Travel Like A Rock Star

Travel Like A Rock Star

Travel Like A Rock Star Tina Farris Tour Manager Interview by Lauri Lyons Tina Farris travels like a rock star with some of today’s most popular entertainers. As the owner of Tina Farris Tours she is the tour manager of your favorite bands. We check in with Tina to learn her behind the scenes journey from being a fan to becoming the boss. Where are you from? Tina Farris: I’m a Cali girl.  I was born on a now defunct Army Base in Monterey, CA and raised in Sacramento. Did you have another career before becoming a tour manager? I was a French teacher at Compton High School in Compton, Ca. Linguistics are super interesting and of course it helps to get you out of trouble. I also taught Leadership and Spanish. What inspired you to get into the tour management business? I was a fan of The Roots. I used to follow them around the world when school wasn’t in session. Then one day they were like….”Just hang out.” What makes you say “Yes” or “No” to managing a tour? The Artist and length of the tour. What is your pre-preparation for a tour? I do routing, meaning the mileage to see if it’s a bus tour or flights. I do a budget.  I work in tandem with my Production Manager to get day of show times, so I can plan the transportation. I book hotels depending on the budget of group. I book ground, food, extracurricular activities…basically life on the road for myself plus 20 additional people at any given time. What does your “typical” day on the...
Jamming With Jamaican Rastas

Jamming With Jamaican Rastas

Jamming With Jamaican Rastas Adventures with the Legends of Reggae By David Tesinsky David Tesinsky is a Czech photojournalist who focuses on exploring global subcultures. His never ending search for the unique and authentic finally landed him in Jamaica, where he went searching for the people who follow the Rastafarian way, in the hills, in the streets and inna di yards. I went to Jamaica in search of real Rastafarians and the living legends of roots reggae and dub music. If you’re a foreigner it’s not easy to meet the real Rastas in the streets, because every other person with dreadlocks says, “I’m a Rasta!”. A “Roots Rasta” should not drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, eat meat or chase money. Rasta is not about having dreadlocks. A rasta could be hairless but truly follows the paths of Haile Selassie. Rastas believe all of us have a connection with the universe. One Rastaman told me, “We are all part of one dread”.  Although many people told me, “Kingston is dangerous for a white guy”. I had quite a good experience during my 45 days there. I rode my bike day and night around Kingston’s ghettos. I did get caught by the police with a higher amount of weed than tolerated, and a man ripped my wallet out of my hand, but I took it back very fast. In general, I had a good experience - in my own way. Music is very important to Jamaicans. There are sound systems in the streets, and very often they overlap each other, so you will find yourself listening to dancehall and dub at the...
Canada’s Largest Music Festival

Canada’s Largest Music Festival

Canada’s Largest Music Festival Festival d’été de Québec 50th Anniversary By Lauri Lyons Festival d’ete de Quebec, Canada’s largest outdoor music festival rolled out the red carpet on July 6th and will continue with 11 more events packed days and nights of concerts. The festival showcases 300 performances at 10 indoor and outdoor venues in Québec City, Canada. The roster will include 1,000 artists covering the genres of hip-hop, rock, pop, country, world beat, and EDM. Tickets for the festival cost a mere $75USD for a transferable pass that gives you access to 11 days of concerts by some of the biggest headliners and the latest trendsetting talents. The reason why the tickets are so inexpensive is that the FEQ organization is a non-profit, so they cover their expenses but do not try to make a profit from the general public. As you know, most concerts can easily cost over $100USD to see only one artist. The idyllic setting of Old Quebec City,  a UNESCO world heritage site, has created a history of rocking hard with legendary bands and superstar artists including The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters , Keith Urban, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Bruno Mars, Bryan Adams, Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi, Sting, Peter Gabriel,  Rammstein, Elton John, and Justin Bieber. This year’s grand 50th Anniversary is no exception with a stellar lineup that includes headliners Kendrick Lamar, Pink, Melissa Etheridge, Metallica, Lady Antebellum, Fetty Wap, The Backstreet Boys, The Who, and much more. Kendrick Lamar put on a gladiator worthy performance when he and his DJ slayed the sold out crowd with his lyrical finesse, which was echoed back...
The American Dream vs. Reality

The American Dream vs. Reality

The American Dream vs. Reality Global Opinions About the USA By Lauri Lyons In 1995 Lauri Lyons grabbed her camera and an American flag and began an odyssey to discover and reveal the faces and voices of the unknown: Americans who did not bask in the seats of power, who did not control the destinies of mega-corporations, and who rarely appear in news stories. Americans reveal themselves to us through their pride, openness and honesty, They proudly display the banner of America with their hope or stomp it beneath a heavy boot. Given the opportunity to speak their truth without restrictions, they present themselves with a directness and honesty that brings them to life. - Paul Fusco, Magnum Photos What is America? Beautiful, violent, principled, racist, hopeful, chaotic and always changing. America completely reinvents itself on a daily basis. “Thanks to our veterans America is #1” As a college student during the Gulf War, it became apparent to me how little my peers knew about the symbolic power of the American flag. This realization coupled with the political polls and sound-bytes defining the current American psyche made me question the validity of the people’s opinions that the media represented as facts. “I think that this country is way below standards. We a have to become as one before we all fall apart from each other.” I decided to find out what people really thought about America by traveling to unfamiliar cities, towns, and neighborhoods throughout the country and asking strangers, “What do you think about America? Please write your honest opinion in this notebook and sign your name.” Afterwards,...
The Gay Preacher’s Wife

The Gay Preacher’s Wife

The Gay Preacher’s Wife LGBT, God, and Marriage in Atlanta by Lauri Lyons Growing up in the church in the 1950s and 1960s, homosexuality wasn’t discussed, especially not in the black community. Lydia Meredith’s memoir The Gay Preacher’s Wife is a personal account of how life can become a testimony of tolerance, love and acceptance even within the confines of the church. “I was one of those preachers’ wives who sat in the pew many a Sunday morning while my “real” life was a fraud. I discovered several years into my marriage that my husband was cheating on me—with men—numerous men. (And women too, I later found out). I watched my husband stand in that pulpit on Sunday morning, preaching one message and living out yet another.”   An estimated 4.2 percent of metro Atlanta’s population identify themselves as LGBTQ, placing the region in the top half of a list of 50 U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a Gallup analysis. The data is based on surveys of 473,243 adults across the 50 largest metropolitan areas, conducted between June 2012 and December 2014. These results are based on responses to the question, “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?” which was included in 206,186 Gallup Daily tracking interviews. This is the largest single study of the distribution of the LGBT population in the U.S. on record. It is the first time a study has had a large enough sample sizes to provide estimates of the LGBT population by state. After being married to Reverend Dennis A. Meredith for almost thirty years and having three sons, Lydia Meredith and the...
Emilie Baltz’s Food Utopia

Emilie Baltz’s Food Utopia

Emilie Baltz’s Food Utopia Let Them Eat Travel Cake! Interview by Mackenzie Lowry Emilie Baltz is everything. She is a well seasoned traveling Food Designer, with a multitude of former professional lives that includes being the Creative Director for The Museum of Sex, Founder of the Food Design Studio at the Pratt Institute, a dancer, and photographer. Whether it’s a meal celebrated together or spent with a book, that is the focus of Emilie Baltz. Her passion for food is the center of our early morning meeting as we sit and sip on green, foamy Matcha Lattes. This unusual drink is made of a very finely ground powder of a particular strain of green tea, and is often the center of Japanese tea ceremonies. It is the perfect elixir for listening to her tales about an eclectic life. The first thing I saw when I went on your website is that you believe in unicorns, so I’m wondering where that came from? Emilie Baltz: Well, the truth of it is, it comes from a couple places. One, I’ve always felt like I didn’t fit anywhere and there always is a belief and disbelief. Can you have a life that you make of your own that’s of your own magic? And that’s basically what the question is. For most of existence, it’s like, do dreams come true and are fantasies real? So, believing in unicorns is kind of what that’s about. I would rather choose to believe than not – so I would rather choose to believe that dreams can come true and that myths are real. I also had...
Women Slacklining the World

Women Slacklining the World

Women Slacklining The World Faith Dickey Is a Woman On the Wire By Mackenzie Lowry Faith Dickey has set the world records for highest free-solo slackline ever completed by a woman. Only thin air stands between the line and the ground. There’s no net, no harness, nothing to catch a fall. It’s just a single human body, breathing, maintaining mindfulness, and hopefully keeping balance across the line. What made you first decide to try the slacklining? I tried it because of a friend of mine had done it before. I never dreamed I would be highlining. I went to Europe to travel and met some guys who were doing it in the mountains, so I tried it and that’s what really ignited my passion. Did you wear a harness at that time? Yes, I wore a leash and a harness but it was so scary. I was probably 60 feet high, but it was such a foreign experience. My whole body was shaking and resisting. I was sitting on the line trying to stand up and it was like my body wouldn’t even listen to me. You may fall four feet below the line and you’re dangling from a rope. You have to climb back up the rope and get back on the line. Once you walk one highline you can’t stop. Do you always slackline barefoot? I prefer barefoot, the majority of slackliners and highliners walk with no shoes. It’s better because you can feel the line. The line is only one inch wide so it’s really nice to center it under your foot. It provides good friction....
Soledad O’Brien Dispatches

Soledad O’Brien Dispatches

Soledad O’Brien Dispatches A Reporter’s Life On the Run Interview by Lauri Lyons TV journalist Soledad O’Brien has tirelessly crisscrossed the globe to report breaking news and produce social documentaries for CNN, Al Jazeera, and HBO. We were lucky enough to catch up with Soledad en route to the airport for her annual Starfish Foundation Gala, through which she works to assist young women scholars get to and through college. Here is the veteran reporter’s take on how she lives life on the run. For your big stories that you’ve covered (Hurricane Katrina, Thailand tsunami, Haiti earthquake) what are the logistics and preparation time for getting you in the field and on camera? Soledad O’Brien:  I’m sitting in traffic on my way to Newark airport. So, I’m living your website. The logistics are usually pretty crazy, but I work at CNN, and they are pretty amazing at that. They are just masters of the logistics.  They would have a whole apartment, and then their goal is just to get you physically there. Then I travel with stacks of books and printouts, and any information I can find. While I’m on the flight, I’m reading. We’ll often travel without knowing very much. For example, I know there’s an earthquake in Haiti,  but what’s the history of Haiti? How did Haiti become a country? What are some of the big stories and issues in Haiti?  You spend the entire flight reading until you really understand all the different contexts of the story, while somebody else is trying to figure out how to get you in. Then you get in there, and,...
The Sultans of Style

The Sultans of Style

The Sultans of Style Taking Fashion to the Streets Interview by Lauri Lyons Once again, the intrepid fashion photographer John-Paul Pietrus has been making rounds on the international style circuit. He recently made a pit stop in the Ottoman Empire to shoot a Young Turk fashion story in Istanbul. Did you ever have a desire or fantasy about going to Istanbul? John-Paul Pietrus:  I always had a desire to visit Istanbul as it is this fantastic place historically, the merging between East and West, so it has this allure related to Orientalist fantasies and folklore, which I wanted to experience even in modern day terms. Was this your first time visiting Istanbul? This shoot was my fifth visit. I really love Istanbul. What was the inspiration for your story? The concept was about an opulent Orientalist fantasy and the meeting of East and West. Who was on your team? The styling was done by Lucia Liu and Fatos Hanlim. The model was Tian Yi. The hair was  done by Bon Chou and the makeup was done by Adam de Cruz. The stylists and model flew in from Beijing and the makeup artist and I flew in from London. I hired a Turkish production team and a local photographer, Pinar Lauridsen, to shoot the behind the scenes video. Pinar was already a good friend of mine from my previous visits to Istanbul, so it was wonderful to work and hang out with her. Where is the model from and why did you choose her for the story? I hired Tian Yi because she has a very delicate beauty with a...
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