Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Swiss Army Man

    I must admit being drawn to things a little left of centre. I am a fan of such shows and movies as Doctor WhoBlack Books, Party Down, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and almost anything that came from the imagination of Wes Anderson and that just says all you need to know about that.

    So it comes as no strange thing that I should be so very enthusiastic about this treat of a film - Swiss Army Man. It looks disturbing [in a most excellent way], magical and beautiful, and I can hardly wait to see it at the cinema. We need more films like this, yes.

Friday, 24 June 2016

What Would Jane Do?


    I am on something of a Jane Austen binge at the moment. So much so that when I finish rereading all her books in my collection, and watched all the classically loved film and television interpretations, I fear that I may resort to watching the zombie hybrid of Pride and Prejudice. Oh dear god!

    I will not bore you with my reasoning for liking Jane Austen. But I will comment on my thought process of late. When I am stuck and not sure how to proceed, I have been asking myself 'What would Jane do?' As far as I can tell she seemed to have a logical way of thinking, as well an amusing way of seeing, and if her fictional works are anything to go by it is safe to say she was not prone to irrational acts that might betray a less even temper. Well played Jane, I say.

    I decided to conduct a Google search of 'What would Jane do?', hoping to find some hilarious meme on the title. And guess what I found. A book of that very title filled with little quotes from the literary queen of rom-coms herself. If you're looking for this book, it is not to be confused with What Would Jane Austen Do? [written by Laurie Brown] which appears to be a get your kit off type story in the vein of Mills and Boon. Not that I'd actually know about that. 
What Would Jane Do? Quips and Wisdom from Jane Austen
Publisher: Penguin Random House

    While I'm on the topic of Jane Austen I decided to find a few more low brow references in her name. Let's take a look, shall we?



Friday, 6 May 2016

Like You, Like Me

    Today this video popped up on recommended viewing, so I gave it a whirl. I was intrigued by this one woman's [Caitlin Stasey] perspective on being 'the pretty girl' in Hollywood. This video was just one of many interviews; part of a video project produced by Style Like U. The project What's Underneath examines the personal experiences of women. 

    As the women tell their story, layer by layer a piece of clothing disappears. But this ain't no strip poker. Think of it as removing layers of an onion. Each layer of clothing removed is a weight of the women's shoulders.

    What I'm loving about these videos is the human connection that comes with it. You could just as easily read about these interviews in a magazine, or as a transcript. And yet the video format for this type of storytelling allows the listener to feel the words. Hence we have a much stronger connection.

Friday, 29 April 2016

A Not So Hairy Story

© Melissa Gaggiano

    I recently shaved my hair off for the World’s Greatest Shave, a fundraiser for the Leukaemia Foundation. It was an exhilarating experience, meaning I was both excited and completely terrified by what I planned on doing. But I went ahead [‘ahead’ get it? Oh never mind] and lopped the hair right off – a number one shave to be exact.

    It always seemed like a brave thing to have a short haircut. Mostly this was because a fully grown man-child once giggled at the sight of my newly chopped hairdo and told me I looked like Leonardo Dicaprio. I was actually going for the Halle Berry look, circa 2002. Clearly I had not the face to pull off the look.

    Since then, whenever I go for a short cut my one and only question is not ‘does this make my head look fat?’ but ‘does this make me look like Vin Diesel?’ Despite being a part time tomboy, I definitely do not want to be confused with being one. Of course I seriously hope that my hips and boobies are a huge give away to my gender even if my hair, or therefore lack of is not.

    Some surprisingly nice revelations have resulted from shaving my head. I have discovered that I actually do have a nice head for baldness – no lumps, no bumps! And with the exception of one person in the community commenting that I look intimidating, most have had uplifting things to say about it. Nice head shape. I look like Sinead O’Connor [thank you 50% Irish genes].

    One of the fun things about shaving my head for a fundraiser was that it gave me the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone. In high school I admired a girl for completely shaving off her long curly locks. She looked amazing but I never once in my wildest imaginings ever saw myself doing what she had done. Had I known then what I know now.

    The hairdresser, who kindly donated her time for the World’s Greatest Shave, took off my hair starting with the sides, resulting in my sporting a ten second mohawk. Very rock star! I looked like Bono [again I thank my Irish genes]. I realised later that my hairdresser was allowing me the freedom of panicking and hitting the gigantic red stop button if I couldn’t handle the full lop. After all what woman in her right mind is going to stop the process when they’ve been given a reverse mohawk?

© Melissa Gaggiano

    So, that haircut took place a month ago and my hair has since grown out to a healthy 2 cm helmet. I feel like a half finished illustration of Astroboy, minus the sharp points on the head. I do want long hair again, but as my hair has a ways to go I realise that shaving my head has opened the doors to further potential experimentation. I could peroxide it [I’m thinking Edie Sedgwick or Debbie Harry]. Finally do that pink colour that I’ve wanted to try for so long [Jem and the Holograms anyone?]. I could even have a pink 1920s do. I’m having fun just thinking about the possibilities. From a bald head big things grow.

Love is… Many

© Melissa Gaggiano

Love is gran'ma feeding
Babes not her own.
Love is a boat ride,
Over freezing waters of hell.
Love is hope holding on,
Love is then letting go.

Love is blindness,
That knows no colour,
Love is a stranger’s kindness,
A smile, a hand up, help, hello
Love is a long distance driver,
That knows no limit.

Your love is big, in
The small things you do.
Your love is an educator,
Reprograms my view.

Love is diving,
Love is sinking,
When it is gone,
We drown in the hole.
Love is destruction
Pushing one on,
To yet another drink.

Love is the storm, destroyer,
The centre, the whole.
Love is many, splendid
And terrible things.

Love is…

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

5 Minutes with Joshua David McKenney

Joshua David McKenney
with Pidgin

    Joshua David McKenney is an inimitable, and celebrated lifestyle and fashion illustrator. Some of his clients include Harper Collins, Penguin Group, Saatchi Group, Scholastic Books, Elle Girl, Seventeen Magazine, Girl’s Life, Innovative Kids, Mattel, MAC cosmetics, and Nylon Magazine
    Beginning in 2009, Joshua's iconic fashion silhouettes took a three dimensional transformation with the creation and development of Pidgin, the fashion doll with a fan art following.
    And now Joshua takes 5 minutes:

Best breakfast ever…
is being spent a little hungover with friends and a bottle of champagne.

5 books I keep close by are...
Miss Piggy’s Guide To Life­ Miss Piggy (as told by Henry Beard) 
The Biba Experience by Alwyn W Turner
Your Beauty Mark​ by Dita Von Teese

Mel Odom ­ First Eyes by Hiroko Tanaka
The Lonely Doll​ by Dare Wright 

Looking out the window I see...
Other windows.
JD McKenney: self portrait

I haven’t done this yet, but I would really like to...
Go to Barcelona and Berlin.

To get the creative juices flowing I usually...
just start working. It takes a bit of time but I find the best way to be creative is to start making things your hands and see what comes out.

My all time favourite Pidgin design is...
usually whichever doll I’m currently working on.

If Pidgin were a song she would be...
Georgy Girl by the Seekers.

Thank you Joshua, for your mentor-like generosity. You are pure awesome sauce.

For more information about Joshua and the elusive Pidgin:


Sunday, 24 April 2016

1997 Interview - Bruce Mansfield

    In 1997 I interviewed Bruce Mansfield on his live radio segment. The topic was radio land history within Australia.
    Inspired by the comedy film "Radio Land Murders" I decided to base a high school project on actual local radio history. I wrote to Bruce asking a swag of questions about his experiences working in radio. Bruce went one further, and invited me to ask the questions live on air.
    At the time of recording I was 18 and a nervous wreck [I could barely speak, let alone think]. It was an amazing experience, and I feel lucky to have that opportunity.

Bruce Mansfield 1944-2016