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VOLUME FOUR ISSUE THREE

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DREAM BIG! Debbra Liverman Lets Others Shine Nicole Rodriguez Makes Running An Art COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: PETER YAO

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Ray Yeung Showing Us More

Goings On Revolutionary Me Film Festival Jennifer Figuereo Is Our Actor Shining Bright


FROM THE EDITOR

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VOLUME FOUR ISSUE THREE

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

STAR DAVIS CREATIVE

DIRECTOR

RANDELL PEARSON

We so appreciate your support of our magazine! It is always a thrill for us to celebrate the success stories of hardworking artists, content creators, and crew members. Without them there would be no entertainment, and life would be boring and without joy. We at UCAN! Magazine go all-out to help creative people shine! Now that fall is here, it’s time for us to think about how we will end the year. Let’s go out with a real blast! We’ve still got time to pursue our dreams and to accomplish a goal or two. For many of us 2016 has been challenging so far, but if the last three months are positive - then we can remember the year as a good one. Keep up the good work! Your efforts are very needed and appreciated. Keep that in mind when you’re writing those scripts, taking your classes, practicing your craft, and putting forth your actions. Even in the dark hours, please know your hard work will never be in vain. It always pays off, sometimes in ways you can’t even imagine. Constantly visualize great things for yourself. The more you picture them in your mind, the sooner they will manifest. Remember, whenever you’re in doubt always remember UCAN! accomplish whatever you see yourself achieving. #ByArtistsForEveryone Twitter: @UCANMagazine Website: www.UCANMagazine.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UCANMagazine

SOCIAL

MEDIA

MANAGER

COURTNEY LEE CORDERO CONTRIBUTING

EDITORS

MORGAN ELIASON MELISSA GOLDSTEIN ARLEY SEAMUS EDITORIAL

PRODUCTION

MONICA TRAVELLINO ENTERTAINMENT

DIRECTOR

KAREN Y. BROWN RESEARCH

CENTER

DEIDRE GREGORY KEIDRA CAMERON MICHELLE DUBOIS ADVERTISING

DIRECTOR

KIMBERLY ANN RICHARDS

UCAN! MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED SIX TIMES ANNUALLY IN ENGLISH. UCAN! IS REGISTERED AS AN INTERNATIONAL TRADEMARK. COPYRIGHT © 2015 BY PINDARA STUDIOS LLC. COPYRIGHT UNDER UIVERSAL COPYRIGHT CONVENTION. FRONT COVER AND ENTIRE MAGAZINE DESIGN COPYRIGHT @ 2015 BY PEARSON DESIGNS, BROOKLYN NY, USA. REPRODUCTION OF ANY PARTS OF THIS PUBLICATION REQUIRES EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE PUBLISHER. UCAN! ACCEPTS NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS, PHOTOGRAPHY OR ARTWORK.


October 17 to 23 http://www.iffmnyc.com/


DEBBRA LIVERMAN E D U C AT I N G F U T U R E C R E AT I V E S IN THE MAD WORLD OF TV PRODUCTION

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In 2016 on-the-job training is a thing of the past. Hiring managers want you to have extensive, specific experience in their respective fields before considering you for a position –even for entry level jobs. Companies simply don’t want to invest the time to train new employees. A career in media is even more competitive. If you don’t know the duties, then you lose out to someone who does, no matter what other skills you could bring to benefit the role overall. In such a world, Debbra Liverman is a beacon of hope. She was once an actress, but now she is a writer and a producer. Through her multi-faceted show SHOW YOUR TALENT, Debbra not only showcases talented new and upcoming artists, but she also allows crew members to learn on-the-job as well. “I know what it’s like to struggle in this business,” she says. “When I first started out, nobody wanted to help me. I even met stars along the way who said nobody helped them.” As an Executive Producer, Debbra has the ultimate say as to what happens on the set. For those who work with her, her management style is so relaxed, they would never know that if they weren’t familiar with hierarchies. “I’m here to help people.” Debbra begins. “I have a lot of entertainers in my family, so I come from a long line. But you have to help people. How do you know what somebody has to give if you don’t give them a chance?” One day a crew member admitted that he was completely inept at the duties for which he was responsible. Debbra took it all in stride. “Well how else are you going to learn?” We will feature Debbra’s show SHOW YOUR TALENT as well as her spinoff shows in our next issue. When someone is this willing to educate, we believe they deserve special mention. Stay tuned! (OPPOSITE TOP) THE SET OF SHOW YOUR TALENT WITH THE HOSTESS AND GUESTS BEFORE THE CAMERAS ROLL.. (OPPOSITE BOTTOM) DEBBRA AND CREW MEMBERS CONFIRMING PRODUCTION DETAILS.


NICOLE RODRIGUEZ

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In a day where people are living longer, and 50s are the new 30s, talk show host Nicole Rodriguez wants everyone to jump on the fitness bandwagon. As a personal running coach, she literally runs for a living. Her deep belief in physical fitness not only pays her bills, but it’s transformed into the talk show, CONVERSATION P.A.C.E. For people unfamiliar with the athletic world, the term “conversation pace” means the fastest pace at which you can exercise (in this case run) and still carry on a conversation. As for the show’s title, Nicole is considering a number of positive messages. The show CONVERSATION P.A.C.E. was created to share the joys of running with everyone from the elite level athlete to the unmotivated couch potato. Through in-studio interviews and reporting from sporting events, the show shares the exhilaration and excitement of getting out there and putting those feet on the payment. The interesting thing is that CONVERSATION P.A.C.E. came about solely by accident. “I was hit by a cyclist in Central Park. I was unable to walk for week, and I ended spending lots of time watching daytime TV,” Nicole explains. She fell in love with the energy of the CBS hit show THE TALK. Before I had to sit back and wait like, ‘Man. When are these auditions gonna come?’ But now, I see who’s involved, One day THEofTALK a segment gear.media Nicoletowas left out, uninformed to know more. wasdirecalso and instead just had leaving it up tofeaturing my agent,athletic I use social reach which is and hugewanting now. I try to reach out She to the unsatisfied with the presenter who she believed didn’t have the slightest clue about the fitness products being displayed. That tor and reach out to the producer. That’s to make sure they see the tape. Social media helps in my career whether I want to sparked an interest in seen Nicole developI book a platform for talking about fitness and fitness equipment. Most importantly, those get an audition or get orto whether the job. doing the talking would be real athletes and people who were genuinely interested in the subject. Being an avid runner, Nicole also noticed that there were no real running show on TV. I’mthe in aidea better position to book role because I canwith get seen easier. And with these credits, I can say, ‘This is “So that’sNow when for conversation pacethe was born,” she says a broad smile. when I want to come in. I’m available at this time.’ Nicole chooses guests for CONVERSATION P.A.C.E. with great consideration. It is important to her that viewers learn as much as possible. So she researches and interviews people who are at the top of their respective running games. They all have different running backgrounds and may even have a different approach to the sport. But Nicole believes it’s that variety that makes for interesting viewing. She knows there’s more than one way to coach and teach the sport of running and is always open to learning more. Guests of CONVERSATION P.A.C.E. learn from Nicole and she learns new approaches and perspectives from them. That There’s a downside in that if I keep waiting, I may not enjoy my personal life. I’m Jamaican and Trinidadian, so a couway viewers can walk away from each show with a new running tool. And they get this valuable advice for free. ple of weeks ago I was headed on a beach road trip weekend to a Caribbean festival, and before that, I hadn’t had an audition What exactly run coach do? Weonwondered ourselves. Nicole, who in thebe beginner and novice runner for a week. Butdoes thataFriday, on my way this trip, Ithat get three auditions—and I’mspecializes like, ‘You gotta kidding me!’ [laughs] I had sums up like this, “Ionstudy biomechanics them any muscle imbalances they may to putitone audition tapetheir by that Sunday andand thehelp other twocorrect were in-person auditions on Monday, sohave.” my whole weekend was So theto downside is you alwaysand havenot to lose be waiting for that call. staff member asked Nicole for her expert advice. Aftershot. struggling run for ten seconds his breath, a UCAN! Coach Nicole’s feedback was short and sweet. “Concentrate on strengthening your core and leg muscles before even trying to run,” she said. Our team member, who was a bit skeptical at first, admitted the advice was spot on.


So was Nicole always athletic and in shape, or did she ever face the weight challenge? “Not only was I overweight, but I was depressed and I also suffered from high blood pressure and anxiety. Running helped with all of that. It even led me to become a vegetarian, she beams. “I feel and look better now that I’m 45 than I’ve ever looked or felt in my whole entire life!” Nicole admits the hardest part is getting started. She recommends being patient with yourself. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals. Spend time with like minded people. Pure and simple, health and fitness must become a top priority in your life. CONVERSATION P.A.C.E. looks forward to showing us how to do all of that. You can see the CONVERSATION P.A.C.E. pilot episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chsvndq8kN4 You can visit the CONVERSATION P.A.C.E. page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ConversationPACE/?fref=ts

(ABOVE LEFT) NICOLE AND COMPETITIVE RUNNER COLLEEN MCGURK LISTEN TO INSIGHTS FROM SPECIAL GUEST OLYMPIC MARATHON RUNNER JANE VONGVORACHOTI. (ABOVE RIGHT) THE CONVERSATION P.A.C.E. PANEL: NICOLE, COLLEEN MCGURK JANE VONGVORACHOTI, DR. JENNIFER SVHAN, AND COACH ANI GO DISCUSS WAYS TO RUN AND LOVE IT.

BONUS Q & A

NICOLE I don’t know where this imagination came from. I think it’s been there from when I was a child. And I’ve always

been a song writer. I wrote the theme song for the show. Funny thing is people inspire me. Even my own experiences inspire me. The good and especially the bad. UCAN! Did you study the art of running formally? If so when and where? NICOLE I officially became a distance run coach in Hawaii with the Road Runners of America. My injury prevention, bio-

mechanics and all my other personal training certifications were just the icing on the cake. I earned lots of endurance sport certification when I worked at Equinox gym. I worked there just so I could learn how to strength train and prevent injuries with my runners. I learned so much at that place so my plan to further my coaching education there worked. So with that education and then with coaching and personal training experience, I finally felt confident enough to go private. UCAN! How challenging is it when you have a client who is not as motivated as he or she should be?

NICOLE It’s in my job description to keep my clients motivated. It’s not hard for me to motivate them because I was once

where they are, so its easy to handle a situation you can relate to. UCAN! Tell us how you deal with a nightmare client. NICOLE I fire them. Yes. I said that. UCAN! What’s your best fitness success story?

NICOLE Her name is Amy. I was introduced to Amy from one of my runners who was in training for the NYC marathon. Amy

was motivated by how much my runner was training. She was not a runner. I took her to the track and it was a disaster. She was petrified to run and when she did I just knew that this was going to be a lot of work for the both of us and I had to have lots of patience. Eight months later she ran her first race. It was the NYC half marathon. That same year she ran the NYC marathon. Since then Amy got married and I went to Louisiana for her wedding. She moved to Pennsylvania and started her own run group. Now she’s training for her second NYC marathon. She’s never been injured with her running because she learned form the best. UCAN! How did you chose your show talent? What’s next on your artistic agenda? What projects are you working on? NICOLE Well now that I’m a certified TV producer and editor I’m going to be doing more shows. There are so many talented

people out there who need their fitness stories told. Feature length movies are the ultra goal. That’s all I’m going to say about that for now. U CAN!

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EXPANDING OUR ARTISTIC WORLD


RAY YEUNG C O V E R

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Director Ray Yeung stays busy. Besides making movies from a director’s perspective, he is also a talented writer who gives a close look into a culture that conventional Western movie goers hardly get to see. His first feature length film, CUT SLEEVE BOYS, was released in 2005. The film premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and won Best Film at Outfest Fusion. Chowee Leow, the leading actor, won Best Actor at the Madrid Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. CUT SLEEVE BOYS was also broadcast on American TV. Ray Yeung’s newest feature film, FRONT COVER, tells the story of two talented men who each have their issues to settle. Ryan Fu, is a gay Chinese American who is disgusted by his Asian heritage. Working his dream job as a fashion stylist, he is proud to be gay and is confident that he is the best at what he does. One day Qi Xiao Ning, a famous Chinese actor, arrives from Beijing. Ryan is given the job of styling Ning for a top magazine photo shoot. In sharp contrast to Ryan’s love of all things Western, Ning dismisses Ryan’s ideas and insists that Ryan create a look for him which represents today’s new China. A clash of the egos ensues. The result is a strained and difficult working relationship. Ryan and Ning soon discover that they have a lot in common. A friendship develops. Ryan reveals that he rejects his Chinese heritage because he is ashamed of his impoverished upbringing. Ning confesses to Ryan that he is in the closet. Being from Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, Ray Yeung had not-so-great feelings with regard to national pride. He relates more to Ryan’s issue than he does to Ning’s. “I felt like a guest in my own home in a way. My family was very traditionally Chinese, but in school we had to follow a lot of British rules. So I was aware of a strange dissonance in my cultural identity from an early age,” Ray says.

(PRECEDING SPREAD) RAY GIVING DIRECTION ON THE SET OF FRONT COVER TO LEAD ACTOR JAKE CHOI. (OPPOSITE PAGE) POSTER FOR FRONT COVER. (ABOVE) RAY AND CREW MEMBERS IN THE MIDST OF DIRECTING ON THE FRONT COVER SET.

Times are changing. Ray explains now that China is a world superpower, many Chinese people are coming to the West with a very strong cultural identity and can even be downright arrogant. In writing the FRONT COVER screenplay, Ray wanted to illustrate the contrast of someone who’s ashamed of his Chinese heritage meeting someone who’s proud of it. With Ray being gay himself, he thought it would be interesting to add the dimension of the guy from China hiding his sexuality and the guy from Western society being openly gay. These characters are the mirror image of each other. Casting for FRONT COVER was intense. The screen test was having actors kiss each other to see if any had a fear of kissing another man and to observe how comfortable they were with being open and romantic with the other person. Not having a wide range of actors from whom to choose, Ray and his casting team auditioned on both the east and west coasts of the US, as well as in Canada and Asia. The lead actor came with a funny “twist.” “I was so sure Jake Choi, our leading man, was gay,” Ray says with a laugh. He even showed the auditions to his gay friends and they all confirmed that Jake Choi was gay. U CAN!

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(ABOVE) PROMOTION FOR FRONT COVER. (ABOVE TOP RIGHT) ACTRESS ELIZABETH SUNG AND ACTOR JAMES CHEN IN A TOUCHING SCENE. (ABOVE BOTTOM RIGHT) RYAN TRYING STYLING OPTIONS FOR NING IN A NEW YORK CITY BOUTIQUE.

Well, Ray and his friends were wrong. However, Jake Choi made sure he booked the role before revealing the truth. “We went out for coffee and he had to sit me down and come out to me, that he was straight!” So from where does this creative inspiration come? As a ten year–old Ray spent a lot of time alone. He would watch old black and white martial art movies and act out the scenes and copy the moves. As he grew up he realized that all the romantic movies he watched didn’t have any lead characters (if any characters at all) who looked like him. Growing up Asian and gay, and watching movies whose leads were always tall, blonde, and heterosexual left a void in Ray that had to be filled. Like many artists, he simply decided to create the characters he longed to see. Financing the movie was a hodge-podge of networking, recruiting crew members who were Ray’s friends and old classmates at Columbia University, and starting a crowd funding campaign during post production. Credit cards were maxed out. “Through various connections we met two executive producers who really believed in the story and had raised and invested in the majority of our budget,” Ray shares. For his next project, Ray has returned to his native Hong Kong to begin writing the script. He hopes to capture first-hand the changes and struggles that are happening there while they’re still going on. The film will be more serious social realism, and he hopes to start shooting it next summer. Ray acknowledges that oftentimes artists’ work can take them to wonderful places with unexpected experiences. After FRONT COVER screened at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, a young Asian boy approached him in a very emotional state. He told Ray that he had not yet come out to his mother. He hoped that if he ever did, that his mother would treat him with the kindness and understanding that Ryan’s mother had shown to Ning. “It is at these moments,” Ray concludes, “I understood why I had to keep going and why I made this film - like Ryan’s mother said in my film ‘to give them hope’.” http://www.frontcoverthemovie.com/ FRONT COVER will open at Consolidated Theatres’ Kahala 8 Theatre in Honolulu starting Friday, September 23, 2016. Show times will be posted at this site https://www.consolidatedtheatres.com/kahala/film/front-cover FRONT COVER will open at Angelika Pop-Up in Washington D.C. starting Friday, September 30, 2016. Showtimes will be posted here next week: https://www.angelikafilmcenter.com/dc/film/front-cover U CAN!

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GO I N G S ON S U MME R

HIGHLIGHTS : R E V O L UTI O N

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Making its debut in Brooklyn, New York - REVOLUTION ME FILM FESTIVAL brings you a new generation of filmmakers. Its founder and participants truly believe it is important for every artist of every culture to stand for something in their own unique way and to create stories that can change the world. Creating a film festival for emerging filmmakers has always been a main goal for the festival Founder, Maria Palacio. “It is very important to bring filmmakers together. I want filmmakers to be inspired by their peers to create more stories, and not constantly rely on Hollywood. I wanted to create a platform for not just me but for all of us. We all have a story to tell and an eye for a different perspective, and I want REVOLUTION ME FILM FESTIVAL to become that platform.” With a brain-freezing number of categories, there is something here for everyone. We look forward to seeing more of REVOLUTION ME FILM FESTIVAL for many more years to come. **BEST FEATURE FILM AND BEST DIRECTOR FOR A FEATURE FILM Winner: Evol: The Theory of Love Director: Mike Perrone **BEST SHORT FILM AND BEST STORY Winner: Los Angeles 1991 Director: Miguel de Olaso, Macgregor Best Short Drama Winner: Boat People Director: Paul Meschuh BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY Winner: The Water Angel of East Porterville Director: Ryan Daniel McKinney BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY Winner: Our Last Stand Director: Jordan Allot **Best Horror/Science Fiction and Best Special Effects Winner: They Will All Die in Space Director: Javier Chillon BEST EXPERIMENTAL Winner: A Pinch of Salt Director: Sebastian Agdur BEST HORROR/SCIENCE FICTION Winner: They Will all die in space Director: Javier Chillon BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM Winner: Adaptation Director: Bartosz Kruhlik BEST FILM PHOTOGRAPHY FOR FEATURE Winner: Here and There Director: Gabriel Paez & Isabel Rodas

BEST SOUND DESIGN Winner: Normal Director: Vadim Lasca BEST ENSEMBLE Winner: Rocket Man Director: Jamison LoCascio **BEST DIRECTOR FOR SHORT AND BEST ACTRESS AND BEST PHOTOGRAPHY FOR SHORT Winner: Pitter Patter Goes My Heart Director: Christoph Rainer BEST COMEDY Winner: Any Day Now Director: Albert Uria BEST ANIMATION Winner: Bulb Director: Niels De Vries BEST ACTOR Winner: Zach Solomon for Twitch Director: Jesse Richton BEST EDITING Winner: Unlikely Temptations Director: Cory Reeder BEST SCORE Winner: Endurable Director: Joseph Grout BEST STUDENT FILM Winner: Reminiscence Director: Emily Aguilar SPECIAL JURY AWARD Winner: Search Engines Director: Russell Brown SPECIAL COURAGE AWARD Winner: The Art of the Heart Director: Drew Sauer

Like the REVOLUTIONARY ME FILM FESTIVAL Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Revolutionmefilmfest/?fref=ts


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PHOTOGRAPHY: ASIA JOYNER


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JENNIFER FIGUEREO aka Yenny Love is a beautiful and

talented actress and writer who comes to our shores from the Dominican Republic. It was there when she began her love for writing and entertainment. At 11 years-old she came to the United States where she always kept a strong connection to her homeland while becoming an American. Consistent with the many flavors of New York City, Jennifer first had to survive without knowing English. That toughened her up. Eventually, she learned it and with her new language, she developed a strong sense of self. In fact, her many characters were enhanced by her accent and her pride in her Latina roots. Many may remember Yenny Love from her stint on Univision’s Spanish language version of SURVIVOR: El Desafio La Gran Final back in 2010. That same year she also played a transgender woman in the hilarious Tony Clomax web series 12 STEPS TO RECOVERY. Since then she has been featured in various Hip Hop music videos, on American and international television. She has acted in many films including most recently Will Coggins’ THE ONE CLOSEST TO YOU, and Ernest Robinson’s A PIECE OF ME. Jennifer/ Yenni has also served as a featured guest and cohost for Urban Latino Radio/PNC Radio. Her writing has stood out for many years as a well known spoken word artist. She has a strong following and many places are standing room only when she is scheduled to appear. To book this talented actress, you can reach her at her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Yenny-Love


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