Category archive: Events and News
Letting go of something I’ve loved so much is a mountain insurmountable. As LeAnn Rimes sang (or Trisha Yearwood depending on your preference), “How do I live without you?”.
Since I purchased a 2021 Suzuki Vstrom 650XT Adventure bike, affectionately named, Pig, I’m having a difficult time justifying owning both my Dirt Pony (2015 Scrambler Icon 803) and the Pig. As evidenced by the legion of loyal Vstrom owners, this 650 adv bike is truly special. Only a week or so into ownership I can attest to why its praises continue to be extolled by so many . . . It is everything they say it is and MORE!!
Even with all my ($$pricey) adventurey upgrades and mods to Pony, the Pig outperforms the Pony in nearly every respect. Except these . . .
- The Pony has more . . . well . . . ponies!
- The Pony is a Ducati!
- The Pony was my first bike.
Other than point #1, which objectively contributes more power and low-end torque to the picture, the other 2 points are quite subjective but are probably what keeps me the most emotionally (and subsequently physically and financially) attached to the Pony.
Just when my analytical, practical brain takes over (following a ride on the Pig) and tells me I should sell the Pony, save money, and get over it, I fire the Pony’s beastly growling heart to life and the roar of that engine alone sows seeds of doubt again. I climb aboard the familiar saddle, kick the little bugger into a gallop and experience the intense pleasure one only knows from riding Ducati. You see, Ducati really is different! You don’t simply “ride” this motorcycle, you “experience” it. In order to fully grasp it’s pleasure-giving qualities you dance with it… as in full-on ballroom style dancing. The act of manipulating the clutch, gear shift, throttle, and brakes becomes finely tuned choreography which serves to enhance the immense pleasure as you learn the bike’s tension limits. After years of dancing together, you become as one unit, no longer thinking about mechanics, but just being… gracefully sweeping the paved and dirt perfomance “stages” like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing their way through scenes in a grand movie musical. As nimble as the Pig is (freakishly so!) it doesn’t dance with me.
And then there’s this…(least practical but most emotionally blackmailing), the Pony was my first motorcycle. I waited almost 9 months after ordering it in 2014 for it to arrive in the US as I was one of the first people in the world to clamor behind its unveiling. The wait was akin to a gestation period in which I spent countless hours studying anything I could find on the internet from the European riders and US press who got their hands on it before me. Since the first slap on the ass, together we have traveled nearly 54k miles enduring many trials and adventures. To compound the pain, the bike is not currently failing in any way . . . it’s still going strong!! I cannot tear myself away from the fond memories and intense joy I feel when simply looking at my proud little Pony. As capable as the Pig is (Adv/touring deluxe!), it doesn’t have soul.
How does one kick a faithful steed aside for an arguably lesser mount in a minority of highly subjective respects?
If anyone out there has been faced with the same dilemma (and I know you have… looking at you guitarists!), PLEASE give me advice. Be brutal with all sides of the argument and help me make a sensible decision I can live with.
Today is the anniversary of the end of the Korean War. I know this because my dad has made a point this week – every day – to remind me. You see, my dad is a Marine. A Korean War veteran. He tells me, that on the truce day, the Marines (my dad among them) lined up on one hill looking across to the Korean Army on the other hill. The landscape was burned and savaged. Neither side was really sure the war was over and everyone stood ready to battle. The tension and ultimate relief must have felt incredibly bipolar and overwhelming.
While my dad doesn’t tell war stories, he has some very strong memories and emotions surrounding a few occasions during his time in Korea and the Corp which he does care to share and I’ll drop one of them here.
Now, first you need to understand my dad is a prolific story teller, and in spite of his proclivity to reel you in with a well-crafted punchline, he will also relay honest-to-God genuine tales of his life’s exploits. Much like Edward Bloom in the movie Big Fish, my dad’s life has been full of imaginative, wild, and true stories which are made all the more endearing by his ability to tell them with a trademark twinkle in his eye.
Now in his 90s with his memory beginning to fail, the stories have become a bit jumbled as the events and chronology are tangled in the fog of an aging mind. He knows he’s having trouble, hates that he struggles, but nevertheless, he continues to regale us with his tales. Having heard most of them over the years, I’m able to weed through the hazy retelling; just enjoying being in his company and giving him the audience he craves while knowing in my heart that some bits don’t quite belong with other bits.
BUT, there are some stories which are indelibly etched in his mind and will probably remain intact until he draws his final breath. This is one of them. And it about brings me (and him) to tears every time he tells it.
When my dad was in high-school, he opted to take typing because the teacher was a very good looking young woman named Miss Quillter – obviously an excellent reason to choose that particular elective. 😉
Fast forward a year or so later, after he had joined the Marine Corp, to a mission in Korea in which his unit was ordered to the front lines. My dad, being a gung-ho Marine, jumped to it, but was collared by a superior officer. “Illsley, not you!” He barked. “I understand you can type.” Much to my dad’s dismay, he was held back so he could type up the battle report.
On one hand, this was a blessing. Practically his entire unit was wiped out on that day. Had my dad gone, he most likely would not have survived. On the other hand, it was one the most gut‐wrenching, tragic times of his war experience.
You see, he was forced to type up the names of the guys he trained with, lived with, and fought beside – brave young men who died or were severely wounded in the ensuing battle. Bitter tears flooded his eyes and streamed down his face with every stroke of the keys, typing “KIA” (killed in action) or “WIA” (wounded in action) alongside the name of a buddy who just hours before he may have shared a tent or a meal with.
My dad is the strongest man I’ve ever known, and to watch the emotions stranglehold him as he retells those events (hundreds of times by now) is simply unbearable. He was, and still is, riddled with survivor’s guilt while also filled with gratitude and full recognition that he was incredibly blessed by life circumstances. He has never been able to quite reconcile the two. (Btw, don’t let anyone tell you that what happened in Korea was a “conflict”. It was a war with all the hell that goes with it!)
Clearly though, he survived, met my mother, had my brother and I, has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His life has been filled with one thrilling event after another and his legacy is secure!
On a lighter note to wrap this all up, wanna know one nugget I’ve come away with after a lifetime of hearing and contemplating this particular story?
Well, if you ever have to choose a class for an extra credit, you might want to pick the one with the good looking teacher. It just might save your life!
She’s 48 and still walking a runway?!
YES I AM! If people are willing to have me, who am I to object or question it? So here are a few pictures from the Spring 2015 Redress Raleigh runway fashion show. I am blessed beyond measure to have Leopold Designs owner Kim Kirchstein ask me to wear her garments in public and I’m humbled to be surrounded by such young beauties and have their support. Kim’s creations are utterly amazing and as long as she’ll have me I’ll keep walking for her – with a cane, walker, or wheelchair. Whatever it takes! Here are some pics from the show at The Lincoln TheaterDetails
The Complete Bio
(in third person as you would expect)
Colleen Ann Guest’s performance roots can be traced to the barnyard of her family’s farm in upstate, NY – the barn floor being her first stage and the majestic hills her backdrop. It was a rustic venue with little amenities but the house was always packed and she could name her dates. Her audience was kept thoroughly entertained by rambling monologues and songs sung without regard for conventional styling; however, interpretive dance was foregone due to the sometimes slippery nature of the dance floor. Hardly able to contain their exuberance, the attendees cheered her on with their doe-eyed droopy-headed silence, an occasional tail swish or lazy flick of an ear; and for those moments of undeniable greatness, a resounding grunt or sigh – – the height of critical acclaim!
Fast forward through adulthood. She grew up, got married, had children, and lived an extraordinary life punctuated by joys and tragedies before finally leaping back into the world of make-believe. Having an arsenal of life experiences to draw upon (and the recollections of happily amused farm animals to encourage her) she sought training and pursued her lifelong passion.
The stage held a certain allure for Colleen but, oh there was magic to be made in the movies. Relishing one of her first film roles as a slasher victim in a student horror film, she (and the audience) was shocked to discover during the screening that – – apparently – – Colleen couldn’t hold her breath very well while playing dead. The film’s dramatic climax ended with shouts of, “She be breathing,” and gales of laughter echoing throughout the theater as she and her husband slunk out desperately hoping not to be recognized. (Directors take note: Colleen has since gained a ninja-like control over her involuntary bodily functions.)
Catapulted forward by these and other adventures, her acting resume began to take shape. She knew she’d “arrived” when she had to either reduce the font size or drop some credits to make the resume fit on the back of an 8 x 10 headshot – a milestone every actor dreams of! So, now, without further ado (cue the overture and hit the lights), let’s take a gander at some of her more illustrious career highlights….
Colleen Ann Guest made her theater debut in 2000 playing Claudia Grubner in Raleigh Little Theatre’s John Lennon and Me, a poignant play about the fragility of life – – a subject close to her heart. She has since performed on numerous stages and is a two-time Cary Players’ Pietzsch Award nominee for Outstanding and Supporting Actress for her portrayals of Lousia Bodek in Don’t Pick Up from Love Bits and Bites, and Lily Belle Savage in The Curious Savage.
Making considerable progress in the celluloid (ok, digital) realm, her IMDb credits continue to accumulate. Colleen’s on-screen appearances include the nationally distributed Pray series by Cross Shadow Productions in addition to being cast in several feature-length films, shorts, and internet webisodes; some by award winning filmmakers, like Rob Underhill and Aravind Ragupathi.
Colleen has also become a popular actress of choice for corporate clients; representing prominent organizations like United Therapeutics, TSA, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and Church Initiative. She has been featured in dozens of commercials, industrials, promotional videos, voice-overs, and print media.
She genuinely cares about her craft and has studied earnestly with some brilliant mentors. Among them are Writer’s Guild member Ellen Shepard and Casting Society of America member Jordan Beswick. Ever the opportunistic student, Colleen also stashes away mental notes of people’s habits and mannerisms for future character development. So beware – – you have been warned!
Someone has to wrangle all that talent and Colleen is most fortunate and grateful to be professionally represented by Talent One. She and her adoring husband Neel currently reside in North Carolina along with their charming (and frequently obnoxious) kitties and Miss Gracie Mae – the most delightful 3-legged dog to EVER walk (hop) the earth.Details
“…and Kirchstein’s final look, a fiery dress, was a showstopper.”
WHAT WHAT? HOLY COW!!! The reviewer was talking about the dress I was modeling!! Whoo hoo – I wore a showstopper!! Let me tell you, hitting the catwalk to sounds of cheers and cameras flashing is a pretty heady feeling and but to see the accolades in print is out of this world. Not bad for an old lady who JUST started this modeling thing! OK, not old, but middle aged. Just goes to prove that you’re never too old to try something new! I’m so excited to be part of a world that traditionally doesn’t recognize women if they aren’t 17 years old, skyscraper height and rail thin. I do believe that there’s room for REAL women in the modeling world after all and I’m living proof!!
Last weekend I was so very blessed to be asked to walk a runway show for the “Fashion a Better World” event at Top of the Hill Distillery in Chapel Hill, NC. It featured women entrepreneurs in North Carolina focused on sustainable fashion whose aim is to encourage artistic minds to bloom where they are planted, creating an ecosystem of creativity within North Carolina. Brooks Bell, entrepreneur and champion of women-led businesses, was the keynote speaker. They also featured a surprise celebrity guest which you can read about here. The event was sponsored by UNC as part of Global Entrepreneurship week, along with Triangle organizations, to give designers a platform to talk about the significance of their work and promote the growth of the fashion industry in NC.
I modeled for the fabulous Kim Kirchstein of Leopold Designs who is not only an amazing artist but she is one of the sweetest, most down to earth people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I’m proud to call her my friend! Check out the UNREAL dress I got to wear. It’s actually 108″ x 45″ of hand-batik silk, with wet-into-wet dye and brushed-on wax strokes which create the soft textures in this design. Kim tied it around me in what she called “the pantsuit” tie. The feeling of silk enveloping my body was heavenly and then to wear it down the runway was just icing on the cake! Read this awesome review from Scope Magazine and the wonderful blog from Pretty Little Snipets to find out more more about all the brilliant designers and how incredible the night was. BRAVO to everyone and a special thanks to Symbology for hosting the event!Details
~~~~~~Mark your calendar~~~~~~
The Second Sunday Film Series at the ArtsCenter presents…
HIS LAST SUPPER, the world premiere!
Sept 9 | Doors open 4pm – Admission $5
“His Last Supper,” a Rob Underhill short-film will be presented with other films as part of the inaugural Second Sunday Film Series event.
A WAKE DRAMA & ZONING MEDIA Production…
Starring COLLEEN ANN GUEST, GREG WAIT, OLIVER FLYNN
Voiceover by KEVIN SILVA | Also featuring MARYIA KROTAVA
DIR/writer/producer ROB UNDERHILL | DP/producer ARAVIND RAGUPATHI
Associate producer JASON CASELLI | AC/editor RANDY BERNARD
Line producer KATIE JONES | Script supervisor LEANNE BERNARD
Loc. Sound CYRUS YUNKER | Lead grip PATRICK NEILSON
R O B U N D E R H I L L
Award Winning Director . DP . Editor . Writer . Producer
cinema – music video – promotional – corporate
“Foodie” – Directed by Christopher G. Moore
“Laws of Attraction” – Directed by David Pemberton-Smith
“Perfect Family” – Directed by Foodie’s own, Nick KarnerDetails
Olivia dreams of becoming a pirate but her Aunt Beatrice is determined to turn her into a proper young socialite. Can these two co-exist throughout the summer while her parents are away?
Colleen Ann Guest is super excited to be playing the part of Fanny Boyle in the upcoming family comedy Parlay by Deano Pictures!! It’s written and directed by Dean Garris, produced by Dean Garris and Spann Brockmann, and stars Helen Kearney Konen, Tate Clemons, Owen Daly, Rebecca Morris, Nick Karner, Linda Guth, Colleen Ann Guest, and Leah Caruana.
The professional shots are starting to roll in and you can see some incredible shots of all the fashion and models! I have to say though, I’m especially partial to the designer I walked for: Margo Scott of Rocket Betty Designs! She has a Facebook page too!
If you have any Redress Raleigh sightings, then by all means post them in a comment here! I’ll post more links as I find them too.
- Thank you to Elizabeth Galecke Photography on Facebook for the featured image on this post! Go see the rest of her shots on her facebook page here: Elizabeth Galecke Photography Redress Raleigh Album or go visit her website at www.elizabethgalecke.com
- SimplyDPhoto.com website
- Facebook photo album by Qlint Chesney
- Michelle Smith’s blog
- Artery Blog in the Independent Weekly
- NC Museum of Natural Sciences Nature Research Center Grand Opening photos on Facebook
- WKNC 88.1 Blog
- Sarajane Case Photography
- Side Yard Studios slideshow
- New & Well blog
Colleen Ann Guest is pleased to be joining the cast of The Watch, a SAG Signatory Short film written and directed by Roger Franks of Nilescat Studios, produced by Michael Devereaux of Lagniappe Motion Pictures, and starring Tucker Smallwood, Adrian Thomas, Lisa Sain Odom, W. Scott Parker lll, Jody Vines, and Jeff Briggs.
Nathan Bishop, an ambitious and successful lawyer, faces a life changing moment that brings about a chance meeting with Mason Hughes, a man with a rich history, having had the opportunity to be a part of the Civil Rights Movement in this country. Mason sees the good in all and believes it’s never too late to make a difference. Nathan soon realizes that his life has greater meaning but has he waited too late to find what that meaning is?
The Watch will be shot entirely in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2012.
Colleen Ann Guest is pleased to announce she will be joining the cast of the feature film, “Too Far From the Tree” as alto sax player, Angie. “Too Far From the Tree” is a musical film which explores the rocky relationship between a father and daughter, starring Billy Sandlin and Tabitha Poorman, written and directed by Larry “Doc” Carmichael, and produced by Sound Influence Studios. To be filmed on location mainly in Dunn, NC August 2012. Click here to visit and LIKE their Facebook page for the latest updates and news!Details