i Am Entertainment VOLUME 5 - ISSUE 27
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Jillian B. & John P.
Reducing Rush Hour Roadrage Through Comedy
SPOTLIGHT TOPICS GREAT MUSIC
ALSO INSIDE FILM & TV Tiffany Boone Ray Iannicelli Why Write A Short America vs. TV Lori Kirkland-Baker
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MUSIC Brian Russell Moshav Francesca Batestelli
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After a long first quarter of entertaining the masses, you should take a few days and relax in this amazing Florida beach city. Learn where you should stay and some cool places to grab a great meal.
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I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
i Am Entertainment
The Entertainer’s Handbook
Editor’s Note ‘News Nugget’... HISTORY ON REPEAT
Photos of my grandparent’s publication, “News Nugget”
Special Thanks To My Uncle Carl In Kansas City, MO
veryone has a backstory; a family heritage that, for some, may still be a mystery. For me, that mystery of my heritage is still unveiling itself and the more I dig, the more I am inspired and motivated to continue on that path of discovery. I am so blessed to be learning about my maternal grandparents, Carl Price, Sr. and Roberta Price, history in the publishing industry. They created one of the first African-American owned publications in the 1950s in Topeka, Kansas called the “News Nugget”. If you know anything about that period in American history, you might instantly recall that in Topeka, on May 17, 1954, the United States Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional in the Brown v. Board of Education case. This was a monumental day in our country, and my grandparents were right in the middle of it all, documenting and reporting on this critical piece of American history. But, that’s not all they were covering in the “News Nugget.” As a child, I was vaguely aware of my grandparents’ many contributions to the Arts and Entertainment industry so I didn’t quite know the magnitude of it. I hadn’t even contemplated it until I recently observed my mother and uncle sharing photos of my grandparents’ publication, and it hit me that I’m continuing in grandma and grandpa’s footsteps as a member of the Arts & Entertainment media. Although they endured far more obstacles in their efforts to publish a successful magazine during the civil rights era; I love the fact that I never even planned to get into the magazine publishing business. I guess it was my destiny? When Shaine and I launched I Am Entertainment, our mission was to create a magazine that inspires, educates and entertains those who work in showbusiness; but we also wanted to show how ethnically diverse our industry is. America is not just black and white, it’s a melting pot of immigrants who are oftentimes represented in the public eye by those who work in various fields of the Arts & Entertainment industry. So in this issue, our cover story features the super talented talk radio duo, Jillian Barberie and John Phillips of KABC. Their LA based radio show hits on all a myriad of topics, and they say what everyone is thinking, but is afraid to speak on. Other highlights include Brian Russell (Veteran Songwriter/Film Producer/Author), Tiffany Boone (actress from the hit TV show, “The Following”), Ray Iannicelli (30-year veteran actor), Lori Kirkland Baker (Emmy Winning Screenwriter), Francesca Battistelli (GRAMMY nominated singer), and many more. Also in this issue, we have expanded our content coverage to include the new “Entertainer’s Lifestyle” section, since we too like to go on vacations and eat good food. As always, I love reading your feedback and I want to hear from you on the latest issue. I hope you are inspired, educated, and entertained and will pass on that education and inspiration to your friends. Ready, set, go…
CANDY FREEMAN Editor-In-Chief
PUBLISHER: I Am Entertainment Media CEO & DIR. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Shaine Freeman - email@example.com COO & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Candy Freeman - firstname.lastname@example.org RESEARCH & COPY EDITOR: KW Jackson - email@example.com REVIEWS EDITOR & ART DIRECTOR: Senseitional - firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Candy Freeman Shaine Freeman Senseitional CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Cover: TalkRadio 790 KABC All others, see interviews/articles. ADVERTISING: email@example.com I Am Entertainment Media PO Box 263 Kennesaw, GA 30152 Tel: 818-813-9365 Article Submissions & General Info: www.iaemagazine.com/contact
I Am Entertainment Magazine is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September, and November by I Am Entertainment Media, LLC (IAE). The opinions expressed by our contributors falls under their constitutional rights of free speech. While we have made extensive efforts to ensure that the content herein has been obtained through reliable sources, IAE is not liable for any errors or omissions, typographical errors, or misprints. IAE reserves the right to refuse any advertising which it deems unsuitable. All advertisers agree to hold the publisher harmless and indemnify any and all claims, losses, liabilities, damages, costs, and expenses (including attorney’s fees) made against or incurred by the publisher, including but not limited to the sole negligence and/or fault of the publisher. The publisher is not liable for any claims, losses, or damages of any kind, arising from the wording, text, graphics, or representations of any ads published herein, or of the condition of the articles sold through the paper, or performance of service advertised in this publication. All advertisements and submissions are wholly the property of IAE and cannot be copied in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. We reserve the right to edit or refuse any ad and reprint any ad or photo for promotional use. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2014. All issues of I Am Entertainment Magazine are wholly the property of IAE and shall not be printed, copied, duplicated, or distributed without expressed written consent from the publisher. I Am Entertainment is a trademark of IAE. ISSN 2161-9093 (print) ISSN 2161-3109 (digital) I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
FEEDBACK COVER STORY, ISSUE 26
“I’m so glad you guys put Isaiah Washington on your cover. Been a fan for so long and it’s inspiring to see him overcome all the haters.” Karolyn Wilson on IAEMagazine.com
COVER STORY, ISSUE 26
“I stand corrected about Isaiah Washington. This was a great article that really helped me see him in a whole different light...” Mitchell G. on IAEMagazine.com
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“Mia Martina” in ISSUE 26
“@iaemagazine @MiaMartina Excellent Interview & podcast! :) “Nicely covers what is relevant in Mia’s journey to success!” Thank you :))” John Bergeron on Twitter
SOUNDOFF: Great Social Media Posts Former NFL Player, turned filmmaker @MatthewACherry tweeted:
“Writing a movie is basically talking to yourself in different voices and writing it down and with that said I am officially crazy.” www.iaemagazine.com
Recording artist and songwriter @MadilynBailey tweeted:
“Follow your heart but don’t forget to bring your brain with you ;) ”
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
FILM & TV
EMERGING STAR By Candy Freeman
“...I had to work really hard to get to where I am today.”
t first glance, you might not think Tiffany Boone is an adult, but looks can be very deceiving. Not only is she a grown woman, she’s also a very talented artist who has overcome a lot of hurdles to become one of the film and television industry’s hottest young thespians.
Please tell us where you’re from and what inspired you to pursue an entertainment career? TB: I’m from Baltimore, Maryland and I was born a ham. [laughs] I did every kind of performing arts that a person could possibly do. I talk a lot about how my dad passed away when I was really young, and how I felt like art saved and healed me in a lot of ways. First, I was a dancer, and then I started acting. I did my first play when I was 8 and never looked back. Fortunately, I’ve been able to have this incredible job that I have today. I know Baltimore is a tough city. You mentioned your father, and I read somewhere that he was murdered. Did that drive you to explore other people’s lives through acting?
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
TB: Acting is defintitely a way to escape and pretend to be someone else; sort of take on their problems, or their fun life. I think just having the opportunity to be creative, whether it was through dance, poetry, or some other artform; I was able to get out whatever frustration or loneliness I was feeling. Even though my father passed, I had a great childhood. My mom was incredible and my family is great. They always supported my doing the arts, and that gave me the confidence to do what I love the most. Eventually, I’d like to go into Art Therapy because, I think it’s a great healing tool. There are a lot of kids who come from broken families, or they have a lot of issues that can be dealt with through art. I would love to give back what’s been given to me.
What were the beginning stages of launching your acting career like? From getting an agent to landing your first official role. TB: I trained and did a lot of theater in Baltimore. I also went to a performing arts high school, and then I went to college for acting. I didn’t really start auditioning until after I graduated college. From there, I got a manager who then, brought me to my agent. It was a slow process and I would hate for people to think I just came out of school and booked a job. Those stories do happen but, I had to work really hard to get to where I am today. Over the past yearand-a-half, I’ve been given some really amazing opportunities. I know plenty of people who are super talented but are still hustling in LA, just to get a job. You look so young, it’s hard to believe you’ve graduated from college. But as a result, most of the characters you play are in their teens. Do you intentionally go after younger roles? TB: I used to hate how young I looked because, when I was in high school I looked like I was www.iaemagazine.com
PHOTO OF TIFFANY BOONE COURTESY OF PMK BNC; IMAGE OF KEVIN BACON COURTESY OF FOX
Kicking off 2014 with 5 films in the works, Charlene Amoia, is 2014 ON TELEVISION establishing herself as one of FOLLOWING (Fox) Hollywood’sTHE actors to watch. Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery Fresh off recent on top Created By:roles Kevin Williamson Starring: Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, shows like “Switched at Birth” Ashmore (ABC Family) and Shawn “Drop Dead Diva” (Lifetime), this rising star talks with I Am Entertainment about the business of acting.
FILM & TV
in middle school, and when I was in college I looked like I was in high school. I used to really hate it, but I think it’s great from a career perspective, when it comes to longevity. I’m very young at heart so, it doesn’t bother me. Especially when I get the chance to play a character like Mandy (The Following) who, even though she is young, there’s a lot of depth to her. It would be cool to book a character who is my real age, but most casting directors don’t buy me playing a character that’s my actual age. But hey, I’m not going to complain about it. [laughs] What was it like working on the Beautiful Creatures? You recently spoke highly of working with Viola Davis. TB: It was a dream come true. I set a goal for myself to work with Viola Davis, and two weeks later I booked that role in Beautiful Creatures. That’s such a testament to what can happen if you set a goal for yourself and actually believe it can happen. I had a blast. It was the first major film I ever did. We shot it in New Orleans and I fell in love with the city. I was so blessed to be a part of that cast and meet so many great people. Working with Viola and being around her was enough for me. [laughs]
So, how did you learn about the role of Mandy for The Following, and how many auditions did it take to land that job? TB: It was a normal audition process. It took three auditions but, it happened really quickly. I had my first audition on a Tuesday, callback the next day, and I (screen) tested for it on Friday. The next Monday is when I found out that I booked the role and then, later that week I moved to New York City. It was a fast process, considering the fact that other roles I had tested for in the past took over a month. I didn’t think I was going to get it so, I just went in and had fun with it. The more you have fun and just let things happen (naturally) without thinking about what’s going to happen at the end of it, the more people feel connected to you in that role.
episode for Mandy so far has been episode 3, Trust Me. It is a big change for Mandy, and you can see how things are playing out for her in each episode.
Your character is pretty intense. For those who haven’t tuned in to see The Following yet, please share a little about Mandy. TB: Mandy is a young girl who falls into The Following, whether she likes it or not. She has this really beautiful relationship with Joe Carroll (played by James Purefoy), who is the serial killer on the show. They form a father/daughter relationship and Joe is like her mentor. The big
What would you like everyone to know? TB: I would really love for everyone to continue watching me on The Following. The show is amazing, and those who have been watching it are enjoying it. Oh, and follow me on Twitter @tifboone iae
How in the world do you get into character for that role, because it’s so out of the norm? TB: I think it’s just focusing on relationships. Mandy’s a girl who grew up without a father and I understand that. She’s looking for someone to care about her; a male role model/father figure in her life. If I take it from that point of view rather than looking at it like, “she’s a serial killer,” I can better relate to Mandy. I just based it on the relationship, which is easy because every decision that she makes is about their relationship.
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
FILM & TV
30 YEARS ACTING By Shaine Freeman
Kicking off 2014 with 5 films in the works, Charlene Amoia, is 2014 FILM ROLES establishing herself as one of ST VINCENT DE VAN Hollywood’s actors to NUYS watch. Director: Theodore Melfi Fresh offStarring: recent roles top Bill Murray, Naomion Watts, Terrance Howard, Melissa McCarthy shows like “Switched at Birth” In Theaters April 11th (ABC Family) and “Drop Dead Diva” (Lifetime), this rising star ANNIE (2014) talks with I Am Entertainment Director: Will Gluck about theStarring: business ofQuvenzhané acting. Jamie Foxx,
“Bill (Murray) is a wonderful guy to work with...”
f you know anything about the business and craft of acting, you understand that it is no small feat to maintain a 30 year career that boasts over 100 movies and TV shows. While it hasn’t been easy, Ray Iannicelli, has become one of those faces you’ve seen non-stop since the 1980’s.
Please tell us where you’re from and what got you interested in an acting career? RAY: I’m from Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, New York. I think I always wanted to be an actor? I remember in grade school I got a little upset that I didn’t get selected as the lead in a little play. But, I didn’t do anything about it until I was married, divorced, went back to college and went out with my English professor who introduced me to Julie Bovasso; my first acting coach. Julie was a dynamo! You might know her from the SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and STAYING ALIVE movies; she played John Travolta’s mother, Flo. She was a big influence on my career, and a beautifully crazy woman. [laughs] I loved her; she was great! But, I started taking lessons with Julie and
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
doing plays where there were 8 actors on stage and three people in the audience. From there, I just kept going with it. You’ve been acting for 30+ years now, and with over TV shows & movies to your credit, what has kept you going all these years? RAY: I just wanted to do it (acting). Like I said, I did a few small plays, but then I took some time off and traveled to Europe and the Middle East. When I came back to New York, I said, “What the heck am I gonna do?” Then I thought, “Gee, you know that acting thing; I like that the most.” From there, it was a slow love affair that blossomed, you know? Yes. You really do have to love what you do in
entertainment because, sometimes the going will get really tough, and when it does it will be your love for it that will keep you in the game. I think that’s why you see so many people come and go, because they just picked acting as their default career when they got laid off their day job. They didn’t have a genuine love for acting. RAY: Yea! That’s so true. I never thought about it that way. The thing is, I love actors because we can share so much in common. You also teach acting lessons. Why is teaching the craft of acting so important to you? RAY: I do it because I like to be adored. [laughs] Don’t all actors love to be adored? [laughs] RAY: Yea. Isn’t that the point? [laughs] When you teach, you’re supposed to have some suggestions, but you don’t have all the answers because everybody’s experiences are different. But, I like it because it keeps me in touch with young people and, also, it’s part of reminding myself of the basics of the craft. Know your character, but don’t over prepare, and don’t make too much of it. Just go in (the audition www.iaemagazine.com
PHOTO OF RAY IANNICELLI COURTESY OF KING PDT; IMAGE OF QUVENZHANE WALLIS COURTESY OF COLUMBIA PICTURES
Wallis, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz In Theaters December 19th
FILM & TV
room), do your job and get out. There was an actor friend of mine who passed (in 2008), his name was Louis Gus; an old time actor. I was sitting with him for lunch one day and I said, “Louis, how do you prepare for an audition?” He said to me, “I’m the guy!” It was that simple. So, when you’re acting you have to be the guy, you know? Don’t do too much. Just be the character you’re playing and keep it simple. Now, you have a movie coming out with Bill Murray on April 11th (2014), right? RAY: Yea! The movie’s called, ST. VINCENT DE VAN NUYS. My character’s name is Roger; he’s a bartender. I have about 4 or 5 scenes with Bill Murray. He comes into my bar and mouths off, which leads to a little fisticuffs between the two of us. Bill’s a wonderful guy to work with,
and even though you know he’s the star on the set, he’s very generous with the actors around him. I guess he comes from the mindset that it’s all about the scene and not just him. I had a lot of fun working with (Bill) because he does things a little differently in each take, and you have to keep pace with him. He definitely makes everybody better. Another thing I didn’t know about him is that he’s a big guy, physically. He’s tall; like he might have been a linebacker in college or something. [laughs] You’re also in the remake of ANNIE that comes out on December 19th (2014). Talk a little bit about your role in that film and what it was like working on that set? RAY: It was great! I play the owner of a restaurant in the West Village. My scenes are with Quvenzhane Wallis and Rose Byrne. Quven-
zhane is a doll, and she’s a bright, effervescent, and wonderful little child. Rose is another wonderful actress. Will Gluck, the director, was nice and easy to work with. This (ANNIE) project is interesting because the young girl playing Annie is now African-American. So, it’s pretty cool. As a veteran actor, what advice would you like to share with actors about maintaining a long career in entertainment? RAY: Have fun. You’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to fall down, but keep going. Don’t dwell on your mistakes and failures because we all have them. Don’t let that stuff occupy your time and energy, just focus on having fun. This is a business that allows you to have a good time. Know your business, come prepared, but just remember to have fun. iae
WHY MAKE A
Defining Your Reason For Telling Short Stories Through Visual Art
By Shaine Freeman
A friend of mine has been looking for financial help to make his movie. He has been trying to raise money to do the film for quite some time, and one day he asked if I thought he should condense the script and produce a short film out of it. Me not being a filmmaker, my response was, “Why make a short film? How do you earn a living from that?” To him, making a short film made perfect sense but, to me it just seemed like a waste of the little bit of money he had. My friend explained that he could shoot a shortened version of his feature film idea and submit it to film festivals in hopes of attracting interest from investors. While his perspective seemed to be more idealistic than realistic, it did pique my interest in knowing what the full benefits of shooting a short film are. Here’s some of what I learned. www.iaemagazine.com
TO SECURE FUNDING FOR A FEATURE LENGTH FILM Like my friend, when you don’t have enough money to shoot a feature length film, you may be able to leverage a shortened version of that film to secure funding for a feature. A short film can be used as a prototype when pitching the idea of your feature to major studios, or to financiers whose only concern might be what their ROI looks like, and how soon they can expect to get their money back.
TO BE USED AS A SHOW REEL TO GET YOUR CAREER GOING A short film can be used to help aspiring filmmakers showcase their skills and establish credibility and/or funding for another film. Directors like Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, and
Quentin Tarantino each started out by making short films so, it does stand to reason that one could build a career in film this way, if the talent is there. TO GAIN AWARDS & RECOGNITION FROM YOUR PEERS Similar to recording artists and record producers in the music business, many filmmakers are purely interested in winning top industry awards and respect from their peers in the film community. In my opinion, this should never be your reason for telling a story, but hey, to each his/her own.
In the end, if you’re going to invest time, talent, and money into shooting a short film, make sure you have real reason for doing so. iae I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
FILM & TV
FESTIVALS 2014 Spring film festivals you may want to check out in April.
Premiere: March 19th Network: The CW Starring: Isaiah Washington, Eliza Taylor, Henry Ian Cusick, Paige Turco, Kelly Hu Genre: Sci-Fi, Post-apocalyptic Drama Plot: Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, the Chancellor (I. Washington) of a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 juvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet.
Atlanta Film Fest
March 28 – April 6 Atlanta, Georgia atlantafilmfestival.com
Dallas Int’l Film Fest
TV show images are the property of their respective owners; Article references include IMDb, Wikipedia, Nielsen, and marketingcharts.com
Learn more in our exclusive cover interview with Isaiah Washington in Issue #26 via www.IAEMagazine.com Premiere: March 16th Network: NBC Starring: Lance Gross, Gillian Anderson, Rachael Taylor, Dermot Mulroney, Halston Sage Genre: Action, Thriller, Mystery Plot: During a school trip, students of the Ballard High School, attended by the children of Washington, D.C.’s elite, including the President’s son, are the victim of an ambush. A national crisis begins and Secret Service agent Marcus Finley finds himself at the center of it on his first day on the job. FBI agent Susie Dunn also discovers her niece, the daughter of CEO Meg Fitch, is among the kidnapped children.
Premiere: March 9th Network: ABC Starring: Omar Epps, Frances Fisher, Kurtwood Smith, Landon Gimenez, Samaire Armstrong, Matt Craven Genre: Supernatural, Sci-Fi, Drama Plot: Based on the book, The Returned, by Jason Mott, the series follows the residents of Arcadia, Missouri, whose lives are upended when their loved ones return from the dead, unaged since their deaths. Among the returned is Jacob Langston, an 8 year-old boy who drowned 32 years earlier. Having somehow been found alive in China, he is brought back to America by an immigration agent (Omar Epps). The boy’s return marks the beginning of the Resurrection.
Tribeca Film Festival
April 16-27 New York, NY tribecafilm.com/festival
Nashville Film Fest
April 17-26 Nashville, TN nashvillefilmfestival.org
Miami Int’l Film Fest
April 23-27 Beverly Hills, CA beverlyhillsfilmfesitval. com
ARE AMERICANS DITCHING THEIR REMOTE CONTROLS? The most recent study released by Nielsen suggests they are. Americans aged 1824 watched, on average, over 22 hours of TV each week during Q4, 2013; a 47-minute drop-off from Q4 2012. This is alarming consid-
April 3-13 Dallas, Texas diff2013.dallasfilm.org
ering the fact that the same demographic has been watching less and less TV for 24 consecutive months; dropping as much as 3 hours from Q1 2011 - Q1 2013. The TV industry has a lot to worry about because, 18-24 year-olds are not the only ones ditching their remotes. Every quarter in 2013 saw
the 25-34 and the 35-49 age groups watching less TV. A variety of factors are causing the declines - too many reality shows, too many commercials, or increased use of mobile devices. Whatever the reasons, it’s clear that Americans are tuning out, and it’s time for networks to start tuning in to their viewers. iae
San Francisco Int’l
April 24-May 8 San Francisco, CA sffs.org
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
FILM & TV
EMMY WINNER By Candy Freeman
LORI KIRKLAND BAKER Executive Producer & Writer
“The rhythm of writing comedy and needing to make the audience laugh is more challenging for me.”
Please tell us where you’re from and what inspired you to get into writing and producing? LORI: I grew up outside of Boston and throughout my whole life I have expressed myself through writing; whether it was journaling or writing short stories. I went to the University of Massachusetts to study for a career in Broadcast Journalism, and during that time I worked for a local newspaper. While I enjoyed that process, there wasn’t enough creativity in it so, when a friend of mine moved out to California to become a casting director, I decided to go and see what I could do. I came to LA an eye on a production career, and while I was working as an assistant for an executive producer on a sitcom, after reading scripts I realized I could be a screenwriter. So, I wrote some specs and got an agent, and the rest is history. But, I’ll admit, my first script was awful! It was a CHEERS spec, and I made all the classic mistakes. How did you figure out you were making mistakes? Did someone point it out to you, or did you take a class? LORI: I didn’t take a screenwriting class or anything. When I wrote the CHEERS spec, it was before I was a writer’s assistant on a sitcom. But, once I was on that staff it was much clearer to me what I needed to do and it got much easier. I discovered that you have to grab your reader in the first four pages and that’s not easy to do. Of course, it gets easier with practice but, I don’t know if it ever becomes easy? If anything, you just learn what not to do.
particular show that stood out from all of your earlier work? LORI: Before FRASIER I did WINGS; and both shows were produced by the same guys so, I was already familiar with what they liked before I ever set foot in the writer’s room for FRASIER. When I did go onto FRASIER, Chris Lloyd (now co-running MODERN FAMILY) was running the room. It’s really important for a new person on staff to observe for a week or so in order to gauge the tone of the room and learn what kind of stuff the show-runner responds to. Chris (Lloyd) is very smart and funny, but he also likes the room to be quiet so that the writer’s can think. It’s not one of those rooms where it’s a rapid fire pitch. I observed that and when I felt ready, I stepped in and they really liked my work. The first episode of FRASIER that I wrote was so involved that they ended up making it a two-parter. I was on staff for 7 years and wrote 20 episodes of the show. Audiences have grown more sophisticated over the years so, while single camera comedies have caught on, what’s missing oftentimes on today’s shows is that laugh out loud funny that existed on shows that were performed in front of a live audience. FRASIER was not a show that added laughs in editing; it was all live so, if the audience didn’t laugh the writers were scrambling on stage to make a better joke. We always did a preshow run-through the day of the shoot, so we really had it nailed down by the time the audience came in. If it didn’t make us laugh, then we knew it wasn’t going to make the audience laugh.
You went on to win multiple awards for your work on FRASIER. What was it about that
I noticed that most of your career has been comedy, but with DESPERATE HOUSE-
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
WIVES it was mostly drama. Which one do you prefer? LORI: The interesting thing about writing on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES was, they usually had me writing a lot of the dramatic stuff. Although, it had its moments of comedy, I was often working on the mystery story, or the heavy dramatic moments. Drama is much easier to write for me, but not as fun or challenging. Not to take anything from dramatic writing because, it’s not easy either; it’s just that writing comedy is harder in my opinion. The rhythm of writing comedy and needing to make the audience laugh is more challenging for me. I love turning in a script and listening to my co-workers laugh as they read it. That’s the best stamp of approval there is. Your listed as a “Consulting Producer” on INSTANT MOM; for those who don’t know, what is a Consulting Producer? LORI: It’s just a different hierarchy/level on the writers’ “totem pole”. Eventhough I was listed as a consulting producer, I still worked there fulltime. A lot of consulting producers will work only 2 days a week, but I was a fulltime writer on INSTANT MOM. It was very much like writing on any of the other sitcoms I did, and it was a tremendously wonderful experience. It’s a great cast, and a great writer’s room. There are a lot of first-year writers, but I was super impressed by their talents. Some writers have told me that getting paid can be a bit difficult, and you may not get paid for quite a while from your last job. Has that been your experience? LORI: The studios pay when they want to, www.iaemagazine.com
IMAGE OF ‘INSTANT MOM’ CAST COURTESY OF NICKELODEON
ilm and television can be one of the toughest businesses to establish a career in, and nobody knows this better than Lori Kirkland Baker. Her contributions to the success of such hit TV shows as ‘Frasier’, ‘Freddie’, and ‘Desperate Housewives’ have helped blaze a trail for women in Hollywood.
FILM & TV
which is why the Writer’s Guild is in place; to protect you. While there are minimums you can be paid for certain job levels, it’s not minimum wage. But, it can be a long time before you get your first paycheck from a show. Thinking back, I believe I worked for 2 months before I got my first paycheck for FRASIER. That’s the system. I wrote an episode of a show in October (2013) that I still haven’t been paid for. That being the case, what advice can you give to writers about what to do with their money while they’re on an assignment? Since they may experience some financial droughts. LORI: The best advice I can give to young writers is what I was told very early on in my career, which I ignored, and that is, “save every dime!” You are not rich and this run you’re on is not going to last forever. Writers are not employed until they are 68, like people who work in other industries. Live well beneath your means, because life is long and your career may not be. I like to treat my residual checks, which are like surprises wrapped in a green envelope in the mail, as bonus money. What happens to a lot of people is they start out as an assistant and then they get their first writing job, so they go from making $500/week to $3,600/week, and they think they can go out and buy a Mercedes and a cool apartment. They think their career is bound to go up and they’re looking ahead at next year’s minimum pay, which is a huge mistake. It’s important to live below your means. I’m not saying I did that; I actually bought a boat off a showroom floor when I was working on FRASIER. [laughs] Thankfully, I’m doing fine now, but that decision could have been catastrophic! So, be careful. A great example of how quickly things can turn in this industry is the writer’s strike that happened (in 2007-08). The strike was devastating to writers because we lost tons of money that we’ll never recoup. Personally, because I was in my senior years of writing, I really had the attitude that I was helping the future generations of writers; especially in terms of the internet and DVD. I knew that I would not recoup the money I lost, which was a half-million dollars by going on strike. I could fancy to have that in my wallet right now. [laughs] There was a lot of enthusiasm for fighting “the man,” but nobody knew that it would go on as long as it did, and end as badly as it did for us.
LORI KIRKLAND BAKER
TELEVISION WRITER & PRODUCER 1
SHOW: INSTANT MOM JOB: CONSULTING PRODUCER 2013 SHOW: DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES JOB: WRITER, CO-EXEC. PROD. 2007-2009 SHOW: FRASIER JOB: WRITER, CO-EXEC. PROD. 1998-2004 SHOW: WINGS JOB: WRITER, STORY EDITOR 1995-1997
What are you currently working on? LORI: I’m developing a pilot with Suzanne Todd and Sue Naegle. Suzanne is a well known producer who worked on ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CALL OF DUTY, and AUSTIN POWERS, among other films. Sue was most recently the President of HBO. The pilot is a half-hour, single camera show about a woman who is at the mushroom cloud stage of her divorce. She has kids, and she’s trying to figure out what her life is now. We’re tackling things like dating and motherhood. I’m really looking forward to working with these two women; they are super smart and funny. This is for the newbie writer. When you’re conceiving a pilot you must ask yourself, “Why now? What’s so special about this pilot, and why am I writing it?” For instance, the “why now” with FRASIER was that suddenly, Martin (Frasier’s dad), had nowhere to live; so, the first episode was about which of his sons (Frasier or Nile) was going to catch that ball. So, you really need to figure out what the main premise and concept is that is setting your pilot off. I read a lot of pilots now, because the industry doesn’t want specs of existing shows anymore. Many of the pilots don’t really have that, why now aspect to them and it’s critical if you want to have that pilot go anywhere. iae
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
FILM & TV
Should I Film In ?
e’re pretty sure you’ve heard by now that the “Peach State” has become a major player in the world of film and television production. The state has seen close to $3.1 billion invested (2012) by major film studios, television networks, and indie film companies who have benefited tremendously from Georgia’s amazing tax incentives and “Camera Ready” workforce. So, if you haven’t considered the Peach State as a great location for your next film, here are few reasons you should.
UP TO SAVINGS VIA PRODUCTION TAX INCENTIVES
GEORGIA HAS ONE OF AMERICA’S DEEPEST, MOST EXPERIENCED & AFFORDABLE CREW BASES.
UNION & NON-UNION PROFESSIONALS CALL GEORGIA HOME
GEORGIA’S GOT YOU COVERED WITH OVER >>> PRODUCTION SUPPLIERS & SUPPORT VENDORS. INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO: Studio/Sound Stages Catering Cameras Lighting & Grip Props & Wardrobe Casting/Talent Film Labs Editing Animation/Special Effects Scoring/Sound Design www.iaemagazine.com
TO NAME A FEW
We have taken the liberty of listing just a few of the popular television shows and movies that were filmed in Georgia in 2014, just to help you with making your decision on where to film your movie or TV pilot / show.
Network: ABC Starring: Omar Epps, Samaire Armstrong, Landon Gimenez, Matt Craven, Jacob Langston Premiere Date: March 9th
BEING MARY JANE
Network: BET Starring: Gabrielle Union, Omari Hardwick, Margaret Avery, Richard Brooks, Lisa Vidal Premiere Date: January 7th
LETS BE COPS
20th Century Fox Starring: Nina Dobrev, Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, Andy Garcia In Theaters: August 13th
DUMB & DUMBER TOO
Red Granite Pictures/Universal Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Laurie Holden In Theaters: November 14th
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOKINGJAY, PART 1
Color Force/Lionsgate Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson In Theaters: November 21st
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
WHO’S GOT YOU 17
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
LAUGHING IN TRAFFIC?
Making the daily commute in Los Angeles a bit more entertaining, talk radio co-hosts, JILLIAN BARBERIE & JOHN PHILLIPS, are honestly funny BY SHAINE FREEMAN | PHOTO: KABC Radio
How did you each get started in the business of entertaining audiences, whether through radio or TV and Film? JILLIAN: Oh, gosh! I started years ago in Canada doing weather reporting, before moving to Miami to do weather there. I eventually came to Los Angeles to do a morning show on Fox, but I’ve always dabbled in radio. I love the freedom that radio offers, and I am so happy to be doing the show with John on KABC. It’s hard to find people who share the same sense of humor and chemistry with you, and working with John has been really easy and fun! Although it’s only been a few weeks since we started working together, it feels like we’ve been doing this for a long time. JOHN: Prior to me coming to KABC, I was a writer at KNX (CBS radio) in Los Angeles. Then I took a position here at KABC as a producer, but I wanted to eventually go on-air and host a show. So, I worked my way up as a producer on the evening show and then the morning show. I then became a sports anchor, a fill-in talk show host, the weekend show host, the evening show host; and now I’m on mid-days with Jillian. So, it’s wonderful! Jillian, how did you land the Fox NFL Sunday gig and what challenges did you face getting started?? JILLIAN: It’s funny how it happened because, I am probably the laziest person in LA when it comes to networking and getting gigs. So, I was very fortunate because the President of FOX SPORTS used to watch me on (Fox 11) in the mornings. I did weather, fashion and other commentary on the morning show. But, he (Pres. of Fox Sports) loved my work, so he offered me the job doing Fox NFL Sundays. It was really that simple. So, while I didn’t know much about football, I did know about weather and could report on game day (weather) conditions. www.iaemagazine.com
Most of the work I’ve gotten has come through osmosis. Whether the job was on a sitcom, talk show, dating show, or the NFL; all of those things came as a result of casting directors watching me on the (Fox 11) morning show. This particular radio job (on KABC) came almost the same way as the NFL one. I was approached by a very large radio agent who felt that I’d do really well in radio because he said I had the voice and personality for it, and I definitely had the face for it as well. [laughs] [laughs] So, John, you were the youngest person to ever host a talk radio show, right? JOHN: Yes. The youngest to do so in a major market. When they put me on (to host a show) I was 25 or 26 years old; but I was 19 when I started working at KNX. I always wanted to do radio because it’s a theater of the mind and you can just make up a world. It’s just you and a microphone, and you can tell stories that make people laugh. There are some people who think being a radio host is more important that it really is. Now, while I do take my job seriously, I don’t take myself seriously. I don’t think (radio hosts) are here to change the world or influence elections; I think we’re here to make peoples’ commute a little less crappy. You know? We’re in Hollywood and many of our listeners are entertainers, so we’re here to entertain them; we’re not here to be political proselytizers. [laughs] JILLIAN: To add to what John just said, I started out on TV in Canada when I was 22, and I’ve never done anything as hard as talk radio. Because, like John said, radio is a theater of the mind; whereas with TV, you’ve got visual aids in place to help you tell your story. To me, it’s far more compelling and challenging when someone can keep you entertained with absolutely no visuals to illustrate the story they’re telling.
Does a lot of preparation go into what you guys do on your show, or do you just fly off the cuff? JOHN: No. It takes a ton of preparation to come in here and do reckless speculation for three hours. [laughs] I’m joking, but it’s also true. We’re just here to share our views on certain issues of the day. JILLIAN: [laughs] It’s funny, but John is so right. There really isn’t much preparation. A lot of the stuff you hear us talking about on-air can be found on top news sites; we just give our own opinions on those stories. Our show is surrounded by right wing and somewhat conservative talk radio, but within that we have a show that could be considered a little different for this station. I’ll admit that we’re sometimes outrageous, but we have a fun show that keeps people entertained and informed about what’s going on in the world. Like John said, we’re not here to change peoples’ opinions on anything; our purpose is to entertain people while they’re behind the wheel, stuck in traffic. To your credit, it does take talent and guts to go on a conservative station and make serious issues like, race relations and unemployment, funny. How do you guys do that? JILLIAN: John’s really good with satire, which adds a great deal of entertainment to our show. With the stories we cover, our goal is to expose and discuss just how silly and crazy these situations are, and just how asinine some people can be. You can either choose to expose and laugh at it, or you can let it depress you. It’s like John said, we take the job seriously because want to inform people, but we don’t take ourselves too serious. JOHN: For example, if you watch the news all day, you’re going to hear about a missing girl, someone being shot, a drought threatening farmers, or something political in nature. If you take those things too seriously, you’ll want to I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
put a gun in your mouth (figuratively speaking) at the end of the day. So, you’ve got to laugh about some of this stuff because if you don’t, you’ll be depressed by it. If someone says there’s nothing funny about this or that issue, I would disagree with them because, there’s comedy in everything. People use comedy to cope with pain, to explain the outrageous, and just get along in life. You mentioned race relations. Bill Cosby had the number one sitcom in the 1980’s and it was a show about an upper-middle class, black family living in New York City. America embraced that as the gold standard for sitcoms because the show was funny. Other racial groups didn’t care that this family was AfricanAmerican; all that mattered was that it was funny and relatable. Jerry Seinfeld touched on comedy being a meritocracy in his COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE. He was so right because, with comedy you either make me laugh or you don’t. The same chemical that makes people laugh is the same thing that makes people afraid. To me, it’s much more fun to make people laugh than to make them afraid of something. Yes, it is a gift to be able to do that, but I love what I do.
Would you advise an aspiring radio personality to go to school, do an internship; where should they start if they want to do what you guys do for a living? JOHN: On the radio side of things, it’s changed dramatically. It used to be that you’d start out in a smaller market like Bakersfield (California), and then you worked your way into a bigger market. But with syndication, infomercials on the weekends, and a whole host of other things, there’s no longer a local morning or overnight show in Bakersfield for you to start out on. Nowadays, it’s Ryan Seacrest or Glen Baker on syndication; so, a lot of people today have to start out on the internet because that’s really what small markets used to be. You just need to do it to get good at it because, there is no talk radio school for you to get a degree in this. Everybody comes into talk radio from different places. For example, at KABC, I was a producer, Jillian came from television, Doug McIntyre was a comedy writer, Larry Elder was a lawyer, and Bryan Suits worked on Kevin & Bean. So, there’s no one way to do it; everybody blazes their own trail in this. JILLIAN: With me, I got my degree in Journalism in Canada before I got my foot in the door in television. A friend of mine told me
about an opening for a meteorologist, but I wasn’t a meteorologist. Despite that, they were willing to put me through a six week program to learn how to talk about weather patterns and basic meteorology. Then from there, I put a tape together and sent it to Miami and got a job down there. But, like John said, the industry is different now. I used to get approached by girls all of the time about how to break into television, and my response would be, “Go to school and get a degree in Journalism, first. Then, be willing to move to those smaller markets to start out. Be willing to get coffee in the morning at 3am for the anchor people. Be willing to pay your dues.” Nowadays, there are ways to get onto morning TV shows that you wouldn’t believe. Morning shows are trying to compete with reality television, and this isn’t new. 15 years ago, when I would go on vacation, they would bring in a reality TV star or some other celebrity to fill-in. They didn’t want the journalists anymore. Instead, they were dying to have a Kardashian on. This is LA so, it could be different in other markets. But, it is a different world out there now so, there’s really no one particular way to go about having a career in television or radio these days. iae
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
Available on Amazon.com
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr â€˜14
From making music w/Elton John & Kanye West, to making movies and authoring books, BRIAN RUSSELL, has made his mark in showbiz BY SHAINE FREEMAN | PHOTO: DEAN KEEFER
You have over 30 years in the music and film industries; and your wife is one of the original CHARLIE’S ANGELS! How does someone maintain such a long and successful career in show business? BRIAN: I have been really blessed with so many opportunities to do so many things in my life. Whether it was writing music and having hit records with people, or being in a huge rock band with Elton John. I have so many things that went right for me. I actually met my wife (Cheryl Ladd) doing music; I wrote her first hit record. When we finally got married I got into producing television and film, and I really liked all of that but, that writing (music) thing kept gnawing at me. I kept writing and eventually started developing stories for the screen. In the 80’s, Cheryl and I went to the south of France during a film festival and I saw (Cheryl) talking to Grace Kelly and thought, “Oh, that’s a natural.” So, I came home and put together THE GRACE KELLY STORY. I’ve always been blessed on the creative end, and songs just come to me. Some days I’ll sit down and nothing happens, then other days the fingers work. I’ve written Country music, and have even had hit records with Kanye West. No kidding! [laughs] Let’s talk about your new book, SCRIBE. How did that come about? BRIAN: I put the music and film to the side for a minute and said to myself, “What’s the one thing I haven’t done yet?” I had reached a point in my life where I didn’t need to go out and earn rent money, so I decided I was going to write a book. SCRIBE is set in Scotland, where I was born and raised. The book is about a Hollywood film director named John, and his beautiful movie star wife, Valerie. While he never made the “Alist” (as a director), his wife has so, they decide www.iaemagazine.com
to get out of Hollywood and escape the paparazzi for a while. They move to Scotland for a summer and rent this incredible lake house located in a valley where nobody knows them. While in Scotland, John decides to write this novel he’s always wanted to do. As he begins the story a mysterious power comes over him and he loses control of what he’s writing. John finds that he’s writing an ancient story, and some really strange things start to happen in the process. Without giving away too much; the couple doesn’t realize that they were lured to this house. 25 years prior to their arrival, a murder happened and now the killer is trying to recreate some things so he chooses them to be the residents of the house. The book that John is writing starts to become paralleled, and people appear with names that resemble those of people he’s written about before. John also falls in love with a girl he’s written about before, but it’s not in a way that one would expect. SCRIBE is a suspense novel that’s romantic enough for women, but brutal enough for guys so, everyone’s invited. [laughs] The book is available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle for 6 months, and then everywhere after that. You also have a children’s book titled, “The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship.” That’s a big deviation from your usual work. [laughs] BRIAN: It is. [laughs] But, isn’t change great? Maybe it’s because I moved a lot as a kid? My parents moved our family to North America when I was a teenager; we actually moved to New Brunswick, Canada. I’ve always been a big believer in change because it keeps the blood flowing and the heart beating. Cheryl and I came up with this idea for a children’s book; something that was both educational and interesting. The book is about this little ship in a harbor and it’s called, “The Adventures of Little Net-
tie Windship”. It’s a story about good citizenship, and it became the first of a series that we are working on completing. For ‘Little Nettie’ we managed to secure the talents of our friend, Ezra Tucker, who is a very famous and world renowned wildlife painter. Ezra agreed that we should pitch our two families together so, Ezra and his wife, Nancy Krause, along with Cheryl and me all came together and made it a collaborative effort. The result was a really attractive little book that worked very well for us. But, as I mentioned, it’s the first in a whole series of children’s books that will focus mostly on “ships”; like sportsmanship, friendship, and a few more. We’ll close with abandon-ship. [laughs] I think “abandon ship” would be a great one for those of us who work in show business. Especially when it comes to dealing with some of the people in entertainment. [laughs] BRIAN: You’ve got that right! It’s a crazy business, and those of us who choose to be in it are all, to varying degrees, a little crazy. [laughs] I think it takes a certain level of insanity to not abandon ship in show business. [laughs] So true! One last thing; is it true that you design luxury homes? BRIAN: I’m a right brain kind of guy; and like I said before, I like change ultimately so, Cheryl and I ultimately moved out of Los Angeles. One night I sat down and drew a house. While I have been involved in building sets, I never drew a house before that night. The next morning I handed it to Cheryl and she asked where it came from, and I said, “I guess God sent it to me.” Her response was, “I love this house!” We built the house and lived in it for 23 years. It was the longest I’ve ever lived in a house. Now, we’re building a home in Texas and I couldn’t be happier. iae I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
Internationally ACCLAIMED By Shaine Freeman | Photos Naomi Solomon (Article) & David Zimmond (Cover)
MOSHAV American/Israeli Rock Duo
t’s not easy to earn a living in music these days, but Yehuda Soloman (vocals/percussion) and Duvid Swirsky (vocals/guitar) are proof that it is possible. After establishing a strong fanbase who was willing to pay for the MOSHAV experience, the duo was able to launch a successful worldwide music career.
How did Moshav form; and what does the name mean? YEHUDA: The name, Moshav, is Hebrew for the English word, village. We grew up on Moshav Mevo Modiin, which is a small American-hippie kind of village in Israel. Our parents moved there from the (U.S.) back in the early 1970’s, and it was a very musical and agriculturally focused place. Duvid and I grew up listening to the records that our parents brought with them when they moved to Israel. When we became teenagers, we got together and started www.iaemagazine.com
writing our own music, and that’s (in a nutshell) how it all got started. Music both influences and is influenced by the culture around it. Taking that into consideration along with the fact that Israel and USA are totally different, culturally; did you guys ever feel any sense of needing to create music that Americans could relate to? DUVID: As, Yehuda said, we grew up in this sort of isolated hippie commune. So, a lot of us grew up without TV’s and just a little bit of
radio. All we had was the music our parents brought with them from the states on vinyl. As a result, we wound up being influenced by folk and blues music, and American artists like Bob Dylan and Neil Young. On top of that, we were affected by our surroundings and the music in Israel. Every day we’d hear the call to prayer come over the hill from our village five times each day. So, all of those things really played a big role in shaping Moshav’s unique blend of music. I don’t think we ever felt the need to make our music relatable to any one group of people. There was no formula. I think that’s why we connected so well with students from the U.S. and Canada who were coming to Israel to study abroad for a year. That’s really interesting because, in the U.S., most artists feel pressure to fit in with a genre I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
or the latest sound. Would you attribute your freedom from that kind of pressure to the village environment you grew up in? YEHUDA: Definitely, yes! Like Duvid was saying; we didn’t really have TV’s or much radio so, we were not influenced by the heavily commercialized pop culture. Fortunately for us, the (60’s and 70’s) music we grew up on was much more creative. Not to knock anything, because there are some good things coming out in today’s music too. I just feel like there was so much more creative freedom on those vinyl records our parents had. As well as on the Israeli and Jewish music we were influenced by. So, I definitely think that our upbringing in Israel kept us from feeling any pressure to fit into anything. Didn’t a group of students from the states discover you guys in Israel and that’s how Moshav wound up coming to the U.S. initially? DUVID: Yes. We were playing a lot of shows in Israel, especially in Jerusalem, and we connected with these students who liked our music and really had fun at our shows. We were all about the same age and so, we created this fun sort of scene around the whole thing. After the students were done with their year of studies in Israel, they wanted to bring us to their campuses and cities to try and recreate that scene in the states. As a result, a couple of students put together our first U.S. tour called, “The Wake Up Tour”. So we came to the states, got in a van, got some funding, and went from city to city playing shows. We’d just arrive, set up and play a show. It was amazing! Talk about organic growth! You guys are proof that great music and an equally great show leads to true fan support. So, when you moved to Los Angeles, was it a major culture shock? [laughs] YEHUDA: It was definitely a culture shock. [laughs] The first album that we put out that really expressed that was a project called, “Misplaced”. We felt so out of place and overwhelmed by it all. Everything was new to us and, while it was exciting, it was scary at the same time. We did miss (Israel) a lot, but we came to Los Angeles with a dream to take our music to the next level and try to reach a larger audience. We love the new video you guys recently released for your song “World on Fire” ft. Matisyahu! We’ve watched it over and over since getting our hands on it. DUVID: Awseome! So, you’re the reason we got so many hits on YouTube. [laughs] YEHUDA: You singlehandedly pushed up our views and made it go viral. [laughs] Yep, that was me! [laughs] The song is incredible though. Talk a little about putting this song together with Matisyahu, and the other stuff you guys have coming out. DUVID: Like Yehuda was saying; we started out by raising our own funding and getting help from our fans to make records and do some touring. Our last record, which we’re really excited about, is full of Middle Eastern grooves and is really a fun record to play live. But, we’ve been so blessed to have connections with great people like Matisyahu who is a Reggae musician and is pretty popular. He came by the house one day and listened to the track. He liked it and laid some stuff down; and that’s sort of the way “World on Fire” came together. We’ve just been so blessed to have great fans, opportunities to do what we love and make a good living for ourselves from it. iae
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
GRAMMY Nominated ®
IF WE’RE HONEST
By Shaine Freeman | Photos Eli McFadden
“If God has you somewhere right now, and it’s not where you want to be, then there’s a reason for it... It’s so easy to get caught up in (album) sells and charting, but you don’t really know what you’re asking for. [laughs]”
n artist’s success should not be measured by how many albums they sell or awards they win, but rather by how they impact their audience. You’re a successful artist when your songs have changed someone’s life for the better, and that’s what Francesca’s music has done for thousands of people.
When you first started out did you ever see yourself receiving GRAMMY nods, Dove Awards, and all these chart topping songs? FRANCESCA: No. All of this stuff has been amazing and definitely a surprise. A lot of folks may not understand that you don’t have to sell yourself short to create great songs and you’ve done a great job of exemplifying that. What inspires you to write such great material?
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
FRANCESCA: Aww...thanks! I’m inspired by every day life. I try to write music that is uplifting and encouraging to people. I definitely don’t want to write things that will have a negative impact on others. My songs are autobiographical so, I write from my own life experiences and just hope that I’m encouraging people in the process. You’re coming up on the release of your third studio album, “If We’re Honest”, which is set
to hit stores on April 22nd. What is the overall message you want to convey with this album? FRANCESCA: There’s a song on the album called, “If We’re Honest,” that is definitely my favorite song on the album. The song is talking about how important it is to be honest and transparent with each other and not to put up these facades to pretend that everything is okay. It’s a really personal song for me, and I think it’s a great title for the album because, I want my music to be real and honest. I think this album is the most personal one I’ve had yet. I know that it can be somewhat of a challenge to balance a family and your career. How do you unplug after doing 120+ tour dates each year? FRANCESCA: Fortunately, we don’t do that many (tour dates) anymore; 100 dates is our www.iaemagazine.com
limit now. It is tough, and we travel with our young kids. We don’t take enough vacations, and this year we’re going to try and change that. We spend time at home and try to live normal lives when we’re off the road; and we usually do a pretty good job of unplugging as much as we can when we’re home. What advice could you give to aspiring artists? When I speak to most artists they want to get a record deal, have a song on the charts, sell a lot of records, and sell out tour dates; but I very rarely hear about the not-so-famous aspects of it, like giving back and doing outreach/charity work. What advice can you give them on knowing the difference between the business of music and the responsibility of giving back? FRANCESCA: I think it comes down to your heart. From a Christian music perspective, if it’s just about selfish ambition and success, I would say, “stay as far away from the music business as you can!” It’s easy to get too focused on the wrong things, even when your heart is in the right place. So, if you’re starting out with your
heart in the wrong place, then music is probably not where you need to be. When girls who come to my concerts ask me, “What should I do to become you?” I tell them, “First of all, don’t try to become me.” [laughs] But, everyone’s story is different, and their path to getting there happens differently from other people. So, my advice is to really search your heart and bloom where you’re planted. If God has you somewhere right now, and it’s not where you want to be, then there’s a reason for it. Very few people are overnight successes. It took me years to get to where I am today. It took a lot of sacrifice and hours of work, practice, and prayer. I kept asking God, “Is this what you want me to do? Is this where you want me to go?” I started taking every opportunity to God before I said yes to it. It’s so easy to get caught up in (album) sells and charting, but you don’t really know what you’re asking for. [laughs] I would say, work on your craft and get as much practice under your belt as you can, and just allow God to open the doors that He wants to open. Don’t kick them
down yourself because, it won’t lead to anywhere good in the long term. We’ve had tons of interviews with other recording artists and the difference between the veteran artists like you, versus those who are newly signed, or independent, is that the experienced artists recognize the warning signs. FRANCESCA: It looks super cool, glamorous, and fun, but it’s a hard life. You have to ask yourself, “Is this the life that God is calling me to?” I get asked all of the time, “Where are the women in Christian music?” I think the tide is turning and more women are coming onto the scene but, it’s such a hard life. Especially for women who want to have kids and a family, or any sort of normal life. As a woman on the road; it’s not easy at all. I wouldn’t be able to do it if my husband and kids couldn’t travel with me. It’s a very unique life and you have to be called to it in order to do it well; and to do it for the right reasons. iae
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
INDIE MUSIC SCENE
You Likely Missed By Senseitional
Artist: Blue Lunch Genre: Blues/Rock Album: Special 30th Anniversary Label: Rip Cat Records Release Date: 02/18/14 Website: www.ripcatrecords.com
Artist: John Lyons Genre: Blues/Rock Album: Sing Me Another Song Label: Independent Release Date: 11/15/13 Website: www.johnlyonsband.com
SECONDHAND HABIT FEATURED REVIEW
Decibals Genre: Modern Rock / Alternative Album: ANAPHYLACTIC ROCK Location: Victoria, BC, Canada VIMA Awards nominated band, Secondhand Habit, comes back to us with their latest release, Anaphylactic Rock; a great follow up to their self-titled release (see that review). This band has grown tremendously since we last heard from them, and I was very happy to see that they’ve put in some serious work to hone that cohesiveness that every rock band needs in order to really be great. I could definitely see these guys performing at top music festivals. Jon Yellowlees from the band recently appeared on I Am Entertainment The Podcast to talk about this new release.
Artist: Tweed Funk Genre: Blues Album: First Name Lucky Awards: 2013 WAMI Winner Release Date: 03/31/14 Website: www.tweedfunk.com
Anaphylactic Rock is a 4 song EP that shows off Secondhand Habit’s musical chops and overall sound. Of the five tracks comprising this release, my favorite track (which was also played on ‘The Podcast’) is “Love Letter”. As a fan of reggae/Ska music, I really appreciated Secondhand’s willingness to step outside “the box” and test the boundaries of their creativity. A strong track, musically, this one has a great groove to it and shares a vintage soundscape that properly conveys the emotion in the song. I’ve heard a ton of great songs that got killed by the wrong mix, and this ain’t one of them. Great tune! Overall, Anaphylactic Rock is a body of work that Secondhand Habit should be very proud of producing. Of the four tracks, I liked 3 of them, which means this is an above average project. If you’re looking for a great indie rock band and some fresh new sounds to add to your playlist, pick up “Anaphylactic Rock” by Secondhand Habit.
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
MUSIC & FOOD
Can’t Go Wrong With Great Pizza & Good Music
By Candy Freeman
If you live in, or will be visiting, Atlanta and you want a great slice of pizza, make sure you check out one of my favorite spots to eat - Mellow Mushroom Pizza. Founded in 1974 in Atlanta, this landmark eatery has some of the coolest artsy deco, and the prices are just as good as the pizza. One of the things I like the most about Mellow Mushroom is that their Kennesaw store is located directly across from a Division I, NCAA university (Kennesaw State University), and supports live music. This is great venue for indie music artists to showcase their music to a large college audience, and eat some of the best food ATL has
to offer. Mellow Mushroom is a very family friendly restaurant that has a menu to accommodate just about any diet. New to the menu is, The Skinny Shroom, section that offers options with 600 calories or less. Got a gluten allergy? Don’t worry, they have something for you too. With such great food and customer service, and multiple locations around the metro-Atlanta area (see below), there’s really no reason for you not to visit Mellow Mushroom. So, the next time you’re playing a show in Atlanta, make sure you stop by and grab yourself some pizza; and don’t forget to tell them I Am Entertainment Magazine sent you. www.mellowmushroom.com
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
By Candy Freeman
ALL ROADS LEAD TO FUN IN THE SUN IN FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
een thinking about getting away from the “industry” for a few days, but haven’t quite figured out where you’d like to go? Showbusiness is a tough place to earn a living and it’s always good to take a break from the ups and downs of it all. You know? Go someplace warm where you can soak up the sun on a nice beach far away from casting calls and tour buses. My recommendation is, visit Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Even in February, it was amazing!
Where To Stay: Look, not everybody in showbusiness makes $1 million+, so if you’re look-
ing for a great hotel that won’t force you to take those not-so-great paying gigs when you get back home, consider Crowne Plaza, Ft. Lauderdale Airport/Cruise. It’s like 6 minutes away from the Ft. Lauderdale Beach, and a 25 minute drive to Miami Beach. This is a fairly new hotel, so it’s very modern and comfortable. Another thing I liked about the hotel was that they give you a complimentary drink from the hotel’s, KiKi Restaurant. I’ve stayed in some 5-star hotels that weren’t this nice. Each room offers free WiFi, 42 inch HDTV, microwave, refrigerator, and very comfy beds. There’s also a swimming pool, fitness center and patio. Visit www.ihg.com to book your stay.
Mai-Kai Restaurant & Polynesian Show
Experience a little taste of the Polynesian Islands when you visit Mai-Kai Restaurant. The food is excellent and the live show is very entertaining. The dimly lit dining area sets the mood for romance, but can also be a great place to dine with the whole family. Mai-Kai’s founders pride themselves on offering luxury and top notch customer service, which explains the maitre d’ greeting visitors as they enter the restaurant and the bathroom attendants who offer you fresh hand towels before you return to your table. Mai-Kai is officially one of my favorite places to dine, and definitely a must visit on my next trip to Ft. Lauderdale. Set your reservations at www.maikai.com
WHILE YOU’RE IN FT. LAUDERDALE, GRAB A SMOOTHIE. WE DID! Tropical Smoothie Cafe Slogan: Eat better, feel better Location: 1851 Cordova Rd. Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 tropicalsmoothie.com
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
Jamba Juice Slogan: Blend in the Good Location: 648 N. Federal Hwy. Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304 jambajuice.com
Smoothie King Slogan: Be Good to Yourself Location: 1135 E. Sunrise Blvd. Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304 smoothieking.com www.iaemagazine.com
(L-R) Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson, Dr. Arica Johnson, Donella Thorpe
(L-R) Gail McKenna, Gayle Benson, Dr. Warren McKenna
(L-R) Shaquille O’Neal, Ephraim Salaam, Kristina Ratliff, Lucille O’Neal
Pictured: Kristina Ratliff (President of Behind The Bench)
Pictured: Shannon and David Wesley
PHOTOS COURTESY OF BEHIND THE BENCH
Event: Touching A Life Luncheon When: NBA All-Star Weekend 2014 (February 15, 2014) Location: Harah’s Casino, New Orleans, Louisiana Honored Guests: Tom & Gayle Benson (Owners of New Orleans Pelicans & Saints), Shaquille & Lucille (mother) O’Neal, and Calvin “Megatron” Johnson & Dr. Arica Johnson (mother) Hosted By: NBA Wives Association/Behind The Bench Organization Cause: Silent auction to raise money for multiple charities, including Young Audiences of Louisiana I Am Entertainment® had the honor of being the magazine sponsor for this amazing All-Star Weekend event, and the pleasure of featuring several of the amazing women from the Behind The Bench organization in our JAN/FEB issue. Special thanks to Shannon Wesley, Dee Dee Abdur-Rahim, Michelle Mashburn, Tomi Rose, Dr. Deborah Williams, and Clarenda McGrady for sharing your integrity and individual journeys with us. www.behindthebench.net (L-R) Nikkollette Williams, Sandra Evans Short, Shannon Wesley
Pictured: The women of ‘Behind the Bench’ visiting the ‘Young Audiences of Louisiana’
Pictured: Dr. Deborah Williams, Founder of Behind the Bench
(L-R) Anita Demps, Rickie Nutik, Beverly Norwood Matheney, Donella Thorpe
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
Salon Style Hair Before Any Live Performance By Candy Freeman
If you are in the entertainment business, you are always looking for ways to style your hair in a timely manner without burning your hair out. Actresses go on auditions all the time and they’re always freaking out what to do with their hair because they are not always being judged by their talent alone. Singers, on the other hand, have to bring a stylist with them on the road so that their hair looks great during their performances, while dancers must maintain a bun or hair that doesn’t get in their face while they’re performing. It is for these reasons that I’m writing this review. My Dilemma A perfect example of what I mean in the previous paragraph is that my 6-year-old daughter is a dancer, and the dance school she attends requires each girl to wear her hair in a bun. Well, my daughter is African-American, so it’s not as easy to get a bun with curlier hair, as opposed to the Caucasian or Asian girls in her class who have straighter hair. So, for the first few months that she was in this class, I had a hard time keeping her hair in that bun without using a thousand hairpins and spending 4 to 5 days preparing her hair for the bun; ridiculous, right?
The Results As you can see by the photos, the Perfecter Fusion Styler definitely worked for me. This actually took me about 2 hours, as opposed to my previously mentioned number of days to get my daughter’s hair bun ready. Below I have listed some pros and cons based on my experience with this product. But, before we get into that, I’d like to preface it with the fact that the “Pros” far outweighed the “Cons” with the Perfecter Fusion Styler. PROS -You do not have to go to the salon to get salon results (I use it on my hair 2x/week since my work outs cause me to sweat out my last salon treatment. So, this helped me save money on multiple trips to the salon. - You won’t burn yourself with the Ion Ceramic Barrel. This is a major plus because all too often with a regular curling iron you risk burning your face or hand. - The temperate settings for each hair type are very handy. - Won’t burn or break your hair like flat and curling irons do. (No more burnt hair smell.) - If you have curly or coarse hair, you won’t need to get a perm to have softer hair.
CONS The advertised, “Salon Results in Just 3 minutes,” didn’t quite happen for me. To do my daughters entire head, it took roughly 2 hours. So, it’s more a mix of pro and con. If you’re not going for the 1990’s look, it will make your hair very puffy (volume) if you don’t take your time while using it. COST: 3 Easy Payments of $33.33 = $99.99 Includes: Thermal Travel Case, Detangle Brush, 3 Styling and a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE
12 YEARS A SLAVE
Production Budget $20 Million Worldwide Gross $89.9 Million
Rated ‘R’ Genre: Drama Runtime: 2hrs 13min DVD Release Date: March 4, 2014 Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Quvenzhane Wallis, Kelsey Scott
Saving Mr. Banks (Buena Vista)
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Drama Runtime: 2hr 00min Gross: $112.4M (World) Releasing: March 18 Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman
Delivery Man (Dreamworks/Buena Vista)
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Comedy Runtime: 1hr 45min Gross: $51.2M (Worldwide) Releasing: March 25th Cast: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt, Cobie Smulders, Andrzej Blumenfeld, Simon Delaney, Bobby Moynihan, Dave Patten
Black Nativity (Fox Searchlight)
Hudson, Grace Gibson, Nas, Luke James
I Am Entertainment | Mar-Apr ‘14
Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Musical Runtime: 1hr 32min Gross: $7.5M (World) Releasing: April 15 Cast: Jacob Latimore, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer
Ride Along (Universal)
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Comedy Runtime: 1hr 40min Gross: $143.9M Releasing: April 15th Cast: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Laurence Fishburne, Bryan Callen
Hunger Games 2: Catching Fire (Lionsgate) Frozen (Disney/Buena Vista)
Rated ‘PG’ Genre: Animation Runtime: 1hr 48min Gross: $611.5M (Worldwide) Releasing: March 18th Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Action/Adventure Runtime: 2hr 26min Gross: $439.9M (Worldwide) Releasing: March 7th Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright www.iaemagazine.com
DVD Release Source: www.dvdreleases.org, Box Office Gross Numbers: www.boxofficemojo.com, Images are property their respective owners.
12 YEARS A SLAVE (Fox Searchlight)
i Am Entertainment
BE CREATIVE: WRITE, PRODUCE, PERFORM, DESIGN, EDIT When you’re sipping your coffee and working on your next big idea, give some thought to what you’re going to do with it when you finish it.
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