Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011 NAACP Theatre Awards

Robinne LeeTatiana Ali & Brian WhiteTatiana Ali & Brian WhiteRaven Symone
Stacy Dash & Orlando JonesDiahann CarrollBilly Dee WilliamsJournee Smollet & Romeo
Niecy NashWendy Raquel RobinsonObba BabatundeDorien Haywood
Wendy Raquel RobinsonAlexia RobinsonObba BababundeFreda Payne

2011 NAACP Theatre Awards, a set on Flickr.

The 21st Annual Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Theatre Awards last night was a great reminder that real theater in Los Angeles does exist! And not only does it exist it's been around a long time and appears to be thriving. No need to rush to New York or local theater productions in smaller towns. The stage is set right here in LA to do, see, hear, produce, and direct great stage productions. In fact, the audience is ready and the talent is immeasurable!

Hosted by the always comical Niecy Nash, the awards presentation ran a little long, experienced a few technical snafus, but all in all it was an enjoyable evening of sincere acceptance speeches--all of which included "I want to thank God and my momma", laughter, and great performance.

Some of the biggest winners of the night were the legendary, Diahann Carroll, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the still debonair Billy Dee Williams; Raven Symone, the Spirit Award recipient; Obba Babatunde, the Trailblazer Award recipient; and Pamela Browner-White, the President's Award recipient.

To get the FULL list of all the 2011 NAACP Theatre Award recipients please the official website.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The MTV VMA's Stage Crasher: Was It Worth Getting Arrested? (Pics)

Image: asongdaybyday.blogspot.com

As you wakened to the regurgitated news of Beyonce's pregnancy announcement (CONGRATS JAY & BEYONCE) and Gaga's gender bending appearance, the story most were not talking about is the dude that bumrushed the stage at yesterday's MTV VMA Awards during Kanye's and Jay-Z's performance.

For those of you that think it was staged, let me assure you, it wasn't. How do I know? Well, I was at will call when I saw a group of police officers lead the guy IN CUFFS to the squad car. So like any former hard news professional I took a few pics, but that's it! I wasn't there to work, so I stopped at that! I digress...If his stunt was staged that man would've been chillin' BACK STAGE or at home with a little extra in his bank account. Instead, it appears he may have spent the night with the po-po!

Yes, MTV shows are known to be a "less-formal" to put it nicely, but it's still a SHOW, complete with SCRIPTED actions. I've worked enough shows to know--from Oscar to BET and that includes MTV. When ish happens unexpectedly it makes for great television, but it can also create scary situations. And yes, in some cases people do lose their jobs because of it.

But the scary part is that THESE DAYS we can't take stuff for granted anymore. People have always done CRAZY ish in the name of causes, fame, God, and whatever else, but right now, we as a country are sensitive. Put yourself in the artist's position. How can you tell if the person invading your space on stage is friend or foe in the middle of your performance?

You're probably thinking, "That rapper Lil' Mama crashed the stage and she didn't get arrested" True, but at THAT time she was a popular artist so the same rules don't apply. To the average person, the rules WILL APPLY and you may go to jail or be fined thousands. Is it worth it? If you have to even think about it, then please let me know which events you'll be attending so I'll know NOT to attend. Thanks!

If u missed the crasher's 10 secs of fame, here ya go!

Stage Crasher At 2011 MTV VMA's from Jay Denson on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Merge Summit 2011 Opening Night Reception

Merge posterFounders Robi Reed, Dr. Holly CarterFounders Robi Reed, Dr. Holly CarterKevin Frasier, Wendy Rachel-RobinsonKevin Frasier, Wendy Rachel-RobinsoMe and Robi Reed
Me and Norwood Young

"Oh God!" "Thank You Jesus!" "Hallelujah!" "John 3:16" "I'm Saved!" You've probably said or heard these phrases in a church or religious setting, but such open expressions of religious faith are often frowned upon in entertainment circles unless a film or show is being made about it.

Thank God, and I mean that literally, BET's Casting exec and Dr. Holly Carter have created an entertainment conference where it's okay to be open about your faith. The Merge Summit integrates Christianity and entertainment, education, and inspiration into one busy weekend full of activities.

This year's 3rd Annual Merge Summit features panels, workshops, and even performances by new and established Christian talent. I attended the opening night reception, complete with red carpet arrivals, celebrity interviews, press, and of course eager entertainers--actors, singers, dancers, and musicians. But the room was also full of producers, directors, managers, and publicists. Hosted by "The Insider's" Kevin Frazier and "The Game's" Wendy Raquel Robinson, it was a great way to kick off the inspirational weekend.

To learn more visit The Merge Summit official website.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jill Scott's Summer Block Party


When the Grammy Award winning singer, poet, actress, lingerie designing Jill Scott proclaims that she's magnificent, believe it! Indeed, she's a queen on her thrown and at last night's Summer Block Party in LA, the queen and her musical court of some of Hip Hop and R&B's finest gave us a "Block Party" like only true royals could do.

Anthony Hamilton, Mint Condition, Jazzy Jeff, Doug E. Fresh, and even an impromptu performance by MC Lyte...what else do I need to say? Were in the presence of R&B royalties including the legendary Natalie Cole who was in the audience.

Jill was all bedazzlement from head to toe! Fierce hair, sparkling, form fitting outfit that complemented figure, and some banging blinged out, there's-no-place-like home, high heel shoes. Even the stranger next to me remarked, "She looks amazing!"

The show was da shiznit...off da damn chain...da bomb...say it how you feel it! But if you missed it, YouTube clips won't do it justice. You had to be there amongst the grown and sexy dancing and screaming. As for me, I was doing old school dances, singing off key, straight getting it IN with no pretense of what I came there to do! PARTY! Ayyyyye-ooooh! Aiiiiiight!

Then after the show, I was invited backstage to do the "Hollywood" thing...chitchat, take pics, pass a few business cards. I had no business cards and wasn't really camera ready as you'll see--no make up on whatsoever. That was not by design, I simply didn't have time to apply it. LOL But who damn cares! My purpose was served, my cup was full, spirits were lifted, and as I type this blog out, I'm still on a natural high from the show. Last night was simply GOLDEN, GOLDEN, GOLDEN!

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