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FASHION Connie Shelton








Viola Nicholson

THEATER Kurt Hogan


04 Visit Us On Our Social Networks 04 Submitting Content 07 Frequently Asked Questions 12 Staff and Contributors 13 Advertising Partners 14 Mentors 30 Recipe of the Month 58 Black & Missing Foundation

PHOTO CREDIT BY: Interview Photos supplied by each interviewee and/or their company. Female Fashion Photos

are supplied by Connie Shelton.


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STUDENTS START EARLY TO PREPARE FOR CAREERS IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP The students who attend the after-school program hosted by Children Home + Aid at Benjamin E. Mays Academy in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood will soon be partnering with Escapades Magazine as they learn the business of running a magazine. The Carerra Program Program works with boys and girls from the age of 10 and follows them through high school and eventually to college. The philosophy that guides the program sees youth as "at promise" instead of being "at risk," the program works to develop a participant's capacity and desire to avoid early pregnancy, drug-use and other social ills. The program model provides opportunities for young people to discover interests and develop talents, plus emphasizes education and employment. Escapades will be working with 5th thru 8th graders who are involved in the Job Club component of the program. The goal of Job Club is to develop students who are prepared for workforce; not merely as employees but as employee-partners who will one day fill management positions; which in turn increases the opportunity of them becoming entrepreneurs. ########










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PHAT Girls 14

Multi-Award Winning Artist Conya Doss is very excited about life right now. With the April 2012 release of her 6th album, Pocketful of Purpose, daily joys of her young son, global philanthropic efforts, and being very comfortable with her authentic self, Conya knows that her best years are ahead of her. After over a decade creating music that her loyal fan-base can't help but love, she delivers an 11-song compilation that showcases her wide vocal range. This project teases music lovers as she takes listeners on a sojourn to lands where love reigns and individualism is celebrated. As an Artist who strives to be transparent and real, she lays down tracks from a "situational perspective" - further ensuring industry nods and accolades from the likes of Michael Baisden, Avant, Raheem DeVaughn, Indie Arie and Anthony Hamilton. Singing since she was five, Doss' musical influences run the gamut of Donnie Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Prince, and Sade. In a Soul interview Conya states that "I had exposure to a wide genre of music from Nina Simone to Stevie Wonder to Charlie Pride to Steely Dan. The music that I create has a touch of everything. I call it "Musical Gumbo." Music just gives me a feeling that's connected with my soul, so much emotion. I want my music to inspire, just as I was inspired by those who were before me." She attended the Cleveland School of the Arts along with Avant, became a teacher of children with special needs in the Cleveland


Public School system, and began using music in her classroom as a way to connect with her students. The world

industry…from recording to hiring producers to PR, etc.... There were many people who doubted my approach, which just increased my drive. After my

owes thanks to a heartfelt letter from one

child was born, there was doubt that I could

of her students which inspired her debut

continue… I just stay on the grind.

album "A Poem About Ms. Doss". Tell us about some of your career

In 2001, Conya started her own recording label Conya Doss Songs and began recording her first album. Despite industry pressure to adapt to become mainstream, Doss chooses to "keep it real" and trust that her destined musical path will be realized.

accomplishments? Releasing all of my projects has been quite the accomplishment and to receive notoriety without a large machine has been quite rewarding. Working with artists whom I admire, such as Dwele, on the McDonald’s McCafe commercial was surreal. Also, sharing the stage with so many artists that I admire has been an honor as well. Beyond the

Describe your career so far as an artist? It’s been a journey as life usually is. I have had my ups and downs but overall it’s been great to be able to create music that is well received by people, worldwide. I’ve been blessed to be able to work with some very talented individuals What unique experience can you tell the readers about in your career? My first project was released through a major label where I had everyone else handling everything. When I decided to release the next project independently, I had no idea of what it involved but it’s been a positive learning experience as I now know more about the business aspects of the music

music, being able to participate with BET’s RAP-ItUp program has been wonderful as I have been able to give back. Lastly, having a story of resilience and life experiences is priceless. What are your short term goals in your career and what are your long term goals also? My goal is to continue to grow and inspire others with the gift of music that God has given me. What do you feel are the good aspects of the career you have chosen for yourself? The good aspects are staying true to myself and following my vision. What motivates you in your career on a daily basis? My life experiences and talking to others about their experiences inspire me every day.


What do you consider to be your

What type of support system did

weakness in your career and

you get as you grew up in school

how do you work on strengthen

and at home?

this weakness each day? My mother has always been my I count my drive and not resting

greatest cheerleader as well as

until my work is done both a

peers and teachers encouraging

strength and weakness, which

me constantly. I grew up in a

my body tells me, “Okay, Conya

community where neighbors were

enough. You have to wait

like second parents, as well as

another day to complete this

aunts and grandparents.

task”. LOL What do you feel you bring to your What do you feel is the next step

career and what do you feel you

for you in your career choice?

have contributed to others in your field?

Just to keep creating music and seek other avenue to extend the

I bring transparency and

music in other areas.

inspiration, through my music. I also motivate others to persevere.

What is your normal day like at work?

What advice can give our readers to the choice they make in their

There is not any normal day. I

career and the choice they make in

just do whatever I have to do and

their educational growth?

when my tasks are complete, then I’m done.

Stay true to yourself and get an education as it is very important

What do you feel is the most

not matter what field you choose.

memorable time in your childhood that set you on your goal of being successful in your career choice?

What do you feel is your biggest competitor in your field and what do you do to overcome those competitors?

Singing “I Got Love On My Mind” around my family and them

Myself. Sometimes, I can get in

cheering me on.

my own way by being too critical of my work.


How do you feel is the state of the music industry and how do you feel about the amount of reality shows dealing with music? It’s in a funny place. There are pros and cons. The Internet has helped artists such as me; however, there is still a struggle with soul music being exposed in a wider spectrum. Have you considered entering any of the reality music shows and which one would you consider being on? Why consider that reality show? I haven’t considered this. However, I would not rule it out. As a mentor and leader in your industry what type of leadership example is best to exhibit for our youth? To stay positive and keep in mind that others are influenced by your music, so it is necessary to be mindful in addition to staying true to yourself. Can you tell our readers some of the projects you are currently working n and how they are coming along? We’re wrapping up the next video single which is very exciting. I am also working on my next album, launching a radio show, and collaborating with BET’s Rap-It-Up campaign… just to name a few.


I noticed that you attended the Cleveland School of Arts can you tell us about how things were for you at this school? I met a lot of great people there and my class was like family. I learned so much from my peers and I also learned that there is always someone who is equally as talented, therefore having drive is so necessary. So can you tell us what your recording label has done since its beginning in 2001 and what is the plan for the recording label? To keep recording and perhaps take on other artist who have a desire to create music independently. Are you planning on making any appearances on stage in 2013 and where can we look to see you? Definitely! Management is working on next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s schedule. Updates will be posted on my Conya Doss fanpage and website at





Lisa Yolanda George, fondly known as Lisa Gee or LG, has decades of international travelling under her belt, which has allowed her to witness the many ailments of the world such as chronic poverty, hunger, inadequate health care, inadequate housing, and issues that affect youth. Lisa has always enjoyed working with underserved communities, in both volunteer and employment positions -- as a result, she has put in thousands of hours of work for the American Red Cross, on CDC-funded projects, with various hospitals, clinics, and laboratories, community based organizations, and campaigns. In her “previous life”, as a Program Manager, she enhanced program growth by 70% and strengthened collaborative relationships to the end goal of “making big things bigger. Her love for social causes led her to become a member of Chicago's HIV Prevention Planning Group and elected Co-chair of the Gap Analysis/Needs Assessment Committee and Executive Committee. In this capacity, she was involved in the priority setting process and helped determine where limited resources will go towards HIV prevention. She served in similar positions for over ten years. Her passion for fighting social ills continues to spill over into various areas. Her journey has taken several twists including thinking she wanted to be a physician when younger, grantwriting, and wondering if and how she could combine her various loves. Today, she heads up ConnectingYOUto PR Firm which focuses on developing marketing, advertising, and PR programs for and with Fortune 500, high-profile individuals, nonprofit and government clients. Her knack for seeing the impossible and creating effective PR campaigns came from her years of working with non-profits to “tap into the mindset” of target populations with key health messages. Under her guidance, ConnectingYOUto PR Firm gets people noticed.


This requires people reading my autobiography when I write it in a few years. LOL. There is not one thing. My parents, international traveling, growing up around music, and being creative in many ways being exposed to different things. I think these things somehow came together to play a role, in the success of my career choice. When I look back, at my life, a lot of occurrences make sense now – the dots connect. It was a journey though. I once thought I wanted to be a physician. Go figure. (Pictured above) Lisa George with Alexander Hamilton

Escapades: What type of support system did you Escapades: Lisa can you describe your career to us? Getting companies and individuals noticed! Public Relations is the name for it. LOL. It involves getting “entities” noticed, in a manner that reflects the essence of whom or what they are and their end goals. It also involves truly getting to know your client, keeping a pulse on a lot, being savvy, maintaining ongoing key relationships, being creative and flexible, and having fun with it. LOL. Oh, and having the ability to identify unique opportunities and work closely with the client. Lastly, but definitely not least, being honest with the client, as part of successful PR involves a mutually respectable and goal-oriented relationship with the client. Escapades: What do you feel is the most memorable time in your childhood that set you on your goal of being successful in

get as you grew up in school and at home? I have the best family (extended and immediate). My parents and siblings. They encouraged raising bars, surpassing goals, believing in myself, and living out your dreams while … they don’t encourage a belief system that leads away from success. We laugh a lot and have loads of fun. By extension, my son, boyfriend, and some really kick-butt friends have joined this circle of love. Escapades: What unique experience can you tell the readers about in your career? I get to have loads of fun every day because I am doing what I love and get to work with the most creative, real, funny, and hard-working people. Also, the clients that I work with tend to be really wholesome and have a sincere desire to have a positive impact, on the world. So helping them strengthen their brand is really nice as I get to help make people more aware of them and their “works”.

your career choice?


Escapades: Tell us about some of your

professors about McDonald’s and their

career accomplishments?

suppliers. For some of these suppliers, McDonald’s is there only client. Wouldn’t you

Wow, honestly, there are many. I have been privileged to work with many Fortune 500 companies over the years to help them gain visibility for their cause campaigns. In this respect, I have connected celebrities and sponsors, with the biggest hearts to such causes to help make the campaign more successful. I think this is where one’s definition of success and accomplishments

want to keep that client happy? Escapades: What do you feel are the good aspects of the career you have chosen for yourself and what are the bad aspects of the career you have chosen? I get to do what I love and love doing it! It encompasses so many things that kinda defines

comes in. Knowing that I played a role, in helping make something successful always makes me feel accomplished… whether it is the number of people, product placement, raising funds for something… Hearing the excitement, in a client’s voice is also something I treasure. Escapades: What are your short-term goals in your career and what are your long term goals also?

Grammy nominated Syleena Johnson and nationally – renowned singer Terisa Griffin at

Truthfully, they are the same. This answer

Magic Johnson Point Forward Day - 2011

may annoy my former business class professors. LOL. My short-term goal is to keep my current clients happy and my longterm goal is the same. Happy clients stick around and I have always wanted to maintain a small firm, with a few happy clients. Of course, for each client, there are specific goals that we have and my plan is to make sure those are surpassed. That way, I can keep doing what I love and balance my life, in a way that is truly important to me. I have always loved the story told during class, many moons ago, by one of my


me such as music, philanthropy, creativity, challenges (yes, even these – LOL), writing, working with cool people, and being able to define my day. I won’t say that there are bad aspects of being a business owner however; one must be prepared to be truly disciplined and be familiar with many, if not all aspects of your business operations such as legal, accounting, IT, HR, and so much more. But I will take that over not owning my own business any day.

Escapades: What motivates you in your career on a daily basis? To continue creating the life that I want and do what I love. It’s just that simple. The freedom that comes with running your own business is exhilarating! I also want my son to get a peek into different ways of working and knowing that one can create the life that they desire. Escapades: What do you consider to be your weakness in your career and how do you work on strengthening this weakness each day? I stopped believing in weaknesses a while ago. I sometimes want to believe in something more than a person but I successfully fight that. This deserves an example. I have worked with companies that

(Picture above)Lisa George with performers and presenters.

were quite capable of getting funding or sponsorship for an event but for whatever reason, they didn’t want it as badly as I did.

Escapades: What is your normal day like

The result is that my time was spent in ways

at work?

that shouldn’t have been and the funding not received. It’s a mutual partnership and I look

I don’t think there are normal days in PR.

for that, in all my clients.

There’s a lot of follow-up, following new leads, paying attention to the pulse of the

Escapades: What do you feel is the next step

industry and world at-large, networking,

for you in your career choice?

checking that my company’s actions are in line with each client’s strategic plan,

Well, that’s an easy answer since this is my

keeping myself organized, keeping a level-

career choice. Of course, we never know

head, and honestly having fun. I tend to

what twist life may throw at you but I have a

laugh a lot with my colleagues and clients,

strong feeling that the only thing that will

on a daily basis.

change, is the nature of PR in our rapidly changing world.


competition! Escapades: I see you have worked with Fortune 500 companies and high profile individuals; along with other companies such as non-forprofit and government agencies. What do you feel is the reason why companies continue to come to you? What type of service is it that makes them return? (What I am getting at is most companies that deal with major companies and individuals such as you have begun to lose that personal touch of service. What makes you grounded and stay the course of the personal touch?) I’m real and personable. And I treat people the way I’d like to be treated. People like people and continue (Pictured above) Part of the team.

to work with people that they like. I immerse myself in the essence of a company and its

Escapades: Can you tell us how you

staff. I also bring a high level of integrity,

came to the idea of starting

professionalism, and personal touch to my work

ConnectingYOUto PR firm? What drives

while realizing and often surpassing goals. I

the concept of your firm compared to

also don’t have a problem doing menial work to

some of your competition in the PR

get the job done. Lastly, but certainly not least, I


create partnerships.

I have always been a connector and am

Escapades: Do you try to stay within a certain

pretty good at it. I love connecting great

type of clientele in your PR firm? And if not how

things, people, and companies to others

do you pick one client over another; because

doing great things. It just sort of came to

you can’t handle everyone all the time and still

me after doing it for so many years.

offer the best service? As a lesson learned by

ConnectingYOUto connects entities to

business owners “You can’t please everyone”.

media, sponsorship, other entities, etc. That’s what we do! I think the world

I tend to attract people who seem to share the

could be in such a better place if we

same life goal. I can safely say that most of my

collaborated better than we do now.

past and current clients have genuine hearts,

Regarding the “competition”,

are goal oriented, and enjoy true partnerships. I

ConnectingYOUTo is it’s only

tend to stay away from entities that do not want


“it” badly enough because then we are not in


a partnership and unnecessary challenges

Escapades: What do you feel you bring to your

arise in trying to reach goals.

career and what do you feel you have contributed to others in your field?

Escapades: How has the recession affected your business in regards to clients spending

I motivate others, through my actions and words.

funds for marketing?

I dare people to think outside the box and look into “other ponds” when looking to enhance

Truthfully, I lost all of my clients, at the

one’s brand. The world continues to rapidly

beginning of the recession because they

change. So I think people need to keep the “old”

were affected. But that was good for me

ways in mind, but adapt, in a strategic manner.

because I learned a lot and am now better

When I say “old”, that could be two years ago.

business operator. Businesses should be


prepared for all types of economic

Escapades: Can you explain the academic

conditions and that I am. I’m also much

background it takes to do your specific

happier now with the make-up of my clients

job/career and what is the future of continuing

because I am staying true to myself and

education look forward to for people in your

what I love doing. I also feel more secure of


my operations and continually strive to make them better.

I was biology major, in college and furthered my education with business and public health, so I

Escapades: What do you feel is your biggest

do not have formal PR “training” with regards to

competitor in your field and what do you do

education. Mine was more hands-on when I

to overcome those competitors?

worked for non-profit organizations on social marketing campaigns with the goal of “tapping”

I am my only competition. I think Oprah said

the mindset of the target audience. Social

something like that years ago and I

marketing involves the art of persuasion, social

embraced that fully. If I spent time looking

perceptiveness, critical thinking, active listening,

at what other entities are doing, then I won’t

writing, analysis, problem solving, coordination,

focus on doing what I need to as much. The

and so much more. Its activities parallel that of

world has enough for everyone so I firmly

public relations. However, one can get a college

believe that if you do your ultimate best and

degree in public relations, journalism,

are prepared, “your time” will come… over

advertising, or communication. Internships are

and over again. Now, I do pay attention to

also great hands-on learning experiences. There

the industry trends and offerings but I don’t

are also certificate programs out there.

focus on others. That requires discipline


Escapades: What advice can give our readers to the choice they make in their career and the choice they make in their educational growth? Follow your heart and believe that you can achieve what you desire to. Look at what it is that makes your heart soar and do everything that you can to make it happen. Pay attention to the offerings of the world, be honest with yourself, and align yourself with people that will stretch you... teach you… and encourage your inner eagle to soar. Escapades: As a mentor and leader in your industry/career what type of leadership example is best to exhibit for our youth? A leader should be able to actively listen. They should also know when to yield, learn, and be quiet… know that there is not necessarily always a right way… keep the big picture in mind and treat people right. Oh and say thank you. People don’t do that enough anymore.

(Picture below) Lisa George’s family.


and/or sour cream and pass crushed red pepper. Makes 4 main dish servings. From the test kitchen Variation Chili for Two: Prepare as above, except divide all ingredients in half. Variation

Chili Makes: 4 servings Prep: 15 mins. Cook: 20 mins. Ingredients 1 Pound lean ground beef ½ cup chopped green sweet pepper (1 small) ½ cup chopped onion (1 medium) 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 15 ounce canned tomato sauce 1 15 ounce canned red kidney beans, undrained 1 14 1/2 ounce canned diced tomatoes, Urban Chefs undrained 2 – 3 Teaspoons chili powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon dried basil, crushed ¼ Teaspoon ground black pepper Shredded cheddar cheese (optional) Chopped onion (optional) Dairy sour cream (optional) Crushed red pepper (optional) Directions In a 3-quart saucepan cook and stir ground beef, sweet pepper, 1/2 cup chopped onion, and the garlic over medium heat until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in tomato sauce, undrained beans, undrained tomatoes, chili powder, salt, basil, and black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer covered cheese, chopped onion,

Cincinnati-Style Chili: Prepare as above, except omit sweet pepper, basil, and optional garnishes. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper with the tomato sauce. To serve, place 1/2-cup hot cooked spaghetti on each of 4 serving plates; make an indentation in center of each portion. Top each serving with some of the chili, 1 to 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese, 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped onion, and/or 1/4 cup additional kidney beans. Nutrition facts (Chili) Servings per Recipe 4

Calories 381, Protein (gm) 32, Carbohydrate (gm) 35, Fat, total (gm) 15, Cholesterol (mg) 71, Saturated fat (gm) 6, Dietary Fiber, total (gm) 9, Sodium (mg) 1265, Potassium (mg) 905, Calcium (DV %) 111, Iron (DV %) 5, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet Recipe supplied by Urban Chefs. What did you think of this recipe? Share your thoughts and rate it now.

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½ Pound Lean ground beef ½ Cup chopped onion 1 Clove garlic minced 7 cups water 1 (14.5 oz.) Urban Chefs Whole Tomatoes undrained cut into pieces ½ cup Barley uncooked ½ cup sliced celery ½ cup sliced carrots Beef bouillon cubes ½ dried basil crushed 1 Bay leaf 1 (9oz) pkg. Frozen mixed vegetables In a 4-quiart saucepan or Dutch oven, brown meat. Add onion and garlic until onion is tender. Drain Stir in remaining ingredients except frozen vegetable. Cover bring to a boil. Reduce heat simmer 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add frozen vegetable: cook about 10 minutes or until vegetable are tender. Additional water may be added if soup becomes too thick upon standing: MAKES 12 (1 CUP) SERVING Recipe supplied by Urban Chefs. What did you think of this recipe? Share your thoughts and rate it now.

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church, or any outings. Her father now deceased; mother to this day is a diva and will not have any excuses on showing any signs of lacking on her appearance, courage and wisdom. Viola is the eighth child out of nine children, and very blessed that she came from a strong, supportive, loving family. She grew up on the south side of Chicago, left at an early age then moved to Oregon, Viola was always known as a trendsetter growing up and kept her following. Viola got her first start into makeup Viola Nicholson is a makeup artist/innovator, mom, entrepreneur who loves the beauty-fashion industry. She grew up surrounded around beautiful women, and well dressed men. With that she always had a passion for fashion and makeup. As a little girl she always remember her parents never leaving out the house very well groomed taking the family to school,


professionally 21, while being a Fashion/Print Model. She always had her motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s makeup bag for every shoot at that time the artists werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t educated on women of color. She always had to do her own makeup, a photographer notice her craft and told her to seek it professionally. She did and can recall her first job behind a makeup counter, and with her style, smile and warmth her reputation grew and her clientele. She's worked for Fashion Fair, Este lauder,

Prescriptives, MAC, Christian Dior, and

Steel Mill Worker, Appearances Always

Bobbi Brown. She freelanced also

Made Huge Impact On My Family, My

throughout her career, and will always give a

Mother Kept She Together.

special thanks to Reggie Wells for allowing her to share her vision on what the industry

Escapades: What type of support system

is missing (A Day Of Beauty With Reggie

did you get as you grew up in school and

Wells) and being her mentor, Sam Fine (A

at home?

Fine Day Of Beauty, With Sam Fine) for

Viola Nicholson: I always was pretty

taking the time out on educating her and the

much popular in school, trendy in school

invite to Atlanta for his seminar. She

and at home, my family loved to hear

returned back to work with her Mentors and

other goals; especially my two brothers.

Created Events for All to Enjoy. Get inspired

Close in age

and pursue their Goals. And with that vision she Developed Line of Cosmetic brushes. Brushes by Viola... Viola's goal is to bring any image to a different level in life, whether you are a Politician, Musician, Teacher, Parent, Stylist, Designer, Writer, Chef any walk of life she can bring out the best in you. Viola is currently working on her Non for Profit for the male youth and is continuing being a mentor for other great aspiring artists.

Escapades: Can you explain the academic background it takes to do your specific job/career and what is the future of continuing education look forward to for people in your field? Viola Nicholson: I Was A Nursing Student, Model Part Time. Professionally Modeling. Early 90s, They Didn’t Have African Americans Teaching Beauty in the Northwest (Oregon).Many Levels in

Viola Nicholson’s Educational

This Industry. Encourage All To Learn


Business/Management. Chemistry, Public Relation, Marketing, Engineer,

Escapades: What do you feel is the most


memorable time in your childhood that set you on your goal of being successful

Viola Nicholson’s Career Choice

in your career choice? Escapades: Viola can you describe your Viola Nicholson: My Father Started His

career so far as a makeup artist?

Own Business From Scratch. Former

Viola Nicholson: So Far. I’m truly blessed. Grown Into My Own. By 36

Learning From The Best, Surrounded Myself/Craft Around Knowledge Wisdom.

Viola Nicholson: I’m here. Someone Finally Here to Share Blessings for All to

Escapades: Tell us about some of your

Grow. Believe There Is Room to Expand

career accomplishments?

Your Career...

Viola Nicholson: Well Getting Hired On

Escapades: What do you feel is the next

As a Professional Artist. Since

step for you in your career choice?

1991...Most Women Of Color Never Last In The Beauty Industry Without Going

Viola Nicholson: Continue Networking

Through. Obstacles.

With Fellow Artists Different Countries.

Escapades: What are your short-term

Viola Nicholson’s Career Motivation

goals in your career and what are your

Escapades: What motivates you in your

long-term goals also?

career on a daily basis?

Viola Nicholson: I want to see the Next

Viola Nicholson: Expressions On What I

Viola. Continue Sharing My Craft &Vision

See On Everyday People. Reaching Out

To All. So Many Eager Aspiring Artists.

To Everyday People. Engaging To All

That Are Ready. Need Mentoring. Us to Listen...

Escapades: What do you consider to be your weakness in your career and how

Escapades: What do you feel are the

do you work on strengthen this

good aspects of the career you have

weakness each day?

chosen for yourself and what are the bad aspects of the career you have chosen?

Viola Nicholson: Doors Still Need To Be Open. I’m working on Getting More

Viola Nicholson: Good Thing I’m

Doors Open.

Following My Heart and Dream. Bad Aspect. My Son Had To Wait Up Late

Escapades: What do you feel is your

For Me From Long Hours.

biggest competitor in your field and what do you do to overcome those

Escapades: What do you feel you bring to your career and what do you feel you have contributed to others in your field? 37


Viola Nicholson: I’m My Own Competitor. I’m Much Harder On Myself. I Challenged Myself to see if I can Capture Chicago/Midwest 10yrs.ago.I Did It. Escapades: How do you feel is the state of the fashion/make up industry?

Viola’s Mentoring Advice Escapades: As a mentor and leader in your industry/career what type of leadership example is best to exhibit for our youth? Viola Nicholson: Reach Out To Them.

Viola Nicholson: Quality. I’m All about

Share Show Our Youth We Love Them

Class & Professionalism. Sort Out The

and We Are Here, We All Can Learn

Quality Artists and Fashion.

From Our Youth As Well. They Give Me Hope. I Give That Love Back By

Escapades: In regards to the various


reality shows out there such as Tyra’s Top Model how do you think the make-up

Escapades: What advice can give our

business turned out?

readers to the choice they make in their career and the choice they make in their

Viola Nicholson: She Gave It A Huge

educational growth?

Boost. Tyra Is A Business Woman. Viola Nicholson: Do Not Give Up. Network with the Right People. Stay Connected.


Together, That’s How You Build. Escapades: What did you get out of

Brushes By Viola’s Future

working for some of the other fashion companies such as Fashion Fair, Estee

Escapades: Can you tell our readers some

Lauder, Christian Dior, and MAC? And

of the projects you are currently working on

what are you finding is the best

and how they are coming along?

advantages you have taken from each one to your own line?

Viola Nicholson: Right now I’m working on Several Productions with Fashion Legend

Viola Nicholson: Each Line

and Makeup Artists That Is Set in spring

Accomplished Their Goal, Since Majority

2013, Relaunching My New Line Brushes

Companies Are Owned By Lauder &

By Viola.

L’Oreal...It’s great to understand the History behind Each One, Why They

Escapades: Viola we would like to thank

Create It and Still Going Strong over

you for sharing some time with us here on

Decades in the Business. I Learned from

this interview and we wish you all the

That. My Late Father Said to Me

success. We also hope that you will stay in

“Understand the Business”. Let Them

touch and let us know some of your

Understand “Viola”. Work Effectively

accomplishments in the fashion industry.


Allen D. Edge has performed his special brand of humor at Zanies in Chicago Barrel of Laughs All Jokes Aside Jokes & Notes in Chicago U Got Jokes Chicago Comedy Central’s “Comic Justice” The Comedy Café in Milwaukee The Apollo Theatre in New York Opening act for Patti La Belle FOR BOOKING AND INFORMATION Regarding Transitions Edge Productions, Inc. Or Bookings for speaking engagements

Aretha Franklin Smokey Robinson The O’Jays The Soul Children of Chicago

Please call (630) 631-9239 Or Email





Escapades: In high school and in college who was your mentor? Who did you look up to for motivation in your career choice and why? In high school my dreams were so random and interchangeable that I had many mentors. I dreamed of being a Teacher and Writer so the Senior English teacher Mrs. Johnson was my mentor then. I wanted to sing, so I looked up to Brandy. But as far as modeling goes my mentor, from afar, was Tyra Banks. This was before “America’s Next Top Model”… and before Google had been created. I had to dig up info on her at my neighborhood public library, and in the magazines at the convenient stores. She was my Idol as a teen, and still is today. Escapades: What were your best subject and your worse subject? And why? How did you overcome dealing with your worse subject? My best subject was English. I’ve always loved to write so it came natural to me. But I can’t say the same for Geography. It took a lot of studying, and staring at maps before I started to understand. I contacted my Geography teacher for help. She was more than happy to do so. In the end, I earned a 44


B. It’s not quite an A, but I accepted it considering that I know I really tried. Escapades: What was your most memorable moment that made your decision to pick the career of fashion? Well, I had a passion for modeling since I was 9 years old. I was over 20 when I finally jumped in though. It was actually an accident. A cousin of mine had taken an interest in photography and asked if he could take some images of me. He posted the images on Facebook and the rest is history. The most memorable moment didn’t come until the next morning when I logged into Facebook and saw that I had hundreds of requests from Models, Photographers and Promoters… and people that just wanted to support my career. It was an awesome feeling! And at that moment I began to accept that a career had started and I decided to take it on at full force. Escapades: If you would have to pick another career other than fashion what career choice would you pick and why? I would choose to sing. I have the talent to sing, and write. So maybe one day that will come true as well.


Escapades: What advice can you give our young and adult readers in regards to education, career, and family? Education is the key to life. Some like to say that school isn’t for them, but I say school is for EVERYONE. All it takes is 4 years of your adult life to get your Bachelors, so why not? It could mean the difference of choosing a career, or getting a job. Escapades: What is your best advice for our young readers about dealing with bullying and peer pressure? Never succumb to peer pressure. Be yourself! With that in mind, it is simple to say no to things that you know are not “you”. If you’re being pressured to do something, the person pressuring is not your friend in the first place. Find new friends. When it comes to bullying tell someone! Talk to someone at home; talk about your feelings, talk about why you think they’re bullying you. Go to the dean at your school and let them know you’re being bullied. If its cyber bullying contact the police. Since 2009 Cyber bullying has been a serious offense all across America. It’s considered a felony in some states.


Escapades: What is your normal day

Constance Renee they will always get!

in the life of a fashion model and what do you like about it and what do you

Escapades: How were you discovered in

not like about it?

the fashion industry and what did you have to do from beginning to end to make it in the

My normal day consists of promoting

fashion industry to get to the point that you

and networking. A model’s job is 24/7.

are at right now?

Even when I’m taking care of other business, my eyes are open for

Well, as I mentioned about my memorable

networking opportunities, and paid

moment, I was discovered by accident.


Monty Montgomery was one of the people who had joined my Facebook friends. I

Escapades: Can you tell us what your

started to do a series of photo shoots with

ultimate goal in the fashion industry is

him which brought my agent to me. Byron of

and what are your next actual steps to

LBMG has believed in me from day one! I

achieve that goal(s)?

thank him for his support and encouragement, as the opportunities he’s sent my way.

My ultimate goal is to become a house hold name. To achieve that, I remain consistent so my fans are not surprised by sudden/random moves I make. In order to do so, I express the real me. The Constance Renee they know is the




in topics from Real Estate, Health Wellness and Fitness, Boating and Marine Life, and another about Antique Collection. I also have a TV series I am developing about characters and players in the Legalized Marijuana business, and a reality series about six families that spend their summer Owner of KDH Media. Currently producing "The Network" Relationship TV show. Also producing and developing other film and TV projects. Have previously worked as a TV News Anchor/Reporter for Network Affiliates around the country. Hosted an

on Martha’s Vineyard. And finally I have a Relationship show that helps couples improve their relationships before and or after marriage. Oh, and I have a magazine featuring aspects of West Indian life in the Caribbean and a couple of screenplays which I won’t go into what they’re about here.

Entertainment Magazine TV show produced in Boston called "The Unscene".

What unique experience can you tell the

Produced and Anchored TV news show for

readers about in your career?

NASA. Well, my career has evolved and has had Describe your career as the owner of KDH

many facets. I began as a writer and became

Media and what that entails?

an actor, then became a director and producer. Then I went back to school to

KDH Media is my baby. It’s the entity that

study TV journalism (And worked as a radio

allows me to produce programming the way I

personality while in school) then I became a

see fit. It’s all about creating relationships

TV News Reporter. My first big story was

with people who are interested in any

covering the events of 9/11. I was living in

manner of film and video production for their

Birmingham Alabama working for NBC at the

own professional needs. It’s also the

time. That was such a crazy and intense

company that is behind many of my own

time for people working in News for obvious

productions. I am currently developing and

reasons. It was such a huge story with many

producing four local TV shows. They range

stories of heroism and tragedy that came out of it.


My next big story that took

And the show also had a

Boston until I was hired to

place also while living in

celebrity segment. We

produce commercials and

Birmingham was covering the

featured folks like John

corporate videos for a company

murder trial of Bobby Frank

Legend, India Arie and

in Charleston South Carolina.

Cherry, and Thomas Blanton Jr. The Rock. The show was

Then I left there to write

They are the two ex Ku Klux

produce and anchor the TV

great and very ambitious

Klan members who bombed the but as it happens some

news show for NASA. The

16th Street Baptist Church killing times, it was canceled

studio is at the NASA/Langley

four young African American

after the first season.

Air Force Base in Hampton

girls back in 1963. I went on to

Tell us about some of

Virginia (where I still live) that

stations with different network

was extremely interesting and

affiliations in Raleigh/Durham

fun. The main objective of the

North Carolina, Charleston

show was to highlight and

South Carolina and Norfolk

feature the latest research and

Virginia. I covered other

discoveries from all ten NASA

national stories from the I-95

centers nationwide. The

Sniper Shooter to the Gulf War

mandate we had from the

to the Anthrax threats. And local

Obama Administration was to

stories from a Mayoral

create a program to get K-12

candidate accused and

students interested in STEM

convicted of murdering his wife,

(Science Technology

to poultry worker strikes, to the

Engineering and Math)

phenomenon of adult thumb

Education. Eventually (during

sucking. I next took a job hosting an entertainment magazine TV

your career accomplishments?

budget cutbacks) NASA pulled the funding and the show ended. I now work for WSKY

show produced in Boston. It

Specifically can you tell

SKY4-TV (Virginia’s last

was a great show that

us about your time as an

Independent TV station) as an

highlighted the unique

anchor and producer for

Account Executive. I sell

accomplishments of African

the news for NASA?

advertising time for commercial

American’s that many have never heard of. We featured a woman who owns a beer brewery in Harlem, New York to a man who built a business providing inexpensive gourmet meals to underprivileged families, to a racecar driver.

And also tell us about your current television show “The Network”? I went on to teach Communications at a Community College in

clients. I also write, direct and produce many of my client’s commercials.

What are your short-term goals in your career and what are your long-term goals also?


where some people you never

very organized. But I work

expect to see again, show up!

on it daily. Also, something

What motivates you in your

that cannot be overstated is

career on a daily basis?

remembering people’s names when introduced or

I wake up everyday expecting

when you meet them.

something new and exciting

People love to hear their

to happen, and it usually

name and are always impressed when you remember it, especially after

My journey is ongoing.

just a single meeting. Find

Eventually I will be writing and

ways to remember names.

making movies full time. That

It takes work but is always

has always been my goal. I’ve

worth the effort. Make word

just taken a very unorthodox

associations to remember

route to get there.


What do you feel are the good aspects of the career you have chosen for yourself and what

What is your normal day like

are the bad aspects of the

at work?

career you have chosen? It starts with answering It’s all been a fantastic learning

emails and phone

experience. You can always

messages. No day is the

learn from experiences. Even if your experiences aren’t exactly


what you want to do, there are always aspects of the

What do you consider to be

experiences or people that I’ve

your weakness in your career

met that have been valuable

and how do you work on

assets when you least expect

strengthen this weakness

them. Especially when I was freelancing in NYC. Many of the

each day?

jobs I landed were because of

I am terribly disorganized.

people I had met along the way.

And with so many things on

Never underestimate the power

my plate, it is an area I really

of networking and knowing a lot

can’t afford to be less than

of people. You will be surprised


same. There are usually meetings about current and

upcoming projects, sales meetings with management or clients. Then there is a lot of script writing and production either in the studio or on location. What do you feel is the most memorable time in your childhood that set you on your goal of being successful in your career choice? I was in a play at the college where my father was teaching. They needed a child for the production and I got the part. The first time I walked out on that stage and felt the audience, I was hooked. Then I saw “The Wiz” on Broadway staring Stephanie Mills as Dorothy. I fell completely in love with the theatre after that, and couldn’t get enough. I was in every school production and eventually got an agent. What type of support system did you get as you grew up in school and at home? My parents were supportive but hoped I would study something in school to “fall back on” I do not think they were happy when I dropped out of school to move to NYC to be an actor. What do you feel you bring to your career and what do you feel you have contributed to others in your field? I bring lots of experience. I have helped others stay motivated to pursue their dreams too.


What advice can you give our readers to

Can you explain the academic background it

the choice they make in their career and

takes to do your specific job/career and what is

the choice they make in their educational

the future of continuing education look forward to


for people in your field?

Learn as much as possible about things

Study Mass Communications and Journalism. In

you care about and things you don’t. It’s

most cases a bachelor degree is a must. I have a

best to be as well rounded as possible.

Master’s Degree.

Once you decide what you do want to do or go after, go after it hard! Make it your

What are some of your favorite television shows

passion! Learn all you can about it and

that are out now; such as reality shows and

about others who are doing it! Get as many mentors as you can in the field. Never stop learning.

television series? Also, are you familiar with the new stations that are out such as ME-TV, Bounce TV, and other stations similar that are bringing

What do you feel is your biggest

back shows like the Jeffersons, Good Times,

competitor in your field and what do you do

Knight Rider, Star Trek and other shows from the

to overcome those competitors?

60s and 70s? What do you think of these stations?

Especially knowing that the network (television and movie) business is so

Stations that carry the nostalgic shows are great

competitive already. I don’t worry about

for reminiscing and for younger people to see

that and just do my best work.

what we were watching back in the day! My favorite shows are “Mad Men” “Boardwalk Empire”

How do you feel the state of the

I especially enjoy any show where the direction

television/film industry is today and how do

and writing is above the usual TV drama

you feel the future looks with all of the various internet television websites; such as Fancast (Xfinity), and other websites? Everything is going online. Everything. It’s all about convenience of delivery and convenience of viewing. It doesn’t bother me. It’s just the way it is and where it’s going.


standards. We would like to thank Kurt Hogan for spending the time to do this interview with us here at Escapades. We wish him all the success and happiness in his career.



Put Safety In Mind For 2013

1. Identity Theft Protect your personal information, check your credit records and account activity regularly, and don't leave personal information or valuables in your car. Remember, you are entitled to a free credit report each year!

2. Report the 4-1-1 Public safety is everyone responsibility and one of the easiest ways to do your

part is by speaking up about what you know. You may have the missing piece of a puzzle that could possibly connect the dots.

3. Community Connection A close-knit community is a safe community. Get out of your house, get to know your neighbors and consider getting involved in public safety by volunteering in your community.

4. Safety "Net" Computers are a huge part of everyday life...not just for law-abiding citizens, also for criminals. Protect yourself and your family by making sure your security software is up-to-date, being a smart econsumer, and taking steps to protect your identity online.


Case Type: Endangered DOB: Oct 25, 1992 Missing Date: Jan 15, 2008 Age Now: 20 Missing City: Chicago Missing State: IL Case Number: NCMC1088268

Location Last Seen: ** Photo is shown age progressed to 18 years ** Yasmin was last seen at home with her mother's boyfriend. Circumstances of Disappearance: Unknown. Last Seen Wearing: Unknown. Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Unknown. Have information about this missing person? Click here to submit information to our Tip Line 59

Gender: Female Race: Black Complexion: Medium Height: 5-1 Weight: 125 Hair Color: Black Hair Length: Shoulder Length Eye Color: Brown Wear Glasses or Contacts: No

Case Type: Endangered DOB: Apr 07, 1997 Missing Date: Oct 05, 2012 Age Now: 15 Missing City: Decatur Missing State: IL Case Number: NCMC1203949

Location Last Seen: Unknown.

Gender: Male

Circumstances of

Race: Black

Disappearance: Possible

Complexion: Medium

runaway. He may still be in the

Height: 5-7

local area.

Weight: 151 Hair Color: Black

Last Seen Wearing: Unknown.

Hair Length: Short

Identifying Marks or

Eye Color: Brown

Characteristics: Unknown.

Wear Glasses or Contacts:

Have information about this missing


person? Click here to submit information to our Tip Line








Escapade magazine Jan 2013