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Run for Your Lives




Ack! ZOMBIES!!!! … Run For Your Lives!

Aside from the missing strand of curse words in the title, that’s pretty much exactly how an encounter with zombies would go (except that a few brave souls would hang back to fight the brain hungry undead). As you are probably all too aware zombies are all the rage in horror business right now. Most of the thanks and blame for this one falls squarely on horror fans and the general public’s falling out of love with vampires (blame the Twilight movie series for putting the final nail in the coffin for vamps everywhere, but don’t totally despair because you still have HBO’s True Blood series to fall back on) combined with the success of The Walking Dead graphic novel becoming a super-hyped hit TV show on AMC. You know AMC – the network with the tag line, “We know drama,” – well, zombies definitely create drama and conflict in apocalypse survivors!


So, thanks to America’s newfound love of zombies, we are now getting creative horror fans capitalizing on the genre! On Saturday, March 3, a few lucky – or are they unlucky? – victims will get to test those survival abilities in Run For Your Lives, a zombie infested 5K obstacle course, where every living person will be trying to outrun the brain hungry, virus spreading, blood covered zombies. There will be no fighting whatsoever because you know what some anonymous smart person said at one point in time, “Live to fight another day,” and that’s the point of this race too.


There will be several race heats all throughout the day starting at about 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Race waves will have 350 to 450 people in them, so it is advised for participants to get there two hours early to park, register, go through security, and limber up. Race participants (ages 14 and up), zombies, volunteers, and spectators are not allowed to bring outside food or drink, weapons, or pets to the event. (So that means – leave your zombie killing dogs at home!) Everyone is allowed to dress up in costume for this event, but the living race participants will need to wear a flag-sporting bib and time-tracking chip. Think of this as flag football with zombies, so instead of some beefy jock guy chasing you for your flag, now he will be replaced by brain-hungry, blood-covered zombies – HORDES OF ZOMBIES – because remember it takes a brain dead horde working as a team to really take down one living person of able body and sound mind.


The zombie horde will stumble, chase, stand, sit, crawl, and do what it takes to secure your yummy flags for themselves. The genre’s favorite types of zombies will be present here too – the horrifying Stumbler Zombie or the full-action Chaser Zombie. Once all your flags have been procured, you will be considered a “zombie” and allowed to finish out the race as such. There will also be strategically placed health flags in the course, so you can regain health like a video game character and continue to live out a few extra minutes in the apocalypse.


To simplify the rules – you are not allowed to fight zombies off physically and they are trained not to bite you. In this scenario, zombies want flags – not brains – just yummy, yummy flags. Obstacles will vary, but if for any reason you cannot complete an obstacle, then your final event result will be classified as “zombie,” but you will be allowed to shamble on through the race. All race participants will receive a t-shirt, racing bib, medal to signify your survival (or zombie transformation), admittance into Apocalypse Party, and of course advanced training for the actual zombie apocalypse. Volunteers get a t-shirt, free camping, free snacks and drinks, and admittance to the Apocalypse Party. Zombies receive a professional zombie transformation, free race on event day (but cannot be entered for prizes), unique zombie t-shirt, free parking, free camping, Apocalypse Party pass, one free beverage (includes beer), free snacks and drinks, and a race medal.


Race attendees are asked to bring an official form of photo ID (or parent/guardian if necessary), cash (for parking, food, beer, vendors, and zombie gear), a change of clothes (including socks and shoes – because you are probably going to get dirty!), and blankets and lawn chairs (for spectators or camping). There will be ATMs on-site and everyone is reminded to be prepared for whatever the weather is that day (rain, shine, hot, or cold). In case you need it, there will be a gear check station on premises where you can store your personal belongings with a staff member. The gear check station closes promptly at 7 p.m., so remember to go pick up your belongings before that time.


Throughout the day, there will be vendors offering a standard cookout menu with health food, vegan and vegetarian options, and beer. Arts and crafts, zombie interest, and apocalyptic fashions will also be for sale by other vendors. To conclude the day’s festivities, there will be an Apocalypse (after) Party with several different bands playing as survivors and the living dead party throughout the night.


Those who want to camp will have full access to an overnight camping area with free-range camp site selection, camper community bonfires, and an overnight concession tent for campers. No RVs are allowed (tents only) and individuals may have above-ground fires (no fire pits). You will need to contact Run For Your Lives for more information about camping and any costs associated with it.


At the current moment, registration is still open for Spectators until the day before the big obstacle course race (Spectator registration ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 2, 2012). The cost to be a Spectator is $32 per person (children 10 and under are free). Spectators are welcome to watch the race, take pictures, cheer on their friends, and party down at the Apocalypse Party. (Registration for the event began three months prior and has officially closed for race participants, zombies, and volunteers.) There is a $10 charge for parking.


Run for Your Lives – Atlanta

Durhantown Plantation Sports Complex

2350 Randolph Church Road

Union Point, GA 30669

(1 hour 45 minutes east of Atlanta)


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Rain and Fire in Sedona



Ange Alex

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!

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Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando



Ange Alex

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.


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“20/20:Visionary”: Looking Back, Looking Forward



Photograph by Charlie McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

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.

Pen-Yu Chen & Tara Lee in “Boiling Point.” Photo by C McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

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.

“Red Clay” from “Home in 7.” Photo by C McCullers, courtesy of Atlanta Ballet.

“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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