Hollywood Monthly Los Angeles Edition

Page 1

Celebrating Diversity In The Entertainment Industry



The Art 4 Peace Awards



and his journey in acting

Letter From The Editor MONTHLY

WELCOME READERS to another issue Celebrating Diversity In The Entertainment Industry of Hollywood Weekly Magazine. It was a beautiful sunny day on Oct 13th for art4peace awards Royal Business Summit. Around 47 people came physically and rest business joined online in a beautiful private venue of New York. Tanzania Safri CEO sponsored breakfast and lunch was sponsored by Marco Polo Kqick Coffee. This issue also begins our HW VIP Series, showcasing the Best in L.A. and around the country. Rae Finn is a sensational new fashion designer taking over Nashville with her clothing SIR MICHAEL JAE'LEN KIAN line "Hogwash 'n Rhinestones," and LEUNG TUCKER KAVOUSI she is set to be the new "It Girl" in the Fashion world. From Beverly Hills we have Baren Business Management (Integrating your finances with peace of mind), and in L.A.'s "Miracle Mile" we have our local UPS heroes on the corner of Wilshire and Dunsmuir, near the historic La Brea Tar Pits. Straight from the world-famous Whiskey a Go Go on Sunset Blvd HW features three amazing performers. Two are high-energy bands from hit-makers Iron Gate Records: FRACTURED and SILVERSEL, these bands bring the heat to L.A.'s music scene. Finally, coming off of an incredible performance last Saturday night at the Whiskey a Go Go, singer/ musician Dylan Garcia. Dylan's performance was dedicated to his late brother, and the theme was mental health awareness. Dylan had guest speakers, beautiful music, and it was a fun, cathartic night of healing. Thank you, readers, for once again supporting Hollywood Weekly Magazine. We are nothing without you. The Art 4 Peace Awards

OSU DT #67

and his journey in acting

Anthony Ewart


Music, Film and More Kian Kavousi

And His Journey in Acting

VICE PRESIDENT Bernice Harris BOOK EDITORS Jane Ubell-Meyer ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER Hailey Ashley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alex A. Kecskes Carmelita Pittman LIFE & STYLE EDITOR Niki Shadrow Snyder niki@projectpopdrop.com DESIGN & PRODUCTION RF Medina Emma Willett SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Marci Chorpash Helen Siddall AFRICA CORRESPONDENT & AMBASSADOR Egor Kelly Egorefiok@gmail.com BRAZIL OPERATIONS Fabio Glingani Rico@lapenda.net (310) 567-3333 INDIA OPERATION Ike Sinha Mobile +919599068592

Anthony Ewart Associate Editor Hollywood Weekly Magazine

04 10


LATIN AMERICA Karla Silva Karla@monarks.Biz 818.254.5505

17 18

Jae'len Tucker

OSU DT #67

Art 4 Peace Awards

New York

Hollywood WEEKLY is a publication wholly owned by Prather Jackson HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY MAGAZINE LLC. © 2023 All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any content without written permisssion of the publisher is expressly prohibited. Letters to the editor may be sent to: HOLLYWOODPUBLISHER@GMAIL.COM. 8345 Reseda Blvd #117, Northridge, CA 91324. For advertising inquiries call: (424) 371-9900

Jose Beltran wpsevents@gmail.com 562.546.2840 DISTRIBUTORS CoMag MADER NEWS Call: (424) 371-9900 Email: HollywoodPublisher@gmail.com Instagram: @ hollywoodweekly Twitter: @ hollywoodweekly


Who is


TMA offers comprehensive e-commerce services, from strategy and platform optimization to global expansion and profitability reporting, ensuring brands thrive in the digital marketplace.

The Machine Never Stops mentality at TMA signifies relentless innovation and unwavering commitment, driving brands to e-commerce excellence around the clock.

Benefits of




Strategic e-commerce solutions, profitability insights, and global expansion.

empowers brands?

TMA empowers brands to maximize their e-commerce potential, transforming digital presence into global success by leveraging platforms like Amazon, Walmart.Com and Tik Tik Shop to grow sales!

CASH Riley Jr. From Dodger Blue to Digital Domination: Revolutionizes E-commerce with TMA's Unparalleled Expertise


SKUs Actively Managed


Amazon Ad Spend Under Management


in Marketplace Sales

The Machine Agency | email: info@themachineagency.com | www.themachineagency.com




Images: Meryl Streep, photo by Brigitte Lacombe; Michael B. Jordan, photo by Juan Veloz; Oprah Winfrey, photo by Ruven Afanador; Sofia Coppola, photo by Melodie McDaniel

THE ACADEMY Museum Gala, which had been postponed last month in the wake of Hamas‘ attack on Israel, has been rescheduled for December 3, 2023. The Gala will celebrate the acclaimed museum’s two-year anniversary and will honor three-time Academy Award-winner and 21-time Academy Award-nominated actor Meryl Streep, award-winning actor, producer and director Michael B. Jordan, Academy Award-nominated actress and producer, author, and global media leader Oprah Winfrey, and Academy Award-winning and three-time Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and actor Sofia Coppola. As a fundraiser, the event has been greenlit to move forward by WGA and SAG-AFTRA. The evening will help raise vital funds to support museum exhibitions, education initiatives, and public programming, including screenings, K-12 programs, and access initiatives in service of the general public and the local community of Los Angeles. Supported by Rolex, the official watch partner and founding supporter of the Academy Museum, the Gala is being cochaired by Academy Award-nominated director Ava DuVernay, Academy Museum Trustee, physician, producer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur Dr. Eric Esrailian, Academy Award-winning actor and Academy Museum supporter Halle Berry, and Academy Museum Trustee and screenwriter, director, producer Ryan Murphy. 4 • HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY

“We are excited to gather again at our third annual Academy Museum Gala to celebrate the power, global impact, and indelible importance of cinema. I am truly honored to recognize four artists, Meryl Streep, Michael B. Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and Sofia Coppola, whose creativity and passion have inspired and shaped our culture in such powerful ways,” said Jacqueline Stewart, Director and President of the Academy Museum. “We are truly grateful to our co-chairs Ava DuVernay, Dr. Eric Esrailian, Halle Berry and Ryan Murphy, for hosting this special evening and to Rolex for their continued support of the Museum and cinema worldwide.” The four awards presented at the Academy Museum Gala reflect the museum’s continued mission to advance the understanding, celebration, and preservation of film and to contextualize and challenge dominant narratives around cinema. The awards presented at this year’s gala include: • The Icon Award, presented to Meryl Streep, celebrating an artist whose career has had a significant global cultural impact. • The Vantage Award, presented to Michael B. Jordan, honoring an emerging artist or scholar who is helping to contextualize and challenge dominant narratives around cinema. • The Pillar Award, presented to Oprah Winfrey, which acknowledges exemplary leadership and support for the Academy Museum.

• The Visionary Award, presented to Sofia Coppola, honoring an artist or scholar whose innovations have advanced the art of cinema. The 2023 Academy Gala Host Committee, also announced today, includes Adrien Brody, Aldis Hodge, Ariana DeBose, Ashley Park, Billie Lourd, Bryce Dallas Howard, Catherine Martin, Chloë Sevigny, Colin Farrell, Colman Domingo, Dakota Fanning, Danielle Deadwyler, Demi Moore, Don Cheadle, Eddie Redmayne, Elle Fanning, Eve Hewson, Gabrielle Union, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Goldie Hawn, Jared Leto, Jay Ellis, Jeff Goldblum, Jeffrey Wright, Jodie Turner Smith, Joel Kim Booster, John Travolta, Kate Hudson, Keke Palmer, Kirsten Dunst, Letitia Wright, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Matt Bomer, Meg Ryan, Michael Keaton, Naomi Scott, Natasha Lyonne, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Wilde, Questlove, Rachel Zegler, Rashida Jones, Regina Hall, Rian Johnson, Riley Keough, Rita Wilson, Selma Blair, Seth Rogen, Sharon Stone, Stephanie Hsu, Steven Yeun, Tom Hanks, Tracee Ellis Ross, Willem Dafoe, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Yorgos Lanthimos, Zoë Kravitz, and More among others. The 2022 Academy Museum Gala honored Julia Roberts, Miky Lee, Sir Steve McQueen, and Tilda Swinton and the 2021 Academy Museum Opening Gala honored Haile Gerima and Sophia Loren as well as Academy Museum Campaign Leaders Annette Bening, Bob Iger, and Tom Hanks.



Trolls Band Together

THIS HOLIDAY season, get ready for an action-packed, all-star, rainbow-colored family reunion like no other as Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake return for the new chapter in DreamWorks Animation’s blockbuster musical franchise: Trolls Band Together. After two films of true friendship and relentless flirting, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) are now officially, finally, a couple (#broppy)! As they grow closer, Poppy discovers that Branch has a secret past. He was once part of her favorite boyband phenomenon, BroZone, with his four brothers: Floyd (Golden Globe nominated electropop

THRILLER 40 SHOWTIME TODAY announced that the new documentary feature THRILLER 40 will make its debut on streaming and on demand for Paramount+ subscribers with the Paramount+ with SHOWTIME plan on Saturday, December 2, and premiere that day at 8 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. The feature will also make its international debut on December 2 on Paramount+ in the UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Latin America and South Korea and on MTV internationally, excluding China and Japan. Forty years after the release of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” – the best-selling album of all time worldwide – Director

sensation Troye Sivan), John Dory (Eric André; Sing 2), Spruce (Grammy winner Daveed Diggs; Hamilton) and Clay (Grammy winner Kid Cudi; Don’t Look Up). BroZone disbanded when Branch was still a baby, as did the family, and Branch hasn’t seen his brothers since. But when Branch’s bro Floyd is kidnapped for his musical talents by a pair of nefarious pop-star villains—Velvet (Emmy winner Amy Schumer; Trainwreck) and Veneer (Grammy winner and Tony nominee Andrew Rannells; The Book of Mormon)—Branch and Poppy embark on a harrowing and emotional journey to reunite the other brothers and rescue

Floyd from a fate even worse than popculture obscurity. Featuring Trolls’ signature psychedelic joy-bomb of new and classic pop hits, Trolls Band Together stars a dazzling cast of musical superstars and comedic powerhouses as new franchise characters, including four-time Grammy nominee and Latin Grammy winner Camila Cabello (Cinderella) as Viva; Zosia Mamet (The Flight Attendant) as Crimp; and 12-time Emmy winning drag icon RuPaul Charles as Miss Maxine. Returning cast includes Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Zooey Deschanel as Bridget; Christopher MintzPlasse as Gristle, the Icona Pop duo Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt as Satin and Chenille, Grammy winner Anderson .Paak as Prince D, comedian Ron Funches as Cooper, SAG nominee Kunal Nayyar as Guy Diamond and Emmy winning SNL legend Kenan Thompson as Tiny Diamond. Trolls Band Together is steered by returning director Walt Dohrn and producer Gina Shay, and is co-directed by Tim Heitz (head of story, Trolls World Tour). DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls films—2016’s Trolls and 2020’s Trolls World Tour—have sung and danced their way to record-breaking success, earning an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Song and fueling one of the largest and most beloved entertainment brands in the world.

Nelson George takes fans back in time to experience the making of the recordbreaking album and the release of the accompanying short films that forever redefined the music video format. Featuring never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews, THRILLER 40 chronicles the creation of a pre-internet global phenomenon unlike anything before it or since. “Thriller” launched Michael Jackson into mega-stardom and to this day continues to influence all aspects of culture and entertainment, including the worlds of music, dance and fashion. Music and entertainment luminaries including Usher, Mary J. Blige, Will.I.Am, Mark Ronson, Misty Copeland, Maxwell and John Landis are featured in the documentary.

THRILLER 40 is produced by Optimum Productions and Company Name. Colin Hanks, Sean Stuart, John Branca and John McClain serve as producers. HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY • 5


An established visual artist and actor, Paula Andrea Placido joins the cast of Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q and is set to star in the new Apple+ series Sugar alongside Colin Farrell. In L Word: Generation Q , Paula is Roxy, an adventurous, unpredictable girl who draws on her upscale background to make life one endless party.

Hacks, Sugar, and her Visual Arts

By Alex A. Kecskes 6 • HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY

Born in San Francisco de Macrois in the Dominican Republic to an Argentine-Italian father and Colombian mother, Paula grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. Paula is best known for her role in the 2nd season of the Emmy-winning HBO comedy series Hacks, where she played Rian, Ava’s hot subletter/tenant who she ended up hooking up with. Paula then appeared on Shameless’ last season, where she played Calista, a lesbian bartender, who opens up a new queer bar in Gallagher’s neighborhood. Paula has also appeared in The Resident, Never Have I Ever, All Rise, The Shrink Next Door, and Star Trek: Picard. In her free time, Paula enjoys riding her motorcycle, painting, and staying fit.

commercial acting or theatrical, you still have the same feeling of impostor syndrome, that the casting director made a mistake. There’s this voice in your head that’s constantly betraying you, and you have to learn to dominate that. There’s a lot of fear but with practice, repetition, and understanding what you’re going to do, the bigger picture, that fear goes away. If you concentrate on why you’re there, to create something, and dispel those negative thoughts—like what is everyone thinking about you, you’ll have a lot more fun. You’ve had so many roles. Is there a particular type of role you enjoy more than others? Paula: I thought it would be dramatic roles, that the more dramatic the scene, the better actor I would appear. But I realized that I love comedy. It’s so much more fun and lighthearted to go to work and not have to search for my deep emotions, which can be really draining. Doing comedy is such a joy because it goes by so much faster. There’s laughter, everyone’s having a good time, and the pacing and improv are so much fun. What drew you to The L Word and the role of Roxy in particular? Paula: For me, growing up, the L Word felt like a bucket list. I always wanted to be part of the show. I was so excited when I got to audition for it. I think I auditioned two or three times for different characters. I had no idea who I was auditioning for since they gave me dummy sides to read. So I tried to interpret each character the best way I knew how. But it feels really special to be on the show, to be part of the LBGT community. I would have taken any character they offered me. It just felt like such a milestone for me. You started as an artist. Was there an actor, TV show, or film that inspired you to pursue acting? Paula Placido: I Always wanted to be an actor but art was definitely my foot in the door. That’s how I got into art school. But If I had to point to a specific film that drew me into acting, it would be Harry Potter. I was about the same age as Daniel Radcliffe when the first movie came out. I remember seeing those clips on the screen and saying, I want to do that. So I bugged my mom enough to get me into art school and then segued into performing that way.

My father was an artist and he said the hardest thing to draw was hands. But you’re really good at it. Paula: Thank you. I was in the fifth grade and I fell in love with The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. I just started tracing the hands and got so used to the lines that I was able to draw them freehand later on. I love it. It’s also therapeutic because there are so many tiny details in the hand. Okay. Your first acting gig. Was it nerve-wracking, terrifying, exciting? Paula: Nerve wracking. Whether it’s

Most actors have a love-hate relationship with auditions. Paula: I really enjoy the self-tape auditions because all the other variables are taken out. The appointment time, rushing through traffic, sitting in a waiting room with a bunch of people that are dressed like you. You sometimes hear others auditioning in the other room and you’re making choices since they’re getting in your head. Self-taped auditions are so much more relaxing. I can review my work and say ok, I can do better. I think I’ve learned a lot from that process. HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY • 7

Roxy and Dani have an interesting relationship. There’s passion and conflict. What makes their relationship work? Paula: They’re such good friends. There’s that bond with a friendship that develops over the years—you speak the same language and you’re on the same beat. I think that’s the situation with Dani and Roxy. I have friendships where we’ve gone for years without hanging out or even connecting but when we get together, it’s like we never missed a beat. We’re right back where we put a pause on it. I think ultimately, Roxy cares so much about Dani, more than intimately. There’s that bond and the friendship matters so much to Roxy that they’re willing to put their feelings aside to help each other. Behind every party girl, there’s usually some painful secret. Will we see more of Roxy’s backstory? Paula: I’m hoping we will. I don’t know but I think it would be very cool if saw Roxy’s and Dani’s story a bit more, their history, and why their stories went their separate ways. Do you have a favorite scene in The L Word this season? Paula: Yes. It should be coming out very soon. Roxy does something really naughty and it causes Dani to have a really fun time. It’s a pretty hilarious scene. We don’t see that side of Dani very often but it will be a real treat for the fans. Will you continue as Rian in Hacks? Paula: I have no idea. Who knows what they’re getting into? In the second season, they were on a tour bus. I think it would be very cool if Rian can make some sort of amends or Ava can make amends so that the miscommunication of sleeping till one o’clock and kicking her out is smoothed out. Personally, it was a bit harsh but I love the scene. It was so well written. It was one of the episodes that I’d watched before auditioning for the show so I was already a huge fan. I would love to come back. What can you tell us about Sugar? Can you describe your character, Charlie? Paula: Charlie is smart and incredibly loyal. She has a history with Sugar played by Colin Farrell. She has Sugar’s back, helping him do some detective work and 8 • HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY

surveillance, sort of a technical expert. It takes place in L.A. as a genre-bending detective drama. It has a Hollywood aspect to it, a filmmaking family. I love stories that take place in L.A. I think Colin’s a brilliant actor and I feel lucky to work with him. Will Charlie have a love interest? Paula: I was pitching it. But, no, I don’t think so. What have you learned about this business that surprised you? Paula: How fast it goes. Which is why it’s so important to be prepared, to do your work. Because when you’re on set, there’s no time for anything. When I was in class, they’d say you don’t have to worry, we’ll fix this or that. But on set, there’s no time, you have to be on top of it. Everyone’s

a professional, they have a job to do and they all want to go home at a decent hour. Any advice for young actors just starting out? Paula: Study. Put in the work. And really understand your characters and the scene. The partying and fame can wait if you’re really serious about your career. There are a lot of people trying to get in so it’s really competitive. For me, it was being one hundred percent committed. What were you like in high school? The girl most likely to…? Paula: Mmm. Most likely to be drawing in class when I’m supposed to be paying attention to the teacher (laughs). I went to art school as a visual arts major and I minored in drama. I auditioned for the theater program but I didn’t get in.


Kian Kavousi Kavousi

and his journey in acting

By Prather Jackson October 18th, 2023

Scene from The Chosen


ctober has arrived, bringing with it a remarkable actor - a fresh burst of talent who has been making waves in the entertainment industry. In this edition of our monthly series of outstanding performers we turn our spotlight to an actor whose training and dedication have propelled him to the forefront of the industry. Join us as we introduce the extraordinary actor Kian Kavousi and delve into the successes and achievements of our featured talent for this month. In the heart of Germany, a young boy named Kian Kavousi embarked on a journey of creativity and imagination from an early age. His parents recognized his curiosity and nurtured his potential by enrolling him in various arts and sports courses. However, it was his growing fascination for acting and music that led them to enroll him in a local theater class. This decision, initially playful, soon became an avenue for creative self-expression and a meaningful outlet for his inner self. His later involvement in school plays


provided him with a sense of security, comfort, and pure joy, ultimately guiding him towards a remarkable career. After high school Kian took a bold step and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Interpretation and Translation Studies and a Master of Science in International Relations and Politics. Throughout his studies, however, Kian continuously felt drawn back to acting. He was diligently working on putting up sketches, improv shows, and plays. After successfully earning his master’s degree, Kian decided to take a leap of faith. He packed his bags and checked in at the airport, embarking on a lifechanging journey to New York. In the heart of New York, Kian has been honing his craft at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, following the footsteps of legendary actors that changed American cinema forever. With a curriculum steeped in a variety of acting techniques, this talent has soaked up the knowledge and expertise of renowned teachers, including the esteemed Paul Calderón, who is celebrated for his roles

in cinematic gems like Pulp Fiction, The Last Castle, and Bosch. Kian’s commitment to his craft, however, extends beyond formal education. Restlessly seeking guidance from revered acting coaches, such as Larry Moss, JeanLouis Rodrigue and Kristof Konrad, he has explored a wider range of techniques, including body and voice work. Eventually, Kian Kavousi’s commitment paid off. Through hard work and perseverance his acting career began to take off. Stepping onto the stages in various Off-Broadway shows, including Professionals and Defendant Maurice Chevalier, Kian moved theatergoers with his presence and ability to embody a diverse array of characters. He displayed a remarkable range with his transformation into multifaceted characters night after night for weeks, showing his resilience and unparalleled professionalism in front of live audiences. Tickets to the shows were sold right at TKTS on Times Square and one of his shows was even extended for an additional week.

Credit: Halima H


Scene from 1st Born

Yet, it wasn’t just the stage where people witnessed Kian’s extraordinary skills. His performances caught the eye of discerning filmmakers, leading to standout roles in projects such as Sarah is Not Her Name, The Big Apple, directed by the acclaimed director Satrajit Sen, and The Last Chance. These projects, among many others, have been featured and celebrated in various film festival circuits around the globe, including the Cannes Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and the Toronto International Women Film Festival. With each submission, he has charmed critics, judges, and viewers alike. He received multiple Best Actor awards from esteemed international film festivals, solidifying his reputation in the world of acting. With his achievements firmly in hand, Kian’s journey took an exciting turn, as he embarked westward on a new chapter in the City of Angels. This marked a pivotal moment in his career. His transition to Los Angeles secured further roles in prominent productions. During this time he was cast in the feature film 1st Born, starring Val Kilmer, Tom Berenger and Robert Knepper. Later on, his skills and 12 • HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY

versatility also caught the attention of other casting directors, leading to be cast in more feature films and TV series. He was cast in the groundbreaking television series The Chosen, distributed by Lionsgate. With its unique and new approach to storytelling and powerful performances, this TV series captivated audiences worldwide, while the cinema special set a major box office record following Marvel’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The Chosen’s Credit: Halima H

immense success amassed a dedicated fanbase and critical acclaim and attracted over 500,000 viewers on its debut, making it the largest overnight audience for The CW since Gotham Knights. The TV series is now airing on The CW and on streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and NBC’s Peacock. Kian Kavousi is a rising star. His journey brought him numerous accolades including best actor awards, featured articles in the media and various interviews. He rightfully stands tall, embodying the essence of a truly gifted talent. His extraordinary acting skills, relentless dedication, and continuous pursuit of growth have led him from the halls of the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute to the lots and sets of Hollywood. His journey is undeniably a success story based on commitment and insatiable appetite for greatness. In this special month we take great joy celebrating Kian Kavousi and the remarkable accomplishments that define him as our featured talent. We are excited to witness his future endeavors, which are sure to fill us with delight and excitement.

Bookkeeping | Industry Specific Roles | Tax & Accounting | Estate Planning | Investments Casualty & Medical Insurances | Lifestyle | Philanthropic Activities


BAREN BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 1801 Century Park East., Suite 2400, LA, California 90067 (424) 777-0095





Islands CA. Graves’ professional singing career took off with the soul group, The Dynamic Soul Seven, who performed throughout Kentucky and Ohio. Frank Graves’ talents are quite diversified. He has studied theater and on-camera commercial techniques at the DeVore Artist studios. Graves is a gifted singer, actor, writer, musician, and allaround incredible entertainer. Most recently Frank Graves has performed with members from the renowned group Earth, Wind and Fire and Honey Cone. Graves’ music is being carried on MWMN Radio, and is currently on the last leg of his 3 month tour as part of “The Magical Music of Motown”. Graves recently graced the movie screen as one of the lead actors in the Lifetime Movie To Kill A Stepfather and has been nominated for his second academy award. Frank Graves can be found on Facebook @ArtistFrankGraves and Instagram @frankgravesmusic. Frank Graves’ music is streaming on all music platforms.

ith a contemporary style of his own, Frank Graves composes and performs his own songs with the desire to touch the heart, soul, and mind of every listener. As a veteran soul singer, Graves captures just the right amount of old school funk rhythms and contemporary beats and vibes that impact modern culture, while catering to all audiences. His booming vocals, timeless melodious harmonies, and unbounded energy envelop every stage he graces. A wellrounded fiery entertainer, Frank Graves’ golden voice brings a sultry and sexy presence to every stage performance. His full vocal control, range and rock-solid runs make him a contender in the Soul, R&B and Gospel genres providing music that carries longevity. In his effort to do away with the toxic masculinity that currently saturates the music industry, Graves’ songs cater to his respect and adoration of women while being the voice of true gentlemen everywhere. Frank believes that music is “an everyday reminder of how you live your life”. In addition to providing music that embodies gratitude and appreciation such as “If I Were a Love Song” and “Loving You”, Graves uses his musical platform to combat social issues such as homelessness in his emotionally expressive recently released single “See About Me” (video to be released soon). Frank believes he best summarizes music as “beauty, because each day there’s a change in self and life granted by God’s grace and mercy. Because of this, I will never take anything for granted.” Along with Frank Graves’ busy music and entertainment schedule, he is committed to giving back to his community. He has been a volunteer with the California Highway Patrol for 8 years, helping to facilitate the Annual Christmas Toy Drive, among other duties. As a member of Agape Community Church in Lancaster, Ca, Graves has worked with the Mission’s Society to feed families at the local Domestic Violence shelter for 8 years. Frank also remembers the fallen soldiers of the Vietnam War as a member of the Vietnam Memorial Wall member, helping to educate others of the history and purpose of the Antelope Valley Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall. Graves initially joined the Army and PRESS RELEASES completed thirty-three years of military service as an Active/Reservist serving The Sacramento News and Review columnist, Buzz Norton states,”… with the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Graves has great pipes, and if you dig Luther Vandross, you’ll like his the Air National Guard. As a member “To My Lady”. of the Navy, during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he entertained the The Sacramento Suttertown News, writer Tim McHargue, describes troops and tourists in the Persian Gulf Graves’ music as, “…a soulful ballard with Graves’ smooth vocal and as part of the USO shows aboard the upbeat synth sound…gives the song “To My Lady” a professional cruise ship, Cunard Princess. Frank was contemporary feel.” presented the prestigious VIP Gold Plate Award for his outstanding performance Frank was the United Kingdom(International Unisong Contemporary as a solo artist. He completed his last twelve years of military service as the Award Winner) first place for best musician writer with the gospel lead vocalist for the 562nd Air National song “Solid Rock” Guard Band of the Southwest, Channel


PERFORMANCES & RECOGNITIONS Hollywood Weekly Magazine (Cover Feature) 2022 Independent Music Show Magazine BBC/UK 2022 Shakespeare Festival / Mandarin singer 2001 Exonerated / Actor (David Keaton) 13th Annual Cultural Historical and Educational Award (2006) UniSoul Records/UniSoul Host Raggae mix Station Grammy Recording AcademyGospel Music Association LA Music Awards The Hollywood 360 BMI Member MWMN Radio October 2022 #1 Song of the Month “Yes To Your Will” (Gospel) Magical Motown, Santa Barbara, Lobero Theater, CA 2022 Loving You Concert, Palmdale Playhouse, CA 2022 Documentary: Claudette Rogers Robinson (Smokey Robinson Ex. Wife) Netflix 2021 Freedom Celebration Concert, Amphitheater Palmdale CA 2018 Black History Gospel Concert, Agape Community Church Lancaster February 2015-2019 Palmdale Playhouse Gospel and R&B performances - 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2017, 2018 SC Blues Concert, Malarkey Blues Club, Long Beach 2015 AV Grand Oasis Jazz Festival VIP Club, w/The O’Jays 2014 Arcadia Blues Club, AD/Soul & Co. Arcadia, CA, 2012 – 2013 R&B Toyota Music Festival, 2012 Maui Sugar Mill Blues Club, Tarzana, CA, Solo 2011 Multiple performances for the U.S. Military and CD/ DVD recordings (1993 – 2005) Mr. Stevie Wonder Humanitarian Foundation Concert, LA 2001 Nominee for the 8th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards (Jesus) 2001


2023-24 TV & STREAMING SEASON Broadcast & Media Rights 100+ Las Vegas Events ‘Convention Corner’ – Monthly Business Series The OFFICIAL Sin City Football Watch Party–hosted by Jersey The OFFICIAL Southern College Football Watch Party–hosted by the Bourbon Virgins Latin Music Week Las Vegas–Sept. 14-16–hosted by Wasel Las Vegas Latino Festival–Sept. 30–at Container Park in downtown Las Vegas Las Vegas Race Week–Italian Heritage Celebration Night–Nov. 16 HOLIDAY CONCERT CELEBRATIONS & PARTIES: Halloween New Year’s Eve St. Patrick’s Day – LIVE from Downtown Las Vegas WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT SERIES: Int’l Women’s Day Breast Cancer Awareness Executive Roundtable Series ‘LIVE from Las Vegas’ – Nightly Las Vegas Talk Show LIVE from the Strip! ‘Country Christmas’ - Country Music Holiday Special ‘Soul from the Strip’ – Soul Music Concert Series

702.469.3844 Rodric@LasVegasLuxuryVIP.com 12 • HOLLYWOOD NEWS

OSU D.T. #67

JAE’LEN TUCKER Height: 6’1 Class 2022: Redshirt Freshman Hometown: Edmond, OK High School: Edmond Santa Fe Played for coach Kyle White at Santa Fe across the defensive line. Helped lead the Wolves to the Class 6A state championship game his junior year. Also played basketball. Chose to walk-on at Oklahoma State despite being recruited by other lower-level schools. Played at the same high school as Oklahoma State’s Collin Oliver,Talyn Shettron, Tabry Shettron, Calvin Bundage and others.

NIL SPONSORS: Shadow Nursing Inc. New Identity Foundations Hartwell Academy LLC 2701 Productions Creative Xpression LLC Hollywood Weekly Magazine

At OSU, we differentiate ourselves from the competition by offering a wide range of high-quality players backed by expert coaching.

CHOOSE JAE’LEN TUCKER! CONTACT US: IG: @jae_ctg | Email: jayplaysmc3701@gmail.com | Cashapp:$jaelentucker

Payable to Jaelen Tucker Mail checks to: Shadow Nursing INC. c/o Jae’len Tucker 2501 N Western Ave. OKC, OK 73106




t was a beautiful sunny day on Oct 13th for art4peace awards Royal Business Summit. Around 47 people came physically and rest business joined online in a beautiful private venue of New York. Tanzania Safri CEO sponsored breakfast and lunch was sponsored by Marco Polo Kqick Coffee. People were in Awa the coffee has no acidity, natural un roasted beans. This coffee kept everyone in good shape to network work continued until 9:00 P.M. Great network with gold, copper, silver, aluminum, gas, diesel, technologies, investors and projects The Wisdomland international project in Nepal, Phil Marriot project in Costa Richa, LLana Rogel the genius of Cognitive study found out the cure for Alzheimer, She was looking for 2


million for start. Please contact her how you can get involve, International Veteran police of New York sponsored dinner for VVIP international guess. Next day Oct 14 rainy day and the Art 4 Peace Awards’ Peace Gala was jammed packed with media and 23 countries delegate, royals, diplomats, Laurates. Dame Munni Irone gave a pearl necklace to each of her guest for good luck. Two presidents of the African countries, Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood created diversity in art, cultures, traditions and languages, Many Asians including Chinese attended to bring peace in the chaotic world. The world leaders lacking Wisdom and diplomacy is not practice. People are tired of suffering.

PEACE, PEACE, SHANTI IS NEEDED, STOP WARS AND USE WORDS. Prince Shakaala and Dame Munni Irone were the Master of Ceremony for the show. Our Royal Peace and proclamation awardees were Llana Rogel, Sir Michael, Sir Gary, Ms. Sue Ann, Dr. Rohit Tripathi, Ambassador Touchil, Dr. Kumar Tripathi, Richa Tripathi, Best song 2023 went to Hithe, Best Hebrew song went to Queen Ofir, Best African Music went to Puppy Curly, Best project creating jobs 10,000 jobs went to Wisdomland International Nepal. Our youth Awardee was Richard who sang New York, Ms. Mariam, Susan Köhler and 25 awards were International Veterans Police for their Humanitarian work.

SIR MICHAEL LEUNG is a philanthropist and successful businessman who operates nonprofit organizations dedicated to assisting disadvantaged individuals worldwide. His previous initiatives include managing a scholarship fund for academically gifted children in impoverished countries and supporting individuals with disabilities. He served as the President of the Lions Club for over a decade. During his tenure, Sir Michael Leung received the "The President's Call to Service Award" from the President of the United States of America. Furthermore, he has received numerous awards and citations from federal, state, and city governmental agencies. Sir Michael Leung is frequently invited to serve as chairman and senior advisor for various nonprofit and charity organizations globally. He leads a dedicated team of trained professionals and volunteers, all committed to ensuring the success of his charitable endeavors. In summary, Sir Michael Leung has devoted his life to assisting those in need and enhancing the lives of people worldwide.



request for compliments, but from me he got 12 pages of notes, which led to an entirely new draft. I also connected him to a cinematographer friend looking for a worthy project. They have just finished their third film together. I see what you mean by “catalyst”. Any other favorite examples? I was traveling in my native Ukraine five years ago and discovered the workshop of an iron-ore miner, Vasyl Pilka, who does these miraculously fine and detailed glass etchings of the most extraordinary historical scenes and documents. I immediately resolved to make a documentary about his work. This resulted in his getting attention all over Europe as an artist, which has been vital for sustaining him during this dark time in Ukraine.

Yelena Makarczyk, known as Yelena Skye in her production endeavors, is truly the quintessential renaissance woman. Born and raised in Ukraine and some of the most far-flung regions of the Soviet Union, she arrived at UCLA as an international student at the tender age of 15. She learned English while rooming with other foreign students doing the same, creating bonds that have lasted a lifetime. She studied filmmaking, literature and linguistics, and soon after was part of a team that made an Emmy-winning documentary on the Romanov dynasty. Her multi-language skills organically cemented her career in localization. She became an expert in subtitling and dubbing in L.A.’s postproduction industry, known for having one of the most impressive rolodexes of translators anywhere. You call yourself, above all, a “catalyst.” Can you elaborate on that? I have always straddled multiple aspects of filmmaking, from the conception, writing and production side, to the purely post-production realm. I know firsthand how essential it is to get both ends of the process right – even if little glamour attaches to the localization side of it. (Notice how there is no award for Best Subtitling at the Oscars? There should be.) Here’s a story that illustrates how essential that part of the process is: About a decade ago, I was contacted by an indie French filmmaker who had sunk virtually his last dime into making his movie, and when it came time to submitting it to an American film festival he hired the cheapest translator he could find. At the L.A. screening, there were several instances when the audience laughed

at moments that were supposed to be dramatic, even poignant. He was mortified and asked for my help. It didn’t take me long to realize that the subtitles were awkward and literal, and often unintentionally comical. For example, one of the aspects of translation that most people don’t grasp is the ubiquity of “false friends” – the same word that doesn’t have the same meaning in both languages. For example, “affair” in English usually describes an adulterous sexual relationship, but “affaire” in French refers to a business deal. It’s not hard to imagine how this could be confusing, to put it mildly, in a subtitle. (In French, “liaison” is used for a love affair, and that itself is another false friend to its English cognate.) I had the film re-subtitled for him by one of my expert translators, and the new reaction he received at other festivals gained the film several awards and a distribution deal. Two years later, he brought me a new script to have translated and then asked for my opinion on the content. This is usually a pro forma

This must be a dark time for you, too. Yes, it has been. I have a large number of Ukrainian cousins, many of them who are more like siblings to me. I have raised tens of thousands of dollars to help them survive the war and also contributed subtitling to three short films about specific battles for Ukrainian Military Intelligence. I’ve also lost male members of my family as well as close childhood friends and colleagues in the war. Sometimes being so connected to every corner of the world isn’t so enviable. Over the years, I have lost several translators to various conflicts in Chechnya, Afghanistan, Russia, Ukraine, and most recently, Israel. But being a citizen of the world, both professionally and personally, has far more upsides than not. For example, I have also been able to help émigrés who left everything behind, including an illustrator who does the most beautiful pet portraits imaginable, starting with the love of my life, my beautiful German Shepherd, Nikita.



The Change from ANGELENO RECORDS is Blowin’ in the Wind

By Anthony Ewart


usic is different now. The most dramatic shift has been in hip-hop. The Sugar Hill Gang started it all with their party hit “Rappers Delight.” Blondie had the world dancing to her eccentric hip-hop narrative “Rapture,” but the The Furious Five released their somber, realistic portrayal of life in their hip-hop classic “The Message” and the genre switched gears. This song set the stage for rappers interested in songs about racism, drugs and social injustice. These artists were ultimately led back to the real foundations of hip-hop: the spoken poet Gil Scott Heron and the powerful writers of “The Last Poets.” In the beginning, these rappers learned, rhyme was about social change. This revelation led to the birth of culturally conscious rap groups, the most prominent being Public Enemy. The late 80s and early 90s saw this new racial and social awareness boom in hip-hop music, and then came the in-fighting, the diss tracks and the deaths. Hip-hop is the only musical genre, with the possible exception of reggae, that has experienced such a mass level of fatalities and carnage among its artists. Whether it’s drug related or outright murder, the body count is tragically high. The rap scene is unrecognizable now. The only


message delivered through mumble rap and derivative, cloned beats is materialism, narcissism and classism. Angeleno Records is a conscientious hip-hop company stepping into a world at war around us, literally and figuratively. Hollywood has finally cannibalized itself and forced actors to strike, and with the scandalous amount of unpaid music royalties to artists in the recording industry musicians and singers may do the same. In all this chaos the youth of America are essentially standing on a conveyor belt, as in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” slowly being dropped off into a meat grinder. Three boys who jumped off that conveyor belt at the last moment, dropping a shoe or two into the meat grinder, are Riggy Marz, El Diablo Beats and Sunny Darko, the founders of Angeleno Records. The name of their recording company is an homage to the city these men love, the City of Angels, where Riggy Marz and El Diablo Beats were born. This is not a company with one mission, Angeleno Records has many missions, because these are Artists bringing back a care and concern for social injustice, or the harm we do to ourselves with drugs when we can’t deal with the stress of our

lives or the situation we’re in. There are many ways to get on a conveyor belt to your death, addiction may be the quickest. Angeleno Records was born in the mind of rapper and former addict Riggy Marz, and his dream has finally come to fruition along with his sobriety. ANGELENO RECORDS GOLDEN TEACHER (ONE): RIGGY MARZ “In the end, the disease of addiction stripped almost everything from me. I almost quit music and the though of suicide seemed like a good idea. That’s when I started Angeleno Records, when I sobered up. I started writing a gratitude list with music and sobriety at the top, realizing I’m grateful for the good and bad because it makes me a better storyteller. As an Artist and Healer, what effect would I really have on people if I haven’t suffered through similar circumstances myself and survived? My nightmarish past has become my message and my most powerful tool in life.” Bob Dylan was a contemporary of The Last Poets, and he was an advocate for standing up to oppression when he played folk music acoustically. That all changed when he switched to electric guitar, but a young Riggy Marz fell in love with that

early Dylan. Songs like “Blowin’ in The Wind,” “The Times Are A Changin’,” and “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall.” Dylan’s lyrics inspired Riggy to write his own poetry. Hip-hop has always been an attractive force and soon Riggy’s poetry became rap verses. He developed his own rap style based on a deep love of words, but was lured by an equally powerful force: drugs. Sunny Darko was living an almost identical life in Sacramento California. Like Riggy, Darko was passionate about poetry and hip-hop, and in his youthful exuberance to party he discovered a sleeping disease inside of himself: addiction. ANGELENO RECORDS GOLDEN TEACHER (TWO): SUNNY DARKO “I’ve survived drug addiction, betrayals of my closest friends, the loss of my father, as well as losing everything in a structure fire a year later. If there’s one thing I’ve learned you don’t know how strong you are until you know how strong you are. At the end of the day I just want to be a light for those still in the dark and to remind people to keep evolving, the possibilities are infinite.” El Diablo Beats also grew up in Sacramento, and is considered by all a musical genius. He plays an assortment of instruments, including guitar, bass and most importantly for rappers, drums. El Diablo Beats completed the nucleus of Angeleno Records in the early days, creating a compelling trifecta of two rappers and a musical prodigy for their beats. One huge aspect that sets El Diablo Beats apart from many other beat makers is his vast knowledge of music. Rap, Rock, Blues, Folk, Heavy Metal, Punk, Country -- to El Diablo Beats, they’re all just different flavors he uses to create his incredible beats.

ANGELENO RECORDS GOLDEN TEACHER (THREE): EL DIABLO BEATS “My goal as a music producer is to custom craft the desired soundtrack to any genre of music, while making a signature, timeless sound.” Lyricist extraordinaire Blaze Aliaz moved from Miami to Sacramento and a trifecta of emcees was born when he met Riggy and Sunny Darko. It was clear Blaze was destined to be a rapper and he was recruited into Angeleno Records. At the innocent age of eight-years old Blaze’s Mother decided to buy music albums for him from a catalogue to keep his mind active. Unbeknownst to her the albums she chose were rap classics from the second Golden Age of rap, the 90’s. Like Riggy Marz and Sunny Darko, Blaze grew up identifying himself as a poet with high standards. A hip-hop connoisseur with a love for rhymes and phat beats, ready to make his literary mark in the pantheon of hip-hop music. ANGELENO RECORDS GOLDEN TEACHER (FOUR): BLAZE ALIAZ “If my verse doesn’t give me chills I won’t release it. It took my lifetime to get your attention. There is no time or words to waste.” Deadbeat Donnie is originally from Akron, Ohio, and out of all the members of Angeleno Records seem s the most grateful to be able to give back to hip-hop all that he has received. I spoke earlier of the tragedy in hip-hop, but Deadbeat Donnie sees the good. He’s a beat maker, like El Diablo Beats, and like El Diablo Beats he’s historian of rap music. He recognizes that the world of hip-hop has given hope to kids as a means of selfexpression and self-identification. Rap is a genre that has produced legitimate artists, past and present. Deadbeat

Donnie joins Blaze in yearning to evolve the pantheon of hip-hop. ANGELENO RECORDS GOLDEN TEACHER (FIVE): DEADBEAT DONNIE “I would just like to give back the culture that made me. Now that I’ve found like-minded people with the same work ethic I believe together we really have something to offer.” Angeleno Records is about shifting consciousness to reveal we are living in a dystopian society now. Lyricist, Poet and Emcee, Sunny Darko, was heavily influenced by the majestic songwriting of Jim Morrison, legendary frontman for “The Doors.” Like Morrison, Sunny Darko has strong visions of a different world than we live in now. A world of harmony, love and respect. His medium of dissemination to transport to his ideal society is hip-hop music. Riggy Marz is the little boy who fell in love with the powerful words and strong Melodie’s of Bob Dylan, and grew into a Titan, with the battle scars to prove it. The depths of the underworld Riggy Marz escaped would shock Dante Alighieri, the great poet of the “Divine Comedy,” or “ Dante’s Inferno.” The early life of Riggy Marz is a Quentin Tarantino movie far above any NC-17 rating by the motion picture association. Yet, from the wasteland of crime and drug addiction Riggy Marz survived. There had to be a reason. Quentin Tarantino famously said he knew his life was protected while he was writing “Pulp Fiction” because he believed his film “had to be made.” He felt it was destiny, and he was right. “Pulp Fiction” did take the pantheon of film in a completely new direction. This rationale is the only logical reason Riggy Marz survived his vicious years of drug addiction. Angeleno Records was destined to come into existence. Riggy Marz, Sunny Darko, El Diablo Beats, Blaze Aliaz and Deadbeat Donnie were fated to band together like brothers in war. As a team, a “Circle of Bosses,” as they refer to themselves, their Angeleno Records is a tornado blowing a steady, consistent stream of phat beats and messages of independent thought and self-empowerment in the wind. All you have to do is listen. Left to right: Riggy Marz, Sunny Darko, El Diablo Beats, Blaze Alias and Deadbeat Donnie HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY • 25

On Wearing Two Hats on One Ranger




orn in Winchester, England, writer/ director Jesse V. Johnson is best known for the action crime drama Avengement, the action war epic Hell Hath No Fury, and the action comedy Debt Collectors. In the white-knuckle action-thriller, One Ranger, a gunslinging Texas ranger (Thomas Jane) tracks an international terrorist (Dean Jagger) set on detonating a bomb in the heart of London. When the lawman's partner is killed, he is drawn into partnership with a British intelligence agent (Dominique Tipper) and her boss (John Malkovich) to bring the outlaw to justice -- dead or alive.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview. What prompted you to write this film? Was it based on reallife Texas Ranger Joaquin Jackson? I did read his book, One Ranger, which was 26 • HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY

fascinating but my film takes a completely different direction and has nothing to do with the Texas riot. When I first came to Los Angeles, I worked on the TV show, Walker, Texas Ranger. We'd fly into Dallas and they had a statue dedicated to Captain McDonald, the most prominent of the “Four Great Captains” of Texas Ranger history. There’s a famous quote from McDonald, who was called in to quell a riot. When he got off the train, the townsfolk asked where the rest of the Rangers were and he replied, “One riot, one Ranger.” I found the Texas Rangers wonderfully fascinating and historically romantic. Because here’s this up-to-date 21st-century law enforcement agency that still wears the 1860s uniform with a white Stetson hat, gun belt, and boots. It keeps them and us in touch with the great frontier of the American West.

By Alex A. Kecskes

As writer and director, you wore two hats in bringing One Ranger to life. What was that like? It's wonderful because I don't offend anyone when I make last-minute changes. I do whatever works in the year-and-a-half it takes to develop it, finance it, produce and direct it. I have to consider the budget and stunts and other things when I’m writing it. But it’s a bit more fun when it’s your script.

Did you storyboard any of the shots? I work from a very detailed shot list, which I generate the night before. Because I know how much time we have, what limitations I’ll encounter, where people are, and the locations I'm dealing with. I can have a seven-page shot list. For action scenes and special effects, where there are a lot of moving parts, I will storyboard. If you're dealing with 30 or 100 people, a storyboard

can be very useful. I started storyboarding at a very young age. My uncle was a second-unit director and my crash course was storyboarding his action scenes. You teamed a gunslinging down-toearth Texas Ranger with a smart and sassy British intelligence agent. What was your thinking there? I've had a lot of luck with interesting buddy movies. It allows you to have one character who may behave one way in a particular situation and another who is completely different. So the audience gets the benefit of two perspectives. This is why audiences like buddy movies. They're more interesting. You get more bang for your buck. Dominique was absolutely wonderful. Thomas was quite intimidating and a force of nature in his own right. Had his sidekick been the slightest bit nervous around him, it wouldn’t have worked. But Dominique was utterly fearless and very good with guns, silencers, explosives, and props. She’d watch how to handle them once then use them like a pro. I loved the way she dressed and wore her hair, everything worked. She was totally against type. Are there different rules for shooting in London as opposed to the US? I was quite surprised by how similar things in the US and Britain have become. Twenty years ago, it was different—they had breaks for tea where we had to stop for half an hour twice daily. But now it’s more like a modern American film set. I thought we’d have trouble with the guns because England is a very anti-gun country. The first day we had this enormous shootout

with machine guns and real heavy ordnance. I told the crew to do one take because the police would be coming to shut us down. But as it turned out, after all the shooting, there wasn’t a single complaint. Can you go into the challenges you faced in that wild off-road desert chase at the beginning? OMG, that was hair-raising. We had this incredible car that was capable of hitting 140 mph over rough desert terrain. Dean Jagger who plays McBride got into this car going about 100 mph. When he came back, all the blood had gone out of his face. He looked at me with this expression of horror and we burst out laughing. When you’re hitting 100 mph, the road disappears very quickly so we had to plan our run carefully. The boy singing an Irish song was an interesting touch. What were you going for there? It was a heartbreaking moment. I was trying to show that these men were not your classic bad guys, that at some point, they had been freedom fighters. And I wanted to do it with not a lot of dialog.

Thomas Jane and Dominique Tipper on the set of One Ranger

Jane and Dominique take quite a beating in those brutal, realistic fight scenes. Who choreographed them and did anyone get hurt? Those were choreographed by Dan Styles. He’s very good with actors. The actors did most of the stunts but there were times when we used doubles. Dominique didn’t want to have anyone step in for her. We had to twist her arm to let the double do one or two scenes. Most people don’t realize that fight scenes take a lot of stamina. It’s not like a real fight; movie fights are really exhausting. You have to throw everything into it to make it look as realistic as possible. Thomas Jane portrayed a character that simply wouldn’t give up so he did a great job. I wanted each character to fight with whatever they had--knives, forks, guns, dishes. I wanted to show them beating people up as well as getting beat up. I didn’t want the sort of clean, polished martial arts stuff you sometimes see in action films. You’ve been in the film industry for many years. What have you learned about filmmaking that surprised you? I was surprised at how much joy and satisfaction I get out of this business. Every film, every set is different. And every actor is unique and a pleasure to work with. Each film is a surprise and presents something new. To be honest, I was surprised at how little I know. And that it’s possible to keep learning. Because the moment you get cocky and think you know everything, that’s when you’re rudely awakened. Each film sets the bar a little higher. What advice would you give young, aspiring filmmakers trying to break in or just starting out? Write and read. Don’t occupy your time with large amounts of social media. Read about how the guys did it 20 years ago. The business really started in 1919. Read about the challenges they faced. What the film was about—the storylines. And be receptive because it’s all been done. So you need to know what’s been done before you. A real filmmaker will have a deep understanding of what went before and their films show it. You should also read short stories by Hemingway, Jack London, and other great storytellers. Educate yourself and then write. Your first script will be awful, but that’s okay. Just keep trying and you’ll get the hang of it eventually. HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY • 27


By Alex A. Kecskes

RE N MARTI N EZ Formerly Ren Farren talks about her art and soul


inger-songwriter and actress Ren Martinez (formerly Ren Farren) is the youngest daughter of singer Leslie Ren and actor ‘A’ Ren (“Longmire”). Ren’s performing roots run deep and she is now taking the music world by storm with her captivating vocals, heartfelt songwriting, and electrifying performances. Her distinctive blend of music fuses poetic lyricism and captivating pop sensibilities. Ren has released two EPs and multiple singles that reflect her evolution as an artist. Recently collaborating with producer and close friend Madison Scheckel, known as Wolfy. Ren is on the brink of unveiling her upcoming record. Ren sang before she could talk and embraced acting from the age of six, participating in local plays. She graduated from the Popular Music Performance program at the University of Southern California where she honed her songwriting and vocal skills. During her college years, Ren discovered contemporary artists spanning pop, hip-hop, rock, and country genres. This


unique blend of classic influences and contemporary training has given her a sound that bridges the gap between introspective storytelling and captivating melodies. She has since released albums like Good Girl and Where I am Wild, with hit singles like Uncool, Lose the Night, See Me Through, and Crier. Her music is currently available on Spotify, Soundcloud, and iTunes. Ren has performed at Madame Siam in Hollywood and created a moving tribute to Joni Mitchell at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble alongside Jean Claudes. She continues to grace the city’s stages with her soulful performances. Her tracks have been featured on television shows like Hacks, New Girl, Friends from College, Single Parents, and The Young and the Restless, solidifying her status as a versatile artist with a sound that resonates far and wide. Ren’s impact isn’t confined to the studio alone. She’s also making waves in the acting world, engaging in voiceover work, and recently performing in a Sam Shepard play.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Every artist is driven by something to succeed creatively. What drove you to become a recording artist? Ren Martinez: I just love to sing. Since I was a little kid, it’s been such a huge part of the person I’ve become. I grew up with so much music in my house. But there wasn’t a specific moment when I decided to become a singer/songwriter. It’s just always what I did. I grew up in the 90s and the early 2000s. I was obsessed with music and musicians. I saw what they were doing with their lives and I knew then that it would make me happy. I knew that singing, performing on stage, writing music, and being an artist—there was just nothing else I wanted to do. So it’s an innate part of me. It’s hard to say where that motivation came from, but when I started writing songs in earnest—when I was finishing high school and starting college—it all started to take shape for me. I realized that if I could hone that skill, it would make this dream so much more fulfilling.

I wanted to be a songwriter but I was very daunted by that. When I had this song that I wanted to share, everything started to shift into gear for me. So you were one of those girls dancing in her room singing with a hairbrush in your hand? Ren: (laughs). Yeah, that was me. When I was little, every time, I went to a bowling alley or skating rink, they always had these sticker machines with all these Popstar stickers. I shared a bedroom with my sister when I was little and my side of the closet mirror was covered with stickers of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. I had cassettes and my family’s boombox and I was totally obsessed with music. Some recording artists adopt a certain style; others seem to reinvent themselves over time. How has your singing/songwriting style evolved? Ren: That’s such an interesting question. I think I’m after the same thing in my songwriting. I think I’m really trying to get to some kind of truth that I can express in the most emotional way possible. I’ve always loved different genres of music—pop, hip-hop, rock, folk, and country. When a song speaks to me, it’s one that I feel exists within all genres. Songs by someone vulnerable and emotional. I’m devoted to the skill of songwriting. I’m like a songwriter’s songwriter if that makes sense. That has stayed consistent with me. It’s been about perfecting that skill over time, although, I don’t think it will ever be perfected. I like to hone in on one thing all the time—whether it’s more fun or more bare-bones and emotional. I try to combine vulnerability with something that gets to the heart of an emotion as creatively as possible. How do you create a new song? Do you start with lyrics or a tune in your head? And how do you then refine it? Ren: I went to music school here in L.A. and some of my friends are songwriters and musicians. I’ve been around so many people with different styles. For a lot of people, if they’re really fluid with an instrument, they’ll tend to write from that place. But I can play guitar and piano and so lately, I’ve been spending more

time with an instrument and trying to figure out where I want the song to go. But for the most part, a lyric or melody will come into my head—just a line to two. Sometimes I’ll rush to record a voice memo on my iPhone. I think songwriters have to be the top users of that iPhone app (laughs). I have hundreds of recordings on my iPhone of just me singing in the car. For me, It’s often the lyric and tune all at once. If I come up with a lyric, it’ll come to me in that musical way. Then I’ll try to figure out the music and chords that go under it. What recording artist was your biggest influence when you first started? Ren: My parents’ music fundamentally influenced me. We listened to Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell. I was coming of age when Britney Spears was big. It’s funny, I remember my parents’ music and this bubble-gum 90s pop. One of the first CDs I ever bought was Michelle Branch’s Spirit Room album. She was like 16 when they recorded that. She was the first person I ever remember who made me feel like I’d discovered something, it was a special kind of catalyst. I had this album where I knew every word and loved every song. She wasn’t much older than me. She did this rock-pop thing with this really cool, interesting voice. She was influenced by Alanis Morissette and Liz Phair. I loved Britney Spears but I didn’t see myself as Britney. Billboard described your music as blending “boy bands and Britney with storytelling folk” and put your release of Good Girl on their list of the 25 Best Rock Songs of 2017. What inspired you write and perform that song? Ren: I wrote that song in 2016 after an awful breakup that really threw me. It left me questioning my worldview. Two or three months later, there was a political upheaval and it was generally not a good year. I went through this personal and political frustration. I went to the first women’s march in DC with my mother and I remember writing the majority of Good Girl in the hotel room we were staying in. I’m such a personal songwriter, and that song was about that personal relationship dissolving. So I was an angry songwriter at that moment.

The performance of your zoriginal song See Me Through at the Odyssey Event was incredible. What inspired you to write that song? Ren: That was a product of that same breakup. It was probably my saddest song. I’m a pretty bare-bones piano and guitar player. My friend Brian Robert Jones produced that and has produced my new album. He played just the chords with me singing over them, slowly and sparingly--like as we were kind of demo’ing out the song. For me, that song was like a channeling of pain. So letting it be just my vocal on top of these low quiet chords felt like the right way to handle it. The song is really hard to perform live as it takes a lot out of me. I tend to write songs that are hard to sing, but that one was very cathartic. I try to have a moment in a song where I try to bring in a bit of an opposite perspective— some levity at some point. Same with a happy, fun song. At a certain point, I’ll try to get real with it. What do you find challenging about voice-over work? Ren: Yeah, I’ve been doing that for about six years or so. I’ve done different things for animated series and English language dubbing for live-action work. I did a show for Netflix called Baby, where I was on the show for three seasons dubbing this Italian language show. It’s really fun. Will you be performing overseas? Ren: Nothing scheduled. I’d love to do it. Do you currently have a new song rattling in your head that’s dying to get out? Ren: That’s so interesting. I just got the masters back on this new album. I love singing Jazz standards. But there is a song I wrote while in the shower. And it’s still rattling around in my head. What were you like in high school? The girl most likely to…? Ren: (laughs) I did win most musical awards in my high school. I went to a small school. There were maybe 180 students in my grade. I was doing all the performing arts—choirs, plays, musicals. I was very much into creative writing. Some of my best friends have been involved with me in theater. HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY • 31



By Anthony Ewart

Photo by Melissa Core of Dead Horse Branding


wner and designer of Hogwash 'n Rhinestones, Rae Finn grew up as the youngest of five girls in the small town of Holliston, Massachusetts. Rae was always drawn to abandoned, discarded objects. In her mind, she was saving them. Rae developed her mantra, "No thread gets left behind!" Rae started her upcycled clothing line "Hogwash 'n Rhinestones" in 2011, and she's still going strong! Upcycling means raising the value of vintage pieces of clothing by reconfiguring them into a brand new design encompassing all the elements. The sum of Rae's designs is much greater than their parts.


Hogwash 'n Rhinestones has been described as "Rebel Soul meets Rockstar Cowgirl," and what should be added is "and every girl and woman between that beautiful spectrum!" Yes, the plot thickens! Rae is from the East Coast, which means a Southern woman is in a state of mind. Rae grew up in Boston with the heart of a sassy Southern rockstar, and she found a way to let her loose in the world. Now it's your turn! All of Rae's designs are 100% original and unique because the source material always changes. The point is that no matter where you live, Rae Finn's Hogwash 'n Rhinestones will unleash your inner cowgirl!

Rae's creative vision emerged as she embarked on celebrating uniqueness and blending vintage aesthetics with modern sensibilities. Each piece tells its own story by repurposing materials that would otherwise go to waste. The brand champions sustainability while offering fashion-forward pieces, one stitch at a time. Hogwash 'n Rhinestones defines the art of revamping, deconstructing, and bedazzling clothing. Each piece is oneof-a-kind that is sure to make a true fashion statement. With a deep appreciation for vintage clothing and a determination to salvage discarded treasures, Rae launched on a transformative journey that would redefine sustainable fashion. She discovered that nothing should go to waste, and her passion for upcycling was ignited.

Each piece of clothing produced by Rae tells its own story, blending vintage aesthetics with modern sensibilities. By repurposing materials that would otherwise go to waste, the brand champions sustainability while offering fashionforward pieces, one stitch at a time. Hogwash ‘n Rhinestones defines the art of revamping, deconstructing, and bedazzling clothing. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and is sure to make a true fashion statement. As the company was founded in 2011, Rae’s creative vision emerged as she embarked on celebrating uniqueness and blending vintage aesthetics with modern sensibilities. Each piece is handcrafted and deconstructed to salvage discarded treasures. With a deep appreciation for vintage clothing and a determination to salvage discarded treasures, Rae embarked on a transformative journey that would redefine sustainable fashion. Digging for curbside gold with her dad in Holliston, Massachusetts, Rae developed a keen eye for hidden potential in discarded items. She discovered that nothing should go to waste, and her passion for upcycling was ignited.



By Alex A. Kecskes

On the series FROM, complex characters, and dancing roles


ailing from British Columbia, Avery Konrad studied at Vancouver Film School and landed her first role as Gina Sarland in R.L Stein's The Haunting Hour series. Konrad later co-starred in Paramount+ Honor Society, about a high school senior who stops at nothing to get into Harvard. Konrad also played Chance Sinclair in Amazon's horror-thriller Broil. And she portrayed Roan Harper, Juliette Lewis’ sister in the acclaimed Facebook Watch series, Sacred Lies: The Singing Bones. Additional credits include recurring roles in ABC's The Good Doctor, Netflix's Van Helsing, and CBC's Unspeakable. Currently, Konrad stars in Epix's contemporary sci-fi horror/drama, FROM. The series unravels the mystery of a nightmarish town in middle America that traps all those who enter. As the unwilling residents fight to keep a sense of normalcy and search for a way out,

No matter how hard it gets, you have to be your own cheerleader and believe in yourself more than anything they must also survive the threats of the surrounding forest—including the terrifying creatures that come out when the sun goes down. As Sara Myers, Konrad is a wild card among the town's residents: some think her mind was simply fractured by the residents of the town; others wonder if, in her madness, she is closer to the secrets of the town than anyone else. Besides her work in film and television, Konrad is an accomplished dancer. She

has worked on several music videos and performances with her dance career. When her childhood friends opened Legacy Dance Productions in her hometown, she began teaching dance to children, which has grown into a huge passion for her to this day. Thank you for taking the time for this interview. FROM is a real nail bitter about survival. What drew you to the role of Sara Myers? The overall storyline and her character were very interesting because she has so many layers. She's such a wild card in the town. Also, the team behind the series was a huge draw. And to bring her character to life was a dream come true. What did you draw from to play such a mysterious character in a nightmarish town? I had lots of help from my acting coach, Deb Podowski, who coached me for all episodes. When I’m in the depths of playing Sara, it’s hard to see the things that are popping up on the page, things you don’t see when you’re glancing over it. So to have Deb point those things out was really helpful in keeping Sara’s humanity alive, which I felt was really important. What did you find most challenging about being in this series and playing Sara? I think all of the content she deals with— the darkness—can kind of bleed into your life a little bit. But having practiced with season one and coming into season two,


I kind of knew what I was getting into. So that was very helpful but to keep that alive, the consequences of maintaining that can be challenging. But it's all worth it because I get to do what I love. Do you have a favorite scene or scenes? There’s one scene with Chloe (Van Landschoot), who plays Kristi in the clinic, which was a lot of fun to shoot. I love the scenes in season one with Harold (Perrineau). Those were awesome. Also the scene in season one, episode five, where Sarah kills Nathan (Paul Zinno). It was difficult but rewarding. Yeah, the neck-stabbing scene. Are you sometimes put off by all the blood and gore? When I’m there, no; but seeing it on screen, it’s different. But because I was there in the scene, I kind of know where everything was coming from. You’re an accomplished dancer. If you were offered a role in Footloose or Black Swan, which would you take? Oh, that’s really difficult. There’s a lot of darkness in Black Swan. If I was coming off of FROM, I’d probably go for Footloose because it’s more lighthearted. But both would be incredible projects to be part of. You've played a variety of roles in TV and film. What have you learned about this business that surprised you? That's a really good question. I think finding people who you can trust is really important. But sometimes, unfortunately, the cliches are true. And thankfully, falling into FROM, the creators, producers, and cast are all caring people. And to be able to create this series with them has been very rewarding. I'm grateful to be part of it. Any advice for young actors eager to make it in this business? Taking classes. And if it's something you really want to do, don't give up, keep going. No matter how hard it gets, you have to be your own cheerleader and believe in yourself more than anything. What were you like in high school? The girl most likely to….? Be the class clown, always trying to make people laugh. I was always goofing around making people feel better. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 35

Lolovivi Jewelry has a mission of promoting love and inclusion. In fact, the brand does its part to help create a world that is United in Love, by routinely giving 5% from sales to organizations working for inclusion and equality. Lolovivi Jewelry is currently available at select retailers across the country, as well as online at www.lolovivijewelry.com and retails for between $175 and $22,395. The 287-piece collection includes necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings. The brand’s materials include: 18k gold, 14k gold, sterling silver, black platinum, black and white diamonds, black and white sapphires and other gems.

Musician Dylan Garcia, A Good Guy On The Horizon By Anthony Ewart


here are many Good Guys who have lived. We’ve read about them in history books, biographies and autobiographies. I define Good Guys as generous and self-less. A man concerned with helping others as he helps himself. A men genuinely happy to see people he knows succeed in life. A Good Guy is a man who respects women, the way Dylan Garcia respects his wife and Queen, Gabriela. A Good Guy respects himself and most importantly, other cultures. By these standards Dylan Garcia is a Good Guy, and an amazing singer/ musician on the rise. Dylan’s musical style has gone through many phases. He began with a love for Hip-Hop and R&B, and expanded to Rock and Spanish Rock, like icon Carlos Santana. The first songs Dylan wrote were love songs about a recent heartbreak. He taught himself to play guitar and was ready to start singing his blues. Of course he played many styles of music, but Dylan’s lyrics were always poignant and poetic. It was the multiple Grammy winning (5 times) Venezuelan producer Kenny O’Brien who gave Dylan his first name, because he reminded him of legendary songwriter Bob Dylan. From the very beginning of Dylan’s career he had an eye for recognizing

talent in others. He began hosting his own Hip-Hop shows at clubs in his hometown of Oxnard, CA, featuring himself and other rappers and bands. Dylan has a catalogue of almost one hundred songs written, and with all the talented musicians he knew decided to start his own record label: KOALA DRIVE, LLC

At his recent sold out performance at the Whiskey a Go Go on Sunset Blvd., Dylan demonstrated why he’s known as an incredible performer with a huge heart. The performance was dedicated to his late brother, and had a theme of mental health awareness. Some of Dylan’s albums have been titled “GOOD KARMA,” “REFLECTIONS OF MY IMPERFECTIONS" & #relationshipgoals. Dylan Garcia is a special human being sharing positive light and creating positive music. Not surprisingly, Dylan is a wave rider. He finds peace on the ocean, contemplating his life and the lives of others. You may find him early one morning if you’re on the beach. Don’t worry if you see him on the horizon surfing a huge wave. He’s protected by the Universe. He’s a Good Guy.

Dylan Garcia with wife Gabriela HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY • 37

Your local UPS Store

5482 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90036

Corner of Wilshire & Dunsmuir

SERVICES WE OFFER Tired of individuals stealing your packages? Need a safe and secure location to receive your packages from ALL shipping carriers? Want to keep your personal address private for your business? OPEN A PRIVATE MAILBOX ON MIRACLE MILE! We offer private mailbox services for personal and business use. Benefits of a mailbox at our location: - Physical Address NOT a PO Box. - 24/7 access to mailbox. - Package Notifications via email or text. - Mail Forwarding – If you’re out of town and urgently need your mail. - Call-in Mail Check – Save a trip and call us to find out if you have mail.

• Pack and Ship (Specialize in art & fragile packaging). • Moving? We vacuum-seal your items. • Customer package pickup (10mi radius). • Key Copying • Passport Photos • Notary (no appointment needed) • Print/Fax Service • Freight Shipping • Shredding Service • Luggage Storage (“Bounce” program)

SOLVING HISTORY’S GREATEST LITERARY MYSTERY Rarely does one run into such a logical pleading of truth… SHAKESPEARE: The Truth Behind the Name is a fantastic ‘detective’ story about ‘Shakespeare’, a magnetic history lesson and, first of all, a refreshing and revelatory living of truth in one of the greatest cases of ‘oblivion’ in history…A savorous, detective-worthy investigation…Robin Phillips’ passion and extensive knowledge on the subject comes across as accomplished and fascinating, but most importantly – convincing.


(This film) is a sensational experiment…The research carried out by the director in this film is articulated as a fascinating and evocative narrative, a real storytelling, therefore created with wisdom…the wealth of sources, images and details, combined with a great attention to staging, make this film a completely successful experiment. (It) is therefore a film of impressive breadth, capable of reconciling the virtues of cinema and those of theater and uniting them with the depth of its story. Hopefully, Robin Phillips will delve further into this wonderful cinematic quest.


Her case is so compelling, it is hard to imagine anyone successfully challenging her claims…(Phillips) does a fabulous job stating her case and leaving little doubt as to who Shakespeare really was, dispelling the commonly accepted myth… (This film) is a brilliant documentary…an ambitious undertaking and without question, a labor of love. There’s an enthusiasm that is quite contagious as clues and truths are revealed and old arguments crumble and fall…Excellent work.


The numerous comparisons in the movie ensure that the viewer finds clarity in the claims of the storyteller…(This) documentary never loses its proximity with fun…Robin Phillips has done her research quite well. She has presented a side that must be considered seriously both in the academic and the artistic circles revolving around Shakespeare. (Phillips’ movie) would inspire the admirers of Shakespeare to think about his existence, his life beyond a name.”


IMDb.com: 105 Wins & 24 Nominations, including 23 BEST Documentary, numerous BESTS in Historical, Biographical, Educational, Experimental, Inspirational, Sound Design, Production Design, Research, Original Concept and Costume Design -- awarded by professionals from 88 film festivals around the world.

Amazon Prime, Hulu, iTunes, Vimeo, YouTube etc.

Vision Films, Inc. * GroundbreakerFilms.com

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.