Thursday, October 21, 2010

In need of Entertainment?

Also, if you find you're a little bored you should totally go to CBS Radio Mystery Theater and listen to all the horror/mystery radio shows you can handle. It's a little like the Twilight zone and it's totally become my new favorite thing to listen to while painting.

Not into Horror? Try some of the other genres :)

Dear Wooden Sword...

Right now, I'm all kinds of wrapped up in the theater world. I am props master and scenic charge for UCONN's upcoming opera, "The Wooden Sword," and yesterday I started working with CRT's paint shop on "A Flea in Her Ear." I'm kind of exhausted from the long hours I've been pulling but it's so satisfying. You know? I'm making wooden swords, tables and fake turkey legs, painting the set a fantastic glossy red, and getting started on Flea which will be a truly beautiful show. I love my job(s)! :-D

My only complaint is that time seems to be moving so fast now. And there's so much to do! And I can't wait to share it all with you. I've been taking pictures all along the way. So if you want to learn how to make a wooden sword, fake turkey legs, or scabbards and hilts this will be the place to be in the next couple weeks.  Most likely I'll be blogging all of that next week while I'm sitting in tech.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rewind--Jack and Jill

Last month two of my friends, who just got married, had their Jack and Jill party and I offered to do the decorations for it. The party was held in the Shadow Room, in Middletown.Very cool place and the owners were awesome to let us get in their way for a few hours while we got everything all set up. :) It's a little on the pricey side for drinks, but the atmosphere makes it worth it. Granted, I'm a little biased. ;)

My goal was to take a very trendy dark club/bar and make it a little more romantic and whimsical, without making the place look tacky. I spent $40 on gems, colored glass, fishing line, candles, and glass vases.

I ended up making tons of strands of shiny things and hung them from the trace lighting. They sparkled quite nicely in the LED glow of the club.

I also added some strands to the sconces to make them just a touch less industrial.

Overall, I think I succeeded in the giving the space little whimsy. And, bonus, I got to leave all of the decorations up! The owner quite liked what I did. :) 

Credit where credit is due!

Please note that all of the beautiful photographs shown in my post about the witch dr. hut were taken by the fabulous photographer Alexander J. Andriulli.

The Hut finally exists!!!

Apart from a few changes in location we were finally able to put the set together!! The new filming location is in the finished basement of the actor playing the witch dr. I am now very glad to have built the flats a few inches shorter than the max height my minivan could handle, the ceilings in the basement were only a few inches higher than the flats were. I got sooooo lucky!
There's my baby! The upright beams are hiding where the seams are, (each flat is a separate piece) that way each "room" can be a rearrangement of the flats. The diagonals where these weird milkweeds I pulled out of Alex's backyard. They were meant for the ceiling, but when we started hanging the weed block (the black stuff) off of the ceiling it turned out to just be a big pain in the rear. So I added them to the walls. And I quite like the effect.
Lighting candles with a blow torch. Quick and easy. Although you should be careful while doing this on fabrics and carpets and such... it's sort of a flame hazard.

hooray for candles and dollar store skulls.

Remember the voodoo research I did a while back? Well, there it is! I put symbols all over the place. Mostly in charcoal and a few in "dried blood"

These skulls totally came from the dollar store. I did have to cut out the holes for the eye sockets, nose and teeth and then paint them. But they're pretty sturdy and they don't look half bad :) Although I wouldn't really call them human skulls... Perhaps monkey?

These bottles are where I used the torch the most. Lots of dripping wax and burning off labels.

Shelf curtsy of my parents wood pile.

The only down side to this arch is when they film through it they will have to put two of the flats behind it to mask the fact that we are not actually  in Nigeria..

behind the scenes!

To keep the rearranging independent of power tools or tools that I would miss if I never saw them again I drilled holes and taught the guys how to tie a sturdy knot. Strangely the rope was enough to keep the walls stable. Also, I must give credit for this clever idea to my Dad. he helped me figure out a lot of the technical issues. Did I mention I'm far better with a paint brush than with power tools?

Leaving a note for the crew.
my note :)
I had so much fun building, painting, and setting up this hut! And the people I worked with were fantastic. I hope we get the chance to work together again soon.

All photographs were taken by and used with the permission of Alexander J. Andriulli.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Tonight!!!!! I finally get to set up the hut and take pictures!!! I can't wait!

Cloud 9 Poetz corner

I had such a blast on Tuesday at Cl9ud's weekly poetry reading. Also, before you judge, this was not a group of stuffy people speaking in riddles about lofty concepts in monotonous voices. We've all had that English teacher at some point who made us think of poetry like that. And these were definably not those kind of people.  It was a rowdy bunch of artists  performing for their weekly web show (soon to be on the Public Access Channel) sharing raunchy, sweet, powerful and everything in between poetry.

Our hostess was the fantastically spunky Shireal Renee, who is a poet herself.

There were poets with all sorts of styles, some of my favorites were the women who weren't afraid to speak about their sexual sides. It's 2010, women have the same sex drive as men and honestly, we shouldn't be ashamed or afraid of it anymore.
Though don't think that the men in the room were playing the tame lover now that the ladies were speaking out. They had certain things on their minds, and they weren't afraid to share them either. But the evening's dirty-sexy poetry wasn't one as one dimensional as it seemed. There was one poem, forgive me if I get the title wrong, "Pornography Poem," (read by the gentleman on the right) that used incredibly raunchy and sometimes uncomfortable imagery to make you realize just how intimate a poem can be. Opening yourself up as a writer through words for the world to hear and love or mutilate; it's a scary thing and very personal one too. I have no problem sharing my ramblings but to compose a poem and actually share it with someone... I don't think I'm that brave.

The evening's featured poet was Reality's Catalyst. And he was quite simply, brilliant. His poetry was funny, witty, and moved along like a song you want to listen to on repeat. Not only is he a fantastic poet, he is a singer, song writer, dancer, and graphic artist. I hope I get the chance to see more of his work in the future. Honestly, his performance is worth seeing so follow the link and you can: 

I can't wait to go back! And maybe... eventually I'll gather enough courage to share some poetry of my own. Though I've never been very confident with my command of language, these artists certainly make me want to continue to try.

All photos were used with permission from the fantastic photographer Robert Cooper.

POETZ CORNER! Where poetry is everything!

Tuesdays at Cloud 9 Lounge Hartford CT 7-11pm

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hut update

So Yesterday and today I was supposed to drop off the set. Yesterday the fellows were in Boston, today they needed a little more time to finish cleaning out the garage. No problem, I'm just anxious to set it up and take pictures! I think it turned out really well :)

Anne Rice

I have a tendency to listen to books on cassette tape. My van has the magical ability to play them and sometimes on my long  drives around the state I get reeeeeeally tired of the top 40 and classic rock, so it makes for a nice change of pace. Sometimes I find really good ones at yard sales this time, not so much.  

The Vampire Armand was the tape and honestly, if it had been in written form I would have given up on it in the first couple chapters. The story focuses on this Armand fellow. Who, in the beginning of his life, was horribly abused by humanity. He then  falls in love with his Vampire lover/master and then ages later turning into a vampire. When the story finally starts to get interesting the narrator sort of skips over it leaving behind all of the characters you just got to know and dumping you into another story 300 years later. The two stories are tied together by Armand's love of his mortal friends and the sudden powerful reappearance of Christ in his life. And then the story meanders for a little while, and just as you get interested in the new set of characters--- it ends.

I was left wondering what the whole point of the story was. Love? God? It kind of felt like a thinly veiled born again christian sort of thing. An innocent monk-boy tempted into the sexy world of the night, turns into a blood thirsty killer and then years later Christ is tossed back in his life and leads him to love and peace once again. Ok, Not my cup of tea. Do I regret listen to it? No, but I don't think I'm going to listen to it again.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Silk City Flick Fest

Went to the flick fest in Hartford this weekend, and it was great!

I was mostly there to see the first showing of "The Antique Shop," but I saw a bunch of fantastic horror shorts while I was there and an incredible feature called, "A Safe House."

My favorite shorts where "Survivors," "Lucky Break," and "La Petite Mort."

Survivors was a very  cleverly written zombie movie. Before the end of it you know enough about each of the main characters to no want them chewed on by lurching reanimated corpses. It left me thinking about the frightening choice the characters had to make. To die fighting off the zombies or to spend the rest of a very short life trapped in a tiny space with no light. Personally, I'd rather be a zombie.

 I loooooooved this movie!!! It was ridiculously clever and very funny. The story focuses on this poor shlub of a guy eating at a chinese restaurant and his fortune cookie has some very interesting and true things to tell him. First that the blond sitting at the table across from him is not wearing any underwear, and then that his mother is about to have a heart attack. The fortune cookies lead him around town winning him money and girls, but then they become malevolent  and terrible things start to happen. (dramatic music) I won't say any more as I highly recommend seeing this when you have a chance. Follow the link to watch it now!

A Safe House
 A Safe House was a modern Sopranos-like drama of drugs, violence and betrayal. The story was compelling and the acting was so fantastic that I was on edge even when nothing was being said. The overall technical quality wasn't the best but they made it work for the film giving it the feeling of a gritty, real story. I left the showing speechlessly blow away. I keep finding myself thinking about it.

I'm very sad to say I didn't get the chance to go back to the festival for another day of awesomeness but I'm definably going back next year!
 Check out Silk City Flick Fest's website to see pictures and the list of all the films:

Friday, October 8, 2010

the hut comes to life!!! Bawhahahaha!!!

Remember the dr's hut? Here's a photo summary of the project so far:
My studio!!!!

is in my parents' garage...

The texture treatment was a mix of sawdust, glue, paint, gesso, straw, and plaster of paris. It needed more glue, but it worked ok.

my mud hut/ stucco attempt

next I added a couple of wooden shelves and started melting candles...

with a torch! :)

after some more time and a lot of sponging they are now ready for the graffiti: which is today's project :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Slowly making progress

Today begins what promises to be a very long couple of months. I'm a little nervous about it all, now that I'm getting a better grasp of the scope of each project. I'm still confident that I can get it all done, but I do know that it is not going to be easy. I'm certain it will be enjoyable though :)

I journey next to props land to gather all of the rehearsal items. Drop those off and then I travel to the other end of the state to build the witch dr. hut. I'm hoping there are enough materials around for me to borrow. If not it's off to home depot! The magical land of building random things!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some gosh darn sexy theater advertisment!!!

Props to Hartford stage for remembering the sexy side of Shakespeare. ;)


Yesterday I had the distinct privilege of attending the wedding of some very close friends of mine. I had a blast, dancing around and eating waaay too much awesome food. And the whole time I was paying attention to  things like the landscaping outside, minor issues such as peeling wallpaper in the ballroom and an algae coated fountain. Is it good thing, studying the way the building and grounds were designed while still having a good time and celebrating? Or does that say something about how much of a work-aholic I am?