|VOL 18 ISSUE 12
I once again had the opportunity to get into character playing The Grinch at the Chandler Parade of Lights this year. Our friends, The Darlings, own the company Junk Brothers and they invited my wife and I to ride on their float back in 2021 and again this year (note that we would have done 2022 too, but it was rained out). I take some extra time to put on the prosthetic makeup and I have a Youtube video here if you want to see that process come together. Tom Darling built my throne that puts me up in the air about 16' and Kathy Darling does all of the festive lighting on the dumpster that we are riding in. I added the green uplighting with RGBW light bars from Vaya Color Kinetics. In 2021 we took 2nd place in the lighting category, but I don't believe they've announced winners yet for this year. Lots of fun playing the character and interacting with all of the kids who love and despise him!
This is my second year of taking part in the Mesa Book Festival. My primary reason for being there is to provide musical entertainment with the help of my best friends Ed Clapper and Roger Wiedabach each doing 1-hour acoustic sets while I filled in with two half-hour sets and a songwriting workshop. I pulled all original songs from my catalog and did my first set on keyboards and my second set on acoustic guitar. My connection to the book festival, however is more related to the artwork that I have completed for book covers of several local authors. I set up a booth with these books and also put some of my metal prints of my fine art photography for display. The weather was perfect and there was lots of great conversations throughout the day. We had two guest musical artists from the crowd join in, one on a mini-trumpet and the other was a girl named Mei who did a wonderful acoustic guitar set.
Here are the songs I performed (all available at the link below) Ride The Coast, Sing Out Your Song, Me And My Muse, My Miracle Is You, Today Will Last Forever, Rollin’ On Alright, One Magical Day In December, Just About You, Stages, Mr. Bar Owner, Simple Life
It's been a good year with quite a few measurable accomplishments:
- I won seven lighting awards this year. I mentioned the four IES Awards and the two Best of Bega Awards in previous newsletters, and this month I add a Gold Award for Lighting Product Design from the Iconic Life Magazine Design Awards (this was for a gobo projection application at The Arizona Biltmore Resort).
- Four magazines published my work. This award above brought with it three of my photos in Iconic Life Magazine plus I had one in an advertisement in Arizona Residential Architects Magazine this fall. The two other published works were articles that I wrote for online magazines Burning Hot Events (Alterbridge review plus photos of Ringo Starr) and Geek News Network (Phoenix Film Festival review).
- My special effects makeup made several appearances this year. Toping the list was my segment on national TV doing bodypainting on the reality show Botched. Some other bodypainting that I did before 2023 finally was seen by audiences in the film 'The Last Movie Ever Made' which went on to win several laurels from The Phoenix Film Festival and several other festivals. My live appearances included The Bodypainting Extravaganza at Phoenix Fan Fusion, the Halloween makeup as Darth Maul, and the above mentioned Grinch makeup for the Chandler Parade.
- Six songs that I wrote and recorded that made it to Spotify and other streaming services this year included A Brighter Star (acoustic version featuring Mella), If Tomorrow Even Knows, Come Inside, All The Little Ways, Change Your Ways, and Get Tattooed. About 20 other songs are written, but not yet refined and recorded.
- Four live gigs. I played the singing crystal bowls at the Phoenix Library Confusion event, then guitar/keys at the Mesa Book Festival mentioned above. Additionally I performed keyboards in the Polyesters and Spark Jack Daddy for two additional live gigs.
- Visits to one country and four US cities. Oia on the island of Santorini and Athens did not disappoint when I visited Greece. US trips included San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Chicago, and Elkhart, Indiana. Plus, before the year is over, I'll be in Vegas! Oh, and if you count layovers, I was in London Heathrow and Dallas/Fort Worth.
- One tattoo.
My gift to you is my music. Please kindly accept by going to these fine streaming services to download and stream! I hope you like some and consider them for your favorite playlists!
copyright Mark Greenawalt, Future-Class X Publishing - Phoenix, AZ 85044
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