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Celebrating Diversity In The Entertainment Industry

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ALAN DELABIE ACTOR & PRODUCER BEDSIDE READING HW'S FAVORITE AUTHORS

TYE LIU PRODUCER

DAN & JAMES CHAN

MAGICIANS


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers, I am delighted to bring you another exciting edition of Hollywood Weekly Magazine. In this issue, we feature remarkable stories told from unique international points of view. A great example is our cover story, “Diary of a Lunatic: Sylke’s Tale. The diversity of the cast of the show is remarkable. Written and directed by Greg Robbins this intriguing tale follows a group of young adults trying to save the universe, one writing at a time. Featuring a cast of interesting women, Diary of a Lunatic: Sylke’s Tale is unlike anything you will ever watch. From cast to crew, to themes, this show stands out. Fantasy, magic, and the ultimate truth of friendship is what this show is all about and more. Check it out now on Prime Video. www.amazone.com/gp/video/detail/B08XJLP91D/ref=atv_dp_share_cu_r Speaking of diversity, we proudly feature an exclusive interview with talented producer/actor and martial artist known as Tye Liu. Originally from Henan Province in China, the hometown of Kung Fu, we learned that Martial art is mandatory for school age children. Undoubtedly, Tie Liu was taught to channel his disciplined upbringing into a creative energy that has enable him to flourish as a filmmaker today. Moving over to K-Pop be sure to check out singer, songwriter and producer WONOH. He released his first mini album Part 2 Love Synonym # 2 Right For Us. And finally, be sure to read about the Cape Town Carnival. A celebration of the creativity and diversity of Cape town and South Africa. This years event brought together 2,000 participants, spectacular floats, giant puppets and extravagant costumes, placing South African talent, culture and creativity in the spotlight. As always, thank you our loyal readers and be sure to tell your friends to check out Diary of a Lunatic: Sylke’s Tale. Best Wishes,

Celebrating Diversity In The Entertainment Industry

Prather Jackson

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

®

ALAN DELABIE

ACTOR & PRODUCER

BEDSIDE READING HW'S FAVORITE AUTHORS

TYE LIU PRODUCER

DAN & JAMES CHAN

PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Prather Jackson VICE PRESIDENT Bernice Harris Michael D. Coxson SENIOR BOOK CURATOR Jane Ubell-Meyer MARKETING & SALES Launy Rhem CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Anthony Ewards Alex A. Kecskes Ike Sinha Elyce Hastings GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Denise Chavez Rufus Agbede AFRICA OPERATIONS Egor Efiok HWM Africa Ambassador and Correspondence Egorefiok@gmail.com BRAZIL OPERATIONS Fabio Glingani Rico@lapenda.net (310) 567-3333 INDIA OPERATION Ike Sinha Country Director Art4Peace Awards Hollywood Weekly Magazine B1/1565 Vasantkunj New Delhi-110 070 Mobile +919599068592 ASIA OPERATION Bench Bello HWM Asia Operations hollywoodmagazineusa@gmail.com Mobile +639273895559 ADVERTISING SALES Howard Seibel DATA ENTRY Hailey Asley DISTRIBUTORS CoMag MADER NEWS

MAGICIANS

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4 12 24 COMMUNITY RENOVATION BRAVE WILLIAMS TYE LIU 28 16 8 ALAN DELABIE THEATER SEASON DAN & JAMES 32 20 14 DIARY OF A LUNATIC

MARY MOORE

LILY LISA

Producer

Lauren Vision

Golden Heart

John F. Kennedy Center

Amazing Magicians

Actor & Producer

Sylke’s Tale

A Beauty, A Voice

The Helen of Troy

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY IS A PUBLICATION WHOLLY OWNED BY PRATHER JACKSON HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY MAGAZINE LLC. © 2020 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION OF ANY CONTENT WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSSION OF THE PUBLISHER IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MAY BE SENT TO: PRATHER@HOLLYWOODWEEKLYMAGAZINE.COM. 8345 RESEDA BLVD #117, NORTHRIDGE, CA 91324. FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES CALL: (424) 371-9900 HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 3


Diary Lunatic OF A

S Y L K E ’ S

“D

iary of a Lunatic: Sylke’s Tale’s” written and directed by Greg Robbins follows a group of young adults trying to save their universe, one writing at a time. I appreciated this short series for many of its unusual yet unique choices and elements. To start, the diversity in the cast of this show was remarkable. Recent stories have been flying in the media about lack of People of Color in top-ranking films and TV shows. I commend the writer for his choice of castandnon-stereotypicalrolechoices. Many shows these days tend to take this tasteless road of stereotyping actors on how they should act based upon sexuality, skin color, etc. The storyline of this show can be hard to grasp at first so I urge all audiences to pay close attention to details such as symbols, language, and character development. The character MaHa is one of the main protagonists in this show. MaHas's character is very unique as she tends to be wise and also unsure of her greatness. I appreciated

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the variety of story lines that happened in this show because it provided a bit of realism. Grace is a character that I enjoyed as she was portrayed to be very young and innocent while still being the most powerful woman in the room. We have all seen the fairy tales where the princess needs the prince to save her but in Diary of a Lunatic, the people save themselves. This show gives a refreshing take on mystery and magic all while intertwining it into different worlds full of villains and darkness. There were many twists and turns in this show as each episode led into the next and almost all ended on a cliffhanger. I believe that this show had lots of great detail. Shows like this typically tend to lack big pieces of a plot line but for this series, that was not the case. I can tell by watching this that the director had a clear idea of what he wanted to see on the big screen. It was refreshing to be able to understand the details as a viewer because this show allowed me to not only question my ideas for the plots but also understand from other perspectives

T A L E

By Elyce Hastings

from the comfort of my own home. I have not seen many of the actors in this series anywhere else before so it was very interesting to see new acting styles unfold before my eyes. This show is unlike many others that I have seen. It was hard to relate it to multiple plot lines, even ones that may have shared similarities. I would highly suggest this series to anyone who enjoys the idea of fantasy over reality. I would love to see this series progress into more episodes that introduce new and intriguing characters. If you find yourself in hard times and need to escape for a bit, try out “Diary of a Lunatic: Sylke’s Tale’s.” After long research and studying of this marvelous series, I took it upon myself to interview some of the key characters and actors that helped develop the unique storyline and plot to this artistic, unique story. The first lovely woman I had the pleasure of interviewing is Melody Nardone who played the character “MAHA”


Q&A W I T H Melody Nardone

EH: Why did you want to be involved in this production? MN: It was truly divine intervention. I received a call from Larry Saunders asking if I was interested in doing a screen test for this series. I didn't even know what a screen test entailed. He went on to mention that KimberlyEastwoodwhoisClintEastwood's daughter is the executive producer. I was floored to know this and instantly wanted to be part of this TV series. It was even better when they asked if my daughter, Amber Vanderbush wanted to take part in this. How could I say, "no?" Greg Robbins, the director saw something in me that I didn't even know existed. I trusted in that.

MH: The experience alone was worth it. To work with this talented cast and crew, was worth it. To have it on Amazon Prime, is worth it. To be featured on the back of a bus, is worth it. To be here, doing this interview is worth it. To have worked with acting coach, Josie Divincenzo, worth it. For an opportunity to be a lead in a TV series, was worth it. Alongside MaHa, there were many other amazing actors and actresses that made the characters they played truly come alive. WhenspeakingwithYancyButlerwhoplayed “Clarissa”(MAHA’s evil alter ego), I got to know a bit more about the true meaning behindthisseries.Yancyhighlightedthatthis story is “unlike anything or any other story” that has been done. “This story is about differentjourneysandrespectingeachother’s choices”.Whenaskedaboutthechemistryon screen between cast members, Yancy stated that they all were “nothing but welcoming, as we have all never worked together”. I found that this was a very interesting fact to know as thechemistryonscreenisclearlyverynatural for everyone. This aspect made the tale just that much more desirable to watch.

EH: What made this role one worth having?

EH: Do you believe that you are similar to your character, if so, how? TW: Trew and I are similar in the way we want to support and cheer on other people. EH: What do you think people can walk away with after watching and understanding this story? TW: I think this story is much like life trying to figure it out as you go along. It's not always clear when you are going through it, but then you look back and it all makes sense. I also appreciate the themes of goodness, and the importance of helping each other out, sticking up for one another, and encouraging each other to be our best. EH: What’s going to surprise people about this show? TW: It's not all spelled out for you. You have to come along for the ride, and watch it unfold.

EH: What’s going to surprise people about this show? MH: It truly is a sci-fi/ fantasy mixed with some intense stunts. The stunts will surprise you! EH: What do you think people can walk away with after watching and understanding this story? MH: I truly feel like this film empowers you. You hold the pen to dictate your life. You always have a choice no matter what your situation is. Here's the pen, how will you write your story?

Q&A W I T H Tracy Wilson

Tracy Wilson who plays “Trew” in the series gave us some insight on the similarities between her and her character. Tracy also ex pressed her overall appreciation for the cast and crew that made this on-screen experience special.

Muse Watson gave us an insight to his character of “creator of all worlds”. It is important to note that this character was played by Watson as his first on screen character since his former well received performance as “Mike Franks” on the CBS television series NCIS. When asked about the benefits of playing his character, Watson answered “playing the creator of all worlds was very fun, when I read his opening monologue “I was hooked”. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 5


Q&A W I T H Cynthia Rothrock

I got the chance to speak with Cynthia Rothrock. Cynthia is best known as her character “Mrs. CLOUDOVER” Mrs. Cloudover plays the mother of one of the main characters whose evil alter ego takes EH: What’s the biggest challenge about taking on your role? CR: This role was a fun role for me to play. The biggest challenge was playing a dual role. The same thing is what attracted me to part. . EH: What made this role one worth having? CR: The role was fun for me to do. I always played a tough fighter and now I was playing a quirky mom possessed by a mean spirit. She was suppose to change looks from the crazy mom to the good mom, but we only see the crazy looking mom side...But it was worth it to play Mrs. Cloudover when the spirit left her body. 6 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

EH: Why did you want to be involved in this production? CR: When the director contacted me he said it would be a fun role...A sci-fi film... With quirky characters. My character played two parts... One bad/ and one good. I loved the thought of playing a dual role. Unfortunately, more of the bad side shows up...We ran out of time and had to cut the good character scenes out to just a shortened version. You never got to see me look like the good side...But it worked and that is the magic of filming. I thought it was totally different from the past roles and loved the idea of going back to NY. EH: What do you think people can walk away with after watching and understanding this story? CR: They will walk away being completely entertained, see some great fight actions, and as always good always wins over the bad. Along with Greg, Maha Guemei is one of the key elements to this project as she is not only the co- creator, but also the exec producer words. Talking” is his attitude, and who wouldn’t if that is all he asks in return? EH: Do you believe that you are similar to your character, if so, how? MG: I was meant to play myself in our first production TREW’S CALLING and again in this TV series SYLKE’S TALES, but each time personal issues and health issues prevented me from doing so. And both, Tracey B. Wilson as TREW and Melody Nardone as MAHA paint a perfect picture of me and my reactions to and the experiences of God talking to and teasing, testing and impressing an intelligent, independent, nonreligious woman who wants nothing to do with him. True to life is also that God never tries to shove TREW or MAHA into a religious belief corner, and that he is neither deterred by their cussing nor their disbelief in his words. “All is fine as long as we keep talking” is his attitude, and who wouldn’t if that is all he ask in return? Lastly, I got the amazing opportunity to interview the film's very own director himself, Greg Robbins. Greg Robbins spoke to me about the true creative process behind this detailed series and who exactly he pulls inspiration from when bringing the big stories, to your very own screens at home.

Q&A W I TH Greg Robbins

EH: What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in a film director? GR: Teaming up with actors to tell a story and bring emotions to the surface that take an audience on a journey. EH: Regarding the creative process, how did yours come about? How did you come up with this idea? GR: This is a collaboration between myself and Maha Guemei. We create ideas together and then I write dialogue and bring it back to her and we work from there. EH: Tell me a bit about how it was to work with the cast. GR: I have worked with most of the cast before as I like surrounding myself with good people. Being a good person is as important to me as having talent. EH: What do you hope to do in the new future with your talents? GR:Tocontinuetellingstoriesthatenhancelife EH: What audience do you believe that this series is targeted towards most? GR: We are learning that gamers, people that are into comic books and fantasy’s of all ages like this show EH: Who is your favorite film director and what inspires you most about them/ their work? GR: I love the work of Clint Eastwood, Frank Gapra and Peıer Berg, they are different styles of directors but they seem to pour the heart and soul into the stories they tell.


EH: I noticed on your IMDB, you quote “When you're a nobody making a living as a filmmaker is kind of like clawing on the inside of a coªm”. Can you please explain a little more about this concept of “clawing on the inside of a coªm” and how do you overcome it? GR: Everyday is a struggle when you are a nobody in this business, trying to get stories told without the proper tools starting with funding. I don’t care about how much money I make, I'm talking about being able to take our time and do things the correct way. You never overcomeit,youjustkeepmovingforwardand learn to make solid products with what you have and you try and get better faster. I just wanttotellstoriesthatmakespeoplefeelgood and maybe that feeling will help their day. Many of the actors in this series had nothing but raving compliments regarding production andoveralloutcome.DiaryofaLunatic:Sylke’s Tale is unlike anything you will ever watch. From cast, to crew, to themes, this show stands out. Fantasy, magic, and the ultimate truth of friendshipiswhatthisshowisallabout.Empowerment tends to be an ongoing theme within this series as the pen is what ultimately dictates people’s futures. Melody Nardone chimed in on this take with her stating “I truly feel like this TV series will empower you. You hold the pen to dictate your life. You always have a choice no matter what your situation is. Here's the pen, how will you write your story?”. I found this to be a very interesting aspect of the show as such a simple object, had the power to hold so much story and truth in many different ways, for many different characters. The color pallet of this show is notably something that stood out to me as a viewer. Many of the emotions from each characteristranslatedthroughtheuseofcolors that set the scene. The darker colors indicated fear, loss, and defeat. The brighter colors were used to help show enjoyment, happiness, and even admiration or love. I urge all audiences to be mindful of this special detailwhilewatching. Thecharacterdevelopmentwasveryclearwhile watchingthisshow.“MAHA”isacharacterthat I grew into finding herself above all else. It was fantastictoseehowallcharactersincludingher, grew into finding their voice throughout each episode. Underlying themes such as this one make for excellent on-screen art. GREG ROBBINS is a very talented director who puts all of his energy into his work. Diary of a Lunatic: Sylke’s Tale is a perfect example of this. I would suggest this show to anyone who finds comfort in watching fantasy mixed with realistic challenges on screen. Each character is uniquely developed and therefore can relate to anyone watching. I would only hope that Greg Robbins continues to pursue his passion through film as his work is clearly one worth watching overtime. I look forward to having the pleasure of viewing many of his future projects as I believe that they will be just as special, if not more.

Photos courtesy of Greg Robbins, Jim Breidenstein and Monika Zanni

Diary OF A Lunatic Check it out now on Prime Video!

www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B08XJLP91D/ref=atv_dp_share_cu_r

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 7


Q&A with

Tye Liu 01

HW: Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Please tell me your name and where are you from? My Chinese name is Te Liu. Tye is my English name. I am from Henan Province, China. I am a full-time producer, part-time director, and a freelance actor. Recently I have been working on US-China coproduction films, TV commercials, and TV Show in Los Angeles.

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HW: I understand that you are a talented actor. Who inspired you to pursue filmmaking as a way of life? How does your family feel about your desire to succeed as a filmmaker? The movie Chinatown inspired me to pursue filmmaking as a way of life. The ending scene was memorable. “Forget it, Jack. it is Chinatown.” When women and minorities are treated with indifference, the passerby are sleeping and people like me sitting in the audience are disappointed. After I watched a TED talk of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story (You should check it out), I decide to stay here to tell more stories! I come from Henan, the hometown of Kung fu. Martial art is like a mandatory thing at school for my town. Kung Fu is part of my daily life and it is fantastic but there are many Asian stories to tell and more Asian culture to share beside martial arts. I always have an impulse to share our stories. We lack Asian representations in the western world; the label of “KUNG FLU” is NOT RIGHT! I am here to tell you more stories! My family is happy about my desire. On the one hand, it is a good thing. On the other hand, it is a good business; the film business is flourishing in China and people look brilliant in front of or behind the camera. As a shrewd businessman and a rising producer, my father and I have many things in common. The business is not a gambling game but like the stock market, people like us take the risk.

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HW: What steps have you taken, or classes that you have studied to help build your career? I graduated from Emerson Collage. During my four years in college, almost every weekend was spent working to become a better film maker, and it became a filming week. Filmmaking techniques are very practical. The most important thing is to understand the film business and organize resources.

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HW: Please tell us more about yourself. What films projects have you been working on? Most of the time, I am producing film and TV commercials. 2020 was a very productive year for us. Our upcoming short film, Untouchable (2020) directed by Jinfeng Ding is the official selection of the Beverly Hill Festival. I directed a short Film, Chinatown: Keep out. It was an award winner at the Montreal Independent Festival. The film will be screening at New Filmmakers NY. We shot two documentaries. The first one is The Foreigner’s New Adobe, which won the Golden Angel Award. The second one is The Thirty -Three Stories. I submitted it to major international film festivals. We also shot some TV Commercials for local businesses including a Mother’s Day campaign for a DIY painting product, a promo for local restaurant, and a Corporate Video for automobile service company. From 2019-2021 I also worked with this brilliant diligent Chinese director name Miaomiao Liu. She can always show a vision from a unique perspective. In the movie Hawaii (2020), she depicted two vivid restaurant waitresses who were struggling for living. We worked on a short called Her (2021). This is a very interesting story about a Chinese model who had breast cancer and a resection operation.


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HW: I understand that you have a business. What is the name of your company and what is your specialty? What is your role in your business? Our company is Easyfind Pictures. I am the Producer and director. My daily job is to explore Asian stories, to develop films and to increase our representations. Recently, we have been preparing the stage drama, Bartender Nose. While at the same time, we are building an NFT social media for both Chinese and American users. We are inviting all artists, stars, filmmakers to join the NFT party.

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HW: Do you have a website? What social media channels are you presently using? Please share your links.

Official Website: https://easyfindpictures.com/works/ IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm11968820 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/filmmakertye/

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HW: Have you worked with any major actors or stars in your country. What was that experience like? During my college years, I worked with a schoolfellow, and talented actress, Tianran Qin (Jennifer Qin). Recently, Jennifer directed and starred in one of Apple’s iPhone movie projects in China. Jennifer is definitely an energetic and confident rising star.

I am now working on a stage drama and a feature film, called Bartender Nose. In 2022, we are going to make a performance tour in Los Angeles, Boston, and NYC. The feature film will be aired on Chinese and America video streaming platforms in 2023.

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HW: As you know our Magazine is based in Los Angeles the center of Hollywood and the home of major motion picture studios. Producers and other members of the entertainment industry will discover you and read your story. What is the most important thing that you wish Hollywood to learn about potentially work with you in their films? There are three important things we want to share with you. First, it is about our long-term project the stage drama and feature film, Bartender Nose. The story is about an Asian family tragedy involving an affair, family abuse and substance abuse. Our marketing strategy is to do the stage drama tour first to get more exposure and then we will shoot the feature film. We are looking for cooperation. Second, we want to introduce our short-term projects. We have a TV commercial service which includes business commercials, personal promotions, and red carpet or special events.

As a producer at Easyfind Pictures, I worked with Xiaohe Zhao, a famous director and a great supporting actor for many Chinese TV shows such as the Thunder. In 2020, we worked on a featured documentary, called “The Thirty Three Stories .” We recorded thirty- three clips and interviewed people from different Asian groups affected by the 2020 pandemic in the U.S including many students, small business owners, employees and so on. I worked with this director name James Hu for a Tencent short documentary project, Dear My Hometown. James was nice. We called him “Humble Jimas.” I also work with actor Arthur Peng. Last year, we won the Golden Angel Award together at the Chinese American Film Festival. I learned a lot from Arthur, and he is my mentor in LA. Here, I would like to say, “thank you my comrades!”

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If you were introduced to your favorite actor or actress who would that person be, and what inspires you to like that person? I would like to meet Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her speech of the Danger of a Single Story had a huge influence on my filmmaking.

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This concludes the formal interview session. What additional points would you like to discuss? The Internet is tremendously reformed our reality. Our films are the bridge between the real world and the virtual world. It is a trend, and everybody should enjoy it and join the party!

Third, we are here to announce that we are entering the NFT market. Recently, many influential people are joining the NFT market: Jack Dorsey is selling his first NFT twitter; Elon Mask is selling his own NFT music… We believe NFTs and filmmakers will have unpredictable chemical reactions. We are planning to transfer and sell our video products as NFTs, such as TikTok Videos and TV commercials and so on. There are more options for you now! We are developing our new websites and our own NFT social media APP. Please contact me for more information, cooperation, and updates.

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 9


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announces

THE 2021-2022

THEATER SEASON The Four Most Recent Tony Award® ­winning Best Musicals Hadestown, Hamilton, The Band’s Visit, and Dear Evan Hansen The Washington D.C. Premieres of Acclaimed Plays Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and, Direct from London, A Monster Calls Broadway Blockbusters and More Ain’t Too Proud, Beautiful, Blue Man Group, Freestyle Love Supreme, Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mean Girls, Oklahoma!, The Prom, and Riverdance Broadway Center Stage Series to Return in Spring 2022 Kennedy Center New Play Commissions Partnering with Center Theater Group, Lookingglass Theatre Company, and Manhattan Theater Club 10 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced its 2021–2022 Theater season featuring hit Broadway musicals, acclaimed plays, Kennedy Center productions, special programming for the Center’s 50th Anniversary, and more, beginning in October 2021. Theater subscriptions for the 2021–2022 season are now available here or by calling (202) 467-4600. “I am elated to announce what is perhaps one of our most important theater seasons ever at the Kennedy Center as we return with such a full, exciting program of musicals and plays. The anticipation of being able to see Broadway productions again—and be in the theater together—is palpable,” said Jeffrey Finn, Vice President and Executive Producer of Theater at the Kennedy Center. “This upcoming season is filled with incredible shows and works from brilliant artists, offering something for everyone.”


As the Kennedy Center moves towards a full re-opening, it continues to prioritize the health and safety of artists, staff, and patrons. Current protocols can be found here and will continue to be updated as they evolve. Hit Productions from Broadway and London Featuring the Best Musical Tony Award® winners from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, the new season officially begins with the most recent Tony Award® winner for Best Musical, Hadestown, followed by the return of Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations—which played a sold-out, pre-Broadway engagement at the Kennedy Center in 2018—and Beautiful: the Carole King Musical, celebrating the life and career of the 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree. 2022 kicks off with the exuberant new musical, The Prom, and continues with the new national touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar; the international smash, Riverdance – The 25th Anniversary Show; the hilarious hit Mean Girls, which returns to D.C. where it sold-out a pre-Broadway run; 2019 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival, Oklahoma!; and Freestyle Love Supreme, the hip hop-comedy-musical phenomenon that played a pre-Broadway engagement at the Kennedy Center in 2019. Two highly anticipated plays, originally planned for the 2019– 2020 season, have been rescheduled for May and June of 2022, respectively. Patrick Ness’s piercing Carnegie and Greenaway Medal–winning novel, A Monster Calls, is brought to the Kennedy Center from London’s Old Vic by visionary director Sally Cookson in an exclusive U.S. engagement. The national tour of Aaron Sorkin’s acclaimed Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, depicting Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning story of racial injustice, will make its Washington, D.C. debut. Hamilton, which was awarded a special Kennedy Center Honors in 2018, will return to the Kennedy Center Opera House for a 12-week run beginning in July of 2022. Summer of 2022 features the Tony Award®–winning Best Musical Jersey Boys; a return engagement of The Band’s Visit—the 2017 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical—which played a sold-out run at the Center in 2019; the euphoric, spirit-lifting global phenomenon Blue Man Group makes their Kennedy Center premiere; and Tony®, Grammy®, and Olivier®–winning Best Musical Dear Evan Hansen comes back to the Center following a sold-out engagement in 2019. Broadway Center Stage to Return in 2022 Now entering its fourth season, Broadway Center Stage has produced numerous sold-out, critically lauded, new Kennedy Center productions including The Music Man, The Who’s Tommy, and, most recently, Next to Normal. The series will continue in spring 2022 with new, starry productions of beloved musicals to be announced at a later date. Celebrating the Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary As previously announced, for the Center’s 50th Anniversary, the Kennedy Center will produce 50 Years of Broadway at the

Kennedy Center, a star-studded concert celebrating the numerous iconic musicals the Center has launched and presented, such as Pippin, Annie, and Les Misérables, plus thrilling revivals from its stages to Broadway. Featuring Broadway’s best talent and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, whose roots go back to the opening of the Center in 1971, this event will celebrate many of the great musical theater moments from throughout the Center’s history. Previously announced for the 50th Anniversary are five new play commissions under the auspices of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Fifty years ago, Rogers Stevens asked his colleague Michael Kanin, the Academy Award®–winning screenwriter, to help launch a program for student playwrights in higher education. The Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards program, now with 17 annual awards for undergraduate and graduate playwrights, has become an essential component of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF), the first education program of the institution. In this anniversary year, the Kennedy Center has co-commissioned plays by distinguished alumni of the Michael Kanin Playwriting Awards program: Ike Holter co-commissioned with Lookingglass Theatre Company (Chicago, IL); Molly Smith Metzler, co-commissioned with Manhattan Theater Club (New York, NY); Marco Ramirez, co-commissioned with Center Theater Group (Los Angeles, CA). Collaborators Hansol Jung and Brian Quijada, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Martyna Majok, will work with partner theatres to be announced at a later date. The Kennedy Center will host developmental workshops of each of these works during the spring and summer of 2022 at the REACH. The workshops will utilize D.C.-based acting companies with creative teams and affiliated artists assembled by the playwrights in collaboration with the co-commissioning partner theater companies from around the country. Student theater artists from the nationwide KCACTF network will staff each project as apprentices, continuing to look towards the future as the Center honors the past. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 11


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MARY ANGELA MOORE: A Beauty, A Voice BY BENCH BELLO AND DEBORAH LEVINE

MARY ANGELA MOORE exudes a classic elegance both appear-

ance, manners, and speech. She charms her audiences with her fresh ideas, wise words,and cheerful yet sincere approach to life and career which is an inspiration not only to women but to everyone in all ages who hope to make a difference for themselves, communities, and the world. Her life’s journey to success is admirable for its creativity and innovativeness. Her path has not been easy or simple. Yet, the difficulties and disappointments along the way have taught her how to navigate the challenges to her advantage. And now, she is teaching us. Mary’s Tips on entrepreneurship, business, and life are invaluable. Her lectures and books provide new entrepreneurs with the rudiments of entrepreneurship and business with lessons on planning, funding, finances, employing, outsourcing, and facilitating contracts/agreements. As a business coach with much valuable experience, Mary offers sound, simple, and practical strategies for Do-It-Yourself marketing and PR campaigns. As a leadership trainer she leads by example. Her style is unique as she eclectically uses the best of her learning experiences both academic and experience wise. Her seminars are surely life changing. See more of testimonials about her trainings around the world here:

Philippines https://youtu.be/mGcg2x_MIag, Africa https://youtu.be/4h8egAJRwo8, South Korea https://youtu.be/m19tBSaPmSw, Air France https://youtu.be/j41ty-JuzN8, South Korea https://youtu.be/lCK3qRXLlBE, Nepal https://tinyurl.com/ewuekf5c Dedicated to helping budding entrepreneurs, women in business, and executives on leadership Mary discusses the minute details that are commonly overlooked, but necessary for one’s personal and business success. As a Life Coach, Mary tackles issues that many of us prefer to ignore, particularly our health, both physical and emotional. As a woman leader in a male dominated business world, Mary is happy to share and empower women in business. The article below was lifted from her book, Wealthopia Generation, a sequel of From Passion to Profit which she is launching in May. She hopes that her article below as well as her new book help women as well as young entrepreneurs all over the world to find their niche in the corporate world.

For more tips about women, entrepreneurship, and leadership, you may read Mary Angela’s book, The Wealthopia Generation that will be released by May 2021. For webinars, travel lectures, and coaching. You can reach Mary here: http://linkedin.com/in/englishwithmarymoore

HOW TO SUCCEED IN A MALE DOMINATED WORLD FROM WEALTHOPIA GENERATION BY MARY ANGELA MOORE PROOFREAD BY DAVID L. PENNSYLVANIA In a democratic world, to succeed in a male dominated world is not as challenging as others may think it is. Only if women are aware that they are equal and complementary in their diversity. If both genders cooperate and complement each other the chances of success is maximized. Thus, women imitating the attributes of men are less likely to receive help from them. By nature, men are born with an instinct to help the opposite sex. They love to help women. It is all up to the woman to bring it out in the man. This principle applies even beyond business relationships. Statistics show that only 11% of start-up businesses have female founders or CEOs. Out of that 11%, only 0.1% manage a global business.Given the statistics, women in the corporate ladder or globally competitive businesses are still under represented. How to succeed in this male-dominated world of business is nothing but basically having HIGH SELF ESTEEM. Self esteem is seen as a character trait that makes a woman stable, enduring, and wise. The following are tips on how to succeed in a male-dominated world:

YOURSELF 1.EQUIP PROFESSIONALLY With the shift of paradigm in the marketplace where less muscles but more brains and hearts are needed, women with proper intellectual preparation and with a track record found their way to

the corporate or business ladder easier than the others. Success is reachable as long as women equip themselves with a complete knowledge about their work, PLUS the following life or professional skills: Problem-solving, Coding, Critical and Analytical Thinking, Powerful Communication skills, Ethics, and Accountability.

AN AUTHENTIC 2. BEWOMAN According to Mathew Boggs, author of “Cracking the Man Code,” men respect women who do not try to compete with their masculinity but women who are authentically women themselves. This doesn’t mean playing dumb in the negotiation table but being smart in a feminine way. Be soft but firm. Be gentle but sharp. Be graceful but principled. Be polite but stand your ground. Be dependable yet, still a WOMAN.

3. RESPECT YOURSELF Confucius said,”Respect yourself and others will respect you. Self-respect is the respect you have for yourself, while ego is your understanding of your own importance. As such, men respect women who respect themselves, while they dislike women who are egoistic. This works both ways. When Women respect themselves they set high standards for themselves, and they make right choices. They are confident, calm and charming. In contrast, when women lack self-respect, they compromise their values, and it leaves a crack to their personality which may hinder good business relationships.

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 13


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HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 15


Community RENOVATION By Hailey Ashley

H

ow do you turn a house into a home? With the belief, and determination of non-profit founder and musician Lauren Stalnecker, we are diving into how community renovation can do that for people all over the country.

Normally, that would seem like the ultimate end for a home rehab. Instead, Lauren dug deep, and kept pushing forward, determined to save this home. His original song ‘Believe’ was inspired and written through the trials and tribulations he faced during this time.

It seems as if Lauren was born to make the world a better place. Beginning his non-profit organization in 1989, he started out preforming live concerts for public schools with no available funding all over the country. Hosting audiences with thousands of children who had little access to music, and were in need of a sense of community. When the Columbine tragedy struck our nation Lauren was left thinking, what’s next?

The water from Irma came all the way up to the porch of the house, but no further. Now, Lauren faced the challenge of finding sponsors to donate material such as wood and shingles, when there was an unbelievable supply and labor shortage. But one phone call changed everything, when Lauren found a roofing company that was willing to do the labor, and their supplier was willing to donate the shingles.Withthosefirstglimpses of hope, the energy behind this miracle project became unstoppable.

That’s when he wrote a letter to Wells Fargo, and was able to get a home in Jacksonville, FL donated tohisnon-profitorganization.This home was to be demolished, and was declared unsalvageable. But with Lauren, hope was not lost. He began with the garage, working to turn it into an on-site office for deliveries, and meetings. And that’s when Hurricane Irma devastated the community. 16 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

It seemed like this home rehab was meant to be, and would ultimately turn out to be the first stepping stone in changing communities throughout the country with the help of Lauren’s non-profit organization, Lauren International Inc. Lauren began filming the project, similar to Fixer Upper or Flip or

Flop, with a twist of non-profit accomplishment being the end goal. Lauren’s show, Community Renovation, can be seen on Tubi by searching for Community Renovation. On all Roku TVs and devices, the new Apple TV box and Firesticks, by searching and adding the free channel Lii (abbreviation for Lauren International Inc.). The series follows the incredible and inspirationalstorythatwascreated by a community coming together. With over 20 sponsors and volunteer construction professionals, the Wells Fargo donated house that was once to be torn down, has been turned into a beautiful Air B&B donation stay destination. People come from all over the country to stay in the new home, and all funds generated from the stay are put back into the non-profit to keep the home in pristine condition, and eventually for many more homes that can be saved with a little love, belief, and community. This model, created by Lauren, re-establishes blight neighborhoods and can be duplicated in cities nationwide.


Before & & After Before After Community Renovation Home Rehab Show Before

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E: Community Renovation

TITLE: Community Renovation TITLE: Community Renovation RE: Home rehab EPISODES: 6-8 AUDIENCE: All GENRE: Home rehab EPISODES: AUDIENCE: GENRE: Home rehab EPISODES: 6-8 6-8 AUDIENCE: All All TITLE: Community Renovation GENRE: Home rehab EPISODES: 6-8 AUDIENCE: All

If you want to be a part of this amazing story, the opportunity is right at your fingertips. Along with staying at the Air B&B donation destination, you can also make any purchase on Amazon, E-Bay or payment on PayPal and choose to “round-up” your purchase donating your leftover change, (normally about 12 cents) to Lauren International Inc. on Amazon Smile, E-Bay ‘For Charity’ or directly on PayPal by searching Lauren International Inc. These are just small ways we can all be a part of a bigger change we all wish to see in our communities. Through Laurens story, we can all be inspired to keep the sense of community alive, and never give up hope that there is a way we can all come together to make the world a better place.

See what happens when musician & non-profit founder Lauren Stalnecker takes on See what happens when musician & non-profit founder Lauren Stalnecker takes on a donated home renovation and begins rehab on the hearts of the community. A donated home renovation and begins rehab on the hearts of the community. A series about being the change you want to see, where the Stars of the show are the series about being the change you want to see, where the Stars of the show are the See what happens when musician & non-profit founder Lauren Stalnecker takes on community who help rebuild the house while making a difference in the community who help rebuild the house while making a difference in the donated home renovation and begins rehab on the hearts of the community. A infrastructure of our country, one neighborhood at a time. infrastructure of our country, one neighborhood at a time. series about being the change you want to see, where the Stars of the show are the community who help rebuild the house while making a difference in the infrastructure of our country, one neighborhood at a time.

See what happens when musician & no donated home renovation and begins r series about being the change you wan community who help rebuild the hous infrastructure of our country, one neig See what happens when musician & non-profit founder Lauren

Stalnecker takes on a donated home renovation and begins rehab what happens when musician & non-profit founder Lauren Stalnecker So, how do you turn a house into on the hearts of the community. A series about being the change a home? As Lauren teaches us you want to see, where the Stars of the show are the community ted home renovation and begins rehab on the hearts of the communit through his journey – You gotta who help rebuild the house while making a difference in the believe. s about being the change you want to see, where the Stars of the show infrastructure of our country, one neighborhood at a time. munity who help rebuild the house while making a difference in the structure of our country, one neighborhood at a time. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 17


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Empathy And Openly Acknowledging Their Vulnerabilities Are Driving Women To Successfully Navigate Incredible Change Cape Town - The enormously popular Cape Town Carnival has been forced to contend with un-

precedented challenges in how to remain viable in an era of social distancing, limited crowd capacities and, depending on the level of lockdown restrictions of the day, a banning of public events altogether. Yet despite these extremely trying circumstances, the Cape Town Carnival, chaired by Media24 chair and Stellenbosch University economics professor Rachel Jafta and Carnival CEO Jay Douwes, has experienced a new level of growth and innovation. The Carnival, held in March each year, draws in excess of 50,000 spectators who line the streets to marvel at the performances of some 2,000 dance group participants from across the Cape Peninsula. This past Saturday, Cape Town Carnival hosted the sixth of its seven-part Cultural Creative Workshop Series. The two-hour online workshops are aimed at 70 community group leaders from across the Peninsula who are given the opportunity to connect and inspire one another by embracing digital platforms and showcasing a thematic subject through art, performance or history. The most recent workshop on Saturday honoured women, aptly in the same week International Women’s Day was celebrated. “It’s crazy to think that not long ago women did not have the right to vote, let alone work in a position of their choice, and were still expected to care for their families and communities,” Douwes says. “But we’ve come so far, and I’d like us to honour all women today. I’m particularly grateful to the women around me, our Carnival women, who’ve been central to keeping this public organisation going despite the enormous odds.” Now in its 12th year as a beacon of social cohesion and change, Cape Town Carnival under predominantly female leadership has not only grown its online community arts and job-creation and training programmes, but also put enormous energy into keeping people employed in the organisation It continues to employ eight full-time and four part-time staff, four full-time trainees, and 32 artists and artisans in its Maitland factory workshop, where all Covid-19 health and safety requirements are complied with. Ten Extended Public Works Programme candidates began a two-month training programme in the workshop in mid-February, while a representative from each of about 40 community groups are being trained in social media, and another 40 in technical camera and video techniques. A further 18 people are being trained in performance direction, event logistics planning and execution, or in Covid-19 health and safety regulations. Asked how women leaders have been affected by the pandemic, Jafta says: “My sense is that women for the most part thought about people first when looking at how people and families were being impacted. “In the process, they simply took on too much, and ran the risk of putting their own health at stake.” Understanding how men can support women to meet insurmountable challenges, community group leader Yusuf Gester questioned what was really needed for women to feel a different kind of support, especially in communities of need. “Women need to feel that they are being heard and appreciated. Men shouldn’t assume what women may think or say about something. Sometimes we just want men to listen, to hear us and in doing so, allow us to solve the challenges we face,” says Jafta. Thenjiwe Mgedisi, principal of Rainbow Academy, a performance arts group for township youth also added that women are often too afraid to ask for help, no matter how hands-on they might be. Jafta agreed, saying, “For those of us women who are able to help, we have to use our senses, see or hear or read between the lines, and offer help where we think it’s needed.” Adding to the discussion, Brad Baard, Creative Director for Cape Town Carnival says: “There is a unique essence and contribution to the fabric of humanity that is brought most strongly by women. It’s why women are the next wave of leaders and why women lead more NGOS and groups working for social change than men. “Women are inclusive and expansive, they tend to put ‘we’ before ‘me’, and while this must be balanced by self-care, it also makes women champions and defenders and change-makers for the greater good of all of us.”

ABOUT THE CAPE TOWN CARNIVAL The Cape Town Carnival, traditionally held every year in March, is a celebration of the creativity and diversity of Cape Town and South Africa. Bringing together more than 40 energetic and talented community performance groups and individuals from across the metropole, 2,000 participants, spectacular floats, giant puppets and extravagant costumes, this unique showcase puts South African talent, culture and creativity in the spotlight. The Cape Town Carnival’s valued partners are the City of Cape Town, MultiChoice, DStv, Media24, Kfm, 24.com, the Western Cape Government, Tsogo Sun Hotels, the Western Cape Tourism, Trade & Investment Agency (Wesgro), ASLA DEVCO and Peninsula Beverages. For up-to-date news and information, follow us @thecapetowncarnival (Facebook), @CTCarnival (Twitter), or #capetowncarnival (Instagram).

For more information, please contact: Craig Dummett – PRESS MANAGER +27 (0) 820724103 | +27 (0) 214182466 | craig@transformmarketing.co.za HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 19


The Amazing Magic of & His Son.. The Incredible

D

an Chan is not just a magician; he’s a businessman, strategist, and renaissance man, performing for billionaires worldwide. Before achieving success virtually, Dan Chan performed over 5000 live shows. In 2016, Buzzfeed profiled him, featuring his pick-pocketing and signature iPhone magic. These cutting edge effects, including hacking into smartphones, positioned him as Silicon Valley’s top tech magician. Word spread quickly, and soon afterward, he was on the map internationally, performing in Germany, China, and Las Vegas for billionaires. How did Dan find success? To answer that question, we have to go back to the beginning. “The first few years were tough,” says Dan. His wife Katherine can attest to that - she still recalls performing into her 8th month of pregnancy. After their son, James, was born, they were back on the road almost immediately as both Dan and Kat felt it was vital for them to stay together as a family. Dan recalls days when they traveled around California with his father sitting in the car with James while he and Kat were performing. Afterward, Kat would nurse the baby, James. As soon as he could walk, James was handing Dan props during the show. What kept the family going was their vision of the future. Dan knew exactly what the end results were that he wanted and WEEKLY 20 • HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY


he reversed engineered the steps necessary to get where he wanted to be. Their family’s success wasn’t luck. Dan Chan, the Master Magician, laid out the vision, then carefully and methodically strategized each move like a chess player, years in advance. James, with his youthful charm, endeared himself to audiences. Together their magic was a winning combination. Dan remembers the lessons he learned at each stage, from street performing to performing at restaurants. He trained his son to follow in his footsteps, starting on the streets. As a street performer in San Francisco, he learned the importance of knowing how to hold a crowd captivated. Dan knew that before James could be a great performer, he needed experience in the streets. He realized that if a kid were to stop you and ask if you would like to see a magic trick, people would pass without missing a beat. However, if the kid started juggling 5 balls or 3 flaming torches, a crowd would form, and it would be easier to engage a group. Only then could he go into his hard-hitting magic effects. When James was young, the father and son duo would fight a lot. Sometimes they would both end up crying. However, there was a pivotal moment when things changed - this was when Kat had a balloon twisting gig in Union Square in December. “We went HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 21 HOLLYWOOD MONTHLY


out together as a family to SF. I knew there would be crowds there, and I brought along James’ juggling balls.” Dan retells. “I told him to practice 5-10 minutes, and people started tipping him. James questioned why people were giving him money for just juggling. I told him that he was doing a great job and making people happy. I let him know that he could stop and get lunch or stay longer and make more money. James decided to stay. In two hours, he made over 120 dollars! After that day, we argued a lot less about practicing. That was the day he learned the value of a dollar.” At age 5, James began juggling three balls, and by age 8, he was juggling five balls. By age 10, he was picking-pockets and juggling three flaming torches. By age 12, he had television credits that included ABC7 News and two national television appearances, one on Kids Say the Darndest Things and another on Access Daily with Penn & Teller.

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Now Dan has global ambitions, and to execute on his plans, he’s leaning into a video-first strategy. Besides the slickly edited content of performances, he’s recently produced a documentary, which documents his transition to virtual shows, that he’s submitted to film festivals. Recently, Paramount Pictures and Netflix hired him to perform for their employees. Since then, Netflix has hired him multiple times, including several recent virtual events. Before the pandemic, his record was six shows in a day, but now he’s regularly doing shows for US companies with a presence in Asia, India, and Europe at all hours. This past December, the Chan’s have been busier than ever. They’ve performed as many as 12 virtual shows in one day and 52 shows in one week. Today you can see this Father and Son Duo on ZOOM! From the comfort of your home, you can witness the fantastic feats that have made them regulars on the corporate entertainment circuit.


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BY ANTHONY EWART

I

n Homer’s “The Iliad” written during The Bronze Age (c. 1260 - 1180 BC), he tells us in his beautifully well-crafted verse that Helen of Troy, who was a Demigod (her father was Zeus), could be found “at her Loom.” Homer describes a magical quality in the weaving of the robes worn by Goddesses. Intentionally or unintentionally implying that the mystical robes worn by the Goddesses of that time were woven by Helen of Troy. Dear readers, we have our own Beverly Hills Helen of Troy -- her name is Lily Lisa, or as the world knows her, Lucky Lily Lisa. In this Holiday Season we have to share the story of this incredible woman, fashion designer, creator of her own skin-care line, and most importantly, the most charitable person we have ever met at Hollywood Weekly Magazine. Many times just knowing that there is a real person making an effort to change the world can give you the confidence and motivation to believe you are not alone in trying to make a difference. Lily Lisa has received a Certificate of Recognition from Mayor Charlie Klinakis of the 24 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY


City of La Puente for her charitable efforts and and acts of kindness. This is the same Lily Lisa whose phenomenal dress boutique in Beverly Hills has brought her international fame. But Lucky Lily Lisa weaves beautiful dresses and she also weaves love. In fact, the love that Lily Lisa has been weaving in Los Angeles is truly something to behold. And what is amazing is that while Covid has forced many stores in Beverly Hills, including Lily’s to temporarily close, Lily Lisa’s website for her clothing designs and her incredible skin-care is fully operational 24 hours a day. How Lily Lisa is able to juggle her booming fashion and skin-care business while truly playing Florence Nightingale to the Angels in our city I really don’t know. Lily Lisa has been supplying face masks to people in need. She’s given away hand sanitizers, rubbing alcohol, liquid hand soap, gloves and and even toilet paper. When speaking about Lily Lisa Mayor Klinakis said “All of these items are going to come in very handy, especially for our senior citizens. We are going to be putting packages together to deliver and on behalf of the City of La Puente I thank you for your noble gesture to insure the safety and well-being of our community.” Unbelievable. And this all started because Lily Lisa heard of their need in La Puente and decided to help the senior citizens of La Puente. Lily Lisa has been a long-time advocate for the homeless. A spiritual, prayerful person, Lily Lisa, who always leads with her heart is an inspiration. Her efforts motivate us to be kind and generous with what we have. In an interview at the time of Lily’s award ceremony by the Mayor of La Puente, Lily commented, “The supplies have been hard for everyone to get but they are a necessities for personal protection. I am glad that I have done my part to help the La Puente community. My desire is that this will inspire more people to do the same. Together, let’s pray for the pandemic to be over soon, and then I believe that tomorrow the world will be more beautiful. God Bless America, God Bless the World.

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 25


Once again Beverly Hills Lily Lisa has woven her golden love through Los Angeles... Lily’s philanthropic heart has led to recent collaboration with a local food drive to contribute personal protection supplies in addition to food for those in need. Lily has also been supplying face masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves to All Saints Episcopal Church in Beverly Hills. There was a collection of food organized by two local high schoolers and garnered over 2000 items to be sorted and bagged for the needy in the area by volunteers at All Saints. The church’s Outreach Director, Jean, commented, “We are going to be putting grocery bags together to deliver to people’s homes which will insure not only the safety but the well-being of our community” All Saints also works in conjunction with the Good Shepherd Catholic church to help provide meals weekly for the homeless in Beverly Hills. For protection of those who serve the needy, Lily made a large donation of face shields, a thermometer gun, alcohol, gloves, and liquid hand soap. Lucky Lily always says “Love is beautiful, Love is from your heart,” and God and Nature know she lives those words. I have saved the best for last. Truly. Because this was a matter of immediate life and death. When the postal workers at the Beverly Hills Post Office needed gloves and masks and hand saunters so they could interact with the public they had the funding to buy these items, the problem was almost all of the stores were sold out due to the pandemic. It was Beverly Hills Lucky Lisa, once again, spinning her golden threads of love to those in need. She gave the Beverly Hills postal workers at the post office the lifesaving protection they needed. That is why I say Lucky Lily Lisa is truly a weaver of all. A weaver of fashion. A weaver of love. A weaver of dreams of a beautiful world.

www.LilyLisaCollection.Com Info@LilyLisaCollection.Com

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FEATURES FROM BRAVE WILLIAMS: GOLDEN HEART “Be comfortable in your own skin.” Brave Williams is just getting started. She’s a singer, spoken word artist and now an actress. Most importantly, she’s a good soul. She’s young, vibrant, and a bright smile in a room too often full offrowns.She’ssomewhatofahomebody,satisfiedwithsittingat home, lighting some candles and getting lost in a good book. But she is also a planner in moments of solitude. She writes down her plans and how she will carry them out. Audiences will see her play Shelby Quinn in the indie film, Love Dot Com, this summer. The movie has mass appeal, mostly because of Brave’s natural talent on screen. A few years ago, she was on R&B Divas: Los Angeles, but she was destined to do much more than reality television. Brave’s body of work and her work ethic will inspire generations. She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. Because of her mixed-race heritage (Czech and black), the kids at school would bully her. “My sister and I experienced a lot of bullying and situations that tested our courage. At the time it hurt, however, it later taught us strength and helped us to develop an enduring mind frame. I wouldn’t have changed it for the world,” she says. The name “Brave” did not come from this moment, but instead in another display of strength. When she was 13, she spoke at an open mic in Baltimore. She was speaking a truth way beyond her years. The audiencecalledher“Brave”forsayingwhateveryoneelsewastoo afraid to say out loud. “My sister and I experienced a lot of bullying and situations that tested our courage.” SpokenwordwaswhereBravefeltmostcomfortableartistically. She could speak her truth and people would listen. She would write and rap. She didn’t find out until much later that she had the gift to sing. She would listen to an eclectic group of artists for inspiration. “It was a lot of Tupac, Maya Angelou, and Jill Scott. When Jill Scott came out, that changed my interest in music and made me want to turn my poetry into songs. When I first started in music, I was a rapper. I was constantly rapping and doing poetry. It wasn’t until I turned one of my raps into a song, I discovered that I could sing,” she says. She still considers herself to be a poet and is in the early stages of writing a book. Like anything, she wants to take her time to make it right. Publicists want to write it for her, but she believes writing it herself will give her more time to make it perfect.

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“The entertainment business is multiple marathons. In order to get across your first finish line (whatever that is) working hard, focus, and prayer are the needed tools…” In the late 2000s, Brave created the R&B vocal girl group, RichGirl.Whilethegroupwasshort-lived,Bravereceivedtheblessing to go solo. She started her own label and ended up securing a distribution deal with Empire Records along the way. “It was important for me to have my own label because as an artist, it gave me the power and control to create my destiny,” Brave says. The digital revolution has changed the relationship between record labelsandartistssignificantly.Bravenotonlyhasartisticfreedom, but the ability to gain more widespread visibility of her music in the digital space via her distribution deal. Brave has learned to be patientwithhercareer.Shebelieveswhatisforherwillbeforher. “Nothinginlifeisasprint.Theentertainmentbusinessismultiple marathons. In order to get across your first finish line (whatever that is) working hard, focus, and prayer are the needed tools. Your mind is your greatest enemy and asset,” she says. “Everything that is meant for you will attract to you as long as you do your part.” ActingisafairlynewcategoryforBrave.Thebiggestchallengehas been letting herself go to be in the present. “Acting challenges me as an artist because it forces me to be authentic as my character. I have to turn off my mind and ask, what would the character do? Being an artist can be tough as we often overanalyze, overthink, andsimplytrytocontrolourimmediatesituation.Actingreleases that,” she says. While playing Shelby Quinn in Love Dot Com, Brave found similarities between herself and her character. “I related to her stubbornness. It was hard for her to not get out of her own way and appreciate what was in front of her,” she says. “That used to be a trait I exuded often growing up. Being a Taurus, I have to work on not being stuck in a particular mindset, as life is forever evolving and you have to be willing to keep an open mind.”

In the age of social media, it can be hard for young artists to find their footing and become their authentic selves. There is the constant lure of following the pack to stay relevant. “In 2019, I feel like it is much harder for you to be an individual. Girls want to look like the Instagram models they see and want to start doing those type of things to gain attention,” Brave explains. “It’s not even who they are—they are just doing it because the next girl is doing it. I would simply say: find out who you are, be confident and show the world that person.” “I used to be all about my work, and I still am, but I am now open to the idea of finding that special person.” Brave is busy finishing up her debut album, Brave Williams, and filming the film, Available Wife, which made us ask if she was dating anyone. “I have opened myself up to the idea. I used to be all about my work, and I still am, but I am now open to the idea of finding that special person. The energy you put out into the universe will come back to you. There was a long period of time where I wasn’t putting that energy out. It simply wasn’timportant to me. But now I have graduated to another level. If “Prince Charming” happens to hit my shopping cart in Whole Foods, I’ll take it.” As cliché as it may sound, being yourself is never a bad thing. Your life becomes more joyful in the process of finding the authentic you. Stylist: Sinceré Armani | Makeup: Jamaya Moore | Photographer: Paul Greene | Editor: Year 2139 Corp.

Early on, it is important for young artists to carve out their own paths. Brave struggled with her confidence early in her career. “Your journey is sincerely your journey. You have to make sure you don’t get distracted by someone else or things you see or from the images you click on. You have to make sure you aren’t chasing an idea of what you think you should look like, sound like, or act like. You need to hone in on who you are and simply give that because everything that is meant for you will attract to you as long as you do your part,” Brave says. “I wish someone had told me that. As an artist, we’re like sponges. You build on the idea in your mind that, ‘When I meet this person, I’m sure they are expecting me to look and act like this or the song needs to be this as opposed to what I really want to sing in my heart.’ So, I got to a point where I was able to find my own voice and confidence in who I am. I put my foot down and said, ‘You don’t have to be someone you’re not.’”

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 29


Q&A WITH

ALAN DELABIE Multi-talented Alan Delabie is a martial artist, actor, producer and director. He took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about his latest project Borrowed Time (Denard 3).

Although you are a well-known actor and accomplished martial artist in Europe, for our readers in America who may not know you, who is Alan Delabie? I have dreamed of cinema from a young age. It all started when I discovered Bruce Lee thanks to my big brother, who was a fan. I was immediately fascinated! Sport is a family affair. My father was a wrestling trainer and my big brother was the European champion in this discipline. At the time, through hard work and determination, I became the European champion in the practice of Nunchaku, my favorite weapon. This allowed me to be invited on television for martial arts demonstrations. I had the chance to participate in famous television shows in France and Belgium. It really helped me to be natural in front of the camera. I also performed a demonstration at the must-see world martial arts festival, Budo Galas de Paris Bercy in 2011 in front of more than 10,000 people. It was then that my desire for cinema caught up with me. I went to castings, landed small roles in TV films in France and then had the chance to have a small role in a JCVD (Jean-Claude Vandamme) film in 2008.I was hungry for evolution and success; I was determined. Shortly after, I met Jalal Merhi, an action film producer/ director in Canada. He invited me to participate in a "Master of the Art--aka Road To Hollywood" television project in Toronto. This TV show was decisive for me. I had the opportunity to start my own film project. This is why you should never give up on your dreams. Tell me more about your martial arts background. I started with shotokan karate. I am a black belt in karate. I also practiced full-contact kickboxing and I am a specialist in Nunchaku. I was European champion in this discipline. I will end with the martial arts TV shows that I have practiced on numerous occasions. Your current project is part of a thrillogy. Is this correct? Please tell us about your feature Anatomy of an Antihero. I understand this film is directed by Meosha Bean and stars major actors like Eric Roberts and Bob Wall from the Bruce Lee movie. Tell me more. I started thinking about this concept in January 2017 after returning from San Diego. At first it was going to be a web series with a few episodes, but I immediately felt that 30 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY


Photo courtesy courtesy of Peggy Warny ( @portraitsbypeggy)

there was something original and strong in the project. I contacted my friend Meosha Bean to ask her to make a feature film. Initially we didn’t plan to do a trilogy. With a director on board, the second step was fundraising. We organized a crowdfunding campaign and we achieved our goal! I also managed to convince a private investor. Without a budget, it’s impossible to make a film! The idea for the trilogy only came later. After I wrote the screenplay, the Antihero adventure was born. It’s an experience full of rich collaborations, especially one with LH Chambat, cameraman, editor and long-time friend. He's been part of the project from the start. What was it like working with the two other stars of the film, seasoned actors Eric Roberts and Bob Wall? Meosha Bean had worked with Eric before. When she introduced him to the project, we hit it off right away. He’s a great actor, very punctual and professional. It was a dream come true to play opposite such a legend of cinema. I was introduced to Bob Wall by a friend who hosted a radio show in Toronto. The latter had told him about my talents in nunchaku (Bruce Lee's weapon of choice) and about my exceptional flexibility. He immediately wanted to meet me. It went very well. Bob is a very nice man and we have talked a lot about martial arts, especially Bruce Lee. I was

terribly flattered when he told me that if Bruce Lee had met me, he would have loved me. When he agreed to do a stint in Anatomy of an Antihero, it was magical. The same question regarding your experience working with Mrs. Meosha Bean. Since you are known as an action movie star, what is it like working with such a renowned director ? I have known Meosha since she started and I’ve always been convinced by her talent. In 2012 we collaborated on a short film and stayed in touch. Seeing my determination and my passion, she decided to work and direct the Anatomy of an Antihero, 1st part. She's up for a new collaboration for Antihero Denard Aka Borrowed Time's latest installment, The Sequel. Please tell me about the other actors, Merrick McCartha and Christina Okolo.I met Merrick on the set of a short film in which I was the lead actor. Merrick is a very great actor with incredible charisma in the Denzel Washington style. He has a great career and plays in several major series. I wrote his character, Dr. Brown just for him. Regarding Christina Okolo, the original actress was no longer available for the role of Melissa Jordan, so she recommended Christina to me. I was immediately impressed by her talent, her magnetism. I won the exchange by HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 31


collaborating with her. She is a charming actress in the style of Angela Basset. She has an incredible presence in front of the camera, a voice, a style, a sensuality that the audience will love. Borrowed Time is the prequel to Anatomy of an Antihero. Did you have the same writer for both films? What's the nexus between the two films? Indeed. Anatomy of an Antihero is the prequel to the first film, Anatomy of an Antihero: redemption.Denard's original title changed for marketing reasons. My distributor chose a title that would have a greater commercial impact. Denard, Anatomy of an Antihero then became Borrowed Time. Regarding the writing, I wrote the screenplay for all three films and I'm proud of it. I needed to go back to the origin of the character to deepen the two intrigues, the main lines of the trilogy, one based on a mind control program orchestrated by members of an international network and the other the rage of Malandrain to kill Franck Denard. I wanted to keep some mystery behind him too, but the point was to understand that he had not one but two problems to solve. Borrowed Time takes place 6 months before Anatomy of an Antihero: Redemption. 32 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

There’s a theme that reminds me of the 80s. What attracted you to this period of time? How did you capture this era in your film ? Nowadays I find there is too much unnecessary violence and explosions in action movies. I wanted to keep the main plot taking place nowadays but add the magic that made me dream in movies that were made in the 80s. In films like Bloodsport, Kickboxer or Enter Dragon with Bruce Lee, the attention was focused on elements other than special effects, like music for example. This is why I wanted, among other things, a Retro soundtrack (synthwave). There is also the naive personality of my character to underline this time of the 80s, in which life was a little more pure and innocent, supposedly. Also, I wanted to send a positive message of love and passion. This is always one of my goals. Free violence no thank you! Giving dreams is important. Let's talk about the storyline. It’s the story of an ordinary man who will see his life turned upside down on a night out with friends. He is wrongly accused of killing a friend. Prison follows. Franck Denard,


the main character, will find himself at the center of a series of events that will change his life forever. Despite himself, he becomes the subject of a forbidden experiment. I sincerely think that if Netflix were to take an interest in the Anatomy of an Antihero project, it would make for an incredible reboot series. There are still so many facets of history to explore! Franck Denard will have to face his demons, but also keep the hope of a new life. Anatomy of an Antihero is ultimately a dramatic story with hope, melancholy and a note of action. That is my opinion, but I will let the public decide! Today, COVID -19 has impacted many productions. How has this pandemic affected your projects? It's a nightmare! The last installment of the trilogy is in the works and it’s not easy. The film will be shot on several continents. The European part, with big actors like Costas Mandylor and Louis Mandylor is practically finished. The American part will be co-directed with the infamous David Worth, director of Kickboxer and many other movie hits. The end of the film will take place in Thailand with Ron Smoorenburg as both the action director and actor by my side for the final fight. With COVID, everything is slowing down. But we adapt and I won't let down. No pain No gain! Since theaters have been slow to reopen, what’s the best way to watch the films? Anatomy of An antihero: Redemption is available on VOD on Amazon, Direct Tv, Hoopla, Spectrum on demand and Apple TV. The film will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray March 16 and available at Walmart, Amazon and different stores. Borrowed Time, the prequel will be released on Digital in late spring of 2021. It will also be released on DVD.

Photos by Renaud Masson & Lh Chambat

HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 33


Hollywood Weekly - Page Turners BedsideReading.com

We’re gathering our beach reads, one by one and we’re patiently waiting to dive in. But you don’t have to! Our beach reading begins here:

Don't Lie to Me by Willow Rose Every parent's nightmare! When twelve-yearold Sophie Williams went on a Girl Scout summer camp, she never returned home. Three months later, her body is found inside her sleeping bag in the most frequented area of Cocoa Beach, and the town is outraged. The girl isn't just any child. She's the town's most beloved surf idol, and it was believed that she could be the next Kelly Slater. As another child, the son of a well-known senator is kidnapped, and the parents receive a disturbing video, FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas — who has just returned to her hometown, divorced and out of a job — plunges into the investigation, breaking her promise to her children not to do police work again. Local law enforcement, with her old flame Matt Miller in charge, are the ones who ask for her help in a case so unsettling that only she can solve it. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier it becomes for Matt and Eva Rae. Soon, everyone she holds dear is in grave danger as this case hits a little too close to home. DON’T LIE TO ME is the first book in the Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Series and can be read as a standalone.

Brilliant Burnout by Nisha Jackson In Brilliant Burnout, Nisha Jackson reveals proven and successful testing and treatment strategies, with step-bystep instructions for optimal hormone, brain, and body balance and compelling insights that have helped women all around the world change their lives and step up their game. Learn and use the very tactics explained in this book to beat the big snooze of burning out!

"ABSOLUTE PERFECTION." "I just could not put it down and read it in one sitting. Excellent!" "I loved it and can’t wait for the next one in this series. Don’t miss this one!! "

Little Sister by Patricia Chadwick Imagine an eighteen-year-old American girl who has never read a newspaper, watched television, or made a phone call. An eighteen-year-old-girl who has never danced—and this in the 1960s. It is in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Leonard Feeney, a controversial (soon to be excommunicated) Catholic priest, has founded a religious community called the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Center's members—many of them educated at Harvard and Radcliffe—surrender all earthly possessions and aspects of their life, including their children, to him. Patricia Chadwick was one of those children, and Little Sister is her account of growing up in the Feeney sect. Separated from her parents and forbidden to speak to them, Patricia bristles against the community’s draconian rules, yearning for another life. When, at seventeen, she is banished from the Center, her home, she faces the world alone, without skills, family, or money but empowered with faith and a fierce determination to succeed on her own, which she does, rising eventually to the upper echelons of the world of finance and investing. A tale of resilience and grace, Little Sister chronicles, in riveting prose, a surreal childhood and does so without rancor or self-pity. 34 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY


behind? Born on the “Day wanderlust. Although she the-world adventure, she , after losing seven family y helps us understand and nd wisdom, heal from our y.

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t both the discomfort and n the throes of grief after hildren around the world the rest of her family, the view (they visit a temple ting tarantulas, after all). ravel writing, what really nds her way, after nearly compassion. Square Up is f love of self, family, and,

Whenasurprisejobofferfromherhouse-flippingsisterreacquaintsLilly with handsome,free-spiritedWenniway Island transplant Matt Eastman, Lillywondersifshe’sreadyforanewromance.ThenshemeetsHollywood heartthrob Jayden Pierce, who is filming a movie on the island, and she’s certain of it—but with whom? She’s caught the attention of both men, and both men have caught hers. So what’s a girl to do? EarnestMattsharesherloveoftheclose-knitislandcommunity,whilesurprisinglydown-to-earth Jayden encourages her to live life outside her comfort zone. As the flirtatious triangle sets the town talking, Lilly must choose: Does she want to plant forever roots in Trillium Bay with Matt? Or follow a man who makes love stories for a living? Two very different men. Two very different futures. But deep down, Lilly knows that only one holds the promise of her kind of perfect.

A Perfect Nightmare: My Glittering Marriage and How It Almost Cost Me My Life by Karen Gosbee KarenGosbeehaditall:asuccessfulhusband,threebeautifulchildren,the homes, the cars, the jewelry, the A-list invitations. Her life looked perfect and as her husband, George, liked to say, appearances are everything. But at the height of his success as an owner of a major American sports franchise, cracks appeared in George’s carefully constructed façade. Karen could not ignore his increasingly erratic and self-destructive behavior, which spiraled from affairs and hard-drinking to prostitutes and drug abuse. Nor could she escape his abuse as emotional bullying escalated into dangerous beatings. A Perfect Nightmare is the story of a woman’s awakening to the realities of her failing marriage and her desperate struggle - one that would end in headlines and tragedy - to bring herself and her children to safety.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones From “the Jordan Peele of horror literature” comes a psychological thriller about revenge, breaking tradition, and the American Indian experience, perfect for fans of Stephen King. The Only Good Indians tells the story of four American Indian men and their families, as they are haunted by a disturbing, deadly event that took place in their youth. Years later, they find themselves tracked by an entity bent on revenge, helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

Lisa Dailey

journey around the world merciful, compassionate ective, and healing. As a who has struggled with ssion, not self-pity, with u loved Cheryl Strayed’s

After her scandalous May-December romance comes to an end, baby of the family Lilly Callaghan returns home to Trillium Bay braced for the torrent of “I told you sos” from her sisters and the rest of the tiny island community. Floundering both personally and professionally, she’s at an emotional crossroads but determined to figure out her next best steps.

SQUARE UP

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My Kind Of Perfect by Tracy Brogan

Square Up by Lisa A Dailey

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Have you ever wished you could run away and leave your life behind? Born on the "Day of the Wanderer," Lisa Dailey has always been filled with wanderlust. Although she and her husband had planned to take their family on a 'round-the-world adventure, she didn't expect their plans to come together on the heels of grief, after losing seven family members in five years. Square Up shows us that travel not only helps us understand and appreciate other cultures, but invites us to find compassion and wisdom, heal from our losses, and discover our capacity for forgiveness, as well as joy.

Raphael, Painter In Rome by Stephanie Storey Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling is one of the most iconic masterpiecesoftheRenaissance. Here, in Raphael, Painter in Rome, Storey tells of its creation as never before: through the eyes of Michelangelo’s fiercest rival—the young, beautiful, brilliant painter of perfection, Raphael. Orphaned at age eleven, Raphael is determined to keep the deathbed promise he made to his father: become the greatest artist in history. But to be the best, he must beat the best, the legendary sculptor of the David, Michelangelo Buonarroti.WhenPopeJuliusII calls both artists down to Rome, they are pitted against each other:Michelangelopaintingthe Sistine Ceiling, while Raphael decorates the pope's private apartments. As Raphael strives toward perfection in paint, he battles internal demons: his desperate ambition, crippling fear of imperfection, and unshakableloneliness.Alongthe way, he conspires withcardinals, scrambles through the ruins of ancient Rome, and falls in love with a baker’s-daughter -turned-prostitutewhobecomes his muse. With its gorgeous writing, rich settings, endearing characters, and riveting plot, Raphael, Painter in Rome brings to vivid life these two Renaissance masters going head to head in the deadly halls of the Vatican. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 35


Conversations With Our Authors The Contract by Sheila Grinell Joanna and Ev have been partners for ten years--in business and in love--when one of the only women in government in the Middle East invites their firm to design a children's museum in Riyadh. Jo sees a chance to solidify her name in the design world in the venture; Ev has no desire to work in a vigorously policed society, preferringtoremaininhisworkshopfashioningdisplays.ButEvaccedestoJo'swishes.Theprocessofbidding onthejobsoonthrowstheirhomeofficeintochaosandchallengestheirlong-heldassumptionsaboutthevalue of their work--and marriage. If they get the job, will their partnership survive the strain? Q&A WITH SHEILA GRINELL Q. What inspired you to write the book? A. I overheard a friend, a woman I knew to be kind and generous, talking to her sister with absolute contempt. I thought tomyself,shouldn’tshehavelearnedtotoleratehersisterbynow? We live in such fractious times—people all over the world are having problems tolerating one another. In a flash, I realized I could use my experience as a consultant in Saudi Arabia to explorethedimensionsoftolerancethroughfiction.Icouldsend a married couple of Californians to Riyadh on a mission, and there’d be plenty of dramatic tension.

Q. Is the story based on your life as a museum developer? A. I spent forty years creating science museums before I started writing novels. Yes, the story takes off from my experience in museums around the world, but it’s fiction. The characters are amalgams of people I’ve known, but they’re their own, unique people.Myformerfieldfeaturesquiteafewwife-husbanddesign teams. In the book, the protagonist’s husband is also her business partner. In real life, I’d kill my Tom if I had to work with him.

The Rancher In Stilettos by Marcia Williams Cromer The Rancher in Stilettos is a romance novel based on a group of six black women whose relationship spans their entire lives. They met as children in the small Texas town where they grew up and forged a bond that would last a lifetime. Though not biological, "The Dreamers" are sisters in every sense of the word, and when life struggles present themselves, the women form their "Dreamers Circle" of protection against outside forces. You can't stereotype Zaide Grace and her friends. Try to put "The Dreamers" in a box and they will decorate it with every color and invite the world in for a tour. The main character, Zaide Grace is a black woman who is a beautiful, smart, powerful marketing professional preparing to leave her life in New York after a recent divorce. She is also in a flailing relationship with Lane, a tall, handsome, black co-worker at Banger and Stroud. Leaving New York and her dream job will be difficult, especially since she is heading back to live on the ranch she inherited and grew up on in Texas. Zaide prepares for her next adventure by embarking on a business with “The Dreamers.” “Big Dream Threads” is a high-end boutique that the women plan to open in Dallas, New York and Paris. To jump start the business, Zaide reaches out to venture capital friends that can help them raise money. One of the VCs is a former client, Corey Helms, a young, handsome, tall, recently single white man who has long been in love with Zaide. Corey couldn’t previously act on those feelings as he was also married when they first met. The Rancher in Stilettos is a funny, sexy, internationally set ride with characters that you will root for and love. Q&A WITH MARCIA WILLIAMS CROMER Q. What was the inspiration for the book? A. I have been wanting to write this book for several years. The title came from my own experiences growing up on a ranch and finding myself doing ranch work or hanging out with my dad in my professional clothes. When COVID prevented me from traveling, I decided to write the book with the extra time and come out of this pandemic with something positive. 36 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY

Q. How does the book seek to empower women of all cultures? A. "The Dreamers" are all ambitious women with powerful jobs and huge aspirations. They love and appreciate the men in their lives, but rarely acquiesce their own desires or intelligence. Because they have known each other all of their lives, they know what motivates each other. The support they provide each other comes from a place of unconditional love- no strings attached.


The Twelve Gifts of Birt by Charlene Costanzo There is no more magical moment than when a newborn baby is laid in a mother's arms. What was for many months a dream and a mystery is now a miraculous new person at the threshold of a life filled with possibilities. Through a tender, inspiring tale, The Twelve Gifts of Birth reveals the birthright inheritance that all children receive at this moment. Wise women, otherwise known as fairy godmothers, announce the twelve gifts in the form of blessings and show how to use them to enrich one's life. This keepsake book encourages new parents to nurture and protect the wondrous qualities that have been bestowed on their tiny miracles. When shared with young children, this message helps form within them a strong foundation of values and self-respect. For teens and adults, this story offers healing and hope during times of diminished self-esteem and uncertain transition. It reminds all readers to see the dignity that is inherent in themselves and others. Q&A WITH CHARLENE COSTANZO Q. What’s the story behind The Twelve Gifts of Birth? Readers like to hear how a rejected manuscript became a bestseller and grew into a collection of titles. How did this begin? A. You know the expression, “The days are long but the years are short?” One afternoon when my daughters were teenagers, I had a wake up experience. I felt as if I was hit with a tidal wave of understanding that expression. I was simply unloading the dishwasher when I suddenly saw, in my mind, scenes from their childhood. It was like a film running in high speed. When I saw times they were little girls chattering excitedly and I half listened because I was busy juggling tasks, I ached for those precious opportunities to give them my full attention. “Have I been a good mom?” I asked myself. Though my answer was “Yes,” there was a “but.” “Yes, but,” because I knew so much more about parenting after 17 years of on-the-job training. Besides learning that time passes quickly, I understood that unconditional love is the most important thing we can give children. Also, we are to help guide

each child to become fully herself. I realized I would have done some things differently. I knew I couldn’t change the past. But I wanted to give them something meaningful for the rest of their lives. Q. What is the story of The Twelve Gifts of Birth? A. It begins with a “Once upon a time” fable about how fairy godmothersrushedtothecastlewheneveranewprinceorprincess came into the world. The godmothers would pronounce 12 noble gifts upon the royal baby. As time went on, the godmothers understood that the 12 noble gifts of birth belong to every child. They wanted to announce this to all children but the customs of the land did not allow them. The godmothers predict that someday all children will know about their gifts. And when that happens, a miracle will unfold on Earth. Feeling hopeful that someday is near, the godmothers share a secret with the reader. It’s about the moment you were born. The gifts are then pronounced to the reader with a “May you” prayerful wish about how to use each gift to live well.

Winter’s Mourn by Mary Stone A killer is watching…Thirteen years ago, Winter Black came home early from a sleepover to find her parents brutally murdered and her little brother gone—taken by a serial killer called The Preacher. Now a rookie FBI agent assigned to her first murder case, Winter has returned to the small Virginia town where she grew up. But when bones found by a hunter lead to the discovery of a secret burial ground containing the remains of children, the investigation suddenly hits close to home as the past and future collide with each new shocking discovery. Will they find her brother’s bones in the makeshift graveyard next? Only The Preacher knows, and he’ll do anything to keep the past—and its secrets—buried until he’s ready to makehisfinalmove.AmasterfullyconceivedpsychologicalthrillerreminiscentofLeeChild,Winter’sMourn will keep readers turning the pages—and watching the window—long past midnight. Q&A WITH MARY STONE Q. How did you come up with the idea for this book? What inspired it? A. I was watching a show on scientists working on creating “designer” babies, where parents could choose sex, eye color and other physical traits to make the “perfect” child. I began thinking past the physical, and how some people might want to create perfect behavior in children (kind of like Stepford Wives, but as babies). These children could be easily molded and manipulated

into following orders, and as they age, take over the world. The cultleaderinthisbookattemptstocreateperfectfollowers,with little success. Q. How is it different than others in the series? A. This book investigates the death of multiple children found in shallow graves. Instead of the normal serial killer trope, who killsfortheloveofkilling,thiskillerisattemptingtomakeperfect children,thengettingridofthosechildrenwhohismanipulations disfigure. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 37


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