The Strange Family Circus - Phoenix, AZ. The Dr. Reverend Steven Strange and his delectable wife Sahar entertain audiences with a show that hearkens back to Vaudeville and the traveling mud shows. Eating razor blades, taming snakes, swallowing fire, juggling, silt walking...they can even perform weddings! The Strange Family is everything I want to be when I grow up.
Simply Sanity Creations - Cheryl runs this side-business out of her home. She sews and knits quality work and specializes in reusable diapers for children. She made a bag for my daughter that I'd expect to find in a chain store. It's just that good. (And cute!) She has an Etsy store and a Facebook. Go check out her wares!
Crystal Lloyd - Glass Artist, Wedding Officiant, Potter, Mother and geek... is there nothing she can't do? (Reach things on really tall shelves. HA! *rimshot*) Seriously, Crystal is a friend of mine with so many talents it's difficult to know where to start. I will, however, highlight her latest artistic passion: glass work. Her work is stunning and is truly worth of the term "art". And she just keeps improving her craft. Crystal has a gift. What's even cooler is that she started this about a year ago, if that, and took to it like a duck to water. Sparkly Mallard - Speaking of ducks and glass...My stepmom, Lynne, has been working on jewelry for more than a decade now. I've watched her go from simple lapidary and wrapping to making her own glass beads. She also sews bags and purses. She's made several for my daughter and they always get compliments. Her most recent fascination is making ornate glass beads that resemble fish. She's entering some of her work in the Indiana State Fair this week.Touching the Monolith - Two of my friends, DeLaJuan Fondue and The Master Bob, wax geek for an hour or so on their podcast Touching the Monolith. Gaming, movies, tv-shows... all things GEEK. Dry wit and a good time. Give them a listen. (You may stumble across an episode about gaming styles with a special guest...that would be me.)
Plaza de Anaya - Tempe, AZ This is a dance studio in Tempe. I used to go there when it was under different management to take poi spinning classes. I *want* to go back, but free time is not something I have in copious amounts. So, that means YOU should go. Belly dance, tribal style, prop classes like poi or fire fan, fire staff... their classes change every 6 weeks or so. Definitely worth a look.
Nicole @ Urban Art Tattoo - Phoenix, AZ. Nicole is responsible for one of my six tattoos and it is not a fair representation of her work. She is a very talented artist--both of body and canvas--and a dream to work with. If you want to get inked, go see Nicole.
Philby @ High Caliber Tattoo - Indianapolis, IN. Not in Arizona? Fine, go see my buddy Philby in Indy. I went to high school with this cat. We were in drumline together. Back then he would do tattoos on people using Sharpies...and they were epic. When he was 16. His work has only gotten better. He is one of the few people in the world I'd be willing to hand a wad of cash and say, "indulge yourself. make it something i'd like".
Renlightenment - I have several friends who work at the Arizona Renaissance Festival (ARF) and among them is Jeremy Martin. He started this series of videos to help educate new performers and it snowballed into something much cooler: Inside the Actor's Studio for Rennies. Jeremy has interviews with circuit performers and plans to add more to his growing list of Renlightenment videos. One day, he hopes to add Penn Jillette to that list.
Tricia Moore & The Circus Farm - Phoenix, AZ. Tricia is a belly dancer, fire artist and teacher here in the Phoenix area. She got to do what many of us only dream of: she ran away and joined the circus! Then she came back to Phoenix and brought it with her. Tricia is adept at several circus arts including hooping, acrobalance and poi spinning. Where I think she really shines is her work with Somoan fire knives. Dangerous, sexy and downright inspiring. And what's more... she's formed a little commune of sorts called the Circus Farm where people can come and share their talents. It's a wonderful, supportive community for circus enthusiasts.
Joanna 23 - Phoenix, AZ. I think Joanna could run the world if she so chose. She is a bellydancer, mother, henna artist, painter, fire performer, teacher and awesome soul. With her husband Michael, she helps run the Firehouse Gallery. Joanna is an artist, pure and simple.
Sabrina Ogden - She's a writer, she's a cheerleader, she's an awesome person. Ya know, she's one of the reasons I'm glad Twitter exists, because otherwise, I wouldn't have stumbled on this fine person. Her tweets are funny, she's got a great wit, but she's also just downright nice. She cares. Go show her some love.
Stephen Blackmoore - Author, blogger. He's hysterical when he gets on a roll. (Oh, shit, last night just watching him, Julie Summerell and Chuck Wendig go to town was hi-fucking-larious!)
Tribe Ohana - You like this? This whole thing where I show you awesome people who are doing beautiful things? Well that is every day over at Tribe Ohana. Like Guise Knights, this is something I am personally involved in, but it's a group that is only strengthened by numbers. It's a pet project of mine that I started with friends based on a few simple principles:
- Pay It Forward - If someone does for you, do something for someone else. Keep it going.
- Support is currency - While the "real" world needs money, Tribe Ohana is about supporting people. Give support. Get support. It's that simple. No really.
- "Ohana means family. Family means no body gets left behind or forgotten."