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Name: Anastasia McNeese
D.O.B.: February 27, 1988
Occupation: Designer/ Movement and visual artist
What is your Koh Phangan story?
Since 20011 I’ve been hearing all about this little island. One of my close friends from back home in the States came here on a spiritual journey, where he stumbled upon its Eden for the first time. I never got tired nor heard the end of how amazing this tropical paradise is over his entire journey.
I made a pact with myself that in two years I would move here to escape what most people and myself call The Matrix. Little did I know it would happen sooner than later.
What projects did you make here on Phangan?
I hand make these hoods; removed from the jacket, it's just a hood. There's different fabric designs with influences from India and Indonesia, vibrant colours and lace accents for the ladies and richer darker colours for the more masculine look.
Keeping the headpieces on are chains, charms and scarves attached where drawstrings are normally found. It's a nice feeling to have a security blanket, specially when in a foreign environment. My hoods give a comforting sense of security, albeit false; because when it's worn you think you're hiding but they're often quite loud fashion statements. Everyone sees a colourful Artisan-made chained hood wandering around the dance floor or market like a character out of the video game 'Assassin'. We aren't in the dark ages anymore.
For the night scene you can find me bouncing around as a Fire Entertainer.
My spec is in Contact Staff, Double Staff and Levitation Stick (everyone’s personal favourite). It's been about a year since I lit my first staff on fire, ever since then I can't help but be in love with the heat. Fire dancing (and dancing in general) has become like a form of flowing meditation for me, the flames are just icing on the cake.
I feel I tell a story with the music through my dance, having been in theatre since grade school performance is something I can say I'm good at. I bounce around from inland parties like Jungle, Sramanora and Maya; to bonfires on the beach in Srithanu and Haad Rin, you'll likely see me somewhere on your visit here.
What do you feel you can bring to the Phangan scene?
Love! Love, positive energy and lots of dancing.
Do you have future plans on Phangan?
My plans...are to keep doing the things that add to my happiness and finally settle down from being born into a military life. Moving every year to two years since being popped out at an Army Hospital makes you appreciate the deeper and simpler things in life.
What is the best thing you ever been involved with or done?
Here on the Island, hands down my favourite thing to be involved with is Sunday's Drum Circles. What energy!
Do you find Koh Phangan to be a good place for your project/s?
Koh Phangan is mainly known for the Full Moon Party every month, but there's also an extremely rooted hippy scene here. Being an artist and crafty, combined with lighting things on fire and dancing with them, I can say there are plenty of things I can do to get any project up and running. Phangan has a wonderfully talented art and island clothing scene parallel to the fire boys tricking on the beach.
Where is your favourite place here?
My favourite places are somewhat secluded. The beaches on the west coast are just breathtaking to watch sunsets, I spend a few evenings driving up the coast to see the colours.
Where I like to dance?
Wherever the Underground scene takes place. Every week for sure everyone on the island has a Guy Bar - Eden Garden- Loi lay party on Friday-Saturday-Sunday respectively, basically a 3-4 day party for the locals here. (naps and sustenance included). The best place to have a Thailand Island Foodgasm is the Saturday Night Market, and the food market. On Wednesdays I think there's a mini market in the Big-C motorbike lot. Stalls, carts, buggies... just the thought of smelling all the food occupying these stands is making me hungry now!
What do you wish to learn from your Phangan experience?
There's a well placed rumour the Island is a giant quartz mountain popping out of the ocean, which can explain the healing phenomena Phangan can possibly be responsible for. Healing on my part as well; both mentally and physiologically speaking. My experiences here have helped me continue my personal and deeper spiritual growth.
How did you get to where you are today? What is your life philosophy?
No regrets, ( please think before you act though) treat others as if you were them; because I am, was or will be you in another life, try to reach through your anger for compassion, we are all One.
( I’m guilty of NOT following above advice, and caused my own suffering multiple times...KARMA!)
May you find what is also seeking you, in yourself. ~ Namaste