Josh Duffy on Opening a Tattoo Shop in Glendale and How Reality TV Impacts Longtime Tattooers

Josh Chesler
When he's not doing top-notch realism tattoos, Duffy also does murals, sings, and plays both guitar and piano.

Josh Duffy has always been fascinated by tattoos. From the moment he got his first tattoo at the age of 21, he knew it was what he wanted to do for a living.

Fast forward to present day, and Duffy has moved out of the slums of Los Angeles to being on the brink of opening up his own tattoo shop, Black Castle Art Co., in the Valley of the Sun.

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Jim Gaffigan on Charlie Hebdo and the Comedic Allure of Fancy High-End Wristwatches

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Riester Advertising Agency
Jim Gaffigan is coming to Talking Stick Resort January 29 through 31.

Comedian and author Jim Gaffigan has a lot on his plate (that's only sort of a food joke). Somehow between guest-hosting The Late Late Show, publishing his latest book, Food: a Love Story,, and raising five children, he managed to squeeze in a few minutes to speak with Jackalope Ranch by phone prior to his upcoming performances at Talking Stick Resort. Here's what he had to say.

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Marissa Meyer on the Lunar Chronicles, NaNoWriMo, and Why She Loves YA Books

Julia Scott
Marissa Meyer will bring her Lunar Chronicles world to Phoenix during the Lunar Ball on February 2.
For author Marissa Meyer, it all started with Sailor Moon. Through that lunar soldier, she found a spark within herself that eventually ignited into a passion for writing young-adult fiction, fantasy, and science fiction.

With the release of Fairest: Levana's Story, her newest installment in the New York Times bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Meyer returns to Changing Hands on Monday, February 2, for a Lunar Ball complete with costumes, dancing, and of course a talk and book signing with Meyer.

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Bridget Whitman on Being a So You Think You Can Dance Finalist and Growing up in Tempe

Categories: Dance, Interviews

Courtesy of Fox So You Think You Can Dance
Bridget Whitman of So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 trained at Tempe Dance Academy.
When the top 10 finalists from Season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance hit the stage at Comerica Theatre on Sunday, January 25, Tempe-born Bridget Whitman will be among them -- performing not only for fans of Fox's hit TV show, but also friends, family, and fellow dancers from her metro Phoenix days.

Raised in Tempe and Chandler, Whitman left Arizona in 2012 to attend The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she majors in dance and expects to complete her BFA degree in May of 2016.

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Gina Gionfriddo on Having It All, Pulitzer Prizes, and Rapture, Blister, Burn

The Huntington / Flickr
Two-time Pulitzer Prize Finalist Gina Gionfriddo.

Gina Gionfriddo is something of a playwriting dynamo. Her last two full-length plays, Becky Shaw and Rapture, Blister, Burn, were both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Her work goes far beyond the stage though; Gionfriddo wrote for Law and Order for several years, and more recently wrote an episode of the hit Netflix series House of Cards.

Theatre Artists Studio's production of Rapture, Blister, Burn opens this weekend. The play is a humorous glimpse at the friendship of two women -- one of whom chose to devote herself wholly to her career, while the other focused on having a family. We caught up with Gionfriddo to learn a little more.

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El Mac on His Latest Mural in Phoenix -- And Why It Almost Didn't Happen

Lynn Trimble
Artist El Mac, about 40 cans of spray paint into his newest collaborative mural in Phoenix.
We caught muralist El Mac in the act of art-making at The Heavy Pedal, 1309 E. Van Buren last week, working on his latest Phoenix mural. It's a collaboration between El Mac, Pablo Luna, and Mando Rascón that took a full week of steady work to execute. The results are stunning.

We're wondering how the folks who first commissioned the work will be feeling once they see it. Turns out, The Heavy Pedal team snagged the work for their east-facing wall only after the design's original commissioners decided it wasn't a good fit for their site.

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Jim Malloy on Socializing Through Sneakers and His Favorite Kicks

Courtesy of Jim Malloy
Jim Malloy, who owns Bunky Boutique with his wife, is one of Phoenix's biggest sneaker collectors.

Jim Malloy started off collecting sneakers the same way most people do: his dad bought them for him when he was a kid.

"I still get the same feeling, the same excitement, when I get a pair now as I did when I was 14," Malloy says.

These days, Malloy has downsized his collection to about 200 pairs of sneakers due to a recent move. He's not a sneakerhead though, he's just a guy who likes to collect and wear shoes.

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Chris D'Elia on Open Mics and Why He Hates Hecklers

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Courtesy of Tempe Improv

Chris D'Elia didn't start doing stand-up until 2006, but that's not to say he didn't start working on his comedy well before then.

"My family's real funny, so I had to be funny," D'Elia says. "I really had no choice."

Almost nine years ago, D'Elia began participating in open mic nights as a New Year's resolution. From there, D'Elia found what he wanted to do, and began attending open mics more and more regularly as the year went on.

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Comedian Paula Poundstone on Laughter, Forgetting Her Lines, and Cat Pee

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

Courtesy of Mesa Arts Center
Paula Poundstone will make sure your New Year is full of laughter.
For comedian Paula Poundstone, it's all about bringing people together through laughter. Well, and making people lose control over their bodily functions due to laughter. Oh, and also getting a break from her 15 cats at home.

"I know that not everyone is going to find everything I say hysterically funny, but I hope there's at least one moment for each member where they fear incontinence," says Poundstone, who will be performing at Mesa Arts Center on New Year's Eve. "Where they have that kind of cathartic wonderful laughter. I don't tell them that, I don't say to them at the beginning of the show, but it's certainly my game plan. And again for me, it's just a chance to be away from cat pee for a few hours."

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Tania Katan to Leave Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

Categories: Interviews, News

Evie Carpenter
Tania Katan is leaving SMoCA in January.

Tania Katan is leaving Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

The writer, performer, and erstwhile bingo hostess has been with the museum for about three years, working as its curator of performing arts to create events, including the mega-hit Lit Lounge, that engaged Valley dwellers in innovative ways and built an audience and brand for the museum's SMoCA Lounge. She announced her departure from the museum on Friday, December 19, in an e-mail to SMoCA Lounge supporters.

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