Tag: Los Angeles

An Interview with DeStress to Success Author Leo Willcocks

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Leo Willcocks is the author of DeStress to Success; here is a link to his website:

http://www.leowillcocks.com/mediapage.html

Q: What is the basic theory behind your book?

 

A: The theory behind DeStress to Success is that everyone experiences stress, but no one has to be a victim to stress. With the right tools, many stresses can be resolved and overcome. However for the most part, stress relief tips (such as go for a walk, count to ten etc.) aren’t enough to really beat stress. They can help reduce stress temporarily, but in many cases, stress returns at a later time, doesn’t it?

 

Stress relief tips are important, but they are just one way of dealing with stress. Relying on stress relief tips alone is like riding a bike with only one pedal, and no handlebars. In DeStress to Success I’ve focused on the stress relief tools you don’t hear about. I include quick stress relief techniques, and then focus heavily on stress resolution- ways of resolving stress so it doesn’t return. I include tools to identify, grow from, and resolve challenges that cause stress. This creates lasting happiness and satisfaction.

 

Q: What qualifications do you have to write it?

 

A: When I first left school I had a career in a stock broking firm, which is a high stress environment. While I enjoyed it and had opportunities for progression, I realised it wasn’t what I wanted to dedicate my life to. One thing I enjoyed in the firm was helping my colleagues relax and de-stress when they had a high workload.

 

So I left the firm and chose tertiary education. I have been working as a therapist for almost ten years helping people, organisations and sports teams to minimise their stress. I get a lot of enjoyment helping people to build confidence to go out and achieve things that they never thought possible.

 

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

 

A: DeStress to Success is not a presentation of a new theory, but rather application of existing psychology and behavioural theories into practical techniques people can use. DeStress to Success draws heavily on client experiences and the results that my clients have had in their lives. I have written DeStress to Success for everyday people, so it is not full of medical jargon, but rather the practical use of that information.

 

Q: What are some of the services you provide?

 

A: I work with clients one on one, as well as speak and do trainings for organisations. In consultations, I help people when stress from a challenging circumstance is impacting their life. Most clients experience a major turnaround within a few appointments, and feel completely empowered to deal with the situation. Stress is minimised very quickly.

 

With organisations, I train staff on stress resolving techniques, and understanding where stress is coming from and how to reduce its power over thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Stress is a physiological process that impacts thoughts, feelings and behaviour, however it doesn’t have to dictate those things. I also discuss common workplace stressors and how to resolve them.

 

Q: What are the most common stressors you see in your clients?

 

A: Common situations include workplace harassment, business setbacks and difficulties, partner separation, abuse, relationship frustrations, childhood trauma impacting adult life and financial stress.

 

Q: What are some of the more unusual things you see that stress people out?

 

A: This is very common but it is really unnecessary- that is the stress from trying to live up to unrealistic goals and expectations. Some people focus so much on ideals and goals (usually a learned behaviour from their childhood) that they feel continually unhappy, despite incredible progress. One client was years in front financially, but still felt unhappy because as a young adult she had not attained her parents’ results as retirees. She compared herself at the beginning of her adult life, to her parents at the end of their successful careers. Her need to achieve now was causing her so much stress that it was destroying her relationship, and making her incredibly unhappy.

 

Q: What are some coping techniques that you recommend?

 

A: There are the usual like doing yoga, going for a walk, and getting a massage. These things are great but they will not particularly help you resolve an issue you are dealing with. When you come back from doing yoga or going for that walk, life is still waiting for you along with all the stressors that you left.

 

However they still have an important place and can help with general stress reduction. Meditating can be helpful as well. I teach clients a quick meditation technique that helps them to refocus and separate themselves from stress. When stress is simply from a busy schedule or modern life, zoning out and reenergising can be enough. When stress is actually from a challenging situation, different tools are needed.

 

One very easy technique to reduce general stress levels is a gratitude journal. This is where you think of 5 things you are grateful for, each day. This is a very simple technique that increases your perception of happiness- it helps you to notice the good things in life. As a society, we are conditioned to focus on the negative and stressful situations (think about news headlines), but doing a gratitude journal helps you have a more balanced perspective. Yes, the stressful things are still there, but the good things are there too. Clients report feeling more energised, happy and less stressed by simple day to day upsets, when they use this technique.

 

Q: Isn’t a certain amount of stress necessary for survival?

 

A: Stress is a natural part of life and a very important part of life. Without stress, there is no progression. However too much stress, or stress that is not dealt with properly, can become very detrimental to your life happiness and cause a lot of problems. Recognising the positive side of stress can help you grow during difficult situations.

 

Imagine how Steve Jobs felt when he was fired from Apple- the company he started, risked everything to start and grew into a very well-known brand. Do you think he walked out happy and cheering? Of course not. But through that hard time in his life, he gave birth to PIXAR, the company you see at the beginning of many Disney movies, heavily involved in the creation of the hit movie Toy Story and many since then.

 

While stressful situations can have lasting negative effects if not dealt with properly, they can also have lasting positive effects, when you grow from them as Jobs did. The best Chinese translation of stress is “crisis”- containing two characters- “danger” and “opportunity”. In times of stress there are opportunities to build more future happiness for ourselves. Many of my clients have survived terrible circumstances, where stress was an understatement to how they felt. However with the right help they have grown from their stress, and now feel more happy and empowered than they did before the stressful situation occurred.

 

Some self-help books encourage the idea that life can be easy and even effortless. In reality, life can be a lot easier than it is, however it will never be completely stress free. It can be meaningful and fulfilling, even with periods of challenge. Your response to challenge will impact how stressed or happy you are. But trying to live up to an illusion of an effortless life can create stress in itself, as you feel frustrated at the fact that your life isn’t perfect (as opposed to being frustrated with the difficult circumstance itself).

 

Q: What are some examples of how stress is contagious?

 

A: “Second hand stress” is a term that has been coined fairly recently, as research has shown that stress is in fact contagious. It comes from the ability to empathise with others and mirror other people’s body language and emotions. It is very easy to think of examples in daily life; no doubt you have experienced some of these things yourself!

 

  • If you think of when a boss or colleague is having a bad day, notice how they speak and then notice that others start to speak in a similar way. Even if they don’t “stress out” at you, you will most likely feel stressed or tense just being in their presence
  • Closer to home, actually in the home, have you ever noticed when a parent is grumpy it seems to filter through to the children. Or one child’s bad mood quickly spreads to others, even if they don’t directly “take it out” on them
  • When a friend starts talking about a stressful issue, sometimes friends will reassure and uplift the person feeling stress. Often however, many of the friends start talking about all the “bad” things about the situation and the tone spirals down quickly. If you are in one of these conversations you leave feeling stressed

 

Q: To what theories of psychology do you ascribe?

 

A: I find that several theories of psychology apply in life. There is not one theory that helps with everything and everyone. Another important factor to be aware of is that while an entire theory may not be applicable, the fundamentals learned from the theory contribute significantly to therapy today, and my work specifically.

 

Approaches that I find helpful are classic and operant conditioning, attachment theory, Erikson’s Theory, parenting styles, the fundamentals behind humanistic psychology, Glasser’s control theory, Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome and stages of stress, the work of Demartini, the list goes on.

 

Another area is neuroplasticity, and how even heavily ingrained behaviours and stresses can be overcome.

 

The biochemical approach is also important to understand, as stress impacts biochemistry, and biochemistry can also impacts stress levels. I think that biochemical intervention is not the first line of approach (research shows that talking therapies are just as effective), however it is important to be aware of, as some hormonal imbalances can cause depressive symptoms, or constant anxiety and stress. Obviously not everyone experiencing these things has a hormonal imbalance, but it is important to be aware of as a possible cause.

 

 

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 Actress and Producer Deborah Funes

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Deborah Funes is an actress who appears in the upcoming film The Mob and the producer of the film Touch MY Heart here is a link to the website:

 

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/touch-my-heart-film-takes-on-breast-cancer/x/8105925

 

Q: What is The Mob about? 

A: I can’t talk to much about that film project at this time. The only think that I can say is that “The Mob” is about Italian mafia from 1940’s and 1950’s.

Q: What role do you play?

A: I will play an Italian woman.

Q: What kind of experiences did you draw from when preparing for the role?

A: I speak a little Italian so will not be difficult to memorize my lines in that language. At the same time will be an opportunity to practice.

Q: What are some of your favorite feminist revenge movies?

A: I love feminist revenge type of movies as I am a feminist…(smiles). One of my favorites was “Fatal Attraction” with some of my favorite actors Michel Douglas and Glenn Close. I saw that movie a long time ago and was very strong…Maybe I should watch it again.

An other feminist revenge movie that I liked was “Enough” , with Jennifer Lopez.  But my favorite women’s revenge movie is “The War of The Roses”. Even if is an old movie from the 80’s I think was hilarious. Again with Michael Douglas…he is a great actor!.

 

Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: My acting training started at the age of six when I was lead actress at the plays in the school. We used to have an amazing stage and I had to perform in front of hundreds of people (parents, teachers and nuns).

Later in life I had done TV commercials, pilots for american TV series and sketch for Latin TV shows.

All those experiences were training me in front of the camera. From 2004 I toke acting class with many professors.  Some of then were successful actors that now are retired. I like to train to challenge myself.

 

Q:  What kind of day jobs have you had and how do they influence your acting?

A: I don’t have a day job. I work 24/7 managing my career: I am my own PR, my own Booking Agent, Art Director for photo shoots, calendars,web sites, souvenirs, I am my own Social Media Manager and  Marketing Director.

To be able to do all this activities correctly I studied at the University, I graduated, and train. I also give guidance to other talents who want to be in charge of the own careers and succeed.

On my little extra time I work in vacations rentals.

This activities keep me busy and of course influence my career big time.

 

Q: What is your oddest on set story?

A: The most weird thing that happened to me on set was during my first feature film: A naked old man appeared in a Hunting House to scare a group of students. We didn’t see that coming so honestly we been all scared for real to the point that one of the girls was vomiting after we shoot that scene. Latter that night I was in need of a ride to my hotel and that actor offered me to take me in his truck. Favor that I rejected because I was still in shock.

 

Q: What do you miss about Argentina?

A: I miss my friends and family more than anything else. I miss the bread and bakery that is extremely fresh as they manufacture all in front of your eyes. I miss the vegetables that are mostly organic so they have natural color, shape and are more tasteful.  I miss the coffee places. Starbucks didn’t exist when I was living there so the coffee places that I am missing are the ones where people drink real coffee from Argentina adding some liquor and eating amazing cakes. In special in winter time those coffee places are the best where people get together to have long conversations by the fire. I miss the way that they design the cities…people in Argentina walk a lot…I can’ live in a city or area where I can not walk. I need to bread the air, I need to feel the sun in my face and feel the energy of the city. That’s why my main cities in the US are Miami Beach and Manhattan.

Q: What do you like about Miami?

A: The green and the water. When I was a child I wanted to be a swam to be able to be between the green and the water. When I was a teenager I saw the people living between the green and the water in Miami Vice TV series. I used to draw myself in an hammock between two palms…now I am here and I love it!  I also like the variety of cultures in Miami Beach. This is a city where you can make friends from all over the world.

Social and entertainment are very important to me, so this is the place to be.

 

Q: What is next for you?

 

A:  I am producing my first feature film “Touch MY Heart”. I am writing the story, and preparing the funding campaign by Indiegogo now as we are on very early stage of development.

“Touch My Heart” is an inspiring feature film based in a real story part of my life and is about an actress who experienced

the worst nightmare when the doctors find a big tumor with metastasis. Tumor that was growing for many years of emotional struggles with family, ex boyfriends, the loss of her grandparents and the lack of true love in her life. Facing Brest Cancer, she decide shrink the tumor before the scheduled visit with the oncologist.  She began to research natural remedies, healing herbs and special diets. She has to confront her deepest feelingsand painful past experiences to conquer sadness and distress.

 

I am really focus in to produce this film…believe me or not this story happened for real on the last6 month. Now that I am a cancer survivor, that I am healthier than never before, that my courage and faith are stronger, plus all the knowledge that I got to be able to myself, I am happy and I feel so much power in my life. I want to help others with this movie. Not only to heal cancer but to prevent it. People from all over the world are contacting me to ask questions about Natural Healing of Cancer. It is an honor to be able to help. I want to spread the world with my experience. This movie will give hope to many people as it is a very contagious story that will touch the life of many people, in special people who have or had  cancer, or people who had loss someone with cancer. COLLABORATE WITH THIS GREAT FILM PROJECT AND CAUSE AT:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/touch-my-heart-film-takes-on-breast-cancer/x/8105925For more information about “Touch My Heart” film project please feel free to follow at:

https://www.facebook.com/TouchMyHeartmovie?ref=br_tf

And follow me and my acting career at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DEBORAH-FUNES/74850451356

 

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 Digital Media Producer and photographer Willie Pena

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Willie Pena is a Digital Media Producer and photographer; here is a link to his website:

 

http://williepena.com/

Q: What made you interested in digital media?

A: I first became interested in digital media due to my earlier career as a DJ. I used to have to carry around hundreds of extremely HEAVY and breakable 12 inch records to play, along with bulky turntables and other gear. It was entirely impractical and a giant pain in the neck.

Then compact discs came out and changed everything…especially when it became possible to burn your own music CDs. I remember that back then, audio “purists” hated the compact disc…calling the sound unnatural. The same effect happened when mp3s came out, and now that movies are also being shot on digital media rather than film, I see the same exact reaction again.

But I have always had a different reaction — one of excitement. To me, digital media is game-changing technology because it takes asset creation and delivery out of the hands of big monopolies and puts them into the hands of everyday people. You no longer have to rely on printers and manufacturers to get your work out into the world…everything is easily created and distributed, and that has changed the world for the better in most cases.

Q: What kind of services do you offer?

A: I do pretty much everything related to digital media. I think bullet points would be easier so here goes:

  • Freelance writing for websites, blogs, marketers, ad agencies
  • Scripts for commercials and films
  • Storyboards
  • Content marketing and social media planning
  • Web marketing strategy
  • Video production and video editing
  • Directing
  • Photography and photo editing
  • Infographics
  • E-books and whitepapers
  • Graphic design and Illustration
  • Original music production and scoring
  • Red carpet coverage and interviewing
  • Film, book, product and music reviews
  • And yes, I can still DJ with the best of them!

Q: What kind of training do you have?

A: There are a lot of different disciplines involved in what I do as you can see from the list above. As far as the illustration and design stuff, I received early training from my dad, who was a commercial and fine artist most of his life. The video work is all self-taught.

As far as the content marketing side, apart from some basic writing and journalism classes in college, all my training has been on-the-job and through studying what experts do. You have to stay on top of the latest trends to be in this business, and I get daily digests from many sources to keep up with all the different technology and strategies out there to grow a brand and drive revenue.

Q: What is the oddest thing you have been asked to promote?

A: Probably weight-loss pills. I am amazed that companies still peddle this stuff…and that people actually buy it!

Another weird situation is regarding one of my side projects, a teen website and video program called Teens Wanna Know. I am constantly pitched adult things by publicists for this site, even though it is for kids, such as stories about the latest sex toys and celebrity porn, stuff like that. I’m like, I am sure some teens really WANT to know about this stuff…but a family-friendly site isn’t the best place for them to find out about it haha!

Q: What are some simple things people can do to increase their social media popularity?

A: You need to post a lot, simple as that. That is RULE NUMBER ONE! No posts equals no activity.

So an easy trick is to share/retweet cool things other people have written around the web…so you don’t have to come up with so much material yourself.

If I were a dentist, for example, I would share interesting things posted by Colgate and other familiar brands daily in addition to my own self-created content. This helps would help establish my social media channels as go-to places for everything regarding oral care, instead of just being places where I pitch my services.

And never cheat and buy followers on sites like Fiverr or Craigslist just to get your numbers up. It is very easy to spot people pumping up their numbers and this harms credibility.

Plus…if you cheat, you never really fix the problems that are causing your social media efforts to be duds.

Q: Do you only do red carpet events or do you take paparazzi pictures as well?

A: I do red carpet events mostly because stars expect to be photographed and videotaped there…they are happy about it.

I did “paparazzi” work for ONE DAY as a trainee before I quit. It was awful to go up to people and just shoot them without permission, I hated it — and so did the celebrities I shot.

Q: Why do you think celebrities feel compelled to say they don’t want their picture taken?

A: Because it gets to be too much. It really is an invasion of their space and privacy, even if they are in public.

Celebrities simply want to do their thing and eat lunch or buy groceries or whatever, and having a horde of stupid, aggressive low-lives getting in their face every 10 seconds gets old quick.

Believe me, from hanging out with paps in Los Angeles for a while, I can say that most of these people leave lots to be desired as far as ethics, integrity and even basic human decency…so that’s why celebs hate them. The good ones work red carpets and events, and the idiots rudely chase after people in the streets.

Q: What do you like about Los Angeles?

A: The whole city is a creative haven. Wherever you go you will find someone involved in a creative field, whether that be filmmaking, theater, music, painting, or even making YouTube videos. It is a city of artists, and very laid-back despite its size.

I grew up around New York City, and that place is pretty harsh. I don’t miss it at all. L.A. is sunny and inviting and inspiring.

Q: What would you change about it?

A: There is so much I would change, you’ve opened up a can of worms! Here are some bullet points haha:

  • I would reduce bureaucracy and throw out about 90 percent of our laws and regulations which are simply a burden and most people don’t even know what they are in the first place, instituting a “no victim, no crime” policy for most infractions.
  • Get a sensible plan in to reduce traffic congestion.
  • Improve conditions in inner-city neighborhoods through outreach, employment opportunities, education, and the reduction of dependence on the government for basic survival.
  • Reform the police department to improve their reputation and decrease their violence against citizens. I would make them “peace and safety officers,” rather than “law enforcement officers.” Plus I would have them in brighter cars and uniforms like in Europe instead of scary dark uniforms and cars that look like Killer Whales and intimidate people, rather than make them feel taken care of.
  • Reward businesses by reducing taxes and eliminating many of the barriers to doing business here, such as overregulation, licensing fees and requirements, etc.
  • Reduce the cost of healthcare and break the monopoly of the AMA by piloting reduced certification and education requirements for general healthcare practitioners within the city and encouraging smaller “mom & pop” medical offices to spring up to compete with major hospitals and corporations. Also, allow other practices besides allopathic medicine.
  • Reform our judicial system through reduced requirements to practice certain types of law, allowing more people to participate in our judicial process and lowering prices.
  • Reward citizenship, production, and contribution…and do not reward those who leech off of everyone else or who are here illegally.

How’s that for starters? : )

Q: What can I do to become an internet superstar?

A: Here is what I wish were true:

  1. Post a lot of good, entertaining, engaging, informative, and awesome content.
  2. Market the heck out of it however you can until it goes viral.

Here is how it actually works:

  1. Post something dumb, ridiculous, or horrible — such as videos involving cats, nudity, or people beating each other up in the streets.
  2. Sit back and watch the clicks come in.

Yep. As in everything else in life — the answer is not so simple, nor fair.

But given enough persistence, funds, and ingenuity, you CAN make it even if no one know who you are right now. I have seen it happen, and the main differentiator seems to be having the burning desire to make it happen no matter the cost or effort.

And you can always write to me at willie@williepena.com for some ideas…

 

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 ACT Like A Child Magazine Co-Founder Jennifer East

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Jennifer East is the co-founder and creative director of ACT Like A Child Magazine; here is a link to the website:

http://www.act-likeachild.com/

 

 

Q: What kind of professional background do you have?

 

A: My background includes 20+ years as a professional Graphic Designer, Photographer, and Art Director, working both in-house and freelance. I also have professional marketing and writing skills. While in Los Angeles, I designed two magazines, one being ACT Like A Child Magazine. My first L.A. magazine was a fully interactive, digital magazine app, and ACT Like A Child Magazine will be one also, as soon as we get the funding for it! I am also an adult actor, primarily commercial work. I love working on set!

 

Q: What inspired you to start Act Like A Child?

 

A: After traveling across the country to help launch my daughter’s acting/performing career, I soon realized that Hollywood is no child’s play. I found out first hand that it takes a lot of industry know-how, preparation, networking, determination and hard work to even make a “dent’ in Hollywood. After thinking a lot about it and discussing it with a friend of mine, Sueanne Steinacker, (a talent agent), who herself, was also going through the same things with her daughters, we decided to help others. Families who have found themselves in Los Angeles, working to make their own kid’s dreams come true. We decided to seek out industry professionals who would be willing to share their wealth of information. Our editor, Jasmine Fontes is a producer for a LA production company. With the right tools, tips, and advice, our readers can develop a plan for their child’s career. Things are done the right way and not relying on luck, or thinking that because their child is good-looking or has been in a school play, that the agencies, casting or directors will want them, Agencies and casting get literally thousands of submissions from good-looking, talented hopefuls. Our readers will learn how to stand out and feel informed and confident with the choices they have to make!

 

Q: What do you look for in a writer?

 

A: What we look for is quality, trustworthy inspiring people who have a great tale to tell regarding their own journey to help their child live their dreams. It is even better when that person is an industry professional who is working in the field and is able to share their wealth of information. We have professional actors, performers (singers and dancers), models, directors, acting coaches, casting directors, agents, and more, offering their personal experiences and advice in their articles. We love reader’s stories and comments and welcome them! We also love reader’s questions so we can help them with issues that they need real answers to, because chances are, there are hundreds in the same boat, needing those same answers.

 

Q: What are some common mistakes stage parents make?

 

A: Probably one of the biggest thing is “smothering” their kids. There is a fine line of being there to manage your child’s career (which is very important, keeping them safe and happy) and not going over-board with their training, micro-managing, pushing them to do things they aren’t ready for, or don’t want to do. This partnership has to be a fun, inspiring, uplifting, an adventure for both parent and child. It does require a lot of discipline and work, as long as the parents infuse positivity and encouragement with their children. Allow kids to be “kids”. They need downtime and playtime with friends. Life needs balance. Also, another mistake is trying to “coach” your own child. It just doesn’t work, unless you are a professional acting coach, and even then, the child will probably listen to another person better. Be there to encourage for your child and be a positive role model and please don’t try to live your life through them.

 

Q: What do you look for in a cover star?

 

A: Well, we have three levels of talent that we look for – with all three, we hope to help launch and promote their careers. For a young child to the “twenty-something” actor/performer that is new or fairly new to the industry, we offer the “Cover Star” section, complete with their headshot and short bio, they just need to submit through our website: www.act-likeachild.com and they will be prominently displayed in a special section of our magazine. The first six headshots submitted for each issue will be on the cover and the next six will be on the table of contents page! We also list them on our Facebook page and our website, in hopes that casting and directors will have a great place to see fresh talent. All kids/teens/twenty-somethings are welcome to submit! Based on the bios, we sometimes select kids to be interviewed for our “Special Feature”! …..We also offer interviews and inspiring stories from our “up and coming” kids/teens/twentysomethings for a “Special Feature” (2-page spread w/photos) for those who are working hard in their field, who have a bunch of booked work and have a great story/journey to tell….Lastly, for our “Cover Feature”: (Cover shot and a 2+ page spread w/photos) is reserved for the kids/teens/twentysomethings that are currently booked and working in their field, have IMDb credits and are currently in a project that our readers can follow, such as a recent or upcoming full-feature movie release (lead or supporting actor), principal in a national commercial, a singer/group with a new song or album release (on iTunes),  a television show (reoccurring, guest or principal), principal on stage, in a professional show (acting, singing, dancer), model in a current fashion/ad campaign or runway show, etc. Parents, publicists, managers, etc. are asked to submit photos along with their credits for our consideration for a Special Feature and the Cover Feature! It is that simple!

 

Q: What makes a child performer a natural?

 

A: You can just tell when a child is in their element and experiencing pure joy when they are on stage or in front of a camera. They create performances at home, using the kitchen chairs and blankets as props and Mom and Dad’s closet for costumes. They are constantly singing and dancing around the house and as soon as a good song comes on, they are there to perform it for you! They have that sparkle and come to life when they watch musicals and can perform the scenes with accuracy. They are well spoken, good listeners and great readers.

 

Q: What is your oddest work story?

 

A: I’ve been wracking my brain and I just can’t come up with anything! We have such amazingly talented writers and photographers who contribute their work to us and we feel truly blessed. We would love to go to the next level and get this magazine off the ground. We are currently on issue 12 and we really want to see it as a digital, interactive magazine app that would be a super fun, interesting and a ‘go-to’ resource for all kids/teens/twentysomethings (adults love it also) and their acting teachers and coaches! That talent managers and agents would have a quality resource to offer to their clients. Even directors and casting could feel confident in referring their talent to the magazine for advice and information.

 

Q: What are some of the challenges involved in starting a magazine?

 

A: Honesty, it is advertising, funding and getting the word out to prospective readers. I know why they say that starting a magazine from scratch is probably one of the hardest things to do – what were we thinking? haha! This project is totally a “work of passion” getting each issue out, as a grassroots effort, to boot. It is a dream of mine that some amazing person or organization, of influence, will see this magazine and love it! They, of course, would have the need to want to give back and help other young actor/performers get inspired and prepared for their career. Because they are as excited about this project, as we are, they would decide to help us financially to get to the next step with the interactive magazine app! If this is you, reading this now – please contact us! We would love to talk with you!

 

Q: What kind of training do you recommend for children?

 

A: For starters, get them into Improv classes. Through improv games, kids learn to act and re-act naturally, helping them to think quickly on their feet. This will help with auditions and interviews. I really feel that kids need to act like kids as long as they can. They are natural actors. As they get older, such as middle school age, then start acting classes. I feel any training in the arts is an asset. Professional dance training and singing classes teach children how to move and use their voice, which is awesome preparation and fun to participate in. Read, read, read as much as they can! Let them read, out loud, as much as possible, so they can hear their own voice and feel comfortable with conversation. Have them audition as much as possible – the more they are in front of the camera or on stage, the more natural and comfortable they are with the process. They will need to ‘ooze’ confidence with this process.

 

Q: When is it time to tell a child to give up and how do you go about doing it?

 

A: I would have a hard time telling a child to “give up”. Parents should feel so lucky if their child has a passion that gets them out of bed each day – especially teens. So many kids flounder because they haven’t found that “something special” that motivates them. Statistics show that most child performers won’t end up pursuing acting as adults, but there are still countless benefits they can gain as they make the journey. If the child is truly the originator, bitten by the ‘performing bug’, it is in their DNA and there really isn’t anything a parent can do to stop that. They act/perform because they have to. Nothing else will truly satisfy them and fill them up the way getting on stage or in front of a camera does. Offer them other choices, if you are worried. If they have choices, then they will learn what they really want to do. Until then, support them! Don’t stand in your child’s way of self-empowerment, happiness, self confidence, and success, to become the best ______________ (let your child/teen fill in this blank) they can be! Did you know that many successful people in casting, management, teaching, producing, directing and more, had their start as actors/performers? Well they did! Along the same lines, many successful professionals studied theater/dance in the hopes of the big acting/dancing/performing career. A performer learns valuable skills that will help them their entire lives such as, building self esteem and confidence, improved reading skills, learning how to speak in public, independence and responsibility, social interaction, listening skills, risk-taking, learning to think on your feet, poise, how to deal with rejection, and so much more! Being realistic with goals is always very important, but if there is a true dream, backed with determination, a real plan (developed by reading ACT Like A Child Magazine) and support from family, then stand back and hold on for the adventure of your life!

 

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 Fashion blogger Jennifer Brix

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Jennifer Brix is a fashion blogger and the owner of Pink Brix Boutique; here is a link to her blog:

 

http://www.pinkbrix.com/

 

Q:     What made you want to be a writer?

 

A: Writing is the ultimate creative outlet for me! I enjoy telling stories from my point of view and capturing the reader’s interest all at once. I also appreciate the fact that, as a freelance writer, you get to define your own priorities.

 

Q:     How did you get your first paying gig?

 

A: I got my first paying gig with a small, local print publication in Charlotte, North Carolina. When I pitched the editor with my query letter, I discovered she was a fan of my blog and my writing style. It was truly a humbling experience!

 

Q:     Why do you think fashion and beauty are such popular topics for bloggers?

 

A: For the same reasons that the beauty and fashion industries, respectively, are booming: the world spends billions to look beautiful.  As women, we want to feel good about ourselves and are always seeking ways to change or enhance our looks. And though we may aspire to have their bank accounts, looks and (seemingly) effortless style, celebrity lifestyles are just not attainable for most of us. Why not gain insight into fashion and beauty topics from a blogger whom you can relate to?

 

Q:     Who are some of your favorite designers?

 

A: My must-have designer duds are Tory Burch flats and Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses. I’m obsessed! I’m also a big fan of Zac Posen’s unique designs. Otherwise, I’m a savvy shopper and enjoy affordable retailers such as Nordstrom, H&M, Express and Forever 21.

 

Q:     What’s the difference between blogging and traditional journalism?

 

A: The ongoing debate! Though both are methods of content distribution, I think it all boils down to the fact that journalism is heavily objective, while us bloggers love to express our opinion/perspective. Also, as blogging is a form of social media, it’s all about engagement, while traditional journalism relays information and is produced solely for consumption.

 

Q:     What trends in fashion annoy you?

 

A: Right now it’s the nipple-baring trend. I don’t need to see your breasts in public. It’s a desperate ploy for attention.

 

Q:     What makes for a successful fashion blog?

 

A: Consistency and great content is key. Captivating images are also important.

 

Q:  What is Pink Brix Boutique?  

 

A: Pink Brix Boutique (www.PinkBrix.com) is a celebrity-inspired fashion jewelry boutique catering to every woman’s style. I wanted to turn my brand into something tangible and Pink Brix was the result! Though I just launched the shop on July 1, I’ve had an outpouring of support and I couldn’t be more grateful!

 

Q:     What other jobs have you had and how do they influence your fashion sense?

 

A: During College, I interned at media companies such as NBC Universal and CBS Radio. After graduating in 2012, I began working as writer and editor. Currently, however, I work full-time as a Social Media Community Manager for health and nutrition brands in Greensboro, North Carolina.

 

My work experience has taken me from New York City to Los Angeles to Charlotte, and various places in between. I’ve definitely studied women’s style all over the country. Because of this, I enjoy exploring emerging trends and taking risks with my style!

 

Q: What fashion advice would you give to a pasty faced, middle aged woman whose ten pounds overweight?

 

A: You’re beautiful. Confidence is your best accessory. Never leave home without 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 Stunt Woman and Fighter Bridgett “Babydoll” Riley

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Bridgett “Babydoll” Riley is a stunt woman, boxer and trainer who appeared in Million Dollar Baby as a fighter; here is a link to her website:

 

http://www.babydollriley.net/

 

Q: What made you want to be a stunt woman?

 

A: i didn’t intend to be one. all i wanted was a collection of world kickboxing titles….at that time.

i moved from missouri to los angeles with an intense passion to achieve my goals. while training one day, a talent scout approached me and had me audition for an acting role. i wound up acting on a tv show with a very small part but it did indeed open the door for me into stunts. it was the mighty “morphin power rangers” television series.
Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: i was a gymnast in my youth to teens. i then jumped into the martial arts earning my black belt. i loved karate tournaments and fell in love with sparring. i transferred into kickboxing which led me to boxing.

 

Q: What was your scariest job?

 

A: i get nervous all of the time, but that puts me on the edge and keeps me humbly alert which is where i prefer to be to sharpen me and show me…..that i am in fact still doing the right thing. performing on time for camera can be unnerving but – WHAT A RUSH.

having said that….

hmmm….

leaping off the roof of an SUV onto a moving car hood was tricky because of precise timing. depending on others in stunts is part of the deal, hence i’d have to say that THAT one had me on edge. it was dope.

i did a hairy stair fall down concrete stairs with sharp edges and it just looked like i had to have died…but we got it and i walked away without injury. i’ve gone through break away windows falling to another story underneath me while in a rumble with another stunt man …which is always tricky when involving multiply people in a scenario. descenders through break away roof tops while everything is on fire around me…. can get my heart pumping. so many tricky detailed fight scenes involving up to fourteen people keeps me RIGHT THERE due to the fact that i am an OCD perfectionist and want it perfect. i’m very hard on myself and demanding.

Q: What does a typical workout consist of for you?

 

A: my workouts vary. maintenance is key. so i prefer a typical boxer’s workout, if you want to talk typical and BOXING is home for me but i can do that in my sleep.

i am trying to stretch myself and get more evolved with what is current. trends come and go. but jujitsu ground fighting is hot now. i am sharpening up my muay thai training and i happen to be becoming addicted to it. i love to run. outdoors is the way to go. i am not a hamster on a treadmill…i’ve been brain washed into embracing that the ROAD is the ONLY way to go when it comes to “road work.” if a particular job comes up that requires a specific skill set…i’m on it. i’ve gone to a guy who gets you in CAR driving/trick shape and i loved that. that was for a precision driving car commercial. it is very different than STUNT driving. it’s a skill and i dig it. i went to go-cart tracks to work on my foot pedal control and it was a blast to boot. if i’m working weapons i may hire a weapon’s expert or just work hard in rehearsals….. if i -GOD willing- have great stunt guys to train with and run it on.

training varies and i like to mix it up. once in a while i will hit a hip hop dance class to work my brain out at remembering tricky choreography. i will go to a gymnastics gym and drill basics. you cannot EVER get enough basics. i had to get scuba certified for a movie in my past, the remake of the classic “poseidon adventure.” which steered me to catalina island, in california to get scuba certified. it was fun.

Q: What is your dream role?

 

A: a dream role. i do indeed want to act more and play a vulnerable female – the underdog….i always root for the underdog. something with an AMAZING story. story is what moves my heart. if my heart is not there, ALL the action in the world can take place and i don’t give a rats behind about it. so story is key. then if action happens to happen because of the story… then COOL. but doing action just for the safe of action is just silly to me.

Q: You are a professional fighter who appeared in Million Dollar Baby; how realistic was that film?

 

A: hmmm….well Hillary Swank is a pro and she was awesome to watch work. she works HARD. she is a strong female who knows what she wants. impressive to me. i also LOVE mr. Clint Eastwood. that was the most DOPE thing…to be directed by him.

now….realistic, well…you would NOT see a trainer UP on the boxing apron during a fight. i will just say…IT WAS A MOVIE.

Q: What is the most amazing stunt you have ever seen in a film?

 

A: too too many to list. soooo many. stunts IS one of the ACTORS. i think stunts and stunt people should get more due respect. without the action in MANY films…there would be NO film. i enjoy REALISTIC action. i am NOT into CG. it just takes me out of it. but i should have been alive in the 1920’s. i’m OLD school. i still in fact like to write things down. weird, huh. i’d even like my cell phone to JUST be a freaking phone, but that’s just me. i like raw done RIGHT. that to me takes more talent.

Q: What celebrity would you find intimidating to meet?

 

A: i already met and trained her…miss Angelina Jolie. i was soooo nervous. i think she is the cat’s meow. she is amazing and it was an honor and pleasure to work with her.

Q: What your weirdest Don King story?

 

A: i really do not have a weird one. he delivered on everything he promised. he paid well, in fact….BETTER than OTHER former fighter/promoters (whom should KNOW BETTER.) so my dealings with mr. King were positive. i mean he put me on HOLYFIELD/LEWIS 1 ….at MADiSON Sq. GARDEN….that was the COOLEST. 🙂
Q: What famous boxer’s style do you try to emulate?

 

A: back in his day, Julio Caesar Chavez was so special, WOW!!! Finito LOPEZ – picture perfect text book style. Tyson was a FORCE back in the day to, i dug his intensity and focus.

i like GREAT body punchers. i love when fighters put punches in bunches together so nicely to appropriately label it THE SWEET SCIENCE. it really is a sport like NON other. it’s a privilege to be a part of an amazing thing. i am truly BLESSED.

 

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 Jaybird St. Productions Director Jason Walker

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Jason Walker is the executive director of Jaybird St. Productions; here is a link to it’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/JaybirdStProd 

 

Q: What inspired you to start Jaybird Productions?

A: For literally as long as I can remember, I’ve only wanted to be an artist & entertainer.  My experiences growing up from childhood into my mid-20s have led me to a love & appreciation for all arts, but I’ve primarily focused on acting, poetry, & music.  In my late 20s, I attended the New England Institute of Technology for Video & Radio Production; I felt that knowing what happened behind the camera/microphone would give me a better understanding of what was required of me in front.  During my mid-30s, I entered the RI film & TV community; I helped groups like the RIFC & SENE, & I watched some of the best operate behind the camera.  After being lead producer for the Providence 48 Hour Film Project for 3 years, I felt like I could start directing & producing film; after my first production, “Who’s Cafe”, received great reviews, I decided to continue in this vein.

Q: What kind of services do you offer?

A:JSP takes the work I’ve either written myself or found elsewhere & produces quality projects for distribution.  We also plan events to promote these projects & search for other artists to promote, without altering said artists’ processes.

Q: What can you offer that other production companies can’t?

A:Every production company can do what the others do.  Some people think that they have a special knack & don’t want to give away trade secrets, but I disagree with that philosophy.  We can’t be in all places at all times, but if someone we turn down then asks us for a recommendation to others, we need to be sure that those we recommend would do a job of sufficient quality.  What makes JSP different from the other companies is what makes every company different: the people.  No one else will bring my ideas, my open & creative mind, my sharp eye & ear, or my process to the table, so nothing will look, sound, or otherwise be like what I do.

Q: What was the most challenging thing you ever had to produce?

A:Being lead producer for the RIFC’s Providence 48 Hour Film Project was a challenge, because I had to take point on everything.  Coordinating the schedules of venues, judges, & volunteers isn’t an easy thing, but I had some great help & managed to pull off some great events for those three years.

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it effect running your production company?

A:I don’t have a day job.  Right now I have other funds that assist me in managing day-to-day life, so that I can focus on making this endeavor fruitful, but I would be homeless, if I had to be, just to make sure nothing distracted me from working in this capacity.

Q: You contributed writing to Shallow Graves magazine, what is the theme?

A:SG is a magazine devoted to all things sci-fi/fantasy.  This ranges from medieval & magical fare, like Game of Thrones & Lord of the Rings, to supernatural & horror, like the Nightmare on Elm St. & Friday the 13th franchises.

Q: What made you interested in writing for it?

A:I was personal friends, as well as colleagues in theater, with the owners & editors, & they needed assistance in not just getting articles but also promotional events.  I did some research for them & provided reviews.

Q: What do you like about LA?

A:LA is a warm & vibrant city, & its communities are diverse.  There’s a place for every type of artist/entertainer/media person.  Also, it’s large enough so that, if you don’t feel successful in one area, you can just go into another.

Q: What don’t you like about it?

A:Due to the immense size of the city & county, & to the fast-paced nature of today’s society, travel requires independent transportation; if you’re not in LA proper, the Metro system doesn’t work well for those who do more than just perform.

Q: If you could meet a famous producer who would it be and why?

A:I have ideas for bettering the industry & society as a whole, so I would want to meet a producer who has not only the ability to make this happen but the interest interest in doing so.  People like Oprah Winfrey & Ellen DeGeneres are well-known for their giving natures, plus they understand what it means to be on either/both sides of the camera; I would like to meet one of those ladies.

 

 

 

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