Monday, November 30, 2009

Dishin' It with Dwight Artist of the Month










As The Future wraps up Art Month I am really excited about featuring one of my closet friends as my second artist of the month. Charly Dominguez is an amazing artist who's art captures his spirituality, creativity, and passion. I have had the opportunity of even having Charly put art on my body in a photo shoot that we did together many years ago. Please take a look at the influence and talent that this young man has on a new generation of artist.








1. What is your inspiration behind your art?
The inspiration behind my art is life itself. Primarily I am inspired by a ritualistic life and my experiences in the spiritual communities I belong to. My first paintings were based on the spirit world. I would receive visions of deities, spirits, and beings from other dimensions, and these visions informed my work. Sexuality and gender have also been themes of inspiration. Growing up in New York City is difficult period because of poverty and violence, and as a Queer Multi-Spirited young person, often misunderstood and ostracized because of my sexual orientation or my gender expression it was even more difficult to find places of peace and refuge. I came up existing in several cultures and subcultures. I identified with the black/latino, LGBT, house ball, Hip Hop culture and the many issues of oppression that we as a people face have inevitably been subjects which I have produced works. The process is therapeutic and is a constant outlet for me dealing with my issues. I am one with the art, everything from my appearance, my very extreme emotions, and my experience of this and other worlds are incorporated into my work. Art allows me to capture visions from beyond, document my experiences, purge from my own issues, and engage in a creative life with my community.

2. What was your initial instinct when you decided to produce art professionally?
My initial instinct was the need to find my own language to communicate with the people in my life. Creative expression has been the basis by which I’ve been known since I was child. Dancing, Drawing, Painting, Writing poetry have been the tools I’ve used in my communication, and have been how people have identified with me throughout my life. The social service work of healing in which I have worked for and received benefited from brought me opportunities to use Art as a method of Education and tool for healing. I have collaborated with many community artists in projects, events, performance and visual art installations where I have been able to incorporate my personal struggles and issues that I am working through

3. How often do you produce work of art?
I produce works almost every day, from drawing, to painting, to my many physical transformations, photographs, writings…these are all parts of my daily rituals, whenever I’m not doing any of these things, that’s when I know something is seriously wrong.

4. What is your work space like?
My work space is my living space. My home is always filled with paintings in progress, a space to I can make almost anywhere my work space because if I get a vision or idea on the train, and I have my colored pencils with me, then that too becomes my work space. I always live with a whirlwind of organized mess, cluttered with paints, wig heads, wood, canvases, stones, clay, etc.

5. What other skills do you have that your art contributes to?
My art contributes to my skills in creative direction. I am able to visualize concepts for events, programs, and other productions.

6. Can you be taught to be an artist or is it a skill you are born with?
I believe we all have an artist inside of us, if we listen and allow it the freedom to express everything it feels and says. The skill is something I was born with, and am now interested in refining my skills through schooling but I do not want to lose the authenticity in my personal process. I do feel that the spirit of creativity is something that is not taught, it is something that like a child grows and like a sculpture molded.

7. Have you ever used your art in the bedroom?
Not often enough, but I am open to suggestions and may make special invitations for one or more…

8. Who’s work have you admired?
I admire the artists that I am connected through in my own life. Those people who I know personally who like me are constantly creating and engaging in creative projects with me. They are too many to name but they are my family and friends, and you have been one of them ;-).

9. Who has influenced your talent the most?
The goddess Oshun, she is my joy, my sadness, my laughter, my movement, my love, and my inner queen. And all the people who have been reflections of her in my life.

10. Do you sell your art? When is your next sell?
My original artwork is for sale. I am in the process of making prints of my works to sell. I have also been commissioned to create works for organizations, writers, and individuals for print, exhibition, and personal. My next sell will be a series new images created for the coming holidays, followed by an unveiling of new works and yet another altar ego NUINWIN during my birthday gathering January.

11. What type of emotions do you typical translate through your art?
I translate almost every emotion. I am a very moody old man/young child, and I have created works while feeling emotions I can name, and emotions that there are no words for. I would say passion is what I have to feel to in order to create anything.

12. Have you ever produced work that you have not liked or appreciated?
There have been many works that upon starting I have not liked, most of these I build upon, or totally start from scratch with, and I also believe that this is part of the creative process because most of my paintings start out being one thing, and turn into something totally unexpected/unplanned.

13. How can we follow you as an artist?
My website will be launched early 2010 but I can be contacted @
1.347.259.1166 (voicemail)
Charlyjdominguez@hotmail.com
Facebook.com/charlyjdominguez
Myspace.com/charlyjdominguez
Twitter.com/charlydominguez

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Where Are The Activists?"






That's the question asked this week by well-known black gay blogger Rod McCullom, who was lamenting the absesnce of activist voices in the wake of the recent rash of gay-bashings and killings around the country. I was pondering that question over Thanksgiving dinner, and it occurred to me that while not always visible, the activists Rod seeks are there. It's true that visible leaders like Harvey Milk or Don't ask/Don't Tell protestor August Provost are few and far between, but still, there are plenty of "activists" out there. These people would be you, you, and you. Think about it: would history remember Harvey Milk, Dr. Martin Luther King, or Mohandas Gandhi, if not for the tens and hundreds of thousands who marched, spoke and agitated with them? Their words, their calls to protest, and all the social changes they achieved would have gone for naught if not for people like you.



Speaking of social changes, another question I hear fairly often, from gays and straights alike, is, "why is gay marriage such an important issue?" With all the rampant gay-bashing, and the military's official policy of discrimination against gays, and the 30-year, ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic, gay marriage seems a minor concern, at best, to many people. Yet, gay marriage is a critical issue for the LGBT community, not least because there are profound issues of how gays and lesbians are seen as people, and whether the United States is following its long, rich history of Constitutional democracy. The Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution begins with these words: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Yet, gays and lesbians do not now enjoy, nor have we ever enjoyed the "equal protection" of the laws. The anti-gay marriage laws on the books in 45 states, and the federal Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) are a direct assault on the Fourteenth Amendment, and yet people believe the gay-marriage issue is "minor"?




The gay-marriage issue speaks directly to our long-held, long-enforced status as second class citizens, and all the other ills which assail us in the LGBT community--gay-bashing, DADT, HIV/AIDS--are inextricably linked to this. The only way these challenges to our lives will ever be overcome, is through public activism. That means YOU doing all the things which bring about social and political change: voting in every election, participating in public discourse on LGBT issues, and if necessary, taking to our streets to say by our numbers "Here are the gay activists--each and every one of us!" Just something to think about while you're recovering from Thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Notes from Nathan: Turkey Day Shutdown


Happy Thursday Future!

I can always count on a good Thursday to give me time off from my weekly notes.  All I have to say is be sure to give thanks for everything that you have in your life.  Not only on this day, where many will celebrate with friends and family, but EVERYDAY, give thanks.  I will be spending the evening with a few old friends and a few new.  I welcome the opportunity as I feel my life shifting once again.  I was recently told by an elderly woman that it is time to replace my bad habits with new, life-transforming ones.   Strangely, I got a call from a long time friend who told me that he was buying a one way ticket south and would give me details later.  The sad thing is that I will miss him.   But, it looks like God has greater plans for me.  It dawned on me that yes, people can become habits just like things.  I am choosing to be with this and give thanks for the relationship that my friend and I have shared over the past three years.  But, it's time to move on and achieve my next goal.

In closing, STOP!  Tell someone that you love them, but before you go off saying it someone else, meet yourself in the mirror and tell yourself first.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  See you next week!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Giving Thanks to my hometown Richmond, VA""


Good A.A+W Wednesday,

The theme of this week is thanks giving, in honor of our holiday, and I'm looking forward to heading down to Richmond to spend time with my family.  What is about getting older that draws you closer to your family?  That thing that draws you back home?  
I remember as a teenager, wanting to get far away as possible from my family.  So far that my freshman year of college was lived in Syracuse, NY.  There was even a point where I didn't claim my Richmond roots 'cause I didn't want to be identified with the stigmas of the south.  Well, things come full circle, and with age comes wisdom, and
 I'm very proud and very thankful for my Southern roots and my hometown of Richmond, VA.  Still honoring D.C. as my second home, though this month is all about paying homage to Richmond, VA, my family, and the host of friends and neighbors who have helped shaped me to be the person I am today.  Every breath I take breaths Richmond, VA proudly.  My life may not have lined up the exact way I pictured it, I may have said some things and done some things way out of line, but I'm so thankful for my life.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  

What about you?  What are you thankful for?  Is it the simple things, like home and family, that keep you grounded and at peace?  Sit with your thoughts for a minute and be thankful.

Wishing you much light on this A.A+W Wednesday.


Thanks for reading on this 
A.A+Wsome Wednesday.  
More to follow next Wednesday.
Now tune into Torya and Her Notes on Ubuntu
and for up to date information on my works and my journey with FlagBoy
follow me at: www.corneliusjonesjr.com or facebook:  Cornelius Jones Jr.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving THANKS

The MEGA World of Lil Mogul
by Lil Mogul

It is that time of year again. The time to reflect and give thanks. First to the man above for all things are possible. 2009 was a hard year for everyone; however, WE MADE IT!!!

To all my newbiepreneurs give a MEGA thanks to your clients. Those whom are most loyal and supportive of you. This is a GREAT time to reach out to acknowledge customers whom you appreciate. If they are customers, WE LOVE THEM!!!

So, I would like to acknowledge YOU! I appreciate you reading The MEGA World of Lil Mogul and I hope you continue to support me and The Future in 2010.

Enjoy your holiday and the holiday weekend with family and friends.

Until Next TUESDAY...
I am sending you the Very Best of Wishes,
Lil Mogul

The Artist Leroy Campbell

THE FUTURE IN ART
Simply put, Leroy Campbell is a quintessential artist. His work, created in a variety of mixed media and reflective of the African-American experience, evokes an unexpected range of emotions. He becomes a griot, telling stories of hard work, dignity, love and caring: stories which are at times haunting and painful, yet hopeful and inspiring, and bring to life folks who are proud, god-fearing and self-reliant.

He is best known for his silhouetted elongated figures with long necks. He paints them without eyes or noses; with mouths only, which he says leaves it up to viewers’ interpretation. His work embodies a universal message yet remains an extension of his southern roots. Campbell, born in Charleston, South Carolina, a city particularly rich in African-American history, culture and traditions, is a self-taught artist who began the serious pursuit of his craft in 1984 while living in New York City. As he has grown, so has the intensity of his artistic expression. Artistically, he captures the spirit and flavor of African-American life in the south by employing his rich multi-media collage techniques including a mixed-media of vintage clothing, quilted fabrics, burlap, needles, thread, elements of southern terrain, newspaper and the skillful use of color.

His most recent series “The Newspaper Series” features news print as its most dominant feature. His use of newspaper signifies more than one denotation. On one hand, it represents the Gullah rituals of witchcraft to who by papering the walls of their houses with news print protected them against and rid of curses and dangerous spirits. On the other hand, the newspaper serves as a time capsule, since upon a closer glance the newspaper articles triumphantly detail the palpable, unwavering strength and perseverance of people of African ancestry from slavery to present day.

His newest works interpret present day by his characterization of people painted blue. The color blue emanates an energy that allows us to look beyond and increase our perspective outward. It contains a cool vibration that is helpful to communication. It counteracts chaos or agitation, and provides protection, health, confidence and strength.

I am an artist who believes that art can influence, inspire, and encourage dialogue. I believe art heals, breaks down stereotypes and advocates diversity. My new works proclaim a spirit of universality that will hopefully open the lines of easy communication and promote peace.”– Leroy Campbell

Campbell's artwork is sold to contemporary galleries and collectors internationally. His work is displayed in corporations, universities and private collections. Campbell’s distinctive art has been seen on hit television shows "Martin", "Fresh Prince of Bel Air", "Living Single", "The Jamie Foxx Show", "The Cosby Show", "In the Heat of the Night", and in feature productions like "The First Wives Club" and others.

50th Anniversary of MOTOWN

Black ties and gowns filled a ballroom Saturday in a big-bucks salute to Detroit-style royalty — the King of Motown, the Queen of Soul and the Kid of Rock.

Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, along with Aretha Franklin, Kid Rock and Motown's original kid, Stevie Wonder, came to Motown's original hometown for the Motown 50 Golden Gala. The 50th-anniversary event, which fetched $350 and up for a ticket, was a fundraiser for the Motown Historical Museum. The museum was the original home of Motown Records Corp., which Gordy started with an $800 loan.


The event drew about 750 people and many of the big names and behind-the-scenes people from the label, which moved to Los Angeles in 1972. Detroit's output included scores of hits, including "My Girl" by The Temptations, "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye."The pleasure is mine to be here," Gordy said during a pre-concert reception. "I'm thrilled I got the nurturing and all of the things Detroit had to offer me. Motown could not have made it in any other city."

Gordy was joined on the red carpet earlier in the evening by local and national celebrities and dignitaries, including Otis Williams of the Temptations, which was on the bill; Claudette Robinson of the Miracles; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; comedian Sinbad, the event's host; and Detroit Mayor and former Detroit Pistons all-star Dave Bing. The musical mingling of classic Motown artists such as Wonder and The Temptations with non-Motown hometown heroes Franklin and Rock reveals the reverence for and relevance of the label.Kid Rock performed with Wonder on the Motown great's songs "Living For The City" and "Superstition," bringing many of the people in the crowd to their feet. The pair called up others for the finale — a funky, extended version of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours."Before taking the stage, Kid Rock called it a "career milestone." He said his mother, who was out of state, sent him a text message: "Who would have thought when we were partying in our barn, playing all those Motown records when you were a kid that you'd be playing the 50th gala?"

The gala is a regular event for the museum, but it took a higher profile this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the label's founding. Museum CEO Audley Smith said the facility wants to expand to hold thousands of artifacts and memorabilia that can't be displayed because of space, but he stressed the museum will maintain the integrity of the well-known Hitsville USA house on West Grand Boulevard. The gala also included special tributes to Motown alumni who have died, including Michael Jackson. Gordy, at Jackson's memorial service in July, talked about the 10-year-old prodigy he signed, calling him "the greatest entertainer that ever lived."Homecomings are rare these days for Gordy, who lives in California, but bonds remain: His sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, founded the museum now overseen by his great-niece, Robin Terry. He's also a premier sponsor of the gala.

President Barack Obama sent well wishes via videotape. He said Gordy's "music made history" and his record company "captured a truly American sound."Franklin sang a customized birthday ode to Gordy, who turns 80 on Nov. 28."Detroit, we've waited long enough — Berry's come home at last," she sang. Afterward, Franklin ushered Gordy to the stage, saying "he absolutely revolutionized the music industry, single-handedly."

He was presented a crystal plaque, a large cake and a mass serenade of "Happy Birthday."Gordy told the crowd he was inspired by his time spent on a Detroit auto factory floor to make a music company that was like "an assembly line" of talent. "That dream came true." Wonder told The Associated Press after the concert that being a part of Gordy's vision has been a blessing."I'm just very, very happy (for) that dream Berry had — him meeting me, hearing me, seeing me, that he saw fit for me to be a part of that dream that became reality."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Out Music Awards


So you have heard of the American Music Awards, Grammys, and even the MTV Music Awards, well I present to you the OUT MUSIC AWARDS!!! I think LOGO finally grasped whole to this great concept and decided to support our openly gay artists. The Out Music Awards are happening on December 8, 2009 in New York City and be sure to check out the Christopher Street TV cast present along with many other "galebirties!"




This year the Out Music Awards are being hosted by Rodney Chester and Kate Clinton. For tickets and more information please check out http://www.outmusic.com/




Just a little THANKS...


Dear Readers, Supporters, and Followers,

We have almost finished out another year and today is a present for you from The FUTURE. It is very important that we cherish the small things, large things, and the things that have not shown up in our lives. As we approach thanksgiving I would love to challenge each of you to express gratitude to your maker (whomever that may be to you), those around you, and lastly yourself. Many times we forget to thank ourselves for the things that we do for ourselves and the sad thing is that this is one thing that may be hindering us all from getting to where we need to be in our lives. So in celebration of the holiday season I want to list 10 things that I am truly thankful for.

10. I am so thankful that I only live 2 blocks from the train station. This is so wonderful because if it is extremely cold outside hot or raining I will be at the train station in no time.

9. I am thankful that I found the courage of accepting myself fully for who I am, with this came loving myself and not allowing things that people may do or say about me to even affect me. Dwight Allen O’Neal is a child of God and I am a blessed one.

8. I am thankful that my 4 closest friends (Joseph, Julius, Jimmy, and Hayward) love me regardless and that no matter what I may do, they are still there in my corner. Joseph is a mirror of me in so many ways and when I see him still in Arkansas I often wonder how we are still so similar yet not around each other. He has been my friend for the longest so he knows so much about me. Julius started off as someone that I thought would only be in my life temporally; however he has become my hero and I really don’t know what I would do in my life without him. I look forward to our TV show nights and movie dates. When I look at my bestie Jimmy I know that he is truly being honest and true with all of his kind words, wisdom, and maturity. Jimmy is one of the nicest people that I know in the world and we are like brothers who were blessed with the gift of love. Last but not least Hayward; although most may call me a friend snatcher with this one, at least I snatched up the right one. He believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself and he keeps me grounded with his catty words that strike only to show me how much he loves me. Although you may not see me and my closest friends together all at once, they each bring out a different part of me and I love each of them for that.

7. I am thankful for money coming frequently, easily, and abundantly. Being in the entertainment business things can be rocky; however money seems to always come when I need it. I really want to show gratitude in this area so it can continue to flow toward my bank account.

6. I am thankful for The FUTURE. This may be a given to most of you; however those that are around you the most may not know that they mean so much to you. This time last year The FUTURE did not even exist and I thank the entire team Nathan, Richard, Waddie, and Cornelius for all of their contributions and hard work. I would like to go a step further by thanking Nathan for believing in me and working so hard to produce quality content and for Richard who has open my eyes to the business side of life and has given me some great advice in the past few months.

5. I give thanks to my fag hags. I love my fag hags and never thought I would get one and now I have FIVE. They are my body guards Lynne, Likwuid, Tawanna, Secret, and the newest member Alicia. These women have my back whether it’s to beat up an ex (Lynne), plan an event with me (Likwuid), teach me to cook (Tawanna), a loving play sister who doesn't judge (Secret), or help me select love online (Alicia). I love my chicks and they love me.

4. I am extremely thankful for everyone that has believed in Christopher Street TV. Christopher Street is my love child that explores the lives of 4 friends who happen to be gay and are growing up in the Big Apple. I have to thank Jared, Dante’, Lamar, JR, Rodney, Elayne, Ray, LaJon, and many others because it took so many people to help make my dream come true. A special thanks to Evan who is the white boy who learned how to be black and gay really quick. Steven you were there from day one and I have to thank you for writing, editing, and keeping the show informative and education. Hayward thank you for coming on as a business partner and believing in the project.

3. I am so thankful that I got over my assorted past. My heart has been broken a many times and I am so happy that all that baggage is behind me. Getting over these things have mad me stronger and there is room for new romances.

2. Thanks to all of my family Mom, Dad, Joyce, Felix, Teresa, Carla, Darius, and Marques. I am blessed that I have a family that loves me unconditionally and I am so excited that God has blessed me in this department. I have friends who always tell me that my family has a unique bond and they wish they could have that bond as well. As I sit hear I cry because my mother is the glue that has always held me together, her kind words are always on time and I want her to know that I love her with all my heart. I cannot wait for my career to really take off so that I can give her a portion of what she has given me. She has gone far beyond the duties of being a mother and I love her for that.

1. I am thankful for LIFE. I did not have to get up this morning; however God felt like I had more work to get done. I am excited about life and I am grateful that I have it. There are so many other people, things, and opportunities I am thankful for; however I would have you reading until eternity. If I left anyone or thing particularly out just know that your love is what motivated me to do this as well.


Thank you for reading my gratitude list and I challenge you to do one too. Have a great Turkey Day and I will see you in The FUTURE.

Love always,

Dwight Allen O’Neal

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Real Open Talk For Life with WJC

Are you a Slave?
By: Rev. W. Jeffrey Campbell, Houston, TX

Over the past two weeks I have been discussing Nehemiah chapter 3. In this chapter we are given information regarding who took on the task of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. As you read this chapter you will find that some workers took on the task of rebuilding public areas while others were charged with rebuilding the areas around their own homes.


As we move forward with this study, I want to be clear that there is no area of our African American same-gender loving community that does not need some construction and reconstruction. I believe that the best way to build or rebuild a community of people is to start with working on the people. We can have politicians in office who are pro-GLBT, but if I am not able to embrace who I am in totality, that politician’s work will never benefit me. We can have an abundance of churches that are open and affirming to our community, but if we are afraid to live our lives out of the closet, will that really help us? If the federal government puts a law into place that gives same-gender partners the same rights and protections as our heterosexual counterparts, that’s an awesome move. However, if I have not done the work of accepting myself and understanding that I can have a same-gender life partner, then that law will never be for me.

Harriett Tubman was once asked about her work to free thousands of slaves from the bondage and brutality of the South. She said in part, “Yes, I led thousands of slaves to freedom. I could have freed more if only they had known they were slaves.”

Many members of our African American same-gender loving (AASGL) community cannot embrace or appreciate the work that is being done on the wall because they are not aware that they are slaves. They seem to just believe that this is the way that life is supposed to be. If you want to identify them here are some of their key statements….

Ø If you ask someone who is gay and Christian about their relationship with God and they respond, “God knows my heart.” That person is a slave and doesn’t know it!
Ø Ask another person who is gay and Christian about their relationship with God and if they say, “We all sin and come short of the glory of God.” That person is a slave and doesn’t know it!
Ø If a person who is same-gender loving responds to a conversation about marriage equality by saying, “It don’t take all of that!” That person is a slave and doesn’t know it!
Ø If you have a SGL friend who gets upset with you because you are able to live your life as a same-gender loving person without regret and remorse...I don’t care how much you love him/her, that person is a slave and doesn’t know it!
Ø If you have friends who make every gay event in the city and will be offended if they are not invited to an event, but they run and hide at the click of a camera or flash of a flash bulb…Yep, you got it! That person is a slave and doesn’t know it!


Many people in our community, both male and female are enslaved not because they cannot be free but, because they are not willing to do the hard work of creating their own freedom.

The work that we do on ourselves is sometimes the most difficult work to do because it is our STUFF. Have you ever helped a friend move? You get to their house and find that they have done very little packing. In your frustration you start the packing process which includes throwing away many of your friend’s personal items without any thought of whether they may be important. You just want to get the job done. However, when it is your turn to move, you realize what a difficult task packing can be because you encounter so many items that have both happy and painful memories attached to them. You are not willing to discard these items. You find yourself stopping to read every card from every ex and every “you wanted him to be yours” that ever existed. While reading you morph into Whitney Houston and begin to sing, “Didn’t We Almost Have it All!” No, you didn’t almost have it all! You were a mess and it took you two years to recover from that madness. Throw the letters away! You flip through old photo albums filled with shots of you when you were 25 pounds lighter. You begin to plan the next diet with great intention of regaining your old physique. Boxes of dried flowers, empty wine bottles, engraved napkins and match packets from events that you don’t even remember attending…AND you stand there struggling with whether you should throw those things away or take them with you to the new house. (SMH) Morph into Betty Wright’s “Clean up Woman”, trash that crap and start fresh!


As a part of the reconstruction of our community I challenge you to start with yourself. As you begin to consult with God, start making a list today of what you need to do in your own life that will benefit you, your family, your relationships (present and future) and the community. Don’t put the list away! Keep it out and start working on achieving the goal of completing the work. You will be better for it! Your family will be better for it! Your relationships will be better for it! Our community will be better for it!

The work of personal reconstruction is quite a task. However, if we do not give up on the work the job will be completed and freedom will come. Slavery is not an option!
BE FREE!

Until next week…ROTFL with WJC!

Please contact me at
realopentalkforlife@yahoo.com for further discussion.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Zolra's Corner: My 8-9pm Show Schedule



At the end of the week, I realized something about my addiction to tv shows. My favorite scripted shows are around the 8-9pm time slot. Since I am starting to be honest with myself and revealing to you guys things I haven't told you guys, I will show you guys my schedule.

Monday- Gossip Girl- 8pm to 9pm on The CW



Tuesday- Melrose Place- 8pm to 9pm on The CW


Wednesday- Law and Order:SVU- 8pm to 9pm on NBC


Thursday- The Office and 30 Rock- 8pm to 9pm on NBC



Ain't it weird that some of my favorite shows are around the same time. There are many other shows I wish I could watch like "Courgar Town" and "Modern Family", but my Wednesday slot occupies the whole hour.

I hope you guys like any of my favorite shows. If you haven't seen them yet, ya'll should definitely watch them.

Literary Review: "Love Yourself First"




Every so often, I come across a book that I describe as a good "train book". That's a book like black, gay author Delvon Johnson's debut novel, Love Yourself First. It's a smart, funny, fast-paced story that just might cause you to become so engrossed in its drama, that you miss your station on your way home. Set in the high-stakes, fabulous fashion world, the story centers on executive Dwight Jones, who has teamed up with his best friend, Issiah, to open up their own fashion-consulting agency, Vondel. As the business partners chase their dreams among the glitterati of fashiondom, they meet shoe designer Joan Marks, an ambitious career woman looking to stake her claim to high society and fashion. Seeing opportunity in Dwight's consulting business, she signs on with Vondel and sets her sights on fame and wealth, regardless of cost or ruined lives. Along the way, we meet other memorable characters such as Joan's fiancee Ron, who is set to marry her, but his head and his heart differ sharply on who he wants to share his future with, and Corey, who adds love and passion to Dwight's busy life.



Delvon Johnson credits the late, iconic writer E. Lynn Harris as one of his literary influences, and he sees himself as fulfilling the legacy Harris left behind for gay authors of color. Johnson hosted a Gala tribute to E. Lynn Harris last month, in which he reaffirmed his commitment to Harris' vision and works. Looking forward to the future, Johnson strives to continue the advancement of the black gay genre, to which Love Yourself First is a worthy addition. The story deals with some up-to-the-minute slices of life in the gay world, including the controversial "down-low" issue, violence among and against gay men, jealousy, and the complexities of dealing with one's own sexuality and self-acceptance. Johnson reveals the glittering, but treacherous, world of high fashion, and shows us how some people will ruthlessly crush and claw their way to the top of the industry--then suddenly realize their avarice has a heavy price.



Another aspect of Johnson's book which brought a smile to my face, were the scenes from well-known places in NYC's famous Greenwich Village. Such familiar spots as Chi-Chiz and dining favorite Manatus give authenticity and local flavor to Love Yourself First. There are some hysterically funny moments in this book, and Johnson makes the most of them. Like all good gay-genre stories, drama abounds as the divas get crazy and the fashionistas becoime fierce. There are also some very tender, human moments which give Johnson's characters depth and meaning. His exploration of the complexities we often face in our relationships as gay men is telling, yet honest. I give this first novel by a promising young author four stars. A sequel is in the works, according to Johnson, but Love Yourself First will be a tough act to follow. It's available on Author House and at Amazon.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How Will Pop Culture Fill In The "Oprah" Void?



Women, lifestyle fanatics, and aspiring media moguls will be scrambling to find a new guru to follow religiously once media queen Oprah Winfrey retires her world-famous talk show in 2011.

As one of the world's most influential women, Oprah uses her talk show platform as a lifestyle brand to encourage her faithful viewers to improve their quality of life. Health issues, fashion ideas, financial tips, family structure and psychological healing are recurring themes on the long-running "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Through her messages of self-improvement and fulfillment, Oprah's influence has made many small business entrepreneurs and lifestyle experts wealthy almost overnight as her loyal fans buy into the products, books and ideas that Oprah celebrates on her show. The most known successes are then little-known authors whose books are featured in "Oprah's Book Club." The highly-coveted book club made the likes of Toni Morrison, James Frey and Kaye Gibbons into high-grossing authors.

The number of entrepreneurs whose fortunes skyrocketed through the roof due to Oprah's magic are plenty. In 2000, Oprah chose Spanx shape wear as one of her "Favorite Things." The Atlanta-based clothing company quickly sold $50 thousand products in just three months. The company has helped millions of women feel a size smaller and made $350 million in retail sales along the way. In 2002 and 2005, Oprah selected Garrett Popcorn as one of her favorite things. The Chicago based company had a hunch there would be a rise in sales – but not to the extent that occurred. The afternoon of the broadcast in 2002, the company had 100,000 web hits and the sales for the month of December increased by 100 percent. Garrett Popcorn went from making popcorn eight hours a day to 24 hours a day. The mention of Lori Karmel’s struggling "We Take the Cake" bakery shop on The Oprah Winfrey show in 2004 pulled her company back to life and out of bankruptcy. Today, the company’s sales are more than $1 million a year. The ultimate icing on the cake is Lori and her team now bakes high-end wedding cakes for posh hotels that sell for $5,000 to $20,000 each. Lisa Price has loved fragrances ever since she was a child. Her mother encouraged her to make and sell her own fragrances at a flea market more than 15 years ago. An appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show took the small business to the world stage. Today Carol’s Daughter is a multi-million dollar company.

In addition to her lifestyle topics, Oprah's public influence and star power made her the elite interviewer whom celebrities flock to promote mainstream projects, raise awareness on society issues or confess exclusively to a shocking revelation. In 1993, legendary entertainer Michael Jackson gave Oprah's show its biggest viewership ever as she was the only journalist Jackson would meet to address the public scrutiny about his sexual abuse allegations and his skin disorder. After years of falling from grace, superstar R&B diva Whitney Houston granted Oprah the official first interview in September 2009 as she made her musical comeback after a seven-year absence. Even the often-private silver screen icon Tom Cruise made headlines for his infamous couch-jumping antics while professing his love for now-wife actress Katie Holmes. Affectionately called "Oprah's couch," A-List celebrities and fame risers find solace on that infamous hot seat where being interviewed by Ms. Winfrey feels like conversing with a best friend or a big sister.

Celebrities are not the only people who find Oprah's daytime show the most coveted spot for successful launches. Winfrey built mini-empires around lifestyle professionals whom she recruited to serves as frequent guests on her show. As a result, Dr. Phil McGraw, Rachael Ray, Gayle King, Dr. Robin Smith and Dr. Mehmet Oz garnered their own radio and TV talk shows. Each of them has brought in high ratings especially "Dr. Phil," whose show hold the #2 slot in the most-viewed daytime show behind "Oprah."

With two years until the retirement of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," viewers, loyalists and critics wonder what will replace the phenomenon the media titan built. Budding entrepreneurs will have to rely on their own marketing and branding skills without the hope of Oprah sharing her love of their products to the world. Celebrities will have to find another celebrity whose star power and media clout will make them run to confess all or promote a new project. Authors will place their hopes on word-of-mouth and grass roots marketing to push their novels. No media darlings will branch off into their own successful spin-offs as overnight successes from Ms. Winfrey's franchise. Even the networks who broadcast her will have to find alternative to match the lucrative opportunity the show has brought in.

If any other television entity could be a possible replacement of the Oprah effect, rival TV talk show star Ellen DeGeneres may be the next worldly, influential media titan. DeGeneres' popularity has quickly ascended as A-list celebrities stop by her show in droves and the opportunities in TV outside of her talk show are growing rapidly for the one-time comedic actress whose career suffered a major setback in the late 1990s after coming out publicly as a lesbian.

Regardless of the replacements for "The Oprah Winfrey Show," the influence, achievements and integrity the program has amassed will never be matched for decades to come. The media empire that Oprah built took many years to draw in the millions of loyal fans worldwide to follow her proverbial word in self-improvement. Thus, the show has seen all of her competition come and go over the past 20-plus years with short stints.



Ms. Winfrey's most watched interview with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson in 1993.

Oprah gives away free items to her studio in "Oprah's Favorite Things 2008" episode.


Carol's Daughter gets featured on the CNBC show "The Oprah Effect."

Janet Jackson Gives In-Depth Interview On "20/20"

Have you all checked out Janet Jackson's recent interview with Robin Roberts on "20/20." The pop music queen had her most candid interview on the ABC network as she reflected over her life, her music career and even her world famous family. Five months after the death of her older brother Michael, Janet finally broke her silence sharing with Roberts intimate details about how the family dealt with Michael's death, how Michael's children are doing today and also how Janet handles her pain in dealing with the loss of her closet sibling.


As a fan, I was very touched by this TV moment. Check out the segments below and enjoy!



PART 1



PART 2



PART 3



PART 4



PART 5



PART 6

Become a part of The Future!



Media Relations Internship

Salary: Commission-based
Education: No requirement
Location: New York, New York, 10001, United States
Posted by: TheFutureForward.net
Job Category: Communications, Editing & Writing , Media relations
Last day to apply: November 30, 2009
Type: Seasonal
Language(s): English
Area of Focus: Media and Journalism, Social Networking
NYC - Job Posting

Media Relations Internship (Temp to Perm Position)

The Future Forward

New York, NY 10001

Description: The Future Forward is an organization founded by Nathan Seven Scott, Cornelius Jones, Jr., Dwight Allen O'Neal and Richard E. Pelzer, II, to create innovative and powerful media outlets using social media.

The Future Forward is looking for an energetic Media Relations Intern for its New York City office starting immediately. We are looking for someone who is an excellent writer, extremely organized, detail-oriented, media savvy, and a team player to assist the team in building relationships with press, media tracking, and coordinating The Future Forward's media programs. This position combines publicity tasks with general communications work in a progressive, positive, creative environment.

Job Responsibilities
• Outreach to media professionals including print, broadcast and online reporters, editors and producers
• Assist team to draft and/or edit TheFutureForward.net site content, press releases and other materials
• Provide research support on deadline for breaking stories (news contacts, past stories, transcripts, video clips)
• Media tracking and updates
• Provide support to team through fielding media requests, maintaining databases, organizing materials, and other tasks as assigned
• Assist with blog and other web management, including content updates and basic editing

Qualifications
• Strong written and oral communication skills
• Demonstrated success in writing, editing or reporting
• At least one year of work in communications or public relations
• Excellent relationship-building skills and extremely positive attitude required
• Strong organizational skills, ability to manage multiple tasks to meet deadlines
• Strong research skills
• Knowledge of, and commitment to, the LGBT community and progressive movements
• Demonstrated commitment to team work among staff and volunteers
• Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office, internet research
• Strong media rolodex a plus

Notes:

The Media Relations Internship is an excellent opportunity for a young and budding publicist.  This internship will expose the candidate to over 25 years of collective knowledge and leadership in communications and entertainment.  It is not a staff position, and no benefits are included.


Based in New York City, The Future is a new multi-media company targeting the LGBT consumer. The Future’s mission is to be leaders in the community by informing people around the world about whom we are and then empowering, entertaining, and engaging these people so that they may face the challenges of today’s society. We do this by reflecting a spotlight on stories about us that will encourage others to seek respect from a diverse and complex world. We are targeting the diverse interests within LGBT culture spanning entertainment, news, social networking, business, travel, fashion and sports.

The * Human * Experience * Facilitating * Universal * Trust * Understanding * Responsibility & Empowerment


We Are the MEDIA

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Notes from Nathan: I don't know what to say


re you one of those people who want to say something to someone else but are sometimes at a loss for words?  Well, I'm here to tell you that if you know the English language, there is no such thing.  People have been saying that they are at a loss for words for as long as I can remember and my take on that is.  SAY IT OUT LOUD and work through it.  I have found that saying what you feel out loud, breaks the ice and it also put the other person at ease.  We get caught up in wanting to say the right thing in our daily situations, and there really is no 'right thing', we put too much pressure on ourselves.  Don't overthink!

If you are in a situation and you seek to gain the attention of the other person, take the risk and approach that person.  Have fun with it.  Start with a joke or a compliment.  Ask them how they are doing.  We live in a world that is fastly changing our social skills.  I recently found out that young adults aren't learning the art of manuscript.  I learned how to write in the 2nd grade.  I was told that since we have emails and texting, that the students don't need to learn to write.  That's a no pass for me.  How will these young people grow up to crafting their signatures to sign their checks?  Will the art of letter writing someday be a thing of the past?

The next time you are 'at a loss for words'...  Simply make your way through it by saying "I would really like to have a conversation with you, I don't care what it's about but I'm starting with "Hello!"


I challenge you to begin new conversations with people you don't know.  You may learn something new about yourself and definitely the other person.  Get out there and have fun!  LIVE!



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