Ever gaze out your window and wonder what you're missing out on? Perhaps feel an overwhelming sense of dread thinking about your mortality? Not Dead Yet is a column dedicated to finding the most exciting, experimental, funny, and out-of-this-world work, so that you won’t have to worry about missing out. With interviews and features like these, you’ll totally forget that death is at your door.
If you're looking to be liberated from your internal turmoil, look no further. Sisters Weekend is here to save you with videos that will take your frown and turn it inside out. They're a video collective comprised of artist Kat Tedesco, makeup artist Angelo Balassone, and graphic artist Michael Fails. After meeting at Rhode Island School of Design, they developed a close friendship which led to the creation of Sisters Weekend, a venue for bringing their jokes to life. Currently based in Brooklyn, New York, the trio can make a three-minute video feel like a Hollywood production. Twisting the cinematic aesthetic in order to deconstruct normalcy, they poke fun at everything from beauty pageants, commercial shoots, period pieces, and more. Directing, producing and acting are just a few of the many hats they wear. So, if you’re done crying about your newly realized mortality, give your eyes and ears and self to Sisters Weekend. Soon to be America’s video sweethearts, The Creators Project had the pleasure of interviewing all three masterminds.
If you had to, what would you categorize yourselves as?
Angelo: We certainly act as a production company in many cases but there's often a level of performance that comes into play even when we're making work for other people. We collectively wear many hats in the making process, one of which as character actors.
Kat: That's one we still sort of struggle with. We're all artists, and we make things together so, I guess I'd categorize Sisters Weekend as a collaboration more than anything else.
Michael: At the end of the day we’re dedicated to quality storytelling and we’ve had the opportunity to do that in a number of ways, both for ourselves and other people we think are cool.
Your videos are such an effective mix of subtlety and over-the-top humor. Is there any overarching philosophy Sisters Weekend?
Angelo: Thank you! We love that questionable line of intention and humor. But it's all intentional! We like to cram a lot of hidden treats in our work for the 'elite' viewer but I think it's important to us to try and include a joke for everyone.
Kat: We're into celebrating the absurdity of the mundane, ranging from the humor in your bus driver's sneaker choice to the absolute insanity we're trained to flush or not give second thought to because of our psycho media culture. Lady USA is a big one for media absurdity—the graphics, the image of girls in strappy dresses shouting stats about themselves next to a dumpy canal. It's so so strange and hilarious.
Michael: Self-embarrassment is central to our process. Something I think about is our exploration of “normal drag.” I think we often play characters that are painfully “normal,” but “normal” by definition is just the statistical majority; it’s what is most widely accepted. If you start to pick at the specifics of “normal” people you get some really weird results.
Tell us a bit about your influences.
Angelo: Good-bad movies, Good-bad wigs, the 70's, the 90's, Rhode Island, top model, unique farts.
Kat: Collectively influenced by the state of Rhode Island, Jonathan Cheban, wigs everywhere. Individually influenced by Kids in the Hall, Kenneth Anger, MSNBC Lockup, The Beaver Trilogy by Trent Harris, Louis Theroux, and whoever's sitting at the bar at the Rhumb Line in Gloucester, MA right now.
Michael: My cinematic sensibilities are deeply influenced by art filmmakers Jesper Just and Agnes Varda. I’m also an unabashed comic book nerd and will have sci-fi sensibilities until the day I die. I love garbage TV and bad gay movies on Netflix because I think you can learn so much as a filmmaker watching things that are technically or narratively terrible. They break so many rules, they’re unintentionally innovative!
Hypothetically speaking, you all die tomorrow, what effect would you hope the work you've made together leaves after you die?
Angelo: Well, I hope we're able to add a couple more vids to our body of work before then but I dedicate what we've made together to our fellow weirdos. I hope people can appreciate our point of view and eventually catch on to the less successful jokes!
Kat: One of the biggest compliments I've received about our work was from a friend of mine I hadn't spoken to in a while, she texted me to say "I was just at a pizza place eating a slice by myself and I was approached by a weird teen goth couple that asked me to move so they could use the Lord of the Rings pinball machine I was blocking. I acted all nervous for some reason and got out of their way, picked a different table to sit by myself and eat my pizza, then a joyful Roy Orbison song started playing really loud and I couldn't stop laughing because I felt like I was in one of your videos." It really warmed my heart. So, more of that.
Michael: To quote Brendan Fraser’s best movie, The Mummy, “Death…is only the beginning.” I guess I would want someone to see our stuff and say “Huh, that’s really weird.” And then show their friend and have that other person say “Wait…that’s amazing.”
To lear more about Sisters Weekend, click here.