Friday, February 5, 2016

The Play's The Thing: Interview with WGA Award Nominated Writer of Weight: Daryn Strauss - Includes List of WGA 2016 Nominees

There's an old saying, "The play's the thing." It can't be more true, even in our modern world where anyone with a video camera can produce a video with amazing visual effects.

However, you can have a great bunch of actors,  a great director, great effects and if the words just aren't there, it won't work.

Writing is the seed of a production. Sometime the writer has the concept his or herself, builds a script around it and then shops it around. Other times there's a story in the works, and it's the screenwriter's job to tell the story with pages of dialogue.

Daryn Strauss, creator and writer of the series pilot Weight starring Emmy winner Martha Byrne, was nominated for a 2015 Writer's Guild Award for Weight (for Original Short Form New Media). This is her second nomination, having been nominated in the past for Downsized, a webseries about ordinary people getting, well, "downsized".  Daryn wrote, produced and starred in this. With a dancing background, Daryn is also at ease in front of the camera, looking I may add, a bit like a younger Helen Hunt.
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For a complete list of Nominees for WGA Awards 2016 click here:
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Director Frederick King Keller and Dayrn Strauss on the set of Weightthseries.com


Weight was directed by veteran Hollywood director Frederick King Keller (Blue Bloods, CSI, etc.). Also starring in Weight is Alison Smith (Kate and Allie, West Wing) and Bradley White (Mad about You).

Monday, February 1, 2016

Equity The Movie Premieres at Sundance 2016 - Sold to Sony Classics Pictures

Equity, premiered at Sundance 2016 at the Library in Park City, Utah.

On a comfortably cold evening in January the theater was sold out to see this female-driven financial thriller that was sold to Sony Classics Pictures before it's Sundance audience premiere.

The movie stars Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn as a female investment banker struggling in her career who takes a company public. Her boyfriend is played by James Purefoy, The film's producers,  Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas, had starring roles aside Ms. Gunn

All eyes were glued on the screen as the plot unfolded. Equity is a complex movie about the behind-the scenes of an IPO. There are multiple characters, distinct personalities and subplots all contributing to the eventual climax of the movie, the day the stock went public.  It's the kind of movie that needs to be seen twice to get a full understanding of the relationships of the characters and how these affect the ending. 

The movies was produced by with the help of real female investment bankers, with monetary support as well as story support. in fact, some of the producers, who are current investment bankers, have  cameos in the film. One co-producer spent hours with screenplay writer Amy Fox explaining the math behind the movie. Another co-producer spent time explaining the complex relationships females have in banking. 

After the movie ended , the Q and A was held with  Director Meera Menon, Producers Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas, David Alan Bash, Actor Jamers Purefoy, and Screenwriter Amy Fox. 

The Q and A started with writer Amy Fox talking about the the script. "As  a writer, I always want to be working on something that means something,  that has something to say in the world, but it's not a documentary. It's gotta be a page turner, something to keep you on the edge of your seats. Otherwise it's an essay, that's not what we wanted to do, we are making a movie."

Alysia Reiner, who played Sam the compliance officer said, "I try to think that it's a stealth bomb-issuing. You like, have this really exciting thriller, and there's this stealth bomb in it, something that's changing the world for women."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sundance 2016: Behind the Scenes from the Premiere of the Movie Equity by Broad Street Pictures - A First Timer's View


Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas helm
Broad Street Pictures, LLC
                                                   By Suzanne Ordas Curry\
So somehow, after my 25 plus years doing PR for everything from elevator controls to pizza to bankruptcy lawyers, I ended up in entertainment PR.

Of course I live a stone’s throw from New York City, the greatest city in the world,  the entertainment mecca where the best and brightest and most creative people come to gather and grow.

And active, creative people have a way of finding each other. They build a momentum when they are together, and then anything can happen.

Anna Gunn plays investment banker Naomi Bishop
On a cold day in January 2 years ago I met a woman at an educational seminar that I connected with after it. Turns out we shared  not just a mutual interest in education but also in entertainment.

It’s just as cold now in January almost two years to the date and we are both on our way to Sundance as producers. (My friend Candy Straight is the Executive Producer and I am a co-producer). We have a unique movie premiering there, called  Equity. It's in the US Drama Competition and stars Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn.

Life brings you challenges and surprises. It did not surprise me that this movie made it into Sundance. Of course there are no guarantees in life, and there are over 12,000 submissions to Sundance, but @EquityTheFilm belongs there.

Equity is a Wall Street movie with a 21st century spin, it’s about a woman on Wall Street. How’s that for a twist?

And who best to create a movie about a woman on Wall Street, than real women from Wall Street.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

So Who Is Caroline Byrne? Hear About Her Journey to American Idol and What the Future Holds for This Talented Jersey Girl

                  
Caroline Byrne makes her television debut on American Idol 
                                                   By Suzanne Ordas Curry
Jersey Girl Caroline Byrne is lighting up the stage of American Idol and ready to take on the world. Appearing on American Idol is just the start for this talented singer, as she’s working on some new songs, planning to wow the Big Apple with some appearances and is determined to make her passion come alive.

Caroline shares with us how she started, where she’s going and talks about being on the much-anticipated "Farewell Season" of #AmericanIdol.

Q: Tell me about when you decided you liked to sing and wanted to pursue it.

Caroline Byrne: I knew I loved singing since the time I was very little. There’s plenty of home video of me singing Beauty & the Beast in my living room like it was my own personal stage. Even though I loved the spotlight at home, I was extremely shy at school and in front of other kids. It wasn’t until college that I really became comfortable in my own skin and singing in front of other people. I realized that I had a gift for touching other people and making them feel something thorough my music. That realization is what ultimately made me want to pursue music seriously. 

listen to caroline on soundcloud:  https://soundcloud.com/iamcarolinebyrne

Q: Do you come from a musical family?

Caroline Byrne: My family is very musical. I’m the oldest of four, and every one us sings. I love having my brother Brendan, accompany me playing guitar and piano. We’re all really supportive of each other.

Q:  I know you’re a big fan of American Idol. What was the process like to get on that show?
Caroline Byrne: I learned about the initial audition back in June. A lot of people don’t realize there are several rounds you go through before you even see the judges. First, I auditioned in NYC at Fremantle Media. After that, I was interviewed. They asked about where I grew up, my family, my musical influences, etc.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Jersey's Caroline Byrne to Appear on Fox's American Idol January 13th, 2016: Tune in for the Last Season

PRESS RELEASE (Los Angeles) - Caroline Byrne will be appearing on   American Idol Wednesday, January 13, 2016 on the Fox Network. She will be appearing on the episode about the Philadelphia auditions. Caroline is a singer/artist working on an album and has just released the song "Alive", which can be found at www.IamCarolineByrne.com.  

This 26 year-old Bergen County native grew up in Waldwick, attended IHA and Ramapo College. She now lives in Ridgewood. She is the oldest of four. She has been singing since she was very little, though she says she did not become comfortable with singing in front of other people until she was in college. Caroline says she likes to touch people with her music and make them "feel something." 

UPDATE: CHANGES TO PROGRAMMING AT  AI - Caroline Byrne to appear week of January 18, 2016

This is the final season of American Idol and Caroline was thrilled to be a part of it. She states, "The experience was incredible. It's definitely not for the faint of heart though! It was wild being able to participate in a show that I’ve been watching since I was 12. The best part of the experience was the people I met. They were from all over the country, and came from every background. We all stay in touch on Facebook. My closest friends live across the country though. My roommate was from California and another close friend is from Utah!"

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hoda Kotb Continues Her Book Tour in Ridgewood, NJ: Also see Jay Williams, DWTS Kym Johnson and Grace Helbig

Hoda Kotb, the other half of the immensely popular Today Show fourth hour and one of my favorite hours of talk, is coming to Bookends in Ridgewood on January 11th at 7pm.

She will be there promoting her book, "Where they Belong", which is a book of stories of people who Today says "found themselves in completely unexpected moments or unforeseen circumstances." These situations lead all of these people to eventually do things they never thought possible, or even thought would be a part of their lives. 

This is a small bookstore which offers a great experience with authors. There may be some standing on line as Hoda is a fan fave, but there are seats inside and the line moves fast.This store also allows for photos with authors. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Hallmark Channel's Holiday Movie Mix: Being Good is Good for Business

I have been a fan of holiday TV movies for over a decade. It started with Falalala Lifetime many moons ago.

Then Lifetime started to diversify. Reality, more movies, more drama, not the goody-two-shoes plots of say, Comfort and Joy or Holiday Switch.

Back then the days before Christmas would be filled with holiday movies on Lifetime. You wouldn’t have to switch the channel. But that changed, and turning on Lifetime at some hours during the holiday season did not guarantee you would be seeing an elf, a handsome man named Nick or a pretty female heroine with some very important decision to make.

But alas, some clever executives over at the Hallmark Channel noticed this hole and filled it. And filled it and filled it and then started another channel and filled that one too.

The Hallmark Movie Channel and the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel are chock full of holiday faire, an up-to-the eyeballs menu of over-the top Christmas cheer.

One can tune in anytime of the day, starting in October (except for really late at night and in the 10am to 12pm slot for Home and Family which is also full of holiday goodies) and be guaranteed a movie that would make you cry or smile and make you feel that all is good with the world.

A month or so ago I just couldn’t keep up with all the premieres. How exciting that a new movie or two would premiere each weekend! More magic, more romance, more mush.Enough to lull one into a dull stupor so that the clicker stayed on that channel, What, bad news in the world? Why watch CNN when you’ve got a world without murder and mayhem? The worst people in Hallmark movies are bankers, lawyers and people that want to steal other people’s boyfriends. And the first two usually apologize at the end of the movie and as for the third category, they usually end up finding someone else themselves and everyone parts friends.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Molly Ringwald Visits NJPac: Watch The Breakfast Club and Chat with This Iconic Pretty in Pink Lady

Come to NJPac on December 11th to see 80's fave Molly Ringwald, all grown up. View a showing of the iconic movie The Breakfast Club and then get the full scoop on the movie, the actors, and that school in a Q & A after. For tickets visit: www.NJPac.org.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Shop Local: Gina Avino Artistic Design of Ramsey NJ Holds Holiday Shopping Event for Bergen CASA to Help Children in Foster Care - Actress Martha Byrne to Appear

Ramsey, NJ  - Enjoy an evening of shopping for a cause and receive some complimentary treatments. 

Gina Avino Artistic Design of  Ramsey will host a Holiday Shopping Night to benefit Bergen County CASA for Children December 10, 2015 from 6:30 to 9pm at 103 Main Street in Ramsey, NJ. Bergen County CASA is a non-profit organization that provides advocates for children in foster care and also provides these young victims of abuse and neglect with needed items such as pajamas, birthday, holiday gifts, and other items. Actress Martha Byrne, known for her role on As The World Turns, Bergen CASA's spokesperson, will make an appearance. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Broad Street Pictures Announces Its First Feature Film "Equity" Accepted into Dramatic Competition at Sundance Film Festival 2016: First Female - Driven Wall Street Film Features Females In Front of and Behind the Camera

Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn plays successful investment
banker Naomi Bishop, who fights to lead an IPO.
Broad Street Pictures, LLC is proud to announce that their first feature film, Equity, has been selected into Sundance Film Festival 2016 in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.

Broad Street Pictures was founded in 2014 by Alysia Reiner (OITNB,  How Two Get Away with Murder. Rosewood) and Sarah Megan Thomas (Backwards the Movie).

Sarah Megan Thomas states, “We are thrilled to be having the world premiere of our film, Equity in the Dramatic competition at Sundance. We hope audiences will enjoy this first female driven Wall Street film”.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

AURORAE AQUA TEAMS UP WITH REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY SYNDROME ASSOCIATION TO SPREAD AWARENESS

:
Special Price Offered and Portion of Proceeds Supports Research for this Little-Known Condition

NJ - Aurorae Aqua, a division of the popular active family lifestyle e-retailer Aurorae, has teamed up with the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association as part of RSD Awareness Month. From this point on until December 31, 2015, Aurorae Aqua will offer customers a special 10% discount on their oversized microfiber Swim & Sport Towel, available in 8 vibrant colors and 10% of that sale will be donated to RSDSA for research and support. The towels can only be purchased online at:

http://www.auroraeyoga.com/aurorae-aqua-microfiber-beach-swim-towel-1-rated-in-customer-satisfaction-super-absorbent-extra-large-lightweight-and-ecofriendly.html. Put in code RSDAWARE  to receive the discount.

Shop Local: Rejuvenate Sanctuary of Westwood NJ Hosts Holiday Open House

Rejuvenate Sanctuary
Shop Local and Get Pampered! Rejuvenate Sanctuary,  A Holistic Spa, 174 Westwood Avenue (second floor), in Westwood NJ will host a Holiday Boutique and Open House on Saturday, December 5th from 1 - 5pm.

Come tour the facility, enjoy complimentary gourmet hors d'oeuvres, take advantage of some complimentary eye and hand treatments and enjoy live music with Larry Stevens. Band starts at 2pm

Friday, November 20, 2015

Alysia Reiner Joins Cast of Fox's Rosewood

Alysia Reiner                                 Courtesy @Alysiareiner
Actress Alysia Reiner will join the cast of Fox’s Rosewood. Alysia, who is  known for her role as “Fig” on the award-winning Orange is the New Black, and District Attorney Parks on ABC’s  How To Get Away with Murder will play the role of  Lilian Izikoff, according to Deadline. Alysia will be playing the role of a former beauty queen.

Rosewood is a comedy/drama centered around a private pathologist, played by Morris Chestnut, who helps figure things out for the men in blue at the Miami PD. Debuting in September 2015, it has already been picked up for another 22 episodes. It is created by Todd Harthan.


Alysia Reiner and Lorraine Toussaint           Courtesy Twitter
Alysia will have a recurring role. Also just announced in recurring role status for Rosewood is actress Tia Mowry-Hardrict (Instant Mom).

Alysia Reiner will be also be seen in the movie Equity to be released in 2016. Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas (Backwards Movie) are the founders of Broad Street Pictures. Equity is their first release, this groundbreaking film centers around a female investment banker (played by Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn) who faces some turmoil and tribulations as she takes a company public in the fast-paced world of Wall Street.

For more info:    Alysia Reiner @AlysiaReiner

www.BroadStreetPictures.com

http://www.fox.com/rosewood

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Save 20% at J.Crew This Weekend in Bergen County NJ and Help Bergen CASA Help Foster Kids

NJ  -  J.Crew stores in Bergen County have partnered up with Bergen CASA to help support kids in
foster care. As part of National Adoption Month, JCrew will be
offering 20% off a purchase of $150 or more any Bergen County, NJ JCrew store and then donating 20% back of sales to Bergen CASA.

Bergen CASA advocates speak up for kids in foster care.
Exclusive shopping hours for this event are Friday, November 20, 2015 from 4-8pm and also Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 9 - 1pm. You need not bring a flyer to receive the discount but please mention CASA at the register.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Save Money at Modell's Sporting Goods Stores in NJ and Bergen CASA Help Foster Children at The Same Time

Modell's has teamed up with CASA for Children of Bergen County to help support CASA's advocacy program for kids in foster care. Bergen CASA is part of the network of National CASA, which stands for Court-Appointed Special Advocates. These advocates are specially-trained volunteers that advocate for children in foster care. Once a child is removed from a home due to abuse and neglect and then placed in the child welfare system, a CASA advocate is assigned to that child to be the "go-to" adult. This adult develops a one-on-one relationship with the child and makes sure that the child is receiving the best care and services possible. The advocate stays with the child until the child finds a permanent placement, be it reunification with the family, a permanent placement or adoption.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Anacostia Web Series Update: Daytime Legend Elizabeth Hubbard Joins Martha Byrne in Emmy Award-winning Show Anacostia

The cast of Anacostia at the 2014 Emmy Awards
Elizabeth Hubbard joins Martha Byrne in the fourth season of the web series Anacostia, new episodes debuting Decenber 2015 

(Press Release) Washington, D.C.– Two-time Emmy Award winner Elizabeth Hubbard joins ANACOSTIA in the role of Eva Montgomery. Best known for her role as shrewd businesswoman Lucinda Walsh of As the World Turns from 1984 – 2010 will make her Web Series debut this fall in a role that was “custom made for her” says series creator Anthony Anderson. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

From Salem to Northvale, NJ - The Cast of Days of Our Lives Holds Book Signing in Jersey Celebrating 50 Years on #NBC


It's hard to believe that those Salemites have been loving, scheming, serial killing, celebrating, back from the dead rising, partying, laughing, gossiping, University Hospital working, super coupling, Hortoning, Bradying, Brady's pub dining, marrying, mall-walking, mysterious drug-trying, lake house visiting, Christmas-ball hanging and oh so much more since DAYS OF OUR LIVES #DAY50 began in black and white so long ago.


Galen Garing and Deidre Hall at Books and Greeting in Northvale, NJ.                                         Photo by Suzanne Curry

Fans of Days were told that they would have a lot to look forward to as their 50th anniversary approached, and Ken Corday and the clan have not disappointed. We've seen some people we enjoyed meet their demise with the necktie killer, but we've also seen so many of our favorites coming back to their hometown, and more are in transit. Bo may be in shackles now but he's on his way back. Patch is back and and still in black. Sean just arrived home. Doug and Julie are always around, The Dimera clan is growing and who knows if EJ will soon follow? And a storyline is growing for Abe. Finally. So it's back to usual in Salem, which is the usual we have all come to love for 5 decades.

Friday, October 23, 2015

From Manhattan to Brooklyn and Back: Tracy Morgan Returns to NJ - See Him Live at Bergen PAC in 2016

#TracyMorgan to Perform at NJ's BergenPAC
Actor/Comedian Tracy Morgan makes a triumphant return to the Garden State after his tragic accident on the NJ Turnpike. Back and better than ever, as shown on his recent appearance hosting Saturday Night Live, Tracy is sure to delight audiences with his humor and stories. Tickets are on sale now for his April 2nd, 2016 appearance at Bergen PAC in Englewood NJ, just outside of Manhattan. For tickets:
visit www. BergenPac.org
Tracy recently visited Jimmy Kimmel while filming in Brooklyn. Tracy took Jimmy on a tour of his "very own" zoo: 

Other guests scheduled at the Bergen Performing Arts Center are Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Lisa Lampanelli and Frank Sinatra Jr. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review of Winterthorne: Wonderfully Wicked and Entertaining: A Web Series To Watch


Winterthorne - Watch it.

Like most people of my generation, (I am not a millenial) I am not used to watching web series. I'am a soap gal. And a TV gal. 

But I am being enticed to the Internet because of all the soap people populating these shows.

Knowing some of the people involved in a new four part series, Winterthorne, I decided to give it a look.

Winterthorne is produced by Michael and Barbara Caruso Productions and written by Michael. Michael is a web series pioneer, known for DeVanity. Starring in this four-part mini series with Michael are Martha Madison (DOOL), Lindy Gray (Dallas), Kristen Storms (GH) Gordon Thompson (Dynasty), Kathleen Gati (GH), Josh Thrower (Seeing Past It), John Paul Lavoisier (OLTL), Kevin Spirtas (DOOL, OLTL), Ron Hanks (Golden California) and Conrad Bluth (Nickelodeon). 

It takes a bit of a change of habit to start watching web series. If you're like me, and you're used to watching TV at night, shutting off that TV (unless you are viewing it on a device) and using your computer like a television takes some planning. I decided night time after prime time was time for web viewing.

The thing about turning on a computer to watch a show is the distractions. A boob tube is just one screen, and you have to switch a channel to get distracted. So watching a web show takes some concentration. Email is just one click away.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas' First Broad Street Pictures Production Equity The Movie Selected for the 2015 Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Film


Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas at launch of  new film Equity
Broad Street Pictures' new drama, Equity, the first female-driven Wall Street movie, is honored to be selected as a Creative Coalition 2015 Spotlight Initiative Film.

 “It’s exciting to see a notable female-led film being released, especially with only 1.9 percent of recent Hollywood releases being directed by women.  Not only is this the first film that showcases the executive women of Wall Street, it’s also a film that artistically and deftly weaves a thrilling tale set in the financial arena,” said The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk.  “The Creative Coalition is proud to count Equity among other notable films in the 2015 Spotlight Initiative slate.”  

Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) stars with Alysia Reiner in Equity
"Our goal was to make the best movie we possibly could that totally disrupts the way women are portrayed in film," said Broad Street Co-founder and actress Alysia Reiner. “We are thrilled to be chosen as a Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative film," adds Broad Street Co-founder/actress Sarah Megan Thomas.
 

The Creative Coalition's Spotlight Initiative is an integrated partnership that champions the art and craft of independent filmmaking by providing cause-related marketing strategies and issue campaign resources that allow the film’s message to reach beyond the movie screen.  By bringing in influencers from the business, entertainment, arts, and policy arenas to support Spotlight Initiative films, The Creative Coalition is able to promote socially relevant, independent filmmaking.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Gina Avino's Girls' Night Out Features Health & Wellness Vendors: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to Benefit

Spend a night with your friends and help breast cancer research at the same time. Gina Avino of Ramsey's Artistic Interiors presents Girls Night Out, Thursday, October 22, 2015 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm at 103 Main Street in Ramsey, NJ.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Variety and Lifetime Present LA Power of Women Awards: Oprah, Anna Kendrick, Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow and Susan Sojcicki To Speak on Their Causes

Ophrah Winfrey to receive award
for her work educating girls.
photo facebook
Variety Magazine has announced the inspiring females it will honor at it's Power Of Women luncheon on October 8th at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons. This year's honorees are all astounding women in entertainment who will be receiving this award not just for their careers but for the charitable efforts they have made to make a difference in this world.

The awards are a bicoastal tradition for 7 years. This year's West Coast honorees are Anna Kendrick, Salma Hayek Pinault, Oprah Winfrey, Gwyneth Paltrow and YouTube CEO Susan Sojcicki. Earlier this year, the NY Lifetime of Impact honorees were Glenn Close, Lena Dunham, Whoopi Goldberg, Rachel Weisz and Kim Kardashian West.

This event gives the women an opportunity to showcase and spread the word about the causes they find most important. At the April NY event, Lena Dunham gave an excellent and emotional speech about GEMS, The Girls Educational and Mentoring Services, which helps girls who have been victims of assault and other crimes against their bodies. View it here:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Welcome to the Second Annual Miami Webfest: Where New Media Producers Mix, Mingle and Promote Their Projects - September 25th - October 4th with Martha Byrne as Celebrity Guest Host

What is the Miami Webfest? by Suzanne Ordas Curry

The world of content is changing daily. It's not just broadcast TV anymore, it's seems like there's a new content distribution platform surfacing every few months. This means opportunity- and competition for content producers.

The 2nd Annual Miami Web Series Festival is one of the few but growing showcases of new media.  According to the Brian Thompson, Executive Director Miami Web Series Festival, the event is "designed to

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Music App Review: SPEAZIE - Easy To Use, Innovative and Free

Speazie is a free music app  for both Iphone
and Ipad from the Itunes App Store.
                                                       By Shane Curry
The app is called Speazie (speaker + easy?).
 

This new app is conducive to collaboration between artists and there is a great built in audio player. It is a great platform for collaboration between hip hop producers and rappers. Producers can post their beats, and if the rapper stumbles upon it and like the beat they can record a rap over the beat right from their phone, and this can be done with any beat that is posted whether it be acoustic, hip hop, electronic etc. 

Recording is a breeze with the app, it even has a nice user interface with a graphic of a microphone and a background of a vocal booth/studio. The app is very easy to use and took me about 10 minutes to get the hang of. It is similar to other social networks in that you can follow an artist, and like or comment on specific tracks. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Seeing President Jimmy Carter: A Full House to Get Copies of His Book "A Full Life" Signed in NJ


President Carter in Ridgewood, NJ signs copies of his book, A Full Life, Reflections at Ninety.  Photos: Ian Curry

The local bookstore, Bookends, in a picturesque suburb of  New York City, Ridgewood, NJ is frequently a pit stop for many a famous author, including celebrities, reality stars, athletes, musicians and rock stars. For someone interested in politics like myself, former leaders of the free world are my rock stars.

When I got the email about two months prior to the date that President Jimmy Carter was coming to the store to sign copies of his book, "A Full Life, Reflections at Ninety", I bought my book and invited my son. Being 90, in the back of my head, I thought, I hope nothing happens to him so we get to see him.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

From Midtown to Wall Street: Screenwriter Amy Fox Takes on The World of Investment Banking in Broad Street Pictures New Film, Equity


Screenwriter Amy Fox talks about her new movie, Equity
Interview: New York City's Amy Fox Pens New Script "Equity" for Broad Street Pictures About Women Bankers On Wall Street, Discusses How Interviews with Women She Knew Influenced Story and How Hollywood Needs More Women

"I literally Googled, What is a stock?" - Amy Fox

Amy Fox’s screenplay, Heights, based on her original play, was made into a major motion picture starring Glenn Close, Elizabeth Banks and James Marsden when she was in her early twenties. It was one of those rare success stories, and really, dream, of any aspiring writer:  write a play, watch it come alive on a stage, have it reviewed by the New York Times and then have a producer call you up to write a screenplay. Yes, this was Amy's story and her dream, so she started her resume listing a movie produced by Merchant Ivory Productions with an Academy Award-nominated/Emmy-winning actress in it.

Heights is the story of five people, working in the arts in New York City whose lives all intermingle. The movie peeks into their lives for 24 hours. Roger Ebert had praise for the movie saying, "Apart from the movie's mysteries and revelations, its chief pleasure comes through simple voyeurism. It is entertaining to see the lives of complex people become brutally simple all of a sudden."

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Martha Byrne's Talks about Her New Show "Weight" and Weight Issues to Michael Logan of TVInsider: "Age Changes Everything"

Martha Byrne's new series examines the absurd side of
life after a reality show           Photo Suzanne Ordas Curry
In this candid interview, Emmy Winner Martha Byrne, most famous for her role as Lily Snyder on the long-running soap As The World Turns, talks about what she is doing post-soap with her new series Weight. The pilot will premiere online August 2, 2015 at 8pm EST at www.WeightheSeries.com. The comedy focuses on a suburban  mom who lost weight on a reality show and has to keep it off in real life, without the coach, without the prepared food and with cupcakes and cookies filling the cupboards.

Martha says, "I am Claire" referring to her character, and her life, in which she always had to watch her weight because in taping a soap she was on screen every day. TV Insider's Michael Logan gives the full scoop here: 
 http://www.tvinsider.com/article/29810/as-the-world-turns-alum-martha-byrne-throws-her-weight-around-with-new-online-series/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tvi

Martha Byrne, Daryn Strauss and Frederick King Keller Set Release Date for Scripted Reality Weight Loss Pilot Weight, Episode To Appear Online August 2nd at www.Weighttheseries.com

Emmy Winner Martha Byrne plays suburban mom Claire
Weight, a new comedy series about life after extreme reality TV weight loss from internet phenom and Writers Guild Award nominee Daryn Strauss and starring three-time Emmy Winner Martha Byrne, will premiere its first episode on Sunday, August 2nd, at 8 PM EST at www.weighttheseries.com.

Viewers can join the "Virtual Release Party" with Byrne, cast, and special guests by using the hashtag #weightcrazy on Twitter and by following @weighttheseries, starting at 7 PM EST, August 2nd.
Weight follows Claire, a middle class mom (played by Byrne) who returns home from a reality weight loss competition 100 pounds lighter but finds she’s gained some extra baggage due to the complicated reactions of her dysfunctional family and friends. Byrne, a mother of three, has first-hand experience dealing with the expectations of Hollywood and the absurdities of life on camera, making Claire's struggles balancing mommyhood and reality show fame/infamy believable, funny, and relatable.

The series also stars Allison Smith, best known as Mallory O’Brien on The West Wing and Jane Curtin’s daughter Jennie on Kate & Allie, Bradley White, most recently seen on ABC’s Revenge and Showtime’s Masters of Sex, Peyton Ella, who made her TV debut as the youngest Von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live with Carrie Underwood on NBC, and Kate West, daughter of three-time Emmy Winner Maura West and Scott DeFreitas, with special guest stars Trent Dawson (As The World Turns, Homeland), Dee Freeman (The Hughleys), and Maitely Weismann (Masters of Sex).

Review: Sharknado 3: It's Out of This World and My Predictions for Sharknado 4

If you didn't say "huh?", or what? or "you've got to be kidding me!" you were not watching Sharknado 3.

Sharknado 3, I dare say, left its fans wanting more. Sharks in space, births in bellies, limbs in limbo, this movie's mundane was a normal person's outrageous. So many twitter fans in agreement wondering about just exactly what these wacky, wonderful writers were on when they wrote their weird and wild words.

Nothing was too stupid or ridiculous to show. Science and logic went out the broken windows that the Sharknados caused. I don't think the writers ever threw out an idea on the basis of "but that could never happen.". Rather, that was their goal.

I didn't care about all the product plugs for Comcast, I rather enjoyed the familiarity of Universal Studios. I liked the attempt to bring plausible explanations to the ridiculous. I liked the character development and the Walking Dead van.

And I especially enjoyed watching the actors saying their lines with a straight face, not just the main characters but all those recognizable personalities than joined in on the fun

Then again, they are walking straight to the bank with this franchise.

It  left me wanting more, and dreaming (rather I say, hallucinating) of what comes next. So, based on the absurdity of Sharknado 3, here are my predictions for Sharknado 4. And I am assuming #Aprillives.

1. David Hasselhoff survives on the moon because dead sharks fall there and he survives on shark sushi. He invents some new dishes calling it "Shushi".

2. Frankie Muniz survives. David finds his head and middle (sorry, had to do that) because he hears screams from a shark that fell from the sky. He fashions him a pair of legs out of the landing gear.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lawrence, Katherine Heigl, Melissa McCarthy and More: Ladies Leading the Way in 2015 Movies


Photo Courtesy Facebook
I love getting my feeds on what's coming out and what's starting production. As of late I am most excited about the new Garry Marshall film, Mother's Day. Being a huge fan of Love Actually, Valentine's Day, and New Year's Eve (the latter two both being by Marshall), I like these ensemble movies with intertwining stories. A And I like Garry Marshall, he was one of the first to put two ladies together as the lead in a sitcom.

Hopefully this movie will be like the others, little bit of sadness, little bit of comedy and heartwarming. Mother's Day is set to star Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Jason Sudeikus. For more on this visit:
http://deadline.com/2015/06/julia-roberts-jennifer-aniston-kate-hudson-jason-sudeikis-mothers-day-garry-marshall-1201465357/

Jennifer Lawrence is set to star in a new dramedy entitled "The Rosie Project". It's based on  novel by Graeme Simision. Looking for love, a professors designs a program to find a wife. Will it work?

Will Ghostbusters 3 call viewers to the box office?
Photo Courtesy Facebook

And the new all female Ghostbusters 3  has released their first pic. My guess is the talented crew of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon will scare away any specter that comes their way.


View: Female Leads in Recent Films: Is Hollywood Changing Direction in 2015?

Are we there yet? Here's a look at a few famous films featuring female leads. Are we getting closer to accurate depictions? 
Written by Susannah Patience.

Courtesy Facebook
            Films with strong female leads are few and hard to find. While we don’t realize this when sitting in a comfy chair with a bag of buttery popcorn at the theater, we should take a step back and take notice when women are given the opportunity to be center stage. Movies that represent real women, like our mothers, our aunts, our sisters or our friends, make me respect the industry even more. It’s the idea of empowerment and admiration for these relatable characters that draws the audience in. While it would be utterly impossible to name every great movie with fabulous females, I’ve complied a select few, which I think, serve women justice.

      
Courtesy Facebook
The Help is one of my all time favorite movies. Set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963, Skeeter, the main character, returns home from college. A passionate writer searching for her niche, she decides to secretly interview black women who are employed by wealthy southern families during this time. This terrific cast features Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis who all come together to stand up for something they believe in. Together, they form an unbreakable bond as they defy racial boundaries, expose racism and inspire those to face the changing times head on.
           
            The Hunger Games trilogy has taken

Friday, July 10, 2015

Review: Pixar's Inside Out - Portrayal of Females off the Mark, But Overall Message Perfect for Kids



Inside Out, another Pixar hit, features the voices of
Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith.
Photo Courtesey Facebook
                                                    By Di's Dish
Spoiler alert! I took my 11 year old son to see this movie and although it is getting rave reviews, I found some of it to be disappointing. Let’s start with the positives.

Yes this film is inventive and creative with a wide range of likeable characters. The absence of a “bad or evil character” was refreshing. In its place, as my son pointed out, was a problem that needed to be solved. It’s a thinking movie, which makes sense since it is a story about an 11 year old girl’s (Riley) emotions. The animated short (shown immediately prior to Inside Out), Lava, was sweet, charming and gorgeous. It’s a perfect addition to the brilliant Pixar catalogue. View trailer here:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Top Ten Things You Won't See Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn Do in Her New Role as Naomi in Broad Street Pictures New Flick Equity


Anna says goodbye to Skylar and hubby Walter and hello to
Naomi in Broad Street Pictures' new movie Equity
Photo Courtesy Facebook
Anna Gunn's been cast in a new movie by Broad Street Pictures called Equity. Produced by Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black) and Sarah Megan Thomas (Backwards Movie), Equity follows a senior investment banker (Naomi Bishop, played by Ms.Gunn) who is threatened a financial scandal and must untangle a web of corruption. The movie is in pre-production now, but sources say we're going to see another side to this talented actress.


Here's our TOP TEN list of things you'll NEVER see Naomi do in Equity.

1.  Walk into a pool.
2.  Make breakfast every morning.
3.  Cry a lot.
4.  Set foot in a 1991 Jeep Wrangler.
5.  Work at a car wash.
6.  Talk to people in a crawl space.
7.  Look for pizza on a roof.
8.  Have paneling in her apartment.
9.  Annoy everyone.
10. Let stress get her down.  

Naomi's stress is a whole new level over Skylar's... stay tuned to see just how she'll react in Equity.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Broad Street Pictures/Alysia Reiner & Sarah Megan Thomas' Movie Equity in Pre Production: Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn to Play Lead, Meera Menon to Direct

Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas
are gearing up for Equity
Photo Courtesy Broad Street Productions


Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New Black) and Sarah Megan Thomas (Backwards Movie) are two very busy ladies theses days. Having launched the movie production company Broad Street Pictures, they are currently in pre-production for their first movie, Equity.

Equity is the first movie that features women who work on the very competitive and cutthroat Wall Street and the lives they lead.  It's loosely based on a book but written with the input of major female NYC bankers. Move over Charlie Sheen "Noami's" come to town.

Pre Production

Pre-production is the very hectic and important time when a movie gets planned out,  Sarah and Alysia are busy casting all the roles, scouting and confirming locations for all the shoots, working with the director on the vision and storyboards, updating investors, lining up the production team including housing, tweaking the script and fitting in press interviews. Every day counts during this period because time is money once production starts. Productions begins mid-July in Philadelphia and New York City.

Meera Menon to direct Equity
Photo Courtesy Broad Street Pics
This flick is made by two dynamic chicks, and lots of other females are involved. That's one of the premises of Broad Street Pictures, to produce pictures with strong females roles in front of the camera and behind. They've got Meera Menon as the director. She was named one of the Top 35 Under 35 Running Hollywood by Glamour Magazine.  The screenwriter is award-winning Amy Fox (Heights Movie) who worked closely on the script with Sarah and Alysia, Interviews were conducted with female investment bankers to insure authenticity.