Once a costumer for TV shows including House and Weeds, Tami Macala switched careers midstream when she discovered the art of creating mosaics, according to a Santa Barbara Sentinel profile. She started mosaicking everything from fireplaces to fountains to other, lesser mosaics, eventually landing high-profile projects at the Florida Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Arby?s restaurants.
After more than a decade of working as a professional mosaic artist, Tami opened the Santa Barbara School of Mosaic Art (SBSMA). At the school, Tami and guest artists from near and far teach how to trick out tables with colorful shingles, coax gently luminous Mexican smalti into intricate patterns, or fuse glass for even more complex designs. Students can pick up tools and tiles at the SBSMA supply store and drop by during lab hours to work on independent projects.
Raptors of Rock, Hollywood Crisis, and Trip Aces might not be household names yet, but they?re rising stars in Santa Barbara. That?s thanks to Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy, which specializes in helping talented, dedicated young musicians form their own rock bands and ensembles. Under the guidance of expert musicians and instructors, groups spend time rehearsing tunes, refining their collective playing skills, and developing pithy responses to journalists? questions. The academy likewise encourages students to hone their individual talents during weekly private lessons in instruments such as guitar, drums, and voice. Once the band starts gelling, SBYMA schedules gigs at various venues, including multi-band showcases. For budding musicians interested in a less intensive commitment, the academy also hosts six-week sessions and summer programs.
Since 1985, the Santa Barbara Body Therapy Institute has offered holistic massage education courses that focus on movement, breath, and deep relaxation. The institute features four vocational tracks: massage practitioner, massage therapist, holistic health practitioner, and medical qigong, which centers on traditional Chinese medicine. Most courses, taught by experienced instructors, meet two to four times weekly and include hands-on practice inside the clinic, as well as instructor observation and grades based on how contentedly the client sighs. The institute also schedules its own Reflexology, deep-tissue, and Swedish massages.
A frequent finalist for Best Comedy Club according to Ventura County Reporter's readers, Ventura Improv Company offers the only improv comedy in Ventura and has been eliciting chortles and guffaws with family-friendly farce for the past 21 years. The VIC's veteran comedic combatants perform unscripted comedy through scenes, games, and music created on the spot. The VIC performs shows such as Spontaneous Broadway, a full-length musical whose plot is conceived through audience suggestions, and TheatreSports Team Match, a two-team battle where competitors perform a challenge set by the host.
Above All Aviation's team of plane jockeys send clients into the sky aboard a fleet of safe, well-equipped aircraft. Fueled by more than five decades of combined aviation experience, they mold aspiring aeronauts during single, one-hour training lessons, or during full curriculums that end with a student earning his or her pilot's license. On-the-ground training, meanwhile, sidesteps the pesky stoplights that line California's skies with full-motion flight simulators. When they're not sowing the seeds of flight, Above All's staff captains scenic tours, enabling groups of three to see the city from heights normally reserved for birds and Icarus’ ghost.