As 2010 came and went, we had the privilege of meeting some amazing people and doing some amazing things.
2010 brought The Backstage Beat to Atlanta. What a pleasure it has been to get to know all the people and businesses that support us . . . all the local Atlantans that make this venture possible.
We have an amazing staff of writers and photographers and love having them. We lost a few along the way, but all in all, we have grown and prospered. We will continue to grow and promote the Atlanta community. So many things are already planned all the way through May!
So, here is my list of top moments I cherish. Moments that made me laugh and moments that made me feel so lucky!
10. INTERVIEW WITH KEVN KINNEY – To me this was one of the funniest interviews I had done all year. Someone should give that guy his own talk show. I could have sat there all afternoon and listened to him talk. It was very entertaining and I never knew what he was going to say next.
9. THE DANDY WARHOLS – Meeting with Zia of The Dandy Warhols at Vinyl before the show was really interesting. She is unbelievably sweet and easy to talk to. The show was mind blowing too! I was fighting a headache and I still could not pull myself away from the show! The opening act was fantastic and when The Dandy Warhols took the stage, I just couldn’t leave and I didn’t want them too either. Great show!!!
8. THE PIXIES – Seeing the Pixies at The Fox Theatre was pretty amazing. It was even more amazing that Frank Black talked to me on his tour bus. It was a cute and funny interview. Unfortunately, due to the camera operator’s embarrassing behavior, we couldn’t use the footage. Well, that was a lesson learned! We can’t wait to see Black Francis come through town again and hear what he and his wife are coming out with this year!
[pro-player repeat=’false’ width=”425″ height=”344″]http://atlanta.thebackstagebeat.com/Video/BBBlackFrancisTrailer.mov[/pro-player]
7. ATLANTA BALLET – Meeting Sigele from Atlanta Ballet was great! She was so accommodating and allowed me to come in and see dress rehearsals and the shows at The Fox Theatre. She offered up ticket giveaways and even tickets for my family and friends to see the show. So great to see such amazing dancers live. I can not wait to see The Atlanta Ballet in their upcoming 2011 Season!
6. SUBLIME W/ROME – Seeing Sublime with Rome was really a great thing. It was right near my birthday and I had been a Sublime fan since I was about 15. Rob happened to know the guys from the Long Beach music scene in the late 80’s , so it was cool to talk about those days when Bradley was around. Great show and an overall great time. It got better when Sublime used my photos of their show on their site and social network sites!
5. Toy Story 3 On Ice – This was one of my favorite things I did all year representing TBB. To be able to take my family to see one of their favorite things, Toy Story! It was awesome! The skill of the skaters, the set design, the actual voices of the characters blew us away. We had been to opening day of Toy Story 3 the movie, and seeing it live rink side was so fantastic! I couldn’t take my eyes off of all three kids as they stared in amazement as all of their favorite characters came skating out! This was definitely my top for family fun!
4. JOE SATRIANI – Talking to Joe Satriani on the phone while he was in Spain was something I enjoyed. He was polite and professional and really made me excited to see his show on Dec. 1st. His show was phenomenal and I really enjoyed shooting pictures that night with my other two photog friends for TBB, Tom Dausner and Cool Keith Minor.
3. KIDS IN THE HALL – Having Kevin McDonald and Mark McKinney call me from New York to talk to me about the IFC show, “Death Comes to Town” was amazing! I have been a huge KITH fan since I was around 12 and I have to admit, it was one of the only interviews that I did in 2010 where I got nervous. They were as funny as I thought they would be and very nice. Hope to talk to them again in 2011.
Have a listen here, enjoy and laugh along with them on this first installment of interviews with The Kids in the Hall.[audio: BBKidsInTheHallInterview.mp3]
2. BILLY WEST – Meeting Billy West and Phil Lamar at Dragon*Con was such a great time. Billy West and I immediately got along as though we were long lost friends. I knew when our interview was over, it would not be the last time I would talk to him. Sure enough about a month after meeting him I got a phone call one night and on the other end I heard, “Is this Ange Alex? Hey, this is Billy West”. From that day on Billy and I have remained good friends, chatting and skyping. He is a great friend that helps give me business advice being that he has been in this weird entertainment world for 40 years! Can not wait to see him again this year and all the other things that will come from our friendship.
1. STAN LEE – Yes, meeting the legend Stan Lee in person at Dragon*Con and interviewing him was definitely a huge highlight of 2010. He was such a nice guy and was so happy to talk to me. We are excited again to see him in 2011! Wait until you see what we have planned!
2010 is gone. We will never be able to go back. I am thankful for all the things I was able to do and all the amazing people I was able to meet in 2010. I am thrilled at the year ahead and invite you all to join me in this wild wild ride!
Starting with training for Tough Mudder…. watch our teams progress, cheer us on and donate to our chip in for The Wounded Warrior Project! Tough Mudder is in March so we don’t have much time! Thanks to my team for signing on to torture themselves with me and to raise money for some amazing Vets that put their lives on the line for us! Check it out right here!
Happy 2011 Everyone!!!
Rain and Fire in Sedona
A rainy day in Sedona? What are we going to do. Everything we have planned is outdoors. I am pretty sure that is why people come to Sedona, for the beautiful OUTDOOR activities, like hiking, biking, Jeep tours, viewing the red rocks and photography.
What to do, what to do.
Oh, I know. I had the privilege of meeting some great artists that work in fire and glass! The perfect indoor activity when your outdoor plans are washed away!
The Melting Point in Sedona, conveniently located across the street for the Whole Foods (two birds with one stone, yeah!), is a group of artist focusing on creating and teaching others how to create as well.
When we entered the facilities, it was like entering a fine arts gallery. So many beautiful works of glass art. Jordan Ford is the general manager and one of the Artists. He came out of the workshop and told us the rules, then brought us into the fold.
We were about to become glass blowers!
Jordan had a love for the natural world from a very early age. He went on to study geology in college but that is when he discovered glass. He currently has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Earth Science/Geology and Visual Arts/Glassblowing.
Jordan says , “It’s the process of blowing glass that drives me. I find the physical act of making glass so overwhelmingly fascinating. I approach most of my work with a consideration for the more classical techniques – it’s the framework that I use as a jumping point for experimentation.”
Not only is Jordan incredibly talented, he is really personable and extremely funny. He made everyone in the room feel at ease and we all often irrupted in bouts of laughter.
Another artist that was helping us is Austin Littenberg. Austin became interested in the art of glass blowing at age 16 after watching a documentary. He spent over 12 years developing his craft and learning the technical precision needed to work at this level.
Austin views the many ways Art presents itself and is in tune with it all, and it shows.
Clearly these two artist love what they do, and I for one am grateful for their expertise and their willingness to show the world their art.
They worked with us to create a beautiful cactus, complete with three flowers, one for each kid, and a Sedona rock like base. We loved the patience they showed and the skill to make us feel at ease. We never felt like we were about to do something we just couldn’t. It felt like we had been doing this before. That is the measure of a true instructor.
Our work of art was complete and we left there feeling accomplished and quite honestly, amazing!
Both Austin and Jordan have remarkable skills but also wonderful comedic timing. They were a absolutely pleasure to meet and I look forward to keeping up with their art in the future.
If you find yourself in Sedona and want to meet some really wonderful people, stop by The Melting Point and say hello! While you’re there, blow some glass!
How could I forget one of them most important things; They have a studio dog! Austin brings his sweet baby girl to work with him and she is an angel! We loved her! Make sure you give her some love when you visit!
Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando
I owe him a poem:
Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town.
He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.
He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.
He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make
There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.
Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.
He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too
Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.
Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.
Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:
If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out.
The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.
I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius!
Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.
“20/20:Visionary”: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Last weekend (March 18-20) the Atlanta Ballet gifted the city with “20/20: Visionary,” three pieces, including a world premiere, presented at the Cobb Energy Center.
The world premiere, “Playground,” by British choreographer Douglas Lee, belied its name by being a shadowy piece danced between upright, rolling chalkboard set pieces. Prepared for a lighthearted, joyful expression of childhood, I was surprised that the work instead exposed the darker side of childhood memories. There were some light moments, such as the towering billboard inscribed with multiple lines reading, “Jackie must remember the steps” – clearly a humorous aside about Jackie Nash, one of the most capable company members and perhaps the quickest study in rehearsal. There were some easily-seen choreographic devices–a lot of theme and variation, even more pushing around of set pieces–but there were a few exceptional moments as well, including intricate, slow-motion manipulation of a dancer’s body by another dancer.
The opening work, “Boiling Point,” by Darrell Grand Moultrie, was playfully performed at breakneck speed. Dancers are often told to “make it look easy,” and the company took that concept to heart. Highlighted against the men in black costumes, the women wore bits of metallic fabric, providing splashes of intense color and exposing powerful bodies with long muscles. The piece began with the stage space open almost to its fullest, and the dancers running across like a rushing river. They rolled, twisted, turned, and slid like water itself. The choreography juxtaposed synchronicity with counterpoint, traditional with innovation. There was a gargouillade, rarely seen even in classical ballets. The lines of the bodies were critical to the piece, and often layers deep. The flow was almost nonstop, with only an occasional flick of a wrist or toss of a head to provide momentary stasis. The standout was Christian Clark, who sometimes nearly managed to integrate himself into the group but then something distinctive and powerful in his dancing drew the eye to him again.
“Home in 7,” a work by Amy Siewert, closed the concert. A portrait of Atlanta, the ballet was a rich tapestry woven from music, spoken word, and movement. Performed in 7 segments to a libretto written and performed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and an intriguing, haunting string score composed and performed by Daniel Bernard Roumain, the dance, too, was a poem, shimmering like summer moonlight on the Chattahoochee. John Welker opened the ballet with tiny explosions of movement “Secrets.” Perhaps the most enchanting segment was “Home of the Braves:” 5 men using baseball imagery, holding their formation as they slid precisely between pitches and catches. “Red Clay” evoked August nights, intolerance, and redemption—Atlanta history, a story familiar to many. I first saw this ballet in 2011, and it has grown in depth as the dancers have matured technically and emotionally. Atlanta loves its ballet company, and never more than when it showcases its home city.
John McFall is ending his tenure with the company at the end of this season. For newcomers to Atlanta Ballet offerings, this will have been a dynamic performance. For long-time supporters, it will have been an opportunity to reflect on his legacy. There are a couple more opportunities to see the company under his watch, and then he will pass the torch to Gennadi Nedvigin, the company’s fourth artistic director. Stay tuned!
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