Friday, September 7, 2012

The 2012 Merge Summit - Event

The 2012 Merge Summit - Event

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist

The 2012 Merge Summit Is A Resounding Success!

Photos Courtesy of The Merge Summit

     Last week from Thursday, August 23rd through Saturday, August 25th; The 2012 Merge Summit convened at the famed and historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. 

Dr. Holly Carter Co-Founder Chairperson

Robi Reed Co-founder, Co-Chairperson

    The Merge is the brainchild of its Founder and Chairperson Dr. Holly Carter, Founder of Releve' Entertainment and Co-Founder, Co-Chairperson Robi Reed, VP, Talent and Casting, Original Programming, BET Networks. 

  The Merge Summit is designed to provide a platform for promising Christian talent to interface, glean from, and partner with leaders in the entertainment industry. Conference attendees will interact in thought provoking and career inspiring settings with well-known entertainment executives, talent, and artists. The hope is that attendees will walk away with information that will encourage, enrich and empower them in their individual fields of pursuit.

     The Confab lived up to every expectation the attendees came to seek and more. Both days saw overflow, capacity crowds who packed master classes, workshops and showcases while networking and hob-knobbing with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry from major film studio heads, producers, writers, actors, music artist, attorneys, managers, agents and industry administrators. 

 Soul Man TV Show Panel, Naomi Richard Photo
 Some of the over twenty workshops and master classes included How to Brand Yourself, Alternative Distribution, Building A Legendary Career, Public Relations, Creating Hit Music, Music Business Panel, Digital Marketing, Film Producing, a Director’s Panel and many others. 

Actress and honoree Wendy Raquel Robinson
  There was also an Awards Luncheon co-hosted by Shaun Robinson and Bishop Lester Love that Honored Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson, 
Tony Waller, Sr. Director, Constituent Relations, Wal-Mart and DeVon Franklin, SVP, Production, Columbia Pictures. BET held a “Music Matters” Showcase which was standing room only. 

Kary McHoul Pres of Nigel Lythgoe Prdns
     For those who were lucky enough to get in on it, The Merge Summit offered private, closed door by appointment only, “Exclusive Speed Mentoring and Connecting” with the who’s who of the entertainment industry. 

Suzanne de Passe, de Passe Entmt
        Somebody in this group more than likely left the Merge Summit with a career changing opportunity. After each class and workshop session, attendees would assemble in the main corridor of the hotel to discuss what had been covered while networking and meeting new friends. Who knows, some of these new acquaintances may even become future associates

Denzel Washington's Master Class is SRO!
     The main attraction of the entire Merge Summit was the master workshop with superstar, Two-time Oscar®-winning actor Denzel Washington being moderated by Merge Summit Co-Founder Robi Reed. 

       The ballroom was packed to capacity. Washington gave a detailed rundown of his humble beginnings and his rise to the top of the game. One of the things he emphasized to the crowd that his friend and mentor two-time Oscar® winning actor Sydney Poitier said to him as an up and coming actor was that your first four or five films will largely determine the direction your film career will go so chose wisely even if it means turning down a big paycheck. Washington emphatically stressed that if the role does not feel right to you deep inside for what ever reason be it spiritual, moral, ethical or whatever, don’t take it, even if you are starving. As he succinctly put it, what God has for you is for you!  He also noted that God answers prayer and sometimes the answer is no! Washington regaled the crowd with personal stories that had the room in stitches laughing and some were sad. He answered questions from the crowd and held the full attention of that ballroom from start to finish with a concluding standing “O!”

     As with the annual tradition of the Merge Summit, they held their event closing Freedom Gospel Concert which featured performances by Mali Music, Lecrae, B. Reith, Myesha Chaney, Tasha Cobbs and Kingdom Business. 
Mali Music

B. Reith

Myesha Chaney

      It was a packed affair as well. For information on next year’s Merge Summit in Los Angeles, go to .  It is well worth the sacrifice to get here no matter where you live.

L-R Stan Lathan, Robi Reed, Niecy Nash, Holly Carter, Eric Rhone, Brely Evans, Naomi Richard photo

 © 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm 
(You DID Hear It From Me!)