MAR/APR 2013 Vol. 4, Iss. 21
FILM & TV
KIDS & TEENS
9 | Barry Floyd
23 | Steve Corrao
33 | Aimee Carrero
THE WRESTLING CHAMPION takes on a new challenger called Country music. The newly signed eOne recording artist steps onto a whole new stage to show the world that she’s the ultimate entertainer.
FROM BET’S HIT TV SERIES, THE GAME, tells us how he went from behind the scense to on your TV screen, and what’s to come on Season 6 of the show.
GREAT MASTERING is critical to the sound of any commercial album release and this Nashville engineer get it right the first time.
CO-STAR on LEVEL UP, talks about the show, her journey to becoming a professional actor and gives some great advice for young girls looking to pursue a career in acting.
Mickie James talks wrestling and music
Ksenia Solo goes undercover on ‘Lost Girl’
11 | Ksenia Solo
Boyd Tinsley talks touring and movies
25 | Josh Bailey
SVP OF A&R, WORD MUSIC THE GEMINI AWARD WINNER gives some insight on how he takes us through her journey got started and what A&R is all 13 | Isaiah Washington from the top of Canada’s film/TV about in today’s music biz. industry to success in the comVETERAN ACTOR/PRODUCER, petitive world of Hollywood. AUTHOR, AND PHILANTRHO26 | Niki Sherrod PIST is showing us all what a VP OF MUSIC, WARNER BROS true champion looks like. In this 16 | Clé Bennet FILMS shares how she finds the article we take a look at Isaiah’s THE GEMINI AWARD WINNER right songs for the right movie past, present, and future. gives us the scoop on how he scenes; and what recording artpaid his dues and earned re- ists need to know about pitchspect in show business. ing their songs for placement in films.
THE BUSINESS 5 | Joel Manby
CEO OF HERSCHEND FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT talks about his experience on the hit reality TV show, Undercover Boss, and what he learned from his employees at the major theme parks he manages.
7 | Michael Grieco KEEPING CELEBS OUT OF JAIL, out of the tabloids, and in their fans’ good graces is what this entertainment attorney does best.
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
17 | Joseph Julian Soria
Aimee and Jessie fight evil on ‘Level Up’
34 | Jessie T. Usher & CO-STAR on LEVEL UP, shares how he made it in Hollywood and gives some pretty cool insight into the whole process he went through to book the role of Lyle on the show.
35 | Tristan Pasterick STARS ON THE ‘INCREDIBLE CREW’, Nick Cannon’s hit new sketch comedy show on Cartoon Network that takes funny to a whole new level.
THE ARMY WIVES ACTOR shares his love for the business 27 | NETFREQ TV of acting and offers some great As the 2013 music festival and advice in the process. touring season gets underway, Network Frequency takes us on a journey into the world of live music and concert broadcasting 4 | Sex TV online.
Entertainment whistle-blower, Leslie White, addresses the increased use of misogynistic profanity and sexual innuendo in film, TV, and commercials today, and offers some advice to those who are creating the content.
29 | Boyd Tinsley THE DAVE MATTHEWS BAND violinist talks about his career in music and gives a little insight into his new indie film project. www.iaemagazine.com
i am Entertainent
The Entertainer’s Handbook
From Artist To Magazine Editor!
“Your dream has no age limit. Keep it alive!” - C. Freeman
PUBLISHER: NFluential Holdings LLC CEO & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Shaine Freeman email@example.com
You never know where you’ll end up in this business...
o back to the day when you realized what you wanted to do for the rest of your life. Maybe you were inspired to become an actor because of a movie you saw? Maybe it was the music and/or lyrics of your favorite artist that resonated with you, sparking your desire to sing? Or, maybe it was a combination of things and you can’t name just one situation or form of entertainment that compelled you? Whatever it was that led you to pursue your passion for the arts is something you should never forget because, it’s what will keep you going when times get rough on your journey. I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri (not Kansas), the birthplace of Mickey Mouse; a city well known for its rich history in the arts and amazing Bar-B-Q. Growing up in a family filled with talented entertainers, artists, entrepreneurs, and civil rights activists played a major role in my decision to go into entertainment. At the age of 4, I vividly remember watching ballet on public television and explaining the story behind the dance to my mother. I was enthralled and wouldn’t move until the program was over. My parents recognized my passion and enrolled me into the Kansas City Ballet, where I learned a great deal about the work ethic it takes to be successful. I went on to attend several wonderful performing arts magnet schools throughout my elementary and high school years, dabbling in theater but falling in love with in music; and by my 5th grade year, I had formed a singing group. Thanks to the work ethic training I had received in my time with the KC Ballet, I was able to recognize that none of my group members were as passionate about signing as I was, so I began writing and eventually recording my first song when I was 12. My tween years were a blur. By the time I was 14, I was doing choreography for an international major label boy band, and I had offers to go on tour as a background dancer for another Billboard topping male singing group. It wasn’t long before a prominent music manager came knocking. While my mother passed on the manager’s offer, I was still hopeful and things seemed to be falling into place. Before I was 18, I had major record label A&R’s interested in me and I received a publishing deal offer with one of the “Big Four”. Oddly, though, one by one my opportunities began to vanish. At the time, I really didn’t understand the business of entertainment and I didn’t have a plan. Like so many people, what I did have were dreams, aspirations and talent, and all those things don’t get you far unless you have both a plan and an education about how the entertainment business works. At that point I had to take an honest look at my life and ask myself, “What am I here for? What is my purpose?” Often times, what we think we’re destined to do winds up not being what we were created to do. While I thought I was supposed to be a major label recording artist, touring the world; I found my calling as a songwriter, which led to many other great opportunities that prepared me to become the Editor of I Am Entertainment Magazine. My hope is that, by sharing my journey, I’m helping you investigate what your purpose is in life, and motivate you to get educated about the business. What good is all the great content we’re making available if our readers can’t apply what they learn and see it actually work? So, be inspired by the interviews and articles we publish; don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Put your plan together and get in the game. Ready, set, go…
CANDY FREEMAN Editor-In-Chief
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Candy Freeman firstname.lastname@example.org RESEARCH & COPY EDITOR: KW Jackson - email@example.com REVIEWS EDITOR: Senseitional firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Candy Freeman, Michael Van Dyck, Leslie White, Shaine Freeman, Senseitional CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Please see interviews/articles ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: email@example.com Print Subscriptions (US): $15 for 1 year - $25 for 2 years I Am Entertainment Magazine PO Box 263 Kennesaw, GA 30152 Tel: 818-813-9365 Article Submissions & General Info: www.iaemagazine.com/contact I Am Entertainment (IAE) Magazine is published bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September, and November by NFluential Holdings, LLC (NFH). The opinions expressed by contributors are just that - opinions. While we have made extensive efforts to ensure that the content herein has been obtained through reliable sources, NFH is not liable for any errors or omissions, typographical errors, or misprints. NFH 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 NFH 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 2013. All issues of I Am Entertainment Magazine are wholly the property of NFH and shall not be printed, copied, duplicated, or distributed without expressed written consent from the publisher. I Am Entertainment is a trademark of NFH. ISSN 2161-9093 (print) ISSN 2161-3109 (digital)
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i am Entertainent
How Faith & Reality TV Helped Entertainment Exec, JOEL MANBY
eality TV isn’t always about nonsensical pop culture cliché’s; at least it wasn’t for Herschend Family Entertainment’s CEO, Joel Manby. After appearing on the hit CBS show, Undercover Boss, Manby exemplified the culture of servant leadership. The experience was a catalyst that led Joel to write and publish his book, Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles For Effective Leaders. In this exclusive interview, Joel Manby gives us a peek into the mind of an entertainment executive who loves to serve others, while leading them to success. IAE: Please tell us where you’re from and how you became the CEO of Herschend Entertainment? JM: I’m from Battle Creek, Michigan, and grew up very poor. Through scholarships, I was able to get my bachelors degree from Albion College and my MBA from Harvard. By the time I was 36, I was living in Atlanta and working as the CEO of SAAB North America. While I was in the auto industry, I was asked to be on the board of Herschend Family Entertainment. I have been a part of Herschend for 14 years; 10 of which have been spent in the position of CEO. How I went from the auto industry to where I am now was definitely a calling. Although I had attended Harvard and spent 20 years in the auto industry, no one ever really taught me the leadership principle of loving others, just as Christ called us to love. Inside, I always felt that I wanted to live out my faith in the work place and just be
PHOTO COURTESY OF HERSCHEND ENTERTAINMENT
the same person at home, work, and church. I wanted to care about people and still be a profitable and successful leader, but I never saw anyone do it. Finally, through a set of very difficult circumstances, God moved me to Herschend and the owners taught me that love is the strongest leadership principle. Thanks to CBS’ show, Undercover Boss, I was able to show the rest of America what leading through love looks like. It was the overwhelming response from that show that led me to write the book, Love Works.
go on the show. The first reason was that we started an internal foundation called, Share It Forward. One of the 7 words of Love Works is “unselfish,” so we start with the employees’ unselfishness by having them give to the foundation first, and then the company matches it. Then we use that money to help our employees in need. At the time we were only helping about 30 families a year. So, after seeing one pre-cut episode of Undercover Boss about Waste Management, I thought the show might be a way to
people who only care about themselves. I don’t want people to mistake the kind of love I’m talking about. In American culture we think of “eros” love, which has to do with emotion; but, what I’m talking about in my book is “agape” love...the verb. It’s a behavior, not an emotion. It doesn’t matter how you feel about someone, it’s about how you treat them. You can be frustrated with, or dislike someone, but still treat them under the 7 words of love described in the book. iae
“I wanted to care about people and still be a profitable and successful leader...” IAE: What attractions does Herschend Family Entertainment have under its umbrella? JM: We have 26 attractions in 10 states. We are the largest privately held theme entertainment company in the United States, and the 9th largest in the world. While most people may not have heard of Herschend, we manage some properities that people are familiar with. We partnered with Dolly Parton on her theme park, Dollywood, and a water park called Dollywood’s Splash Country in East Tennessee. We also have a chain of dinner theaters called Dixie Stampede and Pirates Voyage. We own Adventure Aquarium and Newport Aquarium, which are in 2 different markets, and we have a tour business called, Ride the Ducks. We have a conglomeration of different types of businesses, but they are all wholesome family entertainment attractions where you pay a fee to get in. Even though the businesses themselves are different, our common denominator across all of the properties is our culture based on leading with love. That culture was set in place by Jack and Pete Herschend, the founders of the company. At the time of their retirement, HFE only owned 9 properties, but now there are 26. When I came in, there was a need to put a vernacular to the culture that Jack and Pete had established. So, I put the Love Works umbrella on it and defined the 7 words that are expounded on in the book, which are; Patient, Kind, Trusting, Unselfish, Truthful, Forgiving, and Dedicated. IAE: What inspired you to go on CBS and do the ‘Under Cover Boss’ show? JM: There were two things that inspired me to www.iaemagazine.com
internally motivate our employees and get them excited about helping their fellow Herschend colleagues. Once I was on Undercover Boss our foundation exploded, internally, and now we’re helping about 800 families a year. The second reason I went on the show was because of a challenge I received from my accountability group. I had been in this accountability group for almost 30 years, which consists of 3 guys I met while at Harvard. I was not going to do Undercover Boss because I was so nervous that something bad would happen and it might hurt the Herschend name. I had a Friday morning call with my accountability group and they told me I would be crazy if I passed up the opportunity. They told me to quit worrying about the work and how Herschend may look. They said to pray every morning that I would reflect Christ the best I could in all that I did on the show, and be more concerned about the people’s lives that I am dealing with. It was such great advice and I think that’s the main reason that our program was one of the highest rated viewings of Undercover Boss. IAE: Why did you feel the need to write Love Works? JM: First, I’d like to let people know that 100% of the royalties from the book go to our Pay It Forward foundation. I felt good about giving all the proceeds to our foundation to help our employees. One of the main reasons I wrote this book is because there is a lack of love in a majority of the boss-employee relationships today. There are some great companies with ruthless
Target: Whether you’re a C-level executive at a major corporation, or you just have a personal assistant, Love Works is for you. “A must-read for leaders who care,” says Joe Kennedy, CEO & President at Pandora Radio. Focus: Transforming the way leaders lead by helping them discover the seven proven principles of the verb, love (agape). Foundation: Love Works carries a message that transcends corporate “titles” and speaks a language whose foundation is built upon compassion, patience, and integrity. Joel Manby, who appeared on the hit TV show, Undercover Boss, learned that agape love is the key to successfully breaking down barriers that separate managers from their employees. Why Read It: Leaders in the Arts & Entertainment industry are often viewed as very cold and void of compassion toward their subordinates. For example: actors and singers are mistreated by the film and record company executives they work for, so they turn their frustrations toward their assistants. If you want to be the kind of “boss” that everybody wants to work for, Love Works will help you transform your leadership style. Key Quote: “We all need to be held accountable...however, whenever possible a reprimand should be given in private, and it should be given in a way that maintains a person’s dignity.” MAR-APR ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
MICHAEL GRIECO, Esq.
Concierge Criminal Attorney
Words: Shaine Freeman Photo: Gary James Photography www.miamicriminaldefense.com www.iaemagazine.com
Keeping Celebrities Outta Jail
is client list reads like a Who’s Who of entertainment and sports, and for very good reason too; because, Michael Grieco has helped keep some of your favorite celebrities out of jail, and you from knowing about it. Known as one of Miami’s top criminal defense attorneys, Grieco has spent a great deal of time educating stars about the do’s and dont’s when it comes to fame and the law. Here, I spoke with Michael about the business of defending and keeping celebrities out of jail and, out of the hands of tabloid media. IAE: Tell us about where you’re from and how you got into representing celebrities? MG: I’m a New York guy and I spent several years working as a prosecutor before I came to Miami. The celebrity aspect came as a result of a DUI case I handled for Mickey Rourke when he was filming, The Wrestler. The DUI led to a bad booking photo that caught a lot of media attention. Fortunately, we ended up making the case go away, which helped him while he was restarting his career. After that, I started getting calls from entertainment and sports agents, and various people in Hollywood who said they were going to keep me on speed dial, because they liked the way I handled Mickey Rourke’s case. All of this happened pretty organically; I don’t chase cases down. As a result, I found a niche concierge criminal defense practice. Since then, I’ve worked with a half-a-dozen NBA players who got arrested, some you’ve heard about and others you haven’t because, we do a pretty good job of keeping things out of the papers. I currently represent Rick Ross’ protégé, Gunplay, in a pretty high profiled case. IAE: What have you found to be the primary reason celebrities wind up in legal trouble; because the general public feels that celebrities www.iaemagazine.com
believe they’re above the law? MG: I’d say, about 90% of the trouble happens after midnight and, 100% of it involves alcohol. As for them thinking they’re above the law, I don’t necessarily agree with that. There may be a few celebrities who think they are, but most of the ones that I encounter don’t think that way. We’re talking about people who make a lot of money and, they live in a VIP “bubble” surrounded by a bunch of “yes” people who very rarely disagree with them. So, many celebrities don’t think about the consequences of their actions when they’re out partying, which sometimes leads to trouble.
homework and stayed inside when it got late, then I wouldn’t have to worry about getting arrested. I tell people to stay at home and lock their doors, but if you are out at the club and you’ve had one too many drinks, think about the consequences before you go off and smack someone in the head for bumping into your girlfriend. IAE: What’s the most common arrest for pro athletes and entertainers? MG: DUI. I tell them, “If you don’t drive to the club, then you won’t get a DUI.” It’s just as pimp to roll up in a stretch limo, or have a driver for the night. I work with a sports management firm and I tell all the clients, “I don’t care what kind of car you drive or who you are trying to impress. If you pull the Ferrari out, you have to remember that it will attract attention when you pick it up from valet. All it takes is one drink and there’s a high likelihood of you getting arrested. If the police pull you over and smell alcohol on your breath, they are going to jam you up.” So my advice is that they should get a driver or a cab. IAE: Since you’ve been doing this what’s been the toughest part of your job when you take on a new client? MG: Keeping high profile clients and cases from media furor. A lot of these celebrities come with managers, accountants, business managers
“...many celebrities don’t think about the consequences of their actions when they’re out partying, which sometimes leads to trouble.” IAE: Have you ever had a situation where a client’s reputation or persona hurt their trial? MG: Very few of these cases go to trial. For every case that shows up on Court TV, there are thousands of them that get resolved in some other way. Whether a case is dismissed, the charges are reduced, or they take a plea, many are resolved without ever going to trial. IAE: As an attorney, what advice would you give to celebrities on how to stay out of these situations? MG: I have several things I can tell them. One of them is, if you got arrested the likelihood that it’s your fault is very high. One of the things that my dad said when he was dropping me off at college was, if I ever got arrested do not call him. He was making the point that if I did my
and everybody has an opinion. I’ll receive a phone call from the press and respond with “no comment.” Next thing I know, someone from the client’s team has released a public statement, which sometimes hurts the case from the PR end, or with what I’m doing at the prosecutor’s office. Being able to control the media, the client, the client’s other reps, and having them trust that I know what I’m doing can be tough. I need to be the only person dictating public opinion regarding the case; everyone needs to remain quiet. I don’t care what people are saying and all the negative things that are coming out, my client and their team needs to trust what the firm is doing. We have our own internal PR team and we know how to control the dialogue with media; and we need to be the only ones to do that. iae MAR-APR ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
BARRY FLOYD aka Tee Tee from the hit BET TV series
Game On 9
e caught up with Barry and he offered fans some reassurance that The Game is still on.
IAE: Where are you from what got you interested in a film career? BARRY: I’m from Philadelphia (PA). I guess I became interested in film because I went to the movies a lot as a kid. My friends and I would go every weekend to try and meet girls. [laughs] It (the movies) just sparked something inside of me that made me think to myself “I want to do that.”
MLC PR / KATE SZATMARI PHOTGRAPHY
Over the years, BET’s hit series, The Game, has built a cult-like following that has led to record ratings, thanks to the dramatic stories that unfold on the show. But as Season 5 came to a close, fans were hit with the sudden news that some of their favorite cast members would not be returning for Season 6. Similar to how “Two and a Half Men,” fans felt when Charlie Sheen left that show, The Game’s fans have been uncertain about the future of their favorite series, and many are wondering if the show can survive.
“...Tee Tee has officially reached grown man status. He’s wearing a lot of suits this season.” IAE: Many people may not know, but you took a different path into acting, starting out on the production side. In what ways did that help prepare you for your acting career? BARRY: Starting out as a production assistant (PA) and now being an actor makes me realize how much of a team effort the process is. You can’t make a movie without actors but actors can’t do their job without lighting, camera, hair and makeup, etc. It’s a well-oiled machine where every piece is essential. IAE: How did the opportunity to audition for the role of Tee Tee on, The Game, come about? BARRY: When I was a PA on the set of “Girlfriends” (which “The Game” was spun off from) I had to help out with a rehearsal and stand in for an actor who wasn’t there. The casting director saw my performance and asked me if I’d be interested in auditioning for a part on The Game. I’d never acted before and didn’t expect to actually book the part but I took it seriously and now here I am. IAE: What can fans of the show expect on the new season this year? BARRY: They will find that Tee Tee has officially reached grown man status. He’s wearing a lot of suits this season. [laughs] Without giving too much away, Malik is thinking about his life after football and approaches Tee Tee for some business advice. IAE: What advice/encouragement would you like to give to those actors who are struggling to find work right now? BARRY: Don’t give up. In one of my first acting classes, the coach told us that we would audition way more than we would work and he was right. If you have a strong work ethic and a lot of patience you will eventually catch a break. Don’t give up on your dream before it has a chance to come true. iae
A Trip Through TV In The 80’s
Lately, I’ve been feeling nostalgic. Over the past few months, I’ve been logging onto Netflix and watching sitcoms I grew up on from the 80’s. The funny thing is, my kids started watching them with me and now they prefer these shows over the stuff airing on Disney and other channels for kids. Below are some of the shows I’ve been spending time watching, or will likely start watching soon.
The Wonder Years MAR-APR ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
aka Kenzi from the hit SyFy TV series
Lost Girl You may recognize her from the Oscar Winning film, Black Swan, or from her role on the hit SyFy TV series, Lost Girl? That’s right, Gemini Award winning actor, Ksenia Solo, is a seasoned talent whose career started long before she broke into Hollywood.
IAE: What was your first major role as an actor, and how did that come about? KS: I landed my first major role when I was 13. It was the lead character, Zoey Jones, in the edgy teen drama, RenegadePress.Com. I got the role through an unconventional process. Even though my agent tried very hard to get me in, the casting director didn’t think I was right for the part, so I didn’t get to audition for it when the casting process first started. But, four months later my agent learned that the producers still hadn’t found their girl. So he (agent) asked me to put myself on tape and then he convinced the casting director to look at it. To my surprise, a few days later I learned that I had landed the part; no call back, no screen test! Five years later, at our final wrap party, the producers/creators, Virginia Thomson and Rob De Lint, told me how they had looked all over the country (Canada) for the right girl and couldn’t find her. Every other role had already been cast and they were frustrated. So when they saw my tape, both producers said, “This is THE girl! We found her!” That time of my life will always be very dear to me because I basically grew up on the set of this series. I started when I was 13 and wrapped when I was 18.
MLC PR / DAVID LEYES PHOTOGRAPHY
ere we caught up with the Latvia-born Canada-bred actress to discussed her journey from to top of Canada’s film and television industry, to the backlots of Hollywood.
I grew as a person, a young woman, and an actor. I was also blessed to win 2 Gemini Awards in both 2005 and 2006 for Best Female Performance in a Youth Television Series for my role on the show. IAE: How did your background in ballet, and having family working in entertainment, prepare you for show business? KS: Having both my mom and my aunt in this industry is amazing. I have people who I can trust with any and everything, no matter what happens. I consider that a great luxury in my life because, not only do I have the loving support from my family, but I also have full professional support 24/7. Having that helps me overcome all the obstacles and disadvantages of being in show business. Regarding my ballet background, it definitely taught me discipline, structure and survival, which I benefit from every day of my life. IAE: What was your greatest challenge breaking into the LA market?
KS: After 10 successful years in the business in Canada and being the proud winner of 3 Gemini Awards, breaking into the LA market meant starting from scratch. Literally, that was the greatest challenge of all.
ly cool creatures called Fae. They look like humans and live amongst them, but secretly feed off of their emotions and energy.
“After 10 successful years in the business in Canada...breaking into the LA market meant starting from scratch.” IAE: Please tell us a little bit about your character Kenzi on the Syfy series, Lost Girl? KS: Kenzi is a very colorful, magnetic character and is extremely fun to play. She’s a chameleon, going undercover to solve cases with her best friend and succubus, Bo. She oozes girl power and is braver than anyone I have ever known. I admire her strength and loyalty and wish I had a friend like her! Lost Girl is a fantasy-noir series about these real-
IAE: What advice would you give to fellow actors about being persistent and focused? KS: Hard work means everything. If you want something, then get ready to put your time, blood, sweat, and tears into it and never give up, ever. One of my favorite quotes of all time, and I think it applies perfectly here, is ‘When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.’ Henry Ford. iae
What’s Really Going On? miss the days when you didn’t have to watch TV wondering if something overtly sexual would appear. Sure, there has always been “R” and “NC-17” rated content out there, but there was a time when you had to pay for premium channels to access content that wasn’t approved for general audiences. I understand that times do change and we must adapt to those changes but, how far is too far? I’ll admit that, as a child I lived a fairly sheltered life. The worst thing I did as a teen was sneaking and watching R-rated content while my mother worked third shift but, this was at 11pm, not 7(pm). I’m a mom, and today it is virtually impossible to monitor all of the junk on TV that my young boys are exposed to. There should never be a half-dressed woman on any kids network; it’s tacky and doesn’t fit the demographic. Maybe I’m showing my age a bit but, back when it was just the Big 3 television networks, certain kinds of shows were aired at certain times of the day. Instead of the news there were cartoons on when we got out of school. Then, in the early evening, family sitcoms like Whose The Boss, The Cosby Show, and Family Ties would air, and after the kids (me included) were put to bed parents could watch Miami Vice, Hill Street Blues, and Cheers. Where did this format go? What happened to the shows that the entire family could sit and watch together? They started phasing them out when the Big 3 became the Big 4 and began lobbying to have the FCC’s rules skewed in their favor. A perfect example is the Super Bowl. It’s supposed to be a family friendly event, but every year the commercials and halftime shows get more risque. This year, even Taco Bell pushed the envelope by airing a commercial showing senior citizens getting tattoos, doing drugs, and having casual sex. I know it was meant to be funny but, it had nothing to do with food and was not kid friendly. I won’t even talk about Go Daddy’s softcore porn ads, or Beyonce’s half-naked performance (and I like Beyonce). Kids emulate what they see, and when the adults creating the shows on TV bombard them with sexual content we can’t expect them to behave like decent human beings. My advice for TV and film producers is this; if you want to shock us use your creativity for a change and make something tasteful. We’re burnt out on your “sex sells” agenda, kapeesh? - Leslie White
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
IW SAG and NAACP Image Award Winning Actor, Producer, Author, and Human Rights Activist
saiah Washington is an accomplished actor, producer, author and human rights activist who has inspired audiences worldwide with his brilliant on-screen performances. Like so many highly successful celebrities, the 49-year-old has seen his fair share of peaks and valleys, including the firestorms created by celebrity media outlets during the actor’s days on the hit TV series Grey’s Anatomy. The kind of thing that few stars have been able to rebound from in the past. But, that’s what makes his story so inspirational. In 1986, Isaiah Washington had an epiphany while watching Spike Lee’s movie, She’s Gotta Have It and decided to trade in his engineering background
“When the world sees us feeding the hungry in a way that has never been done on television, it’s going to blow their minds.”
Isaiah Washington and Wayne Hubbard of Urban American Outdoors with a 1,000lb elk they caught and harvested for families in the urban community.
INTERVIEW & WORDS BY: CANDY FREEMAN PHOTOS: URBAN AMERICAN OUTDOORS (Above), ISAIAH WASHINGTON (Right)
W for a career in acting. It was then that Washington formed a plan to work with Spike Lee within the next 10-years, and through sheer determination and a boat load of talent, he did just that. By 1996, Washington had secured roles in four of Spike’s films; Crooklyn, Clockers, Girl 6, and Get on the Bus, respectively. Having worked in film, TV, and theater, he says, “To be able to master 3 different mediums in a lifetime is very difficult to do. I’m still trying to figure out the differences between acting for television, as opposed to film on a 60 foot wide screen, versus live stage performances.” Highly sensitive to the art-form/craft of acting, Isaiah understands the importance of telling a story that audiences will connect with. He states, “It’s important to know what my hands and body are doing. As an actor, you have to ask yourself, ‘is my body actually telling the same story that my mouth is telling?’ These are techniques that a lot of people are not well versed in, unfortunately.” In our microwave society, many aspiring thespians are seeking instant success and financial reward. But when you speak to a veteran actor like Isaiah, you understand that it’s a 10 year labor of love that cannot be reduced to 6 months of overnight training. “I was told by my mentor that I couldn’t call myself an actor until I had 10 years of experience doing it. I’ve had people come at me wanting all 25 years of my experience taught to them in one day, because their desire is to get rich and famous fast. The sad thing about that is, only about 2% of all actors actually make a name for themselves and achieve longevity in this business.” His film career isn’t the only thing that matters to Washington. In his book, A Man from Another Land, Isaiah chronicles his life’s journey and shares how he traced his roots back to Sierra Leone via DNA testing. Since discovering his ancestry in Africa, Isaiah has spent a great deal of time helping those who are less fortunate than he has been. Some of his work includes, helping to establish a school with his Gondobay Manga Foundation in Sierra Leone, and has become the first African-American to receive dual citizenship in the country from President Ernest Bai Koroma. Today, Isaiah Washington is reinventing himself in the American entertainment industry. The actor kicked off 2013 with a bang thanks to the Sundance screening of the Alexandre Moors directed, R.F.I. Porto penned film, Blue Caprice. Isaiah’s riveting portrayal as the infamous DC Sniper, John Allen Muhammad, received rave reviews after Washington’s on-screen performance left critics feeling sympathetic toward the sniper. Isaiah also served as an executive producer of the film. In addition to his 2013 film endeavors, Isaiah has added outdoor enthusiast to his resume of expertise. His exuberance cannot be contained as he describes the overwhelming rush he experienced while on his first elk hunting trip. “My friend, Wayne Hubbard, took me into the woods and we harvested a 1,000 pound elk! We then hauled it off to a meat processing plant where it was processed into over 700lbs of gourmet meats. If you know anything about elk hunting, you know that some people go years without ever taking down an elk that size.” But Washington’s urban adventure wasn’t just for sport; it had a much deeper meaning. “I just signed the most important contract of my life with Urban American Outdoors’ creators, Candice Price and Wayne Hubbard. What we’re bringing to the world next has been 13 years in the making. When the world sees us feeding the hungry in a way that has never been done on television, it’s going to blow their minds.” Isaiah explains, “The value in this kind of programming is important because it shows African-Americans in the outdoors in a positive perspective. This time, we’re not on TV hurting each other; instead, we’re being of service to the world.” iae Congrats to Isaiah on his new CW pilot, The 100. Learn more about Isaiah Wasthington and Urban American Outdoors at www.uaotv.com www.iaemagazine.com
A Man From Another Land chronicles Isaiah’s journey to find his ancestral roots in African through DNA testing, leading the actor to become the first African-American to gain dual citizenship in both the U.S. and an African nation (Sierra Leone). Available in hardcover and ebook formats on Amazon.com
How To Get A Literary Agent
irst and foremost, writing must be God’s purpose for your life based on your God-given talents and a relentless desire to do nothing else. Don’t be overly consumed with finding an agent or a manager. Cultivate relationships with writers, producers, lawyers in Television and features and this network will serve you well in the eventual pursuit of an agent or manager. A primary way to both develop your craft and likely get the attention of an agent or manager is to participate in a writing program such as the ABC/Disney Writers Fellowship, NBC Diversity Program, and UCLA extension courses. Also, further your network of connections by employment, pursue writer’s assistant jobs, internships, and even temp jobs at agencies, studios, and networks.
When in the process of intentionally pursuing a manager or an agent, focus on the assistants or coordinators, they have the time to read material from writers that are new to the business. For your writing portfolio, you must have an original pilot script as a calling card and a spec script of a currently airing show (see examples below). Write a spec that everyone will remember for its creativity and emotional impact, and which demonstrates your knowledge of the world the show creators have set up. Half-Hour (Comedy Single-Cam) Shows good to Spec · MODERN FAMILY · HAPPY ENDINGS
· RAISING HOPE · COMMUNITY Half-Hour (Comedy Multi-Cam) Shows good to Spec · TWO AND A HALF MEN · BIG BANG THEORY One Hour (Drama) Shows good to Spec · BREAKING BAD · DEXTER · NCIS · THE GOOD WIFE · JUSTIFIED If you are in Los Angeles, get involved with strong industry-related ministries and communities like Bel Air Presbyterian, Ecclesia, Beacon, Premise, and Key Men/Key Women. Ultimately, if you have strong relationships with people in the entertainment industry and your material is extraordinary, the agents and managers will find you. iae WORDS Michael Van Dyck with Jenna Wycoff Michael Van Dyck is a TV Agent at PARADIGM LA
Dues Paid In Full
C SASHA STOLTZ PR/ RAFY PHOTO
lé Bennett is a multiple Gemini Award winning actor who has clearly made his mark on the world of film and television. But it didn’t come easy for the Canadian star, and here he shares some of the truth behind his success. IAE: Please tell us where you’re from and why did you choose a career in acting? CB: I’m from Toronto and I’ve always been an actor; even before I knew what it was called. As a child one of the things that I was most passionate about was portraying different characters. So, I didn’t choose acting; it chose me. What I’m doing right now is literally, an evolution of me playing make believe. IAE: What is one of the biggest challenges an actor might face and, how does one stay focused despite those obstacles? CB: Unfortunately, ctors are often times limited by the imaginations of the writers, directors, and producers. You are only allowed to portray the characters that they feel you are right for and most of the time the rejection you have to
Clé Bennett withstand is subjective. Things like race, hair color, height, weight, tone of voice, length of nose, and so on are just a few of the reasons an actor will be turned away. The only thing that can get you through all of that is your confidence and having a true passion for it (acting). The film and television industry is one of the few places where you can be overqualified for the work, but still be denied for trivial reasons.
of acting. Sometimes having that audacity is what causes people to pay attention. Sometimes there will be a Breakdown for a role that is specific about the type of person they’re looking for, like blonde hair and blue eyes, but then I walk into the room. They know that you know you’re not what they are looking for but, yet you’re there. They won’t kick you out so, they allow you the chance to show what you have. It’s up to you to be super prepared and bring the best you have.
“...actors are often times limited by the imaginations of the writers, directors, and producers.” IAE: Many minorities in the film and television industry seem to get typecast in roles that are a bit cliché; have you dealt with that at all? CB: As it turns out, most of the roles I play were not really intended for a black actor but, I’ve been able to come in and change that. My motivation is walking into the (audition) room and making people change their minds on what they had imagined the character to be. I’m really serious and focused on the craft
IAE: Throughout your career what would you say has been the most memorable set you’ve been on? CB: I did this show called, The Line, and the set was memorable for me because I had a really good relationship with the director. From the moment I met her we vibed; and the first day of shooting she came to me and asked if I trust her. No director has ever asked me that before! That’s when I realized that trust is the key to any relationship between the director and the actor. She said, “Good...because you will win a Gemini!”, and that’s exactly what happened. I won a Gemini Award for that role. iae
MAR-APR ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
H JJ Soria
ollywood is a tough place to earn a living, and nobody knows that more than Cali native, Joseph Julian Soria. With nearly a decade of acting experience, JJ is now ready to make his name and face known.
‘Hector’ from the hit Lifetime series
IAE: What inspired you to pursue a career in entertainment? JJ: I got into acting in college because I needed the units to graduate. My counselor gave me an option between painting, drawing, and theater. I took the theater class and fell in love with it. Once I learned what acting is about, I wanted to make a living doing it. But, I sucked at it in the beginning. [laughs] IAE: Was it difficult for you to land an agent initially? JJ: I did everything they say not to do; like, don’t walk into an agent’s office without an appointment. But, after doing some research I decided to crash an agent’s office anyway. I walked in and told them that I was looking for an agent and I liked what I read about them. They looked me up and down, gave me some sides, and I read for them. They put me on a 3 month test deal and I booked a couple of Nike print ads. Within that first year I booked a Levi commercial. That was almost 10 years ago. I’m very headstrong so, when I made a decision to get into acting I set up a timeline/vision and went for it. IAE: Should actors write out their goals like you did? JJ: Absolutely! You should have a timeline of what you want to accomplish. Make both short and long term goals, to help you focus. As you accomplish the short term goals, it keeps you encouraged and motivated. This gives you an idea of where you stand, and if things aren’t working reformulate your plan.
IAE: You’re one of the first Latin Americans to be a lead on Army Wives. How important is that you? JJ: I think it’s cool. To be honest with you, I see myself as a person. I think it’s great to be a representative for the Latinos and to show that we have something to offer this industry if given the opportunity. It’s great that I have this opportunity to do that and I hope my contribution helps. I have a quote where I say, “Acting is my passion, inspiring is my purpose.” I enjoy inspiring others. IAE: What advice can you share with others who aspire to do what you do? JJ: Believe in yourself, and others will believe in you. You have to work hard, and believe you can do this. I’ve received far more no’s than yeses, so you have to be persistent and determined. At the same time, be realistic and set your short and long term goals, and do something everyday that gets you closer to the big picture; even if it’s something as simple as going to the gym. Also, pay attention to how others see you, because we all get put in a box in the beginning of our careers. Don’t aspire to do what other people want you to do; do what makes you happy. If being a working actor is your goal, then do that. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re not all meant to be leading men and women. iae
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
MLC PR/JEREMY RAY VALDEZ PHOTOGRAPHY
IAE: A lot of actors use certain acting techniques. Do you? JJ: I use what’s called ‘whatever works.’ [laughs] I’ve taken a few scene study classes, but one of my acting coaches told me to “play for real,” and it resonated with me. It reminded me of when I was a child and I’d be playing basketball with older kids. When they were kicking my butt, they would start messing around and I would tell them, “let’s play for real.” So when my acting coach said it, it made a lot of sense to me. I approach a scene like it’s real life. Whatever is going on in that moment of the scene is really what’s going on. If there’s an alien chasing me, there’s an alien chasing me for real. [laughs]
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Words Shaine Freeman Mickie James Photos David McClister
Drop kicked... PRO WRESTLING
5x WWE Women’s Champion 2x TNA Women’s Champion 1x WWE Divas Champion
Label: eOne Music Group Album: Somebody’s Gonna Pay Releases: May 2013 www.mickiejames.com
ew women have accomplished what Mickie James has. The championship professional wrestler, turned recording artist, has made a living drop kicking her opponents (and obstacles) out of the way. Whether it is in the wrestling ring in front of 50,000 screaming fans, or on a stage singing her latest country music hits to a crowd of 10,000, Mickie James was born to entertain the world. While Mickie has seen a great deal of her dreams in entertainment come true, the journey hasn’t been an easy one. Like so many women www.iaemagazine.com
could do it. I started wrestling in late 1998 and in early 1999 I had my first match. I pursued it and climbed my way up the ranks until I was able to secure a job with WWE around 2003. I debuted on TV around 2005 and we were on the road over 250 days out of the year. While on the road I started writing again, but this time it was more to melodies and music instead of it just being poetry or my thoughts.
in entertainment, James had to face the harsh criticism of naysayers who doubted her ability to become a successful wrestler. But in true championship fashion, Mickie took on all comers and proved her worth in the male dominated world of professional wrestling. Now, Mickie James has taken on a new challenger...the music business. Armed with a new record label, amazing songs, and a bigtime singing voice, the world champion diva tells us just how she’s rocking it in 2013. Be prepared to get drop kicked!
IAE: I’m sure you had your fair share of naysayers from both angles; as a female wrestler, and then transitioning into music, right? MJ: Absolutely! I’ve been hearing the word “no,” all of my life and I’m not afraid of it at all. People would tell me I’m too short, or “you’re just a small town girl chasing a big dream and you won’t make it.” But, all of the no’s and negativity just fueled my desire to go after it even more. The same goes for music, but I’m determined to just be myself and allow others to see this other side of who I am. My hope is that people will give my music a chance and take a listen to it.
IAE: Lets start with where you’re from and how you got interested in music and professional wrestling? MJ: I’m from a small town called Montpelier, Virginia right outside of Richmond. Music has always been a part of my life and I played the violin all throughout school. I also grew up on a horse farm so I’ve always been an athlete and very competitive. My friends would laugh at me because they knew every Monday and
IAE: Has it been tough for you to separate the wrestling world from the music world? MJ: Yes, but I don’t negate who I am, as far as the wrestling world. I’ve been very blessed to create and establish a legacy in the wrestling world. But, I am trying to find that balance of separating who I am in the wrestling world and who I am in the music world, because I do want to establish myself as a singer. Honestly, without the wrestling platform, I wouldn’t have
“People would tell me I’m too short, or ‘you’re just a small town girl chasing a big dream and you won’t make it.’ But, all of the no’s and negativity just fueled my desire to go after it even more.” Thursday, my TV was set on wrestling because I was so infatuated with it. Thanks to my dad, I became a huge fan of wrestling. One day, a friend encouraged me to check out this wrestling school outside of DC, which was about 2 hours from my house. So, I went to the school one day to check it out and that’s when I knew I
had some of the opportunities that I’ve received along the way. Wrestling will always be a part of me and I’m grateful for it. IAE: You’ve been working on your music since 2010, but what was it that motivated you to give music a real shot, career-wise? MAR-APR ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
MJ: I’ve always aggressively pursued everything in life that I wanted to do. Music has always been a passion of mine, but it’s also the one thing that I was scared of the most. So, I faced my fear and went to Nashville to record the 3 songs I had written. At that point, I was so proud of myself that it didn’t matter if my mom was the only one who was ever going to hear it. [laughs] About a year ago, everything started coming together and I’ve been learning so much about the music side of entertainment. I think I was just nervous about pursuing a music career because I didn’t know what to expect. Plus, being a star in the television and wrestling worlds, I had that fear of people judging me for crossing over into the music world. I’m thankful that I was able to overcome that. You have to go after what you want and don’t worry about what other people think. IAE: Tell us about your new album, Somebody’s Gonna Pay, how did the deal with eOne come about? MJ: For my first album release we did a Kickstarter campaign. So we were going to try that again with a 6 song EP. The songs turned out absolutely amazing and so my management team started talking to labels. They met with Dan Fletcher and he believed in me. We went back into the studio in September to finish up the album and now have 11 great songs. Somebody’s Gonna Pay is an old Jamie Hartford song and when it was presented to me, I was a little unsure about it because I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. My producers reassured me that they were going to rock it out; it really turned out awesome. I’m glad I trusted them because it became the theme and the feel for the whole album. Blake Jude produced the music video and my friends Trish Stratus, Jeff Jarrett and Magnus from TNA made a cameo appearance. All my friends in Nashville also were a part of the video, which was really cool to have them share this experience with me. The single, Somebody’s Gonna Pay, is on iTunes and the album comes out in May.
has different tastes in music and not everybody is going to love all of what I do. But, my fans are so supportive and they want me to be so successful in what I love to do, which is so cool. It’s wonderful to know that my fans are going to love and respect me regardless of what I do. The things that I’ve learned in the wrestling world have aided me in crossing over. I’ve had that fearfulness of singing on stage in front of a few thousand people, yet, I wrestled in front of 90,000. This is an exciting new journey for me. IAE: What advice could you give to young women and girls about how to overcome selfdoubt and fear when they’re pursuing their passion? MJ: You have to believe whole heartily that you can do it. In this world, people will always try to bring you down because of their own fears and insecurities, but you can’t allow yourself to stoop to that level. Visualize where you want to go and who you want to be. If you can see it, then you can believe it; and if you can believe it you can become it. You really do have to believe in yourself. Who cares what
“You have to go after what you want and don’t worry about what other people think.”
IAE: I’m always amazed by people who are able to utilize multiple talents in vastly different mediums and be successful at it. How exciting is this time in your career? MJ: It is very exciting! I recognize everyone
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
everyone else thinks! Everyone has an opinion and it doesn’t mean it’s worth anything. What are you paying to get their opinion? Absolutely nothing, so don’t worry about it. Just go after your dreams and ignore the naysayers. IAE: What would you like for your fans to know about your feelings toward them? MJ: I’m incredibly grateful to them. I feel like I’ve earned their respect in a lot of ways, but they have no idea what their support, love, and admiration has done for me. It means the world to me. I always try to take time out to connect with them and do different Meet-nGreets. When I meet them, I want them to know that I’m truly and genuinely grateful to them. Without my fans I wouldn’t be where I am today and, I wouldn’t have been able to do all these wonderful things. I don’t take any of it for granted and I can’t thank them enough for all of the love they’ve given me. iae
MICKIE JAMES Championship pro wrestler / eOne recording artist
Mastering Your Album Steve Corrao
Mastering Engineer, Sage Audio
IAE: Where are you from and what inspired you to get into music? SC: I’m from a small town in Idaho where there isn’t much of a music community. I was studying mechanical engineering and decided to switch to electrical (engineering). At the time, I needed a job so, I started working at a local bar that had a sound board and small bands would come in to perform. I learned how to run the board, and after a few years I decided to try my hand at audio engineering. So I set up my own recording studio in Idaho until I had enough money to move. IAE: What drew you to mastering? SC: Mastering really suited my personality, because I’m a technical person and it (mastering) is a very technical art form. I was always specific about what I wanted, and coming from an electrical engineering background, I had a passion for working with electronics and signals. So, as soon as I learned what mastering was, I made a pretty quick transition into it from live sound and studio recording. IAE: In your experience, have you run into recording artists who have thought that mastering would fix their mixes?
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
SC: Oh yes! But you can’t fix that in mastering. The artist or engineer has to give us something to work with. A lot of mixes are created with basic software and plug-ins, but there is a lot more that goes into creating and preparing mixes for mastering than just using the latest software. IAE: I’ve found that some people think mastering can be done in ProTools. Can you tell us the difference between the plugins you just mentioned, versus what you do at Sage? SC: While ProTools is great for recording and mixing, it isn’t designed for mastering. Mastering is more about using your equipment to tune the music to where you want it, technically, and finding the perfect tone and settings for the song. ProTools will not allow you to do that. Creating great sounding masters takes using well designed mastering software combined with analog equipment. IAE: Sometimes people record in different studios so the EQ-ing is different and the overall recording is different. You have to do some extra processing to smooth it out and bring all the components together, right? SC: Correct. If you have a project recorded in 4 different studios with 3 different musicians/producers, there’s a high likelihood that the tones, production, and instrumentation are all different. What mastering professionals can do is go in there and match the tonality of each of the tracks to make a more cohesive album. That is another big part of what we do, especially today when so many projects are being done in different studios and the songs are radically different from one another, musically.
IAE: That’s where true mastering plays a major role in the overall cohesiveness and blending together of all the songs on an album. That way you don’t have one song coming in louder than the other. SC: Exactly, I wish there was more education on that. It’s important to educate artists and engineers on mixing for a full album. When you get one song mixed at one studio and one song from another you can’t expect them to be perfectly synced as you listen through the album. Working with the same producer, engineer, and studio will give you the most cohesive sound for the whole album. IAE: Talk to us about how to make a track sound louder when it’s already peaking at full digital scale. What should the producer be listening for before sending the track to you for mastering? SC: A lot of producers want their songs to be louder than the next song, but this destroys dynamics. The main goal is that we want engineers to mix so that the dynamics are retained, this creates a more natural and powerful mix. Don’t over compress things; you don’t want your meters peaking in a digital mix, overdriving meters is an old technique that worked for getting a ‘saturated’ sound from tape machines. Try to keep your peaks managed by mixing at a lower level and use the least amount of compression that you can, and never use limiting. If you’re using a lot of compression and it doesn’t have to deal with getting a tone for the song or a special effect, then it usually means you probably didn’t record it very well and you need to go back to ground one and get a great www.iaemagazine.com
STEVE CORRAO/SAGE AUDIO
eleasing commercially viable music is a serious undertaking, and getting that radio ready sound is something that only the experts can make happen. Steve Corrao is one such expert. When it comes to mastering, Steve is helping artists get it right the first time.
“Don’t over compress things; you don’t want your meters peaking in a digital mix...”
recording on it. What’s really going to determine what you get back from mastering, has a lot to do with how the song was recorded and mixed. Try to keep tracks full dynamic throughout the recording and mixing process. Use compression only as needed. If artists and mix engineers can do this then it will help mastering engineers out a lot. IAE: If you can, please give recording artists, producers, and new audio engineers some advice on what else would make your job a bit easier? SC: Take as much time as possible, and put every effort into making the recording and the mix as great as you can. Be patient with the process. Don’t just throw a mix together and quickly send it to mastering thinking it’s going to come back sounding good. Reference it with different stereos, as well as other songs that you’re trying to make it sound like. But, keep in mind that when you’re referencing songs from major labels, they’re already mastered; don’t focus on how loud it is, just focus on the mix. You may want to ask the advice of other engineers you respect. The difference between a mix being 95% perfect and 100% perfect is about 10 years of experience. Learn and take in as much as you can from those who are more experienced than you are. iae Connect with Steve online at: www.sageaudio.com Located in Nashville, Tennessee
2012 Album Sales By Genre 376 million Total Sales
Rock/Metal Alternative Pop/R&B Country Rap Christian* Soundtrack Latin Dance/Electr. Jazz Classical New Age
134.4 52.2 49.7 44.6 24.2 22.9 12.3 9.7 8.7 8.1 7.5 1.7
Source: Nielsen Soundscan * Church sales not counted. Nielsen Soundscan does not track albums sold at churches, which make up aprox. 35% of Christian music sales each year. www.iaemagazine.com
ss e n usi usic b the of m
Signing Hitmakers Josh Bailey SVP of A&R, Word Records
n the mid-2000’s, record labels were losing the battle between CDs and mp3’s, as music fans started abandoning the $17.99 in-store CDs for the free mp3 files Napster and Limewire were offering. When the dust had settled, tons of A&R were out of work, and many labels were closing their doors. This was the world in which Josh Bailey began his career. But, after discovering and signing multi-Dove Award winner/Grammy nominee, Francesca Battistelli, Josh proved he had the ear to spot top talent for Word and the rest is history. IAE: Tell us where you’re from and what influenced you to pursue a career in music? JB: I’m from Troy, Ohio, near Cleveland. I went to Cedarville University and got my degree in Public Administration and Political Science, which has nothing to do with music. At the time, my focus was more on law and politics. I worked for a Senator in D.C. and got a job offer after college to go back and work for that same Senator. This would have put me on track to go to law school, but I decided that I didn’t want to spend another 3-4 years in college. Since law school wasn’t going to happen, I began to think about where my passion was. Growing up, I played a couple of instruments so, music was a very significant part of my development years. So, in 2004, I decided to move to Nashville and get into the music business, but I didn’t know very many people and I had no clue what the music business was going to be like. I just went where I thought I had a chance to make it. IAE: How did you get into A&R at Word?
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
“...artists make most of their revenue through touring...” JB: When I got to Nashville, I got a job waiting tables for a couple of months. Eventually, I caught a break and got a job with a guy named, Tom Jackson who is a performance coach/live show producer. Also, when I moved to Nashville I started hanging out with Kellyn, who is now my wife. We both knew each other from Cedarville, but were distant acquaintances. She was between her junior and senior years, as well as in the middle of an internship. A month into Kellyn’s internship she got offered a job at Fervent Records so, she transferred to Belmont University to finish her education. Through her I got to know the owners of the label, Rod & Susan Riley, and after about a year they hired me to help out around the label. A couple of months into my job with them, they sold the label to Warner/Word. Susan started running A&R and she asked if I’d be interested in helping her with A&R. I said, “Sure, what’s A&R?” [laughs] So I literally fell into it. IAE: How has your job changed since you first started in A&R? JB: Early on, my job was focused on signing artists and concentrating on the creative process. Today, I still have those responsibilities, but due to the deals being more comprehensive and structured differently, I have to know what is going on in each department. For a lot of artists we’re doing everything except for management. When I started, labels had to make a decision about whether we were in the record/CD business, or the music business. We decided that we were in the music business, which meant we
had to figure out how we were going to wrap ourselves around the artists and their brand to help us all be successful. Over the last 7 years, we’ve set up a merch company, events company, booking agency, publishing and distribution, and of course, we still have label services like A&R and marketing. IAE: How important is radio and touring? JB: The two biggest drivers are radio and touring. We have to be experts in both of these areas to help serve our artists well. Today, artists make most of their revenue through touring, so we focus on helping our artists’ make their live shows better, as well as providing them with resources that help them on the road. If an artist shows up and brings their A-game, connecting with the audience both spiritually and emotionally, that’s when you see fans built for life. That’s how artists have long careers and sell out shows. When it comes to radio, we all like to sometimes think we can sell records without it, but radio is still a significant driver for our artists. Single sales is still a huge part of the business so, we have to release songs that we think will be reactive enough to help sell the whole project, whether digital or physical. While we do want songs that have a significant impact over the airwaves, we also want to have music that goes beyond radio. Not every song that plays on the radio comes across the same way live so, you need to have an arsenal of different stuff from the record to use in a live setting. iae Find out how Josh discovers artists at: www.iaemagazine.com www.iaemagazine.com
the of busi mu ne sic ss
Finding That Song Niki Sherrod
VP of Music, Warner Bros Films
“...doing your homework will get you in the door easier.” icking the right songs for movies is not easy, and nobody knows this better than Warner Brothers Films’ VP of Music, Niki Sherrod. In this exclusive interview, we learn how she does it.
IAE: Tell us where you’re from and what inspired you to pursue a career in music? NS: I was born in a small town south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My dad ran a record store that my great-grandfather & grandfather opened in 1961. It was called Gascon’s Record Shop. My mom, grandmother & great-grandmother worked there and, my sister and I would hang out there after school and on some weekends. I remember when we got Michael Jackson’s Thriller in the store; we could barely keep it in stock. People started coming in with jheri curls and wearing one glittery glove. [laughs] It felt like a movement. I loved my 45s and waiting to hear my favorite song on the radio so that I could record it on my portable cassette player. My mom plays piano & guitar and, she would play piano and I’d sit next to her and we’d sing old blues songs, as well as songs from the 30s & 40s. My sister and I loved dancing around and being silly while she played. My parents played all different types of records; from Cat Stevens to Led Zeppelin, to Tchaikovsky. Music was all around me. I continued to seek it out and be inspired by it. IAE: What was your first professional job in the industry and, how did that come about? NS: I worked as a temp receptionist in CAA’s www.iaemagazine.com
Nashville office. At the time they were primarily responsible for booking country tours. I ended up becoming an assistant for one of the agents and later transferred to CAA’s LA office and worked as an assistant for a motion picture talent agent. From that job, I landed a job as an assistant at Atlantic Records in the soundtrack department; later working with all the Warner Music Group labels. IAE: What are your responsibilities as the VP of Music at Warner Bros. Pictures? NS: When I get assigned a project, I am responsible for overseeing all things related to music. That means everything from budgeting to scoring, finding songs to licensing, deciding if the project warrants an outside supervisor to booking recording sessions, etc. My job also includes managing expectations between filmmakers & the studio, and making sure everyone is on the same page about where we are creatively and financially. IAE: How do you determine what the right songs are to serve a film’s story well? NS: Each film is different, but they’re all about collaboration. The director or producer often has a vision of what he/she wants, an overall sound for the film, and I’m here to help them fill in the blanks. Some filmmakers only respond to songs they know, some get excited by songs they’ve never heard, some want a song that lyrically tells it all, and some want a song that serves as juxtaposition. No matter what it is they want, it always feels good when it works and gives new life to a particular scene in a movie.
IAE: Once you’ve found the perfect song, how long does it take to clear it for placement? NS: This depends on who the artist is, the stature/level of the artist, the label, publisher(s), budget, what the scene is, how the song is used, etc. Sometimes we have to act as detectives to clear the songs. We’ve had instances that have taken months; one in particular was a filmmaker who wanted a song by this obscure British band called, Patto. It took us forever to find out who owned this song! We wound up finding one of the daughters on MySpace and, I saw that Muff Winwood produced the song, so I called Steve Winwood’s agent and pleaded with them for a contact for his brother. Three days later Muff called and we got the song cleared. IAE: Do you ever license music from independent or unsigned artists? NS: YES! I love independent artists. There are some really reputable 3rd party licensing companies that represent only indie artists. I would suggest artists seek out these companies and seek out opportunities. So much of this information can be found online now. Also, be specific in what you send. Metal probably won’t work for a romantic comedy, singer-songwriters won’t work for action films. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but doing your homework will get you in the door easier. Just remember that the people you are sending music to are getting bombarded with songs to listen to. Anything you can do to ease that and simplify is a good idea. iae
MAR-APR ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
A LETTER FROM NETWORK FREQUENCY
elcome! I’m Dale Falk Jr. and I want to express how excited our company, and team, is to partner with I Am Entertainment magazine to provide quality content and share our experiences and life behind the live entertainment industry!
What do sensational DJs and dance music heroes like Flux Pavilion, Dash Berlin, Zed’s Dead and Adventure Club have in common? They will be performing at the Magnetic Music Festival in Kennesaw, Georgia on April 20th, 2013 at the brand new state of the art Kennesaw State Sports and Recreation Park, just 20 minutes north of Atlanta. Magnetic Music Festival, a brand new festival experience produced by Liquified and in partnership with Disco Donnie Presents, looks to invade the suburbs of Atlanta with an all day music event. With hard hitting support acts like Flosstradamus and Cazzette, plus an impressive list of local supporting talent, Magnetic is a steal of a show for the price compared to other festivals this early into the festival season. General admission tickets are on sale now for $65, with VIP starting at $165. The festival grounds at KSU Sports and Recreation Park will be 88 acres of multiple sound stages, state of the art 3D mapping and lighting production, as well as 16,000 or more screaming dance music fans. Be prepared for a successful and memorable festival to emerge into the national spotlight with Magnetic Music Festival. NETFREQ.TV is excited to announce we will have our video series “PROJECT: GoPro” on two stages filming the epic duo, Adventure Club, and Atlanta’s own trapstep prodigy, DJ Midnite Panda. Visit www.magneticmusicfestival.com for the most up to date information. Stay connected on Twitter at @magneticfestatl and at Facebook over at www.Facebook.com/magneticmusicfestival. “MUST SEE” Artists - Adventure Club - Midnite Panda
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
PHOTOS COURTESY: NET FREQUENCY LLC
ABOUT NETWORK FREQUENCY LLC I founded Network Frequency, LLC on May 8, 2011 as an entertainment production company based in Atlanta, GA. Our CTO, Jerry Meisner, joined the business within the following year adding to the structure of the company. Network Frequency, LLC launched our first version of the website and video platform, NETFREQ. TV, in July of 2012. NETFREQ.TV organizes featured viral video content into “Frequency” themed video pages that allows users to watch and create video playlists. For example, some of our most popular pages are the “Music”, “Festival”, “Playlist” and “Fitness” frequencies! The keystone feature of NETFREQ.TV is the ability for users to watch multi-angle videos, with all cameras streaming simultaneously and allowing the users to choose their preferred view for the duration of the video or performance. The latest version of NETFREQ.TV was launched on November 5, 2012 and will soon go through another transformation. As we prepare for an incredible year of unforgettable festival line-ups, farewell tours and much more in the world of live entertainment, I look forward to sharing and growing with our readers, the FREQs! Enjoy the NETFREQ.TV videos, be sure to follow us on all our social media (Twitter/IG: @NETFREQTV & Facebook.com/NETFREQTV) and stay tuned for an exciting year with us and IAE! Enjoy our GREAT features this first issue and get to www.NETFREQ.tv to discover “What’s Your Frequency?”
Festival FREQs I t’s finally here. As the sun warms the earth and spring fills the air, people prepare to travel (sometimes half way around the world) to experience the magical life that comes with festival season. Each and every festival provides a unique memory for fans; drawing from engaging productions, successful line-ups and attracting diverse attendees. The music festival “industry” has grown continuously over the past decade with annual success-
ful events like Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo and Coachella. This year, IAE and NETFREQ.TV look to bring you the BEST coverage and recaps from some of the BEST festivals in the world! Whether it is a single day music festival, or a four-day camping trip, there are a variety of festivals and events that can cater to the desires and preferences for any fan of live entertainment! The keystone fact of festival life is that
there is no substitute for experience. Truly appreciating of the memory of a late night “Super Jam” session at Bonnaroo cannot be read in a magazine, shown in a video or expressed in a conversation. In order to understand the value of what festivals provide to the live entertainment industry and their fans, attendance is the only solution! NETFREQ.TV and IAE’s goal this festival season is to provide quality information and inspiration for our readers to attend and engage with the full festival experience! Take your friends, meet new friends and share festival stories, wishes and much more! I look forward to sharing our team’s experiences as we start to cover these precious moments of life embraced by so many around the world! See you on the road! - JR
“MUST GO TO” Festivals:
SXSW – Austin, TX Ultra Music Festival – Miami, FL Bonnaroo Music Festival – Manchester, TN Magnetic Music Festival – Kennesaw, GA Hangout Music Festival – Gulf Shores, FL Coachella Music Festival – Coachella, CA Austin City Limits – Austin, TX Peach Music Festival – Scranton, PA SnowBall Music Festival – Winter Park, CO Camp Bisco – Albany, NY
“MUST SEE” Artists: Swedish House Mafia Zedd Pretty Lights Adventure Club Portugal. The Man Mumford & Sons Krewella The Lumineers Kendrick Lamar Midnite Panda
MAR-APR ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR â€˜13
Boyd Tinsley B PHOTO COURTESY: BOYD TINSLEY
oyd Tinsley is a man of many talents! As a member of the Dave Matthews Band, Boyd has traveled around the world providing millions of fans with beautiful memories and experiences all along the way. Boyd’s talents far exceed just music and live entertainment. After releasing his debut film project “Faces In Mirror” in 2012, Boyd has given fans a new live experience through local screenings of the movie called “Gatherings.” Boyd’s love for following his passion, sharing his talents and engaging his fans is unrivaled. JR: You’ve been on countless tours, played on the main stage for multiple music festivals and helped create one of the best live experiences in the entertainment industry, but what is YOUR personal favorite live performance memory? BT: There are many special moments playing live that I can remember. We’ve played with some great artists in some great venues. Young, Greene, Dylan, Simon, the Edge, just to name a few. We played for over a 100,000 people in Central Park. The most memorable live experience happened around ‘02 or ‘03 in Madison Square Garden. It’s still hard to believe that we played with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. What a humble guy. The performer of all performers. The hardest working man in show business. Funky as can be. I thought the roof was going to come down. Seriously. MSG shook like an earthquake had hit it when James Brown came on stage. JR: When it comes to recording music, do you prefer live performance or studio albums? Why? BT: Dave Matthews Band is a live performwww.iaemagazine.com
ing band, but we also love the studio. They are different worlds. In both, we dig hard to come up with some great music, different music; we reach for the next level. Live on stage is like jumping into to a river and swimming, while negotiating twists and turns and landing in the same place together. It’s fun! So, is the studio. We open up in both to go where our hearts lead us.
conveying the message to celebrate life. What is the main message you want your fans and viewers to take away from “Faces In The Mirror” as well as your music and productions as a whole? BT: The thing that I wanted to achieve most in making Faces in the Mirror was to make the audience feel emotion. Whether it be happy, sad, afraid, or whatever. Just to feel something. The entire time. This film dealt with grief because of the place that I was end when I began writing the story. Grieving, and in pain. JR: As a producer, who are the people that have inspired you the most? BT: I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best producers in the world. Lillywhite, Ballard, Cavallo, Batson and others. I learned a lot from all of them. The person that was most influential to me in my role of producer was Steve Lillywhite. Steve has a way of bringing out the
“I will definitely make more films. I am first a musician, but I’m also now a filmmaker. I have two great jobs.” JR: What was the catalyst to your passion for film? Where did it all begin? Will there be future projects beyond “Faces In The Mirror”? BT: Faces in the Mirror was born out of a long time desire to make a movie. It was conceived at a time of great pain and darkness for me. The inspiration to do this came just months after Leroi died. It became my salvation from a darkness that had consumed me for months. Mercy. A way out. It was more like I had to make the film than just that I had an idea. We were able to take pain and turn it into something bittersweet, but beautiful as well. I will definitely make more films. I am first a musician, but I’m also now a filmmaker. I have two great jobs. JR: Death seems to be a major theme in “Faces In The Mirror”, while at the same time
best in all of us. He knows what he’s looking for and knows when he’s got it. And most important, he knows how to put it all together in the end. He’s brilliant and the mark of his method is writ all over mine. JR: What can your fans look forward to in the future with Boyd Tinsley, the Dave Matthews Band and other projects? BT: I’m having a lot of fun creatively right now. Recording, playing live, making movies. They are all the same to me. Opening up my heart to express its feelings through art. I love making movies and music. So, I’ll continue doing both at the same time. I have good luck when I follow my heart. So, who knows what I’ll do next. Whatever it is, you’ll know that it came from my heart. MAR-APR ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Genre: Blues/Soul/Rock Album: House of Murmurs Location: San Francisco, California If you haven’t heard JL Stiles, you’re missing out on one of the greatest voices inindependent music. Not to draw comparisons, because Stiles has his own unique voice, but he could easily be likened to the late great Ted Hawkins with a smidgen of Chris Smither’s rasp. If you enjoy blues-soul, then you’ll really like JL Stiles’ latest release, House of Murmurs. The project has a retro bluesy rock/folk sound that is practically flawless. From the mixesto the musical and vocal arrangements, House of Murmurs taps into what made artistslike The Beatles so awesome. Of the 11 songs on House of Murmurs, I got the most enjoyment from, “The Great Natchez Tornado 1840”. Don’t let the name of the song throw you, this track embodies JL Stiles’ best vocal performance on the album and is a bonafide classic. But, that doesn’t mean that House of Murmurs is a one hit release. There are a number of other gems that Stiles gives us, including songs like: “All In a Day”, “Spring Light of Day”, “Beneath the Light”, and “After the War”. Each of these tracks are very strong productions that help make House of Murmurs a complete body of work. I had fun listening to this release and getting to know JL Stiles as an artist. If you have an affinity for discovering great blues-rock artists, look into JL Stiles’ House of Murmurs at Website: www.jlstiles.bandcamp.com
Genre: Americana/Country Album: Tokyo’s Fifth Location: Chapel Hill, NC After touring Canada, Ireland, and playing various major venues in the USA, Tokyo Rosenthal, aka Toke, has earned the respect of the international music community. Back with his cleverly titled fifth album release, “Tokyo’s Fifth”, Toke is once more showing the world why he is an international Americana music legend in the making. As a newcomer to Tokyo’s work, I felt I couldn’t give a fully informed review of Toke’s work without first respectfully listening to some of his previous releases. Upon taking my own journey through Rosenthal’s string of powerful songs, each oozing with killer lyrics and vocal performances, I was surprised at how consistent Tokyo’s work has been over the years; and Tokyo’s Fifth is no exception. My favorite song on the album is Smoke & Mirrors. The tune’s ska/ reggae feel gives me a good feeling and I truly enjoyed Tokyo’s vocals a great deal on the song. Other songs like What Did I Used To Be, and the awesome cover of Helter Skelter are each reasons why Tokyo’s Fifth is a must own release. Overall, Tokyo’s Fifth, is one of the best albums released in the Americana genre so far this year (2013). It was a pleasure to have received and reviewed Tokyo’s work and I believe Tokyo Rosenthal has a whole lot of music left in his bag of hits. I look forward to hearing and reviewing future releases by Tokyo. Get it on iTunes today. Website: www.tokyorosenthal.com
Decibal Rating: VIRGIN FAMILY BAND (Indie Rock/Experimental/Jazz Soul) - www.virginsfamilyband.com Album: Honeylion Location: Chapel Hill, NC Virgins Family Band is an incredible band that is not bound by the confines of commercial music. On their latest release, Honeylion, the band takes a hard turn to the left and goes for the jugular with one of the most impressive indie album releases available in 1st Quarter 2013. Serving up a hefty dose of experimental rock, laced by jazzy fender rhodes and organs on Honeylion, Virgins Family Band is a throwback to the days when real musicians played “out the box” using real instruments. Songs like ‘Eyes Like Troubled Dreams’, ‘Moon Breath’, and ‘Temper’ are great examples of this very fact. On each track VFB goes au naturale and sticks to a bare skinned, unlooped format, giving themselves the freedom they need to create music that is engaging and entertaining. Stop by VFB’s website and check this album out.
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
kids & teens
IAE: Please tell us where you’re from and what sparked your interest in entertainment? AC: I grew up in Miami and I can’t really remember a time where I wasn’t interested in some sort of storytelling. I started out wanting to be a singer, but I don’t have much talent in that area so, I quickly tried to find something else to do. [laughs] I got into theater in school and eventually went into Community Theater, which became my passion. IAE: What was your first major acting role and how did that come about? AC: I think the Community Theater was my first professional work, because people paid to see our plays. This was a local production and we didn’t pay any cast to come in from other markets like LA or NY. We did plays like Hansel and Gretel. It’s funny because I was a fairy and a gingerbread kid, and I had to stay really still; that’s how I got my start in acting. [laughs] Theater is my first love because it teaches you how to work with a group and be resourceful. You don’t have a huge budget or any of the perks so, you collectively have to work together to make the play happen. After finishing college I moved to LA. A lot of people have really crazy stories about what happened to them after they moved to LA. I gave my move to LA a lot of thought; I saved money and planned it all out. I moved out here already having an agent and my first audition was for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. I think being naïve helped me
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
IAE: Tell us a little bit about the Cartoon Network series, Level Up, that you’re on? AC: Level Up is about a video game that comes to life and it’s up to 4 high school students to contain the leaks. The leaks are the characters that leak out of the game into the real world. Of course, no one in the town must know that this is happening. We have to make sure the characters get back into the game without anyone finding out that this is going on. I’m so thankful to Cartoon Network for creating a character like, Angie. I think it’s a really important thing that the writers and the creators of the show created this well-rounded character. Angie is a tough girl who is very goal oriented. I think part of the reason why she decides to join the guys on their adventure is because she feels like there’s something to be learned from that experience, and a lot of fun to be had. So, for Angie it’s a calculated move, which then becomes about the friendship and the comradery. Hopefully that’s something the audience picks up on as the season progresses. IAE: What is a typical day like for you on set? AC: We shoot 2 episodes at a time. Sometimes I have cue cards to help keep me on track with where I am and which story we’re shooting at the moment. It still gets challenging when we have to get up very early, especially in Vancouver, because we tend to shoot during the summer hours. This helps us get as much done as possible and, save as much of the daylight as possible. On average, we
get there at 5:30am for a 6am call time. Conner has it pretty bad because he’s usually the one that has to do the makeup effect. He had to do this bald cap last year and the bald cap by itself to put on was a 3 hour process. So that meant he had to get up 3 hours earlier than everyone else for about 2 weeks. Even with all of that, the crew is pretty fantastic. Another great thing about shooting in Vancouver is, everyone who works in the industry knows each other because they have been working with each other since the market took off. It’s just a really fun work environment. IAE: Are you allowed to improv? AC: Yes, we have a really open set. Our Show Runner, Peter Murrieta, comes from the improv and comedy world and he encourages it. I never felt shy to bring up an idea and all of our directors have been very open to hearing whatever ideas we come up with. Not all of our ideas are good, but they are nice enough to let us try and test out our ideas. There have been a few of our ideas that have made it into the final cut of the show so, that’s always exciting whenever you see something like that. IAE: What advice can you give to young girls who want to act? AC: I would say, do it because you love it, not because you want to be famous. It’s about the storytelling and trying to make your audience feel your performance, and maybe change their perspective on a situation. There were some nights at the theater where people would walk out arguing about what they thought the point of the story was. I prefer someone hating it than not having an opinion. That’s what we do as actors, we’re storytellers and we want people to think. We want people to go home and talk about it. Also, don’t buy into the pressure that is presented to you by people who may not really have your best interests at heart. Stay true to yourself. www.iaemagazine.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF: Cartoon Network PHOTO COURTESY OF: Russel Baer Photography
on that audition because, I wasn’t too worried about doing well at the audition, I just didn’t want to trip on my way out of the audition. Not knowing how thick the competition in LA truly was, helped me out a lot. So my first professional job in LA was Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.
kids & teens
IAE: Where are you from and why did you became an actor? JU: I’m from Maryland where the acting community is not very big. My sister, Tia, did beauty pageants and commercials and I was the little brother who wanted to do what she was doing. When I was about 5 years old, I went to my mom one day and told her that I wanted to do commercials too. My mom hooked it up and started taking me to workshops which led to me booking commercials.
went in and read for it, but the casting director and I looked at each other and knew it wasn’t gelling the way that it should. The casting director said, “I like you, but this role isn’t right for you. I have another one in mind, if you’d like to read of it. You can come back a different day once you’ve prepared for the scene.” She gave me a different role, which happened to be Lyle. Several weeks and 6 auditions later, I ended up booking Lyle. It was a long process, but it was all fun.
IAE: Like most actors, you started out doing some background extras work. What did you learn from that experience? JU: Mainly, you learn a lot about set etiquette, which is really important. You learn where you are, and are not, supposed to go on set, and what you can and can’t say. You have to learn about the machine before you try to operate it. I spent a few years just learning how things move smoothly; that helped me transition into principal roles.
IAE: The process can be tedious. How did you stay motivated and focused and not get down on yourself between the 6 auditions? JU: Honestly, I think it comes from experience. Although I’m young, I had been on a ton of auditions before this one, so I understood that going on a callback is never a bad thing. Some people get discouraged because of the multiple callbacks and they start to question their talent or their performance. When in reality, if they’re giving you a callback it’s because you are doing something right. You should take that and put some extra work into your performance. Maybe that will be the last thing that they need to see before they want to book you? Maybe they are waiting for that one little thing to win them over; and that’s what people need to remember.
PHOTO COURTESY OF: Cartoon Network
IAE: How critical has training been for you? JU: Oh man, I can’t even put that into words. That work (training) that I put in before actually going on set definitely makes my job on set a 1,000 times easier. You’re so used to doing things in acting class or workshops that, by the time you’re on set you’re ready to work. I can read the direction of the script and make the right adjustments that are needed for the scene. IAE: I know how tough it can be to go to Los Angeles. How difficult was it for you to get an agent in LA? JU: I owe it all to my mom. When I was 11, she packed my sister and me up and moved to LA. She hit the ground running. She made all the right phone calls and got meetings set up in all the right offices. We went with what we felt was right for us and I ended up going with Abrams Artists Agency. From there, everything just took off. IAE: How did the role of Lyle on Level Up come about? JU: My agent initially sent me in for a different character. The characters name was Casey, which is now known as Dante. I www.iaemagazine.com
IAE: Sometimes it’s hard for fans to separate the actor from the characters they play on-screen. Has that happened to you? JU: It’s funny because, I was at the gym recently and this guy came up and said, “You’re Lyle!” Then he followed it with, “Where’s your staff?” I told him I don’t just carry it around. [laughs] This guy is in his 20’s, too. I thought it was cool that my peers watch the show. IAE: What are some of the similarities between you and your character on Level Up? JU: Lyle is an over exaggerated version of myself. He plays football, but I never played it. I have always been into sports and I stayed active in high school. Lyle is a super cool, popular dude and I guess I am kind of cool. [laughs] One thing that we are
JESSIE T. USHER very similar on is being laid back, but always looking for a simple solution to any problem. IAE: If there’s one thing that you want people to take from this show what would it be and why? JU: It would be to know who your friends are, and keep your real friends close. Never turn your back on them because they are important. Don’t be influenced by people who are up to bad things. If someone comes off as if they are trying to act like they’re your friend, when they’re not, then stay away from them. If you can just sit down and think about who your real friends are, you’ll probably find out that you only have about five, or less, real friends. So, keep your real friends close, that’s what I’d like people to learn from the show.
MAR-APR ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
kids & teens
TRISTAN PASTERICK from Cartoon Network's sketch comedy
incredible Crew ers. I attended that convention and I got a few callbacks from agents. It was pretty much set up for me. My mom’s entire family is predominately in Long Beach, so when we came down to LA from Seattle we stayed with family. My parents were very adamant about not sending me to LA unless I had something already set up. It took a few years before we were really ready to relocate, because it’s a big move to make just to try something out with no guarantees.
IAE: How has starting out young helped you, instead of waiting until you were 30 to pursue acting? TP: I think it’s a lot harder for people who realized that they wanted to act later on in life. They have a lot more things to worry about like a mortgage. I have a really strong support system with my family and, with their support I have been able to do everything that I wanted to do without having to worry about things like paying my own rent or finding a place to live. Plus, you gain a lot of experience when you’re young so, by the time I’m older I will really understand how everything works and I won’t have to learn everything when it really counts the most. IAE: What have you learned from other actors in this business that you have been able to use? TP: Being in LA, you meet a ton of actors and actresses and everyone has got their own story. The one thing that I’ve taken away is to be nice to everyone and make friends with as many people as you can, because it’s a small world. You have to be kind and treat people the way you want to be treated. IAE: Coming from a market that is not known for film & TV, how tough was it to get an agent in LA? TP: The acting school that I attended in Seattle has a convention in Las Vegas every year where you get to meet agents and manag-
I Am Entertainment | MAR-APR ‘13
IAE: What exactly do you do on the show? TP: It’s something completely different from anything that has been done before and it brings a new flavor to sketch comedy. We take everyday situations and make them really fun and over the top and very exaggerated. The end product is absolutely hilarious. At least for me it’s something I’ve never seen before. It’s really a different experience and it’s so fun to be a part of and watch. It’s so over the top, wacky, and crazy. It’s fast-pace and there’s something for everyone. IAE: What was it like to work with Nick Cannon? TP: We got to work with Nick on a multiple occasions. I mean this when I say this but Nick is one of the nicest person I know. During our filming he was also filming America’s Got Talent and he would come to the set and see us. The first time that I really got a chance to work with Nick was in the recording studio and we were recording the songs for the sketches. Nick was in the room but I didn’t see him at first because I went straight into the recording booth. When I looked through the glass I saw him sitting on the couch and I was so star struck. To have Nick Cannon there giving you directions on how to deliver the song and then telling you good job; that was an incredible experience. He was a lot of help and he took time out of his seriously busy schedule to make sure that we were all having fun. IAE: What advice can you give to other aspiring actors that may not be getting the same opportunity as you but may have the same desire as you do? TP: If there is anything that I can give as advice is hang in there. I was in LA for a very long time before any significant happened. It’s not easy and there are times when the rejection is too much and you want to pack up everything and quit but you can’t. You have to hang in there and one day you’ll get your shot. There were times when I thought it was hopeless but it finally paid off. So keep at it and don’t give up. www.iaemagazine.com
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Corina Marie Howell
IAE: What was it early on that got you interested in becoming an actor? TP: I knew I wanted to be an entertainer, but I didn’t know what form. I got the opportunity to join an acting school in Washington (state) as a child and I realized that this is what I wanted to do. I kept pursuing it and wound up moving to LA.
IAE: How did you find out about the Incredible Crew and what was the process like to book the show? TP: I went in for my first audition and didn’t hear anything about a callback. Then, 6 months later they were casting again for the same show. I auditioned again and they had us do 2 scenes. We also had to prepare our own Sketch character and make up our own sketches to perform, which was pretty fun. Every time we went in for another round of auditions they would have us add another sketch character or write a rap or a song to perform. The last audition, we had to do 4 sketch characters and have a song to perform, and this was in front of all the producers and the director. That was pretty nerve racking, but in the end it was really rewarding.
March-April issue featuring World Champion Wrestler, Mickie James, on the cover. Other features include Isaiah Washington, Boyd Tinsley and...