Thursday, May 16, 2013

Things That Make Me Happy...Part 3.

As I enjoy and soak up the next 7 days I have off (which will go by too quickly) till I start my wardrobe gig, here are few things that I will indulge in and have also been a bright light in my world. Maybe they might brighten your world as well.

1) "To Dust"-Alice Russell

I've been test-driving this album on Spotify for like a week and I can't get some of the songs out of my head. As of today, I will actually buy the album, so yes, its that good.  She's a British soul singer and she reminds me of Adele, but stronger. Where Adele tends to have some very sentimental sad songs, (which can be very nice) Russell's songs have a lot of sass and attitude in her soul music and her music tends to be slightly upbeat.  But I do love me some sass! Sing it girl!

* I highly recommend the songs: "To Dust" and "Heartbreaker".

2) "Felicity"-The TV Show

I've somehow found my way to this J.J. Abrams show years later. I use to watch this show obsessively when it first came out. Now that Felicity is on Netflix, I find myself watching this show and laughing and finding how cute it is now that I'm an adult.  Looking back on it, I find it to be a really sweet show and I forgot how much I was torn about how should she choose to be a doctor or an artist, should she pick Ben or Noel? Ahhh the conundrums of a Twenty-something.

3 "Hemlock Grove"-Netflix TV Series

This show kind of crept up on me. It kind of reminds me of True Blood meets Twin Peaks meets Twilight. It deals with Werewolves, possible Vampires, Gypsies and of course it has Famke Janssen and I usually enjoy anything she does, plus she's pretty to look at and she has a fabulous little wardrobe. I hope to look that good when I'm in my 40's, you know what I'm saying?!

The show at times can be a little be creepy, but not too much. Warning: don't watch this if you can't stomach drops in eyes and rotting corpses. 

The whole first season is streaming on Netflix right now.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Back to "normal"...

After a month away from the blog, "The River" by Richard Montoya and directed by Sean San Jose with Campo Santo for Intersection For The Arts, is up and running and I couldn't be more happier. (insert happy face emoji here.) I'm proud of my work in this particular production and I'm proud of my cast, crew and the production as a whole.

I am, however, having a challenging time getting back to "normal" life after this production.

In the 10 years I have been working in theatre, I have to say that this particular project has stood out from all of the rest in a very good way. Not to say that other productions I have worked on have not been great, because there have been some real gems.

I don't know what or who you believe in, however, I believe God or the universe had a truly instrumental hand in this production. I say all of this because as I've told a few close friends, this process and the production of this play is the closest thing I've come to church or a spiritual experience working in theatre. I say this because every time I stepped in on a reading, a rehearsal, a tech day, whether it be to watch or do a fitting, I felt an energy that something bigger was at work in the room then what we were doing, that there was a bigger reason for this production, then just putting on a play.  I found myself looking forward to going to work on this project and I had a hard time leaving after my job was done. I still find myself popping in to check on costumes, but also to see the show again, even though I've seen it more times than I can count. I can't get it enough and some of the lines are even stuck in my head and in my heart. "The River" is a powerful, crazy, ride of play, that touches on so many topics and themes, its jam packed with everything!

I do truly believe the cast and crew as well as the script were all meant to be joined together with everyone involved. I also feel like it shows in each performance that occurs each time that cast gets on the stage and performs. I feel this is a production made out of love by everyone involved. It's made from love from people we have lost and from places we have lost along the way, just like some of the themes touched upon in the play itself.

So, coming down off of this natural high of working on an awesome production is a little disorienting.  It took me a week, but I think I'm finally getting things together, clearing the mess off my desk left in the wake of this production.  I am hitting the mediation even more to center and focus myself.  I also am mentally preparing myself for another Richard Montoya production, as I find myself in the position of Wardrobe Lead for "American Night" at California Shakespeare Theatre in a few months time.  I'm getting back on the thesis train and also anticipating the new Luis Alfaro play I will be working on, "Alleluia, The Road", with Triangle Lab in the Fall.  I even have a few smaller projects in the works to keep me busy, so I will surely not be bored this summer.

In other words, things are back in motion!

I highly encourage all of you to go see "The River "playing right now at the A.C.T. Costume Shop until May 4! Tickets are selling out quite fast since their is very limited seating in the space, which makes you feel right in the production itself. Who knows, you might see me there peeking my head out of the curtains one night.

Tickets for "The River":

To get a glimpse of what you're in for, here are some beautiful pictures taken by photographer, Pak Han.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Go Time...

"Well it's Facebook official." That means it's official right?!  Just kidding.

The River is now out and about on the internet and it gets me excited!  According to my iPhone countdown app, there is 23 days till the show opens, April 11, 2013 to be exact.

What am I doing as of now at this stage in the production? Shopping, pulling, renting and building is what I am currently doing. 
Today I have a list of stores that I'm going to check out to see if I can find what I designed...because "if you draw it, you will find it," as I was once told in grad school. Let's see if this happens...

Here is a little sneak peek of one of my sketches for THE RIVER...

If you would like to read more on what this show is all about here you go:

THE RIVER by Richard Montoya and directed by Sean San Jose runs April 11, 2013- May 4, 2013.

I would also invite you to check out the project that The Triangle Lab is doing in concert with this production, called: CALIFAS: STORIES OF OUR JOURNEYS HOME, GATHERED, SHARED AND PERFORMED.

THE RIVER is the first play kicking off the CALIFAS project, followed by AMERICAN NIGHT at California Shakespeare Theatre and then ALLELUIA, THE ROAD at Intersection for The Arts.

If you're interested in attending the show, tickets are now available, here. Hope you all can make it!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Finding yourself as an artist...

It has been a month exactly since my last post and for the most part things have been somewhat normal, which means, nothing really exciting to write about....until this past week and a half. Business with The River is going really well and I'm excited for the process and what will become of the end result of this play. I have a really good feeling about it. It's a great script and a great cast that I think was brought together for a reason and purpose. What that reason and purpose is?  We will soon find out.

As well as my play, I'm in the middle of trying my best to finish my thesis for my MFA. Amongst this creative, organized chaos I've also been going through a lot of personal growth that is extremely positive and astounding in both the artistic form and as a person.  The results of this growth and its benefits are taking me by surprise and knocking me off my feet, but in a very awesome way!

One particular incident that happened was when I was researching for my thesis. I am doing a paper project of designing "The Birds" by Aristophanes, which is an ancient Greek comedy. My concept is to have it set in a contemporary world instead of Ancient Greece.

Now mind you, I started this project in Spring 2010 and I've been freshening up some of the work I did almost 3 years ago. (Yikes! It's been that long?!) One of my design concepts for some of the characters revolve around high fashion or the fashion world and I have a few designers whose collections have served as my research, which is very fun!  One designer in particular that I have been inspired by is English designer, Gareth Pugh. Mr. Pugh has become one of my favorite designers that I admire along with Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Recently, I was looking to see what he had been doing recently to see if it could help inspire me and pertain to my research for my thesis and what I found just knocked me down. So, I can safely say that his Spring/Summer 2013 collection will be part of my research.

Between the mixture of the collection of the clothes, how it was styled and of course the music of Rebekah del Rio singing "Llorando", the whole experience of seeing this fashion show just blew me away on so many levels. I loved everything about seeing this whole show.
Who says fashion can't have an influence as a piece of art?

After watching a video of fashion reviewers and their reviews and descriptions of Gareth's show, I had one of Oprah's "A-ha" moments for myself where everything clicked for me. In seeing both videos I discovered and realized who I was as an artist, what kind of work am I drawn to and my own aesthetic, which is something I had been searching for, profusely for years. Its been a long journey, I can tell you that for sure.

I discovered and realized, I like balance and maybe that's the Libra in me, if you believe in horoscopes, but I truly believe that is something I am attracted to in life in general and is a part of me and how I see the world.

I'm attracted to art and theatre that portrays balance in masculinity vs. femininity, light vs. dark, good vs. evil, strength vs. weakness and etc...

It's pretty evident, now that I think about it, that the pieces of theatre that I have participated in that meant a lot to me and have stayed with me, identified with one of these struggles in balance.

It is an amazing thing that I feel I finally "figured myself out" as an artist and as a person.  I feel very focused now...more so than ever. This is good...this is very good.

On that note, I will keep on working and keep creating...


Gareth Pugh Spring/Summer 2013 Ready to Wear Collection.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Things That Make Me Happy...Part 2.

Right now, this week to be specific, I am in design mode for The River. A majority of my characters are all sketched out, they are just awaiting their color to be applied and to give them life. Color renderings are always a fun part of the design process.

However, I am still stumped with one character and I am becoming a mad woman to try and figure out what this character would look like. I have ideas, research and starting points, but its like when you have something to say and its on the tip of your tongue and you can't remember it. I will know it when I see it though!

In order to help give the muses a kick-start I've been pouring fashion magazines. No far.  I've also discovered that You Tube is a vault of fashion shows, so I've been obsessively watching everyone's Spring/Summer 2013 collections for inspiration triggers as well. I forgot how much I love watching fashions show, because at one time, I did want to be come a fashion designer...but life had other plans for me, costume design for theatre.

It just so happens that everything that makes me happy right now revolves around the fashion world, which takes me back to my roots of why I became interested in designing clothing and then costumes in present day. In a search of inspiration to help motivate me I stepped into a fashion vortex this week, which is quite alright with me.

So, here are some things that make me extremely happy right now...go check them out!

*Chanel's Spring-Summer 2013 Haute Couture Show. I'm a fan of Chanel as well as Karl Lagerfeld (current designer for Chanel) after watching the documentary "Lagerfeld Confidential" a few years back. Amazing and intriguing if you like fashion. So I know anything he designs is fabulous.

I don't know why, but I love this fashion show. I love how Lagerfeld likes to show his collections in the Grand Palais in Paris most of the time, a beautiful building. I'm feeling the lace legging boots A LOT, I'm feeling the little feathery things in the models hair, I just love all the clothes and the whole ambience. I know, its a little out there for most people, but I enjoy it.

* Gucci Spring/Summer 2013 Pret-A-Porter (Ready To Wear) Woman.  I am ALL ABOUT COLOR in my wardrobe right now and this show sealed the deal. I think I love almost every piece in this show, especially the clothing in Blue, Turquoise and Green.

* "Bill Cunningham New York" I saw this documentary over the weekend and it is a beautiful movie that captures love for fashion and clothing in a very pure way.  The documentary is about 83-year-old fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham, who takes fashion photos on the streets of New York of every day people and on the fashion runways for the New York Times Style Section.

How Bill is so passionate about his photography and clothing was a reminder of how I use to feel when I first started designing, the film is a welcome and amazing kick-my-pants reminder of why I love designing. 

Watch it. It will make you feel good and shed a few tears...I know I did.

* "A Man's Story", which is another fashion documentary, this time on English Men's designer, Oswald Boateng. I had never even heard of this designer until I saw this film, who knew? But he is making a name for English men's tailoring on Savile Row and I would love to see his shop the next time I make it to London. 

The documentary covers the span of 12 years and shows the highs and lows of personal and professional markers in his life. You can even see how Boateng's style changes and gets cleaner and more precise with time. I just enjoy seeing his energy, passion for menswear, his love for color and detail. This film makes me enjoy menswear even more! Loved this!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love Note Swap

I think I found a new hobby in participating in the projects that Art House Co-Op puts on. I know, amidst designing a show and finishing a thesis, do I really have time to do other projects? But, these projects are fun and its something to do for myself it makes me happy. I always have time for things that make me happy, as we all should.

This time, I am sending a little bit of love to a perfect stranger in the form of "Love Note Swap"...and in return, I will get a little bit of love back, of course in the act of doing this and a bonus that someone will send me a card as well.

I think we all need to spread a little more love, regardless if it's a project....go spread some love today!

"Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away." -Elbert Hubbard

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Draw Mode

I am in total drawing mode right now. That's all I seem to be doing and its good, very good. Cranking out first draft sketches for The River to see what I like and eventually what will make it to the stage. We had our first reading yesterday, well actually, the first reading with all the designers present and it was great!
I love when I am able to come to readings, because I'm sitting there looking at the actors becoming their characters with my ideas already in my head and making adjustments or confirmations of my designs. I can start to see how the costumes are going to look and that's always an amazing feeling.  Only a month now till rehearsals start and its going to get busy!

So for now, I will turn on my music, which happens to be a lot of music by Bonobo.

Bonobo is an musician I discovered several years ago and I enjoy his music because for some reason it makes me want to draw every time I hear it, its calm and soothing, yet also invigorating as well. Let me get back to drawing.