Friday, November 21, 2014

Careers in Entertainment: So You Want to Be A TV Writer or Producer? Interview with Lisa Melamed of Party of Five, Sisters and Other Hit TV Shows

Hey Dude Celebrated it's 25th anniversary this past June
at the ATX Festival in Austin. Pictured: Lisa Melamed (second from left)\
is flanked by cast members Chistine Taylor, Jonathan Galkin and
David Lascher.                                             Photo Courtesy Lisa Melamed
      Ever wonder how a TV writer gets to be a writer? Does it take education, talent and luck, or all of these? Read on as I interview Lisa Melamed, whose resume as a television writer and producer spans not just several decades but a plethora of popular shows we've all probably watched.

I met Lisa on a shoot in LA recently and she was kind enough to let me probe her mind to satisfy my curiosity. Find out how she made it and what any aspiring writer still needs to do.

Suzee:  You have worked on so many popular shows, I don't know where to start. So I will ask you,  how did you get started? Tell me about your road to Hollywood from Brooklyn.

Writer/Producer Lisa Melamed has worked
on Hey Dude! Sisters, The 4400 and many more.
Lisa: I got a B.A. in Television and Radio from Brooklyn College (City University of New York) in 1979.  Soon after that I was hired at Scholastic Productions in New York City, which is the t.v. and film division of Scholastic publishing.  The job was to develop shows and movies from Scholastic’s vast library of children’s and young adult books, and also to come up with original ideas.  I started as an assistant and moved up the ranks during the seven years I worked there.  We produced a number of Afterschool Specials, and the series Charles In Charge came out of Scholastic.

At that point I wasn’t writing scripts so much as midwifing them, but I was getting a really good education because I was constantly reading scripts, giving notes, getting notes, etc..  Eventually I became brave enough to start writing some sample scripts and sending them out.  My first two t.v. samples were  a Murphy Brown spec (a spec script is when you take an existing series and come up with an original story using the show’s characters and format) and also a pilot called “Grace Under Pressure” about an overnight radio d.j..  Neither of those was ever filmed but they demonstrated that I could put a story on its feet and write good dialogue.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Hey NJ, Watch What Happens Live When Andy Cohen Comes to Town - BRAVO! to Andy on His New Book The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year

In the busy yet quiet downtown of suburban Ridgewood, NJ, there's always something cookin' at the local bookstore, called Bookends. From The Situation to Hillary Clinton to Michelle Phan to Danny Aiello A'listers of pop culture, sports, Youtube and the world of politics somehow find their way into this tree-lined town.

And so goes Andy Cohen, leaving his  Watch What Happens Live! studio in NYC and travelling into the suburbs to sign copies of his new book, The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at  A Shallow Year on November 12th at 7pm. Here in Bergen County, Andy has entered the haven of his real housewives.

I am wondering what will happen live there? Will he entertain us with a few stories before he starts signing the book? Will he have the crowd roaring with laughter? Will he ask his fans pointed questions? Will there be a Word of the Day???

I can only imagine that fans will get their fill of this colorful, creative, consummate host when they meet him at Bookends.

If you're a fan of BRAVO and especially the housewives, it looks like this new book is sure to spill some savory secrets of the super sexy and silly superheroes of the channel we know as BRAVO.

Friday, November 7, 2014

RHONJ's Amber Marchese: The Real Cancer Story Behind This Real Housewife - "I Looked Like a Turnip" - How She Would Like to Save a Life with Her Story

Editor's Note: In this candid interview, RHONJ Amber Marchese opens up about her bout with breast cancer, detailing everything from when she first found it to the way her chemo made her feel to how her husband was there for her the whole time. Read about the doctor that saved her life, how she dealt with the pain, and get some words of wisdom.

Though her story is her own, Amber's story is typical in many respects of many women's struggle with breast cancer. Though there is still so much more needed to be discovered about this disease, her story mirrors the story of hundreds of thousands of other women, women who can proudly call themselves survivors.

Breast cancer is for real, Amber's breast cancer was for real. Though people may question why she brings it up on her show, it really brings true meaning to the title "Real Housewife". Amber will carry this badge of honor throughout her life,  her struggle was as real as it gets and hopefully other women who have been through what she has been through or have just received this life-changing news will see hope in it that all things shall pass and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I don't think that Amber ever thought, while sitting in a chemo chair, that five years later she would be on a TV show donating her locks of hair for other breast cancer patients. Her message, Dream Big.

And Amber, thanks so much for this interview and your honesty. - Suzee

So Young

Suzee: Breast cancer awareness is always in the news. Before I start talking about you, I noticed Joan Lunden has been so many interviews and talking frankly about her struggle with breast cancer.

Amber Marchese: You know, I didn't even know she had breast cancer, I just saw it - it's all over the magazines and thought Oh my God, I had no idea, she is unbelievable. She's super gorgeous.

Suzee: Yes, she is older than you though, more of the typical age for getting breast cancer. Your story is different, you experienced it as a twenty-something, a different generation. 

Amber Marchese: Yes, absolutely, and this is one of the things that I had a hard time with. I was quite young, there was no one that was waking my walk,  you know it was awesome that there were so many people that were offering their help and their insight but they were 45 and 50, and though I loved an appreciated it, I did't feel like I could always relate to it.

Suzee: I've had friends that have had it, most were in their 40's. Who knows what is actually causing this? 

Amber Marchese: Well, it's funny but it's not funny, when I was with my doctor, we took a whole genetic panel as well and I just got my test results back a couple days ago.   I guess I forgot about it, but he related to me that I  have absolutely no abnormalities in my genetic coding,  there's nothing wrong with my genetics, this is strictly environmental.

Amber's Family and Life Before Breast Cancer

Suzee: Living in NJ, where we have so many people and a really bad reputation when it comes to cancer, did you know a lot of people with cancer?

Amber Marchese: Actually, believe it or not I didn't know anyone with cancer. We had heart attacks in my family, there was like no cancer, none of my friends' parents had it, but once in awhile you would hear a about a childhood cancer but that was it.

You know my dad was diagnosed when I was 19 with pancreatic cancer. That was my first experience with any type of cancer and it went unfortunately, really fast for him. He was diagnosed in September and died in January so like when I first was diagnosed, immediately I went to thinking that my case was going to be like my father's, that I would go very quick and there was no chance of survival and you know, its just not like that! 

Breast cancer is very different, and there's much more known, unlike pancreatic cancer there's just not that much known about it.  There's so much known about breast cancer, preventative measures as well as treatment.

" (People have said) I've been using the cancer card. I'm a survivor. I am using this show as a platform to raise awareness and possibly save a life."- Amber Marchese

The mortality  rate for breast cancer has dropped significantly in the last 15- 20 years for sure. My type of cancer was very aggressive I was a Her-2 positive and I just want you to know, in the 80's, if you were given that type of diagnosis your chances of survival were not that great until the drug Herceptin came around. Herceptin actually flips that diagnosis around, it's just so receptive to this drug. Right Jim? (She conferred with Jim on this.) Yes, it was Herceptin. Geez, it's been five years since I used that drug.

Amber knows her way around a gym   Photo from FB
Suzee: Were you always into health an fitness? You have your own fitness business called Vici Fitness and  a Master's in Behavioral Studies/Exercise Physiology from Columbia University, That's a mouthful but very impressive!

Amber Marchese: I always was healthy!  I had the typical college life though, yeah, I drank alcohol, ate some junky food - it was college, I had fun!  I didn't really really get into health and fitness till about 27 and at that point I had already had cancer. I figure that because, if I was diagnosed by 31 it had been developing around 27, 28.  In my heart I  think a lot had to do with September 11th.  I was  down by those buildings quite often, and I lived across the Hudson River from it. The fumes... I smelled it every day, I just always felt like that might have had something to do with it.

FACEBOOK FOR fitness tips and recipes:

Suzee: I am not going to disagree with that! No one really knows what that caused, they're still finding out. Also, so many people, and people that I know, that have had some time of cancer or illness look for something that they did that might have caused it, or they blame themselves.  I no doubt think that had something to do with it, but i also believe it's a perfect storm that causes something.

Amber Marchese: Oh definitely I agree, there' so many other factors  - its the food industry, the chemicals in it, the food the water. There are so many things out there with awful things in it.

Feeling The Lumps - Was Something Really Wrong?

Suzee: Did you always get your mammos and do you do self exams?

Amber Marchese: Well I was too young for mammos! So it was not part of my gynecology exam. I felt my lumps while breastfeeding.  It was actually a blessing  that I did because I was able to feel the lump. There were multiple lumps and I remember I turned to my husband and said, "Can you feel this?"  And he felt it and said, "Yep, I think you should go to the doctor." And that's when the whole thing started.

Suzee:  And when you felt them, did you think right away, "OMG I have cancer!" or did you just figure you would get them checked out and you didn't start worrying?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

David Steinberg, Gilbert Gottfried, Caroline Rhea & Friends to Make Us Laugh Out Loud for Cancer: Gilda's Club Benefit November 2 in Hackensack, NJ.

Gilda's Club on Northern NJ presents Laugh Out Loud 5
with David Steinberg, Gilbert Gottfried, Caroline Rhea,
Vince August, Reese Waters, Cory Kahaney,
Jeff Norris, Gary Delena , Eddie Brill & Alan Zweibel.

                                                       by suzanne ordas curry

Gilda's Club Northern NJ is presenting a night of laughs, called LAUGH OUT LOUD 5 in support of their wonderful programs for cancer sufferers and their families. On November 2nd, Bergen Academies will host some of the finest comediens in the area, if not the country, to raise money for this worthy cause. Slated to appear are: David Steinberg, Gilbert Gottfried, Caroline Rhea, Vince August, Reese Waters, Cory Kahaney, Jeff Norris, Gary Delena, Eddie Brill and Special Guest Alan Zweibel. 

I remember watching Gilda Radner of Saturday Night Live decades ago, and laughing at her little bitty, teeny weeny skits which produced really really big and hearty laughs,  Who could forget "Mr. Richard Feder from Forta, Leea, New Jersey".  Or Miss Emily Litella? Just in case you forgot, here are some cool links to start you laughing even before the event:

Classic Roseanne Roseannadanna on Weekend Update:

Roseanne Roseanneadanna on Steroids:

Ms. Emily Litella:

She was one of the first well-known figures who died of breast cancer, and she was young, that's what I remember, she was young and in the middle of making people laugh.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sharknado 3 To Hit the East Coast This Summer: Will NJ's Tara Reid Survive Again?

NJ's Tara Reid to star in Fin-favorite
Sharknado 3                Photo from Facebook
Okay so the Sharknado Franchise is really bad. But's it's so bad it's really good. It is stupid but entertaining. The best way to watch these computer-enhanced, you've got-to-be-kidding me movies is when they show the Twitter comments. You just have to laugh, and isn't that what makes us tune in?

If we had not seen enough sharks devouring people along the Califorina Coast and NYC, now we find out that those man-eating, limb-stealing fish, mammals, whatever they are will be attacking our nation's capital.

We've seen cameos by some high-profile people in the NYC debacle. Hard to believe Al Roker and Matt Lauer would lend their names to such a movie, but they did and it worked. Will we see some of our government's best and brightest in the DC version? Will President Obama succumb to the jaws of a shark? Will sharks smash through the windows of Congress when they are just about to actually make a decision? Will poor Mr. Lincoln find his hands or feet of stone cut off? Will the Washington Monument somehow be used as a weapon to pierce through an army of invading carnivores?

The possibilities are endless, only limited by the imagination of the producers and we know they are all quite creative.

Then after the fish invade DC, they head down to vacation in sunny Florida. I assume they will meet up down there with many relatives and wreak even more havoc on some unsuspecting seniors.

Some day, in a future Sharknado movie, I would like to see these amazing animals evolve into flying sharks with wings. It could happen, right?

Hey NJ - did you know that Tara Reid was from NJ? She grew up in Wyckoff, NJ. Her mom was famous before her, because she owned Donna Reid's Preschool in Mahwah, NJ, which was a mom-approved favorite.

This fin-filled movie is set to hit SyFy in Summer of 2015. But don't expect any sharks at the Jersey Shore this summer, Ian and Tara sent they sent them all south of our metropolitan shores in Sharknado 2.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Danny Aiello, Kris Jenner, Neil Patrick Harris and Gene Simmons Coming Soon to A NJ Bookstore Near You!

Well I don't think that coming to a NJ bookstore was on the now-famous Neil Patrick Harris bucket list, which includes Sleeping in Cinderella's Castle and Meeting the President,  but this well-known actor/entertainer/host appears to be making NJ his first stop the day he announced he will host the Oscars. You can see him at Books and Greetings on October 16th signing his new book, Choose Your Own Autobiography. This is a ticketed event.

Also on October 16th true Jerseyan Danny Aiello will be signing copies on his new book, My Life On the Street, On The Stage and In the Movies. at Bookends in Ridgewood at 7pm. To Hollywood and back to star in a plethora or movies and TV shows including Moonstruck and Do The Right Thing this actor and producer, as I have personally heard him say, always comes back to Jersey and his wife and family. Not many people also know his musical side, check out his videos and music on
or watch him sing at:
Again in Ridgewood at  Bookends is reality personality Kris Jenner. As if she doesn't make enough money as matriarch of the Kardashian empire she also found time to write a cookbook which will no doubt be a bestseller as so many people want to live like a Kardashian, and well, eating what they eat is just a little taste of their good life.

Other Celebs gracing the Garden State:

Gene Simmons of Kiss, signing his new book, Me, Inc, 10/22 at Books and Greeting in Northvale, NJ.

Michelle Phan, Youtube Sensation, will be delighting her fans at a signing at Bookends on 10/23. Her book, 'Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style and Success, Online and Off", is sure to give all her fans the guidebook and inside scoop they crave.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Wait is Over: Weight the Series Pilot starring Martha Byrne Premieres in NYC Amidst a Bevy of Soap Friends for Support

Executive Producers of Weight, Martha Byrne and Daryn Strauss
On the second floor of the Galway Pub in midtown Manhattan they filed in. One soap actor after another, all there to support a fellow actress in her new project, a comedy series called Weight.

Emmy-Winner Martha Byrne put together this new show with Creator and Writers Guild Award Nominee Dayrn Strauss. It's a "dramedy" centering around a middle-class mom "Clare", played by Martha who goes on a reality show to lose weight. The pilot for this show premiered at the party.

As the series had conducted a crowdfunding campaign, the VIP Soap Party, as it was billed, was a donor perk, but it evolved into so much more. It was a reunion for so many soap actors, actors who spent days and months and years with each other, but many of whom have seen their soaps end. And because of this, had not seen their soap "family" in quite some time.

The step and repeat area was busy as Soap Opera Digest, Soap Opera Network, CBS Soaps in Depth and Serial Scoop were all there. Serial Scoop Now set up tent in another area for interviews, interviewing Daryn, Martha, Anny Sayre, and Elizabeth Hubbard,

Fellow As The World Turns actors were in attendance, but there were also alum from GL, OLTL, AMC and GH among others. Michael Park was hanging out with Michael O'Leary, Grant Aleksander and Larkin Malloy. Terri Conn brought her husband, Austin Peck (we miss him on Days, he's off with Kerry somewhere right now.) Elizabeth Hubbard was happy to chat with all. (Catch her on The Doctors now on RetroTV.) Anne Sayre was stunning in her leopard dress. Lisa Brown, who worked on Gotham with Martha, was also there as was Lauren B. Martin and Elizabeth Keifer, who were all happy to mingle with the guests.
Comedienne Maysoon Zayid also stopped by to lend her support. Even the former CBS Daytime publicist was there to chat with some of his old friends.

A little after 8 o'clock the attendees were heralded out of the bar area and into the screening area. Daryn Strauss said a few words and then the pilot premiered. The 12 minute pilot gave a real glimpse into the show. Martha, a housewife (geez I hate that term), is shown meeting her family (played by Bradley White, Kate West (daughter of GH's Laura), Peyton Ella for the first time after losing a ton of weight on a reality show. However, their reactions are not what you would expect as the host of the show (Trent Dawson (from ATWT) soon finds out! And then there's the reaction from her older, slimmer sister (played by Allison Smith (Kate and Allie, The West Wing). I heard one actress say, "It was too short, I wanted to see more."

Weight is coming to multiple platforms in 2015. For more information follow weight on twitter, @WeighttheSeries, check the facebook page for updates or visit

Photo Gallery
Anne Sayre and Maysoon Zayid                                                     Photos by Suzanne Ordas Curry

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

D. A. Pupa's Book The Magician: A Serial Killer Hits the Beloved Jersey Shore/Booksigning at Booktowne October 24th

The Magician is D. A. Pupa's first mystery.
 The Magician is the first novel from the pen of  NJ's D. A. Pupa. A psychotherapist by trade, D. A. undoubtedly uses his knowledge of the human psyche intertwined with a love of thrillers and mystery to create some magic of his own in this page-turner set at the Jersey Shore. Though it takes place during the biggest storm to hit the NJ coastline in almost a century, Super Storm Sandy, the storm was not the only thing wreaking havoc with these Spring Lake residents.. a serial killer was on the loose.

I had the opportunity to speak to this talented first-time author about his life in Jersey and what inspires him to write.

Have you always lived in Jersey?

 I was born in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but have lived most of my life at the Jersey Shore. We briefly lived in Long Island & Europe….but moved here at the end of middle school. Was lucky enough to grow up enjoying the beaches of New Jersey (mainly Manasquan).

What inspired you to the write the book? Are you an avid reader?

I’ve always been an avid reader and so has all of my family. I mainly enjoy suspense and thrillers. I love early James Patterson (Kiss The Girls, Along Came A Spider), Thomas Harris (Silence of The Lambs), Stephen King (The Stand, The Shining), Tom Clancy, Nelson DeMille, Vince Flynne….classics too….Gone With The Wind, Catcher In The Rye, and countless others.
I was inspired to write the book after my mom nudged me into pursuing my dream. I had the basic idea of this novel inside my head for the better part of two decades. Hurricane Sandy and the

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Stories To Inspire: The Today Show's Hoda Kotb Shining Light on Pediatric Cancer - New Video with Cyndi Lauper and Sara Bareilles To Raise Funds

Talk Show Host, NY Times Best-
Selling Author bringing joy
and awareness to children with cancer
Photo Courtesy Facebook
"They were singing along!" Hoda Kotb said, They were all looking for themselves in the video as they sat on the couch, but then they were "singing along."

This is what Hoda Kotb told Access Hollywood today about the debut of her video earlier that morning on the fourth hour of the Today Show with Kathy Lee Gifford.

The Today show studio was filled with the beautiful children from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia that were the stars of the video. This video is Hoda's contribution to the TODAY's Shine A Light Series, a campaign to support worthy causes. Hoda herself battled cancer 7 years ago.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: The Friends Central Perk Pop-up Cafe - Should You Go With YOUR Friends?

The Central Perk Cafe is open until 10/17/14     Photos Suzanne Ordas Curry
Review by Suzanne Ordas Curry

In one word, Yes.

But not on a weekend.

I waited two and a half hours, albeit just how long the line control people told me the wait would be from a corner two blocks away, Was it worth the wait?

One of the line control guys and gals (all were decked out in "How You Brewin?" ) shirts told me that during the week the lines so far were maybe under a half hour. But today, he said, "New York City, Saturday, Free Attraction? This is what you get!"

I saw people - that were obviously not Friends superfans - leave the line. Even after repeated questioning from my family, I would not leave.

The Friends Couch minus the Friends                                                                             Photo by Suzanne Ordas Curry
I smile at the thought of the Holiday Armadillo, or Monica's dreadlocks. I frown at the "We were on a break" breakup. I feel wispy over Monica's proposal or Ross' mis-speak of "Rachel" at his English wedding. The hundreds of people who waited, these were my peeps.

I have to say the line control staff was excellent. It's New York, so of course people tried to cut in the line. The line started on one side of one block, crossed a street, turned a corner on that same block, and then turned a corner to the front of the Central Perk Cafe. Whenever there was a break ( no pun intended), even if it was across a busy downtown NY street, the line monitors would not let anyone unfamiliar break in. Some pretty girls tried and failed,. However, if the Brewin' guys didn't get them the fans ratted them out.

So, was it worth the wait?

Book Review: Miss Nicole's Cupcakes Sure to Please: Free Download on Itunes

Cookbook author and celebrity journalist Nicole Russin is offering her cupcake book, Miss Nicole's Cupcakes as a free download on Itunes for your Ipod, Ipad or Mac.

For any cupcake aficionado, or anyone that enjoys a good cupcake, this book is sure to please with its diversity of recipes and enticing and creative photographs. There are cupcakes for any occasion and the photos are sure to inspire any baker. The recipes are easy to follow. Though any female baker would appreciate this book, children and adults alike will enjoy these recipes.

To download it click here:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Event: Tickets Still Available for Wanda Sykes at NJPac

Wanda Sykes is ready to make NJ laugh.
Wanda Sykes is coming to NJ. If you want more of her than what you have seen on the Ellen Show, on The New Adventures of Old Christine, or any talk show, head on down to Newark for a night of laughs. This comedienne has been named one of the 25 Funniest Women in America by Entertainment Weekly and tonight she gets to prove it. For info visit: One night only: September 19, 2014

NJ Resident and Former Jet Damien Woody Featured on NBC's Biggest Loser

Damien Woody from the Jets to the Biggest Loser Competition
Mendham's Damien Woody tweeted his last tweet on June 23rd: Gotta take a twitter hiatus but know that I'm coming back better than ever!!! Y'all hold down the fort for me

This 36-year old father of 7, and two-time Super Bowl Champion is no stranger to competition, but it's usually on the playing field. After playing college ball at Boston College, this offensive lineman played for the New England Patriots, the Detroit Lions and and the New York Jets. He's also a commentator for ESPN.

This time around, he's competing on the popular NBC weigh loss show, The Biggest Challenge. He started at 388 pounds.

Event: Bergen Pac's Fall Lineup Includes The Legendary Bill Cosby, Macy Gray, Englebert Humperdinck and More - Also Announces Auditions

Pack up the jello and head on over to LOL with Bill
Cosby at bergenPac on October 17th
Bergen Pac's 2014 Fall Season showcases legendary and newer performers, including shows for the kids. Bill Cosby appears on October 17th, Englebert Humperdinck on October 14th, The Wiggles on September 28th, The Dan Band on September 26th, Macy Gray on October 5th, America on October 15th, and the Vienna Boys Choir on October 22nd.

On September 29th there is a special screening of Glenn Campbell's movie, I'll Be Me to benefit the Arnold P. Gould Foundation, which works with healthcare professionals to instill a culture of respect, dignity and compassion for patients and professionals.

Interested in performing? 
bergenPAC offers a number of opportunities for students to perform live at bergenPAC or in the community. For information: Call (201) 503-8326 or Email or Visit

For a complete list of events visit

Friday, September 12, 2014

You Tube Personality Alli Simpson to Appear at Garden State Plaza September 13th

Alli Simpson, who has amassed millions of views for her songs on YouTube, will appear at Delia's at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus on Saturday, September 14th from 12-2pm. You can get a selfie with her, freebies, and more, according to the press release. Alli is a 16 year-old model with over 1 million twitter followers. Fans may know her song, "Why I'm Single".
For more information, call 201.843.0287.



Monday, September 8, 2014

Event: Jersey's Christina Milian Makes Two Appearances in NJ for Her Wine Brand, VIVA DIVA Wines

From Jersey City to Hollywood on The Voice and Dancing With the Stars, singer, actress and TV Host Christina Milian, born in Jersey City as Christina Flores is coming back to Jersey to promote her wine brand, Viva Diva Wines, which she has recently taken on full ownership of. Come see her on September 12, 2014 from 3 - 5 pm at the Joe Canals in Lawrenceville, Nj and then again on September 13th from 2-4pm at the Magaziner Canals in Mays Landing, NJ.

For more information on Christina visit or visit
Coming Soon to SuzeeBehindTheScenes: Interview with Christina Millian

Saturday, September 6, 2014

RHONJ Kathy Wakile Launches Indulge Recipe Book at NJ Bookstore: Fans Learn How to Keep Life Real Sweet

Kathy Wakile launched Indulge at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ
Indulge, by Kathy Wakile with Miriam Harris is a recipe book of over 75 personal treats of hers, published by St. Martin's Press.
          Story/photos by Suzanne Ordas Curry

I've been to a lot of book signings, for clients, friends and family members. At the launch signing, always on Tuesdays, the author's family and friends typically fill the room with support. No one knows who in the crowd is family and friends or just book fans, but at this one, all of Kathy Wakile's fans knew who they were. And they sure did fill it.
Meet Kathy: This month, Kathy will be all over NJ, heading west to Illinois and Kansas, south to Maryland and back to NJ. Here is a list of her appearances:!appearances/cv9
About the signing:

Daughter Victoria Wakile
with Grandma Maria Pierri
This was a RHONJ fan bonanza. Kathy was there, and spoke to everyone. Her proud mom Maria was there. Rich her husband was there. Her daughter Victoria was there looking beautiful in a pink dress with bright pinkish lipstick. Her handsome teenage son Rich was there looking like he's grown a bit since last season. Her sister Rosie Pierri was there, looking very tan and slim, wearing all black. Rosie walked up and down the line of fans - about 50 or so - and greeted each and every fan. They were thrilled. She posed for pictures with anyone that asked.

                        RHONJ Jaqueline Laurita stopped by to support her friend KathyWakile.                                                                                                                                                       Photos by Suzanne Ordas Curry
A little while later, RHONJ Jacqueline Laurita came in with her husband and I heard the excited whispers in the crowd. Jaqueline stood on the way out from where Kathy was seated and was happy to talk to fans and pose for photos. There were also other Wakile and Pierri family members there- you can see the family resemblance on - and I think they were all justifiably very proud of her.

Kathy started off with a brief talk about her book. Her first words were, "I'm a little nervous", which she may have been as all eyes were on her, but she gave a fantastic, honest and open presentation on why she wrote the book, how she loved desserts all her life, how baking is so important to her and what the process of writing the book in her home was.

She said, "You know when you hear a song and it brings you back to a special place?  You know what your were thinking, you know how you were feeling, and you know who you were with, well here's what, that what food does for me".

Kathy talked about how she associated many important moments and memories in her life with dessert, about her first encounters with some recipes, how her big  family let her know if she should "make it again" or not!  See her speech on Youtube at: 

I asked Kathy if she ever met a dessert she didn't like. She said, "No, I can honestly say there is nothing that I don't like. I love them all." She continued, "It's like the person (at this signing) that asked me what my favorite dessert. I told her I can't answer that, it's like asking me who my favorite child is." 

Kathy's son Rich Wakile has been sampling
her treats for the past year for this book.
She did add, though, that anything with lemon is a favorite.

She was also asked how long it took her to write the book and she said it took her a year to test and retest all the recipes. Rosie added, "I can tell you she was really working hard too."

About the book:

Friday, September 5, 2014

Jersey City Fashion Week is Back and Bigger than Ever: Featuring Project Runway's Helen Castillo

Jersey City Fashion Week is Back this September 24th- 28th with FASHION IN THE PARK.

Come see fashions by local and name designers, dine on food at local restaurants, meet Jersey's Designer Helen Castillo from Season 12 of Project Runway and other notables, listen to the music of Jeff Fox from WBLS, and donate to a good cause at the same time. 

Want more Helen? To hear podcast click here:                                                Photo courtesy Facebook

Stories to Inspire: What is CASA? See How You Can Help a Child in Foster Care

Find out how you can change a foster child's life. writer Sherri Kuhn sheds light on the organization bringing light and love to the life of a child.

Ever want to help a child in foster care, but don't know how? CASA, which stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocate, is a national organization which provides a one-on-one volunteer, an advocate, for each child in foster care. That advocate acts as the voice of the child to help insure that the child receives the best care and placement while in the hands of the foster system. Most states have a chapter as do most counties. There are many ways to help out. You can train to become an advocate, help out in fundraising, become a member of their board, give a little bit of your time where and when needed, or help out financially with a monetary donation or goods and services as needed by each chapter. Most chapters do not have the resources to help each
and every child, so help is always needed. As President of the Board of  Directors for Bergen County CASA for Children in NJ, this organization is special to me and I have seen firsthand the tremendous difference this organization and its people make in the lives of a child without a stable family. Read more here:                                                        - Suzanne Curry

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Careers in Entertainment: Interview with NYC Playwright Michael Block

 Michael Block
Jersey's Michael Block is one of the NYC area's up and coming playwrights. As part of  this site's new "Careers in Entertainment" page we interview Michael to find out the answer to "So You Want to be a Playwright?"

Read on about his latest stage production Pageant Tales and Beauty Fails, how he got started, and how he'll keep trying to get on Big Brother.

Suzee: First, tell me about your latest project.

The Cast of Pageant Tales and Beauty Fails                                                             All photos by Molly O'Keefe
Michael Block: My play Pageant Tales and Beauty Fails is a hilariously outrageous and offensive comedy about a fictional beauty pageant called America’s Goddess and the zany characters that inhabit this year’s event. It’s currently playing at Theater for the New City as part of the Dream Up Festival. It’s been an incredible journey to work with an amazing cast and crew to bring this play to life. I’ve had my work done before this is truly the first full scale production and it’s been a dream come true.

Suzee: Second, tell me about when you realized the theater was calling you.

Friday, August 29, 2014

"VIP Soap Opera Party" and Advanced Screening of Martha Byrne's New Series, Weight To Be Held in NYC October 2014: Tix Now Available - Come Meet Martha Byrne, Michael Park, Colleen Zenk, Terri Conn, Anne Sayre and more

Martha Byrne hosts a VIP
Soap Party for her new series,
Weight  Tix are $50 & up.
NYC - Are you a soap opera fan? Tickets are now available for a VIP Soap Party and Advanced Screening of Weight to be held on October 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm at Galway Pub, 7 East 36th Street (between 5th and Madison) in New York City. Weight is a new comedy series created and executive produced by Writers Guild Award Nominee Daryn Strauss and starring two-time Emmy Winner Martha Byrne. 

As of press date, the list of celebrities attending the VIP Soap Party includes Martha Byrne (As The World Turns, NBC's CrisisGotham the Series). Colleen Zenk (As The World TurnsTainted DreamsWoman on the Ledge Movie)Anne Sayre (Another WorldAs the World TurnsGotham the Series), Michael Park (As The World TurnsHouse of Cards, Gotham the Series, Broadway), Terri Conn (As The World TurnsOne Life to Live, Breaker High), Elizabeth Hubbard ( As The World Turns), Lisa Brown (As The World Turns, Guiding Light, Gotham The Series), Lauren B. Martin (As The World Turns), Elizabeth Keifer (Guiding Light, Venice the Series), Larkin Malloy (All My Children, Guiding Light), cast members from web soap Tainted Dreamsand Danielle Paige (Guiding Light writer, author of New York Times Bestseller Dorothy Must Die.) Check the website for updates on other special guests. Just added: Grant Aleksander (Guiding Light, All My Children)
Michael O'Leary (Guiding Light)

View the Teaser for Weight The Series here:

Actor Michael Park now seen on House Of Cards
comes out to support his As The World Turns friend
Martha Byrne.                      Photo courtesy Twitter
Basic tickets to the party are $50 each, which includes an exclusive advanced screening of Weight's not yet released pilot and the opportunity to mingle, talk, and take pictures with your favorite soap stars. Guests will also get a special sneak preview of Martha's latest movie, Preying for Mercy, directed by Bill Duke, plus a short Q & A with star and creator. A limited number VIP tickets are $75 each, which includes access to VIP area. Tickets can be purchased on the website at at the bottom of the page. All proceeds raised go towards Weight production.

Weight is a new comedy series from the mind of Writers Guild Award Nominee Daryn Strauss, which stars Martha Byrne as Claire, a middle class mom, who returns home from a reality weight loss competition 100 pounds lighter only to find she's gained some extra baggage due to the complicated reactions of her dysfunctional family and friends. This smart comedy, in the vein of the movie Little Miss Sunshine, combines America's obsession with weight loss and reality television for a look at how weight can bring together and also divide people. 
Martha and her on-screen family
for Weight 
Weight also stars Allison Smith (The West Wing, Broadway's' AnnieKate and Allie) as Claire's sister, Bradley White (Mad About You, Bad ParentsMasters of Sex) as Claire's husband, Dee Freeman (Pretty The SeriesThe Hughleys), Maitely Weismann (Masters of Sex, Nickelodeon's Sam & Cat) and Trent Dawson (As The World TurnsHomeland). Claire's daughters are played by Peyton Ella (NBC's The Sound of Music Live!) and Kate West (daughter of General Hospital's Maura West). It is directed by veteran primetime network television director Frederick King Keller (Crisis, 24, CSI Miami, Blue Bloods).

Weight is in post-production. Check the website for updates on where you can watch Weight at or follow Weight on Twitter . Like Weight on Facebook at or follow us  Tumblr at Watch Weight on Youtube:

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Looking for the Jersey Devil? Head to Jersey City, not the Pine Barrens: Joseph Pepitone's New Comedy Explores the Lighter Side of Raising Hell

Manalapan movie maker Joseph Pepitone's latest indie flick takes an interesting look at the devil and plops him in the heart of Jersey. Despite it's name, don't expect this movie to have anything to do with the legendary creature of Jersey lore, instead expect a seriously funny movie about the original legendary devil of days of yore.

Produced by Jersey folks, featuring many Jersey folks, and filmed in Jersey, this comedy centers around the devil facing term limits for his job. And of course there's competition for it. 'Nough said. Take a look at the trailer here: