adam yauch + a humble reminder

Hearing the news of Adam Yauch’s death hit me in an unexpected way today. Seeing a facebook post that read “RIP MCA” led me to investigate and sure enough the twitter and tumblr-sphere were alive with RIP’s and condolences. I would say my fan cred lies in that grey area between die-hard and clueless, probably just like most people within my age demographic. I know all their hits and most serve as anthems for one life phase or other. The Beasties were a staple of suburban teenage-dom and discovering them was a rite of passage for any white kid trying to make amends with their rebellious streak. I remember thinking the music video for “Sabotage” was brilliant because it was a music video but it also pretended to look like a movie (how clever!), and it was campy, self-aware and bad-ass. I think that was the first video my friends and I recreated once we got our grubby little hands on a video camera, donning hipster moustaches before they were a thing. Anyway, having one of your adolescent idols pass away is inevitable and not all that uncommon. I remember the day Kurt Cobain died. I cried, and for months was scribbling “K.C.R.I.P.” on all my notebooks. The sadness and disillusionment with life came with the teenaged territory and we wallowed in our esteemed rockstars’ woes. Meanwhile we saved our lunch money for concert tickets and used our creative energy to make fashion statements out of safety pins and try not to care too much when our purple hair dye washed out and made it look grey.

So what does this have to do with the Beastie Boys and Adam Yauch’s death? The Beasties were different. They were positive and empowered. They were smart and worldly. Admittedly they had their misguided attempts in the world of role-model-dom, but they weren’t famous for their struggles. They were famous for being fucking rad, knowing how to party and having sick rhymes. And just like they didn’t live for their struggles, Adam didn’t die by his. He died from something that can happen to any of us. He died from something that happens to distant relatives and friends from high school’s parents. Or our heroes.

Obviously I’m not the same age as Adam, but sometimes sharing an imagined identity forms a much stronger connection than how long you’ve been alive. I can relate way more with the Beasties and their frame of mind than I can with a lot of people who share my graduation date or who watched the same after-school specials. I feel deeply saddened by his death. I feel humbled by the reality that no amount of external anything - fame, fortune, friendship or fly beats - can keep us from the inevitable. Adam’s death is a reminder of that; that thing we all know, but conveniently avoid as we put things off or fail to tell our fellow humans we love them. I hope he was able to be with the people he loved during his final days, and reflected on his life believing he’d done alright. I truly believe we all do our best, but allowing ourselves to embrace that truth can be the hardest of all. In the end, we all just gotta fight… for our right… well, you know. Peace and love in the next world Adam.


montreal, je t'aime

All of a sudden I have a whole bunch of things I want to write about, but it wouldn't be right if I didn't catch up on my convention escapades first... I actually wrote about my trip to Montreal on my way to the NY Comic Con, so here it goes: Time for another convention download! I better hurry or I’m going to crash my hard drive - my brain’s hard drive that is - as I’m headed to another convention this weekend... I had a great time in Montreal. The convention was quaint and community oriented; in other words, very small. It's always nice, though, because you get to have closer interactions with the fans and overall it’s just more relaxed. Like most small conventions, it seemed the people shared a history and the convention served as a reunion of sorts. I enjoyed the dysfunctional-family-dinner feel and felt very much welcomed by everyone there. Fortunately, I wasn't forced to unleash my neglected French, though I did escape a few tourists asking for directions with a convincing, "Je ne sais pas." But anyway, since my time spent at the actual con didn't go beyond my two Q & A's and a few hours signing, I had the luxury of wandering around Montreal, checking out some live music, taking a yoga class and eating at some awesome vegan restaurants. Here are some random photos of my trip.

Other discoveries I made in Montreal include:

  • Diamond Rings (walked into a performance randomly and have been smitten ever since. his new album came out today! yay!)
  • Aux Vivres (excellent vegan fare and fun atmosphere)
  • Bixi bikes (worked off the vegan chili with a little cruise around town on a rental bike. a little intimidating in traffic, but totally worth it. i hope the rest of the world catches on soon)
  • No right turns on a red light! Say whaaaaat?


finally home from some exciting travels, i realize it's a little late for a comic-con wrap up, but a brief one you shall receive nonetheless.  there were several highlights amidst the chaotic explosion of genuine fandom, sundance-esque celebrity hype, and thinly veiled car salesman-like consumerism.  as per usual, connecting with my beloved castmates was the bestest, but i would be remiss if i didn't express the honor, astonishment and pure love i felt watching the Battlestar Orchestra perform at the House of Blues Friday night.  i've always emphasized the integral role music plays in backing the emotional fortitude of a story, but it's often taken for granted.  engrossed in a characters' strife and struggle, seldom do we step outside to say, "wow, what an incredible score."  not only did the live performance provide such an opportunity, but it brought life this otherwise mysterious side of the production process.  what moved me most was witnessing the relentless and beautiful life force driving each instrument, each person's essence expressed through his or her contribution to the greater experience.  it was wonderful.  however, between the smiles there were also tears, as we paid tribute and celebrated the life of Harvey Frand.  i don't believe this is the place to share my personal feelings on his passing, but i will say he is in our hearts and will forever be an essential part of the battlestar family.  i was grateful we could all be together to celebrate his life and how he enriched each of ours. Visit bear mccreary's blog for an awesome account of the whole weekend's festivities and shows.

battlestar orchestra

other highlights included hanging with matt pizzolo and the rest of the Halo-8 crew doing Godkiller signings and other fun shenanigans, complimenting someone on her "cally" costume to which she replied, "thank you" and kept on walking, and watching Michelle Forbes watch the Mighty Boosh - i can't say i fully understand or appreciate their humor, but watching the pure delight she derived from their performance made it all worthwhile.

the laws have changed

shortly after i finished filming the Battlestar mini series, a friend approached me to be in a music video for his friend's band.  he said they were desperately seeking sensational dancers and since he'd recently seen me do a dance performance to Pat Benatar's heartbreaker, i guess he thought i could fill those boots.  but after listening to the one song, and then the whole New Pornographers' album, i was so impressed and inspired that i didn't want to settle for simply dancing go-go in the background.  so i called the lead singer and pitched him on playing lead vocals in the video.  lucky for me, the girl they had previously hired had bailed to be on canadian idol, so i was allowed my 15 seconds of rockstar fame. the video is based on surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel's 1965 film, Simon of the Desert.  at the end of the film, the devil seduces Simon by taking him to a 1960's night club - where the video takes place.  i've heard rumors, though, that the plot twist is an effect of the production running out of funds, since the change setting is completely incongruent with the rest of the film.  kind of curious.

anyway, it was such fun to film and i've been a huge supporter/listener of the New Pornographers ever since.  i recommend checking out their music if you haven't already.


ps. do you recognize "Simon" from the beginning of the Battlestar mini?