Masks help keep music going



May 07, 2006|By SLOANE BROWN

Does confronting one's 40th birthday mean it's time to face the music? For the Shriver Hall Concert Series, that certainly was the case. And board chair Jephta Drachman decided to take the phrase literally. She called the organization's anniversary gala "Face the Music," and asked artists and VIPs to decorate masks to be auctioned off at the party.

"Two years ago, when we started, we didn't think we'd get 50 masks," Drachman explained. "Then, it started to snowball, and we ended up with more than 150."

Those 150 works of art, mounted on the walls of the Scottish Rite Temple, were by folks like jewelry artist Betty Cooke, wine expert Robert Parker, tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, and the art departments of the HBO series The Wire and the Broadway musical Hairspray.

"We did Siamese twins," said Candy Carson, referring to the adjoining masks she had created with her husband, famed Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson.

"I love Wendy Jachman's. There's something about it that really speaks to me," exclaimed guest Martha Weiman, as she gazed at a likeness of the late Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Artist Jachman extended the Kahlo theme to herself that night, dressing in a twin set and Mexican peasant skirt much the way her muse did.

"I love two of them," confided party committee member Sue Hess about the masks. She sped off into the crowd without divulging which two.

If the faces on the wall weren't enough to look at, there were the 380 live ones milling about: Marla and David Oros, Dr. Heidi Hutton and Tony Brando and their guest, Susan Stamberg of National Public Radio, Tommy and Clair Zamoiski Segal, Margot and John Heller, Rheda Becker and Steve Ziger, just to name a few.


In her business, she likes every single thing

Jamie Braman, 49, is executive director of Maryland's Upscale Singles, which plans social events for single adults. Braman says she started the business three years ago after learning that singles in their 40s and 50s were the fastest-growing segment of the population. Single since her divorce eight years ago, Braman has two sons, ages 20 and 21, and is moving from Columbia to downtown Baltimore.

Did the idea of this business come from you, yourself, being single?

No. I had been an event planner and I was just looking to open a business where I was doing something fulfilling and would fill a need [for others]. ... I have people who were widowed or divorced in their 40s and 50s and had given up. They come to this social club. I call it a social club because there's no matchmaking, no dating. So it's comfortable for men and women to come by themselves. It becomes their club. And [some of them have] met someone and gotten married.

And have you met anyone at your get-togethers?

Of course. I've dated Mr. Right Now. But, I really am looking for Mr. Right. ... I'm always looking, out and about. I'm at the gym. I sail. I ski. I golf. If it's gonna be fun, challenging, I'm gonna be doing it. And meeting people.

What do you do when you're at your own event and a guy hits on you?

Depends on the guy. There's chemistry between people. Sometimes it's there. Sometimes it's not. If it's not, I'll drag him over and introduce him to someone and bow out gracefully.

Even though your business sounds fun, do you find you need time to relax? Down time?

It's a great life. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I meet great people. I can have all the time in the world to do all the things I like to do. I was at the gym for three hours this morning. Isn't that enough down time?

Sounds like it's go-go-go all the time. Don't you ever need things to come to a screeching halt?

No. I'm a pretty high-energy person. I'm not a "sit on the couch and watch television" type. If I have a free hour, I'd probably go to the gym, go sailing. Whatever. I just happen to be a super-optimistic, positive, outgoing person. That's who I am.

Do you ever get depressed?

Not really. There are things that make me sad. But, I don't really get depressed. Some people say to me, "You opened your own business. Wasn't that scary?" And I say, no, not really. I did my homework. And I thought, if it doesn't work, I'll find something else to do. It seems like everything bad that's happened in my life always ends up with something positive coming out of it.

What do you think would surprise people to know about you?

I think people view me as a very outgoing, social, party girl. Now, I'm going to fulfill that [that impression] by moving to Baltimore. But, for about six years, I didn't even go out on a date. I didn't have any desire to go out on a date. Not until about two years ago ... When I got married and had kids, I became the devoted stay-at-home mom. I started out this [outgoing] way. Then I calmed down. And now, I'm back.

You like having the old Jamie back?

I really do. I'm really happy and love it. I think I have a great life. ... Now, if we just find Mr. Right, Mr. Right-for-Jamie, it would be perfect.




Benefits: Leslie Moore Foundation

What: Cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, celebrity guests including Joe Namath, Gale Sayers, Brooks Robinson

When: 6 p.m.

Where: Martin's West, Interstate 695 at Security Boulevard

Tickets: $125; dinner at table with celebrity athlete, $225

Contact: 410-793-3905, ext. 2195



Benefits: Maryland Film Festival

What: Six short films with filmmakers as hosts, beer, wine, heavy hors d'oeuvres

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road, and Belvedere Square market area

Tickets: $25

Contact: 410-752-8083 or

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