Tag: eliza gale playwright

An Interview With Clinical Counselor Charlene Pyskoty

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Charlene Pyskoty is a licensed professional clinical counselor in Albuquerque, New Mexico; here is a link to her website:

https://charlenelpcc.wordpress.com/

 

Q: What made you interested in becoming a therapist?

A: My dad was a Chicago cop. He was a bad-ass dude, and also one of the most spiritual people I’ve ever known. He taught me how to meditate when I was 5 years old. He was very interested in psychology, and we would talk about psychology, spirituality, and philosophy. I became interested in the human condition at an early age. I think my father wanted to teach me as much as he could, as fast as he could. He died suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 14 years old.

My life took a few twists and turns – I earned a Master’s degree in Sociology and then one in Public Health before I got my Counseling degree – but I always knew that I would become a therapist.

Along the way, I had careers in research (both academic and market research); writing and editing; and working in marketing and advertising. With a passion (and skill set) for exploration, data gathering, hypothesis testing, a love for the English language, and a passion for helping people succeed in ways that make them more of who they are meant to be, becoming a therapist was the perfect career choice.

There is a saying that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I feel that way about my life and my career – truly blessed. I love the time I spend with my clients (it’s the paperwork and dealing with insurance companies that is the “work” part of my job).

Q: What are some of the requirements of obtaining an LPCC?

A: To become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, I first earned a Bachelor’s degree (Psychology) and then a Master’s degree in Counseling from an accredited Counselor Education program. This is basically a two-year, full-time program which includes one year of an (unpaid) internship. I did my internship at a community mental health agency in Chicago, which was a great experience! I then had to pass the first national exam to receive my first level of licensure.

To obtain my second (and final) level of licensure – which allows me to practice independently – I had to work under supervision for two more years and then pass the National Mental Health Counselor Examination which is administered by the National Board of Certified Counselors.

I keep my license current by taking 40 credit hours of continuing education every two years. Of course, each step in the licensing process requires paying fees.

In addition to the Master’s in Counseling program, I went on to earn a certification in Jungian Psychotherapy (through a two-year clinical training program) at the C.G. Jung Institute in Chicago.

Q: What is your therapeutic process?

A: Let me start out by saying that it seems like the most important things I’ve learned about doing therapy, I learned from working with my horses.

My therapeutic process is to get to know my client and then develop a “treatment plan,” in which the client and I work together to articulate the problems, goals, and the strengths and resources of the client to help reach those goals. Then we use whatever comes up as material to work toward the goals.

While I am good at deeply listening to what a person is trying to communicate, I am also a talker. I don’t just nod my head and say, “Uh-huh,” and “Time’s up.” Because of my research background, I am always exploring with the client and asking questions. I also use humor in my sessions, which one of my clients pointed out as “knowing laughter” – finding the lightness in our shared human condition.

My overall philosophy of working with people is also how I work with horses. I had fostered a little mare from the local horse rescue. Because of some past trauma she had suffered, which left her with an injured ankle, she was a tough case; no one could get near her. My intention was to socialize her and make her people-friendly enough to be a good adoption prospect.

I worked with her very slowly and gently, and she responded by becoming trusting of people. One day I asked a cowboy friend of mine what he thought really made the difference for her. He summed it up in a way that just brought tears to my eyes. He said, “You never saw her as a problem to be fixed. You only cared about her and loved her, and that’s what made the difference.”

I think that is the essence of my therapeutic process. I don’t see people as problems to be fixed. I just care deeply about them and use whatever resources I have, in terms of my knowledge, skills, and compassionate understanding of how hard we humans struggle sometimes, to help them get to where they want to go in their lives.

Q: You have a WordPress site that contains some of your poetry. How does writing poetry help you in your work?

A: I once asked a very wise mentor (and therapist whom I respect deeply) for the single-most important thing to do to become a really great therapist. He said: “Work your process.” Writing poetry – or anything of a self-reflective nature – helps me dig deep and work my own process. Writing helps me get down below the surface details and petty annoyances of my life to, what I call, “the thing under the thing.” The thing under the thing is the deep wound or insecurity that has been triggered by some external event. By digging deep and working my process in this way, I not only develop a greater capacity for compassion and forgiveness of myself, but also for everyone around me.

Life can be hard, and we all deal with so much pain and struggle sometimes. Writing it out helps me get down to the place where all of humanity is connected, not only in the pain and struggle, but even more so in the strength and resilience we have to grow, learn, and move on, albeit with layers of scar tissue around our hearts and souls.

Q: What are some of the more challenging issues you have faced as a therapist?

A: I work with approximately ages 12 and up. My most challenging cases are perhaps teens who are in a dysfunctional family system, who are not getting their emotional needs met, and they are struggling – with school, with peers, and, of course, their own emotions. These kids are so powerless in their family system that they do whatever they can to feel some sense of control in their own lives. Often, this takes the form of some sort of self-destructive behavior (eg., cutting themselves, eating disorders, drugs, or engaging in any number of risky behaviors).

My job is to help these kids develop healthy and effective coping strategies. It is also to help them see their families more realistically and to grieve the emotional support they are unable to get. In many of these families, the parents are incapable of providing for the kids’ emotional needs and making them feel loved and valued. It is my job to help the kids learn to do that for themselves, and to pick healthy people who will support and cherish them in their future relationships.

It sounds like a lot of work, but fortunately, these kids tend to be really smart, sensitive, and insightful. They are hard workers who can see that their parents have problems but can also see that the way out is to take care of themselves and improve their own lives.

As an aside, I really like working with kids who cut themselves. They are a bright bunch and respond well to therapy. One “intervention” that I’ve come up with is to give cutters a golf ball. So many of the suggestions for cutters are soft – take a bubble bath, drink a cup of herbal tea. These are some pretty hard-core kids who use pain to ground themselves. Squeezing or stepping on a golf ball provides a good kind of pain. They can control it, it doesn’t hurt them, and there may even be some acupressure benefits. (By the way, I don’t golf, so I rely on the generosity of my friends to supply me with their used golf balls!)

Q: To what theories in therapy do you ascribe?

A: I take a real mind-body approach. While I am well-grounded in psychological theory and therapeutic best practices, I also draw heavily from the fields of meditation, body-centered therapies and practices (eg., yoga, tai chi), and neuroendocrinology. Lately I have been loving the work of Peter Levine, who talks about processing trauma through the body.

While my standard therapy toolkit consists of a lot of CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) and solution-focused, strength-based techniques, I leave the door wide open to pull in anything that works. Sometimes that might be creative therapies (using art, music, dance, etc.). Sometimes I recommend an evaluation for medications – sometimes a person is just dealt a bad set of brain chemicals, and since the brain is an organ in the body (which sometimes doesn’t function optimally), a medical assessment may be in order.

At the risk of being called a therapy heretic, I don’t think all problems are psychological problems. We are physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual beings. We have to make sure that all aspects are balanced and in line with who we truly are.

Finally, although I love Jungian psychology, I don’t use it with every client.  I am not dogmatic about it. In fact, I am more along the lines of Carl Jung himself, who said, “I am glad that I am Jung, and not a Jungian.”

Q: What is your opinion of reality shows that focus on psychological disorders?

A: I must admit, I don’t watch a lot of television, and I especially eschew shows with a lot of “drama.” Because I am a therapist, I listen to people’s stories all day, not for the drama but with a compassionate, listening heart. I don’t find reality shows about psychological disorders entertaining.

That said, General Hospital and The Bachelor are my brain candy; I’m addicted to them. I would love to be the therapist for The Bachelor!

While I have limited familiarity with reality shows, I can say that therapy is a process of “experimentation.” I give a lot of homework to my clients so that they can experiment with change between sessions. We then review – using a strengths-based, solution-focused orientation – what worked, what didn’t, and why. By working with a client’s natural strengths, we effect lasting change. I don’t believe that is typically possible in a one-hour television show.

Q: Have you noticed a difference in the types of things people in a big city are treated for versus the types of things that bring them to therapy in a rural area?

A: Hmmmm, interesting question. There are definitely more similarities than differences between people. The majority of people seek help for depression, anxiety, and relationship issues.

One major difference that I have noticed is that I see more death-related cases in New Mexico than I did in Chicago. Whether accidental or intentional (by suicide or murder), I see more people dealing with grief and loss of a loved one. I also work with men and women who have spent time in the military and who have been exposed to death and suffering that most of us can’t even imagine.

Here in NM, I see a lot more young people than in Chicago. Most of my clients are in their early 30s or younger. One rather curious difference I’ve noticed: In Chicago, it was usually the woman who called to set up marital therapy; here it is usually the man!

One aspect of rural therapy that I’d like to highlight is that the therapies are more varied and are able to incorporate more of the environment. Equine therapy (working with horses) is a ready option out here. There are wilderness adventures and vision quests. Therapists use aspects of the native culture to facilitate healing. I think it’s wonderful to be able to draw upon the land and the rich history as a part of the treatment plan.

Finally, due to the necessity of great distance and few health providers, telemedicine is being seriously researched and utilized here. “Distance counseling,” using internet-based technology, is a direction in which therapy going. It needs rigorous research to determine its effectiveness and ethical/legal implications.

Q: What are some theories in therapy that you do not agree with?

A: I don’t agree with any theory that thinks it’s the only, right, or best approach! I think therapy is like the story of the three blind men and the elephant. Each man has his hand on a piece of the elephant – and each man is right. Depending upon which part you have your hand on, the elephant feels like a big hose, a tree trunk, or a whip. Everyone is partially right, but without the larger perspective, everyone is also wrong. I would not adhere to any one theory to the exclusion of others.

Q: If you could be treated by Freud or Jung, who would you pick and why?

A: Hmmmmm….perhaps the more interesting question would be which one would I rather treat!

While I think it would be fascinating to lie on the couch and be analyzed by Freud, the father of my profession, I would have to pick Carl Jung. First off, he was one jazzy guy! He was multi-faceted in his thinking and doing – totally open to new experiences. I would love to be able to play thought games with him – exploring my dreams and projections for hidden symbolic meanings, archetypes, and hints toward the healing of my deepest wounds.

Jung didn’t pathologize a person or see them as a diagnosis, but rather, he looked at what was calling out in the person to be expressed and integrated into their personality. He talked about the Shadow, which is not something to be driven deeper into hiding, but brought out into the light and worked with as a strength. He was all about balance and becoming more of who we are meant to be.

Finally, I think there is no better way of understanding the therapist-client relationship than by being a client oneself. I would love to be in therapy with this master, to know how it feels and to learn what I can do to be a really great therapist myself.

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

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An Interview with Actor/Writer Kristen Doscher

 

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Kristen Doscher is an aspiring actress and writer who has authored two produced plays. She will be at this year’s Sundance Film Festival; here is a link to her website:

http://www.kristendoscher.com/

 

 

 

Q:  What made you interested in acting?

 

A: I can remember all the way back to my Kindergarten variety show. I was given the song “How Much is that Doggy in the Window” to sing in front of the entire school with my little toy dog. Then in 3rd and 4th grade, I think that is when the “performance bug” really kicked it. It was definitely not acting from the beginning, I just remember knowing that I had to be a performer of some sorts. So I had this dream in my head of being a “pop star.” I wanted to be on stage in Madison Square Garden dancing and singing in front of thousands of people. That to me was the ultimate dream, having all these people coming to watch little old me. All throughout elementary and middle school I was starting all girl singing groups and hoping to be the next 3LW. Slowly I realized that the dream of being on stage and really committing to this as a life goal and not just a hobby was mine and mine alone. I knew I had to go out there and pursue it. I remember one day I was sitting in my room and wondering how I could make this dream a reality and it was then that I sort of realized that there are other outlets for performers and that I wanted to try them all. So I did my research and signed up for my very first acting classes in New York City. My Dad pulled me out of school early once a week and rode the train in with me. When I got home every night, the only “homework” I was interested in doing was for the scenes we were assigned and it was a done deal from there on out.

 

Q: You wrote, produced and performed in two plays in New York, what were they and what where they about?

 

A: The first play that I had ever written premiered in The Strawberry One Act Festival and went all the way through to the finals with several nominations. The plot line is very true to the title ‘A Love Story’, as it explored the essence of love when it is fresh and new and love when it falters.

The second was a play called MOB which premiered in The Thespis Theatre Festival. MOB is the story of a young Italian American couple who breaks the break by sticking up diners (Pulp Fiction Style) all across NY State. Using different alias’ they stage fake proposals and enlist the help of a flash mob to ensure a substantial amount of hostages. But when these two unintelligent bandits turn against each other in a battle of love, money, and some pretty hip dance moves…who will win and who will make it out empty handed?

 

Q:  What inspired you to write them?

 

A: When I graduated from school and realized that from that point forward I wouldn’t always get to have a say in what roles I played, I kind of panicked. It was then that I realized how easily I could market myself the way I wanted to. I could write and create a whole world of my choosing and act along side actors of my choosing, in venues of my choosing. I think you catch my drift! The whole thought of it was very exciting and still is. I also think each play that I have written really spoke to where I was at that point in my life. When I wrote A Love Story I was in a relationship that I was terrified of loosing and the shear thought of it created a spark, an energy inside me and writing was the best way for me to express it. MOB on the other hand was my way of exploring characters with a heightened sense of reality. I really wanted to play on stage, like a kid with no boundaries, and that’s where MOB was born.

 

Q:  How did you go about getting them produced?

 

A: Getting them produced was surprisingly easy which isn’t always the case. If you are a new writer and you want to see your work up on stage in front of an audience, the easiest route to take is festivals. They provide you with a lot of the necessities and really help the process be as smooth as possible. I won’t sugar coat it though, as it can be difficult with the amount of people you have to deal with on a daily basis to get your show up and running. I also recommend using a crowd funding platform such as Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Especially if you plan to produce the show fully on your own in a venue of your choosing which is hopefully the next step for me and the cast of MOB. Taking it one step further.

 

Q:  What kind of day job or income source do you have and how does it affect your pursuit of acting?

 

A: Well this question is a bit of a doozy. It sounds a bit off the charts, but my day job tends to fluctuate and I always seem to make it work some how. There is the occasional paycheck from acting gigs here and there which is always nice and encouraging. Right now, I am working for a friend who owns a dog walking business. It really is pretty sweet. And it doesn’t feel like work which is nice! It allows me to pursue acting and make a schedule that works for me which is something every actor needs.

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: I graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts which is a two year acting conservatory geared primarily towards theater training (which I loved!!). The Academy gives you a taste of a little bit of everything, which is nice in some aspects. Every time a new semester rolled around you were given a whole new set of teachers and a whole new perspective on acting, movement, voice and speech etc! This was great because it kind of allowed you to choose which methods worked for you.

After graduating, I dabbled in a few classes and tried out other conservatories until I stumbled upon Matthew Corozine Studio Theatre. I can finally say that I found a space and a coach that created the safest environment for me to truly play as an artist! MCS is based around Sanford Meisner’s technique of living and behaving, truthfully and fully in imaginary circumstances. The technique really taught me how to get off of myself and to create this world around my scene partner. I attribute a lot to Matt, my coach. I’ll be sticking with him for a while!

 

Q:  What do you hope to achieve at Sundance this year?

 

A: Well, there are a ton of things that I would hope to achieve but I really want to go in head first with out a plan. I sometimes feel like that is when the best and most unexpected things occur. I will say that a main focus of mine is meeting as many people as I can and building my roster of contacts. When I look back to my experience at the festival last year, the greatest thing I took away was the terrific and talented people I met. Most of them I am still in contact with and will be spending time with this year! If I come back home with a pocket full of business cards, then I would have done my job right!

 

Q: What made you want to transition from theater to film?

 

A: I’ve always wanted to act in films. Growing up, theater was never something I wanted to do. Once I went away to school and began my training, everything changed and I felt this electricity every time I was on stage. I remember thinking “wow, you cannot beat this feeling” and I fell in love with the theater.  I am glad that I got the training that I did and I will always go back to the theater to continue to grow as an artist and discover new things about myself. I only use the word transition because after graduating, theater has been the bulk of my work as an actress. I want to feed my on screen career and see if it grows. I feel I owe that to my 8 year old self.

 

Q: How do you approach creating a character?

 

A: I wouldn’t say that there is one set way that I approach a character. I think there are many different factors that go into it. First, I think it depends on the type of character I am playing. I like to look for the similarities and the differences between myself and the character and then start from there. I used to try and forget “me” all together and try to become this whole other person, but over the last few years I’ve grown to realize that the character is me. I am embodying another life and taking on their struggles and triumphs as my own. Second, I think it depends on the director that you are working with. Some directors are very organic. They just want you in front of the camera or in the rehearsal space, on your feet, doing your thing. And if they love it, GREAT! And if they don’t, then they will tweak it. And I think that works marvelously for some actors because it gives them complete freedom to play. Some directors like to work as an ensemble, discovering the characters as a unit. Why they all came together, etc. What makes them who they are. What brought them to this certain point in their life. How they move in their bodies. On the last play that I wrote I worked with this terrific director, Joanna Tomasz. She was the hands on type which is the kind of director that I love to work with. Like I said, some like the organic route but I like to be pushed and pulled in different directions. I like to see my character from other peoples point of view, whether I agree or not. It’s more fun that way! Joanna introduced myself and the other actors to the Labon Technique, which is based on the belief that by observing and analyzing a characters movements, whether they are conscious or unconscious, you can uncover their inner self. It is essentially a tool to help you build the characters personality through the movement of your body. I am a firm believer in physical work when creating a character!

 

Q: What would you like to change about the film industry?

 

A: I’m almost afraid to mention it but I think there is a bit of sensitivity with feminism and woman in the work place lately. I think it is a beautiful thing that so many people feel so passionately about it because it is something that is very important and needs to be voiced. I attended an event for New York Women in Film and Television last month, where Maggie Gyllenhaal gave a marvelous and to the point speech which covered her hopes and fears when it came to this sensitive topic. She ended it by saying that change only occurs as a result of revolution. We need the beautiful, young, and naive girls of this new generation to challenge our views and fight against the current. I thought that this was an awesome way of saying “let people have their own opinions” because in the end people are going to think the way they want to and behave the way they want to and the universe is going to unfold as it may as a result of that. I think women in the industry should continue fighting for their beliefs and if they feel there is an unfair advantage or an unfair amount of opportunities for women then they should absolutely continue this crusade. I can only hope that in the next year we see more of a change and more of an understanding when it comes to this topic. I do firmly believe that art needs a women’s heart and vulnerability to thrive!

 

 

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 The Perfect Prescription Author Reigh Simuzoshya

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Reigh Simuzoshya, PhD is the author of the book The Perfect Prescription; here is a link to her website:

 

www.reighsimuzoshya.com

 

Q:  What is The Perfect Prescription about?

 

A: The rising cost of health care is of critical concern for everyone, insured and uninsured alike. This is the reason why public health, with its emphasis on disease prevention, is an important aspect of health care delivery anywhere in the world.  The book, The Perfect Prescription, highlights the similarities between the preventive health care guidelines articulated in The Bible, particularly in the Old Testament and those espoused by modern public health professionals. This book attempts to establish that, in Bible times, preventive health care, one of the most cost-effective approaches to individual and community health promotion, was as relevant as it is today. This book does not proselytize. It merely advocates preventive health care principles that can benefit any one regardless of their religious affiliation. Pathogens know no religious boundaries. The book compares modern public health guidelines with preventive health guidelines articulated in Bible times, millennia ago.

Q:  What qualifies you to write a book on the subject of wellness?

 

A: As a public health professional and an epidemiologist, I have come to understand the significant impact disease prevention can play in optimizing people’s health by fending off onset of certain diseases. As I studied the Bible I discovered some amazing teachings that are consistent with the teachings of my profession and I decided to share what I had discovered with whoever might be interested. I have personally experienced some of the benefits of adopting preventive health guidelines advocated by the Bible and by modern public health professionals.

 

Q:  What are some examples of how The Bible can be a guide to health?

 

A: The Bible is not a public health text book per se. But it has much to say about public health that is of great benefit to mankind. For example, the Bible spoke about quarantining individuals with infectious diseases such as leprosy millennia ago (Leviticus 13: 1-3, 45, 46). Whenever it was confirmed that an individual had leprosy, that person was immediately sent to live away from the community in an isolated place. If they ever ventured to approach uninfected people they were required to cover their mouth and shout “unclean, unclean” as a warning to those who did not have the disease to distance themselves from them. By putting a covering over their mouth they were preventing saliva droplets from spreading through the air.  This preventive principle was established long before the Germ Theory.

 

Furthermore, researchers have written about the severity of infectious diseases such as the Black Plague, which ravaged Europe in the 14th century and how efforts to contain it seemed futile until “the city leaders of Venice decided to adopt the 40-day segregation practices employed by the Jewish ghettos at the time,” according to J.R. Gwilt in his article, Public Health in the Bible, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Health, 1987. This is just one example. There are many more elaborated in the book.

 

Q:  Are there any other similar principals about health in the writings of other religions?

A: I do not claim to be an expert in the writings of other religions about health. As such, I will refrain from speaking for them. I am sure they can speak for themselves. If they teach about health promotion, all the better. The goal is to promote the well-being of the general public by making them aware of practices that are deleterious to their health and those that are of benefit.

 

Q:  Some of the Jewish dietary laws suggest not eating pork or seafood. Both port and seafood have been shown to be bad for people. Why do Christians not follow these laws?

 

A: I know some Christians who have voluntarily chosen to abstain from consuming pork and other foods that are forbidden in the Bible in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. I also know of other individuals who are neither Jewish not Christian who are practicing the same. Remember that I am writing from a health perspective; as a public health professional and not as a theologian. As such, I would like to add that some scholars who were fascinated by these biblical dietary guidelines conducted experimental research to compare the toxicity levels of the foods that were designated unclean by the Bible with those classified as clean. One such scholar was Dr. David I. Macht who was a pharmacologist, doctor of Hebrew literature, Johns Hopkins medical researcher, and experimental biologist. Macht conducted an experiment in which he compared toxicity in muscle juices and skeletal extracts of species of clean and unclean animals, birds and fish according to Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 4. He added these juices and extracts to the soil solutions of two sets of seedlings of Lupines albus (a legume that is traditionally grown around the Mediterranean). In one soil solution he added juices from unclean species and in the other he added the specimen from clean species. The third set of seedling had no animal specimen added to the soil solution-a control set. The findings of the study indicated that the soil solutions that had muscle juices and skeletal extracts from clean species were neither toxic nor did they hinder the normal growth of the seedlings. Conversely, the extracts from species classified as unclean were found to be significantly toxic for seedling growth when added to soil solutions, and the growth of the seedlings’ roots was significantly hindered. This experiment was replicated later with similar results.

I have spoken to a few Christians who eat the foods classified as unclean. Some of them have based their decision to eat on their interpretation of the Apostle Peter’s vision found in Acts chapter 10. I would also like to add that it is not given to me to judge anyone. I am sure each side of the argument has valid reasons to justify their positions.

Q:  What would you recommend to someone if they followed The Bible and they still get sick?

 

A: We live in a world that is replete with pathogens and cataclysmic occurrences that can easily impact our health, negatively. The new earth has not been created yet. I think it is for this reason that it was necessary to have the biblical guidelines for health. If our world was pristine there would be no need for health guidelines because it would be devoid of health threats. Illness and suffering are not always a consequence of the sin or wrong-doing of the afflicted individual or else the Book of Job would be meaningless. In the Gospel of John chapter 9 we read that upon seeing a man who was blind from birth the disciples asked Jesus who had sinned, the man or his parents because they assumed that the condition of the man was due to retributive judgment. In answer Jesus said that the man’s blindness was for the glory of God to be made manifest. As such, we can conclude that people fall ill for various reasons. There are also times when people might have congenital health conditions probably due to epigenetics (alterations in gene expression that can impact the health of future generations). Other times people who might have adhered to biblical guidelines might become inadvertent victims of some traumatic event, which triggers a health condition.

 

I would not discourage anyone from observing health guidelines just because they have fallen ill.  Rather, I would encourage them to adhere to them because that could help mitigate the progression of their health condition. The guidelines could also help them manage their condition well.

 

Q:  What kind of professional background do you have?

A: I am a public health professional and an author. I manage ResourcefulResearchPro, an organization focused on conducting academic research, and teaching research methods to college and university students, online.

 

Q:  What kind of research did you do for your book?

 

A: Extensive research was conducted from the books and journal articles of public health professionals, biomedical scholars, researchers, theologians and other published authors in related fields. A list of these valuable sources to whom I am deeply indebted is found in the reference section of the book. A lot of time was also spent combing the Scriptures for information included in the book.

 

Q:  What was the most surprising thing you learned during the course of your research?

 

A: Probably the most astounding thing for me was the similarity of biblical health guidelines written millennia ago to modern day health guidelines. This underscored the relevance of biblical teachings to life in general for me.

 

Q:   What are some things you have done to promote your book?

 

A:  I have websites: www.reighsimuzoshya.com

www.resourcefulResearchPro.com

I also have a Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/PerfectPrescription?ref=bookmarks

I have a tumbler, twitter and LinkedIn accounts.  I also have a blog: www.theperfectprescription2014.wordpress.com

I have a book trailer from my publishers, Tate Publishing and Enterprises, Inc. http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k

I also have a YouTube video: http://youtu.be/MWkIVDKfh9w

The book is also available at Amazon.com www.wmturls.com/pp

It is also found at Barnes and Noble

I try to use these tools to promote this work. Sometimes I organize book-signing events. I have also contracted with some social media companies to help me build a platform.

 

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 Karma The Game Creator Rene Reyes

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Rene Reyes is the creator of the online dating game Karma the Game of Destiny; here is a link to the website:

http://renereyes.wix.com/karmathegame

 

Q: How is Karma different from other dating aps such as like Tinder and Grindr?

 

A: Even though Tinder, Grindr and Badoo all call themselves games, they are just people locators.  It’s distracting and even fun looking through pictures and fantasizing about all these people and maybe meeting someone, but they promote superficial relationships.  The Game gives privacy or control over who sees and most of all it allows Player to play with other players, by sharing music, hiding, doing astrology, playing Truth or Bomb and sharing private pictures through the Safe along with the ability to share and see other social networks with the click of a button with whom you chose.

 

Q:  How do you play the game?

 

 

A: First you have to choose to enter the Game through 1 of 3 doors, Values, Compatibility or Intimate Preferences.  Then you pick an Avatar and Enter the game.  Once in the game, the site is laid out as a playing board interface with easy to use buttons rather than a typical scrolling websites.

 

Q: What is a “truth bomb?”

 

A: A Truth Bomb is a “Risk” card like in a board game.  The idea is to create conversation of different levels regarding relationship, challenges and surprises…

 

Q: What does one do on the “adventures?”

 

A: The adventures of the game are the dates, playing online while courting and the adventures that the Truth Bombs will send people on.

 

Q: How do you prevent someone from making a fake profile?

 

A: There are basically 2 kinds of FAKE profiles.  Operated and Non-Operated (Profiles dating sites use to pretend they have more users to attract more users) Re: Operated There is no “free indefinitely” option which is where most fraud happens.  We only give the first 30 Days free.  We do not allow an IP Address to have more than 10 connections.  Going beyond this in a short time will “Tilt” the game and you won’t be able to operate from the same computer.  And

Here is where the magic lies and why it is called Karma.  People can create fake profiles just like they do on every other dating site.  However, because Players can ZAP other players, the fake profile operators will have to commit a lot of time resource to convincing other player they are real in order not to be ZAPPED.  And it’s a Game not a subscription so if someone knocks you off you have to pay again to play.  At least at the $1.99 level (1 Life for 30 Days).  If you get 6 live for $6.99 the you will lose a life and everyone will both know who ZAPS and who got ZAPPED.

 

Q:  How does one get zapped?

 

A: There are 7 GAME Buttons – HIDE, CHAT, GROUP, OUTING, MUSIC, ZAP and BAIL.  Once you pick an Avatar you can click any of these buttons to open the Popup with instructions and warnings.  If you’re sincere you probably won’t get Zapped, but if yu are rude or inappropriate it is very likely you’ll get Zapped.

 

Q: What kind of research did you do for your game?

 

A: If you know me you’d find that I have been studying relationships and community for most of my life but on the factual side, I started joining dating sites in 2007 after getting a divorce and had especially been pondering how I could build a dating site that was better or different than the majority of sites out there.  It wasn’t until 2013 that I had culminated all of my research into the idea of a Game and began developing the algorithms for the 3 Doors and the logic of the game.  I also quantified all of the knowledge that I had gathered by organizing all of the data on the industry for Dating as well as Games.

 

Q:  How does one become a brand ambassador?

 

A: A Brand Ambassador can make residual income even if just their friends are playing.  And depending on how many friends they have it could be be a substantial monthly return.  Maybe for buying school books or extra movie money or whatever you need a little extra income for.  Becoming a Brand Ambassador is easy.  Just click Ambassadors on the site and register.  Brand Ambassadors will also be able to add “Things to Do” from their private portal to the game.

 

Q:     Why do you think internet dating has become so popular?

 

A: The internet is a new reality.  A virtual space that we are just learning how to use.  We are social beings and many people feel alone, even in relationships.  The internet provides resources and connections that would have been difficult or impossible to have 20 years ago.  Even less.  Now that we can reach out, we will do so at ever increasing rates.  As comfort grows and people who are afraid to do it become less afraid it will become even more popular.  This market isn’t going away any time soon.

 

Q: What if I don’t have a soul, do I not get to mate?

 

A: I see you like to open all the cans of worms.  Lol.  For the Game a Soulmate is really more of a “like minded” individual based on likes and desires and honesty.  It’s a metaphor for feeling acceptable, as you are, to another human being.  The Soul is not really synonymous with Spirit (or the Energy that transitions from the Body to something else) but a reflection of the totality of who we are in our substantial skin within our cultural and societal group.  What makes us tick.  What turns us on.  What do we like to do.  What are our desires.  The Game will help you find you Soulmates, it’s up to you to determine if from within that group is your Soulmate.  (or your like minded partner.)

 

 

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 Rapper Five X

fivex

 

Five X is a rapper from Queens who has just released the album Five X Genesis; here is a link to his YouTube page:

 

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC6ZWEeQnO7Dg1jKPpQ5DYSQ

 

Q: How did you know you were a rapper?

 A: I wrote my first poem at the age of 8, if I’m not wrong. I used to go with my older cousin to attend his guitar lessons when I was around that age. I always felt connected with music but never realized till my freshmen year in high school, where I met AMC in the back of Ms. Toskos Classroom we used to write rhymes making fun and cracking jokes. I was trying to be rapper back then but I was wack at it lol kids used to make fun of my rhymes I wish they can hear my EP now, It was all just for fun back then I never took it this serious, till I lost my grandmom in 2007. It took a big part of my life away from me, it took me years to recover. In 2012 I felt like a real musician no rapper/MC I just felt like straight up musician and I was ready to put out my EP but I couldn’t put it out because of some personal issues and I’m happy that I didn’t put out because what I have now is much better than what I had back then. I recently lost 2 of my good friends in the beginning of this year, R.I.P Matz, R.I.P Barry. I had to put my EP this year to show my people some respect. If I had to decide for myself, I would definitely say that i am a musician / rapper / beat maker / ghost writer.

 

Q: What is the overall theme of Five X Genesis?

A: The theme behind my name 5x hmmm so many lol ok so 5 is always been my lucky #, X hmmm I always loved DMXs music and his album covers were dope so I think I got my X from D to da mof***ing X. Theme behind the EP Genesis Chapter 1 New Breed, it’s pretty dope so the album starts a little negative but if you mind listening to the full EP I’m pretty sure that you will agree with me that it ends positively.

Q: What inspired the song Blizzard ft  AMC ?

A: Me and AMC we go back I mean way back, we started this rap stuff together and we did probably 40 to 60 songs together throughout the years. I always have a problem everytime I watch a movie or TV show they always show that Russia don’t like US and US always make Russia look like bad guys lol so I did this song to Unite 2 of the world’s biggest nations, which in pretty sure won’t happen with 1 song lol.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: I was always inspired by Nas

My top 5 rappers of all time

#5 Jay z #4 Eminem #3 Biggie #2 Tupac #1 Nas

 

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

 

A: I have a crazy job and a crazy schedule I work 44hrs in 3 days lol I have a Sunday shift that starts at 6am and ends on Monday 6am supervising a valet garage.

 

Q: What life experiences do you draw from when you write?

 

A: Real life struggle everyday hustle i represent my city my block my people. We work like slaves but we eat like kings. We been through hard times but we also do know how to party, u feel me?

Q: What makes New York worth rapping about?

A: If I wasn’t living in New York I probably wouldn’t be rapping, everything started here in queens NY.

Q: What is your strangest New York Story?

A: Amityville horror house is for real.

Q: What do you like about the music industry?

A: I love watching URL battles and battle leagues, I don’t listen to radio music.

Q: What would you change about it?

A: music will change by itself because everything has its course.

 

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

 

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An Interview WIth Director Antonio James

 Director_Antonio_James_Fall_of_Summer

Antonio James is the director of Trey the Movie and the reality show The Real Dancers Of North Hollywood; here is a link to his IMDB page:

 

http://m.imdb.com/name/nm2713831/

 

 

 

Q: What made you interested in filmmaking?

 

A: While working at the Veteran Affairs, I was presented with the opportunity to create a music video for my uncle’s music group. From then on I was hooked. I love being able to turn the ideas of one’s dreams into reality.

 

Q: What is Trey the Movie about?

 

A: A loveable guy struggles to cope with dangerous inner demons, which are fighting hard to come out. However, emotionally, he’s able to keep it together until he meets Ashley, a woman scorned, who sends him crashing over the edge of insanity and unleashes a killer that cannot be stopped!

 

Q: What inspired you to make it?

 

A: A bet over a 6 pack of beer that I couldn’t make a $400,000 movie for only $1000. Not only did I make the movie for just $750, it then went on to generate over $150 THOUSAND dollars, won multiple film festivals, featured on Fox news, screened locally and distributed on Amazon. And even though we had no crew or professional actors, the production quality (excluding acting) didn’t look $750 but $500,000.

 

Q: What are the elements of a successful horror movie?

 

A: In my opinion, the most important element of a great horror movie is the psyche of the bad guy. Every horror movie’s antagonist suffers from some mental disorder and his behavior should be according to his state of mind. Knowing your character’s psyche allows the audience to understandably relate to why their favorite psychopathic killer rips people apart and makes the viewing experience of blood splatter and guts that much more enjoyable.

 

Q: What is The Real Dancers Of North Hollywood about?

 

A: RDNH is about the inside story of celebrity dance choreographers. It shows the struggles, successes, and sacrifice of their underrated world through reenactment of real past events. Call it a “Tell all Book” for TV!

 

Q: What did you like about Shane Sparks’ writing?

 

A: What I got from Shane the most is that he writes from the heart. He has strong convictions and a deep recollection of memorable experiences about a world many of us look past.

 

Q: What kind of day jobs have you had in the past and how do they influence your work as a director?

 

A: US Air Force, Veteran’s Affairs. As stated above, I love to manage teams and what better team to manage or be apart of then working with American veterans and becoming an Airman in the United States Air Force.

 

Q: How did you achieve making directing your full time job?

 

A: By staying passionate about what I do. I view directing as a hobby not work. Why? Because a hobby is something you’re so passionate about that you will use your own money to fund your activity. During my downtime this passion enables me to create spectacular, high quality directing reels at lower costs, which helps when securing jobs.

When it’s not your passion, you’re doing it only for money, which is work. And no one likes to go to work.

 

Q: What is your oddest onset story?

 

A: When a background extra decided to become a lead actress at her own discretion. On the set of Trey, we had enough time to film one more shot and in the middle of the shot she got up out of her seat and begin interacting with the lead actors. Yes, I was infuriated, but in post, it ended up being a big part of selling the scene. So it was a fortunate accident.

 

Q: What film in history would you most like a chance to remake?

 

A: Dragonball: Evolution (2009). My Producers would be John Davis and Adam Schroeder from Chronicle (2012) and my Cinematographer would be Bill Pope from Matrix Revelation (2003).

 

 

 

 

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 Writer Renee Y. Brown

renee y. brown

Renee Y. Brown is a writer of Writer of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction who publishes her work on Subversify.com , here is a link to her LinkedIn page:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/renee-y-brown/6/682/86b

 

 

 

 

 

Q: What made you want to be a writer?

 

A: It wasn’t a deliberate decision, like I said “I want to be a writer,” like someone would say “I want to be lawyer” or “I want to be a teacher” or whatever. It’s more like it’s impossible for me to not be a writer. Before I could read or write my mom read books to me or I saw movies and TV shows that sparked my imagination and I would make up my own stories and characters and act them out, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. As soon as I could write I started to write stories. So it wasn’t a decision. I was born this way.

Q: What is the overall theme of Beauty and the Beast?

 

A: That poem, published September 3 at Subversify.com, http://subversify.com/2014/09/03/the-beast-of-beauty/ was actually a re-written version of a poem I wrote in 1976. I was born and grew up in Los Angeles. The pressure to be physically attractive is an intrinsic and palpable part of the social culture there, then and now. In 1976 I was 18 and attended junior college. I was slightly overweight and had acne so I felt like the most hideous creature on earth. I’d never dated a guy or had one touch me. I was sitting in the cafeteria one afternoon and saw the most gorgeous guy, downright beautiful. He had pitch-black hair and sparkling ocean-blue eyes and perfect features. After 38 years I still remember. I came to the cafeteria at the same time every day because he was always there with his friends. He never saw me. I wrote ‘Beauty and the Beast’ with him as the beauty and me as the beast. Funny, but this is the first time I’ve ever told that story to anyone. When I went into the army a few years later I found out I wasn’t as ugly as L.A. thought I was. Today the poem is no longer personal but I re-wrote it in my current style and made it the opening poem of a sequence of three published by Subversify.com under the overall title ‘The Beast of Beauty.’ The sequence is a journey, from the woman in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ seeing herself as ugly and unworthy while dreaming of the unattainable prince, to the second poem, ‘Mirror, Mirror,’ which is about how fairy tales warp girls into judging themselves only by their appearance and to associate physical unattractiveness with evil and outward beauty with good. The last poem is ‘A Kiss from the Prince,’ which is about spiritual and metaphysical transformation into true beauty. In 1976 I was the woman in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Today I am the woman in ‘A Kiss From the Prince.’ I have gray hair and wrinkles and I’m invisible to the world so outwardly I’m right back where I was in 1976, but now, my face doesn’t matter. It’s irrelevant. My face is not who I am. My words are who I am. I know the true prince and I know I am loved.

Q: Who are some of your influences?

 

A: Influences for poetry are Erica Jong, Adrienne Rich, and Marge Piercy. For fiction, I used to read science fiction and fantasy in the 80’s and 90’s, so I was influenced by the great women authors of the genre: Ursula K. Le Guin, Andre Norton and Joan Vinge. I don’t have any authors I follow anymore, there’s just too much stuff published these days and it doesn’t come close to the quality of the great authors I mentioned. My own fiction is so particular (maybe even peculiar) and quirky and unique that it doesn’t even fit into any genre niche. Maybe ‘quantum-metaphysical-romance-science fiction-fantasy-erotica,’ or something.

Q: What is Subversify.com?

 

Subversify.com is AWESOME. It is my BFF. It’s an online magazine that has everything: news and commentary from all political perspectives; personal essays and memoirs; reviews; travel articles; fiction and poetry; even cartoons. I like the open format that allows writers from both ends of the political spectrum and all points in between a forum to express their views. There is a lot of reader feedback so it is a very interactive publication. Their sub-heading is “A subversive retort to biased media, promoting free speech & the right to question.” And they do all this with humor that is razor sharp, irreverent and always brilliant. Subversify is a cooperative owned by Mitchell Warren, Karla Fetrow and Grainne Rhuad. Mitchell is CEO and Karla and Grainne are editors, writers and general curators of the site. Grainne is my editor and she works with me in a cooperative way that lets me be me and that’s something I appreciate. She’s a webpage genius and designs the pages for my poetry which is no easy task when I use odd formatting or have lines that are longer than the page is wide. Somehow she makes it all work and adds the perfect images to go with my pieces. Although I’ve never met her face-to-face I consider her a friend. Karla writes insightful and intriguing articles on subjects not covered by the mainstream media. Mitchell is an all-around cool dude with a great sense of humor. When I first submitted to Subversify in 2010 he advocated for my story ‘The Second Amendment Solution’ http://subversify.com/2010/09/24/a-randomized-sample-study-of-resistance-by-citizens-to-the-triumph-of-the-socio-political-movement-known-as-the-%e2%80%98second-amendment-solution%e2%80%99/ and it was published and I’ve been with them ever since.

Q: What made you select it as your platform?

 

A: I honestly can’t remember how I found Subversify. It was in 2010 and I had written the short story ‘The Second Amendment Solution’ and I was probably looking for places to submit it and stumbled upon Subversify. However I got there, I don’t believe in random coincidence. I believe in synchronicity and that things happen for a reason so I and Subversify were meant to be. I submitted the story and they liked it and published it and the story received good feedback from readers. Mitchell encouraged me to submit more, and as I sometimes joke about myself, ‘don’t invite me for a free meal unless you’re serious because I will take you up on it,’ so I kept submitting stuff and they kept publishing it. Certainly having Grainne as my editor keeps me coming back because it’s such a pleasure to work with her. Of course I like the publication itself, I like that it stands for free speech and is open to all points of view. And of course I like them because they like my work! It’s sort of my literary home now, for shorter works anyway, like ‘The Earth Show’ http://subversify.com/2013/12/27/the-earth-show/ I have novellas and novels that I will probably self-publish. But for poetry and short stories Subversify is my go-to place. I love those guys!

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

 

A: I don’t have a job at all. I am a disabled veteran on VA disability. When I was able to work I was a newspaper reporter. I loved the actual work and if I ever did anything meaningful in writing beyond personal meaning it was as a reporter. But I hated the corporate structure and working with editors who didn’t care about the quality of their work. I also saw the end coming in the mid-2000’s because 21st technology made newspapers archaic. I have no nostalgia for the dead newspaper industry. For decades I saved copies of newspapers with my stories in them. Last year I finally threw them all out, every single one.

Q: You were a photo journalist in the military; what were some of your most memorable assignments?

 

A: I had no memorable assignments in the army as a photographer. I’m a woman. I spent four years mostly in a darkroom developing film and printing photos taken by men. The good assignments where you actually shot photos that got published with your byline, those jobs went to men. I became an army journalist only after I got out of the active duty (full-time) army and went into the army reserves. My reserve unit sent me to the military’s journalism school in 1985. I did nothing memorable in the reserves either. That doesn’t mean I’m not affected by having been in the military. I’m on VA disability now. Enough said.

Q: What trends in poetry annoy you?

 

A: Snobbery in literary poetry annoys me. Literary writers and university professors would not consider my poetry ‘real’ poetry because I often use rhyme and right now rhyming is anathema in poetry. It’s considered to be at the level of pop song lyrics which of course they also look down upon. I don’t give a damn what the snobs think. I’m not writing to please literary critics. I’m writing first of all to please and satisfy myself. I’m also writing for the reading pleasure of people who are turned off by the snobbery and obscure metaphorical language of literary poetry. My poems don’t need to be ‘interpreted.’ The reader knows exactly what I’m saying and what I mean when they read the poem. I respect the intelligence of my readers and I hope they simply enjoy reading my stuff. Reading shouldn’t be ‘work,’ it should be fun.

Q: What is your process for writing a poem?

 

A: Process? What process? Just kidding. It varies according to the poem. Like I said earlier, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was inspired by direct personal experience. Some are commentaries on subjects I feel strongly about, like the obsession with physical beauty in our culture. Sometimes an idea just pops into my mind. And sometimes I sit down with the intention to write a poem and either it happens or it doesn’t happen. I can give examples of each. Obviously ‘Mirror, Mirror’ is a commentary poem. ‘Fairly Tales’ http://subversify.com/2012/09/13/fairly-tales/ is a narrative poem in three parts that takes three major fairy tales, ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ ‘Cinderella,’ and ‘Snow White,’ retold by other women within each tale through totally different interpretations. I like taking traditional subjects like fairy tales and deconstructing then reconstructing them in my own way. In that sense those are also commentary poems expressing my point of view. A very personal poem was ‘I Had Sisters Once’ http://subversify.com/2013/02/07/i-had-sisters-once-do-not-publish-until-after-feb-8th/ That one was difficult to write because I was expressing some very deep emotions and beliefs. As a side note to the reason why I love Subversify as my poetry platform, a reader, ‘Rich in PA,’ left this comment about that poem: “wow … how painful to read and now know … we all make choices, sometimes for no reason at all, that I think haunt every breath and every moment as a silent echo that blurs our memory. Powerful work here … the reason I visit Subversify often …” That’s better than money to me and shows what I mean about respecting my reader’s intelligence and hoping that they get something valuable out of their reading experience. Another narrative poem, ‘Michael,’ http://subversify.com/2012/01/26/michael/ was based on a character from one of my novels but as I wrote it the character morphed into the Archangel Michael and the narrative into social commentary and eventually ended up as a love poem. That was just following the inspiration of the creative process in the moment. Then I have groups of poems, like ‘The Beast of Beauty,’ that are on the same subject. ‘Here and Hereafter’ http://subversify.com/2011/01/25/here-and-hereafter/ are poems about death and the afterlife. Some are personal (‘King of White Roses’), some are my own ponderings on the subject (‘If,’ ‘The End of the Line’). ‘Today’s The Day’ http://subversify.com/2012/02/16/todays-the-day/ are poems on romantic love. I wrote ‘Today’ just for fun because it’s about an older woman seducing a younger man using principals of quantum physics to prove her point. ‘The Gospel of Jon’ is from my personal experience of first love. ‘In Translation’ is dialog taken from another novel in which an American woman explains to her British boyfriend the subtle differences in the same language that can lead to misunderstandings but ultimately to the same conclusion—love. Despite all the poetry my main focus is writing fiction. Poems just sort of pop up now and then. So basically I guess the answer I gave at the beginning of this question applies, ‘what process?’ Like life, poetry happens.

Q: If you could take a road trip with Sylvia Plath or T.S. Elliot who would you pick and why?

 

A: That’s a difficult question because there are pros and cons with both. Since you’re talking about a road trip and not dinner or just having coffee I’d probably rather be cooped up in a car for a long time with T.S. Eliot. After all, I put a quote from him on my Linked-In page header: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” I believe in that. I believe consciousness is infinite and eternal. The things valued in this world—money, possessions, status, power, fame, looks—are all temporary and will end or turn to dust. Only those who will risk thinking, imagining, and doing that which is far beyond the limitations of this world will find out, without having to die first, that how far one can go is limitless.

 

 

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