Christian R. Fleming is a young director and actor/singer with a love of the theater whom I met at the York Theatre in New York while working on the Ed Bullins/Mildred Kayden musical, STORYVILLE. He is also a photographer and graphic artist. The first opportunity I had to spend ‘quality time’ with him was our photo shoot. I think I have made a new friend!
Is there a food that you could eat everyday and never tire of it?
Absolutely. I am obsessed with Diet Coke. It is absolutely my drink of choice and there has never been a moment where I felt tired of it. I joke and refer to it as “nectar of the gods”. If we are being very specific, my favorite Diet Coke is the mix at McDonald’s in the large cup. There is something magical about the subtle difference the plastic of the large cup vs the paper of the other sizes makes as well as the diameter of McDonald’s straw. Further, there is a noticeable difference in the mix of carbonated water to syrup in McDonald’s fountains that I find to be perfection. However, if it’s food you are looking for, I love baby back ribs and BBQ in general and now that Haagen-Dazs has discontinued Five Lemon, I am in search of lemon ice cream – if you have never had legitimate lemon ice cream, not sorbet, you don’t know what you are missing.
Tell me about a photographic image that is burned in your brain? (For me it is the photo of the girl falling to her knees next to the body of a slain Kent State student, shot by the National Guard).The horror of it haunts me still.
Dali Atomicus – Philippe Halsman. (Here is a link to the image: http://m3.i.pbase.com/o2/98/316398/1/118045033.3QIk0LpF.10.DalAtomicusPhilippeHalsman1948.jpg
Most intriguing thing about this photo, for me, are the three cats that were thrown into the frame just prior to the shutter actuation so that they seem suspended in mid air.
What is the first thing you look for when you see a picture of yourself if you are going to ‘approve’ or ‘like’ it?
I think the first thing I look for in a picture is whether or not I am actively engaged with the “viewer” and I am quick to “approve a photo” that seems to invite to the viewer in for a secret. This is something that extends beyond whether I “look good”.
What is the first thing you look for when you see a picture of yourself that makes you want to ‘delete’ it?
Beyond immediate deletes of photos mid-blink or sneeze etc, I delete photos where there isn’t a connection with the camera/viewer and most often it seems like I am not “thinking anything”. To the same effect, I delete photos where there are not clear facial choices being made. There are 3 elements of our face which we can move – mouth, eyes, brows. Also, I want to delete photos that too open or closed off with the camera/viewer – some expressions may be genuine and be aesthetically great, but they can feel sort of shallow/flat when frozen in a photo if they are too open or too closed – personally, if the expression is too closed it reads as not genuine or forced, and if it is too open the photo is typically described as “innocent” it is most often deleted.
If all you had to do was say the word and all of humanity would do your bidding, what would that one thing be?
The first thing that I thought of would be to end the unbelievable legislation and persecution currently happening in Russia.
Over the next day or so, listen in on the conversation of some strangers on the train/bus/airplane/street… Share with me their ‘dialogue’ – can be anything from two lines to a lengthy conversation.
While onboard the 1 train heading uptown – 6:00ish pm.
Older Woman: “that seems soft.”
Younger Man: (looks at Older Woman)
Older Woman: “your shirt.”
Younger Man: “no touch.”
What is your ‘guilty pleasure’ film?‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’ is that movie that tends to surprise people when they find out that I love it. I also really love the Final Destination series.
Share with me an unforgettable moment/gesture of kindness from a stranger that you received over the course of your life.
I am lactose intolerant. One night on my way home from rehearsal for a production of Noises Off in Brooklyn, I decided that I wanted a McFlurry. This is always a highly regrettable decision. I get on the subway which because of the time is running local and start to feel the onset of WWIII happening internally. The subway because of construction is going slow and is frequently stopping. After an excruciatingly long ride, I am only about half way back to my apartment and realize I will not make it. I get off the train in desperate search for a restroom. At 2 AM I had quite discouraging options, I found a 24 hour Duane Reade. Unfortunately, they would not let me use their restroom. They tell me 3 blocks away is a McDonalds. I get to the McDonalds as fast as I can and upon entering the McDonald’s discover that the restroom, a dreaded uni-stall, not only has a line, you have to put quarters in to the door for it to open. I nearly died, I didn’t have any quarters or cash on me. I try to figure out how to handle the ever worsening situation and the woman in line in front of me comes to the rescue, not only does she put quarters in the door for me, she lets me skip her in line. Because of her gesture of kindness, I made it to the bathroom and she saved me from a less positive unforgettable moment.
Do you remember your sleeping dreams? Is there one that you cannot ‘shake’?
I really try to remember my dreams, I kept a dream journal for a while to try to record them right after waking up. I haven’t had many recurring dreams that I remember.
Is there a topic about which you could answer most any question a ten year old may put to you?
I have a wealth of knowledge of obscure Disney Trivia.
Do you have a mentor? Would you like to be a mentor?
I have had multiple mentors so far in my life and I would love to be a mentor for someone else. Barry Ivan who is a director/choreographer I have assisted has been quite the mentor for me. It was really valuable especially during my transition from university to the professional world to have someone in the field working to look to for advice and to have someone who supports and affirms your talent/artistic ability.