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iving all honor to God, with him we were able to put out another successful issue. I want to thank all of the advertisers in all of our publications, On Point, Enk and Ill magazines, with you we’ve been able to see dreams blossom and with you we’ve been growing strong for over 5 years. Speaking of growing, the weather has finally let up. Isn’t it awesome to see things come out of hibernation after the cold season. I am a fan of winter, but i do appreciate the warm mornings. There are alot of associations with spring. Trees blossom, flowers bloom all over, the birds are mating, the bees are working hard pollenating and how about those legendary east coast spring showers. Its the beginning of long days, more time to work and plant seeds that we will harvest in the future. Spring brgins us the opportunity to say, “out with the old and in with the new.” In fact many people “spring clean” at this time of the year at thier workplaces and in thier homes. As CEO, entrepreneurs, family and business owners, now would be the time to do some spring cleaning around us. Reevaluate whats working and what’s not working for you and your benefit. It’s time to make room for new ideas, new goals and new dreams.


he Royal Comedy Tour made the annual visit to the Norfolk, Virginia area Friday, March 30th with a once again amazing lineup. Sommore, Earthquake, Bruce Bruce [who Seven Magazine spoke with last year], and Tony Rock were all bringing laughter and high spirits within the walls of the Ted Constant Convocation Center. It’s really no need say that there was a packed house… who wouldn’t want to be in the mist of that much funny? During Earthquakes performance Paragon Publishing’s Thomas Corbin and I excused ourselves from behind the stage to greet Bruce Bruce again, and also to chit-chat with Tony Rock. Tony Rock had entered the comedy scene sometime ago being recognized by many as the brother of comedian and actor Chris Rock. Since those earlier days Tony Rock has made it clear that his family’s comedic genius is genetic. He has however separated from that shadow; defining his own entity. Tony Rock undoubtedly reigns in his own lane as a hilarious standup comedian and a gifted actor. As I walked towards the table where Tony and three of boys sat [that he refers to as his fam as opposed to entourage], Tony’s down to earth greeting and welcoming smile made me even more eager to have our conversation. I’m a vibe person and journalist… from the second I entered that room I knew I was going to have a blast! M. YVETTE: Hello Mr. Rock! TONY ROCK: My father is Mr. Rock. Call me Tony. M. YVETTE: Well, hello Tony! Thank you for having me. I want to ask you a few things about what you’re doing these days. TONY ROCK: Shoot! Shoot! Nothings off limits. M. YVETTE: How long have you been doing all of this; and what came first… the acting or comedy? TONY ROCK: Standup came first. I’ve been doing standup professionally since ’98. I wanted to be a comic my whole life. Standup has afforded me the opportunity to go on to different areas; acting, TV, plays… everything has been based on standup. Some people meet me and go, “I knew you were an actor but I didn’t know you were a comic.” Then some people say, “I knew you were a comic and didn’t know you were an actor.” It’s all because of what you saw first. M. YVETTE: So, this was something that you always wanted to do. TONY ROCK: I only wanted two jobs in my whole life. Starting quarter back for the Pittsburg Steelers and standup comedy. Now I’m not saying that I can’t still be starting quarter back for the

Steelers, but the comedy shit is going good right now, so I’m going to ride it out. M. YVETTE: Let’s stick with the comedy. TONY ROCK: Yeah. Now I can do a tight spiral! Don’t get it twisted. But this liquor… I got to get this liquor out my system first. M. YVETTE: Oh my goodness! Where are you from originally? TONY ROCK: Brooklyn, New York! Shout out to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. M. YVETTE: So tell me something… what do you have going on now? TONY ROCK: The Royal Comedy Tour; 45 cities. I think this (Norfolk) is city 15… 16. We’re going to go into September… October. I’m also doing another 30 cities by myself… me, Garrick Dixon, Sydney Still (Sydney Castillo). We’re doing smaller venues. Comedy clubs; Improvs, Funny Bones… I’m doing this at the same time that I’m doing The Royal Comedy Tour. So I’m doing a week on the road by myself, a week with these guys, a week by myself… that gets a little crazy. I have an episode with Single Ladies on VH1 coming up in the next couple of weeks. M. YVETTE: Okay! (That’s my show!) TONY ROCK: An episode with Let’s Stay Together on BET in next couple of weeks. M. YVETTE: Busy… alright! TONY ROCK: I will give you an exclusive because you’re cool people. Jamie Fox is bringing back Showtime at the Apollo. I’m the new host. We start shooting in New York in July. M. YVETTE: For real? TONY ROCK: That’s an exclusive from me to you… because you’re pretty. M. YVETTE: Thank you Tony… and you’re handsome. Now you’ve been sipping in that cup so I don’t know; but I’ll take it. Now tell me something. Your family… is it like everybody gets around and everybody just funny? TONY ROCK: What do you mean… everybody gets around? We all goons? You fuck them Rock boys? They get around! M. YVETTE: You know what I mean. When the whole family comes together for holidays… TONY ROCK: Oh yes! Everybody is funny. We have three professional comics… Chris, myself, and my baby brother Jordan. But everybody is funny. I keep saying one year I’m going to tape Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner and put it up on Youtube. Just so everybody can see what a night is like in the Rock family. M. YVETTE: Wooo! I bet that’s a handful. Tonight I see you have your entourage with you. TONY ROCK: No, this fam! Entourage is like Yes-men. These guys will be like, “Naw… get out of here. She’s about to call the cops.”

M. YVETTE: You’re funny! Yeah, your fam will tell you the truth. Now, with you staying so busy do you see yourself ever retiring from all of this? TONY ROCK: Retiring? No! No black man can ever retire. I don’t think any black man is ever really in the position to retire. When you think about your family, your children, and your legacy; black people need to always be working. We don’t have it that good. Like, white guys have money that will span them generations after generations after generations. Black guys have enough money to live comfortably for their life; and if they stop then the next life is like, wow… we have to start all over again. I’m trying to make it so my kid’s kids are like, “Wow! We didn’t get to meet grandpa but that dude left us a lot of stuff!” M. YVETTE: Now when I asked that question I guess I was speaking mainly on standup; not everything else that you’re doing. I mean standup has you on the move! How do you keep it up? TONY ROCK: It’s just that there’s always going to be something to talk about. I can’t just see myself sitting at home watching my kids grow up not seeing funny stuff and going, I should go and talk about this on stage. M. YVETTE: I feel you. TONY ROCK: It’s always going to be stuff going on. The world is always changing… We have a black president for Christ sake! So, there’s always is going to be something shocking that I will go on stage and talk about. M. YVETTE: So, the traveling and everything… TONY ROCK: I got a girl in every city. M. YVETTE: I know that’s right! TONY ROCK: I get a home cook meal in any city. Demopolis, Alabama I get me some baked chicken wings! M. YVETTE: Do you have one in the 757 yet? TONY ROCK: I don’t know… do I? You tell me. M. YVETTE: Oh Tony! Anyway, I’m glad that you gave Seven Magazine and ILL Magazine a chance to actually come and speak with you. You are a wonderful and funny gentleman. Your fam is wonderful as well. I’m looking forward to you keeping me posted with what’s going on with Tony Rock. TONY ROCK: And a new movie April 20th… Think Like A Man. I forgot I’m in that too. One scene, but it’s pretty funny so you will see me. M. YVETTE: I was going to see that anyway; I have to see that movie! I will support. Thank you. It was nice meeting you.

TONY ROCK: (Tony Rock points to the blank notepad on the table.) You didn’t write shit down! M. YVETTE: I’m good like that. I didn’t have to. The conversation with comedian and actor Tony Rock was laughs from beginning to end. Thank you Mr. Tony Rock! VA Luv!


ith heart disease the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s time to listen to your heart and get the right kinds of fats into your daily diet. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming polyunsaturated fats, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, for heart health. But what are these “good fats” and how do you make them a part of your daily nutrition program? “Hundreds of studies from prestigious groups like the National Institutes of Health and universities like Harvard and Tufts, repeatedly and consistently show that when you add omega-3-rich foods or supplements to the diet, you help to lower your risk for heart disease,” says Elizabeth Somer, a registered dietitian and author of “Eat Your Way to Sexy.” “One important step is making sure your diet is packed with heart-healthy omega-3s. The omega-3s in fatty fish, especially DHA, keep blood vessels squeaky clean and reduce inflammation. They lower heart disease risk; raise HDLs - the good cholesterol; help stabilize the heartbeat and reduce blood clots, thereby curbing the risk for heart attack and stroke.” Somer answers some questions about heart health: Q: What are the main differences between “good fats” and “bad fats?” A: We often hear that Americans eat too much fat, while people in other parts of the world aren’t eating enough. The truth is that, regardless of fat intake, very few people are eating the right fats. Fats to avoid are saturated and trans fats, which are solid at room temperature - like butter. In contrast, consuming polyunsaturated fatty acids - specifically omega-3s DHA and EPA found in

fatty fish - are important for brain, eye and cardiovascular health. Q: Doesn’t my body make all of the omega-3s needed to help maintain a strong heart? A: Many experts have indicated that the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA are essential nutrients due to the limited ability of our body to make enough of them and because of their beneficial health effects. That’s why we must get these nutrients from the foods we eat and supplements. The main dietary source of DHA and EPA is cold-water fish, such as salmon. Unfortunately, studies show the American diet includes far less than the ideal amount of DHA and EPA. For example, an average U.S. diet contains less than 100 milligrams of DHA per day. That is well below one expert’s recommendation of at least 220 milligrams of DHA per day. Studies show that the more omega-3s you consume, the healthier your heart. Q: What if I don’t like eating fish - are there other ways to get DHA and EPA into my diet? A: The most common sources of DHA and EPA omega-3s are fatty fish and fish oil. Interestingly, many people believe that fish produce their own DHA and EPA, but in actuality it is the microalgae in their food chain that make fish such a rich source of omega-3s. For those who do not eat significant amounts of fish due to dietary preferences, allergies, a vegetarian lifestyle or worries about potential ocean-borne pollutants, there are DHA/EPA supplements made from algae. One such supplement is Schiff MegaRed Plant-Omega, which is made from a vegetarian and sustainable source of DHA and EPA - algae. To learn more, visit www.


ducation is the second largest industry in the United States, and nearly everyone is impacted by its professionals in some way.

Unfortunately, budget cuts have forced many states to cut faculty size and increase classroom size in K-12 schools. These changes have put educators under increased pressure to meet new demands while also staying abreast of evolving industry trends and regulations. The industry is also transitioning to a performance-based work culture, and expectations have increased for most educators, prompting many to explore the process of earning a master’s degree in education. “As in many fields, advanced degrees can increase the marketability of professionals in education,” says Brian D. Bethune, dean of the College of Media Arts & Technology, DeVry University. “Many educators find that a master’s degree gives them increased job security or greater opportunity for mobility.” In addition to preparing current K-12 educators with training and credentials that may open doors to leadership roles within a school system, master’s degrees are also an attractive option for students with a range of undergraduate degrees and career

backgrounds who are interested in transitioning to roles that support K-12 learning. Other master’s candidates in education are simply working toward the possibility of increased compensation. According to the 2010-11 edition of the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, getting a master’s degree often results in a pay raise. Some adult learners - such as current teachers who have full-time jobs - prefer the flexibility of online learning options, choosing master’s degree programs that blend seamlessly with their busy lifestyles. DeVry University, for example, offers a Master of Science in Education degree program through its College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. With specializations in Curriculum Leadership, Educational Leadership, and Educational Technology Leadership, the program helps prepare graduates for career success in an evolving industry. “Educators with the knowledge to incorporate new and emerging media into K-12 classrooms are in particularly high demand,” Bethune said. “In fact, at least $900 million in funding is designated for numerous technology initiatives through the American Recovery and Reinvest-


o’s Boutique’s goal is to cater to everyone with an upscale fashion experience. Jo’s Boutique’s owner, Lynn Mayfield lists a few of the shop’s range, “A lot of suits, dresses, hats, purses, shoes, jewelry . . .” The boutique brands sophistication with spice for the mature and stylish, and anyone that wants that flavorful wardrobe. Lynn used her own wardrobe as a platform, “I even dress trendy myself,” she said. “I wear the leggings. But if you’re going to wear them, then wear them where they are tasteful. This is what I try to give them. The knowledge of that you can look trendy even though you may be 60. It’s how you bring it together. They come in here and can’t believe that I’m 55.” The consignment items are personally approved by Lynn herself, who’s blessed with one of many of God’s gifts… a flare for exceptional style. She acts as more than a business owner but as her customers’ personal styling consultant. Jo’s boutique also carries new fashions that Lynn travels to places like Atlanta and New York in order to get just the right flavored items for the chic personality of her store. She explained to SEVEN Magazine, “I always loved fashion. I started out when I was in school working at department stores. I’ve always had this taste for fashion.” Eventually, Lynn branched from fashion retail and embarked on another one of her God gifted talents. She always stayed in the rim, however, of servicing people. She became a flight attendant and carried out that career for well over 20 years. Even when Lynn Mayfield was working high up in the air as a flight attendant, fashion still was never that far away. “I love to shop! When I had the opportunity to travel with my job; the different states that I visited, I would always go into consignment shops. Around the world you find things a lot different in places like New York, California, San Francisco. . . I got exposed to fashion.” Jo’s Boutique is a special boutique in not just the upscale fashions and accessories that are available, but due to spiritual way the shop came about and within the name itself. The name carries a story that sets the angelic tone of Jo’s Boutique. Lynn’s most gratifying sentiment with having the boutique is that it connects her with people. Something that has obviously been associated with her throughout her career as a retail representative, flight attendant, to now as being the creator of Jo’s Boutique. She even at one time desired to be a nurse like the grandmother that she grew up admiring. Lynn told of her grandmother that was leaving out for work one day in her white uniform and white nurse’s cap. Lynn asked her grandmother where was she going and her grandmother responded, “I’m going to spread love.” That stuck

with Lynn; the gratification of being able to give a service of herself. After 20 plus years of Lynn Mayfield being of service as a flight attendant she was still blessed to share her gifts. She stated, “If there’s something that I can share with you to enhance or make you look better, or feel better about yourself… that’s another part of me.” Lynn’s life at a point came to a place where to say it was difficult would be an understatement. A chain of events in a matter of a few years clustered into one crash of dismay. Lynn went through a divorce, sold her house, severe health issues, concerns for elderly parents, and maybe the hardest of all was on January 1, 2004; the untimely death of her beloved sister and best friend… Jo. Jo was one person that had always inspired Lynn to go for it; she encouraged her. Losing Jo, to the battle of cancer on the brain, was major turmoil in Lynn’s life; that still weighs on her heart until this day. Lynn explained, “That’s where I came up with Jo’s Boutique. The shop is named after my sister.” Lynn always knew that she wanted to open her boutique but she had envisioned it to happen later in her life after retiring. However, after her sister’s passing Lynn began to battle with her own health issues. Just as doctors had done with her sister’s illness, doctors also with Lynn had multiple times misdiagnosed her agonizing leg pain and sporadic cases of her inability to walk. Through 2 years of struggling she was told to have Rheumatoid Arthritis, then Lupus, and eventually was told that she had a cyst growing on her spine. The cyst was against the largest nerve in her body that was stopping circulation. Lynn tried treatments to omit going into surgery but when it all came to it she had no other choice. Unknowing to Lynn, the surgery in 2009 meant that she would have 6 plates in her back that would not allow her to continue with her 25 year career of flying as a flight attendant, and mainly that she would be considered disabled. Momentarily Lynn was lost in her next direction. Nonetheless God saw her through the maze and in October 2010 she found her destination and God gave her the key. Lynn Mayfield opened the doors to Jo’s Boutique. Lynn Mayfield opened her style of specialty boutique for the same reason that she has always preferred consignment shops over department stores; the uniqueness of the selection. “I want people know that Jo’s Boutique is here. I try to keep the prices reasonable so that people can afford it. They can come here and be blessed. Whatever I can do to help people enhance themselves… that is my goal.”


OREVER BEAUTIFUL BEE POLLEN is a natural Chinese herbal supplement that is actually a food! FOREVER BEAUTIFUL BEE POLLEN is designed to suppress the appetite and enhance metabolism without the jitteriness or racing heart effects from caffeine products. Along with taking 2 capsules each morning with breakfast, you can eat whatever you would normally eat. It isn’t even necessary to work out for FOREVER BEAUTIFUL BEE POLLEN to be effective. You basically eat, drink plenty of water, and lose weight! Ramon Alvarez of FOREVER BEAUTIFUL BEE POLLEN explains, “It even gives a natural peaceful feeling. You have a better outlook on life in general.” Some people lose 2-3 pounds a week; some people even lose 5-10 pounds a week. Ramon has used FOREVER BEAUTIFUL BEE POLLEN and has seen tremendous results in his own weight loss. “I personally lost almost 40 pounds on it. I’m not the only one. I have close to 300 local people that are on it – all referred by word of mouth!” It is mostly important to drink only water with the product, as well as take a multi-vitamin and increase your dietary fiber intake. Because the capsules are really only effective with water, the people that don’t see results are those who continue to drink coffee

and tea. But you can eat anything you want! Success depends on each person’s commitment. Ramon says, “I like to tell people that it is a lifestyle change. If you go back to your old ways, you will gain weight back.” Within 1 to 2 days of beginning with FOREVER BEAUTIFUL BEE POLLEN, you feel better and notice your decreased appetite. Come to the store and receive a free 2-day sample! “You will be amazed at what you see and how you feel in just a few days!” Benefits of the FOREVER BEAUTIFUL BEE POLLEN lifestyle change: Appetite suppressant All natural fat blocker Energy stimulant Improved and focused mental state Improved skin elasticity Decreased menstrual cycle and cramping (women) Balanced testosterone levels (men) Loss of belly fat Weight loss (with or without exercise) No food restrictions All natural with no added stimulants Contains vitamins and minerals Relief from various allergy symptoms Better digestive regularity Natural detox Some people even say they stopped drinking or smoking after including FOREVER BEAUTIFUL BEE POLLEN in their daily lives. The potential for expedited weight loss results and additional health benefits is amazing! Results vary from person to person, but it is possible to lose 10% of your body weight per month – with potential for better results if you also work out! (If you increase your exercise, you should eat more to compensate.) $40 for 48 capsules Call Ramon Alvarez for your FREE 2-day sample and receive a BMI / RDI reading to calculate your individual proper calorie intake. FOREVER BEAUTIFUL BEE POLLEN Ramon Alvarez Office, 757-420-1122; cell, 757-318-8026


ining at home has many advantages, from saving money to affording family members more time together. But it’s easy for those at-home meals to become routine and boring - unless you take some simple steps to make dinner time a special time for everyone. Fortunately, making dinner at home more special doesn’t need to eat up a lot of time or money. Whether you’re serving a feast for the whole family or making a romantic meal for an at-home date night, these simple ideas can help make dining at home feel like a night out. Make it restaurant style One of the reasons people love dining out is the chance to eat something they normally wouldn’t make at home. Making some of those restaurant favorites in your own kitchen isn’t as difficult as you might think. By adding a delicious, easy-tomake dining-out treat to your at-home menu, you can give your meal restaurant quality flair. One restaurant staple is the bread basket. You can create your own version with take-and-bake options, like New York Brand Garlic Knots. Found in your grocery store’s freezer aisle, New York Brand Garlic Knots are hand-tied and contain no trans fat and no high-fructose corn syrup, but pack all the flavor and appeal of this traditional restaurant favorite. What’s more, they’re ready - from freezer to table - in about five minutes. Make your meal extra special by serving your Garlic Knots with

your favorite pasta or homemade pizza with a marinara dipping sauce. Tune out the outside world You wouldn’t be so rude as to take a cellphone call at the table in a quiet restaurant, so why allow such disruptions during your meal at home? Have everyone turn off their phones, switch off the TV and radio, leave all handheld digital devices in another room, and encourage a dinner conversation that truly focuses on each other. Wear your “Sunday best” Even if you wear a suit to work every day, there’s still something special about dressing up for an unforgettable meal. If you’d prefer, you can leave the heels, jewelry or cufflinks behind - just skip the jeans and sweatshirts in favor of a skirt or a nice button-down and a pair of slacks. Cook together Cooking together increases the amount of quality time you spend with loved ones. Whether it’s a date night or just a friendly get-together, involving everyone in meal preparation makes the evening memorable and special. Using easy-to-make and delicious products, such as New York Brand Garlic Knots, will ensure your meal will have that homemade taste that’s sure to please. For simple recipe ideas, visit


lthough smoking is often touted as an expensive habit, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to aid in quitting smoking can seem like an expensive purchase as well. The reluctance to spend money on smoking cessation products leads many smokers to try to do it “cold turkey” - the most popular method for quitting smoking, but also one that frequently leads to relapse. However, the use of NRT products to quit smoking can almost triple a smoker’s chances of success. Two of the more common over-the-counter medications are nicotine gum and nicotine lozenges. These treatments are oral dosage forms of nicotine and work as temporary aids to help reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Other effective smoking cessation products are available both over-the-counter and by prescription, including

patches, nasal sprays and other medications. “Your best chances for success in quitting smoking are using a medication and counseling. There are a number of options consumers have to save money on quitting smoking therapies,” says Dr. Tom Peterson, smoking cessation expert and chair of Tobacco Free Partners. “They don’t need to go at it alone just because money is tight. The first option is to consider purchasing ‘store-brand’ NRT products, which can be found in most retailers across the nation under their own brands. Store-brand NRT products are significantly less expensive but are equivalent to the national brands, in terms of both FDA regulation and efficacy.” To find even more savings, individuals can regularly monitor retailers’ circular flyers and websites, and retailers will often discount NRT

products - especially around popular “quit dates” such as after New Year’s (January) and the Great American Smokeout (November), which is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. In addition to the savings over-the-counter storebrand NRT products provide, consumers can also find potential bottom-line benefits by asking a health-care provider to write a prescription for these products. “By going the prescription route, many insurance providers will offer the same NRT product for the cost of your lowest-tier co-pay, which may be less than the ‘shelf ’ price,” says Peterson. “It certainly depends on the insurance company, but it is worth looking into. In many states, Medicaid covers the costs of both over-the-counter NRT products and prescriptions for quitting smoking.” Other available avenues for savings include: * Many employers offer free medication or assistance for employees looking to quit. It is always worth checking with your human resources department to find out if these resources are available to you. * In some states, quit lines may offer free or discounted smoking cessation medication. Learn more by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Tips to get started The decision to stop smoking is an important one. Below are some tips to get started: * Follow a support plan. Personalized plans are available at * Throw away all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays.

* When the desire to smoke strikes, do something else. The urge usually passes within two or three minutes. * Carry things to put in your mouth, like gum or hard candy. * Be active: Take a walk with a friend, go for a bike ride, walk the dog or play tennis. * Go to places where you are not allowed to smoke. * Ask friends and/or family for support. There are a number of free resources and support programs available for individuals who are quitting smoking, including the American Cancer Society (, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc. gov/tobacco/osh), the National Cancer Institute (, and the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking program ( Store-brand smoking cessation products also offer an online support program ( to help consumers track their progress. Allegan, Mich.-based Perrigo is a pharmaceutical company that manufactures and distributes most of the over-the-counter medications found under store-brand labels at leading retailers, grocers, club stores and pharmacies, including store-brand nicotine gum and nicotine lozenges. Perrigo estimates its store-brand over-the-counter NRT products save consumers, on average, 42 percent over comparable brand name products.


ust coming off the stage of Norfolk’s Constant Convocation Center, comedian Bruce-Bruce took the time out to speak with Seven Magazine. The Royal Comedy Tour has been on the road since February and has dates up to late May. When I spoke with the hilariously funny Bruce-Bruce, I wanted to know so much. What started him into the business of making people laugh and how has he sustained for so long in the industry? I knew he had been in the game for a while but he let Seven Magazine know just how long a while has been. “Professionally… I’ve been doing this for 21 years. Yeah-yeah… about 21 years and I’m still having fun!” Though Bruce-Bruce (born as Bruce Church) has traveled all over, as his career has grown into a list with all of the greats, he still carries his southern soul. You can hear it and feel it as soon as he speaks. He said to Seven Magazine, “Yeah, I’m dead country… in a big way.” It was no shock when he told me that he was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He does also have a residence in California. Bruce-Bruce starting out young before it all

began on the stage was already a class clown. This all grew into something so grand in the early 1990’s. He had begun performing at the Comedy Act Theater in Atlanta. His natural way that had always made people laugh… at school and everywhere he went, eventually brought him into the spotlight. He spoke to Seven Magazine of how he felt that first time on stage. Where others may have been nervous their first time, Bruce-Bruce said with an electric energy that showed he still cherished that first moment, “I knew it… I knew it! It came to me!” BET scouts witnessed the determined the comedian’s talent after Bruce had auditioned quite a few times… and BET did take notice! 1992 HBO also took notice. From that point on the comedy circuit exploded for him, and Bruce-Bruce had become a household name in comedy. He’s been asked to do multiple appearances on the legendary Showtime at the Apollo, hosting the BET Comic View and he was also their tenth anniversary host. He has kept himself busy with not only his standup comedy tours and appearances, but also dabbling in commercials, like the one for Popeye’s Chicken. BruceBruce, also known as, “Mayor of Comedy,”

seemed to have done it all. He’s been a part of the Laffapalooza Festival (a 3 year run), and Comedy Central Presents: Bruce-Bruce show. Bruce-Bruce has also ventured into the world of hip-hop, doing music videos like Quad City DJ’s, “Come On Ride the Train,” and Outkast’s, “So Fresh, So Clean.” The distinguishably dressed-grand frame of a man has been an absolutely grand and distinguished artist in the comedy circuit. Bruce-Bruce has taken his comedy also to film with his own video, Bruce-Bruce Live; and has carried roles on movies such as The Sunday Morning Stripper, Hair Show, and State of the Union. He has also the autobiography, Baby James Brown. I asked Bruce-Bruce how his comedic demeanor was off the stage, and he

replied, “every-everyday… I’m almost like a pimp.” Bruce-Bruce plans to headline his own show and tour. He told Seven Magazine, “I’m going to pick and choose comedians that I want to roll with me that are definitely funny.” Bruce-Bruce stated, “I’m going to bring up-and-coming comedians. I’m going to give them a lot of exposure with the world, people, going on TV, and let them know what it’s all about; how to do it so they can bring up the next people when they come up. ” To see more of what Bruce-Bruce has going on check him out at BruceBruce.

ILL Magazine had the privilege to meet up with April Alston. Ms. Alston is one of Virginia’s active event and entertainment promoters. Originally from Portsmouth Virginia, April Alston has a vivid vision for her home state; to bring a much needed zest to the Tidewater/Hampton Roads and surrounding areas that are rapidly coming into a sense of a metropolitan environment. Alston’s innovative company, JDK Productions, LLC [motivated by her children… consisting of the initials of each child], promotes events that plans to excite the community, and make a mark in Virginia as the place to be for prime entertainment. Additionally to showcasing events in the Virginia area, Alston is also on a journey to bring the sounds of R&B back as she goes in the direction of preparing a record label to be home based in Virginia. There are entertainers that are finding it hard to get the correct exposure while being from the Virginia area; JDK Productions, LLC is to be an avenue for those talented artists to venture and move into mainstream. April Alston’s affiliation with Forbes Entertainment, as well as her affiliation with event promoter, host, and VUMA award’s Best Male Singer, Romonta Allen, definitely speak loudly for Ms. Alston’s growing reputation in the event and entertainment industry. April Alston not only focuses on the enhancement of the area’s entertainment industry but the headstrong entrepreneur also stands proudly as being a single mother of four. She has persevered and jumped life’s hurdles by not letting anything get in her path’s way of furthering her education and sustaining as a serious business woman and loving mother. Alston pledges, “I will be the next female Russell Simmons in the Virginia area as far as promotions.” M. Yvette: What are some of the projects that you have going on currently? I know you have the All White Affair coming May 19th. April Alston: Correct! My All White Affair Event will take place on May 19th at Dancesport VA in Virginia Beach, from 10pm to 2am. That is my first opening event as a company. M. Yvette: April, what are some of the previous events that you have been involved with before actually establishing JDK Productions, LLC? April Alston: The only previous events were planning events for young children. My decision to establish JDK Productions, LLC came from the love of the music industry and past experience from singing. M. Yvette: So, you saw your talent in planning events through the outcome of those parties? April Alston: Exactly! M. Yvette: Tell me about your extensive educational background.

April Alston: I received my bachelor’s degree in Business Management in 2008. While pursuing this degree, I was in a bad marriage and pregnant with my third child. Actually my son and daughter are 9 months apart so I had two babies while completing my bachelors than ended that bad marriage. Upon completing that degree, made decision to push forward and completed that Masters Degree in Marketing in 2010. It does not stop there, I am now finished my Doctoral Degree classes and in the process of wrapping up my study. M. Yvette: When do you plan to complete? April Alston: December of this year [2012]. M. Yvette: Did you always have it in your mind that you would enter into the business field? April Alston: Exactly! It started when I was a child. I used to play office. My favorite things were my foster mom’s high heel shoes and the library books in the house. She had a desk in the house due to being a pastor where she used to study. My Barbie dolls were my workers and we had meetings all day. M. Yvette: A lot that you have done could have you viewed at as a role model for many young woman, young black women… people in general; despite obstacles. Tell me a little about that, because you are a single mother of four like me. What is your thought pattern to get you through and to conquer these goals? April Alston: I am not a fan of working for people. These companies are micro-managed and telling me when and how to come is not a good look for me. I would rather be on my own. These companies, education, and children were my motivator. When I was applying for jobs, the reply was over qualified. The entertainment industry is where I want to be as a “Boss”. In the past, I wanted to be on the forefront… now I want to be on the backend. Virginia is my area. We have a lot of talented people here in Virginia and we have to something to help these young people spread their talents. My goal is to bring entertainment to Virginia. My motto is… Entertainment Stays Here! I can have a record company here. That’s my goal; to have my own record label. We will have one of those tall buildings in the Waterside location. I want my story to reach every woman or male to seek entrepreneurship. My advice is if you have a gift, use it! God blessed you with a gift. Don’t just sit back and let it go to waste. Be in business for yourself. M. Yvette: You said that you used to want to be on the forefront of the entertainment industry. What hidden talent is it that April Alston has as her secreted passion? April Alston: I have the gift to sing. I tried it a

longtime ago bit I was not successful due to bad management. I did some studio time in the 1990s. In that decade, I didn’t know anything about the music industry. I gave up and did not want to get hurt anymore with promises. That gift was taken away from me. I would rather help the young people now due to research and knowledge of the music industry. M. Yvette: You grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia? April Alston: Yes. I was raised by the best foster parents. I was raised by two holiness Pentecostals pastors. I still carry them in my heart today and frequent visit their grave site to talk to my mom and dad. Albie P. Swindell (deceased in 1984) and Walter B. Swindell (deceased in 1980). They would be so proud of me today. I was raised in church in Murfreesboro North Carolina. My foster mom is my angel and she watches over me and I dream about her from time to time. I was depressed about the understanding of my childhood but thanks to my oldest sister she gave me a look on life in a different way. I thank my biological parents for making that decision for my life. Some children are thrown away, I was not thrown away and was raised with the thought of you are my child and I love you. Oh I miss Albie! I need to thank Robert Rucker for my training in music and I was born on his birthday. M. Yvette: Speaking of bypassing obstacles… when I look at personal struggles I feel blessed that I was able to look in a more positive direction and was able to move forward. What do you think makes some people go to the left instead of the right? April Alston: They give up too easily. You can’t give up! I’ve been depressed and was ready to die. My children are the one that gets me through tough times. When I felt like success was not happening fast enough for me. I’ve dealt with depression and made bad decisions in my life. I moved on and push toward the mark. When you get tired of being sick and tired you push. At the end of the day we have to take care of our business. *April Alston supports awareness for women of domestic violence and the foster children system. JDK Productions, LLC is currently working on a talent show event planned to hit Virginia in July 2012. The auditions are looking to start in May. Ms. Alston is also trying to bring the R&B sound back with four up and coming artists. Her daughter, Kayla is one of those talented singers debuting through JDK Records. The soulful singer Joey Pryor and R&B artist Michael Vasquez are also listed on the upcoming potential roster of JDK Records.


riminal Defense Attorney Herman C. Smith III, Esq. defends his clients in matters of traffic violations, DUI’s, personal injury, misdemeanors to felonies. Smith represents clients in civil, criminal, and domestic relations matters. Herman C. Smith III is an attorney & counselor at law. Smith is a native of Virginia Beach, VA and has also lived in Norfolk during his college years. Attorney Smith’s diligence and interest in law roots from his early on desire to help others. The Advance Studies scholar testifies that he received his inner calling even before graduating in 1996 from Virginia Beach’s Green Run High School. Smith continued his education; attending Norfolk State University. The year 2000 he obtained a BA Political Science (Pre-law) degree. Smith remained focused, and then after graduating from NSU, he extended his education at Regent University School of Law. During Smith’s time as a student he simultaneously gained hands on experience as an extern with the City of Portsmouth Public Defender’s Office. 2004 Smith graduated with a Juris Doctor Degree and passed the Virginia Bar Exam in 2005. Herman Smith’s previous work experience as a counselor has been noted at prominent facilities such as The Pines Residential Treatment Center, Carpe Diem of Hampton Roads, and The Foundation House. Attorney Herman C. Smith III is indisputably a knowledgeable and skilled attorney, who possess years of counseling experience, cumulatively with being a licensed professional attorney

since 2006. As not only a licensed attorney and a member of the Virginia Bar Association, Attorney Herman C. Smith III is associated with professional groups such as BLSA (Black Law Student’s Association), and Entertainment & Sports Legal Society. Attorney Smith is as well registered on the court appointed list. There are a variety of crimes that appear in the courts of the commonwealth state of Virginia; anything from DUI’s to violent crimes. The well policed state of Virginia, being one of the older states, still have older laws on the books and have laws that other states do not comprise. The punishment is sometimes enhanced within Virginia. Smith looks at the case’s facts and makes sure that the client receives solid advice and every deserving right under the constitution; representing in his clients’ best interests of defense. The attorney client privilege is highly honored by Attorney Smith. Clients that are putting their liberty in the hands of Attorney Smith are able to put full trust in him and his intentions and representation of their cases. Smith’s scholastic achievements, professional experience, reputation are great factoring points that assure to his clients that they have the best person to fight for them in the courtroom. That’s what people want! Attorney Smith has free consultation for all potential clients. The phone or in-person consultations are set by appointment. If you are in need for legal advice or representation please feel assured to contact the Norfolk office of Attorney Herman C. Smith III.


omeowners often worry about keeping their homes safe and secure for their families. And it’s no wonder: nearly 70 percent of home break-ins are in the form of kick-ins to a door, according to the U. S. Department of Justice. You have many easy and affordable options for ensuring a safer home, and ultimately, greater peace of mind. Here’s a home security checklist to get you started. Assess the perimeter. Walk around your yard at different times of the day to judge lighting and shadows. Think about how family members enter and exit the home from different doorways. Do you have sufficient exterior lighting to ensure that they can enter your home, can see and can be seen? Install better lighting near every entrance. Take a look at your landscaping from an intruder’s point of view. Plant some thorny or prickly shrubbery below the windows and next to entrances so there’s no place for someone to hide in waiting. Add an alarmed lock. Most alarm systems trigger after a door has already been opened. However, if you don’t have an alarm system, an alarmed lock is a great alternative, and will allow you to instantly hear what’s happening at your door. For example, Schlage, a leader in home security, offers a firstof-its-kind Keyed Entry With Built-In Alarm. It’s an alarmed lock with the added safeguard of a sensor alarm that lets you know when it is being tampered with. It has three alarm modes, which can be set to alert you to different types of activity at the door - when it’s been open and closed, when it’s been tampered with and when there’s been a forced entry. “An alarmed lock provides an added layer of security that many homeowners’ are looking for and can put their minds at ease,” says Chris DeSchamp, Schlage portfolio leader, electronic security. The battery-operated units, which can be seen at, costs around $99 and are easy to install and are available at select The Home Depot stores,,, and

Safeguard the windows. Make sure your windows are also set up for security. Install quality window locks that keep windows in a closed position, to avoid giving criminals an open invitation to enter. Manufacturers offer a variety of options to safeguard different types of windows including double-hung and casement windows. Enhance security of glass and wooden doors. Make sure all your sliding glass and patio doors have at least one of the following to prevent them from being opened: a track lock, a hinged door bar, an insertion pin lock or a metal or wood dowel inserted into the track that allows it to be opened only when you wish. It’s also a good idea to equip each wooden door with a wide-angle eye viewer so you can identify who may be at the door before opening it. Monitor home security while you’re away. With today’s technologies, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to monitor and control your home’s security even if you’re not home. For example, the Schlage LiNK System lets you use any computer connected to the Internet or Web-enabled cell phone to turn lights on and off, check the status of the door, grant entry into the home, open and close blinds, and many more functions. By making these easy steps to upgrade your home’s security, you’ll not only gain more protection for your family, but you’ll also gain the best security of all - total peace of mind. For more home security ideas, visit www.


ne of the secrets to enjoying life while aging is to take care of your heart. Heart health is important for Americans to discuss with their doctors, as heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the United States.

In addition to following a good diet and exercise program, taking an antioxidant supplement like coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is also a good practice to help maintain a healthy heart, according to Dr. Hemmi N. Bhagavan, director of the Department of Nutrition Science at Tishcon Corporation. CoQ10 is a vital vitamin-like nutrient and an antioxidant found naturally in the body. Unfortunately, our bodies start producing less CoQ10 as we age. The main job of CoQ10 is to facilitate conversion of food into energy. CoQ10 is recognized for the following: * Supporting heart and vascular health - The heart is one of the most important organs in the body, and therefore it’s a good idea to provide your heart with all the tools it needs, like CoQ10, to keep beating. * CoQ10 can help maintain blood pressure levels already in the normal range - High blood pressure affects many Americans due to diet, genetics and/ or lack of exercise, and can lead to heart disease or stroke. About one in three American’s suffer from high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Keeping your blood pressure at a lower level helps to keep your heartbeat strong. * Helps produce energy - CoQ10 helps your cells

burn food, producing energy. Having more of this nutrient in your body can help boost your energy. * Increasing antioxidants - Antioxidants fight off free radicals that can cause damage in your body * Benefitting statin drug users - Statins can interfere with the production of CoQ10, because CoQ10 is synthesized in the same way the body produces cholesterol. Twenty-two percent of Americans over the age of 45 take a statin drug, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2010. “A heart-healthy supplement is highlyrecommended for patients, especially patients who are taking statin drugs to help lower their cholesterol levels,” says Bhagavan. “A CoQ10 supplement like Qunol Ultra CoQ10 can help promote better heart health, and boost a patient’s energy levels at the same time. Qunol Ultra CoQ10 is both water and fat soluble, meaning its absorption is much higher (300 percent better) than traditional CoQ10 supplements that are solely fat soluble, providing the user with health benefits faster.” Visit to learn more about how a daily CoQ10 supplement can give you an energy boost while also protecting your heart health.




chievement through hard work is the American way, and few industries offer more opportunity for that kind of success than the restaurant business. Generations of Americans have reaped the financial rewards and personal satisfaction that come from serving others a good meal. In today’s high-competition workplace, the restaurant industry also remains one of the few in which people can literally start at the bottom and work their way to the top. More than one restaurant industry executive started his or her career as a busboy or waitress. “The restaurant industry is one of the most diverse in the country, employing more minority managers than any other industry,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “It’s also one of the most charitable. Many in the industry play an important role in improving the quality of life for others.” In recognition of the opportunities those in the industry create and their penchant for giving back to their communities, the association will present its prestigious 2012 Restaurant Industry Awards. The Restaurant Neighbor Award, sponsored by American Express, recognizes restaurants for outstanding community service. The Faces of Diversity Award, sponsored by PepsiCo Foodservice, celebrates the diversity of the industry and honors three individuals who have realized the American Dream. Now until Dec. 5, 2011, patrons and restaurants

can submit nominations for both awards by logging on to Four winners of the Restaurant Neighbor Award will each receive $5,000 to support their community efforts. Last year’s winners include a 52-restaurant coalition in Charleston, S.C., that addresses hunger in the community; a restaurateur who founded a camp for disadvantaged youth; and a chain of restaurants in western Pennsylvania and Ohio that has raised millions of dollars for a children’s hospital. Last year’s Diversity Award winners represent the diversity of the industry and the opportunity it presents for those willing to work hard. They include two sisters from Ethiopia who fled their war-torn country and eventually opened their own restaurant in New Jersey; an Hispanic native of Del Rio, Texas, who now owns the largest Hispanic McDonald’s franchise; and a Thai woman who immigrated to the United States with nothing and is now the executive chef of a restaurant in Delaware. The three diversity winners will have a ProStart scholarship for $2,500 presented in their names. To learn more or to submit a nomination (by Dec. 5), visit “With the holiday season upon us, it seems especially appropriate to celebrate both the opportunities we, as Americans, have to succeed, and those who not only seize those opportunities but who use their success to help others,” Sweeney says.


Seven: Alston  

May Seven 2012

Seven: Alston  

May Seven 2012