Category Archives: Business Spotlight

Dark Delicacies – A horror-themed book and gift shop like no other

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

Del Howison opened Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, with his wife, Sue, in 1994.
Del Howison opened Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, with his wife, Sue, in 1994. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

This is a story about two love birds with a knack for horror movies, books, soundtracks, decorations — you name it!

 Sue and Del Howison opened their store, Dark Delicacies, on West Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank, CA, in 1994 due to their passion for horror. Limelight Magazine recently got the chance to interview Del and discuss his passion for the horror genre and dogs.

 “We both loved our horror collecting and had a nice collection at home of books but had a hard time finding other things that reflected our taste,” he said. “We thought maybe other people were having the same problem so we opened with our own collection and a little money and grew over the years.”

Howison has created a fun environment for people with similar interests to come and buy a wide variety of horror related collectables, books, films, jewelry, and much more. (The store even has a children’s section!). With over 20 years worth of memories to pick from, Howison talked about his favorite part of owning the shop: the people.

“The fans who have been so supportive and the people in the business who have given their time (and signatures) to help this business exist. [The late] Richard Matheson, Clive Barker, Guillermo Del Toro, [the late] Ray Harryhausen, William Friedkin, [the late] Ernest Borgnine just to name a few. We couldn’t have done this without all this support,” he said.

Howison talked about his love for the genre of horror and the fans it attracts.

“Within the horror genre you can examine anything – racism, war, bad government, even dead people and, of course, all our fears and anxieties. There is also no other genre with fans this loyal,” he said. “

Sue and Del share the responsibilities that come with owning such a shop. Del talked about what it’s like working and co-owning Dark Delicacies with his wife who is originally from Connecticut.

“24/7 you live together and work together,” he said. “We are complete opposites who join for the whole. I’m sure there are times when she doesn’t think I’m all that funny or cute,” he acknowleged.

This may be true, but just a few years back L.A. Weekly quoted Sue saying that Del is the “ringmaster”.

“The ringmaster is the dude in the spotlight. That’s me. I’m the mouth,” said Del. “But she buys everything for the store, sets up the signings [and fan Q&A’s], and handles most of the computer business and on the phone [sales]. I pay the bills and do the PR and social media.”

Howison talked about the success the store has achieved over the years. He explained why he feels, in some ways, that the shop has succeeded, and in other ways, he thinks the shop can still improve.

“In terms of horror and the fans and the people in the business, I don’t think we could ask for more,” he said. “In terms of income, we make it each month but must always work at making all our payments. If we owned our own building and could get some stability who knows? But we’ve only been at it 22 years.”

That’s right, 22 years, and still big plans ahead.

“We have just started the Dark Delicacies podcasts, which I refer to as underground and occasional, with Brigade Radio One. That podcast and the station is a new enterprise and continuing to grow and shift. We hope to grow with them,” Del said.

“We have also upped the visibility on any charity efforts we’re involved in and added to that slate with the people over at Combat Radio and Ethan Dettenmaier,” he continued. “We have also entered into an agreement with the distribution company Vega Baby to pick up and distribute horror films under the “Dark Delicacies Presents” line. Vega Baby also has an agreement with Sony for international distribution. It’s a great opportunity for indie filmmakers to have a chance at getting their film picked up by someone who can get it out there. They should contact me at my email of del@darkdel.com if they have something they want the board to look at.”

Legendary horror film composer Harry Manfredini signs a copy of the "Friday the 13th" vinyl soundtrack at a signing at Dark Delicacies. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)
Legendary horror film composer Harry Manfredini signs a copy of the “Friday the 13th” vinyl soundtrack at a signing at Dark Delicacies. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

Howison is a people person who has attracted not only fans, but also composers and authors. Dark Delicacies host many signing for these artists. He talked about one of his favorite moments.

“I have had some wonderful experiences with many of them. A very memorable moment for me was meeting composer Brian Tyler at the soundstage at Fox Studios where he was conducting a full orchestra. Sitting in on that session was magical,” he said.

Signed Blu-rays of "Witchboard" and "Night of the Demons" at Dark Delicacies. (PHOTO BY MIKE GALLAGHER)
Signed Blu-rays of “Witchboard” and “Night of the Demons” from a Dark Delicacies signing. (PHOTO BY MIKE GALLAGHER)

Adam P. Cray, a former native of New Bedford, Mass., who currently resides in Los Angeles, had nothing but positive things to say about Dark Delicacies. Since there is no store like it on the East Coast, Cray said Dark Delicacies fills a void in the market place for horror and sci-fi fans.

“Over the years, I’ve spent many hours at Dark Delicacies browsing their selection of books, apparel, posters, and DVDs,” he said. “The store has always supported and inspired the horror community and especially its authors. At one of their many signings, I was able to meet the late Philp J. Riley and have him autograph his beautiful books on the making of “Phantom of the Opera” (1925) and “London After Midnight.”

Adam P. Cray, who authored his own book “Last Seen,” holds two books he had signed by the late Philip J. Riley on the making of “London After Midnight” and “Phantom of Opera.” (PHOTO BY JEANA N. AYALA)

Dark Delicacies website is constantly being updated. Because of this, people who may not be able to attend a signing or live far away can purchase items online. (Visit the website HERE). Howison talked about these online sales.

“At this point I would say about 30 percent of the business comes from online, but that is all pretty much concentrated into the signings off our webpage at darkdel.com,” said Del. “I do have our books up online on Bibliofind. But that only results in a few sales a month. What is hard to get a handle on are how much the online social media and store announcements drive people into the physical store when they come in from out-of-town. I hear it all the time, ‘I’ve been waiting for years to come in here.’”

The Howison’s have also managed to use their platform to help rescue animals. Del talked about about this, “I have always been involved with rescues long before I even met Sue. Since she is like-minded when we got together, animal rescue or seeing-eye dogs or whatever were some of our first charity targets.”

Howison also spoke about their relationship with The Neva Foundation and the new foundations they have been working with.

“Neva was a long time ago. They brought in the doggies and we ended up adopting two of them ourselves. The last places we worked with were Star Paws and Kitt Crusaders. Two really fine groups that do a wonderful job. People should check them out. What we usually do with them is have a fundraiser like when William Wu put out the charity book ‘Scales & Tales’ which was an anthology of stories written by a bunch of us including Marv Wolfman, Clive Barker, Joe R. Lansdale, and others including myself. People should look up William Wu Bookseller on Facebook as there may still be a few of those available,” he said.

Sue and Del Howison have a true passion for horror, and the work they do in and outside of the genre. Del concluded the interview by saying, “horror is to have a good time. Some of the best people in the world are in this field. It’s my family. Quirky to be sure. But I love them.”

For a complete list of signings and events at Dark Delicacies this October, click HERE.

Furthermore, here’s a YouTube video submitted to us by Michael Schwartz of the Return of the Living Dead signing at Dark Delicacies on January 29, 2011.

Cable Car Cinema and Cafe to celebrate its 40th anniversary

BY JULIA CIRIGNANO

The logo of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe in Providence, R.I. The award winning and national recognized theater will celebrate its 40th anniversary this weekend.
The logo of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe in Providence, R.I. The award winning and nationally recognized theater will celebrate its 40th anniversary this weekend, Oct. 1st & 2nd.

The award-winning and nationally recognized Cable Car Cinema and Café in Providence, R.I., is a movie theater unlike any other. They are competing only with themselves since the movies they choose to show are aimed towards their specific community and own personal taste. The theater is known for playing offbeat, foreign, and unique films that are not shown at commercial movie theaters.

Cable Car is also unique since it features a cafe with comfortable chairs in an intimate, community-based setting. While many commercial theaters focus on filling seats, The Cable Car focuses on the quality of the movies they screen and the atmosphere that their audience experiences.

Daniel Kamil and Emily Steffian have owned and operated the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe since 2008. Before then, Kamil and his wife had owned The Revival House in Westerly, R.I., from 2003 to 2007. They coincidentally sold this property around the same time that they heard the Cable Car was closing. The timing was right and their passion was there.

“We thought it was a good thing to try and save so we ended up buying it in 2008 and trying to continue the tradition,” said Kamil.

Since then, Kamil and his wife have succeeded in both continuing the tradition and constantly updating and bettering the cinema and cafe to fit the times. Kamil spoke about his favorite part of owning the Cable Car.

“The community aspect,” he said. “The ability to provide a venue for the community to see programing that they would not be able to see in a social setting being woven very much into the fabric of the community.”

Kamil has had eight years of experience as the owner of the Cable Car. With many independent theaters closing over the years, Kamil talked about how he has helped the Cable Car to maintain its success.

“We are open for business at eight in the morning when we serve coffee and bagels and food to the students across the street,” he said. “The ability to get all different sources of revenue. The ticket revenue is only probably 35 percent of overall what we make.”

Combining a theater with a cafe has led to the Cable Car’s success and has granted them the ability to show unique films along with food and drinks that help support the business.

Patrons of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe wait in line to purchase snacks and beverages before a recent screening of "Phantasm" on Sept. 23, 2016.
Patrons of the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe wait in line to purchase snacks and beverages before a recent screening of “Phantasm” on Sept. 24, 2016. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

The Cable Car has been recognized by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly and Yankee Magazine among other major publications for its dedication and commitment to film as art. Last year, the Sundance Institute’s Art House Convergence recognized the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe among its first class of Art House Project theaters. Kamil talked about being one of only 23 theaters selected for this honor.

“We felt great about that,” he said. “To get that kind of recognition amongst your peers is great. You know, all those other theaters are great to see movies and to be included in that group felt really good.”

This past weekend on September 24, the Cable Car participated in the first annual Art House Theater Day. This day celebrated the art house theater and the cultural role it plays in a community, while recognizing the year-round contributions of film and filmmakers, patrons, projectionists and staff, and the brick and mortar theaters that are passionately dedicated to providing access to the best cinematic experience.

With so many independent theaters having to closer their doors, Kamil talked about the importance of small, privately owned cinemas.

“I think communities are enriched by having cinemas in their town,” he said. “It’s important that the programing decisions are made by people in your community that know the issues of the communities as opposed to some faceless corporate entity that is just trying to get as many people into the door as possible.”

The Cable Car will soon be celebrating their 40th anniversary. In celebration, they have decided to screen films from 1976, the year the Cable Car opened, on October 1st and 2nd over a 24-hour period. Kamil said that he will be unable to show one of his favorite films, Taxi Driver, since the studio put a block on it, but he is excited to show Rocky.

“I have a soft spot for Rocky,” he acknowledged.  “It’s one of the best things Sylvester Stallone ever did…I love the Bowie movie (The Man Who Fell to Earth) we’re doing — the sci-fi movie that he did.”

The complete 40th anniversary schedule includes: The Pink Panther Strikes Again (12 PM), Murder By Death (2:15 PM), Car Wash (4:15 PM), Rocky (6:30 PM), All the President’s Men (9 PM), Carrie (11:45 PM), The Blank Generation (2 AM),  The Man Who Fell to Earth (3:30 AM), The Song Remains the Same (6:15 AM), A Star Is Born (9 AM) and Network (11:45 AM).

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Patrons pack the Cable Car Cinema and Cafe on Art House Theater Day. The theater will screen 24 hours worth of films from 1976, the year the theater opened, on Oct. 1 & 2 to coincide with their 40th anniversary. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

Kamil talked about some of his most memorable moments since he took over ownership of The Cable Car.

“One of the most bizarre things that happened was getting issued a warrant by the Attorney State General of Rhode Island for screening The Interview,” he said.

Although this movie was not within the typical genre or style the Cable Car usually shows, The Interview gave the cinema a chance to host a whole different group of people. The Cable Car was one of the only theaters that played the movie, so they attracted many people.

“So literally, we had lines around the block,” he said.

Kamil himself dislikes the movie, but agreed it was an interesting experience, plus the FBI showed up.

“They just came to make sure servers were all secure, so we wouldn’t get hacked,” he said.

For more information about The Cable Car, visit  www.cablecarcinema.com.

Waxwork Records brings horror soundtracks to life on vinyl

By J. KENNEY

Any horror movie fan knows the score is an essential component of the film. Can anyone picture watching Psycho without Bernard’s Herrmann’s string score, Halloween without the music of John Carpenter, or more recently It Follows without the electronic sounds of Disasterpeace (see related story HERE). Over the past few years, the resurgence of vinyl has given rise to a number of production companies that specialize in releasing horror soundtracks solely on vinyl. These companies include Mondo/Death Waltz Records, One Way Static Records, and Waxwork Records, among others. Unlike many soundtracks that were released in the past, these companies spend an extraordinary amount of time on the sound quality and mastering, as well as the artwork and packaging, making them a must have for genre fans, vinyl collectors, and people looking to hear great music that may not ordinarily see the light of day!!!

This month, Waxwork Records is celebrating its second anniversary. Their first release was the soundtrack to Re-Animator by composer Richard Howard Band in July 2013 and, since then, they have released 10 other soundtracks, including Day of the Dead (September 2013), Rosemary’s Baby (January 2014), Creepshow (April 2014), Chopping Mall (May 2014), Friday the 13th (September 2014), Trick ‘r Treat (October 2014), Phase IV (March 2015), Starry Eyes (May 2015), Friday the 13th Part 2 (July 2015) and Nightbreed (July 2015).

We recently caught up with its founder and CEO, Kevin Bergeron, who graciously took time out of his busy schedule to do a Q&A with us. In our interview, he discussed why he founded Waxwork Records, how titles are chosen, the meticulous amount of detail that goes into creating each record, and a sneak peak of what future releases are in the pipeline, including additional Friday the 13th titles and The Babadook.

Richard Horner Band's soundtrack to Re-Animator was the first album released on vinyl by Waxwork Records
Richard Howard Band’s soundtrack to Re-Animator was the first album released on vinyl by Waxwork Records in June 2013. The company is celebrating its 2nd anniversary this month.

Limelight Magazine (LM): Your label was launched in 2013 and is celebrating its second anniversary this month. How did the decision to start a record label focusing on vinyl horror movie soundtracks come about?
Kevin Bergeron (Bergeron): I already had experience recording music and pressing records. I’m really fascinated by the process. I’m also a massive fan of horror movies, but also of just classic cinema in general. I decided to marry the two things I’m most interested in, vinyl and horror.
I had just come off of a tour in Cuba with my old band, and it was quite evident that the break up was coming. I was toying with the idea of starting a label. It was this really special time, and a really organic thing. There was a start-up period where no one knew about us for six months, and I really enjoyed that time. Just getting it rolling. I love brainstorming and diving into new projects.

LM: How much of an impact did the resurgence of vinyl sales across the country have on the decision to form Waxwork Records?
Bergeron: When I started the label, I only had a vague notion as to the resurgence of vinyl and record sales numbers. I was honestly very nervous that we wouldn’t sell many records.

LM: You’ve now released 11 soundtracks on vinyl since July 2013. Bergeron: How do you go about selecting titles to release?
We are pretty selective with the titles we seek out. From an outsider looking in, it would be easy to peg Waxwork as a label that’s all over the map because we will release a B-Movie, and then the next month we’ll release something in the Criterion Collection. If we like it, and the music is interesting, we’ll go for it.

Photo - Nightbreek
Danny Elfman’s score to Clive Barker’s Nightbreed was Waxwork Records most recent release on vinyl. The company has released over 11 albums over the past two years.

LM: Mondo Tees/Death Waltz also specialize in releasing horror movie soundtracks on vinyl. Do you consult with them so you’re not trying to license the same titles?
Bergeron: No. Although, we’ve done a trade with Mondo before, and we may co-release something in the future, but that’s all in its infancy right now. It could be fun.

LM: Part of the reason for the popularity of your catalog has a lot to do with the meticulous detail that goes into the sound quality. Can you discuss the process for how these records come to be?
Bergeron: The Waxwork standard is seeking out original master tapes as our source material. Often times, these original masters are thought to be lost, or destroyed. So, it’s not always easy. We located the masters for Rosemary’s Baby in Australia and the masters for Creepshow in an attic in Pittsburgh. We really go for it and play detective. So, we get those original masters, and then transfer them, mix them down, and master for vinyl.

LM: How much involvement does the composer have on the finished product?
Bergeron: Composers are usually very cool and give us the reigns to do our thing with the music. They’ll sometimes have specific requests, but nothing major. No one breaths down our backs, surprisingly. I feel like I’d be that way if the tables were turned.

LM: Another reason why genre fans love your releases is the collectible aspect of them. Most of the titles come out in limited edition variants and include breathtaking artwork and inserts. Why is the visual aspect of your releases equally as important as the sound quality?
Bergeron: Vinyl gives you a playground to do a lot of really great things visually. With CD’s and especially MP3’s you don’t get any of that. So, we like to go crazy with vinyl colors, and commission new artwork from prominent artists that we feel can tackle the film and its score, but through their artwork.

A limited batch of black and burgundy haze variants were randomly inserted into orders for the Waxwork Records release of Rosemary's Baby on vinyl.
A limited batch of black and burgundy haze variants were randomly inserted into orders for the Waxwork Records release of Rosemary’s Baby on vinyl.

LM: How are the artists chosen to design the artwork for your releases?
Bergeron: We discuss this in pretty great depth. “Who can nail something like Rosemary’s Baby? Friday the 13th? The Warriors?” You can’t stick Gary Pullin on something like Phase IV or Jay Shaw on something like Chopping Mall. That might actually be really interesting, though.

LM: Are all of your releases limited runs? What is the reasoning behind the limited availability?
Bergeron: Yes. Our releases are all limited. We don’t press tens of thousands of units. Not yet. I like giving people what they want though, so if there are people out there that want this music, we will keep re-pressing records. I don’t like the idea of keeping things so limited that honest to goodness fans cannot have it. I also don’t like the idea of denying anyone art or music.

All releases on Waxwork Records are limited editions.
All releases on Waxwork Records are limited editions.

LM: A few of your releases (i.e. Day of the Dead, Creepshow, Friday the 13th and Trick ‘r Treat) were previously released on CD by La-La Land Records which is based out of Burbank, CA. Are they ever consulted on any of your releases?
Bergeron: La La Land has a few of the same titles in their catalog as ours. It just turned out that way. We had questions when we were getting started and they were very helpful.

LM: Speaking of Friday the 13th, Waxwork released the soundtracks to the original film and its first sequel. We were at composer Harry Manfredini’s signing of Friday the 13th at Dark Delicacies in Burbank last year and he was thrilled to have it released on vinyl. Since he also composed the music to the next four sequels in the franchise, can we expect future Friday the 13th releases?
Bergeron: We are releasing all of the Friday the 13th scores that Harry Manfredini composed. He’s been great to work with. He’s really into what we’re doing and it feels good to have him 100 percent on board with what we are trying to accomplish.

Friday the 13th film composer Harry Manfredini signs Warwork Records release of the album on vinyl last September at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA. Waxwork plays to release more Friday the 13th titles that Manfredini composed in the future.
Friday the 13th film composer Harry Manfredini signs the Waxwork Records vinyl release of the soundtrack at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, on  Sept. 28, 2014. Waxwork plans to release more Friday the 13th titles that Manfredini composed in the future. (Photo by Jay Kenney)

LM: You also have a subscription service. Can you elaborate on that aspect of your business for those who may not be familiar with it?
Bergeron: The subscription is fairly limited. You sign up when it goes live on our website, and that guarantees you five releases on vinyl from Waxwork throughout that year. Sometimes a digital download is offered depending on the title. The subscribers get special, limited colored vinyl that isn’t available via retail. You get 18 percent off anything Waxwork has available for sale, and that’s a pretty good deal. I don’t know of another label that offers that much of discount with a subscription service. You also get cool merchandise mailed to you randomly throughout the year. Like, you’ll randomly get a Waxwork Records slip-mat, stickers, or patches delivered with one of your records. Exclusive stuff! You also don’t have to worry about missing out on a record by it selling out before you have the chance to get a copy. You’re guaranteed that record (if it’s part of the subscription) being delivered to your doorstep. No refreshing our website non-stop on pre-order days. Shipping is all factored in already for subscribers. It’s just very convenient.

Waxwork Records slipmats are just some of the goodies you may receive by signing up for the company's subscription service.
Waxwork Records slip-mats are some of the goodies you may receive by signing up for the company’s subscription service.

LM: About 10 weeks ago you teased the release of Jennifer Kent’s phenomenal film The Babadook. Is that still in the pipeline and, if so, when can we expect a release date?
Bergeron: Yep, that’s happening. That’s coming out in 2016. We have some cool stuff we’re planning for the packaging.

LM: You’ve also had a few posts on your Facebook page about another great movie We Are Still Here that was released earlier this year. Can you reveal if this is another title in the pipeline?
Bergeron: I can’t give out any details, yet. But We Are Still Here is great, and the score is really atmospheric and interesting.

LM: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. You’re doing an amazing job and it’s so exciting every time a new title is announced and released. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Bergeron: Thank you. Really. We love doing this. It’s still crazy to us how much of an impact our label has on fans of vinyl and movies.

For more information about Waxwork Records or to make a purchase, visit http://www.waxworkrecords.com.

Carolyn Woods: Using art to transform lives

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Body painting of Rachel Astore by Carolyn Woods. Photo by Leah Astore.

By LEAH ASTORE

The works of Carolyn Woods do not appear in galleries, hang on walls, or sit upon heavy marble bases. Her art is alive and breathing. Literally.

As a professional body painter, Woods views art as communication and a medium that allows her to express herself while connecting with and touching other people’s lives. Although she didn’t get her professional break until 2007, she recalls that while growing up as a self-professed “hippie child” in San Diego, art was always a part of her life. It might have begun with finger painting, she said, thoughtfully applying a ray of yellow along the model’s neck.

“I look back and I think I have been body painting long before I realized it,” she said.

Woods found her first calling in caregiving. Her compassion and desire to help people led her to pursue a career in Special Education. Her career was both rewarding and allowed her to spend time with her daughter. Through her work, she eventually learned sign language, which oddly enough led her to her first body-painting job.

After her first job as a face painter for a fundraiser for deaf children, she decided to limit any body painting work to fundraisers and benefits. It wasn’t until sometime later that she eventually began doing parties.

In 2007 at the U.S. Body Painting Festival, Woods’ career as a body painter received a life-changing boost. Unprepared and somewhat by accident, Woods won first place at the festival for her airbrushing.  Up until that point she hadn’t realized she had the potential to pursue body painting professionally.

With this new found confidence she began taking even more classes in body art and hasn’t stopped learning since.

“For me it’s an ever-evolving kind of thing,” she said. “I think if we stop learning that’s a problem.”

Since then her dedication and her heart have brought her many opportunities to share her art and connect with many different people. Even though her art is temporary, Woods has helped people to transform and realize a part of themselves that they hadn’t seen before. In some cases, her craft can help childhood dreams come true.

“It’s more than just parties,” she said. “It means something to somebody and you don’t always know what that is.”

From painting on pregnant women, to face painting at children’s parties, to Breast Cancer survivors, Woods has used her art to touch the lives of people all over the country.

Just this year she had the opportunity to paint for the Body Worlds traveling exhibit, as well as at Fantasy Fest in Key West, Florida. Her favorite thing about Fantasy Fest is their attention to promoting breast cancer awareness.

For women who have had reconstructive surgery – and for those anticipating the need for it – experiencing body painting can be a therapeutic and healing experience, she said.

One of the most memorable moments for her was painting a breast cancer survivor at Fantasy Fest. As Woods painted an intricate floral design upon her front torso, a man passing by, stopped, and asked for the woman’s photograph.

“He told her ‘You look so beautiful,’” Woods said, and the woman burst into tears.

Then the woman said, “I haven’t had anybody say I looked beautiful without my clothes on in so long.”

Woods said the moment was incredibly touching. Sometimes body painting can be therapeutic and can help in the healing process, from cancer survivors to people undergoing chemotherapy. It is here, she believes, her calling may lie.

She also enjoys the fun aspects of painting on bare skin, and relishes opportunities to facilitate transformations. Some come to Woods at festivals asking to be “turned into” into specific characters that they idolize. At last year’s Fantasy Fest, she said, one man in particular who had just returned from Iraq wanted to become Superman, since the Man of Steel was his childhood hero.

“It’s like playing dress-up,” she said. “A lot of people live-out fantasies.”

Body art even helps people commemorate special moments in their lives. Pregnant belly painting and henna are two ways that she has been a part of these special moments.

“Some people have worked really hard to get pregnant, so for them to make it to a certain point is quite a milestone,” Woods said.

People even come to her to test tattoo ideas, which she happily paints on their bodies. Some have even made her paintings permanent.

Yet permanent tattoo art isn’t really for her, she said. While she wouldn’t completely rule it out, it’s a lot more responsibility than body paint, she added. With temporary body paint you have to be less attached to your work at the end of the day.

“You have to express yourself and let it go ‘cause it’s going to wash down the drain,” she said. “It’s good for the perfectionist in me to just let it go.”

Most recently Woods has been active painting at local events like the Buzz-Off For Kids cancer benefit at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. She hopes also to do more with sign language in the future by combining body art and sign language into a theater performance – an idea that’s still in the works.

The ebullient and charismatic Californian has been based in Plainville, Mass., for two years, and continues to travel around the US, bringing her signature style of color and change to the bodies and souls of women and men of all ages, needs, and dreams. Her emotion is ever in motion.

“I’ll paint just about anything that stands still long enough,” she said.

To schedule a body painting session, Woods can be reached by e-mail at IBodyPaintYou@yahoo.com.

(This story was taken from the summer 2013 issue of Limelight Magazine.)

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Body painting of Rachel Astore by Carolyn Woods. Photo by Leah Astore.

TJ’s All-Star Band set to rock the Narrows

Todd Salpietro, Owner of TJ’s Music in Fall River

By JESSICA A. BOTELHO

FALL RIVER – “This is a large scale show for such a young group, and I hope people will come out to see them,” Todd Salpietro said of TJ’s Music Concert Night, set for Dec. 6th beginning at 7 p.m. at the Narrows Center for the Arts located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River, Mass.

The show will feature TJ’s All-Star Band, which is comprised of at least 35 children ranging in age from 10 to 19 who take music lessons at TJ’s Music. The students have been divided into groups and will be performing a few songs apiece.

“It’s not like, ‘Oh, look at the kids. They are cute.’ No – they are rocking,” Salpietro said. “These kids are good.”

Salpietro is the owner and operator of TJ’s Music, a music shop at 347 South Main Street in Fall River that opened in 1997. He used to play drums for Trendkill, an international acclaimed tribute to Pantera, and offers music lessons, as well as sells instruments and music gear, to musicians and aspiring artists alike. These days, he devotes his time to TJ’s. Currently, about a dozen staff members teach more than 300 students a week.

To help their youngest students develop skills that allow them to succeed as members of bands, Salpietro created “Jam Night,” a music program at his shop about three years ago. Every Tuesday evening, students of all ages visited the store and played together, along with their teachers.

During lessons, students learned the basic fundamentals about their instruments. But at “Jam Night,” they got a flavor of what it’s like to perform with a full band.

“I used to watch them and they’d take their half hour lesson and go home,” he said. “I’m like, ‘They’re not in bands; they don’t play with anybody and these kids are great players.’ So, I said, ‘We’ve got to get these kids in, put them together in groups, and see what we can make happen.”

Using a 25-foot stage that’s located on the second floor of the shop, as well as a full PA system and light set, the children got the opportunity to get a feel for what it’s like to perform as a band. After a few months, Salpietro said the students got the hang of it and were performing comfortably with other musicians. Some of them even formed bands together aside of “Jam Night.”

“Getting them together to play gave them a goal,” said Salpietro.

To further give the children a chance to shine, Salpietro chatted with Patrick Norton, the Executive Director of the Narrows, as Norton recently stopped by the store. He once took music lessons there, along with his children.

“He came in one day and started talking about the kids and said, ‘Would you maybe want to do a show at the Narrows?’” Salpietro said.

For Salpietro, agreeing to the gig was a no-brainer.

“It’s the greatest venue locally,” he said. “The kids are going to play on a real stage, with real lights. They are all going to leave with band photos and action shots of themselves playing.”

In no time, Salpietro and his staff began prepping the children for the show. Students signed up for a 12-week program that started in September, and visited the store every Sunday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. to practice as groups.

“This program really works out a lot of bugs for kids,” he said. “If you’re learning how to play with a bass player and you’re a drummer, you know what to listen for. You watch the singer and see the singer’s cues.”

Not only does the experience teach them how to further develop musical skills, the children have made close friends and are learning the importance of teambuilding. Additionally, it helps them build confidence.

“I’ve had kids that were lacking stage confidence, as well as confidence in life, and we were able to get them to play together,” Salpietro said. “They are not scared to get on stage anymore. They get up there and are running the entire show. It’s amazing. It’s been a huge hit. They are working together. I see them talking things out, and that to me is just magic. I love seeing these kids grow.”

Since he created the program, participating students were invited to play on WSAR, a radio station in Massachusetts. They played live in the studio twice, and performed during Fall River Mayor William Flanagan’s slot, per Flanagan’s request. From there, Flanagan invited them to perform at the third annual 2012 ‘Eat 2 the Beat Festival,’ a summer showcase which consisted of New England tribute acts such as Dirty Deeds, Klassik Kiss, Scarab, and more.

“The kids did a great job,” said Salpietro. “They were unbelievable. They got a lot of recognition.” The students also appeared on Fall River Community T.V., and are set to take part in the Fall River Christmas Parade on Dec. 1.

Salpietro said the children are excited about the parade, as well as the Narrows show. To purchase tickets, which are $10 each, visit http://www.narrowscenter.org.

“The tickets are selling like wildfire,” said Salpietro, noting that he’s looking forward to the Narrows gig, too, and is hoping it is the first of many shows like it. “I do this because I think it’s something that they need. I enjoy introducing them to the other side of it. I have tons of experience playing and touring, and it’s a great way for me to share that side of my professional life.”

Learn more about TJ’s Music, as well as the program, at http://www.tjsmusic.com or call 508-673-9100.