Monday, November 16, 2009

Shaka Tour

I had to use my airline miles before they expired, so I spent this past Halloween in Los Angeles, hanging with family and having fun. Since I was there, I decided to do some remote interviews for future episodes of Shaka Talk. It was fun, but also a lot of work: scheduling, driving, dragging upp...and now my least favourite part: editing! I did get some good stuff, though, which I think is cute and entertaining. Here's a preview of the episodes I hope to air sometime in early mid 2010.

A.J. Catalano

A.J. is a digital artist living in N. Hollywood, purty close to my bf's place, so we spent a lot of time together, and as such, he was my first interview. He grew upp a gay geek in New Orleans, and as a kid AJ became obsessed with TV, as well as collecting & deconstructing things. He turns found things into sculpture, and incorporates mechanical things to make them light upp and move. We talked about everything from Hurricane Katrina to his work on the new Disney movie/remake/sequel TRON. Here we are looking over some of his illustrations inspired by Star Trek that he hopes will be utilized in future productions.

Eric Mathews

My cuzzin Sean was gonna interview his singer/songwriter friend Eric Mathews for me until they found out I was coming to LA, so instead Sean & my auntie Elsa shot the interview while Eric's friend Kyle sat in as co-host. Through some Filipino connection, the new lead singer for Journey heard Eric's music and now he's got a slot opening for Journey in LA sometime in 2010. We talked about girls & songwriting, Filipino food, whether or not he's circumsized, and in the following clip I tricked him into telling me "I love you".

Elsa Almaraz
Star Bulletin Editorial

My auntie Elsi let me interview her in art her studio somewhere in the Pasadena area. She's a spiritual environmentalist who's done everything from painting, music, even has a fountain she constructed on display at Union Station in downtown LA. Along with discussions of her art, Elsi performed a shortened version of a "sound healing" on me. Felt weird. Much of our conversation centered around her late husband Carlos Almaraz, a painter himself, as well as a major figure in the Chicano movement. Carlos was in an activist/artist group called "Los Four" which included the father of Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine. Through this connection, Zack will be reading some of Carlos's journals, and even his art manifesto, in a film tribute to Carlos. In this video clip, Elsi sings "Garbage", a song she used to sing for me and my brother when we were growing upp. This is the last verse she couldn't remember when we first shot.

Jane Benney
IMDB profile

My final, and kinda rushed, interview was with actress/singer/songwriter Jane Benney. We met in Hawaii while working on my huzzbin Gerard Elmore's feature film "All For Melissa". Now she lives in LA, trying to make it as a performer, and what impressed me the most was not only how she wrote and recorded her new single "Staircases"; but also how she knows that in such a competitive field/city, you have to make things happen for yourself if you're ever gonna get noticed...hence she produced and funded her own music video to the single! Before we spoke on camera, I explained how I sometimes like to get a little racy, even racial, and wondered how she'd take it. Her response? "I'm from Africa. Bring it on!" I didn't get too tacky, but we did talk about 'dung' a lot.

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