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PUBLISHER Paul Farkas
EDITORIAL Kimmie Smith
Co-Founder, Creative + Style Director
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BEAUTY CONTRIBUTIONS GROOMER | Candice Birns | Kim Verbeck/The Wall Group |
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table of contents
issue #62 feb 2021
IN OUR BAG FOR INSPIRATION WALKS
STYLE FILES: FW21
ROCK THIS WHEN YOU’RE NAVIGATING COLDER WEATHER BEAUTY FEATURES
HOW TO DRESS WHEN WORKING FROM HOME
The Versatile Storyteller with Peter Facinelli
We talk with this month’s cover star - actor, producer, director and writer, Peter Facinelli to find out how he got into the industry, and his upcoming projects.
Authenticity Rules with Jeff Blue
We talk with multipltinum record producer, A&R executive, songwriter and lawyer Jeff Blue. We talk about his integral role in some of music’s biggest acts, how he got into the industry and his upcoming projects.
Bob Harper LIFESTYLE FEATURES
THE PICK ME UP
ATHLEISURE LIST MIFUNE NEW YORK
We talk with Bob Harper about his career, motivation and more.
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We talk with Aleks Paunovic about his career and upcoming projects.
Issue #62 | Feb 2021
The Art of the Snack Tiger Lily Kitchen
This month’s The Art of the Snack takes us to NYC’s Tiger Lily Kitchen whose menu is filled with diverse Asian flavors with a focus on health conscious items and with dietary needs in mind.
Bingely Streaming Here’s what we’re listening to this month.
Issue #62 | Feb 2021
Listen to Athleisure Mag’s podcast network Athleisure Studio on Apple Podcast, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Amazon Music or wherever you enjoy listening.
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9PLAYLIST TM Valentino Khan
9LIST STORI3S TM Danica Patrick
EDM DJ/producer, Valentino Khan shares with Athleisure Mag his 9PLAYLIST.
This month we chat with former race car driver and entrepreneur Danica Patrick who provides us with her 9 must-haves.
THE VERSATILE STORYTELLER with Peter Facinelli
This month's cover and feature story is with actor, producer, director and writer, Peter Facinelli. We've enjoyed his body of work which spans movies such as the Twilight franchise, Can't Hardly Wait, and The Vanished as well as television series that include Showtime's Nurse Jackie, Fox's Glee, Fastlane. We caught up with Peter to find out about how he got into the entertainment industry, his work in front of and behind the camera as well as how he has optimized his time during the pandemic and what we should keep an eye out for.
than me. For the first few years, I just had pretzels for lunch and in my senior year, I said, “I’m a senior, I’m going to have a burger!”
PETER FACINELLI: That must have been when I was around 12, I saw a movie called Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and I just really enjoyed it and I kind of thought that Paul Newman and Robert Redford were having the best time and having so much fun. I thought, “man, I want to be able to do that!” It would be fun to be able to pretend to be a cowboy one day. Then I kind of mentioned it to my parents and they kind of laughed at it because we didn’t know anybody in the business at the time. I put it on the back shelf for a while. I was very shy when I was younger. I didn’t really do a lot of school plays or anything like that. Then, when I was in college, I took an Acting 101 class and I fell in love all over again with it. It helped me overcome my shyness actually. I transferred over to NYU and I studied theater there and started working before I graduated.
I learned a long time ago that I might like a script, but it’s a team effort. So if there’s isn’t anybody behind it or if their track record is bad, it’s more likely than not that it will be bad because of the people behind it. I kind of look at the track record of the people behind it, who’s involved, who I’ll be working with as well as the character – to see if I have played it before. But sometimes, gut instinct takes over and you feel like you have to play this or that you want to play this. At that point, all the boxes get thrown out.
AM: Well there you go! Treat yourself! Creatively, how do you decide whether you’re going to take on a project? Do you have a certain kind of criteria that you look for and how does that process look like to you?
PF: You know, I have boxes that I would ATHLEISURE MAG: When did you realize like for it to check like, have I played that you wanted to be in the entertain- this role before? Who else is involved ment industry? in the project?
AM: We would have never pegged you to be somebody that was shy. PF: Oh yeah, I was painfully shy. In high school, I was too shy to get into the lunch line to buy hamburgers. So I would go to the opposite end of the cafeteria where this little old lady sold pretzels so I would get a pretzel and an orange juice and would sit down so that nobody would look at me. I went to a school with 3,500 kids so it was intimidating to be in a lunch line with kids and those that were older
AM: Once you are attached to that project, how do you immerse yourself in that role and how do you take on these great characters that you do? PF: I would say that every project is different. Some take more research than others, but I would say that if there is a common theme, it’s using my imagination a lot to deep dive into the world to imagine what that person’s life would be like. I mean, I have done character journals on some characters, just because I feel like if you can get their history and understand where they came from, then you can understand where they are. Sometimes when you’re playing characters, you’re picking them up on the midpoint in that person's life so the more information you have, the
more you’re able to feel like you can go deeper with the character and the more things come out you know that makes sense to you of how you would respond or certain character traits or the way that they speak or the way that they move. All of that information informs me on how I want to play certain characters. Some of them require more and some of them require less. You know, if I feel like that I may be connected to this person because I know that part of them, then I need to do research on what I don’t understand or that I’m not as familiar with. AM: When you’re finished playing a role, is it hard for you to leave that character depending on how long you have played it? PF: It’s always hard. I always go through this couple of days grieving process and sometimes a week. You come home and you kind of shed that character because that person kind of feels like a part of you and there’s that mourning process in letting that person go. When you’re living in this world of make believe and you’re playing that character and then all of a sudden you’re home and that character is no longer with you, there’s a little bit of a grieving process and that’s ok. I have found that it’s normal to mourn that character for me and to let it go and within a week, you start to get back into that routine of things and then that person’s traits begin to come less and less or that energy is less and less with you. AM: One of the first movies that I remember seeing you in was Can’t Hardly Wait and I was in college when it came out and I was like who is this guy? He’s great. Since then I’ve enjoyed seeing you in Nurse Jackie and other films and movies. It would be impossible to talk to you and not ask you about Twilight because literally every person I talked to as we were in prep for the shoot said they were excited so, how did that come about, how did you get to be in this huge franchise and what was that like? PF: Well to be honest, the first time that they called me, they said, would you be in-
terested in being in a vampire movie and I said no. At the time when I was thinking about it, the vampire cycle had been over so there was like Interview with the Vampire and there were vampire movies that were good, there was a slew that were bad and then there were a bunch of B vampire movies that were horror movies withblood and guts. They weren’t at the time popular or deemed quality or good. They said, "this one is based on a book and has a small following.” So I read the book and I enjoyed it immensely. I thought it was more of a love story with a vampire backdrop and I liked the way it kind of romanticized the vampire world and took it away from the whole blood and guts kind of goriness. It had some grit to it and danger and I liked the family aspect and so I read the book in one sitting. So I said yes and I really enjoyed it and they said that Catherine Hardwicke was directing and I loved her work so again, it’s one of those things where you look to see who’s work is involved and Catherine’s is well done and I thought that she may do something really interesting with it. They said that Catherine wanted to see me in a day or two and so I went in and read with Catherine and then I ended up getting the part. AM: If they were to come back with another movie, would you still want to do it? PF: I mean, I don’t know how they would do it because vampires aren’t supposed to age. But, if they could figure out a way to make it work, I would. I loved that character. It’s so fun to play. AM: Personally, I’m not a person who likes vampire movies personally, but it’s like what you said, there was a huge story and it was so well done that the vampire and the werewolf part fell away and you had this love story which was really nice. So last summer, we enjoyed watching The Vanished which you’re in, you directed and wrote. How was it for you to play so many parts in the same film and how did this
Issue #62 | Feb 2021
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come about? PF: Well, I directed Breaking and Exiting and I was looking at what I wanted to direct next because I was interested in directing as well. I like telling stories so whether it’s acting, directing, producing or writing, it’s all different forms of telling stories. I was looking for a followup and I had written The Vanished. Originally, I was going to play the lead and I was going to have someone else direct it. Then I thought, that maybe this would be a good one for me to direct, but I didn’t want to take on too much by playing the lead and directing as this would be my second film, so I reached out to Thomas Jane which I thought would be perfect for it and Anne Heche came on board as well as Jason Patric. So we went out and shot it. For me, I thought that I could play the small role of the deputy because I thought that would be fun. The first movie that I directed, all of the actors looked like they were having so much fun. I felt like I was missing out. So I thought, I’ll put myself in this one in a smaller role. I have to say that I have a whole new respect for actors that can direct themselves as leads! I had a small role in this film and every time I had to show up to play the role, it was like juggling. When you’re on film and you’re acting in the scene yet you’re also directing, you’re worried about the shot, making sure that you’re lit, that the other actors are lit, making sure that the shot is correct that you want, making sure that you’re performance is good, that the other person’s performance is good and all of these things are happening when you’re in the middle of playing your character and doing this scene. So, I had to show up camera ready because I didn’t have time to go to hair and makeup so I kind of threw on a hat and powder right before we went! I showed up in costume as the sheriff and wear it all day while I was directing which was uncomfortable, but it was a small enough role that I could do it. But it was kind of a
pain on the days that I was doing it. It was a heavier load and I also had to memorize my lines the night before. I mean, I wrote it so you think it would be easier to remember my lines, but I was also preparing my shot list the night before, checking footage from the dailies and I was doing so many things the night before that memorizing my lines was kind of at the bottom of the list for me to do! Then I have to show up to know all of my dialogue, but it was quite a bit of a juggle. But I was happy that I did it. AM: It was a great film and such a fun one to watch and had some great twists in it. It’s interesting to hear the dynamics of being in the film while also having to be involved in it as a whole. You have a new project called The Unbreakable Boy. Can you tell us about this and why this is such an important project for you to helm? PF: Well, The Unbreakable Boy was a book that I found that I just thought was a beautiful story and is based on a true story. It’s about Scott LeRette and his family. Scott has an autistic son and it’s about raising an autistic child and the bond he has with his son and how lucky he feels to have that bond with him. I thought it was a beautiful story and I met with the writer, Scott who it’s based on and I just wanted to help get this story told in whatever way that I could help out. I ended up producing it and I gave it to a company called Kingdom Films and they ended up liking it and they have a deal with Lionsgate so they came on board. I play a smaller role in it again. I didn’t feel quite right for the lead and Kingdom had their own inhouse director/ writer, Jon Gunn who had a great take on it. For me, it’s always about where do I fit in the best to service the story. In this one, it was being the producer and connecting all of these dots to get made. Zachary Levi (Shazam, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Chuck) is fantastic
in the movie as I have been watching the dailies and I’m proud of this one. I hope it strikes a chord with people who watch this movie and I think it’s what we need at this moment in time.
day and I realized that I had to be kind to myself because I may not get everything done that I want to do in a day, but if I can get a few of those things done, then great! It all adds up.
AM: In April on Amazon, The Ravine is AM: Is there anything else that you’re coming out. I’ve heard good things about working on that you would like to share that as well. What should we expect? that we should keep an eye out for? PF: That one I just acted in! I have to say it because people think that I directed or wrote it – but I just acted in it. I found this script and it was a very touching story. Hard to read at first, but it’s based on a novel about a guy who ends up killing his whole family and the residue it leaves off on the people that knew him. He wasn’t a bad person and he wasn’t a bad guy, but he ends up snapping one day. Eric Dane (X-Men: The Last Stand, Grey’s Anatomy, Euphoria), plays my best friend and the effect that that has on Eric Dane and his family. Honestly, it was a beautiful movie about forgiveness.
PF: I did a movie called 13 Minutes. It’s a film about a tornado that comes through this town in the Midwest and the devastation that it does in 13 minutes. It kind of follows different families and how it all kind of ties together. This one tragedy of this tornado that comes into this town is something that I found interesting because it’s tornado season and people lose their homes, their families and their family members and it just comes in and goes. No one really talks about the devastation that it leaves behind. Anne Heche is in that one too and that’s really interesting because we didn’t have any AM: This past year, we’ve all kind of tak- scenes together as our storylines were en a pause on how we have lived our lives kind of separate. with the pandemic. We really like this quote that resonated with you saying, ”If Then I have a film that I would like to you come out of quarantine unchanged, direct that I wrote called El Chico Blanyou didn’t lack time, you lacked discipline.” co that I am hoping to direct later on How have you utilized that quote by opti- this year. mizing your time as you have been moving and grooving over the past year? AM: Is there a project, topic or actors that you have always wanted to work PF: Well, you know, I try to do the best with but you haven’t but it’s on your vito make the most out of my days. At the sion board? end of the day, I always remember to give some kindness towards myself if I don’t PF: I mean there are always people get everything done at the end of the that inspire me. I could never close day. Now I have more time so there’s no the door and say, “I have worked with reason to not get things done that I want everybody that I have ever wanted to to do. So if I haven’t worked out or done work with.” I would say that there are some things for myself that day, there’s more people that I haven’t work with no excuses. With that said, sometimes than I have. I have worked with some it’s ok to have days where you do noth- fantastic people. The list of people ing. But just don’t let those days add up that I would like to work with and that to where you’ve done nothing for a lot of I have on my vision board is so many them. You have to find balance too. people that inspire me – it would be a very long answer! In the beginning, I was beating myself up that I didn’t get things done during the AM: When you look at the body of
work that you have created in front of the STYLE CREDITS camera and behind the camera, what do you want your legacy to be? Athleisure Mag's Celeb Fashion Stylist, Co-Founder, Creative + Style Director PF: That’s a good question. I have always Kimmie Smith shares what she used to taken some pride in the versatility of my create the cover editorial for Peter Facicareer. If you take Mike Dexter and put nelli. him right next to Carlisle Cullen and put @Shes.Kimmie him next to Dr. Fitch Cooper on Nurse Jackie and put him next to the Donovan Ray in Fastlane they’re all so different – LOOK I | WFH STYLE each one of those characters. I take pride in that versatility. I hope that my legacy is Arrival Track Jacket + Pant that I was able to tell versatile stories and play versatile characters. I always want to PG 16 + 19 | MUNICIPAL Arrival Track surprise people. When people start to ex- Pant | pect something of me, it’s more fun for them to come see something that they LOOK II | FITNESS haven’t expected. PG 20 - 25 | TRACKSMITH Stadium JackAM: For #TRIBEGOALS, we like asking et Pioneer Club, Pioneer Singlet + Van those that we think inspire others about Cortland Grand Short | ATHLETIC PRO3 people that they find inspiring to them PULSION LABS Techloom Wave | whether it’s personally or professionally. These can be people that you know or LOOK III | OUT & ABOUT STYLE follow but who are 3 people that have inspired you to be where you are now? PG 26 - 29 | 34 HERITAGE Travis Jacket + Courage Denim | MAVI Rio Deep PF: Well I would have to say Paul Newman Brushed Shirt | for sure because he’s the reason why I became an actor. I’d love to say Marty Scors- GROOMING CREDITS ese because I love all of his movies and I think he’s such a genius director. Then, Kim Verbeck/The Wall Group provided I’d like to say my dad because he inspires the grooming for the cover editorial for me all the time because he’s funny, he’s Peter Facinelli. She used Kevin Murphy charming and he’s full of life. He’s 80 years products for the shoot. old and he’s bouncing around like he’s in his 20’s – I hope to have those genes! @KimVerbeck @PeterFacinelli PHOTOGRAPHY CREDITS
FRONT/BACK COVER CREDITS
| PHOTOGRAPHY Ben Cope | STYLIST Kaylee Jackson | GROOMER Candice Athleisure Mag's virtual editorial was shot Birns | by Co-Founder + Celebrity Photographer Paul Farkas. Throughout this shoot, Paul used an iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPad Air 2, and Clos. @PVFarkas
Hear actor, producer, director and writer Peter Facinelli on an upcoming episode of our show, #TRIBEGOALS - which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multimedia companion podcast network! Subscribe to be notified when the episode drops. Listen on iHeartRadio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or wherever you enjoy your podcasts.
S E L U R Y T I C I T N E AUTH E U L B F F E J h wit
We took some to catch up with multi platinum record producer, A&R executive, songwriter and lawyer, Jeff Blue. He is known for his work being integral in the careers of Linkin Park, Macy Gray, Korn, Limp Bizkit and more. He shares how he got into the industry, how he works with his artists, the importance of an iconic voice and his upcoming projects! ATHLEISURE MAG: Before we get into talking about your career, what role did music play in your life from day to day before going into the industry? JEFF BLUE: Music was always a fantasy to me because we didn’t have enough money to actually buy records. So my mom would drop me off at the drugstore and at the market near the magazine rack and I would just gaze through the magazines and it would seem surreal. I’d hear the music on the bus when I was going to school and it was really the way that I connected with I guess the drama and the trauma that I was going through as a kid with a father that had committed suicide. It was hard on me growing up and music was my way of coping and grounding myself. Looking back when I was in college, I felt that the music was literally the soundtrack of my life. I could literally think of any memory that was good or bad and even walking down the street or taking a test, there was a song on my head. That was something that I carry with me forever, because I know that music had the biggest impact on me as opposed to anything else in my life. I knew I wanted to do something with music in my future. AM: What was your first job in the industry? JB: Well I had internships. First job – like that I got paid to do? AM: Well, whatever you felt was a job. Even an internship for some people, that could be like the first position to them that let them know that they were aligned to be in that field.
JB: My first internship dictated to me that I would never be in the music business because my boss hated me ha! AM: Fair! JB: The second internship that I had, aligned me with what I wanted to do in A&R and my first real paying job was something that I learned through the second internship where you had to be indispensable and I realized that the only way I was going to get noticed was that I would have to become a journalist and get my name in print to have credibility and a reason for people to listen to what I said. That was as a journalist and I had no experience as a journalist. I called every publication known to man or woman and was rejected by everybody until there was someone that I thoroughly confused into thinking that I was a real writer and hired me to cover a show that she needed coverage of and that was at Music Connection Magazine. From that moment, that night, I wrote about a band that I ended up managing, producing and being the drummer and signing as my first artist at Zomba Music Publishing. So my first paying gig was $10/article at Music Connection Magazine. AM: It’s always interesting to hear stories like that because a lot of people don’t understand how someone progressed through their career. We see you now, but we don’t know all the things that kind of came together. Just the depth of things that you have done in terms of your roles like you went to law school and you’re a lawyer. How does that help you in the industry? JB: I think that law school really more than anything helped me with my analytical mind. Being able to separate concepts independent from one another so I can separate facets of something which really helped me with journalism. Being able to discuss performance, crossed with the production, crossed with star power you know as opposed to hit songs and breaking down the songs into literally the vers-
es, pre-choruses, intros, bridges and break it down to almost an OCD point where you can analyze the drums, the guitars, the vocals and the harmonies. So law school to me, has allowed me to dissect things which is really what the law is – it’s dissecting arguments and points in order to build a case. That was actually the biggest asset that got me into the music business but it had nothing to do with the actual law itself. AM: I can appreciate that. Our Co-Founder also went to law school and practiced law and he’s the Publisher, has shot our celebrity covers, is instrumental in our biz dev and is also my boyfriend. So seeing his skills and how he draws from them is interest ing. Whereas, I sit as the other Co-Founder and focus on the style direction and other areas. So it’s interesting to see how all these things come together and we’ve both been involved in other music entities and my great uncle was Joe Henderson and I have styled a number of EDM artists so being able to see the music business in so many levels, talking with you who has been in the role of being a publisher, being in a band as you mentioned, the journalism, being a producer, A&R and songwriter, what are your favorite projects to take one as you really do have a 360 of the business? JB: I like to take anything on that inspires me. I love all genres of music and if you’re talking about music, I happen to love R&B, Hip-Hop, Hard Rock, Rock, Pop and Country. The biggest inspirational moment that I remember ever having and I still talk to this guy. He has to be 80 now and we worked together for the Small Business Administration during the 90s in the earthquake and we worked together as lawyers. It was a horrible job where we made like $6 or $10 bucks an hour – it was 6 days a week. We had a very horrible and rigorous schedule for lunch so we had to run out to get a sandwich and we used to go to Chatsworth Hills and just hang out and this guy was 30 years older than me. He was a nice guy and he was like, “I know you’re a rock and roll guy, but you should
listen to this CD.” Because I had my band that I was already talking about and the CD he had was Nina Simone and he put it in the CD player. He was like, “you’re going to hate it, but I’m sick of listening to your rock band when we’re eating our lunch!” I was like, this is amazing and it changed my life. That’s what inspired me in relation to my own band which was progressive alternative rock and just the textures and the sound and when I heard Macy Gray for the first time which doesn’t sound like anything that her music sounds like now for the record that we did – AM: Really? JB: Yeah. She was more like a Black Janis Joplin. When I heard her voice, it took me back to that moment eating a horrible sandwich, in a rush, sitting outside in my 4Runner in Chatsworth Hills with this older guy listening to Nina Simone and I immediately lost my mind and I felt that that was the moment and the reason why that guy played me that music. Changed my life! AM: Speaking of Macy Gray, I remember being in college when it came out and I loved hearing 'I Try' as I was in my freshman year and I went to Indiana University and that song played everywhere! I had never heard a voice like hers and how everything came together. I heard 'Still' and of course I had an epic breakout in college that I thought was the end of the world – it was not, but I literally played that song 55 times in a row crying it out. What was that like finding her, getting her, how was it like working with her and I know you co-wrote Still. JB: Macy was a demo tape that a woman came into my office with but she was pitching another band with a huge buzz that everyone was trying to sign as a publisher. They were signed with Interscope, but they were looking for a publishing deal. I didn’t like the band and I just said, you're in my office do you have anything else? This is what everyone says because when you’re shopping something, you’re
always supposed to have something else. She said, not really, but she goes into her purse and she pulls out this tape. She said I was going to hate it. She said that her publisher, her record label and her manager dropped her. She no longer worked with her anymore. But she said I wouldn’t like it and it was just a reason for her to hang out in my office because I said, I didn’t like her band. I stuck it in the tape deck and my mouth dropped open. She was like, “you hate it right?” But at that moment, I was like this is one of the most awesome things that I had ever heard, but I didn’t want her to know that. So I told her I didn’t like it and asked if I could keep the tape and she said I could. I spent 3 months trying to track her down and the woman didn’t even have her phone number because Macy had gone and left LA because she was having another baby. I didn’t want to ask for her number because I didn’t want to tip my hat that I was going to try and sign her because the price would go up. So I spent 3 months looking for her and I met her in NY. My boss didn’t want to sign her, but I was convinced. She came back to LA, we started working on new music with a producer named Daryll Swann and this guy Jeremy Ruzumna who is now in Fitz and the Tantrums. We really put it together and literally the label that dropped her, I sent a tape to them and they couldn’t stand her. I had to change the name because Macy Gray didn’t work and everyone hated the music. We changed her name to Mushroom and fooled everybody and we literally had Clive Davis, Jimmy Iovine, Paul Anthony and Atlantic Records whose founder, Ahmet Ertegun who called me personally and said that the Mushroom tape was amazing. It went from being no one wanting to hear to having a bidding war. I was responsible for changing the name, working with her and I was asked to manage her which I should have. All the labels wanted me to manage her and I didn’t think that I had the experience to do that. I was able to get her a deal.
the experience to do that. I was able to get her a deal. AM: Wow! That’s a story. Well, Linkin Park is another band that the minute I heard them, I was obsessed with them and I loved their sound and energy. What were you involved with in terms of them and I know that you were connected with Chester Bennington and you brought him into the group. What really sparked your interest with the group? JB: First of all, I was there again at the inception of that band. The guitar player, I had actually lectured for UCLA last night in a class called Comm 185. It’s the internship class for Comm students at UCLA which I was an alumni of. I lectured every other quarter basically. There was this kid called Brad Delson who was in the class, he infused himself into my life and became my intern. I talk about this in my book and he told me that he had a band that was going to be better than what I had which was Limp Bizkit and Korn. I also had Matchbox 20 plaques up because I didn’t sign them but I tried really hard and I helped them get their deal and they literally gave me their Diamond Plaques and I’m very close with Rob Thomas and Brad looked at everything and said that his band was going to be better than any of those bands on my wall. I hired him as my intern, signed them off of their first show that they had ever played. So one show and they got their first publishing deal and I shopped them for 2 years until we realized that the lead singer needed to be changed. I found Chester Bennington after not being able to get anybody at all to even want to audition for the band because we had played so many showcases and had been rejected so many times that there was a huge stink on the band from a reputation standpoint. It was called Xero at that time. I convinced this kid from Phoenix as a fluke to leave his birthday party and to record a demo based off the instrumentals that I had my assistant send him. I talked with him while I was at SXSW and by the
time I got home, he sent me a demo tape so he left his 23rd birthday and recorded the demo and I was blown away. I literally told the band that this was their singer and it took them 6 weeks to get to know him and they kept wanting to audition other singers and I said that this kid had everything that they could have ever imagined with the voice and the persona – super authentic. They eventually had him join the band. Then my involvement was being their music publisher, their quasi-manager – we didn’t have a manager but I functioned as such and I got them their deal at Warner and they were along with my employment contract because I believed in them so much. Still, no record label wanted them even with Chester and they were rejected 44 times. I made them apart of my employment contract and went in as their A&R person and executive produced the album. AM: As stated before, the credits that you have are insane. Because it seems that you’re so involved with your artists, do you ever have a cap on how many people or projects that you’re working with because it seems so immersive? JB: Good question. Music is part of my being and so are all creative projects. I always find time to do everything. I don’t have any kids so that leaves a lot of space. I figure that in life, anything that is a passion you make a priority for. I’m always very busy, but I never have a problem getting everything in. AM: What is your creative process like and does it differ depending on what the project is whether you’re leaning into the A&R side, you’re producing or songwriting? JB: I don’t necessary have any process. I just go with the flow wherever the inspiration takes me. To be honest with you, there’s no set way of doing any project that I follow in terms of a regimen. I have tried that where I thought that something worked in the past could be applied and I have found that each project is its own entity and requires its own care and just
like in life, any given second of your day will change the trajectory that will maneuver you in that day. So having a schedule that is set and laid out to do a project that is laid out for me will not work for me because I am so integrated into so many different things that different elements will come into play that will change what I would do. That’s one of the things that make me successful in what I do. AM: Tell me about your new book, One Step Closer: From Zero to #1: Becoming Linkin Park and why you wanted to write this? JB: Well the book was something that I was asked to write back in 2007 as a counterpart to Donald Passman’s All You Need to Know about the Music Business, but in a story form based on Linkin Park and it was extremely difficult and I gave up which is something that I never do. I just felt that it was exhausting. When Chester passed, it really affected me. I had written a small piece for Billboard Magazine and they were one of the people that had given me a chance early on – Melinda Newman who gave me a job as a writer for Continental Drift which is what gave me my job at Zomba Music Publishing with the credibility of Billboard. So I wrote a small piece for Chester in Billboard and the band’s manager said that he was moved by the article and I went back and looked up through the boxes – about 10 boxes of faxes, CDs, emails, notebooks, handwritten notes and I couldn’t put down my journals. So I thought in this traumatic experience that everyone has dreams and you set out to achieve them. Those that do, most give up after a few rejections and this band and I went through 44 of them. You’re not good enough, it’s career suicide, let it go and through the perseverance of overcoming adversity and being authentic, we followed our true vision and listened to our gut, true talent won out. You can be anything that you want to achieve in life. You just have to really be authentic and persevere. That was a story to me that was inspirational not just for a Linkin Park fan but to any human being.
AM: You have a number of projects coming up that you’re working on from your docuseries, iHeart Radio podcast and your screenplay that’s in development. What can you tell us about these so that we can keep an eye out for them? JB: The docuseries is called, Unsung Heroes and it’s like my book but takes you on a journey through the decades from the 60’s forward of all genres of music and the socio-political elements that go into the decades and focuses on the A&R people and those putting their careers on the line to discover these artists. It looks at the passion of the A&R execs through the decades of these people that no one wanted to sign. A lot like what I did with Linkin Park is carrying a vision with the artists to affect the world in a positive way. Whether it’s the transition from Disco to Rock and Punk or the transition from Heavy Metal/Hair Bands into Grunge and the rise of Hip-Hop. This is told through those decades and that’s what the docuseries is about. The podcast is along those lines too. Telling the stories of A&R people and sharing their experiences. My screenplay is a psychological thriller/ horror movie that is about 5 celebrities that find themselves in rehab all with intertwining pasts and each one is facing their own demons, but there is a killer in the rehab facility and it is kind o f a combination with Saw X Scream X The Breakfast Club. So it’s very character driven and it’s all diversity. It goes into diversity issues, #MeToo movement, cultural issues and also deals with depression and the pressures of being a celebrity which is why they are in rehab. The effects of what stardom makes us do and how to keep that stardom so they go on that killing spree. AM: What led you to wanting to create this kind of screenplay? JB: Actually, it came out of the book. I had basically finished the outline to One Step Closer and I was dealing with the thoughts
of Chester, depression and rehab and substance abuse. How people are dealing with it and how it affects everybody. It’s interesting that you’re making me think about this because I was on a softball team with a guy and the sponsor was a rehab clinic in Malibu. I just got to thinking that it would be really cool if there was a psychological thriller about these celebrities in rehab and them killing each other and that’s the truth! I wanted to make it a super whodunnit and I love it. I’ve got hopefully, several stars attached and 1 really huge star that I am hoping to get. AM: Is there a difference for you when you’re working with an artist on their album versus a soundtrack for a film? JB: When you’re working with one artist on their album, that is a cohesive vision and it’s all supposed to sound like one journey. When you’re on a soundtrack, it’s inspired by the diverse moments in that film. You’re working with several artists. The songs can be inspired by, written for or existing songs that you can choose to emphasize moments in that film. AM: What is your creative process in writing a song versus being an A&R and then as a producer? JB: My creative process in writing a song depends on whether I’m writing with another writer or I’m writing with the artist as it matters entirely on the voice and the experience of the artists that are performing it. You want to make it authentic to that artist. I think it’s ideal when it’s co-written by the artist because it’s more true and authentic to them. As an A&R person, the A&R overseas and isn’t as present in the actual writing process. But they oversee the vision and the A&R person works that vision through the record label and to the public as opposed to a producer who is guiding in the studio, getting the right performances, making suggestions on sound, songs and they also oversee and help create the vision. All three are different roles.
I’ve done for example, I had a band that I had known as The Last Good Night, where I played the drums, co-wrote all the songs, A&R’d it, produced it and published it. That was very rewarding because I won a BMI Award as one of top song writers for a song called Pictures of You and literally that was hands in every role that there possibly is. So rewarding and each role was different. In doing that, it takes a lot of trust from the artist. AM: You have your entertainment firm, Century Park Entertainment, tell me more about this and what do you offer there? JB: Century Park Entertainment is where we manage – I have 3 different artists right now who are a variety of DJ, performers, musical artists and songwriters, produce, we have the docuseries, the screenplay and the book. So it houses literary, television, film and music. AM: How do you define an iconic voice? What does that mean to you and what does it trigger when you hear it? JB: An iconic voice is identifiable and unique sound or tone. That could be in a voice. I discovered Daniel Powter who sang, Bad Day, he had a very iconic voice. The same is true for Jonathan Davis, Chester, Fred Durst and Macy Gracy. I think that when you hear a song and it’s playing on the radio and you hear it within 3 notes whether it’s the bass line, guitar line, drumbeat or a vocal and you know who the artists is – that’s iconic. One thing I always listen to for me, Queen is the epitome of that – when you hear Brian May’s guitar’s tone, Freddie with his voice obviously and the sound that I really believe is Roy Thomas Baker his production on the snare of the snare drum for the percussion is iconic. It’s this mixture of a snare with the high hat and I just love it! Anyone of those things, you can immediately tell who these artists are whether it’s ACDC, Led Zeppelin or whatever. Often the things I look for is authenticity and for the artists to be able to speak
their truth and for it to be believable as if you’re speaking towards a friend. On top of that, you need star power, the ability to engage and connect with the listeners, hit songs and above all the quality that a great artist and great songs make you feel like you belong. At the end of the day, we’re all outsiders but at the end of the day, great artists make us feel like we’re not alone. AM: We always ask our trailblazers who we find to be inspiring, who are 3 people whether personally or professionally that you know or follow that have inspired you to be where you are now? JB: One I would say is Jason Flom. He’s an A&R executive who started when he was 18 and I just love his passion and immediate belief in artists. He was one of the first people that I met and was really impressed with because he’s authentic and he’s remained a great friend and I have actually worked with him at Virgin. He hired me and that’s where I got the The Good Night and where I earned the BMI Award for. The people that I have encountered in my life – one was Harvey Levin which sounds horrible but I interned for him when he was a legal reporter at KCBS-TV news during college. He took me along on the ride-alongs to the courts. The other assistants rebelled and said I should be licking envelopes. I was an actor during college to get me through and my commercials were playing at the time in the newsroom and Harvey stood up for me and took me with him and said that I should be a legal reporter. He felt I was creative and good on camera. He said go to law school because I didn’t want to just be an actor. I thought it was really cool that he had me interact with him and I learned from that. He inspired me enough to go to law school which was horrible and I modeled my ability to mentor people like Brad Delson from Linkin Park and other people. Almost all of my interns and assistants have all gone on to be millionaires and major senior level executives in the music business. Brad, I
took under my wing and his band obviously became Linkin Park and I included him in every single meeting and phone calls, talking to him about the music business and we had synergy with what I was learning because I was a new executive and I allowed him to experience what I experienced and I think that that is extremely important. My last intern helped me guide my book a little bit, he was a UCLA intern and he ended up after I showed him my screenplay, he helped give me some ideas and I gave him writing credit on it. I really believe in interacting with people. The third person, there’s this guy Richard Blackstone who was my boss at Zomba Music Publishing and he was supportive with my vision even when he didn’t quite understand it. After I became successful, he told me that he always told me no and that he knew he should let me sign something when I kept pushing after a month or two. He trusted my judgment and knew that the stuff that I cared about, I would keep pushing for. It also made me realize that I shouldn’t just jump on a reaction because interesting fades over time. But when he could imagine me jumping on my desk over something, then he could see me signing it. He ended up running Warner Chappell Music and BMG after awhile too. @JeffBlueMusic PHOTOS COURTESY | Jeff Blue
Hear multi platinum record producer, A&R executive, songwriter and lawyer Jeff Blue on an upcoming episode of our show, #TRIBEGOALS - which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multimedia companion podcast network! Subscribe to be notified when the episode drops. Listen on iHeartRadio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or wherever you enjoy your podcasts.
Inspiration doesn’t just occur. It’s created. Perfection isn’t simply achieved. It’s worked for. Reserved for those who get out and go. Fueled by nature. Motivated by spirit. How do you go?
STAYING MOTIVATED with Bob Harper
We had a candid talk with one of the top Celebrity Trainers, Bob Harper. You know him as one of the trainers and eventually the host of The Biggest Loser, he has been on countless shows encouraging those to take care of themselves and their health and is known for the way he engages with others. We catch up with him to talk about how he got into the fitness industry, including TV into his brand, his latest project and how he has navigated these times. ATHLEISURE MAG: We’ve been fans of yours since we saw you on The Biggest Loser as a trainer and then as a host – when did you know that you wanted to work in the fitness industry as your expertise has spanned over 3 decades! BOB HARPER: Wow 3 decades! That makes me sound so old! AM: Oh no it doesn’t! It makes you sound experienced and amazing! BH: That’s true! I’m embracing my 50’s. I’ve been in the industry like you’ve said for over 30 years now. When I got into fitness, it was something that I fell into because I was living in Nashville, TN and there was a gym that I lived next door to and all of a sudden I just started going to the gym and I definitely got the bug of fitness. I decided that this was something that I really wanted to do so I got my certifications, started to do group fitness and then I decided that I would move to Los Angeles, CA to really make a full time career out of health and fitness and then the rest is pretty much history! I went from being a Celebrity trainer out of Los Angeles to getting this gig on a new show called The Biggest Loser and at first, I was super skeptical because listening to the name, I didn’t know what it was about and then I found out that it was all about diet and exercise – it was something that I thought, “ok, let me try to pursue this a little bit more.” AM: Did you ever imagine that when you first started in this industry that you would
take the different avenues that you have taken and really expanding your brand as being as you said, a TV personality and being more than just a trainer and having your group sessions? BH: It was never anything that I ever thought that would I do in terms of being on television because I was very happy with where my career was, but when I got this opportunity to work on Loser, I thought, you know what, it’s going to give me the opportunity to work on this platform to be exposed to this whole other demographic and I really found that as much as I loved all of the celebrities that I had worked with, this was just something that was just so much more rewarding in a completely different way. AM: How would you define your approach when you’re working in a group setting or with your personal clients? Do you have a certain approach, focus or modalities that you like to focus on? BH: Yeah, I have always described myself as a very pragmatic health and fitness trainer. I have never been one to beat somebody down as I have tried to lift them up. I want them to see themselves through my eyes when they are unable to do. That’s just something that has always been in me. That has always been me to be someone that has always looked at that glass as half full no matter how far off track someone has gotten. I realize that in health and fitness and especially when you’re working with people that are overweight, it’s something that they have to embrace for the rest of their life. There’s no endgame here when it comes to weight loss, managing weight loss and when I speak to people in that pragmatic way, it just me saying, “these are the cards that you have been dealt. This is something that you’re going to have to be thinking about for the rest of your life.” I think that once you're able to swallow that pill, it makes it a lot more manageable. I feel like that there are so many avenues of health and fitness out there that kind of go, "I have all the answers, this is it and once you do what
I’m telling you to do, then life is going to be great.” And I’m like, “ok, well once you have lost all of that weight or achieved the goals that you have achieved, what then?” I always try to look at the what then. AM: Before we get into the Next Fitness Superstar, how did you decide to work with NEOU Fitness and what was the synergy there? BH: Since the pandemic happened last year and it feels like – AM: Like five years! BH: Yeah, I’m going insane ha! Yeah, before the pandemic, I was never an at home fitness person. You would think when you look at my career – I mean people would say, “I’d love to see your gym at home!” I’ve always loved being in gyms, group fitness and being around other people. Then with the pandemic, I was forced to approach fitness in a completely different way. I started doing all the workouts that I like doing and I tried doing them from home. It wasn’t until I met with the people at NEOU that I really decided that I knew that I was really responding to the situation that we are in. NEOU has so many different options of working out and that’s what I wanted! I don’t know about you, but I was really getting bored with the things that I was doing and I really needed to mix it up and I also wanted to do things that was going to put a smile on my face. I don’t want to sound cheesy. AM: Totally get it! We’ve been to NEOU for editor events, we miss our hot yoga studios and being around others in working out and having that experience with other people as well as enjoying the amenities – these past few months to keep it fresh has totally been a challenge! BH: It’s totally been a challenge! I have to have those conversations with myself that I have had to have with my clients over the years when I’m saying to myself, “I don’t want to work out” – those days
when I’m dealing with low level depression throughout this year and being like, “oh my God, this is never ending, I can’t get motivated” and having to say to myself – “I know I’m going to feel better about myself when I work out.” My fiancé will say to me, “honey, you know you’re going to feel better after you do it. Just turn on the computer, get your workout going, jump in the pool and do whatever you’re going to do” and it’s true and I’m always having to remember that feeling. I remember telling that to every single person that I have ever worked with and I like NEOU in the way that it gives me so many different options and those options are what keeps me motivated. AM: Tell us about The Next Fitness Superstar as the concept sounds fun and what’s your role in this project? BH: I’m really excited about this creative idea. It’s something that I came to them with and I said this was the first thing that I wanted to do with them. I found it to be interesting and dynamic. Since the pandemic and looking at the different trainers, workouts, health professionals out there – people are always asking me how can they go to the next level? Going to the next level, whatever that means for you is trying to put yourself out there in a completely different way. That’s what the Next Fitness Superstar is about – show me what you’ve got! I remember being very clear, it’s not about the way a person looks. I see people with the best bodies in the world and their training ability for themselves is great – but what are you able to give that person that you’re working with? So with the Next Fitness Superstar, I want to see how you are able to communicate, are you able to deliver, what your brand is, how you are able to get the workouts in to get me engaged and to keep me engaged. I think that when you deal with trainers, you have to see them from so many different points of view. It can’t just be you have great abs or you have great legs – what else do you have after that?
AM: It’s cool to see that you guys had over 200 people competing, and you narrowed it down to 10. Can you share if you have any favorites or if you’re leaning towards anyone or anything that is standing out with you?
you have that moment for your body to go through what’s happening and to feel like the movements are becoming a second nature. When you’re talking too much, it becomes noise after a certain point and then it’s too distracting.
BH: Well I don’t want to talk about favorites, but I will say that it was super hard to get to the top 10! I love the top 10 that we have and I think that they’re really strong and really dynamic so it’s exciting! Let me tell you, we’re about to give it to the audience for their vote. I’m glad that they’re going to have to do it and not me!
BH: Oh my God! I have actually done workouts where to the computer screen I’m saying, “stop talking!” Give me a minute!
AM: For sure! What’s going to happen over the next 4 week period with this? BH: Well what is going to be really fun is that when we get to the top 3, we’re going to be putting them through a workout, a live workout on NEOU – I want to be able to talk with them and to hear how they are able to communicate. I think that that’s really important since I have been in this industry for a long time. Going from being a trainer to going live on the Today Show and a number of shows throughout my career, there’s an art there. There is an ability to speak and be concise. When I watch people and I see that people are starting to ramble, saying a lot and you’re wondering if they’re really saying anything – I think at one point and I say this with any trainer that I have talked with or worked with, “don’t be afraid of the silence.” Especially if you’re in the midst of a workout. Don’t be afraid to let the room breathe. You know what I mean by that? AM: ABSOLUTELY! BH: I have been in a number of workouts with trainers that there is so much dialogue and it starts to make me a little insane it' s like, enough with all of the talking. Let me know what you need from me, guide me in this way and allow for the magic to happen! AM: Agreed! A lot of times when we’re working out, we just need that space so
AM: And sometimes you just hit that mute because you can’t! BH: It really takes away from the times where they really have something important to say and people have to learn how to edit themselves! That’s the bottom line. I love that people are going to be able to vote by going to NEOU to vote for their favorite trainers. We have gotten really great responses from it. AM: It looks like it. So when we get to the 3 people, they have the activities that they will do and people can vote. What does the winner get for winning it all? BH: That’s what’s really exciting. Not only will they get a contract with NEOU, the publicity from doing it, being placed in a different arena for doing it which I think is the best part of the prize, there is also a $5,000 cash prize too. I thought that was pretty great! AM: Sure. Even for the 10 people that were announced initially, there’s something to be said that you went through that process to get there. Will this be something that will continue to take place to have these kinds of competitions or are you just feeling this out to see how it goes? BH: We’re definitely feeling it out, but I also have other ideas that I have been playing around with on what we can do. I do believe that at home fitness is here to stay for awhile now and I want to be able to inspire people at home that aren’t working out with large groups of people anymore. How can I keep you going? I mean, that’s what it’s about as you know! You’ve got
to be able to change it up and people are asking, what’s the best diet out there and I’m like, “you know what? It’s the one that you’re able to stick with and that you’re able to continue to do!” That’s when everything changes. I have done every single diet that’s out there and it’s good for people to try different things because it keeps your head in the game. AM: Outside of Next Fitness Superstar, are there other projects that you are working on that you can share that we should keep our eye out for? BH: I know that one thing that has been very near and dear to my heart – literally and figuratively, is my partnership with AstraZeneca something that we call, Survivors Have Hearts. I used to travel around the country with heart attack survivors. Now with COVID-19, it’s been a virtual thing. So this year, I’m hoping that we can get out on the road maybe. The response that we have been able to receive by doing it virtually has been super successful and that’s something that as a heart attack survivor who is coming up on 4 years in 6 months, being a survivor – it drives me even more. Being able to talk to heart attack survivors, people who took care of them during that hard time has been super rewarding for me. AM: During this pandemic, we enjoy your photography and being able to see the world through your eyes and seeing your pups, Karl and Vivienne because they’re so cute. How did you get into photography? BH: Thank you for saying that! Photography means a lot to me and it’s always been something that’s really important for me. Ever since I was a kid and I got a little Instamatic camera – I’m really dating myself here.
you’re able to grab a second in life and that you can never go back to it. You have to remember that every photo that is being taken, especially the way I go about it – it’s that instant and that instant is gone and you’re able to document. I love being able to tell a story in that range finder of my camera. That’s how I look at it. I tell people all the time, everyone can take a picture as we all have iPhones, smart phones or whatever you call it. But whenever I am able to have my real camera in my hand and to not just take a picture but a photo and tell a story, it’s just something that I have loved for a very long time. AM: I’ve loved looking at that second Instagram that has those photos. Growing up, my dad has the 35mm cameras where you go into the darkroom and we actually had one in our house. So seeing these single stories that you’re telling and how poignant that they are – I didn’t know that about you prior to the pandemic, but very cool to see the world through your eyes. BH: I appreciate that and as far as your dad and working with film, that’s always been something of course I work with digital mostly, but I have my film camera and when I’m in NY, I have a darkroom that I go to in Brooklyn called Gowanus Darkroom and I develop my own film, print my own photographs and there is something very therapeutic about that for me. You’re in that darkroom and creating art and it just stimulates me. AM: It’s been so fun talking with you. Who are 3 people that have inspired you to be where you are whether personally or professionally?
AM: I had one growing up I’ll be 42 this year, so I know what you’re talking about!
BH: Oh wow, that’s such a big question! I mean an immediate answer would be that I would talk about people like the trailblazers, Jack LaLanne – that man was in the business forever and continued to just inspire and be so inspirational.
BH: Well you’re a little younger then me, but you know what I’m talking about. I was very drawn to that media of art where
I’ll tell you another one – Richard Simmons, I mean what he did with his career – the heart on his sleeve. Everything from
Sweating to the Oldies and what he did, people tried to emulate it. He had those diet cards, a deck of cards – that’s just what everything was built on! If I’m going to stay in the old school world, I’m going with Jane Fonda! Jane Fonda and everything that she has done! I don’t even know how old she is, but LOOK AT HER! I like looking at people that are growing old gracefully because I’m of that world so when I look at Jane Fonda, I want to drink the water that she’s been drinking! AM: To this day, as I’m the Co-Founder and Style Director here, there have been a number of shoots that I have styled and I have used her iconic fitness looks as an inspiration to the shoots that we have created. She is a style icon and a fitness icon and her look is something that has been a classic. BH: I’ll tell you what and I’m thinking about the new and younger generation, there is someone on Instagram and TikTok if you have not seen him and I highly recommend – he has gotten me through 2020 in the darkest time and he’s called The Fittest Wizard. Have you ever heard of him? AM: No, but just wrote it down! BH: Oh my! He’s like a Crossfitter and he’s super fit and that’s beside the point! He does all this dancing and his physical ability and what he’s able to do and he’s having so much fun doing it. I’ve really become such a proponent of making fitness fun especially in 2020 and he has made me laugh and smile throughout this whole year! AM: I’m looking at it now – wow! BH: Wait ‘til you see him dancing around, he’s insane! @BobHarper @BobHarperGallery PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY | Bob Harper
Hear Celebrity Fitness Trainer Bob Harper on an upcoming episode of our show, #TRIBEGOALS - which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multimedia companion podcast network! Subscribe to be notified when the episode drops. Listen on iHeartRadio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts or wherever you enjoy your podcasts.
FORCE TO RECKON WITH ALEKS PAUNOVIC
With the second season of TNT's Snowpiercer back on, we're excited to check out more from Aleks Paunovic who plays Breachman Bojan Boki Boscovic! We took some time to find out more about this character as well as his show SYFY's Van Helsing. We also find out how he got into the industry, his music and more! ATHLEISURE MAG: Before getting into your acting career, you were a boxing champion and you’re a descendant of 3 generations of champion boxers! What was it that drew you to the sport? ALEKS PAUNOVIC: Watching my dad shadowbox and watching fights with him when I was younger was always a good memory. What really attracted me to the sport was the idea of challenging one’s self. I never looked at boxing as fighting the other person, or wanting to hurt the other person. It was about my skill and seeing how I can adapt to a situation with someone that wants to do the same thing to me. It’s a lonely sport but one you can take a ton of life lessons from. Walking through fear, relaxing in tense situations so you can perform your best, getting knocked down, getting back up, and never quitting. I like to think it’s shaped me for my career in film and television. AM: You parlayed this to initially being a stunt actor, what was that like? AP: That’s right, boxing helped me get my foot in the door in the business, but it’s a tough gig. You have to be a special kind of human to do what stunt performers do. I personally wanted to tell stories. My goal was acting, but stunts has helped me tell my stories at a physical and emotional level. AM: We know you’re remastering and have released your songs from your band, Specula Black on Spotify. These songs were recorded 30 years ago, why did you decide to release them now? AP: Ahhh!! I love that these songs are out in the world now. Not only is it on Spotify,
but it’s on all streaming sites. Please check it out if you like heavy metal and rock. Having our songs released 30 years later is largely attributed to our show runner for Van Helsing, who asked if I had a song for one of the episodes. When he asked, the guys and I got on a chat and we started thinking how cool it would be, so we took those recordings and remastered them and sent it to the show. They liked it. Then we were off and running. Very proud of the boys in the band—those days were some of the greatest times of my life. I need to give them a shout out, Tony Brenda, George Lazic, Scott (Ham) Botham and Rob Bjornson. AM: What is it about storytelling that has drawn you to the characters that you play? AP: There’s something about finding the missing pieces and puzzles in telling a character’s story. The script analysis and my creative filter to make it something no one else would think about--finding the truth in there. It’s quite fulfilling. AM: What is your process like when you’re reading a script to see if you want to be attached to the project? AP: It’s usually about how the character fits in the story, and how I can make them compelling. I love a conflicted character. Finding the moments that make him struggle to make decisions, and then going for it. Sometimes the simplest character is the most complex. AM: We loved Snowpiercer as a movie and were excited to see it as a series on TNT last year! Of course, we’re enjoying the 2nd season right now. Tell us about your character Breachman Bojan Boki Boscovic and what it’s like to film this show? AP: Ahhhh, I love Breachman Bojan Boki Boscovic! He has the most dangerous job on the train. The train can’t function without the Breachmen. He’s from Serbia and he’s a devout Wilfordite. There’s a history with Wilford and myself, which connects me to him more. This season there are tri-
als and tribulations with Boki and he runs the gamut of emotion and physicality. I can’t wait for people to see this season. Working on the show has been a dream… Great team in front and behind the camera. I am so grateful to be a part of it. AM: Many are fans of your character Julius in Syfy’s Van Helsing and the 5th and final season will air this fall. Is there anything that you can share about the upcoming season and what we should keep an eye out for? AP: Well, I'm not going to give you any spoilers if you’re looking for that. lol. But it’s been bitter sweet. Such an amazing family we created in the 5 years of the show. All of them are lifers with me now. It’s been glorious, and I think it’s one of our best seasons. Fans are going to see us wrap up the characters on the show in such an epic way. So thank you to SYFY and Netflix for giving us one more season to say goodbye. AM: You were in Stargate Atlantis along with Jason Momoa and now you guys are on SEE on Apple+ TV. What drew you to this show and what do you enjoy about being apart of this cast? AP: Well one of the things that drew me to SEE was my man Jason Momoa. We've been friends for over 10 years and when your buddy, who has blown up in the industry to mega star, so well deserved, and is still the crazy life loving man you first met, you just gotta hang with him. I was very lucky that a role came up and we got to reconnect on a working level. All of the amazing things he’s been doing for the environment has made an impact on the world. I'm proud to be his buddy. AM: As someone that has been in a number of films and TV series, are there roles that you would like to add to your body of work that you have yet to be involved? AP: I like the idea of being in a show like True Detective. I’m never the dude investigating, I'm always the dude getting in-
vestigated… lol. The first season of True Detective when it comes to character struggle and storylines are what I would love to do soon. AM: Are there upcoming projects that you have coming up that we should keep an eye out for? AP: Yes, I have one called CHAINED that will be released soon, and a Zoom movie I did during the beginning of the pandemic. It was quite the trip to shoot a whole film without shaking anyone’s hand. lol. One of the coolest parts of the movie is an acting legend that signed on. Can’t wait to share it. We have to keep it hush hush, but check back to with me and I'll tell you when I can. And as we are having this interview, I’m in Atlanta shooting a very exciting project; that’s another one I can’t wait to share with the world when I'm allowed too. Eeeeek. It’s killing me! AM: Tell me about your film studio in Winnipeg as this sounds like such a great thing for the industry. AP: Winnipeg is my home town. I cut my teeth in the industry there. Not only do they have amazing talent but it’s a hot spot for shooting in Canada, and one of the best tax credits in North America. The locations and the crew are top notch. Our team (Eric Mark, Bill Sarine) feel really strongly that we can contribute to the industry there in a big way. It’s definitely an exciting project. AM: What is a general week like in terms of your workout? AP: A good week of workouts is 5 or 6 days a week. 2 or 3 days doing HITT training switched with 2 or 3 days of boxing. If I can get 6 days a week in I feel like I accomplished my workout goal for the week. Also, I like to have meditation and visualization before and after my workout, and about a 15 min cool down after I workout. It helps me to stay mentally and physically on point for the day.
AM: As we have all been navigating these times, how have you been spending your time when you’re not prepping for a role or filming? AP: I do a lot of Facetime calls with my folk and friends. I want to stay connected. This pandemic has been a kick in the gut on so many levels, but as long as I can listen to music, make music, work out physically and mentally that’s a good day. Can’t wait until I can actually hug people again. lol AM: You are an advocate against bullying and have partnered up with the Canadian Red Cross’ Anti-Bullying Initiatives. How long have you been involved with this and what is your role with them? AP: My role had been more of an advocate to let people know they are not alone. They are not an island in this big world. We all have gone through tough times and there is always help. To be there and listen and so show people even though I’m a 6 foot 5 dude that boxes and is enjoying an amazing life, there are still times I need someone to talk to, to get a perspective in life, to let me know it’s ok. I think If we can give that to young people-- kids that have a hard time controlling their emotions and only react to hurting others so they don’t hurt. WE can end bullying if we just are available and are there to listen and guide-- and also be vulnerable. It’s ok to be vulnerable with people you can trust. I like to think I’m one of those people. @AleksPaun PHOTOGRAPHY | Brendan Meadows
What New Yorkers Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines New York City is committed to keeping everyone safe and healthy by ensuring that access to COVID-19 vaccines is fair and equitable. COVID-19 vaccines will likely be available for most New Yorkers by mid-2021. Some people, such as health care workers, essential workers who cannot separate from others, and older adults and other people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 can currently get vaccinated. When you get vaccinated, you are helping to protect yourself and your family and friends. You are also helping to make your community safer. We know New Yorkers care about their communities, including health care workers and small business owners. Do the vaccines work? • Two COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) have been approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In clinical studies, both vaccines were more than 94% effective at protecting participants from COVID-19. Are the vaccines safe? • Yes. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccine does not contain the virus. It teaches your body’s immune system how to fight the virus, so it can fight the virus if you are exposed to it.
• The COVID-19 vaccines have gone through large clinical studies involving tens of thousands of people of various ages, races and ethnicities. The evidence from those studies was closely reviewed by the FDA and independent organizations.
• Researchers have been working on vaccines for coronaviruses for years, so they did not start from scratch. Are there side effects? • It is normal to experience side effects after the first or second dose of the vaccine. Common side effects include soreness in the arm where you got the shot, headache, body aches, tiredness and fever. • If you have any questions or concerns, call 311 or talk to your health care provider.
• Side effects can be unpleasant, but getting vaccinated helps protect you may help protect and other New Yorkers.
THE A T H Tig E S RT O er L NA F ily K CK itch en
This month's The Art of the Snack takes us Tiger Lily Kitchen which is opened by Michelle Morgan. She tells about what we should expect when dining there as well as signature dishes. ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background and how you came to opening Tiger Lily Kitchen. MICHELLE MORGAN: I’ve been in the restaurant industry for over ten years, starting as a server and working my way up to general manager. When the restaurant I was managing closed due to the pandemic, I took some time off and went to stay with my friend in Newport, Rhode Island for the summer. I was cooking every day and that gave me the inspiration to start my own business in spite of all the uncertainty. I realized that if there was a time to change my life path, it was now so I decided to pivot and open my own food business in New York City. I grew up with and have always been drawn to Asian cuisines so I wanted to offer food that is healthy yet comforting and addresses various dietary needs. All our dishes are gluten free and many (though not all) are vegan. They can be customized with (or without) protein, including tofu, salmon, shrimp and chicken. AM: What can guests expect from the Tiger Lily Kitchen experience? MM: Our food is currently available for delivery and takeout only so I wanted to make the experience be more unique and memorable. I had a designer create a variety of stickers with Tiger Lily Kitchen’s name and logo elements that are applied to our delivery packages. This way the first thing our customers see is how fun and playful our style is – it’s all also very Instagrammable. Once they open the containers, the food is fresh, vibrant and flavorful. The recipes I’ve developed combine nourishment and comfort, and draw on various Asian cuisines. AM: When creating this menu, can you tell us about where the inspiration for your
dishes come from? MM: The inspiration for our menu comes from the food I ate growing up, as well as the desire to create dishes that are health conscious, addressing a range of dietary needs. My mother is from Hong Kong (she became a vegetarian at some point in her life) and her cooking largely inspired what I’m doing at Tiger Lily Kitchen, like utilizing the cooking techniques she taught me. Also, I grew up in New York City’s Chinatown going to Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian restaurants. I’ve always loved diverse Asian flavors and dishes so I’m combining them with what my mother taught me. AM: What are 3 signature dishes that you suggest that we should enjoy? MM: There is something for everyone on our menu, some of the most popular dishes are the stir-fried Peanut Street Noodles with crushed peanuts, snap peas, red cabbage, bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, red chiles, sesame seeds and oil, plus charred lime (you can add a protein, if you wish); the equally colorful and delicious Vegetable Summer Rolls with cabbage, mint, pickled carrots, daikon, cucumber, watermelon radishes and a miso sauce for dipping; and Koji Marinated Salmon with wild rice, shiitake mushrooms, pickled carrots, cucumbers, lime, sesame seeds and cilantro sauce. AM: What are 3 appetizers and/or desserts that we should try at Tiger Lily Kitchen? MM: I would recommend starting with our Vegetable Summer Rolls or the Chinese cabbage wrapped Steamed Veggie Rolls with sauteed shiitake mushrooms, carrots, daikon, red cabbage and Chinese broccoli that are tied with carrot ribbons and come with a vinegar dipping sauce with ginger, scallion and cilantro; Grilled Japanese Eggplant with cucumbers, watermelon radish and vin-
aigrette; or the grilled Salmon Skewers with a lime vinaigrette. AM: What are 3 drinks that you suggest? MM: All of our beverages are made in house with freshly pressed juices and herbs like the Citrus Banger with orange, ginger and Thai basil (great for the immune system!); the refreshing Pineapple with ginger and mint and Shiso Limeade. AM: What vegan, vegetarian and gluten free friendly items do you have? MM: The entire menu at Tiger Lily Kitchen is fully gluten free and very vegan friendly – with a few exceptions, most of our dishes are vegan and we do not use dairy at all. We only use ingredients from gluten free facilities and tamari soy sauce that’s gluten free. Some of the most popular are the Vegan Mushroom Pho with mushroom broth, pho noodles, Chinese broccoli, carrots, red cabbage, bean sprouts, scallions, Thai basil, chilies and lime; Kohlrabi Salad with peanut ginger dressing, sesame seeds, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, carrots, bean sprouts, scallions, peanuts and cilantro; Organic Tofu Bites with chili spiced garlic chips, sesame seeds, scallions, red chilies and tamari; the Golden Cauliflower Soup with turmeric, lemongrass and ginger finished with a swirl of Thai basil oil and Aleppo pepper or the Peanut Street Noodles I mentioned earlier. AM: During COVID-19, many restaurants have had to pivot on how they serve the guests and neighborhoods with pickups, delivery, reduce indoor dining, outdoor dining etc. – what have you been doing during this time? MM: I opened my business during COVID-19 and right now we are solely focused on takeout and delivery that’s contactless or with minimal contact. We currently have no indoor or outdoor seating but I’m looking for a brick and mortar location. @TigerLilyKitchenNYC
How to Safely Wear and Take Off a Cloth Face Covering Accessible: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
WEAR YOUR FACE COVERING CORRECTLY • • • • •
Wash your hands before putting on your face covering Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face Make sure you can breathe easily Do not place a mask on a child younger than 2
USE THE FACE COVERING TO PROTECT OTHERS • Wear a face covering to protect others in case you’re infected but don’t have symptoms • Keep the covering on your face the entire time you’re in public • Don’t put the covering around your neck or up on your forehead • Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, clean your hands
FOLLOW EVERYDAY HEALTH HABITS
• Stay at least 6 feet away from others • Avoid contact with people who are sick • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
TAKE OFF YOUR CLOTH FACE COVERING CAREFULLY, WHEN YOU’RE HOME • • • • •
Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops Handle only by the ear loops or ties Fold outside corners together Place covering in the washing machine Wash your hands with soap and water
Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, both of which should be saved for health care workers and other medical first responders.
For instructions on making a cloth face covering, see: CS 316439A 05/18/2020
Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Know the symptoms of COVID-19, which can include the following:
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing*
New loss of taste or smell
Symptoms can range from mild to severe illness, and appear 2-14 days after you are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. *Seek medical care immediately if someone has emergency warning signs of COVID-19.
• Trouble breathing • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest • New confusion
• Inability to wake or stay awake • Bluish lips or face
STOP THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS:
MAINTAIN SIX FEET OF DISTANCE All New Yorkers must wear a face covering when outside their home if unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others. New York State Executive Order No. 202.17.
6 FEET DISTANCE
Text COVID to 692-692 for real-time updates or visit nyc.gov/coronavirus. Call 311 to report harassment or discrimination. Call 888-NYC-WELL, text “WELL” to 65173 or chat online at nyc.gov/nycwell to connect with a counselor. *Messages and data rates may apply. Check your wireless provider plan for details.
ATHLEISURE LIST: NYC
MIFUNE NEW YORK MIFUNE New York launched in 2017. When dining at MIFUNE New York, one can expect a completely unique 8 course tasting menu experience from the restaurant’s talented Executive Chef tag team Yuu Shimano and Tomohiro Urata. They are known for their Japanese cuisine with a modern French flair.
medley of vegetables and seafood such as shrimp, octopus and clams, and speckled with dollops of creamy lobster aioli. The concept of omakase is incorporated within the culinary aesthetic of this restaurant. Although this term seems synonomous in American culture with sushi and is thought of as a chefs choice. At MIFUNE, this term is brought into the scope of Japanese culture and broadly means, "whatever the chef recommends."
The menu changes every single day and is completely seasonal. Inspiration comes from whatever the chefs get that day at the farmer’s market! Past examples of appetizers that have been presented include Black Angus Beef Tataki served with a ponzu sesame sauce, and Octopus Frites, served under a green bean salad tossed in a Japanese onion dressing and a roasted red pepper-yuzu kosho sauce. Mains have included Squid Ink Seafood Bouillabaisse Rice, which is topped with a
The cocktail program is curated by Shingo Gokan, who was the winner of the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail International Bartender of the Year Award. Signature cocktails, which are all cleverly named after Torisho Mifune movies, include the Oharu with Lychee-cello, Dassai 45 Nigori Sake, Grapefruit
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and Orange Blossom, and the Seven Samurai with Rye Whiskey, Aged Sake, East India, Sherry, Bitters, and Smoke.
Tataki with garlic ponzu sauce, Grilled Eggplant with ginger dashi, and Foie Gras Terrine with strawberry ginger jam and house made focaccia. We also sell raw Japanese Miyazaki Wagyu Ribeye for guests to make at home!
The menu has an array of sake for every kind of sake drinker. Whether diners are looking for something rich and bold, or clean and crisp, we have it all. Because our cuisine involves Japanese and French influences, the tasting menu is well-paired with both wine and sake.
MIFUNE NEW YORK 245 E 44th St NY, NY 10017 www.mifune-restaurant.com
For those who are looking to eat-in, MIFUNE currently has outdoor seating on their patio, which includes four private bubble tents. They offer their eight course tasting menu for $120 per person which changes daily. For those looking to do pickup/delivery, they have a Friday-only, 18-course tasting menu, which serves two or three people for $130. Select dishes include Beef Issue #62 | Feb 2021
@mifunenewyork PHOTOS COURTESY | MIFUNE New York
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Stay connected and follow us across our social channels on @AthleisureMag!
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1 in 4 kids may face hunger because of the coronavirus.
With schools closed and parents’ paychecks cut, countless children in America don’t know where their next meal is coming from. You can help feed them during this crisis, and in the recovery to come. Find out how you can help at NoKidHungry.org
BingelyBooks Recipes include Roti Pizza, Tomato Rice with Crispy Cheddar, Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Green Pea Chutney, and Malaysian Ramen. All of these dishes came from her mother, Ritu who taught herself how to cook when she moved to the United States. She wanted to create dishes that reminded her of her home while also being blended with items she enjoyed in her global travels. This cookbook also includes stories from Priya that bring these recipes to life as well as having illustrations by noted Desi pop artist, Maria Qamar.
THE DOUBLE HAPPINESS COOKBOOK: 88 FEEL GOOD RECIPES AND FOOD STORIES Figure 1 Publishing Trevor Lui
INDIAN-ISH: RECIPES AND ANTICS FROM A MODERN AMERICAN FAMILY Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Priya Krishna
Priya is a regular contributor to the New York Times as a food writer and her cookbook, Indian-ish is an approachable cookbook that focuses on Indian American recipes that you can enjoy. In addition to an array of dishes, we learn how Priya's mother created hybrid dishes that are easy to make and filled with flavor. AthleisureMag.com
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When it comes to global food mecca cities, Toronto is one of them and is known for its multicultural community. This city nurtured Trevor Lui to leave his corporate job and to create a number of dishes that became coveted including his Taiwanese fried chicken as well as his Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. In Double Happiness, Trevor takes the reader on a culinary journey that takes you to the kitchen of a family restaurant Issue #62 | Feb 2021
Vanessa Price shares how we can go about pairing our meals and the science behind them. With a no judgment approach, she illustrates throughout the book with engaging stories and why the pairings provided works. She even shares her own story in how a girl from Kentucky, came to NY and made her place within the wine world.
and continued through the inspiration of the culinary scenes of Toronto, LA, New York and Taiwan. Recipes that are worth noting include BBQ pork on rice, bulgogi, beef tostadas, sweet chili cauliflower wings and ramen with L.A. Kalbi.
BIC MACS & BURGUNDY: WINE PAIRINGS FOR THE REAL WORLD Harry N. Abrams Vanessa Price
In the spirit of proper adulting, we've always looked into appropriate pairings when it comes to enjoying your favorite meals. Typically, most sites will let you know what pairs well with steak, fish and other meals; however, we have always felt that wine can be paired with a number of our favorite eats - including some of our spluge dishes and other kinds of tasty treats. Issue #62 | Feb 2021
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BingelyStreaming Behind Her Eyes is a psychological thriller that takes dreaming, love triangles and the sins of the past to new levels. We're introduced to 3 main characters whose lives are intertwined in a way that even they don't completely understand. This limited series is filled with twists and turns and is defintiely worth paying attention to so that you don't miss the clues.
FLACK Amazon We all have a celebrity that we enjoy catching up with as we scroll through our social feeds. It's interesting to see what they're up to. FLACK looks at the world of celebrity through the lens of PR and specifically, Crisis Management. We follow Robyn, an American who works at a British firm who ensure that their clients navigate their messy lives. In each episode of the first season, we see the firm spring into action at each disaster that comes their way. In addition to watching how they're able to keep their clients from completly spinning out of control, we see that their lives are just as messy and complicated as the ones that they are trying to take care of.
BEHIND HER EYES Netflix Original Series Netflix Last holiday, we all heard how there will be at least 1 new movie or series brought to Netflix. Since we're all navigating being at home and staying entertained, we suggest this very bingeable show that is based on the book of the same name. AthleisureMag.com
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The balancing act of celebrites misbehaving and juggling their own lives make this an easy season to watch while we wait for the 2nd season to come to the platform later this year.
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WELCOME TO YOUR FANTASY
share how it all went down and where things began to take a turn.
Pineapple Street + Gimlet Spotify Chippendales is part of our pop culture lexicon. Whether you have attended a show or not, you're familiar with this male revue that took the industry by storm. Welcome to Your Fantasy is a podcast that explores the origins of this well known show, how it took elements from the Playboy Bunnies and how they were able to create and tweak a show that resonated with viewers. This is only part of the story as episodes peel back the layers of the founders, greed, treachery and ultimately a murder! First hand accounts by the dancers and others who worked for this show, Issue #62 | Feb 2021
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