Pecha Kucha!

God bless you!

Nooooo…Pecha Kucha is not the sound you make when you sneeze and fart at the same time. Pecha Kucha (pronounced puh-cha kuh-cha) is “a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.” It is actually Japanese for “chit chat.” The idea is for local folks to share what they are doing around town, what’s important to them, or anything that might be of interest to other locals in a quick, yet informational format. Anyone can present from a 5-year-old talking about her art, to a 69-year-old showing photos og her elaborate wedding cake decorations. Pecha Kucha originated in Tokyo in 2003 and has become in international project spanning 500 cities around the world. Columbus’ Pecha Kucha Night was formed 6 years ago.

Thursday night, I got to experience Pecha Kucha Columbus #24. I had heard about this event this past summer, but was not able to attend. Plus, I wasn’t really sure what to expect and just wasn’t sold on the idea. I was drawn to Thursday night’s event because one of my best friends, Amee BellWanzo was presenting with her fashion entourage. Because Amee has been such a significant part of my life over the past…uhh….6ish years, I try to support all the crazy, awesome things she does. (I also support her because these things are ALWAYS super fun and she inspires the shit out of me for a bazillion reasons…but those reason are for another post!) So, even though I was little wary because I had no clue what to expect, I headed over to the Columbus Gateway Film Center and waited to be amazed.

I walked in and was immediately overcome by the fact that this place was packed. The movie theater lobby had about 50 chairs setup that were all filled with happy butts and probably about 50 more people were standing, surrounding the seating area. Above us, the bar/balcony area was also filled to the brim. Not only were people overlooking the balcony, but about 8 people had set up cameras to video-record the event. I was with a few other friends, all of us new to Pecha Kucha. Before we were able to figure out what to do with ourselves, we spotted Amee & Co. in line for adult beverages. phew! Nothing like a little booze to help you figure out where you belong! Oh! And doughnuts. Doughnuts help everyone feel at ease and the doughnuts made by Destination Doughnuts were flipping AMAZING. After a vodka soda and Blackberry Sage doughnut (that’s a normal combination, right?!), Amee 7 Co. had to leave to get organized and my entourage was left to fend for ourselves. At this point, we discovered that you could watch the presentations in ANY of the movie theaters! So, seriously, this place was packed! We decided that it would be cooler to see the presentations live and in-person, so we found a comfortable column and perched ourselves against it. I eventually gave in and sat on the ground.

{And then the fun began.}

First up was “thoughtful comedian,” Zachariah Baird. He spoke about why comedy is funny made us all laugh a decent amount.

{writer’s note: I can’t remember everyone, so if someone gets left out, I am eternally sorry!}

Then came photographer, connectrovert and Yenta, Rachel Joy Baransi. Rachel spoke about her life goal to become a Yenta, or matchmaker. She explained that there are Introverts, Extroverts, and Connectroverts. Connectroverts are the people who bring other people together. She gave tips and tricks of how to bring two of your friends together if you think they would make a successful/interesting/adorable romantic match. Needless to say, I have found her on Facebook and expressed a serious interest in her developing Yenta skills.

Geologist Kelly Barrett talked about why rocks ROCK and what it actually means to be a geologist. Her presentation was quite punny!

Ryan Hoke is a host at Speak Easy, “the city’s premier night for live storytelling!” He told us about why storytelling is important and how to tell better stories. Speak Easy definitely sounds interesting and will be something I check out in the near future. I imagine you can meet a lot of very interesting people through something like that!

Local comic book creator Max Ink spoke about how he fell in love with comics (it all started with Star Wars, surprisingly!) and why he began writing them. He has recently expanded the story line of his female protagonist, Blink and was promoting her graphic novels. One of the coolest parts of his stories is that they’re set in Columbus! Flipping through his graphic novels gives readers a nice taste of our amazing city. Max gave out free mini books as a teaser to the real thing!

Clay Lowe is a Ohio State film professor and photographer for WOSU. Clay shared Then & Now photos of the Short North. The comparisons were beautiful and it was incredibly interesting to see how far our city has come over the years. His projet has been turned into a video you can watch here. It’s a good 28 minutes long, so I haven’t had a chance to watch it, but I definitely will be. Not only did Clay show his photos, but he introduced a new troupe of photographers that will be documenting The Short North now.

One of my favorite presenters of the night was Sarah Storer. She writes a blog, The Naked Redhead (sorry boys, not porn!) as a way to “soul puke.” I haven’t gotten to read much of it yet, but I plan on taking a week and doing nothing soaking up Red’s soul puke (mmm!!!!). Her presentation Thursday night focused on how to survive a breakup. Having recently survived a breakup myself, I felt like she was speaking to my soul. Sarah was right on the money and hilarious at the same time. You can see a video of her presentation right…..HERE! I highly recommend taking the 7 minutes and 20 seconds to watch it. Sarah seems like the type of person I should be friends with, so I am excited to learn a bit about her.

But my most favoriteist (yeah…look it up. I know. I’m a teacher.) presentation of the night was by Amee, Kelli Martin & Annette Klaus of Columbus’ Alternative Fashion Mob. The Alternative Fashion Mob preaches that fashion should be “accessible to all people, regardless of age, shape, sex or economic status” and is made up of “a collection of fashion designers, industry professionals, and couture enthusiasts who are dedicated to furthering the fashion industry in Columbus.” I am particularly excited about this because I am always redefining my look and would love to be able to do that on a budget while supporting local Columbus artists. Ok, and yeah…I got to model a few times (here and here and here) for designer Kelli Martin! Seriously though, the Alternative Fashion Mob entourage are amazing people with a brilliant vision and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Part of Pecha Kucha is making connections. Apparently Max Ink (the comic book guy) approached The Alternative Fashion Mob about connecting comics and fashion. Max said his favorite part of drawing a female character is deciding what she gets to wear. How cool could that be?!? Fashion meets graphic novel, CBus style??!

Pecha Kucha was an evening of inspiration and learning. I am inspired to really grow this blog and see what it can be. Maybe someday I will be like the fabulous, gorgeous and brilliant Sarah Storer. Maybe someday I’ll be like Ryan Hoke and have have some intriguing stories to tell (okay, that time is now, but I need to learn to TELL my stories!). Years and years from now, I hope to have CDs full of old pictures (Auntie A, what’s a CD? iPhone?? What’s that??) to compare to wherever our beautiful city ends up. But most f all, when someday comes, I hope to have followed my inspirations and never lived a life of “What if??” I learned from Pecha Kucha that our city is full of people supporting dreams and inspirations.

Some photos from Pecha Kucha #24:

Host Johnny DiLoretto (and a FULL house!)

Host Johnny DiLoretto (and a FULL house!)

WOSU Photographer Clay Lowe

WOSU Photographer Clay Lowe

Copies of Max Ink's mini books!

Copies of Max Ink’s mini books!

A few of Sarah's witty slides. Following her Breakup Survival Steps leads to Ryan Reynolds. Thank God I'm on the "Pie" step.

A few of Sarah’s witty slides. Following her Breakup Survival Steps leads to Ryan Gosling. Thank God I’m on the “Pie” step.

The Fantastic Alternative Fashion Mob! {psstt...that's Amanda & I on the slide in the bottom righthand corner!}

The Fantastic Alternative Fashion Mob! {psstt…that’s Amanda & I on the slide in the bottom righthand corner!}


3 thoughts on “Pecha Kucha!

  1. Pingback: Life, According to my iPhone: Photo-a-Day Edition, Vol. 3 | Ending Up Here

  2. Pingback: Life, According to my iPhone: Photo-a-Day Edition, Vol. 5 | Ending Up Here

  3. Pingback: I’M BAAAACKKK!!! | Ending Up Here

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