2014 Oscars Countdown – Caroline Mc Menamin From Belfast, Northern Ireland With A Look For The Silver Screen – Bowie Film Discovery

Caroline Mc Menamin Photo by Catherine MacKenzie
Caroline Mc Menamin Photo by Catherine MacKenzie

Show time to Oscars is hours away. Soon stars will walk down the Red Carpet and some will get the nod for The Academy Award. Each person you see all started at point “A” it’s where everyone starts and then one day that dream you have comes true. When I first saw the photo-shoot by Catherine MacKenzie in Belfast and Caroline Mc Menamin I instantly thought of Michelle Pfeiffer. It will be obvious to you that the camera loves Caroline. She wants to hold Beyoncé’s hand when she visits Belfast and walk her around showing her the history of her city. Caroline loves to hit the day charging and as in this world dreams can come true, and one day she could be walking down that Red Carpet. The Oscar goes to the lady with the blazing red hair. Caroline, likes David Bowie’s song “China Girl” and as I am sitting once again under a cherry blossom tree in Japan posting this in the background is China Girl outtakes from David Bowie Is Around The World film.

“I have listened to David Bowie since I can remember. I have always been intrigued by him. I always found myself reading up on him, finding out what inspired him, why he had a pupil more dilated than the other. I love ‘China girl’ and ‘Starman’. He has even inspired my style. I find that David Bowie defines the word ‘icon’, it’s like he is not a man, but a metaphysical force. – Caroline Mc Menamin”

1. Cognitive behavior therapy – what made you pursue studies in this area?

My first degree is in Drama, and I found whilst i was doing practical workshops working on specific characters that there was a lot of mental preparation and exploration about how your own personality fits a character. I found this had therapeutic elements. I found that it allowed for inward evaluation of the ‘self’. This eventually led me to focus my thesis on ‘Drama as Therapy’. I discovered a sea of therapeutic interventions with creative foundations, and so from that I wanted to broaden my repertoire of therapies as I wanted to contribute to helping people with mental health difficulties.

2.On your FB you like Tony Hawk, any reason for that?

As a teenager I was a rocker/skate boarder. Whilst I wasn’t so good on the skate board, I still enjoyed it, I loved watching my friends doing their tricks and I loved to watch the Extreme sport channel. I also loved playing the Tony Hawk underground game on the play-station. I was quite the tomboy, and I still have that element within me, it can be seen in my choice of clothing and the fact that I’d prefer to wear my leather jacket instead of a girly dress.

3. How did you start in modeling ?

You don’t do that full time? and what are your other interests. I started modelling when I was 15/16. I started off doing bridal fayres and then eventually I was working for a lot of hair salons and local boutiques. Eventually I signed with a modelling agency in Dublin and have had editorials from that. I work within the North of Ireland a lot and it has opened a portal through which I met and made friends with some amazingly creative people. I love modelling as it’s a lovely recreational outlet for me as working in the mental health field can be arduous. Along with modelling I work on my blog ‘The Red Dutchess’ which is a lifestyle blog, and whilst I’ve a million thoughts and theories in my mind the content of my blog and be quite unpredictable. I also write for a mental health magazine and write for other people’s needs. I love to write.

4. You like Beyoncé I can understand that in your words tell us why?

I was barely a teenager when my sister showed me a new album called ‘Writings on the Wall’ by a group that I haven’t heard of until then. They were called Destiny’s Child. From that very day and hour I’ve loved Beyoncé. Not only do I think she has an unprecedented beauty, I have found that she has had a MAJOR influence on how I perceive myself as a female in a male dominated world. Through her songs and lifestyle she has subliminally given me a me, and the rest of the world, a message that says ‘I’m a woman, look at what I’ve achieve, don’t hold back, depend on yourself, work hard and never be complacent’. There’s a great quote that says ‘You have just as many hours in the day as Beyonce’, that in itself tells me to waste no time and charge towards the day.

5. Beyoncé is coming to Belfast, if you were her tour guide what would you show her about your city? cafe, bar, restaurant etc.

I would take Beyoncé by her beautifully manicured hand and walk past the commercialism of the shops and show her the seeds from which Belfast and the North has grown. I would show her the history that is embroidered on the diversely coloured fabric that wraps around Belfast. Whilst there may be dark elements of the history, it is still a history that is rich and indelible and a namesake of Northern Ireland.

6. Who would you say are some of the people who inspired you?

Anybody that has a strong work ethic and assertiveness have a tremendous impact on me. Different people have different inspirational qualities that I aspire to have. My parents have inspired me to be honest, and sincere. Their modesty and support have always made me feel a great sense of pride that they’re my parents. My godmother and I are close, she is the epitome of a strong independent woman. She is unbelievably intelligent but has a jovial and loving personality. She has taken me travelling since I was 14. I’ve been to many places and gained knowledge that only travelling can give. She has been a medium through which I can experience the world. My little nephew and niece have inspired me to ‘just be’. To enjoy the moment, to become mindful of everything around me, to not think of the next hour, but to just enjoy the ‘now’, and that might be just playing with cars with my nephew and cuddling my beautiful niece, who also has red hair. I’m so proud to be their aunt.

7. If you could do anything in the world what would that be?

The first thing that comes to mind when I read this question is Albert Einstein’s quote ‘ I have no special talent, I’m just passionately curious’. This is just me. I want to experience and do everything. I may wake up and decide ‘i want to design a dress that I would wear to a party hosted by ‘Jay Gatsby’, or I might decide I want to know about ‘the French Renaissance’ or read the theories of philosophers. Or I might decide I want to be an actress, or a Mother or designer. My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and ideas, but I’m only one person, I don’t have enough years to do everything I want to do.

8. You did a photo shoot recently wore a wig, and had a cover of David Bowie LP in the picture, any thought on David Bowie?

I have listened to David Bowie since I can remember. I have always been intrigued by him. I always found myself reading up on him, finding out what inspired him, why he had a pupil more dilated than the other. I love ‘China girl’ and ‘Starman’. He has even inspired my style. I find that David Bowie defines the word ‘icon’, it’s like he is not a man, but a metaphysical force.

9.Lets talk food, what are some of your favorite foods you like to eat or cook?

Oh lets talk food indeed. My God I love my food, but to look at me you wouldn’t think I ate much. I love to cook but I especially love going out and travelling to different countries to experience their native foods and dishes. I love Italian and Indian. I find Italian food extremely satisfying, I just to come home from school and sit down to have bread and olives with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive oil, and my Mother would be standing making Irish Stew and I’d be sitting in an Italian reverie.

10. The Red Dutchess is your blog- how did that come about and how did you come up with the name?

I wanted a name that held power and strength, a name that denoted ‘i’m a strong woman’. I have red hair, so there was the word ‘red’, and one of my favorite films is ‘the dutchess’ that stars Keira Knightly who was the Dutchess of Devonshire who was a woman before her time. She was adored for her complex character She was also an active political campaigner in an age when women’s suffrage was still over a century away. She’s a woman who was empowered and ambitious with no inhibitions. She has inspired me to build my blog on the foundation of her qualities that she was so well-known for. Her trousseau, her interest in social issues and her need to speak her mind. She has been the source which has inspired the content of my blog.

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2014 Oscars Countdown – Elodia, Singer, Songwriter, Interview – “The Secret of Life” Her First EP

171087_artist Elodia Agostini came to Los Angles from Italy to score a film, just like Hans Zimmer came from Germany and went on to score many an Oscar-winning soundtracks. It’s countdown to Oscar night and it is just as good a time as any to introduce you to Elodia who has just completed her first album. It is funny how the world works, Elodia provided this interview while on a flight to Asia, and now here I am posting this interview while in Japan, where I have been scoping out The Rolling Stones and filming around them for David Bowie Is Around The World. Music is key to films, tonight you will see many singers, bands showcasing their work at the Oscars. We all start some place and for many its to have an album completed. Here in her own words, pure, truthful and raw is the interview with a talented artist and my dear friend, Elodia.

1- How did the process on your first album begin?

It begun when I was 14 years old actually. I had the idea and the strong will to make a rock album that would contain sounds from all over the world. I always considered myself as the “daughter of the world”, so in my mind the vision has been always very clear. I didn’t find anyone who was willing to believe and support it tho, till a couple of years ago, when I left the idea of always depending on a music producer’ vision of me and I’ve got the lead: I became my producer! I looked around for a co/writer, ’cause I believe, sharing visions and experiences brings out the best, sometimes, in order to fully express the need of your soul. I believe, making an album is nothing but create a dimension in which you communicate in the best way with others and with your own self, so to fully experience the journey. And I found my awesome co/writer, the Italian producer/composer and guitar player Dario Forzato. He was very enthusiast at the idea of creating something different and experiencing, session by session, new sounds so to mix&melt them with who we used to be as artists as well as humans till that point. So the process started…

2- What roadblocks, if any, did you experience making the album?

I’d answer that with one word: LIFE. I decided to open myself completely in order to make the music flow through this new work and, believe me, it ain’t been easy all the time. Sometimes, there’s a huge discrepancy between what we think we live and what we really carry onto our souls, so the process to disconnect the Ego and go to the Essence requires Patience, Introspection and Courage. You’re looking in a mirror that you don’t wanna look at all the time. That’s why I’m so really grateful to have had the chance to go through it. Also, as an independent artist, it wasn’t easy, at first, finding the financial support that I needed for my music. The more we were composing and arranging, the more the project become important and in need of proper finances. I found strong support tho and I made it happen in the very best way possible. We’ve been in pre production for 9 months ( yes, exactly like a baby lol ), than got the chance to record it at a wonderful facility called The Audio Labs in Glendale, California where the owner is one of the most amazing artist/producer/engineer ( and anything else ) in Los Angeles, Mr. James Saez. I must say, he really encouraged me to step outside of the box… Of course this reflected also on my personal life. He believed, with this work, we really had the chance to create something new and original, to unveil the needs of my soul. So I jumped and I found the right inspiration!

3- The vibe of the album… how would you describe it in your words?

The album sounds really adventurous, I’d say lol You can expect to see a tiger coming out of somewhere, sooner or later lol At first, one doesn’t really know what to expect: it’s pretty sassy. I wanted to tell people what I feel about myself: I feel, I don’t like to follow the standards, but I love and I live to experience, (as I always say), in a totally independent/sassy-mode. It has sounds from Bali, or India, till Spain and its Flamenco melt into an aggressive, yet melodic rock. That is me. I’m the sum of different cultures that are all part of who I am today. I’m Italian but my ancestors came from Bali, Indonesia and from the Native Tribes here in America. Definitely, my music is who I am! 🙂

4- Many artists experience personal growth or development with their first album. Did this happen with you?

Definitely, as I mentioned before, it has been a real process on the path as an artist as well as a woman. I know myself better now, I have no fears to chase the unknown, I know everything we experience happens cause we need to understand our purpose here on Earth and I accepted. I know better how to let go of certain situations and/or people cause I’ve respect for myself. Making an album is empowering in the very best exception of it. To undress in front of your own self first and to the people you’ll reach, takes courage cause it’s very intimate. I loved it and I’m ready to do it over and over. The album is called “The Secret of Life” and it totally reflected the spirit of the work I was going to do. I saw myself for the whole being we all are: Human&Divine (as the lyrics say) … there’s no difference in between cause we are drops of God (in any possible way you can conceive the Divine Presence).

5- You are on your way to Hong Kong. Are you on a mission of discover or just pleasure?

I’m on a flight now, answering to this interview, with a huge smile ON, on a mission of discover, promote and have pleasure to live the vibe of Hong Kong! My agent and I had the chance to get in touch with radios, magazines and tour bookers there. I believe, the Chinese/Asian market is becoming really preponderant on the worldwide music scene. They offer tools and financial support to the artists the way it was 30-40 years ago here in the US. They are open to listen and to invest. I like to make choices and to have chances. I feel a little overwhelmed by the western markets, like there’s no chance and no space, so I don’t really mind to explore other options. Any form of art belongs to whom is open to accept it, believe in it and support it. I’m just the tool who brought it on Earth in form of music so I want to give it back where there’s the right space for it.

6- How do you personally feel now that you launched the album and what do you consider as your future plans?

I feel confident and really happy about the results we’re achieving. This album blessed me every single day, since the start. It brought me introspection and growth, distribution under a Label ( Inspire U Records, based in Venice, California), and opened up for me the way to the ancient Silk Road, “just” to start! Future plans?! The sky is NOT the limit! Lol I’ve collaborations coming up with artists from all over the world, a tour to plan for sure, music placements, and so much more! I’ll really enjoy the ride, looking at the way the destiny of my music career unfolds before me!

“The Secret of Life” by Elodia is available on iTunes, worldwide.

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