Damian Inwood is in Kirkstone Park in North Vancouver BC under a unique tree filled with unusual fruit. Standing next to the skateboard park, we knew there was an ‘obsession’ story here. In fact, probably many stories -there must be about a hundred pairs or more.
The rainy north shore provided no skateboarders that day to unravel the mystery, so it still stands….a bit of a mystery.
Filmmaker Charlie Miller encourages anyone who can help tell this tree’s story to send in your comments, and pass it on to your friends.
Just to add to my Surf-themed posts, I thought I would share with everyone another type of surfing that blows my mind. Last time I shared with you “Big Wave Surfing”, which is one of the most dangerous styles of surfing. This time I’m going to introduce to you something called “Foil Surfing”.
Foil Surfing is very similar to “Tow-in Surfing”, but here’s the difference: You hover above the water. “How the heck do you hover above water with a surfboard?” you ask. Well, simply by strapping snowboard boots on to your surfboard, and attaching a “Foil” to the bottom of your board.
In North American dancing and cycling at the same time maybe unheard of, but it is a very well-known sport in many parts of the world, especially in Korea. Jackie Spinning has a history of over 10 year in Korea, by combining cycling, gymnastics and dancing; Jackie Spinning helps athletes get the exercise they want on their upper body and lower body.
Like every sport, Jackie Spinning has competitions every year to see which person/group can showcase the best skills and choreography.
I just came back from the Interaction Eleven conference in Boulder, CO, which in addition to being generally awesome had the most insane band play at one of the official parties: Itchy-O.
There really is no good way to describe Itchy-O (the title is the best I have), so the best thing to do is see them in action:
Basically, it was a group of people dressed in ninja-esque masks, each with crazy ghostbuster-ey equipment on their back which played music or shot smoke or did something else wacky. There were a few guys with drums who kept the beat, but the rest was a bizarre amalgamation of sounds. The best part was that most of the music emitted from their packs wasn’t connected to the central sound system, which meant that you only heard it if you were close to one of them. Because they were all wandering around the audience, everyone had a different experience with the show.
Since I was curious, I wanted to learn more about these guys. Here’s the story from their website:
In late 2009 Banning and Vermulen began putting together the Itchy-O Marching Band as a side project that has grown from five members to twenty-five members in just six months. The IOMB plays it’s industrial brand of trance like drum corp music with no brass. Any brass has been replaced by battery powered electronic devices which is what sets this project apart from all of the other irreverent marching band projects all over the world. The beauty about the IOMB is that shows up and plays where it wants when it wants and is not encumbered by invitations and the politics of booking and promoting.
Here’s a few more videos of them from youtube, the sound quality is a bit better than on mine:
Parkour was popularized in France, and has fast become one of the most badass sports in Vancouver. Parkour moves from one place to another using only the possibilities of the human body.
Practitioners (known as traceur) train their bodies and minds to move about their environment with efficiency. In an emergency situation where someone might try to reach a spot by running up stairs and down set walk ways – a traceur would use their skills to find a quicker alternative. Instead of using the stairs they might swiftly leap or climb to the next level. Parkour allows one to see things like walls, buildings, and fences as part of their pathway rather than something that is blocking them.
Much conditioning is needed in order to beautifully execute maneuvers that could possibly be harmful to ones body. Practice of safe landing, precise motion, reaction time, balance, explosiveness, and strength are all involved in parkour training. The kind of movements used by a traceur were not necessarily invented or belong to parkour, but they are what inspire the discipline. Things like jumping, rolling, swinging, and climbing are natural movements of the human body. A traceur perfects these motions and devotes his time to making them useful.
Pigeon racing is the sport of releasing specially trained pigeons, which then return to their homes over a carefully measured distance.
The time it takes the pigeon to cover the specified distance is measured and the birds rate of travel is calculated. It is then compared with all of the other pigeons to determine which bird returned at the highest speed.
This video explains how different people train their pigeons and how pigeon racing has changed their lives.
This video explains how to select a pigeon for breeding or racing, based on their eye sign.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a starving actor? Toronto-based actress, Danielle Barker is very well acquainted with the lifestyle.
Danielle Barker has been living the “starving actor” lifestyle since she made the big move from small town Salmon Arm, BC to Toronto, Ontario in pursuit of becoming a famous actress. The tremendous level of competition in this cut-throat industry has forced Danielle to find additional means for income.
Yes, she has worked almost every odd-job you can think of. However, Danielle has found a very unique way to make ends meet, well not really, but it’s definitely getting her some attention in the industry.
Starvival is a web series on YouTube in which Danielle documents her life as a “starving actor”. However, it’s not quite what you’d expect. It’s better. Here’s the gist of Starvival:
Danielle finds the weirdest ads on Craigslist. Literally, the weirdest.
Responds to the ads.
Disguises herself. Usually wearing a wig, or speaking in a foreign accent.
Meets the person.
Films the entire thing with a hidden camera.
Blasts it all over the internet!
I had a chance to ask Danielle some questions about Starvival. So without further ado…
When did you create “Starvival”?
I launched the first Episode June 7, 2010. But I filmed and edited the Episode a couple weeks prior to the release. Never had any training in Editing so it was… a challenge- to say the least.
Why did you create Starvival?
Starvival is a Documentary of my life. Mind you, I take it to the extreme for the sake of producing an entertaining/comedic show; but I have been living this way since moving to Toronto 2009. I literally survive “Gig” to “Gig” primarily through the ads posted in the TV/FILM/VIDEO section in Craigslist.
The moment that I decided to document it was around the time I had seen this ad “$50 to get Tickled for an hour” and it immediately peaked my interest. My initial reaction was: “Who in their right mind would do this?”… then to “Well…” and then “I wonder…” At the time, I was doing a series of videos for a comedic character I created named Lulu. I originally imagined Lulu in this scenario and it made me laugh. But I knew the idea was too good to use on a Lulu Episode. The idea was too fresh, too unique, and too outrageous! So… right then and there, I put the Lulu series to rest, and came up with Starvival.
(Lulu still made a Guest Appearance in the first Episode.)
Is “all of the footage [we] are about to witness” actually real?
You betcha! Every darn bit of it.
Is Starvival your full-time job?
Sure is! Now.. ask me how I make money! “Um… I don’t.”
Why do you decide to dedicate so much time to this project?
Because I knew the concept was too good to let go. It’s an entirely new idea that I am introducing to the world, opening up audiences eyes to these “underground communities” never known to exist. Who knew hundreds of thousands of people are into ‘Tickling.’ I sure didn’t!
And I can promise you, my Dad sure didn’t either!
Every performer wants to stay busy. This series keeps me focused, keeps my goals in line, and justifies wasting time on these imbeciles who post bull$*#t ads on Craigslist.
Why do you allow yourself to put yourself in such potentially dangerous situations?
I take precautions to ensure that I am not at risk. But anything in life is a risk unless you are careful. Every day millions of people respond to unknown ads and meet unknown people in unknown locations. Suddenly, when you’re dealing with people who are into different things than say you or I, people presume it is dangerous. But it’s no different.
However, I should mention that if I weren’t doing Starvival, I would not be doing these “Gigs”. I do it to create awareness. To showcase these communities and the dangers that do exist and how you can help protect yourself.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve had to do for Starvival? Episode 8 was probably one of the weirdest. The Gig involved talking for an hour about eating little people.
…still weirds me out.
What is the most dangerous thing you’ve done for the show? The first Episode was the most dangerous only because it took place inside the ‘Tickler’s’ apartment. I still had 2 males assist me on the gig and I made sure to talk on the phone prior to the job and find out information about the “Tickle Monster” before entering the home. Every other Episode takes place in a public location surrounded by people and most often I am wearing a wig and going under a fake name.
A lot of the focus of Starvival is on bizarre ads that some very interesting people post on Craigslist, but would you consider yourself a little “bizarre” as well for putting yourself into these positions?
Ha ha! I love this question. Of course I am bizarre. However, I don’t say to myself “Wow, I feel like stepping on someone’s face today!” Nor, would I ever say this. Ever. But like I said before, I do it to produce a fun, comedic, reality show for people to be thoroughly entertained by. And anyways, I’d take being ‘Bizarre’ over ‘Normal’ any day.
Do you think your recent front-page article in the Toronto Star will expose you to a larger audience? One that perhaps hadn’t previously heard of Starvival?
Yes, definitely. Already, there has been a jump in subscribers who have personally written me through Youtube and Facebook after reading the article and proclaiming that they are now loyal fans. One even quoted, “I am a Die-hard fan for Starvival.” I like that.
What is the purpose of Starvival? What are you ultimately trying to get out of it?
I am going to write this in point form. Just because.
To entertain and open up the eyes of the viewer to these unknown, ‘underground’ communities.
To create Social Awareness.
To make people laugh!
To offer ‘Tips’ on how to get by for cheap and save money!
To showcase a Behind-the-scenes of this cut-throat/entirely-competitive industry.
To offer tips on how to stay safe!
To follow an “unrealistic dream” that I am determined to make ‘reality.’
To express myself creatively as an Actress and Producer.
To challenge myself every day as an individual and performer.
To push the limits, step out of my level of comfort, and create something absolutely original.
Would you consider Starvival a “Unique Obsession” of yours?
Nope. I think the “Unique Obsessions” exist within all the people who I secretly video-tape.
When is the next episode of Starvival? Can you give us a teaser of what we might expect?
I have been releasing Episodes every week since launching SEASON 2 and I will be struggling every week to stick to this darn schedule! Currently, I am editing a meeting I recently had with a guy who is offering $17,000 dollars to Model on a Cruise ship for 5 days. What’s the catch? You’ll just have to watch the Episode to find out!
Make sure to check Starvival out on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/starvival. And don’t forget to Subscribe and keep an eye out for new Starvival episodes every week. If you need a reminder, Danielle frequently updates Starvival’s Facebook page here, or Twitter page here.
Starvival’s official website can be found here, and you can also visit Danielle’s website here.
Here are a few of the best episodes of Starvival to check out:
Starvival, Episode 1 — “$50 dollars to be Tickled for an Hour?”
Starvival, Episode 8 — “$50 bucks to attend a Midget Munch Massage Parlor?”