Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Females in Entertainment: NYC's Director Isabella Olaguera Talks about the Pandemic's Affect on Production and how She's Helping her Friends with Feed The Freelancers


I met Isabella Olaguera on the set of the independent film A Case of Blue, shooting outside of NYC in the burbs of Jersey. I was impressed first of all, to see a female as 1st AD and even more impressed to see the other females in the crew she surrounds herself with. 

Being part of a crew, doing production in NYC is a tricky thing; it's gig work and takes a lot of adjusting to the needs of each set. During this pandemic, "adjust" is the key word. Sitting in her apartment, with all production shut down and none even scheduled, Isabella knew she had to do something. And so, she started Feed the Freelancers, recognizing that though she could put food on her table that so many of the people in production that she had worked with through the years were going hungry now. Read on about how she got help from her friends, FEEL, and major companies. As Mr. Rogers said, "the helpers come out."

Suzee: So, tell me about what you do and some of your recent work.

I’m a non-union 1st Assistant Director for commercial and narrative work. Some of my projects include Oscar-nominated short film My Nephew Emmett, international feature film No Land’s Man (directed by Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Tahsan Khan), and All These Small Moments (starring Molly Ringwald and Brian D’Arcy James). I’ve also AD’d commercial spots for clients like Equinox, Facebook & Walmart. 

Suzee: You work gig to gig. Do you have any work in sight right now?

Isabella: All of the projects I had been prepping for when COVID-19 hit were either cancelled or postponed indefinitely. I do have a feature I’m consulting for with rough schedules and preproduction timelines. However, that project is in the early stages and at least 1 year away from principle photography. I have no guaranteed paid projects coming up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Wrong Missy is just the RIGHT Movie to Watch Now: Happy Madison Productions Gives us More of what They're Famous For

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

What can I say about the new Netflix flick The Wrong Missy?

I stumbled upon it one night when it showed up as the number one most viewed movie on Netflix, which was a few days after it's 5-13 release. Seeing it was a Happy Madison Production, and as I am a big Adam Sandler fan (which some people may not admit to) I watched it.

Let me say that about one quarter of the way through I almost turned it off because the crudeness was over the top (I kept saying, this was written by a man for sure). But  I kept on watching like someone would a car wreck just to see what was going on.

Well, I am glad I continued to watch. As I said, I am a fan of almost anything Adam Sandler has a hand in. That means I am used to cringing due to the vulgarities, language and body part humor as well as the  nonsensical but clever dialogue often found in them. (There is one song about body parts, I must add, that was over the top even for an HM movie as well as one other scene that is not without controversy.) 

And of course, I can find all the usual suspects in his movies from Rob Schneider to Nick Swardson to Nick Farley (Chris' brother) and even to Mrs. Jackie Sandler, who I may add, was rocking her bikinis. Adam always takes care of his friends. (I saw him recently in AC, and Rob was his surprise special guest). Phone, wallet, keys, laptop forever but I digress.

The plot was  a simple one and yet pretty unique. I am surprised it had not been done before - unless I just haven't seen it. Tim Ross, a mild-mannered, boring and quite sedate yet successful business professional played prefectly by David Spade, meets two women named Melissa. Missy #1 was set up by his grandma for a blind date. She  is the definition of a bad date, played impeccably by Lauren Lapkus. She does and says all the wrong things. Melissa #2 is a normal, former Beauty Queen, played by Molly Sims that he meets in an airport.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Females in Entertainment Interview: NYC Actress/Director Shara Ashley Zeiger Talks about Getting Started in the Big Apple, Keeping it Going and her #MetToo Moments


Shara Ashley Zeiger
Back in the day, pre-COVID, I would spend an afternoon every so often meeting with young women in the business that I've never met in person. Shara was on of the go-getters that I sat with at a busy midtown coffee shop to talk "shop." Shara is well-entrenched in the NYC acting community. Her seven shorts have circulated on the film festival circuit, she has another in post, she's acted in several hit TV shows and she's got a script looking for production. Shara survives and thrives with a circle of creative people to constantly keep her on her toes. Right now, she's part of "The Homemade Sketch Show" which can be seen on Youtube, but she's also got so much more going on.

Suzee: You are like on creative overload! Let's talk about your latest project first. Tell me about the virtual reading you had. How greatly have you been affected by this crisis?

Shara Ashley Zeiger: The crisis has been interesting. I have asthma and it's newish and I never thought it really put me in danger, but it puts me in the immune-compromised category, and navigating that and living in Queens has been quite a doozy. It's taken a lot of planning but I find delving into my creative projects to be a wonderful distraction.  I'm currently working on a few projects. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Behind Lee Grant's Retrospective: A Modern Way to give New Life to Classics in Theaters: Interview with Curator Taylor Purdee on how this Model Could Help The Independent Theater


By Suzanne Ordas Curry

If you're not familiar with the work of Academy Award-winning Actress/Director/Producer Lee Grant, you can now get familiar with her work in the comfort of your own home (while still supporting local theater) by viewing the Virtual Cinema series 20th Century Woman:The Documentary Films of Lee Grant . This retrospective was curated by Actor/Director Taylor A. Purdee out of New York City. Though curation is not a novel concept, new times call for new processes and this series, which started as a series of screenings at New York City's Film Forum before Covid, has now become a series of films and clips available to view anywhere through the websites of local theaters. Virtual cinema is a relatively new concept that gaining a lot of traction since the pandemic. Independent theaters can still make money without bodies in their seats. And, in the case of 20th Century Women: The Documentary Films of Lee Grant, the viewers get to view a package not seen elsewhere.

We talk with Taylor A. Purdee who put this retrospective together, Taylor is filmmaker with, as they say, folks in showbiz. His dad is popular daytime star Nathan Purdee (known for One Life to Live and Y&R), and his mother Roberta is a producer who has worked for years with Lee. In this interview we talk about how he found himself putting this series together, how he's introducing them to a new generation, and how something like this might just be around for quite some time.


Taylor, I asked Lee if she every thought she would be the subject of virtual cinema. Her answer was "never". Tell me how this started.

Taylor A. Purdee: One day I just kind of found a few old prints of the films in Lee’s closet. I think it was What Sex am I? and Battered. And it was right around the time that Kaitlyn Jenner was having a very public transition. And Lee sort of said “I think we made a film about that.” Which of course she had, and we found that a clip of it was on YouTube and had tens of thousands of hits so I thought people might be interested in the rest of it. And it just kind of spiraled from there.

Lee Grant, Taylor A. Purdee and Mary Beth Yarrow
I was at the Film Forum opening, and the run there seemed to go so well, but tell me about this retrospective via virtual cinema.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Night of Solidarity on Youtube Supports Victims of Domestic Violence May 13th: See Gloria Steinem, Alysia Reiner, Gabrielle Union, Melissa Benoist and More as they Raise Awareness During this Pandemic

One of the many challenging and tragic outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic is the rise in domestic violence around the world—the UN predicts an increase of at least 15 million cases this year due to the lockdowns and isolation. And even before the pandemic, partner abuse was devastatingly widespread...and often under-covered and under-resourced. And domestic abuse had far-reaching effects, including the break-up of families and an increase of children sent to the foster care system.

In order to raise awareness and raise funds and show unified support to those that are suffering through it now, a diverse mix of artists, survivors and activites are presenting Night of Solidarity, A Youtube event produced by The Meteor and also hosted on Refinery29's Youtube Channel. It will be live May 13th at 8pm EST but available to watch anytime after.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Interview: Actress Amanda Baker - A Country Girl Whose Heart is in Hollywood, Read about her Journey from ABC's General Hospital to the CW's Black Lightning

The beautiful actress Amanda Baker may be from the South, but her ambitions brought her to different parts of the country. Like a lot of aspiring actors she went to LA to find a job, but the difference is that she actually did. Her first big role was on the GH spinofff Nightshift, but she also found roles on many other shows including another daytime classic All My Children, Rules of Engagement, One Tree Hill and Parenthood. Film work includes Hello Sister, Goodbye Life (with Lacey Chabert) and Pandemic  (which my guess is enjoying a lot of streaming success these days.) Now she's using her time to raise her family, but still working. You can see her as the reporter Rebecca Larson on the CW's Black Lightning.  Find out more about Amanda's life and also, what's she's watching now.

When did you get the acting bug?
Amanda Baker: I was in a play in middle school called, “How To Eat Like a Child” and I remember the rush I got on stage performing. That was when I knew I had a love of acting! 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Interview: The Iconic Lee Grant talks about Making Documentaries, Being Blacklisted, What She Wants Every Female Filmmaker to See and Her Virtual Cinema Retrospective

by Suzanne Ordas Curry


Lee Grant. Groundbreaker. Actress. Documentarian. Filmmaker. Role Model. Academy Award Winner.

If you would have told me ten years ago starting a new career in showbiz that I'd be working with some of  Lee Grant's "people" on some projects, I would have not believed it. But you never know what life brings to you.

And speaking of whatever life brings to you, whether good or bad you can take those ingredients and make lemonade out of it or you can just toss them aside and let them sour.  Lee Grant is all about the lemonade. The best lemonade you can make. 

I've had the opportunity to meet with her on several occasions. First, for a signing of her book, I Said Yes to Everything and then at the premiere party for her retrospective at Film Forum in NYC. (And by the way, her possie, including her husband Joey and pal Brenda Vaccaro are always there supporting her). 

Upon first meeting her, I could not believe what a petite yet big dynamo she was. She's poised, articulate, born with the gift of gab, clever, updated and full of spunk. She's got a zest for life, an interest in people and an optimism hard to find these days. She's not done "doing" yet, and she's in her 90's. We talked about things going on in the world now, and she talked about projects she was yet going to do. And if anyone can get something done as a nonagenarian, Lee Grant can.

To be honest I was not aware of all that she had done and been through. I am sure my mother would have known, but with a little bit of research I came to realize that this women broke ground for every woman in the workplace, and was one of the first ladies in Hollywood to "f" the establishment and forge a path for herself in an almost 100% industry dominated by men. Being blacklisted and being Hollywood "old" as a female didn't stop her from doing anything. 

Lee's IMDB profile is so long I stopped counting after 100. Movies and shows include Shampoo, Peyton Place, In the Heat of the Night, Fay, Ben Casey, Plaza Suite and so many more. She is an Oscar and Emmy Award winning actress and a DGA Award winning director. But what is most compelling about Lee is her presence behind the camera with her documentaries, Down and Out in America was before it's time in shedding light on some of the darkest topics in America.

Lee is still working, and you can hear her in the upcoming movie Killian and the Comeback Kids.



Thursday, May 7, 2020

CareCardsforCoronaCaregivers: $1500 Raised and Matched by Local Dairy Queen for Gift Cards for Workers at Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey

CareCardsforCoronaCaregivers would like to thank everyone that donated to the program as over $1500 has been raised for  workers at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck NJ so that they can be thanked for their service with Dairy Queen gift cards. We are also very happy to announce that the Dairy Queen of Emerson, NJ has matched the raise by donating $1500 worth of cards. In addition, each worker will also receive an additional token of appreciation with a Ben's Bell's #BeKind coin. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Daytime Cares: A LIVE EVENT - Stars of Daytime Come Out to Support Covid-19 Non-Profits - Laura Wright, Ariane Zucker, Shawn Christian and Many More to appear on Virtual Event

Daytime Cares: A Live Event is an event to be held virutally on Saturday May 9th at 8pm EST. It's purpose: raise money for non-profits that support Covid-19 services. If you're a fan of daytime, you'll appreciate seeing and hearing from a lineup of daytime's shining stars from many networks al coming out to do what they can to help those in need. 

You can view the show here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42Fd2wLUL3Q


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Interview: Jon Lindstrom on his Many Roles on Screen and In Life: From General Hospital to Homeland to New Movies PLUS the Unique Cause He Just Can't Say Enough About

Jon Lindstrom
If you're a fan of daytime, you'll understand that there are only a few actors that can successfully portray two people at one time. True soap fans can recite a list of the handful that have played two people, most often twins, and one more than likely a not-so-nice version of the other.

Multiple award-winning and Daytime Emmy-nominated veteran actor Jon Lindstrom currently plays Dr. Kevin Collins and Ryan Chamberlain on the Emmy-winning and long running daytime drama General Hospital. That's probably what he is most known for. But, this accomplished actor has a whole lot more on his resume. Most recently, he was on the series finale of Homeland, on Bosch Season 5 on Amazon, and safely returned back to his home in LA from NYC for a role on CBS' Bull, just before the virus took at bite out of the Big Apple. He will also be seen in two movies yet to be released, Marzipan and Dark Foe (with Selma Blair.)

His acting career is impressive, from roles on daytime dramas such as As The World Turns, Port Charles and Santa Barbara  to many roles on TV series such as NCIS, SWAT, True Detective, Blue Bloods and moreHe also makes his own films and music. (He's a drummer).


Friday, May 1, 2020

Four Classic Psychological Dramas by Top Directors to Watch Now: You'll Find Out You're Actually Doing Quite Well During this COVID-19 Isolation


By Ashton Samson

You can’t hang out with friends, go to restaurants, vacation, greet your neighbor or touch anything that isn’t your own. You feel as if you’re having a breakdown, like you are about to implode and run outside. Don’t do that. Instead, take my suggestion. First, watch three dark films about the psychological effects that being isolated can have on someone mentally unstable, to confirm that you're handling yourself really well in comparison. Then, watch one that presents positive messages. 

1. The Shining

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, a masterpiece of modern horror, is the quintessential cabin fever movie. From the film’s ominous commencement, to it’s frigid denouement, you will never feel safe, always thinking that you are secluded in The Overlook Hotel alongside Jack Torrance. There are so many things to love about this film; the phenomenal acting, haunting score and eerie vibes. 


Friday, April 17, 2020

SheShortzzTV: Sandcastles is a Heartwarming Tale

Editor's Notes: Welcome to SheShortzzTV: short films by, for or about women, and all free to watch.

Sandcastles, a short written by Tina Fine, is the story of a little girl at the beach making a very special sandcastle. It's a heartwarming story about family and memories set against the peaceful backdrop of the ocean. View it here for free:
https://vimeo.com/114481476

View: The Pandemic Pregnancy

 
By Suzanne Ordas Curry
Editor's Note- Though we usually cover lighter subjects on this site, extraordinary times beget stepping out of the box.

I am not writing here about those mothers giving birth during this pandemic especially those mothers separated from their children until it is safe which is heart-wrenching. Nor is it about the Pandemic Baby Boom we will most likely see in the next year. It's about what the feeling of this pandemic is taking out of the equation the sheer devastation brought on by this crisis.  And, to make it clear I am blessed to be in a house with my family and food and there is still a paycheck coming in. 

What I am writing about is the feeling that I have and I've had it before. As I Marie Kondo my closets,  refresh some rooms, organize my calendar, and look at what I can and can't do each day, I am getting flashbacks of another time in my life. When I was pregnant.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Review of Love, Wedding Repeat on Netflix: Is it Good Enough for a Repeat Watch?

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Now is the time we all need a little rom-com to perk up our lives.

Yesterday was the premiere of Love, Wedding, Repeat on #Netflix and I was first in line. This UK/Italian joint venture is about the marriage of an American woman (Eleanor Tomlinson) marrying an Italian somewhere in Europe in a magnificent castle in the summertime. You get to know her brother (Sam Claflin) who is quite the ladies man, the maid of honor (Joel Fry) an aspiring actor, and the girl that got away from the brother (Olivia Munn). There's also an assortment of other characters that play into the drama including a Hugh Grant-type character (Jack Farthing), the guy pretty much any woman does not want to sit next to at a wedding (Tim Key) and the brother's ex girlfriend (Freida Pinto).  What goes on at this wedding which is pretty much the whole movie. But that's okay, we love weddings. 

I always hesitate to read reviews prior, or even before writing, because I don't want it to change my gut reaction of the movie. As far as romcoms go, I would give this about 4 heartbeats out of 5. It checked off a lot of the boxes:

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Kara Mayer Robinson of the REALLY FAMOUS Podcast Interviews Uma Thurman, Patrick Fabian, The Fonz and Mrs. C, Elisabeth Moss, Keri Russell, Jessie Eisenberg, and More: How She Gets them to Really Open Up




By Suzanne Ordas Curry

I had the pleasure of meeting Kara Mayer Robinson at the New York City premiere screening of Patrick Fabians' movie DriverX. Kara spent many years as a journalist at some of the top media in NYC and nationally, and as the world morphed so did Kara. A trained therapist, she now runs the podcast REALLY FAMOUS, in which she interviews, well, really famous people! Her podcasts are not the usual interviews, they delve deep into the subject, revealing apsects of the celebrity you've never heard before. Kara's is a female making a name for herself in this business, while at the same time raising a family.

Turning the tables now on Kara, here's a quick interview with this "really famous" interviewer 

First question - of course - when did you start interviewing people?

Kara Mayer Robinson: I guess you can say I actually started interviewing people when I was a therapist! Yes, I’m a licensed therapist. I had a private practice before I became a writer. I started writing articles on the side, mostly about health and wellness, but when my editors asked me to write profiles and Q&As, I was hooked. I was drawn toward profiling people in entertainment — I have a lifelong passion for TV and film — and before I knew it, I was a full-on celebrity interviewer. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

VIEW: I'm Not Watching COVID-19 News Today - I'm Watching Hallmark and Here's Why


By Suzanne Ordas Curry
I live in a house with men. I have a husband and two sons. Around the holidays, we have a saying in our house. It's called the "definition of a split second." That's the time it takes for one of the men to walk in to a room with the TV on, see it's a Hallmark movie, look around for mom and if I'm not there,  then shut is off. Really, they can do this in half a second. And no matter where I am in the house, I'll hear it.

They often ask me, why do you watch these movies? I tell them, "I watch them because they put me in a good mood." Because I have them on so often, they are even starting to recognize them.  So the next question is, "Why do you watch them over and over again?" I answer, "Again, because they put me in a good mood. And I don't always watch them glued to the set. I might be doing something else while they're on, but I will tune in for the best parts." Examples: like when Danica McKeller shows up at the ball with the red dress on at the top of the staircase, or when Lacey Chabert takes off her long white glove to eat the food at the ball, or when the perfume is verified to be old so we know Candace Cameron Bure is really from the past. I could go on... And of course, I always tune in at 1 hour and 59 minutes into the movie to see the final kiss

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny De Vito, Rutgers's Carli Lloyd, Charlie Puth, John Stewart, BonJovi and First Lady Tammy Murphy Team Up to Launch the NJ Pandemic Relief Fund: Video

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Several of New Jersey's most notable entertainers and personalities have banded together from the inside of their homes to come out in support of the new initiative, the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. Visit: https://njprf.org/.

Bruce Springsteen, Stephen Colbert, Whoopi Goldberg Danny DeVito, Carli Lloyd, Charlie Puth,Jon BonJovi and Jon Stewart have already come out to support this fundraising and grant-giving program.

The program is hosted by the Comunity Foundation of NJ. It is lead by Board members First Lady Tammy Murphy and NJ Resident John Weinreich .

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Are You a College Student Stuck at Home with Your Parents? Here's a Top Ten List of How to Make Your COVID-19 Isolation Happy, Productive and with less FOMO - Suggestions on Binge-Watching and More

By Julia Colucci

Editor's Note: Julia is our newest writer. She is a currently a College Freshman at home with her parents!

Many college students around the country have found themselves bored, down, and missing their schools while they are quarantined in their homes and practicing social distancing. For me, coming home early from Ithaca College was very unexpected and definitely took some getting used to.

But this temporary isolation doesn’t have to be the worst thing to ever happen to you. There are plenty of ways to stay busy and entertained while waiting out this global pandemic. Here is a list of ten activities for you to do while stuck at home that have helped both myself and some of my fellow peers:

Pick up an old hobby or start a new project: One thing I have found to be a great way to stay occupied and positive when you have a lot of time on your hands is to find a hobby or start some sort of project. This week I decided to start playing the guitar again, which is something I used to love but haven’t done in years. Playing an instrument has helped me stay positive because it feels like I am doing something productive by getting better at an old skill. Liam Barron, a freshman at William Patterson University, has turned to music as an outlet. He said, “Social isolation has allowed me to both focus on and express myself much more effectively through the music I write.” 

Friday, March 20, 2020

View: The World of Covid-19 - It's Not Contagion It's Groundhog Day

by Suzanne Ordas Curry

As soon as this started happening, I started thinking about all those movies I have watched in my lifetime about contagions, viruses, aliens, zombies. climate disasters, etc.  I'm talking about all those movies where the everyday normal life we thought was already stressful was turned upside down with fear, panic and doomsday scenarios.

I'm in the movie business, and I know it's made up. It's scripted. Sometimes it's based on fact, but still, fiction is fiction. One of the first things I realized was the speed of this disaster. It is often hard to reflect real time in movies. I am incredulous by the speed at which all of this is happened: the speed of the spread, the speed of the economic problem, the speed of the acceptance and the speed of the denials. I don't think any of the apocolyptic movies got it exactly right, but for sure we'll be seeing some portrayals of this pandemic as soon as people get back to their studios.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Casting Call: Flipping Families seeks Families for New Show

Well here's a distraction. Twin Talents Casting in NYC is searching for some families that may want to be on a reality show. If this is something you've thought about or just curious about what it takes to get on one, read on. The site also shows other opportunities and new casting calls are updated regularly. This agency is run by two females who are twins: http://www.twinsworld.com/




Tuesday, March 17, 2020

#CareCardsforCoronaCaregivers: Donate a Gift Card to a Hospital Worker

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

Everyone is starting to realize that we may be in this Covid-19 crisis for quite some time. Some cities have already started shelter-in-place, and more will follow. The safey and security of being at home with your family is nothing to take for granted. For the thousands of essential workers -. healthcare, first responders, those along the food supply chain, manufacturing - they cannot work from home,

Hospitals are especially hard hit. I happen to live in one of the epicenters, Bergen County NJ. One of our hospitals, Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ has been hard-hit with novel corona virus patients and they have over a half dozen people on ventilators. No one hearing the news these days can avoid hearing how our medical system will be overstressed. And this is just one of them, other hospitals in this county are also starting to get overwhelmed.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

COVID-19 Cancellations, Suspensions Hit Showbiz, Sports: List

The list is growing of what is being cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. Here is a list of major events in the NY Metro area and some others as to what has so far been cancelled or suspended. In addition to this many TV productions have been halted, which is going to effect when your shows appear next year. Movies are also changing their release dates. It's all a small price to pay for the safety of all.

Get Ready for the Olympics: Rowing Movie "Backwards" with James Van Der Beek, Sarah Megan Thomas, Margaret Colin Now Available on Itunes & Amazon

The Olympics will happen. Possibly not as they were intended, but there will most likely be some form of Olympics. If you're looking for a movie to watch on your home TV or other device, and especially if you are a fan of the Olympics or women in sports, Backwards is an inspiring movie relaunched to catch Olympic fever. A story about the world of competitive rowing, it stars the handsome James Van Der Beek (One Tree Hill, Pose, Dancing with the Stars), Sarah Megan Thomas (Equity, Liberte - A Time to Spy), Glen Morshower (Bloodline, The Resident) and  Margaret Colin (Veep, Independence Day). Sarah Megan Thomas wrote and produced the film. Though it is fiction, Sarah was a rower.

The movie is about a young women whose goal in life was to make the Olympic rowing team. After her second unsuccessful attempt, she finds herself accepting a coaching assignement at a small school. During her time with her students and family, she faces the questions of what to do with the rest of her life as what she had trained for for so long was apparently becoming more and more out of reach for her. 

This is a good family movie; it's about struggles, determination and setting goals amongst the backdrop of a sport most people know little about. Even though this is about an athlete, it applies to anyone who has created a picture in their mind of what they thought there life would be like. In addition, you'll walk away knowing some crew terminology - and understand the title better!

Friday, March 6, 2020

Interview - Females in Entertainment: Tony-Award Winning Producer Valerie Novakoff Talks about Broadway, a Woman's Role in it and her Broadway Women's Fund

Valerie Novakoff with her Tony
By Suzanne Ordas Curry

I had the pleasure of meeting the founder of the Broadway Women's Fund at a joint event sponsored by New York Women in Film and Television and 100 Women in Finance.Valerie was on the panel to talk about the theater industry, the money behind it and the state of women in the industry.
Valerie is a Tony-award winning producer whose career includes many positions in theater. She has worked in top administrative offices for nearly a decade and she is Associate Producer at Davenport Theatrical Enterprises, the first Broadway producing office on the Inc. 5000 list.
In addition, She was the Associate Producer of the Tony Award-winning revival of Once On This Island and Assistant Producer of An Act of God starring Sean Hayes. She has also worked in finances or administration in offices connected to multiple Tony-Award-winning shows including Wicked, Fun Home,The Band’s Visit, Once, Tommy and Jersey Boys.
Valerie published a groundbreaking study on gender parity among Broadway producers which was reported in the New York Times and Fast Company. In addition to the lack of equality in the Hollywood entertainment industry, Valerie documented equally disturbing trends in the Broadway world. She is now founder and managing Director of the Broadway Women's Fund, which seeks to invest in and inspire women in all facets of a Broadway production.

I asked Valerie about how she got started in the industry and why this is yet another cultural entity and business in need of female representation and involvement.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Event: Trent Dawson and Michael Park to Appear at Inaugural Event for Katonah Classic Stage in New York - Actors, Crew Positions Available

Trent Dawson
Katonah Classic Stage is pleased to announce its inaugural season. Katonah Classic Stage (KCS) is a new theater company in Katonah, NY whose mission is to offer exceptional, diverse and professional productions of classical and contemporary plays. This new theater company, (hosted by the Harvey School, 260 Jay St. Katonah), will bring professional plays as well as classes on the theater arts to the lower Hudson Valley.  The plans are to host productions throughout the year  tht will have an appeal to all ages. Though Katonah is near New York City, this theater will fill the void in the area as New York caliber productions will now be available on this side of the bridge. You can visit the website at https://www.katonahclassicstage.com.  

Friday, February 28, 2020

Interview: Torrei Hart Talks about Her New Film Hollywould Now Available to Stream - and why her Life Experience Can Help Others

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

The beautiful Torrei Hart is an actress, producer, momprenuer and role model. This talented, busy and hard-working  young woman and mother of two is forging a name for herself in entertainment.

Torrie Hart at Premiere of  Hollywould Movie
Despite a breakup with husband comedian Kevin Hart (the two met in college) and being in the limelight, she remains a genuine, positive, gracious lady who wants to make a difference in the world, specifically in the lives of other women. With a bevy on IMDB credits to her name as well as 5 projects just in 2019, she still has time to work on her organization S.O.A.R, whose goal is to help women overcome diversity

I had the pleasure of meeting her on the busy and bustling Red Carpet at the 2019 Ridgewood Guild International Film Festival in Ridgewood, NJ when she was there for the premiere of  the film Hollywould,  a film by Joshua Coates, in which she has a starring role. This is her second role in a film by Coates, having also been in But Deliver Us From Evil. Hollywould starting rolling out on major streaming platforms as of February 18, 2020.

In the new thriller movie Hollywould, Torrei plays Janice Allen (and Helen Boil), a psychiatrist who is integral to the main character in the movie. Without giving any spoilers, it's an ending you won't see coming. Also starring in Hollywould is Oscar-nominated Eric Roberts, Peter Postiglione and Caitlyn Fletcher.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Christmas Con Comes to California - A Stocking Full of Holiday Movie Stars to Shine Along with the Sun in July at Pasadena Convention Center Plus NJ Dates Set

If you haven't heard of Christmas Con, you're in for a treat. The first ever Christmas Con took place in New Jersey November 2019 and featured a bevy of stars from Christmas movies as well as all kinds of Christmas Cheer. It was sold out. Plans are in the works for another in Jersey, but the company that created Christmas Con, started by four ingenious ladies from Jersey, is now doing a "Christmas in July" Convention in sunny California. Breaking News: NJ dates are December 11, 12 and 13, 2020).

Tickets are selling fast already for Christmas Con 2020 on July 17, 18 & 19th at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. Lots of stars will be on hand, as well as booths and activities that will evoke the chill of Christmas in warm California. Scheduled to attend this event are:

Meet The Marvelous Miss Maybin Hewes Sherman: Mother of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Creator Amy Sherman Palladino - Old Hollywood's Roots Create this New Hollywood Phenomenon

By Suzanne Ordas Curry

One of my favorite lines from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, one of the first TV shows that ever portrayed a strong, independent career woman, was when Lou Grant, her boss, told her, "Mary, you got spunk." 

After speaking to Maybin Hewes Sherman, the mother of the creator and writer of the Amazon Prime award-winning series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel over an hour,  I must say, this woman has spunk.  Just like Midge Maisel. 

Though I understand how Midge's character reflects many of the aspects of her father, after getting to know her mom a bit, I see a lot of Maybin in her character. 

Maybin Hewes Sherman grew up in the days of Old Hollywood. With sheer determination coupled with her talent, she made a career for herself in NYC and then California as a dancer and later a producer. She shone in a career not accessible or even dreamed of as possible for most women when she grew up. In the 40's.  Remind you of anyone?

If you're a fan of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or you have an interest in reading about what active octogenarians are now doing, read on. You'll find out about her humble beginnings in Louisiana, to her nights sleeping in Carnegie Hall, to performing with the legendary Sammy Davis Jr., marrying a well-known stand up comic, rooming with Diane Ladd and still performing shows in her 80's. You'll see the power of ambition, the power of resilience and the power of motherhood. And, you'll get some inside information on the beginnings of Amy Sherman Palladino's career and her influences from the perspective of her extremely proud - and deservedly so - mother. 

Introducing... The Marvelous Miss Maybin.