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Interview with Actor James Salsman

James Salsman is an actor whose star is steady rising. He’s an Army Veteran whose passion for acting took him beyond the front lines to Hollywood California. His vigor earned him a spot in front of the camera; his filmography consists of “Caliber,” “Givit Wednesday,” “Banana to Papaya,” and “Presence” to name a few.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with James about his acting career in addition to some of the obstacles he overcame in order to set his star ablaze.  Join me, as we take a glimpse into the life of actor James Salsman.

 

Renisha Marie: Who is James Salsman?

 

James Salsman: I am a person who has triumphed and overcame many road blocks in life. Someone who has pushed through while keeping a positive attitude which in turn has brought positive results.

 

Renisha Marie: What projects are you working on?

 

James Salsman: I currently have a lead role in a pilot being submitted to Hulu, Netflix, HBO and a few other big broad casting stations. I’m also the marketing Director for 1 Empire Production; a company whose strategy is to take over Los Angeles and revive 90’s Hip Hop while facilitating venues for A-listers in addition to disseminating our clothing Line, marketing our comedy skit show and producing block buster scripts.

Renisha Marie: What inspired your passion for acting?

 

James Salsman: I was bit by the acting bug when I was a child. However, growing up in Arkansas, I didn’t live in an area where I had access to mentors who could educate me on acting. It wasn’t until the Army stationed me in California that a friend invited me to be a back ground actor in a pilot; a military flash back scene. This filled a hole I had in my soul for years. I’m thankful for the time I invested in my military career, nevertheless, it wasn’t my passion.

 

Renisha Marie: You recently attended the Oscars, what was that experience like?

 

James Salsman: I’ve attended the Golden Globes two years in a row, the Emmy’s and a Red Carpet event for the Oscars. I have to tell you that seeing everyone earn an award  inspired me; I picture myself being up there.

 

Renisha Marie:  How do you manage a busy career and make time for your family?

 

James Salsman: Its not easy. It’s tough. I end up not having time and apologizing a lot while conveying to my family that everything will pay off in the end. Whenever I have time off I take my family out to dinner, a movie, or we’ll go to an amusement park.

 

 

Renisha Marie: What are some obstacles, if any, did you have to overcome along your acting journey?

 

James Salsman: When I first started acting I was still on active duty. Therefore, I put in the paperwork to come off active duty but was ridiculed and belittled by my Battalion Commander at the time. It was hard to find time to act while under contract with the Army.

Renisha Marie: What advice do you have for aspiring actors/actresses?

 

James Salsman: Start your acting resume and educate yourself on what agencies and talent managers to trust and use.

 

Follow James Salsman:

Twitter: @madmaxxx69

IG: james_w_salsman

LinkedIn: James Salsman

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Quick Takes: KENDRICK LAMAR/ARINZE STANLEY/FOUNTAIN THEATRE/CENTER THEATRE GROUP

Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group (CTG) announced its block party casting and lineup recently – Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre.  According to a write-up at Playbill.com, CTG will revisit: Coeurage Theatre Company’s production of Failure: A Love Story, Fountain Theatre’s production of Citizen: An American Lyric, and Echo Theater Company’s Dry Land. All will be staged at the Kirk Douglas Theatre from April 14–May 21.

From Playbill:

“As we celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50 years of creating theatre in Los Angeles, we want to turn the spotlight on some of the remarkable work being done on other stages,”

said Center Theatre Group’s artistic director, Michael Ritchie.

“Coeurage Theatre, Echo Theater and Fountain Theatre, as well as others throughout L.A., regularly produce excellent, boundary-pushing work and we’re so glad they are sharing some of that work with us.”

Playbill’s article continued:

Coeurage Theatre Company’s Failure: A Love Story by Philip Dawkins opens the celebration April 14–23. The piece is set in Chicago of the 1920s and focuses on the three Fail sisters. It’s a chronicle of their lives together and the man who fell in love with all of them. The cast features Joe Calarco, June Carryl, Cristina Gerla, Kristina Johnson, Margaret Katch, Denver Milord, Gregory Nabours, Theodore Perkins, Kurt Quinn, Brandon Ruiter, Nicole Shalhoub, Gina Torrecilla, and Brittney S. Wheeler.

The Fountain Theatre’s production of Citizen: An American Lyric (April 28–May 7) was adapted for the stage by Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs. The production, based on Claudia Rankine’s poetry, merges multiple art forms to meditate on the struggle against racism in America. The cast features Bernard K. Addison, Leith Burke, Tony Maggio, Simone Missick, Monnae Michaell, and Lisa Pescia. Directed by Shirley Jo Finney.

Echo Theater Company’s Dry Land by Ruby Spiegel is the last in the series of remounted shows, running May 14–21. Set in the locker room of a central Florida high school, it’s a hauntingly truthful portrait of hope, fear, abortion, and the strong bond between teenage girls. The cast features Daniel Hagen, Ben Horwitz, Connor Kelly-Eiding, Teagan Rose, Jenny Soo, Jacqueline Besson, and Alexandra Freeman, as well as USC School of Dramatic Arts students Francesca O’Hern, Bukola Ogunmola, Sidne Phillips, and Tessa Hope Slovis. Alana Dietze directs.

There are “pay what you can” performances for Failure, April 14; Citizen, April 28; and Dry Land, May 12.

For more information, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FOUNTAIN THEATRE!

A birthday message from writer/producer/director Stephen Sachs on April 1:

Deborah Lawlor and I founded the Fountain Theatre 27 years ago today. Launched on April Fools Day, the journey has been anything but foolish. For more than two decades, hundreds of artists have expertly and passionately performed their craft here and hundreds of thousands of patrons have shared in the magic of live intimate theatre. All of this happening in this cozy building on Fountain Avenue. My respect, admiration and gratitude to all the actors, designers, and production teams over the years who have made, and continue to make, the Fountain Theatre the success it is today, to our loyal audiences who travel with us on this glorious ride, our donors who make it possible, and our extraordinary Board of Directors who guide our way. And my love to our staff, most of us together for so many years, who work so hard, give so much, and care so deeply: Simon Levy, Scott Tuomey, James Bennett, Barbara Goodhill, Licia Jaccard, Lucy Pollak, Jose Lomeli, Marisela Hughes, Baltazar D. Gaytan, Nora King. Happy Birthday to this miracle on Fountain Avenue. Onward!

More theatre and Forever Flamenco at www.FountainTheatre.com.

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KENDRICK LAMAR:

The Compton rapper (or is he an MC?) released a video, ‘Humble,’ and a single, ‘The Heart Part 4,’ presumably from his upcoming album, last week.  Peeking from behind his cryptic Instagram message earlier – a simple, single Roman numeral IV – many believe it to be the lead-in for his anticipated fourth studio album. NPR’s Andrew Flanagan writes:

The song, less exploration of contrition on the part of Lamar than an instruction to his peers, picks up a thread NPR Music first examined following that album teaser: how the “best rapper alive” might explore the theme of God, religion and personal growth. (In the previous non-album single, “The Heart Part 4,” Lamar stuck to a similar narrative: “Tell ’em that God is comin’.”)Lamar opens with ‘Wicked or weakness, you got to see this.”And what do you say to God?

More from NPR Music on Kendrick Lamar:

http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2017/03/24/521359304/kendrick-lamar-fires-a-warning-shot-with-new-song-the-heart-part-4

http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2017/03/23/521244445/kendrick-lamar-releases-new-song-the-heart-part-4

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Arinze Stanley:

The Nigerian artist works with graphite and charcoal pencils on large sheets of cartridge paper, creating larger-than-life portraits. According to Colossal (www.ThisIsColossal.com) writer Christopher Jobson,

Stanley can devote up to 200 hours on a single illustration, painstakingly deliberating over minute details to capture reflections of light, droplets of sweat, or tangles of hair. Where some hyperrealistic artists lean towards idealized perfection, Stanley instead focuses on pure realism, infusing portraits with a raw sense of emotion and drama. The scale of each piece, always slightly larger than life, adds an uncanny three-dimensional aspect.

Stanley recently exhibited work at Omenka Gallery and you can see more of his works (and pieces in progress) on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Harinzeyart/). (via ARTNAU, juxtapoz)

Article at Colossal.com: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/03/arinze-stanley-hyperrealistic-portraits/

Video of work as it progresses:

https://www.facebook.com/Harinzeyart/videos/1578649285797051/

Written by: Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor

 

 

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The Realist fitness show you’ll watch this year! From the creative mind of MAX The Body PHILISAIRE

Finally! The Realist fitness show you’ll watch this year. There’s a new fitness sheriff in town famously known as Max The Body Philisaire. His passion for life and film stirred him to create the worlds most sizzling reality fitness sensation to hit the planet. A show designed for those who are mind, body and soul oriented. Even if you’re not into health and fitness, this show will make you want to get out there and move your physique!  The Realist is a reality program which provides fans with an up-close and personal look inside the life of one of the worlds most celebrated fitness expert.

 

Max The Body is a Hattian native whose passion for vitality runs deep; as far back to the age of ten-years-old when he was first introduced to fitness. Inspired by his older brother, at an early age Max knew fitness was his objective. Today, he’s sharing his passion with the world via The Realist, which is jammed packed with advice and tips on how to push through your work out limitations. The Realist takes you on a journey into Max The Body’s fitness regimen; viewers will receive a glimpse into the quality of company he elects to keep as he introduces his audience to fitness trainers, models, artist, entertainers and filmmakers positioned in Los Angeles, California while focusing on his day-to-day routine. Finally, The Realist fitness show you’ll watch this year! A show designed for YOU. Check out The Realist below.

Finally, The Realist fitness show you’ll watch this year! A show designed for YOU. Click To Tweet

THE REALIST | RUNYON CANYON IS LIFE | Max The Body Philisaire & Pierre Abena SE01, EP.03

THE REALIST | BRIT IN LA | MUSIC INDUSTRY | Max The Body Philisaire & Nisha Kelly SE01, EP.02

THE REALIST | THE ROOF IS ON FIRE | Max The Body Philisaire, SE01, EP.01 2017

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Quick Takes: GRACE JONES/ AMANDA SEALES/ CRISTELA ALONZO/ ROBERT SCHENKKAN/ IRIS SCOTT

AMANDA SEALES:

Photo Credit: Amanda Seales nywici dot org

Formerly known by her stage name Amanda Diva, the recording artist, actress, disc jockey and radio personality, has been promoted to a series regular in the breakout hit, Insecure, for season two. Seale appeared in several season one episodes as Tiffany in the HBO hit created by former YouTube phenomenon Issa Rae (Awkward Black Girl, remember?). Seales, along with her solo career, was also a touring member of the musical group Floetry. And we saw her name on the marquee last week in Hollywood at the Laugh Factory. Also a content creator, Deadline.com reports that her comedy competition show has been greenlighted for pilot presentations: http://deadline.com/2017/01/new-pilot-presentations-spring-premieres-announced-by-trutv-1201887098/

Get Your Life, episode 1:

CRISTELA ALONZO:

Photo Credit: Cristela Alonzo by Pinterest

The star rises for this popular comedian and has burst into the Netflix universe. After appearances all across the world of television, this is an expected stop along her path. Anyone who has experienced her show will agree. As with many comedians, she uses her life to inform her comedy. An example: I’m so excited to be here today because it means that I haven’t been deported. Yet.” And “First time (my mother) saw Girl Scouts, she thought they were border patrol agents … in training.” Yeah…funny, but SO serious.

From NPR: http://www.npr.org/2017/03/05/518212330/from-mom-jokes-to-trump-era-racism-cristela-alonzo-aims-to-skewer-latino-stereot?

ROBERT SCHENKKAN:

Photo Credit: Robert_schenkkan_rachel.zein Daily Texan

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter takes  on a current maelstrom in his  Building The Wall, a searing, topical play premiering at Hollywood, California’s multi-award winning Fountain Theatre. Directed by Michael Michetti and produced by the team of Simon Levy, Stephen Sachs, and Deborah Lawlor, the play pulls from the energy and emotions behind today’s headlines in addressing one of the most contentious topics on the political and social landscapes. The Fountain Theatre, always in front, is known for premiering probing, thoughtful art. This is no exception. It stars Bo Foxworth and Judith Moreland.

Director Michael Michetti on Building The Wall:

Actress Judith Moreland on Building The Wall:

Robert Schenkkan on Building The Wall:

From The Daily Texan:  http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2017/03/03/pulitzer-prize-winning-ut-alum-uses-writing-as-a-force-for-change

“MUST SEE! Local legend Fountain Theatre scores the official opening of this world premiere rollout written by a national legend: Pulitzer Prize–and Tony Award–winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All the Way).” – Time Out Los Angeles

Fountain Theatre Box Office contact & hours

(323) 663-1525

boxoffice@fountaintheatre.com

Monday-Wednesday 11 – 6pm

Thursday-Saturday 11 – 9pm

Sunday 11 – 5pm

or until showtime on

performance days.

www.FountainTheatre.com

GRACE JONES:

Photo Credit:Grace Jones by Pinterest

The smoldering documentary on model, singer, and actress – Diva – Grace Jones is slated to debut this year. Jones, a cultural icon in every field she entered, will have her journey presented in ‘The Musical of My Life,’ in production since 2005. Directed by Sophie Fiennes, the film creates a mixed-media presentation comprised of personal and live show footage. Grace Jones folded and ruptured the envelopes – categories – meant to contain her.  No dates or venues for the release are as yet available.

IRIS SCOTT:

Photo Credit: Sunshine Press

Finger painting extraordinaire https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1306796656077122/

Written by Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor

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Who is Savitar on “The Flash”?

The number one biggest villan on The Flash season 3 has been a blue glowing metal creature called, “Savitar.” When Savitar was first introduced, he was an illusion no one could see other than Barry. Now, we learn that this creature is a masked speedster, and everyone has been wondering who really is Savitar? Based on the previous villan revelations, their trusted mentor Harrison Wells was Reverse Flash, the peaceful and harmless newcomer Jay Garrick was Zoom, it’s safe to assume Savitar is someone really close to the team. Let’s look at the most popular theories:

EDDIE THAWNE THEORY

 

 

Some people believe the man behind the metal mask is Eddie Thawne, the man who sacrificed himself in Season 1 to save everyone. Hannah Shapiro from Bustle.com wrote that their belief in the theory was based on Rick Cosnett’s instagram picture of his reunion with Team Flash, and also a YouTube video by Dodo Goat, who said that Savitar’s reality in Flashpoint is being erased, forcing him to change everyone back to the Flashpoint timeline and Eddie has been the only one character who hasn’t been shown nor talked about during flashpoint and so he is the most obvious choice. However, there has been a lot of other characters who were not shown in flashpoint, including Ronnie Raymond and Leonard Snart. Also, if his viewpoint on Savitar’s intentions, to stop himself from being erased from the timeline, were true, the list of characters from the other timeline who would want to do that could be endless.

 

WALLY THEORY

 

Screenertv.com had another theory, and this one wasn’t any less crazier than the last one. They suggested that Wally could actually be Savitar. They pointed out that Savitar seemed like someone who is extremely jealous of Barry and that’s what Wally has been dealing with all season. They pointed out a part of Savitar’s speech to Barry in the recent episode, in which he said that he created his own powers.

 

Let’s look at that conversation closely:

When Savitar was conjured up to speak to the team, Joe asked him, “Man, what did we ever do to you?”

Savitar responded with, “You took everything from me! I never asked for any of this, Joe. I am only this way because of you. All of you.”

Barry asked him, “When do we meet?”

He answered, “Not long now. You’re there when I become who I am. “

“You’re saying I caused you to get your speed? I created you?”

“Oh no. I created myself, Barry. Only I could bring out my greatness.

 

Savitar claimed that he created himself, and that Barry would be there when he finally become who he is. Wally was the person who decided to touch the Philosopher’s Stone, giving himself speed, and Barry was there when he was thrown into the speed force. Could Wally be Savitar?

 

Collider.com wrote that Savitar wouldn’t be able to manipulate Wally and make him throw the Philosopher’s Stone into the speedforce if he didn’t know Wally’s love of fame and speed personally.

 

As it gets closer and closer to the revelation, more clues will be revealed. We do know the revelation of Savitar’s identity would affect Team Flash drastically, probably more than Harrison Wells did in Season 1.

To be a god you just have to make people believe you are –Savitar, The Flash Season 3 Click To Tweet

 

Stay tuned to The Flash Tuesday nights on the CW.

Written by: Curtis Han, RM Entertainment Contributor

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Quick Takes: LUPITA NYONG’O/ CHARLIE WILSON/ MATTHEW NOURIEL/ ZOOT SUIT/ CAMERATA PACIFICA

 

MATTHEW NOURIEL:

Photo Credit: Mi Westside Comedy Theater

Comedian Matthew Nouriel invites us all to a Persian New Year’s celebration on March 15. JQ International, in partnership with Cross Cultural Expressions, is hosting LA’s biggest LGBTQ Norooz Party at the swanky STK at the W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills!

All tickets include one FREE drink and feature delicious small bites, outdoor patio hookah bar, traditional Persian sweets, a night of “ghering” (dancing) with DJ David, and special guest appearances! Tickets are $30 now and will go up to $40 after pre-sale and at the door, so get them quick!

RSVP on Facebook, but purchase tickets at this link: www.JQInternational.org/Norooz2017

The organizers note: *While this is an LGBTQ party, allies and supporters of the community are not only welcome, but encouraged to be there! We are proud to create the most vibrant and inclusive spaces possible in all of our work!

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ZOOT SUIT:

Photo Credit: San Jose State University

Luis Valdez’s landmark play reaches forward from its first opening in 1978 to educate and entertain a new generation.  This play remains one of the most important shows ever created in Los Angeles. With its searing, candid portrayals of family, conflict, and official malfeasance, it is at the same time topical, trending, and timely. Presenting for the Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary, it has extended its run for the third time since its revival, this time to April 2, 2017.

Zoot Suit became Broadway’s first Chicano play and a major motion picture, which starred now household names as Edward James Olmos, who garnered a Tony Award nomination for best featured actor in a play and a Theatre World award nod.   The music of Lalo Guerrero dominates! Actor/musician Daniel Valdez (you may know him from Richard Pryor’s Which Way Is Up?) returns as music director.

The play is presented in association with El Teatro Campesino. If you don’t speak caló, here is a glossary: https://www.centertheatregroup.org/news-and-blogs/news/2017/january/a-zoot-suit-glossary/

Tickets and more information: https://www.centertheatregroup.org/tickets/mark-taper-forum/2017-18/zoot-suit/ and 213.972.7231.

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CHARLIE WILSON:

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Uncle Charlie lands in Southern California on March 8 at the Microsoft Theater, with fellow superstars Fantasia and Johnnie Gill. Wilson, an eleven-time Grammy nominee brings his In It To Win It Tour to the Southland to promote his new album, In It To Win It, featuring his single, I’m Blessed, which includes music guests Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, Robin Thicke, Wiz Khalifa, and TI.

For information on presale tickets, VIP packages or to purchase tickets visit charliewilsonmusic.com.

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CAMERATA PACIFICA:

Photo Credit: Camerata Pacifica by Santa Barbara Independent

BUY-CURIOUS?

Not so familiar with classical music but have always wanted to try it?

Not quite ready to shell out the $$$?

Never heard Camerata Pacifica before?

Join them for the first time and they will pay for your tickets.

Concerts in Pasadena, LA, Santa Barbara & Ventura, . Next shows March 14 – 19.

Simply “Like” them on Facebook, then email tickets@cameratapacifica.org and they promise to set you up.

MESSAGES LEFT ON FACEBOOK WILL NOT RECEIVE A RESPONSE — email tickets@cameratapacifica.org

More information at: http://cameratapacifica.org/  

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LUPITA NYONG’O: Lupita teaches us the African finger snap:

Written by Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor

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5 Quotes to Get You Through the Work Week (March 6-10)

Opportunities don’t happen, you create them. —Chris Grosser

Most people are waiting for their dreams to fall out of the sky and land into their lap. However, reality doesn’t work that way. It’s up to you to create what you want out of life and no one else. Stop waiting around and get out there and seize your opportunities because if you don’t, they’ll pass you by.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any—Alice Walker

With everything going on in todays society, there’s an illusion that you are powerless. Au contraire!  You are powerful beyond measure. You possess within you the ability to turn lead into gold. You are the only one capable of transforming your life. Everything begins with your thought process. Change the way you think and you’ll revolutionize your reality forever. The supremacy of the universe abides within you. Embrace your authority and walk into your divine destiny. The power lies within you. Dominance is your birthright and absolutely no one can take that away from you unless you relinquish it.

We become what we think about. –Earl Nightingale

Your thought process is responsible for the person you’ve developed into. If you don’t agree with your circumstance, then change the way you contemplate. Thoughts attract. So, instead of pondering on what you don’t want, begin focusing on what you do want. This is how you invite greatness into your soul because energy flows where your attention goes. If you desire an abundant life, then you must focus upon greatness on a daily basis.

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.– Pope John XXIII

There’s no need to have a conversation with your fears because the more you focus upon uncertainties the more you empower your fears. Slaughter your anxieties by concentrating on the limitless possibilities ahead of you. What you think about becomes your reality. Concern yourself with greatness and give attention to your dreams. Rather than converse with your trepidations, have a conversation with your destiny.

Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.– Jack Canfield

There’s definitely no need to concern yourself with your failures because like the wind, they come and they go as they download pebbles of divine knowledge within you. Embrace your flops but don’t dwell in them. Disappointment is not your home to reside in; it’s your teacher, learn from it. Be not dismayed, you are victorious. Without failure there could be no victory, they go hand in hand. When calamity knocks on your door get excited because triumph is right around the corner. Every situation you encounter is working together for your good. You just have to change your perspective. Stop worrying about your tribulations, they’re behind you. Concern yourself with what your reality will become if you never try. Life is short. Time is valuable, once it’s gone you can’t get it back. Its up to you to embrace every opportunity that comes your way and give life your grooviest shot. Your best IS good enough.

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Quick Takes: JAY-Z/SERENA WILLIAMS/WILLIE NELSON/RITCHIE VALENS/CAAMfest2017

JAY-Z:

Photo Credit:
thatgrapejuice.net

The Songwriters Hall of Fame recently announced its 2017 inductees and for the first time in the organization’s 38-year history, it includes the category of rap. It’s first inductee under the rap category? Jay-Z!

Jay Z will be joined by Swedish mega-songwriter Max Martin; Motown founder Berry Gordy (who wrote for superstar Jackie Wilson prior to forming Motown Records); Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds; Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis ; Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm, and James Pankow of Chicago. Songwriter Nile Rodgers, who was inducted last year, when asked what took so long for the Songwriters Hall of Fame to recognize rappers as songwriters, offered that “Jay Z was in a space where, even though he’s had more pop albums than anyone else, (it’s) because he did it through rap, which isn’t considered part of the normal pop music scene,” according to a report on National Public Radio’s web site.

 

Songwriters Hall of Fame co-chairs, the producer/songwriting team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, who were inducted previously, wrote that the organization is moving “definitively into recognizing music creators of the 21st century while continuing to honor the greats of earlier decades.”

Could Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls be next?

 

The induction ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, June 15, in New York.

CAAMfest2017:

The Center for Asian American Media announced that tickets are now available for its 35th annual media festival. The theme for this year’s festival is Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow. Celebrating Asian American film, music, and food, the event will be held in Oakland and San Francisco, California venues from March 4 (CAAMFeast) through March 19, and will feature special presentations, CAAMFeast (guess what that’s about), films (of course), events, narratives, documentaries, shorts, and a few other nice touches. “While every birthday is special, turning 35 is a proud moment for CAAMFest. This year, we celebrate 35 years of advancing Asian American media and evolving our platform for Asian and Asian American voices. As a special treat, join us as we revisit three powerful films from the CAAMFests of yesterday.” Those three films are: Who Killed Vincent Chin?; The Fall of the I-Hotel; Yellow (with actor John Cho twenty years ago). Tickets and venues: http://CAAMmedia.org. Other information: http://CAAMfest.com/2017/ . And on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CAAMFest

 

 

RITCHIE VALENS:

Photo Credit: Biography.com

Rock & Roll and Rockabilly icon Ritchie Valens, whose meteoric rise in the industry and sudden death was chronicled in the 1987 film, La Bamba, may have a section of California highway named in his honor. Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima, introduced a bill recently to rename a portion of California Interstate 5 after the legendary Los Angeles County resident.

 

Bocanegra’s bill introduced to the California State assembly calls for a section between the 170 and 118 freeways to be rebranded “The Ritchie Valens Memorial Highway.” “His music has inspired a generation of Chicano artists in our community and throughout the world. “Ritchie Valens is part of the cultural fabric of the 39th District and the northeast San Fernando Valley, ” Bocanegra said in a statement reported on public station KCET’s web site posted by the respected City News Service. “His music has inspired a generation of Chicano artists in our community and throughout the world. It’s only fitting to name a highway after a rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Famer who grew up right here in Pacoima.” Valens attended Pacoima High School; Pacoima is a suburb of Los Angeles.

 

Valens, who was born Richard Steven Valenzuela, died on Feb. 3, 1959, when just 17 years old, in a plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly (That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue) and J.P. `’The Big Bopper’ Richardson (Chantilly Lace). In 1994, the City of Los Angeles renamed a Pacoima park in Valens’ honor, the Ritchie Valens Recreation

Center. Valens is also honored on the city’s Wall of Murals.

SERENA WILLIAMS:

Photo Credit:The Times

Tennis superstar Serena Williams spread her wings in a new direction recently. Returning to Sports Illustrated magazine for its annual swimsuit edition, she broke new ground by posing in her first thong. And she wore it to great effect.

ENews quoted the newly engaged sports icon as saying, “I’ve never worn a thong bikini, so for that to be my first shot was like a shot of espresso for me because I had to wake up immediately,” she explained in a behind-the-scenes clip of her SI shoot. “The thong is perfect, it really made me feel comfortable. I’m officially a thong girl now!”

The sports phenomenon indicated that she preferred the one-piece swimsuits, but no one was disappointed with any of her poses. Treat yourself here: http://www.si.com/swimsuit/model/serena-williams/2017/photos#1 and here:  http://www.si.com/swimsuit/model/serena-williams/2017/videos/uncovered

 

WILLIE NELSON:

Photo Credit: New York Magazine

Watch Willie sing “Summertime” off the new album ‘Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin’

Pre-order the album here: http://smarturl.it/wn_smtme_amzn?iqid=fb.wn

Written by: Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor 

 

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5 Daily Quotes to Get You Through the Work Week (February 27-March 3)

Monday, February 27, 2017

 

You can fall, but you can rise also. – Angelique Kidjo

 

Just because you failed doesn’t mean your life is over. It’s up to you to get back up and keep going. You are going to fall; its inevitable and apart of life. The plunges in life are designed to build character and strength within you, pushing you towards greatness while teaching you how to rise out of the darkness. You can’t rise without a fall.

 

Remember when you were a baby learning to walk. You didn’t just begin walking all of a sudden. No, you scooted first, then you began to crawl. After that, you developed the courage to hold on to a stable object and pull yourself up. Of course, you fell frequently. Nevertheless, you got back up and once you became victorious at pulling yourself up with assistance; you dared to take your first step. And guess what? You fell numerous times but you continuously got back up. You kept falling and rising until you mastered walking.

 

Learning to walk was a tedious process you endured as an infant, nevertheless, you didn’t allow it to stop you and because of your perseverance, you can now run, jump and dance. All because you didn’t give up.

You must have the same courage you did when you were a baby, realizing that although you fall, you can always rise.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

 

It’s time for you to move, realizing that the thing you are seeking is also seeking you. – Iyanla Vanzant

 

There’s nothing to fear but fear itself. You have aspirations swirling deep within you causing you to seek greatness. However, you haven’t moved towards your goals because for some strange reason, you’re waiting for them to magically drop into your lap. It doesn’t work that way. You must take the first step and move toward your destiny because your destiny is also seeking you. On the other hand, destiny can’t find you if you’re not hanging out where she hangs. Where does destiny hang you ask? She hangs with faith. Faith is the bridge to get you to your desires. But, in order to get to faith, you must make the first move towards greatness. And, as you move greatness commences to move closer to you with every step you take. To sum it up in the words of the poet Ludacris, when you move greatness moves, just like that!

 

Its comforting to know that the prominence you seek, is also seeking you. Now get out there and get moving. Your fortune is waiting.

when you move greatness moves, just like that! Click To Tweet

 

WEDNESDAY. March 1, 2017

 

In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change — breaking down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place. — Susan L. Taylor

 

Crisis are not bad. Although they feel damn uncomfortable and that’s only because difficulty encourages transformation. The disturbing sensation you experience in a crisis is a feeling of uncertainty because this is your first time arriving at this sector in your life and you’re unsure of what lies ahead.  The quandary occurred because of your desire. Anytime you have a request, the Universe responds with, “Your wish is my command.” Then, things begin to shake up in your life to make way for the newness.

 

When crisis rears its head in your life. Don’t panic. Rest assured. Knowing, the change you seek is headed your way, full speed ahead. Your only job in a crisis is to breath and let go of the old; knowing the situation is working together for your good. Take lots of notes and learn from the circumstance knowing you’re being prepared for the greatness that awaits you on your next level in life.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

 

As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might. — Marian Anderson.

 

When you speak ill of the next man your wasting your energy because while you’re holding that man down your actually holding yourself back. The time you spend gossiping about the next person is the time you should be using to build your empire, your legacy. That’s the time you should be using to work on your aspirations. But instead, your wasting your time by focusing on what the next man is doing. Then as time passes you by, you look back and wonder why you failed to accomplish anything. The answer is because you were too busy planting weeds in another person’s garden that you neglected to water your own garden; now, nothing grows there, it’s filled with thorns and thistles jam-packed with could of, should have, and would haves. If you want to become successful in life, you have to stop holding the next man down. Remember, what you do to others, you’re actually doing to yourself. Stop worrying about what other folks are doing. Focus on your destiny and SOAR!

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Friday, March 3, 2017

 

I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change… I’m changing the things I cannot accept. –Angela Davis

 

You don’t have to sit back and accept your circumstance. Situations are destined to change and its up to you to make that adjustment. You posses the power to alter your position. You’re a magical being. Gods DNA abides within you. You are powerful enough to rise up in all authority and command greatness. Thoughts create things; transform your thoughts to modify your life. Today!

Thoughts create things; transform your thoughts to modify your life. Click To Tweet
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Exclusive Interview with Fountain Theatre’s Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director, Stephen Sachs

Stephen Sachs is co-founder and co-artistic director of the Fountain Theatre, and a director, screenwriter, and playwright of considerable note.  I recently caught Stephen’s thought-provoking, profound and riveting  play, My Name Is Asher Lev, taken from Chaim Potok’s 1972 novel of the same  name, adapted for the stage by Aaron Posner.

The play is  set in the 1950s, in the Brooklyn home of a Hasidic Jewish family, where a  six-year-old boy named Asher Lev discovers an amazing gift bubbling within him. At a young age, the precocious Asher developed within him a strong fixation for art along with a focused, relentless, and positive can-do attitude. Asher’s gift sends him on an amazing expedition of self-discovery and self-worth.  The journey puts him at odds with his family’s expectations and religion, all for the sake of his passion for art.

‘My Name Is Asher Lev’ is a moving, challenging and thought-provoking play that crosses the lines of organized religion, ethnicity, and color, presenting for examination, on a universal level, readily identifiable social – human – conflicts.  Follow me as we journey though the world of Director and Playwright Stephen Sachs.

 

Renisha  Marie: Who is Stephen Sachs?

Stephen  Sachs: I am the Co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles,  which I co-founded with Deborah Lawlor in 1990. I am a theatre director and playwright. I’ve been creating theatre in Los Angeles for thirty years.

Renisha Marie: Were there any personal parallels that brought you to the  story?

Stephen  Sachs: My parents were always very  supportive of me wanting to be a theatre  artist, so I never faced the intense  parental conflicts that Asher battles in  the play. For me personally, the closest parallel to Asher’s need to be an artist lies with my 18-year-old son, Daniel. He’s an artist. Like Asher, he’s  been drawing since he was a little  boy and it’s very clear that art is the path he is meant to follow. Daniel reminds me of Asher in that he, too, has a gift and is passionate and determined to become who he is meant to be.  I wanted to do this play for my son.

Renisha  Marie: What mindset did you have to possess in order to come out winning over your adversities?

Stephen  Sachs:  Whether guiding the Fountain Theatre for twenty-four years or simply surviving as an artist, the mindset that has served me best is when I trust my own artistic instincts and follow my heart. The more one does that, the more you develop an inner voice that speaks the truth to you and the more you learn to listen to it.The times when I’ve gotten myself into artistic trouble are the times when I refused to  listen to what that inner voice was whispering.

Renisha  Marie: What qualities were you probing for during casting?

Stephen  Sachs: The play requires three exceptionally talented actors who must possess a  very unique set of acting skills. Two of the actors play a variety of roles and  must change character quickly, so you need actors with the technical skill to do  that and who also possess the professional craft to be specific with each character and also have a deep emotional well that is truthful and honest. The actor playing Asher has the challenge of serving both as narrator and participant in the story. He must lead us on this journey and hold our attention, all the while being engaging and charming while wrestling with these very deep, profoundly personal struggles over family and self-identity. We must care about him deeply and want him to find his true way.

I’m blessed to have Jason, Joel and Anna– three gifted actors who worked very hard and are utterly dedicated to serving the play at the highest level possible.

Renisha Marie: What individual qualities did you see in Jason Karasev, Anna Khaja, and  Joel Polis that made them stand out above the rest?

Stephen Sachs: I prefer working with actors I already know and trust. Jason was new to me; I had never seen him before. But, when Jason auditioned, there was no question in my mind that he was my Asher. He naturally had everything I was looking for: the right look, the intelligence, humor, charm, the ability to hold the stage as a storyteller, and the complexity and emotional depth as an actor Anna and Joel are both actors I’ve known and respected for years, although this is the first project we’ve actually worked on together. Anna has a remarkable authenticity as an actress; her river runs deep. Joel has tremendous versatility and a fierce dedication mixed with a delicious sense of humor. Together, the three of them blend marvelously and have developed into an extraordinary, seamless ensemble.


Renisha Marie: What do you love about your  work?

Stephen  Sachs: What I love most about theatre is when I see how the work we create changes lives. The moments of artistic expression that have given me the most satisfaction are the ones when I see audiences profoundly moved — and somehow changed — by what we’ve just experienced together. It’s hard to pinpoint but you know it, you feel it, when it happens.

A connection happens between the actors on stage and the people in the audience, and between audience members themselves, when we all share in this deeply human experience and are somehow lifted and exalted by it. Moments like that make everything else worthwhile.

If you have a passion of any kind, then ‘My Name Is Asher Lev’ is the play for

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Stephen Sachs Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Sachs

Fountain Theatre Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/TheFountainTheatre

Fountain Theatre website: https://www.fountaintheatre.com/

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