“You can grow up, just don’t be boring.”
An in-class talk by Stu Coleman, creative at mOcean in LA, and designer of all things print for movies. In order to create material that a studio wants to see for, say, the movie poster or DVD cover, designers like Stu go through at least 50, but sometimes several hundred designs and mock ups. His biggest example was for The Other Woman movie that premiered in the spring. He walked us through each one of his 200+ design ideas, finally reaching what can be seen on the advertisements today. Other random facts about Stu: he was a punk rocker with black hair and a mohawk at my college back in the 80’s, his body can be seen photoshopped under Ben Stiller’s head on the poster for Along Came Polly with Jennifer Aniston, he is a certified scuba instructor and sailing captain, and he willingly gave up his house in the hills of Hollywood to move onto his boat full-time on the Pacific Shore. This guy rocked. He finished up his presentation with the quote you saw up top.
Moves after Dark at the Music Center in Downtown LA (DTLA). This performance was comprised of four different LA-based contemporary dance companies including: BODYTRAFFIC, Lula Washington Dance Theater, Ate9 and Contra-Tempo. Each piece took us to a different location in/around the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. Site-specific style, each work was a completely unique take on different themes and contemporary styles. If there’s one nugget I took away from dancing in London last summer, it’s that contemporary dance has so many facets and distinctions and styles. The best part about it, though, is its ability to express anything from concepts and ideas to opinions, political views, social issues and more. If you haven’t experienced anything like it, I highly advise you opening your mind and heart. Not a performance, but an experience. Part of the thrill was the travel time to different sites in between, allowing discussion about what had just been seen to occur. Each company made me think in an entirely different way, though being a dance student without doubt makes your eye undeniably critical. I think during this experience another complete stranger opened my eyes to new ideas and hopes and dreams, also convincing me that those deep conversations are completely necessary. Such a satisfying feeling.
Phillipes for some fantastic, classic French dip. To be real, never have experienced French dip before today, but I am so happy it was with one of my oldest and closest friends. Her family scooped me up on my lunch break and brought me to the rugged, 50’s-style dive restaurant (if those are even a thing) for a solid two hour catch up sesh. To-die-for pie. Again, a taste of home, and reminder of the blessings of this life.
Also this day: more interviews with dancers at my work, the celebration of the company’s 3 year birthday, 30 minute room mate outfit deliberation, and some deliciously satisfying sushi and interaction at dinner. Sitting bumper to bumper on The 5 with the windows down and sun setting with Trampled by Turtles on max volume and for the first time in a long time, feeling pure, utter happiness. A few moments of nothing before and nothing after. A solid meditation in the “now.” A moment no picture or amount of words could illustrate. A snapshot burned into my memory.
Hip Hop after work, moving to the dang groove with 8 to 10 year olds in the beginner class and loving every second of it. Shelb’s map flat brim and chucks and feeling like myself again. Reminding me when I’m starting to lose myself in the real world, dance always comes through. It has a way of getting me back on track, rejuvenating my being. I’m talking about it like it’s a friend, but it is. Dance is my first love. Fellow dancers, can you vouch for me? As I thrived in the back row during that hour or so, I think I came back to my roots a little bit.
A week from the end of the program and just about two from my departure, wishing this ride would slow down. I want to slo-mo. I want to be a sponge. I want to enjoy every last moment.