A couple weeks ago, my friend Paul D’Andrea, asked me to model for his Colors exhibit that he was shooting for a First Friday photography exhibit. Paul had already painted and photographed a yellow, a red, and a white. He wanted me to be green. As in green with envy. My first reaction was that he had sent me a Facebook message by mistake. I agreed. As a former professional photographer, I am all for art. He gave me a date and a time and we were set.
The day before, he told me I would be in a make-up chair for two hours and the photography would take 15-20 minutes. He got one part right, the photography took 15-20 minutes. The process of painting a fat guy green and into a snake took a little longer than expected. One make up artist and her assistant took almost five hours painting me green and transforming me into a snake. Truly, this was a first.
I love Paul’s work, but he left out one detail in this transformation. I knew I would be shirtless and painted green. I didn’t know the make up artist was going to have to shave me like a monkey. Yes, they shaved me down. Of all the things I have done, this was the strangest feeling.
I was sprayed with some sort of clear liquid to help remove the paint when finished. Then the transformation started. I was painted bright green from the waist up. They even colored my hair. When I looked in the mirror, I looked like the Incredible Hulk from the 70′s television show. This was the first of many steps, I couldn’t believe it. I was green. To get the snakelike pattern on my body, I had to wear a mesh laundry bag. Surprisingly, the laundry bag was a perfect fit. I had to keep really still so the lines would match up. As many of you know, I don’t do well staying still. They would have better luck prying my phone out of my hands. Which they did. After mesh bag, the longest process started, detailing me like a snake. The concept was to paint scales on me. This was difficult to do because of the thickness of the paint and the amount needed. Yeah, I’m fat. But also, the make up artist, ok her name was Joy, Joy The Bodypainter Carter, kept yelling at me to stay still. When someone is painting you for that long you get to know them. I will call her Joy from now on. She had to craft each black part on my stomach and chest. This seemed to take forever due to the amount of scales she had to paint.
The whole time, I was texting my friends, taking pictures, and posting stuff online. Then came the big moment, the painting of my hands. I think this part scared Joy the most because she had not seem me put the phone down the entire time she was painting me. I think she was pretty sure she was going to have to fight me to get the phone out of my hands. I was scared because I had never been awake and without my phone for any extended period of time. I survived the longest hour of my life. After the hands, she painted my face. That was the only thing I couldn’t see while she was doing it. After she was done, I couldn’t believe what I saw when I looked in the mirror. It was amazing. I didn’t think I looked like a snake. I looked like one of those toxic superhero people. I became Dr. Scorpious. All I needed was a cape.
When Joy was done painting, it was show time. It was almost ten pm and we were getting started with the photography. That is my bed time. My biggest fear was not being able to deliver what Paul was expecting. Especially that late in the evening. I thought I would be playing a character who is envious of everyone else. I was really nervous because I wasn’t sure how to play that and make it photograph well. Then, Paul told me that I would be playing a character that has it all and believes he’s the best thing on the planet. When he put it that way, I knew I could play that character. I do it every day online Twitter. That’s what Kahuna Nation is all about.
The photography went really fast. At least to me. I kept acting like I was the cat’s meow and I owned that room. I, seriously, owned that room. With every camera flash, I kept going more and more into the character. I wish they would have shot video of that part. I thought it was pretty funny. I was laughing like an idiot and making silly faces. Doing all this and hoping I was giving Paul what he wanted for his exhibit. From behind the camera, he seemed pleased with what I was doing. So I kept at it. I really felt like Jim Carrey’s Joker from The movie Batman. I took the character over the top.
When it was over, I had to drive home as a green man. I told Paul I was going to go out somewhere as this green guy. I took a poll on Facebook and Twitter, everyone wanted me to go to Walmart. Paul told me that it was funny that everyone he had painted for this project wanted to go somewhere in public while painted in their color. One person went shopping at Target. Another wanted to get stopped by the cops.
It was a fun experience. We had a good time. Paul got the shots he wanted and I got to be a Diva. Paul told me there were so many good shots, it was diffucult to decide which one to use. So, instead of one big shot, he used a bunch of 8×10′s on one wall. He posted a photo of the exhibit in his studio and it looks awesome. The worst part was when they asked for some music and wanted to play the music on my iPhone. I have a certain reputation as a crazy online social media figure, but you all probably knew that. I don’t think they expected to hear Nine Inch Nails and Olivia Newton John’s Let’s Get Physical played back to back.
If you want to see the show, visit Paul’s M10 Studio on north Mass Ave for his First Friday opening tonight. The studio is located on the first floor of the Circle City Industrial Complex at 10th and Mass Ave.
This has become my life. Early morning running. My packed bag by the door almost every morning. For me, I like having everything packed and ready to go. Ready to walk out the door and head to the gym or track. Depending on the workout. I run because it relaxes me. Running is my solitude time. My me time. Even though I get up early, I seem to haven more energy throughout the day.
It doesn’t matter if I’m running on the track or treadmill. I know a lot of people say they can’t run on a treadmill. I get it, I’m not a runner. I’m a biker and I don’t know how anyone can ride a stationary bike. But, this is who I have become. Someone who gets up early to exercise. Someone who is changing towards a healthy lifestyle.
Funny thing, when you realize you’re small room, the pay booth, and help people. The four year old is aware enough to want to help others. I can’t even think about when I was four, but, I am sure I was not talking about helping others.
The boy is learning. The boy is on his way to be a compassionate human being. This makes me an extremely proud father.