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Swan Song

We hit the big time!

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Last Sunday the president of WMU received an invite from The Detroit Lions  to have the WMU Bronco Marching Band perform at the Thurday Night Football halftime show.

The Official Invite:

Dear BMB,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and were able to rest and enjoy time away from WMU. Please read this email carefully.

WMU football is not involved in the MAC Championship game this Friday. But we will practice this week as planned for a special opportunity described below.

Yesterday (Saturday) I got a call from President Dunn with an invitation from the Detroit Lions to perform at halftime of this Thursday night’s (Dec. 3) game against the Green Bay Packers. Pres. Dunn and I were honored that the Lions thought of the BMB for this opportunity and felt that we should accept the invitation. It’s an amazing opportunity and the game will be broadcast on CBS nationwide! In addition, the Lions expect the game to be sold out with over 70,000 fans in attendance!

The itinerary for Thursday is not finalized, but kick-off is at 8:25pm. Anyone with class after BMB would need to speak with your professor regarding the possibility of being excused. Pres. Dunn will also communicate with all faculty at WMU explaining this opportunity to showcase the BMB and WMU, and encourage faculty to excuse you from Thursday night classes.

The tentative plan is to rehearse Thursday at 4pm like normal, then load buses and head to Detroit. Dinner will be provided and I am working with the Lions so we can watch some of the game after our performance. At this point I do not know what time we will return to WMU, but I expect it to be after midnight.

We will be performing the Sing-Along show, Don’t Stop Believin’ and I Will Survive/Uptown Funk. This is also the show that we will use at the bowl game. In order to prepare we will rehearse MondayThursday this week as planned. Be sure to bring drill charts for both of the above songs.

As I mentioned above, this invitation just came to us and I apologize for the lack of notice. But an opportunity like this is very unusual and worth pursuing when it comes. If you have a serious conflict and cannot resolve it please let me know immediately. I’m hoping that you will recognize the once-in-a-lifetime nature of this opportunity and work to resolve any plans for Thursday night that can be rearranged in order to take advantage of this performance opportunity.

I will have more details available at practice on Monday and throughout the week.

Looking forward to seeing you again Monday at practice, and performing at Ford Field on this huge stage!

Dr. Montgomery

 

This kind of invite doesn’t come around every day so the BMB gladly accepted the invite and will be putting on a show in the “D”!  Having this opportunity for an extra performance must be an act of fate; especially because the BMB will not be traveling with the football team to the Bahama Bowl.

OUR DETROIT HALFTIME SHOW IS:

Sing Along With The BMB ( Don’t Stop Believing, I Will Survive, and Uptown Funk)

REHEARSAL Journal:

Mon 11/30: Here we go! Time to start re-learning the show after a long break.

Tue 12/1: The news broke about the bowl game no-go but at least the bad news was delivered by the one and only…. Pres. Dunn!

Wed 12/2: Today was our last regular rehearsal before Detroit and the band, guard, twirlers, and drumline were all on point. 

This show will be my last…ever. There is no better way to close out my colorguard career then performing for 70,000 people at a professional sporting event. I will give an update about how my swan song turns out!

Stay Creative!!

-theartistwmu

 

 

Happy Holi: Fetival of Colors

The Final Project: Make a poster that depicts pure bliss and togetherness.

In other words, make a poster for the Holi Festival ( a Festival that celebrates spring by throwing colors in good spirit instead of throwing shade in hatred ). The poster is in early production but I wanted to share this fabulous festival with you.

Who Celebrates Holi

Holi  ( Holika) is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. The ancient festival not only represents the love of Lord Krishna but it is also about the end of winter and the coming of spring.  This event is religiously celebrated by Aryans but mostly in India ( in modern times anyone can take part in Holi activities) .

Holi Origins 

The word Holi come from the Hindu demoness Holika. She was the sister of Hiranya Kashipu , the demon king. He reprimands his son because he worships Vishnu. Holika helps her brother by taking Prahlad to be burned.  A mythical being and/or force intervened and thrust Holika into the flames. Holi is celebrated to celebrate the burning of Holika. The colored powders of Holi represent the love of Lord Krishna by his devotees.

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Weeks before the event markets line the aisles with colorful powders. Days before the event people stock firewood for the bonfire on the eve of Holi. The bonfire mimics the burning of Holika.

 

The Start of The Festival

The first day of the festival is known as the day of color , or  Dhuleti. On this day people throw colored water, powder, or other pigments at each other in pure enjoyment.  Dancing, music, and refreshments are also apart of this day of color.  Intoxicating beverages ( THANDAI ) laced with a marijuana like substance is passed around in order to heighten enjoyment and bliss. Traditionally the colored water is made with crushed herbs, flowers, and other plants.  In modern times synthetic pigments are used, both for the liquid form of pigment and the dried version as well. Some Indian families create powders mixed with flowers allowing for a beautiful fragrance.

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Thandai: A Beverage of Bliss

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Holi Day 1: The Throwing of powder

Where Is It Celebrated & Why Should We Celebrate 

Holi is also celebrated outside of India. In the US this festival is mainly held in big cities. The most popular USA Holi festivals are in Utah, New York, North Carolina,  and California.  The Festival of Colors in Utah is the largest Holi celebration in the Western Hemisphere. Holi outside of India is a great venue to teach the Hindu teachings and messages to large audiences. Attendees can buy gulal ( colored powder) from India and throw it in celebration at other attendees.

Americans would benefit from this cultural experience of life, love, and tradition. They would have the opportunity to learn about another culture in a fun way.  With the rise in popularity of Color Runs and other powder throwing events, along with food and drink, Americans should already be on board for an event like this.

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Personally I would love to attend this festival and experience this cultural wonder.

Stay Creative!

-theartistwmu

Show Makeup 101: Flags, Foundation, and Falsies

" A smile is the best makeup a girl can wear"- Marilyn Monroe

This week’s blog will be highlighting and contouring Show Makeup. Primarily I will be focusing on The Western Michigan University Bronco Guard’s makeup look. I am currently serving as a uniform/ makeup coordinator for the Bronco Guard and I’m in charge of keeping the ladies of the BCG camera and show ready. So how do I keep my show make up on point? Here are some tips and ticks to the classic Bronco Guard look.

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The Bronco Guard Makeup BAG:

These are the products that I use for my typical show look. Prices may vary based on stores and coupons. Make sure to find shades that work with your hair color and skin tone ( your look might look odd if the colors don’t match).

FACE

Foundation- Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation Stick $5-9

This is a must! Stadium lights tend to wash out my skin and my uneven skintone looks even blotchier on camera so I go with a lightweight matte foundation. This gives me enough color to not looked washed out and covers my red spots like a dream. WARNING- If you use too much of the foundation stick your skin will look chalky and gross.

Concealer- Benefit Cosmetics Fake Up Concealer – $ 20-25

This is a bit pricey for concealer but it has a special moisturizer that reduces my dry blotchy skin. I love Fake Up because it adds a dewy glow to my skin with out looking greasy. Another Benefit to this Benefit product is that covers blemishes and dark circles very well.

Blush- Blush Maybelline Highlights

I’m not the biggest fan of this product’s fragility ( it breaks easily) but the product provides a pink shimmery glow that is unbeatable so far.

Bronzer– Bronzer Benefit Hoola Matte

Hands down the best bronzer that I’ve used for show makeup. This is a matte bronzer so it provides a more natural glow and/or contour. For Contouring use a smaller brush than you would for just putting it on your cheeks.

Red Lipstick- ELF Lip Stain  $3  & Burt’s Bees Tinted Chapstick $4

Keep the shade of red classy…not ladies of the night in Bronco Guard 😉

 

EYES

Gold Eye Shadow- Maybelline Single Eyeshadow $3

Try not to use a super yellow looking gold eyeshadow. Ones with brown or even orange undertones look best on camera.

Black Eyeliner- Kat Von D Tattoo Liner- $18

This is my everyday eyeliner but it stays well through rain, heat, snow, zombie apocalypse etc.

Mascara- Benefit They’re Real – $20

Any mascara will do. Your falsies will do most of the heavy lifting.

False Eylashes- The most recent pair was by ELF- $1

Falsie 101:

  1. Cut them to a natural length. They are enhancers for your eyes not wings.
  2. DO NOT USE THE SQUEEZE BOTTLE OF GLUE ON THE LASH ITSELF. The brush or stick applicator work best
  3. Take your time
  4. Use an eyeshadow brush to help press them on

Here is my favorite visual that I used when I first learned to put on falsies.

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HAIR

Hair Spray $5-10

Hair Ties & Bobby Pins $?

Sock Bun or Doughnut $2-5

This is the tutorial that I learned from

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And here is the side view of the BCG bun. Make sure to make the poof with your bangs and/or front pieces of hair before the bun. Secure the poof with bobby pins.

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OTHER

GLITTER!!!! $ Priceless

Apply generously to the eyelids and hair…or just everywhere because glitter is great!!!!

Here is the BCG show makeup end product. A classy and stunning look fit for the field and the stage.

12208613_10207653667050265_5322792763463031813_nWhat are your show makeup tips?

Please like and comment !

Stay Creative!!!

-theartistwmu

So You Have Free Time?

000b635eba30abba6c2855c57eb0d345What is this concept of Freetime ? For the next few weeks I will have in my possession this precious oddity.

Typically I’m used to a high pressured GO! GO! GO! weekday full of homework, a part-time job, and daily rehearsal. Fortunately, we have two weeks off from marching band and most of my projects were due last week. With the pressure of midterms , projects, and performances off of my shoulders I realized that I have become a bit…lazy. In some ways I love just watching Netflix and hanging out with my friends but I can’t stand being unproductive.

I decided to use my “freetime” to better my life and make the upcoming weeks easier.

Here are some tips to stay in a productive mind set while taking some time off.

 ( Take these with a grain of salt. My mom tells me these all the time when I’m stressed or in a weird place )

  1. Sleep:
    Honestly I have not slept since August. Those 8am’s and early morning rehearsals have started to take a toll on my body, but this week I started taking naps and getting to bed earlier. If you get a night with light homework I suggest that you forget the Netflix binge and get to bed early. The extra time spent sleeping makes those early mornings 10 times easier.
  2. Clean: Do you ever just put off cleaning because you don’t have the time and the mess just gets bigger and bigger and bigger until your room looks like a war zone? Yeah… it’s pretty bad right now. With my time time off I plan on really cleaning my room; not just getting clothes off the floor and shoving them in my closet. If I clean really well now then I don’t have to do as much when I’m busy. At least that’s what I’m telling myself…
  3. Cook Healthy Meals:  It’s not that I eat unhealthy… Cheese-Its and an apple count as dinner right? I’ve been pretty good about cooking dinner like an adult but there was a few weeks where every meal was out. To save some money and calories for the weekends I have forced myself to cook and/or bring food from home for at least two meals everyday. Chicken, pasta, and fruit and veggies have been a staple for me these past few days. Later this week I will venturing in a super healthy dish for a dinner date with the BF ( I won’t spill what it is because he reads this blog 🙂 ) and I am super amped for it! I love to cook and now I have the time to do so.
  4. Plan: Ever feel like you’re missing something? With having all of my projects being due the last week of the semester it feels like I have all the time in the world to work on them. To keep on track I plan set times to work on each project in small increments. My planner is my best friend right now and I recommend that you use it.
  5. Relax: Freetime is called Freetime for a reason! Hello Neflix, naps, and nail painting. I know I’m taking time for myself to mentally wind down and regroup. Have a second? Stop, look, and enjoy the world around you.
  6. Breathe. 

I haven’t been able to do all of these every single day. Even if ou just stop to enjoy life for a second… you should be relaxed and ready enough for the upcoming busy bee weeks. 

Here is a pretty sunset. Stop and enjoy it!!!!

  
How do you spend your Freetime?Any tips for me? Comment below please !

Stay creative!!!!

-TheArtistWMU 

Werifesteria: Disorientation of Designers

What had we gotten ourselves into?

The syllabus said senior retreat, but the sign on the door said “Welcome to Disorientation “.

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This past weekend my fellow graphic design seniors, myself, and our faculty left city life behind as we ventured into the lake adorned land known as Ludington, Michigan. A trip into nature did not seem like time well spent to a city girl like m, but I was looking forward to exploring myself as an artist, designer, and as a person.

Ludington rests on the coast of Lake Michigan and has numerous smaller lakes throughout its forests, prairies, and dunes. We were not there to make art; we were there to remake ourselves as artists. Our professors gave us two themes to go off of 1) Disrupt/ Disorient & 2 ) Site ( site specific work). With those themes in mind the artists were unleashed into the wild to fend and create for themselves ( not literally… we stayed in cabins with heat, bathrooms, and crappy wifi ). I had no idea what I wanted to make this weekend and the friendly competition between students was in full force. Personally, I loath drawing and painting… pretty standard stuff for an artist but it just wasn’t my thing. I work more with collage and in 3D but I wanted to re-explore my basic training as an artist.

After about a day of trying to sketch and make paintings I realized that I F-ING HATE drawing and painting!!!! There I was trying to reconnect with my basics and I basically loath them. I chucked my drawing into the lake and started walking along the water in frustration. My whole artistic career was based off of hatred for art…. what am I doing with my life?! I calmed my crazy during my walk, refocused, and came across my theme for the weekend…” Let’s Print From Nature!”.

I’m not sure where this idea came from but I took it and literally ran with it. I started to splash paint on paper and run it into the lake to let nature make some patterns for me. This idea was getting a bit splatter painty and unprofessional looking but it was a damn good time and I got excited to try other printing methods. Drift wood and paint soon became my medium of choice for the day. I mixed paints on the wood until I got a color that I wanted and then pressed paper onto the wet surface. The result was… surprisingly outstanding! I kept printing new compositions and painting new colors on the wood to get a variety of prints. After exhausting all my printing options with the wood, I started using other natural thing to paint with and make prints. I made some of the best non-design artwork of my life using this method. I disrupted nature on site and I disrupted my hatred for typical art making long enough to see just how “fun” art can be.

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The rest of the weekend was spent printing , eating, and making art with my friends. I can honestly say that I had the best time of my life and that I look forward to spending the rest of the year with my crazy awesome design peers.

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My Artistic Journey : Color Guard Part 1 – Love At First Drop Spin

Have you ever made a choice that changed your life forever?

"I was told that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step... I didn't know that those steps would be eight to five" - Anonymous Band Kid 

Eight years ago I ventured into the new artistic realm of Color Guard ( a group of performers who use flags, rifles, sabers, and dance to interpret the music of the marching band). I knew absolutely nothing about CG besides that flags were involved and their uniforms were far better looking than the marching band’s ( they were white pants with a red and gold jacket and were easily 25 + years old). After much encouragement from my middle school band teacher I decided to throw every thing I had into color guard.

If I’m going to be doing it for four years why not embrace it?

BCG 2008-2009

On the very first day of spinning ( guard spins they DO NOT  twirl!) I was told that the BHS guard was the laughing stock of the school… great move joining guard McHugh. Even on the first day, part of me was determined to make the school see otherwise. This plan was not going so well…I hit my captain on the very first teaching session. My bad : |  This color guard revamp was going to be much harder than I thought. We were just plain awful…. we had no musicality and no skill. Sadly the BCG was still the laughing stock of our high school… but not for long.

BCG 2009-2010

It wasn’t until my Sophomore year when things started to turn around.This year marching band was optional for concert band students, meaning only people who really wanted to march were left. Not only was band optional, but we also started to compete in band competitions again. We upped the ante so we needed an instructional staff who was up to the task of overhauling a band and color guard. Enter Mr. C and CL, our new marching band/ drum corps loving band director and our former drum corps spinning guard coach.  ( For those of you who do not know about DCI, Drum Corps is like Major League Marching Band )

These guys took marching band very very seriously and kicked our butts in “gear”        ( they were Cavies Alumni ). In no time we were dancing and spinning at a level that made my freshman year guard look like newborn deer on ice skates. CL broke everything down for us and challenged us to be hungry for harder and more complex routines. The BCG was hungry for greatness and the competition at our first show was our meal.

We took the field and gave our all. At our very first competition the color guard took home first and I took home a new found passion for the sport of the arts.

American Music Show

Batavia Color Guard 2009:                   American Music Show

Color guard became my everything.

Sadly CL left us at the end of that season to start his career, but he left us in the hands of the woman who lifted the BCG to heights that none of us ever thought we would reach…

Stay Tuned For Color Guard Part 2 – Rifles, and Sabers, and  Winter Guard MY!

Stay Creative!

-theartistwmu

FINE ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Mackenzie Palmer ( Non- Major)

Get hype for this audio blog with special guest: Mackenzie Palmer. She graciously sat down with me to express her thoughts and feelings about the fine art world and being a fine artist herself.

https://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=6706799&autoplay=false“>https://www.spreaker.com/embed/player/standard?episode_id=6706799&autoplay=false

Subject Bio:
Age |  21
Hometown | Lake Orion
Major | Public Relations
Minor (s) | Advertising  and Non-Profit Leadership
Areas of Fine Art | Vocal Performance, Colorguard, and Theater
Fun Facts | She loves pandas and Albert Einstein quotes


Stay Creative!
-theartistwmu

My Artistic Journey : Music Pt. 1 (Middle School)

Ten years ago, I became an “artist”.

Artist: a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill 
-Dictionary.com

In sixth grade I began playing music. I started my journey through the fine art world as a clarinetist. Unlike some musician that I know, I did not become an artist with the very first note, but that cheap plastic instrument sure did spark my desire to perform, create, and to think differently.

To sixth grade me the social aspect of band was far more attractive to than the actual music part. All of my friends were in music so I wanted more than anything to be with them causing shenanigans and wreaking havoc. Honestly, I hated music / the clarinet for the first two years of band. I was a decent musician but my heart just was not in it. That was until one man changed my view on music forever.

My eighth grade band director ( Mr.O ) was one of the weirdest educators I’ve ever had.  He was part of our middle school husband and wife music teacher duo that often inspired kids like me to love performing. He absolutely loved jazz music and made us play a jazz piece almost every concert.  Mr.O went through an odd phase of wearing his signature coffee-house turtleneck but sadly just didn’t have the “cool factor” to pull it off. Around this phase of his our band was putting on a tribute concert to Duke Ellington ( A jazz musician… big surprise), and he insisted that he would conduct in the dark with a single spotlight on him… all that was missing from his poet look was a mic, beret, and a soul patch. This man’s oddities made look forward to band class and made me fall in love with band. He may have even helped me like the clarinet…no joke!  ( Side Note: It was not my choice to play the clarinet…my teacher offered me that or the flute so I picked the lesser of two evils. Sorry flute players).

Even with2e29881aded2c825bd796da74cad4b08 my new-found respect for music,  Mr.O could tell that I still wasn’t too into playing. He suggested that in high school I should continue with playing clarinet in concert and pep band, but that I should switch interests when it came to marching band ( In high school you had to be in marching band if you wanted to be in concert band). I knew very little about what went into marching band and left that conversation very confused and slightly offended; was I not good enough? This is when I started to doubt my love of music yet again.

I later asked him to clarify his previous statement and basically he meant that marching band would be one of the hardest yet most rewarding thing that I had done, and that I shouldn’t waste my time on an instrument that I didn’t love. Mr.O said “ Megan, you are a visual person. Your strengths are in music interpretation and expression. You should really try colorguard next year”.  All I can remember was thinking  “What the hell was colorguard?!”. Flags…..really? Is this how he really wanted me to spend high school? Twirling flags and dancing around a football field…well… at least I wouldn’t have to wear those twenty-five year old tacky ass uniforms. I came to terms that I was going to be on colorguard in highschool…and honestly…that was the smartest decision of my entire life.

Stay tuned

Calling all Fine Art Majors and Minors!!!!!!!!!

I would love to show off your skills and get your point of view on all things fine art.  If you would like to be interviewed/ featured follow to link below!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1osyJA_9sgxojcHOryzdmojoTI9JsI0KWWvNGejq_EIM/viewform

Stay Creative!