Friday, July 5, 2013

Carroll Bryant Interviews HoiTahPoiSha

I don't consider myself a professional blogger by any means. Even though I have published four books and written 20 songs, I don't consider myself a professional writer. I'm just a guy. A regular guy who loves the magical and wonderful world of art.

While my artistic abilities reside in the written word of poetry, songs, and story telling in the form of books, I also have attempted expressing my creativity through oil paintings and photography. However, I fall a little short in that department - but at least I try.

To me, success isn't always in the outcome of what you try to do in the world of artistic expression, but more so, how much fun you had in the attempt. While many people in the world today see success as nothing more than dollars and fame, anyone who has participated in creating art knows, that is a sham. Real success comes in the form of how art makes you feel inside. It's either inside of you or it isn't. And you do it because it is inside of you and bellowing to be released. It's a passion plain and simple.

I also believe that, just as it is in sports where no athlete is bigger than the sport they participate in, so it goes that no artist is bigger than the world of art. Every artist contributes their part for the cause. Sure, some make it big. Some artists become huge and maybe in the process, they begin to think that they are bigger than the role they play. Later, after their time has passed and a generation of new artists begin taking over, reality seeps in and the one time great artist discovers that not even they are bigger than the world of art. They had their time, and as it goes for all things in life, they are replaced by young up and comers.

Some people get into art for the fame or the money and it's those people who just don't get it. Some people think that by being artistic or creative that they will experience overnight success. That just isn't the case either. In the world of artistic expression, everyone starts from the same starting point. It's just like when I was running track in high school. When you take your mark and wait for the gun to signal the start of the race, everyone is lined up evenly. It's only when the race is over does the separation become visibly known. Only those who can go the distance reap the rewards of their efforts. In the world of art, there is no such thing as overnight success. You have to stand the test of time if you want to be recognized in that world. Which leads me to two artists that is the focus of this interview today. Their names are Lor and Miz. They are visual artists that have caught my attention. They are a dynamic duo known as HoiTahPoiSha on Youtube.

Since the age of technology, everyday people such as myself now have the ability to express their artistic side. No better evidence of this exists than when you go onto Youtube where there are thousands upon thousands - maybe millions - of people who open up an account and showcase their artistic visual skills along side the professionals. Besides music videos, there are people out there in the world who put together videos of themselves doing all sorts of crazy and wild things. People of all ages showcasing their skills and their love for art. They play their musical instruments and sing, or perform in some form or fashion hoping to get recognized or discovered. This is how Justin Bieber got discovered, by posting videos of himself singing and performing. Youtube is also a place where young amateurs can hone their skills too. Practice makes perfect, right? The more you do it, the better you get. Such is the case with Lor and her friend, Miz. Together, they are HoiTahPoiSha. They have compiled 175 videos over the past several years on Youtube. In total, their videos have exceeded 1.7 million views.

Through all the videos that Lor and Miz put together, it was the video Lor did that spoke to me. It is called "The Show Must Go On" where Lor plays two clowns and lip syncs to a classic hit song performed by the legendary Three Dog Night that peaked on the American music charts at number 4 in 1974. Maybe it is my Joker fetish showing here, but that video spoke to me. But this is what art is all about, yes? And in fact, isn't that the main purpose of art, to inspire? Well, I think it is, and that's exactly what this particular piece that Lor put together did, it inspired me. It inspired me on many levels. So much so that I knew the moment I saw the video that I just simply had to interview her and Miz. 

The day after I first saw her video and downloaded it, me and my trusty laptop met up with a friend of mine at a local eatery called Roosters. I took out my lappy and told him, "Dude, you have to check this out." I then proceeded to play the video. Before it even ended, I had a small crowd at our booth looking on, including our waitress. It became the topic of discussion for pretty much the remainder of our lunch. My friend and I both agreed, that if they ever do another Batman versus Joker movie, they should do it with a female Joker. And that female Joker should be played by Lor.

I'm not going to lie here, I could go on for a hundred pages praising the talents of these young artists and how mesmerized I am with their work. And you can tell just by watching their videos that art, like oxygen, resides in their lungs. It comes naturally to them. I don't think I have ever seen anyone smile and laugh as much as they do. Their high octane energy sprays out like a virus and infects anyone that is fortunate to stand close to their presence. Just by watching their videos and not knowing anything about them, I felt like I was watching my best friends or something. Even in some of the comments I read from their video posts, I knew I wasn't the only one who felt this way. Many people appeared to be clamoring for their attention. They just have that kind of appeal to them. That is what makes people great. To have that kind of effect on total strangers is an amazing quality to have. I chalk that up to the fact that they appear to enjoy life to the fullest. Their zest for it shows at every turn. They always looks like they are having fun. That kind of personality is infectious. More importantly, their camera presence is clearly noticeable as well. Even in the videos with their friends, your eye always seems to gravitate towards them. Clearly, without breaking a single bead of sweat, they are the star of the show. 

Perhaps to the untrained eye, when you first watch their early works, there isn't much to recognize. But I have been told repeatedly throughout my years of life that I have the uncanny ability to spot the smallest things about people. That I can pick up on the tiniest of details about people's personality. Maybe it stems from myself being in touch with my artistic side, I don't know. But I try to look past the physical and zone in on what people project from within. Everybody projects a certain amount of light or karma, and this karma (or light) is energy. In my belief system of the universe, energy plays a huge role and therefor, maybe that explains why I can identify others energy, be it a sad energy, an evil energy, or in the case of Lor and Miz, a positive energy. Regardless, I'm just fortunate enough to have that ability. Oddly enough, my energy has always been attracted to those who participate or have opened themselves up to their artistic side. All of my most closest friends are involved in one way or another in the arts. Take for example my five best friends, starting with my blog partner, Ira. She is a poet, and an aspiring author. Then there is my friend David, my former manager who is now working on his first novel. Then there is Vincent Crowley, front man for the death metal band, "Acheron" who I think of as my brother. Then there is Mason Smith, a pen and ink artist now turned tattoo artist and owns his own tattoo shop. Then there is Mason's uncle, Ted Fickison, a world renowned pen and ink artist in his own right. The list goes on. From actors, singers, to ballet dancers, the people in my world are all extremely artistic by nature. Even the man who sings on my CD's, Mark Rinehart, also writes books. I have inadvertently surrounded myself with artistic people. And it's not like I go out of my way to meet them either. Just from the fate of life, our paths simply cross. Our energies pull us together. 

 Such is the way of my meeting Lor and Miz. Our artistic energy collided. Now, I have the honor to be able to share with all of you this gold nugget that I have stumbled upon. It is with the greatest of pleasure to introduce to you two very gifted artists that live in their own unique world and yet shares it with everyone who dares to stand and watch them perform. Two young ladies that are more than just an act, but people, who by their very nature, is one of those people of whom you tell to your friends that you wish someday you could meet. They are those people! 

So, without any further blabbering from me, ladies and gentlemen - I give to you - this up close and personal interview with the very talented, and remarkable artists, Lor and Miz.

Carroll: First off, I want to thank you two again for doing this interview. Now, let me start the questioning with this: What is up with the name HoiTahPoiSha? What does it mean? Spill it! 

Miz: In high-school I was telling Lor a Japanese horror story about this little girl who fed her family human meat (long story) and she asked what her name was, and I told her I don't know. So she randomly said we should call her HoiSha.(Or what sounded like it) And then some time later we were watching the movie "The Grudge" (I can't stand that movie) and we decided to call the little scary boy in that movie "PoiTah" because we thought he was the boy version of "HoiSha". We decided to mix up the names. Lor is "HoiTah" and I am "PoiSha". We're oddballs!

Carroll: When did you two start doing your videos? And, what was it that inspired you to do them?

Lor: February of 2006 was when Miz and I started HoiTahPoiSha Youtube Channel. I had been filming music videos a couple years before that with my parents old video camera, but those videos were one shot takes. They weren't really thought through or told a story of any kind. They were more of a warm up for the music videos that you see on our channel today. I remember watching the movie "Chicago" when it first came out and was blown away by the way all the musical numbers were filmed and edited. I wanted to be able to do that and that movie is really what inspired me to start making music videos. Once I got into video editing and thinking through what shots I wanted to portray different stories, that's when the videos really took off for me. I became obsessed with making videos and trying to improve the quality and storyline of them from that day forward.

Carroll: What is up with all the smiling? You two seem to be so happy all the time. Not just having fun doing what you're doing, but you project this amazing zest for life. What gives? Are you two really that happy all the time?

Lor: I would say I'm a pretty happy person, and I do smile quite a bit and I am very optimistic. We both have a very weird sense of humor and I think that is projected through our videos. A lot of our videos are "cheesy" pop songs or characters that really go over the top to be happy or ecstatic about something. We crack each other up with our jokes and I'm glad at least some people out there get our humor! We are a bit weird sometimes but as long as we entertain ourselves and hopefully a few others down the line I guess that's all we could hope for! Some of our videos are serious, because it's nice to change it up a bit. Plus, the serious videos tend to be more creative, but I would say the majority of our videos have that quirky/cheesy feeling to them.

Miz: We both love and have a passion for making music videos because we have such a blast making them, and there's nothing like seeing the final product. We have a blast not caring what anyone else thinks, letting loose and have the best time. And like anyone, we have our good days and bad, but we're usually in good spirits when we're making music videos. (Except Lor gets cranky sometimes. See the bloopers in "Let Me Borrow That Top....")

 Carroll: How did you two meet? When did you two meet?

Miz: We first met in middle school at our mutal friends birthday party in 6th grade. We apparently have a picture together from back then that I have yet to see. But we became friends in 9th grade, we were in the same PE class and we were in marching band together.

Carroll: This next set of three questions goes to you, Lor. They pertain to the video that you did called "The Show Must Go On". And it is because of that video I was inspired to do this interview. First, this particular video is so different from all of your previous works and so far, I haven't seen another from you and or Miz that equals the creativity of this one. With that in mind, what prompted you to do it? Also, in this video you play two different clowns. Now, because of the song you chose, the music certainly gives the "circus" vibe so playing a clown isn't much of a surprise there, but you went the next step and played two clowns. Not only that, but you filmed them differently as well. With one, it looks more modern only in black and white. The other has color but you filmed it in a classic 70's distorted style - very grainy. Which I thought was brilliant. What inspired you to go in that direction? Take us through the creative thought process if you will. (And feel free to discuss the dog also. Is that your dog?) And third, while I love the song you picked for the video, why did you decide on that song? I mean, when you did the video some four years ago, that song was roughly 35 years old, well before your time. So yeah, why that particular song? Does it have some kind of meaning for you?

 Lor: I've always been a big fan of Three Dog Night. My dad is a big classic rock fan so my sisters and I were always listening to bands like ELO, Super Tramp, Three Dog Night, etc. growing up. This song was always my favorite because of the circus aspect, but also, it had a pretty dark message behind it. Yes, I am a happy person, but dark/weird things intrigue me so much. I love playing characters like the two clowns in "The Show Must Go On" video because there are so many elements to them. The "two face" clown with the black make-up is probably the most favorite character I have played so far. There are some other music videos that have similar characters (i.e. "Saturday Night", "The Bird and the Worm", "Love Me Dead", etc) which are so much fun to play as well.

The reason I chose the direction I did in "The Show Must Go On" is to try and portray the dark qualities of a clown who, on the outside, looks like a normal everyday performer. The darker clown in the video is supposed to be the normal clowns evil alter ego in a way. If you watch the video clips of the normal clown, yes he is performing for a crowd, but his heart isn't into it, he's sad at times, and there's something going on behind-the-scenes that the normal viewer can't see. When the video cuts to the darker clown, it's kind of supposed to be a glimpse into the normal clown's psyche.

And as for the dog? Her name is Pancakes. I lived with my older sister while I was in college and that is her dog. So I'm kind of like her aunt I guess! She's a cutie, I love her and she makes a couple guest appearances in some other videos as well. :)

Carroll: What kind of support system do you get from family and friends? Do they enjoy watching your videos? Do they support what you do?

Miz: Well, they're used to seeing us film/watching our music videos so they don't really say much anymore and leave us alone ... lol. Our friends are very supportive of our hobby and many of our friends have done music videos/skits with us! We've heard only positive things from our friends and fans.

 Lor: My parents have always been supportive of my videos. They got used to me running around in crazy outfits doing random things and have even been in a couple of the videos. When I graduated high school and moved away for college, my mom actually told me she missed all the shenanigans that I would get into while I was at home filming videos. My parents actually visit my channel a lot to keep up-to-date with the videos I've filmed and will call me and talk to me about them sometimes. All my friends are very supportive of my videos and are in the majority of the older ones. We grew up in a small town and we would make videos to pass the time. At first some of them were hesitant about it, but after they experienced how fun it is to be a part of these videos everyone was asking me when the next video was going to be and were all for it!

Carroll: How are the responsibilities distributed? For example, who does the filming, directing, producing and editing? And also, do you use scripts or do you just come up with a basic theme and wing it from there?

Miz: It really depends on the video/skit. I've filmed and edited videos myself in the past, but now that I don't have the equipment or the programs, I let Lor handle all of the filming and editing. We usually come up with ideas, direct and produce together.

Carroll: What can we expect in the future from HoiTahPoiSha? How long do you think you will continue to do these videos?

Miz: Hopefully, more videos and skits. I'd like to do another Jib Jab if we can think of any good ones to do. I'd love to continue doing these until we're grandmas! Lol It would be pretty neat to look back on the evolution of HTPS when we're walking around in hugos.

Lor: Hopefully, the production value will keep on increasing and improving. I look back on the first videos I posted on Youtube and I think "Wow, I have really come a long way from when I started out". There are always areas of improvement and I just strive to make people laugh and entertain them but also to do it in creative ways that hopefully they have never seen before. Like I said in my last answer, I don't think I will ever stop making music videos. It's just what I do, and I've been doing it for almost a decade now so why stop? Plus, it is really what got me into the career that I am in today. I don't think I would have even thought about going to film school if I hadn't had so much fun making these videos for Youtube. I might not see Miz on a regular basis like I used to, but whenever we see each other we always try to squeeze in time to make a video. It's one of the weird qualities about us that makes us such great friends. I know we'll be best friends for a long, long time, and making music videos is just a part of our relationship together. 

Carroll: Will there be another video like "The Show Must Go On?" I mean, are there any plans to put together another one that is so creative and well thought out like that one with costumes and clips and such or was that video a one time thing? I ask because, "The Show Must Go On" is a prime example of how much potential you have in creating such great art, and I would love to see more video's in the future of that same type of creativity. I know your fans would probably love it too.

Lor: I really don't think about "topping" myself. I just come up with an idea and go with it. Some of them come out better than others and "The Show Must Go On" is a good example of that. It was a very simple music video but the characters in it were portrayed well and it was very stylized. I think that's one reason why it's one of my more popular videos on Youtube. It is definitely in my top 5 favorite videos I have shot. Another one that I think is pretty creative is "Guardian Angel", it was filmed the same year "The Show Must Go On" was and I think they are both on the same level of creativity.

Carroll: I love your answer to that question, Lor. Nobody should ever put that kind of pressure on themselves to "top" anything they have done. Have any of you two ladies studied acting? Or plan to in the future? I know for you, Lor, in the video "The Show Must Go On", you clearly demonstrate great acting ability. Your body movements, and facial expressions, that is 90 percent of what acting is all about - and you nailed it!

Miz: Nope. Lor has!

Lor: Acting was actually my minor in college. It's kind of a long story but, Freshman year of college I was studying animal science. My dad is a veterinarian and I used to work at his clinic and thought getting into the animal field would be where I would be happiest. I quickly found out that I really didn't want to get into that field so I took a couple of film and acting classes my second semester and fell in love with it. My older sister was attending Columbia College Chicago for set design and told me they had a really good film program so I transferred there after my first year of college. I majored in film and video (focusing mainly on editing) and minored in acting. Acting was fun, but I knew I more than likely couldn't make a career out of it so I focused more on my film studies. After I graduated in 2010 I got a job at an ad agency downtown doing videography and editing work for them. I've been with the same company for about 3 1/2 years and absolutely love it. I think it's funny that something that once was a hobby turned into a career for me. I still make videos for the HoiTahPoiSha channel when I have the time. I don't think I will ever stop making music videos. It is just so much fun and I love hearing all the feedback from viewers! I just feel blessed to be doing what I love for a living and being able to enjoy every minute of it. :)


And that's what it's all about. Enjoying every minute of it. While that wraps up the interview portion, there is still more left to do. For example: If you want to check out more of HoiTahPoiSha videos, just go to their HoiTahPoiSha Youtube Channel

You can also buy that one of a kind HoiTahPoiSha gift item from tee-shirts for men and women, to sweat-shirts and outerwear, even clothing for kids and babies. They also have nightwear, undergarments and pajamas. They have gym bags and beach totes, cases and covers for ipods, drink wares, home items, magnets and even Christmas stockings, stickers and signs and more at The Official HoiTahPoiSha Shop

You can follow Lor on her Twitter Account

Follow HoiTahPoiSha on their FaceBook Account

Visit them at their Vimeo Page



HoiTahPoiSha - "The Show Must Go On"



HoiTahPoiSha - "Let Me Borrow That Top...."



I want to thank HoiTahPoiSha once again for taking time out of their busy schedule to do this interview. All of us here at the Carroll Bryant blog wishes you two ladies continued success with your videos and all the peace, love and fun that life has to offer. I hope we can do this again sometime in the future. You are now a part of the Carroll Bryant family and we have nothing but love for you girls. 

For everyone else, how many times in the past have I encouraged you to go for your dreams? To never let anything get in the way of what you want to do? Being artistic is a state of passion for passion is all you need to create your art regardless of what that artistic passion is. Be it poetry, books, songs, music, visual arts, painting or whatever. If it's inside of you, then let it out. After that, it doesn't matter. As long as you love doing it, there will always be someone out there who will appreciate it. So don't be afraid to just be yourselves. Peace and love to all!

 

2 comments:

  1. I've been a fan of HTPS for a while now and I'm glad to see they finally did an interview. Excellent job Mr. Bryant. Thanks for this.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I've become a fan too. :)

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