“ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE…”

The primary purpose of this blog is, well…me!  Me promoting my photography and my business in the attempt to gain clients.  In fact, most website experts say not to blog about anything which isn’t directly relevant to advance Poole Photography and its business ventures.  But as those who know me well can attest, sometimes I just can’t always keep the color between the lines.  So fair warning, this post isn’t about me, my photography or gaining clients. Nor am I posting samples of what I humbly consider  brilliantly stunning images that I have photographed of weddings and brides, graduates, families and even sunsets.

Today I want to share the work of others and post about the photography exhibition I attended  last Friday.

RESILIENCE

I have written about Airi Katsuta and her 1.000 origami cranes and her photography show “Resilience” in these blogs here and here.

I was honored with an invitation to the reception of the latest showing of “Resilience” that was held at the Academy Theater at the Junior Drama Club Academy in Phoenix.  This time however, Airi graced the show with the addition of a few of her fine art and fashion photography pieces.

As her documentary photographs capture the emotion of the situation in Ishinomaki, Japan, Airi’s fashion and fine art images show the creative and fun side of her photography.  My favorite of these is her series called “Globophobia: Fear of Balloons.”  To see this series, click on this link.

To see all of Airi’s work that she has posted online, please click here, here, and here.

THE VENUE

The reception and show was held at the Junior Drama Club Academy which is located in downtown Phoenix.  It is a theater club for boys and girls 10-17 that not only teaches theater skills but life skills.  I got to spend a little bit of time talking Jeanna Delfin and Robert Joseph Gates, the two representatives of the JDCA that were in charge of putting the exhibition on and they graciously answered my questions I had about the JDCA.

The Academy has been in existence for 8 years but has just moved to the new location.  It serves about 20 members.  In talking with Ms Delfin, she really emphasized to me how the Academy  taught more than just theater craft, but also concentrated on teaching these young people life skills that they could take and use to help them be successful in their future endeavors.  Mr. Gates explained to me how the building was an old liquor store.  He personally did all the renovations such as building the stage and the lobby and rigging the lighting.  All on his own time and without funding.  It was obvious to me that these two are very passionate and committed to the ideals and values of the JDAC.

I also met two eighth grade young ladies who are members of the group and were serving as greeters for the evening reception.  I talked to them for a bit about the club.  I got the impression that their involvement is a huge deal to them in their lives.  Even as they go into high school which has theater opportunities for them as well, they told me they have every intention of staying involved with JDAC.  Trust me, having dealt with teenagers for 31 years, and finding very few of them passionate about anything, I could tell that these girls had a passion for JDAC.  The Academy must be doing something right.

I have given you a brief glimpse at the Junior Drama Club  Academy.  In my own words as I remember my conversations.  But the group itself puts its mission statement and beliefs much more clearly on its Facebook and Website.  So for the full, and better story, check these links here and here.

POST SCRIPT

One of my favorite photographs that night was a head shot Airi took of her cat, Whiskers.  I asked about the making of the image.  She told me it was done with window lighting and a point and shoot camera.  Hmm.  It seems that great images CAN be captured with something other than a Canon Mark 5D iii camera, a Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens and an off camera flash.

And since another golden rule of a photography website is to include pictures…here are a couple of cat photographs I have taken.  Enjoy your day.

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One of my favorite music boxes.  If you have cats, you, you understand.

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Amelia is very camera shy.  It is almost like trying to capture an image of Big Foot.  When she sees me reach for the camera, she immediately runs away to one of her favorite hidey holes.  I just took this snapshot of Amelia while writing this post.  Notice the eyes.

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Hilary has no such phobias about getting his picture taken.  He will wait for as long as I am taken pictures, basically hoping that somewhere in this process a snack will drop very close to his mouth.

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Got lucky once and was able to get this photo of them together.  Amelia is looking for the closest exit, Hilary is looking for the snack.

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A ROCKING CHAIR BY THE FIRE

Some people are dog people, some are cat people.  I am a both people.  So I thought I would share a few of my “cats and dogs, living together” stories on this Christmas Eve.

DUFFER

When we finally got out of apartment living and into a house, we had decided we wanted a dog.  And eventually the Duffer came to live with us.  Duffer was a purebred Cairn Terrier (think Toto from The Wizard of Oz) who we got from a coworker that could no longer have a pet.  I never thought I would like a small dog, but Duffer changed my mind.  He had the best disposition and temperament, which really helped when cats decided to become part of the household.

SQUEEKY AND LC

One night outside the carport door there was this hoarse, rasping sound.  I looked out and there was this kitten looking at the door and making this sound.  I figured it was just hungry, so I put a little bowl of left over clam chowder out for it.  Not only did the poor thing not sound well, he didn’t look well either.  He was scrawny and his eyes were filmy.  I figured he would eat and move on, not hanging around the yard because of the dog.  I checked a little later and the bowl was empty and he was gone.  But he came back the next night.  This continued for a few nights until one time as we were opening the door to leave, the cat scurried inside the house.  I went after him, a bit worried about how the dog would react.  The cat went right up to Duffer and head butted the boy, and Duffer responded by licking the kitty’s face as if to say, “my brother.”  So much for cat vs dog crises.  We kept the cat, nursed him back to health and called him Squeaky because he never could meow, he just squeaked.

We picked up LC  when she was a kitten a couple of years later.  Taking pet population control seriously, we had set an appointment to get her spayed.  Unfortunately, at the time we did not have a pet door.  Of course as I was letting the dog out, LC streaked out of the house and into the night.  She later had 5 kittens.  The vet had told us to set up a nice box for her to have the kittens in and serve as a kitty nursery, and so we did.  A few days after, I was laying in bed taking a nap when LC came up with one of the newborns in her mouth and dropped it right on my chest.  She went and got another one and did the same thing.  As she was going to get the third one, I scrambled to figure out what the heck she was doing.  Thinking that she might not be liking the box she and her family were in, I took a chance and went and opened one of the closets.  Call me the cat whisperer, because I had hit the nail on the head. She took the next kitten into the closet and  put the rest of them in there as well, and that’s where she stayed until they kittens were old enough to come out on there own.   They were the cutest things.  I was tempted to keep them all, but 7 cats and a dog seemed to be a few too many.  We were able to find them all good homes.

CAT HOTEL

I eventually became a practical man and installed a pet door for all the convenient reasons there are for having one.  But one of the side consequences of having one is that the house became a haven for some of the other cats in the neighborhood.  I first noticed this phenomenon when I was up late watching TV.  I heard one of the cats eating some dry food back in the laundry room.  However, when the cat came out of the room, it wasn’t one of mine. As soon as the cat saw me see him, he took off on a mad dash to the pet door.  On another night, I was up reading when I noticed a cat coming out of the guest bedroom.  Again, this cat was not one of mine.  I noticed that Duffer was lying down in such a way that the cat would pass right by him in order to get out the pet door.  As the cat walked by Duffer, the Duff raised his head, sniffed, and then lay his head back down with kind of a snort as the cat sauntered on out of the house.  Over the months I had managed to see 5 different cats that didn’t belong to me wander in and out of the house, apparently with the blessing of my dog and two cats.

MOSE THE CAT

In the course of the years, Duffer and Squeaky passed on, and we added Hillary to the family, getting him from a little girl giving away free kittens.  Then came Mose.  We named him Mose after a character in the movie “The Searchers”.  In the movie Mose was an old Indian fighter who wanted to finish his days in a rocking chair by the fire.  That’s why Mose came into our little family, I think, to finish out his days in the warmth and comfort of a home.  Mose was an old, stray cat.  I believe he at one time had been domestic, but had been cast off at some point.  I don’t know how old he was, but he was pretty beat up.  His ears were all torn up, and there were scars and bare patches in the fur from all of the fights and scrapes that Mose had been in.  I first discovered Mose in the front yard.  One day he showed up and was laying in the flower sill on the front of my house.  He was laying there every day for weeks.  I finally decided to put a bowl of dry food in the sill with him.  I did this for a few days when Mose sort of disappeared.  He did show up later, but much to my surprise  the next time I saw him he was laying on the living room couch as big as life.   Over several days he gradually let me get close to him and allow me to pet him.  The other cats were curious, but basically ignored him.  I eventually took Mose to the vet, where he was diagnosed with various ailments.  After determining that it was safe for Mose to be around my cats, he was given shots and medication which got him as well as he could get.  Mose definitely liked the company of people as he spent much of his time curled up in my lap or my wife’s  lap.  He lived about 3 months longer, not having to scrounge for food and  passing his remaining days in his own version of a rocking chair by the fire.

EPILOGUE

The pet door is gone and the cat hotel is closed.  Hillary couldn’t go outside without getting into a fight and after $1,000 surgery to fix an eye, I figured it was cheaper, and healthier for him, to keep him indoors.  He has a little sister named Amelia.  They are both asleep close to me as I write this, ready, I am sure, to help in anyway they can.

Merry Christmas and have the best of holidays.  I hope it is your version of a rocking chair by the fire.

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Duffer and one of the newborn kittens.

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Duffer inspecting the kitten. The kitten practicing cat indifference.

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Squeaky and Duffer.

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Amelia, asleep but ready to help me at a moments notice.