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collegiate men’s magazine vol# 004 feb/mar 2010




CENTERED PERSPECTIVE p. 4 Questions for 2010 p. 6 Now is the time p. 6 Textbooks p. 14 Much More Than Green p. 14 Savings? Investments? Retirement? p. 17 Yes, No, Maybe So


p. 48 Music Review-Alicia Keys p. 49 Movie Review-Gamer



CENTERED STYLE p. 32 Breakin in Sick Fashions


p. 12 March Madness p. 13 Ode to College Football


p. 28 Laguna Beach


p. 8 BMW Performance Driving School p. 18 Centered Dream Girl– Nicole Beharie p. 38 Mike G: Breaking Into the Music Industry

Centered Contents


If there are any questions or concerns about the magazine contact us at

[ a c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s ]

Pacific Sun Journeys Hot Topic Legendz BMW Performance Driving School

[ c o n t r i b u t o r s ]

Micah Vickery Douglas Eaddy Erica Began Nicole Overholt India Brown Jonnika Wilson

Brittany Broderick Napoleon Melton Chris Brown Edie Melson Sherry Bridges Mikey Pozarik Brad Forth

QUESTIONS FOR 2010 1. Will Kanye West and Taylor Swift start dating and come out with a duo love album? 2. Does George Lopez have the spunk to become the first Latino president of the United States? 3. Miami University said that their football team invented “Swagger”, but did they ever think that their “Swagger” would look like a terrible loser? (Check out the 2010 Champs Bowl—Talk about living beyond your means) 4. Will the radio stop being Lil Wayne’s mixtape hour? 5. Did the Philadelphia Eagles find the answer?…Ok the question is did Mike Vick find the answer? 6. Who will be hottest girl in the celebrity industry for 2010 Halle Berry, Megan Fox, Eva Mendes, Gabrielle Union, or Kendra Wilkinson? 7. Will Nike come out with a pair of Obama Sneakers? How about Nike O flights! 8. Will Apple come up with the new iGlasses? Get it iGlasses (lol)


Nicole Overholt Jonnika Wilson Brittany Broderick Nicole Brown Jessica McGaughey India Brown CENTERED MEDIA CEO/President Alex Sok



Now is the time. You have arrived – paid your dues, gotten organized, attended orientation after orientation, and well…here you are. So now what? You expected the college experience to be more than a four to five year getaway meant to prepare you for (quote, unquote) the real world. Good news is that, well, it is more... so much more. Now is the time to become the man you’ve always wanted to be. As any leader, professional or academic will tell you, a career doesn’t define who you are. And studying for that career definitely doesn’t define you as a person. Sure the principle reason you find yourself in college is to study, but this experience is also designed to offer you opportunities to develop your personal and social skills. Live a little. Now is the time. Here are a few ideas you might want to toss around the ol’ noggin as you consider who you are, where you want to be and what you plan to get out of this adventure.

Try Something New. There is a HUGE chunk of your college credit requirements that allow opportunity for learning new skills. I believe they refer to these instances as e-l-e-c-t-i-v-e-s. Our good buddies at MerriamWebster define the adjective elective as “Permitting or involving a choice.” So why not chose something new? Whether it be rock climbing, curling, tai chi, debate, the arts, or some obscure science subject, universities have no shortage of fun and interesting electives for you to choose from. Get Active. If you don’t already have some sort of workout regimen – start now. Not only is it a healthy life-practice to begin, it can be stress relieving, social and extremely rewarding when it comes to the dating game. Maybe you already have a workout routine. Branch out - try yoga, aerobics, walking or a new sport.

Now is the time. MICAH VICKERY

Expose Yourself. Very funny, I know. Seriously, the college experience is a time when you can mold the world-view that you’ll carry with you into your career, your family and your community. Attend a few campus political rallies, those that you agree with and some that you don’t. Participate in a cultural festival or two. Observe different religious services. Listen to guest lecturers. Do some volunteer work. Look around, there is ALWAYS something going on around campus. Now is the time.


This semester, a college student is easily going to spend upwards of $1,000 in terms of textbooks, novels, reading supplements, and those little instructor written, go-downto-the-campus-print-shop-and-buy-a-copy, lab manuals. With the cost of tuition ever on the rise, part-time jobs in the pits, and student loans scarcely paying for a week’s worth of ramen noodles, it’s imperative that students find new ways to save money. Simply wanting to have the whole thing over and done with, most of us will trek down to the bookstore, course schedule in

hand and purchase the needed materials outright. A few slightly savvy, penny pinchers may utilize to procure some of the required books. But perhaps there is another way. The newest craze in publishing is the eBook. Online textbooks can easily be acquired as cheap or cheaper than the actual paper ones. Being that just about every entering college freshman comes equipped with laptop in hand, the eTextbook option can be a cheap and effective route. Many websites offer eBooks with note-taking features and chap-

ter download options, essentially offering all the perks of a traditional paper bound book. The eTextbook seems to be the preferred modus operandi for today’s pluggedin student. There are a couple of warnings to consider before you take the plunge. If possible, always check the ISBN number of the textbook you need. Many books have similar or even identical names. Don’t know where to find the ISBN? It’s usually on the back, in a box with a seemingly ran-


dom pattern of vertical black lines. Try to talk to someone who’s taken the class before investing in the textbook. Sometimes the professor will list a book that’s no longer used in the class. CourseSmart boasts the largest selection of eTextbooks online and offers prices for both online and downloadable options. There is also an iPhone application available.

Driving Thrills BRAD FORTH


The day is icy, but the cars are hot. What cars? A BMW M3, M5 and M6. If you haven’t guessed already, Centered Art Director, Doug Eaddy, is about to have an incredible day. Centered Magazine is on a mission. We’re sending our staff on some amazing trips and you’re invited. First stop - the BMW Performance Driving School in South Carolina. Doug is enrolled in the one-day M School and we’re invited along for the ride.


“I knew I was in for a treat.





Morning at M School First up is a little classroom time. Sounds boring, right? That’s what Doug thought before he started. “Even the time in class was intense.”



Morning at M School Class over, it’s time for the track. No reason to start out slow, the first car Doug takes out is the M6. “I knew I was in for a treat. I loved everything about this car, even down to the design. I had to wonder though, if I’d be able to handle this car. I found out I could. But I had to trust the car.” This first exercise was designed to learn how to brake hard. “It definitely gave me a feel for the car. My gut reaction was why did we have to use the biggest and fastest car to do this. They wanted me to develop that aggressiveness in braking for the rest of the driving.”

Afternoon at M School After a short break for lunch it was back to the cars and Doug was once again positioned behind the wheel of the M6. The course this time was the figure eight skid pad, a wicked combination of polished concrete and spraying water. “This was where I thought the school was totally nuts. They turned off the stability control on a 500-horse power car and had us drive a figure eight on a wet, polished concrete track while they timed us.” How did Doug do? He did Centered proud, improving his time by an amazing ten seconds during the second run.

BMW M6 “This was where I thought the school was totally nuts.” Vital Statistics


Engine (liters/cylinders/ valves per cylinder): 5.0/V10/4 HP/RPM: 500/7750 Top Speed: 155 mph 0-60: 4.5 sec Drag co.: 0.32 Cd


BMW M5 “This was most intense, because we saw everyone spin out here.” Vital Statistics M5 Engine (liters/cylinders/ valves per cylinder): 5.0/V10/4 HP/RPM: 500/7750 Top Speed: 155 mph 0-60: 4.5 sec Drag co.: 0.31 Cd

Morning at M School Next stop, the skid pad. This circular portion of the track is paved with polished concrete and sprayed with water. Slick, huh? You don’t know the half of it. Doug was in the M5 for this exercise, and learned how to handle a fishtail skid. “This was most intense, because we saw everyone spin out here.” Now onto the short course in the M3. “This was the car I was the most comfortable with because of the size and plus it fit my personality. It’s probably the dream ride, the one car every college guy

should have.” Afternoon at M School The second course of the afternoon was the long track. Here, in the M5, all the training began to come together cornering, controlling the car through bad conditions and braking. Oh, and did we mention the sweet straightaway - perfect for seeing what was under the hood. “I got up to 110 on the straightaway before I had to brake. We had to go from that speed to 30mph in about 30 feet.”



The final driving experience of the day was another timed track in the M3, shorter and harder, complete with slalom cones and a braking box. “It was almost like an obstacle course. We’d get penalized if we hit cones or if we didn’t stop in the box. It was short, but intense. Because I was more comfortable in this car, I was able to perform really well on this track.” Sum it up Would he recommend the experience? “Yes, I’m already telling people that that was

probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in a car! It was part performance and part boot camp. The instructors could tell if you weren’t doing what they were saying. Even though they weren’t in the cars with us, they could tell. Be ready for a really big challenge. The instructors will push you on levels where you’ve never been pushed before in a car.”

“It’s probably the dream ride, the one car every college guy should have.” Vital Statistics M3 Engine (liters/cylinders/ valves per cylinder): 4.0/V8/4 HP/RPM: 414/8300 Top Speed: 155 mph 0-60: 4.7 [4.5] sec. Drag co.: 0.30 Cd


> Imagine awakening to a sun that blinds you or the sight of hundreds of tents everywhere with people sprawled out for acres. College students across the nation are prepping for these long nights and early mornings as they demonstrate their passion and school spirit for their school’s basketball team. This is March Madness in its purest form, but it’s also what makes NCAA college basketball so addictive.

mid section on top of their heads. Not one time did I see him playing defense or shooting a jumper, but hands down, Mr. Wall is the “Truth” and nothing but. I think the Wildcats are inexperienced and their youth will cost them a chance at a national title, but not before an Elite 8 appearance first. Enjoy John Wall for this season, because he’s NBA bound.


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Centered Sports

The season’s been filled with anticipation and expectations, fueled by John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats and their fabulous freshmen. John Wall was the number one nationally ranked player coming out of high school, which I thought wasn’t very accurate. In almost every highlight or game I saw, he was just on fast breaks, dunking or making spectacular passes. Don’t get me wrong - he made posters out of other athlete’s faces that included his

Unlike their Texas football counterparts, the Longhorn basketball team will get the job done and compete for the national championship. Dexter Pittman is playing his rear off and Avery Bradley is an efficient scorer and he can do it all on the floor. The Longhorns have an experienced team, but if they don’t start playing better defense on the fast break, they’ll be home very early in the tournament. The Kansas Jayhawks are soft. Although they’re a

great team with a phenomenal point guard, I just don’t think they are physical enough to advance. I like Cole Aldrich down low, but he’s too slow and when he faces a more athletic big man, he folds like a pamphlet. Without question, I love the young Syracuse team. The Orangemen are long and athletic, with big tenacious men down low who can rebound and score. Scoop Jardine is a dope point guard and he can be a great scorer and distributor. Purdue is a great team, but they’re thin in the post and, with two losses in their last two games, I’ve given up hope on these guys. If you’re a Duke or North Carolina fan, I’m sure you already know your teams aren’t going to do anything in the tournament and an early exit is definitely something you should prepare for. Duke is always solid, but I’m afraid this group of NERDS, although they can shoot really well, won’t cut the mustard. The Tar Heels are too young, with too many turnovers, but in a couple of years they’ll be a powerhouse again. They should be serving Big Macs with all the McDonalds All Americans they have accumulated. West Virginia, Villanova, and UConn are honorable mentions with great individual players, but at day’s end they are Elite Teams at Best. Syracuse will rise again and cut down the nets like they did in 2003 with “Melo.” This is a great year for college basketball and for fans across the nation. Be on the lookout for Big East teams come March and conference play will only warm you up for the excitement to come. So in the words of the big homey Terrell Owens, “Get your

Ode to College Football What makes college football exciting to follow? Is it the melodic motions of athleticism from the players? The school spirit that’s displayed by fans during the game? The colorful commentary from sports analysts? College football is exciting because of athletes like CJ Spiller from Clemson University and Tim Tebow from the University. Specifically, watching them become great role models for future student athletes. This time last year, CJ Spiller contemplated leaving school early to enter the NFL draft. Clemson University had just hired Dabo Swinney to be their head football coach, as well as Billy Napier to be its offensive coordinator, signifying an overhaul of the offense. Spiller had promised his grandmother and family that he would graduate from college. With those things in mind, Spiller ultimately stayed at Clemson for his senior year, and what a senior year he had - not only on the football field, but also off the football field. On December 17, 2009, CJ graduated from Clemson, realizing the promise made to his family. Last year, Tim Tebow also contemplated leaving school early to enter the NFL Draft. However, he didn’t have as much to think about as Spiller. Tebow not only came back to experience college life for another year but to lead the University of Florida football team to an undefeated season. Even though Florida didn’t achieve its goal of an undefeated season this year, Tebow did lead them to an impressive win in the Sugar Bowl over Cincinnati, silencing some critics about his ability to be an NFL-caliber quarterback. Today, he doesn’t have to worry about attending classes anymore, as he has graduated. A student athlete keeps his focus first and foremost on school while balancing the rigors of college athletics, not the other way around. A student athlete also represents their institution in a positive manner. CJ Spiller and Tim Tebow perfectly embody what a student athlete is supposed to be. They are definitely centered individuals who will be successful in their future endeavors. Thank you Spiller and Tebow for great college careers. I can’t wait to see both of you in the NFL. NAPOLEON MELTON


Much More Than Green What do we make of the changing world we live in? In this tiny moment of history, the past 10 years has seen big, rapid, and profound changes in politics, technology, commerce, and the environment. There’s an on-going debate that has most of the western world torn between global warming and natural causes. One group of scientists argue that we’re the cause of global warming and the other group totally debunks the theory. One thing can be said, you always find what you are looking for. Think about that. This is more than just science, it’s a political debate, an international business struggle. If you take a close look at the politics behind the arguments you can see why both sides are fighting for their points. When billions of dollars are at risk, of course there’s going to be a fight. Business models are being forced to change to keep up with the times. Green is the new rage, sustainable the new mantra of the 21st century. Here is the question I want answered, when will


it evolve from a movement to a cultural norm? I believe it’s a matter of asking the right questions. Some think it’s a lack of information, but I think it’s a lack of integration. We must find ways to integrate our existing technology and philosophies into mainstream thinking and behavior. It must go beyond a check-list of 10 top things to do to save power and promote recycling. While I do think those are good ways to start, we must take the next step to get to a better more sustainable future. This is one of the many challenges our generation is faced with. I believe it’s a daunting task, but one our generation is capable of solving. In future issues, we’ll explore ways we can generate awareness about environmental issues, and spotlight people, organizations, and groups who are taking the challenge, kicking butt, and taking names.


Savings? Investments? Retirement? It’s no surprise that those ideas roll like shock waves through most college students. But never fear - Centered is going to help you get familiar with different financial topics over the next few issues. A lot of us can barely make enough to cover our expenses, let alone save for the future - especially when life after college seems so far away. When emergencies come up, you may have to go to your family for financial assistance. Dining on noodles and water until payday is perfectly acceptable. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to handle those emergencies on your own? Living paycheck to paycheck is doable now, but will you really want to live that way for the rest of your life? Better yet, wouldn’t it be awesome to be a millionaire someday? If you start at 19 and invest $2000 a year ($167 a month) 16 page

until you’re 26 - yes, 26, it’s not a misprint - then don’t save another dime, you’ll have over 2 million dollars by the time you’re 65. While you may shake your head at the idea, but there’s no harm in being financially smart for your future. Retirement is pretty far off, but what about buying a car? Moving away? Starting a family? Those milestones are closer than you think. You don’t have to start off investing thousands right off the back. Just opening a savings account and contributing to it regularly is a step in the right direction. A little preparation now can save you a lot of stress when the future actually arrives. We’ve got some great tips coming your way that will give you the opportunity to make financial moves before it’s too late, so stay tuned!

FINANCIAL FOCUS Should You Choose Roth or Traditional IRA?

Article provided by Johnny Martinez and Edward Jones. For more information contact Johnny Martinez at http:// or JOHNNY MARTINEZ (864) 472-4622 11631 ASHEVILLE HWY SUITE G INMAN, SC   29349 Article 11 – Feb. 12, 2007 An IRA is certainly a great way to save money for retirement. But which IRA is right for you — “traditional” or Roth? As is often the case in the investment world, there’s no one “right answer” for everyone — but the more you know before making a choice, the better off you’ll be.

To begin with, you’ll find two important differences between the IRAs. First, a traditional IRA grows tax deferred, while a Roth IRA’s earnings grow completely tax free, provided you’ve had your account for at least five years and you don’t begin taking withdrawals until you’re 59-1/2. And second, contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible (depending on your income and whether you or your spouse have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan), while Roth IRA contributions are never deductible. On the other hand, the traditional and Roth IRAs share some things in common. Both have the same contribution limits ($4,000 in 2007, or $5,000 if you’re 50 or older) and both can be funded with virtually any type of investment — stocks, bonds, Certificates of Deposit, etc. So, given both the differences and the similarities, which IRA should you choose? Actually, you might not even have a choice. If you’re single, and your adjusted gross income is more than $110,000, you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA; if

you’re married and filing jointly, the limit is $160,000. However, assuming your income level does permits you to choose between the two IRAs, you’ll need to ask a key question: Does the potential tax deduction offered by a traditional IRA outweigh the advantage of the Roth IRA’s tax-free earnings? As a (very) general rule, you might say that if you can make deductible contributions and you are going to be in a lower tax bracket upon retirement — and that’s far from a certainty— then you might come out ahead by selecting the traditional IRA. However, even this assumption requires some complex number-crunching, so, before you made any decisions, consult with your tax professional. Apart from this comparison, what other factors could help you choose between a Roth or traditional IRA? Consider the following: • Your estimated retirement age — If you have a traditional IRA, you must start taking withdrawals when you reach 70 – 1/2. But if you own a Roth IRA, you are never required to take withdrawals. So,

if you are still working at 70 – 1/2, and you own a traditional IRA, you’ll have to take withdrawals, and pay taxes on them, while simultaneously paying income taxes on the compensation from your job. • Your need for retirement income — If you think you will be able to preserve a good chunk of your IRA, then you might find it advantageous to own a Roth IRA, which can continue growing, tax-free, until your death, when it will pass on to your heirs. Of course, you can also leave a traditional IRA in your estate, but, since you’ll be forced to start taking withdrawals at 70-1/2, you might have significantly less to pass on than you would with a Roth IRA. Clearly, there’s a lot to consider when choosing between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. See your tax advisor for help in making the right choice — but don’t wait too long to put an IRA to work for you.

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ebruary’s issue, for me, has been the most grueling and the most rewarding. For starters, we decided to change the dimensions of our magazine. I love it, I feel it gives us a unique spatial element to play with, and an exciting new approach

to everything we do from photography to design and text. Second, we’ve decided to take some seriously bold new steps. There’s a burning, competitive fire in me and Centered definitely embodies that. We don’t back down from anything or anyone, so the underlying theme of our February issue is about COURAGE. The willingness to take the plunge, risk and to never back down from a good fight. Anytime you push yourself, it’s grueling and exhausting, but the rewards are emotional, spiritual and priceless. Nicole Beharie, our Dream Girl, is the perfect embodiment of that. As you read her feature, I hope you see what I mean. Here is this beautiful young lady, with the heart of a lion, sweet, endearingly humble, with the ambition to soar. What is there not to love about her? She’s the perfect Dream Girl for our first issue of the New Year. We’re honored and humbled to have this opportunity to feature someone we already consider a superstar! We also had the great honor of attending the BMW M School, and discovered it’s not for the meek. It was a fun day of challenges and our team was able to learn a great deal about maneuvering a high performance vehicle through wet tracks and high speeds. Everyone at the BMW M School was extremely kind, professional and generous in opening up their facilities to us. Big shout out to everyone at BMW for making our team’s day there enjoyable and educational.  

Letter from Alex

Our Fashion Spread in this issue was the most fun for me to be involved with. As a team, during the shoot, we really came together and played our roles to perfection. Edie was doing her thing in getting everyone ready, Douglas was exquisitely directing the style, and Brad was doing what he does best in capturing the dance and excitement of the these insanely sick moves. It blows my mind, what people can do with their bodies through dance. Lots of love to our boys, The Legendz, for generously volunteering their time and talents to produce our best fashion spread to date. I’m proud of our team for doing what it does with such grace and style.   As 2010 gets underway, we have some big plans and exciting new announcements coming up. We’re in the early phases of planning something we believe will change Fall Semester at every college campus in the world. More to come on that. It’s going to be big, exciting and game changing! We have a new crop of Junior Associates that we’re honored and proud to have with us. They bring a great mix of unique talents, perspectives and this great passion for life. That’s definitely the Centered way. Live your life passionately, courageously and always in love. We know what we’re doing isn’t going to be loved by everybody, but as long as we know we’re making a positive difference and doing what we love. We can live with that. Here’s to all of you lovers with swagger, making the most of our your life. Stay Centered!  Enjoy our February Issue. It’s all for you.   Alex


She’s NOT Into You She’s Into You One day during class, that hot girl you’ve been eyeing for a while asks if you want to meet up on Friday night to study for an upcoming test. This comes as a surprise since she’s never asked to be your study partner before. So why the change? There have been rumors that she recently broke up with her boyfriend, which makes you wonder if she’s into you or the books? The meeting time is arranged and you invite her to your place. There’s a knock at the door and you expect her to arrive looking studious with an armful of books, but instead you’re greeted by a girl who’s dolled up, holding a plate of spaghetti. You assume the two of you are going to eat and study at the same time, but she pushes her books to the side. You’re left wondering if this a date or is she just a friend?

Yes, No, Maybe So DOUG EADDY


Scenarios like this are common, but body language and verbal communication can be key when trying to figure it out. Body language can tell you what she really thinks about you. Here are some common signs of whether or not she’s into you.

Rolling eyes: If you’re talking to her and she drifts off into space, then chances are she’s not listening to you. Crossed arms and bad posture: When someone crosses their arms it usually means they’re blocking you out of their comfort zone. Bad posture may show a lack of interest and boredom.

Direct eye contact: When you talk to her she looks like she’s feeling what you’re saying. Good Posture: She leans toward you, meaning she’s engaged in the convo. She asks you questions: Why? She wants to get to know you.

Weird Facts! Weird Facts! In 2000 Pope John Paul II was named an “Honorary Harlem Globetrotter.”

Americans eat an average of 18 acres of pizza every day.

An ostrich’s eye is bigger than it’s brain.

The average life span of a major league baseball is 7 pitches.

On average, 100 people choke to death on ballpoint pens every year.

No word in the English language rhymes with the word purple.



nicole “Friends and family keep me grounded, reminding me what’s important.”

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Nicole Beharie might be relatively new on the acting front, but she’s been touted as one of the top up-and-coming young stars to watch. Rave reviews, including kudos from BET and Variety. com, for her performance in American Violet crowd the Internet. Her movies are great and her talent incredible, but we wanted to get beyond the obvious and delve into her heart. We had that opportunity last month and weren’t disappointed with what we found. The first thing you notice about Nicole - besides her amazing beauty - is an inner core of strength. Something developed through circumstances and attitude. When asked how she stays balanced and centered, the answer comes after a beat of surprise, as if any other attitude has never occurred to her. “Friends and family keep me grounded, reminding me what’s important.”



“You feel a connection with so many places, understanding how people can be so different, but how we can all be so similar.”

She also has the perspective of someone who’s walked through life with her eyes open. Her father served in the US Foreign Service and her early years were spent in countries all over the world, including West Africa, Nigeria, Panama and London, as well as the United States. “I did have the privilege of getting acquainted with other cultures. It was a really special gift that my family gave me, being able to travel. I definitely think that all that travel affected what I’m doing now.” When asked to elaborate she continued, “You feel a connection with so many places, understanding how people can be so different, but how we can all be so similar.” She’s also quick to point out that we all have the opportunity to widen our perspective, through the Internet as well as through those around us. She also points to her mother as a major influence, who after Nicole’s parents divorced, raised her and her three sisters as a single mother. “That can’t help but affect you. I have so much respect for that. Here I am, living on my own, I can’t imagine having four kids . . . or even one. But so many women do that here in America and across the world.”

That perspective and respect can’t help but be an underlying influence in the roles she seeks. When asked specifically about her role in American Violet her excitement is contagious. “My agency sent over a bunch of scripts and when I read that one I fell in love with it. I actually had a dream about it.” She called and asked for an audition. “I didn’t know whether or not I was old enough to play the lead, it wasn’t clear. But I read for it and offered to play any of the other roles. I just really liked this script, it was powerful and then it just worked out.” We were curious about what specifically resonated with her about American Violet. “First of all it was about a woman. You know you don’t get that many (scripts) about young African American women. Against all odds sticking to what she believes and what she knows. I really thought it was a powerful story about what you can do against all odds. All the chips were down and no one believed in her and she had to do it herself. And the fact that it’s based on a true story gives you some perspective and makes you feel like you can do anything yourself. She actually got some legislation changed, which definitely was not what she’d set out to do.” You can hear that same determination in Ni-

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That perspective and respect can’t help but be an underlying influence in the roles she seeks.

cole’s voice. She approaches the world with anticipation, on the lookout for opportunities that move and excite her, whether it’s the script, the characterization or even the other actors. “I love doing what I do. I feel really lucky doing it, joining forces with some of the really talented, wonderful people I’ve gotten to work with.”

“The best advice I’ve ever received is just not to procrastinate. To take time and evaluate what you’re doing and how you’re spending your time.”

Don’t be misled, this opportunity didn’t just fall into Nicole’s lap. She’s kept her focus and worked hard to make the most of every opportunity. She attended high school at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and went on to receive a scholarship to Julliard in New York City. When asked about her decision to attend college rather than starting her career immediately she readily admits that many in her field have been successful without it. “But ultimately being in some sort of an institution and getting a lot of stimulus and opinions helps. It shapes you and it gives you a lot of material and resources to decide what kind of artist or what kind of craftsman or even what kind of doctor you can be. For me, I’ll say that I’m glad I did it the way that I did it. I have some really wonderful memories and met some really wonderful people because of it.” Even as she’s quick to point out how others have helped shape and mentor her, she’s humble and willing to take good advice. “The best advice I’ve ever received is just not to procrastinate. To take time and evaluate what you’re doing and how you’re spending your time.”


“I think service is a really important thing for everybody.”

At this point in her career, time is at a premium, but she still gives back to the community and beyond. Her involvement with ASTEP is a perfect example. This non-profit reaches out to underprivileged kids, giving them the opportunity to attend creative arts camps all over the world. Started by a friend of hers she met at Julliard, Nicole has been active for several years, even attending a camp in South Africa. “I think service is a really important thing - for everybody.” Her advice on how the rest of us can get involved is basic and empowering. “Think about what you’re interested in. Then, look online, that’s the first step. Everyone can be involved, no matter what kind of time you have. There’s always something you can do.” This certainty that the world isn’t all about her, combined with a wide-eyed excitement about life and opportunities, permeates everything she does. Her demeanor is far from naive, but personifies an optimism so necessary and so lacking in our world today. Nicole is currently working on a one-woman show and has a new movie coming out on Lifetime with actress Jill Scott. Sins of the Mother will air on Sunday night, February 7.








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Centered Travel


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Centered Travel




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Centered Style

Blue Hoodie, Pac Sun $39.50 Plaid Shirt, Pac Sun $29.50 Skinny, Acid Jean, Pac Sun $39.50 Teal T-shirt, Coolmicer $20.00 Shoes, Black Converse $39.99

Grey Vest, Buckle $44.95 Plaid shirt, Pac Sun $39.40 Slim Jeans, Pac Sun $39.50 Herringbone Hat, Pac sun $16.50 Glasses, Hot Top $9.99 Shoes, Black Converse $39.99

White Graphic T-shirt, Pac Sun $25.00 Olive, Straight-leg Jean, Pac Sun $39.50 Knit Hat, ‘The Freezin’ Brown, Pac Sun $20.00 Olive Back Pack, Pac sun $29.99 Shoes, Ralph Lauren Olive Harold $39.99

Turquoise Plaid Hoodie, Hot Topic $32.00 White Face T-shirt, Coolmicer $25.00 Skinny, Black Jean, Hot Topic $29.00 Black and White Scarf, Hot topic $15.99 Leather Studded Wristband, Hot Topic $9.99 Shoes, Vans Black Crock leather $51.99



Leather Studded Wristband, Hot Topic $9.99

Olive Back Pack, Pac Sun $29.99

Knit Hat, ‘The Freezin’ Brown, Pac Sun $20.00

Graphic Hoodie, Hot topic $45.00 Skinny Jean, Hot topic $34.00 Blue Graphic T-shirt, Pac sun $22.50 Shoes, Vans White Check $41.99 Herringbone Hat, Pac Sun $16.50

Breakdancing also referred as B-Boying, is a form of dance that was pretty popular during hip hop in the 80’s. This type of dance that was very underground in the streets of NYC, but now it’s even more popular and the competition just got better. It takes time to perfect that flare, head spin, or that signature freeze. So if you want to be just as good as the Legendz I suggest that you practice and watch some YouTube. And may I add, girls love guys that can dance!! Good Luck Guys!!!


Have you ever heard of the Breakdancing Group Quest Crew from America’s Next Best Dance Crew? Well sorry those guys are busy, but Centered was able to come in contact with a group that is just as exciting and has just as much ambition as the Quest Crew. The Legendz from Spartanburg, SC are a young, hip, and an up coming breakdancing crew that is starting to make some noise. Trust me, if you ever see these guys compete in a breakdancing competition at the Breakfast Club in Charlotte, NC, you would be amazed. These guys can make the young look even younger and the older look even older.


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“I’m a firm believer that just because you’ve never done something before doesn’t mean you’re not going to be good at it.”





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Imagine this, your very first published song hitting Number One on the Billboard Charts? That’s what happened to Mike Guerriero in 2005 with the dance hit How Can I Be Falling. Seems like a fairy tale come true, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s the end process of a well thought out career journey and one that he’s happy to share with other up and coming musicians. Mike G grew up like so many of us, loving music. But when it came time for college he turned to more stable career goals and majored in Marketing and Psychology. In his senior year of college he sat his parents down and told them that, instead of the business world, he was returning to the music industry. A few nights later Mike’s dad came home and gave him some career changing advice. “If you really want to be in the mu-

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sic industry you should read Billboard Magazine.” Mike took his advice and when he turned to the classified section in the back there was an ad for an internship with Billboard. The rest, as they say, is history. As well as being a commercial success, Mike G has put his money where his mouth is by opening Gem Music Demos as a way to help unsigned artists who need great music demos. “There’s no one out there to help people. To have a career in this (industry) costs so much money. That, to me, is such a scary notion. There are so many talented people and the fact that they’re not loaded shouldn’t mean that they won’t get a fair shot at being heard.”

“There are so many talented people and the fact that they’re not loaded shouldn’t mean that they won’t get a fair shot at being heard.”

“There are so many talented people and the fact that they’re not loaded shouldn’t mean that they won’t get a fair shot at being heard.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Dream. Mike G’s also a big fan of the reality TV show, American Idol. “I think they’re interesting and exciting and if you look at our industry in the past 5 to 10 years they’re one of the few things that’s been exciting. So I’m a big fan of American Idol and for anything that gives opportunity to undiscovered talent - I think it’s great.” Mike’s right, consider the talent discovered on the show, beginning with Kelly Clarkson and moving onto greats like Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Hudson. Mike G. has a great list of things to do to help up your chances of success in this ever-changing music industry. Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Dream. “It’s so important, for young people especially, to know that the first thing is to have the dream. If you have the dream and the desire then you search - that’s when you can find your passion.” Persevere. “The fact that the music industry is in such a changing time - with illegal downloading and consolidating of record labels. Record companies are not spending as much money developing singers or developing songwriters.

So back in the day, you could have raw talent and a record company would find a singer and develop them, a publishing company would find a songwriter and develop them. Now we’re left to develop ourselves. With that said, it’s much more difficult, because not only are there less records being made, but the opportunities to get on that record and to break through is much, much more difficult. You have to persevere.” Immerse Yourself in the Music. “The one thing I do love about the music industry, which is different from almost any other industry, is that if you really want to be in it - if you want to be an artist, a songwriter, a producer - the best education you can get is already out there. And what I mean by that is listening to the greats that came before, listening to the songs that were hits, listening to the artists and their style. I feel that is how a songwriter or a singer gets the best education. My belief and my education in music came strictly from being immersed in it my entire life - listening to it, analyzing it, picking it apart.” Take Chances. “I’m a firm believer that just because you’ve never done something before

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doesn’t mean your not going to be good at it.” Take Advantage of Internships. “Never pass up the opportunity to learn from an expert.” Start Out as Young as Possible. “Not to say that it’s ever too late, because I don’t believe that. You need to follow your own path. But I feel the younger we are when we start on our journey the better.” Get a College Education. “Ironically the fact that I went to school for psychology and marketing has helped. And looking back that was the best thing I could do for two reasons. 1. “Marketing comes down to finding that killer line. Saying it in a way that its never been said before.” 2. “Psychology comes in, I believe, by understanding peoples emotions, understanding how people feel in those moments. For me the best songwriter is the songwriter who is going to connect with the listener, understand their feelings at that particular time. So if it’s a happy time, great. More importantly though, if it’s a tough time for somebody you have to understand, connect with that sad time. It’s giving them something that can help them get through that moment. Understanding people, being empathetic, but at the same time understanding craftsmanship, understanding that killer line. Understanding the use of repetition and melody, of chords.” Follow the Rules. “This can be tricky as you try to make your way in the world - follow the rules and at the same time make it your own. I always say to people, to a singer or a songwriter, how can you sing this song and be different from everyone else. When I’m writing a song I say, ‘How can


Mike G write this song different than anyone else. What is going to make it special, what is going to make it different?’ So you want to have some edge to differentiate yourself. This can be difficult because sometimes in the beginning, especially when you’re making your name, you’re chasing the ball. I even deal with this - everybody’s chasing the ball. Everybody’s chasing after what’s hot or what style is fresh. You can’t do that. If you do you’re always going to be chasing the ball. You have to guide yourself and make your own path and stick to it. In the beginning people might not get it, but that’s how change comes. Change comes by that small little step that starts things rolling and the next thing you know something has shifted and it’s become what everyone else is chasing.” Thoughts on a Changing Music Industry We’ve all heard the quote that 80% of music downloaded is done so illegally. Even if that’s slightly higher than accurate, it’s still an alarming statistic and has drastically affected the music industry. When asked if the industry is changing, Mike answered with an emphatic, “Yes.” When I asked if there would continue to be opportunities for new talent his affirmative answer was equally emphatic. “I think in any time of adversity in the end it always makes you stronger. I’m a firm believer that problems are problems, but problems are what shape us. Struggle is what defines us. If we had no struggle or problems we’d have no evolution and we’d have no change. So I really do feel that while we are at a low point of the music industry that it will find its way to restructure and redefine and my main belief is how important music is to people. Music is the soundtrack of our lives, as cliché as that sounds. I don’t think the public or private industry will let that disappear. But it is going to change.”

“Never pass up the opportunity to learn from an expert.”

Perfect Pizza ERICA BEGAN

Bubbling mozzarella and parmesan cheeses combined with the smell of fresh basil. Who could possibly pass up fresh pizza - or leftover pizza, for that matter? Pizza’s one of the greatest college foods. Almost every party I’ve attended in college has started, and ended, with a gathering in someone’s dorm room and tons of pizza. I’ve never really enjoyed take-out pizza and we all know how expensive it can get, so I had to come up with an easy way to make delicious pizza without ordering out. Of course, once I started this tradition of making my own pizza instead of ordering out the party moved to my room. I’ll never forget the time that one of my roommates came in very late to find a piece of pizza on the floor (cheese side down). She was ecstatic to find this little treasure waiting for her and decided it was a good idea to eat this piece of pizza with a hint of carpeting for her late night snack. Please, do NOT let late night pizza cravings take over your senses! Even though pizza has become such a staple to the college culture, it amazes me how few people know how simple it is to make. Every grocery store now carries refrigerator or pre-made pizza crusts. That makes preparing your own pizza even quicker and more delicious than take-out. Here are two quick and easy pizza recipes for you to test out so that you don’t have to suffer from late night pizza cravings like my roommate.

Chicken Sausage and Proscuitto Pizza 1 whole wheat, Boboli brand pizza crust 1 small can of pizza sauce (any brand will do) 1 package pre-cooked chicken sausage 1 package thinly sliced proscuitto 1 package fresh mozzarella Fresh parmesan Fresh basil

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Chop the sausage into bite size pieces and brown the in a skillet over medium high heat. Ok, basically we’re putting everything together now. Sauce first, as much as you prefer, then add your browned sausage, proscuitto, mozzarella, parmesan and top it with basil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 -12 minutes, until the cheese is melted.


The design motivation for the magazine this year is, of course, the New Year. We wanted to try a new format - a new approach to thinking, design and just overall exploration. Our theme for this issue is about being “Courageous.” The word courageous could be interpreted in many ways. However, I focused on courage coming from within. This is true in many ways, think about how many times you’ve had that tightness in your stomach when you see a girl who blows your mind. Your knees buckle and you go blank. I know - I’ve been there. With that in mind, I thought it would be great to recreate that feeling by walking through the human body, experiencing its different reactions when you see that mind-blowing girl. From this idea, I looked at the circulatory system and how it responds to people’s actions while becoming courageous. I created a continuous line through out the magazine. I have things come off that line, either text or shapes, like the nerves to the different parts of the body. Because, like courage, I want space and form to be shown from within.

Alicia Keys The Element of Freedom Release Date Dec. 11, 2009 Rating: 3 stars + “Chick Friendly”


“The Element of Freedom”, is packed with hits from start to finish.” 48 page


Miss Keys knocks it out of the ball park again. Her new album, "The Element of Freedom," is packed with hits from start to finish. This is one your girlfriend is going to love, and one you'll like to listen to when no one else is around. Alicia switches up her opening track from her normal revamp of a classical piece for a more subtle and profound statement. Then she moves right into the good stuff. Her opening tune, "Love is Blind," is grittier than the music we've heard from Alicia before. Every once in a while you'll get a song from an artist, and when you listen to it you know it is coming from somewhere deep inside. It almost seems like voyeurism when you hear it. This is one such song. It's blues, Alicia style, and it’s hot. Track 4, "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart," has an old school Prince sound to it. It's currently working its way up the charts. "Wait Till They See My Smile," is a rock ballad born from 80’s music if anything ever was, right down to the piano accompanied by synthesizers. We also get a duet with Beyonce, the diva herself. Combine the skills and vocals of these two and you have a pop sensation in "Put it in a Love Song." It’s a bit gimmicky for my taste, but it has a hook that sticks. Other favorites were, "Unthinkable (I’m Ready)," and "Like the Sea." But honestly, this is one of those rare albums that you can put on and let play start to finish, without a bad song in the bunch.

Gamer 95 min Original Release Date: September 4, 2009 DVD release date: January 19, 2010 Directors: Neveldine and Taylor Starring: Gerard Butler, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Michael C. Hall, and Kyra Sedgwick Rating: 3 stars Imagine an MMO in third person, but you get to control live humans. In the future created by Ken Castle, (Michael C. Hall of “Dexter”) prisoners with life sentences can sign up to play “Slayers.” If you can survive 30 rounds in a battle zone gaming situation then you get a free pardon. But that’s only if you survive. Ken Castle is a computer genius that has far surpassed Bill Gates in this future world. He has created a “nanex,” a cell implanted in the brain of humans and controlled on a computer network. The game “Slayers” has become a world wide sensation, and millions watch on Pay Per View every week to cheer on their favorite players. Kable, (Gerard Butler) has survived far longer than any other, and too long for puppet master, Ken Castle’s comfort. Kable’s wife, Angie, is being held as a prisoner of sorts, by a grotesque figure, in another “nanex” controlled game called “Society.” Imagine Sims, except you can make your human do anything you want. Angie is being controlled by a wheelchair bound slug of a man that will remind you of Jabba the Hut when he puts Princess Leia on a leash.

Ludacris is an underground activist in a group called the Humanz, who are trying to educate the masses that they are bound for slavery, and stop Castle from dominating the world. The Humanz work to release Kable before he can be killed. The cinematography in this film is stunning, an up close view inside live gaming. The explosions are often and the gun play is constant. The first time watching this film is a bit overwhelming, and makes it difficult to catch the nuances that fill out the story line. If you saw this in the theaters, take it home and give it another chance, it is much better the second time around. The concept in the plot of this film is brilliant. The only real drawback is that Neveldine and Taylor didn’t take it quite far enough. The other issue is the movie wraps up very quickly at the end. It is a bit jarring how fast and how neat the pair finish up this movie. It is possible that Neveldine and Taylor were trying to emulate how a game ends when you beat the ultimate boss. Regardless of the reasoning, the ending feels a bit forced. “Gamer” is a visually impressive film with a solid plot and more than enough action. NICOLE OVERHOLT

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Music and Movie Reveiws

February/March 2010  

Centered Magazine

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