Candlelight Vigil Held in Hilo for Victims of Orlando Mass Shooting

Members of East Hawaii’s LGBT community and allies gathered in downtown Hilo tonight for a candlelight vigil at Mo’oheau Bandstand & Park 6pm to honor the victims of Orlando’s shooting at Pulse gay bar. 50 people were killed and 53 wounded in the attack. Though the motives for the attack are unknown, violence against LGBT people is not a rare occurrence.

Hilo for Orlando

Travis Rogers, the organizer of the Hilo vigil, said he “heard the news and just had to do something”. Travis shared a personal story of  homophobic violence so others may feel safe to do the same. Though Hawaii’s LGBT residents come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, most have these kind of stories.

Above all, Travis shared his hope for people standing up against hatred and making communities safe for all. “I feel for those who’ve lost their lives” Travis said. “This homophobic violence must end”

Individuals or organizations who want to help make Big Island a safe and friendly place for LGBT residents can support Hawaii Island Pride. The annual Pride parade is being planned for July 9th from 12-4 in downtown Hilo and volunteers are needed to join planning meetings every Tuesday at 6pm at the Church of the Holy Apostles at 1407 Kapiolani St.

Lava Flow Heading Towards Royal Gardens Subdivision

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi.

flow to royal gardens

The area of the active flow field on June 8 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on June 10 is shown in red. The area covered by the June 27th flow (now inactive) as of June 2 is shown in orange. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Catching Up With Local Actress Kristina Anapau

The 2016 Big Island Film Festival held at the Fairmont Orchid was attended by the most participants ever with 58 films shown as well as celebrity salutes and receptions for Bellamy Young and Michael Gross.

This year, 2011 Golden Honu Award Recipient and Hawaii Islands own actress Kristina Anapau (“True Blood”, “Black Swan”) made a surprise guest appearance as she happened to be working on a project over on Maui and was able to get away for a couple days.

Kristina 2016(1)

I’ve continued a dialog with Kristina since I first met her in 2011 and I asked the former model if I could do a photo shoot and interview with her and she agreed.

kristina 2016(2)

I asked her what she has been up to since the 2011 Big Island Film Festival and Anapau stated:

“Since 2011? Quite a lot! I’ve completed about a half a dozen feature films, played the faerie Maurella on the HBO series True Blood for a few seasons, and appeared on a handful of other great shows like Grimm and Anger Management.

I also developed and launched a fashion product, Color It New, which has done really well. It’s an aerosolized colorant that that permanently change the color of shoes, handbags, belts, and other accessories without any chipping, cracking, or peeling— it’s pretty amazing.”

My next business endeavor is called Enlight Lifestyle and is set to launch January 2017. It’s a lifestyle website, brand, and content streaming platform focused on stylish, conscious, and informed living. Readers can visit www.enlightlifestyle.com to find out more!

kristina 2016(3)I asked her how she would recommend up and coming actors and actresses from the Big Island to get noticed by mainland filmmakers?

I’d probably recommend that they move to LA or NYC if they are really serious. You hear about fairytale “discovery” stories where an actor is spotted by an agent or producer who launches them into stardom, but in actuality, even after such a discovery, you are still going to have to move to where the action is and be prepared to put in a lot of hard work. As for getting noticed? Work on your craft, be open to opportunities as they arise…and be tenacious when it comes to achieving your goals. Often times its tenacity and not talent that causes one actor to be successful and another to not be. Oh…and write old-fashioned, pen and paper thank you notes to everyone.

Kristina 2016(4)When asked what she liked most about the Big Island Film Festival?

Leo and Jan Sears have created such a special festival over the years with BIFF.  A film I was in called Self Medicated won the Grand Jury prize at the the very first BIFF back in 2006, and I was honored with the Actress No Ka Oi Award in 2011. It’s always been a meaningful event for me and of course it’s great to get to come home!

Kristina and her father who lives here on the Big Island.

Kristina and her father who lives here on the Big Island.

I asked her what the current projects she is working on and when does she expect the film(s) to be released and Anapau replied,

“I’m currently filming a feature here on Maui! I met the director, Brian Kohne, at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival as a matter of fact. It’s a culturally rich mystery/drama set in Hawaii in 1971. A really beautiful film. I have several things lined up after we wrap on Kuleana, none of which I can talk too much about yet, but one of which shoots in Oregon, which I am very exited about. I have a lot of family in Oregon and love spending time up there.”

Kristina 2016(5)

When asked if there were any former teachers here on the Big Island that she would like to say mahalo to in particular for one reason or another she stated,

“I always want to give a mahalo to Celeste Anderson-Staton, my ballet teacher on the Big Isle who inspired me tremendously and taught me so much — wouldn’t have been cast in Black Swan without her training!  Also a mahalo to Desiree Moana Cruz for helping me so much when I was first starting out as a model at age 14!”