Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Entertainment Weekly Presents an All My Children Reunion May 26-29th for Feeding America: Susan Lucci, Cady McClain, Eva La Rue, Kelly Ripa and More to Appear

If you're a soap fan or fan of the Hallmark Channel, here's a bunch of stars you will know getting together for a good cause. Entertainment Weekly Reunions #UnitedatHome will stream an event from May 26th-May 29th featuring dozens of the actors who once were on the Emmy-winning daytime Drama on ABC, All My Children.  It is a five part series with a new live episode each morning at 10am EST.

You can stream them for free on EW.com and PeopleTV.com.

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. 

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.

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 #MeToo 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.

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.. and a Role in a Hallmark Christmas Movie

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 and also in the Hallmark Christmas Movie A Nashville Christmas Carol.  Find out more about Amanda's life and also, what's she's watching now.

UPDATE: Watch Amanda in Hallmark's A Nashville Christmas Carol premiering 11-21-2020

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:

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.