I'm just back from Trieste, Italy where I was sent as a Photography Finalist by International Talent Support Eight (ITS#8).

I DIDN'T win the 10,000 euro Grand Prize I am sad to say! However, the Finalist who did win is a sweet Finnish girl named Saana Wang who is going to buy herself a perfect new computer so I feel very happy about that! Grand Prize aside, when invited to enter this competition, I had no idea what a high-budget production this was going to be. ITS#8 researched talent and organized production year-round with a 40-person staff. The experience was delicious and decadent: dinners and treats and martinis on the water with wind in hair and sailboats surrounding, the most perfect air, with wonderfully strange puree-flavor-experiments in our modern hotel, like smoked shrimp in sweat pea puree, nutmeg chicken in carrot puree, and a mozzarella puree cushioning fresh tomatoes and basil. ITS#8 flew Finalists from around the world (I was 1 of the 3 Americans) in the categories of Fashion, Accessories, and Photography. There was a ton of international press and we all gave presentations about our work on exhibition. The weekend culminated with a lavish fashion show with onlookers from across the globe filling stadium seating in the old fish market, now turned fancy auditorium with circus decor allover and an audio backtrack of beats/voices with the narration speaking "Now, Ladies and Gentleman, brace yourselves for the Greatest Show of All!”, circus style announcements and cotton candy machines. The whole thing was a lush carnival dream.