Creating Art

It’s been a busy month for me, hence the lack of updating, so I’m going to try to catch up with a few things on here.

Firstly, I’ve been cast in a production of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice as the character, Launcelot Gobbo. Additionally, one of the plays I wrote was accepted into the 4th Lionface Winter One Acts, so it will be performed through Lionface at the annual showcase. I’m excited to see what people do with my script!

I’ve recently moved out of my apartment and into a new one, so I will be spending another year in Bowling Green. I have quit my job waitressing, but will be returning to Cedar Point as a Screamster in this years Halloweekends. More on that as it gets closer.

Chula is doing wonderfully, her adult fur is coming in a lot darker, so her tail is almost black now. She also won “Best in Class” at her doggy obedience class and was described as being “the happiest dog” at a local doggy day care. Her growth has been amazing and I couldn’t be more proud!

The beautiful Chula!

The beautiful Chula!

Within the past month, I’ve started doing some more modeling and I have been really enjoying it. I will most likely add more of the photos to my website eventually, but for now I will post a couple of the more popular ones here.

Photo taken by Capital Photos

Photo taken by Capital Photos

Photo taken by 2StepsUp Photography

Photo taken by 2StepsUp Photography

Photo taken by Alyson Knezevich

Photo taken by Alyson Knezevich

These photos were all taken at a group shoot in Toledo, Ohio, where I had a great time and made a lot of great connections. I am hoping to create more art with some of these talented people soon, but my schedule has been hectic. So that’s it for now, now you are caught up on my life a bit.

 

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

Steampunk’d Encore Edition: Doctor Faustus

Back by popular demand, my steampunk series returns to feature Lionface Production‘s Dr. Faustus!

The poster for this amazing show! Features Zach Navarre as Doctor Faustus and Kat Moran as Mephistopheles

That’s right, for Lionface Production’s second show of the season, Christina Hoekstra directed a steampunk version of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. For those unfamiliar with this work, the story revolves around Dr. Faustus, an intelligent doctor who has become bored with the every day sciences and decides to try his hand at necromancy. He is guided by a Good and Bad Angel, each pulling him one way or another. He summons Mephistopheles and Lucifer, who agree to give him 24 years on earth with Mephistopheles as his personal servant. Faustus ultimately wastes this power doing nothing worthwhile and is ultimately damned to hell. In this version, the magic and power that Faustus receives is portrayed through steampunk. Emphasis was put on the various timepieces and clockwork in the show, symbolizing Faustus’s time running out. In this production, I played one of the scholars and the part of Robin the Clown, one of the comedic relief characters in the show.

Our set was simple, yet very cool. We performed the show in a church, the same as when Lionface did Murder in the Cathedral, and the it ended up really working out in our favor. The set was designed and built by the very talented Meghan Johannes, who was able to pull it off on an incredibly small budget and still make it look super professional.

One of the coolest set pieces were these blocks that Johannes made. I wish I would have gotten a better photo of them, because they were seriously boss. You can’t tell by this photo, but behind each block is a hole lined with what looks like a cog, so that props can actually be stored inside the blocks. Each block also had handles, wooden gears painted gold and/or copper, and the copper wiring seen in this photo. One of the blocks was raffled off, but unfortunately I didn’t win one.

Another unique piece was Mephistopheles’ cane (also raffled off, also didn’t win, sad face) which featured a time piece as the hilt. Again, I wish I had a better photo, it was much cooler in person. It was tailored to be the length of the average cane and was able to be swung around without worrying about any pieces falling off (including the copper wiring you see towards the middle).

What could make a steampunk play even cooler than it already is? Throw in an awesome sword fight! To see a video of this check out my Facebook page. I wish I could say that was me doing the sword fight, but alas, it was another awesome ginger. And yes, those are in fact real swords being used, so it took a lot of stage combat choreography and practice to be able to pull it off without causing injury to one another. By the end of it, these two had the fight down so well that when one would make a mistake, the other would immediately adjust to make it safe again without having to stop the fight. Talent, plain and simple.

Myself as Robin and my cohort, Griffin Coldiron, as Dick

One of my most favorite part of the shows was working with this guy, Griffin. One of the best things that can happen in a show is to get paired up with an actor that you can really work off of and that definitely happened for me in this show. So a special shout out to Dick, thanks for rocking out the show with me! “Oh brave, an ape!”

And that’s it for my steampunk series! I may still post steampunk-esque photos now and then, especially since I’ve been getting more into jewelry making as of late, but this particular chapter of Halloween/Faustus steampunk is closed (at least until next year’s Halloween). In coming entries, I’ll be doing some updates on Stand Up Toledo 13, Already Indie, and the other happenings in my life. I hope you enjoyed reading!

“Bene disserer est fines logices. (The end of logic is to dispute well.)” – Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus

Related Articles

 

Steampunk’d: The Chest Piece

Hello again and welcome to the last installment of my steampunk Halloween costume series! In previous episodes/entries, I showed you how I made a prosthetic eye piece and several different accessories for the costume and now I will show you how I made a pretty sweet chest piece.

I started with a thick layer of liquid latex in the shape of a sloppy triangle. I left the end of it curved for when I would add the clock piece. If you plan on doing this, you want to do it on a surface that the latex can be peeled off from, so a smooth surface that won’t have any chipped paint pieces or anything like that. I ended up using an old lid to a shoebox, which worked very well, especially if you want an easy cleanup and for your project to be portable while you are making it . After this layer dried, I added another one right on top of it so that the base would be thick and not fall apart when I added pieces to it.

I added a third layer of liquid latex and began to add pieces. As you can see, some of the pieces got another layer of latex over parts of them to make it looks as though pieces of flesh were growing over them. It also gives the impression that there are more gears inside the body, behind the ones that you can see.

Interestingly enough, as the liquid latex dried, the colors from the gears actually caused the latex to change colors. So, naturally, I added another layer over it and some more gears to see if that would cover it up. The liquid latex continued to react to the gears even as I added more latex, so I ended up leaving it the way it was. In the long run, it actually worked in my as it looked as though the gears were having a reaction to my body and therefore leaking pus. Disgusting, yet very effective in what I was going for.

Paint time! Using the same red and black acrylic paint that I used on the eye piece, I painted the latex around the gears and added some red on the gears to make them look as though they are covered in blood. After the paint dried, I used a knife to cut away some of the latex so that you could see more of the gears and I cleaned up the paint on the gears so that they would still reflect off the light. Then, I used paint again to clean up the latex pieces that I had cut away from the prosthetic.

This is actually the piece once I took it after wearing it. I attached the piece to my chest with spirit gum and then added the watch piece separately. It was actually a watch piece that I had gotten from Wal-Mart and added copper paint to it in order to keep with my gold and copper color scheme. I also repainted over some of the gears to make them stand out, as the ones from Hobby Lobby were a bit darker and less shiny then the ones I had purchased at Costume Holiday House. Once I had the pieces applied, I made strips of latex about an inch wide and about 3-4 inches long on the shoebox lid. Once I had two layers dried, I peeled them off and added them to the top and bottom of my piece to give the effect that the skin was cut apart and hanging over. It also helped to make the wound look deeper and more three-dimensional. I made a few more inch by inch pieces of latex to fill in the spots that weren’t covered on the far side of the watch piece. After all of that, I used makeup to color the latex to my skin color and to make it look a bit more bloody and natural. I topped it off with some liquid fake blood, which gave it a glossy look and made the clock look as though blood was dripped on to it as well.

Here’s what the piece looked like when it was applied. This also shows why I added the extra layers last, so that I could attach them to the skin as well as the wound and make everything look seamless. I had no trouble keeping the pieces on once the spirit gum had dried and actually had this piece on for most of the day. Now, I’d also like to point out that the watch piece is a working one and actually lit up with a blue light when you pressed a button (which was located near the number 2 and could be pressed despite the latex). Initially, I had considered using a bigger watch piece and trying to make it seem as though my heart was a clock, but I felt that this looked more realistic than that would have, so I adjusted accordingly. All in all, I was very happy about the way that this piece turned out and it will actually be featured again very soon in Lionface Production’s Dr. Faustus on the character of Mephistopheles. Pictures to come!

Photo courtesy of Laura Fairman Photography

Now we have come to the end of my series and now you know the story behind the creation of my steampunk costume. I may be doing an encore post as well in regards to Dr. Faustus, given that it is being done in a steampunk fashion, so stay tuned for that. In other news, I was voted one of the top five comedians from last years Stand Up Toledo, which means that I will be in it again this year! More information on that as it gets closer as well as some updates on Already Indie and life as an actress. Thanks for reading!

“We can control the future, my boy, just as we wind up the mechanism in a clock. Say to yourself: I will win that race–I will come first–and you wind up the future like clockwork. The world has no choice but to obey! Can the hands of that old clock in the corner decide to stop? Can the spring in your watch decide to wind itself up and run backward? No! They have no choice. And nor has the future, once you have wound it up.” – Philip Pullman, Clockwork

 

Steampunk’d: The Accessories

With any great costume comes great accessories. Or at least decent ones. You can decide what you consider them after you see the ones that I did to accent my steampunk costume. All except for the awesome chest piece prosthetic, which will be my third and last installment of this series. So let’s get to it.

In any makeup job I do, I try to accent the eyes the best I can. As you may have seen in my earlier entry, I had a large prosthetic eye piece, so I wanted to do something simple with the other eye as to not distract away from the piece. I went with a simple brown eyeliner color and flared out the corners a bit. However, the accessory part is the three golden gears that I spirit gummed along my cheekbone. Simple, but it ended up looking really cool.

The next piece is the hat. It was just a simple, $5 black hat that I got from Spirit Halloween. The black, ribbon band was already attached to it when I bought it. I was unable to find any feathers that I liked, until I came across a pair of cheap, black feather earrings. I took the earrings apart and, using craft glue, attached it to the hat. I then used some of the gears that I got from Costume Holiday House and one from the package of gears I got from Hobby Lobby, to complete it. Again, nothing too fancy, but this particular piece actually captured the attention of my director for Dr. Faustus. I will actually be wearing it as the part of Robin in the steampunk version of the show, put on by Lionface Productions. The next couple of pieces will also be featured in the show, but more on that in a later entry.

Now we get into the more complicated accessories. This choker started out as a blue and white Victorian portrait jewelry piece that I got from Wal-Mart. I started by repainting it so that it would match the copper and gold color scheme that I was going for. I then attached it to a piece of black ribbon using a mixture of black thread and craft glue. I had to sew it on to keep it attached and the craft glue to keep it in place. I then used some copper chain that I had gotten with jewelry piece and cut off two parts, which I sewed on. I added a clasp and loop to the back and accented it with a couple of gears where it clasped at so that the back was decorated as well.

Finally, I created a handflower out of some of the remaining chain and gears (again, one from each package). This was a little more tricky to make. The ring part is fit to my size and is made from the chain, which wraps around my middle finger and connects at the gear. I then made the wrist part using one of the large gears and doing basically the same as the ring, only this time I split the chain and attached it with a clasp. I then measured out three lengths of chain which I used to attach the two pieces together. I used ordinary black and brown thread to attach all the pieces, and then used a layer of copper paint to help lay down the stray pieces and make it look more metallic. It took me a couple of hours to get it the way I liked it, but out of all the pieces that I made this is probably the most impressive.

Play-Doh enjoys the hat the most

And that pretty much covers it for the accessories. As stated before, my last installment is how I made the chest piece and put everything together. Thanks for reading!

“If you want something you can have it, but only if you want everything that goes with it, including all the hard work and the despair, and only if you’re willing to risk failure.” – Philip Pullman, Clockwork

Comedy and Horror

Hello again!

I apologize for the lateness of this post, it is long overdue. I’ve been busy with work and looking for a new waitressing job, as well as doing some filming with Already Indie for our Shocktober series and creating my steampunk costume for Halloween. So I guess the best way to go about this would be to tell you my plans for the rest of the month.

Tonight, I will be MCing for Michael Night, a comedian/magician/hypnotist that has been seen on television and has an incredible act. I am incredibly lucky to have this opportunity and I am hoping to be able to do well. The show is also featuring comedians Kennedy O’Reilly and Jake Dickey, two very funny local comedians whom I have worked with before. Tomorrow, I will be competing in the Best in the Midwest comedy competition! It’s my first comedy competition, so I’m pretty excited about it. The grand prize is $500, although, to be frank, I don’t hold any illusions that I will even place let alone win. Not because I am a bad comedian, but because the majority of other comedians are really good and have more experience in the field then I do. However, I didn’t decide to do the competition for the money, I chose to do it for the experience and the opportunity to hang out with some amazing comedians.

I also designed the poster. Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.

As I said before, I’ve been doing some filming with Already Indie and we are working on doing some things in the area to help promote the show. For example, tomorrow we are taking part in a costume drive, sponsored by STAR 105 and the Andrew Z in the Morning crew. The purpose is for people to donate old costumes and clothes for underprivileged kids who can’t afford to buy costumes this year for Halloween. Already Indie, as well as Lionface Productions, will be providing face painting for the event. Next week, Already Indie will be attending one of the largest Halloween parties to hit Toledo, Ohio, hosted by Angelina from the Jersey Shore and CNN’s Carlos Diaz. We ended up winning tickets from Phototwine, a great new app for the iPhone that everyone should check out. It’s going to be a great networking opportunity for us and a lot of fun to boot.

I’m hoping to start a series on here regarding my steampunk Halloween costume that I am still in the process of finishing. I’ve been making prosthetics for it that I hope are going to work out really well. But for now, I leave you with a teaser photo! Hope to talk to you all again soon.

Getting ready for Halloween!

Clothes make a statement.  Costumes tell a story.  – Mason Cooley

 

Short Update

Hello again,

Alas, Murder in the Cathedral has ended. Though the crowds for each show were somewhat small, the quality of them could not be beat! Honestly, despite the size, I preferred this crowd to many others that I performed in front of, so I definitely considered the show a success. Plus it is always fun to be in shows with friends. I do believe that I will miss the show, but I am ready to move on with other parts of my life and perhaps break away from the Bowling Green scene of things.

Rocking the Rosie the Riveter look while backstage for our final performance

I have already made some plans to do some more comedy now that I have more evenings free. For starters, I will be MCing BG’s Professional Comedy Night this coming Tuesday. Though I have done this a couple of times before, I am a little nervous as I feel somewhat out of practice. Work has made it difficult for me to get stage time, but I am confident that the nervousness will subside rather quickly. As they say, “this isn’t my first rodeo.” Additionally, the DVD for Stand Up Toledo is almost ready to be released! They have already released a few stills from the DVD as teasers (see photo below). The people in charge are hoping to do a public screening of the DVD some time soon, although I won’t lie: I don’t always like seeing myself on camera. Not so much performing, like something with a script, but watching myself perform my own material or just “be myself” always feels awkward. However, this is something I will have to get used to quickly as I begin to do more and more performances for the camera.

Stand Up Toledo DVD still

Another update is that I may have yet another outlet for selling my books! Horizon Youth Theatre has offered me an opportunity to work with them on promoting my book at some of their shows… now I just have to get a hold of some books to sell/promote. So watch for a Kickstarter update! I really want to get this off the ground as I feel that this book is important for any kid who is interested in technical/backstage theatre (and believe me, I have met a few that are!).

That’s all for now, just a short update on the direction in which things are headed for me. As I tell some of the kids I work with before they head out to school: Have a good day! Make good choices, do good things!

“If you’re going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you’re going to be locked up.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Waiting…

At the point in my life, I find myself in a nearly constant state of waiting. I’m not a particularly impatient person, but I do find myself wishing that I could take a more active role in my life. Unfortunately, many things that I could be doing require me to have money that I simply do not have.

For example, it was recently pointed out to me that in order to promote my book more I need to have more copies to sell, hand out, use for book signings, etc. Unfortunately, the way my publisher works is that I have to pay for copies of my book to have them to sell/use for my own devices. Additionally, if I am going to get any sort of author discount I have to order a minimum amount of 25 books (which would be roughly $250, with my discount). All in all, this is a great deal, but when you factor in rent and living expenses, it’s a difficult number for a young actress who also has to worry about health and paying back school loans.

A peek inside my book, “Silly Billy’s Guide to the Theatre”

However, this fellow author whom I was speaking with brought up some very good points. I would be able to make the money back simply by selling the books, therefore not really losing anything. The difficult part is simply getting the money to start with. He suggested possibly taking out a loan or setting up something through Kickstarter. Since I had never heard of this program, I needed an explanation: Basically, Kickstarter is an online fundraising program designed to help artists, such as myself, begin projects. People can donate money on the site towards these projects, and are given rewards based upon how much they spend on your project. The best part? If you don’t reach your monetary goal by the date that you set, no one is charged anything. So someone could donate money towards the cause, but not have to pay if the project is scrapped for some reason. Cool, right? It’s definitely worth looking into, although I worry whether or not there would be anyone willing to donate money towards my cause, but you never know if you don’t try. Plus, I’ve already been asked to do a few book signings, so it wouldn’t necessarily be an exercise in futility.

Another route I’ve looked into is selling some of my artwork. Well, technically I have already been doing that (thank you, Redbubble!), but I’m speaking specifically about selling some of my oil paintings through Etsy.

One of my oil paintings, currently making my kitchen wall a bit more classy

Instagram made the coloring a bit brighter than it actually is, but you get the picture (lol, lame unintentional pun). For those of you that don’t know, Etsy is essentially a site designed to help artists sell their art online without having to worry about not getting the product or not getting paid for your art. Shipping would still be my responsibility, of course, but this not only gets my art out there, I don’t have to worry about giving it away to someone who will neither pay for nor appreciate it.

Another route I’d like to look into is doing comedy on a bigger scale. This is something I may not have to wait for, I just need to be more aggressive on finding work. However, I am making the choice to do this after…

The finished product! It took a lot of work, but I finally have the poster where I want it. It’s definitely one of the better posters I’ve created.

Murder in the Cathedral! We are drawing closer to tech week and the inevitable opening of the show. I am truly fortunate to be in yet another show with so many of my friends. I am also fortunate that the director has been very patient with me, I have unfortunately been fighting a cold for several weeks now. I’m hoping that this will have passed by opening night, though the doctors are, frankly, a little stumped at this cold’s insistence on staying in my system. Never the less, as the old saying goes, “the show must go on” (and it’s often forgotten counterpart, “or else we’ll have to give them their money back”). Speaking of the show, I have to get some things ready before rehearsal tonight, so I will end this entry here.

“All things come to him who waits – provided he knows what he is waiting for.”  – Woodrow T. Wilson