Miss Natasha EnquistElectro-Accordion Chanteuse

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Accordion Girl's adventures in Xmas-land begin...

Coming from Canada, we remain biased, and are practically forbidden to say the word "Christmas" and instead wish everyone "Happy Holidays" during this "festive season".

Here in the US, there is a constant reminder of their Christian beliefs. Cross's are lit up, bumper stickers displayed, even skywriter airplanes announcing in the vast sky to "Trust in God" in white smoked lettering. I am in the land of Jesus...and CHRIST-mas. Alice has fallen down the rabbit hole, and landed in the twilight zone... aka: The Euro-Canadian is culture shocked!!!

November 26th, the day after the American Thanksgiving, marked the official day for xmas to bombard the city of Orlando.

Decorations have been up for the past two weeks already, but the xmas storytellers in the various countries at Epcot are now present, and the "Candlelight" ceremony - which has been prepared for since I started with Disney, has begun.

My blurry photo of Isabella Rosselini speaking at the "Candlelight" Ceremony

Isabella Rosselini was the first of the many storytellers that will be reading at the "Candlelight" ceremony happening at Epcot. I don't get starstruck easily, nor do I buy into the celebrity worship, but Isabella Rosselini is ROYALTY in my eyes, and I saw her up close yesterday and today. Both times she waved at myself and the rest of the Ziti Sisters. I would have loved to have been able to meet with her, but alas, a wave two days in a row tickled me just fine. She is beautiful, elegant, and looks amazing from 15 feet away :)

What's that?? YES! This is a blog about saving the world, with the accordion!

Back to that!

My mini-moo cards have arrived! 

If you don't know what moo cards are, you must learn and love them immediately! moo.com has a plethora of goodies available on their site. I really should be hired to be a rep for this company, I love their products so much.

Accordion Girl is ready to network (once again) in Orlando people!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Let's talk turkey

Thanksgiving in the US is called "Thursday" in Canada.

Cool, glad we cleared that one up!

Something else I'd like to address is:

One accordion being played - good!
Two or three accordion's being played together - also good!
An orchestra of accordion's - pointless

Never have I heard this instrument be more of a waste then when 10 or more of them are being played at once. Unless it is to prove a point and be a part of the "Accordion Revolution" and reach a World's record of how many squeezeboxes can be pumped at the same time, OR to be paraded through a city to promote this lovely instrument, it simply does not compliment itself well when played with so many other accordions.

The sound becomes muddled, unclear, and also, to me, sounds like one large church organ - which ironically, is what an accordion was designed to be in the first place. "The working man's church organ" has now become something of a tool to beat each other with. And with this I say loud and clear "MUSIC IS NOT A SPORT".

I do not think world championships for music should be encouraged. You would not catch me buying a ticket to see the prodigy that can play 'flight of the bumble bee' forwards and backwards 100 times within 5 minutes. I am going to spend my hard earned money on someone with creativity and thought, who can entertain a crowd, is performing from the heart, and not have me bored for one second.

True, the prodigy musician is probably playing from their hearts, but there's something robotic and calculated about being a 'champion'. Both have talent too! But the definition of a champion is completely subjective in my eyes. I want to be champed by experiencing something raw.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Birthday Update

Happy Birthday to meeee doo-bee-doodoo-DOO-doo!

This was the first time in my life where I spent my birthday away from my loved ones. It was, by far, the hardest.

I would be curious to hear about others with a similar experience of being out of town, or out of the country, or just far away from those who you love to celebrate your birthday with. Where were you? What did you do instead? Did you cry? Or - do you wish you could be alone for once?

My cast mates were wonderful to me, and bought me a cake, sang to me, took me out for dinner, got their cars towed... thank you Ziti Sisters :)

It meant the world to me to have all those birthday wishes sent to me on Facebook, private messages and emails, cards mailed, and my Mom had flowers delivered to me :)

For those I didn't hear from... you're dead to me.


"Jingle Eve" Self Portrait

On Friday, November 19th the Ivanhoe Village held their annual "Jingle Eve", and I was asked to be one of the strolling musicians.

What a blast this was! I had a great time meeting and greeting the locals, and getting to know downtown Orlando a little better. I must say I was a bit surprised that there was a Christmas themed event happening happening in the middle of November, but who cares!? I got to dress up like a cute little accordion elf girl, and be the only person in Florida to ever wear a fur hat!

While strolling and playing at this event I met plenty of fun families, and was able to meet with a very young blind boy. Being held in his Mother's arms, I played for him as he listened, and we both had him touch the keys and bellows.

Yesterday was probably my favourite day of performing with the Ziti Sisters since we've started. During our 2nd set I noticed adolescent twin brothers in the crowd, with their parents. Both boys were blind. I could tell they were hearing me quite well, and enjoying themselves. 

During one of our segments I was able to go right up to them to play, and to see their reaction to the accordion was amazing. They had so much enthusiasm, joy, laughter and were clapping their hands so hard. I wished I could have stepped out of character and allowed them to touch the accordion, and try out the keys and buttons.

I meet so many lovely kids every day, but these boys were mesmerizing to me. This happened the day after my birthday, and so I will remember this as a birthday gift.

I saved the best for last....


Thursday, November 18, 2010

To illustrate my point...

Here is what is making my world shine a bit brighter this week:

I love photography, but there is something extra special about having your likeness done by the hand of an artist.

James Lake a.k.a. "Silent James" painted this fabulous painting of me (see below) and shared it with me earlier this week.

James has been working on a series of accordionist portraits, and had shared a previous one with me and I half jokingly/fully serious asked him to paint one of me, and as luck would have it - he did! 

I love the vibrancy, the whim and the bliss, my expression and all the ♡♥hearts♡♥ that are having a party around me.

This is the third one of his accordionist series. Check out his blog to learn more about James Lake and the wonderful things that he does: http://thesilentjames.blogspot.com

To add to the gallery, is this gorgeous, and calming (to me) portrait by Jeffrey Felker:
"Silently to and from the heave of the water"
I love the choice of colours, and that I'm placed in the ocean, near a lighthouse, which is all very reminiscent of the city I was born and raised in. I love the threat that is felt with seeing the accordion, and how could possibly get ruined by the water, but that my whole dimeaner is calm. 
His website is http://studiologica.com, so do me a favour and check out his beautiful portfolio of work.

Some other illustrations include, a "MADMEN Yourself" portrait I did a couple months back. 
What do you think??

(I've never watched this show, but have seen that is has a great costume designer for the show, and now wonder if there are accordions featured on the show since there was this red one in the gallery of accessories for the "MADMEN Yourself" website).

Next up: "Accordion Girl - The Action Figure" ;-)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Accordion Girl takes on the deep South

Photography by Darren Stone
I've been here since September 20, 2010... and it's been nothing short of a culture shock. Do I fully relate to being a Canadian though? Not exactly. Has there been a day here where I'm not faced with "Do they ____ in Canada?" regularly reminding me where I am from, and having me constantly reflect on what Canadians 'do' and are 'like'? No.

I daydream about the days I will spend living in various cities in Europe, and when I think of those cities my mind rests, and deep in my thoughts I feel 'at home'. I love the country I was born in, but my morals, outlooks and opinions relate strongly to those that are rooted across the Atlantic.

American's seem to be in fear, a sense of anxiety, always peering over their shoulder. They are in shock, gasping for air... lock your doors, and buy insurance! Attacks, assaults, murders, all happen in Canada too, but our reaction is annoyance, we get perturbed, and it all ends with an off-coloured political cartoon in the newspaper. 

I find no one questions anything. In Canada we find a conspiracy within anything, we somehow find a clue leading to how the 'man' is trying to control our minds. Then again, I lived on an island on the west coast, and I was surrounded by hippies, new age mysticism, yogi's, Wiccan's, cyclists, protest signs, and anarchists. Power to the independent lentil bean people!
Happy Remembrance Day to those in Canada. Thank you to my Dad for mailing me my poppy. I really wanted one, and then one arrived!

I have a new addition to my accordion family, here in Florida. My accordion friend Alan Zisman was selling his Hohner, and I have happily welcomed it in to my home.
She (she's a girl) is nice and lightweight - very necessary for my job, a 60-bass, musette tuned little sweetie. You can never have too many accordions, right??
Although my time here so far has been brief, my "get 'er done" attitude has been suffering. I desperately want to have several music projects started already, and meet lots of artists, and create photos, and put on shows, and and and...

It will happen, I haven't been here very long, and am still getting acquainted, and established.

I really adore Mickey Mouse. I must say his personality reminds me of what a cute little Asian man would act like. Actually, he reminds me a bit like Vick, the manager at my favourite sushi restaurant in Victoria BC.

My time in Florida is a lot like "the Wizard of Oz". People from my life in Victoria have been transposed into the new personalities here in Florida. I see inklings of my friends from home in the people I work with and am surrounded by here.

Performing for the public is a beautiful thing, no matter who the audience is. My favourite audience is children, and I am in the perfect place for that. Bright happy smiling faces, dressed as miniature princesses, swaying, hopping, and laughing to the music I'm playing with my accordion is pure bliss. 

Note: I miss wearing my sequin booty shorts, and they're hanging in my closet, calling out my name :)

I went through some tough personal battles over the past 4 years, and what came out of it was the desire to help people, and make people happy. I didn't want to continue doing a profession that didn't make me happy or make a difference for me, that didn't change someone's attitude or day. I redirected myself, and began doing music full time. Art, music, and performance is the right fit for me.

I have performed over 125 times since being here, which blows my mind. My boyfriend made a great point last night that I am batting with 3 bats, I'm a boxer training with weights in his gloves. Everything will be lighter from these experiences I'm learning here.

I leave you now with knowing the Accordion Girl continues to move forward with saving the world, one heart at a time...

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