Monday, August 31, 2009
There are very few defining moments in most people's lives that they appreciate at the time the moment occurs. Most people look back upon opportunities they've received, or events in their lives and wish they would've looked upon them with greater appreciation. Luckily for me, I don't have to look back and wonder.
Many people on the team can recall the first time they heard the words "Project Ethos" - that moment for me came when I was only 17 years old. I had just graduated high school and started my own clothing line. I received an email offering me a spot in this show that in some form or another, combined the fashion, music and art of young people in the LA area. Amazed at the idea that anyone would want to display MY work anywhere, I contacted them back - and the rest was like a whirlwind.
As a participant, it was my assignment to design a 15 piece collection to display on the runway for Project Ethos 4:"Outrageously Ripe" back in 2007... and let me TELL you, it was not easy. I had just turned 18 years old - I was a full time student at a community college, I had two part time jobs and I was the ONLY person I trusted enough to put hands on my collection. I had NO idea what I was doing most of the time, but the Ethos team made me feel like I had some sort of back-up. They held my hand through everything, business cards, line sheets, press kits, and even allowed for a few frantic phone calls here and there.
When I started with Ethos, it was on the verge of becoming the monster that it is today. "Outrageously Ripe" was the perfect theme for that show because that's exactly what it was. The road from participant to team member has been an interesting one. After my show, I set off on my own little adventure inspired by Ethos and did my own fashion shows in the Pasadena area with a few promoter friends I knew. Then one day, I got a call from a person on the team who showed a few of my pieces to Sean Healy who owned a store on Melrose. I made a deal with him and filled an order to put a line of my shirts in his store. It was my first major success when the whole order sold out in a short span of 2 months. All because of Ethos.
That success led me to enter a CosmoGirl writing contest that posed the simple question "How have you used MySpace to further your career?" Ethos was my obvious answer - and I won. The prize was the chance to go to the Myspace offices in Beverly Hills and interview Tom (yes, MySpace Tom) for the magazine. I went there with the intention of leaving with more than just an article for CosmoGirl. After the interview, I asked him if there were any internships available. He said they didn't even take interns yet, but that he'd love to have me.
The next day I received an email offering me an internship in the PR department. Working there for the summer, I continued to be in love with Ethos. In an effort to pay Ethos back for all they had done for me, I pushed them to create a MySpace page for Essence of Ethos so that I could nominate them for the MySpace Impact Award for $10,000. Needless to say, we didn't win, but not shortly after my internship ended, Ethos offered me a spot on the team.
Now here I am, 3 years later. Grown from that 18 year old girl the team once knew into a 21 year old woman. Many on the team know me as Angie, the crazy one who can sometimes get a little out of line, and who on occasion talks and acts (what we on the team like to call) a little "urban". Nevertheless, I will always be known as one who unwaveringly loves and believes in Project Ethos. Not only because of my own experiences with the event, or the team, but because of the good that it represents. Ethos is a positive force that cannot fail because it stems from a love of art, and a celebration of creativity. When something is inherently good, no amount of negativity can break it down. Ever.
That is why Ethos is here to stay.
I will remain forever humbled, and grateful for my experiences with this extraordinary group of people, and the fact that they have accepted me into their family.
Lets just say, I'm finally at a loss for words.
Friday, August 28, 2009
When I asked Jason to explain his new business venture 4 years ago this was the word he used. Sharing- I was intrigued.
My first event was as an attendee at Cirque de Ethos. I had never heard of One Republic, but the sound of the cello filled my soul, and I was enraptured with the music of a group that I would grow to love. That’s what Ethos does. It puts something new and amazing right in front of you for you to embrace. It teaches you about the passion and dedication of artists spanning the genres of fashion, music and art, and allows you to share in their vision for one night.
Our team shares this passion. We don’t participate because it’s fun (it is!), but because it’s important. Art in all forms is important. What we see in Ethos events helps define the culture we live in. It is relevant and true. I’m grateful for what I have experienced and learned in the last year with Ethos, but mostly I am blessed to be a part of such a great team. We are all kinds of crazy, but we are a family, and our strong friendships are a big part of the reason we remain successful.
Tonight we celebrated 4 years of Project Ethos with our 2nd Frequency event. As expected, it was a great success. Well done everyone- see you at Ethos 11!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Four years. You can earn a college degree in that amount of time. Ironically, after ten shows, it feels strangely similar to doing just that. Project Ethos celebrates its four year anniversary today. I’ve been a part of all 10 shows. From graphic designer, to production assistant to web master and now Production Director, the parallels to a college experience are uncanny. After four years and ten shows, I feel like I have a Masters in all things Ethos. Knowing where we’ve been, where we are and where we want to go, it’s daunting to look back at all ten shows.
On July 27, 2005, a phone call would change everything. My elementary school chum, and Executive Director of Project Ethos, Jason Peskin, called and asked if I could do some graphic design for him. I was only a couple of years removed from college and my free lance design career was less than successful. I jumped at the opportunity. I made the first Project Ethos flyer and now defunct program. But I didn’t understand what Ethos was until I saw the first show on August 27, 2005. I was shocked. How this event came together and drew 850 people to its first show was inspiring. I was hooked.
Fast forward four years and ten shows later, Project Ethos is my life’s passion. When ESPN does a retrospective piece on some major sporting event, they always ask the participants what they’ll remember most. Without exception, the response is always the people that were part of that moment. I can’t help but feel the same way. Our team, the designers, musicians and artists, the staff at all of the venues, the crowds, my friends and family. You are the reason why there is a four year anniversary. I can’t name every designer we’ve ever featured, nor can I recall every painting ever sold. But I can vividly remember the moment when a designer thanked me for playing even the smallest role in their success or when another designer called the production the best he’s ever worked with or the email from the artist that sold his first painting at Ethos or the crowd at our tenth show when Far East Movement blew the roof off of the Avalon.
A moment. I’ve been fortunate to experience four years worth. I know I am not the only one. So many people have been a part of our success and each one deserves to be recognized. I can’t list them all, but if you’re reading this, you know who you are. Creating a completely new thing is the hardest thing you can do. To sustain that momentum for four years is truly daring.
Tonight we celebrate the four year anniversary of Project Ethos at Kress. I hope to see every single person that contributed to Project Ethos over the years tonight. Unfortunately, that won’t happen. So tonight I will raise a glass… To those that dare to dream, to those that stare impossible in the face and say no and to those that continue even though conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t because the word fail does not exist in your vocabulary, thank you for making my dreams a reality.
See you at Project Ethos 11 in October.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Its been over three years now since the first ethos and I'm never not floored by the appearance of the event. Granted, for different reasons every time, but floored none the less. Being a Hollywood native myself i have to be honest and say that the shows at the El Rey were not the most impressive events to most. Ripe with the grunge of Los Angeles and free of the polish of the new Hollywood, the mere fact that such an event was even put together is what left me wide eyed. Knowing the founders as just kids overreaching their capacity I would be lying if I said I didn't expect a complete disaster, but my expectations were clearly a unmet.
Then a move to the Avalon. Red carpets. Hollywood and all its trappings.
Yet again my expectations were exceed multiple times over. But really its one point on the time line of ethos that haunts me. One question that I don't think I want to know the answer to out of some sense of nostalgia... perhaps even make believe. How did this child become an adult over night? How did it go from cute to sexy? What happened between Ethos 6 and Ethos 7? I was looking at the white stage where LMFAO was performing when it hit me like baseball bat, Ethos isn't my own little secret anymore... its outgrown me. It doesn't need my support or patronage, it has its own legs to stand on now. No longer this awkward talent show-esqe enterprise it had taken in the stars and lights of Los Angeles and poured out upon us the glamor of Hollywood.
I don't know exactly what happened or why but I have my suspicions. Whatever nostalgia I feel for what was before a simple event called Project Ethos has been replaced by hope and excitement over a future for what has grown to become nothing less than a movement that has no charted path and has no foreseeable ceiling.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
It is exactly 2 days, 1 hour and 10 minutes until the red carpet opens for the 10th show from Project Ethos. I am the Professional Relations Director for this show and have been a part of this team for more then 2 years now. My journey to Project Ethos was much different then the rest, but nonetheless is the perfect story of passion and luck.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I've been asked to contribute to the blog... something along the lines of the "evolution of the music from Project Ethos". Sounds a little cheesy, but if you were at the very first Ethos, you'd agree the music portion of the event has come a long way. I get goosebumps when an agent asks me about the artists we've previously booked. I take a deep breath and unload names like Colbie Caillat, OneRepublic, and LMFAO... and we're only on the tenth event (on a side note, I also get a little nervous when dropping names like that because an agent could assume our pockets are deep as shit. NO ONE can book these artists now for the amount of money we paid them).
It wasn't too long ago when the music of an Ethos event consisted of a 3 local bands, booked without much of a purpose. It wasn't until the Colbie show that we really started to pay attention to the band's story and tried to envision a bigger picture. Project Ethos was the first big show for some of these artists and it makes me proud to be able to say we recognized their talent before the masses did.
The next Ethos is less than a week away. Our headliner is an electro hip-hop artist called Far East Movement. They're a fun act with energy to spare and a bangin' song on the radio. I think they'll be a perfect fit... LMFAO was. Check them out at www.myspace.com/
Until the next blog...
Monday, August 17, 2009
It’s Monday, 4 pm, week of the show. Less than five days till Ethos 10. That number frightens and inspires me.
I’m sitting here in my office at my day job dreaming about 2’ x 8’ tables, white malomite sheets and stanchions, when I should be answering work emails. But I can’t focus on work, not this week. It’s not possible. I get so wrapped up into each event we do as it draws closer. It’s not the pressure to succeed either. When you put in the work and actions, the only option is success.
I am just in love with what I do. It becomes a part of your soul and that type of power allows us to do the things we do. Each time someone new joins our team they always ask me what the show is like. I always tell them same thing… when the show is over and I’m sitting at the end of the bar in some dark corner, completely exhausted and unable to stand, sipping on an icy Newcastle, you’re going to see the most fulfilled person in the venue. It’s that moment that keeps me sane during this week. It’s not the booze by the way. That moment is the culmination of a long and relentlessly rewarding experience. The ups and downs, the smiles and frowns, all the hard work has been paid off and all there is left to do is sit there with that cold beer, humbled by the brilliant people that surround you and be grateful that you can play a small role in their success. That’s what keeps me sane.
...at least for this week.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I still can't get over the 944 Magazine artwork. What an amazing job guys.
Jason here.... I am the Executive Director and humble leader of Team ETHOS. We have started this blog to voice our vision, explain who we are and get our points across in a personal way. Myself and members of my team as well as our vendors and friends will share their stories, experiences and what is on their mind through this blog. We feel we need to speak more about what we are doing, why we are doing it and who we are. Get it?
I thought it would be special to do it the week of our 10th event. Yes this Friday will be our monumental 10th Project Ethos event! I am so excited for yet another amazing lineup.
Onwards and upwards.