This activist hasn't changed his tune


Singer: Andrew...

June 02, 1996|By Stephanie Shapiro

This activist hasn't changed his tune; Singer: Andrew Lawrence has found a way to do good works with his voice and his guitar.

As a member of the Community for Creative Non-Violence in Washington, Andrew Lawrence lived with the homeless. As a member of the Jonah House community in Baltimore, he took a hammer to Tomahawk cruise missiles and served five months in jail.

"It was the most important thing to be doing at the time," Lawrence says of those days.

Since then, he has gravitated to a gentler form of activism.

Now, in lower Charles Village where Lawrence lives with his partner, Lori Shollenberger, activism means fixing bikes for neighborhood kids or taking the kids to the pool on a sizzling summer day.

Over the years, those kids inspired Lawrence to compose songs that in very personal, emotional ways express his radical beliefs. In the ballad "Some Windows," for example, a troubled young girl named Tanika is consumed by the "I Have a Dream" speech of Martin Luther King Jr.

Lawrence listened to lots of Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor and Mississippi John Hurt when he was young and wrote his first song at age 11. Largely self-taught as a guitar player, he has a smooth command of folk, blues and classical music and teaches at two local music shops.

It is only in the past four years that Lawrence, 36, has started to perform publicly. He made his first appearance with the recently disbanded vocal trio Sanders, Kass and White and has since performed regularly at area coffee houses.

This month, Lawrence will give a benefit concert for Harford House, a residence for formerly homeless men. The concert is a way for Lawrence to work once again with Harford House manager Lin Romano, with whom he once scrounged for food and clothing in the Community for Creative Non-Violence.

Their good fight hasn't ended.

"The fact is we're still at it, though in very different ways, and both Harford House and my music are good examples of our continued work," Lawrence says.

"A Father's Day Folk Concert" to benefit Harford House takes place 7 p.m. June 15 at the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St. A $10 donation is requested; $5 for people under 18. For information, call (410) 433-2442. Betty Beebe is a makeup artist, so it initially may seem odd to learn that she expends a good deal of her professional time in the state morgue.

It may seem a bit less odd once you learn that Beebe (pronounced BEE-bee) is the head makeup artist on the television series "Homicide."

As the show's title suggests, a certain amount of mayhem is visited upon each episode of "Homicide." Characters tend to end up dead a lot. It falls to Beebe to make those corpses convincing. Hence, her trips to the state medical examiner's offices.

"People get shot, stabbed, poisoned, drowned and burned," says Beebe. "I need to know what that looks like."

Now she knows. Beebe, 45 and Baltimore-born, has become somewhat of an expert on what charred remains look like and on the size bullet hole produced by various guns. Thanks to her research at the state morgue, Beebe can also give a close approximation of road kill.

She has been with "Homicide" all four of its years. She also has done makeup for two John Waters films in addition to other commercial and educational work. "Homicide," though, offers the opportunity of steady, regular employment for eight months of the year. (She is now on hiatus, enjoying the time off with her 17-month-old daughter Coco.)

Naturally, the show requires Beebe to work on live bodies as well as dead ones. Here she is guided by the script and the traits given to particular characters. "One guy was supposed to be a skinhead, but the actor was this angelic-looking guy with beautiful skin," says Beebe. "So I gave him a scar and a couple of pimples, circles under his eyes. I just roughed him up." As often, at least with regular cast members, she must hide such blemishes, especially for the vainer members of the cast.

Often, Beebe is asked if her work is glamorous. "What I say," she says, "is that basically, I sit around all day waiting for people to sweat."

Pub Date: 6/02/96

Michael Ollove

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