Sunday, March 4, 2018

Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam at Lovin Cup

On March 3rd, Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam took place at Lovin Cup. I as an MC and also a performer and John Roche, also an MC and performer, ran the show. Hearing poets/performers and deaf/hard of hearing poets/performers took turns on stage to present their work. Two great interpreters: Cindy Gilchrist and Denise Herrera spoke deaf/hard of hearing performers' work in English for the hearing audience who didn't know how to read American Sign Language and also interpreted the hearing performers' work in American Sign Language for the Deaf/hard of hearing audience who couldn't hear the spoken words too well. The interactions among the hearing and deaf worlds during the whole event created a sense of warmth, support, and understanding of one and another. This unique event only occurs every year and this year is the 9th year of the show. 

The Jam was a success with great packed crowd. The performers were: (hearing) Collen Powderly, Grace Flores, The Mental Graffiti, Miriam Lerner, Michael Czarneki, John Roche, Nick Eckerson, and Bart White; (deaf/hard of hearing) Dangerous Signs, RH ASL Choir, Matt Schwartz, Vicki Nodquist, Eric Epstein, and Eddie Swayze. 

This event was supported by RIT College of Liberal Arts, English Department, and NTID Interpreting Services as co-sponsors. 

Here are photos of the event.

 Eddie Swayze

 Dangerous Signs
 Matt Schwartz
 Miriam Lerner
 Colleen Powderly
John Roche

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam (9th year)

This is the 9th year of the poetry event titled Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam taking place at Lovin' Cup in Rochester, NY (Henrietta area near RIT/NTID campus). John Roche, former Liberal Arts faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology, and myself will lead this event. John is responsible for recruiting the hearing poets/performers and I'm responsible for recruiting the deaf/hard of hearing poets/performers. This event shows the two worlds performing along each other: the hearing culture and the deaf culture. English spoken words would be spoken by the hearing people and American Sign Language (ASL) would be used by deaf/hard of hearing people on the stage. Those performers will take turns to do their readings or skits. This unique event has been going on for 9 years. This show gets jammed with a big crowd as popular. Two interpreters will help along to translate the hearing performers' English poems into ASL and the deaf/hard of hearing performers' ASL into English - making this become total accessible for everyone. The 2 interpreters will be Cindy Gilchrist and Denise Herrera. 

Click on this image to see it bigger

Besides being the MC, I and John will do the performances. The deaf/hard of hearing performers are Matt Schwarz and his high school students RH Sign Language Chorus, Vicki Nordquist, Eric Epstein, and Dangerous Signs. The hearing performers will be Grace Flores, Miriam Lerner, Bart White, Michael Czarnecki, Nick Eckerson, Collen Powderly, and Mental Graffitti.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

As Orin in Little Shop of Horrors

I am currently rehearsing as Orin, the bad dentist, in Little Shop of Horrors. The production is directed by Luane Davis Haggerty. I will act in this production at MuCCC (Multi-use Community Cultural Center) downtown Rochester, NY from April 26th to April 29th. I will use ASL (American Sign Language) while acting as Orin in this production. I am excited to act like a mean boyfriend to Audrey, hurting people's teeth, getting high with the gas, and dying - all in ridiculous and funny ways. After the performance at MuCCC, the production will go to Rochester's Geva Theatre in the summer either in June or July. 

"I'm your dentist and a success. Say ah. Say ah. Say ah. Now spit."

Click on this picture to see it bigger.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Two Self-Portraits

Created two new self-portraits digital photos. One is "Eddie and Bayou" and the other is "Polar Bear". 

For "Eddie and Bayou", I took a shot of my cat Bayou with iPhone. I then took a selfie with iPhone. After that, I  used a new free app called Photofox. It is an app that enables to blend in one picture into another picture. Henceforth, I blended my face and Bayou's face together. It was a challenge. It was difficult to make it match with the size, alignment, and color. I erased the right side of my face and erased the left side of my cat's face. Once put together, I transferred the work into PhotoEditor. I then played around the special effects that were available in PhotoEditor. I solved the problem by creating a special color filter, which made the work become yellowish/bluish/orangish. This helped make the work become more interesting. 

Click on this to see it bigger.

For "Polar Bear", I took a selfie, wearing a white animal winter hat and a blue tooth necklace without a shirt. I then used PicsArt app to add the cracks around me, the glowing effects off my face and hat, and used Vintage effect a little in corners of the photo. I then played around the effects and when I used Solarize, it changed the picture into wild color effects, which surprised me. The Solarized picture made it more dramatic. So, I kept it that way without adding more effects. Therefore I ended up keeping two of the work. One with the cracks, glows, and vintage effects, and the other with the solarize effect. 

Click on these two to see them bigger.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cecelia Play Script Editing and Feedback

Retired English instructor Peter Haggerty from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf took the time to edit and give feedback on my play script titled Cecelia. It's a science fiction play about a genetically-altered deaf woman. I handed the script to Peter and asked him to take a good look at the work. He came over and we sat down together to discuss the work. I learned a great deal. I'm looking forward to polishing it up. The main goal is to have an informal stage reading of this work, then hopefully, get it produced as a full show down the road.

Here is the picture of the script and feedback/editing notes from Peter and myself.

You can click on this to see it bigger.

"Extraterrestrial Communion" Story with Watik, the Alien

I have been writing a short science fiction story titled "Extraterrestrial Communion" for a while. In that story, the main alien named Watiki meets the human race. As the fact, the creature does not look any close like ourselves biologically and physically. It is transparent, glass-like, and inner organs can be seen through its skin similar to jellyfishes. It also glows iridescent blue. I want to show what the creature really looks like out of my mind. I drew the alien with plain pencil on white paper, then took a photo of it, then added the special graphic effects to it on free online PhotoEditor (similar to PhotoShop). Enjoy, Watiki, the alien from far, far away.

You can click on this to see it bigger.

Self-Portrait as an Alien

I took a photo of myself with iPhone. I then put the picture of myself into free online PhotoEditor (similar to PhotoShop). Then I manipulated my face. I used the tools available in PhotoEditor to pinch my nose and make my eyes become bigger. I also enlarged my head. I also made my neck a lot thinner. I made my mouth larger with the same tool.My right ear became pointed similar to the Vulcan race in Star Trek. I then used "Paint" tool to paint all over my face in blue at 10-20 percent transparency, which enabled the skin to look blue very well. I also painted the eyes green. I also painted my hair and facial hair in pink. I then removed the background and filled it black around my face. Then using the "Paint" tool, I used the tool's variety of splashes and spots that were available, which I was able to create the stars, star clusters, and nebulas in variety of colors. Lastly I painted the whole face and stars background in light white at 10 percent transparency that made the whole image look like full of glow. Henceforth, I became an extraterrestrial from far, far away. Enjoy the photo.

                                                     Click on this photo to make it bigger.