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Synesthesia on Wheels

Champion skater Appelusa's rolling sensorium.

Appelusa—a rising star known by one name only—has a grandfather named Richard Fleming who opened Northridge Skateland in California in 1968. "My Mom was the first club member. My parents, aunts, and uncle were all artistic roller figure skaters. I began competing at age 5, was a regional pairs champion at age 15, and bronze medal world champion in the synchronized show team event at age 20. I have been a USARS certified coach for over 15 years and have spawned regional and national champions. I currently perform in and/or choreograph skating sequences for the entertainment industry such as for music videos, commercials, TV shows, and films."

Courtesy Appelusa
Source: Courtesy Appelusa

The pretty redhead (seen above, stage left) has appeared most notably with Katy Perry in Cannes at an AmfAR event and in Chet Faker’s “Gold” music video which was nominated for an MTV VMA with over 96 million views on YouTube. Most recently she doubled Eliza Scanlen in the new HBO show starring Amy Adams called "Sharp Objects."

"You didn’t hear it from me, but I was told by a producer that the skating in the series was inspired by 'Gold','' she tells me.

You can see her perform soon in a special international synesthesia event in Los Angeles. Information about the program is at the end of the interview.

What other creative projects have you got going on?

A: Aside from teaching roller skating, I have my own photography business shooting headshots, events, and film production stills. I have a voice over business in my home studio narrating audiobooks, applications, radio and TV ads, and even phone systems. I am an actor as well, so I audition quite frequently. I recently became Reiki-certified for my own personal healing from car accident related injuries, so that naturally evolved into a mobile Reiki business. Reiki is a stress reduction and relaxation technique that also promotes healing. And I create decoupage light sculptures in my free time, so lately not so much.

Synesthesia-related, I am a founding member of the International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists (IASAS) and serve as the organization’s Dance Curator. I also host the Facebook groups: Synesthete Artists and Synesthetes in Los Angeles and recently have begun pitching a comedy series I wrote with Adam Dick called Synesthetes.

What forms of synesthesia do you have?

A: As far as I know, I have grapheme--->color, which means I associate numbers and letters, even days of the week as a specific color. I have Spatial Sequence, also known as time---->space, where my week for instance, is circular and 3 dimensional in my mind’s eye. And debatably, personality--->color. Personally, I believe I actually see electromagnetic fields, or auras because what I physically see is a translucent colored line around people and things that can change depending on the environment and light source.

Can you tell me about your advocacy of synnies in the arts?

A: My goal is to bring awareness to the public about synesthesia as well as to the education system through performance art, photography and presentations. I love being an artist and being able to express myself through movement and mixed media as well as show people how I/we perceive the world with synesthesia.
And your big upcoming event in LA? Synaesthesia Dance Experience is a 4D multisensory show I am producing featuring dance, music, technology and food. We have eight unique acts (eight being the color “Grand Canyon” in Crayola’s True to Life series) from all around the world. For this show, I am choreographing world class roller skaters in LED technology to portray my synesthesia. It came to me in a reiki session about a year ago in my meditation, and Daniel Schuster (BBAX), who had the idea for a synaesthesia international exhibition in Los Angeles gave me the opportunity to have a live dance show. We are scheduled for two shows on October 1 at The Actor’s Gang in Culver City, CA. I also have a photography piece in the program.

What do you think synesthesia IS?

A: I usually try to explain it in layman terms such as an involuntary cross firing of one or more senses. Which still ends up having to be explained further. I enjoy researching about the so-called condition, interacting with other synesthetes through social media and meet ups and learning about their perceptions. About ten years ago now, I had my brain scanned at USC for a synesthesia study. Unfortunately I was told there wasn’t enough participation to finish the study. Hopefully now that it is becoming a more researched and popular phenomena, we will have a deeper insight into the compartmentalization and neurological firing of our senses.

Appelusa can be found via the following channels:

Actor/ Pro Roller Skater/ VO Artist

Professional Photographer

Synesthetic Fine Artist

​For more info and tickets for the ​Synaesthesia Dance Experience​
Check out: www.​

And here is some information about the IASAS exhibit where Appelusa will appear soon:

Courtesy Daniel Schuster
Source: Courtesy Daniel Schuster

Synaethesia: What is the taste of the color blue?

An exhibition presented by Building Bridges Art Exchange, sponsored by the International Association of Synaethetes, Artists, and Scientists, and in partnership with Art Sci Gallery at UCLA.

Curated by Marisa Caichiolo

Installation by Anne Patterson/Image by Peter Acker

September 23rd - November 1st

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 23rd, 2017, 7pm - 10pm


Jon Adams - Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris - Anne Patterson - James Wannerton - Appelusa- M.J. Cordoba - Marjan Vayghan - Tim Thompson - Christine Söeffing - Marcos Lutyens in collaboration with Dr. Richard E. Cytowic

Building Bridges Art Exchange, sponsored by the International Association of Synaethetes, Artists,and Scientists, and in partnership with Art Sci Gallery at UCLA present Synaethesia: What is the taste of the color blue?, an exhibition of captivating art installations this Autumn in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA.

BBAX Curator/Founder Marisa Caichiolo will curate this exhibition in collaboration with Victoria Vesna, Director of the Art Sci Center, in coordination with Special Exhibitions Producer, Daniel Schuster. This, over five week display of synesthetic creativity, promises to enthrall both dedicated collectors and art enthusiasts alike.

Produced by IASAS, CC Hart, Sean Day

Produced by BBAX, Daniel Schuster

Produced by Art/Sci Center UCLA, Victoria Vesna

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