5 Levels of True Friendship Listen Up! 5 Songs to Help You Become Your Best Self
Rhona & Dale Together Again! Mouseketeer Alums On the All New Mickey Mouse Clubâ€™s 30th Anniversary Reunion
Actor & Producer Jamal Johnson On Black Representation In Hollywood
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APRIL 2019 Editor’s Note Hello Bronze Beauties! Spring has sprung! I love the changing of the seasons and the new possibilities it brings. It’s like transitioning from the heavy winter layers we wear for months to a much lighter, brighter version of clothing that doesn’t weigh us down. The spring gives us a chance for a fresh start and a new outlook on everything. I’ve already started cleaning house, both internally and externally – planting new seeds, airing things out and taking care of self. How do you take advantage of this transformative time of the year? Cover Credits:
Photographer: Yasmine Kateb @yasminekateb Makeup artist: Mila Thomas @makeupbymila Dale’s Grooming: Alaina Marie Egger Represented by Michelle Q Beauty. @alainamariemakeup @michelleqbeauty FOUNDER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Shawn Stuldivant CO-OWNER Barry Stuldivant GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Alexandra Zabludoff Casey Blackman WRITERS Patrica Rivers Arcadia Smith Ariel Swopes Kiara Timo
We have yet another amazing issue to share with you this month, and for the first time in the history of our digital editions, we have a cover star duo! Yes, we are honored to have both Rhona Bennett of R&B group En Vogue and actor/producer Dale Godboldo grace our cover together. What makes this pairing even more special is the reason they have come together- to celebrate the Mickey Mouse Club’s 30th Anniversary Reunion in which Dale serves as an executive producer. The two both began their careers as Mousketeers on the All New Mickey Mouse Club in the 90s. In an exclusive interview, the duo reflects on their time as Mousketeers and what the reunion means to them. If you want to feel uplifted, you’ll want to read their interview. And be sure to read all the other inspiring articles and interviews in this issue as well. As always, happy reading and I look forward to seeing you again in the next issue!
xoxo, n Shaw nt a v i d Stul
Cover Stars: Dale Godboldo and Rhona Bennett
Inspiration: 5 Songs to Help You Become Your Best Self
10. Feature: Actor & Producer Jamal Johnson 12. 5 Levels of True Friendship 14. Feature: Head Mixtress of Fortifyâ€™d Naturals Tracy Gilbourne 24. Feature: Influencer, Speaker & Author Ebony English 30. Feature: Author Latoya Wiley
Photo Credits: Photographer: Yasmine Kateb @yasminekateb Makeup artist: Mila Thomas @makeupbymila Daleâ€™s Grooming: Alaina Marie Egger Represented by Michelle Q Beauty. @alainamariemakeup @michelleqbeauty
5 Songs to Help You Become Your Best Self Article Author: Ariel Swopes Article Designer: Casey Blackman
You can almost always find all the uplifting and relief you need through listening to music. Keep these five songs in your playlist always to remind yourself you are strength, worthy, and beautiful just the way you are. 6
1.How to love yourself 101.
Listen to “Video” by India Arie.
2.Black women hair is a display of pride, and
self being. Listen to “Don’t Touch My Hair” by Solange Knowles to feel the depth of your own individuality as a black woman.
3.Embrace your individuality.
Listen to “ I like that” by Janelle Monae.
Listen to “Cranes In The Sky” by Solange Knowles.
5.Uplift yourself by listening to
“Just Fine” by Mary J. Bliges
Jamal Johnson Wants to Challenge How Hollywood Portrays Black Actors Interview by Farren Washington Article Design by Casey Blackman
Multi-talented actor and producer Jamal Johnson is making his mark on Hollywood in a big way. Johnson recently received much acclaim for his role as Devon in the award-winning short film “2 Wrongs,” directed by Andy Cruz. “2 Wrongs” tells the story of a single father with a dark past, who dreams of creating a better life for his young daughter. The fresh, and groundbreaking work touches on many of the societal issues of today such as: single parenting, racial profiling, bullying, and most importantly the film’s title, ‘Do 2 Wrongs make a right?’ The film has won several awards including Award of Merit- Accolade Global Film Competition, Special Jury Award & Official Selection -World Film Fair New York, Best Dramatic Short Film- Blastoff 2018 and Official Selection-SOUQ Film Festival 2018. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Communications, Johnson moved to New York to study acting at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. He also holds a master’s degree in Sports and Fitness Management from The University of San Francisco. His professional resume includes several domestic and international commercials and print capaigns for Pepsi, Sprite, Coca Cola, Gatorade, Direct TV, theatre, voiceover work, TV shows for The CW and CBS as well as multiple short and feature films. Johnson is an advocate of living a fit and healthy lifestyle and has introduced this way of life to several of his friends and associates, which include other actors, professional athletes and top executives. He received a black belt in Karate from the Shinjimasu International Karate Association in 2001 and competed in several martial arts tournaments across the country from 2000-2004.
In this interview, we cover everything from his favorite films and acting style, to his feelings on black representation in Hollywood. What made you want to become an actor? My love for the dramatic arts began at a young age. I attended a progressive independent school, where I got cast as the lead in a bunch of school plays, and from then on, my future as an actor was pretty much cemented. Describe your character in “2 Wrongs.” What was it like working with director Andy Cruz? My character Devon has been through some hard times in his life. Some bad decisions made early on led to him having to face the repercussions of his actions, but now he has a second chance at life and being a father. This was my second time collaborating with Andy Cruz. He is a truly gifted writer and director, which is one of the reasons why he’s been employed by Netflix for the past 5 years. What drew you to this script in particular? The story pulled me in to the script. I felt like I could truly relate to this character being a single father myself at one point in my life, and I felt an obligation to bring Devon to life. If you weren’t an actor, what career path would you have chosen (and why)? I’d definitely be an entrepreneur. I am a creative soul at heart, and being an entrepreneur allows you to be innovative in whatever business endeavor you are undertaking. What were the first films that made an impression on you? As a child, ET for the story of friendship. Boyz In the Hood, for the true to life situations in that film that were relatable to the time I grew up in. The Red Violin as an adolescent, for the authentic cultural story of music, love, desire, passion and ownership. As an adult, my current project “2 Wrongs” for the modern-day topics it addresses, such as police brutality and bullying.
“I “I felt felt an an obligation obligation to to bring bring Devon Devon to to life.” life.”
What advice would you give your younger self? Stay on the path and to never venture away from the ultimate goal. It’s difficult being an actor, and because of some initial struggles in the beginning, I stepped away for a while to re-discover myself. Doing that delayed my career. I would tell my younger self to never stray from the path no matter how difficult things get, because there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. What have you learned about yourself since you became a celebrity? I wouldn’t consider myself a celebrity. I’m just a regular guy that enjoys transforming into someone else for personal enjoyment and enjoyment of the audience. When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your craft? Setbacks always have an effect to some extent, but I’ve learned to just roll with the punches and not let it hinder me too much. Describe your acting style. I would consider myself a method actor and studied under multiple coaches utilizing the Meisner technique. What would be your dream role? I don’t have a dream role per say, I am just attracted to specific roles that challenge me as an actor.
What actors/directors would you be interested in collaborating with in the future? I would love to work alongside amazing actors such as Mahershala Ali, Ryan Gosling and Sofia Boutella. For directors, Ryan Coogler, Jordan Peele or J.J. Abrams.
How are you feeling about representation in Hollywood? Do you think that we’re in a renaissance moment for blackfilmmaking in America? Can you tell me one favorite I think it’s great that we’re humorous story from your acting seeing more projects nowacareer? days that highlight the black I once did a self-tape audition for the experience and blacks in role of a serial killer and got a powerful roles, and I dig it. callback for it. At the callback, I Black Panther is a timeless brought a real knife and pulled it out work of art that I don’t mind for one of my scenes. I scared the watching over and over. True crap out of the casting directors. cinematic excellence. Talk about getting too much into character! How do you personally want
to change or challenge Hollywood with your work? There needs to be more opportunities for people of color. They are still far and few in between. It would be amazing if someone in Hollywood created a minority film fund to which all studios and donors could contribute 1-3% of their film profits towards. Minority filmmakers could apply to receive a grant from these funds to give them a chance to bring their creations (short and feature films) to life.
“Never “Never stray stray from from the the path path no no matter matter how how difficult difficult things things get.” get.”
5 Levels of True Friendship Article: Ariel Swopes Article Design: Casey Blackman
True friendship is important to have because we all need someone to lean on sometimes. The definition of friendship becomes simpler when you become the friend you want to attract. Understanding what makes a friendship authentic is key. Here are a few components of a healthy friendship.
1. Honesty-Having a friend that agrees with you just because you are their friend is not healthy. Real friends should be able to voice their opinion even if it’s not the response you were looking for. Being honest is key to a solid foundation.
2. Support-Support your friends by any means necessary. Share their
business post, send them words of encouragement, if you can’t make an event send a quick text or make a call expressing how proud you are of them. Support is more than just spending money on a product or item. Its showing that you care about the growth and wellbeing of your friend.
3. Compassion-Show your friend that you care. Ask about their wellbeing,
and mental state. Make sure you check in on them even when everything seems to be ok. Sometimes your strongest friend is in need of mental support the most. Listen to your friend, let them know you are there for them.
4. Growth-Understand your friend is an individual, which means growth is
necessary. Don’t be so quick to assume the worse about your friendship if you notice your friend may become a little busier. When working on personal goals it requires time, effort, and dedication. Understand that it’s ok if your friend is not your business partner in everything you set out to do.
5. Loyalty-Loyalty is everything.
Be devoted to your friends, do not disrespect them. Set boundaries, and do for your friends out of love, not expectation.
Be the friend you’ve always wanted and once you get it value it wholeheartedly.
Meet the Boss of formulations: “Head Mixtress” of Fortify’d Naturals, Tracy Goulbourne
Interview by Arcadia Smith Article Design by Casey Blackman
She came, she saw, she concured,and she’s not stopping there. Versed with a career history to include financial analyst, nursing, and cosmetology, she proves there really isn’t anything you can’t do. Add wife and mom to those, and you have your modern day super woman! I was lucky enough for her to take some time and share with me how she single handedly turned a sitution into success, challenged change, and dared to turn a dream into a realty. Like no other brand out on the market, she’s bringing an explosive change to the hair care game. What she reveals in this interview proves to be the cure-all for any natural hair woes that exisit. Once you learn how she’s accomplished all of this and continues her success, you’ll join me in saying she’s the true definition of “every woman.”
Name: Tracy Goulbourne Who she is: Founder, Creator, and CEO of “Fortify’d Naturals” What she’s doing: Changing the hair care game through her #hydrateyourcurlscampaign Q.) I’m already intrigued when I hear the title “Head Mixtress?” Who is the “Head Mixtress?” and what does this mean? A.) The Title “Head Mixtress” is in a way a play on HNIC. “Head Mixtress” is a way of titling myself the Boss of Formulations. Q.) I’m loving your blue hair! The shade compliments you so well. What’s the meaning behind it, and how often can we catch you sporting this hue? A.) Thank you. I don’t wear blue hair all the time. My Hair is currently red. I literally just go with whatever I may be feeling at the moment. Q.) How important is self-expression to you? A.) Self-expression means everything to me. I’ve spent so many years conforming to the way society believes one should look to be in certain positions and now that I don’t have to answer to anyone. I am myself every single day, and being myself means that I’m ever changing. I’ve come to a place in my life where I realize that if I were to “find myself,” then I’m actually limiting my growth. You can see my mood in what I’m wearing or how I’m wearing my hair, and it changes quite often, but it’s my way of expressing the different layers of what makes me, me. Q.) “Fortify’d Naturals,” Who is this product for, and who does it speak to? A.) “Fortify’d Naturals” products are for all-natural women, men, boys and girls of color; no matter their hair texture or Curl type. It was important to me that no one was left out and that I wasn’t just creating something for an isolated group of naturals because our hair is the first thing people see when they look at us, and we should all feel and look beautiful. Q.) I love the name “Fortify’d Naturals,” It’s very edgy, creative, and really speaks for itself. Natural hair comes with its own integrity, and to have a product that promises to fortify that is appealing and sparks interest. How did you come up with the name? A.) To be honest, I actually dreamt the name Fortified and when I woke up, I immediately looked up the word and it meant to “provide a defense” and “to strengthen, like a small army.” After that, I knew it would be the name of the brand. But I wanted to add some flair to it and decided to spell it “Fortify’d.” Q.) When people hear the brand name “Fortify’d Naturals,” what is it that you want them to automatically know or associate with the brand? A.) When people hear the name “Fortify’d Naturals,” the first thing I want them to think of is.... the products that makes everyone’s hair soft and SHINY. Q.) “Fortify’d Naturals” is definitely changing the hair care game. One way of doing this is through its current campaign. Tell me what exactly is the #HydrateYourCurls campaign, and how is it changing the game of hair care? A.) Most products build their brands on moisture when in fact, a moisturizing ingredient is something that seals the strand. This is the reason that so many naturals struggle with dry hair. The campaign “Hydrate Your Curls” is a way of bringing awareness that moisture and hydration are totally different; and unless the product can penetrate the strand on a molecular level (Hydration), then there is no way to have the hair that they are longing for. Q.) You talk about how being “natural” is supposed to be a liberating and freeing experience. Many naturals find it very difficult to manage and care for their hair in its natural state. Many have been relaxed as children; and it’s rough learning to deal with your hair in a way you never have before. How does “Fortify’d Naturals” change this misconception or experience? A.) Firstly, when Your hair is hydrated, it naturally becomes pliable and the strand actually relaxes making the wash day process much easier. One can get through the process in an hour or less as opposed to working on their hair for hours at a time or in some cases, an entire day. Because the ingredients penetrate the strand, it only takes 20 minutes for the deep conditioner to thoroughly do its job, (providing there isn’t much buildup on the strand) so it takes the struggle out of being natural. It also allows naturals to skip the pre-pooing step which is actually a way of hydrating the strand before washing and conditioning; so not only are they going to save time, but money as well since oils to pre-poo can be pricey.
Q.) More and more products are becoming available to the natural hair market. It can be really overwhelming for a lot of us at times. What is it about “Fortify’d Naturals” that makes it the best choice? A.) What makes “Fortify’d Naturals” the best choice is the fact that we use high quality vegan certified ingredients that actually penetrate the hair strand; and offer long lasting hydration without leaving any build up on the strand ever. Each product also addresses many of the things that naturals find as a challenge from breakage, to slow growth, to preventing grey hair; not to mention, there are ingredients that are anti-fungal, and antibacterial to sooth and repair the scalp as well. Lastly, we use an ingredient in our products that combats hard water. Hard water is actually one of the reasons that naturals suffer with dry hair because the calcium deposits builds up on the strand which can prevent product penetration. About 80% of the country has hard water. Q.) You seem to be big on educating your customers as well as providing solutions for them...truly a woman after my own heart! How important is education to the connection you make between “Fortify’d Naturals” and its consumers? A.) I feel that educating my customers is more valuable than actually providing them with product. When people know better, they do better, and the way a person looks is crucial in this society so knowing how to achieve healthy hair helps a lot. Understanding ingredients also helps the consumer to understand how to shop or how to determine whether a product will live up to what it says simply by reading the ingredients. Q.) In skincare, I often have to explain the difference between dehydrated and dry skin. You speak to this when discussing moisture and hydration. What is the difference between the two and the roles they play in haircare? A.) A moisturizing ingredient is intended to seal in water and smooth the strand. Once the water evaporates from the strand, hair goes back to its dry state, and that process happens quite quickly. Also, the same element used to sooth the strand is now actually suffocating the strand as it builds up and doesn’t adequately allow penetration of ingredients that are able to penetrate the strand. Hydration is different. A hydrating ingredient possesses molecules that are small enough to actually penetrate the strand, and is not solely dependent on water. Once an oil and water fusion has penetrated the strand, it remains in the strand for up to a week and even reactivates with a spritz of water. It doesn’t build up and suffocate the strand or the scalp like a moisturizing ingredient can. Q.) Tell me more about your decision for a career change. It seems so easy for one to do this when things might not be going so well career wise; but you were very successful in the finance industry. At what point did you decide a career change was definite, and was it at all scary for you?
A.) Changing careers was very scary for me, but necessary. I began having this overwhelming feeling that I was wasting my life and started to feel bad because everything I was doing in my life was for myself and my family. I needed to seek purpose instead of money, which was when I decided to pursue nursing; which basically led me here because it was what I learned there accompanied with my study of cosmetology that made any of this possible. Today, I feel fulfilled and I know every day that I’m helping someone. Q.) Do you have any advice for those who might be juggling the idea of an extreme career change? A.) My advice is to save as much money as possible and just take the leap. Follow your heart and fulfill the desire for change. The universe has a strange way of putting you exactly where you belong if you just listen and follow the signs that are pushing you toward change. Q.) I love the way you took control of your situation as a beauty consumer and made the circumstances work in your favor. You really turned your dilemma into an opportunity. You could have easily turned to online shopping, since retailers didn’t cater to your demographic. How did living in an area with no accessibility to more ethnic products motivate you to take matters into your own hands? A.) Beauty is very important to me. I feel like my hand was kind of forced. I had a new born baby at the time, and was in a place that was foreign to me and needed to figure out how to get my hair right. I also didn’t want to go back to relaxers so I did the next best thing and used what I knew to first identify the issue that the ingredients in most products had no ability to penetrate the strand; and then figured out how to remedy the problem, and “Fortify’d Naturals” was born.
I’m so impressed! The only thing left for me to do now is to make my purchase! I for one can appreciate the efficacy of “Fortify’d Naturals,” and can even more appreciate you making it accessible to us all in both price and availability. I wish you all the blessings and continued success as you attain all of your goals for “Fortify’d Naturals” this year.
R & B Legend Rhona Bennett of En Vogue and Actor, Philanthropist and Producer Dale Godboldo Come Together for the 30th Anniversary of The All New Mickey Mouse Club Interview by Patrice Rivers Article Design by Casey Blackman Photographer: Yasmine Kateb @yasminekateb Makeup artist: Mila Thomas @makeupbymila Dale’s Grooming: Alaina Marie Egger Represented by Michelle Q Beauty. @alainamariemakeup @michelleqbeauty
Rhona Bennett is not only one third part of the classic group En Vogue, but an aspiring personal life coach who motivates and encourages people from different walks of life. Her early beginnings were as a Mouseketeer with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears and Ryan Gosling. She has also made several appearances on The Jamie Foxx show and the original Lifetime Television movie, “An En Vogue Christmas” along with her bandmates Terry Ellis and Cindy Herron-Braggs. The multi-talented entertainer is now focusing on her brand and the latest album with En Vogue called “The Electric Café.” Dale Godboldo is an actor, entrepreneur and producer who has a big heart for helping others. He is the founder of Always in the Club which is a representation of The Mickey Mouse Club, where he began his career as a teen in the All New’ Mickey Mouse Club. Among other countless television and film appearances, Godboldo starred in 2016 as ‘Dream Team’ attorney Carl E. Douglas on Ryan Murphy’s “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.” Both Rhona and Dale are participating in the Mickey Mouse Club’s 30th Anniversary Reunion, which is being held on May 17th-19th in Orlando. Godboldo is co-executive producer of the reunion and *NSYNC’s Joey Fatone, who is a childhood friend of the Mouseketeers, will be hosting. Mouseketeers from all seven seasons of the show will be in attendance and interacting with fans, supporters, family and friends.
BRONZE MAGAZINE: HOW DID YOU GET CAST
ON THE ALL NEW’ MICKEY MOUSE CLUB?”
RHONA: Well, I think Dale came in like myself; through the casting call. So basically, they did a casting call for those who felt they could make the cut or take their shot. They did this all around the country and I guess, all fifty states. So, kids came out from everywhere and we went through a series of auditions until we got to Los Angeles, which was the final audition camp. Dale and I somehow made the cut.
also had comedy sketches and we recorded an album with the Mickey Mouse Club, which was the very first album I recorded. We also traveled and performed for a lot of families at the USO bases. We had a really diverse experience.
DALE: And to piggyback off that, you’re talking about almost thirty years ago; we did a whole live concert about the environment way before anyone was talking about global warming. They sent me to Costa Rica to do a mini segment of the rain forest. We did a whole one-hour segment on race relations and racism. It was DALE: A lot of people don’t know this, but they saw a very socially conscious show. We had all these kids 100,000 kids over the course of the seven seasons. I from all walks of life, race and religion to come talk believe the round Rhona and I were in, there were about things that mattered on the show. Like somewhere between 20,000 or 30,000 alone. They Rhona said, for hall of fame day we spotlighted ordicame to Dallas where I lived and I heard it on the radio. My mom asked did I wanted to go and I said sure, nary young people doing extraordinary things around the country. So that’s what was truly unique about the I was just looking for a job. I just started off acting experience, I think above and beyond the performanclocally, so I went in and they plucked me; I believe I es and stuff. I think a lot of that seeped into who we was the only one from Dallas. And then, like Rhona said, they had the last of the audition camps in L.A., in are today. which they flew us out for three days of auditioning, RHONA: We developed incredible work ethic. We dancing, singing and acting. And then, something like did five shows a week. We weren’t in regular school, three or five months later, they called and told me but they fit it into our schedules. I went to Alaska to that I got the part. do a special on a glacier. What an experience! They BRONZE MAGAZINE:THE ORIGINAL SERIES OF did provide a wealth of experience at a young age. THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB STARTED BACK IN 1955,THEN IT RELAUCHED AGAIN IN THE 90’S. WHEN DID YOU GUYS COME ON THE SCENE? DALE: The show premiered in 1989 and Rhona and I hadn’t joined the cast yet. We joined about three years later in season four. Then, Keri Russell of “The Americans” came on board with us and Justin Timberlake of *NSYNC and Tony Lucca of The Voice joined as well… and so many others. Then, two years later they had another round of auditions and that’s when Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling, and Christina Aguilera came aboard. BRONZE MAGAZINE: AS FAR AS THE SHOW ITSELF, WHAT WAS IT REALLY ABOUT? WHAT TYPE OF ACTIVITIES DID YOU GUYS DO? RHONA: It was really like a variety show. We did a little bit of everything. To me it was like a performing arts school on steroids. We had five-camera dance numbers, we had videos, we interviewed the celebrities at that time, we had hall of fame day where we invited people like Jesse Jackson and other leaders in the community to come and speak with us. We
RHONA: I want to say a special thank-you to Chasen and Dale for taking the lane for putting something of this magnitude together. I think I can speak on every behalf of the Mouseketeers, every family member that’s going to be able to take advantage of this experience, so many of the fans are so ecstatic about coming together. DALE: I told Tony Lucca that the production is easy, I just hope that these Mouseketeers show up. I must thank ALL the Mouseketeers and Joey Fatone, who will be the host. Joey literally grew up with us. He was literally there, he was in the audience, we went to high school together; he was right there. BRONZE MAGAZINE: WHAT TYPE OF ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS WILL BE GOING ON AT THE REUNION IN FLORIDA?
BRONZE MAGAZINE: DALE YOU WILL BE AN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF THE 30TH REUNION OF THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT. DALE: So, Chasen Hampton from the show called me and said, look, it’s the 30th anniversary of the debut episode coming up; let’s get the band back together because if we’re going to do it, now is the time to do it. We talked about making 100 percent of the profits go to charity, so we looped in my 501 c3 International Arts and Philanthropy Foundation to serve as the fiscal sponsor and producer of the event. Chasen and I have been planning for a year and reached out to the Mouseketeers. Rhona was actually one of our first calls. We just plugged away for a long time, we announced it, put some tickets on sale with 100 percent of the profits going to One Pulse Foundation and their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, which was a big part of what the Mickey Mouse Club was about, and Give Kids the World Village for critically ill children and their families to enjoy Disney World. Then Disney called about doing this together. We formulated a partnership, a collaboration I should say, that has been extraordinary.
DALE: Oh man! It’s really two extraordinary days of celebration. We’re doing our historic cast reunion at MegaCon, which is going to be crazy. It seats like 100,000 people and Joey is going to moderate that epic historic reunion. This is the only time that all Mouseketeers from all seven seasons have been in the same place. We are going to be doing a reunion panel there, autograph signings and meet and greets with the fans. Then that night, Disney is producing an epic celebration of music and fundraising, spotlighting our charitable partners and featuring Lindsey Alley’s one woman show, Blood, Sweat and Mouseketears. Lindsey is only one of three Mouseketeers that has been on all seven seasons and her show takes you on the journey of being a Mouseketeer. She’s hilarious, one of the funniest people I know. It’s going to be an epic after party, with fireworks and dinner. We will be playing songs we did on the show from the 90’s with the live band. Saturday night is going to be ridiculous. Then Sunday morning at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, we’re doing Soul Sunday. We haven’t announced the details of that yet. Nobody is better to explain the spirit of that morning than Rhona. See, Rhona is a life coach and I will say it loud and proud that when I’ve had difficult times, it was Rhona that has helped me where I needed to be. Preach on Rhona, tell them about the spirit of Soul Sunday.
Running into what could have been considered a serious road block in my career and thinking that I would have to switch it up. Wondering what other way I could have been a purpose to the world and have some level of contribution that also brought me joy, because I refused to be unhappy. It was one of the things that people told me I was pretty good at, giving advice to people whether it be a family member, a friend or a stranger. It wasn’t until I ran into that proverbial wall that I went ahead and put some structure behind it while I was helping myself, so I decided to help other people and it has grown since then. That started in 2010. I now have an online university that services people globally that I’m proud of and I hope to bring some of the essence and spirit of that foundation to Soul Sunday. It’s going to be an amazing day. We got music coming from Tony Lucca who was also a coach in his own right Jennifer McGill who is an inspirational singer and speaker, Blain Carson will also be performing, and we have other Mouseketeers who will either be singing or performing. We’ve got some really cool things planned for icebreakers and just getting the whole room involved. Hopefully, by the time people leave, they will feel like they’ve had a breakthrough and not only that but make connections with people that they did not anticipate because of the activities we will be putting into the day. We are also going to be doing an awesome Q &A with the fans. I just spoke with one of the Mouseketeers recently about something we would like to discuss, our gratitude towards the people who have helped us sustain these careers over thirty years. It’s going to be powerful and inspirational and hopefully this is something that people will walk away from feeling empowered. BRONZE MAGAZINE: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLANNING THE REUNION? DALE: Well, Chasen had it in his mind well over a year ago, maybe about two years. I got involved about a year ago, maybe a little over a year. We just recently announced Rhona a couple of weeks ago. BRONZE MAGAZINE: HOW OFTEN ARE THE REUNIONS? DALE: This is actually the first one. We did a little mini reunion about seven or eight years ago in L.A. Our buddy Tony Lucca was a finalist on “The Voice.” There were about a dozen Mouseketeers that hap-
pened to live in L.A. so we launched Always in the Club, which is a promotional partner of this event, at a viewing party for the finale episode. Rhona came out, and about another ten or eleven Mouseketeers came out. It was a little mini reunion. But this one coming up is the first epic reunion from all seven seasons and it’ll be a minute before we’ll do it again, if ever. BRONZE MAGAZINE: WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION/MOTIVATION BEHIND ALWAYS IN THE CLUB FOUNDATION? DALE: Oh, that is very dear to my heart. The inspiration was the Mickey Mouse Club which is why we named it Always in the Club because once in the club, always in the club. It was the time where I understood the power of community service, as I got older, I recognized the impact mentorship had on me. The education I had on the show was unique. I learned the importance of diversity and friendships.
BRONZE MAGAZINE: BESIDES THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB AND THE 30TH REUNION COMING UP, WHAT CURRENT PROJECTS ARE THE TWO OF YOU WORKING ON? RHONA: For myself, I am one third of the R&B singing group En Vogue, so we do a lot of traveling and gigging all over the world. We just released an album last year called “The Electric Café,” with two singles off the album that did exceptionally well. “Rocket” was in the top ten. We are just currently continuing to tour and support the record as well as just the brand. Then for me as a coach, I’m always launching rounds of transformation, which always last for twelve weeks. If people want to check that out, they can go to www.rhonabennett.com . I’ve got five mini books and a sixth one coming out with a partner from Amsterdam. I’m developing a virtual coaching program that I hope to have out by the summer. DALE: Most recently I was proud to executive produce the first of a franchise of films called The Final Wish, which is part of multiple films developed and produced under the creator of the Final Destination franchise. That came out in January and it did really well in theaters. I’ve also been producing The City Gala for six years on the weekend of the Oscars. We are in our fifth year and we raised a lot of money for startup charitable organizations. I have a couple of acting projects that haven’t come out yet that will be on Netflix. BRONZE MAGAZINE: YOU GUYS ARE DOING SOME AMAZING THINGS. NOW RHONA,TO PIGGYBACK OFF OF YOU, I KNOW YOU’VE HAD SOME SOLO ALBUMS OUT BEFORE, ARE YOU STILL WORKING ON YOUR OWN MUSIC? RHONA: At the moment I’m focused on En Vogue music, but I do know that I’m getting ready to put together an inspirational EP that speaks to my brand. We will be doing some music in connection to that.
Straight Outta Alcoholism: Ebony English Shares Story On Past Addiction Article: Patrice Rivers Article Design: Alexandra Zabludoff
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a way to decrease stigma and misunderstandings while increasing education to spread advocacy about this deadly disease among Americans. Many teens and adults suffer from alcoholism, so it is important that they get the help they need. Take a chapter out of this South Carolina native’s book, who has experienced the worst, having struggled with alcoholism in her past. Ebony K. English is “Straight Outta Alcoholism” and sitting pretty on her throne of sobriety! Ebony K. English is a Baseball Mom, Influencer, Speaker, and Author. A class of 2002 graduate of Columbia High School, and a true southern girl born, bred and cornbread fed in Columbia, South Carolina. Growing up, Ebony struggled to find her place in the crowd, and always felt like the underdog. At a very young age she battled with insecurities including anger, resentment and a broken heart due to the absence of her biological father. In an attempt to fill her fatherless void, she often found herself suffering in silence and using alcohol as a coping mechanism. After twelve years of alcohol dependency she was delivered from alcoholism in January of 2015 and has since transferred all dependency to God; our one true healer. Turning pain into purpose, she is now a voice for silent sufferers. As a Mindset Recovery Coach, she inspires women to live their lives on purpose and declare victory over the battle of alcoholism and other addictions.
Battling with Alcoholism Ebony wanted to escape from life, to escape the reality and live in the fantasy. In crowds, she always felt unnoticed or like she was left out. Drinking always seemed to calm Ebony and when she noticed that she started consuming three and four bottles of wine a night, it was time for a change. “Alcohol gave me the liquid courage to act out and say things that I would never say or do sober. In drinking, I didn’t have to apologize after completely humiliating myself. I could just say “I was drunk, blame it on the alcohol” and most of the time that was acceptable. I suffered in silence and was never really up front about how bad my drinking had become,” stated English. What led Ebony to Alcohol was becoming a fatherless daughter at a young age. It left a void in her life which turned to anger, led to insecurities and resentment. Can you imagine a young girl looking into the mirror and thinking she isn’t good enough? She was the type of girl to seek attention from anyone, especially from the opposite sex. “When I reached the age of fourteen, I became sexually active, however after each act; I would always end up feeling ashamed of my actions. By the time I graduated high school, I felt worthless and as if my life would never amount to anything,” said English.
Her Breaking Point
Her mother never told her she was good enough or said she wasn’t good enough. Having no one to believe in her led Ebony to drinking. She fell in love with being intoxicated at the age of nineteen. Even though she wasn’t in love with the taste, she loved how it temporarily took the pain away. She became the life of every party she attended and could out drink anyone and got the attention she desperately craved.
Ebony finally looked over her past life as an alcoholic and realized it was time to make a complete change. On January 23, 2015 she went to an event to support one of her friends only to find herself taking shot after shot after shot. After she left the venue, Ebony picked up her son and went home. She didn’t have the strength to move and had vomited all over her bedroom floor. At that moment Ebony told herself “Enough is enough,” She realized she didn’t want her son to have those types of memories of his mom being an alcoholic. She hasn’t had a drink of alcohol since that very moment. >> APRIL 2019
Her Next Steps: “I isolated myself from family functions and community events this time because my “No” was not strong enough. I started to journal and dig deeper into why I was drinking so much. I started to have very honest conversations with myself about the feelings and thoughts that I had been running from for years. I had to stop playing the blaming game and come face to face with the woman in the mirror. I had to confront the things I allowed to dwell in my heart and on my mind past their expiration dates,” stated English. Once she realized that not only she was battling with a mind-altering substance, Ebony trained her subconscious mind to believe in her sobriety. It started with her looking into the mirror and telling herself how beautiful she was sober. What birthed out of her struggles of being a past alcoholic was a book that helped other women in their time of struggles. Her book, “Saved, Sober and Sitting Pretty” is a book Ebony wrote to share her life story to encourage all women around the world to believe that no matter where you’ve come from, you always get to decide where you are going. When Ebony first shared her “Straight Outta Alcoholism” story on social media, the responses she received from it were overwhelming. “People started to share their truth with me and wanted to know how I managed to change my life around. So, I wrote my book to share my life story. I wrote it at such a time as this because people are hurting. The world is hurting, and I would be extremely selfish to continue living my life with a clenched fist and someone’s healing locked away in my hands. It’s transparent and descriptive because I wanted every reader to feel like they were there with me. I wrote especially for women who believe they are damaged goods, and that their past mistakes are all that they will ever be,” stated English. Her book has inspired many women to go after the life they deserve and to realize that addiction of any sort is not their final destination. As an advocate of Alcoholism, she shares her truth and story about alcohol every chance she gets about the good news of sobriety to anyone who will listen. As of January 23, 2019, Ebony has been sober for four years! Currently she is creating a group coaching program and a safe community that gives her the opportunity to support other women as they transition from substance abuse to Women of Substance. Ebony also mentors a group of teenage girls and believes in being proactive in the fight against addiction. If you or anyone is suffering with alcohol or if you know someone that needs help, please call the hotline number 1-866-985-0524 or visit https://www.alcohol.org/awareness-month/ for more information. Connect with Ebony English! Follow her on Instagram @ebonykenglish Visit her website www.ebonykenglish.com Photo Credits: The Straight Outta Alcoholism shirt is @mekatookmyphoto The one with the 4 phases and “sober gangster” were both taken by @aarondsmallsphoto
‘The Hand I Was Dealt’
Author LaToya Wiley Discusses Her Journey To Becoming A Published Author Interview by Kiara Timo Article Design by Alexandra Zabludorf
The road to success isn’t always linear, and new author LaToya Wiley is creating a lane of her own. After spending a few years as an intern for different companies including iHeartMedia and Musicnotch, Wiley used her BA in communications to become the Music and Sound Director for the Philadelphia based production company, Diva At The Stage. Now, Wiley has released her first book titled, The Hand I Was Dealt, in which she hopes to inspire readers to chase after their dreams and to stand strong when fear or life threatens to get in their way. continued>>
In 2013, you worked as an intern at iHeart Media. What was that like and would you recommend interning for someone at the beginning of their career? Interning for iHeartMedia changed my life because it showed me how the entertainment industry, particular Radio, worked. I worked under Radio personality Frankie Darcell, who is a Radio veteran. She showed me how to work the board, produce a show, come up with content, and how to carry myself as a professional. Also, I saw that Radio was not just turning on a mic and talking to an audience, but researching topics that are important and balancing it with entertainment. Clearly, your communication degree is great for multiple career goals. You were a blogger for a popular music site called Musicnotch. Tell me about that experience. Working for Musicnotch allowed me to put everything I was learning at iHeartMedia to the test. I was booking my own guests, writing up my interviews, and promoting it. Musicnotch helped build my name in Philly and put me around certain people who would end up helping me shape my career. I loved it when I was there. I had the opportunity to interview some amazing people, for instance, I interviewed Tank and Jahlil Beats, and I have always enjoyed their music. But, what I loved the most about Musicnotch is that I was able to make my own mistakes and learn from them.
Your time at iHeart led you to a Music and Sound Director position at Diva at the Stage. What was that transition like? That transition was great because I was working under my mentor Frankie [Frankie Darcell]. I was super nervous at first because the shows are live and I never wanted to mess up, but other than that the transition was pretty easy. I am a person who loves learning, so working on a production team just became another classroom for me. I learned about lights, sound, and how to put together a play. You know, the stuff people in the audience never think about. All of that and you still had time to work on your book, ‘The Hand I Was Dealt.’ Tell me about it. I know right, after all this I still had time to work on my book! When I was losing my mom and brother I started to slow down and really focus my attention on completing this book. ‘The Hand I Was Dealt’ was something my mother knew I would write before I did. She told me I was going to be a great author before I wrote my first book, so when I finished it, I felt like it was my dedication to her.
When you attended Penn State, was becoming an author the goal? When I was attending Penn State I didn’t think about being an author; in fact, I was trying to become a Radio personality and eventually do A&R for a record label. At the time, I was writing for fun! Did your own career experiences influence the journey in this book? Yes, it did. When I started managing artists and being in the entertainment industry I saw how plus size/dark skin women are treated. They are not seen as beautiful or sexy. Most men would shy away from them. So, I wanted to write a book that would open everyone’s eyes to show how plus size women are viewed and how many men in the entertainment industry think about their image first verses their hearts. I want this book to impact a generation and change a culture.
All great books start a conversation. What do you want readers to get out of ‘The Hand I Was Dealt’? There are so many conversations I want to have, but one conversation that I want to speak about is society’s belief of beauty. Why are women only viewed as beautiful if they are a certain shape or certain skin tone? And how we can change this moving forward? Too many young girls are willing to go under the knife to get with a man with money, which they are doing it for the wrong reasons and forgetting about their own dreams. Your character appears to be willing to take a chance on herself. What is the biggest risk you have ever taken and how did it work out? The biggest risk I took was putting out this book “The Hand I was Dealt’ and using a plus size dark-skinned woman on the cover. Many people told me that it wasn’t a good idea and that many people wouldn’t buy the book for that reason.
How do you recover from any failures, especially after taking a big risk? I am a person who doesn’t believe in failure, yet everything happens for a reason. Therefore, you learn from the reason and bounce back. In my opinion, use your “failures” as motivation to keep going. As a Penn State graduate who chose to build her career in Philadelphia, what does Philly mean to you? Philly is home, Philly has a special place in my heart because I think if you can make it in Philly you can make it anywhere. Sometimes it feels like everyone is in competition with each other, which made me grind harder to get to where I am. But overall, Philly is a special city. People overlook us at times, but I will forever represent Philly. What’s next for Latoya Wiley? I am working hard to be a New York Times bestseller, but I am also working on trying to turn my book into a film. I want to keep traveling with this book and speaking to the youth and letting young girls know that chasing their dreams are more important than chasing a guy who may not be around. Also, I want to get out a message to Black girls that self love is the best love.
Photo Credits: Photographer: Yasmine Kateb @yasminekateb Makeup artist: Mila Thomas @makeupbymila Daleâ€™s Grooming: Alaina Marie Egger Represented by Michelle Q Beauty. @alainamariemakeup @michelleqbeauty
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This month's issue features Rhona Bennett of R&B group En Vogue and actor/producer Dale Godboldo grace our cover together. What makes this...
Published on Apr 10, 2019
This month's issue features Rhona Bennett of R&B group En Vogue and actor/producer Dale Godboldo grace our cover together. What makes this...