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Linda Fabulous. 03.24.14  
a person who raised the spirits of everyone she met passed away over the weekend. linda was the style icon and bellowing voice of the ace hotel in palm springs. she brought the house down every damn night in that place and it just won't be the same without her.

linda serenades from Michael Antonia on Vimeo.

here is a video of elizabeth, baby elodie, and our dear friends from the ace hotel experiencing her lovely serenade for the very first time before the hotel even opened. she was so great! we'll miss you ms. fabulous fly high!
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Bar Napkin Brainstorm 08.30.13  
ReCharge your Creative Batteries. ReThink Success. Reinvent your Business.

We're hosting a one day meeting of the minds where freelance creatives can come to get inspired, forge new bonds with other professionals, and workshop their own ideas in a lush productive environment.

What's different about this from other workshops?
Well hopefully a lot! But the biggest thing is that it's interactive. Bar Napkin Brainstorm is a creative foundry-where ideas, concepts, passion projects, brands, and marketing are melted down and ReConstructed. We won't just be talking at you-we're actually hoping to find new people to collaborate with as well! Plus we have a party at the end.

Who should come to this workshop?
The curriculum has been developed so that it's applicable to a diverse group of people. You don't have to be a visual artist to get the benefits from The Brainstorm. It will be good for photographers, but it would also be good for: entrepreneurs, creative directors, musicians, writers, makers, builders, destroyers, and shamans. No robots please. We aren't down with your kind. Except Smilebooth. That's one great robot.

Wheeling & Dealing!
It's our first time (blushing) so we're going to have a great deal on spots. However, space is pretty limited so if you're really interested don't delay! Email us here to sign up!

The Details
The first Bar Napkin Brainstorm is going to be held at the Ace Hotel New York on Thursday October 10th.

  • Presentations from Michael Antonia, Whitney Chamberlin, and Brian Morrow as well as a special New York based professional creative.

  • Speed Date: Have your ideas dissected and reconstructed in a one on one consultation. We're open to a two on one thing too. If you're into that.

  • The Board Room: Join us for a full group brainstorm, where you present ideas for passion projects, new businesses or creative meanderings and collect feedback, critique, support and hopefully future collaboration from the group.

  • After Party: We'll take the workshop to the bar to field test the concepts from the day. Dancing and drinks help the ideas from the day soak in and encourage more to keep coming. Michael and a guest will be playing records and the smilebooth with be going off. After all, a lot of our best ideas where written on bar napkins!

Michael Antonia

MICHAEL ANTONIA - music obsessive. entrepreneur.brunch aficionado.
founding member of the flashdance, YEAH! rentals, & YEAH! weddings

i bought my first record at the age of 9 (45 of Frank Sinatra's - New York New York). in 1996 i started djing by night, while booking and producing shows in night clubs, theaters, and festivals by day. two years later i took a job in marketing, advertising, and brand strategy. after 10 years of the ad world i realized i needed more, so i walked away from the clients (stayed pals with the creatives) and moved to LA. i started the flashdance from my dining room table during the worst recession in recorded history with a pregnant wife and no money. in almost 5 years we've turned it into one of the most highly regarded brands in the wedding and event industry. the flashdance now houses 6 companies and supports over 30 people.

i currently juggle my time between creative direction and marketing YEAH! rentals (my furniture and props rental company), and our newest wedding collective YEAH! weddings. i still maintain a dizzying travel schedule djing, and get my music obsession fix working as music supervisor for the ace hotel. occasionally i brunch.

Brian Morrow

BRIAN MORROW - film maker. day dreamer. rapper. 
creative director of Shark Pig, a full service production company/digital agency

I've done about a million weird gigs. I was a paper boy, a wood workers apprentice, a projectionist at a movie theater. I installed a telecommunications network at a housing project for Indian Monks.  I worked at the flag ship Taco John's in my home town - Cheyenne, Wyoming. I painted two building sized grain silos in the world's weirdest town - Fairfield, Iowa. I was the head of Security on that movie, Hesher. I got sent to Dubai as an air courrier with one hour notice, same thing with Rome except that time I saw the Pope! I've stood at the finish line of marathons and photographed thousands of runners drag their nearly broken bodies across. I've shot hundreds of graduations and hundreds of weddings. I've spliced fiber optic cable in cold tiny trailers, and mounted giant satellite dishes on the top of radio towers. One time I was hired to pretend that I worked at this architectural design firm so it seemed like they had more employees during a big client meeting. I ended up editing a rap video and answering to the name "Brant". It's all in a days work.   

I finally stopped taking day rates when I started a production company called Shark Pig. Now I just have one job, but it keeps me busier than ever. Our recent clients include: Levi's, Purina, UGG, Midori, Audi, McDonalds, Pfizer, Lucky Magazine, and Paul Mitchell. 

Whitney Chamberlin

WHITNEY CHAMBERLIN – cultural engineer. innovator. spiritual nerd.
Smilebooth inventor, Our Labor of Love director, all-scale event producer.

I've always been fascinated by widespread adrenaline rush. Starting when I was 16, I poured that stimulus into producing raves and festivals. In the early '90s, I worked as a tour manager for rock bands. At age 20, I started transitioning into the club-oriented nightlife scene with Tasty Shows, a Seattle affiliate of Neverstop. When I was 21, I joined the Neverstop team as one of their Cultural Engineers. We took the experiential stimulus and applied it to marketing, revolutionizing the standard model. At the same time, United States of Consciousness provided my outlet to the younger crowd. I became a company partner and helped turn a modest business into a phenomenon. We took the buzz and excitement of big acts like Black Eyed Peas and Daft Punk and coupled them with the wonderment of an experiential atmosphere (one event featured indoor motorcycle tracks), drawing crowds of ten to fifteen thousand.

Throughout all of this, I did my own documentary work. Which came in handy years later when my wife, Jesse, convinced me to do wedding photography with her. In the years that followed, Our Labor of Love rose to the forefront of the industry as one of the top ten wedding photography studios in the world. But as a wedding photographer, I became acutely aware that guests wanted to be involved in the creative process. This is how Smilebooth was born, a user-operated photo booth that is intuitive, empowering, and connective.

Over four hundred weddings later, as well as multiple incarnations and innovations of Smilebooth, I feel that the time has come for me to pass this particular torch along and start sharing what I've learned. I am currently in that process of transitioning back into doing more as an event producer, but I still have a hand in both Our Labor of Love and Smilebooth (Smilebooth is a particularly clingy robot who gives me guilt trips about abandoning it).

Josh Rosen

Josh Rosen, co-founder of Saturdays Surf NYC, is going to share with us from his experiences in taking disparate passions and fusing them to create a totally new and unique expression of culture and art.

For Josh it's never just been about speed, but speed + grace. Whether it's skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding; whether it's music, art, fashion; Josh knows there's a difference between clumsy, directionless speed, and the precise movements of a creature in flight. And wherever he goes, his passions come with. Moving to NYC should probably have deterred his surfing itch, but instead it inspired him to take advantage of the new space, not to mention the hole in the market. The NYC perspective combined with the surf lifestyle was a hybrid waiting to happen.

Years after building the surf shop literally with his own hands, now at the helm of a globally thriving fashion line, Josh still hasn't lost his sense of direction. He is just as excited as ever to keep pouring himself into new outlets of collaboration with other artists. Which is why it'll be so awesome to have him with us: to bounce ideas off of each other, to seek new outlets together.

Artwork credit: Tyler Spanger, click here to check out his amazing work!
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Waking Up In Ojai 07.19.13  
It's a slow awakening. Not groggy, just unhurried. The kids are still asleep, recovering from a day of nonstop swimmingjumpingdancingsquirt-gunning joy. Outside, a few of the not-so-youngsters are sitting poolside together, enjoying the still morning in the midst of a gleaming scatter of overturned animal floaties. The shark and the flamingo seem to have spent the night spooning behind a bush; the shark looks ashamed.

As the abandoned inflatables drift lazily in the water and begin to warm in the rising sun, so does the conversation, quickly regaining the earnest glow from right where it was left the night before. These humans have so much to learn from each other, so much to share. Their kids have so much playing to do together, so much growing. The amount of love contained in this little hotel is staggering to consider. To truly feel a part of this family, in this moment, in this place; safe, removed, yet not remote; connected to one another in this hidden pocket of light, can melt your fears. Not a worry is felt, not a moment is wasted.
To our dear friends who shared the Flashbash experience last weekend at the Ojai Rancho Inn, thank you so much for opening your hearts and being a family with us. Rest assured, the Ojai Flashbash will definitely strike again next year and many after.
To our extended family, we implore you to take the initiative to do this on your own. We know that this love is not always inherent in the biological concept of family; we are family not because DNA dictates it, but rather because we choose to be.

So we ask you, take the time to gather in a safe place where you can share your true selves. Allow your burdens to be shared and your hearts to be lightened. Allow your ideas to be shared and your minds to be sharpened. Allow the love you have felt to reflect onto others.

Choose to be family.

Forever grateful,
Whitney Kent Chamberlin
Look at all the #flashbashbbq instagrams, too.
Thank you Paige & Kelly for hosting this with us, and thank you James, Max, Nate, & Rainbeau for sharing your photos.

Thank you to the Ojai Rancho Inn for putting up with us and our millions of babies.
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get married in EUROPE with the whole FLASHBASH crew! 07.07.13  
guess what???? we are moving to italy for a month next year! flashdance dj, our labor of love, smilebooth sharkpig & bash please will all be in europe for the whole month of july 2014. wanna have a party, elope, have a destination wedding, or just chill and eat insane food with all of us? let's chill.
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LAZERS & BLAZERS 02.25.13  
We interrupt our regularly scheduled crescendo of hype for an announcement: 2013 is the last year that a Lazers & Blazers party will descend on WPPI.

Producers Michael Antonia of The Flashdance and Whitney Chamberlin from Our Labor of Love held the first Lazers event to honor the industry—to give hardworking shooters a chance to put down their cameras and be guests for a night.

In the four years since, this no-holds-barred party hosted by photographers, for photographers, has given back to its organizers more than they could have imagined. The generosity of sponsors, the anticipatory support of colleagues, and the culminating energy on the dance floor has filled the Lazers crew with an overwhelming gratitude that words cannot convey.

But an event of this magnitude can get too big for its britches. When that happens, the only thing to do is raise the torch one final time before passing it on. So. This is it. Get your tickets if you haven't already. We're busting ass to make the last Lazers & Blazers the best one yet. We know you're gonna bring it. Because this is your party. It has always been your party.

See you in Vegas.

"If you can't respect that your whole perspective is wack / maybe you'll love me when I fade to black" JAY- Z
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YAY!!! WE DID IT AGAIN 02.25.13  
Thanks to Matt Miller, OLOL Studio made top 10 in the world! Congratulations, Matt - you're like a son from our womb. And Whitney asks that you cover the bill to fix his huge stretch marks.
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