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A great article from this past August by French Stewart (a Sacred Fool) about all of the great intimate theater here in LA.  I’m so happy that I jumped aboard this summer and started volunteering on sets.  I’m perpetually covered in paint, but I’m having a blast!  I’ll share some details on two recent shows in the coming weeks, but until then I hope this encourages you to check out a small theater near you.  It’s sure to be an adventure…

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LA Small Theater — Weird Little Pirate Ships

by FRENCH STEWART  |  August 12, 2011
French Stewart

About 25 years ago I did my first play in L.A.,  in a stinky dump called Galaxy Stage near Western and Santa Monica. We were required to clean toilets, mop the floor and not ask questions about money. At night they used our set to film porn, and on your way out of the theater, a certain “pant-less gentleman” might pee at you. Yes. At you!

It’s pretty common in the world of small theater. It’s what you’d call “local color.” With no centralized drama district to speak of, our theaters float in weird neighborhoods like weird little pirate ships. Over the years, just outside some of LA’s small theaters,  I’ve been lucky enough to witness (and this is true) – an angry Honduran man whipping a crack-head with jumper cables, a shirtless octogenarian “looking for a date”, and a raccoon who walked upright to intimidate people.

On the up side, I’ve seen a 70-year-old actress have a stroke at intermission — and still finish the show. I’ve seen a tech staff perform electronic miracles (when all hope was lost) and a sick actor vomit in his hat and still get his laugh. Ta-da!

CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE…

Nobody tells beginners…

I love this video.  Excellent advice for all creatives…especially the newbies… :)

(Thanks Art DepartMENTAL!)

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In May, I ventured to Gallery 1988 (of Damon, Carlton and a Polar Bear fame) to see a new, mysterious show by graphic artist Olly Moss.  The theme and media for the gallery opening were kept tightly under wraps, but I was game for a new show so I met up with my friend, Amy, and stood in line for whatever might be unveiled.

Moss is known for his bold, simple graphics and illustrations for all manner of pop culture clientele, so I assumed I’d see more of the same…

…but that’s when my mind was blown.  ;)

Amy and I were waiting in line for a while and so we didn’t get a glimpse at the show inside until we were almost near the front door.  I took a peek over people’s heads to see row after row of what appeared to be those old-timey papercut silhouettes…the kind your grandmother took you to get at Knott’s Berry Farm when you were 8 (OK, that’s my own memory).

Hmmm…strange, I thought.

But as I looked closer, the first papercut I could sort of make out looked vaguely like…Mary Poppins?   And then when I got a bit closer, I spied another that looked a tad like…Pee Wee Herman?… And then the smile grew wide on my face.

The entire show was an ode to pop culture in the form of papercut.  Frame after frame was a loving little homage to each of our favorite characters from the past:  The Dude, Willy Wonka, Mr. Miyagi, all of the characters from The Breakfast Club.  It went on and on.

Every person in that space had the look of childlike delight.  Such a simple concept that brought out the joy in every person who attended.  And the added fun was trying to figure out exactly who was represented in each papercut…it was sort of a game that encouraged everyone to interact, guess and ask questions of one another.  Real. Human. Interaction.  There was even a “Where’s Waldo” piece that was “missing” and you had to find Waldo somewhere hidden in the gallery.  It was so enchanting – as art and as experience.

This speaks to the incredible power in a simple, elegant concept that has ties to our happy memories.  Charm, with a bit of humor, wins every time.

Here’s a video about the show from Threadless:

And click here for a link to Olly’s own blog post about the show.

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Your Life in 2020

One of my favorite design thinkers, John Maeda, recently re-posted an article he wrote for Forbes.com, which reveals his predictions for life in 2020.

He foresees a resurgence of hand made and individually crafted pieces – things that are qualitatively special rather than technologically nifty.  If we think about it, we’re already headed in that direction with sites like etsy.com or with the rise of the ragtag “maker” movement, both of which are exciting signs of what’s ahead.  But unlike the cute and simple designs of those crafty etsy purveyors, or the down and dirty machines made by motley makers, we are in need of a new elegance…a return to craftsmanship that shows not only an affinity for making something, but a love of the aesthetics and quality that elevate handmade items to acts of accomplishment.  Truly, things to hold on to for the long run.

Maeda’s piece gives me something new to look forward to.  :)

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Your Life In 2020

John Maeda

Forbes.com

In 2020 we might just regain some of the humanity that was lost in 2010.

The future of “ubiquitous computing” has been heralded for decades. It sounds grandiose–computing, everywhere!–but ironically, a future of ubiquitous computing is one where computers actually go unnoticed. That’s 2020. It is when Nicholas Negroponte’s assertion in 1995 of “being digital” switches to “been digital” because we will have been there and done that. Kids who have grown up stealing free views of recent movie releases online or regularly chatting with a friend in Bangalore or Atlanta will be working adults in a world where the notion of “work” has changed because of digital technology. But it’s no longer “technology” in 2020 anymore–it’s just how we get things done.

Click here for the full article…

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Show and Tell

I’m stopping by Dandee to share some good news.  :)

This fall, I received the James Northcutt Scholarship from the Interior Architecture department at UCLA Extension in recognition of one of my projects: a presentation board inspired by designer Tony Duquette.  Here are a couple of sneak peaks:

And from there I was inspired to seek out other possible scholarship competitions, which led me to enter the 2011 IIDA Calibre Student Scholarship competition in March, sponsored by the Southern California Chapter of the International Interior Design Association.  I presented three projects, including the one above, as part of my entry in the Junior Category for those who have completed 50% or less of their respective programs.  On May 13th, I was invited to the IIDA Calibre Awards where I received a scholarship and a Special Honorable Mention!  Not too shabby for having completed only 20% of my program so far.

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I’m thankful to Professor Eleanor Schrader Schapa – it is due to her involvement, support and recommendation that I was able to receive both of these wonderful scholarships.  And I also thank the other amazing professors in my program, as well as the judges and advisors at IIDA, especially Aram Arakelian who so generously sponsors the scholarships and Robyn Taylor who led us through the process while making it a fun experience.

With these very kind votes of confidence I look forward to continuing the study and pursuit of design while developing new ways to create engaging experiences for everyone to enjoy.

Best,

DeAnne

My fabulous friend, comics expert and writer Kelly Thompson, asked if I would again participate in her Ladies Comics Project, which seeks to suss out women’s impressions of comics and the comic industry.   HERE is her latest column, which includes my review of the graphic novel Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine. Please check it out!

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And please check out Kelly’s personal blog, 1979 Semi-Finalist.  She’s a pip of a writer, whether you’re into comics or not!

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Oh, and HERE‘s my original review for Black Widow #6, for your reading pleasure.  ;)

Happy V Day, folks!

DeAnne

Today is a very special day (and not only because it’s my birthday!).  ;)

January is Los Angeles Arts Month, and today is the kick off complete with an official opening today at the Music Center Plaza downtown.  The celebration is open to the public and will include performances from Cirque du Soleil and Los Lobos, so if you’re downtown from noon to 1:30 today, check it out!

Here’s more information about the event:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2010/12/cirque-du-soleil-to-perform-at-music-center-for-opening-of-la-arts-month.html

And here’s the website for ExperienceLA so you can plan the next few weeks of exciting LA experiences:

http://www.experiencela.com/

Pick something fun that you’ve never done before and take a friend – you’ll never regret having a new adventure.

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