Friday, September 28, 2007
In case you are just tuning in, I am finishing typing this post.... Taking this new awesome computer one of the art directors just gave me, and get in my car to drive off this godforsaken lot never to return! This job is over, I couldn't be more ecstatic, it's Friday, let's drink!
I have at least a week off before I start the next film I'll be workin' on so if anyone out there wants to make plans and meet up, let me know!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
-Chris is probably surprisingly the biggest fag
-Jillian has to be a bitch...she just seems that way
-I bet I'll really like Carmen
-Kevin is just sexy... yum!
-Kit is probably the least talented but talks the biggest talk
-Sweet p?.....gimme a break old lady
-I bet Simone will cry alot
-Victorya is probably the sweet one that everyone should be careful of cause she can play you and splay you in a matter of seconds
-Steven seems forgettable....he'll be kicked off first if Rami's arrogance doesn't get him first.
-Simone and Jillian will end up in a big fight where they pull each others hair arguing about a sewing machine
-Jack and Marion are both really full of themselves, I bet they will probably end up sleeping with each other
-Christian is the one I want to hate on first glance but I'll probably end up liking his tasteful, well sewn designs
-oh and Ricky....fix that gap in your teeth dude, I can't stare at that for weeks upon weeks
-Elisa, you will win it all, and I'll be happy for your funky self
We'll see how many of these first impressions are accurate. (I'm sure I'm way off the mark)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
To all who may not have gotten an email about this event (I may have missed a few or don't have your email) but want to come, let me know!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The piece was called Crude Awakening and was created by Bay Area artists Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito. In its creation it utilized the talents of 8 different artists and enlisted the help of 180 different people. The image was quite striking. Set against the desolate space of the playa, you saw 8 metal sculptured human figures all made with a twisted mesh of scrap metal. Each sculpture had their own different participant-activated fire effects which I luckily got to play with. The statues were about 540 percent of the size of a normal human and were essentially praying to a 90 foot tall oil derrick. Some stood arms outstretched as if adoring their golden calf, some kneeling or crouched on the ground. All of the poses were based on the prayer posture of different religious traditions.
When I first saw the original sketch for this piece I was kind of underwhelmed, but that was because there was no concept of scale till I got to see it firsthand. Walking through the various figures, the statement was unmistakable and quite powerful. The world's worship of oil needs to stop, before it is too late. Adoring something and raising it to the level of a god is always the beginning of the end, and this was made perfectly clear at the burning of the piece on Saturday night.
We left the burning of the man as soon as his fiery corpse hit the ground and huffed it out to the oil derrick to get a good place to watch from. We were 3 people from the very front edge of the perimiter... we were as close as you could get. We were instructed to sit if we were in the first few rows since when the "big blast" went off, they didn't want us pannicking and causing a stampede. Later I could see why, a giant burst of flames turned into a mushroom cloud over our heads several hundred feet into the sky. It was probably the largest fireball I've ever seen and maybe ever will... unless I stand too close to a fuel tanker while smoking. The spectacle began with a big truck circling the piece and burning a thick cloud of fuel that created a toxic fog at ground level. That's when the WWII air raid sirens started to wail, and all I could see were the statue's arms reaching for the top of the oil derrick. After five minutes the haze started to clear and the most amazing fireworks show started. The plumes of sparks looked like giant oil spurts from the ground. The fireball and plume of fuel being shot into the center of the derrick burned it to the ground. It was absolutely stunning. The artists said the detonation of the piece apparently created 2.4 gigawatts of energy, which is enough to "power the entire Bay Area for one minute." Various figures have been claimed when it comes to how much fuel was used in the burn, the two most popular being 10,000 gallons of gasoline in 26 seconds, or 900 gallons of jet fuel and 2,000 gallons of liquid propane (I think that's the real amount myself) in about a minute and a half. Many have asked how this piece can be so anti-oil and utilize so much fuel to make its statement, but the artists received all the fuel from NASA as it was what they had deemed waste fuel. When it comes down to the figures, it was actually only a few ounces of fuel per person who attended the event. We as a group used more fuel getting to and from the event than this piece could ever burn if it had gone off hundreds of times.
Monday, September 24, 2007
David Best is a well known artist and sculptor that is known for his large scale temples built from scrap plywood and cast off materials used in toy creation. He has created temples at Burning Man since 2000 and has been on hiatus for the last two years, but he has returned in 2007 for what he says is his last temple. Best is known worldwide for his outlandish and complicated work with these temples as well as crafted art cars both at Burning Man and in San Francisco.
This year's temple "The Temple of Forgiveness," was not just a place for people to bring remembrances, write down things to let go of, mourn, remember, and contemplate, but it was also Best's way of sharing his parents with us as their ashes were encased in the center.
This temple had the most amazing tracery covering every outstretched arm and leg. The light would filter through day and night casting the most amazing shadows.
When Best was asked what his favorite memory was of his years doing temples, he told the story of a man walking up to him and telling him "My son committed suicide, you set him free."
I had known from many friends before I went, the power this place can hold. I came prepared with memories of those I wished to invoke, a picture of some friends and I with our close friend David who passed last year, and lots of things to purge my soul of which I wrote on the many bits of tracery throughout the temple. It really was amazing the amount of relief after writing down my moments of forgiveness and letting go, so simple an act but sometimes thats all it takes.
Not an inch of space within reach is free from markings or some bit of meaningful graffiti. It is incredible to walk the walls and just read. It is inspiring to feel the power the space takes on with each ounce of energy these strangers have brought to it. The simple wood structure becomes a living breathing creature of remembrance by the final night of its existence.
The temple is burned to the ground on the final night of the event, usually the day after the man has burned. It is described as an almost silent and very solemn event. (We didn't stay Sunday night.) That night the people gather, watch, and let go... It may sound odd, but that Sunday I could feel it burn all the way from our hotel room in Reno.
Friday, September 21, 2007
RE: bedfordshire bedframe bedframes
body of email:
a full right to employ a lying spirit to work out his ultimate will.
Compare "Paradise Lost," v. 646: "And roseate dews disposed All but the
unsleeping eyes of God to rest." 77 _Dream_ ought to be spelt with a
capital letter, being, I think, evidently personified as the god of
dreams. See Anthon and others. "When, by Minerva sent, a _fraudful_ Dream
Rush'd from the skies, the bane of her and Troy." Dyce's "Select
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Our sad tent after the first day of white out dust storms... it survived just long enough to last one Burning Man... what do you expect when you buy a tent that has a whole family of Black people running away from it on the front of the bag... I'll have to scan that in and show you all what I mean.
Our View from behind our tents
The penis topiaries taking a beating in the first white out storm
Monday, September 17, 2007
Apparently somone stole Ms. Carol Channing's "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" dress. It was found one day later by a homeless man in Santa Monica.... whew we can all breathe a sigh of relief! (God knows I lost sleep over it!)
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I fell in love with Auntie Mame as a story when my mom read it to me as a kid, and after watching it last night, I think alot of my wit and attitude comes from exposure to that character at a young age. My mother seems alot like her as well, minus all the world travel. Perhaps it was just osmosis, and the fact my mother always loved to say that great grinding teeth line Rosalind delivered to her Nephew's Fiance Gloria, "Little Glorieeeeeeeeee!" I think Mame and her crazy friends would fit in just fine with my family,
the article: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=316789
Amy thone is an actress, professor in acting at my alma mater Cornish College of the Arts and an inspiring director. I first worked with Amy on "Cloud Nine" by Caryl Churchill my second year in undergrad, she was directing and I was designing the set. This was my first big mainstage and as the show changed late in the game from "Troilus and Cressida," we were already behind. I had a matter of two weeks to finalize designs in two weeks on a show I had only read the night before and would get all of two good long days of meetings with the director as that was what our schedules would allow. I fell in love with Caryl Churchill about halfway through the piece, so knowing Amy had picked this show let me know we might have a similar charge for the material. I was right.
Our first meeting was in the Ned Skinner Theatre where the show was going to be held. The theatre was a great big turn of the century gymnasium with a frame beams above, a makeshift grid of lighting poles, moveable seating units, and a running track perimiter around the upper walls that always proved a challenge to incorporate or hide in a design. We launched into our discusssion with an in depth disecction of the piece an I must say it still strikes me as one of the most exhilarating discussions I've ever had with a director about what we felt, what we disagreed with, what we wanted the audience to feel, and how we put our stamp on this work for all to see..... She rocked my world as a director, and still to this day I have yet to collaborate with a director so insanely connected to a piece that I actually could feel the life of it growing with each passing word. In the article she is wuoted as saying "I think of plays like cars—every play has its own engine; you have to learn to pull it apart" and she certainly practices what she preaches.
Amy Thone truly inspired me as a teacher, a collaborator and an actor in the many shows I have seen her in over the years back in Seattle. Congrats Amy on receiving a Genius Award from the Stranger, its been long overdue!
Also receiving a Genius Award from the Stranger is the Strawberry Theatre Workshop which is headed up by my former professor Greg Carter, and a team of several cohorts from back in my Cornish days. He's another brilliant guy with strong opinions, great work ethic, strong attention to detail, is a good devil's advocate when its needed, has passion for politics and art, and is just an all around smart creative man. Congrats to them as well for all their crazy brilliant work being recognized.
here's an article on them as well: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=316793
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The night before I left, I thought I lost my ticket. I tore apart the whole room and house and eventually found it but damn that was a scary moment. The drive up was beautiful, the sierras and trees, and wide open sky. So Gorgeous! We arrived in Reno about 5pm and had to find the best way to park our overly tall vehicle in the nasty downtown area. (Memo to me, avoid parking or staying downtown for burning man travel.) The tacky streets of Reno are paved not with gold, but with vomit and sticky drink spills. The silver legacy showed us it has cornered the market on bad food, weak drinks, and the hardest beds in human creation so I slept on the floor to re-adjust my back. Just avoid this city at all costs if you can.
The next morning I was so excited to get out there and experience this crazy event firsthand. We ran to grab some quicklast minute essentials and perishables and were on our way into the beautiful landscape that makes Nevada seem possibly redeeming. We obeyed all signage to slow down and go the speed limit, as we had been informedd that the localpolice were looking for any small slip-up to cash in off your mistakes. My Friend Angie told me she had gotten an $800 ticket on the way in for going 10mph over the speed limit. If you are ever travelling to Burning Man, keep this in mind. When we turnd off the road, I realized I was finally here. It had taken me 10 years and numerous prompts and near misses to make it to this event and I was finally ready to experience it. After a quick initiation at the gate where our greeter, who was more than a little high, kept forgetting what he was doing, we made our way in on Landfill to 4:40 and were now home. The wind was blowing, it was about 98 degrees and it was time to set up. We finished with efficient speed and eventually got the penis topiaries up and swingin' all seemed to enjoy the kitch value.
The boys at my homebase "Our Lady of Schlongs Meat Inspection Center" were absolutely wonderful. Our camp consisted of two factions from both LA and SF and we got along famously. Snowball was the main greeter/ inspector yelling "Cold beer right here right now" out to all the lovely passerbys. Once they came in they got the catch, they had to drop trou and show their meet for that cold beer. You'd be really surprised how many people did it with no hesitation, and the ones you would expect to have no issue would often flat out refuse. Many had come to see the books from past years inpections and see their photos. By the end of the week, I was a little cocked out...... too much and it all became a blur.
This is a small version of "the man" that had been created and erected right behind where were camping at 4:40 and Landfill. We joked with the guy who created it that he was just hiding back here so nobody would try to burn him again. (Thanks to Danger Ranger for the pic)
With the days so warm and the sun so unforgiving, I spent most of the day after morning chores just laying around relaxing, and sometimes a light snooze. The nights were really what I enjoyed and I would walk or bike around for about 4 hours returning home exhausted, but with so many stories. I saw some amazing fire spinning with hula hoops and sticks ablaze. I ran into the "evil vending machine" out there where you could push the button of your vice be it a toke, a smoke, a joke, porn etc... I got some nasty pin-up hustler print and threw it back demanding one better: a smoke. The machine bitched about how I was too picky and demanding and it guessed I needed it lit too.... "No" I replied, "I have the lighter I used to burn the man with." "That deserves a smoke." it replied and it shot one out in its clammy little hand. The green giant walked by me at one point saying "Ho ho ho... Green giant" heartily while handing me a can of dented green beans I later gifted into a random camp's mailbox. There were so many fun little moments meeting people like Jade from England who I sat with and sang Johnny Cash tunes by the fire cactus art piece. There was the great crowd at Dance Dance Immolation (a version of dance dance revolution with the players competing and wearing flameproof suits so that when they misss and are blasted with a flamethrower they don't get burnt.) cheering them on and yet secretly hoping they trip up at least a little. I did a strip tease/dance behind the screen of one of the burning man radio stations to the song "Car Wash," and how much fun did I have with my female partner since she was dressed in a fringe skirt?! It was like it was meant to be for us dancing to that song! I bit the dust on my bike one night while staring at an art piece thatwas blinking in the dark, too bad there was a huge sand patch there! I discovered alove for one camp called "bad idea theater" thatshowed movies that were for the most part, a bad idea. Dr. Caligari will always remind me of Bruning Man now. I loved lying on my back, seeing the stars in the middle of the desert and freeing myself of all those issues that had bound me up throughout the year. Over-all I was most touched by the small gestures of caring and gratitude that this event could foster in the human spirit. One really bad white-out sandstorm can bring even the most divided groups together.
This art piece was called "Big Rig Jig" and I was amazed when I saw it finished. This thing really blew my mind, I saw the sketch and just didn't think it was possible...
This piece was entitled "Crude Awakening" and was a real highlight for me at the festival. The statues were made from rebar, scrap metal and chains. The giant burn of this piece after the man had burnt on Saturday was simply incredible. Not only were the fireworks the best I had ever seen, they burned 10,000 gallons of gas in 26 seconds to get the whole thing lit. A very erie spectacle I'll never forget.
This is a pic by my friend Billy and we were three people from the front of the perimiter they had set up. Best seats in the house. Below is a youtube vid of the minutes leading up to it and the huge explosion. It still doesn't really compare, but it gives you a damn good idea of just how big this moment was.
There is so much more to tell you guys, and pics I still need to get developed, so for now that's all ya get. But I will share more when I have some more time.