The British got there first!!!

For some dancers, if not all, Step Up 3D was something to look forward to this summer.  If it’s anything like the first two, yeah, it’ll probably have the cheesy predictable plot, but that’s not what’s important.  The importance of this movie is the DANCING! If you were to cut out the story, and just have dance after dance, I would still pay to see it in the movie theaters.  Maybe I’m crazy, but it’s true.  So, with that being said, I am sorry to say that Director Jon Chu had better have some show stoppers planned for this movie because the British have beaten him to the punch.

STREET DANCE 3D!!!  This is the first 3D movie for the British, and it’s looking like it could do really well.  Some of the buzz around this movie is that the star Nichola Burley, who seems to be a big deal in Europe as in A-Lister, does a bang up job.  Which is where the movies may differ.  In the Step Up films, the acting is mediocre at it’s worst and just a step up from that at it’s best.  Is it due in part to experience?  Possibly.  But Directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini want to give a solid showing all around apparently.  Although as far as her acting goes, I am not entirely impressed, but I’ll wait until I see the whole movie to say for sure.  While hearing all of this chatter, I am wondering why, then, there really isn’t more of a focus on Ms. Burley’s dancing in the trailer?  Maybe they want to get people curious.  However if, like me, you have never heard of the lead, then wouldn’t you want to show that this person can pull off these dances by giving just a little more.  I concede that she is lightly sprinkled throughout, but those moves aren’t ones that show technique.  Just link a few more of those movements together and it could be much more intriguing, I think.  Luckily, you get a small taste of it at the end which shows not only her but the rest of the group hitting those movements strong and clean.  It looks incredibly promising.

I also love the “twist” on the story with the girl being the street rat and the boy being the ballet dancer. It’s just nice to see that change of pace.  Although, the story looks like one that we’ve seen time and time again.  But like I said earlier, who cares?  It’s about the DANCING!!!!!

May the best movie win!

Here’s the trailer.

Take Steps 2010!

I am not one to walk under small bridges thanks in part to my paranoia.  The other part is because every movie or show that has one always portrays it to be bad.  The last thing that I need to happen is to walk under one of those minding my own business and finding a body or something.  Bleh.

Last Saturday, I had to do exactly that.  Luckily I didn’t have to do it alone.

Last Saturday was the evening that the Take Steps Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis took place.  As we parked the car and walked up to the park, there didn’t seem to be many people at the event.

As our team (Carrot’s Coffee and Tea) signed in and such, I began to feel just slightly squished even though I had plenty of space.  When I looked around again, the crowd seemed to have doubled in size.  The end count I recall was just over 850 people.  Not bad, considering Crohn’s and Colitis aren’t generally spoken about as commonly as cancer or AIDS or diabetes.  It’s just as brutal as the afore-mentioned diseases.  I can tell you that it was definitely more that the number of people who participated in the last few walks that my friends and I have done.  It’s good that word is finally getting out.

So as the teams prepare for group photos, there is a band playing. I didn’t catch their name, but I did notice that there didn’t seem to be a sense of fun on that stage.

I know that one never thinks of diseases and fun in the same thought but I just felt the band should have stepped it up a notch to excite the crowd for what we were accomplishing on that day.  Speaking of accomplishments, the San Jose walk alone raised over $140,000 which was the most the San Jose event has ever made. Additionally, our team actually doubled our goal!!!  So a HUGE HUGE thank you to everyone who was kind enough to reach into their pockets and give to a worthy cause!

No one on the team knew what path we would take, so when we headed toward the little creek that runs through the Discovery Meadow Park, I got a little jittery.  What would I see?  Bullet casings?  Blood stains on the pavement?  I made sure to squeeze into the middle of my friends while we began our ten step decent to, as it turns out, nothing spectacular.

Once we got into it, we just enjoyed the day and were happy in our efforts to make a difference.  Well, except for my buddy, Tom.  He doesn’t seem to be happy, but I think it’s the glasses.

The walk itself was uneventful, except for the times when the police stopped traffic so that the walk can keep a steady pace.   It was like a river, no…more like a creek of people walking.  Finding the front of the line was difficult right off the bat.  Our group tended to split up between the speed walkers and those of us that were out on a casual stroll.  So at times we could be heard shouting for our teammates as other teams looked at us as though we were insane to be acting like hooligans at such an event.

The walk felt very short for some reason, but when all is said and done, it always feels good to try to help someone.

After the walk, we marched on over to P.F. Chang’s.  Such wonderful food.  Our waiter was great, even if everything he said was an accidental double entendre.   Ah, good times, good times.

I know I haven’t read every piece of literature, but many of the things I’ve read seem to agree that while genetics can certainly play a part in how one could be at risk of Crohn’s, they also say that environment could be just as responsible.  What I find most unnerving is that they don’t give any examples of possible environmental triggers, like standing at the microwave while your food cooks (which coincidentally you should never do.  Also, I’ve read you should wait at least 5-10 seconds before opening the door to let the micro-waves, which are a type of radiation, dissipate. Most health related studies linked to microwaves are “inconclusive”, but it’s best to be safe than sorry.)  Here are a few links that I have found information on Crohn’s Disease.  If you would like to learn more, you can get an overview HERE . This site gives information from well-being and treatments to nutrition info and support.  The organization Take Steps that is involved in helping to find the cure for this disease is also linked to CCFA.org which has a wealth of information.

In any case, take care of yourself, and should you decide that you would also like to donate even though the walk has passed, feel free to visit my donation page  by clicking HERE .

Have a great day!


It’s time for Episode 5!!

Episode 5

(Click to listen)

Special thanks to Samantha Stidham, Lisa Milanes, Kyle Dunnigan, Podsafe Music Network, and Danny Ippolito for their contributions to Episode 5.  Check out the shownotes for this episode by clicking HERE.

Hope you enjoy it.

I love crazy stuff!

Last, last Friday was the Art Walk in downtown San Jose.  I really wanted to at least hear one of the opera songs at Caffe Trieste, but there was seemingly no one there to sing.  Of course we had gotten to the cafe early so that we could find a seat  and not be stuck in the middle of a cluster like last time.  So right away, I was disappointed for the walk.  We left the Cafe, and walked up First Street toward Reed Street, hoping to find something else to look at, but the whole street seemed to be in the middle of shutting down for the night.  We were only 15 minutes early, why would that make such a big difference to the event?  I don’t know, but it did.  So we sat at a bench across the street from the MACLA center and waited the last few minutes.

7:59 rolls around and we begin to hear music in the MACLA center.  More people are now on the street, not much more, but enough to notice.  It’s amazing what a few minutes can do. The music was from a Latin rapper that was performing in the venue.  I tried to get an image, but all I got was some of the lights and fog.

Since we were already at the end of one side of the “Strip”, we decided to head over to the Slave Labor Graphics headquarters, SLG Boutiki and Gallery instead of heading back to the beginning and staring the walk all over again.  I liked that the theme for their shop was Weirdos, Porn Stars, and Other Eccentrics. The artist behind this exhibit was Karl Christian Krumpholz who featured  portraits of people that most us know.  You can see his work HERE. I found the works stunning, and I couldn’t take my mind off the one entitled “Strummer”  so I ended up buying it.

Karl C. Krumpholz's "Strummer"

While waiting for the transaction to complete, Karl told us of his trip to the Winchester Mystery House.  He said that he didn’t believe that Sara Winchester was crazy but rather, peculiar.  He was incredibly kind and was happy to sign my purchase. If I had the means, there were four or five other pieces that I would have loved to buy.  One of them was called “Divine” and another called “Waters” which were portraits of the eccentric director and his outrageous drag queen actor.  I tip my hat to this clever and talented fellow, and look forward to seeing more from this artist.  Just as SLG had statues available last time, they offered up a rubber figurine of the emotional Carl Cthulhu.

CONTEST!!!!!

I have an extra and if you send me a comment with your definition of what a Cthulhu is, I’ll randomly select someone to get this adorable little guy!  All entries must be in by June 5, 2010.  Random drawing of qualified contestant will take place on June 6, 2010.  Good Luck!!!

The ICA still had the By A Thread exhibit, so we walked past and went into the Quilting and Textile Museum.  It was really warm in there and it was pretty full.  I only saw two things that I would consider buying.  One was a quilted work titled “The Shadow Woman”, if memory serves.  The easiest way to describe it is to say that at the forefront there is a profile of a woman made from a rich tan and chocolatey brown patterned piece of cloth.  On the other or “back” side of the woman’s head is the same profile  but using a plain almost cream colored felt.  I am not sure why but the head just seemed to pop out to me.  The background, if I remember correctly was of a sunset.  At least when I think back on it, that’s what’s coming to mind.  I don’t know why it bothered me so much, but it gave me the chills/creeps and had to stop looking at it.  But I would buy it anyway.  The other item that I liked was an embroidered post card of a superhero.  Yeah, that’s a little geeky.

We walked into the Metro offices where there was a band playing.  They sounded like mix of Dexie’s Midnight Runners and the Stray Cats.  They were decent, but it was hard to understand the vocalist because the sound wasn’t balanced well.  Once we stepped outside, though you could hear him better.  Unfortunately, there was no one to ask who they were, and no flier or anything stating the name of the band.  Shucks.  Like I said, they weren’t bad.

There were a few neat works inside MACLA that were on display before their auction that took place on the 15 of May.  You can see the works HERE.  I think the one that struck me the most was called “Carta de Amor.”  It’s a painting of a young man in jeans. The background is a mass of roses painted in a deep red.  In contrast, there’s a bright red that’s painted on it but doesn’t disturb any of the shading or detailing of the roses.  If  you look at the man’s fingers, the bright red seems to be dripping off almost as if it were blood.  Then as I stepped back to look at the whole thing again, (I thought it was supposed to be a wonky star at first glance) it looks to me that the bright red created a silhouette of a gang member type of character.  So with a title like “Letter/Card or Document of Love” it makes me wonder what kind of backstory that painting has.  It’s a gorgeous piece.

We left MACLA and tried to get into Anno Domini, but it’s always busy, and because it’s so small in the lobby, I never feel like climbing my way to see what’s going on inside. However, this time we were treated to some incredible puppets that walked around out side.  Check it out…

Puppet and the Soul behind it.
Creepy Puppet was afraid of this puppet
Puppet 2 and it's master
Puppet in action

The puppets’ bodies and faces were made of cardboard while the mechanics were metal pipes and wood for the feet.  This is them in action.

We skipped into another gallery that was ran by volunteers, and I drooled over these amazing works…

This last one reminded me of a fun little gift that my friend Sarah made for me one Christmas that used a similar idea.

Again, South First Fridays was a ton of fun.  I just hope that it won’t be a number months before I get back there again.  And a note to the venues that host musicians, Put some signs up so we know who’s playing!!



Not even 4 Tony Nominations could save…

Enron Closes on Broadway May 9, 2010

With nominations in Best Original Score (Music: Adam Cork and Lyrics: Lucy Prebble), Best Featured Actor (Stephen Kunken), Best Lighting Design of a Play (Mark Henderson), and Best Sound Design (Adam Cork), the show about a big company going belly up played it’s final performance on Mother’s Day.  Watching this vid made me want to actually see the show.  Here’s the whole story…

STAGE TUBE: PBS Profiles ENRON’s Broadway Closing Video Content (BroadwayWorld.com).

Weird little audition last Saturday

I got this email on Wednesday, saying that the company, Three of a Perfect Pair, was going to have an audition for three one act Shakespearian style plays.  It was to take place on Saturday, which leaves not a lot of time to prepare.  The email said that there were a couple of characters that are my actual age range, however, I always seem to get cast as younger than my age.

In the hopes of trying something different, I decided that I would give this a go.  But first I had to figure out how to look older.  Since I hadn’t shaved in nearly a week, I figured…will one more day really make a difference?  I also stayed up as late as possible.  My original plan was to try and hold out til after the audition to sleep.  I only made it until around 4 AM when I began to do that thing that kids do when they fight off sleep with the bobbing heads.  I got up at 9:30 or there about, so I didn’t get a full night of sleep, but then again, I hardly ever do.

So looking like a hot mess, I get to the playwright’s house, and there are 4 other men there.  Of course they are all about a foot taller than me, so I know that the romantic lead role is probably out.  I decide that my best bet would be to shift gears and audition for a corrupt priest.  In that particular play, the priest plots to over throw the current king in order to obtain that power for himself.  In the audition side that we were given, I came to find out that this man is a really interesting part, as he identifies himself as a “devotee of debauchery”.  He is a clever character that has to play allegiances to the king to manipulate him, the queen to woe her, and the church to help carry out his plan.  Sounds like fun!  The script was well written and did indeed feel Shakespearean but slightly less confusing.

I was surprised but the director and playwright had all the men read for every part that they needed to cast.  It was fun to see how many different ways people can interpret a scene.

The final decision about the casting will be rendered within the next week and a half.  I’ll keep you posted.  Although to be honest, with looking slightly younger than my age, AND the fact that I am short, I don’t think I’ll get cast based on appearances.  I just hope that my reading did come off well.