Pass Me Not –Words of Wisdom from Tonya Kerry

F.A.M.E NYC was created to not only showcase the city I love, but to feature individuals who are looking for fame in New York City.  During my journey with F.A.M.E NYC, I have met plenty of wonderful, inspiring people.  Tony Kerry, Esq. is one of those people.  Tonya is a relationship strategist and speaker.  She specializes in personal development and relationship success.  With 10 years of experience, Tonya helps others maximize their relationship potential.  She is also the Author of Twelve Secrets to Living a Life You Love and will soon publish, How to Attract an Amazing Man:   Power Principles for Getting the Love You Deserve.  She is happily married and affectionately calls her husband a six foot two sack of sugar!   Many of the people I profile are burgeoning artists.  In this city it can be tough to hold on to your dreams when you are not seeing any results.  Tonya has some great advice for anyone that is working toward a goal and has yet to see their dreams come to fruition.  F.A.M.E NYC would like to share it with all of our FAMERS:

Perhaps God has forgotten I exist.  Sure I want to be successful, but the truth is I’m feeling sad and like a failure.  Everybody else is getting his or her blessing.  But mine?  It keeps passing me by.  Will my time ever come?

If you have ever said these words, don’t give up!  The secret to shaking off those “bluesy” feelings is right in your feet.  That is right.  It is in your feet.  Anytime I have ever felt as if God had forgotten me, I was not moving in the direction of my dreams.  In fact, I was not doing anything at all.  One thing I know for sure, faith without work is dead.

 It is time to take action.  Move your feet and do something.  Do not ask God to order your steps if you are not willing to move your feet.  God does not drop blessings on lazy people.  Bishop TD Jakes preached about the danger of doing nothing.  Take action.  Even if you have to fix it later, do something towards your dream.  Even if you fail, failure is not final; it is an opportunity to fix things.

Here are tips you can implement today:

Set Your Mind

Set your mind that you are getting your blessing.  You can set your mind by watching what you put into it.  Start the first 30 minutes of your day with something positive.  Change the annoying alarm clock by programming it with a positive message.  Wake up and get grateful.  Say, “Thank you Lord,” out loud for something, even if it is for your toes.

Get to Work  

Stop wasting time.  The Quakers say, “Hands to work; hearts to God.”  Do something towards your dream everyday.  Not some days, not most days, every day.  If you want change, you must change.  God is not passing you by:  he never has and never will.  You and I let opportunities pass by.  We are waiting for God, but God is waiting for us.      

George Bernard Shaw said, “The people who get on in this life look for the circumstances they want, and if they cannot find them they make ‘em.”    Jesus took action and fed 5,000.  Moses took action, stretched out his staff and parted the Red Sea.  Gideon took action, blew the trumpet and the walls came tumbling down.   God blesses action. 

So get to work.  Make that phone call, work on your book, go and see that person.  You want big blessings in 2011?  Make some big changes.   Stop passing on the things the Holy Spirit guides you to do.  Ask God to bless the creative process and let the Holy Spirit come alive in you, so the universe can see how amazing you truly are.

By using the tips outlined above, you will get the blessings you seek.  Change your mind about your situation and get up and do something.   The words of the hymn will then ring true:  “Our savior will hear your humble cry, and surely he won’t pass you by.”

To find out more about her speaking and training, please visit www.tonyakerryspeaks.com.   Also be on the look out for Tonya’s seminar How Attract an Amazing Man Seminar, coming soon.

Can’t Buy Me Love

One of F.A.M.E NYC’s most visited post is the interview I did on model/actor/educator Christian Brown.  And is it any wonder, he is such an awesome piece of eye candy!  Many of you may be wondering what Mr. Brown has been up to.  Recently he starred in an Akademiks webisode. Although he does not get the girl, he looks hot in the clothes.  Check out Christian in akdmks lesson 2.

akdmks lesson 2 – Stars Christian Brown, Seth McTigue and Solanyi Rodriguez  Director: Miguel Aviles

Video courtesy of Christian Brown

To read our original profile on Christian, click http://famenycmagazine.com/2010/11/03/f-a-m-e-nyc-model-profile-2/

Tell-Alls, Patricia Field and Empanadas…Oh My

Fashion and beauty are two industries that often intersect, and on May 6 two heavy hitters from each of these industries converged to create one super chic event.  Lora Condon most common pseudonyms are the “Beauty Buster” or the “Lash Doctor.”  A celebrity makeup artist and esthetician and expert, she is recognized for being an expert in the spa and cosmetic businesses.  Now Lora can add author to resume with SPA WARS: The Ugly Truth About The Beauty Industry.  SPA WARS is jocular memoir about the spa and beauty industries – it is part narrative, part cautionary tale.

Lora Condon

One of NYC’s most iconic boutiques was the setting for SPA WARS coming out party.  Legendary stylist and fashion maven Patricia Field hosted a book signing at the House of Field and Salon, located on 302 Bowery Street, which also benefitted GLAAD, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.   Guests enjoyed Chambord and Fris Vodka cocktails, ate empanadas to die for courtesy of Empanada Mama and listened the electro-rock sounds of DJ Sharri Model.  And what is an in-store event without the shopping, guests also had the opportunity to shop with a member of the Patricia Field Styling Team and received a 20% discount on clothes.  Good food, good drinks, a little shopping and gossip – sounds like the perfect Friday in the city to me.

Photo and Slideshow: F.A.M.E NYC Editor

Off-Broadway Gets Lucky

 

Deep in the heart of the Theatre District sits a production that shines just as bright as the stars in the Texas sky,  is as funny as a Hee Haw episode, with music that would rank on the top 10 of any WSM AM radio show countdown.  Country is getting its turn at bat once again, and it is swinging for the fences with Lucky Guy, a production that is all about the most important rule in music – rule 4080 – people in record industry are shady. 

Nashville is the Mecca of country music and it breeds recording stars the way Kentucky breeds champions. This is why Billy Ray Jackson, played by Kyle Dean Massey, has come to Music City.  Billy Ray won a matchbook songwriting contest, sponsored by Wright Records, and has come to Nashville to record his song and become famous.  G.C. Wright, the owner of Wright Records, has also eagerly awaited the arrival of Billy Ray.  He believes “Lucky Guy” – Billy Ray’s winning song – will save his struggling record label.  This possibility does not sit very well with G. C.’s cousin, Big Al Wright.  He is the proprietor of the most famous used car dealer franchise in Nashville and wants the property Wright Records resides on to expand his car empire.  Big Al contrives to hustle Billy Ray and G. C. out of the song and enlists the help of Miss Jeannie Jeannine, the queen of country music, to assist him with his plan.  She has not had a hit since before Johnny Cash started wearing black and “Lucky Guy” is just the tune she needs to reclaim her spot at the top.  Jeannie begins to employ all her womanly wilds, which are plenty, and star power to try to seduce naive Billy Ray, but he only has eyes for Wanda, the secretary at Wright Records. 

The bamboozle is all set take place during Big Al’s Grand Ole Opry show.  But Jeannie has a change of heart after realizing that Billy Ray is an earnest country guy that is devoted to another woman.  Even after Big Al puts the pressure on, Jeannie transforms herself from conniving villainess to heroine, saving Wright Records by allowing Billy Ray to sing his song on stage.  G.C. and Big Al come to an agreement about the property.  G.C. finally makes an honest woman out of his girlfriend, the gossiping hairdresser/wanna be country singer Chicky Lay, and Billy Ray and Wanda are ready to make it a double wedding.  Jeannie maintains her status as the queen of country music and all is right in Nashville.

Lucky Guy is being advertised as, “A big new musical at The Little Shubert Theatre,”and they ain’t telling no lies.  Playwright and director Willard Beckham has got himself a winner.  The laughs that will come from your gut will be as enormous as the wigs glued to Miss Jeannie Jeannine’s head.  The score is a great representation of country music, the melodies are earthy and the lyrics are relatable and impressive.  Before you know what hit you your head will be swaying and your toes will be tapping in your shoe.  The eye-popping sets are colorful and homey and the choreography is electrifying.  The cast is the sugar in the sweet tea of this musical, and oh how sweet it is.  The Buckaroos, played by Callan Bergmann, Xavier Cano, Wes Hart and Joshua Woodie are the buffed minstrels and dancers that give the show a healthy dose of eye candy.  Not to be outdone is Kyle Dean Massey, FAMERS can you say sexy?  Massey is a dreamboat that can sing and act.  What else do you need? Savannah Wise as Wanda Clark is as sugary as a ripe Georgia peach and could give Taylor Swift a run for her money.  Jean Colella is hysterical as Chicky Lay and Jim Newman is equally as comical as G.C. Wright, but the best lines and stomach crunching cackling came courtesy of Varla Jean Merman and Leslie Jordan.  As a legendary drag queen, Merman is already entertainment royalty.  The role of Miss Jeannie Jeannine was tailor made for her talents.  She is vivacious; the audience could not get enough of the blue jean queen of country antics.  Leslie Jordan is J.R. Ewing in bespangled cowboy boots.  His omnipresent presence and sarcasm is so outrageous it is sublime. 

I view this production as the little musical that could – since its 2009 premiere in Connecticut, it has been picking up steam.  I firmly believe it will not stop until it has reached Broadway.  Lucky Guy is playing a 12-week limited engagement; promenade on down to The Little Shubert Theatre and get yourself a good ole heaping of some country-fried fun.

Photos:  Joan Marcus

 

Channel 7 Eyewitness News Anchor Diana Williams Hosts Luncheon

April 28, The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America held their 18th Annual Women of Distinction Luncheon, yesterday at the Waldorf Astoria.    Jeweler Lorraine Schwartz was presented an award by Tina Knowles.  CCFA Board Member Michele Sweetwood and Lizzy Noble were honored as well.  This year’s luncheon also featured a fashion show presented by Bergdorf Goodman and featuring the Evening Collections of Alexandra Vidal, Andrew GN, CD Greene, J. Mendel, Kaufman Franco, Naeem Khan, Oscar de la Renta and Zuhair Murad.  The affair raised a total of $1.9 million for the foundation. 

 

Photo:  Amber De Vos

Slideshow Photos: Rob Rich

Sister Act Anoints Audiences with the Gospel of Laughter

Before 2006, Sister Act was a boilerplate comedy, with motley reviews, that depended on the star power of Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith and Harvey Keitel to fill box office seats.  In 2006, Sister Act was reincarnated into a musical with a book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater.   The production premiered on October 24, 2006 at the Pasadena Playhouse, closed December 2006 and became the highest grossing show at that venue.  In 2009, the show went international; Stage Entertainment and Whoopi Goldberg produced Sister Act at the London Palladium. 

Currently back in the states, Whoopi Goldberg is also back in the habit and on Broadway as one of the show’s producers.  Sister Act was a money maker for Whoopi back in 1992 and it is a Tony Award nominated smash hit for her now, but this reinvented musical of it comedic predecessor is its own hilarious entity.  Like the movie, Sister Act chronicles the story of Deloris Van Cartier – a ne’er do well lounge singer wasting her days in a Philadelphia nightclub owned by her married, thug boyfriend Curtis Jackson, played by Kingsley Leggs.  When returning a recycled gift – a coat previously owned by Jackson’s wife – Deloris stumbles upon Jackson and goons murdering a member of his crew believed to be an informant.  Deloris goes on the run, literally, and runs to a police precinct where she is reunited with Eddie Souther, an old school chum that used to have a crush on her.  Souther, a cop now, arranges for her to hide in a convent, and the holy hijinks are kicked into high gear.   

Even in a nun’s habit, Deloris – now dubbed Sister Mary Clarence for her own protection – is as noticeable as the follicles protruding from Don King’s head and driving the convent’s Mother Superior, played by Victoria Clark, round the bend.  Mother Superior decides to put Deloris’ singing talent to good use and puts her in charge of the cacophonous choir.  Deloris manages to raise the voices of the dissonant nuns and adds a little touch of disco for show.  Despite the objections and prayers of Mother Superior, Deloris is a savior.  The choir’s funky sound attracts parishioners, donations and helps to save the church.  Even the pope wants to see them.  A news report about the pope’s visit gets Deloris spotted on television and must she relocate again to avoid Curtis and his lackeys.   But Deloris is determined to stand by her new found sisters and they stand by her, even with the knowledge that she is not who she claimed she was.  Mother Superior has a change of heart about Deloris as well.  The nuns and Eddie foil Curtis’ plans for payback and Deloris and the sisters perform for the pope.

I have never laughed so hard in a theatre before.  Sister Act may have taken a long route to get to Broadway, but there is no doubt that its future is just as bright as the Great White Way itself.  It is a crowd pleaser from beginning to end.  I tried to find holes in this show, but there are none – my mirth cup runneth over.   Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner and Douglas Carter Beane received a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical, and the music of Alan Menken and the lyrics Glenn Slater received a Tony nomination for Best Original Score.  Set designer Klara Zieglernova’s vision for each scene was right on point, by the end of the production the audience did view a marriage of disco and divinity.  Costume designer Lez Brotherston sparkly, glitzy fashions made me want to pick up a habit.  Although their efforts did not receive Tony nominations, all the members of the creative team, including director Jerry Zaks, provided a heavenly pitch.  Only thing the actors had to do was knock it out the park, and that is exactly what they did.

Patina Miller reprises her role as Deloris Van Cartier; she was first cast in the role during the London version. She shines brighter than the Swarovski crystals used in the costumes.  Miller has attitude for days with the vocal chops to back it up – her Tony Award nomination is a no-brainer.   Tony Award winner Victoria Clark is angelic as Mother Superior.  The comedic tension between she and Miller is wonderful to watch.  Sarah Bolt as Sister Mary Patrick is a breath of ethereal air.  Her presence is so bubbly and infectious; I wish I could bottle her and sell her.  Giving contrast to Bolt’s perky personality, is Audrie Neenan as Sister Mary Lazarus – she completely prickly but no less a hoot.  Her snarky lines are well received by New Yorkers – citizens not known for being very peppy.

Although this production is a real sisterhood, the men in the cast manage to hold their own.  Kingsley Leggs is a villain you will love to despise; he is Nino Brown with an afro and a great singing voice.  Chester Gregory may be known as “Sweaty” Eddie, but it doesn’t detract from his talent.  As my aunt would say, “That boy can sang!”  Desmond Green is a scream as TJ, Curtis Jackson’s dimwitted relative and subordinate.  Fred Applegate, John Treacy and Caesar Samayoa also provide plenty of moments for the audience to chuckle heartily.

To speak of the gospel is to tell the truth – to spread good news.  This is not the type of show one goes to if they are looking to impress others with their knowledge of culture and the arts at a future dinner party.  This production is for someone that likes a little amusement with their theatre.   Funny…flashy…with a musical score that is sure to remembered for the ages, this show is too fabulous baby!

Photos by Joan Marcus

65th Annual Tony Award Nominations Have Been Announced

Today Whoopi Goldberg and her sisters have plenty to celebrate, Harry Potter and Dan Lauria were snubbed and theatre legend Patti LuPone is on the verge of another victory.  If you did not catch the hint, the nominations for the 2011 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards were announced this morning.  Tony Award winners Matthew Broderick and Anika Noni Rose hosted the event, which were held at The New York Public Library for Performing Arts.  There are 26 competitive categories that were announced.  Below are the nominations for the major awards, but if you want to view the announcement in its entirety, go to http://www.tonyawards.com.

Best Play

Good People, Jerusalem, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, War Horse

Best Musical

The Book of Mormon, Catch Me If You Can, The Scottsboro Boys, Sister Act

Best Revival of a Play

Arcadia, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Merchant of Venice, The Normal Heart

Best Revival of a Musical

Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Brian Bedford, The Importance of Being Earnest

Bobby Cannavale, The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart

Al Pacino, The Merchant of Venice

Mark Rylance, Jerusalem

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play

Nina Arianda, Born Yesterday

Frances McDormand, Good People

Lily Rabe, The Merchant of Venice

Vanessa Redgrave, Driving Miss Daisy

Hannah Yelland, Brief Encounter

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Norbert Leo Butz, Catch Me If You Can

Josh Gad, The Book of Mormon

Joshua Henry, The Scottsboro Boys

Andrew Rannells, The Book of Mormon

Tony Sheldon, Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Sutton Foster, Anything Goes

Beth Leavel, Baby It’s You!

Patina Miller, Sister Act

Donna Murphy, The People in the Picture

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Mackenzie Crook, Jerusalem

Billy Crudup, Arcadia

John Benjamin Hickey, The Normal Heart

Arian Moayed, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Yul Vázquez, The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Ellen Barkin, The Normal Heart

Edie Falco, The House of Blue Leaves

Judith Light, Lombardi

Joanna Lumley, La Bête

Elizabeth Rodriguez, The Motherf**ker with the Hat

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Colman Domingo, The Scottsboro Boys

Adam Godley, Anything Goes

John Larroquette, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Forrest McClendon, The Scottsboro Boys

Rory O’Malley, The Book of Mormon

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Laura Benanti, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Tammy Blanchard, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Victoria Clark, Sister Act

Nikki M. James, The Book of Mormon

Patti LuPone, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

 Photo:  J. Countess/WireImage.com