Daily Risks to make you happy.
“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It may have been.” Kurt Vonnegut
Let's face it. Life is risky business. We take chances every day and truthfully, without taking risks, you don't truly live… you merely exist. And the funny thing is you may not even recognize or give yourself credit for the small risks you do take everyday. Like crossing the street, trying out a new dish, asking someone out, or volunteering to take on a new client. No outcome is ever 100 percent certain and that means that any attempt at anything has an equal chance of complete failure as much as success. Including getting to the other side of the street!
Actors will often ask their acting teachers if they are “ready to audition.” Do actors also ask their coaches if they are “ready for headshots?” Is that a crazy idea? Personally, I don’t believe you should give too much power to your acting teacher. (Unless, of course, it’s me!) I do see a pattern here that’s worth a conversation. As with career advice from anyone in the industry, take it and muse on it; it may or may not apply to you. This conversation is based on years of observation, working with actors just moving to LA.
How does your warm-up support your goals as an artist? Do you have a different warm-up to meet the variety of physical demands you encounter or just one that does the trick? Have you spent much time creating different warm-ups for classes versus rehearsals, auditions versus performances? The reality is, your own warm-up could benefit you far more if you customize it to match your various activities and projects.
MEDIUMS: Acrylic paint on everything
CONNECTION TO NOHO: Board Member and Director of Public Arts Initiative of The Museum of the San Fernando Museum
I sat with Roger on his front porch in one of those stackable plastic chairs you buy at Home Depot. We overlooked his drought-parched lawn where the only green was a long straggly sunflower planted inside a paint bucket. The soft accent of climbing ivy clung to the wall behind us. Having met Roger on several occasions in the past, I knew he was a laid back sort of guy. But that late afternoon he seemed a little tired. And who wouldn’t be after working almost every day of the week for the last couple of months on a park project with a bunch of high school kids?
You see Roger is all about kids, artists, and community. He’s the roundup guy who brings together San Fernando Valley’s business owners and residents with public art. He started PAI (Public Art Initiative) after he hooked up with The Museum of the San Fernando Valley via Scott Sterling, an old school buddy and the museum’s current president. Since then Roger has coordinated several art related activities into community events in Northridge, Reseda, and Canoga Park as well as bid many mural and beautification projects around the valley including one for the Department of Transportation in North Hollywood. Roger’s most current project has he and his art colleague, Emily Goff, overseeing the design and installment of several hand painted tiled columns in Maryland Park, a once deserted lot in Glendale, with Daily High School sixteen and seventeen-year-old students. He couldn’t tell me enough about how pleased he is to work with these kids’ raw energy and vision; admitting he learns from them all the time.
While I was with him, I was able to get a quick mini tour of Roger’s art studio located in a guesthouse in back of his home. We maneuvered our way along a wall of wooden pallets being saved for a future art project and across an overgrowth of weeds and a low pile of broken concrete. In the middle of the yard lay materials for a shower room install; a mosaic of broken tiles; much like what he did to his kitchen counters inside his house. We then stepped into the place where his 2-D dreams are made. I’d been deceived by how small the building looked from the outside because inside he had built a long rectangular storage area in which the outside walls served as “practice” areas for his on-going mural projects. They’d been well painted over again and again, almost as if to look like large pieces of abstract art themselves. After seeing this, there was no doubt in my mind that this guy is damn serious about his public art. A great example of his work can be viewed on an exterior cement staircase on Figueroa (just south of the 134) in Eagle Rock where he painted his controversial Tai Chi mural. I have to admit I’d driven past it several times, never realizing I actually knew who did it! (Click here for more images)
Finally, I asked Roger about his personal art; work that seems to hover in the world of realism. I’ve often wondered why artists draw or paint themselves so I asked him about his self-portraits. Roger said, for the most part, it’s an exercise––like doodling. Choosing a subject such as him self makes it convenient to study someone without interruptions. For instance, he never has to worry about anybody’s “sitting” time limits or comfort levels. And his finished portrait doesn’t come without surprises either––like discovering a set of scrunched worry lines between the brows of the very focused Roger Dolin, a man dedicated to bringing art and community together.
Footnote: You may keep an eye on Roger and the kid’s progress at Maryland Park by visiting his Facebook page. Also, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley gives walking tours of historic buildings in NOHO. Information about these can be found on the NOHO Arts District or The Museum of San Fernando Valley's websites.
Finding your style & not being afraid of it looking weird.
Australian fashion photographer, Caitlin Worthington shares some of her photography tips and hints...
Caitlin Worthington is a 22 year old fashion photographer based in Perth, Western Australia. She is a graduate of the Advanced Diploma of a Photography course and has blossomed ever since. Caitlin's photos make you want to just step right into her dreamy places, she has a unique style, but none of her photos are 'samey' and she always manges to keep things fresh.
How did you get into photography?
I started photography by joining a few art sites as suggested by teachers at my school, I was contributing work to the sites by taking portraits of my brothers and sisters with a little camera that was handed down to me from my mother.
What do you consider your main style of work?
I would say Fashion at the moment, but artistic portraiture will always be an area that I hold close to me.
Do you have any routines when on a photo-shoot?
Hmmm, not really haha. I like to go with the flow, routine isn't really my kind of thing.
Where has been your favourite location to shoot at?
Definitely a swamp land in Perth that I found tucked away and hidden about a year ago. It's so beautiful, when I go there I feel like I'm not in Perth anymore. It's like another world and it's so varied for scenery, which I love to.
Do you ever find yourself using the same locations over and over? How do you discover new locations?
Yes, definitely! I don't mind all that much though as the locations are usually pretty unrecognisable in my photographs. But I love finding new places, gives my mind a fresh perspective with new things and light to work with.
For finding new places, I usually ask around with other creatives if they know of any where pretty, or simply if I find a place when I'm out and about I'll take note of it.
What equipment do you use?
I keep it super simple, I have a reflector/diffuser and I use my Canon 5d mk II with a 50 mm f1.4 lens. Looking to purchase the 85mm next.
How do you find and choose your models? Do you look for something specific in a model?
I look on agencies for models or models even contact me. I think most people have a certain beauty that can be captured, I do love it when theres something unique about someones face and if they're quite natural. But when shooting I think personality is a big factor, if I can't connect with the model, it will show in the final photographs.
When did you first start using mua’s and stylists?
I first started using mua's in my final year of study in 2009, when I did this I began to make more and more connections in the industry. I've recently in the past two years worked alongside stylist, hair stylist and mua's it really is a collaborative effort.
What tends to be the connotation of your images?
Have you had any inspirational people in your life that have made you pursue your career in photography?
Most definitely, when I first finished high school an another older photographer (John Woodhouse) took me on board and helped me learn so much in my career thus far. He has definitely helped me pursue my future in photography a lot.
Studio or outdoors?
Outdoors is definitely more my element. But I enjoy the simple and cleanliness of studio photography.
Film or digital?
Both have the pro's and con's.
Colour or black and white?
Colour, but I still love black and white.
Is there any advice you would give to up and coming, budding, fashion photographers?
Stand out from the crowd don't blend in, do you're own thing, have you're own style. Make you're own art. Also remember to make connections, the social side is just as important as the working side of it all.
We love her work, and find her truly inspiring with such a fresh mind. If you enjoyed her work just as much, check the links below for more on Caitlin's Photography...
Dancer Health – A World of Resources Unfolds at the Performing Arts Medicine Association’s Annual Symposium 2014
It was my great pleasure to travel to Snowmass, Colorado this past week to attend the Performing Arts Medicine Association’s 32nd Annual Symposium at the Snowmass Westin Conference Center. As an Allied Healthcare Member of this organization and a first time attendee to this yearly event, the pristine backdrop and collegial environment were inviting and beyond compare.
“Fitting In” has always been an interesting goal for the likes of me, a moving target of sorts. There have been times when it was all I wanted to do and other times when it was the last thing I ever wanted to do.
“Soccer Stadium Wave”
Daniel DeBevoise, director of NoHo Gallery LA, has curated his gallery in NoHo’s Lankershim Arts Center from 2005 – 2009 then with Jet Studios through 2013.
Daniel has experience working with curators in the New York City’s Museum network and private galleries in Italy and South America. The son of a U.S. Diplomat, Daniel was born in Colombia, raised in Lima, Peru then spent his formative years in Rome, Italy.
After many years abroad, Daniel returned to the U.S.A. and served in the U.S. Air Force. He then attended Columbia University, graduating in the field of the arts.
Anti-war March New York City 1969
He then went to USC Graduate Film School concentrating on documentary filmmaking.
Self Portrait Venice Beach
After his studies, Daniel went abroad becoming a freelance photojournalist in South America, then returned to the U.S. as a staff photographer for the New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, photographing museum exhibits, openings & receptions for the media, featuring internationally renowned artists at major New York City museums.
Daniel then freelanced for International Press Agencies in Italy where he shot events such as museum exhibits, fashion shows, Roman antiquity, urban landscapes for special features on travel and tourism, Pope John Paul II and Vatican events.
Facing higher office Vatican City
Daniel then set up his U.S. studio in the NoHo Arts District. He has photographed receptions, events and local festivals. He was the official photographer for the NoHo Arts Festival 2004. He is also a Special Contributor to NoHoArtsDistrict.Com
Currently, Daniel has gone back to his USC documentary filmmaking roots and is in the process of shooting a short subject documentary concerning the plight of a Veteran’s ongoing struggle with the VA’s Health Care System. A must see. To be posted online by summer’s end.
“If it can be written or thought, it can be filmed” - Stanley Kubrick.
Losing control and loving it.
Have you ever considered that all that “puling up” and “holding your center” could be causing you neck, back, chest, jaw or rib pain? Do you run out of breath easily? This may be caused by tension in your diaphragm.
Carol Goldman found a way to pursue all of her career passions. Yes, Carol is a visual artist but she is also an accomplished actor and designer. She trained under the famed Sandford Meisner and was an actress on New York stages and outside of her beloved city. In Chicago, she performed with a joyful talented group of actors as a member of David Mamet's St Nicolas Theater Company, as well as being a winner of a Joseph Jefferson Award. In Los Angeles, she performed on TV as a guest, semi regular and recurring on sitcoms and episodics, as well as acted in commercials, on stage and in films. After a 6 year hiatus, Carol has returned to the business of acting and is now a member of the well known Road Theatre Company.
Do you love “being an actor” or do you love to act?
When I first became an actor, I often heard this said: “Writers write, directors direct, and actors talk about acting.” I was furious, angry, I hated that statement, and I still do. I found it insulting, and degrading to actors. How dare anyone make that claim! I was dedicated. I didn’t even understand that statement, so let’s talk about it. Is your choice to be an actor ego based? Is your soul called to act? Is it a combination of the two? Where do you stand (or better yet, how are you living your life?) in relation to that statement?
Beckets War, 52 Films/52 Weeks, 2011
I have had some tough, tough days on set.
For lot’s of different reasons.
But most of the time there are three major reasons why a tricky shoot can become an uphill battle, start to finish.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly you will cease to be able to do it.”
Most of the time when I feel too paralyzed to take action it’s because I doubt myself.
Throughout the past 50 years, the sequential art medium has struggled to be identified as a legitimate form of literature, despite its rich history of depicting and confronting issues that impact social and political change. Once considered to be a medium targeted only towards children, comic books and their subject matter have matured with the industry’s own evolution, demonstrating to fans and critics alike that the comic book is an outlet for frank discussion of important, and sometimes taboo, topics. While it may be easy to quantify the impact that comic book storylines have had on readers and our society as a whole, the artwork of the medium can sometimes be overlooked, diminishing both the creativity and skill required of the artists, as well as the significance that imagery holds within the storytelling process.
Making a film should be, in my humble opinion at least, as daring and as bold and as seemingly impossible as trying to catch lightning in a bottle. And when done right, the results are just as beautiful as what I would imagine lightning would look like, captured and bottled. But as difficult as that might seem, and I am no physicist...I’m pretty sure catching lightening is actually impossible. What I am really reaching for is the concept of setting your expectations really, really high and to not be afraid of that.
Kristi Tornga is a friend and colleague of mine from CalArts. She is an exceptionally talented artist, and it has been incredible to watch her professional progression. She left LA for the Big Apple in 2010, and realized her dreams by dancing with the Paul Taylor Dance Company this season, including performances at the infamous Lincoln Center. Kristi shares her experience as a modern dancer in NYC with NoHoArtsDistrict.com, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary dance side of the coin and what’s helped her along the way.
My past three blogs have been about the business of being an actor. I’m going to jump forward here and talk briefly about how we define a successful actor. Better yet, what is success? How do you define it?
NoHo Senior Arts Colony certainly lives up to their name. The staff at Nohoartsdistrict.com can't count the number of events/activities we cover at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony We are especially fond of The Gallery@NoHoSAC for its great exhibits of animation, design, photography and fine art by well established artists who have shown internationally including at the Smithsonian. The gallery is located at 10747 Magnolia Blvd at NoHo Senior Arts Colony and is open to the public 7 days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM. A true treasure in the NoHo arts community and not to be missed.
Spring Into Action! 5 steps towards that TV job you always wanted
It’s SPRING! I know you may be reading this and thinking spring???? It’s still snowing, or its already summer here, but you know what I’m talking about. Game of Thrones and Mad Men just started their new season! It’s the time of year where things begin a new cycle, many cultures celebrate renewal, and colors emerge from under ground that surprise and delight you. A time to align with the cycle of nature and bloom!