I've been meaning to update my blog sooner, but I have an art show opening up this week (details will be posted soon - art party tomorrow!!!), and we were in the Northeast for the holidays. It's been quite nice taking a break....it's been a long, long year.
Any ways, A couple of weeks ago, I got to go to Guayaquil, Ecuador and participate in their La Rueda conference for EDCOM/ESPOL. It was really a life changing experience. I did a master class in front of 200+ people and didn't die of a panic attack, and I did a pretty great prosthetic gash demo at the end that went really well. I talked, armed with a translator and a microphone, for over two and a half hours, a half an hour longer than was originally planned, and many of the students and attendees wanted pictures with me at the end! I felt a wee bit like a celebrity, and I still can't believe how well it went. I discussed what I do in terms of art, puppetry, mask-making, makeup artistry, and wigs, and I showed off my portfolio, renderings, some of the films and commercials I've worked on, and some specialty makeup products that aren't very easy to get in Ecuador.
The next day, I also got the awesome opportunity to teach a couple of basic spfx makeup classes at the university. It was great. I really miss teaching all of the time, and these students were all so excited to be there, as was I. We got to go over some fun basic makeup techniques and do some fun demos.
Then, I had a couple of days to myself in the city. It might not be as touristy as Cuenca or Quito, but Guayaquil was a beautiful place. I went to a cacao farm with one of the professors from the university, where we got to essentially make a chocolate feast from the cacao beans. It was totally amazing. We also got a chance to visit the beautiful La Ciudad Blanca Cemetery in Guayaquil, which is widely known as one of the prettiest, if not the prettiest, cemetery in South America. All monochromatic, the cemetery is a massive show of imported marble sculptures from Italy and all over the world, and mausoleums that are also quite impressive. We also got to go to a magical open air arts market, and AN IGUANA PARK......are you kidding me?!? It was super cool - hundreds and hundreds of tame iguanas freely ran all over this park and were crawling on people like dogs for food. It was an incredible trip. Overall, this trip was totally incredible. I mean, what an opportunity. I will be forever thankful to ESPOL/EDCOM for inviting me to come out.
On another note, I consider this conference a big triumph, not just professionally, but personally. I have suffered from major, major, debilitating panic attacks for most of my adult life, and for the first time since I was 17, I did not let them totally rule my life. I've been working on alleviating these attacks since I started having them, and my normal tactic is to just dive in and deal with them, but this time, I dove in and didn't really freak out at all. It feels pretty good. I finally felt comfortable in my own skin. I consider this a "win"........and now to do it again. :)
Click through the images from my trip! :) Eek! I want to go back!