Sunday, January 20, 2013

Poe Murder Mystery Masquerade

Back in October we threw a Victorian-era-Edgar-Allan-Poe-themed murder mystery masquerade (try saying that 5 times fast). We gathered on the night of October 27th, just a few weeks after the death anniversary of the aforementioned author.  The story goes a little something like this...
Ten years ago, lovely Lenore Bainbridge was murdered during a masquerade ball at the glamorous Bainbridge Manor. The culprit was never discovered. It is rumored that Lenore’s spirit does not rest peacefully, but endlessly prowls the halls of Bainbridge Manor, waiting for justice.

Now, all who attended the masquerade ball on that fateful night will gather again at Bainbridge Manor, this time in the hopes that together they can discover once and for all who murdered Lenore Bainbridge so her spirit can finally be at peace.
Each guest had a small role to play and was given various clues throughout the night to share with the other guests.
Myself as Clarissa Bainbridge, the victim's sister
BJ Dupont as Beauregard Charming, the victim's sister suitor
Susan Mullins as Sarah Bainbridge, the victim's sister cousin
Mark Ronhaar as James Bainbridge, the victim's sister cousin
Jason Strickland as Roman Bainbridge, the victim's sister uncle
Christian Knightly as Count Maximilian Freud, the victim's sister suitor
Julie Tyckoson Eliza Valdemar, the victim's sister friend
Dan Bookman as Inspector Auguste Dupin
Paul Love as Dr. Prospero, the family’s doctor
Jenifer Kresge as Dr. Morella Tamerlane, the family psychologist
Brian Hogan as Roderick Usher, guest at Bainbridge Manor
Liz Hogan as Madeline Usher, sister to Roderick
Nick Benedetto as William Wilson, the butler
Amy Benedetto as Marie Roget, the housekeeper
Rita Barnes as Madame Raven, psychic medium
Jason Dilworth as Edgar Reynolds, investigative journalist for the Evening Mirror
Michelle Dilworth as Annabel Lee, poet
James Tryon as Montresor Amontillado, the family accountant
Evelyn Tryon as Virginia Amontillado, head cook

*Props if you can spot all of the Poe references!
While this probably sounds like a really cool thing to shoot, I unfortunately didn't get much of an opportunity to photograph all of the details since I was busy playing hostess (aka Lady Clarissa Bainbridge). Also, I should probably note that, as a general rule, I should not be allowed to operate a camera if I've had more than a few alcoholic libations. Needless to say, the photos that I did take came out terribly. So I've thrown a few old-timey photo effects on them in an effort to make them less offensive to your eyes.

Black and cream invitations, ready to mail out and set the spooky mood of the party.
Upon entering, guests were given an envelope with their name and first set of clues.
Ravens could be found everywhere. Oh, how Lenore loved her ravens.
They even managed to come to work with me.
I always knew that our butler, William Wilson, was involved with Marie Roget, the housekeeper.
Count Maximilian Freud was all smiles, until people started accusing him of murdering Lenore. In the background, police inspector Auguste Dupin and my cousin, Sarah Bainbridge, look on knowingly.
Eliza Valdemar... never really trusted her much. She was always jealous of Lenore.
Madam Raven (far right) discusses clues with Beuregard Charming, while Dr.'s Prospero and Tamerlane listen in.

Madeline and Roderick Usher... all smiles, despite the recent collapse of their home after a terrible storm.

Investigative journalist, Edgar Reynolds, poses with his love, Annabel Lee. Edgar was hoping for another juicy story after all the fame he got for reporting Lenore's murder.

Montressor Amontillado, the family accountant, eyeing me suspiciously. He never did approve much of my spending habits. His lovely wife, our head cook Virgina, cares only for sampling the wine he makes.

At the close of the evening, the guests gather round to discuss the final clues.

Keleshian Kittens

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything, and so I have a lovely backlog of blogs I need to get up. I'll start with the oldest and work my way up to the more recent.

So back in April, Michelle Keleshian, a former student of mine, found herself in possession of a litter of kittens. I got the opportunity to stage a little photoshoot. Unfortunately, most of them were camera shy and uninterested in what was going on, so I only managed to get a few good shots of two of them. But it was still fun, none-the-less, and I enjoy the challenge of photographing cats. :)

So at first they were curious and explored a bit... occasionally posing for the camera.

One of them was particularly fond of books...

But eventually, like most kittens their age, it was nap time.

Here are a couple (poorly) time-lapsed animations so you can see what our day was like