lipstick in Flat out Fabulous $15
H&M Boyfriend low jeans 39.95 H&M V-neck Jersey Top $13
H&M B ASOS Low Rise Slim Boyfrie
nd Jean $75
‘Gossip’ – Sephora $30 Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel klace $85 Topshop chunky chain stone collar nec
Rebecca Minkoff ‘Mab’ Tote - Piperli
H&M Biker Jacket $50
Dolce Vita ‘Agusta’ - $150 Piperlime
Aldo ‘Flekova’ Chunky necklace $20 ASOS Blazer in Mono Mixed Jacquard $104
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 27
STYLE WATCH EYES ON LUPITA NYONG’O
This month’s style icon award undoubtedly goes to Ms. Lupita Nyong’o supporting actress in this year’s Oscar winning film for best picture ‘12 Years a Slave’. Not only does she put on a great performance in the film, her style is worthy of equal accolades. Let’s talk about her incredible figure and how it’s possible that one woman can look great IN EVERY COLOR! She is truly fashionable, trendy and refreshing and I’m not the only one who thinks so! The actress has also been made the face of both Prada and Miu Miu’s spring 2014 campaign. I have compiled a few of my favorite looks she has been sporting throughout the past few months. These looks are great from day to night, and are also great color combinations and prints for the Spring! Words by: Akelia Ingram
Accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 Academy Awards in a custom Prada gown.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 28
In Honor at the Toronto Film Festival press conference for 12 Years a Slave.
In Lanvin at Gotham Independent Film Awards
In Mary Katrantzou at the DuJour Magazine cover party
In Prada for the LA premiere of 12 Years a Slave UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 29
HAND DYED PLANTERS This time of year I am always so very inspired by GREEN! I’d love to have a garden, but living in a little apartment without any outdoor space, a garden (even a small one) isn’t quite attainable yet. But this year I didn’t let my lack of outdoor space stop me from bringing a little bit of LIFE indoors! This is a super simple DIY project that anyone can do regardless of budget, time, or space, so if you’re anything like me and this time of year makes you long for a garden you’re going to want to go and pick up a few items and get started on your own hand dyed yarn planters.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
-pots -any plants of your choosing -some type of thin string or yarn
-an easter egg dying kit -scissors -hot glue gun
Step One - Gather supplies and get excited for the rad planters you’re about to make! Step Two - Cut varying lengths of yarn and toss ‘em into your dye. If you’re going for the color blocked look I created on one of my planters, go ahead and cut multiple pieces of string. Then just leave the piece of string that you want darker in the dye longer! Step Three - This is when the magic really starts to happen! You are going to want to make a line of hot glue about 1/2” long, and then push your string into the hot glue. Use the end of a pencil to push your string into the hot glue. You will then need to get your string TIGHT, and wrap it around the pot, continuing to add a little hot glue every few inches as you go.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 30
Step Four - Continue step three until you are satisfied with the amount of string you have on your pot, then create a longer line of hot glue and push your string into it. After that hot glue dries, I chose to add a little over the top of the end of the string and then smooth it out. You want to make sure that the end didn’t poke out or come loose. Step Five - Once you have finished your first section of string, this is where you can really start to customize your pot. As you can see in the photos, I chose to make different variations of the planters, but I chose colors and patterns that I felt worked together so that I could display my planters as a set instead of feeling like I had to keep them away from each other. You just need to complete steps three and four on all the sections of string you want to do! Super simple!
2. 1. 4.
I hope you enjoy this project as much as I enjoyed making it for you, and I am so excited for all of the projects to come!
Lexi Wiseman UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 31
exPRess yourself The time is now. You’re young, ambitious, and at the height of your creativity, but many young professionals see their age as a roadblock, a disadvantage in the fast-paced world of business. I’m here to tell you it isn’t. The reality is that many young professionals have brilliant ideas, but don’t know how to accurately present and package their products or services. This is where I come in. My name is Kayla Hollatz, and I am the brand stylist behind exPRession PR dedicated to helping right-brained professionals discover, develop, and execute their dynamic brand. I help clients get to the nuts and bolts of their brand, creating unique strategies to help each professional make a splash with their brand. So what is a brand? In essence, it’s you. It’s how you are identified in the competitive world of business. Each brand tells a story, and I am here to help you uncover yours. My blog at exPRession PR is a central hub for right-brained professionals (like you!) looking for tips and tricks to launch themselves into success. I’m passionate about writing public relations inspired content and sharing each resource with my readers. In short, I am passionate about you. I want to help you give life to your dreams. I want to see you pursue your passions so every day you can make a living doing what you love. You could have the next million dollar idea. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are now more than 165 million entrepreneurs between the ages of 1825. Every entrepreneur started in the exact place you are in right now. These young professionals found success, and now it’s your turn. Success is for the passionate and the brave, two things I know you are. Let’s dive into the branding process together each month in Underground Sparks. Your dreams are waiting!
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 32
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 33
you’ve been watching popular YouTubers such as Charlieissocoollike for the past several years and are
maybe feeling like following in similar footsteps is worth a try, George Long (known to the YouTube community as veguntold) has definitely been
there, done that. “I had made several attempts at vlogging before,” he says, “but it was only on the third or fourth time that I finally stuck it out.”
We chatted with the up-andcoming YouTube star about his life, his YouTube career, and advice for friends and fans alike.
Words by: Mitchell Smith Photos by: Kelly Vaughn UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 35
frequently and making sure you upload something your audience will want to see.” George’s audience demographic falls into the “mainly 13-17 year old females” category, he says, and he does try to keep that in mind when penning ideas for his next video. “…it is important to be considerate of your audience demographics. I wouldn’t make something I feel would be inappropriate or insensitive towards my viewers.” Though, at the same time, he insists he only really makes content that he wants to make. YouTube has been a large part of our generation’s culture in the past 8 years and the effect it’s had is undeniable. On its continuance, George says “I feel video blogging by definition is dying out. It is rare for someone nowadays to upload a video talking about their day and what they had for breakfast.” Nevertheless, it’s impact is one of importance. “I feel the ability to sit in front of a camera, discussing an issue that means something to you and being able to spread your thoughts online and add to a global discussion so easily is incredible and certainly important to our generation. YouTubers tend
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 36
So if you’re in it for fame, good luck to you. Just make sure you’re making videos you want to make.
Lucky he did, for now with almost 400,000 views and over 17,000 subscribers, veguntold can be identified as one of the familiar faces of YouTube. You can catch him weekly cracking witty jokes, posing quirky discussions, and re-enacting his daily routines for all to enjoy. “It’s really just for a bit of fun,” says the 18 year old Brit. “I make videos with the hope of providing light entertainment. However recently, I’ve been processing the fact that I do have the power to start spreading a message and feel that’s the best direction to take my channel in the future.” And that future might be? “I’d like to take the channel further,” he says, “…I am uncertain as to what I want to do as a career. It is unlikely it will be YouTube related, but either way, YouTube is a great platform and provides many opportunities whether it be making friends or even meeting the president.” While many of us may dream of YouTube fame, George says keeping up with a popular channel has its ups and downs. “It’s nice that I can spend time producing a video and know that overall people will have spent more time watching it. The downside is that there is a lot of pressure to upload
to be very open people and are rarely narrowminded and in my opinion, this is something to be encouraged in society.” Feeling inspired to kick-start your own YouTube channel? George can help ya out there: “It always helps to be a cute English boy… In all seriousness, do it for the right reasons. YouTube’s reached the stage where channel growth for smaller YouTubers isn’t what it was. So if you’re in it for fame, good luck to you. Just make sure you’re making videos you want to make.” In regards to whether or not the content is
actually good, “Ask yourself if someone else would want to watch it, whether that’s because funny, thought provoking or inspiring. It’s fine if isn’t, but I’m sure you wouldn’t watch a 10 minu video of someone listing their favourite cereals. Find more of George: www.youtube.com/VegUntold www.twitter.com/VegUntold www.instagram.com/georgeschlong
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 37
Words by: Jessica Ondrejicka Photos by: Kayley Daaniel
Victoria Donelda is not your average make-up tutorial vlogger. In a category filled with what feels like the same girl recreating the same look over and over again, Victoria stands out. Her tutorials are informative, but hilarious, as she infuses a parody-style into her channel. She says the things weâ€™ve ALL wanted to say about makeup tutorials, and doesnâ€™t dumb herself down to fit into the mold. I sat down to talk with Victoria about her channel, her passion for makeup, and her life outside of youtube.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 38
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START MAKING YOUTUBE VIDEOS IN THE FIRST PLACE? I got into youtube videos by total accident. I was getting tons of questions on my blog everyday about how to do different makeup looks and how I specifically would do things. It’s surprisingly really difficult to kind of step by step type out how to do a winged eyeliner, so one day I just thought “screw it.” I have a camera on my mac and editing software that I’m sure I can figure out how to use, I’ll just film a video on how I do my makeup for school and that will answer everyone’s questions. Like two days later I had put together this “tutorial” and I uploaded it to youtube and the rest is history. WHAT STARTED YOUR PASSION FOR MAKEUP, AND HOW DID YOU GET SO GREAT AT THE APPLICATION/ with me and is what pushes me to do DESIGN OF MAKEUP? what some might consider to be odd. My passion for makeup WHICH THREE PRODUCTS CAN YOU started at a young age. I can remember playing with barbies ABSOLUTELY NOT LIVE WITHOUT? I can’t live without my Sephora 01 and studying their faces and how their makeup was painted Black felt tip eyeliner. The quality is amazing, it doesn’t smudge, it on them. I also remember dries matte, and has an amazing being entranced by how my mom and aunts would do their applicator. I would consider wings to makeup. It’s just always been be kind of like “my thing,” so this is something I have paid attention for sure a must. I also love my Josie Maran argon illuto and loved. As far as how minator. it’s beautiful as a highlighter I’ve gotten to this point in the or to mix in with foundation. it’s my application of makeup, it’s secret to get healthy and glowing sun honestly just a lot of practice. When I see something I like, I kissed skin. recreate it, I change it, I make Lastly I can’t live without my Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer it my own, and I just keep concealer. I would be lost without playing with things. The first kind of makeup I really started this one, not only is it an amazing doing was performance based, concealer, it also heals, protects, and so the bigger the better. I think perfects the skin. It’s coverage and that idea of makeup has stuck a treatment all in one and works on
anything from redness, to a blemish, to a bruise. I NOTICED THAT YOU CALL YOUR VIEWERS/ SUBSCRIBERS FRUIT BATS. WHERE DID THAT NICKNAME COME FROM? Again, this one is a total accident. I’ve just always had an affinity for little bats, I think they’re adorable and just really odd yet cool creatures. It’s just something I would say on my blog to my followers. After I had made a few youtube videos, I just assumed that the only people watching were people from tumblr, so I decided I should address them as fruit bats on youtube as well. Now it’s just second nature. I still think they’re adorable and they still make me super happy.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 39
YOU’VE BEEN POSTING VIDEOS TO YOUR CHANNEL SINCE 2011. WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING? The first sort of like year that I “did youtube” was so weird and unorganized. I had no idea what I was doing. When I actually decided that I wanted my youtube channel to be more than just a sporadic hot mess, I just turned to my fruit bats and kept doing the things they wanted to see. The whole idea of youtube and having the opportunity to make someone laugh or to teach someone something, or to give people an escape from the everyday always has kept me going. I was a viewer long before I was a content creator, and I just think
back to the days when sometimes youtube videos were the only semblance of human interaction I had. I keep getting inspiration from that and the idea that for some reason there are people out there who have chosen to care about what I have to say and about my life. It’s just something I take seriously. It pushes me to be there for others and to give something back. I REALLY ADMIRE YOUR CONFIDENCE. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO READERS WHO ARE LACKING IN CONFIDENCE? Thank you! This is a question I get a lot and I have yet to come up with an adequate answer. If
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 40
someone is asking me about how to gain or maintain confidence, I just tell them that there is no reason why they shouldn’t be confident. I don’t care what you look like or where you come from, as an individual with a personality and story to tell, you are entitled to feel and to be important. There are always going to be people out there that thrive off of tearing people down, but you know? I don’t have time for them. I don’t expect for everyone to like me, and I get over it quickly when someone doesn’t. We are entitled to happiness, we are supposed to feel good about ourselves. When people try to take that feeling from you, FORGET THEM. You are
too great, fabulous, and unique to have to put up with that for a second. It is your life and you get to decide who gets to be a part of it, it’s not the other way around. WHEN YOU’RE NOT MAKING VIDEOS FOR YOUR CHANNEL, WHAT DO YOU DO? I’m a full time student at Wichita State University and I’m studying art! I’m going into graphic design and creative writing, so outside of youtube, most of my time is devoted to school. I also just do normal boring stuff. I read, I paint, I hang out with friends and eat pizza, I spend a lot of time with Jillian (my best friend of 15
fabulous years.) I’m the definition of boring college student, but like a little bit more lame than what you think that definition is. WHAT IS YOUR END GOAL WITH YOUR CHANNEL? I don’t have one! I still don’t know what I’m really doing other than just making videos that my fruit bats want to see. I’m not concerned with numbers or stats or any of the business-y things like that. I just want people to continue feeling welcome and involved with the videos I make, and I want to have a good time too.
FIND MORE OF VICTORIA: youtube.com/victoriadonelda victoriadonelda.tumblr.com/ twitter.com/victoriadonelda instagram.com/victoriadonelda
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 41
Andrew Keenan-Bolger has already found success on Broadway. But with SUBMISSIONS ONLY, he’s showing that web series can be an outlet for the stories he wants to tell.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 42
INTERVIEW BY: MITCHELL SMITH STORY BY: EBETH ENGQUIST PHOTOS BY: SPENCER CLARK
I feel so lucky to be creating at this moment in history. Ask any high school theatre kid or modern Broadway aficionado to name rising theatre talent, and Andrew Keenan-Bolger is sure to be on their list. A graduate of University of Michigan’s BFA Musical Theatre program – one of the top programs in the country - Andrew’s professional theatre career has included roles in high profile shows like Newsies and Mary Poppins, as well as appearances in HBO’s Looking and films such as The Rewrite to be released this year. Andrew calls his involvement in a theatre an inherited interest, and credits his sister Celia – who was just nominated for a Tony for her performance in The Glass Menageriewith inspiring his path. But where Andrew has really begun pushing the boundaries is with his wildly popular web series, SUBMISSIONS ONLY, now in its third season. Andrew created SUBMISSIONS ONLY with fellow actor Kate Wetherhead, combining their crazy experiences in the professional theatre business to create a fictionalized but true-toheart account of the behind the scenes life of an actor. The series came about when Andrew and Kate worked on another web video and wanted to continue collaborating, so the two tried to “write something that (they) would actually want to watch.” It’s not surprising that Andrew cites Lena Dunham as an inspiration, whose creation of a personally inspired series with Girls aligns with his tireless work on SUBMISSIONS ONLY. For Andrew, moving from stage work into the burgeoning field of web series was a thrilling draw: “ I think that social media and video platforms are the biggest game changer for artists. Ten years ago when you wanted to create something you could either spend a ton of money making a film or book a theater. Both had limited exposure and no guaranteed audience. Advents like YouTube cut out the middle man and let us share our work with an infinite number of people instantly. I feel so lucky
to be creating at this moment in history.” Working online allowed Andrew and Kate to control the artistic direction of the series and craft every aspect of it. And that work has drown immense popularity and acclaim. The show has received positive press from New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine, and has a running recap feature in Entertainment Weekly. All of this praise seems a little crazy to Andrew. “At first,” he says, “I really felt like we had somehow tricked everyone to write the nice things about our show. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve come to accept that maybe we’re actually on to something.” Now in season three, SUBMISSIONS ONLY has been able to raise production values through a massive Kickstarter campaign and is now being aired exclusively through Broadwayworld. com. Industry actors are taking notice too, UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 45
and the growing list of guest stars is something Andrew is very proud of, and one of his favorite parts about working on the series: “people who 5 years ago I would be too scared to even approach at a party but now have gotten to direct and see their process. It’s been such an incredible learning experience!” Making a web series from the ground up is no easy feat, and Andrew has spent the past seasons balancing his work on SUBMISSIONS ONLY with performing in Broadway shows. The web series is intensive work, and Andrew’s role as writer and director of many episodes has led him to say “I’m positive I’ve spent more hours in front of my computer this past year than I have sleeping.” Often times, his theatre dressing rooms were turned into editing studios to maximize his time and meet the demands of his schedule. While some might find the two impossible to balance, Andrew appreciates the intensity, saying “To be honest, I function best when I’m busy. It’s when I have the option to sit on my couch and catch up on my Netflix that post-production becomes difficult.” But because the project is driven by Andrew and Kate, rather than an overseeing company, Andrew calls the countless hours a labour of love and looks forward to expanding the project into some sort of long
form endeavor. The shift to film from theatre has been exciting for Andrew, who cites the editing process as one of the coolest parts of film. “We’ve seen scenes completely change between edits and it’s something that you just can’t do in live theater,” Andrew said when asked about the difference between the two mediums, “You can help an audience know where to focus through staging and lighting but you don’t have absolute power in getting everyone to view the story in the same way.” But don’t worry Broadway fans, he still claims the theatre as his home, with stage acting as his preference. Maintaining a major theatre career and creating a successful web series should be enough, but there’s even more to Andrew’s career Even with the rigors of a filming schedule and theatrical performances, Andrew has managed to be one of the most engaged activists of the Broadway community. He has become a dedicated advocate of equality and LGBTQ rights, teaming up with NYCLU and Green Chimneys. He and his sister Celia also founded Broadway for Obama, which worked tirelessly phonebanking and registering voters before the 2012 election. Andrew credits growing up with parents who were activists as his inspiration for being involved, which was only heightened upon joining
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 46
the theatre community. “When we started working in the arts we’d often find that our colleagues were passionate and empathetic,” he noted, “but often felt like their work wasn’t contributing in a big enough way to humanity.” Now Andrew and his sister are at the forefront of pairing Broadway community ties with organizations that they are passionate about. The future looks bright for Andrew, who appeared in two major films this year and continues to pursue roles in theatre. And most importantly, Andrew stands as an inspiration for aspiring actors, directors, and filmmakers, I in the tireless work towards creating the work you want to create. When asked what advice he has to offer, he had this to say: “I’d say spend as much time as possible making sure your product is good. If it’s well written and resonant, people will be drawn to it and help you with the areas you’re less versed in.” Find Andrew at: andrewkeenanbolger.com/ facebook.com/AndrewKeenan-Bolger/ twitter.com/KeenanBlogger
Words by: Katie Tull
Artist JUURI has a unique perspective. She is a Tokyo-born Japanese/American artist, creating a distinctive style of art through the influence of her heritage and upbringing. Her work is both delicate and unyielding in its portrayal of the human face, mainly women although occasionally a man’s face makes an appearance. Her unique identity is expressed through her art—depicting a variation of Japanese and American cultures. Each of JUURI’s pieces brings a mixture of these identities as well as a thick layer of mediums that constitutes who she is and her vast imagination. She works in vibrant colors and has a wild technique, making the subjects of her work have an appearance of mixed race, though that’s not her intention. JUURI enjoys discovering Japanese culture from the fresh perspective of her travels, they are a part of her individuality—but are also always new to her, as she didn’t grow up in Japan.
WORDS BY: KATIE TULL
Since she was a kid, JUURI has always been creating art, but pursued those feelings professionally in 2010. Money was not a concern, as she believes your financial status shouldn’t inhibit your dreams, a brave way of thinking in this age. The important matter is that JUURI is not poor in terms of her craft, which she pursues all over the world for. She obtains wealth in terms of pursuing her art. JUURI is able to create these bold pieces because it is her way of expression, as a shy individual, her art is how she communicates with the world, “straight to people’s hearts,” as she puts it. She also communicates in a mix of English and Japanese in her art, depending on her feelings, different expressions shine through. Still visiting Japan regularly, JUURI uses the time to “recharge” her batteries and take the time to be immersed in her culture. And to visit her “feisty” Grandma of course! Taking those
moments and what she’s sees; from natures objects to historic sites to fabrics, and then using those inspirations to create with her favorite mediums. Some of those mediums include watercolor, acrylic, and colored pencils. When she’s in the US, her imagination takes over her art, which has recently become her day job. JUURI contributes to a fashion blog, playing with her dog, travel and cook, make interior design plans, and most unexpectedly—volunteers for her local police department. Coming up next, JUURI is working on a set of drawings of girls with katana— Japanese swords— for an upcoming show. She will then return her focus to faces with floral and abstract elements, and maybe a series of melancholy, strong girls. Whatever it is, we’re excited to see it!
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 52
FIND MORE OF JUURI HERE: www.juuriart.com/
WORDS BY: SAGE KIRWIN
THE SEROTONES TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOUR SOUNDS. YOU NOTE IN YOUR BIOS THAT THE BAND HAS ‘ROCK, FUNK AND JAZZ FLAIRS.’ WHAT DRAWS YOU TO THESE MUSICAL STYLES AND HOW DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT BLENDS? Jared: When Kevin and I started the band, we didn’t necessarily WORDS BY: SAGE KIRWIN want to sound like “funk” or “jazz” but rather draw from the sophistication of those musical styles and bring it to a modern interpretation of that type of composition. Jazz music, everything about the improvisation and such, is one of the most difficult types of music to understand properly, so inevitably that fueled me to understand it. We wanted to write modernized music with a similar type of complexity. So we most definitely sound like a modern alternative rock band, however we draw on jazz and funk styles in our creative process.
WHAT ARE MOST OF YOUR SONGS ABOUT? DO YOU HAVE A GENERAL MESSAGE OR DO YOU EXPERIMENT WITH TOPICS? Generally speaking, our songs really reflect this emotional roller coaster that people our age, especially in this generation, are exposed to on a daily basis whether it be the hysteria of lust or the temptation of numbness through some sort of unhealthy lifestyle. We pay distinct attention to the content of our songs and think its very important to
make some sort of vigilant statement on these relatable issues. WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO GO WITH THE SEROTONES? April: I hope that the messages in our music catch on and gain a following, to eventually impact our generation and those to come in a very positive way. James: Madison Square Garden, World Tour, maybe even “Guitar Hero: The Serotones (name
pending)”? I think we’d all like to be heard by as many people as possible, and are willing to put in the work to get our music out there. WHAT IS THE BAND WORKING ON NOW? WHAT SPECIFIC GOALS ARE YOU WORKING TOWARD? Matt: Currently we’re preparing to go into the studio and record our debut EP. We’ll be working with a great producer, who’s worked with some of our person-
al favorite artists, to help us achieve the sound that we all envision and are excited to present to our fans. HOW HAS PERFORMING IN VENUES BEEN FOR THE GROUP? WHERE HAVE YOU PLAYED AND WHERE MIGHT WE SEE YOU GUYS IN THE FUTURE? April: Its been great performing in live venues in Manhattan and Long Island, we’ve gotten some great reception, met so many talented musicians and made tons of great fans along the way. On April 5th we were asked to play the legendary Bitter End in New York City and this summer we will be playing at The Great South Bay Music Festival, Long Island’s Biggest Music Festival. We’ll be playing in the same festival as BB King, Taking Back Sunday and Circa Survive. It’s going to be so fun. IS THERE ANYTHING IN POP CULTURE THAT REALLY INSPIRES YOU AT THE MOMENT? Matt: Current pop culture in the music scene right now is very interesting. I’m finding that there has been an increase of independent artists making it to the top of the charts over the past couple of years, which surely is a blessing for all the smaller bands out there that are looking to hit it big time. There still is, as always, the standard pop hits that make it to the number one spots on the charts for multiple weeks but the slow and steady increase in indie hits is
something that really inspires me to continue playing music and to try and generate a lot of buzz in the standard pop domain with the music we create. IF THERE WAS ONE MESSAGE, MUSIC OR LIFE RELATED, THAT YOU COULD SHARE WITH YOUR FANS, WHAT WOULD THAT BE? Jared: Forget what your understanding of the “right thing to do in life” is and define it for yourself. Educate yourself properly on your passion and take a chance regarding your dream, it can make all the difference between a healthy heart and a trapped mind. Show the rest of us humans why you love what you do because they might end up loving it too.
FIND “THE SEROTONES” HERE:
April: I just want to thank anyone who has ever listened to our music or come to our shows - you are the reason I (we) continue! Thank you.
Matt: My message to our fans is that the true formula to success is time + persistent effort . If you love something enough, and put in the time and effort needed, you will have no option but to succeed at it. I greatly encourage our fans to pursue what they love as they have the power to change that industry for the better.
Kevin: It’s not about what you choose to like it’s about what you like to choose, that is, do what you want to do and don’t try to mimic anyone.
Twitter: @theserotones Instagram: @theserotones theserotones.bandcamp.com
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 57
LIKE KNOWS LIKE Film Makers Photographers Artists Humans
It’s easy to look past the artist and
WORDS BY: ANDREY LYLE PATINO
go straight to their creation. It’s simple to admire the work and forget about the team behind it. That they have hopes, that they have dreams, and that they have struggles. We’ve become to fixated on the perfect picture they’ve given us, that we don’t see them as part of our world. We see them as different, even when it comes to social media; we see the photos they post, and they look perfect, almost transcendent. Like Knows Like is incredible documentary project that focuses on the human beings behind the work. It focuses on the who they are as people, and the struggles they face in order to bring their art into the world. I sat down with with Bas Berkhout, the filmmaker behind this project, to find out what inspired him to bring this project to fruition.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN THIS PROJECT? To answer the question straightaway, it came out of frustration of not doing enough creative work. And we’ve always been interested in the human aspects of people who do great stuff; like designers, or writers, ect. We weren’t interested in their creative process, but who they are as human beings. WHEN YOU WERE COMING UP WITH THE OVERALL FEEL AND DIRECTION, DID IT UNRAVEL DURING YOUR FIRST PROJECT OR DID YOU HAVE IT ALL FLESHED OUT BEFORE YOU WENT IN?
It was all fleshed out before we went in. And it was really a concept; we wrote the whole thing down, and we kicked off by doing one test video that never went up, it was just on a friend of ours. Just figuring out what visual form, style and approach the documentaries would take. It as really an idea on paper that we just executed in the field. We thought documentary form is the best form for telling stories. It’s always about the truth. And so we did two videos in Amsterdam, and we took off a month and did some artists in California, and a couple months later we did eight in NY.
UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 60
WAS THERE EVER A DEFINITIVE NUMBER THAT YOU WANTED TO STOP AT? OR DID YOU PLAN TO HAVE THIS KEEP GOING? It’s meant to be a global and ongoing documentary project, so whenever we have time on the side we’re going to shoot and film. Either we combine it with commission work in other countries or we take our vacation and go and meet people, it’s all on the side. We have so much fun with it so that means that it can be an ongoing thing. There’s no goal, we can build it out in whatever way we want to. And this is just the start.
People in real life… it’s just something that never really bores you.
HOW DO YOU FIND THE PEOPLE THAT YOU WANT TO WORK WITH, AND HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT GETTING IN CONTACT WITH THEM? It’s basically a lot of research, and a lot of the people we filmed we already followed on Instagram and admired already. So it’s really a personal interest. We really had to have that gut feeling that we actually want to know who this person is. We research, and we make sure there haven’t been any documentaries made on them already. And then it’s just sending out an email.
WHAT’S BEEN INSPIRING YOU AND DRIVING YOU TO CONTINUE THE WORK THAT YOU’VE BEEN DOING? I think what I got from it is that a lot of people, will, for example, post images on Instagram that seem perfect. But it doesn’t’ really come across that these people are in real life, that they face a lot of hard work or challenges. It never comes across in their online persona. So I really wanted to figure out who these people were in real life, and if the idea or image of themselves that they present is true. So it’s nice to meet all these creative people, and we’ve gotten to meet a lot of friends along the way that we still keep in touch with. It’s really rewarding to see these people are actually human. Everyone has a story, and we really love people’s stories. People in real life… it’s just something that never really bores you.
WANT MORE LIKE KNOWS LIKE? CHECK OUT THEIR LINKS: www.likeknowslike.com www.facebook.com/project.likeknowslike www.likeknowslike.tumblr.com/ www.vimeo.com/likeknowslike
HOW LONG DOES EACH DOCUMENTARY TAKE TO PUT TOGETHER FROM THE SELECTION OF THE PERSON TO THE FINAL RENDERING? So what we’ve done so far is one month of traveling, and we did ten in that month. So it’s one day of shooting, and it takes almost four days. We’re working longer on them to step up the game, so about five days total. UNDERGROUNDSPARKS MAGAZINE- 61
Underground Sparks Magazine
We launch our very first issue with a ton of truly amazing and inspiring people! Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Nick Blaemire, VegUntold, and so much...
Published on May 16, 2014
We launch our very first issue with a ton of truly amazing and inspiring people! Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Nick Blaemire, VegUntold, and so much...