LA Fete started in 2006, when I was offered a pot of gumbo. No, seriously. I'm a member of some international face and body art discussion groups, and I mentioned in one that my favorite food was Cajun. Susie Pierce, otherwise known as Susie the Crazy Cajun, told me that if I came down to her hometown of Baton Rouge, she'd make me a pot of gumbo. My response was, "You name the weekend, I'm there," and all of a sudden there were about 30 other artists chiming in with "me too!" We found ourselves picking St. Patrick's Day weekend of 2007, and LA Fete was born.
Once a party was planned with so many artists, it was only natural that we intend to practice our art, and that morphed into scheduled classes and workshops.
So once a year, for 4 days in March, I go down to New Orleans for LA Fete. I take classes, jam with my friends, face and body paint, and practice my henna.
We attend the New Orleans St. Paddy's Day parade, take an afternoon to face paint at the Audubon Zoo and donate the proceeds to charity, and body paint models for a show at a French Quarter club.
On Thursday night, we had a zombie crawl, and I got to become a tourist attraction in my own right. I'm waiting to see photos of myself show up on Facebook or Google. My friend Z painted me, and I painted other friends Dot Com the clown and Liz Alaniz.
This year, for the first time, my husband Eric came with me. After the Fete was over, we stayed an extra day and went to the aquarium.
We're finally home and exhausted, but it was worth it! Nowhere else do I get an experience like that, working alongside the masters and feeding off of each others' creativity. My clients will benefit from it, too. Every time I come back from LA Fete, my skills are vastly improved. I can't wait to try them out this weekend!