Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Little Match Girl

Two weeks ago I made a decision.  I felt it had been too long since we'd done a shoot.  So I wanted to through something together to get back in the swing of things.  With the winter season in full I thought Hans Christian Andersons The Little Match Girl was more than appropriate.

If you're unfamiliar The Little Match Girl is a fairly simple story:

Provided by wikipedia:
On a cold New Year’s Eve, a poor girl tries to sell matches in the street. She is freezing badly, but she is afraid to go home because her father will beat her for not selling any matches. She takes shelter in a nook and lights the matches to warm herself. In their glow, she sees several lovely visions including a Christmas tree and a holiday feast. The girl looks skyward, sees a shooting star, and remembers her deceased grandmother saying that such a falling star means someone died and is going into Heaven. As she lights her next match, she sees a vision of her grandmother, the only person to have treated her with love and kindness. She strikes one match after another to keep the vision of her grandmother nearby for as long as she can. The child dies and her grandmother carries her soul to Heaven. The next morning, passers-by find the dead child in the nook.

I had a few choices to make that made this shoot different than most of the others we've done.  First off, who was going to play the Grandmother?  I do have some actress friends that could be believable in that age rage, however I would never ever ask them for fear of offending them.  So I had this idea that when you die you become the age you liked yourself best as.  So I brought in my friend Joey Lynn.

Yeah, that's the version of myself that I like best and it's not me.  Joey has a few distinctions that make her different from other Reconstructing Grimm models.  First of all she's a girl! Second of all she is the only model whose known me since I was ten years old. Yep Joey and I have been friends a long time, but what with living in different cities and growing up a bit we don't get a chance to hang out all that often, so this was a nice little excuse to get together and hang out for a day.  Plus on the video blog you'll see that I revert to my ten year old self pretty quick when we get around each other. That should be fun.

One of the other choices I had to make was whether or not to make the outfits.  With deciding to to do the shoot on a Tuesday and planning it for that Saturday there was just no time.  I pulled together the outfits from some new and vintage pieces.  One of my favorites being the coat I wore in the shoot.

That coat belonged to my mother about thirty years ago.  So I guess what I'm saying is that Mother Shipe has always had awesome style as well.  The scarf you might recognize from The Wizard of Oz Shoot.  It was the Cowardly Lion's Mane:

I like that I had the opportunity to reuse some old pieces that people might recognize.

Here are a few shots from the day.  There are more coming soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

UPDATES!!!! Fairy Tales and Favors

Hi there everyone:
I know it's been a while. I have been so preoccupied with other things that I have been lax lately, but trust me, we're gonna start cooking again soon.  Arabian Nights will be finished by December, then we're moving on to... wait for it... Sleeping Beauty.

We have some really great guest stars for the Aladdin section of Arabian Nights that you'll meet shortly.  Our Aladdin will be played by everyone's favorite pirate Matt Kemple!!!!!!

I am so sorry for taking so long to this.  Reconstructing Grimm just took a back seat for a bit. I love this project, I love all the support I get from you lovely people, but sometimes life just gets in the way.

Also, just hang on for Sleeping Beauty, I have some really amazing surprises in store for that shoot.

Finally I need a favor from anyone out there who would like to support me further in the acting thing that I love to do.  I am currently in a show called Who Killed Santa. 

If you are so inclined and can donate anything to the cause I urge you to head over to the kickstarter campaign and throw whatever you can.

Here's a link: Who Killed Santa Kickstarter

Thanks! I will back soon. I promise.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ali Baba and the... one thief.

This last Sunday we did the Ali Baba portion of Arabian Nights.  Now this is one of our more high concept shoots.  High concept meaning that I didn't have a big budget or a whole lot of resources so we did the best with what we had to capture the idea of Ali Baba, without actually following the story all that closely. 

This was also one of those Murphy Law shoots, in that everything that could've gone wrong did.  First of all, no one was on time.  For a 7:30am call no one showed up until about 8:00 or so. then things kept going south for a bit. Our Ali Baba: Zach Zembrowski was the first to arrive (besides James Clark who is freakishly punctual.)  Then the first of our thieves arrived, and by first I mean only.  The five other models (who will remain nameless so don't even ask)  didn't show.  They also did not pick up our phones.  Then I couldn't get a hold of Perry.  The day was not going great.  But as soon as Perry showed up I regrouped and started  collecting my thoughts to create a new shot list in my head.  Then we got to work.

I started to get the boys in "make-up" or covering them in dirt.  I am constantly surprised at how little people question the things I tell them to do.  Like, "pretend to love me for a few hours" or "let me cover you in mud" and there is no fight.  Either I know the best men on the planet who are so gentlemanly that they don't question it, or I am really really bossy.  Maybe it's a bit of both.

We did two locations as it was a smaller shoot for the larger faction of the Arabian Nights shoot.  The other two stories are coming soon, I promise.  But the first was the lovely Lake Michigan beach front of Milwaukee.  We got some awesome stuff here.

Then we moved to this super cool bridge over on the east side of Milwaukee to play on this Indiana Jones idea that I had.

That's all for now.  More Ali Baba and Arabian Nights to come!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Deconstructing Reconstructing Grimm

It occurred to me the other day that in a vlog update ages ago I promised to to a video on how to create the Tinkerbell dress for yourself... and as you can see... I forgot... sorry.  But anyway I thought I would take a rare day off and share a few tips on how to get similar looks for your own wardrobe.  Some will be cheaper, some will be more expensive, but either way it'll be a nice way to add a little fairy tale to your everyday life, which I truly believe people need every once and a while.

First off, because I promised here's a breakdown on the Tinkerbell dress:

To be honest this is not my favorite dress on me.  That being said, on someone taller and less hourglass like it would look much better.  This dress is a super simple pattern that can be found on Simplicity or you can just follow this link: TINKERBELL DRESS ON SIMPLICITY.  The pattern is really cheap, under $3 and the instructions are included in the pattern.
I did make a few modifications to the pattern that I will share with you so that you're not confused if you follow the directions to a T and it doesn't look the same.  

1.) Instead of sewing together fabric for the neckline I used ribbon, much easier and faster.  Plus it gives the dress an extra pop of color.

2.) I cut about seven inches off the bottom of the pattern.  I am short, it's my gift, it's my curse.  So figure out a good length for yourself.

3.) The Belt:  I made the ribbon belt myself and you can too.  It's really easy trust me.  
 -First off use the same ribbon you use for the neckline of your dress.
- Then cut a long enough section so that you can tie it in a bow around your waist.
-Find the middle of the ribbon by folding the material in half and lightly marking the inside with a pencil.
-Buy any flat backed beads or items in the "hair accessories" section of your local fabric store. Then grab your glue gun.  I will say though, that before you start randomly gluing layout your beads or jewels on the ribbon so you have a good idea of what you're going for.

See easy! Now and there's the Tinkerbell dress.

Now to a more expensive version of the Cinderella Work Dress:

Now this one is going to get pricey, just because I wanted to show you what an outfit you could create for yourself for under thirty dollars can end up costing.  I guess what I'm really saying is, don't pay retail people, if I can make it, it shouldn't cost that much.

The Dress:
Here are some similar versions:

This is a great dress from ModCloth; however it is also 187.99.  Now for me that breaks the bank.  Plus after you spent that on the dress would you really spend more money on the scarf, belt, boots, gloves, and tights?

Here's a more affordable version:

At 32.80 this is a much more affordable option provided by Forever21, plus now you might have some extra cash left over for accessories.

Speaking of accessories, my favorite place to shot for those is, drumroll please.  Goodwill.  It's true, everything is more affordable and granted it is pretty hit and miss but that is a reasonable risk.  Also, lots of pieces like belts and boots are already distress from prior use as opposed to buying something new made to look old.  Give it a shot people.

Those are your two looks for today.  If this is a post you enjoyed tell me so and I'll do a few more.  Write in the comments which outfits you'd like a deconstruction of and I'll be happy to oblige.  Shipe out!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Arabian Nights... Nights... Nights

The past few week have been a whirlwind.  I opened a show every weekend in August, and still somehow found time to do the Hamlet photo shoot.  I'm on empty at the moment, but I really want to push to do the Arabian nights shoot soon.  But there are several issues....

Join me as a share them with you.

1.) Time. I have almost no time.  I am working two jobs and a show starting next week.  That means that sewing has to be done in the wee hours of the morning like I'm some wee elf that cobbles shoes.  I don't mind it all that much, but this does make me a sleepy kitty most of the time and then my work ethic for the rest of my jobs a little tricky. 

(As a subnote to the "Time" heading I have thought about just finding the clothes for this shoot as opposed to sewing them.  But I fear that I may jump the shark, or maybe then I'll do a blog post about where you can buy the clothes after the shoot? I don't know what do you think?)

2.) Complexity.  This shoot requires at least three different locations, maybe more, none of them in the same area.  A HUGE cast.  Massive, and people schedules are never friendly for such things.

3.) Inspiration. Normally I at this point after I pick locations and people I have a super clear idea of the shots I want to get. Not the case this time.  Just having trouble visualizing specifically what I want.  It's just for this shoot though.  I  can see the next two shoots in my head clear as a bell, but this one...

Anyway that's your short update post about where we are on the next project. Shipe out!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Reconstructing... Hamlet?

This last week we did something new for us at Reconstructing Grimm.  We put together a series of photos for this weeks upcoming production of In My Minds Eye by Fools For Tragedy.  The photos serve a few purposes really;  first off it's good way to generate some buzz on the show before opening, secondly it's a nice visual guide for the audience. Sometimes with Shakespeare it becomes a little difficult to remember who is who, so having an idea before hand is a nice touch and it really cuts down on hearing, "Who is that?" "Why are they talking?" "I don't remember what they're doing?" bubbling up from the audience.  And thirdly I am in the show and it's project I thought would be fun to do.

Here comes the shameless plug part of the blog.

In My Minds Eye opens Thursday August 25 and runs August 26 and 27th at 7:30pm.  There is a $10 cash donation suggested, but you can give more or less (all proceeds go to Soulstice Theatre) for more information you can check out the Fools for Tragedy webpage; here.

While Hamlet is not fairy tale it does have many supernatural elements that make it easy to fit into the current Reconstructing Grimm set.  This particular production of Hamlet has six different actors playing Hamlet.

Hamlet: The Body
(Jordan Gwiazdowski)
The physical form of Hamlet or "The Real Hamlet" of the set.  He is the anchor of the group to the world.

The Fool
(Jennifer Gaul)
The Fool is the spirit in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world.

The Mask
(Andrew Parchman)
The one without a face. Shrouded – Hidden. Assumes whatever visage needed.

The King Maker
(Liz Whitford)
The strategist, the schemer. No nonsense.

The Blade
(Amber Smith)
Cold killer. Bloodthirsty. Revenge lives in these eyes.

The Son
(Kelly Doherty)
The problematic symptoms of youth; undying love of mother, reverence of father, temper, confusion, young love, fear.

Then there's Hamlet's Family:
Gertrude; Hamlet's Mother (Laura Holterman)
Claudius; Hamlet's Uncle (Brian Bzdawka)
The Late King of Denmark (Michael Keiley)
and Hamlet

And the friends of the Royal Family of Denmark
Ophelia (Liz Shipe)
Polonius (Robby McGhee)
Laertes (Adam Zastrow)

and here are a few shots to wet your appetites:

It just so happened that night James Clark was free, so we got the opportunity to to a video as well! 

Enjoy, and come see the show.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Are Fairy Tales the "New Vampires"?

So I'm taking a little detour on my personal project to talk a little bit about what's going on in pop culture.  Now I'm not conceded enough to think that any of this was my idea first, or that I have more claim to this whole Grimm Fairy Tale thing than anyone else, but I do find this recent turn in programming to reinvent fairy tales a little interesting.  For example; this year alone there are two different versions of Snow White coming to the big screen,  (again not to toot my own horn, but I did my spread over a year ago... )  ABC and NBC are also competing with two versions of grizzly bedtime story programming.

NBC's  Grimm:

The Wikipedia page gives this description:
Set in present-day Portland, Oregon, the series puts a new twist on the stories of the Brothers Grimm in which a homicide detective learns that he is a descendent of a group of hunters known as "Grimms", who fight to keep the balance of humanity safe from the supernatural creatures of the world. Upon learning of his destiny and that he is the last of his kind, he has to protect every living soul from the sinister storybook characters that have infiltrated the real world

And ABC's Once Upon a Time

Wiki def:
The series is loosely inspired by the classic fairy tale stories except set in the present day, hence the series name. The stories hold a key to the mystery that will draw a bail bonds collector and the son that she gave up for adoption 10 years earlier to a New England town called Storybrooke, Maine. This town is actually a parallel world in which fairy tale characters look like normal people and don't remember their true identities or anything about their true lives.
When I saw all of the marketing campaigns coming up I was equally excited, and a little agitated to watch all of these projects coming out that I had no way to be any part of.  Also I was a little floored at how similar both projects seem to be, at least in definition.  I'm sure the shows themselves will find their own rhythm overtime if they last past the first season, but at the moment I think the networks should be a little worried due to the obvious comparisons that will arise.

Anyway, I started thinking that all of this was coming up just as all the major networks and studios have exhausted their vampire resources.

True Blood is well into 4th season, The Vampire Diaries... okay well I don't know anything about that show, it never interested me, but it seems to be on it's merry way.  And the Twilight Saga whether you like it or hate it is coming to a close.  It feels like with the studios on the brink of loosing their pale anemic multibillion dollar cash cow has been scrambling to find it's new outlet.  And that outlet has been to return to the terrifying, undisneyfied versions of classic tales.

The trend really started I would say about a year ago with the release of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

This movie was huge in case you missed it, but if you are reading my blog I'm betting you didn't.  The problem was, the movie didn't even follow the premise of Alice in Wonderland.  This charming children's story about a girl who wants nothing more than to be a grown up was twisted and turned into a story about a young woman who wants nothing more than to stay childlike.  And more over, with the addition of things like the fudderwacken ( in my opinion the Jar Jar Binks of this film) and Alice's slaying of the Jabberwock I have to say over all, while the movie was visually stunning and had good points I was not a fan.

Then there was the critically and publicly panned Red Riding Hood.

This was followed by another flop in the form of the film Beastly.

All in all I guess I've noticed the main trend with updating fairy tales is that the movie ends up being striking to look at, but in terms of the story it's either boring, not entertaining, or just plain bad.  So Have the studios got this whole trend wrong? Should they have just stuck with beating the already long dead vampire bat? If all anyone seems to be doing is creating a pretty picture that moves across the screen, devoid of a story that people like is my project even worth continuing if other people can produce just as pretty a picture for a thousand times the budget?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beauty and the Beast: Part 5: The End

Adam was surprised how quickly he'd made up his mind.  How easy the decision came to end his life.  In fact he was now almost happy.  There was this feeling of freedom that washed over him.

He picked pills.  It seemed the simplest way.  His mother had been addicted to every imaginable form of prescription medication known to eastern medicine.  In the end he didn't even know what he took, just that it  was large and round and sort of a yellowy green.

After taking the entire bottle Adam walked into the foyer and looked at the city while he waited for the effects to take hold.  He could hear the horns honking in the street and people moving about their business passing him by.  The sounds became fuzzy, then the lights started to grow brighter.  Soon all he could see was a light glow as he fell to the ground.  His breathing was starting to slow, he could feel each heart beat getting further and further apart.

"This wasn't supposed to be the end of the story."  The Enchantress was lying next to Adam on the floor looking him right in the eye.

"...it's the only way she'd be happy..."  Adam said through jagged breaths.
"So you want me to believe you're doing this for her?"
"I am."
"It's a noble gesture, if it weren't so misguided and stupid I would almost find it sweet."
"Just... go... away.  I'm finished with all of this."
"I only came because I never thought that a man should be alone in his last few moments.  I thought you'd like the company."
"I don't want to see you."
"I see, well maybe that is something I can help with."

Adam watched as the Enchantress faded away into the lights.  He was finally alone, but no sooner had he thought that than the door opened.  And he saw Bethany walk through the door.  It struck him that it was just like the first day  she'd walked into his house.  Her eyes were still bright and wide, but now they were filled with concern.

"Adam!"  She called.
"Beth..."  He managed to croak out from the floor,.
"Adam! What happened?" She ran to the floor to help him.  "Adam what did you do?"
"I'm letting you go. You can go back to your life now"

"I don't want you to let me go, you idiot.  Did you take something?  We'll fix this, let me just get some help."  She was starting to cry.  The tears were falling down her face.  Adam would give anything to make her stop.  He never wanted to see her hurting like this.
"No don't go.  I don't have much time left."
"Stop that.  You'll be fine."
"You go and be amazing."
"You can't die."  Bethany was sobbing now. Torn between running for help and comforting Adam, " You can't die, because you're my best friend.  I need you here with me.  I love you so much.  Please. Please. Just let me help you."

There it was.  What Adam needed to hear, several hours too late.  What a sad picture sat on the floor of Adam Brunswick's penthouse.  A beast, a monster, lying dead in the arms of the woman who loved him.   The scene had run it's course and now the only sounds heard in the massive halls where that of Bethany's sobs echoing back to her.

As it so happened, this tragedy had an audience.  The Enchantress had stayed and done what she did best.  She had been watching.  And she had seen all she needed to see.

Bethany felt Adam's body start to move.  She looked down at him with as little hope as she could allow herself to have.  Adam's body was radiating light.  It was terrifying and strange and beautiful.  She reached out a hand to touch him as the body lifted gently off the ground.  The light became brighter and brighter until she could only make out the vaguest of shapes.  Then there was a flash and outside the skies began to thunder.

Adam slowly go off the ground.  He couldn't believe he was alive.  He couldn't believe how much his head hurt. He reached up to touch his forehead and it felt smooth, like skin.  He felt his hair and it felt normal as well.  His teeth were no longer fangs.  Adam ran to a mirror and looked at himself, and it was really him.  The creature was gone, he was himself again.

"Adam?" Beth said quietly.
"I'm me again."  Adam walked over and crouched to join Bethany on the floor.  " Beth it's alright, I'm fine.  I don't know how but I'm fine."  Bethany stared at him in shock.  Adam brushed away her tears and she grabbed his hand.
"You're real., you're really real? I'm not dreaming.You're here?"
"No you're not dreaming, I'm here and I'm not going anywhere ever again."

Adam was true to his word.  While they did fight and have other numerous disagreements over the course of  their lives together as all couple do, they never forgot what brought them together and how lucky they were to have found one another.

As for the Enchantress.  She's still watching, still waiting.  So be very, very careful how you lead your life.  Or else...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beauty and the Beast: Part 4

The night of the banquet came quickly.  Adam was more nervous than he'd ever been in his entire life.  It was going to be his first date with Bethany.  Date.  Well, not really a date.  It was more of a hanging out, party crashing thing.  Either way it was a big deal to Adam.  He'd spend all day planning what he was going to say and how he was going to say it.

He was just fixing his outfit in the mirror.  The sun had just lowered beneath the skyline.  There was a light breeze, and then he heard an all too familiar voice.

"Don't you look nice.  Going out?" The Enchantress stood by the window, poised an elegant, "Give me details."  She moved into the room to face Adam.

"No. Now get out."  Adam brushed past the Enchantress toward the door.
"Still a bit prickly are we?  You might want to rethink that, you remember what happened the first time you upset me."
"You're right, I'm sorry.  Get out, please."
"You don't think that she'll ever really love you, do you?"
"What? How do you know about her?"
"Please, you didn't think that I'd stop keeping tabs on you.  Just because you couldn't see me doesn't mean I wasn't there.  This, Bethany, she's sweet but you're nothing more than a charity case to her.  And once she's been paid you know she'll leave you.  Just like your friends, just like your parents."
"That's not true.  She doesn't care... I mean stuff like that..."
"Doesn't matter to her?"  The Enchantress tutted softly, "That's sweet.  It's amazing that for so long you couldn't care less about the good in people and the second it might benefit your life, your needs your counting on it. Let me ask you something.  If the situation was reversed would you be able to look past it."

Adam could say anything thing.  He finally turned to face The Enchantress and she'd gone.

Several hours later Adam was watching the party from his parents grounds.  He couldn't bring himself to call Bethany or meet her when they had designated.  He saw the people laughing and having fun.  Adam hated them, all of them.  He couldn't stay, he just felt angry.  He wanted his old life back.  He wanted to not care, not feel.  Before when he could just gloss over life, things were so much easier.

Adam had just turned to go when he hear the small feet moving in his direction.  He immediately thought the Enchantress had come back to torment him one last time.
"What do you want from me?"  Adam yelled
"I was trying to figure our why you stood me up."  Adam turned around to see Bethany running over the grounds in a stunning gold dress.
"Beth, I'm sorry.  I didn't mean to."
"You could've called, I was worried something happened to you. Come on, I bribed a waiter to bring some dinner upstairs."
"Wait you're not mad anymore? Just like that?"
"I get that this must be hard for you.  Seeing your house, your parents.  That's going to bring up some stuff. So what do you want to do?  We can stay, we can go, we can order food to the townhouse and forget this whole idea. "
"Why do you treat me so well?"
"I am not a good person, I'm not a person at all. I'm just this thing, this big horrible thing."
"Stop that, right now.  Come here." Bethany said moving close to Adam.

"You are a good guy Adam Brunswick.  Maybe you weren't always, but why the hell should that matter? You are funny, do you know that? You're a guy that can tell a joke.  You're sweet, you make sure that I don't work too hard and forget to eat dinner.  You are easy to talk to, there are not many people that would listen to me complain for twenty minutes straight about my mother.  I don't know what happened to you, and I don't care. This face that you hate so much, it's changed you for the better."
For the first time since the curse Adam let himself hope that someone really wouldn't care. That it really wouldn't matter.
Adam's words were bubbling up inside him.  He had to tell her how he felt.
"I..." Then his words were interrupted by a a soft ringing.
"Hold that thought." Bethany said while searching through a small clutch bag.

Why does she have her phone? Adam thought.  No one takes their phone to a dinner event.  Do they.
"Okay, alright.  I'll be there in just a second."  Bethany hung up the phone, " I'm sorry that was your father, he needs me to meet some people inside.  I'm sorry.  I'll be like five minutes. Wait here."  Bethany gave Adam a quick hug and ran toward the house.

 Adam followed her to watch from a window.  She was standing in the middle of this beautiful party, with beautiful people.  A place he could never go again.  Even if she did care about him, he was sure it couldn't be love.  The he started to realize, all the time she'd spent with him over the last year, all that wasted time.  She could've been doing so much more with her life.  Adam was holding her back.

Then all at once in a brief second Adam had an idea.  I crazy insane idea that would let Bethany be free of him.  He turned and started back towards his penthouse.  That was the moment that Adam Brunswick decided to end his life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reconstructing Grimm: T-Shirt Contest!!!!!

So we're taking a small break in the telling of Beauty and the Beast to throw out an idea Alan and I had yesterday.

I'm calling on all Reconstructing Grimm fans to come up with a slogan for Reconstructing Grimm.  And example that I love but can't use is :

                                                          Reconstructing Grimm
                                              None of the Bibbity Bobbity Bulls@$!

I love this it was submitted by Pete Johnson, however the mouse would crucify us. So here's the deal, come up with a slogan; Alan, Perry and I will vote on the best one.  Then we'll put it on a t-shirt that will be available for sale for a limited time.

So bring them on! I wanna hear from you!

Oh and I do like to include a photo per post so here's another shot from the most recent shoot that's great, but I can't find a place for in the story.  Enjoy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Beauty and the Beast: Part 3

The next day was a blur for Adam.   His parents cried, many discrete doctors were called, in the end there was nothing to be done.  That was his face now.  Adam locked himself in his penthouse alone.  Convinced he would stay that way forever.

Soon there was a media frenzy.  Where was Adam Brunswick?  What happened to the city's poster playboy? Adam watched all of it unfolding.  He called the people he thought were friends, but it seemed that he was out of sight out of mind. Several days passed with no change, until a summer evening with a moon hanging low in the sky.  Adam was watching the city, missing the bustle of it all when he heard a voice.

"Beautiful isn't it?"

Adam turned sharply to face The Enchantress who had slipped in silently with the moon beams.

"You. What did you do to me?"  Adam was retraining himself as best he could.
"A favor, whether or not you see it that way."
"A favor? You made me a monster."
"Oh no, you were a monster before, I just made it more apparent." She said slipping gracefully onto the ledge to look at the lights of the city. "You my dear boy, you were bought everything except, it seems decency."
"Fix me.  Please. I'll pay you whatever you want."
"For once it's not about the money. It's about the lesson.  Once you've learned it you'll change back."
"What lesson?"
"Love. You need to learn to love."
"I know how to love, I've loved tons of women!"
"There are so very many things wrong with that sentence. Let's deconstruct, shall we?  First of all you have slept with tons of women that is not love, it's trashy and tacky.  Secondly love is a reciprocal agreement you must love her she must love you.  Do you see how that works?"
"Fine what do I need to do?"
"You have one year to find someone to love you for who you are."
"That's going to be impossible! There has to be another way."
"Sorry, that's the way's it's always been."
"And what if I can't find someone in a year?"
"Then you'd better get used to that reflection."  And with that the Enchantress faded away into soft breeze and away into the night.

Adam walked to the hallway mirror and stared at his face.  He stared so long that all he could see was shapes and lines.  Then for the first time in Adam's adult life he felt like nothing.

The media attention wasn't dying down and it had been almost three weeks since Adam went into hiding. The day after his encounter with The Enchantress Adam told his parents how he could break his curse.  They set about setting up all kinds of online dating, matchmaking services, even a reward.  However, Adam wanted no part of it.  He just wanted to be left along to wallow in self pity.

The other big change in Adam's life was the addition of a new staff member.  A P.R. rep to handle Adam's sudden disappearance hired at his father's insistence.  His name was George Cayhill and he was arriving in ten minutes.  Adam had spent the morning pacing nervously awaiting his arrival.  Finally the door opened and Adam heard the sound of high heels on the tile foyer.  That was odd.  He decided to take a peak at the intruder.

"Hello?"  Called out a woman with wide eyes, "Is anyone here?"
"You're not George Cayhill." Adam called back into the cavernous front room and it echoed back to him.
The woman jumped,   "Very astute, no no George Cayhill is a bit higher up than me so they passed your account on to me.  But I assure you I'm very capable and I'll do an excellent job with your account."
Adam couldn't quite see her, but her voice sounded familiar "What's your name?"
"Oh... right I'm sorry. I'm Bethany Charles. And you are... hiding? Why are you hiding? Come out here."
Adam walked out just barely into the light, "It's you! So this is what happened to Adam Brunswick" Bethany said smiling, "I was wondering if you were okay, but I didn't have a name and I..."
"Get out."
"Excuse me?"
"I said get out.  I won't work with you."
"Well that's just too bad, because guess what? No one else will.  Adam Brunswick is not a desirable boss, your reputation precedes you."
"Yep that's right. So it's either me or no one.  And believe me at the moment you could use someone to handle this mess.  And another thing, you are severely ungrateful for a guy who I helped out.  But if you'd rather handle this yourself, fine. Stay in your tower and rot."  Bethany turned to leave and Adam quickly thought it over.
Bethany stopped in the doorway and turned.  She let out a big sigh, "What?"
"What's your plan?"
"I'm sorry?"
"How are you going to fix this? Explain my disappearance."
"You've got to be kidding."
"No, if you're going to stay I have to be sure your going to do the job well.  So... explain."
"Okay.  First off you're headed to rehab.  Not actually you, the media version of you that I am going to create."
"That explains three months tops."
"Will you let me finish.  First rehab for drinking, then for gambling.  After that you're headed to a Buddhist retreat far, far away.  That should get us at least a year and a half then we'll discuss further plans.  I've got all the paper work filled out for both rehab centers and have a look-alike prepped to be sent to the first, with a signed confidentiality agreement.  If he talks we can almost legally kill him .  He's been instructed to keep to his room and keep appearances to a minimal.  The staff would be told the he, or you, is to be left alone.  He'll be you for the next year.  We'll leaked the story to at least three entertainment new corporations and every tabloid you can think of.  Trust me, the question of where Adam Brunswick has gone will not only be answered it will become a reality.  I can have all of this ready to go by six am tomorrow.  Why? Because I am very, very good.  Still want me to go?

Bethany set up and office in the penthouse and soon was sending out all kinds of press releases and publicity photos that were released at precise intervals.  The world soon believed every word she fed them, and Adam was safe once more from the prying eyes of the media machine.

The longer Bethany stayed, the more Adam found he liked her.  She was straight forward, always said what she meant, that was so different from the women he usually dated.  He also noticed little things they had in common, the music she listened to while working and the magazines she'd bring with her to read on brake. The way she'd take off her high heels by noon because they pinched her feet, the fact that at lunch she'd always offer to pick him something up made him want to know more about her. Yes, Adam liked everything about Bethany.  He started to change just a little here and there.  Attempting to tell bad jokes just to see her smile or getting her coffee or just cleaning up after himself in general.  Bethany even started to stay after hours just to have dinner with him or watch a movie.  Soon they even started talking to each other on the phone at all hours. 

As bad as the curse was before, it was unbearable now.  To have finally found a person he could really talk to, a girl he really liked and wanted to be around for more than an evening and have no way to be with her.   Bethany was sweet, but the only reason she could be there was because she was nice and it was her job.  And as the months passed Adam became more and more depressed.

"What's wrong?" Bethany asked Adam
"Well that's just not true. I know when you're in a pissy mood. Spill."
"I'm fine. Really."
"Is it about the banquet thing?"
"No that's.. wait... what banquet thing?"
"You're parents didn't tell you?"
"My response to you're question should've filled you in that they didn't."
"Your parents are throwing this big banquet for charity next week.  I thought you were bummed  about the fact that you weren't going."
"Well, that wasn't it, but it is now."
"Why can't you go?  Come on, I'll rent you a tux.  I'll get a dress we'll crash.  It'll be fun."
"Aren't you forgetting something?"
"What?" Adam hid his head in his hands, "Oh you mean your hideous face." Adam looked up sharply, "Oh come on, I was kidding.  I don't know you care, it's not about what other people think.  If you like you who cares about everyone else."
"That's east for you to say, your hot."
"Thanks, but I still think you're being really stupid about this.  It's at your parents house.  We'll go and just hide and watch from upstairs.  Is that a possibility? "
" I guess so. Do I still have to wear the tux?"
"You bet your ass you do."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reconstructing Grimm: Beauty and the Beast: Episode 3

The fourth installment of the reconstructing grimm webseries, I'm a big fan!  Enjoy! James Clark is my hero.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Beauty and the Beast: Part 2

It was nightfall before Adam woke up.  He was still in the park. That was one of two things he knew that the moment, he was in the park and he had a splitting headache.  Adam stood-up and went for his cellphone... which was missing.  Then he moved for his wallet... which was also gone.

"... I've been mugged." He thought, "great, just great. looks like I'm walking."

Adam started the long trudge to his penthouse.  The night was pleasant enough.  Despite the inconvenience of losing two of his most prized possessions all in all it wasn't a bad walk.  Besides he figured he'd just go long enough to find someone to help him and offer a massive reward.

Before long Adam saw a jogger.

"Hey! Hey buddy!," Adam called out.  "I could use a little help."  The jogger started at Adam and stumbled off the path a ways.  The jogger then turned and ran as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

"Come on, I was mugged... What is your problem.  Show a little compassion!"

Adam walked out of the park into downtown.  He was looking for someone, anyone to help him.  But it seemed not one person would make eye contact with him.  And if he tried to talk to them they start walking faster and faster away.  Adam became frantic, and the more frantic he became the crazier he sounded.  He couldn't understand.  Then he walked past a darkened store window and turned to look at himself, but the reflection wasn't someone he recognized.  It wasn't a someone at all.  He'd become a thing of fur and feathers.  It was as though his face had grown out of the earth.  Adam started to panic.  But he caught himself, he must've hit his head.  He was hallucinating, that had to be it.  He closed his eyes and counted to three, when he opened his eyes he'd be his same handsome self again and he could go home and everything would be fine.  He took a look, but the creature was still staring back at him.

"Help!" Adam screamed into the streets.  "Someone please, I don't know what's happening to me!"  The sounds of the city began to overtake him.  Adam couldn't breathe, his heart kept speeding up.  He collapsed right in front of  of  Perrault's P.R. firm at the feet of a very shocked Bethany Charles.

"Oh my god! Are you okay?" Bethany crouched to Adam's level.
"Don't look at me. Get away from me." Adam said quietly shielding his face.
"Don't be so dramatic, come on let me see.  If you're hurt, let me help you."
"No, don't!"  Adam yelled as she pulled his hands away.

Bethany took a sharp breath in. Here it comes Adam thought, she's going to run, "What's your name, come on let's get you home."
"I can't tell you my name."
"That's going to make getting an address decidedly more difficult."
"Why aren't you running away from me? I'm hideous."
"Why are you complaining, you need help.  I'm trying to help you. Get up."
Bethany hailed a cab, and Adam gave he driver his address.  The she dropped him off and checked to make sure he was alright one last time.  Then she left Adam alone in his huge house.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beauty and the Beast: Part 1

Adam Brunswick wasn't a bad man deep down.  This part is integral to the story, that is why you're being told first and it is important that you understand that for all of  Adam Bruswick's faults he wasn't a bad man underneath his predisposed nature.  That being said at the beginning of this story, Adam was selfish, flippant, on occasion cruel, and above all spoiled.

The Brunswick Family was one of those incredibly lucky families to have been rich forever.  So long everyone seemed to forget how they made their initial fortune. It wasn't really important.  All that was important is that they had money now, and plenty of it.

Adam took more than a little advantage of his family's fortune.  He lived in excess, too much liquor, too many women, too much gambling.  He was a typical spoiled rotten brat.  Adam treated his father's employees like servants, and he treated his servants worse than that. He too self absorbed to see that he was hated everyone and everything around him, not that anyone who felt that way would say anything.

There is a very famous quote, I couldn't tell you who said it, but the quote says, "Character is what you are when no one is looking." But see the thing is, there is never a time when no one is looking. There are eyes everywhere, all around, waiting watching and making all kinds of decisions for us.  Some people call it bad luck, others karma, or even magic.  Adam didn't believe in any of these things, but he was about to.

The Enchantress had no name.  She was part of the earth itself, made of wind and spring rain.  She was one of many, she had thousands and thousands of sisters and brothers.  All of them silently making sure that the world maintains a balance of right and wrong.  These ancient and noble beings don't see all of the injustices of the world.  There is no way they could, there is simply too much to see.  Some people slip through the cracks. So it was simply Adam Brunswick's poor fortune that he should have fallen into The Enchantress's line of sight.

Adam was walking home in through the park.  He'd had another long night of drinking and gambling and woken to find himself in yet another of many apartments owned by a woman he did not know.  Adam for some reason decided to enjoy the morning and get a cup of coffee while he strolled.  Later, he'd curse this decision.  If only he'd have called his driver, if only he'd hailed a cab.  It was too late now though, Adam was headed toward something much larger than he could've imagined.

As Adam walked he approached a homeless woman.  The old woman's face was wise yet sad.  She asked for one thing.  The untouched cup of coffee in Adam's hand.  Adam scoffed at this request.  He brushed the woman off and kept walking.  Again the beggar woman asked Adam, this time with a simple, "Please."

"Hey, why don't you get a job?" Adam yelled over his shoulder.

For a third time the woman called after Adam, "Please, just something to get me through the morning."  Adam stopped.  He turned around and dumped the coffee at her feet.  The second he'd done that he knew he made a mistake, the beggar woman started to change right in front of him.  And the last thing Adam remembered before he passed out was a pair of beautiful intense and angry eyes.