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Posts Tagged ‘Mr. Wizard’

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The House of Hunt traveled across five states to celebrate family, create art and have a grand adventure at Folsom Street Fair. It was my eight year anniversary of attendance at the internationally renowned event. While each year carries its own treasured memories and its own unique magic, this year I had the honor of being asked to be on the Folsom poster. The posters are almost as famous as the event itself and the opportunity to be cast as a fetishistic version of Sarah Palin was thoroughly irresistible.

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Top left to right: Lieutenant of QHG, Mr.Wizard ( Kalib DuArte), Liliane Hunt, Captain of       QHG, Tyke Puppy, Mr.Song, Second Lieutenant of QHG. Kneeling left to right: Faery 2 (Princess Cream Pie), Faery 1 (Jessi K). Image by John Goyer.

 

 

As some you may already be aware I am now residing in Portland, Oregon; Folsom is in San Francisco and the Twisted Carriage does not fly unless it’s on her own private plane. So Friday morning at 5:00 am we began a thirteen hour drive with Tyke, the Twisted Carriage, my three bio dogs otherwise known as The House of Chi and The Junkyard Pack on the back seat. Sandwiched in between them was a crate of champagne, props, costumes and my favorite wine from Willamette Valley Vineyards. My gown and fascinator sat on top of the Twisted Carriage. You may of course wonder what mischief The House of Hunt and The Junkyard Pack discussed in a car for thirteen hours. Well, aside from practicing the top secret handshake, buffing up on our lines for our even more top secret ritual and street performance, not much aside from various renditions of the HoH theme songs of which there is Tyke’s version and mine. I will let you guess who has the thoroughly irreverent version. I am not at liberty to discuss anymore other than it involves a pterodactyl.

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Far left to right: Faery 2 (Princess Cream Pie), Mr.Wizard (Kalib DuArte), Lieutenant QHG. Center: Liliane Hunt, Captain QHG, Color Guard (Paulo Batista). Image by John Goyer.

 

We arrived at our home away from home at about 8:00 pm, a charming house in San Francisco with a delightful view overlooking the City. Moments later Matt Gray friend and owner of  (Get it up Drone Video) based in Seattle and Paulo Batista Color Guard for The Queen’s Horse Guard arrived on our doorstep from San Diego.  The House of Chi announced their arrival with a chorus of barks that they reserve especially for significant occasions. Later that night Jessi K, (one of our two Faerys) arrived with a gift basket for The House of Chi.

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Left to right: Matt Gray and Tyke Puppy. Image by Pup Gadget.

After a limited amount of sleep we awoke to sunshine, coffee and more visitors. Princess Cream Pie  Faery 2, brought over a tiny new recruit to the faery division of HoH.  Needless to say he passed the audition and we look forward to his upcoming contributions. At some juncture Mr.Wizard (Kalib DuArte) appeared, he has a way of doing that without even The House of Chi noticing, he also disappears just as quickly. In all the years I have known him and in a room full of people no one has ever figured out how he does it. Just recently Captain of The Horse Guards asked me where Mr. Wizard was from.  I pondered it for a moment and answered, the universe, although that was a guess and I couldn’t be completely certain.

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Far back, left to right: Mr.Song, Mr. Wizard (Kalib DuArte), Lieutenenant QHG, Faery 2 (Princess Cream Pie), Liliane Hunt, Second Lieutenant QHG, Captain QHG. Image by MisterKen Photography.

Almost as mysterious as Mr. Wizard is the famous Mr.Song of Mr.Song Millinery.  Years ago the Post Office lost my hat for four days, it happened to be one of Mr. Song’s exquisite hats and by a twist of fate and my complete misunderstanding of time zones he answered a phone that he never typically answers.  We then became acquainted. Occasionally if the fates align and he happens to be in town, Mr. Song will hat me for the event. Thankfully, the fates did align and he arrived with earrings to match my Christian Dior choker and advice on a bent feather acquired in transit, emergency averted.

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Far left to right: Lieutenant QHG, Second Lieutenant QHG, Faery 1 (Jessi K.) Center: Liliane Hunt. Image by John Goyer.

No HoH event is complete without the arrival of The Queen’s Guard, Head of Security for the entire House. Whenever we do any public event security is essential, I have absolute confidence in his ability to handle any situation owing to the fact that since he joined the team we have not had a single situation. His arrival is announced by the deep growl of his Harley which he rides from Utah to wherever we need him. He reminds me of a cowboy from an old West movie, and he can also make very good coffee.

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Far left to right: House of Hunt Security and QG, Captain QHG . Center to right : Liliane Hunt, Color Guard Paulo Batista. Image by Roger Landon Hall.

Finally with the family together and the Junkyard Pack joining us, the festivities began. In fact the festivities continued for such a long time, that I actually had to sound the royal gong and make them go to bed. What felt like five minutes later the alarm sounded and cowboy coffee was thrust into my hand, Lord Black announced the arrival of Andrea Costigan Ortega of Salt Spell Beauty my makeup artist for the day. I will let the photographs speak for themselves, we have worked together  three times now, two Folsoms and the Folsom Poster. She has become a beautiful and enormously talented part of the family. With make-up and hair done, I was now ready for my dress.  I absolutely must take a moment to sing the praises of Valentina European Alterations. Since I moved to Portland I had obviously bid farewell to my San Francisco tailor and  with no small about of trepidation I set Tyke on the task of finding somebody capable of understanding how to tailor a formal gown. The funny thing is when I met Valentina I knew, she exuded that quiet confidence of someone who knows precisely what they are doing. When I put my gown on the morning of Folsom it slid and contoured against my skin like a custom made glove.

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Liliane Hunt, image by John Goyer.

Dress, jewelry, and boots on with fascinator in hand, we headed to the vehicle. Meeting us at our rendezvous point was our documentary filmmaker extraordinaire Roger Landon Hall of Infinite Mind Media and our entire fantastic family. Captain of The Queen’s Horse Guards at the front of my carriage dressed in a custom suit of armor made by an elite British armorer, rear guard Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant. Typically the Royal House does not responded to rumors and there has indeed been one circling that the Lieutenant of the Horse Guards is none other than the Dogtator himself.  I will neither confirm nor deny this rumor. I can confirm however that excellent caviar was served at the after party.

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Left to Right: Tyke Puppy, Lieutenant QHG, Captain QHG, Second Lieutenant QHG. Far right: The Twisted Carriage. Image by Pup Gadget.

Second Lieutenant pounded the drum and off we went to Folsom as one big happy family.  Old friends and new greeted our arrival. Depending on whether I liked them or not depended on whether they received a royally wicked apple. The sun beat down on us without mercy; she was cruel, beautiful and unforgiving as we worked our way through the crowds. One of the radiant qualities of Folsom is the diversity of the individuals one encounters, all manner of creatures in all manner of dress, “Bow for the Queen!” and “The Queen of Folsom!” were shouted as we marched onward. The faeries darted hither and thither returning each time the carriage moved away and disappearing as we stopped.

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Image by Ajax

At some juncture Mr. Wizard deemed that the ground felt right for our ritual. The carriage was brought to a halt, the ground prepared and a circle formed to summon the Lord of Beasts at Folsom. Mr. Wizard called the quarters, we did our chant and called Cernunnos to us and the hairs prickled on our skin as we heard him answer. Yes we did that, right at the front gates of Folsom, just a magical ritual from the dark forest of the Pacific Northwest. After that we left; we made our way back home with the drum sounding the heartbeat of our procession.

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Left to right: Mr. Wizard (Kalib DuArte), Lieutenant QHG, Second Lieutenant QHG,                    Faery 1 (Jessi K). Center: Liliane Hunt. Image by MisterKen Photography.

This is not where the story ends, I am not at liberty to reveal the details of the after party but only to say the case of champagne was indeed drunk in its entirety and that somebody brought vodka and caviar.

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Color Guard (Paulo Batista)

The following day we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge to the home of Nancy Peach who had generously gifted me the 15 by 10 foot painting “Liliane Hunt”.  She was constructed in six panels totaling 150 feet. Wrapped tightly and securely she was carried aloft our vehicle where she sat for the next thirteen hours. That my friends is the story of how Hunt and Junk did Folsom 2016.

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Nancy Peach standing in front of the Liliane Hunt Painting

My undying loyalty and thanks to The Junkyard Pack for taking this journey with me across two state lines and for so gallantly taking up the reigns of the Queen’s Horse Guard. Thank you to the rest of our family who worked so hard to make this such a grand affair and to the photographers that braved the fierce heat and sent me pictures! Finally last but not least thank you to Tyke, Logistics Puppy and Producer of The House of Hunt events.

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Tyke Puppy, image by John Goyer

 

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Dearest friends and followers,

I wanted to take a moment of your precious time, to address some questions and comments that have come up repeatedly over the years, in particular, following a photoshoot.

“You always look so in your photos<insert compliment>, I wish I could do that, but I am not <insert adjective>”

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Liliane Hunt Image by John Goyer

 

You can do it. Not wishing to thoroughly ruin my twistedly evil reputation, but yes anyone (even you, yes YOU) can stand in front of a camera and look beautiful. First of all, try to extract from your consciousness all those things you heard about what beauty is supposed to look like. (This also works for handsome, or any other word that speaks to your soul.) Everything you learned from television, magazines and the media in general.  Now take it all, scoop it up into a ball, open your door or window and breathe in deep. Curse, shout if it feels right, exhale and throw that rubbish as far away as possible. Wash your hands, take a shower, sage, go for a run, dance, whatever allows you to feel cleansed from the lies you have been told your entire life, because that is exactly what they are.

You are beautiful, handsome, cheeky, cute, dashing, sexy, pretty in every size, in every gender on the spectrum, in every race, every color and physicality imaginable and every damn age. It’s true, it really is. I know I have a reputation for being wicked, but you’re just going to have to trust me on this.

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Sheba Ameera aka Weebit

Now we have sorted out why you think you can’t, let’s move on to step two!

“I would really love to take pictures like you but I don’t know how to get started.”

Find a photographer you want to work with and that you feel comfortable around. Maybe you have seen their work and think it’s awesome, or maybe you and a friend want to start shooting together.

Discuss the kind of pictures you want to take, what you feel comfortable with or not comfortable with, be upfront and candid. If you don’t know this person, try to find some background on them, people they have worked with before. Vet them.

Decide on a theme, a look, an overall idea, or just go with how the wind blows.  There are no rules.

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Liliane Hunt Image by John Goyer

I have a bit of a reputation for my outfits, but the reality is you do not need a fancy whatever to look good, you really don’t. The first dress I wore in my very first shoot came from a thrift store and, if memory serves me correctly, I think it was under $10 . If you are one of those people who struggle to find things that fit your body. I get it, I really do (I’m one of those people too). So if you are shooting from the front, pin or clamp the back, or get someone to sew you into it. No one will ever be the wiser; you wouldn’t believe how many shoots I have done with cheats like these.IMAG3876

Have fun, experiment, if clothes aren’t for you, but shooting in the buff isn’t something you feel super comfortable with either, you do have options. Body paint, fabric, draped strategically, if you are trying to do this as economically as possible, look around your home, your apartment, see what you can adapt and be creative. Take risks, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, it is all part of the fun.

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Liliane Hunt and Jessi K Image by John Goyer

If you are working with an experienced photographer he will likely have lighting, or have a sense of how to work with what you have at home. If this is just you and a friend starting at the beginning, teach yourself some basics, “how?” you ask, Google is your friend.  The lighting can make or break a shot so it’s always something to keep in mind.

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Image of Ed Mestre by John Goyer

Those are the basics, the rest is simply the icing. Well one more piece of advice, if you are not shooting in a studio, rather on location, or at home; take a few moments to check your space for something that you don’t want in the shot. This can be as simple as moving the sofa and discovering a dust bunny. It really is worth the time to double check.

“How did you get started in all this?”

Twenty plus years of theater both in England and the U.S. preceded my very first outing to Folsom Street Fair nine years ago, that particular adventure began with a tremendously rocky beginning.

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Liliane Hunt 2007, the beginning.

I had been grieving the death of my father, the threat of having to leave the US due to my Visa running out, and the dissolution of a four year relationship all at the same time. You might say I was miserable and quite soggy in my misery. Finally, Mr. Wizard (yes the infamous House of Hunt Wizard), suggested, in his Wizardly way, that I had been miserable long enough and now I needed to live life and go to Folsom Street Fair.  So I got up, got out of bed, put on an outfit that I felt good in, and that I had actually helped design a few months back, and off we went to Folsom. I literally had no idea what I was walking into, however I trusted Mr. Wizard. A very important quality to remember when choosing your wizard, or did he choose me? I guess we will never know. If I asked him I guarantee he would chuckle and answer the question with a question. IMG_4774

The sun was shining, I laughed for the first time in a very long time, and there were photographers. I had fun, and at some point over that evening or the next day (I forget), I ended up on the front page of The Chronicle and somewhere near Paris Hilton in the society pages of SF Luxe with the statement,  “Mistress Liliane best dressed at Folsom, some might say the only dressed.”FolsomStreetFair2007_LilianeHuntTheHouseofHunt

Now this in a nutshell started the whole ball rolling, because people started asking what I was going to do the following year. Then people started asking me to come to events in my outfits, then with my entourage, then could I do something on stage, and then what would I like to do on stage and how long for and so on… and that my friends is how it all began.

“If you could give any advice what would it be?”

When you find yourself immersed in a vat of lemon juice, I am not talking simple lemon throwing; I am talking full immersion. Keep swimming, keep moving, doggy paddle, do whatever it takes to keep moving, because sooner or later this too will pass. Sometimes the passing is that you find resolution in yourself and strength you never knew you had. Situations don’t necessarily change, but your ability to process them does. Be kind to yourself, love yourself, and nurture yourself. Find what gives you joy and do it. Be mindful of what you put in, on and around your body. Surround yourself with good people and people that call you on your stuff and nonsense when it needs to be called out. Perform an act of kindness for no other reason than to be compassionate and make this a habit. Draw your boundaries firmly and respect your boundaries. Allow love in your life in whatever form feels right, plants, animals, people it doesn’t matter allow love, give it and be open to receiving it.IMAG0130_1

Create something awesome! It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be food, music, art; it doesn’t even have to sound arty just create. Push yourself and give yourself permission to rest. Listen to your body and do not toss away the seeds of your dreams, plant them, water them and let them grow.

With many thanks and gratitude to all the amazing people in my life who have made this extraordinary journey possible. Lifetimes of gratitude to Mr. Wizard for being the very first person to believe in what I was creating and insisting I go to Folsom. So much love for the beautiful women, men (and those in-between) in my life that inspire me on a daily basis. You know who you are, cheeky, handsome, cute, pretty, sexy… YOU.

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