Monday, July 28, 2008

My Comic-Con 2008 Experience

I came, I saw, I conquered in San Diego this past weekend my subconscious fear of people dressed strangely out of season, and that season would be Halloween. On the other hand, I do work in Hollywood so what I saw at Comic-Con in should have come as no surprise, right? Wrong!

There was no casting call nor auditions for comic book super heroes and whimsical characters at the huge San Diego Convention Center, just people madly in love with comic books and the worlds created within their pages. As much I love to read, I can relate. But I was expecting a more subdued crowd, not grown men and women dressed in their underwear and other home-made costume creations emulating characters known and unknown. I promise you, Comic-Con was nothing but a huge costume party!

I'm not really into comic books so I was at the largest comic book convention in the country to conduct celebrity interviews for this site and other media outlets. But once work was done, I took in the sights. And boy was there a lot to see! Roll the tape!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Halle Berry Verses The Paparazzi

Yes, Halle Berry is one the most famed celebrities in the world. And yes, because of that fame there are certain sacrifices of privacy that come with the job. However, does that mean paparazzi has the right to take photos of her in the privacy of her home with her child? Hell, no! In a recent statement to Associate Press, Berry stated:

"I have long since come to terms with the fact that choosing a career as an actress has made me a public figure, but my baby has made no such choice, and unless and until she does, I will do everything I can ... to keep her out of the public eye,"

Soon after the pics of Berry and her four-month-old baby girl hit the web and celebrity-driven mags, I received an email from "Robirob", the manager of Hallewood.com, Halle's personal fan club website. In the email she states how upsetting the situation had been and that she felt the media had gone too far. I agreed and asked permission to reprint excerpts from her passionate email here.
Today some photos appeared that were taken of Halle and her family without their knowledge or permission. ... I was extremely offended when I saw those photos. Personally, I feel that the media in general has really crossed the line and has completely lost its professionalism...Imagine waking up tomorrow morning and seeing photos of your children or loved ones in the privacy or your home, or playing at school or in the park or in your backyard or any other private place plastered across the internet. How would you feel? Would you feel invaded and disrespected?

...I don't agree with the saying that "this is what they signed up for". That's not true. No one expects to be stalked 24-7 just because they made a movie or released a CD and their children definitely did not sign-up for it, so how is that justified?.

And what frightens me most is that too many of us are becoming numb to it. I myself have been guilty of this. We see it so much that it doesn't bother us, but it should bother us quite simply because it's inhumane. Entertainers should not be treated this way. No one should be treated this way.

Now, of course I know there are going to be pictures but there needs to be a limit to how long someone can follow a person, how close they can be while photographing them, and they definitely should not be allowed to invade the privacy of their homes. The media is running wild right now with no regard for safety or just common respect and decency and new laws really need to be put in place to restrict how far they are allowed to go.
I totally agree with "Robirob". Some how, some way some boundaries and rules need to set in this game of cat and mouse . Currently, Berry is seeking criminal charges against the photographer and I hope she gets them. That may help,  but it won't solve the problem. The solution lies with the consumers of these publications and gossip news outlets. If more of them would get a damn life, find their OWN true purpose,  maybe they'll be too busy filling the voids in their lives to even care about what's going on in Halle Berry's or any celeb's backyard.  Feel me?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

R&B;'s Mario Talks Do Right Foundation

See I been there, and I been scared,
I been discriminated against and compared,
To you whose my mother, now through you I discovered.
There's only one way to go in life and that's be right.---Mario, "Do Right"


Young, handsome, and gifted. To look at R&B sensation, Mario, you'd think he not only danced with the stars but reached for the moon and now sits on top of the world. He has platinum selling albums, millions of fans, and celebrity accoutrements. So, who would guess that his life ain't always been as picture perfect as his music videos? Not most, until late last year when MTV aired, "I Won't Love You To Death," a moving documentary about Mario trying to help his mother kick heroin addiction.

Introduced early to the devastating affects of drug abuse, Mario decided to use music to help him cope with his family's difficult situation. And now his inspiring story of perseverance and success empowers others through his Do Right Foundation, created specifically to help young people cope with parents suffering from substance abuse.

Taking a moment from his busy tour schedule, Mario talked with me about his childhood, the Do Right Foundation, and how he wants to continue helping young people through his music.





Below is Mario's poignant music video for "Do Right" which features scenes from the "I Won't Love You To Death" documentary. Hopefully, it will inspire you to visit the Do Right Foundation website to see how you can get involved.





Lastly, to add "Do Right" and more of Mario's great music to your music library or mp3 player press play below.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Jamie Foxx & Bentley Fonzworth's New Reality Show

"Better be a gentleman or you'll turn me off..huh!" Remember that lyric from Janet's musical gem, "Nasty Boys"? Well now, over twenty years later, being or appearing like a gentleman isn't necessarily the rule unless you're standing before a judge. Being a "G" a.k.a "gangster"--either real or imagined, a "hood", "street", or "thug" has been the new "swagger" since the mid 90s. So what exactly is a gentleman suppose to look like in 2008?

Well, Jamie Foxx and Fonzsworth Bentley are helping a select group of young men find out in their new MTV reality series from "G's to Gents". In the show guys are shown there are more fashion choices beyond sagging jeans, Timberland boots, and white tee-s and tank tops. They'll also get lessons in etiquette, speech, and manners. Ooh, this should be interesting!

In a recent interview with LA Times.com, Executive Producer, Foxx, said this:
“I think it’s going to help a lot of people who are really wanting to change their life. It makes you feel good. We’re trying to make a show, trying to make money, but the stories of these guys and to see them on the other end, it’s a beautiful thing.”




Tune in Tuesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on MTV. Here's a clip:



Need more help on how to go from a "G" to a "Gent" then read, yes READ, a copy of Fonzworth Bentley's book, "Advance Your Swagger". Reading is fundamental for any gentleman. Click Advance Your Swagger: How to Use Manners, Confidence, and Style to Get Ahead

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tupac Shakur Arts & Leadership Camp Comes to Los Angeles

Put your hands up in the air!...When I say Tu, you say Pac! Tu...Pac! Tu...Pac!

Gemini children, both of us; his mother's birth name is the same as mine; and both of our mothers are from the state of North Carolina and still live there. Those are just a few things Tupac Amiri Shakur and I had in common. And though we never met, I felt as if I had known him for years.

Multi-dimensional with boundless potential, "Pac", undoubtedly was on his way to becoming more than just a rap star. Though not always right, but definitely not always wrong either, his willingness to not only express his beliefs, but to stand by them too, was what I admired most about him. And then suddenly he was gone, snatched from us in an unsolved murder that still haunts us today.

That fateful night in Las Vegas was more than a decade ago, but the indomitable, artistic spirit of Tupac still lives not just in his fans, but also in those that work to keep his true legacy alive. The Tupac Amiri Shakur Foundation, founded by his mother, Afeni Shakur, works diligently to do just that. And recently, the foundation hosted it's first Los Angeles Leadership and Arts Camp at Art Share in downtown LA.

Surrounded by beautiful, eclectic artwork, colored walls, and enthusiastic kids I talked with those in attendance about the importance of the camp, giving back to the community, and how TuPac personally inspired them. Listen to what they had to say.


Cash Money Records Music Video Head Of Production and Talent Manager, Keith "KB" Brown




Guest Speakers: Black Thomas ("Step Up 2 The Streets"); G-Unit recording artist and actor 40 Glocc; 14 year old Gold Hip Hop recording artist/actor J. McCoy (Disney's "Jump In", Tupac's "Thugz Mansion" music video); and actor Sean Riggs ("Stomp The Yard", BET's "Hell Date").





Camp participant, Elisa Mendoza





TASF Camp Organizer, Vern Cambridge





Learn more about the foundation by visiting www.tsaf.org


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Celebrity Attorney, Lita Richardson, Talks Producing

So what does it take to really to become a successful producer in show business, especially in tv and film? Celebrity attorney turned producer, Lita Richardson, shares her personal story and great "insider information" with Hollywood Black Film Festival founder, Tanya Kersey, on "Inside Urban Hollywood," her internet radio show, Take a listen!




And hear more from Richardson HERE as I talked with her earlier this year about Succeedinshowbiz.com and the importance of good networking.

Mo'Nique's New Radio Show (Update)

Source: Hiphollywood.com

I adore this woman! Why? Because back in 2002 she made my challenging job as a PA for the hit sitcom, "The Parkers", a lot easier just by being her genuine self. And now you too have a chance to get to know her a little better yourself. Mo'Nique has a new radio show that's burning up the airwaves across the country and ET's Kevin Frazier, caught up with the radio hostess as she launched her new baby a few days ago.



If you can't listen to it on the radio, catch it on the internet by visiting the Themoniqueshow.com .

Wanna do more than just hear Mo'Nique? BE sure to catch Mo' and Vivica A. Foxx on Celebrity Family Fued TODAY at 8/7c on NBC. See a preview HERE!

THANKS for the tip, Ms. S.C.!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jennifer Hudson: Spotlight on New Album Cover

Mmmm....I like it. There are some in blogsphere that feel the image has been overly done to make Jennifer appear slimmer than she really is. WHATEVER! Folk just wanna be started something all the time! Let 'em choke on the haterade, Jennifer, especially when your album drops September 30th.

In the meantime, download her first single, "Spotlight," the remixes, and some of Jennifer's other popular songs from "Dreamgirls" through Amazon. Yes, Amazon sells music downloads and ALL SONGS ARE COMPATIBLE WITH iTUNES AND WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER! Just click the pretty widget under the video.



Meet Dave: You Can Forget the Little People

Remember the days when you would rush to see an Eddie Murphy movie? Think back to all those laughable moments spent at the theater or on your couch watching repeatedly your favorite scenes from "Coming to America", "Beverly Hills Cop", "Boomerang", or "Life". What happened to those days? What changed, Eddie or the way comedy films are made? Maybe a little bit of both.

I "met" Dave earlier this week at the Landmark Theater and I wasn't impressed by anything, except maybe his tailored white suit. But vintage clothing don't make the man or the movie in this case, nor does the man make the movie. So never mind Dave, I want to be reintroduced to the comedic genius, Eddie Murphy, hiding in the large shell of himself in this movie.

Literally pulling old comedic tricks out of his butt, Murphy as Dave is outwardly a man, but is functionally a space ship operated by little people. Not dwarfs, people! I mean itty bitty people that come from nothing, or better said, the planet Nill. Captain and his crew come to New York City in search of an orb that will help save their planet by draining Earth's water supply. The powerful ball was sent years before but managed only to make it to a young boy's (Austyn Myers) fish bowl. The rest of this story is as fish out of water as it can get.

While this brother from another planet awkwardly goes about his mission, he is befriended by a young woman, Gina, (Elizabeth Banks, "Spider Man 3") and her young son, Josh (Myers), who once had the orb, but lost it to a school bully. Naturally, the more time Dave spends with them and other earthlings, the less "alien" Captain and his crew become. He begins to think Earth and its inhabitant aren't so bad and may be worth saving, but not everyone under his command agrees. Prepare for mutiny on a "small" scale!

Lastly, just as "Meet Dave" is a movie about little people, it will probably be more enjoyable to them too. And again, I mean kids not adults that are biologically and vertically challenged. The film does have a message about self esteem and feeling special which is good for youngsters. But if you already mastered these tools long ago, meeting Dave may not be necessary.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ebony Spotlights 25 Coolest Brothers

"What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man!" Yes, Salt-N-Pepa and EnVogue said it best! And if you check out Ebony magazine's eight new covers for August you'll understand why I'm humming the rap trio's, "Mmmmm, you make me wanna shoop, shoopay-doop!" all the way to the bookstore.

Some creative mind at the lifestyle mag decided to personify the phrase "black cool" by publishing "The 25 Coolest Brothers of All Time" issue. Just imagine being in a room filled with gorgeous, intelligent, creative, and powerful African-American men and each one of them eagerly anticipating your arrival. Marinate on that for a minute, then turn fantasy into reality by rushing to your favorite Ebony magazine provider.



Note: Just refresh the page to see them again.


Obama, Jay-Z, Prince, Samuel L., Denzel, Marvin, Ali, and Billy Dee! Just beautiful! And on the inside: Andre 3000, Sammy Davis Jr., Ed Bradley, and Michael Jordan just to name a few. Indeed, sometimes life IS like a box of chocolates!

And don't forget to check out the EbonyJet website at EbonyJet.com. You'll find polls of the coolest brothers from different eras, a picture gallery, and interviews with those from the list. Now, if you can't physically make it the magazine rack, subscribe to the digital version on the website and Ebony will arrive monthly in your email in-box.

What's Going On? Black Hollywood News Knows

Once again another great online source of all that's good in Black Hollywood has caught my attention. It's Black Hollywood News, a website and digital magazine dedicated to being "your insider's guide to the business of show" and "getting the general consumer to take notice of what's new in Black Hollywood."

Launched earlier this year, Black Hollywood News was founded by industry insiders, Tanya Davis and Ronae Wilkes. Check out June's issue with an insightful interview with 90's rap queen, YoYo, and a really informative article by celebrity publicist, Keith L. Underwood, "I Need a Rep or Do I?" Just click HERE.


So what's hot in July's issue?: Gossip queen Wendy Williams talks new show; stunt woman, April Wheedon Fox, leaps and bounds in Hollywood; and actor, Michael Jai White takes a gamble in his new role in "Batman: The Dark Knight." Read all about it Here!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Hancock: Forget the People Save The Story!

Undoubtedly, Will Smith's "Hancock" will generate fireworks at the movie box office this Independence Day weekend, but I'm not sure it should based on the story alone. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't support it. What I'm saying is don't expect to be overly "wowed" by anything except maybe the humorous antics of a super hero acting badly.

The premise starts off well but seems to lose focus near the film's end. Hancock is an LA superhero with a bad attitude and a drinking problem. When not haphazardly stopping crime and saving lives he 's drowning in his loneliness at a local bar or on a public bench. Still, his intentions are good but the damage he carelessly leaves behind has residents and city officials complaining.

PR man, Ray Embrey (Jason Bateman, "The Kingdom"), has a problem with public perception too. Seems he can't get a corporate client to buy into his "save the world" campaign, especially when it involves giving away profitable products for free. Imagine that! When he's saved from a train accident by Hancock, Embrey sees a golden opportunity to secure a new client and a way to improve both their status in the public eye.

Embrey's wife, Mary (Cherlize Theron, "Monster") isn't so sure Hancock is worth the trouble. Why? Because this pretty suburban housewife is more than what meets the eye. She's definitely attracted to the bad boy super hero in more ways than one. And the explanation behind her attraction is where the story falls apart. It raises a lot of questions, but never really answers them and takes our focus away from the central character.

I'm not going to spoil the film for those of you that haven't seen it. But there are valid reasons why "Hancock" isn't getting rave reviews from the critics and general movie go-ers. And this time, I have to agree with most of them. Smith's popularity and cool visual effects may satisfy the bottom line at the box office, but they don't make "Hancock" the great movie it had the potential to be. Better attention to story telling could have saved the day.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

18th Annual NAACP Theatre Awards





"The play IS the thing" when it comes to measuring great acting talent on stage. Monday night at the NAACP's 18th Annual Theatre Awards, many of Hollywood's dedicated thespians gathered at the Kodak Theater to pay tribute to those that do it best. On the red carpet, I talked with Spirit Award recipient, Vivica A. Fox, award nominee, Malcolm Jamal Warner, and celebrity presenters about the importance of the night and the relevance of theater in their careers. Take a listen:




Click NAACP Theatre Awards to visit its website and learn more about the event and how to get involved in the Beverly Hills Hollywood Branch of the NAACP. And please support African-American theater in your own city. It is still a very necessary part of our community socially, culturally, and economically, and deserves just as much of our support as music and film.

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