How is your approach different than that of other professionals in your field?
_ You know how weddings shows are terrible? Well, we decided to change that. In addition to music, films, and photography, we are the creators and producers of The Lovesick Expo, a wedding event proudly representing the unrepresented. Lovesick is the nation's largest alternative wedding expo bringing together cool and unique wedding vendors that appeal to couples having trouble finding their voice represented in the traditional and often high-pressure wedding market. The ever-growing show is expanding year after year thanks to our partnership with Offbeat Bride! For our 2015 shows, we united more than 3,000 cool attendees and vendors in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, LA, and the San Francisco Bay Area. For information about the Lovesick Expo, check out www.lovesickexpo.com._
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
Lovesick is the creation of Tom Wright and Jon Holmes – two friends who bring their diverse passions and a ton of wedding experience together to bring your event to life. Our journey began as "Hi-Society Entertainment," a word-of-mouth DJ duo that soon had Tom and Jon live-spinning at seventy weddings each year for clients that were looking for something beyond the traditional. Throughout the seasons, we found that we kept seeing the same small handful of vendors at every wedding. It became clear to us that our clientele was actively seeking like-minded, progressive wedding professionals. So, we decided to produce an event that put all of those original vendors and couples in the same room at the same time -- The Lovesick Expo. In 2011, we brought another love of ours, filmmaking, to the wedding world, utilizing Jon's shooting and editing abilities to create wedding films unlike anything out there. We built up the team by recruiting the most talented people we know so that even more couples will get to experience what a truly fresh, creative event can feel like. And now with the addition of our photography services, Lovesick has become an eclectic one-stop-shop for those looking to challenge the wedding mainstream. We work mainly in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, but often travel throughout the East Coast and to destination events around the globe.
Amid the bustle of Hollywood Boulevard stand two monuments to the silver screen. One, the TCL Chinese Theatre, oozes with history— imported Chinese stone lions, a 90-foot-tall copper roof, and concrete blocks that bear the handprints of Hollywood luminaries from years gone by each memorialize the celebrated role the building has played in Hollywood for more than eight decades.
Next door, Chinese 6 Theatres is a tribute to the cutting-edge. Six theaters, some with 3D capability, immerse viewers in ultra-realistic picture and sound better than sitting inside Steven Spielberg's android brain. Beyond the plush theater seating, a bar slings cocktails for in-movie sipping and a restaurant serves a full menu for cravings after the show. The service schedule varies for the bar and the restaurant but both will be open during Summer 2013. Whether they opt for the historic cinema or the ultramodern theater, visitors can catch a full slate of acclaimed new releases on their chosen big screen.
The storied history of TCL Chinese Theatre rivals those of the more than 200 celebrities whose handprints, footprints, and autographs are cemented into the theater's forecourt. Erected in 1927 and declared a historical and cultural landmark in 1968, the iconic theater stages movie screenings, premieres, events, and red-carpet ceremonies. Today, moviegoers walking through the theater's main courtyard can revel in the same opulence of those 1920s screen idols, craning their necks upward to take in the looming pagoda that frames the entrance. Inside, the theater's original 1927 screen towers high above the plush red-velvet seats, surrounded by wooden panels that rise to a ceiling with flowing Chinese-style drawings. This classic Hollywood setting is one of the reasons why the theater, in an echo of its origins, hosts celebrity-studded premieres, such as the 2012 opening for Life of Pi and the
2013 opening for Beautiful Creatures.
An AT&T ad executive hangs up the phone, grabs his jacket, and heads toward the subway to Hell's Kitchen. It's the late '80s, and at the New York comedy institution The Improv, a slew of up-and-coming talent, including Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, are testing jokes and honing timing. In the next few years, they'll perform on television for millions. But for now, they're changing the life of one ad executive.
The founder of LA Stand-Ups, Joe Falzarano, quit his promising advertising career because he "hated being a suit" and preferred to nurture promising young comedians. With accomplishments that include producing the CableACE Award–winning Caroline's Comedy Hour for A&E, Falzarano helped launch the performing and writing careers of entertainers including Jon Stewart and Louis C.K. Today, Falzarano imparts his more than 20 years of industry experience to aspiring joke-tellers, teaching them tactics for perfecting a punch line, calming nerves, and subduing hecklers with a marshmallow gun. Falzarano maintains a supportive atmosphere where students learn how to use who they are to connect with an audience, and even lets students try out material at the Hollywood Improv.
Layers upon layers of press clippings—three from the New York Times, others from Ploughshares and Time Out—cling to The Poetry Society of New York, whose diverse projects and events in the name of poetic excellence can't help but attract attention. After all, this is the organization behind the New York City Poetry Festival, whose poets and poetry fans gather annually on Governor's Island to cite verse, hone imaginations, and pole-vault using nothing but giant quill pens.
The Poetry Society of New York also pilots Brothel Books, a small publisher aiming to "[b]ring orange groves to New York City" by printing epic, affecting work. The society's other programs include an ongoing reading series that's hosted poets well-known and obscure since 1978, an immersive theatrical experience called The Poetry Brothel, and a video literary journal. It's all in support of the organization's mission statement, whose three-item list of goals concludes with a simple promise: "to never bore you."
It's the charity that charities turn to in their time of need. The Dream Builders Project—a non-profit itself—puts philanthropy-minded folks in touch with deserving organizations, and gives 100% of every dime raised to those charities. Because the group is privately funded, there are no overhead costs, meaning none of your contributions go toward lining the pockets of a CEO.
When they're not raising money, The Dream Builders Project donates marketing services and event planning for free, all in an effort to fight social ills such as human trafficking, homelessness, and child abuse. Through their fundraising and organizing efforts, they've put 10,000 people to work improving the community, filled 5,000 care packages for homeless people in California, and have donated $1,000,000 in goods and services.
Any successful comedian knows that humor is a skill to be exercised every day. The owners of Ha Ha Café Comedy Club agree: hosting laugh riots seven days a week.
Of course, the stage has plenty of room for established talent, too. During New York Comedy Hour, host Mike Citera introduces a slew of up-and-coming comedians culled from New York City and Los Angeles. Held on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m., All Star Comedy combines such headlining comedians as Jeff Garcia (from "Mr. Box Office" and "Happy Feet"), Adam Hunter ("The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Chelsea Lately"), and Erik Griffin ("Arrested Development" and "Workaholics"), with appearances from such humor royalty as Damon Wayans and Adam Sandler. Other regular events include "Tickle my Belly" hosted by Robert Zapata.