#WhatsHotNow: We Are Kindred

When HBO series Ballers Arielle Kebbel posted a photo on Instagram wearing We Are Kindred, we couldn’t help but be stunned (and in a good way!) by her gorgeous, sexy and totally untamed Billie Pant ($199) and Bille Blazer ($349) in Metallic Jacquard while making an appearance at a Las Vegas nightclub. Not for the faint of heart!

We Are Kindred, women's clothing, prints

http://wearekindred.com.au/

We absolutely LOVE the LOOKBOOK.  Check it out here!

WAK_WEBLOOKBOOK_W15_3_00375094-03c9-4aae-b36c-6146c7538a1e

Gaming in Color: The Queer Side of Gaming

Being a part of a community.  Having a safe place to express oneself.  Playing with diversity. Finding an identity.

gaming_in_color

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move ~

Devolver Digital Films and MidBoss have just digitally VOD released a feature documentary, Gaming In Color, which explores the queer side of gaming.

Directed by Philip Jones, the award-winning film takes a look at the queer gaming community, ‘gaymer’ culture, and the increasing acceptance of LGBTQ themes in video games. The film, which won Best Documentary at the Gen Con 2014 Film Festival, explores how the community culture is shifting and the industry is diversifying, helping with queer visibility and acceptance of an LGBTQ presence.

According to the new documentary Gaming in Color, for longer than anyone has realized, much less non-gamers, gaming has been a place where young people learn practical skills like multi-tasking, music, even finance, and above all, how to socialize in the real world.  

Focusing on “representation”, this 61 minutes film talks about the profound influence of games on attitudes and the identity of gays, a more 360 view apart from and inclusive of sexuality.  Totally filmed in interviews, the dialog tends to be repetitive, but we are dealing with highly intelligent people, logically reasoning about the hot indie games scene, the creators of the games themselves and on controversial subject matter.  Gaming in Color addresses the every day stigmas of simply being a gamer, being labelled a “geek” a “freak”  and how the entry of queer games has created on one hand a whole anti-gay movement within games and on the other, opened the door for GaymerX, the Comic-con for this group.

Because gaming however, is still mostly a heterosexual universe, for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer/questioning gamer, it is also another place where they experience bullying.  As the two worlds continue to mesh within this bubble genre, the solace these groups are seeking within games is becoming explosive and the gaming industry is stuck in the middle of the struggle for voices, fans and sales.

Ultimately, though gaming is interactive, accessible, engaging and inclusive in a way that other parts of culture are not, for young gay men and women, it is a place where they can “come out”, see themselves inside a story, create a story and be included, because games, as an invaluable tool for self-expression, contain possibilities and opportunities for looking at the world in different ways. 

At only 51 years old games have the potential to shift thought culture entirely.

Recommended

Gaming In Color

A Feature Documentary that Explores

The Queer Side of Gaming

Directed by Philip Jones

Ryan Paul is the cinematographer, film editor, and a producer for Gaming In Color. The film’s producing company is MidBoss, which organizes the GX game convention (formerly GaymerX) and will also be releasing the upcoming queer-focused adventure game Read Only Memories. MidBoss CEO Matt Conn is featured in the cast and is also the executive producer of the film.

Gaming In Color’s digital VOD release can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, PlayStation, Xbox, and Vudu, with other major platforms. For additional information, please visit www.gamingincolor.com.

Gaming In Color features a queer-identified cast from across the gamer community including Colleen Macklin (Associate Professor at Parsons & game designer), George Skleres (Riot Games engineer), Matt Conn (MidBoss CEO & GaymerX/GX founder), Naomi Clark (game creator), Joey Stern (founding member of Geeks Out), Jessica Vazquez (journalist), Shane Cherry (NYC Gaymers event promoter), and Matthew Michael Brown (activist & reality TV star). Anne Clements, of Idiot Savant Pictures, served as a producer.

Remix artist and video game soundtrack composer 2 Mello (aka Matthew Hopkins) created the film’s music, which incorporates a variety of game sounds. Footage from the inaugural GaymerX event, which is primarily focused on the gay gaming community and LGBTQ issues, is also featured in the film. The film was partially funded by a Kickstarter Campaign, which raised $51,158 from 1,026 backers. 

The film has screened in nearly two dozen locations at festivals and events in the U.S. and abroad.

The film and cover art were also seen onscreen in an episode of HBO’s Looking. Upcoming screenings include the History of Gender in Games conference in Montreal, Canada on Friday, June 26, 2015.

Philip Jones, Director & Producer –

Philip Jones is a game developer, event coordinator, community manager, and now film director living in Fort Worth, TX. As an active queer gamer and activist, Jones has a deeply personal stake in this project. Jones believes diversity and positive representation of marginalized people in video games, both in industry development and community culture, are things that can be achieved through passion and hard work. Jones hopes that Gaming In Color will be used as an educational tool that succeeds in promoting these goals. This is Jones’ first film. Apart from Gaming In Color, Jones works as an employee of MidBoss as both the lead scripter and assistant writer for upcoming cyberpunk adventure game Read Only Memories as well as the exhibitor director for the queer-focused game convention GX (formerly GaymerX). Jones also enjoys watching professional wrestling and being a real life bear cub.

Ryan Paul, Cinematographer, Film Editor & Producer –

Ryan Paul is an independent producer, editor, and documentarian, always looking for a new story to tell. A self-proclaimed gay geek, ex-Mormon, and Canadian-American, he adores geek culture, science fiction, film, games, and exploring new corners of the internet. Previous professional affiliations include AlleyWire, Here TV, and the University of Utah. Previous projects include developing a series of videos on New York Fashion Week for OUT.com, shooting, editing, and developing graphics for For and Against, and shooting, editing and post production for the Homotional Rescue PSA series. He lives with his husband in New York City, where they drink too much coffee and contemplate moving to Seattle.

Matt Conn, Cast & Executive Producer –

Matt Conn is best known for being the founder and CEO of MidBoss, the company that also puts on the GX game convention (formerly GaymerX) that seeks to create a safe space for LGBTQ identified gamers. He is also the producer for MidBoss’ upcoming cyberpunk story adventure Read Only Memories, which seeks to include queer characters in a positive way through the narrative of an interactive experience. Read Only Memories is set to release on August 18, 2015. Conn is a major leader of the fight for queer inclusion in video games and directs all MidBoss projects from San Francisco, where he lives.

2 Mello (aka Matthew Hopkins), Composer –

Matthew “2 Mello” Hopkins is a remix artist and soundtrack composer who chews up samples and neat sounds to create his music. He is most well known for Chrono Jigga, a mashup album with Jay-Z’s lyrics mixed with handcrafted beats sampling the Chrono Trigger soundtrack. After producing three albums as a solo artist, he was signed to the online, non-profit label Scrub Club Records. Recently, he began a career as an indie game composer and is now working on the soundtracks for Dawn Of Time, and MidBoss Games’ title Read Only Memories. He has been featured in articles on Spin.com, Kotaku, The Verge, Polygon, and Destructoid. 2 Mello was thrilled to create the music forGaming In Color so that he could “put a melody to the lives and passions of so many gaymers.”

MidBoss –

MidBoss is a gaming, tech, and geek culture company based in San Francisco that focuses on alternative and LGBTQ lifestyles that encompass gaming culture. Under the MidBoss banner, projects like the GX convention (formerly GaymerX), Read Only Memories, GXdev, and Gaming In Color endeavor to create a better gaming community for queer geeks. The company’s goal is to create a safe space for everyone who loves games, where they can enjoy and express themselves through games however they choose. Everyone games.

Devolver Digital –

Based in Austin, Texas, Devolver Digital distributes independent video games and guides indie filmmakers through digital distribution and film promotion. Devolver Digital’s outspoken passion for independent games, developers, and fans has earned the company no minor measure of game industry notoriety. With its expansion into film, which was announced at South by Southwest 2013, the company applies that same fiercely creative devotion and digital content expertise to support and celebrate indie filmmakers and projects. Co-Founder and Partner Mike Wilson says his own experience as a filmmaker seeking distribution led him and his partners to expand Devolver Digital into film. That experience has guided the company’s focus on “hand-crafted” strategic partnership and personal attention in distributing the titles on the label to a full range of digital and cable VOD platforms.

Links –

• Official Site – http://www.gamingincolor.com

• Film’s Devolver Page – http://www.devolverdigital.com/films/view/gaming-in-color

• Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGmnWC1yCvQ

• Press Kit – https://www.presskit.to/gamingincolor

• Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GamingInColor

• Twitter – https://twitter.com/GamingInColor

• Soundtrack – https://soundcloud.com/wearemidboss/sets/gaming-in-color-ost

Actors’ Equity claims 20-year-old Los Angeles theater company has never produced in L.A.

Company founding artistic director pens scathing letter in response

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Actors’ Equity Association, the national union of theater performers and stage managers, recently notified several award-winning Los Angeles theater companies, among them long-time membership company Evidence Room, that Equity has no record that they have ever produced in Los Angeles. Evidence Room founding artistic director Bart DeLorenzo has written a trenchant letter in response.

As part of a set of new Rules and Agreements that Actors’ Equity is attempting to institute in the Los Angeles theater community, the union is in the process of determining whether or not dozens of small theater companies working in theaters with 99 seats or less qualify as “membership companies.” This is a designation that would exempt them from substantially increasing actor pay in accordance with new rules for non-membership companies. The union’s new rules have served to galvanize and unite theater practitioners who oppose them, and have become the subject of heated debate in the media.

Equity’s requirements for acceptance as a membership company are twofold: one, the theater must operate primarily for the mutual benefit of its members; and two, the theater must have produced in Los Angeles prior to February 6, 2015.

Several theater companies have been notified that they are being rejected as membership companies because, according to Actors’ Equity, there is no record that they have produced in L.A. prior to February 6.

Evidence Room (http://evidenceroomtheater.com/), a company that has been in existence for 20 years, has produced more than 50 plays in Los Angeles and was named by the Los Angeles Times in 2001 as “L.A.’s most valuable rising theater,” received such a letter from Actors’ Equity, which stated that, “Based on the information that we have, it does not appear that your company meets the requirements of the membership company rule, because your company had not produced under the 99-Seat Plan prior to February 6, 2015.

Please see below for the response from Evidence Room founding artistic director Bart DeLorenzo:

Dear A—–,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Please forgive my astonished response. As someone who has been directing and producing shows with the Evidence Room Theater for 20 years, I was really taken aback by your determination that you had no records of our theater, especially since I personally have probably signed and mailed in about 40 of those 99-seat forms registering our shows with Actors Equity over the years. And yet there are none in your records? I have to say it makes me curious about the record-keeping over there…

To me it was like your wondering if Nathan Lane had ever performed in a Broadway show. (I just looked it up: he’s done 20, about half the number of 99-seat shows Evidence Room has registered.)

A simple Google search would probably also have told you as much. (Which is what I conducted on you when I wondered who it could be that was asking such a, forgive me, LA-theater-ignorant question.) Or a conversation with practically anyone working in theater in Los Angeles might have helped you. Or if you have seriously managed to misfile all those forms over all those years, you could also have looked at our company website, which might have led you to several articles on the company in the Los Angeles Times. We haven’t been hiding.

I have to say that I have been listening for months now to Los Angeles actors complaining about the willful ignorance of their Actors Equity representatives and Equity’s dogged willfulness to eradicate the LA theater ecosystem, but your email is my first actual direct Equity encounter. And I have to say, you do nothing to correct the terrible impression everyone keeps criticizing. You perfectly enact the pattern of carelessly shooting something down based on little or no facts and asking questions later. And that just seems so out of character with the excellent meticulous and conscientious Equity stage managers I’ve worked with over the years. What is happening?

Now, A—–, your resume shows that you have worked with all sorts of people I know and respect and perhaps you have just been given a task completely outside your area. (I know I would have a hard time sorting through foreign theaters and making determinations about them.) But I have to wonder why you were given this job. Isn’t there one person in all of Actors Equity who is familiar with Los Angeles theater? If not, maybe that’s the bigger problem.

Well, A—–, you are undoubtedly tasked with many more letters like the one you sent me to deal with so I shouldn’t keep you any longer, but I would be remiss in not taking this moment to encourage you and your Equity brethren to dispense with all this bureaucratic nonsense and sit down with the 99-seat theaters and have a conversation. You all must know that this edict-on-high approach isn’t working and is never going to work. If you try to move forward with it, there will be lawsuits and strikes and rallies and all sorts of unpleasantness. The Union isn’t listening to its own members and even the most casual glance at history can tell anyone that a house divided will not stand.

Everyone in LA theater wants actors to be paid more money, but there are too many Equity actors out here for that to work in the proposals that Equity has hastily revised and thrust at the community. (They perhaps save Equity’s face a little, but don’t really do anything to address the real issues.) So please, I encourage all of you over there to get to know LA theater a little more before you try to administer it so strenuously. Rip up your unpopular proposals and start fresh with a community that really wants to work with you. If you want, A—–, you can start with me. I’ll be happy to tell you about my 20-year-old company and anything else you’d like to know.

All best,

Bart

PS Below are some 99-seat titles you can use to search — with their production dates. If you can’t find any of these in your files, I can perhaps send you more. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

1995 | SWELL| May 11 – Jun 18 | LEONCE & LENA | Oct 27 – Nov 26 | THEHOUSEGUESTS | Nov 1 – Dec 2 | 1996 | THE LIFE OF STUFF |Apr 27 – Jun 28 | I’M DREAMING, BUT AM I? | Jun 16 – 30 | TALES OF THE LOST FORMICANS | Sep 14 – Oct 26 | EARLY MORNING | Sep 19 – Nov 2 co-production w/ Tuesday Prod. | SWEETHOSTAGE | Nov 15 – Dec 21 co-production w/ Real Theater | 1997 | ANDROMACHE | May 1- Jun 8 | THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST | Jul 10 – Aug 3 co-production w/ Fabulous Monsters | ALMOST BLUE | Sep 19- Oct 26 | 1998 | ONE FLEA SPARE | Sep 12 – Oct 24 | 1999 | FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID | Apr 10 – May 16 | NO ORCHIDS FOR MISS BLANDISH | Oct 23 – Nov 28 | 2000 | THE BERLIN CIRCLE | May 11 – July 7, 2000 | SPEED-HEDDA | Aug 12 – Oct 1 co-production w/ Fabulous Monsters | SAVED| Oct 21, 2000 – Feb 4, 2001 | 2001 | COLOGNE: OR THE WAY EVIL ENTERS THE WORLD| Jan 18 – Feb 2 | THREE DAYS OF RAIN | Mar 28 – May 26 | DON CARLOS | Jun 9 – Jul 29 | THE IMPERIALISTS AT THE CLUB CAVE CANEM | Sep 15 – Oct 20 | DELIRIUM PALACE | Nov 8 – Dec 16 | THE LOST CHRISTMAS EPISODE | Dec 1 – 23 | 2002 | DOG MOUTH | Jan 12 – Mar 2 co-production w/ Padua Plays | Feb 9 – Jun 22 | PENTECOST | May 25 – Jul 13 | NOTHIN’ BEATS PUSSY | Aug 10 – Sep 14 | HOLLYWOOD BURNING | Oct 3, 2002 – Feb 6, 2003 | HOT PROPERTY | Oct 10, 2002 – Feb 22, 2003 | CRINGE | Nov 14, 2002 – Feb 9, 2003 | 2003 | MAYHEM | Mar 20 – Apr 19 | THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH | Jun 7 – Jul 20 | MESSALINA | Oct 5 – Nov 16 | 2004 | HARD TIMES | Charles Dickens | May 1 – Jun 6 | THREE FEET UNDER | Jul 15 – Aug 8 | HOMEWRECKER | Aug 14 – Sep 11 | DARKRAPTURE | Sep 25 – Nov 6 | 2005 | FLOW MY TEARS, THE POLICEMAN SAID | March 12 – May 7 | THE BLACKS | May 21 – April 26 | KILLERS | July 23 – Sept 3 | SHE STOOPS TO COMEDY | Sept 17 – Nov 19 | 2006 | INSIDE THE CREOLE MAFIA | Feb 4 – Apr 2 co-production w/ Luna Ray Films |THE CHERRY ORCHARD | May 27 – July 2 | 2007 | ATTEMPTS ON HER LIFE | Nov 10 – Dec 15 co-production w/ Unknown Theater | 2009 | THE RECEPTIONIST | Aug 5 – Nov 21 co-production w/ the Odyssey Theatre | 2011 | MARGO VEIL | Jun 8 – Aug 14 co-production w/ the Odyssey Theatre 2012 | IVANOV | Apr 11 – June 16 co-production w/ the Odyssey Theatre | 2013 | ANNAPURNA | Apr 20 – June 9 co-production w/ the Odyssey Theatre | 2014 | PASSION PLAY | Jan 25 – March 16 co-production w/ the Odyssey Theatre

Ellison Ballet Celebrates 10 Years at Symphony Space NYC

Carlos-Stafford-Main-1254709434Reviewed by Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic

Ellison Ballet

Year after year since its inception, the Ellison Ballet of New York has been on a upward trajectory.

May 15th and 16th performances clearly show a dynamic company that gets more and more professional on each outing, charming audiences with full-throttle energy, athleticism, and commitment.

As usual, the program highlights some of the fine moments from the classical repertory, and spiced this year with a few winning additions like Bournonville colorful and playful, Jockey Dance, staged crisply by Karina Elver, and the wild and breathtaking Khachaturian Waltz, that utilized the entire cast in a swirling gauzy delight.

But the bulk of the program was culled from a Giselle variation, Don Q, La Esmeralda, Flames of Paris, Paquita, and the like, and were uniformly performed with great energy, technical skill, and heart. From the outset, the dancers were well rehearsed and full of bright and clear talent.

A few dances stood out for their depth, quality, and astonishing delivery. Grand Pas Classique Pas De Deux, with the remarkable talented Juliette Bosco (even more noteworthy, is only 12), electrified, along with her able partner Theophilus Pilette. Bosco also displayed her considerable talents earlier in the progam in charming Harlequinade. The most striking feature about this young performer is her obvious stunning maturity and abundant confidence she brings to her roles. She possesses a dignity in her gaze, and a surity in her movements that is easily seen, and to be applauded. Pilette was a wonderful partner, who performed with a manly presence, and stuck the right balance in this very dramatic and exciting piece.

Carmen, staged by Ellison, to Bizet’s famous score was nothing if not a heart-thumping sexy, well-performed delight. Emily Neale was great fun as the strong-willed Carmen who takes what she wants and scorns the weak dogs who fall into her spell–a woman a man can’t resist, but nonetheless want to possess at their own peril. August Athuru Generalli danced Don Jose with an fine arc of development from stately military control, to broken man with superb clarity. Neale was truly outstanding in her gorgeous presence and seductiveness, and the two crackled the stage with their dangerous dance of death. The costumes, swirling caps, Escamillo (Kevin Zong), soldiers, and the huge cast of gypsies electrified the stage with fiery energy.

Ellison Ballet is the best they’ve ever been. The training and performance level is more and more professional, and it was a joy to see this great development through the years. We wish them all congratulations for a fine ten years, and best wishes to all these fine students, their developing careers, and to all the quality teaching offered at the school.

Music Monday: Feel Alive with Aleks Grey

Aleks GreyWe normally like to start off Music Mondays with a kick.  But listening to Aleks Grey was filled with such beautiful and practical inspiration, toning it down seemed to match the insanity inducing Mercury retrograde a whole lot better.  Dedicating this to the harmony we seek inside ourselves.  “Born” is actually his 2013 solo project release.  His new release ‘Feel Alive’, just launched on iTunes on May 15th (Buy it on iTunes now by clicking the image below).  It is feel good anthemic pop, perfect listening in the summer sunshine. Both are  a great introduction to his music.

Born in Volda, Norway, Aleks was introduced to music through classical piano lessons when he was just three years old, but he was soon drawn to blues, soul and rock and roll. By the age of ten he was writing his own songs and by twelve he had become an accomplished guitarist.

Acutely shy, Aleks had never dared to sing publicly until one of his best friends forced him to audition for a part in a musical. Aleks was successful and performed in three musicals (Rent, West Side Story and Les Miserables), and had leading roles in each one. He also went on tour with Fame – the musical.

Aleks Grey

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The Band:

Aleksander Raftevold (Aleks Grey) – vocal/piano/synth/guitar
Reece Cairns – Drums/pad
Eline Brun – bv/piano/synth
Andreas Oxholm – bv/bass
Andreas Skuggen – guitar

Social Media:
www.facebook.com/aleksgreymusic
www.twitter.com/aleksgreymusic
www.instagram.com/aleksgrey
www.aleksgreymusic.com
www.youtube.com/aleksgreymusic
www.soundcloud.com/aleksgrey

Music We Missed in 2014: Sweet Bump It

#ListenToThis

@SweetBumpIt

www.sweetbumpit.com

 

 

Inland Pacific Ballet presents Beauty and the Beast

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Beauty and the Beast Inland Pacific Ballet

Inland Pacific Ballet brings to life an authentic production of Beauty and the Beast.  Structured closer to the classic 1756 French fairytale La Belle et la Bête by French novelist Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, rather than mimicking its modern Disney musical counterpart, it is a delightfully, uncomplicated, much more adult and truer narrative.  

In its original 18th century form, Beauty and the Beast was actually a primer for young ladies facing the perils of marriage.  Your husband might seem to be a beast to you but it was your job to find something to like about him. “We’ve come a long way since then…” commented founder/directed Victoria Koenig in a pre-show jest, which garnered an instantaneous house-wide giggle.  But really in its essence the story of Beauty and the Beast, as an instructional or otherwise, universally speaks to our better selves and our willingness to look past surface and find the inner beauty of another person; in Beauty’s case, love and a fairytale marriage.

Opening a bit like a town hall meeting, the show was introduced by Arcadia’s mayor, followed by an unexpected mini-history lesson of the tale and of the ballet. In and of itself the ballet Beauty and the Beast is a rather modern creation, with a strung together musical score by composers, Shostakovich, Komzak, Dvorak, Chapi, Mendelssohn, Khachaturian, Grieg, Massenet, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Paine, and Glazunov, which although did not evince a particularly strong denouement did seamlessly and quite beautifully lead the ballet.  The first several minutes were devoted to an expressive and perfect balletic mime demonstration by dance veteran Jonathan Sharp who exampled the “language” of story ballet.

A mostly young company of dancers including some very adorable spindly fairies and roses there were initially some rough patches.  Many of the girls couldn’t keep their footing on the slippery floor.  By the second act however, the choreography and the comfort level for the performers ramped up for a gorgeous finish when by Beauty’s love the Beast turns into a Prince played by Cameron Schwanz, a sophisticated “cut above” talent for local stage, and ‘princely’ by all means. I personally shouted a Bravo, from the 5th row for his incredible technique, presentational skill and for giving Beauty (Meilu Zhai) the best part of himself as a partner, allowing her to thoroughly shine during the wedding scene finale.

There are no dancing tea cups but there are wolves, fairies and knomes aplenty. Suited for adults and children of all ages.  There are two more performances taking place in Riverside, CA today:

Fox Performing Arts Center, 3801 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501
Box Office: (951) 779-9800

Saturday, May 16, 2015 at 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm

Information & Tickets:  ipballet.org; tickets from $34 with senior/child/group discounts available

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