Friday, March 23, 2012

Amandla Stenberg - Movie


 
Amandla Stenberg
Gifted, Sweet Natured and Ahead Of The Curve!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Print Columnist

Amandla Stenberg Photo by Kat Ward
 
     It takes a special sense of consciousness for a child to not only pursue the craft of acting but to commit to the training, discipline and sacrifices it takes to nurture that talent to the level of professional execution. The plot to this scenario is enhanced when said child is a gorgeous thirteen-year-old who radiates a sweet natured confidence that can be genuinely felt in her presence. Amandla Stenberg is a teen actress whose time in the spotlight has arrived. Born and reared in Los Angeles with a name that means power in the African Zulu language; Stenberg is currently starring as Rue in the Lionsgate film “The Hunger Games.” She made her big screen debut as ten year-old Cataleya (the young version of Zoe Saldana’s adult Cataleya character), in the movie “Colombiana.” Stenberg turned in an outstanding performance in that film acting well beyond her eleven years including performing some of her own stunts when the project was shot.    

     Stenberg began her career at age four as a Disney Catalog print model and made the smooth transition into commercials including the famed “BuildTheDream.org” PSA in 2009 which helped raise funds to build the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. A couple of years later in October of 2011, Stemberg got the opportunity to speak at the King Memorial dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C., with actress Cicely Tyson. Stenberg plays the violin, drums and guitar and has performed violin with the LA Unified School District’s Honors Orchestra. She has also won the Rock Star Music Education program’s Battle of the Bands with her band and is an avid photographer.      

     The role of Rue in “The Hunger Games” required Stenberg to be out in the elements of the woods in North Carolina. Did she have to do anything physical in her audition to show that she had the right stuff? She says, “I didn’t have to do anything physical but I did tell Gary Ross (the film’s director), that I ran track and I also got to do some really fun hard core stuff with David Bell the creator when I was working on “Columbiana.’” What physical skills did Stenberg take for real life from her hunger games training? She laughs, “I did some stunts in a harness and I learned how to climb trees really, really quickly. That was fun. I had a custom made harness and it was all set up when I got to North Carolina and I got to practice flying around like Peter Pan.”       

      In the film, Stenberg is paired with Nigerian born actor Dayo Okeniyi who plays Thresh, as the representatives from District 11. How much fun was it to pair with Dayo? Stenberg lights up, “It was extremely fun because he is a really funny guy and we became close. We spent a lot of time on set joking around and teasing each other.” Even though all actors read the script and basically know what to expect on set there is often the element of surprise. Did Stenberg have any surprises? She reflects, “I don’t think that there was anything that actually surprised me. I mean it was amazing walking on set and seeing a world that I envisioned in my mind that’s incredible. And all of the sets were incredible so that kind of surprised me just how well it was brought to life.”        

     What was her experience like working with four-time Oscar® nominee, director Gary Ross? Stenberg became illuminated, “I loved working with Gary just because one day I think I want to direct and I love photography. And so it was very interesting to see the shots that he did and the choices that he made because some of them just turned out so beautiful.” The Hunger Games movie along with her talent and cutie-pie good looks are sure to put Stemberg on the next level of stardom. How does she plan to handle it? She sweetly says, “I think it’s very important to stay grounded and to remember that the business is not about the fame, the parties and all of that. It’s more about the work itself and also being able to use your new found fame I guess for greater good.”  For example, Stenberg currently works with the Ubuntu Education Fund which helps children in Port Elizabeth, South Africa as well as other great causes. 


© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net
                                            

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chelsea Tavares - TV




Chelsea Tavares Next TV/Movie Superstar!
(You read about her here "First!"

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist

Chelsea Tavares is not only one of Rych McCain's Media Family members, she is rising at "warp speed" to superstardom with the network execs already calling her the new "It-girl!" Chelsea may well be the most gorgeous young African-American ingenue in Hollywood. As with Dorothy Dandridge, Pam Grier and Halle Berry, who became the sex symbols of their eras, Chelsea is on a direct course to be the sultry siren of her generation. 

Chelsea will be heating up the small screen as rival gymnast Jordan Randall on the ABC-Family TV Network's smash hit show "Make It or Break It." Check out this ad for details and click on the links below to view the magic for yourself







   (C) 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
   (You DID Hear It From Me!) 
   E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nick Nervies - Movie


Nick Nervies 
Secures The Party Of Parties In Project X!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist

Nick Nervies (Photo by Deidra Fahey)
     At first encounter, he may seem unassuming and low key but behind that reserved exterior is a mega-ton bomb of charisma, talent and very clear mindset as to the direction he is headed in and how he is going to get there. Seventeen year-old actor Nick Nervies (pronounced Nervye), plays Tyler, who is a security guard at the wildest teen party ever in the new Warner Bros. Pictures flick  “Project X.” Nervies is a native Los Angelino who began his acting career young. He explains, “I had a friend that was actually an actor before I was. I was eleven back then. I went with him to his agency’s office to drop something off. When we got upstairs his agent said you have a look; do you act? I’ve always been curious about acting. I’ve always watched shows and said hey I want to do that. Since he asked me you should start; my mom and I began looking into actually getting into acting. That’s how it really all started.” Of course after his training and sending out head shots etc., he got signed to a major talent agency, Nervies started booking TV roles including “Will and Grace,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Monk” to name some and his current TV show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” where he plays Daryl Black. Nervies has also appeared in films “The Soloist” and “Role Models.” He has been nominated twice for a “Young Artist Award” and now ranks along side with the top young actors in the biz such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Lautner and Josh Hutcherson to name some. Getting back to his current film, Nervies runs down his role. “Tyler is the security guard over the whole party which is kind of strange because my character is like thirteen years-old and he’s the security guard over a bunch of college students. I try to keep the party from going out of control which I don’t do too well as the movie goes on but we try.” 

     How he secured the role has a different turn as well. Nervies laughs, “At first the characters were like seven and eight and it just wasn’t working having them play security guards so they upped the roles. I was talking on set to one of the producers and he told me he was familiar with my role on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and he gave me the script for the actual Tyler role and told me to come back the next day and practice some of the lines when I got home. So the next day I did the lines for him and they booked me as the role of Tyler. So that was pretty interesting.” When asked if he sings, he is quick to say no to that one but adds, “I do music though. I actually rap. I signed with Soulja Boy’s management company. I’ve been good friends with him for about three or four years now and when I started rapping, he was the first person who kind of gave me a shot. We’ll see how that all unfolds.” Nervies had a good time on the set of “Project X” because of all of the teenagers but when it came time for work, everyone transformed into game face mold and got down to work. Nervies has been home schooled most of his life only attending regular school for kindergarten and the third grade. 

     Does he feel like he’s had a so-called normal life as far as his socialization with people goes or will he turn into a show-biz misfit later on down the road? He laughs, “Not at all! I have a great social life. A lot of the other kids who are into acting are home schooled and we hangout a lot. We try to do as much fun stuff as we can. We go bowling, to the movies etc., and try to do as much as we can together because we all know what it is like to sit in the house and go straight to set. So we have a good social life.”  Even though it is an everyday common thing to him, Nervies running pals reads like a list of the Who’s Who in the teen TV and movie worlds


© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net
                

Jordenn Thompson - Movie



Jordenn Thompson
A Charismatic Mountain Of Sweet Child Charm!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
Photos Courtesy of RMMS

(L) Jordenn Thompson (R) Thandie Newton
  
     She has sweetness and charm in such abundance that it is difficult not to melt in her presence. Eight year-old Jordenn Thompson also has the gift of acting talent to combine with the charm that is bound to take her far in the realms of TV and Films. She has a major role in the new Tyler Perry film “Good Deeds” playing Ariel, the daughter of Lindsey played by Thandie Newton. Being in a major motion picture is a big step for an eight year-old, especially when one considers the mature mindset and discipline that it takes to act on that level. How did Thompson arrive at that point so young and what motivated her to get into professional acting? She smiles and says, “I started acting when I was four. I don’t actually remember when I got started. I think I just kept watching movies and I told my mom that I wanted to be in a movie. So I started acting.”     

    Of course the training came and she began booking child modeling gigs for Gap, Old Navy, Children’s Place, JC Penny, Walmart and Target to name some. This was followed by commercials with McDonald’s, Sears, Humana, The Disney Channel and others. TV roles eventualized such as “Fake It Til You Make It,” which lead to films. In the movie “Good Deeds,” Ariel and her mom become homeless and have a very emotional rollercoaster ride with scenes that called for a wide range of reactions. How difficult was it to cry among other emotions? Thompson snaps that one up without losing a beat. “That was hard because when I went in for the auditions, I was so excited that I couldn’t cry that much at all. But I didn’t actually cry, I just put my head down and was pretending to cry so it was funny. I was trying not to laugh too.” The movie on screen takes place in San Francisco where all of the exterior shots were filmed but the actual shoot of the project happened in Atlanta. So what was Thompson’s experience working with Mr. Perry?      

     She lights up, “He was so cool. He always treated me like a princess. He was so nice to me. He gave me flowers everyday so it was cool.” What was her initial reaction seeing him in person for the first time? Thompson reflects, “He’s the biggest star I’ve seen before in a movie.” Thandie Newton and Thompson looked very realistically close as mother and daughter. How much was she like a real mom to Thompson? She flashes that charming smile and says, “She always took care of me and she was the sweetest girl that I’ve every met before so it was fun working with her. She helps me out a lot. She makes me be Ariel. She does the part really good and it helps me do the part really good.” In dealing with the subject of homelessness, what does Thompson hope the movie goers will take from this film? She says, “They would go home thinking, what if I got homeless? And say if I ended like that, I’d be really happy.” Of course she is referring to good fate she and her mom has at the end of the film.

                        
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

2012, 43rd NAACP Image Awards - TV



The 43rd NAACP Image Awards
Dazzles Again!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
Photos by Earl Gibson

KeKe Palmer wins her 4th Image Award

     Once again it was that time of year when the best of the best come together to celebrate red carpet fashion and bling; reunion and camaraderie amongst friends, peers and colleagues and recognize great artistic achievements by people of color. Of course we are describing the 43rd NAACP Image Awards which broadcast live, Friday, Feb 17, 2012, on the NBC/Universal Network from the famed Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The red carpet arrivals were on fire with excitement from all of the dazzling gowns and bling. One of the highlights was the presence of a group of Tuskegee Fighter Pilots from Word War II. Even though they are well in their 80’s, these distinguished American war heroes drew the applause and admiration from the beginning to the end of the red carpet. They were greeted the same way during the telecast.       

     The two hour live special was hosted by Sanaa Latham and Anthony Mackie. Special awards that were given included the NAACP Vanguard Award to film maker George Lucas; the NAACP Chairman’s Awards to Radio One/TV One Founder Cathy Hughes and the NAACP President’s Award to The Founding Members of the Black Stuntmen’s Association. Some of the individual award highlights included Regina King for “Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series,” KeKe Palmer who collected her fourth Image Award for “Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Series or Special” and of course “The Help” for “Outstanding Motion Picture,” Viola Davis for “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Pictures for “the Help” and Octavia Spencer from “The Help” for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.”      

     Performing for the evening gala was Lenny Kravitz, Jill Scott, Kirk Franklin, Ne-Yo, Jennifer Hudson and a moving tribute to the late Whitney Houston by Yolanda Adams who took it home and had church. After the cameras went to break, one choir member decided to breakout in a holy dance a ski bit but nobody really got into him so he faked calming down. Not everybody is impressed with that kind of carrying on in a crowd like that. Highlights also included the pairing of Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson and Diahann Carroll as presenters. They are definitely up in age but the love and respect for them as Black Afrikan sho-biz royalty was at a favor pitch high via the overwhelming, rousting, standing ovation they received upon coming out to the podium . For a complete list of the winners go to www.naacpimageawards.net

                 
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

The 2012 Grammys - TV



The 54th 2012 Gammy Awards!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist 


Photos Courtesy CBS/Grammys

Bruno Mars
 
The 54th Grammy Awards went down into the record books with the triumph of victors who took home the big prize and the dark shadow that loomed over the entire evening as a result of superstar singer/actress Whitney Houston being found dead in the bath tub of her 4th floor room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel the night before. British pop sensation, singer/songwriter Adele led the pack winning six Grammys including album (“21”), record and song of the year. She answered any questions about her recovery from throat surgery last October when she effortlessly sang her hit “Rolling InThe Deep” in what was her first public performance since the operation.     
    The boss, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band opened the CBS broadcast performing his new single, “We Take Care Of Our Own.” After which, host LL Cool J came on and started by reading a prayer for Whitney Houston. The audience reverently fell silent with many bowed heads. The Foo Fighters pulled in second behind Adele with five Grammy wins followed by Kanye West with three wins. West and Jay-Z won “Best Rap Performance” for “Otis” off their “Watch The Throne” album but were no shows due to their opinion that too many major rap artists continue to be overlooked. There was also speculation that West may have felt snubbed for not making it to the “Album of The Year” category.  To add more controversy to the mix, the Academy ruthlessly cut 31 categories this year that were mostly dominated by Latinos, Native Americans, Blacks and other people of color. Superstar Carlos Santana, the Rt. Rev. Jessie Jackson and others have joined in to protest.     
      The night included tributes to Glen Cambell who masterfully performed his signature “Rhinestone Cowboy” and will do his final tour this year due to his battle with Alzheimer’s disease and the reunion of The Beach Boys who’s geriatric performance was totally lackluster. Had it not been for Foster The People and Maroon 5 basically carrying them, a couple of the Boys may have fallen asleep. Being in their 70’s, I know it was way past their bed time. Their reunion tour may be better fit hitting a string of senior citezens homes and events rather than major venues. They clearly don’t have it anymore. Other tributes included one to the late, great Etta James by Bonnie Raitt and Alicia Keys. Nicki Minaj did her satanic act which upset and shocked only the folks foolish enough to not expect nothing less from her to grab attention. 
      Chris Brown bounced back from last year’s man handling of Rihanna with Best R&B Album for F.A.M.E. and Bon Iver walked away with Best New Artist which lit up the tweet board with people asking who is this guy? Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood provided class and jazz smoothness with their duet of “It Had To Be You,” and Sir Paul McCartney performed twice with his first tune “Valentine” being done with a full orchestra. Go to Grammys.com for a complete recap and list of all the winners.
                 
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

Roshon - TV




Roshon,
Making His Dreams Into Reality!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment columnist

Roshon, (Photo by Jon Santana)

     There is a certain assurance about being in the presence of a person who is not only full of life from a positive side but radiates the go getting confidence to make it happen!  Roshon Fegan, professionally known as “Roshon,” is a young man on a mission with a pretty solid idea of how to accomplish it. The Los Angeles native grew up in a showbiz family carefully observing his dad Roy who is a professional actor with major TV and movie credits as well as directing and producing. So it is no small wonder where Roshon’s wise guidance originates and why he is on target with his goals. However, Roshon was not one to rest on the family name alone. Like all great professional children in the biz, he put in his share of training with acting lessons and performance arts school.  Roshon broke into the biz with a small role on the blockbuster “Spiderman 2” at age 12. TV roles and commercials followed.   

     The break through movie that put his name on the map was the Disney smash hit film “Camp Rock” where he played Sander Loyer and performed songs on the soundtrack. His popularity continues to soar through the roof as Ty Blue on the Disney mega-hit “Shake It Up.” Roshon currently has a hit single released on iTunes titled “Got Me Like,” on his own “3 ina Ro Entertainment” label (pronounced three-in-a-row) which he and dad runs. He has a show on YouTube called “The Ro and Co Show” with his fellow actor friend Cody Linley. Roshon’s website is loaded with the 411 on everything he is into and you can check it out at www.yaboyro.com      

      Being the fodder of the teenybop gossip and fan magazine, how does Roshon handle the intrusions on his privacy? He laughs with his upbeat demeanor and explains, ”It is kind of crazy. I don’t know. People want to know what I’m about so that’s just what happens I guess.” Roshan has a new three song EP dropping in March that he is super excited about and he runs it down. “That’s going to be hot man! That’s something I’m really looking forward to.     

      It’s called “I Am Ro, I Am Roshon.’  Its three tracks that I fully produced and wrote myself. And its three tracks that are really important to me because I’ve made a lot of songs in my life, I’ve dropped a lot of stuff on the internet but it didn’t really represent me as who I am as a person and an artist as well as these three songs do. So it’s really just my introduction to the world with my music. So that’s why it’s real important.” Being that he is equally creative with the music and the acting, does one have more pull than the other in terms of what gets first priority? This one makes him pause to ponder but only for a half a second. “Aw man, I’m just getting the hang of it now but I’ve been doing it all of my life. It is crazy. As an actor, I’m on the set Monday through Friday grinding it out but right after I’m off set, I’m in the studio working on the music. So on the acting tip, since I have a steady job, it’s really no way to try to put that on hold, I have to split time. And by splitting time, that means it really is 50-50. I’m acting 24/7 and I’m doing music 24/7 and just splitting the days in half to make it work.” 

    
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

Marcus T. Paulk - Movie



Marcus T. Paulk
Honors Tuskegee Airmen With A Great Performance!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist


Marcus T. Paulk (Photo Courtesy of 20th Century Fox)


     It took a minute to track down the actor who played one of my favorite roles in “Red Tails,” the much talked about George Lucas film about the heroic Tuskegee fighter pilots who were the first Black Afrikans to fly combat missions for the U.S. Army Air Corps in WWII. With all of the promotional stops various cast members are making, it was worth the wait to finally have a moment to chat with Marcus T. Paulk who turned in an outstanding performance as David “Deke” Watkins. Paulk is a native Angelino and has been acting since early childhood. He may best be known from his six seasons as singer/actress Brandy’s little brother Myles Mitchell on “Moesha” and the smash hit movie “Roll Bounce” with rapper/actor Bow Wow as well as a string of TV appearances on shows like “Grace Under Fire,” “Ma   

     Because George Lucas put up his own money to get this movie made after twenty years of studio decision makers saying no, was their any unsaid pressure on the cast when making this film? Paulk responds, “We all knew that we had a huge responsibility. But it actually kind of put a fire under us, made us go harder and I think the outcome kind of shows that in the film. We had a great time making it and we came together as a team and everybody was excited. But I don’t think we tried to think so much about all of those small things that were negative or some what like obstacles because when we got to the set and things and we were studying for this film, we didn’t think too much about that stuff. It wasn’t so much that Hollywood really didn’t want to make it. To me George is Hollywood so somebody wanted to make it and it got done.” 

     When Paulk first got a copy of the script, what impression did he have of deke and how did he approach playing him? He ponders, “It kind of got changed around a little bit. Actually, I thought it was necessary in a film like that. In the military and anywhere you go there are people who are very religious and there are always believers around so it was important that, that role was in the film. When it came to me going out for it, I was like, it’s cool. It’s something that I can embody and something I can relate to. So I was excited about it.” They had a boot camp to get the actors acclimated to a real military feel of 1944. What was Paulk’s experience with that? He really lights up on this one, “Aw man, boot camp was so intense. We were doing a large amount of marching, we stayed in a bunker, it was freezing cold, we did a nine mile hike through the mud and we had water training. I learned how to make a floating device out of my pants which was pretty cool. It was a great experience, kind of like a beautiful nightmare.” 

     The actors actually sat down to talk with the real Tuskegee pilots. How humbling was it to converse with the guys who actually did this stuff? Paulk expresses, “It was definitely an honor. To be able to be that close and talking with American heroes and also going to be portraying them is something that you can only dream of because it’s like putting us in the new position to be the new rock stars. Because in 1944, the 1940’s, they were the Black men who stood out at that time. There was nobody really doing what they were doing and they were smart, educated Black men. And then meeting them face to face to see that they are 80 years old but they are so full of life, watching them talk about the stories and how they happened. And they get into maybe a little oh that’s not how it happened, it was like this and we were watching them go back and forth and it was really fun for us guys to watch and soak that up so we could portray these great men.”

                   
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

Landry Bender - Movie




Landry Bender
A Charming Little Package Of Vintage Talent!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist


Landry Bender (Photo by Patrick rogers)
 
     Just when I think that I have met all of the most seriously talented professional child actors in Hollywood, “whamo;” I meet another one! We’re talking about eleven year-old. Landry Bender. With her latest role in the 20TH Century Fox Pictures movie, “The Sitter,” Bender plays Blithe; the baby sister wanna-be “celebutante” who was one-third of three misfit children that Noah (played by Jonah Hill) had to baby sit for a night that turned into an evening of “you-name-it---it happened!” Bender was born in Chicago but her sports caster parents moved to Phoenix when she was two, then relocated to Los Angeles. Bender is named after the late, legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry. She began acting at age five doing stage plays then moved into commercials and TV roles. 

     At the beginning of this interview Bender greets me with a warm and charming hello. The conversation that followed was relaxed and fun because Bender’s sweet nature flowed with the moment which is something you can’t fake. Her film character Blithe was way off the chain in terms of a nine-year-old trying to act like a teen. What was bender’s first impression of Blithe when she initially read the script? She lets a giggle out and says, “My mom read it first and then she told me to read it and she let me do because of all that sad stuff. I thought of her (Blithe) as a swearing maniac who wants to be 21. She’s just crazy. She wants to go to clubs all night and party and really should be in bed reading or watching little kid shows.” How much of Blithe was on script and how much of herself did Bender put into this character? Bender explains, “I put a lot of my own self I really think because I just kind of made her my own. At first they made her into a sassy little chick. Some of it is myself a little bit. The dancing is all me, the songs I made up, so there’s just a lot of stuff I put in there.” 

     What was it like working with director David Gordon Green? Bender lights up, “He’s the best. We pulled a bunch of pranks on him. What were some of the things that Bender learned from Green that she can use in future work? She reflects, “He taught me a lot of improve. I just love his style. He would say now you can just do what ever you want and me and Jonah would just scream at each other. We would just go crazy.” What did the children on set learn about Jonah Hill that a lot of us don’t know? Bender is all smiles with this one saying, “He loves bulldogs. I bought a bulldog when I was in New York (where the film was shot).We brought it to the set when the maid would clean our apartment and he would say I need to get one of these. He was like obsessed with it and it was kind of creepy. He said he was going to get two of them.” Bender even named her bulldog pup Blithe after her character. 

     Many people have the perception that showbiz youth don’t have a normal childhood but in these times what is normal? Living in the hood and getting shot at or living in poverty around the world is not normal. So what is Bender’s opinion? “She laughs, “I go to regular school in Beverly Hills and when I’m working I take my school work with me on set with a tutor. Its normal for me just like a kid going to soccer practice everyday is normal for him to. Everyone has their life and its normal for them.” Bender will be shooting a pilot for the Disney Channel in a couple of weeks so we can really not only expect to see more of her but she may blow up into a super-star with the mighty Disney machine behind her. 

                  
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

Cymphonique - TV



Cymphonique
Delightful Teen With A Sizzling, Positive New TV Show!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist


Cymphonique, (Photo by Michael Elms for Nickelodeon TV Network)


     I’m sitting at a massively long meeting table in the conference room for stage 25 at Paramount Studios. This is one of the most famous sound stages in show business whose hallowed floors have hosted among others, “I love Lucy,” “The Lucy Show,” “Taxi,” “Cheers,” “Frazier,” “True Jackson, VP” and now Nickelodeon’s new teen live-action dramedy series “How To Rock.” As I settle into my comfy seat, it doesn’t take long for the show’s star, fifteen year-old Cymphonique Miller (PKA Cymphonique) to grace the room. She is gorgeous, funny, witty, intelligent, very articulate and dressed fly! The fact that Cymphonique is the baby daughter of rap music mogul and businessman Master P and of course little sis to rapper/actor/athlete Romeo Miller is slowly becoming irrelevant “old-hat” information as she  methodically carves her own niche in the biz. 

     In her new show, Cymphonique plays Kacey Simon, a teen who was once a “mean girl” in a clique who called themselves “The Perfs” (meaning perfect) but she fell out of favor with them after she has to get glasses and braces. She soon discovers that hanging with a new group of friends may not be as bad as it first seemed. The season will follow Kacey as she navigates through high school social circles, real and fake friendships and learns how to rock her “real” self. The show basically carries a positive message for teens to be themselves because at the end of the day that is only who you can actually be anyway! Now for those who assume that Cymphonique got this show due to the workings of her dad, think again---she didn’t! She actually auditioned just like anyone else and they didn’t even know who she was until after they had chosen her. She explains, “I went in for a general audition when I was twelve. We flew to New York and this was just a general audition. It wasn’t necessarily for the show “How To Rock.” When I went, I decided that I didn’t want them to know who I was related to at all. No dad, I’m not saying who you are, I don’t want them to know who Romeo is, when I do this audition I want to do this for me.” 

     When describing the audition experience Cymphonique lights up, “I had to do many different things in the script. I had to sing, dance, act and do different voices. So literally for this one video clip, I was doing all of these different tasks. I went back home and a month later we got a call saying we really like Cymphonique’s video, we want to do something with you. So not until then, they were like wait a minute, that’s Romeo’s sister who we already had a show with and she did a general audition? They were like how did we not know this? So it feels so special for me and I feel like I was meant to be here because they loved me for who I was before they knew who I was related to. Nickelodeon is like m extended family!” 

     When she gets into talking about the show, Cymphonique emphasizes that it is basically being true to who you are. She adds, “It’s got music in it so we have a new song each episode which is really cool and we also love physical comedy and each week we do crazy stunts.” How does Cymphonique fair in comparison to her character Kacey Simon? She laughs, “I would have to say that the way that Kacey Simon dresses and my style defer a little bit just because Kacey Simon is more of a girly girl. She like always has skirts, she does her hair way more fly than me. I’m more like edgy glam. That’s my style, that’s what I like. I love jewelry, I love to accessorize. I love sparkly things. I always love shinny skinny jeans and boots and I love Doc Martens!” Check out her website cymphonique.com. The show premieres Saturday, Feb 4 at 8:30 P.M. (ET/PT) on The Nickelodeon TV Network.

             
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

Ti West - Movie



Ti West
Rising New King Of Horror! 

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment columnist


Ti West (Photo Courtesy of Magnet Films)
      The film genre of horror and the paranormal has always been popular and a money maker for the Hollywood studios since the early Dracula and Frankenstein flicks of the 1930’s and 40’s that became the foundational backbone of Universal Pictures’ success which built that studio. Whereas Vampire themed movies have become more of an “in” fad for the big and little screens and have surrendered much of their fright factor to the vamps now being sexy, suave and social; ghost stories still rein supreme at the top of the list for raising the hair on their viewers heads. A rising new star on the film making side of the horror genre is writer, producer, director and editor Ti West. The youthful West is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and a graduate of New York’s School of the Visual Arts. He is on a sure fast track to becoming an iconic horror superstar film maker in the vein of the greats before him like Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho, The Birds), Stanley Kubrick (The Shining, Clockwork Orange), Zombie master George Romero (Night of the Living Dead), Wes Craven (Nightmare On Elm Street) and John Carpenter (Halloween) to name some. 

     Upon graduation from SVA, West made his first feature “The Roost” which he sold to Showtime in 2005. That was followed by “Trigger Man” in 2007 which made it to the big screen. The year 2008 marked West’s entry into the big time with “The House Of The Devil” which was a box office and DVD hit. West’s latest offering is “The Inn Keepers.” This is truly a scary film especially if you are afraid of ghost stories. It is about a hotel named The Yankee Pedlar that has the reputation of being haunted. The place is about to close after being in business since 1891 and during its last week of operation, two armature ghost hunters, Claire and Luke set out to either find the ghost(s) or prove that they don’t exist. The film was shot on location at the actual Yankee Pedlar Hotel in Torrington, Connecticut. The real life Yankee Pedlar is also said to be haunted. The crew and cast actually stayed there for two months during the entire shoot and they did report strange happenings but no one actually saw a ghost.  

     West and his film crew stayed at The Yankee Pedlar Hotel when they shot “House of The Devil” and that experience inspired him to write the script to “The Inn Keepers” which he did in three days. He explains, “We (the crew) more or less lived this movie. So when I sat down to write it, the location existed exactly as it is. It was so mapped out because it was real, that it was actually a matter of just typing that. All of the work actually went into creating the dynamics of the characters. The rest of the movie was on auto-pilot.” How did West become aware of The Yankee Pedlar Hotel in the first place? He laughs, “When we made my previous movie “House Of The Devil,” we stayed there because it was a cheap place to put the crew up. We would go out into the woods and make this horror movie and weirder stuff would happen back at the hotel. Slowly but surely the whole cast and crew started to believe that it was haunted. 

     It’s a very iconic place in terms of Connecticut. The whole place and the people who work there thinks it’s haunted. They have stories, a guy has a ghost hunting website; it was just like, as I’m trying to make this other movie, I’m just inundated with all of this weird stuff is going on.” West then had some free time during the Christmas holidays a year and a half later and when thinking of something to do he said to himself, “We’ll we did live a ghost story so what if I wrote the one we just lived? That would come very natural to me.” West adds a little reality humor when he says, “I’m not really qualified to do anything but either make movies or be a bus boy.”

               
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

Betty White - TV





Betty White
Golden Girl, Sprite As Ever At 90!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist



Betty White (Photo Courtesy of TV Land)
     She is a veteran of radio and TV with a string of hit shows that has drawn an impressive array of fans and admirers from all across the board. Betty White has laid a path in television that shows a shining example of what the art form is truly about. She has been at it for a long time and shows no signs of slowing down. The demand for her talent is as high as ever as it seems that every show wants an appearance from her in one way or the other. She is currently on fire as the sassy Elka Ostrovsky on the smash hit TV Land Network series “Hot In Cleveland.” NBC recently paid tribute to her on the eve of her 90th birthday with a 90-minute special that was followed by a preview of her new hidden camera series, "Betty White's Off Their Rockers,” which airs on NBC. A host of friends, former and current cast mates joined in to celebrate.  White was also being saluted for her devotion to animals and sharing memories of a career that has brought her five prime-time Emmy Awards, most recently in 2010 for hosting "Saturday Night Live."  

     When quizzed about her age milestone White said, "Everybody else is far more excited about the 90 than I am. I keep trying to explain, don't give me any credit. I didn't do anything to get to be 90. It just happened. I didn't accomplish anything. It just came up on me. But I’m blessed with good health for which I am deeply greatful.”  Born Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Ill., just outside Chicago, White moved with her family to Southern California as a child and graduated from Beverly Hills High School. She bypassed college to pursue a career in radio and went to television in the 1950s, co-hosting "The Al Jarvis Show," a 5 1/2-hour live daily program on what is now KCOP-TV Channel 13. She is best know as Sue Ann Nivens on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” and Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.” When one looks at how busy White is at ninety she observes, “Who at this age is lucky enough to be working as much as I am? First of all, I’m on a series that I absolutely love (“Hot In Cleveland”), with three of the most wonderful gals who ever drew breath and it’s a laugh session everyday. My book got published and is doing very well. It’s my second book this year. I’m the luckiest old broad on two feet I promise you and I don’t take it for granted for one single minute. And everybody says well you’re too busy, you’ve got to simmer down, it’s not good for you, you must be so tired. I not only have been blessed with good health but good energy. I can credit my folks for the genes that put that together. But I can’t get old at this age. I don’t feel this age. I’m not trying to be any younger. I’m not lying about my age. If I were lying about my age, I’d say I was 89! One of the high spots is, I’m healthy enough to enjoy it and surrounded by friends I adore. Isn’t that kind of a best way to sign off?” In a positive way of looking at her solidly booked schedule, White laughs and says, “It’s not work when you love what you do.”

                       
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Azur De - TV



Azur De
Inspired, Determined And Playing To Win!

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment columnist

Azur De (Photo by David Muller)
     The active ingredients of success differ according to the task and variables of one’s chosen endeavor, profession or life career path. In the showbiz game, one must possess the gifts of talent, looks, discipline and determination accompanied with the proper preparation needed to make it go right. Actress Azur De is apply equipped with all of the above mentioned attributes and has set her aim with no limits for the sky and beyond as an actress. The native Angelino is a graduate of UC Berkley with a BA degree in Mass Communications and Theater. She is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. Azur De’s gorgeous looks allowed her to become a professional print model where she did layouts and ads for such clients as Levis Jeans, IBM, Budweiser and others. As with all actresses, Azur De has done her share of TV commercials for McDonald’s, Boost Mobile, Payless, Direct TV and more. 

     “She’s Sill Not Our Sister,” the four part gospel play series that recently aired on the (GMC) Gospel Music Channel cable network as their first original gospel play series is one of Azur De’s latest projects. She plays Deniec, the youngest of the Walker sisters who include Vivian, the oldest, played by Kellita Smith (“The Bernie Mac Show”); Cynthia the middle child, played by Drew Sidora (“The Game”) and half sister Allison, played by Jazsmin Lewis (“Meet The Brown’s”). The cast is rounded out by Jackee Harry, Clifton Powell, Christian Keyes and Tony Grant. The series is about the Walker sisters who come into millions upon the death of their father Joseph Walker. But first they must accept a half sister that they never knew existed, then open up their home and live with her for a specified period of time before they can collect the money. The half sister is named Allision. She is the result of an affair their daddy’ had. In describing her character Deniece, Azur De says, “We’re three sisters, obviously three different personalities, I’m the youngest and I pretty much serve as the voice of reason amidst a bunch of chaos in the family. The stories that follow are the results of us getting the money and dealing with our own trials and tribulations and in the end, realizing that it’s not about money or anything its about family and loving one another regardless of the money. I’m the character that kind of lets everybody know, hey, we have to look at the bigger picture here. So I’m pretty much the voice of reason even though I’m the youngest sister.” 

     Azur De has stage chops in addition to the Film and TV medium having been in several theater plays. Master theater playwrite, director and producer Don B. Welch is one of her favorites to work for. She was part of the cast for his super smash hit “The Bachelorette Party.” This spring Azur De will be staring in Welch’s upcoming play at the famed Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles titled “My Brother’s Keeper.” That cast will include superstars Loretta Divine, Eric Bennett and Vanessa Bell Calloway. How does Azur De keep full steam ahead despite the pitfalls of Hollywood? She reflects, “I’ve always seen the glass as half full. I always see things with an optimistic view because that’s how I was reared even coming from the hood, I never let that stop me from looking better and beyond. I know and recognize a struggle. It’s very hard. I’m a woman and a Black woman. It’s very difficult, I don’t think it’s and easy process. There is a new media that is allowing for different opportunities with social media like a lot of webisodes are prevalent right now. So getting into that platform seems to be the way people are going. There is not a lot of funding for independent projects so people are creating their own content. What I find most is that a lot of actors are now more than just actors. They are becoming film makers, directors, creating their own content, getting their own stuff out there and putting matters into their own hands because if you sit back and wait, it’s not going to happen!”

                         
© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM
 (You DID Hear It From Me)!
E-Mail: feedbackrych@sbcglobal.net