Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Arts.Adocacy+Wellness: "Shaktai Gawain. &Now2012 New Writing in Paris"


"The Universe will Reward you 
for taking Risks on it's behalf"

These are the words of Shakti Gawain, pioneer in the field of personal development.  Living by this mantra has been a practice of mine since deciding to leave the comfort my Broadway show "The Lion King," in 2007.  Though I have returned to the show on many occasions since my first departure, it was the courage I had in self and the promise of the universe that carried me along every step.  


Every morning I pass this house during my walks with my dog Boogie.  The house is quite unique and peculiar.  It has this cool contemporary/industrial design and bouquet of red roses outline the front door pane.  Located in the Hollywood Hills, it's an intriguing house. Leveled flat on the ground is the front half of the house.  Supported by a cast of beams, welded into the ground, which drops on a decline is the remaining half of the house.  Kinda scary when you look at it and the mind thinks how "risky" it is to live here with all the natural disasters in Los Angeles.  This house has been around for your years maybe even decades, and is still standing.  I've taken the approach of seeing the light in this situation and connecting it to my spiritual walk. As my life and some choices are, to some degree, risky, the universe is my foundation, my ground, my beam.  Constantly supporting me.  



Dale Carnegie once said, "The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare..."
I encourage you to dare with me in this journey and I am here to support you in YOUR journey.....






GET YOUR TICKETS!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SAVE THE DATE - Eat, Drink and Be Hopeful - Thursday, June 14th in Brooklyn


L-R: Macy Gray, Nefertiti Strong & Richard 'Lil Mogul' E. Pelzer II in Cannes, France

She went from rapper to actress to filmmaker — enjoying the world of celebrity until stomach cancer forced Angelica (Nefertiti) Strong to face death at the age of 38.

The Red Hook movie producer is now the self-proclaimed “Lance Armstrong of stomach cancer,” embarking on a one-person campaign to give her disease A-list status.

“I am modeling myself after Lance Armstrong,” said Strong, who starred in the 1995 movie “Panther.” “I want to put the spin on stomach cancer. We have choices, but we have no cure.” Despite being weak and rail- thin from doctors slicing up her abdomen in October followed by biweekly rounds of chemotherapy, Strong is busy planning a pair of parties on June 14 highlighting the fatal affliction.

“There is no funding for stomach cancer like there is for breast or prostate cancer,” said Strong, hoping the back-to-back bashes raise $150,000 for the American Cancer Society’s Brooklyn office near Grand Army Plaza.

Tickets are available on www.eatdrinkandbhopeful.com.



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The FUTURE's Cornelius Jones Jr. - &Now Festival 2012: New Writingin PARIS!


Cornelius Jones Jr. selected for 

"&Now Festival 2012: New Writing in PARIS!"

June 6-10, 2012



Cornelius Jones Jr., actor-author-advocate-playwright-spoken word/performance artist.  Former cast member of Broadway's The Lion King, featured in MTV's LOGO PSA: "I AM LIVING MY TRUTH," and author of the debut poetic memoir Shadows & Lights.  Appearing June 6-10, in Paris, FRANCE part of the 2012 & Now Festival" and he needs your help on indiegogo.com.  

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Thought for the day: The Four Agreements""



Thought for the day:

"The Four Agreements"
by Don Miguel Ruiz
My Final Thoughts:

When I am impeccable with my word, I begin the path of not taking things personally, which then naturally allows me to not make assumptions, because in the end I am honoring the importance of doing my best each day, even when I fall, I do my best to stay in alignment with purpose, loving myself, loving others, and loving the planet.

I am grateful for this revisit of The Four Agreements and I plan to do my best each day in honor of the agreements and in honor of myself.

YouTube Channel: LifeJones77
ACTOR DEMO REEL: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Inspired In New York Honors Mike Ruiz and Nigel Barker

Inspired In New York Honors Celebrated An Electrifying Evening with

Mike Ruiz and Nigel Barker
Presenters Juli Piechovski (ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apt 3”) & Martin Berusch
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L to R:  Mike Ruiz and Nigel Barker

On behalf of the Inspired In New York Series we would like to thank the following:  The honorable Councilman Ruben Wills and team, our wonderful presenters Juli Piechovski & Martin Berusch, Camille Evans, George Harrell, Richard E. Pelzer II, Wendy McLean, Shana Gladden, Marlene Tapper, Von Boozier Twins, Thuli Dumakude, Ema, Maria McDonald, Sandi Bass, Anthony Underwood and the entire team at Cover Girls For Change and Celebrities For Justice along with Earnest Flowers III, Candidate for New York City Council (31st District).

MIKE RUIZ, world-renowned photographer, TV personality, former model, actor, spokesperson, creative director and director and NIGEL BARKER, acclaimed photographer, filmmaker, former model, author and philanthropist were honored by INSPIRED IN NEW YORK on May 22, 2012 at the trè chic Toro Lounge at the Smyth Hotel in historic Tribeca, New York.  MIKE RUIZ and NIGEL BARKER were chosen to receive this recognition by the honorable COUNCILMAN RUBEN WILLS due to their many years as innovators and trendsetters in the arts media and entertainment industries.  Both honorees received a proclamation from New York for their contributions.

Camille Evans, Founder of Inspired In New York proudly announced last night DIONNE WARWICK, former Ambassador of Health for the Reagan administration and U.S. Ambassador of the 46664 Mandela Foundation has joined forces with THULI DUMAKUDE of the Thembalethu Beaders and legendary models MARIA MCDONALD, founder of Cover Girls For Change and SANDI BASS to launch a global campaign to bring awareness to women’s rights and the fight against HIV/AIDS globally.

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Contributing Sponsors: TORO Lounge at the Smyth Hotel, CME Management, Promotional Pro Entertainment, MEGA Personalities, Ellique Inc., Denim Lounge, Lez Play Radio, Nina Ferrell, illUstriam, MNS Media, GMAD25, Cake Man Raven, Daphnee Fortunate, Chef John Creger and Red Carpet by Steven Littles & Lunchbox Series.                       
                                                                                
All Photos Courtesy of Getty Images

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Making Faces

I was just cruising Facebook and came across this young man's page.  I just thought the photo was cute so I snagged it.

Let's see if he will send us any interesting photos in THE FUTURE.  Take a look!
 

Hey Mister!!! " You Got A Dime"?


Mister, do you want to spend some time? 
Oh, yeah...
I got what you want; you got what I need
I'll be your baby, come and spend it on me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Thought for the day: The Four Agreements""



Thought for the day:

"The Four Agreements"
by Don Miguel Ruiz

Fourth Agreement – “Always Do Your Best”
“Always do your best but keep in mind your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next”
-Don Miguel Ruiz
This allows you to be gentle with self and release the perfection. We all want to do well but the body and mind is different from moment to moment. I sure do know mine is. As an actor I may get on stage and have a kick ass show or may have the best on-camera audition. The next performance or audition will be a little different. Now matter how different I must remember that was my best in that moment, and not try to recreate the previous moment that passed. When I get to that place, I am not living in the present and I am not fully embracing that I am enough right now.
Always do, or strive to do your best, but know that your best will feel different each time. And that’s ok because we are perfect even in moments where we feel imperfect. We are good how we are today. No need for punishment, just continue to keep practicing and doing our best.
Connect with me online:
www.corneliusjonesjr.com
twitter: CorneliusJonesJ
YouTube Channel: LifeJones77
ACTOR DEMO REEL: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CONTROVERSIAL STREETCAR/ Nicole and Blair on MSNBC

With regard to the "Nay Sayers," like the New Yorker theater critic, John Lahr, that asked Santa Clause, last Christmas, to bring him no more "Infernal all black cast productions of Tennessee Williams' plays, unless he can have his equal in 'FOLLY'; an all white production of an August Wilson play!" "FOLLY," really?!  

We have been having such an AMAZING run, playing to full houses, standing ovations EVERY night, since the very first preview. Our run on Broadway was just extended another month until August 19th and all systems are go for us to take the production to London in Oct. Though 90 % of the reviews have been positive...(we are, after all critiquing an art form and everyone is entitled to their own opinions), it is the commentaries from the likes of John Lahr (theater critic for The New Yorker magazine) and racist rants from NY Times critic Ben Brantley masquerading as a "review," where you realize that they are not even remotely interested in reviewing or critiquing the work and/or artistry upon the stage. The so-called guardian Elite of the New York theater world, would rather take a position of condescension and dismissal when  people of color have the "audacity" to take on the extraordinary, beautiful work of Tennessee Williams. Once you know your history and know that there was indeed a culture of people (in the 1700s), endemic to Louisiana called the "gens de colour libre," or "free people of color," and that these people owned plantations and some actually owned their own slaves, there is no basis to dismiss the backstory of our Dubois sisters who hail from their family owned plantation called Belle Reeve. Or to dismiss the part of the story where Blanche Dubois pines for an oil millionaire called Shep Huntleigh. If these dismissive Nay Sayers knew their history, they would know that there were a number of black people that owned oil wells in the 30s and 40s:


These are three actual black millionaires in the deep south of the 1930s and 40s that serve as prototypes for Shep Huntleigh.

William Madison McDonald 
Gooseneck Bill McDonald moved to Fort Worth in 1906.  He built the Fraternal Bank and Trust Company in 1912.  The bank was located at 401 E. Ninth Street. The bank was successful and survived the Great Depression. The bank provided loans to African American entrepreneurs during the segregated era.

According to a 1984 Fort Worth Star Telegram story, Mc Donald was “Ft. Worth’s first black millionaire”. He lived in a 12 room mansion on Terrell Avenue  His home “rivaled any in Fort Worth at the time.”

Joseph Jacob Simmons
Joseph Jacob Simmons, Jr. (January 17, 1901 – March 24, 1981) was a prominent African American oilman. He "rose above humble beginnings to become the most successful and most recognizable black entrepreneur in the history of the petroleum industry."

As an internationally known oil broker he partnered with Phillips Petroleum Company and Signal Oil and Gas Company to open up African oil fields in Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana. In 1969, he became the first black to be appointed to the National Petroleum Council

The headline from this conversation is: BLACK FOLKS, STAY IN YOUR PLACE!
As long as we stay in our place and do only the great "Black" classics, like "Fences," "Porgy and Bess," "A Raisin In The Son,"  etc. your artistry will be lauded and touted, (as it should be), but if you dare step into the deified realm of Tennessee Williams, expect profound resistance and resentment. This is evident not only in our production but in "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof," produced by the same producers; Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones in 2008 with an all-black cast. Incidentally, with the same dismissive climate, "Cat" prevailed and became the highest grossing "play" (not musical) of the year!

I saw the production and the work was stellar.

"Cat boasted three previous Tony Award "winners;" James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad and Anika Noni Rose, but the reviews were blistering and the entire company, cast and crew were completely ignored and shut out of a single Tony nomination, the highest honor in the world of Broadway. Ironically, so were we, save a deserved Tony nomination for Paul Tazewell's costumes. Though the costumes are terrific, are you telling me that when you come to see our play the ONLY thing you are left with is how amazing the costumes are? dismissal and condescension.

Once again, you realize that the "resistance" and "resentment" is not based on the work. We are not being judged based on the work. It is the "power of the idea," that seems to unnerve the "elite;" the idea that people of color could produce and perform Tennessee Williams and do it well. The beauty in all of this is that when an ideas time has come it cannot and will not be ignored!

Nicole and I decided to make a concerted effort to expose John Lahr and other's ignorance with regard to people of color doing Tennessee Williams. We did an interview on MSNBC on Thursday with the brilliant Michael Eric Dyson. The response and buzz has been phenomenal. Feel free to send the video viral if you like. Thanks much.

Blair

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm Smart In Friendships, But A Rookie In Relationships


I think it's something that a few of us aren't honest about. I'm not afraid to admit it. It's all apart of the journey. I'm smart in friendships, but still a rookie when it comes to relationships.

It's quite hard for some people to hear that from someone like me. When they look at me, they see a person who is incredibly talented, intelligent beyond his years, and has an incredibly bright future ahead of him. They see me receiving accolades from various things ranging from my creative work to philanthropy projects. All of those visions come from just looking at me. So it shocks people when I tell them that I don't have a boyfriend.

Well I hate to break it to everyone. It's not always that easy.

Growing up, my main goal in life was to look for people that would give me true love and acceptance. I never really aimed that towards relationships at that time. It was always friendships. When you're an outcast in school and the black sheep in your entire family, it becomes somewhat of an obligation to find true friendships. So that's what I did. I was looking for friends to love me for who I am. This was my life's mission. 

Now that I've managed to maintain wonderful friendships, this dating thing is kind of still new to me. Even though I've been in six relationships from ages 14-19, I still feel like a rookie. I think that's partially why each of those relationships were on and off. I didn't want to go towards new people. I wanted to stay in my circle and be with the people I knew personally. Of course, I've realized that it's not a good idea. When it's over, it's over.

It's been a year and a half that I've been single, which is something I haven't done since I started dating when I was fourteen. The time I've spent by myself made reevaluate my life and I came to this conclusion when it comes to relationships. I'm still interested in dating. I was born in the fall, the most romantic season of the year. But I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a little scared and incredibly nervous about meeting someone.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Thought for the day: The Four Agreements""



Thought for the day:

"The Four Agreements"
by Don Miguel Ruiz


Third Agreement – “Don’t Make Assumptions”

Don’t make assumptions. Ask questions for clarity. This will set you free and I believe it will keep you from failure, hurting yourself, and blaming others. Clarity is freedom. Making assumptions is a conversation that you need to have with the other person. Often times the other person is we, in our heads. This expels so much energy and before you know it, we’ve wasted a good portion of the day creating stories and scenarios in our head.

I sometimes have many conversations in my head and especially now being new to LA, trying to find a balance in my acting career, trying to balance my new yoga teacher journey, and trying to date intimately. And dating is funny because I find myself creating stories when I encounter a person who just simply smiles at me. “Oh he must want to go out with me…he must like me.” That would be nice but that’s an assumption I have created in my head, an entire dialogue by myself. Or: “He’ll never want to date me, I’m not on his level.” Then bringing this to the Yoga practice, as a teacher I can’t assume that every student will know how to follow cues accurately and that everyone is here for the same practice. Bottom line, ask questions for clarity when it involves others and not assume. Not making assumptions allow room for dialogue and allows you to get to know the other person and this getting to know process can reveal some great information, information that may work for you, or may not work for you. So be open and not closed by assuming.

YouTube Channel: LifeJones77
ACTOR DEMO REEL: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Inspired In New York Honors MIKE RUIZ and NIGEL BARKER on Tuesday, May 22, 2012


MIKE RUIZ, world-renowned photographer, TV personality, former model, actor, spokesperson, creative director and director and NIGEL BARKER, acclaimed photographer, filmmaker, former model, author and philanthropist are being honored by INSPIRED IN NEW YORK on May 22, 2012 at the trè chic Toro Lounge at the Smyth Hotel in historic Tribeca, New York.  
Attendance is by INVITE ONLY. 
Charity Fundraiser Suggested Donation $50.00

Mike Ruiz and Nigel Barker were chosen to receive this recognition by the honorable Councilman & Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie due to their many years as innovators and trendsetters in the arts media and entertainment industries.  All honorees will receive a proclamation from New York for their contributions.

The Inspired Series supports the Cover Girls For Change 46664 Campaign. 

DIONNE WARWICK, former Ambassador of Health for the Reagan administration and U.S. Ambassador of the 46664 Nelson Mandela Foundation has joined forces with THULI DUMAKUDE, of the Thembalethu Beaders and legendary models MARIA MCDONALD, founder of Cover Girls For Change and SANDI BASS to launch a global campaign to bring awareness to women’s rights and the fight against HIV/AIDS globally.  South Africa has the highest number of people infected with HIV in the world.  Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Thembalethu Beaders and the 46664 Mandela Foundation.  

For additional information visit the website at covergirlsforchange.com

The crème de la crème of the entertainment industry will be in attendance to support and honor these trendsetters and innovators on their very special day.

Our Divas Sing Together... 70's, 80's, 90's & TODAY

 

Brandy and Monica - 'The Boy Is Mine'

Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox 'Same Script Different Cast' 









Aretha Franklin & Annie Lennox - 'Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves'



Barbra Streisand / Donna Summer - 'No More Tears' (Enough is Enough)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Aren't You Tired Of Being The Caller?


I remember writing a post many months ago about making the call to your best friends. I considered it a wonderful thing to do if you want to maintain your friendship. You don't have to wait for the other person, so that things can progress. If one of you guys aren't calling each other, you have to take action to call the other person. It's time to stop waiting and take action.

But doesn't there come a time when you've done dialing?

I am one of those people who calls his friends all the time. I'm a friendaholic. I care about my friends a lot, and I want to keep our friendship strong and together forever. It's incredibly important to me. But after making the call numerous times, I'm starting to see a pattern. I call my friends and my don't friends call me. Whenever I ask them why they haven't called me back, they always respond by saying "I was waiting for you to do that."

It's like they automatically put me on this platform and are secretly calling me "The Caller", which is someone you wait for to call you. It's never vice-versa. I'm the person that they expect to dial their numbers on my cell phone and call them.

I don't know about you, but I consider it ridiculous. Why do I have to be the caller? Why don't you call me? Dial me for my love the same way I do when it comes to you. 

I love my friends, but there comes a time when I'm done calling them. I want them to start calling me instead of me being the primary dialer. Aren't you tired of the same thing?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Thought for the day: The Four Agreements""



Thought for the day:

"The Four Agreements"
by Don Miguel Ruiz


Second Agreement – “Don’t Take Anything Personally”

This is a powerful agreement and one that I aim to master and fully embrace. Even when someone compliments me, don’t take it personally. I know how good I am. I know my worth. I can say a simple thank you and move on. This agreement links with being impeccable with your word. It’s in perfect alignment. I know what I am and when I really know what I am, what one says, do, or give to me no matter how great or bad, I know how amazing I am. In this I am not egotistical or narcissistic, I am just grateful and love what I stand for and the man I see in the mirror.

Making a habit of not taking anything personally shall eventually put you in a total state of not looking to others for answers, approval, acceptance but instead knowing that it all comes from within. Tapping into the inner trust and being more comfortable and secure in your inner being.


Connect with me online:

www.corneliusjonesjr.com

facebook: Cornelius Jones Jr.

twitter: CorneliusJonesJ

facebook fanpage: FlagBoy: Official Fan Page of the Actor

YouTube Channel: LifeJones77

ACTOR DEMO REEL: CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

DIONNE WARWICK PRESENTS THE COVER GIRLS FOR CHANGE 46664 CAMPAIGN

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with SANDI BASS, THULI DUMAKUDE & MARIA McDONALD

Photographer PETER BEARD
Confirmed Models  Alek Wek, Chanel Iman, Pat Cleveland, Sandi Bass, Maria McDonald

**Launch announcement made at Inspired In New York event April 24th honoring Constance C.R. White. Kevin Liles and Phillip Bloch.

 


DIONNE WARWICK, former Ambassador of Health for the Reagan administration and U.S. Ambassador of the 46664 Mandela Foundation has joined forces with THULI DUMAKUDE, of the Thembalethu Beaders and legendary models MARIA MCDONALD, founder of Cover Girls For Change and SANDI BASS to launch a global campaign to bring awareness to women’s rights and the fight against HIV/AIDS globally.  South Africa has the highest number of people infected with HIV in the world.   The estimated rate of new HIV infections for black women in the U.S. was more than 15 times as high as the rate for white women, and more than three times as high as that of Latina women.

In recognition of Nelson Mandela’ 94th Birthday on July 18th Warwick, McDonald, Bass and Dumakude with support from several celebrity, fashion, and film notables will showcase the works of The Thembalethu Beaders.  Led by Thuli Dumakude 45 rural women of South Africa will create beaded jewelry to signify 46664 (four, double six, six four) which takes its name from the prison number (prisoner number 466 of 1964) given to Mr. Mandela when he was incarcerated for life on Robben Island, off Cape Town, South Africa.

This is the catalyst to a global human rights campaign for economic stability, racial equality, health reform/education and women’s rights.  Proceeds from the campaign will benefit the Thembalethu Beaders and the 46664 Mandela Foundation.

The campaign will kick off with a photo-shoot to be shot by iconic photographer PETER BEARD.   A documentary on the history of these iconic women’s fight for racial equality from America to Africa is set for release in 2013. 

Cover Girls for Change, is a platform spotlighting the Beauty, Fashion & Film Industries with the global initiative for social transformation through charitable contributions and innovative events.

Thembalethu Beaders is a South African based company helping in the fight against HIV / AIDS and creating jobs for rural women. 

GMAD25 Barefoot Wines Lounge



We are pleased to announce that Barefoot Wines is sponsoring the GMAD Lounge at  the New York City GLBT Travel Expo.  The GMAD25  - Barefoot Wines Lounge will be open from Noon to 5pm.  You are cordially invited to join us at the Gay & Lesbian Center, admission is FREE.

 
In 1986, Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) was conceptualized in New York City, a result of the vision of founder, The Reverend Charles Angel who embarked on a mission to empower the black gay men. Historically, these men had been forced to prioritize their battles as if each was mutually exclusive. They were simply not just black or not just men or not just gay --- they were all three of these things. GMAD stepped in to fill a void and connect the dots. Choosing not the path of least resistance but one of challenge and uncertainty, Reverend Angel and his colleagues took on the role - and the weight - of community activists in order to create parity for the black gay community.

Founded in 1986, Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey introduced Barefoot Cellars wines. "We loved the name and the concept of being barefoot and living the carefree lifestyle," stated Harvey. They launched the brand with two varietals, Barefoot California Cabernet Sauvignon and Barefoot California Sauvignon Blanc, both in the 1.5 Liter size. In early 1992, Barefoot Chardonnay was added to the Barefoot repertoire and Barefoot White Zinfandel in late 1993. The wines were recognized by awards, acclaimed wine writers and repeat customers. "We couldn't keep up with the demand which meant that it was time to grow the staff and add more 'Barefooters' to our team!

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New York City GLBT Travel Expo
May 5, 2012
The LGBT Center

Sponsored by:

Amtrak ®
Barefoot Wines
Best Gay Cities
Copa Airlines
Delta Air Lines
GMAD25
Greater Miami CVB
IGLTA
FunMaps
Edge Media Network
GLBT Travel Store
H2 Internet Service
MEGA Personalities
Next Magazine
NYC up and Out
Palm Springs Cocktail Challenge
Philadelphia QFEST
QUEERTimes
TAG Approved Accommodations
Windy City Media
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