The August Circus Cabaret at The Muse

It's the last Circus Cabaret of the summer! burlesque, silks, fire, dance, flexibility, lyra, bungee, music, trapeze, and epic moments everywhere!! Not much to say (let the pictures do the work) other than the fact that I always love shooting at The Muse. Even when I'm exhausted at the tail end of a long day/weekend/week and just about to start it all again on Monday, Sunday nights at The Muse make me happy.

Groupmuse // The Muse (Symphonie Fantastique)

While I can't remember where I first heard about Groupmuse, I can tell you that I subscribed to their mailing list immediately. Chamber music house concerts? I mean, yes please! I can also tell you that, unfortunately, I hadn't been able to get myself to any of these magnificent-sounding concerts. And then they teamed up with The Muse.

When I first saw the listing (boasting five acrobats accompanied by a 75-piece orchestra performing Berlioz's epic symphony) I thought it was a joke. Since moving into their new space, they've opened up to larger scale events than ever before. Still! A 75-piece orchestra!! How cool!! And it was.

Saraghina discovered

I found myself in Bed-Stuy today, just a few blocks east of my sister's new apartment. It was my first experience in real estate photography, and I couldn't figure out how to open the lock box (turns out it needed a lot more strength than one would think), so I called up the realtor. He talked me through it, but when I opened it? No keys! He told me that he would drive over from Williamsburg (so it would be some time), and that I should go hang out at Saraghina across the street to wait for him.

So I did just that, and had the most delicious spaghetti with tomato sauce so fabulous that I actually ATE the tomatoes (I'm not a big tomato fan)!! The place was so aesthetically pleasing that I ran around taking pictures of everything. The key that the realtor brought ended up being the wrong key, so I'll be back again tomorrow for the actual real estate, but I'm glad I got pictures of something pretty today. I'm also glad that I found a great restaurant in my sister's neighborhood, and I look forward to bringing her there with me next time. :)

Anna Chazelle is on fire!!!

Here's a little story about how I became one of The Muse's go-to photographers. My friend Anna (who I met at The Shakespeare Forum a few years ago) told me about a show that she would be performing in. When she told me that she would be doing fire hoop (A HULA HOOP ON FIRE! YES!!), my jaw hit the floor. up until then, I had only thought of her as an actor of the Shakespearian and badass varieties. What sealed the deal is that Anna told me I could get into the show for free if I photographed it. I was sold, because student loans. I went, I took pictures, I posted the pictures, and then kept getting invited back to take more pictures! So it goes.

Nearly two years after that fateful night, Anna Chazelle spun fire hoop at The Muse for the last time. No, Anna is not getting her limbs amputated for science. She's moving to Los Angeles!!!!!! I'm going to hold off on making jokes about the drought and instead just say that while I wish her well and know that this is a great move for her, I'm going to miss the hell out of her, and look forward to crashing on her couch when I come visit.


Rat Park, Chinatown

I always call this place Rat Park in my head, because when you look in the bushes you can see enormous rats just running around. Sometimes one will dart across the path right in front of you. It's intense.

Rain or shine, snow or sun, there will always be Chinese Chess matches going on, groups of men and groups of women (always separated by gender) gather around to watch the players. Sometimes matches get intense, and sometime the crowd gets so dense that you can't even see the game.

Today, the park was not so crowded, so I got close enough to watch a match. I made friends with the men who were playing, who thought I was a tourist because of my camera, and didn't believe that I lived in Brooklyn until I lied and said that I was shooting a story for the New York Times. When I'm out with a camera, taking pictures, anywhere in the city, pretending that I have a legitimate photo assignment is the best way to convince people that I'm serious. Not sure why I feel the need to justify myself, but, come on. Tourist? No thank you.

The men explained the rules of the game to me, taught me some Chinese, and then invited me to play. I had somewhere to be and couldn't stay long, but it was nice to talk to some strangers. 

Precious Hound on the Rebound

I was walking home from the subway last weekend, and noticed a woman snapping some phone pictures of this precious pibble mix in the dog park. Since I had my camera on me, I asked if I could take some photos too. She said that she is currently fostering the dog, Ruby, and helping her find a home. She said that these pictures would definitely help.

Let me just say... this dog, Ruby, is SO SWEET. She was very attached to her toys, and spent a long time holding onto her ball. But then she played fetch, gave me kisses, was adorable and sweet and so made me wish I could have a dog.

If anyone is looking for a loving and playful companion, read more about her at Rebound Hounds.

The Modern Renaissance

With spring just around the corner, I'm starting to get myself excited for the Renaissance Festival. My friend Charlotte (the purple faerie) is fearless and curious and knows about so many cool things, so I knew she would get me to Renfest eventually. My first time, we borrowed a car and drove up from Ann Arbor to the Michigan fest. My second time, I borrowed my mom's car and drove from NYC to the fest in upstate New York. I love admiring everyones' costumes and dedication to detail. Plus, day drinking! I'm so excited but have no concrete plans just yet, I guess all that I can do is watch A Knight's Tale over and over and over again until then.

Understudying Tartuffe

Four years ago, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA in Acting. I loved getting to live in Ann Arbor and be involved in an intense theatre program with other students who shared my passion for the arts. Here are some pictures I took during tech week of Tartuffe. I was understudying all the female roles (and ended up getting to play Marianne in a few shows), and had a lot of time to sit, and watch, and take pictures.

Construction Proceeds Apace

The Muse opens in two days! TWO DAYS!!!! And no, this is NOT an April Fools joke. All these months of work are finally going to pay off when The Muse opens its doors and starts teaching classes again. Back when they were at their old location in Williamsburg, I would be there once a month to photograph their monthly MuseIAM show. Since their kickstarter, fundraising, and then the move to their new location, I've been feeling significantly more at home, and so excited that home is opening back up again IN TWO DAYS!!!! Here's a dusty, post-apocalyptic day turned beautiful beams of sunlight afternoon.

Soooooo up and coming!

Khalid Rahmaan produces a bi-monthly comedy show in Brooklyn that made my job difficult -- because I was laughing so hard.

The Skivvies: SPLASHDANCE at 42West

The Skivvies is Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley's... hm. I'm not sure quite how to describe them. Out Magazine calls the Skivvies "part Weird Al-parody and part sexy unusual explosion of satire and sultry," which sounds about right, so let's go with that. I met Lauren probably almost a decade ago when she was playing Johanna (and cello) in the John Doyle-directed revival of Sweeney Todd. There's plenty of details that don't belong on a blog post. Suffice it to say, The Skivvies played at 42West this past week, and I got some beautiful pictures of it.

The Muse has FLOORS!!!

Last year, The Muse (a circus school and performance venue) got kicked out of their Williamsburg home when vice media bought their venue, along with every other fun place past Bedford. They managed to raise $60,000.00 on kickstarter to move to a new space in Bushwick. The new space is significantly larger than the old space, and needed a lot of work. While I offered to come help rebuild the new space, most of the work was going on during weekdays, when I couldn't get away from my day job.

As you can see, my first visit to the Muse's new home was.. intimidating. Piles of wood, a week's worth of sorting, mess everywhere, and NO BATHROOMS!!

Take a look at the progress from today's visit...


There was plumbing and working toilets too, but I didn't get any pictures of those (for obvious reasons). And there were dogs that I got to play with (momma muse and her pack). I spent the day moving heavy things, climbing a terrifying ladder, lugging wood, and playing with the pack. I feel so great to get to help put this place together. Seeing everything coming together like this is such an exciting and beautiful feeling. I can't wait until it opens next month and everyone gets to come back home. If you're interested in The Muse, take a look!

Zootown Summer

This past summer I spent some time in Missoula with a friend. She's a photographer too, and has a lovely blog where she posts lovely photos. I'd never been to Montana before, and while altitude sickness bowled me over for a bit after a stunningly beautiful flight, I was absolutely blown away by how beautiful this town is. The mountains, the rivers, the woods, just... everything!!! It was BEAUTIFULLLLLLLLLL and people didn't lock their DOORS and everyone wore Keens and the dogs were friendly and everyone rode bikes and sunsets were magical and there were all these perfect places to get perfect COFFEE and everything is perfect and beautiful and if I didn't live in NYC I would seriously consider relocating to someplace where, if I was going for a run and got a little overheated, I could just hop into a nearby river and cool off. Oh yeah. I did that. Missoula is pretty cool.

Hotter Than That

Krin Gabbard needed a new portrait for his upcoming book. He is a professor and author who writes about jazz, which he is very clearly passionate about and knowledgable of. He brought his wife Paula, and we did a nice portrait session chez photographer and friend Theik Smith's studio extraordinaire.  Krin and Paula were an absolute delight. It is so refreshing to get to spend time with two interesting, talented, creative, intelligent people who clearly love each other so much. I have one of Krin's books - Hotter Than That - on my shelf right now that I can't wait to read.

Angelic Acro

Keith Miklas and Merrill Grant wanted some photos taken of this angelic acro concept. I met Keith last year after a performance he did at The Muse: FIRE. He was pleased enough with the photos I shot of his performance that he brought me back to work with him again. He's got a lot of great ideas and a LOT of talent. I'm so excited to see what he's going to come up with next.