Costume Drama Delivers

Summers in Asheville, NC are nothing short of alive. From the street performers to the purple comedy bus to the PubCycle, Downtown Asheville has a thriving energetic ambience, defined by the Artistic Community. Asheville Community Theater is but a part of the growing Fashion Scene in Asheville, having contributed by creating and hosting its signature annual fundraiser for the last 4 years: Costume Drama: A Fashion Affair.

It’s a fundraiser, a fashion show, and a fun competition with audience participation. This year, the event was expanded and sold out. A pre-party, a silent auction, four categories of runway, voting, a post-party, and silent auction on the very costumes from the runway.

“[This event] shows Asheville talent. The designer is a pastry chef. No matter the day job, people have hidden talents,” says model Gessi Boyd in the green room backstage.

The four categories of competition were Christmas in July, Nature, Tape, and Inflatables. 

 The Christmas in July category was full of breathtaking, angelic, and magical constructs, from Olivia Mears modeling her own red and gold wrapping-paper Tree Topper with mobile white angel wings to McKinney Gough’s blue, silver, and white Nutcracker, to Susan Vonceil’s candy-cane striped poolside pinup.

Susan Vonceil's creation Model: Sarah Merrell Photo: Hannah Silberman

Susan Vonceil’s creation, modeled by Sarah Merrell photo by Hannah Silberman

The Nature category was definitely a crowd favorite, featuring woodland warrior fairies, dragonflies, garden wardens, and an ocean goddess.

Caroline Williams entry, modeled by Gessi Boyd

Caroline Williams entry, modeled by Gessi Boyd, photo from model’s FB page

The gown is a gorgeous blue and white goddess dress, with cascading ruffles at the mermaid hemline remniscent of waves cresting on the beach.  The bodice is constructed of pearls on one side, bringing to life Caroline Williams’ vision of “surf and elegance.”

Despite Gessi’s nerves of her first runway (ever), she felt “empowering, exposed, and freeing” in the gown.

The Tape category was interesting, to say the least. Designers were challenged to use tape to construct their designs. (If you’re anything like me, your mind goes to duct tape or scotch tape.) The creativity presented here is nothing short of inspiring, from VHS and Casette tape flapper dresses to painted painter’s tape fairies to caution tape tulle ballgowns.

The papparazzi dress, by Stephen Lange,  constructed of light reflection tape materials, looked like something Lady Gaga would wear (if she hasn’t already).

The most whimsical category, inflatables, presented the most memorable creations and characters. From Charles Josef’s balloon bridesmaid to Sheila Thibodeaux‘s lionfish to Marla Looper‘s jellyfish, ensemble after ensemble left the audience excited and craving more.

The house was packed, warm, and filled with applause and laughter as the Category winners were annouonced: Danielle Chaboudy & Sue Ellen Black with their golden tree-topper (a month in the making) took Christmas in July, Olivia Mears with her woodland fairy took Nature, Sally Garner took Tape with a VHS film party dress, and Carina Lopez with her doctor’s glove cocktail dress took Inflatables.

Applause, laughter, and nervous indecision filled the air as the audience took one final vote for best in show. Christmas in July, modeled by Jessica Robin Riley took home the victory.

All four of the winning designs are currently on display through Saturday, July 18 at Bellagio Everyday in Downtown Asheville.

Final Semester? Graduation? So soon!?

Sorry it’s been a while, but I’ve been very busy. So here are some updates:

This is my last week interning with Clear Channel Asheville. I learned a lot, made great connections, and even managed to leave with an audition reel. I’ve also freshened up my skills in XHTML and CSS coding within Adobe Dreamweaver.

My photography skills have increased dramatically this semester, photos to appear soon! My lighting techniques still need work, but I am ten times better than I was in January.

My acting final seems to be going well, despite a battle with two GI viruses back to back. Present preliminary to professor tomorrow, he sees it again the day of finals. Which are next week! I can’t believe this semester has literally flown by!

Monday, I take the GRE, which I only started studying for yesterday! Many thanks to Olivia Bellamy for giving me her prep book!

My other two classes are going well, and Wind Song will finish strong with a final episode of season one on Sunday, May 6. Hopefully this fall, it will return for season two with Stefani at it’s head and a new co-host by her side.

Acting: A Beginning Journey

I am currently working on my Neutral Scene assignment for my Acting I class. My partner and I have created our own set of given circumstances. One of my more brilliant ideas to help get us started was for us to write a character bio. Instead of A and B I thought we needed names. Of course we had to decide on setting and relationship etc, but for a creative mind like me, the details are crucial. So, below is my character bio. I am no longer portraying bland B, but the cruel, popular, and selfish Daphne Castle. Pretty cool, huh?

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Daphne Castle

By: Kaitlin Blaylock

Age: 22                                                                                                Sign: Cancer

Her entire current objective: get A to talk to her=> take her back=> restore her ego=>affirm the world revolves around her.

Became the “it” girl in Middle School after puberty. Dated every star jock. Only dumped once by “A” in the middle of senior year. Obsessed with fashion and appearances at every level.

Daphne was raised to be a “trophy,” a model, only meant to be seen. She is an only child. She vacationed in Europe with her father to visit his family and contemporaries.

Clothing is strictly designer label. Had her first coffee at age 15 in Milan. Blackmailed her principal in high school to graduate. Never taken anything seriously aside from her.

After high school, takes a part time job with her mother’s firm filing paperwork. Job was taken only to get to know the celeb clientele. Never considered college, no desire to work or educate her. Expectation of self-entitlement is all encompassing.

Daphne felt pressure to keep A until she was tired of him. She felt him growing distant, and reacted by clinging. Did not understand why he insisted on spending time outside of her and sports with his family, friends, and doing homework. The actual breakup was private, and she passed it off to her clique as her own boredom.

She doesn’t have actual friends, only superficial entourage. No confidante’s, no sincerity in her life. They shop, gossip, and wreak havoc. She knows their secrets but no one knows her secrets. Her desire for attention leaves no room for ideals such as monogamy, family, or empathy.

She is a chameleon, an actress, with miniscule ability for empathy. She was never taught how to actually care about other people outside of what they can do for her.

Mother is a lawyer on the cutting edge of fashion and precedent with zero time for her daughter. American, modeled in high school, exclusive celebrity clientele, high rate of success in court.

Father is a neuroscientist on the brink of curing multiple sclerosis. British, MENSA, several awards and accreditations for his medical discoveries, arrogant, direct, cold.

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I feel like I could take the neutral script and this character and write a novel on Daphne! I may do just that if time allows. Would you be interested in reading that story?

 

Neutral Scenes

My acting I class is starting on neutral scene study. I’m partnered with a guy who’s schedule is almost as complex as mine. For those theater newbies out there, a neutral scene is barebone dialogue without given circumstances of any kind. No setting, no reference, no character bio. All circumstances are created by the actor(s).

We’ve decided to make our scene between two people formerly romantically involved, and currently strained. His character is a college athlete, the relationship ended in high school, and my character show’s up on his turf. The assignment for class is to rehearse, we have to show the prof/class the scene on Tuesday, and work on it for the next week and a half. Then we show it again for a grade.

Wish us luck!