not quite Halloween yet, but that isn't stopping one event from
putting one of the best shows of the month you'll find anywhere on a
couple weeks early.
“An October Evening” takes place this Saturday evening from the Masonic Temple on South Temple. One of only a handful of yearly events to showcase art in multiple forms from film and music to fashion and bellydancing, all with the Halloween twist that every is craving this time of year. And with guest appearances from Lloyd Kauffman and Patrick Kendall, along with a live set from Vile Blue Shades, it's probably going to be one of the harder acts to top all year. I got a chance to chat with this year's co-runner Christel Edwards about the event, it's history, her thoughts on the scene and a few other questions here and there I would have chatted with Stephen too, but he was a tad busy trying not to loose his head over the whole thing.
Christel Edwards (with Stephen Simmons)
Gavin: Hey Christel! First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Christel: Well, Stephen and I are both horror movie enthusiasts. We were reconnected on the filming of the short, "Night Of The First Date", where I was acting in the lead role and doing special effects makeup, and Stephen was directing. Stephen and I hit it off, and I became his business partner for the third annual "An October Evening" event. Stephen is the co-founder of "An October Evening", an award winning local filmmaker, and musician. He will be presenting two horror shorts this year, "The Girl Who Stood On A Grave", and "Losing It". A little bit about myself... I'm a local SFX and beauty makeup artist, currently working on films in the Salt Lake Valley. I just recently wrapped on the "Donnie Darko" sequel, "S. Darko". Other films that I have worked on include Disney's "High School Musical 3", "National Lampoon's The Legend of Awesomest Maximus", "Sweatshop", and Disney's "Minutemen". I also work at haunted houses doing special effects makeup. This Saturday at "An October Evening", you can view some of my special effects makeup work in the photography exhibit.
Gavin: For those who are unaware, what is “An October Evening”?
Christel: "An October Evening" is an event inspired by many things... Halloween, horror movies, the October season, silent films, and all things creepy and cool! This year we will be featuring short films, art, photography, fashion, belly dancing, fire dancing, stilt walking, special guest Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Entertainment, and a musical performance by the Vile Blue Shades!
Gavin: Where did the idea first come from to do this kind of event?
Christel: Stephen and his previous business partner Heather wanted to bring an event to Salt Lake City to showcase local talent, and provide a horror themed festival that would be fun for all ages. Heather wanted to show her fashion designs, and Stephen wanted to share his short films. They collaborated in 2005, and "An October Evening" was born.
Gavin: Very few events in a year manage to get so many forms of entertainment in one night. Were you up for the task immediately, or was there some hesitation in trying to pull it off?
Christel: This is the first year that Stephen and I have worked on this together, so this is all new to me. It's definitely a crash course for both of us trying to line everything up, but we're hoping we can pull it off in the end! So far so good!
Gavin: What was it like planning and setting up for the first one? And what was the public reaction to it when it finally happened?
Christel: Since I'm answering this for Stephen, all I know is the first event was a major success, and that it sold out completely. It was held at the Regency Theaters in Trolley Square, and the crowd loved the idea of having a horror/Halloween festival that showcased arts of that nature. It was a hit all around!
Gavin: Few people include fashion into these types of events, what gave you the idea to include it?
Christel: Heather, the original co-founder, is a fashion designer and brought that side of the arts to the table. It's a wonderful addition, and adds something so different that other events don't have. I love the idea that this event covers all aspects of art. It gives everyone a chance to see how many talented and amazing artists there are here in Utah.
Gavin: How did you guys manage to get the Masonic Temple for the event?
Christel: They're actually very gracious about renting out their building. I've done quite a few belly dance shows there, and it's never been problematic to book out an event. The building is incredible, and we wanted to have "An October Evening" somewhere that would have the perfect ambiance. The Masonic Temple had exactly what we were striving for. It's an old building, and has a life of its own. It's almost as if the walls speak. Hope this doesn't offend anyone, but it definitely has a creepy feel to it. Which I love!
Gavin: This will be your third year, what can we expect from this year's event?
Christel: We're changing this year's format to more of a horror movie inspired festival, and the new additions will satisfy all horror enthusiasts. Stephen says, "The audience will feel as if they are staying inside a haunted house for one night. Everything on stage is interacted with the audience."
Gavin: How did you guys manage to get Lloyd Kaufman involved?
Christel: Lloyd Kaufman and I are great friends. I told him that I would love to bring him out for my event, and screen his new movie "Poultrygeist", which will be playing at Brewvies starting this Saturday. He'll be in town to do a midnight screening the night of "An October Evening", so don't miss out!
Gavin: Do you know what exactly Patrick Kendall will be bringing to show this year?
Christel: Patrick is an extremely talented airbrush artist, with 25 years under his belt. He will be doing live airbrushing, selling paintings that feature twisted and bizarre monsters, trading card sized airbrushed pictures, bottle cap monsters, and all kinds of goodies. Definitely stop by his table, and chat with him!
Gavin: Going a little state-wide, what are your thoughts on the local art scene, both good and bad? And is there anything you believe could be done to make it bigger or better?
Christel: I think Salt Lake City has a great art scene, and I feel like it's growing everyday. I'm amazed at our local talent. I hope that events like "An October Evening" will only make it bigger and better. I've been trying to advertise this event all over. I have people in New York who are building the hype, as well as LA. I hope everyone can see what a cool community we have here, and that we do in fact exist!
Gavin: Same questions, only this time on the local music scene.
Christel: Wow, where do I begin? Salt Lake City is home to many brilliant musicians. I think we blow quite a few larger cities out of the water when it comes to music. We're pretty hip, don't you think?! I'm honored to have the "Vile Blue Shades" perform in our show. I knew Ryan when he was in "The Corleones". So many great bands, and talented musicians in Utah.
Gavin: Again, same questions, but on the local film community.
Christel: Well, since I work on films, I know that it exists. But others are very unaware of it. I would love to see the film community grow, and give local filmmakers the opportunity to share their passions.
Gavin: Are there any surprises being planned for the event, or is everything set to a schedule with no room for last minute details?
Christel: There are definitely some surprises! You'll just have to come and see for yourself!
Gavin: Anything else you'd like to say about the show for people to know about?
Christel: I just want to bring a horror themed festival to SLC that everyone can appreciate and love. I want this to be an event that will showcase art on all levels, and get people excited about Halloween and the October season.
Gavin: Aside from the obvious, is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?
Christel: Tickets are on sale right now at Night Flight Comics, which is located at 210 E. 400 S. For more information, please visit our website.