Behind the scenes of a press photo shoot with Red Traces and photographer Derek Matarangas.
A dear friend, Eleanor Petry, came to stay a while at a cabin in Twin Peaks, CA. We ventured around the mountains, discovering the strange and unusual. As a study to practice acting with a compelling emotional performance, we both shot and acted in two separate films staring each other.
Myths and stories surround the mountain region, most exaggerations but all loosely based on real events. My father, being a master storyteller, would often elaborate on stories about a few obscure locations on the mountain, which always stirred a strange curiosity to uncover some truth behind these stories, which some might call Shaggy Dog Stories. One story that always haunted me was that of the Mozumdar Temple…
When driving up the mountain on Highway 138, white domes peak out from the tall pines, reflecting light from a distance. As a child, I would peer out the car window at the domes, wondering what was there, my older sister spoke of the place as if witches lived there, casting spells and holding occult ceremonies…but I later found out that the place was intended for peaceful retreats as the founder, A.K. Mozumdar first established. There are speculations about what really goes on there now, as well the Internet offers a lot of misinformation, and as much as I would like to perpetuate the myths, I had the opportunity of speaking with a local historian of Lake Arrowhead who dispels the stories heard over the years.
Growing up in the Mojave Desert my father and I often ventured into the barren desert wilderness, miles from our suburban neighborhood amidst the harsh winds and polar temperatures. Hunting for jasper, petrified woods, travertine onyx, quartz, geodes and agate, we explored regions which seemed untouched, even while they held a long history tracing back to the Serrano Indian and the gold miners and cowboys that came later. Although I may never live in the desert again, I am bound to it’s ethereal and solitary aura that lingers in my mind.
On a recent visit, my father and I drove near to the Arizona border in order to catch the sunset. We ended up at a remote location in the Chuckwalla Mountains off Red Cloud road around ten miles off Interstate 10. The desert foliage in this region was breathtaking, and above on a strangely formed vertical rock face of granite there was raptor nest. Among the golden cholla cacti, blooming ocotillo grew for miles, along with barrel cacti and other low growing plant-life.
A friend of mine gave me this little llama, as she knew how much I would appreciate him, but he misses his home in Peru, although he moved to Los Angeles to become an actor, this being his debut, he remains sad, longing for a friend in the lonely city.
Chantelle Watson is one of those rare and gifted artists. Her vision for design possesses a unique quality that combines natural materials like raw silk, leather and fur. Combining nature, animals and the natural aesthetics, she creates a wholly new fashion for the everyday. From Romanian to Native American influences, Chantelle Watson draws from a naturalist approach where nature and urban wear meet in a colliding force of detail and subtle luxury in silhouette, fit and texture. Her website should be up and running soon. Check back. http://www.jacandmoigrad.com