Comedian Mike Yard is one of the best in the business and here’s a rare opportunity for you to see him for free in his historic first one hour television taping!
Archive for November, 2009
On Black Friday, I headed uptown to the world-famous Apollo theater with my Uncle who is up on and goes to see all the latest and greatest shows to hit Broadway. My uncle got tickets as soon as they were announced and because he knows how much I love the story of Dreamgirls, he graciously took me with him as an early Christmas gift. Thanks Uncle Boe!
I have been a fan of Dreamgirls ever since I heard the first notes of the soundtrack from the original broadway cast album. If you need further proof of my devotion, I own it on Cassette, two CD’s and it’s on my ipod–and that’s just the original!
I also have the Feature film version
as well as the 20th Anniversary live concert which had the distinction of being the first NYC performance post 9/11
Uncle Boe and I also were among the first in line to see the limited edition screening of Dreamgirls, the movie at the Ziegfeld in NYC where we were able to view costumes from the film and we received Certificates of Authenticity, numbered movie posters and beautiful full color movie programs.
So, yes…I’m a bit of a Dreamgirls superfan!
I was too young to ever see the original stage version of Dreamgirls and the movie was my first foray into putting song lyrics to scenes. However, I know that dramatic licence is often taken with film in order tell a more complete or dramatic story so I have always wanted to see a stage adaptation of my beloved Dreamgirls.
Back to Black Friday and the latest edition of Dreamgirls to hit the stage… I loved it!! This rendition is supported by a solid cast of performers who had me singing along in my seat!
There was however one actor in particular who stood way out from the rest and ran away with the whole show.
Chester Gregory as James “Thunder” Early was an absolute star. Each time he took the stage whether or not he had uttered a line we were on the edge of our seats with anticipation that whatever was about to happen was going to be great. Through his character Gregory pays homage to the greats of yesteryear including Jackie Wilson, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Little Richard and he adds a touch of Morris Day for good measure! LOVED. HIM.
The rest of the cast included American Idol, season seven, second runner-up Syesha Mercado who was superb as Deena Jones,
And Chaz Lamar Shepherd as Curtis. I’ve been a fan of his since the long ago Steve Harvey sitcom, “Me & the Boys” and it was a pleasure to see Chaz in a role where he could utilize his vocal abilities.
Rounding out the Dreams were Adrienne Warren as Lorrell (whose character was made famous by the legendary Loretta Devine.) Warren sings and does justice to my favorite song in the show “Ain’t No Party,” and newcomer to the NY stage Moya Angela as Miss Effie White
Moya did a great job singing “I’m not going” but she had me misty eyed with her version of “I Am Changing.” It is not easy to step into the shoes of Jennifer Holiday or Jennifer Hudson but Moya holds her own nicely.
Dreamgirls is only playing at the Apollo until December 12th and I urge you to see it if you haven’t already! There are a few subtle changes to the story and some of the music is used in a refreshing new way.
I left the theater feeling energized and truth be told, I think I had a breakthrough while sitting in my seat.
Many people don’t know this about me but I have a fear of the stage. No, not stage fright but a fear of doing theater.
Maybe it’s becasue I felt so comfortable in my second home at the Apollo (I worked there for many, many years doing production for It’s Showtime at The Apollo) or becasue of my familiarity with the story of Dreamgirls but when when the final curtain fell I felt ready to go for it.
My goal is to be a well rounded actor in film, television and stage. I’ve been studying film, television and commercial techniques recently but stage is my cryptonite (let’s just say I had a bad experience as a young actor which we won’t get into.)
I want to overcome it and this definitely gave me the push I needed to get out there and try do it. I may even take some vocal lessons to see if I still have “it.”
2010 here I come, wish me luck courage.
Last weekend, I had the honor of attending the premiere of the Kindred Series in NYC.
The event was hosted by good friend, The Original Runway Diva Miss Sharon Quinn
Other friends in attendance were Marco Mays, Jeannie Ferguson, Madeline Jones and Tara Taylor.
If you haven’t heard about the Kindred series, it is a webisode started by three young women in the industry as a way to get themselves seen and heard by the Hollywood powers that be. As legend tells it, they couldn’t get the industry to pay attention to them so they decided to do their own thing. LOVE that!
Here’s the rundown from their facebook page:
Providing a no-holds-barred look at issues that all women face, Kindred reveals how three everyday women tackle love, life, and work, while dealing with daunting, life-changing issues such as sexual harassment, infidelity, drug abuse, deadly diseases, racism, and homosexuality.
Enter the world of Karmella Scott, Collette Robbins and Angelina Chambers, three twenty-something African-American women who are first cousins, as they navigate family, work and love against the gritty skyline of New York City.
I wish the ladies much success and I will be watching.
Recently, I appeared on FOX 5’s, Good Day Street Talk to talk about body image. We are all different yet society is constantly trying to make us “fit!”
Madison Plus had some very kind things to say about me in this article and you can also watch the FOX footage here: Mia Amber on Barbie’s “Cankles” and the Modeling Industry
Thanks for the support, Ladies!
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Gemma Ward, one of the most talented Supermodels in the new generation of mannequins has quit modeling.
After these paparazzi photos of her out and about made the rounds on the internet to a chorus of “Look How Fat She Is” the doll-like waif contacted her manager and announced that she was done with the business with no immediate plans to return to the catwalk.
One blogger even went so far as to say that Ward could carve out a niche for herself with a career as a plus model. I’m disgusted and disturbed by this. I’m happy that Gemma stood up for herself but I wish she hadn’t quit.
To me she’s one of the best. I wish she would have used the attention and taken a stand against sizism in the fashion industry.
I understand that this is a lot for a 22-year-old to handle but something needs to be done. Girls all over the world can’t be led to believe that this is “fat” or un-pretty.
As a society we need to be more diligent about accepting all body types and not holding up a certain body type as the standard of beauty.
2009 has seen some pretty ugly attacks on Supermodels and the like. Designer Woolfgang Joop stated that Heidi Klum was too much of a “cow” to do runway
Shoe Designer Christian Louboutian was quoted stating that Barbie’s cankles made them too fat for his shoes!
Ralph Lauren fired model Filippa Hamilton because she was “too fat” at a size 4 and her photoshopped her campaign ads to near distortion.
And formerly full-figured designer Karl Lagerfeld had this gem to offer, “No one wants to see curvy women, you’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly.”
What is the solution? What can we do to end the sizism in the fashion industry and to give women around the globe a chance at healthy societal self-esteem?
2010 has to be better. Our future as women depends on it.
Facebook and MySpace are all the rage when it comes to catching up with old classmates, promoting parties and the like but if you’re interested in modeling do you know that there are similar networking sites that could help you promote your career?
The first site I ever had an online portfolio on was MuseCube www.MuseCube.com
Here’s a link to my old Muse Cube Profile:
Muse cube was a free site that allowed you to make separate portfolios and name them whatever you’d like. I believe Muse cube is still free but like most networking sites you can pay a fee (small to large) and upgrade for more memory.
The next site that I uploaded my portfolio on to was Model Mayhem www.ModelMayhem.com
Model Mayhem is great because it allows you to upload up to 20 photos for free. Also, it’s browsing page has several different categories for practically every job in the modeling industry from Hair stylist to Photographer. I also have a portfolio on Model Mayhem for my Style Consulting.
Check me out on Model Mayhem as a Model: http://www.modelmayhem.com/451927
And as a Style Consultant: http://www.modelmayhem.com/881190
The newest modeling network is Plus Size Industry Professionals or PSIP www.PlusSizeIndustry.com
PSIP (Formerly the Plus Model Dirsctory) is specifically for those in the Plus industry and picks up where all other sites fall off. In the interest of full disclosure, it is affiliated with Plus Model Magazine of which I am Creative-Editor-at- Large.
The Editors of Plus Model Magazine often use the PSIP to scout for models for the magazine as well as suggesting models for clients looking for new faces.
There is something for everyone on the PSIP no matter what your level of experience and there are even job postings to help you gain experience.
(I can’t show you my portfolio because you have to be a member to see it)
The bottom line is this: If you’re a model without representation these sites may be able to help you to be seen and market yourself. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…Please don’t post any inappropriate photos of yourself on the internet. If you want to be a model who “sells” clothes then you should definitely be wearing them in your photos!)
If you’re an aspiring model take a look at the pages of working models to get a feel for what types of photos are expected of you. I don’t mean for you to take the same photos, rather, be inspired by the ones you see.
These are just three sites that I have had personal experience with. If you know of any others please post their web addresses so that we can all learn.
Stop waiting “to be discovered” or signed. Be proactive in your own career destiny.
I hope this helps you get started or continue your journey.