A World Without Categories...Art Is Why I Get Up in the Morning...You?

An S.O.S.: Calling Upon All Angels

Joy Matters*

*Passion & Compassion*

Seek out, seek in...always seeking, always on a journey to bridge the world within with the world around.

Knowing that so many are hurting and alone when there is no need.

If we could just pause long enough to turn the tide.

We are a force of nature because we are nature.

Even when the oil runs dry, the sun will still fuel us. All the panic takes us further away from our natural state, our connection to the creative force, and to the brilliant power of simply being alive. 

Enjoy the ocean if you can and work toward it.

I aim to use my time to add to the creative rather than destructive forces vying for the Earth's resources.

I have found over a million Earth angels on the same mission: to create sustainable beauty out of life.

Let this be a prelude and not the exception.

I honor the lights of this great city as a power point for change, as the center of art, and as a vine of near-ripe revolutionaries.

Artists, women, good people of the Earth rising: rise some more. 

*Revolution begins with personal evolution...

Bless & Be Blessed*

Sunday, January 20, 2008

She is little but she is on fire*

Haviland Stillwell

Layla Love Shot Me
By Haviland Stillwell
With the help of Tori Amos


I'm sitting on a frozen bench in a frozen city, waiting for Layla Love to answer her door. I'm early, as usual, poised like a doll. I heard about Layla from the producer of my upcoming concert, THE REAL SECRET. We need publicity shots – and my producer's let me know that Layla's our girl.

My producer arrives, late as usual, and we enter Layla’s then-apartment in Soho. The place is small and red and oh-so-starving-artist – artwork and clothing strewn about, beautiful furniture that was either found on the street, or in some amazing Victorian antique store.

I don’t really notice Layla at first – which is indicative of how self-absorbed I am, at the moment. Things have been going on – you know – things that happen when you’re 22, on Broadway, playing parts on and off stage, and keeping LOTS of secrets – most of them TOO real (read: too painful) to deal with in any other way than through the body’s demise, which, unbeknownst to me, is coming.

I've got no idea of what's to come that day or, for that matter, that year, as I look in the mirror and draw my Betty Boop lips…

Layla’s light, airy, childlike voice gently directs me – I tell her I want the shot we use to be sexy, provocative, mysterious…exactly the way I've been trying to seem in my everyday life. I want to become the image I've been fighting to emulate, and Layla gets that.

I know she gets it as my producer begins to light 300 tea lights on the wood floor, surrounding my then-curvy, mostly naked self. I know I should feel hot and frightened - open flames no more than two inches away from my body - but I feel absolutely frozen still – in life, in that moment, in everything…I stay still. I stop breathing.

This is a fire hazard.

Layla turns on Tori Amos and I make a joke about how totally lesbionic this situation is Рlike, could we GET more clich̩? And Layla, smiling in her nonchalant way, snaps more.

Sometimes I think you want me to touch you
How can I when you build a great wall around you?

“Look at me,” Layla says, and, frozen still, not moving an inch for real fear that I’ll get burned, I shift my eyes towards her, and for the first time, I SEE Layla Love. The alarming blue eyes, the Amazonian stature, the jet black hair…She gets closer…she snaps…she gets closer still…

She's two inches from my face, and this is scarier than the fire…what if she sees the truth? What if she knows? My eyes water, tiny tears escape down my cheeks. I'm in agony and my body is in despair, and I am terrified she'll know it.

Anyway, we get the shots. They are hot, perfect, mysterious, provocative. We deem Layla Love a rockstar.

JUNE 2006

I 've been in and out of my Broadway show, family drama, an on-again-off-again quasi-relationship, and ... my body is now screaming. Layla, back from a world tour, gets in touch via myspace, and we set up a time to shoot.

We meet at the seaport – we're both on time, this time. I notice a change in her. We are obviously both going through it. New York has thawed; I have not.

I'm far bonier now - pale, drawn, and Layla, handing me black eyeliner, says, “Here, you need this…”

And I do. She gets me – bony and sad and all that – in the heat of an NYC summer. We get many shots, all of which people will later respond to with coos and smiles of approval. Who would have thought a commentary on anger and depression would garner such sexual energy…

Why do we crucify ourselves, every day?

Layla and I get better – we both mend some of the pain, some of the secrets, we both grow over time.

I introduce her to my friends. She shoots. She scores.

She starts showing up places with me, and I introduce her to people as, “my photographer.” It’s simply FABULOUS to have her as a part of my entourage, because I love this girl – I love her work, I love her energy, I love what she is able to GET when we work together.

We’re all over myspace, all love to Miss Love, and I ask her to join the party on Rosie O’Donnell’s Gay Family Cruise. She accepts…

She’s been everybody else’s girl – maybe one day she’ll be her own.

JULY 2007

We are standing in the ocean. The entourage is gathered there, having docked at a private island in the Bahamas. The sun is setting and we are, all at once, deliciously filthy and perfectly clean.

My “He-Man” lookalike, Craig Ramsay, lifts me into the air, and Layla shoots. I giggle, referencing “Dirty Dancing.” I let him lift me – I trust him. I trust Layla. I slip from his hands - I drop. The blue water and Layla’s camera catch me.

We all laugh out loud, floating in the water…free…

Come and take me away –
I want to play in your floating city
Yeah, floating city... yeah…

I have an ever growing respect for these women. I meet Haviland by chance when she showed up at my Soho appartment for the first shoot of many. She brought Riese and many other great women into the mix- the ever growing mix. It is wonderful to build dreams with other driven souls- learning that even when they are little they can be firce...

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