Thursday, July 17, 2014

Midsummer Revisited

Thanks to Ted Ojarovsky for this photo
Thanks to Ted Ojarovsky for this photo
I just performed in my 6th New Genesis Productions show! This summer we did A Midsummer Night's Dream and I played Oberon, King of the Fairies, and Theseus, Duke of Athens (I was Snug in the same play 3 years ago - see here!). It was super fun. See below for a video with clips of me playing my 2 characters.










Thanks to Ted Ojarovsky for this photo

And here's the video!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dogen Cures the Shogun



As part of our homeschool studies about Zen Buddhism, we made this movie about the 13th Century Zen monk, Eihei Dogen. The movie was filmed on location at Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery in California and the Esalen Institute, also in California.

Thanks to the wonderful cast and crew that helped make this movie possible (and fun to make) - Vig, Ashley, Sascha, and Becca!

 Make sure to see the hilarious outtakes too:



And for the die hard fans, this is an uncut version of the Shogun chopping and then popping all those heads..

Homeschool History, Religion, and Culture Studies (Part 9): Zen Buddhism



As part of our Homeschool History, Religion, and Culture studies, we have just spent the last couple of months studying Zen Buddhism. We are already familiar with Buddhism and the story of the Buddha (see the three movies we made about Buddha's life) and a few years ago we went on a retreat with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, where I got to ask him a question! But this year we decided to do more study on Zen because we had a trip to the famous Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery planned.

You can see pictures from our trip to Tassajara below and also a movie we made of our very Zen ride on the infamous 14 mile dirt track to the monastery.

As usual, we used Gloria Fiero's Humanistic Tradition to start us off with our Zen studies, but here are some of the books and resources we used. 

Books:
Zen Master Eihei Dogen, Moon in a Dewdrop
Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Thich Nhat Hanh, Old Path, White Cloud, The Art of Mindful Living
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living
Thich Nhat Hanh's children’s books, A Pebble for Your Pocket, Is Nothing Something?, and Each Breath a Smile
John Muth's three books, Zen Shorts, Zen Ghosts, Zen Ties

Movies, Documentaries, and Dharma Talks:
Zen, 2009 movie about Zen Master Dogen
Thich Nhat Hanh’s 2013 Pine Bush “Art of Suffering” Retreat (5 dharma talks)
Suzuki Roshi, a documentary

Here's a movie and photos from our trip to Tassajara!

  








Friday, May 30, 2014

Eggleston-ish


At my art class at NY's Children's Art Museum, they let us loose with fancy SLR cameras! Here are some of my shots. I really like the photography of William Eggleston - and I think these are quite Eggleston-ish!

 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Homeschool History, Religion, and Culture Studies (Part 8): The Romantics


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In our Homeschool History, Religion, and Culture studies, we have been studying the Early Modern era in the West (which has included reading John Milton's Paradise Lost and studying the English Civil War, among other things). However, because we had a trip to England and the Lake District coming up, we fast forwarded a century to the Romantic era. Before setting off on our travels, we read lots of books and poems and watched documentaries about the famous Romantic poets (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Byron, and Shelley) and painters (Blake, Turner, Constable). We also learned about the French Revolution that inspired the Romantics.

As usual, we used Gloria Fiero's Humanistic Tradition to start us off with our studies, but here are the the other books and resources we used: 

Books: 

Lyrical Ballads, Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth
Poetry for Young People: William Wordsworth
Poetry for Young People: William Blake
Poetry for Young People: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, William Blake
The Grasmere Journal, Dorothy Wordsworth
A Very Short Introduction to the French Revolution, by William Doyle
The Norton Anthology to English Literature: The Romantic Period, edited by Stephen Greenblatt

Documentaries 

The Romantics - a 3 part BBC documentary by Peter Ackroyd: Episode 1: Nature; Episode 2: Liberty; Episode 3: Eternity 
Singing for England - a BBC Omnibus documentary about William Blake. See part one of 5 here.
Bright Star - 2009 movie about John Keats
Byron - 2003 BBC TV movie about Lord Byron
William Wordsworth - documentary made by Wordsworth Trust.

The Rise and Fall of Versailles - 3 part documentary about the run up to French Revolution
The French Revolution - History Channel Documentary. 
La Revolution Francaise - French 6 hour movie that dramatizes the French revolution (available in its entirety on You Tube). 

On our travels in the Lake District, we visited Dove Cottage in Grasmere, the home of William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, who was an important inspiration and contributor to William's thoughts and poetry. Dove Cottage is the place that Wordworth wrote his most famous poems. Many of which appeared in the Lyrical Ballads.
At the museum attached to Dove Cottage, we also attended the Dorothy Wordsworth Festival of Women's Poetry, where we saw Britain's poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, read some her poems, including one about Dorothy! We also visited the house in Rydal, where Wordsworth lived as an older man.
And of course, we saw a lot of the beautiful lakes and views (and daffodils) that inspired Wordsworth.
On the way from the Lakes to London, we stopped at Tintern Abbey - the Abbey made famous in Wordsworth famous poem. Here I am, reading the poem!


In London, we got to visit Keats' house in Hampstead Heath, as well as seeing and drawing a whole lot of Romantic artists' work at the Tate Britain and National Gallery.
And don't miss our "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" outtakes!

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Strasberg Young Actor



I just finished a 12 week acting class at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in NY. Every Saturday, my class and I did 2 hours of method acting, 1 hour of movement, 1 hour of acting-on-screen, and 1 hour of musical theater.

  





Wednesday, March 19, 2014

High Noon



I was just in Arizona with my grandparents and we made this movie: our very own postmodern version of High Noon! Their friends, Jack and Mary Ellen Landry, helped us out and played cowboys in a saloon. We had a lot of fun.

 We also made a music video to go with the movie!

 

 And here are the bloopers..

 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dragon Art!


  video

I just had a piece of my art work go up in an art show in New York City! My installation called "Journey of the Dragon" is part of the "Assembling Identity" exhibition at the Children's Museum of the Arts. I made a stopmotion animation featuring dragons (made from different media). The animation and the models I used will be on show for the next month. Last night, the show opened with a very fun party to celebrate.