Browsing Tag

The Tempest {weeks 6 | 7 | 8 }



Who is Shakespeare to this group?

He’s a man that has brought about some form of inspiration. But even that is a little too ambiguous. He’s someone who influenced the English language more than most modern people know or acknowledge. He is someone who has been studied for entire lifetimes and someone who remains a new discovery everyday.

He is, simply, a storyteller. He wove tales about life in all it’s qualities.




What is Steampunk?

It is a subgenera of science-fiction where Victorian aesthetics, values, and technology became our future.

“If you think Victorian, with lots of finery and detail, and combine that with ray guns, that’s Steampunk,” said Michelle Glazer, Barrington’s assistant site director. “It’s like a Victorian idea of what the future might be. It’s very fantastical, with lots of whimsy.” The literary works of H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Mary Shelley are prime examples of the Steampunk mindset. Director Tim Burton’s films, like “Lemony Snicket,” are Steampunk. So was the TV show “Wild, Wild West.” “It’s where fiction, fact and fantasy intersect,”  ~ Roswell Neighbor Article


How in the world do these two ideas merge?

Because the creative force behind NFDC is a little crazy. But the right kind of crazy. The biggest mission of this group is to make Shakespeare more accessible to a modern audience. Steampunk is an entire subculture with far reaching themes. There wouldn’t be many animated features, television shows and designs if Steampunk had not influenced the world. So why not combine two great things together. It’s what NFDC does with every show.How in the world do these two ideas merge?






 How has the show affected the people who are putting it all this magic together?

It varies. The creative force is there everyday striving for a continual goal of another spectacular show topping the last. The cast comes to put all their energy into creating new people for you to fall in love with. Or to hate. Or pity.

But mostly think.  And understand.

Everyone has their part, whether they knew what it was a few weeks ago or not, all the independent aspects are being sewn together in the last two weeks of the production. The creative force, which was subtle at first, is now flowering as spring arrives and natures blooms along with the show. Each cast member has their own life outside the show, obviously. Designers, freelancers, performers, teachers, etc… They all make it a priority to calmer away from the rest of their life to create something together as a family. Though, a rather avant-garde family.

And just as any family, there are many personalities. Personalities, by nature will clash. Everyone brings their own life lessons to the t

able as part of the entire experience to inform the entirety of the show. What is so wonderful about this family, they know the value of communication and solve their own issues with out drama.

What’s left to be done?

Honestly, not much. Though the pictures might tell and different tale. The show opens in two days.
Two Days.
The adventure is almost complete. There have been two previews, one at STEAMfest and one at the Georgia Ramble where audience caught a glimpse of what is to come.
What’s left to make this experience amazing in every meaning of the word?





Come out and see what this group has been working tirelessly for two months to create. Hundreds of hours have been clocked in the making of the show. Weekends sacrificed, relationships put on hold, sunburns, wind, rain, and cold were conquered for this production. The only gratification this little community theater has is a full house. There’s an entire lawn to fill.

All they need is you.

Come see the show. 

“What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.”



{Beginnings}   |   {Week 1}    |   {Week 2}   |   {Week 3}   |   {Week 4&5}

{Bloom} | +jo

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Photo Journalist | YourPhotoBy.Me | | Kai-Lin Art | Bloom | Duvel | Svedka (13)

{Photos and text | +jo }

The season has come upon us where everything breaths a sigh of relief. Everyone survived winter and new life blooms. Well, this winter wasn’t harsh but it’s stil a time to celebrate.

And celebrate people did at Kai-Lin Art’s gallery opening for the latest show Bloom.

Beverages poured from both Svdeka Vodka and Duvel. I must say Duvel was a big hit with everyone at the gallery because they could take home the beautiful glasses they drank from. Duvel’s owner is a huge art collector and has an annual art competition for designs to go on their promotional glasses.



What’s this? Intern Erik and his lovely lady were the bartenders for the evening mixing up wonderful concoctions with Svdeka’s original and raspberry flavors. {I gotta say the raspberry is pretty darn good.}


There were many little ones running around durning this show and they really helped keep the atmosphere in the spring spirt. There was a constant flow of people in and out… but never too many at one time. Just enough to make the gallery inviting and not overcrowded to where you could no longer see the art.



The artists featured in this show are old and new. The imagery ranged from complete abstraction, photographic, mix-media and fashion. The artists, as always, intermingled with the crowed and won the hearts of all.

If you have the chance, stop by the lovely gallery in Buckhead and take a stroll amongst the artwork of Bloom. It will be well worth it and less sneezing than the botanical gardens. But hurry, just like spring, Bloom will be gone before you know it. The show lasts from March 30th – May 18th.



The Tempest {week4/5}

{video, text: +jo photos: +jo and Thomas Strickland}


I’m sure visitors to Barrington Hall in Roswell are wondering what on earth is being constructed behind the historic house. A monstrous set is looming over the lawn where, on most nights, a group gathers to stick together a larger-than-life concept.  North Fulton Drama Club has certainly stepped up to the task of creating their version of Shkespear’s Tempest. The cast and crew is working tirelessly to create a piece of {steam powered} magic for you.

Games of trust, actors constructing, constructors acting, and everything in-between. It’s what community theater is all about. These people congregate nigh after night, week after week in hopes that they can share a story with the world. A story as fleeting as a blink of your eye.

Take a look at their journey:









Next up in this series: meeting the people behind this project and those that will appear on stage.

 ”Silence is the perfectest herald of joy; I were but little happy, if I could say how much.”




{Beginnings}   |   {Week 1}    |   {Week 2}   |   {Week 3}   |   {Week 4&5}

Days go by {+jo}

{photos and text by +Jo}

I’m at a loss for words right now. I’ve been buried in Shakespearian texts for the past few weeks and as you may or may not have noticed I’ve been quoting the Bard lately. There are photos sitting and waiting to been shown to the world but I can’t seem to get my own words out.

If I write about something other than myself it is fine – thus the mural project and the Steampunk Tempest. I feel I am a little on the boring side. I have my photos that show the excitement I feel in life right now… My words are nothing compared to Shakespeare’s so I’d rather not try right now. Though I supposed even that seems depressing.

I feel other people’s words are more apt for describing my own emotions lately. I had an idea for what I wanted to talk about here… But now it is all a blank.

“The difference between starting up and stepping up.” I wanted to talk about how I feel I’ve grown as a photographer over the past few months. More importantly how the internship was a wake up call… A starting point. But now I really need to step up my game.

Not very poetic and extremely concise. There is no romance in it. Maybe I need to think about it a little more.
For now, enjoy the photos.





‘Till next time.

“All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there”



Engagement Love | Susan & Brian {+jo}

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Photo Journalist | YourPhotoBy.Me | Shakespeare | Sonnette 109 | (1)

{photos by +jo | Shakespeare Sonnet: 109}


O never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seemed my flame to qualify;

As easy might I from myself depart
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie:

That is my home of love; if I have ranged,
Like him that travels I return again,
Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water for my stain;

Never believe, though in my nature reign’d
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,

That it could so preposterously be stained,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good:

For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.



An Honest Surprise {+jo}

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Photo Journalist | YourPhotoBy.Me | (1)

{Words and Photos | +jo}

A simple beautiful Sunday afternoon. Tea lovers gather for a tea tasting at the cozy and well loved ZenTea.  A couple sits at the end of the bar gently sipping the array of tea lattes created fresh in front of them by the owner of the small tea house. It was unusually crowded for a Sunday, but the live music must have drawn them in.



Everything went as usual until the deserts… hers was missing. He went to find it. He back back with his own cake.



Through happily tear-soaked eyes, she said “Yes.”


The Tempest {week 3}

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta GA | | | | nfdc | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community theater | roswell (1)

{Photos, words, video by +jo | music by the piano guys}

This week was intense. So many things happened… I think I should break it down into different parts. Are you ready?
Here we go. 

{Rehearsal }

There is always a beginning to every journey. This group of people fearlessly barged past any notion of trepidation and threw themselves into this project full force. My kind of people. This week was filled with building the basic blocking of every scene. You need a skeleton before the fibrous muscles can take root to form the meat of anything.


What is wonderful and very unique about this group is the honest feeling of security everyone shares.  They come together to create. No bickering, no politics, no outside nonsense. It seems to be a rare bird nowadays but this group has captured it effortlessly.



{Kudzu Bugs}

Did you know about these guys? Because they started out as just a couple… then the next day there were dozens more… and by the weekend they had taken over the property. It was insane how thickly they covered the almost everything. It’s no wonder because they are attracted to white and the giant house that is know as Barrington Hall is white. No one could escape them. They were there and trying to take over. Everything.



{Costuming Bonanza!}

Nikki and Alyssa went on another shopping spree. With certain events coming up very quickly the group really has to step their game up and start constructing the costumes. I think I’ve said this before, but it must be said again. They make the costumes by hand. Every time. That’s a different kind of crazy. But also the kind of crazy that brings together amazing people.




Converting, drawing, mapping, measuring, cutting, pinning, scheming and dreaming.  These ladies know how to manipulate life into magical things.



{Set Construction}

Now here’s a doozy for you. This is an outdoor theater production. So on Saturday these dedicated thespians gathered to get down and dirty to build the set from the ground up. Only a few basic platform were previously constructed. The rest is brand new to this show. The trick to all of this will be the weather-proofing. Because, you know, mother nature doesn’t always like to cooperate with us silly humans.

This set is going to be amazing. I can’t wait for you to see it. Heck, I can’t wait to see it. There are some epic things on the way. If you are a fan of theater, Shakespeare, steampunk, sci-fi, or just life – this show is for you.





Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta GA | | | | nfdc | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community theater | roswell (33)


And if you didn’t get you fill through the photos, check out the video that covers many more moments from this past week of work.


North Fulton Drama Club really knows how to put on a show.

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta GA | | | | nfdc | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community theater | roswell (10)


I have had a dream, past the wit of man to
say what dream it was.




{Beginnings}   |   {Week 1}    |   {Week 2}   |   {Week 3}   |   {Week 4&5}

The Tempest {week 2}

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta GA | | | | nfdc | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community theater | roswell (1)

{Photos and Video by +jo}

The second week of North Fulton Drama Club’s Steampunk Tempest’s rehearsals came and went rather quickly. It was filled with lots of Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban as their scenes were roughly blocked. Another scene blocked out was the romantic scene between Miranda and Ferdinand. Though… you won’t see any photos from that night. I didn’t really think the plan all the way through until that night.

It’s hard to take photos and video of a scene you are in. In any case, a revised plan is now in place so the next time you might be able to get a glimpse into Miranda’s scenes.

I thought it might be a good idea to give you a short synopsis of the show.
The Tempest is Shakespears’ last comedy. It takes place over only a couple days and is the story of Prospero regaining his titles and life. The show opens with a terrible storm that rips apart a fleet of ships. The one carrying the King of Naples, Duke of Milan, friends and family crashes on the shore of the island were Prospero has been marooned with his daughter, Miranda, for the past twelve years.

As the show progresses you find out Prospero’s evil sibling overthrew his reign as Duke of Milan and tried to have him and his family killed. But, a dear friend, Gonzalo, whisks Prospero and Miranda onto a small ship and sets them out to sea. Over the years Prospero continued his studies, passing his knowledge to Miranda, and dreamed he might have the change to take back his kingdom. With the help of Ariel, a spirit Prospero rescued, he is able to guide events in such a way where … well. You will need to watch the show to find out. 😉

Shakespeare weaves a very concise story with out his the confusion of genders or the over-involvement of gods. The Tempest is a story of betrayal, revenge, schemes, magic, and love. A great night at the theater is in the making.


And! With the weather warming up, we were able to go outside for a night. But, night also brings on new challenges. We will see what next week has in store for the cast and crew. Lights? Bugs? Warm? Cool?


“Come unto these yellow sands,
And then take hands:
Curtsied when you have, and kiss’d
The wild waves whist,
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear.”





{Beginnings}   |   {Week 1}    |   {Week 2}   |   {Week 3}   |   {Week 4&5}


The Tempest {week 1}

{Photos & Video by +jo}

So the first week of rehearsals have come and gone. Most importantly for everyone over at North Fulton Drama Club is their Kickstarter closing.

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (14)


Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (4)

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (11)



With a whopping $4,535 raised!

128 people from all over contributed to the campaign to fund the enormous task of making this production successful. It was chilling to watch the llivestream of the last hour of the campaign as the director, assistant director, and producer all talked about the process up to date. The chat room had many comments and there were messages coming in from twitter.  They even had more contributions roll in down to the last few minutes.

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (8)Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (7)

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (12)

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (6)


So from this little writer to all those marvelous people out there who gave their hard earned money to the arts:

Now. What are earth was the cast and crew up to this week?
There was table blocking of Act 1 scene 2, Act 2 scene 2 and group work by the Ariels. This is an important feature of the show to note. Normally Ariel is a male role played by one individual. But in this particular production Ariel is seven ladies total all working as one massive spirit creating mischief under the guidance of Prospero. There is Ariel Prime and her 6 aspects. The seven ladies have a hard road ahead of themselves to create a cohesive personality unit and still keep their independence as separate aspects of an overarching consciousness. How does someone go about creating something that sounds that crazy?! With fun games and a little voice work, of course.

And we had the first {and hopefully only} accident of the show.

Didn’t you know? Theater is a physically challenging event to partake in.


Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (5)

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (9)Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (3)


Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (10)


The other two scenes were ones where with Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban. These three have such chemistry out of the gate it is ridiculous. They are the comedic relief in this story and you will be in for one heck of a ride trying to keep up with their shenanigans.

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (13)


 yes, there is boot licking… 

Jo Arellanes | Atlanta Photographer | Atlanta | GA | | | | NFDC | Steampunk Tempest | Shakespeare | The Tempest | Actors | Community Theater | Roswell (1)

Over the weekend, Nikki and Alyssa charged through the greater Atlanta area on the hunt for the perfect fabrics for the custom made costumes for the entire cast. Yeah. You read that right. They hand make the costumes for the shows. And this one is going to be intense. There is a strange combination of late Victorian into early Edwardian fashion motifs sewn together with the steampunk aesthetics. These two ladies have big imaginations and all the skills to make dreams a reality. Needless to say: I’m terribly excited.

A little video to finish it all off. My first and the first of many.




 ”We are time’s subjects, and time bids be gone.”




{Beginnings}   |   {Week 1}    |   {Week 2}   |   {Week 3}   |   {Week 4&5}

One of those Weeks {+jo}

Jo Arellanes | photographer | night photography | train photography | extended photography | Atlanta GA | Dublin GA | | | cityscape | train yard (2)


{text and images by +jo}

A lot comes to my mind right now.

I think an 18-wheeler ran me over while I was asleep. I’m that tried right now. But that’s my own fault and I need to keep working.

The lyrics “I’m on the edge of glory and I’m hanging on a moment with you” ring in my head. I think my subconscious is playing games with me. The lyrics are self explanatory and subtle at the same time. You probably connect to them very differently than I do. Lady Gag wrote the song ‘Edge of Glory” for/about her grandfather’s death. My grandmother and grandfather have been an my mind a lot recently. They have been extremely important people in my life. Though my grandmother died when I was twelve and my grandfather died when I was sixteen… I still cry about loosing them.

It’s really hard to write about this…even now.

I only saw my grandfather a handfull of times the last four years of his life. This was after spending practically everyday with both him and my grandmother for the first twelve of my life. The absence hurt… and still does.

I remember the night my grandmother died. My cousin and I were playing cards in the room across from hers. She always listened to NPR when she was laying down. She clicked the radio over and Eve 6’s ‘Inside Out’ played in its entirety. The song went off. The radio went off. Soon people were rushing around the small house and she was taken to the hospital. I had seen her go to the hospital many times. I had stayed with her countless nights. But this time was different… so many family members were there. It didn’t feel the same. I remember holding onto my cousin as we watched our grandmother wheeled out of her room with a respirator covering her face. I don’t remember what the paramedics looked like. Just legs rushing by. I remember my cousin crying out. I held her tightly.


That’s the last time I saw my grandmother…
the first time I saw my grandfather cry.

The last time I saw my grandfather was a over a year later. It was hard going over to see him. The family dynamics completely changed  after my grandmother was buried. My grandparents lived for each other. They spent well over fifty years together. They were soul-mates. I grew up surrounded by that love. The last time I saw my grandfather he slipped a few mementos into my hand and told me “They are ment to be yours. For you and only you.”

It was my grandmother’s cross – the one she wore everyday. She never took it off.
There was a patch from my when my grandfather was in WWII.
A gold necklace of his that he loved – my grandmother gave it to him – but could not wear because he was allergic.

I don’t know what his last moments, months or years were like.
I don’t know what his edge of glory looked like.

I think about all these things durning this time of year. Every year. It’s unavoidable.

This year I found a photo of my grandfather taken while he was serving during WWII. It is one of three photos I’ve ever seen of him when he was young. The other two were staged portraits shots, one with my grandmother and the other after the war was over. This photo shows him goofing off with military friends. A group of them are holing up a young woman so she can kiss her soldier hanging out of a ship’s window. The only person looking at the camera is my grandfather. That mischievous grin plastered all over his face. His infectious smile that always made my grandmother light up and giggle like she was twenty years old again.

I have so many projects I’m knee deep into. This past week had extreme highs and lows. I screwed up, fumbled, accomplished, saved, learned, worked through life and still made it to the other side. I will always do this.

But this time of year I always find myself standing at the edge of glory remembering my grandparents. Missing them. Loving them. And knowing without a single shred of doubt: They are together.