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"The live instruments, the voice, the catchy melodies; this is exactly what's been missing in music today." - Senseitional, I Am Entertainment Magazine
i Am Entertainment
JULY/AUGUST 2013 Volume 4, Issue 23
DIRECTOR’S CUT 7 | DAVID RODRIGUEZ SHARES A MOBSTER’S HOMECOMING. This talented film director/writer/producer has taken his childhood love for the movies all the way from Bronx, NY to Hollywood.
9 | JAMES CHANKIN TALKS ABOUT THE FUTURE ARMAGEDDON. Driven by his love for storytelling in film form, and his faith, this director gives us the 2nd release in his film trilogy.
FILM INDUSTRY 11 | TOP BOX OFFICE HITS This article explores some of Hollywood’s biggest theatrical successes ever release to the big screen, and shows how much money a film investor can make if he/she spends their money on the right film.
12 | TOP 80’s TELEVISION ADS Here, we take a look at some of the best (nonSuperbowl) TV commercials broadcast in the 1980’s and boy were things different.
Denise Bidot Redefines Beautiful & Shares Why She Loves Herself As A ‘Curvy Girl’
i Am Entertainment
JULY/AUGUST 2013 Volume 4, Issue 23
GRAMMY NOMINATED SINGER With a rich history in soul, R&B and Gospel music, the Motown Gospel recording artist has taken her voice to the masses. In this exclusive interview, we learn what it took for the singer to succeed in one of the toughest businesses in the world.
FILM & TV
23 | LOVE THYSELF
KIDS & TEENS
13 | MANNY MONTANA
47 | LANDRY BENDER
FROM USA NETWORK SERIES, GRACELAND talks about his journey from the gridiron to the TV screen.
29 | JEFF LANIER
A&R and FOUNDER OF LABEL RECRUIT shares how we helps la- 48 | TIFFANY bels and unsigned recording artists COVER STORY find their way to one another to sign record deals.
15 | DVD RELEASES HOT NEW END OF SUMMER RELEASES for the months of July and August, including Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman’s latest collaboration, Oblivion.
17 | DAVID A.R. WHITE CO-FOUNDER OF PUREFLIX talks to us about his career as an actor, producer, director, and founding partner in the largest U.S. Christian film distributor.
19 | KEVIN SIZEMORE FILM & TV ACTOR shares his journey to success in show business and how it feels being one of the few actors who works consistently.
21 | INDIE FILMMAKING CROWDFUNDING YOUR FILM in this article we explore how indie filmmakers are using creative crowdfunding sites to get their projects made.
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
DISNEY’S CRASH & BERNSTEIN
31 | MICHELLE BAYER
22 Michael Grandinetti MASTER ILLUSIONIST
tells us he learned to entertain audiences through magic; will he give away any secrets as to how he suspends himself in mid-air in front of a football stadium of more than 70,000? Find out here.
FOUNDER OF SHELLY BAY MUSIC talks about music licensing, publishing administration, and how much work it took her to launch a successful music placement firm.
49|SAMI ISLER & CALEB BARWICK NBC’s ‘Sean Saves The World’ and Liftime’s ‘Army Wives’
49|HALEY PULLOS ABC’s GENERAL HOSPITAL
33 | HEARD IT LOVED IT
Joanna Mosca, Jonathan McReyn- 51|GIRLS WHO ROCK olds, Jonathan Singh, The Roys, Hot New Female Artists Kima Charysse
35 | ISSAC CARREE STELLAR AWARD WINNER 37 | RYAN CABRERA GOLD SELLING ARTIST 39 | DUANE SCOTT AWARD WINNING R&B SINGER 40 | WAR POETS TOURING ROCK DUO 41 | WOMEN OF INDIE MUSIC: Leah Ray Mendez, Susie McLean, Jessica Stuart Few
43 | ALBUM REVIEWS 45 | HOME RECORDING: ACOUSTIC DESIGN
The Entertainer’s Handbook
® PUBLISHER: NFluential Holdings LLC CEO & DIR. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Shaine Freeman - firstname.lastname@example.org
woman love thyself ™
ne of the most misinterpreted words used in the media today to describe women is that lovely little adjective, “sexy.” The definition of the word is: marked by or tending to arouse sexual desire or interest. This term also points to the word, “seductive,” which means: tending to entice into a desired action or state. Of course, you won’t hear any complaints from the guys; but most female entertainers, when you talk to them off the record, hate feeling like they have to be half-naked to be successful. Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., and Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., authors of So Sexy So Soon said, “Women who have been conditioned all their lives to feel that their value depends mostly on their physical attractiveness and desirability to men and who measure themselves against an impossible standard are bound to feel anxious and insecure. And, no matter how much they flaunt their sexuality, they are unlikely to feel very sexy. How sexy can a woman truly be who hates her body?” A study from ConfidenceCoalition.org showed that only 2% of women think they are beautiful and 90% of all women want to change at least one aspect of their physical appearance. There has always been pressure from the media, entertainment, and advertising worlds calling for women to be skinny. But, this does not represent the reality of what women truly look like. SKINNY IS NOT REALITY According to the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the average American woman, 20 years and over, weighs about 166 lbs. That’s a far cry from the 98 pounders we see photoshopped
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Candy Freeman - email@example.com onto the cover of most magazines and cast in lead roles in movies and TV shows. I am not promoting unhealthy diets or lifestyles; what I am supporting is for women to love the skin they’re in. ATTENTION REAL MEN: This could be your daughter, wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister. Recently, the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls reviewed over 300 studies and concluded that exposure to sexualized images, lyrics, fashion, “role models”, and other pop-culture influences made girls think of and treat their own bodies as sexual objects. We all share some of the responsibility for the images and entertainment that is negatively affecting society when we support/spend money on it. I want to hear your thoughts on this topic and how you would like to make a difference. We want you to join us in promoting better images of women and girls in the public. So, this issue, the team and I decided to launch our 1st Annual, Woman Love Thyself TM campaign to promote positive self-esteem among females in show business. The entire month of August will be our Woman Love Thyself month at I Am Entertainment Magazine in an effort to combat the problem of women and girls being forced into feeling inadequate and insecure about who they are. Our cover girl this issue is the beautiful plus size model and TV star, Denise Bidot, who is very comfortable in her skin. Please use #WomanLoveThyself #IAmEntertainment in your social media posts, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “Woman Love Thyself.” Ready, set, go…
CANDY FREEMAN Editor-In-Chief
RESEARCH & COPY EDITOR: KW Jackson - email@example.com REVIEWS EDITOR & ART DIRECTOR: Senseitional - firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Candy Freeman, Leslie White, Shaine Freeman, Senseitional, T-Rep CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Please see interviews/articles ADVERTISING: Northeast & Western U.S., International: Shaine Freeman - email@example.com Midwest Director of Sales: Claude Hawkins firstname.lastname@example.org Southeast Director of Sales: Dale Falk, Jr. email@example.com Print Subscriptions (US): $20 for 1 year, $30 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 our contributors falls under their constitutional rights of free speech. While we have made extensive efforts to ensure that the content herein has been obtained through reliable sources, 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)
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
NPPL ICE E P A EV
ON NDR A
i am Entertainent
Interview By: Shaine Freeman
DAVID RODRIGUEZ ‘Last I Heard’ - A Mobster’s Homecoming
David Rodriguez is making his presence known in show business. Here, he shares his journey and the reason for his latest masterpiece. Where are you from and why did you go into film? I’m from the Bronx (NY), and I think the genesis of my love for films came as a result of my older sister taking me to the theatre when I was a kid. We’d see movies like Rocky, Jaws, Star Wars; pretty much all of the big films in the 70’s. I became enamored with show business, and loved the idea of entertaining others. But my road into filmmaking didn’t come with an 8mm camera that my dad bought me, like some kids. So, it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I actually started exercising my creative writing talents. After a few bouts with life, I decided in 2003 that I was going to just go for it. I wanted to be in the entertainment business so, I re-wrote an old treatment I had and turned it into a screenplay. Within 13 months, I was on set shooting my first movie, Push. What challenges did you face early on getting your career started and how did you overcome those? Breaking into the film business is hard. I believe my challenges matched those of everyone else who starts
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
out with no experience in filmmaking. You have to deal with investors who don’t trust you because you have no experience; then you have to think about how you’re going to find the right actors and crew. There are a lot of things you have to look at, and it can be overwhelming at first. But, once you’re in the business, your new challenge becomes staying in the business. You now have to think about getting an agent and a manager because you can’t solicit work on your own. What makes it easier is when you start to develop credibility and a body of work to show potential investors. They trust you more because you know what you’re doing and their risk is mitigated a bit. Lets talk about your film, Last I Heard, which you’re currently doing the festival circuit with at the moment. Why was it important for you to tell this particular story? The inspiration to make, Last I Heard, came as a result of what I learned from my first two films. My first film, Push, was a great first effort, but it wasn’t groundbreaking. My second film, American Bully, was very political and focused on how the post-9/11 media affected the youth in the U.S. While the audience was about the size of a pen, the film got me some recognition in show business as an indie filmmaker and helped www.iaemagazine.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF DIANA RAGLAND PHOTOGRAPHY
Title: Last I Heard Genre: Comedy | Drama Studio: Cine Relevante Starring: Paul Sorvino, Michael Rapaport, Chazz Palminteri Crew: David Rodriguez (Writer/Director/Producer), Andrea Kelly - Chris Kelly - Kevin Kelly - Michelle Manning - Ignazio Panepinto (Producers), Susan Leber (Line Producer), John Barr (Cinematographer), Geoff Zanelli (Composer), Frank Reynolds (Editor), Ashley K. Thomas (Special Effects)
FUNNY SCRIPT QUOTES: George Burns once said, “If it’s a good script I’ll do it. And if it’s a bad script, and they pay me enough, I’ll do it.”
“...once you’re in the business, your new challenge becomes staying in the business.” me land my first agent. But neither of these films were undeniable; where nobody could say to me, “Dave, that wouldn’t happen,” or “That’s not realistic.” So, one day I was watching a show about ‘Making Jack Falcone’, on Discovery I.D. which talked about a Cuban FBI agent who posed as an Italian and infiltrated one of the 5 major mob families in NYC. The agent said that he watched this “made” member of the (mob) family come home from prison and try to reclaim his old racket; he (agent) said it was pitiful to watch. The word “pitiful” stuck out to me and I said, “Wow, there’s a story here!” We’ve all seen the mob movies like, The Godfather, Scarface, and The Goodfellas. We’ve seen them in their era, but we never see what happens to these guys in a progressive society after a 25 year prison term. How is he going to survive in a world that doesn’t resemble the world he once knew? That’s how Last I Heard was born. I wrote a script out and presented the
3 Most Used Film Funding Sites PROS: For film only, Creative funding options, Rewards (sparks) donors (seeders) for helping films get “greenlit” CONS: Tougher acceptance process, Must raise 80% to get “greenlit” (79% = no funding)
idea to former Paramount Studios executive, Michelle Manning, and she said, “this makes sense, now lets make it entertaining.” She gave me some notes to tighten the script up a bit. Once the story was tight, I went out and got actors like Paul Sorvino, Michael Rapaport, and my good friend Chazz Palminteri. They all did a phenomenal job. I’m very proud of it. Do film festivals really help filmmakers? Film festivals are not what they used to be. We were very fortunate to get Last I Heard into Seattle’s film festival, which is a top-tier festival. But, when you look at other major festivals, their lineups are filled with “names” in small films. You’ll see a big name actor who puts up $1Million to shoot an indie film, and because of their name they get into the festivals. It’s rare to see indie films at larger festivals that you havent already heard of the people involved. It used to be that you could go to a festival and discover new talent infront of, and behind the camera, but those days are gone. iae
PROS: Free setup, Low fees, You get every dime you raise regardless of whether you meet your goal (great for those who don’t have a loyal fanbase yet), Non-USA based filmmakers can raise funds CONS: None that we know of PROS: Free set up CONS: Higher fees, Raise 100% or you get nothing - not good if you don’t have a built-in network of loyal backers, Only accepts payments through Amazon
Interview By: Shaine Freeman
‘The Mark 2: Redemption’ - Ready For Armageddon?
James Chankin is taking his love for creating movies that impact the lives of others, to a whole new level. Here, he talks about how he got his start in the business and why he’s doing “The Mark” film trilogy. Where you’re from and what inspired you to get into producing and directing films? I was born and raised in Texas and about 16 years ago I moved out to Hollywood because I wanted to create films. I loved the process of creating a story and seeing it through from start to finish. When you’re watching it in a theater, or on television or DVD, you feel a since of accomplishment when you see that you were able to affect people’s emotions while they watch. That really drives me to do what I do. I know you started out doing secular films so, how did you wind up doing faith-based movies? Yes, when I started out I was on the mainstream side of the business. After about 14 years doing everything from movies, live concerts, commercials, documentaries, and reality TV, I realized that things weren’t clicking. I was too busy trying to show people in Hollywood what I could do. My focus was on how much money I could make and fulfilling my dream of becoming a big time producer. But, every
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
single thing I tried to do just didn’t work. I sold shows to A&E and Discovery Channel and still, things just weren’t working out. Eventually, I got burned out and decided to move back to Texas and hang with my folks for a little bit. Then I prayed to God and said, “I have been trying to do this on my own for so long and I just can’t do it anymore.” I asked Him what was it that He wanted me to do. About two days later, a gentleman came to my dad’s office to talk about some things he was doing and he mentioned that he also did films. My dad said, “Oh really, my son does films. We should bring him along.” From there, I met the individuals who could help me do what I’m doing today. When I found this situation, it just confirmed that what I was doing in Hollywood was for all the wrong reasons. I’m glad I didn’t know that God was setting me up to do what I do today, because had I known it early on, I probably would have skipped ahead and never had my Hollywood experience. Being in Los Angeles taught me a lot. I not only learned how to produce stories, but I was also forced to be the best I could be because that environment is highly competitive. As a result, I know how to tell a great story and put the parts together to make a great film. Now, I have a stronger message to convey, and I’m not just doing it for entertainment purposes or money. Everything works now because I’m doing it for God. It is a blessing to be able to do what I love and have it come across in such an entertaining way without losing any of the truth in www.iaemagazine.com
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LI LU
Title: The Mark 2 Genre: Action Thriller Studio: Chankin Ent. Starring: Eric Roberts, Craig Sheffer, Sonia Couling, Gary Daniels Crew: James Chankin (Director/Producer), Paul Duran - Leland Jourdan - John Patus - David A.R. White - Russell Wolfe (Writers), Michael Scott (Writer/Producer), David Cuddy (Exec. Producer), Terry Cunningham and James Seale (Co-Producers) Akarapong Bunchalaksi (Line Producer), Wych Kaos (Cinematographer), Edwin Wendler (Composer), Vance Null (Editor), Jesse Daniel and Dustin Solomon (Visual Effects)
“I was too busy trying to show people in Hollywood what I could do. My focus was on how much money I could make and how I can be this big time producer.” - James Chankin
the story. The Mark trilogy offers a very powerful message and a value that is not just for faith-based audiences. Anyone who enjoys a good action-filled adventure drama will like The Mark films. I agree. Eric Roberts is in this film too, which is a very cool thing. What’s the primary focus of The Mark 2? It’s the second part of the trilogy; Mark 1 came out November 2012 and it’s done really well. People seem to be fascinated with the idea of the end-times. I think it’s because people have a natural curiosity about the subject matter and they want to visualize what it will be like in the endtimes. There have been tons of movies about the end of civilization, as we know it, but The Mark trilogy takes a look at it from the perspective of the book of Relevation. In The Mark our main character has been injected with a chip that is desperately wanted by this very powerful guy who is a wolf in sheeps clothing. The “wolf” says he can help the world if he can extract that chip from our main character. So, our main guy goes on the run and tries to keep the chip out of the wolf’s hands because he knows he will die if the chip is extracted from his body. He also knows that if the wolf gains possession of the chip then the world will get worse than it already is. Our main guy is not a Christian, but his loved ones were before they disappeared from the earth along with millions of other people from across the globe. As the film progresses, our main guy’s faith is building and he starts to understand what his family was trying to tell him before they disappeared. If you’re not a Christian and you don’t believe in what the Bible says, you will still be able to relate to this movie because, in the movie our main character is not a Christian. So, you’ll get to see the world through a non-Christian’s eyes. It’s an interesting movie. iae www.iaemagazine.com
RANDOM TV FACTS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW: Some of the stories in the early seasons of M.A.S.H. were based on interviews the production team did with real MASH surgeons • The Cosby Show helped to make possible a larger variety of shows based on people of color.
Top Grossing MOVIES Since 2000
3 Harry Potter (2004)
Sources: BoxOfficeMojo.com and IMDb.com
Worldwide Box Office Hits
In our previous issue we addressed the top box office flops since the turn of the new Millenium started. This issue, we felt it would be the proper thing to do to also show the hits Hollywood film studios have made over the past 13 years. Drumroll...
1 AVATAR (2009)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson Budget: $125 Million (estimated) Worldwide Theatre Gross: $1.34 Billion Net Revenues: $1.22 Billion The Harry Potter series has been a money maker from the moment it hit the big screen, but I didn’t expect it to be this big. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was a smashing success, and looking at the numbers, it doesn’t matter what I think because the fans of Harry Potter have spoken!
4 IRONMAN 3 (2013) Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver Budget: $237 Million (estimated) Worldwide Theatre Gross: $2.78 Billion Net Revenues: $2.54 Billion Although many film critics didn’t like the blue people of Avatar, genius director, James Cameron, hit box office gold with this film. Despite losing the Oscar for “Best Director” to his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker), Cameron’s blue people made him the top grossing director in film history. When you gross nearly $3 Billion worldwide for a movie (it’s not like Avatar is Microsoft), you deserve to be respected. Kudos to you Mr. Cameron...kudos to you.
2 THE AVENGERS (2012)
Most Watched U.S.
TV shows in broadcast history
Superbowl is #1
According to the Nielsen Company, NFL Superbowls account for the top 21 shows in TV history. The top 3 being Super Bowl XLVI 2012 - 166.8 million viewers, Super Bowl XLV 2011 -162.9 million viewers, and Super Bowl XLIV 2010 - 153.4 million.
20 MOST WATCHED SERIES FINALES IN U.S. TV HISTORY M.A.S.H. (CBS), 04/28/83
125.6 Million Viewers
CHEERS (NBC), 05/20/93
84.4 Million Viewers
SEINFELD (NBC), 05/14/98
76.3 Million Viewers
FRIENDS (NBC), 05/06/04
52.5 Million Viewers
THE TONIGHT SHOW: JOHNNY CARSON (NBC), 05/22/92
50 Million Viewers
THE COSBY SHOW (NBC), 04/30/92
44.4 Million Viewers
ALL IN THE FAMILY (CBS), 04/08/79
40.2 Million Viewers
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce Budget: $200 Million (estimated) Worldwid Theatre Gross: $1.21 Billion Net Revenues: $1.01 Billion Robert Downey, Jr. is a box officd beast! Two films in the Top 5 grossing films since 2000? Enough said!
FAMILY TIES (NBC), 05/14/89
36.3 Million Viewers
HOME IMPROVEMENT (ABC), 05/25/99
35.5 Million Viewers
FRASIER (NBC), 05/13/04
33.7 Million Viewers
DALLAS (CBS), 05/03/91
33.3 Million Viewers
EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (CBS), 05/16/05
32.9 Million Viewers
GUNSMOKE (CBS), 03/31/75
30.9 Million Viewers
THE FUGITIVE (ABC), 08/29/67
30.0 Million Viewers
NEWHART (CBS), 05/21/90
29.5 Million Viewers
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Samuel Jackson, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson Budget: $220 Million (estimated) Worldwide Theatre Gross: $1.5 Billion Net Revenues: $1.28 Billion How could you ever go wrong with Marvel Comics? In our opinion, any investment into Marvel’s films (especially the ones that include Iron Man) is a wise decision because they’re almost guaranteed to turn a profit. While the storyline wasn’t all that great, you’ve gotta admit, The Avenger’s was worth watching.
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
STARTREK: THE NEXT GENERATION (Syndication), 05/23/94
27.8 Million Viewers
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel Budget: $195 Million (estimated) Worldwide Theatre Gross: $1.12 Million Net Revenues: $925 Million
As a childhood fan of the Transformers, I must say, I’m never disappointed by these films. The acting isn’t all the great, but the robots never let me down. FYI...you don’t watch Transformers for the storyline, you watch it to be entertained. Numbers dont lie!
THE GOLDEN GIRLS (NBC), 05/09/92
27.2 Million Viewers
FULL HOUSE (ABC), 05/23/95
24.3 Million Viewers
ST. ELSEWHERE (NBC), 05/25/88
22.5 Million Viewers
MACGUYVER (ABC), 05/21/92
22.3 Million Viewers
SCREENWRITING FACT: Mel Brooks’ 1976 film, Silent Movie, has the shortest script since the introduction of audio into films. The only word spoken throughout the film was “Non.”
“WHERE’S THE BEEF”
Likely the most memorable commercial of the 80’s, Wendy’s restaurant hit television gold with this one. These little old ladies still make me laugh. Best commercial ever!
“THANK YOU EASTER BUNNY! BAWK, BAWK!” As a kid, I looked forward to seeing this M&Ms commercial and hearing this classic line around Easter season.
Words By: Shaine Freeman
of the most creatively written
of the 80’s (sex sells wasn’t needed)
“HOW MANY LICKS DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO THE CENTER OF A TOOTSIE POP? LET’S FIND OUT. 1...2-HOO...3! (CRUNCH) 3!”
I remember literally trying to figure out how many licks it took me to get to the center of a tootsie pop, and I never found out. I guess they were right, “The world may never know.” Also, I couldn’t help but wonder what that kid was thinking after the owl snatched his succker and ate it?
FILM & TV
Best Known For: TV show ‘Graceland’ as Joe ‘Johnny’ Tuturro FUN FACTS - From the same city as Snoop Lion (fka Snoop Dogg); Long Beach, CA - Played college football at Sacramento State University - Started out as an on-air radio personality - Will appear in the upcoming action/crime drama, Cyber, starring Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor)
MANNY MONTANA Interview By: Shaine Freeman
From Long Beach To Hollywood
The Graceland Actor Shares His Trials, His Triumphs...His Journey
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MLC PR AND MANNY MONTANA
Film & TV Actor
HOLLYWOOD SIGN HISTORY: In 1923, Mark Sennett, Harry Chandler, and the Los Angeles Times put up the “Hollywoodland” (later shortened to “Hollywood”) sign to publicize a real estate development. The poles that supported the sign were hauled to the site by mules. The sign cost $21,000 ($250,000 today).
“Once I got to college and realized I wasn’t going to the NFL, I channeled that hard work ethic into acting.” Tell us where you’re from and what got you interested in being an actor. I’m from Long Beach, CA; I’m one of the few locals here. I wanted to act early on, but where I’m from, acting isn’t seen as a viable option. So, I focused on football and got a scholarship to Sacramento State. While I was there I got injured and realized that I wasn’t going to go pro so, I decided to get an internship at a radio station. As a result, I ended up being an on-air jock. Around that time, I started meeting indie filmmakers and wound up acting in some of their short films. I had fun doing those projects, so I took some acting classes. But, one of the short films I was in did well at the (film) festivals and caught the attention of a top Warner Brothers (Pictures) executive. He came up to me after the showing and asked, “Why haven’t I seen you before?” From there, we scheduled a meeting for the following week and the rest is history. He introduced me to every studio head in LA and got me my agent and manager. The dude was like my angel or something. (laughs) He’s been one of my best friends ever since. Coming from a rough neighborhood can sometimes breed a defeatist mentality. How did you overcome that? You’re absolutely right! My parents are great and so is my family, but we come from a shady area of Long Beach. I have to deal with a lot of stuff that many of my actor friends have no clue about. When I say, “I don’t wear certain colors for certain reasons.” They don’t get what I mean. Even though I don’t live in those areas any longer, it’s still ingrained in me to think that way. Coming from an area like that, you naturally develop a self-defeatist attitude. This is why I didn’t pursue acting early on, because I thought it wasn’t for guys from my neighborhood. I used to think that the only way out is through football or rap. Once I got to college and realized I wasn’t going to the NFL, I channeled that hard work ethic into acting. The more steps on the ladder I climbed, the more I realized that I can do this (acting). Once you start doing it and you get your foot in “the door,” you start to deal with the new challenges. For instance, I kept being asked to go out for a bunch of gangster roles because I had a shaved head, and I’m Mexican. I was never afraid of being pigeonholed; I just didn’t want to do those roles because I didn’t want to perpetuate that stereotype, and I knew it wouldn’t benefit my career by doing it. So, I had a talk with my reps and told them www.iaemagazine.com
it’s not the kind of work I want to do. It took about a year of turning those auditions down before people started realizing that I’m a nice dude and I never got involved in the gang life growing up. Being the guy who looked like the gangster, but was really a good guy became my niche. That’s who my character on Graceland is; he’s a street kid who done good. (laughs) If you could change anything about the auditioning process, what would it be? That’s a good question. A lot of actors complain about it and I think they eventually get passed that after getting used to it. The good thing about coming from a sports background is, I view it as a competition. I wear a hat and pull it down over my eyes in the audition waiting room because I don’t want to look at anybody. I don’t want to see who they are and I don’t want to have that mentality in my head of who the casting directors may go for instead of me. It works for me. (laughs) But, one thing I would love to see casting directors do is hire an actor to read with you. It makes such a big difference to actually read with someone who is giving back to you in the scene, as opposed to a casting director. I’m not saying that the casting directors are bad at acting, it’s just different. You don’t want to feel like it’s an interview, and it helps when you have an actor read with you. Besides that, the only other thing is that I’d like to not be judged based off of what I look like. But I understand it’s the nature of the business, so I make the adjustments. Obviously, you have adjusted well because you’re doing a movie with Chris Hemsworth and Viola Davis, now. (laughs) Yes, Cyber is the film! I’m glad you asked about it because, even though my part is really small and I didn’t get the part I went out for, I’m proud of the fact that I still got a part in the film because they liked my audition. You have to be ready and always do good work regardless of the size of the part. I was talking to another actor on set and it’s really humbling to go from a pretty big role in Graceland, and then come to the Cyber set and it’s like, “back to the basics.” (laughs) No one is treating you like one of the stars; instead, you’re just another person who booked a role. But all I care about is that I get to work with Michael Mann! You don’t say no to him, and you hope that down the line, the people who casted, directed and produced it will remember you. iae
FILM & TV
SAY ? WHAT THE THINGS CELEBRITIES SAY About Hollywood
“I had to endure the worst time of all in terms of racial discrimination in Hollywood when I first started out. It was inconcievable to American directors and producers that a Mexican woman could have a lead role.” - Salma Hayek “I sure lost my musical direction in Hollywood. My songs were the same conveyer belt mass production, just like most of my movies were.” Elvis Presley
“Hollywood is the most superficial thing you could possibly be a part of and if I weren’t attractive I wouldn’t be working at all.” - Megan Fox
“As you know, Hollywood loves to pigeonhole all the actors and actresses, and suddenly I got ‘re-pigeonholed’ as an action actor.’” - Liam Neeson
“I didn’t even know I was considered plus-size until I was on the red carpet here in L.A. one day and a lady said, ‘How do you feel about being a plussized girl in Hollywood?’ I was like, ‘What’s she talking about?’”- Jennifer Hudson “Hollywood” = the fantasy land created by those who fund, influence, and dictate what the rest of us see on TV and in movies. JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Tom Cruise & Morgan Freeman Go Sci-Fi On Us
OBLIVION BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE Budget $120M Worldwide Gross $285.6M Domestic Gross $89.1M
Also Coming Aug 6th
hese days, it seems as though American audiences are just not going out to the movies like they used to. Oblivion is another one of those star studded films that found itself gasping for air in the U.S., while it was running a marathon overseas. After barely generating $89 Million at domestic box offices, Oblivion went on to turn a net almost $166 Million, far exceeding and recouping the film’s production budget of $120 Million. I’m not sure if this film’s underperformance at U.S. box offices has anything to do with the fact that Americans haven’t forgiven Tom for all the antics he’s pulled over the past 8 years? Who could ever forget the day when Mr. Cruise stood up on Oprah Winfrey’s couch on national TV in 2005? Not to mention his public marital issues with ex-wife, Katie
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
Holmes. Lucky for Tom, overseas audiences didn’t get to see all the drama Americans did. Tom’s personal life aside, the film still has Morgan Freeman in it, which can only be a plus. This film received mixed reviews and I couldn’t help but wonder what some of them were talking about. When you want story that touches the heart, you don’t watch a Sci-Fi Adventure
film...you want The Blind Side. When you have a $120M budget to shoot a film, you don’t worry about the story as much as you do the entertainment value/impact. So you have to go into a movie like Oblivion, expecting a lot of visual and sound effects, with lots of explosions and yelling. For this movie, I liked the fact that they didn’t opt for casting a non-U.S. born actor to star opposite Cruise. Even better, they opted for an older guy like Freeman, who has a great track record and is an amazing thespian. If you’re looking for a great movie to satisfy your desire to be entertained as we enter the close of summer 2014 (don’t cry), I’d recommend picking this DVD up. Don’t go into it expecting some heart warming story like Armageddon, because you’re going to be disappointed. iae
Zambezia (Sony Pictures)
Rated ‘G’ Genre: Animation Runtime: 83 minutes Gross: N/A Cast: Leonard Nimoy, Jeremy Suarez, Abigail Breslin, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson, Jenifer Lewis
To the Wonder (Magnolia) Rated ‘R’ Genre: Romance Runtime: 112 minutes Gross: $558,477 Domestic Cast: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams
DVD Release Source: www.dvdreleases.org, Box Office Gross Numbers: www.boxofficemojo.com
Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure Runtime: 124 minutes Releasing: August 6th Cast: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko
SUMMER/FALL 2013 3 Geezers! (Warner Bros.) Rated ‘NR’ Genre: Comedy Runtime: 81 minutes Gross: N/A Releasing: August 13th Cast: K. Simmons, Tim Allen, Scott Caan, Kevin Pollack, Fernanda Romero, Randy Couture
The Reluctant Fundamentalist (IFC) Rated ‘R’ Genre: Thriller Runtime: 128 minutes Gross: $498k Domestic Releasing: August 27th Cast: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri
Olympus Has Fallen (Film District)
Rated ‘R’ | Genre: Thriller Runtime: 120 minutes Gross: $133Million Worldwide Releasing: August 13th Cast: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett
Shadow Dancer (Magnolia Pictures)
Rated ‘R’ Genre: Drama Thriller Runtime: 104 minutes Gross: N/A Releasing: August 20th Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, Gillian Anderson
The English Teacher (Cinedigm Ent. Group)
Rated ‘R’ Genre: Comedy/Drama Runtime: 91 minutes Gross: N/A Releasing: August 27th Cast: Julianne Moore, Michael Angarano, Greg Kinner, Lily Collins, Nathan Lane
Emperor (Roadside Attract.) Rated ‘PG-13’ Genre: War Drama Runtime: 98 minutes Gross: $3.3M Domestic Releasing: August 13th Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew Fox, Kaori Momoi, Eriko Hatsune
Syrup (Magnolia Pictures)
Rated ‘R’ Genre: Comedy Runtime: 90 minutes Gross: N/A Releasing: August 13th Cast: Amber Heard, Brittany Snow, Kellan Lutz
Mud (New Line/Warner Bros.)
Rated ‘PG-13’ | Genre: Drama Runtime: 130 minutes Gross: $16.8Million Domestic Releasing: August 27th Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Sam Shepard, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Shannon JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
FILM & TV
FAMILY FILMS FACT: In 1949, Ken Anderson (1917-2006), the editor of a Christian youth magazine, formed a small Christian film studio called, Gospel Films. The company grew into the largest Christian film distributor. Today, Pure Flix Films is the largest distributor of faith-based and family friendly films (see below).
Pictured (t-b): David A.R. White on set filming ‘Revelation Road’
BEST KNOWN FOR: Co-Founding Pure Flix Films in 2005 to produce and distribute faith-based and family friendly films FUN FACTS - Grew up as a pastor’s son in rural Kansas - Only saw one movie at the theater before he was 19 - Starred as Burt Reynolds’ son in 90’s TV series “Evening Shade”
Interview By: Shaine Freeman
lease tell us where you’re from and how you got your start in film? I’m from a small town in Kansas, outside of Dodge City. I grew up the son of a Mennonite pastor, and I only saw one movie in the theaters throughout the first 18 years of my life. So, going into the movie industry wasn’t really in my genetics. When I graduated high school, I moved to Chicago to attend Moody Bible Institute because my entire family had studied there. After one year at Moody, I called my dad and told him that I wanted to go to Hollywood to be an actor. [laughs] The great thing about my parents is that they were super supportive of my decision. They told me that, as long as I serve the Lord and put Him first, then it doesn’t matter where I go. So, I moved to Los Angeles when I was 19 years old and ended up on a television sitcom for close to four years called, Evening Shade, starring Burt Reynolds. After a couple of years
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
in LA, I started doing a few faith films for major Christian organizations like, Youth For Christ and Focus on the Family. As I got to know the marketplace for Christian films really well, I felt God leading my heart to take more ownership in the projects I was working on. At that point, I got into writing, producing, and directing. We established Pure Flix Entertainment in 2006 with the goal of making faith based films on a consistent basis to expand the marketplace, and give some alternatives to what’s aired on TV. We offer great films in nearly every genre, including comedies, action, dramas, and thrillers. Pure Flix is now the largest distributor and producer of faith based films. What is your primary goal by offering these alternatives? Our goal is to make films that lift and inspire the human spirit, while at the same time bringing people into a higher understanding of who God is. We want to encourage you to explore and learn the purpose that He has for your life, and to live and love like Jesus. Through these
movies we want to encourage others to have a personal relationship with Christ. What should aspiring filmmakers understand about the movie business before getting into it? First and foremost, whatever you believe God has put in your heart to do, you should pursue it because you never know where it’s going to lead you. I’m from Kansas so, no matter where you are in the country, if you find you have a love for the entertainment industry and you want to use your gifts and talents for God, I totally encourage you to do so. Second, become great at your craft. I believe people oftentimes watch movies and think it’s easy. They don’t understand that making movies is an art form that you have to train years and years to get good at. As a filmmaker, you must study and learn how to make great, quality films because God has called us to excellence. At Pure Flix, we receive our fair share of submissions for distribution that are not up to industry standards. The quality of work looks like someone took their iPhone and just started shooting. Anybody can make a movie, but not everyone can make a quality one. That’s so true! The primary complaint I’ve heard is that Christian films tend to be poor quality and not as entertaining as mainstream films. But that’s not the case with your film, www.iaemagazine.com
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Faith Street Film Partners
DAVID A.R. WHITE Travels Down ‘Revelation Road’
FAMILY FILMS FACT: In 2008, Fireproof, became one of the most successful films at the box office, debuting at #4 and becoming the highest-grossing independent film of that same year, grossing over $33,000,000.
“...making movies is an art form that you have to train years and years to get good at.” - David A.R. White
Revelation Road. Tell us about this movie. Revelation Road is about one man’s journey to faith. The film features former NFL linebacker, Brian Bosworth, and pro wrestler, Steve “Sting” Borden. I play Josh McManus, an average Joe kind of guy with a wife and child. Josh’s past is a mystery to us, but it comes out when he ends up inside a convenience store while it’s getting robbed by a biker gang. Josh ends up thwarting he robbery and taking out 3 members of the gang, which sets off a firestorm. The local authorities investigate Josh and discover that he’s not who he says he is. The story is all cloaked in this mystery, but then the rapture occurs. It’s a fun, action packed film with a strong gospel message. It’s been really cool to see the response from this movie since its release. I’m very proud of the film and thankful to be a part of it. How was it to work with the Boz and Sting on this film? Brian’s name came up in casting and we did our research on him. The press wasn’t very good on him but, we prayed about the casting process and really wanted to make sure we got the people in it who were supposed to be involved. We really felt like the Lord was opening that door and it worked out really easy. Brian was great in the movie and awesome as, Hawg; I can’t imagine anyone else being in that role. Sting plays Junkyard, Brian’s right hand guy. What’s interesting about the process of making this film is that we toured and screened the movie around the country, and while we were in Oklahoma (in March) Brian gave his life to the Lord. (Sting) played a big part in Brian getting saved, because he witnessed to him on the set. These guys, from the outside, sometimes appear rough and hard, but God works on their hearts the same way he works on yours and mine. Your wife, Andrea, worked with you on this film as well. What is it like working with her? Do you guys talk about work at home? Yes. [laughs] Life imitates art just as much as art imitates life so, there’s always a lot of truth in our scenes together. There was a scene in the film, In the Blink of an Eye, where her character Lori was asking my character ‘why www.iaemagazine.com
are you always on the phone?’ That scene got me because it sounded like what we really go through in our personal lives. [laughs] In Revelation Road, she plays Cat, Hawg’s daughter; so, she’s a biker chick. I didn’t have too many scenes with her in the first Revelation Road, but in Revelation Road 2, I do. We work with a lot of the same people over and over again because we really love to establish the family atmosphere on our sets. Working with my wife is wonderful and she’s my favorite person. What are some of the other projects that you have coming up? Check out my Facebook page www.facebook. com/DavidARWhite, or the Pure Flix Facebook page for the latest information. We have Revelation Road 2: The Sea of Glass and Fire, which comes out in theaters in July. We also have a movie coming out next year called, God’s Not Dead. It’s an apologetics movie based on the Newsboys’ #1 album with the same title. We also have Silver Bells, The Book of Esther (June), and The Book of Daniel (August). There are a lot of great movies that are coming out this year from Pure Flix. At which stores can we pick up these films? I always encourage people to go to your local Christian bookstores first, because they are our brothers and sisters and we want to support them. But, a lot of our titles are also in Walmart, Target, Redbox, Blockbuster, Netflix, and of course our website www.PureFlix.com. How can people best support your films? Prayer is the biggest thing, and knowing what to make and how to make it; as well as prayer for protection. If we’re in the theaters, go to the theaters to show your support. Another way you can help is by going out and picking these movies up when they’re available on DVD. When you do that you are saying you want more of this kind of content. This helps big box stores, like the ones I just mentioned, know that there are people who want this kind of content; this way they will continue carrying Pure Flix movies. Thankfully, it’s been growing, and stores like Walmart and Target are starting to see that there is a marketplace and desire for Christian entertainment. iae
FILM & TV
Most Expensive Films To Shoot
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $300 Million (2007)
$260 Million (2010)
$258 Million (2007)
$250 Million (2012)
Harry Potter and the HalfBlood Prince $250 Million (2009)
$237 Million (2009)
The Dark Knight Rises $230 Million (2012)
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $225 Million (2008)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest $225 Million (2006)
$220 Million (2012)
Source: Wikipedia.org and IMDb.com
JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
FILM & TV
RANDOM FACT ABOUT ACTING: Boyd Gaines has the most Tony Awards in acting categories, with four to date, including: The Heidi Chronicles (1989); She Loves Me (1994); Contact (2000); and Gypsy (2008).
‘Under The Dome’
Best Known For: ‘Under The Dome’ as Paul Randolph FUN FACTS - From West Virginia - Kicked off his career by appearing in an episode of ‘America’s Most Wanted’ and one of the final episodes of the hit 90’s TV series, ‘Matlock’
With only 30% of the actors today actually working, you’re one of the very few who has kept busy. What would you attribute your success to? Yikes…I didn’t know that was the number. Well, there have been a few things because I’ve had my fair share of ups & downs. People just can’t get sidetracked with things (believing the hype when things are great, becoming lazy, thinking you know it all). When my wife Gina & I welcomed our son Gunnar into this world, I just wanted him to look back one day and say “That was my dad” & have him be proud! Since he’s an actor also, we’ve worked together, which is priceless. I also have a strong faith in God, an amazing support system from my entire family / friends & I also just work my tail off! Years ago, I had lunch with an old time actor who gave me some simple advice, “Stick around” he said. “If you don’t leave town, sooner or later it will happen” & here I am 16yrs later.
Pictured: Kevin Sizemore with Natalie Martinez in CBS series, ‘Under The Dome’
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
Complete this phrase – “Every actor should know better than to…” Take your ego on set. Leave it at home & go do your job just like everyone else in the world. You are not any more special than the next person, just more people happen to see your work. Also, take care of the crew. They start work before you arrive & won’t finish till after you have left. Remember when filming that you are all a team…do unto others! iae
PHOTOS COURTESY OF KEVIN SIZEMORE, CBS (INSET)
Tell us about your role in the CBS series, Under The Dome? I portray Paul Randolph (Pete in the book), a deputy in Chester’s Mill, a small town in Maine. Paul knows he’s the next one in line to become the Chief of Police, when & if Sheriff Perkins’s ever decides to retire. Randolph is a do it first kind of guy who says what’s on his mind & deals with consequences later. While he loves his job, he also lets people know he has plenty of authority. He’s a guy you definitely want to on your side when heading into a bar fight. Paul makes his first appearance in Chester’s Mill on episode two of “Under The Dome.”
5 He recommended writing a spec script first 8 Represented Mickey Rourke 9 Worked for a US Senator before becoming a record exec 10 Worked as a temp receptionist at CAA before working at a major film studio 11 Remade Jamie Hartford’s song “Somebody’s Gonna Pay” 13 Musician turned Filmmaker
1 Advised artists not to overcompress their music 2 Plays Kenzi on a SyFy channel series 3 Worked as a PA on hit TV show ‘Girlfriends’ before acting 4 First professional gig was in a Nike print ad 6 Actor turned producer at Urban American Outdoors 7 Appeared on the hit show ‘Undercover Boss’ 12 Said that actors are limited by the creativity of the writers
WIN AN INTERVIEW IN OUR SEP/OCT ISSUE
How To Enter: 1. Fill out the above crossword puzzle by finding the answers in our MAR/APR 2013 issue (cover to your left). If you don’t have the issue visit www.iaemagazine.com/magazine 2. Scan your filled in puzzle and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your: real name, email address you used when you joined our email list (visit our ‘Subscribe’ page at www.iaemagazine.com to sign up), Twitter and Facebook links, your online profile (if music submit Reverbnation or Sonicbids page; if film submit IMDb profile). 3. Must be 18 or older to enter There will be 2 Winners chosen (one from music & one from film). The winners will be announced and “tagged” via Twitter & Facebook on Friday, August 2nd.
FILM & TV
THE YEAR IN FILM (1912): In 1912, motorized movie cameras replace hand cranks. • In 1912, Universal Studios began and is the oldest movie studio in the United States of America. Paramount Pictures was founded in 1912 as Famous Players Film Company. It became Paramount Pictures in 1914.
CROWDFUNDING YOUR FIRST FILM
rowdfunding is all the rage these days. Everybody with a creative idea is hopping online to put up their fuding page in hopes that they’ll be one of the 20% who actually raises their full budget. Many of these budgets are fluffed and shouldn’t be trusted. Wile you shouldn’t look to build your entire career via crowdfunding, it is a great way to find help with making your first short or indie feature. I don’t recommend crowdfunding beyond your first film because you don’t want to become so dependent on this form of fundraising that you never learn to pitch to investors, which is an essential skill that every professional filmmaker must develop. I look at filmmaking like professional sports; very few people go straight from high school to the pros. Most have to go through some collegiate level athletics program before they can try their hand at the big leagues; and some even go to a developmental league after college to further prepare themselves to sign a contract with
| By: Shaine Freeman
the major sports teams. This is how the average filmmaker’s career develops. I’ve never seen a major box office hit get funded through a crowdfunding site. I’m not saying it can’t happen; but don’t bet your future on it happening. Nevertheless, if you are going to crowdfund a movie, I think the best one to do it on is SeedandSpark.com because this site was created specifically for filmmakers and fans of movies. Unlike most crowdfunding sites, Seed & Spark teaches filmmakers how to be creative when trying to get their film made; and the site reward donors incentives (sparks) for giving. For example, you can allow people to purchase items you’ll need on set - like lightbulbs. Or, donors can pay for one camera rental day for you; or even donate props for you to use. There are so many cool ways to that this site helps filmmakers. If you’re looking to shoot your first short or indie feature film, check out SeedandSpark.com and tell them I Am Entertainment sent you. iae
FUNDED FILM Congratulations Li-Lu
whose film was successfully funded via Seed & Spark after appearing in I Am Entertainment’s MAY/JUN 2013 issue.
MAGIC’s TV HISTORY: James “Mark” Wilson was the first major “television magician” and played a major role in the process of establishing illusion shows as a viable television format.
Emmy Award Winning Songwriter
Over 4,000 song placements
Interview By: Shaine Freeman
MICHAEL GRANDINETTI DEFYING THE LAWS OF GRAVITY
T PHOTOS COURTESY OF MICHAEL GRANDINETTI
ell us where you’re from and what drew you to pursue a career as an illusionist? I’m originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania although I now reside in Los Angeles. Like many kids growing up, I was given a magic set for Christmas, when I was five, and I was immediately hooked. When I saw that under the tree, it was like everything else in the room disappeared. It was that gift that set me on my path to becoming a magician. I feel very lucky that I found my passion so early in life. Why do you think people are so fascinated by what you do? Magic gives you that sense of fantasy that we all felt as children, makes you feel like anything is possible, and it is one of the best ways to excite a person’s imagination. With my show, I try to make it an uplifting experience that hopefully, after its over, makes the audience walk away feeling happy and positive. Seeing people come to our show after a long day of school or work, and leave feeling reinvigorated is a big motivator for me to continue doing what I do.
thing will become possible. My goal has always been to go after what seems impossible. For example, when we were developing our stadium shows, we had to create illusions that could be performed in front of 70,000 people, with a 360o view at all times, outdoors and under bright lights. We knew it would be quite a challenge. When I levitated a girl above a float as it moved down Constitution Avenue in this year’s 4th of July Parade in Washington DC, there were 250,000 people lining the streets and this was the first time magic had ever been performed in that parade. On the NBC special “The World’s Most Dangerous Magic”, I had 60 seconds to escape from chains holding me between walls of flaming steel spikes. But, I was determined to make each of these projects work (and in the case of the NBC special, survive). I absolutely love the process of bringing new magic to life and taking it to new places. That is one of my big thrills in life. The message I’d like to convey to people through overcoming these kinds of challenges is; if we can levitate somebody outdoors under bright lights or escape from between spikes, then, you can bring what seems impossible to life too.
What’s the greatest lesson that you like to teach people through what you do? Someone told me a long time ago, “don’t know what you can’t do.” Meaning, don’t put limitations on what you think you can do and any-
Where does one start if they want to be a master illusionist? I think one of the best places to start learning is through books. I know we have the internet and DVD’s, and technology is a great tool to use,
but I would suggest that people not just watch what other people do and try to emulate that. The best way to really learn it is to read and study magic through books and to put your own personal spin on the magic. Make the magic a reflection of how you think and who you are. As a kid, I spent a lot of time at my local library just reading books on magic. It gave me a very good foundation and I was able to use my imagination and try to make it my own. There are also great magic stores in towns all over the country. My father would take me to the magic store in Pittsburgh regularly when I was growing up and it was a great way to learn as well. It was also always a lot of fun. Once you start developing your foundation in magic, I would then suggest that you get familiar with other parts of performing; for example: public speaking, acting, stage movement, choreography, and lighting. All of these things play a crucial part in a magic show. It’s more than just getting up and performing a trick. All of the theatrical elements come together to make the entire magic show a theatrical experience.helpful possibility to consider. iae See what other great tips and advice Michael shared with us at: www.iaemagazine.com For more information on The Magic of Michael Grandinetti, please visit www.michaelgrandinetti.com
JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
woman love thyself ™ August is ‘Woman Love Thyself™’ month You control what they see and how they view women.
woman™ love thyself
Woman Love Thyself ™ was created to encourage positive self-esteem and healthy self-image among women in entertainment. Only women have the power to determine what’s beautiful about women, not Hollywood, the media, or any other ambiguous entity claiming dominion over such power. If you support positive self-esteem among women in entertainment, join the movement at www.iaemagazine.com/lovethyself | #WomanLoveThyself
“No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they’re pretty...” Marilyn Monroe
“While everyone views ‘pretty’ differently, every woman and girl is beautiful, no matter what they look like on the outside.”
Did You Know? “Media images of female beauty influence everyone. They influence how women feel about themselves, and they influence how men feel about the real women in their lives.” - Killing us Softly, Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D.
By age 13, approximately of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies”.
This number increases to once girls reach 17 years of age.
Source: National Institute on Media and the Family
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
MARILYN MONROE STATUE PHOTO: Bart Everett / Dreamstime.com
Candy Freeman, Editor-In-Chief IAm Entertainment Magazine
i Am Entertainment
woman love thyself ™
Wants you to... love thyself ®
“I’m not ashamed of what I am and that I have curves and that I’m thick. I like my body.” - Alicia Keys, Multiplatinum and GRAMMY Award Winning Artist
“I had that fear of people judging me for crossing over into the music world (from wrestling). 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...In this world, people will always try to bring you down because of their own fears and insecurities,” - Mickie James, 8x World Champion Wrestler & E1 Recording Artist (Cover Mar/Apr 2013; Vol. 4, Iss. #21)
“Being honest and honorable enough to admit that you’re not perfect, and then be willing to right any wrongs and ask for forgiveness helps to keep you on the straight and narrow path of integrity, no matter what business you’re in.” - Dr. Holly Carter, PhD, TV Producer & Celebrity Talent Manager (Mar/Apr 2013; Vol. 4, Iss. #21)
“There’s something in you that you’ve experienced or that God has placed in your heart that you need to share with the world. I challenged myself to step up and speak about what’s in my heart, what I’ve gone through and what I’ve noticed young girls and women are going through.” - Blanca of Group1Crew (Jul/Aug 2012; Vol. 3, Iss. #17)
ALICIA KEYS PHOTO: Adriana M. Barraza / Associated Press
“My now, 23 year old self would tell my then 20 year old self that everything is going to be okay; breathe, you have talent, and it’s okay to be goofy on stage.” - Jena Sims, Film & TV Actress (Cover of Jul/Aug 2012; Vol. 3, Iss. #17)
“I’m proud of the fact that I have a curvy body and I’m not the stereotypical skinny model that people are accustomed to seeing. I’m always appreciative for what God has given me and I would love for other African-American girls to know that they should appreciate what they’ve been given too. There’s strength in a black woman’s body.” - Gwendolyn Osborne-Smith (May/Jun 2013; Vol. 4, Iss. #22)
JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
woman love thyself ™ COVER STORY
“I didn’t realize how hard things were really going to be for me in Hollywood. I kept hearing, “no,” on everything I auditioned for; and these were roles that I fit. I would ask, “What’s the problem ,” and they’d tell me to lose 10-15 pounds and I would be perfect for those roles. But, I didn’t buy into that.”
woman love thyself ™
Denise Bidot The International Model and Star of Hit TV Show ‘Curvy Girls’
KICKS ‘SKINNY’ TO THE CURB & REDEFINES BEAUTY INTERVIEW BY Shaine Freeman | EDITED BY Candy Freeman PHOTOGRAPHY BY Heather Hazzan www.heatherhazzan.com
In a world where skinny women are lauded, and being curvy could keep a girl from ever seeing her day in the limelight, Denise Bidot shines like the North Star. Never one for letting others tell her what’s beautiful, this classy young Latina model/ TV star is proving the Photoshop experts at magazines and ad companies wrong. Denise is proud to tell the world that ‘plus sized’ does not mean ugly; and in this exclusive interview, we get to know why she’s viewed as one of the most beautiful women in entertainment.
Where are you from and how did you get into professional modeling and acting? I’m from New York, and pretty early on I knew I wanted to be in entertainment, I just wasn’t sure where I’d be best suited. I’m a Latina girl who didn’t come from a wealthy background so, I knew that I had to work hard no matter what direction I chose. Around the age of 12, I started taking acting classes and it became my focus; my passion. There’s something so cool about being able to transform into different characters. A few years went by and I booked a couple of commercials, and when I turned 18, I moved to Hollywood. I don’t know why but, everyone thinks they can just move to Hollywood and things will be easy; they think they’re different from everyone else before them. (laughs) But things didn’t work out the way I had hoped they would. I didn’t realize how hard things were really going to be for me in Hollywood. I kept hearing, “no,” on everything I auditioned for; and these were roles that I fit. I asked, “What’s the problem ,” and they told me to lose 10-15 pounds and I would be perfect for those roles. But, I didn’t buy into that. My mom felt that I needed to be in school for something so, I came up with my “Plan B,” which was to go to school and learn to be a professional make-up artist. This way, I could still work in entertainment, but behind the scenes. Very shortly after making that decision, I got asked to be a “plus size model,” and that was the end of my makeup career. (laughs) This was the best thing that ever happened to me, and now that I’ve been modeling for 6 years, opportunities in film and television are starting to come my way. Everything worked out exactly the way it was supposed to. I wake up everyday feeling so blessed because my dreams have come true. Would you say your size was the biggest challenge faced breaking into show business? If so, how did you overcome it, emotionally? I was raised by an amazingly strong single JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
woman love thyself ™
“Thanks to my mom, I learned early on that beauty wasn’t based on size.”
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
woman love thyself ™ COVER STORY
mother, and I lived vicariously through her ups and downs. She struggled with her weight, and it didn’t matter how big or small she got to be, she was always beautiful. Thanks to my mom, I learned early on that beauty wasn’t based on size. That was the core of my perception on beauty so, when I was told to lose weight and I would be perfect for acting, I didn’t fall for it beacuse: 1) I knew it wasn’t healthy to be told to lose weight, and 2) I didn’t want to compromise who I was. I wanted to stand for something beyond the idea that skinny is the only form of beauty. There is a time and place for everything, and if my time wasn’t at that moment, then it would come later. Good for you! We all know that everyday women don’t look like the photoshopped images we see in most printed media. Most women work day jobs, and many have kids; they don’t have time to be in the gym all day. That’s right! I come from a family of hard working individuals. Almost every one of them are either lawyers or doctors, and I’m the only one who went into entertainment. They thought I was crazy when I left for Hollywood at age 18. (laughs) But, I went out and worked hard to pursue my dreams because they showed me that hard work pays off. I knew that if I was going to make it in entertainment, I had to do as they did. I was not an overnight success either. It was more like 7 years in the making. (laughs) I have so much respect for the (entertainment) business, and I appreciate everything I’ve been through. It’s a little surreal when I’m traveling around the world doing what I love for a living. Once you got your professional start, how did you align yourself with top “names” in the fashion industry? I’m a very faith-based person, and I know that everything works out in it’s time. I also have an amazing team behind me. My agent believes in everything I believe in and is very supportive. I can walk in as myself and be okay if they tell me “no,” because I’m not trying to be anything that I’m not. I believe it’s for that very reason, that people have gravitated toward me. I’m real, and they have fun hanging out with me. (laughs) I believe that, if you’re a good person, MICKIE JAMES then Godpro will set you/ up to be in the right place Championship wrestler eOne recording artist with the right people. www.iaemagazine.com
Speaking of being in the right place with the right people; how did you get involved with J.Lo on this show, Curvy Girls? This was a long time coming. I remember when J.Lo came out with her song, “If You Had My Love,” and I was like, “oh my gosh, this is a hit!” She was someone that I really looked up to. It wasn’t just because she represented the Latino community and beautified the curvy Latina female body; there were so many things about her career that spoke to me. From film to fashion, and everything else that she’s done in her career, she just motivates me. So, when I was told that J.Lo was coming onboard at the network (Nuvo), I was very excited. She is exactly who I should be in company with. It really is insane! (laughs) For those women and girls who are reading this and struggling to get their careers off the ground because the entertainment industry sees them as “plus-sized,” how do they maintain their self-esteem? It’s tricky because, self-esteem is something internal. It’s not something that someone else can shatter if you don’t let them. You need to build that internally before you can step out and get any job. Whatever you’re doing in life, you have to do it to the best of your ability because, there’s always going to be someone who wants what you have. I attribute a lot of my success to having a great upbringing in a family who loves and supports me. I know that whether I’m successful or not, they are going to love me. That gives me peace when I lay my head down at night. Just know that when you’re getting rejected or receiving a ton of “no’s,” it may not be the right time. If you work hard and stay thankful, everything will pan out. If you’re never told “no,” then you won’t appreciate it when someone says, “yes.” Very true! Talk a little bit about the HBO Latino show, Habla? HBO Latino is an amazing platform, and it’s so cool to see Latino documentaries getting support on television. Habla, the series, has revolutionized how we see each other. You don’t have to be Latino to watch the network either, because I think people can relate to the storylines. Regardless of our race, we all have our struggles. We can all relate to feeling like
we don’t fit in. I remember watching Habla and was literally in tears; not just because I was a part of it but, because I worked so hard to be in this business. I get to see all these beautiful women and I am so shocked to be alongside them. There is an Olympic boxer, a chef, actors; they are all so inspiring and successful, and when I was watching it I just thought about all of the struggles I went through to get here. To be placed in company with these amazing women, I feel so humbled and grateful. iae
“...self-esteem is something internal. It’s not something that someone else can shatter if you don’t let them. You need to build that internally before you can step out and get any job.” JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
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A&R / Founder of Label Recruit www.labelrecruit.com
Helping Unsigned Artists Find A Label Home
What exactly does an A&R consultant do in today’s music industry?
people like me, because they know and trust that I’m not going to bring them something that isn’t polished. Tell us what Label Recruit is, and what do you do there? Label Recruit is an A&R company, which means I get to work with both the labels and the artists. For the labels, I do things like sending them monthly reports on artists I think they should check out, as well as setting up showcases for them. With artists, what I do is bring them into a major studio here (Manhattan, NY) and these artists get to do a private performance for invited music industry guests. While they’re performing we record a live EP for them, and we film it and make videos out of it. Artists can log onto our website to learn more about us and submit themselves for consideration. iae
CLASSIC SONG LYRICS
LOOKIN’ FOR LOVE (1980) Artist: Johnny Lee Writers: Wanda Mallette, Bob Morrison, Patti Ryan Lyric: I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places Lookin’ for love in too many faces Searchin’ their eyes, lookin’ for traces Of what I’m dreamin’ of Hoping to find a friend and a lover I’ll bless the day I discover, Another heart- lookin’ for love
I know a few other people who do it, but everyone has their own way. For me, I act as an extra set of ears to find new artists for the labels; but on the artist side, it involves a lot more artist development because labels can’t always do that anymore. I can assess where an artist is and decide if they’re actually ready to be presented to a label, because I know what the labels are looking for. This way the artist doesn’t just get the typical response of, “Sorry, we’re not interested at this time.” I can give them a much more detailed answer as to what they need to improve before approaching a label. What artists have to understand is that, labels aren’t signing nearly as many artists these days because they don’t have the same kind of money they used to have years ago. So, if an A&R person signs your band and you tank, that A&R who signed you loses his/her job. That’s why they work with
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
RESPECT (1965) Artist: Aretha Franklin Writer/Prod.: Otis Redding (W), Steve Cropper (P) Lyric: What you want, baby, I got it What’s you need? You know I got it All I’m askin’ is for a little respect when you get home Hey baby, when you get home, mister RESPECT Find out what it means to me RESPECT Take care, T C B
IMAGINE (1971) Artist: John Lennon Writers/Producers: John Lennon (W), Yoko Ono (P), Phil Spector (P) Lyric: Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world...
PHOTO COURTESY OF: Jeff Lanier
How did you get your start in the music business? I started out the same way a lot of people in the music business did; I had a band when I was younger and eventually transitioned into recording. I wound up building a recording studio in my parents’ basement to not only record myself, but also other people in the neighborhood. That experience led me to enter the music program at Drexel University and they had a label there, so I got to do a lot of projects with them; from publicity to A&R. While I was still at Drexel, an opportunity to be an A&R scout for RoadRunner Records came about in New York. Today, I do A&R consulting with my company, Label Recruit, and I advise engineers and producers.
Albums Sold Q1-Q2, 2013
Justin Timberlake: 20/20 2.1 Million Sold RCA Records
One Direction: Take Me Home 1.7 Million Sold Columbia Records
Bruno Mars: Unorthodox Jukebox 1.5 Million | Atlantic Records
Jason Aldean: Night Train 1.3 Million Broken Bow Records
Rihanna: Unapologetic 1.1 Million Def Jam Source: Nielsen Soundscan
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a beacon for your music needs
Michelle Bayer Founder of Shelly Bay Music
Talks Licensing Music & Publishing Admin
“Making sure the splits on a song are correct could be the difference between you making $10,000 and $100,000.” What got you interested in a music career? I was always interested in music as a kid. When all of my friends were buying clothes and makeup, I was buying vinyl records of artists I liked. So, I guess I was destined to be involved with music in some way, and since I had two piano teachers quit on me, I figured I had better find another way to be in the business. (laughs) In high school I started helping bands as a roadie and also spent a summer as an intern at a big recording studio in Manhattan where a lot of Broadway shows and films were scored. Because of that experience, I thought I wanted to be an engineer, but in those days there were very few female engineers and I wasn’t getting a lot of love. So, I went to college and did a double major in Music Theory/History and Business Management, and I interned at places like the Songwriters Hall of Fame, ASCAP, and CBS Records. I tried to get into as many places as I could. But, it was the internship I did with the late legendary A&R, John Hammond that really helped me figure out what I really wanted to do in music. He was on his way into retirement, so I would deliver his trade magazines to his home and he would sit me down and tell me how he got to where he was. After college, the first job I worked was as an assistant for an artist manager. From there, I went to EMI Music Publishing and did royalty tracking; working with the finance, copyright, and the licensing departments. After EMI, I went to Tommy Boy Records and ran their publishing and Film & TV Soundtrack departments. I was there for six years before Warner Brothers bought them out and I was out of a job, so
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
I started my company, Shelly Bay Music. That was 11 years ago. What a journey! So when you started your company, how did you find artists? When I left Tommy Boy, a lot of the artists from that label came with me to my company, Shelly Bay Music. So, I still do publishing admin for Prince Paul and De La Soul, as well as some of Coolio’s catalog, Dan The Automator and several others from Tommy Boy. The rest of my client roster has come by word of mouth through the artists I already worked with. I never really had to go out and find clients, it just sort of happened. We expanded organically. Did you set out to start an admin company or a music placement and licensing company? When Tommy Boy closed, the business was really tight and so there weren’t very many jobs out there. Since I had done so many things at Tommy Boy, I didn’t really know exactly which way I wanted go. But the good thing for me was that I knew there were people like Prince Paul and De La Soul who would need my help since they were working on projects and all of a sudden had no label home anymore. So, I approached some of them and started doing their admin. From there, I partnered with someone who did music placements and represented record companies; pitching their song catalogs. Eventually, that partner went a different direction and I decided to launch the placement and pitching side of Shelly Bay. Today, we represent a number of artists, indie labels, and publishers; doing admin for some and placement services for others. We
also do royalty administration for some of the indie labels who focus primarily on making the music, but don’t have internal staff that knows how to do mechanical licensing and pay out the royalties to their artists. What is a mechanical license, for those who don’t know? A mechanical license involves the sale of songs via digital stores like iTunes, or in brick & mortar establishments like Wal-Mart where CDs or vinyl are sold. But, you also have a public performance license, which involves collecting money from the P.R.O.’s for broadcast radio and television airplay, as well as live performances. Then, there’s the synchronization (synch) license; which is the one everybody cares about because it involves royalties for TV, film, and advertising placements. It’s my job to find out who has used my clients’ songs and collect our monies from the users. What is publishing administration? Publishing administration (admin) has a lot to do with getting proper licenses in place and then collecting all of the income that is owed to our clients for those licenses. Admin also involves registering songs with the PRO’s and helping our clients with their copyright registrations. It’s a lot of paperwork and making sure my clients are organized. I have to make sure they have their splits done right on the songs they create because it can get messy when you have 2 producers and 5 writers on one song. Making sure the splits on a song are correct could be the difference between you making $10,000 and $100,000. It is very important because it’s how
writers and publishers generate income from their catalog of songs. It’s my job to make sure my clients are taking care of these things because it’s how we all make money. For many artists who don’t write their songs; after the mp3s and CDs stop selling, that artist no longer gets paid from the song. But the songwriters and publishers of the song keep getting paid for performance and sync licenses. A great example I like to use in the class I teach at Baruch College/ CUNY is Whitney Houston’s song, “I Will Always Love You”. Dolly Parton wrote that song, so she and the publisher made 3x what Whitney did from it. Although it was Whitney’s recording of the song that brought it to the forefront, she (Whitney) didn’t write it. So, every time they play it on the radio or they show a rerun of the movie The Body Guard, Dolly Parton and the publisher get paid for it, but Whitney Houston’s estate doesn’t. So it’s very important to have your splits and songs properly registered. The licensing side of it, or what many people call “placement”, involves pitching music to the music supervisors at film companies, TV networks, advertising agencies, trailer companies, and video game companies. We go and find out who’s looking for music and what kinds of music they need, and then we gather music from our clients to pitch. The goal is to have our clients’ music placed in these companies’ projects. iae
Artists You Should Get To Know
BILLBOARD TOP 100 CHARTING COUNTRY RECORDING ARTIST www.joannamosca.com
Where are you from and why’d you want to sing country music? I’m from West Hartford (CT); not a big country music market. My dad loved music, and he brought a lot of different types of it into the house. But, when I heard Patsy Cline, I fell in love with country music. As I started writing and singing, years later, my love for country music artists like Patsy began seeping into my writing and the way I saw life. That’s how it all started for me. Obviously it paid off because your EP, Let It All Begin, sounds great! Talk a little bit about this project. We wanted to get another CD out there since my single Keep On Going did really well in the Adult Contemporary market, and crossed over into Country. This new EP is more Country Pop/Rock. I really wanted to work with more Nashville producers, since my first CD was produced in New York. I really wanted Bryan White (Grammy winning Country artist) to do the duet with me on, Let It All Begin, so my management contacted him. He loved the song, but due to a conflict of interest he couldn’t. He was so disappointed that he offered to produce my entire EP, and help me find a duet partner since he (Bryan) couldn’t do it. I was thrilled! So, Bryan called Richie McDonald and Richie decided to do the duet with me. It really fell into place. What’s the tough part about being a female artist? Country music is a man’s world. If you look at the Top 40, 35 of those artists will be men. We have a few very successful female artists, but there’s not a lot of room for new females. So, that’s the toughest part of it, for me. What’s next for you? We recently wrapped the CMA Festival, and this was my first time performing there. Now we’re preparing our tour dates for the fall. I’m also writing more songs so I can turn the EP into a full length CD. iae
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
JONATHAN McREYNOLDS TEHILLAH MUSIC GROUP / LIGHT RECORDS GOSPEL RECORDING ARTIST www.jonathanmcreynolds.com
Where are you from and what got you interested in music? I’m from the southside of Chicago (IL), and I was a nerd growing up. I remember wanting to be a meteorologist as a kid and music was just a hobby that I didn’t think would ever come to the forefront of my life. Once I got to high school, I wanted to create my own identity so girls would take interest in me. (laughs) But, by the time I got to college, God started giving me songs. Now, God is using those songs in an amazing way. What were some of the early on challenges you faced launching your singing career? Honestly, my biggest hurdle has been me understanding that it’s about God and not self. Thankfully, I didn’t go the arrogant route. My issue was fear. I would ask, “God can I really do this?” But, He showed me that He didn’t set me up to fail. How did you develop your unique sound? I grew up playing the organ in the Church Of God In Christ (C.O.G.I.C), and I still play the organ in my home church. I came up on traditional music, but my mother would listen to Hillsong too. I would also hear my aunt and uncle listening to artists like Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Boyz II Men, and Brian McKnight. Once I got to Columbia College (Chicago), I started listening to Stevie Wonder, and studying Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney’s writing styles. All of those things came together and helped shape who I am; and you can hear it come through in my music. Talk a little bit about your latest release. Life Music is my first official project. I put an EP out in 2010 and that got the attention of some people and it put me on this accelerated path. Life Music is just a manifestation of things I ex-
perienced throughout my college career, before graduating in 2011. I’m really amazed that some people see it as a worship CD, because it contains songs that speak of those times when I was dissatisfied with myself and my effort to represent God better. There are songs I talk about getting introduced to the real world, and in those times the focus wasn’t on Jesus, but rather worldly things. I’m really thankful that people are able to relate to the songs God gave me. What do you want people to get out of your music? I hope people will learn from my ups and downs and not live a life that misrepresents God. I had playing the organ on Sunday mastered, but Monday-Saturday I was unintentionally living a life that didn’t reflect the faith I claimed to have. So, I hope that Life Music encourages people to live a better life for God. Satan is cool with us being Sunday Christians, because he knows he’ll have us Monday-Saturday. I hope people realize that there’s more to Christianity than church. It’s a lifestyle that has to give God the glory everyday; otherwise, you can’t tap into His power. What advice can you give to unsigned Christian artists about ministry versus business? (1) Stop comparing yourself to others; that’s coveting. Express yourself in your own unique way and let God make your path. Your independent CD may not lead to a record deal, it could be something else that does it for you. Just be open to whatever God has for you. (2) Remember that God is in control and His timing’s perfect. when it’s your time it will happen. If you force it, you’ll lose. Just keep practicing and writing, because you never know what God will be able to do with it when you’re relying on Him and not yourself. iae
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Tahillah Music Group, Joanna Mosca
Heard It...Loved It
The MUSICIAN’S Corner
JONATHAN SINGH NFLUENTIAL MUSIC GROUP CONTEMP. CHRISTIAN ARTIST www.jsinghmusic.com
Welcome back man! Tell the people where you’re from and what you do. Thanks for having me again! Well, for those who don’t know, I’m from New York City, but I live in Orlando (FL) with my wife and son. I’m the Worship Pastor at Deeper Life Assembly Church, here in Orlando, and I’m also a singer-songwriter / record producer.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Jonathan Singh, The Roys
So, talk about your latest EP, Here To Stay, and what’s the goal with this release? Here To Stay is my debut EP release on NFluential Music Group. My goal with this new EP is to just introduce myself to everyone! I wanted to get a little bit more personal and share some of my shortcomings as a Christian and even in my personal relationships. To also show how I have been redeemed and how grateful I am that I get to live this life. It was also the first time I really got to write and produce a lot of the songs too. It was an amazing experience! If you could make one change about today’s music business what would it be and why? One thing I love to do is go on iTunes to check out new music. When I hit that home page all I see is music and not necessarily genre’s. All different types of artists are placed next to each other. That allows consumers to check artists out without discriminating. I wish the business would do that and stop labeling artists to certain genre’s and just allow us to make great music! If it’s a great song it shouldn’t just be forced to stay in one lane. That’s why we’re starting to see more and more artists starting their own labels and taking control of their brands. They could have more say over what they put out. iae Where can people connect with you online? www.Twitter.com/JonathanSingh www.Facebook.com/JonathanSinghsMusic www.YouTube.com/JSinghTV
BILLBOARD CHART TOPPING COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS DUO www.theroysonline.com
Where are you guys from and what got you interested in doing Country and Bluegrass? We were born in a small town called Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Our parents are French Canadian and after we were born, they decided to move back to Canada where they were from. We were raised in a small town where our mom is from called, Coal Branch in New Brunswick. Our family is very musical. Grandma played the fiddle, and our aunt and uncles sang and played the guitar; so we were always around music. They loved Bluegrass, so that’s what we grew up on and it’s what we sing today. How has being siblings helped you guys, both creatively and professionally? I think being a brother and sister tandem brings about that built in harmony, so our way of thinking is connected. Not sure if other families that play music together are that way, but for us, we are very much alike when it comes to music and what we aspire to accomplish. It makes it very easy when you have the same focus and same goals. Elaine and I have had, pretty much, the same aspirations since childhood. You don’t have to find someone to come in and blend harmonies with, because we already have that built in. Tell us a little about your latest release, Gypsy Runaway Train. Why are people drawn to it? It’s the past of THE ROYS and the future of THE ROYS. The past, meaning we incorporated some standards that we were raised on and, in our own way, wanted to pay homage to those who helped pave the way for artists like us. Whereas, the originals on this record represent the future of THE ROYS. We are very excited that people get to see who helped shape our sound; from Merle
Haggard to Dolly Parton. Also, to let people see where we’re taking our music in the time to come. It’s been a real blessing working with Andy Leftwich of Kentucky Thunder on this record, as well as working with our band on some of the originals. For Gypsy Runaway Train we did things a little different. We didn’t try to go for perfection because music is not supposed to be perfect; it’s suppose to be melodic and grab people’s heartstrings. Emotion and perfection are not the same. Emotion is really what people are drawn to, not perfection. So, we went with emotion on this record. We did a little more roots and ‘grass’, and so far, it seems like people are gravitating to it. From a business perspective, what do you wish you knew then that you know now? Someone asked us, “What if you would have released Lonesome Whistle 10 years ago and gotten your career started then?” The only thing I could say is, I don’t think we would have had the career we’re having now, 10 years ago. We had to do everything the way we’ve done it to be able to get to where we are today. I’m a firm believer that the steps that we take in life are meant to lead us to where we go next. I don’t think short cuts and different avenues that we could have taken would not have done any better for us. I’m really excited for the way our career is unfolding and it has been a long hard road for Elaine and I. I think it’s those hard times that have kept us humble and appreciative of every stage, every interview, every TV appearance, every time we walk into a restaurant and someone recognizes us. Everything that happens to us right now we take it with the utmost humility because we know that it can all be gone tomorrow. iae JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
ISAAC CARREE CHART TOPPING | STELLAR AWARD WINNING GOSPEL RECORDING ARTIST www.officialisaaccarree.com
Throughout your career what has been the mainstay in terms of the business aspect of Christian music? I think people get the misconception that because it’s Christian music it’s not a business. I think people should understand that it is a business and you can’t make it in this business if you’re only looking at things from a spiritual perspective. Anytime money and album sales are involved, it turns into business and you have to be able to wear dual hats. When you’re on stage you have to be able to minister the Gospel to the audience in attendance, but when you’re off stage you have to be able to crunch numbers and have business and strategy meetings. You’ve got to be able to wear two hats and not be ashamed of doing so. Even though I’m a Christian and I’m a Gospel artist, I’m still doing business. The word is the ministry tool that you use to help change people’s lives. But, when you’re booking performance dates, it’s the business side that affords you the opportunity to be able to get in front of people to even minister to them.
NEW ALBUM | NEW DAY 35
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
Let’s talk about your new sophomore solo project, Reset. Who are some of the people you worked with on the project and what can people expect to hear in terms of the sound? I had the opportunity to work with Eric Dawkins again, Gerald Haddon, Phil Cornish, Lil Ronnie Jackson. Artists I worked with are Kirk Franklin, Lecrae, Kierra Sheard, LeAndrea Johnson, Joe, R. Kelly, Zacardi Cortez. I know it seems like a lot of features, but I double up some people on different songs. I had the opportunity to work with a lot of great people. The sound still has an urban edge, but I added a little more church worship. My preference is to give a mix so there is a little bit for everyone to enjoy. I’ll give them a little urban contemporary, traditional worship, and some pop. I tried to put everything on one record so that everyone will be satisfied. So, in essence, it has an urban feel with a church undertone. I think people will be pleasantly surprised. Lyrically, the album is strong because we
touched on real life issues and things that people can relate to, especially with the lead single Clean This House, because it’s a very transparent song. Production wise it’s up-to-date, and I stand by that. What I found interesting is that you’re doing it Available independently now. How differentNow is it for In Stores & iTunes you this time, versus when you were at a major label? Honestly, it’s a headache on both ends. It’s a headache when you’re with a label because you’re hoping that they fulfill your vision and the way you see it. Then it’s a headache doing it independently because you have to pay for everything. So, there’s a headache either way. (laughs) The plus of doing it independently is that you get to do things your way, and you get to make all the decisions. However, it’s a lot harder because, to whom much is given, much is required. This album was a really rough one for me. But, I’m glad to be an owner and I get to keep my masters. I can make my own decisions with my career and I don’t have to depend on someone else. Even if I fail, I will fail at my own hands and not at somebody else’s hands. When you’re independent, you have to understand that if you don’t invest in yourself, then no one else will. I try to make the best out of it and pray that people go out and support it. I hope they really understand the importance of how much they are blessing me by buying it, and I pray that I bless them with the music that I’ve recorded. From a publishing aspect, what can you share with aspiring artists who may be thinking that a record deal is their only hope? When it comes to publishing, my theory is something other people may not agree with, but I never gave my publishing away. Labels will sometimes make you feel like you have to, but you don’t have to. If you do, they’ll promise you things and sometimes they don’t make good on it. It all depends on how educated you are about the business. But, just know that you don’t have to give away your publishing. Some people choose to, and history has shown that they regret it later. But, when it comes ot being signed to a label, I think new artists should sign to a label if they can. I don’t think you should come out the gate doing an independent record unless you have the financial capital to back it. Even if you do have the financial capital to back it, I still think a label is able to help you create an audience. I was able to do this independently because I have been in this business for over www.iaemagazine.com
ISAAC CARREE PHOTOS BY: Allen Cooley
Tell us where you’re from and what sparked your interest in singing? Originally from North Carolina and I was raised in the church. My mother introduced me to music and when I was around 15, I started working with John P. Kee.
The MUSICIAN’S Corner
25 years and I have been able to build an audience. Even though my audience is still growing and I’m still trying to expand my reach, I didn’t have to start from scratch like most independent artists. So, if you’re starting from scratch and nobody knows you, I think it is smart to do a short term deal with a label to help you build your brand and grow your audience. Then, you can step out later and try to invest in yourself. The key is to make sure you sign the right type of deal and that you have the right representation (management and attorney) to make sure that you’re covered because at the end of the day it is a business. iae
By: W&W Public Relations, Inc. RESET was released on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 to critical acclaim. The album is the latest release from Stellar Award-winning gospel star, songwriter, producer and actor Isaac Carree. Following Carree’s award-winning #1 debut solo album, Uncommon Me, his much-anticipated sophomore solo album, RESET, features fresh tracks and dynamic vocals from Carree as the acclaimed singer leads listeners through a powerful journey of inspiration, spiritual renewal and praising God’s powers of redemption and restoration.
KIMA CHARYSSE PHOTO BY: Brian Hall
Featuring the hit lead single “Clean This House,” which quickly made an impact in the Top 10 on the Gospel charts, RESET also features special guest appearances from heavy-hitters in both gospel and mainstream music, including: Kirk Franklin, Lecrae, James Fortune, Kierra Sheard and Le’Andria Johnson, plus R&B vocalist Joe, and R. Kelly on the must-hear remix of “Clean This House.” Infusing RESET with vital melodies and lyrics that encourage listeners in reflecting on their faith, embracing change and remaining strong in the face of challenging circumstances, Carree has created a must-have album, that is available in stores everywhere and on iTunes.
NFLUENTIAL MUSIC GROUP CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN ARTIST www.kimacharysse.com
You just released a single titled, Travel The World. What’s that song all about? Travel the World is about how we search for something to make us happy or to bring us joy. We spend money trying to find it, we go everywhere seeking that something, that one thing that will fill the void. You can be the richest person in the world, you can have family and friends all around you, but if you don’t know the love of Jesus you will still feel empty. It’s an upbeat, feel good track that reminds us that we have nothing without Christ. We can travel the world over looking for something that is right inside of us, if we will just accept and believe. Your previous single, Possible, got over 44,000 views and tons of comments. What were some of the things that you learned about that particular song’s impact on others; and how did seeing those things happen help you as an artist and person? It’s funny that you mention that because I was thinking about it the other day. I was blown away to know that so many people were affected by that song. Even though it was a message straight from God that my team and I wrote, there was still a lot of trepidation upon deciding to release it. We were apprehensive about going outside of the box a little with a different sound. It represented the many genres of music that I grew up listening to so I loved it, but wasn’t sure how people would respond. What impacted me the most was being able to connect with the people who were touched by Possible. There were a lot of teens that reached out to let me know how much it meant to them.
There were even some that revealed the song prevented them from cutting and committing suicide. That really pulled at my heart strings. God showed me another level of my purpose in life through this experience, reaching out to troubled teens. The best thing I learned as an artist, was to just be Kima. Not try to fit into what I think will be acceptable. But to trust that God leads us the way He wants us to go. Trusting that everything about us, flaws and all, is necessary. Those very things are what someone else could relate to that leads them to Jesus. This music ministry isn’t just about making dope songs that people can bob their heads or dance to. It’s about spreading the life giving hope of Christ in a way people may not other wise get. It’s about loving as Jesus loves, without conditions. What would you like to see more of in the Christian music space? If I can be totally honest, I’d say that I’d like to see more artists collaborate and support one another. Whether independent or signed to a major label, all Christian artists are in this thing together. We share a common goal and that’s to advance the kingdom of God. There are some artists/bands that do that, but I’d like to see more of us develop this mindset. Where can people connect with you online? For those who would like to reach out to me and say “hi,” can do so on my website (above) or: www.Twitter.com/KimaCharysse www.Facebook.com/Kima.Charysse.Music www.YouTube.com/KimaCharysse I try to respond to everyone.
RYAN CABRERA CHART TOPPING | GOLD SELLING RECORDING ARTIST www.ryancabrera.com
Touring and Music Business
Where are you from and what sparked your interest in music? I didn’t grow up around music, but I think that Dave Matthews Band was the main reason that I picked up a guitar. I wanted to be that dude, and that was how I learned to play the guitar. I didn’t take any lessons, I just watched Dave Matthews play and watched his hands; that’s what got me interested in music. I never really wanted to be a singer, I really just wanted to play guitar in a band. How did you connect with Jessica Simpson’s dad (Joe); and what did you learn from the business side of music, as a result? I was playing an acoustic show at the Hard Rock in Dallas and Joe Simpson happened to be there. After I finished, he came to me
and said, “I want you to move to LA.” At the time, I was enrolled in college but literally the next day, I dropped out. The following week I moved to LA and met with him and his family. With the business side, everything is not what you’d expect it to be. You always think you know what’s going on, but once you’re a part of it you realize that “politics” exists and several other things you had no idea existed come into play. What’s the #1 thing every artist needs to know about this business? I think the most important skill artists need to learn is writing, because publishing is everything. Also, artists need to learn how to accept the word, “no”. Just because someone tells you, “no,” that doesn’t mean you need to quit what you’re doing. For instance, I had 15 labels turn me down. Then, I wrote a successful song and all of a sudden, those same labels wanted to sign me. Just be confident in yourself and toughen up so you can hear “no,” a thousand times and it doesn’t bother you, because eventually your time will come. How does one prepare for a tour? A lot of artists don’t realize it, but touring is a lot of hard work. It certainly is. (laughs) I think playing as many shows as possible is the way to prepare for a tour. A lot of people don’t want to put in the work, though. (laughs) A lot of artists out there will sign a deal and record a bunch of music, but have only done about two shows. You need to perform as much as you can so that you can get better at it. The more you do it the more you learn what does and doesn’t work. For me, I want my show to be as good as I possibly can make it, no matter what size the crowd is. iae www.iaemagazine.com
RYAN CABRERA COURTESY OF: Ryan Cabrera
Yeah, you know him! It’s that one dude you used to see on TV all the time. Ryan Cabrera is no newcomer to the music business; as proof, all we have to do is point to his gold selling Atlantic Records release, “Take It All Away (2004)”. Here, Ryan talks to us about his indie music career and what he has learned over the years.
The MUSICIAN’S Corner
“...if you’re new, unless you have $100,000... a label would be your best option.”
ANITA WILSON PHOTO BY: Robert Ector
Where are you from and how did you get your start in music? I’m originally from East St. Louis, IL and I’m a pastor’s daughter so, I grew up in church. My dad is also a singer and plays the piano and organ so, he was my first musical influence. I’ve been singing in church all of my life but, honestly, I didn’t like to sing early on. My parents would make me sing so, I was that kid singing with the blank face and no emotion. (laughs) When I got to high school I joined a jazz band singing Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. We sang a few R&B songs also, and that helped me develop my stage presence. In 1999, I moved to Chicago and started meeting different people at various church events. I wound up meeting VaShawn Mitchell at my brother’s church. Eventually, VaShawn asked me to do some backing vocals on his project, Believe In Your Dream. From there, VaShawn asked me to sing a little bit on a worship song called, In His Presence, and coincidently Donald Lawrence was there at that recording. A few days later, VaShawn called me and said, Donald Lawrence wanted to talk to me. So I spoke to Donald and he invited me to join him in what is now known as, Donald Lawrence & Company. As a result, I was able to work with Donald for over 9 years on all the albums he’s done. As a Grammy and Stellar Award nominee, has that recognition from your peers helped propel you forward and keep you going in the ministry? I have to be honest and say the nominations were very humbling. We all grew up watching the GRAMMY’s so, for my debut project to be nominated is mind-blowing. I’m grateful that this season in my life came at a time when I’m settled and I’m the me that I am going to be from this point forward. While I appreciate the nominations, what really keeps me going is the fact that I’m able to use social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay in touch with people who live clear across the world. I’m on these platforms all of the time because they allow me the chance to tell people thank you, personally, for supporting my music. I know that I’m having an impact on people’s lives when they tell me that my music has helped them through their struggles. That’s really what it’s all about. While it is ministry, Christian music is very much a business too. What have you learned about that side of it? What you said is very true about the business. www.iaemagazine.com
GOSPEL RECORDING ARTIST www.msanitawilson.com
If you’re an aspiring artist, you should definitely know what you’re aspiring to get into. It’s not just a microphone and photoshoots. You need to educate yourself on contracts and what your honorarium would/should be. What’s included with that fee and making sure that you have a great team of people around you to keep it going. Also, you’ve got to know what’s a fair price for all parties involved. You have to be professional at all times too. I’ve met people who can sing up and down the scales, but the professionalism and maturity wasn’t there. It’s important to be a positive representation of Christ at all times. I had been working at a church for the past 7 years and I resigned last year because I wanted to totally make myself available to this journey. So, everyday I let God know how grateful I am for what He has entrusted to me. What has been the one piece of advice that has helped you navigate the music business? The piece of advice that I received came more from the creative side of things. It was when Donald Lawrence told me to be authentically me. The reason he’d say that is because, for a long time, I would listen to other artists and say, “I wish I had a high voice like this artist, and do all those vocal runs.” Donald asked me, “Why would you want to do that? You give people something different to hear because, everybody does those runs and they all sound the same. Just own your tone.” That really blessed me. Now I have people hitting me up saying thank you for giving us something we can sing. (laughs) What advice would you give to aspiring recording artists on signing with a record label versus trying to do it independently? There are pros and cons to both but, if you’re new, unless you have $100,000 to record your album and get it mastered, packaged, distributed to all the major outlets who will put your product on the shelves, and market it properly, then a label would be your best option. They are able to get your project distributed to major outlets like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy; and they can market it for you and have posters all over the country. Their reach is further than yours. iae
Faith & Authenticity Breeds Success
JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
DUANE SCOTT R&B/SOUL ARTIST www.duanescott.net
Pumping Life Back Into R&B’s Veins
So you say you’ve been dying for a good R&B record that gives you that feeling you got when you first heard artists like Joe and R. Kelly? Well...look no further than Duane Scott. The Memphis (b/w/o Clarksdale, Mississippi) based crooner is on a mission to give love to those who need love, and give the genre he represents a reminder of what it used to do before rap music ruined all the ladies. What, or who, inspired you to get into music? Just the overall love for music and the whole process of creating it. What’s the title of your latest release and what can people expect to hear? The new single is ‘Late Nite Rendezvous’. People can expect some real smooth R&B. (Side Note: you have to check out the video for this song on YouTube.) You did a song where you blamed rap music for the identity issues young women struggle with today. Why did you feel that song was important to record? We actually free styled that song. We needed one more song for my ‘Sycamore & Riley’ Project. So, I went in the (vocal) booth and came up with the hook first. The rest of the song just fell into place. After we finished recording it and listening back to it………It was on from that moment! It seems like major labels and Top 40 radio have forgotten about R&B music. Why do you feel that R&B music is still relevant? It’s simple……..the answer is Love. I’m talking about every aspect of the word. The good, the bad, and the sexual parts of it. iae
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
The MUSICIAN’S Corner
WAR POETS ROCK DUO www.warpoets.net
THE SOUND OF LIFE
Taking A Stand & Making Things Right Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, the War Poets are a passion driven co-ed duo whose love for creating music that affects positive change in the world, far outweighs their desire to be commercially viable. Drawing inspiration from such greats as Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen, the War Poets are on a mission to give healing to the broken hearts, and love to the under-appreciated souls who need it. www.iaemagazine.com
GEAR LAYOUT Guitar(s): Rex Haberman, Martin OOO-28 acoustic; one or two additional electric guitar players, Les Paul, Stratocaster, and Telecaster guitars Amp(s): Marshall, Vox Bass: Jenny Case plays Carvin basses Live Gig Mic: Neumann 105 capsule with Sennheiser wireless transmitter How did the band form, and what are your individual roles in the band? Rex Haberman and Jenny Case met 2 years ago through a mutual friend. Over the course of a few months, War Poets came to be because of a desire to form a band project with exceptional musicians, typically in a supportive role for Rex and Jenny. War Poets was named in remembrance of Wilfred Owen, the British poet who wrote the original war poem in 1917 condemning the British government’s scandalous recruitment of young men to die for their country as a sweet and fitting thing to do. What’s the title of your latest release and tell us a little bit about the process of making the album? Dulce et Decorum Est is the title. It is the named after Wilfred Owen’s poem. We recorded in Minneapolis and Philadelphia over the summer and fall of 2012. Kevin
Bowe produced 10 songs in Minneapolis and Stephen McKnight produced 7 songs in Philadelphia. It was a huge project as a debut record, but we felt strongly that we needed to include all the songs. We tried to use the best musicians possible in both locations to augment the band’s style and vocals. Stephen works out of Thermal Production Studios in suburban Philadelphia. He’s a real hands-on producer and worked closely with us, especially during the vocal recording sessions, but you got to love the U87 Neumann mic he used. Kevin is a great producer and gets great performances out of you. He’s also a great song arranger and writer. He co-wrote Close Enough with Rex. Nowadays, with so many people releasing albums, what’s been the toughest part about being indie? The toughest part is getting people to buy CDs. That time may be over with all the digital platforms out there. We’re played so much now on internet radio that it seems even downloads may become archaic. What’s the one venue the War Poets would like to play? We want to play the Bowery Ballroom in NYC. We just played Whisky A Go Go in LA, which was a blast. Now it’s time to get to NYC. iae
JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
WOMEN OF INDIE MUSIC Leah Ray Mendez
What, or who, inspired you to get into music? Music has always been an integral part of my life. Growing up in a musical family, love and deep emotions are what have continually inspired me to create my own music. Over the years, a wide array of artists such as Joni Mitchell, Fela Kuti, Neil Young, Ben Harper, Billie Holiday and so many others have touched my spirit with their expressive sounds and honest voices. Having a very loving and supportive family has made this journey a very positive one. Not only have my parents been my biggest supporters, but now my beautiful husband plays bass in my band and takes each step of this amazing journey right beside me. What’s the title of your latest release and what can we expect to hear? My debut EP is titled, “All Must Grow,” and contains 4 original songs. The deepest focus of my work is to sing directly from the heart. This EP begins from that rich vocal center and is supported by plucked guitar and beautifully articulated bass. The result is a modern folk blend of bittersweet and earthy imagery. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about the business side of music? At first, I thought that the business side of music was a mystery and something to veer away from. I didn’t understand it at all and even felt somewhat intimidated by it. Through research and trial and error, I eventually found pathways to information. One big inspiration and starting point was Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich, which served as a guideline to creating a real vision and business plan. I am constantly learning more about the music business each day and I find that I really enjoy being an artist and entrepreneur. iae
woman love thyself ™
As a female entertainer, what does it mean “Love Thyself” mean to you? Each person must accept who he/she truly is before they can share great and honest art with the world. Although many women in entertainment have historically been exploited for their beauty, sensuality, and sensitivity, I believe that female artists can take these amazing qualities and own them in an empowering way. As a female artist, I have always been proud to walk a path of femininity, strength, and grace. I love being a woman.
What, or who, inspired you to get into music? When I was about 8 years old I heard my first Whitney Houston song, “The Greatest Love of All.” I remember saying to myself, “That’s what I want to do, I want to sing just like that.” I listened to every Whitney Houston song I could find. I sang for hours into a hairbrush pretending to be singing for huge crowds. My only real audience at the time was my mother and my siblings. I think I almost drove them crazy [laughs]. But my parents supported me by enrolling me in piano lessons and vocal classes. And here I am, still doing what I love! What’s the title of your latest release and what can we expect to hear? My latest release is titled “Til The Morning Comes.” The album is a jazz/soul infusion with folk undertones. It features 3 original tunes and 7 cover songs. What’s the biggest lesson you learned about the music industry? Hmmm…biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that it’s not all about talent. It’s about hard work, determination, focus and an understanding of the business side of the music. iae
woman love thyself ™
As a solo female artist in the world of indie music, have you ever struggled with self-doubt? If so, how did you overcome that? Yes, I have definitely struggled with self-doubt. The landscape of music changes so fast that it can be easy to compare yourself to whomever or whatever is popular. You are constantly asking yourself the question, “Should I sound more like that?” But to be true to yourself and believe in your unique voice is what makes the greats so great. As E.E. Cummings said, “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
The MUSICIAN’S Corner
Jessica Stuart Few Indie Folk/Jazz www.leahraymendez.com
Why did you get into doing music? My mother is an awesome musician, so I can’t remember life without music. It’s in my blood, and I feel very lucky to be able to express my strange musical point of view, taking chances with songwriting and still have such a broad listenership. I made a decision to leave my life out west to make a go of music in Toronto five years ago, and it has totally surpassed my expectations. Tell us about your latest release. My latest release is from my folk-jazz power trio, The Jessica Stuart Few; and the project is called, Two Sides To Every Story. The music and words fall in line with the title’s theme, and half of the tunes feature a Japanese koto (13-stringed harp-like instrument). The other half is electric guitar along with double bass, drums and lots of vocal harmonies. The songs take many unexpected turns, but keep a killer groove and hooks you can sing along to. It’s the kind of album that I hope people might listen to from top to bottom, even though it seems less and less common these days! What’s the biggest lesson you learned about the business of music since choosing this path? Oh man, it’s a HUGE job, to do ones own business, especially as a band gets more known and more opportunities come around. If a musician thinks they can succeed with talent or skill alone , and no business sense or perseverance, they are wrong! My friend and co-producer of my last two albums once told me though, that if you do have a unique musical voice, that the only way to fail is to give up trying, and I think he was right. You have a tour coming up starting in August, did you have help from a booking agent? I booked the tour in August – it’s our sixth or so time touring western Canada, so every tour I book better and better shows, keeping the good gigs, not pursuing the mediocre ones, and keeping strong connections with presenters. This tour, we are playing mostly festivals and concert series’, which is great because there will be excellent sizeable audiences, without the huge pressure on promoting the shows entirely ourselves. The Jessica Stuart Few just signed with an International booking agent last month and will be touring Japan and possibly pan-China in October of this year, and we landed that deal through showcasing at Canadian Music Week. iae
KENNETH HODGE aka The Exotic Cosmic Sungod FEATURED REVIEW
Decibals Genre: Tropical Pop/Dance Album: SUMMER’S HERE AGAIN Location: Slough, Berkshire, UK Kenneth Hodge’s new single, Summer’s Here Again (see video), is an upbeat tropical pop song that will make you long for a holiday in the Caribbean. Not one for bringing out the rain in life, Kenneth goes by The Exotic Cosmic Sungod, a name that emits an air of mystery and sunshine when you read it. Driven by female vocals (Robyn) and a light and airy dance track, the overall sound of Summer’s Here Again reminds me of something we’d hear from artists like CeCe Peniston. The song puts you in the mood to take a trip to a tropical paradise and sip Mai Tai’s, surf, and stroll along the shores of Jamaica or Brazil. It’s the perfect blend of island vibes, pop/dance percussions, and melodic vocal arrangements. Having received thousands of views for his videos, Kenneth Hodge aka The Exotic Cosmic Sungod (TECS) also offers a number of other songs via his YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/marypts). If you like songs that are full of charisma and island appeal, then check out TECS on iTunes and show your support.
JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
All Reviews By Senseitional, Reviews Editor (I Am Entertainment)
SKY POLICE FEATURED REVIEW Decibals Genre: Indie Pop-Rock Album: Entangled Location: San Francisco, CA
FEATURED REVIEW Decibals
Genre: Rock / Alt Rock / Pop Rock Album: THE END IS THE BEGINNING Location: San Francisco, CA Bray is the man! If you don’t know who he is, then I’d encourage you to get acquainted with this amazing alternative pop-rock star in the making. Bray’s latest EP release, The End Is The Beginning, is an awesome release that sounds like what you’d get if Steely Dan had incorporated bits of ambient pop music into their work. Bray’s EP is an eclectic mix of pop, rock, punk, and ambient music from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s. For those of us growing up on 80s and 90s MTV, Bray’s 7 song EP offers a hefty dose of nostalgia and breathes life back into a sound long forgotten. Listening to it, I totally picked up on Bray’s style, which reminds me of great pop and rock artists like The Cars, David Bowie, Nirvana, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Of the 7 songs on The End Is The Beginning, my favorites are Frozen Bodies, Karma’s In Debt, Little Black Hearts, and Natasha You’re So Clever. Each song epitomizes all that has been mentioned already in this review; great pop-rock music that transcends the boundaries of any one era in music.
Sky Police is one of the most exciting new bands in the indie poprock genre today. Led by the musical genius, Boris Polissky, their latest release - Entangled - is a perfect picture of what it means to be independent of the confines of any one genre. Sky Police’s new project offers pop melodies and keyboards, fused with rock n roll guitars, drums, and bass. With so many people abandoning the LP and opting for EP releases, we don’t get the pleasure of reviewing many full albums anymore, so when one does come through the pipelines, I get excited. In many cases, I’m glad I to receive EPs because its less time wasted listening to a bunch of mediocre songs, but that wasn’t the case with Sky Police’s 11 track, Entangled, LP. Boris’ voice is very clear, confident, and independent of studio vocal tricks like AutoTune. Very few pop-rock singers can deliver a song with the kind of passion and excitement that Boris does, which is why Sky Police are in great shape when compared to other indie pop-rock bands whose lead vocalists aren’t as good. Songs like Run (Already Know) and Baby Lets Get Marriedh ave the lifeblood of rock music flowing through each note. The overall sound will entertain the core of your love for rock music and you’ll get every ounce of satisfaction you crave. Website: www.skypolice.net
LIVE SHOW REVIEW: Even in his live shows, Bray flat out delivers! I’ve seen very few indie artists connect with an audience the way Bray does in his live sets. Stage presence and a great band are two of the most important components in a live show and Bray has them both. From the singing to the lighting, to the overall energy he exudes, I believe we’re seeing the making of an indie music legend. Website: www.braymusic.com Andrew Abaria (Pop/Piano Rock) Album We Are The Underdogs Home Los Angeles, CA
Very few artists can truly lay claim to the term, “pop star”, but Andrew Abaria can and is one in the making! This guy is likely one of the best songwriters I’ve heard from an
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
unsigned, virtually unheard of artist/musician in the pop genre this year. Andrew’s new release, We Are The Underdogs, will make you appreciate life’s twists and turns and the people you encounter along the way. Of the 5 songs on this project, my favorites are: Kiss Me Til They Find Us, We Are The Underdogs, and Silent Tonight. These three songs embody the story telling of Billy Joel, the top notch melodies of Phil Collins, and the teen pop appeal of artists like Justin Bieber and The Jonas Brothers. In all honesty, I couldn’t find anything about Andrew’s
release that I didn’t like. While I would have liked more uptempo songs, it doesn’t mean there’s a flaw with the project; I just like uptempos. Each song is well written, well produced, and well sang/delivered. The melodies on the project are very catchy and a great alternative to the stuff I hear coming from most artists in the pop genre these days. Overall, We Are The Underdogs will make you appreciate your high school years, and if you’re like me and love great pop songs, then you’ll do what I did and put Andrew Abaria on repeat rotation.
REPRINT NOTICE: Dina Valenz was listed in our May/June issue as a Reggae artist. She is actually a Pop/Rock artist. See below.
THE OXFORD COMA FEATURED REVIEW
Decibals Genre: Alternative/Experimental Grunge Rock Album: Adonis Location: Phoenix, AZ This is not your the psychedelic band that your parents encountered at Woodstock in the 60’s. The Oxford Coma is a rock’n roll beast waiting to consume the unsuspecting ears of any virgin listener to grunge music. If you’re looking for an auditory thrashing, then you’ve got to hear TOC’s latest release, Adonis. Riding the fine line that separates alternative rock music from psychedelic rage, TOC’s Adonis LP embodies the same key elements that made bands like Tool and Nirvana so prominent. Going into Adonis, you’re met by TOC’s flame thrower of a track, “BBS”. This particular song passes through nearly every gate in the rock music genre. It’s alternative and progressive, while maintaining its experimental/phsychedelic grunge underbelly. The musicianship and vocal delivery are hardcore and very complex, showing that TOC is not just some novice rock band trying to make a name for itself. And, as you exit BBS, The Oxford Coma disrupts your quiet enjoyment of life and completely ransacks the house of tranquility. In an era of music where EP releases have become the substitute for LP’s, TOC drops a 13 track assault on the “norm”. Adonis gives us a real “extended play” on what TOC is all about, leaving listeners with little doubt as to who this band and album is targeting. Unlike many of their mainstream genre-mates, TOC purposely avoids the Top 40 alternative pop-rock sound that has been masquerading as progressive grunge rock in recent years. These guys are the real thing. Go check them out. www.theoxfordcoma.com Decibals Oxford Coma (Alternative Funk-Rock) Album: Just A Machine Home: Pistoia, Italy Piqued Jacks get down and dirty with their latest release, Just a Machine. A brilliantly produced 6 song EP, Just a Machine showcases the Italian funk-rock band’s
awesomeness and goes far beyond the typical alternative rock sound you may have grown accustomed to hearing. Piqued Jacks have a Red Hot Chili Peppers kind of vibe going on, making them a very cool listen. Of the 6 songs on the EP I dug Youphoric?! the most, because it taps into what made bands like the Chili Peppers and Nirvana so great. It’s the kind of organic rock sound that slips into your adrenaline stream and gets you really going. Youphoric?! sounds great when played at a very high volume because the drums and bass really punch, while the guitar riffs chunk through pretty hardcore without drowning out the lead vocal. Other songs like, Welcome To The Future and Amusement Park add that extra candy to this project, helping to round out the release’s overall sound. Just a Machine, is a nicely assembled EP full of great vocals, clean guitar riffs and thumping bass. Although I couldn’t understand some of the lead singer’s accented delivery of the lyrics, I dug the way it sounded with the music and would absolutely recommend it to alternative rock fans. Visit them at www.piquedjacks.com
Decibals Slim Loris (Indie Rock) Album: Future Echoes & Past Replays Home: Sweden Slim Loris is what happens when great music marries reality and gives birth to songs. The band’s latest (May 19th) release, Future Echoes & Past Replays, is a 12 song pop-rock/Americana playhouse that gives you a reason to not only love Slim Loris, but also respect indie musicians who make great tunes. Getting into the album, there’s a certain regal-like air that sweeps across the plains of your eardrums, and you will quickly hear Slim Loris’ influences. The band does a great job of blending the old and new sounds of the rock n’ roll, folk, americana and pop genres into one compilation of tracks, giving Future Echoes & Past Replays a sort of Mumford & Sons meets The Avett Brothers feel. One of my favorite songs on this project is “Visions of Tomorrow” because of the vintage sixties sound that Slim Loris sends crashing through the speakers, paying great tribute to the bands before them. The combination of Robert Barrefelt, Mattias Cederstam, Jonas Ellenberg, Leon Lindström makes for an awesome sound, as these musicians exemplify what it means to be a cohesive band. Their album is evidence of this fact. Although you wont’ see these guys on Top 40 radio charts, I could easily see Slim Loris gracing the stages at U.S. based music festivals like SXSW, Bonaroo, and Coachella, performing every song from this new Future Echoes & Past Replays album. If you appreciate great songwriting and musicianship, then go check these guys out. www.slimloris.com
Decibals Stacey Y (Reggae/Ska) Album: Set The Water Straigh Home: Toronto. Stacey Y is real music, real singing (no AutoTune), real songwriting, and just flat out amazing! From the moment my ears hit the 10 song, Set The Water Straight, album from Stacey, I knew that I was in for an auditory treat. Getting into the project, I was greeted by Stacey’s jazzy soulful vocal that perked me right up; opening the album with real vocals is a major plus. Stacey’s sound is very Norah Jones-esque and I could absolutely see her sharing the stage with today’s top Neo-Soul/Jazz artists, like Jill Scott, Amel Larrieux and the aforementioned, Norah Jones. But that’s not all Stacey does because she has an awesome pop-rock-soul edge to her music as well. This fact is evident on songs like, I Tripped; a cranked rock n’ roll song driven by chunky grunge guitars, spastic drums and bass, and soulful pop vocals. It’s this song, and tracks like “Music” that keep Stacey out of the proverbial “box” that people always reference when describing something cliche. Very few artists have impressed my ear like Stacey has, and the ones who do gain automatic year-end consideration for an I Am Entertainment Award. www.staceyy.com
Decibals Rodney P. Smooth Jazz Album: Love>Fear Home Dallas Smooth jazz pianist, Rodney Patterson, comes to the forefront of the music world with his recent release, Love > Fear. A strong 9 song project, Rodney’s album is a bold yet, laid-back recording that lives at the foot of serenity. Love > Fear is a great release for Rodney because it showcases his talent without misrepresenting what it is that he does. Ever the perfectionist, I can tell that Rodney took his time to create this masterful compilation of art. Few can articulate powerful messages through the piano and I think Rodney has done that well. Read more at www.iaemagazine.com
Decibals Dina Valenz Pop/Rock Acoustic Album: Miles & Miles Home LA, CA
See Dina’s review at www.iaemagazine.com Visit Dina online at: www.dinavalenz.com JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Music Reviews Decibals Happenstance (Country/Rock/Pop) Album: Rain (EP) Home: Hudson, QC, Canada Happenstance is a Country Rock dream come true. The female fronted band takes to the stage with their latest 3 song EP, Rain, and gives us the show we’ve all been waiting for. You don’t wonder about the songwriting either because, I’m going to clear up any doubts and tell you that it’s awesome. So many bands/artists release lackluster sophomore projects, but not these three men and a lady. Country pop-rock is an underappreciated genre in my opinion, but it brings forth some of the best music available in the business today. I enjoyed Emily’s powerful lead vocals a great deal. She blew me away with her amazing tone from the first note I heard. Happenstance’s song, Gone Baby Gone, is a really good classic pop-rock song that beckons the listener’s mouth to open up and sing along with the catchy chorus line. I’m rather impressed by the band’s cohesiveness. They play very well as a unit and you get the feeling that these guys were just meant to be in this band together. Even more impressive is Happenstance’s consistency from one song to the next. If you’ve ever played in a band, you’ll know how tough it is to be consistent like this with so many personalities involved. The EP’s other two songs, Rain and Big Dreamers, are also great tunes that Emily nails every note on. If you know anything about vocal production, then you’ll understand that what she’s doing is not easy to do. Kudos to the band for doing a great job complimenting her. Overall, I’d say Rain is a great second release from this Canadian band. I can see them taking over the stage at the House of Blues and Hard Rock Live venues across the U.S. if Happenstance wanted to. Go get this EP, you’ll be very glad you did!
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I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
Home Recording BETTER ACOUSTICS By Senseitional, Reviews Editor (I Am Entertainment)
If you know anything about recording and mixing sound, then you understand the importance of proper acoustic design. The point of good acoustics is to ensure that you are receiving sound from your studio monitors to your ears as close to what’s truly coming out of your DAW/computer as you can. Most home studio rooms are square, but some have weird architecture, like studios located in an attic of a house. Nevertheless, a good home studio room will enable you to hear vital things like panning and effects properly. The goal is to make sure that your mixes sound good in every environment outside of your room (like, in a car or in headphones). In order to control sound in
your home studio, you have to select the right acoustic treatments. The most common issue most people face in a home studio environment when it comes to acoustics is trying to keep sound from bouncing off the walls and creating a mess of echoes/reverberations that onfuse the auditory system. There are a number of ways to fix this issue, but I’m going to just focus on the easiest fix, which is the placement of acoustic foam on the room’s walls and the location/position of the listener in reference to the monitors/speakers.
likely enhance the sound of the bass you’re getting, and not in a good way. So, keep them away from the corners of your room. If your room isn’t square, I’d suggest you play some music and while that’s going, play around with the position of your speakers in different parts of the room. Make sure that everwhere you place your speakers, you sit in your chair at ear level to test the sound. Once you have a place that you feel you’re getting good sound, fit everything else around that monitor position.
Diagram: My Home Studio Acoustics Anyone who has ever been in my home recording studio, knows that the above diagram is what my acoustic layout looks like, literally. My floor has carpet so, I don’t need ceiling baffles to reduce vertical wave reverberation. My set up is pretty common among home project studios. I have foam on all four walls and I use a curtain over the window in the room when I’m mixing. It’s pretty simple and I get great sound in this environment. PLACEMENT OF MONITORS As you will see in the diagram above, my monitors (m1 and m2) are positioned near the center of the front wall, and angled to face me so as to create an imaginary triangle. They are centered about 3 feet apart, and 2 feet away from the wall foam behind them. Each speaker is resting on it’s own Auralex MoPad (see Image 1) on top of my desk. In addition, I have them placed at ear level so that when I’m sitting in my office chair none of the sound coming from the monitors goes above or below my direct ear path. The placement of these monitors is critical to my ability to properly hear the sound coming from them. If you put your speakers too close to corners, it will
DIFFUSING & ABSORBING SOUND You can also stop reverberations from walls by putting up diffusers (see Image 2). Lower frequency can be broken up by using thicker diffusers. As for absorption of unwanted feedback, you can do what I did and buy some acoustic foam for your walls (see Image 3). You don’t have to break the bank on it either. All you need is a set like the one in Image 3 below (depending on the size of your room). Also, having a couch in the room not only works as a place for company to sit, but it’s also a great absorber of reverb waves. Hopefully, this helps you get started in the right direction with reducing reverberation in your room, so you can be on your way to a better recording and mixing environment. If you have questions or comments, feel free to write me at email@example.com using the subject line “Home Recording - Acoustics”.
Volume 4, Issue 23
()~u4~ How She Got 1.5Million YouTube Subscribers &Went From Singing In Her Bedroom To Touring The World
Haley Pullos from . ABC's General Hospital Disne
Landry Bender fro Crash and Bernstein
Kids & Teens
What would you be doing if you weren’t acting? I think that even if I wasn’t an actor I would be in (show) business. I definitely want to be a writer and a producer someday. I always go to the writers room on set and listen to their ideas, and sometimes I’ll pitch my ideas. I love the whole atmosphere; it’s such a cool place to learn and be. I’m always around Eric Friedman on set. He’s the guy who created our show. I’ll go to him and look at scripts, and just watch how he works on set because he’s really creative. He has definitely opened my eyes to what I’d like to do in the future. How di you get your first acting gig in the movie, The Sitter? I was the last one cast, and I got the role about a week before they were supposed to begin shooting in New York. Casting said they knew I was the right person for the role when they saw. (laughs) I did a callback with the director and then a separate one with Jonah Hill. Jonah is awesome; he was like my big brother the whole time. It was a really awesome experience. How many hours did you work on set each day for, The Sitter?
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
We filmed it from September to December, and because the whole movie takes place between 4pm - 1am, we shot the whole movie at night. It was awesome because I’m a night owl. (laughs) So, we’d sleep in during the day and I would do school in the early afternoon before going on set. We at a lot of candy and had a lot of fun making that movie. (laughs) Now you’re on Crash and Bernstein. How did you get that opportunity? My agent and manager knew about the show so, I went to audition the first time, and then I had 3 to 4 more callbacks. They were having a really hard time putting the cast together. We shot the pilot episode and then a year went by because they were still changing roles around. Once they had the cast all put together, Disney picked the show up for the first season and we went from there. Now we’re on for a second season and we started filming in July. What’s it like doing a TV show versus being on a film set? On Crash and Bernstein, we rehearse from Monday - Wednesday and then we shoot on Thursday and Friday. It’s really cool because, every week you get a different storyline and it’s fun to see the different ways a story can go. I love it because it really is my Disney family. Everyone’s so sweet and I’d love to stay at Disney. What advice would you like to share with your peers about this business? Whatever your passion is, you should stick with it and dream big! Never give up.
JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT What’s your favorite color? My favorite color is orange. I think it’s bright and fun for summer. What’s your favorite food? While shooting The Sitter in New York, I had a nutella and strawberry crepe, and it’s my favorite thing ever! I want to go to France and get a French crepe. Who are your favorite actresses? From the Disney market, I like Selena Gomez. But, I also like Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway. They play great roles. What’s your favorite music right now? I’m really into the Lumineers. I like how it’s folky, country, and rock all mixed together. What do you like to do for fun? I like going to the beach with my friends, and I also love making iMovies. Who would you like to work with? I always looked up to Betty White because she has been working for as long as anyone can remember. She seems like she’s such a sweet lady. What producer or director would you love to work with? Working with someone like Steven Spielberg would be really cool. His movies are awesome. www.iaemagazine.com
LANDRY BENDER PHOTO COURTESY OF: Benny Haddad Photography
Where are you from and how did you learn to act? I used to live in Phoenix, Arizona, and when I was there I did a lot of stage (acting). I did theater and I did some acting classes. I studied at Desert Stages Theater in Scottsdale, Arizona. I was there from ages 5 to 9 and I was in about 15 shows. They encouraged us to clap for the tech crew after each show and they taught us to respect every person and every part of theater.
Kids & Teens
HOW SHE GOT 1.5Million YouTube SUBSCRIBERS & Become An International Star
HOW I STARTED OUT Growing up I was really into gymnastics, and I also took piano lessons. I always loved singing but I never considered it as a possible career, because acting was my main passion. So, in elementary school I did theater because it combines acting and singing. Eventually, I discovered YouTube and saw all of these singers on there with their own channels. I thought they were famous because they had their own videos and I looked up to them. Then I found out that I could create my own channel, so I hopped on YouTube and gave it a try.
TIFFANY ALVORD PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Cherie Alvord
HOW I BUILT MY FANBASE I started in April 2008 so, over the past 5 years it’s been a really steady growth process. I learned from the YouTube pioneers who would post covers of popular songs. I also realized that picking the right covers was really a key factor in getting views and new fans. So I mainly posted covers, and every now and then I would post an original song. Growing a fanbase on YouTube is really about posting videos at the right time. When I started out, there were a lot less people on YouTube, so that also helped. (laughs) The same goes for Facebook and Twitter because, I’m constantly posting on there and connecting personally with my fans, which is why I think a lot of YouTube artists are successful. We can use social media to connect with our fans and be more personal with them. ABOUT MY NEW ALBUM The album is called, My Heart Is, and the way it happened was, I had these original songs that many of my fans had heard, acoustically, on YouTube so there was a demand for me to produce an album. It was kind of tricky for me because covers are easy since you have the original version to go off of. But for my own originals, it’s a little more tricky because you’re trying to create something unique to you. Some people always ask why don’t I post more originals, but what they don’t realize is that it’s a long and hard process. My mom is my manager and we pretty much figured out everything together. We worked with a studio in Nashville to produce the whole album. Then my mom and I designed the cover art and CD packaging. We Googled all the information to figure out how to do it. We got digital distribution, and then we found a company to manufacture the physical CD’s. It was a lot of hard work but we did it. Traditionally you needed a label to do all of that but now, you really can do everything on your own. It’s not easy, but you can do it.
“...we nee d to love who we a cept that re and ac we’re all u nique and in our ow special n way.”
I DON’T COMPROMISE I’ve always loved acting and it’s something that I would love to do someday. Acting is so much fun, but at the same time, it has to be the right thing for you. For example, I passed up a few opportunities because I didn’t like the script or the character. I always want to be a positive role model for my fans. I want everything I do to be uplifting and inspiring, so I avoid getting involved with the negative programming that’s out there.
young woman love thyself TM EVERY GIRL IS BEAUTIFUL First of all, I love that theme, ‘Young Woman Love Thyself’. We need to be reminded to do that. Loving yourself is really important because, if you can’t love yourself then you can’t love others. I think a beautiful person is someone who knows their worth and is okay with being different. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside. I know it’s hard to do but, we need to love who we are and accept that we’re all unique and special in our own way. It’s your spirit and who you are on the inside that determines your true beauty. No matter what the magazines and TV tells us, true beauty comes from within. My slogan is, “Always smile.” I feel if you can love yourself, you will be happy; and if you’re happy with yourself and you’re a happy person you can light up the world with just your smile.
JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Kids & Teens
What was your first major acting job and how did you get it? My first major acting job was in the feature film “Home Run” where I play a girl named Kendricks, she is the only girl on a boys baseball team. Before the audition I took a few baseball lessons from my Grandpa and my mom found me a baseball jersey and hat for the audition. I guess I was convincing, because after two rounds of auditions I booked the job. You did an amazing job in the short film No One Knows. What did you learn the most from your character? Thank you so much, I appreciate it!
I learned so much from my character Hannah. I learned that kids who are in situations like her might not realize how bad the abuse is because the abuser is someone so close to their hearts. Kids that are abused by a parent or relative might be afraid to tell on them for fear of losing them or being left alone. Although I will never be able to understand what children like Hannah go through, No One Knows really opened my eyes to some of the signs of abuse. You play Ellie, on NBC’s new comedy, Sean Saves the World. How did you land the role? It actually happened pretty fast. I was asked to send an audition tape to casting. About three hours after the tape was sent, I found out I would be screen-testing for the role. NBC flew me and my mom out to California a few weeks later for the screen test. A few hours after testing my agent called and asked me if it was OK to give Sean Hayes my phone number. A few minutes later I got a call from Sean. I really don’t remember anything
he said to me after Congratulations; my head was spinning and I couldn’t breath. (laughs) How are you and Ellie alike? Ellie and I are alike and completely different, at the same time. She’s definitely more forward than I am, but we do share some traits. We’re both teenagers, and teenagers are always getting a hundred and one questions from our parents needing to know where we are, where we’re going, who we’re with, and so on. We both love our parents with all our hearts, but there are definitely certain things we don’t want to talk about with them! I think kids will relate to her. What’s something that people may not know about you? I love scary movies! It’s so weird because I like to see horror movies with my friends, and I’m always the one making comments that end up turning the movie into a comedy. One of my friends told me, “You can’t let the movie scare you; just laugh and everything will be just fine!”
SAMI ISLER PHOTOS BY: Tina Miller Photography
Tell us where you’re from and why you got into acting? I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have lived there my whole life. I started acting in school and local theater productions, and fell in love with performing. My favorite part of acting is getting to play a character that is different from me. When I was little I liked to play pretend, I guess with acting I still do.
Great job in the short film, No One Knows! What did you learn the most from your character in the film? Don’t look in other people’s windows! Ha ha but really, I guess that I learned that not everyone is willing to accept or wanting help.
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
You also play, Tanner, on Lifetime Channel’s hit show, Army Wives; what do you like about being on that show? The cast members! Hanging out with them when we aren’t filming is the best. I feel like the whole cast and crew is just one big family.
Do you have an acting coach to prepare for each role? I prepare alone based on techniques taught to me by my coach, Taylor Loeb with Mirage C.C.T. She’s in LA so after I work on it, we Skype. She’s so awesome. We really breakdown the characters and scenes in depth. She’s taught me so much about creating a whole world with just a page or two of sides.
What advice can you give to other kids who want to be actors? It’s not easy or quick. There is a lot of work that goes into each audition. You have to really love it. Don’t worry about rejection – everyone hears a lot of No’s and a lot of the time it has nothing to do with your audition.
CALEB BARWICK PHOTOS COURTESY OF: Jen Barwick
Please tell us where you’re from and why did you want to be an actor? Hi, I’m from the Austin, TX area but was born in Seattle. I had no idea I even wanted to be an actor until I was an extra for Spy Kids 4 for fun one summer. I’ve learned so much since then! Now I like it because I like to make up stories about my character and be creative about their lives.
What do you do for fun when you’re not acting? I like to participate in a lot of social media (instagram, Twitter) and I play video games. Right now my 9 year old brother and I seem to constantly have a game of cards going. Also, I read, a lot. Like a book a day.
HAS FILMED OVER 200 EPISODES OF GENERAL HOSPITAL
Where you’re from and what got you interested in being in entertainment?
I was born in Sunnydale, CA and I lived there until I was 8 years old. I started taking some acting classes because I had done a couple of school plays and I really enjoyed it. I met my manager at my acting school and she sent me out on auditions and it all just went from there. What came first, commercials or TV & Film?
It was kind of all at once. My parents and I decided that I would do commercials as well as theatrical acting. My first audition was theatrical and it was for Hannah Montana and I messed up so badly, and I was so sad. I cried when I got in the car. It’s really tough because you have everything mapped out on how the audition will go in your head and then you get in there and you flub. Then you think to yourself, ‘Oh no, they hate me.” After that experience what did you take from that for your next audition?
Just to have more confidence in myself because it really wasn’t that big of a mistake. I just stumbled over a word. If you fell over a word in an audition and you just keep going and act like it never happened, the casting director won’t even notice. But if you make a big deal about it that’s when they would be like, “Oh, she didn’t handle that very well.” You’re on General Hospital. How did you get that?
I had a really good feeling about my audition because casting seemed very pleased. Then, I didn’t hear anything back about it. A month later, I got a call from my manager saying, “It turns out you didn’t get a call back for General Hospital; they just booked you instead.” I was so ecstatic! I think I have filmed probably 200 episodes of the show to-date.
“The busi ness is ve ry scary, but it’s so worth it. ”
Wow! Tell us a little bit about your character?
HALEY PULLOS PHOTO COURTESY OF: Benny Haddad Photography
I really love, Molly. I think she’s so endearing, but she’s so naïve. You see that she just wants to help people. She is so loving and I really do love that about her. I really connect with this character because we have a lot in common. What is a normal shooting day like for you?
We normally shoot an episode or two every day, so we do a lot of episodes in a week. It’s really fast paced. I get to set and go straight to hair and makeup. Then I block my scenes, rehearse them, and then film them. Then I do 3-4 hours of school and go home. What should your peers who are looking to get into entertainment know about the business?
The business is very scary, but it’s so worth it. If you’re passionate about acting then you can make it, because passion is really all it takes. You have to be very driven and want it enough to do something about it. If it’s what you love, then go for it and you’ll eventually make it in.
JUL-AUG ‘13 | I Am Entertainment
Kids & Teens
Girls Who Rock
5X THE GIRL POWER
THE WAY SHE DOES IT
DISNEY STAR SHINES
A new girl group is out that you definitely want to know! Kayli, Carmen, Kelsey, Lindsey & Lauryn Taylor make up 1 Girl Nation. They are 5 girls from 5 different places with one message. Their lead single, While We’re Young, is out now and their debut album is scheduled for an August 20th release. Their getting ready to be the musical act on the Secret Keeper Girl - Crazy Hair Tour that runs from August to November. www.1girlnation.com
Did you know that Ariana Grande’s single The Way has been certified Platinum? So far that single has sold more than 1,390,000 copes in the US. She also went Gold in Australia. It’s no surprise that she is doing so well because this girl can sing and this is real music! If she keeps this up, her music career will be similar to Mariah Carey but for this new era of music. www.arianagrande.com/
Coco Jones went from Radio Disney’s The Next BIG Thing to starring in Disney Channel’s Let It Shine. This Hollywood Records darling is currently on tour with Mindless Behavior and the OMG Girls this summer! Her debut EP, Made Of, was realeased in March and you can expect her first full length album later this year. www.therealcocojones.com
SUSAN GABRIELLE The Stage Coach
How can you help people overcome their fear of being embarrassed on those shows? Actually, very few auditions happen where a person gets ripped apart. Sometimes they make it seem like that’s all that happens on those shows, but the truth is...most people leave those auditions feeling invisible, or ignored; which can be worse. I try to go with my clients to these auditions, whenever possible. But, either way, after you’ve trained with me for a bit, you know that regardless of the outcome - you made an impression on the judges. I want you to get to the point where you really don’t care what others think or say. I teach you how to replace self doubt with an undying belief in yourself and your talent. Then you’ll see 2 things happen: (1) the less you are effected by an outcome, the freer you are and the more you’ll enjoy the experience. (2) your new found confidence will cause people to respond positively to you in your auditions and that alone can make the difference between being chosen and being sent home. Here’s the cool thing -- anyone with a little talent and a lot of desire can learn to turn self doubt into confidence.
I Am Entertainment | JUL-AUG ‘13
I Am Entertainment Magazine, JUL-AUG 2013 Issue #23 - Featuring Model/Actress, Denise Bidot; Grammy Nominee Anita Wilson; Filmmaker, David A...