Andy Magro

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Celebrating Diversity In The Entertainment Industry



92nd Academy Awards




award-winning international actor

Andy magro


elcome readers to a very special issue of Hollywood Weekly Magazine. We are honored to have Andy Magro gracing our cover.

Andy Magro is an extremely talented, award-winning international actor, voice-over actor, singer-songwriter, model, and public speaker. He is a multilingual talent from Germany with Italian and German citizenship. Magro is impressively fluent in Italian, English, German, and Spanish. He is also currently learning Chinese-Mandarin, French, and Swedish. He often travels back and forth between Germany, Italy, Australia, New York, and Los Angeles. Additionally, Andy is an Instagram influencer and global philanthropist that has used his popularity to make a positive impact in the world. As always, readers, we thank you. We are who we are because of YOU. Wishing you all Peace & Happiness!


Anthony Ewart

Associate Editor

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Award-Winning International Actor “The Sun Rises in the East and Sets with Kobe Bryant”


16 Hollywood Chef 92 ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS 20 KELLI SAE 22 The Joys and Challenges of Creating Songs... HITHA 26 BEDSIDE READING 28 Books to Devour SOUL VISION MAGAZINE 32 Cecily, the Songbird DR. SHINDALE SEALE 34 Creating a Workplace which Fosters Diversity ND

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Empowering People Through Music

Magro’s biggest inspiration in acting and philanthropy is Leonardo DiCaprio.




Andy Magro is an extremely talented, award-winning international actor, voice-over actor, singer-songwriter, model, and public speaker. He is a multilingual talent from Germany with Italian and German citizenship. Magro is impressively fluent in Italian, English, German, and Spanish. He is also currently learning Chinese-Mandarin, French, and Swedish. He often travels back and forth between Germany, Italy, Australia, New York, and Los Angeles. Additionally, Andy is an Instagram influencer and global philanthropist that has used his popularity to make a positive impact in the world. When Magro first started philanthropy, he had no idea where to start, but he had a mission in mind that he just wanted to help people. He explains that it’s very difficult to do philanthropy, because not everyone wants to donate. This is because people are suspicious if their money actually goes towards a good cause and the actual charity organization. He explains, “the entertainment industry has given me so much so far, and I just need to find a way to give back”. This is exactly why he started his own foundation, the Andy Magro Foundation, which is a reliable source for donators. Magro is an official supporter of the World Wildlife Fund and many other charity organizations. He also has his own charity organization, the Andy Magro Foundation. Magro’s Foundation was founded in 2018 and the charity was originally based on his music career. Magro decided that he would donate half the sales from his music sales earnings to those in need. His main mission is to find orphans a home with a loving family. Apart from this mission, he also hopes to “mitigate the impacts of climate change, reduce poverty, hunger, homelessness, protect the forest, ocean, and marine life”. The Andy Magro Foundation also donates funds towards environmental protection, natural disasters,

animal protection, global poverty, marine protection, and climate change. The organization also focuses on being humanitarian and helping education through its innovative programs. Magro’s biggest inspiration in acting and philanthropy is Leonardo DiCaprio. Magro is heavily involved in DiCaprio’s global charity campaign, “Save Tigers Now”. Part of the reason Magro aspires to Leonardo DiCaprio is because DiCaprio does a lot of philanthropy. DiCaprio has donated millions of dollars to charity organizations. Magro hopes to do the same one day. Magro tells Hollywood Weekly, “I want to try to do at least half of the things he did so far”. Magro thought deeply about starting his own charity organization when he started making music. “The special thing about my foundation is that I’m not a classic foundation that only focuses on one goal,” he explains to Hollywood Weekly, “I’m a giver, I give to multiple foundations”. He also gives volunteers to projects that need extra hands. He strives to work with every type of charity and each donation from donators is given to multiple charities. Magro’s main partners and sponsors include WWF, Save the Children, Leonardo DiCaprio, Make-A-Wish, and several other charities. Magro especially connects to the WWF, because it was the first project he collaborated with and it was a huge reason he started his foundation in the first place. He started by wanted to help save the tigers, but then grew a desire to expand his impact. Magro loves animals as he also has an own dog and was partly inspired by the movie, “We Bought a Zoo”. One of his biggest dreams is to buy or save a zoo with endangered animals. In general, Magro likes to get his inspiration from movies. He explains, “movies are not fake, there is always some type of truth to them”. In his opinion, even science fiction movies have truth to them, because the writer had to come up with the idea. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 5

Andy started acting at the young age of 12. Since starting his own drama club at 12, Magro has been busy being very active in the acting world and building an impressive resume. He was professionally trained in acting by the Australian Film and TV Academy (TAFTA) in a 5-month full-time intensive Film and TV course. He has also been professionally trained in drama school, International Bernard Hiller Masterclasses, vocal training, and dance school. He has even intensively trained in Military, Extreme MMA, Muay Thai, TRX Fitness, Combat and Personal Training for 5 months. He has also attended countless other workshops and masterclasses in London and Rome to improve his acting, singing, and dancing. Additionally, he has memberships with the BAE (British Actors Equity Association), BFFS (Bundesverband für Film und Fernsehschauspieler), GVL (Gesellschaft zur Verwertung von Leistungsschutzrechten), MEAA Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, AFI (Australian Film Institute), AACTA (Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts). Directors can find his casting databases and online resumes on IMDb, LA Casting / Casting Networks, Actors Access, Casting Frontier, BackStage, NowCasting / Players Directory US, e-Talenta / CastForward, Filmmakers, Schauspielervideos / Crew-United, CastUpload, Cast It Talent / ActorCast, Spotlight, Stagepool and RBCasting. Below, we have listed Andy’s roles: FILM 213-Der Feind an deiner Seite (International Short, 2013) John Miller (Soldier) - Leading Actor - SAE Institute of Film Stuttgart, Richard Ruisi Badflash (English Short, 2012) Confused Man, Leading Actor - CamShot Entertainment Richard Ruisi, David Stumpe Beyond the limits of insanity (Italian Short, 2012) Psychopath, Leading Actor - Actor´s House Rome - Tony Sperandeo A Dangerous Method (International Feature, 2011) Jean Martin Freud, Supporting Actor - RPC Production, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures / David Cronenberg Little Town (German Short, 2010) Ben, Leading Actor - DFFB Berlin / Florian Al Salk Either way (German Short, 2010) Flavio Massaro, Leading Actor - FH Dortmund / Ferhat Sahin 6 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

One summer dream (German Short, 2010) Lukas, Leading Actor - Chiasma Film, Pro7Sat1 Production / Julius Grimm In the way (German Short, 2009) Juvenile lover, Leading Actor - Film Academy BW / Christina Heeck The night (German Short, 2009) Marco, Leading Actor - Medienwerkstatt Biberach, LBBW / Julian Cohn Mail from Sally (German Short, 2007) Alfred in young, Leading Actor - Nanofilm / Sarah Koenig Cash for Kids (German Short, 2005) Rico, Leading Actor - Wingert-Film / Peter Wingert TELEVISION Aktenzeichen XY / America´s Most Wanted - Episode: Trabant flirt (German TV-Series, 2012) Trabant driver - Episode Leading Actor - Securitel Film, ZDF Germany - Bettina Braun

SOKO Leipzig/The Bill - Episode: Fightclub (German TV-Series, 2012) Dennis Kaufmann, Episode Leading Actor - ZDF Germany, UFA Film / Oren Schmuckler COMMERCIALS Club Mate - The Original (German Spec-Commercial, 2017) Olaf, Leading Actor - Filmacademy Baden-Württemberg / Mario Dahl A piece of cake (German Social Commercial, 2008) Juvenile delinquent, Leading Actor - Fraunhofer Institute, WDR Germany / Simon Schueller THEATRE The think tank (English Business Theatre, 2007) Apprentice, Leading Actor - Palamides Inc. Germany / Andy Magro Living with Jeans in the Stone Age (German Stage Play, 2004) Caveman, Leading Actor - Appenberg High School Moensheim / Verena Kurz

Andy MAGRO MISCELLANEOUS Goodbye, Michael Jackson (German DVD Documentary, 2009) Narrator, Leading Speaker - Aberle Media Film, GvK, e-m-s Holding / Peter Aberle Joe Young feat. Inspectah Deck – I don´t wanna go back (International Music Video, 2005) Junkie, Leading Actor Los Banditos Films, RTL 102.5, VIVA, MTV / Benjamin Eicher ANDY MAGRO’S MUSIC ACHIEVEMENTS Andy Magro – You And Me (DJ Sneaky Pete’s Remix) single release in 2019 Debut-EP release on iTunes + CD as a singer/songwriter for indie label Phonector in 2014 HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 7

Magro tells Hollywood Weekly that he likes playing diverse roles, because it allows him to be creative. He has played challenging roles, such as a murderer, victim, psychopath, drug dealer, and soldier. He also has extensive experience as a supporting and leading actor. His inspiration for being an actor is gauging an emotional response from his audience. Magro also enjoys being a part of something incredible. He feels connected to the current set, cast, and crew he’s working with and considers them his “second family”. Magro also enjoys acting, because it has allowed him to travel internationally. Magro has been recognized by the top industry directors in Europe and the United States. He has been featured in several feature films, TV shows, short films, commercials, and print ads internationally. Some of the films and tv-shows he is featured in include “A Dangerous Method”, SoKo Leipzig, Badflash, Beyond the Limits of Insanity, and Aktenzeichen XY. Magro is currently seeking more challenging lead roles. One of his biggest goals is to win an individual award for his acting. He has done many roles in dramas and thrillers. He is interested 8 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

in doing more roles in science fiction and fantasy in the future. One role you might recognize Magro in is as the leading junkie in the Wu Tang Clan music video, which he played at the young age of 15. Andy’s songs can be found on every major platform, such as Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon, etc. His newest songs will be published in 2020- some within the next few months. Magro’s last EP had songs that were on the international music charts for a few weeks. His most recent single, “You and Me” (DJ Sneaky Pete’s Remix), went platinum in

2019. His next project is going to be a compilation of singles that will contain 5 original songs. These songs will be in the English and Italian language. Magro prefers to make songs in English and Italian, because these types of songs tend to be more international. Magro describes his sound as Pop. He mainly enjoys making romantic songs. Magro has an award-winning EP, Never Stop Dreaming, that earned him the Best EP Pop/Rock at the Akademia Music Awards in 2016 and also won another award for his latest song (You And Me – DJ Sneaky pete’s Remix) in the category Best Dance/Electronica Song in 2019. This year, Magro has the special honor of being nominated for Artist of the Year Award in Dance/ Electronica and Pop/Rock and the Akademia 2020 Artist Vision Award. The Akademia Music Awards selected him out of other thousands top talents across the world. Magro is currently working on music, an upcoming album and is in talks for some interesting big German and Italian film- and tv roles. Besides that he´s planning to organize a big charity event with his Foundation together with WWF, of Kevin Bacon with lots of celebrities to raise as much awareness as possible. Magro has been an Instagram influencer for 1 year and has gained an impressive following of over 230k. He posts entertaining posts frequently on his verified account. Right now, Magro’s biggest goal is to gain more representation in the United States, so he can spread his impact.

Copyright credits: Courtesy of Recorded Picture Company and Lucio Virzi Photography HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 9

Andy Magro is currently open for bookings and collaborations: If you are interested in donating to the Andy Magro Foundation, please visit: If you are interested in learning more about Andy, please visit his website: If you are interested in booking Andy Magro or have any questions for him, send an email to: or contact his German Theatrical Agency or his German Model Agency. German Theatrical Agency:

German Model Agency:

Colibri Agentur für Schauspieler Katja Lorenz Triniusstraße 1B 12459 Berlin Germany Phone: +49.030-65009066 Cell: +49.0174-9413655

Together Models Katja Steininger, Ilka Maeklenburg Rosenheimer Str. 94 81669 München Germany Phone: +49.089-52032905

You can also follow him on Instagram and on Twitter @realandymagro and his foundation @andymagrofoundation



together models Rosenheimer Str. 94 81669 München

tel. +49 (0) 89 - 52 03 29 05

together models Rosenheimer Str. 94 81669 München

tel. +49 (0) 89 - 52 03 29 05

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The Sun Rises In The East And Sets... with Kobe Bryant


By Anthony Ewart

If only we could live our lives in sports. In the safety of sports. The safety of a game that can elicit the same kind of visceral emotions we experience in the “outside world.” But unlike the outside world it is free of the challenges that come living with capitalism, materialism and narcissism. Of the poisonous trifecta created by these three variables only capitalism is neutral in its affect on society. The metaphoric “tool” for good or bad. The many talents of Oprah Winfrey enabled her to flourish in a capitalistic society like butterflies in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest. But there is an underbelly to capitalism. Sometimes it seeps into sports. There is nothing worse than seeing your sports hero undone by their own undoing because of the seduction of money. But the Siren Song of capitalism, notwithstanding, sports is insulated from the harshness of life. I mean sports on the field. Or on the court -- all courts: either Laker Hot or L.A. Kings Cold. When athletes are competing against each other there is no outside world. When fans are screaming with excitement and frenzy in the Staples Center or arenas and stadiums around the globe there is no outside world. That is the insulation from our “reality” that sports provides. The greatest social accomplishment Kobe Bryant gave the world is maintaining his childlike fascination and love for the game of basketball and for sports in general. That exuberance. That passion. It never left him. I remember seeing a clip of Kobe Bryant in attendance at the Olympics to witness Michael Phelps collect gold like an Egyptian Pharaoh. Kobe said he wanted to be there in person to witness this “cool moment.” Kobe was very aware of the impact a “cool moment” in sports can have around the world. The impact those “moments” have on fans.

Kobe Bryant was a student of sports. All sports. He loved the drama of the game -- the drama of fierce, athletic competition. That’s the kind of drama that captivates children and turns them into sports fans -- creating them like Stars forming in Nebulas. The safety of that Nebulous sports womb. That is where Kobe Bryant excelled. When the outside world tried to pull him away, as it does with all great athletes -- in one direction or another -- Kobe’s focus saved him. It was all about the game. His passion for the game. His sense of fun for the game. Kobe Bryant may well be the Patron Saint of “Children everywhere who dream of becoming Sports Heroes.” Beard or no beard Kobe Bryant had a baby face and most people will always remember the excitement and buzz when he was “that new kid who could be the next Magic or Jordan!” And Kobe really was the Chosen One who fulfilled that promise. He was living our fantasy and we lived it vicariously through him. You could tell with Kobe, more than any other player, that he was living his childhood dream. The child in Kobe never left his heart. Always smiling. He even won his Academy Award for an animated film. It was impossible not to love Kobe Bryant. He represented the joy and fun of sports like no one else has done before or ever will. There will always only be One Kobe Bryant. Los Angeles is “the place in the West the Sun sets,” and we’re known for our beautiful sunsets. Kobe Bryant has now attached himself and immortalized himself with both. Every California sunset, from this day forward, will be a time to remember the love and happiness Kobe Bryant brought this world.



Photos: © CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved 14 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

Photos: © CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 15



HW Magazine threw its annual Pre-Grammy Party on January 25, 2020 at the Penthouse Headquarters of the NFL Los Angeles Chargers. The Penthouse was located inside of the brand new SoFi Stadium Premiere Center in Playa Vista, California. Inside of this highly modern building, attendees were able to get first glimpses of the interactive L.A. Stadium that will be built in Inglewood by Summer 2020. It is said that the Super Bowl LVI in February 2022 will take place in the actual stadium. The LA Stadium also has plans to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2028 Summer Olympics. The party itself featured performances from emerging pop sensation HITHA, singer-songwriting legend John Michael Ferrari, Russian pianist Oksana, Krunchtime Productions, and many other incredible acts. HITHA performed her new song, “Got me liking you” along with several other hits. John Michael Ferrari also debuted new music during his performance and overall had a great connection with the crowd. Each performer was supported by a live band and brought incredible energy to the stage. In attendance was Hollywood Weekly VIPs and Grammy stars that performed and/or attended the Grammys the following day. Stars came from all over the world with some travelling as far as from India and Vietnam.

Attendees walked around the Penthouse in awe, looking at the futuristic interactions and displays. There was even a VR experience that showed the vision for the new stadium. After guests walked in the penthouse, they could see a $500,000 piano on display, which was donated by Steinway & sons for the event. As you walked further into the venue, people could see the red carpet. All the celebrities and VIPs walked across the red carpet and photographers and attendees surrounded them and took pictures. Some stars and celebrities that previously were on the cover of Hollywood Weekly Magazine were interviewed on the red carpet and you can find their interviews online. Once people crossed the red carpet, they were greeted by guides that directed guests upstairs. People then went through a grand tour of the penthouse. Guests also had the opportunity to buy season tickets for the new stadium. After the grand tour, guests were free to walk around the enormous penthouse that had an indoor and outdoor area. Inside, guests could grab a bite and they were able to listen to a live DJ while enjoying a large variety of food from Chef Jack. Outside, guests could checkout our vendors, which included Sculptures by Stella and the Charles & CompanyBeverage Services. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 17

The highlight of the night was the food catered by Vietnamese American celebrity chef, Jack Lee, who is famous for catering for A-list celebrities in Hollywood. People in Hollywood and Vietnam fondly refer to him as đầu bếp Hollywood, which translates to the Hollywood Chef. He has experience in catering to large celebrity parties to private catering for celebrities. Some of the celebrities he has catered for includes Angelina Jolie, Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Oprah Winfrey, Patti Labelle, Quincy Jones, and Barbara Streisand. He received his training from the California School of Culinary Arts and the Le Cordon Blue program. His career really started taking off once he received the position as Banquet Chef at the Hotel Bel-Air. Chef Jack has worldly experience and has experience cooking in restaurants across the globe. Chef Jack creates a menu to is unique to the event he’s catering based on the “personality and appetite” of his clients. For the Hollywood Weekly Pre-Grammy Party, he presented a Asian and French fusion cuisine that consisted of New Year’s Golden Crispy Seafood Roll with Red Caviars, Asian Free Range Chicken Gyoza with Ginger and Sesame Chili ,Korean Short Ribs Taco with Sweet Remoulade Coleslaws, Jumbo Prawn with Honey Soy Glaze & Crispy Coconut Flakes, Grilled Chicken and Roasted Eggplant Quesadilla with Mango Salsa, and Thai Style Wild Mushroom Mini Pizza with Coriander . He was supported by his culinary team consisting of Tino Martinez, Nick Am-

Angela Lee Instagram:_angeluhh_lee_


brosio, Jason Ambrosio, Patrick Pham, Bill Chow, Angelica Ramos, and Salma Ramirez. There was a pastry team that was run by his daughters, Angela Lee and Liza Abella Lee. Angela Lee is following in the steps of her father in becoming a chef. She baked the pastries with her sister. Angela began baking at the young age of 8 and now at the age of 13, she’s baking for celebrities at our exclusive event. Chef Jack Lee describes his daughter as adventurous and a quick learner. She uses the kitchen as her personal playground, and she specializes in making cakes and cookies. Angela has also experimented in the cooking world by serving the turkey for her family’s Thanksgiving. When she’s not in the kitchen, she enjoys playing volleyball, tennis, and clarinet. Chef Jack Lee is a well-known chef in both the United States and Vietnam. Some of his shows he has been featured in include, MasterChef Junior Vietnam, Celebrity MasterChef Vietnam, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Rachael vs Guy: Kids Cook-off. Chef Jack also has famous food collections, such as Beyond the Seven Seas, My True Colors, Chinoises Tapas, and many more. Chef Jack is also known for his $100 egg roll. His signature dishes include Salmon Napoleon with Sea Urchin Sauce, Jumbo Prawn, Chilean Sea Bass with Orange Marmalade, and Lobster Beignet with Curry Sauce.


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By Alex A. Kecskes Raised by a Puerto Rican mother, an African American father, and Native American grandparents, Kelli Sae’s early influences include Spanish classics like Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Barbara Streisand, James Brown, Motown, and Black Rock Coalition. Sae’s sultry, soulful and powerful vocals unite pulsating beats and heart wrenching lyrics. As lead singer and the voice for many internationally successful bands—like Incognito, Defunkt, and the Philippe Saisse Acoustic Trio—Sae is co-member of the acclaimed award-winning European band Count Basic. Fans will recognize her voice on many recorded releases and as a vocalist on the hit TV show ‘Dancing With The Stars.’ Sae has worked, toured and performed background vocals for Tina Turner, Paul Simon, Meshell Ndegeocello, Angelique Kidjo, and countless others. She won the 2008 Amadeus Award (an equivalent of European Grammy) with co-member Peter Legat of Count Basic for the ‘Love & Light’ album. It won best Jazz, Blues, Folk honors with its worldwide release and video, which features the hit ‘Visible Scars.’ Working with co-writer, producer and keyboard phenom Albin Janoska, Sae’s video, ‘All I Wanna Do’ reached number one on BETJ Soul Sessions on the BET Network. It’s currently in video rotation on MTV-Germany and BET International.


Thank you for taking the time for this interview. When did you first get the desire to write songs and perform? Kelli: I started writing when I was a little girl—silly songs about whatever was going on in my life. After a while, it became more about things that matter. Were you inspired by a particular artist or song? Kelli: I was lucky. I came from a household that had music on all the time—classics like Barbara Streisand, Donna Summer, Diana Ross and The Supremes, and the Motown sounds. I really gravitated to all that. Then I became a huge Prince fan. I wanted to be Prince (laughs). Did you perform in school? When did you start singing? Kelli: I didn’t really perform in school. I was so nervous. I’d break out in a cold sweat. I couldn’t get myself to perform without freaking out. But people would encourage me and eventually, I’d sing. I was so shy and I’m still a bit shy to this day. The more intimate the audience, the more I freak out. In a huge crowd, I just melt into it.



When you create a song, do you start with lyrics or music? Kelli: You know, it’s never one way. Sometimes, I’ll be sitting and hear some rhythm and I’ll be like—da-dada-dum-dum—and I’ll go, yeah I like that. And I’ll lay it down in my little studio. Or if I’m in my car or running errands, I’ll sing that line into my phone—like a voice note. And I’ll go over it, singing as I go along, to create a melody. Sounds crazy, right? (laughs). Do you sometimes create a song from a real-life experience that touched you emotionally? Kelli: Yeah. Often. There’s been some tragedy in my life. One of my nephews committed suicide—he was just 12 years old. And I remember thinking, what was he feeling? So I wrote a song about it called ‘Urgency.’ I wrote it to an orchestra. It’s very barren. I tried to write it from the perspective of a person who would do that. When I write about real things, it hits home for more people. You suffered tragedies in your life. How and where do you find the strength to keep going? Kelli: What keeps me going is love. I love my family. I love life. I love myself. And I try to focus on the positive. I’m a Buddhist, which is why I say that. When I think of my sufferings—not to say they’re not important—I realize that it could be worse. I get up and realize that my body is healthy and my mind is well. So when you jump up in the morning and plan your day, compared to those who are sick or terminally ill, you have so much to be thankful for. And when I hear myself complaining about some little nonsense, I say shut up, what are you grumbling about? The point is you can focus on your problems or you can just move ahead. What do you like about performing in large venues? Same question for smaller, more intimate venues. Kelli: Larger venues are amazing. When I do a huge festival with an audience of like 50,000, I try to find a few people to connect with in that sea of people. And that can be difficult. But I also enjoy a smaller audience because you don’t get that intimacy in a huge crowd. Sometimes, I’ll jump down into an audience, dance, and start a party line, maybe even take some selfies with people. And I like that—connecting. Sometimes there are people in the audience who I have to win over. When that happens, I just give my best perfor-

mance and hopefully, by the end of the show, they’ll like it. It must be gratifying when you win them over and they’re moving and clapping and singing along with you. Kelli: You know, I never really understand that. I recently did a sold-out concert in Europe with my band Count Basic. I mean, if you bought a ticket, showed up, and you’re looking miserable with your hands on your chin or hips, I’m going to see you and try to win you over. What do you like about working with Count Basic? Kelli: The musicians are incredible and that big band sound is making a comeback. I love the music. It’s fun and upbeat. And I love my partner, guitarist Peter Legat, who has just been amazing over the years. We may not have that superstar status, but we always fill a venue, which speaks to the quality of the music. What have you learned about creating and producing songs that surprised you? Kelli: What I didn’t know at the start and what I know now is how much work goes into producing. I truly immerse myself and lose sleep. When I first got into this, I thought of the glamor and not the work. I’m a perfectionist and I’m not happy until it’s exactly how I heard it in my head. It has to be a ‘wow’ for me. After I come back from a concert, I’ll often replay the entire show in my head—every song, what I liked and didn’t like about my performance. Who do you rely on for support? Who’s your anchor in life? Kelli: Good question. For the past 15 years, I’ve relied on my partner. She’s amazing. She makes me see things I can’t see. You need that person to say, hey, you’re not looking at this the right way. I’ll say, take my side. And she’ll say, no, I’m not taking your side. I want you to see everything first. I’ll see her point and she’ll be so right. Any advice for young writers/performers just starting out? Kelli: Write what you know, rather than what you think might make you more popular.



Empowering PEOPLE Through



e all know music is a universal language. With music you can communicate across cultures and countries. No matter where we come from or who we are, we all relate to the emotions that we hear and feel from the songs we listen to. It doesn’t matter whether that be songs about relationships or songs about culture. There are so many languages that are spoken around the world. Even if you can’t understand the words of a certain song, you’ll be able to understand the emotions from it. We all feel the feelings and it is what makes us human. Therefore, music is so important to us. Music is an inseparable part of our life. The influence of music on the behavior of people is significant and it has powerful effects on their actions, their perception of the world, themselves and their peers. The impact of music is very high on teenagers as it influences every aspect of their lives. So, it’s a big responsibility for Songwriters to make sure their songs do not influence the younger generation in the wrong way. Many songs that are trending with millions of views have explicit lyrics, suicidal thoughts, along with graphics containing destructive themes. In the past, few artists popularized sad and self-harm music by creating songs filled with harmful content. This Style of songs made a comeback in


the past couple of years. Teens emulate their favorite artists’ style and follow the message of their favorite songs. It is not only important for songs to talk about things like depression but also provide helpful solutions for them and help people overcome it. Many of us rely on music to get us through rough patches in our lives. When the music is even more depressing, what’s the point?

Many important people are making this topic known. Music artists are writing songs about being mentally healthy and are putting true emotion into it. It is important to put positive thoughts in people’s minds. After all, we don’t know what it might cause them to do. Popular songs right now are not only talking about self-harm but are also disrespecting groups of people. The language teens use, the way they treat each other, and members of the opposite sex, have changed drastically over the years. Many songs categorize people by their gender, race, or sexuality. Separating people into groups will cause others to judge. It is important that no one feels left behind. In this day and age, we are coming close to accepting people for who they are. Hateful music is slowing down this empowering movement. We need to overcome this rock in our path before it destroys us. Although there are many bad things happening in music, good things are coming out of it too. People are realizing that they don’t want to be part of this trend. Teenagers are going back to music from the 2000s, looking for hopeful content and bright lyrics from that time. The current self-harm music phase is coming to an end, and I’m excited to see where it takes us. My goal is to contribute to the change going on in our world. I would like to INSPIRE people through my music to become better versions of themselves by depending on their own strength. I would like to be seen as an artist who is giving voice to the younger generation. My music will be uplifting, inspirational, and refreshing, with catchy melodies, and captivating themes with a feel-good atmosphere. Let’s motivate everyone with the universal concept known as music and using it let’s bring great joy, peace, growth, maturity into society, self-confidence, inspiration and prepare the youth for a better future. Music is a universal feature of the human experience and has the power to evoke deep feelings. Let us make this world a better place to live with music.


Books to Devour by Jane Ubell-Meyer, Founder of Bedside Reading Bedside Reading® places books by the bedside in luxury & lifestyle hotels. As we march towards Spring we are showcasing new thrillers, memoirs, romance novels, and business reads. All of our authors are carefully selected before being placed in our hotels. This month we feature David Crow, author of the memoir The Pale-Faced Lie and Sharon Ann Ziegler, author of the novel, The Association. BOOKS WE RECOMMEND

The Body Double by Emily Beyda A dark, glittering debut novel, The Body Double is the suspenseful story of a young woman who is recruited by a stranger to give up her old life and identity to impersonate a reclusive Hollywood star. A strange man discovers our nameless narrator selling popcorn at a decrepit small-town movie theater and offers her an odd and lucrative position: she will forget her job, her acquaintances, even her name, and move to Los Angeles, where she will become the body double of the famous and troubled celebrity Rosanna Feld.

Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan Read the USA Today bestselling thriller that “keeps the dramatic reveals coming” as Detective Josie Quinn desperately chases a killer hidden within her close-knit town before it’s too late and they claim another victim (Publishers Weekly). The little girl curled into a tiny ball as the chamber grew colder around her. “Please,” she whispered, rocking back and forth. “I want to go home.” When Isabelle Coleman, a blonde, beautiful young girl goes missing, everyone from the small town of Denton joins the search. They can find no trace of the town’s darling, but Detective Josie Quinn finds another girl they didn’t even know was missing. Mute and unresponsive, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Josie can get from her is the name of a third girl and a flash of a neon tongue piercing that matches Isabelle’s. The race is on to find Isabelle alive, and Josie fears there may be other girls in terrible danger. When the trail leads her to a cold case labelled a hoax by authorities, Josie begins to wonder is there anyone left she can trust? Someone in this close-knit town is committing unspeakable crimes. Can Josie catch the killer before another victim loses their life?

The Prize by Geoffrey M. Cooper What does it take to win a Nobel Prize? Deceit? Fraud? Maybe even murder? When she finds a drug that has the potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Pam Weller is certain she’s made the discovery of a lifetime. But her success threatens the supremacy of Eric Prescott, a leading figure in Alzheimer’s research, who sees his chances at a Nobel Prize slipping through his fingers. His lust for the prize and the accolades that come with it drive him to concoct a plot against Pam that threatens her career, her freedom, and even her life.

The preceding books are carefully vetted and evaluated before placement in the Bedside Reading program. The pages above are an advertorial partnership with Hollywood Weekly. Bedside Reading® is a registered trademark. 28 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

The Storm Beyond the Tides by Jonathan Cullen July 1939. War is on the horizon but on Monk Island, Maine life goes on as usual. As the daughter of a lobsterman, Ellie Ames’ future seems limited until a mysterious German couple comes off the ferry with their nineteen-year-old son. From the moment she meets Karl Brink, the two become inseparable and not everyone approves because locals are suspicious of outsiders. Ellie ignores their scorn, however, and the secret she learns about Karl’s family makes her even more determined to be with him. The magical summer ends when the Brinks suddenly have to go home. And although Karl promises to return in the fall, by then Europe is at war. Two years pass and Ellie has all but given up hope when she gets a letter in the mail that will change her life forever. The Storm Beyond The Tides is the story of the unlikely romance between a small-town girl and a German on the eve of the Second World War and explores a frightening time in America’s past—when U-Boats prowled the East Coast and put small, coastal communities on the frontline of a global conflict.

Grace In The Wings by Kari Bovee New York City, 1920. Grace Michelle has everything she wants: a home, a family, and a future career as a costume designer for famed showman Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.’s Ziegfeld Follies. Pretty good for a girl who once lived on the streets of New York City. But when her sister, Sophia, the star of the show, is murdered, Grace’s safe and protected life is shattered.Battle-scarred by the war and emotionally scarred by his past, Chet Riker has made it a practice to keep his distance from others; love, after all, leads only to pain. But Chet has a problem—a big one: he’s become indebted to mob-boss Joe Marciano in an attempt to save his estranged mother’s life, and Marciano wants him to pay up or else. Desperate to get the money, he contacts former client Florenz Ziegfeld for work.

Challenge Everything by Scott Cullather & Kristina McCoober In Challenge Everything™: The Battle Cry That Blew Sh*t Up and INVNTd Live Brand Storytelling™ Scott Cullather and Kristina McCoobery the husband and wife co-founders of INVNT™, the global live brand storytelling agency™ share their story of launching a scrappy start-up – at the beginning of a global recession – and evolving it into a fully fledged global agency business, discuss the power of live brand storytelling and provide tactics for incorporating it into wider marketing strategies, and reveal the next frontier of business success: predictive analytics. So whether you’re a budding entrepreneur considering going out on your own, a business leader looking to take your company to the next level, or CMO eager to build your brand, this book will help you blow sh*t up and take your projects, partnerships, and performance to the next level.

Bulwark by Brit Lunden Sheriff Clay Finnes has to admit that the fantastical stories, told by an accident victim as well as unusual sightings of wolves, things are getting a bit strange. A visit to the ominous Gingerbread House makes him realize that his life as he knows it will never be the same.

The preceding books are carefully vetted and evaluated before placement in the Bedside Reading program. The pages above are an advertorial partnership with Hollywood Weekly. Bedside Reading® is a registered trademark. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 29

The Changemaker by Deke Copenhaver Leadership is never easy. Almost all leaders deal with both triumph and tragedy, oftentimes in equal measure. The fact of the matter is that leadership insists on constant rejection of the status quo. True leaders demand continuous reflection and improvement of those around them, and even more importantly, of themselves. True leaders are Changemakers. You will learn to become unafraid of doing something different in the service of a good cause and how to spark a movement that others can’t help but rally around. The Changemaker is a roadmap of sorts, designed to deliver comprehensive, common sense leadership strategies to people from all walks of life.

The Golf Course Millionaire by Robin Richter When properly applied, golf has the amazing power to introduce you to interesting and influential people; to establish lasting relationships with movers and shakers; and to help you reach your full potential in your career and in your social circles. In short, golf has the incredible power to improve your life! Robin Richter, former golf pro, has been playing golf for over four decades. She has built her successful promotional products company, Wearable Imaging, Inc., through the many meaningful relationships that were developed on the golf course. In her book, The Golf Course Millionaire, Robin shares how a great hobby can lead to fulfillment both on the course and off; in business and developing lasting friendships and alliances. If you’re an avid golfer, this book will help you to use the sport to improve your life. If you don’t play golf, she provides ways to use golf to connect with influencers too! Get Robin’s book to leverage the amazing power of golf and witness the transformation that will happen to you!

Conversations with our authors DAVID CROW, THE PALEFACED LIE

A heart-wrenching memoir of a childhood that endured unspeakable brutality. David Crow’s life speaks to the enduring belief of the power of the spirit.

Q: Your father had his own code of ethics. What is your code and how is it different from his? A: Most of society’s ills are caused by people with a code of conduct like my father’s, which justifies being dishonest, immoral, narcissistic, cruel, and violent. That is the convict code, and I’m sure every prison is filled with men and women with these characteristics. People like my father are devoid of empathy and sympathy. As a young man, after helping him with one too many of his crimes, I decided to be his exact opposite. I strive to be honest, moral, transparent, kind, and empathetic. For certain, I have not always lived up to those standards, but I work as hard as I can to do so. I learned early on that you can’t attract people with high moral standards if your own morals are lacking. And on the flip side, you become like the people you befriend. Q: The Pale-Faced Lie talks about strength and forgiveness. How did you find the strength to forgive your parents? A: Finding a way to cope with the trauma of my childhood was by far the hardest part of my journey, and I didn’t have any success until I was in my 50s. I knew that facing up to everything that had happened was a must. But how? Selfhelp books and therapy didn’t help.

The preceding books are carefully vetted and evaluated before placement in the Bedside Reading program. The pages above are an advertorial partnership with Hollywood Weekly. Bedside Reading® is a registered trademark. 30 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

For decades, most of the memories of what happened in Gallup when I was 10 stayed buried. I remembered little bits, hints, but that was all. Over the years, I returned to my childhood haunts, hoping to recall the details. Nothing. And then I met the owner of the house where I had been living at the time. He invited me in, and being in that space brought it all back. In a matter of hours, I told a kind stranger my life story, remembering everything about the house, myself, my siblings, and my mother and father. Afterward, I called my parents and asked them if they felt any guilt or remorse about how they had treated me. Both of them said I had been a terrible disappointment as a child and adult. I realized that my parents would never change, that they would never think they had done anything wrong. In that moment, I decided to forgive them. Unconditionally. I did it for my benefit, not theirs. After years of feeling angry and guilty, I was somehow ready to let it all go and move on. Forgiveness is what finally worked for me. Other people might have chosen a different path. There’s no right or wrong way.

Sharon Ann Ziegler, THE ASSOCIATION

Back after an extended hiatus, a young female attorney takes on a powerful homeowners association and uncovers fraud, mystery, and murder! Along the way, she must find it within herself to navigate and succeed in a world where grossly confident men grandstand in gold jewelry, private investigators are always listening, and judges are not honorable—a world where people aren’t at all who they seem to be. Q: How did you decide to write a novel, do you have any prior writing experiences or other experiences? A: Over the years I wrote numerous legal briefs and motions and I argued before a number of distinguished courts. I even argued a case before Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when he was on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, a few months before he became a Supreme Court Justice. Q: What are some of the issues you wanted to tackle in your novel? A: The book took close to four years to write. I wrote it with a different approach than other legal thrillers I have read. Most legal dramas deal with the big trial and the preparation for it. I wanted to show that there are many more aspects to the profession other than the big legal trial because trials are much more uncommon than what one would expect since most cases settle out of court. So I designed the

book around the other types of court appearances attorneys routinely make i.e. call of the calendar on motion practice days, motions to dismiss, appellate and state supreme court arguments, etc. In addition, I tried to highlight how legal investigations are conducted and I tried to touch on how volatile negotiations between attorneys can become. Overall the practice of law can be very vicious at times. Q: What is particularly sentimental to you about your book? A: On a personal note, my husband designed the cover and he is very proud of it. So proud in fact that I secretly secured for him a copyright on the image and surprised him with it.

The preceding books are carefully vetted and evaluated before placement in the Bedside Reading program. The pages above are an advertorial partnership with Hollywood Weekly. Bedside Reading® is a registered trademark. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 31


Cecily, the Songbird

Love yourself. Embrace your talents.

Cecily makes beautiful sounding soul music that soothes the mind and soul. Click “play” on her debut album, Songs of Love and Freedom, and you will be immediately greeted by the calming of an ocean and a mystical collection of instruments shimmering around her smooth and earnest vocals. “It’s definitely soulful, and in my opinion, timeless. I don’t try to be hip really. I just try to make good, honest music,” she says when speaking about her debut album. Cecily’s career began when she made a phone call to her mother saying that she was going to listen to her heart and give herself to music. She could have pursued many occupations with her Political Science and Black Studies degree from Swarthmore College, but she knew a career in music would give purpose to her life.

Photography courtesy of Nakeya Brown 32 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

Cecily is part of a long tradition of vocalists who write and perform their own lyrics. “I am a vocalist

and a songwriter. My sound is rooted in soul with influences of jazz and folk,” she says. Lyrically, her work “explores self-love, hope, and growth.” A Washington, D.C. native, she refers to D.C. as the “former Chocolate City,” due to its once prominent African-American population that contributed greatly to American culture. Just like many origin stories of talented musicians, Cecily grew up with a vast record collection in her household. These records included works by some of the greatest soul singers of the 70s. Think Minnie Riperton, Gil Scott-Heron, Anita Baker, and Phyllis Hyman. These influences helped build Cecily’s artistic DNA. Cecily has wowed audiences across all walks of life in venues such as the legendary Blues Alley, the Apollo Music Cafe and the Kennedy Center. In 2017, the US Embassy extended an invitation to Cecily and her band to take the stage in Colombia at the VI Annual Mompox Jazz Festival. Cecily was also a part of the Strathmore Artist-in-Residence class of 2018, “a program that honed her performance skills and encouraged genre-defying collaborations.” 2019 is filled with plenty of opportunities for Cecily to allow her music to connect with her devoted fans and gain new ones in the process. She is proud to have received a 2018 Project Grant from the Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council. “I received the grant to record my next EP and I am working on that now. It’s set to be released in June. I’m also planning another East Coast tour and planning to go to Europe this fall,” she says. Songs of Love and Freedom was picked as one of the best soul albums of 2018 by Bandcamp— the influential platform that has helped indie artists gain proper compensation for their music. To learn more about Cecily, you can follow her on Instagram @cecilyalexa. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 33

CREATING A WORKPLACE WHICH FOSTERS DIVERSITY The most significant barrier to the success of D&I initiatives is organizations’ lack of preparation for change. Regardless of the size, location, revenue, or demographic make-up, the status-quo is affixed to the minds and hearts of the workforce. It’s like a comfy blanket on a cold night. It is as inconceivable to rip that blanket off as it is to install access ramps, elevators, an ADA approved desk, or maybe widen a hallway or two for our differently-abled team members. Or perhaps rewrite the company’s hiring policies and requirements to foster inclusion. Or give a firm reprimand to a verbally abusive or bigoted executive. Inconceivable! This is why over 70% of change initiatives and even more diversity initiatives fail! In his seminal work, Organizational Culture and Leadership, Edgar Schein described how the three levels of organizational culture: Artifacts & Behavior, Espoused Values, and Assumptions, work in harmony to create what we see every day in our places of business. Artifacts and Behavior Some researchers believe that behavior is a function of the person and environment – in some cases, having an equal impact over the other. Studies have shown that our psychological and physiological systems respond to architectural design in unconscious ways. The way a building or office is designed impacts employee well-being and access. The policies regarding appearance, although maintaining company standards, can breed exclusion. We’ve seen this most recently with the ban on policies restricting natural hairstyles. Even good office jokes create a particular culture. Your company’s vision and mission There is no better way to codify expectations of behavior than to put them in an employee handbook or allude to them in the mission and vision state34 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

ments. This sets the tone. It clearly outlines what is and isn’t to be done and the repercussions for noncompliance. Yet, as clearly as the policies may be, there are potential inequities everywhere: Compensation scale, promotion requirements, Nepotism policies, complaints about the HR manager, retaliation concerns. When organizations’ espoused values are not explicitly defined, fairness, equity, and inclusion are left to the interpretation of the readers. Ass-U-Mptions An HBR article revealed that women, and especially women of color with the same title as their male counterparts, are expected to do office housework. For those who have never had the ‘pleasure,’ office housework includes ordering lunch, organizing baby showers, scheduling speakers for events, etc. In addition to the office housework, these women are still expected to perform as good as or better than said male counterparts for less pay! Bollman & Deal, in their book Reframing Organizations, calls this the structural tension in the division of labor and is but one of the many assumptions held in organizations. Other assumptions refer to the structure, systems, and processes within the organization and are usually imposed by the leaders in the organization. Once these processes crystallize and become taken-for-granted by the workforce, they become a part of the culture. This concept is exemplified in the exclusive use of certain technologies, vendors, sourcing schools, etc. It is also memorialized in the phrase, “This is how we’ve always done things” or “This is the type we hire for in these positions.” Rest assured that someone created the definition of ‘type”. So now that we’re all giving our organizations the ‘side-eye,’ what can be done to create an environment that fosters diversity? Hint: This is not just the work of the D&I officer!

Edgar Schein and Dr. John Kotter, both renowned authorities on leadership and change, suggests creating a framework for success. These steps have been adapted for our purposes. 1. Create a compelling positive diversity vision. Kotter suggests clarifying how the future will be different from the past and how you can make that future a reality through initiatives linked directly to the vision. SHRM encourages using metrics and success stories to connect D&I efforts to your company’s goals. 2. Get buy-in from over 50% of the organization for the diversity initiative. Steps for getting team member buy-in include laying out the vision, personalizing the tasks, following up with team members, nipping resistance in the bud through thoughtful conversations, and being flexible and prepared to change. 3. Create “safe space” environments with a group of diversity allies providing opportunities to practice new knowledge, receive coaching and feedback. Ways to do this include showing appreciation for each other, making space for equal and open discussion, setting boundaries and expectations together, and spending time together outside of work.

Dr.Shindale Seale 4. Involve team members’ hearts, not just their minds through formal & informal diversity training, talks, seminars, lunches, etc. During these meetings, encourage team members to be their authentic selves. Once there is trust, you’ll have their hearts. 5. Learner involvement is important because the target audience must have some ownership of the process. Team members want to be a part of the decision-making that impacts them. Form small advisory committees where everyone has a voice. In these committees, participants have opportunities to discuss types of diversity training, methods of delivery, target groups, identify allies, etc. 6. Positive role models such as high-ranking personnel and immediate supervisors are crucial when modeling appropriate diversity behavior. Role models have natural HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY• 35


influence over people in the workplace. When they exhibit positive, inclusive, and equitable behavior, others will usually follow suit. 7. Consistent systems/structures for diversity program such as reward & support systems must be reliable for the target audience to buy-in. As with any initiative, rewards increase motivation, expand morale, and promote greater work satisfaction. Within the diversity space, there’s an added benefit of your diverse workforce feeling more valued and appreciated. 8. Invite, encourage, and promote many small diversity wins. Diversity work is a long haul, and it can sometimes be challenging to recognize small wins. However, it is essential to acknowledge and celebrate when team members or the organization has reached a goal, regardless of how small. 9. Ensure all those involved are aligned with your diversity vision. Communication and accountability are crucial in this. Define the organization’s diversity goals clearly in writing and verbally. Make sure the goals are visible, ALWAYS! Turn the goals into an action plan and 36 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

counsel all team members on the vital role each of them plays in meeting that objective. The second piece to this is accountability. You and your team members must be held accountable to accomplish your agreed upon tasks or behaviors. Bringing diverse team members into an organization which is not prepared for them is setting them up for failure. It is analogous to putting an ice cube in an oven… totally inhospitable! If your organization has determined that it would like to increase its diversity numbers, do us all a favor and get the company ready first. Your failure to frontload will result in tensions, resentment, and attrition, taking you right back where you started. Dr. Shindale Seale is a diversity strategist, community advocate, and organizational leadership professor at the University of Redlands. Natalli Ricci – Claremont McKenna Colleges Ruchika Tulshyan – HBR City University of Seattle #diversitymatters #diversityandinclusion #leadership #organizationaldevelopment #organizationalchange #changemanagement #mentorship #organizationalleadership


oscars’ after party



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