Jamie Leigh Humanitarian Exhibition And Showcase Resonates Social Consciousness And Sets Hearts On Fire
Jamie Leigh. One City. One Night.
First ever Jamie Leigh Humanitarian Event And Artist Showcase Comes To A Triumphant Close
NEW YORK/EWORLDWIRE/Oct. 20, 2005 --- On Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005, the first Jamie Leigh Event (http://www.jamieleigh.net) and Exhibition came to a triumphant close. The entire evening spelled a message out loud and clear for all to hear: never give up.
Jamie Leigh. One City. One Night. Describing such a magical, beautiful night is so difficult to place into common words. Trying to capture emotions, sights, sounds, smells, and scribble them into sentences for the world to see proves rather tricky since everything blended all together so smoothly and created such a harmonious, wonderful evening.
On Thursday October 13th at approximately 4:00 on a rainy early New York morning, the last image had been taken down. Something about the evening spelled out loud and clear for all to hear - never give up. Whether it be the imagery, the simple awe of those who witnessed the artwork on display, or the humanitarian issues blinding your every move, it was hard to escape the fact, that what one was seeing, was something they would never forget.
"It was a miracle. I cried as I walked through the showcase and looked at all of the photography, the pictures and images were that moving, and I'm not a guy who is known to shed a tear - but I admit - this got me. There was a distinct sense of passion and awareness for just how little we are in the grand scheme of things, and how unless we make use of this time that we have now, it's not going to matter once we're gone. I'm now inspired to help and start really caring more about those larger things around me, even if I haven't had it given, that's the entire point, and I love that. This woman is doing a really good thing right now, a really good thing, and I was honored to be here for the first public gathering, I'll never forget it."
With her hand held on her chest and heart, wearing a loosely revealing and gently draping white silk blouse and black pants, a brunette and doe-eyed Jamie Leigh took the stage and welcomed her guests for an evening that she and many others had been waiting a very long time for.
Gone was the long loosely waved blonde hair, and in was the shortened dark-brunette with eyes that could have stopped anyone in their trails. The woman who stepped onto New York's premiere Film Academy's stage on Thursday night was a Jamie Leigh who had evolved and transformed into another spirit. It was hard to doubt that this woman has grown, as it was clearly evident simply in her appearance. A darker, stronger, and (if you can believe it) more passionate woman has stepped up, and she isn't going anywhere folks. A spirit like most of us, who has been through the fire - and survived. Make no mistake about it, she's still testing the flames, but she's coming out stronger than ever before, and if there was any proof of that, it was obviously observed and seen here tonight. She's moved on, and it's getting better.
With no other accessory but a simple red string on her left wrist, the confidence Leigh exuded while on stage was not surprising. With nearly a decade of experience in various bands growing up and musical ensembles, Jamie Leigh certaintly had no case of stage fright Thursday night, that much was made extremely clear. In fact, there were times where she almost seemed to become much more comfortable and shockingly at ease while on the stage than she was behind the scenes - yet another artist familiarity. Outside could have been burning and nothing would have stopped her from making the night unforgettable. For those who are fans of the greats, one will understand that sometimes all the ringmaster needs to do is simply stand up, and all the others will find a comfort within. Not even a record breaking 8 straight days of rain in New York City could stop this incredible and astoundingly moving and important exhibition from going on full steam ahead. When all hopes seemed questioned by the simple drip drop of the rain clouds hovering above, once you embarked upon this evening, suddenly, there seemed to be not a single cloud in sight. The night succeeded in sucking you in and refused to let you out of it's powerful grip until at least one of the messages was drilled into your consciousness.
"She's completely different, she's not like anyone else around right now. You never know what to expect. You know the core, and the heart of it all, but all the rest is always a surprise... she just keeps coming back with something new. It could be the same concept you've witnessed time and time again, but she'll take that and twist it to present it in an artistically unique and totally different way, and that's what inspires me as a painter - that's a gift that not everyone has. I don't know how to explain her or what she does, it's just her compassion and humanity that shines through. It's not something you come across in an individual anymore. It almost seems as if she entered this life too soon, that she was meant to be alive during earlier centuries or times in history - and who knows, maybe she was."
While on stage kicking off the night and welcoming her guests, a dramatic looking and styled Leigh made sure to let people know the distinct intent and purpose behind what they were about to take in.
"I'm not ashamed for the world to see this", Leigh proudly spoke out. "I never have been. I've built up a sense of trust and compassion with so many, both animals and people from countries all around the world by being vulnerable, by being human, by being an artist and perfectionistic in one sense, yet fragile and simple just like anyone else. I've used what I've lacked or been searching for, as the main light and guide in all I've done. I've trusted it, and I will continue to trust it."
"They say our instincts are what keep us humble and keep up grounded, in this case, I know they're right. If they can't see you bruised, why bother showing them the cover-ups. People relate to the journey, to the battle, that's how we can find ourselves and our purpose in life - that and in taking risks. I was speaking to a friend of mine on the telephone while I was waking up from an operation on my spine in the hospital earlier this year; my lips were all dry and I hadn't had a sip of water in 48 hours... I couldn't stand up on my own and I was just sick the entire week hooked up to countless machines. My legs wouldn't stop kicking and moving around beneath the sheets since I was shaking so hard from the virus that struck me after the procedure. I said to her: If you don't want me when I'm in my nightie, my lips all cut and bruised, my eyes sleepy and tired and legs weak, don't want me when I'm healthy and standing tall. If they love you when you're down, they'll love you for the inch you can manage to stand in the years to come. Just keep on. Just keep showing up - on time," she finished with a coy smile.
"This is what we need right now in the world. We need for someone to stand up and show to the world that underneath it all, we are all scarred and flawed in our own ways - and that's ok. That you will still be loved and you will still inspire and offer hope and an escape through your gift. If no one builds up that courage and just goes for it without fear of judgement or circumstance, they risk that small chance of making a difference in one life. They risk the chance of not drawing attention to the little house in the ghetto where animals longing and yearning for homes sit and wait... they're sitting and waiting for us. For us to use our voice to help them. And we've all got one - it's up to you to choose if you use it or not, and I truly hope that you do. After all they've offered us, I can't help but think I owe it to them. When human nature is tested, it either sinks or swims. I've been in the pool since I was born, and I've been sinking for a while, but for the first time, I feel I'm starting to rise again and float, and thankfully, I've never forgotten how to swim."
"I have a voice, and I'll use it to help anyone or anything in need no matter what, for as long as I can. That for me is more than enough. Be it physical on our skin, or emotionally inside, we're all bruised, torn, twisted, pulled and beaten. The amazing thing about that is, is that when you see it presented in this light, when you take a step back and take in just how beautiful we all are by what we've been through and fought for, we then discover it's how we've arrived at being who we are right now. It's the grain that unites us when the world demands we seperate or live in constant fear. Recently mother nature has been singing to us, loudly - she's got the right... and I for one can understand where she's coming from. If I had to do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing. This is from my heart to yours. I can't thank all of you enough for coming out tonight and supporting me and this entire evening. It was a first, and hopefully won't be a last. To see you all like I am right now, to look in your eyes and know that you're hearing and listening to what I am saying and really feeling it, is an emotion I don't want to loose - expect us to meet many more times just like this."
"This is only the beginning of something I've fallen deeply in love with. I won't let you all just go that easily," Leigh said with a determined and heart-warming wink before the film and evening officially continued.
With that, a noticeably thinner Leigh stepped off the stage (dressed in black high stemmed boots), and took a seat in one of the over 100 directors chairs. If a pin had chosen to fall within the room, it would have echoed for hours. The lights in the screen room dimmed, and the show began. Leigh along with the others watched. Her eyes never shifted from the screen. Leigh was surprisingly comfortable having a camera follow her around for most of the evening after her shy appearance in her previous interview. Her guests and the club were amazingly supportive of the filming, as many even paused to ham it up whenever they noticed an arriving lens. The exhibition and showcase was like nothing seen before. Images almost forcing the viewer to stop in their tracks and an atmosphere that seemed like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a rainy autumn night - a night of a proven voice. It was quite simply, heartwarming and long overdue. "It completely wiped me out. I've been sleeping ever since!" one guest said following her attendance at the event. Another said it reminded them of an attraction at Disney; "Jamie always reminds me of a child. She's an inspiration in every which way, and I look to her almost as some people look to Disney or the classics for guidance or hope. You see yourself in her and it helps, it helps you to be more brave in your own life seeing what she's chosen to do with hers. From the moment I heard that Jamie was doing this, I knew I had to be there. I had to support her. People can't relate to gloss, if they do it's just a passing fad and people never get connected to that. It comes and goes and people forget about it quickly. When there's something deeper, something we all crave, we never can forget about it, it's impossible. She has done so much for so many, to me, this was the least I could do. I wasn't surprised when I took a walk throughout the entire showcase that nearly half of the exhibits were directly calling upon Jamie's activism and humanitarian causes - she just cares a whole lot and you can tell it's genuine."
It was a night when the internet met reality. The merging of the two worlds was warm, and the atmosphere of the lounge was appropriate for the intimate material on view. Additionally, guests were welcomed by gifts from wonderful charities. Animal organizations including the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, Pets911, Best Friends Animal Society, Rational Animal, and PETA contributed magazines, wristbands, pens, bumper stickers, NYC maps and a whirlwind information. As part of Jamie Leigh's breast cancer awareness campaign the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer, CancerCare, and the New York State Breast Cancer Hotline contributed very important information about the cause, and (to Jamie Leigh's own personal delight) enough candies for everyone in the building. Fido Friendly Magazine and PetMassage also loved what Jamie Leigh was doing and supplied more goodies for her guests. The attendees had a wonderful night of music, art, and inspiration which were truly unique; but can we expect anything less from Miss Jamie Leigh?
Throughout the night you could almost see thousands of animals running and playing in the exhibition, and if Jamie Leigh were allowed to bring in her pawed friends, there's no doubt she would have done just that. This was just the first event, and something in my mind tells me, this is just the first of many more to come, and you may very well see those animal friends joining in on the celebrations as time passes.
Edward Muller, New York
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