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Photo: Emile Ashley/ Ashley Studio. Styling: Marcus André Green
Hair: Fin-Olav Prydz/ Adam & Eva. Makeup: Miriam Robstad/ Pudder
Modell: Marianne Haugli/ Pholk. Design: Reload
Briday | Red Carpet Collection 2010
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Associate Publisher SOPHiA BELLA
Editor-in-Chief PEtER DAViD MACK
Senior Editor JANE WAiDE Copy Editor BEttY BELL
Journalist RitA COOK Reporter SHELLY BALLEStERO
Art Director MAYtHE CARPENtiNO Graphic Design FRAN MARtiNEZ
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Photographers/Phantom WENDY LEE & JOAN MARCUS
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Letter From The Editor
I was recently asked by a
friend to describe what it is
that A Distinctive Style
Magazine is all about.
Resisting the more popular
media buzz words that
abound these days, here’s
what I said: “The images
and sounds that grace our
pages are a unique blend
of Style, Savvy and Sustain-
ability that resonate with
the interests and sensibilities of our readers. Our ded-
ication to balance, consciousness and eco-centered
living is evident. Our features and interviews always
connect with the common threads of Art, Heart,
Beauty and Sustainability. The artisans and designers,
whose visions glide from page to page, are chosen
based on their commitment to these same values.
These are things which elevate and inspire us as
humans. They give us pause to wonder. They refresh
our perspective. They bring us joy.” This is what we
aim to provide. This is our commitment to you, our
readers, each time we publish a new edition of A Dis-
tinctive Style. It works for us. It’s what juices us! We
hope it works for you as well.
IN THIS ISSUE: Our cover story this month focuses on
Summer Rayne Oakes, an amazing talent who lends
grace and dynamism to each business and personal
commitment she makes. She’s quick to explain that
she has figured out that by associating with the
causes and companies that are in alignment with her
values and aspirations, success comes naturally and
life takes care of itself in a beautiful unfolding. While
she doesn’t like to be categorized with “brands” or
“labels,” she has become her own highly visible and
recognizable iconic brand.
A Distinctive Style was fortunate enough to catch
actor/vocalist Tim Martin Gleason of The Phantom of
the Opera, while performing in The Dallas Summer
Musical series last month. The touring company
made its way through Dallas on its final leg of the
company’s 17-year tour.
We took an amazing guided trip through the
“pipeline,” as seen through the lens and perspective
of water world photographer extraordinaire, Clark Lit-
tle. We interviewed an amazing gal named Cashea
Arrington who, at the age of 21, was diagnosed with
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma but refuses to give up. She
is truly an inspiration to us all. Don’t miss her story.
Pete Mack interviewed environmentalist David
Suzuki. In this amazing dialogue, Peter gets right to
the heart of the matter by asking “What did we get
right in 2009” and follows up closely with the inquiry
“What are two things ours readers can do in the next
24 hours that will actually have an impact.” We have
the opportunity to see beyond the intellectual, out-
spoken, power-packed nature of this highly visible
and committed environmental educator, to catch a
glimpse of a man with a very personal fervor and life-
long passion for his planet and his family.
As lights flickered to darkness around the globe in
observance of Earth Hour 2010, then returned to illu-
minate our planet, we’re reminded of a glorious
spring that is bursting all around us and our steward-
ship of all things great and small, bright and beautiful.
April 22 is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Speak
up. Be heard. Stand for something. Express appreci-
ation. Love the life you live and take steps to
participate fully in creating it. In her book Creating A
Charmed Life, author Victoria Moran suggests the fol-
lowing; “Help bring into being the world what you
want by supporting those who hold a similar vision.”
Senior Editor
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Do you drink bottled water?
Do you know people who drink
bottled water? Watch this trailer
called “TAPPED.” It’s sad that
there is a generation of children
being raised right now that only
knows bottled water.
When I was growing up, no
one drank bottled water. Some
might have taken old milk jugs to
the grocery store to fill up for
$0.25 from their filtered water.
Perrier and Evian were the only
bottled waters you could buy.
Then sometime in the late 80’s it
started catching on more and
more. At some point there was a
mindset projected on the popu-
lation that you were a bad per-
son if you didn’t drink bottled
Water is a precious commodity
– protect it – drink it – from the
tap. I know it’s hard to believe
here in the U.S. that there will be
wars fought for water, but there
will be. It’s the next oil.
Is access to clean drinking
water a basic human right, or a
commodity that should be
bought and sold like any other
article of commerce? Stephanie
Soechtig’s debut feature is an
unflinching examination of the
big business of bottled water.
From the producers of Who
Killed the Electric Car and
I.O.U.S.A., this timely documen-
tary is a behind-the-scenes look
into the unregulated and un-
seen world of an industry that
aims to privatize and sell back
the one resource that ought
never to become a commodity:
our water.
From the plastic production to
the ocean in which so many of
these bottles end up, this inspir-
ing documentary trails the path
of the bottled water industry and
the com munities which were the
unwitting chips on the table. A
powerful portrait of the lives
affected by the bottled water
industry, this revelatory film fea-
tures those caught at the inter-
section of big business and the
public’s right to water.
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aving the earth one “sophis-
ticated, sustainable, chic”
ensemble at a time is what
c. marchuska is all about. Not
satisfied with having to leave her
environmental conscience at
the boutique door, Christine
Marchuska shared her frustration
with Brooke Bresnan and the two
women came up with a solution: a
new eco-friendly clothing line was
born in 2009.
“We need to preserve the earth
and look out for future genera-
tions,” Marchiska says. “There is too
much waste in the current produc-
tion and manufacturing of fabric
and clothing. I think eco-friendly
and sustainable options are very
important and necessary.”
In addition to utilizing sustainable
fabrics such as organic cotton,
hemp silk and soy jersey,
c.marchuska is home-grown, man-
ufactured in New York City.
“We manufacture domestically
to reduce our carbon footprint,”
Marchiska explains. “We try to
always use recycled materials and
as little packaging as possible to
cut down on waste.
“I think it is very important to sup-
port the local economy as well as
the US economy. It goes back to
the sustainability aspect of our
company and supporting our
community and city.”
These sophisticated, colorful
clothes (the color wheel does in-
clude one shade of green) are de-
signed to be as versatile as they
are fashionable, making it possible
to do more with any wardrobe
using fewer pieces.
Each piece in the ever-expand-
ing line is available in retail shops
across the country as well as
on-line. Marchiska and Bresnan
hail from the halls of Wall Street
corporations and are leveraging
technology for everything from
high-tech promotions to e-com-
merce as they expand the reach
of their clothing line. You can
follow c.marchuska on Twitter and
Facebook to keep up with eco-
fashion news—including how the
“Christine Dress” can be worn
dressed up, dressed down or as a
light weight jacket—on the com-
pany’s blog.
Those already in the know are
retailers who are giving raves.
“They like the designs first and
foremost,” Marchuska says. “We
always focus on the design
aesthetic and how to incorporate
luxury eco-friendly fabrics into our
Customers agree.
“They like the versatility of the
pieces and the flattering cut of the
designs,” Marchuska adds. “I even
have been told by other designers
that they really appreciate how
many different body types are
able to wear our designs and look
stylish and attractive.”
Thanks to c.marchuska, the
socially conscious woman no
longer has to sacrifice style, price
or comfort to help save the planet.
Christine and Brooke met in April
2008 while raising funds and
awareness for Safe Horizon, the na-
tion’s leading victim assistance or-
ganization. A percentage of
c. marchuska proceeds is donated
annually to Safe Horizon.
Distinctive Sustainable Fashions
A New York duo is out to save the environment
by challenging the established fashion industry
By Margo Pierce
By Mae Yokoyama
Photographer Andreas Nyquist
Mae Yokoyama brings technology into
the world of haute couture and show
how to profit from the sun and turn
energy into beauty.
One piece that stands out in her
production is a collar made of solar
panels, accumulating energy during
daytime. When the sun goes down a
string of pearls is illuminated, turning
the functional look of the solar panels
into a subtle and fashionable
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It may sound cliché to talk about
immersing yourself in the music, but
in the case of Matt Venuti’s pieces,
we’re simply talking reality. Venuti
is as one with the Hang, an instru-
ment which defies definition, even
as it creates music so complete
that it requires none.
“The Hang is a work in progress,”
Venuti says of what is frequently his
instrument of choice. “It has a new
resonance, a new look, a new feel.
It’s a sound sculpture.”
Even that description does not
prepare one for the full effect of
the music—a soothing liquid sound
with a heartbeat (think of the early
morning song of a red-winged
blackbird) played on a “soft” steel
Venuti and his band, The Venu-
sians, were “the darlings of the dot
com era,” according to Venuti,
and continue to maintain a
healthy schedule of gigs ranging
from Napa Valley to Mexico to
Germany. Despite the success of
the band—together now for 20
years—and the pleasure Venuti
derived from playing yet another
unique instrument, the Electronic
Valve Instrument, he was looking
for something new.
“I put the word out to my friends
that I needed something differ-
One of those friends mentioned
hearing a “hand pan.”
“I was obsessed,” Venuti said of
his subsequent search. “It took me
months just to find out what it was
really called.”
When he finally made the con-
nection, Venuti discovered that
the artists who created the Hang
were not just selling to anyone,
cautious about the possible ex-
ploitation of their artwork. A re-
quest by letter was required, and if
the request was acknowledged, it
might result in an invitation to
Switzerland where Felix and
Sabina, Hang creators, worked
their magic.
Venuti went on to order a Hang
from Switzerland (“before I even
played one”) and then found one
for sale online at almost the same
time, going from a dearth to a vir-
tual “Hang plethora” in a very short
A natural musician, Venuti quickly
recorded his first of many Hang
CDs, Dance of the Helix and sent it
off to Switzerland.
“They loved it,” Venuti said of
Felix and Sabina, “and they asked
me to please send more and
come to Switzerland.”
He took them up on the offer the
following year and has visited sev-
eral times since.
“We became friends,” Venuti
said. “These two are brilliant artists.
Their new creation ‘Integral Hang’
is so deep and beautiful; it just
takes your heart away.”
Speaking with passion about an
instrument that Venuti truly plays
with his whole being, he honors
Felix and Sabina’s ultimate vision of
the Hang as a “complete holistic
“We should wait before we put it
into a box,” Venuti says of those
who might want to categorize the
instrument. “It’s going to change.
It’s almost as if it’s ancient, but it’s
brand new. It needs a story. It
needs time. I guess that’s my job.
When you get to know this pro-
foundly compassionate and loving
individual, it’s not surprising that he
and his music, his instruments are
“one.” After his wife of 20 years,
Yolanda, was diagnosed with a
terminal illness, Venuti took a leave
from his musical career to become
her constant companion and
caretaker. Despite her passing last
year, she remains a presence in his
life through his music, their mutual
love of nature and compassion for
animals. When the author caught
up with Venuti for this interview, he
had just come in from outdoors
where he takes care of 15 feral
cats on a daily basis, something he
and Yolanda shared. Check out his
Facebook page for more.
Matt Venuti
A Natural Musician
By Ginger Brashinger
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Your dinner table becomes a riskier place for
glasses the longer you drink. Glasses are
likely to tip over, spilling wine on your table
cloth and in a worst case scenario, even
falling down and getting crushed on the
Andreas Dahlberg wanted to avoid those
mishaps during dinner. So, when making a set
of wine glasses and a decanter, he was in-
spired by cliff-nesting birds who lay their eggs
on narrow ledges. They often have highly
conical eggs, which are less likely to roll off
the ledge, tending instead to roll around in a
tight circle.
The pyriform shape of the glass and de-
canter resulting in their orbital movement on
the dinner table, also makes the wine breath
easier, giving it a richer taste and enhanced
flavour prior to drinking.
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By Andreas Dahlberg
Photographer Andreas DAHLBERG
www. cl ar kl i t t l ephot ogr aphy. com
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For many, there is nothing quite as
inspiring as the ocean canvas. The
ebb and flow of tides, the vast
landscape of wind-swept peaks
and valleys, the incredible colors of
sun-kissed shallows, and the silken
curtain of gray as a storm sweeps
across the horizon, are all evidence
of an ecosystem with multiple per-
sonalities. The curl and spray of
waves breaking on shore is another
image that can sooth or exhilarate
and no one captures these images
like Clark Little.
Clark has spent his whole life near
the beach. He is distinguished in
the world of surfing as a “shore-
break surfer” – one who surfs the
waves that break very close to
shore on the beach or rocky shore-
line. These type of waves end up
on the beach or rocks just a few
seconds later.  For surfing, the drops
are usually very steep. Even if you
make the drop, there is no escape
out since the wave hits the beach
soon after and engulfs you. While
Clark doesn’t claim to be heroic,
even a glimpse of other shorebreak
surfers and you know this is not a
passion for the meek. It was this
unique surfing expertise (and a re-
quest from his wife for bedroom art-
work) that helped him get started
capturing the incredible, once-in-
a-lifetime moments you see here.
Clark’s work is constantly evolving.
Because he has the heart and
mind of a student, he is always
searching. He shoots in all kinds of
weather, times of day, and sizes of
waves. Over the years he has
learned more and more about
photography, equipment, shooting
secrets, and let his own style
emerge. He may take 250-350 shots
in an outing and get 2-4 keepers.
Some days he gets nothing at all.
However, there is something incred-
ibly satisfying about getting an
amazing shot.
In fact, Clark’s work is so unique
and compelling, he has been fea-
tured in magazines, newspapers,
and other media outlets all over
the world. In response to over-
whelming interest and the sheer
accumulation of images, he chose
to publish his favorites in a book.
The Shorebreak Art of Clark Little, is
a breathtaking visual expose that
not only serves to honor this force
of nature but also chronicle Clark’s
own journey.
“To be able to create a book was
a wild dream. As it started to look
like it could become a reality, I just
had to go for it. And then to have
forewords written by singer/ song-
writer Jack Johnson and 9-time
surfing world champion, Kelly Slater,
is beyond what I could have ever
Truth is: The Shorebreak Art of Clark
Little challenges the imagination of
most and not only stands out as an
incredible photographic collection;
it serves as a reminder to all of us
that we “are just a speck of sand
compared to the greatness of na-
ture. Nature doesn’t stop for us. We
are the ones who need to adjust to
Clark is blessed to enjoy the
beaches of Hawaii on a daily basis.
We are not all so lucky. However,
Clark gives his readers and fans a
view of nature they have never
seen before and may never see
again. It is his gift to us and it
doesn’t just stop with his book. As
the year goes on, Clark Little has
many other projects in the works. To
re-attune yourself to the awe-inspir-
ing display of water and surf, check
out his website at www.clarklittle-
photography.com and keep
abreast of the exciting things that
lie ahead.
By Lara Vander Ploeg
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Most everyone I know feels drawn
to the idea of peace – inner
peace, a peaceful home, a
peaceful country, a peaceful
world. But what does it take to
have it? As we all know, peace
isn’t an easy goal.
Wars and invasions have pre-
vailed in the world throughout his-
tory. In order for this to be the case,
I think the majority of people who
live on the planet are at war within
themselves. How could it be any
other way?
If we have mini-wars within us,
what do we do about them? This
is an important question for all suc-
cessful peacemakers. If you be-
lieve, like I do, that inner conflict
ultimately leads to wars in the
world, then doing our own inner
housekeeping is the most powerful
way we can contribute to plane-
tary peace.
The noble goal of seeking a
more peaceful environment in-
cludes fostering serenity and har-
mony in our innermost selves. If
each of us maintained our own
serenity, we would never consider
invading or harming another per-
son or “tribe.” It wouldn’t even oc-
cur to us.
Harboring hostilities, even the
tiny ones we pretend we don’t
have, creates an ideal environ-
ment for conflict. Even the annoy-
ances we feel toward others – their
attitudes or opposing beliefs, their
mannerisms and expressions, the
things they might say or do, the
way they drive – have the opposite
effect of what most of us really
want, which is peace.
So what would it look like to
cultivate an inner sense of peace
in a way that promotes external
peace? We would begin by taking
responsibility for our feelings. We
are a society addicted to blaming
others for our own unwanted cir-
cumstances. We wouldn’t do this
anymore. Instead, we would work
through disturbing thoughts and
emotions, refusing to fling them out
into the world the way we some-
times do. Instead of taking oppor-
tunities to express our hostilities to-
ward others, we would express
them constructively (exercise, jour-
naling, singing, dancing, releasing
the sounds of hostility in healing
ways). And we might even think
about cultivating compassion and
understanding for our own suffer-
“If we could read the secret his-
tory of our enemies, we should find
in each man’s life sorrow and suf-
fering enough to disarm all hostil-
This quote by Henry Wordsworth
Longfellow appears to reveal our
lack of awareness that each per-
son’s pain is not unlike our own
pain. When we can see that the
person who just drove past us like
a maniac, or our rude co-worker,
or our angry partner is actually in
some sort of pain (otherwise there
wouldn’t be the aggression) then
we can begin to understand, “Ah,
this person is suffering. It is not
about me. Perhaps the best thing I
can do in this moment is offer them
compassion, for their suffering is not
unlike my own.”
What people need most of all
is compassion for their ignorance
and the way they inadvertently
hurt others.
So maybe you will join me on a
quest for peace. But let’s not just
talk about it or march for it or won-
der why it hasn’t happened yet.
Let’s actually cultivate it within our-
selves. In this way no matter what
happens in our world we can know
our own role has been to actively
promote peace.
Dr. Christina Grant is a holistic healer
and spiritual counselor who works in per-
son and by phone. She has helped hun-
dreds of people attain physical, mental,
emotional and spiritual well-being
through personal transformation. Her
writing is published nationwide. She is
co-author of Eight Minute Muse and is
completing a book with a fresh perspective
on women’s health.
Seeking Peace
by Christina Grant, PhD
Inner Wisdom
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ather than putting her life
on hold during cancer
treatments, 21-year-old
Cashea Arrington decided to
enhance the lives of others. The
young Georgia native, a die-hard
vegetarian who has been living
with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for
the last few months, understands
every nuance of a disease that
must be dealt with on a daily basis.
“I was diagnosed on November
13th,” Cashea said when I caught
up with this busy young woman.
Then she added, “Friday the 13
with a wry laugh. “At this point, I’ve
done six rounds of chemo and my
next round starts in June.”
Enduring the chemotherapy was
one thing, but when Cashea
began to lose her hair—on her 21
birthday, no less—she felt she had
to do something to make herself
feel better about her appearance.
Rejecting wigs as expensive, un-
comfortable, and obvious, Cashea
needed an acceptable alterna-
tive. When she found it, she instinc-
tively knew that many others must
feel same way.
“I was trying on hats and ball
caps—anything to cover my
head,” Cashea said. “Then I went
through my sock drawer and
found four bandanas. I knew that
this would really work for a lot of
Cashea jumped right in with both
feet, literally, and planned to
make a bandana for every mile
she logged in her training for an
upcoming marathon to raise funds
for the Leukemia and Lymphoma
Society. Setting her goal at 200
bandanas for as many cancer
patients, she spread the word to
friends and family via email, Face-
book, and her own blog. The
response has been overwhelming.
Not only has Cashea surpassed her
original goal, her idea has grown
to include people all over the U.S.
and even some foreign countries.
“A man in Germany is sending me
fabric to make bandanas,”
Cashea, who has personally sewn
and personalized 150 bandanas to
this point, commented. “My new
goal is to have 1,000 bandanas
distributed by the time I start my
second round of chemo this
Cancer patients can request their
bandana directly from Cashea or
through friends and family—and
they can choose their favorite
color! Many ask to have the ban-
dana personalized with a name or
a saying, something Cashea is
happy to do. She is hoping that as
people recover from their can-
cer—hair grows back and lives get
back to normal—they will “pay it
forward” and share both the ban-
dana and the spirit that goes with
“The favorite color seems to be
camouflage,” Cashea said. “I think
that’s appropriate because it is the
color used when people are fight-
ing. We’re basically fighting, too.”
Note: Cashea Arrington can be
reached via Facebook and at
Cashea just doesn’t quit! She is
also teaming up with Spiritjump.org
and Cards 4 Cancer. She’s actively
looking for team leaders in every
state and, of course, donations for
her marathon, as well as money
and/or fabric for bandanas. If you
want to help Cashea please visit
her website for more information.
Marathons, Bandanas and a Cure
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Honda is a company founded by a
dreamer. And they believe in the
Power of Dreams.
In this spirit, they have created a series
of short documentary films celebrating
those who have the courage to turn
failure into success, and to forge
dreams into a better future. Empow-
ered by their deeply held beliefs and
guiding philosophies, these individuals
make the impossible real.
Honda proudly presents these thought-
provoking stories—told through the ex-
perience of visionaries, friends, and as-
sociates of Honda—as captured
through the candid perspectives of
renowned filmmakers Derek Cian-
france and Joe Berlinger.
38 ADistinctive style
The Beauty Corner
Shelly Ballestero
Shelly is a licensed
esthetician, make-up artist, beauty
contributor to CBN.com, and author.
According to the FDA, cosmetics
aren’t required by law to have ex-
piration dates. Old makeup is a
breeding ground for bacteria, and
yet how many of us have mascara
or lipstick or even foundation from
years ago? Even though health-
conscious companies are volun-
tarily adding expiration dates to
their packaging, a product’s
safety may go bad long before
the designated date if it hasn’t
been stored properly. In fact, cos-
metics that are exposed to high
temperatures or sunlight or are
opened and examined by con-
sumers prior to purchase may sub-
stantially deteriorate before the
expiration date. All makeup starts
out with a little bacteria in it from
the get-go. Then once you open it,
airborne bacteria swarms in. Add
the bacteria from your hands and
you’ve got a war against your
aging makeup—even though it’s
got preservatives in it to stave off
the infiltration (and sorry, germs still
get in no matter how gentle and
clean you are when using it). It’s a
losing battle.
How long can we keep our cos-
metics and skincare products, and
is there a way to extend their shelf
life to protect ourselves from infec-
tions like pink eye and skin break-
Here’s the beauty breakdown:
Liquid foundation lasts three to six
months. Cream foundation can
last four to six months. Foundation
in a pump dispenser will last a little
longer because it is less exposed to
air than jar foundation. If founda-
tion has a higher percentage of
pigment, such as mineral powder
makeup, then you have a year to
two years (some have no expira-
tion date depending on the ingre-
dients that are added). Quick tip:
Use a disposable applicator and
the front of your hand as a palette.
Concealer has a shelf life of six to
eight months, sometimes more de-
pending on the ingredients.
Powders, including eye shadows
and blush, last one to two years.
Mascara lasts for three months.
Never pump your mascara, as air
just pushes back into the tube.
Clean your wand with tissue every
couple of days to help prevent
Lip gloss and lipstick have a shelf
life of one year sometimes longer
but only by a few months or so. I
had spoken to Monave’s com-
pany www.monave.com about
the expiration of their lipgloss and
it will last a year and a half be-
Spring Clean your Beauty Cabinet
Katie Meehan
ADistinctive style 39
cause of the vitamin E and castor
oil which helps to extend the shelf
life (and a natural preservative).
Eye and lip pencils will stay fresh
over a year with continued sharp-
ening. You’ll know when it has
gone bad if it crumbles.
Skincare & Body WaSheS
Facial cleansers and moisturizers
are good for about six months, un-
less these products have acids in
them like glycolic acid, salicylic
acid and beta hydroxyl acid—
then they will have a longer shelf
life. Try putting eye cream in the
fridge—it makes tired eyes feel
alive and it keeps it out of the
heat. Quick tip: If you don’t want
to keep it in the fridge with your
food, get a cosmetic fridge.
Check out www.frontgate.com or
www.amazon.comand search for
“cosmetic cooler.”
Facial toner should be thrown
away after one year, but if it has vi-
tamin C in it, the nutrients can lose
potency before a year.
Sunscreens need to be tossed
within a year.
Natural body washes last for six
Brushes should be washed regu-
larly, as often as once a week, with
mild soap and warm water, or you
can use a spray brush cleaner. You
can also use alcohol—it’s a little
harsh, but it works for emergencies.
Good brushes are expensive, so if
you want to protect your invest-
ment, pick up The Brush Guard
Makeup sponges need to be
cleaned after every use. Toss within
one to two months, or when the
sponges show wear and tear. For
longer-lasting sponges, Beauty-
blender (www.beautyblender.net)
is an excellent choice. Shaped like
a teardrop, it’s nontoxic, odor-free,
latex-free and lasts up to four
months (plus if you send it
back they will recycle it for you).
You could also try a flock sponge,
an inexpensive and produc-
tive tool from Jane Iredale
(www.janeiredaledirect.com) that
lasts three to four months or longer.
Nail polish has one to two years, if
you see orange or other funky stuff
going on at the top and the origi-
nal color is, lets say pink…it went
According to Annette Green of
the Fragrance Foundation, your
perfume should last from six
months to a year. Storing it in the
fridge does not extend the life of a
fragrance. In fact, it can disrupt
the balance of the perfume and
eau de parfum. However, after-
shave and cologne may be
Sharing iS not So caring
Sharing makeup heightens the risk
for infection because it increases
the risk of contamination. Don’t do
it! And speaking of sharing, how
about those testers located at de-
partment store cosmetic counters?
I used to work at a popular cos-
metic counter 15 years ago, and
procedures have not changed
much. It’s hard to keep your eyes
on the cosmetic counter when
people constantly stick their hands
in the makeup and try it on without
asking for help. Please be careful
at the counters and make sure
pencils are sharpened and tools
are used when makeup is applied.
Beauty WiSdoM
A little common sense goes a long
way: Wash your hands before ap-
plying makeup and skincare prod-
ucts to prevent the spreading of
bacteria, keep lids firmly screwed
on and use spatulas (or your kids
craft sticks) or Q-tips for products in
a jar.
These general guidelines can help
keep you safe and give you confi-
dence when purchasing and pre-
serving products. And remember,
like the old saying goes: When in
doubt, throw it out—especially if
there’s no date.



40 ADistinctive style
Photo: Jonathan Dennis
Stylist: Cynthia Altoriso
Hair/Makeup: Erica Grey
o who is Summer Rayne
Oakes, well we thought
you’d never ask. Describing
herself as an eco-model, she actu-
ally didn’t coin that term,
instead she says “About eight
years ago now, I started doing
what I call cause-related or
values-based modeling—aligning
my values with who I am as a
person and assisting companies,
programs, designers and projects
be better stewards. The media
started referring to me as “The
Eco-Model,” but it’s more than
about being the face for a
greener brand.”
So, modeling career, check; green
lifestyle and good causes she
cares about, check and what
else; well, even a book that has
just hit bookstores. Read on!
What was your first big break?
It’s been a lot of hard work every
day—there’s never been that
“one thing.”
Where did you grow up and how
did that contribute to the person
you are today?
I was born and raised in Northeast-
ern Pennsylvania. My house was
bordered by farm, fields and for-
est, so it was a perfect place for a
curious kid who liked getting dirty.
Tell me a little about who you are
as a person—three words to
describe yourself.
I had this same question on my
college application, except it
asked “What three objects best
describe you and why?” My
answer would be the same: A
magnifying lens, a swatch of
Velcro, and a bridge. Magnifying
lens: I’m very analytical … I like to
look at complex issues closely and
try to figure them out. Velcro:
Once I find something I like, I stick
to it - no matter how challenging.
A bridge: I love connecting dis-
parate groups together. You get
more accomplished that way,
hence the reason why I started in
the space of sustainability and
Talk about your projects, you had
a book that just came out too.
I’ve wanted to write a book since
I was 13; it’s just not the same book
I ended up writing. My book is en-
titled Style, Naturally: The savvy
shopping guide to sustainable
fashion & beauty (Chronicle
Books). I wanted to write a book
that looks and feels and reads like
a style guide, but would touch
upon greater issues like conserva-
tion, organics, women’s issues,
and fair trade, without feeling so
daunting. I was able to accom-
plish this with some witty personal
vignettes, great girl-on-the-street
style profiles, awesome designer
profiles, and more than 500 color
images and product reviews. I
wanted a book that was very
global, very accessible, something
that each woman can make their
own, and overall would fly in the
face of what most people think
“green” is. One of my main goals
is to push the environmental con-
versation forward by keeping it
fresh and real. I wanted to ac-
complish that with this book; for
one, it’s on recycled paper, veg-
etable-based inks, and 1 percent
for the planet with proceeds going
to Energy Action, but it looks,
reads and feels “invisibly green.” I
Summer Rayne Oakes
Eco-Model Extraordinaire
By Rita Cook
Continued next page
42 ADistinctive style
Summer Rayne Oakes
Photo: Jonathan Dennis
Stylist: Cynthia Altoriso
Hair/Makeup: Erica Grey
Photo: Jonathan Dennis
Stylist: Cynthia Altoriso
Hair/Makeup: Erica Grey
Photo: Jonathan Dennis
Stylist: Cynthia Altoriso
Hair/Makeup: Erica Grey
Photo: Jonathan Dennis
Stylist: Cynthia Altoriso
Hair/Makeup: Erica Grey
Photographer: Esther Havens
Photographer: Esther Havens
Photographer: Esther Havens
Photo: Esther Havens
Photographer: Esther Havens
Photographer: Esther Havens
Photographer: Esther Havens
Photo: Jonathan Dennis
Stylist: Cynthia Altoriso
Hair/Makeup: Erica Grey
Photo: Jonathan Dennis
Stylist: Cynthia Altoriso
Hair/Makeup: Erica Grey
Photo: Jonathan Dennis
Stylist: Cynthia Altoriso
Hair/Makeup: Erica Grey
Photo: Jonathan Dennis
Stylist: Cynthia Altoriso
Hair/Makeup: Erica Grey
Photographer: Joe Moe
Makeup: Lotstar
Hair (Aveda): Denis Clendennen
Photographer: Joe Moe
Makeup: Lotstar
Hair (Aveda): Denis Clendennen
Photographer: Joe Moe
Makeup: Lotstar
Hair (Aveda): Denis Clendennen
Photographer:Rodney Young
Hair/Makeup: Jasmine Irbrahim
Photographer:Ninelle Efremova
Hair/Makeup: Cassandra Renee
Photo: Portico Home
Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to
Sustainable Fashion and Beauty ORDER ON AMAZON
ADistinctive style 43
wanted a book that would sit
comfortably between Tim Gunn’s
Guide to Quality, Taste & Style and
The Lucky Style Guide, and do be-
lieve we accomplished that be-
tween the patience and vision of
the graphics design team and
You are an eco-model, activist
and authority on all things sustain-
able in fashion and beauty, can
you talk about that a little for me?
I originally came into the fashion
industry as a covert-model - a wolf
in sheep’s clothing so to speak. I
was in university and looking for in-
novative ways to communicate
sustainability. My environmental
research kept pointing me to
something much bigger than the
science lab. I originally thought I’d
partner with other personalities,
models and celebrities to help de-
velop cool environmental pro-
grams, but many people in the
space couldn’t manage to do it
because their “work” conflicted
with their values - meaning they’d
have to fly out and film a movie for
six months or they’d go and model
for a company that was-less-than-
impressive socially and environ-
mentally. The collar didn’t match
the cuff. I thought, “Geez, if I can
bring in my values and raise the
bar - use my expertise, image and
passion to create change, then
why not?” Two of my partners and
I run a mad cool strategic commu-
nications and brand manage-
ment firm (SJR) that assists
companies and organizations on
sustainability issues, market re-
search, public relations, risk man-
agement, and the like. The best
clients for me are ones that I can
represent both in front of the cam-
era as well as behind-the-scenes.
I’m a very hands-on-person. I like
to be involved and know that you
need to be fully immersed in a
project for it to be successful. I
know we can truly make things
better if we put our minds, hearts,
and some sweat equity into it. 
What made you decide to be-
come an activist and what is your
biggest project in this regard at
the moment?
You know, it’s quite simple really. I
love nature. I love being out in na-
ture; I love what nature brings to
people; and I believe in healthy
ecosystems and a healthy quality
of life. I really found myself at a
young age in the world around
me. I immersed myself in Native
American history, knowledge and
culture - and do believe all of my
advocacy and activism stemmed
from there.
I have a few biggies in the fire in
terms of launches. I’m collaborat-
ing with Payless on the launch of
their green shoe and accessories
line, Zoe & Zac, which launched in
April 2009. It’s a fun project and an
incredible learning experience for
everyone involved. They’ve been
great partners. They allow me to
push the envelope and we’re tak-
ing what we learn to see how we
can use sustainability as a source
of innovation across the other
I’m also helping re-launch Portico
Home. They’re whole home textile,
bath robe, linen and towel lines
are certified organic which hit the
market in June 2009.
On another front, I work with a
partner—Allan Schwarz—out in
Mozambique on nearly two dozen
sustainable forestry programs in
Mozambique. Locals are trained
to do forest enrichment planting
and make the highest-valued
products out of the forests, which
include high-end furniture, kitchen -
ware, jewelry/accessories, and a
newly launched personal care
product line.
Lastly, has been a move more into
media. I work closely as a corre-
spondent with Discovery Net-
work’s Planet Green and have
filmed a number of shows. It’s
been really amazing - climbing
250 feet in the air on the belly of a
wind turbine, swimming in the Pa-
cific Trash Vortex - an area of trash
twice the size of Texas in the Pa-
cific Ocean; learning about biodi-
gestors on cow farms; shooting
with Tommy Lee and Ludacris for
Battleground Earth. I’ve also done
work with MTV’s Real World this
past season, taking the cast
around through their pimped-out
green house. I have a couple
other programs and projects in the
work, but I can’t spill the beans
quite yet.
This past spring, I worked with En-
ergy Action on PowerShift 09 in
D.C., which is the largest lobby
Continued next page
44 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 45
day on climate change in the his-
tory of the United States. The
coolest thing about it is that it is run
entirely by teens, tweens and 20-
somethings. In 2007, we had 6,000
young people show up from all 50
states and 300 Congressional Dis-
tricts and it was the first time
young people testified to the gov-
ernment on climate change.
These were not paid lobbyists, but
young citizens merely fighting for
their democratic rights - passion-
ate for change. This past year
(2009) we expected double the
amount of young people. There
was green tours, workshops,
speakers, music, rallies, and most
importantly - lobby days to talk
with our Representatives and
elected officials.
What are you working on in the
Interactive sustainability educa-
tional programs; I launched a cur-
riculum called ECOFASHION 101
(www.ecofashion101.com) back
in 2005, which was met with some
success, but I’m prepared to start
expanding on the idea and pro-
grams. The United Nations Environ-
mental Programme (UNEP)
recently called to obtain the cur-
riculum for possible use in devel-
oping nations, which I hope
Going to college was a dream for
me and I really feel strongly about
educating young people and my
peers. I speak at a lot of schools
and asked professors why they
weren’t teaching students about
sustainability and many replied,
“Well, it’s not in the text books
yet.” I was like, “WHAT!?! If we
have to wait for this stuff to be in
the text books, we’re going to get
nowhere. We’ve got to start now.”
Also, just hopped on board a few
months ago as Acting Editor for
the avant-garde environmental
magazine, ABOVE. (www.above-
magazine.com). Right now it’s
available throughout Europe (not
launched in the states yet).
What are your five year goals?
Flow like water. Empower more
people, keep the conversation
moving forward, build more rela-
tionships, and grow our business …
All that really helps open up the
doors to more opportunities and
ideas. My life is very organic that
way (no pun intended).
Aside from that, I have a couple of
very cool projects in the pipeline
that will take a couple years to de-
velop, so I’m sure life will evolve
rapidly, so I won’t even begin to
guess what my next five years are
going to look like.  
Is there anything you would
change in your life?
No. Never. But maybe I’m just too
young to think I made any “mis-
Was this your dream?
If this is the impossible, then yes.
What would you be doing if not in
your current career?
I would be working on large-scale
ecosystem-based restoration and
management programs. I love
being in the complexity of issues
that intersect with environment,
politics, culture and economy. I’m
comfortable in the unknown. I
often joke that if I wanted a defin-
itive answer, I’d be a mathemati-
cian. Two plus two equals four and
that’s it. But when you get into the
science and social side of issues,
well that’s a whole other ballpark.
There’s always more questions
than there are answers - and best
practices change all the time.
Tell me something about you no
one else knows?
I’ll tell you something not many
people know: I’ve been raising in-
sects since I was a young girl. I’m
fascinated by them! One of my
majors in school was Entomology -
the study of insects - and I raise ex-
otic arthropods at home. I have
Madagascar hissing cockroaches,
giant black African millipedes,
desert millipedes, Hercules bee-
tles, blue death-feigning beetles,
red-back darkling beetles, com-
mon darkling beetles and assassin
bugs. They’re great pets to have,
especially if you’re not home
much. They don’t need that much
46 ADistinctive style
Pura bottles are a the environmentally
friendly choice. 38 billion plastic bottles are
dumped in landfills every year and it takes
almost 1,000 years for them to decompose.
Reusable stainless bottles keep plastic out
of the landfills. Be part of the solution not
part of the problem.
Love the pura bottles, easy to clean, en-
vironmentally friendly and they come in
great colors. Thumbs up on the Pura Bottles!
This non-aerosol mist neutralizes all odors, and it's chemical-free, non-toxic, and safe for
you and the environment. Each droplet contains active electrical ions (nature's own air
cleaners) that attract, neutralize and continuously clean the air you breathe.
I was a little leary when I heard about this product, mostly because everyone has a dif-
ferent idea of what smells good, but I put my preconceived notions aside and tried it with
an open mind. You know what? It really does smell great and it really, really works. I was
totally surprised! I gave some to a friend of mine that is allergic to everything and she
loved it too. This is a wonderful product that I’ll always keep in the office and at home.
LaVigne Organic Skincare is dedicated
to making natural products that both
heal damaged skin and protect against
the effects of day-to-day stresses from
our environment. All our products are
100% satisfaction guaranteed.
This is one of my favorite products be-
cause of how creamy it is and how it
made my face super soft. I would order it
46 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 47 ADistinctive style 47
Ladies this is a purchase you can not be without this
summer! These shoes are so comfortable you won’t
want to take them off—ever! They stylish and easy
to clean and they come in every color you can pos-
sibly imagine...with heals or without, with flowers or
without, you get the idea. They even have a whole
catalog with white wedding shoes. I will be getting
more for sure!
The Gaya handbags have a unique
design and feminie look. They look like
high-quality leather yet their price is
surprisingly affordable. I received the
handbag shown above and it’s my
new favorite bag! I know you’ll love
their new spring line!
Finally a “natural” perfume that actually
smells fantastic! My favorite is Yuzu Citrus.
Citrusy, lemon verbena notes in harmony
with exotic Indian harshingar and galbanum
with a hint of honey absolute. Yummy!
A dear friend recommended this product to
me and said it is fantastic! I’ve heard nothing
but good about it from others too, as they say
it is far superior to other products on the
market. They all notice a huge difference in
their skin and all fine lines are going away.
As I write this my U 24K Serum is on it’s way :-(
so I’ll have to report, in detail in the next issue.
48 ADistinctive style 48 ADistinctive style
Katie Meehan
ADistinctive style 49 ADistinctive style 49

Your skin is a sponge.” So says
Shelly Ballestero, someone who
knows all about it. An estheti-
cian, beauty consultant, and
makeup artist, Shelly is also the au-
thor of Beauty by God, a book for
anyone with questions about be-
coming beautiful inside and out.
Although Shelly’s Christian atti-
tude prevails throughout her dis-
cussions of her own challenging
journey to physical, mental and
spiritual health, her frustration
emerges when she talks about
what we unwittingly do to our-
“We go against a healthy system
in so many ways,” Shelly noted.
“People may eat healthy foods,
organic foods, and think they are
doing the right thing. They are, but
they need to take it a step further.”
Ballestero has become very par-
ticular about what she puts on her
body as well as in her body, fueled
by the knowledge that our skin is
the largest organ and absorbs
what we put on it. The chemicals
in skin, hair, hygiene, and make-up
products, according to Ballestero,
leach into our bodies, most likely
without a second thought by the
user. Consumers might use up to
25 products a day—anything
from the shampoo, conditioner,
gels, and hairspray we use on
our hair to the lotion and polish
we use on our feet. Treating the
skin right, Ballestero says, is as
important to good health as
eating your fruits and vegeta-
“The skin is our first line of de-
fense against the toxins of the
world,” she said. “It’s our shield,
our armor.”
The Ballestero family, Shelly
and her husband, Angelo and
their sons Angelo, 11 and
Christopher, 8, use no toxic
chemicals of any type and there
are none in their home. In fact,
Shelly began mixing her own skin
care products from natural sources
about five years ago in her own
But the seed of her discontent
began while Shelly was watching
a makeup artist apply makeup on
an actress. She couldn’t help but
think about the amount of toxins
entering the actress’s body every
day, and that not only troubled
her, it got her thinking. She be-
came a “label detective.”
While researching safe skin care
alternatives for her book, Shelly dis-
covered that, although the over-
the-counter products contained
too many toxins, “natural” prod-
ucts were not necessarily any bet-
“Natural doesn’t always mean
it’s good,” Ballestero said. “The
FDA (Food and Drug Administra-
tion) doesn’t regulate skin care
products and many of them have
hidden toxins.”
“Your make-up is just an accent.”
~ Shelly Ballestero
By Ginger Brashinger
Continued next page
50 ADistinctive style
50 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 51
ADistinctive style 51
Ballestero wanted to help others
who might experience the extreme
symptoms of congestion and
headaches which she experienced
when around people with heavily
scented products.
“I was tired of seeing people die,”
Shelly said, having lost her father to
cancer shortly before beginning
work on her book. “I said to my hus-
band, ‘I wish there was an honest
book out there that would tell the
truth about how to achieve a
healthy body inside and out.’”
Angelo Ballestero told his wife to
write the book herself.
Cost-conscious Ballestero got to
work creating a realistic approach
to beauty and health, realizing that
not everyone could throw out
everything they had and start over.
“I thought about how I could
reach people who can’t afford to
make all the changes at once they
might need to make,” Shelly said. “I
knew I had to think way outside the
Beauty by God, a book with a con-
servative price tag despite the
priceless information, educates the
reader on a variety of topics. Cov-
ering everything from “organic” la-
bels and mixing home-made skin
care products to increasing one’s
self-esteem, Ballestero’s passion for
people resonates.
“I want your true beauty to come
through,” Ballestero, who believes
in ‘less is better,’ said. “Your make-
up is just an accent.”
OrDEr SHElly’S BOOK: http://www.beautybygodbook.com
VISIT HEr WEBSITE: http://www.shellyballestero.com
ENJOy HEr BlOG: http://www.beautybygod.blogspot.com
Katie Meehan
52 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 53
54 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 55
avid Suzuki, Co-Founder of
the David Suzuki Founda-
tion, is an award-winning
scientist, environmentalist and
broad caster. He is renowned for his
radio and television programs that
explain the complexities of the nat-
ural sciences in a compelling, easily
understood way.
If I were to list all of Dr. Suzuki’s
achievements and awards I would
need another 100 pages for this
issue. Suffice to say he ‘knows his
stuff’ as we say in Australia.
Born one hundred percent
Japanese genetically and a third
generation Canadian he is im-
mensely proud of his dual heritage,
a mix that even he finds interesting.
He was born in British Columbia
1936 to a loving but not wealthy
family. At the onset of World war II
even though he, his parents and sis-
ters were all born, raised and edu-
cated in Canada they were
deprived of all rights of citizenship.
Everything that his parents had
worked for was taken from them
and the whole family was sent to
what can only be described as a
concentration camp in the Rock-
ies. When the war ended they were
offered two choices. ‘Give up your
citizenship and we’ll send you back
to Japan or get the hell out of British
Columbia.’ They decided to go
east of the Rockies and set up
home in Ontario. In David’s words
(smiling)”You can see why I’m such
a screwed up person.”
He has a great sense of humour
and laughs easily and wholesomely
but the passion emerges when he
talks about his work and his family.
When he is relaxing he tries to
sleep in the same bed as his wife
and not some hotel or motel on the
other side of the country or, like too
often has been the case, the world.
To do this he has cut down on trav-
elling and drastically reduced his
own carbon footprint. References
to his lifetimes work are never far
from the surface. He and his family
are heavy duty anglers, campers,
hikers and canoeists. They never
fish to catch and release they have
only ever fished for food and never
for sport. Catch and release is
against their principles, they be-
lieve that if you’re not going to eat
it don’t fish for it.
David has five children from two
families; four girls and a boy and
from his first family there are three
teenage grandchildren. His passion
at the moment is his new grandson,
who is eight months old, and he has
taken the ‘Interesting mix’ to a new
level in the family’s genetic make
up. He is half American Indian and
he lives with his daughter and her
husband in northern BC. “My wife
and I are over the moon with this
little boy.” This is a whole new chap-
ter in the Suzuki lives as they have
all been adopted by the Haida
tribe and are completely en-
chanted by them. The area where
the reserve is has also captivated
the family. With less travel and a
moderately short distance, he and
his wife get to see their daughter
and grandson a lot more which is
He has a number of fond memo-
ries to relate to but his favourite is
about his father who was his hero.
He was dying of cancer at eighty
five years of age when David
moved in with him for what turned
out to be the last month of his life.
They had many conversations and
he never once heard his father talk
about his fancy car or buildings or
other gains but only about his emo-
tional wealth. “David” he used to
say “You know; I am a rich man, I
have friends, family, neighbours
what more can a man want?” He
only talked about what they all did
together and the enjoyment he re-
ceived from it. His father couldn’t
see the point in fancy plasma tele-
visions or cars.
Still stuck in the sixties and seven-
ties with his music, he reckons he’s
in a time warp. Joni Mitchell, Bob
Dylan, Joan Baez, Credence Clear-
water…”That’s my time; I’m stuck
there.” He doesn’t read fiction
books anymore but receives enjoy-
ment from books about and by
people he admires. Tim Flannery’s
The Weather Makers is a fantastic
book that he has recently finished.
Most of his books are about our
relationships with mother earth.
After his first visit to Australia in
1989, he fell in love with the country
and the people, and has been
there a great many times. As the
distance is so far, the carbon foot-
print so immense, he has cut back
on those trips as well as visits to
some of the worlds most majestic
places, The Amazon, Serengeti,
Galapagos, Arctic. His focus is now
more on where he lives in BC, and
in fact he believes it is one of the
most incredible places on the
planet anyway.
The future holds a number of
things in store for Suzuki but his main
target is retirement. He is hoping
that his two daughters from his pres-
ent marriage will gain their PhD’s
and take over the reins of his life’s
work. They are both sensationally
beautiful and very, very charis-
matic and he hopes they will also
take over his television program
that has been running for over thirty
No interview with Dr Suzuki can be
complete in such short commen-
tary so please go to our website:
www.adistinctiveworld.net and go
to the David Suzuki page to see
Peter’s interview in full including Dr
Suzuki’s thoughts on some impor-
tant environmental questions.
Dr. David Suzuki
By Peter Mack
56 ADistinctive style 56 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 57 ADistinctive style 57
Lisa Lorenz Paintings
CoLourfuL Canvases
Lively and vibrant in colour, Lisa's paintings are creative, expressive, and stylized. Her lively, imaginative
compositions and strikingly effective use of colours evoke in us a sense of happiness and a smile.
58 ADistinctive style
Photographer Joan Marcus
ADistinctive style 59
A Distinctive Style recently had the
pleasure of interviewing Tim Martin
Gleason, the star of Phantom of the
Opera, when it was showing at
Music Hall at Fair Park Dallas; he is
an articulate, charming and tal-
ented performer who brings vigor,
and excitement with every per-
formance. He gave us a good in-
sight into who he is and then
graciously answered some of our
The Dallas press reviews showed
him to be a flawless, passionate
singer with a voice as close to per-
fection as is possible. He plays the
role his way and characterizes the
Phantom to be a more vulnerable
malefactor than we have come to
expect and it works. His portrayal of
an emotionally fragile character
gives the role its own signature.
Gleason, a native of New Jersey is
one of those fortunate and indeed
brave people who suddenly de-
cided he wasn’t prepared to live
the utterly boring corporate life so
he packed his bags for New York to
pursue his dream. He had been
singing all his life but oddly only
took his first lesson at 26 years of
age. He had always harbored
dreams of being a star after he re-
alized his ambition to be a baseball
player had all but evaporated. In
1977 while enjoying one (or three)
too many drinks one night in a
piano bar singing, mostly to himself,
he was discovered by an agent.
Not long afterwards he was touring
the country in a van with the cast
of the children’s production of “The
Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
The tour was 13 weeks of motels,
rough sleeping and cafeteria audi-
ences but it gave him a good
grounding into the industry. He was
performing in one of the Mecca’s
of the industry, New York and was
‘on his way.’
ADS: How long have you been with
Gleason: I have been with Phan-
tom since 2001, for nine years con-
tinuously but with different
com panies. This tour has been run-
ning for three and a half years. I did
the Broadway production as Raoul
for a year, and then they asked me
to open the Las Vegas Company
which I did for a year and a half,
then back to Broadway for two
years. Then about a year ago they
asked me to become the full-time
Phantom, which I’ve been doing,
and it’s been an absolute blessing!
ADS: Is it easy to stay in character
after all these performances?
Gleason: Laughs, well I wouldn’t
have a job I guess, if it wasn’t, but
that’s the challenge, after doing it
so long. Having done the show with
so many different Christine’s, with
so many different companies, it re-
ally does stay fresh. The reaction
from the people is so genuine and
so sincere, that that keeps you
going as well.
ADS: Did you know much about the
Phantom roll before you took it?
Gleason: Not really, I’d seen it a
couple times. Of all the big
Cameron Mackintosh shows of the
Phantom, Les Misérables, and Miss
Saigon, Phantom is the one show I
never thought I would do. I wanted
to play Chris in Miss Saigon so bad,
and Les Mis, I thought someday I’d
have to do Les Mis, but here I am in
Phantom. I just knew it was a very
difficult thing and that’s why I never
thought I’d be part of it, but here I
ADS: You’ve had such great re-
views about your talent as an actor
and a singer. Did you ever have
voice lessons?
Gleason: I never took a voice les-
son until I was 28 years old. I’ve
been singing in church choir from
the time I was about 6 years old.
And I never studied it, I never took
acting classes, I just wanted to be a
baseball player. I played baseball
in high school, I was pretty terrible
but I was good enough to make
the team. Then I changed my
cleats into running shoes to go do
play practice at night. I would do
the musicals there. I was only doing
musicals because it was fun and I
could sign a little but it was never a
goal of mine until I got into my late
20’s when I decided I had to do
something with my life.
By Ted Gambordella
Continued next page
60 ADistinctive style
ADS: How do you stay fresh after all
of these years of performing?
Gleason: The bigwigs come out
about once a month, the people
from New York, to look at the show
to make sure the show is still what it
should be, and they stay on you.
That is their job, they really help with
that and they push you really hard.
No one slacks off. No one gets lazy.
Not at all.
ADS: You mentioned that the audi-
ence inspires you. What kind of
audience do you like?
Gleason: Well, I like an audience
that likes the show (laughs). Every
audience is different, every audi-
ence reacts differently ... for exam-
ple we played Durham which, was
a very polite and reserved audi-
ence. They loved the show, they
clapped and cheered but only at
the end of the show ... the audi-
ence was sophisticated and was
listening. They didn’t want to miss
anything. This also shows a lot of
respect towards the performers.
ADS: Everyone wants to know how
you put on your mask?
Gleason: It takes about an hour,
and basically I just sit in a chair, a
make-up chair, and our make-up
artist does everything. He uses two
wigs and two prosthetic pieces,
then make-up all around that. ... It’s
a nice way to center yourself and
get focused for the role. It is not
painful; it feels sticky, but when it
dries you don’t even feel it.
ADS: So what is next for you Tim?
Gleason: This tour has been running
for 17 years and is ending in
November. March 14 was the last
show in Dallas and it will never be
back again. People come and go,
but the tour continues. Eventually
somewhere down the road they
may redesign the show ... at the
moment there are no plans. This will
be the end of my job with this tour.
But there are still shows going on in
Las Vegas and in New York on
Broadway. So who knows, they say
once you’re with Phantom you
never leave. But I am sure there will
be other opportunities.
Photographer Wendy Lee
Mr. Gleason is a proud member of AEA.
For a full list of theatres and roles, visit
him online at TimMartinGleason.com.
Ted Gambordella is the author of 42
books and 38 DVD's. Find out more at:
ADistinctive style 61
Photographer Joan Marcus
62 ADistinctive style 62 ADistinctive style

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64 ADistinctive style 64 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 65 ADistinctive style 65
Sometimes it's easy to forget just
what a dirty, messy, polluting
process it is to get crude oil out of
the ground so we can turn it into
fuel. That's because most of the
pollution takes place "somewhere
else" -- in another country, in an-
other part of the world.
The indigenous people of the
Ecuadorian Amazon don't have
that luxury. As we see in "CRUDE", a
documentary from award-winning
filmmaker Joe Berlinger, the rainfor-
est where they live has been pol-
luted across an area the size of
Rhode Island in an effort to extract
black gold. It's an environmental
disaster referred to in the film as
being thirty times more devastat-
ing than the Exxon Valdez spill.
"CRUDE" is the story of the $27 bil-
lion-dollar, multi-year environmen-
tal lawsuit brought against Texaco
-- now owned by Chevron -- on
behalf of 30,000 rainforest dwellers.
Berlinger shows both sides of the
story, which is by turns sad, outra-
geous and inspiring, but never
preachy. The filmmaker leaves
conclusions up to you.
(That said, OMG, it's so obvious
that Chevron-Texaco needs to
admit responsibility, and fix this
mess. I mean, come on, failing to
clean up ponds of sludge? Just
covering them with dirt and letting
people build homes on top of
them? Fouling drinking water
sources that now shimmer with the
rainbow slick of oil? And respond-
ing to a twenty-day old baby, cov-
ered with sores from bathing in
that polluted water, by blaming it
all on "poor sanitation" -- lame.)
In many ways, "CRUDE" is a classic
David and Goliath story. We meet
lead attorney Pablo Fajardo, the
young Ecuadorean trial lawyer
who put himself through law
school -- this is his first case. Ever.
You can't help rooting for this hero
who has sacrificed so much to
help his country.
By comparison, the Chevron exec-
utives seem like cold, corrupted
corporate shills, particularly when
juxtaposed with footage of a
brave but helpless mother of a
teenage girl dying of cancer.
There is also an impressive appear-
ance by Sting's wife, Trudie Styler,
who has been instrumental in help-
ing get clean water to the people
of the region.
"CRUDE" is about of human rights,
environmental stewardship, and
the question of international cor-
porate responsibility. It's also a well-
constructed story that Sundance
(and seemingly every other festi-
vals) deemed worthy of seeing.
66 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 67
am Biesen is a born recy-
cler. Nothing, but nothing,
should be discarded, in her
view, until it is truly worn out. That’s
a lesson begun in childhood.
“I had my own notion of what a
scavenger hunt was,” Biesen said
about her earliest recycling memo-
ries. “I would get out our wagon
and go door-to-door asking neigh-
bors for their old stuff. Empty per-
fume bottles, bric-a-brac, those
were treasures to me.”
When growing up Biesen spied an
old barrel filled with hundreds of
moldy buttons, she immediately
asked the owner if she could have
it, “just like a 10-year-old.”
“I couldn’t help myself,” Biesen
Serendipity - Her recycling instincts
kicked in as she pondered what to
do with all those buttons. Coupled
with her life-long artistic bent (“I
knew from a young age that I saw
things differently from other peo-
ple”), she began to create individ-
ual pieces of art - art with a past as
well as a future.
Biesen, granted an Illinois Artisan
designation in 2009, creates artistic
impact with a handful of antique
buttons and a saucy sprinkling of
bling buttons for a melding of past
and present.
“A common button from 150 years
ago becomes completely modern
and trendy,” Biesen noted.
Her personal research has afforded
Biesen the uncanny ability to pick
up a button, any button, and re-
veal where and when it was made,
as well as the media from which it
was created. That ability has led to
her designing “heirloom bracelets”
which, in turn, allows others with a
family stash of buttons to have
them recycled into wearable art.
Everything is fodder for the artistic
and the recycling mill, even on the
business side of things. It’s not un-
usual to see Biesen “garbage pick-
ing” for her display stands, her
favorite find being a candy rack
she picked up on her Route 66 tour.
As for her button quests, Biesen pe-
ruses antique and resale stores, at-
tends auctions, and makes use of
the ultimate “eco-friendly shopping
experience – eBay” for new finds.
So many buttons, so little time.
“My high school art teacher told us
that an artist does not reuse mate-
rials,” Biesen recalled. “Even as a
compliant 16-year-old, I knew there
was something wrong with that
Happily, Biesen has never lived ac-
cording to that philosophy. Her art
reflects her life.
“Button, button,
who’s got the button?”
By Ginger Brashinger
“Button, button, who’s got the
The age of a button does not
always determine its value.
Bakelite buttons, which were
made until 1970, are presently
ranked No. 1 in value and might
well be sitting in Mom’s sewing
Chinas, jet, picture buttons
(metal buttons with pictures
painted on them), and celluloids
from the Victorian era rank
second as desirable buttons.
Biesen’s newest artistic pursuits
are original fabric designs using
natural materials and recyclable
wrapping paper.
68 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 69
WHY (Wally Hermès Yachts) is the
stunning result between the ultra-
expensive luxury brand Hermès,
and one of the world's premiere
yacht builders, Wally. The WHY is a
36,000 square foot, energy-saving,
sustainable yacht unlike any seen
before, costing an estimated
$150.8 million.
“We were very interested in cre-
ating a yacht that has a low en-
vironmental impact,” says
Pierre-Alexis Dumas. “Its rela-
tionship with the sea must be re-
spectful and easy. WHY offers a
new way of moving over water
by creating an innovative way
of managing and recycling its
sources and uses of energy.”
“If you want to go totally eco-
logical, the only solution is sail-
ing. The reality is that today, 90
% of the market is powerboats,
echoes Luca Bassani Antivari.
Our aim was to reduce diesel
consumption per year and per
yacht: 20 to 30 % for propulsion
and 40 to 50 % for generation.”
Thanks to its specific hull, WHY
58x38 requires less power at
cruising speed than a boat of
equal size. Its diesel-electric
propulsion is the most efficient
motorisation today, and the sur-
face of the photovoltaic pan-
els, almost 900 square metres,
covers most of the boat’s auxil-
iary system needs.
WHY Research and Develop-
ment optimized this project’s
energy consumption by improv-
ing the isolation of the yacht
and the heat recovery of its en-
gines, and has also investigated
he latest wind energy produc-
tion and wind propulsion system
In comparison to a yacht of the
same size, WHY 58x38 has re-
duced drastically its energy
consumption, saving up to 200
tons of diesel per year.
The WHY R & D program in-
cluded a tank testing for hull
stability in the SSPA facilities in
Sweden, and constructioned of
a full-scale mock-up in order to
allow the design team to fine
tune the living areas correctly in
accordance with the hull’s
unique shape.
“The WHY 58X38 yacht looks
very unfamiliar. Space is the
greatest luxury on the sea, but I
believe the new luxury will be
the time to enjoy it,” concludes
Pierre-Alexis Dumas.
A new art of living on the sea is born
70 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 71
72 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 73
Fullers Group a NZ Tourism Com-
pany actually followed through
on an initiative identified by the
Tourism Energy Efficiency Program
(TEEP.) The financial rewards on
the Waiheke Island service are
The savings identified are prima-
rily associated with operating ves-
sels at a slightly slower speed
when appropriate, applying new
technology foul release coatings
on vessels and propellers, and im-
proving the efficiency of lighting.
The TEEP energy audit found that
Fullers already had good energy
efficiency measures in place
given the constraints of maintain-
ing a high-speed ferry service with
a fixed schedule. But, its annual
energy bill could be reduced by
over a quarter of a million dollars
(about 7% of its annual energy
bill) and carbon emissions cut by
715 tonnes.
The total cost of implementing
the energy efficiency improve-
ments recommended by the TEEP
energy audit was less than
$150,000. The savings will recover
that investment within six months.
CEO Douglas Hudson says ”We
are pleased with the outcome of
the audit and it’s heartening to
see evidence that our efforts are
already making good progress. In
terms of vessel fuel efficiency, the
audit identified the design and
condition of propellers as some of
the most important factors. New
propellers have recently been
purchased for some of the vessels
and their effect on performance
will determine the decision
whether to upgrade propellers on
other vessels. We are also already
using antifouling systems with
great results and recognise the
opportunity to trial some of the
upgraded, more advanced prod-
ucts,” says Mr Hudson.
The audits found on average
each business could save 15% of
energy consumption and 15% of
energy costs by introducing a va-
riety of measures around things
like heating, lighting, water use,
and changing energy plans or
providers. Often the return on in-
vestment is less than a year.
Tourism is one of New Zealand’s
top foreign exchange earners,
worth $59 million per day. Their
environment is the primary reason
that international travellers visit.
Energy efficiency has been just
one of the avenues that the in-
dustry is engaging with, along
with waste, water, community
and conservation initiatives.
New Zealand Ferry Company
accelerates profits by slowing down
74 ADistinctive style
10 Audience Choice Awards including
the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.
ADistinctive style 75
If Academy Awards were given for films most likely to start
arguments at dinner tables, this hot-button polemic would have
won the 2005 Oscar hands down. It begins with the revelation
that, according to a Supreme Court ruling, a corporation must
be considered a person rather than an entity. Under this
definition, reasons profiler Robert Hare, corporations can be
categorized as psychopathic because they exhibit a personality
disorder: that of single-mindedly pursuing their objectives without
regard for the people in and around them.
Watch the full documentary online at:
The Corporation
76 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 77
lly Maize is a young woman
who doesn’t let the grass
grow under her feet—not
that she would mind if it did! In fact,
her mission is to make the world as
“green” as possible.
The force behind “GYM-Green
Youth Movement,” Maize planted
the seeds of this organization at the
tender age of 15. It’s blossomed
into a nonprofit group of con-
cerned teens who want to take an
active role in bettering their world.
“I was learning about the environ-
ment in my science classes,” Maize
said, “and we watched An Incon-
venient Truth. I realized I hadn’t
known the magnitude of the prob-
lems in the world.”
Maize began to pay more atten-
tion to environmental issues, check-
ing out news over the Internet and
reading articles about the earth’s
ecological dilemmas. Through dis-
cussions with her parents, initially
about the type of car she would
drive, and then brainstorming with
her parents about how she could
make a difference, Maize con-
ceived the Green Youth Move-
Now, she’s driving her hybrid vehi-
cle all over the city. Whether it’s a
Girl Scout meeting, a high school
seminar, or a Head Start program,
Maize is on a tear to get the word
out to as many young people as
possible that they can and must
make a difference.
“I cater to whoever the audience
is,” Maize said. “I spoke to a kinder-
garten class in Beverly Hills about
garden planting. I’ll go back there
on Earth Day to see what they’ve
done. Some groups get pledge
sheets they can put on their refrig-
erators with 10 different things they
can pledge to change for the ben-
efit of the environment. We make it
really kid-friendly.”
Her reaction to those who may
think global warming has been
“Even though it might not be of the
magnitude it was stated, it’s still a
huge problem,” Maize noted. “It’s
going to be that large of a problem
if we don’t change anything.”
The goal of GYM is to educate as
many young people as possible.
Although her time with the group is
limited, she plans to pass the torch
to younger group members when
she moves on to Emory University in
Georgia in the Fall, “the greenest
campus in the United States.”
“Our group caters to kids because
we are ultimately the ones who are
inheriting the earth,” Maize said
passionately. “It’s important that
we’re the ones who step up now.
Instead of trying to change habits
when we’re older, we try to instill
the right habits in the kids’ daily lives
By Ginger Brashinger
“Kids are ultimately the ones
who are inheriting the earth.”
~ Ally Maize
78 ADistinctive style
ADistinctive style 79
f a passion is truly a passion,
then it’s always in the driver’s
seat. There is no choice. There
are no obstacles.
For no one is that more true than
for Desmond Blair, a young man
who embraced the irony of his life’s
passion—to be an artist despite the
fact that he was born without
“I’ve always had a fascination
with cartoons,” Desmond notes.
But, that fascination wasn’t just with
watching, even at the age of
“I wanted to know how they took
a static image and made it move.”
Shy and self-conscious outside of
his family circle, Desmond was con-
stantly encouraged by his mother,
Joyce, and his grandmother, Leila,
with whom he has lived in the
Dallas, Texas area for all of his 23
Joyce Blair, a single mother, subtly
worked on building her son’s confi-
dence and character, reminding
him often to take his arms out of his
pockets when he would hide them,
conscious of his physical difference.
“Just be yourself,” she would tell
And, Grandmother Leila saw
what being himself meant for
Desmond, encouraging his love of
coloring, tracing, and drawing.
“She would make me redo what-
ever I colored on a page, over and
over until I colored within the lines,”
Desmond remembers. “By the age
of four, I had it down.”
And, Desmond Blair has never
looked back. With the encourage-
ment of people who believed in
him, from Miss Prince who “chan-
neled” his talent in third grade, to
his middle school art teachers, Miss
Henry and Mr. Sledge, Blair found
his style as an artist and animator.
Using his arms, rather than prosthet-
ics, the artist inside him prevailed.
He acknowledges challenges on
his way to undergraduate and
graduate degrees in art and tech-
nology, but as one of his mentors
put it, he always “manages to do it
and do it well.”
Blair currently teaches an intro-
ductory class in 3D computer mod-
eling at the University of Texas at
Dallas, his alma mater, as well as
completing an internship at the
Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Chil-
dren. Giving back to an institution
which has been like a second
home for him, a place where he
was given ongoing care and ther-
apy throughout his life, Desmond
teaches and inspires other children
with disabilities.
“When the parents of my students
talk to me,” Desmond said, “it kind
of puts them at ease about the
scope of capability of their child.”
A role model as well as an inspira-
tion, Desmond Blair is on the verge
of the rest of his life. As a recent
graduate, he’s now putting his shy
self out there, looking for a job to
fulfill his passion.
“My focus shifted in grad school,”
Blair said, revealing flexibility un-
usual in one so young. Not only did
he become aware of his limitations,
but he used that knowledge to find
a way to fit into the industry he
“If one thing doesn’t work for me,
let me do what does work,” Blair
For Desmond Blair, what “does
work” is moving from 2D to 3D, the
wave of the future—a timely move.
His personal future? A graphic
“I think I have a really interesting
story to tell,” Blair, said, stating what
is obvious to others. “I have a ton of
stories, a ton of characters and the
sub context of my stories will be for
people born with disabilities. I want
to tell anyone from anywhere, ‘You
can do anything you want to do.’”
I want to tell anyone from anywhere,
You can do anything you want to do.
~ Desmond Blair
By Ginger Brashinger

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