A Sublime and Beautiful Success Story
A Conversation with Writer, Director & Actor Black Robbins
On December 16th, in a little-known world called the Internet, via Itunes and VOD, a film of super natural superiority will emerge. The Sublime and Beautiful, both written, directed and starring Blake Robbins (Oz, FlashForward, Sons of Anarchy), is a tragic tale of loss, grief and reckoning- following husband and wife David and Kelly Conrad after losing their children to a drunk driving accident.
The film, which had its world premier at Park City Utah’s Slamdance Film Festival- where it was nominated for Best Narrative Feature- explores the depths and ramifications of an uncompromising sense of loss, masquerading itself as anger. And Robbins so pointedly captures this complexity in his performance, breathing life into the father character while audiences watch as he slowly begins to unravel. I had the pleasure of speaking with this prolific director during a recent press event here in Los Angeles.
“I’ve always found myself drawn to films that dealt with meaning-of-life themes and grief,” he shared. “But more often than not, I would leave the theatre feeling like something was missing, or it didn’t resemble what my experiences were like.”
The experiences Robbins’ referring to would be the loss of his best friend Greg to a brain tumor at the slight age of 27, and almost losing his Aunt Jeannie to a drunk driving accident just six years prior. “There was definitely a loss of innocence because while most kids were just out having a great time, I had already watched Greg experience the final three years of his life, knowing his life was limited,” he said. “So you have a different kind of grief and different kinds of relationships when that happens. And it absolutely impacted me as a human being and as a creative artist.”
One of the impacts that watching his best friend die had on Robbins was it gave him a burning passion and appreciation for life. He went full throttle in his pursuit of an acting career, making significant strides and landing roles like “Tom Halpert” on the NBC’ hit show The Office, and his recurring role as “Dave Brass” on the strikingly original and critically acclaimed HBO series Oz. He’s also guest starred on the FX-hit Sons of Anarchy and he had his Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s The Man Who Had All the Luck, opposite Chris O’Donnell, directed by Scott Ellis. So commitment and follow-through are his default settings, to say the least. And while working as an actor on set, he used the access to learn as much as he could about directing and writing and anything he could get close to, preparing himself for the leap in performance this next phase of his career would require.
“I was building my career as a young actor, and, simultaneously, always watching with a mind’s eye of a future filmmaker,” he commented. “So when it came time to put something down on paper, what kept itching at me was this idea of a family sideswiped by tragedy. I experienced the events of 911; I was living in NYC at the time, and it was very profound for me to be around that. And while I didn’t have any interest in dealing with that issue on a national level, I had this itch inside of me to deal with it on the family level.” Robbins also wanted to set the film in the Midwest, giving audiences a view of how grief, pain and loss can quickly consume a family living in Lawrence, Kansas, with a slightly scaled-down version of life, where family and community is everything.
“I wanted a family that would be accessible to the majority of this country who experience incredibly horrible things all the time,” he said. “And I didn’t want the creative forces pushing me in one direction or another, or having an agenda behind it like creating an Oscar-winning role, which sometimes happens with these movies. And the businessperson in me doesn’t knock that because I understand that, I just didn’t want to have to fight through that. I just wanted to tell a story where the central character is stuck in grief even though most people don’t love a character like that.”
That might be why Robbins places The Sublime and Beautiful under the “niche film” category. He’s not trying to be all things to all people, but to tell a story that will make the difference for those who have found themselves or someone they care about in similar situations. “The huge payoff for me is when people who have experienced enormous grief in their lives due to loss actually see the movie, and the response I get is that it’s so powerful and cathartic for them to experience the other side,” he said. “I get such gratitude from them for telling this version of the events. And they connect in a way that truly honors their experience. And I think that’s the best way to approach a niche film. It becomes a niche film because it’s not for everyone, but for the people who need it, it’s so important.”
Robbins kept the financing of the film niche too, turning to Kickstarter to raise the funds, and incorporating many of the locals in his film while shooting on location as to avoid having to shut businesses down. And it turns out that all his training in TV as an actor couldn’t have served him better when stepping up as a director. “Being a television actor, I just said, ‘Okay, a two-week shoot is going to cost me a third less than a three-week shoot. How can I create a two-week shoot out of this?’” he pondered. “Because in television, the hour-long shows shoot in 8 days. And they got about 55-60 pages. I’ve got 90 pages; if I just stop thinking that the only way to make a movie is the way that movies get made, and start thinking that I can make a movie the way that television shows get made, I can get in 90 pages of content with this approach. And that’s what I did.”
And the cost-effective budget and fast-paced shooting schedule only enhanced the authenticity of the project, specifically the performances. How do we know? Well, so far, The Sublime and Beautiful has won the award for Best Actor at the Milan International Film Festival (MIFF), it received the Best Heartland Feature award from the Kansas City Film Festival, and it’s been honored with the title of Official Selection 2014 at the Newport Beach Film Festival, and the winner of the Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Cinematography awards. Yes, I think that’s one way to measure a film’s effectiveness.
“Great actors elevate the moments, and the moments become of singular importance,” Robbins’ shared. “That’s why you want great actors because no matter what else is going on, they’re going to come in and make sure that it’s the moment that will be the most important thing that’s happening. And as an actor myself, I recognize that. And now as the director, my directing became all about the moments too.”
What’s next for Blake Robbins, the masterful writer, director and actor, is more directing and writing. He’s already been approached to write and direct a film centering on a handy-capped yoga instructor who works with other people with special needs, all from his wheelchair, in order to change their lives, and he’s creating a television series centering around the evangelical church. “And a TV show like that probably won’t make too many people happy, but there’s a lot of great material there for a series,” he commented. He also has a satirical, black comedy about the facade that Hollywood can be and a strong first draft completed on a civil war re-enactment comedy, so the man is certainly not taking a vacation anytime soon.
Meanwhile, what’s certain is that The Sublime and Beautiful will continue to have audiences across the country experiencing that someone gets it. They will be experiencing that someone out there really gets what they’re dealing with so much that they would put themselves on the line to make this film. And Blake Robbins is that person who is making the difference. And the truly remarkable thing about that is that for Robbins’, he’s just doing what works.
“It doesn’t surprise me that many successful film directors started in the manner that I started where you create your own piece of work and you have to just figure it out. And you have to figure out how to take all these components, some of which might be considered restrictive, prohibiting the creative process, and you will have to turn them all in your favor and make them part of your solution. And that’s what I did in order to make this film and make this difference.”
For more information, please visit http://www.thesublimemovie.com/.
There is a significant distinction between success and leadership, yet the two often birth one another. Yes, where you find leadership, success will show up- while successful people frequently step into leadership roles by default.
And nobody drives this point home more than John Shaffner, the premier production designer leading the way in art departments on mega-hit television series' like Friends, Two and a Half Men, and currently The Big Bang Theory. John is also the former Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences- and he's currently serving as Chairman of the Art Directors Council, where he is accountable for the cultivation and advancement of 2,250 members, made up of production designers, art directors, illustrators and graphic artists to name a few.
GALLERY 800 ~ OPENING RECEPTION
Saturday, November 1st ~
5:00pm – 8:00pm
THE ART DIRECTORS GUILD’S GALLERY 800 ANNOUNCES
“ART UNITES 8: An Eclectic Mix of Art and Artists’ Works”
A Tribute to the IATSE LOCALS 800, 729 and SDSA
Artists of Motion Pictures and Television
Offering a Walkable Menu of 30+ Literary Happenings in Just One Night
Literature hits the streets of L.A.’s NoHo Arts District at the 2nd annual Lit Crawl L.A.: NoHo. On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 from 7pm to 11pm. Thousands of Angelenos from all corners of the city are expected to come out for a night of literary mayhem.
In North Hollywood, CA, located where Lankershim Blvd meets Blix Street, rests a building with the name Actors Workout Studio on the front. You might have even noticed it before, and if you thought it was simply another acting studio, you’d be grossly ill informed.
Last month marked the slow burning crescendo of two very popular awards shows: MTV’s Video Music Awards and the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Lost inside the imagination of every sought-after fashion designer, the red carpets shimmered. The stars aligned and realigned with cameras flashing, and words from the victorious seemed just a little more relevant as they each collected their prize. But what’s often missing from those words is an advocacy for the acceptance of one’s humanity, which- despite what shows up at the microphone, includes fear and self-doubt. It’s the thread that connects every artist, yet so few are brave enough to discuss such things publicly.
In fact, it wasn’t until after I came face to face with John Sobrack, the award-winning director, on the edge of ascension, that I discovered how powerful a willingness to be unguarded really is.
When I met the Minnesota-born, theater-trained actor/director, he was right in the middle of employing a guerilla-marketing tactic for his latest project titled Sex Date. And with a disposition that rivaled the partly cloudy day, I jumped at the chance to learn more about his film and his journey thus far.
An unconventionally urban romance, Sex Date tells the story of Randall as he searches for shelter from the police, running into Kenton who mistakes him for his online hook-up. “The inspiration behind Sex Date came from living in a neighborhood that had a lot of helicopter noise,” he said. “And I started picturing what it would be like if an unsuspecting someone hooked-up with a guy on the run while helicopters searched the neighborhood for him.” Committed to diversity, but disenchanted by stereotypes, Sobrack steered clear of typecasting a black actor to play the Randall character- instead- bestowing the role to Elio Mardini.
“The intention was really to display a connection between two people in a random situation where people can connect in the most unexpected of places,” he said. “And this type of storytelling is really important because people long for connection, and there’s a need for it in the world in general. That’s why I don’t classify stories like Sex Date as gay stories; they’re stories about human connection.”
And connection has been a theme in all of Sobrack’s films, and it will be very much alive in his newest project, a web-series titled The New Thirty. Based on his friend Walter Bost’s vision, The New Thirty centers on a group of gay men in their 40’s, all going through transitions and maneuvering through the trenches of relationships, both platonic and beyond. “Elliot, the main character, is re-entering the single life with a past attachment,” he said. “And with The New Thirty, this is the first time I actually have a structure in place in regards to the writing process as apposed to just writing whatever comes out whenever I’m inspired because staring at that blank, white page and having the confidence to write, that’s where I struggle.”
Yes, Sobrack may struggle, but he’s not disempowered by the struggle. He’s doesn’t dissolve at the sight of cracks in his self-confidence, for it’s his unwillingness to do what’s comfortable that brought him here to L.A. in the first place.
With a BFA from the University of Minnesota in Theatre, Acting, Sobrack starred in, produced and directed numerous plays for a plethora of community theaters in Minneapolis- including the Beth El Synagogue Youth Group- where he directed several musicals, before relocating here to Los Angeles in 2005. He immediately tackled the unfamiliar waters of improv, taking classes at The Groundlings School. And he did instantly well despite his fear, quickly moving up the ranks and being invited to enroll in their intermediate course. “That was the course that terrified me,” he admitted. “I had to do some writing and develop more specific characters. We even had to find a magazine that we would normally never read and create a character based on that magazine. So I picked out a Goth magazine, and I wrote a monologue based on that. And that’s where I left off with the Groundlings.”
Sobrack decided to turn his attention to filmmaking once he got word of a UCLA Extension program called the Portable Auteur, which trained and developed students around the filmmaking process, beginning with the initial pitch and completing the course with a finished short film over two quarters. And it was in this course that he created his debut film Nearlife. “Nearlife was really about completing the past,” he commented. “And maybe it was my way of telling myself that I needed to move on with my life and welcome a new chapter. I needed to say ‘goodbye’ to Minnesota.”
Yes, saying “goodbye” became a theme in Nearlife as well, showing up on the page and in the finished product. The film centers on Jason as he grapples with the effects of a near death experience. And in the process of processing his life up to that point, he connects with an unexpected stranger who aids him in letting go of the past and moving forward. Nearlife premiered at the 2007 Indianapolis International Film Festival, and the Rainer Independent Film Festival, winning Best Student Short Film. And it screened at the Out In The Desert LGBT Film Festival in Tucson, AZ as well. And lit up by the receptive response, Sobrack went on to create his production company of the same name Nearlife Productions with producing partner Janice Walbrink.
As it turned out, 2007 was a good year for John Sobrack until it was eclipsed by 2008. During a fun day at the beach with an out-of-town friend, John and his companion came up with an idea for a short film with an Elvis/beach party theme. “I can’t even remember what the story we came up with was about; I think we were just being silly on the beach,” he recalled. “But it stuck with me. And when I actually sat down to write it, I didn’t know what it was about. But my partner Quincy said, ‘Just write what you know.’ So I started writing about my husband Quincy and I.”
The story eventually became the smash hit musical Boy Crazy, which centers on Corey (James May) as he walks a tight rope between two love interests, while in the inquiry of whether either suitor suits him, or if the single life is his preferred option. Enlivened by the idea of a musical, Sobrack didn’t necessarily know how to write lyrics. Instead, he opted to write what each character wanted to communicate first, then adding rhymes to the dialogue afterwards. He also worked with composer Trevor Cushman who spent time perfecting the chorus until, as a team, they created a theme. “If he had a tune that worked for me, I would jump on it and refine it, and that was our process,” he said. “Trevor’s a great composer, fresh out of college. And he sold me right away because I shared the script with him, and three days later, he wrote a song based on what I had given him- and we ended up using the song in the film.” The song called I Don’t Know a Thing About You, So This Must Be Love proved to be an ideal fit, a commentary on how quickly members of the gay community will jump full speed ahead into a relationship. “It’s the notion of ‘Oh, I’m attracted to you, so it must be love,’” Sobrack shared.
Boy Crazy went on to screen at over 30 film festivals, including the 2012 Out in the Dessert Film Festival, where it won Best Musical. And it was honored with the FilmOut Audience Award for Best Short Film at the FilmOut San Diego Festival. And in addition to that, the film was included and broadcast on Logo TV’s The Click List: Best in Short Film program, and distributed on DVD as part of a short film compilation. “I didn’t know what to expect, and what happened was way more than I could’ve ever expected,” he said. “We got to pitch to Logo and Here TV because of Boy Crazy. And it was really exciting, but a part of me didn’t really trust it, and I remember having fear that this might be the only story I could tell. And I still have a little bit of that fear even now just because it took me so long to get Sex Tape completed. So there is definitely still that ‘I-got-lucky’ conversation in the background.”
The good news is while the conversation may still be alive for him, it doesn’t distract Sobrack from creating more content. He simply sets the conversation aside and continues being in action, planning the shoot for The New Thirty. And he’s also still submitting and attending film festivals for Sex Date. In fact, Sex Date will be shown between September 10th-14th at the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival in Austin, Texas, and at the Long Beach QFilm Fest between September 12th-14th.
In the meantime, in between looking to start a family with his husband, John Sobrack is intent on empowering others through the authentic sharing of himself and his work, regardless of what conversation about he has going on in the background. And in doing so from the point of view of a successful artist, he’s creating an empowering context for so many who are just beginning their journey.
“My intention, through all of the work I do, is to have people be comfortable with themselves and to find their own truth and be open to sharing with others. And I know that the LGBT community has been getting a lot of exposure lately, which is awesome. And I feel like there are still so many opportunities to tell more stories and bring them to a mainstream audience, demonstrating that there’s nothing threatening about any of us. There might even be an element of humor where we can laugh at certain situations, and discover things about ourselves together.”
For more information on John Sobrack, please visit http://nearlifeproductions.com/.
When thinking of Scott Haze, the indefatigable actor, writer and director- an ancillary trinity- the lyrics “no day but today” echo through my mind. Yes, it’s this call to action to live each day as if it were your last- brought to us by the Broadway mega-hit musical Rent- that really encompasses his journey thus far.
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THE ART DIRECTORS GUILD’S GALLERY 800 ANNOUNCES
“TUESDAY DRAWING” ART EXHIBIT
Opens Friday, July 25, 2014 with a Hosted Reception
The Art Directors Guild’s (IATSE Local 800) Gallery 800 announces its fifth art exhibition of 2014, “Tuesday Drawing,” opening Friday, July 25, 2014, with a hosted reception from 6 - 9:00 pm where the public will have the opportunity to mingle with the artists and preview their work. Located in the heart of the NoHo Arts District, Gallery 800 showcases ADG members’ art in a series of shows throughout the year. Gallery 800’s previous exhibitions – Three Artists You Should Know, Still Life, Valley Watercolor Society and The Old West & The New West - opened to industry and art enthusiasts’ acclaim.
The 18th Annual World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) Finals show will be held Friday, July 18, 7PM – 9PM, Westin Bonaventure Hotel. Talent contestants from the more than 50 countries and the USA will vie for the crown in various competitive events: dancing, singing, modeling, acting, variety and instrumental. Over $300,000 in scholarships available for winners.
Nohoartsdistrict.com is offering advance FREE TICKETS ($25 value) for the Finals Competition to California residents and seating is limited. Tickets are not available for sale at the door.
Please arrive by 6:30pm - California Ballroom - Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 404 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, 90071.
City National Bank Plaza Parking - J 2 Garage
400 S. Flower Street, LA 90071 Cost:$10 for all cars arriving after 5:30pm and leaving by Midnight.
Get Your Tickets Today:
On the evening of June 17, 2014, the who’s who of the Off-Broadway theater community gathered around in celebration of the Off-Broadway productions that opened during the 2013-2014 season. Yes, the 2014 Off-Broadway Alliance Awards were in full swing, but it was noted performer and theater producer Edmund Gaynes who stole the night, having been honored with the Legend of Off- Broadway Award for his tireless contribution.
(sponsored by Cool Cups)
Almost all of us love to go to the beach. I love to drive down to Santa Monica or Malibu and admire the magnificence and beauty of our precious ocean. Some of us like to swim, others like to lie in the sand. The ocean provides us with relaxation, recreation, a great opportunity to spend time with loved ones, and if you are into water sports, a great playground for that.
The ocean is the home of millions of living creatures; it is a major part of our entire planet's eco-system and it helps provide us with oxygen. Most of Earth’s oxygen comes from tiny ocean plants called phytoplankton that live near the water’s surface and drift with the currents.
In an article I read on HealtheBay.com a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping keep our ocean, beaches and waterways clean, they mention how “Plastics Threaten Ocean Ecology and Our Food Web.” In this article Miriam Goldstein, a researcher at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, speaks of how they have done a study that offers the first proof that plastics in the open ocean are affecting marine invertebrates with consequences for the entire marine food web, because nearly all plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces, and everything from turtles to seabirds and fish mistake bits of plastic for food. They estimated that fish in the intermediate ocean depths of the North Pacific Ocean ingest plastic at a rate of roughly 12,000 to 24,000 tons per year.
One of the ways Heal the Bay is working to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up polluting the ocean and threatening the fish we consume, is by advocating for the banning of single-use plastic bags in Los Angeles. Less than five per cent of the 19 billion plastic bags used in California every year are recycled, and many of these plastic bags become litter and eventually end up polluting our ocean.
Photo by Brandon Scott
You can participate in Heal the Bay beach cleanups. Find out more...
We, as citizens of Earth, have the duty and responsibility to help keep our beaches and ocean free of trash, especially plastic junk. According to National Geographic, Any kind of trash can get into the ocean—from glass bottles to aluminum cans to medical waste. The vast majority of marine debris, however, is plastic. Scientists have collected up to 750,000 bits of plastic in a single square kilometer (or 1.9 million bits per square mile) of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Eastern Pacific Garbage Patch and the Pacific Trash Vortex, lies in a high-pressure area between the states of Hawaii and California. This area is in the middle of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.
Marlene Affeld stated in Liberty Voice that “The world’s cavalier disposal of plastic items, especially plastic water bottles, fishing gear and plastic bags, is unknowingly causing the deaths of millions of land and sea mammals, fish, birds and reptiles annually. The oceans of the world are awash with choked dead fish, marine mammals, and water fowl, which become entangled in human debris.”
So, what can we do?
For starters, be aware of your trash. Remind yourself that lots of your trash can end up in the ocean. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle as much as possible. We can hugely help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our waterways by simply avoiding using things like plastic bottles as much as possible.
Get a reusable container and fill your water bottle up rather than constantly acquiring plastic bottles
of water and throwing them out. Governmental and industry sources have calculated
that at least 50 million plastic bottles are thrown away (not recycled) every day in the U.S. Enough plastic bottles are thrown away each year in the United States to circle the Earth four times.
From Eco-Champions.org, I share this Eco-Tip on how to recycle small plastic cups.
Recycling your plastic cups will reduce your carbon footprint and really help our landfills and ocean be less cluttered with plastic. 4oz plastic cups used for some foods like gel snacks make great ergonomic companions.
They can be used as containers to hold paper clips, screws, rings and so many other tiny things. This will also help keep your house neat from the chaos of random little things you don’t know where to put. You can also paint them your favorite color to blend into your decor with non toxic eco-friendly paint.
You can use them to keep loose change at home or in your car seats’ cup holders. And next time you go to the beach, grown ups and kids alike can use them to collect little seashells.
Whatever you do, when you do go to the beach, do not leave ANYTHING behind. Pick up after yourself and always try to use recycling bins.
Finally, for now, and addressing one of my top pet peeves, here is an eco-tip I invite you to seriously consider. This will help minimize and hopefully avoid entrapping turtles, dolphins and many sea creatures: Take the plastic soda can rings that keep 6-packs together and tear them up before you dispose of them. You can then place them in a recycling bin, or come up with another use for them.
And so I wish with all my heart that this has been of some help and inspiration and that together we can avoid tons of trash ending up in our ocean.
San Fernando Valley Kids from from Mars Academy’s Kids Make A Difference enjoying some delicious, refreshing Cool Cups after a day of helping clean the beach.
This important message is sponsored by Cool Cups, a Natural Snack/Vegan Company from Santa Monica CA that specializes in manufacturing the number-one selling natural gelatin-free snack in America.
All Natural Cool Cups are plant-based, gelatin free Snacks whose manufacturers and staff care about the ocean. Cool Cups uses sustainable ocean seaweed to make their gels instead of gelatin, which, in most commercial gels, are made with animal biproducts. If you did not know this, here is a short video about that.
Cool Cups is proud to be part of the “better for you” snacks and invites everyone to be proactive and creative in recycling plastic cups.
The Hollywood Fringe Festival, the premier gathering responsible for uniting theatre companies, performers and civilians, in celebration of live theatre, kicks off on June 12 through the 29th here in Hollywood. And with the lofty goal to challenge the limitations and conventions that people set for themselves through the use of performance art in a festival setting, it’s no wonder Festival Director Ben Hill has little time to rest.
“Fundamentally, we have 280 different theater companies each pursuing their own vision, so we have to set up an environment where they are offered tools for success,” he says during our interview. And with nearly 300 scheduled shows, 1,423 performances, 45 participating venues, and upwards of 35000 tickets sold, the Hollywood Fringe Festival is the place where success is truly made.
“The artists really use Fringe as an opportunity to hone their craft in an environment that doesn’t cost $250,000 to stage a show,” he says. “And as a result, they’ve gained the valuable experience of overseeing every aspect of what it takes to produce a piece of theatre, including everything from marketing to maintaining a press list to dealing with patrons and production costs.”
And with upwards of 35000 tickets sold, it’s not only the experience the artists are getting. They’re also making money. “We’ve returned $163,000 back to the artists, which is 100% of the tickets sold. And that doesn’t even represent every ticket sold because sometimes they’re purchased at the individual venues,” he comments. “But we sold upwards of $163,000 through the website, the mobile apps and the centrally located box office, and all of that money went to the artists.”
Yes, with such huge gains for the artists, it certainly does seem like the most viable option for content creators. But what Ben and his staff are out to create stretches far beyond the artists, impacting the community as a whole.
On the Fringe of a Great Idea
The Fringe Festival really started as a movement, and came out of necessity as a response to the discrimination eight performance groups faced when denied inclusion into the 1947 Edinburgh International Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. And since then, the festival has continued to provide artists with direct access to discovering something about their craft, as well as providing patrons with direct access to discovering new possibilities, having challenged their point of view and fixed ways of being.
Since its inception in Edinburgh, Scotland, Fringe Festivals have sprung up all over the world, particularly in Europe where Ben first fell in love with the idea, bringing it to Los Angeles in 2010 along with his partner Stacy Jones Hill, Communications Director for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. “When we moved here about eight years ago, we looked around and saw a bunch of shows and fantastic theaters, and many very enthusiastic, underrepresented theater-makers and makers of dance, cabaret and burlesque,” he recalls. “And we saw an opportunity to take what we knew about Fringe festivals and combine that with what we knew about the local art scene. And we planned for about two and a half years before launching.”
And with the first launch came a slow burn of a response. They didn’t have many shows scheduled, and the audience wasn’t the size it is today as people didn’t really know what to make of them or how to approach the Fringe Festival experience. “So we started out in small venues. And we were thrilled if someone got 25 or 30 people in a house with all of the few hundred performances we had,” he comments. “But today, that number is steadily growing, and more houses are selling out.”
And it’s not just the audience that’s growing, but the amount of venues looking to do business with Ben and his team is swiftly expanding as well. The first few quarters of their first year in business, they focused on recruiting venues, strategizing their sales pitch around what would make a real difference in the revenue and exposure of said businesses. “We went in and said, ‘Look, we’re producing a festival, and it’s going to be huge,’” he comments. “And from a financial perspective we were giving venues a boost not only from the rent they collected from all the participants using their space, but a boost in creating contacts for potential bookings all year round.”
It was a win/win situation for both entities. Venues rent out their space to one or two organizations over the course of a few weeks, which is a typical booking for a theatrical show. But in the case of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, they could rent to several different shows a day, divided into smaller slots. And that’s a win for the venue because they stand to make considerably more money. “But it’s also great from our perspective because participants don’t have to pay nearly as much for access to the space, so it’s a win/win/win for the festival, the artists and the venues,” he says. “And you’re dealing with up to 75 bookings for one resident theater as apposed to just one booking. So the more venues we have, the better the experience for the patrons and a better festival for everybody.”
That first year, they started out with around 30 venues, just 4 years later, that number has increased to 45. And the increase has also added value to the audience experience in terms of the cost to them as well. With venues keeping their rents low, unwilling to price themselves out of the market, it allows for lower production costs for the artists and lower ticket prices for the patrons. So everyone benefits without having to give anything up.
But the biggest benefit really belongs to the artists.
Through their participation in The Hollywood Fringe Festival, participants are provided with not only affordable rates on venues, but also with group marketing efforts via festival promotion through channels like billboard, radio and print ads. And then there’s the international appeal of the Fringe Festival brand, well known by millions of people familiar with the Fringe experience in places like Canada, New York, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“What we really love is to see an artist who has never performed before, but they have a really interesting story and they share that on stage, and people are blown away,” he confesses. “And over the course of the festival, after they’ve had five or six performances, the house gets bigger and bigger until the last show that’s totally sold out. And that person is like a celebrity. That’s the impact.” And part of the reason it’s even possible for such a scenario to occur is due to Fringe’s policy on censorship. Basically, there is none. Artists are required to create from the most authentic place possible, and that’s not possible where constraint is present.
“The artist’s vision if often burdened by grumpy old men in the board room,” he says, “and while the artist’s vision is significantly powerful, it still gets diminished. The benefit of Fringe and theater in general is that you see art in the raw. You see the art as it was intended by the visionary behind it as apposed to after it’s gone through a million rounds of edits and censorship.” And as a result, the audience is allowed to really experience authentic connection.
“We actually tell patrons to see shows that seem safe or that they would normally see and have that as their base- but to also see shows that will challenge them and their comfort zones,” he says. “You might surprise yourself because the thing that theater does best is it makes you question your fears. And it’s because of the immediacy that there are people right in front of you that theatre has the power to directly change you more than any other medium.”
The World Unleashed
Yes, theater may take place on a stage, but it’s reach and impact is certainly not limited to that. And this is something that Ben Hill and his staff are a stand for, and commit to fulfilling on with every festival they produce. The goal of The Hollywood Fringe Festival is for this work to make a significant difference in what people all over the world are dealing with and what they care about.
And in Los Angeles specifically, the more fine-tuned goal is to create community. “We know the power and the bond that people who work in performing arts have for one another. But we’re in Los Angeles, and Los Angeles is difficult because we are so geographically all over the place,” he says. “And because of that, it’s difficult to create a sense of community within the performing arts. So for one month of the year, we give the performing arts a place where people can gather and celebrate as a community.”
And as communities unite in celebration, they begin to grow and evolve, and little by little, so does the world.
For more information on the Hollywood Fringe Festival, please visit: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/
LA SO-CAL DANCE INVITATIONAL
SOUTH COAST DANCE ARTS ALLIANCE
AT THE JOHN ANSON FORD AMPHITHEATRE
SIX ACCLAIMED SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DANCE COMPANIES SET TO PERFORM
NANNETTE BRODIE DANCE THEATRE
LULA WASHINGTON DANCE THEATRE
ANDY VACA’S JAZZWORKS—LONG BEACH
COLABO YOUTH DANCE COLLECTIVE
LA CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY
INVERTIGO DANCE THEATRE
ONE NIGHT ONLY
FRIDAY, JUNE 20 AT 8:30PM
To purchase tickets, go to www.fordtheatres.org or call (323) 461-3673. For more event information, visit www.socaldanceinvitational.org
LA So-Cal Dance Invitational, presented by South Coast Dance Arts Alliance, has been announced for Friday, June 20 at 8:30pm at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. Six acclaimed Southern California dance companies will perform:Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Andy Vaca’s Jazzworks—Long Beach, COLABO Youth Dance Collective, LA Contemporary Dance Company, and Invertigo Dance Theatre.
Nannette Brodie Dance Theatre, founded in 1986, is a dance company of drama, wit, joy and invention, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. For this year’s Invitational, NBDT will present “Body of Water,” originally choreographed by Brodie in two parts in 2009 and 2010. NBDT will also offer “Beyond the River,” (first premiered at the Ford in 2004), and “Fuerza” (which means force or strength) choreographed by NBDT member Javier Gonzalez. www.nannettebrodiedance.org
Lula Washington Dance Theatre is a 10-member modern dance company that was founded in 1980. Based in the inner city of South Central Los Angeles, the company has risen to become one of the largest and most admired African-American dance companies in the West. LWDT will present “Beautiful Venus and Serena,” a tribute to the fabulous talents of the tennis stars Venus and Serena. www.lulawashington.org
Andy Vaca’s Jazzworks—Long Beach is dedicated to preserving jazz dance as a viable concert dance form. Under the direction of Andy Vaca, Department of Dance Chair at California State University Long Beach, the company will present “General Education,” a light-hearted and often poignant piece choreographed by Vaca and set to an eclectic score by Pink Martini.
COLABO Youth Dance Collective was established in 2008 by choreographer and dance educator Francisco Gella as a revolutionary alternative to competitive studio training and is affiliated with NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance in Chino, CA. The company will perform two pieces: “Stairway,” an emotional journey associated with the human struggle to maintain connection and accept loss, choreographed by Francisco Gella, and “Stride,” a contemporary piece exploring how empathy builds strength within humanity, choreographed by Saleemah E. Knight. www.nuevodance.com
L.A. Contemporary Dance Company is a non profit dance company based in downtown LA that performs a diverse repertoire of modern, ballet, and jazz-influenced works representative of LA’s vibrant culture. LACDC will present “The Better To See You With,” a dance theatre work that presents a dark, humorous, and graphic rendition of the “Little Red Riding Hood” story, choreographed by Holly Rothschild. www.ladanceco.org
Invertigo Dance Theatre is a Los Angeles-based company that creates whimsical, compelling dance theatre with a strong educational component, blending athleticism, theatricality, and a healthy sense of the absurd. They will present “Waiting at Home for the Witches,” in which the husbands of the three sisters in Shakespeare’s Macbeth are stuck at home waiting for their wives, getting into toil and trouble of their own. www.invertigodance.org
LA So-Cal Dance Invitational, presented by South Coast Dance Arts Alliance, will play one performance only, on Friday, June 20, at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Boulevard East, in Hollywood, CA, 90068. Showtime is 8:30pm, and tickets are on sale now. Admission prices are $50 for a VIP package (includes premium seating, pre-show reception with company directors and gift bag), $30 (general admission), $20 (students), and $12 (children 12 or under). To purchase tickets, go to www.fordtheatres.org or call (323) 461-3673. General admission tickets purchased prior to June 2 receive a $5 discount. For more event information, visit www.socaldanceinvitational.org.
ABOUT THE FORD THEATRES
The Ford Theatres are located at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068, just off the 101 Hollywood Freeway between Hollywood Blvd. and Barham Blvd. in the Cahuenga Pass. The grounds open two hours before showtime for picnicking. The Ford offers a number of dining options: a variety of food and beverages is available on site and box dinners for evening events may be ordered in advance. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and drink.
The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request. On site, stacked parking costs $5 per vehicle for evening shows and $1 per vehicle for morning family shows. FREE nonstacked parking serviced by a FREE shuttle to the Ford, for evening amphitheatre performances only, is available at the Universal City/Studio City Metro Station parking lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga. The shuttle, which cycles every 15-20 minutes, stops in the "kiss and ride" area. Please allow an extra 30 minutes if taking the shuttle.
This event is part of the Ford Theatres 2014 Summer Amphitheatre Season, a multi-disciplinary arts series produced by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County based arts organizations. A complete season schedule, directions to the amphitheatre and parking information can be found at FordTheatres.org.
When the great Aristotle said, “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work,” he clearly had Damian Pelliccione in mind. An educator, event planner, producer, actor, host and self-professed nerd, Damian has turned his love of all things media into a full-fledged empire- spending his free time soaking up as much tech news as possible on websites like Tubefilter and Gizmodo.com while the rest of us nap in front of our flatscreens. And with drones and self-driving cars leaping off the pages of science fiction novels and into our driveways, getting interested in technology might not be such a bad idea. “When I hear about things like how Facebook is creating 50 new ways to identify your gender, that really excites me, and I have to tell everybody,” he says during our interview.
Presents North Hollywood Premiere of
“NOTHING IN LOS ANGELES”
Finding Love in a City in Love with Itself
Written by Alexander Tovar
Directed by Rob Herring and Alexander Tovar
North Hollywood Premiere of “NOTHING IN LOS ANGELES” - A story about an aspiring artist who's romantically involved with an older woman and soon falls in love with his best friend's wife.
Cast: Alexander Tovar, Marguerite Insolia, Daniel Halden, Kelly Gallagher Nick, Rob Herring
Alexander Tovar, Marguerite Insolia, Daniel Halden, Kelly Gallagher Nick, Rob Herring
Laemmle Theaters/NoHo 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood
Sunday, April 13th, 2014
Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.laemmle.com/films/38118
TheaterMania.com, the premier matchmaking business, bridging the gap between theatergoers and performance art organizations around the world, is definitely not only in the business of sales. Indeed, at first glance, selling tickets to shows appears an obvious reason for the existence of their enterprise. But underneath that is the promise and commitment to provide the public with direct access to discover something for themselves through the consumption of live theater that touches, moves and inspires them while also providing the theater industry with tools and services to increase tickets sales, service their patrons, and manage their organizations. Yes, TheaterMania.com is in the business of contribution.
The Mayor of Los Angeles came to NOHO this week. The visit was arranged by Councilmember Paul Krekorian and the timing could not have been better.
Hands for Hope
14TH ANNUAL STARLIGHT JAZZ SERENADE
YEARLY FUNDRAISER BENEFITS PROGRAMS FOR UNDERPRIVILEGED YOUTH
It’s been noted that one of the main things all people who live to be 100 years old have in common is that they each wake up every morning and do something they love, without fail. Well, if this is true, than the immovable Don Eitner is well on his way.
E-Cig City is the chain of electronic cigarette and e-juice stores that offers the best quality e-cigarette products to the vaping community as well as to people who is looking for an alternative to tobacco.
Many locals have asked what is Possch. Well now everyone will see exactly what our newest retail store, Possch has to offer....it is opening Friday, February 7.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS JEFFERSON, CHARLES DICKENS AND COUNT LEO TOLSTOY: DISCORD
Written by Scott Carter
Directed by Matt August
OPENS FRIDAY, JANUARY 17
AT THE NOHO ARTS CENTER IN NORTH HOLLYWOOD!
Lock three great men in a room and God knows what will happen…
The multi-award-winning NoHo Arts Center Ensemble (NoHo ACE), Independent Shakespeare Co. and Efficiency Studios announced today an extraordinary array of talk-back guest speakers following select performances of the world premiere play, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS JEFFERSON, CHARLES DICKENS AND COUNT LEO TOLSTOY: DISCORD, written by Scott Carter (Executive Producer/Writer – “Real Time with Bill Maher”) and directed by Matt August. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THOMAS JEFFERSON, CHARLES DICKENS AND COUNT LEO TOLSTOY: DISCORD will begin previews on Saturday, January 11 at 8pm; will open on Friday, January 17 at 8pm and run for six weeks through Sunday, February 23, 2014 at the NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (at Lankershim) in North Hollywood.
Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy find themselves locked in a room together, and life, art, religion and politics get vigorously debated as if their souls depend on it. Because they do. This provocative and funny world premiere play is a fascinating insight into the spiritual lives of three of the greatest minds that ever lived. And, if these great men get second thoughts about their lives, what hope have the rest of us?
THE TALK BACK SCHEDULE:
January 24: Director Matt August.
January 30: Playwright Kemp Powers (Rogue Machine Theatre's "A Night In Miami").
January 31: Producer and NoHo Arts Center co-owner Kevin Bailey.
February 2: Reza Aslan (“Zealot”) with Rainn Wilson (“The Office,” “Six Feet Under,”) and the co-founder of Soul Pancake website.
February 7: Producer and NoHo Arts Center co-owner Kevin Bailey.
February 9: Reverend Canon Henry Atkins. (Former Dartmouth Chaplain and Civil Rights veteran.)
February 13: Sri Lanka-native Soraya Deen, co-founder of Peace Works and Peace Moms & host of satellite TV's “Conversations at the Peacetable.”
February 14: Producer and NoHo Arts Center co-owner Kevin Bailey.
February 16: Dr. Dale Bruner. Taught New Testament Theology at Whitworth College in Spokane, WA from 1975-1997. Author of exhaustive commentaries on the gospels of Mathew and John.
February 21: Producer and NoHo Arts Center co-owner Kevin Bailey.
February 22-23: Clay Jenkinson. Rhodes scholar, humanities professor and host of public radio’s “The Thomas Jefferson Hour.”
Written by Scott Carter
Directed by Matt August
Opens: Friday, January 17 at 8pm;
Runs: Friday, January 17 – Sunday, February 23, 2014
Performances are Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm;
Sundays at 3pm
NOHO ARTS CENTER
11136 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA 91601
Previews, Students and Seniors - $25.00
Group rates available
For Tickets and Groups, please call 818-508-7101 Extension 6 or visit www.nohoace.com
For further information on the play, please visit http://www.jdtproject.com/
Having just been elected President of the Art Directors Guild this past February, for a three-year term, Production Designer Mimi Gramatky knows a thing or two about progress. Her ascent to the top of the 2,000-member organization is in sharp contrast to what was expected of a woman with her talents back when she first began her career. “I remember going to the career planning office at Berkeley with my degree in environmental design, and they said, ‘Great, you can be a teacher or a secretary.’ In those days, even with a degree from Berkeley, that’s what women were expected to do.”
NOHO SENIOR ARTS COLONY APARTMENTS TO HOLD FREE HEALTH CARE REFORM WORKSHOP TO HELP ARTISTS GET COVERED
As health care continues to change at the federal level, many professional artists and actors throughout Los Angeles are seeking answers about how current health care reform will affect their ability to obtain affordable medical coverage. On Tuesday, December 3 at 4:30 p.m., EngAGE, a non-profit organization providing life-enhancing programs to active-aging apartment communities, will partner with the Actors Fund and Covered California to present an information workshop on the new health care provisions for actors, artists and the general public to be held at the NoHo Senior Arts Colony, an arts-focused apartment community for adults age 62+.
MENOPAUSIA EL MUSICAL®
Oferta Limitada de $25 Para La Última Semana
La obra musical se extenderá hasta el 10 de noviembre de la siguiente manera:
Jueves 7 de noviembre, 8pm
Viernes 8 de noviembre, 8pm
Sábado 9 de noviembre 3pm y 8pm
Domingo 10 de noviembre, 5pm
Los boletos están disponibles por $25 en la taquilla Montalbán,
o llamando al 323-870-3043.
Para obtener más información, visite: www.MenopausiaElMusical.com
Menopausia El Musical- Theatre Review by Brandon Scott
HOLLYWOOD, CA . (6 de noviembre de, 2013) - Última Semana para disfrutar la obra Menopausia El Musical®, en el histórico Teatro Ricardo Montalbán.
Esta producción de “Menopausia El Musical “ es espectacular! Le recomiendo a toda la comunidad de habla Hispana que no se la pierdan y apoyen este show.
Con mucha suerte alcance a ver este musical el fin de semana pasado, y doy gracias por haber podido asistir. “Menopausia El Musical “ es un ejemplo estelar de la excelente cualidad de producción que demuestra el gran talento latino que tenemos en el teatro, en Los Angeles. El elenco es espectacular. Las 4 actrices trabajan juntas de una forma formidable y cada una de ellas es un gran talento, como actrices y cantantes.
Después de haber visto muchas producciones en Broadway, fue un deleite ver que esta producción en Español tiene todo lo que una producción musical debería de tener. Con música que incluye temas de los 60´s, 70´s y 80´s, “Menopausia El Musical “ narra la historia de cuatro mujeres que casualmente se encuentran en un centro comercial y descubren que tienen muchas cosas en común al estar pasando por el período de "cambio de vida". Diana Burbano, Marabina Jaimes, Paloma Morales y Graciela Valderrama hacen un excelente trabajo desempeñando sus personajes . A testimonio de su gran talento como actrices, cada uno de los personajes es chistoso y ágil. Son impresionantes cantantes.
Ingeniosamente dirigida por Seth Greenleaf y con coreografía de Daria Lynne Melendez; las cuatro actrices comandan el escenario bailando y cantando a lo largo de la obra.
Pienso que todas las mujeres no so lo disfrutaran del entretenimiento pero podrán relacionar sus propias vidas con el tema de la obra. En cuanto a nosotros los hombres, bueno yo, me divertí muchísimo y aprendí un poco mas sobre que es lo que les pasa a las mujeres cuando les llega “el tiempo de su cambio”, lo cual me va ayudar a entender y tener mas compasión. Así que les súper recomiendo a todos que son esposos o que serán futuros esposos que acompañen a sus mujeres y se diviertan con “Menopausia El Musical “.
Esta es la ultima semana así que obtengan sus boletos ahora.
Están disponibles por $25 en la taquilla Montalbán, o llamando al 323-870-3043.
Para obtener más información, visite: www.MenopausiaElMusical.com
Síganos en Facebook en www.facebook.com/MenopausiaElMusical
y en Twitter@MenopausiaEM>
Vea Video de la obra :
Vea las imágenes de la obra musical aquí:
Vea los testimonios de la obra musical aquí:
“¡Me divertí tanto! Que chistoso todo lo que hacemos nosotras como mujeres. ¡Las actrices excelentes! Me divertí mucho con todas las mujeres que estaban aquí ¡Que lindo este show!”
-Gloria Molina, Supervisora del Condado de Los Angeles
“¡Venga a ver este show! ¡Es increíble! ¡Extraordinario!” -Ernie G., Comediante
"Una manera muy divertida de contar la honesta realidad de los cambios emocionales y físicos de la mujer después de los 40”.- Isis Sauceda, People en Español
“¡No pude dejar de bailar y cantar desde mi silla! ¡Me encanto, es muy divertida!”
- Kikey Castillo, CBS Hola LA
"Hace tiempo que no me reía tanto. ¡Es un musical con una energía única!"
- Diego Varas, MundoFox
“¡Con Menopausia, no necesitas ir al sicólogo para aceptar el cambio!”
- Tommy Calle , HOY Los Ángeles
Sobre GFour Productions
Los éxitos más recientes de GFour Productions son: el aclamado por la crítica 50 aniversario de Edward Albee WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, que ganó 4 Tony Awards®, 5 veces ganador del Drama Desk Award® y 7 veces ganador del Oliver Award® por el mejor musical, MATILDA THE MUSICAL, y la reactivación de la aclamada THE GLASS MENAGERIE, protagonizada por Cherry Jones y Zachary Quinto, que el New York Times recientemente llamó "Glorioso y precioso". Su aclamada continuación de MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL®, MOTHERHOOD THE MUSICAL, recientemente a entretenido al público en Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Atlanta, Dallas-Ft. Worth y Philadelphia y está viajando en una gira por 65 ciudades australianas. Ellos comenzaron a producir en 1981, con NINE, ganador del premio Tony Award® ese año por el mejor musical. Entre sus producciones favoritas de Broadway están MY ONE AND ONLY protagonizada por Tommy Tune, ZORBA THE GREEK protagonizada por Anthony Quinn, THE RINK protagonizada por Liza Minnelli, BABY, GRAND HOTEL, GRIND, BIG, TRUE WEST, el original y reestreno de LA CAGE AUX FOLLES donde ganaron Tony Awards por mejor musical en 1983 y mejor reestreno en 2004. Sus espectáculos combinados han sido nominados por 115 Tony Awards®, ganando 44 y 110 Drama Desk Awards®, ganando 56. Para más información, por favor visite
Monthly Free Movies at J.E.T. Studios - 5126 Lankershim Blvd. (cross street Hartsook)
Nov. 16 opens the series with "Lawrence of Arabia," the 1962 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture.
Director David Lean follows the heroic true-life odyssey of T.E. Lawrence in this dramatic portrait of the famed British officer's journey to the Middle East.
Assigned to Arabia during World War I, Lawrence courageously unites the warring Arab factions into a strong guerilla front and leads them to brilliant victories in treacherous desert battlefields where they eventually defeat the ruling Turkish Empire.
Free Screening begins at 7pm.
Doors and concession opened at 6pm
20 minutes intermission after 2 hrs. of screening
End time 10:50pm with intermission."
Resurrection of Hollywood Hero Sal Mineo
An Interview with Actor Val Lauren of the biopic Sal
You’ve probably heard the name James Dean once or twice. He’s the iconic 1950’s Oscar-nominated actor, best known for his captivating performance in Rebel Without A Cause, who tragically met his death in a car accident on September 30, 1955. And even with an unusually brief career, having made only three films in as little over a year before his death, James Dean is still considered legendary due to his angst-ridden, brooding on-screen persona in Rebel Without A Cause. But one Rebel alumni whom your knowledge of is almost certainly limited, even though his career spanned three decades, earning him great success in film, theatre and music, is the twice Oscar-nominated Sal Mineo.
A Profile on LAPD Senior Lead Officer John Catalano
Since the advent of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which brought the subway to L.A. County in 2000, a change has been on the rise in the NoHo Arts District. On its way to being a transit community, in large part due to the subway bringing in 34,000 people daily, the Arts District is steadily growing with more restaurants, theaters, apartments, dance and recording studios, and even a farmer’s market peppering an area that used to be plagued with gangs and graffiti. But while the ushering in of a well-received arts community has upgraded the popularity and property values of the community, the upgrade has fallen short regarding some of the moral values people have in and around the growing neighborhood.
It seems like the wait for OutFest, now in its 31st year, gets longer and longer with every passing film festival, and this year was certainly no exception. For eleven days, I danced, mingled, laughed, and wept during some of the most tingling and enticing films in queer cinema history.
A Profile on the Filmmakers of the 2013 L.A. Film Festival
The Art Directors Guild GALLERY 800 Announces
“THE OLD WEST & THE NEW WEST” Art Exhibit
Opens Saturday, May 31, 2014 with a Hosted Reception
The Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) Art Gallery 800, announces its fourth art exhibition of 2014, "The Old West & The New West,” opening Saturday, May 31, 2014 with a hosted reception from 5-8:00 p.m. where the public will have the opportunity to meet the artists and preview their art. Gallery 800 showcases artists from all crafts within Local 800 in a series of eight shows throughout the year. “The Old West & The New West”
They’re Back for More
A Portrait of The Road on Magnolia Theatre…One Road, Two Destinations
Luminario Ballet Season 4 Rep at the El Portal
May 31 @ 8PM, June 1 @ 8PM, June 2 @ 3PM
Tix: $30-$40 $15 students w/ID
Luminario Ballet presents Season 4 rep including 2 Premiere Works In Progress:
“BRACE….yourself” …a flying dance experience… choreographed by Debra Brown (Cirque Du Soleil’s “O”, Mystere, Zumanity, La Nouba, Zirkana, Quidam, Allegria, etc)
“Firebird Rising” a multi media multi disciplinary ballet, aerial, puppetry piece, a mash up of Stravinsky and electronica, choreographed by Judith FLEX Helle, artistic director Stephen Hues (Obie winning Ramayana creator), a Magic Feather Production
“Vesica Pisces” an aerial duet choreographed by Bianca Sapetto and Sita Acevedo and excerpts from LedZAerial.
Additional pieces on the program include “If the Walls Could Scream” choreographed by Jamal Story, Bella Lewitzky’s “TURF”, and the World Dance Award nominated aerial dance fusion piece “Lift Ticket”, choreographed by Judith FLEX Helle.
Special music performance May 31 and June 2 by Phoenix Delgado, flute. June 1 by: www.luminarioballet.org
THE ART DIRECTORS GUILD ‘GALLERY 800’
The “Valley Water Color Society” Juried Art Exhibit Opening
GALLERY 800 MAY 18, 5-8PM
“Julie Bug” by Julie Crouch
The Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) Art Gallery 800 is pleased to host the Valley Watercolor Society’s 2013 Spring Juried Show, opening Sunday, May 18, 2013 with a hosted reception from 5-8:00 p.m, where the public will have the opportunity to meet the artists and preview their paintings. Exhibit closes June 22,2013.
Photos: VWS Exhibit Photos
Gallery 800 is located at 5108 Lankershim Blvd. in the heart of the NoHo Arts District in North Hollywood. The public is welcome to attend this reception. Gallery 800 hours: Thursday – Saturday, 2:00 pm - 8:00 pm; and Sundays, 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm.
In 1977, a small group of twenty watercolor painters got together to meet in each others' homes to share their interest in and knowledge of watercolor. The membership of this group gradually increased, and the Valley Watercolor Society was born. The original purpose of Valley Watercolor Society continues today: to promote interest, knowledge and appreciation of water media through meetings, exhibits, workshops, paint-outs, and workshops.
This year, artist Al Setton will judge the Valley Water Color Society exhibit. Al is the recipient of numerous awards and his art is shown throughout Southern California. The annual juried exhibit provides members a chance to show their best works. Numerous awards are presented. Original watercolors and prints are available for purchase.
Future Gallery 800 Exhibits Include (subject to change):
July 13 – August 17 ADG Photography Show
August 31 – October 5 Animals / Homefires
About the Valley Watercolor Society:
Valley Watercolor Society (VWS) is a non-profit organization that provides a forum for learning about and sharing watercolor painting as both a vocation and a hobby. The group of 300 members in the San Fernando Valley serves all in the greater Los Angeles area. VWS meetings feature demonstrations by accomplished artists in connection with VWS workshops where the participants paint and receive critique of their work. Monthly Paint-Outs are held for those who are plain air painters. VWS meetings are held the second Thursday of each month, Sept.-June at Encino Community Center, 4935 Balboa Ave., Encino at 7 pm. http://www.valleywatercolorsociety.org
About the Art Directors Guild:
The Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) represents nearly 2,000 members who work throughout the United States, Canada and the rest of the world in film, television and theater as Production Designers, Art Directors, Assistant Art Directors; Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Illustrators and Matte Artists; and Set Designers and Model Makers; and Previs Artists. Established in 1937, the ADG’s ongoing activities include a Film Society; an annual Awards Banquet, a creative/technology community (5D: The Future of Immersive Design); a bimonthly craft magazine (Perspective); and extensive technology-training programs, figure drawing and other creative workshops and year-round Gallery 800 art exhibitions. The Guild’s Online Directory/Website Resource is at www.adg.org. Follow ADG on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ADG800 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gallery800
For more information,
Valley Watercolor Society
For the ADG Gallery 800
In a city like Los Angeles, you only need to pay attention to the way people drive, and it’s clear that many of us are not present during critical, everyday events.
Mark your calendar Beverly Hills artSHOW lovers! The spring edition of The Beverly Hills artShow will be held May 18 and 19, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Annual event promotes the world of graphic literature with live art, free comics, prizes and more.
After seeing the above video, I had to interview Liz Campbell
Tell us about your unique vocals workshop?
Liz I've always known the benefits music has on people, because I experienced them myself, and I want to share those benefits, and my love for music, with as many people as possible. A big thing I find with a lot of people is that they have trouble performing or speaking in front of others. They might even have trouble in social situations. This workshop can help increase people's comfort level in front of others, using music. It is beneficial for all people, all levels, and all ages, including singers/musicians, actors, public speakers, people who are interested in learning how to sing or improve their voice, teachers,etc. What makes this workshop unique is my combination of music and music therapy experience. I am using performing in front of others, and having a good time doing it, to help people gain self-confidence (and improve their singing ability at the same time.). This can also be beneficial for people who want to overcome their fear of performing. There are many more benefits of music, which I will not go into here. That is a whole other conversation.
How did you get the idea to do this type of workshop?
Liz: I have always been a singer and musician, who loves music, and I enjoy helping others in that way. What better workshop to attend than one that makes you feel better about your life (or yourself), while improving your existing skills or learning new ones, all while having fun. I want to spread my love for music to as many people as possible. Music is my greatest passion in life.
I love this idea, because it gives people a taste of several different kinds of music in a short period of time. Their appreciation for a variety of music will grow, as they learn and grow.
Helping people in this way also helps them in several other aspects of their lives, i.e. communication, self-confidence, self-expression, etc.
Is there any student that you can't teach to sing?
Liz: Anyone can learn to sing, they just have to love music and be willing to work at it. We have to work hard to achieve our goals. When people enjoy what they're doing, they are more successful at it.
Would people who are not interested in becoming a professional singer benefit from your workshop?
Liz: Yes, it is for people of all different levels of musicianship, ages, and interests. We all have to start somewhere. Enjoyment of music is what is most important. This workshop not only improves the voice, but also confidence level, among many other things. I provide the tools, the participants then use them as they wish. The more you use the tools, the more you will get out of the workshop. We have to work together.
Give some history of you as a professional singer.
Liz: I have many years of musical theater,cabaret, and choral experience. I was invited to audition for the LA Opera Chorus, and have sung with the Phoenix Bach Chorale. As far as demo work is concerned; I have done children's music, and pop/rock music. I have been in several types of bands as lead singer, back-up singer, and keyboard player. I have been a vocal coach for several people, including Vanessa Hudgens. I have a good ear and I can sight read music. My most recent achievement was being on "Killer Karaoke," hosted by Steve-O, my 15 minutes of fame. lol Oh, and I won my episode! If you watched the show, you would know that I definitely understand facing your fears! I stuck my head in a box with a skunk, among other things! Right now, I am a semi-finalist in a competition. If I win, I will be interviewed by Larry King. Please vote for me!! Voting ends April 19th. Go to www.ora.tv/pickmelarry
What is your training as a music therapist and psychologist?
Liz: I have a BA in Psychology from Syracuse University. My Music Therapy Certificate is from Arizona State University. I then went on to do an internship at Century City Psychiatric Hospital, where I worked with adults and geriatrics. I've also done music therapy with severely emotionally disturbed adolescents, developmentally disabled children and adolescents, adults with cerebral palsy, homeless toddlers, a drumming program with at-risk children and adolescents, and a girl with trichotillomania. I wouldn't trade any of these experiences for the world, because I learned so much about so many populations and, more importantly, myself.
What advice would you give an emerging vocalist?
Liz: Not only is it about your talent, but it's also about your love for singing, your comfort level in front of others, and your ability to engage your audience. They want to be a part of the story you are telling, too. That makes you a successful singer. Hard work and a love for music are a big part of it, also. :)
Opportunity for Actors, Dancers, Models, Instrumentalists and Singers!
Worldstars Boot Camp “Full Day Boot Camp Taught by Hollywood’s Professionals”
Go Sees with Agents and Managers “Opportunity to be Signed”
Competition “Olympic Style Competition with Delegations from 40 Countries”
Finale is a Live, Global Webcast with Celebrity Judges! July 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm
Audition to receive $1,000 scholarship toward your participation in a Worldstars’ global event held in Los Angeles.
The Corporate Scholarship covers the majority of registration. However, recipients will be required to pay $595.00, when selected.
Scholarships will be awarded to the first qualified applicants.
In an unassuming building, located in the NoHo Arts District on Magnolia, between Lankershim and Vineland Avenue, extraordinary occurrences have been rapidly unfolding.
It is not often that we can announce condominiums for sale in the NoHo Arts District. There has been very few home buying opportunities for people to buy in the heart of the NoHo Arts District. I personally wanted to see these condos, so I dropped by at their Open House. These units are artistically designed to please the artists in all of us. Go see for yourself!
What does Satsuma Artist Condominiums have to offer? A lot...modern, loft-style living where highlights include: open floor plans, chef's cooking stations, balconies and rooftop patios with views. Other amenities include: polished concrete and hardwood flooring, stone counters in kitchens and bathrooms, stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry, designer décor bathrooms with greystone ceramic flooring, glass showers and custom vanities, ultra-modern fixtures and hardware at every turn, cathedral ceilings (in top-floor units) and double-pane windows (energy-efficient ratings). In the heart of NoHo...walk to grocery stores, local shops, boutiques, theaters and great restaurants. For more photos TEXT DAVE102 to 79564
Take the Virtual Tour: http://dave102.canbyours.com/indexGo2.htm
5651 Strohm Ave.
N. Hollywood, CA 91601
Shari Shaw, is "one of Hollywood’s premier acting coaches" – and “L.A.’s #1 Acting Class for Comedy” - is teaching a 1-Day On-Camera Sit-Com Intensive Workshop for Pilot Season. Shari’s unique understanding of the art, science and performance of comedy will teach you to understand sit-com, be funny and book your auditions.
Don't forget your Valentine!
We have the most beautiful roses!
Meet Rick Shaw, the new owner of the Secret Rose Theatre. He is no stranger to the entertainment world. Rick began as a stand-up comic and became a comedy writer and producer for TV, radio, other comedians, magazines and live events. He produced "The Nanny" and wrote numerous other sit-com episodes.
GALLERY 800 ~ OPENING RECEPTION
Saturday, January 5th ~ 5:00pm – 8:00pm
YOU ARE WARMLY INVITED TO THE
OPENING RECEPTION OF
Three Artists You Should Know
Featuring the personal work from Art Directors Guild members
Eva Andry ~ Joel Schiller ~ Jeff Skrimstad
Gallery 800 is located at the
Historic Lankershim Arts Center
5108 Lankershim Blvd. NoHo Arts District, 91601
818 763-8052 Hosted bar and refreshments
Run of show: January 5th through January 26th
BLASTOFF is devoted to offering customers the best, the rarest and the most exciting from the world of comic books and graphic novels, whether it's the newest releases or vintage books from the Golden and Silver Ages! We celebrate comic-book history by putting it directly in your hands. If you're looking for something, let us know – if we don't have it, we can track it down for you!
We all live here for many reasons; weather, creative outlets and all the opportunities that only Southern California provides. The NoHo Arts District and surrounding areas provide one of the most unique living experiences throughout the Los Angeles area.
Somewhere close by, in a world not unlike your own, two young, African-American parents work to balance career, family and marriage against the never-ending passage of time.
My name is Sky (ID# A1358453) and I am at the East Valley Animal Shelter located at 14409 Vanowen St, Van Nuys. I am a female, black and white Pit Bull Terrier. I am 11 months old and I want to live. I love children and other pets and most of all I would love a Mom and/or Dad.
The monthly series of special screenings of prize-winning motion pictures by Film Festival Flix will continue on Wednesday, December 5 in Pasadena at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 and on Thursday, December 6 in North Hollywood at Laemmle’s NoHo 7. The December film of the month will be “The Holy Land of Tyrol.”
Since 1975, Audrey M. Singer and her Actors Forum Theatre have been a mainstay and creative groundbreaking theatre entity in Los Angeles. Actors Forum Theatre is one of the oldest membership theatre companies in LA, one of the first of thirty-five companies.
“The key to staying young at any age is to keep learning, and everyday, I learn something.” And with that declaration, I look at the regal woman sitting before me in subtle admiration. With too much energy and enthusiasm for someone on a 500 calorie-a-day diet, Jennifer King- with a career that spans over forty years- shows no signs of slowing down. With a smile that soothes and a passion that ignites, she’s been an actor, model and dancer on such television classics as The Dean Martin Show, she was the first woman ever to anchor the news at KNBC in Los Angeles, she was a lawyer with her own practice for 22 years, and she’s currently a successful entrepreneur with three businesses: KZG, the #1 Custom ProLine in golf equipment, Trillium Actors Studio and Trillium International, Investment Banking, all operated out of their main headquarters in North Hollywood. With such an extensive resume, I’m pleased to be sitting down and chatting with Jennifer in her KZG office.
“Most of my day is spent on KZG; we’re the #1 Custom Proline in the world,”
Jennifer comments. “Phil Mickelson, as well as many of the other touring professionals have played our clubs. In fact, our clubs are played on every tour in every category except the putter category. We make exceptional product, and our network of professional clubfitters make it unbeatable. Studies indicate that 92% of all golfers are still playing ill-fitting clubs, a real tragedy. We are trying to change that embarrassing statistic.” Like the ultimate multitasker, Jennifer does everything from designing product and catalogs to talking to golf pros and dealers about her company.
And when not engaging in fundraising, promoting KZG, or raising money for start-up companies through Trillium International, she’s busy with Trillium Actors Studio. Housed in the same building as KZG, located on Lankershim and Magnolia Blvd in the NoHo Arts District, Trillium Actors Studio consists of ten rental spaces perfect for castings and commercial shoots and free parking for up to 75 cars. But whether or not you’re an actor, casting director, professional golfer, or someone with an innovative idea for a new business (all of whom Jennifer has helped or serviced in one way or another), one thing everyone can agree: Jennifer King is a pioneer - confidently leading by example - proving that “in this country, you can be anything you want to be.” Not bad for a women who, after a divorce left her single with two small children to raise in the 60’s, had no real plan.
The Game Changer
It was Los Angeles in the mid 60’s, and Jennifer, who had dreamt of becoming a doctor, did what young women during that period were supposed to do: she got married and started a family. “You have to keep in mind that when I was growing up, girls were housewives or maybe a teacher,” she says, “that’s what we were brought up to be.” So Jennifer, the former valedictorian of her graduating high school class, did exactly that. Yes, she had what many perceived to be a standard lifestyle, but Jennifer would prove to be anything but standard with her bankable smile quickly landing her modeling and commercial work. “Then somebody at NBC saw my work and wanted me to come in and interview for a news casting position,” she says, “and I ended up being the first woman newscaster in Los Angeles at KNBC.”
Jennifer joined the newscast at KNBC in 1969, and from there, like a dinner bell attracting hungry children, became a lucrative meal ticket for Hollywood execs. By the late 60’s, The Dean Martin Show had proven to be a huge hit for NBC, consistently earning solid ratings in large part thanks to the show’s producer Greg Garrison, who came in as a replacement for the original producer. Garrison got wind of Jennifer via KNBC, and persuaded her to audition for a part as one of The Golddiggers on the program. “They wanted me to sing, and I can’t sing at all,’ Jennifer remembers, “and by that time, I was doing the news, so I couldn’t be a Golddigger on The Dean Martin Show. But, finally, Greg talked me into one show, so I go in - and they figured out that I couldn’t sing – so they spent a whole day teaching me how not to carry a note. They gave me the song Chattanooga Choo Choo, and I was so nervous, and couldn’t believe I was even there, so I just went out there and did it really big. They loved it!”
Not only did Dean Martin’s people love it, but Jennifer had fans on other productions as well, eventually booking gigs on The Bob Hope Show and Laugh In. But it wasn’t exactly the life she had hoped for. “I was on the talent side instead of the producing side, so I had no control,” she says. “So I was working, but it was a weird kind of working. Two or three days here, a couple of weeks there, but you’re always at somebody’s mercy. And you have to get up at 4am to be in make-up by 6:30, then you sit around and wait for your part of the shoot, which might not be until 2pm. Come on, that’s not fun. And even as a newscaster I was just reading the news, I wasn’t doing the news.” Jennifer was becoming restless and the odd hours and serious demands of her several jobs were putting a strain on her home life until, conclusively, her marriage came to an end.
“After my divorce, I knew I had to figure something out and find a way to support myself and be on my own,” she recalls, “and I would’ve loved to pursue becoming a doctor, but I also knew that I couldn’t spend four years in med school and then another year as an intern with two small children to raise. So I decided to go to law school instead.” She not only went to law school, she killed it, graduating in only two years with her name firmly in place on the Dean’s List.
Jennifer went on to open up her own law firm, spending a short time practicing criminal law before making the switch to business law. And it was during this time that she developed an understanding of how businesses function - most notably serving as a lawyer for the famous men’s line Guess? for Men in 1981. It started in a small single office and with Jennifer’s help, turned a little company known as GUESS? Inc. into a 120 million dollar empire in just two years. And that was only the beginning.
Jennifer’s business law practice lasted for 22 years until a run-in with a relative changed her focus, and the course of her life. “My drunk cousin showed up at my mother’s funeral, and he was a golfer, and he kept talking about this really great golf club,” she remembers. “And we didn’t take him seriously, of course, and didn’t hear from him for another six months. Then he comes to my law firm six months later with this golf club. So my husband and daughter tested it, and we thought, ‘Wow, this is great.’ And from then on, we’ve been in the golf business.”
It was 1994, and Jennifer - along with new husband and KZG business partner Bruce McKinnon - launched KZG as a technology-based equipment company that sold new technologies to major golf companies. In 1997, Jennifer and Bruce reinvented and upgraded KZG by introducing Orlimar to a new technology, selling more than 1.75 million TriMetal and TriMetal Plus golf clubs.
“And KZG does have a fitting facility right here in NoHo because a lot of touring professionals come here to be properly fit,” she says, “but we also keep it open for the public.” Something else they had at their large facility was a lot of empty office space, so- recalling her passion for the arts, Jennifer got creative.
“The idea behind the Trillium Actors Studio was to have a central area where people could go for help with specific acting skills,” Jennifer says. “Originally, we had all kinds of talent and coaches. One coach’s forte was comedy, another’s drama or body motion, or language expert or speech therapist. Clearly, one acting coach can’t do all of those things.” So Jennifer, recognizing the need for a place with a multitude of services for actors, teamed up with two young people from Texas and launched the Trillium Actors Studio. But that still wasn’t enough for Jennifer King. “I’m a deal-maker,” she admits. “My husband’s an entrepreneur; we start businesses, that’s what we do. And everyday, it’s like a new world opening for us. The more we see, the more we know, the more we can help.”
And from this desire to help came the genesis of Trillium International, Jennifer’s investment banking business that finds capital for start-up companies and companies that need additional financing for new ventures and/or expansion. “At Trillium International, we’re open to all kinds of businesses,” she says. “I love medicine because I think there’s so much to do, which is why I’m raising money for dialysis centers. Also, right now, our country is obese, and obesity has so many medical ramifications; people are dying, and I don’t know why nothing is changing. So I would like to invest in doing something about that as well.”
It would appear that Jennifer King has a hard time slowing down and sitting still. A mogul with a zest for life, she even designed the furniture for her three homes. But even someone with her passion can’t do it alone, and- unfortunately- the two business partners who oversaw the Trillium Actor’s Studio had to leave town, forcing Jennifer to temporarily close shop on all the services and rent the space out for film, television and commercial shoots instead.
But don’t cry for her, she’s simply refocusing on other areas where she can be of use, founding the International Professional Association of Clubfitters as a start. “The purpose of the association is to have IPAC members be comparable to what the PGA is to teaching,” she says. ‘The idea is to raise the bar for the profession of club fitting and to share technological ideas because- as documented by Golf Illustrated- 92 % of golfers are playing with ill-fitting clubs, and you can’t teach around ill-fitting clubs. So it’s my attempt at helping golfers around the world enjoy the game more.”
Yes, without a doubt, Jennifer King has proven that the sky is truly the limit for anyone daring enough to reach for it. But for Jennifer, it’s never been about chasing money or getting rich, it’s a simple state of mind that she’s always possessed.
“The minute I stop being curious, the minute I stop learning and wanting to learn and wanting to meet new people, I might as well be dead,” she says. “That’s what it’s all about isn’t it? It’s exciting!”
Nancy has many talents and passions. I first met her when she was president of the North Hollywood Jaycees. Little did I know she was an internationally known singer and model - Another example of the talented people that call NoHo their home.
Film Festival Flix, the monthly film series which brings the film festival experience to communities around the country will benefit Matthew McConaughey’s “Just Keep Livin Foundation” and provide a portion of the proceeds from its November festival to his cause.
When dance and fitness instructor Heather West first envisioned opening her own dance studio, she dreamed of creating a space that liberated a woman's mind, body and spirit through movement.
WHAT: Six Taste has teamed up with www.nohoartsdistrict.com to launch the NoHo Arts District Food Tours.
The NoHo Arts District is fast becoming one of Los Angeles's creative neighborhoods, a hotbed of all things artistic. It's a one-square-mile district filled with 20+ theatres, professional dance studios, art galleries, recording studios, boutiques, venues that give us one-of-a-kind events, and a myriad of unique dining options. New restaurants are opening that add to the neighborhood's artistic vibe. The NoHo Food Tour guests will explore the creativity found in the area's eclectic cuisine, sprinkled in with fun neighborhood history and trivia. Guests will sample delicate Latin fusion small plates and retakes on American classics, as well as nouveau Italian and soul food favorites topped off with homemade pies.
"North Hollywood is a walkable arts district, has a rich history, and has every art genre within its one-mile boundaries," says Jeff Okita, CEO of Six Taste. "So we were thrilled to partner with the NoHoArtsDistrict.com team to develop a food tour highlighting the neighborhood's quickly growing 'culinary arts' scene."
"We're excited to highlight all the NoHo arts events and fun neighborhood facts using a new medium - FOOD!" says www.nohoartsdistrict.com publisher Nancy Bianconi. "We partnered with Six Taste because there is no better way to introduce people to NoHo's unique offerings and vibe than by using the one thing everyone likes to do, eat delicious food."
Next Tour: Saturday, November 17 from 1-5PM.
WHERE: Guests meet at the North Hollywood Metro Redline under the METRO sign. Cross streets are Lankershim and Chandler blvds. Tour guide will be recognized by the Six Taste bag.
HOW: Book tickets on www.sixtaste.com.
About Six Taste
Six Taste is the largest and highest rated food tour company in Los Angeles and offers walking food tours through some of L.A.'s most dynamic neighborhoods each week. USC Alumni Jeff Okita founded the company in 2009 to create an outlet for his passion for LA and good food. Six Taste works with over 100 of the best eateries in LA, offering 70+ private and public tours a month, as well as regularly hosting food and drink themed events. More about Six Taste: www.sixtaste.com
Since 1998, nohoartsdistrict.com has been the official site for everything NoHo, providing latest local North Hollywood news, theatre reviews, arts news, events and information on what's happening in the NoHo Arts District, Los Angeles' all-inclusive arts district. Bookmark www.nohoartsdistrict.com and follow them on Twitter @officialnoho.