Month: July 2014

An Interview With Model Dominique Monroe




Dominique Monroe is a model and aspiring actress, here is a link to her website:



Q: What made you interested in modeling?

A: From the age of 3 I knew that’s what I wanted to do. It was always natural for me.

Q: How did you get your first modeling job?

A: I was 12 and there where a few clothing stores lookin for models for there spring and fall fashion shows so when I heard about it I went and got it on spot!

Q: What kind of acting training have you had?

A: for modeling I trained myself always watching shows on TV and lookin at models in magazines. For acting I’ve taken classes at a college and around the neighborhood.

Q: Who are some of your favorite designers?

A: I love Micheal Kors and boutique style clothing both because they are affordable and I can make anything look expensive!

Q: What kind of day job (or income source) do you have and how does it affect your ability to get modeling jobs?

A: Right now I work from home, I have an online boutique. I also work people almost as an accountant so they know how and where their money goes. I also do freelance hair and make up to generate money. I have my license in cosmetology and aesthetics so I do things pertaining to them. Not to mention I also manage my 3 children who also are in this business. Its hard having a regular 9-5 job in this business you miss out on auditions and casting calls so I let that world go back in 2012.

Q: What is your strangest back stage story?

A: I pay attention to everything even if you think I’m not I do.. All I will say is sometimes it sucks being pretty in this business your talent gets overlook at times.

Q: What has the biggest professional challenge you have had to overcome? After having my children still having the courage and confidence to chase my dreams. Also being able to afford everything thats needed to succeed in this business.

Q: What do you like about the modeling industry?

A: I love all the different type of modeling  is out there as far as print, promitional, runway etc…

Q: What would you change about it?

A: Height and weights standards for most modeling, I’m skinny but not a stick figure.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: What’s next for me is booking more acting gigs and trying to land a supporting or lead role on a TV series!



Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)





An Interview With Armenian Rapper Narek Sedrakyan




Narek Sedrakyan is an Armenian rapper here is a link to his YouTube page:



Q: What made you want to be a hip hop artist?


A: I do not consider myself an artist, I just love to write. I made ​​rap, hip-hop my mental anxiety, and what I noticed a lot, seen, and probably I always saw this on another; world.

Q: What kind of educational background do you have?
A: I graduated from Pedagogical University, English Department. the name of our great writer Hovh. Tumanyan. In school, when I learned English well I owned it, but sechyas many years have passed, and already when few are using a lot of scoring, by the way because of what I am sorry for my mistakes.
Q:  Who are some of your musical influences?

A: My influences are Bob Marley, Eminem, they both affected me very much. I love Bob, he’s a legend, his music, it is magic. In life he wanted to change the world, it is in my work out. He was an advocate of peace and love, against the war and wore, he extended Rastafarian and love.
When I first heard Eminem, I did not even know who he is, but his voice and style as he rapped, I was, I was excited. “May I have your attention please?, May I have your attention please?, Will the real Slim Shady please stand up? “. Then I found out his name and started listening to his songs. The truth, I did not realize at all what he reads but his voice and style that is why me and it seemed for a moment that I do very well understand his songs. He is a great rapper and a living legend.

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your work?

A: In truth, I do not work anywhere else, I have enough time to compose.

Q: What is the main difference between Armenian and American hip hop?
A: Armenian rapeseed where she was born in 2004, but the last 2-3 years the number of rappers skyrocketed. I’m not saying it’s bad but we do not have industry, but not only rappers and singers from other genres do not release albums, even the most famous among us. Too many pirated discs sold very cheap, but it is not profitable to not label the artist does not produce CD. Too many “rappers” make themselves gangsters Amount their songs, but they do not know what it tokoe they just listened American rap and want to do the same, but of course there are very talented guys who make good rap. The American rapper turnips can say whatever. no satisfaction from the governments to take up his mom or girlfriend, and can be very tougher to deal with them in songs. such as Eminem, etc. 2Pats . we have no real diss, who does not diss other frames. and much more..

Q: What are some things you like to sing about?

A: I do not know how to answer this question. I do not have a lot of time working on new songs, many probably already accumulated in me, for example about the world, so there was no war, that people lived in tranquility.
Q: What is your biggest challenge in promoting your music?

A: Perhaps the fact that there is not much industry, and of course the lack of money. This problem has many. And I’m almost not making music, but I still write a lot)

Q: What do you like about the music industry?

A: I honestly do not know how to answer this question, I just like music …
Q: What would you change about it?

A: I do not know, probably to draw a lot of attention to the human talent and not taken for money people without talented … we have this very often.
Q:  What is your theme song?

A: Sorry I do not really understand that last question!


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Actress Rashia Whitlock





Rashia Whitlock is an actress who appeared in the films Last Night at Dinner, the television show Star-Crossed and the film Django Unchained; here is a link to her IMDB page:


Q: What made you want to be an actress?


A: Every since i was a kid i always wanted to do what i wanted to do.



A: Anything i set out to do i put my all into it, and i believed thats what made me want to be an actress.

Its something that challenges me, its my passion, it allows me to be creative, and its really something that i can put my all into and at the end of the day be proud of myself.


Q: What is Last Night at Dinner about?



A: Its about a group of couples who have a dinner party, and their are many issues that are brought up not only about each couple, but about each person at the party


Q: What role do you play?



A: I play the role of Felecia. Shes a top executive at a firm, whos married to a guy whos kind of in between careers. Her character is very fiesty, but loving at the same time.


Q: Who are some of your acting influences?



A: My role model and major influence in the acting field is Diahann Carroll. I cherish, respect, and look up to her so much because i very first met her i realized shes more than just an actress….she is the example of a talents, successful, and classy woman which what we should all strive to be as women. The poise, and class that she carries about herself is amazing and such a huge influence and example in my life.


Q: What role did you play in Django Unchained?



A: In Django i played a pony girl.


Q: What is your oddest on set story?



A: Last summer when i filmed Project Almanac its not really an odd story, but we filmed this at an actual highshool and it brought back so many memories, of some of the best and fun times of my life which occured during my highschool years. Everyday when i would report to set so early in the am it made me feel like i was going to highschool all over again!..So much fun



Q: What role did you play on Star-Crossed?


A: On Star-Crossed i played a featured role of the Buton Captain of the highschool twirl team.


Q: What did you do to prepare for the role?



A: Actually when i auditioned for this role, she was originally a cheerleader. Well then casting reached back out to me and told me i got the role, but she was changed to a buton twirler. I immediately freaked out, because i had never done this a day in my life, but im never one to back down from a challenge so i accepted it. When i arrived on set for the first day i was given a buton and we went over a few moves, and i picked up on it quickly. So much fun!


Q: What film role could you have nailed?



A: I dont really have one in mind, i put my all into any film role i receive, or audition for. No matter how big or small the project is. My dream role however, would be to play someone in their biopic. The faith that i have in God is so strong im sure its on the list of things he has set out for me to do!


Q: What would you change about Hollywood?


A: Honestly i wouldnt change anything about Hollywood. I think that is where many people in my opinion about Hollywood or just this career in general…they go into it trying to CHANGE it, their self, or the way something is. I just say BE YOU, and the rest will fall in place.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Synesthesia Expert Maureen Seaberg



Maureen Seaberg is a Synesthesia Expert who writes the Tasting the Universe Blog at Psychology Today; here is a link to her blog:



Q: What is Synesthesia?


A: Synesthesia is when one sensory stimulus results in a normal sensory response “plus one”. For example, if I look at the word Wednesday, I know it is the fourth day of the week, but I also see the color indigo.


Q: What research has been done about it?


A: Since the mid-1970s, synesthesia research has grown enormously. It is now a very popular topic of inquiry.



Q: What causes it?

A: It is normally genetic and inherited, but sometimes it can result from injury or disease.

Q: What made you interested in writing about it?


A: As it was a book (THE MAN WHO TASTED SHAPES by Dr. Richard Cytowic) that helped me know about synesthesia for the first time, I hoped to pay it forward and help raise more awareness of this interesting trait. Now I’ve written two books on the subject and blog on it for Psychology Today.



Q: How can it help an artist?


A: Synesthesia is directly tied to creativity, of utmost importance to an artist. I believe it also gives us an affinity and fluency in color, and depending on the medium, that could be very useful.



 Q: How can it hinder an artist?


A: I don’t believe it can hinder an artist; on the contrary it is a very helpful skill.


 Q: You were a stringer for the New York TImes; what kind of stories did you write about?


A: I mostly covered breaking news, usually crime, for the Metro desk.

Q: What was your most memorable New York story?



A: There have been so many. They’re like children — you love them equally, but in different ways. I suppose the next thing I’m working on is always central to me, so I would say at the moment it’s the story of my ancestor, Ellen Walsh/Ida Mayfield Wood, who was the antebellum Holly Golightly and a fascinating eccentric. She made up a new identity for herself (imagine this in the mid-19th century for a woman…), lived a fabulous life at the center of society in New York City from just prior to the Civil War through The Great Depression and is the topic of my next book. The working title is THE RUSE and it’s like Edith Wharton and Truman Capote had a baby.


I also hope to write a book about tetrachromacy which is a favorite new topic for me. I was just diagnosed with the DNA for an extra cone for color in my eyes. I see 100 million colors as opposed to the “normal” 1 million. Tetrachromats are always women.



Q:  What is the biggest difference between blogging and journalism?


A: I think the rules are the same, particularly regarding ethics. Blogging is more about brevity and immediacy than traditional print journalism, though.



Q: What kind of educational background do you have?


A: I have a bachelor of arts in journalism from Penn State University and a minor in Spanish. I also received a certificate in superior-level language studies from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where I studied abroad. I also won a scholarship to the inaugural Norman Mailer Writers Colony in 2009.






Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Swedish Country Singer Hicks





Hicks is a Country Music singer who hails from Sweden, here is a link to his website:


Q: What made you interested in country music?


A: I grew up listening to Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves and Hank. My Grandpa and Ma were big country music fans. I didn’t know it was country music I listened to. To me it was just great music. When you’re a kid you don’t care so much about what genre it is, as long as you like it.

When I got up in my teens it was a lot of rock, I played in different rock bands, but them country songs were always there.

Then Garth Brooks came in the nineties and BAMM I was so hooked. I mean I love the old stuff, but what Garth did was something else… And I guess that’s one of the reasons I sound the way I do.


Q: Is country music big in Sweden?


A: Not that much. It’s starting to grow. I’m doing what I can ;o)

TV shows like Nashville and Heart Of Dixie sure helps to put country music on the map over here.


Q: What distinguishes you as an artist?


A: Energy… Energy… Energy… Having a good time. Forget your troubles for a while and cut loose.

Me and my band are a real power house live. There’s so much energy coming off from the stage that you can’t sit still. And the songs are the same. There’s lots of energy in the songs. I want people to dance, sing along and party…


Q: Who are some of your country music influences?


A: Like I said before Johnny, Jim and Hank were my first heroes. And that off course have inspired me. But I think Garth made a bigger impact on me with his larger than life shows. Brooks And Dunn, I have all their albums and both Ronnies solo albums. It bummed me out when they split.

Eric Church, love his latest album The Outsiders.


Q: What inspired you to write “Unreachable Dream”?


A: I wanted to write something that is very close to my heart. Never give up on your dreams. No Matter What!

I’ve been told that I’m too old, to this, to that… don’t write country music it will never work… and so on… But I never listened to that. I kept walking my own way and reached for the Unreachable Dream.

I want my life to be an inspiration both for me and others. And I guess my message is Anything Is Possible.


Q: What is your oddest backstage story?


A: Well if it’s that odd I don’t know… But to me it was very funny…

We played a big festival (won’t reveal which one) and I wasn’t the headline but played just before the headline. That band had never heard of Hicks or what happens at a Hicks show… They were a little cocky backstage and kinda talked down to us. Just before we went on stage they told me “Go out there and warm up the audience for us” “Sure” I said… and we did… and then some… We did our show to the fullest. As usual the crowd went crazy and so did we. We played so many encores that we ran out of songs…

When we came back stage the singer in the headline band was furious. Started yelling at me… “What are we supposed to now” “We can’t top that”

I just told him that “You wanted me to warm them up, they’re warm now”…


Q: What was your greatest triumph as a songwriter?


A: I’ve had a few… My first cut with another artist was a country song. It was certified Gold and the band got a Grammy for best album. That was just way beyond my wildest dream. What a great start as a songwriter.

The Jimi Jamison album “Never To Late” I co-wrote the whole album with Erik Martensson who produced the album. I’m so proud of that album and Jimis singing is out of this world. I’m a Survivor fan and get to work with one of my heroes is just mind blowing.

An other big thing for me was to write for W.E.T featuring Jeff Scott Soto (Journey, Talisman) they have released two albums W.E.T and Rise Up. both albums won Album Of The Year at melodicrock .com. Amazing.

Little River Band recorded my song “Cuts Like A Diamond” and they named the whole album after that song. That’s HUGE…


Q: What sort of themes to you like to explore in your writing?


A: As mentioned before inspiring songs like Unreachable Dream about following your inner calling what ever that is.

Party songs like Hayride… hanging out with your friends and having a good time.

But I also enjoy writing about things that really matter like family (Mamas Kitchen), faith and being real… about exploring your self (The Steps)

And off course drinking songs (Bad Call After All)


Q: What do you like about going on tour?


A: Meeting the fans… That is just amazing.

And that feeling when you know that you have put a great show together and it’s time to go out and show the world what you’re about. Love that…

The interaction between the band and the crowd. I love to throw a party and invite everybody in the audience to be a huge part of it.

I love almost everything about being on the road. I guess there must be some gypsy blood flowing in me hahaha…


Q: What classic country song sums up your live?


A: I don’t know if you can call it a classic country song (yet) but Tim McGraws “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” It’s got me written all over it.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)


An Interview With Psychology in Seattle Host Kirk Honda




Kirk Honda is a psychologist and the host of the podcast Psychology in Seattle; here is a link to his website:


Q:  What made you interested in psychology?

A: Psychology involves many things I enjoy: philosophy, history, culture, politics, meaning, biology, etc.  But mostly, I just enjoy helping others.


Q:  What is your therapeutic approach?

A: In my approach to therapy, rather than adhering to one specific school of thought, I utilize an integrative approach that carefully and thoughtfully selects from several useful models:

Relational psychodynamic theory and attachment theory states that people are affected by their early attachment figures.

Experiential therapies involve helping individuals and families emote more freely and healthily.

Humanistic psychology focuses on the good in people and their growth potential.

Systems theory states that individuals are a part of an interconnected whole.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a practical approach to helping in which the therapist helps the client find solutions by changing the way the client thinks and behaves.

Feminist theory that questions our cultural understandings and advocates for fairness.


Q:  How did your radio show come to be?

A: In 2008, I was listening to a lot of podcasts (e.g., This American Life), and I thought maybe I could provide something that wasn’t being offered at the time: an informative AND entertaining podcast on the topic of psychology.


Q:  Is the psychological make-up of the average Pacific North Westerner different than that of other American’s?

A: There have been many studies on the topic of personality by U.S. region.  When groups of people are studied, there appear to be some differences between groups of people by region.  However, many of the current claims in the media are dubious and not supported by evidence.  For example, it is common wisdom that people in Seattle are cold and distant — called the “Seattle Freeze.”  However, research has yet to convincingly support this claim.  Furthermore, anecdotally, reports vary from “Seattleites are the coldest people ever” to “Seattleites are the friendliest people ever.”  So, at this point, it is difficult to determine if there are indeed personality differences and what they are.  In my opinion, as a Seattleite myself, people are just as warm and friendly as anyone else, however, they might communicate it differently that others.

Q:  How do you go about procuring guests?

A: Some people ask to be on the podcast, and I also reach out to people.  As a professor and clinician, I run into a lot of interesting people.


Q:  What was the most controversial thing you have ever done a show about?

Strangely, my podcast on Milton Erickson has produced the most controversy; some people love it and some people hate it.  Other controversial topics have been Elliot Rodger, Sexual Objectification, and Spanking Fetish, among others.


Q:  You’ve done a couple of shows about Elliot Rodger, what made you interested in that particular case?

A: At first, I thought Elliot Rodger was just another spree killer, but when I started looking into it, I found the story to be fascinating.  I also found our reaction, as a society, to be worth discussing.  There are wide-ranging implications regarding feminism, materialism, elitism, racism, mental health, gun laws, police procedure, internet forums, etc.


Q:  What do you think the mainstream media has missed about the case?

A: Since so much has been written and said, there does not appear to be anything missed by the media.  However, in my opinion, the gun law debate tragically overshadowed the discussion regarding our mental health system, e.g., allocation of public funds for more psychiatric beds and a lower threshold for psychiatric holds.


Q:  Do you think his killing spree could have been prevented?

A: It is difficult to predict what would have happened if things were different.  However, I believe we can prevent some spree killings if we had a lower threshold for psychiatric holds and a greater number of psychiatric beds available.  There is strong evidence that this small measure would reduce the rate of these events.


Q:  I certainly do not advocate censorship in any form, I am no psychology expert and have no idea how this could have been prevented. However, I did read the manifesto and couldn’t help coming up with my own armchair analysis of one aspect of the whole thing. Elliot Rodger writes that his dad Peter Rodger gave him the book The Secret to read. The Secret would suggest that people can attract material wealth and success to themselves just by wanting it badly enough and asking the universe for it. I don’t think that Peter was demonstrating the greatest parenting skills in the world by giving this book to a child who already had delusions of grandeur; what do you think?

A: Determining causality of behavior is next to impossible, so it’s impossible to tell if the book was an influence or not.  But it is a question worth pondering for the sake of learning from this event.  However, in my opinion, given all the factors that contributed to the development of his personality, if the book was an influence, it was probably slight at most.  But again, there is no way to test this hypothesis.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Filmmaker Charles Sporns




Charles Sporns is an aspiring filmmaker, here is a link to his website:


Q: What made you interested in filmmaking?



A: I know that as soon as my parents started telling me bedtime stories, I started telling them some as well. As a kid I would make up stories about everything from kindergarten drawings to my mom’s set of keys. It wasn’t long after that that films became fascinating for me. I remember wanting to do everything I saw on screen, but better. I would watch films and re-imagine them as if I’d made them. You could say that I approached films the same way I approached bedtime stories: by re-telling them differently.


Q: What kind of training do you have?



A: As far as diplomas go, I have a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Filmmaking and a Diploma of Digital Photographic Imaging. Before settling in visual arts I studied music, social science, and computer science, but I didn’t get any degrees in those.


Q:  What inspires you to write?



 A: I don’t think I can narrow down any one thing that inspires me to write as far as subject matter. The easy answer should be “my personal life experience”, but that’s pretty vague. When I look back at my last two films though, they’ve both dealt with women who are looking for some form of affection, so I guess that’s been my inspiration lately.


Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your filmmaking?


A:   My day job is basically freelance filmmaking in one form or another. People rarely pay me to write or direct, so I make due by writing musical scores, editing, shooting music videos, and doing various set jobs. Doing that definitely helps my filmmaking through exposure and experience, but it also takes away from the time I can devote to my own projects. It can be hard to turn down a paying gig, but sometimes I feel I have to. I’m scared of sacrificing my own projects.

Q:  Who are some of your filmmaking influences?



A: My early directing influences were Tim Burton (“Beetlejuice”, “Batman”) and Steven Spielberg (“Indiana Jones”, “Jurassic Park”). I was crazy about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Carrey films as a kid and I’ve been very influenced by popular comedy cartoons like “The Simpsons” and “South Park”. More recently I’ve been influenced by Asian filmmakers such as Park Chan-wook, Zhang Yimou, and Wong Kar Wai aswell as the likes of François Truffaut, Sergio Leone, and Woody Allen.


Q:  What famous actor would you like to direct and why?



A:  I’d say Joaquin Phoenix. He strikes me as someone who really embraces the vulnerability of his characters and who knows how to work with subtlety. I like actors with complex personalities; they’re more interesting to watch. I think Joaquin Phoenix’s complexity  makes his performances very layered and truthful. He’s hard to predict and I love that.


Q:  What is “Banzai War Machine” about?



A: “Banzai War Machine” is a feature film script I’m writing about gun culture and art. It’s an action/adventure film set in post-apocalyptic Japan in which a love-struck art dealer finds himself in the middle of a fight for gun powder. Think a blend of “Star Wars” and Hayao Miyazaki films. The development of the film will be on hiatus until I’ve completed my upcoming feature film, “Serenities”, which is a more feasible, lower-budget project to be shot in China in 2015.


Q: What do you like about the film industry?



A: It allows us to make a living out of telling stories and it enriches our culture through the sharing of ideas and life experiences. I like to think it does, at least.



Q:  What would you change about it?



A: I’d put creative people in charge of the money and ban superhero movies for a while.


Q:. What is your oddest LA story?

A: Sleeping in an open stranger’s garage in Beverly Hills. It didn’t seem like such a good idea when I woke up the next day.


Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)