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ORIGIN TEAM PUBLISHER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Maranda Pleasant EXECUTIVE EDITOR Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky
CONSCIOUS CULTURE 10 14 20 26 30 54 58 64 68
MOLLY SIMS LAURA PREPON MELISSA RAUCH GRANT BOWLER JESSICA ROBERTSON LISA RINNA DAN HARRIS LA TOYA JACKSON AMANDA BEARD
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Melody Tarver Metallica, Jake T. Austin, and Snows of the Nile designed by Sami Lipman SENIOR EDITOR Karen Yin
EDITOR Ian Prichard ANIMAL EDITORS Barbi Twins CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Daphne Zuniga Lisa Rolls Michael Franti
30 LIFESTYLE 8 COLDPLAY 12 PEARL JAM 16 JASON MRAZ 20 JACK WHITE 24 BRUNO MARS 27 TOADIES 38 PAT MONAHAN 50 MATT SORUM 62 WIZ KHALIFA
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EDITOR’S NOTE I THINK I FALL IN LOVE A LITTLE BIT WITH ANYONE WHO SHOWS ME THEIR SOUL. THIS WORLD IS SO GUARDED AND FEARFUL. I APPRECIATE RAWNESS. I am writing this from a tour bus as we travel across North America. We created the Soulshine Yoga+Music tour this year with Michael Franti to build a national community of humanitarians, artists, environmentalists, yogis, and leaders wanting to make a difference. I would love to connect with you this summer. Visit us at Soulshine.com. I am so proud of the musicians and change makers in this issue, people who give a damn about this planet. From climate consciousness, organics, and protecting animals to meditation and mindful living, I am deeply moved by their wisdom and passion. Vulnerability is still the new strong. From our impossibly small staff here at ORIGIN, we want to thank you for three years of beauty, love, and support. We’re in this together. Let’s write a new story for our future. Maranda Pleasant ORIGIN Magazine, Mantra Yoga + Health, REAL & THRIVE Magazine. Founder/Editor-in-Chief 8 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
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MOLLY SIMS ON FASHION, M OT HERH OOD, and STAYING HEA LTHY
ROBERT PIPER: WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN LIFE? MOLLY SIMS: Oh, my God. You know, probably adventure. I’ve always wanted to do things differently, and if one person or ten people are doing the same, then I want to do it differently. I love to travel, I love art, I love fashion. I love going to great restaurants and trying different things. Different cultures are inspiring to me. RP: HOW DO YOU FIND BALANCE IN LIFE? MS: I think that since I’ve had the baby, who’s almost two, it’s work hard, play hard. I make a lot of lists, I’m very scheduled, which is hard sometimes, but it keeps me organized—I know Now I can play or Now I’ve got to work. RP: HOW DO YOU STAY HEALTHY? MS: Basically, high protein, low carb. I work out three to four times a week. I definitely don’t do the same thing every day, whether it be spinning or hiking or walking or doing the treadmill. I try to do something different every day. But definitely the one thing is, I sweat. RP: I SAW ON YOUR WEBSITE THAT YOU GIVE A LOT OF TIPS ABOUT FASHION AND HEALTH. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT SOME OF THOSE TOPICS? MS: I always tell women, “Get in front of a mirror, know your body.” Don’t think, “OK, I’m going to lose five pounds and I’m going to gain five pounds.” Try to find an acceptance in the present and buy things that make you feel good. I would say, if you’re buying less expensive clothes, buy two sizes bigger. They’ll hang better. So a lot of people are like, “What are you thinking? Why are you buying size 10?” Well, I’m 5 feet 9 1/2 inches and a size 4. Even though that’s what I wear, between a 4 and a 6, a 10 sometimes hangs better on me. Especially the not-asgood materials. So forget the price tag. I mean, forget the size tag and focus on “Does it look right on me?” Would it look better with a little more blouse? A lot of people think, “Oh, my God, it’s got to be tight, it’s got to be tight.” Actually, you look thinner when it’s not as tight.
PHOTO: TODD PARKER
FORG ET THE SIZE TAG AND FOCU S ON “DOE S IT LOOK RIG HT ON M E ?” Tips like that. Wearing necklaces, knowing how to layer, wearing a statement piece. Don’t wear big earrings and a big necklace and a big ring all at the same time. Pick your magic. I have this whole thing: if you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you look good. RP: YOU MENTIONED “FEEL GOOD.” CAN YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO? MS: Sometimes when I’m healthier on a big day, I feel better about myself. If I eat terribly and I don’t sleep well and I drink too much— three or four or five days in a row—it really catches up to me. It’s good to have one fun day, as I call it, whether it be a Saturday, a Sunday, a Monday. It doesn’t matter. But I do try to watch it. I’m not saying you have to put yourself on a diet, because I hate the word “diet.” But it’s more of, like, having a balanced lifestyle makes me feel better. I try to do one to two days with no meat. I try to lessen my gluten. Those are things that I struggle with. I’ve never met a bread basket that I didn’t love. At the same time, it can make me tired. If I have too much wine, it’s too much sugar. If I overindulge on tortilla chips in a Mexican restaurant, I can really feel it. I think sometimes just watching it and not doing things in excess can really help with whether you feel good or not. RP: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW RAISING CHILDREN HAS CHANGED YOUR LIFE? MS: Best thing that’s ever happened to me. I focus so much less on me. It’s made me content, it’s made me happy. It’s like a Christmas present every single day that I get to unwrap. It’s hard work. I value so many people who have to work full time, definitely single mothers. Their work is the hardest work. I applaud it so much. I absolutely love being a mother. I love his milestones. I love his smile. I love that he’s talking and making sentences and telling me he loves me. It’s amazing.
Molly Sims is a model, actress, and author of the upcoming book The Everyday Supermodel: Tips, Tricks, and Trade Secrets for a Happier, Healthier, More Stylish You. She appeared in several Sports Illustrated “swimsuit issues,” on the hit show Las Vegas, and in several movies. MOLLYSIMS.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 11
A MODEL OF HEALTHY LIVING INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
MARANDA PLEASANT: What makes you come alive or inspires you? STACY KEIBLER: People who love their bodies and understand the importance of feeding it properly. I get so fired up when I speak to others who share this same philosophy. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? SK: Seeing much older couples embracing one another. I feel inspired to reach out to my closest relationships in an effort to do my part with keeping our bond strong. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? SK: Show kindness and respect to everyone. Pure intentions make the biggest difference. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? SK: I become filled with anxiety and hurt as a natural reaction. Then I resort to my gratitude journal. I make it a point to think about and write down all of the things I have to be grateful for, and this helps me immensely. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? SK: I breathe, I calm my heart, and I call my soul sister. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? SK: I learn every day, and I know that I will never stop learning. To date, my biggest lesson may be that judgment of others is never a good thing. We never know the issues others may be facing, and it isn’t up to us to judge actions and behavior. If I’m not happy with how someone is showing up, I can only be honest and hope that my feelings resonate and inspire a deeper look into oneself. MP: What truth do you know for sure? SK: That no matter how much you know, how well read you are, how traveled or cultured, you should never stop learning. MP: Why are these important to you? SK: I will never stop trying to find new ways to promote healthy living. It’s my passion and my mission to help others understand what’s necessary for our bodies to function properly. Right now, though, my main focus is on becoming a new mom and giving the best of myself to my husband and growing baby. Stacy Keibler is a TV host and actress with projects including How I Met Your Mother, Chuck, Psych, and Lifetime’s Supermarket Superstar. She has a passion for health and wellness, practices a holistic approach to life, and uses exercise as a way to strengthen her mental and physical health.
MY BIGGEST LESSON MAY BE THAT JUDGMENT OF OTHERS IS NEVER A GOOD THING. PHOTO: STEVE ERLE 12 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
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PREPON Radiance from within
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Laura Prepon: A lot of things inspire me. When I see a beautiful piece of art, it inspires me to be creative. When I see an amazing play or movie, it inspires me as an actress and a filmmaker. I recently saw Annette Bening in Ruth Draper’s Monologues. Her performance blew me away. She completely inspired me as an actress. Also, eating healthy and taking care of my body and my mind really make me come alive, and seeing others doing that inspires me to stay with it. I always feel great when I do. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? LP: When I’m pushed outside of my comfort zone, I feel vulnerable. That’s also one of the reasons I like being pushed out of my comfort zone, because it makes you grow as a person. When I have to do a scene where I feel vulnerable as an actress, I always grow from those experiences, so I welcome them. Even though it may not feel amazing at first. You have to embrace it and use it to improve yourself. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? LP: Love your fellow man, and take care of each other and your environment. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? LP: I think of all of the amazing things I have in my life, and things I am thankful for. My family, my best friends, my environment, and that I get to wake up every day and do what I love for a living.
MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? LP: I keep my center by really making sure I am nourished and taking care of my body. I cook all of my own food and always make sure I am eating healthy, nourishing, comforting foods. I feel derailed when I don’t do this. Also, working out and sweating daily help me to get centered. When I feel connected, mind-body and spirit, I feel centered. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? LP: Not to sweat the small stuff. There is a much bigger picture we are all striving for. To sweat the small stuff just stresses you out for no reason. MP: What truth do you know for sure? LP: I know that when you take care of yourself and are happy and healthy, you are better for those around you and your environment. I also know that many ailments can be healed with food by nourishing your body instead of taking drugs. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. LP: I’m about to start filming season three of Orange Is the New Black. I’m also currently writing a feature I will direct this year after season three wraps as well as working on a show I cocreated and sold to a major studio which we are currently pitching to networks. Another project I’m working on is a “way of life” cookbook that I’m really excited about. Laura Prepon plays Alex Vause on Orange Is the New Black, a Netflix Original Series. Before that, she was best known for her role as Donna Pinciotti on That ’70s Show. TWITTER.COM/LAURAPREPON
I LIKE BEING PUSHED OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE, BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU GROW AS A PERSON.
} MAYA ANGELOU } I’ve been blessed to have Maya Angelou as my mentor, mother/sister, and friend since my twenties. She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet, but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. "When you learn, teach; when you get, give" is one of my best lessons from her. She won three Grammys, spoke six languages and was the second poet in history to recite a poem at a presidential inauguration. But what stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it’s how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence, and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds. —Oprah Winfrey
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SASHA ALEXANDER ON LIFE, ACTING, AND GLUTEN-FREE LIVING INTERVIEW: ROBERT PIPER
I get inspired by creativity . . . there’s a certain synergy when people work together. Robert Piper: Sasha, what inspires you? Sasha Alexander: So many things—my children, my husband Edoardo [Ponti]. I love art. I love movies. I love culture and travel. What else . . . music. I also get inspired by—how do I say—I get inspired by creativity, when people are together. You know what I mean, there’s a certain synergy when people work together. RP: How do you stay healthy? SA: Well, I have changed my diet. I was having a lot of stomach issues, so I did go gluten-free, and that has helped me a lot, crazy enough. I don’t have the issue when I go to Europe, but I have the issue in America. Just because of the way we’re producing wheat, it does a number on me. I eat healthy. I drink lots of water. I do several forms of exercise, but one of the things I’ve been doing is the Tracy Anderson Method. It’s the exercise that Gwyneth Paltrow did to get in shape. I really love it because I was a dancer. After two children, getting back to that frame and back to that physicality of working, I really love it. I’ve been really into that. RP: You mentioned gluten. How do you manage with your busy schedule to stay on a gluten-free diet?
that’s also gluten-free. It’s been really helpful, because he always has alternative things. He brings out cookies. Then he’ll bring out a plate of vegetables with ranch dressing or something that’s still fun to eat but more on the healthy side. I think it’s just a habit, and it’s getting in the habit of just not putting anything in your mouth when you get hungry. Also, planning my food a bit helps me. Knowing what I’m going to be eating for lunch helps, instead of getting hungry and then looking for something. I got to try to think about what I’m going to do. I’ll bring in food, I’ll order food, I’ll prepare food and bring it in—that kind of thing. RP: How is Rizzoli & Isles doing? SA: We’re doing so well. We’ve passed our halfway mark for the season. We have a new showrunner this year named Jan Nash. It’s great. We’re really excited about this season. There are a lot of good, confident changes. It’s good, it’s really good. Can’t complain. Sasha Alexander is an actor, appearing in the hit show Rizzoli & Isles and previously in NCIS and Dawson’s Creek. Her film credits include Yes Man and He’s Just Not That into You.
SA: You just stay away from all things that are flour-based. Our craft service on the set can be very tempting, but we happen to have a guy TWITTER.COM/SASHAALEXANDER1 18 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
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“WHEN I LOOK BACK ON THINGS THAT REALLY UPSET ME AT THE MOMENT, I CAN ALWAYS SEE WHY IT HAPPENED IN RETROSPECT.”
INTERVIEW: Maranda Pleasant
STAYING BALANCED with a DAILY PRACTICE MARANDA PLEASANT: What makes you come alive?
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?
Melissa Rauch: Laughter. Either being made to laugh or igniting it.
MR: There is always a reason. When I look back on things that really upset me at the moment, I can always see why it happened in retrospect.
MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? MR: Dishonesty. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? MR: Be kind to each other. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? MR: I usually need to sit with it a while. Really feel it. Then I need to talk it out. Luckily, I am surrounded by wonderful listeners who haven’t told me to shut up yet. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? MR: Meditation is very important to me. I feel off-balance when I skip a day. I do yoga daily as well. I need to start the day with some sort of physical activity. That combined with the meditation clears my mind and energizes me.
MP: What truth do you know for sure? MR: My grandmother always would say, “This, too, shall pass.” It is always true. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. MR: I start season eight of The Big Bang Theory in August. Over my hiatus, I am going to be starring in a film I cowrote with my husband. We are over-the-moon excited about it. Melissa Rauch’s television career includes roles on The Big Bang Theory and True Blood. Melissa garnered critical acclaim for her one-woman show, The Miss Education of Jenna Bush. Melissa cowrote, directed, and starred in the short The Condom Killer.
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT interview: maranda pleasant
Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Inbar Lavi: Music. A beautiful view. Powerful words. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? IL: People whispering. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? IL: Dream big and love bigger. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? IL: Through my work, through writing, or I talk it out with my friends and loved ones to get better perspective. Pilates also creates great balance in my life. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? IL: I hike a lot. The view and the air up in the hills are much greater than the hustle and bustle of the city. It makes it all look so silly and small. Sometimes, I need to be high off the ground to keep grounded. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? IL: Watch your thoughts. They turn into words, then turn into actions. Think good, speak good, and be good. MP: What truth do you know for sure? IL: The great Maya Angelou once said, “Nothing will work unless you do.” Truth be told. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. IL: My new original drama, Gang Related. I play a cop on a gang task force—it’s epic. MP: Why are these important to you? IL: I get to play a strong, independent character who works hard and plays harder. She’s serious about protecting the streets and her loved ones and isn’t afraid to grab life by the balls. We can use more of those on TV!
WATCH YOUR THOUGHTS. THEY TURN INTO WORDS, THEN TURN INTO ACTIONS.
THINK GOOD, SPEAK GOOD, AND BE GOOD.
Inbar Lavi stars as Veronica “Vee” Dotsen in Fox’s Gang Related. Her film credits include Street Kings 2: Motor City and For the Love of Money. Inbar is best known for her role as Reviva on MTV’s Underemployed. PHOTO: BENNY HADDAD 22 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
RENÉE MARINO the art of FEELING ALIVE we become lost in being everywhere but here and now, and the ironic part is that the present is the only place that will make us feel better. INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
MARANDA PLEASANT: what makes you come alive?
MP: how do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? do you have a daily routine?
RENÉE MARINO: So many things make me come alive, like when I just finish meditating and I open my eyes and it’s as if everything is much clearer. I feel like everything in my body has calmed down, and I feel this sense of joy because I am in touch with what’s most important in my life. I also come most alive when I am with my family and closest friends who make me feel recharged just by being with them. Another important time when I feel most alive is when I hear a song that I love so much that all I can do is dance—I feel so free!
RM: Meditation has become a big part of my life these days. It’s more about taking some moments for yourself to deep-breathe and focus your attention inward. This has really helped me because, as a perfectionist, I used to think that if I couldn’t meditate in my idea of the perfect way, then it wouldn’t work. I now meditate even if it is for three minutes while I’m sitting in the car. Every little bit helps to slow the system.
MP: what makes you feel vulnerable?
MP: what’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?
RM: I feel most vulnerable when I am underprepared—for instance, if I have an audition and haven’t worked through the material enough beforehand. Also, if I am running late, I feel completely vulnerable because I am usually the person who is early to everything so that I can settle down and breathe before jumping in to the task at hand.
RM: One of my biggest lessons has been to be easier on myself and not make things such a big deal. It’s a wonderful feeling to experience a shift when you realize that you have the power to change the patterns within yourself. Today, I still have moments where I feel myself start to go to the place of not being on my own team, but then I reel myself back.
MP: if you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?
MP: what truth do you know for sure?
RM: Consistently practice love and everything that falls under the category of love: gratitude, laughter, friendship, joy, forgiveness, acceptance, peace, and trust. MP: how do you handle emotional pain? RM: I am a very emotional human being and would say that I handle emotional pain in a healthy way by always letting it out and not keeping it in. There is no better feeling than allowing those tears to flow when I am feeling emotionally constricted. Crying feels so good sometimes, and I do it when I’m happy, sad, stressed, scared. I like to believe that tears are my friend.
RM: Living in the present is the way to go. I know firsthand about getting caught up in the hurts of the past and the anxieties of the future and thinking that we are somehow making ourselves feel better by doing so. We become lost in being everywhere but here and now, and the ironic part is that the present is the only place that will make us feel better. MP: tell me about your latest projects. RM: My most recent project is playing the role of Mary Delgado in my first movie, Jersey Boys, directed by Clint Eastwood. The film is based on the Broadway musical of the same title. Renée Marino is an actor, singer, and dancer who has been in several Broadway musicals and national tours such as Jersey Boys, West Side Story, Wonderland, Chaplin, Cats, and Disney’s High School Musical.
PHOTO: EMMA + JOSH PHOTOGRAPHY 24 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
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INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
Taking refuge in work and family MARANDA PLEASANT: What makes you come alive or inspires you? GRANT BOWLER: My job. The process of acting, not necessarily the business of acting, but the actual doing of it in the moment is my greatest kind of personal passion, the thing that brings me alive the most. Also, my two children. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? GB: I’m a person who doesn’t necessarily enjoy feeling vulnerable, so I think my loved ones and my family make me feel vulnerable. Also, being connected with people when I’m working is a very vulnerable place to be. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? GB: “Mind your own business.” By that I mean, if we spent the majority of our focus just concentrating on our side of the street, not so much on what the next guy is doing, I think I’d get a lot more done—we’d all get a lot more done—and we’d probably have a lot less criticism for everybody else. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? GB: I’m not sure whether I handle it particularly well. I have my mechanism, which is usually to put my head down and move through. I tend to have this imagining that when I get to the other side of whatever it is that I’m going through, I will have time to reflect and deal with the pain at leisure. I’m not sure that always happens. I think that sometimes I do myself a disservice, but I think that’s a common thing for men.
of me and, even more strangely, worried about what I imagined other people might be thinking about me. Looking back is a form of insanity, given that I could really never understand what everybody else was thinking. I find these days that I’m much more efficient when I just focus on what I need to do in order to move my family forward and get the focus off me. MP: What truth do you know for sure? GB: The truth that I know for sure is that I may have an opinion, but I do not know the truth, and the other thing I know for sure is that certainty is the root of all ignorance and the root of all evil. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. GB: Defiance is my first and foremost project, the television show I do for Syfy. We have just finished shooting our second season, and I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around the world to promote the show. I’ve gotten to go to Sydney, Latin America, and Monte Carlo and am just about to do a trip to New York and San Francisco. I recently went back to Australia to film the miniseries Gallipoli, which is the story of the Australian and New Zealand troops’ campaign in Turkey during the first World War. It’s the hundredth anniversary of that campaign next year, and the miniseries will be released to coincide with that, so it’s a very important project and one that was very close to my heart. Another film I just finished is 400 Days in Los Angeles, with Dane Cook.
MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? GB: Strangely enough, I find myself more centered in chaos than in calm, and again I’m not sure whether that’s a strength or says something weird about me, but I love a crisis. I’m normally very, very organized in the middle of chaos, and then when I have nothing to focus on, extremely disorganized, and I tend to waste a lot of time.
MP: Why are these important to you? GB: I’ve been very fortunate in my career to work across a lot of different mediums. I’ve hosted, I’ve narrated, I’ve acted in television, miniseries, film—all of which are very, very different in the way they tell stories. Television is what we call the long form of storytelling, where we tell stories over thirteen, twenty-two, or twenty-four hours. Miniseries is an eight-hour form of storytelling, and film is a two-hour form. Each and every one of them are important to me, because they’re a different modality of storytelling. I really enjoy working across the three. I feel that as an artist, it broadens and stretches me.
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? GB: I think my children have presented one of the biggest lessons so far in my life. It was only when my kids were born that I realized just how much I’d been living my life worried about what everybody thought
Grant Bowler is the male lead, Joshua Nolan, in Syfy's Defiance. Grant will next be seen in two upcoming movies: Swelter, alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme and Alfred Molina, and Lucky Dog, alongside Amy Smart.
PHOTO: BENNY HADDAD 26 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
“I find myself more centered in chaos than in calm.”
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INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
MAKING FAMILY HER BUSINESS
It’s such an incredible thing to be able to come to my husband about anything. He truly is my best friend. Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Jessica Robertson: Being creative. I have a love for fashion. Whether it’s sewing quilts or clothes, I love creating fabulous outfits and finding cool shoes and accessories for my kids. My kids are definitely my muses. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? JR: When people judge my family and/or me, I feel most vulnerable. Some people read the tabloids or take bits and pieces of something that was said and make assumptions. I’ve never understood why some thrive on bad publicity. I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of girl. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? JR: Keep your family and friends close. Always have their backs, and they will always have yours. My friends and family are two of the most valuable things in my life.
PHOTO: BRAD ARENDER 30 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
MP: How do you handle emotional pain? JR: Well, I’m a pretty emotional person, so first I cry. Then I talk to Jep about whatever has hurt me. It’s such an incredible thing to be able to come to my husband about anything. He truly is my best friend. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? JR: There are days I can keep everything in order, and some that are hectic. With four young kids, life can get pretty busy. It’s definitely a juggling act being a wife, a mom of four, filming Duck Dynasty, and starting business ventures. In a way, I don’t have a routine. I just go with the flow. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? JR: We’ve met so many children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. My heart goes out to them all and their families. You just don’t know how blessed you are until you meet others going through such
difficulties. It puts everything back into perspective. MP: What truth do you know for sure? JR: I know that God is real. This world is too beautiful. The biggest miracle in my life was having my children. To have life grow inside me and see life come into this world, so bright-eyed and innocent—it was magical. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. JR: We just finished approving Jep’s Beard Care product line. I wrote a book with the other Robertson wives, The Women of Duck Commander. And, of course, we are still filming more funny Duck Dynasty episodes! Jessica Robertson is a mother of four and wife of Jep Robertson, the youngest Robertson brother in A&E’s Duck Dynasty. Also, she coauthored The Women of Duck Commander: Surprising Insights from the Women behind the Beards about What Makes This Family Work and is an entrepreneur and public speaker.
JEPSBEARDCARE.COM | DUCKCOMMANDER.COM
No one wil l remem ber how expensive you r bag was or the designer d ress you a re wearing,but they wil l remember you r actions.
inter view: maranda pleasant
Clare GaLterio THE HARMONY OF
inspiration, education & entertainment Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you?
gluten-free places in New York City, trying to bring awareness to the great food establishments that exist and that people should try!
CLARE GALTERIO: I am constantly inspired by my family. I’m
MP: What truth do you know for sure?
from a family of five girls that are very involved in each other’s lives and have parents that are happily married for thirty-plus years, and I know how rare that that is nowadays. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such talented and loving people.
CG: It’s the little things that you do for others that matter. No one
will remember how expensive your bag was or the designer dress you are wearing, but they will remember your actions.
MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?
MP: Tell me about your latest projects.
CG: Be nice. People spend too much time disliking or hating others. They should put their energy into something else. You never know what someone is going through, and a little niceness goes a long way.
talk show. There are live performances from artists, along with interviews and music news. The show is in its second season and is a first of its kind for Music Choice Play.
MP: How do you handle emotional pain?
MP: Why are these important to you?
CG: I do some sort of exercise or physical activity, whether it’s going
CG: Nowadays, the media is so bombarded with petty things. It’s
CG: Hosting Music Choice Play’s TV show You & A, a weekly music
MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?
nice to have a show on the air that is truly about the music, the artists, and the fans. Also, having fans involved and being able to ask their favorite musicians questions via social media makes the show more lively and gives fans the opportunity to reach out to their inspiration.
CG: My daily routine always starts with some sort of physical
MP: What causes are you passionate about?
to the gym, doing yoga, or just dancing around my room. You will be surprised how much three minutes of dancing like a fool can help!
activity—taking my dog for a quick walk or working out. I need to get my natural endorphins going in order to start my day off right.
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? CG: “There are a lot of smart people in this world but not enough nice people. So just be nice.” That’s what my dad told me when he dropped me off at college my freshman year. This is something I keep in the back of my mind every day.
I’ve also learned that what you put into your body is extremely important. I have been gluten-free for over a year and try to promote a gluten-free lifestyle. My sisters and mother have celiac disease, and I have gluten intolerance. It has even inspired me to create the Gluten Free Chick web series on YouTube. I go around to the best
CG: My family has supported the JDRF [formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation] for the last fifteen years. My sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at eight years old. Ever since, we have been heavily involved in the annual JDRF walks and with raising money for research.
Clare Galterio is a TV personality with a national show on the Music Choice Network called You & A, where she interviews the hottest artists. She has entertainment and sports in her blood: her cousins are Kate and Rooney Mara, and her family owns the Giants and Steelers.
CLAREGALTERIO.COM | MUSICCHOICE.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 33
LESSONS FROM CHAOS & STI LLNESS
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT MARANDA PLEASANT: What makes you come alive or inspires you? ROMANY MALCO: Being able to engage my creativity in a way that makes a difference inspires me more than anything. Writing a funny story is one thing. But writing a funny story that inspires others to venture beyond their level of comfort in pursuit of their greater good is what makes me come alive. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? RM: Wanting an honest opinion about my art from someone whose opinion I respect makes me feel vulnerable. It’s a great space to be in. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? RM: “Stillness empowers.” Being able to detach from all external stimulants—social media, social engagements, TV, alcohol, food, etc.—and face our own silence is an enormous luxury that should not be taken for granted. The most rewarding moments in my life have stemmed from such stillness. Consciously or subconsciously, we become slaves to debt and social obligation. As a result, we end up more committed to the minutia and less in tune with the bigger picture: our deepest sense of purpose. If you are courageous enough to be still, you are a step closer to becoming empowered. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? RM: When faced with emotional pain, I become still for hours, sometimes days, doing absolutely nothing. It helps me get to the truest source of my suffering. More times than not, my pain stems from an area in which I’ve been least authentic. The second I identify the source—the
ONE OF MY BIGGEST LESSONS IN LIFE IS, WE HEAL AT THE SPEED OF OUR FORGIVENESS. area of my inauthenticity—I begin to feel better. This allows me to take complete responsibility for my emotional discomfort, and the awareness enables me to move beyond the blockage. I become energetically unstuck, allowing the pain to pass through me. Pain is inevitable. It is actually a great opportunity for growth, but when we blame or fail to take responsibility for our suffering, the pain becomes stagnant, and stagnant pain can have a compounding effect if left unchecked. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? RM: Coming from a background as unique as mine, the first challenge is being able to identify chaos as chaos. For the first half of my life, I interpreted chaos as normal. Today, I am aware that I have triggers: a default way of thinking that is often not relative to the immediate moment. Therefore, in the midst of chaos, I have learned to relinquish all my premature cognitive commitments and become present. I do not have a daily routine, but each morning, I try to spend an hour in bed, visualizing positive outcomes for my life, health, and career. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? RM: One of my biggest lessons in life is, we heal at the speed of our forgiveness. MP: What truth do you know for sure? RM: An unresolved past erodes beauty in the present. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. RM: I’ve never been a fan of sequels, but I am so proud to be a part of the Think Like A Man franchise. This sequel is actually better than the first, and that was not an easy feat. I just finished doing a very funny sketch with Key & Peele for Comedy Central, and I am acting in a film titled The D.U.F.F., directed by Ari Sandel for CBS Films, slated for release in 2015. MP: Why are these important to you? RM: These projects are important to me because they afford me a platform from which I can inspire people to reconnect with their authentic sense of purpose. Romany Malco is a comedic film and TV actor. His breakout role was in Judd Apatow’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Since then, he has appeared in Last Vegas, Think Like a Man, The Love Guru, and Baby Mama, among others. He currently stars in Think Like a Man Too.
ROMANYMALCO.COM | TIJUANAJACKSON.COM 34 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
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INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT MARANDA PLEASANT: What inspires you? DYLAN GELULA: People who plug in. So many people are passive
participants in their very short time of having a consciousness, and those who aren’t inspire me. Like Malala Yousafzai or a ninety-twoyear-old yoga instructor.
MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? DG: Being naked. Clothes are quite the armor. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? DG: Tone down. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? DG: Poorly. My tendency to internalize emotion is probably why I’m
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? DG: The question isn’t only “Do they like me?” but also “Do I like them?”
MP: What truth do you know for sure? DG: Global warming and evolution are real things. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. DG: Jennifer Falls on TV Land and Chasing Life on ABC Family! MP: Why are these important to you? DG: I get to be on two wonderful shows, and they both pass the Bechdel test. Unreal.
an actor. I’m comfortable performing angrily but have such difficulty expressing anger in my life. Only my therapist reads this, right?
MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?
DG: I can’t. I feel really overwhelmed a lot of the time. I don’t take
much comfort in routine, but if I don’t start, I could really get eaten alive by my industry.
PHOTO: BRYONY SHEARMUR 36 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Dylan Gelula began her acting career at age ten in an M. Night Shyamalan film. She stars alongside Jaime Pressly, Jessica Walter, and Missi Pyle in Jennifer Falls and has a recurring role in Chasing Life. She is passionate about fashion, writing, and reading. She is vegan and loves dogs.
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Michael Lomenda: I walked to see Gaudí’s famous Sagrada Família, and when I walked through a clearing and saw it for the first time, I stopped in my tracks and welled up a bit. It was the most complete marriage of unabashed, pure, unfettered artistic creativity and support from the community. I find that complete trust and subsequent courage galvanizing and inspiring.
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? ML: The times I’ve been most successful have been the product of hard work and focus, but there’s also been an ease and flow to it that’s unmistakable. A friend once asked what I meant, and I said, “Water finds the easiest path down a mountain.” I’m learning that the times I felt the best about my life and career, I’m most like the water finding that path.
MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? ML: Tornadoes. Flash floods. Global warming. Violence. Guns. Cancer.
MP: What truth do you know for sure? ML: Love. Resoundingly and absolutely.
MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? ML: Life is brief. Always act out of love, never fear. Be the captain of your ship. Breathe and be grateful.
MP: Tell me about your latest projects. ML: I’ve had an incredible time shooting Jersey Boys this past summer. Being a Canuck with minimal screen experience, it’s been the most unexpected but welcome ride of my life. After performing the stage version over 1,200 times, it was exhilarating to go back to the drawing board and reimagine a story I loved and felt so close to for film.
MP: How do you handle emotional pain? ML: I tend to shut down and become reclusive, or I pour myself into unfinished projects or work. Usually, I need to take a day to process, and then I come around and talk it out. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? ML: I’m a project guy, but when my list of things to do gets too long or involved, it can stress me out to the point of catatonia. So I focus on the small stuff first and keep the larger picture as motivation—but not so close that it overwhelms. I also find myself having rehearsal chats, in my head, for conversations I need to have. Sometimes they are arguments, things I need to get off my chest, award acceptance speeches. Ultimately, it clears my mind, helps me focus my thoughts, and sometimes alleviates the need for the real conversation. PHOTO: JOHN RUSSO 38 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
MP: Why are these important to you? ML: I don’t think I’ve ever felt more proud to be part of a show. I’ve met so many life-altering people, and it’s been an absolute game changer for me. It’s taught me so much about myself and what I look forward to for my next projects. All different kinds of people love this show, and that’s really why I do it: to see people engaged and moved and taken away on an exciting adventure. Michael Lomenda stars as Nick Massi in Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of the musical Jersey Boys, a role he also played in the first national tour, which won the 2006 Tony for Best Musical.
PHOTOS: MIKE RUIZ
WELCOMING THE YIN WITH THE YANG
BEING VULNERABLE PAVES
MARANDA PLEASANT: What makes you come alive or inspires you? JONATHAN SADOWSKI: People say that envy is a deadly sin, but I disagree. I love watching a person do something that I can’t. I find it to be incredibly motivating. When I watch a singer perform, or an athlete, I can’t help but be driven to be the best I can be at my craft. Oh, and I also like those really schmoopy “hope for humanity” stories and photos on the Internet.
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
THE WAY FOR HUMILITY.
MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? JS: Lots of stuff. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s the yin and the yang. Be confident, but allow yourself to be vulnerable. Life is all about experiencing the full range of emotions. I think being vulnerable paves the way for humility. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? JS: “Knock it off.” MP: How do you handle emotional pain? JS: I like to let it run its course. Healing is a process. Sometimes it’s quick, and other times it’s gruelingly long. You’re the only person who knows when it’s time to move on and let go. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? JS: I honestly have never been a guy to panic or freak out in the middle of a crisis. Growing up in the south side of Chicago will make you pretty resilient. Somewhere along the line, I conditioned myself to be a quick thinker. I take a step back and try to assess the situation, then make the best decision possible at the moment. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? JS: Do the right thing. Not just when it’s convenient for you, but all the time. Words to live by. MP: What truth do you know for sure? JS: Karma is a bitch. Be careful out there . . . MP: Tell me about your latest projects. JS: I have a film coming out later this year called It’s All Relative. A really funny film about a guy who goes to meet his girlfriend’s parents and realizes he slept with her mom. I had the privilege of working alongside the lovely Connie Nielsen and Sara Paxton. Also, my sitcom, Young & Hungry, on ABC Family. MP: Why are these important to you? JS: Well, I chose to enter a profession that is not easy. To be able to say that I am doing what I love for a living—man, it isn’t work. I cannot begin to describe how fortunate I am. Jonathan Sadowski stars opposite Emily Osment on ABC Family’s Young & Hungry, based on real-life food blogger Gabi Moskowitz and her blog, BrokeAss Gourmet. He is also the lead in the upcoming film It’s All Relative. Jonathan is a writer/director and a member of Hollywood’s famous Magic Castle.
PHOTO: GILLES TOUCAS 40 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
NATHAN PARSONS BELIEVING IN THE ESSENCE OF HUMANITY INTERVIEW: Maranda Pleasant
LIFE IS GOING TO TEST YOU. BUT NO MATTER HOW BAD IT MAY SEEM, WE CAN ALWAYS STEP UP AND BEAT IT. MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE OR INSPIRES YOU?
nobody is. There I can dig deep and find the core that got me where I am today. It’s sort of like my reset button.
NATHAN PARSONS: The human condition itself inspires me. I’ve always been drawn to stories and characters facing some sort of struggle against forces beyond our control, be it love, loss, betrayal. Anything that forces the human soul to scream out and fight really brings out the best in us, and to have an opportunity to portray characters like that is inspiring.
MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE?
MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE? NP: Simply being myself makes me feel vulnerable. It’s much easier to put yourself out there under the guise of a character. You get a different name, different habits, different words. When I have to just be Nathan, that’s when I feel vulnerable. MP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? NP: Be brave enough to create. It doesn’t matter what it is, it doesn’t matter if you have training or a background in it. Just create something, and lend a piece of yourself to that art. MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN? NP: I’m pretty cerebral, so I can occasionally rationalize it away, but when I can’t, that’s when I start to feel the fire inside take over and somehow manage to power through. I’m not afraid of scars, be them emotional or otherwise. I think it builds character, and if it doesn’t destroy you, I truly believe it makes us stronger. MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE? NP: My center is the soul of a gypsy. When things get too chaotic, I need to roam. I usually head up to the mountains or out into the desert. Somewhere PHOTO: LESLEY BRYCE
NP: Have faith in yourself. There have been many things in my life that have tried to break me, going back to when I was two and three years old. It never stops—life will always push you to your limit. The only way I’ve managed to survive it all is by believing in myself and knowing, somehow, beyond everything telling me otherwise, that I will succeed. MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE? NP: Although it may seem like it, life will never give you more than you can handle. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy; in fact, quite the opposite. Life is going to test you. But no matter how bad it may seem, we can always step up and beat it. MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS AND WHY YOU'RE PASSIONATE ABOUT THEM. NP: Right now I’m working on True Blood and The Originals. True Blood as a vampire, Originals as a werewolf. One thing that continues to amaze me about both is that, despite the trappings of gothic science fiction, the stories themselves and the characters within them are undoubtedly human. Whether you’re a vampire or werewolf, love is still love. Betrayal is still betrayal. I have an amazing opportunity to strip down these supernatural characters and reveal their basic humanity across an incredibly imaginative canvas. Nathan Parsons is a new series regular in the final season of HBO’s True Blood, playing James, Jessica’s new love interest. Nathan also has a recurring role as the werewolf Jackson on the CW’s The Originals. He is best known for playing Ethan on General Hospital.
TWITTER.COM/NATHAN_PARSONS ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 41
NASTIA LIUKIN GIVING BACK TO GYMNASTICS
"GYM NASTI C S H A S G I V E N M E EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE. I WILL CONTINUE TO STAY INVOLVED AND TRY TO GIVE BACK TO THE SPORT THAT HAS GIVEN ME SO MUCH."
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT MARANDA PLEASANT: What makes you come alive or inspires you? NASTIA LIUKIN: When I was much younger and still competing in gymnastics, I could rarely find inspiration outside of the sport. Today, I find inspiration in music, art, traveling the world, and meeting new people. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? NL: I’ve had to make really big decisions, knowing the results were not always in my control. Through these moments, I’ve learned to be daring and take risks but understand that everything always happens for a reason. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? NL: “Live in the moment.” MP: How do you handle emotional pain? NL: Being with someone I love and care about to feed off positive energy is crucial. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? NL: Sitting in a park or anywhere with fresh air and drinking a cup of hot tea while reading or writing in a journal. I also love yoga.
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? NL: At the 2012 Olympic Trials, I wanted to make a second Olympic team. I fell face first, and in a blink of an eye, my dreams of competing in a second Olympics were over. Even so, I got up, finished my routine, and saw twenty thousand people cheering. It was my first standing ovation. It was the most heartwarming experience of my career. That’s when I learned that you always have to finish what you start and I learned that some of life’s greatest lessons come with disappointment. MP: What truth do you know for sure? NL: Without my parents and their love and support in my life, I would not be who I am or where I am today. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. NL: I’m focusing on finishing my undergrad degree at NYU, and I am an analyst and correspondent for NBC Olympics. I also have my own gymnastics competition, called the Nastia Liukin Cup. It’s such a cool opportunity for these girls to compete on a big stage, on live TV. In 2010, a little girl named Gabby Douglas competed at the Nastia Liukin Cup and got fourth place. Two years later, she went on to win the all-around gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Through that, I also have my own foundation, the Nastia Liukin Fund, supported by the National Gymnastics Foundation in conjunction with USA Gymnastics. The NLF supports clubs that aid athletes who need financial assistance to be involved in gymnastics. MP: Why are these important to you? NL: Gymnastics has given me everything in my life. I will continue to stay involved and try to give back to the sport that has given me so much. MP: What causes are you passionate about? NL: I’m passionate about health, nutrition, fitness, and inspiring people to live a healthy and active lifestyle. In addition to the NLF, another cause I am passionate about is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I love visiting with the kids—they inspire me! Nastia Liukin has five Olympic medals and nine world medals under her belt. After winning the all-around gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she became a national sensation. Nastia dedicates her time to educating young women about the importance of healthy living.
NASTIALIUKIN.COM 42 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
KANDYSE McCLURE PUTTING THE SPOTLIGHT
O N ED UCATI O N practice. It also allows time to be creative or to contemplate before the business of the day. I find that if I’ve taken care of myself first, I can then be there fully for everyone else. MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE? KM: I could never have dreamed the life I lead. Given where I started, it’s remarkable to me the constant adventure that my life has become. So really, anything is possible—even the most far-fetched idea can come to being through a series of seemingly small decisions and actions. Take a leap of faith. You will either land somewhere new or learn to fly.
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE OR INSPIRES YOU? KANDYSE MCCLURE: I love to travel. I think it’s the best education to experience how other people live. It reminds us of the abundance and variety we have in the world, but at our essence, we are all the same, we all want the same things: to live well, pursue our dreams, and be happy. MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE? KM: Sharing something that I love. Every time I walk on the set, I feel it. Or singing in front of people. It’s like having your heart beat outside of you. MP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? KM: Celebrate yourself. Follow your passions and eccentricities, because they are yours alone. You are unique! If everyone did that, I’m pretty sure there would be world peace. MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN? KM: My mom is my best friend and always offers me great perspective and reminds me to be compassionate to myself in moments when I feel low. Playing the ukulele and singing is a fantastic stress reliever. So is cleaning! Scrubbing away at the dirt helps clear my mind as well. MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE? KM: Waking up early is something both my mom and grandma do. The quiet of the morning offers a perfect time to do a meditation and yoga PHOTO: JEAN CLAUDE 44 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE? KM: No matter what is going on around or within you, everything at some point must change. It’s harder to accept when things are great— and a source of strength when change is what you need. Either way, it reminds me to try my best to be fully present in every moment.
TAK E A LEAP O F FAITH. YO U WILL E ITH ER LAND S O M E WH ERE NE W O R LE ARN TO FLY. MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS. KM: I’ve had the opportunity to speak about my mom and her fight to bring awareness to the public school system and the challenges its teachers face. We’ve also had other actors and tons of fans come on board to support. MP: WHY ARE THESE IMPORTANT TO YOU? KM: However you learn and whatever your circumstances, an education that prepares you for the world is every child’s right. Of course I’m totally biased, but I think my mom is an amazing educator. She continues to work tirelessly for the kids in her classes, year after year—despite the innumerable obstacles she faces. She is ahuge inspiration to me. Kandyse McClure is best known for playing Anastasia Dualla on Battlestar Galactica. Currently, she embodies the tormented and obsessive Dr. Clementine Chasseur in the Netflix Original Series Hemlock Grove. When not on set, Kandyse practices yoga and the ukulele. TWITTER.COM/KANDYSEMCCLURE | TEACHTEENS.ORG
Inter view: Barbi Twins
FIGHTING ON BEHALF
"HUMANS DON’T OWN THIS EARTH—WE JUST ACT AS IF WE DO." Barbi Twins: You are most known as a reality star of Oxygen’s
BT: What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned from
Simone Reyes: I remember being in my early twenties and seeing
SR: Animals are our greatest teachers. We can, and should, try to feed our souls by reading books like The Power of Now, but the “CliffsNotes” are right there in your home if you are lucky enough to share it with a rescued companion animal. They are the embodiment of the lessons taught in those books. Just watch a cat find a sliver of sunlight on a rug; watch as she dances and stretches in it with no thought of anything else except that gifted moment. Or allow yourself to really experience the unbridled euphoria your companion dog showers you with when you come home from work. In that moment, he or she isn’t worried about yesterday or tomorrow— they are completely in this shared moment with you. The lessons they teach us on forgiveness, unconditional love, and gratitude are more valuable than any book or seminar. Animals are love.
long-running hit series Running Russell Simmons, working with media mogul and hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons as his executive assistant for Rush Communications / Def Pictures.You also had a big influence on his vegan lifestyle. So tell us about the woman who is helping to run this empire. What was the trigger in your life to become so dedicated towards animals and make this activism the main purpose of your life?
a news show reporting on the Canadian seal slaughter. I wanted to be one of those that would help stop it. I called PETA the next day and never turned back.
BT: Who were the most influential people in your life that shaped
your beliefs in compassion towards animals? What was it about these people that inspired you to become vegan?
SR: Ingrid Newkirk, cofounder of PETA. I told her that one
day in the history books, her photo would appear next to Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Harvey Milk, Gloria Steinem, and all the other freedom fighters of the world. It made me teary to be able to say that to her in person, because I know a legend when I see one. Without Ingrid Newkirk, there would be no animal rights movement as far as I am concerned. I love her.
animals and in helping them?
BT: What are the biggest misconceptions people have about animal rights activists?
I would also credit Chris DeRose of Last Chance for Animals for helping turn me vegan. I remember hearing him speak about laboratory animals and being drawn to his passion for the cause. And of course, Brigitte Bardot, who was born beautiful on the outside but showed that real beauty comes from within.
SR: Probably that we are judgmental. I think that they often forget that the vast majority of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to zoos. Many of us probably thought that, at the holidays, we were doing a good thing by contributing our hard-earned money to charities that promise to find cures for diseases via animal research. Of course, later we did our homework. We all found our path to becoming activists in different ways, and we are all approachable and delighted to help others understand what we have come to know, which is, in a nutshell, animals should have rights. And if you don’t have it in your heart to help them, then please just leave them alone and do no harm.
BT: If you had one important message to tell the world, what would
BT: Most complain about the treatment of animals but don’t know
that be? Your truth.
SR: Recognize, respect, and fight for the rights of sentient beings. Humans don’t own this earth—we just act as if we do. BT: Tell us what organizations you are involved with and talk a little bit about each one of them.
SR: I was raised on PETA. I know that some people take issue with some of their stunts or the loudness of their voice, but I always tell them the same thing: there is a place for all kinds of activism. I am an advocate of education and speaking in a digestible way to get our message across, but sometimes we need to get loud and be shocking to be heard. The animals don’t always have time for pleasantries. I recently joined Sea Shepherd as a Cove Guardian. I traveled to Taiji, Japan, and documented the slaughter of dolphins there. PHOTO: BETH COCUZZI / PUSSYCAT PINUPS
how to become proactive. Tell people how they can become more involved like you to help the animals.
SR: First, I would say, “Go vegan.” You will be saving over a hundred animals a year and adding a bunch of healthy years onto your life while saving the planet. Live a vegan lifestyle. Be kind. Do unto others. Don’t be “sheeple.” And as Ingrid Newkirk says, “Never be silent.” Simone Reyes, animal rights activist and vegan, is executive assistant to Russell Simmons at Rush Communications / Def Pictures.
TWITTER.COM/SIMONEREYES ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 47
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
I WOULD DIE WITHOUT MUSIC.
MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE OR INSPIRES YOU?
MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE?
KID DAVID: Music will always make me come alive and inspire me in
KD: If you really want something, you can get it. If you believe in yourself, others will follow.
so many ways. A new song can lead to new movements and mindset. Also friends and peers. I look to the closest people in my life for inspiration—they are my heroes.
MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE?
MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE?
KD: I would die without music.
KD: The idea that I can’t do this forever. Trying to make a living off art has never been easy. The waiting game sucks.
MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS.
MP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? KD: Stop littering, recycle, and save water. Also, have fun and smile. It’s contagious. MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN? KD: I find escape in the activities I do. Surf, cycle, or dance. All of these things pull me out of the future and past and keep me purely in the moment. MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE? KD: I have a rough routine: coffee, surf, e-mails, then see what happens. I could use a better routine. Routines definitely keep me sane. My routine is usually dictated by whatever physical activity I choose to do that day. PHOTO: SHEENON OLSON 48 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
KD:I just finished shooting Step Up: All In. I am currently featured in a Red Bull Media House reality show, Break’n Reality. Also continuing work on my B-boy lifestyle magazine, Be Twn The Brks. I will be going to Croatia, Israel, and Brazil this summer to judge and teach. MP: WHY ARE THESE IMPORTANT TO YOU? KD: I have always loved the diversity of my work. The industry can throw you curveballs. I have danced in every weird situation you can imagine. Step Up 5 is a big deal for me, as it is my biggest acting role in a studio film. I am proud of my performance as well as having to learn how to ballroom in three weeks for the role. It was so much fun. I love the ability to also be able to give back to the community and travel the world. It keeps me motivated and inspired. Kid David is a member of The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers (The LXD) and SBR. He can be seen in Step Up: All In, Step Up 3D, and Battle of the Year. Kid was also a choreographer and dancer for the hit Ubisoft game The Hip Hop Dance Experience. KIDDAVID.COM
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Creating as a way of life
IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO DEPICT COMPLEX, FLAWED LGBT CHARACTERS, BECAUSE WE ARE ALL CONNECTED BY OUR HUMANITY. Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Kit Williamson: The act of creating something—really, anything.
Writing stretches me to my limits and affirms my potential, all while making me aware of my flaws, my mortality, and how much more I have to learn. It’s a singular feeling, both spiritual and corporeal, and I like to think it sparks the same inspiration and curiosity in a child that it does in an old man.
MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? KW: Sharing my work, with producers, with actors, with the Internet.
Unless you have a huge ego, I think it requires a tremendous amount of bravery to keep putting yourself out there, knowing that you will get rejected most of the time.
journal. Every morning, I check to see what the agenda for the day is, and if there isn’t a plan, I make one. I strive to fill the rest of the page with miscellaneous thoughts and ideas and go back through and fill sparse pages as well. If I start skipping days, I know I’m off course and need to take a step back and ground my life.
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? KW: I think there’s a lot of power in admitting that you don’t know
everything. Too many people get caught up in the idea that they are experts in their field and forget to keep growing and learning.
MP: What truth do you know for sure? KW: That you can never know anything for sure.
MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?
MP: Tell me about your latest projects.
KW: Don’t give up on each other.
am about to shoot a second season of the web series I created, called EastSiders, a very dark comedy about a gay couple trying to stay together after infidelity shakes their relationship. We just raised over $150,000 on Kickstarter, and I can’t wait to get back to making the show!
MP: How do you handle emotional pain? KW: I usually try to write through it and end up digging myself into a
deeper hole. When I’m ready to climb out, I attempt to put myself in the vicinity of happiness—getting a cappuccino and reading a good book, buying tomatoes at the farmers market, riding the Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier. If none of that works, I chase my cat around the house.
MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? KW: I carry around a notebook that is equal parts day planner and PHOTO: BRANDON KIDD, STYLIST: FRANZY STAEDTER, GROOMING: CRYSTAL TRAN 50 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
KW: My character Ed Gifford returned to Mad Men this season, and I
MP: Why are these important to you? KW: I think it’s really important to depict complex, flawed LGBT
characters, because we are all connected by our humanity. And I think that crowdfunding has become such a powerful tool to tell stories that might not find financing otherwise—like a dark comedy about infidelity, for example! Kit Williamson is on AMC’s final season of Mad Men as Ed Gifford. Kit is best known for the award-winning web series EastSiders that premiered on LogoTV.com, which he writes, directs, and stars in. TWITTER.COM/KITWILLIAMSON | EASTSIDERSTHESERIES.COM
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RICHARD INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
A PHILOSOPHY ON EGOS AND EMOTIONS
SOMETIMES WE CAN’T HELP THE WAY WE FEEL, BUT WE CAN MOSTLY CHOOSE HOW WE RESPOND TO IT. MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE?
MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN?
MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE?
RICHARD BRANCATISANO: In general and at
RB: I try to make sure I have a helpful
perspective so when emotional pain comes up, it doesn’t get out of hand. Sometimes we can’t help the way we feel, but we can mostly choose how we respond to it. I try not to think in terms of good and bad but more in terms of helpful or unhelpful in regards to specific moral codes and goals.
RB: What is truth? I think stating a truth
So when I feel hurt or attacked, jealousy or fear, what works for me is thinking of life as an adventure. This way, I remember that all these feelings or situations are part of a greater whole and that they need to be there to make life exactly what it is. Duality. We can’t have the one without the other. And both are OK. And both are incredible. And if you give yourself permission to feel the pain and the joy, without attaching to either, then you can be happy or sad with an underlying peace that just makes everything feel like it’s going to be OK.
MP: HOW CAN YOUNG PEOPLE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
the simplest level, it’s whatever makes me feel connected and in the moment. Several things can throw me into that space where I feel energetic and peaceful at the same moment— often things that force me to utilize all my senses. Sunshine does it for me. Music for sure, singing, and dancing. Conscious breathing. Nature. Silence. Meditation. Sport is a great one.
MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE? RB: For me, it’s the slow release of my ego
and certain belief systems that I identify with that give me comfort and an identity, and it’s scary to let go of that. It’s difficult to change, because I have to admit that I have been previously living in a less compassionate and loving way. Sometimes we just want to be right instead of fully conscious. I feel especially vulnerable when I know I’ve let the reactive ego take control of my actions and it may have had hurtful implications with someone I love. I feel vulnerable when I don’t listen to my conscience.
SO WHEN I FEEL HURT OR ATTACKED, JEALOUSY OR FEAR, WHAT WORKS FOR ME IS THINKING OF LIFE AS AN ADVENTURE. MP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? RB: I’m trying to put myself in the other per-
son’s shoes here and imagine what I would like to hear from a complete stranger. I don’t have enough knowledge or wisdom to say anything profound to people all over the world. But maybe a simple “I love you,” as corny as it may sound, shows them that I am willing to be compassionate, generous, and peaceful with them.
PHOTOS: COREY NICKOLS
MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE? RB: I try to remember the things that keep
me peaceful, happy, and compassionate. I constantly write notes on my phone about little discoveries I make in terms of perspective and habitual thought patterns. My memory seems to let me down, so this really helps me. I find practicing gratefulness and generosity keeps me centered the most.
MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE? RB: Probably the nature of duality. It helps me become more empathetic knowing that there are always two sides to a story. It allows me to accept joy and sadness in my life without becoming depressed in an attempt to avoid them. It reminds me to be aware of where I am situated in regards to a balanced approach. Knowing that a paradox is required for life as we know it to exist allows me to give up trying constantly to understand it and instead just feel it and enjoy it.
could be dangerous, because we are locking something in and therefore making it harder for ourselves to change beyond that certain thought or concept. I am still learning and experiencing things and feel like I cannot state a truth. So I guess one truth I know for sure is that I cannot state one. A paradox.
RB: They should make a difference in any
avenue which they are passionate about. Passion overcomes obstacles. Hopefully, they understand and harness the power of the Internet and bring out the best in it. There is a lot of knowledge on the Net and an equal amount of crap. They should not blindly follow what was done before them but really look at the actions and habits that have formed the current standards and ask questions about them.
MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS. RB: I’m working on an ABC Family drama
series called Chasing Life. It is about April, a journalist in her early twenties, whose life changes when she is diagnosed with leukemia. I play a character called Dominic. He and April are just starting a romantic relationship when she gets the news. Even though the show deals with such heavy topics, it manages to be extremely funny, witty, and enjoyable to watch. One of the reasons I love working on this show is because I feel like there needs to be more content like this. Nearly one in four Americans will die of cancer, which means most people have some sort of experience surrounding it. I think it’s important that we broadcast programs that represent the reality so the viewers can really connect with the content and, hopefully, not feel so alone. Richard Brancatisano is known for his role on the award-winning Australian series Underbelly as well as the film Bait. He plays Dominic on a new ABC Family series, Chasing Life.
TWITTER.COM/RICHARDBRANCAT ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 53
Being with my family is number one, always.
Lisa Rinna INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
I N T E R V I E W: M A R A N D A P L E A S A N T
On spirituality, alternative energy, and karaoke
Maranda Pleasant: What are some of the things that really make you feel alive, things that inspire you? Lisa Rinna: My family, first and foremost, really. A daily yoga practice and meditation, I think, are key. And gratitude, and giving back, and giving, I would say, are the top things that really do it. MP: What are some of the things in your life that keep you really centered and keep you grounded? LR: Yoga. And my quest in spirituality and finding a deeper place. And I don’t know if you ever find it, but I think the journey of it is really cool. I dabble in all kinds of spirituality. I studied Kabbalah for over ten years, and you know it’s all basically the same. I used to go to church when I was younger. My parents didn’t go to church, but my friends all went to church and I loved going to church—I would go every Sunday with somebody. My parents used to think it was funny. Or I just went because, afterwards, we’d go and get éclairs in this little town of Jacksonville at the bakery. But it really wasn’t because of that; it was that sense of a place of commune, of being able to sit and be grateful and to give over to a higher power whatever it was. I was quite young at the time, but I went all the time, and so I think I spent my entire life feeling really comfortable in those places because of the connection it gives me to a higher power. That’s probably the best way I can describe it, because it didn’t matter if it was the Catholic Church or Episcopal Church or Presbyterian Church and it still doesn’t today. I just like the tradition of having a place to go and connect to a higher power and feel gratitude, and I think that’s helpful however you find it. So I would say over the past thirty-five, forty-five years, that has been my practice and that’s what keeps me probably more sane than anything. MP: Yeah, we moved our office, so for six months, we’ve been here in Colorado, and for me it’s nature: my church is just getting up on the mountain before I lose my sanity. [Laughs.]
MP: Right. Oh my gosh, I cry in that class every time. LR: I do too. I do all the time. It’s such a relief. There are so many ways; you just have to really, constantly search them out because, for me, I find that life just gets in the way and it gets so busy and there’s so much chaos and stress that can come along with raising two teenage girls in Los Angeles and being married and working and, you know, everything that goes along with it. It’s how do you find those calm moments, because everybody has this in their life. I don’t care what you do. We all deal with it if we’re living life, trying to find those moments where you can turn off your brain and connect to whatever and just be grounded, live in the moment, which I find really difficult but try to practice on a daily basis. MP: What are some of the things that make you feel vulnerable in your life? LR: Being with my family is number one, always. Home, a sense of home. Being authentic to myself. Trying to speak my truths, which isn’t always easy, but if I do it, I’m better. MP: It doesn’t always win us a lot of fans, either. LR: No, it doesn’t. It’s a very difficult thing to do, but when you do it, you feel more comfortable and you feel freer. And again, just the darn yoga class, you know? If I just take an hour yoga class, I will come out differently than I went in. MP: That’s so true. LR: Isn’t it? Every single time you do it, no matter what day it is, no matter what hour it is, you go in a different way than you come out. MP: You know, the irony is that I was a two-hour-a-day practitioner until I started these magazines? Now I’m like, if I can get in twelve minutes, I’m really good! LR: Yeah, that’s a luxury to be able to go to a two-hour yoga class! Sometimes I’ll just get on the floor and do it for five, ten minutes. Whatever you can get, you just do it.
LR: It’s everywhere, you know? Just like I believe God is everywhere, I believe that whether it’s nature, whether it’s sitting on a bike in spin class, that can be church, too, for me. LISARINNA.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 55
MP: I do a lot of that Kali breathing when I read my e-mails these days. Are there any causes that you’re particularly sensitive to or passionate about? LR: Very much alternative energy, I would say. Finding that. We’re going to put solar in at the house. I’m driving an electric car, which is pretty trippy but fabulous. I think that’s an overriding one, though, because if we don’t figure out global warming, we’re not going to be able to be here. There are so many things happening with computers and what-not, where we may be able to live until 150 and even longer, but if the planet’s not here for us to live on it, if we burn ourselves out from global warming and everything else, if we don’t figure that out, if we don’t figure out an alternative form of energy, I think we’re in big, fat trouble. MP: I was just with Sylvia Earle last week, and she said that she believes that the next ten years are more important than the next ten thousand. LR: I one hundred percent agree with her. Because of what we’ve accomplished, it’s going to happen so much quicker now. MP: What has been one of the biggest lessons in your life so far? LR: Probably opening a clothing store and running it with my husband [Harry Hamlin] without getting help. It was a ten-year-long learning lesson that was very hard and very painful and very eye-opening. It was just lesson after lesson after lesson. I’ve had many at this point in my life, but I’d say that because it was such a concentrated ten years, it really was tough and the biggest teacher so far. MP: What was one of the things that you learned from that?
married is a lesson every day, but I think having a boutique and running it with my husband and having our careers and raising children was something that was really an eye-opener all the time. I don’t know if I can pick one big one. A lesson every day. MP: Is there a truth that you know for sure? Is there something that you know to be absolutely true? LR: Well, love is all there is. That I know to be absolutely true. MP: On our last cover, we put, “Love is the only thing that’s real. If it’s not love, it’s not real.” But that takes a while to sink in; I like to argue with that one. So tell me about some of your projects. What have you got coming up, and why are you excited about them? LR: I’m on a show right now called Sing Your Face Off on ABC, which is just a fabulously fun show where we get to become pop stars each week. So it’s everything from Saturday Night Live meets West Hollywood Halloween meets karaoke. That’s the best way to describe it. We get to sing a lot, dance. We work with the best photographers in the world and the best vocal coaches, and it’s like a dream come true, and it just premiered Saturday night and did really well. MP: You know what, I saw that on Hulu! LR: Yeah, you should check it out. It’s so much fun. We just got the ratings, and it did really well, so everybody is jazzed. MP: Congratulations! LR: Thank you! I’m only there for a couple more weeks, and then I’m taking QVC—my Belle Gray line—to the UK.
LR: Not to ever do it again!
MP: Do we have to go to QVC to buy it?
MP: Retail or working with your family? [Laughs.]
LR: You can go to QVC.com and just put in “Belle Gray by Lisa Rinna,” or you can go watch QVC. We will launch in London June 27.
LR: Well, I don’t mind working with my family; it’s that I don’t like to hire people and have them work for me. No one who you hire and have work for you in that environment ever has the same passion or care that it takes or that I wanted them to have, and I never get the right mix of people. It just was so frustrating at all times. I don’t know how to describe it other than it was just one thing after another, and we just continued to learn and learn and learn until you just get to a point where it’s like, “OK, if I haven’t learned a lesson now, then I’m in big trouble.” So it’s either shit or get off the pot, basically. So we sold it and we were done with the business, and we moved it into QVC, and I now have my line on QVC, which has been fabulous. So everything in my life has been challenging but rewarding. When you pick a career like acting, it’s challenging, but it’s a lesson every time you put yourself out there. I wouldn’t change it for the world—I love what I learn every single day. I mean, kids are a lesson every day, and being
MP: I don’t know how you manage this. LR: Well, I’ve got really good people around me, and I feel really blessed to get to do everything I get to do, so to me it’s a joy. So long as I get some sleep and get to take care of myself and eat healthy and that sort of thing, I’m OK. I’m not out there digging ditches and it’s not brain surgery. MP: Way to put it into perspective for me. Thank you for that. LR: Harry will say to me, “Did you have to walk two miles today to get water for our children?” There’s no room in our house for a lot of complaining. MP: I see why your marriage is so strong. That is pretty awesome! LR: Right? If the kids are complaining or if anybody feels sorry for themselves, he’ll just say something like that and you go, “Oh, yeah, OK.”
When you pick a career like acting, it’s challenging, but it’s a lesson every time you put yourself out there. I wouldn’t change it for the world—I love what I learn every single day.
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
" I F YO U ’ R E M E D I TAT I N G A N D I T ’ S E A SY, YO U ’ R E EITHER ENLIGHTENED O R YO U ’ R E C H E AT I N G ."
DAN HARRIS PRACTICAL MEDITATION TIPS FOR SKEPTICS MARANDA PLEASANT: OK, so you’re on Good Morning America, you’re filling in for Robin Roberts . . . DAN HARRIS: And all of a sudden, I just started panicking. I couldn’t breathe, my heart was racing, my mouth dried up. I had, like, six stories I was supposed to read off the teleprompter, and I quit in the middle. I just couldn’t do it. MP: There’s nothing like messing up in front of millions of people. DH: Yeah. I went to an expert in panic and he asked me a bunch of questions. One of them was “Do you do drugs?” And I said yes. He said, “Mystery solved.” He kind of gave me a look that was like, “All right, asshole.” MP: What kind of drugs were you doing? DH: I was doing cocaine. And ecstasy. So when I sat with that doctor and realized what an idiot I had been, this kind of cascading series of mindless decisions—going to war zones without thinking of the psychological consequences, coming home and getting depressed and not even knowing that I was depressed, and then blindly selfmedicating and then having it all blow up in my face—I realized I had to make some changes. MP: What were some of the changes? DH: One, I quit doing drugs—no-brainer. Two, I went to see the shrink once or twice a week for a long time. Simultaneously, my boss at the time, Peter Jennings, had assigned me to cover religion for ABC News. I didn’t want to cover religion, because I was raised by scientists in Boston, and as I like to say, I had a bar mitzvah but only for the money. Then in 2008, several years after the panic attack, one of my producers said to me, “You know, you should think about doing a story about this guy Eckhart Tolle.” MP: I’m a big fan of Eckhart’s. DH: He lays out this thesis that I had never heard before, which is that we have a voice in our head. He’s talking about the inner narrator that has you constantly judging, comparing yourself to other people, casting forward into the future and thinking about the past as opposed to focusing on what’s going on right now, and I realized, Oh, that’s me. Moreover, it’s that voice that compelled me to do all the stupid things that blew up in my face on national television. It was a very powerful realization. After [I had been] kind of marinating in all of this for a couple of months, my wife said, “I read a book a couple of years ago that sounds similar to what you’re talking about.” And she hands me a book by a guy named Dr. Mark Epstein, a psychiatrist based in New York who is also a Buddhist. I had no prior exposure to Buddhism, and as I read this book, I realized, Oh, all the smart stuff that Eckhart’s saying is from the Buddha. So that was a huge “aha” moment for me. Then there was a new problem, which is that the Buddha actually has practical advice, but I didn’t want to do it. His practical advice is to meditate. That is not my thing at all. It made me deeply uncomfortable. But then I learned that meditation actually just has a big PR problem.
Meditation is just simple brain exercise. I exercise and this made sense to me. The science is really what convinced me. It’s been shown to reduce your blood pressure, boost your immune system, rewire key parts of your brain. A study out of Harvard in 2010 showed that it grows the gray matter, grows your gray matter in the area associated with compassion and self-awareness, and it shrinks the gray matter in the area associated with stress. I could go on: it’s been shown to help with everything from anxiety, major depression, ADHD, focus— MP: I think I have all of these! DH: Yes, everybody thinks they have all of these! But then you’re adding on to it a story about yourself. We have a thought, like “My mom’s annoying me,” and then we add the story on top of it, which is “I’m an unkind person.” And then we get caught up with that story, whereas what meditation helps you do is to see, “Oh, that’s just a thought.”
" T H E ACT O F C ATC H I N G YO U R S E L F WA N D E R I N G A N D C O M I N G B AC K TO YOU R B R E AT H I S A B I C E P C U R L F OR YO U R B R A I N ." MP: Your book has some very practical things. DH: Yes, from the unenlightened perspective. From somebody like me, who’s going to say, “I am still mostly a moron, I do get into bad moods, I am not a perfected being.” What meditation helps me to do is not feed it. So something bad happens at work and then I realize that I’m just churning over this, and so at some point I learned to ask myself, “Is this useful?” It’s a great mantra. “Is this useful?” comes from the man who I think is the best meditation teacher alive, Joseph Goldstein. MP: So what are some practical tips? DH: Five minutes a day of meditation. Meditation is hard. You are constantly trying to focus on one thing, usually your breath, and your mind is going to go berserk. The act of catching yourself wandering and coming back to your breath is a bicep curl for your brain. The getting lost and recovering—that is the meditation. If you’re meditating and it’s easy, you’re either enlightened or you’re cheating. MP: I love that. The fact that that is the real meditation. DH: Sharon Salzberg is the one who said, don’t fall for this idea that failing and recovering, or wandering and starting over, is going to get to the real meditation—that is the real meditation. What meditation does is allow you to actually survive these emotions as opposed to compartmentalizing and having them come up and make you a shithead in other areas of your life. The alternative is to be miserable, and I don’t think we’re living in a wise way when we do that. Dan Harris, coanchor of ABC’s Nightline and the weekend editions of Good Morning America, is author of 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help that Actually Works—a True Story. TWITTER.COM/DANBHARRIS ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 59
PUTTING LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE OR INSPIRES YOU? RENÉE LAWLESS: A great performance. From amazing actors to Peyton Manning faking a hand-off and running to the end zone, those are the moments that make you feel like you can do anything. MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE? RL: My craft. I cannot do my job unless I am fully open to whatever comes. You’re almost naked emotionally. MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN? RL: Much like a twelve-step program. Although every pain has different degrees of importance, I go through all of the emotions—from crying, anger, bitterness, anxiety, etc. Feel it all. But by the end of the day, I am on my knees in prayer. The next day, I get up refreshed and begin to let it go. Much like in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.” MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE? RL: I think not having a routine is what keeps me centered. I only have a routine when I am working. If the chaos is overwhelming, I start making lists. To write it down puts it in perspective. Also, I have a network of friends I can call on and surround myself with. They keep me grounded.
THE WORK IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE REWARD. MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE? RL: The work is more important than the reward. We live in a reward-centered society. When I was a child, my father used to say, “It’s not whether you win or lose but how well you play the game.” I used to think that was about sports, but as an adult, I realize what I create, do, etc., is more important than winning a prize. Not to say “trophies” aren’t wonderful, but they should not be your driving force. MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE? RL: I am going to die someday and I know where I am going. MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS. RL: In addition to some pending acting commitments, this fall I hope to be completed with pre-production of my video blog, Renée’s Way or the Highway. It will focus on everything from travel tips, fashion tips, life issues, to bullying and how we use our words. MP: WHY ARE THESE IMPORTANT TO YOU? RL: I am always frustrated when I see situations that could have been handled simpler. I want to offer my suggestions and solutions to those issues—and let women know that yes, those pants do make you look fat! In addition, I have empathy towards bullying. Not about punishing the bully but empowering the victim. We have a tendency to use the word “bully” and other words in the wrong situations, thus desensitizing and lessening the impact of the true situation. Renée Lawless stars as Katheryn Cryer on Tyler Perry’s The Haves and the Have Nots on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. She is in pre-production on her own vlog, Renée’s Way or the Highway. She has performed with the Broadway national tour of Wicked as the Midwife and the understudy for Madame Morrible. PHOTO: DAVID CARLSON 60 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
I JUST TRY TO KEEP MY HEART OPEN . . . TRY NOT TO LET MY OWN PROGRAMMED REACTION TO THINGS KEEP ME CLOSED DOWN FOR TOO LONG.
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
A DIFFERENT WAY OF SEEING MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE OR INSPIRES YOU? Krishna Das: The presence of real love in the world.
MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE? KD: My own bullshit.
MP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
KD: Don’t give up on your dreams. You can become the person you know you really are.
MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN?
KD: I bleed. The only real protection will come from doing a spiritual practice over a prolonged period of time. Because it retrains us to see the world and ourselves in a different way.
MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE?
MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE?
KD: To learn to forgive myself over and over again and not to be so harsh with myself.
MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE?
KD: There is love in this world, and it lives within us as who we really are, not who we think we are.
MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS.
KD: This summer, Kirtan Wallah Tour across the USA will focus on a lot of the chants that are on the new CD, Kirtan Wallah. Just the same old chants that have been healing hearts for the last million years—but now coming to this planet through this weird American guy. Krishna Das was born in New York City and went to India when he was twenty-three and never came back.
KD: What center? OK . . . I just try to keep my heart open. By this, I mean to try not to let my own programmed reaction to things keep me closed down for too long. KRISHNADAS.COM | SIRIUSXM.COM/KRISHNADASYOGA ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 61
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
SOKO SLEEPING, DREAMING, AND MAKING ART
MARANDA PLEASANT: What makes you come alive or inspires you? SOKO: Dreams, making my life feel like a dream, following my dreams, living the dream. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? S: Everything. I’m always so raw and unguarded. I’m always open to everything and everyone—or at least try—so I can be vulnerable and touched by everything at all times, which in turn is really inspiring. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? S: Live and let live. You snooze, you lose. Make your life a dream and your dreams come to life. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? S: I don’t. I have terrible panic attacks. I usually get so tired from crying and being in pain that my only way out is sleeping.
" I need to be creative, make art every day for my own sanity." PHOTOS: LUCIA RIBISI 62 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? S: I sleep a lot. I dream a lot. I do fifteen minutes of guided meditation every day. I go on hikes every day. And lots of yoga too. I eat very healthy—vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, nuts-free—mostly ’cause I’m allergic to everything, but at least I’m on a good health regimen! I write every day. I make acai mousse every day with vegan proteins and greens. I nap. I make music. I call my friends or my brother for emergency life advice. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? S: Always trust your instinct. MP: What truth do you know for sure? S: We’re all going to die. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. S: I just finished recording a new album, and I’m finally starting to mix it. It’s called My Dreams Dictate My Reality. It’s produced by Ross Robinson, who produced The Cure. And once this is done, I have two feature films coming up in which I’m starring. Two very exciting projects that I can’t wait to share with everyone. MP: Why are these important to you? S: Because they are absolutely vital. I need to be creative, make art every day for my own sanity. Telling stories, making them come alive is what makes me come alive. So I try to live a life where sharing this vital search of inspiration is a must. Soko is a multi-instrumentalist and actress. Her song “We Might Be Dead Tomorrow” was used in the “First Kiss” viral video featuring twenty strangers kissing for the first time. Soko also starred in the French film Augustine and was the voice of Isabella in Her. S-O-K-O.COM
NO POOR AMONG US: CHANGING WOMEN’S LIVES IN MOZAMBIQUE BY S I B U B E AU T Y
n a country where the average life span is forty-eight years old, the average income is $1.20 a day, and more than half the population is illiterate, No Poor Among Us is creating community infrastructure and introducing tools to teach and provide self-sufficiency. A Utah-based organization, No Poor Among Us has been working in Mozambique to create opportunities that employ, encourage, and empower women. To date, it has worked to establish an egg co-op and agriculture jobs that employ women and provide local and sustainable support, micro-finance loans and training to help villagers build successful chicken-broiler businesses, college
scholarships to girls who have completed high school, and uniforms to girls so they can go to school. Most recently, No Poor Among Us has completed construction of a village school library and has been working to finish construction of the village’s first Women’s Center, a place for teaching women the basics of health, family care, small enterprises, and micro-credit loans and for providing health-clinic services. Sibu Beauty has partnered with No Poor Among Us in bringing change to Mozambique, helping to construct the Women’s Center. Sibu is a premium natural skincare and supplement line made from the sea buckthorn berry harvested in the Himalayas through fair-trade agreements with local Himalayan women. NPAU.ORG | SIBU.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 63
Life with La Toya, featuring the outrageous world of pop culture icon La Toya Jackson, airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. 64 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
LA TOYA JACKSON On rising above with gratitude and attitude Interview: MARANDA PLEASANT
Maranda Pleasant: On your show, Life with La Toya, on OWN, we get to see a different side of you: you’re more vulnerable, more playful. How does that feel for you? La Toya Jackson: When you do the first season, you’re putting your life out there and you’re kind of hesitant about it, and then by the time you get around to the second season, you don’t care. It’s like, “This is who I am—like it, accept it, or don’t.” There are so many misconceptions that now they can see who I am. MP: That’s so beautiful. The motto for our magazine is “Vulnerable is the new strong.” I think we only achieve really deep connection when we allow ourselves to be seen in all of our imperfections. There are a lot of vulnerable moments in the show, and the premiere episode starts with you at a therapy session. I thought it was really beautiful to show that we’re all striving every day to become better human beings and more whole and more healthy. How does that feel, talking about your issues like that? LTJ: I knew that there was an underlying thing there that I was never really able to come face to face with. There’s a part of me that wants to always protect myself because of what I
had gone through. But I learned that you have to let people in. Going to the therapist kind of helped me with that. In the beginning, I didn’t realize that I was so open with my feelings, and I had to stop and think to myself, I couldn’t possibly be the only one in the world going through this. Perhaps this will help other people when I face my fears and allow people to come into my space. These are the things that I worked through, and in a sense, it’s great that I was able to share that, although I was terrified after I realized that I was sharing it with the world.
LTJ: Jeffré [Phillips] is the most wonderful guy in the world. He has the most wonderful heart, he’s a beautiful human being, and I just simply adore him. It’s so interesting how you have to switch your thoughts and your feelings when you’re working together as a business partner with your best friend and, all of a sudden, love enters the picture. It’s such a beautiful thing, but at the same time, you’re trying to decide, “Where do I place this?” I get caught up in a lot of different things. And he’s right there with me. We work through everything.
MP: I am so deeply inspired. I also hear that you have some news to share, that you’re engaged. Congratulations! How does it feel to have found love again, and did you ever imagine you would remarry?
MP: How do you really take the pain from certain experiences, and how are you using them now to fuel yourself and empower yourself?
LTJ: Absolutely not. When he proposed to me, I didn’t know how to take it, but I realized, Geez, this is very interesting. I do have feelings for this person. This is something that I have to work on. And I’ll be honest with you: love is not always what we think it is. It is a roller coaster ride going through this, and it’s beautiful at the same time. MP: I love that. “Love . . . it’s not always going to be what you think it is.”
COURTESY OF OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
LTJ: There’s a lesson to be learned out of everything we go through in life. I recall when I left [Jack Gordon], and my mother was so upset. “How could you allow him to beat you? You should really be upset with him.” And I said, “Mother, I can’t be.” She goes, “Why?” I said, “Because I can’t harbor hatred in my heart.” I was extremely religious and extremely naïve. God took me through that for a reason, for me to learn the outcome.
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MP: Do you have a routine that keeps you balanced or keeps you feeling centered? LTJ: When I wake up, I always thank God. I’m grateful for another day, and he’s allowed me this tiny thing that we should be appreciative of. As long as you know who you are, everything else will be OK. No one else can intervene or interfere or affect you, because you control your destiny, you control your tone, you control everything in your life. Everything starts with the inner being, your inner self—it all comes from you and we so often forget that. We think, “He made me angry.” He didn’t make you angry; you made yourself angry. Don’t allow him to get to your inner space. MP: What does spirituality mean to you, and does it play a part in your life? LTJ: I think spirituality is probably one of the most important things. I feel that I’m a spiritual person and as long as you’re walking on that path, you have a communication with
God—that’s spiritual to me. That spirituality is something that emanates through all of us and is the source energy, and that energy makes everything stronger. MP: You’re always keeping things fresh, and you’re constantly reinventing yourself in your career. You just released a single with RuPaul, “Feel Like Dancing.” What have you learned about reinvention and having a lasting career? What advice could you give? LTJ: It’s good to do things that are out of the norm. I’m a creature of habit and I like to stay in my own little comfort zone, but you have to reach out of that sometimes. And when you do that, you grow. And growth is what we all need and what we all strive for because we want to get better and better and better each day. And that’s one of the things that I say to myself as far as a ritual that I have every day: “What can I do today to make it better than it was yesterday?”
MP: I just wish every woman who has ever gone through a marriage ending—who is wondering, “What do I do now with myself and my life?”—I wish they could read this and be inspired that it just gets better. LTJ: As far as I’m concerned, my life is just beginning. It’s never too late to start over, so this is what I’ve been doing. MP: I absolutely love that. When is your album released? Or your single with RuPaul? LTJ: We don’t have a release date on my album yet, but yes, RuPaul, you can buy that on iTunes right now. I have another song that will be coming out in a couple weeks, “Feel Like Love.” La Toya Jackson is a Grammy-winning recording artist, best-selling author, actor, and television personality. In addition to Life with La Toya, she has appeared on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother (UK) and as a guest judge on America’s Next Top Model and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
It’s like,“This is who I am—like it, accept it, or don’t.”
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JENNIFER LEE PRYOR INTERVIEW: BARBI TWINS
Rescue work has deepened my capacity not only for love but for compassion and empathy for all things that suffer.
WHAT RESCUE WORK
TEACHES ABOUT LOVE & FORGIVENESS
BARBI TWINS: Most people know Jennifer Pryor as long-time wife and now widow of Richard Pryor. Most don’t know that your bond to Richard was inspired by helping animals. Can you explain that? JENNIFER LEE PRYOR: Our connection to one another was one that was never broken by the ending of our first marriage, and that connection was only strengthened by our bond with the dogs and all animals. The first time I visited Richard in Hana, Maui, Richard decided to interview a cow. This was not only funny but one of the most touching things I had ever seen a human being do. This side of Richard was the most dear and tender place I grew to love very deeply. Richard was the love of my life, and the second time around was a deeper and even more profound love. BT: In keeping the legend of Richard Pryor alive, what would be his message to the world about helping animals? Which animal cause was he most passionate about? JLP: Richard hated to see any animal abused or exploited. He cared deeply about the elephants and actually viewed it as a form of slavery. For Richard, clearly this was something that cut very deeply, made even more profound when we visited Africa. Richard appreciated seeing the animals in the wild and couldn’t understand the exploitation and cruelty that took place in the circuses or zoos. Animal testing was another anathema for Richard. “Why test on animals when their systems are markedly different than a human being’s?” he would ask. At the time, there were certain meds available claiming to alleviate the symptoms of MS, and Richard wanted no part of them.
BT: Can you tell us a little bit about your organization, Pryor’s Planet, and its goal? JLP: Richard and I established Pryor’s Planet, a nonprofit, before his death. It is for the purpose of rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming homeless dogs. Pryor’s Planet holds adoptions every Sunday in Studio City [California]. BT: Most people know Richard Pryor as an iconic comedian. Few know that you are a comedian yourself. Tell us why humor is so important in keeping healthy and what else you do to stay fit. JLP: Laughing was always part of our love affair. A good sense of humor is not only sexy but essential to staying optimistic and healthy. Richard and I always found the laughter, even in his illness. I would take him to the Comedy Store all through his illness; he always loved to see the new comics, even the ones who bombed! And that humor is a part of staying fit. I eat well—no meat, no dairy—and I work out—yoga, Pilates, and walking. The dogs in my home also keep me moving nonstop. I know this contributes to my well-being, physically as well as spiritually and psychologically. BT: Tell us about some animal rights issues and other organizations you are so passionate about and the lessons of life you’ve learned from animal activism and rescue. JLP: I work with rescue organizations, only the best and most reputable, and those include horse advocacy and rescue groups. I believe rescue work has deepened my capacity not only for love but for compassion and empathy for all things that suffer. This work has humbled me enormously. The animals teach what forgiveness and love truly mean. I have seen the worst of the worst animal abuse, and the animal’s capacity to still love is a miracle of its soul. Jennifer Lee Pryor, comedian and animal rights activist, is director of Pryor’s Planet, which is dedicated to helping grassroots efforts in saving lives, providing sanctuary, and making the world a better place for all creatures. PRYORSPLANET.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 67
O LY M P I C G O L D M E DA L I S T
ON COMPETING, CROSS-TRAINING & CHILDREN INTERVIEW: CHELSEA LOGAN
CHELSEA LOGAN: You won your first medal at fourteen. How has your training regimen changed over the years?
CL: What do you do to mentally handle the pressures of being an athlete?
AMANDA BEARD: My training centered on aerobic development, meaning I’d swim longer with less intensity during the majority of my practices. As I got older, I began more weight training, and my workouts went from long at a lower intensity to shorter and more intense.
AB: I’m a firm believer in slowing down to improve my state of mind when I’m training, and yoga and meditation have been paramount to my success in this way.
CL: What are you doing differently now to prepare for the 2016 Olympics in Rio? AB: While I’ve always trained with weights outside of the pool, I now train almost daily with CrossFit workouts, yoga or Pilates, hiking, biking, and more. Also, I don’t underestimate the power of mental preparation throughout all of my training. I’m in a much better state of mind about competition. Like anyone, I stress and get hard on myself from time to time, but it’s minute compared to the pressure I used to put on myself to perform and succeed. To my kids’ credit, they’ve probably helped me the most here: I’m more worried about what they’re doing than what I’m doing! When people say that kids change your life, it’s no small feat what they do. I’ve stressed about competition my whole life, but the minute I held my son Blaise in my arms for the first time, those stresses diminished. CL: As a seasoned athlete, how do you handle pre-competition jitters? AB: I’m a firm believer that a little deep breathing goes a long way. The time leading up to a race is always hectic. Almost religiously, I step away from everything and close my eyes and breathe deeply for a few moments. It helps solidify my focus and aligns everything in my body to take care of the task at hand—which is winning, of course. CL: On your blog, Swim Like a Mom, you say, “Being a parent is the most difficult endeavor I have ever committed to.” You’re now a mother of two young children. What are you doing to balance your home life and your career? AB: Focusing on quality over quantity in training. Pool sprints, CrossFit, and circuit training are all incredible workouts that don’t require hours of commitment each day. Although our lives can get crazy and hectic in our house, we make it a point to get active often. Blaise hangs out with me at the pool a lot, and we take walks together as a family almost every day. On weekends, we spend as much time as possible outside, doing activities like biking and hiking. PHOTO: AQUA SPHERE
I have kids. Unbeknownst to them, they are quick to snap me back to reality when I start feeling the pressure of being an athlete! It’s a breath of fresh air to have two people to focus on; their happiness erases all the pressures I have on myself.
I’M A FIRM BELIEVER THAT A LITTLE DEEP BREATHING GOES A LONG WAY. CL: Do you feel your performance has improved as a result of this? AB: My performance has improved dramatically from yoga and meditation. No athlete ever dominated by sticking to one sport all the time. Life is all about balance: sprinting hard and fast, breathing deep and slow. Working out with my coaches, playing with my kids. Eating whole foods for fuel, enjoying a glass of wine with friends. CL: Equipment malfunctions can happen during competitions. How do you handle it? AB: Malfunctions are inevitable. It’s important to push through them during practice—versus stopping to fix and restart—so that you’re prepared for one mid-competition. Breaking composure, confidence, and speed in the water makes you lose the race, not the goggles that fell off your head when you dove in. CL: Will the 2016 Olympics be your last? AB: Yes! It’s been an absolutely incredible journey, and I’m ready to go out with a bang. Amanda Beard is an Olympic gold medalist in swimming.
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Bone Health Throughout a Lifetime BY FLORA HEALTH
Osteoporosis develops over a lifetime, so we need to keep our bones strong over a lifetime.
PHOTOS: MJ KIM 70 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Bone health is complex. Multiple risk factors lead to disease, and with so much contradictory research, it can be hard to know the best steps to preserve your bones. Osteoporosis develops over a lifetime, so we need to keep our bones strong over a lifetime. It is essential to understand the life cycle of bone, because what is needed in order to grow bones might not be the same as what you need to maintain bone or prevent its loss later in life. Todayâ€™s woman faces many challenges when it comes to bone health: lack of physical activity, body-image concerns leading to excessive dieting, and processed foods that provide none of the essential nutrients needed for bones. All are risk factors for bone loss, which begins in our thirties, even our twenties if we are at risk. Prevention is key: it is never too early to start looking at what we can do for our bones. Research has shown that we can strengthen our bones in the adult years and slow down bone loss in the menopause years. The answer is not calcium aloneâ€”surprisingly. It is magnesium along with vitamin D and other cofactors. Bone is constantly being built and broken down, which ensures that bones are pliable and flexible and resist fracturing. Since calcium is the main mineral bones are made of, it is crucial to get enough. However, you must also have enough cofactors, such as magnesium and vitamin D, so that calcium is delivered to the bone . . . where it is needed. Your diet already provides you with some calcium (the average
North American woman gets 800 milligrams per day from food), and you should rely on a high-quality, properly balanced supplement to provide the remainder. North Americans consume the most milk and calcium supplements yet still have the highest rate of osteoporosis. The improper utilization of calcium, caused by insufficient magnesium and other cofactors, results in abnormal, fragile bone structure. Magnesium makes sure calcium stays soluble so it can be delivered to bone and not deposited in soft tissue. Unfortunately, magnesium is the most critical nutrient that has been lost with the modern-day processed diet of junk food. It is estimated that in the early 1900s, the consumption of magnesium was approximately 500 milligrams per day; today, intakes are as low as 165 milligrams per day. To make matters worse in todayâ€™s stressful lifestyle, the stress response uses up magnesium in the body, making it less available for its bonestrengthening tasks. Magnesium is the most consistently observed nutrient to increase bone strength. A bone-healthy diet and lifestyle, combined with highly soluble, supplemental nutrients that can be absorbed regardless of age, gender, or hormone levels, is the best way for all age groups to minimize their risk of osteoporosis. Flora Health manufactures and distributes premium health products prepared with botanicals from sustainable, organic farmlands. Its award-winning supplements blend traditional wisdom and modern science by incorporating full-spectrum plant constituents and utilizing certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, and kosher materials whenever possible.
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Adrian Ballinger High-altitude climber/skier
Q: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A: Take risks in your life in the pursuit of your dreams, and support the ones you love when they take risks. Dreams, in their essence, also include risk. This risk could be physical danger (often true in climbing big mountains like Everest), or it could be financial (leaving a comfortable job and pouring your life savings into a business venture), or it could be emotional (like the feelings of loss and questioning that comes with losing friends and coworkers to climbing accidents). I have experienced each of these forms of risk in my twenty-five-year pursuit of summits and in my creation of an ethical guide service that is changing the way mountains are climbed and guided. I have no doubt that it is these risks, and the willingness to face them, that make my dreams such a powerful force in my life. Weigh risk carefully, and once you decide a risk is manageable and necessary in the pursuit of your dreams, take it. And equally important, support the ones you love when it is their moment to risk. • SUMMITED EVEREST SIX TIMES, WHILE GUIDING OTHERS • FIRST PERSON TO SKI MANASLU, THE EIGHTH TALLEST PEAK IN THE WORLD • FIRST PERSON, ALONG WITH TWO SHERPA TEAMMATES, TO SUMMIT THREE TIMES ON 8,000-METER PEAKS IN LESS THAN A MONTH PHOTO: ALPENGLOW EXPEDITIONS, LOCATION: SUMMIT OF MT. EVEREST
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ROCK, ICE & ALPINE CLIMBER MARMOT AMBASSADOR
Q: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A: Find your narrative, embrace that narrative, then live your story. We are told from childhood that everyone has a story. What we’re not told is narrative power resides in its capacity to inspire. That said, we are more influential than we might realize. Stories speak to universal truths. It’s easy to place a premium on reaching millions through books or film. Qualitatively, our intimates—the wife, husband, or child—might be the most critical audience we can reach. While not mutually exclusive, the former scenario is a possibility and the latter a certainty. Without exception, every life is a great drama full of spirit and love, beset by conflicts large and small. If we choose to own it, we have a shot at the authentic life—the most inspiring narrative of all.
PHOTO: MICK FOLLARI, LOCATION: CORDILLERA BLANCA, PERU 74 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
CHRIS SHARMA ICONIC ROCK CLIMBER PRANA AMBASSADOR
Q: WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR LONGEVITY TO? A: I’m going to be climbing for my whole life. There are so many things to explore in life, and if you don’t have that inspiration and motivation to do it, then don’t force yourself. Take that time to do whatever else you need to do. That inspiration will always come back, and when it does, it’s always stronger.
PHOTO: MIKE HILL PHOTO: SCOTT MASON
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KRISTINA FOLCIK RUNNER FLORA AMBASSADOR
Q: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A: Be strong. Strength comes in many forms. It is not about how much you can lift, how far you can run, or how physically fit you are. Strength is the ability to smile when life throws rocks at you, it is the ability to say no when it is what is best for you, it is the ability to be a true friend, and the ability to be honest with yourself. Sometimes the good things in life are more challenging than the bad. It can be so easy to focus on what is going wrong in your life, the negative things. Pick your chin up, look at the positive side of life. Be strong, be happy, and never stop chasing your dreams!
ROCK CLIMBER (AGE 12) MARMOT AMBASSADOR
Q: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A: I love climbing because it makes me feel big and strong. Even though I am small, I can still climb up things that are really giant and difficult for big people. My goals are to climb the Nose (on El Capitan in Yosemite) and to climb 5.14. Competition climbing is fun because I get to climb with all of my friends. • YOUNGEST PERSON TO CLIMB THE DIAMOND ON LONGS PEAK • #1 NATIONAL SPORT CLIMBING CHAMPION—FEMALE YOUTH D (2011, 2012) • #2 SPORT CLIMBING NATIONALS—FEMALE YOUTH C (2013) • #2 BOULDERING NATIONALS—FEMALE YOUTH C (2013)
PHOTO: PAGE KUEPPER PHOTOGRAPHY, LOCATION: THE BASTILLE, ELDORADO CANYON, COLO. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 77
PAIGE CLAASSEN ROCK CLIMBER MARMOT AMBASSADOR
Q: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A: Be confident in yourself, in your abilities, and in your goals. Then go for it. There’s so much that we might attempt if we weren’t afraid of failing. We can learn so much through the process of working towards something that once seemed intimidating or even impossible. It’s not only the glorious moments of success but also the periods of frustration and struggle that make our journey worthwhile. Things might not always work out as we planned, but simply trying can open doors to new opportunities. If we don’t try, how will we ever know what could have been? • FIRST FEMALE ASCENT OF JUST DO IT AT SMITH ROCK, OREG. • CREATOR OF THE MARMOT LEAD NOW TOUR
PHOTO: ZELÉ ANGELIDES, LOCATION: JABBERWOCKY IN WATERVAL BOVEN, SOUTH AFRICA 78 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
ELLIE GREENWOOD Trailrunner
MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR AND MONTRAIL AMBASSADOR
Q: WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR INSPIRATION FROM? A: What inspires me to get out and train on a daily basis is to discover what potential I have as an athlete. Whilst I enjoy running for the simple aspects of just getting outside, moving, and exploring my surroundings, I’m also extremely motivated to see just how far I can push my limits and to search out the boundaries of my potential as a runner. I’m excited to see that I am still improving as a runner, both in the mental and physical aspects of the sport, and I am looking forward to seeing how much further I can take this in the future.
PHOTO: DAVID CLIFFORD PHOTOGRAPHY / MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR, LOCATION: TELLURIDE, COLO.
ELLIEGREENWOOD.BLOGSPOT.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 79
Th e C o ns cio us C ul tur e M ag az ine
LENNY KRAVITZ LOVE. MAGIC. BEING PRESENT + THE ILLUSION OF CONTROL MEDITATION FOR
HyperAchievers TOP HUMANITARIAN MUSICIANS: COLDPLAY BECK PEARL JAM JACK WHITE FOO FIGHTERS ARCADE FIRE
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CLIMATE ACTION +CLEAN ENERGY
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SINÉAD O’CONNOR: HEALING+ FORGIVENESS STACY KEIBLER: HEALTHY LIVING
h o n o r t h e p a s t . d e f i n e t h e f u t u r e . w a l k s t o r y .™
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Clothing for people who live fully, play long and travel well
PHOTO: PHIL HARVEY 8 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
COLDPLAY CHRIS MARTIN
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON FAIR TRADE? A: Anyone who criticizes me for talking about fair trade is a few
pebbles short of a beach. Because everyone should care about it, just like everyone should care about the environment, because we all live here. If a few companies were less greedy, the people at the bottom would have a lot more.
Q: WHY IS PASSION VITAL? A:We rely more on enthusiasm than actual skill. Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically and people will like it more.
Q: HOW DO YOU STAY FIT? A:I do an hour of yoga and go running every day. Then I see a picture
of myself, and I still look like a skinny, potbellied idiot—and I thought I had turned into this superhunk!
Coldplay’s new album, Ghost Stories, out now
PHOTO: ANTON CORBIJN 10 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT ENTHUSIASTICALLY AND PEOPLE WILL LIKE IT MORE. PHOTO: PETER OHS
COLDPLAY.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 11
THE BEST REVENGE
YOURSELF PHOTO: DANNY CLINCH 12 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
ON CREATING IF AT NOON YOU SIT DOWN AND THERE’S JUST SILENCE OR BLANK TAPE, IN AN HOUR IF YOU HAVE A SONG, THAT DIDN’T EXIST AN HOUR AGO. NOW IT EXISTS AND IT MIGHT EXIST FOR A LONG TIME. THERE’S SOMETHING EMPOWERING ABOUT THAT. Pearl Jam tours this fall
The power of yes: that’s what allows creativity to breathe and to come in. That’s what allows your ideas to become living, breathing, moving dreams in action.
Saying yes to equality, education & the earth INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
Maranda Pleasant: What are some of the things that really make you feel alive? That make you feel inspired? Jason Mraz: I love the feeling of putting my feet back on the sand
after I’ve been out in the ocean for a while. I love that. I guess the adrenaline calms down when the sense of balance returns in a really grounded way. I love writing songs with people, which is about really taking risks, throwing yourself over the falls and really seeing what you’re made of and seeing how it sticks. Seeing how others react to it, and seeing also how it can become a melody and how it can really take off from your experience. It’s a way of seeing life unfold on the page before me. I’ve gotten more into gardening over the past couple years. It’s a combination of patience and hustle, and I love it.
MP: That’s great! JM: Sometimes I’m out there until eleven o’clock at night, making sure
everything is great and no irrigation is broken or there are no pests eating my food. And then there’s a great deal of patience that comes with planting a seed and knowing a hundred and ten days later you might have something on the dinner table.
I love surfing and bodysurfing. I love getting slammed by the waves— that makes me feel alive. The waves are a good reminder that I’m small and fragile. There’s a great quote I heard recently: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.”
twenty-four hours. And the same if I’m having relentless thoughts, I just won’t shut up in my head. I know that if I put myself on the mat and just focus on a flow that I will transmute or I will transform, transfer the energy into some other act or put my attention somewhere else, I’ll be back. I’ll feel stronger not only in my body but most certainly in my brain. I can get the same in surfing, but sometimes it’s just like driving angry, you know? Sometimes if you surf out of balance, it may not do you any good.
MP: [Laughs.] Driving angry! I forgot how funny you are. What are some of the things that make you feel vulnerable?
JM: I still feel very vulnerable when I’m doing an interview or doing a TV show. Whenever there’s a camera in my face, that’s when I feel vulnerable, and then it turns into a little bit of being self-conscious, which I think is the worst kind of vulnerability. You can get in your own way at that point. But I do try to learn from those experiences. I think, from my gig, the most vulnerable is when I’m onstage. I’ve been trying to get my foundation a little more active in the world, and I did this thing down in Chile, maybe a year ago. I made a donation on behalf of a friend who passed away who was Chilean, and I made a donation to a school system there, to give them music in the schools. So I had to stand up in front of this school and put together my own form of really awful Spanish and sort of talk to these kids about who I am, where I come from, what I do, all about music—and it was awful! It was the most vulnerable and scary. These kids were just looking right through me. They were like, who is this guy? And why doesn’t he just speak English? We can probably understand his English better than his Spanish.
I love getting a smile out of my girlfriend—that makes me feel like I’m seen, or heard. Or performing. While there’s nothing more vulnerable than just standing in front of a thousand people, or ten thousand people, and doing your best to entertain them, touch them in some way, I liken that to putting my feet on the sand after a surf. When the show is over and I go backstage, it’s like, “Wow, what was that? What just happened?”
I keep finding myself in situations like that, where I just say yes to something, and next thing I know, I have this feeling in my gut, like how did I get here? It happens almost every night onstage, but when you’re in the real world, when you’re not selling tickets, when you’re just trying to do something for someone, that’s when it feels the scariest—but it also has the best payoff.
MP: I would agree. When the chaos gets to be too much, is there a way
MP: Great. What has been one of your greatest struggles in this life?
that you stay grounded?
The questions will get easier. [Laughs.]
JM: The other thing that’s gotten deeper for me in the last two years, to the point where even if I feel a cold coming on, I know that if I do the right amount of, say, meditation and hot yoga or something, I can move the energy through my body and get rid of my cold within
JM: It would probably have to do with time. I struggle sometimes superficially with my management or with my own career about how much time I spend traveling or giving myself away to promote my music or myself when I’d rather be—
MP: Gardening. JM: Yeah, gardening or surfing or being at home with my loved ones. And everyone struggles with that; everyone struggles with having to go to work. And I struggle with how humankind ended up this way. We made ourselves slaves to money, and we all have to work and be a part of this thing when time is always ticking. And before we know it, a decade has gone by, and did I really get to do everything I wanted to do or say everything I wanted to say? Do I still have the useful strength to do what it is I wanted to do while all my loved ones are still alive? So I struggle with time. And I struggle with the big picture of What do we do? I know, I know, we’re just trying to improve life for the next generation, and every choice we make wasn’t superb, and do we have enough time to come back and fix some of those mistakes? I love eating healthy and doing the yoga thing, because I think I’m going to live to a thousand doing so. And that’s because I don’t want to leave here so soon. I want to stick around as long as I can, but I know that’s not going to be the case. We’re all going.
MP: So your new album is called Yes! I do a lot of work with yes, and
sometimes they say that until you find your yes, you can’t really find your no. When I saw that the title of your new album is Yes!, I was like, of course it is, of course he would pick that word. That’s the flow of everything that’s good and abundant in the world. What was the significance of that title for you?
JM: It came to me in meditation. I was trying to fit all these little
beneficial onstage than any other workshop I’ve ever done. And it starts with that breath; it starts with getting out of my head and really just slowing the system down and being in a true present moment with each and every breath. That then allows me to be a more balanced and focused individual onstage.
MP: If you could say something to your younger self, or say something
to teenagers,what would it be? I promised my daughter I would ask that for our younger readers. Is there something you would say to the next generation or something you would say to yourself if you could go back?
JM: “Be nice to your parents.” When they made the decision to have a child, whether it was planned or not, they were changing their entire lives to do the best they could for this new human being. A lot of young people, we don’t understand that. We don’t come to understand that until we get to the stage of considering children ourselves. I thought I was the center of the world and that my parents had nothing to do with me, and I regret that. I wish I had been a little kinder to my family and been friends with them and let them into my life and shared with them the things I was doing rather than feel like I needed to do my life in secret. So I’m playing catch-up now. And then if I could also go back, I’d tell myself to just go for it. Don’t hold back so much.
MP: That’s such a good one, Jason.
symbols and situations together to find the title, and then in meditation, one by one, each of my bandmates came to me and just said yes, yes, yes, all with this smile, and that’s really how we got to where we are.
JM: Just go for it. If you have a dream, this is your chance. We don’t always have to play it safe because people might think you’re weird.
I say “bandmates” because I have a new project right now with four incredible artists known as Raining Jane. When I saw them eight years ago at University of Redlands, they were on the same bill, and I saw them play. I just said to myself, yes, look at the way these girls perform—it’s incredible. And I asked them, would they ever consider playing with me, and they said yes. And so, for the last seven years, we get together one week a year, really—on a good year, two or three times—and we would just write songs. Then I presented the idea to my manager. I said, hey, I’ve written some great songs with Raining Jane, I’d love to make an album together, and they said yes, and Atlantic Records said yes, and that’s when I got truly present to this amazing word.
JM: We are!
JM: The thing about my foundation is I wanted to set up something where my spotlight and the money I make could be put into these cool projects that I’m connected to or been a part of somehow. People can help me by just advancing equality. They can do that with their conversations, with supporting this movement to support gender equality, to support same-sex marriage. Just equality for all. That goes for all ages, races—it’s just in general being nice.
The power of yes: that’s what allows creativity to breathe and to come in. That’s what allows your ideas to become living, breathing, moving dreams in action. This album wouldn’t have been possible had not everyone involved said yes. And I want to celebrate that. I want to celebrate these artists; I want to celebrate all that happens when you say yes. It’s our language version of God, probably.
My foundation is also getting involved with arts and educational programs. Specifically, there’s a performing arts school that I went to in Virginia that I’m starting to put more of my attention into, supporting the educational programs so that they only have to fund-raise for the production. So you can help me by just helping your own local arts and educational programs.
MP: How has yoga played a role in your life? Why is it important
And then the environment. You don’t have to donate to the Jason Mraz Foundation to save the environment; you can just start a garden or you can join the community garden or—you know what? The best thing for you to do is shop at your local farmers market and support the organic growers who are there. Because those are the guys who are taking care of the soil that is ultimately going to take care of us. My foundation is there, but it’s not the end-all, be-all. It’s just something fun that I get to do with my money and my resources. But you can help me by advancing equality, supporting arts and education, and saving this goddamn planet.
JM: First, it’s about the breathing. As a singer, if I breathe better, I sing better. And obviously, it’s this amazing full-body passive workout, so I know I’m not going to sprain an ankle, I know I’m not going to dislocate anything, I know I’m not going to pull a muscle. It’s cleverly designed to take care of you, and I feel stronger—I feel like my posture has changed onstage. And then all of the mental benefits that I get out of it are better than any other school or book I’ve ever read. What I get on a yoga mat, and from a yoga teacher, has been more
MP: Which we are! MP: That’s OK, that’s OK! The last thing is, how can we support your foundation or the causes you believe in?
What I get on a yoga mat, and from a yoga teacher, has been more beneficial onstage than any other workshop Iâ€™ve ever done.
I THINK THAT SOMETIMES LOVE GETS IN THE WAY OF ITSELF—YOU KNOW, LOVE INTERRUPTS ITSELF. WE WANT THINGS SO MUCH THAT WE SABOTAGE THEM. NEW ALBUM, LAZARETTO, OUT NOW
PHOTOS: MARY ELLEN MATTHEWS 20 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
I HAVE SO MUCH MUSIC INSIDE ME, I’M JUST TRYING TO STAY AFLOAT. I DON’T TEND TO WRITE FOR A PARTICULAR BAND —YOU HAVE TO JUST WRITE THE SONGS AND THEN LET GOD INTO THE ROOM AND LET THE MUSIC TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
CHARLOTTE KEMP MUHL:
THE GOASTT, WITH SEAN LENNON SOLVING LIFE WITH MUSIC Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? CHARLOTTE KEMP MUHL: Beethoven’s seventh, second movement. Good Vietnamese food. Designing tree houses in my mind. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? CKM: Playing piano.
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? CKM: Patience and politeness. I’m kind of an agoraphobic, obsessive control freak. MP: What truth do you know for sure? CKM: That people in positions of authority or power will always abuse it. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. CKM: Touring for the new GOASTT record!
MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? CKM: “It’s time to outgrow religion and patriotism.” MP: How do you handle emotional pain?
The GOASTT (The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger) has released its second album, Midnight Sun, a guided tour of bold, shape-shifting sonic murals and evocative lyrical panoramas.
CKM: Beating up someone smaller and weaker than me. Haha. No . . . writing songs, I suppose. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? CKM: Playing guitar, cooking eggs, listening to records.
I’m kind of an agoraphobic, obsessive control freak. THEGOASTT.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 23
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PHOTOS: KAI Z. FENG 24 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
YOU CAN’T KNOCK ON OPPORTUNITY’S DOOR AND NOT BE READY. 26 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Interview: MARANDA PLEASANT
IT SOUNDS CLICHÉ, BUT PLAYING MUSIC WITH MY BAND MAKES ME COME ALIVE. ALWAYS HAS AND ALWAYS WILL. THAT’S WHY I DO IT!
TOADIES ASK HIM ABOUT HIS FAVORITE COFFEE
MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE?
MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE?
DB: Luckily, I have the best wife in the world. She’s my center for everything good or bad. My routine would be first kissing my wife, then working out at the gym or some other cardio-related activity. When things get rough, work out!
DONI BLAIR: It sounds cliché, but playing music with my band makes me come alive. Always has and always will. That’s why I do it!
MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE?
MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE?
DB: The realization that although I might be in my early forties, I still have a lot of lessons to learn about life. I find it exciting.
DB: When I present something that I have created, whether it be a piece of music, an idea, etc., and show it to other people.
MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE?
MP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
DB: The only thing I know for sure is that I’m loved by the people around me and I love the people around me.
DB: Try to get along regardless of religion. Too much blood has been spilled on the premise of how people should believe.
MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS.
MP: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE WOULD ASK YOU? DB: What’s my favorite coffee? Answer: Dazbog! MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN? DB: Work. It helps to talk, but I find just being busy allows me to get through it. PHOTOS: MATT COOPER
DB: The Toadies are touring for the twentieth-anniversary release of Rubberneck. It’s been sold-out crowds pretty much every night. We just completed a new record of previously released and new Toadies songs but rearranged through a different lens. We’re all very excited about it. Doni Blair is the bassist for the Toadies, best known for their song “Possum Kingdom.” They are touring across the US to celebrate the twentiethanniversary release of their debut album, Rubberneck. THETOADIES.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 27
Q: TELL ME ONE TRUE THING. A: GUILT IS CANCER. GUILT WILL CONFINE YOU, TORTURE YOU, DESTROY YOU AS AN ARTIST. IT’S A BLACK WALL. IT’S A THIEF.
Q: HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED FOR YOU? A: WHEN YOU HAVE KIDS, YOU SEE LIFE THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES. YOU FEEL LOVE MORE DEEPLY AND ARE MAYBE A LITTLE MORE COMPASSIONATE. IT’S INEVITABLE THAT THAT WOULD MAKE ITS WAY INTO YOUR SONGWRITING. THE FOO FIGHTERS’ HBO DOCUMENTARY, SONIC HIGHWAYS, DEBUTS THIS SUMMER
PHOTO: STEVE GULLICK
FOOFIGHTERS.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 29
KRAVITZ LIVING & LOVING EVERY MOMENT INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
MARANDA PLEASANT: I was living in Paris when your album 5 with “American Woman” came out, and every French lover I had gave me that album, so I have tons of copies still. [Laughs.] Anyway, I know everybody’s got a Lenny story. So, what is it that makes you come alive and inspires you? LENNY KRAVITZ: Life, you know, the moment. Where the magic is. That’s all. That’s where this comes from. I just live my life and try to be present. When I’m present in the moment and something comes, I can capture it, because it doesn’t come from me—it’s out there. So that’s what really keeps me motivated, alive, hungry. I’m still as excited and motivated now as I was twenty-five years ago, and that’s because I really live for those moments. And that’s where the art comes from, that’s where the music is born, that’s where it all appears. I love it. MP: How do you keep your center in the midst of chaos? Do you have any daily routine or practice? LK: Keeping grounded and keeping focused and keeping calm and thankful, that comes from God, and again, I do my best to try to keep God with me on a personal level. It’s my belief that God really wants a personal relationship with us. It’s not all just the ceremony and not the religion of doing something because you were told that’s what you have to do; it’s relationships, it’s like we have relationships with our families, with our friends, with our loved ones. There’s nothing more that we love than having a close, personal, open relationship, and I believe that’s what God wants. The way I was raised and the people that I grew up around for the most part were very humble people, and I appreciate all that they taught me, and their energy and their magnanimity help keep me grounded.
MP: What’s been one of your biggest life lessons so far? LK: To let go of the illusion that I’m in control. That’s an important one, because I tend to be a person who likes to be in control, not only of my art but of my life and things around me, and it can be healthy up to a certain point, but at the end of the day, we have to go on faith and learn to let go and ride the wave. I think, for me, my life is the most fluid when I exercise that. MP: That’s a good one. I think I’ll probably work the rest of my life on that one. What truth do you know for sure? LK: That love is the most powerful energy there is. MP: “Love is the most powerful energy there is.” I’m just going to let that one sit for a second. It’s funny when we ask people that—“love” is the only word that ever comes to mind. It’s like the one universal thing that we know, even if it’s not always the thing that we live. Are there any causes that you’re particularly passionate about? LK: Oh, so many. Let’s start with human interactions. I really believe that there is a way for us to settle disputes nonviolently, using our minds, using all of that was given to us. I’m very much about the environment, I’m very much about health, about being able to, at the very least, eat organic, whole foods that are healthy for us. And then, of course, everyone being able to eat and at least have a humane way to live. There’s enough for everybody, but unfortunately, there’s a lot of greed and a lot of ego.
LOVE IS THE MOST POWERFUL ENERGY THERE IS. MP: I like that. “There’s enough for everybody.” Your art has touched so many millions of people. Is there anything about Strut, your new album, that feels different for you, or do they always feel different? Where do you pull from when you create? LK: Well, that’s the thing. I don’t pull, I just receive. When I listen back on the record now, because I’m, you know, getting ready to learn the new songs and figure out what my checklist is going to be, I’m forced to listen to it, and when I listen back and I’m enjoying it, I honestly don’t remember how I wrote or did the songs. Or the sessions. They all become very much a blur. And each album is like that. It may be that there are different locations, it may take longer, shorter, or whatever, but it’s always something that just happened. I never sit down to write or say, “Today, I have to record something.” I wait to hear it and then I go for it. I will say, this record happened very quickly. It was written over a matter of weeks and I wasn’t planning on making a record, so that’s what was very interesting, because normally I set myself up in a city and say, “OK, I’m now going to make a record.” I was shooting a movie while I was making this record. I was shooting Catching Fire and I started to feel something, so I booked a studio, thinking maybe I’d get an idea down, and I ended up doing a whole album, doing it at night. I didn’t sleep more than one or two hours a night, which was very hard to deal with because I’m filming all day. So if I look tired in Hunger Games 2, in Catching Fire, you know why. But that’s what happened: it just came out and it was very fluid. It was easy—no effort in the writing phase. It takes some time to work it out, but the initial blast of the song came out very naturally. MP: So do you believe that you channel? When you say that it comes to you . . . LK: Absolutely. Yeah. You need to open up so that more comes through. And you can just feel that when your ego is not in the way and when you’re letting it be what it wants to be. You have to let it be what it wants to be as opposed to what you think it should be. Like I said, I had started an album months before that I thought was the beginning of my album, and that’s not what it ended up being. It ended up being this group of expressions. So that was interesting. You can start something, do it, and believe that that’s what you’re doing, but then the inspiration comes and it’s like, “Nope, this is what it is.” I didn’t choose the style, anything. A direction, a theme, nothing. Absolutely none of that. MP: When I started this magazine, I started it with the money from my paintings, and it felt like every piece was different. Every one had a different energy to it or a different story to it. So are there any that are more emotional for you? Are there any songs that stick out? I really wanted to talk about this album, and I realized that I just know how to love it; I don’t know how to take it apart. LK: I don’t either, because I really see the whole thing as one expression. But I love the moment, I love the different moments from very upbeat and sexy to the more intimate moments. The
most important thing for me is the moment, going from one thing to the next and hitting all the different levels and different points that make the whole what it is. MP: Why does this upcoming tour feel important to you? LK: I just feel so good; it feels like a very creative time for me. As far as my mind, spirit, and body, I’ve never felt better. It’s quite interesting. I’ve really never felt better, and I’m experiencing the mood to go out and share the music. You know, I don’t look at these concerts as a platform for people to watch me, look at me—no, a tour is about an interaction. A thing, myself, a band, and the people who support what I do and enjoy what I do. I enjoy what they give me and I can’t do it without them, so it’s really an exchange of energy that snowballs back and forth and becomes something that’s very satisfying and very magical. Sometimes you’re more in the mood than others, and right now, I’m really feeling it and I’m looking forward to going out with a clear head, with a clear mind, with a clear spirit and experiencing whatever it is. It’s great. I’m so happy. And the last thing is being able to see the world just by making music, just by doing the thing that I loved doing when I was five years old. MP: Wow, just taking you in. As I talk to you, I understand more and more why, even if you can’t explain it, we have this exchange—not only with the music and the art but with you. You have this spiritual depth to you. What would you say if you could go back and say something to your younger self, your teen self? LK: Yeah, I would probably say, “Don’t take it so seriously.” MP: Is there anything you would say to this next generation coming up, taking over the planet? LK: That’s a hard one. I think that we have to be very careful and get back into the loop, get back to nature. Get back to God and not let the technology send us somewhere that we’re going to regret. We have so many distractions. We’re losing the family unit. We’re losing the one-on-one. We’re becoming extremely narcissistic. And we have to be careful about that. There’s a lot to deal with out there. LENNYKRAVITZ.COM
BECK ON ART
"ART IS THE CHILD OF NATURE; YES, HER DARLING CHILD, IN WHOM WE TRACE THE FEATURES OF THE MOTHER’S FACE, HER ASPECT AND HER ATTITUDE."
PHOTO: PETER HAPAK
quality "THERE’S SOME QUALITY YOU GET WHEN YOU’RE NOT TOTALLY COMFORTABLE. WHEN YOU’RE NOT DOING WHAT YOU’RE USED TO, YOU COULD COMPLETELY FALL ON YOUR FACE. YOU COULD COMPLETELY BLOW IT."
YOU GET WHEN YOU'RE NOT TOTALLY COMFORTABLE
NEW ALBUM, MORNING PHASE, OUT NOW PHOTO: AUTUMN DE WILDE 36 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
PAT MONAHAN FROM
STAYING GROUNDED WITH ESSENTIAL OILS, FAMILY & GOOD WINE Interview: MARANDA PLEASANT
MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE?
MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE?
PAT MONAHAN: What makes me come alive these days, literally, are my two little kids coming to wake me up in the morning. They’re five and two, and PM: All my lessons are based on relationship things, whether they were good or I either hear “Dad, I’m hungry” or “Dada?” with a hand on my face. That makes bad. I think, for me, giving people the benefit of the doubt until they prove you wrong has always been a way to do things, but I don’t know if it’s the right way me feel alive. to do things. It doesn’t work out all the time. I had a conversation today with a young guy who was asking me for some advice. He’s in a similar position to me MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE? when I was his age, which is twenty-four, and I don’t know. I don’t have any PM: For me, feeling vulnerable comes from people listening to the music that I advice for anybody. I’m not sure I know how to do any of this. create, so now I’m feeling very vulnerable, because we have a single and an MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE? album that are about to be released. MP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
PM: I have no idea about any truth except for “Do whatever you can to be in as many joyful moments as possible while you’re here.” That’s all I know.
PM: Probably “Just be yourself.” As an artist, I think there have been a lot of times that I didn’t want to be myself, because I wanted to be successful and didn’t think that being myself was getting me there fast enough. But that was the wrong attitude. Just be yourself all the time, as often as possible. Unless yourself is a real asshole, then be somebody else.
MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS.
MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN? PM: I don’t think I handle emotional pain very well. I don’t have any advice on how to do that. I suppose that writing songs is a very healing process that helps me through it more than I think. MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE? PM: I think I keep my center through family stuff, just being around my family. They keep me centered, and my managers help keep me centered too.
PM: My latest project is a new Train album called Bulletproof Picasso. The single is called “Angel in Blue Jeans.” I don’t know if anybody is going to like this record at all, but I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m not sure if anyone will recognize that or not. I can’t worry about it, but I do. I have a podcast called the Patcast. It’s really exciting. My friends Pergo and Jerry [Becker] help me do it. We have a lot of fun doing it, and we’ve had some amazing guests. No duds so far—we’ve been really lucky. We have Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co., which is about to create a sauvignon blanc, and that will be our sixth varietal. We also have a chocolate through Ghirardelli, in San Francisco, and that’s through Save Me, San Francisco Chocolate. That’s exciting for us as well.
Train made its mark with the Grammy-winning song “Drops of Jupiter (Tell My daily routine is, if I’m doing shows, I use Young Living oils. If I’m at home, I Me)” and chart-topping singles like “Meet Virginia” and “Calling All Angels.” get up with kids and make coffee and get them all ready for the day. If I’m doing Train also offers the award-winning wine label Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. and Save Me, San Francisco Chocolate, with proceeds going to charity. promotion, I try to exercise a lot and drink as much good wine as possible. SAVEMESANFRANCISCO.COM | PATCAST.COM 38 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
JUST BE YOURSELF ALL THE TIME, AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE. UNLESS YOURSELF IS A REAL ASSHOLE, THEN BE SOMEBODY ELSE.
On performing live, funny road crews & being empowered by vulnerability Interview: MARANDA PLEASANT
PHOTO: AMARPAUL KALIRAI / MERCURY CLASSICS 40 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
BOYZIIMEN.COM | THEBOYZIIMENHOUSE.COM | MICAHSVOICE.COM
PHOTOS: BETH COCUZZI / PUSSYCAT PINUPS
TWITTER.COM/SIMONEREYES ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 41
Tori Amos Everyone has an opinion,
and if you apply them all, you will change everything you have written. PHOTO: STEFAN HOEDERATH / MERCURY CLASSICS 42 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
MARANDA PLEASANT: What makes you come alive? TORI AMOS: When I am able to be present, listening—really
listening—to a viewpoint described through someone else’s lens, I am here in the now and alive. In order for my live performance to work, which is about generating a focused energy for about an hour and a half, it is necessary for me to listen and take in someone else’s focused energy the day of or the day before the live show. That can transpire through a conversation, or inspiration can occur by looking through any type of visual book which sparks a narrative. That narrative then becomes today’s seed and can then take root in music terms, where a sonic tree begins to grow.
MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? TA: It’s important to define for yourself what the word “vulnerable”
means. My first instinct is that the way the question is phrased, in this context, it sounds as if the word “vulnerable” could be defined as “not empowered.” There certainly are situations where I feel not empowered or uninspired. Particularly when the person’s agenda is to intimidate through abusing their position or their authority. When I am present and in a nonreactive state, then I can become like snake and slide through their “intimidation net” back into the creative plane. When I am in a reactive state, I usually regret responding, because usually all that happens is that the intimidator feels righteously vindicated. Vulnerability, on the other hand, can be empowering as a songwriter and storyteller. If you can surrender your protection devices, in order to track the potentially raw and perhaps elusive emotions that are the song’s DNA, then that is creative vulnerability, which is ultimately hugely empowering.
I married a crew guy. Tash, who is our thirteen-year-old daughter, thinks it is the wisest thing I ever did. She actually would say, when she was a little girl, that she picked out her dad for me to marry when she was a twinkle in the sky. So part of our routine on the road is to look after each other—which hopefully includes a good laugh.
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? TA: Being able to hear an opinion. And then how to apply that
opinion is something I am learning and working with every day. What can be tricky is how to differentiate a good suggestion that you should apply to your work [from] someone’s personal taste at their opinionated best. Everyone has an opinion, and if you apply them all, you will change everything you have written. So finding a way to test-drive ideas is really important. People can be quite bullish with their opinions. That does not mean they have their finger on the pulse. It just means they value their own opinion. So knowing your own mind can be a game of mental cat and mouse. Not being afraid to make changes is a valuable tool—knowing you can change back. Also, finding people in your life as sounding boards who can be neutral and clear is worth nurturing. But having said that, we all must develop a grounded clarity for ourselves.
MP: What truth do you know for sure? TA: We can all choose to become our potential, not just talk about
it or dream about it. But daily, make a shift whereby we begin living and being our potential. With each day, that potential can expand because we are open to learning something every day. Not everyone wants you to become your potential, for whatever reason. Where we focus our energy is where we will get the results.
MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?
MP: What currently inspires you with your work?
TA: If you have the urge to curse, because you are like I am and just
TA: Hearing about other people’s process. Motivation comes from
one of those people, think twice about going to Russia after July 1, as it might just be illegal. You’ll need to be thinking on the lines of “I want to love you like an animal.”
MP: How do you handle emotional pain? TA: All kinds of ways. Channeling that energy into creativity,
even if it’s not a very good result, might be a jumping-off point for something else that does eventually work.
all directions. Inspiration quite frequently arrives as a surprise. The key is being open to it.
MP: How is creating different now than ten years ago? TA: There are similarities as far as dedication to a project. What changes are the experiences that spark new ideas.
MP: What causes are you most involved with?
MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?
TA: RAINN [Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network], which has
TA: There are quite a few very funny people in my life. You know
MP: Tell me about your latest projects.
those people who don’t mean to be funny, they just come out with these zingers that just make you howl with laughter. Usually you find these people in the road crew. A good crew is a key to a healthy funny bone. The road crew is a traveling circus which only works if it is based on mutual respect. Getting people to go above and beyond the call of duty can be achieved but only if you, the artist, are willing to go above and beyond any and all calls of duty yourself. When you value your crew, they look after you.
been active for twenty years now.
TA: The new album out is called Unrepentant Geraldines, and we are touring, doing about eighty shows.
I am currently producing with a team The Light Princess musical original cast recording, which will be out sometime next year.
SINGER, SONGWRITER, BOSS
WHAT I’M INTERESTED IN IS THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN FROM VIOLENCE, AND THEY ARE EXPOSED TO VIOLENCE
EVERY SINGLE DAY IN THE FORM OF, AS IT’S CALLED, THE NEWS. INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
MARANDA PLEASANT: This is quite an honor and I know you get that all the time, but rarely have I ever been so excited to talk to somebody. We just posted it on our social media, and we had hundreds of women write in and say, “She has inspired me, she has encouraged me to be a stronger woman, to not be afraid, she’s so brave.” You’re probably one of the bravest women in our lifetime. So I just wanted to say that to you. I don’t usually gush. SINÉAD O’CONNOR: No, thanks. I really, truly appreciate that. Thank you. I’m glad to do something good. MP: I was a young girl when you made history on television, and that stayed with me. I think it’s been fifteen to twenty years at least. Every time it becomes scary to tell the truth or to stand up against something that seems much bigger than myself, it’s one of those reference times for me, for when we have to be that brave or tell the truth on such a huge scale. So, thank you. You’ve encouraged millions of women. Thank you so much for being a pioneer. SO: Well, the important thing about “brave” is, it doesn’t mean you’re not terrified, does it?
MP: Yes, I think maybe it means you’re more terrified sometimes. SO: I think people think they’re not brave if they’re frightened, and that’s not true at all. MP: What is it that makes you come alive? Or what inspires you? SO: I’ll have to answer you by giving you three musical artists that make me come alive and inspire me. Sonny Boy Williamson—there were two of them. I think you have to do it as one, like they were a team. So Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin’ Wolf, and Buddy Guy. MP: What are the things that make you feel vulnerable? SO: I have the impression to name one thing that I came up with years ago: a tent full of butch lesbians. It actually happened to me once. This friend of mine pushed me into a tent of butch lesbians. They were all surrounding me. They were dancing toward me like a Pat Benatar video.
MP: [Laughs.] I think that would actually make a great video. SO: It would, actually. MP: If you could say anything to everyone on the planet, what would it be? SO: It would be, “Could we please criminalize the abandonment of children by their fathers?” And also their mothers, of course. MP: I get really upset with that issue. For me, it just shows how it’s so weighted against the women or mothers. They’re left with the emotional and financial impact. Then we judge them heavily for being compromised. SO: It should be a crime to abandon your child, and it’s not. It would be wonderful if it could be criminalized. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? SO: I listen to music. That’s how I handle it. MP: How does music help you cope? SO: I guess there’s a song for absolutely everything that could possibly happen to a person. Generally I don’t listen to sad songs if I’m sad. I listen to happy songs. I listen to, like, funky Chicago blues. I love blues, but I love the funky, happy blues. There’s a song about pretty much everything, including kidney stones, believe it or not. So there’s something there for whatever you happen to be suffering, you know? So yes, music. It’s like ropes. Songs are like ropes that you can kind of hang on to or pull yourself up on. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? SO: My kids really are my center. They create a beautiful chaos. It’s always a nice chaos with them. So that offsets the chaos, perhaps, of the music business. That can be quite chaotic, the business end of music. When I’ve had enough of that and I can’t keep my center, I’m inclined to switch off my phone and just hang out with them. They’re my positive chaos, my children. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? SO: Biggest lesson I’ve ever had in life is that blues had a baby and they named it rock ’n’ roll. MP: [Laughs.] These are not answers I was expecting! What truth do you know for sure? SO: That there is a God. God exists. MP: I just want to dive deeper. So tell me, what is spirituality? What is God to you? SO: I think “God” is an off-putting word. I don’t think there’s a name for this. I think it’s a presence that is best for us, but unfortunately, it can’t intervene if we don’t ask it, and religion has us talking to the wall because the god that religion is selling isn’t the reality. That’s my feeling—that real God and religion are two different things and that religion is trying to obscure what God really is.
MP: Can you tell me about your latest album? Why is this one especially important? SO: I think it’s coming out in August on this side of the world. It’s a very pop kind of record. It’s all “romantic” songs, for want of a better word. It’s all love songs or lust songs or whatever, and it’s been pretty much inspired by a lot of the artists I’ve been listening to over the past two years, which is a lot of blues, pretty much everybody. But like I said, I like the happy, fun people, so it’s a happy, funky record. It’s not a blues record—it doesn’t sound like a blues record in the slightest, but it’s been extraordinarily influenced by blues—Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, and even Chuck Berry, because he’s the baby that was named rock ’n’ roll. And all manner of artists that I’ve come across. Guitar Slim. All these incredible artists that I’ve studied as masters over the last two years in terms of songwriting. People often talk about me as a singer, but they don’t often talk about you when you’re a woman as a songwriter. I’m really proud of the quality of the songwriting on this record. I’ve been very much inspired by all the guys I just named, and also, Willy Dixon is a guy who wrote pretty much every blues song you could name. He had a lot to say about songwriting. He said, “Talk about the facts of life,” and that’s really what this record is. It’s pretty much the facts of life, and it’s inspired by all these people. It’s a funky record, lots of guitar. MP: Is this one different for you? I love the title. You changed it to I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss. We work with Sheryl Sandberg and we worked on the Ban Bossy campaign. Is there any significance in that for you? SO: Originally I had a particular title, and then I came across the campaign when it came out, but it was too late for me at that stage to change the title. I was on the brink of handing in that photo that everyone now knows about a week ago, and then the record company changed the cover and so I said, “Great, we can change the title.” I just thought it was a very bold statement. When I saw that statement, “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss,” I identified with it. Because I find that as a female boss in the music industry, it’s difficult to actually be treated as if you actually are the boss and to have people act on your instructions and take you seriously. Like you call up people who are working for you and say, “I’d like to see such-and-such document,” and they tell you that you don’t need it. Then you have to spend time convincing them that it doesn’t matter whether they think you need it or not, they’re supposed to hand it to you. The music business is a place where the artists are all treated like we’re working for the people who are working for us. That can obviously be exaggerated when you’re a female. So I identified with the campaign first off as a female boss. That’s what I was attracted to about the title, because I have experience behind the themes and all the difficulty as a female boss. Then, once I looked into the campaign, I was really thrilled with the whole message that they were trying to send. It’s OK to assert yourself. Obviously, as a woman, I do experience the consequence of asserting yourself—you’re not supposed to assert yourself. I love it even though I’m forty-seven; I find it inspiring even though they’re talking to six-year-olds. It’s just a very inspiring thing to me.
THE MUSIC BUSINESS IS A PLACE WHERE THE ARTISTS ARE ALL TREATED LIKE WE’RE WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING FOR US. THAT CAN OBVIOUSLY BE EXAGGERATED WHEN YOU’RE A FEMALE.
I LIKE THE HAPPY, FUN PEOPLE, SO IT’S A HAPPY, FUNKY RECORD.
MP: What other projects do you have coming up? SO: I’m going to be starting a project which would aim to cease the display of newspapers on shelves low enough for minors to read and to actually criminalize the exposure, even by accident, to minors of what we call “the news,” by which I mean radio, TV, print press, or the Internet. Minors should not be exposed to what is going on in the so-called news. So that’s another project that I hope to get involved in. MP: I love how you make people think. Are there any other causes you really believe in? SO: Protection of children from violence and abuse has always been my main activity or campaign. We’re exposing our minors to abuse by the fact that they leave the radio on in the car and let them listen to the news on the way to school. Or the fact that it’s shown on the news, the children can see Gaddafi’s face and his glorious Technicolor clothes getting shot off on the news or on the newspaper shelves. In the shelves of the shops where all the sex magazines are consciously put at the top, if they’re consciously put at the top, that must mean the violence is all put at the bottom consciously. What I’m interested in is the protection of children from violence, and they are exposed to violence every single day in the form of, as it’s called, the news. Then you wonder why the children are running around, doing the things in the streets, doing the things that they’ve seen the adults doing in the socalled news. As a parent, I don’t really want my child to know about all this horrible violence that people seem to be wanting to tell them every time they go to buy some candy. MP: It’s funny, especially in America. We’re so concerned about kids seeing nudity, but we don’t really mind that they’re seeing blood and guts and the lack of humanity. SO: I don’t want them to read about pedophiles. I want to protect them from pedophiles, so I should know that they’re there, but I don’t want it in my six-year-old’s head. I don’t want him to know about the horrible things in the world.
PHOTOS: DONAL MOLONEY 48 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
IT’S A GREAT
BUT ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT? Just to let you know ... it’s raining outside and it’s raining acid all over your new car. It will ruin your new coat, mess up your hair and probably completely destroy your new smart phone. Have I made it personal enough for you? Perhaps you should do more than just chat at parties to show how ecologically aware you are and actually do something ... we are.
W h e r e o n e p e r s o n c a n m a k e a l l t h e d i f f e r e n c e . . ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM . I n o u r w o r l d49
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
GUNS N' ROSES ON PASSION AND COMPASSION LOVE AND RESPECT EVERY LIVING BEING ON THIS PLANET—A KEY FACTOR TO A GREATER SOCIETY.
Q: What makes you come alive or inspires you? A: Performing is always my biggest rush. The energy is boundless
from a great crowd. I truly believe in energy as a force that is exchanged, especially in a performance situation. You give your utmost and the audience gives it back tenfold. Creating music, visual art, producing music and film are always at the forefront of my life. Everything great that has come into my life has been through channeling and manifestation of a vision or dream. Pure passion equals love.
Q: What makes you feel vulnerable? A: Cruelty towards animals and child abuse. I wish there was more
I could do. I try to spread positive messages through my social media.
If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?
Have compassion towards each other, including animals. Love and respect every living being on this planet—a key factor to a greater society. 50 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Q: How do you handle emotional pain? A: I write songs. I guess what they say is true: with every heartache
comes a great song. I also pray and have great friends.
How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?
I have removed a lot of negative influence in my life and try to surround myself with positive people. I have a much more simple life than the old days.
Q: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? A: I’ve had so many, but the more I’ve walked through tough
times, the stronger I’ve become. I truly believe anything is possible if you fully manifest it. I’ve been to the top and I believe I’ve been to the bottom as well. Respecting yourself is key—physically and mentally. It’s OK to take care of yourself.
Q: What truth do you know for sure? A: You have to take chances. Q: Tell me about your latest projects. A: I released my solo album, Stratosphere, by Matt Sorum's Fierce
Joy, in March. My first video, The Sea, premiered on Vevo, and I have three more coming. I also formed my new supergroup, Kings of Chaos, a premier rock outfit with some of the biggest names in rock music. Produced my wife’s debut album, Ace Is High, coming soon. I have been working on my charity, Adopt the Arts, and being ambassador to Animals Asia and Dolphin Project. Matt Sorum, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, has manned the drums for Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, and The Cult. His solo album, Stratosphere, was released under the moniker Matt Sorum’s Fierce Joy, which represents Matt’s insatiable fire to build positive things on and off the stage. PHOTOS: ERIC HOBBS
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WIN BUTLER: ARCADE FIRE On Spirituality: A LOT OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE HAS TO DO WITH TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THINGS MEAN, AND THERE AREN’T REALLY ANY TOOLS TO DO THAT, UNLESS YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT IT IN A MORE SPIRITUAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL REALM.
WIN BUTLER: ARCADE FIRE
On Connection: I FEEL LIKE I’M KIND OF A BIT OF A SPONGE IN A WAY. LIKE, IF PEOPLE AROUND ME ARE GOING THROUGH THINGS, I FIND IT VERY HARD NOT TO BE EMPATHETIC.
THE IDEA OF DANCING TO BAD HOUSE MUSIC IS SOMETHING I COULD NEVER GET BEHIND. ARCADE FIRE IS CURRENTLY ON THE REFLEKTOR TOUR
PHOTOS: GUY AROCH 54 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
HAL SPARKS Comedian
KATE MARA House of Cards
ED SHEERAN Q: GIVE ME A GOOD BIT OF ADVICE. A: The main thing that you have to remember on this journey is, just be nice to everyone and always smile.
Q: IF YOU COULD TELL SOMETHING TO EVERYONE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? A: Be original; don't be scared of being bold! Q: WHERE DO YOU PULL INSPIRATION? A: As far as songwriting, my inspirations come from love, life and
death, and viewing other people's situations.
ED SHEERAN'S NEW ALBUM, x, IS OUT NOW
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Dreaming and doing I N T E RV I E W: M A R A N DA P L E ASA N T
" S O M E T I M E S A C RY I S C L E A N S I N G . S O M E T I M E S O N LY A P U R G I N G , V E N T I N G CO N V E R SAT I O N W I T H A LOV E D O N E W I L L D O. " Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive? Jennifer Nettles: My son’s laughter, the smell of my husband’s neck in the morning, a good cup of coffee, language, creation, a solid glass of Bordeaux, writing a good song, a screened-in porch . . . I could go on and on.
MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? JN: Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Having an eighteen-month-old shoots routine out the door. However, a good walk every day does wonders for my soul.
MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?
MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?
JN: When things don’t go as planned.
MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?
MP: What truth do you know for sure?
JN: “You are worthy.”
JN: Love wins. Sleep is a healer. Loved ones are sacred. Salt water is cleansing, be it sweat, the ocean, or tears.
MP: How do you handle emotional pain?
MP: Tell me about your latest projects.
JN: It depends on the level and origin. Sometimes a cry is cleansing. Sometimes only a purging, venting conversation with a loved one will do. Sometimes community is healing. Sometimes the stillness of solitude is required.
JN: I’m always dreaming and doing. Touring for my debut solo album, That Girl. I’ve got the bug to write songs again. I want to write or star in a musical, I’d like to act, improve my French, travel, cook from our garden, scavenge every thrift store for treasures . . . I could go on. Jennifer Nettles is on her That Girl tour across the country all summer.
PHOTO: JAMES MINCHIN
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ON MUSIC AND MUTUAL INSPIRATION
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT
MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE OR INSPIRES YOU? TREV: When I make an impact on someone else’s day in a positive way. When I have the opportunity to connect with a person in a way that inspires them or encourages them, I feel most alive and inspired. This is why I do music. I write about what I’m going through, and if that can sync with my viewers and listeners’ hearts in some form, I feel successful, alive, and inspired. MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE? T: Opening up my private secrets or experiences with someone that I value, knowing that they may not approve and leave me because of it. MP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? T: Dream big. Be your own shape, be your own color. Don’t live in fear. Be confident. Be humble. Care less about others’ validation of you as long as you’re being authentic and genuine in expressing who you are. Love everyone fully and equally. MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN? T: It’s important to embrace the feeling that pain gives and not neglect or bury it. Then I choose the wisest way to go about confronting the source of pain with love. MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE? T: I try to choose to respond and not react in negative situations. But I also count my blessings. When I begin to think of all the positive details in my life—from a meal in my stomach, a pillow to sleep on, a blue sky—then work my way up to the bigger things, such as the positive people in my life, I begin to realize that all these first-world problems are absolutely nothing to stress about. MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE? T: Love yourself. I’m not saying “Be in love with yourself” and full of pride or selfishness. But genuinely love the skin you’re in, flaws and all. You’re made the way you are for a reason, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Be confident in your individuality. You can’t fully or truly love others if you don’t love yourself. MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE? T: Love never fails.
I CONNECT WITH MY FOLLOWERS BY TELLING MY STORIES AS THEIR STORIES CONTINUE TO INSPIRE ME BACK.
MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS. T: My new cover-version single, “Sex and Candy,” was just released on radio across the US. It’s soon to be followed up by a few original singles off of my upcoming full album to be released in 2015. I’m also doing many shows and setting up a tour. My time’s consumed with being in the recording studio, music videos, photo shoots, interviews, red carpets, etc., with this new Trev wave that’s hitting. MP: WHY ARE THESE IMPORTANT TO YOU? T: Because my Trev tribe is most important to me! It’s all about my followers. I connect with my followers by telling my stories as their stories continue to inspire me back. Trevor “Trev” Forsman is best known for his single “I Just Want You.” His new cover song, “Sex and Candy,” is out on iTunes. PHOTO: KEAHU KAHUANUI
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On the importance of family, working hard, and smoking meditation INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT MARANDA PLEASANT: What inspires you? What really makes you feel alive? WIZ KHALIFA: I’m inspired by other people’s creativity, for sure, just seeing things happen and wondering where they come from. That gets my mind going. Even if it’s just wanting to know how something works. I was always really into that as a kid, like putting stuff together and taking it apart. Small ideas that turn into big ideas—that really inspires me. MP: What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in this life? What is one thing that you try to live by? WK: To always stay invested in myself and my own future and to always work on me as well as other people. MP: What has been one of your biggest struggles so far? WK: Right now, probably my biggest struggle is not being able to spend as much time with my family as I want to. I have a son and a wife, and I really enjoy my family life as much as I enjoy my career, but there are times where my career just kind of overpowers, and they have to be really very understanding of it. I appreciate them for that. That’s probably the hardest part about everything. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, or if there was some universal message you wish everyone could hear, what would that be? WK: "Smoke weed every day." MP: Well, we’re based in Colorado, so we’re going to keep that in. WK: Perfect! MP: You’ll have to come visit. How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a routine? Do you have something that grounds you? WK: Music really helps me stay centered. I can listen to music and forget about any issue that I have at that point.
out or anything like that, but I absolutely enjoy playing basketball and stuff—that’s fun. I haven’t gotten to do it as much as I want to. But yeah, I do physical things when I can. MP: What is one truth that you know for certain? WK: That you can take your destiny into your own hands. MP: What are some of your latest projects that you’re passionate about? WK: I just dropped a mixtape that’s called 28 Grams. It’s basically just twenty-eight fun songs that are full-energy and just like anthems for the summer. I’m really proud of that because of how we put it together and how we put it out. Also, my album, Blacc Hollywood, that’s going to drop later on this summer, I’m really confident in that. It’s just one of my best projects and a really good explanation of where I’m at in my life. MP: When you create, where do you pull from? WK: I feel like it’s already there. It already exists. It’s just up to me to get high enough to find it. MP: I definitely see a theme here! What are some causes on the planet that you’re concerned about or involved with? WK: There’s not too many of them that I make myself involved with at this point, because there’s not much I can do, but I’m really concerned with Africa and the class difference over there. A lot of people don’t know the culture shock of how you can be in a rich area and then be in poverty. People don’t know how different it is over there. There are certain neighborhoods in America like that—like in Pittsburgh, where I’m from—where people wouldn’t think it’s even livable for human beings. Those are the areas that I connect with because I come from places like that, and I just think it’s interesting how the rest of the world acts like it doesn’t exist. But a lot of the best things come from there. You get a lot of the hardest workers, the most creative people, the best ideas. So, just knowing that moving forward, I would definitely like to get into the cause of trying to help bring those people out. MP: How old are you, by the way?
MP: Do you work out? Is there something you do to clear your head? Do you run or meditate or anything like that?
WK: I’m twenty-six.
WK: I skate. I smoke weed, of course. That’s like meditation for me. Watching movies is a really good escape as well. I don’t really work WIZKHALIFA.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 63
I DIDN’T HAVE THE NICER THINGS. I HAD TO GO OUT AND GET THEM.
MP: If you could go back and talk to your fifteen-year-old self, is there something you would tell yourself that you wish you had known back then? WK: Nah, I believe that you go through your past and you learn what you learn for whatever reason. I’m just glad I’m not making fifteenyear-old mistakes at twenty-six—I got that out of the way. MP: [Laughs.] You might be the only one. I meet some forty-five-yearolds making fifteen-year-old mistakes. Did you grow up poor? WK: Not poor but definitely not fortunate. I didn’t have the nicer things. I had to go out and get them. MP: How do you think that shaped you? WK: It just let me know the importance of working hard. It let me know that material things are not the most important things in the world. There are other things that can hold you over and can still make you happy. MP: Definitely. I did grow up very poor, and it made my work ethic more intense. WK: You take it more serious. MP: What does love represent? WK: Love represents a lot of things. You can be in love with someone, you can be in love with something. You don’t know why you love something so much, you just do. You gravitate towards it and then you figure it out later. That’s really love to me.
“THIS EARTH HAS EVERYTHING I NEED TO BE COMPLETELY HAPPY, WITHOUT DRUGS, POSSESSIONS, POWER, ALL THAT.”
Jacob Hemphill NURTURING THE WORLD THROUGH MUSIC
INTERVIEW: MARANDA PLEASANT MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE OR INSPIRES YOU? Jacob Hemphill: The idea that my music is changing the world, even in a little way. My dad always told me that if the world was better off, when I was gone, for having me here, then mission accomplished. And vice versa. MP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE? JH: Honestly, my music makes me feel that way at times. I write a lot about what we could be as humans, living our full potential. Every day is different, though. Things happen in life—death, sadness, heartache—that make it impossible to be the same person every day. I try to be what I describe in the songs, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes I screw up. Sometimes I’m mean or short with people or critical, and I hear the songs and I’m, like, “Huh. Not that easy sometimes.” MP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? JH: We are all connected in many ways. The way we treat one another dictates who we will become. Our true potential is far from being realized, and we won’t arrive until we can connect on a deeper level to one another. PHOTOS: ERIC RYAN ANDERSON
MP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN?
MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE?
JH: I write songs. They’re always making me see the truth. It’s like crying. You get it all out on paper, and then you look at it and make sense of it. There’s a song for literally every single thing that’s happened to me or a loved one, good or bad.
JH: That this earth has everything I need to be completely happy, without drugs, possessions, power, all that—the real truth is down underneath in our souls. We have to find it and nurture it. I’m trying to spread this very concept to the world through music.
MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE?
MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS AND WHY YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT THEM.
JH: This is one of the reasons I’m looking so forward to our upcoming tour with Michael Franti. He told me recently that he thinks yoga would be a key to finding my true center. He said he’d show me how. It’s exciting. MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE? JH: Follow my self where I lead me. My dad always told me not to invest in the market or gamble in Vegas. If I wanted to gamble, gamble on me. And if I didn’t have very good ideas, gamble on someone I loved who did. I’ve never stopped gambling on myself, my manager Elliott, or my band.
JH: Our latest album, Amid the Noise and Haste, out August 12, is my favorite thing I’ve ever written. It’s a self-help book for a battered, weary world that relies on accumulation and competition as its core values. We eat away and eat away until there’s nothing left. The album is a light suggestion that there may be another way, a true way, a way that feels good instead of bad, that encourages love and life and happiness. We run our world like a machine, but what if we ran it like a human family. I have enjoyed every minute of it. Jacob Hemphill is the lead singer and guitarist for SOJA, a reggae, hip-hop, rock band whose music is about finding happiness and peace and helping others do the same.
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WE HAVE HAD GREAT LONGEVITY AS A GROUP BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN ABLE TO EVOLVE ALONG WITH THE INDUSTRY—AND BECAUSE WE HAVE NEVER COMPROMISED ON QUALITY OR ARTISTIC VISION.
music and beyond
Interview: Maranda Pleasant
Shawn Stockman: Boyz II Men MARANDA PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE OR INSPIRES YOU? SHAWN STOCKMAN: Music, definitely! Performing for a crowd and sharing our music is what it’s all about for us. Music has been an inspiration and a driving force all of our lives. MP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE?
SS: We have our new album, Collide, coming out September 30, 2014. But fans can actually go to iTunes now to pre-order Collide and receive our new singles, “Better Half” and “Diamond Eyes,” instantly. We also have a residency at the Mirage in Las Vegas through the end of 2014!
MP: WHY ARE THESE IMPORTANT TO YOU?
SS: Between our residency at the Mirage in Las Vegas; all the work we’ve been putting into our new album, Collide; our recent episode on ABC’s The Bachelorette; and gearing up for shows this summer, we have had a lot of chaos lately—but good chaos! I think, for all of us, enjoying time with our kids and our families helps us stay grounded. I also love health and fitness: I recently opened a luxury cycling gym in LA called Beatbike. For me, working out is a great way to recharge each day.
SS: Collide is a really special album to us. It’s a different direction for us soundwise, definitely. It has a lot of brighter pop elements blended in with our classic R&B sound, so it’s kind of the collision between those two sounds, and we can’t wait to share it with the fans.
MP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN LIFE?
MP: WHAT CAUSES ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
SS: Learning to evolve and adapt. We have been in the music industry for over twenty years, and things have changed dramatically. But we have had great longevity as a group because we’ve been able to evolve along with the industry—and because we have never compromised on quality or artistic vision.
SS: As a group, we created the Boyz II Men House, which lends support to individuals and organizations that focus on improving quality of life and contributing to the health and vitality of those less fortunate. And on a personal level, my wife and I created a foundation called Micah’s Voice to raise money for autism research. Both of those causes are very close to my heart.
MP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE? SS: If you stay true to what you believe in, and if you’re creating something great and authentic, your fans will stick with you no matter how much other things change! MP: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS.
And the Mirage, we love performing for the Vegas crowds each weekend. That has been—and continues to be—a lot of fun for us and for the audiences at the shows.
Boyz II Men are the best-selling R&B group of all time, with over sixty million albums sold. Although the four-time Grammy winners—Shawn Stockman, Wanya Morris, and Nate Morris—continue to tour around the world, they reside at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
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You donâ€™t burn out from going too fast. You burn out from going too slow and getting bored.
STAYING GROUNDED KEEPING THE PEACE INTERVIEW: OCEAN PLEASANT
JAKE T. AUSTIN
STAR OF ABC FAMILY’S THE FOSTERS (IF YOU HAVE A TEEN IN THE HOUSE, PASS THIS ALONG. HE’S QUITE THE SENSATION.)
PHOTOS: NINA DUNCAN 68 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
OCEAN PLEASANT: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE? JAKE T. AUSTIN: Accepting new challenges
OP: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
makes me come alive. Being receptive to what is happening around me gives me inspiration and feeds my desire to create. As I see it, it is important to always love what you do and do what you love. This is my mentality towards my career and my personal life.
JTA: A general message to “everyone” on the planet would go something along the lines of, “Make Love, Not War.”
OP: WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL VULNERABLE?
JTA: Nobody can ever be fully prepared to deal with a new, painful situation. Sometimes I react with patience and sometimes I react by doing something impulsive. But I always learn from such experiences.
JTA: I always feel a bit vulnerable when I begin a new project, especially when I am playing a character with either a troubled past or unique personality. I try to approach these roles with honesty and with a true sense of empathy for my character. It is important for me to truly understand the people I am portraying and their struggles, in order to give an honest performance.
OP: HOW DO YOU HANDLE EMOTIONAL PAIN?
OP: TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE FOSTERS AND YOUR ROLE IN THE SERIES. WHY IS ITS MESSAGE IMPORTANT TO YOU?
“ACCEPTING NEW CHALLENGES MAKES ME COME ALIVE. BEING RECEPTIVE TO WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND ME GIVES ME INSPIRATION AND FEEDS MY DESIRE TO CREATE.” JTA: The Fosters is a drama about a same-sex couple trying to raise biological and adopted children and guide them through the normal teenage struggles. I play Jesus, who is Mariana’s twin brother, and Lena and Stef’s adopted son. The message that this show is trying to communicate is important to me because it encourages others to embrace family with an open mind and an open heart. It has been an amazing experience working on The Fosters! OP: HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF CHAOS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE? JTA: I try to keep myself grounded and to stay true to who I am through every experience, positive or negative. I stay active and choose to associate myself with like-minded people. Family is also very important to me. OP: WHAT’S BEEN ONE OF YOUR BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR IN YOUR LIFE? JTA: My biggest life lesson is that money cannot buy happiness. If you are born into a family with little money but a lot of love, you will find yourself more content than one who is born with a silver spoon and an empty home. OP: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE? JTA: One truth I know for sure is that I am so blessed in my life. I also love my fans unconditionally. They have been supportive of me through everything, and I would not be here, giving this interview to you, without them. Listening to my fans and seeing love and support through social media from them is what I live for.
“As I play without a band, there really is nothing to hide behind, and I think the vulnerability is part of what makes it work.” PHOTOS: JARRAD SENG
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PORTRAIT OF A HUMANITARIAN PHOTOGRAPHER INTERVIEW: LISA RUEFF
LISA RUEFF: HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE FIELD OF HUMANITARIAN PHOTOGRAPHY? Giles Duley: I had been a fashion photographer for over ten years, but I’d always been dissatisfied with what I was doing. It was all about selling people, and I got disheartened by the whole industry. I became a full-time care worker for a young man named Nick with severe autism. I started taking photographs, documenting his life, and was able to capture Nick and his reality and made breakthroughs with Nick as well as the doctors. It was also a breakthrough moment for me: I could use my camera to give voice to those people. I could be their advocate.
LR: HOW DO YOU STAY POSITIVE? GD: I have this saying, “It is what it is. I can’t change what’s happened to me.” Natural to have humor. Right from the beginning, my mantra. It could always be worse. LR: WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE? GD: A gin and tonic. LR: WHAT TRUTH DO YOU KNOW FOR SURE?
LR: WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU IN AFGHANISTAN?
GD: I am a big believer in love. Love for me is what got me through.
GD: I am not a war photographer. I wanted to spend time with one unit of American soldiers, not to show them fighting but what happens under the stress. Where I was doing the story, I stepped on an IED. I remember, on the medevac helicopter, I said to myself, “I am not f——g dying in Afghanistan.” People talk about having flashbacks; I began having flash-forwards. I began thinking of all the things I still wanted to do.
LR: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECTS.
LR: IF YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING TO EVERYONE ON THE PLANET, WHAT WOULD IT BE? GD: All I would say is to fight hatred. I don’t see myself as being injured by a landmine or the Taliban; I was injured by ignorance and hatred. When people do these things, they want to create more hatred. Fight it with love and education. LR: WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE BIGGEST LESSONS SO FAR? GD: I’ve learned to listen in all aspects of life, in all relationships and communications. The biggest lesson is to listen.
PHOTOS: GILES DULEY 70 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
GD: I am doing a project called “Legacy of War,” looking at the long-term impact of conflict. Typically, when war ends, people tend to walk away and think it’s finished now, it’s not a story anymore. What happens to child soldiers once they are in their thirties? Overall, the message is that war is not something that can be won. Everybody loses at war. LR: CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE “100 PORTRAITS BEFORE I DIE” PROJECT? GD: When you are doing portraits, you have that intimacy with someone for a few minutes. For a really good portrait, you don’t take the portrait—it’s given. In all these portraits, people are giving me that moment. I’ve photographed the first few. So far, I have done David Gilmour, Graham Lineham. I’m doing it as a fun, simple process. And it’s kept me alive. Giles Duley is a British documentary photographer and photojournalist. He is best known for his photography of humanitarian issues and the consequences of conflict. In 2011, he became a triple amputee after stepping on an IED while in Afghanistan. GILESDULEY.COM
I COULD USE MY CAMERA TO GIVE VOICE TO THOSE PEOPLE. I COULD BE THEIR ADVOCATE.
Snows of the Nile A Journey to Document Africa’s Vanishing Tropical Glaciers BY: DR. NEIL LOSIN PHOTOS: NEIL LOSIN, COURTESY OF TANDEM STILL & MOTION 72 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM
Nate in a glacier cave
Nason Buraru at Bujuku Lake
Neil in an ice cave
hen you think of Africa, glaciers probably aren’t the first things that come to mind. And certainly not glaciers on the equator. But as I found out, the Rwenzori Mountains aren’t in the habit of conforming to expectations.
The Rwenzoris, or “Mountains of the Moon,” rise 5,000 meters from the heart of Africa, dividing the continent in two. To the east: Uganda and the headwaters of the Nile River. To the west: the Democratic Republic of Congo and the mighty river that shares its name. The rugged, snow-covered peaks of the Rwenzoris are higher than the Alps or the Rockies, but they’re almost unknown outside Africa. In 1906, the Duke of Abruzzi became the first to reach the peaks. His photographer, Vittorio Sella, captured dramatic photos that revealed a surreal landscape of snow and ice, looming over the rainforest below.
But today, the Earth’s climate is changing. Glaciers are shrinking as our world gets warmer. If we retraced the Duke’s footsteps, a hundred years later, what would we see? My buddy Nate Dappen and I decided to find out. For Nate, the quest was personal. His father climbed the peaks with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard in the 1980s, so he had been drawn to the Rwenzoris since his childhood in Nairobi. To our utter surprise, Dos Equis (yes, the beer company!) funded our entire expedition through their “Stay Thirsty” grant program. There was no time to lose; glaciologists estimate that the Rwenzori glaciers have already dwindled by more than 80% in a century, and some predict that the remaining ice will be gone in less than 20 years. The future of the mountains, their endemic plants and animals, and the wonderful Bakonjo people who call them home, are far from certain.
Neil in the bamboo zone
Neil on Mt. Stanley
“The rugged, snow-covered peaks of the Rwenzoris are higher than the Alps or the Rockies, but they’re almost unknown outside Africa.”
Nate compares historical photo to modern landscape PHOTOS: NEIL LOSIN, COURTESY OF TANDEM STILL & MOTION
Our new documentary, Snows of the Nile, follows our journey to recapture photos from the Duke of Abruzzi’s legendary 1906 expedition. If we could retrace the Duke’s steps, brave the Rwenzoris’ famously miserable weather, and re-capture Vittorio Sella’s glacier images, our photos would bear witness to a century of climate change. Dr. Neil Losin is a National Geographic Explorer based in Boulder, CO. Neil and his colleague Dr. Nate Dappen founded Day’s Edge Productions in 2010. Snows of the Nile is available on iTunes and Vimeo On Demand. Visit www. snowsofthenile.com to watch the film and learn more about the project.
Pre-dawn climb on Mt. Stanley SNOWSOFTHENILE.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 75
USING THE POWER of ART for SOCIAL CHANGE INTERVIEW: BARBI TWINS
"FIND THE ANIMAL ORGANIZATION THAT YOU MOST CONNECT WITH, AND GO DO SOMETHING TO HELP!"
BARBI TWINS: Youâ€™re an artist with a mission to help animals. What inspired this passion of painting for a certain purpose? MARK BARONE: I have been an artist for over thirty-five years, with a strong focus on painting some of the most difficult aspects of the human condition, but I only ever painted thirty to forty at a time, for art collectors. For this project, Iâ€™m painting 5,500 portraits of shelter dogs for social change! I consider this project a calling, because what preceded it was my own story of redemption, with the love of my dogs, Santina and Rudy, being the catalyst that brought me back to life. My dog Santina was twenty-one years old when she died, and my partner, Marina, and I were devastated. So much so that Marina went online to adopt another dog, but instead of finding a dog, she discovered the chilling numbers of animals being destroyed every day. Compelled to do something about it, she persisted with me until I became willing to look at the evidence and consider ways I could help. Within two days, I had the vision to paint the approximate number of dogs destroyed every day as a way to record this important time in our history, where our humanity is facing a critical crossroads. One path, led by the force of fear, will continue the way of suffering and destruction. The other, led by the power of love, will lead us towards community, compassion, and the courage to do the right thing for all animals. ANACTOFDOG.ORG
As an artist, I understand what a powerful medium this will be for education and social change, because it will creatively and courageously show us the conditions we have created for our animals. We need to become aware of what is taking place in our neighborhoods, and how we are often subsidizing these atrocities without ever knowing about them. Only when we are willing to face the world as it is and engage in honest, nonviolent, and solution-focused dialogue can we change it. My intention as an artist is to put the soul back into these animals that have been lost and ensure that all the rest have a second chance at a beautiful life. BT: If your paintings could talk, what would the main message be? MB: Have compassion for those who are at our mercy, because compassion will save us all.
The second influence was my soul partner, Marina. She has been on a vegan, plant-based diet for thirty years, and together we eat wholesome and mainly raw compassionate food. It deepened my compassion, not because I was attached or identified with a particular ideology, but because facing these helpless souls and experiencing the changes in my body from eating such life-giving foods actually shifted my consciousness.
"MY LIFE IS NO LONGER ABOUT ME. IT’S ABOUT CONTRIBUTION."
BT: Can you tell us about your project and where you see yourself in five years as an artist?
BT: For those of us who are not artists, how else can we all get involved and make an impact to help animals?
MB: I started this project and our nonprofit, An Act of Dog, with my partner to create a Museum of Compassion that will lift our animalwelfare consciousness to new heights. Besides building a forever fund for the animals, our focus will be on educating children and adults about the direct and vital link between loving animals and the development of empathy towards one another. Everyone can learn to cultivate deep roots of compassion at any age, and we believe that our museum will be a bridge to compassion that will help to create a world that is rich in humanity and free from discrimination.
MB: Change comes from contribution and action. Go and volunteer for an animal group that you resonate with or help your local shelters. Become a foster and work with the rescue groups, offer to transport animals to safety, help with dog training, rehabilitation. Donate money to help or contribute food or blankets. Help to put an end to puppy mills, and share the importance of adopting with others. Support the banning of BSL [breed-specific legislation] and dog fighting. Identify which of your talents they can use, be it organizing events, fundraisers, writing articles, marketing, sharing on social media, or talking to your local politicians about progressive ways to improve your local shelters and to pass laws that protect all animals from harm or abuse. Find the animal organization that you most connect with, and go do something to help!
I never imagined that I’d be cashing in all my retirement savings for this project and have no idea what the future holds for me as an artist. What I do know is that my life is no longer about me. It’s about contribution. BT: How has this project deepened and influenced your own compassion? MB: Two things have influenced my compassion during this project. One, painting the souls of 5,500 animals seven days a week for three years and bearing witness to their fragility and total dependency on us to take good care of them. It has been the most emotionally painful experience that I’ve ever had—yet the most enlightening and fulfilling. These experiences deepened my compassion such that I began changing my diet and have eaten one hundred percent plant-based for the past five years.
BT: Have you learned one truth from your artwork of dogs, and if so, what is the truth? MB: The one truth that I have learned from painting 5,500 dogs is that animals’ lives are as important as ours, because, like us, they are sentient souls. Mark Barone founded the nonprofit An Act of Dog with his partner, Marina Dervan.
Lenny Kravitz Gets Personal, Tori Amos shares her vulnerabilities, Sinead O'Connor shock us, 10+ Musician for Social Change, Jason Mraz on Y...
Published on Aug 6, 2014
Lenny Kravitz Gets Personal, Tori Amos shares her vulnerabilities, Sinead O'Connor shock us, 10+ Musician for Social Change, Jason Mraz on Y...