Pulse: Naperville airman YouTube sensation

One airman from the 317th Airlift Group has been living a double life.

When Staff Sgt. Keith Steinbach isn’t on duty fixing C-130J Super Hercules, he is living his second life as an online YouTube sensation.

His videos have received more than 101 million hits, and he has a half million subscribers on his BebopVox Yogscast channel.

In 2003, Steinbach attended Columbia College of Chicago and majored in film. He’s also from Naperville.

He continued to learn about producing and editing videos after he joined the Air Force by watching tutorials and other videos online.

“I started making YouTube videos about four years ago while I was stationed at Mildenhall Air Base,” he said. “I started producing content that was show related. It was something the gaming community and YouTube was missing that I wanted to create.”

Steinbach’s videos consist of different music videos, Monday Minecraft show, Game On showcasing new games, Mods to You game modifications, Vox highlights and fails, and videos opening the fan mail he receives.

“Sometimes when I travel, I video blog and post it on my channel,” Steinbach said.

Although being a video celebrity isn’t for everyone, he has some advice for others looking to become popular on YouTube.

“When you are first starting out, make your videos off the feedback your fans and viewers give you,” he said. “I also recommend not doing it full time until you have a steady fan base and making videos helps you instead of hurts you.”

Steinbach plans to continue making YouTube videos after he finishes his time in the Air Force.

“I enjoyed my time serving and being a crew chief, but I am ready to continue making my videos and doing something I love and enjoy putting my time and effort into,” Steinbach said.

— Airman 1st Class Kylsee Wisseman, 7th Bomb Wing public affairs

In the Tall grass: Jazz artist’s latest CD ‘Promises to Burn’

Janice Borla’s new CD is hot.

“Promises to Burn,” featuring Borla, with Scott Robinson on saxophones and flute, Art Davis on trumpet and flugelhorn, John McLean on guitar, Bob Bowman on bass, and Jack Mouse on drums is getting stellar reviews from around the country.

“The album represents my ongoing desire to use my voice as a true jazz instrument,” Borla said. “My concept for this project was to function as an instrumental jazz group, rather than merely as a solo voice with instrumental accompaniment. Each (musician) is a brilliant, highly conversational player, making the CD a truly interactive, collaborative affair.”

“Promises to Burn” is the first release on Borla’s Tall Grass Records label, which isn’t a coincidence. She and husband, drummer Jack Mouse, have called the south Naperville neighborhood home for the past decade.

“We’ve been doing our recording projects in our basement studio, which we made into a rehearsal space,” Borla said. “When we decided to release this CD independently rather than on an existing record label, Tall Grass Records seemed an obvious choice.”

To learn more, visit www.janiceborla.com.

Making her debut: Find bits of Naperville in mystery novel

Naperville resident Nancy Klotz is a yoga teacher, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. This month, she added author to her resume after releasing her debut novel “OverTheTop.”

“Combining fitness and fiction, this murder mystery provides a view of life in the Midwest while the main character, Claudia Monroe, strives to solve personal, business and criminal challenges in ways she never imagined,” said Klotz, 56.

Klotz said the book was two years in the making, and while fiction, readers will find some local references.

“Many towns have a Riverwalk, but I feel like the Riverwalk here is the heart of Naperville,” the author said. “Writing about what I know, I created a similar place to weave throughout the book, as the Riverwalk moves through Naperville.”

Check out “OverTheTop” at Amazon.com and at the Naperville Public Library.

No place like home: Artist happy to exhibit at NCC

Art lovers won’t have to travel to Chicago to see artist Diana Leviton Gondek’s work thanks to a North Central College exhibit at Schoenherr Gallery at the Fine Arts Center.

“My Chicago studio keeps me very active in the city with many various exhibitions,” the Naperville artist said. “The opportunity to showcase my work in my own town has been a new and wonderful experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better venue.”

A collection of paintings with pop art influences by Leviton Gondek, titled “Insight / In Sight” will be on display through Aug. 17. The artist will host a closing reception the final day from 2 to 4 p.m.

“‘Insight / In Sight’ shifts from my earlier elaborate scenarios: those with a certain kind of kinetics and transparency to the color and uncomplicated straightforward themes of my present work,” Leviton Gondek said. “Art should never be comfortable for the artist. One must always be challenged.”

Call 630-637-5375 for gallery hours or visit northcentralcollege.edu/show for details.

From ‘The Crow’ to a ‘Better Off Dead’ star

Next month, the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville will offer a double feature of sorts — but not in the usual “movie” sense of the word.

Aug. 16 will feature appearances by both Diane Franklin, who appeared in the 1985 movie “Better off Dead,” starring John Cusack, along with Bai Ling from the 1994 release “The Crow.” Both stars will be in Chicago as part of the annual “Chicago-Hollywood” show from Aug. 15-17 at the Hilton Rosemont.

Dana Bergan, marketing assistant for Hollywood Palms, said the two stars are appearing at the request of owner Ted Bulthaup, after learning they both would be in town for the annual Hollywood autograph show, which was first held in Los Angeles in 1979.

“We also really like both the ‘Crow’ and the ‘Dead’ movies and like having these actors come that appeared in some older films,” Bergan said. “Once Ted learned they were going to be in town, he invited them to come out before the showing of their films to give fans a chance to meet them.”

Each actress will conduct a question-and-answer session before a single showing of each movie as well as sign autographs up to two hours before each film. “Better off Dead” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16 with the “Crow” to follow at 10 p.m.

Watch out Disney: Island in Florida gets Naperville touches

Yes, they designed an island.

It’s not Gilligan’s Island, but it might be the next best thing.

That’s what Naperville business owner Rob Wenz, CEO of the web design VisionFriendly Co., is saying about an island he designed at the vacation property he owns in Palm Bay, Florida.

“We are a gated community with about 100 homes, and we have this small island that’s about the length of a football field and about 50 feet wide, with nothing on it,” Wenz said. “A couple of years ago, I approached local officials about doing something special there and offering to design it, and I even said I’d put up the funds. They said it was OK as long as it wasn’t going to cost them anything.”

Since getting the green light, Wenz has added palm trees, a gazebo and benches to the property, and only a light installation remains for the “island” to be finished. He said the project recently had a dedication ceremony and that neighbors who haven’t seen him in a while were thanking him for the upgrades.

“I’ve put a few thousand dollars into this thing, and while it’s not Gilligan’s island, it’s got a nice flair to it now,” Wenz said with a laugh. “Those of us who live here have access to it through some bridges on each end. There’s kind of a Disney World look to it now.”

Memories: Veterans honored at Silverado

Veterans Day came a bit early last week in Naperville during a special pinning ceremony at the Silverado Memory Care Community facility. A total of 17 veterans representing all five branches of the United States’ military forces were given commemorative pins and certificates recognizing their service.

Linda Wylder, administrator for Silverado in Naperville, said more than 100 people attended the July 18 event, which was particularly poignant for the honorees and their families. Many shared stories about World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

“The majority of the honorees are in their 70s and 80s, and while many of them can’t remember the name of a family member, their memories of the war and what they went through are very specific and detailed,” Wylder noted. “Those with memory loss typically forget short-term things, but they are very cognizant of what happened years ago.”

Wylder said the Silverado facility was approached by Optum Palliative & Hospice Care, which recognizes veterans through the national “We Honor Veterans” program, about partnering with them to host the event.

“Our commitment here is to enrich the lives of the residents here, and this is just one of ways we do that for them and their families,” Wylder said.

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