Posts Tagged ‘ Coffee Driven Lives ’

Matt Zambrano, Amy Kersten, Steve Jones and Courtney Esser

The final class of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ National Theatre Conservatory masters program opens two shows this week: Charlie’s Aunt and Fahrenheit 451.

The NTC began in 1984 and was one of the only MFA programs in the nation that paid every student’s tuition (about $100,000) in full. Sadly, the program is being discontinued. I recently had the opportunity to speak with four of the eight graduates of 2012 (originally selected from about 600 applicants).

I know Matt Zambrano from his tRUNks days at Buntport Theater and from when he used to perform his poetry at the monthly readings I organized for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver. Although, I was most recently impressed by his ability to play every role in a single scene from Lord of the Rings at a First Friday party at Denver Open Media.

Joining Matt was creator of the Hot Mess web series, Amy Kersten. She seemed to be the most coffee driven of the group and shared an incredible nugget of information with me about editing in iMovie that blew my mind to bits and pieces (I’ve since picked up the pieces and applied her insight to the video in this post).

Courtney Esser and Steve Jones were also kind enough to talk coffee with me (Steve doesn’t even drink coffee and is the second non-caffeinated interviewee—the first was Bop Skizzum co-founder Andy Guerrero) and demonstrate some of their trapeze skills. Yes! TRAPEZE SKILLS.

Like the Four Leftys blend of coffee, this group has a full body (of work!) and is slightly nutty.

Tom Oberheide

Tom Oberheide reminds me of the San Sebastian specialty coffee that comes from Huila, Colombia. Balanced and sweet like the San Sebastian, Tom’s instrument collection is comprised of almost as many pieces as the amount of grower lots that make up the Colombian coffee.

When I spent some time with Tom recently, we talked Grand Slams (his first coffee experience consisted of hanging out in the Silverthorne Denny’s) and the difference between amateurs and professionals (in any field). Tom reminded me of just how awesome his older brother Peter is, by sharing the story of how when Peter lived in Boulder, he started showing up with a tuba to Cabaret Diosa practices and told the band members, “You really need a tuba.” Apparently he’d even show up uninvited to their gigs and play…near them. Awesome and nice, indeed.

Tom introduced me to the instrument in his collection that he plays the most: his Mullen pedal steel guitar, which was made in Colorado, but he had to travel to St. Louis, MO to buy and that can be seen in full effect at any of the New Ben Franklins shows. After doing a little research on Mullen guitars, I discovered that Lloyd Maines (father of Dixie Chicks Natalie Maines) is a Mullen player too. Exciting, right? Not really. But what is amusing is the six degrees of Tom O. that followed.

Tom Oberheide–>Mullen–>Lloyd Maines–>Wide Open Spaces music video (shot in Winter Park, CO and directed by Thom Oliphant). Spelled differently but pronounced the same. Huzzah! Connection.

Here’s the video from my visit with Tom. SPOILER ALERT: there is a cute dancing baby in this video.

Every coffee drinker has a story. I make videos because I love learning about people’s passions and their creatie process. Many creatives rely on coffee as a drug. They love what it does to their brain and how it’s a catalyst for creativity.

Coffee is complex. So are people. Drink up.

Monica Rosenberg

I appreciate magical surprises, which is one of the reasons why I love Monica Rosenberg—and am excited for her surprise in a box art show next month. She’s got this playful spirit and imagination that draw you in and make you wonder what she’ll crochet (or throw, or sculpt) next. She’s as bright as the Kinjo PB and an absolute delight to be around.

I recently visited Monica and talked coffee, craftiness, and game (hers happens to be excellent and caffeinated).

I make videos because I love learning about people’s passions, and I enjoy connecting people to people by sharing their stories. While researching coffee (my obsession) over the past four years, I discovered that many creatives rely on coffee as a drug. They love what it does to their brain and how it’s a catalyst for creativity.

Coffee is complex. So are people. Drink up.

Derek Keenan

Derek Keenan is the type of designer who gives me hope for the future. Hopefully you didn’t choke on the cheesiness of that last sentence, so you can read on and I can attempt to redeem myself for sounding so flowery and idealistic.

We, the people of the United States, consume…a lot. We waste a lot, and we toss a lot. Once our trash is out of sight, for the most part, it’s out of mind. However, there are people like Derek in this world who are proactive in taking what most consider trash and expanding its lifespan.

Derek turns broken skateboard decks into beautiful jewelry and artful belt buckles. He reminds me most of Stumptown’s Honduras San Vicente coffee—comprised of the Pacas and Bourbon varietals, the San Vicente produces well at high altitude and has tremendous balance.

I love thinking about how much space in the landfill is saved by skate shops giving Derek broken boards instead of trashing them. I love the fact that Derek says this idea is just the beginning and that when I talked to him, he seemed to have an open mind to the idea of working with the waste of the coffee industry (remember, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world!). I told him about the ridiculous amount of silver plastic bags I have in storage; maybe he can drop his industrial design knowledge all over those things so they can stop taking up space in my life and start being something beautiful for others.

I make videos because I love learning about people’s passions, and I enjoy connecting people to people by sharing their stories. While researching coffee (my obsession) over the past four years, I discovered that many creatives rely on coffee as a drug. They love what it does to their brain and how it’s a catalyst for creativity.

Coffee is complex. So are people. Drink up.

Brian Freeland

Brian Freeland is the Artistic Director of the LIDA Project and shared a use for coffee with me that is as unconventional as his theater productions. I recently visited Brian at Laundry on Lawrence, where LIDA’s theatrical editorial, Justin Bieber Meets Al Qaeda, is currently running.

Like Pablo’s Two Stroke Smoke coffee blend, Brian has a subtle smoky character. I admire that he (along with the other members of the LIDA Project) aims to “present works that experiment and challenge the structure and presentation of performance while strengthening culture, community, and artistic growth.”

I make videos because I love learning about people’s passions, and I enjoy connecting people to people by sharing their stories. While researching coffee (my obsession) over the past four years, I discovered that many creatives rely on coffee as a drug. They love what it does to their brain and how it’s a catalyst for creativity.

Coffee is complex. So are people. Drink up.

Jake Weidmann

Jake Weidmann is the youngest Master Penman in the world—a title he earned less than two months ago and one that is currently held by only 11 people. Jake reminds me of a perfectly calibrated espresso machine because he aspires to achieve the highest level of technical skill in every medium he works with. But as a coffee, I’d say he most resembles the El Banco Pacamara, due to the originality and authenticity each possesses.

When I visited Jake at his home in Denver recently, he taught me a few things about the history of scripts (did you know that Italics originated in Italy? I didn’t. Now I do!) and demonstrated offhand flourishing and calligraphy. Jake’s been compared to Master Penman Charles Paxton Zaner (1864-1918) because of the breadth of his artistic abilities (Jake makes his own pens that he uses and works with several other mediums as well). During my visit with Jake, I came to realize that like coffee, quality calligraphy is one of those things in life that goes highly unappreciated.

I make videos because I love learning about people’s passions, and I enjoy connecting people to people by sharing their stories. While researching coffee (my obsession) over the past four years, I discovered that many creatives rely on coffee as a drug. They love what it does to their brain and how it’s a catalyst for creativity.

Coffee is complex. So are people. Drink up.

Eugene Rooks

Eugene Rooks is a friend of mine who makes life a little more magical with each costume he creates. He’s mellow like the acidity of the Nacimiento coffee from El Salvador, but can certainly cut a rug while wearing one of his own costume creations—I’ve seen it happen.

I also know that Eugene has dreamed of one day running his own couture business. I hope that when that day comes, I’ve won the lottery, because I want to continue being one of his clients. During the four years I’ve known him, Eugene has made some of the most creative Halloween costumes I’ve ever seen, altered the wedding dress of my best friend’s grandmother so she could wear it for her own wedding, and managed to make my dream of dressing up as a giant coffee cup and dancing around to Lady Gaga a reality.

He’s currently working on the wedding dress of his fiancé, which is a fairly labor-intensive project. He showed me a picture of all the pins he used to prep the pleats for the top portion:

He’s a very skilled tailor and I’m excited to follow his progress in the upcoming years.

I make videos because I love learning about people’s passions, and I enjoy connecting people to people by sharing their stories. While researching coffee (my obsession) over the past four years, I discovered that many creatives rely on coffee as a drug. They love what it does to their brain and how it’s a catalyst for creativity.

Coffee is complex. So are people. Drink up.