Category Archives: LA Times Festival of Books

Project 365 4-25-2010 The L.A. Times Festival of Books

Day two started out with a bang!  The Reduced Shakespeare Co., two of the nicest fellas I’ve ever met, packed the crowd before their performance even began!  They did readings from their new book as well as their classics like “The Complete Works of Shakespeare: Abridged,” “The History of America: Abridged” and “The Complete Bible: Abridged.”  They had an autograph line that lasted for over an hour!  The toughest part of their performance was at the end when an English gentleman came up asking when they would be performing again.  He had seen them back in England and was so disappointed that he had missed them, but I know he got chance to speak with them after so that’s pretty cool.

Then BOOM! Studios was back with a full panel of writers talking about upcoming projects and how to break into the industry.  Very informative, especially when they got to the idea of new media, the iPad and the future of comic distribution.

From comics to culture, the L.A. Opera was up next.  I really enjoyed meeting both singers and their accompanist.  I immediately felt like we needed to add crystal chandeliers to the stage, they were really classy.  We also talked a little bit about the running of an opera company which isn’t much different from most other kinds of business management.  Of course the story I don’t want to tell is how I had a major German fail as I tried to pronounce the name of the opera they are doing this summer.  I found out later it is known as the Ring trilogy – so I joked about it being the opera equivalent of the “Lord of the Rings.”  That went over pretty well.

Another band after that: Shadow Shadow Shade!  I have never been asked by so many people who was onstage.  They were VERY popular and grew a huge crowd as their set progressed.  They just recently changed their name and so they didn’t have any merch to sell, which totally sucked for them!  They could’ve paid for a tour with the attention they got on Sunday.  Check them out if you can!

We had Joey King on after.  This was my first introduction to Joey King which just goes to show how out of touch I am with children’s entertainment.  She was a delightful child actress and the kids really dug her.  She had an insane autograph line!  They were apparently rumors going around that Selena Gomez, Joey’s co-star in “Ramona & Beezus,” would be at the stage as well.  The crew and I were a bit panicked that there would be a riot, but she wasn’t there and there wasn’t a riot so all was cool.  Crisis averted.

Cielo Nuevo returned!  Again they filled the crowd to capacity!  This time they added dance.  I took the picture too early and couldn’t get back stage to take a picture of all of their bright costumes, but they were a lot of fun!

Murphy’s Flaw bluegrass group has been a regular on the Etc. Stage for four years running, and it’s easy to see why.  Down-home funny and very talented, this music just sounds like America.  They also told more jokes about banjos then I thought existed.

As is tradition, Awaken, the A Capella group at UCLA, closed out the day.  These are talented singers doing pop songs without any instrumental backing – you know, like you’d expect from an A Capella group.

Last, but not least, I got a shot of the crowd before they bailed.

As you can see, it was a full house, and we had that all weekend!  It was a great year and I can’t wait for next year!

Today’s picture is me with the UCLA Bruin Bear that we were set up across from:

See you tomorrow!

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Project 365 4-24-2010 The L.A. Times Festival of Books

I’m doing things a bit different for the weekend since I was at the Festival of Books both days.  While I still have an “official” picture for each day, I also have a crap ton more so you can see what all the acts looked like.  I’ll start with:

Day One – 4-24-2010:

I love the L.A. Time Festival of Books and was so happy to be asked back this year.  It’s a really fun time and everyone involved, both talent and crew, were awesome this year!  Here are the acts from this year:

First up was a program that is a personal favorite of mine: 826LA.  It is a creative writing and tutoring program for kids.  I first heard about this group on NPR.  Their classrooms are “disguised” in storefronts that are designed to stimulate imagination.  The LA storefront is a time-travel emporium!  I really want to visit one of these sites.  I would have loved that as a kid.  Hell, I’d love it now!  The kids from the program read their stories for the crowd and it was pretty cool.  The man speaking in the picture is L.A.’s program leader Joel.

Next up was the first event for a book called “Clock Without a Face.”  The book is a series of clues for a real life treasure hunt and the treasure are twelve REAL emeralds all dolled up to be the missing numbers from the clock face in the book!  I spoke with one of the authors about the concept of the book and how they forwent their advances so that all of the money could go to the emerald design.  These guys are really into the act of discovery and the group adventure that they are building here.  I found it very inspiring and it didn’t hurt that the guys were really funny as well.  They revealed a clue at the Festival and this is all that I remember: the clown knows…

God, I hope that’s right because I’ve been tweeting it to the people who have asked.

After that we had our first band, The Watson Twins!  They are real twins and I really dug their band.  It made me think of my friends out on the road, shout out to 7k!  There was a lot of load-in/load-out so I didn’t talk to them much, but they were a big hit.

As I’m sure you know by now, I’m a comic book geek.  Last year I met Mark Waid when he was part of the BOOM! Studios panel.  They were back again this year and I giggled like a little girl that he remembered me.  I forgot to take a picture of his interview, but today’s official picture is of Mark and I.

The biggest hit of the festival was a bit of a surprise.  Cielo Nuevo is a performing group of children celebrating traditional Mexican music and dance – mini-mariachis!  These kids were so popular they filled the entire quad area where the stage was that people could not pass until they were finished!  People really loved them some mariachi music!

After the music we had a series of readings from Dime Stories.  Dime Stories are three minute stories read by the original authors.  They are located all around California and inspired Three Minute Fictions on NPR.

The last group was another reading group, Word Theatre.  They use celebrities to keep the oral tradition alive.  Although the stories were good, things went a bit south when one of the stories ended up using the work “fuck” over and over is a variety of variations.  I don’t think the group realized that they would be in an open air venue at one of the largest stages surrounded by families.  Although I am surprised that when they did see the venue that the story wasn’t either swapped out or edited.  I am not a fan of censorship, but I believe that you should know your audience, especially when the PA makes it impossible for the crowd to ignore you.  It put a damper on the rest of the presentation which is a shame because John Heard told a great story about crows. 

That was day one, here comes day two!

See you tomorrow!

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Filed under acting, LA Times Festival of Books, project 365 2010