Seven student films to be screened

Seven student films were selected and will be screened at the at Sixth Annual Inland Empire Media Academy Film Festival starting at 7 p.m. today.

San Bernardino Valley College will host the festival in the library viewing room, featuring work from students attending high school, community college, private or public universities in the Inland Empire.

The films were entered into the festival by Professor of Communications Don Pollock in April without the students’ knowledge. They found out they were entered in the competition when they received an email inviting them to the festival.

Pollock entered seven of the student-made films including comedy “Powdered Treason,” experimental film “The Girl,” as well as documentaries “Drifting Through Her Currents,” “Graber Olives,” “Entertainment at the Fair,” “Rancho Remembers” and “Be Perfect.”

The films were made by sophomore television broadcast majors Savannah Henry and Florencia Schinoff, junior television broadcast majors Paloma Bobadilla, Crystal Cellian, Dylan McElligott and Jacob Ramirez, senior television broadcast majors Ezra Broadus, Scott Feuerhelm, Jada Gamble, Shanyn McFadden, Alexis Moya, Steve Rodgers, Daniel Romero, Marc Salomon, Tina Sanchez and senior broadcast journalism majors Michael Hernandez, Joseph Orozco and Lauren Van Lul.

Thirteen categories were available for entry: News/Reality/Documentary, Action/Adventure, Comedy/Romantic Comedy, Crime/Drama/Film Noir, Family/Children, Science Fiction/Thriller/Horror/Fantasy, Musical, Animation, Experimental, Romance, Native American Film/Culture or other.

The social media category was an additional category for films that were promoted with a strong social media platform including a Facebook page or Twitter profile.

Trophies will be awarded to winners of categories with two or more entries.

Van Lul directed the film “Be Perfect.”

She worked with Bobadilla, Orozco and Hernandez to complete the film about the Be Perfect Foundation created by alumnus Hal Hargrave in 2007.

“The foundation helps people with spinal cord injuries and Hal started it after he was injured himself,” Van Lul said.

Van Lul added that she will be attending the film festival and that winners are expected to give a short speech.

“We get to stand up and show our stuff,” Van Lul said.

Pollock previously entered the films into other local competitions, including the Alliance for Community Media western region conference March 10. Students, faculty and alumni were finalists for seven Western Access Video Excellence awards.

Two alumni won awards and “Be Perfect” won the Accessibility-Abled Programming (Community Producer) award.

For more information and tickets visit

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

Cabaret opens up to diverse artists

Strings of light twinkled against black curtains. The sound of hula music and thirty people clapping to the beat filled the room as 7-year-old Lola Sanchez’s hips swayed rhythmically.

Her black and white striped dress made a dizzying blur as she spun and shook.

“I’ve been doing hula maybe two months, I think I’m a great Hawaiian dancer,” Sanchez said.

When Sanchez left the stage, senior psychology major James Trejo walked to the microphone.

Trejo performed a freestyle rap, with only a beat blasting through the speakers to accompany him.

He rapped about being a senior, unsure of his future, and his love for music.

“Music is my food,” Trejo said.

After Trejo performed, freshman international studies and studio art double major Lily “North” Meza brought her guitar decorated with stickers to the microphone.

She performed three original songs, “Desire Line,” “Good Morning,” and a song that remains untitled.

Before she began, Meza apologized for some of the language in her songs, but the crowd seemed unphased by the cussing.

When her raspy, earthy voice didn’t fill the room, her skilled acoustic guitar solos did.

To end the night, senior music major Annie Johnson and sophomore music major Lorali Mossaver-Rahmani, together known as the Companions, took to the microphone.

The pair supplied their own background with banjos and a ukulele.

The Companions wrapped up the night with five songs, including covers and original songs the duo wrote together.

The two sang an original song, in both Spanish and English, that seemed to resonate with the audience, as they received a long applause when it was over.

“This song is inspired by my trip to Peru last summer,” Mossaver-Rahmani said.

She described the song as a story that describes her time with an intriguing guide in Peru.

The performances were a part of Cabaret Student Productions’ event, “The Creativity Thing,” held Tuesday night in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theater.

Cabaret invited all kinds of performers, including dancers, singers, guitarists, rappers and artists.

By the end of the night, seven artists performed.

“La Verne isn’t known as a very artistic school, so we are happy to provide this space for that,” sophomore theater major and Cabaret Student Productions President Courtney Clark said.

Aside from the performances, on display was a community art project painted at Cabaret’s last event, “Appreciation not Appropriation.”

When creating the piece, participants painted for 20 minutes and then moved five steps to the right and finished whatever ended up in front of them.

Projected onto a screen was some of Clark’s photography.

The slideshow also included photography by Clark’s sister.

Displayed on tables along the walls were handmade jewelry, models, and paintings.

Freshman theater major Jordan Nelson had some of her paintings on display.

On display was an elaborate canvas painting of a red dragon against a black background.

Nelson said she painted the dragon years ago.

She thought to share the piece when she was asked if she had any art to display at the event by sophomore theater major and Cabaret Student Productions Vice President Ashley Weaver.

Another one of Nelson’s pieces on display was an astronaut floating in space, holding the planets on strings like balloons.

“The astronaut was made at an art acoustic night last semester,” Nelson said.

“They were having performers as well as three easels set up so we could paint live. We had about an hour, and I came up with that.”

Cabaret Student Production’s will be holding Youth Art Night 7:30 p.m. May 9 in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre as its final event of the semester.

“It’s very important to have our youth have a foundation and know where they could possibly end up one day,” Weaver said.

The crowd snapped in agreement.

“Maybe they could end up be here at this university,” Weaver said.

Cabaret Student Productions has invited local high schools’ art departments to showcase their art and talent.

“We know, and other artists know, it can sometimes be daunting as a high school student to continue your artistic endeavor, and we’re really trying to support that,” Clark said.

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

photo by Breanna Ulsh

‘Tartuffe’ gets modern makeover

“Tartuffe,” the story of a pious deceiver, will come to life on the stage of the Dailey Theatre beginning April 20.

The play, written by French playwright Moliere in the 1600s, has been modernized by the University of La Verne theater department into a contemporary comedy.

The play is the senior project of three students, including senior theater major and set manager Makenna Zambrano.

Zambrano said she sees the play as a dark comedy.

“I think that if you take ‘Tartuffe’ at face value and just read the story without seeing it, you would think that it’s actually a pretty serious play,” Zambrano said.

“There’s a lot of life or death things that happen, but the way Moliere writes it is pretty funny.”

Sean Dillon, associate professor of theater art and director of the production, said the play was written in an archaic style, but is still easy to understand.

“The play is poetically delivered, so you’ve got lines in rhymed couplets and 10 syllables, but the language isn’t hard,” Dillon said. “One reason I chose this play is it was time in the midst of what we do, to do a classical piece with an antiquity of language.”

Zambrano said that the way the play was written allows the actors to memorize lines easier.

“It’s meant to follow the normal rhythm of how people talk, but as far as acting in a genuine way where you have rhymed couplets and specific speech, it’s definitely a challenge,” Zambrano said.

Dillon said that although the play was written in the 1600s, it still has themes that can be applied to modern times.

The play was tweaked to include some more contemporary twists.

“We didn’t modernize the language at all and we even have a set design that’s Louis the XIV inspired with lots of columns and marble, however the costumes are modern costumes,” Dillon said.

“The point of the modern costumes was not to force the audience to think ‘This is something that is going on today,’ but to allow them to draw their own conclusions,” Dillon said.

“I believe that it has a sort of social commentary that resonates perfectly with our contemporary society. I think that you will recognize political people and themes of today, and that is why it was chosen,” he said.

The theater department began work on the play in late February.

Alumna Sara Haddadin, master carpenter, began working on the sets March 13.

Although Haddadin has been building sets since high school, the “Tartuffe” set has been a challenge.

“This is one of the largest sets that we’ve done in a really long time,” Haddadin said. “We started off with the platform that took us all of spring break to build and then there’s a lot of intricate detail and things that I have never done before.”

Haddadin said the most challenging part was having to create the many archways.

Senior theater major Wayne Keller III, who plays Tartuffe, is also doing the play as his senior project.

“Although he’s not in many scenes, the play is about him,” Zambrano said. “His character is central.”

Zambrano said the unlikely star of the show is the character Dorine, played by senior theater major Jessie Bias as part of her senior project.

“Dorine is the sassy maid,” Bias said. “Dorine may talk back a lot, but you’ll find that she truly loves this family and doesn’t want to see any harm come to them. She knows that Tartuffe spells out trouble,” she said.

To prepare for the role, Bias did research on the 16th century Italian theater style Commedia dell’arte, a form of theater that employs certain stock characters or archetypes.

“Dorine is modeled after the comic servant,” Bias said. “Knowing that helped me come up with my own reasoning for the way she acts. I took into account what people say about her, what she says about other people and what does she say about herself.”

Bias said that having a character that she relates to has made the task of playing Dorine an easier one.

“We’re both not afraid to speak our mind,” Bias said. “Dorine is bold and bright and she has a flare that nobody else has and I think, from what people tell me, I’m similar.”

For Zambrano, organizing and motivating the cast has been the biggest challenge.

“The hardest part of any play is that they require so many people to come together for one goal,” Zambrano said.

To accommodate class schedules, scenes are not rehearsed all at one time or in order.

However, every scene is rehearsed at least three times, Zambrano said.

“Everyone has personal problems, classes and so many things going on in their lives,” Zambrano said.

“But it’s really great to see everyone lighting up on the stage at the end.”

“Tartuffe” was first performed in 1664 at the palace of Versailles for King Louis XIV. At the time, the play sparked controversy as it offended members of the French Roman Catholic Church. The Archbishop of Paris threatened to excommunicate anyone who watched, read, performed or participated in the play in any way.

In modern times, the play is considered a theater classic.

“I’ve talked to so many people that aren’t familiar with what ‘Tartuffe’ is because it’s an old play, but it’s a classic,” Bias said. “I think everybody should have a chance to see the classics, especially this one because we have a modern twist on it. It should be more interesting and engaging to come see.”

Dillon said that he hopes the audience recognizes the play’s humor.

“Here’s something that most people wouldn’t expect about a play written in that age: it’s funny,” Dillon said. “It’s silly sometimes, it’s naughty sometimes and I chose it because I think the audience will really enjoy it.”

“Tartuffe” is showing in the Dailey Theatre April 20, 21, 22, 27, 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m. and April 30 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or at

The suggested donation is $8 for students, $12 for staff and seniors and $15 for general admission.

“We ask that you pay what you can,” Zambrano said. “Our belief here is that we’ll never turn someone away who wants to see theater and be a part of it, of course they’re welcome. But we are a theater that works primarily on donations.”

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

Chalk fest draws crowd To Glendora

Impressive works of art and colorful chalk dust lined the sidewalks of the Glendora Village, as the sound of children singing and the smell of greasy pizza filled the air.

For 10 years, Glendora has held its annual Chalk Festival in the streets of the village, down Glendora Avenue from Foothill Boulevard to Bennett Avenue.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 85 artists competed for top chalk creation in in various categories and divisions including junior level, ages 10 to 13, student level, ages 14 to 17, and adults, 18 and older.

Categories included Best Technique, Best Use of Color, 3-D, Best of Show and Crowd Favorite. Judges chose the winners of categories while the community voted for Crowd Favorite.

Next year, the festival committee hopes to include a senior and family division to boost participation, according to chalk festival committee member Elaina Phillips.

Pining for Crowd Favorite and the $100 prize was 16-year-old Kayla Garcia, who drew Belle and the Beast from Disney’s cartoon version of “Beauty and the Beast.”

The characters’ bright yellow dress and rich blue coat popped against a deep navy background.

Garcia practiced for the competition by drawing at home with colored pencils.

She said she enjoys painting canvas shoes.

Garcia said she was inspired by the new live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” and her mother’s love for the films.

“My mother absolutely adores ‘Beauty and the Beast,’” Garcia said. “I’m doing this in honor of her.”

As people walked by Garcia’s piece, they commented with “Wow,” and “It looks beautiful.”

“It’s really nice to hear,” Garcia said. “Especially since I’ve been working on it since 10 a.m. this morning.”

The festival also included a community talent competition called San Gabriel Valley’s Got Talent, sponsored by local performance group Top Billing Entertainment.

“We decided to add the talent show to expand and turn it more into an actual festival,” Phillips said.

The talent competition was put together by Top Billing Entertainment’s Executive Director Kristina Ivy.

The 25 performers were judged by celebrity judges: Olympian Bryan Clay, Beach Boys drummer Bobby Figueroa and Hai Muradian, a musician who is currently in six different bands.

The judges chose winners from each age division to be put on Top Billing Entertainment YouTube channel. The video with the most likes by April 9 will receive a $250 prize.

Glendora resident Meg Ponce competed with her daughters Ayden, 12, and Evalani, 8. The trio sang “I Know It’s Today” from “Shrek the Musical.”

“It was really fun and a great experience for the girls,” Meg Ponce said.

Ayden Ponce said that she appreciated the opportunity to perform with her mother and sister. Evalani Ponce said she hopes the competition makes her famous.

The festival highlighted not only the talents of the community, but the many downtown businesses.

“The businesses get a lot of revenue today, especially the restaurants,” Phillips said.

Phillips owns the Village Goldsmith jewellery store in downtown Glendora.

“People are coming in that may have never known it’s been there for 30 years and they discover us,” Phillips said.

The festival also included a costume contest based on the festivals theme, Adventures in Story Land.

Results of the talent competition, costume contest and winners of the different categories of the chalk festival will be announced next week.

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

Cabaret gives freestyle experience

170328_0122_CT_TMD-copy-320x500Bare feet jumped from the hardwood floor and fell with a thump to the quick beat of Shakira’s “Waka Waka” playing in the background.

Sweat dripped from the six dancers as they ended their freestyles filled with energetic walks, turns and dance moves.

“Are you ready for a shower now?” CAPA student and theater major Ellie Nelson asked.

Since she was 3 years old, Nelson has been in love with ballet and dance.

She shared some of her years of experience to five people at a modern dance workshop held by Cabaret Student Productions, Tuesday night in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre.

Her lesson began with some ballet poses and terminology to the instrumentals of “Secrets” by One Republic and “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perry.

The dancers practiced ballet walks, using a toe-ball-heel movement instead of the natural heel-ball-toe walk.

They learned arabesques, a pose in which the body leans on one leg and the arms are held in a L-shape.

“Imagine there’s a pond, and you are gently making that first little ripple,” Nelson said, describing the positioning of the hand in an arabesque.

Nelson then explained how to do a split leap, a move where the dancer gains momentum by running and jumps into the air with one leg in front of them and one leg behind them.

“These ones are my favorite,” sophomore theater major and Cabaret Student Productions President Courtney Clark said.

Clark’s split leaps were so good that Nelson asked her to demonstrate the move for the group.

Once the dancers were comfortable with some of the turns, poses and terminology, they began learning a routine to “Waka Waka.”

Although Nelson had already choreographed it, she encouraged dancers to add their own flair and suggestions as they finalized the dance.

The routine was full of rhythmic movement and spins. It ended with a circle, giving each dancer the chance to freestyle in the center.

After a few run-throughs of the choreography and a final performance, the six dancers sat on the floor, stretching to the melodic sounds of bird whistles and Native American melodies.

As the lights dimmed, the dancers stretched to the soothing sound of Nelson’s voice. They laid on their backs, toes pointed and arms above their heads.

Nelson instructed them to imagine a warm, sparkling light of their favorite color enveloping their body. The light started on the toes and gradually moved to their hands, going up and over their fingers, shooting out into the universe.

Nelson stressed the importance of cooling down after dance sessions.

She told the group about ballet dancers who need hip replacements and cannot walk by their 20s due to a lack of proper training.

She gave the example of legendary ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, who has had many surgeries to fix ballet related injuries.

“I’m 42 years old, doing what I did at 18 because my dance teacher took care of my body, and now I will take care of yours,” she said.

After the cool down, Nelson led the dancers in a positivity circle.

The dancers took turns giving compliments to the person on their right, commenting one another on their new-found dancing abilities and courage to try something new.

“Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too old to dance, or too skinny, or too fat, or too young, or too anything,” Nelson said.

The session ended with three bows; one to the Creator, one to the instructor and one to the dancers.

Cabaret Student Productions decided to have a modern dance workshop because there is not a dance requirement for theater majors.

“Dance is such an important part of any performance because you get to know your body and the things you can do with it and how it moves, and that itself gives you more of a stage presence,” said sophomore theater major and Cabaret Student Productions Vice President Ashley Weaver.

Nelson, who hopes to create a dance program at ULV after graduation, was chosen to lead the dance workshop because of her extensive knowledge.

Nelson is part of the Dancing Dragons Troupe and is an instructor at MikNao Dance Studio in La Verne, a studio open to dancers of all abilities including those in wheelchair or with crutches.

“Ellie is very talented and knows a lot about dance. She brings a lot of energy, but she’s still calm. Having her to teach us was icing on the cake,” Weaver said.

Cabaret Student Productions’ next event is an open mic night at 8:30 p.m. April 4 in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre.

(Photo by Tyler Deacy)

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

Mural restored by original artists

After 25 years of covering the south wall of the Arts and Communications Building, the mural depicting historic La Verne, titled “Scrapbook,” is getting a face-lift. The mural, which faces Arrow Highway, is expected to be finished by mid-April.

“We aren’t painting, we’re restoring,” project manager Joy McAllister said.

The original mural was painted in 1992 employing trompe-l’œil, a French painting technique, to depict scrapbook-like photos of the city.

The mural is a part of the team’s series of scrapbook-like murals around the city including “Transportation Past and Present” located at the Transportation Park on Bonita Avenue, “La Verne Rancho” located at 2325 D St. in an alley between Bonita Avenue and Third Street and “Request” on the side of the historic packing house at 1941 White Ave.

“We pitched the idea to the city when they started their public arts project,” muralist Chris Toovey said.

“They wanted something historical. We had the idea of doing a trompe-l’œil scrapbook photos. They said, ‘Trompe-l’œil? We don’t know about that modern stuff.’ We said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s a 600-year-old tried and true technique.’”

At the time, the city of La Verne required all public art to have an 8-foot-high coat of graffiti-resistant sealant, so a silicon-based graffiti-resistant paint was used to seal the mural.

“This wall is a hundred-year-old wall,” Toovey said. “The graffiti-resistant coat penetrated through the paint, into the substrate and wall. The graffiti coat started to crack and as it shrank, it took the paint with it.”

When cracks started showing in the mural, the team attempted to fix the damage.

“We came back eight to 10 years later to go after the areas that were peeling and spruce them up,” Toovey said. “Because that graffiti coat penetrated so deeply, it didn’t allow for any kind of repainting.”

Toovey and McAllister were a part of the three-person team of artists, along with Jeff Faust, who created the original mural.

“When we first painted it we just came on site,” Toovey said. “We had one little set of scaffolding and it took us about three months.”

The current restoration began in January but the permit process started in 2014. Because the mural is so close to the railroad, a right-of-way permit from Metrolink was required before the restoration process began. Obtaining the permit added $3,000 to the total cost.

“We had to send all people who were going to be on site,” Toovey said. “Every one of us had to go through a permitting class.”

Metrolink requires a fence to be around any construction site with a right-of-way permit. This process must be monitored by flagmen, people who signal at railroad crossings and direct trains safely.

“The flagmen had to come out and then the scaffolding had to go in. About $5,500 and another three or four months was added to the two years this has been in the making,” Toovey said.

After the scaffolding and fence were installed, the team began by using velum and transfer paper to trace the original mural. Then, the parts of the mural that needed work were scraped off using needle scalers and pneumatic tools.

The scraping process was noisy and disrupted classes in the ACB the week before spring break.

“It was a loud process. People from inside the building asked us to stop,” painting contractor John Bundschuh said.

The team is now in the quieter process of the restoration. Once a primer and base coat are applied, they can use the velum to transfer the original image onto the wall.

After the tracing is transferred, they will paint and conclude the project.

“This is the first full restoration that we’ve done,” Toovey said. “Any time you’re doing a restoration it’s specific to the job. It’s unpredictable.”

(Photo by Tyler Deacy)

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

Animal specimens face the light

The Carlson Gallery became a busy museum Thursday as about 40 people walked along the hallway, stopping to stare at the dramatic photo exhibition “Solomon’s House” by artist Sarah Cusimano Miles. Visitors were encouraged to browse the gallery and stay for an artist talk from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Miles’ exhibition explores the collections of the Anniston Museum of Natural History in Anniston, Alabama, through 19 high-resolution composite images.

The photos centered around preserved animal specimens posed with everyday household objects and fruit, creating an odd, thought-provoking juxtaposition.

Some of the preserved animals were photographed by themselves with a simple, black background.

Students seemed intrigued, some slightly disturbed, by the images of dead animals.

The word “uncomfortable” floated around in the air, being mentioned by many throughout the exhibition’s opening.

(Photo by Janelle Kluz)

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

Drag queen rules over Dailey Theatre

Covered in a glittering black shroud the Debutantess crossed the stage, a single spotlight following her every move. As she removed her hood, the crowd screamed, growing louder when she tore away her robe revealing a small gold ensemble and curly blonde hair.

Beyonce’s “Runnin’” began to play as she lip-synced the lyrics. She danced through the crowd and strutted on stage to a medley of Beyonce songs reminiscent of her 2013 Super Bowl performance. The crowd was hyped up as they sang along and waved their phone flashlights. When the last song ended, she looked stunned as the crowd gave her a standing ovation lasting almost two minutes.

Drag performer Shangela Laquifa Wadley, AKA the Debutantess of the Deep South (birth name, Darius J. Pierce), entertained an audience of 180 students Wednesday night in Dailey Theatre.

The event was co-hosted by the Campus Activities Board and the Gay Straight Alliance. Students came early and waited in a long line to enter, some were turned away as the theater reached capacity.

“We’re very excited that this event will bring awareness to the LGBT community,” said CAB concert chairwoman Mandy Chavez. “This is a unique event that we haven’t had in over five years.”

Shangela entered the stage wearing a sparkling black robe. She ripped it off exposing a blue beaded one-piece suit as she vogued to her 2012 hit “Werqin’ Girl” and twerked to RuPaul’s “Peanut Butter.” After introducing herself, she spoke to the audience about her home in Paris, Texas, her life as a drag queen, and being the first in her family to attend college.

Shangela revealed that prior to her first appearance on the drag competition “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” she had been practicing the art for only a few weeks.
“It is never about how long you’ve been doing something,” she said. “If you’ve come to learn, if you’ve come to grow and are open to learning new things you will always excel and succeed.”

Shangela also praised ULV’s addition of gender neutral bathrooms.

“I think that any measure that an institution can do to support and make students more comfortable, more at home, more included, more considered—is very important,” she said. “I think this is a great thing… I respect it and support it.”

Next, Shangela went around the room asking students their names and majors. After meeting junior kinesiology major Alexander Patterson, she commented on his biceps: “You may come to the university looking for an education and find yourself a husband. Am I right ladies?”

As the crowd cheered, junior anthropology major Tracy Diaz waved her hand and gained Shangela’s attention. When Shangela asked her name, she replied, “Alex’s girlfriend.”

Shangela ran to the other side of the aisle and sat down laughing at the situation which became the running joke of the night along with the microphone that continued to cut out. Shangela later asked Patterson to help her off stage, fix her heel, and danced in front of him at different times during the performance.

Shangela performed her song “Uptown Fish,” a parody of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” The crowd got involved and sang back when she said, “La Verne say Halleloo,” a word she made popular during her time on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

“Halleloo is a positive word about excitement and how I live my life and I hope to inspire people with,” Shangela said.

After “Uptown Fish,” she mentioned that the song was to be her last.

Junior journalism major Tyler Evains screamed from the crowd, “You can’t leave without dancing for us again!”

Shangela invited Evains to the stage to introduce herself. She then called four other students to the stage to perform a “walk off” as she went backstage to change. The students strutted across the stage competing for the audience’s reaction.

The night ended with Shangela taking photos with students and signing autographs. Outside the theater rainbow cupcakes and cookies were provided.

Junior speech communications major Alec Jessip said he was surprised by how many students showed up and he appreciated Shangela’s words about acceptance.

“I enjoyed how she talked about equality and how it’s important for all of us to be there for one another,” Jessip said.

Shangela is known for competing in seasons two and three of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and her appearance in shows, movies, and music videos such as “Glee,” “Dance Moms,” “Bones,” “Two Broke Girls,” “Toddlers in Tiaras,” “Hurricane Bianca,” and Miley Cyrus’ 2015 Video Music Awards performance.

Shangela is a world-wide entertainer, having performed in South Africa, Brazil, and many other countries. Most recently, she performed in Bangkok and around Thailand for New Years Eve.

Shangela is currently planning a European tour and working on a record for the Guinness Book of World Records for first drag performer to perform on all seven continents.

So far she has had shows on six continents and hopes to attend National Geographic’s tour from Argentina to Antartica.

“I’d love to take that tour, get off the boat, and give a good ol’ ‘Happy Feet’ performance for Antartica” she said.

(Photo by Nadira Fatah)

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.

Bootcamp gives audience monstrous night

Sophomore theater major Ashley Weaver and freshman theater major Jordan Nelson practice make-up techniques on freshman theater major Mallorie Johnson during the Cabaret Series’ Monster Bootcamp event Tuesday. / Photo by Donna Martinez

Huddled in the left corner, two girls worked furiously, painting and drawing on their model’s face. Specs of gold glitter fluttered in the air as the bright light coming from above bounced off the shiny dust. Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” played as 20 students shuffled, stumbled and limped around in a circle in the center of the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theater.

This was the scene of Monster Bootcamp, the first event of its kind on campus Tuesday.

Theater major Michaela Bulkley put together the series as part of her senior project.

“It’s all about having a community of artists and giving them an environment to feel empowered,” Bulkley said. “This time we did something different. We’re taking an artistic risk with Monster Boot­camp, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Once the crowd filed in and took their seats, they were informed that Monster Bootcamp would be an audience interactive event.

The group began stretching, trying to identify a part of their body with a lot of tension. Everyone then participated in an activity to help them understand their bodies and how to translate a character into movement.

Alumni Sierra Taylor, a professional burlesque dancer, and Alvaro Renteria, an actor who recently worked props on “Carrie: The Musical” in Los Angeles, led the exercise.

After everyone finished stretching, Taylor told them to think of a character, keeping in mind the tensest part of their bodies when they stretched. Next, they were to demonstrate how their characters would move depending on the emotions she gave them.
The activity was inspired by Taylor’s experience performing in the music video for “Doctor or Monster” by Audfaced.

“For this music video, I had to play a demented bride and I thought, ‘How do I translate that?’” Taylor said. “I thought about how a bride wants to be perfect, so I did a lot of twitching and sharp movements.”

The crowd looked like a herd of stiff zombies walking about in a circle. Some people waddled like penguins or hunched over like apes. Others stretched out their arms and fluttered like birds or butterflies.

Taylor split everyone into groups of four. Groups performed their movement one at a time as the audience identified what part of their bodies were accentuated and what character they could possibly be.

Junior kinesiology major Thomas Huynh’s character demonstrated a stiff neck and locked knees accompanied by a stabbing motion.

“I was inspired by the death scene of Olly from ‘Game of Thrones,’” Huynh said.

Other characters demonstrated were a bald eagle, a self-conscious bird, an emperor penguin, a disfigured Vietnam War veteran, an intoxicated octopus and a love-sick zombie.

While the audience participated in the character exercise, freshman theater major Jordan Nelson and sophomore theater major Ashley Weaver created an elaborate stage makeup inspired by a skull.

Their model, freshman theater major Mallorie Johnson, was presented to the crowd after the character exercise.

Johnson’s face was painted a base of white cream with gold glitter packed on to her eyelids and lips.

Nelson and Weaver applied a dark black to Johnson’s lower cheek and jawline to emulate a hollowed out section of the skull.
“We used water based face paint, some cream paint, glitter and eyeliner,” Nelson said.

Nelson has been experimenting with special effects makeup for two years. Although it is currently a hobby, she said she is still considering it as a career.

“I hope that my makeup skills become an asset to the theater department,” Nelson said.

As part of the Cabaret Series, the entire theater will be turned in to a Haunted Circus at 10 p.m. Tuesday. The event is free.

Bulkley hopes the circus will be the first of an annual haunted house put on by the theater department.

(Photo by Donna Martinez)

This story was originally published by The Campus Times.