In October and November of 2014, Sean Allen of Ivity Studios filmed me for Val Bauer’s ‘Whiskey Tango’ music video when I went out on the town attending shows and parties in Portland, Oregon. Not all of the footage was used, but it was such a fun experience. So how did I become a part of this project? Well, it started with some broken guitar strings.
Although Val Bauer and I had never communicated directly, I had seen him perform once at The Blue Monk and enjoyed his set, so I started following him on social media. In the past year I’d learned the importance of Instagram as a valuable resource for networking, connecting with acquaintances and like-minded strangers, and finding new adventures, so it really shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise to me when the series of events that unfolded opened up a new chapter in my buslife story.
One day I saw a post of Val’s on instagram. It was a picture of a lovely bracelet he had made from worn guitar strings he used while recording his latest album, ‘Malaise’. I love the idea of repurposing and using “waste” to create art so I had to get one. I went to his bandcamp page and purchased it, and when I received my package, I was tickled to find Val had included some buttons and a hand written note thanking me for my support.
My purchase and Val’s sincerity opened up communication between the two of us, and soon I hit him up to play one of my Damn House Shows. He agreed and was just as solid and charming as he was the first time I’d seen him on stage.
Not long after that successful evening of music, Val invited me to take a trip to Seattle with him in October for another house show he was playing. I love going on the road with musicians and documenting the journey, so my answer was an easy ‘yes’. Sometime between then and our trek to Washington state, Val asked if I’d like to have videographer Sean Allen film me on some of my buslife nights in Portland for a music video for his single ‘Whiskey Tango’. I’ve always been open about my narcissism so of course I said yes (hey, I grew up doing professional acting and modeling; narcissism was key to success and paychecks in my youth, and to this day I’m more comfortable in front of or behind a camera than I am in everyday life. Don’t judge me. Or do. I don’t actually give a shit. Being judged was also part of being in the entertainment industry for over a decade. *jazz hands*).
Over the course of a month, Sean followed me on various outings in Portland: a halloween gathering hosted by my friend Lindsey Uhl, one of my Damn House Shows at Koi House, one of Val’s gigs, and even a body painting party where my friend Ian Fagan painted a poster on my bum for a show I was curating with KPSU at Kelly’s Olympian (yes, this means my skinny little ass is now immortalized on video for the world to see).
Our last day of shooting took place on a brutally cold, windy morning on the Burnside Bridge in Portland. Although the temperature was less than ideal, especially combined with the biting gusts of wind, the sun decided to bless us with it’s beautiful sunny rays. Modeling and acting had often required enduring uncomfortable conditions: sweltering heat, near freezing water, chilly days in summer clothing, so once again my unconventional childhood benefitted my crazy buslife. I bundled up and toughed it out because I knew it would be worth it, and it was.
Val and Sean put a lot of work into this project and it’s a great song, so go watch the video, give it a like on youtube, and keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the release of Val Bauer’s album ‘Malaise’.