Driven to the Max: Photo Shoot and Q & A with Max Cadillac

Meet Max Cadillac. I have known Max professionally for the past five years in San Diego. Our paths have crossed with me providing public relations & marketing, and with him either performing in professional theatre productions, choreographing and/or costuming…and most recently modeling as my photography subject for an action-packed, fun editorial shoot, as Max embarks on his new journey – the sky’s the limit – and seize NYC – a.k.a. The Big Apple!

This past September, our photo shoot (for his new modeling “look book”) with Max took place during the day at a cool park as well as a suburban cul-de-sac and street in the Rancho Penasquitos area of San Diego. Max posed. I snapped away.

Take a gander at Max’s photographic versatility (and read our interview Q &A which follows)!

Max Cadillac. Photo by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications, 2017.


Max Cadillac. Photo by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications, 2017.


Max Cadillac. Photo by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications, 2017.


Max Cadillac. Photo by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications, 2017.


Max Cadillac. Photo by Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications, 2017.

Q & A with Max Cadillac

SJF: Max, please give us the run down…tell us where you have performed professionally

MC: I have a true love for musical theatre and have been working hard throughout my field of choice – performing, choreographing, and costuming in San Diego. I’ve performed with Cygnet Theatre (Pageant, Gypsy), Moonlight Stage Productions (The Wizard of Oz, Music Man, Big Fish), San Diego Musical Theatre (White Christmas, Sound of Music, Cats, West Side Story), and most recently in The Tragedy of Carmen with the San Diego Opera.

SJF: Besides being a dancer, you’re also a choreographer. Where have you been the creator of all things dance?

MC: My choreography credits include: Canyon Crest Academy (Zombie Prom, Evita, Sweet Charity), La Jolla High School (Anything Goes), San Diego Junior Theater (Shrek the Musical), as well as other high school, college, and studio performances.

SJF: And your newest venture into costuming?

MC: Over the last year, I have expanded into costuming under the wing of costume designer Janet Pitcher.

SJF: Why NY? Does it have a special meaning for you?

MC: Though I am proud to be a native San Diegian, I’ve always felt like my home town was ‘Broadway to Bloomingdales’ in The Big Apple. My parents and family are from the tri-state area and having growing up bi-coastal going to summer camp in the Poconos, I have always loved New York the most. Not only that, but there are so many more opportunities for theater in New York than Southern California. The fantasy of moving to the city and booking the first audition sounds splendid, but the reality of planning his move to New York has been a long awaited plan since high school.

SJF: Tell us about your performing and where you have studied

MC: The drive to perform has always been there. I have attended performing arts schools since middle school. I first attended Children’s Creative and Performing Arts Academy before transferring to Coronado School of the Arts for high school. It was there I learned his passion could become a career, and I pursued a degree in Theater. I attended a California State University to pursue my degree, but he realized within the first month this was not the right program for me. So within that first semester, I applied, auditioned, and was accepted into AMDA  in Los Angeles for musical theatre. It was a program that mainly focused on acting, singing, dancing, and allowing their students to explore many aspects of the performance world on and off stage.

SJF: What was one of your favorite roles?

MC: Everyday is another chance to create and perform, but I really enjoyed my most recent performance as Lillas Pastia in the San Diego Opera’s The Tragedy of Carmen. The creative team wanted to make a whole new vision for the classic opera, so with only six cast members, sets and costumes spanning many different decades, and direction like no one has seen before, It was a true collaboration of artists working together to feature the best of their talents. And although my character did not have any songs or dialogue, I threw myself into the physicality of the character. To quote the lead of Carmen herself, she wrote me a lighthearted opening night letter saying “Thank you for stealing my show. Now own it” and that is exactly what I did. The recreation of a classic role is something I am extremely invested in, always trying to adapt and tell a relatable story for the audience, and one day I hope to originate a role in a musical, play, opera, or film. Any medium that gives actors the freedom to shape and mold a character like that sounds like a dream role to me, and I would even love to write my own musicals and movies in order to ensure true artistic freedom.

SJF: Dream roles?

MC:  I have many! Aldolpho from The Drowsy Chaperone, Molina in Kiss of The Spiderwoman, Dr. Frank-N-Furter from Rocky Horror Picture Show, and an all time favorite from the first musical I ever saw on Broadway one day playing Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast.

SJF It’s been a pleasure Max. Anything else you’d like to share?

MC: On a personal note, I’d would like to thank you, Susan for all of your support, love, and laughter working together over the past 5 years and would like to leave your readers with this thought; If you love something, Do Not let it go! Hold onto whatever drives your passion, and love what you do. Theater, like the world can seem very small at times, but never limit yourself within your chosen field and always remember it is much more fulfilling to focus on the journey than the finish line.

SJF: Best wishes on your journey to the BIG APPLE!


Special thanks to Emmy Farese for photoshoot assistance!

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More Hummingbirds: Tiny Magnificent Creatures!

 I continually marvel at hummingbirds…such tiny magnificent magical creatures!

Their stunning colorful beauty, their speed, their zest for the “hummingbird life”….

It beats watching the news these days. It inspires my creative spirit and hope!

 I’ve  combined some poetry (Haiku), video footage and photographic images just for you!


Hummingbirds: A Haiku:


Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications

1.  Fluttering about

Zooming, oh, so rapidly

Marvelous colors!

2. Hummingbird magic

Unique, beautiful creatures

Don’t fly away, stay!


Here is a short video from today. See these lovely hummingbirds in action as they fly continuously over to the feeders and enjoy nectar, hover, and then dance away!

And now…some photographic images!

Hopefully these hummingbird images will captivate you and yours too!


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Red-headed Male Anna Hummingbird looking up at the nectar!


Beautiful aqua and green coat Anna Hummingbird


Anna is almost at the nectar finish line!


Anna Hummingbird on a twig


I see the flower!


Male Anna hummingbird enjoying the afternoon!


Circling the nectar feeder


So hungry!


Love this wingspan!


Doesn’t this male Anna hummingbird look like a halo above his head? Wings!


I can taste that nectar already!


Two hummingbirds negotiating!


Just another nectar break!
“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”, said the male Anna hummingbird!
Headshot! Male Anna hummingbird
Fluttering away!
Feathered friend!


Which way did they go?? Male Anna hummingbird


Male Anna hummingbird looking up to the sky!


I was there first! No, I was! OK, let’s eat!
Blue skies!!
Time for more nectar!


Male Anna hummingbird on a palm leaf!



See? A palm leaf! Told you!


Hope you enjoyed the poem, video and photos from SJF Communications!

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A Photographic Journey through the San Diego State University (SDSU) Campus

I recently spent some time strolling on the beautiful campus at San Diego State University (SDSU). Our daughter is enrolled for Fall, 2016 and we love taking the time to explore every chance we get!

Here are some photos I captured that gloriously beautiful day! I wish I could have photographed the entire campus! Perhaps I will visit again soon to capture much more! Feel free to click on each photo.

Subscribe and leave comments and let us know if you have any links, photos or blog posts about SDSU as well! Enjoy!


Hepner Hall with the Hardy Memorial Tower in the Background



SDSU Campus Map



Colorful Signage


SDSU Transit Center


Conrad Prebys Student Union


SDSU Pedestrian Bridge
SDSU Pedestrian Bridge



Conrad Prebys Student Union



Conrad Prebys Student Union Walkway


Conrad Prebys Student Union


Conrad Prebys Student Union


Student Services West


Manchester Hall


Student Services West




SDSU Clock Tower


SDSU’s Love Library Dome


Capturing another  view of the Conrad Prebys Student Union


SDSU’s Love Library


SDSU’s Love Library


SDSU’s Love Library




SDSU’s Love Library


Between Performing Arts area and Hepner Hall



And here is some of the gorgeous foliage seen that day. Click on each photo to enlarge it. Such vivid color and so many beautiful varieties of trees and flowers!


And a few more images of the “bench art” and more!

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Torrey Pines State Beach: Pelicans on Rocks, Boogie Boards & more

Torrey Pines State Beach is  GEM!

Strolled along and captured several cool sights: pelicans, a boogie-boarder, the ocean and rock formations…enjoy!

The 5 Day Black & White Photo Challenge!

Have you heard about this fun exercise on Facebook?

It’s called the 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge

Here are some of the links:

(hashtag) #5dayblackandwhitechallenge or

(usernames) @5dayblackandwhitechallenge.


Think of it as a “visual chain letter”! I saw it on the status thread the first week of November, 2014 from a great NY photographer colleague I know, Marty Umans .  

The challenge: to post a black & white photo each day for 5 days, and then nominate someone per day as well.

Coincidentally, on November 13th,  I was nominated by my former dance teacher, Niki Simon Blacker, who takes extraordinary photos many days of the week in South Beach, Miami.

I decided to take the plunge and it was indeed fun scouring through photos galore to see which ones would be the best to include. I decided that it would also be fun to add these 5 B & W’s to my blog, so you shall be staring at them in my post here!

My photos were all originally snapped in color taken with my Nikon Coolpix (either L830 or L820 ) this past year or so. I converted them to black and white in Picasa for this particular 5 Day B & W Photo Challenge.

I was thrilled to nominate  five really cool photographers that I know. Here they are (with tidbits about how we know each other)!

Day 1: (Ken Jacques  (who I know professionally as our photographer for San Diego Musical Theatre and many other Theatre groups  as well as his other phenomenal photography in and out of the San Diego area)

Day 2: Eileen Swanson (a fellow Channel 10 Weather Watcher, we’re both in the Weather Watcher “closed” Facebook group and the station shows photos from this group often on the air) 

Day 3: Sonny Porticio (Captured Vision Photography)

Day 4: Jennie Slosarik (family friend, pseudo-cousin, and aspiring (already award-winning high school student), (need to get a link to her photos)

and finally: 

Day 5: Josh Freeman (Josh is just so creative…he makes these one of a kind hats too! We shared the stage together in THE CRUCIBLE a few years ago).

The perspective really changes when a photo is in Black & White!

Good luck everyone. Try it! Take a gander and enjoy!

SJF Communications and the 5 Day Black and White Photo Challenge!

Torrey Pines State Beach, Rocks, Sky B & W, 2014 ;  by Susan Farese, SJF Communications
Torrey Pines State Beach, Rocks, Sky B & W, 2014 by Susan Farese, SJF Communications

I like that it shows so much variety of nature…the beach, the rocks and of course the sky. 

Palms Standing at Attention: Photo by:  Susan Farese, SJF Communications, 2014
Palms Standing at Attention: Photo by: Susan Farese, SJF Communications, 2014

               I hope you all like this photo I took a while ago of several palm trees and clouds which I edited in B & W on Picasa. I like how it shows the trees at attention! I



La Jolla Pelicans etc. Photo by  Susan Farese, SJF Communications, 2014
La Jolla Pelicans etc. Photo by Susan Farese, SJF Communications, 2014

                  I hope you all like this photo I took a while ago of several pelicans and their friends in La Jolla which I edited in B & W on Picasa.  I like that it shows them all mingling & lounging and love the curve of the rock!

Osprey Perched at Torrey Pines State Beach; Photo by Susan Farese, SJF Communications, 2014
Osprey Perched at Torrey Pines State Beach; Photo by Susan Farese, SJF Communications, 2014

 The osprey was magically perched atop a rock. I used my zoom from my NIKON Coolpix L830 and edited in B & W in Picasa. He (or she)? was holding prey (which I will not show here…). I like that I captured the osprey at an opportune moment in time, serendipitously as I looked up at the beautiful rock formation!



Hot Air Balloon Landing at Dusk in Carmel Valley, San Diego; Photo by Susan Farese, SJF Communications, 2014
Hot Air Balloon Landing at Dusk in Carmel Valley, San Diego; Photo by Susan Farese, SJF Communications, 2014

          I’m always in awe of hot air balloons, which we see frequently in North County of San Diego. This one touched down before my eyes.