A Pinata Party with the Spirited Meaghan Kennedy of Your Pinata

Best of 2016, Random Musings, Rave!

I just love it when someone who is kind, generous, and good finds success in not only what they do, but who they are. Art and life can sometimes be incongruous, but when the fusion of creating something coalesces with true talent, anything can be possible. Just ask the raven-haired beauty with the crazy nails behind Your Pinata, the tremendously unique entity that can make a likeness of anything into a pinata. And I mean anything.

So, without further adue, here is my exclusive interview with Meaghan Kennedy, pinata savant and radiant beauty. And no, she didn’t pay me to say that. It’s just the truth.

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Meaghan Kennedy, the Genius Behind All That Pinata-ness.

Reading Other People (ROP): I’ve known you a long time, and I know you’ve always been creative. Why pinatas? Why now?

Meaghan Kennedy (MK): We have known each other for ages! So rad! Pinatas started as a joke. I wanted to enter in a talent show and so I made a pinata of a pink poodle… it became an obsession quickly! So fun to smash all my hard work!

ROP: Your free spirit is something that makes you so memorable. How have you harnessed that openness to your art?

MK: That’s lovely, thank you:)

ROP: You’ve met some pretty famous people and gotten some pretty major exposure to Your Pinata. Who would you just love creating a Pinata for?

MK: The list is huge. So many people are inspiring to me. I made one for Trudeau during his election campaign, and I had always wanted to make one for John Waters and that happened last year.. I would love to make one for Mariah Carey, Britney, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are way rad. Anyone from daytime television. SO many crazy characters to smash (who wouldn’t want to hit Victor Newman?)!

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The Artist at Work.

ROP: How would you describe your design aesthetic? Do you do a lot of pre-planning or do you like for the creation phase to be as organic as possible?

MK: I always try to connect with each client and give them a pinata that will really leave an impression. I think the big heads/small bodies are hilarious, they look like the person but not too much that you would get creeped out. I don’t do well with drawing so I tend to reference images and just get creative!

ROP: You’ve modelled, you’ve acted, you’ve DJ’ed..and now with your piñata, you are becoming an artistic tsunami. Do you have a favorite?

MK: Hehe, pinatas for sure! It’s the first time I feel like I am really great at something. Like I am making something special happen.

ROP: How do you decide who you’re going to design a Pinata for?

MK: Almost all my work is commission based, so the client decides what/who I am making. That being said, I make a lot of pinatas on my downtime, and I pick people who inspire me. I had the opportunity to see my idol John Waters last year, so I made him a pinata and showed up with it. He loved it and brought it up on stage with him to thank me. Pinch me!

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Cry Baby Pinata from the John Waters Film

ROP: When you finally make that piñata for Britney Spears, can I come with you to Las Vegas to deliver it to her?

MK: YES!!! I still remember the big poster on your bedroom door at your mum’s place:)

ROP: Is there a time of day that you feel the most creative? What inspires you? Music? People? Feelings?

MK: Having worked retail for 15 years I have a big love for pop music and top 40 for when I need to keep energy up. I love me some Supertramp, Neil Young, Charles Bradley, Smashing Pumpkins.. I could listen to Britney/Mariah all day and be a happy girl! Wide range!

ROP: Have you ever declined a piñata order?

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Heathers!

MK: Yes. Many times. I am not interested in making people you hate. Go smash a bottle against a wall. I declined several Stephen Harper pinatas, Trump, Rob Ford (I made one and it made me feel horrible looking at his ugly face for 3 days while making him.) I would so much rather make your mum or your boss! Life should be fun! Don’t waste your time on bullshit!

ROP: Amen to that, sister. Amen to that.

Read more about Your Pinata at http://www.yourpinata.com, including instructions on how to get your own custom pinata.

Smash on.

 

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Enchanting “Grey Gardens” in Toronto

Best of 2016, Live Events, Rave!, Toronto Events

I had no idea what to expect when checking out the Acting Up Stage production of the stage musical version of the classic documentary “Grey Gardens”. Was it going to be a farce? Would it be a veritable humorous look at Edith Bouvier Beale, and her daughter, Edie, the two stars of 1976’s “Grey Gardens”? I just didn’t know. I did know there was a Broadway production of this musical retelling starring the incomparable Christine Ebersole, and I happened to catch her performance of the showstopper “The Revolutonary Costume for Today”, but that was the extent of my familiarity with the musical.

The documentary film, on the other hand, is vital part of my film canon of favorites. Revisiting the film every few years brings me a different perspective on the documentation of these two women with big dreams, big souls, and, most sadly of all, empty pockets. I just don’t think the world was ready for them. I think you’ll feel the same way too if you haven’t seen the film already.

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Back to last night’s spectacle on modern society and the plight of maniacal hope. The musical was breathtaking and refreshing. It not only didn’t poke fun at the situations that had befallen this mother/daughter duo, but it shed some light on a relationship that was at once both stifling yet interdependent beyond words. The two women were shadows of one another, not whole without the other. Little Edie, played ferociously by the amazing actress Lisa Horner of stage fame and success. It was a tour-de-force performance, and I was clearly not the only audience member riveted by every mannerism, every movement that Horner made on the stage. With eloquent stage production that was subtle but effective, “Grey Gardens” as a musical is a commentary on modern society’s insatiable need to build someone up and watch them fall.

You can read more about the show online at your own leisure because I can’t and don’t want to summarize this beautiful production for you. It’s intimate and claustrophobic, but also emotionally and mentally open. I really, really, really liked it. All my Torontonian readers, please, please go see it. It’s only here for a short time at the Berkeley Street Theatre (https://goo.gl/LkpnAM).