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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Question and Answer The Bandleader

What made you want to become a bandleader? Now that you lead a band, do you that the reasons that you continue to lead a band are the same as your original reasons? As a general matter, do you find being a bandleader to be more of a business or pleasure (i.e. love/furtherance of mas)? Do you have any advice for someone who might eventually want to become a band leader?

First off I must be very careful how I answer this first part of your question, don't want to give away my identity. Carnival has always been and always will be the one thing that defines who I am. It's in my blood and once it's there, there is no getting it out. It's all I have ever known, and even though I do have other occupations, being a band leader truly is who I am first and foremost. I continue because it's what I do, I am good at it, and even though It is also a business, to me, it's a labor of love. In other words I am happy to be able to make a living doing the thing I love the most.

What are your feelings on the bikini & beads mas issue? Do you appreciate what mas has become, or do you long for the days of Peter Minshall and think bikini mas is not furthering the culture?

Like all things, carnival is driven by what the consumer wants. I cannot sell a costume that people don't want to wear. I like seeing beautiful people in sexy costumes, so I don't have a problem with the beads and braid, if that is what you want to call it. And as long as people disguise and enjoy parading on the road, then the culture of Carnival is being served. Remember you are free to play mas how you wish, without anyone telling what you can or can not play. That freedom is the essence of carnival.

Peter made great costumes for his masqueraders, but even they moved on. Some play with Brian Mc Farlane, some stopped playing, and the rest scattered to other bands. So my advice to the future band leaders is to put the needs of your masquerader first, and do not be blinded by your personal ambition, you must listen to your masqueraders and keep them in mind when you design. In the future when taste change, as they always do, you must be flexible or you will not survive.

What was your first experience with carnival and what made you want to come back again and again?

My first experience with carnival would be kiddies carnival. Even from a child I liked the thrill of it. Everything from making my costume to performing on stage.

Where do you see Mas heading in the near future? and do you think that the creative aspect of carnival has been lost to the bikini?

No, Actually it takes way more effort to make costumes different and beautiful when you have the constraints of the bikini to deal with. You are assuming that everyone sees things the way you do, I personally like the bikini. As for the future, it is yet undiscovered,. Who knows what will be popular in the future.We will have to wait and see, most importantly ENJOY CARNIVAL NOW! And enjoy it your way, don't let anyone tell you how to play your mas.

When a band offers options such as a corset of tankini for the more modest sisters, what techniques can be used with the design to make it look more appealing? How can one visualize if a bikini prototype would also look as good with a corset/tankini?

That's a good question, It will look good if it suits your body type. Tankini's and corsets are normally for the more conservative mas player who wants to cover up. I personally find corsets very sexy on voluptuous women. It slims the waist and gives that coca-cola bottle shape. Takini's are more functional as they don't require
removal every time you need to use the girls room, as say a whole piece. But all will pretty much work with most designs, it's a give and take, whats more important is what makes you more comfortable.

This question can be for you or the bandleader...as a new masquerader I wanted to know what exactly happened to the stage? Why was it removed and what are the chances of it ever returning?

The powers that be in all their wisdom, decided to fix something that wasn't broken. And build another monument to their reign as government, regardless of the sentiments of the masquerader. Newer is not always better, the Savannah worked fine, it was the access that was the problem. The same access they want to use for the this stab in the back building they have erected. I am pretty sure we won't be seeing our beloved Savannah venue with it's exciting stage ever again. But we will still endure the long waits to cross this betrayal of a venue with no stage. Money better spent on the Hospital.

4 comments:

dajewel1982 said...

i especially appreciate this excerpt:

"Remember you are free to play mas how you wish, without anyone telling what you can or can not play."

that is very sad that the Stage probably won't come back...its better than an orgasm...*sigh*

Lady said...

It was funny when BL said he has to take care not to give away his identity now I think I know who it is...lol....whole piece/ braid...

Its interesting to read how well said bandleader defends bikini mas.
I for one like playing mas in skimpy costumes but I know I would be tired of the same old bikini and braid sometime. I also believe that if it is not balanced with the more creative mas the same bikini and beads mas can undermine our cultural creativity. Thus the comfort of knowing that there are some bandleaders out there who are skilled and are passionate about producing mas with substance and alludes to what carnival is all about is important to people like me.

babydoll said...

I guess I will never get to experience the feeling of crossing the savannah stage.... :(

HQ said...

Thank you bandleader for answering my question + apologies. I am really not trying to learn your id, just want to learn more about what goes on in the minds behind the mas!!

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