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On July 10th, Catalyst Arts joined dozens of performers and caterers for the annual ISES Gala at SF Old Mint. For those who don’t know – ISES is the International Special Event Society, which is the association for special event professionals, so of course, we were excited, not only to show off our beautiful circus-themed stilt walkers and serving skirts, but also to debut a special new Signature offering: our unique Become the Art cart!

become the art cart by Catalyst Arts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Become the Art Cart is an interactive mobile photo opportunity suitable for any event. That night, the cart was particularly popular amongst the ISES crowd, because unlike most stationary photo booths, this one wheeled right up to people. Sporting a nice golden frame and a attended by a pro photographer (in this case Gustavo Fernandez) and a friendly costumed attendant.  The Become the Art Cart allowed guests to choose from a variety of custom-made props- from the ever-so popular mustaches on sticks to the cute circus hats and boas. After a click and flash, the playful experience becomes a very unique photo gallery to bring back memories well after the event is over.

become the art cart mobile photo opp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the second half of the event, we collaborated with The Other Woman, an event catering and planning service. Their delicious treats settled nicely on our Sweet Cakes Serving Skirt. At first people weren’t sure if the desserts were for display only – but after a little encouragement, anyone who had a sweet tooth eagerly snatched a snack to taste.

sweet cakes serving skirt of Catalyst Arts

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, this event was a huge success and milestone for Catalyst Arts. We were able to get our name out there with event planners, made friends with talented performers, and debuted our brand new Become the Art cart, which was so enthusiastically received. Now we can’t wait to get the cart to it’s next special booking — maybe somewhere near you?

http://www.catalystarts.com

or http://catalystarts.com/circusgala/ to see the whole gallery!

Costume Closet

I have been playing dress up pretty much my whole life.

I have been being paid to play dress up for about 10 years now.
(I’m a performer, stilter, & face painter)

My inner child is thrilled about it.

Dressing up in costumes is fun, creative, and occasionally truly glamorous, tranformational or therapeutic.

I go out in public in costumes on a regular basis. I love Halloween because everyone else shifts shapes and comes to the party as something new (& hopefully) interesting. So maybe you are not a dress up type but you just want some ideas for Halloween costumes so you don’t feel left out. Or perhaps you are a clothes horse and want to up your game in terms of costuming yourself.

THE TIPS

1.) Choose a character direction that is currently genuinely inspiring to you.

It could be compellingly attractive or compellingly disturbing, but it should be compelling. If it is tired, or more true to the old you, it won’t make you come alive when you wear it. If it doesn’t have juice for you, you won’t really rock it

2.) If you don’t have a great idea, use your friends.
If you are drawing a blank then make a brainstorm game out of it with some friends and bounce off each others ideas until you get one that makes you really excited. Or you could ask everyone you know what their all time best Halloween costumes were, and then just steal your favorite idea. (provided it meets tip 1 criteria)

2.) Give it time. Don’t wait till just before the party/gig/event to pull it together.

If you know you are going out for Halloween or are invited to a masquerade ball or need to pull a _____ themed costume out of the hat for an event soon to come, give yourself as much time as possible to daydream ideas, shop at stores, yard sales & thrift stores, and pull it together. This way you won’t feel stressed and be tempted to sucker out. This way the magic and synchronicity have time to help you get it together. (costume fairy’s do exist!)

3.) Strive for Originality. Don’t go for a made in China ‘costume in a bag’.

Oh it can be tempting to go online or sneak into some halloween superstore and just grab yourself one of those one size fits all costumes in a bag. If you do really want to be a sexy nurse or a vampire or a pirate or some other trendy character- find a way to do it so that you don’t look like the other 20 people at the party who bought the same cheap-o costume. Browse google images for inspiration. Repurpose fabrics & clothes in new ways. Bribe a friend who can sew to actually make you something. It is worth the effort to not look like you came off the assembly line.

4.) It is all about the Face Paint and the Attitude.
If your face paint looks great and you are totally in character, it can make up for a shabby costume. It goes a long way to actually try to be the character your costume is indicating. Get into it. Have a different accent and do things you wouldn’t normally do. That is a huge part of the point of costumes in the first place. Intimidated by the face paint part of this tip? Find a friend who is good at it or look up videos on you tube. (or hire someone like me:))

5.) Bring a Prop and have a Schtick. *
This is crucial for having a fabulous time in your getup and contributing greatly to the overall social dynamic. You will have a lot more fun if your character has some sort of playful gimmick or way to engage other party goers. IDEAS & GENERAL EXAMPLES: If you are a geisha, bring a fan and cool down the sweaty folks on the dance floor. If you are a giant banana, bring a banana and tell people they have a phone call on it. PERSONAL EXAMPLES: I was once a princess of hearts and I went around painting hearts on people with my red lip liner. Last year for Halloween I was a genie and I had this super cool lamp filled with yummy oils and I asked people to touch the lamp and make a wish and they smelled the oils and closed their eyes and made their wish and I told them it would be granted. This was infinitely more amusing than just wandering around looking like a genie. It is all about interaction. Schtick Schtick Schtick.

So, I hope this helps and I hope you have fun creating  another costume for your arsenal.