Sunday, February 3, 2013

That's IT! I'm casting the Jem and the Holograms live action film! UPDATE!

Scroll to the bottom for a huge update!

I've had enough of these ridiculous casting ideas for this movie, which, if you didn't know, WILL be made in the near future. Not only do I demand it, but there is a lot of hard evidence pointing to the very real possibility of Hasbro preparing for this. As a die hard fan of this amazing television series, I am just DYING for this to happen.

While I offer no real casting experience or expertise, I do know a good thing when I see it. And I have predicted castings of several roles in the past few years that all came true. What? No, I don't have time to list the specifics, just go with me alright?

The BIGGEST problem right now with all the others who are making guesses at who would play what, is that they are thinking solely about looks, or solely about singing talent, and that will never work. You can't have the ensemble cast be a popularity contest - there will be struggle as it is with 9 young women fighting to get their face in the camera.

What - does this mean LADY GAGA can't be Jem?
Yes. That is exactly what it means.

It also means that ANY female recording artist with a career that is very well established CANNOT be the lead in this movie/musical. No Katy Perry, no Natasha Bedingfield, no Britney Spears, and NO Beyonce can't play Shana*.

But there is ONE pop star who is capable of slipping through the cracks...

Pizzazz - Kesha Sebert

"Mirror, mirror, on the wall? Who is the baddest bitch of all?"

Ke$ha is the ONLY pop superstar that could really find a place in this film, and it is solely for one reason - she is a villain. People LOVE to villainize Ke$ha for her crazy antics, her "just don't give a f*#&" fashion sense, and her love of all things hurly and burly. But underneath all of that aggression is a real appreciation for her genuine stank. She would not be where she is if she wasn't a great write and singer(?) of pop music, an honest, down-to-earth gal, and an infectious virus of a celebrity.

Why Ke$ha?

She may not be the most trained actor, but she could pull of Pizzazz as the whiney, aggressive, one trick pony that she is. I believe Ke$ha would have a lot of fun with the role, and bring some genuine bitch-rockstar-maybe-there-is-something-more- underneath-all-that-makeup attitude to the film.

Moving along to the other female lead in this thing, I present...

Jem/Jerrica Benton - Leven Rambin

"It's GLIMMER and gold!"

Okay. You may all may know her from some soap opera work she has done, or from the Terminator show on Fox, but most recently Rambin played lethal beauty Glimmer in the first (omg I'm gonna slap myself it was so good) Hunger Games film. Leven is not new to the block, but she has not yet had a high profile role as a lead character (despite her acting chops.) In addition to this, she was signed on to a record deal several years ago - one that I imagine was a casualty of the legendary Pop Star Wars of the mid 2000s. I've heard a glimpse of what she can do vocally, and I think it is spot on for what is demanded of Jem.

Why Leven Rambin?

Rambin is in her early twenties, but exudes a but of wisdom and class, as from someone a bit older than she is. This will work in Jerrica Benton's favor. She is also a statuesque beauty! Jem/Jerrica will need to we well liked and well rounded, but not so naive that it is not believable when she gets crunk (like THIS.) Jem should be portrayed by someone who is talented but not so well known that she is typecast or expected.

Eric Raymond - Kyle Maclachlan

What? You thought I was gonna say Peter Gallagher!?

Why Kyle Maclachlan?

He has all the necessary stuff to play this ruthless, diabolical-to-the-point-that-it's-silly fella Eric Raymond. I mean, I think that Raymond is the kind of guy who smiles through EVERYTHING... every single lie he tells, every command he gives to his goons, and every exchange of dollars he is involved with after sex in his ugly car. Yes, I think Eric Raymond prostitutes himself on the side. Maclachlan is a wonderful actor who doesn't take himself too seriously, and I think he would totally KILL the creep factor of this role.

Let's talk about a different guy...

Rio Pacheco - Darren Criss

"I hate liars, and I hate deception!"

I hate to break anyone's balls about this, but Rio is a bitch. He is is snotty, whiney, jumps to conclusions ALL THE DAMN TIME, and he is generally an emotional asshole. He has NO PROBLEM dating two women at the same time (not to mention he can't tell that it's the SAME woman...WTF!?) but get all fussy when Jem kisses another guy, or runs away to a deserted island with him for several months. Gawd. #rantover

Why Darren?

The thing Rio needs the most in this film is to be sexy, desirable, solid as a rock (emotionally, for the most part) and just a GOOD GUY. Everyone wants him, and that's kind of his thing - being so altruistic that the only woman he could ever fall for is the woman he's already fallen for. But he also needs to have a backbone. He is surrounded by estrogen for the better part of each day, and just the right amount of balance is necessary to keep people from asking "Wait a minute... Jerrica is DATING him? He isn't consultant?" Not to mention, if they throw a song Rio's way, Darren will KNOCK THE S%$# OUT OF THE PARK.

The Holograms

Aja Leith - Jamie Chung

'I am an Asian American of indeterminate origin!"

Actually I think they imply that she is Japanese at some point (and she can speak a little Chinese.) Regardless, Aja is sort of the glue that holds this group together. No? Okay, well, she is very important anyway. She IS their unofficial roadmaster (no racist jokes please!) and lead guitarist. Aja is a cold tomboy of a bitch who knows her way around a wrench, but she is also extremely loyal and trustworthy.

Why Jamie?

Chung is no stranger to ensemble casts (Real World, Sucker Punch, Once Upon A Time) and though she may be revamping her badass Asian girl thing AGAIN by playing this role, I simply cannot think of anyone better. I think she has the right balance of sisterly concern and "imma beat dat ass" to play Aja.

Shana Elmsford - Solange Knowles

"...but Solange can!"

The ever matriarchal, concerned, realist fashion DIVA Shana. Now SHE is the glue. She is bossy and ALWAYS concerned about money, like a true sista. Lol. I'm just kidding. But my favorite line from her comes from the first episode - "What we NEED is some money..." Maybe that's why they gave her the Claire Huxtable hair cut.

Why Solange?

They cannot seriously expect to get away with painting Shana as the old fart of the group. Solange is young, effervescent, and totally fashionable, which makes it so much easier to believe she would be a designer. And of course she is musically talented. I could see her actually learning to play the drums for this film (I mean Tara Reid did it!) let's face it - there aren't a wealth of young black female actors to choose from for this, and she fits the bill best. I must mention that Keke Palmer would be PERFECT for this if she was a few years older. :-/

Kimber Benton - Hayley Williams

I actually hate that she is so perfect for this part.

Spunky, spicy, and a little slutty, kid sister Kimber Benton is a character with a lot of heart and, in some ways, really anchors the Jerrica character. She writes a majority of the music the Holograms perform, and is creative in ways that some of the other girls (and the Misfits) just aren't.

Why Hayley?

You show me someone better and I will consider that - but Hayley, even without the hair (which people don't seem to understand makes NO DIFFERENCE in cinema) would be great for this role. She is a singer/songwriter with a playful attitude. She actually makes me think of Punky Brewster for some reason. It's a difficult thing to judge someone's acting from music video performances, but she really knows to to work with the camera and show all the right emotion. I feel she could pull of the role without a hitch, and bring a great kind of energy to Kimber.

Raya Alonzo - Naya Rivera

"Sweet and sensitive? Sure!"

Raya joins the cast later on in the series (although I feel it could be moved up a bit for the sake of the film - she adds a lot to the group.) She is sweet and sensitive, but she is also a badass warrior woman. She grew up with like, 8 brothers or something. Where Aja is cold and loyal in her way, Raya is similar, but opposite. She is a warm ray of sunshine, but she will reluctantly knock you out with a Mayan death chant if necessary.
Aja on the other hand probably carries a knife.

Why Naya Rivera?

Naya is full of Latina awesomeness. But I do believe she could play sweet and caring as well. And other than Glee (and awesome Superbowl commercials) what else does she have to do? Not to mention her AMAZING voice.


RuPaul Charles

Why the f#$%@ not!?

I'm not joking. This film is going to be set in the 80s and have a bit of tongue-in-cheek "we-realize-that-this-is-a-little-ridiculous" quality about it. Camp, I guess is what I am looking for. I mean, just enough. So why not?!

Why RuPaul?

I shouldn't even have to answer this. She is all-powerful, all-knowing, and mother of the cosmos come to town. I'd entrust Ru with MY future...


Visit this site RIGHT NOW.

That's right. Check this out. Scooter Braun is making the film, and you can see the film's site here. How do I feel about this? Well...

It's set in present day, with all the interconnectivity of social media and whatnot. From the plot description given, it sounds like "Rebecca Black: A Profile In Courage" which makes me NO HAPPY. That's right, no happy here. I dunno. I am uncertain that the crowdsourced casting is right, either. I really had (have?) high hopes that this film will be an all-star cast that is thoughtfully chosen for its talent and ability, and - not to discount the beauty of undiscovered talent - a cast that has some real trained strength at its core. I think this movie should be a cross between the highly underrated "Josie and the Pussycats" and "Rent". Seriously.

I'm not very happy, but I am certainly curious, and understand that filmmakers have every right to interpret whatever like like however they want to. I just had my hopes set for something else, and if that isn't what I'm going to get, perhaps it will still be entertaining and special. Here's hoping.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Travelin' On.

I have lived in Natchitoches for 10 years. This university, the people I have met and love, and the time I have spent here have shaped who I am as an artist, a teacher, a person -- the last ten years of my life have impacted every facet of who I am and who I thought I was, but more importantly, they has shaped who I want to become. Nothing could ever replace my time here. But.

We are moving to Ohio.

I cannot tell you about all of the tiny details that have lead up to this decision for the both of us, but I can tell you that this is the second biggest and most life changing decision I have ever made. We have made this decision with an incredible amount of confidence and hopefulness, and of course, sadness.

We will certainly miss
a lot of things.

People, places, experiences, and I will definitely miss my university. Good times or bad times, I will always be an NSU Demon at heart. I came here as a band geek (color guard!!) my junior year of high school. I met my soul mate that summer. My best friend from high school accompanied me to NSU, and we studied theatre together.

This was one of the most memorable periods of my life. I met people with personalities that still stay with me to this day...I tried new things, I messed things up, I met more incredible people as I began to study art at NSU, and I met yet ANOTHER person who showed me that family had nothing to do with blood. And then things really picked up. I grew into my 20's, I dated, I learned to drive (finally!) and I tried to make a difference in some kind of way. I think that I did. I don't think that I would still be here otherwise. I don't think that I would have so much love for this place.

Then came graduation after graduation. My Natchitoches family continued to grow. My Natchitoches family spread out. I started teaching in the very department that helped shape me. I met the love of my life. Now he is here with me, and about to take this giant leap with me. I cannot express what that means to me. All I know is that I have never loved anyone with greater clarity than I do him.

So, what is happening exactly?
I was accepted into the Visual Communication Design MFA program at Kent State University this summer. After an incredible visit earlier this year, it was an easy decision to apply. Trey is entering the BFA program for Crafts in the School of Art at Kent. He will have the opportunity to further his studies in textiles and crafts in a way that I know he is really ecstatic about. I am really excited for him. He about dyed (LOL!) when he saw the textiles lab at Kent.

We will be leaving the state to relocate in late July. That may seem sudden, but so many things have lined up in order for this to be the right decision, that it's unignorable. Like fate, or divine planning, or luck, or...things just being right.

Though I am extremely excited for what is next in our lives, I know that my friends--my family here in this part of the country will be rooting for us and sad to see us go, but our love for all of you is greater than space and time! This certainly isn't goodbye. This place is our home. We have family in Leesville, Baton Rouge, and of course, Natchitoches.

Soon, we will have family at Kent.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DONT $%#^@*&! JUDGE ME!
It has been a very long while. Blogging regularly is difficult, to say the least. I thought that having some kind of structure (ie, the cupcakes) would give me some edge, and that I woudl have some constant motivsation. It totally worked for a while. But I digress. TONS has happened since last year. There are things that I will discuss in detail in specific posts to follow, but let's just pretend you are caught up now, okay? THE HUNGER GAMES! Sharon Needles won Drag Race (HORRAAAY!) Trey and I got engaged in December (super wooot!) I taught a class at LSMSA and it was AWESOME! I judged a preliminary Miss Louisiana pageant, a few art competitions, and even had my own exhibition! And a few other things. But I assure you, the entire time, I have been baking, painting, working, and sewing! See, look!

I have a lot of announcements to uh...announce soon, but I really felt the need to catch up with you all in order to get this blog jump started once again. I'm immersed in a lot of things right now, so I will go in order as I remember what they are!

1. Jem and the Holograms. I got Trey to start watching this with me once I realized it was on Netflix (the God inside the little box called Apple TV!) I mean seriously. It is one of the most amazingly awfully animated things ever in existence...and we get a LOT of laughs out of it. They BETTER make a live action film SOON. My casting picks? Ke$ha as Pizazz and definitely Nicki Minaj as one of the Misfits. Whatever.

2. HOB's True Blood, Season 5. Alcide.

3. ABC's Once Upon A Time. I loves this shows first season. Yeah, some of the graphics were a little cheesy and "cheap." Some of the writing was a little shaky as well. BUt for the most part, the concept and cast of this show really won me over. I could watch Ginnifer Goodwin in ANYTHING. She could be taking her daily multivitamin at the bathroom sink and I'd be like "She's so ethereal..." It is written by some of the writers of Lost, but you can only tell some of the time. I am hopeful for a more dynamic and bigger budget second season!

4. Lost (The Complete Series re-watch). I got Trey to watch ALL of Lost. Which meant I have watched it all again, in order. Even better the second time around!

5. Kishi Bashi, Ishi, Sara Bareilles' "Kaleidoscope Heart" and Norah Jones' "Little Broken Hearts". These musicians/albums are absolutely incredible. You must get them all. Tracks to look for? Kishi Bashi-"Machester", Ishi -"Exhale", Norah Jones-"Travelin' On", Sara Bareilles-"Breathe Again".

ANYWAY...Lot's of junk going on. I will tell you though, a lot of life has been going on. Between being creative and searching for the inspiration one needs in order to be creative, I have never been happier about what is happening and what is coming next in this life.

I'm currently making some graham crackers for NSU Art Camp (making s'mores tomorrow!) and I am following this recipe if you are interested. We will see how they come out. My bugaboo is sitting on the couch making some crazy thing with that plastic gimp, and I am putting the finishing touches on this beauty:

Tired...sore...and full of awesome love for life. More to come very soon!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Martha, Bitch! Vol. 12

Macarthur Parkcakes: Success at LAST!

Richard Harris' iconic recording of Jimmy Webb's "Macarthur Park" is the clear inspiration for these lovelies. Oh, what's that? You've never head the song? Yeah...I bet you've never heard the Donna Summer disco version either. ... Wait, what?

Jimmy Webb wrote this intense song a while back, and Richard Harris (yes, the first Dumbly-dore) recorded it for an album in 1968. Donna Summer recorded it in '78, and the rest is history! It also became part of the smash musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and was recently covered by yours truly. In cupcake form.

I set out to do these cakes a while back...this song is just TOO MUCH. I HAD to. I wanted to wait for a rainy sunday, and I finally got one this past weekend. It's Martha's buttermilk vanilla cupcakes recipe, which I may have tried once before...I cannot remember. This time, I really got everything measured out and added in perfectly. I did flub up and add a whole cup of water instead of a half--I was able to get the right about back out of the mix. Either way, whatever I did worked because THESE cupcakes felt AND tasted like the should have months ago. They were (are!) fluffy and soft, and moist, and light. I was so excited. It's no secret that I've had some density issues cooking on this stove.

If that wasn't enough, I tried another recipe for a buttercream frosting. I wanted to try something that didn't have butter - I can't get it the right consistency without adding pound after pound of powdered sugar, which just KILLS my teeth to think about. I want to try again, but in the mean time, I tried a recipe I found online. The difference? It called for Crisco instead of butter.

I know, gross right? Not to me. I don't really see Crisco as any worse than butter, and according to the baking sticks I bought, it actually is better. No saturated fats and it's mostly made with soybean and palm oil. I had seen recipes around that called for shortening before, but I dove right into this one. After getting the consistency just right, and adding a hint of coconut and lime flavor, I had made the prefect buttercream icing (green of course).

I added some tacky pink pearls to the tops because...I's the late '60s. I wanted something that felt as over the top as the song does...They actually don't look nearly as tacky as they could have (hence the pearls in the first pic. This is serious cake!) Either way, I am SOooo happy these came out delicious! I feel all proud and whatnot.

I've got to whip up some Halloween cakes this week, so I will probably post those on Sunday. Ideas for the week after? Send them my way! Maybe some cornbread muffin cakes with cranberry sauce? And a turkey leg? We will see!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's Martha, Bitch! Vol. 9 10, & 11 (I know!!)

Quadruple Feature (Part 1): Sassy Ladycakes and Tiff's Birthday!

Three weeks, huh? I know--it's my procrastination, and I apologize! It's normally not such a big problem. Wait...who am I apologizing to!? My slew of loyal readers? Haha. A guy can dream ;-) To those who do follow me, I do hope to keep this a one-cupcake-post per week thing, instead of lumping them all together. It keeps them a little shorter. Part 2 of this entry will be coming later today. Lots has been happening over the past few weeks. As I type I am wearing a dreadlock wig from Wal-Mart (don't ask) and nursing a giant hole in my mouth where a molar and a wisdom tooth used to be. (at the moment I am feeling quite queasy. Bleh.) I have been busy with work, trying to get a lot of design stuff done for the department and the university, as well as the usual teaching and whatnot. I also succumbed to Twitter, which has made for a much shorter attention span. Anyway, on to the baking projects from the past souple of weeks!

Sassy Ladycakes -aka- Fascinatorcakes!

These cakes were so much fun to make! They were also kinda intense. I was on a roll with my new baking knowledge of using the proper tools to measure the proper substances, and I noticed a difference in my cakes flavors and textures. I made Martha's Chocolate Chip cupcakes this week. I tried yet ANOTHER buttercream recipe, and well, that is getting very annoying y'all. It ALWAYS comes out too buttery, or too slippery in texture. I've been working on alternatives. I really am not the biggest fan of buttercream to begin with, so my failure at making a great one is starting to get to me. The real fun was the dehydrated pineapple flowers. Yes, those are pineapples!

In the end, these ladies tasted good (the pineapples were actually quite tasty too!), but the buttercream was a bit too much to handle. Too buttery and much too sweet. On to the next!

Tiffany's Dia de los Muertos Cakes!

My best friend Samm threw a surprise birthday party for her awesome sister, Tiff - and let me tell you, this thing was AWESOME! We did a Dia de los Muertos theme, which called for the tackiest thing I could think of in the way of cupcakes. Also, we were in east Texas, so now I have traveling cakes! Haha. There were some specifics requested for these cakes, so most of my job was to decorate them. I used a boxed strawberry cake, and mixed strawberry and vanilla canned frostings for the top. I know, it doesn't sound like a lot of work on my part, but in order to make up for it, I made my first royal icing decorations! If you notice in the picture above, I have these tiny little piped shapes all over the cupcakes, along with some gumpaste skulls that I painted with a gel paste/vodka mixture. I have a lot to learn about piping it seems, but I ended up with some interesting (and brightly colored!) accents for the cupcakes. The skulls were just too cute. FYI, Silpat is the BEST! The party was so much fun. Trey seemed to have a lot of fun making a giant tacky altar with Samm, using skulls, Mardi Gras beads, and whatever else we could find! We also played with a bunch of the worlds best doggies. Our allergies were pretty upset afterwards, but it was worth it!

Part 2 will feature a cake I've made, and a purse I just finished sewing! Look for that later today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's Martha, Bitch! Vol. 7 & 8!

Triple Feature Madness! Green Teacakes, True Blood Bites,
and my boyfriend's Balls.

I promise I will explain.

One thing! I hope you all like my new layout. More color, more happiness. I like it. Simple and modern and friendly and whatnot. Thanks for hanging in there with me through the design storm. :-P

So, I mentioned that I had ordered a lot of stuff recently for all my baking learnin' and junk, including a real life Silpat (oooh!), some ball tools (lol) for molding and shaping, some flower punches and lots and lots of shape cutters. So, for this week's cakes I decided to try Martha's white cupcake, sans the pastel peaks she insisted on using for decoration. In fact, it occurs to me that I really just kind of take her recipes and use them as foundations for my own craziness.

For instance, I took this recipe and turned it into something entirely different by adding a couple tablespoons of matcha powder (so pretty!) to the mix. I thought about adding the matcha to the buttercream instead, but that would not look so good with the gumpaste leaves I wanted to make.

For the leaves, I mixed up some awesome chartreusey-matcha green gumpaste and cut out a couple of different sized leaves. On my practice leaves a few weeks back, I made the edges very ripply. They came out pretty realistic looking using one of the ball tools (I find that I prefer the metal to the plastic, with just a tiny touch of Crisco for smoothness.) I went a slightly different route with these guys, and made them more like shapes. I balled the fattest part to give it a little curve, and let them dry on a round object for a slight curve effect. (Gotta get a leaf shaping tray!)

Around the time I started mixing up a buttercream for the frosting, I realized that SUNDAY NIGHT WAS THE TRUE BLOOD SEASON FINALE!! Aaaaugrh!! Trey and I had a couple of folks coming over to watch, so I felt I should do something special for them. True Blood Cakes!

I made another batch of Martha's white cupcakes and put them in bright red papers. You can see them in the background there cooling as I start to ice my Green Teacakes. I made a very white buttercream for this, because I think that this matcha green color and white look so chic together. Once icing was done, I topped them off with their green leaves and Woot! Some lovely green tea flavored cakes!

I must admit that the green tea flavor was on the light side. Florian Bellanger vood not ehv enjeud dese copcauks. HAH!! Maybe I should add more matcha powder? I dunno. Also, I find that Martha's cakes in general seem to lack some sweetness. Even with the proper liquid measurements, they also seem a little on the dense side. Any advice on that? More oil? More milk or something? I dunno. I'm clueless. Even the True Blood cakes were heavier than I expected. They were more like pound cakes than light fluffy cupcakes. Maybe I am mistaken, but it seems that when I buy them from the store, they are like eating air compared to mine, collectively. Remember, I want to be a good bakestress too! So any advice would be much appreciated!

On to the blood...
I wanted something quick for these, and ended up adding all sorts of time to this endeavor. I wanted the appearance of a cupcake that had been bitten by a vamp'r, so my first idea was to use icing and make dots in the top of the icing. When the cakes came out, I noticed they were almost the exact shade of Jessica's fair skin, so I went with bald cupcakes instead. I made a raspberry puree (with a touch of rose water, of course) and OF COURSE it was way too thin. I tried to thicken it up with some arrowroot, but to no avail (always have cornstarch, folks!) My next idea was to reduce it by heating it up on the stove. It thickened up a bit, so that did the trick. Next, I took a chopstick and made holes in the cupcake. I guess I could have just used my fangs, but you know...sanitation and whatnot.

It was True Blood night, okay? And these things were like 12 cents at Walgreens.
I piped (uugh) the raspberry puree into the holes, letting it drip out occasionally to look like well...a vamp attack. It was way too thick or I looked cool, but if I really wanted to get it inside the cupcake, I need a better a syringe. (How many of you sang Raspberry Beret just now?)

Meanwhile Trey is also in the kitchen, making a BIG MESS! Naw. We both made a big mess. Three culinary visions crowding one small space makes a sink very very sad. (For real, I just washed dishes yesterday.) Trey had a plan for a while now to make some S'more Cakeballs! Cakeballs, if you are not aware, are these delicious bites of cake from heaven. Basically, you bakes some cake, you crumble it up and mix it with buttercream icing (in this case, chocolate cake mixed with marshmallow/chocolate buttercream and crushed graham crackers) and then you roll it into little 2 inch balls or so. THEN you dip said balls in melted chocolate and let them cool, garnishing the top with whatever evil you can find in the house.

Photo courtesy of Haley Bonner

Trey's recipe made like, 4,600 cake balls. They were sodalicious, but now people hate us for pushing them on everyone. How else can we make the rest of the world as fat as we are?

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned this week for an art blog about the NSU Faculty Art Show, photos of my new work, and my triumph in the Gallery One Ellleven show in Leesville this past weekend! See ya soon!