Monday, September 26, 2011

TV Guide, Taraji P. Henson: She's A Person of Interest Now!

Images: It Ain't Right, But It Ain't Racist Either

"TV Guide" nor Debra Birbaum, as its Editor in Chief, are racist in my opinion. Over the years TV Guide has featured black celebs on its cover, and like most white people, Ms. Birbaum, based on her comments, doesn't think about black people, or any people of color, until she has to. Her job is to see green But white press you're not off the hook yet! This mess stirring around Taraji P. Henson's not being invited to be on the cover of "TV Guide" along with her, "Person of Interest", white co-stars speaks exactly to why non-white actors have to fight so hard for mainstream media coverage.

It's no secret that certain stars get the attention they do because mainstream press--code word: white press--gives it to them. That attention then helps influence tv ratings, award nominations, and most importantly future casting decisions. And THAT is why black press is often overlooked on red carpets even by black actors...but that's whole 'nother issue I'm not going to address today...but I WILL!

Blame It On The Pilot

Before writing this post, I watched the pilot episode of "Person of Interest" and most of the promotional clips on CBS's website. As an Editor In Chief, I can understand why Debra Birbaum, made the decision she did to focus on Michael Emerson and James Caviezel. The PILOT which she claimed influenced her decision doesn't demonstrate the importance of Taraji's role as Detective Carter in the series. Which begs the question just how do the writers plan to use Taraji's talents in this crime series?

I've seen plenty of "Person of Interest" posters and signage throughout Los Angeles, and not once has Taraji P. Henson been featured. So even I "cram to understand" why she's not pictured more considering her popularity. I'm sure in addition to Taraji's great acting talent she was also hired because of her MARKETABILITY, certainly NOT because the show needed to fill a diversity hiring quota. Right? Think before you speak in answering that executive producers!

I know some of you asking, "But isn't she's an EMMY and OSCAR nominated actress? Doesn't that count for something?" Ask CBS's marketing department! Ask the show producers!

Cram To Understand The Power of Social Influence

But the question of the day is whether Taraji should've complained PUBLICLY about NOT being of person of interest for TV Guide's cover. NOTICE SHE DID NOT MENTION RACE in her comments! According to The ROOT:

On FaceBook she posted: “WOW!!!! TV Guide is NOT including me on the cover with my cast members [sic]……..I am the female lead of a 3 member cast and I'm not included on the cover!!!!!! Do you see the [sh--] I have to deal with in this business…..I cram to understand!!!!”

On Twitter, she tweeted: "WOW @ TVGuide!!!!! Being a member of 2 academys I honestly have no words!!!!!"

Personally, I think the TV Guide snub was the straw that might have broken the camel's back. Taraji has an audience, a loyal fan base that will watch tv shows, movies, plays, whatever she's in! Need proof? She's got over 700,000 followers on Twitter and over 3 million "likes" on her fan page! But don't just look at the numbers, look at how the internet audience responded to her before and after the complaint on her profiles! That's proof of social influence and a testament to the FACT that TARAJI P. HENSON IS INDEED A PERSON WORTHY OF INTEREST! .

Monday, September 19, 2011

W.P. Miller Celebrity Event Planner: Producing Robi Reeds Summer Celebration

Photos: Maury L. Phillips,
Undoubtedly one of the most anticipated events of the year in black Hollywood is Robi Reed's annual End of Summer Celebration benefiting the Black AIDS Institute. Every year she throws an elaborate soiree complete with great performances, an abundance of food and drink, and of course celebrities at every level of the alphabet. In fact, the invited guest list reads like a BET Awards show rundown! So for those in attendance its an opportunity network with some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

But this year, Reed's focus was less on menus and table arrangements and more on the original goal of her annual End of Summer Celebration--providing funding to the Black AIDS Institute.  To quote radio broadcaster, Tom Joyner, it's "a party with a purpose!" And helping to bring her purpose and vision into focus for guests was celebrity event planner, William P. Miller of W.P. Miller Special Events.

It's said, "behind every great man is a great woman." I'd like to change that to "behind every great celebrity event is a great event planner." William P. Miller holds that distinction! Just ask clients Robi Reed, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Mira Sorvino, or E! Entertainment or even local nonprofit, A Place Called Home.

So just what did it take to make Robi Reed's End of Summer Celebration a success? How was the seriousness of AIDS awareness and fundraising made fun for attendees? And why was the location so important? I asked those questions and more in a recent telephone interview with Miller, whose been featured in "Ebony", "People Magazine", "Instyle Weddings" and more.

Watch and listen to the interview below to hear his answers to my questions and learn how Miller added his own special brand of "organized chaos" to bring about a wonderful Robi Reed End of Summer Celebration.

And lastly for you budding event planners, if you're wondering how to make YOUR dream of becoming a celebrity event planner a reality, Miller suggests these 3 things:

1. VOLUNTEER at various events. BE A SPONGE and soak up tips, details, and strategy from those who are already doing it as you work.  And don't forget to NETWORK!

2. GET A MENTOR.  Getting sage advice from someone that has established themselves in the field is crucial in the learning process.

3. PUT YOUR CLIENT FIRST.  As an event planner, your job is to bring the CLIENT'S vision to life on both the creative and logistics level, not just your own. Remember, it's not about pleasing you and your ego; it's about pleasing the client.

Just press play then after sharing a comment be sure to visit WP Miller Special Events online to learn more about his work and clients.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bobbi Kristina Sings Adele's "Someone Like You" & Whitney's Set To "Sparkle"


It appears the vocal apple hasn't fallen far at all from the tree! In the  video below uploaded this past weekend on YouTube, Whitney and Bobby's daughter, Bobby Kristina, shows off her natural talent. In the vid she sings Adele's "Someone Like You" pretty effortlessly. Quick! Somebody call Clive Davis before the young lady gets snatched up! Nevermind...I think I hear Whitney calling in the background telling her to get off the computer! LOL. I suspect Whitney's got this budding talent on lock right now...Let's hope so at least!

 Speaking of Whitney Houston, she's heading back to acting! She's been added to the cast of the upcoming "Sparkle" remake. Whitney, Mike Epps, and "American Idol's" Jordin Sparks are all set to appear in the Sony flick. According to Variety, Whitney's old producing partner, Debra Martin Chase, Bishop TD Jakes, Curtis Wallace, AND Mara Brock and Salim Akil are all producing. Whitney will executive produce. That's a lot of heavy hitters behind the scenes. Talk about great expectations!

Now back to the video! Think Bobby Kristina's got the raw talent needed to be a star even without the family hookup? How much you wanna bet she'll end up in "Sparkle" since mom's executive producing? I for one think this young lady has the potential to become more than a gossip blog headline!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Janet Jackson At The Greek Theater: Celebrity Arrivals, Adam Blackstone, Fans, & Pics

Janatics! Janetfam! Janet Stans, or just simply Janet fans...whatever category you fit in you're "Alright With Me" :-) So here's a post that's "All For You"! Thank y'all (I'm a little country) for allowing me to interview you at Janet Jackson's Number Ones Up Close and Personal Tour show recently!

To those of you that show me love at the events and support my creative endeavors online THANK YOU! Your comments here, on YouTube, and in person are truly appreciated! Entertainment bloggers need love too, well this one does, and the best way to show it is by commenting here and sharing the content. KEEP SPREADING THE JANET GOOD NEWS!

Though I truly shy away from getting in front of video cameras--I ain't on some wannabe online celebrity ish-- errrnowandagain a sista's gotta do what she gotta do! But I'll be back to chillin' behind my avatar to the right soon as I click "Publish". Lol.

So without further adieu, hang with me before and after Janet Jackson's Number Ones Up Close and Personal Tour 71st performance! See celebrity arrivals, learn the secret ingredient Musical Director, Adam Blackstone, added to the show to keep Janet's classic tunes thumping--THAT'S AN EXCLUSIVE--and hear from fellow fans!

And yeah, I got pics too:-) and wrote a review! THIS entertainment blogger was on the JOB! But don't get it twisted, I'M da only boss up in here! "Enjoy"!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Janet Jackson Up Close And Personal At The Greek Theater

Photos: Malcolm Ali/

Forget the second time around, good things come in threes especially when Janet Jackson's "Number Ones Up Close & Personal World Tour" comes back to town. If you missed the first two shows back in the spring, then this third show at Los Angeles' The Greek Theater was the charm!

But for many old head Janet fans--and the crowd did lean toward the grown and sexy set--this may not have been the Janet concert they were expecting. Where were the costumes inspired by European fashion trends, the explosive pyrotechnics, and the elaborate stage design and sliding set pieces? How about surprise special guest performances?

For this leg of the tour gone were those traditional attention-stealing trappings. Replacing them was an EQUALLY wonderful organic show without the fat dedicated to keeping your attention solely on one thing, THE ARTIST, still known as the chart topping Janet Jackson. And throughout the show her UNDENIABLE contribution to the world of music and entertainment was made apparent. A Rock-n-Roll Hall of Famer she should be, but I digress...

To borrow from MTV, "Number Ones" was kind of a Janet Jackson "Unplugged" complete with a tireless team of dancers, great band, and even greater music! She was close enough to touch fans if she chose and constantly acknowledged them throughout the show with a wave, pointing finger, or signature hand made heart. She even chose two lucky fans that grabbed her attention from the audience to meet her backstage.

Through this intimate type of show the essence of Janet Jackson shined through. Dressed in a denim white jacket, black tee, black jeans, and probably her most comfortable boots, the tom boy at heart turned legendary performer, began her show alone on stage with throwback jam, "Pleasure Principle." Moments later the "kids" aka dancers joined her.

At 45, the petite powerhouse could have easily let her dancers do ALL the work, but Janet is a proven DANCER! It's a part of who she is, and though she did not do every move like the old days, she still delivered the intricate steps and memorable dance segments precisely like she did the video yesterday! I wouldn't challenge her to a dance off quite yet!

Then after "Pleasure Principle" the hits just kept coming! With 35 number one singles to perform, some were cut short, but the memories they brought ran long. "When I Think of You", "Love Will Never Do", "Nasty", "Control," Janet reached back in her musical catalog like a seasoned DJ spinning hits making the crowd dance, smile, and reflect! Even she appeared like she was having FUN on stage!

Time to slow it down! The lights dimmed and on the big screen some of Janet's memorable TV and movie clips chronicled highlights from her acting career. From "Good Times" to "Why Did I Get Married Too", we were reminded that before the music was the acting and the acting will continue to forever be. Then it was back to the music.

But thumping dance tracks aren't the only hits to Janet's musical fame. After the tv and film clips she appeared on stage alone to perform ballads including "Let's Wait A While", "Come Back To Me", and "Nothing". It was fun witnessing even grown ass men singing along out of tune unashamed like only them and Janet were in the room.

Afer the ballads the lights came back up and then it was time to groove again. "That's the Way Love Goes", "I Get So Lonely", "Scream," and then after a medley of a few more classic hits that familiar beat of "Together Again" signified the end of the show. Then as Janet sang childhood images of Micheal and her appeared on the screen, reminding us she's still the little sister who always has her brother's back. And while the crowd happily sang along, she took a poignant moment to sing to her deceased beloved brother. Never can say goodbye...

Despite the brief sadness of the moment, spirits were uplifted as the crowd jumped and sang in unison with Janet to what's become her signature last song of the night. And with that Janet Jackson's "Number Ones Up Close and Personal" show came to a close reminding us of who she is (not that we'd forgotten), what she's accomplished, and to look forward to what ever comes next!

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