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Exchange Rates: The Bushwick Expo. Oct. 23rd to Oct. 26, 2014.

Exchange Rates: The Bushwick Expo. Oct. 23rd to Oct. 26, 2014.

Short notice. One of my illustrations will be on display at this group art show in Bushwick. The dates are Thursday Oct. 23rd to Oct. 26th, 2014.

Exchange Rates 

For this event, my work will be in this location: Brooklyn Fire Proof.

Brooklyn Fire Proof. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Oct. 2014.

Brooklyn Fire Proof. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Oct. 2014.

On Sunday, Oct. 26th, Brooklyn Fire Proof will be hosting a closing party, from 6pm – 10pm. All artwork will be for sale, including my original illustration below:

"Ms. World" Watercolor, pen and ink illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Completed Jan. 2013.

“Ms. World”
Watercolor, pen and ink illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Completed Jan. 2013.

My contribution to last week’s Sketch Lottery, and keeping up with the Inktober theme. This time, the subject was Salvador Dali. I always thought of him as an original rock star. (Although the pic here looks a bit like Alan Moore) Which is probably why I drew him in that style.

Salvador Dali's eye. Almost looks like Alan Moore for a second. Dali's Car anyone? (Drawn by Michele Witchipoo, Oct. 2014)

Salvador Dali’s eye. Almost looks like Alan Moore for a second. Dali’s Car anyone? (Drawn by Michele Witchipoo, Oct. 2014)

Just for the hell of it, I’m gonna throw in a song from 1984. Dali’s Car, a side project between Bauhaus‘ lead vocalist Peter Murphy, and Mick Karn from the band Japan. In keeping with the Dali theme.

Haven’t kept up on Inktober as much as I should have. Just sketched this one late night using just pen. It’s Carol and Max from the classic children’s story ‘Where The Wild Things Are.’ It was originally posted on the Sketch Lottery Facebook page in the comments section. Haven’t seen the 2009 film version.

Carol and Max from 'Where The Wild Things Are.' Sketch drawn by Michele Witchipoo, Oct. 2014 for Inktober.

Carol and Max from ‘Where The Wild Things Are.’ Sketch drawn by Michele Witchipoo, Oct. 2014 for Inktober.

 

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Former Ridgewood resident Kevin Cole at the Gottscheer Hall. Here Kevin is being served by popular Gottscheer bartender Trina. Taken by Michele Witchipoo, sometime in either 2011 or 2012.

Kevin Cole was a regular at the Gottscheer Hall. Him and his wife use to frequent the long standing Queens locale way before the hipsters started their Ridgewood invasion. An older man, he worked 9-5 during the week. Come Friday night, he was at his usual bar stool. For a while, I would see them every weekend when I formerly visit the Gottscheer.  Kevin would always say hi, complimenting me on my artwork and my photography. Guess I wasn’t used to the genuine adulation. Usually I would thank him while gulping down my HB beer.

One day word got out that Kevin had been sick. I went to visit him at Wyckoff Hospital during that week. Due to his age and sudden illness, his long time job used the opportunity to let him go. Which was a nice way to end the year, I sarcastically ad-lib. Afterwards, Kevin went into physically therapy, and had to stop going to Gottscheer Hall. This coincided with the sweeping changes in the Ridgewood area, along with the drastic rent hikes. Suddenly the area of Ridgewood, Queens had a huge feature in the New York Times real estate section. Sunday edition. Soon it wasn’t so fun living in Ridgewood anymore. Gentrification isn’t fun, period.

I got to see Kevin one more time afterwards. He had made a brief appearance in the Gottscheer. It might’ve been when the Gottscheer Hall was playing the 2014 World Cup on their TV screens, not sure. Haven’t seen him since. Soon afterwards, I had stopped going to Gottscheer Hall myself. The bar and catering hall is doing just fine without me. As for me, thanks to a series of personal events, spending Friday nights at the Gottscheer wasn’t the same anymore. While I still love the Gottscheer, the vapid vultures had taken over.

It happens.

Kevin Cole, however, was a writer and an poet. From one creative to another, he encouraged me to never give up on my goals, my dreams. Sometimes it takes an absence for a message to take heed. Because of this, I’m posting a link to a website featuring Kevin’s writing. It’s my way of saying of saying thanks to him for his kind words, and my way of letting go of something that I previously enjoyed.

Kevin Cole

*If you can’t click directly to his writings, type in http://scars.tv, then click on writings, then click on Kevin Cole.

Yesterday I went to New York Comic Con 2014. Now I’m sick with the flu, which means I get to stay home and jump on the Inktober bandwagon.

What is Inktober you might ask? Well, it goes a little something like this…every day for the month of October, you can post a ink drawn sketch on your webpage, on Facebook, Tumblr, blog, etc. Sketch Lottery is also participating in Inktober on their Facebook page.

Here’s my contribution for today. Not my best work, but then again. I drew this speed sketch in about 5 – 7 minutes. Alf meets Grumpy Cat. Enjoy.

Alf Meets Grumpy Cat, and Grumpy is not amused. Speed sketch done in less than ten minutes by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2014. Originally posted on the Facebook page for Sketch Lottery.

Alf Meets Grumpy Cat, and Grumpy is not amused. Speed sketch done in less than ten minutes by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2014. Originally posted on the Facebook page for Sketch Lottery.

Usually I don’t like to go back into the past. The only thing I tend to get nostalgic for is music. Usually people think I’m much younger. Once someone talks to me about music, bands I’m into and concerts I’ve seen, thus my true age is revealed. Music is one of the few things that tends to date me. Outside of music and fashion, I don’t like to look back. Much rather live in the present.

Back in March 2004, I had a one day gig. The time I was an extra for a FOX network show.

Jonny Zero never really had a chance, as it was canceled just after eight episodes. Back in 2005, the show was put in the Friday night ‘death slot.’  As an action drama it really had no fighting chance against the popular reality shows.

Me as an extra at the Jonny Zero TV shoot. March 2004. Here you can see me kinda cranky, since I had been up since 6:58 am in the morning, so I could arrive in full outfit for a shoot beginning at 11am.

Me as an extra at the Jonny Zero TV shoot. March 2004. Here you can see me kinda cranky. Need my caffeine. Had been up since 6:58 am in the morning, so I could arrive in full outfit for a shoot beginning at 11am. Among some of my accessories was my beloved vinyl bat shaped purse. Still miss that bag.

As my recollections would have it, I remember having to get up around 6:58 am to be on time for the 11am shooting. The location was at a now defunct club located on West 14th street, known for having goth and fetish parties. As a non union extra, I was told during the audition to bring two outfits for the taping. On set, it was easily seen who were the ‘lifestyle’ Goths and the actors under the SAG banner. The SAG extras had the cliche’ touches such as black lipstick, badly applied eyeliner and layers of ultra white face makeup. The true Goths had the Frankenstein platform boots, for example, popular within that subculture during the first 2000 decade. Think New Rock boots.  Used to own a few platforms myself.

Me at the Jonny Zero filming, March 2005. NYC. My time as a 'Goth' TV background/extra.

Me at the Jonny Zero filming, March 2004. NYC. My time as a ‘Goth’ TV background/extra. What ever happened to this outfit?

Among the SAG extras, this pretty platinum blond lady with a long fake ponytail sat next to me.  “What’s your name” she demanded. I replied “Michele. What’s your name?” With a swish of her fake ponytail extension, her response was “I’m bitter.” Another swish, she snorted “I’m too old for this shit.” Okay…thus set the tone. Continuing the one side convo, she began name dropping. “I’m friends with Voltaire.” The singer, not the philosopher. I was not impressed.

Non union 'Goth' extras at the 'Jonny Zero' filming. March 2005. NYC. Photo by Michele WItchipoo.

Non union ‘Goth’ extras at the ‘Jonny Zero’ filming. March 2004. NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

I found better company among my own crew, the non union real time Goths. A few club kids were roped in for Jonny Zero as well. In between camera takes, I mostly hung out with Grace. We had both worked at both the same punk clothing store on St. Mark’s Place and the Rave clothing shop on West 8th street. This was dating back in 2000, and later again in 2001. Same owner, same shady business practices. As Grace gave me the update about the owner and the wholesale manager (both who I suspect later got deported back to Israel), we overheard the script’s dialogue. It was dismal. No wonder the show got canceled after only eight episodes. We kept the snickering to a minimal before doing the dancing scenes. Which took take after take after take…after take…after take…after take. Is it any wonder the show got the ax after eight episodes.

Another sign things weren’t going well for Jonny Zero. My friend who helped me get the gig saw someone from the crew get hit by an SUV. Right outside the club where the episode was being filmed. Yikes.

Usually when you do a shoot for television or film, expect to stay at location for the entire day. As filming continued, the extras were sent to a building across the street to change into their second outfits. Afterwards we were to wait for word as to when the extras were needed. So we waited quite some time.

tvshoot6mar04

Me, March 2004 at the Jonny Zero filming. My time as a ‘Goth’ extra. NYC. When I was younger and thinner.

tvshoot4mar04

Me, March 2004 at the Jonny Zero filming. My time as a ‘Goth’ extra. NYC. I loved that dress. It was a sleeveless number, and had added the extra shirt for the contrast. Now wondering: whatever happened to that dress?

When you’re on set, they give you free food. If you’re there for the entire day, you get breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the case where SAG and non-Union are on the same set together, the SAG members always eat first. When SAG and the camera crew were done, the non Union was allowed to get their dinner. Of course when it came to our turn, there wasn’t much food left. If anything can be learned from this blog posting, go SAG.

Waiting on set during the Jonny Zero filming. March 2005, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Waiting on set during the Jonny Zero filming. March 2004, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

tvshoot10mar04

During in-between takes during the Jonny Zero television filming. March 2004, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

After dinner, both extras and non extras continued to be holed up in the building across the street from filming. As the saying goes, the natives were getting restless. The natives being the real non – Union Goths while the SAG extras behaved themselves. Some of the Goths and Club Kids were becoming slightly rowdy. Boredom was kicking in, as the more mature SAG members sat quietly away from the non-Union crowd.

Can’t remember much afterwards. Think we pretty much hung around until dismissed. Some came back to finish the scenes a week later. The show was broadcast, in which it sunk without a trace. The funny thing was, don’t think I ever saw the completed episode. Me and a friend tried to watch it in his apartment, but we missed most of it. My friend was featured in some scenes. As for myself, I was told you couldn’t see me. Just as well.

Despite my kvetching, Jonny Zero was the most fun I had on a television set. Prior to that, I had done extra work for a NYC Lottery commercial in 1999, and other scattered stuff. It would be years before I got on television again, and that might have been for a Queens public access show during one of the New York Comic Cons, around 2008. By then I had put all my energy into my self-published comics, which eventually led me to get published by others. Things have a way of working out.

I’ll leave you with this video clip.

Twice I’ve done artwork concerning wedding invites.

The first one I did back in 2005. Nearly forgot about this one until today.

Wedding invite I had done a quick sketch in 2005.

Wedding invite I had done a quick sketch in 2005.

The second one was much more exciting. I was commissioned by Stacy Aragon, writer and reviewer. She had interviewed some years back. I was honored to contribute a Krampus piece towards her wedding renewal vows. My illustration, done in December 2013, was used in the front for the print version.

Part of the wedding renewal vow invite. I had contributed a Krampus illustration in  Dec. 2013.

Part of the wedding renewal vow invite. I had contributed a Krampus illustration in Dec. 2013.

Part of the wedding renewal vow invite. I had contributed a Krampus illustration in  Dec. 2013. This one was used in the front of the invite. Krampus illustration by Michele Witchipoo.

Part of the wedding renewal vow invite. I had contributed a Krampus illustration in Dec. 2013. This one was used in the front of the invite. Krampus illustration by Michele Witchipoo.

Here’s wishing Stacey and David the very best with their wedding renewals. Oh, and yeah. I’m always available for commissions. Just thought I’d put that out there. Email Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net for info.

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