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Double Take at Live – Ann Arbor


by Elyssa Eve - March 13, 2013


Imagine having the opportunity to sing a song from a selection of over 60,000, accompanied by real musicians and backup singers, no preparation or record contract needed. Oh, and might I mention no Simon Cowell? Imagine no further, because Double Take live band karaoke exists!  

Lead guitarist Larry James is the ‘brainfather’ of Double Take, also illuminated by Dannette Monta on vocals/role of hostess and second guitarist George Kelly.  

When questioned about the inspiration for Double Take, James said, “I have always performed in various bands throughout my career and found that it has become harder and harder to find gigs for bands on weekdays, since most places only hire bands on weekends. So about seven years ago, I decided to create a way to combine live musicians with karaoke and form Double Take."

  James met Monta a couple years after forming Double take, who easily fell into the role of karaoke emcee/hostess. A speaking and singing voice as sugary sweet as hers perfectly compliments James’ ability to play a mammoth amount of songs upon instant request.

  I’ve met several people who say, "Karaoke sounds fun but I’m too shy." Enter a key difference between live band karaoke and non live band karaoke: When a virginal karaoke singer tries live band karaoke, even if the person is apprehensive, a pleasant discovery is how supportive the karaoke band is of the karaoke singer. And yes, vocal backups are included. Clearly, there is nothing to be afraid of, just merrymaking to be made.

  I’ll tell you, Double Take has had its share of character participants over the years. One such character, according to Monta, went by the name “Robert Bowie.” He’d consistently belt out David Bowie tunes and had a similar voice. “…One night, around Halloween time, he showed up in nothing but a speedo and swimming fins (flippers) It was about 20 degrees out.” Other memorable karaoke stars are Eric O. from Ann Arbor, who used to dress up in various attire, from clown wigs to dresses, and Brian from Downriver, who sang 80’s hair band songs as if he was the original lead singer. Who will be the next memorable Double Take enthusiast?

  An eclectic karaoke star that stuck out in my mind was the metal head who sang, I mean screamed, “Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears.  

Ultimately, fun trumps talent in live band karaoke; it’s not about karaoke singers rehearsing for hours or singing technically correct 100% of the time, but about allowing the rock n’ roll spirit to overtake. Said spirit incidentally makes karaoke singers sound awesome!  

“[Live band karaoke] gives the singer a shot of adrenaline and an experience like no other,” said Monta. “Until you have actually done Live Band Karaoke for yourself, you will never really know what a high you get from it.”
This post was originally published on the former website, "Discover Michigan."   Original Link

BrendaLinda Performance Collaborative at LePop Gallery – Ann Arbor


by Elyssa Eve - January 29, 2013
LePop Gallery traverses subjects from other-worldliness to eating too much colorful candy to consumerism ... all through works by extraordinarily talented artists. According to its website, Lepop Gallery is “…a room for the display of works of art, which makes a sudden, sharp, explosive appearance in unexpected locations.” This includes performance art.  

Enter BrendaLinda Performance Collaborative, which I discovered at the “Let’s Get Weird Variety Show” on January 12th at Live. 

For anyone who hasn’t experienced a theatrical performance in an art gallery, the concept may seem just a tad strange. After all, how can actors put on a production without a stage or designated stage-like area? After seeing BrendaLinda’s most recent show, I find it pretty easy to understand. The actors literally curated their performance to glide smoothly around the gallery room – in a physical and cerebral sense. “In the work that we have been creating, we have searched out venues that are specifically NOT theaters…In regards to scenery and sets, it is our hope that the different venues become the backdrop for the performance. Each show is specific to its environment and provides a different set of challenges. ,” said Brian Carbine, BrendaLinda’s Creative Director.  

A striking element of “Do You Ever Wish You Were Better at Things?,” BrendaLinda’s latest and current show, was the array of physical movement and how enthralled I felt by it. This was particularly true in one skit, based on the real life experience of a girl who recently moved from Texas to Michigan, experiencing a type of communication culture shock. The writer, who also played the act’s main character, wandered around the room, past other actors and audience members; she desired someone to understand, or even take a moment to listen to, her heartfelt Spanish orations. I could personally feel her nervousness and frustration, but it wasn’t upsetting; it was intriguing.  

BrendaLinda is kind of a concept theatrical collaborative, if you will, due to its pursuit of broadening showgoers’ and performers’ conceptualization of what theater means and can mean (as it has mine). Attending a performance of “Do You Ever Wish You Were Better at Things?” helped me to realize that utilizing a stage in front of an audience, which is potentially zoning out into their programs in seats, is only one of multiple theater experience options. The fun obligation of moving my eyes, head, and body around a room engrossed me at an elevated level.  

The extensive audience intertwinement in BrendaLinda shows at LePop gallery unsurprisingly results in adapted rehearsal elements. The performance artists practice mindfulness meditation, for instance, to hone their abilities of living and acting in the moment; if something in the environment goes a little differently than expected, they strive for their performance to fit circumstances as impeccably as possible. This mentality was put to the test when a random girl watching the show moved some of BrendaLinda’s props around, and the show smoothly went on anyway. ”I was incredibly proud of the actors because they kept everything moving along, even though someone had purposefully attempted to throw a wrench in the show,” said Carbine.  

All in all, BrendaLinda strives to open the minds of theater performers and enthusiasts. Carbine iterates, “We would hope that performers realize they are not slaves to theater/dance/performance companies in the area and that if they have the desire to make work, they don’t need these people’s permission. They can make it for themselves!”

Original Link - Published on "Discover Michigan"

View the full set of photos on flickr (also by clicking the photos menu on this page)

5 Michigan Seasonal and Specialty Beers


by Elyssa Eve - December 3, 2012
We love Michigan beer here at Discover-Mi.com! The holiday season yields tons of great local craft brews, and I’ve sampled a ton to give you the low down on the best specialty and seasonal Michigan beers to serve at your holiday or New Years party!  

Bell’s Christmas Ale The first thing that strikes me about Bell’s Christmas Ale is the front label. It features a relatively small pine tree that is minimally decorated with light brown bulbs, growing awkwardly in the middle of a wheat field during a partly sunny summer or early fall day. While it is mysterious as to whether this scene would actually exist in nature, as there is no stereotypical winter snow, I find it soothingly escapist in the impending cold Michigan winter months. 

As for the beer flavor, I taste sugar, spice, and things that are nice. Brown sugar, toffee, cloves, and interestingly, stewed prunes, concoct its flavor. A pleasant hint of orange graces the after-taste. “At 5.5% ABV, it stands as a smooth, highly drinkable beer intended to complement holiday menus, not overshadow them,” reads the Bell’s website. 

Bell’s Winter White 

Bell’s Winter White, sometimes known as “Snowberon,” due its similarities to the very popular Oberon, has been on my radar for a few years. I recall the first night I tried it; I was hanging out in an Ann Arbor pub with a friend and a former classmate walked up to us and said, “Do you realize who you’re with?! She’s the weather girl!” Then I said, caught just a little off guard, “That’s why I’m drinking Bell’s Winter White!” However much sense this incident made (or how much sense it didn’t make), it was a memorable first taste.  

This beer is brewed with of a combo of barley and wheat, in addition to Belgian ale yeast. It has the citrus-clove after-taste that I love, but not dabbled with as many spices or as much sweetness as Bell’s Christmas Ale. This brew will help tide me over until Oberon (also a Belgian style specimen) is back in season during the kind, warm spring. 

Short’s Autumn Ale 

I also find this Michigan beer’s label art intriguing; A group of five color morphing trees sit in a beer glass, the shape of the tree tops perfectly aligned with the widening of the glass on top. “Lore of the Season Captured in Ale," reads the front label of Short’s Autumn Ale Sweet malt blends with floral hops to create a satisfying malt/bitter balance. I could picture myself drinking Short’s Autumn Ale after spending time at the cider mill or after a hayride. This beer classifies as a “London Extra Special Bitter,” or “ESB,” according to the Short’s website. 

Pure Michigan IPA 

“Let’s hope the state doesn’t sue us over the name,” says the Grizzly Peak Brewing Company’s website. Pure Michigan IPA is Made with Michigan grown hops, including cascade, chinook, and brewer’s goldgrown, from Empire. Herbal, grapefruit, and even pine flavors mix with light malt. A seven-barrel brewing system, assembled by Alan Pugsly of England, manufactures the beers that are the lifeblood of Grizzly Peak Brewing Company. This is viewable from the street as well as inside the dining area. The brew pub’s food offerings are just as delicious as the beers. A couple of my favorite offerings are the Marghera Pizza and Grizz Burger. 

Founder’s Harvest Ale 

Founder’s Harvest Ale is a golden ale with a citrus/hop contrast. The orange, lemon, and grapefruit flavors dominate the flavor when one firsts starts sipping, then are followed by a strong hop finish. Like the Grizzly Peak Pure Michigan IPA, I find the citrus element uplifting and the bitterness calming. 

I recently visited Founder’s Tap Room in Grand Rapids for the first time. One striking aspect was the view of the mammoth metal vats used for brewing. Another noticeable trait of the facility was its sheer size and how packed it was….table upon table was filled with people in the spacious room. My friends and I were lucky and just barely found a place to sit, as a group of people just left when we arrived.
 

*******Arboretum*********************************************************************************************************************
Original Link
by Elyssa Eve October 23, 2012 Finally, a day off from work! My urge to take a hiatus from the stresses of urban intersections leads me to embark on an “Arb-Venture!” As I wander into the woods, I hear less car motors and more bird chirps, leaves rustling, and steps of the occasional fellow wanderer. The vibrant fall colors overwhelm me in a strangely calm way. Upon reaching the Huron River bank, I perch on the cement steps to absorb the sites and sounds of trickling water. The vast acres of land known today as the Nichols Arboretum, or “Arb” for short, spawned from a gift of property to the University of Michigan and the City of Ann Arbor in 1907 from multiple private donors, including the Nichols family and the Detroit Edison Company. While the Arb began as a single small garden, its curators designed progressively more sections with an increasingly wider selection of plants. Visionaries intended for “both steep and gentle slopes facing every point of the compass; a variety of soils from rich clay to gravel…and a varied native flora that includes species of trees and shrubs…” according to Aubrey Tealdi, former head of the University of Michigan Department of Landscape and Design. Arb framers birthed a natural refuge for the inspiration and relaxation of Ann Arbor town dwellers. Located almost directly behind the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, the Arb is a hop, skip, and a jump for hospital employees, as well as guests of the local Ronald McDonald House. They don’t have a far trek to escape the stresses of medical machines and patient care. Students and University faculty, along with other Ann Arbor residents, also know they can rely on the Arb to soothe their own societal stresses. Visitors may simply get lost in the numerous trees, fresh air, and greenery, enveloping themselves into an eco-friendly and mentally healthy fifth dimension. Different sections of the Arb give visitors varying natural ventures. The renowned Peony Garden, one of the Arb’s relaxing mini-destinations, has several novel traits. Hordes of older and less common peony breeds, whose seeds aren’t easily found in modern gardening shops, inundate the area. Many recent peony gardeners prefer flowers engineered with stiffer stems, as opposed to the somewhat floppier stems of older peony breeds. Albeit the recent floral evolution of stiffer stems, certain peony enthusiasts retain appreciation of the original, more floppy stemmed, floral style of peony that grows in the Arb. Mounds of the original peonies planted over ninety years ago continue to thrive. Arb staff guide certain Arb sections to return to their authentic ecological state from before human assumption of the land. Prescribed burnings, which stave off invasive species to leave enough room for native species to grow, are one such method. A unique fusion of nature and human culture occurs when the Arb hosts several performing arts events yearly. Notoriously, the "Shakespeare in the Arb" series has events on several dates every summer. Since many of Shakespeare’s works take place fully or partially outdoors, the Arb deems itself a highly appropriate venue for the theatrical performances. Audience members follow the productions’ actors around different points of the Arb for each respective scene. Attendees literally change their own spatial setting along with the different parts of each play, allowing themselves to almost ‘get lost’ within it. To date, the Arb maintains and exceeds the vision of its innovators and founders. During the 1930’s, Alexander Ruthven, who was University of Michigan President at the time, assembled an Arb task force. The task force’s mission was, “[The Arb] should be kept so that it might become a haven of quiet one hundred years from now when our rich native flora will have become a thing of the past in most places.” Source: “A Century of Growing,” Published by University of Michigan, 2007 Like Nichols Arboretum on Facebook. This post was originally published on the former website, "Discover Michigan."

Fleetwood Diner

by Elyssa Eve - September 3, 2012
I first ate at Fleetwood Diner, commonly called “Fleetwood,” because someone explained to me how it was an Ann Arbor institution. Fleetwood opened in 1949 and doesn’t seem to have visibly changed much on the outside since then, although its menu, and certainly its clientele, evolved somewhat. The diner’s Facebook page describes it as featuring “some of the finest burger-flipping, egg-tossing, hash slinging mofos in town.” The first noticeable aspect of the eatery is the sea of bumper stickers on its walls, many from local bands. Multitudinous musicians take pride in squeezing their bumper sticker in…. somewhere…on the white walls.

A 24/7 establishment, Fleetwood Diner is open every single day of the year except Christmas. And while Denny’s may be open on Christmas, one item a restaurant patron can’t order there is the Hippie Hash. I basically became hooked on the stuff from the second I took my virginal tasting.

Imagine a plate consisting of hash browns cooked to just the right texture, with a generous, yet not overkill, amount of cooking oil. (Okay, so I go to Fleetwood for tastiness and not health). Mounds of broccoli, green peppers, and onion form the next savory layer. Finally, scrumptious melted feta cheese drapes the top of the meal. All in all, one must actually try Hippie Hash for his or herself to truly understand its savory qualities. It’s a good eat throughout the day, but might I suggest trying it late at night, perhaps after the bar?

Post bar hours are notoriously some of Fleetwood Diner’s busiest, due largely in part to the many students and professionals who live within walking distance to Downtown Ann Arbor bars. Conveniently located about a block away from the Blind Pig and Cavern Club, less than coordinated individuals don’t have far to walk at 2:00 am for a bite. And for whatever reason, grub often tastes better late, especially when it is filling.

Many people rush to Fleetwood Diner around 1:30 am to beat the “masses” at 2:00 am. After 2:00 am, the food is still yummy, but there is often a wait to sit down and get served. Waiting for an open seat is usually not very boring, as a variety of characters stand around and banter about all sorts of things. I’ve even gone there alone and managed to talk about my interests, or just fun/weird stuff, with people I met right then. One random dude bantered about spells and curses, then mentioned that he thought I had a hex on me. While this experience was, admittedly, a little creepy, I was mostly amused.

On another occasion, I saw the late, great, Odessa Harris awaiting a table, following her regular performance at Good Night Gracie. Good Night Gracie used a blues club nestled under what is now referred to as Live on First Street.

At one time, Harris sang backup for B.B. King. After an exciting career of notorious vocal work, she retired from performing in the 1980s; she, however, returned to performing in 2000. I enjoyed several of her stunning vocal performances for no cover. These experiences heavily impacted my interest in local music, and were often followed by a trip to where else? Fleetwood Diner!

Fleetwood is a fun collusion of Ann Arbor’s counter culture and mainstream culture. It is truly a local culinary staple.

For up-to-date info from Fleetwood Diner staff, follow its Facebook fan page.

Original Link

“Web Marketing Makes Companies Shine Bright ”

by Elyssa Eve - August 16, 2014
According to the Online Publishers Association, the average tablet owner spends 13.9 hours per day using the device. This statistic just considers tablets, and in a world where people often spend more time online than watching television or reading a newspaper, web marketing is essential. The web can make a company shine competitive advantage. SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social media, and business blogging are three essential web marketing methods.

SEO, the practice of utilizing keywords, key phrases, meta titles, meta descriptions, and links to make a website prominently appear in search engine results, is a fundamental building block of today’s marketing world. A whopping 64% of smartphone users shop on their device, reports eDigitalResearch. These potential valuable customers often visit Google and other search engines to query their desired product. SEO largely determines which companies and products first pop up in search results. If Don Draper from Mad Men were a real person in present day, he would almost certainly be an SEO expert.

I regularly use SEO on my personal blog (www.elyssaeve.com/blog), which is tied to my new photography business website. In my post titled, “Re-Taste Ann Arbor…with Your Eyes,” for instance, I utilized SEO, listing several keywords and key phrases, including “Taste of Ann Arbor,” “Photography,” and “Main Street Area Association.” For the meta description, I wrote, “I enjoy Taste of Ann Arbor, an event put on by the Main Street Area Association, every year. View some of my favorite photos I took at Taste of Ann Arbor.” Lastly, I wrote the meta title, “Taste Ann Arbor With Your Eyes - Photos of Taste of Ann Arbor,” being sure to include the city name in the description, since that is a widely known SEO practice, due to many customers searching for products and services by location. I strive to make all my blog posts relevant, interesting, informative, and beneficial to readers, while simultaneously linking to my “Photography Rates and Services” webpage.

Creating and updating a company blog associated with a corporate website generates fresh content, making the website show up amongst top search engine results. The presence of a blog on a website gives the website 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links on search engines, states ContentPLUS. Blog posts about a specific industry, trade, or product type not only reinforce a company’s expertise, but allow for intensive use of SEO keywords, key phrases, and links. Photograph and video descriptions also provide SEO opportunities. Links to other parts of the website, perhaps with service or product offerings, are appropriately positioned in blog content. Ultimately, potential customers who enter a search engine query to learn about a product or service are led to a company’s website. The more interesting the content, the longer the person browses the blog, then browses the company’s larger website, potentially giving the company business.

Social media is as important as SEO for giving companies a competitive presence. Findings by Experian Marketing Services state that 91% of adults regularly use social media. It is no secret that many people habitually surf Facebook and other social media sites at home, work, and almost anywhere in between. Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts, especially, are essential to marketing a company’s brand and services. Some companies utilize additional social media websites, including Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.

SEO, business blogging, and social media are crucial web marketing mediums that, when combined, give competitive advantages to a company, and will allow it to shine brightly amongst competitors.

Bibliography

“The 2012 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report.” Experian Marketing Services. 2012. Web.11 July 2014.

“M-Commerce Quadruples in Just Two years.” eDigitalResearch. n.d. Web.11 July 2014.

Pearlstein, Elyssa. “Re-Taste Ann Arbor…With Your Eyes.” Elyssaeve.com/blog. June 2014. Web.24 July 2014.

"A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User Wave II." Online Publishers Association. June 2012. Web.11 July 2014.

Webber, Karen. "The Anatomy of Content Marketing Infographic.” ContentPLUS. 2013. Web. 11 July 2014.

Original Link - Published on LinkedIn

The Diag–Ann Arbor

by Elyssa Eve - Aug 13, 2012
“People often lay around the Diag like it’s a festival, but there isn’t a festival,” someone once said to me. I took a second to think and resolved that there actually is always a festival there, just not in the traditional sense; the Diag encapsulates a metaphoric festival of relaxation, music, performing arts, cultures, spontaneity, tradition, student organizations, and even a little University of Michigan mysticism.

On the Diag, it is by no means a rarity to see someone walking a tightrope tied between two trees or doing acrobatics while hanging. Much of the time, such casual performers wear average clothes and often pass by fellow classmates on the way to the café to study when they aren’t honing their specialty skills.

I recall that on the St. Patty’s day before last (and it’s no secret that St. Patty’s Day is an especially important occasion in college towns), I saw a group of people mantra meditating, complete with a beating drum, sitting cross-legged in a circle. This was one of the first warm days of spring that year, and few days produce such exorbitant moods as the first warm day of spring in Michigan – especially in Ann Arbor and especially on the Diag. Every year, even though it is a surprise which spring day Michiganders are first graced with warmth, there is, no doubt, a celebration.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Diag is no stranger to formal celebrations. I, along with the rest of the graduating class of 2008, celebrated my commencement there. A very select set of circumstances cultivated this. The Big House, the usual University of Michigan commencement site, was under construction, and the event’s planners originally moved the ceremony to Eastern Michigan University’s Rynearson Stadium. Unsurprisingly, many students were less than content with the idea of graduating on a campus that wasn’t their own. After receiving a mammoth dose of complaints, the administration polled students, who elected to hold commencement on the Diag.

In hindsight, a Diag graduation made a lot more sense than a football stadium graduation for me, simply because Downtown Ann Arbor artistic culture as opposed to football culture defined my undergraduate experience. I did attend a few games and tailgate parties (and did appreciate when University of Michigan won). All in all, though, the imaginative and ethnic town aspects entrenched me.

Fun fact: Legend has it that if freshmen step on the block “M” made of brass in the center of the Diag before their first blue book exam, they will fail. Running from the clock tower to the pumas outside of the Natural Science Museum at midnight is the only way to reverse the curse. Orientation leaders frequently tell the story to incoming students.  I remember one time, specifically, when I happened to walk across the “M” right as an orientation leader told the tale. I, of course, had long since taken my first blue book exam.

Original Link - Published on "Discover Michigan"

Stars and Creators of “Answer This”
Answer My Questions

by Elyssa Eve - October 12, 2010
Last Friday, October 8th, my colleague, Liz Parker of Yes/No Films, and I approached the Michigan Theater on the brilliant sunny afternoon. A red carpet blanketed the cement in front of and around the area. A stretched limo drove up, then the driver got out and opened its doors for glammed up VIP party guests. The Ann Arbor premiere of the film "Answer This!" already seemed to be the fanciest shindig I’ve attended at the Michigan Theater before I’d even walked through the doorway.

"Answer This!" is the brainchild of Chris Farah (director & screenwriter,) and Michael Farah (producer). Chris Farah is a University of Michigan alumnus and both brothers are Ann Arbor natives.

I caught up with retired University of Michigan professor and actor in the movie, Ralph Williams, during the VIP party before the film. He agreed to play his part after Chris Farah, his former student, emailed him. “I didn’t know it was such an enormous project,” he remarked. Williams found his role in the production to be a mammoth learning experience. “Acting for the stage, you project toward the audience…in film, the camera studies you,” he observed. Williams also discovered the extensive power and significance of film editors. He explained, “There are so many takes and you never really can predict how the editor will deal with those.”

Shortly after I talked with Williams, it was time to view the film. Ann Arbor pride radiated through the filmmakers’ introduction of their work to hometown fans. Chris Farah, Michael Farah, their father, John Farah, and professor/actor Ralph Williams, all psyched up local film lovers. And of course, the movie couldn’t start without a spirited organ-led chanting of “The Victors,” it being merely one day before the legendary ‘U of M vs. MSU’’ annual football tradition.

At the Ann Arbor inspired flick’s conclusion, I headed over to the Michigan League’s generously catered after-party. I spoke with Christopher Gorham (also in Covert Affairs), another leading actor. “Making a film is always a journey…the most fun is meeting new people,” he said.

While it enthralled me to chat with some of the cinematic work’s main actors, I also met performers of smaller-yet-memorable characters, notably Brian Balzerini of Royal Oak. He elaborated on his experience. “When you see [the film as] words on paper, it is one thing, but when you see [the finished product] in real life, it’s incredible!”

Balzerini also reiterated the Farahs’ commitment to foster opportunities for Michigan grown talent.

Near the end of the evening, I conversed with producer Michael Farah, also the creator of popular website, Funny or Die. I asked for a word of advice to aspiring writers and creative professionals. “Make as much stuff as you can,” he proclaimed. “Take advantage of opportunities…Nobody is going to just give [success] to you.”

With those words of wisdom, I promenaded out of the League, heading back home to bed in anticipation of my 11 AM ‘day job’ the following morning.

Original Link - Published on "A2_4U" Blog

Stars and Creators of “Answer This”
Answer My Questions

by Elyssa Eve - October 12, 2010
Last Friday, October 8th, my colleague, Liz Parker of Yes/No Films, and I approached the Michigan Theater on the brilliant sunny afternoon. A red carpet blanketed the cement in front of and around the area. A stretched limo drove up, then the driver got out and opened its doors for glammed up VIP party guests. The Ann Arbor premiere of the film "Answer This!" already seemed to be the fanciest shindig I’ve attended at the Michigan Theater before I’d even walked through the doorway.

"Answer This!" is the brainchild of Chris Farah (director & screenwriter,) and Michael Farah (producer). Chris Farah is a University of Michigan alumnus and both brothers are Ann Arbor natives.

I caught up with retired University of Michigan professor and actor in the movie, Ralph Williams, during the VIP party before the film. He agreed to play his part after Chris Farah, his former student, emailed him. “I didn’t know it was such an enormous project,” he remarked. Williams found his role in the production to be a mammoth learning experience. “Acting for the stage, you project toward the audience…in film, the camera studies you,” he observed. Williams also discovered the extensive power and significance of film editors. He explained, “There are so many takes and you never really can predict how the editor will deal with those.”

Shortly after I talked with Williams, it was time to view the film. Ann Arbor pride radiated through the filmmakers’ introduction of their work to hometown fans. Chris Farah, Michael Farah, their father, John Farah, and professor/actor Ralph Williams, all psyched up local film lovers. And of course, the movie couldn’t start without a spirited organ-led chanting of “The Victors,” it being merely one day before the legendary ‘U of M vs. MSU’’ annual football tradition.

At the Ann Arbor inspired flick’s conclusion, I headed over to the Michigan League’s generously catered after-party. I spoke with Christopher Gorham (also in Covert Affairs), another leading actor. “Making a film is always a journey…the most fun is meeting new people,” he said.

While it enthralled me to chat with some of the cinematic work’s main actors, I also met performers of smaller-yet-memorable characters, notably Brian Balzerini of Royal Oak. He elaborated on his experience. “When you see [the film as] words on paper, it is one thing, but when you see [the finished product] in real life, it’s incredible!”

Balzerini also reiterated the Farahs’ commitment to foster opportunities for Michigan grown talent.

Near the end of the evening, I conversed with producer Michael Farah, also the creator of popular website, Funny or Die. I asked for a word of advice to aspiring writers and creative professionals. “Make as much stuff as you can,” he proclaimed. “Take advantage of opportunities…Nobody is going to just give [success] to you.”

With those words of wisdom, I promenaded out of the League, heading back home to bed in anticipation of my 11 AM ‘day job’ the following morning.

Original Link - Published on "A2_4U" Blog

The Science of Sign Mounting

by Elyssa Eve Pearlstein - June 6, 2013
Every business owner wants to advertise, grow, and expand business. Sign positioning and location are crucial when striving to achieve these goals.

QuickMOUNT™ is an economical, comprehensive sign mounting system for windows, stationary vehicles, and other clean, smooth surfaces.

QuickMOUNT™ is ideal for attention grabbing storefront perpendicular signage. Restaurants, car dealerships, sidewalk shops, and retail stores can promote their sales and deals using this mounting system, which features a frustration free installation process. Virtually every glass or smooth surface six inches wide can support a QuickMOUNT™ system. Installation literally takes seconds!

Follow these easy steps to install and use QuickMOUNT™:

1) Ensure the sign-mounting surface is clean.

2) Position QuickMOUNT™ in the desired location on the sign-mounting surface.

3) Twist to lock: Rotate the QuickMOUNT™ base until the unit snaps and locks with a strong hold.

4) Insert signage: Align the sign hole with the QuickMOUNT™, then secure the bolt.

5) Repeat this process with the remaining sign holes.

Signs may easily display indoors and outdoors with QuickMOUNT™. A major advantage to QuickMOUNT™ is that no additional fasteners or mounting hardware are necessary to mount a sign.

Large suction cups, an alternative to QuickMOUNT™, require hook attachments to hold up signs. QuickMOUNT™ distinguishes itself from large suction cups in several ways. Large suction cups such as Staples Suction Cups with Hooks and Uline Large Suction Cups with Hooks, are designed with a plunger-like approach. When the cup is pushed down, air expels from the interior of the cup to create a seal. A common problem with large suction cups is that they constantly pull their weight from the window or other sign-mounting surface, increasing the risk they will fall. Another limitation of large suction cups is that they only function for indoor use. While the grip of large suction cups lasts for minutes or hours, the grip of QuickMOUNT™ lasts for days. Valuable time used to position a sign on a store window on a daily basis would quickly add up; better uses of such time would be to stock products, provide customer service, or design new signs.

Instead of using a plunger-like approach, QuickMOUNT™ employs continual negative pressure, which creates a strong, even vacuum seal. This results in a significantly stronger suction maintained by a stabilization flange. A quarter inch hole in the upper and lower corners of the sub-straight allows for the control knobs to securely hold a sign. QuickMOUNT™ is designed to keep pressure on the edge of the foot, maintaining constant surface contact to prevent air from entering the vacuum. As its base rises, the applied force on the flange increases to maintain pressure.

For more information about how QuickMOUNT™ can help your businesses publicize and grow, visit the QuickMOUNT™ information page on the Supply 55 website.

Original Link - Published On "Awesome Blog from Supply 55"

BannerPro Professional Hemming System

by Elyssa Eve Pearlstein - June 6, 2013
Since time is money, saving money means saving time. When it comes to sign BannerPro™ and banner creation, this concept especially reigns true. The less time between sign conceptualization and sign completion, the more benefits reaped. Naturally, a sign on display sooner, and therefore longer, can make a difference in, say, campaign returns, or the number of items sold in a week. BannerPro™, an efficient and low cost professional banner hemming system, maximizes efficiency and convenience. It is a workflow product because it promotes workflow smoothness, therefore expediting production processes.

BannerPro™, constructed with heavy-duty steel, employs impulse heat. Impulse heat quickly heats and cools the welding device on BannerPro™, resulting in an energy surge that forms a strong weld. The foot pedal, which controls BannerPro’s™ power and heat, enables both of the machine operator’s hands (which could be used to guide sign media or perform other tasks) to be free during the sign manufacturing process. Heating and cooling are completely dependent on the foot pedal’s compression. The solid-state electronic timer guarantees consistent welds with every use.

BannerPro™ (patent pending) which is available at Supply55, performs banner hemming, creates pole pockets, and makes pocket signs.

Pockets signs, also known as bag signs, are an alternative to Coroplast signs. Sign manufacturers do not need to purchase vinyl or step stakes to complete and display their finished sign. When utilized, pocket signs hang on a wire or “u” shaped stake, otherwise called a political stake. Speaking of “political,” an abundance of these signs displayed last November may have even influenced your vote.

Pole pockets, which enable people to insert a pole through a banner’s height or length, are invaluable marketing tools. Remember the last time you spotted a lantern sign advertising a festival or charitable organization? Thank pole pockets. Pole pockets are important features of parade banners. Marching band members often flaunt their school slogan in the Memorial Day parade using these nifty banner elements.

Perimeter hems, or banner hems, ensure sign durability while providing signs with a clean, finished, and professional appearance. Signs look sharp and possess enough strength to hold up in the elements, including, but not limited to, wind generated by cars driving or from a severe rainstorm.

Original Link - Published On "Awesome Blog from Supply 55"
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