A lot of recent visitors to the Junction blog have been looking for photos of Trini Revellers’ costumes and have posted comments asking about a Trini Revellers Web site. Unfortunately, as of yet, there is no one Web site where you can view all of the costumes / sections for Trini Revellers’ 2007 presentation, La Revolution Francaise. The majority of sections in La Revolution Francaise is being produced privately by individual mas designers, something that is not unusual for Trini Revellers. Some Trini Revellers designers have Web sites of their own where they showcase their costume designs and provide contact information for the public. However, some others (private designers) do not have their own Web sites which makes it difficult for overseas masqueraders, or anyone who has not had the opportunity to visit the mas camp of a private designer to evaluate their options and make a well-informed decision.

But………….

Fear not my friends, help is on the way. Fellow blogger, SaucyDiva has been tracking the various launches of Trini Revellers’ private sections like the Carnival baby that she is. She doesn’t have photos, prices or contact info for ALL of the sections in La Revolution Francaise, but she does have info about (including photos of) the following sections:

  1. Vive La France
  2. Celebration
  3. Paris is Burning
  4. Les Fetes Gallantes de Versailles
  5. Les Aristocrates

I’m sure there are more, but you should go check the site out for yourselves…Saucy’s Blog

Also, keep on checking the official Trini Revellers’ Web site, TriniRevellersMas.com to see when they post pics, prices, etc. for all of the sections in “The French Revoloution”!

CAMPAIGN FOR REAL BEAUTY

October 27, 2006

Pictures have long been used by companies to convey different messages to consumers. A photograph of an open field for instance, can convey a sense of serenity and peace – perfect themes for advertising things like vacation getaways, spa services and bath gel.

A more effective tool in print and television advertising however, is the human model. Some people can better visualize themselves using a product if an ad captures an experience, i.e., someone interacting with the product. In 1950s America for example, a typical ad for a laundry detergent would often feature a housewife at home using the product and marvelling at its wonderous post-usage effects.

This t.v. housewife however, was usually far from typical, with her perfectly coifed hair and dress, an impeccably tidy house and a flawlessly beautiful face. Real housewives did not look that way, but I am sure that the image on the screen, representing perfection, introduced feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy into the collective psyche of American housewives. Suddenly, they was no longer a good enough housewife, if they didn’t look like or maintain a house as tidy as the television housewife.

Unfortunately, the image-reality conundrum has only become more complicated with time. Today, more than ever, the proliferation of the media into all facets of life has blurred the line between real and fake. Children and teenagers, who tend to be the most impressionable and the most receptive to advertising, are not always able to distinguish between reality and fantasy. These days, advertisers are finding ingenious ways in which to promote their product, – creating profiles on popular youth Web sites like MySpace and Facebook or creating special YouTube commercials – making it even more difficult to assess credibility.

Magazines for teenage girls came under fire for their sexually charged advertisements. They were also being criticized for featuring ads with too-skinny girls. Soon, people started talking about the effects of misleading ads on body image and how real women had curves, etc., etc. (check out this article on the relationship between advertising and body image, it’s very very interesting)

……But, in 2005, Dove launched a revolutionary new ad campaign that featured real women. According to a USA Today article called, Ad campaigns tell women to celebrate who they are, the ad campaign featured real women sans airbrushing to promote their products with “a message of “real beauty” by encouraging women and girls to celebrate themselves as they are — while using the products, of course.”

Good for you Dove…but is this campaign really working?

I guess so, because I found this on YouTube today. It’s another commercial supporting their campaign for real beauty and it’s pretty cool. It’s called Evolution (and guess what, it was made especially for YouTube! although you can find it on their website too)

FINALLY, MORE DANCERS!

October 25, 2006

zaraheadshot.jpgI danced for many years while I was in Trinidad. First at Caribbean School of Dancing and then with Metamorphosis, the school’s dance company that was formed in 1995. Dance brought me great joy and I spent most of my days looking forward to travelling from school in St. Joseph to the studio in Port-of-Spain. Dance classes had everything – drama, comedy, competition, jealously and friendship – I only wished that I lived closer to POS so I could spend more time there. I also met the coolest people at Caribbean School and one of them, Zara Bartels, is still a good friend of mine. She now lives in London where she dances in the Lion King production in London West End. She’s a phenomenal dancer with lots of personality and I’m really happy to have her in the Junction. Read more about her on her TrinidadJunction.com page...trust me, she’s totally worth the time.

dh000002.JPGCarnival in Trinidad and Tobago takes place on February 19th and 20th, 2007
and the band launchings have begun.

Though I attended only Trini Revellers’ 2007 presentation, La Revolution
Francaise (The Frnch Revolution) on Sunday October 15th at Pier 1, I have
already judged the mas and have made my prediction. They will win the Band
of the Year title again! There is no competition! (Are there any opposers to
my prediction out there?)

I viewed costumes from other bands on T.V. and in the newspapers and so far,
the “bikini and beads” costumes are still predominant. Yes, they are
pretty, look good on the beautifully sculptured bodies and are in demand
especially by the young svelte masqueraders who are in the majority. Almost
any “bikini and beads” costume could easily fit into any of the “bikini and
beads” bands and could be put in “moth balls” until the following year to be
used yet again!

Now to the launch. Of the twenty something sections presented, I would say
that almost all were eyecatching. Beautiful colours, well made costumes and
yes, beautiful bodies depicted all aspects of the French Revolution. What I
like about this band is that any size person is accommodated. If you want a
bikini or tantiki or whole piece suit, you can get that and feel good in
your section. You could get a “piece-a-skirt” or long skirt if you want.

There was a well endowed young lady in red and gold with gold thongs to
match. She shook her booty to the delight of those who could see. I think
everyone got quite a good view of her assets.
Some of the young models wined and wined, one so vigorously that I thought
she would slip and fall. She didn’t but on her second appearance, she
appeared barefooted, probably in an effort to wine more freely.

This launch was well attended but not sold out; there was enough space to
move about on a cool evening.

Ah, the music. Shurwayne Winchester and the band Traffik were awesome! As
usual, he put on a fantastic performance to an appreciative crowd. He
introduced a new addition to the frontline, a young man named Olatunji
Yearwood who did well for himself. The poor boy was perspiring
all night. Sweat could be seen flying off his face which he kept wiping
with either his hands or a towel. I felt sorry for him, but, he’s young,
has the stamina and would do well. I wish more artists would give the
younger ones a start. Hats off to Shurwayne.

Trini Revellers………..You’ve outdone yourselves again!

Allyuh done win already! Good job!

PAMELA

Good news people. We have a couple new artists in the Junction, Troy and Brian, and I strongly urge you to check out their TrinidadJunction.com pages. Troy is a photographer and Brian is an artist, they both currently reside in Florida and they’re both extremely talented. I am very very very pleased with the caliber of artists who have already submitted their work to the Junction and I am hopeful that, in the future, more talented artistes will choose to promote their work on the site.

It’s been a while since I took the time to write a Trinidad Junction update in the blog. Take that as a good sign. You’ll be happy to know that the pace of work has been picking up. There is a new artists in the Junction ever week which is totally awesome since I haven’t had to do a lot of ‘reaching out’ lately. I still believe that you don’t really need to push an idea down people’s throat or work too hard to try to convince people that something is good if it really is good. People will talk about it, will be excited about it and will encourage their friends to try it if they’re confident in the product/service and believe it to be good/worth it.

Sooooooooooooooooooooo, I’ve been putting a lot of work into a press kit for site because I’d like to exhaust all of the “free press” options available to me before I start spending money on actual advertising. The fact that I’m not in Trinidad poses a bit of a problem, but my mother and a couple of Trini-based friends have offered to help out and I couldn’t be happier about that. I’d like to send the press kit, which includes a press release announcing the official launch of the site, to the editors and journalists of every local newspaper and magazine in the hopes that at least one would find the Trinidad Junction story interesting enough to warrant an article or an interview. If that move doesn’t result in even a tiny bit of press I don’t think I’ll be too upset about it since news of the site’s existence has been spreading organically.

If you know of anybody in the media that I should be sending a press kit to, feel free to send me an email at nikkia@trinidadjunction.com, okay?!

Thanks!

dh000015.JPGI must say, I am quite impressed with Trini Revellers’s 2007 Trinidad Carnival presentation, The French Revolution. Some might argue that I’m slightly biased because my aunt has been putting out a section with them for a few years now and because the word “Revellers” bears an uncanny resemblance to my last name, but the truth is that I think that they are one of the few bands still staying true to Carnival as an artform. When Trini Revellers says that they are bringing out a band called, “The French Revolution”, I bet yuh bottom dollar that their costumes will make you feel like you’re actually a part of that time. Granted Trini Revellers’ followers happen to be a little older than the TRIBE and Island People set and so their costumes tend to reflect the needs of that group (i.e. emphasis on coverage vs. nudity), I am still always impressed by the actual design of the costume.

This year, my aunt is producing a section called Les Aristocrates and as any good niece should, I thought that it would be a good idea to show my support by sharing the designs with you. Here is the email that I received from her earlier today. (P.S. KOZKELLE is the name of her mas production company.)

Hello folks,

Here’s a preview of KOZKELLE’S costume LES ARISTOCRATES, in Trini Revellers ’07 presentration, The French Revolution.

As you can see we have several variations to the costume, designed to suit all moods.

We will be at our own mas camp at 177 Tragerete Rd, corner of Pole Carew St, just before Roxy, from November 3rd.

To our foreign supporters, please feel free to email me with any questions that you may have.

To our locals, you can email or call me at the #s below

As always , see you on on the road and thanks for supporting us.

DonMarie

868-667-5128

868-766-6336

donmarierev@hotmail.com

cosstume-027.jpgdh000002.JPGdh000006.JPG

3 QUESTIONS WITH NiKo

October 16, 2006

I was so impressed and inspired by the advice that NiKo, one of the talented writers on TrinidadJunction.com, said she would give to young artistes that I had to post in on the blog in addition to adding it to her profiles. For all you youngsters who are passionate about your art and are seriously considering a career in said field, this one’s for you.

1) When did you know that this is what you wanted to do?

I think I’ve known since I was in primary school, when my Std 4 teacher
introduced us to keeping a record of our lives in the very appealing form of
a diary. Sad to say, an 11 -year old doesn’t have much to record in a diary
🙂 but writing stuff down became a sort of therapy in my adolescent years.
All I knew is that dealing with all the trails and tribulations that
teenagers have to deal felt better after I had put it down on paper. This
sort of “therapy” propelled further my love for both reading and writing.
Reading, primarily for expansion of vocabulary and a keen curiousity at the
way other people expressed themselves.

2) What steps did you take to get where you are today?

Well, my love for writing spanned short stories and poetry since my
secondary school days and my parents and teachers encouraged me to enter
short story competitions, of which I won several. I also won several
inter-school literary competitions both at the junior and senior levels. It
was like the icing on the cake to win and get recognition for something that
I had genuinely come to love and this started my dream of becoming a
published writer.

I sincerely believe that discovering and sharpening my writing skills at an
early age increased my confidence level, which spurred me on to expand
my horizons and try things like the school debate team for example. I won
inter-school debating twice, in Form 5 and then later at A levels. After
school I really wanted to do writing full time, but it was so hard to get a
decent job far less for one in this already saturated field. I ended up
with a great job in the Information Technology department at one of the top
local banks and put my love for writing on hold. While I still wrote short
stories and poems, it wasn’t as often because daily life got so busy.

For a number of years, I had been an avid reader of the Trinidad Express’s
Vox magazine, because it was showed how different people my age group, around
the country, dealt with Trini life and felt about
varying subjects that affected the masses.

My dad encouraged me for years to send my stuff in to the Express to see if
they were interested, but I always felt like time wasn’t on my side. Many
years later, I wrote them and sent in some of my stories and a couple days
later, I got a call to come in for a photo to appear with my first article.
Becoming a regular contributor to the weekend magazine that I so loved
and having people start recognizing me was very exciting. I was amazed one day
when a group of girls in their teens came up to me and told me that they
loved to read my stuff cause it was funny and so applicable. They asked me to give
my first autograph! Sadly, the magazine closed its doors after I had written several
articles and that was the end of that era, but it sure was fun while
it lasted.

After Vox, I started writing at least 3 books, 2 fiction and one
biographical – they are all in various states of completeness because time
has become such a scarce commodity, but every now and again I still write
and hope to finish them all soon. I still have my dream. One day, I will
become that published writer that I dreamt of when I was a little girl.

3) What advice would you give to a young person from T&T who’s thinking of
becoming a dancer/actor/musician/writer/etc.?

Three words of advice: love, persistence and discipline. I think loving an
art form is the first step to becoming good at it, excelling then comes more
natural because your heart is in it, whether it be dance, acting, music,
painting or writing. Being in the arts is no easy feat, it doesn’t start
off as a job that pays well or is part of any set routine. It is the
creativity and love that distinguishes and separates people in the arts.

Persistence is a definite requirement – because art is such a subjective
thing, one person not liking what you do doesn’t mean that someone else
wouldn’t. I sent hundreds of pieces to the Express. Their team
had to weed through all of it to find exactly which piece fit well
with the style of the magazine. Sometimes it confused me because I felt
like they could have published something else that was better in my eyes, but
I had to understand that they already had their brand. So it became about
moulding my work into what they expected without stifling my creativity.

Discipline; because again art is such a natural, evolving thing that when it
comes to writing for example, I can tell you – it is very hard for someone
to tell you what to write. When the inspiration isn’t there, writers block
is the easiest thing to stumble upon. So for me the discipline was needed
when I had to produce an article every week related to the theme
of the magazine, make it funny or build some kind of lesson into it.

Lastly I would like to add, never give up on your dreams. Hey, I just
turned 30 and I sure ain’t giving up – it’s nice to live on the edge of your
dreams and reality, makes you strangely focused in keeping your creativity
alive!