Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Jake Gyllenhaal, Source Code Movie Event

      I like every normal human am bound by curiosity; it fuels us to find answers to our inner most thoughts. So when I was given the opportunity to write a feature story on any current celeb I started thinking out of all the celebs I’ve ever met, who am I most curious about. It had to be Jake Gyllenhaal. Why? I was born three weeks before he was, Jake’s maternal family is from New York City, his name has been posted in every type of news story around and I’ve had the pleasure of hanging with him once upon a time earlier this year.

    There seems to be many different side to Jake and I feel often what people read about him leads them to believe he’s either ‘this type’ or ‘that type’ of person. For example, after Jake starred Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, a lot of people questioned his sexuality. Many people believed he was gay and dating his best friend who he’s known since grade school. Jake also once stated in 2007 during an interview for NOW Magazine UK edition “'I don't think I'd be afraid of [homosexuality] if it happened.” This comment caused a lot more people to question him.

     I don’t feel Jake is gay or bi-sexual, which he himself has stated numerous times, at all regardless if what’s posted in articles. I met Jake in April 2011 while he was promoting Source Code at the Apple Store in SOHO NYC. After every one else had left the event, I hung around, like I normally do after an event, and Jake I’m guessing thought I was waiting for an autograph and came over to me on his own accord. I wasn’t paying attention as I was playing with my camera but other fans did and pretty much rushed him by the stage. The commotion caught my attention and I looked up at him and smiled and asked hi for a picture. He smiled back and said “sure”. Jake came to me, grabbed me and put his cheek right up against my cheek for the picture. Reality caught up to us and I jerked away but he pulled me back over to him.

     My friend took the picture and Jake asked her “was it (the picture) okay? I want it to be alright for her (meaning me)” which surprised me as he was being overly sweet and comfortable around us. After he signed a few more autographs, his publicist dragged him away. He looked back at me and I gave him a little flirty smile and he stopped completely, smiled back with this curious and mischievous look on his face and began to walk back over to me. 

    His publicist intervened again, trying to get him and the other cast members to move to their next event sadly. Not done playing with me yet, Jake continuously jumped back and forth from behind a wall, waving like a madman at me. I started laughing and I playfully said “What are you doing? You’re such a weirdo!” Yup, I called Jake Gyllenhaal a weirdo to his face, but it was all in good fun. His publicist finally dragged him away from me and out little moment together passed. Does our little play session together mean he’s not gay, hardly, but again when it comes to celebs, we believe what we’re lead to believe due to our subjective views.

    In addition to questions about Jake’s sexuality, there have been questions about Jake’s demeanor towards the public. There was a report that a paparazzi tried to take a picture of Jake while he was using the bathroom and this year SXSW festival in Texas. Most reports say Jake had an altercation with the photographer and a lot of people’s response was that Jake was out of line because he didn’t need to resort to whatever violence they claimed he acted with. This story is a complete contradiction to an encounter with Jake my friend had recently. My good friend Danny was a waiter at Marc Meyer’s Cookshop restaurant here in the Chelsea section of NYC. 

    On almost every summer Sunday, Jake brings his mom and sometimes his sister Maggie, to have brunch at Cookshop as they love the healthy menu options. Jake’s family comes here so often that his mom became friends with my friend Danny. Jake doesn’t even mind Danny coming over to chat with them when he’s not their server though Danny never did this as he respected their privacy.

     All four of these examples with Jake show exactly who we, as fans and media alike, associate him to be like. An explosive and confrontational jerk for the media so they get a better story; a weekly acquaintance for my friend who wants better tips but also wants the Gyllenhaal family to feel at ease while at a relaxing brunch; the seemingly “in the closet” actor for those fans so into celebs lives they can’t see to differentiate fact from fiction. And then there me who met a guy, had a moment and hoped to make the moment last a little bit longer.

   The only people that have a right to say Jake is ‘this person’ or ‘that person’ is Jake, his family and friends. Jake’s a no bullshit type of guy, if he was gay, I don’t think he’d hide it, if he truly was a jerk that liked confronting paparazzi, you’d see it in him. He’s just a guy trying to be himself, ignore all the nonsense people say about him because of the profession he’s in. In any given situation, Jake will always just be Jake and unless you’re on his A-list, you’ll never be in the right when judging what you think you know about his true personality.
With Duncan Jones, Source Code Director
Duncan being grilled, I mean interviewed

Jake with Michelle Monaghan
Thanks Rotten Tomatoes for the free swag!

Jake Gyllenhaal

Thursday, August 18, 2011

CirqueDu Soleil's Zarkana: The Contest Part One (Originally posted 7/18/2011)

    My mom, being a very artistic person, always tried to take me to any and every concert, dance recital or performance she could. I’ve always appreciated her for keeping me artistically driven throughout my life. I remember when I was six years old my mom wanted to take me to the circus as the previous year we had gone to the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey’s circus at Madison Square Garden.

     I remember liking the circus but it never really ‘wowed’ me maybe it was because I was an animal lover or it wasn’t keeping my attention (I was only five years old at the time). So throughout the years, my mom tried to take me to something different every year until I was 10 years old and she’d learned about this brand new circus from my uncle called Cirque Du Soleil. This was a new type of circus that didn’t use any type of animal acts and were fresh off their semi-success of their first three shows but were trying to reinvent themselves. She took me to see Nouvelle Experience when it toured NYC for the first time.

     I was absolutely floored as I’d never seen anything life it before. The colored costumes and songs amazed me! Over the next 20 years as I grew up, so did Cirque Du Soleil quickly becoming a world wide phenomenon in artistry and entertainment. In the past 20 years I have never missed a New York City Cirque Du Soleil show, except for Wintuk. Even when visiting Las Vegas for the first time last year in 2010, I saw Ka at the MGM Grand and the Richard McDonald exhibit at the Bellagio featuring Cirque Du Soleil artists.

    I, of course, was on their mailing list and applied to a few jobs at their Montreal offices (They’re notoriously good to their employees so I was willing to scrub toilets and work my way up ha-ha!). I received an e-mail from them around July 1st 2011 about a contest they were having where they wanted to choose the top and trendiest bloggers and freelance journalists and send them to a free showing of their latest piece entitled Zarkana playing at NYCs Radio City Music Hall. Honestly, I initially sent the e-mail to my trash box as I thought “I’d never win this; I have no shot”.
But then that little voice inside me said “Hey why not enter? What’s the worst that could happen?”

    So I sent Cirque Du Soleil a link to my site where my articles are published. Two weeks go by, I check my inbox and see an e-mail from Cirque Du Soleil and the subject says “Blogger Night: Congratulations!” I was floored as I couldn’t believe they actually choose my articles as a winner. I even received an official press kit that gave me very in-depth behind the scenes access on each show. Not only do I and a guest get two free tickets to see Zarkana, but we winners also get a reception beforehand at the five star Oceana Restaurant.

   I’m sitting in my bedroom, two days before we contestant winners go see Zarkana and I felt compelled to write a ‘pre-show’ article. I can’t wait until the dinner and the show! I feel so completely honored to have been selected. I’ve pretty much grown up with Cirque Du Soleil over the past 25 years and I can’t wait to grow old with them artistically.

NOTE: this is part one in a two part article which will conclude after I see the show! A bientôt!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cirque du soleil:'s Zarkana part II – The Performance

   Dinner at the Oceana ended after a two hours period where we feasted on everything that fish could be turned into. Before we left for the show, we were offered video of Zarkana, including B-Roll footage, and production photos to use in our articles. Zarkana essentially was two shows in one. First you get a gothic rock opera feeling whenever the magician, Zark, performs with a mysterious woman who appears as different creatures throughout the show.

    Then you have the acrobatical acts, featuring Cyr Wheels, Cerceaux, swings, clowns, Russian bar performers, trapeze and much more. They use traditional 'Cirque' instrumental music. Even the costumes seemed double sided as Zark sports a blood red and black cape and top hat all embroidered with certain gothic elements. The rest of the cast wore very vibrant colors that reminded me of nature. There was a lot of green and white used in those costumes.

     The stage’s set design was absolutely amazing! It reminded me of how detailed the stage design is for 'KA' and 'O' in Vegas. The stage setup was what helped blend the differences in the character’s together into a show. The stage had one main curtain and several smaller curtains that were used as props for the show. The curtains were located on the sides and top of the stage, overlapping each other while different 3D hologram images were projected onto each curtain.
    My favorite part was when the stage was made up to look like a jungle and all sides of the stage (from bottom to top) had giant animated 20 foot long crawling up and around the sides of the stage. I couldn’t tell at first if they were very well designed mechanical puppets or 3D holograms. Turns out it was a 3D hologram displayed on special material used on each curtain. The images displayed throughout the night on the curtains were very well crafted and they ranged from snakes to some pretty surreal stuff. Things began to get a little weird around halfway through the show when a character shoots himself into space from a cannon and then a very strange looking baby aliens comes out.

    Then there was a female performer named The Oracle who does what’s called ‘sand painting’. Her talent is exactly as it sounds. The oracle comes out w/ a giant screen behind her to show the audience what she’s doing. She literally threw some blue sand onto a round, flat surface, and using only her fingers, she created extremely detailed sand drawings of the entire show up to that point and slightly beyond. Each sand painting took her literally ten seconds to create, and they were absolutely spectacular!

     Then there was this man dressed in a white costume who displayed a technique called Hand balancing. For his routine, he bended his entire body into thee craziest positions you can think of. Then he does these maneuvers that show off how flexible, durable and strong his body is. The movement and poses his did were unbelievable and also not to be missed.

     All in all I did like this production a lot. The clashing of the music styles was a little confusing to my ears at first but it still worked well with the story and it helped personify who the characters were and what their message was to the audience. What I didn’t like was the weird alien part with the six legged baby alien, I felt it didn’t mix well with the rest of the show. I also was slightly disappointed Zarkana was housed at Radio City Music Hall instead of doing it at the usual spot on Randall’s Island. The shows at Randall’s Island were usually cheap, used a smaller space and are far more intimate. All Cirque Du Soleil productions are celebrated for their audience interaction. About 20 minutes before every show starts, you can mingle with the cast, as they, fully in character, do some pre-show entertainment in order to warm up the crowd.

      This was true at Radio City as well but then once the characters went on stage, you lose that closeness you felt from before. Radio city is so big, that I feel a lot of people didn’t get to fully appreciate the show as maybe they were at a bad angle, had seats very far away or their view was obscured somehow. Also, as this was such a large stage, sometimes you had so many acts doing different things at different parts of the stage, you often might miss something.

    At Randall’s Island, there are no bad seats, everyone felt what their neighbors were feeling as the experience was the same. And being in such a small venue, you maintain that connection to your audience, that mystical energy that comes from being able to feel more apart of the show and appreciated it more. Zarkana was a different experience for me but it was still an amazing show not to be missed. You all have until October 8th 2011 to see it for yourselves before it vanishes like magic.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


     In today’s world, you’re either tech savvy with some device attached to your hip or you’re left behind in ancient times. It’s a rare feat that someone doesn’t have at least some type of Smartphone, laptop, tablet, digital camera or MP3 player on them at all times. I know I personally couldn’t function without my cell phone, MP3 and video player or my tablet. But the big question is, with so many companies out there vying for our attention, who should we choose to buy?

     Some like to buy whatever the newest product out is as they figure it has the latest specs and technology. I feel buying a new device when it first comes out is the absolute worst thing you can do as it’s those first shipments that contain the most glitches. All things considered, when it comes to buying a new Smartphone, my favorite phone right now is the Samsung Galaxy Vibrant line. Since I’m a T-Mobile customer, I choose to upgrade to the Samsung Vibrant phone last year.

       The Vibrant features internal 16GB storage with 512 MB RAM; 2.0 micro USB, 720p video capability and an Android operating system. I absolutely love this phone over all others! I like how think and light weight the Vibrant is when compared to other phones, like the Apple I-phone. It’s about half the width of a second generation Apple I-phone, has a longer and larger screen than most which is ideal for viewing movies or checking e-mails.

       It’s also slightly longer than most other phones but even with the added height, this phone is still far lighter weighted than other phones. I only liked using phones that have an Android operating system as I find phones with windows operating systems are more problematic and the firmware isn’t as easily upgradable as the Android based phones.

     Also, according to most consumer reports and scientific studies done recently, the entire line of Samsung galaxy series products, meaning phones and tablets, emit far less radiation than any other company out there. Though studies linking cell phone radiation and cancer are still on going, they’ve at least found less emission from the Samsung line. Samsung products also have the least amount of flaws and glitches when their products first come out and if there is a problem, you can easily get a replacement with in a certain amount of weeks. 

      I’ve had other brands of phones that I’ve used and had to return due to software issues. Though since then, these other companies, such as Nokia, have also stepped up their production as I find far less flaws in their phones these days.

     I feel there are so many people buying equipment that may not be the best out there but because of all the hype, like with the Apple I-phones, consumers are willing to just go with the crowd without first considering what’s best to try. There’s line for months whenever Apple comes out with a new product but these people always take home flawed items that Apple then has to spend even more money replacing. Steve Jobs does an amazing job of promoting his company’s products but I often feel Apple starts selling their products without fully product testing them or getting user opinions and considering how much an I-phone used to cost, it’s just not worth all the hassle. Samsung comes out with some great products that are product tested until they’re right.

    They used T-Mobile as a guinea pig to see how well their products did and once they saw the great feedback they were receiving, they partnered with every phone cell phone company out there and created a Galaxy series phone for all of them. This was a very smart move on their part as it almost gives them a monopoly in the cell phone industry. 

    Not even Apple can claim that right. Samsung is up to their old tricks by using T-Mobile to promote and market their two newest Tablets and I feel once Samsung sees how profitable their tablets are, they’ll start marketing them for other companies as well, cornering that market too. In the end, I love my vibrant phone and my next phone will definitely be the newest Samsung phone available and I second that for the Samsung Table

Thursday, August 11, 2011

2011 NBA Draft Party

      The Prudential Center is home for many sports related events from Devils games to Nets showdowns. This past June eight 2011, the Prudential Center played host to the 2011 NBA Draft. While I didn’t attend the draft, I had the honor of being invited to the official NBA draft after party held at Pranna in lower Manhattan. The draft party was hosted by 2010 rookie of the year Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings Sundiata Gaines and New Jersey Nets Raymond Felton.

      The event was sponsored by Bartenura Moscato and Tequila liqueur. Penthouse Entertainment provided the entertainment in the form of DJ Jay Wright, DJ L, DJ 1st Choice, Dj Yung Blu and DJ Fadelf. A long time close friend and my ex-boss, DJ Jay Wright has been one of Penthouse Entertainments premiere DJs and promoter for several years. He always provides the finest entertainment at the best venues with the hottest guests. You can normally find him DJing every Thursday night at Bar13 or Friday and Saturday nights at Katra Lounge in Lower Manhattan. Penthouse entertainment hosts a bevy of VIP celeb filled special events, like the NBA Draft party, also on a weekly basis; you’ve just got to be lucky enough to get on their guest lists.

Myself & a friend pose for the red carpet
     Though the party began later than planned, the event got off to a red carpet start with celebrities, athletes and VIP guests alike. Tyreke, Sundiata and Raymond arrived and mingled with the rest of us before heading upstairs to the second floor where only people with wristbands could enter. For the most part, the VIPs stayed upstairs but I guess curiosity (?) got the best of them as they continuously came down to mingle with their ‘guests’.
   The bar featured two signature drinks Harlem Nights and a Bartenura shot. I had three Harlem Nights as I loved the blend of Hennessey, Triple Sec and Tequila. It wasn’t too sweet or too sour but definitely had a Hennessey infused after taste. My friends and I arrived at this event early on, around 10:30pm, as we didn’t want to get caught up in the crowd. Things began to get over capacity around 11:45pm when the line to get in was around the block. There was an over an hour wait just to get in the door at 12:30am. I highly doubt anyone who showed up on the line past 1 am was getting inside.

     I admittedly don’t watch basketball regularly, shame on me I know, but I was able to get to know a great group of athletes. And it was nice that they were all very approachable by their ‘guests’ AKA fans; this was really a plus for some people. We were all extremely appreciative of being able to attend this event; hopefully, we’ll get to do it again next year!

Took this photo  w/ this beautiful man, but I forgot who he was. If anyone knows, leave me a comment. I believe he said his name was Jason.





Saturday, August 6, 2011

Magnus Rex AKA Filming The Dark Knight Rises

    I've been overly obsessed with Batman since I was a little girl; I've always respected him, what he stood for, and tried to do for his city. That's why when I heard Warner Brothers needed extras for the final film in Chris Nolan's' Dark Knight trilogy, I jumped at the chance to audition for it. Though Warner Brothers was looking for extras in India, London, Scotland, Pittsburgh and LA, I was only able to attend the audition in Pittsburgh. Warner Brothers and Nancy Mosser Casting agency held an open audition in Pittsburgh, PA at the William Penn Omni hotel during the last two weekends in June 2011. I had to plan my trip well as Pittsburgh was about an eight hour drive from NYC.

    The cheapest and easiest way was to take a Greyhound bus at 9pm Friday June 17th 2011 which would arrive in Pittsburgh around 6am and a few blocks down from the hotel and then leave at 11pm the very next night on a Megabus which would arrive back in NYC at 7am Sunday morning. The entire 16 hours trip only cost me $78 round trip, far cheaper than flying and much more scenic! Once in Pittsburgh, I waited on the line and we went in around 9:30am. Several thousand people showed up during the four days they auditioned in Pittsburgh. All you had to do was show up, take some head shots, and fill out a long information sheet. The casting director said they'd be filming until the end of august before moving on to LA so if they needed us to film, we should be ready for last minute call backs.
     While waiting the next few weeks to see if I was picked, I received an e-mail from also about filming Dark Knight Rises AKA Magnus Rex in Pittsburgh during the August 6th 2011 weekend. I've worked with this company, headed by Cash B and his associates, on two other films so I knew a great time was in store. I signed right up and was confirmed for me plus three friends. This was lucky on my part as I heard they had close to 20,000 people on a wait list in case some of us confirmed extras couldn't attend the shoot.

     So once august 6th came, my friends and I were back on the greyhound bus to Pittsburgh. When we arrived, we were all told to go to the formally named Civic Center arena, where the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL teams plays, and were 'bat-shuttled' (in the form of school buses), which were used to transport us to the set at Heinz field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team. We filmed from about 6:30am until around 8pm. The morning shoot was mostly us being ushered around Heinz Stadium for shot after shot in order to make it look like a full fan filled stadium.

    Once we shot those scenes and ate lunch, it was time for the explosions! We spent the rest of the afternoon dodging explosions and doing out best 'extra' acting possible. Since the film isn't out until next July 2012, and out of respect for Warner brothers AKA so I don't get sued I can't say more as to what we were doing in our scenes as that would involve a lot of plot spoilers and yes I did learn a lot of plot at the shoot.

    After we were done filming,'s crew came and did a lot of prize giveaways, like they always do, including a Chevy car, some round trip tickets to anywhere in the USA courtesy of Delta and tickets to the Dark Knight Rises Red Carpet premiere and after party! Once all prizes were given away and once Chris decided we were done filming for the day, he came and thanked us for coming especially in such hostile weather and told us a little more about the film; like how he's filming with I-max film (which costs $750 per roll as opposed to regular film which only costs $250 per roll). 

     Chris said Batman won't be in 3-D as he hates 3-D filming (and I agree with him) but since he's filming using I-max reels, we all should be well represented in the shots. We wrapped for the day and got bat-shuttled back to our cars or greyhound buses. I'm very thankful to Cash B and his crew at, Chris Nolan and everyone at Warner Brothers and Nancy Mosser Casting Agency, all the actors we worked with (both big and small), the production crew and all the true fans of Batman for making this a really memorable experience! Here's hoping Chris made me look good in I-max, ha-ha!

If you would like more info on auditions, casting etc you can go to or or Lots of luck and good Karma to you all!

The 3 Batmobiles w/ Tom Hardy riding in the 1st one. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kung Fu Hip Hop event 2011

       My favorite show on MTV is a show called America’s Best Dance Crew now in its’ seventh season. This show features dance crews of various styles from around the USA. There’s everything from crump and step to jazz and contemporary. No matter what style you perform, ‘ABDC’ will try to showcase it but challenges you as an artist to learn, try and excel at other people’s styles you’re not familiar with.

       This week, on August 3rd 2011, New York City and the Asia Society (located on 70th street and Park ave.) was privileged enough to have some members from Dancing in the Streets organization do a free performance. Dancing in the street was featured in a one of a kind performance, which blended Kung Fu and various other martial arts styles with Hip Hop beats and dance moves. The show was amazing, the artists ranged from numerous ages and backgrounds.

         The Asia Society ended up overbooking the show as so many people signed up for the free tickets. The RSVP process was very flawed as they didn’t have a system for people who wanted to be on a wait list for tickets, it was pretty much a free for all – just keep checking the website and maybe you’ll get lucky kind of thing. 

         So to compensate, they ended up live streaming the entire performance which can be viewed, now, on so that no one would miss it. This was a very smart move and you want people to continue to follow you and your work as an artist and not have an angry mob causing backlash.

         This allowed the dancers to gain a much bigger following as well. Either way you got to see them perform, this event was not to be missed. For more information on this performance you can visit about their upcoming shows, workshops, etc.