Living in LA has its ups and downs. Every day is a brand new adventure and that is exactly what I love about it. However, when you first move here, that newness can be quite a problem. There are so many people and events constantly happening that you find yourself somewhere new--at an art gallery, comedy show, or unexpectedly at the apartment of a celebrity--and what happens is "the LA thing". You meet someone new. They are an actor/dancer/singer/producer... and so are you, so naturally you decide to "work together" and become best friends. You are definitely going to "get coffee this week" and proceed to either make one failed attempt at getting together or just never see or hear from each other again. It's not entirely anyone's fault. It's just LA.
Luckily for me, I've decided to share my life with an amazing man who has lived in this city longer than me and had some time to weed out the false friends and introduce me to those that he's decided to keep in his circle. This is how I met singer/songwriter Cari Golden. She has described her relationship to me as a friend/mother/sister/mentor. I would say that's quite accurate. My loving family is very much a part of my life, but I have no family members in LA and Cari has helped fill that void. We know each other on a spiritual level and continue to learn about each other on an earthly level. She is an incredibly talented and unfailingly generous soul.
I recently had the honor of performing and choreographing for a music video of Cari's that she recently released to Beatport on her own label, Precarious Records. The song, "Fever in the Air", was produced by DifferentMe and is described on Beatport as "a deep house driver with understated polish and seductive pull". Magazine Sixty wrote a brief piece on the track praising "Cari’s emotionally rich, yet understated vocals" as they "adorn the hypnotic implications generated by a simple bassline and deeply effective pads care of DifferentMe". You can see why I'd be excited to have the opportunity to create movement to this song with the collaboration of my boyfriend Steven Butler as director.
Steven came up with the general idea and visuals for the video based on an idea that Cari had. Steven's vision was to illustrate the emotion of encumbered passion using dynamic artistic images juxtaposed against Cari Golden singing, interjected with footage of dancers discovering the rhythm of life and love. I had a fairly open palette to create with in terms of choreography. Since moving to Los Angeles, my intent has been to maintain and utilize the knowledge I gained from getting a BFA in Dance and train more in the commercial styles of LA to find a way of honing my creative voice in a way that is highly artistic while still having commercial viability. This video seemed like the perfect place to explore that.
The overall process of choreographing the end result of this video was entirely a collaboration among Steven, dancer Charles Roy, and director of photography Jaime Salazar. I came up with a series of moves and specific phrases, Charles and I collaborated to make a contact driven phrase together and we each had some freestyle. I tried to just move in the way the song inspired me, and not overthink it to much. It was pretty subconscious. I really wanted to represent the song through movement. Under the direction of Steven, Jaime created the lighting and framing for how the viewer would see the choreography through the lens. Once everything was shot Steven edited the footage to make the story. The framework for the story was in the movement I created, but Steven really tied it together in a way that makes you feel a sense of narrative. Even though the video is eight minutes long, the viewer is drawn in and the time passes quickly because they are drawn into what will happen next. There is an allure to the character I play and it is easy to get attached to Charles' character as he is taken over by the "fever". The relationship between us is subtle and captivating.
The overall product was a success that I'm proud to have been a part of. Cari is hypnotizing in her performance and looks stunning in her make up by Audur Sir Jonsdottir and hair by Jenwa Bailey. Steven's vision was artfully carried out visually by Jaime and Charles was flawless in his movement and performance. I was lucky to be a part of such an amazing cast that I can equally call my friends. When you've got eight minutes to spare, get lost in the trippy visuals and artistic storytelling put together in this video.
Cari Golden and DifferentMe | Fever in the Air | Directed by Steven Butler